Friday, November 11, 2011

cozy coffee & tea...

I love my days off. I have three of them in a row each week. Friday is my Saturday... It's a day I can get chores done, appointments done, and I can usually set aside some time to relax with my knitting or crocheting.  On this "Friday acting like a Saturday" I decided to take a break from my holiday knitting and my long term epic projects. I wanted to make something today that I could start, finish and use all in the same day.  And I found the perfect project when Asa made a pot of delicious hot Thai Tea and commented on how fast he needed to drink it in order to enjoy it hot.  We needed a Plunger Pot Cozy and we needed it FAST!
cozy Thai tea

I looked online and was able to find several free patterns for a plunger pot cozy. After checking out several, I found one that I could modify to accommodate the supplies I had on hand.  I changed the number of stitches in the existing pattern because I decided to knit mine with two strands of yarn to make it thicker, hoping it will keep our tea and coffee warmer, longer.  Because I used two strands of yarn, I also used much bigger needles for the project, meaning I had to reduce the number of stitches. I kept the basic idea of three buttons to secure the cozy in place on the pot.

buttons hold this cozy on the pot

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a chain reaction...

I got this skein of yarn for free at J.P. Knit & Stitch when they were having their Go Green! Weekend. It was a 'free with purchase' sort of deal where I got to select one skein of yarn out of a huge bag of beautiful bright yarns.  I picked this purple flecked yarn thinking it would make a beautiful hat, even if it was just a boring stockinette stitch job.  But then I taught myself how to cable and thought this yarn was up to the task of holding up lots of cables. 

If you'd like to give this hat a go, here's the pattern!

This cozy little head warmer is for Barb, the neighbor and dog walker at Grace's house.  She's so sweet...I wanted to make her something handmade for her birthday and to thank her for being the only adult I talk to sometimes during my 10.5 hour shift.

one skein wonder...

Not too long ago I was invited to try out Crafsty's new workshop feature for free. This was Craftsy's version of a knit along, with the project directions provided along with great photos and a message board feature. Normally one would have to pay for a workshop, but since Craftsy offered it for free this one time, I decided to try it out.  This particular workshop was for a knit shrug that promises to use only one skein of yarn, so I knew it wasn't going to be much of an investment of my time or money. Its tiny, but cute and it was very easy to make. It only involved knitting, purling, and increasing.

Here are a couple of photos of the shrug, but none of me wearing it...the cuffs are too tight for my big ole arms!  I did change the pattern slightly in that I used a contrasting yarn for the ribbing at the cuffs and neck and back.  It was a quick project and it the directions were very easy to follow. I plan to make another one soon, but will use a bigger needle on the arm cuffs so they will fit better (the pattern called for changing needle sizes but I'll just use the same one as for the body).

For now, I'm taking names of thin armed friends who might like to try this on for size!

cable ready...

This weekend I was trying to use some beautiful merino wool that I got on sale to make the Peace Street Hat from the Interweave Knits Holiday Magazine.  This beautiful hat made the cover of the issue!

I am terrible at following grid patterns...I can follow written directions pretty well, but once they are put into a grid, I loose it completely. I can never remember what the symbols mean from one row to the next. This means that I have to do a ton of double checking which takes forever.  I can never tell if I'm supposed to reverse the grid for wrong side or not... It does not make for relaxing knitting!

So, I scrapped my messy and mistake riddled band portion of the hat and decided to try to teach myself how to create a cable stitch band instead.  I could still use the buttons, but I would use a much simpler pattern that still had some eye catching texture.  After the band was complete I was able to pick up stitches along the edge and knit the top of the hat just like the pattern for the Peace Street Hat.

The hat came out beautiful! I am tempted to keep it for myself and find a cable knit mitten pattern to make some matching mittens to go with!