Friday, December 14, 2007

Closed For Christmas

Not that I've been particularly active here the last couple of weeks, but I know for sure I won't be posting again until January. Jules is here, and I'm off of work for two weeks. Prepping for his arrival, church activities and Christmas shopping has taken up much of time the last couple of weeks, so I've been fairly inactive in both my knitting groups and online.

But don't worry, I'll be back with lots of FOs, Fiber Friends pics and sweater plans.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fiber Friends Festival 2007

I got this via e-mail from Hill Country Weavers the other day.


For your holiday enjoyment and last minute shopping, Hill Country Weavers presents FIBER FRIENDS FESTIVAL!

Saturday, December 15, 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, December 16, 12 – 5 pm
Come see and buy fabulous hand crafted items by these local fiber artists:

Platypus Dreams, Binky Knits, Moonbeam Weaving, Woolyfiori, Pretty Purl, Susan Bussard, Sally Comes Unraveled, Nancy Govro, Pam Whittington, Marie Burton, Pamela Yu, Diane Barney, Jan McCown, Infinity Knits, Jennifer Raish, Meiling Chang, Winston and Chloe, Jude Cope & Audrey Batzer,, Lauri Polunsky, Blue Rose Designs and more! You'll also have the opportunity to purchase the 2008 Naked Calendar and Blue Dog Rescue Calendar!

Hill Country Weavers
1701 South Congress Ave

Come see us. (Jules and I will be there from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, but drop by anytime next weekend.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FO: Longhorn Socks


If you recall, when we last saw these socks, I had run out of yarn just a few rounds away from finishing the toe of the second sock.

Well, Plan A worked.

I showed up to The Knitting Nest Monday night, and asked Stacy if she had gotten my Ravelry message. I went to put my stuff down, and before I could pull out the socks, she had checked her messages and gotten out a ball of yarn.

I was saved.

I sat down right there and finished knitting the toe. This ball was from another dyelot, however. But at this point, I called it close enough.

I had a debate over how to join the yarn. I tend to do knots, despite the fact that you're not "supposed" to join with knots. I'm always paranoid about it coming undone. However, I didn't want the knot to be in the toe.

Someone suggested Spit Splicing. The only time I had done it before when I was felting, and I wasn't very confident it would hold. Stacy said to rub really hard against my pant leg. I rubbed it until I could feel the heat from the friction.

Although it's superwash wool (and the link I posted said it won't work with superwash) it turned out well. I think I'll spit splice more often. Of, course, I should have cut off the orange end of the yarn and spliced it where it was all white to avoid the barber poll effect. But I called it close enough.

If you look very closely, you can tell that the toe is darker than the rest of the sock, and you can see the spit splice barber pole if you look even closer. But the variations in the hand dyed yarn make it difficult to see unless you look for it.

Finally, here are the vital stats:

These are the Slipped Stitch Rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks. These are knit for a men's US Size 8 1/2 in a gauge of six stitches per inch (if you are not familiar with the book, all the patterns are in a large range of sizes and gauges.) I used US Size 2 bamboo needles and Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification Sock Yarn in the "Hook 'Em" colorway. One skein is supposed to make an average size pair of socks. These took a little more than one skein.

This is some lucky person's Christmas gift.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


On Thanksgiving, I returned to my parents house with a full stomach, and decided it was time to polish off these socks.

I noticed my yarn running low, but I was getting close, so I wasn't worried.

But then, I ran out about as I was decreasing on the toe.


So, as I see it, here are my contingency plans:

Plan A - Talk to Stacy at The Knitting Nest, where I bought the yarn, and she if she has a few yards lying around that I could use.

Plan B - Wait for The Knitting Nest to get in more of the Hill Country Yarns "Hook 'Em" colorway, and buy a whole other skein. I could always make something else with the rest. I have lots of family and friends who root for the Longhorns.

Plan C - See if I can unravel the toe of the first sock, and get away with them being shorter. I know the recipient's shoe size, and I've been following the measurements in Sensational Knitted Socks Someone at my knitting group with bigger feet than the recipient tried them on, and they fit. But you have to account for stretch and the fact that it's not an exact science. (After all, they don't sell commercial socks by the shoe size.) Of course, that could also prove that I can make them shorter.

