Monday, December 31, 2007

2007, adieu.

Howdy, strangers. It's been a little while, so settle in with a warm beverage, or do like I did when I got back to the internet-connected world and just browse the pictures. I'll try not to be too wordy.

Very Warm Grinch

First up is Christmas knitting that didn't get blogged, mostly because it was still damp when I packed it up and hit the road. I actually didn't get a picture of it until last Saturday, but when I snuck it out of my father-in-law's house for a photo shoot, he ran out and posed for me even though he was on the phone. Hi, David! Glad you like the hat!

The pattern is loosely based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Very Warm Hat. I charted out the lettering myself and decreased at six points every third round to create the pointy stocking cap shape. I considered pompoms for the ends, but the bells made it more easily reversible.

I had intended to knit it in acrylic so that it would be machine washable, and also because my husband was with me when I was shopping and he insisted that we could find yarn for the hat at the yarn store we were in, but I didn't get two rows in before deciding that it was too splitty to be bothered with. So I made another trip and switched to wool (Patons Classic Merino and Cascade 220) and was much happier for it.

Holiday 07

The big news is that I got a spinning wheel for Christmas! It's a Kromski Symphony in the walnut finish and I really love it so far. That center picture is the White Finn Top that came with the wheel. It was a bit coarse for a garment, so I decided mid-spin to make a cozy for my french press that stays at the ranch, at which point I stopped trying for consistency and went for a more homespun texture. And then I made it three-ply, which evened it out a lot, anyway. Tell me all your places to get good rovings; I am on the hunt.

New Mexico

We also made a very quick trip to New Mexico to see some property in the mountains that my father-in-law had put an offer on. It was a lot of hours in the car, but so worth it to see some snow and breathe in the cold air. I was very happy for my mittens!

2007 has been a pretty good year; I found a new hobby that has kept my mind occupied almost non-stop. My hope for 2008 is to temper that a little with a little more attention to some things that have been neglected in the pursuit of fiber, such as cooking and housecleaning and perhaps even laundry. But with a new wheel in the house, I'm not making any promises.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bird in Hand


I have never owned mittens in my life, then I take up knitting and suddenly I have three pairs. My first pair are a little big. I'm thinking of giving them to my mother, but I don't know if she would wear them, or if I can bear to part with them. My second pair are a wee bit too snug. I'll probably be sending them off to the Dulaan Project. But this pair, this pair is just right.

The pattern is, of course, Kate Gilbert's Bird in Hand. I started on size 2 1/2 (3.0 mm) needles and got through the second braid on the first mitten before admitting that they were just too big, ripping, and restarting on 1 1/2 (2.5 mm) needles. I've knit worsted weight yarn on size 2s before, and the tight gauge didn't get me down too much. It makes a thick, cozy fabric that I'm sure is completely unnecessary in my climate, but my hands are always freezing, so I'm sure I'll appreciate it anyway. The wind is often what's brutal, even if the ambient temperature is tame, and I'm pretty sure these are wind-proof.

Bird in Hand

The only change I made to the pattern was to knit up the picot hem before starting the braids so I wouldn't have to sew it up later. I'll admit the braids were a little tedious. I've done braids like this a few times before, but never at this tight a gauge. I spent a lot of time trying to un-split stitches. And I'm not sure they even show up that well on the final project. If I knit the pattern again, I'd probably cheat and use a purl row instead, but I'm happy that I did the braids for this pair. I'm not one to shy away from "too hard," at least when it comes to sticks and string.

The red yarn is Berocco Ultra Alpaca and the white yarn is Cascade 220. I think I'm slightly allergic to alpaca. My hands itch when I knit with it, so it's probably good that it's broken up by the straight wool.

Bird in Hand Bird in Hand

The pattern is full of clever little details. I love how the vine motif continues seamlessly on the thumb gore. The flower detail on the palm breaks up the plainer, more regular color pattern, and ties in with the swirly thumb pattern. Even the leaf and flower motifs on the cuffs are mirrored from hand to hand. And, of course, the bird. As I was finishing up the second mitten, I wished for a moment that I had reversed the colors so that I would have little redbirds on my thumbs, but of course doves are delightful, too. (OK, the left one looks more like a duck.)

Palm Sides

So, I should be satiated with mittens, right? Well, I might be, if Adrian at Hello Yarn wouldn't tempt me with her beautiful Selbuvotter.

Monday, December 17, 2007

mmm, cashmere

I used up every last inch of those two skeins of cashmere. The result? A beret and neckwarmer. I had planned on gloves, but I thought the light worsted yarn would be too thick, and cashmere should be where you can feel it, hence the neckwarmer.

Cashmere Beret and Neckwarmer

I need a hat like this for myself. It's so perfect. An EZ pattern, of course, her tam o'shanter from Knitting Without Tears. I did a 1x1 ribbed brim with a tubular cast-on, but that was my only change.

Resorting to the mirror shot.

I used a tubular cast-on (and cast-off) for the neckwarmer as well, and went up to a size 9 needle for drapiness. The backside of the waffle stitch looks nice, too, so I sewed on two buttons to make it reversible. If this counts as a scarf, it's my first one!

Neckwarmer - "right" side neckwarmer - "wrong" side


Thursday, December 13, 2007

News Items

Just a list today; too many things swirling through my mind to be truly coherent. I kinda just realized that there's only a little over a week left before Christmas, and I've only purchased a gift for my husband so far. I hate crowds, but it's too late now to order online, so I guess I'll have to brave the dreaded mall. Christmas isn't as much fun as it used to be. When you're not religious and not a kid any more, all that's left is the commercialism and the stress. I'm trying, though.


1. Went to a prescreening of Juno last night. Loved it; am changing my name to Juno. Go see it. If you're in Dallas, it opens at the Magnolia and the Angelika tomorrow.

2. After copious subtle hinting from the spouse (e.g., "I really love these socks you've knit me. I've been wearing a different pair every day."), I've made some progress on the Gentleman's Shooting Stockings in Fluted Pattern (from Knitting Vintage Socks). I've made some adjustments to the pattern, and I'm happy to report that they fit perfectly and I will have enough yarn to finish the pair.

3. I was able to sew my new bag back together. Luckily, Bruneaux just sliced through the handle with his razor-sharp teeth to get the bag down from the door handle so he could maul the yarn. Since he didn't actually eat any of the strap, it was salvageable. Kinda takes the new off of it, though. I'm thinking I might need a brown Sanibel to make myself feel better about the whole thing.

4. Sometimes the black hole that is the inside of the Namaste messenger bag yields gifts. I found an untouched skein of the brown J&S yarn for the Fair Isle Yoke Sweater, so I'm no longer worried that I will run out of yarn. I'm in the process of re-knitting the body of the sweater, but I keep getting distracted by more interesting projects. I was hoping to finish before Christmas, but I'm accepting reality.

5. The second Bird in Hand mitten is coming along nicely. I'm doling it out to myself in small doses. Should be finished this weekend.

6. I have decided to knit for Christmas. Just two things, both hats, so don't look at me like my head is about to start spinning around. I purchased the yarn today.

a. A cashmere beret for a work-related-person. She got me a really thoughtful gift last year, and I'm tired of giving her impersonal gift certificates. Like many Texans, she hates cold weather, and she mentioned the other day that she got chilled just walking across the street. So I'm thinking a nice hat will be the ticket. I'd really like to do a pair of gloves as well, but I'm focusing on the hat first.

b. A gag gift for my FIL, based on EZ's Very Warm Hat. Yes, I know that that's two hats put together. But hats are super-quick, right? Yarn is Berocco Comfort. That's right, I went to the yarn store and bought cashmere and acrylic.

Gotta go, must knit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Anyone want a dog?

Catahoula male, brindle, intact, approx. 1 year old, ~60 lbs and growing. Found stray, but healthy and current on shots.

Cute personality. Good with small pets and children.

Bruneaux Cute

Mild fiber obsession.

Bad dog

Has reached "chewing stage."

Monday, December 10, 2007

I couldn't resist.

Bird in Hand

It seems like I've been seeing these mittens everywhere, but Ravelry says there are only 29 in progress, so I must have been seeking them out.

