Saturday, December 17, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

I have been knitting much, contrary to the evidence of the blog. I started a Maplewing in my beautiful Silk Shimmer Lace. (Which she doesn't seem to be dying anymore? A pity. She HAS, however, greatly improved the photography on her website. Kudos!)

And as always, there are Mindless Socks in the works. Here is number one:

And I finished the Irishman's big zig-zag socks, but need to sew elastic in the tops and get some modeled shots before I hand them over:

And of course I have not yet blocked the big purple thing. There will still be entertainment to come.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finally, a Finished Object

These have been done for MONTHS . . . I just now got around to taking pictures:

Pattern: Bougainvillea, by Anne Hanson.

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, colorway "Velvet Grapes."

Needles: US 00/1.75mm. (Malabrigo is so soft and I knit so loosely that I usually use a very small needle to prevent wear.)

I am very pleased with these--the pattern is harder to see on camera than in real life, and I love how the little vines twine around everything.

P.S. This makes number five for Year of the Sock. I may not make it to twelve, but I'll definitely get to seven. That's not so bad, right?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things on my Rav page

Things on my Rav page listed as WIPs despite being complete and just needing washing/blocking/photography: 2

Things on my Rav page listed as WIPs that, despite being active projects that I've worked on within the past week, have no photograph: 2

Things on my Rav page with pictures that reflect the status of the project approximately one year ago: 2

Things on my Rav page that are actually 100% complete except for a wash and yet have never had a photograph taken of them: 1

Conclusion: I would look like a much more productive knitter if I ever took a freakin' picture.

(Incidentally, I chose the sweater for TV knitting, and have finished a sleeve, the back, and one front. The other front is nearly done, which means that I have only to knit a sleeve and then I can start putting it together. Yay.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What to knit in front of the telly?

So I finished the big purple thing, which had been my TV knitting for the summer, and now I find myself at loose ends. On the needles I have a pair of mindless socks and a pair of quite complicated socks. In hibernation I have a few lace shawls and the back to a sweater.

So what do I take downstairs to work on while watching? Nothing is really singing to me at the moment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mmmmm, Pi

It is not yet blocked, but I have finished the Birthday Pi. Here is a terrible photo:

In my defense, I finished it at about 10PM. Here is another bad photo with a close up of the center pattern:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Catchin' Up

It has been so long, my lovelies! I have been knitting mostly in dribs and drabs, but lately have been seized by startitis.

While the Birthday Pi is on hiatus (awaiting more yarn), I've also started another Mawelucky shawl, Dorothy:

Because I'm a madwoman, I'm knitting it in Jojoland Harmony, otherwise known as the world's thinnest laceweight. I am so envious of Aspen's beautiful Gail, however, that I'm willing to give it a go.

I also restarted the Irishman's Sweet Georgia socks, this time toe-up in a little lace pattern of my own devising. Quite fetching, eh?

And I also cast on a pair of Anne Hanson's Bougainvillea socks, but a picture for those will have to wait until next time.

I am trying very hard to be faithful to these projects, but I have so much else I want to knit. My alpaca sweater! My Maplewing! A Rose of England!

Less blogging, more knitting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I finished my dad's socks!

Pattern: Graphic from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks

Yarn: ZAUBERBALL (75/25 wool/nylon).

And here he models them for all of us! I made a lot of mods to the pattern, because I am never ever satisfied with things as written. But that's not the fault of said pattern, which is very nice indeed. Since the Zauberball's a singles, it is prone to misbehavior, but it gives a nice sturdy sock. Overall, I'm very pleased.

For those playing along at home, this leaves me at four pairs of socks for the year. But I persevere! That means I only have seven more to go!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Green Is Happening

Pattern: Mystery KAL from my LYS

Yarn: Knit Picks Shimmer (70/30 baby alpaca/silk), 440 yds/50g skein, colorway "Shallows."

Needles: US 5/3.75mm.

Modifications: Two extra repeats of clues 4 and 5, shortened the smocked mesh section and went directly to the picot bind-off instead of working the ruffled hem.

Model: one of my obliging housemates. They're very used to my oddities by now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How's Tricks?

Just popping in to say howdy and show off a FO:

This is for an afghan my LYS is putting together--each employee was asked to design and knit a square. Since the theme was "Nature," my square, of course, features DNA.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

Sometimes, the universe reminds you that people are wonderful.

As you all know, I've been knitting the Birthday Pi--it still looks pretty much like this, for a given level of blobbyness:

I've become a bit concerned that I'll run out of yarn. I have about 50 rows left on the body, and then the edging to do, and I've used more than half my skein.

