30.8.11

FO: Luna's Shawl

It's costuming insanity here in our apartment.  We leave for Dragon*Con in two days and so the living room and kitchen have been overtaken by paint, fabric scraps, and paper mache.  I won't show you pictures, it's too traumatizing.  I did get enough light yesterday to finally photograph an FO.  I was alone at home, so no modeled photos this time.


Luna's Shawl by Liz Abinante in Dream in Color Starry.

I've had this shawl queued since the pattern was published but never had the right yarn.  I wanted something that screamed Luna without overpowering the amazing patterning.  I finally found this in a destash on Ravelry and bought it as a reward for finishing the Couch to 5K program a few weeks ago.  This colorway, called Spanish Star, is perfect for Luna.  It runs from pink to purple and is full of sparkle.  All I could think of when I bought it was that awesome pair of purple pants Luna she wears in the last movie (Side note, I used to have those pants.  I actually leaned over to Andrea during the movie to tell her I used to have those pants.  I now really miss those pants).


There really is no need to say anything about the pattern.  It's a Liz Abinate design, so you know it's awesome.  The fact that the lace actually forms little cable-like patterns is pure genius.  I got so many compliments while I knit it.  This is another pattern that uses the new pattern layout and it's so intuitive.  The new version includes directions of fingering weight yarn so I didn't even have to do any math!

Because of the design of the cable bands I did not block this in the typical triangular style, but blocked the bottom edge straight, making it sort of square.  Again, this feels very Luna because it's an odd, but cool, variation on the expected small shawl.


I'm anticipating wearing this a lot when the temperature drops while I finish up my Harry Potter re-read.  Everyone needs a little Luna sparkle in their life!

29.8.11

I Think I Must Buy Clogs Now

Last night I did something I've never done before.  Something that I've seen in photos but have been too intimidated to try.  Something I was sure would be insanely difficult and at which I was destined to fail miserably.  I knit a patterned heel.


Heel number one of Riff socks in ONline Supersocke Silk.

Understand that this heel was not achieved painlessly.  I was almost late for work because I picked them up to fix a mistake I made at dinner the night before and ended up in a screaming match with the stitches because they would not accommodate the stitch count properly.  Evidently it really is possible to fit a thirty stitch chart on twenty-eight stitches.  We came to terms with our differences, however, and enjoyed an evening of blissful twisty-ness and VMA mockage (All I wanted was to watch Adele and see the Hunger Games teaser.  The rest was miserable).

Luckily I had a stroke of genius in anticipation of my disagreement with the sock and printed out part of the pattern on which to take notes.  Normally I try to keep them on my phone or kindle, but I decided that if I was going to be able to make this sock a mate I needed something more permanent.


I also did not want to risk losing my pattern while at D*Con later this week.  Priorities, man.  Those lines will be miserable without my sock.

23.8.11

Wishing for Autumn

So that was an unexpected time away from blogging.  I don't realize sometimes how much I enjoy communicating with the nicer side of the internet until I have to be gone for a while.  My dad went back into the hospital last week so I had to go home to help out.  He's ok and home now, but it was scary for a while so I needed to concentrate on my family rather than put my angst out in a public form.

I don't know about where you live, but here it has been insanely hot for what feels like forever.  Yesterday was the first day in a few months that I can remember the temperature not reaching the mid to upper 90s.  Of course what can one do in the dead of summer heat than turn to air conditioning and cold weather knitting?  I guess my knitting mojo has decided that it doesn't care what the weather says, it's time for hats and scarves and such.


Two hats out blocking on the porch yesterday.  Sadly it was too dim outside when I got back from work to get any photography in, but hopefully I'll have some assistance in this soon.  In the meantime I am quickly knitting away on another cabled cowl.  It seems my hands were in need of a break from the small needles.


Bonus points for ID-ing the trashy teen girl novel.

