November 12, 2012


Guess what I finally finished over the weekend?

November 4, 2012

I'm still alive!

Sorry for the lack of updates, everyone.  I hit another dry patch, due to knitting frustration, so I had to let it sit for a bit.  I'm happy to report that I'm back at it again, so there should be proper updates coming soon!

September 19, 2012


I attempted my Traveling Woman again last night.  I even pulled out my chart keeper and its fancy magnets to keep everything straight.  I very, very carefully knit Row 5.  Things seemed fine.  Back across Row 6--things were still matching up.  I looked at the clock and thought, "I have plenty of time to do rows 7 and 8!" and started Row 7.

Immediately things seemed amiss.  I carefully counted my stitches, double-checked the pattern...but my purls weren't lining up.  Instead of trusting my knitter's instincts and checking the chart (I've been following the written instructions--its easier on my brain), I plowed ahead, assuming it was just how the pattern was.  Got to the end, where I was supposed to have 8 stitches left...and only had 7.  Panic.  Anger!  Then I realized what I'd done:  I'd forgotten to do a yarn over before the last two stitches of Row 6.  That's why I was a stitch off and a stitch short.  ARGH.

So now I'm in the process of tinking back Row 7.

For the record, the entire stockinette portion of this shawl has you use stitch markers at either end, to keep that yo k2 (or k2 yo depending on the end) straight, but when you start the lace section there is NO MENTION of the markers!  The stockinette instructions had always had instructions to slip the marker, but there wasn't any sign of it in the lace instructions, so I assumed I was to remove them. 

I am totally putting them back so that I don't have another airhead moment and forget to yarn over!

September 17, 2012


Ugh.  Nothing infuriates me more than when I make a mistake and have to backtrack.  It will come as no surprise after that opening sentence that, of course, on Row 5 of Chart A of the Traveling Woman shawl, I managed to goof up.  I thought I figured it out my issue, but when I went back across the wrong side (Row 6) things were NOT RIGHT.  So I had to frog all the way back to my lifeline (the START of Chart A), and spent my weekend knitting time re-doing something I'd already done once.  Grumble.  I'm actually waiting to start Row 5 as we speak.

I would have gotten farther along but my DVD player died.  That likely sounds strange (and is a poor excuse!) but I really like having a movie I've seen before playing in the background when I knit (it can't be new, because then I don't pay attention).  America's Next Top Model reruns are equally good, but alas, the weekend seemed to be devoid of ANTM episodes. I considered listening to a podcast, but really, I was dreading going through Row 5 again.  Hopefully I can suck it up and get something done this week.

Anyone else have any habits that help them getting knitting done?  Do you like to have noise in the background or complete silence?  Is there a certain spot you like to sit?  Please share! :)

September 4, 2012

The calm before the storm

My progress on the Traveling Woman shawl has been steady the last couple of days, but I'm still only in the stockinette increase section.  I guess it makes sense that production seems to be slowing a bit, because each row takes me longer and longer to do.

Sorry for the cell phone picture.

I have about 10 repeats of the stockinette left before I start the part I'm a little nervous about: the actual lace bits.  I've read through the pattern several times, and it seems like something I can handle, but I can't help but wonder if I'll be totally confused when I get there. 

Charts don't help, because my brain doesn't work that way (apparently).  Words I get, I understand, but symbols on a chart intimidate me and all those little boxes can be confusing.  I did alright when I tried colorwork, but those weren't really symbols--the boxes were just colored in (or not).  I should probably practice at the chart-reading thing, though.

August 31, 2012

I'm running out of adjectives

So, in typical Jackie-fashion, I only managed to squeeze in about 15 minutes of knitting my entire trip.  Boo!  So the shawl is still in its very, very beginning stages.  Hopefully I can squeeze in some knitting time this weekend, but things are already filling up--I can sense summer coming to an end, and I'm trying to get as much outdoor time as possible before its cold and miserable.  Ugh, I hate the cold--but it does give me an excuse to wear my knits.

On my adventure, I did manage to go to a few yarn shops (shocker).  My favorite was in Salt Lake City, called Blazing Needles.  The name is awesome, and the shop itself is super cute!  The staff was very friendly and helpful as well, so if you're ever out that way, I recommend making a stop.  I also made attempts to visit a couple shops in Colorado, near the Denver area: Showers of Flowers and The Recycled Lamb (hee!).  Sadly, Shower of Flowers was closed the day I tried to go there (computer problems), but I peeked in the windows and it is HUGE.  Really wish I could have checked it out.  Recycled Lamb was nice, and again, the staff was super friendly and helpful--they had a decent selection of yarns and quite possibly EVERY COLOR of Brown Sheep yarn possible.  Seriously.  I should have taken a picture (what kind of blogger am I?!)

So, even though I didn't manage to get any knitting in I did manage to satisfy my fiber freak ;)

August 20, 2012

Away we go...

I've settled on the Traveling Woman shawl as my next project.  I just started it yesterday, and already had a hiccup.  The start of the shawl uses what is apparently called a "garter tab," which is not uncommon to shawl starts (so I read, anyway), but very new to me.  It took me a couple of tries before I felt mostly comfortable with what I had, and I'm still unsure of it--mine didn't turn out rectangular like it did in the video I watched...more like a softly curved half-circle.  I'm going to plow ahead and hope for the best.

This week I'll be off on a semi-vacation (for a friend's wedding), and I'm hoping to get some knitting time in. Alas, I'm driving, so there won't be any travel time knitting, but I don't have very many pressing plans so I expect at various junctures I'll be able to chill out and knit.  Cross your fingers for me!

August 16, 2012

Choices are hard

Now that I've finally finished the Wingspan, I'm trying to decide what to work on next.  This is proving more difficult than usual, because I've been bitten by the knitting bug (must be that time of year).

First, I've been dying to try knitting a huge version of the Traveling Woman shawl by Liz Abinante out of Mushishi yarn.  My friend Sam has done two of these now, and its gorgeous.  Lace is not usually something that always appeals to me (I think its beautiful and am amazed at the talent it takes, but its not something I typically wear), but something about the Mushishi makes the whole thing more causal.

I'm also itching to try my hand at knitting some monsters for a friend's children for Christmas presents.  I've been wanting to experiment with toy knitting for quite awhile (mainly due to all the lovelies I always see on the Little Cotton Rabbits blog).

Then, of course, I've been wanting to knit a sweater.  I've found a couple of patterns I like, but I'm currently leaning towards the Julissa (scoop neck version).  It, however, calls for fancier yarn than I have the funds for at the moment.  Must save up!

I've also been dying to try colorwork again, and really want a pair of big, comfy mittens (I particularly like Bella's Mittens).

And there's always the amigurumi I've been meaning to teach myself to do.

TOO MANY THINGS!  I'm not very good at doing multiple projects at once, but I keep trying.  Does anyone have any tips for multiple project management?

(In totally random news, I am in love with the "scheduling" option on Blogger--I can write up a bunch of posts while I have the ideas in my brain, and just schedule them to post at any time I want!  Yay technology!)

Hail the conquering hero!


The wingspan is done and happily blocking as I type (actually, I started blocking it last night, it's probably close to being dry).

I'm very proud of it--I love the colors in the Chroma and it was lovely and easy to knit without being too tedious (since it was just all knit stitch).

I only did seven triangles (the pattern calls for eight) because I wasn't sure if I'd have enough yarn or not...after completing it, though, I think I could have done the eighth.  Next time (because I'd totally make more of these).  I also slipped all my stitches knit-wise, with the yarn in back, and quite like how the edges came out.  I didn't do anything to deal with the holes (which result from the short rows), but as I mentioned previously, I actually like them; you can hardly seem them anyway.

I think if I did this again, I would definitely try the "Angel" version, where the holes are more obvious and there on purpose.  I like the airy look that gives the whole thing.

August 14, 2012

Knitting skillz

The end of the Olympic Games always makes me a little sad.  I've always loved watching the Olympics on TV, and as a little girl had dreams of ice skating and gymnastic gold.  As it turns out, I was never really into either of those sports, and stuck with ballet instead (which is not an Olympic event, but that's another kind of journal post entirely).

This year, I seriously considered taking part in the Ravellenic Games.  The last Olympics (2010), I was still very new to knitting and hadn't felt I had the skills to complete a project in only two weeks.  This time around, I really thought I could do it, but as we all know, I have project finishing issues, so in the end I bailed on the idea. 

I got to thinking though--the last time, I considered myself a beginning knitter, and that was basically my excuse not to do it.  This time around, I couldn't use that term--but where do I rank my knitting skills?  Am I an advanced beginner?  Intermediate?  How does one judge where the line is between beginning and intermediate, or intermediate and advanced?  I've never knit a sweater or lace, but I've been knitting for a few years now, so I'd say I'm intermediate--but do I really have to have knit those kinds of projects to be advanced?

Anyone have any thoughts?  Where do you consider your skill level to be and why?

August 13, 2012

Podcasts might actually be a bad thing...

Recently at work I've been doing a lot of data checking, which is as boring as it sounds.

However, I actually don't mind it too much, because I can kind of get into a zone and tear through it.  Also, it gives me ample time to catch up on Podcasts.

Now, my interest in Podcasts is fairly new.  Awhile back, my friend Rachel listed a whole bunch that she enjoyed on our old team blog, FiberFreaks (the post is likely still viewable here, but the blog itself is no longer updated).  I tried to listen to a couple of the knitting ones, but not too many of them appealed to me, so I lost interest.

Recently, though, I've re-discovered a few of them and found several that I really enjoy, both knitting-related and not.  However, my wallet is bracing itself because so many of the knitting ones have listed books, yarns, projects, accessories, or yarn clubs that I have been intriuged by.  I have a giant list of sticky notes that I have to go through with things mentioned in various podcasts.

I don't listen to very many because I have a hard time keeping up with them.  If you're interested in what's currently on my Podcast list, though, click past the break.

August 10, 2012

Creature of habit

Not long ago, I ventured into my LYS with fresh birthday money in my pocket that was just aching to be spent on yarn.  I cruised around the shop, fondling my favorites: Malabrigo, Mini Mochi, etc.  As I debated about my yarn choice, I found myself gravitating towards my favorite colors: blue and purple.

Now, I know most everyone has a favorite color, or palette of colors, and people tend to gravitate towards the colors that suit them best.  One of my friends favors earthy tones, which she always looks fabulous in.  I tend to love really bright jewel tones.  I always knew I had a thing for the color blue (especially turquoise), but my love of fuchsia, bright purple and even bright yellow did not really come to my attention until fairly recently.

I happened to peak over my Tumblr archive and Pinterest pages and noticed I had habit of posting photos with similar color schemes.  For example: here, here, here and here.  Very bright, saturated colors in cooler tones.

I took a look at my stash and saw that my tastes were similar:

What can I say?  I like what I like.

However, I did want to make an attempt to find a color of yarn that wasn't too similar to something already in my stash, but was also a color I liked/wouldn't mind wearing.

I bought purple sock yarn.  Eh, at least I can say I tried!

August 8, 2012

Wingspan update

My Wingspan is so close to being done I can almost taste it.  I'm about a quarter of the way through my 6th triangle (out of 7--I think the Chroma yardage will make it likely I won't make the 8 the pattern calls for, but that's okay).  I had high hopes at the beginning that this wouldn't take super long, but of course real life got in the way of all my knitting plans.  I'm hoping to make it by the month mark, though!

I plan on blocking it pretty aggressively, like many others have, so it looks more wing-like.  I've never *really* blocked anything, though, so we'll see how that goes!

As you can see in the above picture, some of my triangle edges are a little messy.  This is because I used the (new to me) knitted cast-on for those; blocking will set it straight though, and I think it will look quite nice!

July 16, 2012


A day after I finished my handwarmers, I bought a needle and started the Wingspan.  I'm using Knit Picks Chroma in the colorway Mix Tape--I'd seen this one by shastastevens on Ravelry and fell deeply, deeply in love and knew I had to have one for myself.

So far, things are going pretty well.  I've completely finished the first two triangles, and am nearly done with the third--all in a week!  Go me.  I worried at first it would be like "scarf hell" but there's enough moving stitch markers and fun color changes in the yarn that I'm not bored at all.  I actually am sort of loving it--we'll see how I feel when I get to the last triangle!

Only the first two triangles, but you get the idea.

July 8, 2012

Gettin' stuff done.

This is an amazing feat, but team--I finished another project!


Just some simple cabled hand warmers to go with my cloche.  The pattern is called Blue Monday and is a freebie on Ravelry.  Its super easy to follow and I didn't have to use my brain too much, which is always nice.  I like how they turned out and they'll be lovely and warm and cushy when the weather decides to be cold again, and not 95(F).

Next up, I'm thinking of going for a Wingspan.  I rather like the version with the holes, which I think is referred to as "Angel" (there's a Ravelry page here, and the actual blog post about it is here.)  I fell in love with several versions people have done using Knit Picks Chroma in the Mix Tape colorway, so I decided to do one myself!  Sadly, I don't seem to have the right needle size (of course), so a trip to the LYS is in order.  Shucky darn!

July 2, 2012

Simply Green


When I started these socks, I expected them to take only a month or so.  They were basic, with 2x2 ribbed leg and a stockinette foot.  How long could it possibly take me, especially using the 2 at a time magic loop method?


Four months and 18 days.

P.S. You'll notice the color of the socks looks different from the post below--my camera is a pain.  The brighter, more saturated colors in the "Kermit" post are more accurate. 

May 30, 2012

Kermit would be proud

Still plugging away.  I keep saying that.  It's starting to feel like I'll be plugging away forever.

Mostly I wanted to post an updated picture.  I played around with it a bit, following a lovely photography tutorial by Eskimimi.

Turned out rather well, I think!  I'll have to keep playing with it.  I feel like the colors are pretty accurate, though, which is always nice!  I might have to retake pictures of my entire stash--sounds like a weekend project ;)

In the meantime, please avert your eyes from my horrible sock heels :D

May 23, 2012

I am nothing if not insane.

I don't know what my problem is.  Didn't I just post that socks always burn me out?  Oh, right, I did.  So why in heavens name am I considering knitting another pair when I haven't even finished the ones on my dang needles?

Because I am insane.  And I hate giving up (I will conquer you, socks!  I will start completing you in less than 3 months!!! I WILL!)

I was browsing the internet the other night, still frustrated by this whole magic loop heel thing, when I came upon a glorious, glorious tutorial by Heidi Bears (who, incidentally, has an awesome looking crochet bear pattern).  This tutorial was not of much help to me previously, as I was doing my 2-at-a-time socks leg-down with a heel flap and the instructions at Heidi Bears blog are for toe-up socks with a short-row heel (which I've never attempted by itself, let alone on magic loop).

But then I got to thinking--why not try it?  There it was, all spelled out for me with fantastic instructions and pictures, and such pretty example socks.

So, socks are likely in my future once again, though probably not right after I finish my mom's green pair.  I'll probably have a buffer project in there of some kind (maybe the aforementioned Malabrigo handwarmers?)

I am a glutton for punishment.

May 14, 2012

I found the cure!

Y'all brace yourselves for crazy news: I KNIT THIS WEEKEND.

It's true!  How did this come about, just after my self-confessed funk?  Because of the yarn store.

I went in to get a present for my aunt for Mother's Day (she's in town), and left feeling like I should be knitting something.  I'm not quite sure HOW it worked, just that it did.  I finished turning both my sock heels and am working on the gussets.  This was not without a lot of frustration (I couldn't get it to work right, but stopped caring because they look fine), and at one point I had to take the socks off the circular and put them onto DPNs and back onto the circular to rearrange them to the right starting position.  I'll probably have to rearrange them again.

I had such high hopes for this 2-at-a-time sock thing, and the heel is totally bumming me out.  I was moving along pretty well up until then.  I had only taken me 20 days to do both my sock legs and to start the heel originally, which is record time for me.  I'd almost want to try again, except I really have to figure this heel business out.  I'd just to it on DPNs and put it back on the circular after the heel was done, except my DPNs are all wood, and my gauge changes completely.  Grr argh!

May 11, 2012


I still haven't knit a stitch since the last time I posted here.  I am in a total knitting funk right now, and I don't know why--I haven't even been checking the knitting blogs I usually read, and pictures of yarn haven't immediately caused drooling and envy like they used to.

Once and awhile I'll see a project and queue it up on Ravelry, but overall I'm just sort of uninspired.  I think its the sock knitting, to be honest.  I always get burned out when I'm knitting socks, which is funny because I love it when I finish them--they seem so complicated and fancy and I feel like a pro.

I'd stop worrying about the pair still languishing on my needles, but I promised them to my mother and I hate leaving things unfinished.  Stupid OCD.

March 23, 2012


I said in my last post that I wouldn't post again until I had actual news, but any news has been thoroughly thwarted by my complete lack of knitting anything for the last two weeks.

I tried to do my 2-at-a-time sock heels again, trying to use the directions from Knitting Circles Around Socks, and Sensational Knitted Socks, and that totally didn't work.  So, I've made a copy of the directions from Knitting Circles and have been meaning to try again, but was somewhat disheartened.

Technically, I have another project I could be working on (my Chroma Striped Scarf), but that hasn't motivated me either.  I tend to go through phases with my various activities, and I think I'm just out of a knitting phase right now.  Hopefully the ball will get rolling again soon, though, because I really don't want these socks to take 4 months, as my socks tends to do.

March 5, 2012

A glimmer of hope

I'm sure y'all are sick of my sock posts by now, and I promise to quit blogging about them until something actually happens (and I can post a picture!), but I do have a small bit of news.

First, I went out and bought 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, hoping that it would help me with my heel issues.  It didn't, but not because it was unclear--it was because how she casts on, and her starting position, in the book are different than the method I used.

In the meantime, I'd posted a plea on the Magic Loop Ravelry group boards, asking for some help.  I only got two responses--one suggesting a series of videos by Liat Gat of Knit Freedom (most of which cost money, as its sort of an e-book with video tutorials), and the second suggesting Knitting Circles around Socks by Antje Gillingham (even though its for two circular needles, rather than magic loop).  I already own this book, and hallelujuah, the instructions for the heel flap are CLEAR AS DAYLIGHT, THANK GOD.

I was able to pull back my work to the end of my cuff, so hopefully I can cruise through the heel flaps again (on the correct needle this time) and continue on with my life.  I also have decided to forgo using Sensational Knitted Socks* as a guide (heel-wise, at least) and am going to create my own thing using the instructions in Knitting Circles and Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  That can't possibly go wrong, right?

*Just to be clear, I love Sensational Knitted Socks and it worked really well for me when I did my socks on DPNs; just not this magic loop two at a time craziness!

March 2, 2012


Y'all.  I tried to get my sock heels done, I really did.  I turned the heel of the first sock, no problems.  Picked up the gusset stitches on one side...and realized (to my great horror) that there was no way for me to get to the second sock heel.

I have a hunch (though I can't find any confirmation anywhere) that my problem is due to the fact that I did my heel flap on the back needle.  There aren't any tutorials anywhere I can find that explicitly state which needle you're *supposed* to do the heel flap on (and I wasn't sure it mattered), but thinking about it, if the flaps were on the front needle, I would be able to move on to the second sock heel, easy peasy (if I'm thinking about it right).

Sadly, I didn't figure all this out until after I'd removed the socks from the circular, picked up gusset stitches on both socks, and knit a round or two (thinking I could just do the turns on DPNs and then put them back).  It was only then I realized another horrible problem: my DPNs are wood, and I knit MUCH tighter on them.  BOO HISS.

So, my plan is to rip back, all the way to the cuff and start the flaps and everything over again.  I'm still not sure how to address the problem I have of following the heel/gusset instructions in Sensational Knitted Socks, where she has you rearrange stitches (can't really do that on the circular, especially for Sock 1), but maybe it will come to me.  Wish me luck!

February 28, 2012

On to the heel turn...

Slightly late, but I just wanted to check in and report that I managed to finish my leg cuffs and, as of last night, the heel flaps for my magic loop 2-at-a-time socks!  This evening I'm hoping to start the tricky part: the heel turn and gusset for each sock.  Should be interesting.

February 23, 2012

Da de dum

I was hoping last weekend to have finished my sock legs and be working on the heels, but that didn't happen.  I did knit, but not as much as I should have/wanted to, which is funny since I was home the entire time.  It's interesting how easy it is to distract oneself!

Also not helping my knitting progress is the fact that my once weekly knit nights at Starbucks haven't been happening--people have just been too crazy busy.  And sitting here, I just realized the one at the yarn shop is tonight, but I already made plans--d'oh! 

I don't have much else to report at the moment--my queue has been quiet and my yarn obsession dampened by lack of funding (heh).  Hopefully the end of February will turn itself around and prompt more exciting posts.

February 18, 2012

Plugging along

I had a goal for myself to try and post at least twice a week, and totally failed at that goal as soon as I made it.  Figures.

In happier news, I'm plugging right along on my socks!

Please ignore the cat fur.  *sigh*

Check me out!  I'm loving this magic loop two-at-a-time thing.  I'm still nervous about the heels, but I have several more inches to go on the leg of the socks before I have to really worry about it.

One of my concerns is due to the fact that I'm following the instructions for heels in the 4-stitch pattern section of the book Sensational Knitted Socks.  The instructions have you unknit the last purl stitch, and then shift things around to center the pattern.  I can't do that via magic loop (unless I take them off and do them on DPNs to do the heels, but I don't want to do that).  For these socks, it doesn't matter and I'll skip that particular step because my mom wants the plain stockinette feet.  In the future though, I may have to start out with my pattern already centered, which could be interesting (at least, that's how my friend Sam helped me figure it out).

If anyone has any suggestions/advice for this problem on future socks, I'd love to know!

February 11, 2012

Simple socks

I'm getting ready to start a new pair of socks (for my mom, as usual) and I've decided to embark on a bit of an adventure with them.

Not long ago, I managed my first toe-up magic loop sock in the form of the Skew Socks.  I don't have a problem with dpns, but something about magic loop made it so much more pleasant; maybe it was less fiddly?

At any rate, while my mom liked the Skews and thought they were funky, she is partial to the first pair of socks I knit for her (which was the first pair of socks I knit EVER).  They're very simple: a 2x2 ribbed leg, heel flap, and plain stockinette foot.  I feel like her love for them has more to do with the Mini Mochi I knit them with than the pattern, but she insisted that the new socks should be the same (also Mochi, but plain too).

I had a feeling that I would never be inspired to work on them, as I like to incorporate a new technique in most of my projects (not only grow as a knitter, but to also stave off boredom).  Then I had a brain wave:  I could knit them cuff down, with magic loop (which would be sort of new).  And it would be so much more pleasant. 

Then I had a totally crazy idea:  what about two-at-a-time?  I spent awhile watching videos and reading tutorials and I think I can manage it.  I'm still a little unclear about the heel/gusset part, but I have faith in myself.

So here's hoping I not only finish these socks in less than 3 months, but that it goes smoothly!  Wish me luck.

February 8, 2012

Finally an FO

I somehow managed to be a knitting maniac the last few days, and finished my Jenny Cloche last night.

I love it!   It's cushy and warm and lovely.  I did have some issues trying to cinch up the side seam (I couldn't get it to look right--it always made the hat look wonky), so I ended up just taking that out and left it un-cinched. I also ended up tacking down the bow on either side, as it was otherwise a bit too floppy and felt like it would come flying off.  I think this is where my lack of sewing skills came into play (I should probably work on that...)

As I also mentioned before, I have also developed a deep love for Malabrigo, and I have quite a bit left over!  I'll have to measure it, but I think I might have enough to make some handwarmers to go along with it...and we all know I have plenty of patterns to choose from in my Ravelry queue.

February 5, 2012

Knitting quickly (or not)

About a week ago, I spotted a post on Knitting in Color about how not to knit faster, and it got me thinking about my knitting methods.  Not long before I saw that post, one of my knit night friends told me she'd changed her purls and now she could do it so much more quickly and efficiently.

Back on Fiber Freaks a million years ago, I often waxed poetic about how I wanted to adjust how I knit so that I could be faster.  I knit Continental, technically, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the hang of picking.  So I basically gave up, and continued with my go-to method (which I've seen described on Ravelry as "continental wrapping"--turns out I'm not the only one to knit this way, yay!) 

Sometimes I do wish I could speed along like I see a lot of people doing in videos, and sometimes I also secretly wonder if I should switch over to English style since I like to wrap so much...but really, I'm pretty content with my style (for now).  It's comfortable, and I can be pretty quick at it (don't let the video above fool you--I get weirdly self conscious when knitting on video.  I swear!)

That being said, I would like to minimize my movements a little more, and to figure out a way to move my stitches along more smoothly.  I always seem to have to stop and shift the stitches around, and its very bothersome. 

But the biggest thing I need to do to improve my knitting speed?  ACTUALLY WORK ON MY PROJECTS!

February 3, 2012

Thoughts on Lace

After my last post, I went ahead and did a Ravelry Queue purge, since I'd just queued a bunch of new things and I knew there were things on there I really needed to get rid of.  Doing so allowed me to notice something about myself I hadn't realized:  I'm not such a big fan of typical lace shawls.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course (i.e. the Peacock Shawlette I mentioned in my previous post), but the overwhelming majority of "shawls" in my queue are more solid ones--the Daybreak, the Skewed Shawl...sometimes there are things with a little lace at the edges (i.e. the Pimpelliese, or Tuch/shawl), but overall, they are much more casual shawls.  This is not to say I don't think lace shawls are beautiful, because they are and I appreciate all the work and time that goes into them.

I think I like the more casual and simple-looking shawls simply because that's more my style, but I also feel like they're a little more versatile:  I could wear one with pretty much anything.  I think there are very few lace shawls you could really wear (or would want to wear) with jeans and sneakers (this of course depends on the shawl and what kind of yarn you use, etc.  I friend Sam made a gorgeous Traveling Woman with worsted weight yarn, and wears it more casually and I love it!  but if it were knit out of say, a lace yarn?  It'd have a whole different feel).  I also feel like spending all that time making a beautiful lace shawl, only to wrap it around my neck like a scarf, would be a waste.  But I suppose a knitter can wear the items he/she knits however they please ;)

January 30, 2012

Ye Olde Ravelry Queue

I have three projects on my needles right now (the Jenny Cloche, socks for my mom that I haven't even finished swatching yet, and the Noro Chroma Striped Scarf), but as fellow Ravelers out there know, that doesn't stop me from queueing everything I think is pretty.

Every once and awhile I go back through the queue and purge the things that I no longer admire, or know I'll never make, or maybe I just queued to find more easily (I never used to favorite anything; now I do).  At any rate, there are things that have been in my queue for forever, and I thought if I posted some of them here it would rile me into action. 
  • Raphaelite Socks--I actually know the fabulous designer of these gorgeous socks from knit night, and she's awesome.  I saw these socks in person, and they were so gorgeous that I came home and queued the pattern immediately.  I swear I'll actually knit them someday.  I even have stash yarn picked out for them!
  • Nostalgia Top--For when I break down and knit a garment that's not a hat, socks, or a scarf.  This is from KnitPicks eons ago.  I still love it.
  • Peacock Shawlette--I love peacock feathers, and this shawl is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  I could seriously stare at it for hours.
It also appears I have far too many fingerless glove type patterns in my queue for any sane person (seriously, I have 11 pairs!  and 10 pairs of mittens queued.  I don't have that many hands, y'all.)  I'm also noticing that I've been queueing a lot of cowls recently...

It never really ends, does it?


Post about organizing my stash, originally from Fiber Freaks.  I'm sort of proud of it, which is why I'm posting it again.

January 28, 2012

Mushy Malabrigo (and a partial project)

Awhile back I had started the Jenny Cloche, only to realize I was using the wrong yarn about half way through.  If you're wondering how that's possible, please allow me to explain.

Nashua_truepurpleI had been admiring the pattern for quite some time, so for Christmas (2010), my friend Sam bought me the pattern and the recommended yarn for it.  I finally started the project this last winter (2011), and as I was knitting the front band portion, I noticed I was going through the yarn really quickly.  I checked the yardage on the pattern to the yardage on the yarn band and realized I was two skeins short.  You would think this would have triggered some alarm bells, but it didn't.  Instead I found some more of the yarn and bought it, and plugged away on my project.

jennycloche_ip.jpgI got to the point in the pattern where you seam the band together and then pick up stitches from the edge and was having problems figuring out why the pattern was asking me to pick up 70 stitches, and I only had 45 slipped stitches on my edge.  Usually this kind of thing works out more closely.  I talked it over with some of my knit night pals, and told them how I didn't know what was wrong, I had the exact yarn that the pattern asked for!  One of them, who was reading the pattern, asked if I still had my yarn band.  I did, and she read it and then pointed out something that should have been PAINFULLY OBVIOUS:  the pattern had asked for Nashua Creative Focus Chunky (which is a bulky weight yarn), and I had Nashua Creative Focus Bulky (which is a SUPER bulky yarn).  D'oh!

Since the hat had been knitting up so densely with the super bulky weight, I decided to frog it and start over with the other recommended yarn in the pattern:  Malabrigo worsted, held double.

IMG_1688My friend Rachel, who works at JBW, helped me pick out the most perfect color, and I swatched it up.  I haven't used Malabrigo before, but had heard tales of its awesomeness.  However, I was not prepared to fall head over heels in love with a yarn.

It's like butter.  So soft, smooth, and easy to knit with.  And the color!  I love it.

So you would think that I would have made a little more progress on the newest version of my cloche hat.  But alas, it is not so (insert sad trumpet noise here).  I really hope I get on the ball soon, because now I have blog posts to consider!  
I've become a bit obsessed with Malabrigo and have decided I want to find a skein with which to knit my first shawl, 198 Yards of Heaven (several of my buddies already have and I love it!).  However, Malabrigo is proving to be a hard to find yarn--its sold out everywhere I look (JBW, WEBS, Loopy Ewe...)  It may be a sign from the universe that I should quit trying to buy yarn for yet another project I won't start for awhile, and instead focus on the Malabrigo and project I have at hand.

Easier said than done.

January 25, 2012


I've been wanting to learn to crochet for awhile, partly because I feel I should master (in some form) all of the needle/yarn/string arts (I already cross-stitch, and I used to embroider.  I feel so old-timey!)

I have to admit, though, that my main reason for wanting to learn to crochet is amigurumi.  They are so stinkin' cute.  I mean, look:

 From Lion Brand Yarns
 From Lion Brand Yarns
From Lion Brand Yarns

ADORABLE! And there are way more than that out there in the world.  I MUST MAKE THEM.

At a Knit Night several months ago, one of the lovely ladies showed me how to chain and then turn and go back across (single crochet), so I can pretty much make a sqaure.  Obviously it's not perfectly even or anything, but hey, at least I can do it.

Last night, I got sucked into watching videos about crochet, and then amigurumi, on YouTube, and it doesn't seem terribly hard.  I even practiced starting a round and increasing, which made me feel super awesome.  I predict that an amigurumi kitty is in my near future.

For anyone else out there who's into cutesy crochet projects, here are some of the videos I consulted in my adventures last night:
  • mikeyssmail: Lesson 1-How to Crochet.  This gentleman has a whole bunch of videos, and this is one of six lessons which show you how to single, double, half double and triple crochet (you should check them all out).  His instructions are super helpful, and the video is very clear.

January 23, 2012

Dwarven Bottle Bonnet Modifications

My original mods to the Dwarven Battle Bonnet, originally published on Fiber Freaks.

Something old, something new...

I am horrible at writing welcome or introduction posts, but here we are.

I have a new knitting blog, this time solo.  I've been part of a couple team blogs for awhile, so being by myself is new and a little scary, because I alone am responsible for keeping the content flowing.

This new blog will be much like the last, as I expect to discuss my projects (and their associated woes and success) with you all.  I chose the name "Unraveling Yarns" as a play on words for that very reason--not only will I be unraveling/dissecting my own knitting, but maybe the mysteries of yarn (and its multitude of weights, fibers, and colors) as well!  I'll be telling stories (i.e. spinning yarns) about my knitting adventures, and hopefully, I'll start reviewing some yarns as well (more unraveling...)

Here goes nothin'.

P.S. I may transfer some of my old Fiber Freaks posts here (i.e. things like the Dwarven Battle Bonnet mods), just so people don't have to hop back and dig through that blog.  I also plan to implement some tags for easy browsing!  Once I get some content, that is.

P.P.S. I would love some suggestions for yarns, patterns, etc. to try!