Running out would be especially problematic as not only is Arabella discontinued anyway, but when Tony at Posh dyes, he dyes in small batches and doesn't repeat dye combinations. Which means that the only other yarn in the world that matches this one would be a skein dyed at the same time, more than two years ago. Eep.

I'd thought of a couple workarounds, but last night I thought, "first things first," and decided to check Ravelry stashes to see if anyone had Arabella in this or a coordinating colorway. (I'm reasonably sure I can get to the end of the body, at least . . .) Lo and behold, I found someone right away with the exact same yarn. And, although she didn't have it listed for sale or trade, when I pm'd to ask, she responded right away, saying she'd be happy to send it along if I need it, but assuring me that I won't run out!

This sort of thing gives me such warm fuzzies. The knitting community is full of such kind, generous people, and it makes me happy to know that I'm connected to them. <3

Monday, May 9, 2011

Year of the Sock: April in Retrospect

Well. I'm a little behind. But I have been knitting some.

This is the first sock of a pair of Graphics from Melissa Morgan-Oaks's Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks. Fabulous book, by the way.

I'm knitting these out of ZAUBERBALL in "Chocolate Cream"--don't you love it?

These are for my dad; for Christmas I gave him a "coupon" for a pair of socks in any color or style he fancies. He checked "surprise me!" so I went with the Zauberball. I'm hoping the cables will add warmth and stability so he can wear them with his boots.

I was also knitting the Irishman some socks in that lovely Sweet Georgia yarn, but I frogged 'em Wednesday night. The calf was coming out way too big (even for him). I think I just need to knit all his socks toe-up.

But that does put me seriously behind. I'm trying to have the Zauberball socks done in time for Father's Day, although that still leaves me down a pair for the year.

I've just felt blah about knitting lately--everything seems uninspired and limp. Maybe once I've finished the albatross cross-stitch my mojo will return. (It's almost finished! I'm literally on the last color of the back-stitching!)

Sheep and Wool!

This last weekend was the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and oh, how much fun it was! I went yesterday and wandered all around and saw the sheeps and every little thing.

And of course I indulged in a little stash enhancement.

First, this pretty from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I've heard and seen nothing but good things about Jen's yarns, so of course I had to stop by. And this is the result:

It's Clotho, a 100% merino laceweight, colorway "Sapphire." Looooooove.

And then this, from Maple Creek Farm:

Oh, how I wish y'all could touch this; the picture can't possibly do it justice--it's her "Portland" 50/50 silk/merino. Last year, I stopped by this booth and wanted something (I forget what, exactly) but moved on as I was only looking. When I got back it was gone, horrors. So this year, I was determined to get what I wanted from this, and this was it. I'm not usually such a BLUE blue person, but the Portland caught my eye when I wandered by the booth the first time, and I thought about it all day. So after lunch, I went back and snapped it up!

As always, a wonderful time at Sheep and Wool . . . I'm not crazy about Maryland in some ways, but I love living so close to the festival!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Alive

Just don't have much to show for it. Still knitting the Birthday Pi, which grows ever-larger. Still knitting socks (although I suspect I will be behind for April). Still sleepy, even at 12:23 PM. You know, the usual.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Year of the Sock: March

Well, I'm technically a day behind, but that's not bad at all. At lunch today (after the menus and before the food), I finished the second Twisted Angles sock.

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (440 yds/100g, 100% superwash merino), colorway "Archangel."

I made several alterations to the pattern. I felt the Malabrigo was so soft and loosely plied that it needed to be knit at a very tight gauge. Since I'm a loose knitter, this mean size US00/1.75mm needles. For the same reason, I substituted a slip-stitch heel for the regular garter-bordered heel written in the pattern.

Since the feet were biasing so badly, I used a French toe. It alleviates the problem by dividing the foot stitches into thirds instead of halves.

And a fabulous pair of socks. Happy birthday to their lucky recipient . . . who shall remain nameless for now!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rare Meta Non-Knitting Post

This is just to say
I have started a new blog
which you probably won't be reading

Forgive me
books are interesting
So sweet
and so full of tasty info nuggets.

William Carlos Williams was SUCH a better poet than I am.

Anyway, 'tis true, I am now blogging about books and feminism at The Feminist Book Project. Do come visit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whole Lotta Nappin' Goin' On

Not much to report here lately. I've passed the gusset on the second Twisted Angles sock, so with luck I'll have that done by the end of the week.

I also put in some work on the back of the alpaca sweater when we went to the theater a few weekends ago, so it is almost ready to start the armhole shaping.

