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FO Friday #3: Botanic BFL hat

DSCF3644 by kpetra
DSCF3644, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

Happy Friday!

I have lots of projects nearing its completion, but not quite there yet. At least the hat is finished!

I already posted about the yarn I am using – handspun BFL. I had a rough idea what kind of hat I wanted. Then I came across Stephen West’s Botanic Hat. I must admit I did not get the pattern. The hat was easy enough to  deconstruct. Or rather, just look at the picture, use the stitch and make up the rest.

We live in a fairly cold climate (at least in the winter months) and single brim doesn’t do us any good. Therefore I made a double brim (provisional cast on, knit double the length of the brim, fold in half and knit current stitches with the provisional stitches). I also started on only 88 sts on US5 so that the brim is snug. The crown of the hat is knit over 96 stitches in slipped stitch pattern. The photo on top shows the reverse side.

This is the “right” side:


And my little one happily posing for me while reading a book



More details, such as needle size and yardage are on my Ravelry page.

It’s FO friday at tami’s amis. Go check her out!



Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


WIP Wednesdays 2: BFL Breed Study

Handspun BFL combo by kpetra
Handspun BFL combo, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

Hello all! I have kind of a WIP. Well, it’s not casted on yet, but I had to spin the yarn for it.

I have been part of Breed Study with Willow Glen Farm for some 3 years. Very rarely do I spin my samples, let alone spin it on time. But I did it this month!
We were studying BFL or Blue Faced Leicester. I really like this breed. I used long draw and a very light hand to make sure to end up with nice lofty yarn.
Since I am on the roll, I would like to have a two-color hat with the yarn by the end of the month. (I did not give myself much time, did I?)
The dark brown is the current breed study, the blue is a BFL batt with bits of cotton from Willow Glen Farm as well. Both skeins are little heavier worsted. Since it is only 2-ply, I will pretend they are regular worsted in my knitting.

Check what is everybody else working on at tami’s amis.

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Peace Pals

Peace Pals by kpetra
Peace Pals, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

In general, I am not a big fan of knitting toys. But they are fun to play with.
A month ago my LYS sent out a plea to help with making Peace Pals. I found out more about the organization  (women4women-knitting4peace) that sponsors these projects and really liked them. So, I knitted the boy. My older one decided he was cold and could use a scarf and immediately put her fingerknitting skills in good use. So, the boy was warm but he was still lonely. He needed a girl. I thought another 2 hours and we’ll call it a success. I was wrong. I did not realize how big the girl’s skirt was! But now she is done, they got married (that’s what my girls said) and were sent on a long journey. Along with many others, they will travel to an orphanage in Tanzania.
Happy travels, guys!!!

The original pattern is knit flat. I don’t like seeming and knitted the girl in the round. It worked really well.

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


In a rut!

P1140850 by kpetra
P1140850, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

About two years ago, I got ambitious (there is a very fine line between being ambitious and crazy/insane) and started the Mitered Square blanket. Anything small doesn’t usually appeal to me, therefore I am aiming for a full size blanket. Have I mentioned I knit this on US1 needles?

Each square is outlined with 4 rows of black before I switch to a color. That means every tiny square has 4 ends to weave in. Have I mentioned how I dislike weaving the ends in? Doing a rough math, the goal is to end up with around 750 squares. That is 3,000 ends to weave in. Lovely!

But for once I dicided to see a project through. The pressure is on, since my friends keep showering me with their sock yarn scraps and leftovers, which I am forever thankful for. So there is a plan. If I knit a square a day, by the end of the next year – that is the year of 2013 – I will be finished. So far this year, I’ve been able to stick to the plan and the blanket is growing every day. But it sucks all the energy and knitting mojo out of me. Oh, well. When the time is right, I will be cranking those knitting pojects out like a mad woman again. For now, I’ll stick to a square a day.

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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized



moxie by kpetra
moxie, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

When I saw this colorway for the first time I was sure to skip it. Then my girls got involved and begged for it. Since I don’t need much persuasion to get more fiber I gave in.

My original plan was to spin it into fingering weight and knit two pairs of socks, or alternatively make some kind of leg warmers (imitate knee high socks without the foot part since my girl’s feet keep growing like crazy. )

Well, planning is good, but doesn’t always work. Over (very short) time, my spinning got so thin I was afraid my yarn would not be thick enough for socks. Yeah, wishful thinking in this case. I paid so much attention to spinning decently thick singles that I ended up with about worsted weight yarn.

Time to redo my plans. Legwarmers would still work, but might be too warm to wear in school all day long. Soooooo, since winter made its comeback today (it’s snowing and snowing on April 23), I am in mood for some mittens. I am thinking flip tops. That should make the girls excited enough to forget my failed promise of socks.


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Spring is here, I am still thinking winter

I see signs of spring everywhere. On Monday I saw a robin, today red-winged blackbirds. Cardinals are happily singing away. Sun is shining. Thermometer touched 50F and is still climbing.

Having lived in Buffalo for a while, I don’t get fooled that easily, though. Every year, robins come ahead of spring and then jump around dumbfounded as they try to find food under snow few days later. I am still thinking winter, snow, cold. Not having much of a winter this year only proves my case.

My husband is an avid photographer. Unlike me, he doesn’t mind getting out in the wee hours, standing in cold and waiting for the perfect light and perfect everything to take a perfect picture. I decided he really deserved decent mittens to keep him warm. I found pattern for flip-top gloves in Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

It’s a basic pattern for gloves with a flip-top. The pattern recommends US2 needles and worsted weight yarn. With US2 needles there’s no way to get the gauge I needed. The body of the mitten is twined knit, without actually crossing the yarn in the back. In fact, it’s basic colorwork, using both ends of the yarn ball.

I had worsted weight handspun targhee in Flannel colorway. To stretch is further, I decided to use it along with black Patons Classic Wool.

I had to make several adjustments for the mittens to fit. First of all, I omitted the fingers. They were way too bulky and uncomfortable. I knit the ribbing on US2 using only the handspun. For the body of the mitten I switched to US4 and used both the handspun and the black, with the handspun being carried below the black (when doing color work, the lower floats yarn becomes visually dominant compared to the one that is carried above).

For the flip top I tried to follow the pattern directions. But it asked for the same number of stitches as were in the mitten. There is some bulk to the mittens, due to the worsted weight yarn and twining. Flip top of the same size as the mitten squeezes the fingers and makes the whole mitten very uncomfortable. Instead of fiddling with different number of stitches I decided to go up in needle size. The flip top was cast on US2 needles, then I knitted 2 rows in rib and stockinette, increased 2 stitches and switched to US6 needles.

After several false starts and much of frustration, the mittens of doom are finished. They have been field tested  and approved of. Our friend (another avid photographer) admiringly hinted that he might like a pair like that as well.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Is there anybody out there?!

After much deliberation, I decided to embrace the new century (late, as usual) and start my own blog. What gives me the right? Nothing, really. Maybe my stubbornness. To be perfectly honest, I did not even update my Ravelry in the past year. Only time should show if this blog will thrive.

A word of caution for you non-crafters. This blog should follow my explorations of craftiness, creativity and making, most of which include fiber (think wool, not food) in each and every form. If that’s not your cup of tea, run. Run as fast as you can.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Art of Knitting


yeah right.