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

Knitting Knatterings Archive



December 2016



Knitting On

Written by , Posted in Blue Sand Cardigan, FOs, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings

The most oft-quoted Elizabeth Zimmerman phrase has been much on my mind during my knitting of the past almost-two-full-years – knitting that consisted entirely of the sweater that I just finished today, I should add – “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.”


I haven’t posted here (as I’m sure all three of you noticed) in that two year time frame. I had an entire post that I typed up purely for the catharsis of getting it out of my brain and down into words, but it will remain forever unpublished for a myriad of reasons I can’t get into here. Suffice it to say that the past two years of my life have contained more crises and upheaval than almost any other time of my life, and the stitches of this sweater were knit with very little confidence or hope.

I purchased the yarn for this sweater on a day when I was suffering more emotionally than at any other time except perhaps the death of my mother in February of 2002. (Sidebar: Why is it that everything terrible seems to happen in the darkest of winter? The purchase date for this yarn was also in February. Good thing my brother was born in that month, or I might consider it irredeemable.) I cast on that day in 2015, and whatever knitting I have done since has been on this sweater.

Separate of the emotional upheaval that prompted me to retail-therapy myself an entire sweater’s worth of yarn that day, was the idea for a version of the excellent Blue Sand Cardigan pattern that stole its stripes from the wool blankets of the Hudson Bay Company of Canada. While I’m not Canadian, my sister-in-law (and my brand new niece! Which, hi, I need to catch you up, I guess – I became an Auntie in August!) is; but my first affection for the Bay’s blankets sprang from the association I have to them as being fixtures on the beds at my maternal grandparents’ home on Griffith Lake in Delaware. So far as I know, Nana & Granddad got the blankets while in the UK for Granddad’s USAF assignment there working alongside the RAF – but regardless of where they got them, those blankets (and I think also several from the more-common-in-the-U.S. Pendleton company) lived on the twin beds in what amounted to a bunkhouse/guest space. I slept many summer nights and several Christmases’ worth beneath those blankets in some of the most family-centric, warm and cozy holidays I can recall in my life.

In any event, the stripe colors and pattern evoked exactly the sort of soothing comfort I felt sorely missing on the day I decided to knit this sweater, so that was the palette I went with when I hauled myself, shaking and still weepy, into Fibre Space in Old Town, Alexandria, determined to cast on and try somehow to make sense of the nonsensical.

CC4 for my Hudson-Bay-Blanket-inspired #BlueSandCardigan : Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio DK in "Rock Creek Park". Not shown because it's not here yet: CC3: NFC Studio DK in "Woodley Park", which is a cherry red. #knitting #yarnΒ Finally, MC for Hudson-Bay-blanket-inspired #BlueSandCardigan : NFC Studio DK in "Roland Park". Also a tiny baby swatch of the texture stitch from the sweater on US 4 needles. #knitting #yarnΒ CC2 for my Hudson-Bay-blanket-inspired #BlueSandCardigan : the Fiberists Audubon Sport in "Au (gold)" #yarn #knittingΒ CC1 for my Hudson-Bay-blanket-inspired #BlueSandCardigan: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio DK in "Georgetown". #yarn #knitting

(Not shown: the red yarn, because I couldn’t get hold of that until later on, and now I can’t find the image I took of the skein. Oops.)

From the dawning of that particular crisis, the aftermath and aftershocks of which I have been dealing ever since, I knit. Some days, just getting out of bed was triumph enough, and knitting wasn’t on the agenda. Other days, knitting seemed the only thing I was capable of doing without completely fouling everything up.

This pattern is SO. EFFING. COOL. Y'all, I can't even. #knitting #BlueSandCardigan

To a certain extent, it feels rather odd to be finished with this project after so long with it as my figurative and literal security blanket. It’s also a little bit scary, if you buy into the whole Like-Water-for-Chocolate idea that the emotions felt while crafting a thing are contained within the thing itself, because if so, this sweater should maybe be burned, just to protect people from the volume of misery wept into it.

