Category Archives: ravelry

The yarniest day

Saturday was the yarniest day of the year so far, at least for me.

The day started with a knitting party at Twisted, before the shop opened. It was a fundraiser event for the Grant High School Booster Club. Twisted provided the space and the teas, Lantern Moon provided the needles, Carole provided the treats, and Anna and I provided the knitting instruction. I also made party favors: the Checkerboard Scarflet pattern, and stitch markers in school colors. We had 15 people come to knit, some with previous experience, and some newbies. What a fun morning! Thank you to Shannon & Emily for hosting. I remembered to bring my camera, but I was moving so fast that I forgot to take pictures. Oops.

After the party I headed downtown to meet up with the Seattle to Portland Yarn Crawl. Knit Bloggers from Seattle came down on the train to meet up with Portland Knit Bloggers and check out yarn shops in the Pearl District and downtown. The shops on the list were Knit/Purl, Knit Knot Studio, and Dublin Bay. I joined the crawl late, so I went directly to Knit/Purl and met up with several Portland area bloggers that I’d met last September at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. We ended up at Starbucks for some knitting/chatting time. It’s funny, I know many of these women by their blogs and Ravelry names, but I’m still trying to connect the right faces with the right names!

I think my camera may have been in my knitting bag, but again, I forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger! Here’s a picture of a book I bought at Knit/Purl. It’s a calendar with a different stitch pattern every day. I’ve been looking for a stitch dictionary, but not one in several volumes. Just a little thing to inspire, to go along with the small section in my Vogue Knitting book.

calendar

What I didn’t realize, looking at that cute cellophane-wrapped package, is that the directions are written out row by row, without charts. I guess if I want to use any of them, I’ll have to chart them out myself. But the pictures are great, very clear.

By 3:30 I was pretty done, but I wanted to check out Dublin Bay since I’d never been there before. It’s a lovely shop down at the edge of the Pearl. Lots of natural fibers. But I was tired enough that I didn’t buy anything, despite the 20% discount they were offering to the Yarn Crawlers. I suppose it’s just as well, since I try not to stash. But the Sea Cell was really pretty…

Taming of the short row

I knit my first short row heel.

sr heel

What I didn’t know ahead of time was how shallow a short row heel on 50% of the leg stitches would be. This made the leg of my sock a lot shorter than I intended, and the heel didn’t fit all that well, either.

What I did like was how tidy looking the heel was. I used this tutorial to do the short rows without wrapping and turning, and I really liked it. Here’s the knit side.

sr knits

And here’s the purl side.

sr purls

No gaps. The sock was too short, though, and I didn’t like the fit of the heel, so I ripped it out, and did the same style of heel on 60% of the stitches instead. That felt a lot better, except I short rowed too far, making the heel cup too long, and the heel ended up with a little balloon of fabric on the end. I tried to ignore this, thinking that it would be fine when the foot was done and pulling on it, but alas, it was untrue. I was all the way to the toe shaping when I finally faced this fact. Now I’m here, again.

try again

But as is so often true with my knitting, I’m hoping that the third time’s a charm.

I did decide to put the beginning of the round at the back of the leg, where I wouldn’t have to see that I goofed the stitch pattern a bit. If you don’t see it, I’m not telling you where it is. If you do see it, it will be our little secret. Shhhhh!

In other news, Mookie has adopted the log cabin blanket. She really likes it.

mook

And I figured out how to turn off the infra-red auto-focus assistant, which means she doesn’t have devil eyes in this picture. Yay, me!

For those of you who are local in PDX, and on Twitter, here’s a Twitter contest with some interesting prizes. The contest is on Friday, January 23. Some of the prizes are already listed on the blog, and the rest will be listed this week. Good luck!

Leyburn KAL

I’m in! I just joined the Socks That Rock Leyburn Knitalong on Ravelry. I’m doing it with Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Eggplanted, top-down, 56 stitches cast on for the ribbing, decreased to 54 for the Leyburn stitch pattern. Here’s what I have so far.

leyburn start b

I really wanted to try this cuff treatment that I saw on the Twist Collective Blog. Theirs is in a contrast color to corrugated ribbing, but even so, it’s so cool looking! It gave me a little giggle to deliberately put a twist in, after years of admonishments to “be careful not to twist” for circular knitting. Be aware that you have to work this part on straight needles; ask me how I know…

I switched to knitting in the round as soon as the cuff detail was done, just before the ribbing.

And I think I may try a short row heel, since I’ve never done them before. It’s always fun to learn a new trick. We’ll see when I get there. For now, I’m just enjoying the stitch pattern.

Knit on!

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…

athena3

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.

athena3close

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.

PippiCashmerino

It looks just like Pippi the first, right?

pippi

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.

Athena3

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:

eggplanted

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?

Pippi 2

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.

ribbed cap

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.

mosaic designs

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.

athena 4

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.

athena

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!

athena 2

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.

pb scarf

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. ;-)

2 time cotton

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.