Modern Creations, Vintage Techniques

Category: Finished Object

Knitted Hats Galore

Lately, I’ve been on a hat knitting kick. Here are just a few of the hats that I’ve finished. Cabled Hat with Pom Pom

Cable Hat with Pom Pom Basic Beanie

Basic Beanie Dark Blue Cable Sequin Hat

Dark Blue Cable Sequin Hat Teal Cable Hats

Teal Cable Hats Drop Stitch Hat

Drop Stitch Hat Rainbow Heartskull Hat

Rainbow Heartskull Hat – Fair Isle Knitting

Knitted Chevron Baby Blanket Pastel Springtime Chevron Baby BlanketHot off the needles, a pastel springtime chevron baby blanket.

And let me just tell you, it was a labor of love.

Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, please don’t think that I am hinting at anything.

This blanket is the result of my mission to destash, realizing that I had several skeins of baby yarn that went together, and deciding to knit a blanket because I’ve never knit a blanket that is all one piece before.

To say I’m pleased with the results is an understatement. I love how this blanket turned out.

The pattern is called Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, and it is available for free on Ravelry. I found the pattern to be quite enjoyable and easy to knit, perfect for knitting while watching TV.

Despite how easy it was to knit, the pattern actually taught me a lot and advanced my knitting skills. (Which is one of the things I love about knitting, there’s always something new to learn.)

Here’s what I learned from the pattern.

New / Reinforced Stitches

One new stitch I learned with this pattern was the mitered decrease (md). This is the stitch that makes the downward point in the chevron. Aside from learning how to make this stitch, I also learned how to tink it as well (many, many times).

One stitch that was reinforced was sskWhile some would consider this a relatively basic / beginner stitch, it was one I had only recently come across. This pattern was good practice, as there is a ssk at the beginning of every row.

How to Increase a Knitting Pattern

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, however I had already decided to use the Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn I had on hand. I didn’t like the way the yarn worked up on the 5.5 mm needles that the pattern recommends. After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon 4.5 mm needles, and away I went.

I should have known that something was wrong when everything seemed to work up quickly, and without issue. Sure enough, 3 – 4 chevrons in, I decide to measure my blanket only to discover that was only 18-ish inches wide. It was much smaller than the recommended 30+ inches for a baby blanket.  (I guess that’s what I get for being a rebel and not knitting a gauge swatch.)

But I really liked the blanket and the way it looked on the 4.5 mm needles, so I frogged what I had knitted so far, which was probably close to a week’s worth of work at that point. Then, I counted the pattern to see where the repeats were. I figured out that the pattern repeated every 12 stitches, meaning I could increase by adding more stitches in multiples of 12. Instead of 121 stitches, I ended up casing on 217 stitches to get the blanket to a size I was happy with on the smaller needles.

And away I went again.

Fixing Slipped Stitches and Mistakes

Despite being a really easy pattern (and it is easy, I promise), sometimes I made stupid mistakes, such as dropping stitches. By the end of this pattern I was quite comfortable whipping out my crochet hook to fix the dropped stitch, or even dropping a few stitches and working back up, rather than tink or frog back to where I made the mistake originally.

Oh don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do any frogging. I made lots of other silly mistakes with this pattern that necessitated frogging. A few times I added a lifeline, but the last time I didn’t. And I felt triumphant. There was a time when taking my project off the needles would have meant restarting the pattern completely, but not any more.

Weaving in Ends

I’m used to knitting smaller projects with less color changes, which means that I don’t have as many ends to weave in when I’m done. With this pattern you change colors every 10 rows, which gave me lots and lots of practice weaving in ends.

Patience Pastel Springtime Chevron Baby BlanketIn the end, this pattern taught me one big lesson in particular — good things come to those who wait. After one month and four days, or 166 knitting hours (an extremely conservative estimate), I have a blanket that turned out beautifully. One that I really enjoyed making. It’s a win-win, really.

But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t points in the process where I was ready to be done with it. I find the wait particularly hard because unlike many knitters, I have a pretty strong one project at a time policy. I’m afraid that if I have multiple projects going, I’ll never finish any of them, so I try to only work on one thing at a time. While this philosophy works for me, your mileage may vary.

This project taught me a lot about being patient, and finishing what I started. And I’m so glad I did because the result of my labor is beautiful.

As mentioned, I don’t really have a particular purpose for this blanket, aside from needing to destash some yarn. So, I’ll probably either give it to someone I know who is expecting a girl, or donate it to a hospital, or project linus, or some other project that goes towards helping children. Pastel Springtime Chevron Baby Blanket

This is how much yarn I started off with. Pastel Springtime Chevron Baby Blanket

This is how much yarn I had left when I was done.

I would say that’s a pretty successful destash, wouldn’t you?

Large Knitted Tentacle Dice Bag

My friends and I play Dungeons and Dragons, and recently my Dungeon Master (DM) and his wife (my best friend) purchased 2 lbs of dice, and asked me to make them a dice bag.

I knew it had to be epic, so I went on the search for a pattern that is not only cool, but large enough to hold all their dice.

After a bit of searching, I decided to use Yarn Visions Tentacle Bag pattern.

One of the many reasons why I decided to go with this pattern was because there was a keyboard in the pictures of the bag. Even if it was a small keyboard, I reasoned, the bag has got to be large enough, judging by its scale, to hold 2 lbs of dice.

Kali Fitzgerald Yarn Visions Knitted Tentacle Bag

Image Credit: Kali Fitzgerald

Turns out, I was right. Not only did the bag hold the dice with more than enough room to spare, but the results were cooler than I ever expected. Tentacle Dice BagFirst, I had to make 16 tentacles using my double pointed knitting needles (dpns). After making that many tentacles, I feel like I can definitely take on knitting gloves.

When I made one, I would string it on my circular needles to hold the stitches, and I just kept adding the tentacles as I went, until they were all on my circulars. Tentacles on Circular Knitting Needles

Once I was done making all 16 tentacles, I had to figure out how to begin knitting. After a few false starts on my circulars, I ended up transitioning all the tentacles back onto my dps to get the tentacles connected because my small circular cable (24″) was too large for this project. If I had a 16″ cable, I could have probably started the bag on my circulars.

Once the bag had a few rows on it, I actually transitioned back to my circulars, and around and around I went. Tentacles on Circular Knitting NeedlesThat is, until I ran out of green yarn. Now, the requestees of the bag did mention I could make the bag out of any yarn, even scrap yarn, they did not care. But, not just any yarn would do. So, after searching my stash of yarn, I found the perfect solution — purple yarn. See, my DM loves green, but his wife loves purple, and since it was for both of them, it seemed like the perfect solution. Besides, the purple yarn was the same brand as the green (red heart super saver). Tentacles on Circular Knitting Needles Adding PurpleThe pattern was pretty straight forward, and the worst part was weaving in all the ends from the tentacles. At one point I considered giving up on the idea, and turning the tentacle bag into an artistic hat. Tentacle Bag as Artistic Hat

But I carried on and soon enough all the ends were neatly tucked in, and the bag came together. I’m in love with the final result, and so are they. I would definitely make this pattern again. Knit Tentacle Dice Bag



First Finished Knit Project of 2015 – Hill & Dale Cowl

Excited to announce that after a few weeks of work, this is finally done — the Hill & Dale cowl, free from Espace Tricot Patterns. It is also my first finished project of 2015. Hill & Dale Cowl Hill & Dale Cowl

Macrame Ring

I love it when happy accidents occur, like this macrame ring.  It’s made out of faux leather, and is a dark gun metal color.

When I was making it, it quickly became clear that I was going to run out of cord, and that it wasn’t going to be the bracelet I wanted it to be. So, I started playing around, and realized I would have just enough length to make a ring. To finish it off, I tied a knot in the back, and secured with super glue. Macrame Ring

Update: 01-25-2015 I still LOVE this ring. I wear it everyday, and it’s holding up nicely.

Knitted Dice Bags

I’ve taken up playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. (Don’t laugh.) Of course, that meant I had to make a dice bag. And then it became an addiction and I made another one. I am currently working on the third bag, and have requests for more from the rest of the group.

The pattern I’ve been using so far is the Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag (free Ravelry download), but I think I’ll switch it up for another pattern for the boys bags.

The first bag – My dice bag Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag - Pink & Teal

The second one I made for Liz. You can’t tell at all from the pictures, but this one is super sparkly. Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag - Light Teal

And the third one, in variegated purple, is on the needles now.

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