Thursday, January 31, 2008


Hey, did you know that Ash Wednesday is NEXT week?? That's really really soon. You're wondering why I care, right? Well, every year I give something up for Lent. Yes, I know I'm the furthest thing from Christian or Catholic or whatever, but I do it anyway. Sometimes people give me funny looks when I tell them.

For the past couple of years, it's been chocolate in all its forms. One year it was doughnuts (Dunkin' Donuts = evil. Not to mention not really tasty at all). This year? I'm thinking it should be yarn. Yarn shopping, specifically. Mostly because I'm in one of those moods where I just want to buy up all the yarn in the world, and also because giving up chocolate right now would probably kill me. Not that I'm incredibly stressed out or anything, but you never know how things will go from one day to the next (today I moved from the depths of despair (everything I do turns to crap!) to being super-duper elated (yay! I made purple cells! Pretty purple!) in the span of a couple of hours. I'm glad it wasn't the other way around) and I don't want to be without my coping mechanism. =P

I haven't decided 100% yet, but I guess I should soon. In preparation, maybe I should buy some more yarn as a last hurrah? =)

(A later thought: H
ey, do you think that this could be offensive to some people, like they'd think I was trivializing something that was a serious thing for them (i.e. using Lent as an "excuse to diet")? I've never really discussed my Lenten habits with any devout Christians, so I wouldn't really know. On the other hand, I suppose people can choose to be offended by just about anything.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More winter accessories

I haven't really been blogging, but I HAVE been knitting. Random things here and there. I knit a bit on my mom's Ab Fab throw (no photo, too lazy). I knit a single sock (photos when I finish both socks. Am I a horrible blogger or what?). I knit some mitred squares (STILL to be blogged, see delinquent blogger, above). I started some mittens.

Bird in Hand progress_01

These are the Bird in Hand mittens by Kate Gilbert (did you know that there is a town called Bird in Hand in Pennsylvania? Thanks Google!). I don't know what's gotten into me, I don't even WEAR mittens. And yet here I am knitting fiddly fair isle mittens in worsted weight yarn (Berroco Ultra Alpaca) on US1 dpns. I'm clearly going mad (but I learned how to knit a picot cuff! It's so adorable! Also, fiddly!).

I'm incorporating the modifications to the pattern made by Alice of Kathryn Ivy, because I like her version of the cuffs better than the original. Hopefully I will be able to finish the pair without falling prey to Second Mitten Syndrome. Or something like that. =)

Edited to add: Oh wait, I DO have a photo of the Ab Fab throw in its very very early stages. Here it is. Fun with pink mohair!

Colinette Ab Fab Antique Rows 1-10

Some sweater progress

I haven't posted anything in a while because I've had no shiny finished goodies to show off. The knitting progress has been going a bit slowly. I wanted to finish Greg's sock, and while I've turned the heel now, I haven't done more that 2" of the leg. In any case, I wanted to show what I've done of the top-down cardi so far.

After I frogged the back of the Dollar and a Half cardi, this is what I had.
So, I cast on for the new sweater, and I've been enjoying it quite a lot so far - even still, my progress is kinda slow (haha!). Here's what I've got so far.
Still doing the increases for the raglan sleeves, but it's coming along.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Okay, so I found the socks. They were in a bag of stuff that my parents had me clear out of their place when I went to see them for the holidays. After Adrienne's comment I was trying to remember if I'd taken the socks anywhere, and recalled that I did take them home for Greg to try on. So hooray! I can get back to work on those again.

Unfortunately, the pattern has yet to be found; but given the way I seem to operate, it'll probably turn up when I least expect it.

As for the sweater debate, I think I'm going to frog the bit that I've done. cosmicpluto has a free pattern for a top-down raglan cardigan that I'm going to try instead. After I tackle that one, I might have a better idea of how modify it so it looks more like the Dollar and a Half cardigan. There's still going to be a little math involved since the yarn I want to use isn't the right gauge, but that kind of math isn't too bad.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


When I was younger my mom once bought me a beret. I think it was purple, or maybe red. I think I wore it to school, but I always had the vague sensation that it looked sort of dorky. Not that berets themselves are necessarily dorky, just that they look dorky on ME. In fact, I firmly believed that ALL hats made me look like a fool, so I switched to wearing earmuffs. Huge, neon pink ones (remember those?). Clearly I'm not that bright. =)

I've since resigned myself to wearing hats since the cold gives me headaches, but I still harboured a slight beret prejudice. So imagine my surprise when I fell in love with Gretel. I'd seen a bunch of them around blogland/Flickr and didn't think too much of them. Then suddenly I woke up one day and HAD to have one. Immediately! So I ordered some Malabrigo (Pale Khaki) from the Personal Threads sale and cast on as soon as the yarn arrived.

Gretel hat_02

I knit the "normal" size, and I assumed that I would have enough yarn since the pattern called for ~200 yards, but as soon as I started the crown decreases I realized that I didn't have nearly enough. I didn't want to buy another ball of yarn, so I totally fudged the pattern and eliminated most of the rows between the decreases, which included a cable.

Gretel hat worn_02a

I think the hat still looks ok, despite the fact that it's missing maybe 8 rows of the pattern. I definitely want to make this again though, the "proper" way so that it's just a bit slouchier. It was a super-fun knit, pretty easy, and involved lots of cables containing both knits and purls. =)

Gretel hat worn_03

This is how much yarn I had left at the end. Looks a bit like a tapeworm, huh? Eww. =)

Gretel hat leftovers

Where the *#$@!%^& is it?!!!!

Okay. I have a problem. I'm losing things - my mind probably among them. You know those socks I was knitting for my brother? I can't find them anywhere in my house. That means I've lost 1 skein of beautiful Dream in Colour, some rather nice size 4 circulars, and the cute little bag that held said yarn and needles. On top of that, I've lost the pattern for the below scarf.
I'm on ball 2 of the organic cotton for that, and can figure out the pattern just by looking at the scarf, so could probably write it out again if I really wanted to (which I don't). But STILL! How come I'm losing everything?!! Grr...

So, in other news, I'm trying to figure out what to do with this
This is what I've knit of the back of the Dollar and Half Cardigan. I'm realizing that I hate seaming so much that I've been putting off this sweater for a long, long time now. I was thinking of going through the pattern and trying to re-write it so that it's knit from the top down, kinda like the way Tulip is knit. But that also seems very daunting considering the amount of pattern work on the sweater, and the fact that I've never modified a pattern as majorly as this, and for it to be a sweater? Kinda intimidating. I have a nice pattern for a top-down raglan v-neck pullover that I wanted to make, so I'm wondering if I should just frog this back and just make that instead. The debate continues in my head, so feel free to try and convince me one way or another. I'm very mold-able right now.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sales are dangerous!

So, Lettuce Knit is re-doing their floors this coming week, so this weekend they decided to have a store-wide sale in order to minimize the amount of yarn they'd have to move in and out of the store. Of course I had to take advantage of this. Here's the list:
1 Tulip kit
4 skeins Malabrigo worsted (for another Clapotis)
2 skeins of home-made cotton tape (for a lace wrap skirt)
5 skeins each of two different colorways of Silk Garden (for an Entrelac shawl)
1 skein of Dream in Colour Smooshy (for toe-up toe socks)
2 balls of dishcloth cotton (for dishcloths)
1 skein of Ultra Alpaca (for wrist warmers)

Yup. It was a very productive shopping trip. Photos of pretty much everything are on my Ravelry account in the stash section. Photos of everything would seriously have made this post really picture heavy.

I also finished off my Koolhaas hat today.
The suggestion from the lovely Adrienne to try cable needle-less cables was a life-saver. I still had to use the cable needle for some of them because the physics of doing cables that are both knit and purl don't really work with that technique (and I could be completely wrong about this, but when I tried it a few different ways, I got weird stitch wrapping action happening). I had a little bit of trouble with the decreases owing to the fact that I read the pattern incorrectly. Thankfully, I put in a lifeline after I finished all the lattice repeats, so after 2 rounds of decreasing when I realized my problem, I didn't have much to rip back in order to get where I needed to be. In the end, I only needed 3 lattice repeats using the Malabrigo in order to get the hat to fit my head.
I absolutely love how warm and squishy this hat is. I haven't blocked it or anything, and I have a feeling that I probably won't bother. It looks fine as is, and I just want to wear it already!

I have quite a bit of yarn left over too, and I think I could probably even get another one of these hats out of it. I might leave it for now, and then make another one when I feel the need for some more or less instant knitting gratification.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Playing with Photoshop

So, I played a little with Photoshop to see what would happen to my photos. What do you think?



Like so many things, I have mixed feelings about my tampering, but I think it's still better than using my flash. The stitch definition shows up way better. Now for the real debate. To Photoshop or not to Photoshop. What do you think?

Blue Koolhaas

Sorry, but I wasn't able to get a photo of the commission that I finished. I showed it to my co-worker who requested it on what was quite possibly our coldest day here, and she said it was perfect and that she'd use it right away. So, I didn't have the heart to tell her that I wanted to take it home to photograph. Oh well. I'm considering knitting one for my mom, so I may still get a photo of it up yet.

In other news, I've started my version of Koolhaas in the Malbrigo. Here it is in its unfinished glory.
Excuse the odd yellow cast to the photo. I wanted the stitch definition to show, so I turned the flash off. As per my comment to Adrienne's last post, I'm not going to build any fancy contraptions in order to take better photos, so I think all my pictures will forever more have that yellow tint to them. I might play with Photoshop later tonight to see if I can cook up a formula to get rid of it, but for now, I'm going to leave it. In case you're curious, here's what it looks like with flash.
So, what do you think? Flash, or no flash?

The Malbrigo seems great, except that it knits up a bit taller than gauge. For the record, I didn't knit a gauge swatch. Why not? Well, they the gauge in terms of the lattice pattern, and since the pattern is written in the round, I was too lazy to convert it to flat. Also for the record, I'm a believer that gauge swatches should be standardized to stockinette. So, I didn't really notice the gauge difference until I was reading the pattern and it said 10 rows of k2 p2 rib should be about 1-1/4". I had knit about 7 rows in order to get that height. In conclusion, I think I'm going to do one less repeat of the lattice pattern before starting to shape the crown. I don't know if that will leave me with a hat that fits, but again my laziness prevails. I don't want to figure out how to alter the pattern if I only wanted to half a repeat less. I'm just going to toss my lot with the knitting gods and see what happens. Even if the hat doesn't fit me, I'm sure there's someone out there who has a head just that size, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I know this seems like a super long-winded post already (this should totally be considered two posts), but I just wanted to write a little rant about my thoughts on cables. I'm a little torn about what I think about cables. I love the way they look, but find the whole process of having to deal with the cable needle a bit cumbersome. I don't know I'm feeling this way because this hat requires you to use that cable needle, like, every other stitch, or if this is how I will always feel about any and all cables. It might just be this hat in particular because I don't remember being this annoyed when I was knitting that black cabled hat for Jamie. Or maybe I'm just forgetting any annoyance I might have had because the project is done. Also, I'm still wrapping my head around the 'physics of cables', if you will. Somehow, it doesn't seem as intuitive to me as lace knitting, but I'll probably get it after a while. Maybe at that point I'll feel more confident, and able to alter the pattern so that I can do 4.5 lattice repeats instead of 4 or 5.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Modern Quilt Wrap

Yay, the Modern Quilt Wrap is finished! My lord, was that ever a long and tedious knit. Did you know that each large square took between 1-2 quarters of NFL football to knit? Something like that anyway, I never really timed it exactly (well, if each one takes 1-1.5 hours, and a typical game is maybe 3 hours, that sort of works out). Anyway, it took a long time!

Modern Quilt Wrap_01

Modern Quilt Wrap_02

This is the fiddliest yarn I've ever knit with. I can't even tell you how many times I discovered dropped stitches WAY after the fact. It's a good thing that the mohair has so much of a halo that my lame attempts to catch the dropped stitches with extra yarn aren't noticeable at all. I can definitely say that it'll be a little while before I work with Kidsilk Haze again (although I've wanted this Trinket scarf forever). If I ever make noises about wanting to knit an entire sweater with it, smack some sense into me, ok? =)

Now that it's done, I guess the next thing to do is to wear it to death (after I block it, perhaps. It should probably be blocked), to make all the effort worth it! I still love the pretty colours.

Modern Quilt Wrap worn_01

(Just a complainy aside: why can't I ever take decent pictures? Do I need something more than a basic point-and-shoot to be able to do that? Maybe I need to learn how to use Photoshop)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fun with Kidsilk Haze

Happy New Year! Clearly I had too much time on my hands during the holidays:

One ball....

Sophie 071226_01

Two balls....

Sophie 071226_02

Three balls!

Sophie 071226_03

Sophie as Princess Leia. Next year's Hallowe'en costume, perhaps? I'm so going to get my eyes scratched out again.

Sophie 071224_03a