Wednesday, November 28, 2007

countdown to my HBK vacation

In October, I decided to take December off from business knitting, so I started ramping down custom orders then. Now I've just got a few left to go before my much-needed vacation. My current order has run into some glitches, so last night after my little one went to bed, I found myself with nothing to knit. It was a really weird feeling. I ended up knitting and embellishing a caffeine cozy for next week's Venus Vanguard stocking, but now tonight I'm feeling adrift again. I don't think I've gone a night without knitting since July, when I was camping in 90+ degree weather and had zero interest in handling wool.

I am SO looking forward to doing personal knitting next month. I'm going to finish my aran cabled shrug out of a Noro wool/silk/cashmere blend. (Only without the bobbles--I didn't like how they looked.)

Then I'm going to work on a sweater for the boy. I'm thinking about knitting a little gansey with traditional stitch patterns for him, out of some incredibly soft BFL/merino/angora that I have. Gotta get that book out of the library again so I can start designing it. Maybe I'll even finish the Jaywalker socks that I started lo these many months ago. Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

unraveling ribbing

I've always wondered if I could just unravel a waistband on a pair of pants, if I wanted to add some inches to the rise. When a good customer of mine commented on how much she liked a pair of longies I had for sale, but that the rise was a little too short, I figured it was my chance to find out.

First I unraveled the cast-on edge. It took a while, but I was prepared for that. My hope was that it would unravel pretty readily after that. Alas, that was not the case. The ribbing was K2P2, so every two stitches, I had to draw the loose end through a loop. (Should have taken photos, but at the time I was just trying to get it over with.) Of course, the more stitches I unraveled, the longer the loose end was, and the time it took to draw the extra yarn through got longer and longer. I spent about 30 minutes undoing two rows, then gave up and cut off the waistband with a pair of scissors. Unraveling stockinette was a snap--just like unraveling it from the other end of the work.

I picked up stitches and added about half an inch, then did the waistband in matching semi-solid yarn. Also added some length to the inseam, but that was a really simple fix. No heroic measures necessary.



These longies are knitted from Lindon merino, dyed by Three Irish Girls in the Barrett colorway (trim is Murphy, also by TIG). I love how Lindon merino feels--so thick and cottony and marvelously soft. Sadly, I don't like knitting with it. I think I need 5.25 mm needles, but knitting needles only come in 5.0 and 5.5 mm sizes. I'm always fiddling with my tension as I knit and can never quite get comfortable. I also don't seem to have the right knack for dyeing it. It makes me sad, since I want so much to love it, but we appear to have irreconcilable differences.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The inspiration for this colorway was serendipity. (Maybe that's what I should have named it; I've always liked that word.) I was weaving in ends for two different pairs for longies at the same time, so I had a pile of yarn snippets in all sorts of different colors. A few of them happened to clump together and I thought, hm, that's pretty. What about if I add this snippet? And this one?

I was getting ready for the Mythical stocking at Venus Vanguard and thought maybe this would work for a Venus colorway, in honor of our patron goddess. But after I dyed it, it didn't really make me think of Venus. I toyed with variations like Modern Venus and whatnot, but didn't come up with anything that caught my fancy.

Then when I was working on the listing for my Arthur caffeine cozy, I started thinking about The Mists of Avalon. It's such an original interpretation of Arthurian legend; after I read it several years ago, it felt like the true version of what really happened--all other tellings of the story seem wrong. The book is told from the point of view of Morgaine, a priestess of the Goddess. When I thought about her, I knew I'd found the right name for the colorway.

It really is nice to finally have a reliable black dye to work with. It opens up a lot of options for colorways that I've been thinking about but couldn't dye until now.

Monday, November 5, 2007


This is a colorway that's been rattling around in my head since last spring. When I started thinking about the Venus Vanguard "Mythical" stocking this week, I originally wanted to call the colorway Firebird. My husband said, "Like that cheesy sports car?" So I polled some of my friends, and nearly all of them thought of the car before anything else.

The red in this skein is actually a lovely deep cherry red, though it looks a little pink in this photo because of the way the (indirect) light reflects off the yarn. I like this colorway--nice and vibrant, a great antidote to the November blahs.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

October roundup

Ravelry's project feature is proving to be unexpectedly useful. Before, I had never tracked how much I could crank out in a month. I always figured myself at a pair of longies every five to seven days, so I thought I was only making four or five pairs each month. Thanks to Ravelry, I now know that in October, I knitted seven pairs of longies plus a pair of fingerless gloves that ate up three days because I kept experimenting with different patterns. I also got two other pairs of longies started in the last few days of October, both of which were giving me gauge problems. If I hadn't had to repeatedly unravel one pair because I was trying to solve both sizing and pooling issues (the yarn was considerably thinner than its label would have you believe), I might have been able to finish off another pair.

Anyway. It's nice to know that I'm producing much more than I thought I could, even when I run into unexpected snags.