FO: Fiona’s Finest

One of my coworkers had her third child last week after having two boys, a baby girl she named Fiona. And if you knew how girly and feminine she was you’d know how exciting it was for her to have a little girl. A few coworkers wanted to send a gift and I decided why not knit up a baby hat that was pink and sparkly? And then I got the even brighter idea to try to add Fiona’s name to her hat! It’s all about practicing my skills, folks.
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So on Friday I opened up my laptop and make a basic chart in Excel to spell out her name.
fiona chart
And with any basic hat, I pretty much use this chart I’ve had bookmarked forever to get the sizes right if I don’t have a pattern in mind and just build my own. I figure out the yarn I want to use, then my gauge and I get to knitting. For this I cast on 66 stitches and did about an inch of ribbing in the Tempting Ewe, Ewe So Sparkly DK I had leftover from this cardigan and paired it with the Lemonade Shop’s Sparkle DK in Girls Gone Wild (it’s pink with flecks of grey/black) that I had in my stash. I knit a few rows in pink and then started to spell out the name. I repeated it four times around the hat. Thinking about it now I could’ve done a heart in between her name twice but hey, I was just winging it.
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I finished it off the following morning and blocked it and decided to add a button on the inside so I could put a huge pink pompom on the top because why not?! It just looked like it needed a little something extra to add to the sparkly yarn.
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And there you have it, a personalized little hat for a newborn baby girl. I hope it fits her during this little cold spell and is just as cute as she is.

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FO: Stranded Sets

To test my stranded colorwork I decided a hat was probably the best way to start. So when my girlfriend was telling me how her toddler didn’t fit baby sized hats I decided to use that as an opportunity to test out my stranded knitting skills and make her a hat.
Finished Prism Triangle Hat
I chose the Prism hat, part of the Mad Colour collection from Tin Can Knits and I went with the triangles option. I just used the leftover bits from my husband’s shades of blue sweater I made in December.
Prism hat
My tension wasn’t too tight and I did my best to be neat with my floats and consistent with how I was throwing my yarn. I’m still a mess on how to hold yarn in both hands but more practice will hopefully make it more comfortable. All in all I was pretty proud with how this one turned out.
Prism hat
And I added a button to the inside of the hat to secure the pompom so that my girlfriend can wash the hat and remove the pompom.
Prism hat
Did I also mention how extremely helpful Jellybean was during this process? LOL she just had to be all up in my knitting this time. And because of that I decided that my girlfriend’s dog also needed a new sweater to coordinate with her human sister. You may remember them from this adorable dog and baby sweater set.
Sparkle sweater with colorwork
I actually had the same shades of the light and dark blue from my husband’s sweater in worsted weight (it’s all Berroco Vintage in dk and worsted weight) from a scarf I made him years ago and just used the leftover yarn for test knitting. The pattern is the Sparkle dog sweater that I’ve made a billion times before – it’s just a super easy top down knit.
Sparkle sweater with colorwork
I carried over the triangles pattern to a little patch on the middle just to make them coordinate. Because why not when you’ve got the chance to keep practicing. And I was fortunate enough to FaceTime with my girlfriend when they go their package and I’m happy to say that toddler and dog’s items both fit! On to the next stranded knitting project!

Stitching Status: Colorwork

After knitting so much last year, I’ve had a feeling that a slow down would hit me at some point. I love knitting and do it almost every day but sometimes I lose my mojo. I can already feel myself slipping as I’ve slowed and put my Kangarullover pullover to the side for a bit (it’s a lot of garter stitch and getting a bit awkward to manage) and the other night I was so mentally exhausted and frustrated that I didn’t knit at all. Usually it calms me down but on Friday night I just wanted to sleep. So I’m trying new things to reengage my brain.
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And I’m giving stranded knitting/colorwork a go! A while ago when Interweave had one of their 40% off sales (which is going on today – use code 48HOUR to get 40% off) I bought Alterknit Stitch Dictionary eBook: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs to finally force myself to give colorwork a try. I went through and bookmarked some of the patterns I liked when I first bought it and finally opened it back up last weekend to give it a go. My first try wasn’t too bad.
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My tension isn’t great and I’ve yet to figure out how to hold two balls of yarn that’s comfortable to me but that’s part of learning. But really, it wasn’t that bad. And I realized why I’ve been avoiding it for so long.

So Faux Cowl
So Faux Cowl via Ravelry

I learned to knit in 2011 and the spring of 2013 when Knitscene Accessories came out I was obsessed with knitting the So Faux Cowl. I hadn’t worked with fingering weight yarn, hadn’t done much with charts and had zero clue about stranded knitting. To say this project on tiny needles broke me is an understatement. I’m pretty sure that’s why colorwork has been so intimidating to me for so long. I got overly ambitious early on but now I know a lot more and although this would be a challenge, I don’t think it would break me.
Prism hat
Just swatching from that book brought we way more confidence and this weekend I knit my friend’s toddler a super simple colorwork hat! It was so neat and the floats on the inside were just beautiful. I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish with just a small project and now I’m ready to tackle more stuff to get my skills better. I may not knit that cowl (I’ve got the yarn somewhere deep in my stash but I definitely see more colorwork in my future. So for those of you who do this often, any tips?