April 27, 2010


While my life right now is mostly "grr, grrr, bark, bark, BARK!" I have been getting in some knitting time. I finally finished the last stupid hat from this stupid giant skein of yarn. Hat knitting is definitely my zen. I ended up knitting for much longer than I should have without resting and my thumbs have been kind of sore. But I started some new things.

Erin and I are having a very casual knitalong for the Celtic Bunny Hat from Toots Le Blanc for our podcast listeners. You just need to cast on by the end of the month to be entered in a prize drawing. I finally got around to starting mine this weekend. The merino/angora yarn, also from Toots Le Blanc is delicious.

I also wanted a project that didn't have a chart. So I finally cast on for the Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy, Black Parade.

It feels like it's been forever since I started a sweater.

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April 14, 2010

I'm Back, Baby!

Check it out!

Knitting with actual progress! I'm on the edging of Girasole. It's very slow going and I can still only knit for a little over an hour at a time.

And look!

A knitter from Purlygirls is expecting in June and asked us to help her make soakers. It's a good use for some leftover yarn and a chance to try the Addi Lace Clicks. They are perfect for this project since you have to change needle sizes a bit. I love them.


February 7, 2010


Younger son is still sick. We saw a doctor today to confirm that he doesn't have strep or an ear infection. But still feverish and sore throat and definitely not happy. I am feeling much better than on Friday but still not 100% either.

But that gave me a lot of time to work on Girasole.

I have 640 stitches in aran-weight wool on a 32" circular. It's slowed my knitting to a crawl. I had to make a run to the shop today and get myself a 60" circular. It should make things start moving better, literally.

I also realized that I need to swatch to be ready to cast on for the Ravelympics next week. I'm going to make Lloie's Cardigan in Felted Tweed. I'm changing the shaping and the colors. I'm going to simplify the color scheme to just a main color, yoke background and yoke foreground color. It's very subtle and quiet and I like it very much.

I've never knit with Felted Tweed before and I suspect I will need to go down many needle sizes. I started a swatch last night that just kept getting wider and wider and wider. I ripped it out and have started on fewer stitches on a US3.

Madrona is in just a few days. I really crept up on me this year. I'll be there Wednesday through Sunday, setting up our booth and taking classes. I'm looking forward to seeing friends, spinning, knitting and relaxing.

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February 5, 2010

Sick Ward

I have been to more doctors' appointments in the last month than I have in the last several years. It turns out that I have high blood pressure and a chronic small sinus infection that's been around for years. I'm on all kinds of medication right now and none of them are making me feel any better. In fact, they may be making me feel worse. Today is my day off and I'm joined by my younger son who has a slight fever and a little cold. He is currently very upset with me because I found him in his room last night at 12:15(!) playing on his Nintendo DS! It's been confiscated. The little sneak...

All this feeling crummy has given me a lot of knitting time. I started Girasole on Monday night. I'm using Rowanspun Aran I bought over four years ago. I kept thinking I'd use it for a sweater. I might have. But it's making a lovely Girasole blanket. And I definitely have enough to finish the project.

Right now it looks like some kind of sea creature.

This pattern is working up really quickly. All of these shawls I've been working on lately have been such pleasant, effortless knitting. I love lace knitting.

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February 2, 2010

Bertha's Blocking

And Girasole has begun!

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January 31, 2010

Bathtime for Bertha

This one was really fast.

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January 25, 2010

Really? Really??

The yarn I dyed to match the shawl matches really well. And it ran out when I still had at least five more inches to cast off. That crocheted cast off takes a lot of yarn. Shit. I dyed more again tonight. I don't even care anymore if it matches. I will finish this shawl, damn it.

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January 24, 2010

Too Bright, Too Light

I tell you, under the artificial lights in my kitchen last night, while the yarn was wet, I thought I had a pretty good match. But in the light of day...

Yowza! That's bright. The yarn I tried last night was 100% wool and the yarn I'm trying to match has bamboo and nylon in it. So these were never going to be a great match anyway even if I did a better job with the color.

I found some merino/tencel in my stash that's much closer to the Timaru. I tried again but I think I was a bit too hesitant with the color. So it's looking too light.

I'm going to wait and look at it dry in natural light before I throw some more dye on it. I'm sure I'll just keep fiddling with it until I lose patience then just use whatever I end up with.

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January 23, 2010

Foiled Again!

I am 14 stitches and my cast off row short of yarn on Haruni. I saw that I was cutting it extremely close and cut 2 rows out of the final chart but still I didn't make it. I think I have some undyed yarn in my stash that is very similar to the Timaru so I might just take a few yards and try to dye it to something vaguely similar (with apologies to Lisa Souza). I was so close.

