Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Mystery Knit" clue #2

b&w garter teaser

Garter. Also, notice the right side of the work, full of "lovely" threads for me to sew in later on. That will be fun. Anyways, you know what that means: more than one color. See last post for the first clue.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A walk down garter lane "mystery knit" clue #1 in the bottom of post.


Every knitting designer, like writers, eventually faces the dreaded "mental block"-or for us knitters, the "knit-block." For those of you lucky enough to evade such a matter, or still have yet to experience stings deep and cuts hard. The plaguing idea that filled every nook and cranny of my mind dissipated with every second of trying to draw out the design, and the once-obvious mental-picture of a cropped cardi around the cute dress hanging on the door started to mutate into an assortment of shapes, sizes, colors and constructions....
And don't even get me started on what type and quantity of buttons there were...

simplicity shawl

So, when desperate times call for desperate as I do, and pull out the "big guns." Ok, well, maybe the "big needles." Stick to the gartered pattern with nothing more complicated than eyelet-increases on the edges. It numbs the brain, while also keeping in tact the last shred of sanity you still possess.

What a breather.


A little background: Joe is receiving a "surprise" graduation gift after he completes his 3 week course that finishes around June 6th. I probably won't be done in 2 weeks. (Really, replace "probably" with "won't," because it's more like the truth and I'm just trying to be optimistic.) He will, though, get a few clues to try to figure out what the heck I'm knitting that will knock his socks off...and you guys can join along, trying to figure out what it is.

HOWEVER, please message-me your actual ideas/theories via Ravelry or I really don't want you smarties ruining the surprise if you figure it out before he does. Keep in mind, he's a "nuggle" (non-knitting folk). And he will get to read these posts, and I'm sure he'll check the comment page just to cheat. You can use the comment page below to gloat about knowing what it is, or suggest ridiculous theories like me knitting him a rocket-ship, or something to that effect.

Ok, so here is clue #1: I started with 1 single stitch. I am up to 10,657 stitches, and 40% of the entire body of the object is done. Several inches ago, I complete 7,441 stitches...and using that information...when it is up to 80% completed, I will NOT have completed 21,314 stitches, but far, far greater.

This first clue is a little mathematical, and the next clue should be a B&W teaser of the object.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The wedding shrug, v.1

purple 09 flowers 2

Spring is finally here. The breezes are warmer, the flowers are out...and we are all feeling like it's darn tootin time. Everything is soo photogenic, and I couldn't resist taking a bunch of photos to share with you all.

white 09 flowers

purple 09 flowers 3

white 09 flowers 2

purple 09 flowers 4

learning to pick up stitches right

Refreshing my memory of the "correct technique" for picking up stitches along the edges of the stockinette.

wedding shawl-picking up stitches

Trillions of hours later: picking up the 230 stitches to garter around the shrug.

wedding shrug outside

The side of the shrug.

wedding shrug back

The back of the shrug, and why I am going to make version 2. The pattern and picot edging will stay, but it will be smaller lengthwise and widthwise and the garter boarder will be knit simultaneously with the lace. The yarn in the current shrug is great (I would use it again for the Abriana cardi), but who can resist a cashmere blend?

Mother's Day & other such goodness

mother's day box

Mother's Day was quiet, yet relaxing. I finished the wedding shrug (to be posted about after this), and quickly added a little (yet very fast) embellishments to my mom's bag. I got her a mother's day necklace that had writing inscribed all over it.

inca alpaca yarn

I was stoked that I actually found a LYS. My very own, not 20 minutes away, nor 45...but 8 minutes away. Can you hear the choir now?
Above is some Inca Alpaca yarn that I bought 30% off when the whole "Rummage Sales" thing was going on in the suburban community the shop is located in. I plan to make gloriously soft intarsia mittens out of these. The yarn shop is darling, it's a mixture of arty stuff & a yarn shop, and it had much more than I imagined when I first learned about it on the web. This was from my second visit, when Joe and I went there.

cashmere yarn

These two skeins of Classic Yarns cashmere blends are from my first visit, with my mom. She was thoughtful enough to treat me to lunch & purchased these two skeins & "It Itches" book! I am planning on knitting up my wedding shrug again, this time a little modified to be smaller, and to have the garter edging knit up while I'm doing the lace. More on those changes later.

spring 09 flowers

My wild flowers are sprouting up! Go miracle grow! That's a few day's worth of germinating.

yarn bulk

...and finally, drum-roll please....more BARE YARN!!! Let the dyeing extravaganza begin! I'll have soo many wonderful colorways available in my shop in the near future!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Bobble Emergency" Tutorial: how to pull a Houdini

I've been working my arse of today finishing up my "Tie-the-Knot" wedding shrug. I have finally completed it, but I would first like to share my little "adventure" or should I say harsh "realization" after I casted off the last picot: 2 bobbles. MIA. For all to see. Freakin monkies...


I should have seen it coming. I mean, I practically did the whole thing perfectly, only frogging a few stitches when I goofed up a bit while paying attention to cooking, or the radio. I had it coming, right? The very last bobbles of the pattern somehow got overlooked, I should say. I blame "FO-itis" enthusiasm. It had to be that. Anyways, the fact of the matter was that I couldn't-and cannot-leave two open spaces where the bobbles should have been. Every ounce of my near-perfectionist attitude screamed for me to fix it. (But of course not frogging it back to the problem area, no, that would be the "right thing" to do.) I'm much too lazy for that. I "Fudged it," I like to call it. And those faux-bobbles look damn near-perfect. Almost identical to the real ones. What a relief.

So here's my "unconventional" MIA bobble technique. Its for knitted bobbles, so you'll have to reverse the "knit" or "purl" instructions if you want yours just gartered (to just purling both sides). You can also change the size of the bobble by knitting/purling less or more. If you want yours bigger, just make more stitches by KF&B into the stitches you pick up. If you want it smaller, don't "M1.

"Okay-dokie. So here is the culprit:

bobble problem

Stare and glare at it. Then make your peace and move on.

Step 1: insert the tip of your needle into the "V" of the stockinette, where the beginning of your bobble needs to be (the smallest point of the bobble). Use the same size needle as your work.

bobble 1

Step 2: attach the yarn, knit into the first stitch, M1 (pick up 1 stitch inbetween the two stitches), knit that stitch and also the last stitch on the needle. You'll have 3 stitches now on that needle.

bobble 2

Step 3: turn your work. Purl the 3 stitches. (knit and purl another row if you'd like yours a lot bigger)

bobble 5

Step 4: turn your work. Knit those 3 stitches together.

bobble 6

Step 5: with your remaining stitch, cut your yarn and secure with a knot.

bobble 7

Step 6: use a darning needle to thread the yarn connected to the last stitch and push it through the middle of a stitch (behind the bobble) on the right side of the work and into the back side of the work. Do this in a spot where you want the top of your bobble to fall flat against. It will keep the bobble nice and secure...and not flapping around. Thread any remaining threads into the back side of the work as well.

bobble 8

Step 7: Secure on the wrong side a knot and weave the remaining strands into the wrong side of the work.

bobble 10

Step 8: breath out & relax. The nightmare is over. You can now go back and enjoy your work. You are the boss of those bobbles...and not the other way around.

bobble 11

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I'll post about the actual wedding shawl soon! Stay posted! :)

Friday, May 08, 2009


wedding shawl

I'm back at home, and was pleasantly greeted by blooming flowers and fragrant smells. It's really great sitting outside with a warm breeze blowing on you while you knit. Ahhh.

wedding shawl

I've gotten several inches done since Iowa City. The shrug was only half this size, or less. I think it's really coming along, and I'm still trudging through.

wedding shawl

Here's a close-up of the shrug. It's about 14'' long right now from the edge of the sleeve. I'll need to knit the main body for 22'' or so. That means I'm around half way done.

baby llama

I went to two LYS in Iowa while I was visiting Joe this week. At Crazy Girl Yarns, I bought a "just in" 9'' circular needles in size 2 and two sample wool-washes. I'll either love or hate those needles, which I intend to use on knitting socks on-the-go. Right now I'm iffy.

I also bought two beautiful skeins of Miski baby llama yarn in a natural color, brown. They will one day be made into a silky scarf. It's very soft, and doesn't scratch my sensitive neck in the least bit.

Alright kids, back to work. Get those needles clicking...

wedding shawl

Monday, May 04, 2009


I've been in Iowa City for the past few days, visiting with the beau and making sure everything is on track. I'll be leaving Wednesday morning-ish, so I can get back to all of those piano lessons that I have to teach & make up that are inbetween them. Yicks. In the meantime, I've been knitting a little, and reading a couple of books to keep me busy (like the Yarn Harlots' "Things I learned from Knitting Whether I Wanted to or Not"). My wedding clock says it's one day under 5 months-a really frightening thought, as I have too much left to plan-so I better get cracking on my "Tie-the-knot" shrug I'm designing.

However, Startitis is kicking in, darn it, and is making my hands itch. I've been scouring through Ravelry patterns, and was blown away by a few patterns that I must knit ASAP:

Abrianna pattern
Berroco's "Abrianna," a very nice cardigan with a simple, yet highly textured pattern. It calls for about 7 skeins, or 450 grams of yarn, so I might substitute the recommended yarn for Micro Spun. It seems to have the same silkiness & thickness as the pattern's yarn, albeit the nice colorway. I'm thinking that a layered necklace like in the photo is a MUST. A skirt would be nice too, as well as a cute bag, but i think this cardi would look great with dark denim jeans too.

bottoms up-pinkPhotobucket
I'm absolutely in love with Alice Bell's "Bottom's Up" pattern as well. It would work great in the Spring and Summer months, and would look extra spicy with a belt & skirt. I'll need to find some sport weight for this.

Let's see, the other "main" patterns that I hope to cast-on for in the near, near future:
-EZ's Mittered Mits. With Noro yarn.
-Meghan Munro's Replica of the Secret Garden Tam. Red, like in the movie.
-Berroco's Dizzy hat.
-Berroco's Cisco with my own handspun yarn.
-Berroco's Juliana wrap.
-Ysolda's Cloud Bolero, but longer and with buttons.
-Jana Trent's Eloomanator Diagonal Dishcloth. In a darker yellow, like the pattern.
-Vaunda Rae Giberson's Wheatfield Dishcloth.

Yeah, I think you see my problem.

Well, back to some knitting. I'd like to visit the LYS today, inbetween Joe's studying. I'd also like to walk around the mall too, but I'm still on the boot, and it's hard to walk normal (Surprising, I know). I'm officially supposed to start walking without crutches today (although I've been doing that for a while, don't tell the doc), but I don't know if I should push it. It's hard to tell if it's almost healed. It's a pain test, but I'm still unsure whether or not the pain is from unused muscles, inflamed tendons surrounding the fracture, or the fracture itself. Maybe it's all of the above. Who knows. It wouldn't surprise me, having all sorts of health inflictions dumped on me all at once lately...