Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting A Jump On Tulips

Even here in the California southland, it is too early to see tulips available in abundance.  But I've got a jump on the little bulbs.

The pattern is Lapis Wrap published in Interweave Crochet or check it out on Ravelry.  Note the word 'lapis' and compare to my work.  Clearly this is not lapis blue yarn.  Whilst quizzing the staff at my LYS concerning the amount of sport weight in stock, another customer joined the conversation with a sentiment that caused me to pause.

Reds, offered she, are the most versatile shades.  The thinking behind that pronouncement is thus:  red fits with Valentines, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Christmas and looks great during the Olympics.  That is a whole heap of holiday celebrations during which red can be worn successfully.  (Mardi Gras, St. Paddy's & Halloween are of course excepted)

And there was this in the red section of the store - twelve balls of Frog Tree Alpaca, sport in color #204.

Oh, yes.

Tulips. The point of this post.  Almost forgot.

The Lapis Wrap pattern includes several inserts of openwork  that is referred to as tulip panel.  Three puff stitches arise from one space and simulate the petals of a tulip blossom.

At this point, I'm not quite half way done with the wrap.  But Valentine's Day is weeks (and a whole new year) away.  That gives me
plenty of time to get all of the tulips growing throughout this wrap!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Slipping For Effect

What follows is a review of playing around with a crochet hook and Trendsetter Bodega fluffery.  
Yours truly with a boa made from Bodega.  This version is created by using said crochet hook to slip stitch along the edge.  Each insertion of the hook was about 3/4 inch apart.  But that varied.  

Precision of stitch placement is not required.  That is important as this yarn makes a great beginner project.

And, might I note that if one does not like the resulting fluff or twist, it is extremely easy to pull out the slip work and start over.  Love that.

This is the same yarn with the slip stitch moved to the center of the yarn.  Again, precision is not required.  I did try very hard to place the hook at a fairly consistent distance from one stitch to the next.  The result is totally different.

More narrow & more twisted this scarf version is well suited to a smaller frame.  It still has that artistic wow, so that is not lost.

Side by side comparison of the two techniques.

On the left is the version with the crochet slip stitches placed along the edge.

On the right is the version with with crochet slip stitches moved to the center.

Check out the close up of each.


The Specifics:  Trendsetter Yarn Bodega in colorway 414 - Mardi Gras.  Surely you sensed that coming.  You had to see this Cajun getting all excited about those colors! 

Monday, December 19, 2011


This is a story of tired fingers.  It is brief as my digits don't even want to stay on the keyboard very long.

The "suddenly I need one more hat" is completed.  As in ready to go.  So ready that immediately upon the photo opportunity, it was sealed safely in festive wrapping and set under the tree.

And - quite the surprise to my early morning brain - I even remembered to insert the yarn band with the washing instructions!  Often I have forgotten that little luxury. 

This is Berroco Vintage which is a machine washable blend.  Of course I'll probably get a little focused on the recipient and point out way too many times that it is machine washable.  NOT to be tossed in a hot dryer.  But, 'tis blue as was requested.  Plain old fashioned navy blue. 

It turns out that I have some blocking still to accomplish.  This is a second Dragon's Tail scarf.  That's all I have to say about it.  Anything else can be tracked, guessed or otherwise figured out. 

Yep, my fingers are tired.  But it is a good tired.  Know what I mean?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Brief Shining Moment

For one brief shining moment of time, I was caught up.  The time line was under control.  You hear that, Madame Fate.  I was in control!  And then. 

And then. 

And then. . .

opportunity came my way and all semblance of calm control vanished as though it were smoke up the chimney.

It seems that my hat knitting days are not over.  Unfortunately, the blue stash was used up for the hats that where shipped away.  What is it with blue this year?   I thought grey was the new black, but maybe it is blue that is the new black.  Oh, well.  I was forced (Forced, I tell you.  'Twas not my fault) to go shopping for more yarn.  And, what does "blue" mean when standing in the midst of temptation.  Weaker women will state that it only takes one skein to make a hat.  But, I am a woman of strength and I know that the odds are strong that more than one skein of blue yarn will be needed in my knitterly life.  That's all I'm saying on that topic.

