Tag Archives: finished

Current Situation


One-third through a new semester. Halfway through a yarn basket organization/untangling. (Please, somebody, stop me from trying to store yarn in this basket. I’m seeing if “shove all the little half-skeins into a cut-off piece of pantyhose and hope that that contains them” is a good strategy to prevent every innocent peek into a container of yarn turning into a days long search-and-rescue effort. Will report back with progress.) Surrounded by notes for school, yarn for a hat for Dan, my coffee can of knitting needles (nearly as disorganized as the yarn basket, though blessedly less tangled). Occupying a just finished and actually-matching-size-wise pair of Jaywalkers. Overall, not too shabby.

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn: Funky Monkey! Handpaints, color Apple (That’s my actual skein on the yarn page!)
Needles: 2mm Karbonz 40″ circular
Started: 10/1/15
Finished: 2/20/16
Should Have Been Finished: 10/21/15
Current ’15-’16:17 Progress: Dismal. 2 of what should be 7 or 8 pairs by now.

In other current things, my friend Shannon started a knitting podcast and you should all check it out because it’s fantastic and she’s adorable and she mentions me in one episode and now I feel FAMOUS.

Also I made some new hats for the Etsy shop and one of these days I’ll be home and not forgetful while it’s light enough out to take good pictures and actually get them listed.


Also also this cat continues to be almost pointlessly cute:


Trying to Get the Feeling Again

I took a little break from the sock plan after my last post. Clearly something wasn’t working and I felt the need for some space. I got a couple Etsy commissions and then seriously sidetracked with job searching, so it’s just the last week or so that I’ve been able to go back to the socks and try to sort out what’s wrong.

My first thought was that two-at-a-time really isn’t the worst plan. I don’t really enjoy knitting that way, but if my goal with this project is less to enjoy knitting and more to get useful pairs of socks out of it, then enjoyment was what needed to be sacrificed. I was not in the mood to either knit from both ends of the ball or try to weigh the yarn and divide it evenly, so I just went with knitting with two different yarns at once.




Next I figured that ankle socks might help ease my frustration as well. Less length means less to go wrong, and it’s not like I walk around in shorts all the time — or ever, really — so my feet are really the only place I need my socks to keep warm. I did these top-down and they’re the same size and they both fit and I didn’t have to cut the yarn or swear at anybody while I made them. They’re still technically not a pair according to my goal, but one of them is actually not a yarn that I had included in my goal in the first place, so…that mitigates…something, in my mind. Ahem.

After I finished these I decided to revisit the tragic heel-nipple socks. I needed a completely different heel, because these socks really felt tight through the instep, so a short-row or other heel that didn’t give me a little extra fabric to play with was out. I’ve done a bunch of toe-up pairs with gussets but I”ve been wanting to try one with more of a gusset/heel flap style heel for a while and seeing these in the new Knitty had me extra-motivated to give it a go. (I totally want to knit the whole pattern, too. I might need to rethink a couple of the yarns from the sock plan.)

I measured out where I’d need to start the heel.








I was expecting this type of heel to be some sort of magic, but it wasn’t. I mean, I kind of think all sock heels are magic to some extent, but I had never read how to do this before and it seemed like a very mysterious thing to me going in, but it was really straightforward to knit.




And then I went the ankle socks route again.




I like having this heel option for toe-up socks but I think the flap section it was a little shorter than it would have been if I’d knit these top-down with a traditional flap. I went right into the cuff after the heel, basically the reverse of what I did with the first socks above, and they’re a bit shallower. They stay on just fine and there has been exactly no heel weirdness, though, so I am calling these a raging success and seriously considering picking my year of socks project back up.


Pattern: None in particular. 64 stitches, 3*1 rib on the insole, 1*1 rib on the cuff
Yarn: Chewy Spaghetti Spaghetti, color Pragmatic, 43.5 g (so I guess a little less than half a skein? Ravelry doesn’t have the weight listed)
Needles: 2mm Karbonz 40″ circular
Started: 11/4/15
Finished: 1/18/16


That’s my knitting philosophy. Usually I don’t mind, but I find I tend to put it into practice extra hard when I’m knitting for someone else. I try to offset this by only ever choosing to knit for other people I really, really like who I know will really, really want what I’m knitting for them. But then what happens is the more important the knitting becomes, the more other things in my life seem to crop up to keep me from it. So, I end up only knitting for others when it’s important knitting for important others, and then missing my deadline by a good 6 months.

