Monday, May 4, 2015

Vinca Minor

A new sock pattern for you on this rainy Monday evening.  (Lovely and rainy for New Mexico!)

The pattern says it, mostly, but I wanted to talk a little about my inspiration for these.  Sometime in like . . . darkest 2011 or something, I went to the Yarn Underground.  It may have even been the first time I went--it was that long ago.  I was wandering around, browsing sock yarn like you do, and my eye fell on this skein of Society Socks Fingering.  Once I saw the colorway name, I knew I had to have it, and it had to be socks for my mother.

My mom, you see, is a stone-cold hardcore gardener, and botanically-named yarn is right up her tree.  (So to speak.)

Being the procrastinatrix that I am, it took me years and years to get around to knitting them, but once I did, they were so quick and easy that I wondered why I hadn't done it before.

Anyway, they are this year's Mother's Day gift (given early so she could model for me, haha).  Love ya, Ma.

For all details and to purchase, follow the link (and take 50% off with code MAYDAY)!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

That $*(@$(ing Baby Sweater

Ugh argh sorry!  I did not mean to abandon you for so long!  But you know how it is, the holidays come and all of a sudden you're expected to spend time with your loved ones and cook real dinners and send out cards and stuff.

Sometimes I am not a very good grownup.

But I do occasionally finish a project, and, lo, the dreaded baby duplicate stitch sweater is among the finished!

PATTERN: the rather euphemistically-named Plaid Jacket by Linda Medina from 60 More Quick Baby Knits: Adorable Projects for Newborns to Tots in 220 Superwash Sport from Cascade Yarns.  Mine remains the only project on Ravelry.  You know why.  This is the largest size, 12-18 months.

YARN:  Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport (100% wool, 184 yds/50g skein) in colors Blue Knight, Bit of Blue, Bulldog Blue, and Mallard.  I used just about the whole skein in every color except the dark blue contrast, where I only used about 33g. 

NEEDLES:  US 3/3.25mm

NOTES: The knitting of this little sweater was easy and pleasant.  The finishing, however . . . ugh.  According to my notes, it took me nine days to do the duplicate stitch, and that's with working pretty diligently every day.  If one were to plan ahead, one could work a purl channel at the appropriate places in the pattern while knitting, enabling one to use a crochet hook to do the duplicate stitching.  If one has not planned ahead, though, this doesn't work (the hook spreads the stitches too much).

Was it worth it?  You decide:

I rather think it was.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Warm fuzzy yummy mittens

I am still battling the big blue blob.  I've knit about halfway through the second sleeve, so it won't be ready for Christmas, but it should be done not long after.  I have packed another present in the box and will send the sweater by and by.

In the meantime, you get another finished object post!  How lucky are you.

The Common Reader will remember that I bought a new-to-me spinning wheel.  A few weeks later, the lady I purchased it from, Nena, called me up and asked if I would like some fiber she'd found while cleaning.  Would I ever!

Among this fiber was some angora/alpaca roving that she'd purchased at Estes in 1996 (!!).  It was perfectly lovely.  I had promised Malia, one of our wedding attendants, that I would knit her anything she liked--within reason--and she requested mittens.  When I saw the alpaca/angora, the wheels in my head and my living room* began turning immediately.

The roving became this:

About 120 yards of bulky-weight yarn
which in turn became these:

Some pretty fucking fabulous mittens
Aren't they pretty?  I could not resist putting them on myself.

I also knit a matching earwarmer
And they got to Malia just in time for the snow to start where she lives.  A success all around.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Animal Crackers

in my soup, monkeys and rabbits loop-de-loop . . .


As you may have guessed, I finished the Animal Crackers socks!

PATTERN: Animal Crackers by Don Yarman.  Interesting and enjoyable to knit.  I made the smallest size minus four stitches to account for my gauge in the thickish yarn. 

YARN: Wollmeise Twin (80/20 merino/nylon, 510 yds/150g skein) in colorway WD Himbeere.  A note about Wollmeise colors--Claudia, the dyer, has what you might call exacting color standards, and skeins that don't meet them are pulled out and labeled "We're Different."  She sells them in grab bags on her website, and sometimes regular skeins are pressed into service.  So WD skeins can be very close to a named colorway, or they can be radically different.  Either way, they're still lovely.

As always, it's a pleasure to knit with WM, and it makes wonderful socks.  I used just under 100g.

NEEDLES: US 0/2mm.  Knitter's Pride Karbonz have lately become my favorites, more so even than wood.  I don't like the metal tips, which seem a bit sleazy, but I do like the carbon.  I have a pair of knockoff Blackthorns, but I haven't tried them yet.

NOTES: Gozer approves!

I am still knitting on the big blue blob, incidentally.  It has gained a ribbing and about 8 inches of sleeve.  Send chocolate.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In progress

Oh good heavens, I blinked again, and here it is December.

I have been knitting a great deal, mostly on this:

"This," you may say, "looks an awful lot like a giant blue blob."  Well, you'd be right about that. In theory it will grow up to be a "# 255 Henley neck down pullover for men" (how's that for euphony?), which is intended as a Christmas present for my little brother.  I've been working mostly on that because, as the astute will note, Christmas is only about three weeks away, and the blob is still in blob form.  It is several inches longer now than in the photo but not THAT much longer.

My other project of late, when I can't take anymore of the Blob, is a sock.  It is also intended as a gift, but I don't think it will be a Christmas gift.  More like a vernal equinox gift.

I do have lots and lots of finished objects to show you, but those will have to wait for another day, as I am back to blob knitting.  Later, gators!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Oh my goodness, what happened to October?!  I blinked and there it went.

