Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite Yarns of 2012

These are the yarns that I liked the best this year and are currently available. They are all sock yarn. That's probably because I use fingering weight yarns more than any others. I've knit with all of them. In no particular order:
  • Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, 100% merino. This is available from multiple sources.
  • Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering, 75% merino, 20% cashmere, 5% nylon. This is available from multiple sources.
  • Socktopus Sokkusu Original, 100% merino. Available from Socktopus' web site plus a few other locations.
  • Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga!, 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.
  • String Theory Caper Sock, 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.
I haven't knit with these yet. They're the ones that are shouting at me to use them immediately.
  • Quaere Fibre Shiny, 75% merino, 20% nylon, 5% stellina. The colors are so good that I went off my yarn diet twice in the past two weeks to pick up more.
  • Mad Color Fiber Arts several different bases. I just finished a Firefly-themed club. The yarns were great matches to the characters. The JessaLu project bag was icing on the extra-chocolaty cake.
  • Cakewalk Yarns Footsie, 75% merino, 25% nylon. Cakewalk's dyer has a unique dyeing style resulting in yarns I can love. There's a lavender with a bunch of other colors that's calling to me right now. Must resist. Must use pretty yarns I already have. ETA: resistance was futile. I bought it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I just joined a WIP Wednesday list, so I'm repeating a bit from the previous post. Here's the current state of the epic Tardis Afghan:
It's the first time I've spread it out and looked at it in over 100 rows. I'm happier with it than I thought I might be. Jasmine the cat approves, too. ETA linky to other WIP Wednesday people

Vincent and The Doctor

It is a touch lighter in real life, but overall the colors are pretty accurate. I like it very much.

I finished a sweater, a shawl, and a pair of socks over the last couple of weeks. I've been far to lazy to wash and block them. I bailed on the Advent scarf. About halfway through it I decided I'd never use it and I wasn't doing a good enough job on it to give away. I am back to working on the epic Tardis afghan. It's going to be huge, easily the largest object I've ever knit. I'm a few rows short of the halfway point. I made some obvious mistakes in the starfield pattern that surrounds the Tardis. I've decided that I can live with them. If I do any more frogging on this thing I'll probably give up and I would rather finish it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Christmas at Downton

It was a good delivery day: two FedEx, two UPS, and two USPS packages, including this:
It's Lorna's Laces Sportmate in the Christmas at Downton colorway. I tried to adjust the color, but had no luck. I could probably get a better representation of the color if I took a picture outside. I'm not going to do that because it is cold and I'm a lazy slug. Everything's more green than blue. What's showing up here as turquoise is closer to teal. At any rate, it's pretty yarn and I'm interested in finding out what the KAL is going to be. My fingers are crossed that it isn't a cowl.

Quaere Fibre

I bought a skein of yarn from Quaere Fibre in an auction. The picture doesn't do it justice:

Somebody Tweeted about the company this morning. You can guess what happened next. I ended up buying a skein of sock yarn on the same Sparkle base. There was only one and the colorway is Vincent and The Doctor. It looks like Starry Starry Night was put in a blender and the colors used to dye the yarn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Knit away the sad

This time of year is not very cheery for me. Generally I shut up and wait for it to go away and it always does. This year the Sandy Hook murders have left me unable to do much of anything but cry when I see pictures of those lost children on tv.

The new Rule 1 is: no news shows.

Rule 2 is: do something positive about the situation. A Tweet led me to Danbury, CT based Happily Hooked on Crochet Club. They, in conjunction with a crochet guild in Virginia, are doing something positive. They are collecting hand-stitched stuffed animals and prayer shawls for the Sandy Hook kids and their siblings. A Ravelry group called 600 Monsters Strong is working on the same thing. They've got some great suggestions for the safest/most comforting monsters.

I chose one of Rebecca Danger's adorable monster patterns, Daphne and Delilah. It has the added fun of a pocket on the front of the momma monster for stashing the baby monster. I'm going to use the Sandy Hook school colors of green and white. Traveling from Walmart to Walmart on the week before Christmas looking for the right colors of acrylic yarn was a Bad Idea. I chose to buy it online and throw some money at expedited shipping. You've got to take care of yourself before you can expect to comfort other people.

ETA: The HHCC reports that Newtown is overloaded with stuffed toys. If you're just now running across this post, check out the 600 Monsters Strong Ravelry group. They are planning for the project to go beyond the current situation.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Drops Advent Calendar

I just remembered one of my favorite fibery holiday things. The Drops Design 2012 Advent Calendar is under way. This Norwegian company offers a free pattern every day in December leading up to Christmas. The link's to the American English version. There are versions for a number of other languages. The patterns even include an estimation of what it would cost to knit them using Drops yarns. I printed out yesterday's pattern because it reminds me of a sweater I knit several decades ago.

