31 December, 2010

2010 Wrap-up

Last yardage tally for the year, kittens! Woot!

Yardage Totals 2010

January: 1884 yds
February: 2850 yds
March: 2893 yds
April: 777 yds
May: 856 yds
June: 643 yds
July: 751yds
August: 1716yds
September: 3046 yds
October: 1337 yds
November: 1366yds
December: 2698yds

Year to date: 20,817 yds or 11.83 miles

OOOH. I was pretty close to the mile-per-month mark I was aiming for, but didn't quite get there. It's about 3.25 more miles' worth of yarn then I knit in 2009. (And a lot less frogging as well. :] )

I plan to continue tracking my yardage in 2011 and maybe at the end of it, I'll do a 3 year comparison and see if there are any trends to my knitting. I'm pretty sure my numbers will not be quite so high in 2011, and when I share my knitting intentions, that will make more sense. But I have to save something for tomorrow, right?

Now I'm off to watch Voyager with The Mister, work on a sock, and eat some snackies.

Goodbye, 2010

Kittens, at first, I wanted to do one of those spiffy photo collages of my FOs like all the cool kids are doing, but then I realized that I finished 37 projects this year. 37. The lazy in me does not feel up to resizing and cropping 37 photos to fit into a rectangle.

So instead, let's break them down a bit:

♥ 2 Blankets
♥ 1 Potholder
♥ 1 Cowl
♥ 1 Hoodlet
♥ 9 toys
♥ 6 pairs of socks
♥ 4 hats
♥ 1 shawlette
♥ 10 sweaters
♥ 1 pair of Swiffer covers
♥ 1 pair of fingerless mitts

Of these 37 projects, 2 were frogged and will be remade . 2 were tossed because the yarn was wrecked in my attempts to fix them in unconventional ways to avoid frogging.

My first FO of the year was Liesl.

And my last FO is yet unphotographed as an FO: Woodland Hoodlet.

All in all, it has been a seriously productive year and most of my projects turned out well. Hopefully, 2011 will be even better!

Happy New Year, kittens!

2010 Stashdown: Final Post

2010 Q1 Stashdown

Yardage in: 6,681
Yardage out: 9,766
Net stash change: -3,085
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.462

2010 Q2 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,014
Yardage out: 7,498
Net stash change: -484
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.069

2010 Q3 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,591
Yardage out: 10,588
Net stash change: -2,997
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.395

2010 Q4 Stashdown

Yardage in: 19,553
Yardage out: 11,095
Net Stash change: +8,457
Ratio (yds out/in): .567

2010 Totals so far:

Yardage in: 40,838
Yardage out: 38,947
Net Stash Change: +1,891
Ratio (yds out/in): .954

And there you have it, Kittens. After 3 quarters in the green and slowly chipping away at my stash, I had to make some large purchases --and reclaim a large chunk of that yardage via frogging (think the year's net stash change minus about 200yds)--this quarter. As a result, I'm in the red for the year. Boo. Totals have been edited 18 May 2011 after deciding to go ahead and use an item that was in the frog pile to be reclaimed.

While I'm sad about this, I'm also trying to be positive: my rate of acquirance in 2010 was much slower then 2009. I didn't technically have a StashWIN! sort of year, but I did take the first steps in slowing down the thoughtless buying and became more deliberate in my purchases.

You better believe you'll be seeing more stash tracking in 2011. I'm actually pretty pumped about it. In 2011, that net stash change will be green.


Kittens, I'm going to do my best to do some 2010 wrap-up posts before it ends tomorrow tonight. However, my in-laws are in town and I've been attempting to avoid being rude and hide from them. I might try to make an exception for a short time tomorrow, though, just for you. ♥

You should be seeing at least one post from me but in case I can not get to more, Happy New Year!

28 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

OK, kittens. It's technically still Tuesday here for another 2 hours, but my in-laws are in town and that means little-to-no computer time during the day. (And by tomorrow, these may both be off needles, and I'd have nothing to share.)

Crochet project. Something small. Still on the fence about it; it's ruffling when it shouldn't be.

Mmmm. Dense cables in bulky weight. Will have quite the yarn write-up for this later on.

25 December, 2010

Merry Giftmas!

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday surrounded by loved ones and some yummy treats! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

20 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 13

Kittens, today I will ask that you use your imaginations. I will not be providing a picture. Visualize yesterday's doll, but with two legs. Now you know what I did last night.

In my last post, I forgot to mention the time involved to stuff the body and knit that one leg down to the boot: 2.5 hours. Last night, it took 2 hours to knit the other leg and stuff it. These are a time intensive knit, to be sure. (If anyone is wondering why I'm keeping track, well...I like numbers, and I'm genuinely curious how many hours go into a project like this. People will ask and I want to have a number on hand to quote.)

