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

General Archive



October 2013



Brightest Witch of Her Age

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My daughter’s Hufflepuff sweater is complete but for blocking. It has a full Glamour Shoot coming on Halloween, but in the meantime, have the ends-woven-in last-test-fit image! The PigBear approves, despite lying down on the job.

Brightest Witch of Her Age



March 2013



Water, Pins, and Foam Make Magic

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Blocking, y’all.

One of my fave colorways

I know knitters everywhere already know that this is gospel truth: Blocking is MAGIC. Perhaps most astonishing when blocking lace knitting, it’s still shockingly effective in every other gauge for making a garment/accessory/knitted item look and drape and feel its absolute best.

Blocking Dipped Infinity Cowl

Because I so often procrastinate on blocking the stuff I knit, I’m always surprising myself when I manage a marathon blocking session and see the befores/afters. So despite the fact that all knitters know (or should know) the beauty of blocking, it’s something I need to remind myself of now and then.

Is this blog-cheating, when I am showing you photos of things you’ve already seen the FO summary post for? Is blog-cheating a thing? Maybe. But you’re getting the pics anyway because come ON! LOOK AT HOW HOT THIS IS!

Lizard Ridge blocks. Blocking.


Awwwwww yeah. Wet wool, baby. You should get right down near that and smell the wafting fumes of good, damp wool. (unless you’re allergic, in which case, don’t do that. Let’s keep everybody breathing and not-itchy, shall we?)

Did you guys hear a primal knitter’s scream, though, a few hours ago? If so, that might have been me, discovering a bug-created hole in the grey section of that Lizard Ridge block, bottom of the photo, above. A HOLE. IN MY WOOL.

Mama’s got some words for the exterminators tomorrow, OH YES. Mass bugicide is forthcoming to Chez Cadorette tout de suite.

It’s okay, darling. It’s Kureyon. Some darning, maybe a bit of felting action, and we’re golden. *pets* (well. grey. but, you know.)

I am pretty sure I used every single pin in the house blocking three Lizard Ridge blocks, even with the use of blocking wires. Which, as an aside, I’d like to say are one of the best knitting tools I’ve ever purchased myself, second only perhaps to a high quality wooden umbrella swift.

Anything you’ve been putting off blocking? Confess, and be shriven.



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?



January 2012



YarnGeek’s New Clothes

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Well. The blog’s new clothes, anyway. In case there may still be .5 of you out there still reading, you might have noticed in stopping by recently that things have been in a bit of a dither. I’ve been messing about with WordPress templates for weeks now, the final straw coming when one of the template sites I visited was populated with a really horrid faux-security malware. My laptop, she died, and TSH had to resurrect her, and that has taken several more weeks.

But I, like Meg Ryan in French Kiss…I HAVE TRIUMPHED! ~fist~ So take a look around and let me know what you think of the re-design. I’m not entirely convinced I’ll keep it (though after this much work, it goes against the grain to just chuck it and begin again. 🙂 So perhaps I’ll sit with this one for a while?), but for now I think it’s pretty cool.

There has been knitting, not that you could tell from the silence around this place – I finished TSH’s Neverending Skully Scarf of Doooooom on Christmas Day; it awaits weather and schedules to permit a proper photo shoot, but here it was just after completion:

Pardon, if you will, the filthy bathroom mirror, vacation-dressed me, Christmas-tie-dye project tee shirt, etc. You know that’s how we roll around here anyway, yes?



April 2011



Like Days of Yore

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Hello, O Internets! GeekCentral is aliiiiiiiiive!

Well, kind of. I went looking for photos posted through the years here, on Typepad, and with no luck on Blogger because…and it’s hard to say this…I have lost nearly all my daughter’s baby photos. I know. It’s JUST like that. Only worse. We have had to move servers at home several times, and I only just realized that the majority of my photos I had from my daughter’s babyhood lived on our previous internet provider’s servers, and we somehow forgot to transfer them all over. WOE in our house, I tell you.

But hey, this is a knitting blog and I am a knitter and holy yarnballs, I HAVE KNITTED!!

Blue sweater of happiness in progress!

This, my poor neglected .5 readers, is (via crappy cell phone camera photo, in true YarnGeek tradition) the luciousness of Malabrigo, Buscando Azul, which is knitting up into a Pole sweater. (Rav link)

I went to Rhinebeck and came home nearly empty handed, can you believe that? I got two skeins of Sanguine Gryphon yarn because it was there and kind of impossible to resist, but that was pretty much the sum total of my purchases there. But coming up is the annual pilgrimage to Maryland Sheep and Wool, so all is not entirely lost. It’s also my 9th wedding anniversary on May 4th!

We’ve got the beginnings of a garden going as well, so I have more to show you. Also, when I’m not here, I’m over at http://www.lizsquared.com, where I and another Liz (Lizzy B, to my Liz C.) natter on at one another about parenting, being a woman, and stupid stuff that defies categorization. 🙂

How are y’all?



