Archives for posts with tag: knitty

I am in a weird in-between state right now because I have nothing actively on the needles (well, maybe a few hibernating projects hidden around the house, but basically the only thing I have to do at the moment is weave in ends, sew together, and block a little ascot thing I’ve been working on for about a month. A month!)

I have this sort of mental startitis that’s keeping me from actually starting anything–just daydreaming about “wow! I should make that!” and instead of actually getting the needles and casting on, I sit there clicking on links and adding things to my queue until I realize I feel kind of sick from staring at the computer for so long, or have something else to do, and nothing gets done.

I think part of this might be related to my printer being in our poorly insulated sunroom/office, where the temperature is currently hovering around 40 degrees… inside our house, with all the windows shrinkwrapped with insulating plastic… so printing things out is a bit like taking a Polar Plunge. Deep breath, run into the other room and shut the door, try desperately to remember which of my USB ports is mapped to which of the five copies of my printer in the Print menu before I get frostbite.

Anyway, so, yeah, I don’t have much to share in terms of WIPs or FOs but here are a few of the things I’ve been eyeing:

  • This Ginkgo shoulderette shawl, which is free, mostly stockinette, and so gorgeous! It looks like it might be a nice one to give the Brooklyn Tweed treatment, i.e. knit it up in some Aran-weight yarn to make it gigantic and cozy while keeping the yardage low.
  • From the newest Knitcircus:
    • Blue Lupine mitts, although probably about half this pattern-lust is because the Shelter yarn looks so tweedy and pretty. I don’t wear fingerless mitts very often.
    • Victoria, though mainly because I thought the accompanying article about armholes was really fascinating and I want to put it into practice and find out all about my own armholes and shoulder width and all that. (As an aside, I sort of can’t believe I have written thousands and thousands of words about things like fascinating armhole sizing techniques and new ways to graft and seam; I’m afraid I’m turning into this Hark! A Vagrant comic, “The Sweater Issue,” as every magazine in my house right now is basically some variation on Yarn News or Figs ‘n’ Things. If you asked me ten or twenty years ago where I hoped I’d be at 7:30 PM on Saturday, February 5, 2011, I’m pretty sure my response would not have been “in cold-ass Madison, Wisconsin, eating Goldfish crackers and writing a blog post about a vest I might knit to find out about how big my armholes should be.” Maybe “judging a cat show after a hard day’s work as the world’s first fashion model astronaut President” or “dazzling the intellectual glitterati with my beauty, wit, and huge piles of riches in a palace in Rome,” at ten and twenty, respectively.)
    • And this is not a knitting pattern, but Bezzie’s hazelnut macarons look crazy delicious and I do have a big bag of hazelnuts figuratively burning a hole in my kitchen cabinet.
  • From the latest Knitty:
    • Constantine, although I think a cape made of seed stitch might kill me from boredom, and while it looks cute on the model, I don’t like the sound of “the addition of a belt creates the illusion of sleeves and a waist.” 1) because I don’t want to also have to knit a belt, and 2) I really don’t want my sleeves or waist to be “illusory,” I have enough troubles with fashion and figure-flattery as it is.
    • Gweneira–creamy, snowy, cabley goodness. Susanna IC is really getting a lot of mileage out of this variations-on-a-crescent-shaped shawl thing, but I fall hard for whatever it is every time. (Why fix it if it ain’t broke?)
    • Joanie, because I’m a sucker for reversible cables, even if I think Joan Holloway wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this, at least not unless it was about five sizes smaller. Maybe I’m wrong and I just haven’t yet made it to the season of Mad Men where she starts wearing big wool sweaters with a “loose, slouchy fit” and no waist shaping?
    • Chrysanthemums, which I would like to wear with exactly the same color scheme, outfit, and pensive look as shown in the photo. Gray on white just kills me; these look so good!
  • a project in the new KP Chroma worsted weight yarn–looks and feels a lot like a feltable version of Crystal Palace Mochi Plus, more than a Noro yarn, as it’s much softer, finer, and more evenly spun than most Noro yarns. Self-striping from Knit Picks! I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this, and the price is right: $9 for 198 yards, with coordinating solids.
  • Damask, I can’t remember if I posted this before, but this is a gorgeous, gorgeous shawl.
  • This sweater whose name is way too long. Not a ton going on, but it seems very wearable.
  • And last but not least, I have a couple of ideas for some amigurumi. Possibly involving a cloaca! I know that sounds super appealing! More on this exciting teaser later if this pans out.

Which of the above will be actually worth the Polar Plunge and wind up being printed out and cast on? Only time will tell.

OK, maybe next time I post I’ll actually have something I made that I can show you.

In the meantime, please enjoy these videos of a baby monkey riding a piglet (note: the guy who made this video was the lead singer of Nerf Herder, who wrote the Buffy theme song!), ice skating chimpanzees, and Pavarotti and Lou Reed singing a song about heroin together. “Baby Monkey (Riding Backwards on a Pig)” is my new favorite song. “Perfect Day Feat. The Weird and Inappropriate Vocal Stylings of Luciano Pavarotti,” maybe not so much.

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The new knitty is up! While this warrants some general excitement in and of itself, I’m feeling lukewarm about this particular issue.

My faves:

Mythos and Purlieu are OK, but I can’t really get too worked up about either of them. I like the novelty yarns used in Purlieu.

Victoria and Iced feel like almost the same sweater to me, and it’s a sweater that conjures up either old pipe-smoking men or sturdy farm women in waders in my mind. I’m not big on the boxy cardigan silhouette + shawl (or shawl-ish) collar.

I admit this issue has a lot of clever little projects for handspun, and maybe I’ll be more excited when I see a few versions of, say, Purlieu or Jewels worked up in unique handspun yarns…

It only took me a year and a half, but I have completed an actual pair of socks. Yes, two of them! One for each foot!

I only have a picture of the first one, which I completed back in February 2009, but use your imagination and pretend that there is a second one as well. (Actually, I realized to my horror after finishing Sock #2 that I did not have Sock #1 in that knitting bag as I’d originally thought, so let’s hope I can find it at home and don’t have to take another year to make a Sock #3.)

Pattern: Interlocking Leaves, by Kelly Porpiglia, from Knitty Fall 2008

Size made: Small

Yarn used: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Redwood Mix, less than 1 skein. I liked this yarn–it’s apparently machine washable (haven’t tried it yet) but doesn’t have the weirdly plasticky hand of some superwash wools. The color, like for most of Berroco’s yarns, is fantastic–a deep red heather, warmer than what I’d call burgundy, but definitely more red than the auburn brown I think of when I think “redwood”. It’s somewhat hairier and rougher than the other sock yarns I’ve knit with (which are typically merino) but it’s not scratchy.

Needles used: US 1½ (2.5 mm) Knit Picks Harmony DPNs

Date started: Sock #1: January 15, 2009. Sock #2: can’t remember exactly, but I think it was around May 19? Just a little bit before Memorial Day, in any case.

Date completed: Sock #1: February 4, 2009. Sock #2: June 6, 2010. Sounds like a long time, but I still have a lonely Pomatomus somewhere in the house that I knit in May 2007, so it’s still not a record for longest time spent single. (I really should probably start knitting them two at a time.)

Mods/Notes: This is a lovely pattern, and the socks fit nicely and seem like they’ll be warm and comfortable. The only issue I had, which happened on both socks due to the long time elapsed between finishing Sock 1 and starting Sock 2, was that I kept thinking the gray shaded squares represented “no stitch” and skipping over them, which, since they actually represent purl stitches, led to a lot of issues at the end of each round containing gray squares.

These socks do not look very attractive when unblocked and not on a foot.

In other crafty news: I’ve been in Boston for work, so on commenters’ recommendations, I visited two yarn shops (Mind’s Eye Yarns and Windsor Button) but displayed admirable restraint and did not buy any yarn while in Boston despite the very tempting 25% off sale at Mind’s Eye and the overwhelming supply of gorgeous buttons at Windsor Button. I met longtime blog commenter Luise at Mind’s Eye (hi, Luise!) and got to spend some time chatting and browsing yarn and books, which was lovely. I limped around Boston all weekend–you never realize how many stairs there are in T stations until you’re semi-disabled–and picked up a Vogue fitting shell pattern on sale at Winmill Fabrics, which hopefully I can use to get a good fit on Vogue/Butterick patterns once and for all, if I can convince myself to be virtuous enough to spend time sewing a muslin instead of an actual garment.

I’m heading back home early tomorrow morning. It was a nice trip, and between the travel and not being able to walk around too much, I got in lots of knitting time! Aside from the socks, I’ve also finished one Bodhi Mitten (knitting them in dark blue Malabrigo) and expect to finish the second one in the next few days.

The new knitty is up!

I was so excited to see Kalani‘s design, the Know It All bag, in it. Not just because she’s my pal but because this bag is AMAZING. Computational textiles! Felting! It counts your rows and shows you the next line on the chart! I have always admired the computational textiles I’ve seen popping up now and then (oops, typed “pooping” at first) on the CRAFT magazine blog, but nothing has seemed really worth the effort until this totally functional bag.

My other favorites from the issue:
The Duck socks. So cute!

The Summit shawl. It looks mind-bending, along the lines of a Lynne Barr pattern, and I might need to make a scarf version of it soon just to understand how it’s constructed.

Emmaline. I love the silhouette, not so crazy about the lumpy-bumpy yarn it’s knit in (even if it is organic–sorry). It’s totally cute and knit on size 10.75/7.0 mm needles, though, so it seems like a nice instant gratification summer project (if one’s climate allows for wearing a chunky gauge sweater, albeit short-sleeved, in the summertime).

Petrie is lovely, though I have the feeling the shape might be better suited to sewn fabric–thinner, drapier.

Que Sera looks amazing in the photos, but I suspect this might just be my total love of the styling and photography. It probably would not be as appealing without the crazy-colored skirt and door and ukelele, but man, does it ever look great with those accessories. I probably won’t actually end up ever knitting it, unless I start a ukelele band that only plays shows in housepaint showrooms.

Gams. OK, this is not one of my favorites, but I thought I’d mention it because this is sort of the polar opposite of Que Sera. The shorts have the potential to be cute, but this photo shoot is really distracting. The first photo is like a punch in the aesthetic face after 20 minutes of browsing pretty, conventional, Anthropologie-esque knitwear photos. The hiked-up rear and camel toe in front! The Scowls! The green eyeshadow up to the eyebrows! The black socks! Wham! Pow!

You scroll down a bit for a reasonable photo of a smiling model with the shorts worn low enough to eliminate the camel toe… then BAM! Close-up of a man-butt clad in tight green knitted hot pants, with legs spread! OK, this photo shoot is probably really avant-garde and high fashion, but it doesn’t sell me on the knitting at all.

Here is how I think they could be kind of cute–knit with a bit more ease (please) and a folded waistband casing with elastic threaded in to hold them up. Knit in cream or white yarn without the contrasting edging, to evoke traditional Aran sweaters. But I could be wrong. Knitted shorts! It’s so risky.

(Speaking of risky: I went to the designer’s website and found this knitted bathing costume. Wow.)

This is the best knitty (for my tastes) that I’ve seen in a while.

My faves from this issue:

I would make Spoke if it weren’t so similar to the Sunrise Circle jacket I already have. I love that asymmetrical circular shaping–one of these days I’m going to make Norah Gaughan’s Swirl Pullover, too. Eyelets rather than stockinette, but it’s the same kind of idea.

Quadrat is gorgeous. I really want to make this, but if I do, I will also have to go buy a huge belt to go around the middle so I don’t look too boxy.

Knotty but Nice: the world can always use more cabley skullcap patterns for manly presents.

Incognito. I approve of mustachioed knitwear.

Duet. I love this! It will probably be the first thing I make from this issue. It has leaf lace! It’s a hat! And a cowl! It uses hardly any yarn! It’s convertible! And it doesn’t advertise the fact that it’s convertible!

Bitterroot. Did I mention I like leaf lace? This is beautiful, and it takes as little as 365 yards of yarn. I love the flow from stitch pattern to stitch pattern within the shawl, and the bead placement.

Citron. The ruched texture works so beautifully with the soft matte surface of the Malabrigo lace yarn. I would totally make this to wear to a holiday party if a) they weren’t apparently all happening this weekend and b) I weren’t deep in the midst of emergency Christmas knitting. I am only making a few gifts this year, but somehow the end of the year totally snuck up on me.

Speaking of which–off to work on my Ishbel! (It’s a stashbuster that’s using up some Alpaca Cloud I’ve had for ages–hurray!)

We moved into our new place in Madison on Saturday!

After saying goodbye to my knitting friends in Bloomington, we packed up our apartment… here are some photos of the goodbye knit night, at our regular venue (the Pour House) and a nearby bar called the Root Cellar:

Elli + Korknisse:

Kalani + Korknisse:

The gang at the Pour House… from left to right, back to front: Sara, Kalani, Norma, Katie, me, Nicole, Elli

Knitting with raspberry beer at the Root Cellar, which is located in the basement of a fancy restaurant named FARM:

Elli and the wall of bedpans at FARM. Apparently these bedpans really freaked out her husband, who didn’t realize that they were meant to designate the area where the bathrooms were located and were not just there on a wall in a restaurant for the hell of it. So I had to take a picture of her with the scary decor:

In the first half of the move (from Bloomington to Rahul’s aunt and uncle’s house in Illinois), our car was packed to the brim:



I had to huddle cross-legged on the blanket nest in the passenger seat, clutching a bag on my lap, for the entire 4-hour drive–and this was already after getting rid of a ton of stuff that we just had to buy again as soon as we got here (like paper towels, a microwave, a coffee pot, etc.) sending a van-and-U-Haul trailer load with Rahul’s parents, and leaving a van-load of stuff with a friend in Bloomington for later pickup. We made kind of a strategy error by packing the less important stuff with Rahul’s parents in their van and leaving just the most important stuff to take with us in our car. They left, and we were wrapping up and packing when we realized we wouldn’t have enough room–but we really needed to keep everything else we had with us. Hence the clown car full of blankets, clothing, computers, and guitars.

We stayed in rural Illinois for a week and had some long and pleasant bike rides through cornfields and tiny towns–the longest ride we did was about 30 miles and I had a great time because we rode on a nice, flat dedicated bike path instead of along the side of the road with cars. Here are a few of the sights along the way…

The two stores in downtown Owaneco, Illinois (a meat store and a wine shop):

A log cabin in Pana:

A pause along the bike path:

The second half of the move went smoothly. We were able to redistribute our stuff into the van when we met up with his parents in Illinois, so we could actually see out of the back when we drove the next 5 hours of the trip. We were able to get our stuff moved in within a few hours on Saturday morning, and had some nice Thai food and unpacked for the rest of the day. We only put things together backwards a few times while assembling furniture. A success overall.

So the new place is cute, though we have no driveway or garage–something we didn’t realize would be a problem initially, since we knew we could get a residential parking permit, but we found out today that Madison requires you to change your residential street parking spot every other day, or every single day in the winter, between November and March (park on the even-numbered sides on even-numbered days, and vice versa). Since neither of us is going to be driving on a regular basis, this is a colossal pain in the butt. Also, I won’t have internet access at home until Friday, which feels odd and crippling in a place where we don’t know our way around yet–all this calling 411 and consulting paper maps feels very strange and archaic now.

But these things aside, our new place is cozy and cute (read: kind of small!), and in a great neighborhood, quiet and residential, full of huge old trees, close to Trader Joe’s and a record store and a branch of the public library. After a hellish afternoon shopping at big box stores yesterday, we took a nice long bike ride in the evening around the park (we spotted bison at the zoo through the fence), along the shores of Lake Wingra, and through the beautiful Arboretum. Today I’ve been sucking down lattes at a local cafe and working, and I stopped in at the record store at lunchtime and bought this album on an impulse. This band totally cracks me up.

In the meantime, I’ll continue slowly working through my backlog of blog fodder. Next up, my most recent finished object (I have been less than prolific in the past month or so).



Pattern: Branching Out, by Susan Lawrence, from Knitty’s Spring 2005 issue

Size made: n/a

Finished dimensions: long and scarfy? I thought I’d written this down, but I can’t seem to find it. I’d guess about 60 inches long by 7 inches wide.

Yarn used: Farmhouse Fibers/Yellowwood Llamas Super Silky 100% Llama in Lily, 1 skein (200 yards, sport weight yarn)

Needles used: US size 6/4.0 Addi Turbos

Date started: July 10, 2008

Date finished: July 16, 2008

Mods: None

Notes: As I explained in my post about the visit to the llama farm, my friend Molly and I have a deep affection for llamas dating back to junior high school days or thereabouts. We wrote a parody of a romance novel called The Mark of the Llama… I remember very little about the plot except that it featured a protagonist named Coriander who floated about misty manor lawns in a diaphanous white gown, and a villain who, at one point, threateningly pulled a shotgun from his sock and waved it around.

Anyway, Molly has a wool allergy and always complains about being unable to find nice coats or dress pants for a reasonable price–they’re either cheap polyester or incredibly expensive cashmere. I’ve been encouraging her to learn to knit, and have been telling her all about No Sheep for You ever since it came out–it hasn’t quite taken yet, but she’s definitely intrigued.

More so, I think, after I gave her this scarf. I originally went to the llama farm with the intention of getting some 100% llama yarn to make a woolly, llama-y present for Molly. I could have gone with alpaca or cashmere or silk, but llama just seemed like the perfect fiber for a present for her. So I made this while I was in California, and presented it to her.

She was pleased and said it didn’t feel like burning. Her mom laughed and explained that this was what wool felt like to the rest of the world.

Anyway, now that we’ve moved, I hope I’ll be able to settle in quickly, find some new friends here, and get some more mittens made before the bitter Wisconsin winter comes. The Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up soon and I’m hoping I can make it… Lord knows I don’t need any more yarn or fiber right now, but Briar Rose and Handspun by Stefania will both be there for the ogling, and of course lots of cute sheep and other critters. Maybe even llamas.

I finally got around to finding my ball of Boku scraps and adding some thumbs to the fingerless Hyphening mitts I was making for my friend Ken back in November, when I visited him in New York! I was dashing (Ha! ha! that is a Pune, or a Play on Words) to finish these for him as a thank-you gift for letting me stay at his place. I misread the amount of yarn called for in the pattern, brought only 1 skein of yarn, and thus ran out of yarn before I got to the thumbs, so I ended up giving him a 3-D drawing pad instead. But he’s quitting his Corporate Suit job soon and taking up a new, thrilling, idealistic, creative job at a nonprofit, so I thought it would be a good congratulations-on-the-new-job present instead.

Pattern: Dashing, by Cheryl Niamath, from Knitty Spring 2007

Size made: the larger size

Yarn used: Plymouth Boku, one skein and a tiny bit more, colorway 4 (brown, purple, green, yellow)

Needles used: US size 7/4.5 mm circs for the main part of the mitts; US size 6/4.0 mm DPNs for the thumbs

Date started: 11/28/07, on the airport shuttle on my way to the airport; finished knitting by 11/29/07 (it took about 3.5 or 4 hours per mitt), but had run out of yarn and put these in hibernation for a couple of months

Date finished: 2/18/08

Mods:First of all, I made these much shorter than the pattern called for–hyphens instead of dashes–bound them off after the 15th row after the last cable twist.

When I resurrected the project tonight, I inserted afterthought thumbs: snipped a single stitch on each mitt about 2.5” down from the top edge, and unraveled to either side until I had 5 sts above the hole and 5 stitches below. I put these live stitches on DPNs, then picked up an additional 3 sts on each side of the hole for 16 sts total. I knit 1 round, then worked the thumb in 1×1 rib for a total of 9 rounds, and bound off with a suspended 1×1 rib bindoff. Easy as pie, and it took probably half an hour.

Notes: The mitts are pretty loose-fitting on me, but probably will work well for my friend, assuming he doesn’t have tiny, skinny, bird-boned hands. Because I don’t have a professional photography setup, these pictures were taken with flash and look terrible.




Also, I added a couple more things to that bearded hat that make it even more amazing.

First of all, I added some ties to the back, to keep it fitting snugly around the neck:

Then I thought about what I would want if I had a beard of my very own, and I said to myself, Well, I would want to store things in it. That’s what I would want. So I added a little pocket to the inside of the beard, with a button flap, so now Rahul or I can hide little treasures in the beard. If we lived in Boston or Hong Kong or another place with RFID-based public transit cards, I could put my Charlie Card or Octopus Card or whatever in the beard and just casually wave my chin over the sensor as I went by, like the Subway Knitter’s mittens, but with more panache.
Here it is with a cell phone inside:

And open:

And buttoned closed:

I have not yet extracted any promises from Rahul regarding his wearing this hat in public, but he did go and look at himself in the mirror for a while and adjust his mustache (he prefers a narrower mustache, with the bottom edge folded up) and then announce that he wanted to grow a big gray beard himself.

Here he is, working on a marketing assignment about cereal.

Here’s how I added those modifications:

Ties: At about 5.5” back from each side of the beard, at the lower edge of the cap, I picked up 6 sts with the yarn single-stranded on a size 6 DPN and knit an 8.5” tie in 1×1 rib, slipping the last st of each row and knitting the first st.

Pocket: Cast on 15 sts single-stranded on size 6 DPNs. Work in half-linen st for 3.5” (3” wide), knitting the first WS row instead of purling to create a ridge at the top of the pocket. Bind off.

Pocket flap: CO 15 sts single-stranded on size 6 DPNs with long-tail cast-on. Work 7 rows half-linen st, ending w/WS row. Work 6 or 7 sts (last st s/b k), yo, k2tog, work to end. work 1 row even. k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. p1, p2tog, work to last 3 sts, ssp, p1. k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. BO all sts. Use yarn tail to buttonhole-stitch around the edges of the buttonhole to tidy it up.

Sew the pocket in place, then sew the pocket flap directly above it. (I used the yarn tails to do the sewing, and just whipstitched around the edges, being careful not to pull too tight.) Sew button to pocket in location corresponding to pocket flap buttonhole.

I knitted the pocket pieces separately and sewed them on because I wanted them to be as invisible as possible from the outside, and I thought picking up stitches would be more visible. I used half-linen stitch because it doesn’t have a lot of stretch, and I thought it would make for a more stable and strong pocket.

Half-linen stitch is:

Rows 1 and 3 (WS): purl

Row 2: *k1, sl1 wyif* across

Row 4: *sl1 wyif, k1* across