Saturday, December 31, 2011

Almost Finished: Winter's Fog Gloves/Stash Revamp

Almost there! One glove down, one to go... 

In other news, I decided to go through my entire stash on this last day of the year to be sure my online catalog is up to date so hopefully (yeah right) I will curb my yarn habit in the coming year.  It is relatively exciting to pull everything out and touch it all.  I have never had a stash big enough to "forget" about yarns, but it certainly does bring back anticipated project ideas while reviving my lust.   On one hand I feel very proud of my stash-- not too big, not too small, some amazingly sought after yarns/colorways, but I can't lie, there is a tinge of worry as I look through it all and wonder just how much money I have poured into this "habit"... It's not enough to make me regret buying this or that, but I am hoping it will weigh heavily on me this new year, as I try and avoid (the unavoidable) impulse gotta have its.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finished: State Street

Sometimes, I don't need something... like I really didn't need another cowl, but I had to have it.  This design, State Street by Pam Allen has been calling to me for some time.  I decided to make mine a lot smaller than the pattern states mainly for functionality, but I think the original, over sized design would be great, too.  I would say this pattern took me about 10 full hours of knitting on the smaller needles so a nice and easy stash buster. (You can find my mods on my project page on Rav.) 

I also began Phillip's cabled gloves last night out of the Cascade 220 that I picked up during the after Christmas sale.  The pattern, Vancouver Fog, is just enough to keep me interested, but nothing too frustrating.  I am somewhere around 30% done with the first glove, so hopefully by the new year P's hands will no longer resemble icicles. 

More importantly, I am getting closer to my 5 mile goal... I am about 200+ yards away, so I better get to my needles before work! 

Monday, December 26, 2011


Sometimes I wonder whether my knitting makes gift giving holidays a little too easy for my Phillip.  For the last few years, any time one has come along, my response is inevitably the same... "I will pick out some yarn," and quite honestly, there has never been any shortage of yarns I am dying for. 

For Christmas, I received some amazing gifts.  Along with some roving and a book on spinning, I also got a couple of skeins of yarn from my MIL's trip to Oregon.  The colors are really gorgeous.. I will have to search Noro patterns for something to show off the color changes, for sure.

This morning I was also able to hit up my LYS for their after Christmas sale... Wow! First, the place was full  of people.. it was sort of shocking.  Then you can imagine my delight when I heard that everything  was a minimum of 15% off! It is possible I freaked people out by squealing, as this was the perfect opportunity to buy things I hadn't really planned on for a fraction of the cost.  There are certain yarns that knitters know never ever go on sale, and this was an amazing stroke of luck that I forced myself out of bed, as I had missed the note about the discount on yarn (Not sure why, but I did.).  Anyway, I left with 6 skeins of yarn for practically nothing! I ended up getting some Cascade 220 for a pair of cabled gloves for Phillip, another skein of Suri Merino, (which kills me--love love love love love this yarn!), some Berroco Comfort to match  my stash left overs, two skeins of Malabrigo Gruesa to try out of sheer curiosity, and last but not least, some Madelinetosh Vintage in French Gray, which practically gave me chills when I saw. (A LYS worker had posted on Rav before my trip that she had been gifted a sweaters worth--I experienced real envy then!)  I'd say the trip was a major success.

In the coming days I should be getting my drop spindle to try this spinning thing out.  I am nervous but have been  soaking in as many videos and books as possible so hopefully it will be a fruitful learning process.  
More soon... 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hurry up! It's almost 2012!

Okay, I've been slacking a whole lot on my 5 mile goal for the year.  I haven't picked up my needles much in the last week except to begin an ill fated attempt at a Toasty glove made with Rowan Felted Tweed left overs from Guernsey.  It isn't an epic failure or anything, but I have yet to pick up the stitches needed to begin the thumb and then I still need to make another.  I should have known better, but really, they were an attempt to practice for the start of a cabled glove project I plan to begin for Phillip, should I ever stop procrastinating.

I am hoping to make it a little further in the next few days, as I am planning a last minute assault on my LYS for some yarn to begin a State Street Cowl.  I have also cast on and frogged a Marian cowl about twenty times, but I will spare you the gruesome details.... I have some stash yarn picked out for that, but I fear the rope-like structure of the yarn will clash badly with the cabled motif... (If you are a knitter, I know what you are thinking.... you'd just have to see the starts I have had to understand... ropey and cable sounds great together, but not in this instance.)  Anyway, as Christmas approaches I am becoming more and more aware of how fickle I am when it comes to my knitting.  Perhaps, it is a coming of age tale, about how far I have come in the last year.  Not knitting for the sake of knitting (which really isn't a bad thing at all), but really, trying to put out something that will be of real use and beauty in the collection that is my hand knits.

Should I be hibernating as holidays pass to get closer my goal, I am wishing much happy knitting!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finished: Avery Jr.

After handing along the Avery of a few posts ago to my sister in law, I knew I wasn't finished with the pattern.  I wanted one! Along came the Beet Root colorway  of Berroco Comfort and off I was to knit myself this amazing design by Melissa LaBarre.

I keep getting asked if this pattern is beginner friendly... yes! If you can knit in the round, knit & purl and follow a pattern I say go for it. The result looks a lot harder than it actually is and is wonderfully warm and cuddly. 

Received my Cyber Monday yarn and was off to make gauge swatches last much left to knit to get to my 5 mile, self-imposed year deadline! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finished: Copy Cat Hat

The weather seemed to chill incredibly quickly this year.  Normally, I am happy to have a few days in between of coldish weather, but this year, I woke up and realized it was freezing outside--literally! 

In order to keep my head warm, I recently cast on a Copy Cat Slouch Hat, which is a free pattern on Rav. I had been going back and forth on the pattern for some time but since I have seemed to misplace my Crooked Paths hat (oh no!) I broke down. I used Cascade 220, which isn't a particularly nice yarn (in my opinion), but it is a great general work horse that always works up thick and warm. I made the entire hat on size 7 needles, and the pattern repeat is a measly four rows that are incredibly easy.  Overall, I am happy with the result and think this would be a great go-to project for slow days when my inspiration is hibernating. (The pattern mods I used are listed on the project page--be sure to check out any helpful projects if possible.)  

In other news, during cyber Monday I was able to pick up a pile of Berroco Weekend Chunky for a yet to be determined sweater.  More details on that later! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks...for yarn!

Thanksgiving is  upon us and there is really no need to ramble on about how much I am thankful for.  A great family, a nice couple of cats, you know the drill.  I tend to feel thankful often--even if I don't always express it--, so it is sort of funny that this holiday as I am prepping for an out of town trip, I am mulling over how thankful I am for the outlet of knitting and of course, all the amazing yarn out there. 

I have been off work this week, packing, cooking, running around the house in a cleaning rage though the entire time in the back of my mind, I kept wondering what projects I would be taking along, if and when I was going to get to the yarn store... it sounds very silly if you aren't a knitter but for most (not usually me, another thing to be thankful for..) car time equals prime, uninterrupted knitting time that usually doesn't come so easily. 

Of course, I made time to visit the store, pick out a few balls to take along and now as the cooking and cleaning are done, I am furiously searching Ravelry for a hat pattern... and so the cycle continues.

I plan to make another Avery cowl (for me!) in Berroco Comfort in the Beet Root color.  There are plenty of yarns I sought out, played with, but I couldn't help myself from choosing this washable staple, yet again.

And for the yet to be chosen hat, Cascade 220 in the Silver Gray colorway.  (By the way, now that my hair has grown to proportions that are conducive to wearing hats... it's on!) 

I imagine I will be back in a few days to show the progress.... Happy Knitting!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finished: Avery

A while back Quince and Co released Wool Book One, a majorly droolworthy collection of patterns designed by two of my knitting crushes, Melissa Labarre and Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  The collection is amazing; it is rare that I find 5 patterns in one place that I adore equally. I remember immediately sending off emails like, "OMG! Did you see this?!?!!"... It took me a while to get over my initial lovefest/shock but last week I cast on an Avery cowl for my sister in law.  I can't tell you how much I loved this pattern... First, the number of cast on stitches is high, it makes rows feel a little long, but you end up with a lot less repeats which always makes me happy.  Secondly, I am positive that the stitch  motif will work with a variety of yarns and a variety of fibers (as a testament I knit this in Berroco Comfort which is machine washable and never lost any definition).  And last, it just looks cool
This was a quick knit, and I am already excited to make another! 

In other news, I have given Phillip (not so cool) bragging rights as  I have knit over 4 miles of yarn this year so far! My goal is 5 miles, so I have a lot of work to do before the end of next month.
Back to my needles... 

Finished: Turn A Square Hat

I wasn't lying when I said I was impressed with Jared Flood's patterns... This week, after finishing a secret project for my sister in law (will post tomorrow, after I give  it to her!), I decided to cast on a Turn a Square hat for Phillip with some stash left overs.  The darker color is from his nowhere near finished Cobblestone Pullover and the lighter green, Turtle, is a purchase from a trip to Colorado a few years ago.  The pattern was incredibly fast in worsted weight and very easy to follow.  I cast on as the pattern states, did an increase round and dove into the jogless stripes (which are nowhere near as complicated as the knitting gods would have you believe).  Once I got to the decrease rounds my attention went off (too much tv, I suppose.) and I made a few minor mistakes.  Nothing you can actually see, and it didn't make any difference in the hat, other than make it a few rows taller which is probably a good thing. Not much to say about the hat, I like it and the final touches with the decreases rows really help elevate it from a regular striped hat. Here's hoping it will keep Phillip warm this winter. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finished: Guernsey Wrap

Not much to say about this knit... it only took me a few days so I feel like a loser for saying that toward the end I became slightly fatigued and bored with only knitting and purling (especially after endless days of ribbing on Edie). The pattern is really well written, and interesting, and Jared's design has a great sampler quality, so I certainly understand why people have (and are continuing to) knit this in flocks.  I was concerned that with my yarn choice that my finished product may be quite a bit smaller than I wanted, but I always seem to forget that I am missing some significant height in comparison to others... (or as Phillip would say I have an easy excuse to quit early).  Overall, I am happy with the finished product and am glad I finally made the damn thing, after looking over and owning the pattern for the better part of the year.  I have a feeling this will not be the last of Jared's patterns that call my name... 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Progress: Guernsey Wrap

Yesterday I finally embarked on my Guernsey Wrap in Rowan Felted Tweed.  Something about this project screams "the sea" to me, so I even went ahead and made a sea themed mix for my knitting time... so far so good. I have finished the first repeat of the first chart (only 3 to go!) so hopefully this beauty will be completed in the next week or so. The RFT has a way of showing stitch definition unlike any other yarn I've ever used (and loved)... and becomes so dreamily soft once washed. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

(Finally!) Finished: Edie

I hardly ever take months to finish a project, minus a few sweaters that are too boring to even discuss.  I am what I like to think of as a speed knitter.  I have been known to deprive myself sleep just to finish, even if the weather is the total opposite of what I need to wear the thing... doesn't matter. Some sort of peace washes over me once I know a project is finished and resting with all its other knitted brothers and sisters even if it will spend its first few months after birth in hibernation..

I am happy to say I finally finished Edie yesterday.  It was slow going... but I chalk a lot of that up to my own terrible procrastination.  My Edie gave me something of a heart attack yesterday as I was frantically emailing my KAL partner Vanessa and attempting to figure out why mine did not look like the pattern images.  (I can imagine Phillip laughing at me as I type this.  I have been known to often curse out that whatever project is ruined, destroyed, that I have messed up only to say "Oh wait. Nevermind.")  I swore I had done something horribly wrong, though of course I now think differently.  I ended up binding off a little early to avoid any catastrophes... I mean, I hardly ever invest this much time into a shawl and the last thing I wanted was to wreck the piece in some sort of knitting/television coma. 

