Tuesday, November 27, 2012

where the moon sits low

(fair warning: This post is mostly stuff that you've seen before.)

I was delighted to learn in the last few days that last winter's oversized sweater now fits much better (and even more delighted since its recipient is still quite delighted by "hop hops" even if she does call them bunnies now).  (H: M, what are you thankful for?  M: Bunnies!  But you cannot pet a bunny.  You can only watch them go hippity hop.)
While obtaining photographic proof of this, I felt vaguely reminiscent.  Where had I seen that same expression in a handknit before?   
Well, I suppose they are siblings, and in this picture, he's only a few months older than she is currently.

 And here's the only new addition: a cocoon for someone who may someday sport the same smile:
I was a little skeptical of this cocoon, and its associated pod (pattern at same link), but they were incredibly quick knits so I was happy to oblige my sister-in-law's request for them.  And they do actually seem like they have been super useful for a little one who likes to be cozy and warm.  They also gave me a chance to try out Plucky Bulky, which was pretty great.

Since I have actually been knitting quite a bit, I hope to have time to blog about more of it in the near future.  (I suppose it would help too if I finished a few things, since I've had a lot of knitting go into two still-unfinished objects.)  Anyone have brilliant knitting plans before the New Year?

Monday, October 8, 2012


I used part of my retirement gift from my coworkers to treat myself to one ball of Qiviuk at a gift shop in the Banff resort hotel in the Canadian Rockies this summer. Two years ago we had visited the musk ox farm where the Alaska native cooperative that controls the North American supply produces the luxurious fiber - softer than cashmere. In Alaska I couldn't find the yarn, only finished products. At Banff they had a broader range of colors and both a blend, and the 100% Qiviuk at $85 for 217 yeards. One ball was just enough for a smallish scarf. I picked a simple lace pattern and it was a joy to knit - but all too quickly done. My main project lately has been neckties! I made one for David for his birthday in diagonal stripes (the skinny model below isn't David), and am just finishing a straight tie with a diamond pattern (one color) for John, both from my stache of a sport weight heather leftover from a sweater vest. I plan to knit another striped one for John (the diagonal shaping was fun.) I bought some new colorway merino silk blend yarn for a a pointed tie (not knitted on the diagonal)for a Christmas present for Emily's fiance. Then I will have exhausted my interest in ties, I think, and I doubt many men would want more than one hand knit wool tie.

Monday, August 27, 2012

and I made a promise to California

So it turns out that the Bay Area might be the perfect knitting climate.  I wouldn't have imagined that I could wear a wool-and-cashmere sweater in August anywhere but, delightfully, I have been proven wrong.
(photo credit: Wamps)

This is another iteration of the Paulie cardigan although this one managed to go much faster than the last.  It's again in Plucky Primo Fingering, colors Childhood Memories (teal); Thornfield Hall (gray); The Hills are Alive (green); and Dandy Lion (yellow).  I'm especially thrilled to get to wear something with Dandy Lion since I've loved knitting gifts out of this color but it's not one that usually works for me.  More details are on Ravelry.
Now if I could only figure out a ribbon backing for the button band.  Anyone have any pointers for that?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Up, Knitters (Crafters)

A couple of weeks back, a very special someone landed in my neck of the woods.  It just so happened that there was a Fiber Festival in Oakland ON THAT VERY DAY.  Fate, yes?

Here's some proof.

In other crafting news, I picked out a bundle of fabrics that I decided would make a not-too-shabby bookcase quilt.

Of course, then I decided to move, so I packed that away for another day. (Note: that fabric thus far is the only thing I've packed.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

we are travelers, only passing through

Thanks to CH, my yarn will be well protected as it heads 3000 miles west and relaxes in storage while awaiting a longer-term home. 

I have four projects that aren't headed to storage: a Paulie that now just needs sleeves, a Rocky Coast cardigan with Plucky rustic, a baby-sized sylvan afghan, and that celebratory project that I mentioned weeks ago.  Any southside knitters interested in a summertime KAL?  I'm hoping that focusing on these four will prevent me from buying yarn in every state along the way, and would love company on whatever knitting strikes your fancy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

so get your hands dirty

Where are you all knitting-in-public for Worldwide Knit in Public Day?  As you can see, I didn't make much progress on my cardy between the corn and the roast clam special.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

and I envy their consistency; it seems so priceless

As will probably surprise no one who knows my knitting, all my spring knitting plans were put aside on a whim as soon as I put these skeins next to each other.  Thanks to a long weekend where I had plenty of knitting-on-transport time, I've made quite a bit of progress on a Paulie that I plan to keep.   (I'm not following the paulie stripe pattern because I don't have enough of any of these colors to do so.  And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't run out of the gray, but I think it's likely that I'll be ISOing on Ravelry for more.)

But my current dilemma is that I am a little smitten with the reverse stockinette side.  So I have *almost* decided that I'm going to make it the front side.
But then I see the stockinette side from a distance, and I think maybe it should be the front after all.

Since I'm not doing a very good job of deciding myself, any and all input is welcome!  I don't have any long weekends coming up, so I probably have a while yet before I really have to decide...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

the ones who wear the walking shoes

It's time for a lot of spring cleaning for this southside knitter, and I'm consequently destashing some beautiful yarn, including the skeins above.  Find the details at my ravelry stash if you're interested.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the future was wide open

As I near completion on Christmas 2011 gifts, I'm letting myself daydream about some upcoming knits.

This yarn is destined to be a celebratory wisp of a project, which I'm very much looking forward to knitting.
And I've got a design in my head for these beauties.... Here's hoping I can translate what's in my head to reality! I also need to come up with a plan for completing some long-lingering WIPs. (My current thought is that I may take a break from all Christmas knitting this year, and focus on long overdue years, but we'll see if I can stick to that plan.)

And, just in case you were longing for a shot of my poor continental knitting, here you go:

It's not a trick of the photo: those stitches really are that wonky. They're getting better as I go along, however, and I'm hopeful that they will all block out in the end.

What are your spring knitting plans?

Monday, April 9, 2012

until I'm proven wrong

So I have one Christmas gift (yes, 2011) that's ready to be shared with you all. It's a Paulie with a few mods, which I made for my mother.

I made the sleeves long instead of three-quarters length. Of course, I ended up making them a little too long so perhaps I should have stuck with three-quarters....

I left off the shawl color because I thought my mother would find it fiddly.

And I added a second color to the stripes, knitting it with Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering in Flying Monkeys with stripes of Dandy Lion and Faded Grandeur. In the skein, these colors were much more distinct, but I enjoyed how they blended together once knit. Flying Monkeys is an incredibly interesting gray-brown and I may have mentioned before that I think Dandy Lion is the perfect yellow.

I really enjoyed this knit and my only complaint is that I started it in September with the expectation of being able to finish it for her birthday in October. When that failed, I still thought that I'd easily finish it for Christmas. Well, at least she was able to wear it as driving me to the airport after Easter.

PS: Thanks for the advice on continental knitting! After taking a look at my sister-in-law's hands during knitting, I've concluded that I was wrapping the yarn around my fingers too much. It's been easier going since I cut out a few wraps, but it's still pretty sloppy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

leave me out with the waste

This is not what I do.

So far, I hate knitting continental. Anyone have any tricks to make me like it more?

It's supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow and I've still got three (relatively wintery) Christmas gifts to finish. Two are almost done and then there's this one....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hello, Bunny

This is neither about knitting or crafting of any sort, but I just need to memorialize the following: 

Yeah, it's a tea towel with a rabbit bouncing on a trampoline.  Obviously, I need it more than life itself, but shipping costs more the tea towel itself, and I just can't justify it.  Also, I want this on the mug and apron as well.  Come on, why only on the tea towel?  Do you guys think someday, maybe, there'd be a whole line of bunnies jumping on trampolines that I could register for when I "get married"???

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Birds singin' in the sycamore tree

Not much progress on any knitting fronts with me these days, but I am a wash away from sending off the baby quilt I made for V.  Here are a couple of camera phone pictures.


Also made a really sweet little baby hat for A&C that I'm hoping to see in action very shortly!  It's Be Sweet yarn, and came with a handy little pattern on the back that I mostly ignored.

I also made a bearded hat for my brother-in-law for Christmas, but the pictures I have of it are WAY too embarrassing to share here.  Sorry folks.

And finally, though I know it belongs elsewhere, I have to rec this bread recipe.  It's a good weekend bread, what with the rising and punching and rising, etc that it needs, but it's delicious and pretty easy.  It has molasses and carrots and cocoa and coffee, but they all blend together to create a real flavorful but subtle bread. I've swapped out the rye flour for whole wheat and forgotten the caraway seeds and replaced the butter with vegan margarine, and it's been good everytime.  Oh, and the amount of yeast called for = one packet, if you buy your yeast in packets and not jars.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

why do you have to go and make things so complicated?

I've reassessed Christmas 2011 gifts and have come up with a slightly less complicated plan in the hopes of finishing them before July 2012. So here comes a second Millwater! This time, I won't pull the grafting too tight.

PS: Wamps, whatever happened with your Peaks Island?

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 in review - a few weeks late

This is my major project for 2011 - followed by all the projects that came up after I started it - which explain why I just finished it in January - that and the fact that I feared, no expected, that it wasn't quite coming out as well as I hoped, and unfortunately I was right.
Knit of a super fine cashmere70/silk30 (Superior by Filatura de cross) paired with a strand of fine merino, it's called "Sounds of Silence" in a pattern book called Duettes, and it's soft as a cloud. I thought it would be almost a summer sweater because it is so light, but it's very warm.
The problem is the low wide neck, and the shawl collar is too short in the back (knit according to the pattern, which didn't show the back in the picture) so it doesn't lie right. If I'd had more yarn, I would have made the collar longer down the back and I think that would have made the front lie better too.

I was inspired by some beaded wristlets I saw a friend wearing at a meeting last January and decided that would be my Christmas gift project for the year. I started in the summer and made at five pairs - including one I customized for Emily with curly W's for the Washington Nationals - my first venture into charting an original design. I experimented with various sizes and kinds of beads. The only hard part is stringing 1080 beads onto the yarn before starting - the smaller the bead the harder it is, because you have to use a beading needle instead of a fine crochet hook.

I started the year with a blue Malibrigo worsted scarf and hat for myself, after I finished the orange set for Emily's birthday. The pattern was from Interweave - Rivulet, I think, and I found a compatible pattern for a slouch hat on Ravelry. (The new kitten - Nemesis - is a great aid to knitting and photography)

Along the way I began (and after interruptions) finished an Estonian lace shawl, of a nice rose colored silk, merino, and alpaca blend. I was very dubious about how it was turning our until I blocked it - yes really blocked with pins and water etc, for the first time in my life. It was knit from the middle to the end with a provisional cast on and then picked up there for the other half.

Once I discovered beading, I used another color of the same silk/alpaco blend and made a purple scarf. This beading was easier because the beads were put on the yarn over loops with a crochet hook and knit in one at a time as the work progressed, instead of having to be strung first.

My final interruption was to knit up the interesting yarn I found in Portland, Maine, on vacation in August - Berroco's Boboli. I finished that vest ("Dodgson")on Columbus day weekend at the beach when John got sick. It was quick and easy - but a nice weight and texture in a reverse stockinette, with wide ribbing around the collar and front.

And then the scramble to finish the wristlets for Christmas. Maybe next year I'll clean the beads from last summer's road trip out of the car where they still jingle in the passenger side door pocket.

So that's why it took me a year to knit the ruffled and cabled grey cardigan. [I hope the blog fairy can rearrange the pictures to go with the text - I haven't figured it out.] Maybe I'll even round up the lables and patterns and post on Ravelry and figure out how to insert the hyperlinks.

I wish you all a happy New Year, knitting your yarn and futures!