3rd is the new 1st

Yet again, I sort of decided not to do NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and then decided to do it and then forgot. It’s starting off with a bang!

First up, as usual, a round up of finished objects.

A cowl for my cousin’s birthday.

Yes, one cowl. I am kind of astonished myself. I made a big push on my orangish sweater a few months ago and then got to the end of the yarn with not enough sweater. It is sitting in a basket thinking about how it has done me wrong. A friend a knitting did point out that more of that yarn exists for sale on Ravelry so maybe I will actually buy it and finish it but maybe I will just ignore it until it fixes itself. They do that, right?

I am currently working on a Honey Cowl knit in Hand Maiden Silken and it is gorgeous, if I may say so myself.

Honey Cowl in Progress
Honey Cowl in Progress

I love this yarn and I appear to be all about the simple patterns right now. I put down another scarf I was knitting because I had to look at the chart for EVERY line. Who has time for that? Not me. I like to knit at school board meetings so that I don’t scream in frustration and it is harder to do that and actually listen if I have to keep looking at the pattern.

One new tradition I hope to keep up this November is CandleTime. I learned about it only a few days before the end of October and I have done it for the past two evenings. I quite enjoy sitting at the dinner table with just the candles lit either doing a puzzle or reading something while I enjoy my cup of tea. I will probably just keep it up until Thanksgiving but who knows, it may turn out to be something I want to continue.

My candles and tea.

Thanks for reading my disjointed start to NaBloPoMo! I hope to be more entertaining as the month progresses!


NaBloPoMo Day 8: the wonder of yarn construction

I was hoping to have a progress picture for you of my sweater sleeve. I sort of do. I mean, I have a picture but you can’t really see the progress. Sweater sleeves that don’t have a cable or something are pretty boring to watch being knit. I sometimes wonder if knitting progress pictures are like watching paint dry. I kind of hope not.

With that wonderful intro, here’s my progress.

Kiama sleeve continued

I’m kind of mesmerized by this yarn. The more I look at it the more I wonder why I thought i could produce the same garment with this pattern with another yarn. The yarn is Berroco Origami. Since I decided that I love it, it has, of course, been discontinued. Such is my lot. In any case, it’s about 10 plies or variously colored and textured yarns held together by a single strand of something (I’d guess it’s either cotton or nylon). The result is intriguing to me.

origami yarn

The frustrating thing is that I can’t think of another yarn constructed this same way. A friend was looking for something similar for a project she wanted to knit (as I mentioned a few days ago) and I was knitting something with ArtFibers Brogue, which is another yarn with an intriguing construction. That one is a core of fluffy, unplied microfiber encased in a knitted tube of cotton. The cowl I knit out of it is squishy and warm and the yarn holds lovely stitch definition but is also quite stretchy. I would love to knit a sweater jacket out of that too but that would break the bank. Bank breaking aside, I was wrong about the constructions being similar. They are only similar in that they intrigue me.

I consider intriguing yarn construction to be both one of the blessings and curses of knitting without wool. Wool yarn tends to be straightforward. It’s sometimes spun with unusual fibers but as far as I know most of it is plied to varying degrees. With the nonwool yarns you get a wide variety of construction methods. Many of which are discussed in Amy Singer’s wonderful No Sheep for You. She includes much discussion of her favorite nonwool yarn: calmer. Which has, of course, been discontinued.

Those yarn manufacturers sure know how to keep us on our toes!

NaBloPoMo Day 5: something I never thought I’d want to knit

I am going to skip over my apologies for missing yesterday. Clearly, this is not going to manage to be a daily event.

There are a lot of patterns out there for knitted skirts. Lots of them are cute on the right figure and lots of them look like interesting knitting. I never thought I’d find one that looked like interesting knitting but also like something I could wear but I think I have. Dickson, by Norah Gaughan (of course). I won’t be knitting it in the alpaca/wool yarn it calls for but I have enough of a cotton/acrylic Berocco yarn called Love It to make it with that instead. It’s blue, just like the denim skirts I wear all the time.

berroco love it

I’m pretty excited about the idea of this but I need to finish my sweater first… right? I’m almost done with the first sleeve so I’m going to go work on that.

conic knit along

In spite of this being a sheep-free knitting blog, I can be a bit of a sheep. Three of the six people at knitting last night were making Conic, so I’m joining Cookie’s knit along. I’m going to try to make it with some Henry’s Attic soie naturelle that I dyed with oxblood Procion dyes several years ago. Here’s a terrible picture I took when it was drying.

hand dyed silk, oxblood

I’m going to try to get a better picture when I wind it up but I have a feeling that it is one of those colors that is really hard to photograph well. I am not sure if the yarn will work for the project or not. The weight required (light fingering) is one where the acceptable non-wool substitutions that I’ve found have been prohibitively expensive. For example, Neighborhood Fiber Co has a light fingering silk that looks gorgeous but would cost me more than $120 for the amount needed. Oops. I might try a single skein of that yarn another time for something smaller. It’s so pretty!

