Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone!  Here is a picture of another gift that has made its way to its intended recipients; pattern is Felted Clogs, yarn is Cascade 220 (heathers) and random wool (solids).  I've made this pattern before, and these slippers wear like iron yet are warm and cozy as well:

Thanks to Neuro, Kylie has a new friend:

Thank you, Neuro!!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Holiday Countdown Begins!

A lot of us count the days leading up to the holidays; when we were kids that meant presents and a break from school; as we got older it meant an end to finals and possibly a fun or interesting winter break (unless you were victim of the unfortunate "trimester" system, in which case the holidays fell smack into the middle of the 2nd term); as adults we try to fit as many holiday-related activities into a shrinking number of days. When you are a knitter, and you have certain ideas about making things for people, the holiday countdown means that the yarn flinging happens at a greater rate than usual!

The first completed project I have to show you today is a pair of socks that aren't really part of holiday knitting at all; they've been finished for a couple of weeks now but their photo shoot needed to wait until my finals frenzy passed.  They're made by special request for a friend who had the yarn but who does not knit.  Pattern is just a plan vanilla sock; I let the yarn do all the work.

Next is a jaunty hat, made with leftover Cascade 220 (left over from what? you might ask.  They are still drying.  More to come on those.).  This is for a colleague at work, just because.

A neckwarmer for another colleague, made with a hand-dyed (not by me!) Louet yarn:

A scarf, made for no one specifically (but I needed a more-masculine emergency gift just in case), made with Valley Yarns Northfield that was never used for its original intended purpose:

Lastly (at least for today!), coordinating hat and voodoos for a family gift, also made with Cascade 220 leftovers:

Happy knitting all!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


A very Happy Thanksgiving from me and the iSocks (with an assist from one of Kylie's squeaker toys)!

Wishing you all safe travels, good eats, and plentiful drink!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

In the Inbetween

I have a couple more non-Thing-A-Month projects to share:

More socks in self-striping yarn:

iSocks (for cell phones and smaller smartphones) made with leftover sock yarns; by special request for OogyMom, who wanted some for a fundraiser:

(These are fun like booties in that they're fast and they use up leftovers; I've made several already and will get them all together before sending them off).

I'm hoping to cast on the November Northern Isle mittens today, seeing that it is already the second week of November!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thing A Month - October and November!

Dear Neuro,

The time sure is flying, as are the leaves today with all this wind!

I originally had grand ideas about our theme for October - Exotic Fiber.  I was going to obtain some quiviut or yak fiber and then spin it into a yarn for subsequent knitting into something fabulous - which is way cheaper than purchasing the already-made yarn.  Of course, the best laid plans...  Well into October I realized this would never occur, and that with the holidays just around the corner I'd better come up with an alternate plan quickly!

Which is when I suddenly remembered - MIL Oogy had given me a very strange spinning fiber blend a few years ago, and I had already spun it but had lost the nerve about knitting it into something.  The fiber blend is merino and blue fox.  Now, I can't find this fiber blend anywhere, so I've got to believe that MIL (who, you will recall, is also a famous weaver) must have acquired it from one of her famous fiber friends at one of their famous fiber meetings at some point, and that it is some kind of crazy one-of-a-kind custom blend.  At least this is the story I have fashioned for myself, which does seem very exotic indeed.

I took a deep breath and, using a very simple garter stitch feather-and-fan pattern, I forged ahead to make a scarf:

Here is a closeup - you can almost see the silvery highlights of the blue fox.

The best part is that you can knit this particular pattern until you're out of yarn, therefore leaving little left to waste!

Now, here it is November already, and our theme is Untried Northern Isle Technique.  Therefore, using this:

I am going to make these:

With these:

(No one said we had to use traditional Northern Isle colors!)

As usual, there are other random projects in the works, but I'll show you those another day.

Happy knitting!!


Sunday, October 20, 2013


The knitting here may have temporarily slowed due to other demands on time, but the fun continues, as does my recent birthday, evidently. Check out the sheep-shaped cupcake-like creations made by a Special Friend of Oogy:

Accompanied by:

(and also a large bottle of vodka that chose not to be in the picture.)

Needless to say, all of the above were immediately consumed with vigorous gusto.

Yarn content to follow soon!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Few More Things

Yet another pair of self-striping socks off the needles and at the ready:

(I'm still no brilliant photographer, but hopefully you get the idea!)

My latest chain mail success - very pretty, and not very difficult at all:

Last, but not least - bear legs!

