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.


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.

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.

On the prevention of Christmas sneaking up on me again this year…

6 09 2010

I suppose it’s time to wrap up August, and it will need to come in two posts. I had rather intended to post sooner, but I found my photography delayed  by a wonderful period of rainy weather and a delightful 20 degree temperature drop. Fall cannot come soon enough, which is as good a lead in as any to the projects I’m sharing. Every year, I find that I’m starting my Christmas knitting earlier, which should keep me from the joyful experience of desperately knitting on Christmas Eve, but somehow I’ve still been in that position two years in a row, so this year I started the last week of July.

Sofia’s Christmas present is straightforward but yardage intensive. It actually had more plain stockinette than I realized, so I actually finished the whole gift in about 10 days. I realize this doesn’t sound like a fast turn around time, but I did knit an entire monkey and two outfits for her. I really like how it came out, and she’s a very cute match to last year’s Mr. Foster. This is Carmen Banana, a kit offered by Knit Picks, and worked in Essential/Stroll. I’m very pleased with how she came out, although it makes me wish, once again, that my embroidery skills were a little stronger; her face took me quite a while to get right. I do love the tiny monkey clothes.

carmen 5

carmen 7

Having wrapped my first Christmas present, I decided to next work on Karen’s birthday present, which is inspired by Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, based on Penny’s Wristers. I knit them in Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry and Mustard. I found the 3/4 buttons at Hancock Fabrics, and they took me three hours to sew on, see above note about sewing skills. I had a bit of leftover yarn after I finished, so I also made a Turn A Square from Jared Flood.

drh hp 3

tas hp 1

The next project I tackled was a bit of a disaster. I had purchased the yarn on the way back from Florida at the absolutely marvelous The Knit Studio in Jackson, Mississippi. I had admittedly fallen in love with Wandering the Moor as it was knit by the designer, Celeste Glassel, and was delighted to use the recommended yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in 4205 Dark Chocolate. Unfortunately, it was pretty much downhill from there. My shawl, it turned out, was a bit cursed. I finished the run of stockinette without issue, but while capturing a WIP photo for the project page, I accidentally snapped one of my beloved wooden Harmony needles off at the base. Since I was already at a transition in the pattern, I changed to metal needles and continued into the patterned portion. I was three rows from the bind off when I dropped a stitch out of K3tog and had to frog back eight rows to repair it. I also noticed after it had dried from blocking that I had pinned the wrong points for a quarter of the shawl, so I had to re-pin it and spray it down. Finally, I realized that the person I intended to give this to might not like the alpaca content, so it’s homeless as well. Right, so if you happen to love this shawl, let me know and it’s yours (Claimed!).

wandering the moor 4

wandering the moor 2

Next, keeping in a theme of seasonal knits, I decided to knit a sweater for Piper. Piper is not possessed of an undercoat, and as such, she starts getting chilly outdoors toward the end of October. One of my very first knitting projects, and maybe my first actual finished object, was knitting her a hideous purple acrylic sweater. This pretty, red merino sweater is a bit of an apology to her. She seemed to like it and didn’t even ask to have it off. The pattern is the very well-written Diagonal Dog Sweater Pattern by June Bowman. The yarn is Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash in 3. Sorry for the pictures, Piper only consented to hold still while on her favorite perch.

dog sweater 5

dog sweater 3

Last for this update is my birthday present for Susan, which I’m giving her tonight, so hopefully she won’t look in on the blog in the interim. I love knitting for Susan because she is compulsively clad in knitwear, and so I know my gifts will go to good use. Occasionally, I see a project that I know will be lovely for her, and I thought that was certainly the case with Emily Dickinson, a loosely knit garter shawl that is embellished with 6/0 crystal beads. I used Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in Purple Pansy 257 in my version. This skein was purchased by Abbie at Purl Soho in NYC. I am sad to say that I found the pattern rather sloppy in construction, for instance there is no given gauge, so I do not intend to make any future purchases from knit/lab, which is unfortunate since I think Blackbird is gorgeous, but I’m unwilling to pay for badly written patterns.

emily d 1

emily d 2

I spent the last week of the month wildly knitting a baby gift, and I say wildly as in I knit 1000+ yards in about a week (This is not my highest week ever, by the way, that occurred last December, when I knit 1900 yards in the week of, can you guess it?, Christmas). I’m pleased with the results, and it certainly should qualify for its own entry!