Monday, December 29, 2008

short and sweet

so, i had this lone ball of merino/alpaca blend that i bought in london two years ago. i wanted to do something nice with it, because it's a really lovely yarn that i don't think i can buy here, but i was somewhat limited by just having the one ball. it seems a lot of people have made fetching with this yarn, but i've already knit that pattern three or four times, and i really don't need more fingerless gloves.

(this is a photo of my scarf laying in the snow. did i mentioned we got a LOT of snow last week?)

after a little searching, the anthro-inspired scarflet seemed like a possible match. i saw this project first on jodi's blog, then scattered around ravelry, and it seemed like the solution to all of my problems (or at least the problem of what to do with that ball of yarn!). i cast on one day and finished the next. easy, instant gratification knitting. it required a light steam blocking to get the edges to lay straight, but other than that, i barely wove in the ends before throwing this thing around my neck and wearing it happily (and warmly).

the bonus here is that it really does look like a scarf at anthropologie right now, and that is a major plus in my book (ooh...i got this for christmas. i love it).

pattern: anthro-inspired scarflet (free download on ravelry)
yarn: rooster almerino aran, in colorway "rooster", 1 ball
needle: size 8

that's it! like i said, short and sweet, and now i've finally used that ball of yarn.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

comfort and joy

merry christmas everyone!

i decided this year that i wasn't going to go the handknit christmas gift route this year...i tried that last year and nearly killed myself. but i still managed to make a few gifts this year.

first, grrr, a super cute little lion washcloth, for my friend's daughter. i loved making this! it was super fast and easy too, and making the loop stitch was fun. i definitely recommend this as a fun little gift for kids (or adults!). i'll definitely be making more of them.

next, i made a couple of logcabin pillow toys for my cat and my friend's kitten, using scraps of fabric. i stuffed each with copious amounts of catnip, and i can't speak for my friend's cat, penny, but my darling little spike
adores this toy. he can't get enough of it! success!

and finally, for my friends and family this year, i made some cranberry apple preserves and cranberry curd. both were so good! i made sure to keep a jar of each for myself!

that's the extent of my handmade holidays this year...modest, but i think successful.

i hope everyone has a lovely holiday tomorrow, if you celebrate. we are totally snowed in here in seattle...we've gotten well over a foot in the past week and a half, which i realize isn't crazy winter weather for most people, but it's enough to shut this hilly, normally non-snowy city down. i'm hoping to dig my car out and be able to safely drive to my mom's tomorrow.

anyway...i just wanted to take this chance to say thank you to everyone who reads and comments on this little blog, and to everyone whose blogs i read and enjoy. i'm grateful to you all, and am glad to have you in my life!



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

my new sweater

hello! i've suddenly found myself with lots to blog about, knitting and otherwise, so i should actually be posting more often, at least for the next couple of weeks. today though, i wanted to show off my cute new sweater!

i started elizabeth zimmermann's seamless yoke sweater at the end of august. as i do with most big projects, i worked on it for a while, put it down, and picked it back up later. but finally i finished it last week. this was a sweater that was not technically difficult to knit at all, but it was frustrating. i knit the two sleeves first, using the first as my gauge swatch. when i moved on to the body, i used the gauge i calculated from the sleeve to determine my cast-on number for the pattern. well, i really don't know what happened, but my swatch lied. totally lied! i knit along for about ten inches of the body, and even putting in quite a bit of waist shaping, when i tried it on, it was a good three inches too big. the only thing i can figure is that my knitting relaxed somewhat with the long stretches of stockinette. anyway, i wanted a pretty fitted sweater, so this was disappointing. normally, i am not good about ripping things out and redoing them. if it's a small item, and it's for me, i'm usually happy to live with my mistake. but this time, i felt like not redoing the body would mean i would never wear the sweater. so i knit the body again, and i'm really glad i did. the finished sweater fits me perfectly...almost like it was made for me!

this sweater is really all about the yoke, and i gave what i wanted to do for my yoke some serious thought. i knew i wanted something simple, but not plain. i really loved the color of the yarn (
a beautiful blue somewhere between robin's egg and turquoise, with olive and fuschia tweedy flecks), and i kind of wanted that to be the focus. when i saw blueskysun's (rav link) ribbed yoke version of the sweater, i knew i had found my solution. she was kind enough to give me some pointers on how she did her own yoke. i think it's quite genius on her part--the ribbed yoke is very flattering, and hides the yoke decreases very cleverly.