BlueSand (on the Hudson Bay) cardigan progress: nearly done third of four CC stripes! #knitting

But either because of the time that has been spent, the progress that has been made within my life since it was begun, or just out of sheer cussedness, I DID put it on immediately after I cast off this afternoon – put it on, and wore it out to have dinner with my husband and daughter. No disaster yet befell us (unless you count the election, which I don’t), so I’m going to cautiously state that the sweater’s intent of comfort and security has outweighed the emotions of she who knit it as it came into being. Thus far, anyway.


Can you spot below the error that The Wry Punster already knew was there without even having to see it? No, El, I didn’t fix it. I’m calling it a design feature, damnnit. πŸ™‚

One...one pocket lining! Ah-ah-ah! (Complete with error. Oops. But eff it, it's a pocket lining, error is now design feature.) #bluesandcardigan #pocketlining #knitting #knit #hudsonbay

It’s a truth about crafting in general, and the needle arts in particular, that we are often as consumed by the process as we are the end result. Some people craft specifically because the process itself is the journey for them, rather than the thing reached at the end. Others have the end goal in mind as their only motivation for slogging through the journey in question. I don’t actually know for certain where I fall upon this spectrum, to be honest with you: I sometimes enjoy the process as much if not more than the end result, but there are other times when I want to skip past all the in-between bits to get to the payoff at the end.

So. Close. Y'all. #bluesandcardigan #bluesandcardi #knitting #knit #knittersofinstagram

Life is not like that in most cases for me – everybody knows the ending of that one, if not the method of its (hah) execution, and I’m happy to drag out the process of knitting this life one very slow stitch at a time, thanks. But this section I’ve been in for the past few years, in which that process has been so very painful…(metaphorical) mistakes, frogging back, re-knitting, pattern changes, supply issues…that part, I do sort of wish I could mitigate, or at least skip through to get to the bit where it’s okay despite all that got you there.


But instead of skipping through those sections, which is a skill I haven’t yet figured out how to cultivate, I’ve been (very slowly) knitting on, one stitch, one section, on stripe at a time – both literally AND metaphorically. I don’t know what the end of this particular project (metaphorically speaking) is going to look like yet, but it feels like finally, maybe, it may turn out okay.


I’ve made mistakes; I’ve adjusted the pattern; I chose my colors to fit the shape I was given. I ripped out, re-knitted, did-over, and kept on, crafting, as best I could through everything that came, the shape of the garment I was after. Sometimes I was curled on the couch in the sun, and the knitting was warm and cozy in my lap. Others, everything was a mess, including me, but the shape of the sweater was still coming out basically the way I needed it to.


I don’t know how much true depth there is to this craft of ours – this one, or any other of the needlearts, really. I know that I come from a long line of women who have knit, stitched, sewn, quilted, and otherwise kept together the crazy yarns of their lives in garments they were able to wear with grace, if possibly not always pride.

For myself, I took EZ’s advice, and I knit on – if not always as proscribed, at least with determination and perserverance. My mirrors may be dirty, my surfaces cluttered – but when it got cold, I put on the sweater.


I’m told that that’s what it’s for.




March 2013



Stitchery Afoot

Written by , Posted in Finished Objects, FOs, General, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings, Lizard Ridge, stash enhancement, Updates

Well. More like “ahead”, as it’s mostly hats with some neckwear, and “aneck” just doesn’t sound right.

My knitting mojo seems to have decided to stick around long enough for me to actually finish something!

Way back in July, I cast on for Laura Chau’s Dipped Infinity Scarf, the yarn for which I got in a kit from Fibre Space. At the time, I, um, forgot the ribbing? Oops. I guess I was so thrilled at the idea of the color changes to come that I launched right into the stitching pattern sans ribbing.

Anyway, I was so irritated with the mistake, and trying to decide how to fix it without ripping out what I already had done, that it took months for me to pick it back up again (kind of a metaphor for my life lately, actually).

This week, after casting off (remembering the ribbing on this end) the majority of the piece, I figured out how to pick up stitches in ribbing on the cast-on edge, and only 5 rows later, there was a cowl!

Dipped Infinity Cowl

This is getting blocked today so the ribbing will quit folding over; had to stab a couple toothpicks into it to get it flat enough for glamour shots.

