rope. tree. fan. spear. snake. wall.

Monday, December 24, 2007

all done


And I promise, the next post will be about something else. Pinky swear.

Happy Hols, y'all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

more flower basket

Well, here it is in its unblocked glory:
FBS, unblocked

And a little close-up:
FBS, detail

It's currently drying, and then I'll use the Harlot's tutorial to block it (thanks for the tip Peachy).

And now I don't know how to decide what to knit next. Hm.

home stretch

Ugh, sorry the long silence peeps, but this is my knitting blog, and I'm still working on the same project. I had to let Henry slide, because I do have alterna-gifts for DrBob, but the Flower Basket Shawl absolutely must be done in time, because we don't have any other ideas for my MIL. I'm beading the very last row before the bind-off row, and I'm halfway done with that, so really nearly done. Projektleiterin says it's going to be enormous - she should know, she's actually done lace before. I have to learn to block lace, well, tomorrow. And I haven't been taking photos, but I'll try to get a few up tomorrow.

I'm gonna make it! Probably. Yay!

Friday, December 07, 2007

well, now I know...

...that Christmas knitting is a Very Bad Idea. No time to start other projects, just grinding along on these until I want to jump up and down on them. IF I actually get them done in time (note very big if), when the huz and the MIL get them and say ooo! aaah! thank you! I will respond with GRAAARGH!

No pictures, sorry. No time to put the knitting down. Grargh.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

passing it on

Hey everybody! A contest! Where you can win some really nice-looking yarn! Seriously, what's not to love?

Blurry photos in bad November light is not to love. And they're overdue, I really need to send them off tomorrow, so there won't be a lot of opportunities to re-shoot. But at least they're done. I've decided entrelac socks are cool, they seem to go faster than regular ones. But these are bleeping huge! I'm afraid they won't fit Mr Reid, even though I made them as close to his measurements as I could.
Billy Reid's comfy house socks

Monday, November 26, 2007

tagged! again!

By Elemmaciltur, again! For a meme I already did for Kelly (oo, that reminds me, I owe her another one as well), which means you now know sixteen random things about me. It's enough to make one's head spin.
  1. Colors. I color-code things. On the calendar, my stuff is written in green. DrBob is black, Ignatz blue, the Sniglet red. When I knit sweaters, ring marker colors have Deeper Significance: purple for the left side, green for the right. Blue for the back, red for the front. It's important.
  2. Numbers. I remember strings of numbers. I do multiplication tables in my head while I wait to fall asleep. I know all the squares up to 25, and I can count to 1023 just using my own ten fingers. None of this knowledge has ever been of any use to me whatsoever, but still. There it is.
  3. Because 1+2 is 3, numbers have colors. One is red. Two is blue. Three is pink, four is purple, five is green. And so on. I don't know why I do this. I do know that I would love colored knitting needles, but I can't buy them until I find them in the right colors: the 2mms have to be blue, the 5mms green, etc. Otherwise I'd just be confused.
  4. The bed must be made. I think I mentioned this one before - I read somewhere that you feel better when your bed is made, and I tried it, and durned if it isn't the truth. On busy days, when I leave the house early and get home just in time to go to bed, I can do without making my side of the bed. But even if I keep my back to DrBob's side, I know that his blanket isn't folded and his pillow isn't fluffed, and I know that they are staring at me. Waiting. And I can't fall asleep until I've fixed them.
  5. When I was in junior high, my handwriting looked almost exactly like my dad's. By the time I was 30, it looked almost exactly like my mom's. Now it's like my mom's, only messy.
  6. I do not like straight knitting needles. The only reason I even have any is because someone gave them to me. I never use them.
  7. I haven't watched television on any kind of regular basis since I was about 17. I really miss it, but I never seem to find the time.
  8. My hands and feet are almost always cold.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


It took me awhile to get rolling on that shawl for my mother-in-law, but it's been progressing pretty well, and I'm about halfway through. I was using a free online pattern from Interweave Knits. I just found out today that they've decided it should no longer be free. I'd just been going to the page when I needed further information (instead of saving a copy on my hard drive - yes I know, that was stupid), and now that it's gone, I can't finish the shawl. I could buy the pattern from Fiber Trends for $6.50, which is wholly reasonable, but they want $10 to send it to me. Ten freaking dollars to put a piece of paper in the mail. Yes I have the money, but no I'm not going to pay that, that's outrageous. What are they doing, mailing it to Saturn?

This is so aggravating, for two reasons: one, it's my own stupid fault for not saving a copy. Two, Interweave Knits owes me nothing: I am not entitled to this pattern in any way, and they are fully within their rights to remove it. So I have no right to be annoyed.

Knowing that it's my fault and I have no right to feel how I feel? Does not make me feel better.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yippee-hooray! And a teensy argh.

Okay, I signed up for Secret Pal 11 because I liked the idea of picking out pretty things and brightening a stranger's day. It was all about the giving, I thought, but no! I was wrong! It's the GETTING, BABY! My super-awesome Secret Pal who sent me all those reassuring emails when I was full of doubt about my ability to do a good job on my first SP swap sent me a box of wow! And yay! Look! SP11 photo1 How cute is this? SO cute! The green-and-black checkery-thing? It's a shoe! A ceramic witch's shoe! And how did she know about the bat thing? Ask Kelly, the bat is sort of my totem animal, but that's not widely known (well okay, now it is). Ha! Love! It!

SP11 photo2And Trekking yarn, which is so fab because it solves my dilemma. Remember, I couldn't decide whether to use the Mari-yarn for Armadillo or Anastasia? Well, LOOK at that purple! Perfect for Anastasia, so now I get to choose both! Always my favorite option.

So much happy stuff! Stickers, Mardi Gras beads, pins, pen, paper, and I love that card, that's hilarious. Yay! As for the teensy argh, it's just that I couldn't get a good photo of the little hippo Webkinz guy - he really is a very nice light blue, but all the light blue stuff was really problematic with the camera flash, which I was using because the weather is so very icky today that it's been twilight all day. So I had to shoot it flashless, in natural li- um, what passes for light today. Gack. So the second photo does not do justice to the fabulousness of my Secret Pal loot.

And my Secret Pal is seriously awesome. Thank you SP!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

arrived today

Schneeschaf BambooSilk Highlands

Le Swoon.

Now, what do I knit with it?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

a meme from Elemm!

For newcomers via Ravelry, the other blog is the NaBloPoMo blog, because even though I've done all right for a week, there's no way I'll be able to write about the same five knitting projects every day for a month. So, if you want to read the wonder that is moi every single day this month (ugh, perish the thought), check over here. But since Elemm is a knitter-friend as well as a... well, the other kind, I thought I'd answer his questions over here. Now you owe me, Elemm! Come on, let's see 'em!

