28 October 2013

Poor October

Sad little October, you've gotten away from me. The thing is, there's nothing going on over here to report! As you know, I'm gearing up for a new arrival in April, which means I've been sleeping a TON lately. Between that and my day job, I haven't accomplished much in the way of knitting.

It's Halloween time, though! A cute article on Craftsy shows some Halloween-y knit options, which is leading me to ask: Have you ever knitted a Halloween costume? The closest I've come is my viking hat:

I'm working on another newborn hat using the leftovers from Meridien, as a gift for a friend who just had a baby girl- congrats, Kate! I'll post it when it's done.

And I'm excited that we're coming to the close of October's giveaway, a lovely project kit from ellelittleblog! Winner's coming up soon!
Go check it out while there's still time!
- YX

09 October 2013

FO: Sultan Pompom Hat

Click here to check out  the October Giveaway

I've made a new little hat:

It's a top-down beanie, and I love it. A quick pompom made without cardboard, and some leftover yarn turned out really well. I love the variation of color in the pom:

This heavily-variegated yarn looks like a ton of different colors in one pompom, but is much easier to make.

Both yarns are Wollmeise sock, and the stitch definition is, as always, gorgeous. I should get around to writing up the pattern. By making the hat top down, I was able to control exactly how long the hat was without being afraid of running out of yarn.

I made this hat for a very special recipient... My husband and I are expecting our first baby! He or she is due in April. I'm so happy to share this news with you! We've been through a lot together since I started this blog TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO! Hopefully I'll have more baby knits to show in the future!

- YX

01 October 2013

Guest Post: Entangled Stitches Gloves from ellelittleblog

This week, I'm bringing you a guest post. This is a friend of mine from the knit-o-sphere, and she's done a lovely project to share with you. I'll be featuring a few more guest posts in the next few months, so enjoy! 

Hi YarnExploder peeps!  My name is Letitia.  I will also answer to Elle, blond chick, and hey you.  I am poly-craftual, as most crafty people tend to be.  I consider myself mostly a sewer these days, but I have also been knitting since December 2008.  I taught myself how to knit by looking up stitches online and making preemie baby caps.  “Hey!  Bobbles look fun.  I’ll put some of those in a hat!  February Lady Sweater?  I’m not sure what lace is, but I can turn that into a hat. Etc.”  I love knitting, but unfortunately/fortunately I live in Florida and there isn’t much use for knit beanies or giant Aran sweaters or gloves.  Yeah.  So about those gloves…

I fell in love with the entangled stitches pattern by Julia Mueller sometime in 2010.  Someone posted in Remnants about how her brand-new gloves in a beeyoutiful silk blend yarn were stolen off the train.  She was understandably heartbroken.  Anyway, awesome ravelers are awesome and someone was able to get the dyer of that yarn to dye more (she wasn’t dyeing anymore from what I remember) to gift to this chick.  That’s how I remember it happening anyway.  Fast-forward to August 2012 and I see an ad on LSG for sheepytime knit’s colorway of the month, South Pacific, and I HAD to have the entangled gloves in THAT color.  Never mind the fact that I was going nowhere close to cold anytime soon.
My first order of business was to find my colored pencils and color in each different symbol on the pattern.  There are so many different kinds of twisted stitches in this pattern and the symbols look similar enough that coloring in the squares was very necessary for me.  That took somewhere in the neighborhood of three hours to complete.  That should have been my first clue as to how intense this project was going to be.  There are seven (7!) pages of charts after all.  I’m not one to look at something complicated and think I can’t do it, so onward I cast on with my tiny size 0 DPNs.

I note on my Ravelry project page (very light on the notes, btw) that I was 15 hours into my first glove and I wasn’t done with the first chart yet—that’s not even 40 rounds in 15 hours.  My hands are like normal people hands with the pinky spread thing (not sure what to call that exactly, but you know what I mean right?) starting earlier than the other fingers.  I moved my pinky stitches onto waste yarn on after round 88 and continued working the other three fingers according to the chart.  That’s the only modification I made that I can think of apart from using a smaller needle size.  I tried to make the crosses on the fingers line up with my knuckles because I thought that would look cool.  I wish I had a picture of that!  Sorry, not sorry.

From start to finish, these gloves took just short of 6 months.  I was zipping along on them all through September and was almost done with glove 2 when I stalled for all of October.  I picked the gloves back up to finish chart 2 on the second glove and was almost done knitting the fingers by mid-November.  Then I stalled again, spent a month in Central America, and went back to work in January busy as hell.  My biggest challenge was WEAVING IN THE DING DONG DURN ENDS!!!  Mugglefrackin ends.  Ends are my kryptonite.  Well, ends and buttons.  I was so not wanting to weave in those ends.  I made a deal with myself to just weave in 2 a day.  Just 2.  Per day.  That’s it.  It still took me forever, but here, look at my pretty finished gloves!  Glorious gloves really.

My original idea was to take these pictures at the beach.  I’m glad I didn’t because the reflection from the sand would have been horrible for showing the detail on the gloves.  The backyard wearing a $2 dress from the Nicaraguan version of Goodwill was way better.

This photo is really blue.  I was trying to get all the cabling to show and overadjusted the colors in the process.  Oops.

For the record, we had a really cold March and I was wearing my gloves regularly in the mornings.  Steering wheels get cold!  Enough about my gloves.  You can find me as ellelittle on Ravelry and/or read my blog about sewing, what I’m cooking, and where I’m going, as well as other random things over at ellelittleblog.blogspot.com. 

And since I’m feeling really generous, I’ll sponsor a giveaway too.  Up for grabs is a digital copy of Entangled Stitches (gifted through Rav so you gotta be on there) and a skein of Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in Pearlescent that’s been languishing in the stash forever.  And because I’m really freaking awesome, I’ll make you a sweet project bag to go along with it all.

You want this?  You know you do.  Leave a comment 1) confirming that I am, in fact, awesome and 2) what the hardest thing you’ve made so far was and why.  Bonus internet points for linkys.

That’s it!  Thanks to Yarnexploder and readers for having me today!