Renaissance II: Rise of the Book Nerd

23 04 2012

I like to pretend that I’m not flying my book nerd flag all the time, but let’s be honest. I read, constantly, either on my Kindle or by taking advantage of that awesome double dose audible subscription I got when my husband bought his fifth gun. This, in turn, tends to creep into my knitting, sometimes subtly. Perhaps no one was looking, but I did really do a three series shawl set for Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Miss it? That would be Northern Lights (after the UK title of The Golden Compass), The Subtle Clothilde (the second book always makes me think of fresh blood), and The Amber Aeslight.

I bring this up because this particular post will highlight two (three if I’m being honest) projects inspired by books in one way or another. The first one isn’t so subtle because, well, there’s a freaking mockingjay pin right in the picture. Unless you have been hiding under a rock from the mass marketing campaign, you will likely recognize this as a tribute (haha) to Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games Trilogy. Much like His Dark Materials, I’ll probably make a project for each book, and I already have the socks for Catching Fire planned. This pair is called Katniss, and is the pattern Paraphernalia by Taina Anttila. I knit them in Have You Any Wool Luxe Sock in Blackened.

katniss 1

Continuing chronologically, my next project has nothing to do with books, and everything to do with spreading the knitting love from time to time, this time to my husband’s feet. These were supposed to be done for Christmas. I missed terribly, and finished them on my birthday instead, a mere three months and some days late. Oops? Men’s socks are boring. It’s true. Most men don’t want fancy pants socks in dazzling colors, so hello 500 yards of 3×1 ribbing. These are ostensibly based on Melissa Morgan-Oakes‘s The Classic Sock, but I did fiddle with the gauge. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in Marsh.

marsh socks 1

After this I intended to continue smashing out lingering WIPs, but then remember that birthday? It totally came with a Willie Nelson concert, and I needed some simple road knitting, so I cast on for Iris by Rebecca Danger. I’ve knit Iris for the shop before, but this one I intended to keep as a little knitting mascot. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Green Line Worsted in (ahem) Twilight. Please do not ask me to explain my dark and twisty relationship with Stephenie Meyer’s work, but I think Alia (Ha! Book reference #5, Children of Dune, in this case though, the TV miniseries) said it best, “I love you. I hate you. I will never forgive you,” which reminds me–there were also Dune socks.

iris twilight 1

After that, I really did finish up a big WIP. I received the yarn for Umaro by Jared Flood as a 2011 birthday present from my friends. How much yarn you ask? Like 2868 yards of Cascade Eco Wool in colorway 8010. That’s a lot of knitting although I did use it held double. I loooove this blanket. If I’m at home, it’s with me. How much do I love it? So much that you’re getting two pictures, which I almost never do. The second is of the chair that’s supposed to be its permanent location, if you could, you know, pry it out of my hands. I do have some tips on my project page if anyone is planning on knitting it.

umaro 1

umaro 4

That brings us to the last project for this post, which unlike The Hunger Games socks, is a little more subtle, assuming you can call giant zombified whales subtle. I loved Mira Grant‘s Feed and Deadline. She has some of the most solid world-building I’ve ever read. She’s thought of pretty much everything that would come from living in a post-zombie world. One of the more interesting (and fresher) aspects of the story is that conversion to zombiehood is caused by a virus that affects all mammals. Any mammal over 40lbs can undergo conversion. This includes dogs, cows, and the occasional moose….oh, and whales. There is a passing mention of the Sea World incident, and one of the characters imagines an ocean haunted by zombie blue whales. Freaky. I cannot say how much the first book got under my skin, but I seriously read it right after Christmas, and I still think about it on a near daily basis. Read these now. Thank you.

Oh right, the socks. Both colors are from Lorna’s Laces Solemate line, the main color is Natural and the contrast color is Zombie BBQ. The sock pattern is Swedish Fish by SpillyJane, and the whales are adapted from Kate Gagnon Osborn‘s Whale Watch Hat.

zombie whales 8

zombie whales 4

P.S. The third book Blackout is out in less than a month. I can hardly wait.





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.





Miss Berklie

1 10 2010

I spent all of September knitting wildly, which means things like updating got shuffled to the bottom of the list, and that I’m probably three posts of finished objects behind. I also have the conundrum of what to post. Is there a chance my sister will peak in before Christmas? I should hope so, thus it’s probably a poor idea to add her present. I suppose I can push aside anything that could spoil a surprise and do a post-Christmas update. I believe last time I promised to post the contents of my Miss Berklie project, which was a gift for expecting friends.

I love baby knitting, but it seemed like it had been absolutely ages since someone I knew was having one. Okay, so my sister had a baby just last December, but he’s a boy, which is not nearly as fun, so when we learned that our friends Camie and Matthew had a little girl on the way, I went baby knitting crazy. It was a great deal of fun.

So what did I knit? First, a hat. I knit a Swirl Hat from Sheepy Time Knits from Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop in Pink Cadillac. It’s a pretty pattern, and deceptively simple for such an interesting result. Also it’s written for a variety of sizes; I really like the pattern.
miss berklie 2

Then I knit another hat, this time Simple newborn hat… from Small Things in Knit Picks Stroll in Bare.  This one is actually written for sport weight yarn so it required a little adjustment to use sock yarn. I also changed the rolled brim to seed stitch.

miss berklie 3

I then moved on to tiny baby socks and found, what I think, is the perfect baby sock–tiny, detailed, and adorable. The sock in question is Hunca Munca (Rib & Twist) from Knitzi.com, also knit in KP Stroll in Bare.

miss berklie 4

Tiny socks call for tiny shoes, so next I knit a pair of Saartje’s Bootees. This pattern is an enduring favorite on Ravelry for a reason. I knit it in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Devon and KP Stroll in Cocoa.
miss berklie 5

At that point the yarn I had to order for the project had arrived, so I began the larger pieces. I started with a Baby Kina from Kids Tricots (Yes, the website is in French, but her patterns are also offered in English). I knit it in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in 016. I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the color, which is one of the dangers of internet yarn ordering; I was hoping for a turquoise and this toned a little more toward sage. The pattern was straight-forward, and I think the result is cute. I was particular pleased by finding shell flower buttons, which is exactly what I had in mind.

miss berklie 6

I followed that with Ysolda Teague’s Sophie, a sweet bunny toy, out of the same Cashmerino yarn.

miss berklie 1

I really only needed one more project to round out the gift, which was a blanket. I knit a simple garter strip car seat blanket in Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Carnation and Truffle using two balls of each and switching colors every two rows.

miss berklie 7

That covers it and gives everyone an idea of what can happen if you have a crazed knitter as a friend. As for September, I knit socks, a hat, shawls, a tee, a scarf, and yes, more baby knits, all coming up soon. No, really this time.





Wast Side and Wool Leaves

11 05 2010

Right, so finishing up the April Finished Object Round-Up:

Finishing up my knitting for Sylvia, I knit a Wast Side Shawl. The pattern is by Gudrun Johnston, and is knit from the edging up, which I for some reason find feels more laborious than knitting top down, even though both types of shawls generally take the same amount of time. I really like the result and would be willing to knit myself one at some point in the future.

wast side syl 1

wast side syl 3

I also knit Jared Flood’s Wool Leaves. I had always wanted to knit my daughter a proper baby blanket, but I really didn’t have the skill when I was pregnant with her, so it was fun to do one now. It’s also really satisfying to knit a worsted-yarn-held-doubled on giant needles project.

wool leaves 3

Finally, I finished my Springtime Bandit, a.k.a. Sweet Melancholy, and I have to admit that I really feel that the pattern allowed the gorgeous yarn to shine.

sweet melancholy 2

Next up, May WIPs, really this time.  Only problem is that I have five or six, so yes, that’s like a whole other post.





Herbivore, etc.

9 04 2010

I have been very busy recently, but not so productive. I did finish Sylvia’s Herbivore, by the end of March, but it took me several days to get it blocked and photographed. When it finished blocking, I tossed it over my shoulders and checked it out in the mirror.  It’s a bit funny, because as Sylvia noted with the one she knitted herself, it looks a bit like a pterodactyl laying flat, but it is so pretty on! I actually had to talk myself out of wearing it to lunch, which I didn’t do since it belongs to some one else.

herbivore 1

herbivore 2

I have finished one other project, but it’s a gift, so it will have to stay a secret until it arrives. Besides that, I’ve been starting projects all over the place, probably due to the influx of new yarn and because I’ve been dabbling in dyeing. So even though I said last time that I rarely have work-in-progress pictures, since I have so many at the moment, that’s what I’m sharing.

I started a Springtime Bandit (Ravelry link) by Kate Gagnon Osborn in some gorgeous Tricoquelicot Laine Claude II in Melancholy.

sweet melancholy wip

I purchased a skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Natural, which I divided into 16 mini-skeins for dyeing.  To make sure that they aren’t just sitting around, I’m knitting them into a blanket as I go.  So here is my Dye Test Blanket.

dye test blanket wip

I have two other projects on the needles right now, but one had to be frogged back to the start due to a yarn mishap, and the second is a hat that I started last night, so there are no pictures yet. The hat is out of my first skein of hand-dyed yarn, so I will share a picture of that, but the rest will have to wait until the next post. The yarn is Knit Picks Bare WotA, dyed with Wilton’s gel icing.

hd algae eaten ivy 3