Monday, December 31, 2012

Finished Objects of 2012

This is my sad little list of Finished Objects that made my blog this year.  I knit so many more things.  But these are the ones that made the blog.

Holden Shawlette

Citron Shawl

Dawn of the Dead Socks

Hello Sweater

Traffic Island Socks

Water and Stone Cardigan

Friday, December 14, 2012


So I did in fact put my purple mohair sweater in a bowl of water in preparation for blocking on Wednessday.

It is still there.


It is a sort of progress right?

I also started a new project.


I flipped a coin.  Walpole won.

I also knit like a fiend on The Greatest's sweater when he returned to work last night.  I am almost ready to split for the front and back.  Go Me!

In other news I am cold.

It is finally time to bust out the hand knit socks!

There is much rejoicing throughout my bedroom.

I knit these lovelies a few months ago.


Pattern:  Marlene

Yarn:  from Sonoran Desert Dyed Fibers, 1 skein

Needles:  Size 2 knit picks Harmony Needle using magic loop

Modifications:  None that I remember.

Review:  These socks are lovely.  I love it when yarn dyers leave some white in the mix, instead of covering every inch of yarn with technicolor.  Don't get me wrong, I love it when every single inch of yarn is covered in color too!  I love yarn.


This yarn is hand dyed with all natural dyes that come from the Sonoran Desert.  How very cool is that.  I know the dyer, and she is ton of fun, opinionated, caring.  Love that girl.  I hate hearing about designers or independent dyers and the stories are unflattering.  It makes me not want to give my money to mean people.  Let me assure you that you can buy her yarn with a clear conscience knowing it goes to an amazing woman with an open heart.

The pattern is from Cookie A.

What more do I need to say?

It was well written, and I love how the design seamlessly transitions from the leg to the heel


and from the foot to the toe.


And they are warm.  Beautiful and warm.

Bring on the (relatively) cold(ish) weather.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Really Need Better Photography Skillz


You probably can't tell what that slightly blurry picture with bad lighting is.  Which is why it is a good thing I'm here.  I can tell you what that slightly blurry picture of bad lighting is.  It is the completed cowl neck on my purple mohair sweater.

Why yes, I am AWESOME!

I braved dangers of The Abyss to rescue my size seven needles.  Round and round I knit as I got caught up on The Walking Dead (for once I didn't want to smack Carl, but I always want to smack Andrea).  We all know how stupid fast zombies make me knit, so two episodes, and my cowl was done.

Now for the finishing work.

Ordinarily this is when I would toss my project into The Abyss and move on.  There is always more knitting to be done.  Finishing work is for chumps.

But I am changing.

I am turning over a new leaf.

I am scared of the knitwear eating monster that lives in The Abyss.

Plus, I still can't decide between these two sweater patterns.  I think I'm leaning towards knitting Walpole first, but then I remember the fantastic yarn I want to use for Olive Basket.  What's a girl to do?

So between my new found resolve to not feed the beast in The Abyss, and my indecision about what to knit next, I've decided that today I will be weaving in the ends of my purple mohair sweater.

And if I really get going, maybe I'll block it.

But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, so maybe not.

Speaking of blocking and blurry photos with bad lighting want to see the latest thing I finished?


Isn't it fantastic?

I had clean hair.   My bangs were fantastic, laying just right.  I had on lipstick.  I was looking super thin in my black shirt.  The stars had all aligned and I looked smokin hot.

Twenty three pictures, three different rooms, two different people manning the camera, and this was the best picture we took.


No biggie, I thought.  I'll just take more pictures of Sweet Pea wearing my shawl.

But she was in a mood.


So was the shawl.  Reluctant to be seen with my moody model it moved and blurred in every shot


(although in hind sight that too could have been Sweet Pea)

We took pictures until they were both worn out.   And that is when the magic happened.


Pattern:  Holden Shawlette

Yarn:  Southwest Trading Company TOFUtsies, 1 skein

Needles:  size 6

Modifications:  I ran out of yarn, so I left off the picot edge.

Review:  I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it.


I will admit that when it was all dry from blocking and I removed the blocking pins, this shawl was stiff as a board.  The yarn is a wool/soy/cotton blend and it dried so stiff it was crunchy.

I wanted to cry.

But it was so pretty.  Look at it.  It is so pretty.  And I've never been one to shy away from a little discomfort in the name of beauty, so I wore it lost night when I went out.

And a Christmas Miracle occurred.