Anyway, I had to go back to the yarn store on Saturday because I got to looking at my account online and something seemed off, so I went for my receipt and, sure enough, they had charged my debit card for almost twice the amount that I had actually purchased. (Note to self: LOOK before signing.) I had to take the receipt back so they could fix it, so of course I applied some new yarn to the credit.

Once I had the yarn for the project, my fingers were itching to cast on, so I told myself, OK, but just the cuff. And then on Sunday, OK, but just to where you put the thumb on scrap yarn. And then I "just one more round"-ed it until the first one was done.

No, that's not a f-up in the palm pattern (Whew!), just a shy red stitch caught at a bad angle.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cabled Zeebee

This red Manos was one of my yarn store purchases last weekend, and I just couldn't wait to play with it. I swatched for a Zeebee, and it occurred to me that if I was knitting a hat sideways, I could stick a cable on it, and so I did.

Cabled Zeebee

Such a quick, fun knit, and sure to keep my ears warm this winter, if we ever get winter. Plus, it doesn't seem to itch like my Koolhaas does. Apparently, I'm sensitive to one of the many fibers in Road to China. I may have to make another one.

The garter stitch, of course, grew three sizes when it hit water. (Does this only happen to me?) But I noticed while it was still damp and threw it in the dryer and it bounced back.

What to do with the leftovers but make another mug cosy?

Seed Stitch Mug Cosy

I think this will be my last one, though. I left out the last decrease row on this one and felted it a little bit, and it still doesn't want to stay on.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Heads up

If, like me, you tend to stitch in a state of semi-darkness, do your eyes a favor and head over to Joann and check out their online lighting sale. Or, better yet, point a potential giftor in that direction on your behalf!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stash: Busted

Well, maybe not all of it. And maybe we watch a little too much Mythbusters around here.

Silk Garden Stashbusting

I made this Clapotis out of Noro Silk Garden (217) back in April or somesuch; I remember I just had one cold day to wear it, and it was still damp and smelling like wet sheep and Kookaburra, but I wore it anyway.

I had a few partial balls left over that I've been meaning to do something with ever since. They were all picked-through as I had been very careful to preserve color repeats when joining new balls of yarn in the Clapotis. Finally, they are out of the stash.

Mitered Mittens

The EZ Mitered Mittens are such a quick project, they should have been done long ago. You might recall, though, that the first mitten I showed you doesn't look like the completed pair. For that mitten, I used a square i-cord cast-on (kfb, p1, k1, slip 3 sts back to left needle, repeat) and started with 48 stitches, decreasing to 40 at the wrist because they were pretty big. When I went to cast on the second mitten, I just couldn't bring myself to do that again, so I ended up with a picot hem on 40 stitches topped by a purl row. Much better! Check how the one thumb on the one mitten follows the color changes -- that's pure luck. The other thumb blends in, but stays the same color throughout (and it's also over 12 stitches rather than 10 because I forgot to decrease two on the first row like I did on the left mitten. Whoopsie.)

Mitered Mitten Thumbs

All in all, I'm pretty pleased. They don't match exactly, but they do have the same set of colors.

The best part? I was able to save my favorite colors from the leftovers to make this:

Garter Mug Cozy

Garter Mug Cosy from the Holiday Interweave. It came out a little large, but I can probably take care of that with some warm water. Now maybe when I make tea and sit down to knit, it won't get cold before I remember to drink it. And bonus on the built-in coaster.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Stockings

Promise not to laugh? Really?

Ok. I made Christmas stockings for the dogs. I've had the itch (and the yarn) since I completed the Frostrosen Mittens. I oohed and aahed over Meg Swansen's and Feral Knitter's stockings, but I thought I had successfully repressed the urge until we were putting up the tree last Wednesday, and I came across these.

old stockings

I was never very happy with them. And now Bruneaux needed a stocking, so I thought I should make one. But it would look bad if Bruneaux had a nice stocking and the little dogs had these things. Before long, I had cast on. And it was so much fun that I had all three done in short order.

