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.


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!

Little Leaves and Candlelight

18 05 2010

Right, so now I’ve waited so long to post my May WIPs that I now have May finished objects, so first up is my most recently finished project, Little Leaves by Susanna IC. It was a quite a charming project, and fast, even with the beading. It was knit in JulieSpins 420S in Muir Woods; gorgeous browns are one of Julie’s specialities.

little leaves 1

little leaves 3

At the beginning of the month, I finished a Candlelight Shawl by Saccade Elyse. This one has a little beading just along the edging, and was knit in Sundara Sock in Aurora Borealis.

northern lights 4

northern lights 2

Finally, as promised, some WIP photos. Right now I’m working on what I’m calling the Two Dragons, which are actually two large shawls, Nefertiti and Branigan. I hope to have both of them complete by the end of the month. Nefertiti Wrap is by Miriam L. Felton and is knit in Madelinetosh tosh lace in Thunderstorm.

nefertiti wip 1

branigan wip 2

I have another pair of shawls I’m knitting, which are also related in their own way. I’m knitting Olatz out of Madelinetosh Pastoral (discontinued) in Nocturne and Cosette in Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn, which will use the Pastoral for edging. The Olatz is almost complete, but I would like to put in one more repeat if I can, so I decided to go ahead and knit Cosette and see how much yarn I have leftover after I edge it.

Olatz is by Swallows Return. I have to admit that I did not like that the pattern was asymmetrical, so I ripped it out in order to mirror it.

nocturne wip

This is the Cosette Wrap by Alana Dakos. It is knitting up very quickly so far.

cosette wip

I think that’s a pretty good tour of what I’ve been up to so far this month, and next time hopefully, there will be more finished work!

Wast Side and Wool Leaves

11 05 2010

Right, so finishing up the April Finished Object Round-Up:

Finishing up my knitting for Sylvia, I knit a Wast Side Shawl. The pattern is by Gudrun Johnston, and is knit from the edging up, which I for some reason find feels more laborious than knitting top down, even though both types of shawls generally take the same amount of time. I really like the result and would be willing to knit myself one at some point in the future.

wast side syl 1

wast side syl 3

I also knit Jared Flood’s Wool Leaves. I had always wanted to knit my daughter a proper baby blanket, but I really didn’t have the skill when I was pregnant with her, so it was fun to do one now. It’s also really satisfying to knit a worsted-yarn-held-doubled on giant needles project.

wool leaves 3

Finally, I finished my Springtime Bandit, a.k.a. Sweet Melancholy, and I have to admit that I really feel that the pattern allowed the gorgeous yarn to shine.

sweet melancholy 2

Next up, May WIPs, really this time.  Only problem is that I have five or six, so yes, that’s like a whole other post.

Plums and Raspberries

27 03 2010

Rather than this being an ode to delicious fruit, it’s a reference to my two most recently completed projects. I think I meant to do separate entries for them, but at this point, it’s just not happening.

The Plum Scarf is actually from a pattern called Mustard Scarf created by Jane Richmond. It was knit in a skein of Colinette Iona in Velvet Plum, which was a gift from Abbie from her trip to Portland, OR. It was a great way to use a small (150 yards or less) skein of worsted and satisfyingly quick since it’s knit on US 15 needles.

plum scarf 1

Raspberries! (a reference to Thoroughly Modern Millie) is the pattern Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante ( It was knit in The Plucky Knitter Silk Merino Fingering Weight in Raspberry Bubble. During Stashdown, I have reduced my stash down to thirteen lots of yarn, and four of them are Plucky, if it gives you any idea how much I love her dyeing.

raspberries 1

raspberries 4

Then finally, just because I can share it, an actual WIP. I rarely take pictures of projects while I’m in the process of knitting them, but this one is for a friend, and I wanted her to be able to see the progress as I knit, so here’s the start of a Herbivore by Stephen West (westknits) in Wool Candy Macaron MCN in Cerises.

herbivore wip 1