The Knitted Frau

Adventures in knitting, and other things too.


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The Adelisa Earflap Hat (and my very first original pattern!)

Whoops… Haven’t posted since November. Time flies!

Since then, I have (obviously) been knitting up a storm. I made some really nice Christmas presents, followed those up with some very nice birthday presents, then dove head first into baby presents. Times like these make me SO happy for my giant, growing family! I’ll never run out of people I love to knit for.

A few weeks ago, I was showing my grandmother a knitted hat that I designed for my brother. She is a fantastic knitter who knit every one of her grandkids a Christmas stocking (there are a lot of us), not to mention all of the sweaters, blankets, socks, and who-knows-what-else she knit over her lifetime for her kids and grandkids. Needless to say, I respect her opinion as a knitter. She is amazed that I can write my own patterns and make things up as I go along, which I do for the majority of my projects. After showing her the hat I designed, as well as some Christmas stockings I had designed for my newlywed sister and her husband, she encouraged me to start writing down my designs and publishing them.

I’ve been thinking lately that I should start writing my patterns down in a usable form, and her telling me to was the kick in the pants I needed. I had a few little ones lined up to knit hats for, so I looked back on some past baby hat notes, opened up Excel, got out my yarn stash and got writing. The result is the Adelisa Earflap Hat, which I absolutely adore. I’m lucky enough to have a 6 month old nephew, an 18 month old cousin, and a friends newborn on the way, so I could write all three sizes at once and have presents ready for all of them! Here are my three sizes:

Toddler

Toddler

Baby

Baby

Newborn

Newborn

I love how it came out, and had so much fun writing the pattern. The attached i-cord was time consuming, but I am so happy with the end result. I did not have a chance to take good pictures of the toddler wearing hers, but here is Del sporting the baby size.

Delly Bean

Delly Bean

If you, too, would like to knit the Adelisa, here is a PDF of the pattern!

The Adelisa Earflap Hat

This is my first time writing a pattern, and I was my own test knitter, so PLEASE let me know if you find any errors or if I have been unclear at all, anywhere. I would really appreciate the feedback.

Happy knitting!

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Busy Hands

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Ahhh… so, since my last post I got married, went to Maine on my honeymoon and am currently settling into married life! It’s pretty fun. And it’s so nice that things are settling down… turns out planning a wedding is a lot of work that cuts into my knitting time. But it’s all over now (did I dream it?!), I have a lot of time on my hands and a lot of work to do, so back to blogging!

It seems like every year about this time my hands get extra busy… It is, after all, Christmas knitting season! Time to buckle down and make my needles fly.

I have, however, been pretty busy before today. 

One of my brothers (the middle one) has never gotten a hat from me. If you asked him, it’s because he’s the middle child and no one ever does anything for the middle child. Everyone ALWAYS forgets the middle child. Boo hoo. Very sad.
So, for my poor neglected brother, I designed the very first ReagaNation hat. (FYI When you come from a family of nine kids which came from two families of 9 and 6, you basically are your own nation.)

Here is is, in all it’s glory:

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And on the inside of the brim, there is this surprise!

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I had a lot of fun designing and knitting this one… all those color knitting books I have on my bookshelf paid off! I looked through a bunch of them for pattern inspiration.

The yarn I used was Berroco Vintage Chunky in Oats, Chana Dal and Pumpkin. It is a super soft & squishy wool blend that can go in the washing machine, which is great since he is currently going to ranger school. I have a feeling that thing is going to need a serious washing in about 3 weeks. I had enough yarn left over to make him a quick neck warmer, too! Ranger school gets cold, I hear.

Even before I started designing that hat, I finished my new brother-in-laws wedding stocking! The two of them turned out great. I used the same pattern that I created in Excel but switched the colors. All the yarn was Cascade 220 colors, with a few random yarns thrown in from my left-overs from different projects. Image

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Here is both of them together:

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I have two other stockings to knit for Christmas presents, and I can’t wait to start designing them!

I just got started on a pair of mittens for a Christmas present, which are coming out great! I designed the pattern for my meditation teacher. One of his oft-used sayings is “you can’t fight the waves, but you can learn to surf them.” It rings pretty darn true in life, so I used that as my inspiration for the mittens. I’m using (again) Cascade 220 colors. That yarn is perfect for fair isle with size 5 & 7 needles. I keep trying different yarns thinking they won’t be that different, but (shocker) they are. The Cascade yarns make such a light, soft, and flexible fabric. Good thing they are everywhere. But I digress. here is the first mitten:

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It’s not blocked yet, so forgive my dimpled fabric.  I just cast on for the second mitten today and can’t wait to get those puppies blocked and send them on their way! (Do I really have to wait til Christmas?)

Oh, and did I mention that somewhere in all of that flurry of knitting I knit MYSELF a hat?! It’s crazy, I know. For all the things I make, I have nothing nice for myself. Every time I start making myself something, I get the idea that it’s time to experiment on the fly. This, inevitably, means that the final product is oddly shaped, a weird size, or generally less desirable than what I give away. (Does anyone else do the same thing?) It’s all very depressing for me. Until a few days ago!

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I indulged on the Maine honeymoon and went to Halcyon Yarn in Bath, ME. My honey-buns helped me pick out some Peace Fleece yarn for myself, which was so much fun! I’m so used to shopping for other people. The next day, we were aimlessly driving around Norway, ME and stumbled upon Fiber & Vine. It is a little yarn shop that also sells really good wine. No, I didn’t make that up. Yarn AND wine in that same shop. WHAT! I was in heaven. HEAVEN.

We ended up taking home a bottle of mead, The hubbster picked out a delightful bottle of hopped mead from Maine Mead Works and some yarn for a future pair of mittens for him. I found some really cool yarn on the (really great) sale shelf by Jojoland Yarns. It is a “Rhythm” colorway in Red Blue Berry, and it matched my Peace Fleece perfectly! I used it in the pattern above the brim and love how it turned out. Luckily I bought 2 skeins so I can play with it some more!

So, yeah, I’ve been productive lately. And it feels so good! Soon I’ll have 2 stockings, at least 1 pair of mittens, and who knows what else to show you. Til then, happy knitting! And I’ll leave you with this face, from my tiny awesome nephew:Image

 

Lovies!

 

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Short and sweet… And sleepy

So, I’ve been working on a hat for my future mother-in-law for the past few weeks, and for some reason it is just dragging.

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(I’m currently knitting away at a soccer game my fiancée is coaching… never mind the turf!)

I really like how it is turning out, and this is my first time ever trying a new stitch to create a pattern. I’m excited to be trying something new.

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(I can’t wait to see this after blocking!)

And yet, for some reason, every time I pick it up and get my needles working my eyes begin to get droopy and my fingers work slower and then boom… I’m ready for nap time. And so, it’s progressing pretty slowly. (Sorry, Marilyn!) Maybe by the time it is warm out again I’ll be finished. :-/

Does anyone else have this problem ever? And how do you work through it?!


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A lazy Sunday, done right!

I know, I know. It’s been a while. But I’ve just had the most productive  lazy day I can imagine and it has been WONDERFUL.

This is the first day in a LONG time that I’ve had nothing to do and I took full advantage. For starters, I slept in til 10 after having dreams about being Jerry Garcia’s girlfriend and being in a weird German desert version of Conair. Hmmm. Then I got up and made bread dough which resulted  in this a few hours  later:

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I used King Arthur Flour’s 100% whole wheat bread recipe, modified a bit to make round loaves and I threw in a few chopped garlic cloves, sweet Spanish onions, and chopped spinach. My mom always tries to stick spinach in anything she can to get as much as possible in the family’s diet, and I do believe I inherited  that cooking trait. It has served me well! The bread was wonderful with my boyfriends mothers homemade sauce for dinner, and will be glorious with the roasted chicken I have planned for tomorrow!

While patiently waiting for the dough to rise and sitting firmly on my butt, I finished this roving wool ear warmer (these are so wonderful for winter walks!):

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Put the final touches on this wool fair isle hat for my sister:

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And started this manly alpaca hat:

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Not too shabby! I even got laundry done with some help from Callie:

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Three cheers for productive lazy Sundays! And now I need to keep knitting while waiting for Downton Abbey to come on.

Life is hard. Very, very hard.


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Work in Progress

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So, I’ve been working on making some mannequin heads for the past few days to photograph my hats on, and they are coming along! I’ve got the basic features on my lady, now I’ve got to work on a man while I wait for her to dry. The next layer will be small details, then she will be ready for paint. I’ve been photographing every step so I can write a tutorial when I am done.

Oh, and I finished my laurel hat!

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We had a snow day yesterday so I got EXTRA time to get crafty!


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Finished some mittens, now on to hats.

So, I’ve finally finished my purple dogwood mittens. There were a few stops and starts, some dumb mistakes made while knitting tired, and one frogging incident, but here they are!

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The pictures aren’t great but I don’t have them with me to rephotograph right now. The one on the right is blocked and the one on the left us not.

They came out a little bigger that I thought they would. I didn’t think the yarn I used was thicker than my previous mitten yarn, but apparently it was by a little bit. Oh well, someone with big hands will appreciate them I hope.

So, I’ve started my first hat of the series. I wanted to stay with the leaf theme and recreate the shape of a really great hat I made for my sister a while ago, so I took a look at the basic design I used for hers and thought about a leaf design that would look good in a circle. Vines? Repeated leaves? A leaf/flower design? LAURELS! Golden laurels, to be exact.

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I had a tiny ball of really pretty golden Madeline Tosh merino left over from a previous project that works perfectly as the leaf color. For the brown and white, I used some really wonderful alpaca I got from a local alpaca farm, Alpacalachin Farm. The yarn is dye-free and incredibly soft. Like, softer than I thought alpaca wool could be. Jen, the owner, knows her stuff. I love that she does not dye her wools. The natural alpaca colors are so wonderful. The white is creamy and radiant and the brown is so warm and inviting, like creamy coffee. I also have some darker brown and black yarn to work with from her farm and I can’t wait to use it. It just feels good to have between my fingers! It’s going to be unbelievable over your ears. Whoever buys these hats is going to be one lucky duck.

I realized with this hat how much I REALLY don’t like working with more that two colors. Messing around with three colors is just so slow and frustrating. I mean, look at the inside of this!

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Awful! But it does look so nice on the outside. I can’t wait to get it done and blocked.

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I have a really cool idea for mannequin heads to photograph my upcoming hats on, and if it works out I think I’ll post a tutorial on it. We shall see. Til then, happy knitting!


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Finished hats!

Hey all! Hope your holiday was as wonderful as mine. I am so lucky to have such a big and loving and awesome family as I do… They make the holidays (and every day) pretty amazing.

I finished my kids hats the other day, just in time for the little Christmas party I had for them before school was let out for the holiday. They loved them! I was a little worried that the kids wouldn’t appreciate my hats, but they went over great. Here are the last two:

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The kitty hat turned out so cute. The kiddo I made it for had drawn me a picture of the perfect kitty hat I should make, so obviously I had to knit it for him! He was so excited when he opened it and saw his original picture next to the hat. :)

I also got to look at the inside of my first kids hat next to my last. It was great to see the progress I’ve made with the tension of the strands on the inside. There is a fair isle mitten pattern I’ve been itching to try on ravelry.com that I feel like I have the skills to tackle now. Woo hoo!

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My next project was a quick and chunky hat for Mom’s birthday. I found some really nice colored Martha Stewart roving wool at the craft store on super sale. I normally wouldn’t use Martha’s yarn, but it was such a good deal (and 100% wool) I couldn’t pass it up. It turned out beautifully thick, and just big enough for my mom to tuck her hair up into.

Here is me modeling it, and my happy mother!

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It was so nice to get some wool on my needles after knitting all those kids hats in acrylic.

One more (late) Christmas hat to finish and I’m on to some projects for fun and some projects for Grandma. And one for my friend and one for my boyfriend’s mom and one for his little sister and…. I’m sure something will come up after those!

Happy New Year folks.