Plan D - Unravel both toes and finish them with a complimenting color.

I'm (probably) heading to The Knitting Nest tomorrow evening. We'll see about Plans A and B.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Handmade Pledge

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

As someone who tries to make money off their craft, I thought it was important to take the Handmade Pledge. The official pledge is to "buy handmade this holiday season and request that others do the same for me."

The website has a lot of interesting, political information on "craftivism" and the importance of being a conscientious consumer. But the main reason I took the pledge was because in my minimal craft show experience, I was tired of people saying (loudly) that they could get something similar at Walmart for half the price.

And I'm not perfect. I shop at Walmart too, but I do try to take a proactive approach. Not every gift I give will be handmade, but I'll make an effort to seek out some that are.

And now the fun part, requesting that others do the same for me.

Giving gifts is not the most important part of the holidays, but if you happen to be considering giving me a gift, here are some ideas.

Etsy may very well be the largest online marketplace for handmade items. I have a shop on the site myself. I also have a very extensive favorites list with lots of ideas. You can search Etsy by just about keyword, check the treasuries and look by color.

There is also a list of links to independent yarn dyers here. It's worth viewing just to see a few of the yarn dyers out there.

Also, there is a general wishlist here. It's not all handmade, but there are a few Etsy items there.

Finally, this isn't handmade, but the wishlist above includes links to Austin' local yarn shops. Shopping there does support small local businesses. Also, I have my a wishlist on file at The Knitting Nest, and Stacy, the owner, would be glad to show you everything is. My list is filed under "V" for Villarreal. :)

Ok, I'm done being materialistic. Time to work on the gifts I'll be knitting.

(PS - If you're on my shopping list, let me know if you have handmade requests, or if you see something you like on Etsy or elsewhere.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Do you remember when I considered this Feza Kid Mohair for the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest? Well, I found a use for it. I traded it off.

Tonight there was a Ravelry party at The Knitting Nest, which included a one skein swap. This is what I ended up with:

I think I've mentioned Ana and her Stitch Markers before. She also spins. Her sister was at the event and snagged a skein of Ana's handspun. She normally doesn't sell it, but she often gives it away.

The tag says "Wool Blend," but doesn't say what it's blended with. It also says "Navajo Plied" and I'm not sure what that means. It's 16 wraps per inch, 2 ounces and 215 yarns.

I call it an upgrade. We did the swap "Dirty Santa" style, and I stole it from someone. I was glad I got to keep it.

The good news is that Stacy, the store owner, got my Kid Mohair, and was happy with it. It's good to know it found a good home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

They don't call it "Instant Gratification" for nothin'

This was my progress a little more than 24 hours after casting on my Longhorn Socks. The Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification Sock Yarn is listed in Ravelry as "DK/Sport," which explains my progress. It makes me ponder the possibility of knitting an entire sweater out of the stuff. It's very soft.

I've actually knit even more since I took this picture. I'm now more than 30 rounds into the second sock. I think the cure for Second Sock Syndrome is to cast on the second sock right away. I've never had Second Sock Syndrome (sure, I've had Half Sock Syndrome and One and a Half Sock Syndrome, but never Second Sock Syndrome.)

I talked with Lynn at the Meetup group today, and she confirmed my theory. There is no reason to block socks unless you care how the look when they are not being worn. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it. These look a little wonky because the slipped stitch rib pulls it in so much, but they look great stretched out.

(Please let me know if you disagree with this theory. I'm wondering if I'm missing something.)

I also discovered that Alicia is doing the same sock, only with a much smaller gauge. After my last mystery project, it's good to be using something in a larger gauge.

I like sport weight sock yarn. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kid n' Ewe (and Llamas Too) 2007

It had been ages since I'd been to Kid n' Ewe (and Llamas Too). (They spell it "Lamas," but that just doesn't seem right.) I went once with my Mom when I was in college. I wasn't into my knitting at that point, but I still enjoyed it. Now that I've gotten back into, it was a whole new experience.

Last Saturday (I know, I'm just getting around to blogging about it) I got on the road to Boerne, Texas at 10:30-ish. I didn't get there until about 12:30, but I think it was worth it to be well rested. I debated taking a class (Sandra Singh actually invited me to take a dyeing class with her at 9 a.m., but I would have had to get up at 6 a.m. to make it there in time.) I actually brought my acrylic collection in case I decided to take a freeform knitting class. Ultimately, I decided to spend the day just wandering.

I decided that I was going to see every booth before I bought anything. This bison yarn (yak yarn?) from Buffalo Gold was tempting, but expensive. I think this skein was in the $60 range. (The sign is advertising the tiny little samples of pure fiber.) Ultimately, I'm glad I resisted. I wouldn't have had any money left for anything else.

Originally, I was going to go with the group from Meetup, but not enough people responded to get enough money for a van. However, I still managed to run into a bunch of people I know from Meetup and other knitting groups. It was like we had planned it, although we didn't.

Anyway, I ran into Suna, who was wearing the Surplice Lace Top I'm dying to make. So I had to take a picture.

Jojoland had a lot of great patterns, including this one for the Whirly Gig blanket. I'm not much for buying pattern these days, but I bought this one.

I deserve a medal for not coming home with an Angora rabbit. But at least I got to pet one. (There were more for sale outside. Poor guys looked hot.)

I got to pet the alpacas too. They had an entire room dedicated to alpaca fiber this year. It was good timing, because Jules was excited about his alpaca scarf, and now I have some good pictures of actual alpacas to show him. (A few days before the show, Jules told me he didn't realize that alpacas were animals.)

So I'm confused about Suri alpaca now. If it's so much smoother than regular alpaca, how come Suri alpaca yarn is always so fluffy? (See this yarn and this yarn.) It must be the brushing.

This is the judging of the Cashmere goat show. I got to pet one of these too (although it wasn't one in the show.)

At one of my knitting groups we starting talking about Cashmere, and realized none of us really knew much about it. Now I got it. They are called Cashmere goats because the are from Cashmere (or Kashmir?) They are sheared for the most part. (Small time owners may brush the fiber out by hand.) The reason it's so expensive is because of the amount time it takes to process and clean the fiber. (Also, the equipment needed to process it is very expensive.)

Here are some sport weight singles (I believe that means one ply) from Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool. They had all sorts of beautifully dyed yarn.

Yes, I bought fiber. No, I don't know how to spin yet. I bought this black alpaca fiber from Fantasy Farms. At $5 for four ounces, it was a good deal. I also bought some tan fiber for my Mom. (Actually, we debated who would take which color, and I ended up with the black, like I'd originally planned.) Here is the black being measured out.

Ok, I was really excited about this purchase. It's alpaca yarn from Hill Country Alpacas, and it's from Stonewall Jaxon, the prize winning alpaca himself. It's awesome! I'm debating what to knit out of it. There is a couple of hundred yards here. I wonder if I can order some more.

There is more about Stonewall, including all his awards, here.

Few people could pass up Brooks Farm's yarn. I want to buy more from them. Too bad you can't order Solana online.

Back to the spinning thing. I'm working on that. I did a little spinning last January, with Mom's help, but haven't touched it since.

I decided it was time to get my own drop spindle. I ran into Ana, who is an experienced spinner, and she recommended Hokett Would Work. His spindles were weighted, not to mention beautiful. When things settle down in January, I'll get to actually using it.

Mr. Hokett makes all his own stuff. He has even spun a little, so he was able to help me make a selection.

Of course, I didn't want to start spinning with alpaca right away. I went on the search for wool. I suddenly realized how hard it is to find fiber that is not in roving form. In fact, I didn't even see hand cards for sale (those were on my shopping list as well.) Mom taught me to card rolags, and it makes more sense. The fiber is already in a circle, ready for spinning. My guess is that roving is easier to market and package (and you can dye it in a specific pattern.)

It occurred to me later that I could have just bought roving and hand carded it. But I did find some wool at Marsh Mellow Meadows, a business out of Louisiana. I asked what they recommended for beginners in non-roving form, and they said I should try their Romney wool.
. They had it died in all sorts of colors. I chose "Bunny" and "Lacey." At first I thought those were the names of the colorways, but it turns out those are the names of the sheep.

I must include the steal of the day. I was determined not to leave the show without some handspun yarn. I found a few hanks by a woman named Mary Dawn Cole. This is wool with some tinsel mixed in for fun. When I saw the price tag said $5.50, I thought I must have been reading it wrong. But Ms. Cole said she had just managed to spin a few before the show, but didn't get to measure for yardage or label them properly. So she priced them low. Really low.

Finally, this sock yarn is from Knitting Fairy (aka And Then She Dyed.) It is enough for two socks, each with three fat stripes in pink, purple and turquoise. I couldn't resist.

If you want to see even more pictures, look at my Flickr set from Kid n' Ewe.

WIP: Longhorn Socks

Just last night I finished the first of my many NaKniSweMo projects. It was not looking good.

But tonight I managed to make it down to the heel flap of what I'm calling my "Longhorn socks." No, I'm not a Longhorn, but the lucky recipient is.

This is Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification Sock Yarn in "Hook 'Em."

Remember my rant about Hill Country Yarns? The Knitting Nest carries it now. They also special ordered some other schools, including my alma mater, Texas State (formerly Southwest Texas State.)

As long as my last project took (I can't post it now, it's top secret) it's a relief to use sport weight yarn. And to finally be making swifter progress.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


From Amy Singer (of Knitty fame):

Hi, Sally!
This one almost made it in. You're so close! We just ran out of room this issue...

Wait... that pattern was the one that almost made the cut?

The afterthought pattern? The one I'd knit months ago, and submitted to MagKnits with no response whatsoever. (To their credit, I think something must have happened to cause them not to get my submission. Wrong e-mail address? Spam filter? There has to be some reasonable explanation.) The one I whipped up a quick pattern for, took some crappy pictures of (after borrowing one of my "models" during the photo shoot for one of my serious submissions.) The one that got baffled looks from my family.

I got this e-mail this morning. When Amy replied on my other two and not this one, I don't know, I just assumed it had been rejected too. Not deemed worthy of an answer. Maybe it wasn't visible to the human eye, which was why MagKnits never responded.

Maybe if I had put more effort into it, maybe that pattern would have been the slam dunk?

*slaps forehead*

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

...try, try again...

I love Cast On's knitting merit badges but I feel bad about using this one. Yes, I'm disappointed that the Knitty submissions I turned in back in September were rejected, but I don't have anything against Amy Singer. She gave me some very good feedback, and she doesn't deserve the finger. But I still think I deserve something, and a merit badge will do nicely.

Amy actually suggested self-publication, which is something I was actually considering. In the meantime, I'm trying MagKnits. I feel good about these patterns. I've submitted to MagKnits before, but never a got response. I think I sent it to the wrong e-mail. At any rate, I think it's time to try again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

FO: Jules' Birthday Card

When I lived in Florida, we didn't get Comedy Central, so VH1 ended up being my default channel of choice. On one of their many shows about the 1980s, they talked about the overuse of synthesizers and electronic music during that era. One of the commentators mentioned that new technology is often overused at first. And then there is backlash.

I think this is the case for most eyelash and novelty yarns. It was new. It was overused. Now everyone hates it. But I think it has it's place. Not entire garments, but stuffed animals, novelties, a moderate amount on more whimsical kids clothes and maybe the occasional furry scarf.

I think this is an example of good use for eyelash yarn. I keep it around for occasions like this. Somewhere along the way I got the idea to crochet part of Jules' birthday card. This is Red Heart Sport I got on sale at Hobby Lobby, along with the Walmart "No Boundaries" brand of metallic eyelash yarn I bought on sale after Christmas.

I plan to do this again, but I need to perfect the pattern so the triangle is less wonky. The crochet adds needed bulk that you don't get in knitting, and doesn't curl very much.

I did this one the morning before getting Jules' gift in the mail. It was the main reason why his gift was so late. (It's also why I took the picture in the car.) I attached the party hat with rolled up clear duct tape. (Something like this would have been better, but I couldn't find any.)

Of course, after all that work, I forgot how to spell birthday. *smacks forehead*

FO: Jules' Scarf

Another the parade of much delayed FOs.

This is the scarf I made for Jules for his birthday. This was the mystery project that had to be green that I talked about here. Jules' favorite color is green.

I used two skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky in color 652. I think. Actually, that may have been the dye lot. It looks like VR1440 in Forest Green. Anyway, I kind of wish I had bought three skeins so I could have made it longer.

I used US size 8 needles, good old aluminum Boye straights.

I remembered seeing a mistake rib scarf floating around back at the Knit n' Knibble in Florida. I was looking for something similar. I finally did a much modified version of the Misti Chunky Ribs and Ruffles Scarf. I took off the ruffles and widened it. (I think I cast on 31 stitches, but I'm not sure.) It's a brioche rib, I think.

The ends ended up a little wonky looking. The picture on the right is pre-blocking. I managed to sort of block it "in." When you block, you normally stretch things out. I think I managed to reset it using a cold water block. It wasn't perfect, but it was an improvement. Who knows what would have happened if I'd stretched the width of the whole thing.

As you can see, I managed to get away with just blocking the ends. I folded it in the middle.

Jules loved it, although I sent it late. (But not because of the knitting. I was behind on other parts of the gift.) This was part of what he e-mailed me when he finally got my gift:

...And I *LOVE* the scarf!! It is even nicer than I imagined. For some reason I envisioned this big, awkward thing with a bunch of wild colors. But it is actually rather conservative and gentlemanly. I can see myself wearing it whenever we get a cold spell. And I'll definitely bring it with me this Christmas...

LOL. I can do awkward and wild colors too.

The other cool thing is that he now knows what alpaca is, and he loves it. He can't get over how soft it is. When I asked him about what type of scarf he wanted me to knit him, the first thing he said was "not itchy." Alpaca is what most people go to when they're worried about itchy.

He's learning. He knows what an FO is. He just needs to remember that I'm not a seamstress.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Last year, I participated in Nanowrimo, where you write a novel in a month. During that time, I went from unemployed to employed part time. And I felt like I had a novel in me.

This year, I have a full time job and several other commitments, plus I am preparing for a very special visitor in December. I need to clean my apartment (I moved in May, but it looks like I just moved last week.) And I don't have a novel in me. But I have a lot of knitting in me. So this year, I am doing NaKniSweMo. Except I'm doing it my way. My goal is not to knit a sweater in a month, but to knit my "mission critical" Christmas gifts in a month.

I have already completed a hat, a novelty and a scarf (although technically it's not FO because it's not blocked yet.) By the end of November I need to knit (or crochet):

-Four pairs of socks
-One pair of fingerless gloves
-Three hats
-1 scarf
-either 2 more scarves or two novelties (I haven't decided yet. It will probably depend on time.)

If I can squeeze it in, I also need to do another pair of socks and a tea cozy.

And no, this is not all my Christmas knitting. There is more that, I have decided, just won't be on time.

Some of these projects I will post. Some I won't. It depends on the recipient. I'm currently working on one of these right now.

Wish me luck!

The Funeral: FO-ish: Sock Wars II Socks

With as late as the post is, is it any wonder that I died in Sock Wars II before I even finished my first pair?

I'm actually surprised I lasted as long as I did. I was out of town on a church retreat when they e-mailed our assignments. There were pictures of completed socks already uploaded when I finally got the pattern off my friend's laptop.

I had planned ahead of time, and used valuable packing time swatching to get gauge. It took US size 1 needles to get gauge in Claudia Hand Painted Yarn Sport (color: Circus Dancer. Part of me wishes I had kept this yarn for myself.)

I really like the pattern. It incorporates "smocking" (or at least that's what Lyndsey said it was.) It inspired me to use smocking in future designs. I think it looks especially good on handpainted yarn. The two lines of smocking are supposed to be battle scars. The Scar Rib Pattern is available for the general public now.

You can see multiple Scar Rib socks on the Flickr Sock Wars II group.

(FYI, I had gotten to round 17 of the scar rib of the second sock when I died.)

Can you really call incomplete sock wars socks an FO? Put it this way, I am. I even entered these in the Stash and Burn Socktoberfest Contest.

I got my socks one week after the wars began. Right now, I can't remember my assassin's name for the life of me.

But, as you can see by my picture, I have an excuse. By mid-week, I was as sick as a dog. (You can see I still had antibiotics left when this picture was taken.)

I missed my usual knitting groups that week. I stayed home from work that Thursday and slept all day. I never even touched my knitting on my sick day.

I missed the Meet Up Yarn Crawl to attend Maker Faire with Peter and Lyndsey. It was awesome, but because I was sick, I didn't really get into it. I was dragging myself around like a zombie most of the day. I didn't even bring a camera. (Although Peter has pictures here.) The socks did make an appearance at Maker Faire, on Peter's camera. (I don't have a picture of it right now.)

Anyway, after going for Pho with Lyndsey, I headed home and decided that I could knock out this sock before the weekend ended. After all, knitting required little movement. But lo and behold, I checked my mail and there they were, the socks of death.

I'm unsure of the yarn or fiber, but they are a pretty color. And they fit.

Did I mention my target has bigger feet than I do? And that I was I out of town when I got my assignment? And I was sick the first week of the wars.

I know. Excuses, excuses. But all is fair in socks and war.

Feeling Quizzy

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!

Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Saturday, October 27, 2007

FO: Red Scarf Scarf (w/"pattern")

The deadline for the Red Scarf Project has come and gone, but I haven't posted about my contribution until just now.

The deadline for the project was coming close, and I was looking for some yarn that chunky, but not too chunky, nice, but affordable and a pattern that was better than plain garter stitch, but would go quickly.

Fortunately, I snagged some beautiful Rio de la Plata Merino Santa Maria in Red Brick from High Strung Yarn's going out of business sale (the owner sold her inventory at one of my knitting groups.) I bought three skeins, but only needed one skein and less than half of the second skein.

The pattern is below. I think it fits most of the Red Scarf Project requirements. It's a little on the skinny side. (I think it was about four and a half inches wide, and they recommend making the scarves at least five inches wide.)

I used US size 9 needles, and the gauge was a little less than 4 stitches per inch.

Cast on 20 stitches.

Rows 1-7: Knit across.
Row 8: K4, P4, K4, P4, K4
Row 9: P4, K4, P4, K4, P4
Row 10: Repeat Row 8
Row 11: Repeat Row 9
Row 12: Repeat Row 8
Row 13: Repeat Row 9
Row 14: P4, K4, P4, K4, P4
Row 15: K4, P4, K4, P4, K4
Row 16: Repeat Row 14
Row 17: Repeat Row 15
Row 18: Repeat Row 14
Row 19: Repeat Row 15

Repeat Rows 1-19 until it's the length you want. (I made it about 60 inches, about as long as I am tall.) Knit 7 rows. Bind off.

Wrap around a five inch piece of cardboard (I actually used my needle gauge) about 40 times. Cut at one end to make fringe.

Block the scarf. I didn't do a very good job blocking because I couldn't find my T-pins. I just sort of put some books on top of it to hold it down. The edges would have been neater if I'd pinned it down. (This picture was taken during the blocking process. Yes, I blocked it in my closet.)

The last step is to add the fringe. I added one piece of yarn to each stitch.

Attach one piece of fringe to each stitch.

For a minute, I thought I saw my scarf here (it was the red one!), but I think it was imagination.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

They got me!

Arrrggghhhhh...cough...cough...*falls down*

I got my socks for Sock Wars II today. I'm dead.

Proper pictures of the "funeral" will come later.


I've fallen a little behind on the blog, but trying not to worry about it. I'm making sure there is some balance in my life. I missed two cool knitting events to attend a church retreat (which was definitely worth it.) And now I'm missing the Meetup yarn crawl to attend Maker Faire with my friends. (We'll see how long I last. I just coughed up something green. Yuck!)

So blog bits will resume next week, for the two people who may be wondering where I am. In the mean time, I'll try to get my last couple of FOs up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

FO: Ribbon One Skeiner (w/"Pattern")

I'm just now posting my last Stash and Burn One Skein Contest entry, and I already I didn't win the contest. But I did have fun.

I've done this "pattern" a couple of times. I bought two balls of Crystal Palace Party Ribbon a while back at the Knit n' Knibble in Tampa. I had already done the drop stitch scarf everyone does with ribbon yarn, and I decided to do something different. I tried all sorts of stitches. Finally, one day I walked into the Knit n' Knibble and saw someone making a mesh shawl with ribbon yarn and giant needles. It took me a minute to figure out that it was just plain old garter stitch, on giant needles.

I've done this scarf a couple of times. I've also used Moda Dea Ticker Tape. I think it will work with just about any ribbon yarn.

I used US size 17 needles. This scarf is in Crystal Palace Party Ribbon in "Ultra Blues." It was one of the two balls I bought from the Knit n' Knibble.

The key is to cut the fringe first. On this one I cut 30 pieces, each about 10.5 inches long.

After cutting the fringe, cast on 15 stitches. Leave a tail that is at least as long as the fringe.

Knit until you run out of yarn. The first time I did this, I tried to keep the ribbon perfectly flat on the needles. It's not worth it. Just knit. Trust me.

Bind off. Make sure you have enough yarn left to bind off the whole row, and leave a tail the length of the fringe.

Add fringe on each stitch. (There's a good tutorial here if you've never done it before.) Tie the tails in with the fringe.

Depending on the yarn you choose, you may want to put clear nail polish or Fray Check on the ends of the fringe to prevent unraveling.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday Sunday

Sorry I'm late!

Girl on the Rocks has a crochet pattern out for Monster Finger Chapstick Cozies.

Quiddity is hosting another "show us your socks" contest.

The Sweet Sheep participated in Run for the Cure. Also, more progress on the Rhinebeck sweater here.

Mochimochi hosts a photo contest and learns to crochet. Also, check out SOS. I love the textured water.

Yarnivation has the artillery list up for sock wars. I'm in this year, which should be interesting considering I'll be out of town when they send the info.

Cosmicpluto participates in some street art.

Wendy Knits reviews the whole "Knit from your Stash" thing. Also, she explains how to find her at Stitches East.

Unraveling goes to the Knit and Crochet Show.

Yes! Suna Knits! has some food for thought on teaching knitting. She is also looking for her wedding top and finishes the top I want to knit.

Lady Octavia makes a drop spindle.

Grumperina has passed the 800 mark in her Jaywalker gallery. (Holy Crap!)

The Yarn Harlot finishes her book.

Needles and Things has trouble winding yarn. (We've all been there.)

Finally, Yarn Pirate strives to knit 31 pairs of baby socks in 31 days. See her progress here, here and here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FO: Pinky-Purple Boogie Time

I planned to make several Boogie Time watches for the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest, but I only got in two. One is for me, this one will be a gift.

I used a bit of leftover Claudia's Hand Painted Yarn Sport in "Just Plum" leftover from a "mystery" project. I settled on size US 2 bamboo dpns after unraveling it a few times. The watch part is from Jo-Ann.

I also didn't really follow the pattern, just the basic concept. I cast on a number that seemed right, and then knit until it was a length that seemed right.

I did it in one day, the second my second to last entry for the one skein contest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

FO: Skinny Lengthwise Compromise Scarf

Once upon a time, there was a ball of dyed wool on eBay that didn't have a name. A knitter named Sally saw it and decided to buy it because she liked hand dyed yarns and because it was dirt cheap. So cheap, the shipping cost more than the yarn.

But when the ball arrived, she had no idea what to knit with it. So she set it aside.

Then, months later, the new Knitty came out with a lengthwise scarf with fingerless gloves on the ends. The pattern was called Entwined and Sally had to knit it. The yarn with no name was perfect for it.

But there was something with the pattern that didn't seem right. The gauge was awfully loose for worsted weight yarn, even with Sally's loose gauge. Sally decided a quick rewrite was in order to adjust the gauge.

So Sally did the math cast on the yarn with no name with size 6 needles. She was knitting merrily along, when something else didn't seem right. There did not look like there would be enough yarn to finish the scarf.

Sally didn't know what to do. She kept knitting hoping she was wrong, but eventually, she had to admit the truth. Knitting the scarf at a smaller gauge required more yarn than she had. And because the yarn had no name, she couldn't buy more of it.

However, the scarf was coming along quite nicely, so Sally made a decision. She bound off before making the fingerless gloves, added some fringe, and made a regular skinny scarf.

So the yarn with no name was finally knit into a project, and Sally still had another entry for the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest, as well as something to give as a Christmas gift or sell on Etsy or a at a craft show. Not tomentioned that it matched her last FO.

And what about Entwined? The pattern was happy too, because it knew it would be knit another day.

And they all knit happily ever after.

The End

(PS - It just occurred to me after I finished this entry that it has an odd resemblance to a recent blog entry by Persistent Illusion.)