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Ah, horizontal stripes! Why do I love them so?

They certainly don’t love me back.

As soon as I finished Seaton back at the end of the summer I knew the button bands would have to be redone.  I had failed to go down a needle size and they were all floppy and stupid.  They’ve been ripped and reknit with the smaller needles and they’re still a bit floppy at the neck but much better in general.  Now I just have to hope that this thing stretches a lot when I wear it so it doesn’t squaten me so.

I did a few sewing fixes yesterday and now I’m done!  I feel so accomplished.  Now what to do with myself while I await my Little Knits order…


The very evening I received Cara’s generous gift I detached the braids from my Earflap Hat and made new ones with her lovely contrasting yarn.

I even tried embroidering a little star on the right side so I would know which way to put it on:

Try being the operative word.  I may take it out for a skate on the canal this afternoon!

Despite dutifully listening to Stash and Burn and avoiding the urge to visit yarn stores I had a moment of weakness this weekend.  I received an e-mail on Saturday morning from Claudia at Wollmeise informing me that they would be uploading new yarns at noon my time.  I felt that sweaty little beastly compulsion kick in and I scoured the site feverishly for stocked yarns.  I came out with two skeins of the new Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in Rosenrot and Poison # 5. I can’t frickin’ wait to get it.

I promised Erin that I would link the recipe for the lemon scones I made last week.  I have no attractive pictures but suffice it to say that they taste exactly like the Bridgehead lemon scones that we’re addicted to.  Maybe even better.  Just make sure to sprinkle coarse sugar on top before baking. Also, the second ingredient in the recipe should read ‘1/3 cup sugar’ instead of flour.

Today I dragged my tired, still kinda sick butt out of bed at 6:45 and took the bus across town in the freezing cold to go to an all day mickey mouse workshop. I was feeling pretty grumpy when I got home but I was immediately cheered by my favourite sight ever: a package! The dear, Miss Cara, whom I have never met though she lives one street away from me and is clearly awesome, sent me some Cascade Magnum that she had left over for the trim of my earflap hat. But her profound awesomeness did not stop there for she also included a tape measure and a letter.

How Cara guessed that I love all things sheep and that I have a massive (like embarrassing) collection of Japanese stationary that I hauled back with me from Japan is a mystery. She will be rewarded in the near future.

I’m looking forward to doing many more swaps with friends from now on since there’s too great a risk of getting burned in anonymous stranger swaps. Erin and I are already working on an ongoing one but if anyone else who I’ve either met or are blog friends of mine (as in we comment on each other’s blog or Ravelry projects kinda thing) are interested in swaps let me know. I loves me my mail and buying things.

The Interweave Spring preview is up!

My biggest fixing challenge was my Cathay Spring Pullover that I made in late March of last year. I was quite pleased with this sweater when I finished it but now I don’t wear it much because the top was a bit too short resulting in the ribbing hitting me mid-bust instead of below-bust and the collar flipped in uncontrollably. Here’s a picture of it after I had just finished (with the neck carefully flattened for the photo):

And today:

This was kind of daunting. I had to undo the shoulder seams and remove the sleeves. Then I ripped back to below the neck shaping and added a few rows, and knit back up, bound off and sewed the shoulder seams. Actually, I did this twice. The first time I hadn’t added any length somehow. The second time I was more careful. Then, I reattached the sleeves and reknit the collar. I bound off using the stem stitch bind off that I heard about from Veronik when I saw her in Montreal. I still have to reblock it but I’m already happier. I haven’t decided what I’ll tackle next.

Today I didn’t even get through the joining round on Road to Golden before running out of yellow yarn so I put it aside and surprised myself by actually being motivated to work on my to do list.

First on the agenda was closing up the neck on my Marseilles Pullover a bit so my bra strap doesn’t always show.


And after:

This took about ten minutes so I kicked myself for not getting to it a year ago. It probably won’t help the neck rubbing issue much but at least I won’t look like a skank when I wear it to work.

Next up: adding length and fixing the flippy neck on my Cathay Spring Sweater!

What I really love about cabled and stranded projects is how addictive they become. I will literally (and pathetically) organize my time around completing pattern repeats. Road to Golden is no exception.

It was coming along so quickly that I had to come to a decision about the neck sooner than I anticipated. The original has a straight boat neck kind of dealy very similar to the Marseilles Pullover. I neglect my Marseilles because the front rubs against my neck which I absolutely can’t stand. So, I settled on a v-neck with absolutely no idea how to execute it. I really admire knitters who use patterns as a jumping off point but then work their magic for their own personalized version. I’ve always been a bit too lazy or lacking in confidence to change patterns too much but I’ve realized that if I’m not going to wear something because of one troublesome feature it’s really not worth knitting as published. I begged for help on Ravelry but my request was quickly buried so I tried scribbling out my own decrease math. Math and me are not on speaking terms so I hope I got the decreases right. As you can see, I decided to steek the neck so I wouldn’t have to work the stranded pattern back and forth. I completed the body section up to the sleeve join point and came to the sad conclusion that this much yellow:

Would not be enough to complete the single pattern repeat and sleeve patterning that’s left. I wasn’t too frustrated by this discovery because at least I was ready to work on the sleeves which are mostly plain. I would simply place another order from Little Knits while I worked on them. This didn’t go quite as planned as a) Little Knits has a twenty five dollar minimum for orders and my single skein was $5.50 and b) I had completed one and half sleeves by yesterday evening. Nat helped me overcome the former problem by tacking some more yarn and books on to my order as I couldn’t find anything that I needed. Unfortunately, I’ll still have to put RTG aside while I wait for my order to arrive. My plan is to use this time to revisit some old projects that I botched the finishing on or need to add length to. We’ll see how that goes.

The pictures above really don’t convey the brightness of the yellow yarn but this shot (scroll down) from Little Knits really shows it’s blindingness.

I’m really trying to be strong and not buy so much yarn until my stash has been considerably reduced. In the interest of full disclosure, I did just buy ten more balls of Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky in Midnight from Cumberpatch, but that’s only because I realized the ten balls I had in my stash wouldn’t make the project I had planned for it.

I don’t really think of myself as a crazy consumer fiend or spendaholic. I don’t buy clothing very often, I never go out drinking, I don’t even buy books and I have an English degree. Even when it comes to yarn, for the first three years I knit I didn’t have much of a stash at all. I just didn’t get the concept of buying huge amounts of yarn you couldn’t possibly use in the near future. That all changed last summer when I wasn’t working and I had just paid off my poor abused Visa. All of a sudden I was feeling an unhealthy desire to scan E-bay for Fleece Artist or to go in with my accomplices on a Socks that Rock order.

Short story long, in general I’m trying to be better with money and less materialistic and more appreciative of what I have so I’ve been slowly adding yarns to my ‘will trade or sell’ file on Ravelry but I thought I’d give them a little more exposure here, especially since I’ve experienced an unexplained hike in hits very recently. For your viewing pleasure:

Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK in Coral sold

Ten skeins. $25 plus shipping.

Rowan Pure Wool DK in Snow

Two skeins. $7 plus shipping.

Rowan Harris (same as Scottish) Tweed in Port sold

One skein. $11 (I paid twenty) plus shipping.

Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Bisque

One skein (hardly worth mentioning but maybe someone’s running out or something) $1 plus shipping.

This not a monster destash other’s have had but nevertheless it’s yarn I don’t need so let me know if you want any. Paypal is preferred.

I haven’t been feeling so hot lately so there hasn’t been much knitting going on but I did finish one repeat of the pattern on RTG a couple of days ago.  I’m liking the colour now:

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the lemon / lime debate via comments and e-mail.  The results were resoundedly in favour of keeping the yellow.  The only naysayer was Chris but what can you expect from someone who’s entire wardrobe is navy blue and grey?

I’m finding knitting with more than two colours a bit of a challenge.  I’m not a hundred percent sure how to carry the colours up the side and if I’m doing it for too long.  I’ve been laying the unused colours over the needle on the first stitch and then continuing to knit with the prescribed colours.  This is the method recommended in The Knitting Answer Book.  All those balls of yarn get pretty tangled and I’m a bit hesitant to pick the sweater up or put it away knowing what a massive mess it is.  I suppose I could wind some bobbins but that seems like work and I don’t really see how that would help.  I’ve read up on some stranded techniques but I guess I get a bit overwhelmed.  I have a tendency to not want to take the time to understand a new strategy and to just want to work with what I know, even if that results in loose floats or weaving in a million ends.  Call me lazy.

In other stranded news, I’m thinking of reknitting the right Bird in Hand Mitten.  To be honest I’m not a huge fan of wearing mittens in general due to my hatred of knit fabric rubbing together but with it being super snug I’ve been avoiding wearing them even more.  I think I might start knitting it with the Cascade that I have left over only frogging if and when I run out. Any suggestions or opinions?

Remember back at the end of the October when I went nuts because I won some Socks that Rock from Cara?  Yesterday it came.

Let me state for the record that if I was eleventy weeks pregnant and yaking every day and working through it all I would not be assembling lovely packages for people I’ve never met.  I’m not Cara.  This is my favourite Soak scent and I’ve never tried slanted darning needles and I don’t have this card and the yarn is so much lovelier in person that on the Blue Moon Fiber Arts site.  Isn’t that always the case with them though?  Methinks they need a reshoot.

While I’ve got you here I need your opinions, preferably by six p.m. E.S.T.  I started my Road to Golden on Sunday while my second Bird in Hand was drying.  Last night I got to the colourwork section.  I’ve endevoured to copy Nicole’s RTG, even pestering her to post a detailed colour list on Ravelry. But, when I ordered the yarn from Little Knits she didn’t have any butter yellow Ella Rae.  So I ordered the lemon / lime yellow.  But I can’t tell if I hate it or not.

This was the best picture I could get at ten-thirty last night so the colours are a little off.  The darkest colour is a deep purple, not navy blue or black, but I think you still get the idea.  What do you think? Should I go shopping for some buttery yellow because this is too overpowering in an early nineties ski sweater kind of way or is it fun and bright and not a big deal?  Discuss.

The bird in hand mitts are complete.

Just for fun here’s a pre-blocking shot:

Yarn: Cascade 220 in Royal and Natural from The Loop in Halifax

Needles: 2.5 mm Pony Pearls

Pattern: Bird in Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert

Modifications: I forgot row 32 so I did the decreases on row 34 instead. Not so much a modification as a mistake.  I also grafted the tips on the needles.

Notes: I employed a tip from someone on Ravelry  (I’ll try to find out who!) and blocked these by soaking them for a good long while, rolling them in a towel and then stretching them on my straightened out wire sock blockers  with a 15 mm knitting needle jammed in the thumb.  I placed them on the radiator for quick drying.

These were fun to knit but let me tell you, the embroidery on the thumbs was hell.

On one mitt more than another because you know what?

Yeah.  That’s not a camera trick; one mitt is significantly bigger than the other.  This is simply because I loosened my gauge the second time around.  The first mitt is taking another bath because I can barely move my hand around in it while the first fits like a glove.  Or a mitt.

In cooking news, I used the ramekins my aunt and uncle gave us for Christmas to make Little Cheese Soufflés on Friday.

I used some organic Gouda and they were great!  Ramekins were always one of those things I wanted but could never justify buying because you use them so rarely.  Now I can make all the rice moulds and crème brûées I want.  I just need a kitchen torch.