ETA: I did not have a very similar yarn but I took some anyway and threw it in a bowl and splashed some dye on it. It looks pretty good but it's hard to gauge when it's still wet. And since I don't really have any other options I'll have to go with close enough.


January 17, 2010

Haruni Grows

I've been staying up past my bedtime watching season two of True Blood and knitting on Haruni. I'm just about to start the edging. This is where it gets interesting.


January 12, 2010

Finishing and Starting

Clothilde is done and blocking so I started Haruni last night. I shuffled my yarn selection a bit and am using Timaru from Lisa Souza that I originally planned to knit Echo Flower with.

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January 9, 2010

Still a Little Bitter

Bitterroot had a lot of drama. There was the whole rip out Chart B to knit another repeat of Chart A. Then when I was knitting Chart C I realized that I was right the first time and had knit one repeat too many of A. But I wasn't going to rip again so I left out the last eight rows of C and the first two of D and kept going. But the yarn was running really low. Then I was stuck at home with a sick kid and didn't have a small enough crochet hook to bead. I used dental floss instead. Thread it through the bead then through the stitch then back through the bead then tug the stitch through the bead. Boy, does that get old fast. I set it aside. I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I started Clothilde. I'm using the other skein I got from Butternut Woolens. It's Superwash Merino. Clothilde is easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. I'm starting Chart 3 which is supposed to be the final repeat for the small size. It looks like I've got plenty of yarn so I might try to get in two repeats. I'll weight the yarn and see how I'm doing when I get to the end of the chart. I wish I had weighed the yarn for Bitterroot before I started.

I got a #10 crochet hook at work on Thursday and finally finished Bitterroot last night. I ran out of yarn with only two rows to go. I thought my Miss Babs 3-Ply Sport was a good match for gauge and color. It didn't fit through the beads as easily making that final row and total pain in the ass. I had to go back to dental floss because the yarn doubled plus the hook could not fit through the beads. It's blocking now and I think that little bit of contrast on the very edge is quite nice. I don't think I'll be adding beads to anything else anytime soon.

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January 5, 2010

Putting the Bitter in Bitterroot

Bitterroot is a complete joy to knit. I've hit a few snags though. I accidentally knit one too less repeat of Chart A than I should have. I didn't realize it until I had nearly finished Chart B. I ripped it out and reknit it. Then last night as I was nearing the halfway point on Chart C it struck me that I didn't have as much yarn as I thought I should. I weighed it and found that I would not be able to finish at the rate I was going. I decided to cut out the last 8 rows of Chart C and the first two of Chart D. Still doesn't look like I have enough yarn! the label says 6 oz. and 465 yards. I have only 30 grams left and 16 rows to go. I still like knitting it though. I get to start the beads on the next row. Until I run out of yarn...

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December 30, 2009

Not Quite There

I have been working furiously on a gift project that is a) overdue and b) not working out. In the meantime I've been working on my linen stitch scarf and planning for 10 Shawls in 2010. I just found out we can start when it's New Year's in Oslo so that means I'm starting really soon. I wound yarn and printed patterns for my first three shawls--Bitterroot, Clothilde and Echo Flower (.pdf). This should be fun!

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December 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Veylas

With Ulmus finally done I thought I'd do a few small projects to see me through the end of the year. I've had Veyla by Ysolda Teague in my Ravelry queue since the day it was released and it seemed perfect to use up the leftover Twinkle Toes from the shawl. On Monday I started the first one, knit the lace, decided the small length was long enough for my wrist and knit the hand. It came off the needles (minus the thumb) and I was immediately disappointed.

Yuck, right? I looked at other pretty versions of Veyla on Ravelry and decided that I had a few issues with mine. 1) It's too small for me. 2) I should have stopped when I finished the lace cuff and blocked it. 3) My yarn is a bit thin for this pattern. The originals are knit in Canopy Fingering (purrrrr...) which has a pretty substantial fluff-factor. Twinkle Toes is merino and tencel. It has shine and drape but zero fluff. So I tossed this ugly aside and knit the left cuff and blocked it. Still no fluff but, oh, what a difference!

Hello, pretty, leafy lace.

While the cuff was drying I searched my Ravelry queue which, at nine pages, is totally out of hand. I came across Sheldon which I've wanted to knit for ages. I have some leftover Cotton Classic from my Psychedelic Squares. I knit up to the point where you put on the safety eyes.