As I wore it, the shawl became softer and softer against my neck.  Every movement, every hug, every twist and turn added more give to the fibers.  While it isn't merino soft, it is now something  fluid and flexible and I love it so much.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Inspiration at Last!

Well, it wasn't inspiration, so much as a google search.

I typed in "fix huge hole in knitting" and I found this Knitty article.

It proved quite helpful.

I wouldn't say it is a seamless fix.  I certainly see where the repair is, but it is better than a huge hole.  So there is that.  With practice I could probably get better and make a seamless repair with this technique.  Let us hope I never have to practice this again.  Bottom line, the shawl is saved.  I think it can now be worn, at the very least it can be bunched up as a scarf.

So I finally present...


My Citron, as modeled by my four year old,

Pattern:  Citron

Yarn:  Misti Alpaca Lace Weight (leftover from this project)

Needles:  Size 6?  Possibly on Knit Picks Harmony needles, if I knit this before I knelt on my beautiful harmony needles and snapped one right in half *sob*  Let us observe a moment of silence for my Harmony needle.

Modifications:  Not really a modification, I just knit until I ran out of yarn.  Then I stopped.  So I might have more or less repeats than the pattern called for.

Review:  I can't decide which I love more.  The shawl?


Or my model.


They're both pretty awesome.

The hole was a devastating blow.  But I think when worn as a scarf the repair blends in nicely.


As always I love the Misti Alpaca.  It is alpaca.  And silk.  What's not to love?


And while I pondered how to repair this shawl I managed to block another pretty little thing.


But that is a knit for another day.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Slight of Hand

I wish I could tell you that I thought of a brilliant plan to save my red shawl.

I haven't.

My red shawl may or may not still be pinned to the floor of my bedroom because I just don't know what to do with it.

I'm not gonna lie, the best plan I've got is to throw it back into The Abyss.

What's a girl to do?

I'd like to knit the cowl for my mohair sweater, but I need my size 7 needles.

Wanna guess where they are?

Yup, they're in The Abyss.

On The Greatest's Weasley Sweater.

Some days I just give up.

Let me distract you with some socks.


Pattern:  Dawn Of The Dead

Yarn:  Premiere Yarn Serenity Sock weight, 2 skeins

Needles:  size 2 dpns

Modifications:  none that I remember

Review:  I knit these for Pork Chop.  The yarn colors were made for her.  Her favorite color has always been green.  She's currently cultivating a major obsession with zombies.  So green and decay.  Just the colors she needs.  It could be worse, it could be an affinity for Justin Bieber.  I pick my battles, and zombies are not even a battle to fight.  My love for the Walking Dead might suggest zombies are something to encourage.  So for now I let her read Zombie Survival Guides, and knit her socks with lace patterns called "Shredded Tendon" and "Dripping Flesh."


I didn't love this yarn.  The texture was a bit stiff and scratchy, but Pork Chop isn't complaining.  She must have very tough feet.  I like how the colors blended when knit in the sock.


This heel is a bit of a mess.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the look of the lace heel.  But if I had been smart I would have modified the pattern to include a more traditional sturdier heel, this sock will never stand up to being worn in shoes.  These are around the house socks only.

So there you go.  A wildly successful knit to distract you from the stunning cluster of nothing I am producing this week.

Actually I've been very productive this week.  I've finished my Knit Picks test knit.  I'm a roughly halfway through a different test knit.  Neither of which can be photographed for public consumption.  I finished a commissioned newborn set (it was even crochet, the Mayans might be right, the world may be coming to an end) but it is currently being washed, so no good photo ops there.  Highly productive, just not in a blog friendly way.

Guess I'd better dig out those size 7 needles after all.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Burn Baby Burn

As expected


Black Ops December has begun.  I will see him again sometime next week.  I just need to be sure to put nourishment within his reach (sandwiches, pizza, popcorn, hand food) at regular interval and everything should be just fine.

In other news our Elf showed up last night.


He is always fun to have around.  The children didn't like having him hang upside down like that.  They thought it looked uncomfortable.  So the first thing they did this morning was cut him down.  Then Sweet Pea fed him peanut butter on saltine crackers.  I think he is really going to enjoy his stay with us this year.

In knitting news, My purple mohair sweater (I have to identify it with the word mohair since I recently realized I've been knitting an unusual amount of purple sweaters lately) has two sleeves


and quite possibly enough yarn to knit the cowl after all.


Which is good because the sleeves are pulling the neckline really wide and I don't love it anymore.

In random news I've decided to burn the house down.  It really is the only way to deal with things like this.  It is the only way to be sure.

What am I talking about?

Let me go back a few hours.

I decided that while I was knitting on my mohair sweater I could multi-task, and block something from The Abyss.  Once again I dove into the depths, and I came up with my Citron shawl.  It was knit from an alpaca/silk blend in the most gorgeous shade of red.  I knit it, and then, lacking any idea how to block the ruffle at the bottom, I tossed it into The Abyss, where it patiently sat waiting for inspiration to strike on just how to block out that ruffle.

I'm still waiting for the light bulb to go off.

This morning I decided to just do it.  Just block it and see what happens.  I took the wad of alpaca and plopped it in my blocking bowl.  Then I pinned it out to dry.  Turns out the bottom ruffle was no problem at all.


It is lovely, and I can't wait to wear it.

Only... do you see it?

Photobucket see it.  You can't miss it.  That hole is the size of a quarter.  A hole I have no idea how to fix.  A hole that has ruined my shawl *sob*

Something has obviously been munching on my handknits.


The only thing to do is kill it with fire.

Burning down the house is the only way to be sure.

For the good of the yarn I must burn down the house.

Or buy some bug spray.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Abyss

The other day I was cleaning up my side bar a little bit.  Updating the "Things I Knit" link.  Adding the ones I've blogged this year.  Take a look real quick.  It won't take long.  Go ahead.

Did you see that?

I've only got three things on the list.


I've only blogged three Finished Objects that I've knit this year, and I'm pretty sure one of them was actually knit in 2011.

So very sad.

Bad Knitting Blogger, no cookie for you.

Then I went and tried on my pretty pretty purple sweater to see if the length was long enough.  Could I bind off?  I was wearing olive green cargo pants.  Oh the clashing.  The cargo pants sat low on my hips.  It was terrible with the line of the sweater and I could not get a clear idea of whether or not I liked the length.

I could have gone and put my jeans on to see what it looked like with pants I would ACTUALLY wear this sweater with.

But I didn't.

Instead I threw the sweater into "The Abyss."

And then I realized what my blogging problems were.

I have knit roughly eleventy bajillion things this year.  I am always knitting.

But I am never finishing.

I knit until I run into a problem (like lacking a second size 9 needle, or wearing the wrong pants when I try on a sweater) and my main system of conflict resolution appears to be throwing the item into The Abyss.  Or I knit something to completion, it simply needs blocked and the end woven in, and instead I throw it into The Abyss as an offering to the yarn gnomes.

Turns out yarn gnomes don't block either.

What is The Abyss?


This is The Abyss.

My crafts are the Harry Potter of my house.  They live in the closet under the stairs.  Half finished projects abound.  If you look you can see my Flaming June and the yarn from Sweet Pea's failed fuzzy purple sweater.  My other purple sweater (I guess I am on a bit of a purple kick lately) and my Miette are in the bamboo bag.  The paisley bag on the left hold my Dad's Aran Sweater, as it has for the past six years.  The Christmas Bag hold's The Greatest's Weasley Sweater.  Those are just the ones on top.  There are so many layers to The Abyss.

Speaking of The Greatest's sweater, see how it grows.


There is progress, not as much as I would like, but progress none the less.

The Greatest is taking the next eleven off as vacation days.  No real plans.  The man just never takes vacation so he had days to burn.  I think this will forever be known as Black Ops II December.  I expect to see him with a controller in hand every waking moment right up until the final minute of vacation when he is forced kicking and screaming to return to work.  My only problem with this plan lies in the fact that I will be unable to work on his sweater while he is home.

How dare he not take my knitting needs into account when he plans his vacations.


Since I can no longer work on his sweater I wanted to cast on something new.  I love casting on.  I love reading new patterns and stash diving for the perfect yarn match.  I love winding new yarn into neat little yarn cakes.  I just love everything about it.

Only all my needles are in The Abyss.

They are all being used on projects that have thrown into The Abyss.

Oh the shame of The Abyss.

There is really only one thing to do:  Buy more needles.

Only I'm poor, and don't have the patience to wait for Knit Picks Shipping (Christmas is coming, send Sunstruck Circulars).

So instead, like a responsible adult,  I put on my big girl panties, and my favorite jeans.  I then plunged into The Abyss.  I surfaced with the mohair sweater.

I determined the length was good.



And I've decided I really like the rolled neckline, so if I run out of yarn to knit the cowl I will still be able to sleep at night.

