Friday, September 28, 2007

GO me!

I am totally cranking through the Holiday presents! Ok. I'm on three of 9, but still, it's three more than two weeks ago! Sweet.
Last night I finished up the Retro Shrug, and cast on for the "Shetland Lace Triangle". I'm blocking the shrug this weekend, and will have pictures on Monday.
This is my progress, thus far, on the Shetland Triangle:

Yes, it is the same alpaca from my Synchopated hat.

and from my Glasgow Lace Sweater.

I find it appropriate that I knit with this yarn for the holidays. After all, it is turning into my "miracle of the Maccabees's" yarn. I started with ten balls, and even after I finish this stole, I'll still have at least two left. It is the yarn that never runs out. Still, $40 for three projects, and counting, is not so bad!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Fine. I gave in. I agreed to yet another KAL. This time it is the NaKniSewMo. Go check it out:

Seriously. I'm a loon. The only way this is going to happen is if I finish all of my Christmas knitting in October. Unlikely, considering that the Secret of the Stole starts up in October. Maybe I'll just stop sleeping.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rainbow Brites

You guys remember Rainbow Brite don't you? hmm, need a refresher?
Anyway, I've named my first official Holiday Present after her, and her exceedingly perky ways. My Assistant Lesley Will go ape shit for them, and thankfully, she is in no way as perky as rainbow Brite.

Pattern: my own-ish. It's a tube after all.
Needles: KP options, size 8
Yarn: KP Wool of the Andees, in Red, Pumpkin, Daffodil, Grass, and Bluebonnet.
Notes: Well, they are a tube with ribbing at both ends. In total, they probably took 6 hours to knit, and another hour to weave in all the dang ends. I made these to replace a pair Lesley loves, and are falling apart. Once upon a time, she said she wanted to knit a new pair. Considering she has been working on the same arm warmers since May, I doubted that was ever going to happen. Instead, I knit her a pair, same colors as the first pair, but a new stripe sequence. I have to say, they do make me smile when I look at them.
Just for fun, here is me in one:

and a picture of all the ends:

I always need a project to remind me why I don't do to many stripes.
Last night, I got a bit further on my Retro Redux Shrug - also for a Holiday gift.

I have to tell you, this thing is hard to knit. I keep wanting to just feel the yarn. It's like: knit, knit...fondle, knit, knit..fondle. sigh. Maybe I can finish it up at SnB on Thursday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The yarn is trying to eat me

It keeps growing, despite my efforts to squash the swell. If fact, I have come into FOUR more colors of Zephyr. To be fair, the one was in trade for the leftovers from my Forest Path Stole, so not *technically* an addition to the stash. Listen to me justify!
Anyway, this is my Cinnibar, that I traded for the leftover basil:

and through SnB, I bought three more colors:
Lady slipper:


and Mulberry:

I need to get doing some real lace knitting! Not the little fakey stuff I've been doing. "What are you doing?", you ask. I'm glad you asked. Last night I finished up the Rainbow Brites, and hope to post a picture tomorrow of the awsomeness! Then I cast on for another Holiday Gift, the Retro Redux Stole from Lace Style. I am using Catalina Baby Alpaca Worsted. It was a gift from my Secret Pal last year, and I think the recipient will love it. Project pics tomorrow!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cactus Blossom

I suppose when the designer of the sweater you just knit asks to see a modeled FO, you should oblige. I was going to anyway, but now I have extra reason!
Let's start with the stats:
Pattern: Cactus Blossom from Fall '07 Knitscene
Designer: Kate Jackson
Yarn: Body - Farmhouse Yarns Sweater Skein; Contrast - Noro Kureyon, colorway 70
Needles: KP options, size 8 and 4
Notes: This is a great, simple sweater. Since developing my current obsession with Fair isle and Stranding, I've been searching out patterns that fit my person style. I'm not so into the snowflakes and moose heads. What I love about this sweater is the geometric nature of the Fair isle. It is modern, yet classic. Very my style. I chose to make this as my "Saturday Sweater". You know, the big comfy sweater you throw on when you are chilly. The one you wear on the weekend all snuggled up on the couch, with a cup o' coffee, and your knitting. The one you wear until it absolutely dies 10 years from now, when you have to knit another Saturday Sweater to replace the pilled nightmare that was your last Saturday Sweater?! eh hem.
I'm really not that crazy. (often) Anyway, I didn't modify this sweater from the pattern, aside from the small error in stitch count I found in the yoke, and the shortening of the sleeves. If were to make it again, and wanted a more fitted sweater, I'd surely add some waist shaping. This sweater really wanted to be big and roomy, some sweaters don't.
In the process of knitting the Cactus, I got a lot of comments about the colors I was using together. Mostly about the fact that the commenter felt they "couldn't do all that colorwork". Listen up knitters! There isn't really that much colorwork! It is only TWO yarns to deal with! The noro does it all! Originally I started with a variegated yarn, as opposed to the noro color-changing. It looked just as cool. Really, two solids would be good too. You really can't go wrong here! The other comments were about my "bold choice" of color combinations. I know. It really is. I like the finished product, but I have to tell you, for a while there I thought I might be making the worlds ugliest sweater. I had major concerns about the tonal variegated colorway and the bright noro together. Turns out, Not so ugly. Go me!

Now people. Let's not judge my lack of "picture in the mirror" taking skills. It is not an easy art.

Yes that is the best one. Want to see the worst ones?


Friday, September 21, 2007

You know it's fall...

...when I knit a big heavy sweater, and it's 80F. Only 4 days ago it was almost cold, and now another warm spell. I'm totally not complaining. I love the warm! Let's keep it warm! But, it is nice to know that I have an uberwarm sweater to chase away the chill, if it ever - not that it needs to - arrives.
I finished up my Cactus Blossom sweater last night at SnB. 13 days! well, I guess 14 with today for Blocking. Not to shabby! I'm posting fished, unblocked pictures today, but I will post the finished, blocked, on my body, with details pictures as soon as it is dry.

Well, then, what am I working on? Since I am the way I am, I cast on for not one, but two projects last night. I know, right?!
Project 1 has no pictures, but I can tell you about them. My Assistant, Lesley, has a pair of rainbow leg warmers that have HUGE holes in them., She really wants to repair them, or knit new ones. Since she has been knitting the same pair of arm warmers since MAY, I doubt she will ever actually get to this project, so I am making them for her for Christmas. I'm calling them "Rainbow Brites". They are going amazingly fast. I cast on at 12:00 last night, and in less than 2 hours, am almost half way through the first one! "What do they look like?" you may ask. Well, they start with a ribbed cuff in red, then go orange, yellow, green, blue, green, yellow, orange, then red again in ribbing. OMG are they loud! She'll love them!
Project 2 is a pair of gloves for me. I bought the yarn almost a year ago, with the plan to knit elbow length gloves to go with my winter coat. It's a 1960's coat, so it only has 3/4 sleeves. I wanted a suitably vintage pattern to go along with my coat, and fabulous yarn to boot! I found the "superyak" at School products, and it is a brown/black marl. The pattern in from It is the "ladies long gloves" pattern. SO far so good! I washed the little bit I knit at Snb last night, as the yarn is oiled for machine knitting. I needed to see if it was going to stretch or bloom, or lord knows what. It bloomed a bit, and softened up soooo much.

I'm planning a slight pattern mod, as the cuffs are great around my forearm, but will be loose when they get closer to my wrists. The pattern has a built in decrease at the wrist, but I need to slim down a tad sooner. I plan to use the same principal as I did for my Sockapalooza socks. I'm changing to a smaller needle after 4", thereby shaping with out deceasing. Smart. I probably will use the smaller needle for the hands too, as I have small hands, and the gloves are written for "medium" hands. what ever "medium" means.
Well, that's it. Next time, finished, MODELED, sweater pics; new yarn (I know. shut up.), and Rainbow Brites!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shoes and Handbags

