Monday, March 19, 2012


Let's get this out of the way: yes, I fail at blogging. I know. Leave me alone.

There. Now.

A little while ago, someone said to me, "you knit so many things!" and my gut instinct was "I don't feel like I've knit anything lately". Which wasn't actually true, but once I sat down and looked at my finished objects since my last entry here, in late October, I kind of realised why:

Believe it or not, this Bunny Blanket Buddy is not for me. It (he, I should say, or her aunt will yell at me) belongs to a wee brown-eyed belle in Alaska who apparently greatly appreciates his ears. Great for nomming.

I finished the Ice Queen cowl! It's all pretty and shiny and reminds me of the night sky, and I gifted it to a friend as a Christmas/New Year's kind of thing.

This hat was meant to be for me. It's knit in Tosh Merino DK, and I designed it myself (for the very very first time ever), and it was meant for me, okay, but clearly my design skills aren't quite there yet because the stupid hat does not fit my stupid head. My sister, who has a smaller head than I do (and I could make jokes about why this is, here, but I won't) graciously took it off my hands after I complained that wearing it was giving me headaches. It was all very tragic. For me, not for her. She lucked out, if you ask me.

I kind of half-designed these - they're somewhat of a mix of this basic mitten construction, with this colourwork pattern, and they're made out of Knitpicks Chroma in Prism (with loooooong stretches of each colour taken out because otherwise each mitten would have been two colours and that would have been pointless) and black Drops Alpaca. They're highly fraternal, on purpose, and they belong to m'Abs, because she was spending seven weeks in Scandinavia in winter, okay, I had to make her mittens. Rainbow ones. It's what you do in such a situation.

Prairie Boots! I made a pair for me last winter (on one of which a button tragically broke a while back, and of course I don't have a spare, because I'm stupid) and kind of promised Abby a pair around the same time. I felt bad walking around the flat flaunting mine with her right there in the dead of winter, bootsless and freezing her toes off (I may be exaggerating slightly), so I made her a pair. And bought spare buttons to go with them, because while I may be stupid, I learn from my mistakes, yes I do.

I sent these back home with Abby. They're for Mama Sue, aka her mother, whose house socks had been slowly and tragically dying for quite some time, and besides that were pink and probably acrylic to boot. They're based on this pattern and knit in Drops Eskimo, which is highly satisfying as you can churn out a pair of socks in about four hours flat. Pompoms and all. Whilst watching Inception and keeping up with the storyline. I know. Impressive.

Looking at that, that's not nothing. That's actually six finished somethings in about three months; that's pretty good. However, the problem with these six finished somethings? None of them are for me. Only one of them is in the same country as I am. I have finished six somethings and am left with no somethings!

Clearly, there was only one solution.

This is Daylily, knit in Tosh Merino DK in Terra. While it's not quite a finished something yet, here are some things that it is:

- pretty and shiny
- smooshy soft
- all flame-like thanks to the yarn and pattern combo
- mine
- all mine.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The scarf issue

The lace ribbon scarf is off the needles, as of a few weeks ago:

I feel like I was working on that thing FOREVER. I cast on at the end of June and it was close to three months from that to actually wearing it. I'm not entirely sure why this seems so long for a 400m fingering weight lace (even if it's super easy lace) project, but I have a feeling it has to do with the "scarf" part.

I don't like knitting scarves. Never have. I DO like knitting shawls. Spending three months on a similar project that's shawl-shaped would probably have made a lot more sense to me. I think it's the short repetitive rows that get to me. Give me a 300 stitch row over ten 30 stitch rows any day.

I have made a few scarves over the years:

I don't even know where this thing is. I do know that it's ugly, though.

I do really like the way this one looks, but man, I'm pretty sure it's bullet proof.

This one isn't half bad. Both this one and the bullet proof one were gifted to my mother.

Making stuff for kids is GREAT. They're so ickle and quick!

I do quite love this one. As does the recipient, which makes how annoying it was to make totally worth it. ♥

Most of these are either a) not for me and/or b) chunk-ayy. I have a feeling the chunky is my subconscious at work; a chunky scarf knits up in just a few hours and thus I don't end up wanting to stab myself in the eye with my needles halfway through. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of WEARING chunky scarves. In fact, I think the ribbon lace one is the first scarf I've ever made and then worn regularly, and its completion came with A LOT of whining.

So what was my next knit after this thing was finally done?

Bainbridge scarf in Manos del Uruguay (which is so pretty and shiny and also softer than a baby's bottom and just feels heavenly wrapped around one's neck).

Whilst this spent quite some time as five rows wide and living in my bag, once I actually sat down and applied myself, it was finished in a couple of hours. And sure, the yarn is heavier and there was only 150m of it, but I think the main difference is that it's knit in the round. No short repetitive rows. I like.

Having said that, I have to say I'm incredibly fond of my lace ribbon scarf. It's seen all these places (and then some) with me:

Not only that, it looks awesome:

And it FEELS awesome, because it's Malabrigo. I wish everything was Malabrigo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Since I spent my last entry discussing my failures, this one is going to be about my accomplishments. Namely, what I've been up to yarn-wise during the summer.

I started out by... buying yarn. I COULD NOT HELP IT OKAY. I had to go to Litet Nystan to get presents for Meg, and I accidentally also bought another skein of the shines-from-within Jaipur Silk Fino as well as a Zauberball. But it was all so pretty.

While visiting my dad over Midsummer, I FINALLY managed to pay a visit to a Biltema store to get me a blocking mat. So it's a bit colourful and whatnot; it does the job.

While I was there, I also mentioned how I really need to get a swift and a ball winder, and, lo and behold, my dad's reply was "you know, I think we have one of those swift thingies in the guest house". (My dad and stepmother bought a house a couple of years back, and the previous owners left behind their loom as well as a bunch of accoutrements). Indeed, in the loom room we discovered not one, but TWO wooden umbrella swifts, one of which they graciously gifted to me. Yay!

I'd cast on for an Annis using my Malabrigo Sock (which I stupidly decided to ball up without a swift, or a chair, or another person; I don't recommend it, it took me two days) and realised halfway through the decreases that I was wayyyyy off centre. I must have been drunk or suffering from heatstroke when I started them or something, I don't even know, because it was not even CLOSE. It was so not even close that I couldn't see any way of fixing it without ripping back to before the decreases started, which was a good four hours of active knitting time ago. Since I wasn't 100% satisfied with how it was turning out anyway (I was considering dying the finished product), I took a deep breath and ripped the whole thing out.

I then looked around for a good project to knit whilst travelling, since I had an 11+ hour flight coming up, and decided upon Ribbon Lace Scarf. Then, after spending about six million years fretting that my knitting would be taken away by evil TSA agents, I managed to get that sucker onto three separate flights... and did not knit one single stitch on any of them. Fail.

After all this flying I found myself in beautiful California, with two of my very favourite people in the world. ♥ We visited MeadowFarms in Nevada City, where I, erm, bought some yarn. Madelinetosh! And Manos! LOOK AT THE BEAUTY!

I also picked up some T-pins (really hard to find here) as well as one of those nifty stranded knitting helper thingies, which I'm hoping will make colourwork less aaaaaaaaaargh.

Oh yeah, and I gifted Abby with her snazzy Jayne hat, mutant pompom included.

While in California, we spent quite a lot of time knitting; I tried to teach Meg continental (it was not a roaring success, let's leave it at that) and actually taught Abby to knit, period. Well, she knew how to knit. Kind of. She knew how to make knit stitches... from both directions. Which, y'know, is a useful skill to have, but maybe not all that useful when it's all you know to do. So, having mastered the purl stitch, she started producing a mistake rib scarf.

She had quite a lot of time to work on it (and I on my lace ribbon scarf) as we travelled halfway across the US by train on the California Zephyr. Her nails matched her knitting. Mine did not.

In St Louis, I picked up some knitting books.

Looking forward to reading the Knitting Rules (I had to buy it after leafing through it in the store and finding myself staring at the header "five reasons to keep a stash" - I mean, come on, if that doesn't speak to me, what does?) and I think the other two can be really useful. I had absolutely NO knitting books before, so I feel a bit more like a proper knitter now!

I also visited Knit & Caboodle in St Charles and bought... more yarn.

In my defense, I'd promised two of my favourite guys that I'd let them pick out their own yarn and I'd make them scarves of their very own. Could YOU say no to these two?

And here's the finished result, wrapped up in late August:

Upon getting home, I managed to win an eBay auction for a ball winder. This was the result of one evening's heavy winding:

Once everything was balled up nice and proper (with a few snags; the merino lace I picked up two summers ago broke on me a few times, and the blue skein of was just tangled beyond my patience so I stuffed it in a bag and forgot about it; and... I may have gotten a bit too enthusiastic while balling the madelinetosh lace, causing it to fly across my kitchen like a torpedo. Oops.) I decided to actually enter my stash into Ravelry for all to see.

It's not THAT bad. Is it?

Current WIPs, not counting the poor dormant cardi, fingerless glove, or mitts:

Lace ribbon scarf, which has seen three countries and eight US states but remains unfinished.

Diagonal Noro scarf in Chroma, which is my easypeasy don't-need-to-think project. It's still a WIP because I haven't been thinking enough lately, clearly.

Ice Queen which I have no idea why I started, except I had a whole bunch of Mal lace left over and that is just a crime.

Hoping to have at least one of those suckers off the needles for the October entry.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Revising some goals

I think it's time to revise my list of goals. I mean, we're almost three quarters through the year (and how did THAT happen?); it's time to be realistic.

So, let's have a look.

  • Spend at least two hours a week knitting. I'm revising this to 20 minutes a day for at least five days of the week. Which is slightly less than two hours, but hey.
  • Learn at least three new things (techniques, stitches, cast-on etc) DONE!
  • Destash! Not buying any new a) lace or b) sock yarn until what I have is at least half gone. ... yeah, that's not gonna happen. (And after buying Knitting Rules! by The Yarn Harlot earlier this summer, I feel a lot less bad about that.)
  • Un-WIP Heartland Shawl DONE!
  • Un-WIP Leafy Lace Cardi. Erm. It's still a vest. I've done the ribbing and maybe two repeats on one of the sleeves, but I feel like I should redo it because I think the gauge is way off. Besides, it's a spring cardigan, anyway. Spring 2012...?
  • Un-WIP Nereid fingerless glove (the other one was finished absolutely yonks ago). Urgh. I should just cowboy up and DO it, because it's at least half done and wouldn't even take long at all, but I have nooooo desire to.
  • Un-WIP Alice Queen of Hearts mitts. It's possible I have started this. Barely. But it's underway.
  • Knit Peacock Shawlette DONE!
  • Knit Skew socks. I'm skurrrrred of magic looping socks. It does not sound appealing. I need to wait until I'm brave enough.
  • Knit Cold Mountain. Not yet. Maybe in green? Or dark pink? (As a side note, I am so in love with all of Kieran Foley's patterns. Europa (the crescent version) is very high up on my todo list.)
  • Knit Riff. Uh. Socks. Right. I have no excuse for this. Fail.
  • Knit at least two request knits. DONE!
  • Knit at least one more pair of socks. Yeah, no. This hasn't happened. I doubt it will.
  • Knit at least one colourwork item. If I can churn out those mitts...
  • Knit something beaded. Yes! It's underway! I have no idea why I started it, but there's something and it's about halfway done.
I'd like to add some new goals.

  • Write at least one blog post a month. Hopefully this will force me into actually having something to write about.
  • Don't have more than three things going at once. (Currently, I have... let's see... counting that poor cardi, six. This is not good for my WIP to FO ratio.)

So, this counts as the August blog post. See you for the September one.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Admitting defeat

The whole yarn diet thing? Yeah, it was just not gonna work. So.

Left to right; BC Garn Jaipur Silk Fino #36 (the most amazing shade ever; it doesn't photograph well but it's like it SHINES FROM WITHIN ♥), Malabrigo Lace (shut up) in Emerald (shut up) and new Drops Lace in 7120, a nice pale green, which is sooooo soft and will make a BIG shawl (800m/100g), yay.

So. Um. Yes.

I recently learnt to do the twisted German cast-on (for a Jayne Hat, which I won't be posting pics of until it's modelled by its owner) which means I have already reached my goal of learning three new techniques this year. Yay!

Also, my mother had a birthday, and while the surprise element somewhat failed, I'm still pretty pleased with the result.

Peacock Shawlette in Malabrigo Lace Purple Mystery.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2011 update 1

Since we're two months into 2011, I thought an update as to how my knitting goals are going so far was in order.


  • The two hours a week thing has actually worked quite well. Usually due to me spending half of Sunday knitting whilst marathon-watching Supernatural, but hey, whatever works.

  • New things learnt: Two out of three! The stretchy knitted cast-on, and... crochet!

Okay, so it' very simple crochet, limited to amigurumi, I've only done two items, and it makes my thumbs hurt for days afterwards, but LOOK MA, I'M BISTITCHUAL!

  • Annnnnd finally, the Heartland is DONE!

I'm very pleased with it. Malabrigo is amaaazing.



So, yeah. The goal was no more sock or lace yarn until I finish what I have, and, er, well. The whole buying yarn at all is a problem due to this:


I am a fail. And a junkie. But in my defense, I have projects (which are all on the to do list!) in mind for each and every of those skeins, with the following exceptions:

Chromaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I couldn't resist. Besides, it's fingering weight, not sock or lace. There's a difference. A very subtle one, but still. There IS. Shut up.

Malabrigo is like mescaline or something, I don't even know. Besides, everyone knows that sock yarn doesn't count as stash anyway.

Anyway, I totally solved the problem.

IKEA and their boxes are enablers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2011 goals

Since 2010 is nearly over, and I have somewhat failed at knitting this year, I have decided to write a list of my knitting goals for 2011. (I'm a Virgo, okay. I have a thing for lists.)

General goals:
  • Spend at least two hours a week knitting.
  • Learn at least three new things (techniques, stitches, cast-on etc)
  • Destash! Not buying any new a) lace or b) sock yarn until what I have is at least half gone.
New projects:
Should be doable, no?

Also, I finished my Prairie Boots and have been wearing them pretty much nonstop since. I love them.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cardigan progress!

Leaft Lace Cardi progress, finally! Main body is done; it still needs sleeves, buttons, and an I-cord. Hoping it'll look snazzy after blocking because I had some trouble with the button band before, hm.

Pre-button band and blocking.

Blocking in progress.

I feel quite accomplished! (Er, as long as I don't think about my Heartland.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm not dead!

Remember how I said I'm really bad at blogging AND knitting lately? Probably not, because that was almost a year ago. But, uh, it still applies.

Currently on the needles are my Heartland (STILL, with no progress to speak of) and the Leafy Lacy Cardi which I will hopefully pick up the pace on soon.

I did churn out some things, though:

These were a commission for my coworker, because the office gets cooooold in winter. Pattern is Twisted Armwarmers (Ravelry link).

Dark Mark Illusion Scarf for m'Abs (I knit a lot for her, it would seem. See below).

Teddy bear for Abby's birthday.

Sadly, that's about it. Yikes. Can I blame being busy moving and stuff? ... no? Well, hopefully I'll be a bit more productive in the near future, at least.