A new craft

well, I did it. I graduated from college and started my new job at the NIH. It’s nice having time in the evenings without having homework to do! During my move, I inherited a large box full of crewel embroidery yarn leftover from the shoe and fabric store that my grandpa used to own. With all of these supplies, I figured I’d try my hand at learning embroidery! 

my box of crewel wool

Before diving into my supplies, I decided to just purchase a kit at a needlepoint/yarn store in Virginia. The kit came with directions as well as all of the supplies I needed minus the hoop. At first I really struggled, but as I got into the swing of things, I started to really enjoy it!

Crewel embroidery is obviously pretty different from knitting, but both are relaxing and lead to an awesome finished product. One benefit of embroidery is that if I get bored of one color or stitch, I can switch to a different one for awhile. All in all, I think it’s definitely something I’d like to continue doing!


After blocking, this will become a pillow!



I have a case of senioritis. A bad one. With only a week and a half of classes left, I’m ready to be done. As a result, I’ve been doing more knitting than I probably should. 

My first project comes from the book Mini Knitted Woodland by Sachiyo Ishii. It’s a dangerous book. The projects are all tiny and adorable and woo you with the thought of “Well, it’ll only take me an hour to finish.”  NO! Put the book down. Yes, each project only takes a couple hours, but once you start you will not want to stop because you are so close to a finished project. It’ll be a great book once I’m done with classes and finals but for now I think I need to hide it somewhere so I’m not tempted to make anything from it until I’m done with school. Here is the product of my afternoon yesterday (please ignore the mess in the background. I’m going through my stuff in preparation to move):  


Like I said, the projects are adorable, but addicting. 

In another chapter of the senioritis saga, I have learned that crocheting is not as terrible as I once thought. I always found it very confusing, but once you figure out the basic stitches, it isn’t so bad. I decided to learn how to crochet for real this time (I’d previously only crocheted a lopsided mini pig) and this teacup was the result.  

It was all single crochet so pretty straightforward, but the end result is pretty cute for a first project if I do say so myself. 

Ok, enough crafting. I need to get back to work.  

Projects Update

Hey everyone,

I just looked and I can’t believe my last post was in November! Things have been crazy with it being senior year and all.  I actually graduate in about a month! I’ll be starting a post-bac research position at the NIH on June 1st which I’m really excited about.  Beyond having the opportunity to do some awesome science, I’m excited to have real free time!! And that means more time for knitting!

Until then though, I’ve just been able to fit in a bit of knitting here and there.  I’ll use this post to fill you guys in on the projects I’ve completed since my last post.

First is the Nutkin beanie– a pattern from the knit picks website.  My younger brother is obsessed with squirrels so this seemed perfect for him.  To make things even better, I snagged some wonderful cashmere blend yarn from Knit Picks on sale!  This project took me about a year on and off since the yarn was really small making progress pretty slow, but I’m proud of the result:


Next up in my month of hats, was a secret snowflake gift for a new medic in the EMS organization that I volunteer for.  During his interviews, when asked what breed of dog best described him, he answered “A bulldog, because I’m short and stout.”  Needless to say, when I found this next pattern, I had to make it for him.  It was my first time holding three colors across a row which was pretty rough, but I survived and the finished product is pretty awesome if I do say so myself!


Finally, my boyfriend’s birthday was in mid-December and of course I had to knit him something.  First, I made a snowflake hat to help him get through the winter in DC where he’s working now.


I also made him this Guston Pullover sweater.  I used Knit Pick’s wool of the Andes tweed yarn which was much softer than I expected.  It was my first time making anything with button holes which was a challenge, but the finished result was so comfy that I almost couldn’t stand to give it away:


Well, I think that covers everything I’ve done since my last post.  More posts will come soon as I’m learning some double knitting and am planning to maybe even release my own charts/pattern pretty soon! Thanks for your patience with my lack of posting!  I’ll talk to you all soon!

Happy knitting,


The Month of Hats

Hey everyone! Sorry for being absent from the blog for awhile. The summer was really busy since I was working full time, and once the semester started, things got even crazier. I confess that I haven’t even really been knitting lately. Before last week, I actually hadn’t worked on a project in over two months which is kind of sad to think about.
But now I’m back! And I actually finished a project! The impending holidays motivated me to get back to knitting things. And so, I have embarked on a month of hats! Hats are nice quick projects that make great gifts- perfect in other words for getting back into the swing of things while preparing for the holidays. They also make for great stash-busting projects which I desperately need right now (although I just bought a bunch of yarn to make this sweater…).
Anyways, I adapted this witch cat hat pattern for worsted weight yarn, of which I have plenty laying around. I actually cast on the same number of stitches using the same needle size called for in the pattern. This gave me nice tight stitches which will make the hat nice and cozy. The worsted weight yarn did take up more vertical room than the recommended gauge so I left out the cat face repeats on the crown. The friend I made this for loves cats, but the faces seemed like a bit of overkill. Here’s the finished product:

I know that I’m supposed to turn under the bottom rows, but I want to make sure that the hat is long enough for my friend before I do that. I’ll post a picture of her wearing it once I give it to her. The white and gold yarns are just leftover Lion Brand worsted weight yarn, while the red yarn is Knit Picks Reverie worsted- a super soft and fuzzy blend of 80% baby alpaca and 20% acrylic. I’ve already started a second hat for another gift. More blog posts on that to come…


Summer update

Wow, it’s already July! Sorry for the lack of posts. Even though it’s summer, things have been crazy busy since I’ve been working full time in a biology research lab. I love it but I’m just exhausted when I get home. Not much has happened knitting-wise this past month but here’s an update on what I’ve been working on:
1. I finished the song of the sea scarf and blocked it with the much-needed help of my cat, Diane. I still haven’t worn it since the heat index yesterday was over 100 degrees F but I will if we get a cooler day.


2. I also started a pair of Jaywalker socks using some Cascade Heritage silks yarn that I’ve had laying around for about a year. Honestly, I kind of hate knitting socks. They take forever because of how small the yarn is and then once you finish one, you have to turn around and do the same thing all over again. Needless to say, it’s taking me a while to knit them up. I’m trying to motivate myself with thoughts of wearing them but so far that hasn’t helped much.

I really want to start working on another sweater, but right now I’m trying to finish some old projects and use up some of the yarn that I already have. I see many hats and pairs of socks in my future…

What’s your favorite stash-busting project? And do you have any tricks for staying motivated when knitting socks?

Song of the Sea- At the Lake


The day after my MCAT, I drove the 9 hours from St. Louis to Minneapolis where my family lives. We then headed up to our cabin in northern MN. There isn’t anything that I need to accomplish this week so I started working on the Song of the Sea scarf using my Fyberspates rural charm yarn. It took me a few hours to wind the yarn into a ball since despite my best efforts, it ended up in a tangled mess (I don’t have a swift and ball winder although I want to get one after having to do it by hand). I then had to start over after several rows because my counting was off but after all of that, things have been going pretty smoothly!

I knit the large waves yesterday and now I’m on to the medium waves. It takes me awhile to knit each row since there are 256 stitches but the scarf is actually knitting up relatively quickly. It’s a really great pattern- easy enough to memorize but not so easy that it’s boring. It’s nice to have something to work on where I don’t have to be staring at the charts the entire time like I had to do for the octopus sweater. Overall, song of the sea is going well! I’ll post more pictures once it’s done!


FO: Embrace Octopus Sweater!

My MCAT is done! And so is the Embrace Octopus Sweater! I spent my study breaks these last couple weeks working on it so I just had to weave in the ends today (which took forever…). Here’s the finished product:

I’m driving back to Minnesota tomorrow (a 9 hour drive. Ick) so I’ll post a picture of me wearing the sweater once I’m there and have someone to take a picture of me.
Overall, I enjoyed this sweater but it was definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever knit. The directions weren’t very descriptive (especially for a $17 pattern…) but the detailed charts were great. I just had some trouble interpreting the directions for the short rows of the neck. I’m not sure if I did it correctly but the sweater fits so I guess it turned out ok. The only part of this sweater that I really disliked was the left sleeve with the tentacle spiraling down it. I had to float the white yarn all the way around the entire way up or else I would have had 500 ends to weave in. It took forever and I just got kind of tired of it. I messed up a bit on the tension towards the bottom so it’s a bit tight but it works.
Just to demonstrate all of the floats I had to do, here’s a picture of the inside of the sweater:

The only thing I changed was using worsted weight yarn instead of bulky as suggested in some of the comments on the pattern. The sweater is a bit tight but I think that if it had come out too large, the octopus wouldn’t be as visible.
Overall, if you’re up for a challenge, I’d definitely suggest knitting this! It’s pretty fun and it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever made.