color dipped hat

Pretty much the moment I saw this hat from Purl Soho, I wanted to make it. I even knit a too-small version up in worsted-weight yarn. It was okay but something about the larger gauge and the colors I chose made it pretty meh. So when I was at Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago, I scouted the yarn a little with the hat in mind. Apple Yarns, from Washington, was selling Cedar House Yarns, which I’d never seen before. They were selling small skeins as well as full-size, and it seemed perfect to get a pairing that way.

pepperknit | color dipped hat

I cast on and started on the flight home from Chicago on size 2s, which I had handy. Within a few rows I knew they were too big. Ultimately I ended up on 1s, which gave me a nice-looking gauge. I knit the adult woman size. Within a few rows I’d dropped a stitch—slippery yarn on metal needles, lots of stitches jammed together… I had to frog back several rows to fix it. This happened again a few rows later. And then again at least one more time before I finished the darn thing! Dropping a stitch in fisherman’s rib/brioche is an ordeal, let me tell you. I just could never figure out how to ladder it back up correctly.

But I persevered, and ended up with a squishy, super-warm hat! 

pepperknit | color dipped hat

pepperknit | color dipped hat

pepperknit | color dipped hat

I can wear it basically 4 ways, though I only shot it in 3 versions. I can wear it uncuffed with either side showing: the dominantly gray or the dominantly blue edge. Or I can cuff it up as more of a toque, again with either side of the cuff out. I managed to weave in the ends and clip them so tightly to the work that I don’t think they’re poking out anywhere (at least I can’t see them).

I look forward to the weather really getting cold, because this hat is so very warm! So far the fall had been incredibly mild (50s), so I don’t really need this one yet. But soon, I’ll be ready!

macro mitts for emily

I knit my first pair of Macro Mitts by Lauren Osborne years ago, and they are my most-worn mittens every winter. Every time my friend Emily saw them, she’d make it very clear how much she wanted her own pair. It’s not as if she couldn’t just knit them herself, but I’d always said that I would make her a pair, though I never got around to it.

But just a week ago, Emily announced she’s moving across the country, from Queens to San Diego. And even though she will have limited times to wear them in San Diego, I knew I had to knit her a pair as a going away present. Of course, we were having dinner on Saturday night and I had this brilliant idea Friday afternoon. But we had nothing but a marathon of Justified Season 4 on the docket so I managed it!

macro mitts | pepperknit

I even knit all 4 Latvian Braids. (I omitted the top ones on my own pair, because I detest knitting those braids!) If that doesn’t show how important this gift was, I don’t know what does.

wee envelope for william

wee envelope | pepperknit

Another cousin is expecting a baby! This time, I decided I’d do something other than the basic Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover that I like so much. But when you research baby sweaters on Ravelry they’re just all so much the same. I favorited several but ultimately I chose Ysolda’s Wee Envelope precisely because it’s completely different from all the others.

For this you start with one sleeve, work across the front yoke, then knit the back yoke, then the other sleeve. At the end you pick up stitches and work the body. It just seemed so much more interesting to knit. I had a decent amount of Malabrigo Arroyo from my Spinster Slouch leftover, and I was able to get close to gauge and a nice fabric on size 6 needles. (I swear I’m not a tight knitter, despite the drastic difference in needle size from the pattern!) I debated what size to knit, since the little one is due in November—and he’ll live in Georgia—so I had to match up my best guess on the kid’s size (his parents are both very tall) with what the weather will be like plus how warm this sweater would actually be . . . so I knit the 3-6 month size. It looks impossibly tiny to me, but I don’t know babies, so I figure he’ll fit into it at some time.

wee envelope | pepperknit

As I’d hoped, this was an interesting knit. It’s not mindless like the Placket Neck would be, and there was some weirdness (you need to pick up across the front yoke, but there’s an I-cord edge there! How do you pick up for that?! The blog post to explain doesn’t address this at all, so I just fudged it, which I have to remind myself is totally the point of being the boss of your knitting), but there were nice long stretches where you didn’t have to think at all. I suspected I wasn’t really going to want/need 2 buttons on each side  (I basically hate dealing with buttons) but since I didn’t know the pattern—and there’s no actual schematic included—I just followed the directions rather than try to make modifications on the fly. In the end, though, the whole thing seemed so small that I just seamed the buttonholes shut. I am not sure that the parents would’ve even noticed the holes, but just in case, I made them go away. If I made the sweater in a bigger size I might include them, but future wee Wee Envelopes are more than likely going to be buttonless from me.

This definitely won’t be the last Wee Envelope I make: cute, fast (knit it in just 2 days), and the pattern includes a huge range of sizes. Yay for a new go-to pattern!

dog days of summer

pepperknit | purl soho pub

Earlier this summer, I had a series of garment sewing disasters (that serger came out of nowhere!), so I decided I needed a satisfying sewing win. Dogs are known for their healing properties, right?

pepperknit | purl soho pub

I’m lucky this came together decently well because it honestly wasn’t the easiest! Getting all the ares with three seams properly aligned was somewhat tricky, but in the end I have the cutest little pup! I used the Purl Soho Pup pattern (free if you subscribe to their newsletter—look at the top of the page), truncating the wiener dog’s length by arbitrarily taking out a few inches in the middle of the pattern pieces.

pepperknit | purl soho pub

For the main fabric I used a gray flannel that I once used as a baby quilt back, and for the accents a fun quilting cotton. She enjoys walks, feeling the breeze in her ears, and generally staying quiet!

pepperknit | purl soho pub

“beach ball” for Jack

Though I knit baby Jack a sweater, since I was getting to meet my first cousin once removed (I’m pretty sure that’s our relation—he’s my cousin’s son) at Beach Week, I had to make him something, right? The little stinker (on the verge of walking unassisted!) just turned one, and he took to the ball immediately. Success!

pepperknit | purl bee fabric beach ball

In fact, during a naptime session on the beach I watched him in the Pack-n-Play struggling with his FOMO but also distracted by his new best toy: he hugged, pet, and babbled to the ball. I dared not take a photo lest I distract him from napping, which was what he was supposed to be doing. But rest assured it was heart-burstingly cute.

pepperknit | purl bee fabric beach ball

The crab fabric was bought at Makers’ Mercantile when I visited in March. I knew I’d use it to make Jack-Jack something, but I wasn’t sure what until I spied the Purl Bee Fabric Ball pattern. I made the medium size, which was perfect for his little arms to wrap around. All the solids are Kona cotton, and I just used heat n bond to affix the red circles—I meant to stitch them down a little but didn’t, and that was probably a mistake. I’ll know for the future. Also I used the cardboard-and-foil trick for making the circles, with middling success. It’s still pretty hinky. But it works!

pepperknit | purl bee fabric ball