Thursday, January 31, 2013

Zuzu's Petals

I want to cast on Zuzu's Petals next, as soon as I'm done with the baby shower knits that I have to mail on Monday, but I'm having a real hard time picking a yarn.

This would be perfect. It's Pigeon Roof Studio yarn that I won from Stash and Burn slog-a-thon in 2010. It would be fitting for it to be a UILI project.

I love the color but I want the scarf to be one I can wear to work. My work clothes are mostly pink, lavender, and aqua and not colors I would wear with red. I'm going to have to check to see if I own enough white and black to make this yarn worth while

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Yak down is the softest fiber I've ever touched. This is a blend of 50% yak 50%silk and I've been saving it for special for a long time. I've taken it out of protective storage and placed it in my spinning queue. I don't know if I'll be able to spin it anytime soon but at least I'll be thinking about it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

XOX Cable

I've always loved the look of the XOX cable.

I decided I would give knitting it a go with the Hugs-and-Kisses-with-Love Hand Warmers.

There has never been anything I hated to knit so much. Ever.

I do really enjoy the finished product so I may chart the pattern out and try again but for now they are in timeout, in the naughty knit basket, for all around unpleasantness.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weaving Conference

When I originally went to write this post last night I had cold feet. I've spent the last 3 years on this with more dedication than I give my paying job, and that is saying something. Some days it is more hours too. Today was 15 hours at the computer entering data. That's because today registration opened!

Prairie Winds 2013 Midwest Weavers' Conference

So last night all I could see was the potential teacher I didn't cold call. By the time I reached the end of the list I had developed such a phone phobia that the very last call never got made. She would have been a great addition too and I've always been disappointed that I never asked her why she didn't submit a proposal. That was last night.

Today the registrations came pouring in (we are at 26% already) and at the end of the night when it came time for me to enroll I couldn't decide on my own class choice. That is when I finally knew we have something great going on. I had always hoped but the confirmation is overwhelming.

Do you have your weaving conference confirmation email yet? Registration is until May but it's filling up fast.

Friday, January 18, 2013


It's time for a new Nerd Wars dissertation submission.

Name: TangledThread

Team: Browncoat

Summary: Knit a sweater

Pattern: Armenius

Yarn: Cascade Eco

Swatch: size 6 needles at 4.5 stitches per inch

Category: Encyclopedia

I appreciate the intertwining designs of Viking carvings and the balance of line they used in their work. I especially enjoy their rune carvings in stone and wood along with their metalworking. wonderful photoblog here and I want to knit a sweater in that aesthetic. The knot-work in the pattern reflects that style.

The Old Norse noun víking refers to an expedition overseas. It occurs in Viking Age runic inscriptions and in later medieval writings in set expressions such as the phrasal verb fara í víking "to go on an expedition" In later texts such as the Icelandic sagas, the phrase "to go viking" implies participation in raiding activity or piracy, and not simply seaborne missions of trade and commerce

Team tie-in: The Serenity crew is on an expedition of their own. In the episode The Train Job they leave their normal trade of commerce to do some Viking style raiding when they heist the goods from the mining colony Paradiso.

The sweater style is one that the Paradiso Sheriff would wear in his off duty hours.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Use It or Loose It

My favorite Podcast is hosting a year long knit-a-long with the theme Use It or Loose It (UILI). The premise is to pull 13 old projects worth of yarn out of your stash and knit it up or get rid of it. That can be selling it, gifting it, or throwing it in the trash. Whatever the yarn deserves. The idea is to evaluate these yarns that linger. Are they good yarns that have been pushed aside and for the new and sexy? Are they hanging out because in a moment of 50% off the wrong color was bought? Or maybe after years of exposure, Mohair is now too itchy to knit but the yarn is still there.

I'm all over this. I still have yarn from 2004. With my smaller numbers I will be knitting it all and this is the perfect time to dedicate myself to using the oldest. Part of the theme is taking a yarn and searching until the right pattern or project is found to best use it's potential. This part, rather than the stash busting, is what I'm interested in.

 So lets talk yarn.
This is the oldest yarn in my stash. It’s 10 balls of Galway that was to be Her and His sweaters. I bought in 2004 and as of 2006 there hasn’t been a him. I’ve held onto this because it’s GOOD yarn in my favorite color. The day I bought it was a good day and good memories but the reason I bought it…. well, not so much. For years I had planned to knit Rouge out of it but just never got around to it, to the point I deleted it from my queue months ago.

When UILI was announced I knew this would be my first yarn. I was going to swatch around trying different sweater patterns. Maybe A Very Plucky Cardigan or Alpine Meadow or Maijapaita - Maija Pullover but I was prepared to loose it at the end of the first 4 week check in. I suspected that nothing about this yarn would ever be right. Then Doubleknit Podcast talked about Rouge and it was back on my radar and I had thoughts of really and truly knitting the yarn into a sweater instead of trading it away.

Until I saw the yarn on my living room rug.
It’s perfect.

It's not Noro and I can't use it for the Ten Stitch pattern but surely I can find something inspiring in the blanket category. It took all morning searching patterns and Curve of Pursuit is the solution! I’m going to use scrap yarn for contrasting squares for as long as they hold out then knit the remainder of the blanket in this yarn as a solid color.

Now to convince myself that what I want is the finished end project of a blanket not the process of knitting the little color bits of Noro. Point is this has color bits too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ten Stitch Pillow

When I bought my futon I did not get the futon cover. So I've been knitting pillow covers for the pillows. 1.5 down 3.5 to go. When I was searching for ideas I found the Ten Stitch Blanket buried deep down in my favorited patterns. It looked promising and I had been gifted 2.5 balls of Noro for my birthday so I decided to give it a go.

I just finished it. I loved knitting this! Every stitch was a joy. The whole time I was knitting this I was plotting ways to knit it blanket sized.

I've never wanted to knit a blanket. They seemed large and boring. But with this I was burning to make it. I was stalking website for discounted Noro, stalking websites for less expensive yarn options, plotting ways to buy one ball a month at the local store. That seemed doable. Except they don't reorder the same colors. Once they sell out completely new colors comes in. I spent hours looking over weeks but really knew buying a blanket wasn't going to be an option anytime soon and it's unlikely buying a blanket of Noro will ever be an option.

Was I all adult like and shelve the idea and move onto practical things? No. I've resorted to trickery. I've promised myself a blanket of yarn at the Webs sale in April for my birthday. One of the other striping yarns if one I like is available and Noro if they aren't. The part of me that granted permission hopes that by April I'll have forgotten the blanket and moved onto new and shiny things.

I decided all of this before doing the stash evaluation but I haven't taken it back either. I really want to knit this blanket. By saying I could have it, but later, was the only way I could sleep at night. It had taken over my brain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Early 2012 I said I wouldn't buy any yarn. I had helped pay for my brothers surgery and needed a down payment for my apartment and yarn just wasn't in the budget.
This is all I bought.

It's not zero but it's not much either. It's nine small projects worth and two, maybe three, months of knitting. It's that long only because the blue sock yarn on the right is for a lace shawlet and lace is slow going.

Back in 2010 I tracked all I knit and what I knit. I found that I really won't knit a yarn until it's been in my stash for 3 years. It takes that long to go from too special to knit, no project is good enough to live up to it's potential, to being usable yarn. So while I may knit some of that sooner most of that is for 2015. The thought that is all I have 2015 makes me all gaspy and light headed. I keep telling myself it will be ok. I did get gift yarn too and when I add in that yardage in and I have five, maybe six, months of knitting.

Mulling that over, I decided it was time to look at my whole stash and evaluate.

Yarn that is older than three years old. This yarn is well aged and ready to knit. This is from 2004 to the end of 2009. I've been knitting since 2000 but I don't have any yarn left from before 2004. At 21,617 yards that is thirteen months of knitting.

2010, 2011 and 2012, gift yarn and all. The yarn that is marinating and most of it is still too special to knit, although a few of the balls on the bottom from the beginning of 2010 are almost ready. This is 26,180 yards and fifteen months of knitting.

Add all that together and I'm going to be completely out of yarn 3 months into 2015. On top of that, the yarn I buy this year would really be for 2016 for it to have aged correctly. It's all a bit terrifying.

When I started tracking my stash on the blog in 2006 I had seven years of knitting on hand. I decided that was excessive and put myself on a yarn diet. It's now been seven years of limited yarn buying and I'm down to two years and three months. That is less than I'm comfortable with. I miss going to my stash and finding what I need to make whatever I want. The stash dresser I couldn't fit all of the stash into now has plenty of room. However, my budget isn't ready for me to start buying yarn again, so 2013 is another year of no yarn.

Instead of fretting about it, I've pulled my spinning wheel next to the computer and I spin while playing Sims 3. It has ponies!

I'll just make my own yarn. I have plenty of potential in my fiber stash.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I cast on the Rabbit pattern from my queue.

It's part of the most FANtastic baby shower present ever. But, shhhhhhhhh, it's a surprise.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Performer of the Month

Yep. That's me again. For the month of January again. Did I get Amazon gift cards again so I can buy more seasons of Doctor Who again? Sadly, no.

so I'll show a project

A Doctor Who washcloth.

A pity, not getting gift cards. I'm a season behind.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


I have an owl.

Rather, I should say my building has an owl. When he is out everyone is taking photos and gawking. And on an owl sighting day, when we run into each other on the walk, we ask "Did you see the Owl this morning?".

I noted the heart shaped face and I've watched the falcon show at the Renaissance Festival every year and I know the heart shaped face is a Barn Owl. Except this is not a Barn Owl.It looks nothing like a Barn Owl. The shape is wrong, the size is wrong, the color is wrong. I dug deep into the internet- Ok I looked at List of birds of Kansas on wikipedia

and I have a Barred Owl

He's not here every day. He's not even here every week but he's here often enough and he is staying here through the seasons. I've seen him every time of day too. Flying at night and perching all day long.

He's not the only wildlife outside my door. I already mentioned the Blue Hereon fishing at dawn. And there is the possum that crashes through the underbrush making more noise than a person walking. The fat squirrels are always frolicking in the trees and bounding on the rocks in the steam. I say frolicking they are probably running the other squirrel off their turf in fierce battle but I think they are cute. Some feral cats and kittens are always around too and the rabbit tracks are thick in the snow even if I rarely see a rabbit.

I've seen a saucy coyote trotting down the walk and a mink slipping into the water. That one was a start. A mink. Who would have thought?
Although, at the bottom of the wiki page it says Barred owls eat, among other things, rats, squirrels, rabbits, bats, moles, opossums, cats, and mink. I guess I shouldn't be surprised after all.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Nerd Wars Dissertation Hand In

Name: TangledThread

Team: Browncoat

Summary: Knit 8 baby, toddler, and kiddo sweaters.

Category: Geek Pride

Yes. Great. I wish you hundreds of fat children.

Aw, could you imagine that? Me with a whole
passel of critters underfoot? Hell, ten
years time I could --

With only 14 episodes and a movie we never got to meet any of the children and as such I’m knitting a sweater for each member of the crew of Serenity from the TV show Firefly. I’m knitting 8 instead of nine because Wash and Zoe will be sharing a sweater.

I have a detailed description of why for each sweater but that write up is for the reveal and I'm keeping the proposal to the point.

I don’t give a good gorram about
relevant, Wash. Or objective. And I
ain’t so afraid of losing something
that I ain’t gonna try to have it. You and
I would make one beautiful baby. And I
want to meet that child one day.

So let’s meet the sweaters.

Shepard Derrial 'Don't call me Grandpa' Book never had children. However, at Southdown Abbey he set up a Co-op. He convinced a weaving mill to make their cones ends of hemp yarn available to anyone that would knit shirts for the orphanage.

The hemp tunics are incredibly sturdy and last through the wearings of several children. They also get softer with age. Like any knitting for charity, the shirts are executed with varying amounts of skill. Some are little masterpieces but most are dashed off by busy knitters in stolen moments of down time between their chores. The wood buttons are caved by the Shepherds. 

Three years after the visit to Canton Jayne receives a message to pick up his son. While he was pleased to have fathered a child he had no interest in stopping his career in "Public Relations". Jayne drops the child off to be raised by Ma Cobb. He sends a a vid message whenever he thinks of it, which is almost never, money with every paying job, and he takes the kid for a month ever year.

Ma Cobb has improved as a knitter but she still knits up every single scrap of what she has on hand and has a whimsical idea of what is tasteful.

Once Cassandra has been exposed to the verse and River has woken up life becomes easier for the Firefly crew. The Alliance doesn't have time to worry about hunting them down and River starts to leave the ship working her own jobs on occasion.  Mal is able to pick up the legal cargo just as often as any other and the pay is more steady.

Simon stays on board for Kaylee for a while but eventually decides that it's time to move back to the core. Kaylee is unwilling to leave to become a doctor's wife. They split as amicably as possible and the crew helps sets Simon up with a very expensive new identity that allows him to be a surgeon at Saint Lucy on Ariel

He's still estranged from his parents but when he marries another doctor and they have a child this hand knit sweater is delivered from a high end boutique shop with a card from Grandma.

