Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Knitwear in Action

Chambered Nautilus Hat and an unblogged shorty scarf, Lola (non-knitter) and Lynne in Madison on the 19th. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Pattern below:  Norwegian Fisherman's Mittens by Eva Skulbru Eriksen. In the wash right now.  Will either go to the VA holiday party or Occupy Milwaukee if they come out man-size.  If not, we'll see then. Kureyon, 2 balls, with various small windings left over.  I followed the advice of another Raveler and made the thumb both narrower and shorter.  Otherwise, as per the pattern except that I made one cuff-up and the second top-down in order to make sure the fingertips would match. The ruler is about 6 inches (15 cm).
Terri Minkin, America's Next Top Hand Model
Pattern below:  Striped Sprite by Lynn Hershberger (ColorJoy).  I was hot to make this as soon as I saw it in the new issue of KnitCircus.  Just look at the first picture in the pattern link!  So Seussian, so chevronic, so clown, so spritely.  Of course I'm not making it as in the pattern.  I don't want it to actually touch my neck, leastways, not the front of my neck, near the Adam's apple.  Instead, I am going for a slouchy pouchy look.  I have about 5 or six inches done now.  The yellow yarn is creamy smooth merino that I got in our Knitting Camp swap this summer.  Shepherd's wool by Stonehenge Fiber Mill, Michigan, USA.  It matches the Cascade 220 Superwash perfectly by gauge and compensates manages to negate the tiny bit of scratch that the 220 has.  Thank you to whomever brought that to Knitting Camp.  Lynn Hershberger the designer, got back to me right away when I discovered that KnitCircus had made a small error in the pattern.  Check out her other pattern in her Ravelry Store.

Pattern below:  Not Yet.  This is another of my own, probably to be incomplete, designs.  It's inspired by the Chambered Nautilus hat that I recently knit and a pair of socks I saw on Ravelry that I may never find again.  I've been looking.  If anything comes of it, I'll blog about it.

Pattern below:  Yes and no.  This hat started out as this: From Russia, with Love: Cable Balaclava by Nikol Lohr. But then, I don't know, I decided to make it a hat. Maybe it seemed too scratchy for under someone's chin and touching their face.  It really is quite nice and thick and springy.  I used thick Kureyon--looking it up . . . didn't have the label anymore . . . Hmm.  It's not in Ravelry's yarn list.  I like it.  This will be a warm hat.  I think it was called Big Kureyon, but it's not as big as what they are calling Big Kureyon now.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Swirling Gauntlets FO and Twisting Hat WIP

I have had this pattern in my Ravelry queue just about forever.  Swirling Gauntlets by Susanna IC I had some fresh yarn burning a hole in my pocket. It is Sugar Bunny, a new yarn from KnitPicks. They are calling it a limited edition. The color is called Platinum, but in some lights it looks like Putty or Sidewalk. It knits up just fine, though. I like it. I don't ADORE it, but I do like it. It's 80% merino and 20% angora. I can't resist angora.  The gauntlets, including my modifications took one ball with  about 2-3 yards left over.  

Oopsie! I knew I had made the mistake, but I kept redoing that row and still couldn't get it. So I finished the whole repeat in the hope that it would look ok anyway. 

Nope, couldn't live with it.

 Figured it out the next day.
Nice fit. 

Modifications: 1. This is not the thumb called for in the pattern. The original only has an opening and no sheath for your thumb. I added my usual 15 stitch gusset, though it was 16 this time because of the 2x2 rib. If you put it where the original thumb stitches are in the pattern, the design will pull too far toward your thumb. You have to move it about 4 stitches further away from the front/top/back of the hand. On the first I used my latest favorite way to increase stitches--knitting into the stitche below a la what's her name, but it didn't work out because of the rib. I went back to the lifted bar increase on the second mitt. looks better. You are viewing the second mitt.
2. Number of stitches cast on. The pattern called for 52. I cast on 56, or 1 extra ribbing repeat. Because of my mistake with the cabling, I was able to see that 52 were a little tight and that adding some to the palm side would not alter the appearance of the design.
3. Needles. I knit the cuffs on either end with size 3 needles (loose knitter here), but I knit the cable section with a size 4 because of the cable. I don't think it would have hurt to go up still another size there. Quite a bit of opportunity for upsizing.
4. I forgot.
This is another hat for the V.A. holiday party that's coming up next month. THe yarn is Plymouth Boku and it comes from a swap. There's one more skein, but I think I'm going to have to go into it to finish the hat. The pattern is Cables That Don't Cable Hat by K Yarns.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Twirly Hat Done, also baby pic

Chambered Nautilus Tam.  Wearable in different ways.
It's reversible.  I intended the ridgier side to be the display side, but the people I showed it to liked the smoother side better.  
 She of the great profile is my best friend at work for many years, Kerri.   
This is Jillian.  She is Kerri's daughter.
Lastly, little Layla--31 days old wearing her Aviatrix cap.  There is quite a bit of hat leftover in the back. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not Flat Enough (along with my stomach)

This was the second major attempt.  Frankly, the 3rd is looking the same despite the addition of more short rows..  The pattern says it'll block out.  Obviously, I am skeptical.

Chambered Nautilus by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Layla's Hat

Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash
Pattern:  Aviatrix Baby Hat by Justine Turner
Size: second smallest
I have the button chosen.  Maybe I'll take another snapshot when I have it sewn on. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Little Layla's Sacque

Here is the baby sacque I've been making for the young Miss Petersen, now approaching the ripe old age of 5 (days). 
     Yes, that is colorwork.  I broke my ban on colorwork.  Don't get excited, it doesn't mean I'll be whipping out any 38 color Fair Isle vests or Norwegian ski sweaters.
     Some people may be familiar with my mixed feelings about the color pink.  But you see, it was on sale.  Giralte's Beads was going out of business and there, on a shelf, cowering from all the vulgar, garish colors of Cascade 220 superwash, were the 3 pink heathery puffs and 1 green heathery puff.  What was I supposed to do?  Ignore them?  Don't be crass.   I still have one and a half balls of pink left and maybe one third of the green. 
      The sleeves are leg o'mutton, meaning the top part is puffed and the bottom part is straight.  Hard to tell from the picture.  Knitters familiar with top-down sweater knitting may understand the need to bring in the bulk more dramatically (got sick of trying to taper because I made the arms too wide).   It could turn out really cute. 
     The bottom is hemmed with a side-load drawstring.  It took me a day or two to get the string just right.  I wanted it to lay flat and not curl, yet be polished.  I am pleased with what I produced.  I'm not sure I love the hem and the wide drawstring combination.  It's a little bulky, but it does achieve the look and function that I wanted.
      It's just swell and I like it a lot.  Do you know what else is swell?  Blogger.  I think it's letting me indent! They changed the interface.  It's 1. about time and 2. A lot easier to use.  

     Finally, I have proof that I have been to the gym and that the kids who work behind the counter get bored.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Poor Teddy

Last night I was sitting on the couch knitting and computing by the open windows and enjoying a nice breeze when I began to smell skunk. Suddenly, it was so powerful that it was beyond skunk. It was thick and burning and chemical and, Quick, Shut all the windows! When I went to the front door to let the cat in, I couldn't stand the air and had to close the door right away. I put a fan in the window, blowing out, gathered my computer and phone, shut myself up in the bedroom and called it a night at 8:30.

You've probably guessed by now that Teddy got skunked. I thought the usage of the word "skunked" only applied to cribbage, but no, it's like Pepe le Peu in reverse. The skunk is the offended party, rather than the cat, at least at first. I did let Teddy in this morning to eat, but then he had to be shooed out again. Geez, what an acrid, horrible stench. The air outside was fairly fresh and sweet. The odor was emanating from an elongated orange puff down at floor level.

After due diligence in internet research I determined to bathe him in peroxide and baking soda with a little dish soap. Teddy is 16 years old and I've had him since he was 6 weeks. I never once gave him a bath. Until today. I gave him 2 baths today in the back yard.

He's still not dry from the second, but I have faith that he'll be passing tolerable now. I didn't capture the worst bath moments because, well, I was busy (giving the cat a bath). Here he is calming down after bath number one. He looked much angrier after the second bath!
Poor Teddy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gloves! Soft, fuzzy gloves!

It's not that easy to take a picture of your own hand. I did not figure out how to take a pic of both of them. Just not that ambitious. Not even ambitious enough to have subjects in all of my sentences. Or is "sentences" more proper?

These really could be called camp gloves because the pattern is by Sue and the yarn is from the 2011 knitting camp yarn swap courtesy of JPKnits (blog link on sidebar). Furthermore, the pattern is from KnitCircus, the print version, on which 2 of our campers worked. The gloves fit beautifully and I'm ready for winter.
Pattern: Offhand Gloves by Susan Iding Size small.
Yarn: Louisa Harding Kimono Angora, between sport and fingering, 70% angora, 30% merino, color #2, held double, 2.5 balls.

A few words about the yarn. It's soft. Its smooth. It's yummy. It's angora. Angora. Ahhh. Angora breathes pleasure right into my soul. I've got 2.5 balls left.

More hats.
The first I made awhile back. It doesn't fit right. It looks awesome, but the top is too tight. I'd like a do-over. I'm going to frog it. I want to replicate the look, but improve the fit. Maybe I'll use a pattern.
On the second I did use a pattern. Short Rows Sideways Hat by Kristi Porter. I whipped this baby out super fast. It was one of the quickest knits I've ever done. If using this yarn the next time I'd might subtract a few stitches to make it more beanie length or add some to make it more of a folding over length. But the way it is will be fine. It will fit a big papa bear just right if he or she has a bigger head than mine or it will fit a baby bear with the brim folded up.

A few words about this yarn. It is the same that I used in an earlier hat, but I identified it incorrectly. This is actually Zwerger Garn Opal Luftpolsterwolle.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Another Another Post

Remember the monster from the last post? I'll give you a sec to go take a look.

Sue thought it could have gone either way, so we put the action to the word. Right there at Panera in Mequon, I turned that rear into another front. I ripped it a new one. This is Gork. The other side is Brenda.

Or vice versa. If you think that was easy for the inimitable Sue, you are wrong. How she suffers for my art.

Henry almost remained armless as a design feature, but after much deliberation, the idea of arms was embraced. I learned a new skill--dreadlocks. This hair is the end (except for the purple), of the yarn that Sue and I dyed and she spun, back in the heady, but not army, days of 2006 or so.

If Mick Jagger could knit:

This sock is opk--other people's knitting. In this case it is also opd--other people's dyeing. 'Tis the work of the inimitable Sue. As bright as the colors look, they are even brighter and purer in real life, a master work of the dyepot.

An overdue credit: The monsters are take-offs of some designed by Rebecca Danger. This is her book, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters. Beth has gotten permission from Ms. Danger for us to use her designs for the shelter. We are still waiting to see if the program is a success.

So long, Brenda-Gork. Go make magic.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Post

Summer Fun with Teddy W.

Below is (my version of) the Oslo Walk shawl by Susanna IC from the Winter 2010 issue of Interweave Knits. It is Fearless Fibers yarn from Etsy from a little ways back. The color is raspberry, but in real life it's raspberrier. Nonetheless, this picture by the incomparable Terri Minkin shows the texture and beads off beautifully. Not only that, the angle is perfection, making me look thin and postureific. (From now on, I wish to have all my portraits made by the incomparable Terri Minkin standing on a couch.)

The first 25 rows of lace are ok. There are more than several mistakes, but the pattern has been achieved. The last 9 rows of the lace are very bollixed up. There was a jog in the lace chart that I was unable to understand or even knit rotely. Blogger is trying to tell me that "rotely" is not a word. Silly Blogger. After frogging a number of times, I had to be content with knitting that would hold together. Stitch counts, especially within pattern repeats, were out the window. Since blocking, I have found only 1 dropped stitch and only 1 instance of extreme holeyness that had to be repaired. I did my own thing on the plain section. This is a gift for the last person besides the 2 dudes that I hadn't knit for at what I guess I can now call "my old job". She is a professional soprano on the side. I am picturing her with her nordic good looks singing with the shawl artfully draped upon her good self.

Next up: Ballet School Dropout Footies by Lady Lungdoc, owner and operator of the Purl This blog. (See sidebar.)
I changed the angle of the taper to make them v-necks, rather than scoop-necks. I went down on the number of stitches cast on by 4 and changed everything to accomodate that. I was hoping to make them most invisible. It really was unnecessary and they'd fit better if I hadn't done that. I am planning for a little shrinkage in length, so that ought to help. Invisibility would have been better approached with a color of yarn more akin to the color of me. Ms. Lungdoc used normal sock yarn, but I've used Esprit, which is a knock-off of Cascade Fixation. Come to think of it, I think the toe tips actually are made of Cascade Fixation. This is not a design feature. This is an in-my-shoe so it doesn't matter if I run out of yarn feature. The other one matches.

The monster is now a faceful, nameless blob.
Awaiting deployment

The following hat will eventually go to the VA for a holiday party later this year. Some of the ladies in my Monday night knitting group are collecting warm things for the vets. The photo insists on being sideways. Will you kind of tilt your head, please? The hat is made with a yarn from Zitron that I can't seem to find on Ravelry. It's self-striping, 100% wool and 4 ply, but with an unspun, felted texture. It is almost square in cross-section. The incomparable Terri Minkin gave this to me for my knitting club. However, the students were unable knit with it because they kept breaking it. I've got enough for another hat at least.

This hat is knit top-down and I actually used a pattern: Dylan's Beanie by Wooly Wormhead. I was worried that the hat wouldn't pull in at the bottom because that's happened more than once in my career. So for the last 5 rows I twisted all the knit stitches. It pulls in just fine and probably would have anyway, but I do like the way it looks.
Wait, wait! I just remembered--my new hatstand!
It was fun going into Sally Beauty Supply and saying, "Yes, I'm looking for a head, please."

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Here's a monster guy whom I am knitting for a friend's son who has been knitting for a shelter so that every child who comes in will have at least one toy or buddy or whatever. He's created a poem that goes with each one explaining that the monster is feeling lonely. He gives each one a name which goes in the poem. He's got a few of us doing this.
I had made 2 earlier ones, but this one seems the softest and most cuddly. I think it looks bigger in the picture. It's about 8.5 inches or 21.5 centimeters tall, not including legs and ears. It's an old stash yarn called Rainbow from Cascade. It's a cotton boucle with a nylon (I suppose nylon) binder thread. It's as soft as all get out. Not to worry, it will be getting a face, but I'm not done thinking about it yet.
This is for Laura, she who encouraged the blogging and then enabled it by providing the I-Phone. Thanks, hon.