Category Archives: ravelry

Answering the question

I’ve been wondering: If I knit Athena one block narrower, would I be able to do it with one ball of Taos? The answer is…

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Almost. But No. I made it all the way through the triangle blocks, but didn’t have enough to bind off. So now I know. This Athena is quite cozy at 20 inches around, yet still roomy enough, but since I have to buy the second ball of Taos anyway, why not make it more squooshy? So my next one will be at the size specified in the pattern. Wait, did I say next? Yes. It turns out this Athena isn’t for me after all. The colors are perfect for my friend D. And she’s having an Important Birthday. So off it goes.

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Please note the lovely daylight, outside, no rain. A respite!

But I can’t knit another Athena right now. I promised myself that when I finished, I’d cast on for the Leyburn KAL on Ravelry. And so I shall. Tonight.

Knitting around in circles

Pippi 3 is off the needles.

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It looks just like Pippi the first, right?

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Almost! The Cashmerino Aran colors are really rich and and seem to glow. I wouldn’t call it Aran weight, though. It’s a very nice worsted. Note the slightly shorter earflaps. And now that I’m looking at the picture, I see that I used double crochet instead of half double crochet on the edging! Oops. I’m not a crocheter, really, and I mis-remembered how to do it. I like the way it looks, though. I love this pattern, but after three hats, I’m definitely ready to move on.

What next? I started my Athena for me.

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Lest you think that I am in a rut (three of the same thing, and three of the same thing?), I have another thing in the queue after Athena:

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My friend Susan gave me these Lantern Moon Sox Stix for Christmas. Size 2! I guess that means I need to knit some somewhat skinny yarn socks. I bought some Socks That Rock Mediumweight (still not ready for the really skinny stuff); this color is “Eggplanted.” There’s a KAL on Ravelry for the Leyburn Socks, so I’ll start with that idea and see if it flies.

Pippi pattern published

How’s that for alliteration?

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I finished the second Pippi hat, and took notes this time! I played around with earflap length and placement, and added a larger size. I just finished editing the pattern; it is available as a Ravelry download for $5 USD. See pattern page for details.

Good night!

Happy New Year!

Here’s my last FO for 2008.

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It’s the Head Hugger beanie from Ann Norling. I made it last night. I’m teaching a class at Twisted in February and again in April, Intro to Circular Knitting/Basic Hat. I needed a shop model/teaser for the class. This is a good basic hat pattern that a relative newbie can master, and then customize as they wish. Should be fun!

I was going to make a mosaic of all my 2008 FO’s, but organizing all the pictures was daunting. There are about 30, and I’m out of time. So instead, here are things that I’ve designed/written during 2008.

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They are, from left to right, top to bottom: entrelac socks, felted slip stitch tote, log cabin baby blanket, zigzag lace pedi socks, stitch markers, checkerboard scarflet, Athena entrelac neck warmer, Pippi (pattern coming soon), and the square for the Afghans for Afghans afghan. Someday we’ll finish all those squares!

I started this blog in March, and it’s been way more fun than I anticipated. I started selling patterns on Ravelry and at Twisted this year, too, and that’s been a good experience. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Happy new year and happy knitting!

Sing a song of entrelac

It’s finished! Introducing Athena, an entrelac neck warmer.

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This yarn really lends itself to entrelac. I did try four other patterns, but ended up having to come up with something on my own. I knew I didn’t want to knit a long scarf; time was of the essence. I thought about knitting an entrelac scarflet, but I’ve only knit entrelac in the round, and didn’t feel like learning a new trick in a hurry (it’s just learning about side triangles for flat entrelac, but a mood is a mood). My next thought was a hat, but I didn’t think the intended recipient would wear a hat. And it would be floppy. I went to bed thinking about it, and the next morning I woke up with this neck warmer idea springing from my head. And I love the name Athena for it.

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I did have to start it three different times. The fun of designing is making all the mistakes for you, so you don’t have to! The pattern is available as a pdf download for $5 US through Ravelry. See the pattern page for more information.

Here’s Carole with her new neck warmer!

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Sing to me

Or, behind the scenes in the process of choosing a project.

The new yarn (Crystal Palace Taos) is being a bit difficult. It’s lovely stuff, very soft, and the colors are beautiful. But I’m still not sure what to knit with it. Nothing is singing to me.

At first I thought a bit of feather and fan would be fun. I’ve always wanted to knit a feather and fan lace pattern, and Two Weeknights with Warrick looked like it would be perfect. Great pattern, easy to memorize. Alas, it doesn’t do justice to the yarn. I’ll knit this pattern with a different yarn somewhere down the road.

So I cast on for the checkerboard scarflet. But the checkerboard was getting lost in the color changes, or the color changes were getting lost in the checkerboard. I’m not sure which.

I poked around on Ravelry to see what other people made with this gorgeous yarn. A lot of entrelac! And some mitered scarves. Aha. How about the Pioneer Braid Scarf? I cast on this morning and knit for a bit. The pattern is ingenious. Here’s what it looks like. And this is a much better depiction of the true colors.

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It’s better than the first two tries, but it still doesn’t sing to me. And I’m not sure I want to knit an entire scarf right now. Tempus fugit! I’m thinking that I’ll play with some entrelac. I’d make a Quant, but the intended recipient isn’t a headband sort of person. On the other hand, I’m not sure she’d use the entrelac item I have percolating in my mind, either. But at least I’d get a design out of the yarn. If I do it. What I thought would be a straightforward project, isn’t. Le sigh.

Well, the yarn isn’t singing to me yet, but I was singing yesterday! The Day Old Pastries, my folkie group, played and sang carols at our church Advent Festival in the afternoon. From there I went to sing with the Everyone Welcome Community Choir at Artichoke Music, and that was a blast. Here’s a clip of one of my favorite songs from yesterday, Siyahamba. It’s South African (Zulu). Enjoy!

At loose ends

That’s how I feel, now that my Central Park Hoodie and the related Checkerboard Scarflet from the leftover yarn and buttons are done. I finished writing the pattern for the Checkerboard Scarflet, and Marie was kind enough to look it over for me. I’ve incorporated most of her suggestions, and the pattern is now available through Ravelry download/PayPal for $4.

I have another scarflet on the needles, the mindless log cabin blanket, and a secret holiday-related project, but no sweater. I’m antsy. Apparently I’ve become accustomed to bigger projects, and feel bereft without a sweater in progress.

What to do?

I think I’m going to have to make Hey, Teach. I even bought yarn for it. The pattern calls for four skeins of this yarn, and I hope it doesn’t need more, because this is all they had in this color at Yarn Garden. I usually have to shorten garments, so for once in my life, the fact that I’m not tall and willowy should work in my favor. At least the not tall part, anyway. ;-)

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The music behind the yarn is what I’m working at the piano. Which means not often lately! It’s from Valses Poeticos by Enrique Granados. Granados has usurped Mozart’s place in my affections, at least temporarily.

What else is going on? I’ve been taking a harmony singing class at the local community college. Just for fun! The day after the class started, the local paper had a feature on the teacher, Anne Weiss. Sweet! It’s been a great class, but it’s only four sessions and next week is the last one. I’ve been using my Zoom H2 digital recorder to record the songs we sing, and it’s been great to have those recordings for practice. I’ve loaded them onto my iPod, and there’s always a song running through my head these days.

Oregon Flock and Fiber…Overload!

Wow. I’d never seen so much fiber in one place! Mostly animal, some still on the hoof, all gorgeous! It was a perfect autumn day. The Clackamas County Fairground was a sea of fiber-related booths, inside the buildings and outside on the lawn.

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The PDXKnitbloggers were out in force, with lots of knitting, and spinning wheels, too. (That’s my Central Park Hoodie in the foreground.)

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KnittedWit‘s booth was a riot of color! And e was sleeping like, well, a baby…

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Deb bought this sweet angora bunny. Two months old, 1/4 French, 3/4 German angora. Soooo soft!

