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.





State Fair of Texas

21 04 2012

The response to that last post was pretty stinky, so I decided to follow my bliss, which is to be honest, mostly not blogging. As I’ve said before, I’d rather be knitting. Seriously. Typing, unlike say reading or listening to audiobooks, occupies my hands and prevents me from knitting. This is my work desk, by the way, with my faithful Kindle and headphones.

I like books

I woke up this morning though and realized I felt like writing. Hooray. So, without further ado…the State Fair of Texas post.

I have to admit that I had truly intended to do all kinds of preparation work for the state fair, but then the shop took off, and I was just trying to cram in some time on it, so in the end I only knit one project specifically for the fair, which means that I’ve posted most of this before, but, you know, not with ribbons.

First up the honorable mentions. I got one for this lovely hat that I loved when I knit, which is why I submitted it. The pattern is Toorie by Carina Spencer and was knitted in madelinetosh tosh merino in norway spruce.

2011 Texas State Fair 5

I also got a fine HM for Original Design, for the Cabled Kindle Sleeve. This particular one was knit in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Molly.

2011 Texas State Fair 4

I received third place ribbons for two submissions.

One was in the toy category for the only item I made specifically for the fair, Daphne and Delilah by Rebecca Danger in luxurious MCN worsted. Both colors came from indie dyers now on hiatus, but in the hopes that they will find dyeing in their futures again, the blue is Femme Fatale Fibers Venus Worsted in Alice Goes to Wonderland and the orange is Have You Any Wool Luxe Worsted in Spice. Since I haven’t shared this particular project before, I’m including a non-fair picture. I’d also like to add that this is for sale locally at Alley Cat Collective.

d and d sf 1

2011 Texas State Fair 2

My other third was in the rather competive Shawl category. I submitted a shawl I knit for Rose Beck, Forgotten Garden, which I’ve already talked about here. Much to my annoyance, they displayed it backwards. You can’t really tell in my awesome glass-reflected picture, but that is purl bumps out.

2011 Texas State Fair 3

My big ribbon was a second place in the Sock category. This one cracks me up, because I truly selected these socks for submission because they were the only unworn pair I had with no mistakes in them. I have to admit that if I’m knitting a pair of socks for myself and I make a mistake, I usually fudge it because they’re socks, and who will ever know? It turns out that if it’s for a fair submission, then the judges will know.

I didn’t even like this pair initially as I mentioned in the original post about them. Moreover, I have a “only a husband could take a picture this bad” photograph to accompany them. I hope you will now understand why I almost never have modeled shots. Really, you couldn’t have told me to fix my bangs? Or that I was flushed from the ubiquitous Texas midday heat?

2011 Texas State Fair 1

This was a fun experience, but I don’t know that I would do it again. In a State Fair of Texas thread on Ravelry, the oldtimers kept using the phrase “big bag of ribbons” to refer to their victories, and really if all I’m going to get from this is a giant plastic bag of ribbons and some bragging rights, I think I can safely pass. Oh, and I did get some blue ribbons from the much less prestigious Texas-Oklahoma State Fair. So that counts, right?





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.





Right Past February

3 03 2011

I think I said that I wasn’t going to post less than twice a month anymore, to prevent a build up of FOs, and while I did that last month, I cheated a bit with the whole giveaway thing. For good or ill though, this February (always my least favorite month of the year) was pretty slow for knitting. I started up the month by finishing up the knitting to stock my etsy shop. Most of it was pretty straightforward, but I was particularly liked the Elementary Cowl I made.

elementary cowl 1

After that, I worked on the Case of the Mondays pattern, knitting it twice while I tinkered with the pattern. I also knit a couple of items for my friend Syl as part of a swap. I have to admit that I think the swap was unfair because I got to knit her a Feather Duster by Susan Lawrence in utterly delicious madtosh pashmina in Molly Ringwald. It was dreamy, and I called it Pretty in Pink.

pretty in pink 2

Also, per her request, I threw in a Bonus Baby Hat.

bonus baby hat

Oh, and while I’m thinking about knitting for other people, I can now share the shawl that was still under wraps in January.  I knit a sample for roseiarose for her Be Mine Collection, which is focused on pretty simplicity. I have to admit that this was a very relaxing knit. Violets are Blue was knit in Schaefer Yarn Company Anne in Bluebells.

violets l 7

Rose likes to keep me busy, and by that I mean ears deep in knitting (and don’t think for a second I don’t love it!), so I also did a sample knit for her in February. This time on her pattern, Falling Water Slouchy Hat. My version was knit in Squoosh Ultra Worsted in Hazy Violets. The photos were provided by Abbie.

fwh 4

She was also kind enough to patronize my shop, so I was delighted to make a Kindle sleeve for her in tosh merino and to make her a Daphne and Delilah out of MCN. It was my first time using yarn from Hermosa Fiber Company, so that was a real delight as well.

kindle sleeve mr 1

dandd r 1

While I was thinking that this had been a light month, it occurs to me now that I’m wrong, so very wrong, so I will need to wrap this up in a couple of days in a second post. Whoops.





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.