Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hat Me

Because we all need wool hats in June.
Pattern: Felicity
Yarn: not even half a hank of Manos 100% wool in green and white

Procrastiknitting at its silliest, here you see me avoiding a couple WIPs that are currently taunting me from the knitting basket. I like this hat pattern mucho (this being the third time I've made it). The only thing I'd change was my over-compensation for gauge. The original pattern calls for something worsted (I think...) and Manos is more of an aran. So I cast on 56 sts instead of the 70(?) the pattern calls for. It's a wee bit snug on my substantial head, but I have hopes that it'll stretch out and fit just dandy.

In other news: my red felted slippers have returned from a triumphant cycle in the wash, and are eagerly awaiting my embellishment. I haven't played with felted knits yet, so I'm quite looking forward to this one.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Not One For Paisley, But...

I feel inadequate if I can't give you a visual insight into my brain each post.
Here's some recently purchased fabric from the lovely Quilt Rack in Ancaster.

It seems that I've been undeceiving myself as of late.

Firstly, I thought I would never be attracted to a paisley fabric. (Clearly wrong. I think this one pictured above is destined for a rather over-elaborate wall hanging).
Secondly, I hemmed and hawed over summer knits, and how presumably crappy I thought them to be. Now I can't stop thinking about them and sketching up new ideas.
Thirdly (and this one is particularly bad), after almost 10 years of denying I'd ever read those damn* Harry Potter books, it seems that I can't put the bloody things down.
I'm a big enough man to admit when I'm wrong.

This leads me to reveal that these damn books (and their accompanying films) have been planting design ideas in my head. I bought two hanks of Manos in a lovely Kelly Green (also influenced by the Yarniad's recent Kelly Green infatuation) and plain white to make a stripey Felicity hat. After watching the fifth film (Order of the Phoenix, if you care) I thought one of the character's (Luna Lovegood, if you care) wee cardi was tres cute. So now I've found a purpose for the 4 hanks of Manos Silk Blend I bought on Tuesday.
Stay tuned on that one. I think I'm excited enough about it to get going within the next few days.

Oh yes, and startitis has thoroughly set in. After my obsession with the Corona Hoodie (who's pattern I'm currently working on), it seems I'm in a race to cast on for as many projects as I possibly can. And read those damn books as fast as I possibly can. I've got the Lucania vest, Juno Regina stole, Felicity hat (cause who doesn't need a wool toque in June?), the ever-neglected Lodestar top, red Mary Jane slippers for my trippers (first felting project ever) and a number of practically dead-to-me UFOs that have been sitting on the needles for over a year. No willpower, I tells ya. None.

But I'll leave this mewling post on a positive note before I run off to read those damn books - I've only 10 days to wait for the tent sale at the Needle Emporium, I've purchased the yarn I was dreaming about for my mysterious peacock-inspired knit (hopefully to get started soon - just need a ball winder, dammit!) and I'm in love with the Random Stripe Generator.
And I love colour wheels.
Mmm... colour theory :)
Colour Wheel - on blog

*I will continue to refer to them in this manner. I'm just being cheeky. I really do like them. Grudgingly so. I have to try my best not to qualify everything! Damn university learnin'....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Alauda; or, Elaborate Names and the Year of the Stash

I'll have to fess up and say that a rather disproportionate amount of joy for me comes from naming knits for designing.
This is a case in point.

Pattern: Alauda
Yarn: oh, a few scraps. Methinks it was
1) Brown Louisa Harding "Grace"
2) Orange Manos Silk Blend
3) a couple different yellow/golden shades of Handmaiden's "Silk Maiden"
4) white Elsebeth Lavold "ClassicAL"

Why I made it:
My hands were unbelievably cold at work.
Why it's got such a highfalutin name?
I love the naming. I love the organizing and labelling and making odd and rather twitsy-turny connections. In this instance, I knew I wanted to use some pretty stash scraps, hence the idea of a "legion", expand that to a particular legion (one of Caesar's Gaulish legions, see here)
and to top it all off, this particular Alauda word morphed into the modern French word Alouette, which is denotative of a small bird.

Gratuitous Butters photo:

If you want to make a pair:
step 1 - get scrap (all same gauge)
step 2 - measure around knuckles to get # of sts cast on (1” neg ease)
step 3 - cast on and knit knit knit in a rectangle til the piece measures to your wrist (if you want to add the YO row, just work one YO, k2tog across the fourth row).
step 4 - cast off and stitch together edge, leaving thumb holes!


This post has been brought to you by procrastiknitting.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Complete Corona


Pattern: Corona (download now)
Yarn: Dream in Color - Classy, 3 hanks (almost exactly)

I've decided to leave off the pocket on this hoodie - the majority of opinions swayed to the "no pocket" vote.

I'm very happy indeed with how this turned out. The yarn is so soft and sproingy (yes, technical term) that I can't wait to purchase another batch for another project (and at this point, I foresee another one of these hoodies in the near-knitting future).

The honeycomb cable panel was sourced from a stitch dictionary. I haven't ventured into the wide world of cable design for a while (first and last time was the Alatus).

I'm not miffed about the hood being pointed, rather elven-like. I've had a few good suggestions as to where I can find a pattern for a flat-top hoodie, and will probably play around with that for the next hooded-knit.


One thing I would change (and you can't see it in these pics at all) is the sleeve-tightness around the bottom. I need to find a happy balance between sleeves that sit snug to your arm, and ones that don't leave little ribbed-rows on your skin!

As you can probably tell, I had a hand with these photos. It certainly pays off to get another human around to take the pics (in daylight!) so that the colours of the yarn can show properly. And these colours are quite lovely - they remind me of (80s child warning) a particular Strawberry Shortcake plastic figurine I had as a child. She smelled of strawberries :) Plasticy, plasticy strawberries.
Now that my three week love affair with this knit is over, I feel anxious to get started on a fresh idea. It just might kill me to wait out the next 21 days til the annual tent sale at the The Needle Emporium.
I will try to focus on writing up notes/a pattern for this knit.
Stay tuned.
unfortunately, I've tried to paste it here, but it just won't work with me.
Please see it here on Rav.

It blinded me with the maths!
Here are the discovered errata for the pattern:

These are the 2 things I found and re-calculated:
1. On the arms, the size medium should have a total of 40 stitches (pattern says 42) on the stitch holder. We started with 52 stitches and placed 12 on scrap yarn, so that equals 40.

1. After re-calculating increases/decreases and accounting for the arms being added and other stitches being placed on holders, this is what I came up with - I re-typed this section of the pattern:

Joining Arms to the Body
Pick up Body and knit to 4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts before first side-marker.
Put these 4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts on scrap yarn. Remove side marker, and put the following
4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts on scrap yarn.
Place marker, pick up and k the 40 (40, 40, 48, 52, 54, 64) arms sts not on scrap yarn.
Place marker.

K across back of sweater until 4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts before second side
marker. Place these 4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts on scrap yarn, remove marker, and place
following 4 (4, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8) sts on scrap yarn. Incorporate second arm in the same
manner as the first. K across front of body and cable panel. just joined the sleeves, and will graft them together at the armpit during finishing.
You now have 200 (210, 220, 252, 300, 316, 356) stitches not including those on scrap yarn.
Work one WS row.

Thanks to michelleh13 on Ravelry!

At the bottom of page 2, after creating the extra 20 stitches for the cable, it says:

Work around body, and when you return to the beginning of the cable panel, work the sts
you placed at the back of the work. (you should k2, p2, k12, purl 2, knit 2).
Now you have 124 (
135, 148, 200, 216, 236) sts for the body.

Since after the 1st increase row it said:
You now have 104 (114, 128, 144, 180, 196, 216) sts.

and we added 20 stitches, so the line at the bottom of page 2 should read:

Now you have 124 (134, 148, 164, 200, 216, 236) sts for the body.


Errata or my mistakes (Size S)??

At the bottom of page 2
X Now you have 135 sts for the body.
O Now you have 134 sts fot the body.

In the middle of page 3
X You should have 147 sts
O You should have 146 sts

After joining the arms to the body, I have only 210 sts on the needle and 8x4 sts on the scrap yarns, instead of 221 sts. Did I make mistakes? I’m confused. But I try on this sweater, it fits. I don’t find any problems so far.

When there’s 6 sts left on each sleeve:
RS: K to marker, sm, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, sm, K across back, sm, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 sm, k to end of row.

At the beginning of the hood, I have only 98 sts, instead of 110 sts. But the sweater still fits well.


Saturday, June 14, 2008


Thanks so much to everyone for your very kind words on my previous post! I'll post the FO pics within a couple days.
(As you can see, I couldn't wait to get the camera back to post a new post).
An idea's jumped into my head for a knit.
And the inspiration came from this here fowl pictured below.
I burrowed into my stash and couldn't come up with the appropriate yarn. I've done a very cursory search online (mostly Rav), and didn't see anything that particularly caught my eye.
What I'm looking for is a yarn with some lustre (ie: some silk content) yet with some memory (ie: wool). Also, something with a very small gauge would do nicely. I'm thinking 6-7 stitches per inch.
Heard of such a thing? If so, I'd love to know what it is and what you thought of it.
Yarn reviews are second only to FOs/patterns in my list of great knitting stuffs on the internets.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To Pocket or Not To Pocket?

I have been rather monogamous in my knitting as of late, and have finished* up the Corona hoodie.
Oooo, don't I look horribly smug!
I'm throwing my arms up in the air - yes, this is another very badly lit bathroom-night-time-gotta-take-a-pic photo. As you may be able to tell, this is not an FO pic - my camera is currently on vacation, and will return in a few days time.

I say finished* with an asterisk because I'm undecided as to whether I should put a pocket on the front of the hoodie. You know, a hoodie pouchy pocket. I have plenty of yarn to do it with, but I'm not sure if it will spoil the garment. I like pockets on hoodies, so I'm slightly divided over the issue.

What do you think? Pocket or no pocket?

I am (sort of, at one point, probably) planning on making another one of these, but with a different cable pattern. Not that I don't like this little honeycomb pattern, but I was sort of envisioning a wider cabled edging than this.


I've also learned a lesson: don't try to make up a new-fangled hood design without thinking the damn thing through thoroughly. I thought I'd be sooooo clever and make a hood that would sit flat on my head, as opposed to doing that little elven pointy thing that many-a-hoodie does. The plan, she no worked out. The rip-back wasn't as terrible as it could have been, but a mathematically-humbling experience it certainly was. Does anyone know of a pattern that gives you a "flat-top" hoodie?

Gracious, I'm full of questions (and attempts at deadpan sarcastic wit).

I'll post back in a couple days' time with the results of the Great Pocket Indecision of 2008.

And FO photos.

Good ones this time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Here's something stunning: I've put aside the two WIPs I should be dealing with because I made a trip to the LYS and bought a load more yarn.

And here it be:
Yarn: Dream In Color, Classy

It's becoming a hoodie, and the attraction to this knit is the incredible speed at which it's being completed. I'll probably stall when I get to the "hard part" (aka the part where I stomp and whine and turn into a brat who doesn't want to have to do two of the 'zact same sleeves!)

As some of you may know from a previous post, I don't usually "do" pink. But I'm very happy with how the colours are blending and how smooooshy this yarn is knitting up! It was between this colourway (named Petal Shower) and another, more red/purple one (called "In Vino Veritas").

Friday, June 06, 2008

Big Talk

I spend a lot of non-yarning time surrounded by beautiful art, a quiet atmosphere and general conductivity of knit-dreaminess. I also spend time on public transit, where this penchant for knit-dreaming comes in handy for blocking out the decidedly non-beautiful and non-quiet atmosphere.

Basically, it's always floating around in there.

And I see that sometimes (on this blog, I blush) I talk "big" about thinking about patterns and designing.

Here is some proof that I actually do (sort of) think these things through:


Did I mention I like to sketch? I can't help myself. I fear the idea will scramble out of my mind and be gone forever. Thus my obsession with addiction to collection of pretty blank note books.
(BEGIN NERD ALERT::I just bought two yesterday. I highly recommend PaperBlanks note books - they're very cute, with little pockets in the back, magnetic clasps and those shiny ribbons that you mark your page with. :: END NERD ALERT!)

The top sketch is of a hoodie I'm procrasti-knitting right now.
This second sketch is of one that I'm calling "Elizabeth" - based on a portrait of Bessie I when she was something like 12-14 years old. I like the idea of recreating knits based on historical portraiture. Not sure where I can go with that, precisely. But I've put it up on my Rav project list, so stage one of me pressuring myself to think about it is complete.
(for any interested in my own brand of self-pressure methodology, I can just say it consists of writing shit down, putting it in obvious places, and then ultimately chucking it and creating loads of compound lists whose priorities keep shifting based on new yarn purchases).
Alright, enough with sketches. I'll be back to posting about actual knitting progress for the weekend.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Knitting in my PJs

I do this a lot. This is why I'm prone to the "pj-FO" photo, taken in the smudgy/blurry/yellow-tinged light of the pathetic bathroom mirror. Living alone doesn't help much; I could insert an overly cutesy description of training four canaries to become my personal knitwear photographers, but I'll resist the temptation.)
I'm most comfortable knitting in me pjs at home - I'll knit in public, certainly, but I've learned that I can only bring the most basic of patterns with zero technique along for the outing. I almost had a meltdown once when my attempts at a fair-isle yoke were foiled by my inability to focus on knitting and conversation (not to mention a delicious latte... mmm... latte....)

So, where you you prefer to knit?

Where do you prefer to knit?
At home
Friend's house
Killing time waiting for others (eg: boyfriend's soccer game....)
Outdoors (your own backyard, the park, etc...)
Other (I can't think of any more!) free polls