Christmas Stockings

Duke's is an adaptation of Maimu's Mittens from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia, Bruneaux's is a compilation of charts from Terri Shea's Selbuvotter, and Duchess' is from chart 109 in Lisbeth Upitis' Latvian Mittens. All were made from Rauma Finullgarn, less than one skein each of the red, green, gold, and natural, and some of the leftover white from the Frostrosen Mittens. Bruneaux's and Duchess' were 60 stitches on size 2 DPNs, Duke's was 64 stitches on size 1.5 DPNs.

Their names and the year are knitted into the cuffs.

Christmas Stockings - inside

It was a delightfully silly project, and yet more practical in this climate than if I had made mittens from all of these patterns. I had hoped that the stranded mitten/glove itch was scratched, but then this morning I saw these, and I knew that it was not. I guess I'll start them after I finish Anu's gloves!

Doesn't that look nice, all handmade? My husband's is the boot, made by my mother-in-law, and he's very proud of it. :)

Christmas Stockings

And since we're on the topic, I might as well show you the first stocking I ever made.

Needlepoint Christmas Stocking

I made this for my mom when I was in college. She had made mine and my brothers, but she never had a nice one for herself. I was mildly into needlepoint at the time, so we picked out this kit and I made it for her for Christmas.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I got lost on the way to the LYS.

I hadn't been to a LYS since around April. I can buy yarn (and anything else I think I need) online, and often from work, leaving my free time for knitting and doing more enjoyable things than shopping. Or so I thought.

Today, DH and I were supposed to clean out the gutters, put up the Christmas lights, and do a little housecleaning. He decided to go do something with a friend instead. So I said, fine, I'll go to the yarn shops. He must have really wanted to go, because he seemed to think that was a great idea.

I hadn't been to the one in Plano in so long, I was sure that I had gone too far and missed my exit, and I forgot to exit where I should have going to the one near downtown, but when I got there, I found my way. Amid the yarn, the needles, and the hubbub of knitting chatter, I knew I had found something worth leaving home for. And I won't be forgetting that any time soon.

Today wouldn't have been a good day for cleaning out gutters, anyway. It's overcast and misty, and the leaves would all be wet from the light rain last night. But there was just enough daylight for me to take some pictures of the finished baby Tomten.

Japanese Maples Wee Tiny Tomten
St Francis is chilly Japanese Maple

The pattern is, of course, Elizabeth Zimmermann's Tomten, as documented in Knitting Without Tears, Knitting Workshop, and The Opinionated Knitter. The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in Summer Sky, and the needles were US3s. The zipper is from zipperstop.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Have you seen this thing?

I was highly suspicious of the new Amazon Kindle e-book when I saw it on the cover of Newsweek. I like books. Real, tactile books. Bonus if they smell like old paper, glue, and leather. Although I spend much of my day staring at a computer screen, I'd much rather read from paper. I don't have the same retention from on-screen reading, or the same enjoyment. I like to see the books I have read on my shelves. I like to keep them around me, like old friends.

But as I read this article in Newsweek and this article in Slate, I warmed up to it a little.

For one thing, it has a new kind of display, e-ink, that's supposed to look more like paper. I'm always skeptical of "more like" claims. As in, "Tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper." Than what? Gasoline? If this e-ink is all it's cracked up to be, I could be interested. It looks good in photos, but, as far as I can tell, the only way to see for yourself is to shell out the $400 and buy one.

Its potential uses for knitters, though, are what really intrigue me.

You could have your entire knitting library on this little device in your knitting bag. You could go to a local yarn shop while on vacation, pick out a new yarn to go with a pattern you already have and cast on right away. Need to consult a reference tome for help with a certain technique? No problem, the Kindle stores up to 200 books. And it does magazines, too. Imagine being able to word search through your Interweave Knits subscription. Everything you could possibly need in a small, portable device.

Perhaps the best part is that it's a book that doesn't need to be propped open. I don't generally buy hardbacks, and reading a paperback while knitting is somewhat of a challenge; you have to be willing to break the spine of your book, for one thing, and that's just hard for me. My reading has dropped off significantly since I became obsessed with knitting, and that bothers me a little. With the Kindle, though, you just press a button to flip between pages. Even better, I think, than the audio book, because it doesn't keep going on without you when you drop a stitch or need to count or someone needs to speak with you.