01. Can you cook?
If I must.
02. What was your dream growing up?
I wanted to be a linguist. Heh.
03. What talent do you wish you had?
Making small talk
04. If I bought you a drink what would it be?
A Margarita.
05. Favorite vegetable?
Broccoli! Take that, George Bush!
06. What was the last book you read?
I honestly cannot remember. Probably Between, Georgia.
07. What zodiac sign are you ?
08. Any tattoos and/or piercings?
3 tattoos, pierced ears
09. Worst habit?
Forgetting appointments. Or worrying. Or possibly being indecisive.
10. If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11. What is your favorite sport?
To watch? Soccer, American football, ice hockey, rugby, figure skating. To do myself? Um... thumb wrestling?
12. Negative or optimistic attitude?
Negative by nature, working on faking optimistic
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
Whip out the knitting!
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
My own bad choices.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you.
I can't count sheep to fall asleep. I always picture them leaping into a pond and drowning. It's too upsetting, so I do multiplication tables instead.
16. Do you have any pets?
One cat.
17. What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
Yay! Come on in! Or do you want to check out the LYS first?
18. What was your first impression of me?
Cheerful, talented.
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
Thicker hair.
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
At 20, I would have been your partner in crime. Now, I try for conscience. Motherhood does change that about a person. And after listening to the podcast, I think you have enough partners in crime...
22. What color eyes do you have?
23. Ever been arrested?
No! Why? What have you heard?
24. Bottle or draft?
25. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Spend it on yarn, probably.
26. Would you date me?
If I weren't married? If you were straight? Or if I were gay and a guy? If you weren't almost young enough to be my son? I think that's too many ifs...
27. Where's your favorite place to hang out?
I really, really love my house.
28. Do you believe in ghosts?
Sure, why not?
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Knit and listen to podcasts.
30. Do you swear a lot?
Hell to the yeah! Ask my kids.
31. Biggest pet peeve?
People who chew with their mouth open. Ick.
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33. Do you believe in/appreciate romance?
34. If you could spend 12 hours with me and ask/do anything you like, what would it be?
Benediktbeuern! Vaterstetten! Sauerlach!
35. Do you believe in God?
Um, yeah.
36. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same?
Sure! See?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Today in the mail there were 3 CDs and 3 books. But no yarn. This made me just a little bit sad. But the music has turned out to be a good accompaniment for making my first-ever short row heel, and the Shrek soundtracks might just inspire me to watch the movies again. I can knit while I do that!

The books, the books... nope. I can't knit while I read paperbacks. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! THE BOOKS MUST BE DESTROYED!

Hm. Somebody in this blog might need to get a grip already.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I sort of accidentally bought some yarn. It doesn't have a plan yet, except that I will keep it near me and pet it occasionally for at least a week because it's so pretty. And yes I read Amy's post about Saying No to Stash Guilt, and I did technically click the "buy" button before I knew that we needed a new washing machine - about nine hours before the repairdude came, saw, and tsk-ed. But now we need a new washer. And yet somehow, I also need this yarn. Might do for the Giselle sweater, because I still need a pattern, so as not to have bought yarn in vain. Especially since, as part of my declutter-with-Tini mission, I dug out some (not all) of my yarn and found some sock yarn I bought when Ignatz was a baby. Heh heh. Oops?

Cut me some slack, at least I didn't buy this.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

must. make. this!

I'm in sweater-love. It's a new pattern from StitchDiva, I don't think it's even on sale yet - actually, given how much I have on the needles right now, maybe I want it to wait a bit before it goes on sale, because I can see myself dropping everything to do this. I don't even like following other people's patterns, but for this I'll make an exception. Swooooooon!

Only I can't use PayPal, so can somebody hook me up? I'll send you a check or, if you're Stateside, some awesome Euro-yarn or something.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

for the ears

But first: Nah, I don't need a pattern for the Armadillos, I could figure them out. I could figure out the Anastasia socks too, actually. Woo-woo, listen to the SupaKnittah! I sound like an arrogant git. But it's true. I could.

Anyway. This is marginally knitting-related: it's about podcasts. Since my usual stars of the podio world have decided to abandon me in favor of trivial stuff like weddings and grad school and burnout and taking breaks and whathaveyou (nooo! you are here to entertain meeeee!), I've been forced to branch out. Yes - I am actually listening to a non-knitting podcast! Whoa. But I knit while I listen to it, that should make it this a suitable topic for a knitting blog.

The podcast is Will Write for Wine, and it is done by two writers (genre fiction, which is what I like best to read) who talk about the craft of writing and also the business end of it. And also about wine. And tell silly stories. They're very funny, but they're also really interesting and articulate about the writing process, and I'm finding that aspect fascinating. I have no interest in becoming a writer, but I am an avid (and very picky) reader, and I really like understanding the writing process so that I can articulate what I like or dislike about a book. They also recommend various random things they like, like books and websites and music, and I've found a few really cool things through them. Like this. I haven't actually read any of their books, but I did order two from amazon this morning, so I will!

So y'all. If your podcasters are in a slump or on hiatus, here's a new one to check out.


Remember that yarn Mari sent me? Looks like this? And she suggested that I use it to make Armadillo socks, and I really like that pattern, but then I ran across the Anastasia sock pattern and I really like that too. Now I can't decide.

(Common Sense: Erm, alala, you already have five projects on the needles, including two Christmas gifts.
alala: La-la-la I can't heeeeeeeear yoooooooou...)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

because I'm insane

As you all know, I bought yarn at a craft fair (from a woman who doesn't believe in the internet, or I'd send you to her site, because really - fantastic stuff) for Henry, and since it wasn't the yarn the pattern calls for, I had to do some guessing about needle sizes. Turns out I guessed wrong - I went bigger than the recipe said, but not bigger enough, and the combination of silk yarn and bamboo needles may have been part of the problem. It was kind of thick and inflexible and didn't travel over the needles very smoothly, so it was hurting my hands, but I thought I could live with it until I was about halfway through. So. I've started over on Henry, even though it has to be done by Christmas and I can only work on it when DrBob is not home, and I have three other projects on the needles at the moment.

Erm. Make that four. Because changing Henry to larger needles may have had the eensiest ulterior motive. I needed to free up my 3.5mm circs for the Mystic Waters shawl. Of course, there's no particular urgency on that one, so I don't have to cast on for it yet.

But um. I kind of did anyway.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I got mine!

firestarterminiSo when will you get yours?

This actually came in yesterday's mail, but I didn't find time to blog it on the same day, but look! A zippy new thing from Yarnissima! And it is so darn cute I may just hang it on the Christmas tree as is, instead of knitting it up. Except I can't hang up the cookies, which I already ate. And I've actually met Yarnissima in person, so I don't know if everyone gets cookies or just me (*twinkle twinkle*), but even without the cookies, this is one adorable little kit. I am seriously considering ordering a few more... for my Secret Pal, for various friends, for having LOTS to hang on the tree! Whoopee!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PIF - Pay It Forward

via Tini:

“I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”

I think this is a great idea, a way to put some positive energy out in the world. So hey people - sign up, send people stuff, and I'll send you something! Let's all create some happy mail-days! I love those.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I won!

So there was a big squishy envelope in the mail today! From M.V., in Frankfurt - do I know anyone in Frankfurt? Nooo, I know someone in Hessen, but not Frankfurt-Hessen, and I haven't ordered anything from her lately, I'm still working on the last yarn I bought from her. Very mysterious. But not for long, of course, rip! shred! open! Mari! I love reading Mari's blog, even though I don't understand a word of Finnish (seriously, not one word. I know at least one word in a surprising number of languages, Swahili and Czech and Quechua and Indonesian, but no Finnish. Really. Zero.), because I like the look of it. I like double letters, as those of you who know my real name can attest. One of those things I would have put in that "six weird things about me that you probably don't know" meme, if I'd ever done it.

Anyway! My envelope of stuff! Does she know me or what? It's chocolate! With orange-y bits in it! And sock yarn, my very favorite kind that I never buy - it's both marled and variegated, such a joy to watch the colors change as the yarn slips through your fingers, but then once it's knitted up, you can't see the beauty of the yarn unless you stand closer to me than my West Coast-tuned proximity sensors will allow (I am all about the personal space, it's one of the reasons that living in Europe makes me so twitchy). So when I see yarn like this I always carry it around the yarn store for an hour, decide it's not a practical thing to buy, and put it back. But now I have some! In fabulous October-birthday colors too, purples and reds and browns and golds, see? Yarn from Mari

The photo of the yarn and chocolate together didn't turn out well, but you can see the yarn, at least. Click! Embiggen! It's pretty! This will have to make some very special socks. And then I will be the only one who knows how special they are.

Thank you thank you thank you Mari! This made my day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


So I signed up to knit teensy hats for drink bottles (for the Big Knit) and then forgot about it because the deadline was way far in the future. That is what I do with events that are not Next: I forget them. Anyway, the deadline suddenly zooped up to next Monday, and I got the reminder email yesterday morning and went "ack!"

So I did other things yesterday, but I also knit five tiny hats. And it was fun. It did take time away from a translation that I have to do before this weekend, though. And now I am somewhat sorry about that because I have found that, even though this is not an academic text, and is quite interesting and I even understand everything, the fact is, after five pages my brain is fried and I have to take a break. But I have too many pages and too few hours, and I don't really have time for a break. Nevertheless, my brain is fried. So I guess it's fortunate that the person who was supposed to take Ignatz to Tae Kwon Do bagged on me, and I have to go sit in St. Wolfgang for an hour and stare at the wall, but to be honest, with the number of things I really need to get done, that lost hour is kind of bothering me.

But at least I had fun knitting five tiny hats. And now back to our regularly scheduled knitting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

gone over to the Dark Side

You know, I've read the posts and listened to the podcasts about Stash, and all these people who have more yarn than they'll be able to knit up in their lifetime, and I have concluded - I may even have written about it somewhere on this blog - that I am a knitter, not a yarn collector. I only buy for specific projects. Now, sometimes the yarn doesn't work out for the project I bought it for, and I have to put it to some other use, but I never buy yarn without some plan for it.

Until now.

Basket o' WollmeiseOkay, most of these do have a specific purpose, the blue and brown will be Ravenclaw socks, the black and yellow is intended for Hufflepuff socks, that orange on the left there will be Firestarters. Three dark red and black skeins are intended for a cardigan to go with a specific dress I have. But others... the Dark Peacock and the Rainbow were just too beautiful to pass up, and I may never even knit them, just pet and admire them.

And today, I sank even further into the abyss: Purple MariSilk Black-purple MariSilk

That's right, 1200 meters, that's 1312 yards of purple MariSilk, and no plan whatsoever for it. No project is fantastic enough for this color and this yarn. I can't imagine what I'll find to do with it.

It sure is pretty, though.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ADD and the knitter

Well, the Henry yarn + stitch pattern is kind of inflexible, and the scarf is pretty long, so it's not going very fast - and I have to put it aside completely when DrBob is home this weekend, because he's not supposed to see it. Christmas present.

So then I'll work on the MIL's Flower Basket Shawl, but it's a bit of an attention whore. Usually I can sort of grok a pattern after a couple of repeats, and I can see what this is doing in retrospect, but I'm not learning the pattern well enough to anticipate what comes next. So I have to squint at the pattern the whole time, and tink back if I lose my place, and never stop in the middle of a row. This too must be finished by Christmas.

And then there's the socks I promised to knit for Billy Reid, in the Knitters Uncensored mini-KAL which has only three participants. I think I have finally settled on a pattern and am ready to start thinking about maybe knitting them. I'm not sure what the deadline on this is, but I do know that MsB knits waaaay faster than I do, and Elemm has more knitting time, what with the not having children. I probably shouldn't leave that till the last minute. Especially since I don't actually know when the last minute will be.

So I think you'll agree that I have quite enough going on, knit-wise. So what do I go and do?
Loft905 w/ Needles

Buy more yarn. And needles. And start swatching.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

what I would do...

Well. Mari has a bunch of natural white, alpaca-silk blend yarn - I don't know the weight, but swoooon! And she wants to know what kind of sweater she should knit with it. I think that's a very good question, and if I had a bunch of natural white, alpaca-silk yarn (yah - I wish), I'd be thinking Aran. Something cable-y like Jenna Wilson's Morrigan, from No Sheep For You. (Not a lot of images around, outside of Ravelry, but you can follow Morrigan's process on Jenna's blog). Or, if the yarn is bulkier than that, maybe Eris, also by Jenna Wilson, though that refers to "advanced cabling," which some might find a bit intimidating. Ooo! Speaking of advanced cables, what about Alice Starmore? Though that's out of print. Hmm.

For something simpler, I really like Juju's variation on Jen Chau's Cavern Cardigan. Mostly, though, I think I'd pick up a book on cables, like my copy of the Harmony Guide to Aran and Fair Isle Knitting (or maybe use this as an excuse to buy a new book on cables, hee!), and assemble something myself. Something fine and girly, because alpaca and silk sounds so refined.

Anyway, good luck with deciding, Mari, and let us all know what you choose!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

it worked!

Lego SwiftWell, I followed Elemmaciltur's link, showed the photos to Ignatz, and half an hour later he was back with my Lego swift. It did seem kinda flimsy and wobbly, and I was very skeptical, but we put the second skein of MariSilk on it last night, and he helped me adjust the little sticky-uppy bits, and it worked like a dream! So thanks for the tip, Elemm, and kudos to Ignatz for phenomenal Lego talent!

Although I don't know how it'll do on 1700 yards of Wollmeise laceweight... LET'S TRY IT OUT HAHAHAHAHA...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Go, Henry!

Henry1 My 100cm wooden circular 3.4mm needle finally arrived, and I was able to continue the Henry scarf (pattern is here). I'm liking it so far; once you figure out the repeat, it's fairly mindless, although you do need to look at it as you knit, so it's a good project for TV knitting, but not for reading. The yarn is 100% silk I bought at Benediktbeuern, from a woman who doesn't believe in websites and, it would seem, doesn't sell in shops, just at markets. Okay, whatever. The yarn is yummy, though kind of creepy - I don't like to wear silk because it feels like skin, but I figured yarn would be different. It isn't, really. Anyway, that was a digression. I saw this yarn (DeKnit actually pointed it out to me), and the color was just right and the sheen was so beautiful and DrBob has mentioned that I could maybe knit him something and maybe he wouldn't lose it this time, at least not right away, so when I saw this lovely yarn I seized the moment. It's not the weight the pattern calls for, so I had to go up a needle size. This may mean it turns out to be longer than expected, but that's fine, and it won't have to be wider than expected because I can just stop knitting when it's wide enough.

So then. So far, so good!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

tangled up in lilac

I've been untangling for hours.

I think I need a swift.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I give up

Well we had lovely sunny weather in Benediktbeuern, and then one sunny day thereafter, but I had too much else to do that day, so I didn't grab the opportunity to photograph my haul. Since then I've been waiting for the sun to come back so I can have some light to work with, but I have accepted that that's not going to happen.
So here's one blurry daylight photo of what I brought back (note fabulous little project bag made by the incredibly talented Ms.B - I will definitely buy one for my Secret Pal, but I love these so much I may decide that I need two for myself), and you can see closer-up shots of the stuff on my Flickr page (click the photo to get there). Oh, and the fabulous fbz posted all 76 (!) of her photos, and said I could link to them, so here - have a ball. We sure did.

I've cast on the gray silk for Henry, but I'm waiting for needles before I can continue (on order at the LYS). Still dithering about light purple silk or dark blue wool for the MIL's shawl. Ooo! But I finished the Seagrass socks today! I can't post a pic, though, because I'm thinking of submitting them to Knitty or somewhere. Will I actually do it? Probably not, but just in case, I'll hold off on blogging the details for now. Still slogging away on the Billy Reid socks - remind me not to make any more socks for guys with um, large... shoes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Oh. My. God, that was SO. MUCH. FUN! We met in Munich and took the train and there was a delay so we missed our connection and had to sit at the station café in Tutzing for awhile before we got the train to Benediktbeuern but we didn't mind the delay because we were all knitting and chattering away and we got there and checked in to our (fabulous! cheap! so pretty!) hostel and then went to harrass the Wollmeise and Yarnissima (not only a designer of mind-bendingly beautiful socks, but also a really great roommate!) and meet the Schneeschaf, and ooh and ahh over an unbelievable number of pretty fibrous things, felted flowers and woven stuff and insane colors of rovings and silk yarn dyed with plant-dyes and is this still all one sentence? Sorry. I'm still a bit light-headed. I had a great time. I met some wonderful people. I saw some really beautiful yarn (and I think I bought most of it), and I nabbed cards from a bunch of the artisans there, I'll put up links when I find them. I didn't take photos, but I'll ask for copies from the people who did. There were a few Northerners in the group, and it was such a hoot to see them reacting to all the Bavarian-ness around us - stuff I'd been taking for granted, that I'm now seeing with new eyes.

I now have: gray silk to make a Henry scarf for DrBob; lilac Marisilk to make a Flower Basket Shawl for my MIL; still more Wollmeise sock yarn; indigo laceweight for the Secret of the Stole. Ye gods and little fishes, what to cast on first?

Whew. What a weekend. And I didn't even tell you about the booze!

eta: and I got new needles from these people; the site's still under construction, but you can see a picture - I got the ebony ones, and let me just say: swooooon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yay! Oh no! Part Two!

Right, well, there I was wondering what to do for mindless knitting now that Arwen was done, and it occurred to me to bring the helmet liner out of retirement. Problem solved! Then I finished it, so here I am again.


I'll be looking at Benediktbeuern for laceweight yarn and beads for Secret of the Stole, and my next project (like everyone else's, I'm thinking) will probably be Henry.

Oh, and? No pics of Arwen yet because I haven't blocked her. I'm waiting for decent weather so that she'll dry, but duh, hello, it's September! I should probably just get over that.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yay! Oh no!

arwen7aThe only reason for putting a hood on Arwen was that otherwise I'd have to re-write the neckline. But look, this neckline is okay, so I think I'll save the leftover yarn to make hats for chemo patients. I've already done some moss stitch and bound off, now I need the time to listen to the latest Knitters Uncensored (I know! But I really haven't had a whole hour and 20 minutes all together yet! Probably tomorrow...) while I tuck in all the ends, and then it'll really really be done! Which is fabulous! Except that that was my mindless back-and-forth knitting while I read project, and now that it's done I don't have one of those anymore - even worse, it's the Rugby World Cup and I really need something simple to work on while I watch those games - well, the few games that are on TV here - well, the parts of those few games that stupid DSF lets me see. Ten minutes into the second half of Wales v. Australia, the announcer says "we're going to stop showing this and show Germany playing basketball with Slovenia instead, but we'll let you know how this game turned out at halftime." WTF?

But I digress. Arwen! Almost done! Yay! Now what do I do?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Well Corsica was actually pretty good for knitting. It's hard to knit on the beach, but I got heat rash after two days and had to stay out of the sun anyway, and the breeze off the sea keeps the heat bearable. In September, anyway.

So! Significant progress on the Seagrass Socks. Billy Reid is a bit more troublesome, since they're biggish socks and I'm using 80cm circs, so those are on hold until I can get into Munich tomorrow and get some 100cm Addis. I whipped up a hat for Kelly's daughter on the ferry from Bastia to Livorno, washed it and the Baby Bolero yesterday, they're drying in the basement. And the weather here is quite yucky for September, but it means it's not too hot to have a lapful of wool, so Arwen is seeing some progress. All good, but I can't start anything new, which is bumming me out.

I signed up for Secret of the Stole (and my yahoo inbox had nearly 800 messages in it when I got back from holiday - wow, these yahoo groups are fierce!) (also, I should get that button up on this blog...) and have seen the swatch and am conflicted. I was hoping it would turn out to be a good Christmas present for my mother-in-law, which would necessitate purple yarn, but the swatch - although I have seen many excellent versions in terrific colors - tells me that in my hands, it wants to be a sort of dull turquoise, medium greeny-blue sort of color. Moot point anyway, since
  1. Sabi at Sheepaints is not making purple (or greeny-blue) in sufficient quantities for this project...
  2. Even if she did, I can't afford 1200 yards of it.
  3. The Wollmeise doesn't have anything that grabs me either. I want greenish blue, not green and blue. Also, the designer says variegated is not a great idea for this one, it should be all one color to show off the lace pattern.
  4. So I'm still thinking about it, because I can't turn my fussy-brain off, but the plan right now is to look for something suitable at Benediktbeuern.
  5. If I opt for greeny-blue, then I still have to find purple yarn for a Flower Basket Shawl for my MIL. Yay, holiday knitting!
Um, I think I should have stopped using numbers earlier. Oh well, whatever. I should stop typing, go back to knitting, get some of the projects over and done with.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I sent off Box #1 to my downstream Secret Pal! I sure hope she likes it! Can't tell you what's in there, though, as she might find me that way. By the time I can tell you, I will have forgotten. Yeah, that's how I roll.

One of the requirements for the Secret Pal swaps is that you have to post to your blog at least four times a month, and at least one fiber-related post a month. That is about the last rule I thought I'd have a problem with. Putting nice stuff together for my downstream pal, maybe. Forgetting where I put it all, probably. Forgetting to mail it off in time, almost certainly. But y'all know that I'm not usually at a loss for words. I just don't feel any real urge to talk about stuff lately.

I'm going to put it down to end-of-summer doldrums. We have had zero routine for longer than I can remember (I can remember back about ten days), and so I feel like I have all the time in the world, and everything can be done Later. You know I still haven't posted the pattern for the Ruby sweater? That went through like 13 drafts before I got it right, you'd think the Knitting World would like to have this information, instead of repeating my mistakes.

Well, I'll get to it.


Going to Corsica with me: The Seagrass Socks, which I don't want to say too much about because I think I might submit them to Knitty or somewhere; The Billy Reid socks, which are too simple to require a pattern; and a hat for Kelly's daughter Aurora. This time the right size, and perhaps even without mistakes! Whoa, look at me, talking all crazy.

See you on the 9th!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Still here. Still knitting. Lots of second-guessing, lately... I'm having grave doubts about my ability to be a good Secret Pal. My downstream pal just seems so... self-sufficient, I can't think of anything she'd want that she doesn't have. I can't say more, she might stumble across my blog and recognize herself, but ack.

I put most of my projects in hibernation because they bored me. The Seagrass socks are almost to the point where they were when I frogged them back to the toe.

Ho-hum. When I have something to blog about, I will. Pinky swear.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

the Wollmeise

Yippee! Okay, so remember the Wollmeise yarn that Pooh was so excited about? Yeah, well, MsB from Bockstark Knits told me that Claudia, the Wollmeise herself, was bringing some yarn down to be photographed, and if she and Elemmaciltur and I could bring ours in, then Claudia wouldn't have to carry so much. I said okay, but it turned out to be unnecessary, because Claudia brought pretty much all her colors with her, but that explains why I still haven't opened any of it. And while resisting was very difficult, it's actually very much for the best, partly because of general virtuousness - I really do have to clear out some of these six projects before I start something new (well, then you shouldn't have frogged the Seagrass Socks should you? - shush, they were imperfect. I had no choice). But also because I still have all this perfect new yarn to look forward to! Yay!

So my Useful was going to be bringing yarn, and once that was unnecessary, they didn't really need me for the project at all, but do you think I was going to mention that to them!? Hell no! So I went! And I got to hold and fondle and smell and rub my face in almost all the shades of almost all the colors and seriously, I may never buy any other kind of yarn again. Well okay, Sabi from Sheepaints is going to have new yarn in about 20 minutes and if she has enough purple silk for a shawl for a certain MIL then I will, but after that? Or if Claudia starts dyeing silk? I will look no further for quite some time, because her colorways are teh yummy. Even the ones you don't like at first, it'll turn out you were looking at the light version and when you see the dark you'll be all YEARN! Or vice-versa.