Dipped Infinity Cowl detail

Project: Dipped Infinity Scarf by Laura Chau/cosmicpluto
Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock (sold as a kit at Fibre Space)
Needles: Chiagoo circulars, US 9s (I think. Need to double check size.)
Notes: I have an unhealthy adoration for Karida Collins’ yarn, and there was no way I could pass up these colors. They just…glow.

I have a second Turn-A-Square hat currently on the needles out of the same yarn combo as the first (Brooklyn Tweed Shelter & Noro Kureyon; not original by any stretch, but so beautiful, why mess with perfection?):


Meanwhile, I finished yet another hat that was a very late birthday/Christmas present for a friend, the Fair Kate hat by Thelma Egberts. This one had stalled out when I got stuck on the cabled decreases at the crown:

Cable decreases

WHY I got stuck there is a mystery to me, though, because when I picked the project up out of hibernation, I picked right up where I left off & completed the hat with no difficulty. I don’t even know.

Fair Kate flat hat

The yarn is a grey baby alpaca I picked up at MDSW, and is as soft, fuzzy, light, & warm as you might expect, looking at it.

Fair Kate hat for our fair @celeloriel

Project: Fair Kate hat by Thelma Egberts
Yarn: grey baby alpaca, I believe from Misty Mountain farms?, via MDSW
Needles: Addi Turbo circular needles, US 5s
Notes: dear self: you are not a failure as a knitter if you use a cable needle for 5-over-5 cable crosses, damn it, so STOP THAT & use the damn cable needle! Love, self.

I have two sweaters planned, both in the blue color family, so my Blue Period seems to be continuing, but I also grabbed two new Kureyon colors to add on to Lizard Ridge, The Afghan That Never Ends:

2 more for Lizard Ridge

Where are you on your own color wheel?



March 2013



Butcher Braaaaiiiiiinnn(Hat)

Written by , Posted in Bloggy Blatherings, Finished Objects, FOs, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings

Yesterday, I updated you guys on a bunch of projects I was way behind on blogging. One of those, the Brain Hat, I had to be a little cagey about, because I was waiting on permission to say who it was for, as well as the ok to post a photo of the hat being worn by its recipient.

I just got the okay I was looking for, though, so now I get to squee at you about this:


That, my friends, is NYT best-selling author Jim Butcher, writer of the Dresden Files and Codex Alera novels, wearing his Brain Hat, knitted by me.

Cannot begin to describe how cool it felt to receive this photo. But I suspect y’all get it. πŸ˜‰



March 2013



Catching Up: Everything Old is New Again

Written by , Posted in Blog, Bloggy Blatherings, Finished Objects, FOs, Fotoposts, Gifts, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings, Updates, WIPs

HI! Hi, Internets, hi!

So I’m browsing Ravelry this morning (likeyoudo), and there smack in the middle of the “what’s hot right now” list of patterns is an old knitblogger’s friend: Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton’sΒ Klaralund! [rav link]

It’s possible that I am particularly knitstalgic at the moment, having finally imported ancient Typepad blog posts over that reach back to 2005. Certainly I was more clever in my blog headlines then, and FAR more prolific in my posts than the past ~mumble~ years have shown. But to come across a pattern that was one of the first in what felt like a constant wave of projects that would zoom across the (then somewhat limited, compared to today’s 2m Ravelry users) knit-blog-osphere, trending as one of the current projects that knitters are into in 2013, feels almost like an out-of-body experience. Time traveling, if you will, but with more needles and fewer Daleks.

Terribly pleased to see that the pattern has had more sizes added; I thought the reason it might have come back into knitterly awareness now is because of the release of the Noro: Knit 40 Fabulous Designs book, but since that happened in 2009, I really don’t know why it’s come back around. Not sure it’s relevant, really; I’m just kind of glad to see what feels like an old friend coming across my Ravelry options. πŸ™‚

Okay, so. Everybody knows it isn’t real unless you blog it, right? So here’s all the stuff that hasn’t been real until RIGHT NOW, since last we met:

The Sainted Husband got his (almost)annual Crazy Hat Project result earlier this year – his Skully Hat remains the most oft-worn, beloved knitted item ever to come off my needles, so, as TSH is a professional editor and English teacher, I made him We Call Them Ampersands, a spin-off of the same pattern as his skully hat, now with more typography!

