FO: A Rye Tie for a Wood Pencil

I made another Rye tie last week. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many men I know want a hand knit tie once they’ve seen one.
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This time though I made this tie for my friend Brian as a way to barter for one of his handmade wood pens for my husband.
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Well in this case it was actually a black and white ebony wood mechanical pencil! Isn’t it beautiful? You may remember when Brian gifted me one of his first wood pens he had ever made. I keep it with a special journal I have at home because I don’t want it to get lost in my purse or someone walk away with it at work. Kendell already had a gorgeous pen (which he immediately took to work before I could even photograph it) but asked Brian if he could make a pencil to go with it and he could! Since Brian had already seen my knit ties he asked if I’d be willing to make him one as a trade for a pencil. Done!
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And this time around I listened to what previous tie owners told me, that the tie needs a bar on the back to slip their ends through. I picked up a few stitches on the backside and was able to make a neat bar that you can’t notice from the front. I still had a full skein of Cascade Venezia Worsted in my stash that I like to use for these (this is the third tie I’ve made using this yarn) and Brian picked out this gorgeous deep green shade. This is a wool and silk blend that gives the tie a really great drape to it. I can’t wait to see him all dressed up with it, he’s a pretty dapper guy.

Reminder, this is a free tie pattern and I highly recommend you add it to your library. It’s a quick knit that you can make for any guy friend around the holidays. And if you’re interested in one of Brian’s handmade pens, check out his website.

FO: Lipstick Henley

Let’s start the week off with a finished object, shall we?
Lipstick Henley
Sunday evening I finished off my modified version of the Lipstick Cardigan – this time I made a Henley! And in case you forgot what my first Lipstick Cardigan looked like, here’s a side by side comparison of the two projects.
Lipstick comparison
When I made the first version I didn’t make it with the intended ease, I wanted it to be a fitted summer cardigan and I love it that way. This time around I decided since I was going to use Berroco Modern Cotton yarn I should make it with the ease intended but turn it into a top instead of another cardigan. And the first time I made it I kept thinking that the shoulder detail needed to POP more so I made it in a contrasting color so it really is highlighted.
Lipstick Henley
I love that this is a longer back style but I didn’t love how my short rows turned out. I didn’t do the German short rows and just did traditional wrap and turns and I ended up with some small holes on one side – but only I will notice unless I point them out. Not the cleanest but hey it’s totally wearable. Plus I like to point out my issues since everyone likes to think I have perfect knits – I make lots of mistakes! I also toyed with making it a bit longer and remembered that this is cotton and after wearing it all day it will stretch a bit more so I’m fine with it as is and will just see how much it really grows in the front on its own.
Lipstick Henley
I decided on going with a henley version, a lot of people have done that modification if you look at the project pages on Ravelry. I worked it like the cardigan pattern and then once I had about 4 inches for buttons I decided to add in 6 stitches and join in the round. I also sewed down the placard/button band to make it more stable since cotton can be drapey. Oh and since it was cotton I went with garter stitch edges instead of ribbing.
Lipstick Henley
Perhaps if I make this one again it would just be a full on crew neck instead of even bothering with buttons. It really is a great pattern that’s easy to modify (I also still didn’t do the lace sleeves and opted for stockinette stitch sleeves). And with the ease built into the pattern it’s light and breezy for the insanely humid DC summer days. Now I have to decide what to knit for myself next! I’ve got a pile of more Berroco Modern Cotton but in a super bright pink! I’m thinking a feminine top should be next, any suggestions?

FO: Wasabi the Whale and the Sea of Chevrons

Remember the baby blanket I was talking about last week for the baby we thought would get here this week? He arrived Friday night. Clearly he was too excited to join us out here in the real world and Matzah Ball (as he was known in utero) is now Eli! I like to think as I was finishing his blanket on Friday night he was so excited about it he decided to be born but clearly I had nothing to do with it…or did I? So before he was born my girlfriend sent this picture of his room.
Matzah' room
I actually had a bedroom floor to ceiling in that shade of green and it was my absolute favorite. So clearly since she was going with a favorite color palette of mine I was happy to knit him something. So I went with a trusted pattern and did the Chevron Baby Blanket (a free pattern from Purl Soho) but decided to make the green the accent color on the ends and have two row wide stripes in alternating grey and navy blue.
Matzah Ball's blanket
The end results I love, it’s a great blanket knit in Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Bulky on size 13 needles so it went super fast. But she also told me she was ordering navy blue curtains with whales on them for the window and the next day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw this post from @NoKnitSherlock of Wasabi the Whale.
wasabi
I had to make a whale for the baby, right? It was fate!
Matzah Ball's blanket and whale
Of course I had to make one! I whipped this up in a couple of hours on Saturday after walking in a 5k for Pancreatic Research. I was tired, it was hot and I figured I could knock this pattern out that afternoon while I rested. I started around 3pm and by 7:30 I was sewing on the last fin. I think since I used child safe doll eyes I already had he looks a bit more like a manatee than a whale but either way he’s still a cutie.
Matzah Ball's blanket and whale
And he looks like he’s swimming in a sea of chevrons! I’ve said I want to make more knit toys for the little kids in my life but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. This might be the motivation I need to pull out my fun colors in my yarn stash and make a few toys for the kids I love so much. Oh and in case you were wondering, I knit Wasabi out of the Caron Simply Soft that I knit Eli’s matching hat with last week. And in these photos he has already had a run through the washing machine and dryer and looks marvelous. He should hold up to years of hugs and kisses.