Thursday, April 29, 2010

Misty Dawn Legwarmers

This is a pattern for very easy legwarmers. If you are a competent knitter, then they make great brain-free knitting. If you are a beginner, they are an easy way to practice knitting in the round and very simple shaping!

Misty Dawn Legwarmers

Finished Size: 20" long, and approximately 15" unstretched at widest point. (If you need to make them smaller or larger just make sure that your number of stitches cast on is divisible by 4.)

Approximately 350 yards of worsted weight yarn. Vanna's Choice, Lion Brand [100% Acrylic; 170 yd per 3.5 oz skein]; color: sapphire; 2 skeins
1 - 16" US size 8 circular needle

Gauge: 16 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Cast on 48 stitches
Round 1: Place marker and join to work in the round, (K2,P2) to end of round
Round 2-10: (K2, P2) to end of round
Round 11: K to end of round
Round 12: (K1, Kfb, K2) to end of round
Round 13 on: continue working stockinette stitch in the round (knit all stitches) until legwarmer is approximately 18" from cast on edge, or 2" shorter than desired finished length.
Decrease Round 1: (K1, K2tog, K2) to end of round
Round 2: K to end of round
Round 3-13: (K2, P2) to end of round
Cast off.

Weave in ends, block if desired.

Dance like a Maniac, and don't let anyone put you in a corner!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Scarf That Wants To Stroll

When Sister and I were in Paris I, like so many before me, was fascinated by the French women's apparent obsession with scarves and shawls. This translated itself into my obsessively collecting pashminas and wearing lots and lots and lots of scarves. (To the point that you may recall I now have a whole TUB-o-scarves.)

Stylistically speaking, I prefer wearing the pashminas to the skinny scarves. Pashminas seem to translate better into the spring and summer. So, I thought to myself, why not knit a pashmina style scarf/shawl? I could knit something out of a lighter weight/breathable yarn, make it wider, and perhaps attempt to make it look woven. (I was even insane enough to momentarily consider using lace-weight yarn...luckily I didn't get on that crazy train!)

I ended up going with a cotton yarn, and spring-like colors. (The whole yarn dye lot debacle has been previously blogged...) I decided to name the scarf after one of my favorite places in Paris...Les Tuileries. I used the linen stitch from my stitch-a-day calender, which gave the woven look I was hoping for. (I also switched skeins every other row so that the dye lots would blend.)

It has taken me a long time to finish this project. Not because it was difficult, but because other things with deadlines got in the way. (Also, this is knit on 16" long needles, and since I was alternating skeins I couldn't very well take it in my purse.)

The scarf ended up a lot shorter than I had originally envisioned, and due to the previously mentioned issues, I was not going to even attempt to get more. When I ran out of yarn, and saw the finished length, I made a spur of the moment adjustment to the pattern. Instead of having a skimpy shorty scarf, I seamed the ends together to have a generous deep cowl. This also gave me an added bonus...if a sudden spring shower should hit, Les Tuileries can double as a stylish hood!

I finished it while visiting Sister this weekend, which was appropriate since the trip I took with her was my inspiration.

Now if we could only get to Paris to show it off...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Crafty Hands Yarn Shop

Sister had to teach on Friday, so I took her to her school in the morning, and then had the use of her car until lunch time. I decided to treat myself to the local yarn shop here in Bowling Green, Kentucky!

Crafty Hands Yarn Shop is conveniently located across the parking lot from a Starbucks. It is VERY easy to find. It is on the main drag, right off the freeway. (I mean, after all, even I found it...and without resorting to my iphone's GPS.)

I was greeted by a friendly staff person as soon as I walked in the door. She was bubbly and outgoing. She showed me where the Cascade 220 was, and then wound the skein I needed to complete a project I was working on. I was especially grateful for the fact that as she wound the yarn, she left me alone to browse. Nothing irks me more than looming salespeople.

She saw me admiring some koigu, and showed me a cardigan pattern in a book that uses Koigu AND Cascade 220 in a slipstitch pattern. (It was pretty...but was the only pattern in the whole book that I liked. I decided not to buy the book...I am getting it at the library instead.)

I ended up leaving the shop with one skein of Cascade 220, one skein of Koigu, and a skein of Ty-Dy cotton sock yarn.

And then I went across the parking lot to pick up a coffee.


If you happen to be in the Bowling Green area, I highly recommend this shop. Friendly staff...great selection of yarns...well organized and open floor plan.

[The pictures are from the shop's website...I forgot to take my camera in with me.]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Miracles Do Happen

I went to a minor league baseball game tonight with Sister.

I didn't knit. Not a single stitch.

(And not for lack of knitting...I had a sock in my purse...)

Miraculously, I survived!

But, let's not make a habit out of it...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Saw, Sold, Delivered

The Client read my blog.

The Client saw the beta version of the Australis scarf. (He owns the original version.)

The Client liked the beta version of the Australis scarf and thought the colors would be great for his sister.

The Client asked if I was planning on selling the scarf.

Since I had planned on listing it online, I said yes, and quoted a price for it.

He agreed.

I took it to Bible Study tonight.

He paid.

He took it home with him.

Saw. Sold. Delivered.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Basketball Games

I love after church pickup basketball games!

I got a whole half a legwarmer done!
(I also did a lot of cheering...which was welcomed...and commentating...which was not!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What do you mean she had her baby?

Approximate Transcript of a Recent Phone Call:

Mom: Well, AVB had her baby this morning. It is a beautiful, as of yet unnamed, little girl.

Me: What? Already? No! I thought she was due the middle of May!

Mom: Nope, she was due the middle of April.

Me: Well, shoot. I thought she was due in May. Guess I'd better get going on her baby gift. Ugh!

I am frustrated with myself for several reasons. First, I purchased the yarn for the little girl burp rags several months ago. AVB loves my burp rags...she is the burp rags biggest fan! I kept thinking to myself, I should go ahead and make those girly burp rags for AVB, but I kept putting it off and doing other things because I thought I had lots of time still. In fact, I had planned on taking them as one of my airplane projects on my trip to visit Sister next week...because I thought she was due in MAY! Had I remembered that she was due in April, I would have had them done and mailed before the baby was born. Now I look like a last minute Johnny Come Lately...when really I was very prepared...just very blonde!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Naming of a Cowl

I have always been fond of naming things.

Just ask my mother. One of my favorite books to read as a child was a name meaning book called The Name Game.

I named:
  • All of my dolls (Soup Can Macaroni, Annabelle, Sasha...)

  • All of my stuffed animals (Coco, Gunther, Sigfried, Melville...)

  • Plants (Roy, Fairfax, Bertram...)

  • Imaginary friends (Zonya Pasgetti...which was how I said Lasagne Spaghetti)

  • Pets (Saxon, Cleopatra, Kanini, Duchess)


Yes. I am strange.

So when I knit this cowl, I knew it needed a killer name.

I looked at it. It had ridges.

Ridges was not a great name.

The ridges reminded me of ruts in a road.

Ruts is DEFINITELY not a good name.

The synonyms for ruts included grooves.

Grooves was getting closer.

Grooves morphed into groovy.

Thinking about groovy got the classic rock song "Feelin' Groovy" stuck in my head.

"Feelin' Groovy" is sung by Simon and Garfunkel.

Simon is a boring name for a handknit.

Thus...the cowl is named the Garfunkel.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tax Returns

Thanks to Sister, and a timely phone call...I discovered that I was eligible for a tax refund I didn't know about.

This literally added some zeros to the amount I thought I would be getting back from the IRS.

I will be responsible with my windfall.

I will put half in savings as a cushion.

I will use half to pay down my debts.


I will also allow myself a teeny tiny amount of "fun" money with which to purchase the yarn I needed (wanted) for a skirt I am making out of Custom Knits!


KnitPicks online shopping cart...HERE I COME!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


The adult services librarian at the other branch recently accepted a job as a branch manager in another library system.

He is a nice guy, and we will miss him.

So I expressed my good wishes and fond farewell in my usual way...

I knit him a hat.

Since he is a classy/put together/fashion conscious sort of guy, I knew that his hat needed to be more sleek than rugged. So, for the Cupertino, I used a silk/merino blend in a finer gauge, and a wider rib pattern that would have the non-rolling advantage of a rib, but the smoother finish of stockinette.

Since I am planning on being out of town when they are throwing his good bye shindig, I delivered the hat this weekend. (And then made him model it!)

I really like the way the pattern came out...and since I wrote it down, I think I'll do some testing on it to make sure the end result wasn't a fluke.

Friday, April 9, 2010

How to Knit in Theaters

Twilight and I took Whiz to see the movie "How to Train Your Dragon" this afternoon. (Bonus: since Whiz's uncle works at the theater...our tickets were FREE!!!)

I took knitting. (Big surprise.)

Specifically, I took a pair of wrist warmers that I am making out of the yarn leftovers from the Martinelli sweater. I cast them on before I got to the theater, but only had time to knit one round.

During the previews, I did the rounds for the knuckles, and successfully navigated the button hole for the thumb. (I'm debating whether or not to pick up stitches for an actual thumb later.)

Once the film itself started, I merrily knit my 2x2 rib down the rest of the warmer. I figured I could get the sleeve finished by the end of the film.



I came to end of a round and realized that I had ended with a P1 instead of a P2. Somewhere I had messed up. But where? How far back? (and frankly...this occurred during an especially poorly lit portion of the film...night time, fog, I didn't even have bright light from the screen to help me.)

Aside from the inherent headache of tinking when using 2 circular needles in the round...I was trying to tink in the dark. In a theater. During a movie that I wanted to pay attention to! The whole point of movie theater knitting projects is that they are not supposed to require ATTENTION!!!

I had to make a choice. Enjoy the film and have fidgety fingers, or fix the error and miss some of the movie.

