Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sleeve Island

I don’t normally get stuck on sleeves. Miles of stockingette don’t bother me at all.

But I’m on the island now.


Fronts are done. Back is done. First sleeve is nearly to the shaping. I have to wear long sleeves while I work on it because it’s making me itch (I’m pretty sure it’s the angora. I was worried about that. I’m thinking the fact that it took this long for me to start itching means I’ll be OK to wear it with long sleeves underneath. Once I manage to finish knitting it.)

The socks are getting tiny bits of air time here and there.


I put the markers for my arch expansion in yesterday, so progress actually is being made.

But last night? When I needed to knit during the baseball games? I just plain couldn’t face Nonpareil. So I jumped in on a Christmas present! That’s reasonable, right?


It’s a snake. The one in “Itty Bitty Toys.” It’s for my niece for Christmas. And yes, I did cast on last night around 7 and got 16” knit before bedtime. Yay for quick knits!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have a finished project to show you, but I’m just not in the mood to write that post today. Why? I’ll tell you.

As my friend Jenn and her husband, “The MWP,” concluded their vacation last week, they both posted Facebook status updates that their WonderDog, Rufus, wasn’t feeling great.

You can read the rest here. And here. Go ahead. I'll wait.

I started reading Jenn's Weirdy Pants blog before I moved back to Pittsburgh, and Jenn is a fellow Hurricane Knitter – a group of (nearly all of) my closest friends in the ‘Burgh. She’s the friend who joined me for the “big adventure” in Youngstown last May.

Shortly after I started working at Bloomin’ Yarns, Jenn came out to the store (the old one, in the cute house with terrible parking and access), which was nice. What was awesome was that she brought Rufus and I was able to finally meet him! Despite being a very large dog, it was instantly obvious that Rufus understood his size and was cool with anyone who was willing to scratch the brown spot on his butt.

When I woke up on the morning of August 9, 2008, to the news that dear friends had been critically wounded in Beijing, I was scheduled to pick up Jenn to go to SJ’s house for a Hurricane Knitters day.

I was (very, very) late. Jenn understood. And she encouraged being even later than we already were, because she invited me inside so I could get some dog time. Rufus knew something was wrong, and he was happy to sit with me and let me enjoy having a (rented) dog to love for a few minutes.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Rufus is a special dog. Jenn has great stories and pictures about him here on her blog. I am hoping that radiation kicks that tumor’s ass and that Jenn and the MWP get as much quality time with Rufus as they possibly can.

Feel better, Roo! We’re all cheering for you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ponder Dusk

I’ve been trying to be very selective on my sock yarn purchases. Really! But when the October shipment of the Dream in Color Dream Club appeared at the store, there was no way I could pass this one up.


It’s part of Dream in Color’s new base yarn, Smooshy with Cashmere and the colorway is called Ponder Dusk. It really just feels divine. And the purple? Well, it’s so rich and has so many tones that it was just plain impossible to leave behind.


I managed to get another skein in this base with my Anniversary kit from The Loopy Ewe, so I’m pondering making another Daybreak shawl with that skein and this one. We’ll see if that’s actually what I do. If you have suggestions, fire away! Meanwhile? I’m just going to enjoy petting this skein every so often. Yum.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Project Monogamy

Pretty much all of my crafty time this week has been spent on Nonpareil. Back is done. Almost halfway through the second front.


I cut the first three dishtowels off of the loom, and sadly they are NOT giftworthy. Back to the drawing board. Here’s hoping the next attempt turns out a little better!

In honor of the pathetic quantity of content, here is a gratuitous puppy photo


Hi, Sydney!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Rescuing an Orphan

It all started when our MadTosh shipment came in to the store. There was this purple-ey green colorway that I really loved, but one of our customers snatched up seven of the eight available skeins. (which was fine. I'd just finished a MadTosh sweater. I didn't need another one)

But I couldn’t let that sad little orphan sit all alone in the store.

So I decided to knit a Daybreak shawl.


I like Stephen West’s shawls because they aren’t lace. I had a decent idea of the blocked shape, but since I couldn’t really find a picture that showed off the crescent, here’s a semi-crappy shot of the shawl, flat, in its natural state after blocking.


When it’s worn, it’s very easy to tie the thin corners in lieu of a shawl pin and it sits nicely on my shoulders. Yeah, I didn’t manage to get a modeled shot. You’ll get over it.

There were a few minor hiccups (reading comprehension errors, the pattern is/was fine) as I embarked upon the two-color section. But I decided I didn’t care and soldiered on.


If you’re really sharp, you can see those “hiccups” down the center spine. The lavender blended perfectly with the green. At times I thought it blended too perfectly. I kept hoping to catch a really dark chunk of green on a stitch that would be slipped the next time through. That almost never happened.


The lone swear-inducing moment of knitting this shawl happened in the border section. I was knitting the small size with DK-weight yarn, and I knew this was a distinct possibility. It's why I chose the color placement that I did. But I was still peeved as all get out when I ran out of yarn roughly three rows away from bind-off. Too far away to just quit and bind off. But if I was going to purchase a second skein of Logwood, hell if I was going to bind off immediately after the fifth purl ridge. So I kept going until I knew I could go no farther without dipping into yet another skein. I’m glad I did it that way. So this shawl has a much larger outer border than “normal.”


Blocking-wise, I did my best to get a non-pointy smooth edge. But I only had so many pins in the house. I think it turned out just fine and will be comfy to wear.


Daybreak Shawl

Pattern: Daybreak by Stephen West
Yarn: MadelineTosh, Tosh DK
Colorways: Lichen and Logwood
Yardage: Golf ball-sized chunk of Lichen left over from the single available skein. Just scraps left over from the two skeins of Logwood.
Needles: US 8 KnitPicks Options
Started: 18 August 2010
Finished: 10 September 2010
Mods: Extended border to eat up the non-optional second skein of yarn. Used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I’d Be Farther Along, But …

It’s been a two-project week. 95% of my knitting time spent on Thing A, and 5% on Thing B. Then there’s the weaving I’ve been ignoring and the sewing project that Must.Get.Done.Today. that I haven’t started yet.

Don’t worry. Should only take me a couple of hours to knock that one out.

Oh, and I’m blogging for pennies again. ::sigh:: It’s a good thing. I hope.


The 5% project is my poor Musique socks. They got a few rounds of air time during CelticQueen’s birthday dinner last Thursday night and that’s it. These poor socks may be on the needles until we ring in the new year.


And, hogging all of my crafting time, has been Nonpareil.


It’s the store Knit-A-Long at Bloomin Yarns. The KAL officially starts today. As a store employee, I need to be a little ahead of the curve so I can help our knitters as they move along through this project.

I’d be farther along, but last night I realized a pattern-reading fail and had to rip out about 3” of knitting over 100-ish stitches. I got back to where I started with the correction (re-knit all the yarn I ripped out) but it took a while. ::sigh:: That probably means I should be done with the back of the sweater by now. Oh well.

The weaving is moving along. Not as quickly as I’d like, but it’s moving


And that’s about it. FO post tomorrow, I hope.

Oh! And Happy Birthday to my favorite brother!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Blackstone Tweed

The more I peruse my LYS, the more impressed I am by Berroco’s line-up of yarns.

We’re starting a new Knit-a-Long next week for Nonpareil, a sweater knit in Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed. It’s been about a year since I participated in a store KAL, so I decided to jump in on this one.


Despite the fact that there are some amazing blues and greens in Blackstone Tweed’s line-up, I made a point of stepping out of my rut and picking something different. This is the “Atlantic” colorway.


It has a great texture and the tweed flecks work really well. It’s 65% wool, 25% superkid mohair and 10% angora rabbit. I was the tiniest bit worried that it would be itchy (I’ve had angora problems in the past) but it isn’t bothering me one little bit.


And I’d know, because I cast on for my sweater on Wednesday at Hurricane Knitters!


Loving it so far. Here’s hoping this sweater flies along!