Thursday, December 31, 2009

Raven Swirl Socks

This pair has enchanted me from the moment I first saw them: from the colourway to the pattern, I really enjoyed them from start to finish.

The colourway is nice and dark -- I have it in some really good lighting to get these shots. It is so saturated, in fact, that I had dye marks on my hands from knitting with it. These socks will be getting a nice long soak before I wear them, I think. This colourway is called Blackbird, so that beautiful song by The Beatles has been in my head for weeks, and it has certainly flavoured the way I look at the socks.

The pattern is by Cookie A, so you knew right away it was going to be spectacular. There is a lovely feather-like lace that swoops around the leg before running down either side of the foot (and back through the heel, though you can't see it in these photos.) My only quibble with the pattern is that the placing of the heel flap is such that I was only able to make a very short swirl along the leg, since my foot was the larger size. I didn't have a lot of yarn left over, though, so I suppose a longer leg wasn't in the cards, anyway.

So there you have it: my last finished object of 2009, but there are plenty more on the way for next year. I hope you have just the sort of celebration you enjoy, tonight. Me? I'll be cozy under a blanket with some varied knitting and a marathon of Guy Ritchie movies. A great start to a new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Socks

I spent a few days with my HLM at my folks' place, this week, celebrating a slew of birthdays and -- oh yeah -- the holidays. Rather than taking along one of the various projects I already have on the go (because they are too complicated or are right on the verge of becoming too complicated) I decided to grab some sock yarn from the stash and make another super-simple brainless pair of toe-up socks (from my standard pattern.)

The working title when I started these was Briar Rose, since the rosy pink and the woodsy brown made me think of rosebushes. As I knit further along, the brown started to look more like dark chocolate, and the pink started to look more like raspberry filling, until they reminded me of raspberry-filled truffles, more than anything. Or maybe I've just been eating too much holiday baking.

As I said, there's nothing new here -- in fact, I did almost this exact same thing once before, but this time I added a slightly longer solid toe before starting the stripes, and made the cuff at the top a little longer. I have the yarn already in my stash to make another pair of these in brown and blue, so don't even think you're done seeing this pattern, though admittedly it won't be right away. So many socks, so little time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spoiler Alert

I have, of course, cast on a new pair of socks. These ones are the final pair from the Blue Moon 2009 Rockin' Sock Club. The colourway is nice and black, with some barely-there colour variegation in purples and greens and yellow. The design has lace and ribbing, although I realize you can't really see it well in that colour.

I realized that last time I flashed you my sweet new stitch markers, I didn't let you know that they are from Sunneshine on etsy -- she does not only great stitch markers, but also row counters, for those of us who do complicated lace and cables and want an easy way to remember what row we're on. I highly recommend them (and her.)

In other news, I have gotten a few lace repeats done on the Honeybee Cardigan, but have only been working on it at the pub (where one patron this week initially suggested we must be knitting because we're trying to get off drugs, and then followed up with "are youse mental?" Fortunately he had a lovely Irish brogue and bought us beers to apologize for his impertinence, which ultimately only led to us being unable to execute our complicated knitting.)

I have also made a bit of progress on the endless body of the black yoke sweater. It is, despite all appearances, coming along.

I've started thinking seriously about finishing the Lizard Ridge blankie, since it's been lingering far too long, and it would be nice to complete it before starting another big project, since Rose-Kim Knits has put the idea in my head of joining Ravelry's 10 shawls in 2010 group... Although I need ten more shawls like I need a hole in the head.

Mostly I'm just happy that I'm not stressing out over finishing a bunch of holiday gift projects, like so many other bloggers out there. So much nicer to put my feet up and relax and work on more projects for selfish little me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bella's Mittens

While I don't watch the Twilight films at all (and in fact am more a member of Team Eric Northman than of Team Edward, if you know what I mean) I couldn't help but hear all the talk throughout the online knitting-movie-nerds community about these mittens, fashioned after the ones that the character Bella apparently wears in the first film. What can I say? They are fantastic looking mittens, soft and snug and extra-long (I actually left two repeats out of the arm length when I knit them, and you can see how long they still are) and a ridiculously fast knit, at a bulky gauge. Perfect for last-minute holiday gifting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too Cute

Have you seen the new Knitty is up? There are some really exceptional patterns, including this great cowl. I really must have one.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Yeah, just try to tell me that you don't want want to make a pair of Bella's Mittens, too...

