Friday, April 30, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 5

Day 5: Location, Location, Location

Where do you like to indulge in your craft? Is your favourite arm chair, your little knitting cubby area, or do you prefer to ‘knit in public’? Do you like to crochet in the great outdoors, perhaps, or knit in the bath, or at the pub?

I knit pretty much everywhere.

My favorite places and/or those I knit most often are probably in various coffee shops/bars/restaurants with my knitting groups and on my couch while watching a good movie. I often knit on the bus during my commute. Socks get knit everywhere, but Blurple Waves lives by the couch.

The most unusual places I've knit are at metal shows (before the music started, of course), around a campfire, on the roof of my old house in Boston, and underwater in a swimming pool. Occasionally I've even knit in the lab.

I think pretty much the only places I won't knit are bathrooms and in places or situations where it would be disrespectful to others.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 4

Day 4: A New Skill
Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? Maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

It's not really knitting, exactly, but I'd love to learn to weave. I already knit, crochet, and spin, so I figure I need to round out my fiber arts with weaving. ;) I did weave a tiny bit at Madrona this year, and got to try a floor loom for the first time.

That's a pretty short answer, but it's all I've got today. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 3

Day 3: One Great Knitter
Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way.

I read a lot of blogs, and I enjoy all of them, otherwise I would just unsubscribe. It's hard to pick just one, so I'll just write about the first one that came to my mind...

Dances With Wool

Lene is in Finland and knits many beautiful things on very small needles - usually things she designs herself. She also does beautiful embroidery and sometimes shares little drawings. Reading about the snow and reindeer during the winter and the light nights during the summer is also really special to me because of the (far too short) time I got to spend in Norway.

Speaking of Norway, today Jessica was awesome enough to Ravelry message me about the coolest amigurumi ever. Seriously, go check it out. I'd post a picture but I don't want to go around being a picture-stealer.

In other news, the WIPs from long ago have been making a comeback! Every once in a while I start to feel guilty about all my neglected projects lying around in their little bags... taking up needles... sometimes nearly lost...

In about a week I'll be casting on for the Central Park Hoodie as part of a knitalong with some people from one of my knitting groups. Instead of starting new projects before then, I decided to give some old projects some love. Just in the past 24 hours I did a little bit on Girasole and a bit more on the Twists and Turns socks. :D

April 28

Listening to: The Drapery Falls ~ Opeth, A Distance There Is ~ Theatre of Tragedy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 2

Day 2: An Inspirational Pattern
Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

Let's start out with the last part. While there are certainly things I don't know / have never done, I feel pretty confident that I've learned most of the major techniques in knitting. It's not that I shy away from projects because I don't know how to do them, the vast majority of the time it's that I just don't have any desire. There are a few things I haven't tried - steeking is one, and double knitting is another. I think I could probably manage both.

That said, I do have a project that I aspire to... the sock yarn mitered square blanket!

I've knit, to the best of my knowledge by a quick count tonight, 164 pairs of socks. I have small feet, which means I have a lot of leftover sock yarn. I've been saying for a while that I should really make a blanket with my leftovers. In fact, I've decided it should even be an all blue (or maybe blue and purple) blanket. Because the number of non-blue or purple yarns is small, and it might look a little weird if it was mainly blue with a random square of something else every now and then.

But I'm open to suggestions, let me know what you thing.

In any case... I will make this sock yarn blanket someday, but I think I need to finish Blurple Waves first - on ball 9 at the moment! And then do I really need two blue and purple blankets? I guess I have time to decide.

Listening to: Warm Hands, Cold Heart ~ 27, Wrapped In Plastic ~ Marilyn Manson

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting / Crochet Blog Week

Today when reading a few blogs I noticed this whole Knit & Crochet Blog Week thing (you can learn more here, and I decided I'd participate. So here goes...

Day 1: Starting Out
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

I learned to knit when I was 6 years old. My mom was pregnant with my youngest sister and knitting a sweater for her, and I believe I asked how. She taught me and I knit a bit but never really made anything. Later, in high school, I made a couple hats from a book - flat and seamed. And then in college I made a scarf. Somehow through all this I remembered how to do the knit and purl stitches, although I did have to call my mom from Norway to ask her how to bind off my scarf. While in Norway a friend taught me to crochet and another friend already knew how to knit, so we had little needle arts groups when we didn't want to be outside in the cold and dark.

But I really started knitting when I moved to Boston in 2004. I saw a yarn store near my new house, went in to get a pattern and some yarn to make a baby sweater, and in the course of talking to Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns I discovered the existence of knitting groups. I went to a couple and I was hooked instantly. Plus, when all your friends are knitters you definitely tend to spend more time knitting!

And after all that text, I should reward you with a picture!


Yarn: Regia Mosaik Color in colorway 5560
Started: 4/10/10
Finished: 4/23/10

These were my birthday socks this year, and I even wore them yesterday!

The yarn base is standard Regia, but this way of dyeing it was really fun. Many of the sections of color are about 1-2 stitches long, but then occasionally you get a longer one. It gives an interesting combination of stripes and speckling.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Here is a blog post I've been waiting to write for a long time...

socks in grass - horizontal - print

Once upon a time I had an idea. It was an idea for a sock pattern, inspired by the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. A sock with paths that split apart and came together again. But it took me a long time to make it. Finally, about a year ago, I did.

back view 1

A little less than a year ago I submitted the pattern to knitty, and then I waited. It was really hard. I guess I'm impatient, but when I have an exciting new pattern, I really want to share it and see others knit it. But 2 1/2 months later I got a very nice rejection. (I understand, knitty gets a lot of pattern submissions and of course they can't take everything!)

And then my pattern just sat. After all that waiting I had other exciting things going on, and I still wanted to do something special with my little pattern.

Then I recently heard about the Knit Picks Independent Designer Partnership Program and thought it sounded like an interesting idea. The real reason I design, other than to get those pesky patterns out of my head, is to see other people knit things I made up.

I think Knit Picks will probably bring this pattern to a wider audience than just my fabulous blog readers and the people who happen to stumble upon it on ravelry. Hopefully some of these people who like Diverged will also want to knit other things I've designed. It's definitely worth trying, so I decided to go for it. The pattern should be up in the IDP section in a couple of days - just a little over a month after my first email to them. That even includes reknitting the sample and coordinating with Louise for photos.

The whole process was not only quick (an advantage to putting patterns up all the time instead of in issues) but very pleasant. I even got to try a brand new yarn, Stroll Tonal, that was released a few days after I started my sample.

front of sock - print

Pattern: Diverged
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Springtime
Started: 3/17/10
Finished: 3/27/10

front view

Pattern: Diverged
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in 24 Karat
Started: 5/6/09
Finished: 5/26/09

You can buy the pattern for $1.99 through Knit Picks or on ravelry.

All photographs in this post were taken by the lovely Louise.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Green Socks #3

I did indeed finish three pairs of green socks in a row, and since the first two are secret for now, here is the third:


Yarn: Zauberball in Grashalm
Started: 3/5/10
Finished: 4/9/10

My sisters visited for my birthday this weekend, so although I didn't get a lot of knitting done, I did have a lot of fun. One of my sisters wanted to try spinning, so I got her set up and she made a little skein of yarn after a lot of effort.


Meanwhile, my other sister baked the cupcakes.

Melanie Bakes!

And I cast on for this year's birthday socks!


The yarn is Regia Mosaik Color - as you can see a bit in the picture, the yarn is dyed with extremely short color sections - about one stitch. It gives an interesting effect! Although this yarn is sort of crazy-bright, I was inexplicably drawn to it.

I was inspired by my 2007 birthday socks - I do like to wear plain stockinette socks, and I usually have a pair living in my bag for bus knitting, so I knew I needed to start one for my birthday. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition!

Listening to: My Gift of Silence ~ Blackfield

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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