Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Friends in Print

My online knit buddy, Del wrote an awesome 2-part article over at Meylah

The Benefits of Hooking Up with an Online Craft Community

Check out Part 1 & Part 2 (you may see a familiar face in here) :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Zach Attack Hat (free pattern)

Zach Attack Hat




I wanted to make a hat for my great-nephew, Zach, for his 3rd birthday, but couldn’t find the exact thing I had in mind.  So I headed to The Knitter’s Book of Handy Patterns, by Ann Budd, to find the basic sizing for a three-year old, as well as an idea of how much knitting to do, etc. 


In the end, I had exactly what was in my brain!  And it was apparently a big hit when he opened it – he wanted to wear it everywhere.


I’m offering this as a free pattern, since it’s not necessarily anything new, or anything that doesn’t exist someplace else.  It’s my version, sized for the average three-year-old, according to the book referenced above, where it is listed as the size for 18 months to 4 years


You will need:


Worsted weight yarn –single color for base of hat (I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun, color Scarlet, less than 1 skein); additional colors (B and C) for stripes and/or tassels, less than 1 skein.


Gauge: 4.5 - 5 sts to the inch


16-in. US size 7 circular needles.

8-in. US size 7 double pointed needles (for finishing the hat, though you may be able to use the circular needle).

1 stitch marker, to mark beginning of round.















To begin:


Cast on 90 sts; join to work in the round; place marker.


Work k1, p1 ribbing for 8 rows (approximately 1 inch).


Switch to stockinette stitch for remainder of hat.  Continue until the hat measure 7 ½ inches from cast-on edge.


Continue until the hat measures 7 ½ inches from cast-on edge.




Turn hat inside out; transfer stitches to double pointed needles if necessary, placing half on each needle; bind off stitches, using three needle bind off, pulling thread through last stitches to close.


Make two tassels or pom-poms using your preferred method, and attach to each corner of hat, with approximately 1 inch of yarn remaining on outside of hat (as pictured, so they move when the wearer does).  Weave in all ends.


Making tassels:


I checked various books, and though they had the basic idea, I ended up just winging it for the ones I used.  I wanted ones that were longer, looking less like pom-poms on the ends of the hat. 


Copyright 2009 by Bridget Arthur Clancy.  Available at The Ravell’d Sleave ( to be reproduced, sold, or taught for profit.  Questions or pattern support available at:

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 YLGAL (at our new home)

Happy New Year Gifters!

You have done such an amazing job this year - you've totally convinced me that there is a BIG place left for the art of the handmade gift. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation - and congratulations on the wonderful finishing you've done!! I know it's not easy to stay the course for a whole year, but many of you gave it an honest try.

I used a short survey as a way to decide where to house our group in 2009. I wanted the administration components to be manageable, and I wanted participants to have easy access to the discussions and postings we all love. The overwhelming majority vote was for us to move this group 100% to Ravelry. I know that not everyone who has been using this blog has a Ravelry account, so if you don't yet - sign up is quick and very easy! You can email me directly if you need help getting signed up.

To continue gifting all year long with us in 2009, go to the YLGAL Ravelry group and click the "Join this Group" button in the top right corner of the main page. You'll find much of the same discussions there that we've been maintaining here - Monthly Goal Lists, Quarterly Challenges, and more suggestions and links for great gift ideas.

As always, reach out with your questions and suggestions. This year - invite a friend to gift-a-long with you too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sally's 2008 Wrap Up

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

This is my last post to the Year Long Gift-A-Long blog. I know they are moving exclusively to Ravelry, so I probably won't post these lists on my blog anymore. (But you will see the resulting FOs.)

You may have noticed my recent barrage of FOs on both my blog and the gift-a-long blog. I'm trying to catch up and wrap up 2008. Here's an update of the last list I posted.

Things to Finish

1. Chevron Scarf finished
2. Even More Boogie Time (who knows what will happen with these. I ended up giving the recipients another gift.)
3. I have a partially finished Reversible Cable Scarf. finished

Things to Make

Forgive the all the code names - the recipients read this blog.

1. Code Name: Turning Japanese (I owe Mom and couple of Wishy Washy Fish Tawahi.)
2. Code Name: I'm a Mac finished
3. Code Name: Pink finished
4. Code Name: Wally World (I owe my sister's boyfriend a Nintendo Controller Cover for his DS.)
5. Code Name: Hollywood (I'm still working on Jules' gloves.)
6. Handwarmers 1 finished
7. Handwarmers 2 (These didn't happen. I gave the recipient something else.)
8. Hat finished
9. Scarf finished
10. Calorimetry for Grandma. Kiri just ain't happening this year. (This didn't happen either. I plan to send her some nice pictures and a letter and try the shawl again this year.)

FO: Tychus

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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Keep your fingers crossed that this will fit an eleven year-old boy. It may be a little small on me, but I have a big head.

