Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mitten Mania

I don't think I've worn mittens in about a half century. I rarely need anything on my hands where I live now. When I do need something, I dig out an ancient pair of Isotoner gloves. Why would I have a sudden desire to knit mittens?

  1. I'm a little bit tired of socks at the moment.
  2. There are many cute and challenging mitten patterns.
  3. It's all about the process, not the product, for me.
  4. January is National Knit Mittens Month (NaKnitMitMo).

I've got several projects lined up for NaKnitMitMo. I couldn't wait to get started, so I knit these to keep myself from starting those project prematurely. The pattern's called Love Bytes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cookie Functionality Enabled

The title's a little joke. Blogger frequently tells me that my cookie functionality is disabled. It isn't, but that's Blogger for you.

Cookie A is one of my very favorite sock pattern designers. When she announced her new sock club, I knew exactly what the Santa Sheep was going to bring me for Christmas. Every other month we'll get two sock patterns (one easy, one more challenging), 100 grams of yarn, and two cookie recipes. If this sounds like fun, go here to sign up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Betty's Vintage Christmas Stocking

Originally uploaded by Paula knits

My mom knit these Christmas stockings for a whole bunch of children back in the mid-1950s. I finally dug through my files and was able to reconstruct the pattern.

She's been gone nearly 15 Christmases, but her stockings live on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What do I do with it?

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I joined the Who's Your Doctor yarn club from Nerd Girl Yarns. In the foreground is the first yarn shipment. The picture in the back is the inside of the TARDIS Day card I received. This is obviously the inspiration for the yarn.

The orange and green are both about 15" long and separated on each side by gray about 6" long. The repeats are orange, gray, green, gray. What can I make with this? The skein's a generous 490 yards.

Friday, December 3, 2010

FO Friday

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is so cute I can hardly stand it. It's a Doctor Who-inspired monkey with his pet space dog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All Done

This completes my annual NaBloPoMo daily posting for a month. Sometimes the goal is to be creative. The last few months have not been good, so setting out to do something every day and actually doing it is a success.

It has been a day for finishing things. I saw the last episode of the original Doctor Who last night. I am (almost) finished with my sock monkey made from some of the leftover yarn from my mini Doctor Who scarf. I think I'm finally through with doing anything more with that yarn for a while.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yarn from Amazon

Did you know that there are a lot of different kinds of yarn that you can buy via amazon.com? I was ordering a DVD from them yesterday. I always want to get free shipping, so I needed to put a little something more in my cart. I'd seen a few kinds of yarn there previously, so I did a search for yarn. Big mistake. I nearly got some really groovy Claudia Handpaints sock yarn when sanity returned. I don't need more sock yarn!

The Santa Cat will be bringing my felines a new scratching box. They sell pet supplies, too.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Organizing patterns

I have got to come up with a way of organizing my knit and crochet patterns. I've got patterns in magazines and books. Those are organized automatically by being entered in my Ravelry library. The problem's with the pdf/computer patterns and the miscellaneous paper patterns. I bought a duplicate pattern yesterday, which annoys me no end. Some of the pdfs are stored in my Ravelry library. Some are stored on my computer in the directory where they are meant to go. Some are printed out. Some are in all three places. Some are in none of these places.

Sounds like time to build a simple little database. Now if I could only remember to check it before I buy something, that would help.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bears are ready to go

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Yay! The bears are ready to travel. they are going to Canada and from there they'll go to Haiti. I hope they bring some comfort and happiness to children who've been short on both of those things.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monkeys and Santas and Bears, oh my!

I'm at it again. Nearly everything I want to knit has no practical purpose. Okay, the teddy bears are not totally in that category. They're nearly done and will be in the mail by my goal date of December 1.

Monkeys, specifically sock monkeys, are a relatively new obsession (I did not play with them as a child). Someone in a Doctor Who crafts group on LiveJournal was showing off her monkey the other day. She was making a gift for a friend who likes both Doctor Who and sock monkeys and combined the two. I am planning on taking her idea of using up leftover scarf yarn and knitting up a monkey from it.

Mochimochi Land is giving away a tiny Santa pattern with purchases over the holidays. It was the perfect time for me to buy that dust bunny pattern that I need want. It's for a little project. As long as I was there, I picked up one of the tiny thing collections (the one with the teeny garden gnome). I hope I've got sock yarn in all the colors I need for these.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In honor of Thanksgiving Day, here are some fibery things I'm thankful for:
  • I have all the tools I need for my projects
  • I have more than enough yarn and fiber, and can afford to buy more if I have to
  • I have more than enough patterns and ideas for projects
  • there are four Local Yarn Shops within 20 minutes of my house
  • there are a zillion (approximately) places for acquiring yarn and fiber online
  • Ravelry and other places for interacting with fiber fiends

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mochimochi semifinalist

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Mochimochi Land patterns. There's a group on Flickr where people post pictures of things they've made with the patterns. Last year, a picture I did of slugs and snails was honorably mentioned in the annual Mochimochi picture contest.

