Archives for category: prickle

Just saw this cool project: a Prickle (knit jumbo-sized to go around the shoulders) woven through with electroluminescent (EL) wire.


Youtube video, Rav link.

I ran across this site where Tony Hawks, a British comedian, posts the mail he gets that is mistakenly addressed to Tony Hawk, the American skater, and his replies. Among them:

dear tony
I playing ur game and see dat you don’t look the sam in the games as you site. i tink you are hott. do yuo wear a mask? i think you are the best. i can olly and on my skat bord i can also do an olly bone-to-bone cornbread. i want to know if you can cum to howse and jump on my ramp and then we go for ice-creem and walk along the beech and wach the sun set.
irie love Billy Sixx
p,.s can u make a rollerblading game so is can play too games and not won.

Dear Billy,
If I came to your house, jumped on your ramp and then went for an ice cream and a walk along the beach to see the sunset, you have absolutely no idea how much trouble I’d get into.

Hey Tony….man, you are one helluva skater…I want to be just like you when I get older. Wow.

– Doris

If you really want to be just like me when you’re older you’ll need to undergo considerable surgery.


Tony what was your first ever trick you did and what was your favourite trick you ever did?


I’ve stopped turning tricks since they cleaned things up around Kings Cross.

You probably wouldn’t want to know what the trick was.


can you send me a copy of tony hawk 2 please

Bout ye big guy!!!!! Tone, I’m like ur bigest fan.i’m 9yrs old and bin sk8ing for like 2 yearsur amazing man, u rock dude i am your biggestt fan i gotta go luv will

We should hook up some time. You seem exactly my type of guy. It would be nice to sit down over a sherry and discuss Proust, listen to poetry and do the odd ‘ollie’ if the fancy takes us. I’ll be in touch.



hey sup man i have this ninja trutle flat skateboard but i can’t do anything on it and people when i ride by on it call me a fag do you think you can help me not be a fag anymore?Then maybe sometime i chould come over to your house and bring some peanut butter and jelly sandwitchs and you can get the star wars movies!!!

Believe me, coming round my house with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to watch a film isn’t necessarily going to help you lose the ‘fag’ tag.


Also, a couple of things. I started a Hemlock Ring blanket as a wedding present, in addition to the YELLOW! shawl. It will be a mindless knitting project, while the other one is the original design project.

It’s going pretty well–I’m at row 40 now–but I’ve been consumed today with the urge to cast on for a new hat instead of working on the billion things I have going already.

The yarn I’m using for the Hemlock Ring is the one recommended in the pattern, Cascade Eco Wool, but mine is a creamy natural color rather than heathered gray. It’s a pain in the butt to wind the mega-skein into a mega-ball, but the yarn is soooo soft, squooshy, woolly, and delicious to work with, and not a single knot or end to weave in in 478 yards. I love it.

I’m using 40″ Addi Turbos. I love these too! I’m not crazy about metal DPNs, but Addi Turbos are so great to knit with–I love the shiny, smooth nickel finish and the flexible cord. I started the blanket with Emily Ocker’s circular cast-on and used the Magic Loop technique until the blanket got big enough to stretch all the way around the needle.

Be forewarned if you decide to make this that there are errors in Round 35 of the pattern. Because I didn’t realize this, and I also had missed a YO in the previous lace round in the first pattern repeat, I had a hell of a time getting through Round 35. A correction can be found at the Rainey Sisters blog, where they’ve also worked up a symbol key for Brooklyn Tweed’s chart. I’ll post the correction again here, this time with the corrections highlighted, so you can see what they are–deletions in red and crossed out, insertions in blue:

Round 35:
35th rnd: *O, k 1, O, * sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, O, k 4, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (O, k 1) twice; sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, k1 (k 1, O) twice. Repeat from * around.

The other thing is this: I’m going to be selling my patterns soon through some other venues, not just self/Ravelry-publishing, and since retailers will be taking a cut (which I hadn’t planned for originally when pricing everything out), I’m raising the price for the Prickle Moebius Cowl pattern, from $4 to $5, at the beginning of June. If you’ve been thinking about buying it but haven’t gotten around to it, now is the time. Just wanted to give you some fair warning in case you agree that cowl is the new scarf. I’ve been thrilled to see a couple of finished objects popping up: Christy at Neither Hip Nor Funky finished a Prickle cowl for a giant cowl swap; you can take a look at it here. There is also this lovely one on Ravelry that knittingchemist made in Lettuce Malabrigo Worsted. How great is this color:

Well, I’m off to read some Proust over a glass of sherry, knit on the Hemlock Ring, and do the odd ‘ollie’ or ‘kickflip indy’ if the urge overtakes me. Pip, pip, cheerio!

