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

Updates Archive



May 2017



MDSW: The Annual Pilgrimage

Written by , Posted in MDSW, stash enhancement, Updates

Why yes, I AM still here, so glad you stopped by!

My husband and I made the annual trek to MDSW the first weekend of May (also while celebrating 15 years of marriage, coincidentally), and I figure if there is no MDSW loot post, perhaps there truly is no more blog. I am not yet ready to say THAT, so allow me to share with you the spoils:

First, speckled yarn galore from Knitty & Color; the main skein is “Supernova” Hardcore Sock; the mini-skein set did not have colorways listed, but is also Hardcore Sock base:

I did a fly-by hello to Amy at Spunky Eclectic, and came away with two braids of wool top in “Hideaway”, as well as two wool/yak blend (the most soft, lovely things – Plum attempted to steal one as a cuddle friend, but I objected with extreme prejudice) braids in “Stegasaurus”:

I got a “Knitterati” tee from the folks at the publishing tent; not shown is the “UNITY” tee I picked up from Neighborhood Fiber, as well:

I grabbed two gradient DK sets from Neighborhood Fiber Company, in “Shades of Jade” and “Shades of Grey”:

Karida at Neighborhood Fiber threw in a project bag for me, and I also got the Ziggy Stardust/Bowie project bag at the publishing tent from whence came the “Knitterati” tee (that I wish I could remember the name of!!):

And finally, in a spectacular case of fangirl camnesia, I ran unexpectedly into Casey of Elegant Musings, whose blog I have been reading for probably more than a decade? I did not think to get a photo with her, though I DID get a hug, and she made a gift to me of this wee stitch marker:

It rained off and on all day, and was downright chilly, as well as muddy & squelchy – since this made the crowds almost bearable this year, and facilitated the wearing of handknits far better than the years when it is 90 degrees F in the shade, I will totally accept that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Did you go? Or to a festival closer to you? What’d you get? Spill! ๐Ÿ˜‰



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



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’sย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Hatย [Rav Link]

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock in “Nectar”ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 & Chloรซย 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:



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:


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚



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.



June 2006



Visiting Monarch and Quilt Blocks promised

Written by , Posted in Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Quilting, Updates

In the midst of the series of truly brutal thunderstorms we’ve been having here in Alexandria, Virginia and the D.C. environs, we had one lovely soft evening before the storms, so to speak, when we were visited by royalty.

I give you, our home blessed by a Monarch! (and if I’m wrong about the butterfly species in question, do please let me know…but I’m leaving the names in the blog here because it’s so easy to draw fun phrases about visiting royalty and such. :))


I opened the front door, and there it was, perched on the edge of our letter box, just sort of hanging out. I thought somewhat sadly that it may have come there to rest and die, because it was a bit rough around the edges, but we left it alone and it was gone in the morning. I like to think this is because it flew away  happily rested, rather than having been eaten or something. ๐Ÿ™‚



I love this photo. He/She was so lovely, and spread its wings for me as I approached for the pictures. (No, I never touched it — any missing dust is due to whatever it experienced prior to visiting us here at the house.)


So that was a lovely little interlude.


Now, theoretically this was a separate post I owed you almost a week ago, but the storms have meant that I only have internet access at work (except today, strangely enough, where it’s working at home in the lull between storms). I have created a photo album over on the right sidebar, there, of the detail shots from these blocks,  but here are the full-block pics of my mother’s quilt blocks she appliqued for herself:


This is the semi-sheer overlay that’s used to help you place applique pieces in the right spot as you stitch over time; generally, when using somebody else’s patterns, you would trace the pattern directly onto this gridded stuff, which I think masquerades as interfacing at various fabric stores like Hancock’s and JoAnn’s, et al.

This is the Dove of Peace block, which like many of mom’s blocks for herself, is still unfinished:


That’s the Dove from Noah’s Ark, presenting his Olive Branch, and surrounded by a lyre-type wreath of olive leaves and branches.


This is my mom’s memorial block for her father, also still unfinished, in honor of his lifelong military service in the U.S. Airforce. The feathers on the Eagle’s wings are stitched one by one in ribbon embroidery. (yikes.) ๐Ÿ™‚


This is a peacock, in case it’s difficult to tell. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the way mom stitched the feathers on this one, but have to say that the actual block design does very little for me.


This is my favorite of the non-quilted blocks Mama stitched, particularly because of our three flags of heritage flying from the masts; The United States, Scotland, and Italy. Also, the cutwork on the flowers, and the oriental print wave fabric fussy-cut for the water are just wonderful from a handworker’s point of view.  I have tons of detail shots of this one over there in the album since it’s my favorite. (It’s also the one block for my own album quilt already begun that I’ve managed to stitch, although in a slightly different way, which I will show you in post that is not already so picture-heavy. :))


This is the very incomplete Tree of Life block; I love her fabric choice for the bark, however, and the varied greens she chose for the leaves.

Those are the blocks that she did not set up to do "quilt-as-you-go" before she passed away; I have two more amazing blocks of mom’s to show you another day, that she managed to get quilted, or prep for quilting, that show very well both her own stitch artistry and also the steps taken to get to a completed quilt, block, or what have you. And I have the picture of my first sailing ship block, and a huge quilt project I am going to undertake to tell you about. So, stay tuned!



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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!