Friday, December 23, 2011

Wee Hats

This Christmas I decided to make a bunch of mini hats for Eddie's family!  I get nervous giving handmade little things like this, I don't want people to think I was being knit-lazy (does anyone else worry like that?).  

I told Eddie's mom about my nervousness, and after telling me I was being a little silly, she told me "it's all about the presentation".


My mom helped me a lot with the Christmas cards, both in concept and construction.  They're little snowpeople with funny hair and big hats.  JUST LIKE ME.

Used size 1instead of size 0
Knitted the decrease rounds without knit rounds in between

Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keep Holden On

Oh man, I am so punny.

In my early days of knitting, I remember looking at Holden Shawlette and thinking it was the most beautiful thing, yet so intricate and complicated.  Though my skill set grew over the years (I started my knitting adventures in fall of '09!), I never revisited Holden, absolutely convinced it was too challenging.

How silly I am.

I started this pattern in the early fall (October maybe) for an autumnal shawl.  Then my row count was off, and I thought I had enough stitches to start the lace but I was something like 14 rows off (I have no idea how that happen).  Disheartened, I ripped out the botched lace row and set it down.  For months.  In my desk.

I picked it up again a few days ago and bam!  Done.

I used MadTosh and accordingly modified the pattern in fear of yarn shortage -- I have one less lace repeat than the pattern dictates.  Other than that, everything's as written.

Thanks to my mom for taking the photos, and only kvetching a little throughout the process.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday knitting

You haven't posted anything in a while, does that mean you're not knitting?
No way.  I'm primarily working on holiday knitting for other people.  And what sort of knitter would I look like if the recipient already saw exactly what they were to receive?  

Some light spoilers though:
I finished the presents for my parents and my in-laws.  I'm still working on the presents for my brother and his special lady.  I have one part of Eddie's presents done.  

But!  In the spirit of selfish knitting, I have started a project for myself: 

Happy knitting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baby Mitts

I work at my college library, and I can say with complete certainty that the library job is the best on campus.  Seriously.  It's fantastic.  Part of what makes the library so wonderful is the amazing people who staff it, and today is the last day for one of them.

The woman who's leaving is a new momma, so I made her beautiful baby some mitts!

Seriously, how cute are these little things? The overall cotton/ merino/bamboo/nylon/acrylic fiber combination makes these super soft. It's interesting that the rainbow yarn yielded two completely different mitts -- one's completely orange!  

These mitts are so quick and use such little yarn! Since fingering weight yarn is my new favorite weight, all you new parents should watch out.  Your babies are getting mitten'ed.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Hillside, San Francisco

My second order from Knit Picks this summer came in, containing yarn to make everything from my to-knit list.  I started with what may become a classic for me -- Cladonia by Kristen Kapur.

I named the project "The Hillside" after my fiance's neighborhood in San Francisco.  Those of you familiar with San Francisco may not recognize Hillside as a neighborhood, and you are right!  Eddie's neighborhood is sandwiched between two larger ones, and his niche doesn't get distinction.  The Eddie solution?  Name it something new -- The Hillside.  My Hillside is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in Pegasus and Knit Picks Comfy Fingering in Whisker.  They're different fibers, so the gray really pops against the spectrum and adds a new texture dimension.

I visited ImagiKnit last week to get a Tosh fix.  Mission successful.

I don't know what to do with such a glorious orange, but my needles busily click about Nathan for now, so I must stay focused.   After ImagiKnit, Eddie, his fantastic roommate Matt and I went to the cinematic glory known as Midnites for Maniacs at the historic Castro Theatre.  There, we saw a triple feature -- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Vegan Police), Hot Fuzz (a great big bushy beard!), and Shaun of the Dead (You've got red on you) -- with in house Q&A from the mind behind these film-gems, director and writer Edgar Wright.   All for $15.  Bam.

I also visited a new yarn shop -- Atelier Yarns.  I bought some darning needles to officially finish The Hillside (I somehow lost my cherished yarn needle), but the yarn selection definitively tempted me.  Mmm Malibrigo.

