Finishing Frenzy

I’ve been busy knitting up a storm for the past two months, but not good about finishing and even worse about blogging. Gigantic work deadline got in the way. But now that the beta version of the site has finally launched, it’s time to get back to business.

Saturday, I went a little crazy. I started by weaving in the ends of five dishcloths and one dishtowel that I knit in a stash- and stress-busting frenzy that started mid-September. That led to weaving in more ends (a shawl and two cowls). Then adding the thumbs on a pair of fingerless mitts that had been languishing for more than a month. I finished the finishing by ripping back and re-knitting the toes on too-big socks. Here’s the pile I ended up with; now for the blocking…


And since I’m in catch-up mode, here are a pair of socks I finished in August and gifted to my mother.

cabin socks 1

Pattern: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Crazy Zauberball (Spring Is Here)

And here is a baby hat that got the quickest of photoshoots before going into the gift bag.

Pattern: Dinofied Wee Balaclava by by mama cerise
Yarn: Cascade 200 (Lichen) & Ella Rae Classic (Yellow-Lime Heather)

Time for a break…aka, more knitting! 😉

FO: Gramps Cardigan and Hat

I’ve long admired this pattern and was thrilled to have the chance to make it for a good friend expecting her first baby. Nothing more satisfying than setting the needles to work for a fellow knitter, is there?


Pattern: Gramps by tin can knits
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Caraway Heather and Cinnamon)


Not only is the pattern put together really well, it has a fantastic blog tutorial. Total win. Wish I was even half as pleased with the yarn. I liked the colors and springiness while knitting (nearly) enough to deal with how splitty it was.

But then the wet blocking almost. did. me. in. Not only did it grow to ginormous proportions, but a couple of carefully woven seams started to come apart. Thankfully, I was able to save it with a long timeout in the dryer. (I’ve never been so happy to be working with superwash.) But just look at this before shot to see how tidy the pocket seams/joins started out. Sigh…


Light at the end of the tunnel? Knowing that not a single person will be looking at the seams once it’s keeping a cute little boy warm!

Holiday FOs: Guernsey Triangle and Isla Wrap

Now that they’ve been unwrapped, I can post these two FOs from the month-long blackout between my last two blog posts. (I may not be blogging, but rest assured, I am always knitting! 😉

First up, one of the lovely yarn and pattern combos from the 2011 Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club. This one had my sister’s name all over it from day one. (Although I must confess, I wasn’t sure until the end that I’d be able to let it go.)

Pattern: Guernsey Triangle by Jared Flood
Yarn: TFA Red Label in Smoke
And second, a present for Izzy. She saw this yarn online right after Thanksgiving and asked for “something, anything” in it for Christmas. I was only too happy to oblige and found this nice little caplet/cowl on Ravelry. The color is actually somewhere between these two shots… Ah, the joys of snapping FO photos in winter!


Pattern: Isla Wrapby Jessica Vinson
Yarn: TFA Red Label in Frippery


FOs: Scalene Double Take

Since they knew we were headed back to MN, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a birthday gift certificate to another new yarn store that had opened in Minneapolis during our stay in Albuquerque. (This place is fiber heaven!) Rather than spending it right away online, I decided to exercise some rare restraint and wait a few months so I could visit in person… As luck would have it, I traveled to Mpls a few weeks later for an interview (for the job I got, yay! 😉 and visited Bella Lana over Memorial Day weekend.

Being the total geek that I am, I traveled with the last skein I planned to purchased in NM and the goal of buying a complementary skein in MN to create a symbolic transition knit. Yep, total geek! Here’s my “Two-State Scalene,” which I love for more than just the silly sentimental reasons.

scalene-2Pattern: Scalene by Carina Spencer
Yarn: Zitron Unisono (1210) &
 Madelinetosh Pashmina (Magnolia Leaf)
Beyond the great mix of color stripes in the Unisono, my favorite detail is the double keyholes, which make the Scalene so easy to wear.


I wasn’t alone in appreciating the style. The Scalene also caught my mother’s eye… And I instantly knew what I wanted to do to thank her for all the help this summer, which included hosting Izzy for several weeks and unpacking my kitchen. Yeah, I know. I’m one lucky daughter! Not sure that this “Gratitude Scalene” is enough, but at least it’s a good start. And the colors suit her to a T. (And in case it’s not clear, Izzy insists that I note she’s sporting her “silly face” in the following shot.)


Yarn: Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino 
Silk DK (Nutkin and Anise)


FO: Hearts & Bows Headband

Ah, the joys of having a tween. While Izzy specifically requested this headband for Valentine’s Day — and was thrilled to get it this morning — you’d have thought I asked her to scrub the toilet based on her facial expressions in the quick photos I took today.








It’s quite the miracle that this one smile slipped into the mix.

The yarn, which is a perfect girly pink and fuzzy soft, made its way to my stash via an online trade. (Last fall, I got a Ravelry message from a UK knitter in need of my leftover Lavender Cotton Glace.) While I got gauge, the fabric seems pretty airy… And now has me wondering if DK in the UK is actually what we call Sport in the US/Canada. It’s a fun, fast knit and I have plenty of yarn still, so think I might try reknitting it with the yarn doubled.

FO: Baby Steps

This post needs to start with an admission — my fine motor skills are seriously lacking.

I don’t jest, as my friend and former co-worker Laura would be happy to confirm. She once handed me an X-ACTO knife and asked me to help cut Peter (or was it Plinky?)* out of foam core. Not believing my claim, she insisted. And so I started, cautiously and carefully. Really trying. After about two minutes, she said, “You know what? You’re right. Never mind.” and promptly took that X-Acto back.**

So it’s not surprising that I’ve avoided knitting with smaller yarns and needles. But this past Christmas I asked for and got a lovely set of sock-size DPNs. A member of my team is expecting a baby at any moment, so I took the opportunity to grab some fingering weight yarn from my stash and knit up my first-ever pair of booties. On size 1s (2.25 mm). Here are the booties on top of the needle set for a sense of scale.

And here is my snoopy ever-helpful cat Chloe walking into the photo, providing her paw as further evidence of the wee size.

Once I got past the feeling that I was knitting doll clothes on toothpicks, I found the booties fun. In fact, the size 3s (3.25 mm) felt clunky when I first started the hat. I’m counting the booties as my first new item/technique of the year… Now to decide, socks or mittens next?

* For the record, Peter, Plinky, and all the Mint Pals have changed quite a bit in the (how is it possible?) more than a decade since we brought them to life. Laura’s art was far superior.

** Also for the record, Laura is a lovely person — so lovely, in fact, that I could only laugh and not feel the least bit offended.

FO: Incognito

Pattern: Incognito with Snidely ‘stache
Yarn: Smart (Olive, Chocolate, Black)

You could call this a gifting-redo. For Christmas, I’d made a pair of Malabrigo Loafers for my brother-in-law. Even though they were the largest size, they turned out to be too small. Bad for him but good for my sister, who yelled out “Score!” and then got details about how to felt them down to her size before the rest of the presents were  unwrapped. Later on, I conferred with him over this patten (since it’s the sort of thing you either find terribly witty or can’t imagine wearing).

The Incognito has made its way to Minnesota for his January birthday. Should the weather there return to normal, it’ll make a nice addition to his winter biking gear. Before I packaged it up, though, Izzy and I brought it with us to the zoo for a few quick snapshots. And — I should have seen this coming — she now wants one of her very own.

FO: Fear of Commitment Cowl

And now we come to the end of the holiday knitting madness.

Given what I’d started, I had to add a knit gift for my sister — especially since she’s the only one of the crew who’s done any knitting. I’m nothing if not a planner (and deadline driven, in case you haven’t yet figured that out), so I’d wisely purchased enough Malabrigo to make this wrap for her.

Pattern: Fear of Commitment Cowl by Julie Weisenberger
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (Red Mahogany)

In case anyone needs to know this for future reference — not that I’m advocating for that madness — this wrap can be completed in a couple of days. It also makes good airplane knitting.

FOs: Malabrigo Loafers

Somewhere between finishing the Transverse cardigan and knitting a pile of monster parts, I sort of lost my mind. That’s really the only explanation I can come up with for why it seemed wise to plan more holiday knitting at the end of November.

Um, yeah…

So I grabbed the Malabrigo and cast on slippers for my father and brother-in-law. Since it was only after I’d purchased the yarn that I got the pattern, I didn’t realize that short rows were involved. So, yes, I unwittingly queued up a new skill test for myself just to add to the Christmas frenzy. As I said, sort of lost my mind.

Pattern: Malabrigo Loafers by Julie Weisenberger

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (Marine & Red Mahogany)
Once I’d committed to the project, though, I went all in and decided to knit sole inserts for both pairs. If you’re going to wear Malabrigo on your feet, why not make it extra cushy? Both pairs were finished before we left New Mexico, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph the second one until we were in MN (hence the crappy shot on flannel sheets).