Monday, March 31, 2014

Ruffles Have Ridges

Well, at least this ruffle does.  Since I didn't have enough knitting distraction on my hands, I decided to start a new project.

The beginning of Biellese.  This design starts with the bottom border. It's 12 stitches worked back and forth.  That should knit up in no time, right?  I'm only 1/4 of the way done and it's been slow going, but I've finally found my rhythm.   The pace is picking up.

Today is the last day of the giveaway.  Follow the link and enter for a chance to win.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ribbing Repeat

After an intensive pattern search on Ravelry and beyond, I think my brain latches onto certain design elements or stitch patterns.  They roll around in there for a few days.  Eventually something surfaces and finds a way out.  That can be the only explanation for what's happening across a couple current projects on my needles.

Behold 3 x 1 ribbing.


And here.  

I was working on this sock yesterday when it dawned on me that I'm working the same stitch pattern for both projects.  Don't get me wrong. I love ribbing, but I found it amusing that I unintentionally ended up with two projects using the same stitch pattern.

Late last fall someone gave me one of those bloom-your-own Amaryllis kits.  I set it aside for another day.  In the midst of the gray days of March, I pulled it out and added water.  Perfect timing.  My color inspiration for the week.

Amaryllis bright.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good To Go

At least for now.  I've resolved my color dilemma from last week and am already testing it out on a new project.  I'm still slightly apprehensive - the yarn, the color, the project in general - but am reserving judgment until I've spent more time with it.

I have a bevy of new projects swirling around, so this one will have to take its place in the rotation.  Dedication to one project doesn't seem like the best strategy right now.

Since we're getting ready to wind down the month of March, it's time to open up another giveaway.  Leave a comment and tell us what you're working on or at least what's at the top of your pile.  Thoughts on any clever designs are always appreciated.  The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of yarn from Dirty Water DyeWorks - winner's choice.  The contest closes on Monday, March 31, 2014.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mondo Cable Cardi

Last week on Monday I had new socks.  This week it's a new sweater.

Mondo Cable Cardi.

This sweater is knit from the top down in one piece.  The design includes three collar options.  I went with the middle one.

It had been a while since I'd worked with worsted weight yarn, so this felt like a very quick knit.  It helped that everything came together without too much trouble.

This sweater has minimal finishing.  The most time-consuming part for me was attaching the clasp at the collar.  I had to test the theory . . . the third time was a charm.

The yarn is Johanna, Rooster Red.

This base is 100% Targhee wool.  I'm in love with the spring and cushy bounce of this yarn.  I will definitely make another sweater with it.

For once I have good timing.  We still have very cool temps . . . perfect sweater weather.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Time to Reset

After a challenging week of scheduling mishaps, it should come as no surprise that priority items on Monday's to-do list have lingered into Friday.  I've been trying to roll with it.  The crazy chaos is evident all around me - empty fridge, mountains of dirty laundry, dust and grime on every surface.  And my kids keep asking, "Will we see you tomorrow?"  This weekend I'm pressing the reset button.

And I have this dilemma.  There's a project brewing, and for days I've been going back and forth between these two shades of green.  Today I've set a goal for myself. Even if I don't get anything else done, I will pick one of these.

The other day I was out for a short walk and decided to look for signs of spring.  It's only March, so my expectations aren't very high.  I'd heard rumors of crocuses, but those must have come from someplace southerly and warm.  I was about to give up my search when I spotted this.  My color inspiration for the week.

It's not the cute, colorful crocus I was looking for, but I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Of Driving and Knitting

The other day I was involved in a discussion about driving and knitting and the benefits of being a passenger.  Part of my job description includes "driving to-and-fro", so it's not too often that I get to enjoy the perks that come with sitting in the passenger seat.

On those rare occasions when I am a passenger, I'm amazed at what I've been missing.  When did that store close?  How long has that restaurant been open?  When did they put in that new building?  All of these comments on streets that I drive day in and day out.

Today I'm headed out on a day trip with a dear friend.  Since I'm driving, I won't be knitting down the highway, but when we arrive at our destination, I'll have some knitting time on my hands.  I consider it my reward for getting us from here to there.

I never travel with just one project.  Somehow it seems irresponsible. After some debate I settled on these two but am contemplating throwing a third one in the bag for good measure. The more the merrier.

Monday, March 17, 2014


There's nothing like starting the week with a new pair of socks.

This well-written pattern from Anne Hanson has both written and charted instructions and includes 5 sizes.  The design features an 8-round repeat of yarn overs and decreases to create an open, almost lacy fabric.  Perfect for spring.

The yarn is Lucia, colorway Pear.

With that I'm off to plot my next sock project . . . another great way to start the week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Playing with Fire

Spending too much time browsing Ravelry and Knitty is like playing with fire.  When I go to bed thinking of color options, I know I've probably gone too far.

