WIPs march of shame (part six, second to last post of shame!)

Alright, we’re moving [moderately] swiftly through my embarrassingly long list of WIPs and we come now to the penultimate project of shame.

These mittens were started at the end of April right as finals-studying was getting interesting (the complexity of the project shows the depth of my denial.)

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This pattern is NHM #14 by Terri Shea from the book Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition. I love the colorwork mittens in this book and how they’re all tied to history. The yarn I’m using is Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in Yellow Ochre and Grouse. This yarn is splendidly rustic and though it is not at all soft, I love the texture of it so much I don’t think I will be bothered having it’s “scratch” on my hands.

I’m slightly worried that these will come out very small. Even though my gauge is correct, they look tiny even for my small hands. The last colorwork mittens I made grew a ton after being washed, so I’m just assuming it’s a weird consequence of colorwork in general.

Another one bites the dust

(Tell the truth, did you start singing? Don’t be embarrassed, I always do…) Silly blog titles aside though, I finished another project! Never mind that it was the simplest project I had on the needles, and the one most likely to be finished quickly, I finished it. Now there are only seven projects in progress, which is a big improvement on the 10 I had going. Here are my Thrummed Mittens from the pattern that the Yarn Harlot posted in her blog years ago (2004). The pattern starts in the linked posts and goes on for two more posts.

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I knit both cuffs at once using magic loop, then the project sat around for 7 months, then I finished both mittens in about 5 days. The pattern is not super precise, it has directions like “knit until the body of the mitten is long enough for your hand” but if you’re comfortable with those EZ style directions, then it’s a pretty darn good pattern. Here is the obligatory photo of the mitten turned inside out.

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I may have been a little overzealous with the size of the thrums on the first mitten, but I calmed down a bit for the second one, this means that one hand is slightly more “poofy” than the other, but I defy you to tell my which one by looking.

The yarn I used is Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in the color Natural, and the roving is Mountain Top targhee wool from Sweet Grass Wool the color doesn’t have a name, but “bubblegum” would be very appropriate. I tried to spin it last summer, and so far have one ply, but it sticks to itself so much that its hard for new-spinner me to draft it. Now that I have used what I need for these mittens, I will go back to trying to spin it.

These are slightly awkward to knit at first because there is wool roving puffing up the mitten and vying for finger space on the needles as you knit, but after the first few rounds it’s not too hard to adjust and make accommodations for the roving. This is what it looks like as you knit.

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In other fantastic news, I have a job in a yarn shop! It’s only weekends, which is a minor bummer, but, um, it’s a YARN shop! It’s a really funky place, Yarnia, on SE Division St. if anyone from Portland, OR reads my blog. You make your own yarn in our yarn shop. This does not mean you spin it. We have tons and tons of “ingredient” cones in different colors and fibers, and you mix and match them, then we hook it up to a big ol’ machine that puts it on a cone for you. If you can’t possibly fathom what I’m saying, follow the link and watch the short video. There is also a Yarnia blog where different yarns and projects are showcased. Actually, I have to get out of my PJs and ready for work now. Next post you will see more shameful WIPs, I promise.

Um… Hi! Remember me?

Wow, I can’t believe that the last time I posted anything was in November… I could have sworn that I at least posted over Christmas and Spring break… I must have dream-blogged. Sadly this thing called law school has been sucking up every minute of my free time since the end of August. My senior year of undergrad (when I was finishing three majors, working 4 jobs, and writing a 60 page honors project) I managed to complete 25 knitting projects according to ravelry. This year, as a 1L in law school, not working any job and only volunteering about 3 hours a week, I finished 7…

Rather than one giant post about everything I’ve done in the 6.5 months since November, I am going to try to post about one or two things and just post frequently… As the only job I could find for the summer is part time, this should be more than doable.

Chronologically, the next project you should see is are my Irrationally Constant Mittens made over Christmas break. These were my first real colorwork project, and my first real felted project. They were also the first knit gift I gave to Ryan, my new boyfriend (Andrew and I are still on good terms, but no longer together. As this is not a blog about my social life, that is all you need know.) Ryan accepted the nerdy knitwear with much thanks and many comments on my skill. Clearly, he is a keeper.

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The left hand has the number pi spiraled around it and the right hand has the number e – both frequently used constants in the math world. Ryan was a math major in college and has a job tutoring kids of all grades in math. I think my favorite part of these are the thumbs which have a pi and e symbol worked on them.

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These were made from Knit Picks Palette held double to achieve a worsted gauge. The background color is Ash, and the letters are done in Fog. I got this yarn for less than a dollar a ball from someone destashing on Ravelry. These were made using size 4 dpns and it took me a while to figure out how to do colorwork across the switch to a new needle without making it too tight or too lose.

I’m not sure if it was my gauge or if the patter is just written big, but these seemed to be right size when I finished knitting (about a man’s medium) but as soon as I put them in water to block, they grew to the size of oven mitts. As they were completely useless to me at that size I had to take a drastic step… I put them in the laundry. They felted beautifully, they may have come out just a smidge smaller than where they were before hitting the water, but Ryan has assured me many times (due to my asking many times) that they fit well. I have seen him wear them in public which I take to mean he actually likes them.

The pattern is free and charted very well, but there are really no written instructions at all so a few times I had to guess as to how I was supposed to execute some of the shaping. Overall these took about 5 days of off and on work and turned out very well after the felting. Palette felts amazingly and was really nice to work with. I have quite a lot of it stashed because I like the huge variety of colors it comes in. I foresee using it for many more colorwork projects.

STASH!

So I kinda fell off the wagon with the whole, post-at-least-once-a-week thing, but I have good reason. First, I, um, graduated from College!

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So now I guess I’m like an adult or something… It’s weird. I’m going straight to law school in the fall though so I’ll have to give that whole real-world deal a rain check.

Before and after graduation I had to pack! Remember those photos of my room I showed you last post? Well, here’s the end result of all my effort:

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Given all that, there was not much time for knitting. I finished one of my hope socks on the drive from Wisconsin to New Mexico, but I never get as much knitting done in the car as I think I will. I end up staring out the window or sleeping… Here’s the sock just after it came off the needles.

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Now that I’m down in New Mexico I haven’t had time to knit much because my brother and Andrew are both visiting so I’ve been doing things with them before they go. I managed to frog my market bag back to the beginning of the lace section and knit it back to where it was sans errors. They were starting to multiply at an alarming rate to the point that I couldn’t just ignore them.

Just before I left school I knit a pair of fingerless mitts for one of the women I’ve been working with for the past four years. Like the coffee cozy, it came from a yarn sampler sold by Knit Picks last year. It was called the “Victorian” sampler and it came with one skein of all of their yarn lines that contain cotton and few simple one-skein patterns. The mits are the Victorian Sampler Fingerless Gloves and the yarn is Shine Sport in color Willow. It’s just as soft and nice to work with as the Shine Worsted, I’ll for sure use it again. The pattern was easy to follow but I omitted the picot bind-off because it didn’t look very good in most photos so I did three rows of 1×1 ribbing instead.

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The reason that this post is called stash is because since I’ve been home this is the first time in a year that my entire stash has all been together in the same place and it’s a bit overwhelming! I decided to go through everything and add it to my Ravelry stash page and it’s working pretty well as a wake-up call. Check it out. And I’m still quite a ways from done… A good 1/3 of my stash is sock yarn… I knit about 3 pairs of socks a year… I can knit socks for the next TEN years and yet every time I walk into an LYS the first place I go is the sock yarn corner… I am now committing myself to no more yarn buying until after Christmas. I’m counting on you all to make sure that happens.

All in all I accomplished a lot life-wise in the past week and a half, but not really much knitting wise…

March=Spring, Damnit!

DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! It’s MARCH! March and it’s 16 degrees outside. My mother and father are enjoying fantastically warm temperatures in the 70s down in New Mexico and I’m shivering to death up here. As a proper pacific-northwesterner, having lived until I was 18 in southern Oregon, I associate March with the start of spring. Sure maybe it’s a bit rainy, and maybe there are some days in the high 40s at the beginning of the month… but 16 degrees? Damn the Midwest! OK, rant over.

Much as I hate the freezing cold weather in what everyone knows is the first month of spring, my knitting group from school got to go to the Bjorklunden lodge this weekend which was a perfect place to be in below-freezing temperatures. Bjorklunden is a lodge that Lawrence owns up in Door County, WI–right on lake Michigan. The lodge is huge and so cozy it was a perfect place for a nice weekend getaway. I didn’t take any pictures inside the lodge (because I’m crazy) but yarndude did and he captured it perfectly. See. I’m the one in the red. I did make it outside to take a quick picture of the project that I finished though. These are called “pescovegetarian mittens” from villaelain’s blog. They use bulky yarn which means they work up super fast and the simple knit-purl motif on the back of the hand shows off a slightly variagated yarn perfectly! I used malabrigo bulky, in the violetas colorway, to make them. Like the worsted and the lace version of the yarn it’s perfect and wonderful and soft and squishy and fantastic.

Aside from the mittens I also worked on Andrew’s sweater (believe it or not) and the sleeve is growing slowly but surely. And, I even managed to do some work on my small-but-growing Swallowtail shawl. Aside from the projects for myself, as a group we decided to knit preemie hats for knit one, save one a totally awesome charity that helps keep preemie babies around the world warm and alive.

Before we went up to the lodge I was frantically trying to finish this monster hat. This is the bokaclava pattern that is available for free on Ravelry. My version is knit in Encore because it’s cheap and it was for my brother who is by no means a fiber snob. Here it is modeled on my roommate Peter. There is a lot of seaming and casting on and off and weaving in ends for such a small finished object. I don’t think I will ever make this again, but the designer also has a Dragonclava and a Cthuluclava and my brother has already requested them both so similar projects seem to be in my future.



This is a scarf that I knit for Andrew because the one he had before is from when I first started knitting and it was pretty bad. Andrew picked out the yarn and colorway and approved the pattern as sufficiently manly. The pattern is Staggered Rib Scarf from Suzie Blackman and it is a great knit-purl pattern for a unisex scarf. I used Swish Bulky from Knit Picks in the Marlin colorway. The yarn is very soft and squishy but I think it’s pretty thin to be called a bulky yarn. I think all their yarns tend to be on the thin side for what they claim to be–but for the price you pay who cares.


These convertible mittens have been on Andrew’s wish list since last winter and I finally buckled down and knit him some. He was particularly indignant that I knit a pair of convertible mittens earlier this school year for my brother who has been waiting far less time that Andrew had. So I cast on and whipped these up pretty quickly. The yarn is Rustic by Cascade and it’s a wool-linen blend that is very soft. The linen softens up so much after just one wash and has continued to soften with wear. The pattern is one of the downloadable patterns from the knitpicks website called “Men’s Convertable Fingerless Gloves.” I made two small modifications to the pattern. First I added a buttonhole to each thumb so that Andrew can pop his thumbs out if he needs to use them for gripping. Second I picked up stitches across the back of the and and knit from them rather than knitting the mitten top seperately and sewing it on later.


The last sock blank swap that I moderated had a theme of “where I’m from” so I decided to go New Mexican rather than just leaving the blank snow white to represent Wisconsin. This is my interpretation of New Mexico. I’m very curious to see how these knit up into socks so I’m hoping that the person I sent them to gets picturtes up shortly. It made me very happy to dye this because the bright southwest colors were nice to play with as the snow continued to fall here.


These are the fingerless gloves that I cast on right after I finished my mom’s christmas sweater but it took me a while to finish them because I was a bit tired of knitting (gasp I know) after plowing throught the sweater in record time. They were finished shortly after I got back to school and I got them in the mail to my Grandma who seemed to appreciate them even though I did get a snarky remark about them being late… That’s my grandma for you. This yarn is Rowan Cocoon and it’s extremely expensive–$16 a skein! I only used one skein to make these, so my project cost was reasonable but I don’t know how people can afford to make sweaters out of this stuff. The pattern, like most of the patterns I use, is free on Ravelry and it is called “Delovely.”

This is the sock blank that I received from the swap that happened in the fall (so I’m a bit behind on my sock knitting… I love the swap anyway!) I requested a halloween-themed blank and I love what I got. The blank is translating into the most vibrant gorgeous socks. The best part is that while they can totally be worn for halloween, the socks don’t look OVERLY halloween-y so I can wear them all year round (or all of the year that wool socks are appropriate) without feeling silly. These are about double the length that they appear in the picture below, but I still have about 3 inches before I can turn the heel. I’m using the two-at-a-time toe-up magic loop pattern from the Knit Picks website and so far it’s great. I used judy’s magic cast on (truly magic!) for the toes and case on 18 stitches per side (36 per sock) and increased up to 52. I have very square toes so I don’t need the traditional pointy socks. When I got to the middle of my arch I increased to 60 and I think I’ll stay there untill I do some more increases for my calf.


It’s a giant pain in the ass to move pictures around so my pictures are in reverse chronological order. Scroll back up to the top of the page and you’ll see things in the right order.

What happened to my life?

Wow… so I kinda fell off the map from September until what is it now… December! I blame my crazy term at school, in which classes and work have been coupled with law school applications… very busy. That does not mean that I haven’t been knitting however. The study washcloths that I blogged about way back in early-September were finished way back in middle-September. Here’s the last four that didn’t appear in my earlier (much earlier) blog post, and then a group shot of them all after they had been washed and the stranding had a chance to even out.







It was a pretty silly project but it was kind of fun and mindless which is what I needed this summer and it was a fun gift for my brother before he went off to college. Strangely my brother demands more knitwear from me than anyone else I know… Though now that it’s getting cold Andrew has been hounding me for some more warm wool socks… The other WIP from my last blog forever ago that is now a FO are my green socks.

These are impossible to photography such that the texture stand out. Really they look very nice. In the picture they’re a bit fuzzy because I wear them almost every week. They have been washed and dried in the machine and they came out just fine… a bit fuzzy but nothing my sweater stone couldn’t handle. The other three WIP from my last post Andrew’s sweater, Swallowtail shawl, and Mom’s socks are all still unfinished… SHHHHH

One last thing from my summer I dyed a really neat sock blank.
This blank was kettle dyed with a base of orange-y/yellow then I laid down cut-outs of leaf shapes that I printed from the internet and used a spray bottle to spray the blank with red and brown. The pattern is only on the top of the blank it didn’t sink through to the bottom.

Since I’ve been at school I’ve completed several projects. I got all my Christmas knitting for Andrew’s family done. For Andrew’s mother there are some waffle-stitch wrist warmers.

These wrist warmers were a project I found when looking for something to do with half a skein of Malabrigo (which is what they’re made from). The only think I don’t know about them is that they’re knit flat and then seamed. If I make them again I’ll knit them in the round.

For Andrew’s Grandma I used the other half skein of Malabrigo to make Tudora from Knitty.

I love this. It’s so warm and snuggly. I want to keep it for myself. I really like that it only takes half a skein to make this project because it means you can buy one skein of luxury yarn and make something really pretty and it’s not that expensive.

For Andrew’s dad there’s Koolhaas.

This is another project that turned out beautifully and that I want to keep for myself. It also took less than one skein of Malabrigo so it’s pretty cheap to make as well. The pattern is pretty tedious. There are some rows where you have to knit 1×1 cables the whole way arround. I cable with a cable needle so it was pretty slow going, took me about one and half weeks of knitting which for a hat seems a bit excessive.

For Andrew’s other grandma there’s Branching Out.

This is made from a Classic Elite yarn called Miracle which is an Alpaca Tencle blend. The yarn is about the softest thing you’ve ever felt. I made the shorter version of the scarf, 27 repeats, and it’s long enough to wrap around my neck twice.

The other small project that I did that I guess is technically gift knitting because I gave it to my brother are these convertible mittens.

The reason I hesitate to call these a gift is because my brother basically demanded them of me. They’re made from Knitpicks Essential a colorway called Dune Twist the color is now discontined which is a shame. These are the Broadstreet Mittens from knitty and they took just over one skein of Essential but my brother had giant man hands. If they were made for someone with normal sized hands they would use one skein. Now that Adam has a pair, Andrew wants some so it looks like I’ll be knitting another pair soon.

Finally, the last thing that I did was to modify the sweater I finised in the spring. The sweater had an A-line body and it kinda made me look pregnant because it poofed out at just the wrong place. Sooo, I steaked it. I sewed safety stitches with my sewing machine then took in the sides. Now it looks much more flattering.

Right now I’m working on a sweater for my mother for her christmas present. Its the Twisted Pullover from More Big Girl Knits and it’s made from Knit Picks Swish Worsted. I have one sleve and I’m about two thirds of the way through the second sleve. I have 19 days… We’ll see. I’ll post pictures after I have some more progress. Thats all for my knitting since the last post… I doesn’t seem like much now that It’s all laid out together but I’ve been really busy with law school applications as well.