Friday, December 15, 2006

Knitters Without Borders

No time for a proper update — your irregularly scheduled blogging will be back after Christmas.

But for right now, go read this. Now go make a donation. Even if all you can afford is $5 (two cups of bad coffee at a gas station), then give that much. Stephanie makes her case eloquently so I'll say no more here. Go now!

And Happy Christmas.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Flowers For Nanny

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once I actually sat down and worked on Rhiannon's Flower Basket Shawl, it went together very quickly. I really love this pattern, and as this is the second of the three I'll be making, I guess that's just as well. This took longer than the one I made back in January (9 days, people), but I don't have nearly as much dedicated knitting time now as I did back then — so what're ya gonna do? It was still faster than the Ragnarok Shawl.

There is something so very cool about blocking a shawl. Others have written about this marvelous phenomena, so I'm repeating old news here, but blocking lace is just groovy. Steph has likened pre-blocked lace to Ramen noodles — and she does have a point.

I do think that I'll be adding blocking wires to my Christmas wish list this year. I never seem to be able to put quite enough pins across the top of a shawl to make it as straight as my little anal-retentive heart desires.

Project Specs:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Under Construction

Please pardon my mess -- my blog Template is under construction. I'm in the process of re-vamping my sidebar.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Death of a Dear Companion

I've no pictures of completed works to show you, but I have been a busy girl the past two weeks or so. My beloved and trusty Singer machine, my fiber-companion of some 18 years passed into the veil two weeks ago. By which I mean, in my overly dramatic way, the tension is frelled beyond all hope of my repairing it. I borrowed my bestest Gretta's machine to finish the Halloween costumes. (Y'all did catch that it decided to bite the big one a week before Halloween, right?) Her machine is a simple two stitch machine (it does straight and zig-zag) and yet it ran so much more smoothly and efficiently than mine. I believe that my poor old machine had been ailing for some long time, but I had acclimated myself to its ways, and did not see.

This is the part where I explain that my husband is the most marvelous creature in all this Middle.... Tennessee. (Sorry, I've been having my annual re-watching of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It makes me talk funny.) Anyway, point being, that when my sewing machine died, my old-man first spent several hours trying to make it be go. He doesn't know from sewing (in fact he's nervous of the whole concept of making things with string) but he does know machines. When that failed utterly, and I was sort of staring blankly in shock and horror at the carcass of my beloved (and filthy! How come I never noticed it was so dirty?) machine, he says to me, he says, "Baby, you've got to have your tools."

I love that man.

I spent the next several days researching my options, and am now the proud and ecstatic owner of a new Brother 6000. I'm a fickle creature I am, as I'm already so enamored of my new machine that I'm like "Singer? Singer who?" Frailty, thy name is seamstress.

Dude. It has 60 stitches.

I'm a happy woman.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Okay, here are the promised pictures of my Ragnarok shawl. I know this is totally old news, but hey, the pictures are pretty, and I did say that I'd post them.

In other news, I'm on the edging of the Pallette Flower Basket Shawl for Rhi. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the weekend. Its a quick knit, and I hope that I'm not too sick of it before I finish the one I'm promised to make for my friend Alisha. Next in queue, however, before I make FBS #3, is the Swallowtail Shawl (also designed by Evelyn Clark).

When I grow up, I'm so totally designing lace shawls and stoles.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Chaos is Come Again

Its finished. Done. Kaput. Through. The End Times are upon us, and I finished the Ragnarok Shawl (formerly known as the 2nd Mystery Shawl).

I have to tell you, I'm glad I did it. I learned a lot, and its a lovely shawl. That said I will NEVER EVER NEVER (I feel very emphatic on this point) NEVER knit the thing again. When I grow up and design shawls they will not have three feet of cast off edge across the top. No indeedy.

Here it is in its pre-blocked, just-off-the-needles, dental floss state. (Please to ignore the funky mattress under the shawl.)

And here it is a-blockin' -- And now that I look at the picture the left hand side is pinned a bit crooked, but I'm not going back to fix it now.

