Yarn Shopping: Marblehead, Massachusetts

Over winter holiday we headed back to the USA to visit family in Massachusetts. We stayed for two weeks so we had ample time to do some day trips. My parents recommended that we head to Marblehead, MA to take a stroll around the historic town and see the harbor. When people recommend places for me to go, the knitter in me immediately does a yarn store search. Lucky for me there was a yarn shop listed on the main shopping street. Yippee!

Marblehead Knits was a cute shop in a lovely location. It was small, but stocked from top to bottom. Like many of my favorite LYSs there was a selection of high end yarn down to budget options. I was happy to see that the higher end items ($20 USD+) were not just the standard Madeline Tosh yarn. I wasn’t quite able to detect the organization of the shop yet, I was browsing so it didn’t matter to me.

So what did I find? Two skeins of Three Irish Girls yarn, which I had heard about before and have not had the chance to see in person. I also picked up two skeins of yarn dyed by a local indie dyer. I found this really lovely shawl pin as well.

Marblehead Knits is a delightful yarn shop to stop by if you are ever visiting the Boston area. Take a half day trip to tour the town, grab some lunch and stock up on a few skeins. 😉

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Crochet Blanket

I have a fickle relationship with crochet. I enjoy the intricacy of the stitches and the ease of incorporating color into a piece. However, the creation process is just not as relaxing as knitting for me. Knitting has the advantage because I don’t have to look at my hands all the time. With this being said, I generally have a crochet project languishing in my yarn bins. Case in point this blanket. It has been sitting around for about a year. Every now and then I pick it up and add a few rows and then it gets cast aside once again.

Last week, I decided I had reached a point that this WIP should move to FO status. It is big enough to be a baby blanket or lap blanket if your thighs are cold. I used acrylic based yarns with a size 7.0mm hook. I just made up the stitch design as I went along. I kept the general idea of a granny square while adding some other elements.

I need to give this blanket a good wash and blocking and then it will be all set to find a new home. I don’t think I will search for a crochet project anytime soon, but I never know when my hands will get the itch to change it up.

Until Next Time,

Braided Headbands

Natural thick curly hair is generally not compatible with beanies. Especially, when I wear a puff. Thankfully the trend of knitted headbands saves the ears on a cold blustery day!

The Woven Cable Headband was such a gratifying knit. And those cables! I love love the braided look. It appears super complicated, but really it is not. Did I also mention this is an excellent project for the knitter on the go?

The benefit of knitted headbands is that they are an awesome way to use up the extra yarn you have lying around in your stash. I used Yak Wool in White to whip up my first headband. My yarn was on the chunkier side (aran weight) so I went up a needle size and decreased the number of repeats in the pattern.

I also had a wee bit of Malabrigo Worsted in Frank Orchre left from another project so I created another headband with a smaller circumference. I think the Malabrigo yarn showed off the beauty of the cables a wee bit better. I also quite enjoy the depth of the gold/ yellow color.

Either way I am happy with the finished results and plan on making more over the Christmas holiday.

Until Next a Time,

P.S. Check out my self-published pattern for the Crossing Diamonds Headband. This is a great selection for those who want a quick knit or are just embarking on the journey of cable knitting. Headbands make great holiday gifts for friends and family!

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Bearly Bonnet

A quick post for a quick project! The Bearly Bonnet is one of my favorite baby knits. It has a variety of sizes and creates such a cute finished product.

I used a Chinese brand wool/acrylic blend (worsted weight), which lead to me needing to do some math. I ended up with 16 sts over 10 cm using size US 7 needles. So I casted on 56 sts and calculated the rest of the changes based on the cm requirements in the pattern.

I wasn’t in the mood to sew more than I had to so I opted to not make the ears. The great thing about this hat being handmade is that if I change my mind I can always add them on later.

Until Next Time,

The Lake Reed Hat

The cables continue! The Lake Reed Hat is composed of two different cables that keep intermediate to advance knitters on their toes (in a good way 😊). This hat was defiantly not a Netflix and knit project. Let’s just say there was a lot of frogging going on around the crown. It was most certainly knitter error. For some reason I could not read the glossary (abbreviations) directions correctly. Once I figured out what I was supposed to be doing things fell into place.

I used a Chinese brand yarn called Zuodan Nu which is a wool/acrylic blend. This isn’t my favorite yarn yet, I like the color and the stitch definition. This yarn is more on the worsted weight side so the final object is a little dense, which just means better protection from the elements.

One Christmas gift down and 4 more to go!

Until Next Time,

Green Cables

A friend at work will be spending her first “White Christmas” in Japan this year. I was super delayed about giving her a birthday present (it was in September 😳) so I decided a holiday gift that could be used on her trip would be the next best thing. Knowing her, I pictured a beautiful cabled hat with a furry pompom to top it off.

The pattern I used was The Cushy Beanie. The yarn was bulkier than the pattern called for so I only repeated the cable section 3 times rather than 5. This was a pretty straightforward pattern including a chart and written directions.

I used a new to me yarn called Nako Inca Alpaca, which is a wool/ alpaca/ acrylic blend. It was soft to work with, but I could tell it wasn’t pure alpaca. As you can see in the photo it is a “hairy” yarn yet, there was minimal shedding during the knitting and blocking process. The yardage on this yarn was only 53m so I used 2.25 skeins to make this hat. The yarn was super affordable due to a sale, but I don’t think I would use it again as a larger project would get pricey.

Fingers crossed she likes it! 🤞🏾

Until Next Time,

Baby Sophisticate Cardigan

I made this cardigan ages ago. My friend was having a baby and I convinced myself that this sweater was going to be too small for a new baby. So it sat without buttons for over a year. Cut to me just having a baby and I realized how silly I was. Babies are small…duh!

My now two month old is just fitting into this sweater. I made it using a cotton mix so it is perfect for the now cooler temps we are experiencing in the morning. If you follow me on IG (@knitsbywhitsf) I was in a bit of a button pickle. I just couldn’t decide on which buttons to use. The giraffe ones are so cute, but as a follower pointed out they can be a pain to actually use. Considering babies are super squirmy I decided on being 50% practical (hehe).

I swear I have become hooked on making baby items. They are just so quick to make. Good old instant satisfaction! I think making baby sweaters is going to replace my previous love of hat making.

Until Next Time,

Happy Halloween!

I whipped up a couple of quick items for the husband and baby to join the “Spooky Walk” hosted by our co-workers. 👻

The outfit was a gift that was too cute to resist. I made a simple wool crochet headband to top it off.

When my husband saw the cat costume he wanted to be a mouse. So I dove into the stash and whipped up a simple knit beanie with crochet mouse ears. The two of them looked quite cute as we walked around trick or treating.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitted Baby Pants

In December, my family will head back to the USA to spend Christmas with my grandparents. This will be a 19 hour flight…during holiday time…with a 3 month old 😭. However, my grandparents are almost 90 and they really want to see the baby as she is the first great grandchild.

Since they live outside of Boston I am trying to knit up some winter clothing for all of us. Baby has about 5 sweaters so far. Yet, when I found Hosenmatz, I knew I had to use some of the gorgeous sock yarn I picked up this past summer in San Francisco.

I purchased Smooshy Petites in Cabaret from Firebird Yarns in San Francisco. This is a new yarn store to me since I moved away 2 years ago. The pants took almost 3 mini skeins. I love the variety of colors in this yarn and that it is oh so soft. As you can see the 3-6 month size is a bit baggy on her (she is only two months old), but I am sure she will grow into them in the next few months. I was left with a 1/3 of a skein of yarn, which will allow me to lengthen the pants as she grows.

I have to say I am a little jealous of these pants. They look perfect for lounging around in. Too bad I lack the ambition to embark on creating an adult sized version of them.

Until Next Time,

Chunky Knit Pullover

Grey is such a versatile color. You can pretty much wear it with any other color, which in my mind makes a grey sweater an essential wardrobe staple.

I purchased this yarn in Tokyo over a year ago. It sat in my stash in waiting for the day to be made into a sweater as I didn’t have large enough needles to make anything with it. This summer, I purchased some US Size 15 Knitter’s Pride Dreamz. These are my favorite needles! The colors are fun and the slip is perfect for my personal tension. They have an interchangeable set that I am resisting buying.

I used Natura Just Cotton XL yarn in Nuage and the pattern Sweet Lady Blue from Drops Designs. Since I only had 5 balls of yarn I modified the pattern. I shortened the body of the sweater as well as the sleeves. I knit the body (to under the armholes) to 12”. The sleeves were made from the cuff up to make sure I had enough yarn. To do this I worked out an even spacing pattern to increase the sleeves to 32 stitches. The other modification I made was skipping the crochet edge on the neckline.

I can’t wait to wear this sweater! I have many ideas about how to fit it in with the clothing I have. It is still unbelievably hot here so I have a few more months to wait.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-