Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Serious knitting has been put on temporary standby – I’ve been a little distracted with all the other fibery pursuits…

There has been spinning – 2 skeins of Merino, in varying weights.

There’s been carding and more spinning.  I was playing around with blending colors in the carder. This is fiber from a black alpaca – IttyBit, and a white alpaca – Franchesca.  The black fiber was very hair-like, and the white very downy so I hoped they would balance each other out.

The resulting yarn is very fuzzy, but quite soft.  I spun the single very gently, then added lots of twist during plying.  The final product is very strong and dense, and like most 100% alpaca yarns, rather heavy for it’s diameter.

Still not sure what I’ll do with this stuff. The black is not soft enough to wear on the skin, but it could make a sturdy outerwear fabric.

And finally there’s been dyeing. KnitPicks Bare fingering weight, handdyed in the Crockpot.  Love how this came out.

Knitting next time.


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That title is just a sneaky way of saying “I don’t have time to write a full post tonight, but I need to post something before things get out of hand.”

So without further ado:

I got a drum carder for my birthday.  This is the Louet Jr. and it is fantastic.  Love Love Love it.  I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a drum carder, the batts are huge and light and fluffy, and you can card an unreal amount of fiber at one time.  Wonderful to spin from.

Advertising— This was ordered from HelloYarn, best price on the internet. —Thank You Adrian

The girl-y sweater is proceeding nicely.  I hate the green which ended up being very neon, but it will hopefully mellow out a bit when I get all the flowers embroidered on.  It should be finished by Monday- with a complete post.

I knit a Ribwarmer (here on Ravelry) The girly sweater was driving me batty, mindless garter stitch therapy was in order. This is an end of 2 years gift for one of Nikolai’s preschool teachers – she is slightly shorter and thicker than I am, so it should fit well.

My dad and I went golfing with the boys today.  It was their first time playing on a real course, and they had a blast.  Above is Nikolai with his impeccable form – consistently driving the ball upwards of 70 yards.

Below is Gabriel, who hasn’t much technique yet – but he sure had fun!

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Title of this post taken from a Manic Street Preachers album – music I haven’t listened to in years, but I still find myself coming back to the title.

With the advent of Ravelry I, like so many others, have begun to question the use having a separate knit-blog. Lately I’ve used this space only for knitting, though it started out being much more personal and blog-ier.  I’m going to try and make this a more personal space – I will definately not be skimping the knitting content – but I’m human and I want to use this medium to share my humanity.

Now, I’m not very funny, and I don’t tell stories well, but I like to think, and I like to share my ideas and hear the ideas you have.   Muse on.

The past month in our house has been ridiculously low-energy.  For my part, there were many days that just picking up the knitting needles and pushing them around required more energy than I had available.  So I read.

Now, I have always loved to read.  I can’t sit still without a book nearby.  Since having children, I read less;  now that I knit it’s less again.  But I cannot escape the addiction, I read because I like to think.

I read books over and over and over.  They are friends that grow up with me.  They are always changing because I am always changing. New aspects of the story crop up and I get new things to think about and understand things in different ways.  And books don’t require me to carry on a conversation.

You see, I dislike talking.  I like to think before I speak, so it’s hard to participate in conversations. Or I think too fast and end up stumbling over words, repeating myself, and generally sounding stupid.  I dislike verbal encounters to the extreme – if there is anyway I can avoid making a phone call, I will. That’s just the way I am.

Given this aspect of my personality, it’s easy to understand my attraction to books.

When I read I try to just enjoy the story. Later when the story is over and I’m alone I’ll try to put it all together mentally, for myself.  I like to see the way themes repeat themselves, how a theme is mirrored in other books I’ve read, how way people act, what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, what other things it brings to mind.  I like to discover how the stories are personal to me.

Usually I discover things my heart already knew, but had never needed words.  This was illustrated for me yesterday.

Yesterday as I was going outside with the boys, my dad flippantly said something to me about going out to save the world; then becoming serious he mused whether that was possible or even desirable.

Answering him without delay I discovered something I already knew.

Any good we do must be done out of love, or it will not be understood.  If change isn’t personal, how is it different from subjugation?  The best things we can do is do good for the ones standing by our side, they are the ones that understand our heart.

Do you read?

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Nikolai and Gabriel teasing alpaca fleece to prepare for carding.  We start ’em young around here!

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Spring Thoughts

Thanks for all the interest about the Moody Socks. I forgot I’d already mostly written the pattern out a few months ago.  So instead of a very boiled down version, I’m offering the probably-more-words-than-you-wanted version.  But I think the instructions are quite clear, and multiple sizes!

So, pattern below, or queue it up here on Ravelry.

Now, the real reason I’m posting again after doing all the pattern stuff – it was indicated by several people that they have had enough winter.


My boys had their first picnic of the year yesterday.  We’re sending everyone warm thoughts!!

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I have nothing to show you.  One project fell to the gauge monster, and the rest haven’t knit themselves yet.  Darn them!

If I owe you a comment, or a response, or an email… please bear with me for a few more days (hopefully) while I attempt to de-slump and start knitting.

To distract you from the woeful lack of interesting things, this is what I woke up to today:


What makes your day start off right?

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…or, how not to knit a sweater…

I’ve been knitting away on the blue and gold cardi. I knit down to the bottom edge and tried it on before deciding on the next step. There turned out to be many next-steps.

Before slicing open the front I took out a chunk of neck to get a square neckline.


I put in a reverse life-line – the royal blue yarn – and 2 little crochet secured steeks – the black yarn. Then I snipped down the center and ravelled across to the crochet lines.


Like so.


I actually went back and made the neck a bit wider but you get the general idea. Then crochet secured the fronts before slicing it open.


By crocheting through one leg of each color stitch both colors are secured.

Currently I’m adding a bottom border in garter stitch before I begin the considerable neck and front treatment.  Oi.

I will never stek a sweater like this again.  I was way too gung-ho to start this project and I didn’t plan it too well.  I planned on making a square neck so I wouldn’t have to incorporate short-row shaping into the colorwork. Obviously it can be done the way I did it, but there must be better ways!

The best way to have done this would have been to cast on the steek sts only and then cast on the fronts in big balloons at the desired neck depth.  Or it could have been done back and forth to the desired neck depth, but I’m not sure I can do colorwork from the wrong side.  Hmm.


For now, it looks like arse, but I think it will all work out.  And if it doesn’t, well then, it doesn’t.  I’m not sure there’s enough gold yarn to the sleeves anyway. Guess I shoulda checked that before slicing up all my yarn.

Now incorporating my favorite technique…  Knit and pray!

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Wow. I’m feeling so honored to be part of the online knitting community right now. So many positive things have come my way this week that I’m feeling rather overwhelmed!

The BSJ snowsuit has had a huger response than I ever imagined. I checked my blog stats the day I posted the pattern on Ravelry… Wow. This blog had 786 hits the first day. My average is less than 100 hits per day, so that was HUGE!

Housekeeping note on the BSJ snowsuit. I found/borrowed a baby to try it on today. At 5 spi it was snug but buttonable on a very pudgeball 6 month old. The only thing that needed drastic modification was the length of the legs, though I also added a bit of body length to accomodate cloth diaperers. I edited the pattern to reflect my findings so we should be good to go.

My Kiri Shawl was featured on LimenViolets Daily Chum. That feels almost as good as being published!

**Blushing Madly** Carla, Ann, and Peggy have all given me an award.

Thank you so much! All you amazing readers make my day. I’m also going to give out a few of my own, but I hate leaving stalker comments, so I don’t intend to do that. Anyway:

Mandy: I love her humor, and her creativity is amazing. Cute kids too!

Ann: I’ve learned so much from Ann. I met her on Zimmermania, but what kept me reading her blog was her humor, her honesty, and her knowledge. Ann has a wealth of dance kinesiology knowledge that I never knew existed but has now changed my life. Ann, thank you for sharing.

Kate: Kate was another I met on Zimmermania then, things have evolved from there… she my only in-the-flesh knitting friend I have and it’s fantastic. Not to mention I get to knit baby things! Hope to see you Sunday Kate!

Peggy: Every time I sit down to my spinning wheel I think about Peggy. She is a generous, caring, loving, and delightfully fun lady. Her personality and joy in life shines through her writing and work.

Carla: When I start feeling like a freak beacuse knitting comes so naturally to me, I just go look at Carla’s work, and I’m reassured that if I’m a freak, she is even freakier. Less than one year of fiber pursuits behind her, and you should see the beautiful stuff she creates. Swoonable spinning!

Lynn: Lynn was the first person ever to comment on my blog. It made my day then, and it makes my day now. I’m honored that she still visits a year later. Aside from her crafty pursuits, which are multiple, I love the way Lynn writes. Quiet humor and emotion, and a rockin’ New Year’s Resolution!

Merete: An extremely skilled knitter, she churns out lovely cables and colorwork with equal ease. Also she helps me carry on my little love affair with Denmark, where I once lived, but now miss.

There are many many more of you out there that make me day.  If you’re still reading, consider yourself awarded.

Lastly: The knitting muses. My boys. Without whom I would not be the person I am.


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First of all, and although it’s a bit late, Lynn and her New Year’s Resolution rock.

Get your shit together.  

What other resolution could anyone need? It’s a fantastic motivator, at least for me.

My shit for this year is (among other things) getting rid of my stash, it’s the best justification to buy more!  I’m not trying to rush, but enjoy what I have, because there was a reason I bought it, right?   Honestly I don’t have that much wool, but certainly enough to last several months.

Here’s my first stash-busting project-


Sorry about the bad picture.  It’s an EPS top-down raglan steeked cardigan using that same Binge colorwork chart as the hat.  The blue is Silky Wool (8 balls in the stash because I loved it) the gold is KnitPicks Telemark (2 balls in the stash leftover from Nikolai’s pirate knits) being knit on US sz. 2 / 2.50 mm needles.

Only the yoke will have colorwork, because I have very little gold yarn, the rest of the body and the lower sleeves will be plain blue. After steeking I will probably finish all edges with garter stitch.

Have I mentioned how I adore this chart?

Next- A Baby Surprise Jacket Snow Suit  (!!)  A good friend has been kind enough to give me a reason to knit baby things, something I missed out on with my own children.  And although she’s a fantastically skilled knitter herself, extra woolies can’t hurt, right?

BS Snow Suit!!  Unventing at it’s finest.  I’ve lengthened the body, split for legs, and am now knitting the border all the way around, mitering all the corners.  There will be buttons all down the legs for ease of dressing.  And later snowcuffs with mitts/sockies in a soft white wool, and a soft white hood.

Unfortunately I’m out of yarn. The purpley-grey is KnitPicks Telemark from Gabriel’s Pirate sweater, the light green is Galway Highland Heather from the Tri-Cable sweater and next should be ?????  I have black or a dove heather and I hate making this kind of decision.   Kate, this is for your baby! What would you like?

Fishtrap and his ridiculous sleeves are still glaring at me.  Later.

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Thank you all for your sympathetic ears and letting me whine so much. Aside from a cold I’m feeling more human again.

I spoke to Mr. Fishtrap himself and he described the sleeve problem like so: “When I first put it on, everything’s fantastic. A few hours later the sleeves have crept down to my knuckles. So then I start yanking them up and that’s probably not helping is it?”

No, definately not helping. I suggested putting it in the dryer with a damp towel to un-relax the fibers, but that’s not too helpful halfway through a busy workday. I have come to grips with the fact that I chose a poor yarn for the project (yarn whisperer, where were you?) and realized that shortening the sleeves may cure the symptoms, but not the actual problem.

As I lay awake with my toothy face hurting, I channeled my inner-EZ and realized I could A) knit in a snow-cuff in firmer wool. Or B) tighten the cuffs with elastic thread.

The sleeves are going to stretch, they just need to be held in place.

I’ve decided on tightening things up with elastic thread. It will involve un-sewing the cuff hems and doing the elastic magic before sewing them back up, but that’s a lot less work than un-sewing and snipping and raveling and re-knitting!

Of course I haven’t done it yet, but at least there’s a plan!

In other news, well, there is no other news. I do intend to make up some shawl collar stuff for everyone, but right now, I’m going to continue taking my little break and work on what makes me happy.

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