Proof of Concept

Commitment Kept

I have my Ravelry Store up and running.  I’ve transferred the free pattern from my soon-to-be-defunct personal web page to a PDF document, and it’s available for download.  If you’re curious (or like Dr Seuss inspired fish) please download it (linked from pattern title) and let me know what you think.

codNora’s Fish

My brother-in-law is a lobbyist for the cod fishing industry, so when my niece Nora was born I wanted to give her a stuffed cod.  That sounds pretty weird, but the whole family has an off-beat sense of humor, and cod do definitely have a Dr. Seuss fishy cuteness about them. (Photo below is the fish I gave her, to the right is a cod from the Kunkel Aquatic site).

NorasFishI found a bunch of cod related limericks online, and wrote one more, and put together a nice little gift package.

I have no idea how well the fish lasted through the years, but the pattern is still available through the link above, and the limericks are posted below. (Yeah, there’s a theme, but what do you expect from limericks?)

I hope you enjoy it.

On this Christmas, dear Nora, my wish
Was to give you a handmade yarn fish
But no pattern for cod,
Pollock, haddock or scrod
Could I find to crochet, oh, posh – pish

A fortunate fish is the cod
Who owes it mostly to God
And a little good luck
That he isn’t stuck
All his life with a name like the scrod.

Our capital city is Austin
It’s nice, but it just isn’t Boston.
Here you can get cod.
There you can get scrod.
So you will probably go there more often.

A Russian gent touring abroad,
Nabbed inside Madame B.’s on Cape Cod,
Told the cops, “For Pete sake
I get here by mistake:
I tell taxi I want to get scrod!”

Future Plans

I’m going to keep an eye on the Ravelry store for about a week before uploading the Vexing socks, just to have time to work any weirdness out (on my end, Ravelry has been doing it’s part for years).

Life Avoidance…

Just a few days after talking about not wanting to overshare, I’m back, hopefully not quite oversharing.  There are some changes coming in my life, small changes which might possibly be the start of something big.  I don’t want to give out too many details because I might jinx it… it might not be the start of anything at all.  If it is the start of something, it could, very likely would force me to rethink the way I blog, to redefine (or possibly really define for the first time) what I’m blogging for.

Something happened this week.  Something small, but exciting.  It really shook me up in a not-entirely-bad way, and brought me face to face with some deep seated fears and insecurities which I hadn’t had to deal with in a long time.  I’m not going to say much more about it, except that I did not back down.

I did not back down.

Peace Corps News

In addition to the not-talking-about-it stuff I got a call last night, from Abby, around 7PM my time (11PM hers).  Actually it was a ring-and-hangup, which is the signal that I am to call her. She’s living with a new ‘host family’ in Senegal, the food is unfamiliar, they’ve changed her anti-malarial meds and she was feeling really, really bad.  I knew I was going to get that call sooner or later, but I guess I was hoping for later.  I think I handled it pretty well, and she was able to go back to bed.  (Yes, she’s in bed before 11 these days, they work the volunteers pretty hard…)  I’ve gotten two pictures of her departure from the States and arrival in Senegal, but nothing of where she’s living now.  I just keep telling myself she’s doing fine, and I think I almost believe it.

Enough of That “Real Life” Stuff, How About Yarn?

I need to follow through and set up my Ravelry store.  Once I do that, I’ll publish the Vexing Socks pattern and put a (limited time) coupon code here on the blog.  I’ve been dragging my feet long enough, so consider this my public commitment to get the shop up within a week.  I’ll test it out with a free pattern, then post the socks.

Huh.  Should I change my Ravelry name to match my blog?  Or do Ravelry stores have to match the user name?  Need to find out…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Mooglyblog Yarn Happy giveaway.  I joined their Cast Off Chemo giveaway (13 October), the $200 worth of yarn from Swans Island giveaway (drawing date  unknown) and a drawing for 2 skeins of Evonwee yarn (3 November) and a skein of Willow Daily DK yarn from Kangarth Knits (20 October).

Rant Avoidance

My fingers are itching to post about my life in the ‘sandwich generation’ for the last few weeks, but if I let the fly I will overshare (10 point penalty for ‘roughing the reader’).

Instead, I’m going to introduce a trio of new-to-you blogs (available for your future viewing pleasure in the blogroll in the sidebar).

Wolf of Words
My friend and fellow gamer posts serialized fiction as well as media observations and reviews on a fairly frequent basis. Occasionally the stories are about his PCs in games we’re in together, usually they’re independent of them.

My youngest, Dorothy, is a journalist major. When she writes articles which she wants to self publish they usually end up here. Since she has a full course schedule, a job on campus, and responsibility in her fraternity and clubs it’s not updated very often.

Abbs Abroad
Abby has now started blogging her Peace Corps experience. She has infrequent internet access, and when she does have it she’s trying to catch up on a lot of stuff, so don’t expect frequent or polished posts.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

Thick and Finn is giving away free yarn for a year.  (13 October)

September was rather a crazy month for us.  I’m not going to go into too much detail, but we saw Abby safely off to her Peace Corps staging, and waited breathlessly to learn that she’s arrived safely in Senegal.  It still churns up all sorts of different emotions to think about it, so I’m just going to get back to blogging about knitting.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted, so here goes.

