Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deep Time Out

Sweaters, of course, are not the only thing that misbehaves. Shawls, do, too. This is my absolute 100% worst offender project EVER. It is made from the following AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL yarn:

"ESPRESSO-CRIMSON-GOLD PAINTBOX GRADIENT ON FOOT NOTES YARN: 15 mini-skeins of 30 yards each which transition from deep espresso through chocolate and rich blood reds before ending in bright gold. A total of 450 yards (4.25 ounces) of 80% Superwash merino, 20% nylon fingering-weight yarn."

Please see for more amazing gradients!

I want to state clearly, and for the record, that this yarn is in NO WAY at fault for the resulting chain of disasters. The yarn soldiered on nobly, trying again and again to do what I wanted.

What I wanted was an optical illusion basketweave geometric design on a shawl. Should be pretty easy, as I've tried similar, and not completely killed myself doing it. This shawl, however, wasn't going to cooperate.

The first incarnation, I got to the third skein of the 15 (I started on the Espresso end) and realized that sockweight yarn on size 8 needles doesn't lend itself to hiding yarn tails very well. So I went through and spliced all 15 balls into one giant ball (Yeah.), and tried again. Things were going ok, then I missed a turn... one of the ends of a rectangle didn't happen, so I had to frog out a few rows. I tried to get it back, and it just wouldn't... so I frogged the whole thing.

This happened about once a month for an entire YEAR. Yes, year. I got the yarn at the 2014 MDS&W. I think I might have skipped a month or two in there somewhere, but I feel pretty confident that I tried to start this thing at least eight times and never got past the second color of the gradient!!

I recently (as in "just before the 2015 MDS&W") found the Knit Mate app (iOS only so far).

Made using the Knit Mate app, which is pretty cool!

I tried again, and it worked! It was going beautifully! And then I realized I'd only done HALF of the row... I did about 50 rows without the second half of the triangle shawl. I thought about saying "pfeh, that's fine!" and making it a bottum-up-from-the-point shawl, but. Darnit, I want the shawl I had envisioned!!

So I tried again. And again. I almost made it to the third color the last time, and then something was horribly wrong again. I'd forgotten a turn, so I dropped just the necessary stitches and tried to fix it, and it just wouldn't fix. Something was just OFF.

So, I frogged the whole thing, and wound up the yarn into a pleasant, pretty little cake.

Yep, those are Signatures. I have two sets, size 4 and 8.

I have since pulled out a ball of Done Roving Footlights Transitions, and I'm making a Fall of Leaves shawl, instead. It's going much, much better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sweaters Being Bad, Part 2

There's a bunch of us doing the featherweight cardigan. I decided to do mine in laceweight yarn, so I am very, very behind everyone else (they're done, I'm not!). I decided, therefore, to start another one, and kick it up to Aran weight because (a) it would be faster and (b) Penny at the store has this really cool stars-and-stripes pullover she made out of Berroco RemixTM, and I wanted one. So, I figured out that the cast-on-60-stitches should work, and got this far: which point, I ran out of yarn. The store was also out of yarn, and I really realy wanted to finish this for a class this month. So, rush order on yarn from, and the rest of the yarn arrives:

(along with some yarn to start a shawl like the one the Featherweight Cardi Instigator is doing - she gets me in more trouble...!), and by last Tuesday morning, I was this far:

It. Did. Not. Work.

That's not a cute, fitted cardigan. That is something approaching a late-50s/80s batwing monstrosity, which is not at all what I wanted. (Mind you, this is after having done one of the sleeves twice because the decreases weren't happening fast enough... now I know why. Sleeve was ripped before that photo.)

So, then came the realization that even steeking wasn't going to save this... it was ALL GOING TO HAVE TO COME OUT.

There may have been tears at that point.

Yes, that's intarsia. Yes, it is hard to frog.

I have since restarted the sweater, but I don't think I'm going to have it done by Sunday (and I didn't have it done by Memorial Day, which was kinda the point, sigh). So, there's that.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Baby Geese

Starting your week off with the xtreme cute that is baby geese, yo!

Hope you're enjoying your long weekend!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A finished thing!

Some time since January, I was somewhere in a craft or dollar store, and picked up this:

It's cute, it's easy, it's an owl. I think it was either fifty cents or a dollar. So I got it.

The real miracle is that I have actually FINISHED it in the same year I bought it! See?

It was supposed to be all cross stitches mostly, but pfffffft on that! I had fun, added a couple of colors that weren't in the kit, and just had fun. I noticed later that my front side was actually the back (there are laser lines to show where the wings are & such on the front), but whooooo cares?

Not this little owl. I finished something!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sweaters Being Bad, Part 1

So, we got the new Cascade Tangier in stock, and I was all "OOOOO PRETTY WANT!" and needed something to knit up, and decided a Tee for Two would be awesome.

And it was. This is GREAT yarn, feels good to knit up, I like the drape on the needles I'm using (size 7). The only problem is that I was a bad, bad rabbit and didn't do a gauge swatch.

Yeah. I know.

So, I had the front and the back knit up, and one side mostly done... and tried it on. It was Not Good. Unless I wanted a totally off-the-shoulder sexy midriff-baring sweater. Which, since I wanted a tee shirt, was not going to work.

Frogged the side, and unpicked the cast off edges on front and back.

I have since made both front and a good four inches longer, and have done one side, with bonus short rows for the sleeve cap, and there *will* be longer sleeves. Picking up the stitches for the other side and getting going on that, hopefully remembering what I did on the first side so it matches. (I *did* write it down... I just don't know WHERE.)

So, maybe this "I can wear this to MDS&W!" tee will actually be finished sometime this summer.

Unless it plays more dirty tricks on me, in which case it's going into DEEP time out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MDS&W 2015

The store ran the annual Sunday bus trip to Sheep & Wool again this year. I dug out my second Mizzle shawl as my take-along project:

I got a little bit done on it, I'm done with the first set of 76 rows, and working the "extra 54 rows" to make it longer now.

I also managed to forget to take any pictures of what I got (and I was AMAZINGLY restrained), so I'll just list:
  1. A cute needle-felted owl zipper fob for me, an a Minion for Shirley;
  2. An owl needle felting kit (makes two owls);
  3. Three wooden spools for spinning/plying;
  4. Two boxes of Fiber Optic color runs, the same, which go from orange-yellow-white-skyblue-blue-royal, which will be a stole with the sun in the center and the sky around (IT WILL BE AWESOME);
  5. A skein of orange-with-sparklies Wild Hare Galaxy (my absolute favorite yarn);
  6. Three tshirts, 2 MDS&W and one that says "Not buying yarn is like not breathing";
  7. This year's MDS&W tote and pin;
  8. Two CDs: Maggie Sansone's holiday sampler, and Al Pettiway's collected Vol. 2;
  9. A table loom.
Well, and various foodstuffs, because RIBBON FRIES.

But I actually came home with cash, didn't charge anything, could still carry it all easily, and hey, weeks later, can still remember all of it!

I did get a few photos, though, while the Sheep-to-Shawl was happening:

Someone on the 'net must have written up the insanity that was the shawl auction - where one shawl went for $1475 (!!!!!!) and the next went for an even $1000! (Needless to say, I did not bid.)

It was a beautiful day (you can tell that from the pics), and it was a lovely, fun, relaxing day. I'm looking forward to next year's trip already!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yep, got older.

Sometime in the last six months, I must have gotten older, because people gave me stuff:

Yep, that's a starter set of KnittersPride Karbonz needles, which I've decided are My Favorites, a magazine that has four things (at least!) that I'll be knitting, and some limited edition yarn for a shawl. The Vera Bradley (!!) bag is actually a cooler (!!), but I read that as "waterproof project bag". There was also a little pill box to match, which somehow turned into a stitch-marker container (go figure). Woohoo!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Model Knitting

I actually get paid to knit stuff. (If it's slow, we're encouraged to do "store knitting", which is cool, because KNITTING.)

I got to knit and felt a Lucy Bag [Rav link]:



And I made this little guy during the April 1st Saturday Happening. BUNNY!

I got to knit The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief [Rav Link] with some leftover Island Yarn Rivulet:

I reblocked a sweater I made last year so it would be the size it's supposed to be (yay, reblocking!)

Ironing boards: not just for ironing!

I'm currently working on a cowl using some *really* cool yarn we'll be carrying in the fall. More on that then....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Baby Surprise Jacket!

So, I tried to do Elizabeth Zimmerman's Adult Surprise Jacket [Rav link]. There is an instruction that says "keep the center stitch of the double-decrease constant!" This does not mean, evidently, keep the center stitch as the same # stitch (in my case, 80). That gives you weird, weird shapes. I didn't realize just how badly my shape was off until I was about halfway through the jacket. I had to frog the ENTIRE THING.

Not that the ASJ is a "normal" shape, but still.

So, I tried to do Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket [Rav link]. That went much, much better!

I was originally just going to knit it in green yarn leftover from my Enlightened Hoodie, but added some black.

Then it was a case of figuring out how to fold the thing: Figure A isn't it. It does, however, give a good idea of how the stripes will work. The cast-on edge is at the top of the photo, the final cast-off edge is at the bottom. You can see where I put the stripes:

Fig. A

Now, in Figure B, you can see how those same stripes are placed in the finished jacket. (And yes, the "surprise" is that this weird amoeba-yarn-thing actually folds into a jacket.) My first stripe started at what wound up being around the armpits.

Fig. B

I did add some stuff to the finished jacket: knitted buttons (knit a square. Run yarn around the whole edge, pull tight. Instant button!) and a collar.

I think it came out pretty great!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Okay, so things didn't calm down (in a good way) as much as I'd hoped.

So, here's the list of things that I'm really, really going to get pics of up here ASAP (although tomorrow's looking better than today):

Baby Surprise Jacket. I did one!

Adult Surprise Jacket - in progress.

Tee for Two - in progress.

This really cool poncho-lette thing I designed, of which I have knitted two and a half, and hope to have the pattern up while the weather is warm.

Featherweight cardi #2 (the #1 lace-weight is in time out), which involves INTARSIA WOOT!

The shawl I started after last year's MDS&W, which I have restarted, thanks to this really cool app I found (that y'all should check out)

My new organization system for yarns/projects, which will hopefully get some done.

I know there's more, but I feel bad that I didn't get stuff up Monday when I said I would. Anyway, lots of photos headed this way hopefully REALLY SOON.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Please Stand By

OMG so much knitting and things happening! The past two weeks have been crazy-busy, so I'll start throwing All The Things on here on Monday (because I'm at work until then). Really cool stuff! Sweaters! Original pattern! THINGS!!

So, see you Monday!! ♥ ♥ ♥