Thursday, August 25, 2011


It's finished!  Actually, it's been finished for awhile, but I kept finding excuses not to photograph it.  Finally, I decided that I wasn't ever going to have time when it wasn't night and I wasn't shiny.  Them's the breaks.

Topside Cardi knit in Full o' Sheep in the Thyme colorway 

I have to be honest: I love this sweater. I love the color. I love the buttons.  I'm doing nightly dances in praise of the Winter Goddess in hopes I can wear it sooner rather than later.*

There's something very odd about the universe in that a project that I decided to do on the spur of the moment, knit in budget-friendly yarn and finished in a week is so fantastic when other projects...  Well, you know.** 

*Okay, so that's a lie. 

**Yep, it's still in the freezer.  It may live there permanently.  I can still hear it, but so far I have been able to resist its siren call.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bouquet of Flowers

Alpaca with a Twist asked if I would be interested in doing some additional knitting for them.  They sent me twelve colors of Baby Twist and asked me to make flowers out of them.

There was a little army of flowers by the time I was done.

I put them in the mail this morning, and now my attention is back to the socks.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A friend and I went to Wine & Canvas Saturday night.  The instructor went step-by-step through the painting, and it was really fun.  As we looked at the gazillion paintings on the walls, we were struck by how hard they looked.  We were doing one of the simplest paintings, and it. was. hard.  

I was reminded of two things:

1.  I don't particularly have any artistic ability, but I'm not all that bothered by that fact.

2.  I'm a bit obsessive, and, turns out, I'm not bothered by that either.  The instructor said we could put a couple black lines in with the green, and that not all the stems on top of the thumb had to match up with stems between the hands.

Um, yes they do.

I have a poster of a very similar Picasso hanging up in my house, and it's always bothered me that there are more dark stems between the hands than above them.  It doesn't make sense.  I can't explain why this bothers me when none of the elements in the painting particularly make sense, but there it is.

The instructor also said the flowers didn't need to be attached to a stem and the petals didn't need to be attached to the center of the flowers.  I was able to go with that for the most part, although I did have to add a stem to the far left flower.  I couldn't stand the blue flowers just sticking out there by itself with no support.

The place was packed Saturday night.  As I looked at the other paintings at the end of the evening, I was struck by how different the paintings were.  Some people made the background a very different color than the yellow/white/brown mix that the instructor used.  Some people put very different flowers on their stems.  Some people didn't want to go step-by-step and went their own way.  I loved seeing everybody's crazy--everyone's attempt to be their own person even in a setting in which we came to all paint the same thing.

I'll go again. Crazy loves company.  That's all I'm saying.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dreaming of Wool

Well, dreaming of wool and alpaca and, I'll admit it, even a bit of acrylic.

The sweater is currently drying.  It has buttons and everything.  I'll take pictures once it stops smelling like a sheep with a perm.  I'm still working on the socks, but my mind is wandering toward new things it wants to make.

1.  Holycrapthat'sanawesome Clock

This clock is awesome, and it needs to be mine. In fact, it needs to be other people's, too. I'm planning to make three of them. Retrobaby is a genius. Note to self: Buy clocks.

2.  HP bookmark

Somehow these are done so there is no wrong side. I think there is chanting involved. I want to make one of these for a friend's son.


I don't know how to crochet, but these tempt me to learn.


I'm the only knitter in the world who hasn't made one of these. Seriously, go find a knitter and ask him/her. Andrew doesn't need another knit scarf, but I find myself unable to stop knitting them for him. Hey, it's better than a crack addiction.


I've made two pairs of these already, but I have plans for a third. My mother-in-law asked if I'd knit a pair for her to give to her bff for Christmas.  

Her bff has size 11 feet.

I love my mother-in-law very much.

6.  Fancypants cashmere scarf

I'd like to show you a picture of this, but the truth is that I haven't figured out the pattern.  I'm making it for one of my best friends. I bought the cream cashmere for 50% off when a lys was going out of business. It's really lovely yarn, and this is probably the only way I could afford to buy such deliciousness. I'm still trying to find a pattern that won't look too fussy. It's difficult to find a pattern for fingering weight yarn that works for a boy.

There are other things percolating, but these are what has captured my attention at the moment. Please note that the photos are all other people's. I've linked to the original websites below each picture. I'm so grateful to have access to so many wonderful designs via this fancy Internet!  Thanks, Al Gore!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy whatever it is that's occupying your mind right now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

French Quarter Socks and a New Sweater!

Today is a day in which going to work and being productive sounds infinitely less enjoyable than staying home and knitting.  I work nevertheless as part of my plan to trick others into thinking that I'm actually an adult.  While I work, I think about what knitting I would prefer to be doing.

I have two projects going right now--a pair of socks and a short-sleeved sweater.

The socks are Anne Hanson's French Quarter socks, which I tried futilely to knit before. They're going much better this time.

French Quarter socks knit in Alpaca with a Twist's Socrates yarn in the Charcoal colorway

This pattern is done in US size 0 needles. They're very small. As a result, there are 72 stitches in a round and they're going slower than most other sock patterns I've done. Nevertheless, they are progressing, and since it's still hot here I'm confident they'll be done before I want to wear them anyway.

The sweater is an impulse project that I began because I was getting tired of the tiny sock needles. It's the Topside Cardi by Vicki Howell.  It was written to support her line of Sheep(ish) yarn, but I'm using Debbie Stoller's Full o' Sheep yarn instead.*  

It's shockingly farther along than this picture--I bound off the body of the sweater last night and only have the short sleeves and buttonband to go.  This is the first top-down sweater I've made, I think, and I love it.  So little seaming!

I hope you're doing whatever makes you happy... and if you're not, I hope you are able to do it soon.

*I admit to feeling slightly badly about this.  Using a free pattern seems I should be considerate enough to buy her yarn, but the JoAnn's near me didn't have it, and I wanted to Start Sweater Now. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Intrepid Traveler

This is the third year I've been a member of Blue Moon Fiber Arts' sock club.  I've gotten behind in knitting shipments from the club, which arrive every other month, but I recently finished the May socks.  (There's no need to talk about earlier months that still aren't finished.)

Intrepid Traveler by Gail Marracci knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test colorway

Who can resist yarn called the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test?  Not me.  These are very easy socks--a four row repeat that's easily memorized.  I think this is one of those rare patterns that would look good on a solid, striped, or variagated yarn.

I love this sock club.  It has pushed me to knit things I wouldn't ordinarily do.  For example, I did my only beaded project when I received my very first shipment in January 2009.  Blue Moon's yarn is very, very good.  The colors are fun, and the yarn is round and shows stitches well.  I'm a fan.

And cool colorway names don't hurt.

Friday, August 5, 2011


In Algebra, I learned about order of operations.  When solving an equation, look at what is inside the parenthesis first, then anything that's to a power, then blah blah blah....

9+2+(4*2)+4+46 = 69


(9+2+4)*2+4+46 = 80


9+2+4*(2+4+46) = 219

Last night I started a new sweater.  I'm not particularly visual, but it certainly seemed like what I was knitting was going to end up with a gigantic left sleeve and a very small back and right sleeve.  I kept checking the pattern, then did some mental math to see if what I was doing was going to end up with the number of stitches the pattern said I should have.

It wasn't.  I began railing against the pattern and wondering if errata had been published.  I threw it down in disgust, then picked it back up because I wanted to knit this sweater, damn it.

After an embarrassingly long time, I realized what I had done.  I had mentally put the parentheses in the wrong place.

The pattern read: [Work in Rev St st to 1 st before marker, p1-f/b, slip marker, p1-f/b] 4 times, work in Rev St st to last 15 sts, work 14 sts of Cascading Leaves Pattern, p1.* This gave me 72 stitches.

What I had been doing was Work in Rev St st to 1 st before marker, p1-f/b, slip marker, [p1-f/b 4 times], work in Rev St st to last 15 sts, work 14 sts of Cascading Leaves Pattern, p1.   This gave me 69 stitches.

That row was to be worked 26 times, so a difference of 3 stitches every time I knit it would eventually put me short 78 stitches.  It would also put all the increased stitches clumped around the left sleeve instead of spreading them evenly throughout the sweater.

I'm trying to hold on to the fact that I realized this very early on.  God knows, I've gone much farther in sweaters before realizing my mistake.  Rationalizing it this way takes a little bit of the sting out.  I've ripped back and am ready to start again at lunch today.

Who knew that algebra would come in so handy?

*Pretend the brackets are parentheses.  They serve the same function in this instance.

Monday, August 1, 2011

REALLY Finished

This weekend, I went in search of satin cord to really finish the Namaste yoga mat bag.  I was successful in an old-school JoAnn Fabrics store.

While I was there, the cashier, who had "unicorn princess" above her name, started a conversation about my tattoo.  After saying a couple very nice things about it, she said, "It looks like it came from a coloring book!"  I am convinced that this is a compliment coming from a unicorn princess, so I am pleased she liked it.

Namaste pattern knit in Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria in colorway 219

I tried a couple different ways of securing the cord, and I'm interested to see how it wears.  I bought enough cord that I could weave it through the top and bottom and just knot it on the inside.  I plan to go to yoga class tomorrow, so it will get its first use!