And now I have to wait until my safety eyes arrive.

What to start next?

Blog notes: My commenting is being "upgraded" so things may be different or weird for awhile. Sorry.


December 14, 2009

The Kindness of Knitters

I'm always amazed by the generosity of knitters. Last week I came home from work one night and there was an unexpected package waiting at my front door from Susanna. Inside were two--TWO!--Finnish mitten kits.

One is this pair with instructions only in Finnish. (I see these were also a gift from Susanna.) The other are made with naturally dyed yarn from Riihivilla. They even have instructions in English! Thank you, Susanna. What a treat to get an unexpected gift!

Ulmus is still drying. Here's a sneak peek.

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December 13, 2009

Checking In

I've been meaning to post all weekend but I haven't been feeling too great and have just been laying low. I finished Ulmus and it is blocking. It came out pretty small. I used all of my second color though so I couldn't have made it any bigger. It's very pretty though. I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for all the kindness and support you have shown this past week. Wes's mom is in rehab now and is doing better but still has a very long way to go in her recovery. Wes's brothers have been in town for most of the week helping out but starting on Wednesday it's all on Wes until Christmas. Fortunately the boys and I are faring well on our own.

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December 8, 2009

Some More Laughs

Last night I finally counted the stitches on Ulmus and realized that I had overshot the medium size and would not have enough yarn to make the larger. I've settled on something in between and am buoyed by the thought of finally ending the interminably dull slipped stitch section.

In the meantime I love this animated version of Mike Birbiglia's "Bear Strategies" routine.

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November 21, 2009

Babette and Bleak House

I've spent the last few nights hunkered down in front of the computer crocheting squares and watching Bleak House. I've made it through episode six and just discovered it's a 15 episode series. Geez, Charles, concision isn't your strong suit, is it?

My original plan with the blanket was to do sections 1-7. I have four more blocks to make including the two largest blocks. I'll have to assess my yarn quantities when those are completed.

So far it nearly covers my coffee table.

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November 13, 2009

Baby Steps

This Short-Row Hat has been giving me fits.

At first it was a lot of fun. All those little short-row sections coming together like a puzzle. But it's a real line by line kind of pattern. There are no zoning out spaces. It's nose to pattern and lots of instructions like, "yo, p10, ssp." I completed the first 6 sections and started to feel comfortable. So I tried to knit it in front of the tv. For two nights. The trouble is if you make a mistake you might not discover it until you've knit several more sections. Then you have to rip and figure out where you are. And there was that time I missed one line of the instructions and was attempting to knit the wrong row over and over and over. That didn't work out so well. But last night I got back into the groove of it and made some progress though I'm still only about half done.

I finished my granny square too. And it's a square also!

I know you're thinking, "Yeah, I made stuff like that when I was 8." Well for me this is a big deal.

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November 11, 2009

Crochet Foray

This weekend after finishing and blocking my blanket and shawl I started a few new projects.

The Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery.

Ulmus by Kristen Kapur.

By Sunday night my hands were very tired from knitting. But I still wanted something to do while I watched the season finale of Mad Men. The Fiber Gallery has volunteered to be a drop-off site for a local project to benefit Knit-a-Square. Despite the name, squares can be crocheted too. I decided to crochet a scrappy square with whatever I had lying around. This is when I learned that I can't crochet a square. I thought I could. I also thought these colors looked good together so clearly my judgment was way off late Sunday night.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to crochet a square that was square damn it! And I did it.

No, really. It's an honest to goodness square. See?

It then occurred to me that a granny square might be easier to keep square.

Only just started this guy but I like it already. And it looks like a square.

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November 8, 2009

I'm Sure There's a Really Good Sports Analogy for This

The Hexagon blanket is done. It's soaking right now to prepare for a good blocking.

Damson is done. I soaked and rinsed it many times last night. I scoured it. I rinsed more. I soaked more. It's still leaking blue everywhere. It's on the blocking board. I've kind of given up.

I knit a charity hat from some handspun.

So now what? I had no WIPs on my Ravelry page except for the vest I'm working on at the shop. I dug into my hibernating projects and pulled out the socks that I started last December. It would be nice to finish at least one pair of socks in 2009, I guess. But I'm not really feeling it. Where do I go from here?

Possibilities are Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy, Scroll Lace Scarf in Sheep 3, Short-Row Hat in Karaoke, Ulmus, Veyla. On the one hand, I'm burnt out on sweaters. On the other hand, everything that isn't a sweater feels insubstantial.


November 7, 2009

Weather and WIPs

The weather here is grim.

