Monday, November 17, 2014

anna knits - brooklyn beanie

I was gifted some beautiful North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply yarn a few months ago. I was not sure what to make with it at first, but since I was not in the mood to knit on tiny needles, I decided to hold two strands of the fingerling yarn together and knit a hat with size US6 circular needles. I love the color combination of the gray and blue yarns, so I included a thin contrast stripe at the bottom. This is an easy unisex project that would make a great holiday gift. I included the pattern I used below. 

You can see a different style hat I made with the same yarn here

~Brooklyn Beanie Pattern ~

Yarn: I used 2 strands of North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply held together in main color (MC) Stone Wall, and 2 stands of North Light Fibers Fingerling 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Bamboo 2 ply held together in contrast color (CC) Cerulean Sea Glass. A thick sport or light worsened weight will get the same result.  
Needles: US6 circular and double pointed
Gauge: 25 stitches = 4", 30 rows = 4" in ribbed (K2, P2) stitch.
Finished hat size: fits 20" - 23" head circumference

K = knit
P = purl
K2tog = knit 2 stitches together
P2tog = purl 2 stitches together

Cast on 100 stitches in MC to circular needles
Round 1: Join work, place marker, and work K2, P2 around
Rounds 2-7: (K2, P2) around
Round 8: Switch to CC and K2, P2 around
Rounds 9-11: (K2, P2) around
Round 12: Switch to MC and K2, P2 around
Continue with K2, P2 until hat measures 7" - 7.5" from Round 1

Crown Shaping (switch to double pointed needles when needed):
Round 1: (K2tog, P2) around (75 stitches)
Round 2: (K2, P1) around
Round 3: (K1, P2tog) around (50 stitches)
Rounds 4-6: (K1, P1) around
Round 7: K2tog, (K2tog, P2tog) around (25 stitches)
Round 8: K1, (P1, K1) around
Round 9: P1, (K1, P1) around
Round 10: K1, (P1, K1) around
Round 11: K1 (K2tog, K1) around (17 stitches)
Cut yarn and weave through remaining stitches. Draw firm and fasten on inside. Weave in loose ends.  

Block using your preferred method.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

anna knits - preemie santa hats

A few weeks ago a friend asked if I would help out with an effort to knit santa hats for preemie babies at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). I myself was born at BWH, so I was particularly excited by this appeal, and volunteered to knit five hats by November 1.

For my hats I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in Really Red (809) and White (871). It took two skeins of red yarn and one skein of white to knit five hats. We used this free pattern by Sandy Davis, which I found easy to follow.

If you are interested in knitting for charity, especially as the cold weather and holiday season begins, Lion Bran Yarn has compiled a list of organizations seeking knitted donations for those in need. Browse the list here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

anna moves, part duex


{left to right}

taxi lights * lady liberty 
roof view * neighborhood juice 
cocoa art * rope art @ j.crew
g train* financial district
job searching * "Killer Heels"
met opera * purl soho

At the time of my last blog post I had just packed up my Boston apartment and was bound for my new home in NYC. Since then I have managed to find AND move into a new apartment (a feat in itself), unpack/furnish said apartment (mostly), take in beautiful views of the manhattan skyline (see proof above), drink delicious juice from my neighborhood juicer (again proof above), ride the subway (a lot), and much, much more. Life has been so busy I have not had much time to reflect on all the change. But I did take a few pictures along the way, which I wanted to share here. 

Now that I am more settled, I have a few knitting projects in the works that I plan to share soon. I also created a Cousin Itt Halloween costume out of yarn this year! I will post pictures of it tonight which you can view on Instagram and Twitter: @annaknitsetc.

Friday, August 29, 2014

anna moves - part one

{left to right}

packing * driving 
my temporary apartment's bedroom view * my boyfriend's grandma's library
 us open * nyc

As you may have noticed, my blog has been pretty static for the past few weeks. This hiatus was not because I had no updates to share. The opposite was in fact true, as I have been so busy with big life changes that updating anna knits, etc. took a backseat. In the past month I quit my job, packed up my apartment, and moved 200 miles south from Boston to NYC. It is a lot of change, but I am excited about all the new possibilities - and yarn stores! - that await in the big apple. 

I know August is not the biggest knitting month, but I am starting to get the itch to take on a new project. If you have any suggestions for great knitting resources in NYC, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email -

More to come! xo anna

Sunday, July 13, 2014

anna knits - smurf hat

Last August I received two skeins of beautiful Sky Blue Lace fingering yarn from Block Island's North Light Fibers for my birthday. It is a super soft alpaca/bamboo yarn that isn't scratchy for people who are sensitive to wool. Well, almost a year went by and I still had not used this gorgeous yarn. So when I went to Block Island for a few days this June, I brought it along and decided to knit up a quick hat.

Instead of slaving away over a super detailed project, I decided to put two strands of the fingerling yarn together and knit using size US8 needles. I was in the mood to knit a hat, so I found an easy pattern from Purl Soho, and cast on. The result is a super comfy slouch hat that, due to its blue hue, has become dubbed the smurf hat.

Are you knitting this summer, or has the heat kept you from casting on?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

art, etc. - wool animation

If you love wool, you have to check out this amazing stop-motion music video by animator Ainslie Henderson. It is creative, touching, and will make you look at your yarn basket in a new light. The song is by the British rock band, James. Read more about the music video and the artist here.

~ Enjoy ~

Thursday, May 22, 2014

anna knits - penguin jumper

Process pics:

As you may have surmised from my lack of posts, the last few weeks have been very busy for me. More to come on that soon, but first I wanted to share that I have in fact finished the penguin jumper I started a few months ago. It is a very quick project -- I am just slow with the posting :).

As I blogged a few months ago, in order to care for penguins caught in oil spills, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at Phillip Island Nature Parks dresses penguins in knit jumpers so that they do not ingest deadly chemicals when attempting to clean themselves. They have a worldwide call out for knitters to send jumpers to the Centre. You can read more about the penguins and their knitted jumpers here.

You can find the pattern to knit a penguin jumper, as well as where to send the garment, here.

After a recent call went out, there was some controversy surrounding the Centre and its jumpers. You can read more about that here

For the jumper I made, I used Bernat Softee Baby yarn in Flannel with US5 needles, and a little bit of Kambgarn yarn in Rosebloom for the embellishment. Some people get really creative with their embellishments, but for an intermediate knitter looking for a meditative project, a monotone jumper like mine is the perfect pick!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

anna knits - regina hat

Process pics:

First attempt Regina Hat:

This post is WAY overdue as I finished these hats in February/March, but better late than never, ya? Anyway, a few months ago I saw this hat made by @littlellama on Instagram and fell in love with the pattern. Inspired to knit my own hat, I went on Ravelry, and, by a stroke of luck, stumbled upon the exact pattern @littlellama had used. It is called Regina by Carina Spencer and it is a free download.

I decided to make the hat with some yarn I already had, Bernat Softee Baby in Flannel with size US4 and US6 needles (see first attempt Regina Hat pictures). I loved the flexibility of the pattern, since you create the crown based on the number of stitches you use to make the band as opposed to using a set number of crown stitches. But while I enjoyed knitting the hat immensely, I was not totally happy with the result. In the end, I was not a fan of the way the back of the hat slouched (you can see this better in the picture from the pattern), and I felt that the yarn I had chosen was not right for the pattern. I wanted the hat in a more substantial yarn.

With these criticisms in mind, I embarked on the pattern for a second time. This go-around I treated myself with a skein of Purl Soho Worsted Twist in Toasted Charcoal, and used size US6 and US8 needles. I kept the band pretty tight, because I knew I wanted the hat to be snug rather than slouchy. (You can measure the band on yourself as you go.) While knitting, the fan part may seem a little weird at first, but if you trust the directions you will be fine. Blocking is essential as you want the fan to lay right. I wet blocked mine, and used pins to hold the fan in place (see picture).

I was very happy with the result, and ended up giving away the hat as a present. I have another skein of the Worsted Twist and think I might knit up another Regina hat with it. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who has mastered a basic hat and is looking for something a little a little more challenging. Leave a comment or email me with questions!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

anna eats - week of treats

Clockwise from top left: 
  • Ina Garten's Jam Thumbprint Cookies were a hit at my office's Cookie Club.
  • I'm addicted to Skyr soothies. This one is banana, fronzen peaches, plain skyr, orange juice, and protein powder. 
  • My friend Alyssa made the most adorable and delicious lemon, lavendar, blueberry cupcakes. 
  • My Tuesday was greatly improved with an afternoon crepe from Boston's Paris Creperie Food Truck. Mmmm, nutella. 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I have some exciting personal news in the works, which I will share soon. I also have some exciting knitting projects that are almost ready to post. For now though, I wanted to share some of delicious treats I've enjoyed in the past week. Have you been baking, making, or noshing on anything noteworthy recently? xo anna

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

yarn bombing, etc. - the artist's process

By now you have most likely seen yarn bombing, either in person or online. But have you ever wondered what the artist's process looks like? I missed this video from Animal New York when it first came out, but it was recently sent to me, and I had to share. It is a great look into the technical side of yarn bombing. I hope it inspires people who are considering sharing their own yarn creations, but haven't taken the plunge yet. I myself have something in the works... Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

anna travels - hawaii 2014

Last week I escaped Boston's frigid temps for the warm beaches of Hawaii. I saw beautiful sunsets, got to swim with turtles, and ate some delicious Lilikoi Shave Ice (yum!). With 20 hours of combined flight time, I was also able to get a bunch of knitting done. Can you guess what I'm making in the picture on the left? Here's a hint

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

knitting, etc. - penguin jumpers


A few friends shared this story with me, and it is so cute I had to repost. I have heard of knitters making penguin jumpers before, but this article from ABC Melbourne reminded me of the cause. Basically, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at Phillip Island Nature Parks takes care of sick and injured penguins. When a penguin is caught in an oil spill, the Rehabilitation Centre dresses the penguin in a knit jumper so that the bird does not ingest the deadly chemicals when attempting to clean him/herself. You can read more about the penguins and their knitted jumpers here

The jumpers are for little penguins, which, as you can see from the pictures, are quite small. The pattern calls for D.K./Sport/Worsted yarn on US5 needles. While I have not yet made one, it looks like it would be pretty quick to knit. I might take materials with me this weekend, so that I can make one on my upcoming plane ride (I'm going to Hawaii - woot!)

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