Project Specs:
  • Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow 100% Merino, Oregon Coast colorway, 1.65 hanks (approx. 700 yds.)
  • Needles: Addi Turbo circulars, size 7
  • Pattern: Mystery Shawl 2 by Renee

And the only reasonable response to finishing such a momentous and large project? Just a little bit of a Flower Basket Shawl. You know, just to take the edge off.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

About Daddy

Earlier I explained that my father's death was one of the reasons that I needed a break from this blog for a while. I just ran across a comment that he left in the last post I made before he died.

The various kntting projects look wonderful. I am astounded at your speed and skill. Knitting is not an easy skill, but once mastered it seems to proceed on its own, the inner life taking charge and setting the spirit free to contemplate, pray, adore and dream of many things.

Thanks, Daddy.

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Neil Andrew Mogensen
November 29 1937 - May 21 2006

Questions Answered

My lovely Jess leant me her camera, so this post ought to be a little more interesting to look at, at least. I have started working on the Ragnarok Shawl again. I've earned three penguins since I posted last. (Reward sticker for each repeat completed. Look, I need what motivation I can get, okay?)

Elizabeth asked, in the comments, about whether or not the intarsia skull n' cross bones on the Pirate Sweater for Mr. Adorable is centered correctly. Well, as far as I can tell, yes. Now the pattern does have two different charts, depending on size, so my guess is that the person who was having troubles may have been using the wrong chart.

Now, all of that only applies to horizontal placement. If she's referring to vertical centeredness, I'll have to get back to you.

In other news, I've finally gotten pictures of some finished objects. I realized that I also need to bump up both my "started" and "finished" counters. I'll worry about that later though. On to the pictures!

First, socks. Now, these are cool because at no point during the construction of these socks did I refer to a pattern. Nawp, not once. Yeah, I'm that cool. I used Knitpick's Palette in peach on size 3 needles.

I've also finished a Warshcloth of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame. I used Peaches N' Cream, or possibly Sugar N' Cream. Cream was involved anyway.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Knitting, Quilting and Christmas

I haven't accomplished a bloody thing in terms of knitting in FOREVER. I have a fingerless flamin' glove (one glove, mind you -- I do have two hands) nearly finished. I have one (yep, one) Glad Raggs sock done and about half of one (there's that number again) dancing toe up sock done. I still haven't finished the edging on the eternally unfinished MS2 shawl. Grrrr.....

I bet it would be totally counter-productive to cast on a new shawl or a third pair of socks, huh?

On the other hand, now that my sewing room is mostly re-arranged, I've started sewing again. I threw together a dress for Morgan that I cut out for her last year (luckily her growing has all been up this year. It still fits). So that's a project finished, and some RAM freed. I've also made two more Dear Jane blocks, bringing my total up to 38. I decided that I'm going to have to seriously rethink my layout -- I'll post specifically about that later.

I've also started working on some Christmas presents. I am hoping to actually have things finished before, you know, December 25th this year. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Longish While

It has been several months since my last post. While I have been silent, I haven't stopped knitting...exactly.

Here's what's been going on. In May, my dad (and one of the chief readers of this blog) died of a long and protracted illness. I am so very glad that he is no longer in pain, but I needed a little time before I was ready to come back here.

In other news, I was promoted at work to an Ops Lead position. This means more money (hooray!) and less time to knit at work (boo). By less time, please understand that I mean "none."

So there you have it. I'm still alive, still kickin', still knittin', about to learn spinnin' (thanks Jess!), and fixin' ta get back into quiltin'.

And that's all the news that's fit to print.

Oh wait, and one other thing: Rowan (of the adorable sweater-grubbing) has started Kindergarten. He had his little pre-Kindy-garden test today and they said he did very well and they were looking forward to having him. Woo hoo!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

That Which Is Gonna Be

Earlier this week I posted on the projects that I have in progress (with the notable exceptions of the "rilly sekrit gift for someone who doesn't read this blog" which I cannot show pictures of for reasons that ought to be obvious, and of the green spring tank top that was at work the day I hornswaggled Jess' camera.)

So anyway, I digress. Frequently.

While I was out takin' pictures of my current and recently completed projects, I also took artistic, gardenish shots of the projects that I've lined up in my queue.