Also, Claudia's really, really nice and entertaining and fun and cool. But don't stalk her, she hates that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What would you do?

I have 6 projects on the needles - SIX! Today I thought I'd try to devote at least half an hour to each one, and I did, and I'm not feeling sanguine about my progress on any of them. Fortunately (!) I can't start on any of the Wollmeise until after this weekend because I've signed it up for a photo shoot, but even without that I have six projects on the needles! Should I continue to try to do one or two rows per project per day, or should I just pick one, barrel through, get it done and move on to the next? Hmm...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pooh is very excited

New WollmeiseSo am I, to tell the truth. Eleven skeins of Wollmeise sock yarn arrived on Friday while I was in Munich. I spent today trying (and failing) to get decent photos of them, and I'm a little bummed about that, not least because I can't shake the feeling that I can (and really should) do better, so I should try again tomorrow, so I can't open any of it to fondle or re-hank or cast-on, even though the yearning is intense. But certain other people on Ravelry have such fantastic photos of Wollmeise on their stash pages and I realize I'm setting my standards unfairly high, but still. I can't put crappy photos up there when everybody else is all fabulous.

seagrass ToesHowever, I am making significant progress on the Seagrass Socks as well, and still loving the pattern so much I think I might submit it to Knitty if I can get a good photo. (This is not a good photo, because it doesn't really show the stitches very well.) So I suppose I can busy myself with that for the rest of today, and try to take some more pictures tomorrow. But really, I don't think I can be all that photographically-challenged. I think that our crappy grocery-store camera may just bear the itsiest bit of the responsibility here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

SP11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Merino is probably my favorite. Or alpaca. Ooo! Washable stuff! I don't mind air-drying, but I really do like things I can toss in the washing machine.

I'm okay with the 25% nylon in sock wool to make it sturdy, but other than that I'm not real keen on synthetics. I don't have any allergies that I know of, but I don't like itchy or rough stuff, and chenille and bouclé, in my experience, are more trouble than they're worth. Oh dear, am I being too picky?

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Heh. When we moved into this house, I put the Good Silverware in the drawer, and the little linen holder-thingy that it came in now holds my needles. I'll put up a photo at some point. It's not really the best solution, but with some refinement I think it could be really great. I keep thinking I'll get out my sewing machine and make a needle case - I even have a pair of old jeans set aside for the purpose - but I'm not getting around to it.

My mom had this cool thing she got from the hospital where she worked, to keep her crochet hooks in. I think it used to hold a giant syringe, or something, but it was awesome. I let it go when she died, which was so stupid, but I really wasn't thinking clearly, and I had to make a lot of decisions under huge pressure and very little time.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
My mom taught me to crochet when I was 7, so that's 29 years. When I was 23, newly married, pregnant, bored, foreign and poor, I had masses of spare time and I taught myself to knit. So that's been 13 years, and I tend to push myself, to choose a project specifically so I can learn a new skill. Therefore, I would call myself advanced: there are quite a few things I haven't done yet, but I can't imagine that I won't be able to do them when I get around to trying.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yeah, but I'm not very good at keeping it updated.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Florals. Lilac, orchid and rose, in that order.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh yes, too much of one. Chocolate and mint are my favorite flavors. Especially together.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't really do things other than knit or crochet on any regular basis, I tend to pick up something for awhile and then completely forget about it. I like to sew, but I don't have a place to do it right now. I'd like to get into beading, but I haven't yet. I think I would only start spinning (or dyeing) if I wanted something specific and couldn't find it anywhere, and with the fiberarts taking off, and the internet facilitating international exchange, I don't see that happening. But, you know, never say never.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yes, I can play mp3s. I have a hard time answering the "what kind of music" question because I can't really rule out any genres. Anything you love enough to want to share with me, I will probably like.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Green. Then purples, grays, blues, turquoise, teal, then maroons and magentas and lovely deep reds. Not as keen on yellow, orange, brown, or the whole beige-khaki-olive continuum. I do like black.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married, two sons (age 6 and 12), one lunatic cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes, and absolutely not. Not a poncho person.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
At the moment, socks and hats. Also anything for babies, because I like things that knit up quick.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A teal cabled cardigan for myself, a baby sweater for an as-yet-unknown baby, socks that I'm designing myself, and a helmet liner for a soldiers' charity.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Absolutely! The very best kind!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular. Bamboo. I also have a set of plastic interchangeables that my grandma bought me about eleven years ago. It would never have occurred to me to use plastic needles, but I quite like these, and I always have at least one project on them. Maybe because my grandma bought them for me.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I don't mind winding my yarn up by hand.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Uh. Good question. Two, maybe three years? A certain son decided he didn't want it after all.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Ooo, tough choice. I guess Christmas, because it's so sparkly, especially here in Bavaria.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Nothing leaps to mind. My husband would say "junk," but I would shush him.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Oh, so many things! So much beautiful stuff is available in the States, and I'm afraid to order it because I suspect that German customs officials like to help themselves.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm just about to go on a lace jag, I can feel it. Felting is really piquing my interest lately too. I'd also like to try the Swedish tvåändsstickning someday. Also, those Norwegian sweaters. I have all the knitting skills I need, but the fancy cuffs and neck-stuff, ooo. Mitered corners. And not exactly a knitting technique, but writing patterns would be a good thing to know. It's a lot harder than it looks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yep! Love socks. Measurements, um, hang on lemme grab the measuring tape... 9 1/2 inches long, 8 1/4 inches around the ball of the foot.

23. When is your birthday?
October 21st.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yup! I'm alala on Ravelry too.

behold, a swatch

Seagrass SwatchOkay, today I did nothing else, but at least I got one thing done that I like. If you click the image, you'll get to my flickr page, and you can look at the swatch a little more up-close, and yes, the depth-of-field is minimal because I used the scanner again. But I have a stitch! And I'm happy with it! It has a slight bias, but I think if I change direction every inch or so it won't create too much of a problem.

So. Cast on now, or wait and consult with Elemm on Friday? EeeeeeI think I'll wait. Because so much of my knitting has been neglected for the last few days.

But yay! Love this yarn, love my swatch.

why do I do this to myself?

Designing is for people who learn from their mistakes. Not people with the goldfish attention span. Urgh, it looks so! good! on the back side of the swatch, but not on the front, and re-creating what I did in reverse is proving to be... more challenging than you would think. I write everything down, but I still make the same mistakes over and over again... or do I? I say "meh. That didn't work, okay, try this," and then this looks exactly like that, so I don't know if I did the same thing or did something different, to no avail. And I've been so nose-down in this project that not only have I not knit anything else, I haven't even blocked the two hats I finished last weekend, or photographed the Half Shedir yet. And now I've only stopped because there's nothing for it but to start over, which means the whole day was wasted. I suck!

The yarn is Sheepaints sock yarn, in the Seagrass colorway. The mission is a ribbed sock that suggests sea grass. We'll see if tomorrow brings any positive change.

In other news, I joined Lime & Violet's Chore Wars group. This'll be fun.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

celebrity squee!

I met the Knitters Uncensored crew tonight! Well, I've known Elemm for awhile, but I met the other two-thirds of their merry band of players, and then I spent the whole evening talking about myself. Egad, I am the queen of inappropriate. But it's only because they're so good at asking questions, and I had a really good time knitting and watching rock-climbing videos. But next time, the pizza's on me. Um, figuratively. Not really on me, I just meant I'd pay for it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


That's squee with an extra syllable because I'm so darn excited!
We have received your application and are pleased to inform you that you are now an official participant of Secret Pal 11!
Is that not teh awesome? My first-ever Secret Pal! Oh lordy, I hope I can be organized enough to do this, I still have a pile of stuff to send ~d, it's waiting on one more item and it's been months! Months! I will slap my own hand.

Project update: Arwen. Stalled. I'm sorry, but I am just! so! bored! Because I swatched and swatched and swatched and then knit half the sweater with the wrong yarn and then swatched some more before I found the right yarn and I knew I'd get sick of that cable. If I hadn't done all that, I could've made the sweater and a matching hat and scarf (duh, who needs a hat and scarf with a hoodie?) before I got sick of the cable, but no.

Openwork Hat 2Aurora's hat: Right here. I'd like to thank my lovely model, Blank CD Case.

The helmet liner for some lucky soldier - a lucky little soldier I hope, because it fits me just about right and I have a teeny tiny head - still miles of 2x2 ribbing. Those people who groan about miles and miles of stockinette? That is exactly how I feel about ribbing. I love miles of stockinette, actually, because then I can read while I knit.

The baby argyle sweater: still stockinette. That'd be going faster if I spent any time waiting at the doctor's or the post office lately, since it's living in my purse.

The stranded house socks: stalled. I think that yarn is cursed.

Also I joined the designers' group on Ravelry and oh. mygod. I am so outclassed. Oh well, I should be used to it by now. Oh, and I went to a local um, meetingy-sort-of thing, a local women's group that meets on Tuesdays for breakfast, and a Turkish woman there taught me Turkish knitting! It'll take me awhile to get the hang of it, but it's cool. The yarn goes around the back of your neck, and you control the tension with your right thumb, and move the yarn around the needle with your left thumb.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Oops, this was supposed to be the general knit-blog, not just a place to store my patterns! Yeah, well, I can't knit and type at the same time, is the thing. Also, I spend about as much time frogging and tinking as I spend knitting right now. I seem to need to get about 2/3 of the way through a product before I can realize that this particular yarn really wants to be something else, so my projects keep hitting the rewind button.

Openwork HatAnd that's really stupid, because with 13 years of knitting under my belt, I should already know that shiny mercerised cotton doesn't cable well: why on earth did I think it could be a Shedir? So that's turning into an openwork hat, which I have to design myself because hunting down a pattern would take time away from knitting. Of course, so does all the frogging and tinking I have to do when I realize that my gauge is way off, or the decrease pattern is not going to work out. Maybe I should publish that pattern as well, once I get it figured out, because seriously: this would be a 4-hour project if it weren't for all the mistakes.

Also, this week I've finally decided to get on with the charity knitting. What's been holding me back is the geographic aspect, i.e. the fact that I'd have to mail something to, say, Indiana so the charity could mail it to an orphanage in Poland. All that postage and pollution, when I could practically throw it to Poland? But I've decided to ignore that, because it kept me from getting started. Next hurdle: I went down the list of charities, and the ones that appealed most were the chemo and preemie ones, but the yarn I have on hand is mostly too scratchy for such sensitive skin. Yes, I'm using charity knitting to whittle down my stash - gee, selfish much? But I promise I will buy yarn for the purpose once I don't have a closetful just sitting there, staring at me. I will. Anyway, I found some nice washable Norwegian Baby Ull and cast on, but then I saw Eunny Jang's argyle vest and I have enough, and seriously, how unbearably cute is that? I have to make it.

Um... does anybody have a new baby boy coming this fall? Because I'll have this cool sweater and I need someone to give it to. Well I could send that to a charity, I guess. But the openwork hat, I don't know, that might still be too scratchy/bumpy, so it'll probably wind up on my best friend's kid, and I'll still owe Caps for a Cure a Shedir.

bazaar socksWhat else? House socks for Ignatz, using yarn I'm sure you recognize. That yarn has been frogged so many times it's getting to be like dental floss, but I can't just put it aside. Some mental block is forcing me to use it up before I can move on. The strandedness should consume yarn at a fearsome rate, and they will be house socks for a boy who refuses to wear house shoes - although he may well refuse to wear these, maybe I should just send them out too - I heard that charites that outfit kids get a lot of baby stuff, but they really need things for the 6-14 age range.

So that's the project tally for now: House Socks for (probably) Ignatz; a blue baby vest; an openwork hat, probably for Miss Aurora; and Arwen. I'm on the back half of the second sleeve, which is practically done, but a lapful of merino is not my favorite thing these (late July) days. Still, I should get Arwen over with because I've invested too much to abandon her, but she has taught me a very valuable lesson: I don't like knitting other people's patterns.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the entrelac bag

bagIt started with Elemmaciltur's blog. He wrote about this yarn dyer called the Wollmeise, and I investigated, couldn't choose, and so ordered one test-skein in each colorway. The day they arrived was very exciting.

yarn muppetI don't really know what I had planned for them, but Claudia, in an email, said, "Can't wait to see what you do with them. Are you going to make a bag?" and the idea was born.

front openedIn attempting to write out the pattern for this bag stitch-by-stitch (more or less), I'm realizing that there are two separate issues here: entrelac, and this particular bag. And in trying to write out entrelac instructions, I realized that it is very difficult to describe using only words. Therefore, at some point I will post an entrelac photo tutorial for backwards knitters. If you don't knit backwards, the Danica scarf pattern will teach you what you need to know.

backSo for now, I'll assume that you know entrelac, and just focus on the bag part. Okay? Let's rock.

Stuff: needles, size 8 (5mm). About 40 test-skeins of Wollmeise Merino-Lammdochtwolle. That's all.

Dimensions: about 12 inches deep, about 12 1/2 inches wide, strap about 27 inches long.

Caveat: I didn't really document the process, I just improvised, so this is the how I remember something I knitted back in february. Please let me know if you run across anything that sounds impossible or doesn't work, or if you find a better way to describe something. I'd be grateful.
front closed
  • cast on 40 stitches
  • make 4 base triangles, each 10 stitches wide
  • work even, in entrelac, um, until it's as long as you want. You want a sort of burrito-fold, the two sides of the bag plus some more for the flap. Mine was about 33 inches long, so the bag is now about 12 inches deep.
  • You can work the end triangles if you want, for an even edge on the flap, but I just cast-off on the zigzag. Because it was more fun that way.
The Strap
  • once you have the big rectangle done, fold it the way you want the bag to be, and locate what will be the bottom of the bag. You'll want 10 selvedge stitches on one side, and you may want to mark the 10 on the other side with safety-pins or something, just to make sure you end up in the right place.
  • pick up 10 stitches in the selvedge edge, working from left to right.
  • work one entrelac base triangle.
  • work the left edge triangle as usual, except: instead of kfb at the left edge, pick up a stitch in the next selvedge stitch of the big piece.
  • ditto the right edge triangle: work to the end minus two, k2tg. pick up a stitch in the next selvedge stitch of the big piece, and pass it over the previous stitch.
  • do that until the bag is as deep as you want (you should have run out of selvedge stitches to knit into on one side), then continue in normal entrelac. How many skeins did it take you to reach the top of the bag? Call that x, and knit up until you have x skeins left, then start again with the smoodging into the selvedge stitches.
  • In the final triangle, you'll have to do a sort of modified 3-needle bind-off.
OR, shake your head over the ridiculous lengths I will go to to avoid sewing seams, and just sew the damn bag shut and sew on the strap. I admit that I am completely irrational about seams.
  • Finally, invite some friends over for dinner and chat with them while you tuck in the eleventy bazillion little yarn-ends. It's the only way to make the job bearable.
Erratum: the strap is too long, the bag too soft to hold anything more substantial than styrofoam packing peanuts. I am still trying to decide whether to line it or felt it.


Elemmaciltur said...
so, what are all the colourways you got?
Oop, did I leave that out? Right, I think I wanted to make a little photo-montage or something. Let's see...
  • Farn, for the Elfine socks, which I don't know how I found out about, but I already had the pattern bookmarked before Saint Brenda talked about making the Amos socks, and I think making socks inspired by literary characters is such a good idea...
  • Pfauenauge ... ...that I decided I wanted to make Julia Larwood socks, after the Woman Who Drops Things, from Sarah Caudwell's wonderful novels.
  • Miss May, for the Laura Florand socks - she is a literary character, but also a real person, so maybe I should name the socks after the book she wrote instead, Blame It On Paris. Calling them the Laura Florand socks might be a bit... stalkery. I should ask her.
  • Tiefer See. I made the first attempt at the Find the River socks (because before I hit on the literary characters I was naming sock patterns after songs), and sent them to Kelly and I hope she likes them, but I don't. I mean, they are fine as socks, but the pattern didn't turn out the way I wanted it to (which is why I stopped writing about it), so I've started over on that.
  • Gewitterhimmel, for the Billy Reid socks, which I really should get started on because the others are way ahead of me. In keeping with the song genre, these will be named "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Feet."
  • Amazonas. The colorway is named for one river, but it really reminds me of another river, in another rain forest, near my hometown: the Elwha. I only have a few vague impressions in mind yet, but with the Elwha socks I want to try to convey busy, sun-dappled water, mossy rocks, and graceful madronas. If I get it right, these socks'll make me homesick.
  • Pfefferminz Prinz, because I'm thinking of making another Kate Gilbert pattern, the Equestrian Blazer, with this colorway, probably in the merino though now, in July, it's hard to imagine ever wanting anything so warm. So I bought the sock yarn to sort of mess around with, see if I love it a whole sweater's worth. (I know the merino will be different, but still.)
  • Versuchskaninchen 1 and 2. Love! These! And she's not going to have them for long, so I have to grab them while I can. No particular project in mind, I just want to see what they say to me.
  • Veilchen, because it's Purple! I love Purple! Maybe I'll make more baby flower-hats with that and the leftover Farn from the Elfine socks.
I should make a picture of them all so you can see them. But now I have to mess around with the entrelac bag photos and get them up on Flickr. I'll put them here too. I'm really proud of that bag.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I just ordered 10 skeins of Wollmeise yarn. I had to - it's so preeeetty, and some of it's limited edition and will be gone soon! And I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted, so that's my nod to self-restraint.

Not too long ago, I heard someone ask, "Are you a knitter, or a yarn-collector?" Probably on Stash & Burn. It's a good question, and I actually gave it a fair bit of thought, and concluded that I'm actually, and sadly, a knitter. All the yarn I have, I bought for a specific project. I may not have used it for that project, but it had a purpose beyond "I'm sure this will come in handy at some point." This might be because we were quite poor when I learned to knit, and I was trying to be frugal. Anyway, this purchase may be me sort of dipping my toes into stasher-ness - 7 of the 10 skeins are intended a specific project, and three of them I bought just to have. It's so beautiful, I'm sure I'll be able to find some use for it.

I'm such a renegade. Don't smirk, unless you want to volunteer to explain this purchase to my husband.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Hanna, finishedMade for a friend's baby, with Wollmeise yarn the friend chose herself, in the Rhabarber colorway.

The stuff: Needles are size 8, or 5mm bamboo circulars. Gauge is 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch. Hanna is about a year old, so the measurements I’m assuming are: chest circumference 22″. Wrist circumference 5″, upper arm circumference about 7 1/2″. Shoulder width 3″, neck hole width 5″, bearing in mind that this is not a pullover so we don’t have to worry about accommodating that big baby head. What else? Oh, length from underarm to waist. Tricky, because this is supposed to tie around the waist, so I don’t want to make the sweater too long. I’ll say about 4 or 4 1/2 inches.Plan
  • channel-island cast-on, but with a one-strand tail (because I’m lazy about end-tucking), to cast on 19 stitches.
  • knit three rows of garter stitch
  • k across, yarn-over every third stitch for a total of 25
  • on the next row, twist each yarn-over as you purl (or knit, if you knit backwards like I do) into it, so as to make the hole less gaping. The other sleeve will be knit in the other direction, so there’ll be decreases instead of increases. So you really don’t want to make the yarn-over holes a part of the design, though otherwise it might be a fine idea.
  • knit even, mostly. increase (anyway you want - I used the yarn-over) at the beginning and end of rows 5, 13, 21, 29, 37, and 45. Now there are 37 stitches. Knit up 3 more rows, for a total of 48 rows, not including the ribbing.
  • On the other needle, cast on 23, using the Invisible Crochet Cast On I, as described by Eunny Jang - you’ll have to scroll down to the second cast-on method there.
  • Purl into those 23 cast-on stitches. Or knit, if you knit backwards like me. This provisional cast-on will unzip from the armpit downwards. Consider this row 1 of the right front.
  • Row 2, knit across front and sleeve. Again on the empty needle, cast on 23 with the Invisible Crochet Cast On I. Knit 23 into that cast-on row, which again will unzip from the armpit. Note that the front of the sweater has 1 extra row. That’s okay.
  • There should now be 83 stitches on the needles. Work even for 3 inches, or 20 rows (counting on the front side), finishing at the end of a knit row.
  • Purl (or knit backwards) 41 stitches. place the remaining 42 on a holder. Knit those 41 back stitches up even for 5 inches, or 30 rows.
  • Row 30 should be a knit row, so purl (or knit backwards) across, then cast on 42 stitches on the other end of the needle for the left front. Purl (or knit backwards) across those: this’ll unzip from the neck down.
  • Work even for 19 rows. On row 20, knit along front and sleeve, place back (23) stitches on holder. Back is 68 rows high.
  • Purl (or knit back) 37, place front (23) stitches on holder. Think of this as row 2 on the sleeve, and knit down to the wrist, decreasing once at each end of rows 5, 13, 21, 29, 37, 45
Halfway to Hanna
  • knit to row 48
  • row 49, purl 2, p2tg across = 19 stitches
  • Cut the yarn.
  • Channel-island cast on 19, knit 2 rows (garter stitch)
  • Okay, it gets a bit fiddly here: Kitchener the cuff to the sleeve, with the purl-side of the last-knit rows facing out. That kitchener row will form the knit-row for the garter-stitch cuff. Does that make sense? Also, that row really needed to be tightened up once I had it finished.
  • Mattress-stitch the sleeve closed. For the side, unzip the provisional cast-on, and do a 3-needle bind-off for 19 stitches. Bind off the next two stitches on each side separately, then 3-needle bind-off the last four. That makes the hole for the tie to pass through.
  • Do the other side just like that.
  • Pick up the right front stitches from their holder, starting at the neck end. Purl (or knit backward) into and bind off the first five. Purl across, come back.
  • Bind off the first four. P across, come back.
  • Bind off the first three…
  • Bind off the first two…
  • Continue binding off the first two stitches of each purl-row for, um… awhile. Until there are 16 stitches left on the needle.
  • P2tg every other row (at the neck end) until there are six stitches left. Put them on a holder.
  • Do the same for the left front, start at the neck end, follow the same decrease pattern. When there are six stitches left, do a single crochet edge all around the front and neck, starting with the six stitches on a holder.
  • Tuck in ends, sew ribbon to each little 6-stitch front edge there. On the side of the front that will wrap under, thread that ribbon through the side-seam hold on the opposite side. All done!

Baby Blackadder

Baby Blackadder, closedRight, well, it's really obvious that this was inspired by Tulip Toes, isn't it? I just made a pair of those for another friend, and as I knitted them I was thinking "hm, not sure about this join, and this could be longer, and this isn't pointy enough, et cetera," and thus the Baby Blackadder pattern was born.

