Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

Textured “tunic”

(First a note: please excuse the stash flashing of late, attribute it to the glut of papers I am currently engaged in writing and grading. Not the same set of papers, unfortunately. Fear not: I do have a new project or two to derail actual progress on the several others already underway!)


We now resume our regularly scheduled knitting content. This post has actually been sitting for about a week, and the sweater for almost three. Obviously I’m not too excited about it, but I am a little excited about it. My Forecast just set the bar too high ETA: Well, gosh! Maybe I need to get over myself a bit. Thanks, guys!


By now Stephanie Japel’s “Textured tunic with side buttons” is probably a familiar sight. I’ve seen a few gorgeous ones myself. But somehow, it didn’t work for me. I’ve decided that, contrary to current fashion (hmm, not the first time I’ve said that), I’m just not tunic shaped. Or, well, you know what I mean.

I actually suspected that going into this project–I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse–and that’s one reason I used rather inexpensive yarn (Patons Shetland Chunky, if you were interested. $16, total. It is an ok acrylic, but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing it again). I also knit the bottom with just vents the first time. Then I saw the aforementioned good lookin’ tunics and thought I’d give it a go too. Just to let you know the extent to which it did not “go,” I ripped before I even took a picture. The final version involved increases as per the pattern instructions for the back on both front and back, and then I sewed the resulting tabs shut and added the buttons. Sneaky, I know.

You may also notice that I don’t have the cool open-shoulder thing going either. I figure, I’ll have enough strap issues with the boatneck. I told DH that with the holes at the hips, I didn’t want to go overboard on the s*x appeal. :p Riiiiight.






You get these pictures because I was talking the entire time DH was shooting…


cake lineup

Lorna’s Laces in “Aslan”; Cider Moon Glacier in “Apple Crisp”; Cider Moon Glacier in “Pistachio”; Cherry Tree Hill “Potluck- Earth”; Cherry Tree Hill in “Water”; Lorna’s Laces in “Tuscany”

And their fates, respectively?

Aslan- DH socks (although I’ve threatened to commandeer this yarn. I’ll have to see how it works up!);

Apple Crisp- socks for my Mom’s birthday (good thing she hasn’t figured out how to use the Internets yet);

Pistachio- socks for MIL’s birthday (good thing she thinks I cook and clean and don’t have time for this sort of nonsense);

Earth- Leyburn socks for me;

Water- perhaps Mirabella? pdf;

Tuscany- of course, the ubiquitous-for-a-reason Monkeys!

I’ve also got the second of the S’mores socks going, just in the interest of full disclosure. And the Zokni socks, which are not pictured. Hmm, I’m going to stop now (with the post, not with casting on for socks).

cat included for scale (?)

(above) trying to decide whether to continue in plain St st, do a lace pattern, or do a feather & fan à la Wendy, whose new toe up patterns I’m using this sock–sportweight–and the S’mores sock–fingering.

(right) a rib and a row of Monkey, and nothing more





My garden grows…


jaywalkers- the third

are complete! This represents a real triumph for me. These socks have been on the needles for about ten months (except for a few months when I swiped the needles out of them to use for other socks). The story goes something like this. There will be no test–even I’m a little fuzzy on some of the details.

How to Jaywalk, in 18 easy steps!

1) 40% off sock yarn. (This part of the story is rather self-explanatory.)

2) Said sale sock skein is SOS stash for summer visit to the in-laws’ as, you know, that extra bit of yarn tucked away just in case something happens to the five other projects in the three days of vacation.

3) Emergency! The family I married into loves to shop! Days and days of van riding and (gasp! the horrors) mall browsing: I cast on for a plain vanilla sock, but realize a few inches in that the stripes would be perfect for the ubiquitous Jaywalkers.

4) Rip.

5) Perform two amazing knitting feats: first, remembering and executing a tubular cast on while wandering the aisles of a B**ks a M*llion (side note: their knitting section is weak). Second, remembering the Jaywalker pattern, which is really not so amazing considering I’d knit two other pairs in the past three months and it is fairly easy to recall.

6) Realize through trial and error of half-remembered pattern that I need 76 sts., not the 72 sts. that I cast on.

7) Rip.

8.) Tubular cast on 72 sts. Realize the redundant mistake at the end of the ribbing (in my defense, I was wandering around a book store through all of this, and engaging in occasional small talk).

9) Increase 4 sts.

10) Work to heel.

11) In the midst of a needle emergency, take these 0’s for another sock and throw the unfinished J’walker into a drawer.

