On the Needles: Cozy blanket and bearded beanie

This weekend, despite having had a rough week and anticipating another one immediately after, was extraordinarily productive for me. Earlier last week, I had knit a lovely seed-stitch cowl (photo to come), which I absolutely adore. I used 90 stitches cast onto size 17 straight needles with Charisma (Michaels brand Loops and Threads) in cream. I’d never done seed stitch, but it seemed simple enough to give it a shot. Four Doctor Who episodes later, I stitched the edges together and voila! Gorgeous cowl.

Deciding I needed one larger, wider cowl to wrap around me in our chilly office, I cast on once more, this time with 150 stitches instead of 90. After going through three skeins of Charisma and rounding up the 13 others I had around the house, I reversed a decision I had made a couple of months ago. After a failed cabled blanket attempt last year, which resulted in the fairly large stash of this yarn, I had decided to never ever ever attempt another blanket. Next thing I know on Sunday, with 1.5 feet of seed-stitched cushiness in my lap and a large amount of yarn in my knitting bag, I decided this would not be a shawl/huge cowl but a blanket. This is my new inspiration:

Purl Bee's Eleventh Hour Blanket

I love the colored edging around Purl Bee’s Eleventh Hour Blanket. It’s one of my favorite color hues, dark yellows. I’ve promised myself, though, I can’t go get any yarn for the edging until the blanket itself is complete. I’m definitely looking forward to it, though.

The other items you’ll notice in the first picture are a hat and an unknown red thing. A few weeks ago, my little brother asked me to make him a bearded beanie. I laughed and immediately agreed, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. The hat took longer than I thought, not because hats are necessarily difficult. I just couldn’t settle on a proper pattern. I eventually chose a very plain beanie.

The thing about this hat is the beard will be removable. We went shopping last night for snaps to put inside the hat and on the beard. I was adament that the snap had to lie flat inside the hat so it wouldn’t bother him. I test the snaps on the back of my poor husband’s hand because his tolerance for such things is lower than mine. Eventually we found what I was looking for.

Now, I’m about a third of the way through the beard, maybe less. I have no pattern for this part. I hunted, but I couldn’t find one that fit my vision. I sat down, did some calculations and sketches, and the beard is well underway. I’m hoping it turns out well. Luckily, I’m no longer shy of ripping out stitches to try again.

Next on the needles? Toe-up socks. By goodness, I will conquer that heel!

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