Crabby McHappysocks

If you have been curious about the name of my latest socks, perhaps you have forgotten that one of my purchases at Sock Summit was a skein of Blue Moon Socks that Rock in the colourway Crabby McHappypants. The colours are glorious and the name is hysterical, so obviously I had to buy it. It's been sitting here since then, in a basket hanging above my bed, and recently I decided that it would be a good skein for me to use to learn a new sock architecture with. I chose Cat Bordhi's Simple Coriolis pattern for it, and dug in.

I showed you the moccasin toe, previously, and the rest of the sock was pretty smooth sailing (other than my being distracted by making various other much-needed wooly projects in the meantime.) As you can see, there is a little band that travels across the foot -- it is made by cleverly-placed increases and decreases, which make the foot bigger as it goes from toe to ankle (much like your own foot becomes bigger in that area.)

As I knit the first sock, I became more and more convinced that it would never fit me properly, especially as I tried it on.
I decided I would knit it past the heel and try it one last time, so I could figure out exactly where the problem is and rip it back to reknit it. I have to learn to trust Cat, though, since once I had knit the heel, it magically fit right. That lady knows what she's doing.

I had seen other socks knit in this colourway, and they had lovely fat spiraling stripes, which I love. As you can see, with the structure of this sock, the stripes went from really skinny to nice and fat, then a big pool of colour and slowly skinnier as I made my way to the heel, then nice and broad again on the leg. Somehow they even ended up fairly matchy between the two. Magic.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plain Mittens

Although my HLM did find his original Koolhaas hat the other day (so now he has a spare), it seems his Sparrow Gloves are now awol, so I decided to upgrade the warmth-factor for him by making him a pair of thicker, woolier mittens. The Sparrow Gloves, while lovely, were from a sport-weight wool, and everyone who lives in this sort of a climate knows that gloves are not as cozy as mittens, anyway.
So I pulled some worsted weight wool from my stash and knit him a quick pair, this week. As with the gloves, I didn't use a pattern, so they ended up a smidgen pointier than I intended. Personally, I like the pointy Norwegian-style mitten, but I knew he'd prefer something more rounded. I kept notes, so that next time I can improve on them.

The real secret to making these mittens warm and cozy is that I'm going to knit a liner for both out of a layer of fingering weight alpaca. A double-layered mitten, with hardy wool on the outside and soft decadent alpaca on the inside? Yes, I spoil him.

Friday, December 4, 2009


One day, a few weeks ago, I had a wet cotton towel in my hand when I reached into the oven to grab the hot handle of a frying pan. That was the day I learned that wet cotton is a really excellent conductor of heat, and burned my hand. (Fortunately I also know that lavender oil is renowned for healing burns, and it wasn't as bad as it could have been.)
When I saw this pattern show up as a free download on Ravelry, not only did I have a good chuckle, but I also saw the inherent value of it. Wool is an excellent insulator, even when wet, and this little guy is made of two layers of bulky weight wool. I used some of the inimitable Cascade 220, which I always have some of in the stash, and doubled it to mimic the bulky weight wool.

A quick and fun project, that made me giggle a lot, and will be useful -- what more could a girl wish for?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Koolhaas Hat

I was informed the other day that my HLM's Koolhaas hat was stolen. I think this is his way of saying he lost it, while letting someone else take the blame. One of my coworkers suggested that maybe it was his way of saying he didn't like it, but since he asked for a new one, I don't think that's the case.

He wanted a black one, but I had a nice deep charcoal skein of Cascade 220 in my stash (left over from my blankie) and it got a nod of approval. Thank goodness I kept good notes for modifications on Ravelry, so I knew just how to modify the original pattern to fit his head. In just a few days, I am done and barely in time for a cold turn in the weather. Unfortunately the dark colour doesn't show off the pattern as well as the lighter grey did, nor is the pattern readily apparent when it's unstretched. You'll have to trust me that it looks as nice as the first one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Waste No Time

Why wait to cast on a new pair of socks, when I have so many ideas and so much yarn?