12) (Much later) Rescue, start knitting foot.

13) Get to toe decreases, realize that when I re-started, I didn’t finish the gusset and the sock is now a perfect size for a swollen foot. Decide against injuring foot to be able to wear socks.

14) Rip.

15) Finish sock #1, start sock #2.

16) Socks languish, needles magically are swiped again.

17) Start blog. Cringe every time I see “Jaywalker 3” on the WIPs page.

18) Second sock finished in about four days.

picture is blurry because they went so fast!




Grumperina’s “Jaywalkers”
Needles: size 0, gray

Yarn: Filatura Cervinia “Forever Jacquard,” color 100



Monkey see, monkey do

And today’s Jaywalking report: heel and gusset complete. Foot today, toe tomorrow, Monkeys on Monday!


Now, what’s up next? I have seen too many beautiful monkey socks to resist their siren wail. I have three potential yarns and I can’t decide which one would be the best monkey. Help! Especially all you experienced Monkey-makers, which one would be best?

Cherry Tree Hill sock superwash. This was my yarn capture from New York last summer from Seaport Yarns, a crazy place if there ever was one. Another potential pattern for this one is Minty’s Leyburn.

Another Cherry Tree Hill, on an amazing sale at a cute LYS. A different potential pattern: Spunky’s Pulsations.

Lorna’s laces in Tuscany, from the same LYS sale.





Me? Meme?

1) I have eaten oatmeal and brown sugar almost every morning for the past four years.

2) I read knitting blogs for almost a year before finally jumping in and getting my own. I was convinced that there had to be some dark underbelly to all of these people posting pretty pictures of yarn, it couldn’t be that good!

3) In spite of #2, I only discovered Bloglines…last week. I’m hooked. (I thought it was some magic thing you did if you already had a blog.)

4) I hate blowdryers. There is no logic for this, I just do. Consequently I have gone to church with wet hair for the past twenty years.

5) I love to organize. I have been known to rearrange all the furniture in a room, and then put it right back to where it was before just because I am troubled about something and feel the need to exert some degree of control over some small part of my life. If I could be on one of those reorganizing HGTV shows, I would. Except my solution for everything wouldn’t be colored photo boxes.

6) I quit piano lessons in eighth grade (like everyone else in the world) because I thought it was too expensive for something that was “just for fun.” Then I majored in piano performance, and am now in hot pursuit (that’s a joke) of a PhD in musicology. Perhaps I should have saved this one for a “Define Irony” meme.

7) I had no trouble whatsoever thinking of seven weird things, even though I am a very boring person. My husband would relish this kind of opportunity to catalogue my strangeness so I didn’t even ask him.

Tagging: Well, who out there is weird??? Consider yourself tagged!

(PS Thanks Specs!)

And for the fun of it, this is my newest sock doing its best to bring some life into the dull, sterile, cold, library. Fight the good fight, little sock. Color your world.

Weekend, where hast thou gone?

The weekend was not long enough.

But we did rediscover an old love (Bono’s pizza, for any fellow Columbians out there).


And I got buttons for the baby tweed jacket.

The story behind this jacket is that a friend and fellow student just had a baby boy. Since she’s a musicologist and the father is a librarian, I thought I’d give the little fellow a leg up on looking the part of a child genius. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would be if I’d have made some of those darling baby blue jeans so he could really look the part of the laid-back academic.


Specs: The yarn is leftover from Salina––Tatamy Tweed in Taupe (really enjoyed it, by the way)––and the pattern is Debbie Bliss’s “Double Breasted Jacket” from the Baby Knits book. I think I used a size 3 and a size 1 needle (loooose knitter alert). Except I skipped pockets and the tie on the back. And knit it all in one piece. And did a little bit different collar and button placement. And did the sleeves top-down. And redid the math for my gauge and approximate age-range. I suppose I really just knit a coat that looks like the pattern. I did use the schematics, because really, how big is a baby anyway? On that note, I was originally going to add some elbow patches, but quickly realized that I have only a vague clue as to where a baby’s elbows might be.

PS A thanks to Yarnstorm for her eloquence and grace in addressing misconceptions about women in general, and knitters in particular. And of course for her ge-orgeous pictures!


I love you, little yarn, but whatever shall you become?



This is a merino/tencel blend I spun last summer. It is surprisingly workable: a thin fingering weight, not quite lace weight. There was four ounces, and I think probably about 5oo yds, but I never really counted. Nor did I include the coin for scale. Bad me (but good light, ay?).


