Tag Archives: shawl



I do that. I swear.

I just haven’t finished anything so none of my totals are going up and all I got is unfinished pics.

Have at.



Oh, I guess I did finish these, which I winged entirely for S:

And these, which I still haven’t mailed to Dangland cause I am the worst friend EVER:


Pattern is Treads, free off Ravelry, and knit in handspun that was a gift from Mroo

So there. I do knit. Just not to finish. Hah.


Emergency surgery


So there I was just knitting away when I realized what was off about my shawl. See, last night something felt wrong but I couldn’t tell what. Let’s see if you can find it.


Yeah, it’s pretty obvious. Since I get into work pretty early, I decided to make liberal use of the paper clip as a needle and threaded through where I needed to rip back to. But I did it for just the stitches in question.


This was pretty irritating because I didn’t have any of my tools with me, just the needles, and it was a bit of a big mistake. The one half was easier since no actual stitch work was happening there.


The other half needed to be done in pattern. I wouldn’t recommend doing this without some sort of hook if it is the first time that you’ve ever done an in-pattern fix. Otherwise just proceed row by row, right to left, keepin in mind which are purl rows as you go. It’s not hard, just slow. Yarn overs are probably the hardest one to do since you don’t often have reason to examine how it’s set up.


And there you go! Pretty cool, huh? Blocking will help smooth this bit out, but I’m pretty happy it isn’t as obvious as I thought it would be.


For those interested, the photos were edited with a Chinese photo ap for iPhone. It’s very intuitive, so I’d recommend it if you want one for the iPhone. Search for “Xiamen” and it’s the first result.

On stranded knitting


So I just finished a pair of socks in four days. Can anyone remember the last time I did that? I certainly can’t. Pretty exciting.

I actually did these socks because I wanted to have something two colour to work on instead of just plain socks, and then decided to use them as a sampler to compare the differences in which colour is held in which hand. (I don’t know if this would apply were I knitting with them both in one hand.)

These are the Sweden socks from Knitted Socks around the World (I love that book. So much colourwork, so much style. Excellent excellent book, if you like elegant and classic stranded knitting.) One sock was knit with the purple in left hand, one with the purple in right. I’m usually a right handed knitter.

Can you tell?

See, if you look at that photo, you should notice the sock on the left has less definition and looks overall a little more stringy than the one on the right. This is because it’s pretty important that your background colour be carried in your more dominant hand; your dominant hand is more familiar with knitting and tension, and so will usually have a tighter tension than the non-dominant one. The foreground/design colour should be in that hand instead, so that it fills up and allows the lines to look less pixelated.

Even just looking at them on my feet kind of bugs me, but I’m not going to forget which one is meant to go in which hand anymore.

See, I needed a refresher before I started to knit on the Phoenix cardigan again (!!!), what with not wanting the same mistake again. And it’s served me well–the tiny bit of a design I can see is looking much smoother even prior to blocking.

Also, these have the cutest little picot edge. The way the sock is made (provisional cast on, toe after everything else, picot sewn down) meant that I had absolutely nothing besides blocking to do when I finished a sock. Everything had already been secured while I was working on it, or by the steps that I had to do. I love a sock that is actually done when I’m done.

The short row heels (now that I finally figured out that woman’s version) are actually really nice, and I probably will also do short rows the way she shows them in the book.

All in all, lovely socks and a lovely reminder of the importance of what colour is in which hand.

Also, to explain why I needed yet more edge yarn, and thus why I made that video:

I’m on row 13 now. (I haven’t marked row 12, it was a purlback, and I didn’t have enough yarn or the chart nearby when I finished it to go onto row 13). Row 13 of the top chart. There’s another 16 rows for the bottom chart.

I spun up 50 yards of white fluffy yarn, thinking surely that would be enough to edge my shawl.

WELP. Back to the spinning wheel. That’s the butterfly I start all hand wound balls with–maybe a yard. I’ve finished the bobbin I was on in the video, and hopefully will get the second done today. I really want this shawl 😦

Vacations + Lots of Free Time = Startitis


So, since last Tuesday after work, I have been on what I term a mini-vacation. Which means I’m still in Des Moines and at home, but I don’t go out, sleep as much as I want, eat when I want, ect. My schedule is amazingly ready for classes despite this. I’ve spent some time gaming, but with this my last day of summer, I decided to take pictures of all my works in progress. Maybe I’ll even finish some of them

To start, some food I’m pretty proud of:

This is my same old bread recipe I’ve been using, but my technique has come a long way in my opinion. For one, the top doesn’t crack nearly so bad, the outside shell is a bit thinner and super wonderful, and I get stuff that looks about the same each time. Quite pleased.