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I was quite restrained, and only bought a wooden shawl pin. I’ll have to show you in my next post, because I didn’t take a picture of it in daylight. It’s worth the wait! I bought it from Toolman, DH of TiggywinkleKnits. It’s made of bubinga. The drop spindles were calling my name, but I don’t really want *another* hobby; I’m trying to keep up with the ones I have!

I met up with Michelle; we first met at the February Lady Sweater knitalong at Twisted. She’s almost done with her sweater; I was wearing mine. They’re similar colors, both Dream in Color Classy. My colorway is Night Watch, hers is Deep Seaflower, a little more green and purple. But the funny part was when I pulled out my Central Park Hoodie to knit. Her sweater and yarn are pictured on the left, mine on the right.

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Micheles/Michelles think alike!

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That’s it for tonight, more in a bit!

Adventures in blocking

It’s fall, as of yesterday. Time to take off the ankle bracelet. Time to put on jeans and real shoes. Time to wash and block the February Lady!

I’ve been dreading blocking this sweater because of all the stories I’d read on Ravelry about this yarn, Dream in Color Classy, growing. But I couldn’t wear it without washing it because it was full of excess dye that I didn’t want on my clothes. I ran it through a short warm cycle in a zippered pillowcase in the washing machine with Brown Sheep wool wash and some vinegar to set the dye last night. When I took it out, it was enormous! It had grown to 1.5 times its length, and at least twice its width. And the fabric felt very, very thin. I was freaking out. But the ball band did say machine wash, lay flat or machine dry. It was time for the leap of faith.

I put it in the dryer for 20 minutes. Still damp. Still all stretchy looking. Another 20 minutes. My dryer cools down towards the end of the cycle, so it was still dampish. I laid the poor bedraggled thing out on a towel and patted it into shape to dry overnight. It was still pretty waffly.

This morning I checked it, and it was still a bit damp. I still really wanted to wear it, so back into the dryer it went. And it came out the same size it had been before I washed it. A miracle! The yarn did lose a lot of fuzz in the dryer, and it’s a little fuzzier than it was before I blocked it. I wore it this morning, and it grew about 1.5 inches in length during the day. Here it is:

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And here’s a closer view of the lace:

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I don’t know if I’d use this yarn again. It’s so gorgeous, and it smells great (even after washing), but it’s so nerve wracking blocking it! And if it’s going to require machine drying to make it pop back to size, I wish it didn’t make it fuzzy…

But it’s done, and cozy and wearable. On to the Central Park Hoodie!

February Lady is done! Or not…

I haven’t decided yet.

After all that talk about edgings, I just couldn’t find a sleeve length that made me happy. Turns out that the width below the elbow was making me unhappy, too. I tried decreasing within the lace without leaving a stockinette stitch swath down the arm, but it became clear to me that it could only lead to madness. Mine. So I ripped again, and just decreased one stitch out of each lace repeat when I started the garter stitch edge. Much better.

And the bind off? The purl bind off made it too curly toward the inside; the edges didn’t look crisp. Back to the knit bind off. Funny how the purl looked right on the baby sweater, but not on this. Live and learn.

So am I done? I have to decide if it wants to be a bit longer. But I’d have to put on jeans to know. I haven’t worn jeans all summer. And I had a really great vacation, full of food and fun. Hmmm. The Ravelry Knitters who meet at Lloyd Center for lunch on Wednesdays think it looks fine, right now. Weave in the ends and move on. Tempting. But I just have to see…

And I still need buttons. I’m headed to Button Emporium this afternoon. So I’m not really done, anyway.

What’s taking so long? Work is busy this week; September is always a new beginning. And I’ve been pretty distracted at home, compiling a photo book gift on Shutterfly. I love this company; the quality of their products is great. They make it easy to share pictures, even if I’m not buying anything. But this week I’ve been wading through 1100 (!) pictures trying to tell a story, and I finally ordered the finished product last night.

Now I can get back to knitting…

eta: I tried it on with jeans, and it needs to be just a bit longer. Back on the needles! Speaking of which, guess which needle I *didn’t* use on the sleeves? This sweater will definitely need a wash before I wear it!

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