American Wool Series

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick to Knit

As I'm sitting here knitting away on the second-to-last Christmas gift (phew!) I'm thinking about all the great, fast knits there are out there for people like me who have very little time to knit but like to make handmade gifts. Here's a list of 10 things that are easy and fast to knit but covet-worthy.

1) Gaptastic Cowl
2)Super Cupcake Cowl (and hat)
3)Shawl Collared Cowl
5)Hand/Wrist Warmers
6)Chunky Toddler Mitts
8)Fish Hat [Dead or Alive]
9)Turn a Square

I know that Christmas is this Sunday but if you're determined to knit at least one gift, or forgot to purchase a gift and are just now realizing that fact, then I think you could do any one of these patterns in the time allotted. I knit the toddler mitts in one evening out of 49 yards (!!!) of Chunky Mochi. The shawl collared cowl was about an evening or so and the gaptastic cowl took about two days of knitting in the evening and during my lunch breaks. Even if you're a fine-gauge knitter now is the time to bust out some of that chunky yarn and get cracking! Happy knitting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I've got one - ONE! - paper to write by Friday and then I'm done for the quarter. If I had been a smart girl I would have taken myself to a coffee shop on Sunday to get started on it but instead I ran many many errands and then promptly fell asleep for an hour in the afternoon. Now it's crunch time and I've got a timeline set up for myself in order to get my 5-7 pages written, edited, and edited again for Friday's deadline. Don't you wish there was some kind of app for ordering your thoughts into a cohesive paper outline? It would be fab. Oh, yeah, there is one! It's called my brain! Unfortunately it's on the fritz from staring at this damn computer screen for three hours. Time to call it a night.

Knitting coming soon! I've got to take pictures sometime before 4pm when it starts getting dark.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finish Line

Just a quick note to say that I'm still here, still working like crazy, and trying to sneak in a little knitting time as I'm wrapping up the final few weeks of the quarter. I've got two papers and a final in the works with what feels like precious little time. Did that stop me from going out last weekend and last night? Um, no. Last weekend I hit Gainsbourg with a couple of knitting friends where we exchanged our Malabrigo hat swap items. Jen knit Ripley for me in some pretty Malabrigo Twist in the grapes color. Love it! I ate some yummy cheese and bread and ended up with poutine - it was an epic starch frenzy with the pleasant accompaniment of booze. Hooray! Last night I headed over to iknityouknot's place to eat more bread, cheese, nuts, and fruit and booze it up with some dark & dry cider while watching fairly crappy tv and knitting. It was exactly what I needed to blow off a little steam before hunkering down for paper writing. I've also been working on this pretty thing: 

It's Clockwork by Stephen West in tosh merino light Flash Dance and Steam Age. It's pretty perfect for knitting in class since the pattern is easily memorized and knit in plain old garter stitch with some slipped stitches for interest. I'm really looking forward to the finished piece which I plan to finish some time over the winter break.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Monster #2 of the birthday party craziness happening in Little A's preschool. Stash yarn for the win!

Pattern: Petunia by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Samoa GGH (partial balls!)
Needles: US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: I shortened the body by a couple of inches since I was running out of purple yarn. Buttons from my sewing box for eyes. This little monster is super cute but my favorite thing about it is that I was able to rid my stash of two partial balls of yarn. Hooray!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made a kick-ass apple pie and brought a vegetarian entree over to my in-laws for dinner and we all ate ourselves into a food coma. I even managed to get some knitting time in before we all sat down at table. Unfortunately, the item I'm knitting is a Christmas gift so I can't share it with you but I can tell you that it is knit from Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in one of her rogue colorways. That's happy knitting for my hands and the colors are waaay easy on the eye. Love that stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and may you find time in your busy day and weekend to get some knitting done.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Ever since Little A started pre-school she's been a social butterfly and attending birthday parties like nobody's business. I knit this little guy up for the first party and I have to say that it was mighty fun. Also, mighty cheap since the yarn came straight out of stash along with buttons, stuffing, and felt. 
Pattern: Baldwin the Bathroom Monster from the Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater in Splash & Firecracker
Needle: US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: I used magic loop for the whole shebang and regular old buttons since it was late at night and I didn't have any safety eyes to hand.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Thanks for all of the kind comments on my new hat pattern. Mary and strickdoktor - I'm sending you each a pattern! I can't wait to see how your hats turn  out. It's been pretty well received on Ravelry and I'm eagerly awaiting some finished object photos. That's it! I'll contact you through Ravelry and send you the patterns asap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


