Saturday, July 26, 2014


My little brother had a birthday this past week, so I knit him some socks. In his 34 years, those feet of his haven't gotten any smaller, and even though I know this and I know when his birthday is (it's the same day every year, after all), I still didn't get his birthday socks done quite on time. His birthday was Tuesday, and he received them yesterday, only three days late (not bad, really).

When Joe got his package yesterday, we did a FaceTime chat so I could watch him open his presents (the kids made him a couple things, too, and sent their birthday wishes). He is pleased with his socks, noted that they are the same color as his couch, and tried them on right then and there.

They fit him better than they do me. My brother is Bigfoot!

Pattern: none in particular. I CO 64 stitches, did a 3" cuff in 2x2 ribbing, switched to garter rib for another 6", knit a eye-of-partridge heel, kept the garter rib on the top of the foot before ending in a wedge toe. I keep meaning to knit more elaborate socks, but I always return to classic, simple styles that I can do off the top of my head.
Yarn: Springvale DK in the color "Cognac" by Three Irish Girls, less than one skein per sock
Sticks: size 3 DPNs to get a gauge of about 7spi (that's how I was able to finish big socks in two weeks for size 12 feet)

(By the way, I've added even more to my destash page, and everything has pictures now. You can find it on Ravelry here.)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

when colors disappoint

I am so disappointed in my Kimmswick so far! I picked out the yarn a year ago and when I finally had the opportunity to cast on, I was pretty excited. I knew the project would be kind of a long haul, but the color work looked fun and I was counting on having a pretty impressive scarf at the end of it.

I started having my doubts  a few inches in, but I kept going, and now I'm just not sure if I should continue. The colors I chose, which looked so gorgeous in their wound-up yarn cakes next to each other, look more like a kitchen from the early 1970s spat up all over my knitting needles:

I just don't like it at all. There's something about how that mustard yellow makes all the other colors kind of awful.

I don't know what to do. I adore the yarn - Quince and Co. Finch (not Chickadee, as I said previously) - the problem is purely color choice. The way I see it, I have three options:

1) Keep going, finish the scarf, and give it to someone who likes things that look like a vintage Christmas stocking.

2) Frog it, order a couple new colors to replace the ones I don't like, and start over.

3) Frog it, and use the yarn for other color projects where I need fewer colors that will look better together.

None of these solutions feels good to me, so while I mull it over, I'm going to put the scarf on hold and find another project. I have one other sweater I put down a while ago, and it's complicated, so I'll have to spend some time figuring out where I left off. That's definitely not a portable project, so I need something else, something soothing and easy but not boring. Got any ideas?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

randomly on a Saturday

1. The quick gift project isn't done. It's going to be late. I might have had it done by now but the other night I went to see this concert instead of knitting. It was totally worth it, too. You wouldn't know that  a two hour concert comprised solely of Handel arias could be that riveting, but it really was.

2. I've updated my Stash For Sale page on Ravelry. There are a few more things there, and possibly more to come. I only have so much time for knitting, after all, and there's no point in keeping yarn I only feel so-so about, especially when there are so many lovely new yarns I'd really like to try (Quince and Co, anyone?). I mean, I'm just not in the mood to spend a lot of time knitting something I can't get excited about for whatever reason and I've finally learned there isn't much point in stocking up on yarn if I don't have time to use it right away and I'm going to change my mind about it later anyway. So, for real this time, I have decided it's time I get serious about downsizing. I'm going to sell what I won't use, knit what I want, and, when I am ready, try a few new things without risking a stash explosion.

3. Babies, babies, babies! The sweater I sent to Baby Z in Oklahoma was well-received, I'm happy to say. In the past week, I've learned of two more expectant couples who shall certainly be getting hand knit items from yours truly. One is due late in the fall (girl), the other in the middle of winter (too early to know the sex, and I don't know if they plan to find out, or tell), so I have a bit of time yet. I should branch out a bit and make something other than the same old cardigan (even though I probably have enough of the same yarn to make a fourth), though, don't you agree? I'm leaning towards this lovely pile of garter stitch for at least one of them, but I'm open to suggestions I don't have a pile of baby sweater patterns at the ready for this sort of thing, right?

4. I started Kimmswick a little over a month ago and set it aside for a gift project (see #1):

The stranded knitting is fun, and I'm in no particular hurry to finish it, which is a good thing, seeing as a whole tubular scarf in fingering weight yarn is bound to take a while. I'm starting to doubt my color choices; what looked beautiful in skeins looks a little too much like a 70s throwback knitted up, but for now I plan to keep going and see what it looks like when I've worked through more of the charts. If I changed anything I'd have to start all over and buy more yarn and I don't want to do either of those things (see #2).

5. Christmas knitting. Do I want to do it this year? I need to make a decision soon. What about you?

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I started a small project that should be finished later this week. I don't want to reveal too much (it's a gift), but here's a sneak peek:

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


I got a few more pictures of my Pei in the evening light of the 4th of July. 

My 6yo daughter took these

And I got a few more selfies, slightly better, or at least more interesting.

Here's the FO draped over my rusty garden wire. The wire is a support for a half dozen or so tomato plants I have growing in straw bales, a gardening experiment I'm trying out this year. I like all the greens in that picture.

Pattern: Pei, by Michele Wang from the Brooklyn Tweed LOFT collection
Yarn: Silky Wool, a little over one skein (leftover from my Champagne test knit)
Sticks: size 6 circulars, my Addi lace that I love
Mods: none other than yarn substitution
Comments: Thanks to my own ineptitude, it took me 4 tries to get started, but once I did, this little scarf flew off the needles. I love it, but I don't know if I'll keep it. Christmas is halfway here already.

Friday, July 04, 2014


I took some selfies of my new Pei loop scarf. 

It's a bright day and I took these around 11:00 this morning.

There is way too much contrast. Also, my shoulders are slumpy.

It helps that I figured out the timer on my camera.

Still, it's obvious my photography skills are seriously lacking.

Oh well. There is so much to learn in life, and these days my time and energy is mostly spent with my kids and in my garden. I estimate I spent at least 12 hours over the last week pulling weeds in my garden, my community plot, and up at the school. It's good exercise, I'll say that.

Maybe better pictures next time?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

it's time to knit accessories

This past week I managed to finish knitting a small project I started before my trip to Niagara with the kids. (Even though I'd brought it along, that project never even made it out of the car.) It's the Pei scarf/cowl thing by Michele Wang from Brooklyn Tweed, and like all the BT patterns I've tried, this one held my interest from the first stitch to the last.

Once I actually cast on the right number of stitches, managed to join them without twisting and got through the lace section without screwing up, the knitting of this went pretty fast. Yes, it took me at least four tries to get started. Sometimes I'm not as smart as I look, I guess.

Now it's all done and lovely, especially since I soaked and blocked it and pinned down the points to help bring out the lace bit. All I need now is some modeled FO pictures, which I may have to do in the sweltering heat tomorrow if my husband is a willing photographer. 

Yesterday I cast on for another scarf, Kimmswick by Julie Hoover, also from Brooklyn Tweed. That one I've been planning for a year, ever since I splurged on a bunch of colors of Quince and Co. Chickadee at Cream City Yarn in Milwaukee last June. Even though I would have liked to start right away, something always got in the way of starting, like test knitting, gift knitting, and a shortage of socks in my household. Finally, I'm feeling selfish enough to start this lovely scarf for myself. As soon as I saw all the color work in Kimmswick, I knew I had to have it, and this is one of the rare projects for which I bought the yarn and will follow through exactly as I originally intended.

I suppose it's the time of year to knit accessories. It's too hot to have a sweater-sized project in my lap unless it's for a very small human, and with the constant mistakes I keep making, it seems I don't have the mental capacity for any shape other than a long tube anyway.

What about you? What are you knitting or making this summer?