baby, Christmas, Family, Knitting

Foxy Hat

One of my favorite knits in 2016 was a little fox hat for my two year old niece, Vera.


The pattern is Foxy & Wolfie by Ekaterina Blanchard. I (clearly 😉) chose to make the Foxy version! The yarn I used is Cascade 220 in red/orange and cream.

Foxy is a really fun hat to knit…


…I especially enjoyed the unusual construction and shaping methods used…

The hat is knit in the round…

…sometimes circular needles are used,…

and sometimes double-points.


The intarsia and shaping are accomplished using short rows…

…even for the ears!


After shaping the ears…


…you connect the top/back of the hat to the front/face of the fox hat…

…using a three needle bind off and keeping a number of live stitches in the center…


…to knit the nose! A very unique and very fun knit!

I had gotten some really cute animal eyes to use, but discovered that the stem of the eyes would poke through the hat too far and be uncomfortable when worn…


So I used buttons from my button stash instead!

A personalized label is the finishing touch…


I sewed the label on the outside of the hat so as to avoid any possibility of discomfort due to its presence.


Vera’s parents (my brother, Joel, and sister-in-law, Annalies), loved it!

But due to a sudden and unanticipated (by me) growth spurt, this little Foxy Hat turned out too small for sweet little Vera! 😢 (Or maybe my gauge was off? It’s possible…)

So I’ll be giving this Foxy Hat to my one month old niece, Claire; and knitting a larger Foxy for Vera! (When your aunt is a knitter, sizing issues are generally fixable in one way or another!)

Note to self: Always size up more than you think you need to when knitting for children! 😊

What was your favorite knit of 2016? Have you knit a Foxy or a Wolfie hat? What did you think of the process? Do you knit for children? How do you handle the possibility of sudden growth spurts? Feel free to share with us in the Comments, we’d love to hear from you!!

Christmas, Family, Holidays, Knitting

Quick & Easy Christmas Knits!

I don’t know about you all, but I find that during the Christmas Season, knitting time comes at a high premium, making efficiency even more important.

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All of my dear friends and family know that if I could, I would knit something fabulous, exciting, and huge for each and every one of them for Christmas!

But alas, in this imperfect world, reality sets in and I discover (and re-discover) that this is not likely to be possible for me…

So in the spirit of both efficient and reasonable Christmas knitting, I’d like to share with you all some lovely knitting  & crochet patterns I’ve spotted recently that are quick, relatively easy, and make great gifts!

The Pony Tail Hat – a delightful and practical current trend …

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Messy Mom Bun Beanie

The Messy Mom Bun Beanie, by Ashlea Konecny, is very popular, very cute, and super easy to crochet! All you need is a size H (5mm) hook, some worsted weight yarn, and few hours!

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Frilly Ponytail Hat

This Frilly Ponytail Hat, by Cheryl Mercer is a slightly different variation on the same theme. It’s knitted, and it has a cute little frill around the edges of the ponytail hole! It’s knit in Lion Brand’s Wool Ease; a worsted weight yarn, so it would knit up quickly.

The By My Side Ribbed Ponytail Hat, by Michelle Moore is an absolutely adorable crocheted cap version with a cute brim and the perfect spot for a gorgeous statement button or pin. SO chic! You can just see the ponytail hole near the bottom edge in the back view pic…

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Cardiff Bay Ponytail Hat

Here are a couple of really unique options! The Cardiff Bay Ponytail Hat, by Beth Ann Beck has a enchanting touch of simple lace and cable. Knit up in a bulky weight yarn, it would be a quick knit with lots of interest, and would make an exciting gift!

The Child’s Ponytail Hat, by Gail Tanquary, is a riot of color and texture! It would knit up very quickly in aran weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is a free download on Ravelry! The bonnet type styling, the highly textured accent yarn, and the use of the yarn ends as fringe are all so creative!

The Headband/Ear Warmer – perfect for keeping ears warm while rocking fabulous hair! A few that caught my eye…

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Headband with Cable

The Headband with Cable, by Elaine Phillips is a lovely and practical version of this handy accessory; AND it’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I especially love the way that it’s knit wider than normal so that it’s double-layered for extra warmth!

The Cable Knit HeadbandInitiative Headband, and Resilience Headband; all by Brome Fields are gorgeous, and practical. Worked in Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Thick & Quick (a super bulky weight yarn) they would knit up quickly and make great gifts!

