Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time and Relative Dimension in Space

Yep, that's right, TARDIS. Why? Because that's my latest pattern! I've finally got the charts out from my TARDIS kleenex box cover, as a free pattern- download now via Ravelry!

The charts can be used for color knitting and crochet, for needlepoint, cross stitch- even for weaving. If you want my kleenex box cover, use standard plastic canvas (available at any craft store) and worsted weight yarn. Cut the pieces to allow the number of stitches shown in the chart for each side and the top, work through each of the charts, and then use a whip stitch and blue yarn to attach the pieces together and to go over the bottom edge so there is no exposed plastic showing.


Thursday, April 26, 2012


This started out as a post about the moment when I knew my fiance was knitworthy, but the more I thought about it, the more it grew. It isn't just that he's knitworthy, its that his being knitworthy highlights so many of the reasons I love him. 

The first thing I ever knit for my fiance was a hat. It was a terrible hat. We were on a trip, it was colder than expected, and he didn't have a hat. The only spare yarn I had was crummy, and the only needles I had with me were the wrong size for the yarn. (Why did I have crummy yarn without needles the right size to use it if I wanted to? There are some questions better left unasked.) But I whipped out a crummy hat in an hour or so, and it kept him warm(er) for that trip. Given the total lack of time, energy and love committed to that hat, I wouldn't have been upset at all if he got rid of it upon return to his hats of superior usefulness at home. But he didn't. A few years later, when we were cleaning out our stuff in preparation to move, he still had the hat! He had kept it just because I made it for him. I convinced him to pass it along in the donation box- but I knew in that moment that he was a keeper, and knitworthy to boot. 

The next thing I made him was a pair of "gloves", his "Teradactyl" gloves. He helped pick out the pattern, and it was the first thing I ever made with my own handspun yarn. Not only does he still wear them all the time, but he proudly shows them off to everyone.

A few months ago, a spinning wheel practically fell into my lap. When I told my fiance I was bringing it home, I expected a response about where the hell would it go? and why do I need more stuff for knitting/spinning? and why was I spending money on this? but all I got was "Awesome!" Which is way more supportive than I would probably have been- so, lesson learned better half! During the following weeks of repairs and finishing to get the wheel back into prime condition, he was very curious- to the point that I think I might get him spinning someday. Now, I'm sure part of that is because he's an engineer, and wanting to know how things work is in his blood... 

And then, the socks. The socks that got me thinking about how lucky I am to have such a knitworthy partner. I already posted about how he allowed himself to be dragged into being my excuse to buy yarn in France, so I could make him socks (I've been trying to convince him that I should make him socks for awhile now) and every time I tried them on his feet he got a more eager look on his face. I'm a little worried that I'm ruining him for storebought socks and will have my hands full knitting him socks for the rest of my life, but mostly I can't wait to see the look on his face when they're finished and he can wear them for real. And that started me thinking about how he doesn't just pretend to be interested in what I'm working on, or in going to mills and petting sheep and spotting knitterly things while travelling- he really is interested, because he's interested in me. 

Then I thought about how thrilled he was when I got my first pattern accepted by Knit Picks, and when they featured it in the Knit Picks catalogue, and what a tolerant glove and hat model he's been, and how supportive he's been of my endeavors with Knitolution and I realized- I am truly blessed to have such wonderful, curious, intelligent, interested, supportive partner. That's how I knew he was knitworthy. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vacation Knitting

Vacation knitting is so relaxing! Especially when you've been mostly doing deadline knitting under pressure. I'm home now, and back at the deadline knitting- which, incidentally, is less onerous when you've been away from it for 2 weeks. Today I finished Wall-E (Wall-E 1 of 10 that is) and isn't he cute? I had to make some pattern modifications, as I said in the last post. It didn't turn out to be that complicated to make him fewer pieces with less sewing- mostly a matter of magic circles and crochet through the back loop only.

But back to the vacation knitting! I took an old project with me- the Sailor's Scarf, that I never seem to get anywhere with. I didn't work on it a whole lot, but I did get a couple pattern repeats done. Its gorgeous, just slow. and grey. and tiny and slippery, which don't go well with knitting in moving vehicles.