 So, the black scarf and a second dragon scarf are on hold while I whip out another hat.  This makes the top of the coffee table look rather disorganized. 

It is organized in my own special fashion.  The black alpaca is in a bag and contained in a bowl on top of pattern that one day will be cast on.  The second dragon scarf is under the beginnings of the necessary blue hat (work order - finish the blue and discover the dragon).  Off to the side is a new phone sock that still needs a button.  And placed just so is the ball 'o blue and the dragon cone with beads at the ready. 

But that is not all!   Nay, Madame Fate has dropped another in my lap.  Under the table at my feet and surrounded by potato chip crumbs (late night energy) is a bag of organic cotton that wants to become a donation of  wash cloths for an activity in early 2012.

I love knitting or crocheting for moi.  But I adore making items for others.  Maybe the job of Madame Fate is to prevent narcissism and keep me looking outward to the needs of others.

Oh, that Madame Fate - - she is one smart cookie.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Maggie Mae - a free pattern for you

Maggie Mae
Lenora François Stewart
François Stewart DesignsTM
Maggie Mae is a simple sleeveless pullover with a deep neckline.   The top is worked in one piece beginning at the arm opening and continuing across the front then around the back and ending with a simple kitchener stitch join.  Short shoulder seams complete the construction.  Neck edge and arm openings are finished with reverse single crochet.  

NOTICE:  Pattern fit is easily adjustable.  To add to circumference you may add two rows of stockinette under each arm, add two rows of seed stitch to each front side or/and add and even number of seed stitch rows to the back.  For every four rows added, the blocked width is increased by 1 inch.

Size:  S (M, L)
Chest:   32” (34”, 37”) pattern is sized for a close fit and to accommodate stretch inherent in cotton garments. 
Length:  20.5 (20.5, 23)  NOTE:  Blocked length is actually determined by your stitch gauge.  Cotton will give.

Yarn:  Noro Taiyo (40% cotton, 30 % silk, 15% wool, 15% nylon, 100 g/ 201m), 3 balls
Needles:  size #10 (6mm) circular, 24”.  Use needle size to get gauge or knit loosely 
Hook:   size I (5.5mm) crochet hook
Notions: tapestry needle, stitch marker, waste yarn (used for provisional cast on)
Gauge:  16 sts = 4” (10 cm) Because the entire top is worked side to side, this gauge does not indicate the final length of the garment.  The cotton content of the suggested yarn, the weight and the downward pull all combine to make the final length after blocking approximately 20.5 – 23 “

CO 32 (32, 36) stitches plus provisional CO 41 (41, 45) additional stitches. 73(73, 81) TOTAL stitches cast on.  If using a different yarn, increase the provisional CO stitches based upon your gauge.

Front Side
WS  Seed Stitch
RS  Seed Stitch  (place stitch marker to indicate right side)
Repeat Seed Stitch as established for 4.5” (5”, 5.5”)
End on WS row

Begin Neck Shaping
RS  BO 3 stitches at beginning (neck edge) and continue in seed stitch
WS  Seed stitch
Repeat these two rows 9 more times (Total of 30 stitches bound off)

RS  CO 3 stitches then work RS row in seed stitch.  Be careful to work the 3 new cast on stitches in pattern!
WS  Seed Stitch
Repeat these two rows 9 more times (total of 30 stitches cast on = 73 ((73,81)) total stitches)

Front Side
Working on stitches as established, continue in seed stitch until this side measures 4.5” (5”, 5.5”).  Measure from beginning of 73 (73, 81) stitches after completing neck.

Arm Hole
RS  Loosely BO 32 (32, 36) stitches, k across remaining 41 (41, 45)
WS  p 41 (41, 45)
RS  k 41 (41, 45)
WS  p 41 (41, 45)
RS k 41 (41, 45))
Large Size Only work four more rows: 
WS    p 45
RS    k 45
WS    p 45
RS    k 45

WS  seed stitch across 41 (41, 45) stitches
RS  CO 32 (32, 36) stitches then work entire row in seed stitch pattern  73 (73, 81) stitches after completing cast on
Continue in seed stitch for 15 (16, 17) inches ending with a WS row
RS   BO 32 (32, 36)  stitches, k across remaining 41 (41, 45)
WS  p 41 (41, 45)
RS  k 41 (41, 45)
WS  p 41 (41, 45)

Large Size Only work four more rows: 
RS    p 45
WS    k 45
RS    p 45
WS    k 45

Remove provisional cast on and return stitches to other end of circular needles (or use a spare needle)
Graft (kitchener stitch) 41 (41, 45) stitches together.

Sew shoulders
Weave in all ends
Beginning at right shoulder seam, work reverse single crochet around entire neck edge.
Work reverse single crochet around arm holes.

©2010 François Stewart Designs, Lenora François Stewart
All rights reserved
This pattern is for your personal, non-commercial use only.
You are not allowed to make garments from this pattern for sale anywhere.
You are not allowed to mass produce this pattern or garments made from this pattern.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I've Got A Dragon By The Tail

Looky here!  A dragon's tail made from linen and beads.  Yippie.   Each little point along the top spine has one bead at the tip.  And then the long straight edge has beads added in during the bind off.   

Now, I readily admit that taken from this overhead view it does not look like much.  And I could have taken more care and placed the lower curve just so.   Given my poor photo skills, perhaps this next view will be more pleasing.  Just look at the scarf and ignore the model.


A few notes for those who might score the pattern and consider grabbing this dragon by the tail.

I added two extra points to give more wrapping length.

The last four points were expanded to ten rows rather than the eight row repeat of the pattern directions

This linen went through the dryer in two separate fifteen minute cycles:  wet, dryer, lay out points, finish drying whilst flat.  Repeat.

And then it still was not wanting to begin to soften up. 

So. . . . 

Tossed it in the dryer with NO HEAT for 45 minutes and beat the softness into it.  

That did the trick as now it feels worn.  Not as comfortable as it will be with time, but soft enough to drape well.

Did I already say Yippie? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Joyous Class

It was with eager anticipation that we showed up for a scarf class.  Nothing fancy was on the agenda, nothing wild and untried was expected.  What was on tap was a group experience of two dozen knitters of all skill levels coming together to start knitting along on a linen scarf.

Yes, linen.  In the winter.  Perhaps linen is not high on the winter fibers if you live in a cold and snowy climate.  However, for three reasons, linen was the perfect choice for this December class.

First, linen is the yarn preferred by the designer.  The scarf pattern is Dragon's Tail Scarf by Jane Tea-Hajosy from Two Sisters and Ewe.  Her suggestion is Louet Euroflax.  Many of us (including moi) took that suggestion and interpreted it with a Claudia Hand Painted colorway.

Second reason why linen is a perfect choice is physical.  While I did not snap a photo of the over crowded tables, one look at the average age and any informed woman would also opt for the coolest possible string to twirl about the neck.  Our aim in life is to reduce heat surges!

The third reason that I am convinced linen is a perfect winter knit is pragmatic.  Even if we get all caught up in holiday celebrations and the new year, surely we will all have this beaded swath completed by spring time.

 During our group knit-a-long class I managed to complete seven points.  Today, armed with a spiced tea I set my self to getting much farther along. 

This scarf is a simple eight row repeat.  Once you go through the increase, bead, bind off series a few times, it becomes very zen and repetitive.

This is color is Ocean Depth and filled with undulating greens and purples.  This hank has been front and center in the stash because I love the shades so very much.

Each point - as in the blades of a dragon tail - has one bead.  Then, when it is time to bind off, more beads are added.  The final result will be asymmetrical.  The neck edge is filled with increases so that it will wrap around the neck and let the beaded points be the focus.

One pot of tea and much progress later, the scarf is already half way completed.  Now the real time sink begins because each row get progressively longer.  In looking at my personal calendar, there should be time enough available to have this one completed by the end of the weekend. 

So, what is the moral to the story?  When you work your tail off getting all the gifts knitted and shipped by December 7th, you can work on a new tail (scarf) for yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fluff 'N Stuff

Happy Fluffy Day!  Finally a fresh shipment of Katia Triana Lux arrived down at my go to source for string.   Weeks ago I scored a ball of the grey/blackish/ecrulike stuff for moi.  And it is a hit every time I wear it now that sparkle season has arrived.

Unfortunately, that  colorway was not in this latest shipment and I was forced to choose new festive shades for gifting.  The deep dark blue (there in the background) really dresses up an old pair of jeans.  The golden swath is right in tune with this December holiday season.

And, it turns out, the gold also looks fabulous with jeans and makes an evening at home into a very special occasion.

The folks that I know are all knitting this specialty yarn.  It took a while, but I did figure out how best to turn it into a neck fluff with a crochet hook.  The final effect is not the same as when knit, but it does work and holds up well.

Here is the method that worked best.  It is based on Tunisian Simple Stitch if you get lost.

Fold in the end as for knitting and pick up four "stitches" on the hook.

YO and pull through two "stitches"

Repeat back until there is only one stitch (loop) on the hook.

Pick up three new "stitches" on the hook (for a total of four) and repeat the YO, pull through two process.

Need a better explanation?  Leave a comment and I'll be working on a better description to send out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rubber Bands & Knitting

The rows and rows of seed stitch have become quite a big field of possibility.  Boredom has set in and progress is delayed.  This long vest is made from ShiBui heichi and will ultimately have almost 500 g of the stuff hanging from my shoulders.  I got to fretting if that weight would pull downward and stretch the arm holes.  I don't mind if the total length stretches as that as already been shortened by one inch due to my being short.

What to do?  Is it possible to stop fretting and just get on with the endless planting of seed stitch?  What came to mind was the need to test the weight of only the vest and pre-stretch the arm holes without blocking an incomplete item.  Now, readily do I admit that this idea might be anathema to Master Knitters, but I did not think of it on my own and might not be totally to blame for suggesting it. 

What we have here is two rubber bands (actually hair bands donated by daughter #1 to the cause - this is all her inventive contraption) that hold the circulars together and allow hanging from a hanger without fear of a mishap and loss of stitches.  Check out the chord of the circs and you see that it is pulling downward.

Way down at the bottom of the closet are the yarn balls that correspond to the fronts and back of the vest. 

Everything is nice and tidy with no pressure except for the weight of the garment. . .

In the middle of the rubber bands and the yarn balls is the vest.  This is as close as we could get to having only the weight of the garment itself impacting the stretch on the arm holes.  It is kind of like "dry blocking" if that concept actually exists. 

The goal is to mimic wearing and test out what will happen by the end of the day - or several days later.  Based on our dry hang test,  I will be deleting almost an inch from the pattern specified depth of the arm holes. 

My guess is that I will get raked over the proverbial coals on this one.  I'm sure that all manner of folks will tell me this does not work or it should not be done or that I have finally lost it and should resign from the knit world.    It's OK.  I saved about 30 minutes of knitting and those arm holes are customized to my body - - not some standard. 

Rubber bands & knitting.   It's a good thing in my book of tricks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


At this time of year the calendar urges each one to pause and give thanks.  Of late, I have felt more burdened by a blue mood than lightened by rose colored glasses.  Consider what is on the needles:
  1. black alpaca scarf
  2. dark blue silk vest
  3. black & blue wool blend hat
The colors seemed to reflect the cloud hanging over me.  Dark and foreboding with no silver lining anywhere to be seen.  So, I went looking for reasons to cast aside the funk and get on with the Thanksgiving.

  • Funds are sufficient enough to purchase quality fiber.  I am thankful that the coffers are not dry.
  • My health allows me to participate in a friendly competition with a fellow knitter trying to discover who can complete a vest the fastest.  I am thankful for a pain free life.
  • My extended family brings bright moments to life and I know that the chosen hat recipient will be grateful.  I am thankful that close by or far away, family is family.
When looked at it all from a perspective of thanksgiving, my blue mood is very sunny! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Planting Seeds

That's what is happening around these parts.  Planting seeds.  Row after row after row of seeds.
Over the hills and through the valleys, nothing but seed stitch.  This is what happens when one casually (and with no other intention than to spend a few minutes chatting) strolls into a yarn store and is struck with Commandment breaking covetousness at the simple sight of a competitor  fellow knitter casting on for a new project. 

Even before the Muscadine socks were photographed for this running rant of a blog, I had signed on the dotted line and possessed ten skeins of silk and a pattern known as Shadow.   I knit all weekend.  Regular readers know that at this time of year, I am partial to mindless knitting that does not interfere with weekend football watching.


The mindless seed planting is broken up with two cable inserts that, for this long vest, become the side seams (well, wannabe seams).

It's looking might fine up to this point.  Which is not even half way.

Good thing this is mostly mindless as I've half a mind to chuck it all and whip up bulky hat for a preemie!

Please jump in anytime with a comment of encouragement. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Muscadine Wine Socks

Perfection is complete!
 Well, these are perfection if you discount the cuff seam on one sock.  Try as I might, that seam just looked off.  Thus - - the photo taken from the front. 

Socks are so portable, perhaps that is why the working of them is quite popular.  What's that you say?  Have you never owned a pair of hand knit socks perfectly matched to your foot and calf with even the gusset precisely placed for your anatomy?  For shame.  It is time to either learn to knit socks OR make nice with a sock knitter.
For those in the know, the sideways cuff of this pattern did give me pause.  I fretted a bit on whether the garter work would be as effective as plain ribbing or if it would fail in the wearing.  So far, I am pleased.  

A gentle reminder:  
Muscadine Socks by Star Athena available here on Ravelry and also in Sockupied, Spring 2011.
made with Grape Vine (a limited edition) colorway by Baah!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Fluff

Many a woman loves a bit of sparkle for the upcoming holiday season.  Adding a little something new is easy and brings joy to both wearer and observer.

This is the latest craze to go through my favorite LYS.  Katia Triana Lux which comes in a variety of shades, this fabulous black/grey/cream combo with gold sparkles is my personal favorite.  Basically this is a variety of the popular mesh ruffle yarns with glitz added.

Luckily, I managed to grab a ball before it was all gone.  Currently, the staff just says "its on back order" to those of us waiting not so patiently for a new supply. 

In less time than it takes to watch a football game, a marvelous swath of festivity can be worked.   Folks are working this simple boa scarf with anywhere from five to ten stitches per row and using everything from a size 8 to a 13 needle.  The point here is that no new supplies are needed.  One ball, any needle, any number of stitches and VOILA!  In about two hours a gift is ready.

I love the way that this makes a ruffle when wound about the neckline.  It is spiffy whether worn as a traditional scarf or twirled and tucked like a huge collar.  

With something this wonderful, and a whole cadre of knitters & crocheters waiting impatiently, I sure hope that back order is already shipped!  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ready To Go

Perhaps my most flexible piece of wooly work ever completed is ready to go. 

Check out the completed pullover!  This was an extremely fast knit, a quick seaming and then voila!  Done.  Here I have used the short sleeved sweater as an over garment in attempt to stay warm in the sudden global chilling that is Riverside.  Temps are below comfy and down toward the "how do you turn on the heat?" stage.

I did check out the ability to wear this under a plain button front shirt and that too will work.  The short sleeves are really just a continuation of the body and are worked entirely as ribbing.  That flexibility of the stretchy rib is what gives this sweater its flexibility.

This just might become a favorite packing wardrobe staple.  Notice how squarely and compactly it folds.  Love that!  Do take time to enlarge the photo and notice the cable and lattice work that makes this special.

The pattern includes optional long sleeves, so it is flexible if you live in or often visit a perpetually chilly climate. 

The specifics:

Yarn is Rustic Tweed from Queensland Collection.  63% Wool, 27% Alpaca, 10% Donegal.  It comes in 100g hanks so the 278 yards goes really far. 

Pattern is Lattice Cable Sweater from the book Easy Cable Knits for all seasons by Andra Knight-Bowman.  This is the second time I've made something from the book.  And I have my eye on yet a third pattern.  If you are looking for a good book filled with quick but attractive patterns, this is the ticket.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Color Works!

