Saturday, 31 December 2011

going loopy

Looped picot bind off on my Cladonia shawl - it's pretty tedious. There's the casting on and the casting off and more casting on and more casting off. More casting on, even more casting off and you are four stitches along. Over the course of 310 stitches you can see how this could get a tad brain numbing.

My problem with it really is that once I've done a dozen or so of these picot-adorned loops, I decide that I'm not actually happy with the previous rows and rip it all out. My first problem was with knitting the eyelet bands and lace border in two different colours. It didn't work and I didn't like the grey-brown (Truffle Hunt) next to the lavender (Blanket Fort).

I didn't even make it to the looped picot bind off that time. I frogged all the way back to the stripes and knit the eyelet bands and lace all in the lavender. Then, to hold the whole thing together I knit an extra garter stitch band in dark blue before starting the edging in lavender.

And knit about a dozen of the bind off loops before deciding, no, not right, and ripped it. No photo. Then I repeated this, knitting instead two extra stocking stitch rows in the dark blue so that they would recede between the garter stitch rows. Made it through about half a dozen picoted loops and, no, not right, it's the dark blue, too obtrusive. Ripped that back.

So yes, now I'm considering knitting that extra two rows of stocking stitch in the grey-brown (even though I'm not fond of it next to the lavender it may be the subtlety that's required) and then proceeding with the looped picot bind off. If you happen to have persevered in reading this far, any opinions?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

brooklyn tam

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Autumn Tam by Sandy Blue from Simply Shetland.
Size: One size.
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in colourways Truffle Hunt, Stormcloud, Nest, Pumpernickel, Meteorite, Barn Owl, Blanket Fort and Old World. There is really good meterage in this yarn - from 50 gram skins after using just a little bit, I still had 51 grams left ...
Needles: 2.75mm and 3mm.
Start to finish: 7 to 16 December 2011.
Stash/recycle content: Ah no, none whatsoever.

Comments: So much to say. First of all, the most wonderful thing that happened to me today with this hat. I went to Churchmouse Yarns and Tea on Bainbridge Island where I bought the yarn and the pattern a few weeks ago. I was delighted to be able to show my finished version to the employee there who had helped me and she proceeded to show it off to the other staff. It was very well received. Then, just as I was getting ready to leave another woman told me how much she liked my colour choice and that woman turned out to be Sandy Blue, the hat's designer! Extremely gratifying and lovely to meet the creator of such a wonderful design.

I was never really attracted to Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter, perhaps because it is worsted weight. But when this fingering weight version came out, with extra colourways, I was intrigued and made my way to Churchmouse to buy some, some eight skeins. I had been thinking about doing some stranded colourwork in browns and this yarn was just the thing. I hadn't actually decided on a pattern until I got there and saw the lovely Autumn Tam exemplar and pattern.

The Autumn Tam actually asks for ten different shades and I only used eight so there was a bit of substitution (detailed on Ravelry) and shuffling and ripping back when I just got it wrong. When I looked at the other projects for this design on ravelry I saw that someone had taken a year to knit it which I thought to be perfectly reasonable - it's complex. Well, once I got going on this, I could not put it down. Stranded colourwork would seem to be my metier at the moment; the thrill of seeing how every next row comes out, how the colours will work, how they will develop. And a tam is the perfect size to do this. Thrilling knitting!

Wonderful and so warm. Also a surprisingly quick knit which really gives me occasion to think about my languishing projects. I clearly am able to power knit my way through something when I want to!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


I knit my hado from Noro, a Noro hado, naruhodo (Japanese for 'of course').

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Hado Slouch by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.
Size: I knit the 23" ribbing. There are two smaller ribbing sizes but note that the crown is the same size for all three versions. I've been wearing it for a bit now and could probably have done a smaller measurement for the ribbing.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock in in S233; 0.55 skeins. Is it possible to be in love with a skein of yarn? I am in love with this yarn, specifically in this colourway. Just love it. Want to swathe myself in it. I used it in my Daybreak shawl as well and had/have some other plans for it as well. As with so many Noro colourways, there is a shade or two in there that I either don't like or feel doesn't fit well; but as soon as it's knit up, the colour genius is unmistakeable.
2.75mm and 3.25mm needles.
Stash/recycle content: Yes, I had this in stash. I have a few balls of this in stash ...
Start to finish:
28 November to 3 December 2011.

Comments: This hat is designed to be knit in stripes of four different colours, breaking the yarn every three rows and weaving in the ends to make the hat reversible. Stripes in four different colours? Ha ha, that’s what Noro is for. I don't know that the effect was as, well, effective but I do like the finished product. I didn't account for the shorter rows when I did the crown decreases so the dark section there is very wide. Design feature. Oh, and I actually blocked my hat out on a dinner plate for some extra slouch.

Verdict: Fun to knit and to great effect. If I were to do this again, I'm not sure that I would bother with the reverse stocking stitch welts and would just do the whole thing in stocking stitch.

Monday, 26 December 2011

i wrapped a hula hoop

Miss bear made the gingerbread house.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

two (part two)

Sunday was 'goggie'.

finally five

Miss bear's fifth birthday coincided with the end of preschool and the beginning of elementary school (that is, it was three months ago). We had a mini-party at preschool, we had cupcakes at school, we had cupcakes at home. But we never had a family-shared birthday cake that I had made.

And then baby b turned two and I couldn't make a cake for him when I hadn't made one for her and I had to make one for him because that time of the year is fast approaching and I didn't want his birthday celebration to blend into those festivities and ... last weekend we ate cake:

Saturday was flamingo.

Monday, 19 December 2011

black walnut clemence

I actually finished this one before reclemence.

The Vital Statistics
Clémence by Katya Frankel, available for free through Ravelry.
cast on 90 stitches.
Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica in an unknown colourway; 0.8 skeins.
Stash/recycle content:
100 per cent; I purchased this yarn at Value Village in Redmond. It had no ball band.
Start to finish:
24th to 26th of November 2011.
This was one of those burning-a-hole in my cupboard skeins of yarn, just needing to be used. So I did. I'm not sure if that forced approach to pairing a yarn with its destiny is ever really a good idea. My problem is mostly with the yarn - there are some beautiful shades in it but it's all so patchy that the beauty is lost. Ever heard that about variegated yarns before? Ever heard that here before? Yup.
Stay away from variegated yarn, even if it is a super cheap steal of a thrifting find.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

that time of the year

When priorities go awry, weekends are overbooked, schedules are chock full, appointments are unavailable, tempers are fraying, drivers are impatient, et cetera et cetera. And all because it's 'that time of the year'.

Don't worry, knitting continues unabated.