Monday, December 3, 2007


Hey guys! I bet y'all thought I fell off the face of the planet didn't you? Well, I haven't I've just been too busy (and stressed for that matter) to knit. I know, it's blasphemous to say. Well, I can finally check one of the major stressors off of my list:


I've been accepted into grad school! This along with the whole job situation, and, oh yeah, the wedding I'm supposed to be planning has been causing me major, major stress. So much stress that I haven't picked up the sticks and string in literally weeks. I come home from work so emotionally and physically drained that I can't even think about being creative. It's a scary thing losing one's creativity. I think I'm on the upside of it all now and will hopefully have some things to show you soon. Thanks for sticking around!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Month Late and a Sweater Short*

It feels like forever! Guys I'm so sorry for my absence in the last month. Life stepped in and took away all of my free time. In the past month I've been consumed by wedding plans, home redecorating, dieting, applying to grad schools and pulling together a portfolio, and putting together a totally different portfolio for a possible job opportunity. I've been swamped. In the little free time I did get some knitting done. Case in point:


Forecast from Knitty. It was all going very well. I had some lovely eggplant colored 100% wool from WEBS (their new Northampton worsted weight)a great pattern with some lovely mods up my sleeves, and lots of ambition to finish before it turns cold. Well, obviously the knitting gods did not have that in mind because I totally and utterly fucked up. First it was the charted pattern. This was my first time ever using a chart for cables (I've used a chart before for my first fair isle project, Knitty's Center Square but that was for colorwork not cables). I obviously don't know how to read a chart because I came out with this:

Effed Up Cable See how the cable is all elongated and very, well, not cable-y? Yeah, that's because in the instructions, on the wrong side rows you are supposed to just purl. Well, I didn't realize that the chart also takes this into consideration and charted the wrong side as well as the right side (I thought it just charted the right side). So I got a cable that was double the length specified. The resulting cable wasn't too bad looking, but it certainly didn't look the one in the photos attached to the pattern.

Now if it was just the cable that was messed up I might have been able to live with that, but there was another catastrophe brewing. When I got to the row count in the pattern where you put the sleeves on the waste yarn I was off on the stitch count. Wayyyyy off. So in light of all of the problems I had I decided my best option was to frog it back to the collar. This was my biggest ever frog, over a full ball was knitted that need to be frogged. So I'm back to the collar now and have done two full (correct) repeats of the chart and it is looking much better and way more cablelicious. Oh and I forgot to tell you, I finally finished Wicked! I finally frogged the crappy droopy sleeve and reknit it with more flattering decreases. I also reinforced the button holes and blocked it! I'm just waiting for a none cloudy, less than 100 degree day to photograph it properly. Hopefully, in the next post!

*OR FORECAST: Cloudy and Overcast With Huge F*ck Ups Likely

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm Back - And With Knitting!

Well, I'm back from NYC and ready to show you what I've been working on. Y'all must have thought that I fell off of the face of the earth. Well I didn't, just too much to do around the house/work/life in general, but I do have a treat to show you...

Retro Redux

The Retro Redux Shrug! It's been a month in the making, and has been finished for two weeks now, so I thought it was time for a proper debut. If you recall, I knit this for my trip to NYC. I knew we were going to try to catch a Broadway show, and I know just how cold theaters/restaurants/hotels can be, plus I've been eying this pattern up since I bought "Lace Style." It was a relatively quick knit, I worked on it when I could over about two weeks. Here are the details:

Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark available in the book "Lace Style" by Ann Budd and Pam Allen. The pattern is quite cool, instead of complicated shaping, it employs the use of four different needle sizes, US8 to US10.5. This allows the sleeves to fit correctly and taper like if you had knit them with increases (if knitting from the cuff up). Basically you knit a rectangle, sew up the two ends to a certain length (to create the sleeves) then pick up stitches around the perimeter and knit short rows to shape the collar. The lace pattern is super simple, it is a brioche lace pattern and very easy to memorize.

Retro Redux - Lace Detail

Almost too easy... there were a few times when I got distracted and forgot a yarn over or something similar and messed up the stitch count. It was easily enough remedied, but if you look closely some of the lace looks a little funky. This was my first lace project, although I wouldn't consider it a "real" lace project, that features lots of thin strands of yarn and tiny needles, something that I will get to eventually. Overall, the pattern is really simple, and lots of fun I definitely would knit this again.

Yarn: I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes 100% worsted weight wool in "Cherry Blossom" a hot pink. I picked this yarn, well, because I had it in my stash (I still have about 12 skeins of the stuff, early in my knitting days I envisioned lots of felting). The good: It's wool so I was able to block it easily and it held the dimensions I blocked it to. The bad: It's July, and HOT. Maybe not the best yarn to use for a summer shrug, winter yes, summer no.

Mods: I did modify the size slightly to better fit me. For the sleeves I began knitting the largest version - 46" long, but once I hit the part with you knit with the largest needle size I shortened the length to 44" somewhere between the Large and Medium sizes.

Retro Redux - Back

Overall Thoughts: I really like this shrug. It's a cute addition to your wardrobe and can easily spice up boring outfits, plus it will keep you warm in the summer when you need to frequent over air-conditioned spaces. Things I would change, the yarn I used. I should have used a more season appropriate choice, perhaps a cotton blend. Also my collar came out a bit funky.

Retro Redux - Side

But I think that was more my fault than the patterns. I had a hard time blocking it correctly, and it could probably be fixed with another wet blocking. It was also a really fast knit. One could probably knit it in a weekend, I'm just a slow knitter and didn't have a lot of free time on my hands while knitting this shrug, so it took me two weeks.

Retro Redux Shrug

Friday, July 20, 2007


Hey Guys, I'm in NYC for the weekend but I'll be back next week with lots to show you. Hopefully I'll have nice photos of the retro redux shrug to show you in her element. I'm typing this from my new cellphone so we'll see if this whole mobile blogging thing works. See you next week!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Well, I have taken the plunge and decided to move to wordpress and self-host my blog. Over the next few weeks this entire site will be totally overhauled. Until then I will still be posting here. Hopefully if all goes well, in a few weeks I'll have a shiny new website to show you. I'm totally out of my element right now as I have no web design experience so things are progressing slowly, but I have the utmost confidence that it will all turn out well. To access this site temporarily you might want to bookmark the blogger page instead of my personal domain. Here's the link. I have a few FOs to show you later this week when the photographer (read: Justin) has time. Thanks for bearing with me!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Construction Zone

I'll be rearranging things around here and reformatting some stuff so please bear with me through the construction process. I've already implemented haloscan as a new comment tracker so I can reply to your comments effectively since blogger is so damn complicated when it comes to replying to comments. I'm also considering leaving blogger and hosting my blog elsewhere. Does anyone have recommendations? I don't mind paying a monthly fee, but I have little experience designing a website. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finally a FO!

Well, the Baby Surprise Jacket is finished! I finally decided on buttons, and went with my gut feeling:

Option #2 Buttons

These are the ones I originally chose at the fabric store. They are a natural shell with a nice little design etched into the material. The shell has hints of both shades of pink when the light reflects off of it tying in nicely with the overall design. I also liked how the more complex buttons give the more simplistic sweater an unexpected detail.

Now on to the sweater:

Finished BSJ

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from "The Opinionated Knitter" by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Bernat Cottontots in "Strawberry" (darker pink) and "Pretty in Pink"
Gauge: 20 sts - 26 rows = 4"
Needles: US 7 Knit Picks Options Circs.
Amount Used: Strawberry : 2.25 skeins. Pretty in Pink : .25 skeins.
Mods: Used an applied I-cord for edging and cuffs.
Buttons: Etched Shell from JoAnn Fabric.
Size: Toddler Size (?)

My thoughts:

Pattern: This pattern is truly ingenious! You knit this semi-rectangular blob and a few origami folds later and you have a baby sweater! In true EZ fashion the directions are a bit...let's say sparse. At first this confused the shit out of me. But after reading and re-reading I got the hang of everything and was able to figure it all out. It truly helps to knit this on a longer circular needle. This allows you to fold it as you go:

Baby Surprise Jacket

If I would have done this on straights I don't know if I could have figured it out on my own. I am a visual learner and not being able to figure out how to fold it and see it in action as I went along would have totally driven me nuts!

Yarn: I used Bernat Cottontots for this project for a few reasons. First, the recipient lives here in Virginia and the baby is due in August. I feared that if I used a sock-weight yarn (for a 0-3 months size) the baby would grow out of it before properly wearing it. It does get cold here in VA, but it seems if summer lasts forever sometimes. The cottontots is 100% worsted weight cotton. Hence reason number two, I wanted something machine washable and dryable. Now I don't have kids, but the thought of having to take time out to hand wash something while trying to take care of two kids seems like a really huge hassle. I mean, I have a hard time hand washing stuff (like store bought wool socks, I've felted a few of those in my time, I'm getting better though). And thirdly, cottontots is cheap. Way cheap, and readily available. I got it at Michael's for under $4 a skein. The downside: It's 100% cotton and pills like none other. It was starting to pill as I was knitting it. It's now finished and it isn't so bad. An appointment with the sweater shaver before gift giving is in order though. I know a lot of people hate working with cotton because it hurts their hands etc. I've never known this phenomenom, perhaps I have hands of steel, I don't know, but it's never been an issue for me. The yarn itself is nice and soft and the garter stitch of the pattern really makes an extra cushy fabric.

Needles: Like I said before, the circs really make a difference with this pattern. If you value your sanity, use them.

Mods: At first I was really tempted to use a varigated sock yarn. I really love how the bright variegated colors look. I bought some Socks That Rock in Sherbet. After doing some research on Ravelry I found that those made with sock yarn came out really small. I waffled for a bit, and then decided to use the Cottontots. I was really enamored with the BSJ I'd seen with and applied i-cord edging and took this into account when trying to pick colors. The variegated cottontots was a bit barfy looking to me so I decided to go with solid colors, and being drawn to pinks, naturally that's what I chose. I am really happy I went with the applied i-cord. It was the first time I have ever done this, but I think it was worth the extra time and aggravation as it really makes the jacket.

Size: In choosing a worsted weight yarn I knew it was going to be a bit bigger. It ended up being more of a toddler sized sweater than an infant one, but I am totally fine with that as babies generally only grow bigger right?

Overall, I am very happy with how this sweater turned out. It is cute, and totally genius in construction. I'll definitely keep it on my baby knitting list.

Finished BSJ No.2

One last gratuitious shot.

Just to let y'all know my little brother is in town for a few days so I'll be regrettably absent from the blogosphere. See you next week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Can't Decide...

I need your help. I can't decide on which buttons to use to finish my Baby Surprise Jacket. There are three different options. Since Fred(necks)burg isn't exactly a metropolitan area, I'm limited on my choices. All of the buttons were purchased from Joann Fabric. Please disregard the cat hair. For larger images check out my flickr page. Here we go,

Option #1

Option #1

Here's a close-up of the buttons:

Option #1 button

Option #2

Option #2

Button-y close-up:

Option #2 Button

Option #3

Option #3

Button Close-up

Option #3 Button

I'm leaning towards Option #2. What do you think?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mail Time!

Do you ever have one of those days where you come home from work only to find a package on your doorstep but you have no clue what it contains or where it came from? Today was one of those days. I came home from a crazy day at work to find not one, but TWO packages on my doorstep. And they weren't lackluster packages full of things as mundane as school books or the such, but they were knitting related, and one was full of bright yarny goodness. Oh yes, this was a great surprise.

Mail Time!

Over a week ago I ordered some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight in "sherbet." Its intended use was for a EZ Baby Surprise Jacket for a friend's daughter who is due in August. (More on that later). I also ordered a back issue of Interweave's Knitscene, the Fall '06 issue specifically. Why you might ask...for this:

Knitscene Fall '06

The Central Park Hoodie. See this whole Ravelry thing is throwing me for a loop. I am seeing SO many incredible sweaters there that I.must.knit.NOW!! The problem: it's like 95 freaking degrees outside! Virginia heat + swamp-like humidity = wrong season to knit a wool sweater. The list of sweaters that are on my brain right now is seemingly endless. Rouge. Central Park Hoodie. Licorice Whip. Salina. Button Me Up Pullover. I can go on like this all day. I've knit 1 7/8 sweaters (notice I didn't say 2 whole sweaters, I'm cheating on Wicked even though it is pretty much done) and I have a feeling I just won't be able to stop. I'm addicted to knitting the Virginia heat. I've lost my mind.