As soon as the weather starts to take a drastic turn toward chilly I have the urge to knit all kinds of warm, bright things to keep the cold at bay. I also have the urge to buy waaaay more yarn than I could ever reasonably knit in one cold season. Don't we all? I saw this color of Noro Silk Garden (#349) and knew that I needed to knit a hat out of it. But not just any hat, a hat with simple texture that would show off the awesome color changes of Noro. Voila, Turning. To knit this hat you'll need two balls of Noro Silk Garden and US #5 and US #8 needles. And the pattern, of course! I'll give away one pattern on this here blog (you'll need to be on Ravelry for me to gift it to you) to the reader who comments on what color of silk garden (or alternate yarn) that you'll make your hat out of. Deadline for the giveaway is, hmmm, next Sunday, November 13th.

If you can't wait until then the pattern is available in my Ravelry shop for $3.00.

Big thanks to iknityouknot for helping with test knitting and picture taking. You're the best!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


There's nothing like a 12 hour work day to kill any good intentions I had about starting my next writing assignment. It's midterm week and I'm tiiiiiiiiired. Tired. Very tired. Barring caffeine (I drank the equivalent of 6 shots of espresso today) and heavy doses of amphetamines does anyone have any suggestions for getting my huge to-do list done? An extra day in the week would be nice - can we have that instead of daylight savings?

I've got knitting to share with y'all and as soon as I find myself at home during the day and with daylight (Sunday perhaps?) I'll update pictures and share. It sounds like a great way to waste some time in lieu of writing a paper that I'm not all that jazzed about. However, I did just finish a paper that basically equated Hester Prynne with Ted Kaczynski. It was an unintentional parallel but after having N read it for feedback that's what he said. Bosh. You try to puzzle out that cause I don't follow. Maybe more coffee...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


 Let me tell ya folks, I've had it rough the last couple of weeks. I was really really sick for just under a week - so sick that I called in sick three days in a row and I never ever do that. Ick. I've also accumulated quite the laundry list of homework and Little A starts preschool next week so I've been getting all of that stuff together. You'd think I wouldn't have time to knit, huh? Well, I've got some time and have figured out a way to do my reading for school and knit at the same time and that is the best kind of multi-tasking.  Anywho, while recuperating from the plague I dug out some nice little skeins of Silk & Ivory needlepoint yarn and cast on for a hat for Little A. I picked the yarn up a couple of months ago and had the idea for the hat rolling around in my head. This thing just flowed from the needles and I had one itty bitty ball of cream colored yarn left, super satisfying.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Silk & Ivory Needlepoint Yarn
Needles: Addi Turbo #1 & #3 needles

This yarn comes in skeins just under 30 yards and is basically a heavy-ish fingering weight in a 50/50 merino silk blend. I used 5 skeins total - 2 for the brim/first stripe and one each for the rest of the stripes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!

I don't plan on mine being as destructive as this but I can get a lot accomplished in one day off of work. Hmmm....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So somebody flipped a switch and it's Fall. Just like that *snaps fingers* and I'm already planning oodles of hand knits. Oodles, I tell ya. I've got a sweater in the works - the Bailey Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. This baby is knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca and I have to tell you, the yarn is so smooshably soft that it doesn't even bother me that I have to knit 16 inches before splitting off the fronts and backs. It's that good.  I have pictures to share but not enough time to do it tonight, but soon, I promise!

My mom is coming to visit this weekend and I have an actual full weekend to hang out and be with my family. Hurray! Can you believe that? Two. Full. Days. Someone bring me my smelling salts! I feel a fit of the vapors coming on.

My first night of class is tomorrow. I got my dates all mixed up and thought the first day of class was Thursday but, no, it's Wednesday. My emotional readiness is lacking but it's only one night so I can deal.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the new Fall cornucopia of patterns. I can't wait to get started on some of them. And Chris? Thanks for saying that you love a certain designer's work so much you want to punch him. It made me laugh out loud and feel glad that I'm not the only one that has such a, ahem, violent reaction to awesome knitwear.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Fall Goodness

That guy Jared knows how to put together a lovely Fall collection. There's quite a nice variety of sweaters and accessories although I'm surprised that only one of the sweaters is for men. What do you think?

