We are the knights who say KNIT!

The knitting, crocheting, spinning, and disconnected ramblings of a geek of too many trades.


Alisa: We're here to talk about my knitting blog, not my love life.
Ed: You're making a distinction between the two now?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I love my friends.

Beverly: Also I know that you wouldn't really punch a little old lady at all.

Nicole: Psh. You haven't seen her when the yarn's on sale.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

FO: Topsy Turvy Doll

My best friends' baby turned 1 last week! I've been trying not to tell them about this doll for three months, which is harder when you'd think, especially when your best friends have a spare set of keys for your house. This was such a fun project, though, holy crap! If you have a little boy or girl (or man or woman!) in your life who likes dolls, this is a really fun project, though I would recommend it for a somewhat older child.

The fun thing about this was getting to customize this to match my friends' baby. Mommy is of Irish descent and Daddy is Peruvian, so on the raggedy side I used traditional Irish colours (my own Irish mother would have something to say about combining orange and green), and on the ball gown side I used a deep red with yellow flowers similar to some of the pictures I've seen from my friend's visits home to Peru. I had a lot of fun with the patches on the raggedy side, too - there's a star and a smilie and a J for the recipient's name.

FO: J's Doll
Pattern: "Cinderella Topsy-Turvy Doll" from Jean Greenhowe's Christmas Special
Ravelry Link: Here
Yarn: Random scraps from old projects, all 100% cotton. I think they're from Knit Picks? Maybe?
Needles: 3 mm
Cast on date: December 28, 2010
Cast off date: March 17, 2011
Modifications: In the original pattern, one side has a poor, sad brunette, and the other side has a rich, happy blond. I found this a little... Uh... Not OK. I wound up eliminating the faces altogether because I kind of suck at embroidery, and the hair is a natural brown on both sides. Otherwise, apart from the colour notes above, I followed the pattern exactly.

Front of the raggedy side of the dress:


Creepy photo of the dolls mid switching from one side to the other:

Front of the ball gown:

Close-up of the rosettes:

Naturally, the moment she got the doll, it went straight into her mouth! Ahh, babies...

Overall, though, I think she was happy with it:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Magickal Earth Shawl

FO: Magickal Earth Shawl by Sandy Terp from A Gathering of Lace
Ravelry Link: Here
Yarn: Alpaca With A Twist Fino (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk) in "Duchess Blue"
Needles: US Size 0, mostly using Addi Lace
Cast on date: March 2, 2007
Cast off date: February 7, 2010
Reason for delay: Between when I started this shawl and when I finished, I started a new job, moved, started graduate school while still working that job, bought a house, fixed it up, moved again, got commissioned by a client to make several different shawls, and had several friends and relatives have babies that required my immediate knitting attention. So while it took me three years to complete this baby, there's probably only four or five months of actual work put into her.
Modifications: I never thought, when looking at other people's pictures of this pattern, that the center bit looked like mountains and sky with a big ol' moon in the middle. To me, it always looked like a sunburst. So I futzed around a little and turned the middle of mine into a sunburst, and I couldn't be happier!

My apologies in advance for not having any outdoor photos of this, but it's snowed at least 40 inches since Saturday and I'm not going outside if I don't have to.

Feel free to click on any of the photos to get a bigger view:

Magickal Earth Shawl

Unblocked, the shawl does not look very magickal.

Magickal Earth Shawl

I'm apparently very bad at paying attention to my cats. After I didn't notice in my last shawl I posted here that Lilith was hovering over my project, it should come as no surprise that I didn't really notice Mig while I was blocking until after I looked at the photos. Talk about being in the Zone...

Magickal Earth Shawl

Center sunburst.

Magickal Earth Shawl

Moving outward we have the knotwork and the N symbol (other sides have E, S, and W).

Magickal Earth Shawl

UNICORNS! The whole reason I decided to do this shawl was because it has unicorns. So freakin' cool...

Magickal Earth Shawl

And here we have the trees and the border. That border? Is 20 feet and over 2000 rows. You start with it and then graft it and pick up stitches and knit inward.

Magickal Earth Shawl

I couldn't resist getting a couple of Jared Flood-style pictures of my project, though he has a much better macro lens than I do.

Magickal Earth Shawl

Knit tested, kitty approved.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Knitted Veil (not) in Pyrenees Wool

I have a wonderful, wonderful client at my yarn store who loves shawls, but doesn't have the time or patience to make them herself. So she asks me to make them for her. The most recent shawl she requested was "A Knitted Veil in Pyrenees Wool" from VTL, which I finished on Tuesday evening of this week.

Pattern: "A Knitted Veil in Pyrenees Wool" from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby
Needles: Size 4 (US) Addi lace needles. I've mentioned before and I'll say it again - I love these needles.
Yarn: Almost an entire skein (1250 yards) of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in a beautiful chocolate brown. The colour actually started to bleed a bit while I was soaking it pre-blocking, so I treated it with clear vinegar and now everything is back to normal.
Dimensions: Per my client's request, I added two extra repeats in length to the pattern. I forgot to actually measure the final dimensions, but as you'll see from the pictures, it stretches a tiny little bit further than the diagonal of my queen-size bed.
Started: December 2007
Finished: June 23, 2008 (I took a three-month pause to make a baby blanket in the middle of this project.)
Blocking: Blocking wires are awesome. I just stuck them through the points of the edging, pinned everything out, and then spun on my spinning wheel for about three hours while everything dried. Simple as pie.

While working on the project I actually didn't like it, as it was mindlessly boring and repetitive once I memorized the (simple) pattern repeat. But then I blocked it and took one good look at it and fell completely in love. Would I do it again? Probably not for myself (althoug possibly as a commission). Would I recommend it to someone else? Hell yes.

(This is the first project I've done from that book where I didn't either find something or the errata page or email the publisher with an error I'd found myself. Yay!)

Here's the shawl blocking out across my bed. As you can see, one corner was a liiittle bit too long and went off the edge, so after taking photos I moved a chair over and pinned it on that to keep it from being uneven.

A closer photo of the pattern and edging while the whole thing blocks on my gorgeous Target towels.

My friend, the lovely and talented Chris, modelling the shawl for me outside my yarn store. (My client does not want to have photos of herself all over the internet.)

Another action shot from behind.

A close-up of the diamond edging.

Super close-up picture of the stitch pattern. I actually really love this picture - I'm almost tempted to make it my background on my work computer, except I like the one I already have too much.

And finally, a gratuitous artsy-fartsy shot that I really liked and felt like sharing.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Month in Spinning

My mom wanted to see pictures of some of the stuff I've been spinning, so without further ado...

(Click on any photos to enlarge them if you want.)

Here is the 3 lb. mass of Blue-Faced Leicester roving I bought at Hello Yarn! the night I learned how to spin. I photographed it next to a Netflix return envelope for size comparison. That's its natural colour - absolutely beautiful. Smells very, very sheepy, though. When I finished setting the twist of my last batch and hung it over my tub to dry, my whole bathroom smelled like a farmyard for days.

Here's my bobbin filled up with a single that, if left unplied, would probably be about 22 WPI lace-weight. I need to get some sort of easy-to-use measuring tool at some point, but for now I'm still learning so it doesn't matter too much.

Here is my plied yarn out on display. I've still got some tension issues and I need to work on my plying skills, but the lack of huge honking slubs is a distinct improvement over my first skeins.

And, so you can see how ridiculously thin my yarn is, here's a strand held up against a dime. I'm guessing that this is, on average, a light fingering weight, maybe 15-18 WPI. Given that my first few skeins ranged from sport to super bulky within a single skein, this is incredibly awesome.

Hey, Mom! Thanks so much for being awesome! I hope you like all of my yarn!


Friday, June 27, 2008


I spun a skein of yarn! And plied it!

It's... I have no idea what sheep it's from, and it's actually two random things of scrap (lot of pink, some black) given to me by the beautiful Jamie, but I spun it all by myself (with Cosy coaching me along) and then plied it by making a center-pull ball and pulling from the inside and outside.

Oh, right, here's my beautiful spinning wheel. It's a 1964 Ashford Traditional that I got for $95 at the antiques store in my parents' town.



Sunday, May 04, 2008

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2008

Oh, right! I have a knitting blog! I'm going to start publishing here again, I promise. Really. Nag me if I don't.

Happiness is when your second thinnest yarn purchase at a festival is lace-weight.


What do they have at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival? Why, sheep, of course! This one here slobbered all over the front of my shirt.

This sheep is making the exact same facial expresion my cat makes when I'm scritching her chin. How cute is that?!

Lambs are ridiculously cute!

Also at the festival were prize show animals. This was some sort of fancy goat, but I didn't get the breed name.

And here's a whole pen of goats waiting to be judged in the breed competition.

While wandering around the fairground I bumped into Vivian, who came along on the trip just to sit and knit and not to buy.

After that I wandered around and saw pretty things!

There were bags and bags and bags of raw fleeces from the fleece competition that were up for sale in the main barn.

Speaking of raw fleece, oh look! A sheep being shorn!

Some before and after looks of said shorn sheep.

I saw a sheep dog demonstration. WOW, I am impressed by how well-trained those dogs are. Very impressive.


Look at that cute widdle face!

I was good about my purchases, too. I got a tank top to wear as summer pajamas.

I got two skeins of the most delicious fingering-weight alpaca I've ever felt for $16 each. It's like the best sex you've ever had, combined with your favourite ice cream. These are destined to become a pair of mittens.

This... is the most perfect blue I've ever seen. It's even more gorgeous in person. 500 yards of lace-weight kid mohair for $38 from Brooks Farm. I knew I would never again see such a beautiful shade of blue. *glomps* (The photo doesn't even remotely do it justice.)

And this, my friends, is my pride and joy of the festival. For a mere $24 I got an 8-ounce, 2480 yard skein of cobweb weight alpaca. For you non-knitters, this is equivalent in price to getting a brand new Rolls Royce for about $5,000. And for me, the fervent lace knitter, it's like Christmas, Hanukkah, my birthday, and every other wonderful day of the year all came together at the same time to surprise me. Yeah, this is definitly destined to become a wedding ring shawl.

I hope you've enjoyed my photos! Seriously, today was awesome!

(One non-awesome thing, after all that loveliness: ARGH! I remembered to put sunblock on my face, ears, neck, chest, shoulders, and even the tops of my feet, but somehow I missed my arms. How did I managed to do that?! I am now officially fried on my forearms, but it was worth it. Soooooooooooooooooo much fun!)

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