New Knitting Project: The Purl Bee’s Mosaic Blanket

Purl Bee's Mosaic Blanket - work in progress

I spent a few days this week without a knitting project and it was pretty much torture. I’ve been binge watching the Murdoch Mysteries in order to finish all the seasons available on Hulu+ before my free trial ends (no judging– it’s my new guilty pleasure). And I have to say, I cannot just sit and watch TV. I have to be doing something! And I prefer that thing to be knitting because it seems to be the only thing that keeps my hands occupied while still allowing me to follow the story line. So it was a huge relief to me when my yarn order from Knitpicks finally arrived and I could start my new project.

I’ve knit a few of The Purl Bee’s patterns over the years, and I’m never disappointed. Most of them are free, too, which is a huge bonus! The Mosaic Blanket is one of their free patterns, and its stylish and timeless quality is typical of the Purl Bee. It’s knit using a slip stitch pattern, which pretty much blows my mind! It’s basically just two-row garter stitch stripes, but by slipping stitches in strategic places, you end up with this beautiful pattern that looks like stranded knitting, but is so much simpler. The slipped stitches give it a wonderful texture as well, so all around, it’s a pleasure to knit.

Choosing the Yarn

The hardest part was choosing the yarn and colors for it. It sort of goes against my instinct to knit anything in black or white– I mean, with so many colors to choose from, why would you, right? But this pattern lends itself so well to high contrast, and black and white have this amazing ability to be both bold and neutral at the same time, so I feel it was a good choice.

Choosing the particular yarn was a little tricky too. I wanted something machine washable and dryable (because a blanket this size would be a pain to air dry), and I want it to be able to stand up to years of cuddling, blanket forts, and whatever else it happens to be used for. I would have loved to use a superwash merino, but it would have cost me twice as much, and I guess I could have done a cotton blend, but I decided to go with just plain acrylic. Normally I don’t like acrylic at all. It’s scratchy and stiff and has an odd squeaky quality, but Knitpicks Brava yarn had such good reviews that I figured I’d give it a try. It’s still feels like acrylic, but it knits up quite soft, so I’m okay with it. I kinda wish I had splurged on the merino though. Oh well– lesson learned!

I’m knitting the throw size, so I might be working on this one for a while. I’ll be sure to show you the finished product when it is done!

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Cozy Knit Socks

I don’t usually knit socks. Mainly it’s because it just takes so dang long to knit one and then you have to make another one exactly the same, and by the time I’m done with the first sock, I’m ready to move onto something new. I also have to admit, I tend to prefer the feel of regular old store bought cotton socks on my feet to hand knit socks.

But when the weather turns cold (which it definitely hasn’t yet), and I need something to keep my footsies warm around the house, I always turn to a nice thick pair of wool hiking socks or a pair knit for me by my mom. That’s the idea I had in my mind when I knit these socks. They’re more like slippers, I guess. I think they’re too bulky to fit well into any of my shoes or boots, but on their own, they’re amazing!

Cozy Socks with book and tea

I knit these cozy socks from the Hyak pattern by Tolt Yarn and Wool. I was kind of in between projects, you could say, and I had a sampler of four colors of Comfy Sport yarn by Knitpicks that I wasn’t sure how to use. Since these socks are knit using a worsted weight yarn, I decided to hold two strands of the sport weight yarn together as I knit to create a marled look. I held white and gray together for the main color and held a dark pink and a light pink together for the contrast color, and I have to say I’m very pleased with how they turned out!

Cozy Socks on bed with blanket

They’ve been a great little summer project, and I enjoyed working with the Hyak pattern, too. It’s simple and written very clearly and would be perfect for anyone looking to knit their first pair of socks. Plus, since it’s knit with a thicker yarn, they knit up way faster than most traditional sock patterns.

I’m so anxious for the cooler weather to arrive! Fall stuff is already showing up in all the stores, and I’m looking forward to the crisp air and being able to wear more hand knit stuff. But until then, these puppies will get tossed in the sock bin to wait to be pulled out at the first sign of chilly toes!