Saturday, December 18, 2010


Just a quick one today. Those of you who are EZ fans should recognize this one.

And yes, this means the baby Mary Janes are on hold for a bit. I just couldn't get excited about them with those Size 0 needles and K1 P1 ribbing. This new project was a welcome diversion and I have already made quite a bit of progress in just one day.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Getting closer.....

I am dangerously close to having no projects on my needles, except for the long-term Never-ending Sock Garden Blanket, that I expect will be a project for years to come.

Today I show you my completed Electric Fruit Loop Socks, which are now dry after blocking.

Pattern: Fruit Loop by Kristi Geraci from Knitty, Spring 2008
Needles: US 1 Circular
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Superwash Merino/Nylon Fingering Weight - hand-dyed with Kool-Aid (for details on how to dye your own see my tutorial)
Started: October 24, 2009
Completed: December 3, 2010

The yarn is delightfully squishy and soft knitted up and I think the hand-dyed yarn worked well for this pattern.  And just in time for some very cold weather, I will definitely be getting some use out of these socks sooner rather than later. 
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

I have been frantically working on Lotus Blossom Tank over the last several weeks. I am not sure if it is the weather (I love the brisk fall days) but I have really been on a knitting kick over the last month.

I am not sure why I liked this pattern, as like many others, I found the pictures in the original pattern to be ill-fitting in a boxy sort of way.

I have worked the modifications that Lickety Knit describes on her blog. These modifications make the tank longer and give it a much more feminine fit.

The only additional modification that I made was to make the armholes a full inch smaller than the pattern called for (versus the 0.5 inch modification that Lickety Knit made), to make the armholes 7 inches instead of 8 on the 39 inch size. In keeping with the smaller armholes I picked up slightly less stitches for the armhole edging (86 stitches per armholes) and 32 stitches for each side of the neck. I solved the disconnected flap that is formed by the picked up neck edging by knitting it together at the junction with stitches from the top of the knitted on front edging.

Although this pattern took me awhile to complete, it is actually a very quick knit, and once my summer knitting hiatus was complete (reading a book was just more appealing to me when sitting by the pool), it knit up rather rapidly.

Pattern: Lotus Blossom Tank by Sharon Shoji
Size: 39 inches
Made for: Me
Yarn: Artful Yarns Cliche, 7 skeins
Needles: US Size 4 for body, US Size 3 for front neck bind-off, and US Size 5 for first 9 rows of the pattern.
Started: April 29, 2010
Completed: November 19, 2010

The yarn is a linen/cotton/acrylic mix, and I love the color and thought the fiber content perfect for a summer tank, but it was prone to splitting. I got a great deal on this yarn at Slip Knot in Newtown Square, when the yarn was discontinued.

I worried that the 39 inch size might be a bit big for me, based on comments from some other knitters, but it ended up being a pretty good fit. I could have tried to modify it the be a custom size, but going down a full size would have likely been way too small.

Sorry for the indoor photos, but I couldn't stomach an outdoor photo in a tank top with the recent cold weather.

All I have left on my needles right now are two pairs of socks, so it will be time soon to pick my next big project. I am thinking of doing an easy Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater that would provide hours of stockinette which although boring, does allow me to give my attention to other things at the same time (namely reading a book). I have a perfect yarn whose beauty lies in the variations of thick and thin, but could not easily be used for say lace or cables for the same reason.

I also have enough yarn for two other sweaters that could be more patterned. Plus some shawl options! I need to think about what I want to do next.

In the meantime, I may be starting some baby knitting for friends soon. I love starting new projects!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kool Socks

A quick one today. My fruit loop socks have been in hibernation for a bit but were pulled back out and I completed the first sock and cast on for the second sock today.

I am actively trying complete all my UFOs.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bell Sleeves Waiting for a Zipper

Par for the course, Bell Sleeved Jacket has been finished for awhile now and waiting for a zipper. I have even worn it a few times. But alas no pictures were taken until the zipper was in it's place (and that place is not on my bookshelf collecting dust where the zipper has sat for months)!

Well, the final task is done and here are the photos to prove it.

The yarn was something I picked up on sale at knit picks and I love the color and stitch definition, but it is a little itchy. Not such a problem as this is a jacket, and will almost always be worn with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. It should see a lot of use this fall and winter.

This was my first attempt at a Vogue Knitting Pattern, and I do have to express my dissatisfaction with the many pattern errors that were not even listed in the Errata. I also was shocked that the pattern's largest size was only a medium!?!? I added stitches on each side to make what I call a medium plus size. I kept all other sizing the same (I am petite, but a needed a bit more room through the bust).

Pattern: Bell Sleeved Jacket, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006
Size: Medium Plus (modified medium)
Needles: US Size 7
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes - Color Hush 15 skeins
Started: January 2008
Completed: November 6, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I Dream in Green

After a relatively unproductive summer of knitting, the cool weather has me in a fiber-friendly mood. I have been working on Lotus Blossom Tank over the last few weeks.

Too bad this is a summer top. I always seem to be a season off when finishing projects!

I am hoping to have this completed by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Neverending Story

I have had my eye on a pattern for awhile that is perfect for sock yarn scraps. I cast on for it last night, although I forsee this being a long-haul type of project that is pieced together a little at a time as I acquire more sock yarn scraps.

The pattern is Bobby's Garden, which is available for sale on Ravelry. I changed to size 2 needles due the lighter weight of the yarn.

Likely will be a baby blanket size, as I think any larger in fingering weight yarn might be maddening, or I might still be working on it when I am old and gray!
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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Not Quite Ripe 5/52

This week's photo is a bunch of bananas we picked up at the grocery store today. Not quite ripe, just the way we like them. I thought they made an interesting subject through the lens of my 50mm f1.8 lens.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Homemade 4/52

Strawberries are in season, so this past week I decided to make my first attempt at homemade jam. I was supprised by how well it went and that all of my jars sealed on the first attempt.

Jam is deceivingly simple: fruit, sugar, pectin and a little water boiled up into deliciousness. If I were to do this again though, I might add more pectin than 1 packet as the jam is a little thinner than I was expecting.

And of course when I had completed the canning process, I had to snap a picture. I just love mason jars!
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blue Mountain 3/52

On the way back from North Carolina, hubby and I took a detour to drive a section of the beautiful Blue Mountain Parkway in Virginia. Although it made our drive back long, it was well worth it for the stunning views!
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Relaxing 2/52

Despite being on vacation last week, I took very few photographs and did not blog at all. We visited friends in North Carolina last weekend and I snapped this one of their dog, relaxing while we all enjoyed catching up.
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Monday, May 03, 2010

52 Weeks in Photographs: My Morning Ritual 1/52

I love the idea of the 365 days in photographs that I have seen on many blogs as a way to improve your photography skills and look for creative subjects. Perhaps my photo foray to Tyler Arboretum this weekend has inspired me. However, I know that a photograph every day is just not feasible for me. On my days off this is not a problem, but I work 12+ hour shifts and on those days it is tough to muster enough energy to feed myself, let alone find a suitable photography subject.

It then dawned on me that I might have an alternative that would serve the same purpose, but not be quite as time consuming and demanding.

What if I did one photograph per week? This would give me flexibility to shoot on my days off, but still give me the benefits of improving my skills.

So here is the first of what I hope will be a year in pictures.

I thought I would start off with one of my favorite times of day: my morning cup of coffee. I love coffee, and having a cup in the morning is in my opinion the best part of the day. I love the smell, the taste, the caffeine. I am both a coffee snob and a coffee junkie. I prefer freshly ground whole bean, and luckily have a machine that does all the steps for me (grind, brew). But given a tight spot, I will drink almost any coffee.
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spring Photo Foray

Yesterday was the Spring Photo Foray at Tyler Arboretum. I thought I would share a few of my photos with you. It was nice to be out with others who linger to get a good shot. The hubby doesn't appreciate it in the same way.

Its often hard to believe such a beautiful place is right around the corner!

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

In preparation for summer....

I have started Lotus Blossom Tank, a pattern from The Best of Interweave Knits: Our Favorite Designs from the First Ten Years .

I am using yarn I bought from my LYS, Slip Knot that I got on sale and couldn't pass up. It is Cliche by Artful Yarns.

I only have 7 skeins of the yarn, and after completing almost 1 repeat, I am a little worried it may not be enough. A Ravelry search for yardage used by other knitters put me at ease a bit, but I am also planning to do the modifications described by Licketyknit, which includes adding lace repeats and length to the stockinette portion.

We will see. I am hoping the switch after Row 9 to smaller needles will eat up less yarn.
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Alaskan Mobius

This blog comes a bit late, as this has been complete but not photographed for awhile. This was my Ravelymics project.

Pattern: Moebius Cowl by by Cat Bordhi
Needles: US 10 Circular
Yarn: Raven Frog Fiber Arts Marvelous Merino ; 1 skein
Started: February 12, 2010
Completed: February 28, 2010

I picked this yarn up on our honeymoon to Alaska, and it reminds me of the rich, earthy colors that surrounded us on this wonderful trip.
See my previous post for a video link for the cast-on.

I am glad I tried this technique, and it was a fun project with a beautiful result, but I don't think that I will be doing many mobius projects as they are somewhat limited in their scope of usefulness.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010


Did anyone else notice the lovely hats and sweaters Team USA had on last night?

In the spirit of the Olympics I am participating in Ravelympics this year and have chosen a Mobius Cowl as my project in this lovely yarn that I picked up on my honeymoon in Alaska.

The colors remind me of the rainforest of Alaska and the Canadian coast of British Columbia, so I thought it a fitting choice given the Olympics location in Vancouver.

I have already made significant progress on this, and I think I will be done with it long before the Olympics are over.

I thought the mobius cast on would give me a bit more trouble than it did, but a great video here demonstrates it beautifully.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

This is one that I have tried to read many times.  I always thought that school interfered and found myself starting over when I had forgotten my place.

On the surface this appeared to be exactly the type of novel I would like: beautiful prose, immersion in another culture with tragedy and love. I wanted to love this book, but did not.

In the end, I did finally finish this novel, but it always felt like I was pulling myself through the pages.  The language is beautiful, but I couldn't relate to the characters or the story.  I am glad I finally finished it so I could move on. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

On making progress

Remember this? 

I am on the collar of Bell Sleeve Jacket, and have been making steady progress while enjoying the HBO series Rome over the last few weeks.  I love Netflix.

I am hopeful that this sweater will be done in time to get some use out of it while it is still cold.   Almost there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reader's Indulgences

This new stack of books are pure heaven for a reader to behold. I look forward to the hours curled up on the couch enjoying them.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Its cold outside, but in here it's electric!

Here is a peak at one of my projects on the needles that I haven't shown off yet.

These are the Fruit Loop Socks from Knitty, Spring 2008.

They are being knit with my Kool-Aid dyed yarn in a colorway that I call
It's Electric.

Go to my instructional post to learn how I dyed the yarn.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

On a roll.....

The result of more seaming and finishing....

Pattern: Gavyn by Amanda Blackford
Made for: Baby C
Size: 1 - 2 years
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids; Colorway: Royal Palm
Approximately 0.5 skein (710 yards per skein)
Needles: US Size 9
Started: August 21, 2009
Completed: January 9, 2010

Because this is knit in an Aran/Worsted weight yarn, it is a very quick knit. I actually finished all of the knitting in just a few sittings, but again, it sat waiting for me to seam in the arms from the time I finished knitting in August until now.

The Bernat Cotton Yarn is so soft and I like this earthy green color.

The Gavyn pattern is one of the few sweaters I have found that is truly meant for a baby boy. Most baby sweaters are really meant for baby girls and are too frilly for boys.

I am quite pleased with how it turned out and will probably knit this sweater again as it is enjoyable and easy and looks great!

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