My point is, I finished Common Ground, and it only took me 10 months to knit a bulky-weight sweater on 5.5 mm needles.


There’s really no excuse besides life and school and stuff. But it’s done! Overall, this was a pretty straightforward knit. Mostly, I just followed the instructions except for sort of winging (with a little help from Ravelry notes) how to widen the front to add buttons.


I worry it may be a bit roomy in the shoulders, but that’s sort of standard for a raglan, I guess. And if it is, that just makes it even better for layering. The sleeve length is perfect, though, I think. Long enough to graze the knuckles, and the ribbing is deep enough to fold back and stay put. I had my doubts about the hood while knitting it, because it didn’t really look like a thing, but it turned out just right.

It may have taken way too long, but the finished product is something I feel quite good about. And at least when you knit for grownups you don’t really have to worry about them growing out of things by the time you’re knitting. (Ask me why I’ve decided to only knit blankets or stuffed animals for any future babies I may knit for.)

Pattern: Common Ground by Elizabeth Smith
Yarn: Cascade Eco +, color 0508 Berry, 14.625 oz/793 yds
Needles: US 8 & US 9 bamboo circulars
Started: December 2013
Except for fixing a weird bindoff error I could not even understand but only notice once I was taking the finished pictures, October 14, 2014
Mods: widened the front by 8 sts/side to add buttons

Grownup Bonnet

Even in the midst of the horrid awful moving month, I managed to finish a thing!


Pattern: Grownup Bonnet by Mel Clark from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Vermillion 24
Needles: 5.5 mm and 6 mm as called for in the pattern…hrmm…you used one for the scarf and one for the hood and I don’t know which anymore
Started: November 24, 2012
Finished: June 23, 2013

This actually knit up very quickly but the scarf as written was a bit short for the recipient’s liking. Lengthening it involved a lot of me making stupid decisions and so took much longer than it should have. But anyway, it’s done now. I think it’s quite lovely. And my friend is quite lovely for modeling a heavy wool scarf and hood outside in July and for doing it with style.


Finding Kneesocks

I finished the knee socks.


Pattern: None in particular, just cobbled together from what I know about socks.
Yarn: Knit Picks Risata, 68 g each Waterslide & Clementine
Needles: 2.0 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz
Started: March 2011 the first time, May 2013 for the re-do
Finished: June 23, 2013

There are a lot of things I like about these socks.


I like the stripes. I like that I figured out how to knit a 2-color short-row heel without cutting the yarn and rejoining. I like that they actually are the same size and length as each other, especially considering that was one of my main goals for these socks.


I like that they’re tall enough to wear with my boots. (Because I looooooooove my boots.)


I like the calf shaping.

Yes, I like these socks a great deal. Just about every detail worked out how I wanted it to. These socks are great.

Until I walk around in them.

This is what happens when I walk around in them:


I can see a few things that make these socks less than awesome. One is that I knit the ribbing on the same number of stitches as the top section of stockinette. Because ribbing is stretchier than stockinette, I really should have gone down several stitches for the ribbing so it could stretch and grab onto my leg, then increased when I switched to stockinette.

The second problem I see is that the ribbing sits right at the widest part of my calf. This, combined with the fact that I didn’t build in enough negative ease in the ribbing, means that if it slips down just a little suddenly the ribbing is about 2″ larger around than my leg and it’s basically all down hill from there.

I think the main problem here is the yarn, though, or more specifically my inability to work with it properly. The last pair of kneesocks I made were pretty much exactly like these (except one was at a much tighter gauge than the other, of course), and they stay up fine, but they were 100% wool. Risata is cotton/wool/nylon/elastic, so of course it’s going to behave differently. I didn’t think I’d need to worry about it too much, because I figured the elastic would help keep the socks up. These socks are just not stretchy at all, though. The yarn doesn’t even feel that stretchy to me, so I guess I wasn’t tensioning it properly while I knit. I’ve only worked with one other stretchy yarn (Fixation) and it was an absolute pain to hold correctly but the socks came out stretchy. This yarn didn’t feel difficult to work with so I think my problem is that I didn’t notice I wasn’t holding it correctly because it didn’t complain at me like the Fixation did.

So, if I want to fix these socks, there are a few things I need to do.

  • Practice how I tension a stretchy yarn.
  • Depending on how the tension experiments work out, possibly rethink my gauge and needle size, because these stitches feel very loose to me once I put the socks on.
  • Make the socks longer so the ribbing passes the largest part of my calf.
  • Work in some serious  negative ease on the ribbing.
  • Maybe knit the whole socks in rib and skip the stockinette entirely?

For now, these are just going into the “someday” basket. I gained 2 finished projects this week including these socks and I don’t want to lose that good “finish all the things” feeling just yet. Plus we start The Move on Monday and I will definitely need something new, shiny and simple to distract me. Preferably something that involves very little accommodation for the shape of my parts. Suggestions are always welcome.

Never Quite the Same

When knitting socks with self-striping yarn, you have two choices: try to make the stripes match or just start the second sock where the first one left off and see what happens. I almost always take the “hey, man, whatever” approach because I don’t have time for such nonsense and also I don’t really mind mismatched stripes.


In fact, it would be silly of me to try to match up my stripes when I know going in that the two socks won’t be identical anyway. For one, with all the picking-up-and-knitting and ssk-on-one-side/k2tog-on-the-other going on in a pair of socks, even both sides of the same sock don’t match when I’m done with them.


I have to demonstrate this with one side of each sock, of course, because no amount of yoga can make you flexible enough to get both sides of the same foot into one picture, but you get the idea. I always get that little gap on the ssk side of my gussets and toes. The picked up gusset stitches are a little looser on that side too. I know there are tricks for avoiding these issues but socks are my default knitting, what I keep in my purse to work on in waiting rooms or what I work on to keep my hands busy while I watch TV. It’s not unusual for me to put a sock down halfway finished, knit a sweater, and come back to that sock 3 months later. Or 6 months later. Or, this one time, over a year later. For default knitting I like default stitches. Socks that require me to remember fancy things are strictly for un-distracted couch knitting.

The downside to treating sock knitting this way is that it can cause even more variation between socks. For this pair in particular, my gauge changed quite a bit between February, when I finished the first sock and started the second, and last week when I picked the second sock back up after taking a break to knit the secret blanket. The second sock is definitely tighter than the first, which I can’t really show you with a picture. I can show you the other difference, though, and it’s one I run into a bit more often than I’d like.


That’s not the camera angle — there’s a good half-inch difference at least between the leg length of these socks. Which, considering the fact that I didn’t even know where the first sock was when I  started the heel of the second one, isn’t as bad as it could have been. I’ve definitely had a pair of socks come out with one at least an inch shorter than the other, so I guess my “that looks about right” skills are improving! I really should get on a permanent solution to this problem though. I need to figure out something I always have near by that I can measure my standard sock leg against.

Pattern: Just your basic cuff-down sock w/gusset heel. 76 stitches.
Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL color 1003
Needles: 1.5 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz — which means no breaks! no bending! I got through an entire project without killing any needles you guys YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
Started: February 2013
Finished: May 25, 2013

And I Take My Own Sweet Time

So, I told you about being this close to finishing up a secret project.

And before that I gave you a little glimpse of the secret project because I had been working on it for so long and couldn’t keep it all inside anymore.

And before that I don’t know if I wrote about it here but I’ve been working on this secret project for about a year, ever since I found out my friend Erin was looking for a house.

So, let’s go back a year. Erin started looking for a house and I, being someone who greatly appreciates Erin’s existence, felt that she deserved something to make her warm and comfy in her house (not that she couldn’t handle the sort of thing herself, but you know). Little Knits came through for me big-time with their sale prices and soon I had a nice little pile of 4 colors of Elsebeth Lavold Bambouclé to play around with.

