Bobble Cowl | Pattern Release

I wrote a new pattern, the Bobble Cowl! It's a lightweight and super soft cowl that is so much fun to knit. The bobbles look like polka-dots, and the space between bobble rows increases as you go. It's been a looooooooong time since I've released a new pattern, but I am so excited about this one.

I had this beautiful yarn I purchased at Hill Vintage and Knits before they closed. I tried to order more because I wanted to use it on Purl Soho's Braided Cowl because I didn't have quite enough. It turned out it was hard to find in the US, and the shipping costs were going to be crazy expensive. So, I decided to write a pattern for this yarn. I love the bobble stitch, and this yarn is so lightweight it worked perfectly. 

Since this yarn is hard to find, it's important to note that this pattern would work just fine with any lightweight worsted or aran weight yarn. If you're not familiar with the bobble stitch, it's not complicated, but there are plenty of videos and tutorials that can help. I used this one from Purl Soho. 

It's hard to imagine wanting a snuggly cowl right now in the summer heat, but I am excited to wear this one, come fall!

This Month on My Needles | Sneak Peek

This month I have been working hard on getting ready for fall at Little Grey Heart, including some new and exciting merchandise. I just completed knitting new LGH zipper pouches. Hooray! The final step will be to have liners sewn in, and zippers added. I am pleased with how these turned out. There is almost nothing I love more than a good zipper pouch, and it seemed like a great fit for Little Grey Heart. They will be up in the store in early August, but I thought I would share a sneak peek of some of the new merchandise for fall. 

Little Grey Heart Yarn | Simpliworsted by HiKoo

I am obsessed with the yarn I use for Little Grey Heart. It is incredibly soft and lush. It is important to me to use yarn that is, of course soft, but also washable, wearable, and available in beautiful colors. It is also important to me to work with a company that is friendly, helpful, and flexible with small orders since I fund Little Grey Heart personally. Simpliworsted by HiKoo fits the bill. It's just beautiful, quality yarn. HiKoo Yarn is 55% Merino Superwash, 28% Acrylic, and 17% Nylon, which is what makes it so soft and buttery. I order all my yarn directly from Skacel, and they are a great company. From the first time I contacted them, they have exceeded my expectations time and time again. They are a family owned and operated company in Seattle. They distribute some fantastic yarns and my favorite knitting needles, addi. It's a match made in heaven. 


Packing for Vacation Knitting

I almost never leave the house without my knitting, be it for vacation or just a trip around town (you never know when you'll get stuck in traffic or a long line). I travel a bit for work and a bit for pleasure, so I feel like I have learned a few things about packing knitting projects for trips. 

First off, I want to say that I always and completely overpack for travel. Pretty much you can probably cut whatever I suggest in half. 

I am a super duper organized person, and I'm proud of that. Some of this may seem a little crazy, but this is what I do. Can you imagine being stuck in an airport with nothing to knit? My absolute worst nightmare. Like everyone else in the world, travel is super stressful for me. There are so many aspects you can't control or plan for, which causes me a lot of anxiety. I cope with that stress and anxiety by knitting. It's entertaining; I can do it forever, and it passes the time. It's the perfect thing to do while traveling. 

I plan out at least three projects for any trip. I am not a multiple project knitter. I'm just not. So, I like to carry one with me and have two in my checked bags. If you do knit multiple things at once, you might want to bring all with you. I always figure, I'll finish one on the trip out, one while on vacation, and one on the way home. Of course, that has never happened. This rule does depend on the type of project. Three is my general rule for average length projects: hats, cowls, mittens... etc. If I'm knitting LGH inventory, I will bring more, because I knit that stuff quickly. If I was making a big wrap, I might just bring the one. No, that's a lie, I would never travel with less than two projects. 

I pick my patterns and my yarn a couple of weeks before I leave so I have time get all the supplies I need. I get the yarn wound and pull all supplies I'll need for the project: needles, crochet hooks, cable needles.... etc. I print the patterns (in case I don't have access to the internet or power for my devices). I put one project in my project bag and pack it in my carry-on, and the other two projects in separate plastic bags. That way, I have a complete project in one spot. It keeps things simple and organized, and I don't have to get stressed searching through a bunch of supplies I don't need for what I do need. I love my project bag, but I am coveting a Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag. I just think they are cool and I like all the pockets on the inside. They are expensive though, but someday I'll treat myself, someday. 