As for Knitty Deep Fall I like the variety of projects and queued a fair share in my usual this-is-new-must-queue-now style but will likely cull the herd after the shiny new phase wears off. I thought Tenney Park was a lovely use of entrelac, which I hate knitting but like the look of, but I may have queued it because of the lovely eggplant color used in the main body of the sweater. I also like the ambroso mittens and apis dorsata

What's your favorite new Fall pattern?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dipped Infinity Scarf

 Did I tell you about the crazy amount of yarn I purchased at Sock Summit in July? Well, I still think it was a huge addition to my stash but it will be well worth it if all of my projects end up as lovely as this one. This was my first purchase of the weekend and it's totally squee-able. Totally. I can't wait for it to get cool enough to require scarves just so I can show it off.

Pattern: Dipped Infinity Scarf by Laura Chau
Yarn: Dirty Water Dyeworks Merino Tencel
Needles: US #9 Addi Turbo Lace
Mods: None! Bought as a kit and knit just as written.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Super Crazy Busy Time

Hello! Please pardon the lack of posting - it is indeed super crazy busy time. Summer is ending and school is starting and I've got a to-do list about as long as I am tall. That's pretty long, people. Besides working a ton I've been trying to get all of my school things in order. Registration. Books. Parking permits. Bus passes. You know, stuff. It feels as if every time one thing gets marked off the list about three things get added and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the inability to GET THINGS DONE and having them stay that way. Down, things, down. Good things. Treat for you.

One thing I have gotten done is the baby sweater for my friend, Rebecca, who is having a little girl. I know she likes girly things but also has a taste for the modern so I thought the Playful Stripes Cardigan would be perfect. It's girly but not froufrou and it gave me a chance to bust out my leftover balls of Baby Cashmerino.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What a day will bring...

Today brought 11 hours of work, stinky people on the bus, finishing a baby sweater, and some ridiculous commentary from a new, 19 year old co-worker. Bad, bad, good, bad. I can't share the baby sweater since it's for a fellow knitting group attendee and expectant mom but it's super cute and got many accolades by the ladies at my LYS knit night group. I feel a little befuddled with days of the week and times of the day since I'm working so much right now. Do you know that time quickens and slows depending on what you're doing and how you feel about it? Day job lasts a billionty hours but free time at home? About 2 seconds. Yep.

The picture is bad - do you know that reds and purples are pretty much impossible to photograph accurately? They are to me. Anywho, it's another Cecily pattern that I've had in the queue for ages but finally knit up a couple of weeks ago and blocked some time last week.

Pattern: Catherine by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Tosh DK in Tart
Needles: US #4 & US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: None. I think I have enough yarn left for some short and sweet fingerless mitts. This pattern was absolutely perfect for watching foreign films and Mad Men. There's a good portion of stockinette for really juicy bits of films and the occasional purling and cable crossing for brief boring interludes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tea Time For Edgar

After a rough almost week I feel like things are back on track. Still haven't found a Tues/Thurs solution to the childcare problem but I've got my optimist hat on today so I know it'll work out just fine. I finally took some pics of finished projects before Little A got dropped off from her day-long trip over to Bainbridge with her grandparents.

I finished these socks while at Sock Summit and I have no idea why they took so long to knit up. I feel like I've got knitting scatterbrain lately. Could it be the 7 day work week? Perhaps.

Pattern: Tea Time by Das Bollwerk & Frau Mascha
Yarn: Kitchen Sink Dyeworks Merino Fine in "Edgar"
Needles: US #1 (2.25 mm)
Mods: I modified the cuff ribbing to flow seamlessly into the cable panels and continued the heel cable down into the heel flap with a reinforced heel on the remainder of the flap stitches. Regular old wedge toe. I could have knit these on a #1.5 needle as they're very dense but I went with the #1 since there's no nylon in this particular yarn base. They're handsome socks that I think would be well suited for a man's sock.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Erase Today

I had the worst day today. I mean bad. I mean really really bad. My Tuesday/Thursday daycare person is divorcing her husband and moving back East at the end of the month and Little A's last day there is Thursday of next week. I've got that much time to find someone new and then go through the whole adjustment period with A again. Blar. The scanner at work was not working properly. I forgot my iPod at home. N has a cold. Little A had a screaming fit in the backseat while I was trying to drive home and proceeded to have a complete meltdown once at home. I bit the side of my tongue really hard while eating dinner. Whine. Whimper. Sigh.

But now the house is quiet and I've got some pistachio gelato melting to scoopableness and time to watch a movie and knit while I regroup for tomorrow. Whine over. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yr mom goes to college

She does, too. UW in fact. I got accepted to UW last Monday and will be starting Fall Quarter as long as my financial aid comes through (there were some hiccups). Hellllllooooo education. I can't wait to start making some actual headway toward my goals even though I'll be dang busy. 'Cause you know that two jobs just was not adequately filling my time. Har.

Here's some actual knitting just to get your knitting motors running.

Pattern: Rondeur by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Yarn: Ella Rae Bamboo Silk
Needles: US #3 & US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: My yarn was a true worsted weight so I knit it at a tighter gauge to help keep the yarn from growing with wear and washing. I knit a flat hem rather than the rounded hem and moved the waist shaping to the sides.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sock Summit

A small portion of my...ahem...hoard from Sock Summit. I didn't intend to purchase as much as I did but lots of people had deals on the last day and I'm a sucker for a good deal. Plus, you know, it's pretty. Last SS I ended up with lots of muted colors on the gray and violet end of the spectrum so I went in with a mind to expand my color palette. I think I did a pretty dang good job. Besides shopping I met a lot of podcast listeners and blog readers (hi Sarah!) and hung out with my friends and ate a ton of great food. All in all it was a great weekend with a good mix of relaxation and social stuff going on.

Top to bottom: StrickenSmitten Shimmer Glimmer DK in Blackberry Diamond, Becoming Art Agave Fingering in Perfect Mango, Plucky Knitter 4-ply cashmere in Roasted Pumpkin, Sincere Sheep Agleam in Neblina, Fiber Optic Foot Notes in Ripple.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sock Summit

I'm off to Sock Summit this morning with Jessica to spend three glorious days reveling in yarny goodness. There are no classes on the agenda but plenty of relaxing, shopping, and eating...I hope. I've made a little list of possible projects for yarn purchasing and have a couple of items I'm charged to buy for other people but other than that there is no schedule. It's just what I need to unwind from my three weeks straight of work, work, work. Stay tuned for post-Sock Summit goodness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cuteness for Boys

Knitting patterns for baby girls abound. There's a whole lot of lace and smocking and tiny mary janes out there to knit but what does a person do when confronted with knitting for baby boys? Research. Ravelry has made it pretty easy to advanced search for just about anything but I went to my queue to search and found the perfect thing. There aren't any baby boys coming into my corner of the world but I felt like knitting something decidedly boyish and found that perfect balance between pattern and (stash)yarn.

Pattern: Candy Cardigan from Pickles
Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull in nondescript beige & Sundara Sock Yarn in Bronzed Sienna
Needles: US #5 & US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: I knit the body on the smaller needle since the slip stitch pattern of the yoke pulls in a bit. I added stripes of the contrast color to the edgings for a bit more color and bound off on a smaller needle to help the garter stitch edges from flaring out.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Do you remember this? Eons ago I had a passing thought to add it to Ravelry as a free pattern. Guess what? I finally got around to it! GSZ Cowl is now available as a free Ravelry download so you can knit your very own. I knit mine in a few hours and just under one skein of yarn. If you haven't knit with Malabrigo Rasta I highly recommend it. Using a US 15 needle makes a lovely, squishy fabric and really lets the loftiness of the yarn come through. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I've got tons of things on and off the needles but have to wait for a perfect storm of free time and daylight to snap photos of them all. Maybe this weekend? I finished a baby sweater, started another, and have to update pics of all my other WIPs and FOs. Full-time work really puts a damper on the knitting time and I'm on the bus for such a short amount of time after dropping Little A off in the a.m. that it hardly seems worth it to pull out the knitting. On a happy note, there is at least one knitter at my new job who is incredibly excited that I knit at the lunch break on my first day.

On the school front, I submitted my UW application this evening. That pesky personal statement totally drove me batty! But now the whole thing is done and turned in several days before the deadline and I just have to wait to hear about my acceptance. Think good thoughts for me!

Friday, July 8, 2011


This week has flown by! I've had so much to do it doesn't feel like it can possibly be Friday but here we are. I start a temporary full-time job on Monday that will run for the next six months to year so I've had to coordinate childcare, really work on my UW application, and do all the things I've been meaning to do for the past few months in the space of a couple of weeks. I've managed to cram in some knitting in the evenings while I make mental t0-do lists and rest up for the craziness that is to come. I'm looking forward to the extra income but dreading the 6am wake-up call. Ouch. Just thinking about the alarm going off makes me crave coffee, vast buzz-inducing cups of coffee. I'm anticipating a difficult transition time leading to a stable, if hectic, regularity of schedule. Quite a change from stay-at-home, part-time school, part-time work mode.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I decided to organize my socks. While they looked very pretty all lined up I realized that I had a problem. A green sock problem. At the time I counted four pair but here's number five! Really?! Five? How many green socks does a girl need? Well, five I guess. I dug through my stash today and I have at least one more skein of green sock yarn but for heaven's sake I'll not make it into socks. Hmm...

