Thursday, December 1, 2016

Behavioral Patterns, Knitting Projects

Okay, these really long breaks between posts are just going to happen.  I need to accept it!  :)

Do I have some stuff to say?  Well, sure, but not a lot of strength to say it, so:

Energy-building in progress...
Knitting projects in progress...

FOs to follow, when the stress subsides!

Thursday, September 29, 2016


My kid just got done being the sickest she's ever been, but I haven't forgotten about this space, so you get this FWOOSH! fast run-through of the projects I've been working for the past two weeks and change...

* This silly snowman scarf was knit as a nostalgic reminiscence of the scads of scarves I knit with Homespun on these very needles in the first seven years of my knitting:

* The kiddo's Halloween costume is coming together, piece by piece; 100 points to the Hogwarts house of your choice if you can figure out what she'll be cosplaying:

* My soft shawl is moving along apace -- it's being knit with a Merino-cashmere-nylon blend and for now, I never want to knit with anything else:

* and my birthday happened!  Not a project, but it makes me happy.  :)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Potential Energy

There's a lot of unfinished going on over here.

Some of it is almost wrapped up.

Some of it has just begun.

The good news is, I am now accepting ideas for Christmas knitting!  :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rejected Tweets

Thought the wrist twinge meant rain, stayed inside all day; this morning I can't move my hands.  #WHYgarterstitch

Why don't I work with cotton yarn more?  /forearms attempt to secede from body/  Oh yeah, now I remember.

Trying to knit and play Minesweeper at the same time-- almost dropped several stitches.  #timeforamovie

Is Color Me Beautiful legit?  Am I an Autumn?  Asking for a friend.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm Like the Katie Ledecky of Knitting least that's what my friends tell me.HA!

Ever since the opening ceremonies in Rio, I have been superglued to basically all Olympic coverage--
I'm a sucker for the summer games, and this year's swimming and gymnastics competitions have been especially stellar entertainment.  I've even watched some tandem kayaking.  It was cool.

When I left for my vacation in July, I brought this blanket as my only travel knitting:

It grew and grew, through train rides and car trips, until I returned home ready to start the decreases:

And lo, it has been my constant companion these many Olympic evenings: simple to enough to knit without watching the stitches, large enough to be an accomplishment when I finish...
eventually.  Soon?  Please?
Not pictured: the millionty ends I have already woven in
The Olympic half has 3x wider stripes, because sanity prevails.

* yes, Mama, I am quoting Mrs. Elton!  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Shawllapalooza: Looking for a Mind at Work

My love for the musical "Hamilton" is too much for one shawl alone...
Luckily, there are shawl designers who share my leanings:

The Schuyler Sisters [Rav] by Theresa Bandy; knit with over 500 yards of madelinetosh Tosh DK in colorways Arctic, Brick Dust, and Deep

The design is full of connections to the characters of Angelica Schuyler and her sister Eliza Hamilton, with the added presence of Eliza's husband Alexander, pulling them together and apart:

I chose the colors specifically to be reminiscent of the Ravenclaw colors found in the HP books (rather than the movies); if I had to do it over again, the darker blue would not be so very very dark, but the end result is still pretty great, bold and comfortably cozy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shawllapalooza: Purple Emperor

I tried very quickly to look into the history of the term "laceweight" and the precise origins of that designation-- as far as I can tell, "lace" happened first...
The word lace is from Middle English, from Old French las, noose, string, from Vulgar Latin laceum, from Latin laqueus, noose; probably akin to lacere, to entice or ensnare.  (thanks, Wikipedia)
...and "laceweight" thread/string/yarn naturally followed as the material one would use to make holey net-like garments, shawls, &c.

Blue Morpho [Rav] by Natasha Sills; knit with a skein of Verdant Gryphon Mithril in colorway Ravenswood

This shawl pattern was designed to look like butterfly wings, with subtle beading around the very edge of the border.

It has a great drape and it's light as anything and it's very easy to roll up into a tidy bundle for traveling and it's a little bit fancy... 
makes me want to take it on a trip to Venice or something.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shawllapalooza: Practical Tactical Brilliance

I'm not going to pretend I'm anything less than OBSESSED with the Broadway musical "Hamilton"; by now it's a cultural hurricane, and I was an early adopter, so right now I'd just like to say

Ev’ryone give it up for America’s favorite fighting Frenchman!
Lafayette Shawl [Rav] by Julie Farmer; knit with 3 skeins of madelinetosh Tosh DK in colorway Spectrum

Let's be honest: I knit this solely for the pattern name...  it was a simple, satisfying knit and I ended up with a great shawl that's practical (tactical brilliance) and ingenuitive (and fluent in French).

Monday, August 8, 2016

Shawllapalooza: Lost in the Stacks

Prior to my accidental sabbatical, I featured the first two of this year's twelve shawls (here and here)... 
and then I fell down.
SO!  What about the next four I've finished?

One a day for four days straight BOOM you're welcome

Lost in the Forest [Rav] by Cath Ward; knit with 2/3 skein of madelinetosh Prairie in colorway Carnation

Blocking really is a magical moment in the life of a lace shawl; the negative space is as important as the stitches themselves, and pins are fun for poking.

I knit this shawl for a library colleague on the eve of her retirement, to celebrate her long career of being just the nicest person I've ever met.  I hope right now she's on a beach somewhere, sipping a fruity drink while her grandchildren get knocked over by the ocean waves.
And reading a good book for fun.

Monday, August 1, 2016

In Which I Navel-Gaze a Little

I used to fill journals, scribbling page after page,
like writing down words was a battle to wage.

I didn't mean for that to turn into poetry, but since it does rhyme,
Imma leave it like that.  :)

But it's true, I wrote without saying much of substance, just to be heard, whether it was by Future Me (in my diary) or by my best friend (who lived an hour away in the pre-internet days).  It was a lot of sound and fury fear, if I'm honest, mortifying stuff to remember as the adult I've become.

The only reason I bring my scrawling childhood up now is because, as it turns out, my adulthood has been full of carefully chosen words arranged very specifically.  A college education focused on literature and an introverted nature have combined in maturity to make me a woman who consumes many, many more words than she produces.  To constantly parse language takes energy, even when it's done habitually.  I speak fairly often (gotta get my words out!), but my writing tends to be work-related now -- this or that work email, each picked apart and pieced back together in passive voice to present an impersonal professional package -- so at the end of the day, I'm tired and my words are "gone."

This amateur knitting blog has suffered the ups and downs of my natural energy cycles, but I'm going to *officially* commit to writing more in this space: I have stuff to say!  About knitting!

And also pretty pictures to share.

Hey, thanks for reading this.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blankety Stuffs

I have been busy and tired and full of allergy brain and blah blah blah, excuses.

But I have also been making blanket things!

This one is for a baby I know-- I've been planning to make it for about five years, and still I managed to mess up some of the patterning.  I don't think it's too obvious, though...
Baby Chalice Blanket [Rav] by Karen S. Lauger; knit with almost 3 skeins of Primrose Yarn Whirl in colorway Fluorite

The colorway is really pretty (though the greens in each skein are very different) and it's difficult to capture the variations; here's the closest photo I have:

Then I dyed the remainder yarn and made a blanket square, but not for any of the blankets I'm supposed to be working on, because of course:
Banyan Tree Practice Dishcloth Afghan Square Block [Rav] by Margaret MacInnis; knit with less than 100yds of Primrose Yarn Whirl, dyed with KoolAid
Getting better at cabling, but it's still no fun.

OK, time to work at the job where they pay me -- high fives to you, byeeeee!

Saturday, April 9, 2016


So I've been working on this pankity pank pank shawl:

The yarn is a laceweight single and it's so very light, knitting it up feels a little like making cotton candy, adding layer by layer until there's quite a bit to see that doesn't weigh much.  Every stitch I make seems like it stands alone... until I hold up the work to see an obvious structure that's really striking in total.

Knitting's really cool, you guys.
And now I want cotton candy.  Or leftover jellybeans or something.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

FO: A Tapestry from Harrods

SO!  This is what I made with Tart:
gentlemen prefer chevrons [Rav] by bunnymuff; 
knit with madelinetosh prairie in colorway Tart

I loved knitting this pattern, a whole lot.  In fact, I tried to find a way to make the shawl larger, but an embiggening plan was less than obvious, even for an experienced lace shawl knitter.  Plus I get tired at night and "math is hard" (lol).

Still, the final shawl is beyond lovely:

And I have extra yarn left over!  The mind boggles!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dream Team

Sometimes a yarn is so fantastic, it can live only in the stash of my imagination.  It could be that the yarn is rare enough that next to no one has seen it in person (I'm looking at you, Pearl Yarn).  But more often, I'll see something extra specially pretty and I won't be able to narrow down the realm of project possibility; it gets overwhelming, so I admire from a distance.

So let's flashback, shall we?  New Year's Eve, 2015, I was just slightly tipsy enough to take advantage of a really good WEBS sale: a "colorway surprise!" two-pack of madelinetosh prairie yarn.  Since I'd used the yarn base before, I knew that I'd easily find laceweight shawl patterns that could work well with it; what I didn't know is what colors I would get.

One was a very light pink, Carnation, that I've very recently cast on...
pankity pank pank
...and the other?  Well.  The other was Tart:
its majesty cannot be captured with current photographic technology
I've been in love with Tart for years.  I've long felt that I could not do Tart justice.  But here is Tart, showing up at my door, unbidden.
Tis a sign!

I made A Thing with Tart and it's purty and I'll share it later this week.  :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

FO: The Islands Speak to Her

When I played Yarn Chicken with that ombre skein, it didn't work out precisely as planned...  but it still looks really darn good:
The sea speaks to me [Rav] by Athanasia Andritsou; knit with a full skein of Knitwhits Freia Ombré Lace in colorway Metropolis

I love this shawl.  Luff it.  Sew mush.
Pretty pretty pretty pretty
Seriously, I'm going to stop talking.  The pics say it all.

Happy Easter weekend, everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Pi Day! 3.14

This message has been brought to you at 3/14 at 1:59am...

image credit: Wikipedia

Yeah, it's dorky to celebrate Pi Day, but there's a whole thing at the National Institutes of Health ("Celebrating the Intersection Between the Mathematical & Biomedical Sciences"), so we might as well join in the fun!

First I made a dishcloth based on the pi shawl formula for making a knit circle from the inside out...
 Pi Dishcloth [Rav] by Nettie DiLorenzo; knit with approx 50yds of Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton in colorways Spruce and Pale Green

Then I decorated a store-bought apple pi(e), because this weekend was busy and I didn't feel like baking a pie...