cast ON!!!

So I went snowboarding for the first time this season and within the first hour I hit some ice and it sort of tripped me backwards, and I had enough force that when I reached out both my hands behind me, I ended up with two broken wrists.  And I had to sit around with them for twelve hours till I could get to the emergency room.  So what is a girl supposed to do with two casts?  I am not the type to sit around and watch TV all the time.  I usually knit while I watch TV.  Besides, even What Not to Wear can get old.  So what am I supposed to do?

Cast on!

 My fingers were very cold when I went outside, and the casts are so bulky that I can't even put my hands into my pockets.  I asked my mom to make me some fingers only gloves, but by that evening she hadn't and I just cast on myself.  Maybe the first day wasn't such a good idea, because my fingers swelled up and I had to stop.  But I finished them fine soon enough!

I actually used this pattern, because the gauge was more what I was looking for.  I cast on 34 sts on size US 4 needles and followed the instructions for the fingers in the pattern.  They're nice and warm, just what I needed!

stylish burglar stocking cap - free pattern

This is a really, really easy cap to knit, and is very warm and very cute!  When my sissy saw me put it on without the pompom, she told me I looked like a burglar, and the name stuck.  With the pompom, though, it's too cute to be a bad guy's hat!

skill level:



one skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, in Charcoal

.inch pompom form

stitch marker

one US 10.5 circular needle

one set US 10.5 or less dpn

Gauge: ten sts 14 rnds 4", laying flat, unstretched in 1x1 rib.  Stretched should be about 8 sts 4".


CO 50 sts.  Join in round, careful not to twist stitches. Place marker for beginning of round.

*k1, p1* till piece measures 9" from beginning.

Crown shaping:

*Work 8 sts in patt, last st was knit. K2t*

K 1 rnd.

*work 7 sts  in patt, k2t* 1 rnd.

K 1 rnd.

*work 6 sts in patt, k2t* 1 round.

*work 5 sts in patt, k2t*

*work 4 in patt, k2t*

*work 3 in patt, k2t*

*work 2 in patt, k2t*

*Work 1 in patt, k2t*

K2t around.

Pull yarn through remaining sts, pull tight, tie off.

Make the pompom, tie to top, weave in ends, ans enjoy!


my most versatile - teal tights

Teal is not exactly my favorite color, so I doubt I would have bought these for myself.  I got them for Christmas.  But there is something about the color that makes nearly anything I put with these cooler and more edgy.  Even fabrics that I never would have thought to put with teal, like the navy and white print skirt, look totally cool!

They look a little bit more navy in these pictures than they actually are.  I was able to adjust the color a little bit, but I couldn't get it just right without making them look blotchy.  Oh well, you get the idea.

 This is Chloe.  She likes to follow me around and give me fashion advice.

You can see that she is picking out the skirt I should wear with her paw, and the tail wagging definitely means she likes it!

So, yes, teal tights are surprisingly versatile, and make almost anything look edgy and hip.

Chloe says so too!


my most versatile - fitted blazer

I like boxy blazers - the boyfriend blazer trend is like totally my thing - but there are certain rules you have to follow if you want your outfit to be flattering.  In other words, boxy or larger blazers shouldn't be worn with wide pants.  Fitted blazers can go over anything, both wide and fitted pants.  This may sound pretty basic, but where I live, "most versatile" means an oversized hoodie.  I actually have a hoodie that I wear a lot, but I definitely wear this a lot more!  The Nautica sweater that used to be my brother's (well, he says it's still his) is not exactly what you call stylish, although it looks cute with my plaid scarf and my gray knit hat, and shorts with tights - that's not the point, though.

This is a velveteen blazer, Gap, thrifted, and is actually a very dark purple color.  It looked brand new when I bought it, but I've worn it so much that the elbows are starting to become worn down, but if it ever gets too noticeable leather patches would look cute!
Hat: I made it myself
Scarf: little brother made it for me
sweater: Lauren Conrad, Kohl's
The boots are Banana Republic, from Ross a while back


what do you do with an ugly dress?!