True to form, I’ve discovered I haven’t got a good Finished Object photoshoot of this one, but here’s a couple action shots of the hat doing its job:


(That’s my dad in the background; we were visiting them in Raleigh, NC and it was COLD that day. YAY knitted things to keep people warm!)

And a hazy at-home, natural-habitat shot:

Ampersands Hat


Project: We Call Them Ampersands; original pattern is Adrian Bazila’s We Call Them Pirates; Ampersand chart by Susette Newberry

Yarn: I don’t actually know. Generic shetland-esque wool I had in stash, no ballband.

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace US 5s

I don’t have a timeline for this one, either, I’m afraid. This is what happens when I don’t blog for forever; I have no digital memory to help me remember these things.

Hats are pretty much all I have had any knitting bandwidth for of late, it seems; I have a rainbow Ampersands I started for myself, but will have to rip because my gauge was wonky:

Rainbow Ampersands hat in progress

That’s Kuani for the color, and I think a shetland for the white. Pondering other options for this one.

The other hat I knit last year ate up nearly all my knitting mojo, and it was a confluence of Twitter Bravado and commission. I follow many of the authors I love over on Twitter, and one day the infamous Brain Hat was mentioned as a desired object by one of my most fave authors. I, perhaps foolishly, replied that I had two sticks and some string and could probably make that happen. Several DMs later, I had a commission to make the thing.

Brain Hat in medias res: (in media? Damnnit. Stupid Latin.)

It took four football fields of yarn, months of time, and at least half my sanity, but I TRIUMPHED:

Braiiiiin (hat)


Pattern: Alana Noritake’s Brain HatΒ [Rav Link]

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock in “Nectar”Β from WEBS

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, I think US 4s? Can’t remember specifically what size needles I did this on, am guessing based on some in-progress pics I’ve got on Flickr; I do know that purchasing an i-cord machine saved. my. bacon. with this project; holy crap but did this ever take forever! Thank goodness the recipients were terribly patient with me for it. πŸ™‚

Started: February 4, 2012

Finished: December 18, 2012

As I’m sitting here doing this, I’m realizing that even though it feels like I haven’t knit anything in years, practically, I actually did finish a fair number of projects this year! Long-time readers (if there are any of you remaining) may recall the Samhain wedding shawl knit for Miss Plum’s godmother; so, when this lady birthed her first child this year, there had to be a small suite of Wee Laddie Knits! First, the obligatory Baby Surprise Jacket:

Handspun BSJ is done but for blocking! (for @wren's pending wee laddie)

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket

Yarn: My own handspun (!!!!)

Needles: No idea. Addi, yes, but size? No clue.

Completed: Sometime in March 2012.

I had enough handspun leftover to crank out a wee tiny Aviator cap:

In which @wren should avoid looking unless she wants spoilered:


I can’t remember what book I cribbed this off of; it was one of the very first knitting books I ever got, but it’s about the same as any other infant ear flap hat pattern that’s floating around out there. I was just ridiculously proud that it was knit from my own handspun. πŸ™‚

Then there was a second wee laddie sweater:

Sweater for pending Wee Laddie is DONE! So. Cute.Pattern: Fibre Space‘s Baby Stripes

Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater, purchased at Fibre Space

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular US8s

Completed: March 12, 2012

I have a grey hat in progress for another friend that stalled out on the crown decreases; need to take some pics of that for you; also I took some of this Clover Leaf Farms fiber in colorway “EarthTones”:

4oz braid of Clover Leaf Farms merino in "earthtones"

And am turning it into some handspun, like so:

Bonus 365 shot: playing with bouncing flash! @xPeregrine @tylluan

Not sure yet what that’s going to be.

Holy crap you guys, there is so much. I shall sum up what remains in a forthcoming post.

Meanwhile, tell me how y’all are doing?

