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.