Monthly Archives: January 2008

Snuggling inside the lines

Phew. Saturday is finally here, and my life force is still intact.

Beatrice approves greatly of the Moderne Log Cabin blanket. Apparently the pale blue block is best for snuggly observation of humans.


And also playing and general cuteness.


Sleeping is not colour-specific, but it helps to have toys close by.


So in “finally it’s Saturday and I made it through the week” news, I not only made it through my first week as an instructor (1 down! only 11 to go!) I made it through my oral dissertation defense yesterday. It is unfortunately #1 of 2, not the final one (sometime this spring), but I got it done and although I have revisions to work on in the next few weeks, it is nothing on the level of a complete rewrite or scrapping whole chapters, so all in all it was fairly reasonable.

Needless to say, after that I went for lunch with my supervisor and that was lovely (including some wine, yesiree), and she gifted me with a copy of The Knitting Circle. Then, I carried on to The Purple Purl, where I haven’t been since they opened at the end of October! I hung out with Jennifer and Miko there for a bit (I may have gotten some sock yarn as a treat, heck, on that day of all days i figured stash be damned), as well as MJ (who, dudes, is crocheting her own wedding dress), and also Jen whose adorable wee one Fenner decided I was an appropriate enough human to sit with for a short while and sucked happily on my fingers. Then I went with the Purple Purl ladies to ‘Drunken Knitting’ (for the first time) but couldn’t stay much longer than a pint and a burger as by 9pm I was hitting the wall and needed to get home and conk out.

Beatrice has spent last night and this morning being clingy and reinforming me of the proper cat priorities after I sorrily neglected her most of this week in favour of the Real World. My plans for today involve a lot of knitting, eating, drinking, and sitting on my bum. In fact, let me get right back to that now…


Filed under cats, real life miscellaney

New year, new sleeves


Something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time is provide a modified set of instructions for the sleeves on Ivy. Out there on the interwebs one common concern I’ve heard about the pattern is that many knitters would prefer a slimmer sleeve than the one in the original pattern. So, at long last, I would like to provide an alternate, less roomy sleeve. I hope this is useful!

Sizing: XS[S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X] (all measurements below provided in inches)
Original sleeve width at upper arm: 13.5[13.5, 14.5, 16, 17, 18, 19]
Revised sleeve width at upper arm: 12[12, 13, 14, 14, 16, 17]

Sleeve (Make 2):
Work according to original pattern, through the instruction “Work 4 rows in stockinette st.”

Next Row [RS]: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1.
Work 6 rows in stockinette st.
Repeat these 7 rows 6[6, 9, 8, 11, 6, 9] times more. 73[73, 79, 85, 91, 97, 103] sts.
Cont in stockinette st until work measures 17.5[18, 18.5, 19, 19.5, 19.5, 19.5] inches, ending with a RS row.

Shape Sleeve Cap: BO 3[4, 6, 6, 10, 12, 13] sts at beg of next 2 rows. 67[65, 67, 73, 71, 73, 77] sts
Next Row [RS]: Size XL, 2X, and 3X only: K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Work next 3 rows stockinette. Repeat these 4 rows 2 more times for XL, 4 more times for 2X and for 3X.

Next Row [RS]: K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
P 1 row.
Repeat these 2 rows 18[21, 17, 21, 20, 19, 20] times more. 29[23, 33, 23, 25, 25, 27]sts.
Next Row [RS]: K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Next Row [WS]: P2, p2tog, p to last 4 sts, p2tog tbl, p2.
Repeat these 2 rows 2[0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0] times more. 23[23, 23, 23, 25, 25, 27] sts.

BO 2 sts at beg of next 4 rows.
BO rem 15[15, 15, 15, 17, 17, 19] sts.


Filed under design, ivy

Cling to the knitting

The combination of events in the coming week is making me more stressed out than I’ve been in a long time. Mostly, I just want it to be next Friday afternoon already! So if you are a ‘send thoughts via the internet’ sort of person, I could sure as heck use some. Additionally, I am very, very grateful to have the knitting to cling to.

Jan4 025

Ahhh, a finished pair of socks. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a finished pair of socks for myself! These are the Monkey pattern, in Socks that Rock, ‘Rooster Rock’. Helping me with these was my brand-spanking-new digital kitchen scale, which was quickly put into operation on the knitting workbench next to the swift and ball winder. I divided the skein in two halves to make sure I didn’t go over half a skein for either foot. I’ve got Size 11 feet and STR lightweight is not kind to the large-of-foot with only 360 yds. But I did manage to squeak it out, with 7 grams left to spare. I should have stuck in a few extra rows ;)

Jan4 028

I love it. I want to pet it just for being its digitally accurate, yarn-weighing self. I mean sure, it’s supposed to be measuring flour and butter and things like that, but surely yarn is a far nobler pursuit.

In current WIP news, I’m happy to present Ribby Cardi #3. I did in fact knit myself one for Rhinebeck this past October, but a combination of factors left me with a sweater at least a full size too big. Rather than convince myself i could make it work by wrapping it around myself unbuttoned, I gave that one to my mom. The first one I knit on purpose as a gift. So, I definitely hope this one sticks!

Jan4 030

This is Briggs & Little Regal, in Grape for the body and Red BWO for the sleeves. I motored through the body all in one piece and now that I’ve gotten to the sleeves the mojo has faded a bit. Slow and steady, right? I’ll just have to keep putting in the time. Winter’s still here for another few months.

