Archive for March, 2010

Cloth Napkins

I sat down this afternoon to make cloth napkins. I used homespun cotton fabric, which I can only describe as somewhere between quilting cotton and flannel. It’s much lighter than flannel, but softer and (possibly) more absorbent than quilting cotton.

I tried to pick colors that were pretty, but also practical – hopefully able to withstand many uses & washes without looking icky. The amounts of each fabric vary in yardage from 5/8 to 1-3/4 yard.

I first cut each of the fabrics into 12″ squares yielding 36 total. I decided to make square corner napkins using the second part of this wonderful Skip to My Lou tutorial; they’re simple, functional and (honestly) easier on my beginning-sewer brain than the mitered corner version. I chose to work with only 15 of the fabric squares – seemed like plenty to start with. I’ve stored the others in my fabric stash to be pulled out and finished as needed.

I did all the ironing first, then sat down to my sewing machine to stitch them up using a cream colored cotton thread.

All done and super easy – can’t wait to start using them! And incidentally, this is the first New Year’s resolution project I can officially cross off the list. Here’s a recap of the projects I have left to complete:

  1. Christmas stockings for Lucas and myself
  2. Wedding Photo Album
  3. P.J.s for Lucas
  4. T-shirt Quilt
  5. Cloth Napkins
  6. Topper for Christmas Tree
  7. Process Ivan and Hamlet’s Mohair

9 months and 6 projects to go!


Now You See Me Hat

I finished the bright orange hat from Kool-Aid dyed yarn for Lucas last week, but wanted to wait until I could photograph him in it before posting. I barely remembered to as I was running out the door this morning – the photos were rushed and as a result the lighting & location are poor. But nevertheless, here they are (notice the ribbed cuff is folded up – it’s a bit hard to tell):

Lucas seems to like it and it fits him generously, but not too loosely. That said, I did promise to post the pattern; it’s very simple. If you can knit in the round, you can easily knit this hat.

Now-You-See-Me Hat

US 7 DPNs / circular (or size to get gauge)
Gauge: 5.5 sts and 7 rows per inch
Approximately 150 yds of worsted weight yarn.

This hat generously fits a 24 inch circumference head (larger male) and is meant to be worn with the ribbed edge folded up. Please adjust number of cast-on stitches for a tighter fit or for smaller-sized heads, keeping the number of cast-on stitches a multiple of 4.

CO 120 sts. Join in the round being careful not to twist.

Begin working in a K2, P2 rib. Continue until 16 rows are knit (or approximately 2.25″ of ribbing).

Begin Stockinette portion of the cap. Knit all sts for 24 rows (approximately 3.5″).

Decrease to close the cap. *K15, place marker. Repeat from * until round is complete.
Decrease Row 1: *Knit until 2 sts before marker, K2tog, slip marker. Repeat from * until round is complete.
Decrease Row 2: Knit All
Repeat these two rows until 8 sts remain. *K2tog, repeat from * until round is complete (4 sts ).

Draw yarn through remaining stitches and secure. Weave in Ends.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the pattern – the project is Raveled here.


I know I said I’d wind down my knitting this year to finish other crafty projects (per my New Year Resolution), but I’ve been itching to make a Spring-y cardigan. I finally settled on the Hexacomb Cardigan (Ravelry Link) by Katie Himmelberg – it should be a fairly quick knit and it’s completely adorable.

This is one of the promo pictures from Interweave Knits – Isn’t it cute? The pattern can be purchased online here. (c) Interweave Press.

I’ve bought yarn and will start swatching this evening. I’m even going to wash my swatches this time, since I hear cotton often shrinks. My first cardigan and my first cotton garment – I’m so excited!

Recent Etsy Purchases

I’ve made several purchases on Etsy in the last couple weeks and thought I’d share – some are gifts and some are just for me. First is a gift for my little sister’s 16th birthday (hard to believe she’s so old!):

Not the best quality photo, but aren’t they cute? Nice and simple and dime-sized. I bought them from CayennePeppy. I hope she likes them!

