Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little splashes of colour in the urban landscape

It so happened that I ran out of yarn, and the baby hat was too small. So I took it outside, where it fit perfectly.

I grabbed a small ball of chunky handspun for a second little colourful addition.

And a little bit of gothsocks jumped onto my needles, quickly knitting up into a hat cute enough for a dolly...

..but made for a fence post.

Will they still be there tomorrow?

People keep having babies

...not that I'm complaining. This time it's a colleague at work that's about to pop.


Yarn: Cocoa Beach Sock Yarn
Needle: Size 2
Pattern: Charlie's Wiggle Sock from New Pathways.
Size: 3-6 months
Notes: Made exactly as described. No modifications necessary.


When I was done, I cast on for a cute little hat to accompany it. I ran out of yarn. No cute hat for baby!

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sock Wars: The Official Story

It started on January 15th, with the pattern release at 6pm local time. I had my Cocoa Beach Sock Yarn in the colourway "Shuffle off the Mortal Coil", and I started knitting immediately.

a cake of blue yarn with needles stuck in

Okay, I didn't actually knit myself into the ground. I went to pick up some curry that evening, and the next morning I went with the family for a nice crisp morning winter walk. But on the other hand, I wouldn't let the family stop for tea without my knitting, and made everyone return to the car for knitting before getting tea.

blue socks on blockers

On Sunday afternoon, I had finished the heels and gussets, and was knitting my way towards the toes. Thus began "the long dark teatime of the sock". After zipping through the socks, I couldn't make it through the foot. I was bored, uninterested, and through with Sock Wars. I finally stuck in my Star Wars Special Features DVD, and after that, Arsenic and Old Lace. Before the end of the movie, my socks were done. With Monday being a US holiday, I took my time boxing them up, and got them in the mail on Tuesday, first thing in the morning. They have to travel to Australia, and my target isn't out until they arrive.

blue socks on blockers

As part of Sock Wars, not only do I have a target, but I also have an assassin gunning for me. I went on the assumption that I would be safe until Thursday, assuming that no one could get socks complete in time to get them in the mail before then. But when I got home on Tuesday, I found an anonymous box in the mail, with the ominous message "BANG!" I announced to my family that I was officially out of Sock Wars.

an open box showing knitting and a hand-lettered

But then I opened up the "death socks" only to be mystified by the two ends as I unpacked... "these aren't socks". It slowly dawned on me. I'd been punked! Ember sent me a lively and gorgeous cowl, to keep me warm and also to stop my heart. Thanks Ember!

female looking away wearing a hand-knitted pastel cabled cowl

My reprieve was short-lived. On Thursday, yet another box arrived in the mail. This time, there really were "death socks" inside. Killed by raspberry-lemonade socks! I'm out of Sock Wars, but I'm still awaiting confirmation of my weapons' arrival in Australia.

close up of yellow and pink socks on the feet of someone lying on the ground

An unoriginal "Unoriginal Hat"

Bulky hats are such a quick knit! I took a little knitting time to knit up some of the new hat yarn that I picked up at yarn4socks' Boxing Day sale.


Yarn: Araucania Azapa in colourway 819. I can't find a word to describe this colour.
Needles: size 11 16" circular. I tried with a size 13, but the fabric was a little too airy.
Pattern: Unoriginal Hat
Notes: One hat took 44 grams of yarn. I made 2 identical hats from one skein, with a little leftover.


This yarn, a blend of silk, alpaca, and merino, is very very soft! It's also very 'sticky', and I thought it might felt into itself in the skein. Oh, and I freeskeined the entire project.
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Business Chevrons


January has been a knitensive month. There's been a lot to do, and I've so far almost kept up with it all.


Pattern: Chevron Scarf
Needles: Size 6
Yarn: Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs' Goth Socks in Business Time, one complete skein
Finished Dimensions: 5"x78"
Pattern notes: I knit it just as directed, with the first and last black stripe being all garter stitch. I knit until the entire skein was gone.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Off into the world: a finished object

red clapotis 

Knit from Jan 4-13th
Needles: Size 6
Yarn: Ruby Red Dream in Color Smooshy
Pattern: Clapotis

red clapotis 

I used 190 grams of yarn, about 1.7 skeins, for a finished dimensions of 14" x 85"

woman holding red clapotis in the snow 

I blocked it over the weekend, and on Tuesday it went out in the mail. Delivery confirmation says it arrived in its destination community on Thursday, so I assume it's been received.

person holding red clapotis on her shoulders, view from behind 

Dream in Color remains one of my favorite yarns. What a joy to knit, what a joy to wear.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

War and Earthquake

Sock war in progress! And even while knitters are taking each other out by knitting each other lovely socks, knitters everywhere have responded to the call of the Knit Signal.

knitting needles and yarn on a bright yellow background like the batsignal
Image copied from the Yarn Harlot's site. I think she wants us to spread the word, so we can use the image. If this is not so, I'll remove it.

Ms Yarn Harlot, using her superpowers for good, has called out the knitters to give to Doctors Without Borders.

Then she was buried in emails. She's recruited friends to help her go through the mails, and still hasn't finished tallying and acknowledging. The last twitter I saw reported a total of $166000 so far, counting US and Canadian at par, with a lot of emails left to go.

Go Knitters!

PS I'm too busy knitting to edit some Sock Wars photos to show. I'm doing 2 at a time, and have turned one heel and decreased one gusset. Off to turn and decrease a 2nd.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sock Wars

Socks wars starts in less than 6 hours. I have sock yarn, needles, and gauge. And I am Qui-Gon Jinn.

Your results:
You are Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Han Solo
Darth Maul
Jar Jar Binks
Luke Skywalker
Mace Windu
Overall, you're a pretty well balanced person.
But maybe you focus a little too
much on the here and now.
Think about the future before its too late.

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the Star Wars Personality Quiz

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Yet another knit-along

I get cold at work.


This has me thinking about scarves to wear. And my favourite scarves aren't exactly scarves, but shawls, worn as scarves.


And suddenly I realised that at work, I need a clapotis. I thought for 2 weeks about what yarn I wanted to use. When I stash yarn, I usually stash in sock-quantities, which aren't enough for a clapotis.


Then on Monday, I saw that the Loopy Ewe group on Ravelry is having a clapotis knit-along. I immediately joined. That evening, I heard that a friend had left town suddenly because a family member's health is in chaos. From this distance I can't help her, so I decided that my first clapotis would be for her. I had been hesitating about using my Ruby Red Smooshy for a clapotis, because I didn't think I'd wear it, but it's a perfect colour for her.


84 grams knit up, 160 left.
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Some knitting stories

Unexpected Road Trip

I was thinking about something I wanted to knit, but couldn't remember the name of the pattern. Circumstances demanded that we leave on an unexpected road trip right away, so I didn't have time to browse and try to find the pattern's name. I knew several facts about it:

1. It started with the letter "C" and was difficult to remember
2. It was from knitty
3. It's a knitted headband
4. It's very popular

Then I remembered that Kathleen had knit it, so I went to her project page on Ravelry, and found it. Calorimetry! Thanks Kathleen. :)

Another Bright Idea

As I mentioned, we were leaving really soon, but I needed a copy of the pattern. Our printer's out of ink, and I didn't have time to write it out or go somewhere else to print it. Then I remembered that the Kindle has a web browser. I was able to get the pattern on the Kindle! Yay!


My spooky swatching story

I admit, I spent longer packing yarn than I did clothes. We got into the car, and I immediately started swatching, so I could make a Calorimetry right away. It turns out that I spent 90 minutes swatching with four different size needles and 2 different stitch patterns and always got the same results: 18 stitches per 4 inches. I was aiming for 20 stitches per 4 inches. I should have started swatching in rib, but I didn't pay close attention to my pattern, and was trying in stockinette stitch. If I hadn't witnessed it myself, I wouldn't believe it, but I started with a size 9 needle and worked my way down to a size 6 needle, and never got anything but 18 stitches per 4 inches. It was WEIRD. When I switched to swatching in ribbing and still got 18 stitches, I gave up, chose the size needle I'd normally have used anyway, and just started knitting.


I cut the pattern back in stitches, because my gauge was off and I was making it for a tween. It knit up so fast! I made two, finishing one that night and one the next morning. They look kinda funny stretched out, and are awaiting buttons.

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Another Knit-Along

The Gothsocks group on Ravelry is doing another KAL (knit along). It started on New Year's Eve, and I dove right in, casting on while working at the boutique at the ballet. I knit it in the dark during the program for about 8 rows, then I had an unrecoverable error.


The error was fixable once I got home. I'm using my Business Time Gothsocks, which I balled up for the last KAL, but didn't actually use. I'm doing a Chevron scarf pattern. If my calculations are correct, I'll get about 60" out of this, which is adequate, but not the kind of length I'd prefer. I've thought about putting some black in the very centre but I'm not convinced this would be beautiful.

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One finished mitten!

singular mitten on snow

I have completed one twined mitten and cast on a second. Don't worry, Priscilla, I'm loving the yarn. The little fussy hitches with knitting it aren't a deterrent at all.

singular mitten on concrete
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Some how I managed to navigate my complicated personal rules about not stashing new yarns and make some purchases. They all fall under the "things I don't already have" clause, but I do admit that three skeins of Silk Garden Sock spills over the category of "buy as needed" into stashing behaviour.

First up, we have two gorgeous skeins of worsted yarn from Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs. I have the flavours "Ember" and "Barbie's Dark Side". Since receiving them, I've decided I need at least three more skeins of Barbie's Dark Side, but the chances of getting them are very slim.

2 skeins of yarn side by side 

I also made some purchases at's Boxing Day sale. I got 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock at 40% off, which explains why I bought 3 skeins instead of just one. I also got some thick skeins of Araucania, as I want to make more hats with bulky yarn.

close up of 6 skeins of yarn 

Much Yarny Goodness!
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