Size: newborn. I hope.

Stuff: The main yarn is Wolle Rödel's Siena Big, from my stash. The ties are i-cord, also from my stash, and I lost the ball band but it's probably this. Needle size 8, or 5mm, and one optional size F crochet hook.

So. The pattern. The left and right booties are more or less the same, but differences are marked: Right bootie in green, left bootie in purple.
  • cast on 5 stitches.
  • * k1, kfb, k to the last 2 stitches, kfb, k1 *
  • work even, 3 rows
  • repeat this: * *
  • work even, 5 rows.
  • attach new yarn and cast on 9 more stitches. This will be the top of the foot.
  • work back, across the new 9 stitches and the old 9 stitches.
  • work forward, putting the stitches onto your two circs, magic loop, or dpns, join.
  • work around even for 11 more rows, for a total of 14 rows, including the cast-on.
  • every odd row, k across to the last 2 stitches on the sole, right-leaning decrease. then do the same on the top of the foot.
  • every odd row, sl1, left-leaning decrease, k across to the end. then do the same on the top of the foot.
  • every even row, work even.
  • once there are 6 stitches, do the even row and then shoop back to the start, as if you were making i-cord. k1, k2tg, k1, k2tg. k2tg, k1, k2tg, k1.
  • shoop back to the start again, k2tg, twice.
  • shoop, k2tg, break the yarn and pull it through that last loop.
Now you have this: bootie begun
Note that the green yarn is just so you can see the cast-on, sort of, but you wouldn't do the cast-on with green yarn unless you want the whole back of the bootie to be green.

Anyway, the cast-on yarn.
  • Use that to pick up 18 stitches around the back of the foot: 7 each side, and 4 across the heel. turn.
  • sl1, kfb, k4, kfb, k4, kfb, k4, kfb, k1 = 4 increases, 22 stitches total.
  • work back even.
  • sl1, kfb, k4, kfb, k4, m1, k4, kfb, k4, kfb, k1 = 5 increases, 27 stitches total.
  • work back even.
  • start the right-hand pointy-bit:
  • sl1, k8. stop.
  • work back across those 9 stitches you just knit.
  • eyelet row: sl1, k1, bo1, k2, bo1, k1.
  • sl1, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2
  • 4 rows even.
  • do a right-leaning decrease on the left-hand edge of this pointy bit for the next three rows, then every other row until there's 1 stitch left.
  • slip down the left-hand edge. That means in each selvedge stitch, pick up one stitch and then bind it off. This is a lot easier with a crochet hook, actually.
  • pass the last stitch over the first stitch of the second pointy-bit.
  • do the second pointy bit just like the first, only with balanced decreases: alternate sides.
  • on the third pointy bit, do all left-leaning decreases on the right-hand edge of the pointy bit.
  • break the yarn, tuck in all the ends, wash, block, etc.
Baby Blackadder, openMake 2 pieces of 3-stitch i-cord, about 12 inches each. Thread them through the eyelets in the heel spikes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Maddy's Bluebell Hat

MaddysBluebellHatThis hat uses a sort of modified entrelac, so you should be comfortable with that, as well as knitting in the round.

I want this to be a flexible pattern, to use yarn you have lying around, so I didn't want to be too specific on yarns and gauges and such. Pick some yarn you like, and the needles that go with it. Figure out how many stitches per inch you get, and multiply that by the head circumference of the hat's future owner - here's a helpful guide. Fudge that into a multiple of 5. Okay? Good. Let's call that x.

Knit an inch of i-cord, 3-stitch or 4-stitch, it doesn't matter. Use the increase method of your choice to bring it up to 5 stitches. Bring the yarn back around to the front as if you were going to do another row of i-cord. k1, m1 onto the dpns, two circs, or magic loop that you're going to be using. Call that row 1. You have 10 stitches.

2 and all even-numbered rows: k around
3: k1, m1, k1 around. 15 stitches.
5: k1, m1, k2 around. 20 stitches.
7: k1, m1, k3 around...
...etc, until you have reached that magic (x, the head circumference times gauge but divisible by 5) number we talked about up there.

Work one more even row.

The hat should be clearly divided into leaves now, marked by the m1s you did in the same place every round. We'll call the width of each leaf y. 5y = x. This will matter later.

*Slip the first stitch, k across one leaf until 2 before the end, and do a right-leaning decrease.

Now either turn the work, or knit backward - I find the latter much easier. Slip the first stitch, work across to the beginning of that leaf, the first stitch you slipped? Then turn again, or knit forwards, whatever.*

Repeat the bit in * *, until you have one stitch left. Pick up one stitch in each selvedge stitch along the left edge of the leaf.

That's one leaf. Do that four more times. Then you'll have five leaves.

Okay, now the petals! Color change! I used purple, but, you know, substitute the color of your choice. White is nice. I know we avoid white for baby sweaters, because spit-up stains, but they hardly ever spit up on their hats.

*At the lowest point between two leaves, pick up one purple stitch. Pick up another one in the right selvedge edge of the leaf to its left. This row has two stitches.

Turn, or knit back: slip the first one, k (or p, if you turned the work) the starter-stitch together with the first picked-up stitch to the right, there. You still have two stitches.

Turn, or knit forward: slip the first stitch, k the next one, pick up another one in the right selvedge edge. 3 stitches!

Turn, or knit back: slip the first stitch, work across, k the last stitch together with the next picked-up stitch.

See the theme here? Work back and forth between the leaves. Always slip the first stitch of each row. At the end of each odd (knit) row, pick up another stitch from the leaf to the left. At the end of each even (purl, or knit-back) row, k the last purple stitch together with the first green pick-up stitch on the leaf to the right.

Do this until you run out of picked-up stitches on the right, but don't knit that last green stitch at the very point of the leaf. The number of petal stitches plus the last green stitch on the very point of the leaf should equal y: the width of a leaf at its widest point, one-fifth of the total hat circumference.

K across the petal, slip the very first green stitch at the point of the next leaf, k along the picked-up green stitches down the left side of that leaf.* Pick up one stitch at the lowest point between leaves, and another one in the left-leaf selvedge edge. Work back, knitting the first stitch together with the edge-stitch on the right petal, as above. In other words, do the bit between the * * four more times.

Keep doing petals until there are x stitches on the needle(s). Then k across each petal, and purl into the green leaf-point stitches. K y-1, p 1. Around. For awhile. Until the petals measure 3.5 or 4 inches from the lowest point to the knitting needle.

Time for the petal-points! See, you're almost done!

*1. Knit across a petal, not including the purl stitch,
2 and all even rows: and then go back - purl, or knit in reverse.
3 and all odd rows: slip 1, left-leaning decrease, k across...

...until you have 3 stitches left. slip 1, k2tg, psso. Slip stitch down the side of that petal point (this job is a lot easier with a crochet hook. Slip the purl stitch.* Do the other four petals the same way.

Tuck in ends, block, take a picture and post it on Flickr so I can see it!

I kind of see why people don’t knit like this: it’s quite easy to do, but hard to describe.

me again

Umm, yeah. Wordpress is fine, but I'm starting to see a reason to separate knitting content from the Other Stuff, so that's why I'm back. I'll be posting the patterns that are already on the Wordpress blog, and bringing the 5-hour baby sweater over from yet another site, and posting the long-promised Ruby sweater pattern as well. Soon. I'll also fill my blogroll with knitters and put a buncha buttons in and mess with the background image and all that fun stuff that wordpress tends to be less cheerful about.

But, you know, for the mama, expat, fiction-reader, orphan, cat "owner" (hah), movie-lover, occasional sports-fan, academic wife, song du jour of the day and general all-around freak stuff, that's still over here.

Okay? Okay!