Second, my Mom’s birthday is at the end of March and since my parents’ house is Southwest-themed (they live in Arizona), I thought she’d like this faux-turquoise soap from Amethyst Soap:

Unfortunately, it is heavily perfumed, which Mom does not like.  Maybe they could use it in their guest bathroom?

Next, I’ve been itching to make a cardigan and decided to jump the gun (as usual) and purchase buttons. I completely fell in love with The Hickory Tree and bought 9 of their 3/4″ Cherry Tree buttons. As luck would have it, the package was lost in the mail and had to be sent again – however, the folks at The Hickory Tree included a few extra buttons in the second shipment (that finally reached me) for the trouble – so nice of them!

I still haven’t decided on a cardigan for them, but oh the possibilities! My wheels are turning with ideas for each one of them.

Finally, after heavy consultation with Hubby, I purchased a 7″ x 10″ Bison Trophy from Cardboard Safari – after drooling over faux trophies in this post. [Note that CardboardSafari is taking a break from their Etsy shop, but items can still be purchased on their website.] We bought this one in white.

It was shipped as a stack of laser cut-outs that Hubby assembled.

And now he resides in the bit of wall between our front door and front window. We’ve butted heads occasionally, but he seems to be holding up just fine.

But honestly, his lack of eyes is a little disconcerting. I suggested we draw a couple dots with a Sharpie, but Hubby mentioned gluing on some googly-eyes – and that idea has really stuck. That way his eyes will go silly every time we accidentally head-butt him. I laugh every time I think about that. Now to find some googly-eyes…

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Hubby loves to walk in the woods around the farm, and since some of these walks occur during hunting season, we both agree that he should have a bright orange hat. I offered to knit it and set out to find some yarn – which was easier said than done.  I found some bright oranges in cotton and acrylic, but I really wanted to make him a wool hat. Fortunately, this dilemma coincided with my good friend Sara starting to experiment with kool-aid dying in her crockpot, so she agreed to dye some Knit Picks Bare Superwash Merino for me in bright orange.

She calls this colorway “Koi,” which I think is totally fitting – isn’t it lovely? She gave it to me in a hank and I wish I had taken photos of it before winding into a ball, you could really see the changes in color density. She said the superwash wool was particularly dye thirsty, so not only did it take a LOT of kool-aid (7 packets for 100 g), but the parts that touched the dye first are much brighter. The yarn also smells ever-so-faintly of orange, which I love.

I’ve started making a hat for Hubby (improvised pattern) with wide ribbed brim that will be folded up like a fisherman’s cap. Once I finish, I’ll post the pattern here.

Sara has also agreed to dye some sport weight yarn for me to make socks. I’ve given her complete creative license and am really excited to see what she makes!

Adventures with Rowan Cashsoft DK

While looking through my stash a couple weeks ago, I unearthed 3 balls of Rowan Cashsoft DK (2 teal, 1 gray) along with the first few rows of a hat I had intended to make for Hubby. I started this project years ago – and it’s a good thing I never finished it, because while I love Hubby dearly, he’s not the kind of guy that can wear a handwash-only hat.

So I ripped it apart and decided to knit mittens for myself per Joeli Caparco’s Corazon (Knitty Pattern), though I made my own snowflake pattern in place of the heart motif.

As you can see,  the color combo of the teal and gray Cashsoft DK completely washed out the design. No good!

The palm wasn’t quite so washed out, but definitely nothing special. [You can barely see the waste yarn for the afterthought thumb in the top right.]

Back to the drawing board. I ripped out the mittens and searched through my Ravelry queue for a new project and ultimately decided upon the Lace-Edged Women’s Hat by Julie Hentz. I decided to use up my one ball of gray Cashsoft on this project and I am very happy with the result (Raveled here). It’s SO amazingly soft and comfy!

But now I’m not sure what to do with the 2 balls of teal I have left. Maybe a slouchy beret? Any ideas???

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I love hearing from my readers! Feel free to contact me via comments or at this address:

rambleonrosemary [at] gmail [dot] com

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March 2010
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