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.

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?).

Cabled iPad Sleeve (Pattern)

3 11 2010

As promised, I tinkered with the Kindle sleeve pattern, and now have an iPad version available. I should have anticipated that there would be a demand for the pattern in the first place, as right after I finished my Kindle sleeve, my friend Abbie, also known as The Green Wife, asked if I could make her one for her iPad.

If I’d listened to her at the time, I would have had both patterns ready at the same time! Instead, I spent the last couple of days knitting one up for her, this time out of some lovely The Plucky Knitter Superwash Merino Worsted in Love Letters, and I dropped it off at her house yesterday. She sent me some lovely photos of it today, so I can now share the pattern with her photography.

I plan to knit a second iPad sleeve out of Malabrigo Worsted for a future giveaway, so please check back!

cabled ipad sleeve 1

Cabled iPad Sleeve

  • Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted, 150-170 yards (140-155 m).
  • Needles: US 8 – 5.0 mm, 36″ or longer  for magic loop, or use your preferred circular knitting method.
  • Size: 10″ x 8″ (25 cm x 20 cm), 10.75″ x 5.5″ unstretched (27 cm x 14 cm)
  • Gauge: 20 stitches and 32 rows = 4″ (10cm) in stockinette.
  • Notions: cable needle (if preferred), stitch markers, one 3/4″ (19 mm) button, tapestry needle, sewing needle, thread to sew on button, crochet hook in H – 5.0 mm (optional).

2 x 2 Left Cross:

With a cable needle: Slip two stitches purlwise onto cable needle, hold in front, knit next two stitches, knit the two stitches from the cable needle.

Without a cable needle: Slip two stitches, purlwise to the right-hand needle, knit next two stitches and transfer to RH needle. Slip LH needle into first two stitches from the front, slip RH needle out of stitches 3 and 4, and then back into these two stitches behind stitches 1 and 2, knit stitches 1 and 2. (I learned this technique here.)


CO 64 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast-On, which establishes knitting in the round.

Rows 1-3: *K3, P1, (K4, P1) 5 times, K3* twice.

Row 4: *K3, P1, Cross 2 L , P1, K4, P1, Cross 2 L, P1, K4, P1, Cross 2 L, P1, K3* twice.

Row 5-7: *K3, P1, (K4, P1) 5 times, K3* twice. .

Row 8: *K3, P1, K4, P1, Cross 2 L, P1, K4, P1, Cross 2 L, P1, K4, P1, K3* twice.

Repeat Rows 1-8 until piece measures 10.75″ (27 cm) from cast-on edge, ending on an odd row.

Bind off 32 stitches and then continue in pattern across the back, now working flat with WS (odd rows) knit as: P3, K1, (P4, K1) 5 times, P3.

Continue for approximately 2.75″ (7 cm), and then work RS button-hole row as K3, P1, (K4, P1) 2 times, K2, YO, K2tog, P1, (K4, P1) 2 times, K3.

Knit in pattern for another .75″ (2 cm), and then bind off. I chose to single-crochet around the flap to reinforce it, but that is optional. If did it without breaking the yarn by binding off on the RS, single crocheting down the left side, slip stitching back up, slip stitching across the top, single crocheting down the right side, slip stitching back to the top, and then finishing off on the top right side of the flap. You could so this in knitting by picking up and knitting the stitches, and then knitting across them for a couple of rows of garter.

I’ve decided to add a new note on how to block this pattern. Since the body is intended to stretch to fit, it does not need to be blocked, but the flap really does look better if it’s been blocked, so what I do is slip the iPad (or iPad-sized insert) into the completed sleeve then place it flat on my blocking board and pin the flap so that it matches the dimensions of the case now that it’s stretched; the pins should be placed around the edges and will look like half of a rectangle. I then carefully slip the iPad out of the sleeve and use a spray bottle of water to saturate the flap and let it dry.

cabled ipad sleeve 2

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!

June, apparently.

11 08 2010

When I updated last, I completely intended to be back in about three days. Oh well, and moving on with the rest of…ahem…June, which is three shawls, a t-shirt, and a pair of socks.

Finally, I’m adding the red shawl. I had originally intended to copycat the Herbivore I made for Syl, but I didn’t think the yarn Spritely Goods Sidhe in Red Maple was a very good fit; the yarn is a different base, and considerably thicker, so I ended up ordering different yarn for that project and making a Clothilde with this skein.  I like how the project came out, and the yarn is very beautiful.

clothilde 3

clothilde 4

I also made a Flourish (Project Link) with the love birthday tosh pastoral (discontinued) in Esja that I received from Karen. This was part of a knit-a-long for Yarn Snobs‘ designers.

flourish 1

flourish 2

The last shawl is out of a skein I’ve been holding onto for a while. It’s no secret that I’m a Gone with the Wind fan, although I should mention that this doesn’t extended to collector plates, dolls, or miniature sculptures of Tara. Anyway, when the Plucky Classics (a club with classic movie inspirations) had Tara’s Velvet Drapes (merino cashmere nylon in fingering weight) as the monthly color, I had to nab a skein, considering it a bonus that the yarn was a rich, beautiful green, but then I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I decided to keep it in reserve until inspiration struck, and was happy to finally choose it for VerdaiaThe shawl came out exactly as I imagined it.

verdaia 2

verdaia 1

Unfortunately, the next project, did not. I absolutely fell in love with Alana Dakos’ Spring Garden Tee. In what I imagine was an absolute failure on my part to even look at gauge, I accidentally knit it closer in size to a 3T than the to the 2T that Sofia is currently wearing, so in what I suppose works out as a nice bit of symmetry, I guess that Sofia will be wearing it next spring. I used the recommended yarn for the project with Rowan Calmer in Fuchsia 277. It comes to mind, by the way, that my Cosette, by the same designer, came out on the large side, so as a future note to myself, I should probably start going down a needle for her patterns.

spring garden tee 1

spring garden tee 2

And last but not least, the socks, which I knit on the vacation that got me completely off track in the first place. They’re a pair of simple toe-up stockinette socks that I knit in Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop in Pink Cadillac. I named them Eclipse over Florida because I knit them in Florida, and I finished most of the second sock waiting for/watching Eclipse.

eclipse over florida 1

With any luck, I’ll be making my next post later today, before I have a chance to backslide again!