My current work in progress:

1. Boxy, designed by Joji Locatelli, knit from Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the "Polar Sea" colorway on U.S. size 4 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

I have another gem of a book to review. This one is 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit:The Ultimate Easy-to-Knit Collection Featuring Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted.

Book052015 197x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

This is a new book from Sixth and Spring, and as the title suggests, it contains patterns for 50 gift items that are knit in garter stitch and use Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted. (See how cleverly I figured that out?)

You can see all the projects on Ravelry, here.

I had a hard time selecting just a few favorites to show here because there were so many projects that caught my eye. But here goes:

Pincushions!

Pincushions052015 200x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

How cute are these? And what a great idea for a really fast present.

Next up, a cute. colorful baby blanket.

HappyBlocks052015 200x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

This could easily be resized into an afghan or blanket for an adult.

And the Graphic Mosaic Cowl:

Graphicmosaiccowl052015 200x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

This is a lot easier to knit than it appears, because the patterning is achieved by slipping stitches. You are only ever knitting with one color at any time on every row.

Another quick gift:

SwirledCablesHat052015 192x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

The yarn is held double on this cute hat, so it can be finished very quickly!

And a more challenging project:

Semicircleshawl052015 200x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

The Semicircle Shawl incorporates short rows and intarsia techniques.

In the back of the book is a nice how-to section with good clear illustrations.

With a little something for everyone, you could just about cover your whole holiday gift list with items knit from this book.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in a drawing to win my copy of 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit:The Ultimate Easy-to-Knit Collection Featuring Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted, leave a comment on this blog entry by 11:00am ET, Sunday May 24, 2015. I’ll invoke the Random Number Generator and select a recipient at that time.

Meanwhile at home, Loki is concentrating on relaxing.

Loki052015 240x240 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit

You can see how stressed he is.

Linen Cardi

After I finished my Joker and the Thief shawl, I started a new project using this:

Yarn051715 240x100 Linen Cardi

This is Rowan Creative Linen, in the Ochre colorway. I got it from Jimmy Beans Wool, half price because the color is being closed out. It is 50/50 linen/cotton and while it was quite a shock to go from knitting with lovely soft merino wool to a cotton linen blend, it is not unpleasant to knit.

I an knitting Fine Sand, a cardigan designed by Heidi Kirrmaier. It is knit from the top down. Here is the start of it, from last week.

WIP051715 240x179 Linen Cardi

And here it is now.

WIP051715a 240x135 Linen Cardi

I am 11 (very long) rows from dividing it for the sleeves and fronts and back. I’m hoping to hit that milestone later today.

I got both row and stitch gauge with my Rowan Creative Linen using the recommended needle size: a U.S. size 4. Gotta love that! Row gauge is important in this design so I was happy to not have to fiddle the needle size.

And here is my little helper, who knows how important it is to have a kitty snuggled up next to you while you knit!

Loki051715 226x240 Linen Cardi

A Wee Treasure

I’ve been meaning to show you something I got as a gift for myself a while back, but I had also gotten one as a gift for a friend, so wanted to wait until after her birthday to share with you all so as not to spoil her surprise:

needle051315 240x54 A Wee Treasure

This is a sterling silver tapestry needle, hand-forged by Celtic Swan Forge. Over the years I have collected several sets of their wonderful sterling silver double-pointed needles, and just a few months ago discovered that they also handcraft tapestry needles as well, in either silver or gold.

As I remembered from past dealings, customer service from Celtic Swan was excellent. Upon ordering, I got an email from Molly letting me know an estimate of how long it would take to make my needle, and when the needle was ready to ship, I received another email with tracking info.

I love supporting small businesses that handcraft beautiful tools. If you are in the market for a special fiber-related tool for yourself or for a special friend, do check out Celtic Swan Forge. They have a lot of lovely tools and jewelry. No affiliation here, I am just a very happy repeat customer!

I love my silver tapestry needle, so much that I hunted for and found an antique silver needle case to house it.

needlecase051315 240x69 A Wee Treasure

This is German, 19th century. I love it!

In other news, I finished my “The Joker and the Thief” shawl.

I kept trying to lay it out for a photo-shoot, but this kept happening:

Joker051315 a 240x134 A Wee Treasure

So you will have to be satisfied with a modeled pic.

Joker051315 240x229 A Wee Treasure

I knit mine from a kit put together by Sunshine Yarns. The background is Ultraluxe Light in the “Charcoal” colorway and the gradient is the “Bag of Limes” set in Classic Sock.

I ran out of the Ultraluxe Light with 12 rows remaining that needed the background color, so fudged the end of my shawl by doing fewer rows in BC and binding off in Color 6 of the gradient set rather than using it to work the last set of Indian Cross-stitch.

I note from looking at other projects on Ravelry that some others who have purchased the kit have run out, so be aware of this potential issue. I generally do not run out of yarn when working from kits, rather, I usually have leftovers. I used the recommended needle size and got gauge, so I don’t think it is “operator error.” icon wink A Wee Treasure

I’m not overly concerned however — I think the shawl is lovely as-is and my mods to not take away anything from the design.

Loki sez:

Loki051315 240x179 A Wee Treasure

“Isn’t that shawl for me?”

Mother’s Day

The winner of a copy of Baby Brights by Kathleen McCafferty is Christel, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.

I’m making good progress on my Joker shawl:

WIP051015 240x113 Mothers Day

I ought to have it done in a day or two. Boxy is still waiting in the wings. My co-KALer is making some nice progress on hers, so I’ll pick mine up again when she reaches the same point I am at in mine. And I have plenty of other projects to knit along the way!

Loki sez:

Loki051015 240x135 Mothers Day

“Happy Mother’s Day! I am available for hugs!”

 

Baby Brights

I have another cute book here for review:

Book050615 201x240 Baby Brights

This is Baby Brights by Kathleen McCafferty, and it is a collection of crocheted accessory patterns for little ones.

While I don’t crochet, I thought this was a particularly cute book so wanted a review copy.

There is a good “getting started” section at the front of the book that includes nice, clearly-illustrated instructions for the crochet stitches you need to know to make the projects. The projects are divided into seven sections, and I’ve picked my favorite from each section to show you.

From “Rattlers and Teethers” check out these fish rattles:

Fish050615 182x240 Baby Brights

One or two of those would make great baby gifts that you could whip out quickly, and you could use bits of leftover yarn to make them.

In the “Bath Time” section I loved the Owl Hooded Towels:

OwlHoodedTowel050615 203x240 Baby Brights

In “Hats” this cheerful Pom Pom Hat caught my eye:

PomPomHat050615 176x240 Baby Brights

From the “Booties” section, I love the High Country Booties:

HighCountryBooties050615 240x200 Baby Brights

Another great gift project that uses small scraps.

My favorite from “Toys” is this adorable lion:

Lion050615 186x240 Baby Brights

And from “Nursery” a great mobile:

DreamMobile050615 183x240 Baby Brights

I think that even I, with my limited crochet skills, could manage that.

And last of all, from “Blankets” I love the Wavy Stripes Blanket

WavyStripesBlanket050615 198x240 Baby Brights

This book is a great resource if you have little ones, or know a lot of people with babies or son-to-be babies. I think you could make up some very sweet gifts just using leftover bits of yarn.

The publisher, Lark Crafts, has offered up a copy as a giveaway. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the giveaway for  Baby Brights by Kathleen McCafferty, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern Time on Sunday, May 10, 2015. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

Meanwhile, I am knitting along on my shawl:

WIP050615 240x134 Baby Brights

And Loki is working on his napping.

Loki050615 240x128 Baby Brights