Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stitch Along Wednesday

Tammy's doing a weekly linky page for work in progress. I've decided to play along. Here are my current WIPs and their status:
  • Name of the Doctor scarf: hibernating. I won't mention it again unless I should be motivated to pick it up.
  • Hopsalot (bunny slippers): I finished felting them last night. When they are dry and I can find the pattern, I'll finish them.
  • Kaffe Fassett afghan: I started clue 8 of 9 last night. I decided to assemble it using Option 7 (that only makes sense if you're reading the forum postings) instead of the pattern as written.
    Clue 4
  • The Mystery of the Traveling Scarf: this is an almost year-long knitting game/pattern from Criminal Knits. I'm planning on doing it both as a scarf and as afghan squares. I got the first clue a little while ago so I've not actually made any progress yet.
  • 2014 In Review

    All my Knitmeter counters will be reset in a few hours, so I want to make note of how much I did this year.
    12.3 miles knit: I cut back on sock knitting when I saw how many socks I already own. I expected this number to be shorter than last year's 12 miles.
    200 yards spun
    4445 yards crochet: also an increase over last year.

    Projects completed in 2014:

    • Afghans-2
    • Amagurumi/toys-3
    • Coin purse-1
    • Curtains-3
    • Hats-2
    • Mittens/mitts-5
    • Pillow-1
    • Rug-3
    • Scarf-2
    • Shawl-4
    • Socks-23
    • Sweater-2
    The grand total is 51.

    My favorite new-to-me-in-2014 yarns were from Invictus and Cyborg's Craft Room.

    That's it for 2014. See you next year!

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    Weaving in the ends of 2014

    First of all, it turns out I can sew an afghan together neatly with mattress stitch. Maybe I did better with this one because it's crocheted and not knit. The Deco'Ghan:

    Works in progress:

    1. Irma sweater: Needs blocking and buttons to be sewn on. I plan to do that tonight.
    2. Grandpa sweater: Needs buttons. They are on the way from Hong Kong.
    3. Bunny slippers: One foot needs felting and then they can be assembled. I plan on doing the felting tonight. Really. I know it has been nearly two years, but I will do it! First project to be finished in 2015.
    4. Name of the Doctor scarf: I'll finish it eventually. It'll probably take the place of the bunny slippers as the project I keep putting off. May be finished in 2015 at some point.
    5. Kaffe Fasset afghan: I keep reading the Ravelry group for this thing. I keep hoping that someone will have come up with a different way of assembling it that will work for me. As soon as I work that out, I'll finish it. Hopefully early in 2015.
    6. Van Gogh mini pillow: stitch count is off a bit and I need to take some of the cross stitches out and redo them. I'll probably pick this one back up in a day or two.
    7. Whovian messenger bag: I think my sewing machine needs a professional tuneup. I'll be putting sewing this together until I get that done.
    8. Spring flower quilt: I probably haven't mentioned this project in years. It's about half quilted. I've been putting it off because quilting is my least favorite part of making quilts and because of the Bernina misbehaving.
    That's not too bad. The list could be less than half this long in a month. Then again, I could start clicking around on Ravelry and end up with a whole pile of new projects. it's been known to happen.

    Monday, December 29, 2014

    Yarny goodness in the mail

    These came from Knitted Wit.
    Monet's Garden. The picture doesn't do it justice. In person, it looks like the colors were taken directly from a Monet painting and dyed into the yarn. Impressionists and merino, what's not to love?

    This one's called Sassy Santa. It's on the same superwash Merino base as the Monet yarn. The yarn itself has a good twist to it and is nice and springy. I can't recommend it until I've actually knit with it, but this is very promising. I may be back for more!

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

    I don't care, I like it

    It occurred to me that the multicolored yarns I am attracted to might be considered clown barf by other people. I. Don't. Care.

    The latest examples come from The Cyborg's Craft Room. May I introduce Unicorn Rainbow Fight:

    and Impromptu Dance Party:

    The other four skeins I ordered last week are in the same vein. I like them. They make me happy. It bothers me not at all that I have no idea what I'll do with them.

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    Christmas Eve Eve

    I can't believe that I got all the way to December 24 before checking out Drops Design annual free pattern calendar. I printed out a cute slipper pattern that has a Norwegian design. I may knit them tomorrow if I've got the right yarn in my stash.

    I bailed on that mystery scarf. Stitch counting got even worse, if that's possible. For once it wasn't entirely my fault.

    I finished the cross stitch pieces for my bag. However, I haven't been motivated to get my lazy behind over to the sewing machine to assemble it.

    The yarn showed up for the afghan I decided to make. It's been challenging, but fun. It's crochet. I seem to screw up less when I have only one loop to deal with at any moment. No lifelines are necessary when frogging must happen.

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Danger: cable's not working

    It is working now, but it wasn't last night. If the cable's working, them I'm stitching away on something. If it isn't, I'm online. This isn't automatically dangerous. It's when all of my pretend animals and crops on my pretend farms have been cared for. I'm innocently clicking away on this and that on Ravelry. There's where it gets dangerous. One of the ads catches my eye. Ohhh, shiny, I like that color, let's see where it came from!

    Four new skeins of sock yarn are on the way. I may have two new favorite etsy sellers.

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Scarf not fun

    Arrgh. The third day clues had multiple mistakes. I ended up doing it three times and kind of faking it on the last row when the stitch count was off by 1. It was amusing in a demented sort of way. If you knit it as written, you end up with a single abandoned stitch on one side of the scarf. That was how I knew that what I was doing wasn't even close.

    I put down my needles and picked up a crochet hook. Jasmine the cat ripped the head off of her catnip Dalek. She must know what "exterminate" means. I made her a new one with Christmas colors.

    Now I'm doing cross-stitch. I'm simplifying my original idea for my Doctor Who messenger bag so that it actually gets completed. Simple stitching, that's the ticket. Plus it will use up bits of those many Doctor Who fat quarters that I just had to buy.

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Scarf fun

    I'm over my little knitting tantrum. I've been working on Scarfy Shenanigans. It's 12 days of clues and has been fun so far.
    The yarns are DK weight straight out of my stash. One's a silk/wool blend. The other is wool/silk/cashmere. Nice and soft!

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    What now?

    I'm frustrated and am going to rant. Go grab a candy cane and log into a happy blog.

    ::rant on::

    Issue #1: The Kaffe Fasset KAL. My problem is obvious:

    That's supposed to be flat. And square. I've tried to sew them together many different ways. None of them works. I'm not perfect but I AM experienced in this sort of thing. I packed up all of the squares and yarn and put them where I won't run across them any time soon. If and when my patience returns, I'll look at it again.

    Issue #2: Blogger. I'm typing away on this and the screen freezes. Suddenly, I'm back four pages from where this is. I came back and the draft was here. The way my luck is going, this will disappear. At least I'll have had the therapy of ranting.

    Issue #3: PayPal. I wanted to start in on something new and fun. I found a scarf KAL where the pattern's (allegedly) free with a code. I clicked Buy It Now on Ravelry. When I logged into PayPal, it charged me for the pattern right away and didn't give me a chance to enter the code. I'm not going to do anything about it because it wasn't all that expensive. If I try to get a refund, PayPal will charge the designer a fee for the refund and I don't want him to have to pay it. I'm still mad, though. I'm too mad to want to work on the scarf.

    ::rant off::

    Now? I'll finish the stupid curtains and put all of my knitting stuff away and get out all the cross stitch stuff. I think knitting is telling me to go away for a while.

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    Shop attack

    I have been knitting, kind of. I'm working on curtains for some French doors and they are taking forever. I get bored and switch over to the afghan knit along. I get bored with that because all the squares are the same. They just use different color combinations. Then I try to sew some of the square together and they look horrible. All the time and expense and the stupid squares look terrible. Grrrrr. I put the squares down and log onto Ravelry. It was one of the ads that got me.

    I ended up at etsy. Clicky clicky clicky. Next thing you know, there's fun things on the way: a Tardis shawl pin, two skeins of sock yarn from the Cyborg's Craft Room, and a cross stitch kit from the UK. Do I need or even know what I want to do with sock yarn called Unicorn Rainbow Fight and Spontaneous Dance Party? No, I do not. I may just leave it here next to the computer and let it make me happy. Why did I buy a cross stitch kit when I've got virtually every color of DMC embroidery floss known to man? I was unwilling to wait and see if the chart alone would be offered for sale. It's cool. It's Van Gogh-themed. Maybe it will get me stitching on the pieces for that Doctor Who messenger bag I just had to make and haven't started.

    It's back to the curtains for now. Yawn.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Knitted Curtains

    I've got this great big 4000 yard cone of yarn. It was supposed to be worsted weight. It isn't. I attempted to use it for an afghan but it didn't work. It has been collecting dust for quite some time. Then I ran across a knitted curtain pattern. I've got one smallish window and two French doors that need new curtains. The pattern calls for sport weight, which is what the great big cone actually is. It sounded like a good match. I made a swatch and based the number of stitches on the swatch. Ooops, it was too long. I tried again and it worked out pretty well:
    I've started in on the ones for the doors. I hope I've got a better guess on the number of stitches this time. At least I know there should be plenty of yarn.

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Time Traveler's back at Knit Picks

    I'm trying to spread the word, since I know of people who missed it the first two times. Knit Picks is offering their Felici sock yarn in the Time Traveler colorway again. This is a limited edition so I have no idea how long it'll stay around this time. It has 6 of the 7 colors of the original Tom Baker (fourth Doctor Who) scarf. Let's see if I can snag a picture.
    $5.49 for a 50 gram ball. It's listed under one time specials, so grab it while you can.

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    I like this hat

    The pattern's called Flores and it was fun. It's MUCH easier than it looks. You do have two different balls of yarn, but only one is used at any one time. I did it with Mad Color (the blue/green) and Noro (the other colors). It was the first thing I've done in weeks that worked out well. I'm going to check my stash and maybe make another one. by the way, the colors are darker in person. The light blue/turquoise sort of color is actually green and shades of dark blue.

    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    Indie Designers Discounts

    Tammy's blog directed me to a very cool deal. A whole bunch of independent knit and crochet designers are offering a whole bunch of their patterns at a 25% discount. This is good until midnight EST on November 21 (when November 21 becomes November 22). There are 12 Ravelry pages of designer listings. My brain about melted going through them all. I even found one that was in my queue.

    Link to Ravelry

    There are also knit-alongs and crochet-alongs for lots of the patterns.

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    A not good day

    I'm going through a phase with my knitting. I'm keeping up with the squares in the mystery afghan KAL but not much else. Double knitting in laceweight may look cool, but it takes so freaking long to do. I tried converting a mitten pattern to socks and it didn't work out. I finally picked up some sock yarn from the use it or lose it jar and starting making squares on my little Weave-It loom. I don't know what to do with them, but it is using up some yarn and it's pretty mindless work.

    Part of the problem has been an old sick cat. I've known for the past couple of weeks that she wasn't going to be around much longer. I wanted to be able to drop everything and get her whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it. Misty's kidneys failed and she was euthanized this morning.

    I am very sad.

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Itty bitty and cute

    Berroco has released their new Christmas ornament freebie, Minutia '14. I love little bitty things and these are their cutest yet.

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Latest in my library

    Both of my newest knitting books are Scandinavian and published by Trafalgar Square Books (not in London, but Vermont).

    First is Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments by Elsebeth Lavold. The designs are what Lavold calls interlace patterns. Think of gorgeous, super-complex cables. There are photographs and sketches of her inspirations. Amid Viking pieces are bits of stone made by Mayans, Roman mosaics, carvings from Nigeria, and lots more. There are patterns for some really beautiful and challenging sweaters. I have no immediate plans to make something from this book, but I expect that I will. Lavold's book Viking Patterns for Knitting is coming out in paperback next year. I've already got it on order at Amazon. Maybe I'll start with that one.

    The other book is Norwegian Knits with a Twist by Arne & Carlos. I enjoyed the previous Arne & Carlos books that I have, so I knew I'd like this one. The book explains the various parts of a traditional Scandinavian sweater. It's the kind with bands of patterns and then most of the body is one color with single stitches of a contrasting color on it. I learned that the single stitches are known as lice. Somehow, I think I could've lived my life happily without that particular piece of information. The patterns are based on the traditional sweater but with the twist from the title. Light and dark switch their usual places. Sweater designs appear on hats, pillows, rugs, socks, and even a teddy bear. That last one is probably what will get me first.

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Hippo Birdie 2 Me

    My name is Paula and I'm a senior citizen. Words like pension and Medicare and social security are actual things that relate to my life. I'm having a bit of a problem facing this fact. Therefore, I bought myself a leather motorcycle jacket for my birthday today. I didn't buy a motorcycle. That would be completely insane. I'm sure that the first time I tried to climb on one, it would fall on top of me. I'd need one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" necklaces. (That, by the way, is something that's becoming not funny all of a sudden). Anyway, I decided that I needed a hat to go with the jacket. I found a braid of mystery fiber (I think it is wool) in shades of blue and have been spinning it. That's the blue in the picture below.

    The other yarns are clue #2 in the Kaffe Fassett KAL. It's the same as clue #1 only with different colors. Bummer. I hope the squares aren't all stripes done on the diagonal. The good thing is that the rest of the yarn for the afghan has arrived. A couple of the colors are a different dye lot from the first batch. I can't see a difference between the dye lots. Even if I could, it wouldn't matter. It's highly unlikely that I'll run so low on yarn that knitting from two different lots would even touch each other.

    Saturday, October 4, 2014


    I miscalculated the yarn for the Kaffe Fassett knitalong. I hate it when I do things like that. I wanted to finish the first set of squares, so I found some fingering yarn that was very close to the correct color. I knit with it doubled and it worked out. Additional yarn has been ordered so the rest of the afghan should be okay. Here's square 1:

    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Happy Blogoversary/Crazy cat lady rant

    I've been trying to find out when I started this silly excuse for a blog. I couldn't determine it for sure. My best guess is 2007. It would've been right after I was able to sign up for Ravelry. ::geezer voice:: Those were the good old days. You'd check the queue every day to see when your estimated date to join might be.

    I've been cleaning out closets. This has resulted in the discovery of socks. Many, many, many pairs of socks. I never appreciated how obsessed I was with knitting socks until now. I actually have a lifetime supply of hand knit socks. I'm admittedly not a young person, but it's still a ridiculous number of socks.

    I think this is why I've managed to complete one sweater start to finish without distraction. I'd have the darn thing washed and blocked except for the Elderly Cat Problem. Misty is 16 years old. Sometimes she chooses somewhere other than her litterbox to perform litterbox-appropriate activities. Most recently, she ruined my purse and soaked my license plate renewal forms. Gross! I can't think of a place where I can put a blocked sweater flat to dry where she couldn't get at it. I don't know what motivates her to behave like this. The purse ruining took some serious effort. I think the sweater will need to be pinned to the foam squares and leaned against a wall.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014


    Did I say I was swearing off of KALs? I lied. Knit Rowan is sponsoring a Kaffe Fassett mystery afghan. Shopping lists have already been released for four different colorways: red, brown, turquoise, and pastel. Instructions will be in multiple languages, too.

    I feel a little bit guilty for getting KnitPicks yarn instead of Rowan, but it is less than half the cost this way. At least I have several of Kaffe Fassett's books. He combines colors and patterns in such wonderful ways.

    I wasn't able to match all of the colors, but I think these will work. It's my interpretation of the pastel colorway:

    It may be called pastel, but I don't think it'll end up looking like a baby blanket.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Blankie Who?

    This was done to use up the leftovers from the Longer on the Inside scarf. It was also done to do a bunch of Doctor Who-themed dishcloth squares into a single thing. I ran out of yarn before completing what I'd planned, so I crocheted a border with the leftover leftovers. It needs to be bigger to be useful, so I may expand it in the future.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    I can't do bamboo

    This is the very pretty yarn I got from the SpaceCadet Yarn Alliance:
    It's 80% bamboo, 20% merino. I haven't met a plant fiber yet that I like. My odd knitting style doesn't lend itself to plant fibers. They cut into my hands as I knit and it's really unpleasant. Hmm, maybe I can play with this with one of my little looms. That would keep my hands pretty much completely out of the mix.

    I've been sticking with the Grandpa Cardigan and am within about 5" of the body being done.

    I bailed on my mystery mittens. I think I chose a bad combination of yarns and maybe a bad needle size too. The mittens that other people are doing are pretty. Mine are not.

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Works in progress, sort of

    In ascending order by date and why the lack of progress:
    • Hopsalot slippers, started 2/21/12. They have to be felted by hand and it takes an obnoxiously long time to do.
    • Name of the Doctor Scarf, started 2/7/14. It's too hot to work on a scarf. Also, it's double knit and I wanted a break from double knit.
    • Irma cardigan, started 8/14/14. I got distracted by the TARDIS scarf and this got set to one side. I'll probably finish this before the first two.
    • Heart's-Ease Boutonnière, started 8/16/14. Construction's a little tricky. I set it aside to work on the cardigan some more.
    • Blankie Who, started 8/28/14. I've been thinking about making a little blanket out of dishcloth pattern squares. I started it with the many leftovers from the TARDIS illusion scarf. It involves knitting 5 squares at once. It was just asking for me to be distracted by something. I think it was the new cardigan.
    • Toirot Mystery Mitten, started 9/1/14. The second clue came out today. I'll probably work on it when I get tired of what I'm working on at the moment.
    What I'm working on at the moment is the Grandpa Cardigan. I was watching QVC and they were selling these pretty Irish sweaters. You couldn't buy the yarn for them for the prices the sweaters were going for. I had one of those sweaters in a pale pink merino wool. It became too big but I couldn't bear to put it in the charity bag. Next thing you know, the house is full of little bits of pink yarn and I've got enough wool for a sweater. It's DK weight and so is the Grandpa that I found in my Ravlery queue. I'll be working on it until the next shiny object catches my eye.

    Friday, August 29, 2014

    Finished Object Friday

    Longer on the Inside scarf. It looks a bit odd because the scarf's on some steps and the picture's sideways to take up less space. It's an illusion knit which means that if you look at the scarf straight on the TARDISes don't appear. It was fun. I'm in the midst of another project that uses up the many leftovers.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    It's Capalday!

    Well, it is in the UK and that's what counts to a Whovian. I've been waiting almost a year for Peter Capaldi to take over the TARDIS as the 12th Doctor. Dinner was a bit of a challenge to plan. The only clue there was for a 12-themed meal was kidneys. Ewwww, no. I settled on fish fingers (that's fish sticks in the US) and bow tie pasta with alfredo sauce (renamed Alonso sauce for the occasion). Dessert is tea and Scottish shortbread.

    My knitting project will be the Longer on the Inside scarf. The two remaining yarns arrived today. If I could hop back in time, I would've done the scarf in fingering weight because it's a tad too heavy for a Georgia winter. I don't have a TARDIS so I'll be happy that I've got all the correct yarn and that I can knit it on Capalday!

    Friday, August 15, 2014


    The yarns for my Longer on the Inside scarf are coming from Idaho, Nevada, and Massachusetts. Idaho arrived today:

    The yarns were supposed to all be Cascade 220 Superwash. In my frenzy to find the last couple of colors, I screwed up. Two of them are non-superwash. The texture's a bit different between the two kinds. I might use them anyway. Hmmm, maybe somebody on Ravelry has those colors that they want to sell or trade. Stay tuned.

    Update:I had the good sense to check things out on Ravelry. The Superwash is more of a light worsted, so the two yarns really aren't compatible. I found a place that had both of the colors. I don't think I would've run across it otherwise. It's called Coveted Yarn.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Another Whovian scarf

    I finished the smaller of the gargoyles.
    He's sitting on a rock, by the way, not laying an enormous egg. I think those teeth are supposed to be pointing up, but it was hard for me to see on the pattern.

    I worked on the back of my sweater for awhile, then had to take a computer break. That's where the mischief always starts. I spotted a new pattern by Franklin Habit. It's an illusion scarf called Longer on the Inside. If you look at it normally, it's a nice stripey scarf. If you look at an angle, Tardises appear. I've been wanting to try illusion knitting, so I attempted to purchase the pattern. Ravelry froze. I'm sure it was all my fault. Eventually it thawed out and I have the pattern.

    Then the yarn drama began. I thought it would be too indulgent to make it in the Cascade 200 that the pattern called for. I spent a long time comparing the Cascade 220 to possible Wool of the Andes equivalents. I filled up my shopping basket at Knit Picks and saw the total. It wasn't terribly much cheaper and the colors weren't that great a match. Shopping basket was emptied and I then went on a Cascade 220 hunt. I got all the colors, but they are from three different shops. If you add shipping, it would've been better to stick with KP. What a silly knitter.

    Now for something completely different, a groovy new knitting book is on the way. It's called The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. Knitsonik aka Felicity Ford is the author. The theme is designing colorwork based on things you see that might inspire you. It's a Kickstarter-backed project so I get updates periodically. The latest on had pictures. Wow. Even if I never actually use the book, it'll be worth having just for the photography. The colors and patterns are amazing, too. It's a good think that it won't be available for a few more months or I'd be off hunting down more yarn.

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Whimsical vs. Practical

    It had to happen. I'm a third of the way through a sweater. It's practical. I will actually wear it. It isn't geeky or goofy in any way. The needle on my internal whimsy meter moved all the way over to max whimsy. This resulted in an online shopping trip.
    I'm blaming it on SpillyJane. She's been knitting some gargoyles. This reminded me that I've got both a medium and a large gargoyle in my queue. I decided that I must make them as soon as possible. That's what most of the yarn's for. The colorful stuff is fingering weight. It got me free shipping so it is actually practical.

    Speaking of SpillyJane, she's about to come out with a mitten book. I'm a big fan of her designs so I'll be watching for the book to appear.

    Friday, August 8, 2014

    Sweater in progress

    This is the first time in a while I've been awake and there's been any daylight at the same time. I took a quick pic of my sweater in progress. Looking at a picture of something I'm knitting is better than actually looking at it. Here's the left front I finished last week:
    I'm knitting two rows from one ball of yarn and two rows from another. There are a few spots that look faintly stripey, but overall I think it'll be okay. The fronts will come from one set of two, the back from another, and the sleeves from a third. I hope it'll be okay.

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    I started a sweater

    I bought some yarn last year to make a sweater. I was afraid to start it. I made a sweater with yarn from the same dyer and the color varied from skein to skein. I didn't discover it until the sweater was done. The sweater looked awful and I had to toss it out. I didn't want a repeat performance but I did want to use the yarn. I switched patterns from a mostly solid to a mostly lace design. I'm working off of two balls at the same time: two rows of one ball then two rows of the other. So far it looks okay. I haven't totally abandoned my WIPs.
    • Bits of Color socks: There will be 12 patterns coming about every two weeks. They use up leftovers. This is the first one. The white was supposed to continue after the pattern, but I didn't like using the yarn. It's a 50/50 merino/tencel blend and lacks the flexibility of wool. The color's nice, though.
    • Whovian messenger bag: I was going to paper piece a TARDIS quilt block for the back. I tried it and discovered that I don't have the skill level for doing teeny tiny little bits of fabric. A new idea popped into my head for something else that's mostly quilted, uses some little embroidered pieces, and will be much easier.
    • Firefly mittens: I found the pattern and it appears I gave up on them when they came out way too big. I restarted them on 000 dpns and the size is good now. I alternate working on them with working on the Bits of Color socks.
    • Name of the Doctor scarf: It's on hold until I'm in the mood for double knitting or until I finish up some of these other projects.
    • Bunny slippers: Some of the pieces still need more felting/fulling. I'm tempted to toss the pieces in with some laundry and hope for the best.

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Stuff that's done

    A better pic of Medusa and her little monster:

    Police Box Socks. It's a SpillyJane pattern. Alas, the blue yarn ran a bit.

    Why can I take reasonable pictures and not so reasonable ones at the same time? Here's my JohnLock mittens:

    What's next? The Bits of Color patterns are starting to appear. I've got one sock done. I'm thinking about getting all the embroidery stuff out for the Whovian messenger bag. I'm also thinking about doing the Firefly mittens with the dinosaur on them. Then I could do some weaving on my little Weave-It. I wonder if the squares might be the right dimension for the messenger bag? Hmmmmmmmm.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    The Curly Fool & John Show

    I am a big fan of Sherlock. I read someplace that in China, he's known as The Curly Fool. I like that. Anyway, I was watching it tonight. One of our PBS stations showed the last episode of Season 2.

    I was knitting away on a pair of Spilly Jane's Police Box Socks. I was knitting them to avoid working on the last pair of Tour de Sock socks. Why avoid them? They are double knitting. I joined the Tour to avoid working on my double knitting scarf. Yes, I see that I have a problem sticking to a project. I think half the reason I allow myself to get distracted is because I can. Nobody's going to take my needles away from me and make me stick to one project. Well, Jasmine the cat might swipe the needles, but I have extras. But I digress.

    I was watching and knitting and I got a glimpse of the wallpaper at 221B Baker Street. lightbulb on. I queued a mitten pattern last week called Johnlock. As the designer says, it has Sherlock, John, and the wallpaper that had it coming. The designer, Therese Sharp, is the same person who did the Inevitable Betrayal Firefly mittens. I thought I started those. I wonder where they are? I got the pattern and starting hunting through my stash. What do you know, I have the perfect main color. It just happens to be one of the colors in the dreaded doubleknit Tour socks.

    Guess what I'm frogging and not finishing? Say goodnight, doubleknit Tour socks. I'll let all those speedy Finns finish you while I'm knitting wallpaper for 221B.

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Finished Object Friday

    I've enjoyed the British craft magazine Mollie Makes. The subscription rates are a bit of a splurge for me, so I dropped it last year. I was pleased to find out that there's a U.S. edition that's about half the cost of the original. It doesn't come with the little craft kits, which is okay with me. The only other difference I noticed was that the advertising section in the back has American companies. That's also okay with me. My first issue arrived this week. When I saw the pattern for Medusa and her mini monster, I had to do it right away.
    See all the little snakes? Maybe you don't. I need to take a better picture when there's more daylight and fewer rain clouds.

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    New-to-me Books

    I've been sick. I think I'm better. That's mainly why I haven't posted anything. The only things missed were a couple of fever-induced rants about a yarn color and another about pattern instructions. Here's the mini version of that:
    If the instructions tell you to work a chart 8 times, you work it 8 times. If the instructions tell you to repeat a chart 8 times, you work it 9 times. To repeat something you have to have done it once first.
    I'm officially done with both of those topics. Moving on, I got a couple of new books in the past few weeks. Coronation Knits by Susan Crawford is "A Hand Knitted Celebration for the Diamond Jubilee". Susan Crawford does some wonderful things with vintage patterns here. The Diamond Jubilee refers to Queen Elizabeth II's rein. The book's got a variety of patterns: men, women, and kids are all covered. They manage to look equally current if you were in 1953 or 2013. I've only done one pattern so far, the Crowning Glory beret. See the little crowns?
    I'd like to do more in the future. The Lion and Unicorn sweater looks fun. So does the Coronation Sleeveless Pullover.

    Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump is my other new book. Pin looms are little hand looms. Let me go find a picture:

    My grandma gave me one, a Weave-It, when I was a little kid. You can find them on eBay, buy them new from several sources, or make your own with instructions from the book. I used to love making little squares on the loom with yarn Grandma gave me. As an adult, I wanted to do more with patterns and to have something to do with all the little squares. Pin Loom Weaving addresses both of those things. Instructions are supplied for making a half-dozen different patterns beyond the plain over under over under weave. There are patterns for bags and cases, gifts and home decor, blankets, and toys. Instructions are included for various ways of joining the squares. I'm itching to sit down with my little loom and play with this book.

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    Projects update

    UILI (use it or lose it)
    I was working on a pattern I didn't like with some yarn I didn't like and had an aha! moment. I've got tons of patterns I want to try and tons of yarn I want to use. There is no point in doing anything with things that don't fit in those categories. I chucked out two balls of yarn. They couldn't have been sold or traded. I am happy and up to date with this project.

    MOCKs (mystery socks)
    I finished the ones I was working on and am cured of doing more. I'll go back to my queue or favorites next time I need a new project.

    Tour de Sock
    I finished the fourth sock and the fifth starts on Thursday. I think I finished a little lower than I did with the third sock. I think I'm close to the top 10%.

    Tour de Loop
    This started today. I've got more than an hour in already, so I'm good to go so far.

    WIPs (work in progress)
    Almost all the backlog have been cleared out. The Name of the Doctor scarf has been designated a long-term project. Double knitting on laceweight is a slow process for me. The Hopsalot bunny slippers only require felting/fulling and assembly. I may actually do the rest of the felting tonight. That leaves only The Birth of a Star socks. I grabbed them from my queue and started them last night. Oh, I forgot the Doctor Who embroidered and quilted messenger bag. got I need to review how to do paper piecing. I'll probably start that back up after Tour de Sock completes.

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    That's more like it

    I'm up to #30 on this round of Tour de Sock. It would've been even better, but I was not careful about reading instructions and had to frog most of the first leg. Ribbit, ribbit = pay attention! It'll be fun to find out how far up I moved on the leaderboard.
    This was an exceptionally cool pattern. You make some paper dice and your pattern is set by rolling them. Roll the dice, knit 10 rows, roll again. The designer was so clever in how she got all these little pieces to fit together. No two of us will have exactly the same socks.

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Tour de Loop

    I'm joining another Tour. Nope, I haven't lost my mind. Tour de Loop requires you to knit or crochet for a minimum of an hour a day. ::snicker:: Unless I'm sick, I never knit or crochet only an hour a day. This runs parallel with the Tour de France bike race. It's July 5-27, with rest days on the 15th and 21st. There's a group on Ravelry where you post your hours. I imagine that I'll end up admitting that I may have an obsession with fiber crafting. No surprise there.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Tour de Sock update

    I'm 167th out of 244 on the leaderboard. It's nowhere near what I did last year. There are many more players this year and I suspect a bunch of the new people are Finns. I can't believe how fast those people can knit! I did finish the first two socks.

    Round 3 starts tomorrow night. I've got a sneaking suspicion that it'll be argyle. Or as those of us dreading it, arrrrrgh-gyle.

    I'm caught up on both of my Mocks and am past the 75% mark on my Fruity Oaty Scarf. I'm waiting for new yarn to come from Biscotte & Cie before I restart the Little Flowers socks. That watermelon yarn needs to be used for something designed to be stripey.

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    Stash Enhancement Saturday

    Tour de Sock has yarn company sponsors. They supply prizes and they supply discount codes to players. You get extra points for using sponsor yarns in your entries, too. I decided that it was my duty to buy some sponsor yarn. Don't look at me like that, I had a discount code! They both came from Invictus Yarns.
    This is Timid. It's similar to another Invictus yarn I've already got. I bought it because it's a 460 yard skein. I'm paranoid about not having enough yarn for my Tour de Socks.
    This is Glory. Once in a while I want a red/white/blue yarn. Usually the red and blue are too bright for my taste. I really like the blue shadings and that the red doesn't scream RED.

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    FO Friday

    Wye, Tour de Sock #1

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    WIP Wednesday

    I'm taking a break from the current Tour de Sock. It's the one on the left.

    We were given the option of using a more adventurous yarn than solid or semisolid. What I picked was obviously not a good choice. Over all, it's going better than the first sock. I finished it in time to get on the leaderboard. I think I'm 164th. I had my second annual German Twisted Cast-on tantrum, but it lasted a fraction of the original one. I still managed to frighten a cat with it. I really hate that cast-on.

    Dream: It's the green cuff on top. I don't think the second clue's been released yet.

    Akero: It's the silvery one on the bottom. One sock is up to date. The one in the picture is not.

    Little Flowers: That's the one in the watermelon stripe yarn. This is for a contest that the yarn company Biscotte and Cie is having. It's another bad choice for the pattern, but I don't care that much. I probably won't bother entering it in the contest because the design is a bit too lost in the stripes. I like the yarn very much, though. It's a good thing I've got so much going on or I'd buy some more and start it over.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    WIP Wednesday

    Tour de Sock, sock 1. I had the first sock nearly done when reality hit. There wasn't enough yarn for a second sock. I started over with more yarn, a smaller size, and the needles that give me gauge (1.0 mm/US 000). Very tired of working this pattern.
    Bloom. I misread the heel chart and had to do it over. It wasn't completely caused by flakiness. The chart didn't print out the symbols clearly. The next clue should be out in the next couple of hours. I'm alternating working on this with the Tour de Sock sock.
    Akero. I started the second clue late at night which was a Bad Idea. I'll restart it once the TdS sock is done and the next Bloom clue is done.
    Fruity Oaty Scarf. I started this one before my interest in Mocks began. Work will continue when the socks are caught up.
    Name of the Doctor scarf. I put this to one side to start the Fruity Oaty scarf. It's made with laceweight while the other one is fingering. That makes a big difference. I'll be back on this one once the other scarf's done.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Mock List

    I spotted another mystery sock knit along that I might want to do. I'm going to go through what is already going on to decide if I want to mock around the clock.

    June 1-2: Tour de Sock, stage 1
    June 3: Akero, leg
    June 4: Dream, clue 1
    June 5: Bloom, clue 4
    June 8: Akero, heel
    June 9: Dream, clue 2
    June 11-12: Tour de Sock, stage 2
    June 15: Akero, foot
    June 16: Dream, clue 3
    June 21-22: Tour de Sock, stage 3

    June 22: Akero, toe
    June 23: Dream, clue 4

    July 1-2: Tour de Sock, stage 4

    July 7: Bits of Color, pattern 1

    July 11-12: Tour de Sock, stage 5

    July 14: Bits of Color, pattern 2

    July 21-22: Tour de Sock, stage 6

    July 23: Bits of Color, pattern 3

    July 28: Bits of Color, pattern 4

    August 1: Little Flowers, start any time but s/b done before August 16

    August 4: Bits of Color, pattern 5

    August 11: Bits of Color, pattern 6

    August 18: Bits of Color, pattern 7

    August 25: Bits of Color, pattern 8

    September 1: Bits of Color, pattern 9

    September 8: Bits of Color, pattern 10

    September 15: Bits of Color, pattern 11

    September 22: Bits of Color, pattern 12

    The prospective Mock has clues released on June 1, 8, and 15. I think that doing it would be a Bad Idea. I think I'll keep this updated as a deterrent next time I get tempted.

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    No FOs just clues

    My new obsession is mystery knit alongs. I've been so spacey lately that it's probably the best thing for me to do. You get one clue at a time and knit only a small amount. Here's the first two clues of Bloom!:
    I'm struggling with the latest clue on my Pollen socks. I'm blaming it on pollen. I think I've developed allergies. At least it isn't to wool!

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    SpaceCadet Indeed

    I spaced out that I had another package coming from the Interstellar Yarn Alliance. This was a lovely surprise:
    I like the bright, wacky colors that SpaceCadet sends, but I like softer colors even more. This is called Blossom Blossom Bloom and was inspired by spring flowers. I have no idea what I'll do with it yet, but I like it a lot. The bonus treat was a cute little notebook.

    ETA: A mind's a terrible thing to lose. First I got SpaceCadet mixed up with Mad Color. Then I forgot that I'd signed up for another round of the Interstellar Yarn Alliance. This is the first of three packages, not the last of three. It's great to get yarn I'd forgotten about, but a bit odd that I managed to forget it in the first place.