Here we have a project I'm pretty excited about. there are a lot of things about this little stripedy cardigan that I really like. (Oddly, one of the things I really like is also one of the things that I'm proposing to change....the color scheme).

What I don't like is the construction (seaming up ickle stripes doesn't sound like my idea of a good time), and the weird poofty ribbing thing around the bottom.

So, in an unpredented fit of ballsyness, I decided to revamp the pattern. The swatch there is my idea for a new color scheme. More details as I have them.

For Rhiannon's birthday, I intend to reprise the Flower Basket Shawl in another gauge. I'll be using Knitpicks Palette in Fog. I plan to up to size 9s or so, to make it nice and airy. I should swatch. Wouldn't that be craziness?

I must admit, I find it mildly disconcerting that I'm making such a "grown up" item for this daughter. Scroll up a second and look at the cardigan I'm about to make Morgan....when did Rhi grow up? Where was I when that happened? The sweater I'm knitting Morgan is more like what I'm making Rhi "ought" to be like, ya know? In that place inside my head where Rhiannon is still six?

In other news, I've also got another Flower Basket Shawl lined up for a friend who is going to pay me actual pennies. (I'm excited.) I'll be using Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Midnight. I plan to use size 8s, or maybe 7s....we'll see how it goes. I'm looking for that balance between too airy and too small.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

That Which Is

While I don't actually sit around and try to come up with abstruse or bizzare titles for my posts, I do seem to have a knack for it, don't I? I want to show a bit of my current projects, and a bit of what I'm lining up to work on next. Hence the title. These fall under the "That Which Is" category. Tune in for "That Which Will Be" and pictures of upcoming projects.

First we have That Shawl. You know the one. The one I will be knitting during Ragnarok, when I bless out Fenris for eating the sun, because its TOO DARK TO SEE TO KNIT!

And a close up of the lace edging:
This beauteous piece of work is in Knitpicks Shadow, a 100% Merino lace weight wool in "Oregon Coast" The variagations in this yarn are lovely.

Behold sock #1 of "Gladd Raggs." I'm way behind the group on this bad boy, they were supposed to be done on April 1. Alas. Woe. Etc.

I'm actually considerably farther along on this now than I was when the picture was taken. I've turned the heel and begun decreasing the gussets. I've also altered the pattern to continue the lace down the front of the sock. We'll see how that goes, ya?

And finally, of course, Rowan's ARRRRR Pirate Sweater. Since this picture was taken I've actually worked the intarsia up to the crossed bones. I hate intarsia. In case I hadn't mentioned that yet, here in this forum, let me just put it out there in front of godandeverybody, I hate intarsia. Evil, evil, needleart from tartoros. (Please note that I am not objective on this subject.) So why am I knitting this sweater, you ask? Dude, have you met my son? He has Jedi mojo, a helmet of +2 Cuteness and Persuasion.....I'm besotted. Is the thing.

You can't see much from the pictures. It's black and cream Lion Brand WoolEase, and all but about 2/3 of the front is completed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring Has Sprung!

The grass is ris!
I wonder where the birdies is?

Things are spring all over here in Middle Tennessee. We have entire flox in our front yard. The trees are blooming, the noses are running—in short, its my very (second) favorite time of year. And with the world around me being so industrious, how could I help but get caught up in all of the very NEW-ness of everything?

What does this mean? Why, new knitting projects of course!

But before I show you what's coming up in my queue, I'd like to point out that I have finished something. The observant among you will have noticed that my counter now reads "4" projects finished in 2006, and Morgan's Heart Cardie's ickle meter is up to 100%. Yes, genties and ladlemen, I finally finished the sweater that I started knitting her back in 2003. Good thing I was bollocks with gauge back then, because it fits her perfectly now.

I like to call this next shot my "Heathcliff on the Moors" photo. I would like to state for the record that the child loves her new sweater, and was grinning like a fool the 15 seconds before and after this picture was taken. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Book Review: Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis

I'll start out by saying that I have a particular fondness for cables. The traditional styling, the celtic flavor.... I'm all over that. However, it is very often the case that the knitting patterns that utilize cables have a tendency to fail to live up to the promise of their design elements. The sweaters are, in a very real way less than the sum of their parts. Or, to be less tactful, they suck.

