finished objects

The important thing is, I haz a sweater:


Yes! It is the awesome o w l s by Kate Davies (aka Wazz), and it is glorious. Funny, the day she posted her own finished sweater on her blog back in…no!! November!?!? Wow, I AM slow off the mark these days!!…anyway, back when she first posted her Owls sweater, well before it was a pattern, I was enchanted and immediately started planning a reverse-engineered Owls sweater of my own. Buuuuut my harebrained commitment to Christmas knitting (yeah, I know last year I said I wouldn’t get sucked into that again) and an even more harebrained mania to dye and spin my own yarn for the sweater pushed the start date back and back and back and back until the THIRD iteration of the pattern was published! Ah well. Ravelled here.

I didn’t post my mods in my Rav notes, so I’ll briefly touch on them here:

First of all, I knit this thing top-down, because damnit, that’s how a yoked sweater ought to be constructed! So I pretty much followed Kate’s directions backward, except for a few little changes here and there. For example, I found the final numbers for the neck too tight for my liking, so I skipped to the penultimate count (for me, making the medium/38″ size, that was 76). Then I did the short rows and the yoke increases, and started on the owl chart.

I did the owls a wee bit differently than most folk, and not just because I was making them upside-down:


Top-down owls are formed by following the cable chart upside-down by physically turning the printed-out chart upside-down and following it that way, which is very easy as the crossings are exactly the same. The actual mods I made to the owls themselves were to the belly and the feet: instead of just working 7 plain rows for the belly, I used garter stitch to make the wing/belly areas more distinct from each other (2 sts plain, 4 sts garter, 2 sts plain), which I saw on NeulovaNarttu’s Rav entry for this project. Genius! I treated the feet in a similar fashion, centring four purl stitches under each owl and knitting the rest in stockinette.

I also divided the yoke a little differently, which was particularly easy as the owl count for my size was an odd number (19): 3 owls per shoulder, 6 owls for the back and 7 for the front (because my front side is decidedly more convex than my back!) After that, I added a couple of short rows, some vertical bust darts, and away we went to the hem. I actually added the sleeves just as the sweater reached about mid-boob level, because I find that sleeves make a top-down sweater hang differently, and if your intention is to try it on as you knit to ensure the best possible fit, you might as well do it whole-assed. Plus, you get the sleeves out of the way nice and early, when you still have lots of enthusiasm for the project!

So, yeah. Owls! A teensy bit scratchy, but a couple more trips through a conditioner bath might help. Despite the slight itch factor, the Cascade Eco Wool I used for this knit was a lot softer than I thought it had any right to be. What a pleasant surprise it was to pull those enormous squishy skeins from the envelope from Red Bird Knits! And only the day after I’d made the order, too…hurray for online yarn stores in the GTA! This sweater took less than a skein and a half of the stuff, which was incredible to me. I will be revisiting this line soon, make no mistake!

The needles/hooks/spindles have been kept very busy during my absence, but I’ve become something of a dilatory photographer, so there aren’t many pics of interest to be posted. But right now I’m working on a Tangled Yoke Cardigan in EL Silky Wool, a pair of plain-vanilla socks for the G in Wollmeise (what can I say, the boy has good taste) and a Laminaria shawl for my mother in my own handspun, dyed in Pigeonroof’s ‘Dovecote’ colourway. So there should be some interesting pictures soon…if I don’t take another near-year off…I kid, I kid.


So, I finished some more stuff. One for me:

and one for you. And by “you”, I mean my newly-born, not-able-to-read pseudoniece, Alice:

I like mine, but I loooove Alice’s. Actually, it was supposed to be a sweater for Alice’s big almost-two-year-old sister, Sofi, but my chronic case of I-don’t-know-how-big-kids-are combined with not bothering to knit from a pattern equalled a very tiny little sweater. No matter. Her da (my good friend) had requested “something earthy for [the Chilean] fall/winter, in the 3-6 month range”, so his wish was, after all, my command. Maybe I just like Alice’s better because there are no Stupid Faces attached.

Sometimes I try to avoid the Stupid Face curse by turning my back, but then the Pretend And Actual Backfat shows up and ruins everything.

Mostly that is weird fabric rolling, but at least you can see the scalloped hem. Yes! This is Kate Gilbert’s Camellia pattern, knit more or less as Kate wrote it! It is pretty much my best- and favourite-evar FO (so far, anyway!) I’m sure it would have turned out quite a bit cuter in the drapey bamboo called for in the pattern (and would have saved hours and hours of ripping out and trying again to get something resembling gauge), but I had three skeins of Dream In Colour Smooshy, and I wanted to use it! Remember how I made a thousand sleeves before I even started knitting the pattern? I wager that if I hadn’t bothered, I could have knit the whole thing (albeit maybe a teensy bit shorter) with only two skeins of the stuff. Two skeins of sock yarn to make one awesome short-sleeved sweater! Incredible, but true.

Although if I hadn’t knit so many gauge swatches, I probably wouldn’t have made something wearable. There are many nuanced lessons embedded in this knit.

Mods, mods…not many. Apart from using completely inappropriate yarn, I made the sleeves longer (and wider) than the pattern called for (mostly to reconcile the lace chart with the thinner yarn I was using), and threw in quite a lot of waist-shaping and some vertical bust darts under each boob to make it fit properly. Verdict? It is very, very comfortable, and it holds its shape well through a long day of wear. You know how sometimes knits get all saggy and shapeless after a few hours? Not this sucker! I gave it a real trial by fire last Saturday when I wore it to the Downtown Knit Collective’s Knitter’s Frolic in the morning, lounged on a friend’s couch all afternoon (knitting, natch) and then took it out to the Keg for our second wedding anniversary dinner.

Yes, I spent our second wedding anniversary yarn shopping. And yes, I feel kind of bad about it. I can’t decide whether the fact that I didn’t buy much while I was there is good or bad in this context. Here’s my (very small, especially considering the deals that were to be had!) haul:

That’s it. Two little skeins of Mirasol alpaca/silk bulky singles, five balls of Jamieson DK, and two medium-sized bottles of SOAK. Oh, and some handmade clear glass star-shaped buttons (not pictured). I barely broke $100; not for lack of choice, and not even because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of yarn and people and books and notions and everything (although I won’t deny that I was, a bit). It’s not even that I didn’t particularly like any of the yarn I saw; indeed, lots of it was beautiful, and I could have made many a project with the stuff. Could it be that I have reached a saturation point in my stash?? My Ravelry page shows a mere sampling of the yarns I have tucked away here and there. If there was some kind of crazy emergency and I needed to produce a ball of yarn in less than a minute, I’d have 55 seconds to spare. I think my problem (and I use that word loosely) is that I really do have ideas and plans for each skein I buy, and I feel bad for the balls of yarn lying around, unloved and unknit, being nothing but what they are: ordinary little balls of wool. I am so excited to turn each of them into some awesome and inventive project, but…! I just never seem to get around to all of them before I have more amazing projects in my mind (and, more often than not, in my hands)! One of the things I’m looking forward to most when we move (that glorious, unforeseeable orange-coloured day) is a serious destash. They weigh on my mind, these unrealized projects.

Holy crap, that was heavy. And not at all what I’d planned to write. Truth be told, I rarely have a plan, but still. Here’s another closeup of Alice’s sweater to lighten the mood:

This is almost two balls of Noro Silk Garden, colourway #244. I made up the pattern, but it’s basically a round ribbed yoke with a stockinette body and sleeves. Pretty basic, but very cute! I’m wondering how cute it would look a little (okay, a whole lot) bigger, and how many balls of SG I’d need…gaa!! Another new project in my mind, pushing out the old ones!! Bad, bad, bad…

So, lately I’ve been making quite small things, maybe to contrast with all the big things I have in my head and on my needles that linger unfinished and unloved (sorry, ufo dudes). One of my favourite things came off the needles last week after four days of almost constant knitting and reknitting:


It’s MagKnit’s Evangeline fingerless gloves! Well, sort of. I adored the cables running up the back of the glove, but I sort of hated the finger/thumb part. I tweaked the pattern a bit and came up with something I really loved, so I decided to write up a little tutorial in case anyone else was looking for a mod for this pattern.

I didn’t use the recommended yarn, or even a yarn that was the same weight as the recommended yarn, so already I was knitting by the seat of my pants. I still had almost a skein and a half of Handmaiden 4-ply cashmere (the same yarn I used to make my Odessa) and I really wanted to make gloves with it. So I grabbed some 3.25 dpns and cast on. My hands are fairly small and the cashmere is fairly stretchy, so using Michelle’s numbers worked fine for me, but it would have been the easiest thing in the world to add (or subtract) any multiple of 4 additional stitches to improve fit.

The first real mod I made, though, was to make the root of the cables match up with the ribbing:


This is a fairly small, nitpicky thing, but it makes me happy every time I look at it, and it was piss easy to do. All I had to do was transpose the pattern over one stitch. That is, after I finished the last round of the K1P2 ribbing, I took the marker off the needles, knit one more stitch, and replaced the marker. This means that the first two knit stitches of the cable pattern occur directly above two knit stitches. A little thing, but a nice thing.

I wanted these gloves to extend quite a few inches beyond my wrists, so I knit four complete repeats of the cable pattern before starting hand shaping. You could wait ten cable repeats before you started hand shaping, or begin the shaping as soon as you started knitting the cables. The point at which you start the hand shaping depends on how many stitches you want to end up with for the thumb, and how long (or short) you want the wrist portion to be, but it’s probably easiest just to start at Row 1 of a new cable repeat. As you can see in this picture, I moved my round marker back three stitches, so the increases start six stitches from the first cable stitch. This centres the pattern more precisely on the arm, and keeps the increases looking nice and neat.


The thumb shaping is exactly the same as described in the Flying Gloves “pattern”: increase one stitch per pattern row, and knit all stitches plain each plain row. Although I only wanted twelve stitches for the thumb, I knit four cable pattern repeats (four repeats x four increases per repeat = 16 extra sts) to give myself some extra ease across the hand, since my gauge was so tight.

Another thing I did to give myself some extra ease across the hand was to perform a few increases on the other side of my hand:


I started these at the beginning of Cable Repeat #7 (aka Repeat 3 of the hand shaping). I stopped increasing here at the same time as I stopped increasing for the thumb gusset, but if you felt like you wanted some more ease for your fingers, you could easily keep increasing here until you were satisfied. Anyway. Eight extra stitches here plus the four extra stitches that were left over after separating out the twelve stitches for the thumb equals twelve extra stitches of ease across the hand, which added to the 40 stitches I originally cast on makes 52 stitches total. It’s important to note that 52 is divisible by 4; however many stitches you increase, be sure it is a multiple of four so your final ribbing turns out nice and even!

The last mod I made to the pattern was to knit a couple extra repeats on the fingers to make them nice and long. I wanted gloves that were kind of more like pseudomitts; the fabric comes down to shield my fingers from the wind, but it doesn’t get in my way when I have to dig around for something.


And if it’s not too cold outside (or I want my fingers free, like for driving), I can fold the ribbing down and the fabric doesn’t get in my way at all:


I picked up four extra stitches for the thumb, and topped it off with some ribbing to make it easier to flip down. Cast off the fingers and the thumb with something extra stretchy (I used the sewn bind-off method, outlined in this great article)

Aaaaaaaand that’s about it! I’m not sure if anyone cares, but at the very least I have some “notes” written down in case I ever want to knit these again the same way. And I might; they’re really cute, and very, very easy. And the cashmere makes me feel like a princess every time I wear them! I’ve got two more skeins of Handmaiden cashmere that I don’t have plans for yet; maybe there will be some more modded Evangelines in my future…!

Two of the blogs I read had this title last week. The funniest part was that the posts both appeared on the same day, and just happened to appear consecutively in my Bloglines. A sign? Maybe not. But a title, at least.

So. November, eh? Well, a lot of things have happened since November. Most of them were good. Some of them were pretty okay. And one was fucking devastating. This isn’t a personal blog so I don’t really want to get into it, but it’s important to me and I think about it pretty much every day with fresh shock and disbelief, so I don’t feel like I can come back without saying anything about it. My dad’s best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive brain tumour a few days after I posted my last entry. I don’t know or can’t remember most of the medical details, but he’d been suffering headaches for a few weeks, put it down to work stress/travel fatigue and basically ignored it until his wife marched him to Emergency. He was admitted that evening and died just over a week later. His funeral was on Remembrance Day and fuck yes he will be remembered. Robert was more than family to us, and more awesome than most people I’ve ever known. His kids are very close in age to both me and my brother, and we all grew up together even though we only saw each other a couple of times a year. The whole family is awesome and supertight, and I know I can’t even imagine how they feel. Sometimes I’ll sort of start daydreaming about summers at the cottage or skiing or whatever, and I’ll remember suddenly and all over again that he’s gone, and it hits me exactly the same way it did the first time I heard the news. The funeral was standing room only. He will be sorely missed.


But life doesn’t always give you much of a chance to grieve. We all travelled down the lake for the funeral, and when we got back I started working for real and for serious on my final research paper (you know, the one I’ve been warning you not to ask about since the summer). I pretty much moved into the basement, spread my papers out and rigged up an enormous corkboard to pin ideas to. I entered the dungeon around 9 every morning and crawled back into bed around midnight every night. Getting to go upstairs to pee was a break, nay, a treat; something to look forward to. Grant fixed me lunch, cooked me dinner and cleared up every day. More importantly, he encouraged me to get started, to keep going, and to believe in myself. He drove with me to Ottawa during a huge snowstorm to hand it in. I owe him everything. I owe him my Mastery of Rock!

\m/ \m/

Because Master of Rock sounds way more awesome than Master of Canadian Studies. It’s my degree and I get to call it what I want on my blog (as opposed to on my CV!)

But that was only the beginning of December. A few days after we drove to Ottawa, we flew to Scotland to have Christmas with Grant’s sister, her Geordie husband and their Thomas The Tank Engine-obsessed 2 1/2 year old son. And my camera died soon after we got there, so these blurry pics are really the only ones I have of the trip:


Grant at the Christmas Market in Edinburgh


Grant and Sam enjoying fresh mini doughnuts. mmmm lard

Christmas was pretty fun, especially since we all clubbed together and got our brother-in-law Guitar Hero III! Grant and I immediately decided we must now buy a Wii and also every piece of music-performance-related software available. This might mean saving up for awhile. A loooooooong while. But good things come to those who wait, right?

Speaking of waiting and good things…I do have knitting content.

I knit one of the two hats in the picture above. Unfortunately, it was not Sam’s supercool Ming The Merciless helmet (you can’t really see it in this pic, but the brim comes to a tiny peak in the middle of his forehead. I covet this hat). Grant’s hat is the Marsan Watchcap, knit with almost 2 whole skeins of Noro Kureyon (dude has a bigass head, and he wanted a wide flip-up brim. But he wears it lots and lots, so it’s okay). Here’s a slightly better picture of it:


Even when he’s looking cute, there’s still more than a hint of smarm. Just how I like ’em.

Grant’s hat was the last thing I knit before I put everything on hold for my paper. Which means I didn’t have a hat for myself when we went to Edinburgh. So, of course, I had to make myself one:

It’s Grumperina’s Odessa, but to make it nice and warm I did lifted increases in place of yarn-overs. The rest is pretty well exactly to pattern, except where I missed out a single bead in the second beaded row. It’s the one mistake that makes it perfect, right? Even I have to really search for it when I’m putting it on (because, of course, the mistake goes to the back!). Nothing but glowing praise for this pattern!

The yarn was a yay-you-did-it! treat for myself: Handmaiden 4-ply Cashmere from The Naked Sheep in the Beaches. I can tell that it’s going to bag a wee bit, but since I made it the tiniest bit too tight for just this reason, it shouldn’t be a problem. Here’s a slightly closer-up shot of the hat:


As you can see in the background, it’s been pretty green here for awhile now. I’d been putting off FO photoshoots until we got some nice white to shoot against, but the few flurries we’d been getting always blew away so I finally just went ahead and took pictures. Of course, today I woke up to snow-covered everything, but whatev, Trev. Maybe now I won’t feel so silly going out in my mittens:


I started these in Edinburgh out of some Rowan Tapestry (a wool/soy mix) that I grabbed at the John Lewis department store in Glasgow. I just wanted to make something superfast to cover my hands. Well, I didn’t end up finishing these guys until a couple of days ago, so so much for the bum’s rush. Now I wish I’d done something a little more ambitious, like cables or tone-on-tone colourwork or something, but here we are. I’m not the hugest fan of the yarn anyhow, but they’ll do for what they’re for. Anyway, I probably wouldn’t have had enough yardage to make anything but what I made. Since I was just improvising these guys, I didn’t know how much yarn I’d need for each mitt. In the end, I had to unpick the first mitt’s cuff to finish off the second mitt. Here’s how much I had left over:


Yeah. Not a whole lot. Hooray for spit-splicing, I probably wouldn’t have made it without it!

Grant says the pointy tips make my hands look like flippers, but I like the roominess of them. I hate the feeling of too-small mitts with my hands slightly bowed inside; these guys give my middle finger lots of breathing space. Anyway, I have much bigger hand-covering plans a-brewin. Actually, it is pretty much exactly the same idea another blogger I just spent ten fruitless minutes searching for had: a pair of fingerless gloves with an extra-long finger section that can be folded back when you need to use your fingers, or flipped down when you want to keep them warm. Seriously, I thought of it one evening, really loved the idea, and then the NEXT MORNING checked my Bloglines to see the EXACT IDEA in a FO shot! I mean, it’s not a genius or revolutionary idea, and I certainly never intended to patent it or anything, but I still think it was a pretty funny coincidence. They were even cabled down the back of the hand and everything! The cables were slightly different than the ones I had in mind, tho. I envisioned Sweet Sheep’s Evangeline gloves from the winter MagKnits as the base, and I keep pawing through my little stash to see if I have something suitable. I still haven’t decided if I need to go shopping yet.

Okay, one more FO on parade and then I’m going to close the gates. Like most of the projects in this post, I started this in Edinburgh (we were there for almost three weeks, okay? And Edinbugh pretty much closes down for a week over Christmas and Hogmanay) It’s a toque for my dad that I sort of made up as I went along (a familiar tune here at knittingmixtapes). But I think it turned out looking pretty pretty good:


Denny wound the wool for me when I bought it at Lettuce Knit, so of course I’ve lost the tag by now. It’s a thick, single-ply pure wool that I think really helps the cables pop just enough to admire them, but not so much that you’re all like, “whoa, cables!” The wool is a bit scratchy, but I also made a cashmere liner for it it’s nice and soft on my dad’s bald head. It’s also not pointy on my dad’s head the way it is on mine (my head is not quite big enough to make a perfect model, but here we are).

It’s basically half a Marsan Watchcap with a Saxon Braid stuck to the bottom of it. This hat also represents my very first go at cables, which are dead easy and very fun to work. I provisionally cast on, then knit a few repeats of the Saxon Braid cable (I got my instructions from the Samus cardigan) and grafted the ends together when I thought I’d done enough (the cables don’t quite match up seamlessly, but it’s good enough in this hairy yarn that you really have to hunt for the seam) Then I picked up a bunch of stitches for the rest of it, knit a twisted rib pattern, and shaped the crown like in the Marsan Watchcap pattern. Finally, with the Handmaiden 4 ply Cashmere (a much, much finer yarn than the grey wool) I picked up some stitches at the bottom of the brim and knit a liner for it at a very loose gauge (I picked up the stitches with some 4.25mm dpns, then switched to 5mm dpns about a half-inch in, and ended up knitting most of the liner with a 6mm circular. I switched back to the 5mm dpns for the crown shaping).

It’s the tiniest bit tight on my dad’s head (I knit most of it while we were on different continents, so although I measured his skull before I started, it was a bit of a crossed-fingers situation), but the wool and the cashmere will likely stretch out a bit with wear. The cables are nice and warm on his ears, and the looser-knit crown should allow plenty of air circulation, which is important as this hat is destined to be a ski toque!

I’d definitely knit it again, which is saying a lot as I very rarely choose to re-knit things I’ve already made (which, I guess, is where Second Sock/Mitt Syndrome comes from). The first time I started the body/crown knitting, I tried it in plain stockinette, but I thought it looked too feminine so I switched to an exaggerated rib for some manliness. If I reknit this for myself, I’d probably stick with the stockinette, although you could also get creative and stick something like an Odessa swirl on the top! We’ll see. Right now I’m pretty happy with my straight-up Odessa, but you can never have too many lovely handknit hats, right?

Aaaaaaaaaand I’m spent. There is more to say and to see, but they will have to wait for another day. I don’t mean to contribute to the Only Posting FO Shots thing that is allegedly Sweeping The Blogosphere Like A Plague, but when you don’t post for two months there is a lot to get caught up with. Next Time: New Year Crafting Resolutions and Sam’s Jacket: Now With Hood (Arms Pending). See you all soon!

September was hot and sunny here in Toronto…not exactly knitting weather. But I managed to get some done anyway:

MintyFresh’s Anastasia Socks made with Socks That Rock mediumweight in Socktopus. The yarn turned out to be a lot pinker than I expected when I ordered it; the picture of the skein on the site has the pink hiding in the back, I guess, or that dyelot wasn’t as pink as the one I got etc etc…oh well! Such is the danger of ordering from the internet! But they look so perfect with my shoes, which were my inspiration for hand-knit socks in the first place!


Fantastic. Except for the pooling on one (just one!) of the socks’ legs (you can sort of see it in the pics above, but here is a more blatant example):


I used 2mm needles to the ankle, then switched to 2.75mm needles for the legs for some “calf shaping”. One leg pooled, the other didn’t. Life is a mystery. But now I have my first pair of wearable socks! The Pomatomii are going to be ripped back to the ankle and re-knit on my pair of brand-new 2.25mm circular needles. And when I say pair, I mean pair! I would like to think that, for the rest of my days, I will knit all my socks two at a time on two circulars. Because I am totally the kind of girl who finds it hard to go back to a project once it’s been conquered, and once a new one has been dreamed up. Lookit this:


Now, here, my friends, is a yarn the internet didn’t lie about. That’s my swatch, made from Dream In Colour’s Classy yarn in Dusky Aurora. I loved it on the net, I squealed when I saw the skeins at Lettuce Knit, and I paid for two skeins of it in a haze (said haze was contributed to by a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the long-coveted shade of Castagna…I have since decided I need to go back and purchase another skein in order to make matching kneesocks!! Sorry, no photos of this one yet…it was horrible and dark today)

I was at LK with a friend of mine who has recently become a “student” of mine…I’m creating knitting friends! She also bought some DiC, although I’m not certain of the colourway…it was bright pink with streaks of purple…I’m going to guess Ruby River. Anyway, for once I remembered to ask the lovely shopgirl to wind our skeins into cakes:


Good thing, too, because I lack both swift and ball-winder, which can sometimes lead to quite a mess:dscf2932.JPG

me and my Fleece Artist in the kitchen…this became the Sofi Sweater


me and the un-blogged-about Sundara yarn that arrived in disappointing shades of purple, which later became two pairs of un-blogged-about Flying Gloves, one of which was given to one of my young girlcousins (they all got a different pair, and seemed really excited about them!); the other is waiting patiently in my knitting bag for Christmas and a suitable giftee…I was trying to wind this up at the Ministry of Transportation while I waited for the husband to futz around with driver’s license-related things, which was maybe not the wisest idea

Ach well. My birthday is coming up, so you never know, maybe I’ll get one then (and by “get one”, I mean “get my husband to make me one, it’s not very difficult and there are lots of examples of homemade swifts on the net, plus he like doing that kind of thing! Don’t you, honey!”) In the meantime, the DiC yarn is slowly but surely turning into a Circular Shrug that I am very excited about!! Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m following the pattern to the letter or anything, but I’ve done about two inches of the rib so far (with a slight modification, to keep it from being too boring) and I can’t wait.

Well, part of the reason I can’t wait is the yarn that came in the mail today from eBay. Because of the aforebemoaned yucky day outside (plus, it’s night now), I have no pics, but it’s Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in Teal, aka colour# 25005. Oh, I have big plans for this lovely soft smooshy stuff!! But I’d better save some surprises for later…

Also to come: pics of the shrug-in-progress! I think I need more DiC yarn…for sleeves. Yes. Sleeves. That’s it.

Oh! And on Thursday I’m teaching two more non-knitting friends to knit!! Do you think the circular shrug is too ambitious a first project? That’s what I’m thinking of starting with…the skill set is challenging without being too intimidating, but I’m afraid the project is too big and will take too long to complete. We’ll see what they think on Thursday. I have lots more ideas if they don’t like this one. I’m so excited, even if it means missing The Office! If they could have made it down any other day…oh well. DVR, sometimes you are my best friend. How would I do anything without you? I hate normal tv now; I so resent having to SIT through the commercials! The gall!! But that’s a rant for another blog.

Whoa, almost two weeks since my last post! Sorry dudes! I, uh…I got my Ravelry invite awhile ago and I have to say, the rumours are true; Ravelry can tempt you into more drooling than knitting. But I did get a few pieces finished:


A Tomten for my pseudoniece, Sofi!


Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Tomten Jacket

Materials: One and some skeins of STR Puck’s Mischief; maybe half a skein of STR Scottish Highlands, both Heavyweight (I knitted two ridges of PM to one ridge of SH, because I’m not such a fan of yellow)

Needles: 3.75 mm Addi Turbos (I think…I can’t read the wire anymore, and I don’t have a gague thingy yet!) I was pretty meh about these needles (too clickety clackity for me)

Sadly, I don’t have any action shots to share…the Tomten might actually be a tiny bit too incredibly huge for her yet, plus it’s been really hot here lately. Maybe later.

The heat has also stopped me getting an action shot of the second, much smaller (I fear maybe too small!) sweater I made for her (I’m a proud auntie!):


(skein of Noro for scale; a future hat for the mister!)


Pattern: heavily adapted from EZ’s February Baby Sweater, with the stitch pattern used in minty’s Leyburn socks

Materials: Maybe 2/3 of a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Hercules

Needles: 2.75mm Crystal Palace Bamboo Needles (which I ADORE!) and some 2.75mm bamboo DPNs

It took a lot of trial and error to work out the numbers, and even then I’m not sure if it worked out in the end. Her mama assures me it will, but it remains to be seen! Ah well.

Next up: a little something for me…


Some Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn, perfect for a pair of Pomatomus! A little ambitious for my Second-Ever socks, maybe, but when has that ever stopped me?

I finished the sweater!

Here’s a blurry pic of me wearing it in my sister-in-law’s garden, a few days after the wedding:


*sigh* My husband, I adore him, but he is not an awesome photographer. Anyway. As you can see, the wrap sweater became a regular ol’ cardigan, but it’s still my first “proper” cardi, so I’m very excited about it! (my REAL first one, which still needs to be photographed, is closed with a tie, not buttons)

Here it is “in action”, on the bridge overlooking the monastery beyond the Royal Mile in Edinburgh (about ten seconds from our fantastic flat; cheaper than a weeks’ hostel accommodation for four people, and eleven hundred times more comfy):


me: Was that a good picture?

him: It sort of looks like you’re being mugged.

me: Well, how bout we —

him: No more time for blog pictures! We gotta go!

So that’s pretty much all I got of the sweater, except for some random holiday snaps that never seemed to turn out all that well. Most of them are kind of blurry, actually:


Ah well. The good news is, I found some Real Irish Wool during our “honeymoon” in the southwest of Ireland!


Lovely tweedy green, but it’s a bit scratchy for next-to-the-skin wear. I’m dreaming of a felted bag, maybe with a celtic-y knot-y thing intarsia’d on the flap. But that will have to wait a wee while, I’ve got another obsession or two on the go just now that need completing. But I’ll save them for another post, when (hopefully) I’ll have all the elements together at long (long!) last! Oh, surprises…

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