Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chevrons, Please

One of my goals for this year was to make a pillow. I've been thinking about it for a long time, but I never got around to actually doing it. Putting it on my list of goals gave me a better shot at following through. I love to mark something off a list. I decided I'd do one of the chevron pillows from Knit Simple Holiday 2013.

Then I realized I didn't really need to mess with two different yarn colors. I bought three balls of Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Long Print n grayscale from Webs during their sale.

Why not let the yarn do all the work? I used the pattern from the Jaywalker socks (I've made 3 pairs of Jaywalkers--here, here, and here--it's a great stitch pattern) over 95 stitches.

Jaywalker Chevron Pillow (mine ravelled here)

I knit the front and back panels separately. Once they were finished and blocked, I sewed three sides, fit it over a 18" square pillow form, and sewed the fourth side closed. The pattern suggested inserting a zipper into the fourth side so you could take the cover off and launder it, but I don't know how to put in a zipper. So, I just sewed it shut and will hope any spills on it can be spot cleaned.

I'm proud of the way the seaming turned out on the top and bottom. I flipped the pieces so the zigs of the front fit into the zags of the back.

Still remaining on the 2014 goal list is a steeked sweater, namely the Falling Stars kit I purchased. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle that yet. I've been avoiding it for at least a couple of years.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014


The Curveball socks are finished. And not a moment too soon, let me tell you.

Curveball (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage colorway 5662

They're very pretty, and I will wear them all the time. I've found that I do not have enough red socks. The only other plain red ones I have are the Be Mine socks. Turns out that I wear red a lot.

But oh my wool, they took attention to knit. There's nothing wrong with the pattern. However, it's exactly the kind of pattern I don't enjoy knitting: Lots of purls and the sort of pattern that leaves me tied to the chart.

One would think that I would learn that this isn't the sort of sock I find fun to knit. I mean, it's not the first time I've done this to myself. Remember the Inlays? Tons of twisted cables and tied to the chart. How about Garden Gate? Those were even harder than the Curveball socks.

Yes, these are really cool. Yes, I love baseball. I love knitting. I love socks. Therefore I love these knit socks that celebrate baseball.

But seriously, a note to self: Stop doing this. Find easier patterns. You do not get extra credit for knitting hard stuff that makes you grumpy. Knitting is supposed to be fun.

In that spirit, I've started a pair of broken rib socks for Andrew. Much better.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Swirly Retirement

My mittens are wearing out. My Swirly Mittens 2.0 were finished in the summer of 2010, so they've had four winters of hard use. I should not complain about that.

I was still deeply saddened when I saw that they're wearing out. I've patched them in three different places, but I have to accept that the fabric is getting really thin in the places that get the most use. I cannot darn them forever. This is the latest hole:

I've darned them once again, but I think they deserve to be retired, perhaps to take a place of honor on a shelf above the fingering weight yarn. I imagine in the middle of the night, the mittens will tell stories to the skeins of fingering weight yarn, stories of their creation, of falling snowflakes, of holding a leash and a snow shovel and a bag, of being pulled on and off and being stuffed into coat pockets time after time after time. The skeins will sit in awed silence, hoping that someday they, too, will transform into something beautiful and useful and loved.

Damn. Now I feel guilty about all the unfulfilled yarn in my stash.

Before next fall, I need to knit myself a new pair. I've been narrowing down the choices. (You can see them on Ravelry here if you want.) For right now though, I'm still in mourning.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Do Not Think That Means What You Think That It Means

I love my local library with my entire being. I grew up in a small town back in the day before interlibrary loans were very prevalent. We had a small library. You found a book on the shelves and you liked it.

Now I live in a city. A city with lots of books! And movies! And the ability to make suggestions for purchase! 

The world is at my fingertips. I just request something and, like magic, it shows up at my local library for me to pick up. You do not understand how exciting this is until you've lived years and years in a small town.*

Today I searched for the book Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk. The search yielded two results. One was the book I wanted.

The second was the fifth season of Deadliest Catch.

No system is perfect.

*With a great library and great librarians, don't get me wrong. They just don't have the resources that cities do.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Opening Day 2014!

In honor of Opening Day, I cast on for appropriate, baseball-themed socks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three and Counting

These are the third pair of Hederas I've knit.

Hedera (mine ravelled here),
knit in Kertzer On Your Toes, color 3820 (discontinued)

I knit a pair for me in 2010, just a few years after I learned to knit. They're fine with the exception of the feet being a bit too short. I still wear them, but they're not a great fit and are showing wear accordingly. A few months later, I knit another pair and gave them away. I'm happy to have another (better fitting) pair for me!

The Hedera pattern is pretty. It's also easy. It's a 10 stitch and 4 round repeat (and 2 of those rounds are the same), and it's simple enough I can tell what round I'm on by looking at the sock, not the pattern. This says a lot since I'm not particularly visual and it takes me awhile to see patterns on anything I knit. Intelligent? Yes. Visual? No.

I bought the yarn very cheaply* at Tuesday Morning. I'm pleasantly surprised by how pretty it turned out. I assumed it would be a variegated yarn rather than a striping one. I like the stripes.

I did the heel flap over 29 stitches and continued the pattern. On right sides, I did sl1, p1, sl1, k1, sl1, k1, sl1, p2, k1tbl, p2, sl1, k1, sl1, k1, sl1, p2, k1tbl, p2, sl1, k1, sl1, k1, sl1, p2. On wrong sides, I did sl1, k1, p5, k2, p1tbl, k2, p5, k2, p1tbl, k2, p5, k2. I like that this is still heel-like (not too lacy or bumpy), but yet flows from the leg pattern. I'm geeky like that.

I love this pattern. I'm not promising that there won't be Hedera socks in my future.

*See? I'm not a total yarn snob, despite my initial reservations about Lion Brand.