Halos of Hope Update

Back in October, I posted about the hat pattern I designed to help support Halos of Hope, through donating the proceeds of pattern sales, as well as providing a pattern for a great hat to make and send to the organization for distribution to chemo patients. Well, I’m happy to report that since its release, $72.65 has been donated to Halos of Hope from sales of the pattern. That’s enough to ship 222 hats to cancer centers!

Thanks to everyone who has purchased the pattern so far!

SeededRibMed2_72Seeded Rib Hat
uses 100 to 150 yards worsted to heavy worsted weight yarn
available in three sizes to fit children through adults

Now that the gifts have been gifted, they can be shared here.DSC_0192_72Beaded Bias Scarf knit from my handspun alpaca yarn, for my cousin Lisa.DSC_0188_72Also for Lisa, a quilted wall hanging – my first quilting FO! (Disappearing 9-Patch)DSC_0198_72For my Mom, a Mica Tam – modified with 3 extra pattern repeats for extra slouchiness, and beads on every other repeat since I didn’t have enough.DSC_0215cropAnd for Dad, a hat of my own design. “It looks like confetti,” he said.DSC_0193_72And just before Christmas, but too late to mail out, I finished a project out of this ginormous 400-gram ball of yarn. I may consider that the first gift finished for Christmas 2014…

NaKniSweMo 2013

I hadn’t planned to participate in NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month), but I just happened to cast on an adult-sized sweater on November 10th, and figured I would try to finish by the end of the month. At a total of 48,396 stitches, my sweater falls a little short of the NaKniSweMo requirement of 50,000 stitches; however, it’s an adult-sized sweater, and it counts as far as I’m concerned. The sweater is my prize! And I’m especially proud and a little surprised that I finished it in two weeks.

Hiro72dpiMy “FrankenHiro

  • Pattern: Hiro by Julia Farwell-Clay
  • Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Company Galway Worsted, colors 704, 763, 718, 748 (bottom to top in sweater)
  • Needles: U.S. 6 (4.00mm) for sleeve and neck ribbing; U.S. 7 (4.50mm) for body and yoke; U.S. 8 (5.00mm) for sleeves
  • Started: 11/10/13
  • Finished: 11/23/13
  • Notes: This is my “FrankenHiro” because I combined elements of four different sizes. Fourth size for cast-on almost to underarms; second size for sleeves; third size for yoke; and smallest size for length of body from bottom to armholes. I also knit the sleeves 1″ shorter than the length for the smallest size. To transition from fourth to third size before the underarms, I decreased a total of 10 stitches in the span of 17 rows above full bust. I used larger needles for the sleeves since my gauge tends to be tighter when working magic loop, and the sleeves already seemed kind of narrow at the bottom.

After knitting Couronne and now Hiro, I want to knit more colorwork sweaters… which is something I never thought I would say! Still not interested in using more than two colors in a single row, though. My next mission in colorwork is to recreate a “modern retro” version of a sweater I had in tenth grade:


Yearbook photo of me in chorus practice, wearing the aforementioned sweater.

In my updated version, I would move the hearts up onto the yoke. Running them across the bust just would not be a good look for me at my 44-year-old bust size. Until I pulled the photo out today, I had forgotten there were little dots between the hearts. (I believe the technical term is “lice”. Ew.) Definitely want to incorporate those, though, to avoid long floats.

You can probably see in the photo that the original sweater had set-in sleeves; mine will be a seamless round-yoke. I may also incorporate a slightly rolled neckline, cuffs and bottom hem as on Couronne, instead of the traditional ribbing. Due to the smallish size of the hearts, I’ll probably be knitting this one in sport-weight yarn, most likely Classic Elite Liberty Wool Light. There are other sweaters (well, at least one) that I want to knit before taking on the retro heart sweater, so it will probably be a while before I post any more about it.

I recently took a week off work, and spent a bit of time knitting several hats for the Patternworks hat drive for Halos of Hope.

First up is the Seeded Rib Hat – my own design, available in three sizes (Small – child/teen; Medium – ladies’ average; Large – men’s average) and uses worsted- to heavy-worsted-weight yarn. All profits from the sale of the pattern (after Ravelry/PayPal fees) will be donated to Halos of Hope. I hope you join me in supporting this wonderful organization. You can read more about Halos of Hope’s history and mission here.


Top: Medium size, shown in Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Worsted, #35 Teal
Middle: Large size, shown in Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Worsted, #34 Blue Jeans
Bottom: Medium size, shown in Knit One, Crochet Too Ty-Dy Wool, #3559 Antique Garden
(the top and middle ones will be donated – the bottom one I’m keeping)

To purchase through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member to purchase), click the “buy now” button: buy-now

I also knit a simple 2×2 ribbed hat, which I’ll be donating. This one was again knit in Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Worsted, #35 Teal.


Catching up

Things have been pretty hectic with getting the next catalog together at work. Here’s what’s been going on in my fibery world lately.

Following up on some earlier posts, the green sparkly fiber has been knit into a cowl, and the violet alpaca fiber has been plied. But I’ve been lax in taking photos of them, so no visual proof just yet!

The Niche sweater has been finished for several months now. All the details are on the Patternworks Blog and on Ravelry.


I also finished the socks I started on the flight to TNNA back in January:


And I finally finished the second sock in the pair of cuff-down Leaves & Climbing Vines socks:


And then there’s the pair of Koigu Fingerless Gloves I finally got around to knitting (these were a very quick knit!):


TV Tray Socks make a good “knitting palate cleanser”. And I needed some extras.


I finished my June TNNA plane-knitting socks on the drive to PA for July 4th:


And then I got on a bit of a doily kick:


 I finished a couple of hats for the catalog (to show them knit up in alternate colorways):


 And on top of all that, I’ve started quilting. Here’s my first quilt top, approx. 44″ x 44″ or so.


WHEW! It’s been a busy summer.

Fresh off the spinning wheel! Let’s just call them “rustic”, shall we?

 CreamFiber72Cream-colored Wool (breed unknown)
86 grams – 122.5 yards – about bulky weight on average
Irregularly spun while learning how to use the wheel. Navajo plied.
Spinning: about 4 hours  Plying: about 1 hour

Brown-GreyFiber72Brown-Grey Wool (breed unknown)
44 grams – 87.5 yards – about aran weight on average
This one came out a bit more even. Navajo plied.
Spinning: about 2.5-3 hours  Plying: about 30 minutes

Not sure what I’m going to do with these yet, but they could very well end up becoming something for the cat to lay on.

Last weekend was the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. I went with one mission: to try out some spinning wheels and hopefully decide which one I wanted to buy. I wasn’t sure if I would actually buy one while I was there, not knowing for sure if the vendors selling them would actually have any on hand to sell. At one booth, I tried a Lendrum wheel. It was a good wheel and seemed to spin pretty easily. At another booth, I tried an Ashford wheel (the Joy model, I think, which is a compact, portable wheel). That one seemed too small; I kept hunching over. I was thrilled to see at least 5 wheels on display (and ready for trying out) at The Elegant Ewe booth. I tried a Kromski Sonata and immediately loved it. First off, it’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Second, although it’s a portable wheel, it’s not miniature. Still lightweight and easy to set up, take down, and carry around, though.

I immediately bought it! Fortunately, the wheel also came with samples of various types of fiber in assorted colors (4 different ones, 1 oz. each I think), along with a small niddy-noddy. That fiber assortment has come in handy for learning to use the wheel, so I don’t have to dip into my fiber stash. I’ve already finished spinning one of the balls of fiber that came with the wheel. Took me between 5-6 hours to spin the singles.


Here’s a glimpse of the wheel… and the Little Diva on my lap.

My friend and coworker Becky, an experienced spinner, was a big help in shopping for my new wheel and pointed out what to look for. In fact, while I was trying out the Ashford wheel, she asked me how the height of it felt – and until that point I hadn’t realized how hunched over I was!

After buying the wheel and taking it out to my car, I wasn’t as interested in shopping for fiber and yarn as I usually am. I just wanted to get home and spin! Plus, I couldn’t stay at the festival as long as I would have liked, so I wasn’t able to get around to all the booths I usually do. I did buy 4 oz. of beautiful, multicolored silk/merino roving, though!


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