Nothing but rainy miserable darkness and the 10-day forecast shows no change. It makes taking photos really difficult.

Since coming back from the retreat I've been working on the border of my hexagon blanket. I have it on four circular needles ranging from 24 to 47 inches. I just knit the stitches off one end of a needle on to its other end. Like the two circular method but amplified. I have about 50 grams of the Kureyon and the Lana Loft combined. I thought I would get another skein of Lana Loft and make the border deep but I'm getting to that "I just want it done" point and, well, I just want it done.

I finished Damson last night. The second skein made my hands even bluer than the first. I immediately set it to soak in a vinegar bath. This morning the water was perfectly clear. I pulled the shawl out and rubbed it on my hands and got all blue. Now I have a pot of water on the stove with lots of Dawn dishsoap and vinegar in it. I'm going to give this a good, hot wash and hope that deals with this crocking.

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October 20, 2009

I Need to Find My Camera Battery Charger

The phone camera is just not cutting it. It has been horribly gray and rainy for days and days in Seattle. Every time I try to catch some natural light for a photo the sky turns black and it starts to pour.

As you can barely make out in the photo, I'm on the home stretch with my Featherweight Cardigan. I'm pulling the same stunt on the sleeves that I did for my FLS--knitting the sleeves off of both ends of the same ball of yarn to squeeze out the most length possible. I need to reserve a few yards though. When I cast off for the edging I made it way too tight. It is completely unyielding and pulls in. I need to take out the cast off and do it again using a stretchier technique. At any rate, NaKniSweMoDo will be done for me in a few days.

Then what to knit?!

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October 3, 2009

I'm Ready

We're heading out to see Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3-D. I need some movie knitting so I've completed the ribbing for two charity hats in some oddballs of Kid Classic. Now I can stockinette away during the show.

I also started a Featherweight Cardigan right before finishing my FLS. This is Fairy Hare from Kimmet Croft. It's 40% angora. It's delicious.

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September 30, 2009

No Leftovers

I finished the February Lady on Tuesday and used every last bit of the yarn. The sleeves are shorter than I would have liked but overall I'm really happy with it. I'm still on the hunt for the right buttons. It's a very tricky color and I can't decide if I want really simple or really show-stopping buttons. You can see how very little yarn was left when I finished.


September 19, 2009

Again, Not So Good With the Self-Portraits

I have been fretting over the yoke of my February Lady Sweater. First, I want this to look good on me. Second, I don't have a ton of yarn so I don't want to end up ripping the whole thing out and starting again. So I worked the increases as written, knit one repeat of the gull lace and then put the sweater on waste yarn, pinning under the armholes. I wanted to snap a little picture to get a better look at the fit. I tried the old "hold the camera out at arm's length and snap" approach. I ended up with the most hilariously awful self-portrait of all time. I look like a drunk zombie. It was too terrible to post right on the blog but I felt I had to share it with you so you can go see it on Flickr. If you must.

Then I went for the "bathroom mirror reflection with no flash" shot.

A bit better.

Anyway, the sweater. I think it's good. I think the garter ends at the right spot and the fit is slim. I'm going to knit a bit on the body then start one sleeve to make sure they're not too big. I wrestled over whether or not to cast on at the underarm. I suppose I could always decrease the stitches away. Or rip.


September 6, 2009


Georgie is all done! Except for the buttons!
More tomorrow if I get to the store.


September 4, 2009

Thank Goodness for Hats

My knitting is still crawling along. I haven't reached the decreases yet in the yoke for Coraline (which I knit only while watching tv). I'm still garter-stitching away on Damson (which I knit only while sitting at the computer). I'm slowly sewing together Georgie (which I do only while watching Defying Gravity on Hulu; I can't tell if I like the show but I'm not sure if I care*). I came across my Sock Yarn Blanket all bunched up in a bag. Now that I don't take it to movies (too big), I don't work on it at all. I decided, for kicks, to knit it on to every size 2-3 needle I owned to see just how big it is spread out.

It's pretty big. But not big enough. I'll need to keep working on this one for a few more years. It took a good chunk of my afternoon to knit the two rounds--one on to the needles and one back to the original 60" needle.

So thank goodness for hats!

Very basic man hat for charity. Knit at movies and school meetings and while wandering around. Made from Knitaly that has been around since forever. I started a Ripley hat too for charity in Lion Brand Kool Wool that has also been around for a long, long time.

I keep telling myself that very soon I will have two new sweaters done. Soon, I say, very soon.

*It's kind of like Lost crossed with Grey's Anatomy. In space.

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