I have a few other projects in line, including a few Christmas gifts I am still figuring out but I feel like my hands are desperately begging for a break as I practically worked until my fingers bled in those last few days.  Coming up soon will be my Idlewood knit with the Cascade Eco+ in my previous post and a few cabled hats perfect for this (amazing) chilly weather. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Yarn!

I had something of a knitter's nightmare earlier this week.  I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my skeins of Cascade Eco+ for a few days.  I worked late into the night and ran to the door to check for my package... of course it had been delivered. (I had been refreshing the USPS page on my phone for most of the day.)  I get it inside and start looking it over--all is sorta well but more on that later.. I wind the first gigantic skein.  I start making a gauge swatch; I don't have a particular pattern in mind yet, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to get ahead of the game.  Then I realize I don't have the right needles to make any of the patterns swirling in my mental queue! :(  
Sadly enough, the website I ordered from sent me the wrong item.  The right item being a needle sizer for all those random needles that have somehow managed to hack off their info so perhaps I do have the right needles and just don't know it yet... 
I have a lot of needles. I mean, a lot. But for whatever reason, I have somehow managed to avoid getting needles within the odd space between worsted (what I like to call "regular"--size 8's) and mega huge (I even have a pair of size 17's, that I feel haven't been used once?).  Anyway, so now I am on a mission to find a pair of size 10 needles that I can somehow have delivered in the next day or two since our schedules are jam packed and a trip to the store seems unlikely.  I am not too upset as this gives me the extra time needed to finish my neglected repeats of Edie, of which I have two left. (=18 rows) For what it is worth, I like the Cascade a lot more than I thought I would and the color seems to be a nice compliment to my skin tone. 

All is not sad with the my internet buying though, as a few weeks ago I received another package from Quince and Co.  I ordered a few skeins of Chickadee in the Chantrelle colorway.  I was quite surprised when it arrived.. I actually liked it a lot more than I anticipated! I think I mentioned before that this yarn is spoken for---I have a plan to make  leg warmers to go with my winter boots.  I have yet to pick a pattern but I have been searching some stitchionaries.  This yarn is perfect for showing off stitch definition, I don't think I can be held back by the same ol' patterns I fawn over on Ravelry.  I am dreaming up something new, so more on that later.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finished: Spring Beret

A while back I knit up a Spring Beret in Blue Sky Cotton for a far off friend.  I won't lie, I was sad to see the hat go. The yarn and the fit made it one of my favorites.  I promised myself when I slipped the box into the mail that I would make another for myself and the Quince and Co Osprey yarn I just received was calling my name... I knit this quick hat in a few hours, while watching Felicity on Netflix.
I hardly ever repeat patterns but my need for this hat is a clear testament to the design by Natalie Larson.  Now I'm just awaiting the perfect weather to wear it. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Progress

It seems somehow September has gotten away from me.  I looked up and noticed we are now approaching the end of the month with rapid speed. So silly how I have to maintain this thing called a "job" that really just gets in the way of my want and need to knit.  I have been feeling so tired lately I have been having a hard time wanting to pick up the dubious pages of my pattern though my private knitting time has grown exponentially lately.  Every few days I groan and pick up my Edie shawl, mainly out of guilt (and the helpless desire to someday wear it with a nice pea coat in the snow).  With temperatures still peaking in the 90's it seems like an impossible dream but I have a feeling by this time next month (or the next, god forbid) I will be rotating my hand knits to make sure they all get a just and complete wearing. 

I haven't set a goal for Edie really, but I hope if I can gain some steam that I should be finished sometime in October (fingers crossed). Because I have a terrible urge to knit myself a few sweaters before late December/January.  I have settled on two patterns and selected the yarn, if only I can convince myself that it isn't that selfish to order, swatch and perhaps, cast on before I finish Phillip's Cobblestone Pullover, whom I recently resurrected from a far off tote bin.  I pulled it from the bag and it was as if it let out an audible sigh of relief... or more likely an angry complaint.  I knit a few rows on the thing (so I don't feel bad anymore), and it brought back a vague memory of not being so bad.  I think it will become my accompanying project on those long days at work when I have just a few minutes between shifts, or when maybe I just need to turn my brain off from all the neediness of my job.  As long as I can squeeze in Edie, my two sweaters and Phillip's Cobblestone before December(-ish) I will be happy. 

In all fairness, even though my knitting time has turned into self imposed lazy time, I have still been growing my stash--of course! I recently ordered two skeins of Quince and Co Chickadee in Chantrelle for a pair of legwarmers yet to be determined and some Quince Osprey in the mustard-y color of Honey for a hat.  Because I am so taken with Quince yarn lately,  those skeins will most certainly stay stashed away for that "perfect" project that almost never comes... ahem, the two year old Madelinetosh Vintage stored away that has been frogged too many times to count. We will see as I have been drooling over a pair of Anthropologie boots and I have a feeling a pair of lace legwarmers in Chantrelle will be the perfect accessory.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finished: Creature Comforts

I  finished my Creature Comforts Cardigan after a 10-day stockinette stitch marathon! 

I should admit that I had serious reservations about this pattern.  I consulted the Fit to Flatter group on Rav, I looked at every project page, I researched every possible lead I could on whether the final result would work for me.  The construction is very simple but quite like that of a shrug and I worried that the shape would not look "right" on my body type.  I eventually came to the sorta logical argument that I just had to make it. Screw whether I liked the finished piece, I wanted it. 
(It's a good thing I came to that feeling...) When I finished it, I liked it. I was surprised at how small it was, but I thought I could wear it... should my laundry be undone and maybe if I were without  other garments at my disposal.  So I decided I would block the piece despite hearing some haunting things about the color bleeding... I never had any issue with color bleeding, but I did find  that this yarn seriously lost its shape somewhere in the process. I have decided I will try to reverse the horror I inflicted upon my new sweater by maybe washing in warm water with a quick run in the dryer; I can only hope it will go back to the sorta liked piece of yesterday. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Finished: The Stash Busting Edition.