In the end...the movie won. And it was a great film. Absolutely nothing like the book...but great in its own right.

(Incidentally, I fixed the error in the theater hallway while Whiz and I waited for Twilight to use the restroom. The mess up, it turns out, had only occurred 3 ribs back.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Australis: Beta Tested

Some of you may recall that the Client commissioned me to make him a scarf.

I made the scarf.

He wore the scarf.

The scarf went to Antarctica.

However...due to the dark and masculine coloring of the yarn, I could not for the life of me get a proper picture of the stitch pattern that actually showed the detailing.

Did I try to find a better camera? No.

Did I try different lighting? No.

Did I ask someone with better photography skills to attempt a picture? No.

I am a knitter.

I knit a whole new scarf.

This one photographs beautifully!

[The yarn was Deborah Norville's 100% micro fiber Serenity Garden in "Earth". It is a self striping yarn which really showed up the pattern. Also, compared to other micro fibers I have used, it had very little splittage!]

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Easter of Conflicted Emotions

This Easter weekend was a little on the strange side for me. It was full of ups and downs.

The downer was Saturday. I went to Brother's house Friday night, and stayed through Saturday afternoon so that I could say good-bye to my cousin, Medic. He is a Navy Corpsman, and the Marine unit he is assigned to ships out to Afghanistan in less than a month. He stopped at Brother's house on his drive up to WA from SoCal for his last leave. It was great to get to see him, it is always great to see him...but it was very depressing as well. I don't want to think about him over there...

The upper was the rest of Saturday and Easter, which I got to spend with the best baby ever...NEPHEW!!! While "baby-sitting" on Saturday, I discovered that he really enjoys the Disney sing-a-long version of Flying Purple People Eater. On Sunday, I got to watch him spin around on my living room floor in order to get a better view of the television. (Apparently he is a fan of medieval costume dramas...just like his Auntie!) Any time with Nephew is time well spent.

On the knitting scene (since this is a knitting blog)...I borrowed Matador's head after evening worship on Sunday...I needed a man model for the fatigue (Fort) Knox beanie. Also: the heel got turned on the second Gotham sock, Tilney's sleeves were placed on waste yarn and I have started down the body, I designed/finished a beanie as a going away present for a coworker, and the beta testing was completed on the Australis scarf pattern.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cable Car

Wednesday was Furlough Fun Day! (All the county libraries were closed due to budgeting...) And so, as usual, my friends and I celebrated our lack of being paid by spending money.

We met at the San Francisco Public Library to get library cards, walked over to the Asian Art Museum and its Shanghai exhibit, and then ate lunch at Francis Ford Coppolla's Cafe Zoetrope. (Which is, by the way, the COOLEST restaurant ever!)

It was still chilly and blustery in the Bay Area...but I was prepared!

I wore my new Cable Car hat!

The yarn is a DK Merino from KnitPicks, and the color is called "fog"...which I thought was perfect for a San Francisco inspired hat!

The pattern is a SuperKnits original...and is being submitted to KnitPicks for inclusion in their Independent Designer Pattern program. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Free Pattern: (Fort) Knox Beanie

The (Fort) Knox Beanie was designed on the fly for a good friend to wear on her morning walks. The color she requested, combined with the faux cables, reminded me of gold bullion…hence the pattern name. The pattern is simple, versatile, and suitable for both men and women.

(Fort) Knox Beanie

Finished Size: approx. 22” circumference (one size fits most adult heads)

Approximately110 yds of worsted weight yarn [I used Cascade Yarns 220; 100% wool; Color 7828 for Perky, Color 9459 for Fatigue. 1 skein yields 2 beanies]
1 - US size 6 circular needle, 16” long
1 – additional US size 6 circular needle, 16” long or set of US size 6 double pointed needles

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in garter stitch

Special Abbreviation:
C2- Cross two (this is achieved by knitting into the second stitch on the left hand needle, then the first, and sliding both stitches off together.)

Cast on 96 stitches
Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist cast on stitches. Place a marker for the start of round.

Round 1-6: (K2, P2) repeat to end of round
Round 7: (C2, P2, K2, P2) repeat to end of round
Round 8-10: (K2, P2) repeat to end of round
Round 11: (K2, P2, C2, P2) repeat to end of round
Round 12-14: (K2, P2) repeat to end of round
Repeat Rounds 7-14 until beanie measures approx. 7” from cast on. End with a Round 8.

Decrease as Follows, switching to two circulars or double points when necessary:
Round 1: (K2, P2, K2, P2tog) repeat to end of round
Round 2: (K2, P2, K2, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 3: (K2, P2, K2tog, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 4: (K2, P2, K1, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 5: (K2, P2tog, K1, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 6: (K2, P1, K1, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 7: (K2tog, P1, K1, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 8: (K1, P1) repeat to end of round
Round 9: (K2tog, P2 tog) repeat to end of round
Repeat decrease rounds 8 and 9 until there are 6 stitches left on the needles.
Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread tail through the live stitches and pull tight.

Weave in ends, wear with pride.