Anyone who knows me IRL, knows I have a deep and undivided love of shoes and handbags. So much of my job revolves around fashion that I rarely keep up with it in my personal life. Who wants to work all the time? Instead, I have a very simple style (jeans and t-shirts, for the most part) that I pair with fantastic bags and fun shoes. Part of the sock knitting obsession is because, well, they go with shoes.
Last fall I bought clogs to wear with my hand knit socks. That worked pretty well, but *I* couldn't see them - only people behind me could, and then only if I had too short pants on. This fall I found these:

These are my new "Hand knit socks showin' off shoes", also known as Bass Mary Janes. I looked long and hard until I found these shoes. I wanted something in a Mary Jane, similar to a Doc Martin, but not as heavy. I didn't want a pair of shoes with no arch support and a really thin sole. I also knew I wanted black, and leather. easy, right?
You'd be wrong my friend.
It took me all summer to find a pair I liked, fit me well, fit all my qualifications, and wasn't $75. These were at the Bass Outlet for $40. Perfect. I love my new sock showin' off shoes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The Cactus sweater is progressing at a nice speed. I joined the sleeves and body, and got through ten rows of chart last night. I really like the way the Noro is knitting up with in the Farmhouse frame. I keep thinking that this sweater is either going to be gorgeous, or the "ugliest sweater ever". Let's hope for gorgeous.

I do need to e-mail Knitscene though. I've found an errata in the pattern. It could be because i am one of two people knitting this sweater, so no one else has come across the error yet. Or, maybe I farted up. I doubt it. I got all crazy with the math skillz, and did the math for a couple of sizes, and by all my estimations, my size was wrong. Off by 4 stitches. I did a little wizardry, some more math, found the error, knitted on my way, and lo and behold it worked! I have the right number of stitches, and a cool evenly decreasing yoke to show for it.


Monday, September 17, 2007


September Socktopia brought us Nursery rhymes as themes. I choose to use "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary". I've always loved this rhyme. I have a very clear picture in my head of the drawing from a book. Somehow, I decided that the drawing was the outside of my Grandma's house. My Grandma was not a gardener. (at least not the kind of gardener that would grow a garden like in the rhyme) But, for some reason, it still reminds me of my Grandma, and I've picked it for my theme choice.
In case you are unfamiliar with this rhyme, here it is:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle-shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
Now, lots of people think that this rhyme is in reference to Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), and her anti-protestant, torturing ways. I suppose it could be true, just like the "Ring around the Rosy" rhyme may be referring to the plague. I'm sure I don't know if this is so, after all- they could just be rhymes. What I do know, is that nursery rhymes have staying power. They are reprinted endlessly, and it is like kids are born knowing them. They spark imagination, storytelling and creativity. And for some reason, "Mary, Mary" is one of my favorites.
So with out further ado, here are my socks:

Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Interweave Knits, Favorite Socks
Yarn: Crystal Palace Maizey Solid, Pink
Needles: Knit Picks Fixed Circulars, size 0
Notes: I shortened the length by 8 rows to make them fit my Mom's wee size 6 feet, aside from that, no mods. I chose the Embossed Leaves pattern because of the striking resemblance to Cockleshells.

The color is pretty good too! I really enjoyed working with Maizey. I was unsure if I'd like the feeling of it, as it is mostly Corn Fiber (82%), but I was pleasantly surprised. It is soft, the elastic content keeps it springy, and it has a subtle shine. Overall, a very nice knitting experience.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I must diet.

Absolutely must. Not food wise. No that's not true. I should do that too. But most definitely in a yarn way. I cannot control myself, as evidenced by my Monday binge.
It all started innocently enough, as I was "just going to Saybrook to pick up some contrast yarn for the cactus sweater." Already finished with the body, it would be a shame to not keep working on the sweater. But, my contrast yarn was too thick. "I'll see what they have on sale" (insert big laugh right there)
Well, of course Noro was the best choice, and I put three skeins in my arms.

This is when I should have walked away. Instead, I went back to the patterns to find DH. The patterns are beside the Sock yarn. Well, you can guess what happened next.

That, my friends is Filitura Di Crossa, Maxime. Pretty, squishy, and right in my arms. Then, just to round out my insanity, I bought a chibi. I am forever losing yarn needles, and it was time to buy some more.
Is this where it ends? Oh no my friend.
Next DH and I went to Sit n Knit. "I'll look around" "I'm not really looking for anything".
Somehow, two skeins of Lacey lamb ended up in a bag in my backseat! Seriously! 1600 yards of Lace weight just jumped into my car after it stole my Credit card and payed for itself.

Completely puzzled by this, I went online to see if others were experiencing "Yarn on Credit violence". No other reports were coming up. "I'm safe," I thought, it won't happen again.
Then, yesterday, a box arrived! What the heck?! From Knitpicks?! Oh yes indeedy. I got this:

That my friends is the Yarn for Lesley's Christmas present, and yarn for swatching for sweaters that I am not going to start for at least 4 months!
Oh, and two skeins of sock yarn!

and some needles!
I've got to change my passwords. (the yarn knows it....)
In a fit of rage, I decided to scare the yarn into behaving by poking holes in my Booga Bag. Don't tell the yarn that the holes are supposed to be there.

It took me a day to knit, a day to felt, and a day to dry. Then it took two weeks to poke some damn holes and feed the strap through. Feel free to roll your eyes generously.
I also finished up sock #1 for my September Socktopia Socks. I hope to have the pair done over the weekend. We'll see. I might have a fighting chance if the yarn doesn't attack.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

At least I got some knitting done.

We all know by now that my least favorite part of my job is Tech. I sit for 8, 10,10,and 8 hours, over 4 days in the dark. I watch people walk around and say the same things over and over. I listen to the same music over and over. The only way tech is not mind numbingly boring is when it's horrifyingly stressful. Rarely is it anything else. One or the other every time.
This time it was drool enducingly boring. I could have been in a coma and no one would have known. But, since I anticipated the possibility of extreme and excruciating boredom, I was prepared. DH helped me wind up one of my Farmhouse Sweater Skeins, and I brought the "Cactus Blossom" sweater along to work on. It is in the round, with a K2P2 hem, and simple geometric fair isle on the cuffs and yoke. Perfect knitting for in the dark.
By Saturday night I was here:

The body is done, at least according to the pattern. I think I want some more length. I am going to add some if I have the yarn after I finish the sleeves. I want this sweater to be my big, ubber-warm, Saturday sweater. A little long would be great.
So on Sunday I cast on for sleeve #1. When I got to the Fair isle part I realized pretty quickly that the "tiny" difference in yarn weight was a HUGE problem. I was making bullet proof sleeve cuffs. Great if I really was Wonder Woman, not so great for my Secret Identity. But I kept knitting. If I didn't I would be REALLY bored.
< Insert puiblic service announcement>
Knitters, please remember that when preparing for long bouts of uninterrupted knitting time, one should always be sure to pack all supplies. this includes a back up project. No matter how prepared you are, things go wrong, and the only way to keep your fragile sanity is to have another project at the ready.

So, the night ends, I have the FI chart done, (that I know I'm going to rip out) and I have a need for new yarn. shucks.
I went to Saybrook and bought three skeins of Noro. I really liked the colors in my old yarn, so I took a swatch to try and find something that was about the same. The noro was best.
Yes. I bought more than just the Noro, but that is a story for tomorrow.
Anyway, I ripped back the bullet proof sleeve, and restarted the FI chart with the new yarn. Success!

One sleeve down. Now, when I cast on for sleeve #2 tonight, should I start a new skein of Noro so I am at the same place in the color progression as sleeve #1? Or should I except the randomness of life, and let the colors change as they will? (I would be starting with light green, and it will fade into orange.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Migrains suck.

That is all.