Next are mulberry pancakes I made on the first day of the mini-vacation. This is the bottom side, so you can’t see the golden deliciousness on the other. And they’re on a towel so I can keep them covered while I cook the rest.

These are incredibly light and delicious, with nice crisp edges. My secrets: separate eggs to be used in batter. Throw the yolk in, and then beat egg whites stiff but not dry. Fold in lightly after batter is mixed, as the last step. You should also only have enough mixing done prior to this for there to midsized lumps. To keep my berries from burning and/or bursting horribly, I drop them in, as you can see below, after I pour the mix.

And now we can move to my major pet spinning project! In an attempt to see how I want to spin, I’ve decided to turn the Jacob from the stash bust into a 9-ply yarn, hopefully around aran weight. It’s also my attempt to spin a uniform single. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of the sample card I’m so proud of.

I’ve got eight bobbins so far (the spindle is ready to be transferred). I’ll be spinning different sets of them into 3-plies, and then all of those together into the 9-ply. IE, bobbins 1, 4, and 7 go together, 2, 5, and 8, and so forth. I’ll be keeping track of which 3-plies where spun when too, so I can do the best mix possible to get as even a yarn as possible.

Knitting has oodles, as apparently I’ve had a case of startitis and not noticed.

The phoenix cardigan is coming along swimmingly–here you can see the talons and tail as they’ve formed. I didn’t even notice until I was spreading it to keep the floats from being too short, and then I was just happy as a clam with myself.

I started work on second cardigan, which has slowed down. The yarn was starting to hurt my hands in places, and it’s also a bit big to move around much. If you follow me on twitter, you’ve seen a few photos already.

The first of the socks knit from my handspun is done, primarily because I was sick of the yarn, and I’m not satisfied with this draft of the pattern. I also realized I really have to go down a needle size if I ever want the other one to fit. This one is a bit loose, but hey. Draft. Right.

In happier sock news, I’ve moved from the first sock of my Ruby Slippers and into the second. I used a short row toe to start this time, and I must say it is an adorable toe, the least fiddly toe up start ever, and I’m entirely pleased with how adorable it looks on my toe. It’s perfect. I’m trying to do the second sock by ‘reading’ the first, with the occasional check of the pattern before I get too far in to make sure I haven’t seriously messed up.

The not-seen-since-the-swatch Greek Key Lace scarf is here again; I’ve added a few rows, but otherwise I have to finish all the yarn before I can finish, and I don’t want to keep knitting without knowing when that is. I’ve got a bit to go, but I really do mean to finish this. Sometime. It’s too pretty to leave in-progress forever.

And last, a slightly not really secret new design I’m working on for a potentially large shawl. It’s all multiples of 12, which is the only reason I’m not crying in a corner somewhere, and I’m totally in love with it so far. I think it’s a fusion of what I love in Orenburg lace–using blank space to accent the not blank–and Estonian lace–every stitch pattern ever–to create something I think will make for a lovely large shawl. The sample, however, is at best scarf material, and provided I love it, I will likely include the chart to make it with the pdf for the larger version, which will have the center rectangle framed. (You can make out my mostly to scale drawing on the left, just barely. The sample is being knit with some Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace I had in my stash, 2 balls of Chocolate)

If I like it, I’ll attempt to get some more silk/merino lace and knit the large version. Then pattern testing, and then… I may actually have a pattern I won’t feel guilty selling because it’s stupid easy and you could put it together by yourself.

And I think I’ll this stuff finished in time for me to still do Christmas knitting. Hah!

Test Knits and Toes (and edit to add Shawl, but it doesn’t fit the T scheme)


I have this thing where I always address the second thing in an and conjunction before the first, which I obsessively correct in my university papers. Unsurprisingly, I’m not going to trouble myself with it here. I clearly should address the second thing first.

I got a pedicure about a week ago, and while I was used to getting a flower on my big toe, these flowers are really quite lovely–they have gems.