Finished Objects

I finished the Stereotypical Shades in September, and that’s it.  Yup, a whole month, and only one FO.  Not that I’m down on myself, or the project.  It turned out beautifully:

Stereotypical FO

It was a stashbuster project.  I used diadem (leftover from the Win Either Way cowl) and Pagewood Farm Denali sock yarn (left over from the Wayfarer shawl) on the outside, and Old Maiden Aunt laceweight (from the Bigger on the Inside shawl) for the lining.Stereotypical WIPAs you can see the color values are very close to each other.  If I knit this one again I’ll go for something which pops a bit more, but I’m still pleased with this one.

Works in Progress

The Mont Royal socks are just starting to come together.

Mont Royal WiP

The cricket sweater for my husband is coming along, but slowly.  I haven’t gotten to the armholes yet.  Since I’m working it in pieces that means very slowly indeed.

I’ve cast on another shawl.  This one is Illustriation, by Wooly Thoughts.  It’s a fun striped and textured shawl, which does the standard Illusion thing of looking different depending on the angle of observation.

Illustriation WiPShades of purple for this one.

Row Counter

What I’m really excited about right now is my new row counter.  It’s definitely an indulgence, but I’m thinking I’ll have to budget and get one for each project bag.  It’s a ring

CritSucessIt’s made by a CritSuccess, which is a high end RPG supply company, the other rings they sell are dice. How cool is that?!  (watch for them on Geek and Sundry this holiday season!).  I really cannot fangirl enough about this.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win any of the giveaways I had entered.   I entered Lisa Bogart’s latest giveaway, for a copy of her book Knit, Purl, Pray (end of October).  I also signed up for another Mooglyblog giveaway, this one for Yarn Happy (7 October)

So, yeah.  That was my September.  Hopefully I’ll do better about sharing October as it unfolds.

It’s Good to be Polycraftural

So this happened:Broken MarkerThe Broken Row Counter

While I was using this over the needle row counter, the ring snapped off.  I ended up sticking it in an organza bag (which my Debra’s Garden gauge pendant came in) and keeping it in my notions pouch until that project was done.  I figured I had choices, either use this as an excuse to buy a fancy row counter (I’ve been eyeing the Ablet for a while), or see if I could repair it.

As it happened, I have a lot of beading supplies, some of which I’ve had plans for for a while.  I figured this was as good a time as any to try out a new method of making stitch markers, using very flexible beading wire:

Fixed marker One side is just a loop, the other side has a Darice brand rotating lobster claw, so it should work for knitting and crochet projects.  I’m not completely sure the loop won’t just pull through the bead with use, but if it does I think I know how to fix it.

Back Log of Beading

Charms and stuffThe necklace is for my husband (I’d promised him I’d repair it).  The bracelet is for my daughter, who is in Phi Sigma Pi.  I’m going to make a matching necklace, but I need to get more spacer beads.  I got those Greek letters from Bohemian Findings on Etsy – they have an amazing selection.  I also got the Theatre Masks and Fleur de Lis from there, as well as some charms for a project I couldn’t complete just yet.   I think I’ll be heading to JoAnn sometime soon to pick up a few things.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I entered a giveaway for the Impeccable Knits Lissadell sock pattern on 100 Creations (2 September).

Pineapple Sunrise

The Pineapple Sunrise

Pineapple Sunrise TequilaYarn

Kauni - lowI finished the shawl.  It used 533 yards of Kauni, so about 4/5 of the skein.  This might leave enough for a small project left over, or a portion of a larger one.  I’d love to see how it felts up.

The FO is a tiny bit rough, and very warm.  I think it will be perfect over the sleeveless dress on chilly evenings, so it definitely does the right thing.  I’d be happy to work with this yarn again.


Pineapple - unblockedI Promise You Pineapples looks pretty right off the hook. It’s absolutely gorgeous after blocking.

I’m still feeling my way around blocking wires.  It’s sort of fun to realize how many choices there are in the blocking process.  I know that I can re-block if I don’t like the final effect, so it’s a low-stress, high impact stage of finishing.

Since the dress that I made this to go with has a triangular neckline, I decided not to really curve the shawl.  I also chose to align the pineapples themselves rather than the curves on the shawl edge.  Finally, I decided to pin out the center portion of the fans rather than every shell within those fans.  The end result makes me happy.

Pineapple - blocked

I plan to wear this next weekend, along with the dress.  Hopefully I’ll get some usable pictures of me in it.

Yarn Projects

My Most Recent FO

Goatless Pocket

I picked up stitches on the inside right where the bottom met the side. First stitch of each row I K2Tog with body of bag, slipped last stitch of each row. It worked well. (click for enlarged picture)

I finished the felted handbag using mohair from Flying Goat Farm.  I ran out of the darker brown just as I got to the handle break, so I switched to the orange there.    I had a bit of orange left over, which I used to make a knit-in (garter stitch) interior pocket.  I didn’t have quite enough to make it a good cel phone pocket, but it’ll be good for something, I’m sure.

