Harry Potter Gryffindor Scarf

I have a friend who is a huge Harry Potter fan.  So, for her birthday I decided to knit her a Gryffindor scarf.  I had previously knit a Gryffindor scarf for an ex-fling, which turned out ok – it was the first pattern I had made myself.  I improved on the original pattern for my friend, including adding an iron-on appliqué.  The scarf is knit with Knitpicks Shine Worsted yarn in Currant and Dandelion.  I love this particular yarn because it is a blend of pima cotton and Modal® natural beech wood fiber, which makes it extremely soft and washable!

Perks of living in Florida – knitting in a hammock 🙂

Knitting while I watch videos for my on-line course

The final product!  Someone suggested including a note when you give a knit as a gift, talking about the yarn, why you decided to knit that person this particular project, how long it took you, etc.  By including the note, the gift has more value – it gives the receiver a chance to understand how much work you put into the particular gift, and in return, the receiver is generally appreciates the gift more.  I did that for this particular gift, and I think it made her realize how much work actually goes into a knit gift.  Definitely something I am going to continue doing!

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Nathan’s Socks

Apparently it’s been said that you should never knit for your boyfriend.  Why? Because if he doesn’t wear/appreciate whatever wonderful knit you’ve spent hours knitting for him, it can cause detriment on the relationship.  However, I disagree.  I’ve knit for every guy I’ve dated, and while those relationships didn’t last, it wasn’t because my knitwear wasn’t appreciated.

I’ll be honest – I’m always a little nervous to tell a guy I knit.  It’s mostly because I’m worried they will think I’m an old lady – going with the stereotype that only those who knit are old, which is obviously completely not true.  Surprisingly, I’ve found that every guy I tell – whether he is a potential mate or just a friend, is actually impressed that I knit, and I often get requests for knits (see my post about the Jayne Cobb hat – a request from a guy friend).

In the past, I’ve knit scarves for significant others.  Long-term boyfriend got both a grey scarf and a moss stitch white scarf to keep his warm from NY winters – I even let him pick out the yarn.  Guy I was seeing got a Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf, made from a super soft but washable yarn from Knitpicks (I made the scarf again for a friend – post will be coming soon!  It was much better the 2nd time around).

Right now I’m with an amazing, wonderful guy – Nathan.  I wanted to make his something special – not another scarf (although he has requested a scarf, so I’ll make him that next), so I pulled out Judith Durant’s Never Knit Your Man A Sweater (Unless You’ve Got The Ring) book.  A word about this book: I picked it up during long-term boyfriend.  It has some great patterns from men (and a few not-so-great ones, including vests that your grandfather would wear), including hats, scarves, gloves and computer cases.  Oh, and the socks I decided to knit Nathan.  If you’ve got a boyfriend (or brother – I’ve made my brothers hats from it) then I highly suggest picking up this book.

Anyway, I decided to make Nathan socks.  He’s recently moved to Chicago to get his Master of Law degree in Taxation from Northwestern – and has never lived in Chicago.  I grew up there, and being very aware of how cold it is (plus, add the Lake Effect and suddenly the temperature drops 20 degrees), I decided to go with a thick, warm sock.  I took a quick trip to my local knitting store, The Flying Needles, where I found Berroco’s Vintage yarn, which is a soft, washable yarn (because we all know guys won’t pay attention to “hand wash and line dry” – just do a washable yarn and save yourself from the heartache of seeing a time-intensive knit shrink).

This was my very first sock project, so I was unsure what to expect.  I ended up using the magic loop method instead of double-pointed needles, which I found to be much easier and quicker.  

I really like the finished product!  I want to knit myself a pair for when I go visit him!

Note: The pattern called for 2 balls of the yarn – I ended up using one and just a few yards of the other one.  I would knit a shorter top of the sock and just use one ball – I actually am planning to make another pair that way using the leftover yarn.  I also knit elastic thread into the first inch of the cuff – just to help the socks stay up.  I ended up using 2 spools of the elastic thread.

Eco-Friendly Market Bag

I saw this pattern at a local knitting shop, and decided to try it using up my stash.  When I first started knitting, I went yarn crazy and bought a ton of cheap yarns, including one made out of recycled plastic bottles.  I had knit a few projects out of it, but still had quite a bit leftover in white, turquoise and dark blue.  I ended up using all of it to make this bag.

The bag knit up incredibly quickly.  The lace pattern was a repeat of  rows, which was easy to do while I was watching TV.

The finished bag!  I think it will be great for the beach and the farmer’s market!  I’m planning on knitting more bags using leftover yarns.

You can get a similar pattern at Lion Brand’s Website.

Tina’s Leg Warmers

I have a friend in San Diego who recently started Barre Method workouts, which combine ballet and pilates.  She requested that I make her leg warmers for her to wear on her walk to and from barre class.  Her request was that they be salmon pink and have a line of gray on the top and bottom.  After scouring the yarn at Jo-Ann’s, I ended up with Martha Stewart’s Extra Soft Wool Blend yarn in Gerbera Daisy and Gray Pearl.  I did not have a pattern, but using guidance of a couple patterns I found on-line, I started the leg warmers.  They are knit in the round using a smaller needle in a basic K2P2 ribbing and a size larger needle in the main legging part in a basic knit.

I think if I make these again, I will use a thicker yarn and make them bigger so they are more of an oversized, comfy leg warmers, but I am happy with how they turned out!

Kindle Cover

After going back and forth about purchasing an e-reader, I finally settled on a Kindle Touch.  As a student, I have been purchasing my college textbooks from Amazon.com for the last 7 years, on an Amazon.com credit card, which had enough points to cover half of the Kindle.

I found this pattern on Pinterest: http://haramisdesigns.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/kindle-sleeve-pattern/ and loved how it looked.  I’ve never worked with cables, so I figured this would be a great starting project.  In my yarn stash, I had a lot of Cascade’s Quatro yarn in ‘Cameo’ (purchased because my younger sister’s name is Cameo).  I figured, why not?  Cast on!

The actual size of the sleeve when you are knitting it is MUCH smaller than the width of the kindle.   Thankfully, Haramis Knits provided enough pictures to make me feel better about my super skinny Kindle sleeve and it’s ability to hold my kindle.

I definitely got to try out my new Knit Picks Interchangeable Needles sampler set I had ordered with this project.  I love them!  I’m starting to really enjoy working with circular needles, even using them on projects that require straight needles.  Anyway, back to my project – I loved how the Kindle sleeve turned out:

The button I found at Jo-Ann fabrics.  I wanted to make sure I found a button with a back that wouldn’t scratch the Kindle if it was in my purse.

Scarves for Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an organization that is close to my heart, and when I found out that they request scarves to be knit and crocheted for the participants, I was in.  I recruited my mom and grandmother, and together we knit up 5 scarves for Special Olympics Wyoming.

Information on the Scarves for Special Olympics Project can be found at:  www.scarvesforspecialolympics.com

Hot Water Bottle Cover

I grew up in a household that firmly believed in holistic medicine to cure ailments.  So if I was congested or had a sore throat, I would just fill up a hot water bottle and rest.  I still find that it works great, but I no longer have my lamb cover for my hot water bottle.  In an effort to reduce my yarn stash, I figured this would be a quick knit.

I found a pattern on the Knit Picks website http://www.knitpicks.com/cfpatterns/pattern_display.cfm?ID=50821220.

For this pattern, I used a yarn that I (think) picked up at Walmart, although I know I have seen it at Michaels.  It’s called Simply Soft Eco by Carron.  The cool thing about this yarn is that it is made from recycled plastic bottles.

This picture is a little dark.  There were 2 seed stitch options.  I decided to use the twisted seed stitch, which gave it a pretty texture:

The pattern called for an i-cord string to close the cover, but I had some extra ribbon, so I just used that instead

This pattern didn’t take long to knit up…I would work on it while I watched Downton Abbey, Season 2!