Monday, October 29, 2007


Since I finished the scarf and am finally making headway with the blocks project, it seems like time to cast something else on. I decided on Foliage from Knitty. One for me, and one as a holiday gift, I'm thinking.

Really, I just wanted an excuse to try some Malabrigo yarn.

Malabrigo Chunky 100% merino wool in the Vaa colorway

I'm excited to give this yarn a try. It's soft enough to dive in to. (I'm picturing myself with a couch full of yarn to leap on.)

Malabrigo Chunky 100% merino wool in the Marron Oscuro colorway

I picked up a set of DPNs in the correct size today, so I'm all ready to dive in...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chevron Scarf

It's finally done.

Finished Chevron Scarf, 10/20/2007

Pattern: Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock medium weight in Thistle and Nodding Violet
Needles: Knit Picks Options in US size 5

About two weeks ago, I decided to pull this project out of hibernation and focus on finishing it. (Thanks to Alice and Tiennie for the encouragement!) I kept track of my progress in Ravelry:
  • 7/2/2007 - cast on
  • 7/13/2007 - 13 inches
  • 8/11/20007 - 28 inches
  • (set aside for a while)
  • 10/6/2007 - 42 inches
  • 10/15/2007 - 53 inches
  • 10/17/2007 - 59 inches
  • 10/20/2007 - 64 inches - bound off!

Overall, the main thing I have to say about this pattern is: fingering yarn + a scarf =crazy! The pattern calls for 78 inches as the final length; I made it to 64 (but haven't blocked it yet, I expect it will grow some.) I'm really impressed that so many people have made this scarf, 'cause it is a lot of knitting. I bought enough yarn to make another in a different colorway, but don't expect to be doing that any time soon.

It is a nice pattern - easy to knit, pretty, shows off the hand-dyed variegated yarn wonderfully. I love the Socks That Rock yarn, but I don't like the lime color that seems really prominent to me throughout (that's from the Thistle). Also, pre-blocking I find it annoyingly curly along the increase/decrease waves, and I hope that blocking will help it lie flatter. Not sure if I'll keep or give it away.

And it sure is photogenic. (There's a whole bunch more on my Flickr).

Crazy Aunt Purl comes to town

Ms. Crazy Aunt Purl at the downtown Seattle Barnes & Noble, 10/17/2007

I was happy to catch Laurie Perry reading from her book Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair this week. As you can maybe tell from the above picture, there were not enough chairs. I stood for her her whole talk with my chevron scarf draped around my neck, knitting from one end. (Laurie thought that was funny when she signed my copy of the book, but hey, it's a convenient way to knit!)

Laurie was as sweet and funny in person as she is in her blog, and I have to say, as cute as a button. I mention this especially because she often writes about body image issues (which of course I can relate to) and I think she's just so pretty so I wanted to say that here.

I've already finished the book. It's Laurie's story of what it was like to have her husband leave her and grow into a happy life with a little help from the passage of time, knitting, and friends. She's a humorous writer (I highly recommend the blog) and it's a quick, enjoyable read with some knitting patterns in the back.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Baby Knits

I'm blessed to have many babies in my life to knit for. Aren't they cute?

Umbilical Cord Hat that I knit for little c, picture taken by his mama 10/7/2007
[aside for Wanderlust Lost Knits ... yes, this is R's baby! Can you believe it?]

Strawberry Hat I knit for my dear Peanut, at the pumpkin patch, 10/7/2007

I finished the 13th repeat of the kimono shawl and am temporarily putting aside while I push on through to the end of the chevron. But, in case I start to go crazy, I've also cast on for the stitch-sampler baby blocks in this gorgeous Cascade 220 rainbow:

I could just take pictures for hours. There are more on my Flickr too.

I started with the purple heather. OMG, I love this yarn (color, texture, knitting with it) so much I want to knit a sweater in it. Me, a sweater. I don't wear sweaters, especially ones made of wool. I live in the Pacific Northwest, sweaters are too hot here. I don't look particularly good in sweaters. And it would take a lot of yarn and stitches to knit a sweater that would fit me well. But wouldn't Rogue as a cardigan or Arwen look just lovely in this yarn?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

WIP Updates

It's that time again. To tell you about my progress with two projects that just don't want to be finished. If I had had any clear idea that both would just keep going and going, I would have realized that casting them both on in the same week - the first week of July - was not a good plan. I snuck a little hat in last week just to be able to finish something.

Pattern: Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock medium weight in Thistle and Nodding Violet
Needles: Knit Picks Options in US size 5

I'm 42 inches in. I have to confess that the thought of going on to 77, or even 66 inches, just makes me want to cry. Can't I be done already? Seriously, it's like a slap in the face that this is from a book called Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Yeah, she says it will take a while. And, yeah, I've put it aside for long stretches of time because I'm burned out on it. I can't believe that some of you have knit more than one! Of course, I did buy enough yarn to knit two in different colorways...

Speaking of yarn, I adore Socks That Rock but find that there is noticeable pooling, especially of the lime green, and I just don't like that. I've actually considered frogging but think I will more likely give it away. What's your opinion?

