knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: May 2011

since finishing the sideways grande cloche, i’ve been primarily working on this:

wip power!

top down raglan striped sweater for jake. once i finish knitting the body (and the collar), i’m going to steek it open, and knit on a button band. this is a long term project, and has always been intended as one. i just finished the first sleeve, so it’s time to replicate! once i’ve finished that, i wouldn’t be surprised if this gets set aside for a bit again.

here are some kitchen vignettes for y’all:
kitchen vignette

the tile is a jugenstile (art nouveau) tile from a berlin flea market. most of the berlin flea markets are on sundays, but we got to berlin on a sunday evening, and left the next sunday in the morning… but we found one that was open on saturday as well, so i got a few spoils, including the golden birdie below:

kitchen vignette

the ‘luther is my homeboy’ magnet was a gift left by the previous tenant.

kitchen vignette

and my wee twee tea cabinet. too much? these aren’t all of my teas (ha! not by a long shot!), only the ones with pretty packaging. celestial seasonings boxes don’t do it for me, aesthetically. speaking of not doing it for me, aesthetically, our dish drying rack wasn’t great… but then this guy followed us home from ikea:

kitchen vignette

so much better!


my kind and generous hosts in germany were lovely enough to indulge my desire to find a yarn shop in berlin. research took place on both sides, they looked up wool shops, i browsed via ravelry, and despite all of these efforts, the first six (!!!) shops we popped into were tiny fabric shops with about one bookcase worth of yarn. most of it stuff readily available to me stateside. needless to say: not so much what i was looking for.

i did some more thorough research (how many ravelers had bought yarn at any of these yarn shops in berlin, what were the brands that they carried, etc), and two or three rose to the top as the most likely to be the kind of store i was looking for. one of these, handmade berlin, happened to be in a more convenient location. so one evening, out with maxim and christine, i got to hit up a yarn shop and go to a beer garden, which was just lovely.

here is some of the walk to the yarn shop:

walking to the wolle shop
walking to the wolle shop

just gorgeous, right?

and inside:

handmade berlin
handmade berlin

handmade berlin had a lovely and helpful proprietress, too, who (thank goodness!) spoke english very well, and let me take pictures. after six “wolle shops” that had tiny selections of acrylic blend yarns, i was like a kid in a candy shop in this beautifully curated store. i only thought about getting a shot of the facade after we began the walk away from it:

handmade berlin

laceweight-royal blue

i bought two skeins of yarn edition extrageelong singles (cobweb, 765 yds/699 m), one in raspberry and one in royal blue. i don’t know about you other knitters or fiberphiles, but one of the ways i collect memories of journeys or milestones is through yarn. i was seeing a lot of berlin ladies wearing royal blue in ways i really liked, ways that gave me new appreciation for royal blue, so that inspired my decision making process. and now, whatever i end up making with that yarn, it will make me think of berlin, of how difficult it was to find a yarn shop, how beautiful the yarn shop i eventually found was, and all of the berlin ladies with their royal blue. all of this, plus the lovely time i had walking around berlin that evening. the raspberry will remind me of the berliner kindl weisse… ^_^

berliner kindl weiss
why is there a child in that beer glass?

happy memorial day!


heyo! finally got some blocking done (including my sideways grande cloche). jillie has come back, and was kind enough to take some pictures.

for the record, this shawl was a joy to knit. fun, engaging, intuitive. the body makes for great travel knitting, and the border is lacey fun times!


schmetterling <–ravelry project page

pattern: ulmus
yarn: rio de la plata, in harbor blue (maybe 70% of a skein, these are generous skeins)
and fleece artist nova wool (all of it)
plus just a bit of misti alpaca laceweight in key lime green to finish up the row that the nova wool ended on.
needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)


the body of this shawl was cast on and knit up in germany. i started in on the lace section on the plane ride home, and finished it back stateside… so international! this blocked out huge! this is definitely the biggest shawl i have ever made. i tend to stay away from projects with a higher yardage… i don’t know why, honestly. maybe just thinking about the time commitment turns me off?

the only mod i made was a very common one. i knit the last row and the bind off row in the contrasting color. i planned to do this because the yardage on the rio de la plata was so much more generous. and then i ran out of the nova wool two and a half rows before the end of the chart, so it worked out beee-oo-tifully!


huzzah for an FO. and i got to use up a few skeins of yarn for their intended purpose! i’ve never been a yard tracker for de-stashing… my methods are pretty loose. de-stash until i can put everything away again. and since i just bought some yarn in germany… oh yeah, i should totally tell you guys about that, hey?

it’s the yarn that has been around for years that’s bothering me. not my pet skeins, or my good ole fall back basics, but the yarn that i bought for a project and have never changed my mind about. but i’ve never made it!

take, for example:

frog tree alpaca chunky

this frog tree alpaca, in the glorious aqua. i have had two of those skeins earmarked for the sideways grande cloche for at least two years (after a failed experiment with mittens got rid of the grey and part of one of the aquas). and this is a quick knit: chunky yarn into a hat? sheesh.

so i finally cast on in my current fit of stash busting. and can i say? i really don’t like this pattern. it is extremely counter-intuitive for me. every new step in the pattern made my maturity recede, and by the time i sewed in all of the ends, i was practically a four year old. i may have stomped my feet and huffed about the house a little. so i kind of hated the hat.

and i shoved it in a corner. then this evening, i thought i would share my frustration with the blog, because hey, that’s what it’s about, right? so i pulled it out of the corner, shoved it on and… it didn’t look quite as bad as i remembered.

almost FO: sideways grande cloche
(in my kitchen with my aqua drawer pulls… i love me some aqua)

no, it isn’t exactly how i’d always pictured it… but it’s alright. maybe after blocking, i might even like it? any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

anyways, tomorrow brings the promise of something better: rummage sale! even though my funds are low, you can’t stop me from going!

i think i’ve mentioned that i have been trying to stashbust recently. whilst browsing around on ravelry, i found westknits modish cowl, and immediately thought of the lovely tweeds waiting in my stash.

(christine, the lovely giftee)

i am a jelly donut/ich bin ein berliner <– ravelry project page
(have no idea what that title means? wikipedia to the rescue!)

pattern: modish cowl by stephen west
yarn: queensland collection kathmandu aran in purple, dark grey, and pale icy lavender.
needles: US size 8 (5.00 mm)

(taking the cowl for a test ride before gifting it)

because the yarn is aran instead of chunky, i made some modifications to get a similar size and shape. but, of course i didn’t take note… i was hoping that i would use all of the yarn, but this project was taking a lot longer than i had anticipated, so i have a couple of bits and bobs left over. i cast on for it about a week before leaving, thinking i would for sure finish this all garter project in that period of time. but that was a dry week for knitting time. it came on the plane with me, and i worked on it while watching true grit (finally!). but then i had to at least try to get some sleep.


i ended up finishing it my second evening there, and i gifted it my last day, to christine (first picture, top of the post). the picture was taken at the beer garden (pictured below) right next to the zoo in the big park in berlin, after browsing at the flea markets (where i decided that a globe would be a great present to bring home for jake! not my sharpest moment, but i did manage to squeeze it into my carryon). it was a sunny but cool day, perfect for a little cowl wearin’!


i have recently joined a couple of other sites, so in case you are curious:

i’m on pinterest here. i’m fairly new at this, so my boards aren’t ginormous yet.

i’m on goodreads here.

my pictures from germany are up in a set here, though i still need to go through and add notations and whatnot. i will discuss germany more later, but if you’re itching to look at some pics, have at it!


as i was saying, i was kind of hoping to get pictures of both hats at once, which is why i’m in all of these pictures. even though the light does no justice to purple cowboy.


so let’s look at the lovely lennie, instead…

grey goose <-ravelry project page!

pattern: the neverending saga that i call duck duck goose.
yarn: the lurvely misti alpaca tonos worsted in marcasite.
needles: US size 6 (4.0 mm) and 8 (5.0 mm)


after i finished up purple cowboy, i cast on for this, which was a requested knit. i went to the yarn store in hopes of finding this yarn (someday i will find a use for the tonos worsted purplicious and tealing blue, they are both amazing…), but the marcasite colorway wasn’t on the shelf. the lovely staff was oh so willing to check in back for me, and found one. i do love my LYS (Three Bags Full).

it was great getting to work in this yarn again. i don’t have enough good things to say about it. the merino gives it bounce and elasticity, and the alpaca makes it silky and soft, and i just love the dye jobs on many of the colors.


this hat is for a dude, so i took out the wee rolly brim, and shortened it by a repeat. so it’s still a bit slouchy, but only really if you want it to be. and following my notes for decreases went just fine and dandy, B-T-dubs.

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