My mom bought this thing, because I like plaid.  When I saw it, I think that there was a mental block -  I can usually see something cute in an old-fashioned piece of clothing like this, but this one took me a while!  

It had detachable sleeves and silly pleats that make the one side much wider than the other.  First I carefully cut the stitching in the pleats to open them up.  Because I wanted to keep the side pockets, I had to remove the button bands instead of take in the sides.  And for the back, since I didn't want a center seam, I made a long pleat.  Actually, I really like the fit that I ended up with!

I think it must have been the color that did it, but now I think it looks great!  A point for Mom!


ruffle tank

This was made from, well, something, maybe a curtain - the label on it when I bought it from the thrift store said linen, and that's all I know.  Bet the sheer woven fabric was so cool and fluttery that I decided to get it.  It was going to be for a masquerade ball costume, but I went as the Invisible Man (no one knew who I was!) so I ended up with this in my stash for a while.  I made this tank instead!

I like to wear it with a striped tank tank underneath, and the shorts (another refashion) are something that I wear with it a lot too.  I guess I'm glad that I didn't do that masquerade costume!


peplum top refashion

I saw this top at a thrift store a while back, and even though pink is not really my color, the interesting construction of the top and the dip-dying really caught my attention, so I got it anyway.  I can do pink if the rest of the details are cool enough!

The original top was much larger with puffy sleeves.  I first cut the sleeves off, following the edge of the raglan sleeve shaping.  Then I took in the sides, stopping the seam just before the peplum thing, and then topstitched over the box-pleat that I just made.  The original top had a peplum, but the pleat made it a lot fuller.  The last thing I did was stitched down what was the seam allowance from the raglan to finish the armholes.

Jeans: City Streets, JCPenny
Sweater: Kohl's, Simply Vera Vera Wang
Hat: Target, Christmas gift
Watch: Target, Christmas gift
Boots: Ross, Banana Republic, birthday gift, from a few years ago

This is my own necklace, made from polymer clay.  He's my own little jellyfish!

me in the Target Dress

As often as I go to thrift stores, and as much of my wardrobe is from thrift stores, I still buy clothes.  This dress is an example, from the sales rack in Target. I really really love the fabric!  The colors are all in my favorite palette, and floral prints are something I am loving right now.  The fit of the dress is not great, and I had to take the shoulder seam in.  When I cut the straps open, I could tell this was not the greatest quality, so the hefty $13 clearance price tag was for the look only!  Sad, yes, but it does look cute.

Dress: Target, $13
Sweater: had-me-down (I don't mind!) from Mums, free
Tights: Kohl's, Simply Vera Vera Wang, Christmas gift
Shoes: thrift store, maybe $3 or $4
Bag: gift, originally from thrift store, $5
Hat: made it, this pattern, which is a free Ravelry download
Belt: Thrift store, Levi's, 10 cents (I'm not kidding!)

The jewelry is two necklaces.  One is made of the kind of chain that has the square gem things, in this case black, which I got at a yard sale, like, years ago.  The heart on the chain I made myself; the heart is of polymer clay, and the chain is from a spool of chain that I got at Michael's.

And that's it!


Christmas Gifts

I did a lot of knitting this Christmas.  Like, I think I must have been crazy.  Here's a couple of things.

 This vest for my Gramps was knit from recycled cotton/wool blend yarn, and I happened to get lucky with it because I had two thrifted sweaters that were both from Old Navy originally and both had the same content.  This was my first try at intarsia knitting - pretty happy with it!
 This vest for sissy was my own pattern that had the bobble stitch from this pattern.  It is cotton recycled yarn, a thrifted sweater, and there was so much of it (I had 2 of the originals) that with this and a sweater for my brother, I still have enough to make something for myself...haven't decided what, though, and I hate being matchy matchy.

It's a little baggy, especially for my sister's taste, but the thing took so long to knit that there's no exchanges - sorry sis.  But she's been wearing it all day which is a great success with her!
This is me, in an old picture, but I pulled this sweater and reknit it in a different size for my mom.  Unfortunately it came out too big, and she has an IOU for a smaller size - that makes four IOUs leftover from Christmas.  Luckily this one is a very fast knit with the big yarn and needles.  Yeah, some can be exchanged.

