Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I will freely admit that I would rather buy 2 expensive 18" dolls (the one with the brand name A______ G___) than make another felted doll.  The hair alone was a pain to do.  Not to mention felting them by hand in the sink since my clothes washer is a bit too gentle for machine felting.  Which probably explains why there's a year separation between the first doll I made (the one in blue) and the second.  At least it didn't take almost 5 years like it took for me to have my 2 monkeys. 

Pattern: Benji & Friends doll by Maggie Pace
Yarn: Pick Up Sticks Wool in Sandy, Chocolate, Pink (or Petal?) and Sea Blue
Needles: US size 10 for the dolls & US size 6 (but I may have stuck to the 5 recommended in the pattern) for the undergarments

The pattern & yarns were bought at Maggie Pace's moving sale.

I also bought the two clothing patterns designed to go with the dolls which I'll do next gladly.  I don't mind knitting doll clothes as much.

No vacation knitting would be complete without a little knitting for myself:

Pattern: Autumn in Garrison
Yarn: The Fibre Company Babe (discontinued) in Iris
Needles: US size 8
Pattern size: one

And a little more for Monkey1:

Pattern: Taylor Swift Inspired Diamond Slouchy Beret
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky in Blackberry (color discontinued I think)
Needles: US size 10.5
Pattern size: the larger one

I had already knit the worsted weight version for Monkey1 a year ago.  I had downloaded this bulky weight version at the same time when it was offered free & finally got around to knitting this version.

They both are drying from a wash/block, so no block FO pic yet.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Done with the holiday knitting

After knitting a few gift knits after last Christmas holiday season,  I finished a few more for my staff at work (my numbers almost doubled) and for a couple of Monkey2's teachers.  I even managed to knit a spare just in case, just like when we buy an extra box of See's Candies during the holiday season. 

These Naylor Street infant & toddler hats were knit while I was test knitting/tech editing Carrie's pattern, so I don't have any particular babies in mind for them yet.

Yarns:  Knit Picks Swish Worsted (Carnation pink) and Cascade 220 superwash in a blue (lost the label so don't know the color number/shade)
needles: size 7

size: in Men's for my newest staffer
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Worsted

I was in a rush to finish before I took time off w/the monkeys, so I didn't take a pic of both Hat Shaped Hats, but I did make two for one of my staffer's boys.

Yarn: Bernat Roving in Dark Grey
Needles: Size 19 Clovers which I think we got free at a Stitch & Pitch a couple years back.

For one of my staffers who likes pink:

Pattern: Zigzag neckwarmer on the Jimmy Beans Wool site
Yarn: Stitch Nation Washable Ewe in Icing
Needles: Size 8 needles

The spare:
Pattern: Phydeaux Twist Cowl (the non-i-cord edge version) which I think I got in her newsletter
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Sweetgrass
Needles: Size 19

The one that went to Monkey2's dance teacher:
Pattern: also Phydeaux Twist Cowl
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Black
Needles: Size 19

This one went to Monkey2's grade school teacher:
Pattern: Phydeaux Ridgely Cowl (also via her newsletter)
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Thunder
Needles: Size 19

Not fond of knitting with such large needles since my hand movement has to be much larger, but since I'm done w/the holiday gift knitting for the year, I get to go back to smaller needles to knit things for my monkeys and myself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wool Accessories Season

I finally got around to knitting a hat to match my Ishbel Shawlette.

Pattern: Ishbel Beret 
Pattern size: 3rd size up
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Pashmina in Tart
Needles: US size 5 & 6

No mods.

I love Knitwhits colorways & had actually bought a couple skeins from her booth at Interweave Lab in San Mateo last year. I bought more this year, but this time I actually knit them up for Monkey1.

Pattern: Victoria Gauntlets 
Yarn: Knitwhits Freia Fibers Flux Sport in Ultra Violet
needles: US size 7
No mods though when I make myself a pair, I'll have to add at least 2 more stitches since my hands are wide.

It was that time of year when Wooly Wormhead holds her Mystery Hat Knit-along &; once again I joined up. I stash dove for this yarn as I decided to join after shopping at Interweave Lab market. The only problem I had with this yarn was that one of the ball in the bag I bought from a lys closing a few years back had a lot of breaks in them. After the 4th break, I had to tink back a few rows & use another ball. Thankfully, it looked like the rest of the balls in the bag & the yarn in the plastic bin they were stored with were all fine.

Pattern: Wooly Wormhead Mystery Hat KAL 2012
Pattern size: Large
Yarn: Lana Grossa Numero Uno (discontinued) in color #112
Needles: US size 5 & 6
- Picked up stitches on a 1:1 row ratio & then did an increase row in purl to get the desired number of stitches for the body of the hat after knitting the brim. Added an extra repeat of the body pattern since my stitch gauge didn’t match the pattern & I wanted to make sure it was more beret-ish instead of beanie-ish.
- Added 3 plain rows to the crown decreases.

BTW, I'm wearing my favorite lip color for this fall season in the last pic. (MAC Rebel)

The knitting on these mitts were finished in September, but I didn't get around to seaming them closed & adding the buttons 'til today.

Pattern: All of 'er Buttons Mitts from the Jan 2012 Rockin' Sock Club
Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in HRH Crown Princess of Purple, Violetta
Pattern size: Large & long
needles: US size 1.5 mm, I think? I totally forgot to put the specs in Rav when I cast on

- 2 extra repeats of the pattern on the hand portion after the thumb gusset as is my preference.

- Extra cable cross on one of the mitts. DH calls it my ‘signature.’ LOL!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog Catch Up

I knew it had been awhile since I blogged, but hadn't realized it's been 4 months. I knew that aside from my secret sample knitting, I hadn't been knitting very much so didn't have much to share 'til now. The secret sample knitting however, are still secret.

The STR charity blanket is finally done! After starting this 4 years ago(!) for our knitting group at work I finally finished it.  When I signed up for this I didn't realize that our knitting group would decrease all the way down to a mere 1 or 2 of us.  So I finally decided that I would finish it all myself.  The blanket has been washed/blocked and mailed to Blue Moon Fiber Arts (BMFA) for Tina to send to her favorite charity.

Pattern: Knitting for Love by Cookie A & Nathania Apple for BMFA (not listed in Ravelry or BMFA's site - contact Cookie A or Nathania for the pattern)
Yarn provided by BFMA: Socks that Rock Heavyweight in Jade (center square & throughout), Count Cluckula, Mr Green Jeans & Thistle - what little was left was also mailed back to BMFA.
Needes: US Size 6 circulars
Dimensions: Roughly 41"x41" 

Also done & blocked over the summer is a darling shawlette that was part of our March 2012 Rockin' Sock Club kit.

Pattern: Perennial by Debbie Stone (aka Cockeye the Sockateer)
Yarn: STR medium weight in Budding Twig
Needles: US Size 5 & 6 KP Harmony circs

Intended for my toddler nephew, but I'm not sure if his face is securely sewn on, so I may reinforce it before mailing it off.

Pattern: Tony the Toy Box Monster
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease
Needles:  US Size 6

I also finally got around to knitting a baby hat to coordinate with the Lilianna cardigan shown in my last post.

I also made a moss stitch/seed stitch baby beret to coordinate with the Lucky baby cardigan I knit a couple years back.  These will be gifts for the next family or friend who has a baby girl.

Pattern: Moss Stitch Hat by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Needles: size  5 & 6 circs

Last for now, but not least, is a hat/scarf combo that I started while my monkeys were rehearsing for their big dance recital last month.  Monkey2 put it to good use this weekend as we got more than a smattering of snow at our cabin.

Pattern: Comet Tail Hat (free Lion Brand pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Amazing in Pink Sands
Needles: size 9 KP circs

Sunday, July 01, 2012


Pattern: Lilianna by Irishgirlieknits
yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK in Carnation (dc'd)
needle: size 5
pattern size: 0-3 months

No mods since this was a test knit for Carrie. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn, but I got gauge with the DK yarn I had in my stash.

It's unblocked since I still need to knit on the ties since I opted to not do a button/buttonhole.  The baby shower is in August so I've got time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I've been slacking

I really haven't been very motivated with my knitting the last few months, especially after spring break in Honolulu. But I assume I'll pick up production when I am ready. But I have done some knitting.

I did finish making a full-fingered glove version of Sivia Harding's Queen of Beads sock pattern.

And I started Cockeye's Perennial shawlette pattern on my way to Honolulu. But I actually didn't work on it while on vacation since I had the kids with me.  I then stalled when I broke the wood needles after we came back home.  I did get a replacement pair, but I haven't picked this back up yet.

I don't know how I finished Irishgirlieknits' sample Fiar, but I do well with deadline knitting.  I love the colors so much I'm making my own at some point.

I also started another Rockin' Sock Club kit, this time choosing All of 'Yer Buttons Mitts.  I'm actually done w/knitting one and need to cast on for the second.

I also started what will eventually be Tony, the Toy Box Monster before our trip to Honolulu.  This will be a gift for my newest nephew, but I'll have to sew on a pair of eyes instead of using safety eyes since he's in the TOT (toddler-of-terror) age range.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Converting a beaded sock pattern into gloves

I'm not the biggest fan of knitting with beads, especially when it comes to a beaded sock pattern. So I finally decided to convert the socks into gloves instead.