Based on how long these are taking, working only 2-3 hours a night for the next 4 is not going to cut it. I still have to knit:

* 2 legs for the girl doll and stuff her: ~4.5 hours labor
* 4 horns for the helmets: ~1 hour to knit/ 1 hour to stuff and seam on
* 2 belt ends: ~ 1 hour to knit/ 15 minutes to seam on
* 2 swords: ~2 hours to knit/ 2 hours to stuff/seam/embroider/attach

This list does not include embroidering on the details like the face and shirt laces, nor does it include embroidering on the hair. Off the top of my head, I'm going to guess those tasks will take me another 3-4 hours.

So, let's do the math. I have an estimated 15 hours and 45 minutes worth of labor to do in 4 days. 2 hours a night will not cut it, and I came to this realization last night as I was packing up and stowing the dolls away.

My children are too old to work in front of anymore...so what will I do? The husband should be home every day from now until the end of the year, so I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom for 20-30 minutes at a time and try to steal an extra 2 hours a day to finish the dolls up.

19 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 12

They're finally starting to take shape. I'm still seriously nervous about if I can finish in time or not: 5 nights left...including tonight. Eep.

18 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 11

Viking underpants! Err...leggings, I suppose would be more correct. Last night, I could have done more knitting. However, someone went to the store specifically for Polyfil and then managed to forget to purchase said Polyfil. Before I can knit any further, these two need to be stuffed. Some of those openings are pretty small....

I have 6 more evenings to work on these, kittens. I'm starting to get nervous and wonder if I was perhaps too optimistic thinking these could be done in the time.

17 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 10

If you take Day 9's picture, and imagine that the color stripe in the belt is blue rather then purple, you will know exactly what I worked on last night. ;) It seemed a bit silly to take a photo of the same thing I photographed before. But fear not, kittens! I'll be back with a photo tomorrow.

16 December, 2010

A Couple Realizations...

Kittens, two things have come to my attention today.

1) This blog will be 4 in July. It and I share the same birth month and birth week. I will try to do something special for that time. It's not every year your blog turns 4 and you get to celebrate the last year of your 20s.

2) The scarf I was blogging about yesterday? I just noticed that I twisted the stitches. I think I'm going to let it be and it will become a mobius cowl instead. Whoops? (This is the first time I've managed to do that. I can not believe it took me three days to notice it!)

So what about you, kittens? Have you had any realizations today, either pleasant or unpleasant?

Vikings, Day 9

Another hour, another arm. The second one is a bit funny looking, especially the thumb. Oh well, they're Vikings and I'm sure they break bones and improperly set them all the time.

One Viking down, another to go while I try to figure out the instructions for the legs...I'm having a really rough time visualizing how those are going to knit up.

15 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Kittens, it is ~11pm CST. So I made it before Wednesday is over! Last night, I took a break from the Vikings; my hands were due the kindness. So instead I'll leave you with a picture of my new daytime WIP...

An infinity scarf has been cast-on!

14 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 7

Little hands are so fiddly. One arm took about 55 minutes to knit. Three more to go.

13 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 6

I took it "easy" last night and spent about 65 minutes finishing up the viking girl's tunic. Tonight, I'll start working on the putzy, but fairly quick, limbs. I'll be very glad when this knit is done; my joints are bothering me a bit between the cold and the tightly knit cotton.

12 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 5

I put in another 2.5 hours last night, give or take a few minutes. You can finally see a difference in the vikings: the blue one is for The Boy, while the viking for The Girl has a heathered berry colored belt. The belt colors will be seen again in the leggings, which I believe is next up on the pattern. I really dislike knitting limbs, but at least they go quickly.

11 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 4

They have upper bodies! This took about 2.5 hours last night, but the end is in sight. Next they need belts and their lower tunics. Then it's onto arms, legs, weapons, and horns for their helms. Then I have to stuff and attach it all. After that, it's the putzy but creative detailing: embroidery for the faces and adding the hair.

I'm pretty confident that I'll finish these with time to spare. Knock on wood, kittens.

10 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 3

So I did not get quite as much time to work on these last night as I would have liked: an hour vs. two to three, as I had hoped. No worries though! Now, they both have faces and tonight, I will start their tunics.

09 December, 2010

2 for 1

In a couple of ways, actually. I would like to keep the Viking WIP posts separate from my others, so you get two blog posts from me today, kittens!

The other way, and the subject of this blog, is 2 FOs from 1 pattern. I've been quite busy this month and already have finished 3 objects; 2 of them are fingering weight hats. So without further delay, I bring you...

