Checking My List Twice

I’m still plugging away at my Christmas knits. Ok, that’s a little bit of an understatement. I’m kind of frantically knitting every spare second, but a sick kid and a lot of snuggles on the couch mean I have a little more time than I originally thought — which only means I’m ADDING to my list instead of subtracting. Not smart, remember I said I surrendered? I lied. Sorry, it wasn’t intentional I just can’t help myself! So here’s the original list

  • An afghan
  • 3 pairs of fingerless mitts
  • 3 cowls and or caplets
  • 2 pillows
  • a poncho
  • 2 toddler vests
  • a baby sweater
  • a Christmas sweater for Brooklyn

Here’s the modified list

  • An afghan 2 afghans
  • 3 pairs of fingerless mitts
  • 3 cowls and or caplets 2 caplets
  • 2 pillows
  • a poncho
  • 2 toddler vests 1 toddler vest
  • a baby sweater
  • a toddler sweater
  • 2 tumbler cozies
  • a Christmas sweater for Brooklyn

Here’s what’s done!

2.5 pairs of fingerless mitts (only 1 mitt left to go!)
1 Toddler Vest
1 Toddler Sweater
1 Baby Sweater

My “plans” for tonight are to finish that last fingerless mitt, knit the two coffee cup cozies, make a batch of hardtack (recipe and definition to come as a separate post) and make a batch of caramel corn…. I use the word “plan” loosely because I’m sure it won’t all happen but I’ll start with great intentions!

Oh!  And I thought I was going to make a bunch of ornaments but I got one of them done and realized two things 1 – they’re more work than they look like they wold be. Although they’re very easy and rewarding they take just as much – if not more – time as a fingerless mitt. And second, they’re way too cool to give away so we can add 1 completed ornament to the finished list but I’m keeping this one for myself!

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The finished baby sweater is the Camilla Babe pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I made this one for myself  (adult size of course) and have plans to make another one for Brooklyn once Christmas is past. I was originally hoping to get one done by Christmas for her to wear but maybe New Years instead because it only took me 2 days to whip up this baby sweater! It’s a highly recommended knit! Done on a US size 7 and in Nice & Knit Worsted it goes quick, it’s super easy and oh-so-adorable!

They’re Back! Holiday Tags: Free Download

A few years back we posted a free download for holiday tags to go along with all of your handknit gifts. We’ve redone them and have a new download for you!  Print these off onto some nice thick card stock, cut them out, and then write your signature, care instructions, size information or pattern information on the back of the card and your gift is complete!

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DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

and enjoy!

Going Down Swinging

I may have surrendered my Christmas Knitting list but it doesn’t mean I’m not going down swinging, one project at a time!  The overachiever in me just can’t help but keep trying to accomplish as much as possible up until the very last minute!

Over the past few days I’ve been working on a sweet little sweater called The Sweetest Thing and it’ll be a Christmas gift for a little boy who I think just might be the sweetest thing!

 

Pattern availble on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sweetest-thing-cardigan
Project Page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/kararstanley/sweetest-thing-cardigan
Yarn: Nice & Knit Worsted in the Urchin Colorway
Needles: US size 7

A quick and easy knit, highly recommended for a beginner sweater knitter (say that 5x fast)!

Waving the White Flag

Ok! I surrender.  I have a really long list of Christmas Knitting and I’ve come to the realization is that it’s just not all going to happen!  I hate admitting that because I really, really love giving handmade knits as Christmas Gifts, but we only have 3.5 weeks left until Christmas and my list is too ambitious. I typically thrive under deadlines and sort of need them to complete a project, but for some reason this year they were freaking me out! I was hoping to finish:

  • An afghan
  • 3 pairs of fingerless mitts
  • 3 cowls and or caplets
  • 2 pillows
  • a poncho
  • 2 toddler vests
  • a baby sweater
  • a Christmas sweater for Brooklyn

Haha, you can say I’m a dreamer!  I’ll still do my best to finish the afghan (Girasole) and then pick off a few of those smaller/faster projects but I’m also going to start thinking about plan B for each. Maybe I’ll manage to make a ton of knitted birthday gifts for next year to make up for it!

Girasole grows…

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… And one pair of mitts is complete…

 

…and  I recently finished a really cute test knit that I can’ share yet but wanted to share just a really cool sneak peek.  So I HAVE been productive and I’m going to take that as my consolation for not finishing my original list.

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Knitted Sweater Boots, yes please.

I mean it really doesn’t get any cuter than these Uggs.  Like wearing my favorite sweater on my feet.  Like wearing a beautifully cabled afghan wrapped around your legs all day.  I would really like them.  So if anyone sees these little sweeties for say, 75% off somewhere please let me know! (or Kevin since Christmas is coming and he may have missed that.)

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Thankful

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This is the most wonderful time of the year.  Our Thanksgiving week was filled with happy thankful moments.  We enjoyed hosting Kevin’s family this year (28 people – lots of kids!)  I enjoy dreaming up different ways to decorate every year and it helps me get through the cleaning!  I tell myself that if I complete all my chores I can decorate/paint/create something.   This year I found a beautiful frame in my attic waiting for a purpose.  Kevin cut a piece of plywood for me and I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  A quick easy chalkboard.

While the paint was out I added this buffet to my painting list.  The buffet was my grandmothers and I wanted to bring it upstairs to use it for my dishes and flatware.

Before:

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After:

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The paint is amazing.  I know, I know, I’ve said it before.  No priming and sanding – just brush it on and its perfection.  I let the stain show through because I was going for the worn look.  I’m happy with the outcome!

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Guest Blog: A few of our favorite knitters – Featuring BetsyJo and Her Daughter Nora

bHi! I’m Betsy, Katie & Kara’s sister, and also one of their biggest fans. I’m wife to Paul and Mom to three pretty awesome kids. By day I’m a Cardiac nurse, by night, I knit. Constantly. I couldn’t be more excited to have an unending supply of amazing yarn from these two sisters of mine, and I love getting to test-knit for them when the opportunity comes up.

Just three years ago I was a non-knitter, a skeptic who would watch as my sisters quickly cranked out all sorts of lovely projects. I liked to tease them and act as if I had no time to pick up that kind of trivial hobby. I wasn’t all that interested until one snowy evening in Vermont, when boredom set in with a vengeance. We were on a Ryan family vacation; the kids were enjoying the indoor pool, and my sisters were knitting away, chattering away about their next pattern, with a plan visit to a LYS the next day. And I? I was sitting there, bored as could be, completely bewildered at their knitting jargon. LYS? What’s that?? I turned to my sister Colleen and asked her to teach me, right then and there. I haven’t been the same since. Now, I have to knit every day, even if it’s just a little bit, a few rows to both relax and make me feel productive.

Like my sisters, I had to share my hobby with someone I loved. So when my daughter Nora took an interest, I was thrilled. She’s a speedy little knitter, and recently came with me to the New England Fiber Festival to pick out a Nice and Knit Beanie Kit. She came away with Worsted Harpoon and a spiffy Vineyard pompom to match. The pattern was just right for her, simple and clear, with quick results for an 11-year-old attention span. Plus, it’s just stinking cute.

She has plans to knit up another one as a Christmas gift for her Dad, shown here in the Nutmeg color way she chose for him. (Shhhh, it’s a surprise.)

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Here’s a link to get your own skein of Nice and Knit Worsted, and download the pattern for free! Either make one for someone you love to keep them toasty this winter, or give it to your favorite knitter. They’ll thank ya’ for it, that’s for sure.


Editor’s Note:  What Betsy didn’t mention is that she’s a really awesome photographer and some of the photos you see here on Nice & Knit are courtesy of her amazing skills. Hop on over to her blog to check it out! http://betsyjoblog.com but carve out a little time because her talent not just for photography but her gift of words will totally suck you in.

That’s SO 2004!

We’re 10 years late to the Facebook party, but I have finally taken the few minutes it requires to get our Nice & Knit Facebook page going. Cutting edge, right?

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I’ve noticed myself more and more keeping up with blogs via my Facebook feed and since I appreciate getting blog updates in my own feed I thought, well maybe you would too. So “Like” our Facebook page to stay in touch and see what we have going on –  not just on the blog but on other social channels too and maybe even get some Facebook exclusive content…like giveaways and the one we have starting NOW.  Hop on over to our shiny new page and hit the “like” or “share” button to be entered to win one of our hat kits!  The kit includes 1 skein of Nice & Knit Worsted, a color coordinating pompom and printed copy of the Nice & Knit Beanie pattern.

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Namaste Needle Build Your Own

I want to share my current favorite needle case.  I think it is absolutely priceless.  Namaste Build Your Own Binder is amazing.  I have three different interchangeable sets, countless single circular needles, and an entire set of double pointed needles.  Previous to this binder, they could be found in drawers, under beds, in the car, an interchangeable cord could be found attached to Lego men even.  Every time I needed a 24″ cord I couldn’t find it or the correct needle to attach it to.  While at the Fiber Festival of New England I found this game changer.  After going on a needle hunt I was pleasantly surprised to find I have enough needles for a lifetime, and now they are so prettily displayed in their own binder insert organized by size and brand.

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I purchased two pocket inserts that hold the Addi Clicks, Knitters Pride, Knitters Pride Trendz Acrylic needles, and the Knitters Pride Double pointed needles.  I also purchased the mesh pocket insert for the cords, and notions.  The binder itself also has perfect zippered pockets for patterns & extras!

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I actually just open it up and turn the pages for fun sometimes.

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When paired with this little knitting tool bag I am a picture of organization (and a lot of you know, thats a feat.)

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Why so many needles?  Well, beside the obvious too many projects going at the same time, depending on my project my needle choice alters.  I have also found that my Knitters Pride can be easily snapped.  I leave my knitting on the couch, or floor and sometimes they are broken.  With three wild men, I should know better, but I have also stepped right on one or two and heard the sickening snap.  I do love the sharp tip on the wood needles and this keeps me going back for more.

Addis are pretty much indestructible and are good for me when my gauge is tight.  The Trendz Acrylics are new to me, look so fun,  but honestly I find them a little on the light side, but I have not used them enough to give them a fair assessment.  How about you?  What are your favorite needles?

Cast-on-itis

Cast-on-itis. It’s a real thing. Common symptoms include trolling Ravelry for hours picking out a half a dozen patterns you need to knit right away, scrambling to find the right needles, pulling old projects off said needles to cast on, wanting to do nothing but knit, daydreaming about your knitting project while doing chores, getting up at the crack of dawn to crank out a few rows, and the list goes on….and Katie and I are both suffering from this ‘ailment’.

Lately, we’ve been feeling pretty inspired by all of the beautiful projects we’ve seen and we’re so passionate about our own yarns that all we want to do is cast on new projects and knit them as fast as possible.

Right now I have 5 projects on my needles that are all calling (or shouting) my name. That doesn’t include the old unfinished projects stashed in a closet somewhere. No, these are all gorgeous knits that I’m still so in love with that I’m having a hard time deciding which one to pick up and knit when I have a few minutes.  I’m even representing most of our yarn weights. I have 2 projects cast on in DK, 2 in worsted and 1 in sport.

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In this pile of goodies you’ll find

- A test knit for byannieclaire
Girasole by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed
Fisherman’s Dream Pillow by Nice & Knit
Gale by Alicia Plummer
Berenice by Julie Hoover

In total we have a baby knit, a toddler knit, a blanket, a pillow and an adult knit on the needles with 2 deadlines before Thanksgiving and 3 by Christmas.  Now that’s variety!

This is Katie 

I have been knitting every spare minute as well, and I have a major case of cast-on-itis!  Believe it or not, I feel that I have had a lot of restraint.

Like Kara, I also have a test knit on the needles, I am working on Travelling Dress for Joji Locatelli.  (a designer that I admire greatly!)  I am so excited to be testing this dress for her!  I think that I may do a sweater length instead of a longer dress but I am still deciding on that!

Purl Bee bias blanket is still being worked on (Darren is somewhat patiently waiting for me to finish that for him)

I am working on Hello Winter still, and really do not have a long way to go on that!  A couple days of real dedicated knitting would have it about wrapped up!

I have a few pattens that I am truly itching to cast on so this pile may grow in the next few days ;)  I love the fall for this very reason,  the ideas keep flowing and my hands keep knitting.

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