Knits

Rainbow Mile Cowl | free pattern

Rainbow mile cowl

Pattern: Royal Mile Cowl – free download on Ravelry
Yarn: King Cole Riot Chunky

Its just getting to the time of year in Wellington where you need to start thinking about layering up, and this cowl is just perfect for that.  I find myself wearing more neutral colours through the cooler months of the year (ok, who am I kidding? I wear neutral tones all months of the year!) and this adds a nice pop to a basic outfit. Cowls are a really easy accessory to wear, because there’s no ends to tuck away, and no worries about it coming undone!

Rainbow Mile Cowl

Check out the gorgeous colours!  Its chunky, its squishy, and its suuuuper soft.

I bought the yarn from a little store I found on a trip away after my wedding, and rediscovered it when I was tidying up my stash – so of course I had to cast it on straight away.  I used the pattern just as a base, casting on 116 stitches for an in-between size, and just kept knitting until my yarn ran out!  I got through 7 pattern repeats and only 3 rows of ribbing at the end, but I’m really happy with the finished size.

Rainbow cowl collage

According to Ravelry I got through it in 4 days, but I’m sure the next one would go faster.  A great one skein project for whatever chunky stash you have.  I’m thinking stripes for the next one…

What are your favourite cowl patterns?  Or are you a scarf person instead?

Happy knitting!

Knits

Fox tea cozy – FREE PATTERN

So my sister loves foxes.  And tea.  And presents!  As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to make it for her.

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

Pattern: Fox Tea Cozy, free on Gina Michele (not on Ravelry)

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

I wish I’d taken some notes on the pattern as I made it, but it was just an impromptu and super quick Saturday afternoon project.  From what I remember I used the same needle size as the pattern, but I increased the stitches in the pale section because my yarn was a slightly thinner  gauge.  Basically I just tried it on my tea pot as I went to make sure it would be the right size, which makes the pattern really easy to modify to whatever size teapot you have.

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

Obviously I need some practise on my embroidery skills for the eyes and nose, but I’m happy with my effort.

Fox Tea Cozy - FREE PATTERN

I’m pretty sure we’ll make this into a beanie one day, just by sewing up the sides!

Check out the other animal tea cozies here on The Whoot.  As always let me know what you think, and if you have any questions I’ll try and help you out.

Knits

Malana beach top {free pattern}

Malana beach top - FREE PATTERN

FREE PATTERNMalana Beach Top by Kelly Menzies at Let’s Knit magazine
Ravelry project notes
Yarn: Aurora by Bendigo Woollen Mills, Pecan colourway

I have a process when I get new yarn.  Straight away I trawl through Ravelry, put in the amount of yarn I have, and find what patterns I love that might work with it.  I never really look for anything in particular, I just save a bunch of favourites that look like they might work.  In this case, I’d just been doing a little birthday shopping at Bendigo Woollen Mills while I was in Melbourne in January, and couldn’t help planning for my next project.  I really have a thing for textures at the moment, so I was drawn to this drop stitch pattern – and the slightly slouchy fit looked great!  I cast on pretty much the day after I finished the grey cardigan I was working on (these days new yarn doesn’t hide for very long) and found the drop stitch pattern pretty easy to follow – although the idea of just letting stitches slip off went so against what I was used to that the first slip row took ages, because I was terrified I was doing it wrong!

Malana beach top - FREE PATTERN

The pattern was actually great, it was really easy to follow with lots of photos to compare to.  The construction is knit from the bottom up, then pick up stitches and knit the sleeves down. When I measured myself against their measurements I came out bigger than I expected, but I sized down in the  pattern because I didn’t want it to bee too slouchy.    I made the body longer than the pattern, because that’s just how I like them.  I also made the sleeves shorter because I don’t have super long arms – I wish I’d realised that was going to be the case, as I would have done a few more sleeve decreases earlier on.  When I tried it on after the first sleeve was done I noticed that the weight of the sleeve was pulling down the neckline more than I wanted, so I took that in another couple of inches on either side.

Malana beach top - FREE PATTERN

Overall the top is more on the slouchy side than I’d like… I could definitely have sized down again and been more than comfortable – I’ll learn about positive ease in knitting patterns one of these days!  The yarn is more of a rougher texture than other 100% wool I’ve used, and it may soften up when its washed (I’m worried that if I wash it, it will bloom even more and get bigger!  For now I’ll stick to steam blocking it) but the plaited ply made it super easy to work with, and the end result is still soft to wear.

Malana beach top - FREE PATTERN

We had to wait until a cooler day to take finished photos of it, because boy is it warm!  Those drop stitches keep the warmth in a lot more than you’d expect.  I can’t wait until things really  cool down so I can wear it with ponte leggings and boots.  I’d probably just wear a plain long sleeve top underneath to really show off the pattern.

Malana beach top - FREE PATTERN

Let me know what you think!  If you have any other styling tips for a top like this or other patterns using this stitch that I should know about, please share!

Knits

Finding your knitting mojo

So I had the yarn.  I found the pattern – the Malana beach top – and I cast on, all excited and ready to go. But by row 211 I was itching to cast on something new, because it seemed like this project would never end – please tell me I’m not the only one!  (As an aside, I often fool myself into thinking that projects on heavier yarn will take less time to knit, and that’s never really the case – goodness knows what I’ll be like when I eventually tackle socks!)

