Finally

I started knitting my Lissajous Socks in July of 2011. They were the For Yarn’s Sake knitalong that month. After the knitalong ended I only really worked on them for one hour a week–For Yarn’s Sake Sock Hour. (Pro Tip: the hour before the open knit chat is sock hour, if you come to sock hour you can get a really good seat for knit chat.) Well, after a year plus of one hour sessions, they are done!

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What’s that you say? The last time I showed them to you they were white? Oh yeah. I may have dyed them. You see, they got dirty. While in progress, they fell out of my bag at Red Robin one night while we were having dinner after knit chat. I didn’t notice, and when I retrieved them from the restaurant a week later, they had clearly been left on the floor for a long time and were soaked with nasty mop water. In the picture below you can see the dirty parts on the outside compared to the part of the sock in the middle of the picture where I had joined a fresh clean ball.
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After about two straight days of washing they were cleaner, but still discolored. Enter the magic that is Jacquard dye. I pulled out my little pot of “Lilac” and after half an hour, I had this:
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Dying is seriously magical because you put the dye in the water, and the water turns a very dark version of whatever color you are using. Then you put the yarn or fabric in and the dye gets sucked up into it. The water goes back to being clear once all the dye has been sucked up. It’s pretty cool. And look, you can’t tell they were ever dirty.
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The pattern will make you extremely comfortable with twisted stitches and 1×1 cables. Also, the cable pattern is only charted, so if you have problems reading charts you might want to brush up on your skills before attempting this one.
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These are one of my biggest knitting accomplishments. I would definitely rate this as harder than most of the sweaters I’ve made. Finish anything big lately?
On the reading front, I have dropped everything to start The Casual Vacancy. Yes, I am a sheep.
Go check out other people finished projects that Tami has rounded up.

Loot!

Last post I talked about how my knitting group from school spent last weekend up at the schools retreat-lodge Bjorklunden, but I forgot to mention one of the best parts of the whole trip! We spent a whole afternoon dyeing yarn! I managed to dye five hanks worth of yarn (my entire bare stash!… Guess I better restock.) This is a sock blank from Knit Picks that I got a little crazy with. I just started splashing colors that I like on it. There is some green, some purple, some pink, two shades of blue, and patches where the original white shows up. I thik it will turn into some pretty fun socks. I’m not sure if I will keep this blank for myself or give it away, I have too much sock yarn as it is… But then again, it’s so pretty…

Now that I’ve just mentioned how I have too much sock yarn… This is a skein of Knit Picks bare merino/nylon fingering weight yarn… in other words more sock yarn. This is all done with Jacquard dyes. and it is mostly shades of green, brown, and cream but there are splashes of purple every so often that make it more feminine. I think I will use this to make socks for my mom who is a forester as the colors are very woodsy.

This is a hank of white Cascade 220 that I dyed with Jacquard dyes as well. I tend to like Jacquard better than Kool-Aid because I tend to like deeper jewel tones rather than the extremely bright or pastel colors that you get with Kool-Aid. I think this will turn into a pair of felted slippers. (Another form of sock…)

This is a hank of knitpicks bare fingering weight wool/silk blend. This is probably the one thing that won’t turn into socks because it’s not superwash. I’m thinking a lacy spring scarf. This is (again) mostly done with Jacquard but there is some Kool-Aid in there too–the lightest pink color is strawberry Kool-Aid.

Oh, look, more sock yarn… This I had originally kettle-dyed with black cherry Kool-Aid but the color turned out pretty strawberry-pink and I wanted something darker. I splashed some red and blue jacquard dye on it and now it’s perfect. The earlier pink still shows up in some places but there is enough of the darker colors to make it look less like a baby-doll-ish.

We also had a swap of unloved stash so I was able to get rid of a few things, but I also collected two sock blanks dyed by someone else, some Knit Picks Swish DK and some other individual balls of yummy goodness. I really need to get knitting!

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.

The Yarn Harlot’s Dream

In the Yarn Harlot‘s latest book Things I Learned from Knitting (Whether I Wanted to or Not) she’s got a bit about how she has a secret wish that she could have a semi-serious leg injury. Nothing excruciatingly painful but something that required no walking to heal. A knitters paradise…


She’d sure be jealous of me. One week ago I had to have surgery on my foot to correct a misaligned joint. My bones didn’t line up correctly so the bone ground on the cartilage in the joint. The bone had to be cut and fused into the right place then secured with a screw. It sounds worse than it is but it means 8 weeks of no walking. The first 2 weeks are extreme bed rest, laying/sitting all day with the foot elevated above the heart. The next weeks I can move around on crutches but not too much. Week 8 is when I can finally put weight on the foot again. It has been boring. I’ve spent most of the time either knitting or practicing for the LSAT but as I’m also on percoset I’m much better at the knitting. Here’s proof:

My modern baby blanket is finished. I just got it off the needles today. I was wondering whether or not I should put the border on because my edges were pretty straight as it was, then I thought to myself “it’s not like I’m strapped for time…” I’m so glad I decided to add it it really pulled the whole thing together and gave it a professional looking finish.

I used the I-cord edging that Kelly Petkun demonstrates on her blog. Her videos of how to get the edging going, turn a corner, and weave in the ends were very helpful! The blanket has already been through the washer and dryer to fluff it up and get the dog hair off and it held up to washing very well. My only problem is I suck at weaving in ends when using cotton or acrylic yarns. Animal fibers I’m fine with because they felt a little and grab onto each other but cotton and acrylic ends never stay woven in for me. I’ve got them as under-control as I can but I wish I knew a better method…

I also finished two small projects that I stated while I was working on the blanket. The first was a simple hat for me that I made from yarn I dyed myself. I dyed the white Lopi Reynolds with Kool-Aid. I used Grape, Black Cherry, and Lemon Lime.


I knit the hat from the formula in the “How to knit a basic hat” video on the Knitpicks website. It’s a very basic roll-brimmed hat. I added the pom-pom because I think that hats tend to look sloppy at the top where the decreases make them bunch up and the pom-pom distracts from the bunching. I know pom-poms are a very contested fashion decision but I think they’re cute, especially when they’re a bit disheveled like this one…


The second little project I finished is also a hat but it was for my brother. He found a picture on the internet and asked me if I could duplicate it. Just for fun I searched ravlery and the pattern was there. My brother went with me to Michaels and he picked out the yarn he wanted. He picks some cheap Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice it’s not bad for acrylic yarn it’s pretty soft and easy to work with. Here’s the hat I made:


The top “hat” part is knit in stockinette and the beard and mustaches are knit in moss stitch. The hat and beard are knit as one piece and the mustaches are knit separately and attach to the beard with snaps. The patten is written so that the hat is a different color from “hair” but Adam decided that he wanted it to be all one color… I didn’t complain–fewer ends to weave it. It’s a very silly project but Adam really wanted it and I really don’t have anything better to do so…

I still have the same WIPs the pink shawl and the green socks but that didn’t stop me from casting on another. I like the socks alright but with all the time I’ve got on the couch I wanted something with a little more interest so I stated my first real lace project the Swallowtail Shawl. I love the pattern. It’s beautiful and it only takes one skein of lace yarn so I figured it was a good way to try out the new technique. I’m using some fabulous Malabrigo lace yarn it’s a deliciously soft merino. The color is wonderful gold/orange semi-solid. I’m only one repeat into the pattern but it’s already showing a lot of promise. I tryed taking a picture of it but from the couch I can’t get good light and they all either look really shiny where the flash reflected off the yarn or too dark. When I get a few more repeats done I’ll have my brother take it outside and get a few good pictures for me.

Two FOs and one giant WIP

Love the way the dye broke!

So as I said last post, it only took me two days to knit up the Nintendo Cozy but then I had to add the buttons… Which means I had to go to the store and find some buttons and then motivate myself to attach them. Needless to say it’s two weeks later and the project is finally 100% finished.


This project was the perfect project for one skein of Noro Silk Garden. The yarn is so soft and beautiful. It would make a fantastic lizard ridge blanket, but the blanket would end up costing about $250. I may start it anyway and just do one skein at a time for a year or two until I have enough for a blanket.

The other FO I have is the baby sweater that I was working on. I got the pieces all seamed together, the button bands picked up, and the buttons sewed on. It’s darling, I can’t wait to see it on a baby.



So cute for a baby being born into a dedicated Packers family. Even better the baby is due right at the start of the football season, so I can see mom putting him in this sweater a lot this fall. To compliment this little sweater and to give me something easy to do while I watch movies, TV on DVD, and read I started a Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting. It’s a beautiful looking geometric pattern where you knit blocks of garter stitch, cast off, then pick up stitches along the side of the blocks to add colors and length. Here’s what I have so far…



The blanket is just made with Red Heart yarn. I don’t love the yarn. The up-side is it’s acrylic so it won’t irritate sensitive baby skin, it’s machine washable so no matter what the little baby puts it through it can get clean easily, and it’s cheap which is nice since there’s over 3 miles of yarn in this project. There’s absolutely no way I could afford to make this out of yarn that’s $5 for 50 grams. Like the sweater, the blanket is also Packers colors–a light yellow and green and a dark yellow and green.

In other news I tried my hand at yarn dying for the first time about a week ago. The result was beautiful but unexpected. I used the Jacquard acid dyes and was trying to dye my yarn a sage green color with a semi-solid kettle-dyed look. The instructions tell you to bring your water pot to a simmer then add your dye and drop in your yarn. I wanted to play with the dye color and not worry about burning myself so I added the dye to the cold water and tested it until I got the color I wanted then I heated the water and added the yarn. Turns out, if you let Jacquard dyes sit for too long the colors start to separate, so while my pot was waiting to heat up the colors separated into light and dark colors. The yarn turned out really cool looking but it wasn’t what I was expecting. It variegates from almost black to a bright green.


This picture isn’t great but it does show how it goes from very dark to much lighter. It’s had to get a good photograph of something green. The yarn is lace weight merino, part of the Knitpicks Bare line. I really enjoyed dyeing and now really want to try hand painting. To do some more dyeing I ordered a couple of sock blanks from Knitpicks and started a dyed sock blank swap on Ravelry.

The last thing I did was knit a swatch for try #2 of Andrew’s sweater. This time I’m doing the Unisex Irish Pullover a free pattern that I found on Ravelry. I think I figured out what I did wrong the first time but it’s pretty stupid. I think I knit my swatch with the smaller size needles listed on the pattern when it specifically says do the the gauge swatch on the larger needles. I knit a new swatch for the new pattern (I can’t bare to redo the Eden pattern right now) and I double checked about 100 times that I was using the right needle size. I’m not going to start knitting the project right now I think I’ll save it and try it for the knitting Olympics in August. Here’s my swatch…


According to the swatch I’m on gauge so we’ll see… I haven’t worked at all on the pink boucle wrap as if that’s surprising.