Thursday, December 31, 2015

Moving on

Door prize yarn from last year's knitting retreat. Saturated jewel tones, worsted weight, unlabeled.

About to become Jennifer Burke's Montrose Beret 

I hope you have enjoyed this month of blogging. We now return you to your regular randomly times postings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NoEL: all done

That went well.

Pattern: Frankie Brown's Pocket Ted

Yarn: leftovers of all sorts, mostly sock yarn. Ted is made of some really ancient acrylic, the rest is wool.

Needles: size 2.00 dpns for Ted, size 2.75 mm dpns for everything else

Thanks for the tin, NKD!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NoEl: step four

There. Now all I need is the right button. And "some assembly required."

Monday, December 28, 2015

NoEl: Step Three

The really fiddly bits. My favorite was the part that said, "Cast on six stitches. Bind off." I read that three times, thinking I had missed something.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

NoEl: Step Two

Not as easy. Would have been easier if I hadn't just ASSUMED that 56 knit rows meant stockinette. Garter stitch people, nice, squishy garter stitch.

p.s. NoEl means no Elanor.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day

I'm really excited about my new knitting project.

Step one was pretty simple.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Yarn

from Germany! Actually, from KD, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I would never make that mistake

"Don't make the mistake," my husband advised seriously, "of thinking Norwegian holiday cooking is in any way healthy cooking." Frankly, I would never make that mistake about any culture's holiday cooking. The whole idea of holiday cooking is that of an infrequent treat.

I did make the mistake, early on, of applying linguistic rules to Norwegian krum kaka - before I'd ever seen any - and thinking it must be some kind of crumb cake, possibly like my favorite coffee cake with the butter-cinnamon-brown sugar crumble on top.


It has more in common with an Italian pizzelle than anything else, although mercifully not licorice flavored. Also, unlike any pizzelle I've ever had, it melts away in your mouth like cotton candy, leaving you to wonder if it was ever there at all.

You make the batter,

heat the krumkake iron,

put on the tiniest dollop of batter,

cook it, flipping at least once, roll it around a wooden cone,

and then slide it off the cone when cool.

Some people fill them; we don't. We have NEVER had to figure out how to store them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


So, we have this yarn:

Berroco Sox in 1496 Aylesburg

Clearly stripes, although the brown looks like it might have some jacquard elements. So again, Jaywalkers:

Monday, December 21, 2015


Knitters, in time, learn to read their knitting. Except for the first few blind-faith rows of a lace pattern, you can pretty much tell what your knitting should look like, and see at a glance (although not necessarily as soon as you'd like) that something has gone wrong.

Knitters ALSO learn to read a skein of yarn. Sock knitters, that is, and skeins of variegated sock yarn. For instance, I took one look at this (ballband lost):

and knew it was going to knit up into blue, brown, and white stripes. Since I think most striped socks belong on Pippi Longstocking (or someone with equally spindly legs), I opted for a pattern that would break up the horizontal stripes in an interesting way. Grumperina's Jaywalkers:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

All fixed!



I had to rip out more than I thought - a row or two below the obvious holes - because the yarn below was damaged and weak. I'm thinking I caught it on a zipper when I stuffed it in my bag. Off to pack it in something protective...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tired Bunny, part II

After my earlier post featuring this gentleman, it was pointed out to me that he might be looking disgruntled because I neglected to show off his best feature, of which he is inordinately proud. So I handed over the camera, and received back:

Child pose
Push-ups / Ear strengtheners

Furthermore, he is: Lion Brand's Knit Little Bunny

And he is apparently capable of taking a selfie (note bear tree in background):

Friday, December 18, 2015

I know of no baby with a neck like that

One of my current works in progress is an adorable smocked baby cardigan. I make a lot of baby sweaters. They are cute, they are fast, they are instant gratification. And since I'm not making them for a particular recipient, I don't worry about fit. Someday in retirement, I will open an Etsy shop just to sell baby sweaters.