So now I'm off to bind off and knit some sleeves.

Wonder what will come out of The Abyss next.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Painfully Slow

So I've taken this previous attempt at knitting The Greatest a sweater


(Which I know, looks suspiciously like the sweater I'm trying to knit.)

And I turned it back into this.


I spent last night knitting it into this.


When I woke this morning it looked like this.


Apparently the yarn gnomes will only knit with mohair/silk yarn at night.  No helping me with the Cascade 220 sweater.

Wonder if I can bribe the yarn gnomes with chocolate

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Loving

This week I'm loving

Our Christmas Decorations...


Why yes, that is a smaller second tree in our family room. There may or may not be eight Christmas trees scattered throughout the house. I apologize for NOTHING!

My new hair sticks...



Now that the tree is out of the woodworking shop, it is time to put my man to work. I told him I need some new hairsticks, and he delivered. And did you notice how fabulous my hair looks in these pictures. I'm lovin' that too.

This picture of my oldest and youngest "ice" skating...


So what if the picture is too dark. I still love it.

And I'm loving that I FINALLY found a pattern that almost perfectly replicates the sweater given to The Greatest by his beloved Grandmother nearly fifteen years ago...


It just needs to be a sckootch longer (yes that is an official unit of measurement), and brown. Sure the pattern is in Japanese. But I won't let a little thing like a language barrier stop me.

The real question is can I knit this sweater in secret and have it done in time for Christmas?

Ordinarily the knitting part would be no problem.

It is the secret part that is causing the trouble.

He's sleeping right now, having worked the night shift last night.

Guess I should get off the internet and get busy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


My purple mohair sweater is growing at an alarming rate.


I can't be certain, but I think it might be on steroids   Nothing else can really explain the lightning speed at which it is progressing.

Perhaps small dog has been working on it at night after I go to bed.  Small dog, or maybe kindly yarn gnomes who have taken pity on the me when I fall asleep over my knitting.  They come and lovingly take my yarn, fix my sleep-deprivation induced mistakes, and knit a few more inches for good measure.

Yes, it must be yarn gnomes knitting my sweater.  Because my yarn would never do anything as dangerous as take steroids.  Right?

I've been a little worried about running out of yarn.  This sweater is meant to have three-quarter length sleeves, and a gorgeous cowl neck.  I've been thinking I can knit one or the other, but I don't think I have enough yarn to knit both.  This made me sad, because the pattern looks so nice with the cowl and the three-quarter length sleeves.  Sadness settled upon me, and I was losing the will to knit.  Maybe not the will to knit entirely, but the will to knit this beautiful beautiful purple mohair.  It was depressing.  I was already browsing Ravelry for my next project (it will be this or this).

Then I tried the sweater on.

Did you know a sweater knit of aran weight mohair is super duper warm.

Like really really really warm.

Like possibly heat stroke inducing warm.

And I live in the desert.

Where it is warm.

Like really really really warm.

Like it is the end of November and we are still sleeping with our windows open kinda warm.

I don't know if it is physically possible for me to wear a mohair sweater with three-quarter length sleeves, and a cowl neckline.

Maybe I'll just leave it as a crew neck with short sleeves.

Dilemma solved I am happily knitting on my sweater once again.

Atleast I am until I fall asleep somewhere around 9:42.

Then the yarn gnomes take over.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lessons in Knitting

I've been tired lately.

I don't know if I am coming down with something and my body is trying very hard to fight it off without fully succumbing to illness. In which case allow me to publicly thank my white blood cells. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that my neighbor's dog has decided that at 1:30 in the morning his shadow is a terrifying sight that can only be dealt with by barking at it until the sun comes up. Really, my exhaustion could be due to anything.

That's not the point.

My point is, I've been tired lately.

And it is affecting my knitting.

The other night I was knitting a top down raglan sweater in the most gorgeous purple mohair. The purple is a deep royal purple. The mohair is 20% silk, making it 20% more awesome than regular mohair. I'm really starting to love yarn with silk blended in. It gives it such a sheen and luster. I wanted to knit so badly that I sat on the couch and knit with my eyes closed as I tried not to fall asleep at the super loserly time of 9:30 p.m.

Of course this did not go well for me.

I discovered my stitch count was off. I could not determine if I had missed an increase, or added an increase that did not belong. I could not find a dropped stitch, or a mysterious yarn over that had turned into a stitch. There was no logical explanation for this mystery stitch.

I could have handled this situation in several different ways. I could have tinked back stitch by stitch until I found the problem and the stitch count was correct. I could have just skipped an increase, thus righting the stitch count. I could, and probably should, have set my knitting aside until morning, when I had fresh eyes, and daylight to see what I was doing.

Did I do any of those things?


Of course I didn't.

I decided my best course of action was to rip out the five inches of knitting I had created.

Five inches of mohair.

It wasn't pretty. Mohair does not rip gently. The mohair clung to itself and refusing to give up its form under pain of death.  Fiber flew in the air. Tiny strands of mohair all around.

Mohair is a fighter. I'll give it that.

Once returned to a squishy ball of yarn. I cast on once again.

I knit about and inch and a half, AN INCH AND A HALF, before I realized something was horribly wrong. But I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I just knew my knitting was off.

This time I did the smart thing and went to bed. It was now a less loserly time of 10:30 p.m.

The next morning, armed with minimal sleep and daylight, I discovered this.


This is actually quite amazing. It is such a rookie/newbie mistake to twist your knitting when you join to knit in the round.

But I twisted it not once, not twice, but three time.

That's some serious skillz there. Yup, skillz with a z, cause that's how I rollz.

Learn from me.

For the safety of us all, do not knit under extreme sleep deprivation.

It just isn't worth it.

And don't wear lip gloss when frogging mohair.

Remember "tiny strands of mohair all around".

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wanna See My Yarn?

I am proud to announce Meaty finally got his pumpkin pie.  I'm not gonna lie, even with the store bought crust it was a lot of work.  But it was delicious, so it was worth the effort.


Ok, so I totally lied.  I bought it at Wal-Mart.  It was kinda gross.  I feel no shame!

Meaty was heartbroken when he realized he was going to have to share the pie with his sisters.  His Christmas wish list now includes a pumpkin pie that he doesn't have to share.  The boy really likes pumpkin pie.

In other news, it took four days, but I have restored my Savers sweaters back to their former yarn glory.

Gaze with wonder upon all my glorious skeins.


And here they are all line up and pretty.


Sweet Pea thought my tower of cashmere lace weight looked like a snowman.


So we gave it a face.  It is hard to see, but there is a toothpick nose.  And yes, she is wearing her Halloween Costume.

Here they are tucked in safe and sound in my yarn cabinet.


So Pretty!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

So the other day I got all dressed up to go shopping on Black Friday.  I was ready surprisingly early (a true sign that the Mayans are right, and the apocalypse is nigh) and had fifteen minutes to kill.

Naturally I spent that time taking pictures of my hand knit sweater for my blog.

After all, I had clean hair.


And look at that, I had a star on my head!  I'm totally rocking that star.

Pattern:  Hello (Rav link)

Yarn:  Spa, in Ocean Spray,  4 skeins (I think)

Needles:  Size 4 (maybe) Addi Turbos (pretty sure they were Addis)

Modifications:  None that I remember, this was perfect don't-think-just-follow-the-pattern knitting, assuming I remember this correctly.  The details of knitting this are rather fuzzy in my memory.  I do remember that I was watching the final season of Eureka, and I really loved it.  Did I love the final season of Eureka, or did I love the knitting?  The world may never know.

Review:  I knit this ages ago.  I don't recall precisely when.  Could have been last year, could have been over the summer.  No idea.  I really need to be a better blogger.

The timeline of this sweater is unimportant.  The important thing is I love this sweater.  I really do.

The bamboo spa yarn makes a really soft drapey fabric.  But word to the wise, this yarn was super splitty.  I do remember that.  Which is why I'm positive I knit this with my blunt tipped Addis.  Splitty yarn problem solved.

The sweater was knit with the contiguous sleeve method.  It is rather brilliant, blending the fit of a set in sleeves with the convenience of a no sew top down raglan.


It was rather clever, and the lazy finisher in me loved having the best of both worlds.

This cardigan had some great details, like this decorative thingie on the collar,


And the decorative side seam.


And here's a picture of the back of the sweater that serves no real purpose except to show off how long my hair is getting.


The only real down side to this sweater is the "right side" is reverse stockingnette stitch.  I often put this sweater on, and later realize I am wearing it inside out.

Maybe that is a plus?  The sweater is completely reverseable?

In summation, I love this sweater, but I decided I did not love the argyle shirt (too tight in my stomach, I am sucking it in in all the pictures, even the ones where my stomach is not visible), and I changed it before I went shopping.