Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bumblebee Socks

 It's getting cold here, and I have a ball of my first-ever overdyed DK yarn sitting here begging to be thick, squishy socks.
Bumblebee socks!

They knit up super quickly at just 48 stitches around, and I thought I'd try something new. An afterthought heel is de rigueur for striping yarns to keep them in sequence.
After my first attemt, I must say I'm not a fan. Sure, it's convenient. but they just don't fit.
Maybe I need to try these again in a less straight-forward way, but for now, they just didn't work out.
Still nice socks though.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Angostura - or: You can't win them all.

Sometimes, knitting goes your way. And sometimes, it doesn't.
I was knitting Angostura, a veautiful vest pattern by Ysolda Teague, for the Loopy Quarterly challenge. The challenge was to use a yarn containing cotton, and this was my chance to try Spud & Chloe sweater.
It's a lovely yarn, very soft, and nice to work with. it's wool and cotton, a good combo.
I adore the blue, too. I think of this as my maternal family blue. Both my mum and my grandma love this blue.

I love the twisted stitch detail on the vest. My gauge was off, but I thought I'd mathed it out. Thought.
What I hadn't accounted for was just how heavy the yarn knit up to be. Sure, on some level I knew that buying 5 100g skeins would knit up into something weighing half a kilo. But somehow it seems like a lot more when it's hanging from two shoulder straps.

I did swatch, for the record. And I tossed and stretched and stomped my swatch around. Things should have worked out.
But they didn't. The vest is too big.
Even though I went down a needle size and two sizes in pattern, it's still about 1-2 sizes too big on me. A very unflattering look overall.
And I'm not quite sure whether it's just the size of the vest, or the vest itself that's unflattering.
As a general rule, I don't wear vests very often. I'm short and stocky, and vests don't do great things to me.

I think I'll rip this one out and reknit it at a later stage. Next time, I'd knit it top-down and seamless to help with the fitting.
A shame. Those were great seams, too.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grand Opening!

Grand opening of my Etsy shop today!
Come check out the goodies at
I've got self-striping sock yarn, variegated BFL, some luscious cashmere-blend sock yarn and even a rustic DK base going up.
Peachy Keen - MCN
It was a dark and stormy night - BFL
Stormy Beaches - BFL

End Credits
You're in my spot!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life Is Like A Grapefruit

Sometimes, it takes someone else to tell me to knit something. Hitchhiker is an incredibly popular shawl/scarf pattern by talented German designer Martina Behm. There are spinoff hat and mitts, variations on the slanting theme, and over 5000 Hitchhikers knitted on Ravelry. Then sillyfru of the Sassypants Knitter podcast started a KAL. I had this fabulous Sweet Georgia yarn in my stash that I've been wanting to use, so I went for it.
And I love it!

It's a quick, addictive knit and very rewarding in lots of ways.
You start at one corner and knit back and forth, increasing until it's time to make your first tooth (of 42). Achievement! Reward, please.
So you make another one. the rows gradually get longer.
You make another one. And another.
And before you know it, you're happily knitting endless rows just to finish one more tooth. Fabulous.
It also doesn't hurt that this is an immensely wearable scarf with its long, tapered points and squishy garter stitch centre.
I love looking at it all layed out, seeing the variegated yarn move around as the rows change how the colours pool.
All in all, one of the great wins of knitting. There's a reason why this pattern is popular. Go knit one. You'll love it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Dyeing?

Stormy Beaches BFL
 Things have been cooking in the dye pot.
Pretty strings are fluttering in the wind.
What does this mean?
The shop's grand opening is on Monday morning Australian time (Sunday evening for most US people).
There will be variegated sock yarn, self-striping sock yarn and variegated DK wool on offer.
Are you ready to knit through the zombie apocalypse?
Peachy Keen MCN
Dark and Stormy Night BFL

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big on Stripes!

Things have been happening around here. Yarny things.
But more on that later in the week.
What's on the needles this week?
Vivian is still not done (mainly because when I have time to knit, I don't have the brain power), but I'm about half-way up the hood. The end is in sight.
Still lots of yarn left over though! Hm.

But I needed something easier to knit, so I cast on some vanilla stripey socks. Because stripes have been on my mind lately.
The yarn is Austerman Step, and it's a nice yarn, except for the flecks of dye that have sprinkled into neighbouring stripes. Not the look I was going for.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ravelympics 2012

Who wants to watch a bunch of chem'ed up super athletes perform things slightly faster than their peers in massive arenas?
Not me, but when you add crafting to the mix, suddenly you have Ravelympics 2012, and those events are much more interesting to my palate.
Events range from afghans to hats, from dyeing to weaving.
Looking at the list (and the time frame, since 3 weeks seems an awfully short time), I'm considering entering some (not all) of these:

  • colourwork crosscountry 
  • cowl jump 
  • double-knit boxing 
  • frogging trampoline 
  • hand-dye high dive 
  • hat dash 
  • home stuff hammerthrow 
  • lace longjump 
  • mitten medley 
  • scarf hockey 
  • shawl sailing 
  • single skein sprint 
  • sock put 
  • swatching coxswain 
  • synchronized stash busting 
  • wips wrestling
What about you? Will you be a Ravelympian? Which team? Which events will you participate in?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vivian Update

Just a quick update on the Vivian sweater.
Last time you saw us, the sleeves were just about to join the main body.
Which turned out to be surprisingly straight-forward.
What wasn't straight-forward were the decreases to fuse the two together permanently. It got better though, once i switched from the K2togs in the pattern to P2togs. By then, I knew where I wanted to be, and which stitches to eat. Looks better now.

The saddles were easier than I expected them to be, but my stitches are rather large and loopy. I might have to tighten those up, if it doesn't come out in blocking. Does anything ever come out in blocking?

I also managed to add a design feature at the last minute.
Can you spot it?
Here's a hint, look at the two front tops.
Yeah. Brilliant, that's me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Raspberry Swirl achieved

Are you one of the many, many knitters who know about the magic of Wollmeise? That mysterious yarn of many plies, which has colours so vibrant they make people want to hoard a skein (or ten) of every colour, hue and shade?
Or are you one of the many who couldn't care less about that overpriced, cottony-feeling German yarn with the unpronounceable name?
Or worse, have you never even heard of Wollmeise?I admit, I got sucked in. There is something magical about the hype, about the colours, about the everything.You can't just *buy* Wollmeise. You have to be in the know. When this indie dyer updaters her website, you'd better be quick, or everything will be gone.
I had to try it.
And I scored the most glowing skein of pink, pink yarn. now what to do with it?
It didn't seem right to just knit any old thing with this magical yarn.
So I tried to find a pattern that would show off the yarn's beauty.
Being still reasonably new to sock knitting, I finally settled on a pattern just about head-high out of reach: Wendy Johnson's Bob and Weave socks, a gloriously complex pattern of twisted stitches.
It took *forever*.
I figured out that these twisted stitches and tiny cable crosses really didn't like being corssed without a cable needle. So I ended up using a locking stitch marker to hold and cross the many, many crossed stitches.
And then, one magical day, they were done.
And they were perfect.
The yarn, the pattern, the colour, the everything.But these socks are perhaps a little too rpecious. What if I wear a hole in their 100% wool goodness? What if I snag them, or felt them, or stain them?
So after months of painstakingly knitting the most glorious pair of socks, I'm not sure they'll ever leave the house.
They sure look good on my feet while I sit at the computer though.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Win again!

I have long maintained that my knitting is lucky. And I have once again been proven right!
Nerd Wars has ended, and thanks to my dissertation blanket (aka the multi-block cat squishie of endless garter ridges), I won not only a pattern for robot mitts (Gear Isle by Odessa Reichel), I also won yarn! Who doesn't love yarn?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Snow Forest Mittens at last!

Remember how back in February, I had grandiose plans of knitting myself mittens for and in Japan? And then I only knit one, finishing the thumb just in time to rush out the door to the taxi?

Well, thanks to Nerd Wars, I finally finished the second mitten.
It went much more easily the second time around. I knew what to expect of the Latvian braid (a lot of very tangly, grabby yarn), and how to read the charts.
Easily doesn't mean quickly though. But the finished result is gorgeous.

The yarns are alpaca for the light and possum blend for the dark, two happy, fuzzy yarns that are just glorious after a quick spin in the dryer. So fuzzy and warmerific.
Of course, it's not cold enough here for mittens... Guess I'll have to go travelling again!
Where would you take mittens, if you had them?