Broken computer + FOs

You know those days where it feels like nothing goes according to plan? I’ve had a string of days like that for the past couple months. After my last post, I got to work on some blog-related things that I had pushed to the side, and I was really excited to start blogging regularly again. However, the universe decided to give me and my enthusiasm a swift kick in the ribs in the form of my PC failing. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to stay on for longer than a few seconds; not even enough time to get to the BIOS menu!

Fortunately, I’ve since figured out what was wrong and fixed it. After waiting over a month on a warranty claim for the wrong part. And replacing another part that wasn’t broken. And then finding out it was a part that I had a replacement for all along. Computers are complicated… (Turned out the pump in my water cooler failed, by the way.)

The good news is I’m back and hoping to catch up with my blog, assuming everything plays out as planned. (Cautiously optimistic…)

With that said, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been working on these past couple months. Firstly, I’ve been writing a new pattern and prepping one for posting that I wrote ages ago. I won’t reveal what they are just yet, but I’m very excited to finally share them.

I’ve also been practicing handspinning with my DIY drop spindle. My first time spinning was a blobby mess, which disheartened me a little. I ended up shoving my spindle and roving into the back of my closet and forgetting about it for a few months. I pulled it out again a couple weeks ago, determined to make some progress. I’m now able to spin rather fine singles that I’m going to be plying into a finished yarn. Hoping to have a post out about that soon!

Last but not least, I have some FOs to share! Excuse the bad quality of these pictures. I had to use my phone to take them before gifting since I couldn’t use my PC to get the pictures off my Canon.

20170501_174308-01 Years and years ago, I bought a crochet water bottle cozy from a lady at a local craft festival. My dad has said ever since that he wished he had one, so I went ahead and made one for him!

This pattern is simply called Water Bottle Cozy, and it’s free on Ravelry. The original pattern had a pretty small strap on it, so I altered it just a bit so that it was longer to accommodate my dad’s larger build and wider so that it wouldn’t stretch out of shape like my old one did.

I just used plain ol’ Red Heart (in Light Sage) for this, as I had a ton of it just sitting in my stash. I don’t know where it came from, but I had like 3 skeins worth of it… Yup.

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And I finally worked up a crochet version of the famous Jayne Cobb hat! This one was for my dad for Father’s Day. I’ve wanted to knit myself one of these for ages and ages though! I opted for the crochet version because I started it at the last minute and needed something that would work up fast. I’m definitely going to get some yarn in the correct colors and properly knit one up for me. I need one.

I found this Jayne Cobb Hat crochet pattern for free on Ravelry. The lady who wrote it also has a knitted pattern available. I made this one using Red Heart again (Light Sage and Cafe, I think?) and decided to use the green and brown because my dad told me he prefers earthy colors.

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This last one, I’ve made once before for someone else. I finally got around to making one for me, just in time for me to read Harry Potter again.

I actually made two in an effort to use up the last of that awful cro-sheen yarn I bought just for this project. I gifted the second one, but haven’t yet heard how the recipient liked it.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry for free. I used one ball each of J&P Coats Metallic Knit-Cro-Sheen in white/silver and gold/gold. It’s difficult to spot in the pictures, but there’s a strand of metallic stuff twisted with the yarn. It gives it a really cool look, but that stuff was a nightmare to crochet with. I kept splitting the metallic part from the yarn by accident or unwinding it somehow. Ugh.

I have a couple WIPs I’m working on right now, but I’m going to wait until next time to share those~

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Top 10 (free) knitting patterns

I find myself spending a lot of time on Ravelry. More often than not, I’m just browsing to see what I can find rather than looking for something specific. My library is swollen to ridiculous proportions with all of the cool patterns that I’ve found, so I thought it would be fun to post the ones that I’m most excited about trying. Maybe y’all will like some of them too.

(NOTE: None of these are my patterns. Also, I haven’t made any of these before. These are kind of my goal projects. I will know I’m a knitting master when I’ve made them all. XD )

  1. The Legend of Baby Link
    I am a huge Legend of Zelda fan so when I found this knitted Link outfit, I knew that I had to make it. I still haven’t tried it yet, but maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Or I could just wait until I have a baby. That’s probably a better idea.
  2. Hobbit Dress
    I honestly don’t know why this pattern is named this. It’s more of a fantasy-like coat or cloak than a dress? Regardless, it’s a really cool pattern! I saw a similar style jacket at the renaissance fair last year, except it was leather. (So it was waaaaay expensive!) I was so happy when I found this knitted alternative. And the corset-style lacing is pretty too~
  3. Link’s Gauntlets
    Another Legend of Zelda item! These are knitted versions of Link’s gauntlets, complete with the Triforce on the back of the hand. I really wanted to make an entirely crocheted Link cosplay, but I’ve decided to just whip up a regular costume with my sewing machine. I definitely want to use the knitted gauntlets though.
    (NOTE: For the hook-lovers, there’s also a crochet version! Thought I’d post it here instead of including it in the upcoming “top 10 crochet patterns” post.)
  4. Hermione’s Everyday Socks
    I’ve already talked about these patterns before, but I couldn’t help linking them here anyway. The woman who writes these patterns made a whole series of Harry Potter themed socks, and they’re so beautiful. One of my other favorite is the Weasley Homestead set.
  5. Reyna
    I wasn’t a shawl person at all before. I didn’t think that they were stylish and could be worn anyway that looks decent on me. Wrong again! I love the way they drape when wrapped scarf-like around the neck and shoulders. This pattern is actually one of the ones that changed my mind about shawls.
  6. Cunning Jayne Hat
    I’ve said before that I’m a huge nerd, and what nerd doesn’t doesn’t love a good sci-fi series. Even though Firefly was short-lived, it’s by far one of my most favorite shows. So of course when I learned how to knit, one of the first things I looked for was Jayne’s hat! I’m going to try knitting a basic hat first to make sure I understand how to do it, then I’ll work on this baby! It’ll be shiny!
  7. Eiku
    Another beautiful shawl. I love the lace work, and the alternating stockinette/garter stitch rows. So pretty~
  8. Jamestown
    I’ve already decided that if I ever get around to making a sweater, this is the one! I love the texture of the stitching, and the larger fit is great too. I like to wear things that are a couple sizes too big for me because I like to wear leggings as pants and larger items will cover my booty. (People who say that leggings aren’t pants are probably the same people who picked Bulbasaur as a starter Pokemon. :P)
  9. Sagebrush
    I love shrugs! They’re cute and quirky looking, and they add a bit of interest to what might otherwise be a plain t-shirt/tank top. The only problem is that I’ve never been able to find one that fit me properly. Hands down the best thing about knitting my own things is that I can make them special for me. I can finally have the perfect shrug!
  10. Nurmilintu
    I know that this will be the third shawl that I’ve posted here, but it really deserves the attention. I really love the shape of this one, the way it tapers from one side to the other. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that it has a rounded shape? The stitching along the edge is beautiful too. When I get around to making a shawl, I think that this will be my first one.

Well, those are my picks for my top 10 favorite knitting patterns to date. I might revisit this idea again when I discover some other patterns. I tend to stockpile them in my Ravelry library so I’m sure I’ll come up with others eventually.

Do you have a pattern or two that you just adore? Or maybe that one project that you feel will mark your ascent into knitting mastery? Let me know in the comments! 😀