Enough of the yarn lusting. I’m going to go wind up the yarn that I dyed all by myself! I’m sure it will be lovely. Right? (Say right.)

changing plans

Sometimes things don’t go as planned…

Two friends from my knitting group have knit or are knitting the Color Affection shawl. I was intrigued and then a recent Yarn Harlot post pushed me over the edge and I decided to knit one. I had an Amazon Local voucher for Uncommon Threads so I headed over there yesterday on a quest for the perfect yarn for that shawl. I didn’t find it and instead brought home The Principles of Knitting.

the blue section of my knitting books

It looks so imposing on the shelf! My husband asked me if this meant I was going to learn to knit. Isn’t he funny?

Since I hadn’t found the perfect yarn at the yarn store, I decided to dive a bit deeper into my stash. The only yarn that is near the correct gauge that I have in three colors in near the right quantities is AllHemp3, in grey, darker grey, and black.

shades of grey...

It feels somehow wrong to knit the Color Affection shawl in shades of grey, basically, but I think it would be pretty. I have less of the black, and maybe not enough, but I’m hoping it will work. However, upon making that decision and looking for the needles for the project I realized that the two setsĀ  of needles that might work are in other projects. One is in the sweater that I’m currently knitting, Etesian. I’ve finished the sleeves and the piece across the back (it has an odd construction) and I only had to bind off the sleeve stitches three times before getting it close to right.


I’ve only just started the lace fronts and back for which I am using my size 6s from my Knit Picks interchangables. I thought that maybe I should use 7s anyway, so I was going to pull the needles out of my Annis shawl, which I started on impulse in August after getting the yarn at a swap. In my mind, I had made a mistake and couldn’t find it. Luckily, before I pulled the needles out unmercifully, I checked and the stitch count was fine! So, instead of starting a new shawl, I picked that shawl back up and finished all the bead (formerly nupp) rows.


It looks really pretty and I’m glad I didn’t rip the needles out.

Sometimes knitting works in mysterious ways!

NaBloPoMo Day 29: pictures of stuff!

I realized yesterday that I didn’t show the thing in the kids’ room that makes the grass rug perfect: a tree!


Also, look how cute their new comforter covers and pillow cases look with the new rug.

new comforter covers

I guess it’s growing on me.

Also purchased at Ikea yesterday: adorable LED snowflake lights.

snowflake lights

They are on my kitchen window and I love them. I want to go back and get a second set so that they can actually go all the way around the edge of the window.

In actual knitting content news (this is a knitting blog, remember?) I am now on row 50 of the neverending-double-knit-cowl.

more progress

The end is so close I can taste it. Only the kitchener looms large and scary. My goal is to finish this before Christmas. Think I can make it??

NaBloPoMo Day 26: cowl progress

While watching TV tonight I knit a few more rows on my cowl. I’m actually making progress!

making progress!

(Apologies for the color in this picture. The iPhone plus artificial light plus me being too impatient to wait until morning for a photo leads to some wacky color.)

Anyway, here’s the picture from three days ago to compare.

an old project

Of course, since the color work has no repeats and I didn’t take a photo of it from the same spot, it’s not as obvious. I think you can see the progress, though! I am now on round 44. That doesn’t sound like a lot of progress (three rounds today) but it’s a lot more than had been knit in the previous three years or so! Here’s hoping I don’t stall out before it gets done.

NaBloPoMo Day 25: sewing as fast as I can

This is what I did today.

arts focus quilt

That is half of one of the two quilts I needed to put together for the kids to quilt on Thursday. I did manage to get all of the squares neatened up, ironed, and trimmed to the same size with a lot of help from my mom. She has also volunteered to finish putting them both together. Whew!

In knitting news, I am up to row 41 on the 67 row chart for that cowl. I’m actually enjoying working on it again! Also, I want to be able to wear it this winter. The real test will be if I hide it away again when it gets to the point where I have to kitchener all 110 stitches. Yikes. I will worry about that when the time comes, though.

NaBloPoMo Day 2: progress photo

My photos of Slinky Ribs are way out of date and I’ve made some good progress (in spite of the ripping back I mentioned yesterday). So here’s a photo of what it looks like now.

slinky ribs in progress

Knitting things in the round and adding short rows makes them weird and lumpy in photographs. I didn’t feel like slipping the stitches onto waste yarn to model it though. I will have to do that soon to make sure that it is the length I want. I might be constrained by my yarn because I have three balls left after the one on the needles and I am hoping to have at least 3/4 sleeves.

Also, I voted today, did you?