Maybe I'll keep an eye out for the second generation. Don't tell my books.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yoke progress

I'm making some uncertain progress with the Fair Isle Yoke Sweater.

When I swatched , I used my new 16" Inox Express US 4 needle that I purchased to knit the sleeves with, and got pleasing fabric at a gauge of 5.5 stitches to the inch. And so I pulled out my Options US 4 tips, attached them to the cable, and put them in my knitting bag with many skeins of my 2-ply Jumper yarn to take with me on my holiday trip. I noticed straight away that the Options 4 was a little larger than the Inox 4, but I figured some slight variation between brands was to be expected.

Finding some quiet time to myself on Thursday night, I sat in my favorite knitting spot at my MIL's house, cranked up the podcasts, and cast on.

casting on

After several inches, I began to notice that the body looked rather large. I compared it to a sweater I had brought, one that fits me a little loosely, and it was a little bigger. Hmm. After a few more inches, I pulled out the measuring tape and checked my gauge. Of course, I didn't take a pre-washing gauge on my swatch, so this is apples and oranges, but I was getting 5 stitches to the inch. I finished knitting the body while I decided what to do.

If I had 220 stitches at 5 stitches to the inch, then I was going to get a 44" sweater, when I had planned for a 40" sweater. I decided that I would make it a cardigan, and when I steeked the front, I'd take out 10 stitches, giving me a 42", enough ease to wear over a turtleneck or tee shirt. So I marked my side stitches accordingly (thankfully I hadn't put in any shaping), and recalculated the number of stitches to cast on for the sleeve using a base number of 210.

I knit the first sleeve. It came out a little snug for a sweater that was supposed to be 2" larger than I originally planned, partially because I increased at a slower rate than the pattern specified. Then I attached it to the body of the sweater, and it just looked wrong.

so close, yet

I was so certain that I had knit the body with 5s instead of 4s that I refrained from casting on the second sleeve on the drive back and wasted a couple of hours of perfectly good knitting time.

I just double checked, and I was using 4s all along.

At this point, I'm thinking I'll move one of the phoney seams and reknit the sleeve using the original numbers and the correct rate of increase.

If I eat as much at Christmas as I did over Thanksgiving, I'll be needing a larger sweater anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I knit about an inch of the fair isle yoke sweater last night, but then I ripped it, so I don't have anything to show you. I can, however, give you a yummy recipe. I've been eating this for breakfast with my coffee.

Pumpkin Bread

Makes 3 loaves.


1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2/3 c. water
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Optional: chopped walnuts, white raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease and flour three 7x3" loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, applesauce, water, sugar, and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir dry mixture into pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Take gauge and cast on.

As expected, my Jamieson & Smith Shetland came yesterday. I had intended to knit a swatchcap, but I decided to go quick and dirty instead.


I am so glad to see this thing in natural light. I was running around from lamp to lamp last night trying to see if I liked the colors, if there was enough contrast or if it was all going to blend together. But I think it looks ok. And if I switch the blue and the green in the design above, I think it will look even better. Now all I have to do is take gauge and cast on.

The yarn for the Tomten has, I fear, been delayed. I ordered it from the same place I ordered the first batch from, figuring that's my best chance at matching dyelots. But I have this thing where it's almost impossible for me to buy just one item. I've put stuff down that I really sort of wanted or needed and left a store because I couldn't find anything else to buy. So of course I looked around before checking out. And this bag fell in my cart. (Actually, I wanted to buy it a while ago, but, well, I couldn't find anything else to buy with it.) And I only noticed later that it's backordered.

Lastly, the November sock prohibition has ended. Sunday night I was too tired to knit anything with a chart (so no Aino's Glove or Mom's Cardi), I didn't feel like i-cord casting on for the second mitered mitten, and I was nigh out of yarn for the Tomten, so sock happened.


Sock is good.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Things are looking up.

First, the front porch is painted and the back doors are repainted, both in exterior paint. Last night I charged the ol' iPod and downloaded some knitting podcasts to ease the pain. Repainting the back doors took one episode of Cast On, and Lime and Violet entertained me while I painted the front porch. I'm so glad not to have to dread doing that anymore. The best part: we can finally put the front porch light back up! A new mailbox and a trellis on the front post, and we'll be positively spiffy.

Second, we have a wee tiny reprieve.

Wee Tiny Reprieve

When I posted earlier today, I had wet blocked the Tomten and panicked when the garter stitch grew and none of the things that I had hoped blocking would help were helped. Since I was pretty fed up with it, I threw it in the dryer. Behold the power of the dryer. Everything is squishy and cute again.

Tomten Sleeve

The ladders in the sleeve are less noticeable, which leads me to believe a run through the washer and dryer will work them out completely.

Tomten Front

The armhole pick-ups have snugged up and look neat and tidy.

Wee Tiny Hood Glitch

The hood glitch is still there, but I can probably live with it. I'm going to have to buy more yarn anyway, so I can reknit the top of the hood if I just can't stand it.

As for buying more yarn, I only need an additional 12 grams or so, so I'll have enough Smooshy left over for a pair of socks. That's not too bad. Since when do I complain about an excuse to buy sock yarn?

And there is really no such thing as "too big" for babies. He'll be able to wear it sometime.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the night is young, and I have knitting to do.

Let 'er rip.

The wee tiny Tomten has run into some trouble.

1: I don't have enough yarn to knit the second sleeve, and I don't want to buy any more.

2: I knit the first sleeve in the round on DPNs I was afraid I wouldn't have enough yarn to seam it, and the purl rows laddered.

3: I don't like the way the sleeve looks where I picked up stitches on the front side.

4: The sleeve looks way too long.

5: It's coming out too big, and I know it's going to grow when washed.

6: I made a mistake on the hood, but didn't discover it until after I had grafted it, and then snipped the wrong thread when I went to fix it, creating a colossal mess.

wee tiny Tomten wee tiny Tomten

So, I'll salvage the yarn if it's not in too many pieces, and maybe someday it will be something else.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What I did today instead of knitting.

A while back, we had to replace part of our front porch because the porch roof was leaking, and we've been putting off repainting it until, well, this weekend. (Yes, we're those neighbors.) Finally, it's cool enough, not raining, and we're otherwise out of excuses, so we went to the local paint store and got the paint.

As chance would have it, this is the color that best matches the existing trim on our house:

Paint Can - color

I started with the back doors, because they needed repainting, too, and I was almost finished when, pouring more paint, I saw this:

Paint Can - uh oh

We got the wrong paint. I don't know about you, but if I worked in a paint store and someone came in and asked for "Duration," and we had two lines of paint called "Duration," and one was interior paint and one was exterior paint, I'd ask to clarify. Especially since the paint is nonreturnable once tinted.

The humor has worn off. These are not the "wool skeins" that I want to be spending my money on. And this is not the way I like to work with "wool skeins."

Sigh. I need a beer. And some knitting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Come Monday

I just got a notice from Schoolhouse Press that my yarn for the Fair Isle Yoke sweater has shipped and should arrive on Monday. Which means that I am way, way behind Whitney and Lynn, who are knitting away like wild women on their yoked sweaters. And my sweater will be in fingering weight yarn, so it will take that much longer. But I think both have another yoke queued, so there's a chance that I can yoke-along yet.

[How many times can I start a sentence with a conjunction? Three. Or four.]

At least I've got some good drive time ahead of me next week for knitting. We'll be spending Thanksgiving at the ranch, and the 6+ hour drive each way should be good enough for two sleeves, at a minimum. (Knock on wood.)

What to do in the meantime? I'll confess I started two new projects solely because the fact that I only had two WIPs in the sidebar was making me nervous. I could have brought the Hex Coat out of hibernation, but I wouldn't want to wake a bear in winter. It's been sleeping for so long, it might be grumpy.

And so, without further ado, presenting one EZ Mitered Mitten, sans thumb:

EZ Mitered Mitten

And one wee tiny Tomten, sans, well, most of it:
wee tiny tomten

I'll try to push through a good hunk of Mom's Cabled Cardi this weekend, because we all know what's going to happen come Monday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rippled Baby Blanket

Rippled Baby Blanket

Here it is! It's a modification of the Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl*, but I made enough changes that it's probably worth writing down.

Any pleasing combination of yarn and needles will work. I used Dream in Color Classy in Beach Fog and Summer Sky (2 skeins each), and size US7 DPNs and circular needles.

m1: I used the EZ m1, which is basically a twisted yarn over. Form a backwards loop over the right needle with the working yarn. Depending on which way you form the loop, you may need to knit that stitch through the back loop when you pass it again on the next row.
pattern: k2tog 3 times, k1, (m1, k1) 6 times, k2tog 3 times
increase row: *k1, m1, knit to marker, m1, slip marker, repeat from *
pattern row: k1, m1, k(0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15), pattern (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) times, k(0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15), m1, slip marker

Use the first number in each set of parentheses on the first pattern repeat. On each subsequent repeat, use the next number in purple and the first number in blue, until all of the purple numbers have been used. Then repeat using the second number in blue. So you’ll knit six pattern repeats with one pattern, and then six with the three patterns, etc.

Co 8 sts using Emily Ocker’s circular beginning
Divide stitches over 2 double pointed needles, increasing to 4 and then circular needles when necessary
1(MC): *k1, m1, repeat from *
2(MC): knit
3(CC): *k1, m1, k3, m1, repeat from *
4(CC): purl
5(MC): *k1, m1, k5, m1, repeat from *
6(MC): purl
7(CC): *k1, m1, k7, m1, repeat from *
8(CC): knit
9(MC): *k1, m1, k9, m1, repeat from *
10(MC): purl
11(CC): *k1, m1, k11, m1, repeat from *
12(CC): purl
13(MC): *k1, m1, k13, m1, repeat from *
14(MC): knit
15(CC): *k1, m1, k15, m1, repeat from *
17(CC): purl
18(MC): *k1, m1, k17, m1, place marker, repeat from *
19(MC): purl
20(CC): begin pattern repeat, changing colors after every second row, carrying the unused color up one corner of the blanket

pattern repeat:
1: pattern row
2: knit
3: increase row
4: purl
5: increase row
6: purl

Continue until you reach the desired size. I cast off after plain knit row after the k0, pattern seven times, k0 row, and my blanket was 32" square unblocked, 40" square after blocking.

Cast on 2 stitches to left hand needle. *k1, k2tog through the back loop, slip 2 stitches back to left needle, repeat from * until all stitches are bound off. Weave in loose ends and block.

Rippled Baby Blanket - modeled

This is the closest thing we have to a baby around here to model the blankie. Well, besides Duke, but I didn't want dog hair on the clean blanket. You can see the wrong side and cast-off pretty well in this picture.

* Don't let the picture fool you; there are some breathtaking versions on Ravelry.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

At last.

To the delight of everyone in our household, the baby blanket is finished and taking a bath.


Remember how after last weekend I thought I was mostly done? Well, it took another full weekend of devoted knitting to finish. Unblocked, it was about 32 inches square, and I plan to block it to about 35 inches square.

I'm glad to have it done in plenty of time so that I can add in something that I might actually enjoy knitting. I have a skein of Smooshy in summer sky that should end up as either a baby bog jacket or a tomten to round out the gift.

Marking the end of another agonizing process, here are the colors I have chosen for my fair isle yoke sweater.

Fair Isle Yoke Sweater Colors


Thursday, November 8, 2007


The question of what to do with the Suri Merino has been answered by the Knitty surprise. A lacy cardigan would be completely wearable in alpaca, even in a warm climate. I'm not in any hurry to cast on, but it eases my mind to have a plan. As for the High Neck Cable, I might knit a tweedy version; I might not. It wouldn't be the first time I've purchased a pattern and not knit it.

But look at that sidebar -- only three WIPs. Looks a little thin to me. If I finish the baby blanket this weekend, it will be positively paltry. I got the new Knitting Around DVD from Schoolhouse Press in the mail yesterday, though, so maybe it's time for a new Zimmermann project. With colorwork, because I can't get enough of it right now.

new project?

Hear that, Whitney? I'll be yoke-ing along with you. Anyone else in?

I just need to put down the glove for half a minute and pick out some colors. After this row.