Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dior "Rouge Red 999"

So I normally don't buy into the "pay $28 for a nail polish" thing, but this little gem came as a part of a gift set from Nordstrom for a steal, with the matching lip stick, lip gloss, and lip balm! Of COURSE I had to get it! This is just the most perfect red. There is no hint of any other color it applies like a dream, a gorgeous red cream that is opaque in one coat but I used two just in case. I wore it for a week, and you can tell that it is actually growing out with no hint of wear. Only a few tips are minorly injured, a major feat when you use your hands as harshly as I do. Overall, this is a wonderful product. If they ever release another shade I just "have to have," the wonderful formula of this one has convinced me that is may be worth the price. This is a true red, no hint of any other color. Amazing. A++. 

The little gift case! Ignore the water marks... 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Roll-brim mania and spiral hats

So I was super inspired by a Spiral Hat by Darn. Knit. , and I just had to see if I could change it into a pattern for straight needles. It looked a lot like the Turkish Rib II (right slant) from my big book of stitches (see here for Amazon link). As this pattern is widely published on the internet, I don't feel bad about publishing my interpretation of this hat here! For an AMAZING video tutorial of this stitch, see New Stitch A Day.

For this hat I used Impeccable yarn in Folklore and Cherry.

Size 9 straight needles

Cast on 80
Work in K2, P2 rib for 6 rows
Knit 1 row
Work in following pattern until hat measures ~7 inches:
Row 1: P1, *p2tog, yo, repeat to last stitch, p1
Row 2: K1, *yo, k2tog, repeat to last stitch k1.

Repeat ad infinitum.

To decrease:
k2 tog for a row
purl a row
k2 tog
repeat, until 10 stitches remain. Cut an 18" tail, thread onto a big needle, and run it through the loops on the needles. Pull tight, sew down the seam being careful to keep the edges matched as the slant makes it tricky.


I've also been knitting my silly little hands off with the following roll-brim hats for my local Chemo Caps society - how adorable are these?!

This is just so bright and cheery! Love!! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby foxes!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, ALL of my girlfriends are pregnant. One of my very best friends is having a little boy, and the theme of the nursery (and baby's middle name!) is Fox! How stinkin' adorable. Anyway, I've been knitting up hats and blankets for him like a crazy person, and I came across this baby fox hat pattern. OMG. I can't event describe how cute. I needed to make this, stat! 

The front! 
I combined two different patterns, sort of. I started with size 8 needles and Red Heart Soft yarn in Black and Tangerine, and Impeccable yarn in Aran. I didn't even know Red Heart made super-soft yarn! I'm a big fan of Red Heart, mostly because it's cheap and when I screw things up I don't feel bad about tossing it, but for baby hats and chemo caps I really want something super duper soft, which traditional Red Heart is not. 

Size 8 needles
Cast on 56 stitches
Work in *K2,P2 for 6 rows, then stockinette until it reaches ~5 inches in length. Decrease as follows (and as written in the previous baby hat post):
1. *K6, k2tog, repeat
2. Purl
3. *K5, k2tog, repeat
4. Purl
5. *K4, k2tog, repeat
6. Purl
7. *K3, k2tog, repeat
8. Purl
9. *K2, k2tog, repeat
10. Purl
11. *K1, k2tog, repeat
12. Purl
13. *K1, k2tog, repeat

Cut a long (~18") tail, put a big needle on the end and slip it back through the stitches on your knitting needle, draw tight, sew down the seam, and you're done!
The back!
Now the fun part - the EARS! 

You have two options here. You can use this link for your ears, or this one. I used the second, which was sized-down by another Ravelry user for babies here -> Check THIS one out! I used his pattern exactly for the ears, so I won't repost the pattern here. But seriously, you should check it out. 

Modeled by a baby pumpkin :)

Foray into crochet!

Cute little yellow flower! 

So I am NOT a crochet-er by nature. I like knitting - nice straight lines (mostly), predictable rows. Crocheting is just so ... free. I think it was made for people more artsy than me. :) Regardless, it comes in really handy sometimes, like adding a border to a baby blanket - or adding a flower decoration to a new roll-brim hat! I'm really making like a hat a day at this point. So quick and so rewarding, and using up my stash so nicely!
Naked hat! Eek!

This was a basic roll-brim hat, see back a few posts for a pattern. This was actually made on size 8 needles as the yarn was a bit finer - Bernat Baby Coordinates. It may be a little hard to tell on the photo but it is this nice light gray with a strand of white. And it's super soft! 

