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.





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.





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!





What month is this?

24 07 2010

I’ll admit to going on vacation last month, and getting into other interesting activities, but I was startled to realize that I haven’t updated here since the beginning of June, and worse, that I have finished thirteen projects since then. I think I can clear up the backlog in about three posts, so here we go with the first half of June!

I’m starting with the projects I mentioned in the last update, in the order that they were completed, so here’s the baby gift I worked on with Susan. It’s out of two skeins of Knit Picks Felici Sport in Garden Gate.  The baby sack, which is mainly a photography prop, but can double as a kick bag later, was improvised. The hat is a sport-weight mod (details on the project page) of the SnB classic the Umbilical Cord Hat.

baby sack 2

Next up are my Rainbows, which are just simple stockinette, toe-up socks also using Knit Picks Felici, this time in the fingering weight.  I ordered the Rainbow colorway the day it became available, which turned out to be a good decision as this colorway is already sold out. I have enough leftover to make a pair for Sofia, but I’m not planning on making them until the fall since it seems like every time I turn around her feet have grown again. I used the Fleegle Symmetrical Short Row Heel on this, and I really liked it; it’s so much prettier than the gaps normally left by wraps.

rainbows 2

And now for my sister’s birthday present, which was apparently well-received (Yay!). My sister has a mild gnome obsession, so the first time I saw these I knew I had to knit them for her. They’re SpillyJane‘s Gnome Mittens. The only problem is that Mel absolutely cannot wear wool, so I had to find fingering weight cotton, and then in a bit of convenient timing, Knit Picks decided to offer their Comfy line in fingering weight (colorway details on the project page). I don’t think the yarn is springy enough to work for socks, but it certainly usable for colorwork, and I’m planning on making her a matching hat.

gnome mitts

And the last thing I mentioned was a red shawl, but that’s going to have to wait until next time, so I can make this post themed with non-snobby yarn. The last project I’m sharing is out of Cascade Eco Wool that I overdyed teal with Wilton’s icing. I made a Sideways Grande Cloche, which is a pattern that I’ve wanted to knit for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to yet. The gauge on the pattern was clearly off, but I muddled through, and I’m happy enough with the results.

sideways grande cloche 1

I hope to have the rest of June in a few days, and then start into July!