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FO Spotlight Free Patterns Monthly Round UP

November 2020 Round-up

I cannot believe that November is over and it’s already time for another monthly round-up! The monthly round-up post is my opportunity to share with you what I’m knitting, my works in progress, my knit finished objects, knitting patterns I’m working on and MORE.

In this edition: my woeful neglected WIPs, a FREE hat pattern and my new crafting obsession…let’s dive in!

Current Knitting Projects

For Fox Sake Sweater

I wrote about this knit colourwork sweater in my October Round-up, and I had about 20 rows left in the yoke. Now I have maybe 5-7 rows left. I haven’t worked on it for the past few weeks, but I am done the foxes!

A recent photo of my For Fox Sake when I finished the foxes!

This is going to be my last sweater of 2020, if I finish it this year at all and it’s looking very possible that I won’t. But once I get through the yoke and the sleeve separation my pace should pick up quite a bit.

Vampire Vibes Socks

For a second I thought For Fox Sake was my only WIP, but I am also working on a pair of knit socks. These were my Halloween Cast-on if such a thing exists. I’m using KnitPicks Felici in the colour Vampire Vibes.

In my last post I wrote about my experience with my first afterthought heel and I’m going to do another afterthought heel on this pair.

I haven’t knit much on them, I’m mostly pulling out this project for knitting during movie night.

Coziest Memory Blanket

I mean…this a a forever WIP and I promise I won’t include it in every monthly round-up, but I do want to chat a bit about my scrappy mitered square blanket. I started this blanket in August of 2019 and in August of this year I realized that I was barely 10% through.

Scrappy Sunday mornings are becoming my favourite new habit!

A few weeks back I set a goal of doing 2 at least squares every Sunday and I’ve been pretty good so far at keeping that up. If I manage to stick to this goal all the way through the end of December I’ll be 20% done when 2020 ends!

Finished Objects AKA Mini-FO Spotlight

Bear Lak Cowl

The honour of being the only Knits of Steele FO for November 2020 goes to the Bear Lake Cowl (Ravelry link) by Kacey Herlihy. This was a test knit, when I saw Kacey post the testing call I fell in love with this pretty cowl. And it came at the perfect time in my cowl/DK obession!

I’ve been wearing not only my Bear Lake Cowl but all of my knit cowls recently when cozying up at home!

I used KnitPicks Capra for this project. It was my first time using this yarn and definitely not the last. It is so cozy and warm, the squish factor is unreal.

New (FREE) Knits of Steele Design

I released a new free knitting pattern a couple weeks ago! Hazelnut Latte is a simple knit hat is a perfect wardrobe staple for Fall or Winter. I wrote about it on the blog when it was released, you can check that out here.

And you can download your free copy of Hazelnut Latte from my Ravelry store!

Other hobbies

Part of the reason that my WIPs have been so neglected in November is that I’ve been really enjoying some other hobbies outside of knitting this month.

I did A LOT of knitting in the first three quarters of 2020 and I’m not losing my mojo by any means, but I have taken some time to think about slowing down in the amount of projects I’m knitting. Running out of space in my closet…

Cross stich

Near the end of October I thought that I might enjoy Cross Stitch so I purchased some beginner friendly kits and my journey began. And I love it! Look out knitting…just kidding, knitting will always be my love/obsession but it’s nice to have some variation in crafts.

My first completed cross stitch. So proud of my little sour lemon – don’t look at the back 😉

I haven’t posted much about my cross stitching other than an Instagram story here and there when I’m popping in to give updates. I don’t intend for this to become a cross stitch blog LOL. But I do think I will write a post in the near future about getting started with cross stitch, what my experience was like and some tips for beginners, from a beginner.

I’m approaching my cross stitch journey way differently than my journey with knitting and I don’t think cross stitch will ever reach the same level for me as knitting has what with this blog and my Instagram account.

And that’s exactly how I want it! Posting about my knitting hasn’t taken away my love for it, but it has made that love different and I view cross stitch as a bit of an escape from that.

Gaming

Like many people I got really into Animal Crossing new Horizons during lockdown when it came out earlier this year. But over the past couple months my enthusiasm for the game was waning. And while I didn’t feel like I wanted to play, I was sad about that because it’s such a cute game and I was having a lot of fun.

In November I’m happy to say that my Animal Crossing motivation was back and I’ve had a lot of fun improving my island (hello five stars!) and making plans for cute little areas I want to create in the future.

Pikman

If you’re not familiar with Pikman it involves cute little creatures called, well Pikman! I had one of these games for my Nintendo DS and Matt surprised me with the new one for the Switch.

I just started so I’m not very far along, but this game is also going to be keeping me entertained when I’m not knitting!

Bugsnax

This game is the reason I have played on the new Playstation more than Matt has! It’s so cute.

You can check out the trailer here.

One of the reasons I am loving this game is the world is so whimsical and cute it’s nice to escape reality for a bit. And it’s like Pokemon, but sometimes I find Pokemon overwhelming, in Bugsnax it seems really do-able to actually catch all the critters.

Knitflix

This blog is already loooong enough so I’m going to try and keep the knitflix section short! Here are the shows, movies, podcasts I’ve been enjoying while I work on my knitting projects.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

If you have been following me on Instagram than you know that Buffy is my favourite show. At the beginning of lockdown I started a re-watch and it has taken me until now to finish it.

This was my first time watching the series beginning to end since I first watched it back in 2015. When Buffy aired I was too young for it and although I caught some of the later episodes on cable when I was older I didn’t really follow the series.

I’m a bit of a collector and I have way more Buffy stuff than I realized. When I dug out props for this photo I had totally forgotten about that colouring book!

Now that I’m finished the series I’m going on to read the comics which pick up where the show left off! And if I can get my hands on it, I’ll re-watch Angel which is a spinoff show.

Big Mouth

Matt and I love adult animation and after watching Archer a dozen times and finishing Rick & Morty we needed something new. With the 4th season of Big Mouth coming this week we figured it was a great time to get into this show.

This show is SUUUUUPER for adults only – very R rated and if a lot of sexual content is going to make you uncomfy I would avoid it. That being said it is hilarious and has had us laughing out loud and cringing all at the same time.

Wine and Crime Podcast

I used to be really into the podcast Wine & Crime (this is another one with graphic content for adults only), but with so many podcasts to keep up with, and not having a commute in 2020 I’ve fallen behind on episodes. Near the end of November I started listening again and now I’m working towards getting all caught up.

I really love the format of this podcast compared to other true crime shows, it’s broken down into segments with each host tackling the background of their topic or a case. And they have a wine pairing for every show!

That’s a wrap on November 2020! I’m not sure how this post got so long when I feel like I’ve hardly done any knitting…I hope you enjoyed it. Please share with me in the comments what you’ve been up to this month.

What’s coming up in December….I mean who knows, but I think I can say that the December Round-up will include a few words about chunky knits, a new cross stitch project or two, some Christmas knitflixes and maybe even an FO!

OH and my Christmas Eve cast-on because I already have that planned! Maybe I’ll even share some of my favourite cookie recipes here on the blog.

Categories
Monthly Round UP

October 2020 Round Up

Welcome to my first monthly round up post! I wanted to start this post series as a way to capture all of my projects as well as share some other things I’m into at the moment like snacks and what I’m watching on TV.

I decided on starting this category because it was just too much to share all of my projects through FO Spotlight posts. Especially because I’ve been doing so much knitting this year (thanks COVID…), I’ll still be doing my FO Spotlight posts for certain projects. Especially when I have some interesting notes to share about the process. And with these posts I can give you an update on my current WIPs!

I also wanted a place to share what I’m reading, listening to, and watching because I’m also doing more of that these days (also thanks to COVID). And share any other fun things like snacks or drinks I’ve been enjoying.

Works in Progress

I though I was going to have more WIPs at the time of writing this, but I’ve managed to finish off a couple of things so those will be further down in the FO section.

For Fox Sake Sweater

I’ve got about 20 rows to go for the yoke of this sweater. I’m enjoying the colourowork, my first time doing three stranded colourwork, but I also can’t wait to get to the mindless stockinette stitch in the body!

Wrap & Cuddle Blanket

Be prepared to see this one on the WIP list for the next little while! I have quite a bit of time to finish this one so I’m just working on it here and there.

Finished Objects

Afterthought Heel Socks

These were my first afterthought heel socks, I’ll be writing up a separate post sharing more of my experience.

I used Lion Brand Mani Pedi and Sock Ease. And although I wasn’t aiming to make the stripes match up they came out exactly the same!

City Limits Sweater

If you were following my Insta stories at the time you know this sweater caused me a lot of of issues with gauge and yardage and i had to rip back a decent chunk of the yoke.

It didn’t turn out quite how I expected, it’s a bit tighter, but I’m happy with the fit and the way the colours are working together. If I made this again there are a few things I would do differently starting with my yarn choice.

Falling For You Cowl

I had the privilege of testing this cowl pattern for Leslie’s Lake Life (Ravelry Link). It was an absolute joy to knit and I can’t wait to make another one, and then maybe a third one and pay more with different colours.

The pattern comes out November 3rd so make sure you keep an eye out for it.

Pātikitiki Cowl

I just can’t get enough of cowls lately! I had this in my queue for so long I just needed to find the right yarn and I finaly did!

I used a unique dyelot from Sweet Georgia that’s been in my stash for a little while and Campfiber Yarns Eeyore colourway from the Winnie the Pooh collection.

Reads of Steele

I used to do a story highlight on Instagram called Reads of Steele where I posted about books I was reading and gave a bit of a review when I finished. I’m so glad to be resurrecting Reads of Steele and including it here in my monthly round-ups!

A Blade So Black

I really enjoyed this novel that puts a twist on the story of Alice in Wonderland. It was a quick read partly because it was so good I couldn’t put it down at some points.

The Witcher

This is another book that took me a little while to finish, but I was finally able to complete it this month. I watched The Witcher series on Netflix and little while ago and I wanted to give the book a try.

I really enjoyed it. It’s written as a compilation of short stories and reading most of the book before starting the series really helped me track the timeline and plot.

Artemis Fowl (graphic novels)

Artemis Fowl was one of my favourite book series when I was a kid. I started reading the graphic novels by getting the e-books from the library.

I’ve read the books quite a few times so this is a nice way to revisit the story in a different format.

Knitflix

Ratched

I just wrapped up watching Ratched this past weekend, it took me about a week to finish it. I wasn’t sure I would like this series, but I was looking for something to watch so I figured I would give it a try.

I found the story really intriguing, the acting was great and I was happy to find that familiarity with the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoos next was not required.

Scream

I’m watching this movie now while writing this post, in preparation for Halloween. This is my favourite scary movie I watch it every year around Halloween and sometimes the sequels as well. I don’t even mind watching it alone, probably because I’ve seen it so many times i know exactly what to expect!

If you’re looking for some scary movies to watch for Halloween you can check out my Halloween Knitflix Guide!

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Matt and I recently finished this series earlier in October, and although we didn’t enjoy it as much as it’s predecessor The Haunting of Hill House it was still a pretty good series. It wasn’t necessarily scary, but it had some serious creepy vibes.

Listens

And That’s Why We Drink

I recently discovered this podcast (check out their website here) and I have been loving it. It brings together two of my favourite things, true crime and paranormal stories/investigations.

The Hidden Djinn

I’ve been enjoying listening to this podcast which delves into folklore and history related to the djinn. Like most people I’ve heard of djinn, or genies, but I didn’t know much about them. The history and stories in this podcast are fascinating!

It’s hosted by Rabia Chaudry who is a well known figure in the true crime world, so that’s how I discovered this podcast. She is an excellent host and really brings a lot of depth to the history and folklore that she shares.

Extras!!

We carved pumpkins for Halloween! I made a cat-o-lattern. Garfield was mostly interested iwth eating the discarded pumpkin guts.

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Knitflix and Chill

Halloween Knitflix Guide

Halloween is just around the corner, are you ready to get into a spooky mood?

I love Fall, I love Halloween, I love scary movies…and I love knitting of course! Here’s a list of some of my favourite spooky movies and series for a Halloween Knitflix!

I’ve given them all a jack-o-lattern emoji rating 🎃 from one: not scary at all, to five: bonechillingly terrifying. And I’m a huge baby so you can count on those ratings to be generous towards the terrifying side! 

Scream 🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

Let’s start off with a classic! This movie is great for knitflixing if you’ve seen it 1,000 times like I have. Scream is mandatory Halloween viewing in my opinion so if you haven’t seen it then grab your project and press play. 

This movie is not too scary, it’s just scary enough, and you’ll have your knitting on hand to distract you from the gory scenes. If you’re in the mood for a marathon you can watch all 4 of the Scream movies in a row. 

With all that knitflixing not only will you be in the Halloween spirit you’ll make a lot of progress on your knitting. So pull out that large project you haven’t touched in a year and get to work! 

Nightmare Before Christmas 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG

Now there is some debate on if this is a Halloween or Christmas movie. But the movie’s director Henry Selick settled this debate saying that it is indeed a Halloween movie

The easy to follow plot means you won’t lose your place while you work on your WIP (work in progress). 

The best thing about the Nightmare Before Christmas, in my opinion – remember I said I’m a huge baby – is that, despite its name, it will put you in the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares! Dynamic characters, catchy songs and some dark humour make this a great pick for your Halloween Knitflix marathon. 

The Haunting of Hill House and/or The Haunting of Bly Manor 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

I’m lumping these two series together and giving them an average of a 2 jack-o-lantern scare rating. However, Haunting of Hill House is closer to a 3 while Bly Manor is closer to a 1, or maybe 2, depending how easily scared you are. 

These are two entirely independent stories so you can watch only one or both and watch them in whichever order you like! The Haunting of Hill House is a truly chilling tale and much closer to a horror movie in a series with plenty of jump scares. While The Haunting of Bly Manor is a bit slower, less startlingly scary and has more of a creepy vibe rather than horror. 

The Fourth Kind 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG-13

Okay, now for a scary one! I would have given this five jack-o-latterns, but when I saw the rating it made me feel like a huge scaredy cat that it’s PG-13!

This alien mystery thriller left me with that creeped out feeling for DAYS after watching it for the first time. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s filmed in the “this is a true story” style which adds to the scare factor. 

This movie is well suited to knitflixing, it’s a bit of a slow burn plot-wise. But by no means boring, you’ll definitely be able to get in a few rows. And you’ll have something on hand to distract you when things really get going! 

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix Reboot) 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s one for the documentary lovers who like a real life true crime/scary story. Netflix just dropped the second collection of episodes for their Unsolved Mysteries reboot that came out earlier this year. 

Depending how scared you get by true crime this could be a 1 or a 2 (or even a 3) for you. And it’s all in the name these are unsolved cases which adds to the creep factor for me. 

I haven’t watched the second collection yet, but I binge watched the first season in one day when it was released. With a WIP in hand of course!

If you want to watch the OG Unsolved Mysteries it’s streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Halloweentown 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: G

Here’s a classic everyone in the family can enjoy! Just because this movie is a one jack-o-lattern rating doesn’t mean it’s boring.

There’s the coming of age plot line, magic, and some great costumes. This movie is perfect for knitflixing because the plot is easy to follow so you won’t lose track of the movie or your knitting. And it’s not super scary so it’s just right to get you in the spooky spirit without spending the whole time with a blanket over your eyes!

Halloweentown is also a series, there’s four of them, so if you’re working on a big project plan a movie marathon!

Ratched 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s another creepy series for Halloween knitflixing. Full disclosure at the time of writing this post I haven’t finished watching this series, I’m half-way through the eight episodes. 

The lead character of this series, played by Sarah Paulson, is based on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’ve never seen or read it so I can safely say it is not a prerequisite for watching Ratched the series. 

This show is not necessarily scary, it has more of a creepy feel, but it certainly is gorey and has some disturbing moments. I was watching it last night and found myself saying “oh my god, that’s messed up” except messed is not the word that I used 😉.

The Conjuring 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

I love The Conjuring, and all of the movies in the franchise actually – they’re so well made, but I will not lie it scares the pants off me every time! 

Having a WIP on hand while watching this movie helps distract me from the total terror that is taking place on the screen. And gives me something to do with my hands other than hide my face! 

It’s also nice to be able to get some rows done during the lighter plot points. 

Are you planning to watch any of these movies this weekend? Leave a comment to let me know and give me your spooky rating 🎃! 

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Musings

Finally Fall

I’m so glad it’s finally Fall! Through August my knitting mojo was seriously suffering, and my motivation for pretty much anything was also suffering. I was stuck in a loop of work, plopping on the couch, going to sleep, and more work. My guess is that this is the typical COVID-19 lockdown cycle for most people! 

Doing nothing certainly can be draining. 

But the cool weather has brought me a dose of extra energy and excitement. I love Fall and if you ready my post from last week you know this and all of the reasons why!

One of the reasons I love this season is sweater weather and really just weather for knitwear in general. It’s time to pull out the shawls, hats and sweaters that have been packed up all summer long. 

As I’m getting all my knitwear ready for the season I thought it would be fun to give you a round-up of some of my favourite knit patterns for Fall. 

Hacked Hat 

A young white woman wearing glasses and a grey knit hat smiles at the camera
Put on your new hat! And don’t forget to share a photo on social media

This is one of mine, hope you don’t mind a little self-promotion (this is not the only one in the list LOL) but this had is great for Fall when you just want a simple light hat to cover up your ears on chilly days, without overheating. 

Find the free pattern here

Coffee Shop Wrap

This cozy shawl by Two of Wands is perfect for cuddling up in on a cool day. I knit mine with a Caron Big Cake and let the yarn do all the striping for me!

I keep mine at work, which means I haven’t seen it in a while and don’t have any recent pictures. Oh well!

You can find this pattern for free (amazing!) here or you can buy a downloadable version from Two of Wands. 

Halloween Heart Sweater

This sweater is designed by Meghan Regan of Bad Wolf Girl Studios.

Full disclosure – I haven’t knit this, but it’s been on my “want to knit” list for forever! I really thought 2020 would be the year I knit this for Halloween, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen. 

This sweater is so perfect for Fall because it’s got all things Halloween in the colourwork yoke, and Halloween is one of the reasons that Fall is so great. 

You can see the pattern here on Ravelry.

Twister Mitts

Fingerless mitts are so versatile, you can wear them when you’re out and about or even inside if your hands get chilly like mine. They’re perfect for chilly offices or other workplaces because you can still have full use of your fingers for typing or other tasks. 

A white woman holds her hand on her chest showing knit fingerless mitts
These mitts have been my favourite accessory for the transition from Winter to Spring.

This is another Knits of Steele original. I’ve already worn these a few times, without even leaving home. My home office while I’m working from home is in our our bedroom and it’s been a bit chilly. I’ve kept my Twister Mitts in my desk drawer and pull them out if my hands ever get cold. 

Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

Trickster Hat

It’s another one of my designs, but I couldn’t resist including it here because it’s one of my favourites.

Young white woman wearing an orange knit hat poses in front of trees with yellow leaves
Let’s be friends!

This is one of my first knit designs and I still love it so much. The squishy faux cables are great for Fall and who can resist a giant pom pom?!

It hasn’t been quite cold enough here in Toronto yet to need a hat this heavy, but the time is coming to take this knit out of the closet. 

I think this hat is especially great for Fall because of the colour I knit my sample in, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Spice

This is just a quick look at some of my fave knitting patterns for Fall. There are so many more than would fit in one post! What are your favourites?

Categories
FO Spotlight

FO Spotlight: Campside Cardi

Today I want to share some more information about my Campside Cardi.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

I had this pattern in my queue for a long time when I saw that Purl Together was hosting a Campside Cardi Knit-a-long! I had some Cotlin DK from KnitPicks left in my stash from my Daybreak tee, but I was a bit short on yardage.

I decided that I would go ahead and make the Campside Cardi out of this yarn and figured I’d just do short sleeves. But as it turns out I didn’t have to because I managed a full length sleeve and I still have about 300 yds left.

I’m not sure how that magic happened, but I’m happy that I was able to complete the full cardigan. A short sleeve version would have been nice, but the long sleeves make this a great layering piece for chilly summer nights.

This pomegranate colour is a bit out of character for me, I don’t really gravitate towards red. I was gifted a sweater’s quantity of this yarn from a friend who was de-stashing. And I’ve managed to get two garments out of it!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the remaining yardage, maybe it’s enough for a My Little Secret Crop (that would be my third one!).

The Campside Cardi is part of a whole pattern line by Alicia Plummer. Each of the patterns includes this stunning eyelet lace pattern.

Sometimes I struggle with lace, but I found this project was a joy to knit and I love how the different lace sections come together to form the finished piece.

I tried out a new bind off technique for this project. The pattern recommends using a stretchy bind off, I wanted to make sure my collar and bottom edge weren’t scrunching up so I looked up the instructions for a stretchy bind off.

I ended up following this tutorial from Very Pink. It was so simple and I’ll definitely use this technique again when I need a stretchy bind off, especially for 2×2 ribbing.

I even used this bind off on the sleeves, I would typically do a tubular bind off on my sleeves, but I didn’t feel like doing the set up for 2×2 ribbing. I do feel that on the sleeves it’s a bit too loose and they flare out a bit. If I were to make this again I would do a regular bind off on the sleeves.

The Campside Cardi is a raglan construction, and I think I’m beginning to learn that I don’t love a raglan construction for a cardigan…this is my second raglan cardigan, I knit Harvest by Tin Can Knits about a year ago. I always had issues with my Harvest slipping down off of my shoulders and I just figured it was because it was heavy cotton and also it’s a bit too big. But I’m finding the Campside Cardi does the same, especially if I wear a tank top underneath.

But at least the slipping is not so bad with a t-shirt because of the friction, it’s actually much much better with a t-shirt. It’s a bit of a shame because I like to layer with tank tops, but that’s okay. I still love this sweater.

Cardigans are one of my favourite wardrobe pieces, they’re so cost and versatile. And I’m definitely putting a cardigan with set-in sleeves on my queue! Any suggestions?