Over the past couple of days, I spun up the last ball of roving I had sitting in my stash–a fluffy gray ball labeled Cotswold-angora-bamboo, with angelina glitz, but (I think) mislabeled, as it seemed like just plain gray wool to me. I overdyed the roving with Kool-Aid to a nice red, but this was not entirely successful–I made the formerly fluffy, easy-to-draft roving kind of crusty and sticky. Even with tedious hours of pre-drafting, it came out very thick-n-thin, which I’m choosing to view as adding character to the handspun two-ply rather than as a drawback. I’ll put up pictures later.

It’s amazing how nice it feels to use up everything in my fiber stash–even if it means I’ve added a few hundred more yards to my yarn stash. (We won’t talk about that part–shh!)

To replenish, I mail-ordered the Autumn Oak roving from Jehovah Jireh that I’d been drooling over at the Fiber Event but didn’t have the cash for at the time–it’s a pretty wool-alpaca blend in autumn colors: red, orange, yellow, brown–and threw in 4 oz. of their “Cappucino” roving, a wool-alpaca-tussah silk blend.

I had a wonderful surprise the other day: my Prickle moebius cowl won “Best Original Design” for the Malabrigo March design contest! I’m getting a skein of merino worsted and a skein of the new Malabrigo superwash sock yarn as prizes! I was so thrilled. I’ll post pictures of the sock yarn as soon as I get it, and pass it around at knitting night to get some thoughts on the yarn from real sock knitters’ perspectives. I suspect that like the rest of the sock yarn in my stash, it will be slated for something other than socks, like a lace scarf or some fingerless mitts. (I found these Cranford Mitts on Ravelry the other day and got really excited about fingerless mitts again. The photo on the site is uninspiring, but all the color combinations in the finished projects are just gorgeous.)

Anyway, I was pretty surprised and excited. I knew my pattern scored pretty high on the originality factor, but the other patterns posted for Malabrigo March were really stiff competition as far as basic appeal and loveliness. Here is a list of Ravelry links to all the patterns posted for the Best Original Design contest for Malabrigo March. Check them out!

It’s suddenly 70+ degrees in Bloomington, and the trees are leafing out now: drifts of white petals are blowing past my window like snow. I like warm weather, but I wish the flowering trees could have a longer season.

Sometimes I really hate the internet. What happened to the good old days when I used to make plain-text web pages in pico and read webpages using Lynx? Rahul has been bugging me for a while to set up my own site, which seemed like a good idea, but I spent ages yesterday looking through hosting plans and trying to buy a domain name (; I finally managed, though GoDaddy’s site is the busiest, most hideous piece of garbage I’ve seen in a long time).

I do like using WordPress, so I’m thinking of switching to a self-hosted installation of WordPress. Does anyone have words of advice for me, or recommendations for a good web host? I have no idea how many GB of bandwidth I use or how much storage I would need–since my photos are hosted on Flickr, I assume not that much, but maybe I’m overlooking something here. And what about backups? I don’t like the idea of having to back things up manually.

I want:

  • no setup fee
  • short contract period or monthly billing (since I don’t know what tier of hosting I need, and would like a trial period with any provider to see if I like working with them)
  • cheap rates, preferably under $10 a month
  • clean, easy-to-use interface (for example, I loved the site design of, recommended on Ravelry by HelloYarn, but it seems like you they don’t give you as much for your money as other hosts)
  • reliable

Rahul hosts stuff on, but they have a weird pay-as-you-go system and I would prefer for my site not to go down if someone links to me and I run out of bandwidth money in my account. Maybe this is not a big risk, really, but it seems like they’re more catering to people with small sites that don’t get a lot of regular visitors. I don’t get a ton of regular visitors (yet! hope springs eternal) but would like to, so having to refill my account balance all the time seems like a hassle…

Also, PayPal. Ugh. I don’t know if I should upgrade my account to Premier right now or not. I probably will have to eventually, but my year ends in June, apparently, so I can receive 5 more credit card payments before then. How am I supposed to know if it would come out better for me financially to upgrade now or later? I have to guess how many credit card payments I’ll be getting between now and June and in what ratio to funded payments?

Stupid internets.

Here are some things that make me happy, though, in the interest of keeping things positive or at least neutral, on balance.

  • Kroger’s house brand of organic ketchup. Way better than any other ketchup I’ve ever tried. (This Malcolm Gladwell article has some really interesting things to say about ketchup, by the way.)
  • A new cafe in Bloomington called The Pour House. All proceeds and tips go to charity. It’s right on Kirkwood, across from the library, and has a fireplace, couches, wi-fi, and is generally clean, well-lit, and comfortable.
  • This new reversible scarf pattern I’m working on, tentatively called The Water Is Wide, knit up in Malabrigo Silky Merino in Indiecita. The colors look kind of weird in these photos, but it’s really quite pretty–lavender, slate blue, teal, pale yellow, rose, mint green, all mixed together, but with similar color values, so the yarn doesn’t read as too variegated or blotchy. I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn to make this scarf decent-sized, actually–I have 300 yards, but the pattern is kind of a yarn eater.
    I really didn’t mean to cast on for a new project, but inspiration struck while I was in the shower and I ended up making a couple of swatches. I can’t decide what other yarn to knit it up in–I kind of want to do Patons SWS in Natural Denim, but I also kind of feel like I should use something I already have in my stash.

    • One side of the scarf
    • The other side (I think it will look better once it’s blocked)
  • Hulu. I’ve been addicted to Bones, in particular. I just wish they would buffer content when you have the video paused, since my internet connection sucks sometimes and it makes it choppy as hell to watch.
  • Tiny baby tortoises!

Also, final note. someone on Ravelry wanted to know what Prickle looks like from behind. Here it is, in case you were wondering too:

I’ve finally published the pattern for Prickle, just a week under the wire for Malabrigo March. I thought I’d have enough time to do another scarf pattern, too, but it’s just not going to happen in the next week. No time!

You can see the extended pattern description and lots of pictures on the pattern page. The pattern is $4 and can be purchased through Ravelry downloads (preferred) or through Payloadz, if you don’t have a Ravelry account.

Here’s my test knitter Deb’s version, with the lace edging, knit in one skein of Malabrigo merino worsted in Fucsia (sic; I’m spelling it the way Malabrigo does on their site). That scenic waterfront vista, if you can believe it, is the scene outside her LYS in British Columbia, and sometimes they see orcas in the harbor. We need more orcas in Indiana, if you ask me.

The short version of the description is this: Prickle is a moebius cowl in a reversible Porcupine Lace stitch, designed to use less than 100 g/220 yards of worsted-weight yarn, and finished with a sideways knit-on edging. Two edging variations are provided: a plain garter stitch edging, or a frilly, scalloped lace edging (as shown above).

It’s been interesting to me to see the differences in the same pattern in different yarns. I knit the two pattern variations in three different yarns: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Red Mahogany, Noro Silk Garden in color 269 (with a stripe of white Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush), and Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Lavender Mix.

Each yarn has its pros and cons, and plays certain features of the pattern up or down by its color and nature:

I think Silk Garden is the attention-grabbing yarn of the bunch. I’d like to see how this pattern comes out in a brighter colorway. The stripes really play up the bands of stockinette and reverse stockinette lace and the gentle, undulating waves of the Porcupine Stitch pattern. I took it off and threw it on the floor near the hamper the other night, and the next day paused to admire the way the creamy, natural colors looked against the beige carpet. Even framed by dirty socks and piles of books, it’s striking, sculptural.

I really designed the pattern for Malabrigo, and the feel of this yarn is the most soft and luxurious of the three versions. My everyday scarf is partly knit from Northampton, a workhorse wool, which, while not scratchy, is not really a sensual pleasure to wear. When I wear the Malabrigo Prickle, I am constantly surprised and distracted by the sheer delicious softness of the yarn when I turn my head and my cheek or neck brushes against the cowl. This is the Calgon of yarns. Malabrigo, take me away!

The interesting thing about Malabrigo is that it has more body and more memory than the other yarns. (I guess that’s something you can reasonably expect from a merino wool as opposed to a silk and mohair or alpaca blend.) It was the only one of the three versions that didn’t feel right when pulled up over my hair like a hood or wimple–not enough drape, not enough stretch.

I think the semi-solid colorway of Red Mahogany gives it a really pretty, organic look when combined with the stitch patterns–like shelf fungus, if that doesn’t sound too gross. The shapes of the individual lace repeats are obscured by this colorway, but Malabrigo (like other hand-dyed or kettle-dyed yarns) looks really nice in garter and reverse stockinette stitch–the lace alternates between stockinette-based and reverse stockinette-based bands, and the edging is garter stitch.

The Ultra Alpaca is the plainest (the only one of the trifecta that nobody has favorited on Ravelry) but its worsted spin and plied construction give it wonderful stitch definition for lace, and the colors are great. I’m really impressed with it. I’m not going to double-post the overhead picture from yesterday, but it’s one of my favorites; taken in bright sunlight on a white backdrop, you can really see the intricate, dimensional curves of the stitches and the interesting shadows they cast. Aside from porcupine paws, the spiky stockinette parts remind me of flowers, or maybe agave plants.

So that’s that. I keep wanting to cast on more of these to see what happens in different yarns (I was thisclose to making one more in Patons SWS in Natural Earth) but I’m going to have to put this pattern down for a bit and work on something else.

Brief joke interlude: (from Mental Floss’s finalists for Best Pun in the World):Q: What do you get after playing the lute for 10 hours straight?

A: Minstrel cramps.

Kalani alerted me to the fact that Knit Picks has posted a bunch of new yarns. The ones I’m most excited about (but go look at the page for yourself–there are plenty of others):

  • New colors of Cotlin: Glacier, Kohlrabi, and Coffee are my favorites
  • Gloss lace yarn. The photos seem a little flash-heavy, but I think Cypress seems like a really pretty color.
  • Comfy, a cotton/acrylic blend. I’m really curious to see how light and stretchy this is. When they say it has “elasticity,” is it stretchy along the lines of Rowan Calmer, or more like Lion Brand Cotton-Ease? I love the muted colors.
  • New colors of Gloss Sock. These are beautiful–Cosmos in particular looks wonderfully moody and smoky
  • New colors of Shine Sport. I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for appropriate yarn for the Somewhat Cowl for approximately forever. Could Shine Sport in Fedora be the holy grail? I’m not going to bet on it, but there’s a possibility. I am so thrilled with all these new dark-chocolate browns and murky purples in KP yarns.

So the Islands show was amazing. We stood up in the front and, unlike on St. Patrick’s day, there was minimal moshing and we were able to relax and enjoy it all. There was a very drunk or stoned girl nearby who kept stumbling into me and yelling things. I think maybe the best thing she said was when she turned to her boyfriend and said, “Oh my God, look, two little Asian guys on stage, darlin’!”

The band came out looking appropriately 2000s-indie-rock, all wearing all-black, with skintight jeans and ridiculously 80s giant velcro shoes, and the lead singer, Nick Diamonds, had some kind of weird white face paint thing going on. They were fun, on key, had tons of energy, sang a good mixture of old and new songs, and the best part of all was when they did their encore: they pulled people up on stage to sing and dance along to “Rough Gem,” one of my favorites. So we jumped on stage and danced and sang, and all in all it was a great evening.

Last night was also the second night this week I came home drenched in beer. Not from Rhino’s, which is an all-ages club; we went to Yogi’s afterwards and had drinks with business school friends. At one point, a very drunk and upset girl stormed over and started screaming at my friend Joseah that he was an asshole. (He was talking to her earlier but wouldn’t tell us what he had said.) When the people gathered around didn’t pay enough attention to her, and raised their glasses for a toast, she shoved them, sloshing beer all over me and breaking someone’s shot glass. She spent the rest of the night alternately crying by herself and extracting attention and drinks from various men around the bar. Good times. The victim of the enbeering was my Sunrise Circle jacket this time (last time, a store-bought cashmere sweater). Sigh.

So I finished knitting my third version of this moebius cowl pattern I’ve been working on, called Prickle, and I’m going to release it for sale on Ravelry soon. I will be surprised if there’s any huge demand for it, but I want to test out the pattern sales feature with something small first. With any luck, I will make enough money off it at some point to cover the cost of the yarn I used to test knit it…

Here are some photos of the three versions. Each takes less than 220 yards of worsted-weight yarn. The pattern is a moebius strip (a one-sided figure) cast on at the equator and knit outwards in both directions in a reversible lace pattern, with a sideways, knit-on edging to bind off–two variations provided, a lace edging and a garter stitch edging:

A lavender version with lace edging, in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Lavender Mix:

A red version with garter stitch edging, in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Red Mahogany:

A white version with garter stitch edging, in Noro Silk Garden in 269 (natural):

Wish me luck!