Botanical Embroidery

I received Yumiko Higuchi's newest book Zakka Embroidery as a Christmas gift, and from the moment I opened it I couldn't wait to start stitching. Yumiko is an incredible artist and creates the most beautiful designs. If you haven't seen her work yet, be sure to.

I pulled a couple different flowers I liked from the "Floral Pattern" in the book and came up with this little motif. I embroidered with wool and then made it into a project bag. I finished it off with a tiny pom-pom made out of the same wool I used to embroider.

Tiny Knitted Sweaters

Each year I make a Christmas ornament for my granddaughters, by hand. This year I went with these cute little knitted sweaters. It was fun to play with some colorwork on a small scale like this and was a good way to get some practice. This is something I look forward to getting better at and being able to make an adult size sweater like these. :) 

Happy holidays!

Fidra Hat

I made another Fidra because I'm in love with this pattern. It's an addictive pattern and knits up really quickly (perfect for last minute Christmas gifting). And it's beautiful.

I used Quince & Co. Osprey in the color camel for the hat. For the pom pom I wanted it to be contrasting, so I mixed some leftover Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the color Pumpernickel with some suri alpaca I have from Old Homestead Alpacas. It made the perfect pom pom. :)  

Woodsy Hat

As you've probably noticed, I'm a huge fan of anything Melody of Mandarine's designs. Every time she comes out with a new pattern I want to cast it on right away. This is one of her latest designs, the Woodsy Hat. I must say, this is one of my very favorite knits of all time.

I made this using Merino d'Arles Fingering, which is one of Melody's yarns that she hand dyes.   It's absolutely beautiful! 

Baby Sophisticate II

I love the Baby Sophisticate pattern so much that I made a second one. What's not to love? It's a simple pattern, knit top down and is absolutely adorable. My favorite part of it is the shawl collar. I used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the color Woodsmoke. I added a pocket to mine and put a contrasting trim on it with some yarn leftover. The buttons are faux leather.

Summer Sewing

I recently finished this sweet little foxy top for my granddaughter. I love the construction of this garment and the slanted, gathered bubble pockets. My granddaughter really loved the pockets, too. 

The pattern I used is the Elegance & Elephants Bubble Pocket Top pattern.  I love how it turned out. 

The fabric I used is cotton double gauze by Kokka and is really soft. 

My sweet granddaughter modeling her new top :)

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Current WIPs

Lately I've been wanting to cast on everything! I usually like to have no more than three wips (works in progress) at once, but at the moment I have a couple more than that. I think I can blame that on my new addiction to knitting socks, as I have a couple pair going at once right now. 

My favorite project I'm knitting at the moment is this Whispering Island Shawl by Helen Stewart. This is such a fun pattern! The yarn I'm using is a gorgeous hand dyed French wool by Melody of Mandarine's. I can't even begin to tell you how soft this wool is. And the color is divine! She makes the most beautiful yarn and I want to knit all the things with it.

I actually have two shawls going at the moment. The second I'm working on is Oceanbound by Melanie Berg. I'm knitting this with A Verb For Keeping Warm hand dyed indigo yarn called Flock in the denim colorway. It's knitting up so beautifully.

One goal I had this year was to knit colorwork. I figured I'd start out small, so I'm participating in a KAL for these pretty spring flower mitts. The pattern is Small Flower Mitts by Leigh Miller and Ann Myhre. I love the way they're knitting up. I will say that I have some work to do on learning how to carry the floats and work the ends in as I go (there are a lot of ends inside that mitt!), but I'm really loving working on them and getting the practice. The yarn I'm using is so amazing. It's Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift and I just can't get enough of it. 

So, that's usually my limit -- three items on the needles. Well, I have two more, and they are both socks. One I'm loving and the other not so much.

This first pair is a pattern called Drop It by Andrea Salin. Basically you knit several rows and then drop stitches up above. I think it's actually fun to drop the stitches, but this yarn doesn't like to cooperate so much, which makes it not so fun. I'm using Madelinetosh Merino Light in the White Wash colorway. It's a single ply, so I guess I should have expected as much with this yarn. I was about halfway through the second sock when I noticed a mistake several rows back. I tried ripping back, but ended up having to rip all the way back to the cuff because I just couldn't figure out each row and where I was with those dropped stitches. So this sock is sitting all by itself at the moment waiting for me to knit the second one. I'm actually not sure if I ever will, just because I wasn't really enjoying the pattern that much. We'll see.

