Tuesday, December 27, 2011

grandma mitts

I finished the two thumbs in plenty of time for everyone to have a Merry Christmas!

I have no idea if my grandma will actually wear them, but they were my dad's idea, so she could have something to keep her hands warm while she does her crossword puzzles. My grandma and I are always cold.

It feels so weird now, to have nothing I have to knit. And all the audiobooks I had on request at the library showed up this week, so I had better find something to knit on while I listen to them. I think I want to do another beaded thing, so I ordered a bunch of beads this morning. Which means I have to wait until they show up. What to do until then?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

it's like Santa's workshop in here!

I'm finishing stuff left and right, y'all. I have about four rows left on a hat (I have to switch to double-points, that's why it's not finished,) an inch and a half of a fingerless mitt (ok, and two thumbs) and the foot of a worsted weight sock to do. HA. TOTALLY POSSIBLE. And the socks don't even really have to be finished, so whatever.

Anyway, look how the lace blob turned out! I like it, even if it is the second leafy thing I've made my mother this year. Oh well. She likes nature.

And this is a beaded Annis that's going in the handmade swap thingie. It's blocking even as we speak. It turned out really well, even if I'm not entirely sure I like the color of the beads with the yarn. Whatever. It's done, and people will like it. Ok, now I have to go unpin it so I can go to bed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a couple more gifts . . .

First up, a sock for my grandma. I have one sock finished for one grandma and one mitt finished for the other grandma. If we are lucky, they will each get a pair of items for Christmas. This is just an improvised slipper sock on size 7 needles in some extremely washable Vanna's Choice.

Next, this lovely black blob of recycled sweater will hopefully block out nicely enough to be a shawl for my mom. More details later, when I'm not so hungry. I only have three rows left, but they're rather long rows. I should know if it's any good tomorrow or the next day!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Time to get festive with the potholders! If I could just somehow convince myself to make random holiday potholders (and not just Christmas, all the holidays) throughout the year, my life would be so much easier.

Anyway, here we have a couple of DROPS patterns. This first one is actually a pattern for a potholder, not one of my usual hacked together jobs. It's a good pattern, just at my gauge it's maybe a little big knit in dishcloth cotton on size 3 needles. Pretty, though!

I used a reindeer chart from a sock pattern for this one. I think I should probably have used size 4 needles instead of size 5, but oh well. It'll do. And it may shrink a bit in the wash, so that's fine.

I have a plethora of other items on the go, so maybe there will be pictures of them soon. Oh, Christmas. You are such a mess.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

still here . . .

Ooof. This last week was exhausting. I had to do things too horrible and complicated to speak of.

I did manage to get some knitting in, though! I've got a few Christmasy things halfway done, and they are cute. Pictures to come when I am not too lazy to look for my camera, but there's a reindeer potholder involved, so.

In the meantime, I finally finished my Saroyan, and I'm quite fond of it:

It's all soft and warm and looks FABULOUS with my pink coat. My first project after Christmas is going to be fingerless gloves to match. Sweet!

And here's a picture (I'm really hoping I didn't already show you these, but I'm too lazy to look) of my unblocked Morgain. started another shawl for my mom.

I finished it about a week ago, but it's kind of an awkward shape/size--my size modifications were apparently not winners--so I started another black shawl for my mom. It was going along swimmingly until I messed something up a few days ago, and I have not had sufficient brainpower to fix it. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow it might be possible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

very sloooooooowly

So besides being sick last month, I've also managed to pull a muscle in my chest. This has pretty much canceled all knitting. I can do a little bit at a time, but if I do too much, OUCH. I have been plodding along on my mom's shawl. I think I have about six rows left at this point, which is a definite yay. Here it is looking almost not-scraggly:

I figure I'll have it done and blocked by the end of the week. I was hoping to finish it sooner, because I wanted to make some colorwork holiday potholders for St Nicholas' Day, and I need the needles that the shawl is on, but now I don't know if I even want to knit cotton with the muscle issue, so . . . who knows, the potholders may be canceled. They were going to be SO CUTE, too!

Ah well--I also have a hat almost finished that I think will be for one of my brothers, unless I think of something to buy him, in which case it will go in the grab bag pile.

Friday, November 18, 2011

in a pinch . . .

. . . your personal steamer can get wrinkles out of fringe just as well as it can help your throat.

I made this scarf a couple of years ago out of some Madil bamboo stuff, and I always forget I have it, which is really a shame because I love the color so much. I'm going to try to wear it this weekend, now that I've steamed the fringe all nice and stuff.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

yarn store haul!