(looky, it snowed!)

overall: i'm very happy with the end result. it's probably my most successful sweater to date, and one i expect to wear a lot.

the details:
pattern: elizabeth zimmermann's seamless yoke sweater, from knitting without tears and other books
yarn: peace fleece worsted, in lena's meadow. i used 4.5 skeins to make about a 41" bust size.
needles: size 8

i'm ready to start another sweater now, and it will be none other than melissa's garter yoke cardigan, using some pretty blue/violet beaverslide that i've saved up just for this pattern. i'm so excited!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

crewel intentions

oh, the potential for 'crewel' puns is rife, isn't it.

at the beginning of the year, i made of list of goals, or things i wanted to try, in 2008. one of those things was crewel, and i can now check it off the list!

this is 'birthday candles' from the new crewel.

i had embroidered before, but never creweled, and i found that i really enjoyed it. i guess the main difference is the thread you use: with crewel, you use a very rustic wool thread instead of embroidery floss. all of the stitches are otherwise the same. i think the wool thread made all the difference for me, because i vastly preferred this project to other embroidery projects i've undertaken in the past. or maybe i just really love satin stitch, another first for me with this project. anyway, there are several other patterns in the book that i think i might like to try some time, so this probably won't be my last crewel experience. maybe i'll even have a crewel, crewel summer (sorry!).

a closeup:

my french knots are a little wonky, but otherwise i think i did a pretty good job!

i used the recommended appleton crewel wool, but i can't remember which colors i used. i bought some of it here and some of it here.

i was happy enough with the end result to want to display it, so one trip to the thrift store and two coats of paint later, i was able to frame the piece and hang it in this little nook in our kitchen, along with my porcelain quails:

p.s. sorry for the very long absence. life, both good and bad, has been getting in the way the past few weeks. hopefully things will be returning back to normal soon though...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


bah! it's so easy to get into the habit of not blogging, especially when i feel like i haven't been up to anything too exciting, or feel my knitting progress is slow. but i actually have a couple of small projects that i finished up recently to show off, so i'd better just do it, right?!

first up is the beehive hat i made for a recent charity auction. it's terrible, but i can't even remember what charity it was for! a friend of mine volunteered for the organization, and they do an annual mad hat tea party. she asked some of her crafty friends to submit a 'mad hat.' i don't know how mad this is, but it's cute, and possibly zany, no? what's mad is that my husband actually modeled this for me so i could get a picture!

pattern: bzzz hat for queen bees, from stitch n bitch nation
yarn: brown sheep lamb's pride worsted, 1 skein, in sunburst
buttons and felt from joann's
needles: size 8
mods: none!

next up...some simple mittens for a friend's recent birthday. i wanted to do some pretty, elaborate floral motif embroidery, but it just didn't turn out, so i ended up doing this simple scallopy thing instead. i'm only somewhat pleased with how it turned out, but i like the color combination, and i like the simplicity of the design--it's decorative without being fussy.

pattern: warmest mittens, from knitting pretty (the first knitting book i ever owned!)
yarn: peace fleece, ancient fern, about 1/2 a skein, plus a few yards of turquoise cascade 220
needles: size 4

i really like the dense fabric this pattern creates...they make for very nice, warm mittens!

i am finally, after a few months off, working on my swallowtail shawl again. i finally picked up an addi turbo lace needle, and that was all i needed to get reinspired. so much easier to knit with than my denise needles that i was using! so hopefully i'll have that done soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


so...i don't know if these socks even count for socktober, since i believe i technically finished them the last day of september. but i'm blogging them in october. and i don't have any other sock efforts to show this month, so i guess it will have to do.