So, after dealing with that complicated sock pattern and the issues I was having, I decided to knit a very basic sock. I get bored quite easily, so I didn't want to go with a totally vanilla sock, so I went with Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. I absolutely love knitting these and they are coming along nicely. I added a contrasting heel and toe just to mix things up a bit. The main yarn I'm using is Malabrigo Sock in Arco Iris colorway. The contrasting yarn is Jagger Spun in the Mahogany colorway. 

 

 

First Knitted Socks

I promised myself to learn to knit socks this year and I actually knit a pair! It was so much easier than I thought, and fun, too. Now all I want to do is knit more socks. :)

For my first pair I chose this pretty pattern by Olivia Villarreal called Wildflowers & Honeycomb. I absolutely love how they knit up. The lace work is really simple yet so beautiful. I've had the yarn in my stash for several years just waiting for the perfect project. I love it with this pattern. It's Madelinetosh Merino Light in the colorway Modern Fair Isle. I highly recommend this pattern.

Simple House Slippers - Part II

I learned a lesson about knitting slippers. Put some sort of bottoms on them. Unfortunately, the first pair I knit had holes worn in them quite quickly. I was so bummed. I love them so much that I just kept wearing them, but decided to go ahead and knit another pair.

I did a little research to find out how to make them last longer and found these slipper bottoms. So I knit another pair, this time in a yarn with several more plies than the first (I used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter) and went down a couple needle sizes from the recommendation on the yarn, that way I could knit a denser fabric. It worked perfectly, and the slipper bottoms are amazing. Now I can knit a bunch more and just sew these bottoms on them. I plan on making a couple for mother's day gifts.

Pattern is Simple House Slippers by Temple Knits, knitted with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Blanket Fort colorway.

WIPs and Blooms

Spring is coming alive in my garden! I absolutely love this time of year with the feeling of renewal. It makes me want to start new projects and get out in the garden. All of the little wildflowers that we planted last year are popping up and some of the roses are starting to bloom.

I'm currently working on a pretty, textured hat and a shawl that is perfect for spring.

Pollen Hat by Andrea Mowry. Knitting with The Fibre Co. Organik in the Coral Reef colorway

I'm currently reading this book by Katie Daisy - How to be a Wildflower. I can't say enough good things about it. The illustrations and drawings in here are so lovely, and I just love the gentle reminders to enjoy nature and the outdoors. It's so calming, refreshing and inspiring.

Oceanbound by Melanie Berg. Knitting with A Verb for Keeping Warm Flock, dyed with indigo

Puerperium Cardigan

I just finished knitting another little baby knit for a friend who is having a boy. I've had this in my queue on Ravelry for quite some time now and was so happy to get to knit it. I really like the design of this one, the way it buttons down the side and folds open completely.

I used Plucky Knitter Sweater and it knit up so beautifully. I love how perfect the stitches look with this yarn, and it's so soft. I found some pretty little coconut shell buttons and think they go perfectly with the cardigan.

Pattern is Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker. Knitted with Plucky Knitter Sweater in the After Dark colorway.

Simple House Slippers

Well, I completed another item on my to do list for 2016 knitting. I finished the Simple House Slippers. What a wonderful pattern! These knitted up so quickly and are really simple to make. They're on my feet now as I write this post. :) I'll definitely be making more and highly recommend this pattern.

The pattern is by Temple of Knit and can be found here. The yarn I used is Moeke Yarns beautiful, rustic Romanian wool in the coral color and can be found here.

Little Old Man Cardigan

I was so excited when I found out a good friend was expecting a baby boy this year. I finally had an excuse to knit up this adorable little old man cardigan. I have two granddaughters, so I'm usually knitting up girly stuff, which I'm so happy to be able to do, but when you see something as cute as this little cardigan you can't help but want to knit it. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I can't wait to see it on the baby. The tweed yarn really gives it that perfect little old man cardigan look. I added a little pocket as well. It was just as much fun shopping for the little outfit to go with it. :)

Pattern is Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down. Knitted with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Nest colorway. Pocket accent is done with the same yarn in the Faded Quilt colorway.