Saturday, December 05, 2009

Remiss Sock Club Packages!

Not only have I been remiss in photographing, blogging, and Ravelry-ing my last two Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Club packages, I have also been remiss in knitting them. Instead, I have been stash busting/ Christmas knitting these little iPhone cases. These are numbers 3, 4, and 5 in a series. (Here are #1 and #2 using Muddy Autumn Rainbow and Goody Goody) These used bits of My Blue Heaven and Dragon Dance, I believe.

Next we have the very late view of September 2009 selection of gorgeous River Rocked for use in Cat Bordhi's beautiful Knetted Pattern. I took this photo, then filed and stored and did not cast on. Totally forgot about these, which is odd, since I love Bordhi patterns and this colorway. I must have been busy...

Which is why I pressed myself to add these immediately. Well, after a couple of days. This is perhaps my favorite colorway ALL YEAR, the deep, subtle and varied Blackbird from the Raven collection. So many shades that i just love in this yarn. LOVE! There is green and red and oh so many pretty shades.

Also included was the mini skein. Recent activity on the STR blog has asked if we love these so much to justify the cost. Yes, I like them, and yes, could do without them. I have only used one of them, last year, when I ran just a little shy on the 2nd sock. All the rest of them are hanging from the knitting basket. They look very cute, and I like the immediate visual reference of how the colors look together. Sometimes the skein is a little chunked for a good idea of how the colors will look in the forthcoming sock.
However: I LOVE the mini stitch-saver! I have been looking to purchase a tiny one, but hadn't pulled the trigger. It is like useful jewelry!

Forthcoming socks indeed. This year I have made 1.4 pairs from this delightful club: Queen of Beads, which I made into opera fingerless gloves, NOT socks. Rogue Roses has almost one sock done. I needed a break after the 15 or so hours in a row I worked on these in the hot Manilla airport and part of the ensuing flight. I just couldn't stand to look at them after that.

The truth is: I have a massive sock drawer filled with beautiful hand-knit socks in wonderful painted colorways... and I hardly ever wear socks. Or shoes, for that matter. I need to knit socks and give them away!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Babies! In Knitwear!

Baby sweaters! When presenting a baby sweater at a friend's shower, one of the other guests remarked, "You don't have children, to have free time to do that, right?" True.
Three friends had babies this summer, and I made 3 sweaters... Only I didn't know about one baby so these 3 sweaters were made for 2 of the babies, but there you go.
I also read on Ravelry recently that the best baby gifts in knitwear are booties and hats, since they are quick, often worn, and last a long time. Sweaters are not recommended because they are warm, a certain size that does not grow with the baby, hard to make and hard for the mom to handwash and lay flat to dry. Whatever. These babies are loved and will be wrapped in handknits!
The brown and the pale blue are both the cabled Baby Yours by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. The green in a Peapod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert. All are cashmere, mohair, silk and generally luscious yarns.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scuba Diving Surface Interval Shrug

A photo of this sweater in action shall be forthcoming: i.e. Over the wetsuit!
I love when things work out how I planned, and since this is a rare occurrence...
This winter it was very cold in the water, and I found I was not warming up between dives. During the summer we have sun. Winter is a combination of cold water, clouds, and not-thick-enough wetsuits. I moved up to a 7mm suit (the same thickness I used in California 15 years ago- bleah!) and began shifting through many sweatshirts and fleeces for in-between dives. Wouldn't a sweater be better? Of course it would. So I Ravelry-ed shrugs and found the Aran Cabled Shrug by Crystal Palace Yarns, which calls for a Bulky yarn. I am a bulky girl, and therefore avoid bulky yarns. I found some Cascade 220 Superwash (Worsted) at a local store, in a rust color unusual for me, but I love none the less.
My original requirements, as blogged here:
Requirements for surface interval shrug:
Wool (exothermic in salt water)
Warm (the water is 71 degrees in winter and we have had rain, clouds, and crazy wind for the past 2 months)
Long sleeves, closely fitting, can be shoved up while bending over rinse tank or boat lines.
Short enough to not get wet from folded down wetsuit.
Long enough to keep torso warm.
Fold-up shawl collar for back of neck warmth, can be folded down if remaining in hooded vest.
Color: Nice with black wetsuit, swimsuit colors, and sunburn.
Washable: Not only from salt water but the microbes present in salt water.

These requirements have been met. Because of the relative thinness of the yarn, I ended up doing more repeats of the cabled portion, which was narrower than the pattern suggested. This made the sleeves tighter, which I wanted. It also required longer ribbed sections (which turned out to be boring, and thus a month-long hiatus ensued) which I did in the round, trying on as I went until I thought I had enough length. It is now just long enough to meet the top of a folded down wetsuit. The collar is thick and warm if flipped up. Unfortunately it is a shrug and my chest is large, so the side flaps don't come close to meting in the middle, thus assuring a cold tummy, and negating the winter-time wearing of this shrug (hmmm... it's whole inspiration and purpose).
Which just means I need a winter-time surface interval cardigan... right?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Knitting Lull and PUPPIES!

In all honesty, my recent lack of knitting has nothing to do with the recent additions to the family pictured here. It is just easier to blame them, because look how cute they are! And no one would reproach me for not knitting, blogging, or even cleaning because look how cute they are! And new puppies are hard work, and I have never been a puppy-mommy before and I am learning fast and perhaps badly... And look how cute they are!
This is Tango and Cassie, about 4 months old Border Collie/ Australian Blue Healer mixes. They need much attention (here they are in the back of the truck ready for a long walk).
In also-cute-news: The summertime heirloom tomato colors of Garden by Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock club, which unfortunately is languishing in the "someday pile" along with the last purplish shipment.
However, I am using up bits of stash, and specifically past Blue Moon Sock Shipment stash, with these very cute iPhone cozies. These are quick and addicting and great to throw down when one must take the puppies out. The one I am using for my phone was from last winter, Muddy Autumn Rainbow (with no pocket or carry loop) and the pastel colors of Goody Goody are for my mother. As soon as she saw this shipment, she said, "Those are my colors!" and I knit the socks up for her. She does not know about this one yet. I hope she doesn't already have a phone holder... Who am I kidding? If she does it shall be immediately replaced with HANDKNITS! I am thinking this little pattern will make nice gifts. So many people I know have iPhones or iPods, and it uses less than 20g of yarn! Oh, and they make me feel accomplished when I am too busy with work (it is summer season at the dive shop) and puppies!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Late To The Game Again: New Sock Club Package!

Gorgeous colors, not so sure about the pattern: Seems busy.
I haven't been knitting much, just a couple rows here and there on the shrug. It is in a boring ribbing-only phase. And I haven't worked on the sock since traveling. Maybe 20 some-odd hours in a row was enough of that!

But baby sweaters are done! (Well, I still need to sew on buttons).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chopsticks, Pens, but No Needles?!?! Crazy Insane on the Plane!

Very last minute I traveled to the Philippines to meet my sister and brother-in-law on the last leg of their two-year round-the-world adventure. (Their incredible, beautifully photographed travel blog.) Now, I over-packed, bringing all my scuba gear including my heavy BCD, plus their two sets of snorkel gear, about twice as much clothing as I needed, a full bottle of conditioner (diving hair) and shampoo (I used them all up), and a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups as a gift for them (we ate these all up quickly as well). And two knitting projects: Baby Yours sweater with 3 balls of yarn, and Rogue Roses sock, with one skein of yarn, along with bamboo straights for the baby sweater and knitpicks 2 metal circs in 2.5mm size, 2 metal stitch holders, small scissors, and assorted small tools.
Plane tickets to and from were bought with frequent flier miles, which means I had more stops than usual: Kona to Honolulu to Narita to Manilla for 17 hours or so, then 36 hours of travel from Cebu City-Manilla (13 hour wait in the crappy Manilla airport)-Guam-Honolulu-Kona. So did I bring enough knitting?
Oh, and then I got the flu and was in bed for a week.
And then: They tried to take my knitting needles away in Manilla, and I almost flipped the f**k out! After knitting, lugging my heavy gear all over the country, getting the flu, and waiting for 13 HOURS in the airport I was not... patient, nor nice, nor even very sane. This tiny little Filipino security woman dug all through my carry-on, took away my dangerous mini-yoghurt, opened all my glasses cases and my diving logbook, and then held up my sock in progress and asked, "What is this for?"
"Knitting", I replied. She gave me a blank stare (which I had gotten the whole trip. Knitting is apparently pretty rare in the Philippines, as is trying on a sock in progress in public, apparently). She then sat there with all 4 needle tips in her hand, slowly attempting to prick her hand with them and judging their, and apparently my, ability and potential for stabbing the crew, hijacking the plane, and flying to somewhere with wool. She asked if I had checked luggage, apparently weighing the PITA action of finding said bag, ripping the needles out of my sock in progress, and putting them in the bag.
"No", I LIED to the security agent, then went on to desperately claim that these were allowed, and even TSA approved (which is funny now, since TSA doesn't matter in a foreign country), and then insisted they were less dangerous than chopsticks and pens.
She stared at me.
I stared back, evaluating whether I would get in more trouble for attacking her, or boarding a plane with needle-less knitting for 20 more hours of travel at which time insanity may cause me to hijack the plane with a pen and some chopsticks to fly somewhere with wool.
She finally caved, returning the sock to its bag and closing up my carry-on and allowing me onwards for the shoe check and body pat-down.

So did I bring enough knitting?
Sure! It helped that I did not actually knit constantly, and while I had the flu I was actually too dizzy to knit for long. (That sucked, but apparently was NOT the swine flu, because I did get better. But it was fun to have the flu, in a foreign country, with the constant CNN swine flu feed going on.)
So I ended up using all three balls of Rowan Silk Wool for the baby sweater (and did not finish it, since I need another ball of yarn) and hardly got one sock done.
Rogue Roses is a great pattern, but I am altering it for a toe-up sock to use up all the yarn, and to make the rosebuds point upwards. Altering it was fun, since I had no reference materials and kind of had to invent the heel. Also missed the Rosebud video so my roses look a little knotty.

Yes, I know I took two Stephanie Pearl-McPhee patterns! Coincidence! And yet inspiring in my time of need: She has written a ton about traveling on book tours with knitting, and hijacking the plane, or knitting, with sharp pencils and chopsticks may have been her idea. Yeah, next time I will remember to tell that to my defense attorney.
Aha: Here it is!
So today I'm sitting there, knitting away and as the flight attendant walks by my seat she looks over, sees the knitting and advises me that I will have to put it away for take-off and landing and only knit when there is no turbulence and the seat belt sign is off because - get this....

Things could be bumpy and I could let go of a needle and it could go flying through the air and hurt someone.

I put the knitting away like she asked me to (of course, I'm not going to argue on a plane, Twitch a little maybe, but argue? Never)...but as I put them away I commented that this was the first time I'd been asked to do this, and she told me that technically, I should be asked every time. (That would mean that there are a lot of slacker flight attendants out there, but I digress.) I harumphed and looked out the window, hoping for a smooth flight so I could pick up my sock, but I couldn't help but notice that the guy next to me had a very pointy metal pen that he was using to fill in the airlines "sudoko" in the in-flight magazine, and that pen could totally have gone flying through the air too, and being about 100% heavier than my needle and since according to the laws of physics impact force equals mass times velocity...his pen was far, far more dangerous.

All I ask for is a little common sense and consistency. I hope I get that flight attendant again. I'll be the lady knitting with pens.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mmmmmmm... Yarn! New Stash!

Using a coupon in these economic times, of course. I have plans for the Quilla colorway (a very subtle wash of pink over white) in both the Luscious Single Silk and Silk Thread II. Wedding related plans... The rosebud silk is just because it is pretty.
And of course, the March shipment of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock club. "Gertrude Skein" in shades of roses, meant for the yarn Harlot's twining Rogue Roses pattern. I am looking forward to it, but it may have to wait.
Also in the works are a few baby sweaters for some expecting friends. One of them is a boy and the other we don't yet know, so I also got Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Baby Mine and Baby Yours patterns!

WIP: Scuba Diving Surface Interval Shrug

It is rare when I feel the need for a sweater in Hawai'i: Woe for a knitter!
But I felt the need this winter. The water in the Pacific around Hawaii has been about 5 degrees colder than last year, and I have felt the chill between dives. I have been wearing various sweatshirts and a knitted cap, but wouldn't a sweater be that much better?
Requirements for surface interval shrug:
Wool (exothermic in salt water)
Warm (the water is 71 degrees in winter and we have had rain, clouds, and crazy wind for the past 2 months)
Long sleeves, closely fitting, can be shoved up while bending over rinse tank or boat lines.
Short enough to not get wet from folded down wetsuit.
Long enough to keep torso warm.
Fold-up shawl collar for back of neck warmth, can be folded down if remaining in hooded vest.
Color: Nice with black wetsuit, swimsuit colors, and sunburn.
Washable: Not only from salt water but the microbes present in salt water.
This yarn is Cascade 220 superwash in a color very rare for my stash! I was reaching for the usual periwinkle blue when this dusky rust caught my eye.
Pattern is Aran Cabled Shrug in Kaya Wool... and here is a pisser: What is up with "Aran Weight"??? The pattern calls for Aran weight, Kaya is bulky, and the store owner said that Aran and Worsted are about the same thing. Can we just agree on WPI or something?
As it is: I have not gotten gauge at all (of course) but would like it tighter fit than the pattern calls for. We shall see.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

THIS is What I Am Up To With These Gloves!

I LOVE this! I am done with one fingerless glove and just started on the second, but couldn't wait to share!
Those of you making the socks will recognize that I began with a few rows of ribbing around the knuckes to "grow" into the beaded cross pattern...
...And then grew the cuff ribbing out of the pattern as well! Plenty beads: I divided them up into two little bags and strung half on half the yarn. I had enough leftover to string them all around the ribbing on the cuff. Enough yarn leftover, too: For those doing full fingered gloves to the elbow length, you shouldn't have a problem. I did this pattern in the small size? 50 stitches after the fingers were all joined were increased to 60 stitches around the knuckles, and reduced to 54 stitches for the beaded pattern. Used #2 needles, predominately, with size #3s for the cuffs.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What Am I Up to With These Gloves?

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Club selection January 2009: Yarn is "My Blue Heaven", beads are an azure blue, pattern is Queen of Beads by Silvia Harding...
I got the kit on... January 31st? Not too much later than the California kits. I love the idea of doing beads. I have never knit with beads, but always thought it would be fun. I love the beaded and twisted cable pattern, but do I really need another pair of socks? Beaded socks? What about pretty beaded mitts? On the club blog Deborah did beaded mitts: So pretty! So I started a pair (only I like fingerless gloves better than fingerless mitts: The fingerless mitts always seem to roll back...
What do you think?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It is supposed to be the culmination of a knitters work, the reason for the craft, the act of love: We are supposed to keep our family warm. Am I less of a knitter because my family lives in Hawai'i and has no need of knitwear? Or am I just a warm, purposeless knitter?

Finally, a commission for warmth! My mother shall be traveling to Ohio later this month, and presented me with a task... Nay! A Quest! In my mailbox, she wrapped up an old crocheted hat, a new, beautiful skein of yarn, and a note of her somewhat cryptic, long and loopy handwriting.

The hat I should use for sizing, as it was loose, warm, and comfy, and had a thick, turned up brim that had the dual purpose of keeping the ears warm. The yarn was purchased from my friend Jan at the farmers market. Jan has the Hawaiian Homegrown Wool Company, and has raised the Romney wool, sheared, cleaned, processed, spun, dyed, and skeined up the yarn for sale at the farmers market.
I used Marnie MacLean's Nautilus pattern, and since I deny gauge swatches I just ripped into it... and ripped it out twice when it was too large. When it covered my ears, I added a purl row turning ridge (which was a bad idea since it wants to turn under like a hem instead of out like a hat!) and finished the brim on smaller needles and reduced 10 stitches for a somewhat too sporty ribbed brim.

The flower is somewhat abbreviated from Sweet Honey Beret by Faina Goberstein, published in this winter's Interweave Knits. Both the model hat and the pink yarn skein weighed 80 grams, so I figured I was safe, although I know nothing about crocheted yarn usage. This hat was knit from the top down, and I figured a white stripe would set off the white and pink flower (although it could have been a narrower stripe). I spun the white yarn to match, using Jan's roving. As it was, I nearly ran out of yarn, and the white stripe was needed for length. I finished the hat, and used the tiny bit of pink left for the flower. I have only a length of about 12 inches left of the pink! Perfect!

DBF thinks it looks totally 20's and very pretty, and he thinks Mom will like it. And it will actually be worn against the cold! Maybe even in the snow! So exciting!

Friday, January 30, 2009

2008 Socks and Holidazed are Done!

What a fun pattern this was! Quickly memorized and just flew along. Maybe it is because I followed the pattern to the letter and only knit 6 inches of ankle: I have been making medium sized ankles and small sized feet to reflect my proportions, and ended up with 64 grams of yarn left over!
This was the last of the 2008 Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock club installments, and I loved them all for various reasons. I am looking forward to 2009 club, which my awesome DBF bought for me for an Xmas present, and I even managed to finish all 2008 before the first 2009 kit arrived!
This was Holidazed by Anne Hanson, in the beautiful colors of Muddy Autumn Rainbow.
And with props to Nartian, who did it first, I give you a recap of 2008!
Serendipity, Lucky, Cleopatra's Stockings, and Holidazed. Missing are the Sweet Tarts that I gave to my mom, and the Cloning Anemone Rib for my cousin. Yay!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finished! Blue Celtic Knot Purse

I am very happy with this bag! It was a quick enough knit, with the cabling keeping it all fun. I finished it a few days ago, and completed a lining with a ton of pockets a few days later. Yesterday I sewed in the lining, placed all my crap into the pockets, and took it to dinner and the theater, where a random woman in the lobby complimented it!
The wool and the button I purchased for this specific purpose at Weaving Works in Seattle when we were there for DBF's cousin's wedding. One of the only times I have ever used the correct yarn for a project!
I back-stitched along the cables with a double-strand of the contrast yarn. Other than the double-strand, I didn't even modify the pattern much:
I made the button flap longer and wider.
I made the handles longer by only one repeat (10 cables each).
The pattern seems wrong in two places: Purling should always be done on the correct side (there is a note about this on Ravelry) and I made the decreases on the second short side match the increases on the first short side.
Felting was resistant: I worked the bag in hot and cold water in the sink, without much shrink. I spun it in the washer, then threw it in the dryer until it shrank around the plastic netting. It could still have used more felting.
The only thing I would change isn't a knit problem at all. I should have made the lining from a thicker material: As it is, the lining is so thin that all my gear just falls out of it. A stiffer, stronger lining would have kept everything separate, and perhaps help the bag stand up.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Love this Skirt!

This skirt is finally done and I love it for these reasons: It is comfortable, cool, washable and dryable in machines! It has a cute flirty ruffle and lace cut up to there! But still can be dressed up or down.
This is Indigo Ripples Skirt by Kat Coyle from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. It took me several tries to get gauge (okay, I never really did) and I lengthened the stockinette portion for modesty, added short rows for a more curvaceous butt, and ended up only doing about half the lace portion of the pattern. I then threw it in the washing machine! And the dryer! It shrunk up a bit but not badly.
It took me from June 3rd to January 1st to actually get it done, and therefore is the first completed project of the new year. I also made it out of cheap, dishcloth cotton... which I purchased on sale at Ace Hardware for 60 cents a skein, meaning this skirt cost me just over $6!
I wore it out to sushi the other night and am just totally in love with it.
As for New Year knitting: DBF gave me a wonderful Christmas gift and renewed my membership with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Sock Club for 2009 (which there was no way I could have afforded this year!) So that gives me 6 socks for this year (as well as the last one from this year). Like this skirt, I am always looking for cool, wearable knits in a tropic environment. Any ideas?