I would love to make a little wrap out of it, or a simple scarf of good looks and dubious warmth. When it comes to lace, I like a simple pattern that is built out of geometric repeats of the same pattern. Of course the Shetland Triangle is always a good option, but then again I may just keep it caked forever. You never forget your first successful spin.


To counter, here is my first attempt at a fingering weight, done almost exactly a year ago. I think that this is one of the first things I did, besides the initial attempts at slightly greasy wool. You’ll notice that it is now modeled by my cat, so unsuccessful was the entire process. I have to admit that these colors weren’t quite perfect for me from the beginning, and my (stupidly done) random spinning of these colors mixed them into a quite unpleasant combination of bleeeeah and stripes! and bleeeeah (not to get all technical on you nonspinners out there). Then I (also stupidly) thought I’d design my own shawl pattern, since I had a thing for this old fern pattern. Actually, I still like the radioactive strawberry/banana smoothie look and the old fern pattern. The problem is that the old ferns really should be going the other way! Looks kind of silly as is. The biggest problem, however, is still the yarn. Shouldn’t I be punished for such poor use of Suri alpaca? The good news is that it was a gift certificate purchase from a friend’s shop (not online) and I did learn a lot about spinning. Not to mention I really enjoyed the actual process of spinning. So it ended up around my shoulders on a few chilly mornings, and then it got claimed by Vada the cat (see glamour shot below). That’s fine by me, because it means she leaves my current project alone, whatever that may be!




Ah love mah Salina, but ah luuuuuuurv mah Forecast


modified forecast

(also luuv me some gray. Can gray be my favorite color, and is it presumptuous to admit that I really want “grey” to be my favorite color?)

modified forecast

“why so serious? you like it!”

This sweater was a blast to make. It all started when I saw this forecast in progress and loved the longer ribbing on the sleeves (and I happen to be fond of Carrioke’s finished product, as well!). First of all, it is a fun pattern and easily knit while reading. The best thing, however, was that I was making decisions the entire time and making it do exactly what I didn’t know I wanted it to do. Every step of the way I was choosing length or braid or something, and each decision influenced the next one to make it a sweater that I think I will feel good about wearing.


pattern: Stephanie Japel‘s “Forecast

yarn: Lionbrand “Wool-Ease” (I know, but this whole sweater cost less than $10! And the color was perfect. The only downside is that I can’t block the ribs to be a little less ribby.)

modifications: Let’s see… I started the collar on size 3 needles and the smallest size (loose knitter!). I switched to a size 5 for the body, but just kept working the increases until it was long enough to meet for sleeves (which was between the numbers for a medium and large !?). I obviously skipped the bobbles and just did some kind of braiding. I’m sure there is a better version in a pattern book somewhere, but this is what I came up with while on spring break and away from all of my resources. Instead of the slipped stitch at each edge, I did 2 sts. in garter, thinking I’d add a zipper because I didn’t really go for the button band, even though it really worked on some versions. By the time I got below the bustline, however, I was really digging the neckline as it was. I joined and worked the rib in the round on size 4 needles to an obviously longer sweater. The sleeves are a similar story: I simply worked the rib from the elbow on size 3 needles and decreased a few stitches along the way.

ETA: Finally, a pic that doesn’t require retouching (i.e., cropping off my head)!


My-my-my-my Salina!

(I’m really in a quandary about whether it should be “ma-ma-ma-ma Sherona” like it’s sung or “my-my-my-my Sherona” like it’s titled.)

I love it! I’m pleased with the fit, although it could be a half inch longer (I sometimes forget that I have three dimensions). I love the top-down sleeves, and the tell-tale short rows actually look like a design feature. I wore this today and got several unsolicited compliments (meaning, I didn’t ask people for them, not that they were unwelcome). I also happened upon 5 sk. of the recommended yarn, Rowan “Felted Tweed” at 40% off (!) so I may have to do a Salina version 2.0.

The project that I’m knitting in the pics is the Debbie Bliss double-breasted jacket out of the leftover yarn, of which I have plenty due to my short sleeves and habit to buy one ball too many anyway. Artsy shots courtesy of me having no tripod, and my computer having a time-wastingly fun camera.


patternSalina from Rowan Vintage Style

yarn-Kraemer Yarns “Tatamy Tweed” DK, color taupe, 4 skeins. Acquired at my LYS on a whim!

needles- size 1 and size 3, mixture of Susan Bates circs, Bryspun dpts, and Knitpicks dpts. (reeeeeeally loose knitter)