And play around I did. It took me at least a month to settle on a pattern. My first thought was something with dropped stitches but I couldn’t make that quite work and it seemed like the finished blanket would be tiny even if I used up every last yard I had. Then I thought a log cabin pattern would be fun but I ended up abandoning 2 different patterns because, again, the finished piece would have been too small. At that point I figured I just hadn’t bought enough yarn and I would have to go back to Little Knits (this would not have been a tragedy). I didn’t have the cash just yet, though, so I started again with the log cabin idea but threw aside all the patterns I’d been looking at and just went for it myself. I figured I should at least find a way to pass the time until I could get more yarn and the log cabin construction, with its separate blocks of color and my design goal of not letting any color touch itself, would make it less obvious if I ended up needed more yarn and mixing dye lots.

I started with a map in Excel to make sure I changed colors properly. This meant knitting only in front of my PC, which made getting started on this blanket very slow going indeed. But, I figured I had plenty of time since house hunting takes a while and Erin and I work together so getting the finished blanket to her would not be tricky.

I cast on as many stitches as I felt like, measured the width after I’d knit a few rows, and knit until I had a square. It was a 4″ square so I decided to make each remaining strip of color 2 inches deep. Pretty soon I was kind of shocked by how big it was getting when it didn’t seem like I was running out of yarn at all. I knew it would be big enough but then I decided to add a border, so I needed more yarn anyway. (And it’s really awesome how Little Knits keeps things on sale for one long-ass time, because it had been maybe 8 or 9 months at this point and I was able to get the same sweet deal on the Bambouclé. I kinda sorta totally love Little Knits, is my point.)

Anyway. The knitting started to speed up naturally once I got my MacBook and I had access to my color scheme from the couch. Then I had no choice but to speed it up even more about a month ago, for a few reasons.

First, Erin had found a house and was moving in, so now there was a definite point in time by which I needed to finish the blanket.

Then I got laid off, so now there was a definite definite point in time by which I needed to finish the blanket because it gets harder to give your coworker a gift when you don’t work together anymore.

And so, a slight digression, if you don’t mind, if only to ward off any layoff sympathy, which I certainly understand the tendency to feel in today’s wintry economic climate. This layoff was no surprise and, in fact, I completely welcomed the announcement. We’ve known since late last year that something like this might happen, so I’ve taken the time since as an opportunity to think about what I might actually like to do as a career. I ended up at my current job because I needed a job, not because it was the kind of job I really wanted, and trying to move on and do something else just hasn’t been a financial possibility. But for a variety of reasons, I have a little wiggle room financially right now. Not a lot, but enough that I wouldn’t have to worry for a few months if I just didn’t have a job at all. So, rather than jumping right in to another full-time, not-what-I-love-to-do office job, I’m starting culinary arts school full-time in a few weeks (!!!!!!!!!) and Dan and I are looking at how to reorganize the rest of our lives around that. First up is finding a part-time job, then looking for a cheaper apartment when our lease is up later this summer. More details as I have them.

Back to the blanket. When I reached the point where I didn’t think I could get another strip out of any 1 color, I stopped. I didn’t plan it this way, but it worked out perfectly so that the last round had 1 section of each color. For the border I went with the Muriwai treatment: as much garter stitch in the round as I could stand and then a picot bind off. I used the Picot 1 bind off from Cast On Bind Off and it took me an entire day – not an entire knitting day, which is usually, like, 2-3 hours depending on my schedule, but an entire day spent knitting – to bind off and I couldn’t believe how long it took even though it actually makes total sense when you think about how a picot bind off works and I reminded myself that this was for Erin and it’s worth it to do difficult or time-consuming things for people you like and who will appreciate the effort (Erin’s a knitter too) and then finally it was off the needles and it was so beautiful and I’d managed to line it up so that there was one lovely little picot right on each corner stitch and I regret nothing.

And so, this has been an awful lot of words, I know, and not a single picture. Let me remedy that with a single picture.


A single picture is all I have because it has been so gray and rainy lately that I couldn’t do the 8,000-picture photo shoot I wanted to. I had dreams of this blanket draped over stone walls and closeups of it folded so you could see all the colors hitting each other at 90 degree angles and some really detailed pictures of the picots on the corner stitches, but alas it was not to be. In the end, though, I think this is the perfect picture to immortalize this blanket with because it has all the important elements – the blanket and Erin. And she likes it! (Also, it was taken at the office so it captures that whole coworker element nicely too.)

Pattern: For the log cabin section I just went with what I knew of log cabin construction: pick up stitches along 1 side, knit until you’re done, bind off, turn the whole thing 90 degrees, repeat. For the border I used the idea from Muriwai with the Picot 1 instructions from Cast On Bind Off.
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Bambouclé, just about 2.5 skeins of colors 33 (light blue), 10 (green), and 67 (yellow), very close to 3 skeins of 25 (dark blue), and just under 8.5 skeins of 31 (brown) for the border
Needles: 5 mm circular
Started: June 2, 2012 (counting from the very beginning of the false starts; not sure when I started the design I ended up with)
Finished: May 9, 2013
Casualties: 1 Knit Picks Harmony tip and 1 Knit Picks interchangeable cord. Shocking, I know.

Well, that just about brings us up to date, I think. I haven’t been posting much lately because of all the life changes and planning and such but that’s all starting to sort itself out. Things should be calmer in a few weeks. Now that I’m done with the blanket I can get back to some knitting for myself. I also have some fun knitting planned for others, knitting which should go much faster and show up much sooner on the blog than this blanket could, as well as some fun personal stuff that I’ll share with you soon. Oh! and gardening stuff! Yes, people, watch this space. Exciting times ahead.

Still here. Still knitting.

Just busy. But I did manage to snag this picture of the latest socks while I drank my coffee the other day. I can wield an iPhone one-handed before I’ve had all my caffeine and I’m totally proud of that.


Pattern: Made up as I went along. 2*2 rib with a little twisty stitch pattern down the sides. Kinda forgot about what I did with the twisty stitch pattern on the first sock and I’m pretty sure the second sock didn’t go the same way but whatev. Oh, and for the heel I slipped or knit stitches in pairs to match the ribbing instead of sl1, k1, etc., ’cause I liked how it looked and all.
Yarn: Crazy-Ass Zauberbizzle (have you Gizoogled your blog? ’cause Gizoogle your blog, I mean it)
Needles: 1.5 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz. Which I loved. Which I ordered more of this morning when I saw my tax return had cleared. And also 1.75 mm and 2 mm and a DPN case. And fuck all other sock needles is what I’m saying.
Started: Early December
Finished: Last week

Also, I didn’t go to work with my pants like that. Promise.

Where We Are at at the End of the Year

(Well, it’s not the end of the end of the year anymore, I know. It’s the beginning of the year. I started this post yesterday, then I had some errands to run, then I set the oven on fire and burnt dinner – two separate incidents, by the way – and then it was late and I was tired and Dan says he woke me up at midnight and I wished him a happy new year but I seriously have no recollection of it, so. Here we are on January 1.)

I got my yearly wrap-up e-mail from the old blog (none for the new site, so I’m guessing it’s not something Word Press does for self-hosted blogs? ah, well) and thought I’d share some highlights with you here rather than there.

I got 2700 views at the old blog in 2012, plus another 207 here. 54 posts there and 8 here, which means I’ve kept up my 5 posts/month average for another year. I blogged about 14 finished projects , but my Ravelry projects page shows 14 completed this year including 2 I haven’t blogged about, so something’s off there but I don’t know what. (Also, that’s a terrible average and I need to finish more things in 2013.)

My busiest day was the day I launched the internet yard sale. Have you checked out the internet yard sale? It’s where I keep a running list of things I need to find a new home for. In fact, that reminds me I’ve got a few things to add in the near future, as well. Must get on that.

My most-viewed post of the year was the one I wrote about my Essure procedure. Did you know I want so fervently never to have children that I paid good money to have metal coils inserted into my fallopian tubes, there to scar over, ensuring virtually no possibility of pregnancy for me? Well, I do and I did! And you can read all about it here. (Well, not all about it. I haven’t actually written a detailed what-it-was-like-when-they-put-the-metal-coils-up-my-business post. But let me know if there is demand, internet, because I will tell you about it.)

My next most popular posts were about sweaters, one that came out just right and one that still needs a little work. Even now, almost a year later, Francis Revisited still needs a little work. Someday, someday. You know how it goes.

Fourth in line was a post about how much I dislike plying on a spindle. From the comments I received on that post, I found out I’m not the only one. That was quite comforting. Looking back at that post reminds me that I haven’t made much spinning progress at all this year. One of my 2012 goals was to spin more often. At the beginning of the year I did but I think working towards that goal had the opposite effect of what I was hoping for. The more I spun the more I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I got about halfway through some really beautiful fiber that I very much want to make socks out of, but I haven’t been able to make myself finish it. I’d still like to push through to the end of that fiber and another braid I have, but I kind of feel like that might be it for me and spinning. I might feel differently if I had a wheel, but it’s going to be years and years before I can afford one, so for now I think it might be time to set aside the spindle, thank it for the experience, and recommit to the knitting needles I was in love with all along.

The last of my top posts of the year was this one about my Aquaphobia Socks. I was so happy to finally finish them after sooooo long knitting them that I took a million pictures and stared at my socks all day long.

My top commenters for 2012 were Lisa from Wickedly Artsy, Ivy from Pumpkin Spins and Michelle from Tres Bien Ensemble. Go check them out – lovely ladies, all of them.

And that’s it for 2012, except for one more project I managed to squeeze in over the weekend. This brings my blogged total to 15, but Ravelry still says 14 but 1 wasn’t on the blog so I guess that’s 16 things I knit this year? Let’s say 16.

Pattern: Options Slippers for Women by Kris Basta (Now, I just have to say, nothing against this pattern or its creator, but there’s a “crisis pregnancy center” near me called Options for Women and I shudder every time I drive past it. So there was a small squick reaction in the back of my head that I had to get over before buying this pattern. It was worth it, is all I’m saying. You should buy this pattern.)
Needles: 4 mm
Hook: Yes, hook. I chose the crochet seaming option and seamed these with a round of single crochet on an I hook. The doubled yarn and the garter stitch and stockinette going at each other at all different angles made me not too keen on sewing the seams. I wasn’t sure I’d get the needle in the right place. Luckily there’s all kinds of fudging possible with a crochet hook. I think I pulled it off.
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Paprika, about 245 yds
Size: Small
Started: December 29, 2012
Finished: December 30, 2012

These were so quick and easy I will definitely be making more and I think this pattern is getting added to my gift knitting repertoire. In any case, I’m calling this one down, 348 to go.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful 2012 but regardless I hope you all have a better 2013. I’m certainly planning to. I’m at least planning to knit 17 things. Seriously. 16 is shameful. There’s just no excuse.

Secrets Revealed! Part 3

This is the last of the secrets from this post I can reveal. Not only is the last project not finished but it wasn’t an Xmas present and the recipient does not know it exists, so that still has to wait for someday to come along.

But this one I can show you.

“I am making [something to keep a third someone warm] out of Vanna’s Choice held double and Berroco Peruvia Quick. Thick needles, thick yarn, easy pattern. Not sure how I’ll wash and block this, since I’m mixing wool and acrylic, but I will figure something out. It’s possible I’ve said too much about this one as a piece of it has already appeared on the blog (though I won’t say when).”

This item’s first appearance was just a few posts ago, when I showed you my teeny tiny needles and my way big huge needles all cuddled up like.

I even told you what it was – a Lacy Chunky Throw. Now I can tell you that it was for Dan’s grandmother and that a quick once-over with the iron set to steam was enough to even out the stitches a bit. This is an awfully stretchy pattern and fairly heavy yarn, so I expect over time it will stretch and relax itself out better than blocking would anyway.

Here it is catching some rare December daylight before being wrapped up and sent to its new home:

Pattern: Lacy Chunky Throw by Wenlan Chia
Needles: 15 mm
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice in Olive (I think, but it’s been years and all the ball bands are long gone) and Berroco Peruvia Quick in color 9152
Size: 39″*36″ or so when flat. Given the amount of stretch in this pattern, depending on which side you pick it up by the measurements can change drastically.
Started: October 28, 2012
Messed Up: Repeatedly. At one point I realized I’d added over 20 stitches to the lace section, turning it into more of a branching lace section, and had to start the whole thing over. Which was very sad making as I was about 2/3 done (or so I thought) at the time.
Finished: December 24, 2012

And that is all the Xmas for others that I have to share with you. Tomorrow: Xmas for ME shall be revealed!