PS: I went from dirty blonde to red while you weren’t looking:

For @mizjawnson, LOTD: Why Did I Wait So Long to Get the Naked Palette?!


and After:

2nd day flat iron curls:



July 2007



Muggle Madness

Written by , Posted in Knitting Knatterings


The book arrives Saturday. I am feverishly re-reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and just as feverishly avoiding most of my online haunts for fear of getting "spoilered". There’s the "Carpet Version" of the book floating around in PDF, and while it’s tempting — to me? That’s like opening your Christmas presents before Christmas Day. Why spoil the joyous anticipation?

To further feed my Harry Potter frenzy, I joined — naturally — a sock swap. πŸ™‚

I’m a first year Ravenclaw. Sign ups for First Years have unfortunately closed, but you can find the swap here, and check it out for the next round!

Behold, a questionnaire for my fellow Potterite:

  1. What Hogwarts house have
      you been sorted into? Ravenclaw!
  1. Shoe size? 8.5 to 9 US women’s, depending on the shoe. 9 is the safest bet.
  1. Foot Length? From the back of my heel to the end of my big toe, 9.75 inches.
  1. Foot Circumference? 9.5 inches. (dude — I have nearly square feet?)
  1. List your three favorite
      double-point needle brands, including size and length.

      a. This is very tricky, as I don’t use double pointed needles unless I absolutely must; therefore, I hope I don’t lose my House points when I say that Addi Turbo circular needles, between 24 and 32 inch long sizes, are my most favorite needles for EVERYTHING. When I MUST use DPNs, (and I find that these instances are very few and far between), then my choices go as follows:

        b. Antique steel double pointed needles in long lengths that I purchased in a massive lot off eBay for a song.

          c. I would LOVE a set of the sterling silver needles from the celtic company whose name I now forget, though — simply because they’re so gorgeous. And metal! Which is great — Lantern Moon DPNs are beautiful to look at, but I break all wooden needles over time, so it’s not worth spending that much on something I’m gonna break inside two pairs of socks.

        1. Would you like to try a
            new brand needle?  If so, which brand?  Size?  Length? See above regarding the sterling silver needles, but I am SO not asking a pal to get me those. Too espensive. Therefore, Addi Lace needles would be schweet; wouldn’t mind trying the Knitpicks circulars, either. Anything in a 24" long or 32" long size, between US 0000 and 3 is great. πŸ™‚
        1. If you are a RAVENCLAW,
            do you prefer the colors in the film or the book?  Do you  have a strong preference? I AM a Ravenclaw, and I prefer the colors in the film much over the book colors, primarily because it’s so difficult to find a nice beautiful bronze that isn’t too brown, too orange, or too whatever. πŸ™‚ Something tweedy or heathered, though, I could deal with. As a general rule, though, I love the silver and navy combination anyway, even outside of my House colors.
        1. Allergies?  Do you
            have any?  Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? No allergies that we’re aware of, except for of Nargles. Dratted beasts. But I have two cats, so anyone I knit for needs to be aware of that, though I am glad to Ziplock — I mean, charm — the socks in progress to bring allergen contamination to a minimum.
        1. Are you an international
            participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts
            Sock Pal? I am not outside of the US, but am happy to knit for those who are. πŸ™‚

        So there you go. I’m thinking I need knee socks this fall. Maybe my pal would like some, too? πŸ™‚



        May 2007




        Written by , Posted in Knitting Knatterings

        No new router, but I am totally cheating so I can quit making excuses. YAY for workarounds!

        You can go ahead and say "Finally!" in a deep, exasperated tone, should you feel the need — you’d be totally justified!

        Right, so the Maflingo Sockies for Miss Plum went over a treat. She insisted on wearing them for roughly five days running; now, I am uncertain where she’s put them, but every time the pink jammies come out, she goes and gets them.

        Project: Simple Toddler Socks. More or less an amalgam of all the basic sock patterns out there.
        Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Flamingo Stripe: Look, toddler socks that are Knit For the Cure!

        Other details are lost in the morass of my mind. Sorry, ya’ll. I need to make like Brenda Dayne and keep a knitting notebook.