Finished a pair of legwarmers this week made with Berroco Vintage in a fantastic brown colorway, Chana Dal. I have made leg warmers before and find that I hardly ever wear them. I tend to think they are practical, but with my lack of fall/winter boots (hint to my husband) I find that I wear them a lot less than I would like to. Anyhow, what a better way to welcome the cooler weather than with a pair of these?! (And a mega cute--though unamused--cat.)

Yesterday I finished up a Star Crossed Beret with left over Malabrigo Worsted in the Frank Orche colorway... this was the yarn I bought before our vacation in June. I only had one skein and had a rough time trying to figure out what to use it for. I searched through my Ravelry queue and decided it was finally time to make the (maybe?) internet's most popular cabled hat. I won't lie, there were many bumps along the way.... You can anticipate many foiled rows and stitches when speed knitting but overall the result is pretty comfy and now I will have another yellow hat... can't really have too many. Unfortunately I found photographing this color to be an epic defeat. The color is more on the mustard end of the spectrum but many of the photos make the shade look like a yellow crayon. (Alex is still very interested.)

So, two projects in one week and not a single dime spent on yarn... I suppose that is the nice part of collecting: knowing that when you are dieting there will always be something to tempt you? I can see my dear Phillip's eyes rolling as I type this. In full disclosure my yarn diet was due to the fact that my LYS had a huge sale yesterday and somehow I have found some way to cram 13 more balls of yarn into my tiny storage space. I suppose I used 2 skeins, and needed to adopt a few more to take its place?
(Purchased yesterday were 10 balls of Louisa Harding Albero in black for my Creature Comforts Cardi, and 3 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed for my Guernsey Wrap, which was one of the selected "make me" projects from my poll a few months ago.)

I am on a serious knitting streak as my KAL with Vanessa is starting this Monday and I have taken it upon myself to begin my Beekeepers Quilt. ((There are about a zillion things I could say about this quilt pattern! Tiny Owl Knits (who also produced the pattern for the above legwarmers) has always been on the top of my list for wonderful, and creative pieces, but this blanket is going to be amazing! With each puff taking me somewhere around 30-60 minutes I anticipate I will have a 5x7 blanket in about a year. (Too much excitement, so I am restraining myself from !!!'s) My puffs are currently at the depressing count of two, but I am thinking it will be a wonderful project for those down times when maybe my inspiration is lacking.))
Also in September I will be working on another KAL for the drop dead gorgeous/kill me now/that is beautiful Haruni Shawl. This pattern has been haunting me for at least two years. I have been going back and forth about whether or not I actually had the skill to complete it.. I discussed it with some Rav friends and they have assured me that with their help, it will be a breeze (I guess we'll see?). I haven't decided on yarn for that just yet but I am very seriously considering Madelinetosh Merino Light... Now I just have to convince Phillip that I need to make one. For me, it feels like a culmination of many years of staying up late, pouring over books and youtube videos, ripping out projects, crying, cursing, and the realization that I am finally a very "serious" Knitter.

My latest knitting queue looks a little like this:
Edie Shawl (KAL)
Haruni (KAL)
Beekeepers Quilt (ongoing)
Creature Comforts Cardi
Guernsey Wrap
Marian Cowl

Happy knitting!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finished: Imogen

Ten days ago I embarked on my Imogen cowl with some left over stash Madelinetosh Pashmina. It was a long road with some bumps along the way, but I am happy to say I am finally finished and the end result is to die for. The pattern is really well written, but the stitch pattern repeats are on both the right and wrong side which makes the project a little less mindless than I usually prefer. Somewhere at the beginning, I thought it looked "off" (bad words if you ask me), so I went down a needle size and restarted. This is something I almost never do. I always trust in the pattern and my knitting skill but I am really glad I did. Something about the lace being a little tighter helps all those ssk's be a little more visible than my first version. I won't lie, somewhere before my skein was over, I started dreading it, getting bored, restless, just dying for something new, but I am in love with the end result.

As for my knit-along, Vanessa and I have decided to work the Edie Shawl, another pattern by Quince & Co. I am dying to get started and spent the better part of a day fawning over and winding my Quince Chickadee yarn. Just can't wait to get my hands on it.

Happy knitting!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Progress & Planning

Since I finished Pogona, I have been working on putting together my queue for next-up projects. With a knit-along that is scheduled to begin with a Ravelry friend in the coming weeks, I have been having a hard time deciding what comes first and what can wait until we aren't all boiling with this summer weather. I am one of the few knitters I know who doesn't like having too many works in progress going at once.

I recently cast on Imogen Cowl by Carrie Bostick Hoge. The lace pattern matched with superb Quince and Co. styling made this jump up in my queue. I began working with some Madelinetosh Pashmina but after a few repeats, I am not so sure the combination really works. I never thought I would ever say I didn't want to work with Madtosh but for whatever reason the two aren't matching up with my ideas. I think I will likely seek out some Ella Rae Lace Merino and start over, but for now the remnants are sitting idly in my drawer waiting their fate along with not only my Stripe Study Shawl in Rowan Felted Tweed but my Different Lines which I started with Bergere Alpaga. For whatever reason my mind can't process the w&t concept and they look "all wrong". I know it is a hurdle I will pass soon enough but I just can't wait for the day when both are done and I can say I have jumped on the Veera Välimäki band wagon.

For our KAL, we have decided to knit Snow Drops and Snap Peas. The circular shawl has been in my favorites for some time and I am really excited to get moving with some support along the way. I am not sure of my yarn choice just yet, but I imagine it will likely be Malabrigo Sock as I loved the drape of Pogona and can find it in such a variety of stunning colors. At this point, I am betting to be browsing all the yarn websites until late in the night before making my final selection. Nothing is better than the anticipation of such a difficult and productive project!

As for my late summer/early fall prospective projects, I am currently swooning over:
and because I have a bird loving husband who supports my yarn habit, a Birdwing just for him.

Happy Knits!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finished: Pogona

Because I am on a serious Stephen West streak, I decided to knit up Pogona a few days ago. I had always admired how the fabric draped and had some really lovely Malabrigo sock just for it.