That's been postponed, however, in favor of the Birthday Pi. I'm about halfway through Clue 3, so I won't be winning any speed prizes. (From the sound of it, though, I may still distinguish myself in the KAL; the other participants are also taking a leisurely tack.)

The only novelty to report is that I did cast on a new pair of socks for the Irishman, though it's far too early to tell that they'll be Sailor's Delight. He's had his eye on this Tough Love Sock ever since I brought it back from New York last summer. It's really quite cute how he thought he was being all crafty when picking it out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Year of the Sock: Still in It to Win It*

I managed to finish the Big Black Socks just under the wire for February--I bound them off while watching Maryland lose to UNC on the 27th (go Terps!)

Yarn: Cascade Pima Tencel (50/50 cotton/lyocel), color 7779. Pattern: Mindless Socks. US 2.5/3.0mm needles.

As well as finishing those, I've actually finished the first of the Twisted Angles. Check out the absolute gorgeousness of the gusset:

I felt like the Malabrigo needed a very tight gauge to be at all wearable, so these are quite small socks. Fortunately, I had a perfect model handy:

This is our patient and long-suffering fake foot. She is currently modeling a plain Zauberballe Crazy sock, but graciously agreed to help me out for a few shots.

The lace pattern biased very badly on the foot, but a French toe helped with that.

And I'm on track for March; I'm alllllllmost to the heel flap, which I should have done plus gusset by the end of the weekend. This Year of the Sock thing is working out!

*Unlike my bracket. You have betrayed me, Syracuse!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Manly Möbius

My friend Brandon and I were browsing a clothing store when he said—fondling a machine-made horror—“I should buy a scarf!” I said (the refrain of knitters everywhere), “Don't buy that; I can knit you one!” It had to be a möbius, since Brandon is a theoretical physicist, and it's snug and warm to keep his neck cozy while he bikes to and from campus.

YARN: For Brandon's möbius, I used Zhonghua Wool, a gift from a thoughtful friend who was living in China. Any heavy aran or light bulky-weight wool would do nicely for this pattern. (Or cast on more stitches to use worsted weight.) I suggest Mission Falls 1824, Lamb's Pride Bulky, or Malabrigo Twist.

SIZE: One size, approximately 6.5 inches long and 12.5 inches wide (doubled) when washed.

Thanks to Brandon, my möbius inspiration and model, and to SQ for the beautiful yarn!

This pattern is available for $4 USD through Ravelry.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birthday Pi!

Jane of the Mawelucky Love Rav group is giving us all a treat--a surprise birthday pi shawl. The first clue was released on Pi Day (of course), the second on Tuesday, and the third is due today.

I'm using this beautiful Posh:

This photo is rather dark, but it's a mix of pretty purples with a grey/purple streak thrown in.

Here is a bad picture partway through Clue 1 (I'm slow):

I've never knit a circular shawl before, but I'm up for a challenge as always. You should come knit along with us!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweaters Take a Very Long Time to Knit

There is rather a lot of knitting news to report, but I don't have pictures of any of it. So in lieu, you get this picture of a half-done sleeve.

It is very soft and cozy and warm. Just in time for spring! By which I mean, I will not be wearing it this season.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hi, My Name Is Mary

And I have a problem. A problem with sock yarn. "It's just sock yarn," I say. "I knit socks all the time. It'll be in and out of the stash before I know it." I buy more and more--just one skein! A souvenir! A new brand.

I've never knit with Austermann Step before, so when my LYS picked up the Zodiac line, of course I had to try it out.

This is Pisces--not my sign, but I couldn't resist the blue-purple yumminess.

But this is only one skein, you say. How does this indicate a problem?

Well, while digging around in the stash, I found this (Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select in "Peacock"):

And this (Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in "Java"):

And this is but the tip of the iceberg, my friends.

There's a reason I'm calling this the Year of the Sock.

You'll be relieved to know that the Irishman has claimed this

for his next pair. He's had his greedy eyes on it ever since I brought it back from New York.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy (belated) birthday to me!

Actually, my birthday was back in October. But I did get myself a present. Sweater yarn!

This is . . . shall we say, rather a lot of Madelinetosh Tosh Dk, more than enough for two sweaters.

One in Fathom (the color is more accurate here) :

And one in Logwood:

Now what on earth do I make with 'em?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweater Frustrations

I'm trying to knit myself a sweater. And it is not going well.

You may remember the beautiful alpaca I obtained in Kansas. There should be more than enough to knit myself a nice cardigan. If I can EVER get mother-loving GAUGE.

Gauge is one of the more frustrating parts of knitting for me. I'm a very loose knitter (here I must pause to say "hur hur" because the Irishman isn't here), so there's never any point in following indicated needle sizes. On a side note, is it just me, or are ball band instructions frequently from some other reality? I would never knit dk weight on a size 7 needle unless I was making lace.

Anyway, this poses a problem when it comes to knitting fitted garments, especially ones for myself. As I've mentioned from time to time, I'm a big girl. While I'm personally comfortable with my ample proportions, it does make knitting sweaters for myself a much more time-consuming task than knitting them for babies or skinnier friends (SQ I am looking at you!) I've only ever knit one sweater for myself (the Boyfriend Sweater from Hip to Knit).

So it's very frustrating to be putting all this time into knitting a single freakin' sleeve. First there was the gauge thing. I finally got a gauge I could live with, put together a nice little design, and started knitting a sleeve. I was probably six or seven inches along. Then, one night as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a vision.

And that vision said "garter stitch!" So I ripped the damn thing out AGAIN. Argh.

But now it is humming along. For the moment, at least.

(Incidentally, my vision lied. It meant to say "seed stitch!")

Sunday, February 27, 2011


So I frequent a forum on Ravelry devoted to the work of a certain designer. (I.e., nothing to do with food, politics, dieting, fat, or various other potential minefields.) Everyone there is very nice and funny, and I love reading it--it's one of the highlights of my day.


People never ever EVER stop talking smack about their bodies. Either it's "I've lost so much weight and I'm so pleased," or it's "I'm [insert fat euphemism here] so I won't do the waist-shaping on this sweater." (And don't even get me started on how wrong that last one is.)

It gets me down. I feel judged for not constantly apologizing for weighing too much, and I feel bad for not caring about what other people consider an accomplishment (because, seriously, diet talk is just plain boring). And I feel bad for women who feel like they need to disguise their ugly, ugly fat so thoroughly that they won't even consider waist shaping in a sweater.

What does the peanut gallery think? Should I ask the mods to ask the group to axe the diet talk? On the one hand, I don't want to ruin anyone's fun. On the other, I don't want my own ruined.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seaweed Shawl

A rather long time ago, my boss decided to do a mystery project KAL. I thought this was a fabulous idea, but of course I didn't get around to knitting the project while it was either a) a mystery or b) a KAL. I did knit it eventually, though:


The shawlette is designed for DK weight, and, wouldn't you know, I somehow managed not to have enough of any one DK in my stash to make it happen. Ridiculous, right? But what I DO have is laceweight, tons and tons of it.

This is Knit Picks Shimmer, colorway Shallows. This is my first time knitting with this yarn, and I'm very pleased--it has a lovely hand that's (frankly) as good as many luxury yarns I've used. Much more impressive than their all-wool laceweight.

I altered the pattern further after substituting the yarn weights. As it was going to come out much smaller in the lace yarn, I did two extra repeats of clues 4 and 5. (You can't see it in this picture, of course, but it'll be evident in the finished piece.) And since I'm not wild about ruffles--and since I was running a little low on yarn--I shortened the smocked mesh section and went straight to the picot bind-off rather than continue to the ruffled hem.

I'll block it sometime this week, then put a formal FO post.

I seem to be constitutionally incapable of knitting a pattern as written.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Year of the Sock: February

So far so good! I finished the second of the Faux Fair socks:

Then proceeded to wear them away from the photo shoot, as they are comfy and awesome.

I've made substantial progress on the second Big Black sock:

But knitting it is boring, so it's been superseded in entertainment terms by this:

Which is a Twisted Angle sock. This pattern was designed by a friend from my hometown, who gave me a copy and said "knit this and tell me what you think." So I am and I will!

I do need to get cracking so that I have two socks to show for February. I'm thinking the "pair a month" thing doesn't work so well, since I tend to have so many pairs going at once. Then again, maybe it's just the tedium of the Big Black sock that is wearing on me. The Yarn Harlot makes it seem so easy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Here is a little hat, knitted to teach beginners. (Noticing a theme, anyone?) It's Malabrigo something-or-other that I grabbed from our leftovers bin. I think it's destined for a young cousin of mine--the only person I know with the proper-sized head!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Year of the Sock: Update

I am declaring the first month of Year of the Sock a success!

See above the first two completed socks of the year. Okay, granted, they aren't part of a pair, but that's just a technicality. The first of both the Big Black Socks and the Faux Fair socks are complete. One is obviously sized to fit me, the other is . . . obviously not.

So on to February! I plan to get the mates to these finished up, and then it's Malabrigo time.