Free John Bates

One of the quickest ways for me to get into knitting mischief is Ravelry. If I look to see what my Friends are getting up to, I have to do what they are doing also.

Today it was a Downton Abbey-themed KAL. Jimmy Beans Wool has a limited edition yarn from Lorna's Laces. It's Sportmate in a color called Christmas at Downton. I like the colors. It'll ship just before Christmas so it joins my Cookie A membership as a present to myself.

The KAL starts right about the time that Season 3 of Downton begins in the US. I hope it's a pattern I'll like!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Back during the dark ages, I was working in the computer field. We supplied some basic technical support to people who had software problems. There was an expression used behind the scenes called RTFM. It can more politely be translated as "Read The Funny Manual". You've already got the instructions, pinhead, just follow them!

I was reminded of RTFM when I took a look at some of the advent scarf pictures. I went back and looked at the instructions and guess what? I hadn't read the funny instructions.

I restarted the scarf and learned something important. If I follow the instructions, it's much faster and easier to follow the pattern.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent Scarf Day 1

We get a new pattern every day for 24 days. Each daily pattern is separated by a little strip that can include beads. The beads I picked are tinier than what the pattern calls for. I like how they look and I know I'll like the relative lightness.

I finished a sweater and two hats this week. None of them particularly excite me. The hats are going into the winter stuff donation box because they may suit someone else. They aren't bad, just not what I like. The sweater needs different buttons. It was an experiment that sort of worked and sort of didn't work. The lesson I learned from it is that I must put larger projects in a time out before I commit to them.

I've been sick, so many things have been annoying me. I decided to not do any socks for the time being. I started a shawl called Wingspan that I'm knitting out of some Regia Kaffe Fasset-designed colorway. It's all garter stitch. I'll know for sure I'm feeling better when that begins to annoy me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Zippy Strip

Sometimes I make things just because the way they are constructed amuses me. That was the case with Frankie Brown's Zippy Strip. You knit a strip, cleverly sew it to a zipper, and zip it up. Voila, a cute coin purse.
I admit that I had to take half of it apart and sew it together a second time. I misread the directions.
It was fun and it used up a little bit from the bottomless leftover sock yarn bin.

Monday, November 19, 2012

52 Pickup

Check out this scarf:
The designer is Alasdair Post-Quinn, the wizard of double knitting. His site states that the pattern's available on Ravelry. Cooperative Press will be offering it in book form and in kit form. I desperately want to knit this. I've got so many projects queued that I'm not going to get it yet. The rule is that I have to finish the Tardis Afghan before I get it.

It's going to be a while.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Van Gogh Inspired Yarns

I like Van Gogh. I like sock yarn. One of my favorite Doctor Who episodes is Vincent and The Doctor. When I found out that Opal had released a series of yarn with colors based on Van Gogh paintings, I knew I was in trouble. I needed to calm down before I went completely bonkers and bought all the yarnz. I put together pictures of yarn swatches and the paintings that inspired them.
Now I can study them and pick one. Or two.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Advent Scarf KAL

There's a group on Ravelry that is doing an advent scarf mystery knitalong. Every day from December 1-24 you get a new clue. I like the idea of having one little project to do each day. The yarn requirements haven't been listed yet, so I checked out what was required for the previous two years. I wanted to use laceweight and I don't have anywhere near enough of a single color in my stash. DBNY has some Rowan alpaca/wool blend on sale for half price. My hardest choice was deciding between rose and mauve.

Beads are optional with the pattern. I haven't decided about them yet. If I have beads already that will work with the yarn, then I might use them. There will be no new beads purchased because oh my Gallifrey do I have a lot of beads for someone who doesn't use them often. Perhaps I ought to use them if I've got them!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doctor Who mittens

I found the chart for these on Ravelry and of course had to drop everything and make them.
The white yarn's an angora blend so they are very soft and warm. I hope the recipient enjoys them. Now, back to the mystery hat!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fabric Fun

The fat quarters I ordered from the Spoonflower sale arrived today. For some mysterious reason, I got two extra quarters. My favorite (and one of the doubles) was this steampunk-themed pattern:
I was amused by the Doctor Who toile:

Knitting continues, but nothing new is complete. The sweater's about 3/4 done. 400+ stitches in a single row gets to be a bit much, so I have been working on mittens for a break. It's a Doctor Who chart, with DW logos on the palm and the seal of Rasillon and little Tardises on the back.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hat band

That's the first step in the mystery hat KAL. Yarn color's closer to the button. Yes, I know Photoshop Elements will help me correct the picture color, but I'm even worse at that than at taking the picture in the first place. Also lazy. The designer gave an estimate of the percentage of the yarn needed for each step. I'm now more confident that I've got enough handspun. Why is it I suddenly heard Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear saying, "What could possibly go wrong?"? That phrase is usually followed by a car exploding or falling into the sea.

Sweater front and sides are nearly to the point where something interesting happens. The thought of doing other than the pattern has me motivated to keep going on it. We'll see how long that lasts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mad Color Geek Tour

My first stop on the Tour is Firefly's Serenity Valley:
You don't have to be a Browncoat to appreciate a BFL/silk blend!

UFO month was semi-successful. I got several things done that had been gathering dust for a loooong time. I've got a quilt that needs the quilting part finished. I've got an afghan that's 1/3 complete. Anything else has either been tossed out or is sitting in maybe I'll frog it pile. The thing that came clear to me is that I need to start things and finish them before picking up something else. It's knitter's ADD. Among the things I've started in the last month and fully intend to finish are two (unrelated) mittens, a sweater, and a sock. Probably two socks. I'm starting Wooly Wormhead hat KAL tomorrow. Still I'm petting this Shiny skein and wondering what I could make with it. Hopeless.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

UFO Update

I knew I'd probably stall on the UFOs before the month was out and that's pretty much happened. I did completely re-sole my Killer Rabbit slippers, so that's something. I finished one pair of this month's Cookie A sock club socks. I've got 10" of a cardigan body complete. I told myself I could take a break every time I used up a ball of yarn for the sweater. That didn't last. I put it down and started the second pair of Cookie A socks. The yarn's scratchy and a bit stiff, but it shows off the lacy pattern nicely. I hope washing will soften it.

I've not bought any more yarn since the blue stuff a few days ago. Fabric's another story. Spoonflower is having a 2 for 1 fat quarter sale through Halloween. There were some Doctor Who themed fabrics I hadn't seen before, so I gave in and got four. I know I'll use them eventually so it wasn't that indulgent.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The latest distraction

I got a new Knit Picks catalog the other day. For a change, the only thing I was tempted by was a free pattern. It's just the right size for a gift card and it can be used as a Christmas ornament.
I made it using the square DPNs from Kollage. They're supposed to be easier on your hands and result in more even stitches. They are recommended for people who knit tight. I'm definitely not one of those people. The tips are extremely pointy and sharp. My cats will come up while I'm knitting and try to scratch their faces on my needles. I had to be careful for that not to happen while I was using these needles or I would've ended up at the emergency vet. Other than the pointiness, they were okay. I think I'll have to try them on a larger project before deciding whether I like them or not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The latest indulgence

My name is Paula and I'm addicted to buying sock yarn. When I saw the cover of this Entertainment Weekly, I loved something about the color combination. I said to myself, this would make a really pretty sock yarn.
It's a week or two later. I'm on Twitter and the proprietor of Black Trillium Yarns tweets a discount code to her followers. It can't hurt to look, can it?
A skein of this is on the way.

I didn't see the pictures together until I previewed this post. What a match!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back to the UFOs

This is Betty Boo. She's been in the queue for 3 or 4 years.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not at Rhinebeck... I had to go shopping online. That's my excuse. Paradise Fibers is having a 15% off sale on those square Kollage needles I've been wanting to try. That's my other excuse. I have no excuse for the skein of Madelinetosh sock yarn that I bought with it.

My lack of discipline has extended itself to my works in progress. When I found out that those last two pair of Cookie A socks don't have to be done until mid-December, I dropped them like they were hot. (groan) I picked up the sweater I started a couple of days ago. It starts with this psycho ribbing where you do a right twist then a left twist. I can do the right twist without a cable needle but not the left twist. Three hundred and sixty tiny little twisted stitches. I'm not doing three inches of this. Two is plenty. I think I'm about three rows away from being done. Arrrrrgh!

P.S. If you're on Twitter, follow KnittingRyanG for some giggles. Ryan's your imaginary boyfriend that's super supportive of all fiber activities. Since you can't be at Rhinebeck, he's invented a fun event called Ryanbeck. People are starting to play along and it is funny.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Drop everything and knit socks

UFO October has been interrupted. Cookie A is giving away a membership in next year's sock club. You get an entry in the drawing for each pair of this year's socks you do plus one for each cookie recipe you try. The cookies are out because a) I don't need to be eating cookies and b) the oven wants replacing and it's not going to happen right away. I've got all but the two newest patterns done so I'm dropping everything and knitting them.

The chances of winning are probably not on my side, but there's no harm in trying. I was going to knit them anyway, so what the heck.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Double Dose of Companions

The second and third shipments from the Ladies of Who club arrived today. These are two of my favorites. It might've been sponsored by the letter S.
Sally Sparrow. Colorway is "It's Happy for Deep People". It's about equal parts of red, orange, and dark blue with gold Stellina throughout. This should be really interesting to knit with.

Sarah Jane Smith. Colorway is "My Sarah Jane". In real life the color's a little bit lighter. It reminds me of her car, a Nissan Figaro, which I want.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vest is done

I tried steaming it, but there's no way around washing and blocking.

December Mittens are done, too.

Next will probably be sewing projects.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ten Eleven Twelve

That's today's date. I'm easily amused.

I visited one of my Local Yarn Stores the other day. I ended up spending more than I intended but I did have a coupon. It was more than I intended minus 10% so that's one good thing.

I neglected to bring my reading glasses with me. This is a mistake I'll be unlikely to repeat. I picked up a couple of balls of pretty pink/lavender/green yarn in a wool-silk blend. I didn't note the price until I got home. Yikes! I picked out a shawlette pattern based on the yardage I bought. This turned out to be a mistake, too. At least it wasn't my mistake. According to the pattern, I should've had more than enough to finish. I ended up 15 rows short. That's 15 of the longest rows. I think I'll frog it and make the hat I was considering in the first place.

The other purchase was yarn to redo the back of a vest (one of the UFOs). I brought some yarn back from Ireland a long time ago. There was enough to do the front of a vest. I knit the back with yarn that I've been pretending was a close enough match. It isn't close enough so I'm doing it over. I looked at every green yarn in the entire store. I told myself all I had to do was match the color. As long as the yarn wasn't bulky or thicker, I'd find a way to work with it. I found one yarn that matched. Of course it was bulky, but I think I can make it work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Here's the big pile of birthday goodies I got for myself:
Some are actually yarn club yarns and a couple of things were ordered ages ago. I saved them all so I'd have fun things to open today.

Monday, October 8, 2012

UFO Musings

I'm in no mood to work on the quilt or the two projects that need to be hand-felted. There are several embroidery projects, but they are going to the back of the queue to be done after the quilt. I need my big magnifying lamp set up to do them and it'll be more practical to do them all at once.

Three more projects need supplies to finish them. Tomorrow I'll shop for them.

That leaves the sheep sweater (in deep hibernation), the Tardis afghan, and the mittens kit. I'm one thumb from being halfway through the kit. The current plan is to alternate between the afghan, mittens, and the other projects. We'll see how long this plan lasts.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sweatshirt sheep

I worked on one UFO and decided I didn't want to finish it. The next two were embellished sweatshirts and I finished them both. This one came out better than the other did:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Quilt Up

I did this as part of a quilt-along a couple of years ago. Today I sewed a sleeve on the back for a mounting stick and stuck it up on a wall.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Make Do and Mend

I finished the knitting on this a while back. It didn't come out to a standard pillow size, so I had to make my own pillow form.
Per usual, the colors aren't showing up right. Navy blue, wine, and olive are the real shades.

I'm starting to see why I have so many UFOs. Many of them have one thing wrong with them but I like the rest so I don't want to toss them out. Will I do the tiny piece or cross-stitch or finish quilting a small quilt? Will I hand-felt the bunny slippers or repair the Monty Python killer bunny slippers? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Secret Projects

Secret projects are done. They both look a little like this and are more blue than the picture:

Day 3 of UFO month: repaired holes in each of my Feet Eater slippers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CPH and day 2

This is a quick shot of my Central Park Hoodie.

Today I went through the bag of UFOs. I think there's a bag, a bucket, and a shelf dedicated to things that need finishing or want starting. I decided I didn't want to do a project that involved dyeing a tshirt. The elements of that project have been put in other places.

Secret project #1 is complete. The knitting part is complete to be more accurate. Secret project #2 has been started. I think I'll go block secret project #1.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Central Park Hoodie

My Central Park Hoodie is completely done. All it needed was for the zipper to be sewn in and I did it. It'll be great when it gets colder and I'm avoiding turning on the heat.

Six Sock September turned into Five. The last pair, Wanderlust, are still damp but I took their picture anyway. They came from the first issue of The Sock Report. If I hiked, they'd be perfect. The heels and toes are done double-thick.

I knew I'd be casting on something new and not already queued before the month was out. I didn't think it would be this soon. I've got two secret projects that jumped to the top of the queue. They are both fairly quick and I'm making them with stash yarn. I can't say any more because there's an outside chance the recipient might come by here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UFO Month on Paula's Planet

My sewing room is now clean and organized. It took several days, several big black trash bags and several naps. All of the yarn is now in the room. I keep going back and looking at it in amazement.

The one remaining issue is the number of UnFinished Objects. That room is where projects go to hibernate. Some of them involve a great deal of time but most of them don't. That's why I'm declaring October to be UFO month. Every day I will finish something. I'll also avoid starting new projects, but it isn't a fail if I do. No doubt some shiny object will catch my eye and I'll go chasing after it. I will finish something first before I chase it, though. Also, I get my birthday off (unless I actually want to finish something that day).

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm fairly good about not shopping like crazy. I give in to yarn I just have to have once in a while, but less often than it might sound from reading this blog. Once a year I allow myself to have a few more things because my birthday's next month. The packages are piling up and I'll open them on The Day.

My latest favorite yarn thing are spatter-dyed yarns. I don't know if that's the technical term. They've got random spots of contrasting colors. I've only seen a couple of dyers who do what I like. One is Lisa Souza. I actually bought enough yarn for a sweater from her (very rare for me). Great colors, great selection, fast shipping. Check her out at one of the Stitches shows. My new favorite is Cakewalk Yarns. Lots of yummy colors and that spattery effect I love. Two new skeins are on the way.

I've got a couple of knitting books arriving. One is the new Super Scary Mochimochi. I'm sure it'll have me dropping everything and digging through the leftover sock yarn for making monsters. The other is Chrissie Gardiner's Indie Socks.

I'm replacing the aging postal scale that I've been using for various fiber tasks. The new one gives the weight in both grams and ounces (yay, less math!), gives the weight in hundredths instead of tenths, and has a tare funcion. Plus, it's shiny.

I ordered a zipper so that I can finally finish and wear my Central Park Hoodie. I finished it back in January and dug it out last week. It still smells faintly of Soak.

Last (well, last for the moment) on the indulgence list is a skein of Wollmeise. I've always wanted to know what the big deal is about it. I'm waiting to hear from someone on Ravelry who is destashing. I figure it might take some time to hook up with someone who actually has the yarn ready to go, but that's okay. I read about the feeding frenzies in the places where they sell it online and I don't want to do it that way. I'm getting too slow on the keyboard in my old age, heehee.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Off Topic

I'm completely off topic today. I don't feel like talking like a pirate. I'm burning out on my sock knitting project. Pair #6 has been eliminated because the colors don't play well together. Pair #5 is on hold because they aren't going to fit. Pair #4 will be completed. However, they will be a fraternal pair. I'm going to dig up another Cookie A pattern to be the sock in progress' brother.

I'm posting this because it makes me laugh:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Funky Jedi

These are pair two and three (Funky Chicken and Jedi Mind Tricks) of Six Sock September. I have part of four, five, and six started.

Friday, September 14, 2012

SSS and SSS meet KADD

I giggled in recognition as I read this post by the Yarn Harlot. There's definitely such a thing as Knitter's Attention Deficit Disorder. It may not appear in psychological textbooks, but it is real.

I'm in the midst of Six Sock September. In theory, I'm knitting six pair of socks. Pair #1: done Pair #2: about 75% done Pair #3: about 75% done Pair #4: about 30% done Pairs 5 and 6 have patterns and yarn selected and are in their own project bags. I've got a terrible case of Second Sock Syndrome. I started switching off between Pair 2 and Pair 3. The foot portion of both are so boring that I had to start Pair #4. It's ridiculous. I do a pattern repeat on #2. As reward, I get to stop and do an inch on #3. To reward myself for doing that, I get to do 15 rows of the pattern on #4. I know it's a bit crazy, but it is the only way I'll get through them all.

One good thing came out of this. Pair #4 is knit with my first Madelinetosh sock yarn. I really like this stuff. It's got a great texture and the blue color makes me happy. I've happened upon so many good sock yarns this year, maybe I'll do a top ten list at the end of the year.

Friday, September 7, 2012

November Mittens

It's so odd to look at these mittens and see how clearly the pattern came out. when I'm knitting away and swapping colors, I don't see the patterns starting to appear.

I'm working on my six sock September projects. The Emoticon socks are done and they didn't come out all that great so no pictures. I'm switching back and forth between the Jedi Mind Trick pattern and the Funky Chicken (socks, not the dance). The Jedi socks are playing tricks with my brain so I need to take a break with a different pair. The pattern's not that difficult but I keep picking up stitches from the wrong place and not noticing for several rows.

The issue's further complicated with a new project. I was knitting at the laundromat yesterday. No, I still haven't gotten anyone to fix my leaky washer yet. Long story. Anyway, one of the women who works at the laundromat came over to check out what I was doing. She doesn't speak much English, so I didn't get the point across that I don't knit much for total strangers. Next thing I know, she's back with a hat. It is her favorite hat that has seen better days. She begged me to make her a new one and I guess I'm going to do it. She's so cheerful and helpful with her little tool that gets coins unstuck from the machine that I couldn't say no.

Friday, August 31, 2012


I got an newsletter from a yarn company recently. It declared that novelty yarns are back. I don't think so. Once you've knit a scarf from one of these so-called yarns, you're done. There's nothing more to be done with them.

I'm on a housecleaning rampage and a bunch of what are going are novelty yarns. I admit I did buy a few of them on purpose for a project. Most of the others came from yarn grab bags. The grab bags came from a place that sells discontinued yarn and leftovers from discontinued yarn shops. If the yarn was desired by anyone, the yarn shops would've sold them and maybe still be in business.

I'm not buying any more, even if the yarn shops tell me all the cool kids a buying it. I don't want any more guilt about what's going into a landfill.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

When Fandoms Collide

If The Doctor landed in my yard this afternoon, I'd ask him if we could go to the 1980s and get this:
In another not totally unrelated thought, I loved Nerdist podcast #250 I heard yesterday. I think Chris Hardwick and Alton Brown are brothers from different mothers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sheepy Time Tea

It doesn't fit quite the way I hoped, but it's still cute.

Regia Rocks

These are the Colors of Provence socks from the Stephanie van der Linden book. I ended up with two different dye lots of the Regia Design Line Kaffe Fasset yarn. This was the only time I can remember working with two dye lots and having no trouble at all. I can't see any difference in the colors between the two. The color repeats were the same for both balls of yarn. I had to start a little way into the second ball to get to the point where I started with the first sock. The difference at the toe was only a couple of inches of yarn.

The yarn texture is excellent, too. I've been working with a lot of Knit Picks Palette lately. It's great for colorwork, but it is a bit splitty. Regia does not have the splitty problem. Yay, Regia!

I start Six Sock September on Saturday. This coincides nicely with the new season of Doctor Who. Yay, BBC America!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mittens in August

This is the first of the mittens from the Knit Picks kit I got. This is October. See all the leaves? They were fun because the contrasting color changes about every 10 rows. The other mittens are similar in style with the color changes, only with different contrasting colors. The patterns are all different with themes relating to various months.

I finished the Sheep Carousel tea cosy. Pictures will follow when the teapot I got to go with it arrives. It had steeks in it where the handle and the spout go. I'd never done steeks before. You reinforce the area around where the steek goes and then you take a pair of scissors and cut a hole in your knitting. It's just as scary as it sounds. The stitches didn't hold together well at all. If I ever do another steek, I'll do the reinforcing with teeny tiny stitches on my sewing machine. It did work out okay in the end. The raw edges are sewn on the inside of the cosy and the wool threads kind of grabbed onto each other. Some I-cord trim goes around the openings which makes it look better and hold together better.

I'm working on the Colors of Provence socks right now. The big excitement will be to see if there will be enough yarn to finish a sock with a single ball of yarn. The leg portion is longer than what I usually make.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Different Book, Different Day

It turns out that Indie Socks wasn't the book I chose from my wish list. It was Knit Socks for All Seasons by Stephanie van der Linden. It was a good choice, though. I've enjoyed the designer's sock patterns in the past so I knew that I'd like this book. It has 24 patterns divided up amoung four seasons. I think I'd like to make them all!

All of the patterns involve stitch manipulation such as cables and lace or colorwork. A beginning sock knitter might find them too challenging. A person a little bit past beginner could easily handle the simpler designs. I consider myself to be close to expert in making socks and think that some of the patterns will be really challenging. This is a Good Thing.

The patterns that jumped out at me were:

  • Colors of Provence: Anything involving Provence grabs my attention because I spent a day there once. It's fairly simple, with twisted stitch cables running down the sides and on the back of the leg. The sample uses one of Regia's Kaffe Fasset yarns. If I don't have it in my stash, I may break the yarn diet and go hunt it down.
  • Summer Meadow: These are socks that come up a little bit above the ankle and have a charming little picot edge. The body of the sock has what looks like tiny flowers all over it.
  • Christmassy: This is an elaborate sock with lots of texture and twisted stitches. This will be probably the first pattern I try.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Knit Books

I got Hunter Hammersen's The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet yesterday. The patterns in it are inspired by old botanical illustrations. Each of the inspirations results in two different patterns, a sock and a non-sock (hat, cowl, shawl, etc.). I liked the patterns and know that a bunch of the sock patterns will be knit. The non-sock patterns are also nice, but most are not things that I like to do. Now I want Hammersen's first book, Silk Road Socks. Looks like it might require some hunting to track down a copy.

Cookie A Knitwear Volume 1: Shapes + Form e-book was released recently. As fond as I am of Cookie's sock patterns, I wasn't fond of this at all. It's again a matter of it not having things in it that I'd like to do. In my opinion, they are mostly suited for young slender girls. The patterns have a wide range of sizes and a couple of them are in Ravelry's top 20 favorite patterns. Clearly, my opinion is in the minority. It's well worth checking out.

Indie Socks: Knitting Patterns and Dyer Profiles Featuring Hand-Dyed Yarns by Chrissy Gardiner is on the way. It may be in my mailbox right now but it is 2:15 am and I'm not going to attempt to cross the road in the dark to see if it is there. With all the hand-dyed multicolored sock yarn in my stash, I have my fingers crossed that there will be some good ideas in it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I got the Knit Picks order that I went on and on about a couple of posts back. The thing that set the whole order off was a circular needle that wanted replacing. I neglected to note the length of said needle when I ordered it. I ended up with a 16" needle. I can't imagine that I'll have much use for anything that short, but it isn't worth the cost of sending it back. I hate it when I do things like this.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yes, We Know Who You Are!

It's somehow appropriate that I was watching The Women of Who on BBC America when I opened my first Ladies of Who shipment. This one honors Harriet Jones. She had this ongoing bit where she flips open her ID and says, "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister" (or whatever job she held at the time). The response, no matter who she is talking to, is always "Yes, I know who you are!". I know this is silly, but it amuses me no end. One of the last times she says it, she says it to a bunch of Daleks. It never fails to start me giggling uncontrollably.

Here's the yarn and necklace to match:

Only $.48 more

I was knitting away on a square for the Make Do and Mend pillow1 with some Knit Picks Palette.  It's this fingering weight yarn that is inexpensive, comes in approximately a zillion colors, and when I use it I actually do a reasonable job with colorwork.  No other yarn I've come across so far works that well for me.

While I was thinking about how much I like Palette, I remembered a circular needle I needed to replace.  It has bamboo tips which are fine but the metal joins catch the yarn.  Stiches do not slide at all and I said many bad words when I used it. I saw in a recent Knit Picks catalog that they had a new line of needles. The next thing you know, I was clicking away at the Knit Picks site.

I've probably said this before. The site has a little counter that tells you that if you spend only $x more, you get free shipping. I hadn't intended to pay any attention to it, but shipping on a single circular needle is ridiculous. You might as well buy something more to justify the shipping. This mitten kit I'd admired previously was on sale (six mitten patterns, 14 balls of Palette). That dropped the free shipping counter a long way, so I figured a couple more balls of Palette should do it. I picked up two colors for the Sheep Carousel tea cosy2.

Forty-eight cents more. I ended up buying a ball of wool/angora called Bare Hare.

1I was going to put that project off until I'd chipped away a little at the UFO/WIP projects.  Five rows to the sheep sweater put that idea to sleep.

2It's very cute. The fact that I rarely drink tea and that my teapot already has a Dalek tea cosy should not enter into this.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Planning Ahead

I'm a process knitter. I love deciding on projects, picking out yarn, and putting things in some sort of order. I have half a chicken mitten and part of a sock to complete and then it is time to decide what to do next.

I'm thinking of doing Six Sock September as six pair of socks instead. I've got five pair at the top of the queue and ready to go, so this might be a good idea. All I'd need is one more pattern which would be no problem.

That would nudge me back to spending August working on the epic Tardis afghan or the sweater with all the little sheep on it. I think that's what I'll do. I'll bribe myself into working on those WIPs by alternating them with other projects. One day's a WIP day. The next day will be something else, maybe even embroidery.

I'm off to print out patterns and pick out yarn. Yay!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I'm done with Ravellenics for the moment:

I've decided to enter Nerd Wars challenges only if I can work them into things I already plan on doing. The work in progress challenge can be met by a second Cookie A sock plus this nerd garland:

You might ask, "What is a nerd garland, Paula?". It is a Christmas garland made to celebrate nerdy things. The garland is designed to have buttons sewn on it and ornaments hanging from the buttons. I put Doctor Who-themed pins on my nerd garland and am collecting things to hang from it. I used Time Traveler yarn for the garland itself. It still needs some work, but at least the idea's out of my head and into physical form.

I'm getting another set of the Rockin Sock Club chicken yarn. I may finish Ravellenics with the chicken mittens. Perfect for August in Georgia, haha.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Do the Funky Chicken

SPOILER ALERT if you're in the Rockin Sock Club and haven't gotten the newest shipment.

When I pulled these yarns out of the package a little while ago, my first reaction was: wow, that's really ugly yarn.

They were all bundled together with a single band, which is why I reacted that way. It is actually 3 separate yarns. The inspiration for the yarn and this month's patterns is chickens. Both patterns have chickens on them. The sock pattern I think is called the Funky Chicken. I plan to use it for one of my Six Sock September projects. The second is a SpillyJane mitten pattern whose name escapes me. I plan to do that after I do the socks.

Ravellenics knitting continues at a brisk pace. I got the Tardis shawl blocked. It is really more of an oddly-shaped scarf than a shawl. It took far less time than I thought it would. The stripey look in the Tardis section actually came out pretty well. It is a bit like you're looking at a bunch of single frames of the Tardis moving through the Vortex. I don't have any pictures yet because I'm in weird sleep mode (all day instead of all night). I need daylight for a reasonable shot.

Color Affection is nearly to the start of the short rows. It's a lot more fun than I would've thought that much garter stitch could be.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ravellenics 2012 Day 3

It's a good thing I set up a backup project. The Tardis shawl is almost done. It just needs about 2" of ribbing. I wish the yarn had been more solid because it has a stripey quality that I don't care for. Oh, well.

Speaking of stripes, I've already started the Color Affection shawl. There was a problem with the joins on the circulars I was using on the Tardis shawl. I had to switch to a pair of straight needles. I haven't used straight (non-dpn) needles in years and it turns out my hands don't care for them at all. I'm alternating between doing a row on the Tardis and a row on the Color shawl (on circulars) to give my hands a break.

I enjoyed the opening ceremony very much. A big thumbs down to the NBC announcers, though. They kept talking and talking and talking over the event when they really should have not been talking. Also they didn't know who Tim Berners-Lee is and had to go on and on and on about how they didn't know. Duh.

P.S. I got a giggle from @Disalmanac on Twitter. The tweet stated that due to NBC's tape delay, we were just now finding out that Jesse Owens' wins had upset Hitler.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watching the Clock

Yarn, patterns, needles gathered for primary (Bigger on the Inside shawl) project and backup (Color Affection shawl) project. Check.

Cats fed. Check.

Caffeine acquired. Check.

Tweet about how it annoys me that we can't see the opening ceremonies live. Check.

DVD of Doctor Who episode Fear Her in player. This was selected as an opening ceremonies substitute because The Doctor lights the flame at the 2012 Olympics in it. Hmm, better go dig that out.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Color Infection

I've been reading posts in the Ravellenic Games section on Ravelry. I feel like a knitting wimp because I only planned on doing one shawl in 17 days. There are people who are doing two of the shawl I'm doing. I decided that there must be a backup project in case I do manage to finish Bigger on the Inside before the end of the Olympics. It could happen.

I read about the Color Affection shawl. Over 5000 people on Ravelry have selected three colors of fingering weight yarn and cast on. My stash could use a diet, so I dug out three skeins that should work. One is handspun from Tour de Fleece two years ago. One's from Cherry Tree Hill that I got on sale. The third is from Schmutzerella Yarns. I think I bought it with another skein so they wouldn't have to travel alone. The handspun is off white, pink, and green. The CTH is a shaded green. The Schmutzy yarn is off white with some very pale lavender. I'm tempted to drop everything and cast on, but I'll be good. Back to finishing a second sock!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tour de Fleece Final Day

This is what I did four this year's Tour de Fleece. It's 500 yards of two-ply yarn, kind of a light DK weight. I did make it through that big Bainbridge Island batt. I learned that I need to spin on a regular basis or what few skills I have deteriorate. I also learned that I really need to put down the spindle and give the wheel a go. I don't expect either of these things to happen for a while. Five days, one hour and five minutes until I cast on for Ravelympics the Ravellenic Games.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bigger on the Inside

It is the second rest day for Tour de Fleece, so that's my excuse for goofing off. I was looking at the number of people who are doing the same project that I'll be doing for Ravelympics Ravellenics. There are at least 37 of us doing the shawl called Bigger on the Inside. I was wondering if it was a lot to do in three weeks. It'll be interesting to see how we all do.

Most of the people are doing it in blue fingering weight. No surprise there as it's what the pattern calls for. I didn't find anyone using the same yarn as I am. There are a few using the original's yarn from Lorna's Laces. A number of people are using different kinds from Knit Picks. The only one I was a little jealous of was a blue with sparkly stuff in it.

There were a few choices that baffled me. Multicolored yarns? I wouldn't want to do that much work and then not even be able to see the pattern. I'm not talking shaded, I'm talking colors with extreme contrast between each of the colors. My yarn's shaded and I'm hoping it'll be okay. Laceweight? Unless you're making it for a tiny person, I wouldn't think that would work. You'd have to use big needles to get gauge and the Tardis pattern again might be lost. Bulky yarn? I can't begin to guess what that person was thinking.

I think I'll go take a look at the pattern again. There's a section where you have to pick up 300 stitches and I'm quite sure I'm going to want to find another way of handling that little chore.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 13

I finished this two days ago. I call it North Pole because the angelina in it looks like snow when it sparkles.
I'm continuing to spindle away at the Bainbridge Island batt. I'm still overspinning but not as badly as I was at first.