I realised I’d just gotten bored with it and couldn’t be bothered any more.  But then that little part of my brain was telling me how amazing it would be when it was finished!  Still, I just couldn’t get myself there, and I’d lost all enthusiasm to finish it – my mojo had gone completely.

Cringing at the thought of adding yet another WIP (work in progress) to my already-huge pile, there were a few things I tried to get me back on track – and they worked!

Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO!

Keep in mind, while these are knitting/craft project related, they may translate to other situations where you need to get that mojo back.

  • Go back to the joy

So there was a reason I chose to knit this particular pattern for myself – there had to be, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it!  For me it was the textures, the combination of squishy garter stitch and the drop stitch technique I’d never tried before.  I found that going back and having a look through all the FOs (finished objects) on Ravelry was inspiration to keep going to get to that end point.  Also, focusing on the completed picture in the pattern to see how it looked on the model (and assuming that maybe I would look that good once mine was finished – if only I had that hair!).  Go back to the beginning and fall in love with it all over again.

  • Change the situation

Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO! Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO! Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO!

Get up, go for a walk around the back yard, get some fresh air, get a drink of water. These little micro-breaks loosen up your muscles and re-focuses your brain.  I also moved around the house and knit in different places.  Usually I sit at my desk, then I moved to the couch, then sat out in the sun, then in my little dining room area which I find really calming.  Maybe the reason you’re losing motivation is because its all the same all the time.  You can’t change the pattern (well ok, sometimes you can…) but you can change other things.

  • Surround yourself with like-minded people

Take it to knit night!  You can talk about what part you’re up to, what modifications you’re making, anything about the project.  Unless you’re lucky and have a husband/partner that’s just dying to hear all about the progress you’re making, you’ll want to show it off to someone who will understand what you’re talking about and will be able to reignite your excitement!  If you’re like me and don’t have a knit night, try watching a knitting podcast.  I’ve recently become obsessed with The Grocery Girls, and I found that just watching them get excited about their yarn and showing off their WIPs was encouragement to get on with what I was making – and it was a bit of a distraction from rounds and rounds of garter stitch.

  • Try it on

Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO! Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO! Finding your knitting mojo - tips to turn your WIP into an FO!

Oh my word, I think this is what helped the most!  While I knit the body I’d hold it up to see how many more repeats I needed.  Then when I’d finished the front and back, I sewed the shoulders so I could actually try it on (and now I’m thinking I actually have to make that short sleeve version because it looks awesome)!  And then the sleeves!  It was so exciting to see it actually get closer and closer to being wearable.  It also meant that I got a good look at how the colour was looking on me, and I could figure out how it would fit in my wardrobe and what else I could wear it with.

  • Bonus tip – finishing touches as you go.

Might be common sense, but I was so glad I weaved in the ends at the end of each section so I didn’t have that dreaded task to do once the whole thing was finished!  That’s another thing that usually leads me to leaving it in the WIP pile, and its such a small thing.

I hope these tips help you out of your knitting rut!  If you have any other tips you want to add, or things you’d try differently for other situations, please share!

Uncategorized

21 Questions to get to know me

Who is Creative Teepee? 21 questions to get to know me

Thanks for stopping by!  I thought I’d kick things off with a few get to know you questions, inspired by Lifehack:

  1. Read on a Kindle or paperback book?  Definitely paperback, there’s something about the smell of a real book
  2. Go to the theater or a movie? Theatre
  3. Hike or bike? Bike – you get to the same place quicker, so you get to take more breaks!
  4. Wear jeans or chinos?  Jeans all the way
  5. Have a Margarita or Pina Colada?  Margarita, although Cosmo is my cocktail of choice
  6. Visit Europe or Mexico?  Europe – so much gorgeous architecture!
  7. Travel by plane, train, or automobile? Plane for the ability to get places, train for the scenery
  8. Enjoy a houseboat or speed boat?  Houseboat
  9. Have a night out or evening in? Evening in, I’m a real homebody
  10. Camp in an RV or stay in a tent?  RV, I’ve done a lot of tenting and I prefer the relative luxury of an RV!
  11. Swim in a pool or the ocean? Ocean – I wish I lived near a decent beach
  12. Travel by sailboat or cruise ship?  Oooo cruise ship, they’re so fun!
  13. Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?  My husband Andrew (cue cheesy “awwwww”!)
  14. If money was no object, what would you do all day? Knit! Open my own knitting store!
  15. Where do you most want to travel, but have never been? Italy
  16. What is your favourite memory? The night Andrew proposed (another cheesy “awww”…)
  17. Who is your favourite author?  James Patterson
  18. What has been your biggest challenge? Trying to stick to a budget
  19. If you were to create a piece of art, what would the subject be? Something landscape related
  20. What one thing would you change if you had to do it over? I would have gone to uni straight out of highschool instead of working
  21. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? 1920s! The music, the dresses, the architecture…

What would your answers be?  Want to try something fun – ask your partner or best friend what their answers are!