Monthly Archives: July 2008

A Tale of Two Pinks

One Pink-ish thing is speeding along:

(seen by sunset light here, I realize it looks orange)

Yes, I know I’m using pink loosely. This, of course, is “Apricot Blush”. (Typing that reminds me of “Steel Magnolias”. “My colors are Blush and Bashful.”)

Aren’t I a speedy knitter? Look at the progress in two days!

Not so much, of course. I cast on Saturday night, and though I haven’t had much time to knit, this pattern goes quickly. Would you believe there are actually only two pattern rows in the lace in Spring Forward? Amazing! I walked to work yesterday and that was an inch or two right there of knitting progress.

So that pink is going swimmingly. I started it because I was frustrated with reverse progress on my lovely Wendy’s Kay’s Diamonds and Purls shawl, and had to take a break (and, as I said, I’ve been wanting to knit Spring Forward since it came out, and wanting to knit up this yarn since it came).

Reverse progress? Well, I saw a boo-boo in my edge faggoting, a few rows down. Now i have done lace surgery, and felt pretty confident of my ability of fix things. Ah, hubris.

What I actually haven’t done? Do lace surgery on true knitted lace, where you have yarnovers and knit-two-togethers on BOTH sides of the fabric. Or lace on the edge (I have reknit an edge before, I know, but not lace). I could not bring the faggoting back together with my pins and crochet hooks and dpns to look any better, in fact, it began to look worse and worse, and the hole got bigger and bigger.

So I put the ends of stitches on a stitch holder to prevent the hole from getting any bigger.

And brooded. And began to tink, at which point I found out that tussah silk holds hands with itself and doesn’t care for tinking (I really hadn’t tinked more than a stitch or two this whole shawl). Oh, it’s taking me forever to tink. So I put it down and started Spring Forward!

The sock picture was from yesterday. I knit through a noon informational meeting today, and a bit before dinner, as well as walking to and from work yesterday; I’m about to start the toe decreases. Woo-hoo!

Emergency laundry, you might ask, re: yesterday’s post? Why, yes! My girls are going to summer camp, which starts Sunday. Rose invited a friend to go with her. Her friend’s parents just suggested they drive them to camp (or more accurately, halfway to camp, to catch the bus) — but they’re leaving tomorrow, to play in the Twin Cities for a couple days before going. The girls are thrilled — Mall of America fun among other treats! But suddenly, we had to get them all packed, and work’s been crazy. So emergency laundry, to get over a week’s worth of clothes suddenly ready!

So: Test Knitter Yarn is going out Saturday when I have a day off work! (Tomorrow will be just as wild, if not more so, at work, sigh.) But then I have a vacation day Monday and special plans for Sunday; more about that later. And I’ll get back to and redeem my lovely shawl. After a few hours of tinking. Double sigh.

Getting Bloggy Again

Quick post — wasn’t going to post at all, busy with laundry emergencies, but I had to share something with you.

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to do any more blog navel-gazing.

However, one of my little free patterns, Piano Mitts/Mini-Mitts,

was today’s Free Knitting Pattern of the Day at The Daily Knitter.

This isn’t a site I regularly read, but apparently at least 3000 knitters do….

Here’s the proof of the citation! (formatting has gone a bit whackoid in the copying)

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Today’s free knitting pattern for Wednesday, July 30, 2008, is:

Piano Mitts
Note that the pattern will open in a new window.
Missed a day? Click here for the Knitting Patterns of the Day from the previous two weeks.

Sproing!

Despite the fact that I have two other projects I’m working seriously on (we won’t discuss all the other UFOs languishing); during a temporary setback in one, I cast on for yet another sock this weekend.

You can’t tell this yet, but this is the beginning of Spring Forward socks, a pattern written by Linda Welch, whom I met at Sock Camp

here modeling the toilet paper cover which she knit, the Socktopus, which was voted the campers’ favorite.

Anyhoo, I’ve been dying to cast on for this sproingy pattern since it came out.

And I finally succumbed to temptation when I hit that snag  (more on that in a later post).

I cast on with some lovely yarn I’ve also been dy(e)ing to knit with — the first Sock Yarn Club yarn from Astrid’s Damselfly Yarns! (link is to her etsy shop). See it in the lovely “Blushing Apricot” yarn cake above. Mmmm!

I met Astrid face-to-face when I travelled to Sock Camp. So these socks are very special to me, being a tangible and knitterly souvenir of Seattle and Sock Camp. Plus I love the pattern and the yarn. AND — I used a cast-on that I learned at Sock Camp! JC Briar taught an all-afternoon class in cast-ons. My brain hurt by the end, I freely admit. But her very clear handout helped my overly full brain remember the German Twisted cast-on — and it’s So Sproingy! This is my new favorite cast-on for things that need to stretch. Awesome! And it has this cool convoluted rhythm to it as you do it, like a pretzel doing the rhumba. Very fun once you get in the groove.