This is not the case with Fiona Ellis' new book Inspired Cable Knits.

It is very rare that I look through a new knitting book and find even two patterns that I would consider knitting. From this book I can think of four off the top of my head that I am seriously considering knitting (and here's the kicker) for myself. Yes, Ellis includes a size range from XS up to, in some cases, a 52" chest.

The very best part of the book though, is Ellis' commentary on the design process. The book is broken into four basic design concepts or inspirations: time, change, energy, and nature. Each design reflects in some way its parent category, with detailed descriptions of why she chose each element.

Each sweater is laden with symbolic meaning, what do the empty spaces represent? Why does the cable curve to the right rather than to the left? There is a language hidden within each sweater, a secret communication between the knitter and her project.

The concept of mindful, symbolic meaning within a project deeply appeals to me. I am inspired, much as the book's title promises, to not only create some of the sweaters held between the pages of the book, but also to deepen and enrich the intention hidden within my own designs.

Projects Completed in 2006

  1. Flower Basket Shawl
  2. Rhiannon's Magic Stripe Socks
  3. Half-Circle Pi shawl for Morgan
  4. Heart Cardigan for Morgan
  5. Funkadelic Warshrag
  6. Peach Socks
  7. Mystery Shawl 2 Ragnarok Shawl
  8. Flower Basket Shawl for Rhiannon
  9. Calico Yarf Scarf for Gretta

Projects Begun in 2006

  1. Flower Basket Shawl
  2. Mystery Shawl 2
  3. Glad Raggs
  4. Arr! A Pirate Sweater
  5. Tank Top
  6. Peach Socks
  7. Funkadelic Warshrag
  8. Better Be Gryffindor! Scarf
  9. Dancing Sockies
  10. Flamin' Fingerless Gloves
  11. Rhiannon's Flower Basket Shawl
  12. Calico Yarf Scarf
  13. Cream Eyelet Socks

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nothing to see here folks, move along

So, I wonder if I should count sewing projects in my "started/finished" counter? Possibly, I am overthinking this. On hand the first, this is a blog wherein I have occasionally mentioned other crafts. You know, like quilting. I also sew. I initially intended this as a knitting blog, but dude, I barely have enough RAM (random access memory) to keep up with this blog. Its not like I'm gonna start a second sewing/quilting blog. Now, on the other hand (I do have two, ya know), I had originally intended the counter to motivate me to finish knitting projects.

Why do I keep insisting on compartmentalizing my life?

I put together a seriously cute bag for the Bardic Olympics. I'm gonna try to borrow Jess' camera to get a picture of it before it escapes out into the world. I'm meant to make a ritual robe for Himself this evening. See? If I counted those, my numbers would totally go up.

I'm such a dork.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Shawl? What shawl?

I think that my grand plan to complete my shawl through slow but steady progress would ultimately be more successful if I were to ever, say, pick it up. I haven't knit a single lacey stitch since I publicly announced I would complete two repeats a day. I think I'm just tired of the durn-blamed thing. I will do better.

Meanwhile, I have completed the back of Rowan's pirate sweater up to the point where I need to start shaping for the armholes. Go me! He is really excited about it — I picked up the sock I'm working on and he said "But I want you knit my pirate sweater!" Demanding little booger.

And, speaking of the socks, I'm an entire 13 rows into the Glad Raggs pattern. Size 1 needles are wee and ickle, and sharp. Ouch. That's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Case of Startitis

Apparently too much knitting monogamy is bad for you. That's the excuse I'm looking to use anyway. I'm at the point in the MS2 shawl where I will be adding edging until I die. In fact, I'll die, and I'll keep knitting the edging onto this shawl.

So, my current plan is to do at least 2 full repeats a day. That will effectively bind off 10 stitches a day. Until I die. Yup.

Image hosting by PhotobucketSo, meanwhile I've started a pirate sweater for Rowie, from Little Badger Knitwear by Ros Badger and Elaine Scott. There is serious cuteness ahoy.
I cast-on on Sunday and have finished two sleeves and about 1/3 of the back. Dude, I so rock. This sweater will be done before I die, yessirreebob, in fact it could totally be done before the four year old graduates from college from kindergarten. He is already highly enamored of it. You'll remember how excited he was about his Weasley sweater.

I've also begun the Gladd Raggs socks from the Six-Sox Knitalong. I'm using lang jawoll in a brown/natural ragg -- its groovy, it even comes with extra ickle yarn for the toesies and heel. Hee. Who knew that reinforcing yarn would make me giddy?

For yet another child, Morgan this time, I am planning a stripedy cardigan. I am loosely basing it off of a pattern in the 2005 Knit It mag. By loosely I mean "am totally re-working the directions, shaping and making up. In different yarn." This will be more of a "inspired by" project. I am pretty proud that I have progressed to a point in my knitting where I feel confidant enough to do that. Which is not to say that it will work, mind you, but I'm brave enough to try.

Rhiannon will be receiving a Flower Basket Shawl in the medium-gray Knitpicks Palette, and I'm comissioned to do another for a friend out of Midnight Alpaca Cloud. My queue is filling right back the hell up.

What happened to February is For Finishing you ask? Dude. Its March. March is for Making (New Things). Get with the times.

Okay so I totally intend to keep working on finishing things. Really.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby

Jess' post about her pretty girl prompted me to take a turn bragging about one of my kids as well. Rhiannon turned an amazing 12 years old this past Thursday. Happy birthday my beautiful, talented, amazing girl.

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Here she is with her Olympic Gold scarf. Yeah, she made that. All by her onesies, and in plenty of time to get the gold. I am so proud of her.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

This is me, still working over time

Man, I'm even starting to bore myself.

Although I've been striving mightily, my knitting monogamy came to a screeching halt. I've started working on the tank top I keep in my drawer at work (emergency knitting). I'm also starting to plan the pirate sweater I'm going to knit Rowan.

This morning as I'm driving to work I'm on the phone with Carl, getting him to measure the gauge of Rowan's Weasley sweater for me. All so I can do math to plan the sweater here at work. I am such a dork.

Monday, March 06, 2006

All of your overtime are belong to us

Still no gold.

Still working overtime.

Still too lame tired to blog properly.

The hateful shawl is proceding apace — I have the edging approximately 1/3 down. We hates it forever, precious. It is going to be a lovely shawl.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Blog button!

So, in a fit of frustrated creativity, I made myself a blog button. The back ground for the button is Rowan's Weasley sweater (which he has nearly outgrown, by the by).

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I didn't get the gold

My plans for the Knitting Olympics did not include the national roll out of Borders Rewards, nor 11+ hours of mandatory overtime. Alas! Woe! While I might be able to afford some yarn, I did not finish my shawl.

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This is me, Sunday night.

I think this picture speaks for itself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Olympic Progress

My Olympic progress thus far has been (in my not so very humble opinion) pretty spectacular.

Day 1: completed Clue 1 and a few rows of Clue 2
Day 2: completed Clue 2
Day 3: completed all but a skosh of Clue 3
Day 4: completed Clue 3
Day 5: a day of rest

My big plan for this evening includes watching more Olympics and picking up approximately 5 trillion ickle stitches in my lace weight merino. That'll be fun.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pre-Olympic Jitters

Well, I haven't finished anything else. I have made some progress however. My green tank top is coming along nicely, and I guess I better find the pattern soon so I can do the shaping. I've also been working on Morgan's Cardigan. I engineered the shaping for the cardigan front neck(s), and figured out a button-hole that would suit my purposes. I have the second front about 1/4 of the way done. Then I have sleeves and the making up.

Meanwhile, in Harlot-town and Torino both, the Olympics are starting tomorrow. Which means my other finishing efforts are going to be set aside until the MS2 is complete. I am rationalizing thusly: Stephanie allowed for swatching, and I figure if something's swatched then its started. Therefore, the MS2 qualifies for both events. Tidy, eh?

