Thursday, January 29, 2015

Knit Project #8: Sky Blue Striped Beanie

Can't. Stop. Knitting,


Since I forgot to do ribbing on the last hat, I had to quickly make another one to get the ribbing out of my system!


Love the widely spaced out ribbing with chunky yarn. 


And of course there's a pom pom.



Notes:

  • Inspired by The Purl Bee's Merino Hats.
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Sky Blue (20% wool 80% acrylic yarn, super bulky)
  • Circular 16 inch, no. 13 (9mm) bamboo knitting needles
  • Cast on 42, did 6 rows for ribbing and 3 rows of knit before alternating colors. Could be two rows longer but fits fine (toddler size). Didn't use dpns to finish decreases. 
  • unstretched finished measurements: 16 inches in circumference, 7 inches deep

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Knit Project #7: Polka Dot Striped Hat

Learning several new things here! SSK? WYIB vs WYIF? Whaaaaaaaat??? Thankful for the internet and YouTube.

why have I not explored pom poms until recently?? love them!
I decided to graduate from super bulky (6) weighted yarn to medium weight yarn (4) and try out my 5mm (size 8) circular knitting needles. It's a good test of patience when a project doesn't work up in a couple hours with super bulky yarn!

my little photographer
Loved creating the different patterns with alternating dots and thin stripes. I actually meant to do a ribbed brim but got too excited and knitted in the round three times before realizing I meant to alternate knits and purls for a ribbing.... Next hat!



Learned how to make the decreasing ridges not slanted by doing both K2tog and SSK (slipped one knit-like and the second slip purl-like). Love how it looks!

pre-pom pom



Notes:

  • Inspired by Knits by Britt's Pretty in Polka Dots Hat Tutorial. Changed up a few things to be toddler-sized instead of adult-sized but kept same number cast on. 
  • 5mm, size 8, 16" circular needles
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease 80% acrylic 20% wool, medium weight (4) in fisherman and dark rose heather
  • pom poms made using cardboard discs from old ribbon spool
Addendum:
Added on ribbing to the bottom hem later to make it longer!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Knit Project #6: Sunshine Beanie

Had to finish off the skein from her Sunshine Circle Scarf to make her a matching beanie!


This girl loves the rain!



Dada taught her how to use an umbrella.



Notes:
  • Lion Brand Hometown USA Yarn in Pittsburgh Yellow, 100% acrylic, super bulky (6) 
  • bamboo circular knitting needles 16" size 13 (9.00mm); 9 stitches, 12 rows 4" by 4"
  • Can't remember how many I cast on or when I started decreasing! 
  • Would've added on a big pom pom and a few additional rows to make it bigger but I ran out of yarn!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5 Minute Sweater Mittens


Looking for a quick solution to lost mittens or have some old wool sweaters lying around? Try your hand at these upcycled wool sweater mittens! I serged them quickly so they don't have the neatest outline but you could hand sew them too if you don't have a serger or don't want to mess with a serger around the thumbs which was kinda tricky (hand sewing may make this project "10 or 15 minute sweater mittens" but it's still a great quick project!).


Notes:


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Knit Project #5: Sunshine Circle Scarf

DIY pom pom hat and scarf

My almost-two-year-old currently loves:
  • matching anything, finding anything that matches, and matching mama
  • the color yellow
  • cheese, blackberries, sugar snap peas (but only if they come whole so she can open them and eat the peas inside), rice in any form, steamed broccoli, baked cod
  • doing anything/everything by herself

My Little Sunshine 

I LOVE scarves and would wear them year round if 90% humidity in the summer weren't a deterrent. When it's remotely cool enough to start scarf season, I pull out the scarf bin (yes, I have a bin dedicated to scarves). That being said, Little Miss E wanted a scarf too but a long one just did not seem like a great idea for a toddler. A circle scarf, on the other hand, is perfect!




The pattern I followed is sized for an adult but it works for a toddler (or you can play with the math on the pattern and make it smaller). She LOVES being able to put it on herself and take it off when she's "all done." Plus, it's YELLOW, her current favorite color.




What a fun pattern! It's worked in one piece in the round on a circular needle and the way the knit and purl stitches work around, it forms diagonals.


This project gets a thumbs up!

Notes: 

  • Lion Brand Hometown USA Yarn in Pittsburgh Yellow, 100% acrylic, super bulky (6) 
  • bamboo circular knitting needles 16" size 13 (9.00mm); 9 stitches, 12 rows 4" by 4"
  • Lion Brand Free Knitting Pattern: Florida Sun Circle #Scarfie (copied and pasted below)
  • Did rounds 1-8 twice to yield approximate measurements 20 inches circumference and 4 inches wide without stretching. Fits an adult o so for a toddler could make is closer to a 16 inch circumference next time!

Cast on 48 sts.
Place marker for beg of rnd and join by knitting the first st on the left hand needle with the working yarn
from the right hand needle, being careful not to twist sts.
Rnd 1: *K4, p4; rep from * around.
Rnd 2: P1 *K4, p4; rep from * to last 7 sts, k4, p3.
Rnd 3: P2 *K4, p4; rep from * to last 6 sts, k4, p2.
Rnd 4: P3 *K4, p4; rep from * to last 5 sts, k4, p1.
Rnd 5: *P4, k4; rep from * around.
Rnd 6: K1 *p4, k4; rep from * to last 7 sts p4, k3.
Rnd 7: K2 *p4, k4; rep from * to last 6 sts p4, k2.
Rnd 8: K3 *p4, k4; rep from * to last 5 sts p4, k1.
Rep Rnds 1-8 until piece measures about 8 in. (20 cm) from beg.
Bind off.
FINISHING
Weave in ends.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Knit Project #4: Cinched Head Wrap and Mini Cowl in Lemongrass

I'm on a roll! Loving this super bulky yarn because it works up so quickly. Also getting a hang of circular knitting.  


LOVE these colors together. In different lights, this lemongrass color looks more greenish or yellowish. What a pop of color against any neutral like winter whites, charcoals, black, or navy!



This time I practiced getting a more invisible join for knitting in a round, switching colors more seamlessly (although it can be hidden by the cinched part), and binding/casting off more loosely so one side isn't tighter than the other side.


knit rows in a round

cinched head wrap doubles as a mini cowl, love the reverse side too!

Notes:

  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Fisherman and Lemongrass (20% wool 80% acrylic yarn, super bulky)
  • 16 inch, no. 13, 9mm, circular bamboo knitting needles
  • cast on 44, all knit in round
  • finished circumference approximately 18 inches not stretched, 26 inches stretched
  • finished width approximately 6 inches not stretched, 9 inches stretched

Knit Project #3: Cinched Head Wrap and Mini Cowl in Sky Blue

I don't know why I was so nervous about knitting...it's so much fun!!!! (this also happened with sewing button holes using a sewing machine and sewing knits....oh what we miss out on when we're scared to try!!). 

Cinch Head Wrap and Mini Cowl

So far I've learned how to cast on, knit, purl, change out colors, circular knit, straight knit, cast off. Oh the possibilities!!! 


Getting better at keeping an even tension but need to still play around with different yarns and needle sizes to get a better feel! 


So. Much. Fun.

Also works as a mini cowl!
Notes:
  • Inspired by It's a Cinch Head Wrap and Collar by Elisa McLaughlin.
  • 16 inch, no. 13, 9mm, circular bamboo knitting needles
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Sky Blue (20% wool 80% acrylic yarn, super bulky)
  • cast on 50 in a round, alternated 2 rows of knit and 2 rows of purl; ended up with 10 knit rows and 8 purl rows
  • finished circumference approximately 20.5 inches without stretching, 24 inches stretched
  • finished width approximately 4 inches without stretching, 7 inches stretched

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Guest Blog Post: Infinity Scarves

Hi everyone!  Janice here, writing my annual guest post for Steph.  Being a graduate student definitely has its perks -- I love that I have these nice, long winter breaks so I can fly around the country and visit family.  I've also finally had time to devote to my needle crafting!  Hello to binge-watching Netflix shows (White Collar Season 5 just on Netflix!) and knitting (I've been on a mitten kick this year).


