Friday, August 30, 2013

FO Friday: Baked

but not frosted. Second prototype for a crocheted cowl. This one worked in the round. Previous version worked side to side. 

Pattern in the works, probably for the first version. The yarn is Quince & Co. Osprey, 100g/170yds, in Crow and Egret colors. 

Wondering about the buttons.

This version doesn't require them, but the side to side version, which is unseamed, will.

Vintage? Modern? Red? Blue? Something else?

And, oh, by the way, nature is not cooperating on the lighting--we've had three days and nights of heavy fog--thus the less than lovely phone photos. And, oh, by the way, I am way too lazy to set up the light tent and the lights.

To see the fully baked FO's this week, visit Tami's Amis FO Friday.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cruise WIP

Feel like I'm cruising on the Good Ship Lollipop--easy stitch pattern--good progress--to the armhole and beyond! Hope to finish the back in the next day or two.

Blocking will smooth it out.

Caissa sweater designed by Anne Hanson of knitspot. Interesting interview with her on Patternfish in which she discusses how she has grown her design business.

Hope everyone else is making good progress as the season winds down. Take a look: Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Danger to Everyone...and Socks!

Take a teenaged girl with dangerous abilities and an unusual family history, send her to a psychic boot camp run by her aunt, add a meeting with a new boy--and include some knitting! How can I resist? 

Heather Ordover, host of the Craftlit podcast and editor of the What Would Madame Defarge Knit? books, has written her first novel, Grounded: The Seven (Book 1), a Young Adult title.

You can pre-order now for delivery in the first week of October. 
Grounded is available in various formats, both print and digital, and an audiobook is in the works. I ordered an autographed paperback and a Kindle copy. Sign up for the mailing list for updates and offers and to find out about patterns inspired by the characters and KAL's. 

I'm hoping for some tips that will give my pointy sticks some super knitty powers, but, if not, I know the book will be a blast and the ravelry group will be a fun place to hang out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Autumnal Palette

Hydrangea & Coleus

Late August and the colors of early autumn are taking over in the garden and the marsh.

Not the searing yellows, reds, and oranges of October, but muted shades.

Amazing how these hydrangeas were blue, purple and pink earlier in the season.

Fun to create a palette. This one created from Kuler an Adobe app. A somewhat Cool Tool.

New color scheme for the blog?

Friday, August 23, 2013

F is for Finished

Pattern now available.
Free on ravelry.
One thing that is finished is the pattern for the scarf I posted in FOF a couple of weeks ago.  Absaroka is available as a free pdf download on ravelry. The stitch pattern is easy but yields an interesting texture that looks good on both sides and is appropriate for both men and women. It's a nice one-skein project for 180-200 yards(165-185m)of a heavy worsted or aran weight yarn. The sample was knit in Berocco Lustra, a 50-50 Wool-Tencel blend.

Note to self: remember to hit the Activate key on ravelry once the pdf is loaded otherwise the download link won't be there. Duh! The link is there now. Can I blame my mental lapse on the Blue Moon or was it just a shortage of 

Second thing that is finished this week is the Wild Iris cowl. Another winner from The Book of Cowls by Sivia Harding. I bought this e-book on faith on the strength of the first pattern (Sublimity). I rarely knit more than one item from any book, and I have cast-on for the first three as soon as each pattern was released--and have completed them all.

My wardrobe runs to earth-toned solid colors in extremely simple shapes, so I enjoy having a lot of cowls and scarves to choose from so that I don't disappear into the treescape  So far the cowls have involved interesting textures with Sivia's signature beading. Two have used Moebius construction.

For this one I used red beads with gold metallic luster, which give just a bit of sparkle. The button is one of a set of four I bought a couple of years ago which never found a good use until now. Good thing I never got into stockpiling buttons the way I stockpiled yarn. Then again, they would take up lots less space.

If you've made this far, jump on over to Tami's Amis to see what the others have completed this week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Easy enough to keep up with WIP Wednesday, it's the FO Friday that's often the problem.

This week there has been knit progress and crochet progress. From the knitting bag, a few more inches on the Wild Iris Cowl, 8 more rows and the knitted-on border (with beads) to complete.

From the crochet side, the start of a new cowl. Lots of invisible progress as I have started this one a few times. It's an in-the-round version of a cowl I previously crocheted back-and=forth. Progress is slowed by note-taking for writing up the pattern. I like the strong graphic element and the yarn, Quince & Co. Osprey, is one of my favorites.

There's always an aura of embalming about my WIP's pictured in isolation, so I'm including a picture of the whole cluttered environment, pared down summer version.

Could be the book cover for my memoirs.
For a glimpse into the much more orderly world of the WIP's of others, visit Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


The Knitgrrl herself
I've had the pleasure of having patterns with essays published in the two What Would Madame Defarge Knit volumes published by Cooperative Press

Shannon Okey, aka Knitgrrl,is a real innovator in craft publishing, especially on the digital side. Cooperative Press titles reflect the creative visions of the individual knit and crochet designers, not a corporate editorial board.

Her business model is innovative as well, and designers are well compensated.
Take a look at the gallery, and sign up for the mailing list for a chance to win a prize. (E-mails are only sent with real news and offers, so they won't be cluttering up your mail box.)

If you are interested in subscribing to Knit Edge, Cooperative's digital quarterly, here's a message from Shannon with aspecial offer that expires the 22nd of August. 

If you are not yet a subscriber to our magazine Knit Edge, issue four comes out next month. Take out a one year-subscription now and you'll not only get three jam-packed issues per year, but you'll help provide us with the cashflow we need to keep things rolling. You'll also get a copy of issue three immediately on the autoresponder we've got set up.

Use the coupon shannonbook before next Friday and you'll get $1 off your subscription AND a digital copy of The Knitgrrl 9, my own pattern best-of, as well as a coupon for $2 off my new booklet on provisional cast ons and steeking, which will be out soon. (And naturally, you will get ALL my love and appreciation).

Been hesitating on a CP purchase, or want to try out a back issue of Knit Edge first? Check out our brand new shop!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP for Real

Another few days of a houseful of visiting family meant not much knitting time, so I'm happy with what progress I did manage this week. Not so happy with the overcast weather today which wasn't the greatest for taking pix.

Quadrupled the amount previously knit on the back of the Caissa cardigan. Holda, the yarn I am using, a blend of wool, angora and cashmere, is like velvet to the touch, yet very light in weight. 

Cast on for another cowl, Sivia Harding's Wild Iris, and got through the first 16-round repeat. Through the magic of Moebius knitting it is really 32 rounds. That's the kind of arithmetic I like.

To see a lot more progress, visit Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Woolly Wormhead designs beautiful, flattering, architechtural, whimsical, and charming hats for all ages and sizes. I've followed her blog for years, and knit several of her patterns. She is a meticulous designer, her patterns are detailed, her tutorials clear.

Hatopia: 10 great hats for a great cause.
Woolly also blogs about her life in Mutonia/The Yard, a community of artists and crafts people and their families in Italy, and I have really enjoyed a view into a creative life that is so different from my own.

While applauded and enjoyed by the wider community, they have some opposition and are raising funds to mount a legal defense against attempts to evict them from grounds they have legally occupied for years.

Hatopia is a limited edition of ten hat patterns. You can see all the designs and find out more about the project on Woolly Wormhead's blog.

Knit a hat, buy a pattern, spread the word, send a message, visit the ravelry group. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cast On & On & On & On Monday

Fourth time's a charm? I love Moebius knitting, but I am decidedly ambivalent about the actual Moebius cast on. I spent the better part of an afternoon casting on and on and on for this project. 

Cat Bordhi's video is explicit. I have used the Moebius cast on many times more than once. It isn't all that difficult. It even has its own logic. I love this design. I just knit a Moebius cowl a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't even listening to an audio book or binge watching Breaking Bad.

Wild Iris by Sivia Harding.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Cashmere DK in "Carnelian."

The fault lies not in the stars, but in myself. I lose count. Repeatedly. I stick the needle into the wrong place to form the first row of stitches. I twist the working yarn around the needle and end up with a wonky non-stitch. I stop looking at the knitting. I start thinking about what's to serve for dinner that won't cause the newly minted vegan in the family to have a snit fit. I think about how nice the weather is after weeks of hazy, hot and humid. I think about what wardrobe items will be complemented by the new cowl.

Who needs mere sitting meditation? Sitting knitting reveals my monkey mind in hyper-action much more readily.

Glad to report that once cast on and joined, it is flying along. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Can't Get FO Satisfaction

Two small finished items this week: prototypes for a neck warmer/scarf pattern. Two sizes, both are one-skein projects.

When something is as simple as this, every detail counts, and there is one more go around until I'm satisfied with the border.

Not exactly rocket science, but taxing enough for my ever-dwindling brain cells.

Look for one more version, plus pattern in a week or two.

Look for many more finished projects at Tami's Amis FO Friday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Double WIP'd

Doesn't look like much, but it's twice what it was a couple of days ago.

Playing with the Over app is a lot quicker than knitting.

Weather has taken a turn for the cooler so it's time to get going on this cozy, relaxed sweater. Caissa, a knitspot design. Haven't had much time to work on my various projects this week, but hope to get some traction on this one because I really want to be wearing it.

Thank you for not asking about the stranded mittens. Maybe not the best choice for learning the technique. Right now I'm baffled by options for holding the two colors of yarn. Way too many videos and tutorials out there:) From what I've tried, it's like the old game of trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

To see lots better progress, visit Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday and click through to participants blogs. You'll be impressed.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cool Tool 4

Pin it up. Pin it down. These Clover bamboo pins are becoming a favorite tool. 

First of all, they are cute. They look knitting needles for gnomes. Little green gnomes who care about renewable resources. Bamboo grows more like a weed than an actual weed.

Exclusive pin holder is an old swatch.

Second, cuteness is not enough. These are very handy for pinning together pieces of work in progress to see how it's coming along.

Best of all, they are excellent for pinning together pieces in preparation for seaming. 

Sneak peek at soon to be FO.

I'm sure they have other uses as well. In a pinch, they could function as a shawl or sweater pin, be used for poking holes in gift tags, serve to decorate a birthday cupcake for a crafter, be  carried to a party to use as an emergency hors d'oeuvre spear or drink stirrer. 

If you can think of anything else, please leave a comment. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Felicitous FO

Pleased as punch, tickled pink, happy as a clam, a lark, a camper. (Although I don't get that last one as I have never been happy while camping.) Pick a cliche, any cliche, for happy. I am so pleased with this project. I enjoyed knitting it so much that I am going to make another one for my sister.

The design, however, is anything but a cliche. I love the clever top-down construction that starts with true moebius and moves into ordinary knitting in the round. There are just enough beads to be interesting without being gaudy and their placement follows the undulations of the design. The pattern also includes directions for arm-warmer cuffs, and I hope to get around to those one of these days.

Lorelei by Sivia Harding

I'm happy with the yarn, a luxurious blend of merino, cashmere and bombyx silk (Spirit Trail Fiberworks Birte, Glencoe color way).

Since my previous cowl from this collection (Sivia Harding's The Book of Cowls) was also a darkish green with tonal blue-green beads, I went with contrasting beads (Size 6/0 Metallic Gold Lined Crystal from Earthfaire).

Celebrate more Finished Objects by visiting Tami's Amis FO Friday.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Color Me Nervous KAL

That's not the name of the KAL, that's just me with some trepidation over stranded color work. It's really Meg Warren's KAL for Counting Crows mittens from What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit starting today in the WWMDFK ravelry group.
The pattern is so beautiful that I am motivated to move way out of my comfort zone in terms of technique if not of color. Seem to be working with a lot of gray and other muted colors lately.

The March Hare hand dyed
70% merino/30%silk
Raven's Wing & Sterling

Wish me luck with the strands. I would like to get through this without either cursing or crying, but those knitting deities, they love to laugh at poor mortals so I am not optimistic.