It's Easy Being Green

I present to you, The Peapod Baby Sweater:

This is the serendipidous gift that I mentioned last post, sans buttons. I loved this yarn at first sight when I saw it at Webs during Stitches East in October. The color seemed perfect for this IK pattern. Typical me, I grabbed the worsted instead of DK weight. Playing fast and loose with gauge did not work. I may have to submit to the rules from now on. Any way, I'm hoping that it's newly intended recipient can fit the sweater this winter. It's about a 9 month size with the gauge of the yarn and having knitted some elements from the 3 mos. and 6 mos measurement or stitch count.
The pattern...pretty as punch. When I picked it out I was hoping for a mindless and quick pattern. IMHO, it should have been. Wasn't. Grrrrrr. I was able to follow the leaf chart just fine. The bottom rib was another story. Between it's chart and the written directions, I couldn't follow either. I felt abandoned after the first row reading "...continue in pattern...". Uh, huh. Pattern my eyelets. Maybe it's me. I do like things spelled out for "quick" projects, but it was just not very clear. After much novice knitter mojo, I came up with this for working the bottom rib section:
Row 1 K2, p1 (*p7, k2, p1)*
Row 2 P2, (*k1, p2, k3, p2, k2)*
Row 3 (*p2, k1, y o, k1, p3, k2, p1)*, k2
Row 4 P2, (*k1, p2, k3, p3, k2)*
Row 5 (*p2, k3, p3, k2, p1)*, k2
Row 6 P2, (*k1, p2, k3, p3, k2)*
Row 7 (*p2, [k3rd st, k first two sts tog, drop all three], p3, k2, p1)*, k2
Row 8 P2, (*k1, p2, k7)
I worked it out on a scrap swatch and it definitely looks like the photo.
Sigh. Now that I've gone through pattern grief, I can definitely say that I'd like to do it again...
with the correct weight of yarn.


Verdant Baby Gear

I seem to be drawn to the color green for baby gifts.
Nature, vibrant, fertile -green.

Here's a little cardigan from the Minnies pattern book by Jil Eaton.
This 3 month size was knit up in Classic Elite's Angora Lush. How spot on are it's Beatrix Potter buttons! Rabbits...angora... What a match!


My answer to SASC

SASC- short attention span crafting.
It occurred to me that for maximum craft happiness, I need to give myself permission to start as many new projects as I desire! All those sweaters listed on the side-bar, I gleefully cast on or resumed knitting in the past week. Tee, hee. Feeling naughty, but I also feel empowered, if that makes any sense?

Another method to my madness is that I have undertaken the sleeves first, if the garment is not a one-piece. Like scarves, these are nice and portable. They are perfect for commuting, lunch hours or phone calls! Amazingly, they dont feel like the knitting abyss as when knitted as the last part of the project.

If I am tired of looking at the same color, feeling the same yarn, using the same technique, day after day, problem solved! As long as I am making progress on something, I'm happy.
Is this the definition of a process knitter that the Yarn Harlot speaks of? :)


What I did over summer break

With my desire for yarn hoarding finally satiated, I've been trying to make a dent in some of my WIPs. It's been quite rewarding to finish the Knitty Kyoto sweater that I began eons ago.

Next up is another baby sweater and blanket. If I have the sticktoitiveness, then perhaps the Klaralund sweater and my Oscar the Grouch Pouch will follow.

Most proud of this baby sweater for my sweet cousin. Hope that she gets a couple of seasons wear from it. The Knit N'Style April '07 Flower Garden Sweater was so cute that I put everything on hold once I got the right yarn. Used Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece, two skeins as the main color. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn and did not get to complete the crocheted edging. Misc. cotton and cottonblend yarn was used for the flowers.


My First Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Frolick

She who buys the most wool wins.
Clearly, I've lost this challenge.
Plain and simple.

So, I'm toting two XL Ziplock bags back to the bus thinking I did well. Got enough yarn and fiber to last me until Rhinebeck '08. Gonna enjoy my corndog that I splurged on when I get to my seat. Life is good. Just need to get these bags into the bus storage space.

Arrive at the bus and throw my bags down. Bending over to seal them up when someone behind me says, excuse me. I turn around to see the sheep on a lead. Hello. It didn't hit me right away that -animal crate in the bus, plus sheep behind me equals very interesting ride home. Hank, didn't fit into the crate so guess where they wanna put 'em. Yup. On the bus! Nice.

What a wow at the Festival! I was totally overwhelmed.
All in all it didn’t seem way bigger than Rhinebeck when it came to yarn and fiber. I believe that there was a lot more livestock. Maybe MDSW had more food vendors?
If I had to choose, Rhinebeck is my favorite. It is cozier, closer, and had a great mix of vendors supplying anything your hands desired.
At several places, I picked up some sundries like wooden cable needles, extra bobbins for the wheel of fortune, yarn bras (stop snickering), and fancy bent tipped tapestry needles.
Yeah, yeah, yeah on with the show…
Here’s the haul

Found a couple of dream tools in the Main Exhibition building. I scored a Bosworth Midi-spindle in a beautiful Gabon ebony whorl with tulipwood shaft, an ornamental spindle pin by Blue Moon Fibers and sweet glass circs in the Amber Passion color-combo from the Ernst’s.

Next, the yarn haul…Tops on the list was hank of autumnal green and plum Slubby Nubby from Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm. Got more Mountain Colors, but this time I’m trying worsted weight Moose Creek and Yellowstone.
I’d heard prior to coming to MDSW about long lines for popular yarn sellers. Well, I don’t stand in line for anyone- except Tess’ Designer Yarns. From her, I bought two hanks of an intense periwinkle sockyarn and one lighter hank of superwash lace. Thankfully, I didn’t have to stay in line for long. Someone went around taking customers with cash or checks first. Yesss!

Drum roll please….The fabulous fiber! To be adventurous, I bought some baby camel and coopworth roving. Outside of that I bought undyed, turquoise, black and chocolate brown merino. For a little spice a giant ball of green/purple roving plus two braids of handpainted BFL followed me home.

Weeeeeee! All this should hold me until Rhinebeck.



Baby sweater number one...

This is the sweater from Red Heart's Happy Baby pattern. My seaming of the pants were a disaster. They shall never see the light of day unless I frog and reknit.


A Shout out to my local Pathmark!

Thanks for stocking this really cool bag! Say knitters, what do you think?
I found this over the weekend in a bin with manly tools and gear for $9.99.

It is a light weight heavy duty nylon tool bag with pockets all along the inside and outside, carry handles and rings for shoulder strap. Would have been sweet if it actually came with a strap, but that's ok. I'm going to use the one from my laptop bag.

It's perfect for the subway!
My hands are totally free for knitting. When one of my four trains come, I can easily shove my project in and take it out again because of the cool framing at the top.
Look how much room there is. I know I can fit a sweater's worth of yarn in there.


Celebrate Yarn! Flash Your Stash 07 is Here!

Only had a chance to bring you the highlights this year.
We've got a little Noro, some Newton Country cashmere/merino,
Lisa Souza's Sock! Merino in Black/Purple,
SWTC Bamboo, a dash of Debbie Bliss silk, Koigu, Artyarns, Harvest Tweed,
Kidlin Pixie, Lang's Silk Dream, Diakeito, and most splendid...
Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Elderberry. Yum!



The study of stash. This is what I am majoring in. There, I said it.

Think that it has become necessary to transition into a more project oriented yarn shopper.

From the astute observations of the Yarn Harlot in her new book Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off, I learn that I am very much a process knitter. Suppose this means that I shop as a process as well. But it's got to stop!

Whenever a knitter is unhappy with his/her stash, even though it is the cat's meow, changes need to be made. I personally have been dissatisfied with the over abundance of onesies and twosies. You know, you see some yarn that is attractive, but you can't imagine committing just yet. You just buy one or two skeins declaring that, "it'll make a nice hat or even a hat/scarf set. Yeah, that's it"!

I'm totally o.k. with having more shawl yarn than I'll ever care to knit, but that onesies stuff has got to go!

The transition will begin with a cataloging of my stash. Gotta put the cards on the table. If I don't bad things will happen next time I'm tempted to purchase from the next awesome online sale and duplicate what I've got. Hey, if it can happen with my book collection, it's not a stretch to see this coming with yarn...
So check it out,

this is the hopelessly odd yarn. Everything else has been mated and slated for projex!


I don't know how many times I've turned over my yarn and projects in the past three months or so. When the new year arrived I, with so many others felt the energy of new beginnings.

One of my ongoing quests is to strip away unnecessary clutter, habits and such. Now that I have become a "Knitter", my first line of attack in these things is always the stash.

First from the Wall of Shame, the "why did I buy this" yarn:

Plagued with not having enough to make a project, or can't find the right pattern, or no longer "in like" with the yarn... were the ills of this stack.

In order to make lemonade of the situation, they've been earmarked for charity knitting. They'll be hats n' scarves, bags, vests, and crazy quilt pieces. The rest will be given to creative knitters who'll work their magic on it.

Now I know exactly what my charity projects will be for the year. Org-an-i-za-tion. Woo, hoo!


Sweater Progress

Everybody in the pool! Sigh.
I just laid out what was finished so far on the Jawbreaker. Not any real blocking as yet. Lo and behold, I've knitted a pool of color in one of the fronts....Fellow knitters, this may be the last time I use variegated yarn for such a project. Perhaps I just wont use this type of yarn ever again... Oh, well. I'll knit on. And by gum, if the sweater won't fit me, I'll just have to gift it. I gotta go now.
Willy is attacking my knitting.


When the Going Gets Tough...

A). Buy more yarn
B). Cast on something else
C). Knit a washcloth
D). All of the above!

I've never knit with linen before. Thought that I would give it a try since seeing it used as washcloths in the book Knitter's Stash recently. The aqua would be lovely in the eyelet swirls pattern that I used for the cashmere scarf. Hopefully, I'll get two cloths from each hank of yarn.

Once I sober up from three sweater blues, I'll return to the Jawbreaker for starters.


One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Long time coming Klaralund...Sigh.
It's the classic knitter's drama. You wait for months before you find the perfect yarn. Then, some more months pass by until you feel the time is just right to cast on (you finally finish other needy projects).
Stitch, stitch, stitch.
All is well. Almost finished the second sleeve and I'm done.
Double bam. I run out of yarn AND the first sleeve is hideous.

I so don't like the garter stitching around the top of my arms. In this yarn, Artyarns Ultramerino, which is not the recommended striping yarn, but a variegated one, the garter makes me look like an armadillo. Me no likey. Must find a different stitch pattern for that section. A couple more months pass by until I can get more of this luxury (shockingly expensive) yarn. ONLY to find that as I make progress on that final sleeve, I notice that the colors aren't pooling in the same way as the older ones. Boo, hisssss.

What once was a simple knit is now a slip of stitch. Grrr. I must rip the first sleeve and use that old yarn for the top of the sleeves where it meets the body. The new yarn will be used for the forearms. Seems to be the most consistant thing to do and hopefully all will blend in well. Sigh.
I must say that working with my new Lime and Violet glass circs have been an absolute pleasure. Once I got over the fear of breaking them with hulk hands grip, it's been a smooth ride on the short yellow bus. Hee, hee. The lunch box style cookie container was the perfect carry-all for my sleeve/glass needle knitting projects. No worries.
Tune in in another month or so when the Klaralund should finally be finished.


A Project from the Way Back Machine

From time at home getting over a cold and a three day weekend, I dug up this.

It's the Seed Stitch Jacket by Twinkle from VK Winter 04/05.
The yarn is Brown Sheep Burley Spun, body in black and the ribbing in Moutain Majesty.

I was a very new knitter back then and became intimidated by the prospect of doing pockets which come up right after the bottom ribbing in this pattern. Now I've figured them out and of course had to make a more elementary mistake. I've been using the wrong sized needles! Ugh! Not ripping back. No way.
This'll be a very close fitting jacket. Think that I can increase the size of the button band ribbing to make up the difference. I hope. Trying to be optimistic about the sleeve caps.

I think that I can finish this week. Then I can get back to my other five WIPs.


Happy Valentine's Day!


Maybe if I knit with some of my bulkier stash yarns, it'll look like I don't have as much?
Worth a try. It's cold out. The Jawbreaker Cardigan from Interweave Winter '06 might be relatively quick. Here's what I've got so far. This Debbie Bliss Soho was one of the few things that I picked up at Stitches East in Baltimore. Something about this colorway that woos me...


Looking Back, Looking Forward

I'm still in the process of sorting myself out for the New Year.
Eleven months to go, Lord willing, so I had better sort a little faster to make the most of it.

Knitwise, I've got way too many projects that I'd like to tackle in the near future.
As an added distraction, I've picked up spindle and wheel spinning. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend giving it a whirl. Once you get the hang of it you'll probably find it as soothing as I do.

Last year I finally learned to do cables, but haven't done a project since this dishcloth.