You'll see the rest of the bear before too much longer.  The pattern is written for flat knitting, and I'm trying to change it up to do most of it in the round (why not, and skip all that unnecessary seaming?).  This is our Thing A Month for September, which I feel has "bearly" started.  Hah!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Heard At My House Yesterday Afternoon

(Me, rummaging around in the attic.)

Mr. Oogy (from downstairs):  What are you doing up there?

Me:  Looking for bear eyes.

Mr. Oogy: Oh, OK. (seeming to lose interest)

Only the husband of a yarn person would remain undisturbed by this sort of conversation.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Must... Post.... Something....

Dear Neuro,

You'll just have to take my word for it, I've been working on lots of things over the past few weeks, and I will (eventually) have something to show for it, just not at the moment...

In the meantime, in an attempt to burst through (or at least meander over) the logjam, here is a photo of one of the pairs of self-striping socks:

Meanwhile, we're 9 days into September and I barely (haha) have anything started for this month's Thing!

Could be worse - at least I've survived my first full week of coursework. I'm sure you could live without seeing a picture of that :)

Stay tuned for more pics!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thing A Month - August - Take A Craftsy Course

Dear Neuro,

Forgetting for the moment that I've yet to provide an update for our July Thing A Month, I wanted to let you know that I've been embracing our August theme, Take A Craftsy Course.  The course I chose is Shuttle Tatting; first, because I've got a big bag of supplies, pattern books, and other things related to shuttle and/or needle tatting that have been mocking and intimidating me for years; and second, it was on sale.  (I'm all for supporting our brothers and sisters in crafts - but it seems like we all go away happy when things are on sale!)

I'm trying very hard to take my time and work through the various exercises and techniques to ensure I get this right.  Here is the first practice strip of "double stitches" that is worthy of sharing publicly:

(I'm practicing in two different colors because there is some funky stuff that goes on with the way the yarn/thread is wrapped - I'm actually holding the green yarn in my right hand, with the shuttle, but the funky thing happens and then the red yarn, held in my left hand, gets flipped over and then - poof - it all works somehow).

And here is the first practice strip of "picots":

(You can see that I have a ways to go yet, and there are still a bunch of techniques I've yet to practice.  But it's fun, and I've used more crochet thread in the past week than I have since the Rat Lace project!)

I hope you're having fun learning new things this month as well!  



Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Yarn Crisis of Sorts

We went out to the cottage this past Friday so we could take care of this:

(Fortunately nothing else was damaged, except for the purple martin house (the neighbors swapped in an unused one, much to the surprise of the displaced birds); this wall is 60 feet long so you can get a sense of the size of the tree. I appear giant in the setting sun.)

I needed to bring enough yarn to last for 3 days.  My first panic set in when I realized I'd grabbed my current socks-in-progress but managed to leave one size 0 needle behind.  Not wanting to soldier on with only 4, I started a second pair on #1s:

Then I finished the knitting of one of those new twirly yarns.  Panic increased.

Then I moved on to one of the crochet afghan projects; surely this would occupy me for the rest of the weekend!

That is, of course, until I realized that I'd brought too much of the red, and not enough of the black!  Sheer panic.

Then, I realized - my loom is here!  I can weave a scarf!

(But my fringe twister is not!)

In the end, I started to work on the last of the pre-needlework for June UFO project #4.  And guess what?

These are size 0s.  I had enough with me all along!

P.S.  You would think I'd have taken pictures of the tree removal process.  I must have been in a real panic!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Several UFO Sightings

Dear Neuro,

I've been hiding indoors in the air conditioning for most of the holiday weekend due to the Florida-like weather we've been having in this state that is quite far away from Florida.  As such, I've kept busy with several UFOs.

I finally broke out my new sewing machine to cover a white pillow form.  It was almost too nice to cover up.

But this is the intended pillow cover - it matches an afghan I finished quite some time ago, they can finally be together at last.

A way-less-wrinkled-than-it-looks wool/silk woven scarf from last year needed fringing and finishing:

For some reason I had to make this sweater; I wanted it to be just the one light purple but then I kept running out of yarn.  Then it sat for several months awaiting seaming and the construction of the yarn frog:

You're right about the Ruana yarn, I'll think about its repurposing some more.  In the meantime, I'm swatching this humongous cone of blue/gray wool to see if it might work for the July project.  These are #1 needles so this could become quite the serious commitment:

(note the use of magic loop so I could get a swatch in the round with no purling)

The ubiquitous pair of socks is in the works as well, and there are still a couple of UFOs that may still make a mad dash to completion.  This weather isn't going to break any time soon so there is plenty of time.  I hope you're staying cool as well!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thing A Month - July - Reverse Engineering

Dear Neuro,

I've known all along that I wanted to reverse engineer this sweater:
I love it for so many reasons, and wear it practically all winter long (and a little bit before and after too!).  It's comfy, it's the perfect size, it's warm, it has pockets, and being wool it's not exactly waterproof but it keeps me warm even when it's damp.

It is also starting to show some wear, so before it completely dissolves, I wanted to memorialize it in measurements, and attempt to re-create it as well.

Neuro, you will remember our Great New England Yarn Adventure years ago, when I was on a quest to find the perfect yarn for Ruana.  I found it at Green Mountain Spinnery (where they had to toss down extra cones from the loft so I could have enough yardage).  I knitted it furiously (all garter stitch), and have not worn it one single time.  In about 10 years.

It's awesome yarn - wool and mohair.  Yes, it's way thicker than the yarn in the original sweater.  Yes, it's a completely different color.  But I am seriously considering repurposing.

What do you think?


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June FOs - Take Two

Dear Neuro,

I'm so excited to post some more (better-late-than-never) June(ish) FOs that these latest are still wet from their baths!

First is a genuine UFO, now transformed into Moody Blues (aka Moody Stockings) after its first sock pattern disaster:

Next is another Wingspan, which isn't a UFO at all since it wasn't even started until June, but it did need some finishing lest it become one, and so here it is (yarn dyed by Oogy and Neuro!!):

(I'm not sure why I felt compelled to knit an entire scarf during the month of FOs, except that it was a good take-along project for a recent roadtrip, and it probably gave me lots of extra dopamine during the process!).


Monday, July 1, 2013

Bootleg UFOs

Dear Neuro,

While I really am finishing up the original June UFOs, I do have a few other things that just needed a bit of a push to get completed, and I thought I'd throw them into the mix as well, this being already July and all...

First, a cover for the year-round Santa pillow that just needed to be seamed onto the pillow (oh dear, I think I just yarnbombed my own couch!!):

Next, Crest of a Wave scarf, made with sock yarn that didn't want to be socks and that just needed to be blocked:

More to come, along with some ideas about July's project.

Happy FO-ing!


Monday, June 24, 2013

June Thing A Month - UFO #1

Dear Neuro,

June is not changing her tune, at least not yet anyway!  With just a few days to go I have finally managed to finish the largest and longest-standing UFO.  It's so old, it doesn't even have a name!  That makes it practically prehistoric!!!  Here is it covering Kylie:

(Technically it still needs a washing, but at least all the crocheting and the miles of fringing are complete!!)

I've got lots of littles in the wings, some of which may make June 30th, while others may just linger on to fly right into July...

Here's to staying cool in this early summer heat!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Thing A Month - June (and Sockapalooza too!)

Dear Neuro,

I've been looking forward to our June Thing A Month, 4 UFOs, for quite some time now!  And, while I can't believe that it's June already, I did manage to narrow down the selection of what I'd like to work on this month...

First off - a very old afghan project, probably 12-15 years in the works by now.  It's fraught with peril - made in single crochet, of all things, and I'm not even sure if I have enough yarn left over to keep the pattern going.  But I need an afghan in the inventory, and it's high time I get this one finished, one way or another:

Next is a nearly-done-but-not-quite-so pillow cover to match an afghan I made (again crochet, again several years ago):

The purple fabric is silk that I am going to use to cover the white pillow form.  The pillow back is one big, purple granny square (same color as that tangle of yarn there).  This means I need to set up my new sewing machine (the one I got a few weeks ago - you can see where this one is headed).

This next project isn't as much of a UFO as is the yarn, which I've had for several years.  You may remember this yarn as a tangled mess I had to rip out because the pattern that came with it totally failed.  I've found a new pattern and, after a couple of false starts (gauge related), we're off and running:

You'll also recognize these socks from not so long ago, but they need the crazy needlework finishing, and if I don't put them on this month's project list I'm afraid they'll languish forever:

That's 4, right?  And I have a couple other, much smaller items that I will put on the sidelines as bonuses.  I won't show them here just in case that doesn't work out.

Regarding Virgin - I think we should still go for it, although perhaps not in 2013...  Yours is well underway and will be awesome.  Mine - well, I still haven't gotten over Knitpicks discontinuing Telemark, which would have been PERFECT for me, and I didn't really get that far after all the...

...unsuccessful gauge swatching.

Lastly, I bring you Sockapalooza:

Tidal Wave Socks, made with yarn given to me by my voice teacher:

The completed Entrelac Socks, in all their multi-colored jauntiness:

And, last but not least, Jeck socks, which started out two at a time on one circular needle, but then mitosis occurred and they got finished off one at a time on my beloved DPNs:

Happy UFO chasing!