knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: January 2010

oh, man… i’m knackered. snoozy, even, if you’ll allow it. this week is workalicious for me, and i’m going to be knackered allllll week (yay?). but this weekend i get a visitor (yay!), and bookgroup on saturday (miss pettigrew lives for a day! i’ve been meaning to pull out some quotes for you, but for whatever reason, that just hasn’t come to fruition.) now i’m home for a moment, and then back to the salt mines.

as for the knitting front, after spitting out two projects in quick succession, i’m going a little slower now. i tend to gets cycles of creativity followed by an outpour of finished objects, and then a lull, while my fingers/wrists take a break, and i slowly and quietly add rows to the backburner projects. among those is this:

malabrigo weave
the malabrigo weave scarf (though mine will be a bit more cowlish, methinks). if you haven’t already, you should take a gander at the original. gorgeous, innit? i loved the colour so much, i found one as close as possible to the originals. there’s something so great about projects that are beautiful in their simplicity (if a little cable heavy).

i’m a bit further on than this picture, but i did leave this project at a friends house last week (blast!) and probably won’t be retrieving it until sometime next week (see above: work week=crazy).

the result of my poll was mixed, even for liesl and abalone. i think the dream in color will be a liesl, as i am certain that the yardage i have will yield the right amount of sweater. abalone, on the other hand, asks for about 75 yds above what i have, and that is a) less than half a skein of dream in color, which is b) not the cheapest skein on the market. thusly, i am on the market for another yarn with which to make the abalone, because that is still very much on my to-do list.

for your pleasure, a brief quote from wooster & jeeves (the television series with stephen fry and hugh laurie, not the books, though i have read, and thoroughly love those as well):
jeeves (in reference to a white jacket with brass buttons):”I assumed this got into your wardrobe by accident, or was placed there by an enemy?”

oh, how we laughed…


oh, gentle readers, i have a quandary!

remember the dream in color classy (in vino veritas) that i got for christmas?
(it’s these top two dark red skeins right here)
my christmas yarn haul!

well, it’s gorgeous, and i kind of want to make myself something out of it. the problem is… i have two choices, and i don’t know what to do!!!! not exactly the end of the world, but definitely a quandary.

option #1: liesl. my favorite version of this sweater is emily’s liesl drinks some port.

option #2: abalone, a gorgeous vest-y thing whose pattern was just released. i loved this project as soon as i saw it, but there was no pattern, so i stored it in the back of my mind, thinking “someday, perhaps i’ll make something similar”. but then the pattern was released!

i dunno, what do you guys think? which one is the yarn better suited for? and which one shall i go a-hunting for a different yarn for?

this hat never got properly blogged. it’s been done and gifted to its intended recipient for over a month, but i never had my camera (or batteries for my camera…) when we hung out. so i humbly present: Ramona! up to no good! (as worn by ashley)

fo: ramona-up to no good

pattern: quincy, from made in brooklyn, by jared flood.
yarn: misti alpaca chunky in bright bright red (2050), just shy of a skein.
needles: size 8’s

fo: ramona-up to no good

knit up on smaller needles than the pattern calls for, as a scan of other fo’s show a lot of largish hats. also, i did not graft the edges as suggested. i can kitchener stitch/graft just fine with stockinette, or reverse stockinette, but there’s something about grafting in garter that screws with the logic of the world (in my mind). so i did a 3-needle bind off. you can tell where it is, but it’s subtle, and after trying to graft this three times, i was more than fine with that.

fo: ramona-up to no good
(can you see the 3-needle bind off seam?)

this pattern is really nice. it makes a good hat, with an interesting twist (har har). it’s easy knitting, although not quite as easy construction. i don’t knit many chooks, and when i do there is rarely a surprise, which made this quite fun.

by the by, the drawing behind ashley is by anders nilsen. (i like it)

in other red-hat news, here’s the cardinal rule with it’s intended recipient:
cardinal rule
(ain’t she cute? thanks, jill, for taking pics!)

big sky tunic
(this is the most color accurate)

pattern: big montana, from interweave knits fall 2009, by cecily glowak macdonald
yarn: cascade 128 in 7527 (robins egg blue) just under four skeins (approx. 510 yards)
needles: size 10 circular for the body, 13 circular for the cowl and 8 circular for the armhole ribbing.

big sky tunic

cast on: january 7 2010
cast off & blocking: january 14 2010
this was some quick knitting. good thing, too. my maternal family doesn’t celebrate christmas until my grandparents come back from the south, so i’ll be able to give this to her as a christmas present (tomorrow).

big sky tunic

i didn’t touch the pattern. my gauge was a bit off, so i made a size bigger (the 34), for a little negative ease. this is for my mum, and she is a bit smaller than me. as i was knitting it up, it was awfully tight. so i pulled it as much as i could horizontally while it was damp, and it dried with a bit more room.

big sky tunic

the yarn was bought at a webs sale last year. i originally planned on making the cabled v-neck vest from debbie bliss’s fall/winter 2008, but when i saw this tunic, i liked it so much better… merry christmas to mum, tomorrow!


this hat was fun to make; really really fun. you may notice, i enjoy making hats quite a bit. socks, shawls and hats are usually my most enjoyable knits. so many ways to play and experiment with various knitterly things in projects that tend to go along pretty quickly…


pattern: well, i certainly used the colorwork charts from the norwegian snail mittens by adrian bizilia of helloyarn.
yarn: stonehenge shepherd’s wool worsted weight, in pewter, and brown sheep nature spun worsted in boysenberry, as well as perhaps a yard of debbie bliss baby cashmerino in pale pink.
needles: size 6 for ribbing, size 8 for body of the hat.


this is actually for princepessa’s sister, mimi. she asked if she could have a hat after seeing her sisters. i’m pretty bad at saying no to people, especially if it involves knitting (not a problem in this case, but it has been occasionally in the past…). mimi’s hat, for example, was done within a week of her asking for it. my aunt bought me a skein of yarn seven months ago that has yet to be cast on for it’s intended project. hmm…

what else should you know here? i cable cast on 93 sts in boysenberry. i prefer cable cast on for hats, cuz its stretchy and stable, but if you were to connect in the round after casting on, it would be with the purl side facing out. that doesn’t work for me, so i cable cast on one extra stitch, flat knit in the intended pattern (k2, p1 ribbing) until the last stitch, and then either ssk or s1, k1, psso, depending on my mood. so 93, ribbing for 10ish rows, k2 k1fb to increase to 124 sts. i reduced the snail charts to 31 sts (basically there’s just 1 gutter stitch between snail repeats). i knit only the second and third curly fronds, and where the pattern calls for the mitten top decreases, i did a s1, k2tog, psso, which maintained the the decreases from the mittens. because of my modifications, i ended up with some really really long floats…

blocking hat

i tried about 8 different colors for the wee bit of color C, starting with the itsy bitsy amount of frank ochre i have left. i thought the contrast would make it pop and be awesome, but instead it was glaring and a bit distracting. so i ended up with a quiet pink for a gentle accent, as opposed to the popping contrast i was hoping for.

it was christmas day… the presents had been opened, dinner was soon. now was the time for sitting, and talking. which i am much better at when my hands have something to do. so i cast on for something simple, something easy, and a gift knit. between all the christmas day talking, knitting through card games, seeing a late showing of sherlock holmes, and knitting through movie watching the next night (angus, thongs and perfect snogging*, if i recall correctly), it was done!

princepessa's new hat

princepessa is fond of yellow. she has a yellow coat, yellow sunglasses, among other things. when i found that skein of malabrigo frank ochre, it was already earmarked for the fingerless mitts. but i knew whatever leftover there would be would have to go towards something for princepessa.

princepessa's new hat

pattern: no real pattern. cast on 90, knit ribbing until done and/or sick of ribbing. k2, kfb around to increase to correct slouchiness. some stripes til i thought it needed something extra, a bit of easy colorwork, back to the stripes until i ran out of yellow, decrease sharply!
yarn: malabrigo worsted in frank ochre, perhaps 2/5 of a skein? lion’s brand wool-ease heather grey from several years ago.
needles: 6 circs for ribbing, 8 circs for the rest.
rav link

princepessa's new hat

i did block this thing. both so that the slight puckering of colorwork would become a more subtle, and also because the hat had the ability to stand straight up when put on someone’s head. it was rather alarming, especially considering how long this hat turned out.

i let princepessa name this project. she used to name my paintings all the name, as i was/am pretty rubbish with titling things. i seem to recall a painting titled ‘wherein a ufo steals eliza’s wallet’ and ‘never trust any endeavor which requires you to purchase a new wardrobe’. the titles didn’t really lend any illumination to the paintings, but i always felt better that they weren’t ‘untitled #14’ or ‘portrait of a young boy’.

*i read these books religiously somewhere in the junior high/high school area. and i lurv gurinder chadha. the film needed more libby and angus, though.

I’m a tad behind on my FO posting. about two weeks. mostly because i kept stalling when it came to blocking or finishing pieces. knit them, sew in ends, all good. anything more? meh… and then they get set aside, something new is cast on and i forget them for a bit.

anyways…. wonder womans mitts o’ truth!!!!

wonder womans mitts o' love...

because i’m shameless like this, have you seen hark, a vagrant’s wonder woman comic?

Pattern: susie’s reading mitts, which besides being a totally adorable, has the added bonus of being free!
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Frank Ochre, a colorway i have seen people use really well, but never saw available at any yarn stores. until this skein!
Needles: size 4’s. started on circulars and switched to bamboo dpns. not out of any sensible reasoning or anything. just cuz i felt like it…
rav project link!

wonder womans mitts o' truth!

i think i knit the medium, because my gauge with the fours was a little smaller than called for, and they are being made for petite hands. i hope that by knitting these a little denser, they will hold up better. jake’s malabrigo mitts, e.g., are kind of looking sad after a year of very heavy wear. i love this color! i think frank ochre is practically the perfect shade of yellow. just enough primary, not too too bright, a touch of mustard sneaking in…

wonder womans mitts o' truth!

mods: i did a provisional cast-on, and knitted join for the picot edge, so there would be less finishing. i couldn’t think of any really better way to finish it off at the top, i could have done the knitted join again, like i used for the top of my handspun socks, but it would have created some bulk that would have annoyed me to have in the middle of the palm. and the sewn edging there creates more elasticity, which is good for hand movement… speaking of elasticity, i used ez’s sewn bind off for the thumbs.

also, in case you were curious, these pictures were taken before blocking. i expected the eyelets to open a bit more, but they didn’t. i probably would have had to stretch or pin them…

snail hat

this is what i’m currently up to. actually, i finished the knitting yesterday, spent the afternoon trying about eight different colors for the third contrast color until one of them looked right. i’m hoping to block it today, and pictures soon! one more fo in the mean time, though…

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