Needles For Hire

Ah how I adore autumn.  The way the sunlight looks like warm honey spilling over my afternoon, the crisp chill in the morning air that makes me hug my coffee cup just a little tighter, and the sumptuous shades of saffron, pumpkin, and red velvet drifting like a mutable mosaic over sidewalks and fields.  There is something about this time of year that makes me feel industrious.  Like a squirrel ferreting away nuts for winter, I want to fill my nest with baked goods, soups and stews, and feather it with warm knitted things.

Autumn Afternoon

I think I mentioned last post that I’ve been knitting.  A bunch.  But you haven’t seen any of that here for a while.  Are you curious?  I’ve had my needles out for hire and now that I’ve got some things finished up, it’s time to share.
Oh, who have I been hired out to, you ask?  Mainly I’ve been test knitting in the Free Pattern Testers and The Testing Pool groups on Ravelry.  As you know, I’ve test knit a lot before, but this is a little more casual than what I’m used to.  Meaning there’s no contracts or anything.  It’s all on the honor system, which seems kinda dicey for the designers in my mind.  But it’s all good though.  The main thing is that I’m helping some fellow knitters get their patterns out into the world and I’m using up some of my stash in the process.  Plus, the deadline pretty much guarantees I’ll actually finish something since I take the deadlines pretty seriously.  I don’t know…. there’ something about it that gives me a warmish feeling in my tummy.  Like maybe I’m banking up some good karma, which I could really use!

Caterpillar Pacifier Clip


  • Pattern:  Corrente com Lagarta (Pacifier Clip with a Caterpillar)by Mamã Martinho  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  I used yarn repurposed from an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater I bought at Goodwill and unraveled maybe 3 -4 years ago? So I don’t know exactly how much I used.  It felt so good to use repurposed yarn though!
  • Needles:  Size 3 bamboo dpns
  • Mods:  Used sewn on velcro for fastening instead of a snap; sewed caterpillar and links to diaper pin instead of gluing; used pompoms for eyes and glued these on.

This is a super cute, very easy pattern and uses very little yarn.  I think it turned out sweet.  Me being the paranoid Mom that I am though, I’m not convinced my version is entirely baby-safe, so I am waiting until he’s a lot bigger to use this on him.  I had already bought a skull & crossbones Bink Link a couple weeks before I finished this anyway, so the need wasn’t as great for it as I had expected it to be.  But the designer was super nice, easy to work with, and I think the design is really cute.  She’s also got a darling version for girls with a little flower on it.
Next up…..

Two Way Mittens - Unconverted


Two Way Mittens - Converted To Fingerless Gloves


  • Pattern:  Two-Way Mittens by Keltic Banshee  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Classic Elite Alpaca Sox – Color #1810; 0.47 hanks (211.5 yds)
  • Needles:  Size 2 (2.75mm) Harmony 40 inch circ for Magic Loop
  • Mods:  Worked 26 rounds for cuff to make it a wee bit longer

This pattern was super fun to work because of its unique construction.  The mitts are knit from the fingers down and then the flap is created, knit together with the fingers and before you know it it’s smooth sailing to the cuff!  I was just fascinated the whole time I knit this and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in each successive step.  They were pretty quick to knit, considering how slow I am with fingering weight yarns.  If you can knit  a sock, I’d say these would be just as easy.  And the designer was a super nice gal, very understanding if I had a slow knitting week, and even extended the deadline so we could all rest a little easier and not have to knit so frantically.  I would definitely test for her again!
And another!

Monstah Baby!


  • Pattern:  Little Monster Hat by Odessa Reichel  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Lamb’s Pride Bulky – Color “Blue Heirloom Seconds”; 0.75 skeins
  • Needles:  Size 10 bamboo 16 inch circ
  • Mods:  Worked 2 repeats less of garter stitch for the height of the hat before starting short rows

I just love how this hat turned out!  It was quite the ingenious pattern (I think) and I really enjoyed seeing how this hat came together when I seamed it all up at the end.  Knittymunchkin was not about to keep it on his head for longer than 2 seconds though (it’s more fun to chew on, Mom!) so it took me a good 30 snaps to get this one shot.  Oh well.  I hope he’ll like it better when he’s a little bigger!  I made the toddler size and it’s a wee bit big on him right now, but I think it should be good for a while.  This designer was super nice as well and I would be happy to test for her again :)  A quick, easy, Christmas gifty too if you have little ones on your knitting list!
Whew!  Maybe the “busy-ness” of my little guy is rubbing off on me. I swear that kid cannot sit still for longer than a second or two at a time!  It’s cute, but it’s tiring!  Anyway, if you can believe it, I have other knits to show you.  I know – I think I just heard the flapping wings of some pigs overhead.  But we’ll leave those for another post, so when my inevitable dry spell comes back around (and it will), I’ll have something to show you.  Until then, enjoy your autumn!  I know I am.  I had pumpkin pie for breakfast :)


7 thoughts on “Needles For Hire

  1. One of the gals in my knitting group does a lot of test knitting. I like it, but I have so much that I want to get done before the end of the year. Maybe I will make it a project for next year?

    I can’t believe how big he’s getting! That hat is just too cute!

  2. I wish I could say that I’ve gotten any knitting done as compared to all your FO’s. Look at your needles go Maryanne!

  3. WOW! You words flowed off the screen and into my imagination. I was transported to Fall. My part of Texas really doesn’t share most of what makes Fall the season it should be, so I will live vicariously through you.

    LOVE the FO’s! Isn’t secret pattern knitting fun? I love the hat most of all I think but I think Lynn may have a point. The model is just too dang adorable! And if I am every brave enough to design a pattern I would be honored if you would still consider being a test knitter!

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