August 2010



Visual Housekeeping

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You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been tweaking the format of the blog a little bit. I had to upgrade both the WordPress template that I use as well as WordPress itself (by TWO versions, bad admin, BAD!), which took a fair bit of grumbling and cursing to accomplish. Now, though I am very happy with the basic framework that the Atahualpa theme provides, I’m feeling like things still need some re-working.

Care to weigh in?

Recent changes visually include altering the background colour of the sidebars from a sort of grey-card grey to the present teal (ETA: I’m back to grey again), and adding the top and bottom bars of burgundy to the header image (ETA: No sooner did I make this post than I decided I didn’t like it after all despite the fact that I adore teal, so I made the two tiny top and bottom bars grey, also.). I can’t decide whether it’s too distracting or kind of fabulous, so let me know what you think on that.

Meanwhile I’ve been considering expanding the height of the header image/logo bar by almost double. This is in part because when I crop my photos to make new headers, it takes an annoying amount of fiddling to get the image portions I want captured into the 250 pixel height that I’m currently using, and I’d like to be able to ease that process so I can have lots more headers to cycle through the carousel. I don’t know how many folks are using lower resolutions that might be irritated by that, though, so weigh in on that too, won’t you?

Meanwhile, I’ve been surfing around checking out WordPress templates hither and yon, and going completely nuts over ColourLovers. They have colour palettes and patterns, and you can easily get lost in there.

While I’m dithering about vital issues like header image pixel heights, I’ve also made some new ones at the current size, so refresh the page now and then if you’re wanting a change of scenery there. 🙂 The only image in any of the headers that I didn’t take myself is the one of the flag, which was taken by The Sainted Husband. I loved how active the flag was in that image so I grabbed it for the blog, plus it makes my (battered but still red-blooded) patriotic heart full of pride.



August 2010



Cooper Circle Caulfield Cap

Written by , Posted in FOs, General, Gifts, Knitting

Well, ok, it’s the Caulfield Beanie, but close enough for alliterative awesome, I think. 🙂

Cooper Caulfield Back

Cooper Circle Caulfield Beanie

This was one of those times when I really wondered if I had gone ’round the bend. I cast on for this thing on Tuesday afternoon (August 17, 2010, Future Self, when you can’t remember and are trying to update your Ravelry page or tell somebody when it was or somebody asks you AGAIN “How long does it take you do something like that?” and you have no idea and go check the blog to find out…) with the express intent of having a birthday present for The Sainted Husband’s birthday on Friday, August 20th.

Cooper Caulfield Decreases

Lovely crown decreases

You might think (unless you are familiar with me and my methods of doing things) that I would choose a simple, fat gauge beanie in all knit stitch, so as to be sure to complete it on time. But NO! It was not to be any such thing. I had in mind something to show off this yarn, which by the way is going to put a serious hurtin’ on me in the future as I will require more of it, so I dug through my Ravelry faves and came upon The Family Trunk Project’s Caulfield Beanie.

Cooper Caulfield Posing

Thoughtful Tom is Thoughtful

Then I considered using a different yarn, because I am in deep smit with this one and wasn’t sure I was ready to give it up, but no. It needed to be his. And so it came to pass that the Caulfield Beanie met Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Worsted in colorway Cooper Circle.

Cooper Circle Caulfield Beanie

I had many a moment of “Oh crap, this thing is ginormous, there’s no way it’s going to fit, wtf was I thinking using this yarn on these needles and…ooooh pretty! squishy! pattern-y!”, but clearly once again the knitting goggles (far less fun than beer goggles) were on and the hat is a good size for him. (That, or he’s just got a truly ginormous noggin, dunno — either way the hat works, so I’ll roll with that. :))

So in summary:

  • Pattern: Family Trunk Project Caulfield Beanie
  • Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Worsted, “Cooper Circle” colorway, purchased from Fibre Space yarn shop in Old Town Alexandria
  • Needles: US 8 Addi Turbo 24″ circular
  • Cast on: 08/17/2010
  • Cast off: 08/20/2010
  • Mods: Just the yarn (though Cormo would NEVER suck, this particular yarn was what I wanted to knit with this time), and using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On method for casting on.
  • Notes: Knitting this thing was awesome. The cast on and set-up row were a bit of a nightmare as it’s a very specific repeat that you really have to pay attention to; I ended up getting to use some of my insanely cute owl and penguin glass stitch markers – 8 of them! – to make it easy to keep track of where I was, but I was dorky and didn’t think to try that until I was a couple rows in, so it was very slow going until then. This yarn is the most exquisite color I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, though the yarn itself was a bit splitty; I am now trying to determine if I could sell off some plasma or something in order to afford a sweater’s worth for myself.



August 2010




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I’ve got some pretty things for sale up on Flickr to try and push us towards replacing our furnace before the cold hits this year. If you’re interested in some lovely wool sock yarns, a pair of  Brittany walnut needles, a trio of fingering weight alpaca in natural colors, and lace yarns, check out my Destash set on Flickr and let me know if you’d like anything. Thanks!



