In Review

31 December, 2009 at 3:10 pm (knitting)

Eight pairs of socks, four toys, five shawls, four sweaters, three cowls, and one pair of mittens.

yearendmosaic (by jesh\)

Who thinks I can beat that, next year?

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Stash Expansion

29 December, 2009 at 3:32 pm (knitting)

Yarn? I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no yarn here.

yarn! (by jesh\)

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26 December, 2009 at 4:25 pm (caturday, life)

Doing my best to enjoy the post-holiday peace and quiet before embarking on a bunch of new ventures in the new year. We’ll see how long the serenity lasts.

mai mittens! (by jesh\)
I know Oolong’s certainly taking advantage of the lull to… run amok and cause trouble. Oh, cats.

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Gone Batty

24 December, 2009 at 9:20 pm (fiber!)

Hey, did you guys know that there’s this machine you can buy and you put, like, wool and stuff in it and turn the handle and it blends stuff together and makes really awesome rolls of super fluffy fiber?
batts! (by jesh\)

I’m pretty sure you didn’t know this. I’m pretty sure I invented it. Because it’s the greatest thing ever. And I need to get back to it.

crowfliesatmidnight1 (by jesh\)

If you don’t hear from me for a while it’s because I’ve been eaten alive by my fiber stash. Don’t send help.

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22 December, 2009 at 4:13 pm (FO, knitting)

The word ‘skeuomorph’ refers to no longer necessary features on things that are retained for decorative purposes, like rivets on jeans or the sound of a shutter click from a digital camera.

These mittens have no such features.

But I couldn’t resist naming them Skeuomorph, anyway, because it’s just such a delightful word. Plus, the sound makes me think of twisty, sideways things, and the mittens definitely are that.

skeuomorph 2 (by jesh\)

The pattern is currently off to the races with some test knitters but I assure you that the second it gets back, I will turn it into a PDF and give it its very own pattern page and announcement post. In the meantime…

heart bubbles (by jesh\)
*heart bubbles!* :D

Pattern: My own, coming shortly
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, 1 skein in charcoal (leftover from my dad’s vest!)
Needles: US3/3.25mm unnamed circs
On Ravelry here!

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Snow Day

19 December, 2009 at 10:52 am (caturday, knitting)

The east coast is getting snowed in, and although it hasn’t started here in northern New Jersey yet, I’m already preparing to spend the rest of the weekend indoors with lots of cocoa and some new pattern math.
mittenmath (by jesh\)

I was going to keep this whole project a secret, but now I don’t think I will—mostly because it’s too funny not to share. Look! It’s a manta ray!
mantaray (by jesh\)

Heh. Just kidding. It’s actually… a mitten.
sidewaysmitten (by jesh\)
A sideways mitten. I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided that regular up and down mittens just weren’t good enough, but now that I’m working on this idea I’ve found that I really can’t leave it alone. Still waffling back and forth on whether or not there will be an official pattern, since these are so tricky and the specifics of how to shape them can vary widely depending on hand width, finger length, and other factors. Still, I figure if I take good notes (see above re: pattern math), then I’ll have something to show for it, either way.

oolong (by jesh\)
You know, I bet knitting sideways mittens for Oolong would be a lot easier.

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All I Want for Christmas

17 December, 2009 at 2:03 pm (fiber!)

Is lots of tiny, sharp, metal teeth!


I’ve had this carder on layaway since, um, July? And I finally got to pay it off with my Christmas money.

It has already gotten acquainted with the cats (they were not happy to have competition on the fiber nomming front), as well as my knuckles (hey, did you know that drum carders are sharp?), and I’ve managed to produce something that looks vaguely spinnable from it, even:
(33g merino, tencel, alpaca, silk, and baby camel)

I will, of course, have to go spin this batt. For educational purposes. Yes. Don’t look at me like that!!

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Tail End

15 December, 2009 at 8:58 pm (FO, knitting, spinning)

I promise this is the last of the FO parade for now—I’ve just been finishing so many things recently! Unfortunately I think, after finishing thirteen projects in four months, my knitting mojo has given up and died. I hadn’t knit a stitch in days and when I tried to get back to it this evening, nothing I tried was working. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come back eventually.

In the meantime! I have some tasty new yarn to fondle.
This is the three-ply cormo I’ve been working on for, um, ever. Well, like a month; I really don’t sit down at the wheel as often as I’d like. But I finally worked up the energy to ply it and I’m glad I did, because despite some violent disagreements with the wheel (noise making, driveband throwing, driveband breaking, among other things), the yarn turned out gorgeous. It is squishy and fuzzy and light and pretty much everything I’d hoped for when I started spinning it. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one downside to this yarn: it’s brown. Now, while I have nothing against brown yarn in theory, in practice, well… I have brown hair in the exact same shade as this yarn, which means using for a hat or a scarf is right out. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing my own hair! It is sock weight, and I considered knitting socks, but I’m pretty hard on my handknitted socks and I’d be concerned about it holding up, long term. So what’s a girl to do? We’ll see—right now I’m considering gloves but I can’t seem to find the inspiration (see also: no knitting mojo).

(Three-ply cormo from Foxhill Fibers, purchased at Rhinebeck ’09. Spun short draw/point of twist, 500yds in 4oz.)

I also polished off that silk scarf I was working on the other day; it was a happy little diversion while I was waiting for the extra yarn to finish my dad’s vest.
Pattern: Suadela Stole by Lankakomero
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Silk Lace in Lilypad, one skein
Needles: US6/4mm Knitpicks Options
Notes: I don’t have much to say about this because it was such a straightforward, mindless knit! I only knit to eight repeats of chart two because the silk was so stretchy and I was getting bored.
On Ravelry here.

And that’s all I’ve got! Maybe I’ll take a knitting break and try to get some spinning done while waiting for my mojo to return.

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12 December, 2009 at 2:27 pm (caturday, FO, knitting)

This is my dad.


He’s a little… strange. He also reads this blog. (Hi dad!)

Without a doubt, he is the most difficult person in my immediate family to gift shop for. My mom will present me with an itemized list of what she wants, how much it costs, where to get it, how to wrap it. My brother is usually happy with a funny t-shirt or video game. But my dad… well, his usual response to “what do you want?” is “I don’t really need anything.”

Well yeah, dad, but what you do want?

Recently I’ve taken it as a bit of a personal challenge to try to find gifts that will amaze and delight him, like the Hamlet bow tie he received for his birthday this year. It was perfect because he teaches high school English and, in addition to spending a lot of time covering Hamlet, he only ever wears bow ties to school. (I’m sure he also spends a lot of time cringing at the grammar on this blog.) In fact, it was almost a little too perfect; I knew I had to go far above and beyond to improve on that. I knew I would have to… knit a sweater vest.

It was nearly impossible for me to keep this a secret. Every time I struggled with something (like running out of yarn) or managed something clever (like the 320 stitch tubular bind off around the button and neckbands, no I’m not kidding, yes it took me four hours, no I never want to do another tubular bind off again), I desperately wanted to blog about it. But—see above about my dad reading this blog. (Hi dad!) And saying anything would’ve ruined the amazement and delight, I think. So I kept my mouth shut. Er, mostly. And I’m glad I did. He was, in fact, speechless, and with luck he’ll get many years of wear out of just a few days of work. There’s nothing better than that.

Actually, wait, there is something better: it’s superwash.


Pattern: Professor Vest by Elizabeth Morrison
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in charcoal, 4 skeins
Needles: US6/4mm and US8/5mm Knitpicks Options
Notes: Do not be like me and try to attempt tubular bind off on all the ribbing. Save your sanity. Don’t. Do it.
On Ravelry here.


And since you’re always asking me about Caturday, dad, here you go!

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8 December, 2009 at 1:23 am (FO, knitting)

Lest you all think I am some sort of crazy knitting machine, this is not actually a recent finished object—just one I’d been keeping under wraps until I could share the pattern!

quill04 (by jesh\)

Cashmere and lace, what could be better?

quill01 (by jesh\)
(This is Ellen. She is not a knitter but doesn’t mind being forced to wear cowls in late August when it is super hot outside.)

Actually, what’s better is that you can knit this cowl in the super soft cashmere it calls for without breaking the bank; one 25g skein (all you need!) is less than ten bucks. I mean, come on. This much luxury for so little a cost? It’s awesome, is what it is. And if you’re prowling around for a last minute gift, this should only take a few evenings of dedicated knitting to complete.

quill03 (by jesh\)
(This is Dorothy. She is a knitter, and thus understands the necessity of wearing a cowl in late August when it’s super hot outside and there’s no air conditioning inside.)

The one downside to this cowl is that it gets caught on my lipring if I’m not careful when I pull it over my head. But most of you shouldn’t have that problem 😉

Pattern: Quill (by me!)
Yarn: The Knitting Goddess Laceweight Cashmere small skein in charcoal, one skein
Needles: US3/3.25mm Addi Turbos
On Ravelry here.

quill06 (by jesh\)

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