Pattern: Angee by Cookie A
Yarn: Sundara Sock Yarn in Bronzed Forest
Needle: US 1 (2.25 mm) Addi turbo
No mods!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Last week I pulled out a long-suffering sock project in order to work on it. It sat. I tried the finished sock on. It sat. I tried it on again. This went on for days and I finally decided yesterday to rip the sucker out!!! I unpicked the bind off threw the yarn on the ballwinder and pulled the sock out in about 2 minutes. I felt a sense of elation at the prospect of not having to knit the second sock and an ease of knitting burden in ripping it out. Yes, the yarn is back in my stash but I'll choose a pattern that I actually enjoy knitting rather than forcing myself to knit something I hate. Yay!

How about you? Do you feel burdened by a long-suffering project? Do you shove it at the bottom of the WIP box to finish at an unidentified later date or frog? How do you decide?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I finished my Wayfarer scarf a couple of weeks ago and finally washed and blocked the sucker out. Apparently I'm going through an orange phase and I like it. This scarf took me a little longer to knit as it was my going-to-a-bar knitting project and, let's face it, once you hit a certain point in the evening there's not a whole lot of knitting going on. Well, not any knitting that won't get ripped out the next day.

Pattern: Wayfarer by Jared Flood
Yarn: Shelter in Embers
Needle: US #8 Clover
Mods: None. Knit it just as written which left me with a very tiny amount of yarn left over. This yarn is definitely a knitter's yarn. It smells wonderfully of clean sheep and the outdoors and knits into an incredibly lofty and warm fabric. My hands like knitting with it and the color palette is right up my alley. And what's wrong with North American raised and milled wool? Not a damn thing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I finished a lovely lightweight cardigan for Summer (if it ever really gets here) on Sunday. It's yet another great pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Pattern: Drifting
Yarn: Dye Dreams Luster Sox in Olive (2 skeins)
Needles: US #5 & US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: Knit the body half an inch longer. Dye Dreams is no longer in business but one of the ladies has gone on to dye under the name Dirty Water DyeWorks. The Luster Sox yarn base is BFL which lends great drape to my finished cardi. I think the Paula base for DWD is the same as my Luster Sox. In any case I'll be putting DWD on my "must visit" list for Sock Summit to see it in person and possibly purchase.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rick (Steves)

The last two weeks have been completely nutso around here. We're having a bit of family drama which only serves to elevate my frustration/anger level and which, I think, won't be easily done away with. In fact, this will probably be my only mention of it and now I'm moving on. Whew.

I took my final for Spanish 3 last night and flew through it in about 35 minutes. I'm always anxious that a quickly completed test means that I don't actually know anything and every answer is wrong. But I celebrated my release from 8 hours of homework per week by downing a couple of German beers and eating a veggie burger. YUM!

In knitting news, I've been steadily working away on projects. Most are in sock yarn and while they take a little more time to finish I'm happy with the decreased sock yarn stash. When my mom came to visit in February she asked me for a pair of socks so I dug out all of my sock books and let her choose. She picked out Rick from Cookie A's Sock Innovation and requested green. I dug through my stash for all my green sock yarn and she liked my skein of Hazel Knits in Cascade Canopy. Have I said how much I love this yarn? It's smooth and round and has great stitch definition and blocks beautifully. The socks came out so well that I'm a little sad to see them go.

Pattern: Rick from Sock Innovation by Cookie A
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Cascade Canopy
Needles: US #1 addi turbo
Mods: None

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Knitting for the Dude

A while back I was browsing through the plethora of patterns on Ravelry when I came across a sweater just like the Dude's from the Big Lebowski. The pattern is free and I've got a hankering to knit it for N.

Me: Would you wear this sweater if I knit it for you?
N: Umm...that looks different than the Dude's sweater. Isn't the collar different?
Me: Yeah, I could make it more like a shawl collar. But would you wear it?
N: I don't want you to knit something for me just so I can wear it and you can laugh at me.
Me: I won't laugh at you, it's an awesome sweater. Would you wear it?
N: grumble grumble grumble

I'm taking that as a no. Is that going to stop me? Probably not. The only problem right now is the vast quantity of eco wool that the pattern calls for and the fact that I've got other knitting obligations. Maybe this Fall?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Last Sunday I dug through my stash and pulled out a fairly old skein of sock yarn. This skein has been rolling around in my stash for almost as long as I've been knitting - 5 years! It's Fearless Fibers and comes in a whopping 550 yard skein. She's changed her base and put up in the years since I purchased my skein but the colorway is still available (Inner Sanctum). This is all in pursuit of Lintilla which is strangely satisfying to knit considering it's only garter and short-rows. I love how each garter short-row section flows into the rest of the knitting.

In other news, I'm off to the shop to work the Annual LYS Tour which is fun and crazy and exhausting. I always dread/love this weekend since it's so incredibly tiring but really fun to see new people in the store and excited about yarn! Our shop project is a hat with a sideways cable knit in Malabrigo Rios. Yum. I plan on sporting my new Fair Isle Yoke Sweater since Seattle weather is changeable and it's raining today. I guess that's a boo/yay situation.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just in time

As soon as warm weather hits I finish a sweater that I want to wear! I purchased yarn for this sweater on my 30th birthday trip to Port Townsend and decided it was finally time to knit it up. After taking Janine Bajus' class at Madrona in February I finally felt ready to knit my very own Fair Isle Yoke Seamless Pullover a la Elizabeth Zimmermann. It was a welcome challenge and I love the result.

Pattern: Fair Isle Yoke Seamless Pullover by Elizabeth Zimmermann (from Knitting Around)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Sport
Needles: US #5 & US #6
Mods/Notes: I worked this at a sport weight gauge (6 sts/inch) on the larger needles. I added some gentle waist shaping and short rows at 5, 10, and 15 inches. My sleeves are 17 inches but could be a tad longer but I always shove long sleeves up to my elbows so it works. I knit the yoke to just under 4 inches before starting the Fair Isle since I like a shallower yoke. Short rows at the back of the neck and 6 rows of ribbing on the smaller needle before a loose bind off. Love!

BTW, 220 sport does not have 220 yards but 164. However, it retails at about 4 dollars per skein so I think it's still a great deal! I used just over 7 skeins of the main color for my 44" bust and small amounts of the other 4 colors for the yoke.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Darn it!

I tried my hand at darning socks today. I would say the results are mediocre but that has more to do with a lack of finesse in my technique than anything. I found a great video on how to do it and pulled out my holey socks.

The sock on the left had an actual hole in the heel and I darned it according to the video instructions. I have a small darning mushroom that I received as a gift that I got to use for the first time. If the hole had been any bigger I think an actual darning egg would have been a better choice.

The sock on the right was just threadbare in the heel and about to explode. Instead of waiting for a sock emergency I duplicate stitched over the patch that looked ready to fall apart. I like the look of it better than the darning and if I notice a sock ready to give out I think I'd rather implement the duplicate stitch method of sock-saving. I'm glad I was able to repair these socks, learn a new technique, and add some knitwear back into my rotation.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mine was good. Breakfast. Work. Dinner. But all I could think about was the relationship between Lucille and Buster and how damn funny Arrested Development was and how much I miss it. Sadly, youtube doesn't have any clips for the motherboy episode so I had to make do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Handspun Treads

While thinking about my next big knitting project I decided to cast on for a small, fast project. I purchased this yarn at Madrona in February and, copying fellow Purlygirl Meagan, decided to knit Treads. They're quick and satisfying and as soon as I started getting bored knitting one stitch it was time to switch to another.

Pattern: Treads (free Rav pattern)
Yarn: Spincycle Yarns Handspun BFL in Greed
Needles: US #5 Addi Turbos
Mods: I was pretty sure that I would run out of yarn if I knit the individual fingers so after the last braid I knit one row and then worked four rows in 1x1 rib before binding off. I had about three yards left from the skein.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I knocked out my Candelia in a little under two weeks and I've already worn it several times. If only the weather in Seattle would stay consistently warm I might be able to sport my new sweater with a skirt!

Pattern: Candelia by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Chocoberry
Needle: US #6 Addi Turbo
Mods: Practically no mods - I only knit the body an inch longer before beginning the ribbing.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Tonight is my first Spanish test of the quarter. I've been studying all day, did about three hours of homework last night, and studied Thursday and Friday. Why don't I feel ready? Why wouldn't Little A simmer the hell down and take a nap? What the heck is going on?

Sorry. Ranty. I've been struck with a bad case of Monday Blues and the only thing that's going to help is to get the dang test over with.

Back with a new sweater very soon!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Julee Cruise - Rockin' Back Inside My Heart

I've been watching Twin Peaks on Netflix Watch Instantly the past couple of weeks. Ever since I watched the episode that features this song I've had it stuck in my head. Yes, another ear worm. I find myself humming it at the oddest moments, which is a bit Lynch-y I guess.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last Thursday I cast on for Candelia (thanks for the input) and am flying right along. I just finished the last of the waist decreases and am feeling the urge to keep on. The initial trying-on after splitting the sleeves looked good so I'm golden as far as fit goes. The yarn is awesome- Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Chocoberry. Think raspberry/chocolate sundae and you've got it. If today is any indicator, I prefer to ignore Seattle's incredibly changeable weather, then Spring is on it's way.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sonic Youth doing Superstar by the Carpenters

I've had a bit of an obsession with this song for, let's say, the past six weeks. I've listened to it at least once every day since I woke up with it in my head. Love love love love it. Ear worm - direct from my head to yours! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


More socks! I'm down to two projects on the needles right now and am trying to figure out what I'm going to cast on next. Either Candelia or Brooklet. Hmmm....suggestions?

Pattern: Kalajoki (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Mediumweight in Falcon's Eye
Needles: 2.75 mm Addi Turbo
Notes: Knit using the magic loop method - I finished the first one in approximately 10 hours! I knit the shaped toes but did extra decreases at the bottom of the foot so I could kitchener the last few stitches together. I don't trust the "pull through remaining stitches" method to hold up to in-the-shoe wear and prefer grafting. This was the first skein of STR that I ever purchased and am happy that it has a new life as socks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ellie Goulding- Starry-Eyed

Went to Ellie Goulding last night and had a little too good a time. I agree with my friend, Amanda, that she's the next Florence & the Machine. Sold out show on a Monday night says it all.

She was also wearing a Damned t-shirt. Woot!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Twist Collective

The new Twist Collective is up for Spring. There are some pretty things but it's not the usual frenzy I feel to knit everything like the Fall issue. Better than most Spring issues, though.

In other news, I'm off to Fort Worden in Port Townsend for a retreat with my knitting group. There is no wi-fi in the place we're staying at and people are freaking. Holy cow, it'll be like living ten years ago. So I'll be radio silent until next week sometime when Spring quarter starts up again.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Red Fish, Blue Fish

I wanted a quick knit and boy did I get one! Cast this on Monday at knitting and finished Tuesday morning. Little A is a fan and declared it "Soft" and "gorgeous" - where the heck does she get that stuff from?

Pattern: Chloe by Alana Dakos
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater (in Barn, Grass, Waterslide)
Needles: US #8 Clover bamboo
Mods: None. However, I think I'll do an applied i-cord edging around the fronts and neck to keep the edges from rolling and do built-in i-cord buttonholes. I'm pretty sure I have enough leftover yarn to knit another one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I ran into a few problems with this one, as you can see. While I was knitting the back I spread it out to admire my work and noticed that I had started crossing one of the cables the wrong way about 1/3 of the way down the back. A few hours later I was back on track after dropping down and re-crossing those dang cables. I'm middlingly pleased with the finished sweater but not completely thrilled and I'm not quite sure why. Fits pretty well and looks pretty good but....meh.

Pattern: Aidez by Cirilia Rose for Berroco
Yarn: Eco+ by Cascade Yarns; color 4171
Needles: US #10 1/2 Harmony
Mods: Knit the sleeves in the round and tried on as I went. I ended up knitting the next size up but they're still pretty tight. I'm sure they'll loosen with wearing and when I finally get around to washing it. Did a three needle bind off for the back neck. I think that's it. Eco+ is definitely not as plump as Peruvia Quick so my fabric is quite drapey and the cables don't pop as much as they should. I'm okay with that since it only took two (!!!) skeins to knit the whole thing with about 20 yards to spare.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wrapping it up

I've been a little lackadaisical about posting recently but I feel like the past couple of weeks have flown by. There has been lots of knitting as my stress level has risen with the last couple weeks of the quarter and I'll post that stuff soon. A couple of weeks ago I had evening social engagements for five nights in a row and tonight marked the end of my second quarter of Spanish. Woohoo!! Spring break! I celebrated with a trip to the bar to drink German beer and eat far more than is good for me. Tuesday I have an appointment for a massage and facial - I've never had a facial done and I'm excited. The following weekend I'm going away for the first ever Purlygirls knitting retreat at Fort Worden near Port Townsend, WA. If you read my birthday post from last year you'll know that there will be a lot of beer drinking on my part and eating of poutine. Oh, and knitting, too!

Really, there will be more knitting posted soon. I've finished a sweater and a shawl and started another sweater since my last post.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Swappy Swap

After work this evening my co-workers and I ran next door to Oliver's Twist to have cocktails and trade hats. At the end of February we decided to to do a slouchy hat swap using any of the MadelineTosh yarns. Hannah was my recipient and I knew exactly what I wanted to make - Ripple by Wendy Bernard. I knit this pattern back in December for my MIL out of Cascade Pure Alpaca and had it in the back of my mind to knit again. The pattern is simple and I really wanted to see it in a fingering weight yarn.

Pattern: Ripple
Needle: US #3 Addi Turbo
Yarn: MadelineTosh Merino Light in Well Water
Mods: Knit as written. I can't say enough good things about the yarn - it feels amazingly silky and has a wonderful sheen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Vampire Boyfriend

I've been asking myself exactly who I would choose as my vampire boyfriend. All of Edward's talk about his soul is quite the turn off, Angel is a little too tortured with that whole "one moment of happiness" thing, Bill is a bit too old fashioned, and Dracula has that whole turning into bat thing going on. I guess that leaves Spike? I'm not really attracted to blondes although his bad boy attitude and taste in booze and music is appealing. I guess I'll just stick with the sock version - blood red and keeps my feet warm.

Pattern: My Vampire Boyfriend
Yarn: Hazel Knits in Jubilee (sock club color)
Needles: US #1 1/2 Harmony wood
Mods: My yarn is lighter weight than Colinette so I used the needle listed in the pattern and knit the large size. They're a bit tight over the heel but fit nicely other than that. I also fiddled with the pattern at the toe so I could use kitchener stitch instead of pulling the yarn through the final stitches. Cast on using the Old Norwegian cast on which is nice and stretchy.

Monday, March 7, 2011


What has happened to the last few weeks? They seriously flew by in a whirlwind and I just now caught my breath. Whew. Let's see....I knit a sweater. It's Hollyhock by Cecily Glowik MacDonald in Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia 2-ply. I had to mess with the sizing since my gauge was bigger and now that it's done I really like it. In order to love it I'm going to have to rip it back to the yoke and remove some stitches from the sleeves and make the yoke slightly shorter. The giant cowl neck is really lovely and the yarn lends itself well to the simple design. I'm already thinking about what else I can make with it - maybe a cardigan.

I also attended Madrona at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. I took a class with Janine Bajus who is a really great instructor and very knowledgeable about the EPS and Fair Isle. Everything I learned is still percolating but I'm thinking that an EPS Fair Isle Yoke sweater is in my near future. Homework for class entailed knitting the body and sleeves of a mini sweater and then joining it in the round and knitting the color work portion in class. I still need to finish the last motif and complete the weaving in and grafting. I would love to attend one of Janine's workshops and immerse myself in Fair Isle and color theory for a whole weekend. Dreamy.

What else? I finished up a pair of socks and a hat and need to get cracking on my Cassidy. I was sick for four days and lost my voice for two of them. Try wrangling a toddler with no voice - it's incredibly ineffectual. My mid-term went horribly due to Husband who locked himself outside the house with the Toddler inside and I had to leave class to let Husband in and make sure Toddler was not traumatized. I returned to class after the test had started and was so frazzled and pissed off at said Husband that I completely forgot all of the preterite goodness I had studied all day long. Extra credit is now necessary. But. The quarter is almost over and I have a knitting retreat to attend and a small break from class.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Point

I just finished listening to the On Point with Tom Ashbrook podcast called the Resurgence of Knitting. Franklin Habit and Susan Strawn are both interviewed and I found it quite fascinating. You can find it on iTunes or here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Stash

I spent all day Friday at Madrona Fiber Festival soaking in as much information about Fair Isle Yoke Sweaters as humanly possible, for me anyway. After class I headed over to the marketplace and did a small amount of shopping. This year I took cash with me and had no plan except to not go over my cash budget. It worked! I'm happy with my small pile of purchases and plotting what to make with them. My favorite new thing is handspun from Spincycle up in Bellingham. I always look at their stuff but have never purchased any. I picked up a skein of chunky weight Polworth in Rusted Rainbow. I also snagged a skein of worsted weight BFL in Greed that is far more acidly yellow than my camera accounts for and very soft. My friend, Ariel, went to the market on Thursday and picked up a skein (by request) of GothSocks in a red/black colorway called Imma Bitch. Fun! I heard that the booth was swamped on Thursday at market opening and I'm glad I put in a request since she had practically nothing left by Friday afternoon. Last but not least, I won a door prize for a Fly Designs gift certificate and spent it on a skein of Cashmara in Blood Red. Cashmara is a super soft sock weight yarn in a 80 superwash merino/10 cashmere/10 nylon blend. I believe it's going to be the Gambit scarf from One Skein Sock
Yarn Wonders.