Sunday, September 11, 2011

A birthday shawl

It's only been since July.... Well, posting in the summer is hard. Your taking trips, going to events, trying to stay as cool as you can in your house, and no the afghan is not the perfect project.

In any case, this past month, I joined my first ever mystery knit a long (KAL). There was a Stephen West KAL coming up on Ravelry (and I already had one finished Stephen West pattern, and two more on the way), so I decided to join in.

The way it works, for those in the audience wondering, you sign up, and then you get clues a week apart. These clues are successive sections of the pattern to knit, in this case a shawl. You only know what came before, not what comes next. There were guidelines.

We were told to pick three colors (yardages were recommended for different shawls sizes). I went to sock summit and had fun in the "Verb for Keeping Warm" booth. I got several colors to choose from for my shawl. I ended up using the yellow on the left, the color in the middle, and a skein of pico accuardi in the color "Gwendolyn," not pictured.
Then the first clue came out (I waited until the third one before I started really, as I wasn't thrilled with how the first and second looked). For those interested, I modified the pattern and did a bi-color garter tab for the cast on, rather than in color A. I didn't like the look of the little nugget at the top of a different color.
The next week, clue two came out.
And then three (which basically repeated, so pretty easy to do)
And by then, I was basically done. Mom and Angharad helped me get some good photos for the next part of the KAL, which was to post your photos of your completed object for a prize drawing (and it was on my birthday too). So here it is: my Indigo Garden, pattern Earth and Sky, by Stephen West.

Happily enough, my shawl one a random drawing. Sometime soon, I am going to get a skein of beautiful yarn in the mail. I can't wait! Well, I guess I can, but it will be a wonderful late b-day present when it comes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The joys of procrastination

There are many other things I should be doing now. I know this, yet here I am in the library, sipping coffee.

Part of the reason being a good friend from forever is in town. All the way from NY, and I haven't seen her in ages. Last night a large group of us locals got together with her and played pictionary, Duel Style! It was brilliant.

For those who have never played this version, we made it up. But the rules are fairly simple, and easy to remember even after several drinks. Split up into teams (we did girls vs boys) and alternate who draws. We had an enormous white board to use bigger than me. You have one minute to draw what is on your pictionary card (the category being detirmined by rolling dice or some such). Then both teams guess, and whoever guesses first gets the point. If there is question, the two people who guessed at the same time then get to have a duel!

Girls won of course. Although the boys won all but one of the duels.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rays of Sun

I just finished a new shoulder shawl. I am in love with small shawls that just warm your shoulders.
The shawl is the Lakedale Shawl by Stephen West, from Malabrigo Book 3.
Yarn: The blue is Jitterbug from Colinette. I don't have the label, so I don't know the color way. The yellow is Socks that Rock lightweight. These colors were in my stash (Jitterbug from A, and Socks that Rock from J) and I couldn't resist the combination. Nice and bright. The blue makes me think of Starry Night and also what has come to be known as the Duc du Berry blue (from a medieval manuscript that reaaaaally liked that color).
I knitted this lovely shawl in three weeks. It kept me interested and enthused the whole way. I will say the bind-off was a pain (1000 stitches ish), but well worth it! I love this pattern. Here is the finished piece blocking:
I had a few modifications. Jitterbug has slightly less yardage than what the pattern called for, so I did fewer repeats of the center blue (I went to 211 instead of 231). The pattern is really easy to make larger or smaller because the edge repeat is two stitches. At the very end of the shawl, I didn't have enough of the blue to do the bind-off, so I bound off in the yellow. I think it looks quite nice that way, if I do say so myself. It reminds me of a few things, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, a sun against an azure sky among them. Here is a ravelry link, if anyone is interested.

And now, eye candy!

And I will leave you with the flowers in bloom! What do flowers need? Rays of sun!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Yarn Disaster

I recently was given some yarn. This yarn was given to me with the promise that if I untangled it, it would be mine (or whomsoever had the patience). It was hand dyed by Janel Laidman. I felt up to the task, so I took the bag o' yarn home. When I got it home I spread it out on my living room floor and stared in wonder (more like abject horror):

But, I am a patient woman. I got out my ball winder and began to turn the mess into a skein of yarn:
At which point I began to discover that there was stuff inside this ball. Christmas ornaments. Peacock feathers. Rafia. Sticks.
But, I have now wound two skeins, and I still have a mess. I think there are at least two more skeins of yarn to be found. I have my work cut out for me!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Of Sheep and Rainbows

Occasionally a pattern comes along that you just want to make again and again. Sometimes you get sick of it, but you come back to it a year later enthused and wanting to make it all over again.

For me that pattern is a Felt Flock, from Fiber Trends. This year I decided to make a rainbow of sheep. Who wouldn't? I can make about one of these cuties a week if I put my mind to it.

And here I am at the Egil's Skaligrimson Memorial Tournement this year with them in all their cute glory.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I recently (and by recently, I mean a few months ago), I cam across a beautiful Nora Gaughn pattern from Berroco's website called "Laure." Now this was a beautiful pattern with curves and angles, so I decided I needed to make it. I had 4 skeins of an Alpaca I bought on the internet in college that are about the same weight as Ultra Alpaca, so I went for it.

This thing was a pain. You make all the little hexagons seperately (okay, I'll give you that), and then you go and pick up stitches all along the edges of the hexagons (and here: when they say the k1 edge, they mean the selvedge edge rather than the outside of the hexagons. That was my first sign that all was not well. And, up to this point, I had been trusting that the pattern knew what it was doing. Because, honestly, I had a pile of blobs that were supposed to morph into my new scarf (I was skeptical).

Once I had that edging done (and this is the point that all the hexagons were connected) I still had to pick up and knit a ruffle edging around each and every single *@%#in one of them! And to make matters worse, I ran out of yarn close to the very end. Thankfully I was able to find a yarn with a close color match (Ultra Alpaca) and finish it.
And it still looked like nothing I would wish to inflict upon even my worst enemy. It looked like a mass from outer space that had latched itself to my neck and was searching to leach every last bit of life from me.
But then I blocked it. And it magically turned into something I would wear. Often even. My friend K graciously agreed to a photo shoot. I managed to get photos of several things that I have made recently but have no photos of (isn't it hard to get photos of yourself in a hat?) decent photos I should say. The photo above being the perfect example. So again, thank you Kelly!

Pattern Laure (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Filatura Lanaroto Puno and Ultra Alpaca

In other news, I have been making a rainbow of sheep. They are all felted, and I feel a photo shoot coming on. Rainbow sheep and....skittles!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shawls in Review

I have been bad about taking pictures of finished objects. Recently I bothered my new house mate enough that she agreed to help me photograph some of my projects. I don't think I blogged the Aeolian Shawl when I finished it last year, so I need to fix that.

Project: Aeolian Shawl
Materials: 2 skeins Malabrigo Lace in shade Lettuce, US 5s (I love the Addi Lace needles by the way). And lots and lots of beads. Ravelry Link

The other lace shawl I made last summer was Haruni. This was a lovely shawl. I am super happy with it. I made a smaller version with beads to get a light summer shawl.

Project: Haruni
Materials: A random cone, possibly linen/silk. Ravelry Link

Monday, May 02, 2011

Thoughts of Spring

Spring is here! And, no, its not time for assassinating pigeons.

No, it is, in fact, time to make a bajillion little felted sheep. I am using the pattern A Felt Flock from Fiber Trends. I quite like this pattern. I usually end up making a felt sheep or two for
people a year. This year I decided I needed a rainbow flock to tempt people at the Norse Trade Blanket at the Egil's Skaligrimsson Memorial Tournament.

So far I have red all felted and stuffed. I have orange, yellow and green ready to be felted, and blue on the way.

I have also made a few that aren't rainbow. The natural one was made for a friend, who I am waiting for to come and collect it. The pink is going to Egil's, but for now, it is on sale at Heartwood Naturals, an Artist Co-op at 6th and Olive in Eugene.
That is the project that has been taking up a good portion of my time lately. Instead of madly knitting away for me, or working on clothes for Egil's, I have been working on stuff to put up for sale at the co-op. This is an experiment. I am not hoping for a huge income. Rather, I am hoping for "Pizza Money" as my Latin professor used to put it. So, if you know any one looking for cool handmade stuff for mother's day...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Powering Through

Today has been a day of fail. I have been horribly mopey and grumpy, and wanting to make skeletons for my closet. I am not going to be terribly specific (since an internet post on Ravelry is the reason I am crabby), but suffice it to say someone said something on a public forum that really upset me about my work. So, the solution? Cry a little in the morning, then clean the kitchen. I may have even unearthed part of my desk (not in the kitchen, but part of my afternoon madness nonetheless)!

The other part of this be productive so I don't wallow kick is to blog about new projects. Monday night at knitting I finished another pair of fingerless mitts using my Willow pattern.

This is my 4th pair of this pattern. It is super quick to knit up, I knit the pair above in two days. They took:

1/2 a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock (40% lambswool, 25% silk, 25% nylon, 10% kid mohair | 328 yards | 100 grams) and US 5 needles

I decided to stripe these as I had some leftover Silk Garden Sock in my stash. I striped them by alternating 2 rows from the center, and two rows from the outside of the skein. I also decided not to do the picot bind off as the mitts are already busy enough without the picots. I am super happy with how these turned out, so I am making another pair for the shop in another color.

If all goes well, I will be trying to sell some hand-made items, including these at an Artist's co-op at 6th and Olive. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 08, 2011


So, a question to the masses:

What do you knit in spring and summer?

And then the second part is: What handknit things do you wear during the spring/summer?

I ask this as I have had the conversation recently with several people about the "seasonality" of knitting.

In other news, the local Barony held their annual A&S championship. This means.....I am done! With that hat in any case. I am still the Arts and Sciences Minister for Adiantum. A job I love, no really.

But seriously, congratulations to Bastian Eisengart for two beautiful entries on medieval food! He is the new A&S champion.

I was delighted by the number of entrants this year. Especially as I was in charge of organizing said championship. But I am glad that it is over. The picture is me, being done (and being thanked too)!

Now I get to think about classes for Egil's. Hmm, I should go work on that. Cheers!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Finished Project

2 Weeks ago, I finished a new sweater. I am really happy with this one. It also broke the sweater block I've had lately. I don't think I've made a sweater in over a year. I have started (and stopped) several in the interim...just never finished them. Needless to say, this one makes me happy.

The yarn is something I have had in my stash for quite awhile (sorry, no pre-op photos). It was a worsted weight, worsted spun yarn from the Norlands, a living history museum near Livermore Falls, ME. If you are in that area of Maine for any reason, it is quite wonderful. They have tours of the enormous estate that includes: The main house, the stables, a Universalist Church, the library, and a one room school house. But I digress.

I bought 5 skeins of yarn milled from the wool of their sheep (as it is a living history museum) at abt 4 oz each. With the help of Fyber Duck, I dyed the yarn, three black, and two in a variegated pink with One Shot dyes. The black turned out grey...but I was still happy with it. This is probably 4 years ago, by the way.

In February (when it snowed, remember?) I took this yarn out of my stash and swatched. Since I didn't have a pattern in mind, I went for it. My goal was a striped, yolk sweater. Sort of like the garter yolk cardigan, but my own design. I did end up using the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd for my numbers.

I did find that I had to do my decreases faster on the yolk (every 1.5" instead of every 2") and I went down to a smaller size on the yolk. The yolk is a little big in back (as I am so small across my shoulders) but it is not enough to tear out, and it is supposed to be a big, wear over other things sweater anyways.

In any case, tada!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is spring here yet?

I have been working on several things the past two months, and so have been lagging on my blogging.
Reason 1 is that I have been working on editing some of my patterns and putting them on Ravelry for sale and download. This is a time consuming process, and a little nervewracking for someone who has not done this before. I am posting links to the patterns here, lets see if this actually works.

The first is a ruffled scarf in Kidsilk Haze:

1 skein Rowan Kidsilk Haze on US 8s. This scarf has a lace edging that is fun, and gives your scarf a little zing. This pattern is available for $5
The second is one I'm quite proud of. It is a fingerless glove pattern with a short row thumb. It is side to side, so no need to knit in the round!

One skein of DK or Sport Weight Yarn, I used Regia 6 ply for the first, and Rowan Felted Tweed for the second.

I also have a couple of patterns waiting in the wings that I need to write the pattern for. Here is one, and easy Earflaps hat with a simple colorwork pattern in Frog Tree Alpaca.
Reason 2: The weather is just blah, and although I have been knitting a gajdillion miles, I have felt very little inclination to blog about it. And you have probably realized by now how horrible I am at following a set time to blog. At all. Period.