Monday, November 30, 2009

Wool Kerchief in progress

I've been waiting to post about this until the Kauni changed colors:
Wool Kerchief

The pattern for this is "Silk Kerchief", by Kate Gagnon Osborn. The Kauni is lovely, albeit a bit scratchy; the Knitpicks Bare merino is softer, but has had 3 broken plies so far! Anyway, this is great mindless knitting, with the changing colors being the main point of interest. I loved seeing the green appear! It's currently about 13" tall/26" wide, so I have another 4.5-5" left to go.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wattle Warmer

Do I get wordplay points for using wattle stitch for a neckwarmer? Get it? Wattle... neck...? HA! I kill me. And NO, I don't actually have a wattle.

Wattle stitch neckwarmer

What a fun stitch to use with a variegated yarn! The stitch is easy crochet, and doesn't use anything more advanced than a DC. It's a one-row repeat of SC, chain 1, DC all worked into the chain spaces from the previous row. It ends up creating a reversible sawtooth pattern.

Wattle stitch

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


22 months was definitely long enough... I decided to finally finish my Ariann cardigan!

This picture best shows the actual color, which is this wonderful rosy pale pink. This is as close to a neutral color as I get.
Ariann - FINISHED!

I'm hoping that the yarn will stop shedding at some point. It's Ella Rae Shibu (color 25, "Mauve"), which is raw silk plied with a thick-thin single of viscose. The yarn feels a lot like cotton, but isn't as stiff. It has a lovely drape to it, and if I have to deal with little pink silk fuzzies, that's fine. Shibu has been discontinued, but there are still places online that have some.


I envisioned this going into my rotating collection of cardigans for the library, where the indoor temperature can be anywhere from 60 degrees to 90 degrees. We all have sweaters or shawls at our desks. This will be a great addition to my cardigan line-up, which currently consists of a blue cotton cardigan that my mom got me for Christmas 10 years ago. Yeah, definitely time to switch up my work sweater.

I LOVE this sweater. It's so comfy, and was an easy enough knit that I could work on it while watching TV or while waiting for raid ready checks in World of Warcraft. My only complaint is that the pattern (or at least, the version of the pattern that I have) does not include any instruction about how to work the lace pattern into the raglan decreases. Perhaps this was corrected in later versions of the pattern, but there's absolutely nothing to warn you that, oh yeah, STOP INCREASING or you'll have shoulders that go up to your ears. I remembered both Jody and Sarah mentioning this when they were working on their Arianns, so I was slightly less confused about what was going on. I just kept track of the lace increases and decreases adjacent to the raglan markers, and whenever the raglan decrease "ate" something from the lace pattern, I'd start working its corresponding stitch in stockinette.

Other mods: I worked the sleeves flat and then seamed them. I wanted to have a little extra structure to hopefully prevent gorilla arms when the silk yarn starts to stretch out. I stopped my sleeves at 18" for the same reason, and also because a lot of notes on Ravelry said that the sleeves as written were very long. I made my collar 3" instead of 4" because I wanted a smaller collar.


I originally wanted dark wooden buttons, but these metal ones caught my eye instead. I got them at Hancock Fabrics, and lucked out that I happened to be there while all notions were 50% off.

Ariann - button

Comfy comfy comfy:

Pattern: Ariann by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Ella Rae "Shibu", color 25 "Mauve". 8 balls = 840 yards.
Needles: US 7

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Wattle stitch scarf

I was looking through the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet and saw instructions for wattle stitch. The swatch in the magazine was done with a single-color off-white yarn, but I wondered what it would look like in a variegated colorway...

It looks like this:
Wattle stitch scarf

I love the zigzag effect! It's a very easy stitch (just one row repeated on both sides) with a complicated-looking result. The yarn is a mini-skein of Ellen's Half-Pint Farm merino/silk that I've had in my stash for many years. After I got a 4" swatch done, I just kept going. I'll apparently have a new scarf for this winter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yo-yo afghan!

I wanted to wait until I had some progress before I posted this... I finally started my sock yarn afghan!

All that Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that I've been acquiring for the last year? This is where it's going. I started out with one skein of "Blueberry Snowcone" and the yo-yo crochet technique from Sunshine's Creations. One skein gave me 10 squares. Nice round number. I like easy math. :)

Afghan squares

I got done with this skein and immediately dug into one of the other colors, "Gone Fishin".
Afghan squares

I'm sure I'll be working on this for quite a while. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Huck's Room

I love when the mail at work contains a telltale bag of yarn. I'd have it mailed to my home address, but I no longer trust my mail carrier with anything of value. He's taken to periodically wadding my mail into a ball before sticking it in the mailbox. Seriously.

Anyway... yarn
Lorna's Laces Swirl DK - Huck's Room

Lorna's Laces Swirl DK - Huck's Room

Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in Jimmy Beans Wool August colorway "Huck's Room". I have 4 skeins, which should be enough to make a little shoulder shawl.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Behold, the Beholder:

This one's more "cute" than" terrifying".
Beholder thinks 3 20s are fishy

He was a birthday present for one of the guys in my D&D group. The beholder spent most of last night lurking off to the side of our game mat, threatening to shoot everyone with laser eye beams.

I crocheted him in a couple of hours using the Beholder pattern from the Anti-Craft. Mine was a mini-version; the body is about the size of a hackysack. We discovered that he occupies a 2x2 area of the game board very nicely, so here's hoping that our lovely GM doesn't decide to have our 3rd level characters fight a beholder just because we have a "miniature" for one... I don't think we'd fare very well.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Little Bear Preemie baby hat

Tell me this isn't adorable:
Little Bear Preemie Hat

Little Bear Preemie Hat

I came across this baby bear hat pattern at Squishy Chocolate, and it is too cute, and super fast, and way easy. Basically, everything you could look for in a baby pattern. I'm hoping to make a few of these for a charity hat collection -- this one took me an afternoon, so making a pile of them seems very doable.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pooling Stripes

Pooling stripes

Pooling stripes

I ended up putting ties on two diagonal corners. Tie those together, play with the fabric in front, and you get a nice illusion that there's more fabric than there actually is (this came out to be 14" by 8"). The second picture shows it with the short sides pinned together in the back, which is a snug fit! If I had sewn those sides together, I wouldn't have been able to get it over my head.

Of course, the unfortunate thing was that I finished this before the midnight release of Harry Potter on Tuesday night, so I no longer had purse knitting... but had finished it too close to the release to be able to wear it, since it was still blocking. A bunch of us went up to Arundel Mills for the release and had a blast. The theater did a great job handling the throngs, which were substantial due to the 10 (!) sold-out screens. They were very nice about switching around one of our tickets so we could all be in the same theater, and we were comfortably in our seats by 10:45. The movie was great, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again on Friday with a bunch of my coworkers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pooling can be good

I've been playing around with this "pooling stripes" project for a while. I love how the color sequence of the yarn takes center stage!

Pooling on purpose

Pooling on purpose

Pooling on purpose

This was done with the leftover "Desert Flower" Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock from my Calorimetry, so I only had enough for something cowl-sized.

The stitch pattern was a very simple YO-k2tog done on both sides to make the fabric reversible. It gave me a lot of play in terms of being able to align the color changes. Some variation was inevitable because the color lengths in the yarn didn't stay consistent. The beige in particular would run anywhere from 0.5" to 2.5", so being able to play with the tension and the size of the YOs made a world of difference.

More pictures when it's dry!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Miss Dashwood

For a coworker's first grandchild:
Miss Dashwood

I probably don't even need to say this: the baby is a girl. And as Lynn has been telling everyone, she has two sons, a husband, and two boy dogs, so she's been due for a girl in the family for a while. Ah, a perfect excuse to haul out Miss Dashwood, the girliest, ruffliest baby hat pattern I know of. For good measure, I used this fantastic color of Lily Sugar 'n' Cream, "Rosewood", which has the distinction of looking exactly like Neapolitan ice cream.

My only mod to the design was to leave off the earflaps and just attach a couple of yarn braids to the back of two of the bobbles. It makes it a little more summery. Other than that, I knit it as written, bobbles and all. Normally, I hate bobbles. I love them on this hat, though.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Here's Terttu!

My saucy new Finnish friend wants to say hi:
Terttu - off-kilter

Terttu - macro

Terttu - finished

Terttu - macro

Terttu - worn as a shrug

I loved this pattern so very much. Lankakomero's site is mostly in Finnish, but the pattern does have clear English instructions on how to follow the charts. The big graphic pattern means it actually works with variegated yarn, which doesn't happen with too many lace patterns. This was one 475-yard skein of Ellen's Half-Pint Farm merino/tencel sock yarn; it yielded a shawl 44" wide. It's a nice over-the-shoulder shawl.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Antidote for the blahs

Look what showed up today to help combat the rainy day blahs:
Jimmy's Journey - JBW June '09

Jimmy's Journey - JBW June '09

You may know the drill by now: it's a Jimmy Beans limited edition color. Again. This one is the June 2009 offering, called "Jimmy's Journey", and I'm a wee bit in love with it.

No decent shawl pictures yet, owing to the rain today. Tomorrow should be clear, so I'll shoot for then.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Guess what's blocking?

Terttu is done and in the final stages of prep!

Here's my blocking board, also known as "a towel on my bed":
Terttu blocking

I had a surprise trip to the emergency room yesterday after I fainted in the apartment rental office, and was KICKING MYSELF for not having my purse with me. This would have been some prime knitting time. (No, there's nothing wrong; according to the many many tests they ran, I'm in very good health).

Anyway, I finished up the last few rows today, wove in ends, and am properly wet-blocking this. A good once-over spritz from my iron's spray feature did the trick.

I'll get some good pictures when it's dry. It came out to a very respectable size of 44" wide; not bad for a skein of sock yarn!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I'm back from a 2-week trip to see J! We had a wonderful time together. Lots of movies (Star Trek, Wolverine, and Terminator, plus tons more on video), bike rides together, me using him as a guinea pig for recipes... and the cat was happy to see me as well. Last time, she completely ignored the knitting. This time, yarn meant playtime.

I started a new project to take with me the night before I left. Want to see?

Terttu shawl

Terttu backlit

It's Terttu from lankakomero. LOVE. The lace isn't too complicated, so I figured this would be a safe project for airport and plane knitting. Turns out that it's addictive, and pretty easy to memorize... I'll keep going until I'm in danger of running out of yarn (which is Ellen's Half-Pint Farm merino-tencel sock yarn in an unknown colorway of green and brown).

Monday, May 04, 2009


Look at this face:

And this "Hey, where ya goin'?!" pose:

You would never know to look at these beasts that they are agents of destruction. Wet, stinky, allergen-bearing monsters. Lounging and baa-ing atop their layer of WET HAY, which just added that extra oomph. I was fine when I walked into the sheep barn. Not so by the time I came out on the other side.

But they sure are cute, eh? I just can't stay mad at them. ;)

Sunday was my Sheep and Wool day... way too much "real life" stuff to do on Saturday, including some general housekeeping and making from-scratch samosas for my D&D group Saturday night. Sunday was a rather wet day, but it was nice to be able to move freely and not be squashed by throngs of fiber-crazed festivalgoers. Saw some of the gals at the Cloverhill booth, stuck to my budget, and got some beautiful yarn.

Like what?

How about some Lavender Sheep superwash merino sock yarn from the Cloverhill booth?
Lavender Sheep superwash merino sock
"Bordeaux" is a perfect name for this yarn, which is all wonderful shades of reddish-purple. It made me promptly break my "No sock yarn" rule. Could you resist this?

Or some merino/silk from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm?
Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm merino/silk
I believe this is the "Aquarium" colorway. Those blues and teals caught my eye as soon as I walked into the booth. This picture shows off the "shiny factor" very nicely.

And there was also a big hank of Duet from Brooks Farm:
Brooks Farm Duet

Somewhere down the line, I'm going to take a look at how my two colors of Duet look striped together...
Duet colors
Both skeins have the same beige in them... it might work.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eye candy

I spent my Saturday outside on my balcony, knitting. It was a gorgeous day here: 75 degrees and sunny. PERFECT outdoor knitting weather. I gathered up a smaller project and a glass of iced tea, and had a blissful afternoon.

A couple of days ago, I played around a bit with my camera and my Lorna's Laces stash. The next best thing to actual yarn--pictures of yarn:
Shepherd Sock

Shepherd Sock

Shepherd Sock

Shepherd Sock

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I finished a sleeve!

The ball of yarn I'm on, working very hard
Current ball of yarn

The current sleeve-in-progress:
Ariann sleeve II

And not just any sleeve, but a SECOND sleeve. You can see the first sleeve hiding in the background in the above picture. I spent a lot of time in NJ knitting and watching the NCAA conference tournaments with my mom, and finished the sleeve while I was there.

I also ordered some more Lorna's Laces...
Robin's Eggs - April 2009 special edition

This showed up on Monday, which was grey and dreary and involved my coworkers and me spending the morning cursing at Verizon. Again.

The telltale bag of yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool made it better:
Robin's Eggs - April 2009 special edition

How could that NOT cheer a person up? The colorway is "Robin's Eggs", which is the April '09 limited edition color. It's like candy. Smooshy wool candy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sorry for the absence

And just like that, I haven't posted in three weeks.

My grandmother passed away on the 11th. It came as quite a shock. She would have turned 95 last week, but we all thought she would get to 100 without breaking a sweat. She was in the hospital for a couple of days, then was moved into the hospice unit for a few hours before she died. I went up to NJ that day (I'd been trying to get there before it happened; my dad called with the news when I was about 30 minutes from the hospital), and stayed for most of the week to help my parents out. Grandmom's funeral was on St Patrick's Day. A number of friends of the family came to the viewing, some of whom I hadn't seen in 10 or 20 years. I also got to meet a few relatives for the first time... second or third cousins? Anyway, after the funeral, we somehow crammed about 13 people into my parents' living room, and had sandwiches and beer and sat around talking.

I have one of her paintings in my apartment now. And by "hers", I mean she painted it -- guess where my artsy-craftsy genes came from! I see her painting every time I go to the kitchen, and it makes me smile. Lots of wonderful memories. :)

I'll try to post a knitting update soon. There has been visible progress made since my last post!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another project cast on...

J came to visit me! Yay! Way too short of a visit, but I took him over to the library, and we went to see Watchmen with most of my gaming group on Friday (AWESOME... various people around me have been hearing me talk about this since the plans for the movie were first announced). Saturday, I took him to see the ocean, followed by dinner with my parents. There was also an ill-fated attempt to drive into DC on Friday so he could poke through the Air and Space Museum gift shop, which ended with us not finding it and having to come back so we could get to dinner on time. At least he only wanted to see the gift shop and didn't have any interest in seeing, you know, the museum.

Even the sight of my stash didn't scare him off. :)

Anyway, on the knitting front:
Whisper Cardigan

I started the Whisper Cardigan from the spring 09 Interweave Knits. It's a very springy pattern, so I finally have an excuse to use this springy yellow-green yarn for something.

Whisper Cardigan

It's Misti Alpaca lace, but it's knit on size 7 needles. It gives a thin fabric that will be nice on those days where there's just a little bit of a chill in the air.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Water and libraries don't get along

You know you're in for something bad when you show up to work to find SIX maintenance vehicles outside:

A hot water pipe in the ceiling over our back room burst overnight. It was an absolute mess, although it could have been much worse (could have happened on a Sunday, could have happened in the public area, could have started an electrical fire, etc). We don't have an estimate on the damage yet, but there were a lot of damaged computers, phones, books, people's personal stuff, plus the possibility of having to replace carpeting, drywall, cubicle dividers, cabinets and so on if any of them start to develop mold.

All photos were ganked from one of my coworkers.

The floor of my cubicle:

The bulletin board behind where Lori's/my computer used to be:

Carts of damaged computer equipment:

We were open to the public while dealing with this, and most of our patrons had no idea anything was going on. Our staff and our maintenance people are just that good. :)