The bag (pre felting) was a little bit lumpy and awkward, but I was sure it was going to turn out nicely.

Unfelted Goatless

Yeah, I know, if I was more consistent in my tension I wouldn’t have this much unevenness.  BUT – I kept my floats short (see pocket picture above) and felting is a really forgiving process.

Goatless Felted

I’m very happy with the result.  At some point I plan to seam up the swatch ans turn it into a change purse, but other than that it’s good to go!

Current WiPs

So – four project bags, four projects.  From oldest to newest –

Mont Royal Socks

Mont Royal patternThese are slow going, mostly because 1) I’m working on four projects and 2) they’re not mindless.  This picture clearly shows the downside of the asymmetric toes – the stitch pattern is totally centered in the base pattern.  It doesn’t bug me enough to frog and re-knit, but it’s worth remembering for the next pair.  Anyway, the pattern is lovely, the CoBaSi yarn is doing the right thing, I’m happy with these, even if they won’t be done until (at this rate) mid – fall or so.

Fifth Doctor Sweater

This is the project I alluded to in the cockroach post. I’m knitting my husband a sweater.  Now, there’s a knitting superstition that knitting your boyfriend a sweater dooms the relationship*, but I have it on reliable authority that that doesn’t go for spouses.  Besides, over 24 years of marriage we’ve gone through so much (of the good and the bad) that I don’t think a little curse can make much difference…

Because it’s cotton I  not only blocked the swatch, I hung it overnight before re-measuring it.Five Swatch

Yes, with cotton it really does grow and stretch with blocking and hanging.  About a 10% vertical difference, enough that I know to knit it just a tad short.  Not only did I get valuable information, I can use the swatch as a dishcloth (but I’ll hold onto it until the sweater is pieced and finished, just in case).

Five Cast On Casting onto a large project (like a sweater) always intimidates me a little, so I placed a marker every twenty stitches during the cast on, and double counted those stitches, to make sure I had the right stitch count.  I’m not sure how much time it saved over double and triple counting the stitches straight off would have taken, but it did lower my anxiety level about the whole process.

This sweater is the Cricket Jumper from Joy Gammon’s The Doctor Who Pattern Book, because Five is his Doctor.  You will notice it runs over $30 on Amazon, but I managed it for about $15 on eBay.  I’ve been looking on and off for this book for years, and it looks to be worth the search.  Joy Gammon did a lot of media fandom pattern writing in the 1980’s in particular, and the patterns are great (I’m so tempted by the K9 bag!), but she was basically writing with the target audience of not-necessarily-skilled costume and toy makers, so I read over the pattern with an eye for adapting.

The most needed change was size (I had to extrapolate one size beyond the pattern).  I also added a slip stitch selvage. A little reading convinced me that the classic cricket jumper (which would be what Davison wore) would be knit flat in cotton, so that’s the way I’m making the sweater.  I expect this to be done by mid to late fall, because it’s a big project and because I’m working on three others.  There was a little bit of calculating to make sure the cables were properly centered with the new stitch count, but I don’t expect any serious hick ups. I used my LYS’s ‘customer loyalty’ discount for this one, but even if I hadn’t buying the yarn would still have been less than I’d pay for a decent cricket jumper off the rack.


I’m making a case for my sunglasses.  Once again, I’m knitting a pattern from Stiching in the Stacks.  This time I’m making a case for my sunglasses.  It’s a simple enough idea – two color outer case, change yarns and purl (or was that the other way around) and keep knitting for the lining. Close it up and there’s a lined case.

It’s a small piece, but I’m just planning to have it finished by next summer.  The colorwork is pretty, but it’s not TV knitting.

Pineapple Sunrise

So while I was at Ocean City (watching the beautiful sunrises) I bought a lovely orange-red sundress.  It’s pretty and floaty… and I don’t have anything to accessorize it with.  Fortunately, it was always my plan to stop by Salty Yarns.  Yes, they are a needlework shop, but they have a nice little room full of knitting yarn, including this skein of Kauni.

Pineapple Sunrise Tequila

It coordinates with the dress, and it looks very sunrise like.  I’m using the pattern I Promise You Pineapples by Justyna Kacprzak (it’s a free Ravelry download).  I’m liking the effect very much so far.  In fact, with the colors and the title of the pattern and the whole sunrise thing I just had to call it Pineapple Sunrise.

Then I asked my local bartender to make me a Tequila Sunrise with pineapple juice instead of orange juice.

It was beautiful and tasty both!

Pineapple Beginning

This is the last WiP I started, and the one I’m concentrating on.  I want to finish it before it gets too cold to wear that dress…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the fabric from Marshall Drygoods, or the One Skein Wonder book from Lisa Bogart.  No new giveaways this time.

*Apologies for pedantry, but I can’t make myself not say that the superstition probably has a lot to do with the length of time it takes to knit a sweater vs the length of an average romantic relationship. I just can’t make myself believe that it’s anything more than that, but still, folklore is fun!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers