Neon Knits

The neon trend has been around for awhile now. But unlike the neon trend of my youth, this time around it is a lot more subtle. Rather than wearing 3 or 4 neon colors at once, people are choosing one pop of neon. I really like the look of neon paired with white or gray. I have been knitting a lot of baby items lately (my little man is due in 12 weeks!), but my next project will be something for me. I am really tempted to throw in a little neon. Here are some of my inspirations.

Brioche Cowl from the Purl Bee – FREE Pattern

Neon Knit

Neon – Pattern available on Ravelry

Yellow and Gray Chevron Sweater – from Madewell.com but basic pullover pattern

Crossroads Hat – Pattern available on Ravelry

Neon Triangle Pillow

Yarns to try:

Edison Bulb by Madelinetosh

Pop Rocks by Madelinetosh

Citron by Cascade Yarns

Highlighter by Manos del Uruguay

Shocking by Manos del Uruguay

Oceana by Madelinetosh

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Baby Dino Sophisticate

I recently cast off on the super cute Baby Sophisticate cardigan. This was actually my second Baby Sophisticate as I frogged my first attempt. This sweater is part of a gift set that includes the Dino Cap I finished a while ago. My first attempt at this sweater was in green and orange to match the hat, but I just didn’t like the color combo in sweater form. I learned a lot of techniques with this project, and I am really happy with how it came out.

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Some of my mods:

  • My gauge did not match the pattern, so I cast on an additional 10 stitches.
  • I slipped the first and last stitch knitwise on each RS row, and purled all stitches on the WS. I found that this gave my knitting a more consistent look with the slipped stitches. This method is known as the English Method. I learned about it here.
  • When I knit the cuffs on the sleeves, I used Kathryn Ivy’s method for knitting jogless garter stitch in the round. Super easy and gave a more professional look to the sleeves.
  • I used Jeny’s Super Stretchy Bind Off. Easy to learn and works great!

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Rather than just assuming I knew how to do some knitting techniques, I decided to google everything to see if there was something I was missing. Here are the new techniques that I learned while knitting this project:

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Pattern: Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
Yarn: Berroco Vintage in Green and Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Gray Heather
My Ravelry project: Baby Dino Sophisticate

Locally-Made Souvenir Shopping

World Map by TheMapShop

Three years ago when my husband and I went on our honeymoon, I made the decision to only buy locally-made souvenirs. It didn’t seem right to travel all the way to Italy to buy souvenirs made in China. Obviously I wasn’t the first tourist to have this thought because a lot of shops had signs in their windows that said “Made in Italy, not China.” And yes, the signs were in English. The most common items we saw were leather, lace, glass, art, liquor, and food.

Last summer, we were fortunate to go on an Alaskan cruise, and I made the same souvenir buying decision. It was actually harder to find locally made items in Alaska than it was in Italy, but not impossible. When I walked into a souvenir shop, I would ask where their locally made items were. Some shops had lots, some only had one shelf. The locally made items included jewelry, art, holiday decorations, and food.

Turquoise

We just got back from a trip to Arizona to visit family, and without even searching it out, I picked up some great American Made souvenirs. At a jewelry shop, I found a bracelet and earrings made with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. This type of turquoise is only mined in Arizona, and is popular for its deep blue color with few veins. The bracelet and earrings with crafted by Native American artists in New Mexico (sorry, if the shop owner named the tribe, I didn’t catch it).

I’ve loved turquoise for as long as I can remember. My grandparents used to spend the winters in Arizona, and my grandmother wore a lot of turquoise jewelry. I’ve always enjoyed wearing turquoise because it reminds me of her.

Spiral Cowl

After restarting the Spiral Cowl for my mom, I finally castoff with this project and am happy with the results. I didn’t have a chance to take good photos before giving this cowl to my mom. I’m still not 100% satisfied with the edges, and I’m making it my new mission to practice cleaner edges.

I found a post comparing stretchy bind off methods, and on my next cowl project I’m going to try Jeny’s Super Stretchy Bind Off. I also found this great tutorial on how to avoid the gap when binding off on circular needles. The gap is something that has always bothered me with cowl projects.

I found a great post about two variations for slipping the first stitch and I’m planning to use one of these methods on my next project. This wouldn’t really have helped with this project since it’s knitted in the round, but it will help out with stockinette stitch projects.

Spiral Cowl

I found this yarn at Tuesday Morning for a great price! It was a soft wool and I enjoyed working it. Too bad it’s been discontinued.

Spiral Cowl

Pattern: Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan
Yarn: Aslan Trends Del Cerro in Khaki
My Ravelry project: Spiral Cowl

Maternity Clothes

I am 20 weeks pregnant and I’ve started buying maternity clothes. I’m lucky to still be wearing all of my regular clothes, but those days are definitely numbered. The baby was not happy today with the tightness of my skinny jeans.

I don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes that I’m only going to wear for a few months, but I don’t want the clothes falling apart before I can wear my regular clothes again either. So I was very excited to find PinkBlush Maternity online, and doubly excited to learn that their clothes are Made in USA.

They were recently have a site-wide sale, so I picked up four items. Although I can’t say that I’m excited to wear maternity clothes, it does help to have some cute items to pick from.

Mustard Heart Print Maternity Top

Update: I returned this top. I loved the pattern, but the fit was off.

Mint Green White Striped Maternity Tank W/ Necklace

Update: Love this top! Mine has a lot more extra fabric than the model in the front and back, but I’m sure I’ll grow into it.

Aqua Red Colorblock Maternity Maxi Dress

Update: I returned this dress too. The fit was cute, but the material was way too thin.

Royal Blue Print Ruffled Maternity Tunic

Update: This is my favorite! I need to sew the straps as they are a little long (and they don’t come adjustable), but I love the pattern and the fit.

Starting Over :: WIP Wednesday

This is not a typical work-in-progress post because I don’t have any pictures to share. Last night, I cast-off on the Spiral Cowl I’ve been working on as a just-cause gift for my mom. I took a look at the top and bottom edges and realized they didn’t look quite the same. I showed it to my husband and he said it wasn’t really noticeable, but after staring at it for a few minutes it was all I could see. At first, I tried to redo the final edge but I wasn’t satisfied. I realized I just didn’t like the edging on either side and decided to start over with a modification to that part of the pattern. So what took me about a week to create, I ripped out in less than 10 minutes.

The mod I’m going to make is skipping the picot edging and instead working 8 rows in garter stitch. There are a few knitters on Ravelry who made this mod and I love how it turned out.

Knittomo’s Put a Bird on It

Elephantjuice’s Cowl

Martifavorites’ Spiral Cowl