Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 in Review

I don't know that I'll finish my only(!) current WIP before Friday, so I'll do the list today.

Projects completed:
4 Afghans/blankets (two last year)
2 Cat things
3 Cozies
5 Hats (two last year)
4 Mitten pairs (five last year)
2 Pillows (one last year)
1 Scarf (two last year)
5 Shawls  (four last year)
1 pair Slippers
27 pair Socks (twenty-three last year)
17 Toys/amigurumi (three last year)

I was surprised to discover that I knit more socks this year.

I knit 14.3 miles of yarn in 2016.  That's two miles more than last year.
I crocheted 1122 yards (less than last year).
I spun 915 yards, which was more than last year.

My favorite new yarn was Regia's Arne & Carlos self-striping.

My favorite project was the 64 Colors afghan, knit from Noro yarn:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

I gave in to nearly every yarn-buying impulse over the past month so I'd have some Christmas surprises.  I didn't remember most of what I bought, so there were surprises.

The flower print thing in the front is a sock blank from Gale's Art.  I've never worked with a sock blank before.  I know the pattern won't be there when I knit the yarn, but I still liked the colors.

Behind it is Yorkshire Skies from Lorna's Laces.  The final season of Downton Abbey is about to begin, so I had to have a(nother) Downton-themed yarn.

The dark yarn at the left edge is Noro Shiraito, a total indulgence.  It's 45% cashmere, 45% angora, 10% wool.  I'm about to make a hat out of it.

The bright colors after it are both from Mad Color Fiber Arts.  There's a Monty Python club starting next month and yes, I signed up for it.

The next two colors are from gnarledpaw.  All of the light colors in the picture are darker in real life.  The darker blue looks like it came from an impressionist painting and is called Painted Sky

The last two are Wizard of Oz-themed yarns from A Hundred Ravens.  The washed-out one is actually a lovely almost dusty pink called Glinda.  The one next to it is The Wizard.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I was working on Broken Jack, a pattern by General Hogbuffer.  It looks like a British flag was dipped in liquid nitrogen, poked with a pointed stick, and then reassembled into socks.  I'm a fan of unusual construction, so I jumped right on this pattern (free at Biscotte Yarns).  The yarn I used was a bit on the thin side of fingering.  I ignored the instructions to use two circulars and used DPNs instead.  The results ended up in the frog pond.  I'll restart them with a different self-striping yarn, probably the watermelon stuff I got from Biscotte a while back.

After the frogging, I wasn't in the mood for the counting that those socks require of me.  I poked around and found last year's Advent Calendar Socks pattern and cast right on.  The colors look like random choices.  I love it that each stripe actually means something.

I'm off to see what other people have been up to.  Then it's back to the advent socks and the Doctor Who takeover (Donna the bride just found herself on the TARDIS and is reading Ten the riot act).

Friday, December 18, 2015

FO Friday

Here's the coffee sleeve I made last week.  It's more coffee-colored in real life:

The Knock Knock socks are done:

I decided to do the Advent Calendar socks as two short pair instead of  one pair with long legs.  The first pair is done:

There's a version where you do different colors of stripes instead of the colorwork.  They probably would've looked better if I did that version, but these are more fun.

Friday, December 11, 2015

FO Friday

It's the usual story:  I have been finishing things but camera and I are not getting along.  It's in the kitchen, sulking and being recharged.

I'm a fan of YarnYenta's (Heatherly Walker) designs.  When I saw that she's doing a knit from stash sock thing in 2016, I signed up.  I pulled out a dozen skeins of sock yarn and placed each in a project bag.  See, there actually can be reasons to have an otherwise insane number of project bags.  Once a month we'll get a pattern.  'llI pull out that month's project bag and then we'll see what happens.

For complicated Ravelry reasons, the YarnYenta had to offer a pattern in the series right away.  I knit it using leftover bits of sock yarn:
The pattern's called Tourbillion.  My yarn choices didn't work together quite the way I had hoped, but I did learn by my mistakes.  The pattern itself is pretty cool.

Here comes Krampus:

He's a creature with on human foot and one cloven foot.  He helps Santa by putting naughty children in a sack and taking them off to his lair.  The sock apparently is for filling with coal. 

I'd never heard of Krampus until seeing a YouTube video about him several years ago.  I guess that is what made me think I wanted to knit this.

Baa-ble hat:
I saw this hat on someone's page recently and decide I must drop everything and knit it.  And so I did.  More than 2000 people on Ravelry have done it.  Despite the cruddy picture, it is really cute.  The only thing I would do differently next time is make a bigger and denser pom-pom.  It is quicker than it might look:  I did it in one evening.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I finished one of the Knock Knock Knock socks.  Cables are fun.

Speaking of fun, the Advent calendar socks continue to be entertaining.  We've been picking colors based on things as diverse as the temperature, our favorite charity, and gowns at the Finnish Independence Day ball.  The person doing the pattern is Finnish.  Many thanks to her and her translator so we can see it in English.
I haven't been putting any space between the patterns and I really think I should.

The second set of toes (in colorway Sassy Santa) are going to be for a second pair of socks.  I've seen some samples of socks from previous years and they will be far too long for me.  When the originals are done, I'll switch over to them.

Go see what Tammy and her visitors have been up to this week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I've been mostly working on a cross-stitch sampler.  After several days of intense work, I burned out and started looking for something new to knit.

I found an advent calendar sock yarn pattern that is really fun.  We have a basic toe-up pattern and supply a bunch of sock yarn leftovers.  Every day from December 1-24 we get instructions on what colors to choose.  On day 1, you knit one round.  On day 2, you knit two rounds.  On Christmas Eve, you have a new pair of socks to wear.  I'm trying to stick with a group of colors that I think will play well together.  I'll select the colors based more on that than the exact color that the instructions tell you to use.

The day 1 instruction was to pick a color based on what time it was when you started knitting.  You look at a color wheel and see where the little hand would be pointing if you put a clock on top of it.  My color was orange so I picked a yarn that had a peachy-orange in it.  There are two ways of doing the sock.  Some will be doing plain stripes.  I'm doing it the colorwork way where we do patterns.  Day 1 was knit 3 of the main (toe) color, knit 1 of the color of the day.

Day 2 was unexpected.  You pick a date, such as your birthday.  You convert that number into binary (there's a link to a converter).  That give you the pattern.  It is a zeros and ones so the zeros are the main color and the ones are the contrast color.  You use your birthday again with another converter to get the color.  Two rounds with purple.

The main color is actually cranberry.

My other active project is the new Club Mac (as in Macbeth) sock.  It is called Knock, Knock, Knock.  I don't know enough about Shakespeare to understand the reference.  I do like the pattern.  It's very cable-y.  Cableish?  Whatever.  I've only got the cuff done on one sock so far:
Sigh.  Even with multiple attempts, I have a choice of a picture with accurate color or a picture in focus.  I'm going to have to work hard to get these done.  I think the leftover yarn will work great with my advent socks.

Now go see what Tammy has been up to.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

I had an odd shopping attack and ended up at Simply Socks.

The "awesome" thing on the bottom is a tote bag which was a nice surprise.  It is part of Simply Sock's anniversary celebration.  The yarn on the left is some Arne & Carlos.  I wouldn't have picked it up just by the colors in the yarn ball.  When I saw some socks knitted with it, I had to have it.  The crazy Regia was a total impulse buy.  It was on sale.  I had an idea of something I wanted to do with it but have already forgotten.

The big treat was the stitch saver (the two purple caps with the elastic between them).  I got one as a swap gift and use it constantly when I make socks.  My cat loves it.  I can't leave it out on the table when I'm knitting or she'll grab it.  I'm afraid she'll run off and hide it somewhere.  I've been looking for another one and was so happy when I found it on Simply Socks.  I bought two.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Finished Friday

The Name of the Doctor scarf:
I was horrified to find broken yarns in one spot.  It was only on the dark blue layer and it happened after I took a picture last week.  I suspect that little sharp cat claws were the cause.  I managed to sort of darn the holes together.  It isn't obvious except if you were to run your fingers over the spot. 

I'm glad it is done.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

It's another flaky senior moment:  I bought black yarn instead of the dark blue for an upcoming scarf.  It isn't so bad.  I'll surely need fingering weight black yarn at some point.  I had a 10% off discount code that I could apply to the replacement yarn.  As long as I had a code and I could get more yarn for the same shipping cost, I had to buy some extra.

This is Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in the Wild Violet colorway.  I've always wanted to try some Jamieson's yarn.  The next sock project that appears will get it.

Friday, November 13, 2015


The mystery squares afghan was mostly a stashbusting project.  There are 45 different patterns in the squares:

This is the Arts & Crafts blanket.  I'm still not where I'd like to be doing colorwork, but I'm mostly satisfied with how this came out:

My knitting mileage for 2015 is now the same as the year-end number for 2014.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday

One!  Only one WIP currently.  Okay, there's the cross stitch sampler, but it is on hold until I get more floss.  I can hardly believe that I've finished or frogged everything else.  This is the Name of the Doctor scarf.  I first started it as a Ravellenics project in 2014.  I actually forgot that until I looked at the Ravelry project listing.  It is now over 80% complete.

It should be obvious why it has taken so long.  Double knit with laceweight yarn does not lend itself to speedy completion.

Now run along and see what Tammy and friends have been up to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Love Your Library

I  don't think it is a coincidence that the last time I posted was the last time the sun appeared.  I'm sorry for people who live where they desperately need rain.  You're more than welcome to what's been falling here.  Yuck.

I've been really good about finishing things and not starting new ones.  I have been adding to my pattern library, though.  As soon as Spilly Jane's book showed up on Amazon, I ordered it.  It won't arrive for another week.  I bought Geek Knits at the same time because it saved the postage.  Yes, that's the excuse.  I'm most tempted by the Muggle Artifact Sweater.  It's a fair isle-style vest, modeled in the book by Joel Hodgson (Mystery Science Theater 3000) and Adam Savage (Mythbusters).  I'm also considering the Star Trek uniform sweater for my cat.  She is considering me not doing it.

My November Love Your Library will probably come from Adorn by Knit Picks.  It has mini versions of several Spilly Jane mittens.  It has mini hats with cable designs from Hunter Hammersen.  It's got other stuff, too.  I'm thinking about doing  a whole garland of mini knits.  Berroco had a new set of mini sweaters.  So freaking cute.  Also, they are free.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Finished Friday

I've been working at getting things finished and not starting more.  We'll see how long the not starting more lasts.

First we have an Uggh, the Doctor Who Christmas stocking.
It doesn't deserve a better picture.  If it was in better focus, it would look even worse.

Moving on, here's Jasmine's new cat bed:
It's a bit crooked around the top because she likes to rest her chin on it.  If I did it again, I'd make it smaller.  Jas is a ten pound cat and you could fit two of her in there easily.  Still, she seems to like it which is all that counts in the end.

Amelie's Wallpaper:  if you saw the film Amelie (and you should)  you'd understand why the socks have this rather unusual color combination:

The second pair of the Club Mac socks are called Hurly Burly:
I did my usual shorter than written legs.  They have this interesting construction with an open cable down each side of the leg.  They would look good with longer legs. 

There are only two more weeks to go on the mystery afghan squares.  I hope to put that together as soon as the last square's done.  I'm knitting away on the Arts & Crafts blanket.  If temptation stays away, it might be done before the mystery squares are ready to go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I've been working on my Froth and Bubble sampler:
I'm happy with the way it is coming out.  It wasn't until I actually started working on it that I realized how big it is going to be.  It wants more floss that I have, so it is on hold until I acquire more.

Back in yarn land, I finished a cat bed that Jasmine has been sleeping in.  I'm almost done with my Dreamcatcher top.  Pictures may appear on Friday.

Now I can go see what Tammy and friends have been up to.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

I hope you lucky ducks who are at Rhinebeck are having a good time.  If I was there I would have gotten Spilly Jane's new mitten book.  I also would have been tempted by the limited edition yarn that Lisa Souza did.  They are totally not my colors.  However, it looks just like the northeast US looks right now.

I decided that I must have yarn to make the Null Hypothesis scarf.  This is another of my ridiculous ideas.  I'm not allowed to start it until I finish another double knit scarf that has been gathering dust and cat hair.  I wanted something that was fairly inexpensive but not totally scratchy nasty stuff that started out in a test tube.  I got some Lana Grossa Meilenweit which is 80% wool/20% nylon.  I came up with it after doing some online hunting.  I got it from a place in the UK called Loveknitting.  Their prices were good and the yarn arrived in less than a week!  Here's how it came out of the packaging:
Pretty nice.  I'll remember them the next time I decide I must have more yarn.  It may be sooner than you think because...I have a coupon for my next purchase.  Heehee.

This is the third and final shipment of the Mad Color Doctor Who club.
I'm not crazy about the bag fabric.  It's supposed to look like a piece of the TARDIS.  It is a well-made JessaLu bag, so I definitely will use it.  The yarn is shades of green where the picture shows blue.  It's a self-striping MCN (merino/cashmere/nylon) in a great big  450 yard skein.  Bigger on the inside indeed.  I like it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Finished Friday

I finally got some pictures.  This is the first pair from Club Mac (as in Macbeth).  They've not been washed yet which should explain the lack of smoothness.
They are a bit shorter than they are as written, as usual.

These are the Zolotoy knitalong socks.  They are much shorter than written and lack the beaded section on top.

This is the Spectra scarf.  It is great for using up little (less than 20 yard) bits of yarn:
Colors are a bit less washed out in real life.

I've got a couple more things that are close to being done but are not ready for their closeup yet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Froth and Bubble

I'm taking a knit and crochet break.  My current WIP is a band sampler:

The words are part of a poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon:

Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.

I happened upon the French design company, Long Dog Samplers, from perusing some Tweets.  Spilly Jane of mitten pattern fame, is stitching one of their designs.  (Hey mitten people, did you know she's got a book that just came out?  I can hardly wait to get my mitts on it.)  I'm stitching it on 14-count Aida.  Linen would've been nicer, but my eyes can't do the higher count stuff any more.  Sigh.

Go visit Tammy and friends and tell Tammy not to skip that button band.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIP Wednesday

It's crazy.  I finally have a day when it isn't gray and rainy and I'm awake during daylight hours.  I go to take pictures and the camera's battery is exhausted.  I charge it up and half of the pictures come out blurry even after repeated tries.  Sigh.

My goal has been to finish up as much as possible.  I want to start a cross-stitch project this weekend.  I do not want project bags glaring at me.  I've only been partially successful. 

I am up to date on my afghan project.  Week 41's square was one of the blurry pictures.  Only 5 more weeks to go.

I unexpectedly got a pattern I'd been wanting, Amelie's Wallpaper.  I thought I'd alternate working on those  socks

with the Arts & Crafts blanket.  It worked for a while.  Here's the latest strip of blanket squares with the edges curled up:

Then the new pattern from Club Mac showed up.  It's a e-book with Macbeth-themed sock patterns.  I thought I'd work on these as the clues showed up.  Unfortunately, the whole pattern arrived at once.  I started it anyway.

Then it occurred to me that I hadn't started a Love Your Library project for October.  I poked around in my Ravelry library and picked something called a Suncatcher Top.  It's basically a big crocheted circle that becomes a vest with a shawl collar.  I'm doing it as a stashbuster project to thin out a bunch of DK weight yarn.
I'm not sure how the sizing is going to work out, but I am having fun with it.

Tammy's back so go see what she and the other folks are up to.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cosplay goes mainstream

I'm not into cosplay or dressing up for Halloween.  If I was, I'd be on my way to the fabric store right now for this:

It's an actual Simplicity pattern that's in their catalog right now.  I can't believe it.  I flipped through the costume section of their catalog and was totally surprised at what is available.  There are some great steampunk patterns.  Yes, patterns, as in more than one.  There are patterns for both men and women.  You don't have to be the size of those models to get a pattern that fits, too.  Amazing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blogoversary +1

I missed my blogoversary which was yesterday.  I don't know how many years it has been.  5 maybe?

I try not to buy pattern books, much like I try not to add to my stash.  Sometimes it is just better to buy something.  If I buy a book or yarn and it gets me free shipping, this is a good thing.  I have something to show for the money spent.  I think that is how I ended up with Needles and Artifice.  It also may have been on sale.  It is an adventure story with knitting patterns.  The story is a fun, steampunk-ish tale of the Ladies of Mischief.  I have to say that I enjoyed the story a bit more than the patterns.  The patterns were fine.  I'm not criticizing them.  They just didn't suit me.  I don't do cowls and mitts.  I don't do cropped anything.  And corsets?  No.

It does include one pattern that has tempted me ever since I first saw it:  the Null Hypothesis Scarf.  Let me go snag a picture of it.
Here's what the book had to say about it:
The Ladies all said no one in their right mind would knit a six foot long double knit scarf with a non-repeating pattern!  So Dr. Erma Melanogaster set out to prove them wrong.  However, the good doctor didn't realize her stunning success failed to contradict the Ladies proclamation, as she is seldom of her right mind herself.

I think Dr. Melanogaster and I have something in common.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Who in progress Wednesday

I returned to working on struggling with the Doctor Who Christmas sock this week.  The new season started and I thought it would be good to knit something Who-ish. 

There are many things about this pattern that baffle me.  Why did the pattern have the words "OH YES" on either side of the cyberman?  (That's the little gray thing you can hardly see because of my bad choice in yarn).  I replaced them with the little holly leaves.  Why does the pattern have a band of little fishes on the foot? Why didn't the designer post a picture of the completed sock so I at least had a chance of guessing on what to do?  The front of the foot says to continue in pattern.  At that point, no pattern is in progress so there's nothing to continue.  Arrgh!  I'm doing the Christmas tree again.  I expect to run out of the blue background yarn before it is done.  I also expect that the gusset decreases will be done before the tree is done.  This may also cause a problem.

I'm going to finish it more for colorwork practice than anything else.  Some of the worst of it may block out.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Finished Object Friday

These are finished things from the last several weeks, not just one.

  • Daisy Cloche:  this hat and the next one are part of my 2015 Love Your Library project.  The book is A Head for Trouble.  The hats are all inspired by female detectives from books in the 1920s.

  • It's obviously too big for Chocolate Truffle, my teddy bear.  It fits me okay.
  • Verity Tam:  I made this with yarn I spun myself.  I'm not about to win spinning prizes any time soon.  I did like how it came out kind of tweedy.

  • Cat Hoodie:  It got cold about a week ago so I thought I'd give this a try.  Jasmine was really good about letting me put it on her.  I thought it would be unreasonable to also expect her to hold still for a picture.

  • Bigger on the Inside tote:

  • Before:
     Looks like that's it for now.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    WIP Wednesday

    Spectra scarf.  I'm making it to use up a bunch of little Tosh Merino sock yarn samples.  It is a clever pattern, easy to memorize yet with enough going on that you don't get bored easily.
    I'm not letting myself start anything new until I clear out out a few things.  We'll see how long that lasts.  I signed up for a Halloween sock mystery knitalong about five minutes after I made that decision.  My excuse is that the price of the pattern is being donated to UNICEF.

    The three KALs I'm in already are up to date.  Only 8 more squares to go in the mystery afghan.

    The Zolotoy mystery socks are almost done.  They look much as they did in the last picture but longer so I'm not going to do a picture.

    Let's see if I can get a reasonable shot of the Globe socks:
    The real dark color is shaded purple and blue, but much more on the blue side than what shows here.

    I'll be glued to the Doctor Who marathon for the next several days. I saw a big screen 3D version of the last two episodes of the most recent season last night.  I'm not much into 3D, but the intro with the titles and stuff was very, very cool.  Also, Psycho Mary Poppins (aka Misty) is even scarier in 3D.  Hmmm, maybe this is a good excuse to drop everything and start that Doctor Who Christmas sock up again.

    Now go see what Tammy and friends have been up to this week.