In other knitting news, this has been occupying my time lately:

Baby Surprise Jacket

It's Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket from "The Opinionated Knitter." There has been a recent wave of these popping up all over the interwebs and I (the follower that I am) have hopped on the bandwagon. Originally I had planned on knitting this up in the STR I had purchase specifically for this project (see above) but after reading more about it and figuring out that it would result in a newborn sized sweater I wimped out. I mean newborns in Virginia do NOT need sweaters in the summer (see above). So instead I went to my LYS which equals Michael's craft store since I don't have a LYS (another gripe about living in rural Virginia) and purchased some Bernat Cottontots. It's a worsted weight 100% washable baby-friendly cotton. It might be baby-friendly and washable, but it looks like crap already and it isn't even done yet. The yarn is pilling uncontrollably and I am having huge problems getting all the stitches to look nice and even. I'm hoping a nice soak in the sink and an appointment with the sweater shaver will ease my worries.

In non-knitting related news, my favorite singer/songwriter Josh Ritter has announced his new album due at the end of August with this great sneak peak clip:

I am super psyched. If you get a chance to see him play live, go. It is well worth it.

And lest you think I forgot my Feline Photo Friday (like I did last week) here is Maggie wishing you a happy weekend.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sneak Peak

Last week I blogged about Wicked and how I have made extensive alterations. Here's a sneak peak at the turn Wicked is taking.

Button Band

Yes, it is a cardigan!! I took inspiration from Flint Knits kick ass wicked cardigan. It's not perfect, I still haven't fixed the saggy sleeve, button holes need to be reinforced, and it still needs to be blocked, but it is now totally wearable.


More on my new favorite sweater after it is officially finished!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Feline Photo Fridays - 100 degree Edition

So it's nearly 100 degrees outside and the AC is broken inside. I'm dying. The kittles still enjoy the sun though.

Felix Profile

Felix soakin' it up.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Off to Pittsburgh (Plus Feline Photo Friday)

Well, I'm off to Pittsburgh for our engagement party plus my brother's high school graduation party. I imagine this is what our kittles will be doing all weekend:

Felix On Bed

When we aren't home they lounge on the bed all. day. long. I'm sure they are excited, I know I would be if I was a kittle and had an entire weekend to sleep!

Have a great weekend everyone! Next week brings the promise of a new FO!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ravelry, A Future Frog, & An Almost FO

So y'all have heard about Ravelry right? Well, after checking my email account obsessively for weeks I finally got an invite! Of course it happened after I stopped checking my account 5 times a day. I got an invite Friday and didn't check until 10:15 pm Monday night. Of course I found it 45 minutes before my self imposed bedtime when I was supposed to be redding up (cleaning up) the living room. Of course for the last hour I have been checking out the awesome website and poking around adding some of my stash (which I started to photograph weeks ago) to my notebook. I have to honestly say it is incredible and well worth the wait and all the hype it has been receiving. My screenname on Ravelry (as well as Flickr) is 3tuxedocats so don't hesitate to add me as a friend!

On to other knitting things. The last three weeks have been consumed by a new obsession. This:

Any guesses? It's Wicked! I was so impressed with the Zephyr Girls' Rusted Root pattern that I had to knit me another one of their awesome sweaters. I am loving it so far. I am knitting it with the turquoise Shelridge Farms worsted superwash wool I picked up at MDS&W. I love, LOVE, the yarn. It is soft, squishy, and a great deep very slightly shaded turquoise. But I'm not making the standard pattern. I have altered it greatly. But more on that later.

Here's where the frog comes in. I am making a 3/4 length sleeve version and as much as I love this pattern I am having major problems with the sleeves coming out ginormous. Now, I had a similar problem with Rusted Root, and while I know I have chunky arms, they're not THAT chunky! This is only my second sweater, and my first long sleeved one. The first sleeve I knit I did not decrease for the sleeves at all (the pattern doesn't call for any sleeve decreases) and I had to rip back. I thought I ripped back far enough, but apparently not, as the sleeve is still huge at the top and more fitted around my elbow. Now normally I would rip this back now, but I have to have this sweater for the weekend. J and I are heading up to Pittsburgh for our engagement party thrown by my awesome parents and I am planning on wearing it. This leaves no time to rip and reknit. Luckily it does not look too out of place on, it is just a nagging flaw that will drive me nuts until I have a chance to fix it after the party. Luckily I figured out a series of decreases for the other sleeve (with lots of math, not usually my friend) and it fits like a glove. I'll have more on this and a proper FO post next week. Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

ETA: As promised here are the sleeve photos. God, I can't even look at the deformed one! It is that bad. First, the good one. The one with mathmatical decreases that slightly tapers to the elbow and fits perfectly.

And here is the, uh, not so perfect one.

Don't say I didn't warn you, I told you it was bad.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Feline Photo Fridays A Little Lulu

Sneaky Delaney

This is LuLu, aka Delaney when she was little and liked to hid behind the microwave. Thank god she doesn't do that now!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Seven Things

So Laura has tagged me in the 7 things meme going around the blogosphere.

So here are my seven things:

1. I have a Geographic Tongue. My dad has one too which makes sense since it tends to run in families. I haven't met anyone else with the condition though. It's mostly bothersome as certain foods (especially acidic ones like pineapples, strawberries, and vinegar) tend to make my tongue burn, but I don't care I still eat them.

2. I'm a very visual person and love to learn new things from books. I taught myself AutoCAD from a book and now I'm the CAD Coordinator for a major architectural restoration. I also taught myself to knit from a book as I didn't have anyone to show me how. Next up, quilting and Adobe Illustrator.

3. I almost went to school to become a microbiologist but decided historic preservation was a better fit.

4. I'm a native Pittsburger and miss my hometown everyday. I still want to say "pop" when ordering soft drinks but I really dislike the looks I get from people here in "soda" country.

5. I hate wearing jewelry but I love to design and create it. I've been making jewelry since I was in elementary school, but never for myself.

6. I met my fiance on as a dare freshman year in college. My roommate was already on and bet me I couldn't get more dates than her. I went on one god awful date with some loser before Justin emailed me. We've been together ever since. And I lost the bet, but only because I had to forfeit. We'll be getting married sometime next year. Incidentally, I haven't talked to that roommate since I left to go home the summer between freshman and sophomore year.

7. I bought a bright pink hardhat for my job which requires us to wear hardhats when doing fieldwork, but have wussed out in ever wearing it. I'm one of only two women on the job, and I wish I had the self confidence to pull off a pink hardhat without feeling embarrassed.

So there they are my 7 things. Now is the hard part. I'm so new to this whole blogging thing I don't know many people in blogland (I'm naturally very shy, ha an eighth thing!) so I am going to virtually tag anyone who is reading this and hasn't participated in this meme yet. Do it, it's fun!

ETA: Marigold asked for pictures of the pink hardhat. Well, here you go!

Pink Hardhat

Pink Hardhat

I added the Hello Kitty sticker myself. If you are interested I purchased mine online and they come in a variety of colors. If I am not mistaken, certain trades wear certain colors ie. carpenters wear yellow hardhats. But I could be wrong, so don't quote me on that.

Feline Photo Fridays (A Little Late)

Felix in the Sun

Here's the Fefers all streched out soaking up the sun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Laura has tagged me for a meme, but unfortunately I am swamped right now (applying to grad school is hard work!) but I promise (PROMISE!) to get to it this weekend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Presenting Rusted Root!

Presenting... Rusted Root!

Rusted Root!

My first sweater. After three weeks and four skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I have a lovely spring/summer/fall sweater. I love it, and not in an obligatory because I made it kind of way, but in an over the top lovefest sort of way. The color is perfect, the fit is perfect, the design is perfect, and the knitting is, well almost perfect. Here are my thoughts on the various aspects of the process.

The yarn: I really like Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It comes in a great variety of colors and is reasonably priced. Being a cotton blend yarn (80% cotton / 20% wool) I had feared it might be a tad hard on my hands like many cotton yarns can be, but I had absolutely no problems with it hurting my hands. The yarn is soft to the touch, and does have considerable more elasticity than 100% cotton yarn. My only gripe about Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece is that it can be incredibly splitty. There were many stitches I had to go back and make sure I had the entire loop on the needle not just a few of the strands that make up the yarn. In this respect I had to pay more attention to each stitch then I would have if I was using a non-splitty yarn. Overall, I'd recommend Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and will use it again in future projects.

Rusted Root Lace Panel

Pattern: The pattern is incredibly well written except one small section that could be confusing to those new to top-down raglan sweaters (ie ME!). It was written to M1, K1 right after the lace pattern instead of K to first marker M1 K1. This put the increases for the sleeves right after the lace pattern unless you knew to knit to 1 st before the sleeve marker. So for a few rows until I realized what I was doing was wrong I made the increases right after the lace pattern. I caught it only a few rounds in, so I decided to let it go and not rip back. It is barely noticeable. Aside from that one minor flaw in the pattern, I didn't find any others. One thing about this pattern I found after browsing through the Craftster archives is that the sizes tend to run big. I am normally a size XL, but I downsized to a size large for this sweater, which is a good thing because it fits perfectly. The beauty of the pattern (and top-down raglans) is that you can try them on as you go. I tried mine on quiet a bit while in the process of knitting to make sure everything was working as intended. I know that several people over at the Sexy Knitters Club Sexy Knitters Club were having problems with the sleeves ending up not being poufy enough. I didn't really want super poufy sleeves because a large chest + poufy sleeves = not flattering. What I did want was the sleeves to be a bit longer. My sleeves actually turned out a bit larger than intended (see gauge below) but I'm not sure if it bothers me enough to rip them back. I didn't notice how large they were until after the sweater was blocked, they didn't bother me before it was blocked.

Gauge: My gauge differed from the recommended gauge only in the number of stitches per row. I was spot on for the number of stitches per inch, but I was getting one less stitch per row which meant less knitting!

Needles: I used Knitpicks options needles and boy are they great for this type of sweater! It is way simple to try it on as you go by leaving the cables in with the endcaps on. I used a US 6 for the body and a US 4 for the ribbing. Definitely love these needles.

Modifications: I didn't modify it very much. I did a few more rows of ribbing on the sleeves and bottom, but that's it.

Rusted Root Lace

Overall Thoughts: I will definitely make this sweater again and I am already thinking of a long-sleeved winter version with a cable motif where the lace panel is currently. I love the asymmetrical look to it and really like the versitility the lace panel affords as it would be really easy to swap out stitch pattern of a similar size. I really like top down raglans, in fact I already have another one on the needles (more about that later). I loved the process of this knit. I learned so many things, top down sweater construction, lace patterns, and beign truthful with myself about patience over progress. This sweater felt like it went incredibly fast and I was unusually monogamous with it. I am by no means a monogamous knitter ( uh hello log cabin blanket, I'll get back to you eventually!) but I had such a great time watching it grow on my needles that I pushed myself to continue. I finished it in three weeks but didn't block it until last Sunday. (I had a tremendous amount of guilt about showing you all photos of an unblocked Rusted Root, so I decided to delay the F.O. post to show off Rusted Root how she deserves to be seen, all shiny and clean and de-lumpified.) And me? I'm still basking in the "I just completed the first-ever sweater" glow.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Feline Photo Fridays

I really like the idea of Eye Candy Fridays in the blog world, but I've decided to put a little spin on that. Since I am apparently a crazy cat lady, I have decided that Friday will henceforth be known as Feline Photo Fridays. Today I have Magnus.


He was my first ever kittle. Four years ago a stray cat had a litter of kittens in Justin's (the fiance) mom's woodpile. Not wanting 10 cats roaming around her backyard she set out to place the kittens in adoptive homes. At the time I was totally against taking in a kitten. 1) I'm allergic to cats, 2) J's apartment didn't allow them, 3) Did I mention I'm allergic to cats? But this little fella stole my heart and in August we adopted him. He was full of fleas and tiny for his age (4 months) but he was so furry and cute. I named him Magnus after a character in a Jimmy Buffett song, Chanson Pour Las Petits Infants (I was obsessed with J.B. that summer). Two months after that we adopted his littermate Delaney. Magnus is still tiny, and very furry but we like him that way, and the rest is history!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Rusted Root is being a diva and isn't ready for her public debut yet (something about her hair still being up in curlers) but I have this to show you:

My loot from Maryland Sheep & Wool.

- 5 Skeins Shelridge Farms Worsted in Turquoise.
-4 Skeins Socks That Rock Heavyweight in Boysenberry.

That's it. I know, I know, not very much but I was thoroughly overwhelmed. So much so that I was ready to just give up and throw in the towel because it was sooooooo crowded.

Like everywhere you turn you bump into someone (sorry people I bumped into!) I was a bit claustrophobic. Also, I only had $100 to spend (damn you car repairs and expensive asthma medicine!) I had planned on taking a bunch of photos but it was so crowed there was no way I would be able to get any good shots.

I must admit I'm kinda regretting my STR purchase. I bought it with the feeling that I would make my mom a chevron scarf for Christmas with an as yet undecided second colorway. I love the vibrant color of the Boysenberry but at $27, nearly 1/3 of my budget I wished I had passed (there's always the internets). What I wish I would have bought was more of the beautiful, soft, superwash Shelridge Farms worsted. Eventually I want to make my mom a Wicked from Zephyr Style, and I wish I would have bought the yarn in person. The yarn colorways are so, so beautiful in person, but not so clear and precise on the website. I am also going to keep this in mind when I knit the Rogue Hoodie in the fall. I love that it is superwash, so soft, and very reasonably priced at 200 yds for $10.50. The base yarn reminds me of STR, the sprongy-ness and roundness of it. Overall, I really great yarn.

Next year I hope to be proficient enough with a drop spindle to take advantage of all the wonderful roving. My friend Erin and I were both looking for some but being uneducated in the art of the drop spindle, we decided not to purchase roving afterall. We vowed to have this spinning thing down to take advantage of all the roving available at the Montpelier Fiber Festival in October.

Friday, May 4, 2007

It's Done

Rusted Root that is. But due to crazy-bad allergies plus cloudy rainy weather I haven't been able to properly document it. A proper FO post later this weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Literary Additions*

Not very much has gone on in my little knitting world since my last post. I am chugging away on Rusted Root. I have even gotten past placing the sleeves on scrap yarn! Yay! I have tried it on and it fits!! Double yay!! I am so excited by this fact I can't stop using superfluous** punctuation marks!! I don't have any up to date pictures because really the thing doesn't cover the monster boobage yet, and I am just not that confident to publish the oh so unflattering pictures. I am probably 35-40% done and I'm loving every moment (we'll see if that is still the case when I have to pick up a bazillion stitches to knit the collar).

I do, however, have something to show you from my other obsession...BOOKS!! These are my most recent purchases from the past two weeks.

Vintage Knits I found this book after drooling over Megan's awesome Salina sweater. Overall, I have fallen in love with many of the sweaters in the book. I have a feeling that late summer/early fall knitting will consist of lots of sweaters from this book.

Sensational Knitted Socks After I frogged my Monkey Sock Laura suggested I get my hands on this book. Thanks Laura!! It is a great resource even if I haven't knit a whole sock yet. Someday I will (someday soon-ish, I hope).

Hawaiian Applique This is a quilting technique that I fell in love with after I visted the Islands a few years ago. I love the somewhat abstract, bold patterns, and the lovely echo quilting technique that looks like ripples on water. I also love the history that goes with this traditional craft. For more information check out Quilts Hawaii.

Denyse Schmidt Quilts Since I have never quilted anything before (though I do know how to sew and own a machine) I thought it would be useful to, uh, learn before I got in way over my head with the Hawaiian Quilts. Plus, after watching Ashley make not one, but 3 (!) beautiful quilts I think I am hooked.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off The Yarn Harlot has done it again! I loved her other books, Knitting Rules! and The Secret Life of a Knitter and so far, this one isn't disappointing either. I just wish I could have seen her in person on her book tour.

Simple Sewing I first heard about this one over at Not Martha. It has a bunch of really cute projects, and I'm especially smitten with the garden tote (which is probably beyond my sewing skill level, but oh well.)

I must admit books and music are probably my first obsession even before knitting. I am ashamed to admit how much money I spend a month on them, but to me they are a necessity to maintaining my sanity, and more importantly my creativity. I found a great online website Library Thing where you can catalog your books online. I love it! You can find my profile/catalog here. I would love to find something like this for my music collection which number well into the hundreds of CDs. If anyone knows of one, please let me know!

* Get it? Literary Additions/Editions? Ha, ha I crack myself up sometimes.
** Quite possibly my most favoritest word ever!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I have cast on for Rusted Root, and so far, so good. The pattern is incredibly easy, and well written. I think I am addicted. I am so glad I went with the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I recently had a chance to fondle my alternative, Lion Brand Cotton-ease in person, and I am glad I decided against using it. Maybe it is the addition of the acrylic in their blend, but it has a weird texture, plus I wasn't totally smitten with the color choices. Cotton-ease comes in a limited range of subtler colors. While I know many people were excited with the new color offerings, I like my colors bright. Very Bright. (Thankfully I have a very understanding fiance who lets me decorate as I wish.) Here's how far I have gotten, only 36 rounds, but it feels like it is going incredibly fast. (Sorry for the craptastic photos, I had to take them indoors due to high winds and no sun.)

Here's a better shot of the lace pattern:

I have to admit I was having problems with the lace pattern at first. I don't know why, it is easy enough, but I was coming out with the wrong stitch count at the end of the some of the rows. I finally frogged back a few rows and it is finally clicking.

In other semi-knitting related news, I joined Runagogo My parents got me an elliptical machine on the condition that I pay them back gradually. (Oh, the joys of being a recent college graduate with a low paying job.) Well, they said if I lose 20 lbs. I don't have to pay them back. So, I am in the process of getting back into shape and becoming healthier. Runagogo has totally motivated me since you can keep track of your mileage. I am already over 1/10th of the way to my goal of 100 miles by July 4th. Along with my exercise goal, I have also made a goal for Rusted Root. My parents are throwing Justin and I an engagement party in the beginning of June, and my goal is to have Rusted Root done and have a somewhat sleeker figure. I am making progress on both fronts, but there is still so much to do...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm a-Swatchin'

I didn't get much knitting done over the weekend since my parents were in town, but I did receive the yarn for Rusted Root. I decided to go with the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Perry's Primrose. I ordered my yarn online since my LYS doesn't carry Brown Sheep. I ordered from Flying Fingers I am very, very happy with my purchase. Not only was the yarn cheaper than most places online, but shipping was really very fast. Plus, it felt like I was opening a present. Check out the awesome tape:

This is what it looked like when I first opened it:

See that photo of the sheep on top of everything? That's a handwritten note from the owner. The owner! The skeins were wrapped in tissue paper and arranged like a gift. It's the small stuff like this that will truly make me a return customer. Here's what Perry's Primrose looks like:

I started swatching last night, but nearly fell asleep doing so, due to a VERY long day at work yesterday. I had to get up at 4:30 am (AM!) to go on a field trip to D.C. to look at three houses. I didn't get home until after six, and was in bed by nine. It was a long, long day. So far I like the cotton fleece, especially the color. What I'm not happy about is just how damn splitty the yarn is. I had a rough time getting used to this, and only made it about 5 rows into swatching. I'll finish the swatching tonight and wash and block it tomorrow, then I'll be starting Rusted Root.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


The Parentals are coming to town this weekend so there will be very little knitting, if any. So have a great weekend everyone and I will leave you with these:


Beautiful fresh eggs. And those aren't dyed folks, they come right out of the chicken that color! (Believe me, this city girl had no idea eggs could come in sea foam green.)

Which inspired this:

Cotton Yarn

Sugar n' Cream cotton for ballband warshrags. What could be more spring-like than easter egg colored warshrags?

Eggs in a Row

Yarn in a Row

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Monkey, why, oh why won't you get off my back? It was time. We hadn't been happy for a long time. The split was amicable. Today, the monkey sock and I have parted ways. You may ask why. Our affair had started out so well. We even made it past the heel flap and the treacherous first turning of the heel. But, alas, it was not meant to be. Here is all that remains of our short, but torrent relationship:

Midway through the lace pattern I decided I didn't like long socks. They irked me and for some reason made me feel weird. So what did I (the stupid sock knitting virgin) do, well I dropped two of the lace pattern repeats before the heel flap. (Collective *face palm*) It looked fine to me, and in my haze I didn't even bother to try it on. I, the enthusiastic knitter with ADD, just really wanted to get to the heel flap and turning of the heel. Well, over the weekend I finally tried it on... and it didn't fit, at all. I changed my mind. I decided I like my socks either long or short, no in-between. And where did the monkey fall, well of course in the in-between area. It was cankle length, and not a good look for anyone. Also, there was another problem. The cast-on. It was, oh, a wee bit tight. Like cutting off circulation tight. I was a good little knitter. I know my cast-ons are generally tight so I went up a needle size to compensate. Well, it still didn't work so I ended up frogging THE. WHOLE. THING. Oh the pain. But now it is one less WIP standing in my way of Rusted Root. Next time I try to knit socks will some please smack me upside the head if I threaten to remove pattern repeats?!