I have only had a problem with TSA once, and it was in Mexico, so I'm not sure if that's still considered TSA, but whatever the equivalent of Mexico's TSA is. I was stopped at security flying out of Mexico, they took my knitting project into a back room and then brought it back to me. I'm not sure what they did with it, but I was so scared. I knew I could get the project back, but I was nervous about not having anything to knit on the long flight from Cancun to Minneapolis. 

Another time, I was sitting next to a woman on a flight, and she was very confrontational about me having knitting needles. She was SURE they were not allowed. She couldn't understand why I could bring knitting needles, but she couldn't bring a Diet Coke. I was friendly at first, but she would not let it go. Finally, I just told her, "I don't make the rules," and put on my headphones. 

For the most part, people are always very interested in my knitting, "What are you making?", "My grandmother taught me to knit when I was seven," "how do you do that without looking." It's mostly nice and only sometimes annoying. :-) 

Anyway, that's how I plan my knitting projects for a trip. I hope that's helpful! 

Puerperium Cardigan | Pattern Review

I made the Puerperium Cardigan for the newest member of our family, sweet baby Will. He was born on March 8ᵀᴴ of this year. 

When I started making this pattern, I kept calling it the "pure premium cardigan," which obviously was incorrect. I looked up what puerperium meant because I thought that would help me call it the correct name; "the period of about six weeks after childbirth during which the mother's reproductive organs return to their original nonpregnant condition." So then I loved the name! It's perfect. Side note, I bet a lot of parents know that word, but it was new to me. 

I wanted to make Will a simple, classic cardigan. It's so challenging to find simple, classic patterns. With all the beautiful yarns out there, I think simple patterns let the yarn shine, but I digress. 

The Puerperium Cardigan, by Kelly van Niekerk, is a very popular pattern on Ravelry. There are two options for the cardigan, short sleeved and long sleeved. I liked the long sleeve and seemed to make more sense to me. It was easy and quick to knit up. I used a Madelinetosh DK from my stash and luckily had precisely enough. The pattern was knit flat, with the exception of the sleeves, from the top down. I was not sure if the button holes would be evenly spaced, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

I don't knit a ton of clothing, so I'm always worried about fit, especially since this was a gift, and I didn't have Will's measurements. So, I followed the pattern and hoped for the best. 

Feedback from Will's Mom, "Well, he LOVES it, and I think it is so darling, but he is still growing into it. So it would have to fit a pretty big newborn. P.S. I didn't even do the buttons; I just pulled it over his head. I think it will be perfect for chilly Seattle summer nights. Thank you again!!"

Overall, I was very happy with this project. I would make it again as a gift for a baby. I think Kimono style sweaters are adorable. 

❤︎ Welcome Back ❤︎

Welcome back to Little Grey Heart! I spent the last nine months planning a wedding, getting married, enjoying the first months of marriage, and traveling. It has been glorious. I was nervous to take so much time off from LGH, but I am so glad I did. Planning a wedding took way more time and energy than I ever could have anticipated. It was such a special day that meant more to me than anything I have ever done. 

After our wedding, we adopted two Boston Terrier rescues. Eleanor who is six and Fern who is almost 9. They are the sweetest, most adorable dogs. They couldn't be more obsessed with each other, and us with them. We feel like we hit the jackpot. 

We have also done quite a bit of traveling in the last nine months. I went to Palm Springs for a work trip at the end of January. It's so incredibly lovely there, and I'm always happy to connect with my coworkers. We went to Mexico in February for a family trip. Then we visited D.C., this spring, to celebrate Maggie's birthday and visit her Cousin Steph. We also took a quick trip to the beach from D.C. There is SO much to do, see, and eat in D.C.; three days certainly didn't feel like enough. 

This spring my cousins welcomed a new baby boy to the family, Will. My Cousin Kate and Baby Will are flying to Iowa in a couple of weeks for our annual family trip to Lake Okoboji. I can't wait to meet him!  He's the most precious little thing. He currently lives in Seattle, but my fingers are crossed we can help him fall in love with Iowa and move back. 

Through all of my adventures the last year I have been knitting the whole way. I've been making stuff for friends, family, and myself. So, I have a lot of new and exciting projects to share. 

This year I will be focusing on adult goods at Little Grey Heart, and I have some fun new accessories in the works. I am also hoping to be at several makers' fairs, and hope to see you all soon. 

Thank you all for your love and support over the last year. It means the world!

Romney Kerchief | Pattern Review

Earlier this summer, I made The Romney Kerchief by Jared Flood at Brooklyn Tweed. It is a great pattern and was very enjoyable to knit. The size is really good. Usually, by the end of a project, I am sick of it. However, I wasn't with this one. 

I used the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Sweatshirt, which worked really well. I love the color of this yarn. It's the best grey of all the greys. I used Brooklyn Tweed in another project; I thought it was stiff and itchy. This is a loosely knit pattern, so the stiff yarn worked well. It seemed much softer and the drape much better. 

Once I finished, I wasn't sure how I was going to wear it. I didn't think about it before or while I was knitting, but when I finished I thought, "Hmm, this is going to be awkward to wear." However, it's not. Look how cute it looks on my adorable sister! It looks super cute tied, and because the yarn isn't too soft, it stays put. It is lightweight, so it doesn't feel bulky. I will get a lot of use out of it this fall.

I want to make this again. It was fast to knit up and fun so it's a good contender for gifts. I recommend this pattern. 

Greyhaven Cowl | Pattern Review

I recently made the Greyhaven Cowl by Robin Ulrich. The elegance and uniformity of this pattern caught my attention, and I adore it. There are three size options. I made the slouchy size. I love the lace repeat, the size, and shape of the cowl. However, I am not very happy with my cowl, because of the yarn I used. It turned out stiff and itchy. I used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Postcard. I chose this yarn because of the color and texture. However, it's just not soft. I love the yarn, and I love the pattern, but together they just don't work. Bummer. 

I want to make this cowl again with a softer and cozier yarn. There is also a matching hat, which I am excited to make, as well.

Lowbrow Cowl | Pattern Review

I am a sucker for a neutral knit cowl with a subtle pattern. As soon as I found the Lowbrow Cowl on Ravelry, I had to knit it right away. It is a well-written pattern, and the repeat was easy to memorize. I love the leaf lace pattern. It's elegant and balanced. 

I used yarn from my stash, Cascade 220 Superwash Aran in Silver Grey. I adore Cascade's superwash merinos. They are soft and lush. The only adjustment to the pattern I made was using a size 8 32" circular needle, instead of size 7. I did this because the yarn recommends a size 8 or 9. I like to stay true to what size needle works best for the yarn, so the stitches don't look tight or pulled. The finished cowl has a 48" circumference and is 11" tall. I prefer it wrapped twice, how my cute Mom is wearing it in the photos, to hanging straight down. 

There is a Lowbrow Hat that matches this cowl, which I want to knit someday. Since the cowl knit up so fast, I would make it again. It would make a great gift.

Vanilla Fog | Pattern Review

This was such a fun hat to knit! Once you get the hang of brioching, it's so fun. I totally get why everyone is brioching everything right now. 

The pattern, Vanilla Fog by Andrea Mowry, is great. I love all of her patterns.

For yarn, I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Smokestack for my main color. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coal Seam for my first contrasting color and Madelintosh Twist Light in Care for my second contrasting color. I used the recommended yarn and needles for this project.

I knit this hat because I wanted to refresh my brioche skills and I wanted to sort out how to do brioche in the round. A while back, I took a brioche class at Hill Vintage and Knits. I had not made anything since the class, and I needed a refresher. I took Nancy Marchant's class at Craftsy, which the pattern recommended. I didn't do all the lessons, but just where I needed some help. I appreciated how the class was broken up into chapters. I thought it moved a little slow, but maybe that's because I wasn't a beginner. The part I found the most helpful was the beginning/end of each round. It's a little confusing, and if you don't get it right, it gets jumbled up. Once you do get it right, it's a breeze. I did have to start this hat over once because I messed up the beginning/end of the rounds. I also had to rip my needles out when I was just about to the decrease because I had dropped a stitch and couldn't sort it out. I was utterly amazed that I was able to get my needles back in and continue knitting. 

The decrease was a little hard, and I'm not totally sure I did it correctly. However, when I was done with the hat, I turned it inside out, and it seriously looks awesome. 

Fidra | Pattern Review

It felt like everywhere I looked on the internet everyone was knitting the Fidra hat by Gudrun Johnston. It turns out it was for good reason; it's adorable! So naturally, I wanted a piece of the action.

The pattern suggested Brooklyn Tweed Quarry, which I think is a great yarn. However, I had some Hikoo Simpliworsted in Totally Taupe (obviously, that is the yarn I use for my little grey heart hats). I went down a size with my needles. I cast on with an 8 and then used a 9 for the body. I didn't swatch and my hat turned out a bit tight for my head. I wish had used a 9 and 10. Not only was it small for my head, but it was knit tight. I have a friend with a small head, so I'll just gift it to her. :-)

The pattern was fun! It used knitting through the back loop a lot, which makes a stitch that is twisted and gives a subtle texture to the fabric. The pattern is written clearly and it uses a chart. I did have to keep checking the chart key because my short term memory is awful. 

It's a great pattern, and I completely understand why everyone on the internet is knitting it. 

Modern Fair Isle Cowl | Pattern Review

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Mexico on a family vacation, I started PUDDINGyarn's Modern Fair Isle Cowl. A while back, I saw a fellow Instagram knitter, Rainingsheep, post photos of the cowl she made. I thought it was adorable. It was an easy pattern, but a good exercise in color work.  

I used Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Modern Fair Isle (I did NOT realize the color name of the yarn matched the name of the pattern until just now... how crazy is that?!?) and Madelintosh Tosh Vintage in Grenadine. 

I followed the pattern, but I do wish I had made it longer. I feel like it could have had a little more bulk. However, I loved the color combination I picked. The brownish purple of the Grenadine pulls the purple in the Modern Fair Isle, and they worked exceptionally well together. 

The Modern Fair Isle Cowl was a last minute project for me. I brought five different knitting projects with me to Mexico. I know, I know, but don't you do that, too? I wanted one project to be easy, so I didn't have to think whilst sipping on fruity drinks all day. ;-) I'm so glad I brought this project with me. It was easy and turned out great. 

Bandana Cowl | Pattern Review

Last week, while I was in Mexico on a family vacation, I knit Purl Soho's Bandana Cowl. I have wanted to knit this for years. I just never got around to it.

This is an excellent, fast and easy pattern. The only slight challenge are short rows. Honestly, once you get the hang of them, they are easy. Purl Soho also has a great tutorial, if you're new to short rows. 

I used Cascade Eco Cloud Yarn in Dove Grey. I have used this yarn before, and I love it. It is great yarn and is totally underrated. It is soft. It's affordable, and this project only used on skein. How great is that? 

While I was knitting it and even after I finished it, I thought it was so small. However, once I tried it on I was surprised how great it fit. I will make this again. It'd be a great gift. If you're looking for a quick and easy project that isn't boring, this cowl is perfect. 

3-Color Cashmere Cowl | Pattern Review

I was dying to knit something different and for myself after my frantic Market Day knitting. I wanted to make something I would love and something I would actually wear. I landed on this 3-color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli. I had some Madelintetosh Twist Lite in Care (the proceeds benefited Doctors Without Borders). It was the right weight, so I picked two different colors of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (antler and kitten). In the end, I was happy with the yarn and color choices. It was intended the cowl be knit in cashmere, but it is so soft and lightweight with the merino. I have no regrets. 

This cowl took me FOREVER. Partly because I started over once and because I had LGH orders.  I started over because I was worried it would be too tight around my neck. I added 40 stitches and cast on 200 instead of 160. I am so glad I did. It's just right. I also had a couple of mishaps in the fourth band, with the lace. It was a test of patience and endurance. However, in the end, I love it. I have already worn it every day since I finished it. 


Sliver from Weekend | Pattern and Book Review

Knitting Goddess, Jen Geigley, created a wonderful book, Weekend. I am embarrassed it took me so long to knit something from it. I started small with Sliver.

I made the size large and used Wool and The Gang Crazy Sexy Wool in Tweed Grey. I followed the instructions, except for the crown, I made my hat a little shorter. I also added a GIANT pom. I can't help it. I add poms to every hat. It's a great pattern. I love how detailed the pattern is, the layout, and the beautiful photographs. 

The entire book is beautiful. I mean really beautiful. I am obsessed with the layout and the aesthetic. It's inspiring, and I relate to the simplicity of all the projects. I love them all, but I can't wait to make Valhalla, Atmosphere, and Feedback. 

I feel lucky to share Des Moines with such a talented and inspiring knitter! 


Crochet Classes!

This month I'll be teaching Crochet 101 and Granny Squares at Hill Vintage and Knits.

Both classes are always so much fun. It's a great time of year to learn a new hobby. You can skate through the rest of the winter watching Netflix while crocheting glorious things. 

Crochet 101 is February 9ᵀᴴ and 16ᵀᴴ from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Students will learn how to crochet a pair of wrist warmers. Students need no previous crochet skills, but will learn how to chain, single crochet, join and finish work.

Granny Squares is February 22ᴺᴰ from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Students will learn how to make classic crocheted granny squares, which includes crocheting in the round and attaching squares. Students should have some experience crocheting and know how to chain and double crochet. 

This Week On My Needles | 1/22/16

I have had a few really special orders recently. I thought I would share the cute stuff people have been ordering! 

As a Valentine's Day gift, a friend of mine ordered an adult custom hat for her son's teacher and let her select the colors. I had it ready in a couple of days and dropped it off. She loved it, and it made a really special gift.

A friend of my aunt ordered LGH for the whole family. She ordered a hat for her husband, a cowl for herself and a baby hat for her little one. I'm not sure if they are using them for a family photo, but I think it would be delightful!    

A grandfather, who owns a barber shop near my house, ordered matching hats for his daughter and granddaughter. How cute?! I can't wait to see pictures of them together. 

Needless to say, I have been busy knitting! This weekend I'm planning on getting some special Valentine's Day hats made. I have yarn in different shades of pinks, reds and purples. It's going to be adorable. 

Have a great weekend! 

Nice and Knit Beanie | Pattern Review

I recently made the Nice and Knit Beanie by Nice and Knit for a dear friend battling cancer. He requested a navy blue hat with five green hearts to represent each member of his family. So sweet. 

This pattern was delightful. It was simple and very quick. I did it in two sittings. The decrease was a little funny, the way it is written. I thought I had screwed it up at one point and ripped out all the decreases. It turned out I had it right. Ugh! That is the worst. I was overthinking it. The second time around it went fine. For the SSK, I slipped the first stitch knit-wise and the second stitch purl-wise. It looks a little nicer than slipping both stitches knit-wise. However, after I finished the hat, I saw this article on Pinterest. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm excited about it. It looks a little complicated, but man, so much nicer. 

I used Malabrigo Rios. It's such beautiful yarn, and I love to knit with it. For the hat, I used Azul Profundo and for the five green stitches, Fresco Y Seco. I did the five hearts as duplicate stitches. I don't do that much; I always need a refresher. It's so easy, but you need to get it right. I found this tutorial on Purl Soho and thought it was good. 

In conclusion, this is a great pattern, and I recommend it.

Have a great weekend! 

Chevy | Pattern Review

I recently made Andrea Mowry's Chevy hat for my sister, Natalie. She is always asking me to make her a cute hat, and I always tell her I am too busy knitting LGH merchandise. A Christmas surprise seemed perfect.

I really enjoyed this pattern. It was easy to knit, but just complicated enough I had to pay attention to each round, so I was never bored. The stockinette and knitting in the back loop added a nice texture.  The hat was slouchier than I expected. I added a big pom, because poms. 

This was the first time I used the Twisted German Cast On and I'm hooked! It just feels a little more sturdy and looks nice. I've started using it on my Little Grey Heart hats. Once you get the hang of it, it's about as fast as the Long Tail Cast On. 

I used Madelintosh Tosh Vintage in Candlewick. It was a great choice. The color was beautiful and the slight variation of color worked great with the pattern. 

I am absolutely in love with Andrea Mowry's patterns and can't wait to knit another one.