It's only a smallish and not very interesting haul, but I'm fond of it nonetheless.

I went to Natural Stitches' pre-inventory sale last week, intent on picking up some black yarn for socks for my mom (yeah, don't need that anymore,) some green cotton for some Christmas potholders, and some random thing for me.

I did pretty well--couldn't decide between the greens, so I got both, and the For Me yarn is some Cascade 220 superwash which I think will end up as some kind of leg warmer or boot sock-ish thing. I probably should have gotten a third skein, but oh well, the budget calls.

I'm actually pretty excited about the Christmas potholders. If they are even half as fabulous as they are in my mind, they'll be quite fabulous indeed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ok, I've been busy.

Here's part of the reason you haven't heard from me lately. I went to Philly for the weekend, and ate lots of cupcakes.

My friends and I were sensible and cut all the cupcakes into thirds so we could taste them all and yet only eat the equivalent of two whole cupcakes. Yeah. Two whole cupcakes were still too much, and we were all lying around the apartment like Calvin and Hobbes in that Halloween strip where Calvin says that if anyone even mentions Milk Duds he's going to barf. Yeah. That was us. Good times.

I also managed to catch some stupid virus or something that has left me as weak as a very weak thing. There has not been any knitting in the past week. Yeah. ANY. That's positively unheard of around here. Here's some of the stuff I'm working on, though.

A Morgain shawl. Still in the scraggly stage. This was going to be for the handmade grab bag, but my mother and I went to the opera recently, and she was hinting Very Strongly that she could use a large black lacy shawl (she really liked my Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl) so now I'm thinking maybe I'll just give her this one? It's more than halfway done, and I can't seem to find a pattern I love for her, so . . . I'm sure I can find something else to make for the grab bag.

And these guys are a pair of improvised leg warmers. With free-form cables. I know, it sounds all artsy, but it's really just because I'm too lazy to count. I like the one with the crossing cables better than I like the zig-zag cables, but I'm too lazy to re-do the zig-zag one, so whatever. The leg warmers are definitely more for warmth than for fashion, anyway.

I'm sure you will all be appalled to know that when I was in Philly I went in at least one yarn store and did not buy a damn thing. I know, right? But I had just bought some stuff at a local sale before I left, so the yarn budget was down . . . but today I saw that an awesome local craft fair is coming up soon, so maybe I'll get some fancy hand-dyed yarn there. Just because.

Friday, September 30, 2011

not meant to be?

So we have this handmade yankee swap thing at my grandma's house every Christmas Eve. (And by 'every' I mean 'the past two years.') I've mentioned it before, I know. It has quickly become one of the favorite parts of Christmas Eve, as we get to see the awesome and ridiculous things everyone makes.

This year I want to use up some of the absurdly vast quantities of black laceweight I have and make a scarf or shawl or something. So far I am not having much luck. I tried to do a Sagittaria Shawl (too lazy to link, I am having a tragic morning, there was an unfortunate incident with my foot, a piece of glass, and several Band-Aids) but though I love the look of the pattern on the body of the shawl, I was not having much fun knitting it. I don't know if I'll ever get back to it.

So yesterday I cast on for an Annis, and if you've ever made one you will know this is no small feat as you have to cast on 363 stitches. Did that, knit the first two rows, was all, "YES THIS IS THE FIRST ANNIS I HAVE EVER MADE (I've made two others, it's so pretty) WHERE I HAVE NOT FUCKED UP IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF ROWS" and then Row Three happened, and something went Horribly Wrong (to be honest, I was watching Fringe and I might have had a sip of gin, so maybe conditions weren't optimal, but I was pretty sure I could still count to three) and when I was tinking back disaster struck.

Yeah, so that mess got unraveled, and now I have to either psych myself up to cast on all those stitches again, or I have to pick another pattern.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 26, 2011

stuff I've been knitting . . .

Umm . . . this will not be the most inspired post in the world, but I feel like we haven't had any photos of knit stuff in a while, so here you go.

I made a pair of Garter Stitch Mitts. They were v. fun to knit, and they're super cute on. I think they'd be great just plain in some really nice yarn, but since I had some acrylic to use up, I did a stripe.

I love the stripe. I also learned how to graft garter stitch (which is super easy, it's like Kitchener stitch's less-involved cousin) which is something, I guess.

I will not be keeping these mitts, cute as they are. The last thing I need--besides, like, malaria--is another pair of fingerless mitts in the blue family. I still have nothing that will look good with my pink coat this winter. Maybe I should get on that.

And I've started a rainbowy sock. I have (naturally) lost the ballband, but it's one of those wooly-cottony-nylony sort of blends, which, I have to say, might be my favorite for socks. I do love a good wool sock, but there's something about the wool/cotton sock yarns that I really like. Someday I may figure out what that is.

The sock is about three times longer now--I just started the gusset last night. The pattern is mostly improvised (Note To Self: you cast on 24 stitches for the toe!) and pretty plain. I put in some slipped stitches for 'interest,' but the yarn is so busy that you can barely see them. Oh well. It's subtle. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Of knitters and People Who Knit.

I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately. I recently acquired a snazzy new digital piano, so I've been practicing like the piano is crack and I am an addict. It's a really sweet piano. So yeah, that plus the fact that I don't have any good books on tape or tv shows I'm addicted to, and there hasn't been much knitting. Don't worry, I have some stuff requested at the library, so eventually there will be more knitted stuff to show you. And it's not like I haven't been knitting, I've just been knitting less.

Anyway, what I was really going to talk about (I have had some gin, so forgive me) is the whole knitter thing. I knit a fucking lot, and I have a blog about knitting, and I like to read about knitting, but I have never been a joiner, and I've always felt really awkward about the whole 'knitter' thing. I am much more of a person who knits. I don't get all up in arms if someone 'disses' knitting. I really don't care.

I bring this up because I took my blue cabled mitts on their first outing today, and damn if they aren't extremely eye-catching, and damn if people who knit don't come out of the woodwork to chat. And I am so awkward, because I'm not all KNITTERS! RAH! and I feel like such a moron. I'm never sure what to say to these people. What's your favorite yarn? Pick or throw? I also feel slightly awkward when people ask me how long I've been knitting, and it's really only five or six years, I think, but damn if I don't make really complicated shit. It's not that hard, y'all. Then again, with the whole unemployed thing, I do put in a lot of time knitting.

Anyway. I am indeed always contemplating the whole knitter vs person-who-knits thing. I'm not sure why I feel so awkward about it, but I do.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

" . . . in fact, terrified of the sea! Well. That's the sort that's dangerous."

So over on Ravelry I'm in this lovely Folklore and Fairy Tales group, and this autumn we're playing around with the idea of the sea. Or bodies of water. Watery things, anyway. Mostly we read water-themed stuff, and create water-themed items, but I thought what the heck, maybe we should have some watery music.

First up I'm going to give you part one of Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures. I'd never heard of the singer before, and the video is maybe a little awkward, but I think she sounds great.

Here are the words to Sea Slumber Song, the first song in the cycle. If you're really ambitious, the cycle is actually written for mezzo and orchestra, and there are plenty of orchestral versions on the youtube.

You can't get watery without Die Schone Mullerin (I'm sorry, I don't know how to to do umlauts! Picture them over the O and the U) with the brook burbling through the piano parts. And you can't do Die Schone Mullerin without Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, so here he is:

And then, of course, pirates. The tarantella starts at about :57.

More watery tunes to come!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I made a pair of Evenstar Gloves. I will admit that I kind of on principle stay away from the 'themed' sort of pattern. I don't know, there's something about patterns named after Lord of the Rings or Dr Who or whatever stuff that makes me feel a little bit embarrassed for everyone concerned. (Yes, this from a woman who knit an Infinity Gauntlet. I don't claim to make sense. I'm just telling you how I feel.)

However. These mitts are so pretty, and they have that fun wrap stitch, and I can't resist a good wrap stitch, and I had this blue dk yarn . . . so I decided to make a pair for a gift.

And then they turned out to be so perfect, and I love the way the subtle variations in the yarn work in the cables, and, well, I'm keeping them.

Keeping them is truly a sign of how much I like these, because besides the whole embarrassed thing, I'm not really a fan of long mitts. I have sworn to wear them a lot this winter, because if I don't, then I do have to give them away. They cannot be allowed to languish in a drawer waiting for Aragorn to come back . . . oh crap.

On the other hand, if they could perhaps lure Viggo Mortensen to my doorstep, I'd be more than ok with that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

a jolly, happy soul.

Sometimes you just get the urge to make something so unspeakably horrible that it ends up being fabulous.

Behold the horror that is a tiny snowman sweater.

Someone is going to be soooo lucky this Christmas!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

like a fiend with his dope, or a drunkard his wine . . .

. . . I keep knitting stripey things.

To be fair, I knit the one pictured quite a while ago. It took rather a long-ass time, because it's laceweight and I have to pay a little more attention than I do with fingering.