Nobody knows why Inara, on the verge of becoming house priestess, let herself get pregnant. Or why she took an extended sabbatical and settled in a tiny cottage on Persephone. She is still invited to the parties of high society but chooses to live a rather quiet life.

Mal is the godfather to her little girl and he visits them as often as jobs bring them to the area. He and Inara are no warmer to each other, nor bicker anymore, than before and if Kaylee and Zoe whisper how the child is the splitting image of Mal there is no indication that he has any sort of notion she might be his.

Inara knit the dress while she was expecting. In her companion training she had learned making lace but she had never picked up knitting needles. It's also not surprising that her first, and only, knitted project was perfection. She would have it no other way and would do each stitch over until it was just right.

Kaylee is the one that finds a new ship medic for the crew. He may be in the top 30% of his class rather than the top 3% but he has a neat hand sewing up bullet wounds. He also worships Kaylee. 

After a year of him romancing her they get married and have a boy. There is never any talk of Kaylee leaving the ship and they raise him on board. The sweater is a gift from Simon from the same boutique shop that his mother sends gifts.

Simon will take an occasional trip on Serenity as the best way to see River. On one such visit Zoë pulls him aside and they have a long discussion that results in Simon checking the med supply of frozen blood and tissue on board. Not long after, Zoë takes a leave of absence and comes back pregnant with her and Wash's child. The sweater is a gift from Kaylee

 River knits her baby gifts. This sweater is cotton and silk blend for Inara but she usually knits in acrylic.

River points out that every baby needs to be able to protect itself. That the ties come in handy for tying things and acrylic will cut flesh before it will break. That it melts when exposed to flame. That it's indestructible and lasts forever. All very handy in an emergency.


Mal is tolerant but resistant to it all. It's years later until he marries. It's a good match too. She is strong and has a mischief twinkling in her eyes.

They set out making their own passel of critters and if Mal puffs up a bit looking at them in their brown sweater coats she knows that brown is the only sensible color for ship wear when washing happens about once a month with water so scarce. 

Saturday, January 05, 2013


I great BIG Thank you to MDQuilter!

She sent the most wonderful, amazing, over-the-top Winter Madness swap box EVER!
Inside the box was a lovely card, yummy noms, and another box. It’s a beautiful decorative storage box with a Victorian Paris montage. I love it!

I also Love the dark chocolate. One with Caramel and one with Almonds and Sea Salt. They are so very tasty! I’m eating the sea salt ones now. They are a wonderful combination of bitter and salty and dark chocolate richness that a single- well, ok, two- squares are satisfying. The caramel ones I maybe snarfed in one sitting. Don’t judge me.

Inside the box lots and lots of pressies! The very first one I opened had me Squeeeeeeing with delight. 

Do you see that! DO YOU! MDQuilter made me a project bag!!! I don’t think you really saw it. Here look closer.
The Scarf! Nine! Screwdrivers! Sonic ones! Lots of them!
Now if you scroll back up you can see the TARDIS full of yarn button. That’s brilliant. I wish my yarn storage was bigger on the inside.

I was so excited that the next package sort of exploded when I opened it. I had to scramble around to find everything, like a big knitting pinata.
First was the sparkly blue stitch markers made by MDQuilter’s friend and mine, darwinkity. They are little TARDIS and so pretty.

Then the buttons. I sighed out loud when I saw them. So pretty. I love buttons. These are perfect.

Adorable Bob measuring tape. He has such fat, pinchable, cheeks. hot cocoa ! I’m saving it first the first snow and that might be tonight.

Chibi needles. The oh so handy safety pin markers. I can never get enough of those. Cable needle. Pompon maker.
I take the cable needle and pompon maker out of their packages right away so I can fiddle with them, and see how they work, while I ponder what pattern is in my queue that had buttons, cables, and pompons.
The next package is needles. Sure, some people got Signature needles but they don’t even compare to my beloved Clover size 3 (3.25mm). I love these needles so very much! They have that velvet feel of brand new Clovers. It wears off about 3 projects in so I savor it when I can. These are so very perfect. Thank you.

And the yarn. I love yarn. I forgot and wound a ball and cast on while waiting for the camera to load. It’s that perfect.

Finally the project that needs buttons, cables and pompons. Shake the Barley Fingerless Gloves and Shake the Barley Hat she gifted me the patterns too.

And I can’t forget I was also sent a Date Pinwheel recipe. Just like Grandma’s but wheat free. I can’t wait to make them!

Everything is wonderful and I love it all so much. Thank you.