Archives for posts with tag: wip

Sorry about the silence for a while there–I really needed that Thanksgiving break! I was drowning in work, and a week or two spent working into the wee hours of the morning paid off in allowing me to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend relatively work-free and relaxed.

On Thanksgiving day, we drove about 5 hours south to Rahul’s aunt and uncle’s house in rural central Illinois, and his parents drove up from Missouri to meet us there.¬† It’s deep in America’s flat, corn-filled heartland, the type of area where they show GM seed corn ads on prime time TV and you can listen to radio call-in shows dedicated to farm equipment classifieds (RFD Trading Post)–fascinating for an urban Californian! “Uh, hello, I’m interested in buying some billy goats, but I only want billy goats without horns. No horns. So if you have a billy goat with no horns, please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.” “I got some farm fresh eggs for sale. XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thanks.”

We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner–turkey with all the fixings–but some yummy Indian food the other days, too: tandoori chicken, shrimp curry, biryani, a coconut-rice vermicelli dish called shevia (the last half of the word should be pronounced in a sort of slurry of vowels and approximants, sort of like Ozzy Osborne in that Samsung commercial).

We went shopping in Springfield on Black Friday and the day after. I feel sort of ashamed to admit that I had any part of this celebration of gluttonous American consumerism, but we were fairly practical, buying useful, cold-weather things on sale like chapstick and flannel sheets and a fake-down comforter, instead of silly things like Bacon-Waves and talking football-shaped candy dishes. We did buy a semi-frivolous Roomba at a doorbuster sale but found upon opening it that it didn’t have all the features we wanted: you have to manually start it–it can’t be set up to run automatically, and it doesn’t “go home” to charge afterwards, you just have to stumble over it wherever it happened to stop vacuuming and take it back to recharge. So we returned it, and my dreams of an amazing robot maid will have to be deferred. (An aside: I think iRobot is a terrible name for a robot company, don’t you?)

We did see some good old-fashioned Black Friday douchebaggery: a woman asked Rahul to hold her place in line for a sec when we first lined up, then she came back 45 minutes later, when we were about 5 people from the front of the line, and said “Oh, there you are! Thanks for holding my place” and shamelessly ducked back into line, completely ignoring her mortified husband telling her they had to go to the end of the line. Amazingly, aside from some complaining from us, a manager, and the people directly behind her, there were essentially no consequences for her jerkface behavior: she got to check out pretty much right away. But that was the biggest drama we saw, no fistfights over Wiis or anything like that.

Aside from that, we spent lots of time vegetating and hanging out with Rahul’s family. We watched lots and lots and lots of news about Mumbai, and I saw The Godfather for the first time, and the The Last King of Scotland. Both fantastic, of course.

Plus, at the same time, I did lots and lots of knitting! I cast on for Eastlake just before we left, and knit for a total of 20+ hours over the course of 4 days during car rides and while we watched movies or TV. I was trying desperately to meet my NaKniSweMo goal of finishing Flicca plus making one more sweater during the month of November, but fell short last night, only getting a few inches into the sleeves before calling it quits for the night. Still, I made good progress, and the sweater is going to be cushy and delicious once I’m done–I’m making it in a velvety taupe worsted-weight cashmere from School Products (via Klosekraft’s destash sale), and knitting as much of it as possible in the round. The leaf motif is so addictive I think I might even make an Eastscarf.

Last but not least, I finished the Malabrigo socks that were giving me such fits before, and wrote up the pattern! It’s available as a free download, with the caveat that this is a sock pattern by a sock moron and thus is not at all guaranteed to be any good. Here they are, the Tyro Socks, knit in the lovely Indiecita colorway:

Toe-up socks written for beginners, using the yarn-over short-row toe and heel described by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy (photo tutorial included in the pattern, for sock morons like me), and a simple, softly curving lace pattern mirrored on the left and right feet. The lace pattern is easy to read and to memorize, and it’s mostly stockinette (every other row is plain knit stitches).

You may notice some visual similarities to other patterns: the Pomatomus socks and Spirogyra mitts in particular. (There may be others, too, but those are the only ones I know of.) However, despite the similarities, which only occurred to me after I’d started, I can assure you that these socks were designed the old-fashioned way, from scratch, futzing around with a stitch dictionary and doing some swatching and math to mirror the stitch pattern and make it work with the stitch count. Namely, the parent stitch pattern is the Overlapping Waves pattern in The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.

This is a pattern of many knitting milestones for me. First pair of socks, first sock pattern, first short-row toe, and last but not least, first semi-creepy Flickr group request for photos of my feet. Ha! I’d read all kinds of tempest-in-a-teapot discussions on Ravelry about foot fetishists lurking on knitting websites to ogle sock FO photos, but this was the first direct encounter I’d had with them.

I’m making good progress on Cherry . Here are the sleeves:

The color came out a bit too muted and brown–the lavender color is more candyish in person.

I’m a few inches into the body, almost to the point where you do the eyelet row for the waist tie. I decided to knit it all in one piece, so I cast on for the fronts and back all together, subtracting one stitch from each front and two stitches from the back to account for the stitches that would have been eaten up in seaming. I placed the decreases right at the side markers (paired ssk/k2tog) but in retrospect, I wish I’d left a one-stitch divider in the middle, because the decreases right next to one another look sort of messy.

One thing I’ve messed up because of doing this is the rate of decrease–since the designer doesn’t tell you to decrease X number of times, but rather to decrease at a certain rate till you reach X number of stitches, then at another rate till you reach X number of stitches, I forgot about how I’d subtracted the seam stitches from the stitch count and started the second rate of decrease a little too early. I remembered in time for the rest of the decreases, so at least the overall waist width and length to the waist should be OK.

However, knitting everything in one piece does eliminate seaming and make it easier to keep the little birds pattern lined up across all the pieces.

Do you have any suggestions for the buttons for this cardigan? It needs little, delicate buttons. I was considering robin’s egg blue, bright red, gray, or a gray or white mother-of-pearl. I’ve also been hoarding some adorable ivory-colored buttons shaped like tiny owls, and I was considering using those, but they might be a little too bohemian or twee for this sweater. It seems like when I use them, I should make them the focal design point of a sweater.

I met up with a fellow Raveler, turtleknitter, at Lakeside Fibers on Sunday for some knitting. She’s a fellow Pacific Coast child transplanted to the Midwest, and we had a really wonderful time chatting about all sorts of things… knitting, of course, but also eating locally, bikes, and the terror of snowy Midwestern winters. (Her advice for staying warm: a good EZ Ribwarmer.) We’re planning a trip to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be heading to the local Stitch ‘n’ Bitch tomorrow night to meet some more Madison knitters.

In closing, here are some more photos from the zoo:

And we watched this giant tortoise:

slowly walk up to the other tortoise in its pen and touch noses (beaks? snouts?) with it in greeting.


Impatient with the various WIPs I had lying around, I cast on for a new project a couple of days ago–an adorable little cardigan called Cherry, from My Fashionable Life/Needle and Hook. I’m knitting it in a lavender shade of one of my favorite yarns, Rowan Calmer in 484 Lucky, which I got from some steep sale at Jannette’s Rare Yarns. (She shut down her eBay shop recently and opened up this new storefront instead–she sent a message saying you could get a 10% discount using the code JRY1, but I’m not sure when that code expires.)

I’m working the smallest size. I started with the sleeves, working them two at a time, and desperately hope they will fit… I erred on the side of negative ease. Looking through the examples of this sweater on Ravelry, it seems like it’s more flattering to go a little too small with this pattern than a little too big.

It’s such a pleasure working with Calmer–so stretchy and bouncy and soft!–but the pattern is kind of fiddly to follow. I’m only at the second repeat of “little birds” and already seem to have messed up the alignment of the birds on one sleeve–will have to go back and fix that. And it took about five minutes of staring at “dec 2 sts each side on these 2 and every following alt 7 rows and then every 4,” or however it was worded, to figure out exactly when, where, and how often I was supposed to decrease. It’s pretty standard verbiage, I guess, but that doesn’t mean it’s not confusing… I hope I don’t misread it and end up with very long, cone-shaped sleeves at the end of the weekend.

The pattern notes suggest styling it like Katharine Hepburn, “with Oxford bags.” I had no idea what this meant and just looked it up–they are voluminous trousers, apparently. I don’t have any, but perhaps I can borrow a pair of Rahul’s Dockers and wade around in becardiganed yet mannish style.

I’m safely in California now, and at long last a few rows into the edging for the wedding shawl. I decided on the Wave Edging with a bit of faggoting between it and the body of the shawl.

This last weekend, I made it through Rahul’s cousin’s wedding, an intense, three-day party, full of dancing, drinking, and delicious food, for hundreds of friends and relatives.

After the wedding, Rahul and I and a couple of his cousins were asked to help clean up the altar. Most of the stuff went into a big trash bag or a box to take back up to the bride’s family’s rooms. However, we came across one problematic item–a big bowl full of ghee (clarified butter) that had been used during the ceremony as an offering to Agni, the fire god. The priest had been dipping a wooden stick of questionable (but surely very holy) origin into it the whole time, so we thought we shouldn’t put it back into the jar. However, also, apparently, at this point, the ghee was special or blessed or something and should not be thrown away. (Plus, I knew from my parents’ work at Three Stone Hearth that it was really awfully expensive to make that much ghee, and I couldn’t bear to put it in the trash.)

So, as we gathered up betel nuts and flowers from the altar, We handed the ghee to Rahul to dispose of somehow. Afterwards, we went out into the hallway outside the hotel’s banquet hall and found this sitting on a table (his head got a little bit cut off, but that is Ganesh, you can tell by the rat he’s sitting on.)

Free Ghee

The latest and greatest on the Loquat shawl:

I’m having some doubt on the edging pattern. I was thinking of using this one (Classic Bead Edging from Barbara Walker), with that top garter strip changed to faggoting to match the pattern in the main part of the shawl, but maybe it looks too bumpy, too open/uneven in contrast to the stockinette triangles in the Honeybee lace. The swatch below has been blocked, by the way. What do you think? The Wave Edging used in the Print o’ the Wave stole might be nice–it’s one of my favorite edgings of all–but I was worrying that it might be too small-scale to work with this shawl and might not be stretchy enough to bind off the faggoting stitches, which are very wide. I’ll make a swatch tonight if I have time… otherwise, BW vol.2 is coming with me on my trip to Toledo.

Perhaps I shouldn’t do the sideways edging, but extend the pattern downwards (I was thinking of using a variation on the Razor Shell pattern in order to make scallops). Full of doubt now, as that part of the shawl gets closer…

Anyway, it’s a good 42 inches across the top, now, stretched out. I knit a bunch on it last night and finished Fitcher’s Brides (it’s based on the Bluebeard fairy tale, so perhaps was not a great book to be reading as I was knitting a wedding shawl… I will have to find a “happily ever after” book to read to counteract it. Bridget Jones’s Diary, maybe.)

It actually goes over the shoulders now (I will have more to say later about the cloud dress you can see me wearing):

Here are details of the mini-cables leading into the honeybee lace at the 4 increase points on the shawl. They twist in opposite directions on the two sides of the shawl.

Stretched out, the shawl reminds me of a big, yellow, pretty, lacy, manta ray:

We spent the weekend in Missouri, with Rahul’s parents. 6 hours drive each way, plus a few hours of random knitting I managed to sneak in over the weekend, and I’ve finished the main part of the Hemlock Ring (I did one more repeat than Jared’s blanket) and now have many hours of binding off to look forward to. It makes up for the very non-productive weekend (well, it was very productive, just not as far as knitting goes) in Madison. Yay!

More later!

I have knit lots more rounds of the Hemlock Ring blanket since my last post. I’m now up to Round 38 of Jared’s chart (I guess this corresponds to Round 84 of the original pattern), and the behemoth 250-gram, 478-yard centerpull yarn ball is finally nearing its end and collapsing in on itself.

Additional props to the Rainey Sisters for their notes and PDF: once I made it past the error in Round 35, I got to the Feather and Fan section and went to print out Jared’s chart so I could highlight the rounds I’d completed. Because I am apparently a technological moron, every time I saved the chart from Flickr and tried to print it, it came out tiny and illegible, and I couldn’t seem to get it to any kind of normal size. The Rainey Sisters PDF came to the rescue with flying colors! It has a chart key on the same page, too, and includes the original pattern in the PDF so you don’t have to print it out separately. Ladies, thank you.

I’m still really enjoying the endless feather-and-fan–it was a good project to bring to knit night, because of how it’s mostly just stockinette in the round. Also, after I kept getting paranoid that my increases and decreases had shifted over by half a repeat, and suspiciously counting the YO eyelets and trying to spread out considerably more than 40″ of crumpled lace to lie flat on the 40″ needles, Nicole helpfully suggested that I use stitch markers to keep track of where I was. If I were at home instead of having met my knitting group, I’d probably still be sitting here counting, re-counting, and grumbling.

I had never really thought of Feather and Fan as being the kind of lace pattern that might give someone problems, since it’s super-easy and one of the simplest ones out there, but since the number of plain stitches, increases, and decreases varies on every pattern row as the Hemlock Ring expands, I had to tink back a few times after letting my mind wander and reverting back to the increase/decrease pattern from the previous lace round, getting towards the end of the round, and realizing–heeeeeey, that doesn’t match up. It also doesn’t have the really strong geometric lines that some lace patterns do, that would immediately flag a mismatch between the current round and previous ones. (In fact, even the flowery center part of the Hemlock Ring, despite the more complicated nature of the lace, has for the most part really strong and easy-to-read increase and decrease lines, so I did realize there was a problem right away with Round 35 because it was clear that the decreases were not stacking up properly when I followed the pattern as written.)

I had already drawn a vertical line down the middle of the chart to divide it in half, so half the YOs are on the left and half on the right, to mark the beginning of the round, since the round begins in the middle of a lace repeat. I made markers from pieces of scrap yarn and placed them at this location on every repeat: 8 markers total, 1 of which was my original end-of-round marker, a different color from the rest of them.

Now (as is standard practice with using stitch markers in lace), as I begin each set of increases, I count to make sure I have the right number preceding the marker; slip the marker, make sure I have the right number of increases following it, and then work the plain sts (as needed) and the decreases, and I can tell by the time I get to the next marker if I’ve messed up the pattern.

It feels like it’s going really fast, although I am told that is just a cruel illusion, since the rounds get longer and longer. Since it’s my Mindless Knitting project, though, I have high hopes that it will get done reasonably soon and with a minimum of soul-crushing tedium. I do wish I could spread the whole thing out flat to look at it. Right now it’s like a giant lace bag, or some kind of weird sea creature (Emilee compared hers to urchins and anemones, but it kind of reminds me of an jellyfish at the moment, perhaps because of the color.)

In other knitting news:

Bad news: there was a fire yesterday night at the Malabrigo mill. They posted on their site that “Even though our floor did not catch fire, it seems there is substantial damage on our mill and offices caused by the soot and smoke.” I hope nobody was hurt and that they’re up and running again soon.

Good news: I’m really excited about Norah Gaughan Volume 3. Norah has been posting sneak peeks of her designs on Ravelry, in her projects, and discussing them in the Norah Gaughan group. They’re hosted on Flickr, so you don’t have to be a member of Ravelry to see them. I think one of these design stories is totally beautiful and appealing–look at Eastlake:

And Loppem:

Those are my two favorites of the ones she’s shown so far. Calvert is pretty nice too:

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!

Graduation came and went; the keynote speaker was Steve Bellamy, we met various parents and had a buffet lunch, and it was all strangely anticlimactic.

We spent the weekend at parties and lakeside picnics and dumpster diving–that last a particularly depressing lesson in the American Way, as we stared into a dumpster outside a frat house full of lovely solid wood furniture, smashed into pieces and wasted just for the hell of it. Rahul got some scrap wood for arts and crafts projects, and I salvaged a large jug of laundry detergent and almost an entire case of Cup O’ Noodles, the cardboard sleeves damp from the rain or other unspecified dumpster grossness, but the noodles still sealed tight and clean in their styrofoam cups and plastic wrap.

I got a bit of sewing done–no pictures yet, but I do have a lovely new top made of a Japanese bunny print cotton, with little pearly buttons on the yoke, and 4 yards of fabric from the new quilt store in town, Shiisa Quilts. The store is small but welcoming, with a wide selection of pretty, pretty fabrics. Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, various other bright, super-modern prints that made Rahul cringe (he strongly prefers the subtle 1800’s-style florals and calicos).

They have a whole section of really nice clearance fabrics, all $4 a yard–I have 2 yards of a Martha Negley Rowan/Westminster print, burgundy striped with tree trunks, and 2 yards of an eggplant and white Japanese print of dragonflies. Both were intended for skirts, but I saw this tutorial for a smocked dress and just might try it. There’s this one, too, using elastic thread on the bobbin. I am not sure this will be a particularly flattering look on me, but it seems like a nice, easy way to make a comfy summer sundress.

On the same theme, here are some photos of the quilt exhibit I went to recently at the Monroe County History Museum. The theme was the juxtaposition of stained glass and quilting (stained glass quilts and cathedral window quilts, specifically).

Stained glass is apparently commonly taught in high school art classes in Southern Indiana. Some of these windows were made by high school kids.

This one is a historic window taken from a farmhouse. I like the simplicity of this piece, the fact that the curators felt that simple rectangular panes of faintly colored glass were worthy of display in a museum alongside saturated, rococo glass pictures of birds and flowers.

The first category of quilts in the display was stained glass quilts, which are basically applique based on stained glass window designs, and finished with black binding around the edges to simulate the leading in stained glass windows.

The second category was cathedral window quilts, which I wasn’t familiar with before. They’re not made like traditional quilts, with a backing, batt, quilting through the layers, and binding around the edges. Instead, they’re hand-sewn, square by square, and due to the way they’re assembled, they’re lightweight, with a naturally presentable wrong side that does not need to be covered with a backing. The background is traditionally made from multiple muslin squares that form a frame for bright little scraps of calico. Most of the quilts in the exhibit fell into this category, and I loved the way they looked.

This photo shows a cathedral window square in progress, and explains the process.

Some quilts had squared-off edges, and others left one side of the squares open to form a pointed edge.

More photos of quilts (mostly blurry) can be found in this Flickr set, in addition to buttons, pewter Vikings, and vintage cars, all of which will be blogged later.

In knitting news, I caved into the allure of summer knitting and have cast on for Rusted Root in bright red Cotlin as my new mindless knitting project. The pattern was a gift, a random act of kindness from the fabulous knottygnome, and the yarn was from a swap for some denim yarn with the fabulous chemgrrl. I’m about halfway through the raglan now, and the fabric is looking kind of floppy and uneven, but I’m hoping that a nice wash and block will sort everything out.

Last but not least, do you live in Indiana? Have you voted? The deadline is 6 PM today!

I had a bit of a scare yesterday and the day before as I was working on my Bird in Hand mittens. I was about 80% done with the first mitten when I looked at it and thought “hmm… these look awfully small.” I checked my gauge and somewhere between the cuff and the hand, I’d gone from about 8 stitches per inch to more than 9 stitches per inch. (I was watching Heroes while I knit–perhaps the plot just got too gripping?) I looked at the remaining length of the chart, did some quick calculations using my new row gauge… and realized my mittens were going to be about a inch too short.

I stamped despairingly around the house for a while. This pattern is quirky and asymmetrical, which is charming, but it also means it offers no easy way to lengthen the fingers by adding extra repeats.

Before I went to bed, I decided to soak the mitten and stretch it (still on the needles) over a Snapple bottle with the sadistic enthusiasm of a Spanish Inquisitioner, or one of the Oompa Loompas on the Mike Teavee case. In the morning, I checked it. It looked promising. Praying to the gods of knitting, I knit the rest of the mitten tip with¬† needles two sizes larger (US size 1.5 instead of 0)…

and lo and behold, the mitten fit. Snugly, but it fit!

(As an aside, I’m now knitting with the Knit Picks Harmony DPNs and I really like them. I prefer metal needles to wood for larger sizes, but I’ve found wooden DPNs to be much more comfortable than metal ones for me. I don’t like the idea that they might snap, but I guess that’s why they include 6 DPNs in the Harmony packages.)

I raced through the thumb so I could have the fun of knitting and embroidering the Bird in Hand. I read a wonderful tip on Ravelry–seems like common sense, but I am sure I wouldn’t have thought of it myself until after it was too late–to embroider the details on the bird before closing up the top of the thumb. I don’t know how I would have done it if I had finished knitting the thumb before doing the finishing.

I love how the mitten looks, but I’m not crazy about the bird. The French knot I made for his eye is too big, so he looks kind of bug-eyed and crazy, like that crackhead cereal-box squirrel. Also, Rahul couldn’t even see the bird and was squinting at it like a Magic Eye picture until I pointed out the beak and eye.

I have high hopes for the second bird, though. I’m about a quarter of the way through the second mitten (and through 3 discs of Heroes) and still loving this pattern. (Knitting on larger needles from the start this time, so my mittens might end up quite fraternal.)
The only problem is that I have this nasty, sneaking suspicion I might run out of brown yarn. I had a skein and a half of Wool of the Andes, so I thought I would be good, but the second skein is looking pretty thin right now… anyway, in a few days, I guess I’ll find out for sure if I need to put in another Knit Picks order.

Notes to self:

Lesson #1: Gauge matters for mittens. Even if a mitten is not much bigger than a gauge swatch itself, I should still knit a swatch for it, because I hate, hate, hate ripping my knitting back.

Lesson #2: In the future, buy more yarn than you think you need if you’re making mittens.