Category Archives: Inspiration

Linear Links Sweater Attempt

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Let me start by saying this project really tested my sanity. I have spent so many tears on this project and ripped it out and restarted so many times, I am lucky I didn’t end up strangling someone with the yarn. With that ominous intro, let me bring you to the beginning!

So a few years back, I was perusing my local Barnes and Noble around the holidays trying to find inspiration for that perfect winter pattern. After flipping through a few, I purchased Love of Knitting – Winter 2015. Back then, I was a pretty novice knitter and was pretty intimidated by some of the patterns. But last Christmas, my boyfriend gave me the most beautiful skeins of merino wool, Australian Superfine Merino by Cleckheaton in Forest.

cleckheaton-superfine_merino_wool

Isn’t it beautiful? So instead of knitting up ANOTHER boring scarf – I wanted to do something special with it. And so I set out to began my first sweater project! I flipped through that magazine that was collecting dust in my ottoman and settled on the Linear Links Sweater.

Optimistically, picked up my needles and jumped right in… and then almost immediately stopped. Something was wrong. The repeating stitch pattern for the WHOLE sweater had a mistake and I spent 3 days trying to sort it out. Eventually, with the help of the Raverly community, we figured out the pattern (check out the thread here). So again – I pick up my needles and jumped right in! But time and time again, I followed along and found mistakes, or simply not enough instruction, to direct me correctly through the pattern. I’d knit 30 rows only to rip them all out in 4 hours time. I seriously did the first arm 3 times over. I feel to save space in the magazine, they cut out vital information that would help direct knitters through it successfully.

Frustrated and exhausted, I took a break from this pattern to work on the Brioche Knit Blanket for my sister. But once that project was complete and I went to return to my sweater – I couldn’t find it anywhere! Now I live in only 400 square feet, so there are not that many hiding places! We turned the house inside out only to come up empty handed. No dice, no sweater. I reluctantly gave up, angry I wasted so much time and lost my beautiful yarn. A month later I went through my closet to find my backpack for the LA County Fair. When I picked it up, I thought “That’s oddly heavy”! When I opened it up, it was like Christmas in September! My long lost project! I had taken it with me on a work trip a two months earlier and never taken it out.

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And so once more, I picked up my needles and jumped right back in. I struggled through the neck shaping, pushed through beginning the second sleeve, and started to see the light at the end of the tunnel when – I ran out of yarn.  I rushed to the store to try to see if they had the same dye lot as 9 months ago (fat chance, right?) to find out they don’t even carry that yarn at all anymore. I search my other local stores – goose egg. I went to Amazon – doesn’t deliver to the United States. Broken-hearted over my nearly finished project, that by then was full of tears of frustration, I gave one last search into the wonderful world of the internet. Thank my stars for the beautiful Australian store Craftee Cottage and the lovely people that work there!

staff pic

Seriously, my knights in shinning armor. I ordered 3 skeins and paid for some crazy shipping to get the yarn from Australia to my Los Angeles suburb tiny home. Totally worth it.

And now, for what must have been the millionth time, I picked up my needles and jumped in for my final time to finish my sweater. I could hardly bind off without my hands shaking with excitement; I completed my first sweater and it fit perfectly. Just shy of a whole year later, I was able to wear my new sweater for Christmas.

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I love my sweater to pieces. It took patience, tears, math, time, a search party, and a little shop in Australia – but I have a piece that I am enormously proud of and am happy to have crafted with my own two hands.

always, ashley

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Baby Beanie Pattern

Baby beanies are one of my favorite things to knit. They are small, fast, cute and easy to stylize. One of these hats without the extra duplicate stitch work takes only 2 hours or less.

Materials:

Size 6 circular needles (I use addi turbo 10″ circular needles)

Worsted weight yarn – 4 weight (I use Caron Simply Soft)

Stitch marker

Sewing needle

Pattern:

CO 56 (newborn), 60 sts (2-6 months), or 64 sts (7-12 months)

Rows 1-6: K1, P1

Knit for 4.5 inches (newborn), 5.5 inches (2-6 months), or 6.5 inches (7-12 months) from brim to top

Binding off (Switching to dps when needed): K2tog* one row then K* one row

Stopping on a k2tog row, continue until you have under 10 ers across all of your dpns. *Note: for the 2-6 month size, you will have one extra stitch after k2tog around. Knit this stitch normally to complete the round.

Finishing:

Cut your yarn and weave it through your live stitches to create a circle.

Pull the circle closed, thread the yarn through the middle and flip the hat inside out to weave in ends. Having trouble? This should help.

Now, you can either leave your hat plain or choose to add a pom pom or do a duplicate stitch to add some character.

Here are some of my favorite designs!

Watermelon

Whale

Ducky

Polka dots


always, ashley

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Eleventh Hour Blanket Rendition

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BUURRRRR! If you haven’t noticed lately…it’s cold out there! In fact, it got down to 41 degrees today. (FYI that’s cold for us So-Cal people!) In fact, for the last few nights, I’ve gone to bed dressed like an Inuit to try to keep warm! (You see, my house has furnace heating and I do not like to leave it on while we sleep.)

inuit2

While wearing a million layers helped me keep warm, I have to say it wasn’t very comfortable. Naturally, I began to scour the web for the FASTEST and WARMEST blanket pattern I could find. Luckily, I found the Purl Soho’s Eleventh Hour Blanket!

(As shown below!)

11th hr

Let me first say that the Purl Soho’s pattern is absolutely beautiful! If I could afford it, I would have loved to complete the pattern exactly as they wrote it. However, in order to adjust their pattern to fit my Queen-sized bed, it would have required 10+ balls of their gorgeous Cascade Magnum yarn which is $24.90 a ball and lezbehonest…

Im poor

So naturally, I began working on a more cost-effective idea to “get the look”. First, I calculated how many stitches I would need to work with in order to fit my Queen-sized bed decently. I decided to go with 65 stitches, however, if I could do it over again, I would probably go with 71 so it would drape over the bed more. Next, I began to look for some cheaper bulky yarn that still had some wool in it in order to retain warmth. After debating between Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Think & Quick and Loops and Threads’ Cozy Wool, I decided to go with the latter due to the deals that were available. I ended up purchasing 14 balls of Cozy Wool in an off-white color for $5 a ball plus 20% off my purchase. (If you’re looking to duplicate my version of the pattern, make sure to add 2 extra balls if you wish to do 71 stitches rather than my original 65.)

Now, all that was left to do was to get to work. I picked up my size 36 circular needles and casted on 65 stitches, working 2 balls of yarn at a time. I followed the K1, P1, adding new balls of yarn as I went, until the blanket reached my desired length of about 55-60 inches. (It’s very stretchy, so the dimensions change.) With an adequate amount of yarn left, I binded off, sewed in, and boom… after only TWO DAYS a new, warm blanket was born and boy was she a ‘beaut. At almost 1/4th the cost, I was able to create a decent stand-in for the original Eleventh Hour Blanket.

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In the end, I can honestly say I am absolutely thrilled with how the blanket came out and how warm I was last night! Now, I no longer have to layer up before bed –PLUS– I still had some extra money left over to go to the movies! Win-win. Eventually, I am going to add an edging to the blanket like they did in the original pattern, but for now, I am knee-deep in knitting washcloths for holiday gifts!

always, ashley

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Holiday Stockings

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As promised in my last post, Holiday Knitting…in late summer, I have pictures of some of the stockings I have knitted up!  They didn’t take nearly as long as I thought they may and to be honest…they have me considering doing some actual socks (I know, hypocritical much???).  I just adore how they turned out and with a bit of duplicate stitching yet to come, they will be perfectly personalized for myself and Jack.  So much more fun than store bought stockings!  More holiday fun yet to come!!!  PS… you may find one of these for sale in my store!

always, ashley

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Holiday Knitting…in late summer

holiday knitting

It’s that time of year again!  The time of year where it is MONTHS out from the winter holiday season and everyone is lookin’ at me weird for my holiday knitting projects.  But that’s the way us knitters have to roll, am I right?  Handmade gifts, decor, and other holiday knick knacks don’t just make themselves over night!

SO!  For my first project of the season, I am making my boyfriend and I some stockings to hang up at our new home.  Now, I have never knitted any kind of sock before (honestly, I think they take too long and they don’t seem much fun), so for this project, I am using my own special mash up of several patterns from this vintage knitting book.

knitting book

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am a big fan of taking similar patterns and creating Frankenstein’s monster.  (FYI, in this case Frankenstein’s monster is really, really cute!)  Essentially, I am taking the cuff of one, the body of the other, and then duplicate stitching our names on to each one!  Pictures to come when complete!  Stay tuned for more holiday knits!

always, ashley

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Simple Striped Blanket

Blanket

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SO, I have been working on the largest knitted project I have ever attempted, a twin bed-sized blanket.  I ended up using 4 balls of Bernat Blanket yarn in Dark Grey to complete the project.  The pattern I chose to use was a simple K4, P4 for 120 stitches across.  The project took about two months to complete with the normal life interruptions.  The blanket is so thick and warm, my only regret is that I live in Southern California and it is currently 85 degrees!

always, ashley

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