Tuesday, July 29, 2014

County Fair Success

Our county fair just ended on Sunday and I did well again this year with my projects. I won't put photos in this post but I'll provide links of my previous FO posts for each project if you want to see them.

Blue ribbon - Ebb Tide afghan
Red ribbon - Luckiest Day sweater for mixed color sweater caring yarn and Alfred cardigan for children's clothing.
White ribbon - Baby Outfit in baby sets, 2+ pieces (The blue ribbon in this category was the most darling sweater and hat set.  It definitely deserved the blue! I never saw the second place project for this category but I have no shame in my white ribbon!)

This year the judge wrote feedback on our tickets which was great. They haven't done that in the past. The judge wrote feedback on the red ribbon entries, regarding a small hole under one of the raglan sleeves on my sweater, and some ends that weren't completely hidden on the Alfred cardigan. I sloppily forgot to double check my projects.

The judge also made a note about how the place where my yarn colors switched on my raglan sweater could have had a smoother transition. I am very grateful for all the feedback. Carelessness is a stupid mistake but an easy thing to fix, and it is good to know where I need improvement on a new skill. It's also great to have feedback since I never knit with other people. The only feedback I get usually is, "Wow that looks great! I wish I knew how to knit!" So I rely on YouTube and other blogs to improve my skills.

Currently I'm working on my son's sweater again. It is the only project on my needles at the moment, although I'm sure that won't last long.

It might not look any different since the last time I shared it but I'm at about ten inches and I need at least twelve before beginning the raglan sleeves. Also, this yarn sheds more than my cat does. Hopefully blocking or a preliminary wash will help take the fibers once I finish.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yarn Review Monday 22: Cascade Eco+

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

The yarn: Cascade Eco+
  • 100%  wool
  • 250 grams, 8.8 ounces;  478 yards, 437 meters
  • Colorway: Teal

 The project: Luckiest Day combined with Packard sweater patterns by Maura Kirk

This is a more accurate photo of the teal color.

What I liked: Such a huge skein of yarn. I have leftovers after one skein. For an adult sized sweater. It's a rare thing for me. Blocks out really nicely. Beautiful color. It is so very warm and even soft when wearing it, despite my comment on the scratchy feeling while knitting.

What I didn't like: It is kind of scratchy while working with it. It says bulky weight yarn although it took five rows instead of four to get the same width as the brown bulky yarn I paired it with. The yarns looked equal in bulkiness in the skein but after balling them it seemed like the yarn lost that essential bulk. Maybe it was wound too tight in the cake and it was an isolated incident. Maybe it just happens. I don't know.

Affordability: I bought mine at The Yarn Bank in Taylor's Falls, MN. It was $20/skein, give or take a couple dollars.

Rating: There is so much yarn in one skein. It's great. I only needed one skein for that sweater and I still have enough left over for a hat probably. And it is so wonderful to wear. I really hope to use it again soon.

For a complete list of Yarn Reviews, click below:


Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Knitting Memes

Haven't shared one in a while. Found this gem on Pinterest .

Come back in less than twelve hours for my last yarn review of the month.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yarn Review Monday 21: Malabrigo Worsted

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

The yarn: Malabrigo Worsted
  • 100% Merino wool
  • 100 grams, 3.5 ounces;  210 yards, 192  meters
  • Colorway: Verde

The project: Baby outfit from my Bear Brand Baby Knits

Up close on the details

What I liked: So incredibly soft. All of their colors are just gorgeous, not just the green. The way the colors in the yarn came togethIt just happened to be perfect for the pattern. Stays nice even if you frog it. Stays soft and beautiful after blocking (although that might be a silly thing to say since we block things to make them nicer...)

What I didn't like: It is spun a little looser compared to most yarns I prefer. This made me a little nervous before I started knitting it. (However, this wasn't a problem once I started the project.) Also, for good yarn it's a good price but I still generally can't buy $10 skeins of yarn all the time. Especially when I have to drive a minimum of 40 min to the closest yarn store, or any store that sells yarn for that matter. If I didn't have to think about gas economy this really wouldn't be I an issue.

Affordability: I bought mine at Color Crossing in Roberts, WI. It was $10/skein, give or take a couple dollars.

Rating: Knitting with this left me very little to complain about. It is beautiful all around. For a mid range price I love it.

For a complete list of Yarn Reviews, click below:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Luckiest Day

I finished my Luckiest Day sweater today! It is a perfect fit and I haven't even blocked it yet. And it might be 80°F today but I put it on to make sure I was really in love with it. (I am...)

Before I added the buttons. Fresh off the needles.

I'm not sure how much I like the buttons but that can easily be changed if needed.

The only change I did to the original pattern was to make it a raglan instead of sewing the sleeves on. The pattern book is inspired by "choose your own adventure" books so that's what I did... Choose my own adventure and mixed two patterns from the book. I'm glad I did.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So Many Sweaters

Hi guys. I love knitting sweaters. I have four in progress, two I can't work on until I get more yarn, and three of the four have changed since last week.

My sweater:

So far a perfect fit. A few more decrease rows left and then I can begin the turtle neck. Still waiting for my husband to pick up more yarn...

My daughter's sweater:

I've been overwhelmed with all the pink arriving in the mail over the last two weeks so I went the purple/lime green route for most recent addition to our family. Needs four more buttons and the sleeves. I first saw the pattern on this blog and decided I had to make it. I sewed on seed beads for the owls' eyes. It's the six month size.

For my future second cousin:

My cousin is having her first in November or something. I figured I'd make the sweater a gender neutral color and then find boyish or girly buttons for it once we hear what Baby is. It is the same pattern as the sweater I made for my daughter, the Hoot Cardigan (Ravelry link). This is in the newborn size.

See more projects by clicking below:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Decorating Brownies with Stencils

My son asked for a Batman themed birthday this year. I decorated a brownie instead of cake. Here is a tutorial on how to make elaborate designs on brownies.

Start with an idea. You can choose to draw your own or trace it with tracing paper. Once you have an image on the paper that you're satisfied with, cut it out. I had my heart set on a Gotham City horizon, with the bat symbol and Batman.

I only needed one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of printer paper for this. Keep in mind that if you cut out a lot of small details they might not show. I cut out the spikes on the cuff on Batman's forearm and you really can't tell on the brownie.

Tricks I used to make the cutting less tedious:
Fold the paper so it is easier to cut small details... Cut half moons where your letters need an open space, such as the "a" in happy, the "b," "d," and "a" in birthday. I also used that trick to cut the windows on the buildings by folding the buildings in thirds.

Cutting out the "s" in my sons name was very intimidating at first, but I figured out a way to cut it so that it stayed connected but I wouldn't have to figure out how to jam a large pair of scissors into a very small spot:

I had a hard time removing the stencils without tipping sugar off and ruining the design. Using some tape folded up in the middle so you create handles on your stencil goes a long way in removing the stencils hassle free (I did that for the second brownie I made. For the one photographed, I used the tip of a small paintbrush and a long fingernail. I don't recommend it!)

So there you have it.

It looks great. It's fairly easy. It only took an hour from sketching to removing after powdered sugar. And if you screw up, you can just add a little powdered sugar and cover the mistake.

Marigolds' Loft

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

In the Home Stretch

I did not work on my knitting at all over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Not once. Monday was my first opportunity so I did some furious knitting, attached the first sleeve to my sweater, and got about five inches or less done on the second sleeve.

We were able to take a day trip to the north shore on Tuesday and I was able to finish the second sleeve, attach it, and get up to the first brown stripe on the yoke on the long drive up.

No, I did not take this photo before I got that far. I realized once I knit that far that I put the second sleeve on backwards. Yes, it was knit in the round...

... Hang in there with me. There is a slight seam where the yarn switches for each new stripe. The "seam" was on the top, to my great horror, and I frogged it, turned the sleeve around, and knit two rows past before going to bed.

Grrr. I'll thank myself for doing that later. I kind of already am. I screwed something up during the frogging of the second sleeve and I'll either have to suck it up or sit down and find out what the hell I did. It's mostly a cosmetic issue with three or four stitches.

And if you were wondering, I've had no motivation lately to work on my son's sweater... I need to get on that too.

See more projects by clicking below:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Just One Sleeve

I've had a busy week so the only knitting I've done is on my sweater. I started the first sleeve since the body of the sweater is ready for adding sleeves now.

Sorry the colors are so weird. I need to stop taking photos of this sweater against a dark background.

See more projects by clicking below: