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.

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Finishing May, featuring something unexpected.

14 06 2011

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. No, I didn’t post twice in May, and we’re nearly halfway through June. I truly meant to get in another before the end of the month, but my needles were busy, and my photography had not been done, so it just didn’t happen. Where did we leave off all the way back in May? Hmm.

Okay, I had to look, but now I know. It was with an unfinished pair of Mona. I actually had to bribe myself to finish them. Ridiculous I know, but the pattern was the perfect balance of too challenging to coast and too simple to be interesting. Also the color was…uninspiring. I finally did finish them, and then handed them off to Susan to dye. She did them in an overdye of copper, and they are so much prettier now. Here’s the before and after; project details are in the previous post.

mona 3
mona copper 1

Sexy, huh? The sad part is that these were pretty much the death of my involvement in the Knit. Sock. Love. KAL. Oh well. After I finished them, I knit my reward project which are a pair of Caprica Anklets.  The socks are named after the colorway, which are from the 2011 line of Knit Picks Felici. The pattern is ostensibly Pom Pom Peds by Purl Soho, but I really just used it as a jumping off point. I changed the cast on, ribbing, and heel, and I couldn’t even tell you what the pattern called for on the toe. I love these things, so much in fact, that I knit another pair the same month in a skein of Afternoon (the black contrast color is Stroll), and I’m eyeing a skein of Tiki for the same. It’s finally a way to experience all the joy of Felici at half the cost.

caprica anklet 1
afternoon and blk anklets 1

After I finished the Caprica socks, only one thing could possible happen….more knitting for Rose. I truly can’t say no when it comes to her, and she needed a new design knit. This time it was a shawl inspired by Kate Middleton’s grocery shopping attire. She sent me some lovely (and color similar) madtosh pashmina in boxwood to knit her version, which she cleverly decided to call CopyKat. There are better (read: modeled) pictures on her blog. This one used 720 yards and took me eight days to knit.

copykat 1

copykat 3

Then Rose did something shocking. She gave me a vacation. Then I did some shocking things, like cleaning my house and finishing books that weren’t being read to me. I so truly appreciate that audio books allow me to “read” and knit, but it is vastly more satisfying to read a book myself. I spent 5 days working on one of the Afternoon socks. Awesome vacation. After that I started in on Rebecca Danger‘s Greta the Cat for Sofia. Ever since she realized that Knit Picks had rainbow yarn (their Chroma line, Lollipop in Worsted used here), she’s been begging for a rainbow cat. She loves him, and has named him Mr. Cat.
rainbow cat 1

I spent the last part of May making Ida’s Kitchen by Kirsten Kapur, three times. That wasn’t, mind you, the original plan. I was just going to knit one, but then I had plenty of yarn left over when I finished the first, so I knit a second, and then I still has more, so I need a child-sized version. All three hats were knit in Knit Picks Stroll Sport although the colors were switched around to suit the available yarn. I actually only had 3.5 skeins, having split the yarn with another knitter, so my best guess is that one could get five adult hats out of 7 skeins if one were forced to buy that much to have the full variety of colors. The first photograph is the hat knitted to match the colors in the original sample.

idas kitchen 1
idas kitchen 2

That carries us into June, and actually there aren’t any FOs in June, because I’ve spent the last week and a half updating the etsy shop. There are plenty of new monsters and animals from Danger Crafts, and few more device cases. I have about four more things I plan to add, two of which are already half knit, and then I plan to do a couple of pieces for the Texas State Fair. One of them is somewhat intricate, so that may fill out the rest of the month.  We’ll see. Oh, and I have a pattern idea hatching. It’s only a concept right now, but maybe something will come of it.

In the shop:

kindle sleeve bp 3kindle sleeve blk 1penelope bw 3chunk herbert





And now for something only a little different…

11 05 2011

When I said I broke my pattern for April, I think only meant a little bit. I did do something completely new, but it still broke down into shop knitting, knitting for Rose, and personal knitting (mostly socks).

I started the month by doing a little etsy update. I knit Rebecca Danger‘s new monkey pattern, Jerry the Musical Monkey, which was fun.

monkey blue 1

I also knit a Penelope, more monster chunks, and some chirps, and I added a few more device sleeves.

penelope purplechubby chicks

After all that was completed, I knit the toe on the second Wanderer sock. Yes, that’s really all I had leftover from March, but I got all manner of distracted by irresistible monkey knitting. These are Cookie A‘s Thelonious, which was one of the March/April K.S.L. KAL selections. They were knit in The Plucky Knitter MCN Fingering in Wanderer, which was a birthday present from my friend Karen.  

wanderer 2

I then settled into a nice, big sample shawl for Rose, Forgotten Garden in Biscotte & Cie La Douce in Cherry Baby. My version was the large size, coming in at about 550 yards. I think the shawl is complex and beautiful, and I’m very pleased with it. It took me a solid week of knitting, after which I did another small shop update.

forgotten garden 7forgotten garden 3

I think I mentioned the auction for Japan last month? I also donated knitting services for a pair of socks, so I next knit a pair of Tyro by Huan-Hua Chye  in Wool Candy Macaron MCN in Cordial, which was fun. I did convert them to top-down and I used an eye of partridge heel.

cordial tyro 3

I decided that at this point in the month I wasn’t likely to finish the April/May K.S.L. KAL socks, so I CO the cuff for Cookie A‘s Mona so that they would count for May. My socks are knit in JulieSpins MN400 Merino/Nylon in Bold Wood Darker. I have to admit that this picture is prettier than the actual sock, so I’ll also share an in-progress photo from May as well. I’m planning on having Susan over-dye them.

mona wipmona 2

I then started a BIG project, which was an actual adult sweater (incredibly rare for me) for Rose. She wanted to rotate some of her stash, but can only do very limited knitting at the moment, so I, perhaps foolhardily, volunteered to try even though I’m not really a garment knitter. After a little discussion, we settled on Goodale by Cecily Glowik MacDonald  in Sundara Sport Merino in Arabian Nights. It’s finished as of this blog posting, so even though it’s really a May FO, I’ll post all the pictures now. I did a couple of adaptations; Rose wanted a longer body and 3/4 sleeves, so she gave me the measurements, and I did the math to make those changes. Hopefully it all went well. It’s on its way to her now. The second picture is of the top post-finishing; Rose is sewing on the buttons, so that’s the button loop held on with a needle.

goodale wip 5goodale 1

April really was a delightful and interesting knitting month, and I’m looking forward to seeing what May brings (is it flowers?).





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.





Selfish, selfish knitting

31 01 2011

January is my favorite selfish knitting time because I’m basically decompressing after six months of knitting for other people nearly exclusively. I knit whatever I feel like for as long as I feel like. It’s the only time of the year I cast on five or six projects (1-2 is normal) and swap between them as the mood strikes me. I love January, but I’ll admit by mid-February I begin to again crave my normal knitting discipline since that’s how I actually get things done. So how have I spent this January? I’ve knit two shawls and four pairs of socks. I’m mad for socks right now. Cookie A released a new book Knit. Sock. Love. and I have wholeheartedly signed onto the KAL group on Ravelry.

My first finished project for 2011 is for that knit-along, a pair of Pointelle, knit on US 1/2.25mm and US 1.5/2.5mm. The yarn was a lovely skein of Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Sandworm. Being a Dune nerd, I named my project Shai-Hulud. I love, love these socks.

Shai-Hulud 4

Shai-Hulud 5

After that I cast on some socks with a skein of my birthday yarn that has been sitting around since May. I purchased a couple of skeins of MCN light fingering yarn in a base called Kashmir from The Woolen Rabbit. This colorway is called Blue Moon, and I’m knitting Anne Hanson‘s French Quarter Sock in it on US 0/2.0mm and US 1/2.25mm, so I named the project Blue Moon over the French Quarter.

bmofq wip 2

I’ll admit to only knitting the first sock in the third pair, because I wanted to make sure that I would have enough yarn for the fourth pair. Having determined that, I knit the whole fourth pair first, and then came back to finish this pair of Blackrose Socks by Suzi Anvin. I knit Blackrose on US 1/2.25mm  in my very first skein of Tri’Coterie, some BFL SW in True Blood.

blackrose 2

blackrose 1

So what pair of socks had me so excited that I knit a whole sock to be able to get to them? That would be OMGWTFBBQ. I managed to get a single skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Zombie BBQ in destash, and then used the red True Blood for heels, toe, and cuff. They’re simple toe-up with an afterthought heel, and I like them. A  lot.

omgwtfbbq 2

omgwtfbbq 1

Before I got back to the Blackrose socks, I decided to tackle another project that I had been working on intermittently. I’d started a Clockwork by Stephen West, using a combination of handspun given to me by my friend Laura and a skein of The Plucky Knitter Silk/Merino 50/50 435 in Funny Affair with Tiffany’s that I had detangled after a death strike by someone’s 15-month-old chocolate lab. Given the yarn’s near-death experience, I decided to call the project Minutes to Midnight. It was knit on US 5 -/3.75mm. I don’t know how well the two yarns work together, but I had to do something to cover the post-frogging fuzziness of the silk yarn.

minutes to midnight 2

I have had a few other things in the work, but I’m not able to share all of them now, so that’s it for now!