Monday, March 2, 2009

A New Place for the Blog

Hey folks, I've moved over to Wordpress for my blog. Come on over, you'll like it!
Look for me here, and I hope that you are healthy and well. Peace and healing!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Final Product

Log Cabin 10

This is the largest thing I have ever knit for myself, and I am so happy with it. It is cheerful, and the Cascade Ecological Wool is very cushy and squishy. The kitties and I are snuggling up on it night after night.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bijouterie: Take 1

Originally uploaded by skatfantoo

Here's my first attempt at the earrings. I think I need to practice using the wire -- I'm mushing the wire as I knit, and then trying to "fluff' it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Down and dirty with Christmas Knitting

I started another Slouchy Copy Cat Hat in Ultra Alpaca (although I varied the lace pattern), in a muted heathery green from my stash. I kept telling myself it would look great on Allison (sister of Rachel, whose hat I knit because she got a sweater to match), who has light blond hair and blue/green eyes.

I kept knitting and telling myself this, but I was doubting. Then today I was watching "What Not to Wear" (my guilty pleasure TV) and there was a gal with similar coloring. Heathers completely washed her out.

So I ripped out the hat and returned it to the stash for another project. But now what?

I do have a skein of the yarn in a lovely green that would be much better on Allison, but now I'm running out of time, and I'm not sure that I should give the same thing to her as I did to her sister. So I'm thinking that maybe I'll work on the Bijouterie earrings instead. They should be done in about an hour.

Ack, the last of the Christmas knitting, and I'm not sure what I want to do!!!

So, post in the comments: Should I knit the hat, or the earrings.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

gift knitting resumes

I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to do it. Well the Monteagle bag lured me back (see previous post). And then I had a lot of fun with the elements of this set for my cousin:

Cotton Dishcloth1

Mitered Hanging Towel1d

and then this hat just kinda flew off the needles:

Slouch Copy Cat Hat 1aJPG

Yeah, I think I need to make one for me. Slouchy Copy Cat Hat in Ultra Alpaca, with some modifications to make it more beret-like.
And I caught the Bijouterie bug and ordered the wire (sorry, I think I got the last of it from the supplier), and am on the hunt for the rest of the findings.

Gift knitting left? One more Monteagle bag, and something for Allison...not sure what.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

in which knitting tools are intentionally destroyed.

Circular needles are not all alike. There are wondeful, smooth as silk and raring to go needles. The Ferrari's are like these:

Yes, Addi (zooom!) turbos. Blessed be the Addis.

But let's go back to the beginning. A couple of months ago I bought several skeings of Fibranatura Flax -- three skeins in lemon, about 7 in a pretty sky blue. I decided to save the blue ones for a lacy tank top similar to the one at the top of the blog. The yellow ones I wanted to turn into market bags for Christmas gifts.

Luckily, I found someone on Ravelry who made the Monteagle Bag from Mason-Dixon 2 with just one skein. Added everything to the queue in September, having downloaded the pattern from

Then selfish knitting intervened. I've been working on the log cabin afghan, which is very, very close to being completely done (one strip to sew, ends to weave in, and final blocking!). I knitted a nice pair of socks, and a scarf to go with a hat that I knit last year.

But then I realized I do like knitting for others, just not all the time. The fact that the Inca Gold that I've ordered special from Marin Fiber Arts for a lovely cardigan has not come in yet has nothing to do with this, really! So, I started a dishcloth set for my cousin, Marie -- and it's pretty much done, except for some weaving of ends and sewing on of buttons.

I culled the queue on Ravelry (down to five projects, now that I've discovered that I can favorite something and put a keyword in to find it later), and the Monteagle was calling to me. So, last night I started.

First, I decided that it was time to use Judy's magic cast-on instead of the sew-uplater version. So, I grabbed the Boye needle set (thinking that my Knitpicks needles in the size 9 I'd need -- I'm a loose knitter -- were in use on another project, and the 20 in length is in the Boye set), put on the cables and started, then realized that I'd be better off using two circular needles at least at the beginning. I rummaged through my circular sets and found two 16 in circulars -- a Susan Bates coated set, and Plymouth wooden ones.

Ah, here's the rub of circular needles. They are all so different from each other. The Susan Bates are flexible, have a relatively easy "jump" from the cable to the needle. They are slightly sticky, and blunt-tipped. The Plymouths have a better point, but they are like molasses to move stitches over, and, to my mind, have one feature which will ban them from my hands forever, a small BULB right at the base of the needle. This is not a mistake, in like "gee, we goofed on the design." No, it's an intentional little bulb, which will impede the progress of any yarn from the cable to the needle.

Back to the Monteagle bag: I got the cast on done, knit the three rounds of stockinette, and then started with the "twisted cross stitches" which are really mock cables with extra wraps. Not a big deal, except I'm knitting flax, which has NO give, NO bounce. What you see is what you get.

The experienced knitters are now saying, "No, you didn't." Yep, I did. I put all those twisted cross stitches in flax onto the Plymouth circular needle. And everything came to a grinding halt. I could not get the stitches up over the "bump" (read -- boulder beyond any knitter's understanding). Unfortunatley, I could also not "tink" the stitches back, because I couldn't get them back over the other side.

One little thing that I forgot to mention is that the pattern I'm using will use every inch of the Fibranatura flax. There is no "excess" according to what I've read on Ravelry. I couldn't just cut off what I've knitted and start over and have enough to make a bag.

I pondered...and then it hit me. I hate this Plymouth needle. There is no way I'm gonna use it again. And it would be totally unfair to impose this needle onto some newer unsuspecting knitter who doesn't know crap and will get discouraged and think they are a bad knitter.

And so, I cut the cable. (A picture will follow.)

So, I pulled out my Knitpicks options binder, I realized that my Size 9 tips were not being used. I put a 40 inch cable on them, and am magic-looping my way, feeling virtuous and victorious over my Plymouth circulars.

And yes, it is finished:

Monteagle Bag 1b

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blocking Makes Me a Bit Dizzy

Blocking is a magical thing. The lumpy, bumpy, perhaps stiff fabric that you make is actually a lovely piece of fiber goodness after blocking.

I am now blocking the biggest thing that I have ever blocked:

Log Cabin 7

Yes, Isadora was intrigued as well. I was a bit off my mark too, the fiber goodness of a whole afghan/blanket made me swoon:

Log Cabin Blur