Pattern: Sockhead Hat (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 2.5
Yarn: Yarntini Self-Striping Merino/Nylon sock - Sunshine Stripe

Yes, the hat I knit for trade with my sister is finished and ready to be sent her way. I'm debating if I have enough yarn left over to knit her a coordinating pair of wrist warmers as well. (I'm thinking the best way to figure it out would be to cast on provisionally, work the hand portion, then unravel the cast on and knit up the wrist/arm.)

I mostly followed the pattern for this. I actually cast on with smaller needles then called for, but I wanted the fabric to be a little on the thicker side rather then overly thin and floppy. My sister lives in WI after all, and even if this isn't a winter hat for her, I'd like it to work for warmer winter days and the spring and fall days when it's still chilly. I used the given numbers for cast-on, knit 4" of the 2x2 ribbing, then increased by 6 stitches for the body--this was an error on my part, as a full repeat is 8 stitches. I didn't knit the body of the hat to 9" like the pattern asks, instead I knit about 7.5" and then began the decreases. I had to fudge the first decrease row and then after that, it matched up as it should. With blocking, this became drapey and slouchy as it aught to.

The Boy is modeling the hat for me in this picture, but it also fits my 22.5" head, though the ribbing is stretched about as far as it will go.

Here he is working on his modeling pout: I find his version amusing. He's a great sport about modeling knits for me and is always excited to do so. He takes posing directions very well for a 4 year old.

Upon finishing my sister's hat, I decided that I needed one...with some modifications, of course.

Needle: US size 2.5
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock- Negro and Gothsocks Asphodel - The Goblin King

...and I needed it to coordinate with my Goblin Gauntlets, as well! So here is my modified sockhead hat. First, I cast on the number given + 8 stitches. Malabrigo sock is on the thin side for fingering, so I knew that if I wanted this to fit well I'd need the extra stitches in the ribbing section. I then knit just a smidge over 2.5" of 2 x 2 ribbing. At this point, I cut my yarn and attached the Asphodel. I had no desire to fold over the brim of the hat, so I knit just a bit less then 6" in length before going to the decrease rounds. From there, everything was easy because I had the correct numbers this time.

The resulting hat looks quite a bit like a beret with snugger ribbing, non?

The hat coordinates beautifully with the mitts without being matchy-matchy. I'm out to buck the stereotype that one will know a knitter by the fact that none of her accessories match. If I had enough yarn to make a cowl, I very likely would. Though now that I give it more thought...I think having one that is all black rather then striped will coordinate just fine.

Vikings, Day 2

Since I rather miss daily blogging but not having to think of a topic every day, I decided to daily blog the progress on my viking toys. This way, I will keep on track and will hopefully finish well before my 24 December deadline. With 2 hours per night, I have about 32 work hours left to get these little guys finished.

So day 1 finished with a single viking helmet. After about 2.5-ish hours worth of knitting last night, I have two helmets and one viking face. That may not seem like much, but these are very large, I'm discovering. I'll have to post a picture with something for size reference.

So far, the pattern is super easy to follow and other then the bobbles, it's been smooth knitting. Just a bit putzy since I'm working worsted weight yarn on US size 4 needles--taking my gauge into consideration, that's like a more "normal" tensioned knitter working on 2.5s. So yeah, this is some dense fabric, even if it doesn't look it. The pattern was written for non-washable wool, but I think it's working up very well in a 100% cotton.

We'll have to see what tomorrow brings!

08 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Ah, kittens! A full week off from blogging. After doing it daily for November, it feels a bit strange not to post daily in December.

I have a couple of WIPs on needles that I can share this week.

First is my Citron. The theme for December is using up leftovers, and I have been busy at it! While this yarn looks very orange in my photo--no sun today so I couldn't get natural light pictures...this is better then it was before I worked on toning it!--it's really the same yarn as my Abalone. So in truth, it's an orange-y pink. So far, this pattern is super easy, but it is starting to get tedious on the ruffled sections where the stitches double for awhile before coming back down in count.

Next up is a project I cast on last night; the yarn finally arrived yesterday so I could get to work. I'm making Viking Dolls for The Boy and The Girl for Giftmas, so I need to work fast and after they go to bed. They're difficult to see--again, due to lack of natural lighting and needing to use the flash--but there are bobbles all around the rim of the helm. Knitting these at such a tight gauge in cotton, my hands were killing me last night by the time I was done. I get to do it again tonight, since I'm working on both dolls at the same time.

I'm hoping to have an FO post for you here in the coming days: I already have a few for the month. Yes kittens, I said a FEW!

01 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

It just so happens that Wednesday is the first day of the month, so after blogging every day in November, I do not get to take a break until tomorrow. Thankfully, I have WIPs to share, and both are rounding the corner to becoming FOs.

The first is my Garter Yoke cardigan, which I had been hoping to call an FO before November was out.

It didn't quite work out that way, as I have this serious dislike of knitting sleeves. I shocked myself when I made the decision to make them proper, full length ones.

This cardigan is turning out OK so far; I have to wait and see what the yarn does upon blocking. It's coming out a bit smaller then expected--but at proper gauge, so I'm hoping that it will bloom when it hits the water. It fits great across the back, but the sleeves and the front are more snug then I'd like. If I had understood how the construction worked before finishing up the yoke, I would have altered it to have more stitches in the front panels and on the sleeves. The next time I try something like this, I'll definitely keep it in mind. I'm one of those people who can not visualize what I'm doing from reading. I have to jump in, make a mess, and then I learn my lesson and have a light bulb moment. So it may not help me now, but the next time I encounter a yoke like this, I'll have an idea of what to do and how to go backwards to make it fit better for me.

Regardless, it's wearable. Just not as intended. (Not that I put buttons all the way down the placket anyway...I just have 03 on top and decided to stop there.)

And then there's the hat for my sister; it's coming along nicely. You're looking at 4" of ribbing and about 4" of body there, kittens. I have up to 5" more to go before I start the decreases and call it finished.

Hopefully, you'll be seeing a lot of productivity out of me this month: I have lofty goals for yardage output.

30 November, 2010

November Wrap-up

Kittens, we have reached the last day of November, and I am so happy that it ends with easiest post (apart from WIP it Wednesdays)!

Yardage Totals 2010

January: 1884 yds
February: 2850 yds
March: 2893 yds
April: 777 yds
May: 856 yds
June: 643 yds
July: 751yds
August: 1716yds
September: 3046 yds
October: 1337 yds
November: 1366yds

Year to date: 18,119 yds or 10.29 miles

I knit slightly more then I did in October, which pleases me. November got off to a very slow start and I was afraid it might be my lowest yield month of the year. Now onto December! In fantasy land, I'll knit the over 3,000yds needed to average 1 mile a month for the year...but realistically, I know that will not happen.


I have nothing today, kittens. Talk amongst yourselves.

28 November, 2010

Under The Wire

Kittens, where I live it is still Sunday. As such, I'm making a fluff post today. 28 days of consecutive blog posts have drained me. Some knitting happened today and a little crocheting. Tomorrow, I hope to have something a bit better.

27 November, 2010

New Cast On

Some sunshine for my sister, Amy. We're trading services. For my end, this will be a Sockhead Hat. Down the line, I'll update with what I get from her. What's really cool is that the cost of materials and hours of labor for both projects is nearly identical.

26 November, 2010

Black Friday FO

Kittens, I hope you all slept in and are avoiding the craziness which is Black Friday shopping today. At Chez Knitpicking, we're doing just that. My morning started with drinking chocolate and writing up a blog post.

This post has been a long time coming...

Yes, kittens, The Dreamy Basic Cardigan has finally been photographed so I can blog it!

Please pardon the squinty smile. We went from foggy and dreary to so sunny my poor eyes could not handle it. I'm very sensitive to sunlight, and you'll find me sporting sunglasses, even on cloudy days.

So what can I say about Dreamy?

The pattern is nothing special, just an improvised top-down raglan cardigan that isn't meant to be closed. (Though it is wide enough that I could close it if I'd like to add some sort of closures.) The lazy part of me is digging this current trend. I'm sure you'll be seeing more cardigans without closures from me in the future. I used the starting numbers from my, "You Down with AOB?", as a jump off point to start the increases. It worked out really well and I'm very pleased with how this fits.

The true star was the yarn: Sundara Sport in an LE colorway I picked up in September 2009. This yarn wasn't what I was expecting when I opened the package, and I had to make peace with it before I could put it to use. At the time I purchased the yarn, the dyer had recently switched over to doing her own photography and photo editing; to put it kindly, there were...issues with photo accuracy. She also wasn't the most gracious about accepting that large numbers of her customer base were complaining about the change and went on the defensive, but that's a story for a different time. When I saw this colorway, Dreams Have Invisible Wings, on the site, it was a bright blue green. You can see highlights of it in the yarn, but it had looked like a consistent semi-solid of that color. Imagine my surprise when I opened my package to find a dark yarn, mostly black with navy and flashes of the bright blue green. This was before Sundara implemented her return policy and I sat there baffled about what to do with such a variegated colorway. I thought about destashing, but after showing off the color on the Ravelry board, most others had the same reaction to it I did.

11 months later, I finally decided to pull it out of my tote and use it for a basic cardigan to show off the colorway. Of course, I alternated skeins to avoid pooling. I probably should have alternated 03 at the same time rather then 02; there is some minor color pooling despite my efforts. Later, I realized that I hadn't left enough of the lighter skeins to go with the darker ones and the ribbing for the sweater is noticeably darker.

As for the yarn itself, I love it. Hate the price tag, but love the yarn base. Out of 05 skeins, there were 02 knots and no schlubby bits. I have two more colorways of this in-stash, and I'm hoping to crack into another after my current project is finished. It's soft and has nice stitch definition from the plying. At the gauge I knit it, it has lovely drape but is still opaque. Good yarn all around. Sundara has recently added a less expensive Sport Merino 2 to her site, but I resisted the temptation to purchase from the first round. When she brings it back, I'll nab some in the future and see how it compares.

Overall, I'm very happy with this knit and I'm looking forward to getting more use out of it when the weather decides to trend cooler again. It was 80º yesterday, kittens. 80.

25 November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you're having a good one full of yummy foods, kittens. Will be back to craft blogging tomorrow.

24 November, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Kittens, I almost forgot that today is Wednesday. Good thing though, since I'm currently glaring at the weather and silently chastising it for being so poor for taking photos. (I also hear it is ridiculously humid out there. I think I'll play it safe and stay inside today. ;] )

My garter yoke, it's getting there! I'm about to pick up the stitches for a sleeve and work my way through the question that has been hounding me for the better part of the week: how long will the sleeves be? It's a validly tricky question. On the one hand, it likely will not be freezing cold for much of the winter and I'll get more wear out of this if I keep the sleeves shorter. On the other, this is a nice warm wool, and even with short sleeves, it's likely to be a piece for only the coldest months, so I can cheap out avoid buying a winter coat if I keep the sleeves longer.

I guess I'll see where my whim takes me as I knit the first sleeve....

23 November, 2010

Foggy Day

So no pictures. I'm hoping to get them tomorrow.

I'm almost to the end of the body on my Garter Yoke Cardigan and I will start the sleeves tomorrow. The end is near, kittens.

Hope you all had a lovely Tuesday, and it had some sort of fibery/crafty goodness in it.

22 November, 2010

More Plans...

have gone awry, due to The Husband's schedule being extended today. So the blog I originally planned to post up will have to wait until tomorrow...if the weather cooperates for pictures. YES, it was going to be an FO post today, kittens. Now, I'm scrambling to figure out what I should write about.

Right now, I haven't got much. But since yarn reviews were one of the suggestions of things I could blog this month, I thought I could share what is my biggest peeve when reading one. Anytime I read a yarn review and the words, "I found it to be splitty/ it's splitty," come onto the screen, I scream a little inside. This may be the single least helpful thing a person can, "contribute." All plied yarn if treated just right will split. Some days, you're the one who does it.

There you go. Short and a little bit cranky.

21 November, 2010

In The Making

Monster heads. Not sure how many more components I'll whip up before I start decorating these and assembling them. These are a great way to eat up 7-15 yard scrap pieces.

I'm really pleased with how my crochet is looking so far. These are much more even and nice them some of my previous attempts. Maybe I need to stick to small gauge yarn and hooks in the future. It's really slow going, but it's pretty looking.

20 November, 2010


I knit quite a bit in the car. I somehow managed to not get carsick in the process. So yay! I'm making great progress on my Garter Yoke Cardi and at the rate I'm going, I might finish a sweater in under 10 days. This would be sweater 10 of 12. If I could focus, I just might make my 12 for NaKniSweMoDo. This idea has me very excited, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself.

I also cast on a crochet project. I love everything Halloween and creepy and cute all at the same time. So yes, I'm the sort of person who would totally decorate her holiday tree with monster heads. ( I still need to get some wool felt so I can make half-eaten, traumatized gingerbread ornaments and act out their apocalypse. What...?)


19 November, 2010

I am not going to pretend to have a fully formed opinion on this yet, but this week, somewhere on the internet, I ran across the idea of being a Knitter vs. a knitter. This sort of question resonates with me, and this is not the first time such an idea has come up.

I feel differently about knitting then I do about some of my other creative hobbies.

As is sometimes shown here, I dabble in embroidery and sewing/quilting. But neither of these things really resonate with me and stir a passion within. They're fun to do, but I view them as hobbies. Pastimes, nothing more. If I had to describe myself I wouldn't put "quilter," or "embroiderer," anywhere near the top of that list. If one were to try and start up a conversation about either subject with me, I'd likely chat about it, but I doubt I'd get very excited and I'd do more listening then talking. (Unless talk of the modern quilting movement comes up. Then I do actually get a bit excited, and that's what drew me back into sewing. Same with zakka-inspired sewing.) These are things that I do, but I do not feel that they describe who I am.

This is where the distinction comes in, I think. Is something an expression of who you are or just a hobby, a way to pass time?

I know this: I knit when I'm happy. I knit when I'm sad. I knit when I need to think more clearly. I knit when I need a distraction. I knit in small grabbed moments of time. I knit when I have a lot of time available. I even dream about knitting and often, thinking about it is what soothes me to sleep.

I'm thinking I'm a Knitter. What about you, kittens? Are you Knitters, Crocheters, Quilters, "fill-in-what-you-are-of-choice-with-a-capital-here"-ers?

18 November, 2010


I have nothing again today. Lots of progress on Garter Yoke, but it's not exactly exciting to look at yet. This "blog every day," thing is harder then it sounds.

17 November, 2010

(Almost) Wordless WIPing

After such a wordy post yesterday, I decided to give my fingers a break today, kittens. Here are my WIPs for the week.

The never-ending mitts.

Mmmm. Garter yoke.

16 November, 2010


Kittens, after a month, it is finally done. No more teasers for you. And no more kvetching about how this will never get off of needles.

Pattern: Honeybee Cardigan, Laura Chau (Ravel it)
Yarn: Sundara Sock, Garden of Delight (May 2009 LE)
Needles: US size 6

This took much longer to knit then it should have due to a very slow start, ripping and recasting on due to math fail & brain fog, and an inability to keep moving when I was knitting. I have a couple of theories about why this happened.

As you can see from the date, this Sundara had been sitting in stash for about 18 months, and while I liked the color, I was no longer in love with it and wanted to see it used or rehomed. I wouldn't consider myself a fickle yarnie, but my color preferences do sway a bit and at the time I purchased this green, I was madly in love with the color. Right now, I'm still liking green, but not rabidly infatuated with it or seeking it out. (This changed as a I actually worked on the sweater. The process helped me refall in love with the colorway.)

The other is something I learned about myself while knitting this. To date, I haven't had an issue following a knitting pattern or trying to understand what the writer's instructions are. I'll get momentarily confused, reread, understand, and move on. It happens. With this knit, I kept tripping up and had to spend better parts of an hour reading and rereading the directions. This was not the fault of the pattern and as far as I can tell, it didn't have any errors. All of the information was correct. What I learned is that Ms. Chau and I think differently, and this is the first time I've encountered that. Portions of the pattern were--to ME--redundant and it confused me, thinking there must be something I was missing in the reading. I discovered that I fill in the blanks on my own and this was tripping me up. They were all silly things that once I got them, I laughed about it, even if I was cussing up a storm and getting irritated at the time. This will not make me avoid her patterns in the future, but it will put me on alert.

Those two things aside, this knit grew on me and I'm quite pleased with it. I learned a slick new technique.

Bottom-up, seamless set-in sleeves. LOVE. How slick is that?! I tend to avoid set-in sleeves because I can never get them to match up properly or look nice. My gauge always varies a bit as I knit separate pieces and no matter how many times I measure, the sleeves never match up with the sleeve holes. To say they frustrate me is an understatement. I have a feeling I'm going to be using this technique quite a bit in the future and will definitely alter patterns with set-in sleeves to attach them this way. I would likely knit nothing but set-in sleeves if they weren't such a pain in the rear.

Speaking of the sleeves, this was the one "major" change to the pattern I made. Rather then a 12" 3/4 sleeve, I wanted a short one. This decision was first made to make this as quick a knit as possible, but later I realized it was a good one. Alabama is not exactly cold most of the year and with short sleeves, this is adorable over dresses.

And that i-cord finish for the neckline? Such a simple--but pretty--way to finish the knit off. It was putzy and took forever, but well worth it.

My arm may fall off from all of the back patting I'm about to do. How beautiful are those picked up stitches for the button band?! After 3 years of knitting, I finally feel proficient in the technique and like I really understand it. Nice, neat, and even. No more uneven pick-ups varying between two different columns of stitches because I could not figure out how to see where to place my needle.

The buttons were some freebies thrown in my last order from GreenRayProd on Etsy. Jodi has some fabulous vintage buttons in her shop and always includes interesting information about them. Imagine my surprise when I saw these had been tossed in as a bonus. And how perfect they were for this sweater!

Lacewing is sweater 09 of 12 for IntSweMoDo. Unless I can pump out 03 sweaters in the next six weeks, I won't make it. But I'll be close!

15 November, 2010

1/2 way

And I am far too tired to do a real blog tonight, kittens. I hope you all are staying warm and dry...preferably with some cocoa and knitting.

14 November, 2010

Because I am a Tease....

This might just be a fully finished button band and finished off icord neckline.

And this just might be a seamed shoulder, one of two finished.

And my Honeybee, known on my Ravelry page as "Lacewing," might just be soaking as I type this out.

13 November, 2010

Garter Yoke...

So, this seems to be the most popular option. But I have another question, kittens: do I leave it as a cardigan, or convert it to a pullover to make it more like Cobblestone? I love that Garter Yoke is knit from the top-down, making it easy to get the fit right and it should be simple enough to convert and improvise as I go.

12 November, 2010

"The Best Laid Plans of Mice and...

bloggers, often go awry." Or so the saying should have gone.

It wasn't until I remembered that The Husband had an evening shift that I realized that my original plan for a blog entry today would not work. It will have to be done this weekend. So I've been spending most of my day debating what I should blog about instead... I did not want another cop out post like I gave you yesterday, kittens. That would be cruel.

I'm still chugging along on my Honeybee, but have made a fair amount of progress on it today. I reached the double sleeve decreases and have a couple front ones left. The number of stitches on needles are quickly reducing and I can see an actual sleeve shape. I shall be finishing it soon and I'm itching (haha!) to cast on something that I'm more excited about.

Enter the yarn:

Shelter. Brooklyn Tweed. The most awesome gray ever, named "Sweatshirt." It is fab and I've been thinking about it constantly since it arrived. This was the second shipment sent to me, since the first was lost. I've been vainly hoping ever since that the first would make its way here and I'd have double the sheepy awesomeness, but alas, after 6 weeks, it's still missing. I'm going to have to accept that it's not coming. If it would arrive, I had FABULOUS plans for it.

Here's where the problem comes in. I can not decide what to cast on. I've been a little MEH about cardigans right now and am itching (haha!²) to do some pullovers. However, this yarn is not merino and has a bit of an itch factor to it. Not terribly bad, but just enough that I would not want it touching more sensitive areas of my body.

Using Ravelry's fantastic pattern searching options, these are my top contenders that I already have the patterns for. (I've already taken yardage into consideration before choosing.)

Garter Yoke Cardigan, Melissa LaBarre. I like the simplicity of the knit and it's very similar to Mr. Tweed's own Cobblestone Pullover pattern. So it seems fitting.

Heather Raglan Pullover, Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I really like this for the same reasons that I like the last one. It's simple and would look fantastic in a tweedy gray. As a bonus, no button bands!

Then there is the option of free patterns. I'm trying very hard not to purchase additional patterns right now. I'm a collector of them.

This is from Coats & Clark, originally written for cotton. But I can definitely see it in gray tweed and it has potential. The simple lace pattern gives it some interest factor and would help prevent boredom while knitting.

So what are your opinions, kittens? Any of these strike your fancy for the yarn?

11 November, 2010


Not much to say today. I've been trying to think of something worthwhile to blog, and I keep coming up empty. Even if not super productive, I have continued to meet/exceed my low daily goal for the two knits on my needles, and progress is slowly revealing herself to me.

I promise to come up with something better for tomorrow, kittens. Today, I'm sort of a bum.

10 November, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Kittens, apparently setting low, arbitrary goals helps productivity. Who knew? Last night I knit 05 rows on one project and 06 on the other. This morning, I've knit 02 rows on the first project and 04 on the second.

Go figure.

My Skull and Flowers mitts are coming along nicely. I'm still trying to decide if these will be fingerless mitts or actual mittens. I'm trying to determine the actual need for mittens down here. Warm wrists I'm sure I'll need. But will my fingers actually get cold? Hmmm.

If you look closely at the picture, you can see where the blocked portion of the mitt ends and it pulls back in a bit.

And the neckline has been started on my Honeybee. With any luck, this will pick up pace now that I've bound off a large number of stitches for it. In a few more rows, I'll be doing decreases in the sleeves every row instead of every right side row, so it will start to fly at that point. The end for this knit is creeping up.

And that's what I have for you this Wednesday.

09 November, 2010

Small Goal

My knitting mojo is practically non-existent this month after a rather sad end to October. It's not looking to be getting any better after doing my weekly weigh in. Truly, it was depressing how low my numbers were. So I've decided to set a small goal to keep me moving and hopefully pop out a couple of FOs this month: finishing things always lifts my spirit and gives me the oomph needed to work on something else.

So here it goes: Until my Honeybee Cardigan & Skull and Flower mitts are off needles, I plan to knit at least 2 rows per project per day.

A little progress is better then no progress at all. So far today, I've already knit 3 rows on the mitts, so hey, that's something. I really want something to show off for WIP it Wednesday. It will not be the cardigan, since it looks pretty much the same as it did the last time I posted it. Maybe if I try to display it in a more artful way....

08 November, 2010

Alterations: A Sorta Tutorial

Changing pace today, since I actually used my sewing machine for a quick project yesterday. I've been finding more sewing blogs to follow lately--particularly ones about altering tee shirts and pre-existing items--and a couple of them had tutorials up for how to convert little girl's tee shirts into long sleeved ones with outgrown leggings. Because raising a girl right now, it's all about leggings and I'm willing to bet that everyone has some. In fact, The Girl had just outgrown a few fun pairs and some were too short now that Fall seems to have landed in Alabama. So I took a quick glance at how it was done and decided to try it out on my own.

First, I picked out a favorite short sleeved shirt and a pair of leggings that coordinate nicely with it. Gotta love the clearance section: I believe I snagged those leggings for $1.99 at Old Navy back in the day. I loved the fun print and the button details on the legs. And like all good Americans, I'm a sucker for a clearance rack. For cheap clothing alterations, that's a good thing.

At this point, I pulled out one of The Girl's few long sleeve tees she owns--one that happens to be in the same style as what I'm making--and I took the measurement from the seam on the arm cuff down to the opening of the sleeve. (Since that was where I planned to sew the new sleeve to, I figured it was a good place to measure from.)

I then laid the leggings out flat on my rotary mat and cut the legs off just a little longer then the measurement I took. I believe I did something right in the middle of 9.25" and 9.5" ( 9 3/8" ?) for a measurement of 9" on the original shirt sleeve. I wanted to make sure that I didn't accidentally short the sleeve by doing the exact amount.

Since the sleeve was going to need to be tapered--the leg opening was much wider then the sleeve opening was--and I didn't want to touch the side with the buttons, I pinned the leg to the cuff starting on the button side. (I attempted to make the buttons facing out and this didn't quite work out how I thought it would.) This left the excess leg on the side. I marked where I wanted to start sewing with a vertical pin and then sewed from there. I didn't use a guide, just gently tapered down the leg, but I'm not as picky about accuracy with some things. Your mileage may vary.

Comme ça.

I used a line to show more clearly where the seam was sewn to take the excess out of the leg. (On this particular leg, I could have started a bit closer to the sleeve, since I had to fold it in a bit to make it fit. I remedied that the second time around.) I then took my rotary cutter and trimmed the excess, leaving a small amount of fabric outside of the seam.

Then I went to my sewing machine and with some finagling got it properly set up to sew the sleeve into place. I used the "rim" of the cuff as a guide to line the jersey up to and used the little indentation on my sewing foot to align that all with. The seam allowance on the inside is very thin, but I wasn't too worried about it for this project.

When all was said and done...

this is what I had. I used another lovely arrow to point out that seam on the cuff I've been babbling about.

Then I repeated the project for the other side and TA DA!

Super cute new fall tee shirt for The Girl. She did not feel like modeling for me so I could get a decent picture: this is as good as it got last night.

Start to finish, this project took less time then it did for me to write this blog. It was all done in less then 20 minutes. I will definitely be doing this again with a few more pair of favorite, but no-longer-fit leggings and equally loved short sleeve tees.

07 November, 2010

Why Reading The Label is a Good Thing

If you don't, you end up with a partially felted blanket/project. (Felted portions have raspberry dots next to them to point them out.)

I was going to write a yarn review, because I SWORE this yarn claims to be superwash. Before going off though, I decided to check the Ravelry page, which led me back to the page from the online store I purchased it from. Sure enough, it says it is not superwash as I believed. So there goes my ammunition.

This is Yarn Love Anne Shirley and was washed in icy cold water on the gentle/handwash cycle. Yeah. Not superwash at all. In fact, I'm wondering how it would have fared being handwashed.
The colors are gorgeous. The yarn is lofty and soft. Even the felted sections are lovely and snuggly. Since the washing mistake was mine, I can't think of anything negative to say about the yarn, since I should have known better. I didn't even run into any schlubby bits in the skeins.

So there you go.

06 November, 2010


I have yet to knit from them, but my Japanese knitting and crochet books are a huge source of inspiration for me.

How could I not be inspired by them? The patterns are intricate and beautiful. They're photographed and styled beautifully. American magazines could definitely learn a thing or two from Japanese craft books.

03 new ones arrived today and I've been gleefully paging through them and making mental note of all the patterns I want to get to when I have the time to adjust for size and have the proper stash to work with it (06 in one, 04 in the second, and 02 in the third). The curious can go check my library on Ravelry: I've already found them in the database and added them to my collection.

Time to pump out those hand dyes and get some beautiful solid neutrals into stash.