I got another honorable mention this year with my candy corn. I was surprised to also make it to the semifinals with my bowling snowmen. I'm sure it won't go any farther than this. There are some pretty, clever, and hilarious pictures taken by people with far more photographic skills than I have. There are glow-in-the-dark bedbugs hanging around a sleeping child. There's a Boo the Bat with a gorgeous background. There's a tiny frog leaping between two cell phones. Go see them, they're a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Tardis Day

I'm going through an obsession with Doctor Who. It's a British television show that was first broadcast on this day 47 years ago. I wasn't watching it then because I've always lived in the USA. I do remember the day because it was the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. Those of us of a certain age tend to remember that whole weekend fairly clearly.

What does this have to do with yarn? Lots. Those who are fans of The Doctor and of yarn are frequently making things relating to the show, especially scarves. In celebration of the day, a group of us were involved in a swap. Here's what I received. It's a beautifully knit Tardis scarf.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On my feet

What are you wearing? That's today's NaBloPoMo prompt, not the start of a naughty chat. The only handmade thing I'm wearing today is on my feet. Actually, that should be things. I'm wearing a pair of purple Feet Eaters. The pattern's on the cover of Knitting Mochimochi. They are warm, comfortable, and silly. When you put them on, it is like putting your feet in a monster's mouth. I've been wearing them a lot since it started getting cold and they are holding up very well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I'm working on teddy bears. I think the first couple I made should've had bigger heads, but they look cute so I'm not going to redo them. I will do bigger heads going forward.

I did a square for International Women's Day, but I don't like it. I'm going to frog it and use the yarn for teddy bears. The redo square will have some kind of lacy pattern in it so it is more fun to knit.

Yes, things are this boring today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Projects in the works

I'm actually going to have to buy yarn for my next two projects:

Gargoyles: My brother bought me a gargoyle for Christmas a long time ago. Ever since then, I've been drawn to the ugly-cute things. They can be found on bookshelves (musical snowglobe with a gargoyle in it) all the way into the kitchen (fridge magnets acquired in Paris). I found the cutest darn knit My Little Gargoyle pattern on Ravelry and now I must make it. I've got good buttons for the eyes, but no DK weight gray yarn.

Christmas socks: I have portions of a Christmas stocking pattern that my mother made about 50 years ago. She made them for all the kids in the extended family and for the offspring of many of her close friends. I want to reconstruct the pattern and post it online. No red, green, or white worsted weight wool.

Hmmm, which LYS do I visit?

Friday, November 19, 2010

FO Friday 11/19/10

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
These are the socks made with the Time Traveler yarn. I tried them about four times and still don't have quite what I intended. My colorwork isn't anything to write home about, but it is improving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yay Ravelry!

Ravelry won .net Magazine's award for 2010 community site. Rav won over finalists Twitter and Facebook. Pretty freakin' cool (and not at all strange. :) ).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I'm behind in everything else, so it is no wonder that it's after 8pm and I'm attempting to come up with a post here. Here's the Italian Market Bag I made last week. The real color is off white with little bits of a mauve-pink in it. It is stuffed full of spinning fiber and there's still room for more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Twist Collective

I spent an enjoyable time this afternoon, checking out the Winter 2010 issue of Twist Collective. I'm always surprised by just how many patterns they have! There were a lot of sweaters. There were a few that I'd consider making, but they all were great to look at. If I was young and slender, I'd be making a lot of them. The hat and mitten sets made me almost wish that it got colder here. Almost.

There was a really cool section on patterns that designers would most like to make for themselves.

The biggest temptations were two sock patterns. I didn't check out the details, but they both appeared to be twisted stitch designs. I also will be going back to check out the button-up cape pattern in more detail. I might have to make it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

One Hundred Million Stitches

A group in Scotland is getting people to knit a 100,000,000 stitch blanket in honor of International Women's Day. The details are here.

I think I'll thin out my leftover sock yarn buckets and do a square for the event.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Disagree (1000000)

Some squirrel over at the Huffington Post listed Ravelry among the 19 strangest social networking sites. Hey Huffington, I'll bet there are fewer strange people on Ravelry than there are who write for your site.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Million Ravelers

Yay, Ravelry! The one millionth person signed up this morning.

::talking in geezer voice:: Yeah, I remember back in '07 when you had to wait for weeks and weeks for an invitation to join Ravelry. Those were the good old days. There was a place where you could get an estimation of how long it would be until your invitation arrived, and I'd check it every day. I think I'll go dig out my "I Swatched Ravelry" tshirt and wear it today. You can't get those any more.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I've been watching tv and not doing much else. I hurt my arm somehow and it interferes with any fiber fun. I rubbed some stuff on my arm to make it feel better. Now one of my cats has decided that she likes the arm stuff and has spent a good deal of time trying to lick it through my sleeve. Why don't I move her? It hurts my arm to do that.

Anyway, as I said, I've been watching tv. I happened on a commercial with fibery goodness. Conan O'Brien is in the far east somewhere, maybe India. He picks out some (silk?) thread and weaves a whole bunch of fabric. He dyes it, too. In the last scene, he's about to go out on stage, and the fabric he's created is the stage curtain. Pretty cool.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Knit Wishes

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is: "What do you *really* want to be doing right now and how soon can you make that happen?" I'll change "doing" to "knitting" and give it a go.

I'd like to be either working on the Doctor Socks again or pick out the pattern and yarn for November's Self-Inflicted Sock Club. I can do the picking out pattern part after I clean up and do a few chores. I can make the knitting part happen at my 5pm Gilmore Girls break.

After that, it's back to the things I don't necessarily want to do, but must do first. There are more bears in my future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Resisting Temptation

The new Knit Picks catalog arrived today. There are many things to tempt me, but the object of the current exercise is to use what I have.

Snow Day Ornament kit is cute. It has many adorable little sweaters, popcorn and cranberry garland, and colored Christmas lights. I think I could make the sweaters based on the pictures. The garland would be fun for a while, but I think it might get boring before it got long enough to be useful.

Palette 100 Sampler has one 50 gram ball of each of the Palette colors. It would be fun to have, but I don't need more yarn!

Northern Critter Caps kits look like fun. I do not need more hats.

Sock patterns and kits are appealing. No more sock patterns or yarn until I use up a LOT of what I already have.

Now the catalog can go into the recycle bin. Good girl. Now stay away from that Wisdom shiny sparkly sock yarn that WEBS is advertising, and all should be well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It's one of those days. I started working on some charity bears that I need to get done by the end of the month. I got bored. I started working on a market bag. The pattern was from a grab bag and the yarn was some I won in a raffle. I got bored. I can't think of something fun to knit. I'm a process knitter, which means it has to be fun at some point or I won't work on it.

Maybe if I clean the litterbox and vacuum the house, something will sound fun. Maybe not, but at least a couple of things that need to be done will be done.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dream Dwelling

Today's prompt from the NaBloPoMo folks was to write about one's dream house. I thought about it a little bit, and realized to my surprise that I'm already living in it. A shabby little cottage might not be most people's dream, but it suits me.

Most of the dreams related to the house are now in reach. I've got a bit of cash to spare and will be using it to get some things fixed around here. I can also afford some storage pieces that will make things better. It's not exactly dreamy to have only two closets! I have a comfortable couch where I do a lot of knitting, but one of my cats has mistaken it for a scratching post. I can get it covered.

The one part of the house that's still in dream mode is the deck. I'd like to have it rebuilt as a screened-in porch or three season room. It's be great to have a sheltered place to knit and enjoy the fresh air and whatever crazy critters happen to visit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is my spam handspun, which is the only thing I got done this week.. It's the Spam-inspired fiber I got in a Monty Python spinalong plus a little bit left from a Spindies sampler. I started making a hat with it last night.

I got frustrated with the Doctor Socks because I am apparently unable to do the floats and tension correctly. I'm considering taking the sock apart again once I finish the hat. Maybe the third time's the charm. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doctor Socks, take 2

It looks better than it did the first time, but it's light years away from where I want it to be knitting wise. Why do ideas nearly always come up better in my imagination than they do in reality?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doctor Socks, take 1

One of those things I just had to have now because it's a limited edition is Knit Picks' Time Traveler sock yarn. Now that I have it, I don't want to knit a plain socks with it because that's boring. The yarn is self-striping with six different colors in it. I thought I'd try knitting some of the charts from my Who Hat, with the stripes as the background. It kind of works, but not well enough.

I'm going to frog what I've done so far and make some changes:
  • Knit the cuff, heel, and toe in green (the 7th color in the original scarf that's missing in the yarn)
  • Rearrange the spacing of the designs on the stripes so it looks less random
  • Work on the knitting tension so it looks smoother

See you tomorrow when I'm back from the frog pond.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Excuses, excuses

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is what arrived in the mail yesterday. I can explain away most of it. I think this may be the most fiber and yarn to arrive in months. Honestly.

Black fiber in the foreground is attached to a cat and is not a part of my fiber 'problem'.

One of the two bags of spinning fiber behind the cat was ordered several months ago. The bag next to it was a freebie. Freebies are never a problem.

The green fiber batt and the yellow/pink/green sock yarn in front of it are swap gifts. Gifts are never a problem. Swaps are a problem in that I sometimes buy one thing for my partner and one for myself. I'm cutting back on swaps to minimize this.

The rest of the yarn plus the needles and patterns were from a grab bag. It was an impulse buy of something that could only be had for a short time. This could be a problem if I don't stop. Which I will. Most of this yarn went into the trade or sell category on Ravelry.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I saw a couple of those tv shows about people who hoard things. It's disturbing that people have so much stuff that they can't do anything that you'd expect to do in a home. They can't walk around in their homes or cook a meal or sleep in their beds. Around the same time I saw those shows, I entered my 300th yarn on Ravelry. It was a shock. That's a lot of yarn. I calmed down a little bit when I realized that this included yarn that had been used up. The stash is does not interfere with moving around the house or doing anything in it.

It did get me thinking that I'm a bit dysfunctional when it comes to art and craft supplies. The obsession sets in and I buy a little bit at a time and the next thing I know, I'm up to my ears in rubber stamps, cross-stitch pattern books, or 300 skeins of yarn. Maybe the insight will help me rein in my yarn-acquiring habits. Fingers are crossed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

FO Friday 10/29/10

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I saw this kit on Etsy and had to have it. The bat's made from a mini sock and comes with the cutest sock blocker with a bat cutout on top.

I finished a couple of things for swaps, but have decided not to display them since they've not been sent out yet.

I'll be back on Monday for the start of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I'll at least attempt to be entertaining.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FO Friday 10/22/10

Who hat. My inner critic is screaming about this one, but Ihad fun making it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FO Friday 10/15/10

FO Friday 10/15/10
Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The mini Doctor Who scarf is done (mini=about 7 feet instead of 22 or more feet long). The second Andean chullo hat is done. I'm really happy with how well it came out. The socks based on Selbu mitten patterns are done. I'm not happy with how they came out, but I have ideas for making them better the next time I want to try them.

Not pictured yet is a bag full of knit candy corn, made for a joke.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A very Whovian birthday

I have been wanting to knit another Doctor Who scarf. Have I written about this before? I can't remember. Sorry. I decided to click over to Knit Picks and get some yarn and do one in about half size. I'm using fingering weight yarn instead of the DK the original uses. I'm using about half as many stitches. I didn't get good matches on all of the colors, but I'm okay with that. I zoomed through nearly a quarter of the scarf yesterday.

The yarn's Knit Picks Palette. It's a teeny bit splitty, which means that the all garter stitch scarf is a little tricky for a speed demon to knit. The yarn was designed specifically for Fair Isle style knitting. It works GREAT for that. I did another Andean Chullo hat with the yarn. It was the best colorwork I've ever done.

I've decided to do a third hat, but this time it'll be a Doctor Who hat. I've got plenty of yarn. The hat kit has a lot left over plus I overestimated what I'd need for my scarf. The current challenge is to graph out the designs. My drawing ability peaked during the Eisenhower administration, so it is a teeny bit difficult.

My other birthday prezzie to me was also from Knit Picks. I bought the Harmony interchangeable circular needle set. I was using a circular with a really bad join recently and decided I'd had enough of that struggle. It'll be great to have a whole set of different sizes and different cable lengths.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Llama or Alpaca?

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I went shopping today and gave myself permission to spend a little bit as a birthday gift to myself. I showed great restraint at Lovin' Knit (bought a ball of DK for making some charity bears) and the new location of Cast-On Cottage (two skeins of Koigu). When I was in World Market, I spotted this adorable little critter and had to have him. He's only about 4 or 5 inches tall and as soft as a cloud.

The tag calls him a llama. It also says that a llama's wool is called alpaca. Huh?? I thought alpaca fiber came from alpacas and llama fiber came from llamas. The fur on this little guy must be alpaca because it is so soft. Llama fiber isn't soft, or at least the kind I've touched isn't.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FO Friday 10/1/10

FO Friday 10/1/10
Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The purple thing is a space dog. I'm pleased with the bow tie. I knit it without a pattern and tied it properly, following instructions I Googled. The black thing is a project bag. I hope the recipient likes it. It has a kind of funky homemade quality, but it seems to suit it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I hereby resolve to attach tags and labels to yarn in my stash in such a way that they do not come off by accident.

I was unhappy to discover that the yarn I am using to knit a stuffed toy is not what I thought it was. It turned out to be Malabrigo sock yarn. The tag was in the bottom of the storage bin.



The stack of not-yet-used knitting books has been growing around here. In an attempt to justify buying them, I've created SIS. SIS is the Self-Inflicted Sock club. I was inspired by the Yarn Harlot, who creates socks monthly from patterns she's been meaning to use. I've stacked up a dozen books to use. I've gone through my Ravelry stash and pulled out a dozen skeins of the oldest sock yarn.

I did something like this previously. This year was meant to have four projects, one for each season. Three went fine, but the last one had a pattern that just did not work. I tossed it, dumped the yarn back in my stash, and decided to move forward.

October's project will be based on patterns in the book Selbuvotter. I saw something similar on a project page in Ravelry and have wanted to try it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finished Object Friday 9/24

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I finished my Andean Chullo this week. It came out a little bit big, but I was really happy with it otherwise. The kit had enough yarn to make at least one more hat. I will do that after I complete a bunch of other things. I've been better at starting things than finishing them lately.

Two of the four LYS around here have moved in the last couple of weeks. I visited The Whole Nine Yarns at their new location today. Parking was obnoxious at the old location, but it's just fine at the new one. The shop itself is light and spacious. I found all of the things I needed plus a couple things more. It's moved up to #2 in my favorite locals (#1 if I'm looking for Cascade 220).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Have a knitting-meme

Link spotted on Twitter. There's not much I haven't tried, apparently

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn

Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting: knitting items on, or to be left on the street – possibly ninja knitting. Or pirate knitting.
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Household items: dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…
knitting socks- or other small tubular items- on two circulars
Dying with plant colours

Knitting items for a wedding
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads

Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere

JewelryKnitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern

Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets

Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finished Object Friday 9/17/10

We have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from the Knit Picks anklets set. We have Falling Leaves socks. We have the Queen of Cups which are a secret gift for someone.

My latest plans are to finish the anklet set (Saturday and Sunday) then get into something less boring than footwear. I'm designing a Day of the Dead project bag based on Erssie Major's La Calaverita Charts. My other two projects are Doctor Who-related. One is purple. The other is striped. Stay tuned for more information.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dad's Last Socks

My mother used to knit socks. I was fascinated by the dpns and the little bobbins of yarn dangling down. She mostly made argyle socks for her father. When he passed away 30 years ago, the last socks he wore were a pair that Mom knit.

My father passed away last week. He didn't have much of anything appropriate to wear as his last clothing. My brother was looking through his dresser drawers and pulled out a pair of socks I'd knit him for Father's Day. He said that they would be one thing that would be worn. The strange thing was, he didn't know about Grandpa wearing the socks that Mom had knit. The shades of brown in the stripey socks gave my brother a color palatte for the other clothing he got. They didn't show, but it was oddly nice to have given him one last handmade gift.

Rest in peace, Dad.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tossing Daleks in the frog pond

Originally uploaded by Paula knits

I decided to give the Dalek socks a try. The third attempt is in the middle of the picture.

There were two rules: I could not buy any yarn to make the socks. It all had to come from my stash. The problem with this rule was that I had to use both light fingering and fingering weight yarns to get the colors I needed. The weights are similar, but different enough to cause trouble two different weights showed up in the same row.

That brings us to rule 2: the object of the exercise was intarsia practice. I wanted to do this as smoothly as possible. My first try (the partial sock on the right) was positively lumpy so I started over. The second try was less lumpy, but had some other troubles I decided I couldn't live with. I did save the top band. That's the only success so far. I used intarsia in the round. I finally got it through my head how that should work. It's a little lumpy at the moment, but I think it will smooth out in the wash.

It probably sounds like a lot of bother for a pair of socks that no one will ever see. It's fun in an odd way plus it is good practice for a project coming up next month.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

FO Friday

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is all that was finished this week. They are my Tuesday footies.

Not much of anything else got worked on because I got a big bag of fluff from Desert Garden Farms. It's a Monty Python themed spin-along and my fiber is Spam-colored. I love it, but am starting to not be as obsessed with pink as I have been. What will my new favorite color be? Maybe one of the footie colors? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whovian Crafts

I'm on this big Doctor Who kick lately. It's a British science fiction show that originally started in the 1960s. I've been watching a whole bunch of old shows on DVDs. One of the Doctors (they change periodically) is known for a ridiculously long knit scarf. It has inspired the show's many fans to knit the scarf and make other crafts, too.

I made the scarf about, ummm, 30 years ago. It didn't make the move with me from Colorado to Georgia. I didn't think I'd have a use for it here. Now I want to make another one, but want to do it in fingering weight yarn with half as many stitches wide.

I got the idea of making a box for all my sock-making tools in the shape of the Doctor's space travel vehicle, the Tardis. I planned to make it similar to a sewing box I'd made back in my cross-stitching days. It has four flaps that are connected on the base. The box lid holds the flaps up and closed. I've got the design drawn up and know what materials I'll need, but haven't gotten father than that. A couple of weeks after working up the design, I happened upon this sewing box. Mine wasn't intended to be exactly like this one, but it the ideas are similar enough for me to be very surprised. I guess there are too many crafty Doctor fans for there to be many truly original ideas. A tip of my fez to the person who designed it and shared all of her work via those zillions of Flickr pix.

I've got another project in the works, but it isn't knitting or fiber related. If it works out, I'll be using it in an upcoming swap. It's going to be a secret until then.

If these projects plus all my non-Who projects weren't enough, now I want some of the Time Traveler sock yarn from Knit Picks. It's self-striping and is in six of the seven colors of the original Doctor Who scarf. They've not mentioned the inspiration for the colorway, but the description of the yarn lets those of us who dig the Doctor know what it was.

I'm off to watch the latest disc from Netflix. I'll be digging through my stash to see if I've got the right colors for some Dalek socks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FO Friday the 13th

FO Friday the 13th
Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Two Fridays in a row with completed objects, who woulda guessed?

The two endless BFL braids are done. They hardly look like the same fiber, but they are. If I had it to do over again, I think I would alternate between the braids when spinning so I could use all the yarn on a single project. I think if I alternated rows with the yarn as it is, it would come out stripey.

The little creature is part of the Braiiiins Gang, three glow-in-the-dark mini zombies. I haven't decided yet if they will be part of the project I made them for.

The toe is from Monday, the first of seven anklets from a Knit Picks kit. I had to change how I did the heel because the pattern as written didn't fit my big fat feet. I came up with a workable solution. It isn't elegant, but it works.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Am I being unreasonable?

I'm in this swap. As part of the swap, we hand make something for the person we are sending stuff to. The minimum amount of time to be spent on whatever we make is 1 to 2 hours. Most people seem to work more than that amount of time. They make things like arm warmers, dish cloths, and amigurumi. Once in a while someone will make socks or a small shawl. I've sewn several project bags, and they seem to be acceptable offerings.

The current version of the swap has me partnered with someone who wants an afghan. She calls it a rectangular shawl, but it's really an afghan. She has not given any other suggestions for her handmade item. She doesn't want a pattern in it, just stockinette or garter stitch.

Am I being unreasonable to not want to spend the money or time (with a pile of woolly fabric in my lap during the hottest summer in years) knitting myself into a coma?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Endless BFL Braid

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I've been making a feeble attempt to finish up old projects before starting anything new. I started spinning a braid of Bluefaced Leicester wool over a week ago. The braid was very similar to the one in the picture. I traded with someone to get a second braid and now am beginning to wonder why on earth I did it. I think the braid that I'm working on has a magic spell on it. It is getting smaller, but it doesn't show any sign of ending. I've been spinning for hours every day, too.

I finished knitting the Grouchy Couch pieces, but they all need a blast from the steam iron before I put them together. The ironing board is covered with a pinned together quilt, which needs to be quilted and bound. I stopped working on it so I could do the spinning for Tour de Fleece, which is how I started working on the BFL.

I think I'm in an infinite loop.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour de Fleece is over

for another year and I'm glad. Spinning is hard to do when it is so hot that my hands are sweaty. I'm not touching the fiber I'm working on or the spindle or the wheel until it gets a LOT COOLER out.

I met my goals:

  1. spin more consistent and thinner yarn (aka suck less). Check.
  2. spin every day except the official rest days. Check.
  3. spin on the wheel. It was too darn hot to try to make my body learn the coordination. I did get the wheel set up correctly and I'm not scared to try again when I'm more patient. Check.
  4. spin through all the coral fiber and all the alpaca in the bag and ply them together. I left out two mini-batts that were closer to pink than coral to blend in with the upcoming Spam yarn. Check.
  5. spin something beyond the coral and alpaca. I spun the Rose Garden yarn and about a quarter of the superwash BFL I'm calling Last Stop. Check.

I didn't make it quite as far as I expected with the Doctor Who DVDs. I expected to make it to doctor Four. I'm still working on doctor Three.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Challenge Day

You know that saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? Well, this picture is the opposite. It's the result of my challenge and it'll take about a thousand words to explain why it is a success. In the Tour de France, the bicyclists are having a tough day. I think it involves a bunch of cycling in the mountains. In Tour de Fleece, we are expected to do something that's difficult for us. My challenge was to get my spinning wheel set up correctly and spin on it. I've been afraid of my wheel. I thought I wouldn't be able to spin on it. I was able to get it set up properly and I was able to make the wheel spin around as it should. I was only able to spin a few inches of yarn (it's the brown stuff in the picture). My frustration level was pretty high, mainly due to the temperature. It's 10 pm right now and the temperature outside is still over 80 degrees. I decided that I'll try the actual spinning on some other day when it isn't so frakking hot. Still, I'm not scared of the wheel now. Yay!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 16

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I <3 this batt. It's wool and silk from Split Rock Ranch.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 14

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is the milk fiber blended with the fluff that's under the spindle. It is hand-dyed rambouillet in a colorway called Scallop. The fiber's got a really interesting texture and spins nicely. I'll want to go to The Fuzzy Bunny next time I'm looking for something to spin.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 12

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I finished the last of the bag of natural alpaca and spun a little bit of milk fiber. This came from Moonwood Farm and the colorway is Peach Blossom. It really is made from milk. Here's what the tag says:

Milk fiber has antibacterial properties, no bacterial or fungal cultures are able to grow on it. It also has the same pH as human skin, making it a wonderful fiber for those who are sensitive to other natural fibers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thanks, Cocoa Beach Yarn

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is Scooby Sock Yarn in the colorway In The Time of Butter-flies.
I won it in a random draw of people who finished the fifth sock in the Iron Knitter competition. The Cocoa Beach Yarn Company sponsored Iron Knitter and the latest Sock Wars. They provided a whole lot of their yarn as prizes. Thanks for your generosity, Cocoa Beach Yarn.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tour de Fleece Rest Day

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I have been spinning, as you can see by this. I clearly need more practice, but I think it is better than what I did last year.

On my rest day, I went to the post office to send some yarn to a Ravelry person. She needed some discontinued yarn that I happened to have in my stash. I hope the dye lots are close enough for it to work well for her. Then I went to the most local of my lys, Only Ewe and Cotton Too. I prepaid for a groovy skein of alpaca sock yarn from Yarns on Stage. Go over there and see the cute sheep that display the limited edition hand-dyed colors. They are really cute, and the yarn's great, too.

Then I came home and worked on the Grouchy Couch (that's the correct name) from Knitting Mochimochi. My only concern is having enough yarn. It doesn't look like it should take two skeins of the main color, yet the pattern calls for two. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 6

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I spun a little more of the Day 5 fiber, but just a little bit. I've got to work out a way of spinning that puts less stress on my left index finger. I took a time out to use my special Swedish hand carders, which don't require using specific fingers. The alpaca started out a little bit crusty (left) but turned out nice and soft and fluffy after I carded it. I plan to ply this with the coral fibers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 5

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The new fiber today is Painter's Coral, a blend of superwash merino, alpaca, and milk fiber. It comes from Dragonmaille Designs. I've done something hurty to my left index finger, so I don't know how much I'll get done for day 6.

In unrelated news, I am a winner! I've won two skeins of yarn in two different drawings and I won a gift certificate to a fabric shop. There are some technical delays in me getting two of those things., but the third arrived yesterday. Thanks, Knitters Brewing Company, for the lovely Bellini yarn.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 4

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I swear, it really is different fiber from yesterday. The top is the new stuff which is merino, honey tussah silk, and angelina in colorway Seashell. It comes from H.A.Y..

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 3

There were two fiber changes today. Not visible is a pale peach merino/tencel blend called Coral Moon from Moonlight and Laughter. The visible fiber is Superfine 19 micron merino in the colorway King Crab Legs. It comes from Wooliebullie.

I'm using this as a record of what I did. This way I don't have to make sure I keep track of all the labels and business cards or whatever yet can still go back and buy stuff from the places I especially liked.

Mini Me in London

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The yellow arrow is pointing to mini-me at the Stitched Selves display at the Science Museum in London. Well over 200 people knit/crocheted/sewed little versions of themselves and shipped them off to the Stitch London folks. The arrow's not part of the display, I just added it so I could point mini-me out. Here's a picture of her I took before sending her off:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 2

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I won't be a posting every day during Tour de Fleece, just one every time I start another fiber. I'm working through half-ounce batts and braids of fibers from 10 different companies.

This is Shell Pearl, a blend of alpaca, mohair, SW (not sure what that is), Falkland, and Angelina. It came from Silver Sun Alpacas.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 1

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The fiber is about 1/2 ounce of 90% wool/10% mohair. The colorway is Coral Gables and it comes from Natchwoolie.

I'm on Team TARDIS, which are a bunch of people who are spinning and watching Doctor Who. I'm using a bunch of coral-colored fibers that range from this pale peach shade all the way to nearly orange. To keep with the Doctor Who theme, the resulting yarn will be called Not Amy's Hair. Why? Because Vincent van Gogh told Amy she had orange hair and this yarn will not make it to that level of orange.


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I got an excellent swap today from someone on Ravelry. There were lots of good things in it, but I wanted to share this in particular. It's alpaca, naturally dyed in Peru. There are 100 grams of fiber in 10 different colors. It's being sold as a felt-it-yourself kit, but it looks and feels to this beginning spinner as if it could easily be spun.

The cool thing is, it came from Cost Plus World Market. Even yarn stores don't carry anything like this. It has been a while since I've been in Cost Plus. Maybe it is time to take a trip over there. The place could be full of yarn!

The box has a web address that I've not checked out yet: www.raymisa.com

(Flexible) Finished Object Friday

Those who are paying attention to such things will note that it is actually Saturday. This week, I am stretching the definition of Friday to include the writing of this post.

These are my Skew socks, knit with the watermelon turned into strawberry Kool-Aid dyed yarn.

These are this week's Granny-a-Day squares. The persnickety reader may have noted that only one is a granny and a week's worth is 4, not 7. Again, flexibility is the key here.

Last we have half of a pair of Foot Eaters. The pair is complete except that this one's sister needs to have her eyes and ears applied. I'm going to go do that now, then I'll be ready to start Tour de Fleece.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Good Day

My copy of Mochimochi Knitting arrived today. I've already been swatching for a pair of Feet Eaters. They are slippers. When you put them on, it is like you are putting your foot in a monster's mouth. I need pink yarn for the inside (tongue) but don't have any. I either go out and buy some tomorrow or buy some Kool-Aid and dye some. Guess which will win out? After the Foot Eaters, I want to make the Grumpy (or is it Angry?) Sofa and the TV Set. Then I'll see if I can make some Human Beans in the right size to sit on the sofa. Then I'll make some tiny dust bunnies. There obviously must be dust bunnies, since the Human Beans have been sitting on the sofa watching TV and not cleaning up. The dust bunnies aren't in the book, but I think they are in my files someplace. Probably collecting dust.

I was paying my credit card bill, and glanced at the part where they give you bonus points. I'd looked at this before, and mostly ignored it because I never had enough points for anything. I decided to see if that was still the case. Much to my surprise, I now have enough points for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. I am sure there are a bunch of knitting books on my wish list that I can get. Yay!

The icing on this particular cake was winning a skein of yarn from The Knitters Brewing Company. I mentioned before that they are doing a knitalong of an Awareness Ribbon sock. A donation for each kit is going to the Susan G. Komen organization. Those who buy the kit and finish the socks get their names tossed in a hat for a free skein of yarn. The Knitalong continues for two more months, so you've still got time to join if you'd like. Unlike last time I won some yarn, I know I'll get this.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finished Object Friday

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The white ribbon socks are done.

The strawberry socks are almost half done. I think that I learned enough things to give the watermelon dyeing another try. I've got to find a store that carries a variety of Kool-Aid packets first.

My sampler quilt is pinned together into one piece and has been patiently waiting to be quilted.

I've decided that the journal bags aren't quite right for the know it all bag electronics. The bags are too heavy. My next task will be to find or create something else. This will probably jump to the top of the queue. Poor socks and poor quilt will just have to wait.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Watermelon Strawberry

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The yarn I'd intended to be watermelon striped is now strawberry. I think it was a little bit too ambitious a project for the first time using this technique. It's got a really long color repeat. It took over half the length of my little house to prep the yarn. One of my cats was convinced that it was a ride in a kitty amusement park. I wasn't amused in the least. I didn't have the right color of green. Mixing blue raspberry with lemon-lime didn't work well. The idea I had for putting little dark spots for watermelon seeds didn't work at all.

What I ended up with was not what I was going for, but I still like it. I haven't had a chance to check out the striping, but I expect that will work.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Grannies not forgotten

I signed up to do a granny square a day thing awhile back. I didn't plan to do exactly one granny per day. It isn't required and the crochet police won't be after anyone who is in the group and not producing a square a day. I did set the project to one side because of some other things that took priority.

I'll be getting back to it pretty soon. I ordered a copy of "200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match" from Interweave's hurt and overstock book sale.

I really want to work on the Great American Aran Afghan, but have decided to wait. I have this dream that I'll someday get a great deal on the 4000 yards of worsted that's required. In the meantime, I'll be busy with my crochet hook and all those leftovers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

FO Friday

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Twisted Flower Socks by Cookie A, all done! The yarn's from Crystal Palace and is called Panda Silk (bamboo/merino/silk). It's a nice pattern. I also finished the pair of father's day socks.

Having finished a couple of things is a sure sign that I've been finding other mischief that I want to get into. This time it is watermelon socks. I happened upon the cutest self-striping yarn that looks like cut watermelon, complete with seeds. The only places I found that sell it are out of stock and more than a little on the pricey side. I've got it in my head to dye my own with Kool-Aid. I have several skeins of Knit Picks Bare, so the cost for the project is around a dollar for the Kool-Aid. I've done some research online, and this may be do-able. I'm not allowing myself to do it until my white awareness ribbon socks are done, though. That's motivation to keep working on them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
KnitPicks has this kit in their catalog for a week's worth of anklets. I really liked the idea of getting 7 different colors of yarn and 7 different anklet patterns. I wasn't crazy about the yarn, though. It was the same stuff I used to make my Susie Hoodie which made me not to want to use cotton blend yarn ever again. I left the catalog open to the page with the kit on it. I told myself that if I still wanted it in a week, I'd squeeze the $20 for it out of the budget.

As you can clearly see, I gave in and ordered it. The good news was that the kit I ordered online has Stroll (75% superwash merino/25%nylon) instead of the cotton stuff. Yay! There's something so pleasing to me to have this package of yarn in all different colors.