Happy new year!

Bicycle Wheels - Free Pattern

A simple, cute, extremely warm hat for winter weather, which will only take a couple of hours to knit!

There is an optional short row shaping that can be applied to whatever hat you want that has a ribbing band,  and the thick yarn and simple pattern make learning this technique with this hat simple and easy.  Many hats that have wide ribbing that looks cute in front, but in the back it stands up and I don't like the way it looks.  The short row shaping helps eliminate it by making the back narrower than the front.  You can easily skip this step.

There is also a little trick at the top of the ribbing to help get rid of that funky thing that the purled stitches do, how they seem to widen out on the top.  The bulky yarn would have made this even more noticeable.

Skill level:



One skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick &  Quick

One 10.5 circular needle, or size to obtain gauge

One set four dpns, a smaller size than the circular (I happened to have US 8 and nothing larger, which worked out fine, but pretty much any size between 8 and the size you use would be okay)

stitch marker

largish crochet hook (exact size not important)

 3" pompom form or cardboard to make pompom form


11 sts 17 rows 5"


CO 44 sts.  join round, don't twist stitches.  Pm.  k2, p2 for 3 rounds.

(This is the short row shaping, you can skip it and work 2 rounds instead) Work in patt to 7 sts before marker.  The last stitch you worked was a knit, and the next one is a knit, right in the middle of the knit rib.  Move the strand of yarn to the front, and then slip the next knit stitch purlwise.  Put yarn in back.  Slip the same stitch back to the other needle.  Now the yarn is wrapped around the stitch that you slipped.  Turn work.

purl one stitch, k2 , p2 around to 9 stitches before marker.  Do the short row shaping again, but this time it's with purl stitches, so instead of bringing the yarn in front, you put it from the front to the back, then do the slip, wrap, slip, and then turn.

You are back on the right side.  work in pattern (knit 1, then p2, k2 around) to marker.  work 2 rounds.

Now is the little trick to keep your purl ribs from being too wide on the top.  The next rib is knit: k1, then pick up one stitch from yarn between the stitch you just knit and the next one, and knit into the back of the loop you just picked up (this is m1).  K1.  So you just did the rib, and put an extra stitch in between the two regular ones.  Now is the purl rib: p2t.  You should have 4 sts from marker.

k1, m1, k1, p2t around.  No change in stitch number - 44 sts.

Now you work the body.  *k 6 rounds, p 3 rounds* 3 times, making three purl ridges.

K 2 rounds.

Crown shaping

k3, k2t.  *k4, k2t* 6 times.  K3.

k 1 round.

K2t. *k3, k2t* 6 times.  K5.

k 1 round

p 2 rounds.

*p3, p2t* around.

k 1 round.

This section is knit on the dpns.  If your needles are the same size as or only one size smaller than your circular needle, than skip these two rounds.  If they are two or three sizes smaller, then k 1 round, with the needles, which puts all of the stitches onto the dpns.  K 1 round.

Basically, changing to a smaller needle counts as a decrease round.  If the needles are not significantly smaller, you don't need to knit the two rounds.

K2t 1 round.

K ! round.

Repeat these 2 rounds till there is only 6 stitches.  Pull yarn through loops with crochet hook, and tie off. 

make a pompom with a 3" form, and tie to the top.

There is one last step besides weaving in the ends that you don't have to do, but it makes the top of the hat sit closer to the back of your neck, instead of up on your head.  take a 6" or so piece of yarn and tie to the inside of the hat right between the ribbing and the first knit section, in the back where the rounds start, and pull through so that the yarn is sticking out to the front.  now, weave in and out at each section, so that every knit section has the yarn on the outside and every purl section has the yarn on the inside.  When you reach the top knit crown section, bring out as usual, but bring back in only one or two rows away, so that the yarn on top is only like a half an inch.  Turn inside out, pull the yarn tight, and tie end to one of the ends used to tie the pompom on.

Weave in ends.