I’ve officially finished the test knit, since I was only required to do one glove, and so there are plenty of pictures to show off. The pattern is Luce, and the glove is really quite pretty. It’s a very easy knit, and I spent a good chunk of it reading The Straight Dope archives. I like the results so much I’m likely going to make the other one, too.

I still haven’t been convinced garter stitch is anything but awful in the round, due to the wildly different gauges I get due to how loosely I purl, but it looks nice enough on the cuff and arm. I really like the cast on–it felt very clever and made the picots without any sewing or doing four rows first.

My only issues was that the cable on running up the one side is pretty much impossible to see in a semi-solid, so don’t even think of it with variegated really. The only time it ever shows up is taking this picture, since my camera is all pleasant today.

The vernal equinox shawl is still coming along, and I finished off the third clue and move to the fourth. I’m really pleased with it so far, though it is a very large amount of stitches. I suppose you could say I’m half-through, but I think it’s unfair, since the ‘first half’ has fewer stitches per row. I pinned it out a bit so it could be seen, but it’s a bit folded up since I’m midrow.


Here’s some more comments and pictures to do the shawl some justice. It still isn’t quite as stretched as it will be–I only have a limited amount of needle to work with after all–but this is much better.

I’ll post later with tons of other pictures I took of it, with a bit on my thoughts of why blocking is lovely.

I Swear There’s Some Knitting In Here


I may have become ultra-obsessed with my newfound freedom on my bike, but who can really blame me? I have always enjoyed biking, and back home, with the comfort of my mountain bike, I would bike around 5 miles total every day in the evening when summer hit.

Now that I’ve replaced the stolen cruiser I had just after moving to Des Moines, the bug has snuck up again. Rain or shine–and potentially snow, provided I get through maintenance classes and thus know how to put on some snow tires–I’ve biking fairly religiously since Friday.

Today was a big biking adventure. Inspired by Essjay, I headed off into the wild world yonder to try and get to Water Works Park. I do believe I got close, but no cigar. I missed a turn earlier on, was entirely lost, and by the time I figured out that I probably just needed to head down MLK bike route a bit farther, I was already making my way back and getting lost on the way to work. Upon finding the sculpture park, my faith was restored, as I knew the way now. If the weather is nice Friday I’ll most likely be taking myself a trip out to the waterworks, this time for certain.

Not willing to waste having brought my camera with me, I took some pictures of the various sculptures at the park–but not all of them by any means. Just the ones I particularly liked. I didn’t actually read any of the signs, but I do have a little to say on some of the sculptures I took pictures of.

This here is the sign that greets you at the park entrance.

The sculpture closest to where I arrived was this big black menacing thing, and so I took a few photos of it to make it feel all special.

There was an interesting set of chair looking things, but they were being cleaned.

There are various people sculptures, or at least that’s what I call them. These two in particular amused me when I caught sight of them just over the hill, so I took a picture of them as close to that initial impression that I could. They look like they’re just minding their own business, unaware of me watching them.

The other people statue can be walked right into, so I took various shots of it. One I was standing on a hill in order to get a good shot, which gives no size of scale, and two of me right next to it and inside. I’m quite intrigued by how it’s made up of letters in no particular order, and find it a bit fascinating from the writer perspective of everything being words, and words being letters which we assign arbitrary meaning and sound.

This spike ball was what I first saw. Another one I got some perspective shots on–I took two of them while laying underneath it, and one at a good 30 yards with no zoom.

This glorious tree was there, and while I don’t know what the name of the sculpture is, I’ve been calling it Yggdrasil because that’s what it reminds me.

And got probably my favourite shot of the day from photographing it:

The entire reason I remembered the sculpture park at all, though, were the horses that I saw in the paper ages ago. I got some lovely shots of them as well–the larger one is my favourite, and most of my shots were of it. The good ones all were, anyway. The smaller one was harder to photograph–I should have tried a different side than the two I did try. The first two are the big one, last one is the smaller.

There was a robin I got an excellent picture of, and a dude hanging up one of the banners they drape downtown. I wouldn’t want his job!

I also took pictures of the shawl currently on the needles–the Vernal Equinox Mystery Shawl–which I’m finding to be quite the addictive knit. It’s on size 3 needles, using some of the pink Skacel lace I won from a drawing from March to Finish.

The shawl’s available for free on Ravelry, if you’re interested. I have no idea why I’m enjoying it so much, but I really should be working on my test knit for another designer: