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When my brain failed me

So, in my last post I raved about how fast stranded is. There is a caveat to that: it’s really fast if you don’t have to rip it out and start over.

Somehow, I got it into my head to hold the yarns opposite from how I should, so the background color was dominant (not something you normally look for in a background).


So the veins of the leaves were almost invisible. Trooper that I am, I somehow convinced myself it was Totally Fine and kept at it.


But of course it wasn’t fine, and once I figured that out with the help of Glenna and Elspeth on Twitter (ie knitting mentors) it became really, really apparent. In the above photo, you can see plain as day that the top leaves look miles better than the ones below.

Commence the ripping.


Sob. If I’d only listened to the little voice in my head sooner! It wasn’t until I picked up the project in hand while wearing my dragon sweater and realized, one of these things is not like the other.

So after a weekend of much walking-and-knitting, followed by a Supernatural marathon, we’re back in business.


It may not be done for the weekend trip where I’d hoped to take pictures, and I may need to make something on size 15 needles as a palette cleanser at some point, but it will likely be done for Rhinebeck and I’ll be a lot happier with the result.


Quick like Stranded

I started my Rhinebeck sweater the other day.  I have no idea how long it’s going to take, since I have never knit a fully colorwork sweater before, let alone on 2s, but it is going faster than expected.  Fair isle is fast, dude.

YarnHarlot had a post about this a while ago that (conclusively? Sure) proved fair isle is faster than stockinette.  I’ve definitely found this to be the case–the dragon yoke went much faster than the same number of body stitches on my last sweater.  For me, it’s because I get absorbed into the pattern.  Stockinette is really easy to stop and start, to zone out and ignore.  Fair isle is addictive.  Very seriously addictive.  So maybe it’ll actually be done in time for Rhinebeck!

So basically, I can’t put down this sweater. 


And it’s not even blue!

Impatient for DRAGONS!

I’ve been kind of insufferable regarding this sweater–ever since I finished the stranded yoke, I’d occasionally hold it up and shout DRAGONS!  And Jesse would nod seriously and reply, yes, dragons.


It’s actually a version of Paper Dolls–I made a different one last year, and loved it so much I immediately decided to make another.   The pattern is taken from a hat appropriately named Dragon Hat.

ImageBecause the pattern is wider, I couldn’t decrease in quite the same way as the pattern suggested, but it turned out well enough!  Suitably dragony.


The base yarn is March Hare Sock, the gold is Sundara Sport (actually the same I used in my last Paper Dolls), and the red is Sundara Sock (leftover from a pair of socks).  All of them were wonderful to work with.  

Dragons!  Dragons.  Dragons!


I may have a blue sweater problem

I just finished a blue Paper Dolls (currently blocking, but I am VERY excited to show it off soon!) and cast on an ice blue Chione that’s going like gangbusters (amazing how fast knitting on 4s feels after knitting on 2s).  And somewhere in this pile of blue sweaters, I forgot that I still hadn’t taken photos of my Bloomsbury, that I finished in June.

Luckily, English weather to the rescue.

photo (1)

And thank you Stonehenge for an awesome background.

I changed some things around on this, mostly by centering the sleeve pattern and making it the side lace from the front, since the slanted-forward sleeve lace in the pattern probably wouldn’t be super flattering on my figure.

photoThe yarn is Miss Babs Yowza in Half Past Midnight, from Rhinebeck two years ago.  Normally I would think yarn this busy wouldn’t work with lace, but I actually really like how the lace pattern makes the yarn look and vice versa.

photo (2)


My photographer/husband had just done or said something upsetting.  Who knows.


The Long Game

I’ve been radio silent for a little while, and with (pretty) good reason.  I’ve been working on a couple long-term projects that just aren’t that interesting yet (but hopefully will be before too long!)

–I’m almost out of the stockinette doldrums of a second Paper Dolls remix, and once I get started on the stranded yoke, that thing’ll fly by. 

–I’ve been weighing what to make for a Rhinebeck sweater, and my indecision means that there’s been a lot more prep this year than usual.  I may have come to a decision (though I need to swatch to make sure), but otherwise need to get going if my rather ambitious plan is going to come to fruition.

–It sounds incredibly dorky to say, but I’ve also been spending a lot of time working on…well…me.  I’ve been fighting with my bum ankles off and on since 2010, and I’m just at the end of my rope.  My husband asked–rather understandably–why I wanted to keep running even though the sport has not been super kind to me.  And he’s right.  I could bike or do spin; I could box or Zumba or circuit train.  None of that is particularly hard on my ankles, and all has the same cardio benefit (really, probably more considering how much I can run right now).  But I don’t want to quit.  I love how running feels, sans ankle pain.  I love how portable and low maintenance it is.  I trained myself to love it, and now I’m stuck loving it even though it doesn’t love me back.

So, I’m going through what’s probably a last ditch effort to be able to run distances.  I’m doing a lot more strength work, I’m basically glued to my foam roller, I stretch like crazy, I ice, and I’m meeting with a physical therapist to develop a plan.  And it might not work (though Runner’s World tweeted this article today, that gave me hope).  But I have to try.

On a lighter note, my poor sore feet got one thing to make them feel better:  a new Cookie A pattern in MadTosh!


The socks are Tiberius (named after Captain Kirk), and the colorway is Filigree.  I’d been waiting for the perfect pattern to show off the yarn for a while, and Tiberius was exactly what I wanted.  The socks were a crazy fast knit too, even with a couple dumb mistakes on my part that required ripping back.  So my feet have something nice to comfort them after pounding the pavement!

A long time coming

I’m a little late in posting this–things have been pretty crazy lately, but the storm has passed, and now I’m just enjoying life being back to normal.  Going to the gym and running again–we’re preparing (i.e. I’m preparing, he’s pretty much set) to run another half marathon around our second wedding anniversary next year.  Feels great to be running again, especially now that the weather’s nice.  

But anyway: finally!  Anais is done!  And deciding to rip it back definitely paid off.


It was done just in time for our weekend jaunt to the fjords, so I got to test out firsthand how accurate the colorway name is.  For the record, very accurate.  It was perfect weather for a light sweater, and a pretty perfect trip (though mundane expenses in Norway are high.  I’m glad we were only there for a weekend; I don’t think we could have afforded much longer!)

But there were great fjords, seas, mountains, and an adorable town.  And we even found some sheeps on the mountain!


Sheeps sheeps.



Rip rip rip

While I normally dread ripping out heaps of work, as I’m sure most knitters do, lately it seems like I’ve had nothing but projects that benefited from a lot of ripping out and doing over.  The knitting equivalent of “opportunities to excel.”  Or something.

Example 1: Anais

In my last post, I was uber-concerned that I would run out of yarn before finishing a sweater (on 3s, I might add) that I’d been working on for months.  And as it turned out, I could have finished it just in time for MadMay.  Could have.

Anais has a floppy lace panel on the front of the sweater, which I thought was whimsical and cute.  But what wound up happening was, with my wider neck as a result of running out of yarn, the floppy cowl was kind of half-way in between.  It didn’t really commit fully to the floppiness, there was basically only enough to be annoying. With the wider neck, it just wasn’t working.  I could have finished it, checked the box and moved on, but I never would have worn the sweater, and yarn this pretty deserves better.  

So I ripped out the yoke, re-did the shaping, and started over.  I’m close to done now, and am much happier with how it’s going this time around.  Hopefully there will be pictures this weekend!

Example 2: Bloomsbury


I started working, simultaneously, on another sweater (Bloomsbury) as my palette cleanser for dealing with Anais, and I’ve had to rip out that bad boy twice: once because I needed to change gauge because the fabric was just too loose, and once because I realized I really should have started alternating skeins.  There’s still a little pooling, but the yarn is such that it’s pretty unavoidable.  I am much happier with it now, though.

So I don’t have a lot to show for May, unfortunately.  But I do have socks!

Example 3: Haleakala


Years ago, I made my very first shawl, out of MadTosh Sock in Cedar.  And…it didn’t go so well.  The color pooled, one side was noticeably longer than the other, it wasn’t my finest effort.  Realizing that I still loved the yarn, I ripped out the whole thing, and just finished a pair of completely awesome Cookie A socks that knit up ridiculously fast.  Much, much better, than a pooled, wonky shawl.

So maybe I should be more aggressive with ripping out projects/finished objects I don’t wear very often.  It’s been working out lately.