Gemini Top

Fist off I am in love with this color. I really love jeweled tones and this yarn was such a rich shade of teal I couldn’t resist using it twice! (See my Bankhead Hat). The yarn isn’t a natural fiber, but it passes the ‘pet test.’ Meet my newest finished garment Gemini.

This pattern features a lace yoke panel that can be worn to the front or back depending on your mood. The pattern was very straight forward and the yarn/needles size combo made for a quick knit. I worked the small size and have about 2-3″ of positive ease. I did modify the length of the body as I am petite and have a shorter torso.

Another short sleeve top to add to the stack! Since my Gemini top isn’t straight cotton it will make a good layering piece when the weather does finally cool down. I am thinking a collared shirt might look cute underneath. The endless possibilities that come with creating your own wardrobe!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Bankhead Hat

I finally got around to making the Bankhead Hat by Susie Gourlay. I originally found this hat while doing some research for a coworker. She wanted to make a basic-ish beanie that was gender neutral.

The Bankhead Hat is a great project for beginners. The pattern is well written and has a lot of photos to guide you along. Along with being free, Bankhead can be created with pretty much any yarn. I used a solid color, however, Bankhead would look lovely in striped or with variegated yarn.

I am not quite sure if I worked the crown decreases correctly. If I did then I really like the finished look. If not… I still like it (hahaha).

What is your favorite basic-ish hat/beanie pattern?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Zigzagular Socks

The Zigzagular Socks are a free knitting pattern on Ravelry. The construction is top down with a textured heel flap. Along the sides of the socks runs a basic cable pattern that moves back and forth in a zig zag pattern.

I made the smallest size using my Daruma Superwash Merino wool yarn. This is a Japanese brand. I was first attracted to this yarn as it looked super soft and cozy. I have to say I wouldn’t use this yarn for socks again. It was too loosely wound for me. I like a very smooth yarn that is tightly plied and has at least 25% nylon. I like how the nylon helps keep a tight fit on my teeny tiny feet.

The pattern for these socks was well written. I liked that there were written direction as well as charts included. I also love a pattern with lots of pictures. It helps give me a better idea of what I am going to end up with.

I will not be wearing these sock for a looooong time. It will be 90° F/30°C for pretty much everyday for the foreseeable future. So no socks required 🙁. But, if you are looking for a sock pattern to stock up on your cold weather gear during the summer months I highly suggest the Zigzagular Socks.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitting IN Progress

Currently, I have 3 WIPs in my knitting corner. This is highly unusual for me as I am a pretty monogamous knitter. I like to focus on one project at a time… well until I get to weaving in ends. Some of the reasons I have 3 WIPS is 1) one project has a deadline and 2) I got SSS (Second Socks Syndrome).My “oldest” WIP is my Zigzagular Socks. I really should have knit them two at a time. I really love the yarn and the pattern, but I just wanted to move on to something new. These socks are a fairly portable project and mainly sit in my work bag. This weekend we will be traveling so hopefully I can at least get past the heel flap.

The project with the deadline is the Lace Dress Body. The project is intended for my friend/ co-worker’s daughter. She is turning one in a few weeks and I wanted to make something special for her. I love lace so this project looked ambitious enough without going overboard. All I have to complete is the front, arm bands, and leg bands. Two weeks should be plenty of time.

Last in line is my impulse knit. Two color brioche seems to be everywhere. One of my favorite examples is the lovely purple hat made by DWJ author of the blog “Yards of Happiness.” I am a fan of Stephen West, but sometimes his color combos are too far out of the box for me. DWJ’s use of subtle colors really had me thinking I should give this brioche business a try. One YouTube video and 5 froggings later I was on the right track. Looks pretty good for my first attempt. I am letting this project lead the way.  I am not using a pattern and I  have no idea what direction this project will take.I am thinking 3 is the magic number for me right now. Something has to come off the needles before I think of something else to make. I much more like finished objects!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Back In Action!

Hello Readers! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I made it through the storm and feel like my creative juices are flowing again. It also helped that some of my family came to visit us in China. When living abroad it can get quite lonely. There is nothing like being able to laugh and just be yourself around the people who know you best.

Even though I was silent on the blog I was most certainly still knitting. I finished the Van Gough socks my husband requested. I bought this yarn in Tokyo and only indulged him because I thought the yarn concept was really cool. The color scheme was influenced by Vincent Van Gough painting Cafe Terrace at Night. This was my first time using this yarn (Opal 4-ply) and I really liked it. It has good stitch definition and good stretch (75% wool, 25% nylon). The colors on this sock are more muted than I usually choose, but my husband likes darker colors.  The finished socks are a little rough feeling, however, I have a feeling they will soften up in a bubble bath.

I used the Toe Up Socks with a Difference pattern by Wendy D. Johnson. I was drawn to this pattern as I wanted some practice with making toe up socks with a heel flap. This pattern instructs you to make increases in a triangle formation under the heel rather than using short rows. I liked this idea, but I don’t know if I could recall this method off the top of my head like I do afterthought heels. Nonetheless, I think I like the fit of a heel flap better.

The socks came out great and I am sure I will visit this pattern in the future. One can never have too many socks!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitting Mimic

Mimic is a pattern that needs you to make wise yarn choices. Early last year, I attempted to make this sweater with some older yarn from my stash. It was a wool/acrylic blend that I bought way back when. The pattern has a special note about swatching (hanging clothes pins from the swatch when wet to imitate the blocking process) so I made sure to follow it. My swatch looked pretty good.  About 1.5 sections into the sweater I noticed that the fiber I choose was not doing what I imagined it would do. The garment looked too stiff and boxy…not at all like the picture. I was dissatisfied with it so I frogged it. I still loved the pattern so I stashed it away for another day.

Looking at all of the yarn I bought in Beijing I thought this wine colored yarn would fit Mimic’s needs. This yarn is a lighter weight than my original choice and has a certain squish to it. I am again about 3/4 of the way done and things are looking much better. I believe I will achieve my desired look. I have just the back armholes to work and then I will be done!

When was the last time (if ever) that you put aside a project due to yarn-pattern incompatibility? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitting On The Great Wall

Greeting from Beijing! More specifically from the Great Wall of China! My mother-in-law (MIL), husband, and I are in the north of China for Christmas. It is mighty cold here, but the chill allows us to get great use out of our knitwear.

I am wearing a slouchy beanie I made a while ago. I used a swirling eyelet design that I free-styled. My MIL is wearing a Snuggly Loops Cowl that I made for her when I first published my pattern. Both of these items kept us nice and cozy.

The thing that surprised me the most about the wall was the steepness of the stairs. At one point, I had to use my arms and legs to hoist myself up. My husband pointed out we were on a wall on top of a mountain and steepness was to be expected (😬 duh!). In any event, we made it from towers 1-6 in a little less than 1.5 hours. I have to say the whole experience was quite impressive.

I did sneak in a row or two on my Chuck Sweater. I thought I would have it done by now, but time ran away from me. It would have been perfect for this freezing cold weather.

What a great day! I got to see another New 7 Wonder of the World in addition to getting some serious exercise in. Win-Win for Whit!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-