American Wool Series

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FO: Fiar

Sometimes simple is best.


Pattern: Fiar by Irish Girlie Knits
Yarn: Black Trillium Fibre Arts Gradient Set in Flutter
Needles: US #6 (4.0 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeable
Mods: The pattern includes instructions for a 3-stripe or 5-stripe color sequence but the gradient set works with the pattern repeat of 20 rows. Each mini-skein of yarn yielded 20 rows of knitting so I just knit in pattern until I was about to run out of yarn and added the next color in at a garter section. I ended up running out of yarn right at the bind off so I pulled some white Dale of Norway Baby Ull out of my stash to finish off the bind off on the palest color section (you can hardly tell!). This pattern makes great social knitting as well as being a terrific sock yarn stashbuster. I used all 635 yards of my gradient set but if you have partial balls of sock yarn it would be a fantastic scrappy sock yarn project.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday

"Bull in the Heather" by Sonic Youth. Released as a single in 1994 called Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday

"Modern Girl" by Sleater-Kinney from the 2005 album, The Woods.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

FO: October Leaves Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: October Leaves Fingerless Mitts by Abbie Tilden
Yarn: Sincere Sheep Cushy Fingering in Be Mine
Needles: US #1 (2.25 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharps
Mods: None! (Her wrist looks bumpy because of her watch.)

Remember my super-secret knitting project for my knitting group retreat swap? This is it! I drew Meg for the swap and I knew I'd have fun knitting something for her. She has a toddler size girlie at home and is a working mama so I know she doesn't get as much time to knit as she would like. Meg knits lots of hats so I thought the next best thing would be some fingerless mitts that she could use at the park with her kiddo or going for walks. The swap theme was small accessories with lace or cables or both. I think these mitts fit the bill perfectly - they have cables running up both sides and the gusset increases are integrated into a lace leaf motif. Meg seems like the kind of lady who appreciates a little luxury, so I chose a fingering weight yarn from Sincere Sheep in a merino, nylon, and cashmere blend. The yarn is a dream to work with - nice and round with a bit of density to it that makes it flow through your fingers and off the needles.

Friday, May 17, 2013


This evening caps off a week of the terribles. I mean really terrible. As in, blanket over the head in the morning, pretend the alarm hasn't been going off for 20 minutes terrible. Now that the weekend is here, I'll be spending some time doing a little resume updating and job searching so I can feel that I am taking a proactive approach to changing the terrible in my life, namely, work. My other cure will be picking up the needles and doing some self-soothing in the form of  knitting.

I'm using this lovely stuff to knit Aislinn by Amy Herzog. I had a teensy bit of a false start when I cast on for the wrong size but I cast on again in the correct size and am just about to start the waist decreases. I'm hoping to get a good portion of the back done this weekend so I can get some wear out of the cardigan before the weather decides to change for the better.

Monday, May 13, 2013

FO: Cadence Socks

These may be my prettiest handknit socks ever.

Cadence Socks

Cadence Toes
Cadence Socks
Pattern: Cadence Socks by VeryBusyMonkey (free!)
Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply fingering in Coventry
Needles: US #1 (2.25 mm)
Mods: None! These socks make my heart sing. I was feeling a bit blue when I cast them on but the Springy mint green and complicated-looking-but-easy-to-knit stitch pattern cheered me right up. They have yet to be worn since I need to show them off at knit night before they get shoved inside shoes. Also, the weather in Seattle has been unseasonably warm for Spring and I haven't felt cold toes in a couple of weeks, hence no wool socks. I can't recommend the pattern highly enough and I'm eager to cast on another VBM sock once I finish Mr. B's birthday socks.

Andi is knitting a beautiful pair of Cadence Socks as well. Something about this pattern just says Spring to me.

Music Monday

Old school hip hop just the way I like it. "The Breaks" from the 1980 self-titled album, Kurtis Blow.

I suffered through my own series of breaks last week when I dropped $1200 getting my car fixed. As I drove away from the mechanic this song popped in my head and has been stuck there ever since. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WIP: Fiar

I overpacked for my knitting retreat. The one project that I cast on during my knitting-filled weekend ended up being the only project I really wanted to work on.

This is Fiar by Irish Girlie Knits. It's a long cowl knit with sock yarn and I'm using my gradient set from Black Trillium Fibers. Each skein seems to eat up just about one repeat so it's coming along swimmingly and is really great for social knitting (and drinking) since every other row is stockinette. I'm using a US #6 needle since my #5 needle is otherwise occupied. My gradient set came with five mini skeins and I'm currently knitting the fourth of the set.


Photos by the wonderful QuixoticPixels.

Pillsbury is a beanie style hat with cables and purls on a stockinette background.  The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn on US #6 and US #7 needles and includes both written instructions and charted instructions. Best yet, it's available for free!

My wonderful models are my good friends Jessica and Cara. I think they did a great job!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Purlygirl Retreat

Later this morning I head off to Port Townsend for the third annual Purlygirl retreat. We'll be staying at Fort Worden and doing lots of knitting, eating, and laughing our heads off. I'm working on packing my knitting projects.
 I'm winding these little lovelies into balls to cast on Fiar by Irish Girlie Knits. My new friend, Sonia, is knitting Fiar and I'm basically just copying her brilliant idea (we have the exact same gradient set). This is a gradient set that I picked up at Vogue Knitting Live and the colorway is Flutter.
 I swatched my French Marigold Miss Babs and got perfect gauge for Aislinn on size 5 needles. The swatch was slightly dense before washing, but after a nice bath it created a lovely fabric. In my experience, superwash yarns have a tendency to become very fluid after washing so I think this yarn knit at a slightly dense gauge will be perfect for a cardigan with both stockinette and lace.
 Mr. B's birthday socks are coming along for the ride. These are what I'll knit on during the ferry ride and any late night shenanigans. The pattern is Gentleman's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern (a very simple texture pattern).
I also did my nails last night. For three whole days I'll be away from sorting papers at work, housecleaning, and other rough-on-my-hands activities so I thought I'd get extra fancy. I'm not super awesome at painting my own nails but I like this pretty well. Sally Hansen's Black Out with some Essie luxeffects in A Cut Above over the tips. It's 4-year-old approved. 

I'll be back after the weekend! Enjoy yours!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Lately it seems as if my excitement about knitting is waning a bit. I cast on, knit, and bind off projects at my regular knitting clip but things have felt a little...lackluster. Until this week. Amy Herzog* just released a new cardigan pattern, Aislinn, and I felt myself perk right up. Maybe it was the Springtime photography, maybe it was the lace pattern in the front panels, or the cute little ties in the front, but all of a sudden I felt compelled to cast on a swatch and see if I could knit Aislinn out of some recently acquired Miss Babs Yowza - Whatta Skein! in a lovely color called French Marigold. Doesn't that say Spring to you? 

*I've been watching Amy's Craftsy class, Fit to Flatter, in short bursts of quiet time over the past couple of weeks and I'm eager to try out some of her methods and advice on fitting sweaters on my proportionate, straight waisted, and busty self.