        Why yes, she IS pleased as punch, and thanks for asking. πŸ™‚ When these were not quite done yet, she kept asking me incredulously, Socks, Mama?  Socks for ME?! And I would tell her yes, socks for her. She was so happy to get them, it makes me feel guilty that she has so few pair, and her feet are tiny enough that I should have no excuse for cranking her out a wardrobe of the things. Oy. Maternal Guilt.

        I am immensely fond of the figure eight cast on. For some reason, I feel violently allergic to provisional cast on, maybe because I like to knit with a few fidgety bits as possible — magic loop on circular needle, don’t like to use cable needle unless I absolutely have to, that sort of thing. So maybe that’s why it appeals. Part of it also is just that I find it incredibly cool to not have any knots, and yet have that smooth toe that knits in two directions at the same time. πŸ™‚


        Kung-Fu Plum says,


        Likewise I love the simplicity of the shortrow heel, and in this case especially, it made such a smooth cup for her heels. Very pleasing.



        When we started the picture session, she wasn’t sure whether to do cheesy-grin, or whether there was another method of posing I was asking her for at the time.

        You’re knitters — Tell me you get how happy I am at the mostly-matching stripes?!? πŸ™‚


        I leave on Tuesday for San Francisco…if anybody reading this blog happens to live out that way and would maybe be willing to show me where the coolest knitstops are, I’d love to meet you and check it out! I have a free day from my arrival on Tuesday until whenever that night, and then I think I have a free day Thursday all day, and most of the day Wednesday. Otherwise I’ll be taking bellydance classes from Mardi Love and the Tribal group Unmata…Yes, I am completely a-squee, but anybody who does NOT bellydance probably has no idea what I’m talking about. You-Tube may enlighten you a bit. πŸ™‚ Anyway, so because I leave on Tuesday, and I have been such a neglectful blogger, I’ve set up some auto-posts to go up this week while I’m gone. Ooooh, Time Warp! YAY!

        I’ll have some MDSW haul to show you, and the contents of two packages that came this week from Uzbekistan that looked like this:

        Brownpaperpackages(Every time I look at this picture, I start hearing Julie Andrews in my brain. "Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String…These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!")

        These even came complete with the remnants of what must have been a really cool bit of sealing wax, but somewhere between Tashkent and the US Postal Service, got mangled:


        Hmmm. Whatever could these be?


        May you and your families have a lovely mother’s day, if you celebrate such things; otherwise, just have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next Tuesday with (I hope) some pictures and stories from the Left Coast!



        February 2007



        Be still my heart!

        Written by , Posted in Finished Objects, Knitting Knatterings, Updates, WIPs

        I actually FINISHED something!

        For myself, no less.

        Here’s why it’s cheating: Because it’s been on the needles (or off the needles and in the despair pile) for…what? Two years? Maybe more?


        Here’s how I feel:

        That, my friends, is the face of a woman who has discovered the difference a brutal blocking can make.

        There are any number of things wrong with this sweater, since it was the first non-scarf item I ever cast-on for that wasn’t baby-sized, and because I was a new knitter who knew nothing at the time. But I’m going to ignore them all because it FITS and it’s warm and I love it as one can only love a first sweater that will see lots of wear.

        Forgive a) the house clutter I tried and failed to photoshop out, b) my personal dumpiness, and c) the foggy mirror of our marble-top.

        (The marble-top is what I’ve always called that beast of a dresser/mirror combo. It’s an antique, and the mirror has fogged edges as a result of its age. I love this thing. I begged my dad for it when they moved to a place that had no space for it, and he amazingly let me have it. Other than my engagement ring, the stone for which belonged to my mother, this is probably one of my most prized possessions. But as usual, I digress.)

        On my person, zipped up:

        And on my person, open:

        The edges aren’t quite as wonky as they appear there — I flipped back the side on your left there because I am so damn proud of the ribbon over the zipper tape on the inside. I followed Kathy’s fantastic zipper insertion method (oh the Google hits on THAT phraseology, I bet!), and the link on her blog to another blogger’s use of grograin ribbon over the zipper tape in lieu of knitting a zipper facing, and I am so tickled with the results!

        The ribbon was a happy marriage of browsing the fabric store and a sale. I am brainstorming what to do with the remaining 4-odd yards of the same ribbon, which I love despite it’s 80’s preppy overtones.

        Zippers may be my new favorite thing:

        SO. PROUD.

        Especially with ribbon inside:

        Stitching the side of the ribbon that overlaid the zipper tape was an exercise in finger-piercing, however, as this particular zipper had that tough plastic overcoating on it. So the stitching itself is not as smooth as it might have been; however, I love handwork, (it’s a perversion, what can I say? Said perversion does not, however, extend to seaming, an exercise I loathed and am apparently not very good at) and didn’t want the stitching to show through on the front, so I didn’t sew it on the machine, which would have taken considerably less time than hand stitching did. I think next time I will sew the seams of my sweaters on the sewing machine, and hand finish the remainder. πŸ™‚

        A few more shots of the sweater laid flat, and I shall shoosh, already. Everybody else seems to have Finished Objects every month or so, and they don’t go on like this. I can’t seem to help it, given that my finished objects seem to be separated by years rather than weeks. πŸ™‚



        Project:  ChicKnits’ Ribby Cardi by Bonne Marie
        Yarn: Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool in Tranquil Lagoon; something less than 10 balls
        Needles:  Addi Turbo 24" circs, US 9 throughout
        Mods: I used one needle size throughout, and went up a size to get a slightly larger sweater to fit over the Bust of Dooooom.
        Notes: When I make another of these (and yes, there will have to be another, I think), I will want to make it longer — this one hits just at the top of my hips, and I prefer my sweaters to hit about mid-hip, so as not to get tugged every time I sit down and feel a draft in my lower back. Also, although I already learned this lesson from this sweater months ago, I won’t try to knit in my ends instead of weaving them in, as it makes fat wonky stitches for very noticeable bumps in an otherwise pleasing stretch of knitting. Also, I’d stitch the seams on a sewing machine next time, as my seaming skills are patently lacking.



        October 2006



        Cashmere heals all things?

        Written by , Posted in Knitting Knatterings

        SLUMP, I tell you!!

        I realized this morning that I haven’t been happy with ANY of my knitting since I completed the Sockapaloooza Mighty Mango socks and sent them away.

        Aranmor: Currently lying in exile in the Muppets shoulder bag, awaiting me to gain the courage to rip down and fix an error. Again. *%&#$ row counters slipped and LIED to me.  Am contemplating, despite the horror of it, ripping all the way out and starting again with 100’s of copies of the chart, where I can highlight each row as it’s completed, thereby eliminating the issue of lying row counters.

        Ribby Cardi: In a heap under my desk at work, half-seamed, where I tossed it after trying it on and realizing that the arm was tight under the pit. Wondering if I couldn’t just sew the damn thing on my machine and steek out the extra to make it work.

        Socks: Maybe six pair in progress, none of whom are "talking" to me.

        However, the other day at our local gigantic thrift store, I scored several wool sweaters for my husband in a fit of annoyance that he hasn’t any handknits despite our house being half-buried in wool. (Well, okay, there’s only three boxes’ worth, but it FEELS like we’re buried in it) In the process, I grabbed one very soft, lovely navy blue v-neck because it was super soft and it was $2.97 USD.

        Dude. LL Bean. 100% cashmere.

        Today, I appropriated this sweater for myself, because my knitting slump demanded it. And now I live in hope again that the needles shall click away happily.

        And if not, I can always just sit here and pet my sleeves. YAY!



        July 2006



        Cycles, Circles, and Aranmor

        Written by , Posted in Aranmor, Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Holidaze, Knitting Knatterings

        So I dug through the scary-front-closet-of-Doooooom the other day, so as to unearth the long-neglected beginnings of Aranmor for my husband.

        Begun initially for a potential Christmas gift, I had to realize my own limitations and working style, and I said perhaps I’d have it just in time for his mid-August birthday!

        It appears that I will have to amend that to Please-Knitting-Goddesses-Let-Me-Finish-This-Damn-Thing-By-Giftmas!?!

        Current pictures this evening; Here’s where I was before:


        I’d only gone a bit more than halfway through one center motif repeat of the back before setting it aside in frustration before. I’ve now approximately doubled that progress and a bit, having since completed one center motif and halfway through another.

