dashing all the way

Well, I finally finished the "Dashing" mittens for Dan. The second one looks much better after I ripped back and knitted tighter.

I also finished the OneSkein scarf for my brother's fiance. This was a super quick project, I started it one evening and finished it the next morning! I used the same Patons Merino "Leaf Green" from my brother's aviator hat and discovered it was the exact same yarn used in the pattern. I generally like to spice it up a bit, however, it looks great and they coordinate.
I've also started a "Tiramisu" baby blanket for my new baby cousin. This seems to be going well, I've worked on it for a couple of days and I'm over half-way finished. I love the stitch pattern in this, it's a simple single crochet but looks gorgeous.
And finally I've restarted my Koolhaas hat. My problem wasn't the "ktbl", but the pattern. I was reading one thing and doing another. So now my hands and brain are on the same page and it's looking good.


more christmas gifs

I have completed a couple more Christmas gifts. First is the garter stitch scarf for my cousin. Using two skeins of Patons SWS it turned out to be approximately 7" wide x 54" long. I think it's a decent length, and it's very soft and comfortable to wear.

Secondly, I've started and completed a half moon shawl for my Grandmother. This is a crochet pattern from the Lion Brand website. It was a quick and easy project, perfect for this time of the year when trying to get gifts out. I used Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds "Sea Ice" and a size N crochet hook. I may pick up a shawl pin to enclose with it if I find one in my travels.
I almost had Dan's Dashing mittens completed, however I completely lost gauge. I started the mittens when my knitting was really tight and I ended the second one as I was becoming more comfortable and creating looser stitches. Well, the second mitten completely flared out at the end, not matching the first, and not being snug to the hand. So, I ripped back to the cables and I'm attempting to knit the last rows tighter.

Next up on my gifting list is a one skein scarf for my brother's fiance. Hopefully this will be a quick crochet pattern like the shawl.


aviator hat completed

So, I finished my brothers aviator hat. I think it turned out fabulous! The color stranding process was so fun. I felt like a little knitting machine whipping through it. Oooh, I foresee Selbu mittens and sweaters in my future... :) Anyway, I opted to finish off the hat with a contrast crochet border and braided ties. It's going to be difficult to part with...sigh...


color stranding

I finally taught myself continental style knitting! I started a color stranded aviator hat for my brother and decided now was the time. I was so excited to finally learn the continental technique that I had to jump on here and blog about it! (I'm so lame). The hat is made from Patons Classic Wool Merino in "Dark Grey Mix" and the stripes are "Leaf Green" and "Natural Mix". I'm using size 8 circular needles.

If you've been following my projects you'll notice that I use alot of Patons Classic Wool Merino. There are several reasons for this. First, Michael's seems to have it on sale all the time. Second, the majority of my projects thus far are for Christmas gifts in which the recipients aren't concerned with fiber content. I am somewhat fiber conscious however, and prefer to work with natural fibers than acrylic. The Patons is one of the only 100% Wool yarn available at the craft store, so that is what I choose. The other wool that I'm aware of at Michael's is Lion Brand Wool, but I haven't caught it on sale. They do have some great colors, so I may find myself with some in the future. I have several projects lined up myself after the holidays, so I'll have to visit some local yarn shops for higher quality product. Hopefully I'll have some extra cash at Christmas, as there are alpaca and wool farms near my parents house that I may have to visit.

I finished my dad's fishermans watchcap. The size is perfect after I cast on the extra stitches. I've noticed that my new knitting technique has help with my gauge and my knitting isn't so tight anymore. I feel like I'm making progress :)


it is better to give

I have completed a ribbed beanie for my brother for Christmas. It was knit from Patons Classic Wool Merino "Natural Marl" on size 8 needles. I really enjoyed this project, it was quick and easy and turned out great!

I have also cast on for my dad's fisherman watchcap. I am knitting this in Patons Classic Wool Merino "Deep Olive" on size 8 needles. I've worked 2 rows and decided that it will be too small, so I'm ripping back and increasing my cast on number to 90 and hope that will be sufficient.


dan's mitties

So, I've been secretly working on the "Dashing" fingerless mittens as a Christmas gift for my partner. After I already started working on them, he commented on how he wished he had a pair, so I guess I'm on the right track. He also gravitated toward some nice angora yarn at a LYS when he went with me to pick out yarn for my Koolhaas hat. Interestingly, I chose Elsebeth Lavold's Angora in Lime Green prior to that to make the mittens from. I'm so excited to give them to him! I just hope he doesn't find this post or any pictures of them on my computer before hand. He tends to be sneaky around Christmas....


first socks!