And in final ‘clearly-my-stress-is-affecting-my-brain’ news, go ahead and guess what I found in my sock yarn stash box when I was sorting the stash on New Year’s Day. Go on, guess. If you guessed half a dozen mini liqueur bottles, you’d be right. Yeah, I dunno either about that ;) I think this is chalked up to moving frenzy – clearly I was shoving things in boxes, thought “oh these might break, shove ’em in with the yarn, yarn will protect it! Protect the booze!” And now here I uncover them five months later wondering exactly how sheepish I should be about hiding booze in with my yarn. I’ll let my fellow knitters decide that one!

Happy twelfth-and-final day of Christmas! It’s back to the real world. I’d like to cling to the holidays, but thank goodness I can at least cling to the knitting instead.


Filed under finished object: socks, ribbi cardi

January? Really?

It’s New Year’s Day already, which must mean that it’s January. (Oh God. Oh God.) And despite the fact that it’s a holiday and there is a nice fresh dusting of cozy snow outside, I have to buckle down and get with the lecture-writing since I only have the barest start on that and my first class is next week. (OH GOD. OH GOD.) So naturally, I have instead been organizing my stash and composing a blog post. Beatrice the cat watched with curiosity and confusion as I sorted through my stash boxes (still largely unchanged since the move), and filled the big-ass Ziploc bags I bought a month ago with the re-sorted yarn. Oh those Ziploc bags, they’re not just for sandwiches anymore. Some of them are big enough I swear I could fit my suitcase inside. They’re sturdy and plastic and – unlike boxes and Rubbermaids – you can see through them and know what the contents are without having to rifle through the whole thing. I look forward to more gigantic Ziplocs in my future.

Jan1 009

But on to the actual knitting content, putting the past year in retrospect and thinking ahead to what’s next. Looking ahead to 2008, I have been considering some New Year’s Resolutions, although few are directly related to knitting. But there are certainly projects that I want to put on my 2008 list:

  • Ragna from ‘Viking Patterns for Knitting’ (the cables will be mine. I will vanquish them)
  • The Brennan Cardigan (I need one for me!)
  • Venezia (oh how I wanted to knit this in 2007 and time just got away from me)
  • More socks (I’ve been a real sock slacker in the last couple of months)
  • At least 2 pairs of knee socks (My Rhinebeck STR is waiting for this purpose.)
  • Something with laceweight (I’ve done lace in small amounts on garments but never yet with actual laceweight.)

I’d like to say I have really exciting and precise goals (like, ‘knit 1,000 Korknisse for charity’ or ‘complete self-designed Aran pullover in 3 weeks or less’, say), but mostly I am just looking forward to continuing with the knitting and finding projects I like, hopefully continuing to build my skill level at the same time. Designing is definitely up there on the list, too. I have at least 1 pattern that has been waiting in the wings for self-publishing and I had thought I would have gotten to that months ago. This has to be made a bigger priority! I want to do more Fair Isle and have been thinking for several months about designing my own stranded colour-work sweater, either a pullover or a cardigan. A few different options are buzzing around in my head and all it needs is more time and thought. In fact, I’ve had miscellaneous design ideas buzzing in my head in general for quite a while, they just need the time and energy for me to get down to work on them.

It’s been a pretty good year, knitting-wise. I suppose stress is a great knitting inducer – my # of FOs is up above 30! All kinds, too – sweaters, socks, miscellaneous small things. I took part in my 2nd ‘TTC Knitalong’ in Toronto, purchased my first ‘real’ knitting bag (a Namaste ‘everyday’ bag), learned how to spin using a drop spindle (thanks, Kate!), and attended Rhinebeck (New York Sheep and Wool Festival) for the first time. I also left Toronto, leaving me LYS-less but forging ahead to yarnish pastures in the Hamilton area and elsewhere and southern Ontario. I redesigned and relocated this blog, and like many other knitters was introduced to the delights of procrastination on Ravelry.

As far as my favourite knits from this past year, the Highland Schottische Kilt Hose were definitely up there. And now that it’s winter again and I’ve had the chance to wear it, I have to say that Poppy is becoming more and more of a favourite. I love it. It’s comfortable, suitable for so many different occasions, and I would knit it all over again with pleasure. I always get compliments on it when I’m out and about.

KiltHoseFO1 April30 005

All in all I am happy with the FOs I’ve produced and just want to keep on adding to my closet. I’d like a couple more pullovers and some more socks, and I’d like to get an earlier start on gift knitting this coming year as well. I am thankful that I have knitting to keep my brain going and to keep me from going nutso from PhD stress. And hey – I got some pretty neat stuff out of it this last year:

Feb7b 003Feb19 003Everything But the Kitchen SinkWraparoundJacket1EndpaperMittsFOKiltHoseFO1Socklets3Inferno4Kratchit CapJune washragsHoneymoonCamiRibby CardiJaywalker1April30 005OnlineTropicColor-Sock1 AfterDark-blocking Monkey1Monkey2FORibby2Finished Basic BlackDarkGems3Endpaper2FinishClapotisFO BeeTamMirrorConvertiblesFinishedKorknisseChristmasSmallModerneFO

I hope I’ll get to more catching up with another post later in the week. Since Boxing Day 2 new WIPs have jumped on the needles in the wake of my finished blanket, and they are bringing me much happiness.

Happy 2008, and to all a good knit!


Filed under stash, year in review