Sunday, May 4, 2008

Recently seen.....

At the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was entered, I suppose, in the Felted Works division. I believe it is a hand puppet and it was truly amazing. Fully deserving of the blue ribbon.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yarn Harlot

I got to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Monday night!!!!

I have proof:

Stephanie talking to us and taking her pics of the crowd.

Stephanie and my socks.

Stephanie signs my book:


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Here they are! I think Bozo would be proud. If I had any sense, I'd have dyed them blue and orange instead of purple and orange and sold the yarn for some unspeakable amount of money to a crazed Auburn fan. Hindsight, eh?

I'm still working on finding a good bind off for toe up. My DFW group have given me a good long list of options to try. I was planning on posting the pattern for these online but I'm not perfectly happy with them. Maybe the next pair will be perfect!

Speaking of options..........I received my Knit Picks needles in the mail this week! They are super-yum! I got the nickle-plated sz 2 circs (40"), and 2 sets of wooden circs, 1's and 0's, for socks. Well, all three are for socks...duh.

The 0's are for these:

The theory is that I'm making a pair of socks for Todd, with a bamboo/wool blend. I had started the first sock on dpns in 1x1 rib, thinking to rib the whole cuff. It felt terrible, all rough and pokey. So I ordered the wooden circ to do them both at once (I have a feeling once will be quite enough, thank you) and am doing toe-up plain stockinette. I worked most of the evening yesterday on these. See how far I got?
Um. These may take a while.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Scarf

Well, I finally finished it. Just in time for Spring. Of course.
I have no idea what to call this baby. The only thing I called it while knitting it is not exactly a proper name for a garment, if you know what I mean.

It was knit for my friend Jan who, along with her husband, have thoroughly spoiled us since we moved here. She recently (last week) retired from television and this seems like a good and proper gift, commemorating the fact that she won't be standing out in the cold at 4am doing news reports any more. Yay, Jan!!

It was motivated by the yarn, a 40/60 Alpaca/Merino blend in sport weight from Yarn Treehouse and inspired by that pattern in my Vogue Crochet Scarves book I was telling you about. The knit-crochet pattern looks great, but it is not an easy stitch. You know how when you read a pattern you translate it into words while you knit? You know, you turn K3, P2, K3, YO, into knit 3, purl 2, knit 3, yarn over. Except while you're doing it, it sounds more like kniiiiiiit threeeeee, puuuurrrrllll twooooo, etc, etc. Well, this pattern has a S2K3togP2sso. That's right. Slip 2, Knit 3 together, pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Except when I come to it in my row, in my head it sounds like this, "Two yaaaarn overs, knit one, two yaaaarn overs, biiiiitch stiiiiiiiitch, two yaaarn overs, knit one, two yaaarn overs, biiiiiitch stiiiiiiitch, two yarn overs....." etc.
Totally worth the angst. It really is beautiful and I hope it's not too itchy.

Here's the how-to:

This was knit in 3 pieces. I did the two lace pieces at the same time then knit the middle intending to graft them with a k2tog from the two pieces as I went. It was far too unweildy. I just knit the middle and then grafted them together with a simple whipstitch. (yay for black yarn)


Sport Weight Yarn. Mine is Yarn Treehouse(as I said) 100g, 330 yards. I used one ball plus about 50-75 yards of another.

Size US 4 needles. I used Addi Lace Turbo 32"circs. Pointy needles are your friend with this one, folks!


The Crochet-Knit Shell Pattern advises you to cast on a multiple of 6 plus 3. I added a border so there are 4 added to that.

CO 37 Stitches (Do everything twice if you intend to do both halves at once, once from the inside of the ball and once from the outside.)

Purl one row.

Row 1: P2, K1*YO, K1* to last 2 stitches, P2

Row 2: P2, Knit across, dropping all YO's from previous row to last 2 sts, P2

Row 3: P2, K3tog *2YO, K1, 2YO, Sl 2, K3tog, P2SSO* end with 2YO, K1, 2YO, K3tog, K1, P2

Row 4: P2, K1 *K1, Kfb of 2YO (knit into both "legs" of the double yarn over)* end with K2, P2

Row 5: P2, K1 *YO, K1* to last 2 stitches, P2

Row 6: P2, Knit across, dropping all YO's from previous row to last 2 sts, P2

Row 7: P2, K1 *K1, 2YO, Sl , K3tog, P2SSO, 2YO* K2, P2

Row 8: P2, K1 *K1, Kfb of 2 YO (same as Row 4)* end with K2, P2

Knit these 8 rows to desired length (about 48-50 inches)

Part 2:

CO 100 stitches.

Knit, slipping first stitch of each row, until piece is the same width as first two pieces.

Graft, checking that two lace pieces have the Right Side facing the same way.

What I would do differently:

I would CO the middle piece using long-tail instead of backward loop. I might also make the lace pieces about 6 stitches (one shell) narrower so I didn't have to dig into the extra ball.

Fiber as Art

I need some help. Some artistic advice. Some artsy, knitterly, fiber junkie advice. Maryland Sheep and Wool is coming up and I fully intend to go. While looking at the site for the event I noticed that there is an art competition attached to this event. Like all good "county fairs" this has categories for your knitting, your handspun, your weaving and, lo and behold, painting! (All entries must be Sheep and/or Wool related.) Hey! I paint! Well, I used to. Before we moved.

I was inspired. A long while back, I painted this reproduction/interpretation of Picasso's Woman in a Red Chair.

I could do this! Ewe in a Red Chair. At first I thought I'd just do sheep parts in place of the people parts, but then I saw all those balls and thought, "Yarn!" The big, squarish bit could be a batt of wool. One of the balls could be roving. The piece at the top looks most like a sheep's head to me, but would that be too gruesome? What other fiber-related things fit the shapes already in the painting?

Throw some ideas at me!

Meanwhile, I really have been knitting. I finished that scarf and have made serious progress on the "Socks of Obnoxiousness". I will post patterns and pics. Really I will.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


These particular socks make me giggle for a number of reasons.
1. The colors. Purple and Orange? What MORON puts those together for socks? Oh wait.
That was me.
2. These are my first toe-up project. I'm likin' it. I have (as you know) wide feet and these allow me to just keep increasing until I get as wide as the widest part of my flippers. Nice.
3. The colors mirror each other on the socks. I started one from the inside of the yarn cake and one from the outside so it is totally coincidental but I love it!
4. The project takes me back to BYOD when we dyed the yarn. Tasha, remember me winding this skein round and round those pews trying to make the repeats long enough? They're not all that long, are they?
Still, long enough to work!
5. Just looking at the colors makes me smell orange and grape Kool Aid.
6. I am totally avoiding about 4 other projects I really SHOULD be working on. I giggle out of a sense of sneakiness. (You've probably guessed by now that I'm not a good "sneaker".)
7. closely related to 6, These will NOT take me a freakin' YEAR to complete.
So there. :-p
8. These are for ME. They will be warm and fit perfectly and look goofy and be completely delicious in all the ways I love.

So far these have no pattern to tell you about. I cast on by alternating backward loop on two circs. I'm adding stitches 4 at a time (just like you would decrease on a top-down) until they fit my feet. I will then do plain stockinette. I'm thinking of trying a short-row heel on these as I've always wanted to and.....why the heck not? After that I'll probably do stockinette leg just for speed's sake and then a 2x2 rib cuff. That's the plan anyway.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hint # 2 and something new

Here's SotSii up through hint 2. I finished it Sunday and went ahead and blocked it. It's really pretty. Hint 3 came out last Friday and I've seen several pics of folk's shawls up through 3. I think it looks a little snakey but I can tell that it moves back out after hint 3 so I'm sure it won't keep looking like that. I think it's beautiful! It also feels nice in the hand, which will be great when it's wrapped around me! Yay for Secret of the Stole 2!

This is what I've been doing this week instead of the stole hint 3. I'm designing a scarf for a friend. I bought the yarn first and then went on a pattern hunt. It is sport weight yarn so I was looking at all these patterns that I knew would take me until well into Spring to finish.
I found the perfect pattern in my Crochet Scarves book. I know how to crochet! I started working and realized that knowing how and being good at it are 2 totally different things.
I went on another hunt and found a great pattern in my "Encyclopedia of Stitchery". It's a knit stitch that looks like a crochet shell pattern. Yay! I did some swatching (pictured below) to see how many stitches to cast on and how much of a border it needed. There was an error in the pattern in the book but I found a correct version online. Love the internet! Hopefully I'll be able to post the pattern for the scarf for you here once I get it all worked out.

I'm pretty sure it'll be a beaut'!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

And the first hint...........

Here's my completed first hint!!!!
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have gotten this far! How sad is that? It really is an easy knit so far and I think I'll be able to do it in these small chunks. I finished this earlier in the week and today the second hint was released. I'd better get crackin'!


I'm a joiner! Well, this time I am. And instead of just watching the pattern pieces come out for this knit-a-long like I did last time, this time I'm actually knitting it! Instead of using lace-weight yarn on size 3's as suggested, I'm doing fingering weight on size 5's. I am loving how it's turning out! Fingering is much easier to handle than lace for my first real lace project. Well, my first one that I actually have a hope of finishing. I'm using undyed Superwash yarn from Yarntreehouse, an eBay seller from whom I get my Rhythm yarn.......superYUM! I got 10 balls of the white superwash for about 20 bucks. You can't beat that with a stick!!!

Another first for me.... I did the swatch!
I had to since I was using a different yarn and all that. It's about 4.75"x7.5" after blocking, which isn't really much bigger than everyone else's. I'm planning to dye the stole whatever color it looks like it needs to be when it's all done.....unless it needs to be white. I know this isn't the best way to dye your yarn, but it's my stole and I'll dye it however I want! So :^P