You know that I couldn't stop there, didn't you? Well, you should have. even with a migraine, I'm a talker.
I finished up the leg on the Cockleshell socks last night. It is a super easy pattern to memorize, but I don't think it is quite easy enough to do in the dark. The corn yarn, while amazingly drapy and soft, is a tad splitty - a'la cotton. Splitty and dark don't go well together. I'm going to (hopefully) wind and swatch for my Cactus sweater tonight. It has very long amounts of knitting in the round. Perfect for backstage.
I hope I can shake this headache before SnB.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Welcome to September

No back to school for me, but, instead, back to work. poo. I work all summer, but we really Gear up in the fall. Right now we are working on a brand new play, and it is hellish. rewrites, picky-ness, crabby director. blech. we all need naps.
I suppose nothing can be easy.
Do you remember when fall and "back to school" meant buying new clothes? I always got at least one outfit. I had to go through my closet and try stuff on. If it didn't fit anymore, it was handed down to my cousin. I wish I still got a back to school wardrobe. I always looked forward to wearing my new outfit on the first day, but rarely was it "cool" out. I always - or was always encouraged to -buy "fall clothes" so I was dressed too warmly for the first day. My school didn't have air conditioning, so, well you can imagine. Now, I love the summer and hate the cold. except when I want to wear my fall clothes. I'm impatient.
This September also is bringing about a new Socktopia Challenge. Our themes are all nursery rhymes!
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Eany Meeny Miny Moe
The Farmer in the Dell
Jack and Jill went up a hill…
Mary Mary, Quite Contrary
I picked my favorite - Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. I've always loved this rhyme. I have a very clear picture in my head of the drawing from a book. Somehow, I decided that the drawing was the outside of my Grandma's house. My Grandma was not a gardener. (at least not the kind of gardener that would grow a garden like in the rhyme) But, for some reason, it still reminds me of my Grandma, and I've picked it for my theme choice.
I decided to use my "maizy" yarn, and the "Embossed Leaves" pattern form IK Favorite Socks. I plan to give them to my Mom for her birthday.

Aren't they cute so far?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

a very knitty weekend.

I had a very knitty weekend. Very knitty, indeed.
Labor Day is an odd holiday. Lots of stores throw out the welcome mat, and have a big ole' sale. Others close up shop, and reopen after spending time with their families for the last gasp of summer. I don't mind either, really. But, I do have one issue. If you choose to close your business, please, for the love of all that is good, CHANGE YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGE. It's not hard. A few button clicks, and say, "xxx store will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. we will be open for regular business hours on Tuesday." How freakin' hard is that?! Needless to say, I did not go yarn shopping this weekend. I did, however, knit like a crazy person.

First, I wove the ends in, and ran the ribbon in my "Unmentionables" and my matching top.

I wore them last night. Cute, no? I'll try to get a modeled picture...
Then I knit up a "Red Scarf Project" scarf.

I know it's not red. But, it is definitely a boy appropriate color.
Yarn: Schaffhauser Woole, La Fileuse
needles: KP options, 10.5
pattern: Dude, it's a 2x2 rib scarf. No pattern.
Notes: Yard sale yarn! I used about 2 balls, maybe 2.5. It was hard to tell. I know one ball was a partial, and the one other could have been too. My German is a little rusty, but I think this yarn is superwash. I think I'll put a "hand wash only" tag on it though, just in case.
then, I went, hmm. I need another project. I knew i would finish the scarf up at SnB on Sunday, and would be sadly with out something to knit. That is not a good thing at SnB. So, I grabbed a skein of SWS, in Natural Plum, and quickly read the instructions for the "Booga Bag". For those not "in the know", the booga bag is a felted bag hat it seems like everyone, but me, has made. (Kinda like clapotis) anyway, I quickly read the instructions, grabbed a skein and headed out the door.
The great thing, and also the bad thing, about self striping yarns is the "need" to get to the next color. well, that and the overwhelming urge to make the colors stripe correctly. "Costumechick, where are you going with this?"
well, dear reader, I ended up knitting the whole stinking bag on Sunday night.

Now I am on the 6 miles, I mean feet, of I-cord for the straps. I should be felting tonight!
Now what to do next? Well, I suppose it will be my SOckapalooza socks. It is the beginning of the month, and it almost tech time. Yay! Knitting in the dark!