these are my woodsman's socks, raveled here. i knit these for my little brother, and they are really, really overdue. like, two years overdue. i promised him hand knit socks for his birthday two birthdays ago (and his birthday is in march!), but ran into some road blocks pretty early on. two in particular: size 13 feet, fingering weight yarn. not happy bed fellows! so finally i got smart and knit these babies in a heavier yarn. i wanted something kind of vintage and rustic looking, and this elizabeth zimmermann patterns fit the bill. in the end, i'm actually really happy with them, and i think my brother is too. and what's even more amazing is that i think i've finally found something to knit for my husband! we've been together over five years and i've never knit him a single thing, but when he tried these on so i could take a picture, he commented on how nice they felt. so i will be making one more giant boy-size pair of socks soon!

pattern: ez's woodsman's socks, from the opinionated knitter
yarn: mission falls 1824 wool, two and a half of the brown, and one of the red
needles: size 7

of even more excitement, seattle is now home to a beard papa's!

Monday, October 13, 2008

kerchief girl

oh how i loved making kate's silk kerchief pattern. i knew the instant i saw it that i needed to make it, and in the exact shades that kate used in her's. can you blame me though? isn't it pretty? i found myself so completely smitten with this combination of colors: rusts and turquoises, charcoals and creams, violets and slate beautiful!

it was an easy pattern, and fairly quick, and i couldn't be happier with the end result. i sewed a little button on one corner, and used one of the yarn overs on the other corner as a button hole, and the result is a little kerchief that has already seen a ton of wear--to an almost embarrassing degree! the girl at the grocery store the other day declared it 'fabulous.' thanks for such a lovely little pattern, kate!

the best part is that i only used about half of each color, so i can make two!

pattern: silk kerchief, by kate gagnon
yarn: noro silk garden sock, in shades 045 and 069
needles: size 3
mods: absolutely none!

back soon with some socktober sock action...

Monday, September 29, 2008

knitters for obama

whew! all done with twilight. life can go on now.

so, this isn't quite knitting content (though i do have an fo to show off later this week...), but sort of knitting related. i've been meaning to blog about it for a week or so now (like i is finally going back to normal...). anyway, a couple of weekends ago, my knitting group put on a knitter's for obama bake sale. it was awesome! we set up camp on a busy street right in the middle of all the bars in our area at around 10 p.m. on a saturday night, and hung out til the bars closed at 2 a.m. we sold a LOT of goodies to drunk people, and ended up raising $400 for the obama campaign. how cool is that?

in other knitting/obama fundraising news, i won a prize in the recent ravelry knitter's for obama fundraising raffle! i won two skeins of alchemy temple in secret agent blue, and some texas-themed stitch markers, which are now officially the most fancy stitch markers i own. also, the funniest. there's an oil rig one, and a cowboy boot! i love it.

anyway, if you're not an obama supporter, feel free to ignore this post, but if you are...have you donated in the new knitter's for obama raffle? there are tons and tons of cool prizes this time around. go do it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


oh my gosh you guys...i had the best intentions for september...getting my ez socks done and sent off to my brother, getting a good amount of the body done on my seamless yoke sweater, and even making another fun project, but ALL of that has fallen by the wayside since i got sucked (ha!) into the addictive-as-heroin world of the twilight saga. i am NOT proud, but there you go. i'm about a third of the way through the last book, so i hope to regain my life again soon. anyone else out there reading these too? anyone?!

back soon with some actual knitting!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

my one-member ez fanclub

thanks, everyone, for all the kind quilt comments! i appreciated them all a lot.

so what have i been doing, knitting-wise? well, i've started two new projects! i haven't forgotten about my other two wip's...the vesper wee skein socks and the swallowtail shawl, but these two new ones were calling out my name. and i should have all four finished in the near future, if my knitting master plan works out (it probably won't, but i always like to have a plan anyway).

it's funny...i just realized that both new projects are elizabeth zimmermann patterns! and i'm really loving both, it should come as no suprise. first up is some woodsman socks, for my brother. i've owed him some handknit socks for over two years now, and have been held up by my terror of knitting size 13 (seriously) mens's socks on tiny needles. so these are fitting the bill nicely: knit on size 7s, in mission falls 1824 wool. it's my first time trying this superwash, and i'm pretty impressed. it's really, really soft, and so far seems to resist pilling. we'll see. i'm down to the heel on the second sock, so these should be done soon!

the second project is one i'm really, really excited about. it's a seamless yoke sweater done in peace fleece, in the lena's meadow color way. i can't get an accurate picture of this color, but it's a beautiful light turquoisey blue, with dark turquoise, purple and olive flecks throughout. i really like how this is knitting up, too. i blocked the first sleeve and it really softens up a lot. i have high hopes for this sweater!

oh! and the yoke! i'm going to try something i saw another person do on ravelry: a ribbed yoke. i didn't want to do any colorwork for this yoke, but i wanted something a little more exciting than a plain yoke. i think this works really well. i am almost done with the second sleeve, but after blocking the first, i got a more accurate sense of what gauge this is knitting up to, and the sleeve seemed a bit big. so i'm going to rip it back a little and do fewer increases. i really want this sweater to fit well and be wearable, so i'm taking no chances.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

quilting lessons learned

my quilt is done! it's actually been done now for over a week, getting good use on the couch by both me and my kitty, but i've neglected to photograph it until now. so here it is:

(those columns outside my building look so formal!)

pattern: the lap quilt from bend the rules sewing
fabric: all from i used a few robert kaufman prints and rk kona cotton, as well as a couple of joelle hoverson fabrics, both from the cake rock beach series and the net of jewels line.

so, after completing my first full quilt, what did i think? well, i learned a lot, mainly that i don't really LOVE quilting. my yarn stash has nothing to worry about! i had quilted small projects before, but this was my first time wrangling that much fabric through my sewing maching (and maybe i would feel differently if i had a walking foot to aid me). so my quilting is, as the kids say, completely wack. in fact i'd venture to say there isn't a single straight line on this quilt, and that wasn't an intentional design element. plus, i can't get over the fact that i hate cutting fabric. it's so tedious! still, i'm glad i gave it a try, and despite its many flaws, i really do like my quilt. it's a good size for curling up on the couch, and once i gave it a wash and dry, and the fabric shrunk up some, the quilt took on a crinkly, wrinkly, vintage appearance that does hide a multitude of sins.

i expect that i will make one more quilt, at least in the near future: a hand-quilted baby blanket, and then, i think i will retire from quilting. if nothing else, this project reinforced my love of knitting. bring on the wool!

in addition to my quilting adventures, we traveled up to vancover, bc this weekend to visit my brother and sister-in-law. i had such a good time! we hit up several thrift stores, and i came away with two scarves (one hand knitted, and one hand crocheted), and this little cream and sugar set. couldn't you just die from the cuteness? tiny owls! trees! this is one of my best thrift scores in a while, and i can't wait to have a friend over for tea to break the set out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

baby's first toadstool

ack, i lied! i'm not back with a non-knitting finished object, but it's SO close. who knew that sewing on a quilt binding by hand took so long? probably lots of people, but to me, this has come as a little bit of a shock. but really truly, i think it will be done this weekend.

so instead, here's a quick little knit i finished last week. isn't it cute? it's the toadstool baby rattle from the purl bee. there is a baby who will be joining our family (NO I'M NOT PREGNANT!) early next year, and i have lots of knitting plans for this little one, so here is my first effort. how could i not make this? it used the smallest amount of scrap yarn, and is so freaking cute! i definitely plan on making this project a baby shower staple in the future.

project details here (rav link)

have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

mountain girl

for some reason, i thought i blogged these slippers the other day. i guess not. this is not the only instance that is causing me to think i'm going a little bit crazy, but oh well. anyway, for reals now, here are my new slippers! i know, they are neither a swallowtail shawl, nor stripey socks. but i saw them and wanted them, and both of those projects were at points where i needed to think, and these were a nice time out from that.

this is one of those projects that i doubt i ever would have heard of if it hadn't been for ravelry, and especially the new 'spy on your friends' feature. i don't remember who queued these, but i saw them and remembered that i've been wanting to make knitted slippers pretty much since i learned to knit, but have somehow managed not to. now i have!

this pattern was fun and clever, and very fast. though it took me a couple of weeks start to finish to complete these, really it only took a couple of hours per slipper. i just really spread those hours out!
anyway, it's too warm to wear these at the moment, but i really like them, and they are just one of the reasons i'm looking forward to fall.

pattern: mountain form slippers
(ravelry link, because the link to this pattern seems to be broken. i messaged the girl who wrote it, and she emailed me the pattern.)
yarn: louet riverstone, in a color called mustard

needles: size 7, then size 6, because i couldn't find my size 7 dpns. this didn't seem to make much difference size-wise. they ended up fitting perfectly.

mods: none, other than changing needle sizes, as mentioned above., if everything goes to plan, the next time i stop by here should be with a non-knitting FO! hopefully see you soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

endpaper mitts

i can't believe i'm finally posting about a finished pair of endpaper mitts! these have been such a long time coming...and as much as i'm happy with the finished results, more than anything, i am just glad to move them off the top of my ravelry projects page, down into finished object territory once and for all.

i started these in january, enthusiastically rushed through the first mitt, and then abandoned the project, since it was no longer new or novel. i still loved the yarn (oh nature's palette!), and i liked how the endpaper that i did finish looked, but more exciting things beckoned. occasionally, jenna would poke me with a stick and insist that i finish them, but these prods accompanied threats of stealing the finished endpapers for herself, so i took her advice with a grain of salt.

but she was right...i really did need to finish them! so finally, some time in june, i picked up my barely-started second endpaper mitt and started to work. i worked on it pretty slowly and intermittently (ha!), but never set is aside for good. and finally, they are both done. see...two!

i really, really love the color combination i used, and i will definitely use the nature's palette yarn again. i was a little worried that they were too small, but i took eunny's advice and blocked them on a tall glass that was about arm sized, and they loosened up to just the right size. i'm very glad i went ahead and finished these, and am left wanting to do some more color work.

pattern: endpaper mitts, by eunny jang
yarn: hand jive knits nature's palette fingering in coral, about half a skein, and shibuiknits sock in bark, a little over half of one skein.
needles: size 3 and size 1 addis
mods: i did not do the tubular cast on, because i tried it and it was way too tight, so i just did a regular long-tail cast on. i didn't do the tubular bind off, because i forgot. whoops! more thing! i made the now-famous new york times chocolate chip cookie recipe this weekend, and holy moly those are some good cookies! i followed the mods that orangette used (chocolate chips instead of the chocolate disks called for, and i just used regular all-purpose flour). i think the key is the long chill time (up to 36 hours!) and the sprinkle of sea salt on top, making these the perfect salty sweet treat. this recipe makes really big cookies! for my own health and safety, i've frozen half the batch so that i can enjoy them in a more moderate fashion, but i have no delusions that these will last long. go make some now!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

i'm a work in progress

i think i mentioned at the beginning of the year that i wanted to be better about blogging my works in progress, rather than just having a project appear fully formed out of nowhere on my blog. so here are two things i'm working on right now.

first...i took your advice on the wee skeins, and went for socks in the end. i'm just about done with the first color, and so far so good. i really like knitting socks two at a time! other than the two balls of yarn getting tangled, there's really nothing to it, and i feel an immense sense of relief that i don't have to worry about knitting one sock and then not feeling like knitting the other. genius!

as i started knitting these, i had to decide what order to do the colors, and i kept thinking that several combinations looked sort of like a sunset, with cooler blues and purples graduating up into vivid oranges and reds. so i'm dubbing these my sunset socks (or maybe sunrise? i can't decide). i'm eager to see how these actually look all knitted up, but in my head they look really pretty!

the other project i've got on the needles now is quite a big deal for first big lace project, the swallowtail shawl! this project came out of nowhere for me...i have never really been drawn to triangular shawls before, but i saw this version of another shawl, the shetland triangle, and i was in love. but i didn't want to buy the book for just that pattern, and i equally loved the swallowtail, so i immediately cast on for that instead. i'm using some jamieson's ultra that i found at my yarn shop...i really liked how rustic and wooly it is, and the pretty pinky purple color, though sort of out of the ordinary for me, seemed just right. i'm halfway done with the second chart, and it's going fine. though the fact that each row gets longer and longer is starting to freak me out a little...

and that's it! two projects that i'm really enjoying at the simple and mindless that i can take anywhere, and one that is challenging me with a new skill. i hope to have both done pretty soon.

oh! and my weekend in anacortes! as i mentioned in my last post, we went to the what the heck? fest this weekend in anacortes, washington. i bought random junk at the shipwreck day event, and saw lots of very good bands play. it was a good time. i didn't take too many pictures, but i did snap this one outside a thrift store, that for some reason really cracks me up:

i'll be back soon, because i finally finished my endpaper mitts. finally!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

things i've been doing instead of blogging

- eating watermelon and rainier cherries and golden raspberries
- swimming in the lake, picnicking on the beach
- making my first semi-successful batch of peach jam
- reading this and this and this
- attending a whole lifetime's worth of barbecues
- hitting up the thrift stores every single weekend
- finishing some old knitting projects, and starting some new
- seeing this movie (love!)
- getting super excited about a weekend getaway to anacortes, washington, for this festival (hello, city-wide rummage sale!)

what have you been up to these past few weeks?

(the above pic is not really related to anything, but so as to not have a photo-less blog entry, i present 'still life of jam and sugar bowl')

Monday, June 30, 2008

we love wee skeins

the other day i got some special mail: four wee skeins of vesper sock yarn from knitterly things! i'm so on this bandwagon. but i'm torn about what to do with it: make some toe-up socks (i was thinking of trying the two-at-once thing), or make a rainbow cowl of skinny stripes? there are pros and cons to both. socks: i would get to try a new skill, and they would be really pretty socks. i like striped socks. cowl: i don't think you can have too many, and this might be a more visible, more long-lasting use of some pretty yarn. i'm considering this an informal poll, so let me know your opinion!

here are the wee little babies, looking cute:

from top to bottom, build me up buttercup, muddy waters, sweet summer sky, and monet's garden.

Monday, June 23, 2008

yet another cowl

but i think that's a good thing!

i've had this one skein of blue sky alpacas royal in my stash for quite a while. it was beautiful. just beautiful. the color, spanish leather, was the perfect taupe, and the yarn itself was sooooooooo soft. luxury alpaca, people! but i didn't know what to do with it. i only had the one skein, and i felt like i needed to do something special with it. after lots of potential projects that never quite stuck, i finally, recently, struck upon the aspen neck cowl. such a simple pattern, but i felt like the pattern and yarn would be a good marriage - the alpaca would make a nice, drapey cowl, and the simplicity of the pattern would showcase the yarn's loveliness, with just a tiny bit of added interest with the reverse stockinette horizontal ribs. plus, it's reversible!

so, i cast on, knowing i really didn't have as much yarn as the pattern called for. in the end, it's not quite as long as specified in the pattern (it's probably 2/3 the size), so i can't use it pulled up over my head like a hood, but i probably wouldn't ever wear it that way anyway. it's pretty big anyway, and i can only imagine that the alpaca will grow with wear.
this thing is so luxurious and beautiful and lovely! i can't wait til it's actually cool enough to wear it (that seems to be my blogging theme these days).

here's a modeled shot:

and the "right" side:

and inside out:

pattern: aspen neck cowl
yarn: blue sky alpacas royal, in spanish leather, almost one entire skein

needle: size 6 circular
mods: well, the pattern calls for purling ever row, with knit ribs every 9th and 10th row. this seemed silly, since knitting is so much easier and faster for me, so i basically knit it inside out. but i like how both sides look, so i'm considering it reversible.

i'm somewhat in between knitting projects right now...i'm not really sure what to start next, though i have some ideas. for now though, i'm busy cutting fabric for my first quilt!

Monday, June 16, 2008

mitered mittens

my mittens finally dried! i finished these mittens ages ago, but then i had a friend in town and i didn't have time to block them (which they definitely needed). then, they took a week to dry. finally, they are done. just in time for seattle to finally get warm weather. but as elizabeth zimmermann points out in the write-up of this pattern, they'll be all ready to go when it does get cold, right?

pattern: mitered mittens, knitter's almanac, by elizabeth zimmermann
yarn: folktale fibers, in sweet & sour, 1 skein

needles: size 6 circulars for magic loop

this project was all about the yarn. a few months ago i spotted folktale fibers on etsy, and instantly fell in love with her beautiful patchwork series of handspun yarns. i decided on a colorway called sweet & sour, and knew right away that i wanted some bright, cheerful, and stripy mittens.