Meanwhile, I got up this morning and checked to see if the Left Front was long enough to match the Right Front. And discovered this:

That's right. "Make same as right, reversing shapings" didn't... exactly... happen. I also messed up the shaping towards the bottom by following the directions for the Back shaping. So, rip-rip-rip, and now:


That's better.

Thank goodness I noticed before sewing it up and setting the sleeves! (Yes, set-in sleeves. If I pull it off I will immediately try to finish my Caluna, which has been languishing for years in sleevelessness.)

Also, it's a really lovely shade of light brown. I will get a true-color photo when it's finished!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

WIP: Forest Lily

Take some favorite lace yarn1 in a delicious color,

add the inspiration of nature2,

and cast on3:

1 Juniper Moon Farms Findley lace yarn in Tiger Lily

2 A Tiger Lily in the forest. You'll have to take my word that in between first spotting them and coming back with my camera, something ate all but the last bud. Despite that corner-of-a-familiar-table hint in the yarn photo, I'd be surprised if anyone guessed the tiger lily's location, so I'll add an extra hint at the end.

3 Cath Ward's Lost in the Forest

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tired Bunny

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Off White, leftover from this

Pattern: not the slightest idea, and I lack the energy to dig around and find out. His ears won't stand up, and he looks faintly disgruntled by life. Some child will love him and confide all their secrets into those floppy ears.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An unexpected pleasure

My friend, as is her wont, gave me a scrap of leftover yarn to play with. Having a lot of time on my hands at the moment (I know, Christmas is coming, but I seem to be living a little to one side of reality this year), I measured out the exact yardage, then poked around on Ravelry and found a little toy I could make. I was finishing it up and thinking about whether there was an obvious recipient, or whether it was destined for The Box, when I stopped and really looked at how it turned out. A perfect match of pattern and yarn. The gradient moves from purple-blue at the base through green to a golden orange.

He's mine.

Pattern: Maria Yarley's Sebastian Owl

Needles: 3.75 mm dpns

Yarn: unknown Irish worsted plus Lion Brand Wool Ease in Forest Green

Mods: I did the 20 rounds of seed stitch the pattern indicated, but continued in stockinette with the same yarn instead of switching to another yarn since the gradient color changed right then. When I ran out I used scrap yarn to finish. After I attached the eyes I realized I wanted more green over the eyes, so wound up with 19 rounds of stockinette instead of 15. I used felt circles and attachable eyes instead of glue, and some scrap orange cotton for the beak. The instructions don’t ever say to stuff it, but it was obvious when. I used Jeny’s super-stretchy bind-off in a 3-needle variation, to emphasize his ears.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Thrummed Mittens

This was a Thrum Mitten Kit I bought several years ago. The astute reader will recognize the background in the yarn photo and not be surprised to discover it was purchased at a certain museum that I wish sold yarn more often. The company has a sky blue mitten kit on their website at the moment that is very appealing. But nobody needs TWO pairs of thrummed mittens.

I had watched my friend's experiment with thrummed mittens a few years back (they looked a bit like boxing gloves), and so ignored the instructions and made much smaller thrums. I also realized that the pattern, as written, had no cuff to speak of. I took the leftover bulky yarn from this project, divided it in half, and knit two cuffs in ribbing on size 10 dpns. Then I started the Mittens and knit the cuffs in just before starting the thrums.

I like the way they turned out.  I like the way the thrums make little heart shapes on the knitted surface. They are very warm, but not impossibly bulky. I like the nice long cuffs that stay tucked under coat sleeves.  And I like that they match the hat (despite the fact that I have no idea where it is at the moment).

Sunday, December 13, 2015

And then I tore a hole in it...

Some years back I attended my first knitting retreat. Among my many pleasant memories of that event, I saw my first Color Affection, then at the height of its popularity, "in the flesh," so to speak. It was done in jewel tones, and despite the popularity of the pattern, I didn't recognize it. All I saw were the colors, and I had to know what it was. I was surprised to discover that it was an examplar of the current knitting fad, which I had rather turned my nose up at. But if it could look like that!

Flash forward several years, when KD provided me with the jewel tones necessary to make my own. By then plenty* of people had made the pattern, and I pored over examples and advice. Slowly I came to the conclusion that the designer had known what she was doing, and so I made none of the modifications to straighten out an edge that was designed to be curved.

* over 14,000 currently in Ravelry.

Making it was interesting, but it matches only one thing in my wardrobe (oddly enough, the skirt just barely visible in the yarn picture), and is really not my style. So I wore it once to work, and am passing it along to KD - AFTER I repair the hole I tore in it wearing it just once. Fortunately, it's near the finished edge, and I have enough yarn left over to make the repairs.

Pattern: Veera Välimäki's Color Affection

Yarn: madelinetosh tosh merino light

Saturday, December 12, 2015

How to Make Warmth

 Take some leftover (slightly less than a skein) red acrylic yarn. Start in the center and work outward

until you come to the end of the yarn. Frog five rounds, put it back on the needle, try several different edgings, then settle on a round of SSK, YO, a round of knitting, and Jeny's Super-stretchy Bind-off.

Lay out flat and admire, then tuck into the Box of Baby Gifts.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mitts and Möbius

Clearly the name of a new detective show I'm pitching to the networks. Mitts is the street-savvy partner, clearly a corruption of Smith by way of certain, shall we say, acquisitional skills. Möbius is the older, dignified type, but with a twist (of course). What that twist should be is left as an exercise for the commenters...

I had a single ball of multicolored yarn that I won as a door prize at a knitting retreat. It looked like hand-painted yarn, fingering weight, roughly one skein. The rest was a mystery. I found an excellent pattern for an unknown amount of yardage, and just knit until I was done. Then I made the tiny amount of leftover yarn into mitts!

Mitt Pattern:Leftover Sock Yarn Mitts
Cowl Pattern: Mone Dräger's Knothole Moebius Cowl

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Keeping it Simple

My son has discovered the joys of fingerless mitts. He had a lot of fun trawling through the possibilities on Ravelry, and came up with a couple of patterns he liked. These are the first, dead simple, stretchy, and the yarn already on hand (so to speak - sorry).

Pattern: Based on Kaity Fraker's Easy Wristwarmers, I just wanted the thumbs to run vertically
Cast on 36 sts.
Work K2,P2 ribbing for 30 rounds.
Cross 1st 2 knit sts, slip 1st st to last needle. Turn.
Work back and forth in established ribbing for 10 rows, slipping 1st stitch of each row.
Cross 1st 2 knit sts again, continue in established ribbing for 8 rounds.
Sewn bind-off.

Needles: 5.00 mm dpns (8s)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Blue Heather, leftover from an aborted attempt to knit a TARDIS.

The second set were more problematic. I was seduced by the flame colorway into thinking I would have fewer color changes. True, but - this is acrylic, and intarsia should be done in wool to take advantage of the magic of blocking. Plus, the pattern was too long in the hand and too narrow in width. So the whole thing is hibernating while I think about it.

The third set call for a knitting trick I'm actually taking a class on in February. So wait for the class, or try to figure it out for myself? Fortunately, I haven't settled on the right colors yet, so I haven't had to decide.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

You Can't Take This Mug from Me

The yarn was a gift, and it is gorgeous. Soft, squishy, a joy to work with. The color matches nothing I wear to work, which makes it perfect for the next couple of weeks at home. But here is what I know, to my sorrow. Any time I make socks out of anything other than wool, they only last a season. So I'll be enjoying these for as long as I can.

Pattern: Cailyn Meyer's Java Socks, from the Winter 2011 Knitty

Needles: 2.25 mm dpns

Yarn: Fresh from the Cauldron's MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) Sock,  in Mal