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I noodled around with a few skeins of yarn on the bus today, trying to decide on color combinations and technique for my next project, the Otto pullover. It’s supposed to be worked stranded, but the design has floats up to 8 stitches long and I’m concerned little fingers will get caught in the strands. Not that that’s a tragedy, but I don’t want to make it harder for a parent to wrangle a child into a garment.

Color-wise, I settled on charcoal with purple:


For stranding technique, Armenian knitting (I have the book from Schoolhouse Press) produced the result I liked best.


You can see 4 rows of stranding with 3-stitch floats before the top part with the purple yarn trapped every other stitch; that’s the Armenian knitting bit, lots of trapping. Gauge is 7 stitches to the inch (a little big for size 2 needles, but that’s normal when you’re trapping like this) and I like how the fabric feels. You see long loose strands because I worked the swatch with only the right side facing to emulate working in the round.

On the ride home, I cast on for the ribbing and got going. This is a perfect bus knitting project so will progress relatively quickly.


I felt nervous about 2/3 of the way through the bind-off row despite my friend’s assurances that it looked like I had enough yarn. She was right — I finished off the shawl and had gray yarn left, hooray!


A yarn chicken triumph!


Well, here I am once more playing yarn chicken with this same project you saw at the end of April. You would almost think I did this on purpose for the sheer joy of having even more knitting time with this lovely yarn (Annapurna from A Verb For Keeping Warm, which is indeed divine to work with). Think again, readers!

Mystery Shawl 6 WIP

The little pile of remaining gray has to last for 6 more rows plus the bind-off, about 3600 stitches total. I have my doubts but will soldier on. If it lasts only the 6 rows, I’m happy to bind off with orange just to see this shawl complete.



Spinning with friends

While it is possible they were admiring my technique or wondering which salon they needed to go to to get their locks dyed just such a color, it turns out they were lining up to use the bench as a scratching post. One of the lambs played with my shoe and pants cuff a bit; the sheep here are all accustomed to humans wandering in their meadows and get pretty close.

After 3 more hours of knitting, I lost at yarn chicken. The little coil of orange is all that remains of the Annapurna yarn, with 2.5 rows to go. I hoped it would be enough to finish this row and I would just do the next two rows in gray instead of orange, but no joy.


Nothing apt turned up in the scraps bin, and the pretty terra cotta color is hard to match, but I dug around in my handspun and came up with that skein on the right, BFL from Tactile Fiber Arts in a color called Geranium. It’s only 2-ply and darker than the Annapurna, but I have plenty of it (184 yards!) and it will work if I use it symmetrically, so I will rip back to the start of the first orange-and-gray section and use it as the background in both those sections. Unfortunately, this means losing some 14 hours of work, so I won’t finish this in time to show it off in the mystery shawl prizes thread. Disappointing, to be sure, but I finally get to use some of my handspun to a good purpose and that’s kind of nice.

Drat the cell phone picture at night, even under a daylight lamp. I look forward to finished items photos under a cloudy sky to show the colors off properly.

This week, I got to play that sometimes exhilarating, sometimes mood-dampening game of yarn chicken. Twice. I won on the hat, with far more pale gray left over than I thought there would be. The game is still afoot in the mystery shawl, for which we’re down to an anxiety-riddled finish on this skein. I have 8 more rows of orange to go and 10 grams of yarn remain. The rows are loooong at this point, and this section is striped with the gray, so it’s going to take me a few more hours to know. Wish me luck!

WIP 2018-04-28

My local newspaper’s report is correct — it’s unusually warm for early February. What does this mean for a knitter/spinner? It’s washing day! Things will dry quickly! They will dry before they can mildew! Huzzah! Well, OK, I’m not that ecstatic about it, but I am motivated to get recently-plied yarn off the bobbins and I washed Revontuli and a few new-ish projects that haven’t had ideal blocking conditions yet. You have to take advantage of these things.

What knitters do on warm days

I also went out for a long walk in the park, enjoying the lovely breeze and all the happy bird noises. Now it’s gotten a bit too warm for exercise so I’m off to knit in the library’s windowless cave of a conference room.

Before gobbling with the family, my mom and I took a long walk on the beach. It was hazy, but comfortably warm and just pretty as always with lots of birds:


Sand dollar exoskeletons were abundant, including this example in which its internal structure was visible:


If you celebrate(d) today, Happy Thanksgiving!

You saw the Emerald cardigan here a long time ago. I made it in a rush February 2014 so I could wear it to Stitches West. And I wore it, even though I goofed the collar and it had no buttons, because better to have no buttons than to have ones that don’t complement your knitted work.


Locating appropriate buttons took ages. I shopped button booths at festivals and went to a bunch of sewing/craft/notions stores, keeping an eye out, and wore Emerald pinned shut in the meantime. In August, at last, button success! Next time, I plan to start my quest at Britex Fabrics instead of ending it there.


Pattern: Emerald by Amy Swenson, published on Knitty in Winter 2006
Yarn: 7.3 skeins Noro Iro, 75% wool, 25% silk, color 112
Needles: US size 10, plus 10.5 for the collar at the back of the neck
Started 2/1/2014, finished knitting 2/21/2014; re-did the collar 12/2016; buttons 8/15/2017

To match the colors on the Noro yarn, I fussily wrote down the sequence of colors on a slip of paper I pinned to each skein as I wound it into a ball. To make the front band match on both sides, I used two balls of yarn, one for each half of the band and twisted them at the back of the neck on the public side of the cardigan so that the twist is hidden under the folded-down collar. When I re-knit the band, I used size 10 needles for the fronts and size 10.5 needles for the wider collar bit to make it a bit more floppy. It lies better this way.

Behold, the buttons!

2016-12-08_Emerald-Cardigan_Noro-Iro_ buttons

I had to dig through the box to find the streaky ones.


Tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday are the last two days of the traveling Latvian mitten show in San Francisco. If you’re local, go take a peek before they move on!


About half are from the Latvian Ethnographic Museum in New Jersey and the rest from folks local to northern California. I went on Sunday and, as the only visitor for a brief period, got a personal tour from the woman who organized the exhibition and met a woman who knitted one of the displayed mittens as a child during her, ahem, stay at a relocation camp in Germany for “about 5 years” after World War II. I had no idea I was so ignorant of Latvian history; relocation never came up in any history class I took.

The mittens were beautiful, hanging around the room on strings. Here we have braided cuffs, entrelac cuffs, and fringed cuffs:


I took a few photos of a few I especially liked. This color combination caught my eye:


This pattern did, too:


It was inspiring for this knitter. I feel like dropping everything and making mittens.



Flickr Photos