attern: Melville Cropped Tee
Yarn: Purl Soho Linen Quill in Stillwater Blue
I am in love with this tee. This is one of those projects where the end result was far better than I even imagined. I conceived of this design as a layering piece to throw on over a tank on chilly mornings and evenings. I wanted something simple, but not boring, so I decided to place one large cable off-center and use purl stitches for the rest of the body to make the pattern stand out.
I decided to try and make this seamless just for fun. Under normal circumstances, I am neutral on seaming. Personally, I think I created more work, but hey… no seams at the end. I worked the top back flat, then shaped the shoulders using short rows and worked the front flat, then joined them in the round underneath the arms.
I actually knit this over a year ago and have been wearing it constantly. It’s perfect over a tank and jeans or over a dress. I am excited to try it out in a cotton or silk for a completely different look and both my girls will be getting a version of this too.
Linen Quill is some of my absolute favorite yarn. I love the depth of colors and the way the color shifts depending on the light. Here’s another shot where the lighting brought out the brown in the yarn.
It took me a few tries to get the neckline the way I like it. I have finally figured out to err on the side of fewer stitches so it pulls the neck in slightly and doesn’t look stretched out. The beauty of this pattern is that I can substitute different cable patterns in very easily. I am thinking it would look good with a wheat ear design as well, or maybe a few narrower strips for a more polished look.
Very excited to make more and fingers crossed that others love this design just as much!
Pattern: Open Air Wrap by Purl Soho
I realized this morning that I haven’t been putting many of my knitting makes on the blog. This is probably because I tend to keep my notes and pictures about those projects on Ravelry. But, upon further reflection, I think it’s because I don’t have as many knitting patterns that I am excited about.
If a knitting pattern doesn’t thrill me after the first time, I don’t have as much desire for a second try with modifications. But I do have a couple patterns that I have loved so much, I’ve made them more than once. This scarf pattern by Purl Soho is one of those – and it’s a FREE pattern.
I hate knitting a scarf. I find it very boring. However, this one is totally worth it. I made this first gray version with Purl Soho’s Linen Quill yarn in Stonewall Gray (and thus began my obsession with Linen Quill – I know it’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it).
I won’t say knitting this was fun, but the end result is beautiful, I reach for this scarf again and again, and I always get compliments on it when I wear it. It’s just warm enough for winters in Georgia.
This second version is made with a merino wool that I picked up when I was on vacation in Austria. I did actually make some modifications to the pattern on the second version. I had the same yardage and decided to make the second one thinner and longer.
This cardigan. Its story begins in October when I was shopping at Target with the Kindergartener. She fell in love with this sweater:
I had a super proud-mama moment when she touched it and promptly told me it was made from cheap yarn, then she asked me if I could make her one. Sure, no problem!
But then the problems. I had no less than 7 different shades of gray yarn in my stash with enough quantity to make this sweater. Not one of them was the right shade of gray. According to my daughter, the right shade of gray was a super-expensive cashmere from the yarn store. I disagreed. We finally settled on Berroco Vintage in Smoke. Yarn aside – Berroco Vintage is one of my favorite yarns for kid sweaters. It’s machine washable, knits up well, has a great color selection, wears decently, and is inexpensive. I have a sweater for myself out of it, and it’s starting to look a little rough after 3 years, but for a kid sweater that lasts us a season – no problem.
I think it’s important to note that we agreed on this yarn because when I knit a swatch for stitch pattern approval, my 5 year old found many things wrong with it. First, it did not have a same sparkle as the Target sweater (which had a metallic thread running through it) and ribbing was yicky, she wanted it all in stockinette (no cuffs – she has a weird thing about cuffs). By this time, I was totally ready to spend the $20 on this sweater from Target and forget making it, but of course, they no longer had it anywhere.
I designed this pattern for a quick and easy-ish knit. I did a raglan sleeve construction, knit flat in one piece with patch pockets knit separately and seamed on at the end. I solved the sparkle problem by knitting every few rows with a specialty sequin yarn wrapped around the gray. I added a small garter stitch border to the bottom of the sweater, the sleeve cuffs, and the pocket tops to prevent rolling. I knit a shawl collar around the edge using a wide ribbing to prevent curling.
I was very happy to be done working with this super demanding client on this sweater, but I will say that she wore the thing for 5 days straight – even over her pjs one night.
Here is a pdf Margot Cardigan, or you can get it free on Ravelry.
Since moving to the South, I have noticed that holiday decorating is taken very seriously down here. So seriously that most everyone I know has more than one Christmas tree. Well, last Christmas my family’s ornaments finally outgrew our one tree and we succumbed to a second tree.
I actually sent my husband out to get a small tree (I was thinking 2-3 feet), and he came back with a full size one, which we put in our sun room/kid craft room. Once it was decorated, it looked very empty, so my daughters spent the whole season making ornaments for the tree, and then I received a few homemade ornaments that I added, and suddenly a new family tradition was born.
My daughters spent some time going through our ornaments and deciding what to make this year, and I decided to add my own too. I had come across this free pattern from Kelbourne Woolens a while ago. I decided on just making the hats using some left over Shibui Staccato.
I had lots of fun with the colors and patterns, and each hat took under an hour to knit, so it was a quick project. I still have plenty of left over yarn, so I may be making more of these to attach to gifts this year.
Every year for the holidays, I like to give my daughters’ teachers something hand knit as a thank you. I try and choose a new project each year so that I don’t get bored of knitting the same thing multiple times. I’ve done fingerless gloves, wraps, and this year’s gift – scarves.
I usually buy my yarn for these projects in March on clearance at either my LYS or online and I try to choose a pattern that is relatively mindless. Then, through the summer and fall, I bring these projects on car trips and to sports practices and doctor appointments (urgent care visits are great for knitting).
For this year’s scarf project, I started off using Purl Soho’s Diagonal Twist Scarf pattern. It was easy once I got the hang of it. After knitting the first scarf in this, I decided to find a new pattern for the last two. I thought the yarn I selected was a little to stiff for this pattern and I wasn’t thrilled that the front and back were different (I’m a little OCD about this when you can easily see both sides).
For the last two, I chose Purl Soho’s Double Seed Stitch Scarf pattern. I LOVE seed stitch even though I find it a little painful to knit. These scarves knit up beautifully and I was happy both with the weight and drape of the yarn using this pattern.
And since I’m on the subject of holiday gifts, I also wanted to share these fingerless gloves. This pattern, called Vancouver Fog, from Jen Balfour is my favorite fingerless glove pattern I’ve found so far. I love the fit and design. Plus, the cables make them look very challenging to make (although they are easy). When I have some leftover yarn, I will try and knit a pair up so that I have them on hand for last minute gifts.
After watching me knit about eight pairs of fingerless gloves for gifts, both my girls decided they had to have their very own pair – in pink of course. I created this pattern for them – in toddler and youth sizes – with a simple braided cable design and a shorter wrist and thumb length. The toddler size has a shorter ribbed top so more of the cable is visible.
This project was a great stash buster. I made a pair of each size from 1 and a half balls of yarn. I chose a superwash wool because, well, …kids. Enough said on that.
They knit up very quickly – about an hour a pair. And everyone had a blast striking poses and showing off their new winter accessory (even though it was VERY warm).
Here is a free download of this pattern or you can find it at my Ravelry store.