I have a massive amount of notes on my project page on Rav so I will keep this short (visit me there if you need more information). I really do love the finished product but unfortunately my knitting ADD got to me. I finished a few inches before the pattern said to (oh well, I am short..?!) and because eventually each row was taking me somewhere around 15 minutes, I forced myself to sit down, watch endless episodes of Mad Men, and just finish. The result is really lovely, the drape is divine, the color perfect, but overall this was a serious snooze fest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finished: Dolinar

I recently decided to get over my "hatred" of cables... I know it sounds harsh, but for some reason I always found them really uncomfortable in pattern. I love the idea and the look of them but hardly ever wanted to muck up my knitting with a third needle and a fussy pattern. Anyway, earlier this week I decided to get over my avoidance and work on Dolinar, a pattern by Stephen West. I used 1.3 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn colorway. I should warn that the yarn had a lot of pink tones, which sort of shocked me, but since it's for me, I am thrilled.
Within 24 hours I was finished and had a comfy, cabled cowl for the anticipated fall and winter. Somehow I was able to work with 100% wool in this terrible heat, so I have a good feeling about this one.

Next up is the Stripe Study Shawl, in Rowan Felted Tweed and Pogona in Malabrigo Sock.. Yum!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer knitting.. or not.

It has been a tremendous amount of time since my last post so here goes the update: I took a majority of early summer off from my knitting and am beginning to pick up speed again, right where I left off. Because of my new job I have plenty of time to scour the internet and fall in love with new things I am dying to try--Quince & Co yarn for one!... (But I won't mention how said job means my knitting budget has been cut some because who needs the first note to be a sour one?) so it seems like a daily task to keep myself from hitting "order" buttons all over the web.

I haven't accumulated much yarn in the last few months other than a few skeins of Malabrigo which I picked up before our summer excursion last month. Unfortunately, I can't say this summer's road trip/knitting has gone any better than last year: At a lovely shop called Edla's Yarns I picked up some Classic Elite yarn that I don't remember much about. On our long car ride home (something like 10 hours) I decided to begin a lace hat, which at the time was pretty intricate for my skills (Ahem, I have come a long way...). Anyway, I fussed and screamed and had a few mental breakdowns before the pattern became clear. My poor yarn was rustled after being frogged a thousand times and by the time I actually got the pattern, I realized I didn't have enough yarn to actually finish. The dead remains of the hat sat in my bag for a really long time before I decided to throw the entire thing in the trash (blasphemy, I know!) without even bothering to frog or salvage it.

On this trip, I couldn't even get past the first few rows. I would cast on, only to determine I couldn't count, or twisted my stitches. At the time I was furious, thinking I had lost my "mojo" but somewhere along the way I had forgotten that I was losing to the k1, d2 (knit 1, drink 2) curse. I guess I decided somewhere between our two cabins to just let it be. Let the yarn gather dust and just d2 instead --which ended up being quite fun minus the yarn infused mental breakdown... I recommend it highly.

As for my knitting endeavors now that I am home and back on my turf: I have recently decided to work on some patterns to sell on Ravelry. I imagine it will take a few weeks to get some test knits done and work on building the patterns in Photoshop but I should be up and running soon. I am also getting ready to order some Jacquard dyes to custom dye yarn, if only I can cut the picture in my head of my white kitchen being splattered with permanent dyes thanks to my devilish cats. And as always, I am building a serious knitting queue of favorites which should be somewhere in progress in the next few months.

My recent to die-die-die for list:

Spectra- ugh. Steven West kills me.
Cecily's Shawl- I have a serious crush on this woman. Her patterns are so whimsical; it is hard not to love her.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thinking with my hands

I am afraid I have not been knitting nearly as much as I would like. After I visited my doctor and was told I should have hand surgery, I sort of wondered whether I should put the needles down to avoid any additional aggravation on my poor hand. It is not that the "injury" (i.e. cysts) forced my mind into a spiral of hatred for my passion, but I began to think about all the ways I used (and must) use my hands in order to function, and immediately, I thought it would be better if I avoided any sort of strenuous activity, like getting my knit on, which usually lasts for hours and days.

I have now gone without knitting for over a month and while I can't say it has been torturous hell, I have been experiencing signs of withdrawl as I urgently feel a strange wave of boredom come over me as I sit to watch television, as I may sometimes sit on the bus and when I am searching our home for something to do. Luckily I have been quite busy with our move into a new place, and various other little projects but as I sit here and begin to realize that I normally take the spring and summer off from yarn endeavors, I am feeling quite lonely and like a terrible mate to all of my lovely fiber. It may be months before I begin to plan or before I scour the internet for a project and something about that makes me feel off. I guess through all of this I have realized what a huge piece of meditation I get from knitting, the repeating in my head, the slow progression of the pattern. Somewhere along the way I forgot that that is what knitting is about... not just the finished product.

I am hoping that with this break will come a new appreciation for my knitting, that I will come to understand that every project is about something important. That each new challenge will teach me about myself. That every planned piece for someone I love should be finished to the best of my ability and that these hand crafted gems should be cherished forever. I am not sure how much longer I can go without my friend... I imagine I will begin digging in my stash for something soon enough but I love what this break has taught me about myself and the hobby that sometimes starts to get muddled in all the excitement.

On my drool list lays:
Santa Rosa, a new, unpublished pattern... Racer back tank. Love, Love, Love.
Urth, another wonderful project by Norah Gaughan
Stockinette Stitch Shrug, a shrug shown in black... yay!
Sweet Robin Wristees, another lovely project from Tiny Owl Knits that uses intarsia in the best way possible.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finished: Clapotis

My Clapotis is finally finished! I used one ball of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Thyme colorway. I would totally recommend this pattern. Loved the pattern, love the yarn... what more could I ask for? I could have easily used the other ball, but I think this size will be perfect for summer. For my birthday Phillip bought me a nice wood shawl pin (in the shape of a bird!) which will match wonderfully. I am looking forward to wearing it soon! (You can see more photos of the Clap here or by using the link in the project bar on the side of the page.)

Phillip's sweater yarn finally arrived earlier this week and I am swatched and ready to begin. I imagine I will be finishing it in the fall, so don't be surprised if it hibernates over the summer and you don't hear much.
I am really looking forward to starting a Baby Sophisticate sweater for our soon to be nephew. I had purchased some Louisa Harding Fleuris in a (so-so) green color, but now that I have gender confirmation, I ordered Blue Sky Cotton in a nice beige-brown color. (I initially wanted to make a black sweater, but heard that babies "absolutely should not be in black"... Since I have no kiddos I will assume that to be truth, but just know mine will have a drawer full.) I have made many Baby Sophisticate sweaters, and beyond the con that they are tiny if you follow gauge, the pattern is really well written and easy. I should have one cranked out in a day or two which is good news since I have a second one to make for my dear friend in Michigan who is due in early July.
Must stalk the post man until the yarn arrives!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clapotis & More!

I have been working on my knitting a lot more than I anticipated and my hands have given up their reign of terror lately so this update is coming much sooner than I imagined... First, the mail man came today attempting to deliver Phillip's olive heather yarn, only he knocked on the wrong door and ended up leaving one of those dreaded pink slips in the mailbox. Phillip is fully measured and though his sizing is a little odd in comparison to the pattern I think it will work out well. I am looking forward to coming home on Monday and starting the project. As always, I will be sure to update my progress though I think I will be in for the long haul. It pains me to think of my nice big package waiting all alone in that dark post office... the worst part? I saw the offending post man driving away with a package right next to him... just in view through the window. We locked eyes... I knew it was them. sigh.

In other news, my Clapotis with the Madelinetosh Pashmina is coming along really well. I tried to take some photos earlier but some where in the process I realized it is virtually impossible to show off how impressive it is looking. The entire piece will need a hard blocking to open up the ladders but the dropped stitch pattern is really coming along well. I am not sure if I will use all 700 yards that I purchased. I will likely end at somewhere around the 350 range once I am nearing the end of my first ball.

Last weekend I finished the long and very boring task of the bamboo blanket from hell. I have been working on this blanket on and off for months now and I have no clue what I was thinking... 1000+ yards of doubled stockinette stitch on size 13 needles... Obviously all Knitters have bad ideas, and this was one of mine. Either way, it is finally finished and now one of us will have a nice cozy lap blanket.

In other-other news, I came across an enemy this week. Knitters beware... Let me start this by saying that I had my admissions test this past week. I have been on level 10+ anxiety for over a week now and I could barely contain myself. The day was insanely rainy and gross and I struggled for a long time about whether or not I should bring my Clap. I had it in a bag (duh) but would it be enough? How could I know that my main bag, the bag the other bag was housed in, would be water proof? Would this yarn stand the test of water? First I was boiling with test anxiety, then I started in with the knitting anxiety and it was almost too much for me to take. Anywho, I go in and take the test which takes me a whole lot less time than I first imagined. I think "Great! Some quiet knitting time would really help--glad I brought it along--phew!" I had about two hours before I was to have a casual interview/tour thing, so after wandering I settle in a small little eating area where the hum of the soda machine was mimicking my stitches. I was in some sort of orgasmic knitting zone. I am feeling on top of the world--great, wonderful, fantastic and then I see it. I look over and see a man (spoiler alert: the offender), sitting down outside of the testing area. I wish I could draw a map but I will spare you... The area I was in was part of the administration building and held admissions, financial aid, and the dreaded testing area. Okay, so here I am, working on my Clap, in a very official knitterly rhythm that is to die for, and this slkdjflsjldjflasjdfksjf (only "word" I can think to use at the moment...) sits down and begins a very long phone conversation at full volume.
He is not even close to me, but I swear I can hear everything coming out of his mouth, including his breathing. I start sweating, losing my speed, forgetting my pattern, when it gets worse. This MAN (%^&!!!^&*) then decides he is going to grab a seat closer to me and begin what I can only describe as the most dreadfully painful conversation I have ever had to endure. He begins and I start to panic (I almost never knit in public because it is my own sort of meditation time, I certainly don't want to deal with people like this and I find outside stimuli to be a little too much usually.). He then proceeds to conduct some sort of oil related interview and to my dismay (and serious disapproval) he puts a woman on speaker phone! At this point I am livid. Workers at the school have come trotting past and I can't help but make faces at them... "Can you believe this jackass?!?!", I find myself saying to a poor financial aid director who has no words of advice for me. Not only is a testing center nearby full of nervous and sweaty prospective students but a KNITTER is in your midst and you are seriously going to have 30+ minute conversation with a woman on speaker phone and somehow throw in that you are trying not to "bother people"? AHHHHHH. (Poor Phillip, when he arrived home this story lasted even longer than this...) Eventually, I put my knitting down because I knew the asshat was not going to end the call nor go outside and converse with this woman about what I can only call personal information about something related to her oil well. By the time I stood up to leave my perfect little knitting corner, I had learned the offender lived in a home in Catoosa, Oklahoma with his wife and four daughters. I learned he generally didn't do "these things" on the phone but in person, but the caller was obviously too far away. I learned many things, including this man was a total tool. I stood up, biting my lip, wondering if I could grab his files which he had set up as some sort of mock desk area and throw them everywhere in some sort of movie version of life. I wondered if I could grab the phone and stomp on it and proclaim that this was from knitters everywhere. My blood was boiling. I ended up approaching the door away from this evil, evil man, before I started in for the door on the opposite end of the building, nearest him. I walked by and told him my piece... For the record, you are incredibly rude and bothering ME. In case you haven't noticed you are in a school, where people are trying to test. Not your damn office where you're free to put people on speaker phone! People like you make me wish cell phones were never invented!!!!!
The offender was confused as "Mary" was still talking about the testing of her oil well... he looked at me, looked at his papers, looked at the phone and before he could say anything I walked out the door feeling like a serious victory had been won on my way toward a more public knitting lifestyle. I suppose this should be a lesson?
Again, poor husband for having to listen to me rant, and now poor you for having read all this. Just remember when you are sitting in for a wait---at the doctors office, at the hair salon, anywhere-- survey the place. If you notice a knitter in the corner, basking in a sort of knitting hurricane of pleasure then please, please, please, put down the cell phone and at the very least, no speaker phone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fall 2011 Planning

The other day I had a conversation with a LYS worker about how my knitting often drops off in the spring/summer months. I have a hard time wanting to pick up wool or variations of it when the weather gets warmer and even though she went through the trouble to show me plenty of springy patterns (lots I loved from a Rowan book---big surprise), I just couldn't get into it. I usually will work on a project or two, but other than that, I am generally needle free for many months.