August 2010



I should know better.

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There is something about nearing the end of a project that makes my eyesight diminish and go into the west.

Last night I finished, for the second time, the owl cabling of my o w l s sweater. The first time around, I’d put the whole sweater on different needles because the size 8s were the only ones whose cable was long enough to allow for trying it on, and then forgot to switch back to the 10s. Ooops. Ripped that back to the sleeve/body join, started again with the 10s.


I also apparently knit the sleeves on the size 8s, and didn’t knit them long enough after all, despite having tried them on many (many) times.

Last night, as I knit the neck ribbing and thought in glee of going on a button-eyes supply search online when the sweater was finished, I looked at the ribbing and thought, that looks awesome! ALMOST DONE!! And I knit on in a frenzy.

Then, as I took a short alcohol break (it was that kind of Tuesday), something told me that, before I bound off, I should probably try the sweater on again, just in cases.


So the sweater, although lovely through the bust-shaping, did not fit. It didn’t go up over the tops of my shoulders at all, the sleeves that I wanted to be gauntlet-cuff length were suddenly two inches shorter than when I last tried them on, and all in all it was just…not good.

So. Once again, I will have to rip out my beautiful cabled owls all the way back to the body/sleeve join, only this time I will have to add another 2 or 3 inches to the sleeves, as well as adding maybe 20 more stitches in increases to said sleeves in order to make sure there’s some ease over my upper arms.

Poo. If this thing wasn’t for Rhinebeck, it would go into a probably-multi-month time-out. But it is, and I was just crowing about having found my enthusiasm again, so I refuse to admit defeat.

Gonna need more alcohol, though.



August 2010



Down the Rabbit Hole

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I feel as if I am discovering my knitting all over again.

There was a time in the past couple of years when my knitting (and really, most of my crafting) was stagnant. Nothing felt inspiring, and except for very brief episodes when I would dig into stash or pick up an old project and try to regain my mojo, nothing would stick. I actually began the mental conversation with myself about whether or not it was time to simply gather up all my painstakingly collected tools and supplies and simply sell them off or give them away so that I could seek out what might bring that spark of creativity back into my life. I missed it, that spark, and so even such madness as those thoughts weren’t as appalling as they would have been three years ago.

Slowly, though, and in part I think because I have never stopped reading my blogroll and I have begun to see other — beloved and familiar — voices emerging from hibernation with similar stories, I can feel it coming back to me.

Just this evening in my quiet house I sat down and went looking for the yarn I used to knit my husband’s Valentine sweater (Beck by Jane Ellison; the post for the finished sweater is here) in Ravelry. It’s discontinued, and it appears that full sweaters’ worth of the stuff are thin on the ground, so I decided since I was craving tweed, I’d go see if there was an equivalent yarn floating around out there that I could discover and lay in for a day of inspiration down the road. And with that, I was down the rabbit hole. (that last link is a Rav link and there is talk of a Knitalong for that sweater with the Third Street Ravelers in Philadelphia.)

All of a sudden, not only is my knitting mojo returned (o w l s  sweater nearly done that’s currently on the needles, another sweater swatched for and ready to launch, a third in the works right behind that one and, after this weekend’s visit with Ravelers springviolet and constermonster, I am again craving a sock on the needles), but so has my sewing and crafting desire and inspiration.

The fall Knitscene? I want to knit nearly every item in it. A ton of exciting patterns in the Fall Knitty and Twist Collective issues, too. I’ve got something like four quilts in progress that are suddenly interesting again, and I am getting back into sewing because I discovered that I love retro fashion and the retro inspired items showing up in the Fall couture/RTW collections, and want to attend Viva Las Vegas this year.

I am horribly out of practice in keeping this blog (and thus, you) up to date, and I wasn’t ever particularly good at making sure I took photos of things I knew I wanted to tell you about during the daytime/in good light/in interesting ways to begin with. But I feel as if I owe it to anybody still around to read all this drivel — and to myself, as an exercise in continuing the joyous return of this feeling of…I don’t know, joy in craft? (Anticipation, enjoyment of what’s going on right now, happiness in what’s already been created — the whole circle is suddenly real and interesting to me again, and if there hadn’t been a few old names and faces posting again recently, I don’t know if I would have returned fully to this place.) — anyway, as if it suddenly matters to me again to be here in this space and to share what’s going on with you, even if it’s just to tell you about it when I haven’t got anything in particular to show you.

So. Thanks for being there. What’s new with you?  I really want to know, and I’m excited and interested to see what’s going on all over again. Oh, and before the apologist posts start about how xx post isn’t about knitting or whatever, please know that whatever it is you have to share with me on your blog or in comments, I’m interested in it. (well ok, not interested in the spam…but everything else!) This blog may be called YarnGeek, but really I geek out over all KINDS of stuff, and I’m happy to share it all indiscriminately with any of you still interested in reading about any of it. So Huzzah, y’all. I can’t wait to keep going. 🙂