I decided to try another of Cat Bordhi's ingenious designs, next -- her Coriolis pattern (ravelry) and started out by making a type of toe that I've never tried before. She calls this the Moccasin toe and it's pretty darn comfy. Hopefully the rest of the sock will follow suit.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Candy Floss Socks

It's a shame that this yarn isn't available for sale, anymore, since it is such a soft and fluffy wool -- the stitches all came out so even and tidy, and it was a real pleasure to knit. Another factor for pleasurable knitting: I was using my new Knit Picks nickel-plated circulars, and knitting the socks magic-loop style. The stitches slid so smoothly along the needle and helped the knitting go fast.

There is a slow spiral of the colours which was totally unintentional on my part, and yet somehow they even seem to match up between the two socks -- a delightful surprise. I hope that they will stand up to use because I like them a lot. They fit perfectly and seem warm and toasty.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Call Me Square

I was flipping through a book of brownie recipes the other night (not the smartest idea for a weak-willed lover of sweets, I will admit) and tucked near the back of the book, I found this recipe for squares.

See that delicious goo leaking out from the center? It's meant to be a mixture of peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk, but I decided to go one step more extravagant and substituted cashew butter. They are unbelievably delicious. The base and topping have chopped walnuts and rolled oats, with a generous smattering of milk chocolate chips over everything.

I bet you can almost taste one, already.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Swag of Years Gone By

I used to shop for handpainted sock yarn on ebay, scrolling through pages and pages of colours. I built up my stash that way. Recently I dug out a skein from long ago, to try to whittle away a bit at that stash. The now-defunct brand is No No Kitty, which was the first thing I loved about it when I saw it. The colourway was called Hair, which is the second. Over the years, I have come to see it less as an assortment of colours from that musical, but more like candy floss. Besides, "Hair Socks" sounds less delicious than "Candy Floss Socks".

I needed to clear my palate from the last pair of socks I got bogged down in, so I cast these ones on in my standard Universal Toe-Up Formula, with the tiny variation of garter-stitch toe, heel, and cuff. The slow swirl of the stockingette is meditative, especially since my other project (the yoke sweater) is also in stockingette. Is it weird how much I enjoy it?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Knetted Socks

For some reason, these seemed to take forever. It's not that they were hard, because they weren't -- just a simple slip stitch diamond pattern that was really easy to remember, with a few wrapped stitches here and there to break up the pooling. And it's not that they were boring, since the yarn is so beautiful and the design is so unique. Somehow I just kept getting distracted (or catching a cold) and not knitting them. Once I was halfway through the second sock, I caught a second wind and finished them off in no time flat.

These socks are designed by Cat Bordhi, which you know means you're in for an experiment. They are knit from the top down, but without a standard heel flap. You do some increases to make them wider, so they fit over your heel and partly over the top of your foot, all the way to the floor. Then you do her 'underheel' which involves a heel turn and then a bunch of twisted stitches that sit under your heel. Then a pretty standard stockingette foot, followed by a funky circular toe. Crazy, right?

They fit well, albeit a bit baggy at the ankle. And you can see that I had some pooling on the foot of one, but the other one only has stripes. Unique and beautiful, just as they should be.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lace-Tipped Striped Scarf

I'm back to making some progress in my life -- I managed to finish off a couple of the lingering books, as well as the sweater sleeves. I've made a bit more progress on the second Knetted sock, as well. Most importantly, I have finished the stripey mohair scarf.

I've been working on this pretty much exclusively at the pub knit night, which explains why it took so very long to complete it. It is a bit curly, of course, being stockingette, but less curly after blocking it. The stitches evened out nicely and the lace opened up... Overall I'm pretty happy with it.

The blue yarn is the mohair blend; the yellow yarn is a merino silk cashmere combo. The two of them make for a deliciously soft scarf. It will make a lovely Xmas present when the time rolls around. (But not for you -- the recipient doesn't read the blog. Sorry.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I am in a strange state, right now, where I feel like I'm making no progress with all the various things I've been working on. I've been reading the same books for ages, and working on the same projects. In fact, it might be the sheer number of them that is keeping me from getting anywhere with any in particular.

