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.





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





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. 🙂





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.





The Sofia Extravaganza

24 01 2011

My next step in October was to catch-up on all of the knitting for my daughter, Sofia. While I wasn’t necessarily behind–I did after all finish her Christmas present in August–her birthday was coming up in about a month, and I certainly needed to knit her presents. I usually knit her a sweater and a toy.

The toy this year was my attempt at Oscar from Lisa Patricelli’s The Birthday Box. I used Rebecca Danger‘s Tofu pattern as a base, with modifications on the leg length, tummy fatness, and nose size. It was knit on US 9/5.5mm in Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted in Golden Heather.  I’m pretty happy with the results, and Sofia recognized him at her birthday party, so I’m calling it a success.

oscar source

oscar 2

For her birthday sweater, I chose Melissa LaBarre‘s  tiny tea leaves cardi. When I asked Sofia what color she wanted, she answered black. No amount of discussion would persuade her to change her mind, so I ordered five skeins of Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Black. I knit a Size 2 Black Tea Leaves on US 6/4mm and US 7/4.5mm, using small difference in gauge and some additional length on the body and sleeves to make sure that it should fit for a couple of years. The red buttons were my attempt to make it slightly less dreary.

black tea leaves 1

black tea leaves 3

Having finished of her birthday knitting, I decided to tackle her winter knitting. This was nice in that it finally alleviated a bit of mom guilt over the fact that she still didn’t have a handmade stocking for Christmas. This year I finally remembered in time to order yarn and actually make the stocking before it was too late. I chose to knit Jennifer Hoel‘s Falling Snow Stocking. The suggested yarn was Knit Picks WotA Bulky, which I used, in White and Red on US 10/6mm. I liked the pattern, but it came out rather large, so I ended up felting it to make it a more manageable size. If I were to knit it again, I would probably do it in worsted, since I think it looked a little prettier pre-felting.

stocking sofia 1

Having finished the stocking, I took the leftover yarn and combined it with a skein of the same base in Coal that Abbie gave me, to make a collection of hats for our entire family. The project is called Go Tech because my husband is a huge Texas Tech fan, and these did work nicely at this year’s chilly bowl game. The pattern The Player is by Bonne Marie Burns and was knit on US 10.5/6.5mm with a few small modifications to make the child-sized hat.

go tech 1

go tech 4

After that, I knit Sofia’s winter mittens. We checked out a book from the library about turning wool into mittens, and I was on Ravelry showing her pictures of handspun yarn to try to explain it a little better. My friend Karen recently started spinning, so one of the pictures I let Sofia look at was Karen’s  Handspun – JulieSpins BFL Combed Top, and she asked me to make her mittens out of it. I messaged Karen, who had some concerns because it was one of her earlier attempts, but she did her best to make it as nice as possible, and I have to say that I didn’t mind knitting with it at all, and I think the mittens are lovely. I used Basic Pattern for Children’s Mittens by Elizabeth Durand and knit them in US6/4mm.

handspun mittens 1

That wraps up nearly all my knitting for Sofia, so I’ll pick up next time with the resumption of Christmas knitting.





Lost in Green and Gray

11 08 2010

In what turns out to be a pleasant surprise, since I can now do them in one post, I only knit five projects in July, and they’re all themed because they’re in the same colors. I spent most of July deep in thought, lost in vacation recovery, and catching up on my reading, which directly resulted in my lowest knitting yardage turnout since August ’09; I only knit 1291 yards. For the sake of comparison, just two months before, in May, I knit 3865. For anyone wondering, I keep track of my yardage for stash control. It’s hard to justify a 1500 yard splurge if you’re only knitting a 1000 yards a month.

My first project to share was also knit in Florida, and was a hat I agreed to knit for Abbie. I was initially disappointed because it looked, well, stupid on me, but of course, Abbie looks fantastic in it. It’s a Billie Hat (project on Ravelry) knit in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in 707. Please note the awesome iphone photo; it’s actually pretty rare for me to get modeled hat shots.

billie hat 3

billie hat 1

I actually started my Aragorn socks in June. I finished the first one, but then set the project aside since it’s pretty demanding. I started on the leg of the second sock on the way home from Florida, but didn’t finish the pair until later in the month. The pattern was originally written for a mystery sock knit-a-long that I didn’t take part in, and as such the directions are a little strange. Still, they were clear enough that I was able to work the top-of-the-foot-gusset without too many issues. The pattern is called Aragorn and the yarn I used is The Plucky Knitter Superwash Merino Wool Handpainted Fingering Weight in Huntingdon. If it’s not obvious at this point, I seriously love Plucky’s dyeing. All the twisted stitches were a little hard on my hands, but I really liked the end result.

aragorn 2

aragorn 5

Then one more delight in green. I actually sort of dreamed this project. I fell in love with a black version of Miralda’s Triangular Shawl, from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia.  I played with different ideas before I finally struck on replacing the nupps with 6/0 beads. There was a lovely set of rich green ones from eathfaire, and all I needed was a matching skein of yarn. I knew exactly what I wanted which was a skein of tosh lace in malachite, but the production of tosh lace has been slow recently in favor of more popular bases (TML, anyone?), and I couldn’t find it anywhere…except my friend Beth’s stash. She graciously agreed to destash it to me, and I was able to knit this beauty. The beads turned out to have A/B highlights which make them look more teal than emerald in some light, but I’m still happy with the result. I used about 400 beads.

miralda 4

miralda 2

Now for gray. I actually purchased a skein of Have You Any Wool Luxe Sock in Graphite with another sock pattern in mind. I had eyed it in a magazine and thought it looked really interesting, but as people on Ravelry actually started producing pairs, it looked decidedly awkward. Around the same time I started considering a different project for it, I realized that I had never knit a pattern from another Nancy Bush book in my collection, Knitting Vintage Socks. I selected the lovely Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern, and made my own set of Pencil Points. I love how elegant these look, like the opposite of the Rainbows I made last month.

pencil point 2

pencil point 3

Finishing the socks allowed me to work on another project that I had been wanting to do for ages, which is Ysolda Teague’s Mousie. I used the leftover HYAW and a snippet of Mama Blue Troika in Girl to make Sofia her own little mouse, which now uses to terrorize the kitchen.

mousie 1

mousie 4

As for what I’ve been up to in August? Christmas and birthday knitting. Maybe I’ll post pictures in a few days? Maybe not!