i had a few issues getting yarn and pattern to work well together: the yarn was a very heavy worsted, and i had a difficult time getting the yarn to knit up to the right size. the fact that miters pull everything in tightly made it even harder to figure out exactly how many stitches to cast on. i started these three or four times before i felt happy with the stitch count, and even now, they are a tiny bit tight, though blocking loosened them up a bit. this yarn's gauge was so radically different to the original pattern that it made everything a little harder than it should have been, and my thumb turned out too big, because i increased too many stitches for the gusset (which is a mod i did, since i didn't want the thumb on the palm, as the pattern is written).

also...there were some colors in this skein that came as a bit of a surprise! in the skein, the yarn seemed to be predominantly orange/red/purple/brown, with a little yellow. knitted up, it looked way more like a 70s crocheted granny square afghan than i was expecting. some might even call it a bit gaudy. but i think in the end, the colors grew on me.

anyway, after all that, i think i like these mittens! the cuff is really long, and the fabric is really dense and warm. they will be perfect this winter, or who knows, maybe even next week. i don't think our current warm weather will last long.

Friday, June 13, 2008

flickr game

i have a project, a pair of mittens, that is blocking and refuses to dry (it's been a week now!), so while i wait for those to dry out and become bloggable, i guess i'll join in on the flickr meme that's going around.

the concept:
a. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. using only the first page, pick an image.
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

go to my flickr page for links to the photos.

Friday, May 30, 2008

autumn leaves in spring

i finally finished my embossed leaves socks! i love these socks. these are my final project for the earth segment of project spectrum, and i've loved knitting with these earthy colors these past few months.

pattern: embossed leaves, from favorite socks
yarn: socks that rock lightweight, in the beautiful oregon red clover honey colorway

needles: size 2 inox circular for magic loop

mods: i did an eye of partridge heel instead of the garter ridge heel in the pattern. this heel seems like a perfect match for the leaves pattern, and i really liked knitting it. it's just so visually pleasing and squishy/springy. pretty!
i also, impulsively, decided not to do the toe in the pattern, but instead opted for a french toe (at least i think that's what i did!). i'm not really sure if this was the right decision or not, but i think it turned out ok.

this pattern knits up so fast! i knit socks slowly, and even though it still ended up taking me two months to finish these, it actually only took about two and half weeks of actual knitting time, with several weeks in between socks. not record time by any means, but fast for me. i think i definitely want to try some more lace sock patterns, and am thinking of meida's socks from the same favorite socks book next.

i'm glad to have these done and am eager to wear them. now, what to knit for air? i'm thinking more cowls!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

eat your greens

hello! sorry for the long absence. i feel like i'm always saying that...maybe i should accept that i'm just a few-times-a-month blogger, huh?'s a little something i've been working on the past week. my first attempt at gardening! i've been wanting to grow something for ages now (in fact, it's one of my goals for 2008), but we live in an apartment building that doesn't really have a yard to speak of. i've had my name on the waiting list for a p-patch plot for well over a year now as well, with no luck yet. so i figured i could wait around probably another year to get my plot, or i could just start with a little window box.

it's sad to admit, but i haven't grown anything since the little bean plants everyone does in first grade. but i grew up in phoenix, where it's not so easy to have a lush and green and fruitful garden. i attempted some basil on my patio once in college, and the plants died within a week. my mom (also from phoenix) lives here in the seattle area now too, and she has a new house, where is she is making good use of her extensive garden area this year. she said to me the other day, somewhat in awe, 'stuff just GROWS here!' i can understand her wonder at this! so i started to think that maybe i could actually have some success, despite my perceived black thumb.

so last weekend i got a window box, planted some seeds, and crossed my fingers. i've run to my kitchen window every day with the excitement of christmas morning, hoping to see some tiny green thing poking it's head out of the soil. and this weekend, my babies made their first appearance! i have since spent a lot of time looking out that window at my little sprouts, daydreaming of more window boxes, a real garden, warm soil between my fingers, and whole meals comprised of foods i had grown myself.

so these little sproutlets are not much to look at yet (so tiny!), but i guess everyone has to start small, right?

baby basil:

baby chives:

baby oregano: