Saturday, May 30, 2009

Knitting vs. Real Life

Well, combine secret knitting with big life changes, and you get blog silence.

First of all, the knitting! Last weekend I went down to Oregon for a baby shower for my friend Stephania, so now I can reveal a bit more of that secret knitting:


Pattern: Blossom
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine in Sky (4 skeins)
Started: 4/28/09
Finished: 5/20/09

This was a fun pattern to knit, although the construction was not at all how I had expected. Here's a picture of it blocking*:


*Note: The second attempt at blocking included pins.

The pattern has ties, but a coworker with a young baby told me that ties are not that great on her baby so I decided to modify it to use a button. I think it turned out really cute, even without the suggested embroidery. My embroidery skills are questionable, so I decided to leave it plain.

The secret knitting is slowly coming to an end, so soon I should be able to post projects in real time.

As for real life, I just started a new job - this time in my field. It's keeping me a little more busy than my part time yarn store job was, so I haven't had quite as much time to knit. But, then again, now I have a longer commute...

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Monday, May 11, 2009


Well, the secret knitting continues - at this moment I have no less than *four* secret projects on the needles. No kidding! And most of them are time-sensitive, so they've really been getting all my attention lately.

That said, I can share this old project. It actually was not secret at all, but it was for work and needed blocking and so it was not photographed as a finished item until just the other day.


Pattern: Silk-Wool Horseshoe Lace Scarf from Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Silk (3 skeins)
Started: 3/5/09
Finished: 4/16/09

As you can see, my sharf (I have decided it is a sharf instead of a scarf, because it is very wide and a bit shawl-like. Yes, I do realize it is called a stole!) is in good company with the other lacy knits hanging out at the store. Although it is something I probably wouldn't knit myself, it was pretty fun. The lace pattern is very easy to memorize and became a bit boring after a little while.


I will admit that I did not block it. My apartment - based on size and cat to closeable door ratio - is not a good place for blocking lace. One of my lovely coworkers was nice enough to block it at her house.

If I were going to knit this pattern again I would take out a couple of repeats width-wise because, as mentioned above, the scarf turned out very wide and not as long as I would have liked. Of course the yarn used in the book has some insane amount of yardage, but I still think the scarf is way wider than necessary. Apparently a lot of people agree because it looks like most folks on Ravelry also took out lace repeats. Also the 2 stitch garter border doesn't really do anything except fold to the back. If you want a border, make it bigger!

Listening to: A Fine Day To Exit ~ Anathema, ...A Distance There Is ~ Theatre of Tragedy

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Some of my secret knitting can finally be revealed....


Know what that is?


How about now?


It's my very first Baby Surprise Jacket!


Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy
Needles: size 7
Started: 4/22/09
Finished: 4/28/09

I'll share one more picture after I put the buttons on - I couldn't decide if buttons were ok for babies, but the verdict from the mom was yes, so buttons there will be!

Sunday I went to my first baby shower for this round of babies. It seems that many people I know are having babies this summer / fall so there's been a lot of baby knitting in the works, most of it secret. Now this one is un-secret, so I can share it with you!

This is my first BSJ, although I know almost everyone has made one already. It's a pretty easy pattern, though I did find the chatty style it is written in a bit off-putting. And the random capitalized words? Strange! But, nonetheless, it is a lovely little jacket and a truly innovative pattern. I think it came out really well.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009


I didn't know what I was going to call this post, but then I realized that a lot of it revolves around not-alpaca. You'll see...

First, I knit this hat - which *used* to be the Alpaca Ski Cap - for the store. The yarn that was originally used was discontinued and so I knit it in some lovely Cashsoft Aran.


Another bonus of working in a yarn store is that you get to knit things you wouldn't make for yourself, but still enjoy knitting.

And on the first Friday of each month, there is a spinning group that meets. The owner was kind enough to lend me her folding Lendrum since my Kromski Symphony isn't very portable. I grabbed some fiber on the way out the door yesterday morning and got a bit of a surprise when I went to spin it. There were two little braids of fiber labeled "Alpaca" which I believe I got from a secret pal at some point. Well, I pulled it out and it certainly wasn't like an alpaca I have used! It had a lot of guard hair and really didn't feel like alpaca to me... not the soft squishy fiber most of us are used to. I don't know if it's just a different kind of alpaca or if it's llama perhaps? In any case, it spun up quite nicely anyway. I was jokingly calling it "fake alpaca" all night.

The resulting yarn is not as even as I usually spin, but it was a new wheel for me and it's a single treadle with scotch tension - much different than my large double treadle double drive wheel. All things considered it turned out well!


Here's the mystery-alpaca plied and drying in my bathtub. There were two colors, a navy and a brighter blue, so I plied them together for a barberpole look. I like it!


You can see the barberpole effect in that picture, as well as the guard hairs. The yarn looks a bit fuzzy - like you'd expect from an angora yarn, but isn't quite as soft.

I've been doing some other spinning lately, but this one at home. At Sock Camp my roommate Marisol bought one of the Sheep to Shoe kits, but wanted a worsted weight yarn. She's just learning to spindle spin, but decided that since the fiber wouldn't fit in her suitcase and she wasn't sure how fast she could get it spun, that she'd leave it with me.


The colorway is "The Claw" and this part kind of matches my wheel! The color repeats are very long, so I haven't hit the purple yet.

And last but not least, I got one of katkoe's random mailing Wednesday surprises, and came home tonight to a little envelope with these:


Stitch markers with the names of my (usually) beloved cats in an envelope that appears to be made from plastic bags!

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs