FOs: Fall Knitting 2013

After nearly a year-long knitting hiatus, I finally picked up the needles again a few weeks ago. And I’m having a hard time stopping! Here is about two weeks’ work… a few quick small projects and one that’s been a WIP for years.

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Pattern: none
Yarn: malabrigo sock in 852 persia
Needles: US Size 0 and 1
Started: Dec 24, 2009
Finished: Sep 20, 2013
Ravelry Link

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I think these socks win the award for longest duration of any project I’ve ever attempted, and it wasn’t because they were a big project or because of the difficulty. I cast them on two-at-a time, finished the toe and the reinforced heel all within the first month or so. It was the tremendously boring 1×1 ribbing on size 0 needles that took nearly 4 years to complete.

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I finished them up at a cafe over a cranberry apple ginger iced tea, and decided to add the picot edging as a coastal twist. As much as I like them, I don’t forsee any small-gauge socks being attempted again in the future. Although I am using the remaining yarn for a pair of armwarmers, so we’ll see how that goes.


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Pattern: none, inspired by Alexandra Tinsley’s Mix No. 24
Yarn: jil eaton minnow merino in 4720 aqua
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Aug 30, 2013
Finished: Sep 10, 2013
Ravelry Link

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I saw this on the designer’s blog, Dull Roar, but I can’t get myself to buy hat patterns. So I spent an evening swatching (and watching the Hunger Games) and about two weeks knitting, and I had this super adorable bonnet!

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I used exactly two skeins, down to the very last inch (the dangling pom poms were completed by gathering all the remaining yarn ends, splitting the pile in half, and wrapping around my index and middle finger until I ran out. Thanks to the un-plied yarn, they still plumped up quite nicely.


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Pattern: Zeebee by Schmeebot
Yarn: noro cash island in 01 (black, brown, blue, teal)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link

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Oh, look! I knit from a pattern! Or at least… a detailed formula. I had this yarn sitting in my basket. I don’t know why I never learn that buying one skein of Noro is a bad idea. It’s not quite enough for a hat, not nearly enough for a scarf or shawl, and not suitable for anything like a toy or baby booties since it’s kind of scratchy and the fibers are rather weak.
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But, I don’t learn… and so it was just sitting there staring at me. I decided to knit up a quick hat using a forgiving pattern that would show the variegation nicely.

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At first, I loved how it was going. But around 6 rows til the very end, I ran out of yarn. Of course. I doubled up some Shiraito from my other Noro hat (below) and figured it was Noro so nobody would notice.

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Then I got to the end seam, and by the second stitch into the graft, the yarn had torn. I spliced the ends back together but knew the same thing would keep happening, so I did a very obvious 3-needle bind off as a design element.

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The seam doesn’t bother me. I actually think I might pull it out and re-do it in bright red or something. It feels super grunge and the perfect hat for running through leaves and sipping hot cider.


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Pattern: none, inspired by Graham
Yarn: noro shiraito in 01 (teal, yellow, green, gray, black)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link

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This one was kind of the same deal as the hat above. I saw the yarn while in Rockland, ME at Over the Rainbow, a totally adorable LYS, and I had never seen this line of Noro before so I grabbed one. Why? Why do I do this? I cast on a plain stockinette hat immediately and had almost completed it by that night. Unfortunately, I tried it on and it was enormous. So I tore it out and started again. And again, enormous. The “ruler” app on the iPhone is really making me look like an idiot right about now. I finally got my gauge and cast on a more interesting hat. It was going to be Graham but, being Noro, I wanted to start top-down for fear of running out of yarn. And somewhere in between counting stitches and incorporating the pattern, I totally skewed it into a broken seed stitch (instead of a broken rib) and just left it. It’s kind of cute, whatever.

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I actually had a bit of extra so I knit a tiny bow. I also had just enough left to complete the Zeebee hat (above), counted my blessings, and called it a day.


So that’s what I’ve been up to. Currently on the needles is a pair of arm warmers with the leftovers from the socks, and an oversized Lispenard for the winter. What have you been working on?

❤ v

It’s a winter wonderland!

Hope you other east-coasters are enjoying the fluffy white snow– I know I was, until it turned to slush here in Manhattan.

We were intelligent enough to be up on the roof taking photos, obviously. I sat at our window and knit all night, watching as every car that drove down our block inevitably got stuck– there were tons of cabs and SUVs, and even some buses and trucks. At one point, there were two ambulances stuck on two separate corners. I’ve never seen anything like it before. But of course I was up the next day and ready to play in it. I’m not sure why snow seems to frighten the entire population of New York into staying inside, but I was happy to have the city to myself. Even most of Central Park was refreshingly free of tourists.

I wish I had equally festive pictures for the season-appropriate shawl I finished last night. But I guess I should be thankful to have an FO at all. It’s been so long… let’s see if I remember how to do this…

Pattern: Mara by madelinetosh (rav project page)

Yarn: Malabrigo Twist, 2 skeins Teal Feather 412 and 1/2 skein Pearl Ten 69

Needles: US Size 10

Started: November 7, 2010

Finished: December 27, 2010


I bought the yarn at a deep discount from Gotham Fine Yarn’s closing sale and thought it would be some type of mini shrug. Mike suggested a shawl, and I remembered seeing this garter stitch beauty. When I saw muchadored‘s striped version on Ravelry, I knew it was fate. Like everything I start, this project faced many neglected weeks by the side of the couch, but after all is said and done it was a very enjoyable knit and I can’t wait to wear it!

Til next time… happy New Year, everyone!

finally something!

I haven’t really been writing lately. Mostly because I haven’t really been knitting lately. But with graduation over (finally!), I just finished my first project in six months. Seriously. SIX. It’s not anything big, but it’s something.

Pattern: none. Stitch pattern based on a sweater in Christina Probert’s 1982 pattern book, “Knitting in Vogue”
Yarn: Sublime Organic Merino Wool DK in colors 112 (chalk), 116 (soap), 189 (floss), and 114 (twig)– one skein or less of each
Needles: US Size 4, 5
Started: February 22, 2010
Finished: May 17, 2010
(ravelry link)

I came across this book and was allowed to borrow it for a very short time in February. I absolutely loved this stitch pattern, but thought the sweater it was used for was horrible. I thought about turning it into a buttoned v-neck cardigan, but decided to start with a hat for fun. It’s pretty simple, but looks cute on so I’m happy. I’m thinking of adding a big fluffy white pom pom for the winter, but we’ll see.

Overall, I like the way the hat turned out. It’ll be great for skiing or just hanging out next winter. Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time even imagining cold weather right now. I’m having the same problem with my Little Birds Cardigan– the body is done and the sleeves are close, but it’s slowww going right about now.

So, a more weather appropriate project: I started a dress yesterday. The fabric is from the Portsmouth Fabric Company in Portsmouth, NH– it was too cute to pass up. Although a little more close to home, I’ve noticed this fabric brand (Echino) at Purl Soho, Brooklyn General, and the City Quilter. I love all their prints but this one particularly jumped out at me. I didn’t really have a vision when I bought it, so I decided a simple, strapless dress would make this a quick summery project that wouldn’t risk becoming too busy.

Once again, didn’t use a pattern– just winged it. I still need to sew on the pockets and add a belt. Oh, and a zipper, haha. So far I really like it, though! Hope you do too.

Happy summer everyone! Cheers!

FOs: sweaters galore

over the last 2 semesters, i haven’t gotten to do a whole lot of designing. in fact, other than alterations and free-form hats, it’s been a completely creativity-stifling couple of months. but hey, i guess that’s what university is for, right? anyways, even though i didn’t have time to write my own patterns, i did have a LOT of time for mindless knitting. with at least 14 hours a week of commuting and lecture classes, i realized in the first week that i needed to make something more time consuming than hats and gloves.

i’m not really a sweater knitter– i have way too much ADD–and i don’t like following other people’s patterns– but i started a whole group of sweaters for mindless knitting. half of them have been pictured here in previous weeks, but haven’t been technically blogged yet.

the first project involved finishing a sweater that was already about 3/4 done. the minimalist cardigan just needed another sleeve and some seaming. this was something i started when the fall 07 IK first came out– i knew when i saw it in the preview that it was the first sweater i wanted to knit from a pattern and cast on immediately in cheap acrylic yarn from walmart (*canadian* walmart– this ain’t even simply soft). i finished the fronts, back, and one sleeve within a month but got SO bored and never finished the second. turned out i hated the one sleeve i had made but i couldn’t bear to rip it out (that seed st is brutal). after working at a yarn store for 6 months, constantly telling people that when something wasn’t right they had to rip it, i finally got up the guts and fixed it. i think it’s ok. it softened up after being washed but still fits kind of funny. i think its the plasticy yarn too. but its ok. (ravelry project page)

next up, i decided to go with something a bit more luxurious, owls in trendsetter kashmir. it knit up really quickly– i changed the gauge and made it a cardigan with picked up button band. this sweater is SO gorgeous. in fact, it’s so nice that i can’t for the life of me find buttons that are worthy to accent it. it’s also warm. deadly warm. when i try it on for fit, i break out in a sweat. i also kind of wish i had just done it as a pullover– it doesn’t look good unbuttoned. but there’s not much i can do about it now. (ravelry project page)

most recently, i cast on (and ripped out) mrs darcy in sublime cashmere merino silk aran. i didn’t love the way it was turning out… i dont know why i bought so much of this color but i felt like it was going to look really silly as a solid cardigan. then i took a peek in vogue holiday and saw kate gagnon’s heart yoke cardigan. perfect! the color was just tacky enough that a colorwork yoke would be just the amount of cuteness it needed. i started the cardi immediately, but put it down multiple times to find yoke yarn, then to wait for it to be ordered, then to get back into the swing of sweater knitting. all together, it took two months, but i didn’t work on it for a majority of that time. i made a few alterations, mostly due to clarity issues at the yoke (i also decreased the amount of colors used– sublime just doesn’t have that many shades of gray). i finished it just in time for xmas, as you can see above– so it has been deemed my tacky xmas sweater (as an atheist, i never thought i’d have one of my own!). (ravelry project page)

and now, a few weeks ago, i tried my hand at the deadliest, most traumatic fear to the common knitter: a steeked sweater. yep, it’s ysolda’s little birds… so far, so good. although no cutting has been done thus far. i’m just about done with the sleeve ribbing so i’ve got a few more days before i lose my mind. (ravelry project page)

so there you have it, i’ve gone from not being a sweater knitter at all to someone knitting 4 sweaters in a row, and simultaneously. what’s next? socks??

…no, seriously. i cast on a pair of socks over xmas. what have i turned into?

highlights from the last 2 months

it’s been a long time. here’s what i’ve been up to recently

we took a trip to new hampshire and saw some pretty things (North Church and a house on South Mill Pond in Portsmouth, NH)

and some beautiful things (The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH and Yummie’s Candy in Kittery, ME)

we spent christmas in Virginia and stayed a night in Amish Country, PA on the way back (post office parking lot in Quarryville, PA and downtown Lancaster, PA as seen from the roof of a parking structure)

and i knit… quite a bit (potato head hat, birds headband– an xmas present for MIL, ribbed skyline hat, and tacky xmas sweater. all links are to ravelry for more info)


more to come, including a tutorial on using kitchener stitch to seamlessly work double knitting

look, ma! no hands…

meet my new child, a canon rebel t1i dslr. she looks so very happy climbing up my lamp with her gorillapod legs…

expect some better photos to come. not that i’m a pro or anything, but at least now i have more motivation and no excuses.

i’m planning a 3 day vacation to new hampshire for later this month so we’ll see what this crazy tripod can really do– have i mentioned how ridiculously awesome it is? i dont think i’d recommend using this configuration to photograph outside, but the fact it can even stay up like this is beyond me. don’t you just want to hug it?? no, just me? ok.

i haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but here’s a couple of knitting shots i have managed to get so far:


swallowtail shawl


minimalist cardigan


lyttelton shrug
(this would have been a beautiful shot if i wasn’t wearing the thing inside out)

i’m in the process of setting up a photo (/dye) studio in my apartment and i’m really excited to get some practice using her (she needs a name … hmm). i’ll be back soon with more. stay tuned!

ps. i woke up this morning with the mini wheats jingle stuck in my head. i never could decide if this song was infuriating or the best thing ever. regardless, i had two bowls of maple and brown sugar mini wheats for breakfast.

FO: tonari no totoro mitts

wow, it’s been a looong time since i wrote a FO post.

Pattern: Norwegian Totoro Mittens by brella

Yarn: Sublime Organic Merino Wool DK in colors 112 and 118 (2 skeins of each)

Needles: US Size 2, 3

Started: May 25, 2009

Finished: July 31, 2009

this project took far longer than it should have. i cast it on with the intention of making it something to work on in japanese class, but my professor was unprecedentedly offended by the idea that someone could 1. listen and knit stockinette at the same time or 2. already have taken 5 years of japanese and just take intro for the credits. anyways, i put these on the back burner and they ended up taking about 2 months.

the pattern was a pretty easy knit– it would be a great first fair isle project, since it’s small but the results look pretty impressive. there are no weird techniques or confusing parts of the pattern. it’s all charted and self-explanatory. the only thing i changed majorly was translating the cuffs into the japanese “tonari no totoro” (the name of the movie in japanese)

i did make the choice to knit them a bit small since i always have problems with gloves fitting my small hands and wrists. i think i overdid it. the widest circumference throughout is 6″ (the pattern as written yields an 8″ circumference). i can manage to squeeze my hands in, but people keep wanting to try them on and i have to explain that i’m not mentally challenged and i actually can knit gloves that fit normal human hands.

also– i LOVED this yarn. it’s so perfect for colorwork because it begins to felt to itself immediately yet it’s soo very soft. in fact, this might be the perfect yarn for a little birds… hmm… back to the drawing board i go.