November 29, 2006

Don’t Look Now

Posted in knitting at 3:13 pm by nephele

I think I’m finished with hats – at least until January when Headgames starts. I finished two more for my mother.

xmasknits 001

xmasknits 002

The first one is Coronet from Knitty. I used Odyssey yarn in, yes, two different colors. It doesn’t look as jarring in person, honest. It was either this or start over. I just didn’t have the energy for that at this last date.

Hat number two is a free pattern from Elann called the Dayflower Hat. The original has a rather large ruffle on it and requires two balls of yarn. I replaced the ruffle with 1×1 rib and got it done with one ball of Cascade Fixation. I like it MUCH better without the ruffle.

Here is the whole pile of hats:

xmasknits 003

That should give her a few options. One for each day of the week with one to spare.

Sarah said:

Shedir! I’ve been waiting for a photo of it to pop up on the blog…And when do we get another progress report on the colinette afghan? (I know, I’m demandy.)

Okay Sarah, here you go:

xmasknits 004

Four out of seven rows complete. Yay! Past the half way point and it’s the only Christmas knitting I have left to do.

Since I already quoted a comment, I’d better get caught up on the rest of them.

Katie said:

Wow! What a collection of sock yarn you have! It’s enough to make a girl jealous.

It’s a good thing I occasionally knit socks, huh? I’ll probably buy more sock yarn at Stitches West in February. It’s better than buying bags and bags of sweater yarn at least – takes up less space, lower dollar total. I didn’t have a real grasp on how much I had until I pulled it all out to photograph – and that’s just the sock yarn!

thewrittenword said:

I too have been on a hat kick recently. I just love the way yours turned out!

The great things about hats are they only take one or two balls of yarn, they can done in just about any gauge you want and whatever gauge they work up quickly. They give great FO satisfaction. Plus, if the pattern is a little annoying you don’t have to live with it for very long and if it’s a lot annoying it doesn’t take long to frog it. I’m done with my mother for now but I do have another hat on the needles for myself – ADKD strikes again.

Ingrid said:

These are so cute! You industrious soul, you finished Shedir:) It looks great – I still have the crown to go on mine (and have for several weeks now). Have a great Thanksgiving, btw! I have condiments in the refrigerator.

Ingrid also said:

Wow – I love the Halley’s Comet hat!

Thanks, and thanks. Now finish your Shedir!

Céline said:


That’s true, nothing beats real comments. As for your UFO count, if you are comfortable with it, hey, what’s the problem? Personally, I love your UFOs. They are all very inspiring. My reason for having UFOs is having more ideas, enthusiasm and curiosity than time to realize each of them fully. There *are* worst conditions in life, I believe. I read somewhere that we realize approximately 10% of our ideas/projects… so the more projects you have, the more you’ll realize. Keep casting on and posting!

Kind regards,


 Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. (This is the comment I was referring too in my last post.) There are  so many knit blogs out there. It made me hesitate for a long time before I started mine. What did I have to add? Something, apparently. Everytime I see the daily hits go up I get a warm glow. This may not be the fastest growing knitblog in the world but it’s nice to see from the comments that not only are people reading it, but they’re coming back to read it again.

Thank you everyone.


November 22, 2006

It Figures

Posted in knitting at 4:59 pm by nephele

I no sooner get a lovely comment encouraging me to continue posting and what happens? I don’t post for close to a week. Typical.

I have excuses of course (don’t we all). The primary one is simply that I work in retail and we’re about to hit the holidays. Fortunately, I’m not a salesperson so I don’t have to deal much with that end of things. I am responsible for the company website and the inventory database though. So, busy. Things should return to normal for me in about a week.

In the the meantime… More Mom Hats!

hats 001

The one on the left is the Kitty Hat from Stitch & Bitch. The yarn is a discontinued Noro. It’s a cotton/cashmir blend not as soft as you might think but okay. I left off the ears since I’m sure my mother would never wear it if they were present.

The hat on the right is a Beach Beanie from Hats: a Knitters’ Dozen. This time I used Cascade’s Pima Silk – so soft!

Here is the finished Shedir hat.

hats 002hats 003

The tweedy yarn makes it a little tough to see all the little cables but trust me, they are there. The yarn used was Rowan Felted Tweed. I cast on with the rust then immediately switch to the green. I like the effect. I’ve got another ball of green and two of the rust, hmm. Perhaps I need to make a pair or two of Eunny’s Endpaper Mits?

While you weren’t looking another hat made its way on and off my needles

hats 004

This is the Tychus hat from Knitty. It’s an addictive little pattern. I may have to make a few of these for Dulaan or something. I couldn’t use the Red Heart Super Saver the pattern called for, not with all the lovely stuff I have in my stash. I ended up using single strands of two colors of Cascade Bollicine Revolution. It turned out to be exactly the right weight of yarn and is 90% Merino and 10% Polymid – much nicer.

I have two more hats in the works. My mother will have no excuse for having a cold head after she gets this package! It’s also serving as a nice warm up for HeadGames.

I probably won’t have time to post again until next week, so see you then.

November 16, 2006

I must be crazy

Posted in Knitalongs at 3:51 pm by nephele

Nuts. I must be. It’s the only explanation for the latest bit of insanity.

Once a lot of the Sock Warriors had been bumped off talk started about “next time.” A couple of people took the initiative and started sign ups and I, um, signed up with both. I even volunteered to help the organizer of one of the two. Happily, neither starts until the new year. I might not have signed up if they looked liked they’d interfere with Christmas knitting. But they won’t and I did.

One of them is again sock based: Death by Socks. The other group is going to knit hats so that one got the name: Head Games. Both are being organized via Yahoo Groups. The Head Games one also has a forum set up to avoid getting the Yahoo Group too cluttered. It’ll be interesting to see how things compare when these are running more or less side by side.

Since neither will start until January they’re both still in the planning stages. The sock game organizer is currently leaning toward DK or Sport weight yarn to keep things moving quickly and to avoid scaring off newer knitters who might not want to deal with lighter weight yarns yet. The hat game hasn’t gotten that far yet. The organizer is still trying to decide on design limits for the hat, ie: color-work, cables, ear-flaps? It’ll be fun seeing what we get to work on. The mystery is part of the fun.

Trying to win is part of the fun too, but a lot of that has to do with the luck of the draw. It ends up mattering more who is around you in the list than it does how fast you knit. The person who took me out of Sock Wars took several weeks to kill me. The people above her on the list spent all that time killing each other and sending unfinished socks up the chain. Which means I may have taken out 3 others, but my assassin is still in the game even though she’s only working on her second kill. The luck inherent in the set up actually makes it better. You don’t have to worry that you can’t knit fast enough to get anything done. You might get knocked out the first week but you could just as easily last two months.

Sound interesting? You can join the Yahoo groups without actually being signed up to play. Both groups are using a database within their respective group areas to officially sign up. If you’re not in the database, you’re not playing. So check it out. The more the merrier – really.

November 14, 2006

Comment Catch-up

Posted in knitting at 5:49 pm by nephele

No  pictures today. I just wanted to catch up on the comments. I love getting them. Hit counters are all very well and good but you can’t beat actual feedback. So…

Céline said:

FOs! And great ones too -)

Thanks! It didn’t do much to reduced the UFO count but it’s always nice to finish something isn’t it? I’ve already started yet another hat for my mother. By the time I’m through she’ll have quite the hat wardrobe. I’ll probably finish it in a day or two. The green Shedir hat is getting close to the crown shaping so I’ll probably have that done by the end of the week.

Then it’ll be back to work on the afghan. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting my Christmas knitting finished in time this year. No sending out items that haven’t been blocked yet – which reminds me, I still have to block all those hats.

scrunchyy said:

I am glad your Mother is doing OK. The hats you have made for her are beautiful. They also look very soft.. The arm warmers look comfortable. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is being added to my list of projects to do.

Thanks, glad you liked the arm warmers. I’d love to see them if/when you knit them (hint, hint)

Thank you to everyone who’s commented. It’s really gratifiying to see my little corner of the blogiverse grow and be appreciated. Guess I’ll keep doing this. 😉

November 12, 2006

Look, FOs!

Posted in knitting at 3:26 pm by nephele

Don’t look now but I actually finished a few things this week. Yeah, okay. Two of them I also started this week and didn’t tell you, but at least I finished them. And they’re for Christmas too!

I already mentioned that I was making a hat for my mother. I’m actually make a few hats. The one I showed you a while ago is making good progress but still on the needles. I wanted to give her a few choices since, unfortunately, she has the need to wear hats all the time right now. She’s okay, chemo and surgery are all behind her but she hasn’t got a full head of hair back yet. So…

The one on the right is the Halley’s Comet Hat by Marnie MacLean made with elsebeth lavold Coton Patine. The hat on the left is Artful Yarns Cartoon. I started with the pattern on the yarn label except I knit it in the round to avoid the seam. Then I work three rounds of single crochet arount the brim. I still had a little yarn left so I made the flower by looping the yarn and working 6 sc in the loop then ch 3, turn and work 3 or 4 dcs in each sc. I used the yarn ends to sew the flower on and pin the brim back to turn it into a cute little cloche.

I’ve got another FO that you have seen. Remember those red arm warmers I was working on? Well now that it’s dark earlier in the evening I can’t work on the more complicated pieces while waiting for the bus home. Once I’m on the bus, no problem, but the light at my bus stop comes from one lonely street light and it’s one of those sodium type orangy lights. Not so good for working tiny cables in moss green tweed yarn. So during that time I went back to work on the arm warmers and here they are being modeled by my lovely assistant:

It’s a pretty simple pattern but in case anyone is interested…
Here it is in PDF format

November 8, 2006

UFO Parade – Part VIII

Posted in knitting at 3:21 pm by nephele

Today I’m all about bags. I love bags. I’m always starting new ones. I buy lots of totes too. There’s just something about things that hold things… I love small wood boxes too. 

UFO Bag #1
This one is almost done.

Techinically it’s off the needles because all that’s left to do is braid a shoulder strap and line it. The pattern is the Camel Bag from Folk Bags. I used the called for 1824 Wool with the exception of one color – the green I think – which is a close alternative. This is the back of the bag:

I left the loops off this side so it wouldn’t catch on buttons and zippers and such. Yes, that is plastic canvas poking out the top. I need to trim it a little more. The plan is to put that inside the lining to help the bag hold it’s shape better. I’m only putting it against the back side though. The front will be free to bulge out with it’s contents. I’ve also got a piece of ox-blood leather cord which I’m going to weave through the braided strap for a little added strength. All these precautions should tell you that this is a bag I plan to use.

UFO Bag #2
Next up is a delightfully over the top Noni Bag.

This is the Majolica Vase of Flowers Bag. I’m using Cascade 220 as called for in the pattern with either the same or close colors. This one is shop sample for my LYS but I’m going to make another one for myself. It’s more of a tote than a purse being 14″ high and 29″ in circumference. With all the flowers, I think of it more as an art piece. Most ot the Noni patterns are more usable bags but this one is just so fun!

UFO Bag #3
Still fun, but more basic:

This is based on a Rowan pattern but I added the bottom and side gusset which will grow into a shoulder strap. The gussets are being knit together with the front and back so I won’t need to seam it later. I plan on lining this one to make it a usable purse, maybe something with polka dots. The yarn is from Gedifra. Donatello I think, but I couldn’t find a label so I’m guessing.

UFO Bag #4
Last up.

The pattern is from Katia Magazine #46. The yarn is Idea Jeans. I think my beige is a close substitution but less green than the original. The pattern stitch is a bit annoying to do but it makes an almost crocheted fabric which is great for a sturdy bag. Unfortunately the last time I worked on it I notice a problem in the stitch count. I think it’s just a goof in the intarsia but I need to take a good look at it to make sure. If the color sections are off, I’ll ignore it and continue. They’re a bit abstract anyway. But if the problem is in the outline shape, I’ll need to frog it.

Rebecca said:

It’s obvious that you enjoy working on a wide range of projects. I’m curious. What have been some of your favorite projects to complete? Were they “process” knitting or “finished product” knitting?

I’m neither fish nor fowl. I like knitting complicated lace and simple garter stitch. Intricately shaped sweaters and mindless rectangle pieces both have their appeal. The FOs I like most? Hmm. I’m quite proud of my first Anny Blatt sweater, Ocelot. It was another store sample. It was also the first signicant bit of intarsia I’d ever done. It came out perfectly and it helped the store sell several kits. My most successful knits in terms of usefulness are my Birch shawl – I wore it again today – and a swing jacket I designed for myself out of Noro Silk Garden. I’ve actually worn out and patched the Noro jacket twice now. It’s perfect the climate around here and everytime I wear it I get compliments.

Maybe after I finish with all the UFOs I’ll start posting pictures of some of my past FOs.

November 7, 2006

UFO Parade – Part VII

Posted in knitting at 1:02 pm by nephele

Okay so I’ve been working on the Christmas knitting but that doesn’t mean I’ve shown you all the UFOs yet. There are at least two more parts to come after this one. At least I’m circulating the stash. That’s a good thing, right?  Airs it out and everything.

UFO Afghan 1

This is another afghan kit. This time it’s from Schaefer Yarn

The colorway is called Froggy. It makes me happy. Which is good since this one is for me. I haven’t gotten too far on it though because, well, it’s for me. I tend to be fairly low on my knitting priorty list. Also, I’ve made this one before. I knit one as a shop sample for my LYS. It was in a fabulously garrish, orange/purple colorway. This kit is my ‘pay’ for knitting the first one. I always love it when I find ways to make my hobbies pay for themselves. Between the yarn I get for knitting samples and the money I get for teaching, knitting is coming close to being a break-even activity. Only close because, um, I have mentioned the size of my stash, right? Yeah. So, close it is.

UFO Afghan 2

This is just the tip of this particular iceburg:

These are two of about a dozen squares I’ve done toward this afghan. They’re one foot squares so I figure at least 20 are needed. That would make a 4 by 5 foot afghan which is reasonable. The yarn is all Lion Brand Wool-Ease for two reasons. One, I’m playing around and this was guilt free inexpensive. Two, I’m planning to eventually give the finished piece to my mother and I know, no matter what I tell her, she’s going to throw it in the washer and dryer. The mostly acrylic wool-ease should survive that treatment long enough to make it worth bothering.

The patterns for the squares come from past Knitters magazines from back when they were, um, good. Apoligies if you love Knitters in its current form but its no longer to my taste. I used to subscribe but the issues were always late in arriving and, lately, didn’t have much of anything I’d care to knit in them. There are exception of course and I’ll continue to buy single issues but I won’t be subscribing again anytime soon.

So back to the patterns. Knitters did a series of afghan patterns over the course of a few years. Each issue would have four or five squares and the final installment would include finishing and any edgings. The thing is all four of the afghans they presented this way had a lot in common. They were all meant to be 1 foot square, they all had a garter stitch border and they all used aran or worsted weight yarn. All of which means you could mix and match squares from the various afghans to make one that suited you. It also gave me an opportunity to try out new things on a small scale. My first bit of entrelac was one of these squares.

The remaining squares are buried in the stash. These two were only accessible because they aren’t finished. When I unearth the others I’ll put up more photos.
Céline said:

I can feel a UFO coming upon my couch…

Did I mention that ADKD is contagious? No? …oops. Oh well, you’re doomed now. There’s no cure either, sorry. Happy afghan knitting though.

November 5, 2006


Posted in knitting at 12:48 pm by nephele

What’s this? A new project? Well, yeah but it’s okay, really. This is more Christmas knitting. The afghan is too bulky to carry around everyday so this is the commute knitting. See? I told you it was okay.

You can’t see much yet but this is the start of a Shedir hat from Knitty’s special cancer awareness issue. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed. I cast on with the orange but all the rest will be green. This is going to be part of my mother’s present this year. This green should be good with her coloring plus it’s pretty.

There’s been some more progress on that afghan as well. I’ve finished the third (of seven) rows of diamonds. It’s getting increasingly cozy to work on this thing. I hope we have more chilly weather. Here’s an updated picture:

Céline said:Tee hee! Good for you (the sofa/yarn switch).
Those aliens are just great! What a fitting subject for this alluring technique.

I’ve never warmed up to knitting an afghan, but yours is starting to make me change my mind. THANKS!

The nice thing about this pattern is that it’s built of reasonably size modules. You can get one diamond finished pretty quickly plus you can really see the progress. I’ve done the other sort – cast on for the entire width and knit until you’re really sick of the project. This I like better. Of course it’s not done yet. I may feel differently in a couple of weeks. Time will tell…

November 2, 2006

UFO Parade – Part VI

Posted in knitting at 11:21 am by nephele

I was tired last night so you’re getting one of the small sections of the list today, the miscellaneous items.

UFO #1

First up is a pair of slippers

Okay, so it’s really just part of one slipper. I’m using three yarns: Lana Grossa Inserto, Anny Blatt Muguet and Schachenmayr Decapo. All three are held together and knit on a size US4 needle. I can only manage about 2 rows of this before my fingers start to cramp. It does make a nice sturdy, durable fabric which is great for slippers even if it is torurously slow knitting. Fortunately these are for me so there’s no rush.

UFO #2

The Alien Illusion Scarf from Stitch ‘n’ Bitch.


See the aliens?


How about this one:

I’m using elsebeth lavold Silky Wool on a size US5 needle. This makes a smaller, lighter scarf which is much better for my Northern California climate.

UFO #3

This is another scarf and one I’ve already mentioned:

The coral colored camel scarf. I forgot to take a picture of it last night but it hasn’t changed much since this scan. It’s just a couple of inches longer.

That’s it for today’s parade entries.

There has been progress on the Christmas knitting front as well.

The bit on the needles is another half-diamond which will be the end of the row. That will make two complete rows out of only 7 required. Not as much progress as between the last two pictures but I’m still on track. I picked a great week to start on this – and I’m not talking about the looming due date. The weather just turned a little chilly for the first time this fall. The chill makes it very pleasant to have all this wool and mohair in my lap.

I’ve gotten a few more comments since I did my reply post. As long as the numbers stay managable I think I’ll respond to them every few days.

Ingrid said:

Wow! That Trekking XXL is gorgeous, and I think you know how I feel about the koigu. Precious, precious koigu.

I think you can tell by the number of pretty little balls, I too am fond of Koigu. There are also three finished and one in progress pairs of Koigu socks. Has everyone seen the Koigu cashmere already? I don’t think I’ll link. Consider it a favor or possibly a treasure hunt.

The Trekking I have mixed feelings about. I love the colors but the one pair I finished (in color #100) are telling me they’d have been better on size US0 needles instead of the size ones I used. I may try using ones for the cuff/leg and zeros for the foot or maybe just the sole and toe. I’m also thinking of using either the orange or tan for a pair of entrelac socks. I have lace plans for the pink which I’ve already swatched but not on zeros.

Céline said:

Geesh. You’re giving me a bad case of stash envy!

You think you have envy now? The sock yarn is – at most – about one twelfth of my total yarn stash. As I said back in my first post: I don’t have a sofa, I have yarn.

Stephanie said:

Now that you’ve done such a good job of answering your comments I feel bad that I didn’t answer yours. I’ll try harder.

Squeee! The Yarn Harlot read my blog!!! I feel like such a fangirl.

Hey, Steph? I left a comment a couple of days ago and I haven’t gotten a reponse yet. 😉