I have been knitting, but don't have anything suitable to show you today . . . so let's go once more to the archives.  I see I have reached Camp Loopy 2013

These were my first project, a pair of Charybdis socks.  (And coincidentally I'm wearing them as I type.)

PATTERN: Charybdis by Fiona Bennett.  I used my favorite toe and heel and pretty much butchered her very nice pattern.  My apologies. 

YARN: Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock (80/10/10 merino/cashmere/nylon, 420 yds per 113g skein).  I would classify it as a heavier fingering.  I haven't been best pleased with the wear on this yarn--it has a ton of pills after just a little over a year of wear.  But in fairness, the dyer does note "technically, you can machine wash, but I wouldn’t," and I do.  I also throw them in the dryer occasionally.  On the other hand, they are very soft and comfortable to wear.

NEEDLES: US 1/2.25mm.  I usually knit socks on 2.0mms, hence the classification as a heavier fingering.

NOTES: A quick and enjoyable knit.  I had to unpick the cast-off on one sock and keep knitting in order to use the required amount for Camp Loopy.  I have this problem with socks frequently, as I like them on the shorter side (read: am lazy) and my loose knitting means I tend to use less yarn when I do so.

These pictures were taken by my wonderful friend Amanda.  Thanks, Amanda!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Matchless Matchless

Has it really been a week since I posted last?  My apologies!  The week was consumed by duplicate stitch.  But now that is done, and as soon as the body of the sweater dries, I can set in the sleeves and the snaps and it will be done!  But for now, it is drying.  As is a swatch for another sweater, and a hat I knit for the Irishman.  And I finished the Animal Crackers socks, which haven't even been washed yet because I wore them immediately.  (It was chilly.)

In fact, I don't have anything on the needles but the mindless socks for my mom and my perpetual raglan sweater.  It is a very odd feeling.  Right now I am virtuously persisting on the raglan rather than casting on something knew, but I can't promise this will last.

In lieu of knitting content, let me tell you about my new spinning wheel.  Oh, that's right, I bought a wheel about six weeks ago.


I had no intention of doing so!  It was Aspen's fault! 

You see, on Labor Day we went to Paradise Fibers.  Aspen was actively shopping for a wheel, so she was trying out this, that, and the other thing all over the place.  I spun on a few, but as I wasn't looking for one, I didn't really put any through their paces.  I did come away thinking that if I were ever to get another wheel, a Schacht Matchless would really be the wheel for me.  But the cost is rather prohibitive, and I wasn't in the market.

The next weekend, I went to my LYS for knit group, and, lo and behold, there was a flyer up from someone selling her Matchless.  For just about half the price of a new one.


So I bought the wheel, of course.  Isn't she pretty?

And I will never need another wheel again, as she does everything one would ever want to do.  Now I just need to get to spinning . . .

Friday, October 10, 2014

Shetland Sale

My friend Kate Heppell (best known for Love in a Cold Climate) has two promos going on at the moment!

First, her ebook, Shetland Story, is 25% off with the code SHETLAND25.

And second, her newly self-published Insight: a Reversible Sweater is half-price until October 17, making it about $4 USD--a steal!

© and courtesy Kate Heppell

Thursday, October 9, 2014


So far, this has been a rather frustrating week.  Remember the baby sweater?

A very bad picture by way of reminder

All the pieces are knit, and all the extant ends woven in.  Next is the duplicate stitch to form the plaid pattern.  At first, I thought this would be a doddle, as I could use the crochet hook method (explained very nicely here), but it turned out not to be workable.  (The crochet stitches spread the knitting too far and make it look funny.)  So now I am duplicate stitching, stitch by tedious stitch.  It is customary at this junction to request that others send alcohol, or chocolate, or whatever the knitter's personal vice may be, but in this case I don't think that legal stimulants will cut it.  Send methamphetamine.

Next, my mindless sock-in-progress went from this (plus about two inches, since I worked on it at the movies the other day):

to this:

as I finally accepted that it was going to be too big to fit the intended recipient.  The good news, I suppose, is that eight fewer stitches will be that much quicker to knit.  But!!

And finally, I have hauled out a UFO that is positively ancient, by my standards--it was begun in March 2012.   It's a top-down raglan sweater (read: boring), and I don't really like it?  I think I will like the finished product, but the knitting of it is tedious, and I didn't do a very good job with the pattern.

Or this photo.

I feel like casting on something very easy and bulky, just so I'll have the satisfaction of finishing it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Exercises in Procrastination

Now here is an olllllllllllllllllld project.  I started this shawl in July 2011.  You may behold the cast on photo here.  It was just a diversion while I waited for more yarn to finish my Birthday Pi, so I abandoned it.  Then the next winter I picked it up while waiting on more yarn for Maplewing.  Then the next summer I picked it up after finishing my Aeolian and then dropped it to work on my Ravelympics project.

Sensing a theme?

Anyway, I finally took it up seriously last spring (that would be 2013, for those who have completely lost the plot) and knit until I got bored.  But this time I decided it was big enough and bound it off.  Yay.

PATTERN:  Dorothy, designed by my good friend Jane.  But I made it in laceweight instead of fingering because I am insane.

YARN: Jojoland Harmony (100% merino, 880 yds/50g skein) in the brilliantly-named colorway HC08.

NEEDLES: US 2/2.75mm

NOTES: I think I made eight repeats, but I'm really not sure.  Whatever.  It was big enough (about 60x32").  It has since gone to live with Aspen because orange is so not my color.