Cozy Crazy

For Christmas this year I decided to make each of my coworkers a hand knit monogrammed coffee cozy. The finished results of two months of work were gorgeous! But if I never use the word “cozy” again, that’s fine by me.

20161221_122705.jpg(There was one more K, but it wasn’t finished at the time of this picture)

For the cozies I used I Love This Yarn in Glacier, Pistache, Rosy Cheeks, and Medium Blue. For the embroidery I used the same brand in White. I truly, truly do love this yarn. It’s so soft, but I did find that it tended to split while being worked. I read once that yarn has a “right end” and a “wrong end”, so maybe I started at the wrong end. Or maybe that’s all a load of codswallop, who knows.

I did a lot of tweaking to this pattern. I started with THIS pattern from Socialknitworking, but after making a few I found they hugged the coffee mug too tightly, there were obvious lines from where the DPNs changed, and the decreases didn’t line up well.

I tried using size 6 circular needles and size 6, 7, and 8 DPNs, but ended up with the best result using  a size 7 set of circular needles, using a size 8 DPN for binding off. This change eliminated problems one and two. For the third, I changed the K2tog at the end of the first round to a SSK, and replaced the SSK in round two with a K2tog. Switching the decreases but keeping them in the same position made the decrease line look neater and lay better.

Before I started the next step, I blocked all the cozies. I soaked them in water over night, but instead of laying them flat and pinning, I put them on the travel mugs I was making them for and let them dry into shape that way. To monogram my 6 cozies I just used an embroidery needle, a duplicate stitch technique I learned a few years ago, and a letter chart.

To do the duplicate stitch, you bring the needle threaded with your desired color of yarn up from the back through the knit stitch BELOW the stitch you want to duplicate. Then you bring the needle through the back of the stitch ABOVE the stitch you want to duplicate, and bring the needle back in through the hole in the front of the stitch you started in. I’ve found it’s easiest to work from the bottom up because it lays flatter.

Flower Pin Hat

A year ago my hair dresser gave me two skeins of the Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarn, one in Berry Burst and one in Candy Pink. So this year for Christmas, I used those skeins to make her present. When someone gifts me yarn, I always try to make them at least a little something with it to show my gratitude and give back a bit. This yarn was super hard to let go of though- it’s so soft and really easy to work with, I wanted to keep it for myself!

For the hat I used a pattern by Laura Diaz from Over The Apple Tree called V-Stitch Winter Beanie, which you can find HERE. Its a nice and simple pattern once you get used to how she words the spacing- I had to rip out the first few rows when I wasn’t getting the right amount of stitches at first. The majority of the hat is the Candy Pink color, with the Berry Burst at the bottom edge. I opted to wait to change color until the crab stitches in the last row and I’m happy with how it turned out. I also used a different hook size, because I don’t have an H hook and because an I hook looked better with the weight of the yarn I was using.

For the flower I used THIS pattern and more of the Berry Burst yarn, and again I used the I hook. It ended up being a bit more floppy than it looked in the picture, so I decided to sew the petals together in shape using invisible thread. I picked up the center pendant at Michaels, it was originally a necklace pendant so I used needle nose pliers to pop of the necklace loop and secured it to the flower with invisible thread (I hated it after I broke my sewing machine using it, but it’s actually very handy).  I hot-glued a pad with a pin onto the back of the flower and used that to attach it to the hat.

The hat worked up in a night and the entire flower process only took about an hour and a half (because I’m easily distracted).