        Still, I do love the yarn and the patterning; had to re-teach myself how to cable without a cable needle, and that helps make this sweater nice to knit on rather than a nightmare.



        May 2006



        As Promised

        Written by , Posted in Fotoposts, Knitting Knatterings, Sockapaloooza, Updates, WIPs

        First and foremost, I give you my long-traveled and most wonderously beauteous Sockapaloooza Socks, knit for me by Kimberly of A Knitted Frenzy!


        Pay no attention to the terrible night-time-is-the-only-time-I-have-time-to-take-photos, photos; they fit perfectly, are of one of my favorite yarns (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Cranberries), and in a pattern I’d tried myself in the aforementioned Socks That Rock yarn that I thought I didn’t like. More on that in a moment. These are the Nancy Bush Child’s First Socks pattern from her Knitting Vintage Socks book, which I am utterly addicted to. My own pal’s socks were a pattern from the same book.

        Kimberly is from Fresno, and sent me with my wonderful socks some poppy seeds, (I don’t know if I want to make bagels or stage my own scene with green face makeup, rubbing my hands together and cackling, "Poppies! POOOOOOPPPPPIIEEEEES!") a picture of the socks reclining on the bench in the subway with Kim’s iPod (who sports its own knitted cozy, natch), a handwritten card, and (as if this weren’t all enough) homemade strawberry jam! Said jam is three-quarters gone already, as my daughter and teen step-sons discovered and anhililated it inside two hours. It was scary, actually. πŸ™‚

        THANK YOU, Kim! These are fantastic, and I am so tickled I haven’t taken them off hardly a moment. YAY! ~happy dance~

        Now, as to the haul from MDSW, it was, as I said, somewhat meager. Here is what I got that I have in my hands — (There’s still Enya’s  fleece to come, in process of being…um…processed)


        This is Mohair roving from Persimmon Tree Farm, owned by Greta Dise. (The Farm, not the roving in these photos. :)) I love it — these two photos are of the same ball of roving, but different sides. It’s called Fall Harvest, and I got the same stuff last year with glitz in it. I have grandiose notions of one day getting myself a spinning wheel and plying the non-glitz with the glitz. But then, ALL my notions tend towards the grandiose.

        This is a horrid nighttime photo of my gorgeous Bosworth midi spindle, purchased from the Journey Wheel folks themselves. (THANK YOU, MR. BOSWORTH!) It’s made of Black Palm, with what I believe is a Padauk shaft. It’s LOVELY.  And yes, that is some yarn on the spindle shaft, why do you ask? πŸ™‚

        Speaking of this spindle and yarn, behold! My first actual wee ball of handspun: (The Google hits on that should be rediculous…)


        Sheila? That’s the Falklands wool you sent me that I was gushing about in a previous post. It’s SO lovely! This wee ball is all I could get on the spindle before it started to bobble, so I think I’ve a ways to go to learn about wrapping the shaft properly as I wind on.

        And then there was the Socks That Rock. It was a madhouse trying to get this stuff, frankly, and if I had it all to do over, I might skip the mess and order online. But I’m very glad I tried it, and I do love it after all. Note the evidence, to the right:


        Pardon the flash — I did say as night photos were all I could swing, if I was going to EVER show you guys this stuff! πŸ™‚

        So yeah — that would be some picot-edge Jaywalkers, which was the only pattern that was ever going to work with the Mesa colourway for me. The mint green just killed it in any other pattern. So Cara is right. Again. πŸ™‚

        I sent one skein — the Watermelon Tourmaline, don’t ever let it be said I don’t take care of my swap peeps  — to my Sockapaloooza pal with her socks, so these four are the remaining ones. Of these, I think the Alina is my favorite, and the Lemongrass and Fred Flintstone may have to become part of a fair-isle or mixed sock. (I actually like all three colourways together, but haven’t decided that I like that plan)

        These jaywalkers are my first try at a picot edge, and I have to say that I am so in love with it! I especially love the way they make little crenellations like the wall of a castle. I showed them to TSH, and referred to them in that conversation as "dits". He asked what a dit was, and I said, THOSE!