Sunday, January 9, 2011

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm a Joiner

When it comes to knitting, I am such a joiner. Right now, I am participating in five -alongs of one type or another:

10 Shawls in 2010: A group trying to knit 10 shawls during the year. I have three completed (bending the rules a bit, I'll admit) and three on the needles, so I'm behind at the halfway point. But I'm almost done with grad school, so hopefully my record will improve.

Charcoal Daybreak Mara WIP Back

Shawlette/Scarf Daybreak

Dane Shawl Multnomah-esque

Tour de Fleece: A Spin-along during the time frame of the Tour de France, which is July 3 to 25 this year. I've completed a skein of two-ply and have three singles ready for my first ever three-ply. I'm hoping to get a gradient spin in, but I suspect I won't have enough time to finish it by the deadline.

Underworld Two-Thirds Done

3-ply Challenge: The Snobby Spinners group on Ravelry is doing a three-ply challenge, and I'm spinning my first three ply (standard, not Navaho ply) for it. I have the singles ready and hope to ply tonight. This is part of Tour de Fleece too.

Sundara Summer Lace: The Sundara Yarn Love Group on Ravelry is have a lace knit-and-crochet-along. I started a new lace shawl, one of the 10 shawls in 2010, but I'm working more on other shawl projects right now.

Stashdown: Trying to knit up more of my stash than I am adding to it, with support from the The Yarn Snobs group on Ravelry. I joined this effort in April. On a yardage basis, I was just barely was successful in the second quarter of the year, but only because of several destashes. This quarter, I'm not doing great so far - I've fallen in love with hand-dyed fiber for spinning, and I think I'm about to rip out about 500 yards in a shawl in progress to redo the color striping.

And it's worth noting that my last post was about my efforts for the Ravelmpics/Knitting Olympics.

Above all, what I've really done is join Ravelry. And by doing so, I've found the online knitting presence I was looking for when I started this blog. I show my WIPs and FOs off there. I've made friends and found community - even some knitters I know in real life are on Rav too!

The timing of joining Rav coincided fairly closely with starting grad school, which meant my knitting blog suffered doubly. And now that I am almost done with grad school (I'm in my last quarter, yo), I've been thinking about how I want to spend my time, and the answer is definitely less time in front of a screen. So I am considering ending my knitting blog, as many others have done, either accidentally or on purpose. If there is any feedback, please do leave it, otherwise find me on Ravelry. And my free patterns are there too.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympics Finish Line

I had to abandon the Mara shawl when, after ripping out a week's worth of knitting (more on that in a future post), it became clear that I would not make the end-of-the Olympics deadline. Instead, I cast on the Lacy Baktus in some more of my handspun.

Lacy Baktus

Pattern: Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montonen
Yarn: my handspun from superwash BFL from Cloudlover in the Fangorn colorway
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
On Ravelry

This is a pattern where you weigh your yarn, knit half of it with increases every four rows, and then decrease every four rows. Well, I'm still pretty new at spinning, and weighing apparently wasn't the best judge of whether or not I'd used up half of my yardage. So, with one day left in the Olympics, I used up my yarn and still had at least three repeats to knit (#2 below) ... and so I frogged it back to past the center point to start the decreases earlier (#3).

Baktus Take One

I could have handled this with a bit more grace and a lot less stress if I wasn't knitting on a deadline. But I wanted the Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics medals, so here is the finished shawl/scarf (a little too big to fit in one frame):


It's a little shorter than I'd like, and I'm counting on the blocking (which certainly was not going to happen today too) to help stretch it out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Olympics

In honor of the Winter Olympics, I am participating in the related Knitting Olympics and Ravelympics knit-a-longs that began last night. I was originally thinking I'd do a series of small projects, and see what I could get done in 17 days, but the spirit of the Olympics is to challenge yourself, so I'm going big and going to attempt a full shawl. I may not finish, but I decided setting a big goal was success enough if need be.

I'm knitting Mara, a simple triangular garter stitch shawl with a ribbed and slightly ruffled edging. I'm planning on adding some shoulder shaping. Part of what makes this project medal-worthy is that I'm knitting it from my own handspun, Potentiality Handspun Falkland in a colorway I'm calling Blueberries and Chocolate. It's one pound and 1028 yards of fibery goodness.


I cast on last night. I planned to do this while watching the opening ceremonies, but as we don't have tv reception, I planned to watching the ceremonies via online streaming. I spent 40 minutes trying to find a feed that worked, and struck out multiple times and places. This was, let's say, extremely frustrating. In the end, I put a movie in the DVD player and cast on to a sweet and sappy coming of age story.

I am loving watching the colors change as I knit. I rarely knit in garter stitch, so I am impressed by the thick squooshiness of the fabric I'm making. And I'm just starting to add the shoulder shaping, so it's coming along great so far!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2009 in Review

In 2009 I became a bad blogger. I can point to graduate school as the primary cause of this, but now that it's February, and I have 8 months of school left, I think I have to admit defeat. So, rather than try to bring anyone who may still be reading this (and thank you if you are!) up to date on each project, I'm just going to show you the year in review.

Despite grad school, it was a productive year, although it looks like I concentrated on the accessories. More portable, and simple stitch patterns were definitely my friend this year.

2009 Knits

1. Mini Sweater Trio, 2. Dolores Park Cowl, 3. Cowl'd and Frosty Morning, 4. "Camel" Cowl, 5. Spiral Cowl, 6. Herringbone Cowl, 7. Lichen Cowl, 8. Two-One Cowl, 9. Turn A Square Try #3, 10. Turn A Square Try #4, 11. Maine Morning Mitts, 12. Lollipop Hats, 13. Cabled Sampler Baby Blanket, 14. Sampler Baby Blanket, 15. Verona Shawl, 16. Deciduous Lace Shawl, 17. Barn Raising Quilt, 18. Susan Shawl, 19. Mitered Hanging Towels, 20. I-Love-Stockinette Baby Bibs, 21. Baby Goth, 22. Cotton Stripes Hat Trio, 23. Lace Ribbon Scarf, 24. Thorpe!, 25. Camera Sock, 26. Crofter's Cowl #1, 27. Crofter's Cowl #2, 28. Pretty Thing Cowl, 29. Toasty Mitts!, 30. Purl's Cashmere Cowl, 31. Vancouver Fog Mitts, 32. Gathered Scarf, 33. Hello Kitty Hat, 34. Scrunchable Hat, 35. Earflap Hat, 36. Ribbed Hat

I also had time for some spinning:

2009 Spinning

1. Corriedale Sliver, 2. Three Skeins, 3. 8 oz Eire Corriedale Pencil Roving, 4. Two Skeins of Eire, 5. 4 oz Shetland Top, 6. My Winding Wheel, 7. Green Yarns, 8. 4 oz BFL Top, 9. One Skein of Autumn Girl, 10. Hanspun, 11. Four Braids, 12. Falkland Fiber, 13. 4 oz of strips, 14. And then there were nine, 15. Blueberries & Chocolate

And I kept on accumulating yarn. The best:

2009 Yarn

1. Squoosh MCN in Brick, 2. Sundara Night Blossom, 3. CMF Wild Horses, 4. CMF Baby Camel/Merino, 5. Sweet Georgia Frozen, 6. Sweet Georgia Stillwater , 7. Graphite, 8. Mysterious Night, 9. Antoinette, 10. Aurora Borealis, 11. Fjord, 12. A Step in Time and Roasted Java, 13. Black Cherry ASM, 14. MadTosh Van Dyke Brown and Plucky Augustus, 15. Deadly Nightshade, 16. Pigeonroof Charcoals, 17. Sundara Poppy, 18. Charcoal over Blue Lagoon, 19. Deep Spaces, 20. Seasons Collection, 21. Black over Violet, 22. End of the Day FSM, 23. Brambleberry, 24. RPoGP, 25. Cashmere, 26. Fiberphile Batwings, 27. Arabian Nights, 28. Huckleberries FSM, 29. Delphiniums, 30. Rocky Shore, 31. Copper Rose, 32. Plum Pudding, 33. Smoke, 34. Chocolate Chambord, 35. Taj Mahal FSM, 36. Ember over Flame

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Verona Shawl

For Project Spectrum Cardinal Directions North, and because a lot of stockinette stitch was very appealing to my grad-school-full brain, I knit up a Verona Shawl.

Texture Shoulder Curve

Pattern: Verona Shawl by Morehouse Merino Originals
Yarn: Morehouse Merino Lace in Hemlock colorway
Needles: US 9 / 5.5 mm
On Ravelry

Verona Shawl

It really was just what I needed. I could knit in class, while reading, when I was writing papers and needed and "thinking break." I've found stockinette is perfect for times like these.


This pattern is just a big stockinette rectangle. I had the yarn in my stash, more than is required (I used five balls, or 1100 yards) so I cast on 100 stitches. If I were to do it again, I might cast on even more - the rolling nature of stockinette means that it's not as wide as I'd like.

Morehouse Merino Lace yarn

Given my desire to have it wider and the fact that I still have one ball of yarn left, I'm actually considering turning it into a L-shaped shawl. I'd do this by shortening what I have now, picking up stitches along one edge, and adding another rectangle at a right angle. This would be some more good grad school knitting. But I've got a few things on the needles to finish up first.

Candy Baby Hats

I picked up some multi-colored, mostly cotton yarn to make a matching set of hats for a co-worker expecting twins.

Lollipop Hat

Pattern: One Skein Candy Baby Hat by Artful Yarns (on ball band of yarn)
Yarn: Artful Yarns Candy in the Lollipop colorway (9366)
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm
On Ravelry

Lollipop Hats

Interestingly, the pattern is to knit it flat and then seam up the hat when done. I have to admit I didn't realize this - I mean, who would knit a stockinette hat flat? - and I thought it was just the little cord at the top that was knit flat. In any case, I knit it in the round, and finished with an i-cord rather than the nine-stitches-wide top flap per the pattern.

My co-worker was very happy with them, and now has three-month-old twins, a girl and a boy, so I'd say it was a success all around.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

FO: Road Not Taken

I showed you this scarf first almost a year ago when I cast it on for easy travel knitting. I finished it at the end of last September (right as grad school started), but it took me, um, 9 months to get around to taking pictures. So, finally, here is:

Road Not Taken

Pattern: Road Not Taken Scarf by Lisa Lloyd
Yarn: Sundara sock yarn in Burnt Cranberry
Needles: US size 6
On Ravelry

This was an easy, pleasant knit. I found that I loved having a little bit of color to wrap around my face and a little bit of warmth around my neck last fall and winter. I especially loved to wear it with brown and white.


My only complaint is that the scarf curls a little, given the stockinette base and the fact that the lace pattern is three joined columns that easily fold at the joins. A very pretty pattern, though, and the hand-dyed yarn is divine.

Winding Road

Friday, June 19, 2009

FO: Falling Leaves Shawl

I finished this shawl many moons ago (July 2008, to be exact), although it took me a long time to block it. It was a holiday gift for my mother and so I waited until after December to post the FO, and then never did. So here it is:


Pattern: Falling Leaves Shawl by Katy Wight
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Oceanic
Needles: US size 7 / 4.5 mm
on Ravelry

Full Shawl Draped

This shawl is a stole, but all the decreases are k2tog, so the resulting fabric leans to one side, making a parallelogram shape. I thought it made an exceptionally photogenic project, especially with the shawl pin by Ruby Vegas.

Falling Leaves Shawl

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Slew of Sock Hop

Well, so much for getting caught up with my blogging in two weeks!

Back when I ripped my first try at the Pacific Waves Shawl, I found myself with lots of unused Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn. Since I had bought several of the skeins as remnants, and all the one I used were now in tiny little balls ...


... I decided I would look for stash-busting patterns to use up the yarn. My first project was the Turn-a-Square Hat by Jared Flood. By holding two strands of Sock Hop together, I was able to achieve heavy worsted weight, and adjusted for gauge accordingly. I ended up knitting this hat three times with different colorways before I finally called it good. The first attempt may have been the most photogenic while knitting ...

You Baby & San Francisco

but I didn't like how I looked with white yarn right by my face. I tried a three-color combination, and finally settled on one colorway (San Francisco) where I let the striping in the handspun show off the square shape of the hat. It's much more subtle. My three attempts are the top row of this mosaic of Sock Hop projects:

Sock Hop Yarn Mosaic

I then knit a set of Maine Morning Mitts in the same Sock Hop colorway (though a different lot) to match (pictures #6 and #8). I love fingerless mitts, and expect this set will be the first of many. I wanted a cowl that would match the mitts, and couldn't find one on Ravelry that was just right, so I created my own easy-peasy pattern - the Two-One Cowl, pattern available for free download right here (as well as on the sidebar). Pictures are the second row of the mosaic.

I also knit a new little sunglasses case with leftovers - picture #9. Let me tell you, it's a joy to pull it out and use my handknitting on a regular basis! And last, but not least, I started a set of mini sweaters (picture #7) which will decorate my holiday tree this winter, and are a great way to use up tiny bits of yarn.