Botanical Knits & Crafts, Quick Knits & Crafts

Leafy washcloths

Greetings. You’ll have to forgive the lack of posts over the summer, but teaching my first college class did not give me a lot of extra time for blogging. I did, however, finish some crafts! I’ll need to find someone to help my photograph some of the more wearable ones, but in the meantime, I give you three leaf washcloths:



It came to my attention earlier this summer that I only own three washcloths, and one of those was slowly disintegrating. As you can imagine, they were always dirty. The easy solution would be to buy  a new pack of washcloths at the store. The knitter’s solution, however, was to make some in a cool pattern.


If you’ve read other posts on this blog, you may have noticed I have a penchant for leaves. Last year I made a gray leaves shawlette scarf, a pair of peacock colored fern lace socks, and I even painted leaves on the square bowls I made in ceramics class. So of course, when I found a leaf shaped pattern for washcloths, it was my first choice.

This were a pretty easy knit—it required some attention, but I was able to watch a movie while making them once I got the hang of the pattern.  They curl a bit even after blocking—and I’m not sure why the orange leaf turned out larger than the rest! I used the same Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids & Denim yarn that I used for the washcloths, dish towels and pot holders that I made for Christmas gifts last year. I ordered a few balls since then because I was running low on some of the colors I liked, but I didn’t end up using them all.


As you’ll notice, the leaf washcloths look right at home in my bathroom, where I already have a leaf print shower curtain and leaves on the bathmat. Yay for serendipitous consistency!

The leftover cotton yarn from this and my earlier projects will probably going into the making of this yoga bag pattern, since I think it would be a great use of a bunch of odds and ends to make some colorful stripes. Hopefully that will be yet another quick knit.


Botanical Knits & Crafts

Gray autumn leaves: a shawlette scarf

I finished my other leaf-themed knitting project: Saroyan, the scarf-ish shawllette!I’m pleased with how this project came out. It’s somewhere between a tapered scarf and a shawl, which is great because I didn’t quite know what I wanted. I just wanted leaves.

My earlier hunch that light gray would be a good color for this pattern ended up being correct— the leaf edge stands out really well.

 The only modifications I made were adding two extra repeats in the middle section to make it a wee bit longer. I definitely made some small errors in a few places, but they’re not visible unless you are me so I will spare you the details.

These photos come from last weekend, when my friend and I took a walk around Village Homes, meandering among the scraggly late summer gardens and early fall fruit trees. It was a lovely autumn day.

My friend Sarah was nice enough to take a these photos of me wearing Saroyan. Which was awesome. (This must be what an actual photo shoot for a knitting magazine feels like).

As it turns out, all of her candid shots (when I did not think she was taking a photo) were way better than the ones where I was posing!  Well, except for this one I took, which I mainly include so you can see the leaf earrings I was wearing. That is all.




Botanical Knits & Crafts, Nerdy Knits & Crafts, Quick Knits & Crafts, Tweaks & Alterations

Olympics knitting: ferns, leaves, and a pirate mouse

I have been watching the 2012 London Summer Olympics most nights these past two weeks, and despite the annoyances of the NBC selective and delayed broadcasts, it’s been pretty riveting. It’s also been a good time to get a crap ton knitting done.

Some people do this officially—on Ravelry  there’s the “Ravellenic Games” group, knitters who start and finish complete projects during the Olympics. It has over 12,000 members. I do my knitting a lot more haphazardly and unofficially, but I do get some stitches done. Let me to show you.

Fern Lace Socks (50% done)


These were flying off my (admittedly tiny) needles in June and July. I’m using the Custom Toe Up Sock Generator from knitty because if there’s one thing I have learned about knitting, it’s this—when fit counts, use maths. Lots of maths. If you don’t want to do the calculations, there’s even a toe up sock pattern generator that will do it for you. All you have to do is input your foot measurements, needle size, and stitches per inch. The result of a customized pattern is a really well fit sock:

And yes, I know, I have ridiculously high arches—I have dancer feet. Anyway, the trouble with this pattern actually came when I tried to add a fern lace stitch to the top part. After about five attempts I realized two things—the pattern was really confusing, and it almost certainly contained errors. It was from a 1970s booklet after all. So I looked around and found this alternative fern lace pattern that happened to be for a sock of the exact same number of stitches as my custom pattern. It’s not as cool looking as the original one but it is straightforward and error free:


Leafy Scarf (30% done)

This tapered scarf is called Saroyan. It’s a really excellent pattern so far—quite adaptable, simple but pretty, and an unusual shape for a scarf. I did not intend to start yet another knitting project, but I found that the lace socks were too difficult to knit while talking to anyone. Since I do work on my projects at knitting groups, I need to have something I can knit while I interact with humans. The only part where I really have to pay attention is the edge of leaves. I have a thing for leaves.

Pirate Mouse Cat Toy (100% done)

As if these two patterns weren’t enough, yesterday I had the urge to knit a cat toy. And so I did. An awesome one:

This is Captain Cat Battler, a pirate mouse cat toy. I do not know what possessed me, but when I saw it, I had to make it. It’s a quick project to knit, though sewing it up takes a little bit more time. The pattern writers have exactly the sense of humor you’d expect from people who like pirates and cats. The pattern is free, but it was designed for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, an animal rescue charity in London, and you can donate your knitted mouse (or your pounds sterling) to help their cats. The only change I made was to add an I-Cord tail (the original tail was just a strand of yarn…which I figured would be destroyed instantly).

I loved this pattern. But what did the resident cat, Josephine, think of it? Let’s see…

I’d say they’re pretty much best friends now. Yarrr.