I knit for my husband often, but I don't Knit for him. He wants a scarf? Sure, no problem. He wants a hat or two? Again, no problem (though I am curious where the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino hat I have not seen for a year disappeared to...). Gloves? Okay, I can do that. For the most part my work for Phillip has been knitting, not Knitting. There is a distinct difference as when I am Knitting for myself I tend to not have issue with trying new patterns and being a little adventurous. So the seam is a little off, or the some stitches were never really recovered... Meh. It reminds me of the "don't knit a sweater for a guy" sentiment... I think Knitters never see this folklore as an issue. If he doesn't like it, oh well. There will be plenty more where that came from. knitters think "If he doesn't like it, I will never make another again!" That is not to say that proper gratitude for the hundreds of thousands of stitches a sweater takes should be blown off as if no issue. Lots of hard work and sweat go into the planning, the yarn choosing, the pattern selecting, the actual knitting and that is not even discussing the problems ("Hmm, I guess I made this second sleeve 20 inches longer than the first...? Wait, I attached the front on the wrong side...") but we never have those. Last night I started wondering whether I was having the wrong idea about this mid-year knitting curse. What if I extensively planned the next few months and crammed them with projects just waiting to be worn once the weather changes? Maybe then I will have more time to finish and I won't activate the evil powers that are causing my recent hand pain issues. And as an added bonus so many of the fall/winter yarns tend to go on sale around this time, which means making a project that would have cost me $120 can be made for as little as $40 or $50. (Or so I tell Phillip....I am joking!)

I couldn't sleep last night once I had settled on a sweater pattern for my dear. I chose the Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood and have looked at just about every one of the 3,000 projects I can find. Cascade 220, Malabrigo, Ecological Wool, Rowan Tweed Aran...surprisingly the list of used yarns was quite small. I decided picking a color first would be best but I knew it wouldn't be difficult as Phillip is pretty set on his color palette. I ended up choosing a heathered olive green color, which if you know my husband, makes perfect sense. I ordered the yarn and am really looking forward to casting on. I have already begun changing the pattern some--I will add 2x2 ribbing to the neck, sleeves and bottom to clean up the lines a little. I doubt I will do any major changes to the construction as it is seamless and is well written. I think once I am finished I can finally add men's Knitter to my growing list of Knitterly occupations.

In other news, I have cast on a Clapotis with the Madelinetosh Pashmina I recently purchased (see last post). The Damson is still high on my list but I am a little burned on triangular construction (though Clap is very similar with increase rows galore) and thought it would be nice to finally finish one up. I assume there has to be a reason it is likely the most popular pattern on Ravelry with something like 20,000 project pages. So far so good and the MadTosh is looking pretty wonderful. I am usually not a fan of kettle dyed, or hand dyed yarn, I like something very constant so this is a bit of a stretch for me. I am happy with how it is coming; I am somewhere near the 3rd increase section and after that I imagine a lot of mindless knitting to come to achieve my desired length. Either way, I am happy for the distraction, as I wait for the post man...

Is he here yet? I think I heard something...Wait, I just ordered that 20 minutes ago.

Other projected projects for Fall 2011:

(for my wearing)

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I have officially beaten my Entrelac problem and completed my Lady Eleanor Stole. I ended up using only 8 balls of Noro Silk Garden (which means I will have a few left over for my stash...). If someone were to ask, I would have to say that once you can sort of grasp the idea, the Scarf Style pattern is by far the best I have come across. It can be a little annoying trying to distinguish between tier 1 and tier 2 once it becomes mindless but I had little to no problems. I thought the Noro was a great choice and as I expected once washed became terribly soft though I will suggest going down a needle size or two to compensate for the thin pieces throughout the yarn. The thicker parts filled in beautifully but some of the thinner yarn is noticeable to the trained eye. The only complaint I would really have to tell someone is that I HATE the way the end tier came out. I am sure there is a better set of instructions somewhere but the K2together, kx, ssk method seemed to leave very uneven edges on mine. It would be worth looking on Ravelry or another site for a better tutorial, I think. After blocking it grew about 1/4-1/3 the size in length so that is something to keep in mind as you begin losing your mind to boredom. I am still debating with myself about whether I will put the fringe on since I am generally not a fan of anything that can snag and destroy itself in an instant. (Bad memories, don't ask...)

(You can see more photos by clicking this link or using the Project Bar on the side of my page. )

In equally fab news, I recently received a gift card to my LYS . I went by this past week to see what I could find after thinking long and embarrassingly hard. I ended up coming across a hidden stash of Madelinetosh Pashmina that I had to scoop up- HAD, HAD, HAD to! The colorway is Thyme and it is gorgeous. Of course the selection was very limited but for a last-minute, didnt-think-you-had-this decision, I am insanely happy. I also picked up the last ball of Madelinetosh Vintage in the Dahlia colorway, which I only now realize will clash with my new, seriously-red hair. I will be working on figuring that one out, though I am leaning toward a hat, maybe another Spring Beret--I gifted my Blue Sky Cotton one to a dear friend in Texas some time ago. I will keep the updates coming, as I am planning on starting my Damson (by Ysolda Teague... who is quickly becoming one of my knitting crushes) with the Madtosh Thyme. I think the end result is going to be fantastic!

More very soon!
And please, please, please cast on your vote for my next project! (Yes, I did just make a knitting joke...)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poll Time!

I have been having trouble updating since I am a one project kind of gal. One project at a time has always been my operating system but usually my brain begins to wander about half way through on what my next project will be. I am certainly having an issue with making the decision as once the weather starts to clear and sunny up, I start wanting to leave my needles in the bag.

So, here I am asking your opinion! I'd love to know what you think I should knit next! I have narrowed down the choices to my current swoon-worthy picks and all you have to do is make a few clicks and in a few weeks I'll post the finished project!

The choices are:
Guernesey Wrap

Cedar Leaf Shawlette

Houndstooth Bandana

Baby Back Ribs Skirt

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New look, new ways.

I have been waiting to update this for many reasons. First, I wanted to gather my thoughts and express myself in the right way. Second, we were pounced with 18 inches of snow last week and instead of working my hands to bloody pulps, I rested them and worked on nothing... I know, crazy.

In the last few weeks my thoughts on knitting have really come to change. When I first started this blog, I wrote about how intensely amazing some of the knitting resources have become like Ravelry. Once I began using it regularly, I found that I couldn't stop! I wanted to look at every version of every project I was anticipating working on. I wanted to read reviews of books, looms, talk about yarn sales, listen to thoughts on pesky techniques. The list was honestly endless. One day around that time I logged on to notice that Remants, one of the main boards had been removed. I had previously taken the board off my list for viewing because Remants was about almost everything but knitting (though sometimes the two collided--as in a nasty post about a family member who had a "thing against" yarn and ripped up family heirlooms) and yet took up half the time I spent on the site. The board was used for "I currently hate my husband" (not from me, but others!), "I currently have cramps and feel like hell!", "I hate my boss!", "I have a bear in my front yard!" (yes, srsly.) things like that. It quickly became my version of Facebook. I mulled it over for a few days and decided to close my Ravelry account. At last glance I had many favorites (up to 50 on my Yellow Summer project!), many friends, many comments, and belonged to many groups. My thinking for closing my Ravelry account wasnt about saying the site doesn't have a tremendous part in helping knitters of all levels, it mainly has to do with my ever changing studying schedule, my incessant need to check my project page, and my nagging want to say something. ("I would have killed her!!!!" as in the case of the afghan shredder.) I just came to realize that at some point a site like that makes your knitting not be about you as much as about wanting to show it off, wondering what people think, and along with that comes a certain form of self esteem on wondering whether it looks perfect, whether you should have done something different, etc etc (And I say all of this as my experience, not anyone elses). I could really go on about how much fun and information I have gained from the site but I will spare the gory love fest and just say that I will tremendously miss losing time reading all the posts and looking at the projects but unfortunately, I feel like it is probably time for me to focus on other things. I remember a while back I was watching an episode of Letsknit2gether and Cat asked a certain designer about Rav... to which the designer replied that she/he had to stop because they just couldn't stop! I can't remember who it was, somewhere between Louisa Harding and Ysolda Teague but it is there somewhere. And it is a fair representation of how I feel.

Ok, now that I am off my soap box, I wanted to update on my finished Daybreak Shawl! I worked the shawl in Rowan Felted Tweed and size 6 needles and couldn't be happier! I used Stephen West's notes for a "mini" version and the end result is killer! RFT washes into such a soft and warm product, I was really surprised. I highly recommend the pattern and it could be considered good tv knitting for an intermediate as only a few rows require much memory or thought. I took a risk using two neutrals that don't generally go together (a gray and brown) but the two really look good together. I will make another in the coming weeks... Thinking about matching the left over gray with some purple or red... we'll see!

After a week of not getting any postal service, I finally received my Noro Silk Garden for my Lady Eleanor Entrelac Shawl. My Lady El. is looking fabulous! And I am really grasping Entrelac now! I am somewhere into my 600th yard or so, and should be looking at finishing up in the next few days pending getting a few more balls I ordered late Sunday. I will posting photos of it as I work through it but so far so good...

I will be working on the look of the site and putting up new project pages without Ravelry in the coming days so please keep coming back!

Happy Knitting!
(And Happy Birthday to me!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have No Fear...

I will be back with a new and improved blog design in a few days!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yellow Summer

On Wednesday night my Mirasol Qina arrived in the mail and I immediately started my Summer Flies Shawl. The pattern is really well written with easy to remember repeats, but I wouldn't exactly call it mindless knitting as every row has written instructions. I got pretty far but on Thursday I started the ruffled edge.... Geesh! The number of stitches doubled and by the time I cast off last night my hands were begging for a break. I could hardly wait to get up this morning to check on it and I couldn't be any happier! I love love love this yarn/pattern combo! I really like the "sampler" quality of the pattern and it gives the knitter an opportunity to show off different techniques without being too overwhelming. I considered not doing the picot edge but it really sets off the ruffle and I'm not too sure it would have been the same without it.

I have been so flattered by all the lovely comments on Rav-they have made me blush big time!

This afternoon I also worked on a woven scarf for Phillip. A few days ago I realized I had yet to reward him for my gifted Cricket so I grabbed some Knitpicks Swish from my stash and in a few hours finished his
Husband Scarf.

I now have 9 projects for the year and we're not even out of January yet! In the coming days (once my hands have been given a much needed rest) I am looking forward to starting my Daybreak Shawl, designed by Stephen West. I began working on a Boneyard Shawl by him and the pattern seems to be going well. It is similiar to the Simple Things Shawl a few posts back though, so I have put it in the knitting bag to gather dust until I am ready to get back into the yarn over-shawl game. I am also interested in starting the Cedar Leaf Shawlette with the lovely Bergere Alpaga I was gifted on Christmas.

Lots to think about, lots to plan and lots to knit!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Thanks to a coworker who wanted to thank me for winding up her yarn (and the day off from work), I have a new infinity scarf... and more importantly, another project for my 52!
It was made with Knitpicks City Tweed DK. The warp is 2, 2, and the weft is plum. It worked up really quickly--maybe an hour and a half.
Yay for quick (and free!) projects!