Pattern: Kimono Shawl by Cheryl Oberle
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss in Burgundy
Needles: Addi Lace Turbo in US size 5

I am exactly halfway through my Kimono Shawl. That's 33 inches of unblocked lace. I adore this pattern and I love the yarn and I continue to enjoy the knitting, but at this rate (one 24-row repeat per week), I'll be done in December. And I really want to be wearing it now!

I thought the Kimono Shawl would be a good first lace project since I wouldn't have to deal with shaping for a triangular shawl. But I think the triangular ones would go much faster. Also of note, I substituted fingering weight yarns (Gloss is 70% wool, 30% silk; the patterns calls for 100% silk). I ordered the same yardage of yarn as the pattern called but, at the rate I'm going, I'm only going to use about 60% of it. Amusingly enough, I'll have enough leftover to make a triangular shawl!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Strawberry Hat

I'm glad to report I got by auntie knitting mojo back, and I've already completed the strawberry hat for my little nieceling. Since I'm in the middle of two projects that just keep going and going and going, it was really, really nice to do a quick little project and have a finished object already! This knit up so quickly I didn't have time to take pictures in progress.

Pattern: Ann Norling Kid's Fruit Cap
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: Clover bamboo US size 7
Size: Six months (16 inches diameter)

This was my first stranded project and once I figured how to wrap the extra yarn when there was a long stretch of red in between the "seeds," it was easy going. It's a great little project. It's super cute and people love it! I've already had three friends ask me if I can make it in an adult size.

Pattern available for sale here. Similar pattern available for free online here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I had a little falling down

I had a little falling down. Now, when I write those words, I assume you know what I mean, because I assume anyone reading knitting blogs is reading the Yarn Harlot and she writes fairly often about her fallings-down and, as far as I know, the term "falling down" as it applies to yarn comes from her. But I'm not sure she's ever technically defined it, so let me 'splain what I mean by "a little falling down."

First, this is not a falling down:

Cascade 220 Superwash Wool in color #809 (red) and color #801 (green)

You didn't think 2 skeins was a falling down anyway, did you? But here's why: I was recently at the half-birthday party for my favorite six-month old, whom I'll call Peanut. Her Nana had sent her a really cute pumpkin hat which she was wearing. But the pumpkin hat was store-bought and made from cotton jersey fabric. Now, if there is one thing that can be knit well, it's baby hats that look like fruit and vegetables. In fact, I purchased the pattern for such hats when my little Peanut was one month old. Seeing her in the little store-bought pumpkin hat made me realized how derelict I was in my aunterly duties. And I know how fond her mama is of the strawberry hat, and in fact, I've been promising a hat since Peanut was a month old. So, off to the LYS for yarn for a strawberry hat - which I've already cast on and am two inches in.

See, perfectly justifiable, overdue even - not a falling down. This isn't a falling down either:

Cascade 220 Heathered Wool in color #9454 (purple), #2447 (blue), and #9461 (green) and Cascade 220 Wool in #4147B (yellow), #9465B (orange), and #2413 (red).

It may look like a falling down because of the lascivious way in which the yarn is photographed. But again, it's a well-thought-out, overdue purchase. See, at this half-birthday party, little Peanut was holding court, sitting on the couch, playing with her many toys. Grabbing them, pulling them to her, chewing on them. And I thought back to a darling knitted baby block pattern that I've had in the back of my mind for probably a year now and realized that they should have been done already because six months is the perfect age for playing with them. So, on the same trip to the LYS I also got the yarn to make blocks.

See, not a falling down. Plus the yarn in such great colors will be good fodder for photographs, and that's a worthwhile cause too, especially since I've signed up for a photography certificate course that just started.

I have this rule that I only buy yarn with a project in mind. Technically, I've only broken that rule once (well, until yesterday, anyway), and that was handspun camel down and only one skein and it would have been a crime to pass that up, right? Then there is the yarn bought for projects that didn't work out and ended up making a home in the stash without a project attached that somehow don't count against my little rule. The truth is, I don't really like having a lot in my stash, because it stresses me out to have yarn nagging me from the closet and the closet really isn't that big. And I'm not big on consumerism (despite my falling down) and don't really want to present myself that way. But, beautiful yarn is beautiful yarn.

To me, a falling down is an impulsive purchase, most likely extravagant, and without a project in mind for that yarn. Not exactly blatant consumerism, but closer to that than I'm really comfortable with. Perhaps the Yarn Harlot's definition differs, but that's what it means to me. My falling down is that I signed up for Sundaras' new "Seasons" Yarn Club yesterday.

I occasionally flip through her "currently available" list and dream, but without a project in mind, I haven't been able justify the cost. I have no desire to get caught up in the drama of the competition for a limited yarn when she makes an update, so oftentimes the yarns I really like are gone when I go looking. I don't knit socks (yet) so the sock club hasn't appealed. But Tiennie posted yesterday about the new Seasons Club, so I clicked on the link to check it and bam! a falling down, and I had subscribed.

Somehow, it feels better to share the good news.

PS I chose Winter.