For the flower, I used this tutorial from Scrapbooks and Cards Today. It is SUPER basic. I will probably branch out to more exotic flowers and things eventually, but for my level of crochet skill it was perfect. I highly recommend this site! It took maybe 15 minutes, start to finish. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby roll-brim knit hat

Alternate 2 rows blue with 2 rows white

Here is the pattern for the baby version of the classic roll-brim hat. It's pretty much the same as the adult, but smaller. :) Takes about 3 hours start to finish - not bad!

You'll need: 
Size 8 needles, preferably long ones
Baby yarn (I'm currently using Bernat Baby and I've used the Caron Super Soft and they are awesome!) 

Cast on 56 stitches
Work in stockinette (knit a row, purl a row) until piece measures about 4 1/2 to 5 inches, depending on size of baby. 
Decrease as follows:

Modeled by a pumpkin :)
1. *K6, k2tog, repeat to end
2. Purl
3. *K5, k2tog, repeat
4. Purl
5. *K4, k2tog, repeat
6. Purl
7. *K3, k2tog, repeat
8. Purl
9. *K2, k2tog, repeat
10. Purl
11. *K1, k2tog, repeat
12. Purl
13. *K1, k2tog, repeat

Cut your yarn long (~18 inches) and thread it through a needle. Then slip the needle back through the loops still on your knitting needle, draw tight, sew down your seam, and voila! Baby hat! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Maybelline "Downtown Brown"

So after blogging about my "Shades of Charleston," I HAD to get this shade. A lovely medium muddy brown with blue/teal duochrome properties, this color reminds me SO much of the harbor. In real life the blue is only appreciated on close inspection; otherwise it looks like a nice shimmery brown. The formula is very watery and I needed two coats for decent color coverage. I've gotten spoiled by Essie and OPI lately; this drug store brand was much less pleasant to work with, but not impossible. I'd give it an A-.

You can really see the blue duochrome here

Apology and new beginnings!

So I've been absent for a while for many reasons- life changes being the most important. However, I've also become pretty happy with the 50+ nail shades that I own and will probably not be adding to the nail blog as much as before. Besides, I'm currently wearing Essie 'Chinchilly' and I doubt I'll wear anything else all winter. So fun!

I've decided to make this blog more of a hobbies blog, whatever strikes my mood at the time. Whether it be cooking, baking (especially now that it's near the holidays!!) or knitting. I'm going to start with knitting!

I taught myself to knit in college. Not sure why, but I did. Since then I've literally made dozen of blankets, scarves, hats, etc. I don't like the pieces that require lots of attention - like socks, sweaters, anything shaped. I like big block things that I can work on while watching TV and not worry about mis-counting my stitches.

Recently I was cleaning the house and came across my (not-insignificant) yarn stash. Since I've got some more free time on my hands these days, and because it's chilly!!, I decided to start making hats. I plan on giving them to the local society for chemotherapy patients, and use up my yarn stash at the same time. Its a win-win scenario!

Also, I hate knitting in the round. And dpns. They are the devil. I'll post pictures of the hats I've made PLUS instructions for making them on STRAIGHT needles, if you like.

I'm starting with a simple roll-brim hat. Each one takes me a few hours, maybe 5-6. One seam, easy-peasy!

Use any yarn you like that's a light to medium, based on this website (or a '3' to '4', something like worsted weight or DK weight). Here is the pattern I quasi-made up, and quasi-borrowed from the million standard rolled-brim patterns online. Here is mine. :)

Size 9 needles, cast on 81 stitches

Work in stockinette pattern (knit a row, purl a row) until piece measures approximately 7 inches in length. Decrease as follows to obtain stellate crown:

1. *K8, k2tog, repeat to end
2. Purl
3. *K7, k2tog, repeat to end
4. Purl
5. *K6, k2tog, repeat to end
6. Purl
7. *K5, k2tog, repeat to end
8. Purl
9. *K4, k2tog, repeat to end
10. Purl
11. *K3, k2tog, repeat to end
12. Purl
13. *K2, k2tog, repeat to end
14. Purl
15. *K1, k2tog, repeat to end
16. Purl
17. *K1, k2tog, repeat to end
18. You should have ~10 stitches left (I forget exactly how many) - cut the end of your yarn leaving ~18 inches. Using a needle, threat remaining stitches onto the tail and draw tight. Sew seam with hat inverted to leave a neater seam. Tie tail to the cast-on yarn, snip the ends, and you're all done!

Placed over a handy jar. :)