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Nordic Viking Headband

And the Nordic Viking Headband, by Randi Hjelm Debes, is knit in a bulky weight yarn. The pattern comes in several different sizes for both children and adults and incorporates a fascinating herringbone stitch pattern.

The Fingerless/Half Finger Mitt – a classic necessity…

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Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts

These Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts by Lisa M. Beamer make a perfect gift knit! Available as a free Ravelry download, you can choose between the knit flat version or the circular version. They’re perfect for using up odd bits of yarn leftover from other projects since they only need about 50 grams in worsted weight yarn.

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Muckle Mitts

The Muckle Mitts, by Mary Jane Mucklestone are so charming! The perfect knit for one who loves color work and/or fair isle knitting, they’d make a wonderful gift for a loved one!

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Urban Necessity Gloves

And for someone who wants a bit more of a challenge, the Urban Necessity Gloves, by Colleen Michele Meagher. Knit in worsted weight yarn, these sweet little mitts are half-finger gloves with a button down flip-top! I know many who would absolutely love to have a pair!

What about you? Are you knitting gifts for loved ones this Christmas? Do you have a favorite go-to item or pattern that you turn to for gift knitting? Feel free to share in the comments!

Wishing each and every one of you peace and joy and wellbeing in this Blessed Season, and throughout the New Year!

 

Christmas, Family, fiber festivals, Knitting, Weather

Fall Fiber Festival

Last Saturday, I enjoyed a day of bliss at the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier with my lovely Mother-in-law, Phyllis!


As you can probably tell, it was windy, cold, and damp…


… for most of the morning, the wind blew a chilly falling mist around and around. It was rather impossible to stay dry and we were so glad we’d brought our rain coats!


Even with the chill, wind, and wet, we had a marvelous time walking around,…


…chatting with friendly vendors,…


…admiring handsome animals, …


… gazing at gorgeous yarns…


…and samples,…


… and examining knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, rug hooking, and dying tools and equipment of every sort imaginable!

Phyllis was in need of a yarn swift and ball winder, so we kept an eye out and we found the most gorgeous yarn swifts at the Knitting Notions booth!


These swifts are made out of beautiful wood – you can choose between oak, cherry, and walnut. The craftsmanship is superb as they consist of four carefully shaped pieces that fit together with wooden pegs holding them in place.


The other neat thing about these yarn swifts is that instead of clamping onto the edge of a table, these sit serenely on the table top! (I ended up getting one too)!


I couldn’t resist this lovely skein of mohair/wool/nylon boucle in the Dancing Leaf Farms booth… The texture and colors (the color way is called “Sapling”) just calls to me!


I also purchased this lovely skein of Beezigns B’Luxor, in alpaca, silk, and linen. It’s a wonderfully soft, yet hardy 3-ply hand painted in rich blues, purples, and greens.


Now I just need to find time alongside work, house chores, and all the baby and Christmas knitting (yes, I’m working away at a bunch of Christmas gifts that I hope to finish on time!) I’ve got going on, to work on two more knitting projects!! Piece of cake, right?! 🍁😉🍂

It’s become a favorite little tradition now between Phyllis and I that we shop for each other’s Christmas gifts together each year at the Fall Fiber Festival! It’s always worked out super good for us – we have lots of fun, we neither of us have to deal with any stress or pressure about finding the “perfect” gift, and last but not least, we get to enjoy giving a gift that we know the other really wants/needs! (And of course, let’s not forget that we get to enjoy a gift that we really wanted and can/will use!!

What about you? Been to any great Fiber Festivals recently? Got any clever little Holiday traditions you’d like to share? Do you gift handknits to your loved ones? If so, how’s your Christmas knitting coming along? Feel free to share in the comments, we’d love to hear all about it!

Christmas, Health, Holidays

A Relaxing Walk

In all the middle of the crazy hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Years, it’s easy to get stressed out and frazzled…

A nice calm walk in the woods is just the thing I needed…

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These two tiny cedars are growing so close together, they look like they are dancing!

 

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Our live Christmas tree! It’s a Colorado Blue Spruce, and I’m really looking forward to planting it and watching it grow…

 

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… I hope you are able to find some time to relax and de-stress as well!

 

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Wishing you and yours a wonderful, peaceful Christmas and a joyous New Year!