Take my knitting, for example. I am still working on the leg of the second Knetted sock, as you can see on bottom left. I have doubled the amount of completed ribbing for the Honeybee Cardigan but still haven't quite felt motivated to start the more-complicated lace pattern. The best progress I've made is on the little stripey mohair scarf -- that piece you see is the second half of the scarf, for the record. The two halves get grafted together in the middle when the knitting is done, to allow the lace at either end to be identical.

Then there's the sleeves for the black yoke pullover. They are truly the black hole of my knitting. Not only have I been working on them forever, but now, as I finally near the underarm seam (the point where I can put them aside on stitch holders until I knit the body of the sweater and then join everything together) they are somehow making no progress at all. I tried them on a few nights ago, and decided they were about 10 rows from the underarm. No matter how many times I knit 5 rows and try it on again, they are always 10 rows from the underarm. They are defying the laws of physics. Maybe just 5 more rows will do it...

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have all sorts of excuses for why I haven't posted all week -- I had a sinus cold that knocked me out for the weekend, and then my HLM gave me a very early Xmas present (a MacBook, which I have been getting to know for the last couple of days.) Between one thing and another, I haven't gotten much knitting done, to report on. I finished one of my Knetted socks, and cast on for the second, but most of my other projects look more-or-less how they did last week.

I'll find something to show you, soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Banumpkin Bread

What do you do when you have a couple of blackening bananas on the counter, but not quite enough to make banana bread? Mix them with some pureed pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving, and you have Banumpkin Bread.

Slightly orangier in colour than ordinary banana bread, but the banana flavour still predominates: four thumbs up in our house.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Urban Hat

There is a famous pullover pattern by Patons, the Urban Aran pullover: Jared took it viral several years ago by altering it into a cardigan. Funny thing is that there is a hat in that booklet that goes with that pullover (it's in the photo, if you look.) It isn't even on Ravelry, so if anyone bothered to knit it, they haven't been bragging about it.

What can I say: I am a wimp, in wintertime.
I spend six months of the year shivering, with chattering teeth, bundled up under layers of woolens. Even though it hasn't gotten terribly cold, yet, I have felt the impending winter. Wind has been squeaking past my legion of hats, to chill my ears. I decided to do something about it, and I remembered this Urban hat. I had a couple of skeins of Berocco's worsted weight alpaca in my stash, and thought that surely a double layer of ribbing made of alpaca, knit at a nice tight gauge, would be sure to keep out the wind.

Mmmm nice and snug.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I finished the hat a few days ago, but don't have a photo of it, yet. In lieu of that, here is some proof that I finally cast on a cardigan the other night. You may recognize the colour and know that it is the beginnings of the Honeybee Cardigan that I swatched quite a while back.

I also cast on a pair of socks yesterday (the latest from Cat Bordhi and the Rockin Sock Club.) Four projects on the needles: twice what I would normally have, and a definite symptom of Startitis.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is a Hat

I am telling you that because no one in their right mind would look at this firm little tube of ribby knitting and think they were looking at a hat. Nevertheless, it is one, and it even fits my big head. I've checked. Several times.

All will become clear when it is finished, little grasshopper.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pomegranate Socks

And then there were two.

The socks ended up lovely, although they are a tiny bit snug.
I'm sure that will sort itself out when I wear them for a while. If I knit them again, I would either go up one needle size or knit the larger size, just to have a little more give. I only knit two pattern repeats for the leg, rather than five, because I was pretty paranoid about running out of the Hazel Knits yarn (again.) I ended up with a fair bit left over, so I probably could have gotten another repeat or two in there, but they would also need to be a bit bigger around, if they were much longer, so perhaps it's for the best, anyway.

I knit them one at a time, on two circulars instead of on double-points. It's the first time I knit socks on two circs, and I have to admit that I found it a bit fiddly. I kept finding that the needle not in use would get tangled up with the other one. Perhaps I just need more practice. I'm sure other people would consider using five double-points to be fiddly, if they weren't used to it.

Cute socks. Warm feet. Now, what's next?

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Warm Foot

Well, the snow has arrived, as of yesterday, which makes me glad that I am working on several wooly projects, right now. I finished one of the Pomegranate socks yesterday before work, and blocked it so it would look pretty enough to show off. I haven't weighed the leftover yarn or anything, but I am pretty confident that I will have plenty to make the second one, especially because I shortened the leg by three or four repeats. The second one is barely begun, so I guess I'll have to find other things to show you, in the meantime...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have been knitting, and quite a lot, actually, but I really don't have much to show for it: mostly what I've been doing is knitting up the sleeves on a new yoke sweater I started, and they don't look like much, yet, being as they are solid black stockingette. I've nearly finished the first of my Pomegranate socks, and yes, I ripped out the whole lace mobius wrap (sigh) and I started the first (and probably only) knitted holiday gift I am making.

But let's look at something else today, shall we? I found the Family Trunk Project a year or two ago, but I don't think I've ever shared it with all of you.

Emily Johnson is designing a series of garments inspired by the folks in her family tree. Look here to see them. There is also a series inspired by literary characters. Look here to see all of her designs. They are really gorgeous patterns by a great fiber artist, and you can buy them if you like, but the really lovely part about it is that you can pay for the patterns either with money (how old-fashioned) or by telling her a piece of your family history. Different designs will cost you a different number of pages of your family's story, usually between 2 to 4 pages. What a great concept!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sneak Peeks and Swatches

As I mentioned before, I decided to make a pair of socks with the leftover yarn from my Damson. I found this pair over at Knitspot and when I pictured it in this lovely shade of yarn, it looked to me like a row of tumbling pomegranates. Since pomegranates are one of the symbols of the season, I thought it might be nice to knit them up in time for Samhain.

This is the Lichen yarn from madelinetosh that I purchased at Sock Summit. The pattern is a lovely lace mobius wrap, which you can see looks quite stunning in this colourway. Unfortunately I am running out of yarn at an astonishing pace, and I don't want this to turn into another Damson. I have a feeling this one might make its way into the frog pond and be re-made into something else. A shame, since the stitch pattern has been a real pain, and I wish I'd have something to show for my perseverance.

This is an adorable little swatch for the Honeybee Cardigan, out of Socks That Rock Mediumweight in a lovely light blue-green called Nyame. I have high hopes for this one, once I figure out how to size it for myself -- that's where the swatch comes in. This cardi will get properly started once I figure out what to do with the lace mobius wrap situation.

There is also a yoke sweater on the horizon, which I did a swatch for last night but subsequently ripped out after measuring it. It was only boring stockingette, nothing terribly interesting, although the sweater itself should be pretty great when it's done.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


So when I ran out of yarn, I had a few options:
1. Do the edging rows in a different colour of yarn, perhaps black? This is something I've seen people do with projects that they don't have enough yarn for, and I always feels like it looks unintentional. There is a possibility, however, that doing the edge in black would take the whole thing to a new level and make it a showstopper.
2. Rip back part of it (probably just to the end of the garter stitch section) and redo it on smaller needles, hoping that it would give me enough of a difference to be able to finish. It might not give me enough, however, and even if it did, the smaller gauge would make the shawl smaller, and frankly I think it's already small enough.
3. Rip back and reconfigure the decreases so that it will be finished in fewer rows, leaving me enough to do the edging.
4. Throw some money at the problem and get another skein, thus negating any ripping back or rethinking or artistic compromise.

Yeah, so I ordered another skein of Strawberry Lemonade yarn from Hazel Knits, and crossed my fingers that the dye lot would be close enough that people wouldn't notice that I had finished my shawl off with a new skein of yarn. I lucked out -- it was exactly the same as the one I had. Even I can't tell the difference. The last few rows finished up in no time, but it took me a couple of days to get it blocked, and a couple more to round up my photographer.

Had I known that I would be using two skeins for this shawl, I might have made it larger, since it is such a dainty little thing. Instead I decided to just finish off the last few rows and to use the rest of the new skein to make a pair of socks. I know, that's a real shock. It really is just a spectacular yarn, in person, and I would love to make a hundred projects out of it. The colours are hard to capture in a photo -- you really need to see it up close.

All told, a great little project from Ysolda that is as much of a joy to wear as it was to knit.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lindsay Socks

I finished the Lindsay socks in record time, possibly because of the extra knitting time while walking, and without getting run over or anything. I cast on for these socks last Tuesday, so I'd have something to work on at the pub, and finished them on Saturday evening. That's a pretty fast sock, especially out of a wee little yarn like Koigu KPPPM.

The leg is a little shorter than the pattern suggests it to be, because I am always paranoid with KPPPM that I will run out of yarn before I finish. Not only do the skeins seem so tiny, but because of my larger-than-average feet, I'm always knitting a larger-than-average sock, so I worry that if I try to make the pattern as written, I will run out in the final moments. Of course, that is less of a worry with a toe-up sock than with one that is top-down. The idea of finishing off the toe of a lovely sock in a different yarn does not appeal to me.

You have noticed, I'm sure, that the two socks aren't a perfect match, colour wise. Despite the skeins being the same colour and the same dye lot, there is clearly a lot more of the dark purple in one sock than in the other. The stitch pattern shows up very nicely in the lighter skein, but is masked somewhat in the other. Such is fate when you buy yarns that are handpainted. If I wanted to hide the difference between the skeins, I could have knit each sock using both skeins, just alternating the skeins between every row or every couple of rows, but that is awfully fiddly for a simple little sock project, and besides, who wants their socks to be too matchy-matchy anyway?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seen This One Yet?

I know I'm a bit late to the bandwagon on this video clip, but just in case you're even later than I am, check this out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Walk 'n' Knit Experiment

One thing I find annoying in life is having to run errands that cut into my prime knitting time (which is, like, all of my time.) At Sock Summit, Cat Bordhi commented on what a sedentary hobby knitting can be, and encouraged us to get up and move while we knit: to knit while walking. Since my little ladybug project bag is designed to hang from my wrist, I decided that my walk to the bank this morning was a perfect chance to try it out.

Here is your first glimpse of my Lindsay socks, from a pattern from Cookie A's new sock book. That is some delectable Koigu KPPPM on those needles, and the top two repeats of the pattern were knit while I was walking to the bank and back. Can you tell? I don't really see a difference in the gauge, although when I stretch and feel the different sections of the sock, I can feel a looseness in the gauge of those two repeats. Overall, I would say it was successful. I didn't run into anyone or anything while walking, and I got some knitting done, so the errand didn't feel like a total waste of my time. I did get some real gawkers, though -- just as Cat predicted, some people's minds were certainly blown to see me walking down the street, casually knitting a sock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peace Cardi

The one good thing about not being able to finish Damson last week is that it forced me to pick up the Peace Cardi and finish it off. I'm not sure why I kept procrastinating with this one -- it was simple enough and I knew it would end up lovely when it was done. Still, I kept getting distracted by other little bits and bobs instead of just sitting down and doing it.

A couple of days after setting Damson aside, I finished knitting the last two pieces (left and right fronts) and yesterday I finished the seaming and finished the... er... finishing. Once again, I found some cute buttons in my old sewing stash and popped them on, and I'm glad to report that it fits just right.

The only modification I made to the pattern was to make the sleeves for a size one larger than the sweater size I was making. I didn't want the sleeves to be too tight and distort the lace/ribbing pattern. I needn't have worried: they probably would have been fine a size down, but this way I won't have to worry about t-shirt sleeves bunching up in there or anything. Oh, and I made them a full inch longer than the pattern called for.

I like it a lot -- the pattern is polished and beautiful, and the Pima Cotton I used to knit it has a lovely cool shine and drape to it. Another fantastic pattern by Norah Gaughan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time Out

Damson is on a time out for misbehavior: running out of yarn in the final moments, only three and a half rows before the bind off. She will sit in a corner and think about what she has done, until this problem is solved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Telling You What's What

Here are a few great moments from F U Penguin. Another fantastic find on the interwebs.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Ysolda has started a new little collection of knitting projects, her second, called Whimsical Little Knits 2. I love her style and was immediately sucked in by the little lacy fingerless gloves, called Veyla.

I could have dug out some ivory sock yarn to make a classic lacy glove, but instead I dove into the stash for some leftover Dicentra laceweight alpaca in a fiery, racy red. Since it was too thin, I separated it into two balls and then wound them together, to double it up. The result is a completely airy featherweight fabric, lighter than air and twice as soft.

The pattern was easy enough, despite looking as though it might be somewhat complicated. I blocked the lace cuff before picking up stitches for the hand, to make sure I got a nice sharp lace from it. Ysolda suggested blocking after completion of the glove, which I think wouldn't open the lace up enough. After I finished them, I did block the hand while keeping the cuff dry, which seemed to work well enough, and evened out the stitches admirably.

Sewing on a handful of buttons was the final touch. I also had the buttons in my sewing stash, so overall, this was (in a sense) a free project, as well as a nice distraction from the cotton cardigan (which I finally picked up again last night.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Turn a Square hat

The other day, one of my coworkers asked me for a hat, and as he's one of my favourite people, I couldn't deny him such a simple gift. But what hat to make? I went through Brooklyntweed's patterns, since I have successfully gifted more than one of his designs to important men in my life, in the past. One of his newer designs is ridiculously simple but beautiful (oh, and free): Turn a Square.

So I made my way to the LYS yesterday and picked up some yarn. Choosing colours was not an easy task, for this one. It needed to be manly, and suit the recipient, but still be lovely and striking to behold. The Noro Silk Garden was the easy part: only two colourways there were the least bit manly, and one of those was just neutral browns. The blue/black/lime colourway clearly won out, there (even though, alas, the lime never quite made it into the hat.) Choosing the Cascade 220 was harder: do I go with a grey or a blue or a green or something more contrasting? I considered and rejected many before finally choosing this one, called Sparrow Heather -- it's a lovely shade of greyish greenish brown. I have never liked how it looked online, but seeing it in my hand was different. And the more I knit with it, the more I am convinced that the colour is just so delicious that I need something more: like a warm and cozy cabley cardigan.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Freddie Krueger Socks

Although I am less of a fan of Wes Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street than I am of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince's Nightmare on My Street, I still had a lot of fun making these socks. As you can see, my HLM is also a fan of them, and having put them on, he now seems to understand why I prefer handknit socks.

These are the first pair I've knit him, and you won't be surprised to hear that they are my usual: Knitty's Universal Toe-Up pattern. In sport weight yarn with a nice thick ten-row stripe, they knit up incredibly fast. It's the first time I've used Knit Picks Stroll yarn, and I have to say I really liked it: nice and soft and fat and squishy -- hopefully it holds up as well as it starts out.

Having finished these, I have already cast on some lacy frippery from Ysolda... can't wait to show you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What I'm Up To

I'm getting into the habit of only posting finished objects on this blog... or is it that I am finishing things so fast that I don't have time to post anything else?

I thought today I would take a minute to show you what I'm knitting on, these days.

I haven't posted much for photos of my Peace cardigan, since there isn't much of interest to see. I knit the back first, which is a simple plain stockingette back piece in grey cotton. Then I knit the sleeves, which at least have a bit of a stitch pattern to them, but still are ultimately just a plain grey square-looking sleeve. In the next couple of days, I will cast on for the left and right fronts, where things finally pay off. I will post some more photos once things finally start to get interesting.

One day, a week or two ago, as I was knitting on a sock (or trying on a sock to admire it or cooing over sock patterns or something like that) my HLM suggested that I should knit him some socks. I was understandably excited, since he so rarely asks me to knit him anything at all. His idea was to make some socks based on Freddie Krueger's sweater from the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Simple enough: I just poked around the internet until I found a good combo of rich olive green and a good true red. I also chose to make them in sport weight yarn, so that (even though they are much bigger than the socks I am used to -- and my own feet are large enough already, thanks) they will still knit up fast. As you can see, I turned the first heel this morning. We're both pretty happy with them.