While I was home I spent my days with my dad so that other family members could do all the things that needed to be done. (Side note: my mom, sister, and brother all started school in the past week and it has bummed me out a little because it is the first time in my life, like since I was four, that I'm not going back to school.  It's the most bizarre thing ever).  In between walks he slept a lot and so I got a ton of reading and knitting done.  One doctor, upon observing me there at 7am knitting for the third day straight, asked me if I was having a baby because I knit so much.  I was a little offended, but mostly just surprised.  I know other knitters have reported a lot of strange comments on their knitting, but I've never had the stereotypical responses.  I got a lot of them in the hospital though, which is a little surprising because people do so much waiting there.  I can only conclude that in small towns like where I grew up mainstream knitting is still less visible than I like to think.

Just wait till it gets cold.  Then they'll all come to my side of things.

8.8.11

Loki Wool

I have the coolest friends.  They go to the coolest places and see the coolest things.  I live vicariously through them a lot because I never seem to go anywhere or do anything really exciting.  But the coolest thing about my really cool friends?  Sometimes they send me yarn.


My friend Erica recently went to Iceland on vacation.  She's a fellow knitter and knew what my immediate reaction would be -- "oh my gosh, Iceland? like where all the wool is?  Iceland is so cool.  I hear they have the best wool!"  So she promised to send me something from her trip.

I know absolutely nothing about this wool except that it is Icelandic.  There's something about having a skein of yarn on which the first words on the ball band are not English.  It's just so cool.  This skein is called √Ālafoss Lopi by Istex (copy pasted from Ravelry).  It's a bulky yarn with just over 100 yards.  I'm thinking of making a cowl with it, though I'm not sure which.  The color makes me think of Loki, though more the recent Thor version rather than some of the more menacing comic book portrayals.  Any pattern ideas?

5.8.11

FO: Salem Hooded Jacket

IT'S DONE!  It's done it's done it's done! Somehow, when you actually knit on something it magically gets finished.


My Salem Hooded Jacket, pattern written by Melissa LaBarre, published in New England Knits and knit in Berroco Remix.  Ok, where do I start?  The pattern?  I love it.  I knit the 37.5 size with no modifications.  I can't tell you how happy I am with the results.  I was worried that the sleeves would be too short, but it all worked out in blocking.  I'm not sure what this sleeve construction is called.  It's not raglan, like I thought it would be, so maybe it's set-in sleeves?  In any case, they're long enough!  I also put the snaps closer to the edge to give the sweater a little more room because I wanted to be sure to avoid putting too much strain on the snaps.


The yarn was also a ton of fun to work with.  It's made out of recycled fibers, but it knits up like a well worn tshirt.  It is a little on the splitty side, and I did have to be careful that my stitches sat next to each other on the needles, but the results are well worth it.  If you have the opportunity to knit with this yarn, do it.  Just know that it does yeild a warm fabric.  I put it on in our air conditioned apartment before going to take pictures and I immediately started to overheat.


There are a few things I would change if I were to reknit this.  I'd probably eliminate the pockets.  They're about the size of my four year old ipod nano, just a tiny little square.  I'd also cast off the neck and then pick up the stitches for the hood.  I know I read about this in Little Red in the City, but when I started the hood while in a  hospital waiting room I failed to remember that.


Ok, I'm ready for it to be cold now!

For more exciting FO's, check out the lovely Tami's Amis!

3.8.11

WIP Wednesday: Back to Hats

Can you believe it has been an entire year of WIP Wednesdays?  I know I haven't always participated, but many thanks to Tami for creating a community that we can all engage with.  It's been a lot of fun.  As always you can find more information and this week's link list here.

I'm sure everyone has heard by now that the new Twist Collective is up.  I always have mixed feelings about Twist.  I love the layout and the fact that I can read it for free, but I seem to forget about it even though everything about it is visually and technically stunning.  The latest issue is no different and I was immediately drawn to several patterns, particularly Litchfield, a matching hat and mittens pattern.

Part of my current efforts to knit from stash includes knitting from my pattern stash.  I have several magazines and books that I have yet to knit anything from, so as I'm rediscovering my yarn I am also rediscovering the patterns that inspired me.  A lot of my yarn was originally destined for a specific pattern and so I am trying to help it reach that destiny.  But sometimes that destiny is no longer inspiring.  I was knitting the Crofter's Cowl yesterday morning, a very beautiful free pattern, and was feeling very unenthusiastic.  I had already had to start over because somehow even though I was careful not to twist, I still twisted.  And also, lovely though the cowl is, the pattern is horseshoe lace, which I already did with the Traveling to Scotland Cowl.  Then something in the back of my mind realized that the yarn would be perfect for Litchfield.  So at seven am I frogged the cowl, bought the pattern before I could reasonably talk my way out of it, found needles, and cast on.


I'm in love with this hat.  As with all Twist patterns it is beautifully written and the construction is very cool.  Expect it to turn into an FO soon!

2.8.11

The Somewhat Terrifying Tale of the Not So Small Box

Once upon a time there was a little girl, who really was not that little anymore.  The Not So Little Little Girl grew up and moved away from home.  She traveled to such exotic places as Land of the Sand Flees and Swamp Land City.  While she lived in these places she would journey home on occasion to visit the family she loved.  Often when she was home she would visit her mother at school and say hello to the teachers who had tolerated her when she really was little, though she was not so little anymore.

One day the Not So Little Little Girl decided to embark on her greatest adventure and spend two months in the Town of Steel.  A tiny bit like the Emerald City, the Town of Steel was a lovely place but was greatly terrifying as well.  The Not So Little Little Girl would arrive in the Town of Steel with almost no money and attempt to learn a language for which she had no talent.

Though the Not So Little Little Girl found many things that she liked about the Town of Steel, most certainly the fact that lovers of the Sacred Art of Fiber were apparently around every corner, she despaired and longed to return home to the family she loved.  She lived with tiny, orc-like co-eds who were truly miserable, the city was inescapably hot, and she proved to be entirely unsuited for her studies.

One afternoon, upon returning to her tiny room, the Not So Little Little Girl discovered a letter from a Fairy Godmother.  This Fairy Godmother worked with the Not So Little Little Girl's mother and had actually taught the girl many years before.  The Fairy Godmother wrote that she had learned of the girl's despair and wished to send her happiness from the Fairy Godmother's home near the Wooded Mountains.  The girl wrote back to the Fairy Godmother, thanking her for her kindness and they soon developed a correspondence that would sustain the not so little little girl for many weeks.

After a time the letters stopped.  The Not So Little Little Girl tried not to think about it, but she often wondered if the Fairy Godmother had forgotten about her.  One afternoon the girl's mother called to ask if she had received a Not So Small Box that the Fairy Godmother had sent and was curious as to why she had not heard from the girl.  No such box had shown and when the Not So Little Little Girl finally left the Land of Steel it was regretfully declared lost.

One year later the Not So Little Little Girl journeyed home for a few days to tend to the family she loved.  While she was there she paid a visit to the Fairy Godmother.  The Fairy Godmother laughed when the girl entered the room and handed her a package.  The Not So Little Little Girl looked at it with confusion and then suddenly she understood.  She nearly dropped the package in shock when she realized that in her hands she held the Not So Small Box.  She gasped and quickly opened it to reveal the treasure that the box had so faithfully carried on its mission to the Land of Steel.


To this day no one knows what happened to the Not So Small Box.  It will not reveal its secrets and thus it has been determined that the journey to the Land of Steel must had been one filled with danger.  Winters and summers the box spent in secret, though where it spent this time no one will ever uncover.  But the brave little box knew that the Not So Little Little Girl would go back to her home and so returned to the Fairy Godmother on the exact day that the girl went to visit her.

The Not So Small Box will neither confirm nor deny rumors as to where it spent its time and thus it is still believed that the box encountered many great perils, including Snow Queens and Dragons.