Anyway, I decided yesterday that I might as well make the mate to this guy, because it's awfully cute, and the weather will probably get cold again eventually. I went looking for my notes, such as they were, and discovered that yep, I'd thrown them out. I am so clever!

So I just spent a bit of time figuring out what I'd done, and jotting it down in an actual notebook so I won't lose it again. Yay! And with season 3 of Burn Notice in my hot little hands, who knows, I may have two mitts much sooner than I could otherwise expect.

Or I might give these away and make myself another pair. The wrist and hand are maybe a little larger than I like for myself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not a stripe in the lot.

A random smattering of things I've been working on, offered without comment.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

staying ahead of the weather.

Over on Ravelry I'm part of an excellent group of hockey fans. We have a superfun playoff pool every year, and even though my picks were absolute crap this time around, I still came away with an excellent prize, Catalina Alpaca Silk. I admit I wound it up and started knitting away on a Saroyan almost as soon as I saw the stuff.

This is a lovely pattern, and very quick. The leaves are adorable. I admit that after I'd knitted about three leaves I started worrying that I was going to have a Leafy Thing Obsession. Be warned. There could be more leaves in the future, especially if I decide/have enough yarn to do a hat or mitts to match.

And speaking of obsessions:

Some of them will go to Children's Hospital, and I'll either sell the rest or give them as gifts. You see those yellow and blue ones? I love those madly. I may have to keep them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

last leafy blue post, I promise.

I have some better pictures, so.

It's very pretty, even though it's more of a scarf than a wrap, and I really wanted to make my mom a wrap.

Oh well: there are plenty of other colors, holidays, and patterns in the universe. She'll get a nice big wrap eventually!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

blue leafy thing blocking

I finished it! Thank you, season two of The Wire. I may be thinking in profanities, but I don't think I would have gotten through that epic bind-off without you.

I couldn't get a decent shot of the whole thing blocking, but here are a few close-ups to give you the general idea.

I really like the leaves.

I'm kind of waiting till it dries (which it had better do soon, who blocks something on her bed at 8 pm, sometimes I am not clever) to see if the white/lighter blue bits look like pretty variations, or more like I splashed the shawl with bleach.

It might have been nice if the wrap was either longer or wider, but hey, that's what I get for messing with gauge. It's about a foot wide, maybe 14 inches, and it's all circular on my twin bed, so we'll see how long it is when I unpin it.

I hope it's a practical size--practical in the stage sense of 'working' not practical in the sense of 'sensible and useful.'

Whatever it is, it sure is pretty. It's a lovely design.

And best of all, it's done with over a week to spare! Go me!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

lacy things!

I seem to be stepping back from my striping madness. You'd think this was good, but now I am indulging in some lacy madness. Apparently I obsess easily. Well, and I know that, that's why I started knitting in the first place, because even a weird stripe obsession is better than playing too much Minesweeper. Minesweeper only gets you carpal tunnel, not something you can wear.

Bear in mind that most of these items have been made in the last . . . oh, say three weeks. Maybe two.

First up we have an Annis. If you can successfully navigate the casting on of billions of stitches (I exaggerate: 363 stitches only) this thing is a breeze, and it's super pretty once it's finished. It's a gift for a friend.

Here's another shot of the Kudzu Shawlette. It really is a good bit further along than last time you saw it! It's just that you knit it the long way, so progress shows slowly. Mine's probably going to be very narrow, since I'm doing it in laceweight on size 4 needles. It's pretty, though, and it feels lovely. I'm hoping it'll be a decent size once it's blocked. I know, I know, I should have swatched. I prefer to live on the edge.

I had forgotten how much mindless fun big ol' triangle shawls are! This guy, Undine, has a very easily memorized stitch pattern for the body of the shawl, so it just zooms right along. I think I did this one on a size 6 needle, which only added to the zooming. This one may end up in the handmade grab bag at my grandma's this Christmas. (Please ignore the wiggly blocking.)

And lastly we have a hilarious receipt I found in my purse the other day.

It's stuff I bought at a card store, I swear!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

aw, it's my 400th post.

I should probably throw some kind of party, but I'm a slacker, so all you're going to get are some random pictures. And they're not even very good pictures, because I've abandoned my stripey mitt obsession for a bit of a lace fit.

First up we have a Kudzu Shawlette. Well, the very beginnings of a Kudzu Shawlette.

This is theoretically for my mom's birthday. I'm not entirely certain I like it in the laceweight, but we shall see. This is definitely a time when I should have swatched, but I didn't. Doom and destruction may ensue.

And this blob, which is currently blocking and much less blobby, is a Super Sekrit item for a swap, so you'll probably have to wait a while to see it. Suffice it to say that if you find a shawl pattern with an easily-memorizeable lace motif, and you do it in laceweight on US 6 needles, you can have a sizeable and decently impressive shawl in pretty much no time. (Except for the bind-off. The bind-off will take you forever, and you'll be really glad East Lynne is 60 chapters long.)

I'm thinking I'll make a similar black shawl for the handmade grab bag this year. I have sooooo much black laceweight recycled out of old sweaters, and, God help me, I still have one old black sweater waiting to be unraveled. No, wait, I have two. Dear God. Black lace shawls and wraps for everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

a repeat.

Star Crossed Slouchy Beret. Once again a gift, once again not blocked out to be slouchy.

This is a fairly soft acrylic blend, so I have a feeling that once it's been worn for a while, it will go a bit on the floppy side.

I still really dig this pattern. And I still want one for myself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

provisional cast-on joy.

I have never, ever, been able to figure out how to do a crocheted provisional cast-on so that the crocheted chain unzips neatly from my knit stitches.

But now, ha ha, thanks to the super-duper clear instructions for the Grace Lace Beret, I can do it! One simple phrase was all I needed: "pick up 60 stitches from the back of crochet chains." Winner!

And I'd thought I was doing well because I already had a random piece of crocheted chain in the right weight and length just lying around in my bag of scrap yarn. But no, now my lazy ass has learned a new skill, too.

Anyway, I'm pretty stoked about this. It will save me a lot of frustration in the future, I can feel it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Sparkly Blue Thing

If you look very, very closely, you can see a faint stripe in this yarn, but it's not quite enough to count towards my stripey projects. :)

Anyway, here's your first look at my Sparkly Blue Thing. The yarn is Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, which appeared on my doorstep in a swap. It's soooo pretty I can't even deal.

The pattern is Something Lacy Shrug. I've been wanting to do something of this sort for a while, but most of the patterns I've found have had lace that seems a little bit 'granny' to me. I'm still not convinced that this isn't a bit granny.

I guess it's a granny with sass, though. The pattern calls for just a little bit of ribbing for sleeves, but I think I might make them longer, if it doesn't look silly. I should have plenty of yarn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a quick stripey hit.

Tiny stripey sweater! I feel the need to bust out a tiny sweater every so often. This one is a keychain. It's got i-cord coming out of the sleeve and attaching to a key. I have no idea how practical this is, but it sure is cute.

Oh, and the yellow yarn? It's the stuff I dyed myself! It's maybe a slight bit too brown to be a real Pittsburgh medium-yellow, but I like it anyway. It hearkens back to the old Terrible Towels.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

random round-up.

We had a primary election this week. I knew it would be a slow day, so I brought some knitting. Each of these items was barely started at the beginning of the day.

They grew a lot.

The scarf is in stripes, yes, but notice how I am weaning myself away from my solid stripes in the fingerless mitt. We've got a bit of colorwork going on! This mitt was the perfect thing to knit on Slow Election Day. It was just complicated enough that it was interesting (gotta love variegated yarn for that) but not so complicated that I couldn't figure out where I was when I picked it back up after registering a voter.

And I made a wee nerdy Green Lantern case thing for my brother's birthday. It's pretty cute. I didn't have time to block it, or it wouldn't look so squiggly. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orange! (And perhaps some stripes. Because.)

Yeah, I say "orange" and then the first thing I do is fake you out with some blue. We'll just all have to live with it. Anyway, this is my wool/silk laceweight from NeuroticKnitterz. I dig it, and I think my mom will too. I'm trying to decide what sort of lacy thing I want to make out of it. Right now I'm thinking a half-circle shawl, but I haven't found one that I really, really adore.

The yarn is actually a good bit brighter than in this picture. It's sooo pretty.

Ok. On to the orange segment of the day! (Ha ha, get it? Orange segment? I just made an awesome salad with quinoa and cilantro and scallions and oranges, so I may have oranges on the brain.)

This is from my second-ever adventure in dying. I was overdying some light brown--it is now a coppery brown, which is much more me--and thought what the heck, I'll toss in some of this white Knit Picks Palette I have leftover from Christmas. I had three extra (more or less) skeins, and I really don't think I need that much white. I dig this orange, though. I think I also dig this dying thing, though I do not have a precise nature and will therefore probably never be very good at it.

And here we have some stripes! This is stripey yarn, in my defense. I saw it lying there a few days ago, and there wasn't enough to make into anything, not even a baby hat, so it became this wee little pouch. I don't know what I'll keep in it, but it sure is cute.