Tuesday, December 30, 2008

creepy and cute ...

i've not made anything from this book yet, but it is very very cute! christen haden did a wonderful job on the creatures and the text too.

but if you're not up to making your own, you can purchased finished toys over on her etsy shop.

this pillow was crocheted by mom for my birthday. long gone are the days when i'd get a sewing machine, or a camera. instead, these are the days when i get something handmade for my birthday.

she was inspired by prudence mapstone's oh! picasso. the bicho pillow is freeform crocheted with various acrylics.

the next fellow was a birthday gift as well. everyone needs a moldy cupcake!

you too can make one, the instructions are over on julie king's gleeful things.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

i finished one of them ....

i do not have a lot of splendid photos because i was taking pictures late at night.

but, i can say, this shawl is lovely! i really like the depth of color in the knitpicks palette heathers.

i had purchased 3 balls, just incase .... but, i only ended up using 2 balls (with 15 grams leftover of the second ball). so, this is good to know ... 2 balls of palette will deliver a nice swallowtail on 4mm needles, with beads instead of nupps.

i still have to finish the other one ... the marble heather one. but, i'll work on that over the holiday.

regarding the beads, they're 8/0 hex silver lined. the tube weighed 14 grams. i only used a portion of the tube. i only used a bead per nupp, and on the border at each picot. this time around, i also used a wee size 12 steel crochet hook to apply the beads. the hook worked fine, but sometimes i split the yarn a bit because the hook is too small for fingering vs. lace wt. yarn. but, it worked. and it was faster than my old method of stringing a piece of wire through the stitch to drop the bead down.

all that's really left is to weave in the 2 ends, and find a way to get it to the recipient.

Monday, December 15, 2008

lace bug

my knitting interests contantly vary. sometimes it's all about socks. sometimes, a bit of crochet. and lately, lace shawls ....

this one is a real beauty. she's called pavonis (pdf link). i found this pattern via ravelry. the pattern is written in finnish, but it does have charts.

she's still a challenge due to not understanding the instructions, and the repeat is large. the one advantage i have is previous shawl knitting, especially triangular shapes that begin at the top of the neck. without such experience, i would not be attempting this shawl.

oh! and i love the blue! all three of these shawls are knitted with knitpick's palette. i had ordered the colorcards recently to choose some colorways for holiday knitting. i was drawn to the heathers (with all their little bits of other colors) easily. but then this solid blue caught my eye as well. i love its clarity and intensity.

next up is good ole swallowtail (pdf link). this has fast become one of my favorite evelyn clark shawl patterns. there are lots of pretty ones out there, but i like how this one transitions through three different charts. right when i'm getting bored with one chart, "hey! i get to change!".

and if i get tired of working with the marble heather, i can switch to the garnet heather ....

i bought beads for both. i have yet to knit a swallowtail with the nupps. perhaps, if i ever do it in a finer yarn, i will slog through the nupps.

until then, i really like a sparkle in the sea of fuzz.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


shawl, not scarf

i really wanted to get this off the needles. i was knitting as fast as i could, because i thought i was going to run out of yarn.

i thought i was going to run out of yarn because ... the ball was shrinking !?


actually, i had misread the pattern. i love ravelry. i love that i can research a pattern before i knit it. i can find out if there is an errata, and see all the different yarns and versions knitted.

in my research, i interpreted jatta's notes incorrectly. she says ...

"To make scarf as big as in the pictures, repeat chart 2 9 times total. You can make more or less repeats."

i kinda skipped over the second sentence. i was fixated on 9 times total.


i got a second hank of yarn just in case. having the second hank in reserve meant that i did not run out. i finished binding off with a mere 11.5 yards left.

so, the shawl pictured is called zetor scarf. i did not mean to make it a full size shawl. i thought i was knitting something more the size of swallowtail.

i do love the finished product. i did not enjoy the process as much. i much prefer a shawl pattern that has transitions vs. one allover stitch pattern. i also had some problems in the beginning with keeping in pattern, ... i think because the dark heathered yarn was just hard to see. once i added stitch markers to delineate the repeats, things went smoother (or, i was at least able to find my mistakes sooner).

i did not add beads to this. part of me now wishes i had. the border is kinda narrow in proportion to the rest of the shawl. it lacks weight. i had really nice points after blocking, but now they've kinda relaxed and curled.


specs: zetor scarf from jatta.
Gästrike 1-ply by Järbo Garn (660 yds/100 gr).
4mm needles.
on ravelry.

Monday, November 24, 2008

side tracked with lace

zetor scarf

my socks are not finished. big surprise. but, i have made quite a dent in my lace scarf!

in the beginning, i was making all sorts of mistakes. i am blaming the fuzzy heathered yarn for that. i succumbed to stitch markers, and that has made all the difference.

getting there ...

i still won't use lifelines. don't worry. i have been punished for that with at least one incident of dropped stitches involving several yo's. but, after knitting on the same repeat (9st 18row repeat) for about 8 repeats thus far, it's not so nightmarish to fix things. and just for saying that, i'm sure it's bound to happen again.
specs: zetor scarf by jatta. yarn is Järbo Garn Gästrike 1-ply (660yds, 100g). 4mm turbos.

wait, there's more ....


click on picture for all the details

i started the triinu scarf from nancy bush's new _knitted lace of estonia_. i really wanted to try something out from that book, and could not wait to finish the zetor scarf.

but now, i am getting the two confused, so i may just have to finish zetor first.

but, it's (back to triinu) my first project knitting nupps. NUPPS. so far so good. i am not using lace needles. i'd like some lace needles, but i am finding the kp's harmony needles smooth and pointy enough. in the past, i have avoided nupps by substituting beads. no one noticed the nupps were missing because they were dazzled by the pretty beads. i am making an effort to knit the pattern as written, because it's always a learning experience with nancy bush.

lastly, i cannot stay away from knitpicks. i ordered another set of color cards. this time, i ordered palette. i am thinking it will be nice for some smaller lace projects.

colorcards  :)

and i got this book too .... (from an independent book seller, not kp)

new book

i do enjoy knitting lace shawls, and i have always like the designs of evelyn clark. now, i have her brain in a book !

i do hope there's enough continuity here, because i am crazy tired. i am very happy that i am only working 3 days this week. maybe i can finally do some laundry, and finish a sock.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a socken update

socks are always on my plate, but not always at the forefront of my mind. like any knitter, i have different needs and wants (knitterly). sometimes the socks on the needles don't quite fit the bill. sometimes i just want to knit socks, but not cabled socks, not lace socks, not socks with traveling stitches and blue ribbons. just socks.

my mindless socken project is soon to be finished.

even for a plain ole sock, it's had its challenges ... the yarn ... tofutsies. at first, i did not like this yarn. the 100 gram ball was small and dense. it made me think of throwing at someone (and possibly hurting them). and, it's splitty ... thus the tighter gauge on my regular 64 st. socken needles. i've sat on this yarn (in stash) for more than a year. then, one day, i decided, "let's knit this yarn!".

it's soft. it's soooo soft, once knitted. the colors bloomed unexpectedly (the colors, not the fabric). i think i love it. i want more, but i do have another ball in stash (both these yarns were gifts). so, i must knit the gift yarn first ... and then perhaps get over the crush.

i like to knit plain socks sometimes. sometimes, the scarf, sweater, shawl, other sock, bug, potholder, or _____ , takes more thought and attention. i have lots of socken stash. i have lots of socken stash appropriate for plain socks.

this yarn was appropriate for , not plain socks. when i see a solid (now) i think, "wow! what texture i can knit into this! lace! traveling stitches! cables!". but then, i examined the green a bit further ... "wow ... that's A LOT of green !" i love green. don't get me wrong. it's just that this green almost glows.

i still love the green, but i am quite pleased with its union with the heathered brown (newish green, very old brown).

i started these socks back in the summer. i finished the first one, and went on to other things (like a knitter).

i am happy to report that i am on the mate, beginning the gusset. i really like this pattern. i like that not every row is stranded. i like that not every stranded row is a big motif.

these will be finished soon.

i need to think about skirts to show off my socks. isn't that funny ... you make/buy something, and only need to make/buy something else to compliment it?!

shot on location, ... on my back steps ... on a blustery day, too warm for november. the day had unexpected morning sunshine, though blotchy. i love my back steps (my primary entrance) because they kinda unnerve people. it's like going up and down a fire escape. i like it. and the light is usually good there.

seriously ....