Last year, I visited in December and Steph and I made fleece-lined felt ear warmers. We wanted to make something different this year, but we were running a little low on inspiration.  A few weeks before I flew in, I e-mailed Steph this link as a fun project we might be able to dupe.  Alas, we couldn't find the right combination of fabrics to make the double sided infinity scarves, but we decided to make some single-patterned ones with the fabrics we did find!


Last year, when I visited, Little Miss E could only understand very basic sentences and wasn't saying much on her own yet.  What a huge difference one year makes!  She hasn't mastered full sentences yet but boy, can she communicate up a storm.  Her favorite game this trip has been something like this:

E yells, "AAAAYI*! Baby hug?" and offers me her baby doll.
I'll respond "Yes, please!"
Then E will respond, "NO." And run away.
Rinse and repeat x 100.

*A-yi means "Auntie" in Mandarin.

It's really fun... for one of us, anyway.  Haha.


Anyway, Steph and I braved the cold to take some photos for you.  It was a whopping 36 degrees F outside when we took these.  I hope you enjoy them!  Until next time! :)

-J


 Inky Floral Linen Infinity Scarf

Stripes Away Jersey Infinity Scarf

Until next time...! Keep on creating!

Knit Project #1: Toddler Chunky Hat with Pom Pom

I have always been intimidated by knitting but always wanted to learn. Janice came for a visit and not only did we make some beautiful infinity scarves, she taught me how to knit!



Why did I wait this long?! I LOVE knitting!



No pattern. Just learned how to knit and purl!

Oh, a pom pom. Love.



  • US 11 (8mm), 29 inch circular needles
  • 1 skein (less than a skein!) of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (80% acrylic 20% wool, super bulky 6)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Strawberries and Cream Toddler Mittens

Last week it was cold. Like single digits cold. That doesn't keep one from dreaming of strawberries and cream in the summer! Little Miss E likes doing EVERYTHING herself now so these mittens were the perfect combo of "do it yourself" and "stay warm please." 




Inspired by My Hobby is Crochet's "Crochet Toddler Mittens Ceyla" pattern for 12-24 month sized mittens. I used Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn and a size 4.25mm hook (lost my 5.00mm hook). 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Red Toddler Tunic (Crochet)


Nothing like a little red number to brighten up gray winter days!



Love all the details. 


I used 2 skeins of 100% cotton, medium (4) worsted yarn ("I Love This Cotton" from Hobby Lobby). The "Ooh La La Toddler Tank Top" pattern by Cre8tion Crochet uses a 5.5mm hook but I used a 4.25mm hook to make the top smaller. A 5.0mm hook would work great for a 2T size (I'm speculating since I lost my 5.00mm hook!). I also added on two rows to the bottom of the top to make it more tunic length; another 4 rows would make is closer to a 2T length.


Finished measurements:
  • chest - 21 inches
  • length from shoulder to hem - 18 inches
  • approximately 18-24 month size


So cozy over her favorite polka dot turtleneck and diy t-shirt leggings!

"Meow! Cheese!"




Monday, January 5, 2015

Berry Coconut Chia Parfait

I love and collect cookbooks, especially those with photographs (ok ONLY those with photographs...). For Christmas, I was gifted a beautiful cookbook on whole food, plant-based recipes from various vegan chefs. Our family is by no means vegan or vegetarian but I'd say our diet is relatively plant-based. Vegetables are often the star of the show. 

Excited to dive in and see what new recipes to try, I tried a modified version of chef Heather Crosby's "Blueberry Pie Chia Parfait."

creamy. tangy. crunchy.


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (approximately 400mL)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • ginger thins 
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber! (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-chia)



  1. Blend together coconut milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom in a medium bowl with a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Stir in chia seeds. Cover and allow to stand for 15 minutes for chia seeds to plump into pudding.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add berries and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Stir for about 10 minutes or until berries break apart. Remove from heat.
  4. In a small jar or bowl or whatever suits your fancy, layer chia pudding, berry compote, and ginger thin cookies to make your parfait! Enjoy warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store in airtight glass containers in the fridge for up to one week.