Monday, February 24, 2014

Danima banksiae socks

Turns out that I could get the socks finished as part of the Ravellenics. Yay!

Danima banksiae socks (mine ravelled here),

I was in between sizes and chose the larger one, and they fit well. There's a lot of stretch in these because of the lace pattern. This yarn was probably as busy as this pattern can handle--there's a lot more black in the yarn that the photos pick up. It took me until partway through the second sock to really "get" the pattern. This is no fault of the pattern--it just takes me awhile to really see what's happening. Knitting is an act of faith for me. I knit and trust that the directions will take me somewhere lovely, and I'm often halfway through the project before I can tell if that's true or not.

I used these as my second Ravellenics project. They fit in lots of categories: Sock Hockey (eventsock), Lace Luge (eventlace), Single Skein Speed Skate (eventsingleskein), and Stash Skeleton (eventstash)!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Birthday Mittens

The mittens one of my sisters requested for her birthday are complete!

Smaragdi Mittens (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage Silk, Real Black and Knitpicks Felici, Rainbow colorway
(Rainbow is now discontinued, but I'm hoping they bring it back again.)

The pattern is written so that the mittens are identical. Since our hands aren't, this means that the back of one is the palm of the other. The fact that the backs of the hands didn't match made me twitchy, so I changed it.


These were my 2014 Ravellenic project, which was excellent motivation to keep moving on them. Now i am wondering if I have enough time to get a pair of socks finished...

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I've been wondering how to write this post, but I haven't come up with a decent answer. So, let me get some things out of the way:

  • This is a knitting post, as you'd expect from me. I'd love to chat with you about bodily reincarnation, but this is not that time.
  • This story has a tragic component, but it ends up okay. Stick with me.

Remember the Reds Trolley Dodger? I knit that sweater in August and September and loved it with my whole heart.

On December 2, I took a vacation day so I could drive 2 hours to attend a class with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It is the class I most want to take. The ultimate class. With the ultimate instructor. At a yarn shop filled to the brim with yarn I wanted to buy. This was going to be an awesome day off.

When the alarm went off that morning, I felt sick. I showered, threw up, headed back to bed, got up because I CANNOT MISS THIS CLASS, got dizzy, went back to bed, got up, got dizzy, went back to bed...

This happened for awhile.

Then I got into my car and pointed it north. In about 10 minutes, I knew I had clearly made a mistake. I got off the interstate, threw up while driving which wasn't nearly as terrifying as I had always imagined it to be, got home, and Andrew helped me extricate myself from the unpleasant situation.

Naturally, I put all of my clothes, including the Reds Trolley Dodger, into the washer. I put it on cold and hoped for the best. There was no other alternative.

Everyone knows where this is headed. The sweater, regardless of cold water, felted a bit. It's too small.

Okay, tragedy over. Here's the good part: I made another one.

(This picture is what happens when you ask a coworker to take pictures for you and she insists you strike a silly pose.)

Reds Trolley Dodger 2.0 (mine ravelled here),
knit in Berroco Vintage 

Since I was reknitting it, I made some changes. First, I used a worsted weight yarn instead of dk. That meant I had to do some math with the gauge swatch, and I followed the instructions for a smaller size to get the actual size I wanted.

I used yarn that had some acrylic in it as well as wool and nylon and was classified as machine washable. I do not plan on testing that, but I didn't plan on machine washing the first one either...

I also knit in the Reds logo using stranded knitting. On the first sweater, I tried putting the logo on using duplicate stitch. I'm never pleased with how my duplicate stitch looks. I ended up taking it out and putting on a Cincinnati Reds patch on the first sweater, but a) that patch didn't want to stay ironed on, and b) I did not want to try the patch on a sweater containing acrylic. I might not have been able to handle it if the second sweater melted where I tried to add an iron-on patch.

I'm much happier with the way the logo turned out on this one.

So, let's choose to see this as glass half full. I like to knit, so it's fine to have to redo something, even if it's a big something like a sweater. I bought the yarn on sale. I fixed a couple things that bugged me about the first try.

And I have a great story to tell if ever I need to make a knitter gasp in horror. All I have to do is make sure I use the words "felted" and "sweater" in the same sentence and then wait for the reaction.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Ravellenic Games Have Begun!

I love participating in the Ravellenic Games. It's fun to have a concrete goal for the Olympics time period, and I like to poke around and see what other people are knitting. 

In 2010, I made Leyburn socks for the Sock Hockey event as part of Team Blue Moon (for Blue Moon Fiber Arts).

In 2012, I entered the shawl event with a Clapotis.

For 2014, I decided to make mittens my sister requested for her March birthday. They fit in the colorwork event, the hands event, and even the rainbowllenics because of the yarn I'm using.

Things were going really well. Really, they were. Then I realized as I got farther and farther along in the mitten that it seemed really long. I tried it on, and it nearly covered my fingertips.

I hadn't started the decreases yet. 

Things ended up looking like this:

You'll note that there also is water all over everything in that photo. In the midst of ripping back, I also dropped my water glass and drenched everything.

I frogged 1.25" of colorwork, but when I picked up the stitches again I kept getting the wrong color. I am too embarrassed to tell you how long I worked with it until a very kind friend said, "Can't you just pick up the stitches a few rows below?" Ah. Yes.

I carefully picked up one leg of each stitch on the round with spare needles, THEN pulled out the needles at the top and frogged back to where the stitches were sitting securely on the spares.

I finished the first mitten last night, and I feel much better about my chances of successfully completing them before the Olympics end than I did two days ago.

Is anyone else knitting for the Ravellenic Games?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Willy the Wily Fox

Obviously, a cardigan knit with white fuzzy ears and a fox face is going to be pretty darn cute.

But put that on a good friend's adorable kid, and the cuteness factor goes up exponentially.

Willy the Wily Fox (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Brava Bulky

Crazy cute, yes?  Yes.

I purchased the Willy the Wily Fox pattern, then decided there was a lot of seaming that seemed unnecessary. So, I used the Denise or Denephew? pattern for the raglan body, then used the Fox pattern for the hood and hoped for the best. It turned out just fine.