geekin' on yarn, parenting, & whatever else comes up.

New Projects Archive



June 2009




Written by , Posted in FOs, General, New Projects, stash enhancement

Yesterday, The Sainted Husband (TM) and I put in an offer to purchase our first home together. (We’ve rented for the 9 years we’ve been together)

Today, the sellers accepted our offer.

Holy CRAP, we’re buying a house!!!!

Our House!

Our House!

Und now iz ze time on schprockets ven ve FREAK OUT! But in a good way. 🙂



February 2009



Knitting Valentines

Written by , Posted in General, Knitting, New Projects, Spinning, SSB Wedding Shawl

True to form, I did not finish my husband’s sweater in time for Valentine’s Day, but I DID manage to get a photo of the very love-appropriate cables on this thing.

I’m knitting Beck, from Jane Ellison’s Queensland Collection Book 9, using some Skye Tweed. (Ravelry links; OH how I mourn the discontinuation of this yarn!) Originally I’d intended to knit The Sainted Husband a sweater that was designed entirely by me (or at least with a little help from Elizabeth Zimmerman), but when I found this book on a trip to North Carolina, I knew this sweater was right up his alley. He even picked the yarn.

Thus far I’m done one sleeve (which stood in for a swatch), and half the back.

(photo above taken only about a quarter of the way into the back — that was taken February 7th.)

I’ve never been much a fan of reverse stockinette, but I must admit that it looks somewhat Zen when viewed just for itself:

And that is pretty much all there is to show you of lots of grey tweedy bits. (well, okay, I took more photos of it, but really, how many times can you look at the same two pieces of in-progress knitting before it ceases to be entertaining? However, if you’re Hardcore, feel free to check out Flickr for a couple other shots of this sweater-in-progress.)

Meanwhile, the day I took those photos of the sweater bits, TSH and I took my daughter down to run along the trail beside the Potomac river, where we had a grand time. We even got to stop and gawk along with everybody else who was out in the beautiful weather that day, as Martha and George, our resident Bald Eagles, have nested just alongside that trail. Martha was the only one we saw, as she was busy hanging out looking regal in the nest, but it was still supremely cool.

I thought there were a few other beautiful things out that day, though.

~happy sigh~ I really am very, very lucky. Oh, by the way, check the sweater on Miss Plum, there! That was knit for her by her godmother, SSB, who, in addition to being a medical student at Tulane (Third year? FOURTH? GAH how time flies!), is also getting married on Halloween this year, so we’ll be headed down to New Orleans to attend and for me to be all bridesmaid-y on her behalf. YAY! I’ve finally figured out the right shawl pattern to knit for her, and the designer was AMAZING about getting the pattern to me, so as soon as I can warn the bride away from reading a particular post, I’ll show you some cool details. 🙂



June 2008



Startitis, Day 4? 5?

Written by , Posted in Blog, Knitting, New Projects, Startitis, stash enhancement

Who can keep track when in the grip of illnesses like these?

Handspun Nereid mitts were begun.

Then I made of the mistake of going to the local-to-my-office yarn shop, Stitch D.C., to pick up some lace Addi needles. (A need sparked, as I said in the last post, because the other US 3 and 4 needles I have are currently lost in the abyss of my disorganization at home. Also I think they’re too short anyway. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.) While there, after discovering they did not have the needles I needed, I had a wee accident with the card and ended up with some amazingly soft yarn:

Lacey Lamb 100% lambswool yarn. Rub-against-the-cheeks soft.

Then I ended up in a bookstore — never good for the wallet but nearly always a necessity for my sometimes-fragile ability to cope with the world — and came home with A Gathering of Lace and Lace Style books. I’d been seeking a project to knit for my best friend’s impending Samhain wedding. She’s a very tall, willowy, utterly gorgeous red head. (A pause, so you can all hate her guts with me…okay, moving on.) Anyway, I figured, she’s getting married on Halloween, and the bridesmaid’s dresses are all burgundy. Sorry — Cabernet. Therefore, despite having purchased the above burg — I mean, Cabernet-colored yarn, I went stash diving for some lace yarn I got from eBay waaaaaay back when I first started knitting again in earnest.

Found it!

This is how much knitting happens from cast on to present when one spends all weekend doing very little other than knitting whilst being immersed in Blue Planet DVDs:

Okay, so that doesn’t show you the whole thing, because the whole thing? Is just a variegated red blob. But that is a circular shawl, knitted from the center out, through the Shetland Fern chart, and one repeat of the Horseshoe lace chart. For me? This is lightning fast knitting. This is the Shetland Tea Shawl from the book A Gathering of Lace, and I am L O V I N G the knitting of it. (Dear Jared, sorry for stealing your letter-spacing thing, but I love how it looks! Also you are intensely cool and I am a fangirl. Forgive me? Love, Liz)

A couple of shaky pics of the lace repeats are over on Flickr — they were slightly blurry because holding the lace out so you can see it with one hand and taking photos with the other hand is not so very conducive to sharp photography.

And then, (NOANDTHEN! Name that movie reference…) The Sainted Husband required wee circle thingies from Michael’s for his gaming group, whereas Youngest Rat required a new job, and Michael’s is hiring. So Youngest Rat, my daughter, and I all piled into my car and trundled ourselves to Michael’s to obtain wee circle thingies and a job application for Youngest Rat. (My two teenaged stepsons are collectively “The Ratz” — Youngest and Eldest. I can’t remember if I have explained this before. No, I do not trundle large rodents to and fro during my errands. :)) (Also? Oxford comma, baybee. Stoopid AP Stylebook. Hate.)

Upon walking into Michael’s, I beheld there upon the shelves Something I Had To Have.

And yea, the fluorescent lights shone down in benediction upon the Wee Skully Lunchbox of Awesome, and verily didst The Knitter squee unashamed before all and sundry; and spaketh She to those gathered therein, “This. Is. AWESOME. And I must have it.” Thus did The Box Of Awesome appear in the Holy Shopping Cart of Antioch, and lo, The Knitter Was Pleased, and It Was Good. Here endeth the tale.

And finally, because I don’t have ENOUGH going on the needles, I got the perfect honey-colored lace for a gorgeous honeybee-themed stole from KnitSpot.

Now I want to get some lovely beads to knit into this, and maybe some honeybee beads. I’m thinking I want lampworked glass bees to dangle somewhere from the stole, but I haven’t solidified that idea in my head yet. (Which is just as well, given that I have so many things in progress floating around that the likelihood of my getting to this anytime soon is slim.)

Did I chase everybody away with my inconsistencies? My stats page says there are people reading, but still all my comments read ~NIL~. Therefore, if you’ve a moment, tell me — is there anything you’d like to see here that you’re not seeing? It looks as though most folks read on the weekends, so is it better for you if there’s a regular schedule of Friday posts? I seem to have finally regained my Mojo (Interestingly corresponding with losing a fair percentage of my bank account), so I’d really like to know your thoughts. 🙂 (Also? Me = Comment Ho. NICE.)



June 2008



Lost: Project Committment

Written by , Posted in Knitting, Miscellaneous, Musings, New Projects, Startitis, stash enhancement

If found, please mail to startitis.cure at yarngeek dot com.

This weekend, I:

  • Saw Kung Fu Panda with my husband, four year old, and eighteen year old. Score on all counts — wonderful movie, definitely one we will want to own as soon as it’s available.
  • Enhanced the stash by one skein of Penthouse Silk laceweight [<–Ravelry Link] by Neighborhood Fiber Company in golden honey tones. (I believe the colorway is called Lincoln Park. For the circle in D.C., not the band.) Oh, and two more long-cord Addi laceweight needles in sizes 3 and 4 because I can’t find any of the multitudes of the same in my hugely disorganized house. Purchase location: Knit Happens.
  • Enhanced the stash by two skeins of laceweight baby lambswool yarn in a deep burgundy. Purchase location: Stitch D.C.
  • Enhanced the stash/pattern library by two books and three patterns.
  • Cast on and knit obsessively on a shawl for my best friend to wear on her wedding day, the Shetland Tea Shawl from Gathering of Lace. (Link to the book is above; Ravelry link for the pattern is here.)
  • Went grocery shopping (but only because we’d all have had nothing for dinner yesterday or today had we not gone)

Things I neglected in order to purchase and fiddle with all the above:

  • Everything else.

Stay tuned to see how much lace knitting can be done from Friday to Sunday when one does nothing other than what is necessary, and puts every disc of the Blue Planet DVD series into the DVD changer on “play all”.



May 2008



Lizard Ridge and Silk Caps

Written by , Posted in Lizard Ridge, MDSW, New Projects, Spinning, stash enhancement

And also the beginning of block trois.

I have got to get better about documenting what I’m doing — I think I may have knit the first block on size 9 needles instead of 8s, which is what these are — I had to dip into a new ball to complete the last three rows of the six repeats of the second block, there, and am hoping that won’t be a trend for the rest of the blanket. I had a bunch left over from the first ball, but it may just be differences in yardage from skein to skein.


Also, I’m way behind on my projected/intended two-blocks-per-month to be done in a year (theoretically), so I need to catch up. 2 down, 3rd begun, 7 to go before the end of May. My trip to CA should give me the knitting time I need for the catching up, though. The question remains whether my fortitude to knit only on Lizard Ridge will last the trip. 🙂

I am so loving the color changes, though. I’m wondering how some of the subtler colorways will knit up, and whether I’ll want to do some mega-contrasty alternating skeins or not.

I spent last evening’s stolen spinning time playing with a bright yellow dyed silk cap, given to me Saturday at MDSW by Robin Russo at The Spinning Studio. (Where the drool-inducing inlaid Vermont spinning wheels lived, and don’t think I didn’t have a moment where I wanted to drop everything I was carrying and beg them to let me take home the mother of pearl one…)


Robin was perfectly lovely to me, when I asked how one prepares a silk cap for spinning — I’ve never spun with 100% silk before, and when I asked, she said, hand me that yellow cap out of the bin and I’ll show you. She promptly DID show me, and then gave me the yellow cap as a gift, saying that it doesn’t sell well as a color. (Admittedly I’d just purchased that stack of caps from her in blues and greens, but still. I was very touched.)

So in practice I spun up the yellow cap last night, all except the last layer, which I pre-drafted and is sitting at home waiting for me as I type. I initially was thinking disparate small skeins of silk laceweight, but now I am wondering if I will spin it all up as one skein with long color blocks. 🙂 There is only the one yellow cap, and then I have two each of the green and the two blue colorways, so I must ponder. Anybody want to weigh in with suggestions?



February 2008



Ice, Ice, Baby

Written by , Posted in Knitting, New Projects, Noni Medallion Travel Bag, stash enhancement

Choose the musical version wisely, lest your earworm become an 80’s has-been rather than a 70’s rock deity. 🙂 (ETA: Evidently Wendy and I shared the same sentiments towards weather. :))

Outside, the trees, bushes, roads and walkways are encased in a fairly icky ice storm. I discovered that it was perhaps a bit more than slush when I stepped outside our front door yesterday, took one step, and promptly fell on my arse.

Oh. Perhaps we’ll add salt then, aye? ~sheepish~ Also, I have a bruise on my forearm that should look pretty spectacular ’round about tomorrow.

A box of Morton’s kosher salt later, and our walkway and steps are once again navigable without having to bring crampons and stout rope along, but the storm has also brought with it very grey skies, making photography for my planned duvet tutorial a touch difficult. That may be pushed off to next week if the weather continues this way, or I might be able to pull it off over the weekend. I won’t leave it off, though.

Instead, today I give you: A new project. (Because one can never have too many projects on the needles at one time, I say.)

I might have gotten a bit carried away with the grey winter when I decided on color for this bag — although I prefer to believe I am influenced by the colors of belly dance costumes and rajasthani dancers. 🙂

I substituted Ella Rae Classic wool in lieu of the suggested Cascade 220, because that’s what Knit Happens carries and I wanted brighter colors for slightly less cost. The Ella Rae I know is lovely because I’m using it for Tom’s skully scarf, it’s at least a dollar less per skein than the Cascade, and it has 219 yards to a ball, making it close enough to equal to be a score in my book. (By the way, I don’t always feel that cheaper is better, but sometimes it just makes sense, all other items being equal, to save as much as you can, wherever you can.) ETA: Thanks, Rosemary, for pointing out that the Ella Rae in fact IS equal to Cascade 220 in all things except price and name. 🙂 Score!

Thus far I have about six rows of the bottom of the bag completed. Twice, in fact — the first iteration had to be ripped out because I forget that my concentration really can’t be interrupted in the middle of a row, because whenever it is, I WILL persist in effing it up.

This is one of the first patterns I’ve worked with for which I have a bit of a negative preliminary review, although my complaints are really minor in the grand scheme of things:

My biggest complaint so far with this pattern is that the chart is really tiny and difficult to read, and I would like very much to have an enlarged copy of the chart made so I can read it more easily. But the copyright is laid out VERY explicitly in the pattern booklet that there can be NO reproduction of ANY kind for ANY reason — which I take to mean very clearly that you cannot make enlargements for personal purposes. I’m actually pretty frustrated that there’s not an allowance for that in the pattern booklet, but I know designers are very concerned about unauthorized reproductions of their patterns, and rightly so, as it’s a commonplace practice that does take money from their pockets that most can ill afford. But it still bothers me and is causing me difficulty in enjoying the knitting of the pattern. I really really want the finished product, though, so I imagine I will figure out a way to slog through it.

Another bit to this piece is that the bag handles used in the example are way more than I’m willing to spend, after spending as much as it takes for the yarn to make the bag to begin with. $50 for the handles alone seems pretty darned excessive to me, so I won’t be using those handles. I’m aware of course that you needn’t make any given pattern as it is made in the sample, and that in fact shop owners bemoan the fact that people seldom wish to deviate from what’s in the photograph. It’s an easy fix as well in terms of not using the suggested finishing item, but I think it’s still a legitimate personal annoyance to mention.

What will I use for handles instead? I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. I think I may actually go the route of heavy duty webbed strapping going all the way under the bag, to give additional support to the bottom of the bag and a bit of added structure to the bag itself. I may improvise using leather belting instead of webbing, I don’t know, the ideas are still sort of tumbling around in my head. But there you have my wee bit of brightness for the grey winter. 🙂