Sunday, November 30, 2008

I finished something

With this post, I finish NaBloPoMo for 2008. That might not seem like much, but it's not been a good year for finishing things. Here are some things that have not been finished so far in 2008:

  • Adventure Socks. I was going to design a couple of socks for a possible computer game related knitalong. These were to be based on a maze in the ancient computer game Adventure.
  • Lovely Socks. These were going to be for the same KAL. They were to be based on the Lovely Furniture series in Animal Crossing.
  • Leaf Socks. Same KAL, same game. The leaf looks like your basic leaf with a little circle missing from one edge. I did work on this, but had no success.
  • Fruity Oaty Girls. If you're a Browncoat, these need no explanation. If you're not, these need too much explanation. They were to be little knit dolls. I was going to Kool-Aid dye the yarn for them. The packets of Kool-Aid are in a pile on my worktable, as they have been for months.
  • Godzilla. This is the one from Knitted Icons. I got partway through him and decided that the spiny ridge up his back made him look more like a T-Rex than an actual Godzilla.
  • Able Sisters knit hat collection. I spend entirely too much time playing Animal Crossing. The Able Sisters are dressmaking porcupines who also sell accessories. I've been wanting to do real life versions of their knit hats for fun. I'm thinking of doing them doll sized.

This isn't all, just the stuff on the top of the pile. My Hibernating list on Ravelry is growing all the time. My goal right now is to finish spinning that batt. The new house rule is that no new project can be started until one old one is done. Check back for next year's NaBloPoMo and maybe I'll have some finished things to share.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yarn in progress

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
It clearly has some fuzzy spots, but it looks like yarn to me. The batt this came from is from Lorna's Laces. I bought it when Fiber on a Whim closed their brick-and-mortar store several weeks ago. The batt's 5 yards long, which has a lot to do with why this looks better than most of what I've hand spun to date. I expect to make it 2-ply.

The picture shows not quite 1/4 of the fiber, so there might be enough to do socks, if it isn't too thick.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Garn Studios Christmas Calendar

The calendar is coming back for another year. From December 1-24, a new free knitting pattern will be posted each day. The link's for US English. If you read better in another language, the patterns are offered in several others. That really impresses me. I think the native language for those folks is Norwegian.

The patterns are nice and I have several stashed away from last year. I'm looking forward to having a little present to open daily.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I put the jacket where I can't see it and picked up some fiber. I haven't worked up the courage to try my spinning wheel, which is something else around here that could be dusted off. I've got a top whorl drop spindle that I bought at SAFF a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if I'm using it properly or not. The fiber holds together when I spin it, so I'm guessing that it is at least close. There's something soothing about twirling the fiber around and winding it up.

It's Thanksgiving here. I'm thankful for things that make me calm and relaxed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More mini patterns

I'm not only avoiding working on the jacket, I'm avoiding cleaning the house.

These are from Berroco:
Minutia mini sweaters from last year.
Minutia 08 new mini sweaters this year.

They've also got holiday CARDigans, which are little sweaters on cards.


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Just when I needed a new distraction, Mochimochi Elves!

No, I didn't get the pattern.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jacket avoidance

It's a rare day when I don't do anything with fibers. I haven't decided what to do next on the jacket. Instead of knitting or crocheting, I finished up a holiday swap. That involved going through a picnic basket full of ribbons and trims. About half of it was a tangled mess. It is now less tangled. The lace is in a separate bag. The little short bits are in the trash. The swap's packed and ready to mail.

The box I used to ship the swap used to hold UFOs. When I moved the UFOs to their new location, I started wanting to work on them. I think it is a symptom of not wanting to frog and redo a big chunk of that darn jacket. At least I'd get something done, hmmmm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

I found a long-unworn denim skirt that I'm using for the jacket back. It has a pleat in the back that I'm going to keep as is. The jacket's a little longer than the one in the design, and I think this should make it easier to wear.

The size and shape of the denim needs to be adjusted from how I originally cut it out. I tried sewing and pinning it together and the fit wasn't good. I think the sleeves need to start out wider that the ones I have, too.

To keep myself from chucking the whole thing in the UFO bag, I took a time out and made a couple of things for an upcoming swap. I don't think the recipient will come by here, but she could so I won't describe what I'm doing. Both things worked, thank goodness. I've got most of the swap ready to go. I just have to come up with a couple of things that relate to the theme I've chosen for the swap. I'm going to Google the theme and see if that gives me some ideas. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No time to blog...

...too busy crocheting.

Jacket front: done
Jacket back: Yoke almost done. Denim part not done yet.
Sleeves: each about half done.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bin Dump

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I dumped out a bin of wool last night and choose the rest of the yarns for the crochet denim jacket. The pattern is not very specific on yardage, so choosing is a bit challenging. The yarn I had for the sleeve top should've only done half of that section. Yet you can see that there's enough for the front trim and the back flower. Based on that, the eucalyptus colored Brown Sheep yarn should be enough for the middle section. I expect that there won't be enough of the gold heather to finish, so I'm filling in the the mystery wool. It is more of an oatmeal color than what the picture shows, so I think it'll work.

Back to the hooks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jacket progress

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The leftmost piece is the side front. The middle piece is the neckband/front. The yarn's a wool/llama blend by Cascade. The brightly colored piece is the top of one of the sleeves. The yarn's two balls of Manos del Uruguay wool. The balls are not identical, but have a lot of the same colors in common. I'm crocheting two rows in one and switching to the other for two rows..

I've got to decide on more colors for the sleeves. There's a lot more pink in the Manos del Uruguay that this picture shows. I'm considering some multicolored pink as the next stripe, with some beige-ish stuff to fill in when that color runs out.

The last stripe's a problem. I've got some green that works with the other sleeve colors, but doesn't work well with the front colors. Looks like it might be time to dump a bin of yarn out and hunt for another solution.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

I was digging through my bookshelves today, trying to find the recipe book that goes with my bread maker. I haven't found it yet, but I did find something else. It's The Designer Collection (for Bears) edited by Judith Shangold. It's a book that was published 15 years ago. Vogue Knitting got together with a bunch of famous knitwear designers and came up with the cutest designs ever for teddy bears.

What was it I said last in the previous post? I wanted cute little sweater and hat patterns. This book has many. My only problem is not having the exact size bear to go with the patterns. They were all designed for 10" bears. Muffy's the closest I have and she's only 8". Uh, oh. I'll be monkeying around with different yarn weights and skipping pattern repeats to make sure the sweaters fit correctly.

I think what I really ought to do is find the recipe book and then stash this book in its place. I don't need to be starting another project right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mini Knitting

I like little things. Dollhouse-size miniature objects amuse me to no end. When I run across teeny little things to knit, I am compelled to make them. A couple of years ago, I bought a set of size 0000 knitting needles to make sock earrings.

When I heard about the mini sock advent calendar, I had to get the pattern. I think I'd do the foot a little bit longer than what's shown for days 23 and 24 because the proportions look a little off somehow.

That got me going on looking for other little things. I found a pattern for mini lace socks. These are miniature versions of the designer's full size socks. There's a fee for them, but the money goes to charity.

Then I found a mini mitten pattern. Now I want mini sweater patterns. And mini hats. It's amazing what ideas come to you when there are 10,000 other things that need to be done before throwing myself into new projects. Even teeny ones.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I put that Feedjit thingy on this page because I was curious about where visitors came from. It is fun to find out that people in Bulgaria or Iceland or Australia have ended up here in their web travels.

One thing that I found out was that I'm showing up as being in Lawrenceville or Lithonia. That's a bit weird, in that I know I'm an hour away from Lawrenceville. I'm not quite sure where Lithonia is. Now Feedjit has set up some sort of link page for people in a close geographical area.

I may be in the Lawrenceville blogosphere, but I'm nowhere near it geographically.

IYNF 2009

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2009 to be the International Year of Natural Fibres. Focusing on natural fibers is a good thing for farmers, especially poor ones, who grow plants and raise animals for fiber. It's a good thing for the planet, in that natural fibers are not a one-time petroleum-based creation.

I can support this in my small way. I'm pretty conscious of what kinds of fibers I buy. I'll make sure to focus on the natural ones much more in the future. As for my immediate plans, I found some wool/llama blend in my stash that will be the main part of my crocheted jacket. I found some Manos del Uruguay wool that'll work well with it. The colors will be more subtle in my jacket than the original, but the original wasn't made with natural fibers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

One completed mystery sock

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I'm trying to make myself finish the foot on sock #2 before I can start on that crocheted denim jacket. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In the To Do Queue

This is the September 2008 issue of Crochet! magazine. I usually don't buy needlework magazines, but this pattern made me buy it. It is made from bulky and worsted weight yarns along with what could be recycled denim. I've got a some green heathery wool that I brought back from Ireland several years ago. I think it wants to be part of this project.

I want to go stash diving and start playing with this right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Done with Super Sock Scarefest

That's done as in, I'm not knitting anything more. I got almost 4.5 of the 5 pair of socks done. The spiderweb did me in. When I saw how nice other people's spiderwebs looked, I decided I would frog mine. Today's the deadline for pictures to be posted, so I'm officially all done. Based on postings to the forum, I think I got more done than the average player, so I'm okay with that.

I'm still working on my first Ravsock. I'm doing better on tension with the intarsia. I had to frog the intarsia a second time for the same reason: reading the chart wrong. I don't know why, but I have to work with the chart upside down for me to knit it correctly. It's working now. D'oh!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meret=Mystery Beret

This is the completed Woolly Wormhead mystery KAL hat. It's knit from mmmmMalabrigo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Magic Fairy

I happened upon a post for Purl:Away on Ravelry. Since my birthday will occur during this event, I'm asking for the Magic Fairy to wave her wand and allow me to attend. As long as I'm wishing, make it single occupancy. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've been working on my Ravsox. I am getting lots of intarsia in the round practice. Since they are top-down socks, I was following my own chart wrong. I got almost all the way through the first pattern before I realized it. It's a royal pita to frog. The one good thing is that I'm wrapping the yarn correctly to prevent holes, because they are not easy to take apart.

Back to the needles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is clue 3 of the Yarnarian mystery sock. I'm having a bad camera day: the left side is a wide band of pattern and the right side has a narrow cable-like pattern done the center. We can choose where we want each to be. I'm thinking the big pattern down the front and back of the leg and the narrow one down each side.

It's strange the way the yarn striping shows up in the photographs. When I look at the knitting, the color changes are much more subtle. Maybe because I want it to be more random, my brain's editing the stripage out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harry Potter sock yarn

I participated in a couple of Harry Potter swaps a few years back. We made a sock knitting kits based on house colors at Hogwarts. It was challenging, because it wasn't that easy to find. If you were lucky, you might get a skein from an independent dyer doing a limited run of various house colors. Otherwise, you had to hunt for commercial yarn in the right colors. There was no Ravelry to help you.

I was remembering this today when I happened upon Opal sock yarn in a series based on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This isn't related to house colors, but it is really cool yarn. I thought I was so over the self-patterning sock yarn until I saw this stuff. I think Ron was the most perfectly matched to the character. Hedwig (I want this) and Tonks were particularly good, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Games Knitters Play

I like playing computer games. I first became addicted to the text-based game called Adventure. Fast-forward 30 years, and I'm playing Animal Crossing on a little pink Nintendo DS Lite. How does this connect to knitting?, you might ask. It's all tangled together, grasshopper, much as a ball of yarn stolen by a pussycat. I happened upon my most recent obsession, Molehill Empire, via Lime&Violet.

It's virtual farming. It sounds goofy until you try it, then it's big fun. Some things grow fast enough that you can knit in between harvesting and taking them to market. That's what I did yesterday with the super secret project.

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be working on my Ravsox and up to my virtual derriere in lettuce and carrots.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just a quickie post

I am in the middle of a super secret project. It is something that just came up. Don't ask, I can't tell you about it. It started out looking like this:

In other news, I tried the Ravsox and the intarsia in the round indeed works better in blocks of color. I do need to concentrate when I do it, though. I'll get back to it later.

I have two new ideas for the game socks. The patterns themselves may work okay. The connection between the patterns and the games may be kind of obscure. Getting them done and test knit may be kind of impossible. I'll try it anyway.

Friday, November 7, 2008


  • KALs are both up to date. Nothing to do until new clues are posted.
  • I can't work up any interest in finishing the Black Widow Spider socks. It's miles of knitting around and around just to finish the foot of the first sock. Even the plain non-instarsia stitches look bad to me.
  • My idea for a computer game theme sock did not work out. I don't have a new idea yet. I have less than three weeks to have the thing completed and test knit. I think this isn't going to happen.
  • I think the Traveler socks could use a longer cuff. I've completed one of them, so doing that would require starting over. I just don't want to face that right now.

I guess I'll pull out the Ravsox and give them another try. Maybe intarsia in the round will work better for me with blocks of color instead of little strands of spiderwebs.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mystery hat - clue 2

I really like working with Malabrigo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Slogging through the spiderweb

I'm struggling a bit with the intarsia. See the spiderweb in the previous post? I frogged it and reknit it. It still doesn't look all that great, but it has improved. The tension's better, but the stitches are not consistent in size. It's frustrating. I've been knitting for decades and it looks like I picked up needles for the first time.

I want to finish the socks soon so I can get back to a pattern I'm attempting to design. It's for a series of knit-alongs based on computer games. I'm a total Animal Crossing: Wild World addict. I've got an idea for socks based on something from that game. The one thing I can guarantee is that it won't be intarsia!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


*if you live in the US and haven't already done so

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mystery Knit-alongs

I like mystery knitalongs for smallish projects. You can knit little bite-size pieces of a project, then go back to whatever you were doing before the most recent clue distracted you. Doing them with other people is good, too. If you're have a problem, other people may have it also. You can all work it out together. If there's a chart error, somebody else may catch it before you even see it.

I'm involved in two KALs at the moment. Ruth the Yarnarian is posting clues every Monday for a pair of socks. It can be found here. The other is a beret created by Wooly Wormhead. She's famous for creating knitted hats on straight needles rather than in the round. This hat is in the round, though. Ravelry members can find the project here. Here's my beret so far, knit from mmmmm my first Malabrigo:

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I told myself I could not start any new projects without completing an unfinished one first. Then Knitty released Frankensocks. Ooooh, shiny, must knit new pattern! I justified doing it by picking all the yarn out of my sock leftovers box. The ribbing on top is Koigu. The rest of the leg is someone's Sock Wars leftovers that I neglected to send with the socks (sorry, whoever should've gotten it). Most of the foot is Noro. The toe's some self-striping yarn with silver in it. I'm not sure what the yarn is I used for the fake stitching. It's definitely Frankenstein-ish, but not as groovy as the original. Go click on the link and look at them. They are much nicer in only two solid colors. The top ribbing on these is only and inch (1.5" on the original) and the leg has only 3 pattern repeats (4 on the original).

I recommend the pattern because the pattern's different on both socks and there's pattern throughout both socks. Socks seem to go so much faster when it isn't just round after round of knit-knit-knit.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Intarsia in the Round

It's that time of year again: National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo as it is often referred to on teh interwebs. My goal is to post something daily throughout the month of November.

Today's topic is intarsia in the round. Intarsia involves knitting a section of color that's different from the rest of whatever's being knit. In ordinary, back-and-forth knitting, it is easy to do. You knit the intarsia section and finish the row. When you come back to the intarsia section on the next row, the alternate color yarn is right where you need it to be.

When knitting in the round, this doesn't work because the yarn is not where it needs to be. This has been bugging me, because I had an idea for some socks that I wanted to do with intarsia sections in them. I could not figure out how to it. Now I've learned how: Knit the first row of whatever you're doing until you're done with the intarsia section. Stop. Turn the work around and go back the other way (probably purling) doing the second row of intarsia stitches. Don't work any of the main color stitches, just slip them. When you finish the second row of intarsia stitches, Stop. Turn the work back around the right way. Slip the intarsia stitches you just worked. Pick up the main color yarn and knit around as usual. Repeat until the intarsia section is complete.

I found out about this technique when I downloaded the final Super Sock Scarefest pattern. Janine Le Cras is the person I have to thank, as she's the author of Black Widow Socks that uses intarsia in the round. If you'd like to see a tutorial, Janine recommends this.