Moving Day

2 February, 2010 at 9:21 pm (knitting)

I’ve packed up my boxes and run off! It was a spur of the moment thing, so I didn’t mention it on Saturday, but as of now you can find me at and the blog at Please update your links, bookmarks, feeds, etc. and I’ll see you there!

(This blog will self destruct in 5… 4… 3… uh, whenever I get around to taking it down.)

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Caturdays Are for Mathing

30 January, 2010 at 10:16 pm (caturday, knitting)

YIP 030/365---Pattern Maths (by jesh\)

Not that the cats would agree, mind you.
YIP 025/365---One of those days (by jesh\)

But I spent most of my day pondering pattern math, both for a new cowl that will be released next month:
scowlinprogress (by jesh\)
(That’s assuming I like it enough when it’s done. Currently we are in the ‘heck yeah, it’s awesome!’ phase. After another repeat I’ll be in the ‘what the heck was I thinking?’ phase.)

And also to work out the troublesome details on my Ravelympics sweater, which I’m going to design myself. Problem is, what started out as a simple stockinette pullover has now gained tricky shaping and neckline gathers and applied i-cord and sleeves that need to be worked from the top down and seamless set-in shoulders and all kinds of, well, mathiness. Not that I mind math (math is delicious!) but… I’m awfully anxious to get started on this thing to see if I can actually make it work out properly. Is it the 12th yet?

(Please note that tomorrow, the 31st, is the last day that I’ll be donating 100% of my pattern sales to MSF/doctors without borders, so if you’d like to donate some money and get a pattern in return, now would be the time to do so!)

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27 January, 2010 at 8:37 pm (FO, knitting, spinning)

I finished my sweater the other day…

carter cardigan (by jesh\)

but I still can’t get good pictures of it.
YIP 027/365---Meh (by jesh\)

Remember that time when I said I could totally knit a cabled sweater out of black yarn and it would be fine? Wrong. I mean, the sweater is fine, the sweater is great, but the photography is proving tricky, as the above proves. I think I might have to recruit someone to be a human tripod for me and get some shots outside in the sun, if I want a chance of the pretty cables showing through.

In the meantime, I spun up some yarn…
handspun singles (by jesh\)
(35% merino, 35% alpaca, 30% wensleydale; 620 yds/45g)

handspunswatch (by jesh\)
…and knit it into a swatch for a new design, which will probably be released next month. Hopefully it will be easier to photograph than the sweater.

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23 January, 2010 at 11:32 pm (caturday, knitting)

So… close…

picked up ribbing (by jesh\)
Just needs the shawl collar, buttonbands, and buttons sewn on. I’ll try to get a photoshoot done this week!

I also want to take a moment to thank all of you who have bought from me and the other designers who are donating percentages of pattern sales this month; your purchases have raised more than $700 from my patterns alone. Since I’ve sold so many patterns (way more than I ever expected!), ALL pattern sales for the remainder of the month will be donated to MSF/doctors without borders. I’m hoping that plus the continued generosity of my anonymous donor (who is matching 100% of all of my sales until Valentine’s day) might push us over $1000. If you’re still looking for something else to buy, I’m planning a big shop update for Monday, including a bunch of new spindles as well as fiber and some handspun laceweight yarns:
mercury1 (by jesh\)

Phew. I need a nap just thinking about getting all of this stuff done.
YIP 019/365---Nap (by jesh\)

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21 January, 2010 at 6:48 pm (knitting)

So one of the things that drew me to this pattern were the pockets—I’m not much one for putting things in them but these are delightful, the way the pattern flows cleanly from the outside of the pocket to the rest of the sweater:
pockets! (by cosmicpluto)
(picture borrowed from Laura!)

I have to say that I’m actually rather fond of finishing techniques; mattress stitch, kitchener, duplicate stitch, all of it is kind of zen and let’s be honest, it can really make or break a project. But I’ve never sewn down pocket linings before so I have to admit it made me nervous! If I had been sewing the fronts of the pockets down to the rest of the sweater I think I would’ve gone for a combination of mattress stitch and duplicate stitch, but in this pattern the backs are sewn down to the fronts, which left me clueless. I did some research, though, and someone on Ravelry suggested running a contrast thread through the purl bumps on the wrong side to make it easier to sew in a straight line:
pocketscontrast (by jesh\)

and I have to tell you, doing this is kind of genius. Not only does it tell you exactly where to sew, it also allows you to plan ahead and pick up exactly enough purl bumps to match the number of stitches (or slipped stitches, in my case) that need to be sewn down, so you’re not left with too much pocket and not enough sweater front, or vice versa.

After that I just took my working yarn (actually the tail from where I bound off the top of the pocket), and used whip stitch to sew the outside leg of each slipped stitch to its corresponding purl bump.
pocketswhipstitch (by jesh\)

Easy! And neat and tidy! Which are three of my favorite things, you know.
pocket (by jesh\)

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Done Right

19 January, 2010 at 9:53 pm (knitting)

At least I hope it isn’t done wrong!

YIP 018/365---Done Right (by jesh\)

I’m halfway through the left front, then I can finish sewing up the whole thing and knit the shawl collar and buttonbands. So close I can almost taste it! (Except not really, because I don’t think yarn tastes particularly good. Fuzzy, maybe.)

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16 January, 2010 at 10:33 pm (caturday, fiber!, knitting)

That sound you hear is the sound of the last two weeks rushing past me in a whirl of swatches, carding, spinning, knitting, and twenty thousand cups of coffee. I’m looking forward to some quiet time next week just so I can breathe a bit!

I’m planning some exciting new stuff for the shop, including but not limited to new spindles, a whole batch of batts, and even some handspun yarn. I think I’m most excited about the batts:

I spun one the other day and I’m not sure I ever want to spin from a combed prep again! Carded fiber produces such a fluffy, lovely yarn, and I’m really pleased with the ones I’ve been turning out. Smooth, soft, and a lovely heathery blend of colors.

Work also continues on the test knitting, although it’s not going terribly fast—
cardirightfront (by jesh\)
the cabling is a bit intense! But I’m almost done with the right front and I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s actually kind of nice to be able to slow down a bit and enjoy the pattern and yarn a bit longer. Sometimes those short-lived ultra fast projects just, well, whoosh on by too fast for me to appreciate them.

YIP 014/365---Snarkosaur (by jesh\)
Kitty Carlisle could not possibly be more enthused.

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14 January, 2010 at 4:18 pm (fiber!, knitting, spindles)

So busy I don’t have a spare moment to write up a decent blog post about all that I’ve been up to. But here’s a sleeve:

YIP 012/365---Sleeve Island
(there’s two of them now)

And for all of you who might be interested, an anonymous (and fantastic) donor has offered to match all of my sales (pattern, spindle, and fiber) until Valentine’s day in a donation to MSF/DWB. I will also be donating 75% of proceeds from pattern sales for the remainder of the month.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I have to go card more batts and re-stock the store!

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11 January, 2010 at 9:30 am (FO, knitting)

It’s amazing how quickly I can go from having no knitting to being buried under an avalanche of yarn, swatches, and patterns. Unfortunately neither situation is particularly conducive to good blogging!

I did manage to polish off my first FO for the year; a pair of plain stockinette socks.
regiasocks (by jesh\)

It actually took me about three weeks to knit these, which is kind of silly, considering the way I can knock out a sweater in a week! But with sweaters I usually find myself intrigued enough to knit all the time, while stockinette socks are pretty boring and usually only get picked up when I have absolutely nothing else to do, or if I’m chatting at knit night, or similar.

I’m also test knitting for Laura/cosmicpluto again…
cartercardibackandsleeve (by jesh\)
But honestly, considering how well her patterns are written, it’s more like doing a sample knit than a full editing job. I did have to rip back the sleeve once but now that everything’s on track this should only take me another week or so to finish.

And that’s all I can share, for the moment! Everything else will be revealed in time. Hopefully.

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Vertical Buttonholes: A Tutorial

6 January, 2010 at 11:03 pm (knitting)

Sorry for the absence this week—I’m working on a stealth project so I’ve nothing to show for all of the effort I’ve put in. One thing I did do, though, was play around with a buttonhole idea; I’m not going to be able to include it in the project, which means I don’t have to keep my mouth shut about it!

So, vertical buttonholes. There are a dozen different reasons why you might want them rather than the usual yarn over or horizontal ones in handknits. The biggest case for them that I can see is when you actually want your buttonholes to be horizontal, but are working perpendicularly, like when knitting a buttonband onto a sweater. You’d want the buttonholes to be horizontal relative to the sweater because that way, any sideways pulling on the buttons will only pull the buttonholes tighter. If the buttonholes are vertical in relation to the sweater, then sideways pulling will actually cause the buttonholes to open wider.

The problem of course is that there’s no easy way to get a vertical gap in there without working the two sides separately, which is a pain. Yarn over buttonholes do work but can be too small for the buttons you’d like to use, and are often prone to stretching out and becoming unstable. What oh what is a knitter to do?

This is my five row vertical buttonhole; it is both wonderfully tidy and quite easy to work, which means it’s my new favorite technique, since I am a fan of both of those things. It’s best worked at a fairly firm gauge, as it tends to become loose and sloppy when worked in a lacy, open fabric. (Then again, you probably wouldn’t be needing vertical buttonholes in lacy fabric anyway!)

First thing you need to do is to work to the point where you’d like the buttonhole to start, on the right side. You’ll need three stitches to work each one, so be sure to factor that into your spacing. Once you’ve gotten to the first of your three stitches: k1 tbl, double yarn over (wrap the yarn around the needle twice):
row1doubleyo (by jesh\)
then k2tog.

Finish the row and work back to the buttonhole on the wrong side. P1 tbl, drop both previous yarn overs from the needle, make a new yarn over:
row2yo (by jesh\)
p1 tbl and finish the row as normal.

Once you’ve come back to the buttonhole on the right side, k1 tbl, drop the last yarn over, make a new one:
row3yo (by jesh\)
k1 tbl, and finish the row again. This is the point where you’re probably looking at me like I’m crazy and wondering how the heck all the ladders you’ve just made could possibly turn into a buttonhole, let alone a good looking one. I promise it’ll all work out in just a few seconds!

Back on the wrong side again, you’re going to work in the same manner, purling the stitches on either side through the back loop and dropping the yarn over, only this time, don’t make a new yarn over—this helps keep the buttonhole from getting floppy.

To finish off the buttonhole, work to it on the right side and knit the first stitch normally. Now stop and take a look at your work; you should see four ladders like this:
row5loosestrands (by jesh\)

What you want to do is put your righthand needle underneath those four strands…
row5pickup (by jesh\)

Wrap the working yarn around the righthand needle…
row5wraparound (by jesh\)

And draw the new stitch out through the front, so that you’ve picked it up from the strands.
row5newstitch (by jesh\)

That’s all you need to do! Keep working as normal and after a few rows you’ll have something that looks like this:
finishedverticalbuttonhole (by jesh\)

Simple, easy, nice and neat buttonhole!

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