Saturday, December 15, 2007


So it took me another week to post. Broken computer, had to order a part, blah, blah, blah.

What you really came for was knitting. Let's take a tour:
Gift #1--Basic garter stitch scarf for my mom. Yarn is Classic Elite Desert. I have a ball and a half left. I thought maybe I have enough for mittens.

Next is a hat, done in a slipped stitch. This is my own handspun.

I was really surprised at how it turned out when I knitted it up. The yarn, when first spun and unplied seemed almost entirely blue. I navajo plied it, because I thought the blue would overwhelm the yellow and green if I plied them together double. The yarn really turned out well, and as you can see, the green and yellow really stood out--maybe even more than the blue.

I also have made considerable progress on the Cobblestone sweater.

It's still in pieces here, but I have since joined the yoke and started decreases. I'll try to have photos tomorrow. I'm snowed in, and I won't have anything to do but knit.

You should also look forward to finished pictures of these mittens. I finished the second one at work on Thursday, and all I have left to do is weave in all the ends, and block them to straighten out the colorwork a bit. Faire Isle is definitely not my strong suit, and the stitching is still a bit wonky.

However, my relative ineptitude has not stopped me from taking on some pretty complex colorwork. There's a picture of colorwork that I won't show you until it's complete and has been gifted, since the intended recipient sometimes drops by the blog. Don't want to give away too many surprises today.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Quick post with a picture to satisfy your WIP curiosity.

More to follow. Late from lunch

Monday, December 03, 2007

This is not knitting.

But it's boots.

Hey look! Cute, new, on-sale winter boots! Yay! (Ignore that I didn't take pictures of anything I said I was going to, and all I have given you are poorly-lit pictures of boots.)

Hey! Me wearing the boots! Look! Don't worry about yarn. You didn't come here for that. You came for boots.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I have no pictures. I'm sorry. Such are the travails of short winter days. Saturday should see a photo opportunity or two.

But, if you are a reader and a knitter, go now to the yoyoknits blog and have at her stash sale. She's selling off some of her yarn to help offset the cost of her little dog's surgery. While you're there, look at pictures of him. He's adorable. Just don't buy everything. I get paid tomorrow.

Aaaanyway. I'll be back Saturday with substantial progress on the cobblestone sweater, finished or nearly finished socks and scarves and an attempt at colorwork.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I have finally finished the main part of the knitting for the Sisyphus shrug (formerly the Kashmir thing) and on Friday afternoon I grafted the two sides together in the middle.

See it? See what's wrong? How it continues to mock me?

Here...maybe that's better.

I hate this shrug. A. Lot. When I die and go to hell, this shrug will be waiting there for me. I will knit on it all day and all night, and just when I think I am finished, it will fall into a heap of yarn at my feet and I will have to cast on again.

Knitting is still a little slower than I'd like, so there's not as much progress to show as one might hope. But I've got some (almost) finished socks, and a scarf that only needs to have the ends woven in. Look for a round of yule project updates which may or may not include photos of me burning this shrug so that it will no longer be able to haunt my dreams.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh, also...


We all know about Tuesdays..

And this week we return to our regularly scheduled spinning posts.

First, though, I had a couple of undyed batts. A package of food coloring and several hours later I had these:
This is "Fawkes" 4 oz. of lovely wool in peach, pink, red, orange, and a deep yellow.

I also bought 8 oz. of lovely, lovely alpaca from my LYS. I really wanted to dye it purple, but I know that when mixing colors, purple is pretty difficult to mix. Still, I took a chance, and the results were not entirely unsuccessful:

I decided to call this "Tanzanite." I wanted deeper colors, and more variation. Some places soaked up the red, and some took almost nothing but blue. But, overall, I think it's a passable bit of roving. Here, have a closer look:

As I started to spin the colors muted, and I began to worry there wouldn't be enough "oomph" to the finished yarn. So I spun up half the roving, wound it onto a seperate spool, and began the yarn for the second ply

With just a bit more "oomph" in it. I'd just like to go on record as saying that beads are really hard to spin into yarn. In fact, I kind of blame the beading action for my gimpy arm disaster of last week. So the spinning is still in time out. This Tuesday is going to have to be for knitting only.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Oh dear...

So. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that I was gone so long. There was sickness, there was job stuff, there was bad weather that made it hard to take pictures. But really, I've just been so lazy about posting. It's my fault. I'm sorry.

To make up for it, I've documented my recent case of startitis. Two weeks ago I got a pretty bad kick of it and cast on a sweater, a sock, a scarf, and a bag. I have yarn for two more scarves, a hat, and a pair of mittens on order. I took a running start at my Yule knitting, and was on the fast track to a stellar holiday knit season. See, look at this scarf:

But then, disaster. I came down with a bad case of whatever the hell happened to my wrist this summer. It. Hurt. So. Bad. Dear knitters, I was laid out. I could barely make it through work (where I have to count out money, which hurt me constantly and all day in a way I will not describe in words) and when I got home could not knit on the everlasting bagstopper:

I could not knit on these socks:

I couldn't even knit on my Cobblestone Pullover, which I thought was lovely and so warm.

I couldn't even make any progress on the infamous Kashmir Thing--which I have renamed the Sisyphus shrug.

I was so close to done. I could taste triumph. But again, the stone has rolled down the hill and I am knitless.

But it's been a week, and I'm starting to get back to knitting. It's going slowly, and I'm still hurting a bit, but I will not be brought low. For I am a knitter, and I have gifts to make. I will prevail.

I will also post more often. Even if I won't be knitting as fast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back to the land of the living...

I have been ridiculously sick all week. There has been a very angry creature in my sinuses, and he has not wanted me to do anything but go to work and sleep. Regular blogging returns tomorrow, when I can begin to resume something of a normal Dayquil free schedule.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Here's a gratuitous fiber shot for your Sunday afternoon.

This is the finished roving from Smoky Mountain Fibers. It's about 145 yard of sport weight yarn. I navajo plied it to keep the color changes together, and I've got to say, I love navajo plying.

This yarn is also much, much more consistent than the watermelon I spun before. It's pretty amazing what a little practice can do.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Pattern!

No Tuesdays are for Spinning today. But I will have finished handspun for you in short order. Today is Tuesdays are for Knitting With Hand Spun.

To go with my first hand spun project, I'm going to add another first: my first pattern. As I said a few posts back, this is a beginner pattern, and it's quite easy. It's a great one for people who want to stop knitting rectangles--scarves, dishcloths, blankets--(not that rectangular knitted objects are not lovely, but it's nice to have more options) and start knitting in the round. My first project in the round was a sweater It was purple and acrylic and we are never to speak of it again. I think this is a little bit more friendly. So here goes.

Basic Top-Down Hat

Start with a yarn you like. For hats, I enjoy using a worsted or bulky weight yarn, and needles that are one to two sizes smaller than what I would ordinarily use for the yarn I chose. This makes a thicker fabric, and that’s certainly what you want for a winter hat. You’ll also want a set of double-pointed needles and a 16” circular needle in whatever size you decided on.

For this particular hat, I used a hand spun yarn that ranged from worsted to bulky I got a gauge of 4 stitches and 5 rows per inch on size 8 needles. You might want to make a gauge swatch, but I don’t for this sort of thing. If the gauge is off, just add or subtract increases as necessary to make a hat that is properly head-sized.

Cast on 6 stitches and divide evenly onto 3 needles. Join to knit in the round being particularly careful not to twist (it’s easy with this few stitches)

Row 1, and every odd row: K all sts
Row 2: *K1 m1 * repeat to end of row. (12 sts)
Row 4: *K2 m1 * repeat to end of row. (18 sts)
Row 6: *K3 m1 * repeat to end of row. (24 sts)

Continue in this manner, increasing 6 sts every other row a total of 14 times. (84 sts) OR until the hat fits the head of its intended recipient.

Knit even for 3.5 inches. At this point the hat should measure 7 inches from the top (Cast on) edge (Knit more or fewer rows if you had to change the number of decrease rows worked to get a hat that is 7” from the top.)

Next row: *K2 p2* repeat to end of row.