I am one of those who depend on others to tell me if a color works.  As in does one go with another (or two or three).  The trick I have learned is to depend heavily on the indie dyers out there.  They have it rocking!  My current favorite is Baah! from which the Muscadine socks are knit.  By the, should you be wondering, one sock is complete but finding time to cast on the second is turning out to be the real challenge for this pair.

But, back to color.  For more that several years Colleen Davis has inspired me to go bold with color.  This week, Colleen spoke to the San Diego North Coast Knitters Guild in Encinitas, CA.  We all need a refresher course in color gradation, color blips for pizazz and general success with a project.  

Colleen brought a whole heap of items to share and show how her color sense works.  This is more organized than the photo appears - there was a fashion show, items on a womannequin as well as the table of samples.

 To my right, just sitting there as knitters are want to do was this inspiration.  In the foreground, a knee length vest knit of textures in green and taupe with a shot of orange.  Talk about a blip of color!  But it worked!  Fabulously.  And I say that as one who does not do orange.

Just beyond, is a knitter after my own heart.  She bought a colorway that sways from bright to deeply shaded green and let the yarn do the talking with out interruption. 

Here is one of Colleen's creations.  Notice the gradation of purples on the back of this jacket.  Moving along the color spectrum as well as the texture spectrum gives her work a dimensionality that is like sculpture.

But then comes the pop of those reds and oranges  broken up by the darkest repeating of the purple.  Absolutely fabulous.   

I have several of Colleen's patterns.  The one that I did make - it was a vest in brown/black/gold - went away to an admirer.  Me thinks it is time to pull the stash and put together the colors for another Bold Knit.

 Check this out!  Talk about inspirational.  And Bold.  And so Colleen Davis.  I love the bottom two rows of color.  But moving into the middle and the top and I start to panic over the orange.  

Major hint from Colleen:  Stick to black to unify a color scheme.  White, when used in the same way as black, sucks the life out of all the surrounding color.  

I know that I tend to play it too safe with mixing it up.  I know that I am too safe (or wimpy) because I adore every thing in this basket.  Shades of Grey.  Only shades of grey.  Ahh.  Peaceful times both in the working and the wearing.  And so easy to blend in when what I'm wearing does not stand out in any way.

My heart belongs here, though.  Teal, jade and everything in and around those colors.  This to me is inspiring.  Not a blip of orange anywhere.

Thank you Colleen, you are an inspiration and living proof that color works!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Perfect Match

Every so often it happens.  That perfect match of pattern to yarn.  This is one of those times.  Witness:

Muscadine Socks by Star Athena available here on Ravelry and also in Sockupied, Spring 2011.
made with Grape Vine (a limited edition) colorway by Baah!

The pattern is fabulously simple.  Easy to remember and even if you forget, it is a two row repeat, so all the weary brain needs to do is read what has already been knit.  As you can see, it is a toe-up design.   

More importantly, it is almost time to work the gusset and then the moment that all sock knitters love takes place.  Yep, I'll put my big girl panties on and turn that heel!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Autumn

Quicker than the next project can be planned, the new shawl/scarf is complete.  The construction here is quite simple.

The body follows a typical pattern of increases at center back and each shoulder to make the piece hug the neck and shoulders.  This piece is only about eight inches in depth.

Then an edging is worked to match the total outer measurement of the body.  The most difficult part of this was sewing the edging to the body.

Black yarn is not my easiest endeavor these days.  

The yarn really makes the little shawl special.  All of those dangling bits add flair.

I thought I was being very swift by purchasing the yarn as soon as it arrived on Friday and returning to my yarn store just a few days later to share this sample of the yarn.  One weekend of sales and there were only three skeins remaining when I hung up this sample.

That should tell you how gorgeous this stuff is!

If you have not already, check out the color selection here.  And don't forget the free pattern that is available on the same page.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dark Edge to Autumn

The new black shawl made from Autumn is a more of a scarf than a true shawl.  My stitch count of the body matches the pattern perfectly with almost all of one skein used up.  And I've laid the lace edge against the body to judge how wide the "shawl" will be when the two parts are sewn together.  Definitely not of a depth that fits my definition of a shawl.

It is looking like the finished product will be more of a shaped scarf.  And that is perfectly fine because the yarn is the star - not the pattern.  Black yarn, dangling bits and a simple edging that hints at a repeating leaf.  That is what you should see in the photo.  Alas, black yarn is just black yarn and my skills to edit are not so great.

Forgive me for not sharing each stitch with you.  Already I am fretting the final photo.  Shall it be taken of the shawl/scarf elegantly and artistically tossed over a white shirt?  Or will a beige turtleneck show off the casualness better?  

These are weighty issues for sure.  Pondering the next blog post and photo can be distracting.  So distracting that Bert can feel ignored even when I sit with him to ponder the knit world.

Here is the man himself, wondering what I am wondering about.  Click on the photo to enlarge and follow the arrow to Bert's new blanket.  Of late, nothing for him has come from my needles.  Luckily, Bert has another lady in his life who  loves him enough to crochet new blankets. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seduced By The Dark Side

There I was, sitting amongst friends enjoying the chatter that is Designer Hand Knits, working merrily along on the green vest.  After all, the back which is composed of one hundred twenty bazillion rows of nothing but stockinette makes a fine diversion from the laughter and camaraderie of the shop.  Less than one week of work and the vest is 3/4 complete.  Not bad for a rank amateur!

Any way, we all heard it.  Yes, two tables of knitters all heard that sound that causes any yarnaholic to pause, set the needles aside and jump out of the chair with a speed unmatched by the launch of a rocket.  That one sound, which when it breaks into the merriment causes us all to stretch up, body at the ready and looking like a clan of meerkats posing for National Geographic.

What sound?  The slicing/yanking of the closure on a huge box.  DELIVERY TIME!  

Now, where did I put that green vest??


Color: black with stuffage (beads & dangling polyester leaves)

Content:  47% Acrylic, 44% cotton, 9% polyester

I do believe that I have found my Halloween Costume.  It should be ready a whole week early.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP - Fast & Furious

It does not feel as though my fingers are flying quickly.  Every now and then I sit and knit.  Already the front of the vest is nearing completion.

So much progress has been made that it actually looks like a garment.  I like that.  This combination of yarn and pattern is one of the best bits of luck I've had recently.  The subtle shading results in a casually muted stripe, but the tweed breaks it up.  The shades are most visible in the stockinette sections.

The pattern is one of those that works out well, is easy to memorize, and looks much more complicated that it actually is.  The cables and lattice are interesting to work without requiring huge amounts of concentration.  

I think that starting this wool vest has brought a bit of luck my way.  Nice cool evenings, foggy mornings and this afternoon the temp did not break 80.  Maybe the temperature is correlated to what I knit in the same way that rain correlates to getting my car washed.

It's a thought. . . .

Monday, October 17, 2011


The slippers are completed but not photo worthy as they are just utilitarian slippers awaiting my next trip.  Moving onward, the next project is cast on with hopes that the triple digit temperatures have moved onward for the year and even the current high afternoon heat will give way to daytime temperatures that complement the cool evenings.

Onward to something wooly and of a worsted weight.

Onward to cables and a center panel of lattice stitchery.

Onward to an Irish green tweed.

Yes, Onward.

The calendar says that it is squarely autumn time even though the daylight has not yet done the "fall back" thing.  I'm ready for a stretch of days - dare I pray for an entire week - of cool days, a bowl of soup and the flicker of a flame in the evening.   And this design is perfect for creating the mood associated with changing seasons.

I have to tell you that the photo is a bit misleading.  On the left side of the picture, above the knitting and below the bowl of yarn is a cable needle.  Funny thing that cable needle.  It is really just a security needle as I do not use the things.  I prefer to work all cables (well, maybe not when made of slippy sliddy yarn on the Addi lace points) sans additional needles.  Sure, using a cable needle is the way most of us were taught.  But I find that method to be slow, cumbersome and it breaks the rhythm of knitting.  

Emotionally, I am feeling better  just because of working on a heavier wool blend and creating cold weather patterns.  Realistically, it never gets cold enough for a traditional heavy sweater here in Riverside.  Being the wise woman that I am, this one will not have sleeves - a vest of many cables!