Saturday, November 08, 2008

seriously crappy photography and knitting

(sigh) ... it's been an extremely loooong week. tonight is my "friday night". i cooked a chicken (i think underdone). i've wrecked a project (got off pattern somewhere). my laundry pile is about as tall as i am. (sigh)

all these things can be fixed (well, minus how my time was spent ....). when i reheat the chicken, i can "cook" it more. i am pretty good at lace, so i can usually find my mistakes. and laundry, ... some of that may be done tomorrow.

i don't know why i chose to start a new lace project when my mind is worthless. i guess it's part of being exhausted, and making poor decisions. i should had probably worked on one of my mindless projects, but i was itching for something new.

the something new? jatta's "zetor scarf". it's more like a shawl, being triangular ... and can be large or small, depending on how many repeats are knitted.

i had recently found this pattern on ravelry, and fell in love with its simplicity and spiderweb quality. my lys got in a yarn that i thought would fit the bill ... Järbo Garn's Gästrike 1-ply . it's 660 yds of single plied heathered black ... and only $8/hank. just think, countless hours of pleasure (except when you mess up) for only $8! ... that's way better than a movie.

speaking of movies ... perhaps that's another reason i'm off pattern. my netflix dvd came a couple of days ago, and i'm just now watching it (dexter, season 2 disc 2). so, probably not the best idea to knit lace and watch a movie.

(sigh) ... so, gotta love that flash photography!

editted: lace fixed (movie on extended pause).

Monday, November 03, 2008

bits'n pieces

i am just not completely focused on one project right now. instead, i have dabbled in all sorts of knitting from the very basic to most complex.

the first is very very basic ... leg warmers!

1/2 done

i finished knitting these on the way to saff, i even seamed one in the hotel. and then, i got new stuff at saff, and never touched these again. all that remains is seaming up the second leg. tisk tisk, shame on me.

these are not of the baggy 80's variety, though there is something to be said about the stripes. i thought the colors would blend more subtly together, instead they are screaming bands of color. ooops.

next up for easy peasy is good old basic socks!


these are almost finished ... and when they are done, i will dig through the stash for my next mindless socken knitting. it seems lately that i am more interested in plain socks then fabulous complex socks. i think it's because i'm saving the fabulous complex for things such as this ...

love hate

this is my lovely cashmere and first set of addi lace needles, knitting the alpine lace scarf from _victorian lace today_. for now, it's a real challenge with patterning happening on both sides, with a lace yarn with unexpected boing, and impossible to find dropped yo's. it's my love/hate project. i'm just not in the groove yet. i want to be in the groove.

i have been craving lace lately.

next to mindless ....

this is my mindless lace knitting project. i switch off between the mindless socks and this mindless lace. i am about 3/4's finished with this scarf. when it is finished, i will start another ... different pattern, different yarn, but more lace.

and lastly, i finally started to work on my mate to this socken. i started to work on it again on the last day of soctoberfest. i really suck at kal's.

laila 1
i am near the cuff, on the first half of the large motif. it is slow going, but quite satisfying to knit. once i get through the big bug motif, the little pattern is a breeze.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

everything came in hanks ...

well, yarnwise, that is. all my yarns came in hanks. i do not mind hanks, as a ballwinder and swift are just as permanent as my other furniture.

so, this weekend was SAFF. i started to plan attendance a couple (or few) months ago.

i won't dilly dally on details, but i will share photos of my yarn purchases. if you want to know the specifics of any yarn, just click on any photo and it will take you to flickr with all my notes.

rustic and soft!

future socks

brooks farm acero


miss babs

sparkle yarn!

lace yarn

best in show ...
i saved the best for last ...

i had a fabulous time in fletcher and asheville ... not a single disappointment. the first day (at saff) was rainy ("whatever!). day 2, in asheville, visiting the local yarn shops, ... the skies cleared and it was the perfect autumn day.

yes, i got a lot of yarn. but, each yarn was purchased with either a project in mind, or as a gift.

funny thing ... all yarns purchased at saff, except for the brown silk above. i guess, i have access to what i call "shiny label yarns" all the time, so going to a fiber festival gives me the opportunity to snatch up stuff i cannot find in a retail shop.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

should be in bed ...

... but instead, i'm updating. i am leaving for SAFF in the morning. i think i have my knitting bag packed, and haven't given much thought to clothes.

i had wanted to finish my central park hoodie. but i did not get the buttons sewn on yet, and i don't want to haul a big bulky sweater anyways.

i had wanted to finish my legwarmers ... which, i may actually do on the ride there, so they made the cut and are in the knitting bag.

i. am. knitting. acrylic. yarn. on. long. straight. needles. shivers ! the yarn is james c. brett's marble. i like the colorways, and it's soft.

and i did knit some fabulous hats (with bonne marie's cassidy's cap pattern and cascade 220.

i've made several hats with this pattern and i love how cute it is. so, perhaps, if it's cold at SAFF tomorrow, i may be wearing one of three versions i've knitted of this cap.

by the way, that's not my beautiful hair ... it's the model's ....

Monday, October 20, 2008

who you gonna vote for?

... i don't know yet, but perhaps a site like this or this might help.

photo credit and maker: mom
crochet project available at lion brand's website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

bad record keeping

knitting on the edge

next weekend is saff. and you know how it is ... you wanna make something new to wear to the festival. i don't have anything new, but i do have something old (2006) that i never properly finished ... my central park hoodie.

i dilly dallied on which buttons to use for the closure. i finally decided this morning which buttons to use, which means i have to change my button holes. sigh.

it's not the effort of ripping and reknitting that's going to kill me, it's the effort of finding my notes to see which size denise needles i was using for this project ... and possibly finding out that i didn't even bother to write it down.

you'd think with a blog, a flickr account, and now ravelry, i would have those notes somewhere !

editted: found pattern with notes, and i did not write down my needle sizes (smacks forehead)! so, i'm gonna go with the needle size the pattern says to use. geeez.

Monday, October 13, 2008

it's socken season!

... though, it's always socken season en mi casa. i have read threads on different message boards on various knitting related websites, people posting, "why knit socks?" i never leave an answer. it's one of those things that if you have to ask, you probably don't need to.

but, for those of us who do knit socks, and lots of socks, we have wonderful events like lolly's socktoberfest, and ravelry's year round sock knitter's anonymous.

and sometimes, no event is needed because the reward is happy feet ...

basic top down 64st sock on 2.25mm needles in sockotta.

and after a basic sock such as that is finished, i often feel the need to get another one on the needles. some people only work on one project at a time. those people probably finish what they start. me? i need variety ...

basic top down 68st sock on 2.25mm needles with tofutsies.

the basic socks are mandatory, as they provide a break from knitting socks like this one.

the last sock here is komet from ravelry .
komet is one of the design options for this month's challenge on sock knitter's anonymous. though this design is not particularly challenging, the pattern is not written for novice knitters, and the fit can be a bit tricky in a pattern that incorporates both lace and cables. my favorite thing about this pattern is its dimensionality.

komet knitted with 2.5mm circs and jaeger's matchmaker merino 4 ply.

Friday, October 10, 2008

some accomplishments ....

last weekend, i went home to visit my parents. sometimes i don't travel very light (usually when i'm driving vs. other modes of transportation). i only visited for a few nights, but packed like i was going to be there for a month!

going home ....

i have this not so irrational fear of being without a project. it's happened before. you know how some people get kinda itchy because they have not eaten? well, i get way bitchy if i'm without a project. (mind you, that is just the "top" layer of yarn possibilities.) i probably packed enough yarn for 6 pairs of new socks, plus the various projects in my wee knit pouches. yeah ... for a 3 day visit!

i did not get as much knitting done as i hoped, but i did finally manage to find a solution for my harmony needles.

perfect for harmony needles
click picture for details

that is a 'worm bag' from bass pro shops. the size is right, the price point even better ($10 for bag plus extra empty pocket pages). now, i'm not running around like a poor knitter with my harmony needles and components in one giant ziplock. it's a great system, and a tidy solution.

in other knitterly news, i have finished knitting three hats! all the same pattern, but still, three hats ! perhaps this weekend pictures will be taken ....

Friday, October 03, 2008

bedtime reading ...

yay! a wonderful surprise left on my doorstep today ... interweave's new _color STYLE_!

i really enjoy interweave's series of books, ie: folk socks, lace style, knitting from estonia, etc ..... this is just another in the series of great patterns and techniques.

so, after i finish watching my episode of MI-5, i'm going to get into bed with some colorful knitting.

update regarding camera: it's still holding on, probably because of the threat of replacement. i still don't know what i want though. research takes a lot of time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


... not knitting-wise, but camera-wise. i posted this thread on ravelry, and have not had any responses.

so, my old Pentax Optio S4 is playing possum, and is about to die. it has been a wonderful camera for the last 4+ years.

that said, a lot has changed in the last 4+ years.

i am shopping for a new small (digital) p&s. i did some research today, and found some prospects in the canon and panasonic realms.

if i could do a proper search, my filters would include “close to the wee size of my Pentax (which could fit in an altoid tin), lt. wt (so i don’t mind carrying it everywhere with me), a wide range of ISO’s, uses an SD card (don’t want anything ‘sony’ specific), uses a rechargeable battery (and i’d probably buy a second as back up).

i don’t need “portrait friendly” or extreme temperatures, or underwater, etc.

let’s face it. i want to take pictures of my knit/crochet projects. sometimes i want to get in so close that you can see each wee ply and fuzz. i also want to take pictures of general day-to-day. i don’t plan on blowing anything up big to hang on the wall.

do y’all have any ideas or recommendations? i am not limited to shopping at a best buy … there’s always pricegrabber ;)

(sigh) whatever ... i did see some good stuff on canon and panasonic ...

oh, the knitting!

i finished something!!!

this project is only a 2005 vintage. but still ..... it's nice to have it done, because i can now say, "i only have X blankets on the needles/hook". (exhale)

so, specs: this pattern is from jo sharp's _contemporary knitting_ magazine/book. i used her silkroad aran tweed yarn. i used a wee bit more than the pattern called for. the yarn is lovely.

in retrospec, this is not my colorway, but i fell inlove with the sample in the book, could not buy the yarn locally, and mailordered. i didn't even think to change the color palette. and now that it's done, i am definitely keeping it!

the yarn is soft and warm. the blanket has been on my bed the last few nights, and i have been warm enough to not need to sleep in socks. it's a keeper.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

hmmm ....

i had a nice weekend ... an extended or late weekend, but so so nice!

i did get knitting done. there is always knitting to do, though sometimes i suffer knitter's block.

i finished a sock ....

the colors and fiber are rather 'beachy' to me ... a cotton/wool/nylon blend (sockotta). this sock has been fabulous mindless knitting. this kind of sock yarn allows me to be social, keep eye contact, and keep my hands busy at the same time.

i think some people take offense at people knitting while in (what they deem as) important/social engagements.

i don't know. i am such an addict, i cannot imagine most situations w/o yarn and needles in hand.

the other knitty (god knows we do not limit ourselves to one project!) ... an old blanket, in jo sharp silkroad aran tweed. i started this project a few years ago. all that's left is the finishing. perhaps tonight? i've reknitted one of the borders a few times now too.

but, it's finally coming together, and the sooner i finish, the sooner i can say it's done. and, most importantly (because, there is no such thing as knitterly guilt), i can use it.

when i finish, i will post more details. in the meantime, i will keep knitting .....

i had a fabulous weekend, and more of the details are over here.

sometimes i cross-reference