I've completed my first pair of socks! They are for my mother for Christmas. She's always cold and loves wearing um...festive...socks. So I think she'll really appreciated them :) I knit them from Patons Classic Wool Merino "Regency" on size 8 dpns.

I've also started a garter stitch scarf as a gift for my cousin. I'm using Patons SWS "Natural Earth". I love the feel of this yarn, and I love that it's a blend of wool and soy. It has a tendancy to split so I need to keep watch. I initially tried it on size 8 needles and liked the results, however I thought I'd experiment with size 11's and loved the modern chunky texture that was created. I felt that the mixture of the muted colors with the soft, but chunky texture resulted in a perfect scarf to be given to a gay man :)
In other news, I completely frogged my Koolhaas hat. I don't think I'm doing the Kbtl correctly. It just comes out as a bunch of bumps without any real pattern. Oh well, I guess I need to do some more research and come back to it.


thanksgiving knitting

I've been busy in the knitting department for the last couple of days. I started and completed one sock for my mother for Christmas. As of now the other sock is well on its way. These socks are being knit in Patons Classic Wool Merino "Regency" on size 8 needles. I know, it was suggested that I use size 5 but my gauge was WAY off. I obviously knit too tight and need to correct that.

I had to rip back the half-inch or so that I worked on past the ribbing of my Koolhaas hat. I could read part of the design in the hat and the rest was completely jacked up. Maybe now that I have a feel for the pattern I can make it work. This whole "knit in the back of the loop" thing has me crazy, I feel like I'm creating a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch.
I've also added a couple of photos of my My So Called Scarf, one in detail. I'd like to finish it soon, however it appears to be on the back burner for now.
Oh, I had a request for a doggie sweater at Thankgiving dinner today. It'll be so much fun! Right after I make one for my little Kyan :) I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Stitch on!



I finally received my Ravelry invite today! There certainly is alot to look at. I'm sure I'll be busy over there for the next couple of days. If you are on Ravelry, feel free to add me to your friend list. I'm "gardenerstitch" there as well.

Stitch on!


project update

Today I thought I'd share with you some of my recently finished projects as well as ones I am currently working on. The very first item that I decided to make is a camoflouge messenger bag from Bernat. It's going to be a Christmas present for my sister. I have yet to apply the webbing and buckles, once that is complete I will share some photos.

The first item I completed was a waffle dish cloth. Ok, so it sounds lame, but let me explain. First, we needed more dish cloths. Second, it allowed me to practice a new crochet techinque. Third, my grandmothers made their dish cloths and it helped me to feel a certain connection to them. In fact, I used Sugar 'N Cream cotton yarn, one that I know my great-grandmother and grandmother used often. I opted to crochet mine in colorway Hot Green. Third-and-a-half, hand-made dish cloths make the kitchen feel more "homey". I plan on making a few more, with coordinating dish towels.

Two other recently completed projects are beanies for my partner and myself. I made his from Lions Brand Cotton-Ease in black, doubling up the yarn to create a heavier stitch. If you can tell from the picture, his has ribbing going down the sides. Mine is a modified version of that, with no ribbing, made from Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds in colorway "Earthy Brown Tweeds".

current projects ::

my so-called scarf :: men who knit kal : manos del uruguay "quail" : size 11 needles

dish cloth :: sugar 'n cream "summer splash"

shopping bag :: lily free pattern : sugar 'n cream "swimming pool" : size g crochet hook


what's this?

Welcome to my first attempt at writing a knitting blog. Ok, so it isn't just a knitting blog. I'd like to share many of my hobbies, including: knitting, crochet, painting, gardening, and what ever else I'm focused on at the moment. I can hear almost every teacher I've had, telling me to focus on one thing to write about. Well, in this case I can't. I have so many interests that I'd have to keep up several blogs to share everything, and who really has the time or energy for that? Besides, I figure that there must be several others out there who have the same interests as me and will find these topics palatable if not interesting.

So, who am I? I'm a guy living in the Chicago suburbs with my partner and a dog and a cat. I'm an interior decorator running my own company. My grandmother taught me the basics of knitting and crocheting (gardening, cross-stitch, etc.) when I was very young. Recently, about 6 weeks ago, I began to crochet again. This lead to knitting, which I've only been doing for about a month. I'm working on several projects, I've completed a few and will share in future posts.

I've been reading several knitting blogs and I am very excited to join the blogging community. If you somehow end up here, reading my blog, please let yourself be known. I'd love feedback and some interesting conversation.

Until then, stitch on!