Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ingress Enlightened Hat Knitting Pattern

Hello, again, after a bit of a hiatus!

I have still been knitting and stitching, although blogging has fallen a bit by the wayside in light of recent events (wedding, honeymoon, craaaaazy busy work/grad school, etc.).  I wanted to check in again to share something, though!

I have been playing a Google-sponsored game called Ingress.  It's basically Four Square meets Capture the Flag, played on cell phones and tablets.  There are two teams or "factions," the Resistance (blue, or "Smurfs") and the Enlightened (green, my team, the better team).  This game requires you to get out and walk around outside, and because winter is approaching I wanted to knit something to show my faction pride and keep me warm.  My solution?  A colorwork hat!  I posted the finished object on Google+, and it kind of "went viral."  I got a ton of requests for the pattern, so here it is!

(Who knows - if I get enough requests, maybe I can even be convinced to do a Resistance hat, too.)  :)

My new Ingress Enlightened hat!
My new Ingress Enlightened hat!

Enlightened Hat Knitting Pattern

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Black (main color, MC - 9727) and Limelight (contrast color, CC - 9607)
Needles: tapestry needle, US size 8 (5.0 mm) 9" circular needles AND US size 8 (5.0 mm) double-pointed needles*

*you can also knit the entire hat on double-pointed needles, if desired

Gauge: 1" = 5 stitches

When knitting the colorwork, make sure to leave a good amount of slack in the CC while knitting with the MC, or else the hat will be too tight.  Tack the CC into place every 3-5 stitches on the reverse side by twisting it behind the MC.

Instructions (knit in the round):
Cast on 100 stitches in MC.  Join in circle, being sure not to twist.
Rows 1-8: *k2, p2 rib*
Rows 9-10: knit all stitches

Begin colorwork
See chart below.  Chart is worked from right to left and from bottom to top.  Repeat the pattern [between the asterisks in the written instructions (*)] five times total in each row (5 x 20 stitches, 100 stitches total).


Row 1: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 2: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 3: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 4: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 5:  *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 6: *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 7: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 8: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 9: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 10: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 11: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 12: * k4 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k13 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 13: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k4 CC, k7 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 14: *k1 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k3 MC, k2 CC, k6 MC, k3 CC, k1 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 15: *k4 MC, k2 CC, k1 MC, k8 CC, k5 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 16: *k3 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k4 CC, k7 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 17: *k4 MC, k2 CC, k14 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 18: *k5 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 19: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 20: *k7 MC, k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 21: *k8 MC, k3 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 22: *k9 MC, k2 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Row 23: *k10 MC, k1 CC, k9 MC* (repeat 4 more times)
Cut CC only; secure and weave in end of yarn.
Rows 24-27: knit all stitches in MC

Shape crown
Repeat the pattern between the asterisks (*) 10 times total for each row.  Stitch counts at the end of each row are listed in brackets [].
Row 28: *k8, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [90 stitches at end of row]
Row 29: knit all stitches
Row 30: *k7, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [80 stitches at end of row]
Row 31: knit all stitches
Row 32: *k6, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [70 stitches at end of row]
Row 33: knit all stitches
Row 34: *k5, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [60 stitches at end of row]
Row 35: knit all stitches
*If using circular needle, switch to double-pointed needles at this step.
Row 36: *k4, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [50 stitches at end of row]
Row 37: knit all stitches
Row 38: *k3, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [40 stitches at end of row]
Row 39: knit all stitches
Row 40: *k2, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [30 stitches at end of row]
Row 41: knit all stitches
Row 42: *k1, k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [20 stitches at end of row]
Row 43: knit all stitches
Row 44: *k2tog* (repeat 9 more times) [10 stitches at end of row]
Row 45: knit all stitches
Row 46: *k2tog* (repeat 4 more times) [5 stitches at end of row]

Cut yarn leaving 6" tail.  Using tapestry needle, thread cut end through all stitches in Row 46.  Secure and weave in end on reverse side.  Weave in ends on cast-on edge.

Happy knitting!

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Finished my Fair Isle hat!

I finished my Fair Isle hat yesterday!  I love it!  It is warm and cozy and super-soft.  I wore it out last night because I just had to show it off.

Here is a quick pic.  That's all; I just wanted to share!

Have a happy Daylight Savings Day - I hope you all got enough sleep!

Cheers,
-Erin

Friday, March 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

I made this awesome slow cooker chicken tortilla soup last night, so I thought I would share the recipe.  My mom sent me this recipe a while ago, but I made some minor modifications to it this time around, and it turned out fantastically well!  It is full of lean protein and makes a hearty meal.  The flavor is chili-like, although the soup is more broth-based than chili-style.  I love it - and it's a good thing, because I live alone, so I will be eating it for the next week!

Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
This recipe only has four "hard" parts:

1.  Chopping the onion
2.  Mincing the garlic
3.  Shredding the cooked chicken
4.  Trying not to eat the whole pot once it's finished!  :)

The rest of the recipe is just dumping everything into a slow cooker and waiting for it to cook.  I find the easiest way to make this soup is to start the recipe in the morning before I go to work.  Then, I shred the chicken first thing when I get home in the evening, and I eat it an hour or so later.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 3.5 quarts
165 calories per cup

Ingredients
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 19-ounce can dark red kidney beans, including liquid
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, including liquid
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, including liquid
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15.25-ounce can whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup chicken stock
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total weight)

Instructions
1.  Mix onion, garlic, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes with chiles, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning, and chicken broth in 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker.  Stir well until completely mixed.
2.  Place chicken breasts on top of soup mixture.  Push to the bottom of the slow cooker so the chicken breasts are completely covered with liquid.
3.  Cook on low heat 6-8 hours.
4.  Remove chicken breasts from soup.  Shred into pieces with two forks.  Add shredded chicken back into soup.
5.  Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours to allow flavors to soak into shredded chicken.
6.  Serve alone, or garnish with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or a dash of chili powder.

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!  Just the thing to warm you up on a cold wintry day.  :)

Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder
Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup - garnished with sour cream, a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of chili powder

Sunday, March 3, 2013

First quadrant of Celestial Dragon - FINISHED!

Well, THAT took awhile - but here's a pic!

"Celestial Dragon" by Teresa Wentzler - first quadrant finished!
"Celestial Dragon" by Teresa Wentzler - first quadrant finished!

I am going to work on the bottom right quadrant next.  It only took me a year to finish this one...

I also finished a fluffy afghan for one of my pregnant lady friends!  It is slightly less square than it should be, but hopefully some blocking will tighten up the corners.

Is anybody else working on any fun projects this weekend?  Please share if you are!

Oh, and thank you to everyone who left such nice comments on my Fair Isle piece - I appreciate your encouragement!  It's always nice to know people are popping in here to look.  :)

Have a great weekend!

-Erin

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My First Venture into Fair Isle Knitting

Hello, readers!

Things have settled down in my Etsy shop lately (phew), so I have been taking advantage of the lull to work on some "for fun" knitting projects.  My officemate, Jassia, gave me some lovely dusty blue Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn for a Christmas present, and I coincidentally had most of a whole skein of gray (also Debbie Bliss cashmerino!) left from  a brain hat, so I decided I would put them together and try my hand at Fair Isle knitting.  It is surprisingly easy!  I am knitting the Fair Isle Hat from Lion Brand Yarn's free pattern database, and it is going quite quickly.  I have finished row 13 of the pattern:

Fair Isle hat - my first attempt at this technique!
Fair Isle hat - my first attempt at this technique!

I am going to try to have this hat finished by the end of this coming weekend.  I really like it!  The yarn and the pattern are both gorgeous.

I also have quite a few pregnant lady friends (congratulations!), so I have been knitting baby gifts for them.  I would post photos, but then it would spoil the surprise!  I will just tell you that I have so much lavender, pink, and white yarn in my apartment, it looks like the Barbie aisle of a toy store after a bomb hit it.

And, last but not least, a bit of stitching...

I finished my first model sampler for Deb at The Stitching Bear, so as soon as it is published (March 4), I will post a lovely picture of it here!  She is sending me another piece to work on soon - it is from her "God and Chocolate" collection.  I can't wait to get started!  It sounds delightful.

That is it for my quick update - I have a busy day in lab today and have class this afternoon, but I will be in touch!  Thank you for stopping by!

Cheers,
-Erin

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quick V-Day Update from Boston Airport

Hello, readers!  Happy Valentine's Day!

I am posting a quick update from Boston Airport, because I am heading to Houston to spend the weekend with my fiancé.  We have been together for three years, but the first time we have ever gotten to spend Valentine's Day together, so I am pretty excited.  :-)  Tonight, we are going to dinner at a French restaurant in Houston, and then we are going to spend the long weekend relaxing and enjoying each other's company. <3  I am a lucky girl.

Thank you to all of you for your well wishes over the blizzard weekend! :-) We got about 30" of snow, most of which is still piled on the sidewalks.  Unfortunately, I did lose power, so my stitch-a-thon wasn't quite as productive as I would have hoped (stitching by candlelight gives me a wicked headache), but I did manage to almost finish the bottom left quadrant of Celestial Dragon, and I finished my last brain hat and mailed it yesterday.  I will post pics of Celestial Dragon next week after I finish that quadrant! I also finished and framed the owl from my last post; now, I just need to get him photographed properly and listed on Etsy.

I do have some wonderful stitching-related news!  Sunday, I signed a contract to work as a model stitcher for The Stitching Bear, a really awesome cross stitch pattern design company based out of Missouri. Deb, the designer, sent me my first design this week, and it arrived yesterday. I can't post any pictures until the design is published in March, but it is a very cute pattern called "4 All Seasons Sampler Part 1 - Spring." Aside from getting paid to stitch a really pretty design, I also get to keep the beautiful leftover threads from The Gentle Art for my stash!  There are 23 colors in all, so I will be looking for a fun project to use the rest of the floss in.  The colors are all shown in the bright and beautiful photo with this blog entry.  :-)

Well, my plane is boarding soon, so I have to run!  Take care, everyone, and have a great Thursday!

-Erin

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Finish of the Snowpocalypse - "Wise Owl"

Well, I have completed my first finish of the snowpocalypse - "Wise Owl" by Sandy Orton. Here he is, all stitched and framed!

"Wise Owl" by Sandy Orton - first finish of the snowpocalypse!
"Wise Owl" by Sandy Orton - first finish of the snowpocalypse!
We are getting some serious wind and snow here - including a few flashes of THUNDERSNOW!  It is pretty intense.  There are about six inches of snow on the ground, with more coming down by the minute.  I went outside and took a picture so you can appreciate just how serious "Nemo" is!

Snowpocalypse 2013 - Wollaston, MA
Snowpocalypse 2013 - Wollaston, MA
I hope you are all staying safe and warm - I will be back tomorrow to check in!  Next up on my stitching list is a few hours of work on "Celestial Dragon."

Happy stitching!

-Erin