Continue in 2x2 ribbing for 2”. Then, bind off all stitches very loosely. I used a size 11 needle for this.

When you have bound off all the stitches, weave in the ends at the top and bottom of the hat. If you have leftovers, as I did, you may want to make a little pom-pom and fix it on the top with the cast on end.

Put on the hat, and take a picture:

Ta Da!

For my next post look for that Smoky Mountain Fibers roving, Navajo plying, and a Monkey I got off my back.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New things!

So I'm still working on the written version of my top-down hat pattern. It's easy enough, but I never write down patterns, I just kind of make things up as I go. Therefore I need to get a couple more things together.

I want to say I'll have it tomorrow, but it's possible that's a dirty lie ant I won't post anything for another week. So, just know it'll most likely be in my next post, whenever that should happen to be.

In the meantime, I've got a new lace project:
This is the start of the Luna Moth Shawl. I've needed a new piece of lace ever since I frogged the MS3 (I have a thing about symmetry, the wing was too much), and I think this pattern will serve beautifully. This is the same yarn salvaged from my first, ill-fated knitalong--Jaagerspun Zephyr a silk/wool blend.

And so that we can have Tuesdays are for spinning again, I ordered some roving from Smoky Mountain Fibers. It came, kind of unexpectedly, but very pleasantly on Tuesday evening:

Shown here is my new roving in "Landscape"

Here, I think a close up is in order:

Gorgeous? Yes, I agree. I also got some plain, undyed roving, to try my hand at dyeing.

Look for more adventures with that in the next couple of weeks. I promise you it will be entertaining, either as I succeed by sheer luck, or fail by my own design.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day off.

No pictures right now. Today was running-errands and sewing things for my step-siblings day. Tomorrow is back to work, and posting will resume when I get home.

Tonight is TV and spinning. I got new roving. Go look at it here.

Quick question: Fall premiers on the networks are this week, and some were last week. What's your favorite fall show?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Fiber Pron

It's Friday, and I'm kind of in transit for the weekend, but I didn't want to leave you post-less, so here's some Friday Fiber (F)photos:
The watermelon gum handspun wanted to go on a bike ride. Sadly, it could not reach the pedals, and had to stay on the porch with me.

I'm so pleased with it. It's still not quite as consistent as I'd like, and I've got a long way to go in the area of spinning technique, but overall I'd consider this a very successful enterprise in making usable yarn. So usable, in fact, that I wound and cast on for a hat as soon as I was done with these pictures. Since there's no Tuesday for spinning this week (I have no stash for roving, and so when I finished this I had to order more) I'll try to do a hat update. I will also post my top-down, ridiculous-easy hat recipe, which is great for first-time hat knitters, but likely blindingly obvious to everyone else.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Pirate Yarrrrrn!

Today is international Talk Like A Pirate Day. Celebrate accordingly. Avast!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I love socks. They are, hands down, no contest, my favorite thing to knit. I love how portable they are, I love wearing hand made socks, and giving them away, I love the warm woolliness of them, I love trying out new stitch patterns, I love that I don't even need a pattern to knit them, I love that--tricky stitch patterns and grafting excepted--my hands seem to know just what to do and I can allow a portion of my attention to wander freely while still being productive and knitterly.

So, yes. Socks are a favorite. Another favorite? Cables. I love cables. I never use a cable needle, and I can't follow a pattern. I just have to look at the cable and copy it myself (it's a combination of the way I taught myself to knit, and my own learning/reading style--don't ask) but I love to deconstruct them, and do cables my own way. I have a favorite cable, which I've never really seen a name for, but it's shown below, so call it whatever you like.

That's why these socks are not just my favorite. They're my favorite-favorite.

I loved knitting them, I love the heavy Debbie Bliss merino DK, which is great for a heavier late-fall dress sock. I also am thrilled to death that I used up the entire amount of both skeins--I seriously cut about 4" of yarn off the first sock after I was done grafting and weaving in the ends. You can't cut it any closer than that.

Here's the thing, though: I cut it so close with the yarn-yardage (yarnage?) the socks are a wee bit too small. At first I was a little upset when I found this out. But then I realized my most-favorite thing about these socks.

