Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy with my Hap Blanket

I have been slowly knitting my way through Ysolda Teague's wonderful Whimsical Little Knits (and Whimsical Little Knits 2). I bought the yarn for the Hap Blanket at this year's New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival, the grey from a local farm and the red from one of my favorite yarn companies.

With its garter stitch center and easily memorized edging pattern, this was a great project to leave in my knitting basket for months on end.

Hap Blanket by Ysolda Teague (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Riverslea Farm rustic spun yarn (grey), 2 skeins, and Green Mountain Spinnery New Mexico Organic in Red, 1 skein
Needles: US Size 10 circular needle

If you look at the original Hap Blanket and then mine, you may notice that there aren't as many purl rows in my edging. Ysolda had posted errata to the pattern (found here) but I didn't think to check it beforehand. Also, I used a size 10 needle instead of the recommended 11. I started with the 11 but it was looking too loose. I wanted to use 10.5 needles but I couldn't find one long enough in my stash, so I just went with the 10s. This made it slightly smaller than the pattern specified.

At first these little changes bothered me. I put off blocking the blanket for awhile, not sure if I should frog it and redo the whole thing or just let it be. I think it's important to know what kind of knitter you are, and whether you can put up with mistakes (or "design elements," as some people prefer to call them) or whether it will drive you nuts. I often fall into the latter category.

This time I decided that this is what knitting, and making things in general, is about. Even when I fall in love with a picture, I have to make things in my own way, with the materials available to me or the ones I would like to use. So when I do make something, and it doesn't look exactly like the picture, that's just because I've made it my own.

I'm very happy to now have a warm woollen lap Hap blanket for these cold winter evenings. I hope you are also staying warm and busy with knitting these cold days and nights!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Post-Christmas Recap, Part II

In which I knit baby things for my almost-nephew, Nico (how much do you love that name?):

Infant Mittens from Knitting to Go; made with stash Plymouth Dreambaby DK yarn. I was running out of yarn so I swapped the icord string for a crochet chain with one row of single crochet to give it some strength.

Of course, everyone knows you need a hat to go with your mittens:

Bear hat, also from Knitting to Go, made with Caron Simply Soft.

Lastly, I made him a sweater I've been wanting to make for years:

This is the Pure and Simple Pullover from Weekend Knitting (one of my favorite knitting books ever. I bought it right when I learned to knit and it inspired me to keep going and learn as much as I could). The yarn is also stash Plymouth Dreambaby DK (like the mittens, it was extra from knitting Nico's baby blanket).

It looks a little wonky at the shoulder because of the buttons.

I think it is worth it though--the shoulder buttons make it easier to get on and off of a baby.

The purple mass of wool under there is my mom's Christmas present--I will show you next time!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had wonderful holidays. I did, and I'm glad I can finally show you some of the holiday crafting I was busy working on.

I made these wristwarmers for my Secret Santa at work. She's an excellent knitter and spinner so I knew she would appreciate them. The pattern is the Snowy Wristlets (Rav link) from the Crochet Today special issue Must Have Gifts (originally printed in their November/December 2008 issue). I just used cream colored yarn from the stash and the recommended hook. It was an interesting pattern that is still simple enough for a beginning crocheter.

I'm not sure if I've said it here before or not, but Crochet Today is an excellent magazine. Very clear instructions and great patterns that are mostly made up in yarns that are available at the big-box craft stores. I've found so many great stash-busting patterns in their pages, too.

I actually finished this stocking for myself last Christmas, but by the time I remembered to blog about it I had packed it away for the year. It is Christmas in Tallin by Nancy Bush (Ravelry link) from her book Knitting on the Road. I used some Dalegarn Tiur from the stash. I'm very pleased with how it came out, since my colorwork usually looks a little bunchy. I worked this on two circular needles instead of on double pointed needles, and for me that helps a lot.

I was very impressed with the braid, also--it turned out to be one of those things that looks quite tricky but is really easy.

More presents coming soon, and I may be inflicting some wedding crafting on you also ;)