Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Opposite of Picture Pages

I have no energy to download pictures so I can put them here, but I'll (hopefully) get caught up when i get home.

The flight to the left coast was long, but uneventful.

Monday was spent with some dear quilting friends from my days in Los Angeles. There will most certainly be pictures of that.

Yesterday was experienced at top speed on UCLA's campus. It was fantastic to be back there, if only for a day.

Today was set-up for the reason I'm here. A gigantic softball tournament. 35 college teams, 87 college games and 90 total games in four days on five fields. But the weather should be gorgeous, so we'll survive. Meanwhile, it's time to go back to the hotel and go to bed super early. I won't have another chance to sleep much until I'm home on Monday.

I'll catch all of you up on my life then.

Knitting update: There has been Wiggle Wrap knitting. It looks the same, just longer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WiP Wednesday

I think I blinked and missed the last week. Between set-up and tear-down for the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival last weekend, it’s been all work and no play lately.

I did get a bunch of knitting done during the festival while manning the store’s booth. Not bad, since it was store yarn and store patterns. I even sold a couple patterns based on my project!


Yesterday, I turned in the Great Big Project that absolutely had to be finished yesterday, then crashed and burned for the afternoon. I’m hoping that means Mystery Bug is behind me, and I can put my head down and spend the rest of the week meeting other deadlines and preparing for my California trip.

I leave Sunday. I have no idea how it’s time for that already.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cranford Shawl

So my Week of Finished Things concludes with a test knit I’ve been doing for a friend. When PAKnitWit was designing this shawl and knitting on it during our Hurricane Knitters meetings, I knew it was going to be right up my alley. I asked to test-knit on the spot.

Stupid lack of simultaneous daylight + photographer = disappointing indoor photo.

Because I am at a Serious Simultaneous Deadlines portion of my year, I really buckled down to make sure I finished this test knit within the required window. If I wasn’t the first person finished, I was awfully close.

As you can see from the direction of the garter ridges, this shawl is knit from corner-to-corner. And there is not one purl stitch in the entire thing, which makes it a great relaxing and/or multitasking project.


The shawl starts and finishes with a minimum number of stitches, then launches into the pattern repeat for the shawl. There is certainly a bit of a learning curve out of the gate, but by the time I was about 15 rows in, I was cruising along.


I love the ruffle. It’s just enough of a detail to give the finished shawl a little punch, while keeping it plenty simple (and non-holey) for my tomboy tastes.


The shawl includes a bit of a “neck flap” for extra warmth. Just a little bit to make sure that your neck stays covered so this shawl can double as a sweater. It works. I tried it the other day when I was chilly, but too lazy to go track down a sweatshirt.


The bottom-center “point” of the shawl is very un-pointy, another detail that I liked very much. The ruffle is slightly less ruffl-ey, but I think it works for the overall aesthetic of the project.


The slip-stitch edge is a beautiful finishing touch throughout the entire shawl. I did mess this part up early in the process, but it didn’t even require thought by the time I was about 30% through the shawl. All this from a knitter who is generally anti-slip-stitch-edge (well, at least if I’m seaming or picking up stitches. That’s certainly not the case here!)


This project used just over three skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool, which makes for a nice hefty shawl. It did take a swim, but I didn’t actually block it. I just laid it out flat to dry and fluffed up the ruffle a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if I knit this pattern again in a fun semisolid or low-contrast variegated. The possibilities are endless.


Cranford Shawl

Pattern: Cranford Shawl by Sarah Jordan (will be released soon!)
Size: Shawl-Sized
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool
Color: Platinum
Quantity: I definitely needed the third skein, but not a whole lot of it. Guessing by weight, I’d say it was a little under 1,100 yards of aran-weight.
Started: 17 January 2012
Finished: 29 January 2012
Mods: It’s a test knit. Hell no, I didn’t mod anything!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sweet Tomato Foot Ovens

This is probably the fastest pair of socks I’ve ever knit.


After reading the Yarn Harlot’s Foot Oven post during the Christmas season, I thought they sounded like a great idea. I started as “directed,” starting with 8 sts/needle via Judy’s Magic Cast-On, increasing up to 32 sts. Note for my next pair: 32 is a little thin. I’m thinking 36 is a better number for me with this yarn.

toe pic!

Yeah, I know I don’t like standard toes. But these were so quick they hardly had time to irk.

Stephanie’s Foot Oven recipe sounded great, except for one thing. I can’t stand short-row heels. I don’t like the fit, and I don’t like the process of knitting them. So I made some adjustments!

As you know, I’m quite the Cat Bordhi disciple. She published a great new e-book last fall, for her new Sweet Tomato Heel. I figured this was a perfect time to try it out!


As I chugged along on my first STH wedge, the thought did cross my mind that this would be a little easier if I’d used the light blue yarn on the heels. But it was fine. The fit is not perfect (they are a little too snug at the navy stripe across the instep at the hinge of my ankle), probably because my midfoot number was a little thin for my feet. I thought about tinking and expanding, but these socks were so fast I figured it wasn’t worth the time. I’ll leave this pair at the Lake, where they will be rarely worn.

The execution of this heel, in my opinion, is simple and elegant. And it’s a perfect 1::1 sub for a short row heel. Highly recommend, and I’ll use it again in the future.

Per the Foot Ovens recipe, post-heel-turn, I simply knit with my “main color” yarn until I ran out. I divided the skein in half by weight before I started, so it was easy to know when to stop. Then I changed to the navy and knit 12 rounds of 2x2 ribbing. Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, and boom. I was done.


As promised, I sat back and marveled at how quickly I had a pair of socks. Basically three knitting sessions and I was done. And yeah, I’ll make this recipe combo again. Probably in the same color scheme, since I have one more skein of the light blue!


Sweet Tomato Foot Ovens

Pattern: A hybrid of the Yarn Harlot’s Foot Ovens recipe
and Cat Bordhi’s (basic) Sweet Tomato Heel
Yarn: Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
Colors: Light Blue and Navy
Quantity: 1 full skein light blue, roughly 52% of the Navy skein.
Started: 31 January 2012
Finished: 6 February 2012
Mods: It’s a hybrid of two recipes, so yes.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WiP Wednesday

After I finished my Koolhaas Hat, I needed something new on the needles. There’s a sweater I started back in my SoCal days and frogged for various reasons. The urge to re-start was strong on Saturday, but I couldn’t find the pattern, so that was put on hold.

So what did I pick up?

Back at TNNA in June, they have this cool open market thing at the very start that is cash-and-carry. Lots of vendors use it to launch their newest shiniest things. One of the things my LYS picked up was a kit for the Wiggle Wrap with Kauni yarns. I started it Sunday and it was my Super Bowl knitting


Yeah, it’s a little muddy right now, but I believe in the power of Kauni. I’m sure it’ll get bright and awesome very soon.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Koolhaas Hat

Stand by for a bit of a parade of finished projects. I have three things to show you! (following the Turtlegirl rules of one FO per post, of course)


This hat went pretty quickly. If I had focused on it, and not put it aside for other projects at multiple points, it would have been done in about a week.

Oh, speaking of focus? (or lack thereof) I kind of goofed up the first round off the ribbing, but I decided I didn’t care. And now? I can hardly even tell what I did wrong, even if I look. So I’d say that was a good decision.


I tinked and re-knit several of the decrease rounds, and those were the only points where I got grumpy with the Shokay yak yarn I was using. It got a little fuzzy a little faster than I would have liked when I ripped and re-knit. It also had a knot early in the skein, but I didn’t feel like tinking back most of the ribbing, so I just left it and wove in the ends later.

Color is most accurate in this and the following photo.

On one of my WiP Wednesday posts for this project, somebody asked if I was using a cable needle for this project. The answer to that is Hell to the NO! With all the 1/1 cables in this hat, I’d have stabbed myself in the eye with that cable needle before I finished if I’d had to use a cable needle. Much easier without.

Oh, and a Pro Tip: I respond via email to every comment left on this blog. Unless you don’t provide an email address. Then I don't/can't.

All in all, this was a hat I’ll knit once. Good thing I bought the pattern on a 99¢ sale from Interweave. I think I got my buck out of that purchase with one use, since I doubt I’ll knit it again. Too fussy for my tastes. Here’s hoping it’s a nice warm hat!

(we seem to have skipped winter this year, so I’m not expecting to find out until next year)


Koolhaas Hat

Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Size: The larger one. I knit the 5th repeat because I wanted it to easily cover my ears.
Yarn: Shokay Shambala Yak
Color: Natural
Quantity: One skein. Minus 4 yards (I used 160 of 164 available yards)
Started: 30 December 2011
Finished: 31 January 2012
Mods: None that were intentional.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WiP Wednesday

Just under the wire!

I finished the test-knit shawl. Photo shoot coming soon.

I finished my Koolhaas hat. FO post coming soon.

So what’s on my needles?

I decided the Yarn Harlot’s Foot Ovens post sounded like a great idea. And, I’d been very much wanting to try Cat Bordhi’s new Sweet Tomato Heel.

So I combined the two.


Foot Oven socks with a Sweet Tomato Heel. I cast on the sock in that picture around when the Penguins game started on Tuesday night. I finished it at knit night tonight.

Stephanie was not kidding when she said you will be amazed at how quickly you wind up with a pair of socks using this recipe.

Oh, and I really like the Sweet Tomato heel. Win!

In other news, how jacked up/completely unseasonable has our weather been?


The bulbs that my mother plants in our backyard are sprouting. In January. This is crazypants.

In other news, my loom is starting to resemble a Nordic Track. You know. Something that has become a dumping ground for other things, therefore rendering it useless for its primary purpose.

This is completely unacceptable. I'm hoping that once I get through the whack of deadlines staring me in the face, I can change this. It may have to wait until after my California trip at the end of this month, but dammit. I'm going to be weaving again soon. It's Important.