Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WiP Wednesday

I am a complete failure as a hermit. Seriously. I‘d pay to just hide in my weaving room and ignore the world, but I couldn’t do it guilt-free.

The Color Affection for Sairy’s Mommy has been finished and sent on its way, and I’ve chipped away at my Swirl a little bit, but there’s no real progress, so no new picture.

 I’ve been doing a little bit of knitting. I volunteered to knit two cowls for a group on Ravelry. I started (and finished) the first one over the weekend.


It’s a Sherbrooke Cowl, which I’ve made once before. It needs a soak and some end-weaving, then it’ll get the full finished project treatment. Cowl #2 was started last night.


It’s a Darkside Cowl, and I’m one repeat in.

Stash yarn for both of these, which is awesome. And they’re quick. Yay!

The weaving is for a Christmas gift, so no pictures. Speaking of which, I’d better get back to work!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

WiP Wednesday

Yeah, WiP Wednesday is a good place for me to get back into the habit of blogging, right? I have two projects currently on the needles right now. One is my Swirl, which is sooooo close to done


I’ve bound off for the center-neck and am still chugging along at full sleeve width. Should be zooming along soon, except my travel knitting has been getting the lion’s share of work


It’s a Color Affection I’m knitting for my friend Sairy. She knit one for herself a while ago and her mom loved it. Sairy has no interest in knitting another CA so I said I’d do it. She dyed the yarn and sent it to me ages ago. I finally started on Saturday night, and I’m moving right along!

Finally, I have some placemats on the loom that are close to finished, but I forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Thank-You Blanket

Lots of friends make fun of me because pretty much anywhere I go within the United States, I know somebody who lives there.

Nearly 15 years ago, I moved to the west coast. I was extremely fortunate that one of my Dad’s sisters has lived in Pasadena since before I was born, so I had family in the area as I started my Dream Job at UCLA.

We saw Janet and her family for Thanksgiving each of the eight years we were in Los Angeles, and dropped in occasionally at other times of the year. But since the Hubster and I moved back to Pittsburgh in 2007, it has been truly wonderful to have family in Pasadena.

Three of those week-long lines on the calendar in my previous post were trips to Southern California. Being able to stay with Janet on those trips allows me to take those trips and not spend every penny I make on hotels. This requires a Grade A level of thank-you. I offered a few handmade options. Janet chose a blanket.


We talked about some color options and I showed her some blanket options. Then I came home, placed an order for Harrisville Highland and got weaving.


I have come to love doubleweave (double-width) blankets, and this was my best effort so far. I should have made one small change in the warp thread order (should have broken up the green and gray), but otherwise? I did pretty great. You can’t see my fold at all!


The blanket reads blue, but looks great on the green couch where it will spend its life. It fits right in!

I didn’t take great notes on this project while I was making them, but I essentially followed the yarn requirements and warp thread counts from my first blanket, the one I did in class two summers ago.


I’m a little thin on finished project pictures for this blanket. The timeline from start to finish was a little tight. The blanket was barely dry before it was jammed in a backpack to be delivered to Janet on my April trip to California.

Here’s hoping it has a long and happy life in its new home, and that Uncle Ab and Aunt Janet appreciate this blanket half as much as I appreciate them!


Davis Doubleweave 

Thread: Harrisville Highland 
Colors (# of cones): #31 Cobalt (4 … warp and weft), #53 Silver Mist (1+), 
#33 Midnight Blue (1+), #60 Kiwi (1+) 
Width on Loom: 33” (unfolded to 66”) 
EPI: 8 (528 ends) 
Started: 16 March 2013 (first day of winding warp) 
Finished: 8 April 2013 (when it came off the loom) 
I swear I have notes for before/after wet finishing sizes, but I have no idea where they went. If I can find them, I will edit them in!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Finish Line

I know I’ve been gone from the blog for ages. Here’s why:


Every colored line on that calendar? (which, by the way, shows November 2012-October 2013) Represents an out-of-town trip. Or, if it’s a red line, an event I was working in town that took me away from home for entire days.

It’s ridiculous. In the last 12 months, I’ve been out of town for 107 days. Yes, a lot of that travel was a lot of fun (Florida! Cathedral City! UCLA! Women’s College World Series! The Mannings! The Lake! Ireland! Norway! Rhinebeck! Maryland Sheep & Wool! DePauw! Northwestern!), but seriously. I’ve been out of town for 107 of 365 days beginning November 1 of last year. That’s almost 30% of the year.

I am exhausted.

I have lots of finished knitting/weaving projects to show you.

Lots of fun experiences. Lots of time with people I love, both friends and family.

Tons of photos to edit and upload.

I’m going to do my best to hit the highlights and get back into the swing of things.

Assuming I have any readers left. Let me know if you’re reading. Maybe that will help me get back in the groove.

And, if you are still here, and still reading, thanks. I appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WiP Wednesday

Oh yeah. The Blog. Right.

 I feel like the old Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere” rather accurately describes my 2013 to this point. But now I can stay in one place for a little while. I have multiple finished projects to show you, but it’s Wednesday, so for now I shall show you my WiPs.

As has become custom, I started a pair of socks while at the Women’s College World Series.


I started it the first day I was in Oklahoma. And that was pretty much the last “normal” thing about the 2013 WCWS. What a strange week it was.

Once I got home, I started on a project I’d been wanting to take on since the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March. I worked in the SpaceCadet Creations booth, and wore one of the shop samples while working in the booth. I got so many compliments on that Lintilla that I decided to make my own!


Yes, I still love garter stitch. I’ll be garter stitching right along for quite a while, and yes! I’m happy about that!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WiP Wednesday

It was a busy day, but it’s still Wednesday, so you get a WiP post!

Last Friday, I needed a knitting project to take with me to my Friday night group. The “last in first out” policy was suggested, and since the last yarn I bought in Maryland was this…


I decided that Shawl That Jazz would be a good next project. I was off to the races! Most of my Sunday was spent knitting and watching sports, so I got a really good chunk of knitting done. And, believe it or not, I finished the entire 540-yard first skein last night.

One thing I learned the last time I knit this is that there’s no good way to get a good WiP shot of this shawl. So you get a picture of a big blob.


I’ll join the second skein as soon as I’m done typing at you (and posting), and I’ll be back off to the races.

Because of the high yardage of these skeins, I’ve been using my Strauch winder. It makes a more vertical cake, and I loved how the core looked on the Twisted. So I threw it in the light box and took a few pictures.


See? Very cool!


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Maryland Sheep & Wool 2013

Well, hello there.

My epic gauntlet of travel has been completed, and I have no reason to leave Allegheny County again until I go to Oklahoma City at the end of the month. It’s WiP Wednesday, but I actually do not have any WiPs to show you, since I finished my Love Actually cowl last night!

So, in order to feed the blog for the first time in way too long, I shall show you my Maryland Sheep and Wool purchases from last weekend.


From left to right, this photo includes: Three flavors of honey from The Bee Folks (Queen Anne, Bamboo and Radish), my 40th Anniversary Festival mug, a Melissa Jean hair pin, a pair of US 5/stiletto/33” Signature circs, a 2014 Sheep Incognito calendar, a new drive band for my Schacht ball winder hanging off the calendar, two skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted in Pussy Broadway, three necklaces and two small beads from my latest addiction: Kris Schaible Glass Studio, a Miss Babs Color Affection kit, two skeins of Into the Whirled sock yarn, a new belt, and a Lion Potter mug.

 Not much yarn, but I do feel like I got a lot of stuff. Now for show-and-tell with the non-fiber stuff.


In the last couple months, I’ve gotten to know the wonderful and talented Melissa Jean thanks to my work with SpaceCadet and a pair of shows. I was intrigued by this cool hair pin, and it came home with me.

And now, for the largest rabbit-hole of the entire weekend. One of my running buddies, CelticQueen, was headed for the Noni tent to get a zipper for an upcoming project. I wandered around the upper tent farm in the opposite direction and stumbled upon a completely dangerous vendor. To the tune of three purchases in two days.


Kris Schaible makes some amazing beads. Throw them on a cable or a cord, and you have a beautiful necklace.


This purple bead was my first purchase. Then I dragged CQ and my friend Dianne to the booth later in the afternoon. And this one caught my eye.


I felt like this one looked best with a ribbon instead of a cable.


And then we stopped by again on Sunday and this happened.



Of course Kris’ husband had discovered her “junk drawer” overnight and threw a bunch of those beads into a bowl. And I found two that Kris turned into pendants for me. (for scale, they’re propped up against the Twisted in the top picture. They’re pretty small, but very pretty)


Yeah. I love her stuff. A lot.

The other stuff is pretty self-explanatory. I adore the two Lion Potter mugs I already had, so getting the green mug (far right in top picture) was a no-brainer. It’s so hard to find good belts that buying one from the vendor at MDSW was also a simple decision. Drive bands and calendars are boring but helpful. I also got two Festival t-shirts, but I didn’t throw them into the picture. Oops.

It was a great weekend with good friends, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tying Knots

After my trip to Florida back in January, I remembered why I used to travel with a backpack as my carry-on bag. I did some shopping around and tried out a company I’d heard a bunch about: Tom Bihn bags.

I selected the Brain Bag as my new carry-on bag. And thanks to this post in the Tom Bihn forums, I decided before the bag even arrived that I’d put 550 paracord zipper pulls on the bag.

Oh, yeah. I worked the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh last week. It was fun! 

In the few bits of down time I had during the Frozen Four, I started playing around with knots. I started on the front of the bag with the three small pockets. And since the blog has been quiet for so long, I figured I’d blog about the knots I used (and document the resources I used to find the knots I selected!


On the sides, for the bright green pulls, I chose a Snake Knot, six layers long.


For the top-center, which is perfect for my keys and sunglasses, I found the Pupa Pull Tie. In a day-glo orange.


The most difficult knot to select was the Oysterman’s Stopper Knot, used on the center-back pocket in yellow. I tried many, many different knots to find one that I liked, and this is where I finally landed. (the pictures in the arena showed the yellow paracord with simple overhand knots, which I used until I had time today to figure out something I really liked.)


And finally, my favorite of all the knots that I used, the rainbow paracord on the large center pocket is a Two-Strand Diamond Knot.


If I hadn’t really wanted variety in the knots as well as the colors of paracord, I would have used the Diamond Knot on all of the zipper pulls. Once I found the video I linked above, the knot was totally simple and it looks fabulous!


Now that I have my zipper pulls figured out, I just need to make friends with my bag. I’ve carried it for four days now, just not for its intended purpose. Hopefully, by the time I get back from next week’s adventure (to UCLA for the women’s gymnastics championship!) I’ll have made friends with both this bag and my new work bag.

 Oh, and here’s hoping there will be a fiber-related post at some point this week. I need a couple more pictures and some time to write the post.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

WiP Thursday

As usual these days, I’m a day late and a dollar short.

There hasn’t been a ton of free time, but here’s where it has gone:


My Love Actually cowl is marching right along. Got about four rows into the third set of hearts. I’m so ready for this to be finished!


I got my doubleweave blanket sleyed into the reed. Next step is threading heddles. If I’m lucky, I’ll get that done on Sunday.

And, because that cowl is starting to make me twitch, I’ve swatched for my Dublin Tee. Oops.


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Last weekend was the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, and I spent Friday and Saturday working at the SpaceCadet Creations booth. Of course, a few additional items had to come home with me.

On Friday, I went and checked out the Knitting Notions booth, and as always, I found a bowl that I loved.


It’s fairly large, and I’m quite certain it will find a place to live somewhere in my house. It’s handmade and beautiful. I love it!

I also snuck across the aisle and brought home a self-striping skein of DK-weight yarn from Fibernymph. I’m gonna have stripey feet to keep warm next winter!


Saturday was spent elsewhere, and I really had no plans to buy anything else. But on a bathroom trip, I walked past the Knitting Notions booth. And the runner-up bowl from my difficult decision-making on Friday? Still there. Oops.


This one is much smaller, and is already in use as a catch-all next to where my phone plugs in overnight. I love it too! For scale:


Working the festival added two items to the top of my queue. A Lintilla (long story, I’ll probably be knitting it this summer!) and a Dublin Tee. I had intended to be very patient and get some SpaceCadet yarn (Lyra!) for this project, but then I spied the precise color that I wanted in the Knitting Notions booth. And it came home with me.


Here’s hoping I can get started on my awesome summer sweater very, very soon!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WiP Wednesday

Ahh, another super-busy stretch with the part-time job. My regular job has re-started too, so there has been very little free time. Zoom!

But, between all of the crazy, there has been a little crafting here and there. I’ve gotten a little bit done on my Love Actually cowl. It’s a little hard to tell, but I’m into the third row of hearts!


The Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival was last weekend, and my cowl got to hang out at the SpaceCadet Creations booth while I was hanging out with the Hubster for his birthday on Saturday. So I busted out my Nittany Lions scarf and did some work on it. I’d say I’m awfully close to halfway through the second skein of each color.


In other news, I’ve been preparing a warp for the loom. I’m lucky to have lots of great extended family, but my Aunt and Uncle in Pasadena, Calif., have been fantastic about letting me crash at their house whenever I visit the left coast. So I’m making them a doubleweave blanket!


A little over a week ago, I caught a destash of a warping mill at a really great price, and I’ve used this project to make friends with it.


The warp is wound, and when I have a little time I can get it on the loom and start weaving. There are two chains, here’s the blue/green chain…


And all four colors together…


If you remember my blog post from my Doubleweave Blanket Class two years ago, this blanket is going to be very similar to the tweedy-looking blanket that Hedy made in class. The cobalt (royal blue) color is going to be the weft. I hope I can get it done quickly and it’s a big hit!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WiP Wednesday

Well, hello there! Sorry I missed last week, I was off to California to run a great big softball tournament. I did virtually no knitting while I was gone (or since I've returned home!), but my Love Actually cowl is through the first repeat.


It should move fairly quickly from here, which is awesome. Then I’ll get back to my EZ slippers, and do a second pair for the Hubster. At least that’s the plan.

Since my return home, I’ve been busy with my part-time job working for SpaceCadet. I had a big pile of yarn to tag and twist. Since it’s for the Interstellar Yarn Alliance I can’t really show it to you, but here’s a little teaser:


I hear my taskmaster has another metric crap-ton of yarn waiting to twist and tag, so it’s a good thing I have lots of TiVo to catch up with. Maybe I’ll even get some knitting time in soon, and be able to start my next weaving project sooner than later.

Let’s face it. What I really need is Hermione’s time turner…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WiP Wednesday

OK! It’s been lots of simple knitting around here. When I’ve been watching the Pens or reading, it’s been my Harry Potter scarf. I’m into the second skein of each color and it’s moving right along.


But, because the scarf now requires a larger project bag, I needed a smaller project for last week’s trips to the theater. Last week started with a field trip with my former co-workers at Bloomin Yarns. When we visited Wexford Dry Goods, there was a really cool dishcloth they had in many colors. So I decided to give it a try!


It’s great for short stretches of knitting, and I’m happy with how it looks. There won’t be a ton of knitting time over the next two weeks, but we’ll see what happens!

Friday, February 08, 2013


When I came home from Beginning Weaving Week at the Mannings way back in 2010, I took show-and-tell to my knitting groups. My dear friend Sara/CelticQueen (who is the designer of the super-awesome Knitty Surprise! pattern Love Actually) admired the twill sampler and thought it would be nice as a table runner for her kitchen. She picked the weft color, I ordered it from The Mannings, and it all sat around exactly like that for … a really, really long time.

I finally got a warp wound in April and had everything ready to weave before I left for the Women’s College World Series the day after Memorial Day. Eventually I started weaving, hemstitched the starting edge, and was off to start the marathon.


Marathon? Yeah. This thing sat on the loom for what seemed like forever. I just didn’t carve out a whole lot of weaving time last summer. I don’t know why that was, but I really want that to change!


I finally finished the weaving in late August. I felt great when I cut it off the loom … until I unrolled the fabric off of the front beam. And realized that I’d forgotten to hemstitch the finishing edge. Crap.

So I contacted the Jedi Masters of Weaving at The Mannings, and Sara (different Sara) reassured me that I could do the hemstitching off the loom, it just would have been a little easier under tension.


It took until January for me to buckle down and do the hemstitching, then wet-finish the piece. I Scotch Guarded it for Sara and got it off to her in mid-January. Finally. It’s chock full of the mistakes of a beginning weaver, but hey. The more I weave, the better I’ll get. Just like quilting and knitting.


Table Runner for CQ 

Draft: Twill Sampler from Beginning Weaving Week at The Mannings 
Thread: 3/2 Perle Cotton
Sett: 15 EPI 
Started: 27 April 2012 
Finished: 14 January 2013