Friday, January 30, 2015

Getting Ready For My Valentine Tradition: Yarnbombing!

Look UP Valentine
Look Up, Valentine!
Thanks so much everybody! Your responses to my question about blocking has cleared things up for me. I think the best plan is for me to weave in ends but not cut them until after blocking.

This is the time of year I get ready to yarn bomb! The above picture was taken back in 2011 when DH and I went out late the night before Valentine's Day and hung stuffed knitted hearts in one of the trees downtown. They stayed up until January the next year!

Valentine Yarn Bomb - 2013

So we did it again. And have done it every year since. I use the stuffed heart pattern I found from Jackie Z Knits. I don't felt them just add extra yarn between two of them so I can throw them up high if needed. We've found that the higher up, the longer they stay.


These from last year are still up!
Have you ever yarnbombed?

Maybe someday I will assist the Knits for Life team. Their installations are clever and inspiring.

 Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keegan Baby Hat + Socks

Are you ready for some cute?


Can you believe how itty bitty Magpie is in these pics? I knit this set for her last March. She's grown so much since then.



This baby hat and sock set is a great last minute gift and a perfect way to use up leftover sock yarn! Cabling is done every six rows, making a relaxing knit and an ideal travel project for an experienced knitter and a great project for beginners learning cables. I suggest knitting a few so you always have a baby gift on hand!



And look at those oh too cute feet!


This set was knit in Anzula Squishy, colorway Country Green. I just love this colorway.

I think I need to cast on a new one for her. Maybe one for Valentine's Day? Or I could wait a bit and knit one in a nice springy green for St. Patrick's Day. 

Pattern: Keegan

Notes: Instructions are written for a cuff-down sock, with charts provided. Sizes for socks and hat can be modified by using lighter fingering weight yarns and smaller needles, or sport weight yarn and larger needles. 

Yarn: 75 (100) yards for socks and 80 (110, 140) yards for hat of heavier fingering weight yarn such as Anzula Squishy, The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight, Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious, Knitted Wit Victory DK, Koigu KPPM. 

Needles: Size US 2.5 (3 mm) for socks and Size US 5 (3.75 mm) either DPNs or circular 16" with DPNs needed for decreases for hat, or size need to obtain gauge

Gauge: 32 sts and 48 rows = 4" over st st for socks and 24 sts and 32 rows = 4" over st st for hat
Size: 3-6 months (6-12 months) for socks and newborn (3-6 months, 6-12 months) for hat
Finished Measurements: 2 1/4" foot circumference, 1 1/2" approximate leg length for socks and 5" (6", 7") wide, 6" (6 1/2", 7") length for hat


It looks like my sweet niece's modeling career is taking off already....thanks Magpie! Your college fund will be growing!

And thank you for the lovely graphic design work Jill Zielinski, aka Knitterella!


Available for purchase at an introductory rate of $4.00 until January 31, no coupon needed!  

Happy baby knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Finished Pont Neuf - Or is it?


She's finished and I love her! All the knitting on my Pont Neuf infinity is done. I love how snuggly warm and cozy she looks. I still have to weave in the ends and block her.


I still have to weave in the ends and block her. But I couldn't resist taking a few pictures.

So the question for you is:
When is something "done?" When it is ready to wear or when the knitting is finished?

Also, when is the "right" time to weave in the ends? Before or after the soaking and blocking. Part of me thinks that after soaking is better because the fibers will adjust. But then if I do it before blocking, it will block with ends woven in.

What say you all?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Kind of Weekend

Who doesn't love a four day weekend? Even better, just a stay home and catch up weekend since my Christmas holiday vacation was a bit disrupted by a family emergency (all is well now) and my own health problems. This past weekend was just what the doctor ordered....or at least a step in the right direction.

It is late and I need to go to sleep, but I wanted to share a few photos from the weekend to remind me that sometimes it is the simple things that bring joy in our daily lives, not just with our knitting as I mentioned in my last post. Speaking of which, I'm so glad so many of you are going to try to join in with capturing and sharing your knitting everyday when you can with the hashtag #365 on instagram or twitter.

Without further ado....


macarons from Miette and their gingersnaps are to die for (I didn't want to bake on Friday)


I did decide to bake scones Sunday morning to bring to knitting brunch with friends. We call it brunch but I don't think we left until 5:30. That'll happen when good friends, food, knitting and prosseco is involved.


Beginning of brunch.....



End of brunch! I'm so thrilled with this project. Amaryllis by Amy Miller from Plucky Knitter's new All Bundled Up Collection. Other than this sheep baby blanket I knit 7 years ago and really only involved one color change, this is my first real fair isle/colorwork project and I'm just so proud of it!! I'm in love and it was easier than I thought and I can't wait to start designing with color work.


Even though I don't love love the plot lines of Downton this season, I can't help but love the fashion and the elegance and the detail of the show. And yes, I do tea for the show and try to savor and relax for every minute of it.


Pioneer Woman's Hamburger Soup. It seemed like everyone I followed on Instagram made it a week or two ago and so I made it yesterday so that I'd have lunch for the week. Done. Delish. Easy peasy. Plus it went really well with the Tartine Bread we had in the house :)

Good weekend, huh? I didn't even include a picture of the 5 loads of laundry I did or the fact that almost all the Christmas stuff is put away. The little things, you know. I hope you had a good weekend. And the nice part about a long weekend.....

tomorrow is Wednesday....almost Friday!! well, not really, but you know what I mean.

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Starting Simple

When Tricia posted that one of her knitting goals this year was going to be knitting everyday and asked who wanted to join her on instagram (#knit365), I knew I was in right away. My goal this year is to just knit. With all of my health concerns last year, there wasn't much knitting. Best way to get back on track, start simple.


And Plucky Knitter 100% cashmere doesn't hurt either.


Slowly but surely I'm getting back into the groove. Typically, these fingerless gloves would have been done the first week of January, but now I'm just glad that I feel well enough to get to knit night.

Even though I'm starting simple, I still couldn't resist casting on Amaryllis from The Plucky Knitter's new All Bundled Up collection (it is amazing if you haven't checked out the collection!). I guess it is simple color work, but I really haven't done much color work.



I was excited to finally get to the color work part tonight.


And I'm sticking to my rule of not casting on any new designs until I get the pattern above re-released. Hopefully a long 3-day weekend will help with that.

Be sure to keep an eye on progress on knitting everyday by following the #knit365 hashtag or join us and us the same hashtag.

Happy weekend!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Knitting Every Single Day Yields Surprising Results

I'm not even through the first 15 days of my Knit365 project and I've noticed something unexpected.

I expected to be more productive and have more knitted objects to show.

I expected to go through my stash more often and be reminded of all the lovely yarn I already own.

But one thing that I've noticed doesn't really have to do with knitting exactly.
I've rediscovered my love for seeing things through the camera lens.

The simple act of taking a picture of my knitting each day, even using my phone camera, has opened my eyes to looking at shapes and colors and textures. Back in 2006 I completed a photo-a-day project and I love having that year documented that way and that's when I began trying to learn more about photography. Over the years, I've put that to the side and am now bringing it out of the shadows.

Looking through the lens and seeing the landscape of this knitted fabric and trying to capture its hills and valleys was a challenge as well as a meditative exercise.

And at the end I'll have some lovely knits to wear! I'm at the border of the Pont Neuf cowl and am very excited to have it be my first finished knit of 2015.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Note to Self

There are only 346 days until Christmas, so start that holiday knitting. Yes, I'm telling myself this now. Why you ask?



Because I finally finished the Tween's Christmas gift last night, that's why. 


Fortunately, I had at least one Sorin Fingerless Glove to give her on Christmas day, but then a lot of life happened and got in the way and very little knitting has happened. 



But she gave them a complete thumbs up today and hasn't even mentioned that they were quite late. 

And Magpie isn't old enough to realize that I didn't knit her the stuffed animal I wanted to knit her. I'm adding that to this year's list. I have 346 days.

And Pa's socks. Well, his birthday is in February. I think this is what happens most years. I think he knows this too.

And the ornaments I want to knit. And the little korknisse I want to knit. And that one special friend I'll want to knit for and then will need to cross off the list when I realize there is just no-way-in-heck I'll make the deadline....I'd like to make the deadline this year. 

Thus, this post. Ties in nicely with Cheekyattitude's last post about knitting a little bit everyday. More on my plans for that next time.

Happy New Year!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Here's to 2015 and Blue Sky Days

Happy New Year!

We have been having glorious weather here in the Bay Area. I know we need the rain but the warm sun feels wonderful. I've been told that so many "blue sky days" can be overwhelming to people from other parts of the country. As a native Californian, I wonder if they were joking. Who could get tired of views like this?

I've got a couple of knitterly goals for 2015:
  • Knit every single day -You can follow the bits and pieces on instagram ( cheekyattitude) and follow the tag: #knit365. I'm completely relaxed about it, I have given myself permission to just knit a few stitches and it will totally count. Will anyone join me? I'd love to have company. There are a number of #yearofmaking people. But I'd like to concentrate on knitting.
  • Organize the stash - I wrote about it last time and dove into the piles but know there are skeins in places (back of the closet... etc.) I haven't discovered yet. I have been following Rachel Herron's journey as inspiration. (That counts as moving forward, right?) Maybe I should post pictures of the mess as public shaming to kick my bottom into gear.
On the needles right now is a Sorin Fingerless Glove. I had a false start because I failed to read the directions properly and cast on waaay too many stitches. Thankfully, I noticed in time and avoided frogging a whole glove.

The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted from the aforementioned stash. Sooo soft and lofty. I stop to pet it quite a bit.

The seed stitches in the center have to be my favorite element, I just love how they pop.

By the way, the Sorin Fingerless Glove pattern is the pattern for January and on sale for 4.75.

And it is "selfish knitting" time! Join the knit-a-long in the Ravelry Group and knit yourself something pretty.