Experienced knitters don't make fewer mistakes than new knitters. They make bigger ones faster.

- Yarn Harlot -

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quarter 3 Recap

Quarter 3 wasn't exactly a rousing success. At least in Quarter 2 I finished my colorwork hat in a last ditch effort to meet the deadline.

Ok, maybe not a success, but done (never to be worn).

For Q3 my goals were to keep up with the sock count (2 this quarter since I was ahead of schedule last quarter), make more baby hats, and work 1 project from each book I bought that I hadn't used yet.

The baby hat goal worked out great. The goal is 52 for the year (1 per week).

The projects from books were also a success. I only had a few books left anyway, so I picked small projects. The only book I did not make a project from was Superstar Knits because 1) those projects are much more complicated and 2) i plan on making a tunic from that book later on anyway.

The socks came up a little short. Because I was ahead of schedule, I totally slacked this time. Maybe I'm a little socked out. One of Hermoine's Everyday Socks and one Vanilla sock were finished. That's right, they're not even a matching pair.

But now that's done, it's time to focus on new goals for the last quarter!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Quater 4 Goals

This is the last quarter to try and complete all my goals! First of all, I'm going to complete 12 socks by the end of the year. 4 pairs in 3 months seems a little daunting, but I think I can do it. Next is to make a pullover. I've chosen the Owls sweater that may become a mini KAL in my knitting group. I have yarn that I think will work, but I'll need to swatch to make sure it's structured enough for the owls to show up. The baby hats will also be done, but that goal can be finished in a few days if I really try. My final goal is to finish all of my short-term WIPs. They are:
1. Dr. Who Anniversary Scarf - so called because I started it about a year ago
4. Vanilla Socks

The 3 socks (2 pairs total) will also help me work towards my sock goal. But I also have Christmas gifts to consider. The plan is significantly different from last year, so hopefully I can do this and accomplish all my goals. And yes, I am that crazy person in the Christmas aisle at Joann's in October.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hats Galore

I have been on a hat making kick for a few weeks now. I have so many single balls of random acrylic that I need to use up. I love hats in the fall and winter, and I'm getting a little obsessed with the slouchier variety. Here are a bunch I've finished recently:

Combo Summer Hat

Brattleboro Hat from New England Knits

"Catherine" Inspired Beanie - my design

Easy Slouch Beret

Handspun Beanie

In Bloom Beanie

In Bloom Beret


Ski Beanie from Son of a Stitch n Bitch
  Urban Jungle

Hat of Unknown Origin

Soooo, does anyone want a hat?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wow, Where did I go?

Well, where have I been? I know a few people have mentioned that I haven't posted in a while, but wow. Almost 2 months? The good news is, I've actually been knitting. A lot. And sometime soon there will be photographic evidence. But here is a quick list of what's been finished while I was hiding under a rock.

Forest Swap Blanket (that was started before I moved. oops)
Catherine Beanie
Traveling Woman, Pt 2
Battleboro Hat
Bitterroot with beads
Pogona shawl
Ski beanie

And here is what is in the works:
soroyan scarf
heather's mittens
Short and Sweet Shrug
Hermione's Everyday Socks
Jaywalker Socks

and my ultimate knitting project: CENTRAL PARK HOODIE

Which i'm glad to report is thisclose to being finished. I only have the ribbed border, buttons, and a few ends to weave in. I know it's august. I know i live in the midwest. but i will find a reason to wear it.

oh and i started cross-stitching. like i needed another hobby.

Friday, June 24, 2011


In the midst of 2 rather large projects (CPH and Dreamcatcher), I made a few small projects to get my sense of accomplishment back. I just felt like I'd never finish a project. For the love of Pete, just let me finish something! Not only did I finish 4 projects, but I knocked out some stash yarn too!

First is the Felicity Hat. I used the Artyarns Supermerino I received in a Christmas swap. The pattern is very clear and easy to follow. The top is a little, uh, poofy, but i'm sure it will work out once I start wearing it. Since I had a ball left over, I also made some Easy Fingerless Mitts to match. Now I just need it to be cold again so I can wear them. But don't worry Mother Nature, there's no rush.

I also finished a cable hat that I semi-designed. It's in bulky weight yarn, and I thought I had my gauge right. Apparently, I did not. It turned out WAY too small. So does that mean I just finished a Christmas present 6 months early? Score.

And finally I've started a Doctor Who dishcloth set. Nothing is more satisfying than starting and finishing a project in about an hour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baby Blanket

A few weeks ago, my dad asked if I would be interested in making a baby blanket for one of his friends who is expecting. I said, "Of course!" and asked a few questions for specifics. The only detail he mentioned was to "not buy cheap yarn. Get the good stuff." I love that he went a little yarn snob, but he does understand levels of quality in yarn.

I chose the Dreamcatcher Blanket. I swore I would never knit a blanket, but this one is so cute. It's made from different textured blocks, and has a lot of leeway in its design. The blocks are coming out a little bigger than the pattern stated, so I ended up making a 4x4 blanket. I'm using Vanna's Choice in pink, yellow, cream, green, and blue. It's it awesome?

Oh and I tried a new technique with this blanket. It's called "following assembly directions." Instead of crocheting a border and slip stitching it, I actually mattress and whip stitched the blocks together, wove in a million-billion ends, and bordered it with crochet.

Epic Sweater Cast-On

You know when you start a new hobby and find that one masterpiece of a project that you WILL be able to make someday? For me, that is the Central Park Hoodie. Cardigan. Cables. Hood. I had to have it. I've been coveting this sweater since I started knitting in the beginning of 2009. I finally decided to jump in last month.

WARNING: This is NOT a free pattern. This is NOT stash yarn (though I got it clearanced, so I don't think it's a total loss). That is how much I want this sweater:

It had one aspect that intimidated me as a new knitter: cables. Now that I've pretty much got a handle on those, there are 2 much more intimidating aspects I know of now: fit and assembly. This gauge thing is a little tricky. I ended up going up a needle size from the pattern's suggestion, but I still think I'm a little off. (Does that feeling ever go away?) The assembly makes me a little nervous too. I've seen magic worked with mattress stitch, but I'm still concerned about lumpy shoulder seams and things.

The yarn I'm using is Cascade 220 Superwash. If I'm making the epic sweater, I don't want to chance ruining it with water. If this sweater fits, I'm wearing the crap out of it. If it doesn't, I hope someone else will love it.

It's actually working up much faster than I expected, even with all the cables. I started it on Mother's Day, and finished the back in 2 days. The 2 sides of the front were finished by the end of the week.

The sleeves are taking a little bit longer since I'm doing them 2-at-a-time. I know, I swore never to do that technique again, but I really want the sleeves to be perfectly even.

So here's hoping to a great sweater that I can actually wear in public.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marled Wool, Take 3

A couple weeks ago, I posted asking for suggestions for a use for my marled Fisherman's wool. I decided to try the Seedling pattern. First, it took about 45 minutes to wind one ball from the messy, angry, almost hank I wound after frogging the last project. I cast on with fingers crossed. I got through about 2 pattern repeats and, of course, I couldn't see the stitch pattern!

100 sts x 10 rep x 2 = 2000 stitches. Boo!

So I ripped that out and started the Mara Shawl. First, let me say that I love shawls in worsted weight yarn. They FLY. I'm already finished with the body of the shawl (one ball = 450 yds or so) and have started on the edging. It looks like a crumpled mess because the wingspan of this shawl is already 5 feet and i'm determined to only use my 40" cable. I have less than 6 inches left now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cooperate, and Nobody Gets Hurt

Last night I had some problems with the Jaywalker pattern. Ok, problems may be sugar-coating it. Let me give you some background.

I'm using my ball of Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in Wild Raspberry finally. Originally, I wanted to use Hermoine's  Everyday Socks. About 3 inches into the sock, i realized I couldn't see the texture at all. I bit the bullet and ripped that out. I found another pattern I liked, Jaywalker. So I cast on for that and when I started the actual pattern, my stitch count was off. Oh, that was probably because I neglected to look at the number of cast on stitches. Duh. So I rip that one out (2nd time for those of you keeping score) and try again, using my brain this time. I got about 2 inches into the leg and suddenly, my stitch count isn't working. What gives? It's a 7 stitch repeat. I'm pretty sure I can consistently count to 7. But I think, "well, i'm smart. this isn't my first rodeo screwing up a stitch count." so i start counting all the stitches, adding them where they need to be, taking them out where they don't. and what happens?

it get all kinds of wonky.

i can't fix it.

I. Can't. Fix. It.

However, I keep my wits about me (sort of) and decide to set it aside. And by set aside, I mean throw angrily into my knitting bag.

I got home from work today and decided to give it another go. and this time, i used my super-secret weapon: stitch markers.

And it worked.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quarter 2 Goal

I'm having trouble deciding what pattern to use for my Quarter 2 goal of knitting colorwork. I want to try fairisle specifically. However, I realized all the patterns I like have something in common: skulls. Yes, skull fairisle was dominating my choices. I didn't want to make all skull stuff though! I found 2 projects from the book 60 Quick Knits from Cascade Yarn. The choices are:



Yes, those are octopi. Yes, they are kids' mittens. Yes, they'll be for me. Don't hate.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Would You Make?

I have a dilemma. I have 2 skeins (about 925 yds) of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Maple Tweed. It's tried to be a couple projects already but since been ripped out. I have no clue what to do with this yarn. Well actually, I've got about 30 clues, but I can't decide on one. I don't want to do anything lace or cable since the marled yarn looses it's stitch definition. I don't want to do plain stockinette because it's been that once and ripped out. I'm throwing some ideas out there, so if anyone wants to leave some feedback, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Ideas for Maple Tweed:

Felted Bag (of some sort)
Ashford Shawl
Seedling Wrap
Edith Shawl
Iris Shawl
Norn Shawl
Intrigue Wrap

Or if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prize Winning Spinning

This is my first spring being exposed to the fiber festival season. I've been to 2 so far in central Indiana, and they were both so much fun. All the vendors and classes can be a little overwhelming at some, but it's totally worth visiting one (or two, or nine). The most recent one was The Fiber Event in Greencastle, IN. Its was much bigger than the first one I went to and had so many vendors that I actually didn't get to visit them all. The main reason I wanted to go to this one was that there was a skein contest. I figured there was no harm in entering a couple skeins right? So i picked 3 that met the requirements for the beginners' category and set off. I had no idea that this would be the outcome.

Whoa! The judges were so nice and gave me some comments about each. The funny thing is, the first place winner was plied the night before, so I didn't even have a chance to wash it.

The next one I'll be going to is Hoosier Hills in Franklin, IN in June. They also have a contest, so let's see if I get the courage up again!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I am a Horrible Blogger

Yes, "Horrible Blogger" is capitalized, as in a title. I just realized it's been about 3 weeks since I blogged, and that is inexcusable. Yes, it's been busy. No, I have not taken pictures of why it's been busy, though I should have.

First bit of news: I won First AND Second Place at The Fiber Event at Greencastle, IN in the skein competition!!!

I finished the First Place winner the night before, and the Second Place winner was just me playing around. Go figure.

2011 Goal update: I still haven't picked out my color work project, though I really need to add my books to my Ravelry Library so I can see what patterns I actually own. I have 2 pairs of socks finished for the quarter, so I only need to finish 2 more socks by the end of June. 

My April Lady Sweater is complete, save for buttons. It fits pretty well, but I just need to wash it to block it since it's acrylic. Yes, I was tempted to wear it today, but I know better. I will just end up pulling at it the whole time since it's not the dimensions I want. 

There. Was that so hard? 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baby (Knitting) Fever

While I was visiting my parents last weekend, I made a slew of baby gifts for my friend's shower next month. I managed to finish the cardigan, a bib, and a dishcloth.

The bib is actually a little big since I completely neglected to look at the needle size or gauge on the pattern. It's the Penguin Bib, and is really big enough for a toddler. But I figured 1) a bib can never be too big, and 2) with this baby's genetics and growth rate, she'll be the size of a toddler shortly after birth anyway.

The cardigan is made from Bernat Baby Coordinates in pale yellow. I loved making the Garter Yoke Cardigan. It was so easy. And since the baby is due in June, I left the sleeves short. It's finished off with my first ever button band and awesome purple flower buttons.

This dishcloth was just to test out my brand new Knitpicks Harmony Interchangeables Set!!! I bought it last Friday at Stitches & Scones in Westfield (yes, they carry knitpicks in their store now. i'm pumped.) And to top it off, you get their tote bag discount also. These babies are everything I thought they'd be. Now I just need to get about a dozen more cables in different sizes.

The baby blanket is also made with Bernat Baby Coordinates, this time in lavender and cream. I wanted to use as much of the yarn as possible, so I made it a giant granny square.

So, technically, I have the shower gifts finished. However, I know I won't stop there. A burp cloth and face cloth set? Headbands? She needs a matching headband with that cardi. Any other thoughts?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Lady Sweater

Before you ask, no, I did not block that other cardigan yet. I know I said I didn't want to start another sweater until that was done.

I also have no discipline.

And so my Spring Lady Sweater as begun! It's the ubiquitous February Lady Sweater. I'm using some Red Heart Designer Sport I picked up a couple years ago for $2 a ball. So this sweater will cost me about $10 to make. I worked a gauge swatch and after a few days of knitting, I'm ready to separate for the sleeves.

I've also been compulsively checking the fitting notes and other people's variations. How long do I want the garter section to be? How much do I want it to flair? I know I want it to be fuller than my last 2 sweaters. The sleeves in the pattern are wider and I KNOW that will not work for me. Oh pattern mods, how I love you.

In other knitting, sock 1 of 6 for Quarter 2 is finished. It's another pair of vanilla socks, so I will post the picture of that when the pair is done.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Irreconcilable Differences

They've tried working it out. They've talked. They've gone through counseling. They've even taken a break to give themselves some alone time. But nothing is going to fix this couple....

...Of socks.

I've given up on 2 at a time socks. The idea is nice, but to me they are so fiddly and I was getting so discouraged at knitting for so long and not even seeing a heel. I just don't think this technique is for me. The socks are now on separate needles, and will hopefully be able to get on with their separate lives.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Making a Dent

I've had 5 skeins of Mirasol Tika, a pima cotton, in my stash for...well...a while now. It was a find at Tuesday Morning, but I had absolutely no clue what to do with it. I finally found a shawl I liked, Not too lacy, not too dense. The Summer Flies shawl has different sections of lace and a ruffled picot edge. Knitting it was fast and easy, though my butterflies didn't exactly turn out the way I planned. Still, I love it, and can't wait to wear it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Tend to Go a Little Catwoman When I Craft

Lately, my knitting seems to be slowing down a bit. I'ma little socked out, and since I've reached my goal, I'm giving them a break. I finished the sleeves of my Striped Cardi, but haven't blocked it yet. So I haven't started my next sweater, the February Lady Sweater. but I still have the urge to make something, so I've started making jewelry again. A LOT OF JEWELRY. I talked about it with a friend who i found out also made a ton of jewelry and still has her supplies. I "shopped" her bead store and scored a ton of stuff. I've spend the past few weekends hunched over our ottoman in the living room with Netflix running in the background (Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State at the moment) surrounded by bags of beads. It always looks like I went crazy opening them. Here are a few of the things I've made. (apologies for the low quality pics. i promise they will be better for my etsy store)

This is black and red beads accented with silver chain. Matching set includes earrings and long necklace.

Stitch marker set includes 5 markers of blue stone framed in silver.

Brown and olive stones with gold chain. Set includes dangle earrings and long necklace.

Stitch marker set has 7 markers. Assorted beads.

Navy and gold beads on gold chain. Set includes earrings and necklace.

Pastel beads with silver flower beads. I'll admit, I've worn this and love it. Necklace and earring set.

Purple beads with gold rings and chain.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's not gonna be that warm tho...

Goal #4 has been completed! I finished the simple lace scarf and showed it off at my last spinning class. Here's a picture of it blocking. I wasn't sure if i could ever get the corners perfectly square, so i left it a little on the bias. and with the weather staring to warm a little, this scarf will be perfect.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I't So Tiny!

I started my friend's baby sweater a couple weeks ago after hours of agonizing over patterns on Ravelry. I'm using the Garter Yoke Cardigan and Bernat Baby Coordinates in yellow. The sweater is a basic top down raglan. Of course I didn't bother to pay attention to gauge so this my fit her baby later rather than sooner. All I have left is a sleeve (which i made shorter since the baby is due in June) and button bands.Oh, and I should probably buy some buttons for it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

At Least It's Warm?

Of course I haven't been working on my actual quarter 1 goal. That would be too logical. Instead, I finished another scarf. The longway striped scarf is finished! It was my mindless knitting for a few weeks now, and I really knocked a lot out over the past few days. I even managed to knit while reading Dead Until Dark. I decided to add firnge so that I wouldn't have to weave in ends. However, I sort of overestimated the number of stitches necessary, so the scarf is extra long. Wrapped loosely around my neck once, it reaches my knees. Looks like a very tall man will be getting this as a gift. Any takers?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's So Fluffy I Could Die!!!

I've picked up my drop spindle again after months of wheel-only spinning. This is a new one I picked up a few weeks ago after spinning class. I prefer the slightly heavier spindles since I can get it to spin much longer (we all know how impatient I am). The fiber I'm spinning is a 50/50 silk and alpaca blend from The Trading Post in Pendleton. The fiber is DREAMY. I love spinning it. But because it's alpaca, the more you touch it, the more it expands. It also sticks to sweaty hands and dark fabric. I'm planning to turn this 4 ounces into a 3 ply DK-ish yarn. I haven't decided if I'm plying it on the spindle or wheel yet. I also have an equal amount of silver gray that I'm going to try to spin on my wheel.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2-At-A-Time at 2 AM

Yes, that is what you think it is. I decided that at about 12:30 at night, I should teach myself how to knit socks 2 at a time on one long circular needle. Why, you ask, would I do this to myself? On what planet was this a good idea? This is the last thing I should be doing at this time. Will my mind be able to wrap itself around knitting 2 socks from 2 different balls of yarn simultaneously? I had visions of the Thneed from The Lorax coming off the needles. Or those cute mittens on Ravelry knit together so you can hold hands with your love and still keep warm. One sock is the second of the pair of vanilla Lana Grossa socks. The other is the beginning of a vanilla Berocco Comfort Sox. I'm doing 2 different yarns in hopes that I WON'T get them mixed up and knit together, but only time will tell.

Does this make me a crazy knitter?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Making Progress

So, I've figured out part of the problem with the laptop. It runs fine on battery power. However, when it's plugged into the wall, it shuts off. The really funny thing is that turns back on too. Any computer whizzes out there that have a theory?

Dr. Who Scarf

This is the scarf for my friend that was in our wedding. At first, I decided that I didn't like how the garter stitch looked and stared this in Stockinette stitch with a seed stitch border. However, even with the border, it rolled like crazy on the edges. It has been driving me so nuts that I have decided to restart it in garter stitch. And, surprisingly enough, it's going much faster. It's only about 2 feet long so far, so I've dubbed this as my other Quarter 1 goal. So here you go, Matt. I promise it is actually being worked on.

Spinning Update

I haven't done a lot of spinning lately due to the sock monster consuming my brain. But I figured, I would do a little show and tell on the things I've accomplished.

Here is the Targhee from Mountain colors. The staple was shorter than I'm used to, so it is spun woolen (which is fun and super fast). It's my first 3 ply yarn, which i learned is best for hiding, uh, inconsistencies in plies, and the twist gets distributed more evenly. I think it's about a worsted weight and will become a hat or mitts.

Here is the most recent yarn I made. It's Frabjous Fibers Merino in the Stained Glass colorway. I was aiming for a fingering weight yarn for a shawl. Since I'm not as confident about my spinning, I thought a 2 ply would do fine. I haven't totaled the yardage yet, but I think it will be enough. I've also decided that I really enjoy spinning merino.

Oh, and here is a picture of my "swift." yes, i know that's like cheating.

Sock Update

Pair #3 for this quarter will more than likely also be mismatched. I finished the other vanilla sock from Jawoll, and have almost an entire skein left over.

The Skyp sock is about halfway through the leg. I've switched from the bamboo DPNs to the teeny tiny circular I bought (it's an Addi Turbo 8") thinking it would make things go faster, but to no avail.

So, I decided to start a new sock! It was actually already done through the cuff since this was originally supposed to be the Skyp. I didn't like how it was turning out and was about to rip the whole thing out when I realized, "Hey, this is a finished cuff!" It sat on waste yarn for a few weeks, but I threw it on the tiny circular needle, and pumped out about 4 inches of leg during knitting on Sunday. That's about 2 and a half hours, which is lightening speed for me. I also decided to try a short row heel again.

You can't really see it in the picture, but one of the sides has a ridge along it, which I'm suspecting should be on the inside. Other than that, it''s going well. Now, what should I do for the toe?