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Some little Purl Bee baby knits for an old friend that recently had her second child. This is the garter stitch baby hat and the baby socks from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Purl Bee has the best patterns for babies. Simple, gender neutral, soft, adorable, tiny. They are my go to source and I tend to knit every new baby I know a version of this hat and these socks.

Knit up using odds and ends of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the whiskers colorway, and Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine in flan. Some Malabrigo Merino Worsted in ravelry red for the tassel on top. This project was a complete stash buster–my favorite!

See my project notes here.

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Back in 2013, I bought several skeins of Quince and Co. lark for their Striped Hat pattern. For some reason, they went in one of my stash bins to languish for four years.

I have no idea why this project got away from me for so long. Usually, in these cases, I rediscover the yarn years later, cannot for the life of me remember what I purchased it for, and repurpose the skeins into something else.

This pattern must have really stuck out in my mind because I rediscovered the yarn the other night and immediately dug out the pattern I had already purchased. This hat knits up so fast and the fit is like a dream. I love the rolled, turned in brim and its interesting construction.

My only modification was to do one less of the final row 1 -7 repeats. I thought the hat would be too tall if I didn’t make the slight adjustment. The height is perfect with the modification and it’s the only one I’ve been wearing since I completed it last weekend.

The pattern uses four skeins of Quince and Co. lark; I used the same color ways as the pattern called for: honey, frank’s plum, and gingerbread. I had mere yards of the main color (honey) left over because I didn’t complete all the pattern repeats, which means I have enough leftover to make another hat.

Read my project notes here. Expect to see a whole bunch more of these hats in my winter making this year; the color combinations are endless.

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Recently, I found myself trying something new: punch needle rug hooking. It’s pretty amazing. After a few small, freeform rugs about 2 inches by 2 inches, I decided to dive into this much bigger 18 inch circular design.

I could envision this being the covering for a cool, round stool, or something similar. But in actuality, this will likely just be another practice piece. With the holidays coming, I have an idea for some cool hooked rug pillows to gift.

This piece is worked up on monk’s cloth using a bulky weight yarn and a Amy Oxford punch needle #10. You can purchase these incredible punch needles here–but be prepared to wait. Apparently the rug hooking craze is here and Oxford punch needles are in high demand.

What new makes have you tried?

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My modified Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier is finished and it fits like a dream. I’m really pleased with the finished product and feel like this will be one of the well worn additions to my wardrobe.

Here’s how I did it: I love the neckline of this pattern, so I used it as a base for my yoke. My stripes are approximately 2.25 inches wide between every color change and I decided on a split hem 2×2 rib at the bottom for a more relaxed fit. This garment is knit in the m1 size and has at least 7 inches of positive ease in the body.

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Knit up using perennial favorite Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the fossil and cast iron color ways, this neutrals sweater is a perfect fit for my sweater wardrobe. I definitely will use this pattern again in the future as a good top down modifier–the yoke takes on a square like quality because of the short row shaping at the neckline for a higher back (great for fit!).

Here are my project notes. Should I make one in a solid gray with pockets on front?

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I am closing in on the finish line of the body of my Ramona Light cardigan, knit up in Quince and Co. chickadee in the honey colorway. The drape of this sport weight yarn is beautiful–light and luxurious.

The yoke went really quickly but the body has languished on the needles nearly finished. I’ve decided I need to pick this back up and finish it before I start any new garments, so that I don’t have a backlog of items on the needles. This has been a big goal of mine through my knitting journey–I used to have many projects going at once, and now I have a maximum of 2. This has helped me to actually finish things and appreciate working from my stash in a more intentional way.

What other sweaters should I add to my list this winter? I’d like to try something really challenging—a cabled cardigan perhaps.

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I finished my Merrifield Sweater by Pam Allen back in May, and today is the first time I’m actually wearing it out in the world (to my job). I’m loving the fit, which is unusual for me–usually, I never wear my hand knit sweaters because the sleeves are too long, or too short, or the body is too long, or the yoke feels like it doesn’t sit so nice.

This one, this one feels like a dream. I’m glad I knit it in one of the smallest sizes, because ultimately I think my frame is more petite than I feel in my mind.

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This was knit up using Quince and Co. kestrel yarn (linen) in urchin and is a perfect sweater for this weird October weather we are having–chilly mornings, mid 70s afternoons.

See my project notes here.

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I decided I wanted to make myself a basic charcoal and white striped sweater. I’ve made a version of the Tea and Jam and Bread sweater before, loved the fit but ultimately gifted it to my mum, and decided I wanted a version for myself.

The thing I love about this sweater is it can be manipulated easily. While the original calls for two larger stripes in different colors and front pockets, I’ve seen a million different versions of this one: from solid and no pockets to mini stripes and beyond. And so, since I knew I loved its shape and fit, I decided to use it as the basis for this new sweater.

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I’m nearly to the finish line on the body in under a week. My stripes are approximately 2.25 inches or 13 rows in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter with size 7 needles. I love the neck shaping on this sweater, as well. If you aren’t a fan of short rows, this may not be the pattern for you–but believe me, they are worth it in the overall fit of the sweater.

Of course, I’m using one of my favorite yarns: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. The colors are cast iron and fossil.

Finished product soon.

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Man! This dish! A new one I tried twice this late summer and definitely one to go in my regular rotation mostly because zucchini are plentiful and you can get them any season and not notice a lesser quality like tomatoes, for example.

This pasta recipe using a combiation of bucatini and zoodles (that’s zucchini noodles); I invested some years back in a spiralizer, and I love it. I often use it to make other kinds of veggie noodles–like beet strings for a warm salad or curly fries for a dish with mussels. They are an affordable and easy to use investment.

What I like most about this recipe is the combination–not losing that pasta, but getting another texture with the zoodles, which simmer in a sauce of saffron and cream. This recipe gets an extra kick, as well, from some crispy pancetta, which you brown up in the pan prior to cooking the sauce and zoodles, and adds a crunchy bit on top at the end (and some much needed fat and salt). Sprinkle with parm and you have a brilliant, and fast, weeknight dinner.

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I love making these bottle openers for wedding gifts. They are really perfect–something most people need, but also not on a registry and unique to me. You aren’t getting more than one peyote beaded bottle opener at your shower, are you?

I completed this matte bead one back in early August, as a gift to a former colleague and friend who had been married in recent weeks. I never did get final snaps of the finished product, but I think she was pleased with the gift and I hope she and her husband have popped a few cool ones with it.

I really love mixing it up–sometimes making matte bead ones and other times all shiny, metallic beads like this one I made the previous summer for another friend getting married.

What are your go to small, handmade gifts?

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I worked pretty feverishly on this cross stitch back in August. And for some reason, I lost steam. This little chart of different kinds of coffee drinks and the components that make them will eventually be art for my kitchen. Or I’ll gift it off to a friend.

Consider this a push to finish this project.

What projects do you have languishing?