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This is Tychus, the first FO of 2009. I just finished it a little while ago. Before I seamed it up, it looked like this:

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I had a big debate whether to do 4 sections or five, since I'm making it for a small head. I decided to go with 5, since the gauge is smaller than suggested. My gauge is approximately 32 rows and 18 stitches per 4 inches. The pattern suggests 15 stitches and 28 rows per 4 inches.

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You can also see that the seam is a little wonky. I had to fudge a couple of stitches. Even if the seam is perfect, I don't think there is a way to avoid a obvious seam.

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It's also pointier than I prefer. Maybe the recipient can stretch it out.

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To recap, I used a little more than half a skein each of Cascade Greenland in colors 3510 (blue) and 3523 (green.) This was some of the yarn I bought at Wildfiber. I used only one strand, not two as suggested by the pattern. I also used US Size 6 needles from my Boye Needlemaster.

FO: Wrist Pillow for Dad

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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A couple of years ago I made several of the "Earthy Computer Mouse Pad Wrist Pillows created by Jennifer Tallapaneni, and I gave them as gifts. But I didn't give one to my Dad. (At least, I don't *think* I did. If I did, oops.)

I know Mom was asking a while back if I could make one for the computer she shares with Dad. I figured Dad would like that as a gift. He spends the most time there.

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Even if I have given one to him before, this one is nicer. I used some of the leftover Malabrigo Worsted in "Red Java" that I used for the Malabrigo Mini Mitts. I probably used less than a quarter of a skein. I still have plenty leftover for another project.

I also used my US Size 5 Brittany Needles.

I think I didn't cut the cardboard perfectly, so the bottom is a little wonky. But it does the job.

When I visit my parents, I'll have to see if this is getting used.

FO: Reversible Cable Scarf

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

Reversible Cable Scarf

This is another FO that's been a long time coming.

It's the Reversible Cable Scarf from Lion Brand. I started it in fall of 2007. (Yes, you read that correctly, 2007.)

Reversible Cable Scarf

This was the scarf that made me fall in love with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Yarn. It feels so good on the wooden needles, and it has very crisp stitch definition.

I used US Size 5 Brittany Needles. (BTW - I broke one of these needles, and they did send me a new one, as promised by the company.)

Reversible Cable Scarf

It's been so long since I started that I'm unsure of what went wrong on the wonky end. I think I bound off with US Size 3 needles, but cast on with the US Size 5. That still left the beginning of the scarf all ruffly.

I didn't count this as an FO until Christmas Eve, when I tucked in the loose ends. I meant to try to block the ruffly end, but I ran out of time.

I think (but I'm not positive) that this color is discontinued. It's 6276 Woodland Mix. I was trying to go outside my "comfort zone" and try some earth tones.

I highly recommend Berroco Ultra Alpaca. It's great stuff. Especially the heathered "Mix" colors like this one.

FO: Foliage: Purple, Version One

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

Yet Another Foliage

It's revenge of the chunky Foliage hats!

Remember last year I made three of these? One in red, one in Emerald and one in lime alpaca.

This one was made with Malabrigo Chunky, like two of the other three, This color is "Purple Mystery." Like the other hats, I used US size 10.5 dpns for the main hat, and US size 9 dpns for the ribbing. I'm pretty sure I used bamboo needles.

I actually made this one in one sitting for last year, but it never made it to the recipient until this Christmas. It's been on my coffee table ever since.

This one turned out like the rest. I'm pretty happy with it.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FO: Malabrigo Mini Mitts - Man Size

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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I managed to finish my Malabrigo Mini Mitts (Ravelry Link) on time. The last time we saw them, I was frantically trying to finish them before a get together the next day.

To recap, these were knit with US Size US and about half a ball of Malabrigo Worsted in "Red Java."

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They seem to fit the recipient pretty well. Here is what I did to "man size" the mitts from the original size (to the best of my recollection.)
I cast on 40 stitches, not 32.

I think I may have worked a little farther than 2 and a half inches before making the the gusset, 20 rounds.

Then I added an two additional increase rounds for the gusset.

I cast three stitches across the gap for thumb, not two.

Then I knit for 20 sounds before binding off. The whole mitt was 8 inches in length, not 6 inches

I did 7 rounds for the thumb
The thumb was where I messed up the most. The ribbing was screwed up, and one thumb had less stitches than the other. But for the most part, I think my conversion was successful.

A few more gifts: the Family edition

Because I spent most of my knitting energy on gifts for people at work, I only picked a few family members to knit for this year. I mean, they know where to find me if they think of something they want, right?

1. Socks for Mom. Basic stats: two at a time, toe up on one 40" circlular needle, size 2 (I think). Heelless! No heels! I like this.

2. Hat for Chris L. Basic 2x2 rib, 100% wool sent to me from Sera Star almost a year ago. Nice and wooly warm for his cold life in Madison, WI.

3. Scarf for Chris M. All the best in browns, tans, charcoals. Suave. My 1st foray into the madness that is the Noro striped scarf; there shall be more in my future.

4. Shawl for Keto: an absolute dream to knit in Cascade Venezia Worsted. Within a few rounds this yarn had shot up to somewhere high on my favorites list. (Thanks to one of my 5th graders for modeling!)

5. Felted Bag for Karen: I wanted to make this for so long. Last Xmas, I rushed out and bought the book from Charlotte Yarn, and it took me until Election Day to cast on. I bought all the findings at the Windsor Button in Boston, which was almost as fun as actually knitting it.

My Whole Year in Gifting: the Workplace edition

Last year I knit loads for my family & my fiance's family, but this year I wanted to put the most work into my work colleagues. At some point last year I decided that this year I would try to knit for every single teacher/administrator/assistant at the (small) school where I work, and I so almost made it. It was fun, it was satisfying, but I have to admit, at times... it was stressful. I think I might take next year off from that particular kind of guerilla gifting. I managed this project by having a word document with a big table where I kept everyone's name and notes about what I thought I might make them, or if there was an FO or WIP I could check off the list.

In any case, here's what I managed to produce! Thanks belong to my little ones at school who got to practice modeling knitwear. You never know where that might take them.

1. Socks for Vickie

2. Socks for Sandy (yep, two pairs squeezed from the same ball! Luckily, one pair is a size 6. Teeny tiny.)

3. Scarf for Elizabeth: modular diamonds in a fancy Noro angora blend)

4. Scarf for Beverlee (a fiery Chevron scarf- so addictive to knit!)

5. Scarf for Mary-Lou

6. Scarf for Kristen (pattern is My So-Called Scarf, which for some reason I found really boring.)

7. Scarf for Nicole- longways Noro stripes, anyone? SO much fun.

8. Shawl for Holly (my 1st lacework, and totally a pattern I want to make again)

9. Cowl for Katie

10. Ballband dishcloth for Charlotte (see group pic above; somehow I missed taking an individual shot!)

11-12. Hat for Shannon (middle) and hat for Lisa (right). [I'm keeping the one on the left for now]

13. Beret for Angela

[there were a few more presents but I ended up doign quick polymer clay projects... at least they were hand-made.]

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FO: Chevron Scarf

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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I may have done a crummy job blocking, but I finished the Chevron Scarf and gave it to the recipient without too many problems.

To review, this is the Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I used two skeins of Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino, one in P136 (the lighter color) and one in P527 (the darker color.) I got the yarn at Wildfiber. I used US Size 2 bamboo straight needles.

I think the colors suit her well.

Monday, December 29, 2008

FO: Stash Genius Scarf

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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The project I was working on before I went to hospital is on hold at the moment. It's secret, so I can't show it here. I've been working on this instead.

I missed the fiber festival this year. I meant to give a shout out on here before the event, but I never got around to it. I'm so disappointed about everything I had to miss. I missed the company Christmas party and several church events.

But at least I can knit a festive scarf.

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This scarf is for a seven year-old girl on my Christmas list. I looked through my stash for some good ideas, and this is what I came up with. I used one skein of Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist in "Grotto" for the main part of the scarf, and a small amount of Yarn Bee Gilt Eyelash in "Aqualights" for the sparkly stripes. (Yarn Bee is the Hobby Lobby house brand.) I felt like a genius when I came up with this combination. It reminds me of snowflakes for some reason, even though snowflakes aren't blue.

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I cast on 12 stitches, and the stripes on the ends of the scarf are four rows wide. The stripes add sparkle without being itchy.

I knit the scarf with US Size 8 wooden needles, although I cast on and bound off with US Size 9 needles to keep the ends from being too tight. Also, I held two strands of the Gilt Eyelash together for the stripes.

It's not very long, but I think the length is about right for a child. And it's sparkly.

FO: Le Slouch (Code Name: Pink)

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and Year Long Gift-A-Long.

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This is the first of a long parade of holiday FOs. We're starting with the Le Slouch (Ravelry link) that I made for my sister.

Aaron Models the "Le Slouch" hat I made for Katie

Her boyfriend tried it on too.

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Here's the hat in it's infancy. My sister asked for a shawl, but I was running out of time for this Christmas. (And this was before I was sick.) I recommended a "jaunty beret."

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I originally called it "Code Name: Pink" because I was originally planning to use some pink yarn in my stash. I ended up using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Amy's Vintage Office, the precious yarn I got on the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. I was hoping to save it for myself, but the color was too perfect for my sister.

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Here is the hat from the bottom. I used US Size 6 needles for the ribbing and US Size 7 for the rest of the hat. This was unusual for me because US Size 7 is recommended on the yarn label. Normally I go way under what is recommended. However, the recommended gauge for the hat is smaller than the one on the yarn label.

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I think seed stitch is a really good choice for this yarn. It adds some depth to the variegated colors.

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Mom and I debated whether the ribbing was too small. It was a little tight on my head. But I knew if would get stretched out, and my head is bigger than most. Also, we debated exactly how it how it should sit on your head.

It fit Pancho Pig ok.

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The good news is that there's half a ball of Amy's Vintage Office left so I can make something for myself.