San Francisco with my beloved delivers new adventures daily.  I love it here with him (although I suspect I'd love anywhere with him).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To-knit list (and why I love them)

I just made my last yarn purchase of the summer (and I'm blogging about it now just in case I forget -- no more buying yarn!), so it's time for a knit-list!


My Eddie is dapper, oh so dapper, and he is quite fond of sweater-vests.  He loves the last sweater vest I made him, but I'm not completely satisfied with the project in hindsight.  Textured Vest by Erika Knight is knit flat, and flat stockinette, while cathartic, drags.  Nathan is knit in the round, which will save yarn and also make the pattern go more quickly.  The sides are ribbed, which will help achieve an ideal fit (I want slim fitting, ala Joseph Gordon Levitt in Inception).  This pattern is free!

It's about time I knit something by Jared Flood.  While this isn't technically his pattern, I credit him for sharing it with the knitterverse anyway.  I am so excited for heavyweight lace.  This pattern will be a challenge (I haven't knit exclusively off a chart before, I've never made a blanket before) but I'm looking forward to it.  Plus, it's beautiful.  This pattern is free!

(oh yes, I'm making another one)

My first go at this pattern went so beautifully, and despite being a large-ish shawl, I was never really bored by it (which is saying something).  Plus the outcome is stunning.  This time I'm using Chroma Fingering in Pegasus for the contrast color.  I love this pattern.

tiny owl knits Oh my Gosh.  I first fell in love with her designs when I made "Baby Lamb Cuffs", and I had been keeping an eye on her new designs ever since.  Imagine my jubilation when I found the beekeeper's quilt.  It's made from stuffed sock yarn puffs (so there's no need to line the opposite side of the quilt) using bits of yarn, so it's an amazing stash-buster.  Pay close attention to the charts and tips discussion board on Ravelry where people post charts (for free) to make things like bees, foxes, owls, and gnomes for your puffs!  I am so excited

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pucker up, round 2

My lovely friend Ashley designed Pucker Up back in January, and I eagerly knit one up from my stash -- Lily Sugar & Cream in Rose Pink.  The project itself displayed the pattern well, and the color of the yarn certainly added a pop to my wardrobe, but all in all it wasn't the best yarn choice.  In these harsh economic times, we must cherish frugality, careful not to spend where we don't need to.  That's why stash knitting is so great -- we get to craft new and beautiful things using what we already have.

Earlier this month, I made some purchases at KnitPicks and bought the yarn for my beloved Cladonia shawl and some Comfy Worsted to remake Ashley's design.

Round 2 is so much better.

Pucker Up by Ashley Aguilar in Knit Picks Comfy Worsted, Fairy Tale colorway

Comfy Worsted is unbelievably soft, I want to make a blanket out of it and stay wrapped up for hours.  I love the color, although I admittedly have a thing for jewel tones.  Unlike Sugar & Cream, Comfy shows off the pattern more and can hold the picots without losing definition.  The drape is amazing, and the hat turned out much slouchier than I anticipated.

I used size 6 needles throughout because I still can't find my interchangeables.
I cast on for the medium size and knit the body in large because I wanted it slouchier.  It turns out that wasn't necessary.  Tip: If you knit the hat in yarn that can be blocked, there is no need to size up to get a slouchy hat.
Worried about yarn shortage, I knit the pleated sections two rows shorter than written, but it turns out I had some extra yarn anyway.

The pattern is quick and unique, and it can hold my giant curly lion mane so that's always a plus.  The construction is simple but the result is super sweet.  I was so grateful to size up from fingering yarn.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have nicknamed Cladonia Yarnie: the yarn baby.

This pattern held my attention really well.  Especially in a fingering weight shawl, knitting through the body can be dreadful.  But this pattern is different; with color changes every two rows, you're constantly switching up what you're doing.  As far as yarn choices go, variegated is tops.  Watching the colors change adds a new component to the knitting project.  Golden Glow changes from a pale, near white yellow to warm, honey yellow with bits of bright, intense yellow.  The pink changes from pale, near white pink to cool, pastel pink and deep, near almost purpley pink and of course, it has bits of yellow.

Combined, there are spots in the shawl where the pink and yellow are nearly indiscernible.

In the edging, though, I didn't like the yellow bits in the pink.  I feel like it took away from the overall look of color completion.  But maybe I'm thinking too much about it.

Yesterday Eddie and I took a bunch of photos of the baby in action (after busting it out at the theater while watching Captain America).

I knit the pattern as written, except on 6s instead of 7s (can't seem to find my interchangeable needles).  I was apprehensive to do the looped picot edging, but it's really not that bad and the end product is beautiful.

I really, really love my yarn baby.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My new yarn baby

I picked up my knitpicks yarn on Monday and oh my god, it is glorious.

Stroll Tonal in Golden Glow and Queen Anne

I feel like these colorways were made for each other; the yellow has bits of pink, the pink has bits of yellow.  I started a new project with this yarn, Cladonia, and it is beautiful:

More on the actual pattern later, but I'm really loving that the colors switch every two rows.  It keeps the pattern very easy to memorize and the variegation of the yarn holds my interest (especially with the pink, I am really interested in how the colors knit up).

Knitting so many beautiful things makes me want to keep designing, but I oh-so nervously dip my toes into the waters of design.   But this makes me happy:

Look at all those hearts!  I hope people make more projects though, I'd really like to see what people can do with my patterns.

I wonder what I should design next...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Flies

And so I am done with the first trimester of my senior year of college.  Only two more to go before I graduate in March.  This March.  In nine months. Wow.

When finals roll along, I have an unrelenting "No knitting until you're done" policy, so this yarn and this project served as an incentive to get all my work done (it's a good incentive -- I stayed on Dean's List all year!  Whoo!).

Eddie got me some beautiful yarn in Royalty from Sun Valley Fibers for my birthday. I normally buy fingering yarn in 440 yard skeins, but this skein fell short at just 400 yards.  But alas, there are plenty of beautiful shawlette lacy patterns under 400.  I decided to make Summer Flies by Donna Griffin.

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, so obviously my fingering weight finished product differs from the sample.  Most notably, the gorgeous knotwork section doesn't show up as clearly as it would in worsted weight.

I had trouble with the first butterfly section, and I ended up having a few extra stitches at the end of the butterfly sections, but it wasn't really a big deal, I just made up for the stitch count (skipping the m1s, ssk when there were extra stitches, etc).

The bind off took super long, but I'm glad it's done.  Blocking helped bring out the pattern.  The color is most accurate in the first photo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clouds over moorlands

...sounds like a poem title.

Eddie got me a skein of Tosh Merino Light in Moorland over spring break.  I want to work with more green yarn, but I didn't want to make a hat out of fingering weight yarn.  So, I went to my go-to pattern, the Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz.  Given that Tosh Merino Light comes in skeins of 440 yards and the Storm Cloud Shawlette is written for 210 yards, obviously some adjustments needed to be made.  

To start with, I used a size 6 needle (smaller yarn, you see),  and followed the pattern was written up to row 38, where I made rounds 50 and 70 increase rounds.  I knit until row 85, then I did the ruffle end, knitting 7 rows before binding off.

I did a modified bind-off (kfb, ssk) that made the ends fluffy and strange.

I still ended up with leftovers, which I used to make Leonidas and I still have more.  Oh well, I like having extra tosh around.

The finished product was a little too large as a neck-shawlette, so I sewed up the ends to make it a shrug.  Of course, it's not written to be a shrug, so the ends were way too long and I had to sew a few inches of material just to get it to lay flat, but now it has a whole new life!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Om nom nom

 One of my professors is an Iowan, and the Heartland is certainly known for its corn.  While I usually stick to knitting goose-accessories for this professor, I decided to deviate a bit to incorporate his homeland.  Who doesn't want a little bit of home with them?

I decided to knit Corn by Kimberly Chapman.


  • I used 4s instead of 3s
  • I knit the corn in seed stitch (it looks all kernel-y!) and adjusted the increases/decreases accordingly
  • I completely misread the pattern and didn't lengthen the leaves of the husk at all before decreasing.  What a bummer.
  • I embroidered a happy face, closed the corn up, then decided my embroidery looked stupid.  My corn is face-less.  

Thanks to Ashley for giving me a might sack of extra yarn way back in the day.  The husk is knit from that stash!  

I used acrylic for the whole project, but I might want to knit another Corn-guy with cotton just so it's a bit cuddlier.  Although I doubt my professor will be cuddling this corn. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Guz

The term's almost up...back to professor knitting!

So some background, the professor for whom I made "The Guz"'s last name rhymes with Goose.  Also, he has an iconic mustache.  Obviously the two need be combined.  Ta-da!! The Guz.

The Guz is a rather modified version of Mama Duck and Ducklings by Susan B. Anderson from Itty Bitty Toys.  Itty Bitty Toys happens to be one of the three, count 'em three knitting books I own.

I knit the mama-sized duck/goose.  I switched the color scheme, obviously.  I also embroidered a Guz-esque mustache above the beak once I attached it.  Rather than doing a kitchener stitch, I did an inside-out 3 needle bind off the close the body before starting the head.

Guz liked it!  He said it would sit in his office for many, many years.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I was disappointed by 300.  I heard it was going to be incredibly awe-strikingly violent and it wasn't.  Then I thought about the implications of my disappointment and grew deeply disturbed; when a film's reputation is that of violence and gore, I expect near-undeliverable levels of grotesqueness.  The films whose violence I find truly, shakingly violent are films I don't want my loved ones to see.  Film-depictions of violence are most disturbing -- for me -- when there is a human element, when you can see the pain being felt by the actors.  300 didn't deliver that level of violence, and for that I am grateful, but I would be better off if I didn't seek out the mega-Hollywood over-embellished films.


I used most of my glorious tosh merino light in moorland on my storm cloud shawlette, but I didn't use all of it. Tosh is so magnificent and I don't like accruing small amounts of left-over yarn, so I looked for a cabled headband pattern and found: The Leonidas by J

I used a size 4 needle and double-stranded the tosh, and probably used a size 3 needle for cabling.  I knit about 10-11 inches of cabling and added an i-cord to either end (which is a mod a lot of people have done).


It's so simple, I love it!  I want to make another one out of my leftover tosh byzantine.  It's soft, doesn't hurt when I wear it all day, and the variegation of the yarn makes for an interesting headband.  I'm very happy with it :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The sweatervest!

If I had buckled down and knit Eddie's sweatervest as my primary project, I could have gotten it done in under two weeks...but I didn't.  I started it when I flew out for spring break, worked on it for a few days, then let it sit for maybe three weeks.  It knit up quickly by the time I picked it up again, so I wish I wouldn't have procrastinated like a bum.  But hey, it's a good Easter present!

This is my first and certainly not last time using Wool of the Andes.  It's so affordable and the color -- Spruce -- is fantastic.  I wish it were better reflected in the photo.

I made size XL per Eddie's chest measure, but it's so bulky everywhere else that I could have done with a size smaller.  It looks really nice under his sport coat, but if he wore it over a button-down shirt it would hang a bit too much.

Due to gauge, I used size 9 for the ribbing and size 10 for the body.  I skipped the side seaming details because they seemed a little unnecessary.  I spaced on the front panel so the neck detail is significantly shorter than the design, but it's not like Eddie would notice any difference.  I slipped the first stitch of every row which made it really easy to seam up; the seaming on the sweatervest is my best to date!

And he loves it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photoless update

I am waiting to update my blog with photos of my knitwear, including the Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz, the Textured Vest by Erika Knight, and The Leonidas by J.  I don't want to rely on cell-phone pictures and mirror shots, so I'm waiting for Eddie to come home to help me with photos (you hear that, Eddie, you've got your work cut out for you!)

  I'm also deciding on my next project, I don't know if I should do Peggy Sue by Linda Wilgus or Assets of Evo by Marnie McLean.  I've been wanting to make Peggy Sue since I first saw the pattern, but I just came off a sweater-vest and may want to try my hand at knitting another kind of garment.  Ahh, decisions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In lieu of paying for this pattern, please consider donating to your local domestic abuse advocacy center.

I love Madelinetosh perhaps -- and probably -- too much.  But merino is a fickle fiber, as soon as it hits moisture it cinches back up and loses much of its blocking.  That in mind, Divisadero is designed to look beautiful blocked and unblocked.

Materials needed:
Size 9 circular needles, 16"
One skein of tosh merino light or other fingering weight yarn of your choice. Use as little or as much yarn as you'd like, I think mine used about 200 yards.
Stitch marker
Yarn needle

Skills needed:
Knit (K)
Purl (P)
Double yarn over (YO, YO)

Blocking (optional)

This is a great website with videos on these and other stitches.


Cast on 100 stitches, join in the round -- careful not to twist stitches

Set up:
Rounds 1-3, Knit
Round 4 - Purl all stitches
Round 5 - *YO, YO, K1*  ending with K1
Round 6 - Purl all, dropping all yarn overs.
Note: This round can be kind of tricky, but Divisadero is a forgiving pattern.  If you end up dropping a stitch instead of a YO, don't worry about.  Leave extra yarn so when you're done with your project, you can go with your yarn needle and pick up the dropped stitch and sew it in place.

Repeat these six rounds once more before proceeding to pattern


Round 1-10: Knit all
Round 11: Purl all
Round 12: *YO, YO, K1* ending with K1
Round 13: Purl all, dropping all yarn-overs

Repeat from pattern round 1

Repeat these thirteen rows for as long as you like.  Mine had three repeats.


Quick and dirty fringe:

Cut off (or rip) pieces of yarn, fold in half, and make a slip knit through the holes from the yarn-overs of the set-up rounds.  My fringe is uneven and curly, but you could cut even pieces and straighten them out for a neater fringe.



blocked (with fringe!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back from San Francisco and slightly chilly

Spring break was lovely, I flew out early on the 16th and returned late last night (the 27th).  It was a much longer trip than I normally get to have, but as Saturday and finally Sunday rolled around, I was once again take aback by how quickly the week and a half went by.

The trip yielded zero finished objects but two projects on the needles and some glorious Tosh.

I am almost half-way done with a sweatervest for Eddie -- I started the project the day I flew out, casting on while riding the train and knitting through the ride.  I worked on it early in the trip, while Eddie was in class and during the one-day overlap when Eddie was not in San Francisco, but I stopped knitting for the most part when Eddie and I had more time with each other...I'm okay with that :)

I also started Divisadero -- an eyelet cowl I'm designing that may or may not have fringe.  Of course I'm using Tosh, in what I think is byzantine.

Airplane lighting is weird

sneak peeks courtesy of my cell phone

I knit the Kindle Cozy by Amanda Pacheco just before I left.  I wasn't feeling in the round knitting, so this flat and seamed cozy fit the bill perfectly.  The eyelets keep the project interesting to look at and work on.  I used wool, which was not the best choice because of the fuzzies.  I might remake this in cotton later, but I really love the vibrant orange.

I bound off too tightly so the cozy kind of cinches on the end.  It doesn't bother me all that much, but it's a bummer because otherwise it's so cute.  I sewed the buttons on so they'd face backwards; if I sewed the buttons on correctly, the front on the cozy would showcase my errors in the pattern and I'm not feeling that at all.

I started and finished this project in one day -- good thing kindles are so tiny.

Monday, March 14, 2011

To-knit list

Finals destroy my knitting productivity; this is a sad reality.  Although I should mention that I don't have any final exams actually, just papers.  Yesterday I camped out in the library from 2 to midnight and got all my papers finished, so now I'm in the revision stages, anxious to print out the finished work.  So I do have time to knit, but I'm not.  I should probably start something tonight though.

So here's what's on my to-knit list!

Textured Vest by Erika Knight

Eddie loves sweatervests and after knitting a baby-vest, I'm excited to start one for Eddie.  I got some glorious Wool of the Andes in spruce, but I'm worried I may not have purchased enough.  We'll see, I can always order more.

Cabled Kindle sleeve by Emily Nimz

I am a book snob.  This is just who I am.  I am willing to go for the jugular in the Dostoyevsky/Nabokov and Joyce/Woolf debates (for the record, team Nabokov & Woolf).  So why own a Kindle?  Kindles take away much of the joys of reading -- actually holding the book in your hands, crinkling the pages.  Also, some one could come up and steal your Kindle; no one's going to come up and steal a book I'm reading.  Plus there's no competitive market for Kindle files like there are for books; I can't go to a used Kindle file store like I can go to a used bookstore.  So I must be knitting the Kindle sleeve for someone else, right?  No.  My school had this incentive to get students to study harder -- if you showed Residence Life an A you got on a paper or test, they would enter you in a raffle for, among other things, a gift card to buy a Kindle.  I won (yay!), so now I must knit a cozy for it.  Eddie laughed that I looked up knitting patterns before looking up which books I could download.


Summer Affair by Carol Feller

Eddie & I got engaged a few months ago, and while I am beyond excited for the wedding, I have to make sure not to get ahead of myself.  We are both still in school, so we wouldn't be getting married until next summer at the absolute earliest.  Still, it is fun to plan and look at knitting patterns.  Eddie wants to get married in a Catholic Church, and from what I hear, it's best to practice some modesty.  Several ravelers have used this pattern to make wedding shawls and they are GORGEOUS, just gorgeous.  


Something Blue by Elizabeth Bagwell

Maybe I'm just lazy, but I loathe the idea of knitting a garter on 00s.  I could handle 3s or even 2s, but 00s?  That's a joke.  No way.  I really like that the model photo for this project has optional embellishments, it's so pretty.  Although I am not a fan of the groom removing the garter during the reception...that's a little trashy.  

Friday, March 11, 2011


I don’t know what it is about the Embarcadero, but I really love to say it. 
I'm looking forward to taking this hat with me on my upcoming spring break trip to visit my Love in San Francisco!

I've been wanting to make Ferry Hat for so long....well, really since Ashley made since the summer.  I finally got a hold of the pattern so I'm PUMPED.

I modified it, of course, because fitted hats look a little dumb on my curly hair (which is really sad, because so many beautiful hats are fitted).  

So I made the base a standard slouchy hat -- size 4 needles for the brim, size 9 for the body.  I used double-stranded fingering weight cotton in burnt orange (a Christmas gift from Eddie).  The yarn was kind of annoying to work with, because it was already really easy to separate 3-ply, and double-stranding it meant one or two strands would not make it to the right hand needle.  Sad day.  

This hat and I have already been through a lot together, I held it close while watching Inglourious Basterds (and fast-forwarding through some of the more gruesome scenes).  

I used some leftover tosh merino light for the octopus; just touching the yarn and looking at it reminds me of how much I want need more madelinetosh.  Also I misread the pattern so I knit the octopus double-stranded on I have a GIANT octopus!

I crocheted double-stranded too, which made the tentacles really interesting in their color combination.

I put off finishing this hat because I was convinced the tentacles would take too long, but once I buckled down it was actually pretty quick.

Oh, and I look naked in these photos; trust that I am not.  My shirt is pink.

Ravelry project page

The coolest thing happened!  I was in ImagiKnit and one of the employees told me he was looking at my hat on Ravelry a few days before.  I am famous!  What are the odds of that, really, with me living in Chicago and visiting San Francisco so infrequently.  It was amazing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lush cowl revisited

I really want to finish something, but as finals lurk just around the corner, I really have to get crackin'.  My solution: just modify something I've already made.  Results:



I've never actually made anything with fringe before, and rather than looking up a pattern I decided to wing it. I ripped (oh yes, madelinetosh is easily broken) pieces of yarn, folded them in half, and made a slip knit through the yarn-overs.  HOPEFULLY this will keep the cowl from curling up at the bottom.  But alas, as soon as this merino bad-boy hits moisture, it cinches right back up and needs to be blocked.  So we'll see, cowl, we'll see...