Renaissance

22 04 2012

Okay, perhaps “renaissance” is a tad dramatic, but it’s absolutely revitalizing to occasionally just let loose creatively. Instead of expecting anything on a deadline, I’ve been knitting whatever I’ve felt like, and it’s been marvelous. I’ve been more excited to get at my knitting than I can recall in the last year.

One thing I’m doing just for me is Beekeeper, AKA the hexipuffing madness of the beekeeper’s quilt by tiny owl knits. While I’ve been collecting bits and bobs for this at will since October, I haven’t had too much of chance to work on it. So I knit up my entire Wollmeise lot and some KPPPM. I plan to do some more after I finish my now giant to-do list.

beekeeper wip 4

This is my hexipuffing basket. That’s yarn, US 4 24″ circulars, US 4 DPNs, one F hook, stuffing and a golf ball, and a pen and notepad to keep track of my yardage. The cute little notepad is from wit & whistle. The basket is vintage and belonged to my grandmother.

beekeeper wip 4 5

After I finished playing with that for a while, I threw myself into another sample knit for Rose Beck. This time it was a lovely gray shawl called Stucco, and knit in Baah! Sonoma in Black Baccara.

stucco 2

I then took a good look at my stash and decided to knit up some lingering worsted single skeins. I started with some handspun done for me by Wendi of Restless Prairie Farms, and worked it up in a cowl. The bfl roving was dyed by Pigeonroof Studios in a lovely colorway called Summer Twilight. I knit it into Stephen West‘s Purl Ridge Scarf.

summer twilight cowl 1

This is March we’re talking about here, so my next two projects were done in honor of Malabrigo March. I had long been intending to knit tiny owl knitsorchids and fairy lights, so I made the hat in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Pearl, and I think it turned out just beautifully.

orchids and fl

I also knit a cowl I had been intending to knit for ages, Thermis by Kris Knits, also in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, this time in Applewood. I do have to admit that I was greatly helped in adapting the pattern by the lovely and detailed notes of raveler saraem.

thermis applewood 2.

Speaking of ravelers, my next project was influenced by my friend Syl, who suggested that I might enjoy trying Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer because she had been knitting them like an addict. I tried it, and it turned out that I did like it. My version was knit in The Plucky Knitter Worsted Merino in Impression.

zuzu impression 3

The last of my single-skein projects was another hat. This one I found at random via Ravelry’s pattern search and just fell in love with. The pattern is Chelsea Market Hat by Caryl Pierre, which I knit in Madelinetosh tosh merino in Rose. I followed the pattern as written with the exception of adding an extra repeat to it in lieu of blocking. I love this hat so much that I would wear it constantly if it were appropriate for April in Texas, which it is not.

chelsea market hat 2

And that’s seven projects, which is as good a stopping point as any, so I guess we’ll pick up next time with Renaissance II: Rise of the Book Nerd.





October November December January

21 04 2012

Haha, I love/hate Twilight, so I couldn’t help but go with the ridiculous New Moon reference, and the months almost even line up, but no I wasn’t mooning over some boy. Holy crap, did the shop take off for the holiday season (continuing into post-Christmas secondary sales for the device sleeves). I stopped sleeping so I could churn out item after item, and it was awesome. It also means that I did very little personal knitting for me or for other people, so for this four-month period, I have six projects.

I’ll always be a fan of giant, chunky self-gratification projects, so I was delighted to knit up this cowl for my bff Susan. She purchased the yarn on our annual pilgrimage to the DFW Fiber Fest with the express intent of dyeing it. It is Cascade Lana Grande, which is super bulky, and she dyed it in coffee. The pattern is from Malabrigo Book 3 (NOM!), specifically Rasta Neckwarmer by Breean Elyse Miller.

mocha cowl 1

My next knit was also Susan’s fault. She knew this lady who was having a baby who needed a sweater, so I knit up this delicious little baby sweater, which is Baby Kina by Muriela. The yarn is in the now defunct Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Shelob (Point Mutation). I did the 3M size and used just under half a skein.

baby kina bugga 1

My next project is a Christmas commission, but I’m listing it here because it predates the shop, and it’s for a dear friend. Bettye occasionally requests knits from me, and this year she asked for red mittens. After some digging, I found this amazing vintage pattern from 1953. The yarn is (of course?) Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Vermillion.

bettye christmas 2011 wip

Sofia’s birthday is in November, so that means that it was time for her annual sweater. She actually picked the same cardigan pattern as last year, but this time in pink. I had some trouble with the yoke stretching, so this year, I used non-superwash yarn, and knit it in the same size, and it fits perfectly. She wears it as often as I’ll let her. The yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Dusty, and the pattern is Tiny Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre.

tiny tea leaves 2011 3

Whoa! Next up Christmas gift knitting! I did very, very little of this in 2011. Really there were two, this hat and some very late socks for my husband. I knit this one for my mother-in-law. The pattern is Crooked Paths, also by Melissa LaBarre. The yarn is Madelinetosh MCN Worsted in Fragrant.

fragrant paths 2

So I finished the hat on December 8, and my next piece of personal knitting was started…January 14, nice little gap there, and really the only thing that drew me out of shop knitting was that Rose needed a sample knit, so I didn’t even knit it for me. I knit the large version of her Stacked Columns Shawl in the utterly delightful The Plucky Knitter Superwash Merino Worsted in Honey Wilkes. I’ve wanted to use this colorway for a long time and it was everything I could have hoped for.

stc 6

And with that, we’ll pick up next at the end of February. The shop finally slowed down in the middle of February, and I took a knitting break for about a week, and then went on to a wonderful, reinvigorating bout of personal knitting. So believe me when I say the next post will be called Renaissance.





Still here!

29 09 2011

Here we are again. I’ve been absent, and as to what I’ve been up to…it’s the usual–knitting. I do love knitting, so even when I’m not blogging, it carries on. Now as to why I haven’t been blogging, well, that’s a longer story. I spent most of July and a little bit of August focus on knitting for the etsy shop and selling locally at The Alley Cat Collective and the Farmers’ Market, and then when I decided to focus less on the shop, I spent time catching up on birthday presents and knits for other people. Then came September, and for the first time in a while, I just knit for me, doing whatever I felt like doing, so I have some finished projects and about 6 WIPS. Good times.  The month and a half shop focus means that I haven’t done all that much that I can share, but I do have a few FOs to share, and I plan to do at least one post about the Texas State Fair.

Let’s dig in. I made a Kindle sleeve at the beginning of June for Bettye’s birthday because she got a Kindle. It also came with a gift card and an offer of unlimited technical support, although she didn’t need that for so long as she picked it up pretty quickly. This one was knit in Mal Worsted in Apricot.

kindle sleeve apricot 3

I then crocheted a birthday present for her son, Robert. I wanted to make him something cool, and it ended up being a little late because it took me a while to find an idea I liked, but I finally settled on amigurumis of his family based on the patterns of Lucy Ravenscar with hair from a tutorial by Geek Central Station. They were knit in Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton and used embroidery floss for hair. I think they went over pretty well, until the dog ate off Robert’s eye. I’m not that upset because, well, who can be angry at a corgi?

rob fam 3

I finished up my knitting in June with Cookie A ‘s BFF socks.  My version was called Pen Pals because it was knit out of my local Tally yarn from vacation, TurtleDove Yarns Pigeon Sock. This was my last successful attempt to participate in the Cookie A Knit. Sock. Love KAL. Oh well.

bff socks 3

I know three FOs in a month is a pretty low count for me. The rest of the time was spent on the shop, so I guess I’ll blog a little about what I learned from that. Let’s see it was fun to see other people enjoy my knits and to see my work going as far as Australia. I enjoyed the actual knitting, and I had fun just following my bliss as far as what to knit next. The best part? Building up my stock of “shop” yarn, by which I mean a fat stack of Malabrigo Worsted. Dreamy. The worst part? The utter lack of personal knitting time. I’ve finished two projects using yarn out of my personal stash in the last four months. Ouch, and I’ve decided to do Stashdown this next quarter. The Farmers’ Market was a delightful way to meet people, but I’m done with it for the year, so I’m now dealing with the much less hectic business through Alley Cat and the etsy shop, and a few Christmas orders. I hope this will allow me to find a better balance between my different types of knitting.

For this section, I’m including a picture of Sammie the Sailor, which I knit for no better reason than I was feeling nautical. He was knit in Malabrigo Worsted in Natural and Marine, from Rebecca Danger‘s Sammie the Sock Monster pattern.

sammie sailor 1

I did knit one non-shop item in July, but I think it will fit better in a later post, so I’m moving on to August, in which I started by doing a pattern sample for Rose. You  know I had to fit one in there, right? This time it was her Strands of Pearls Shawlette in Twisted Fiber Art Playful in Weimaraner and Squoosh Fiberarts Sock in Mocha Kiss. The shawl was a fun knit, but I was really disappointed by the ultimate fate of this shawl, which is to say that it was cruelly lost forever in the US mail system. Thanks, post office. I’m so paranoid now that I’m still adding delivery confirmation to every shipment I send.

sps 3

I think I will wind this post up with one other knit for Rose, and when I say Rose, I mean rather more directly for her, because her birthday is in August. Fellow Rose test-knitter Catrina came up with a brilliant idea. She would spin some yarn and I would knit it into cozy socks for Rose, and even better another tester Jennifer would dye the fiber, so we each did a little bit, and came up with this pair of socks for her.

rose sock 2

The upside/downside (trust me, it’s both) is that Catrina is now spinning for me too. I was already having issues NOT buying fiber, which is hilarious since I don’t spin, and now that I have a spinner on tap, well let’s say I’m in trouble. Here’s what I’ve already stashed from her hands. The first is PRS Superwash Merino in Malarkey and the second is limegreenjelly MCN in Jungle Boogie, both in fingering weight. Gorgeous!

prs merino malarkey 2lgj mcn jungle boogie 1

See you soon; I pinkie swear.





Marching On

30 04 2011

So here we are with the second half of March. I’m beginning to feel like perhaps I was in a knitting rut, because the second half of March looks like the first half. That said, I shook things up a little in April, so it’s not an issue!

I started the second part of March with another hat. This wasn’t so much because I needed a break, but rather because I liked the hat and wanted to knit it, and I need a travel project that was heavy on the stockinette. While this hat has a creative design the part in the middle is just plain ol’ knitting. The pattern is Toorie by Carina Spence and was knitted in madelinetosh tosh merino in norway spruce. This color is fantastic on me. If I ever knit a sweater for myself, it will be in this colorway.

toorie 1

I followed that up with another knit for Rose; this time a cowl. The pattern is Cocoon Me, which is also written for a long cowl and a shawlette, and was knit in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Cognac. I chose not to block mine at all because I loved the texture and was worried about flattening it.

cocoon cowl 2

I rounded out the month with mostly personal knitting. I finished up my lingering KAL project, Marilinda (see project details in this post). I don’t love the fit on these. The intricate design meant that they were less flexible than other socks I’ve knit. You can see on the right foot how the socks bag around my toes, which makes them lovely, but not too practical.

marilinda 5

After knitting on tiny needles, I wanted to switch things up, so I pulled out my US 15s (10 mm), and knit a giant scarf, an Instant Gratification Scarf by Cyn, and they are instant gratification; I’m knitting these for Christmas presents this year. That is to say that I knit half a giant scarf, depending on how you look at it. Gina and I each took one skein of Susan’s Malabrigo Aquarella in Paysandu, and knit different scarves, and then we grafted them together; the project is called Gemini. The result was surprisingly fun. You would really have to look at it to notice that it’s really two scarves. As of note, this picture is only my scarf.

gemini 3

My last project of the month, I knit for no better reason than to please myself. It does happen from time to time. I first got this idea when I saw it on Wit’s project page. One of my main complaints about this generation (Spring 2010) of Knit Picks Felici is that there wasn’t enough variation between the stripes. On Positively Pink and Matador, they were nearly indistinguishable, but here was an idea that took that problem and ran with it. After experimenting, I decided to make my stripes even rather than have them change with the colorways, and I really like how it came out. I plan to do another version with Afternoon from the latest set (Spring 2011) of colorways.

el matador 1

That’s another month finished out! I’ll cover April soon, as in I’m going to go write it now, and post it in a few days. :)





I’d rather be knitting…

30 04 2011

should have been the subtitle of this blog. Why am I such a bad blogger? Because given the choice between, spending 20-30 minutes pounding away on the keyboard and selecting pictures, I’d rather be knitting. Rather than thinking of this as a betrayal to the blog, I’d like to think of it as a serious commitment to my knitting. All that said, the reasons I decided I needed a blog in the fist place are all still valid, so here we are at the end of April, and it’s time to play catch-up again. Worse, I’ll fully admit that I haven’t even thought about designing another pattern and don’t even have anything in the works. Maybe soon?

So where does that leave us? It’s time to do finished objects from March and now April. As to how my knitting time has panned out, I divide it between knitting for the shop, knitting for Rose, and personal knitting (primarily the Cookie A. Knit. Sock. Love. KAL).

Picking up where I left off last time, I have a combination project. While they qualified for the KAL, the primary reason I knit these was as a gift for Claire’s birthday. These are Cookie A‘s Monkey knit in Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Solid in 3003/Strawberry Cream. I think Claire liked them, so I’ll call this one good.

claire's monkey 1

After finishing those, I worked on another sample knit for Rose, this time the delectable Sugared Violets. It was knit in some gorgeous Yarn Chef Minestrone in Afternoon Tea, and was delightfully easy with all the stockinette. I love the attractive crescent shape.

svs 1

I then knit a hat. I find hats are pretty much the perfect breaks between larger projects. Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated with something more complicated, I’ll knit a hat just for the fun of it. Anyway, this particular hat is Norie by Gundrun Johnston and was knit in Sundara Sport Merino in Glacier, which was my first time using this base. I felt that the yarn had at little less of that inner light (stunning gleam?) I associate with Sundara, but I’m knitting another project in it right now that has that shine, so it was probably just the colorway.

norie sundara

I then dived back into the sock KAL, this time knitting the other In and Out sock that I didn’t have time to squeeze into February (see details in the previous post). The socks are pretty, but I’m still not a fan of the base.

in and out 4

I’ll round out this post with a Kindle Sleeve. I think I could knit these in my sleep at this point, so what’s so special about a Kindle Sleeve? Well, a couple of things. First, I upgraded on the yarn on this one; it was knit in madelinetosh tosh merino in ink. Second, it was for an auction to benefit Japan. I’m very proud to say it raised $70.

kindle sleeve japan 3

To honor my two post per month commitment (it’s 4/30 after all), this will be followed directly by a second post covering the remainder of March.





Feb Finished, Finally.

5 03 2011

I couldn’t resist the alliteration, but really two posts isn’t all that bad. Let’s see I finished off last time with a pattern from the talented Rebecca Danger, and that’s exactly where I intend to pick back up, because I can’t stay away from her patterns. She recently released Louie the Lovebot through Knit Picks’ IDP. I tried to resist, truly I did, but it was entirely futile, so I gave in and knit a happy little Valentine’s Day lovebot, which my daughter claimed before I had even finished the first part. The pattern calls for the heart to be done with intarsia in the round, but after two mangled attempts, I gave up and did it in duplicate stitch, and I like how it looks. My daughter named her Purple Glove.

love robot 2

I also knit the iPad Sleeve for the giveaway in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Red Mahogany per Susan’s request. It took me a little longer to get to her than I would have liked, but I’m happy to have been able to do it for her.

cabled ipad sleeve g 1

The reason for the delay on her sleeve was that my father-in-law passed away on the 19th after being admitted to the hospital via the ER on the 14th. In this time of loss, it is truly a wonderful thing to see how many genuine and generous people I have in my life. There were casseroles and meals, people to watch my daughter while I sat with my husband at the hospital, and some truly special people who did nothing more than listen. While I will try to spread around my love and appreciation to everyone that was so supportive, I’d like to particularly thank Abbie right here, who in addition to putting up with and feeding my wild toddler, has gone out of her way to support me personally (notice all the times I thank her for her photography?), and how do knitter’s thank people? With knitting of course, so I made her a pair of SpillyJane‘s new mittens, Camilla. I actually selected the yarn for her pair based on how much she raved about the socks that came from the same skein, which is Dyed in the Wool Handmade Seasocks in Siren. The contrast color is Knit Picks Stroll in Cocoa.

camilla 2

So what’s been missing here? Socks. Oh, sweet socks, victims of my lack of time. I love the Cookie A Knit. Sock. Love. KAL, but I failed in February. Fortunately, it’s a two month KAL, so I can redeem myself by completing them in March. The Feb selections were In and Out and Marlinda.

I finished one In and Out sock in See Jayne Knit Superwash Wool-Nylon Sock Yarn in Crushed Blackberries.

in and out 2

And I knit part of a leg for my Marilinda in SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Riptide. The yarn, by the way, is fantastic. It’s the nicest merino/nylon blend I’ve ever worked with.

marilinda wip

Whew…I think that covers it.  I did a bit more knitting for the shop, but I think there were only two things that were notable. I knit a brown and pink baby blanket…

baby blanket

And another chunk. Okay, so you would think that chunks at this point aren’t that impressive, but I have a special place in my heart this one. Introducing Miserable Mavis, the emo chunk.

miserable mavis

Here’s to a hopefully productive March.





Case of the Mondays (Pattern)

16 02 2011

I had an idea for a hat, sometime in December, but every time I picked up the needles to try it out it came out wrong. I then realized that this issue was that I was using the completely wrong stitch pattern. Once I worked that out, it was a fairly rapid knit. I finished the entire hat in one Monday evening, and I’m happy with the results. The hat is called Case of the Mondays because I like Office Space, because it was knit on a Monday, and most importantly because the whole time I’d been knitting the wrong hat.

case of the mondays blue 3

case of the mondays gray 1

Disclaimer: There was no hypnosis used in the creation of this hat.

Case of the Mondays

  • Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Yarn Chunky, 104 yards (95 m). This pattern uses exactly one skein, down to the last inches. To compensate there are two versions. Colorway shown is Buscando Azul.
  • Needles: US 10 – 6.0 mm and US 11 – 8.0 mm, 40″ or longer for magic loop, or use your preferred circular knitting method.
  • Size: 18″ (46 cm) at the brim, 9″ (23 cm) tall.
  • Gauge: 12 stitches and 16 rows = 4″ (10cm) in stockinette.
  • Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker to denote beginning of round.

This hat is worked in the round and has a slight slouch caused by knitting the main body on larger needle in addition to stitches added in an increase row after the brim.  It is knit in waffle stitch. Instructions for the larger version are given in parentheses.

1×1 Ribbing:  

*K1, P1* around.

Waffle Stitch:

Rounds 1 & 2: Knit around.
Rounds  3&4: *K2, P2* around.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

With, smaller needle CO 56 stitches. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist.

For brim, knit in 1×1 Ribbing for 1.5″

Change to larger needles.

Increase Row: *K4, M1, K3, M1* around to 72 sts.

Knit hat in waffle pattern, repeating 7 (8) times total, 28 (32) rows.

Row 1: Remove marker, k1, replace marker, this is the new beginning of round, *SSK, K2tog* around, 36 sts.
Row 2: Knit around.
Row 2:  *K2tog* around, 18 sts.
Row 3: *K2tog* around, 9 sts.

Break yarn, pull through remaining stitches, and weave in ends. Block as desired.

case of the mondays blue 2

case of the mondays gray 2



Happy knitting!

The lovely photographs were taken by Abbie, a.k.a. The Green Wife, and the blue hat model is Soose.








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