It’s blanket season!

It’s blanket season!

Hello everybody! I hope you have had a lovely almost two weeks since I last posted. I’ve managed to finish something, make some progress on others and a even have a few projects worked out in the planning stages for future patterns which I’m very excited about. Currently in the works are some fingerless gloves and a autumnal pair of socks. Cannot wait to get some obligational knitting out of the way so I can get back to those designs!

I’ve finished the husbands Sockhead Hat! It was indeed miles of stockinette and I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so distracted by wanting to start some new things. It’s a really good knit for reading or watching TV. I have plans to make another one for myself eventually. The yarn is Countess Ablaze in a one of a kind colorway, “Question Authority”. My project page for this can be found here.

As for the wips, I experimented with and finished a single sock. It was originally for me and I wanted to see if I liked the fit of a slightly bigger sock but I decided I like my socks really fitted and made them for dear husband instead.  I didn’t hear any complaints from him! Project page with notes linked here.

The brioche scarf has only gained about an inch so I won’t be posting a progress photo of that. I ended up putting a few squares in my slowly growing scrap yarn blanket. I had a bit of an accident last week which involved boiling hot soup dumped all over my hand (insert facepalm here) which gave me quite the burn and has seriously cut into my knitting time! But I seem to be over the worst of it now and I’ve been really enjoying doing a square or two in the evening with a good book. I foresee much more knitting on this in the immediate future as it’s making me so happy. Project page here.

That brings me to my favorite things for this post and I’m really loving my KnitPro Zing DPNs for blanket square knitting. I’m using a 3mm with some Clover stoppers on one end so they’re like a mini straight needle. I just really like the minimal grip with these needles.

 

That’s it for me this time! As always, thank you so much for coming by and catching up with me. If you have any questions or comments feel free to comment below or send me an email! I can be found on Facebook as well as Ravelry and am the most active on Instagram as Wolharpy. I really enjoy connecting with the crafty community. Until next time, happy crafting all!

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Four Legged Children

Four Legged Children

It’s world pet day today and in honor of that, I thought what better time to share my zoo with the world. My husband and I have 5 pets and we love them all dearly. It can be chaotic sometimes and a comedy show at other times.

First up we have Padmè named after Queen Padmè Amidala herself. (There is a heavy Star Wars naming theme going on.) She is the leader of our band of misfits. She is always looking out for her sisters to give a right smack to when misbehaving. Her favorite pastimes include looking down on others from high places and reminding our dog that she will never like him.

Next up is Sabè, named after Queen Amidala’s double. She is very petite and feminine and she loves herself more than anything….even fancy cat snacks and wet food. Her favorite hobbies include grooming herself hours at a time and lightly nomming on her hoomans noses.

Jyn is another creature entirely. Sure she looks like a cat, but really she aspires to be pasta. Pictured below are her three favorite forms: extended spaghetti, fusilli and lazy noodle. Her favorite hobbies include trying to get the dog to love her, stealing the dogs bed and eating various objects such as ribbon and knitting needle cables.

Rey is the mischievous troublemaker. She’s always into something and she knows her name super well on the count of us always getting after her. She’s also a lover of cuddles and face boops and soft piles of clothes to lay on. Her best friend is our dog, Vedder. Her favorite hobbies include surprise attacking Jyn from any corner of the apartment, getting yelled at and plotting world domination as pictured below.

The last four legged fur child is our Blue Merle Rough Collie, Eddie Vedder. He is the star of the show and he knows it and enjoys reminding us that any and all attention belongs to him. 24/7. His best friend is Rey and he really wishes Jyn would stop trying so hard. He’s just not that into her. His favorite hobbies include running next to a bike, playing tug o’ war with his stuffies, cuddling and eating all the cookies you can feed him. Oh and napping.

Alright now that I’ve doted upon all of my fur children, I’ve remembered this actually is a knitting and general crafty blog. Onward with the FOs!

I finished a hat this week, and of course the socks for my pattern release. Speaking of which, today is your last chance to get it for free!

The hat pattern is Old Gods of the Forest by Allyson Anderson and it was a really enjoyable knit. The pattern is a freebie and it only used about 120m (130y) of DK weight yarn. Fantastic!

As for WIPs I’ve been working on a sockhead hat for the husband and a plain vanilla sock. Neither of which I’ve made spectacular progress but it’s progress none the less. As The Knit Girllls say, if you’ve completed a row it counts! If you don’t know who The Knit Girllls are (I’d be shocked if you didn’t know), I highly recommend their podcast. The sockhead hat is being knit out of some Countess Ablaze yarns in a one of a kind colorway, Question Authority. The vanilla sock is being knit out of some H&W Germany sock yarn that I picked up at my local yarn shop. I seem to have thrown away the label so I can’t say the exact colorway. Oops!

I have plans to pull out my scrappy blanket soon and put a few squares in that and work on the brioche scarf that’s also for the husband. He’s spoiled, but I do love that he happily wears what I make him!

My favorite thing this week has to be these little circular needle stoppers from Clover. They’re inexpensive and they save my needles from getting all twisted or the tips from poking through my various project bags. Such a simple thing but I really think they’re a definite must have in any knitters notion kit.

That wraps my my week so far. As always, thank you for taking the time to come over and see what I’ve been up to! If you have any questions or comments feel free to comment below or send me an email. I can be found on Ravelry, Facebook and Instagram as Wolharpy. I always enjoy hearing from all of you. Also a special thank you to everybody who supported my first pattern release on Ravelry! I had no idea the overwhelming support it would receive and I can’t wait to see what other knitters do with it. Happy crafting all!

Wormhole Socks!

Wormhole Socks!

Today’s the day guys! My first ever pattern is going live and here’s where you can find it! It will be free, yes FREE from today through Wednesday so be sure to snag it! Here they are in all of their glory.

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I made these socks for my husband and wanted a texture that would show off this dark yarn he loved, but I also wanted it to be a simple enough to remember Netflix knit. We’re both really into science fiction and this pattern reminds me of traveling through space, falling down a wormhole into another dimension. Combine that with the yarn that reminds me of every movie scene where a spaceship is traveling at light speed and you get a perfect match.  They are designed knitted cuff down using the magic loop method, but you can of course knit them with whatever method you prefer. This pattern would also be very easy to convert into a toe up pattern if desired.

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I had so much fun making these and I’m really thrilled to be sharing a little bit of my creativity with the world. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of it. Feel free to leave me a comment below or you can always message me on Ravelry or send me an email! Happy knitting!

Excitement

Excitement

Hello all! I’ve some exciting news to share with you all, but first let’s do some catching up….again. Since last I wrote I’ve become an avid sock knitter (sock addict), a curator of sock yarn (hoarder), and a novice designer (more about that later)! So let’s talk projects. Since it’s been a while I’ll show some of my most recent finished objects.

From left to right we have a lonely Vanilla Sock , my Spruce Harbor Shawl, and a pair of shorty socks for Mom.

Aaaand now for the WIP parade. It’s out of control, I need help! Just kidding. I need to knit faster! I have 4 socks going at the moment. No, I was not kidding about my sock addiction. I can only fully show 3 of which right now since the 4th is a design of my own that I hope to release very soon! The goal is October 1st so stay tuned for that! Among all the socks I have two hats going, a brioche scarf, a lace shawl and a Cozy Memories blanket on my needles.

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Some vanilla socks, the start of what I hope to be another sock design and the basket where all my happy sock WIPs live. As always, these projects can always be found on my ravelry project page. I like to keep them up to date and full of notes which can be found here.

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From top left clockwise we have :

  1. Old Gods of the Forest Hat
  2. Sockhead Hat
  3. Cozy Memories Blanket
  4. Daenerys Shawl

 

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This is a brioche scarf I’m currently knitting for my husband. There’s no real pattern since its just the brioche stitch with an icord edge. I do have notes in my project page for it though and it can be found here.

Now I mentioned that I’ve been dipping my toes in the waters of pattern designing and let me tell you, it’s SO MUCH FUN. I have created a simple sock design with my husband in mind that I’m so excited to share with you all.

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Behold! A teaser of my “Wormhole Socks”! The texture in combination with the yarn reminds me of space, and being sucked through a wormhole to another dimension. I hope to release this pattern on October 1st so be sure to follow me here and on Instagram to get all the details on release day!

I’d like to add a few new segments to the blog such as favorite things and reviews. The review segment won’t be regular but the favorite things will be! This week I have a review for you guys. I have been gifted a beautiful set of KnitPro Zing interchangeables from a dear friend back in July and I also recently acquired 2 pairs of fixed circulars. Just as quick disclaimer, I have not been paid or asked to review these needles but rather love them so much that I thought I’d share why I think they’re awesome and what the few cons I could come up with are. All my opinion of course, so take from it what you will. The Knitpro Zing Melodies of Life interchangeable set is such a joy to work with. In this set you get 9 needle sizes from 3.5mm to 8mm (US 4 to 11). You also get 8 endcaps, 4 cables, 4 cable keys, one set of cable connectors, a set of wool needles, a set of stitch holders and 2 pairs of earrings made out of the same wood they made their wooden needle sets out of. Talk about a filled to the rim box!

Each needle size is it’s own color to easily spot which size you’re looking for. Not only are the needles colored beautifully, but they’re smooth, lightweight and just pointy enough to easily knit increases and decreases without stabbing my fingers with my knitting style. There is a tiny bit of a “grip” while knitting with these needles but I found that to have faded after knitting a bit on them. They stitches glide across evenly and allow me to knit faster and more precisely. The joins are completely smooth and there are zero snags while knitting. The cords are also colored based on size and in the set you get one 60cm, two 80cm, and one 100cm (one 24″, two 32″, and one 40″) cords. I can honestly say I’m 100% happy with this set of needles.

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The joins! Perfection!

Like I mentioned before, I also have 2 pairs of KnitPro Zing fixed circulars in the 2.5mm (US 1.5) size. I use them for sock knitting and have the same immense enjoyment using them save one, if I’m to be honest, failed design feature. The join. I’m a magic loop sock knitter so the first few rounds can be very tight and fiddly and I found myself getting frustrated having to force my stitches back on the needle. Now this did dissipate after the first 5 rounds or so and I will continue using them because I love how they feel in my hands and how the stitches flow over the tips but I’m not nearly as happy with the fixed needles as I am with my interchangeable set. The join also seems to be much worse on the one of the fixed needles so maybe I just got a bad circular.

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Pictured here are the KnitPro Zing fixed circulars and a surprise skein of Opal!

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Join on the KnitPro Zing 2.5mm fixed circulars. I hope you can see that roughness that catches on the beginning rounds of stitches. Below you can see the the Lana Grossa sock needles that I was using previously has a much smoother join.

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All in all I’m pretty pleased with these needles and see myself using them for years to come. I don’t feel the for another set of interchangeables needles. I’m not entirely sure I’d purchase anymore of the fixed circulars since the join really annoys me but like I said, I’ll use the ones I have nonetheless. Alright, enough needle rambling.

Lets move on to my favorite thing this week. About a month or so ago I received a package from home and among all the goodies was a small box that my Dad made me to put all my knitty notions in. It sits beside me every day and I get so much joy looking at it. It’s a nice reminder that home doesn’t have to feel so far away and that a piece of my Dad is with me forever.

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It’s beautifully crafted, as anything he makes always is, and has perhaps my biggest passion woodburned into it along with my married name. Things made from the heart are worth more than anything you could ever purchase. And because I know my parents read this blog, I’d like to thank them for all the thoughtful things they send my way.

So that wraps up this weeks entry. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing everything with you all.  I can be found on RavelryInstagram, and Facebook. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write me below or send me an email at wolharpy@gmail.com. I love hearing from you guys! Have a great week!

 

Grab Some Tea and Let’s Catch Up

Grab Some Tea and Let’s Catch Up

     Hello lovelies! I know it’s been a long time so I’m dusting off the blog and getting it going again. Better late then never or so the old saying goes! Where do we start? Since we last talked, Alex and I have gotten married, we’ve  adopted two new fur children into our family, I’ve gained official residency here in The Netherlands, and had we’ve just recently come home from a lovely vacation in London. My how the months have flown by… It’s about time that I get back to my chit chatting to the lovely yarny community that I’m happy to be a part of! Let’s dive in with a bit more detail shall we?
     On July 4th, 2016 I married my companion, my confidant, my best friend. We did not have a huge event, Alexander didn’t wear a suit and tie nor did I wear a dress. It’s just not us. We broke away from the typical wedding scene and did a small ceremony in jeans and it was everything we wanted and in the end, that’s what really matters. Two people who love each other through good times and bad. Two people working together as a team to overcome any obstacle life throws our way. To us, our wedding was not for status, it was to fully commit to each other. 

     Shortly after our wedding, we adopted two wee kittens, although they aren’t so small any more! They’re Ragdoll mixed with Maine Coon and normal house cat. At first our two older cats were not so thrilled but after some time, they’ve all adjusted to each other and we live in one happy, fur filled household. 

Jyn 

Rey

     Now onto London! London was a fantastic time. We met up with a close friend and packed as much into our week as we possibly could. The highlights would definitely have to be the 4 West End shows we saw. We kicked the week off with Wicked followed by Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and ended with Jersey Boys. I cannot express how amazing they all were. Each had their own specific style and I loved every moment of every show. Definitely need to see them again someday! If I had to pick a favorite it would have to have been Phantom of the Opera. I’ve always been closely tied to music and I’ve wanted to see the live show since I was a small child and to have seen it in Her Majesty’s Theater, where it debuted over 30 years ago was a dream come true! 



     On top of all that there was tons of sight seeing including The British Museum, The Science Museum, The London Dungeons, The London Tower, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and countless others. I could go on forever but I’ll save you all from an incredibly long read and just show off some highlight photos instead! 



     I think I’m done babbling about all the goings on since we’ve last talked now so let’s get into yarny goodness and talk knitting! Sadly, I don’t have a whole lot of things I’ve made to show off since I’ve had some trouble with my eyesight. A few months ago I developed a blood clot in my right eye which reduced my vision to next to nothing. Thankfully, after seeing some great doctors and a few rounds of injections into my eye, my sight is returning and I’m happily knitting away again. Here’s a few of the things I have done since my last post. 

The Favorite Knit Slouchy by a Jamie Sande

Cathedral Grove by Moira Engel


The Force Awakens Hat by Mrs. Luedeke (I changed the lettering section to say “May the Force be With You”)

Barley by Tin Can Knits

Lake Reed by Asita Crebs

     As you can see, my love for hat making has not faded! I know I said I was done blabbering about London but it’s yarn related I swear! I couldn’t come back with out a yarny acquisition, so I popped into I Knit London. What a cute little shop with a gorgeous selection of yarn, including yarn dyed by the owner himself! After some internet researching they ship to The Netherlands making me one happy returning customer. 

All yarns here are I Knit or Dye

     Back home, on my hunt for 9″ circular needles, I Came across a Dutch yarn shop had to order this gorgeous color way with a special project in mind. 

Colorway Free Spirit

     I paired the Dutch Wool Diva sock yarn with the solid gray I purchased at I Knit London and am making a Sizzle Pop shawl. My first brioche project! I hope to have this done by the end of March or sooner so I can participate in the Colorful Brioche KAL going on in Carolien’s Ravelry group for Colorful Creativity Podcast. 


Sizzle Pop by Lesley Ann Robinson
     My other current WIPs consist of a sock and a hat. I really like having multiple projects going to switch back and forth between depending on my current focus level and mood. Lately I’ve been pretty determined to figure out this whole sock knitting thing! This time on 9″ circulars. 

Vanilla Late Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes

Tamarugo by Anna Saskia

     I think I’ve covered just about everything. As always, thanks for reading and taking some time out of your day to catch up with me! Feel free to follow me on Instagram where I’m most active. Have a great week all, we’ll talk again soon! 

All the Things

All the Things

Fijne Hemelvaartsdag and Bevrijdingsdag fellow Dutchies! (Ascension day and Liberation Day). What a beautiful day it is for the celebration and festivities in the Netherlands! Alex and I went to the Bevrijdingsfestival (Kind of like a 4th of July) here in Den Bosch. We listened to the live music from various bands (Moonshine Brigade was my favorite) and sat around reading and sunbathing and knitting at the lake for the rest of the afternoon. A day well spent. Bring on summer!

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-The sea of bikes outside the festival.

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image-“Everything that’s truly great and inspiring was created by an individual that could work in freedom.” -Albert Einstein

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-Moonshine Brigade

 

I finished the “Lazy Hiker” shawl while binging episodes of Salem with Alex. I got to the last panel and just couldn’t stop. It was the final stretch and rows were getting shorter and shorter. I had to finish it and I was so ready to be done and at 2 o’clock in the morning, it was done and steam blocked. I could not be more happy with how it turned out. Easily the most beautiful thing I’ve ever with these sticks and string.

 

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I look at it and I just feel so proud. That’s the best part of knitting and crocheting for me. The feeling you get when you finish something wonderful with your own two hands. Not to mention that knitting and crocheting helps me cope with anxiety and has been proven to improve your motor skills, promotes a healthy brain AND helps prevent arthritis. Alright, alright,  I’ll cut the science lecture. Still, with everything considered, nothing lifts my spirits quite like a hand crafted garment.

After a fairly long project and mainly working on the same thing, I had several empty needles and now I want to make all the things. I’ve started another shawl,  a lightweight summer hat for Alex, a just barely cast on beach bag and something with granny squares. Haven’t quite decided where I’m going with the squares but they’re pretty to look at so I just keep making them!

 

IMG_20160503_195455-Shawl (Pattern Name “Reyna” on Ravelry)

IMG_20160505_210057-Lightweight Summer Hat for Alex.

IMG_20160505_211906-Pretty Granny Squares for a mystery to me project.

As you can see I most definitely have my hands full! Not to mention I was gifted a knitting loom set from the local Stitch & Bitch a few weeks ago. (Thanks Franna!) I love learning new techniques so I’m curious to try to make a hat from one of the looms. So many projects so little time.

More to come, hopefully with FO’s to show off!

-Wol Harpy

The Bright Side

The Bright Side

What a week it has been. From being without internet for days to the weather making the Dutch holiday “Konings Dag” (Kings Day) a weary and wet event and not to mention I locked myself out of our apartment…again… I think its time to curl up with a cup of tea and knit away.

IMG_20160428_215841Boschebollen in the spirit of Konings Dag! Look at that orange chocolate!

Alex and I have two beautiful, cuddly and immensely curious cats. I love them dearly and they are my house companions but as a knitter, I’m constantly  on the battle of keeping them from laying all over my projects! Their favorite spot as of late is to sleep in my basket I keep my current projects in. While it is adorable and I’m sure it is quite comfortable, they shed horribly all over my WIPs. Solution? Remake the basket into a smaller basket with a lid. Sorry kittyfurs, I’m sure you’ll find another favorite spot to sleep in!

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Whilst binging YouTube videos earlier, I learned a new technique! A lot of my knitting and crochet projects are done with acrylic yarns. I use acrylic for a multitude of reasons. The colors range is wide and vibrant, its durable and can be washed  and lasts for ages. It holds its shape well and the colors never fade, but acrylic yarn does have its drawbacks too. You can’t simply put it in a wool wash and pin it flat and leave it to dry and call it a day. Soon after you unpin it from drying the edges will begin to curl and the piece will go back to its original shape before you blocked it, defeating the whole purpose of blocking. All any knitter wants is a nice finished project that lays how its supposed to lay and drapes how it is meant to drape.

Steam blocking is the solution to all your acrylic yarn problems. Its a permanent solution and with careful manipulation of your project, you can bend the acrylic fiber to your will and have a nice finished look and a project that looks just how you want it. So off I went to dust off the iron that has been sitting in a bag taking up space in our closet for…longer than I’d like to admit. I don’t iron clothes…Ever. For those of you gasping “But what about the wrinkles?!”, where’s your sense of adventure? Adds character.

So I’ve dusted off my iron, grabbed an acrylic swatch that was all sorts of mangled from being stuffed in a box for reference at later times, and gave it a shot. It was like magic. A few puffs of steam and the fabric swatch just seemed to let out a big sigh. All the stitches relaxed and made the fabric very drapey, the corners laid flat, it looked like a perfect rectangle instead of the previously indistinguishable shape.  Best of all, what truly blew me away was how SOFT the fabric became after a 3 minute steam blocking. Acrylics are not known to be the softest yarn but after some steam I just want to snuggle with this tiny swatch.

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Excited by the results of my test swatch, I immediately went to my yarn cabinet and dug out a table center piece I crocheted months ago but the way the edges curled up drove me bonkers so I tucked it away in a shelf in project time out until I figured out a way to fix it. I laid it out on a tea towel and steamed away, pinching and smoothing and making it the shape it was supposed to be. Now it sits proudly on the coffee table in its glorious state of flatness. I really should have taken a before photo to show the true magic of the before and after but I was maybe a pinch skeptical and it didn’t come to mind in the spur of the moment experiment. If you’d like to see the video I watched, here’s a link! Steam Blocking Acrylic Yarn

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Now that I’ve shared my excitement on a new technique, a certain lazy hiker shawl is almost done and requesting my attention to finish it up!

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Until next time dearies.

-Wol Harpy