I didn't make them too small for me. I made them just right for someone else. Someone who will get them for Christmas. Thus I have for you my first finished object for the Christmas giving season.

And you can't get much better than that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quick Questions, Quick Answers

It's time for a quick installment of "Ask the Knittivist" (I will work on a better name for this segment. Suggestions are welcome)

Ls comments:

1. that watermelon stuff that is still fluffy looks like cotton candy!
Kind of. But don't eat it, it's wool. However, I am now amused by the thought of attempting to spin cotton candy. It would be disastrous and sticky, and I believe I'd like to give it a shot.

2. who are you making the world's cutest baby sweater for?!?! i must learn to knit when i have kids!

I ended up putting little football buttons on it and giving it to a guy I work with who has a little boy. He (the dad) was so excited about it that I really want to make baby things for everyone. I'm working on another sweater, so if you want to work on the baby part, you can have it.

3. next time i come home (xmas probably...) i want to see you spin since i have no idea what it consists of...
Imagine a top with a hook at the top of it. Imagine taking the cotton candy, hanging it off the hook, and spinning the top while you hold the cotton candy. The spinning travels up the fiber, tightening it and holding together the formerly loose fibers, into tighter more yarn-y ones. Still don't understand? Guess you'll have to wait for Christmas, then.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Spinning Tuesday

So I've been teasing about the new fiber for a couple of days. And now it's Tuesday and Tuesdays are for fiber pron spinning. So without more ado than is necessary I give you the Watermelon Twist batts:

Again: Watermelon Twist from Mandalinn. It's quite lovely, despite my spinning new-bitude. (I think it's a good word, despite my having just now invented it.) I've spun half, and I'm hopefully going to finish the other half tonight or tomorrow so I can ply it. Two ply, i think, is the best I can do for now, I'm hoping to make this my first real knitting handspun. The others have really just been practice. This one is fairly consistent.

And on that note, I'm back to the spindle.

Monday, September 10, 2007


My camera and my computer have been in a fight, and I only now got them to talk to each other. They're currently in a counseling program and looking forward to a reconciliation soon.

In the meantime, this is what I've been able to squeeze out of their limited communication:

Finished but buttonless (try saying that out loud) BSJ. I adore it. So much so that I've cast on another

But I haven't gotten too far on that one. I'm totally serious when I say if you've never knitted one of these little wonders, get the pattern right away. It's available from Schoolhouse Press. If you want to order one now, go ahead. I'll wait for you to get back.

Back? Wonderful. Let's move on. I believe I've also promised pictures of my current sock project:

And a fished photo of the herringbone cardigan:

I love both of these. The cardigan needs a row of crochet around the buttonholes, because they're just a touch too big. Other than that, I adore it. I haven't been able to model a picture of it yet, but I'll try to get my camera to cooperate with that in the future so you can see what it looks like when it's not lying flat on a chair. It's even better, I assure you.

And with that, I think we are all caught up on knitting for the moment. Tomorrow is Tuesday, and so you'll have more pictures, including the Watermelon Twist I spoke of earlier, an which I have half-spun at this point. Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish other half of the bat. But for picture-taking purposes I may have to post before that happens.

Of course, this is all contingent on a working and communicating camera and laptop. So, let us hope the current truce holds. Just long enough for Tuesday.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Still Here

My intentions are better than my actions today. It was raining and dark when I got home today so no pictures.

I will do my best to get some photos after work tomorrow. If not, I don't work on Sunday or Monday and will certainly take the following pictures for you:

Herringbone cardi
BSJ (currently buttonless, but we'll see)
Favorite socks
New fiber!

In the meantime have a look at this:

Na-na na-na na-na na-na! The bad cat!

Also: happy birthday Courtney!

Here she is at her bachelorette party. I actually don't know how often she reads this blog. So it may be sometime before she finds me and kills me for using this picture.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm a horrible blogger. No updates for a week, but I have an excuse.

I have an addiction.

Seen here: EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket. A little swath of knitting crack which I can hardly bear to put down long enough to photograph and type up this post. I'm enthralled. There will be so much more in the way of updates once this thing is finished, or can be taken intravenously.

But until then it's Tuesday, and Tuesdays are for spinning. Or at least pictures thereof:

So here's what I worked on this week. I'm working from an el cheapo bag of roving ("great for needle felting!") I got at the local Craft-mart for 9 bucks while I'm waiting for my good roving to arrive in the mail. This is just practice roving. And one of the colors was a kind of off-white, muddy greying sort of color which was not really going to match anything, so I just plied it with the pink and decided to name it "Dirty Candy." I think I have enough for a baby hat.

The ultimate problem here is that I'm making baby clothes and I don't know any babies. Or, you know, moms of babies, which I'm more likely to hang out with socially. I need to go out and make some new friends, I guess.

After I finish this jacket.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesdays are for...

well, first they are for these socks:
New working socks in Debbie Blissh Merino DK. They are beautiful, brown fall socks, rather heavy socks, knit with my favorite cable down the sides. I expect to add calf shaping, which I do not do ordinarily, so let's see how that goes.

I finished the herringbone cardi, it's blocking, but my camera is doing some funny things with its ability to autofocus, so there are no good pictures of it. We'll try again when it's dry, and I can give you some action shots.

But you know what I do have a picture of? This thing I did last night:

I spun! I spun yarn from roving for the very first time on this drop spindle:

This drop spindle I bought this weekend and used to make my own yarn. I'm pretty excited. Anyway I'm going back to the spindle because Tuesdays are for spinning.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Together Again

All the major pieces of the cardi are finished. Here it is seen in repose after I got home from work this afternoon:
This evening I finished the sewing up, and I'm working on the button bands right now. I've never done a button band, so I'm flying a little blind. Anyone with good tips should speak up now, while I'm still in the early stages. I really don't think that anyone here wants to deal with me 47 button-band-frogging incidents into this project. I'm liable to get this far and throw the whole thing in the street for the cars to run over it, then come back inside and delete all posts that suggests I even thought of designing my own cardigan. Which means, if you read this, it hasn't gotten that bad yet.

To further my tenuous grasp on knitting-related sanity (I make no claims on any other kind of sanity) I have taken this as my patron skein:

Yep. That's STR in Mystic Kelp, courtesy of the sister.

I have to confess, it's my first from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Certainly not the last. I'm thinking of ordering some more next week. Or tomorrow. Maybe right now. Uh oh.

Outside the squishy softness of the yarn, the beautiful, beautiful hand-dyed colors, Socks that Rock like to pose for photo shoots even more than my regular stash.

Seen here in repose in the bushes outside my house.

And here, getting ready to tend the garden. Yes, I believe this is the beginning of something beautiful.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I was going to...

I was going to finish the final sleeve of the herringbone cardigan.

I was going to take pictures of that.

I was going to figure out the button bands, and pick up stitches for the same.

Then I left my knitting in the drawer where I put it at work when a customer comes in.

But, hey, socks!

I'll do a better post tomorrow when I have the requisite knitting at my disposal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


birthday to me. Yesterday.
I got treats. I got cards (thanks Court!), I got phone calls and messages. And carrot cake. It was a delicious birthday.

I'm still working on the herringbone cardi. As of now progress stands thusly:

Two fronts, one back, 2/3 of sleeve number one. I'm hoping to have sleeve 1 finished by Friday.

Also, my sister has promised to buy me yarn as a birthday present. Clearly Blue Moon Fiber Arts will serve me well here, but what colorway? They're like kids. How could I choose just one?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A little update

My little sidebar of guilt motivation has worked. The Kashmir Surprise has made a good amount of progress. It's my own pattern though, and as with the herringbone cardi there is much consternation as I stare at my little pencil drawings and math problems.

The knitting is not happening as quickly or easily as I want it to, but still I knit on.

But only today. Tomorrow it's back to the herringbone cardi--I am onto the first sleeve and despite the oppressive heat I really want the cardigan to be finished so I can put it on in my air conditioned house. Where I will wear it for five minutes before I begin sweating profusely.