Rockin' Sock Club Jan 2009 kit
Pattern: Queen of Beads socks by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in My Blue Heaven
Beads: not the 8/0 beads specified in the pattern. The RSC kit actually came with beads that were a size smaller. They need to be threaded on to the yarn before you start knitting, so it was a PITA to get them on the yarn.
needles: size US 1 (2.25 mm) circs for the body, dpns for the fingers & thumb
pattern size: The medium sock size was close enough to the stitch count for a large glove size, so it worked out well for me

I still need to weave in all the ends & close any gaps when I re-attached the yarn for the fingers & thumb.  It may take me a little while to do the left glove since it takes forever to thread the beads on.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Knitted Monsters

While the Monkeys and I have been out sick for a few days, we were on a monster-knitting kick.  I knit one up for Monkey2 and Monkey1 & I shared knitting duties on hers.

Gabby the Garden Monster and Irving the Icebox Monster from Rebecca Danger's Big Book of Knitted Monsters are the first 2 we've completed and we've got at least 2 more in the queue.

For Gabby:
yarn: Stitch Nation Washable Ewe in Strawberry
needles: size 6 circulars
- Monkey2 didn't want a white mouth, so we settled on brown which was the only other felt color I had in my stash aside from red.
- size 6 mm safety eyes since Joann's were out of size 9 mm's.  They're not in there well, so I may have to replace them with embroidered eyes soon.

For Irving:
yarns: Cascade Greenland for the main color & leftover Plymouth Encore Worsted purple from Monkey1's 'doll' poncho. 
needles: size 6 circs

Monkey1 knit the body & sewed all the pieces together. The cockeyed ear was by her design. I knit up all the appendages.  Her other mods were to leave off the belly button and the mouth.Our one unintentional mod was to forget to stuff to the arms, but since Monkey1 was fine with it, we're leaving them as is.

Also done with the knitting and assembly is a second Benji & Friends doll. It's only been a year since I knit the first. :p I just need to felt it when we're up at the cabin with the old school (non-high efficiency) washer or by "hand" in basin.  However, that'll have to wait until my lungs are functioning better.  This cold's not quite at flu level, but it's a miserable one.

In the meantime I've finally cast on for my RSC Jan 2009 kit, the Queen of Beads.  I had temporarily lost the beads and lovely Sockateer Tammy send me a little replacement bag.  Of course, some corollary to Murphy's Law kicked in and I found my original packet of beads after I received Tammy's replacement.

Once I finish the "leg" portion of the sock, I'll decide if I'm going to convert them into fingerless mitts or gloves or finish it as a sock.  I guess we'll see.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stitches West 2012

I like to sample and test knit, so when our friend, Purlswannahavefun asked us to help knit a few hats for The Knitting Ranch's booth (320-322) at Stitches West, I said sure.  Hats are quick and easy. Unfortunately I forgot to take modelled pics of the blocked hats, so I only have unblocked hat pics. For the blocked hats, make sure to stop by The Knitting Ranch's booth.

Pattern: Porom by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Lana Grossa Evento
Needles: Size US 7 & 9

The yarn, a cotton/wool blend was rather interesting.  It felt like the core yarn was cotton and the fuzzy stuff was the wool.

The second hat knit up was:
Pattern: Regina (free on Ravelry) by Carina Spencer
Yarn: Lana Grossa Alta Moda Cashmere
needles: Size US 10 & 10.5

The hat had a really fun construction and I'll definitely be knitting up my own.  The free pattern is one of those "gaugeless" hat patterns where you don't really need to swatch first.

This year I finally took a class at Stitches West, Anne Kuo Lukito's Turn Socks into Gloves. She's the designer of Crafty Diversions.  It was a nice short (3 hrs only) fun class.  So instead of going on Friday and Saturday, I did Thursday and Friday. My test glove from the class is that partial mutant blue thing by the t-shirt in my Stitches haul pic.  I was a good girl and didn't buy very much.  Believe it or not, the only purchases I made were the project bags and some buttons for a pair of fingerless mitts in my knitting queue.  The Malabrigo Dos was from the Malabrigo booth, The gorgeous skein of blue fingering yarn from The Knitted Wit was "payment" for helping her dismantle her Interweave Lab booth and the beautiful Handmaiden Yarn Camel Spin was my payment for the 2 Knitting Ranch sample hats.

There are still 2 days left for Stitches West, so if you can make it, go and say hi to all my friends at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth (Irishgirlieknits, tapmouseknits2, hizKNITS, Leianne and Sockateer Cockeye).

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Trio of Irish Girlie Knits Patterns

I swear I knit more than just Irishgirlieknit sock patterns, but it just so happens that I can blog about a couple of them now.

First up is a pattern that she's released before, but she's been updating her patterns to her newer format. I knit this sample pair last month for her.

Pattern: Burst
Yarn Provided: Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering in French Twist
needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles
pattern size: medium IIRC or to fit her mom's feet

Next up is her pattern from the Sock Knitters Anonymous January Mystery KAL on Ravelry. I actually did this one for me for fun.  No sample or test knitting here.

Pattern: Blathnat
Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Pixie from the now closed Yarn for Socks online store
needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) and 1.5 (2.50 mm) dpns
pattern size: medium
mod: carried the "flowery" lace pattern down the foot an extra repeat, causing the "stem" pattern to be a little short.  I had been debating with myself if I wanted a long stem or not, but I figure if I knit this pattern again, I'll do the pattern as written w/the longer "stem" on the foot.

In between Blathnat clues, I decided to cast on another one of Irishgirlieknit's patterns, this time the free Honey Badger pattern.  The pattern is quick since the sock is mostly in stockinette stitch. I'm done with the first sock and steadily progressing on the send.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in Crabby McCrabbypants
needles: size US 1.5 (2.50 mm) dpns
pattern size: medium

I still do crochet, by the way.  I'm slowly working on a lap blanket that I started when I had been called in for jury duty last fall.  I usually work on it during the monkeys' dance classes only, so I'm finally past the halfway point.   

Pattern: Over the Rainbow baby blanket
Yarn: Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe  in Twilight, Mermaid & Beach Glass - Not machine washable! So I'm calling it a lap blanket for me & not a gift for the next baby in my circle of friends & family
Hook size: K

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just a FYI

From an organizational stand point, I've decided to move my make up posts over to my new make up blog.  (Link also on the side bar to the right along with my Mary Kay site.) At some point I'll delete the ones without knitting content from this blog.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mary Kay vs MAC eyeshadows

I've been looking online and there are hardly any comparison swatches of Mary Kay's (MK) mineral eyeshadows with their supposed MAC eyeshadow duplicates except for one youtube video for certain. So I decided to swatch what I have to see what I would get.  All pics taken without flash next to a window.  All the rectangular pans are Mary Kay, all circular pans & pots are MAC .

First up, MK Amber Glaze vs MAC Amber Lights.  Of all the MK vs MAC shadows I've swatched, these two were the closest match and I would say they're pretty dead on.

MAC All That Glitters vs MK Honey Spice with MAC Naked Lunch thrown in for comparison.  I've seen mentions online that MK Honey Spice is a dupe for MAC All That Glitters and I have to politely disagree.  They're close, but not exact.  I threw in Naked Lunch to see if I can find another MAC eyeshadow that MK Honey Spice would be a dupe of, but Naked Lunch is a little pinker and sheerer. It's possible that there's a limited edition MAC eyeshadow that MK Honey Spice is a dupe of, but I don't own it.

MK Midnight Star vs MAC Deep Truth - swatched just for the heck of it.  Close, but MAC Deep Truth goes on blacker/darker.

MAC Rice Paper vs MK Moonstone vs MAC Shroom -The Moonstone/Rice Paper comparison has been made online, but again I disagree with this one. Rice Paper has always been on the subtle side of shimmer and is less yellow gold than Moonstone. Shroom is a little closer to Moonstone, but I was surprised Moonstone is frostier and less sheer.

MAC Satin Taupe vs MK Granite vs MAC Smoke & Diamonds (limited edition).  MK Granite is a little lighter, grayer & beiger ("greige") than MAC Satin Taupe.  MAC Satin Taupe has a definite plum undertone to it that Granite doesn't have.

MK Sweet Plum vs MAC Sketch - Again, this comparison has been made online and again I disagree.  Sketch is much more intense/darker than Sweet Plum. Both are great shades, though Sketch requires a light hand and many layers with much blending for it to not be too much for me.  YMMV, of course.

MAC Wedge vs MK Hazelnut with MAC Kid (now dc'd) and MAC Rich Flesh (limited edition) thrown in for comparison.  Hazelnut is similar to Wedge and Kid, with it being closer to Kid, but not dead on.

Price Comparison (Prices in US dollars pulled from both websites as of the date of this post):
Mary Kay mineral eyeshadow pan (0.05 oz) - $6.50
Mary Kay compacts (mini, regular, pro) - $16, $18, $35
MAC eyeshadow pan (1.5 g/0.05 oz) - $11.50
MAC eyeshadow pot (1.5 g/0.05 oz) - $15
MAC eyeshadow palettes (2-pan, 4-pan, 15-pan) - $7, $7, $16

Product Disclaimer:
All MAC eyeshadows purchased in full retail with my own money over the course of several years.  All Mary Kay eyeshadows except Moonstone were purchased with my own money at my Mary Kay Consultant discount rate.  Moonstone was purchased in full retail with my own money prior to becoming an independent consultant for Mary Kay.