A new yarn base.

Freshly dyed.

And swatched.

My weekend schedule is already packed, but I might have to rearrange to make some time for this project.

The color yellow kept popping up in conversation this week - at home, at knit night.  Yellow has a tough time amidst all the other colors . . . too bright, not bright enough.  I was reminded of this church.  It caught my eye this summer, and I had to take a picture.  In support of yellow, it's my color inspiration for the week.

Contrasting shades.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saved by a Sock

Sometimes it pays to travel light.  The other day I left the house for a marathon session of errands, appointments and meetings.  I was going to be gone for hours but was encouraged by the fact that there would be plenty of waiting time to fill with knitting.  I grabbed my knitting bag without a glance and was on my merry way.

At the first opportunity for some knitting, I pulled out my bag.  I found my sock project without too much digging, but surely I'd brought my new shawl project.  I dug a little deeper.  Still no shawl project.  I emptied the entire bag, searching like the project was playing hide-and-go-seek with me.  I came up empty-handed.  I usually have a minimum of two projects with me, but the only one I had in tow was the sock.  The heel flap was finished, and it was waiting patiently for me to pick up stitches.

I was disappointed, to say the least, but tried to find the silver lining.  I was really looking forward to working on that shawl but consoled myself with the fact that at least I had the sock with me.  I still had hours and hours to go.  Imagine if I didn't have any knitting?  Yes, things could definitely be worse.

As I made my way through the next several hours, I worked on that sock whenever I had a chance.  When all was said and done, I finished the first sock and started the second one.

Not too bad for a day of on-the-go knitting.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sleeve Success

It happens every year.  Daylight saving time has sent me into a tailspin, and all day yesterday I was chasing that missing hour.  Today I'm trying to get my schedule back on track, but I want to share a quick update.

I have good news to report from the world of sleeves and math.

After calculating and recalculating, my Mondo Cable Cardi sleeves are spot on.  Or at least spot on for me.  I'm delighted.  I just have to finish the collar, and this sweater will be complete.

And now I'm off to catch up to that missing hour.  I have it earmarked for knitting time.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Winter's Toll

A long winter can be challenging on many levels.  The effects can be seen in many ways - tunneling under the blankets in the morning after you've exhausted the snooze button, loathing your friends who have scheduled a warm weather vacation in February.  And the snow. Mounds and mounds of dirty, crusty snow.

This week winter seeped into my dyeing work.

Two custom orders.

Two different yarn bases.

Two similar colorways.

Winter gray.

I'm very fond of gray, and both of these are luscious.  In fact I might have to dye one of them for my own project.  But for the weekend, I think I'll be knitting with this.

Something lighter to balance out all that gray.

The other day I posted about my Ziggity.  Here's the springboard for that color combination - my color inspiration for the week.

Light blue with a spark.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Playing with Numbers

I have a theory that my knitting goals are easier to achieve if measured in terms of rows or rounds rather than inches.  I understand why patterns specify inches, but if I can somehow translate those inches to rows or rounds, it's easier for me.

If I need 4 inches, that's not exact enough.  I work a bit, measure, work a bit more, measure yet again.  But if I need 24 rows, that's easy.  Ready, set, go . . . and I'm off working my way through 24 rows.  Same result - just a different way of looking at it.

Case in point.

New Canaan.  This is the Yarn Knot installment from the fall.  I diligently worked on it at first, but somewhere along the way I got bogged down.  I'd seen someone else's finished cowl and really wanted one of my own, but I was stuck - work a few rounds, measure, work a few more rounds. The desired measurement kept eluding me.

Then I decided to do a little math.  I estimated the number of rounds I needed for the required inches.  Suddenly this project was more manageable.  I checked off the rounds one by one.  It was finished in no time, and now I have a new cowl to see me through the last stretch of winter.  Inches or rows.  Do you have a preference?

Monday, March 3, 2014


Just off the needles and freshly blocked.


This was a quick knit.

Not in the sense of short and sweet, but in the sense of so entertaining and interesting that I didn't want to put it down.  My to-do list suffered while I worked on this project.

When all was said and done, I was left with this.

Usually I try to minimize the number of ends, but the large bands of color left no other option.  Weaving in these ends didn't take that long. To tackle the job I sat down with a cup of coffee.  Both the ends and the coffee were finished at the same time.

Garter ridges for texture.  Lace panels for contrast.

The yarn is Paula, colorways IPA and Celeste.  There were several color combinations that struck my fancy.  This pattern might be worth repeating.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest.  Reading the comments is like taking a peek into everyone's knitting bag.  The winner this time around is susanF.  Stay tuned.  There will be another giveaway later this month.