I'm not feeling an overwhelming landslide of finished-ness. I keep repeating to myself "You went from 19 UFOs down to is February 9.....this is a marked improvement.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Drive By Posting

Its my day off so, rather than write about knitting I'm going to go curl up with a cup of tea and knit read a romance novel. More news (with pictures!) tomorrow.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

How Cool am I? Or, "And Then There Were Seven"

So, in a fit of extreme groovitude, I finished Rhiannon's socks last night. That's right folks, I finished my first UFO on the first of February.


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And the ubiquitous "Sock on Feet—Action Shot!"

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Project Specs
  • Lionbrand Magic Stripes sock yarn in colorway "Purple"
  • Two size 2 circulars
  • CO 60 sts.
  • Project begun — some time in December 2005
  • Project finished — February 1, 2006

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

February is For Finishing, Day One

Okay, I'm all excited, because I've roped three other fools serious knitters into Finishing with me. In my incredible geekitude, I've even made a blog button and added a list on the sidebar.

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As we finish things, let me know, and I'll start a counter, and post either a link or a picture of the item, if you have one.

I have kicked major patoockus on Rhiannon's second sock, and might conceivably have it finished today or tomorrow. Now wouldn't that rock?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Ugly Truth About the UFO situation

So, I bit the bullet and rounded up all of my knitterly UFOs, in order to begin preparations for "February is For Finishing." After piling 19 (yes, that's as in "Nineteen") projects on my bed, many begun over 2 years ago, I considered renaming the month "February is for Quitters who hide under their beds rather than face up to three years of accumulated unfinished crap"—but really, that's too long and not at all catchy.

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After ruthless consideration, I've frogged and flung my way down to 8 projects that I intend to finish. At least three of them are major, large scale projects. And whose stupid idea was this anyway?

February is For Finishing:
The two shawls, the afghan and the poncho are each more than enough to be going on with. February isn't 'til tomorrow and I'm already feeling the onset of panic. Dude. There ain't no way.

Friday, January 27, 2006

February is for Finishing

February is also for Frogging, and Flinging (as in “out of a moving vehicle”).

I hereby declare February the official month of uFo banishment. Who’s with me?!? Who else would love to start March with out any unfinished knitterly objects? Who else wonders if that’s actually possible?

But wait! We’ll have none of that silly “You’ve got to be out of your frickin’ mind” kind of talk here, no sirreebob. February has 28 entire days in it. That’s *drags out virtual calculator* 672 entire hours! How much could you finish in that amount of time?

oFFicial rules For February is For Finishing
  • during the First week of February, uFos should be Found and indentiFied
  • appropriate ways of dealing with uFos include: Finishing, Frogging and in certain extreme cases, Flinging
  • blogging should occur to detail the process. It’d be cool if we had a running tally of FFOs —February Finished Objects

The observant among you will have noticed that February is For Finishing might interfere with The Olympics. To that I say… Not necessarily! After all, part of the whole point of Stephanie’s challenge is to finish whatever project you choose. Now, I can certainly see that those 16 days might cut seriously into some UFO banishment time, but hey, there are 12 entire other days in February. Ya bunch of whingers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Kniting Shop in the Boro!

Gretta and I made a wonderful discovery last week. There is a new LYS in town. (By "Gretta and I" please understand that she said "Hey, did you know that there is a new yarn shop in town?" One of her co-workers told her about it.)

She and I had a date for lunch and fiber-frolicking last week (Hobbidy Lobbidy had their knitting paraphernalia on sale 1/2 off). So, after she made her startling pronouncement, I set to Googling, found the place and called to ask for their hours.

Let me just say now that I am both quite pleased, as the place is beautiful, reasonable in terms of their prices, and really accessible, but also more than a little bit jealous. Man, I want a Knitting/Quilting store when I grow up.

Anyway, with Meredith's permission, I made a button, and have linked to their website. To size it for my side bar I set it at height=50 width=120

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Oh, and the store's name? The Knaughty Knitter. Hee.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

For my first major accomplishment of 2006, I knit "grown up lace"—Evelyn A. Clark's Flower Basket Shawl, initially published in Interweave Knit's Fall 2004 issue.

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(For those keeping score, I also really want to knit the sweater on the front cover).

The shawl was knit from Knitpicks' Shadow in Campfire. It's a 100% merino wool laceweight yarn at an insanely affordable price. Something like $2.39 per 440 yard hank. I am absolutely in love with this yarn. On size 7 needles, it knit up into a gorgeous fabric that blocked like a dream. Oh yeah baby, will I knit more shawls outta this stuff. (I already have Oregon Coast lined up for the MS2, and have four skeins of Vineyard for I dunno know what yet.)

Now, on to the pictures!

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Why this lace pattern is called "Flowerbasket" is beyond me. Looks more leafy-like, ya know?

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I call this shot "Shawl with Obligatory Cat"

Project Specs

  • Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. Published in IK F'04
  • Yarn: Knitpicks' Shadow "Campfire" 100% Merino Laceweight one 440 yd. hank
  • Needles: Addi Turbo size 7 24" circulars
  • Date begun: December 28, 2005
  • Date finished: January 7, 2006
  • Total cost for materials: $2.39
Go Me!

Monday, January 23, 2006


I have recently discovered that I really like knitting socks. I like it enough that I'm bound to get myself in trouble with it. (6 Sox Knitalong and 200Sox spring to mind....)

I have Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks and Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I haven't actually knitted anything out of the second yet, but I've heard nothing but good things about Nancy Bush. I have used Schurch's book, and I love it. It has instructions for 4 dpn, 5 dpn and 2 circular methods, side by side in a chart, and includes enough variations to keep you busy for the rest of your natural life. Its a book that encourages design, rather than a "recipe" book for socks. Bush's book is more the latter, but her recipes are so good, its hard to complain.

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My first pair of "grown up" socks were knit from Schurch's book. I used the garter rib pattern with two size 2 circulars. The yarn is Peter Pan Wendy (a baby fingering yarn) and my only regret is that, at the end of the day, its acrylic. Its a lovely soft, ickle acrylic, but acrylic nae-the-less. So, they make better "wear in the house socks" than "wear in the tennis shoes" socks. In any case, they are pretty good lookin' if I do say so myself. (And I do).

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I have also been working on socks for Rhiannon (who, at 11 has feet almost exactly the same size as mine). I've been designing PoA-style Ravenclaw socks for her. I'm not entirely happy with how they came out, but she seems pretty pleased. The yarn is Knitpicks' Essential in Navy and Ash. I used two size 2 circulars for the cuff and leg, and switched to size 1 dpns for the foot. If I had them to do over again, I'd do the whole sock in 1s. I like the fabric much better that way. They are finished save the toes—they turned out about 1/2 an inch too short, so I'm ripping back and doing the toes a second time.

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(N.B. They aren't quite as squanchy in real life. They look funny because I'm holding the 16 live stitches at the top with 2 dpns.)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Side Bar Tally Dealy

I think that I should start a running tally of projects completed vs. projects started during 2006. I mean, afterall, how better to know whether or not I'm living up to my goal of finishing more than I start? Plus, that'll give me something else to crowd up my sidebar.

Since it's only January 21, I figure I still have time to get my math sorted out before it becomes impossible to keep it straight.

Begun in 2006:
  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Tank Top, loosely (very loosely) based on a design from a Knitter's mag

Finished in 2006:
  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Half-circle pi shawl for Morgan (begun in 2003, more on that later)

Hmm.... so far I'm two for two.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Olympic Knitting Hopefuls

Still pondering the big Olympic Knitting question. Above and beyond Stephanie's requirements (mainly that the project be personally challenging and that it not be cast on before February 10), I have some individual requirements of my own.

  • Its gotta be out of my stash. I am a bit on the financially impaired side these days, so my desire to knit Knitty's Bristow is to be temporarily thwarted. Not that I don't have yarn, mind you…. I mean I totally do have yarn. I just don't have the yarn for Bristow. Or for anything else I'm ever likely to ever want to knit. But really that's a post for a different day.
  • It has to be something that I can knit while at work. There is a fine line between interesting enough to keep me occupied, but yet not so "interesting" that I can't knit it and call stores about their Online Reserve Alerts at the same time.
  • It cannot be mind-numbingly boring. Maybe this should be a subheading of the above requirement. I mention it because I'm actually considering doing my PoA-style Griffindor scarf. It definitely meets my first two requirements, but I'm not sure it meets this one. It does have the "every yea so often color change" to keep it from total yawn-dom, but 9 billion miles of stockinette is still 9 billion miles of stockinette.
  • Must not be hinky, manky, funky, or any other derogatory adjective that ends in "-ky"

  • At this point my real contenders seem to be the Mystery Shawl Along 2 Shawl and the previously mentioned Harry Potter scarf. Also in the running, however, are the Mystery Shawl Along 1 Shawl, the wassname Shawl from last Fall's Vogue Knitting (this presupposes that I can find the bloody magazine its in), or possibly some groovitundinous socks. The socks would have to be a bit above and beyond the standard rib-cuff/stockinette foot style in order to qualify.

    Maybe I should spend tomorrow hunting through my stash, in order to more fully appreciate my options.

    ETA: I found the Vogue Knitting magazine, and the other shawl is #15 "Lace Wrap."

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    2006 Knitting Olympics

    Stephanie, aka "The Yarn Harlot," has proposed a challenge. She has declared "The Knitting Olympics" and dares anyone fool enough to follow her to cast on a project of olympic proportion on February 10th, and moreover to have it finished by February 26, when the Olympics are over. That's 16 days of hard core knitting time.

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    I, being fool enough to follow nearly anybody anywhere if there's knitting to be had, signed up at once. I have a little less than a month to train.....and I don't know what sport I'm competing in yet. What would constitute a goodly challenge for me to complete in 16 days? By "goodly challenge" I mean a project that it is physically possible to knit in that period. Those of you itching to suggest "Acura Cozy" can just shut right the hell up.

    To date, I have knitted some wondrous, dare I say pre-Olympic feats. I made Rowan's Weasley in 8 days. I knitted the Flower Basket Shawl in 9 (I just finished blocking it last weekend. Pictures to be forthcoming.) I made Rhiannon's birthday shawl last year in about a week. I need a challenge. I need my head examined.

    What to knit? What to knit....

    Friday, January 13, 2006


    I know I'm a mite late getting on the resolution band-wagon, but well, we're doing our January Full Moon (when we traditionally state our goals for the year) tomorrow night, so actually I'm early. Yeah.

    I've been cruising some blogs, looking at other people's resolutions, and thinking about my own. Initially, I had been separating my "real life" resolutions from my "knitting" resolutions. But you know, that's kinda silly. A) I knit in my real life. That's part of who I am. Der. B) If I am to genuinely make real and meaningful changes in my life, they will (ideally) affect all aspects of my life. So what's to separate?

    My primary goal this year is to establish, or in some cases reestablish meaningful routines into my life. Since I've gone back to work, many of my old routines no longer apply. Also, the addition of two adults into our household has changed the shape of my life. New routines must be established.

    I figure I can get a lot of mileage out of this:

    • diet and exercise -- I'd like to pack a "real" lunch more often, rather than a frozen one. Also, I'd like to start walking in the evenings
    • financial -- wouldn't it be lovely to pay all of one's bills, balance one's checkbook and maybe even save a little at the end of the day? <----- work in progress
    • personal -- I want to take an extra 10 minutes at the end of the day to pamper me. Lotion up my legs, drink some tea.... that sort of thing
    • knitting! -- (you knew I was going to bring it up eventually, eh?) I want to finish more of what I start. In fact, this year I want to go out on a crazy limb and finish MORE than I start. Trust me, I have enough UFOs that this ought to be possible. Furthermore, I want to push my envelope. I want to get better at this craft, try new things. I also want to make myself a real garment. The trick here is getting over feeling like I'm knitting for Omar the tent-maker. Just cuz I'm fat doesn't mean I don't deserve lovely things to wear, does it?
    I suppose this is enough to be going on with. Oh, one more thing. I want to blog more often, more consistantly, and Christ-on-a-cookie, with better pictures. Santa, can I have a digital camera?