I brought along two projects to start on vacation- in theory one was backup in case I completely finished the other... but are you surprised to learn that I cast both on before we even left the US? That's right, on our 1 hour flight to Philly, I had already started both projects.

The first is a lace shawl, the Shetland Triangle pattern. I can't tell you who for just yet. I'm loving the yarn, and loving working this pattern again. I already made it once, in what turned out to be my giant silver shawl. This pretty much flew along for much of the first half of the trip.

The second is the entrelac socks I've been meaning to make for, oh, three years or so! As it turns out, the pattern needs some serious tech editing. Its a brilliant construction method, but I had to pretty much reconstruct a lot of the hows and wherefores for myself. I'm now really glad this project has lain in wait for so long, because when I got it I had neither the knitting knowledge nor the entrelac experience to figure out all these issues, and while I know the designer and she would have been happy to explain, figuring out that I couldn't figure it out while on vacation and without internet would have been enormously frustrating. As it is now, it was just an interesting challenge.

I bought yarn in Europe (really, no shocker there!) Ryan agreed to be my excuse in France (more on that shortly) and in Holland, I couldn't find any Dutch yarn, so I came home with German sock yarn and Swedish lace yarn- both things I at least have never seen in the US (that doesn't mean they can't be found here, just that they aren't available at any of the shops I frequent) The sock yarn will (eventually) be (shockingly) socks, while I have plans for green beads and brown lace yarn and a leafy pattern and forest-y goodness. (again... eventually)

The French yarn however! Nothing was really reaching out and grabbing me at Bergere de France, at least nothing that I could think what I'd do with it and therefore how much to buy, so I went with what any sensible person would do- I asked Ryan what I could make for him, and with which yarn. After some coaxing and reassurances that he really really really would love handknit socks, we settled on this lovely tweedy yarn (soft too!) and I promptly cast on for his socks. I call them his 5 country socks, because I knit them on the bust to Amsterdam, so they've been knit in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the USA, and even over international waters! These absorbed most of my time in the second half of the trip and are well on their way to sockdom. They fit really well, and so far he's quite pleased. Fortunately, since the next 3 months will be full of nearly exclusively deadline knitting, its going to be awhile before boot socks will be in service again, so there isn't any rush to finish.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I've been on a finishing kick lately. I know, I know, its a problem we should all have! I'm actually quite thrilled with how many projects I've been finishing lately that have turned out just how I wanted them. I feel that the knitting powers that be are looking kindly on my endeavors.

Finished in the last 2 weeks:
Kriselle's dress is finally done! The skirt has so many increases that it feels never ending, but its cute now that it's done. I can't wait to see it on her.

R2-D2s- all 10 R2s are done! I'm up to 23 completed wedding favors!

Started and subsequently finished in the last 2 weeks:
Yarnbombing! I've been wanting to participate in some yarn bombing for ages, and I finally did- this is my section, to be added with others to an undisclosed location (Dedham Square) today.

Wire Bracelet: at the BASD meeting, we had a little workshop about knitting with wire and beads, and this cuff is the result. I really like how it turned out, though I think the wire was a thicker than ideal gauge and hard to work with. I have some other ideas to explore in the world of knit jewelry!

Nina's squares: these 2 squares are my contribution to a large group blanket to provide comfort in a difficult time.

Started in the last 2 weeks: (I told you, I've been busy!)
Wall-E: The next set of favors is underway. This pattern is going to require a lot of modification- 20 peices for a 4" amigurimi? I don't believe in sewing up.

Nic & Jess's wedding blanket: This entrelac beauty will (hopefully) be finished in time for their wedding. The purple represents Jess, and the orange represents Nic.

Cynthia's muppet blanket: My first large project in Afghan Stitch. Her first child got a blanket with a skull and crossbones, so this one gets a blanket with a biohazard symbol!

Still coming along:
The wedding veil: It goes and goes, and is down now to about 30 (very long) rows remaining.

Sailing Cross-stitch- up to almost 2 letters!