Now, I really have not had time to knit very much at all, what with work and family things (hence the blog silence, and why the yarn hasn’t QUITE gotten out to most all of the test knitters — tomorrow is my plan!) — but this pattern is so straightforward, that even in stolen moments I have made significant progress. If it weren’t for the fact that I got home late from work again; well, earlier than last night which was after dark, but today was in a downpour — I could have shown you something that looked like Spring Forward! As it is, you’ll see it soon. However, I have not had enough sleep for two weeks, and it’s starting to add up — so I must away. ¡Mañana! (I hope!)

Prickly yet Philosophical Eye Candy Friday

Prickly but pretty. Kind of like my Preteen.

I was trying to find a Scottish connection today as an excuse to post a thistle picture. I did find that, 405 years ago today, King James VI of Scotland was crowned the first king of Great Britain. You’ll have to make do with that.

More pertinent to me, but unrelated to thistles, I found out in researching the previous factoid, that exactly 30 years ago today, Louise Brown was born. The first in vitro fertilization baby! (She’s now had a baby of her own — fortunately, without needing extra assistance.)

And also more pertinent to me, unrelated to IVF or Scotland, but tangentially related to thistles:

I saw the first ragweed pollen show up in the daily pollen counts I get in my email inbox. Dang. Here we go.

Why can’t we train these guys to preferentially pick up ragweed pollen and take it home? It would be a win-win situation.

Thank you, Volunteers! and Free Patterns Beat Bob

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to knit a nice warm cozy wooly hat! In August! Now that’s knitterly friendship — and I appreciate it.

Everyone who’s already said yes, in a comment or email, I can definitely use your help, and you’ll be hearing from me very soon (just wanted to post and say thank you quickly!). Yee-haw!

(One of these may be coming your way if you’re a test knitter!)

I wanted to mention a couple bloggy things — and then I’ll stop blog-navel-gazing. Just as I posted my ‘spam’ post, the number of spam blocked became equal to comments, and then passed them. I sighed and accepted it; that’s the norm; you know, like you may well get more junk mail than quality mail?

But somehow, comments pulled back ahead in a few days and are still beating spam! Much better reading! And you guys knit hats! (If the spammers do, they’re not sayin’. Or offering, either.)

The other interesting bloggish note: I had told you all before about the Power of Bob. But I speculated that if, for example, there was ever a link from the Yarn Harlot’s blog here, that Stephanie would trump Bob. Well, I’m here to tell you that, at least, Knitting Pattern Central is a force to be reckoned with. I had emailed the organizer of this wonderful compendium (who herself is primarily a crocheter, this is all out of the goodness of her heart, who knew?) to give her permission to link my Piano Mitts and Mini-Mitts, and Grow With Me Baby Hat patterns. When they were posted — whoa, Nelly! Let’s just say: Knitters Rule!

Anyone Up for a Nice Warm Hat?

Here’s the scoop.

Like Lorette, I seemed to have a deficit of chunky yarn (especially chunky yarn which would show cables reasonably well). (That’s what happens when you’re a sock yarn addict.) So one of my missions in Madison was to find some yarn to test knit No Name Hats in, since the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky was okay but not superb.

Problem Solved! Between the Sow’s Ear and Lakeside Fibers, I found rather a few nice chunky yarns! Some are better for cables than others, but mmmm some are very nice.

New Problem? Too much else to knit! And I need to have time to rewrite the patterns and chart them. And how many times can I knit the same hat, anyway?! And gauge could be a bit different with all these yarns….

So, anyone up for test knitting a nice warm hat in August?

Before you raise your hands (yes, I see you in the back there!), here’s what it would entail:

  1. You’d need to be probably at least an intermediate (or at minimum advanced beginner) knitter, accustomed to knitting on double-pointed needles or two circulars (or Magic Loop, but you’d probably have to use dpn’s for the beginning part then). Mostly because circular start and cables and the small diameter circular knitting is a lot to combine if you haven’t done it before.
  2. I’d need you to do a swatch first (I know — groan!) and knit to gauge; that’s why it’s a test knit!
  3. Ideally, if the hat could be done in a couple weeks from getting the yarn, that would be awesome. That’s not a dealbreaker if you have vacation etc., but the hat only takes a couple evenings, and I’d hate to have it take a couple months….
  4. I’d also need you to either take pictures of the finished product & email them to me, or send it back to me (postage paid) so I could photograph it and return to you. I’d also need measurements of the finished hat. And I’d love to know how much yarn was used (or left over) — by weighing the hat if you have an accurate scale (grams are nice), or mailing me back the leftover yarn to weigh if you don’t.
  5. Most importantly, I’d need your feedback about the hat fit, the pattern, anything. This pattern set will probably be a free Ravelry download, but I want it to be right if I do it all official-like. And I expect I may be offering a pattern or two for sale later this year, so this is practice for me.

Well, that’s a lot of demands! What would you get out of it? Free (mostly quite nice) yarn — hopefully a lovely hat at the end for you to keep or gift — and published credit (I expect this will be a free Ravelry download as well as on the blog. And my undying gratitude. : )

Truly, I would be very grateful.

If you would be interested or have any questions, leave a comment or email me at hitherandyarn AT gmail DOT com (you know the drill). I have three hat patterns (one isn’t up yet) and two variations of each hat to knit, so could use at least six test knitters. If you’re interested, email me, and also let me know if you have any yarn allergies/sensitivies.

Thanks so much in advance to anyone who’s willing to help!

Hooky Haul and Weekend (Knitting) Update

I told you I had fun at The Sow’s Ear and Lakeside Fibers.

Now, I don’t show all the yarn that comes into this house because I do have, um, enough yarn. There’s a certain Fifth Amendment thing happening, among other reasons. But there was some special yarn that I just have to show off, as well as yarn I mentioned yesterday.

First, I’ve been thinking about knitting Juno Regina sometime. But (believe it or not) I didn’t think I had the perfect yarn. Well, I think I might now. Look at this gorgeousness:

Over 1000 yards of Claudia’s Hand Painted silk lace, Copper Pennies colorway. Oooh. That’s all I can say.

Also, I mentioned the high twist heavyweight Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky which should be a good yarn for the No Name Hat(s).

Now, shield your eyes. The Day-Glo Dale Falk Neon for the BatHat (together with black for bats, of course):

On my monitor, that’s pretty close to real life! Think highlighter color. Gothlet likes it….

Still from the Sow’s Ear and still for the Gothlet:

I would not have bought this yarn without touching and seeing it, but I’m happy to have done so. This is a nylon and acrylic blend from Berroco, called Berroco Comfort Sock. The Gothlet is very sensitive to the itchies. She sometimes finds wool socks too warm, too. But she loves and appreciates handknit things! Lastly, she fell in love a long time ago with Reptilian Lace socks from Knitty.com. I had resisted knitting them for her, knowing she would find pretty much any sock yarn itchy and she’d outgrow them in a flash. Well, this yarn looks superbly reptilian; it’s very soft, and it’s cabled, so I think will wear well. As far as growth, she wants me to make them a bit big (and she’s actually wearing women’s size 4 to 5 shoes now anyway). By making them top down as the pattern calls for, I could always knit them a bit longer if needed down the road, too. People have noted that socks knit in this pattern tend to collapse horizontally and not stay up so well. So for the Gothlet, I think I’ll knit 3 pattern repeats on the front instead of 4, and skip the pattern on the back, instead knitting k2 p2 ribbing; that will help with staying up as well as help them fit longer and better — I think.

From Lakeside Fibers, the Packer Yarn:

and one of the skeins of Mountain Colors semi-solid, though I think I’ve changed my mind about its destiny:

(I recalled I have some eBay very nice red alpaca sportweight, over 1000 yds, which I can use for the Garden Party shawl. I’ll find something special for this!)

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So, I must knit to make room in stash. (Never mind that the above represents months of knitting. Please move along right past that leap of illogic.)

Here’s what I was up to knitting-wise this weekend, at Late Night Knit Night and various and sundry times and places in Madison and home.

First, I took the time today to pin out Wendy’s (of WendyKnits) Kay’s Diamonds and Purls shawl, so you could see it and so I could assure myself that I’m making progress. I’m on the last repeat of the pattern chart, woo-hoo! Of course, it’s getting wider all the time, but that’s just the nature of the lace beast. It’s still exciting.

It’s about 45 inches by 18 inches right now. I have most of the last pattern repeat and the edging to go, so it will be a good-sized shawl as far as width.

And I just got down to where I’m going to start the heel (AGAIN!) on the meeting sock: third time. I think it’s stretchy enough now, though, to fit over anyone’s foot and lower calf. Sigh. The amount of knitting I’ve done, I should be at this point on the SECOND sock!

Next time I take its picture, I should show you the inside, which looks kind of cool too. The stitch is 3 rows of k2 p2 ribbing, 2 rows k.

Plus I did some stealth knitting. Mostly swatching, but it’s still stealth. You might see the results this weekend.

Hope you had a productive and/or enjoyable weekend too!