Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
I’ve been away for a bit because I have been using all of my brain getting up to speed at my first job out here in Seattle. I’m a project manager, which means I organize things for a living and then annoy people about it. It’s fun – “Let’s check things off lists! Ahead of schedule! And then make more lists!” – so you’d think applying goals, checklists and deadlines to crafts would be exactly what is needed to make the most of my now reduced hobby time.
Yeah… no. Craft related goals are more like, “Let’s take this relaxing thing and make it stressful! Feel like you’re never good enough! Hating working on that project? Tough! You have a deadline!”
My latest set of missed craft goals was the Ravellenic Games. This is a huge knit-a-long on Ravelry.com where everyone starts their projects during the opening ceremonies and finishes them by closing ceremonies. The idea is to have your project be a challenge of, ahem, Olympic proportions.
Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
I am a skill accumulator. For no good reason whatsoever, I want to be able to do things myself.
It’s evident in how I play role playing computer games. Rather than actually attempting to meet the game’s objectives or obtain the Helm of Mordor or whatever, I spend hours learning how to smith and speak languages. And the great thing about games is that once you’re a level 50 archer, no one’s taking that away. You can one-up William Tell into perpetuity. Thus, perfectly illustrating why video games are better than reality.
I finally have something that matches. Remember the gloves I finished a few weeks ago? They are officially a part of a set now.
This hat was based off the mitten pattern – Eugenia’s Mitts designed by Mollie Woodworth. I’ve included women’s (20″) and men’s (22″) sizes. The cables pull the fabric in quite a bit and make it less stretchy, so a good fit is important with this one. In the pic, I’m actually wearing the woman’s size, though I have a gigantic, man-sized head. It works, but it’s definitely snug due to the lack of stretch.
You can grab the hat pattern for free on its Ravelry page.
Somewhere around October 1st, a switch flips, and I go from contently plodding through large, somewhat complicated projects with no real goal in mind to Mortal Combat knitting. Completing projects becomes an obsession, and the stash starts chanting “Larger needles! Looser gauge! Garter stitch!”
Maybe it’s the cooling air that makes my mind go nuts. Last year’s hats, gloves and scarves certainly won’t do. They were slightly less than perfect, and in the whole heap, you can’t find two things that match. What else can you do but create a new pile of slightly off, mismatched knits?
I have a new sock pattern.
Why this pattern is great:
- Toe up and cuff down instructions
- Charts and written instructions
- Fast knit that doesn’t use much yarn
- Simple lace stitch is easy to remember
- Great for showing off yarns with fancy dye jobs
- It’s 25% off until November 15th!
I’ve actually been sitting on this pattern for a while. Dragging my well-adorned feet at every point of the design process. Not because the pattern isn’t lovely – it is – or because I don’t like them – I do – but because I had no idea what I would say in this blog post.
Today was the pinnacle of Fall.
After a walk to the coffee shop under trees ablaze in orange and yellow, there was football and knitting. Acorn squash and apple cider are on the menu for dinner. Politicians are slipping flyers in the door. I might make an apple crisp real quick just to make sure that maximum autumn saturation has been obtained.
The 50 degree weather was the perfect opportunity for the fella to take his new hat on it’s maiden journey. It’s knit with just under half a skein of fingering weight yarn, which makes it just warm enough for these days when it’s just a bit too cold to go hatless, but too warm for the winter hats.
Named for the restaurant where my knitting group meets, Blue Star is comprised of twisted stitches. It is deceptively stretchy for the amount of texture going on. The twisted stitches are also quick to work if you get the hang of cabling without a cable needle.
Published by Shana | Filed under Quilting
When I saw Hoffman Fabric’s Natural Instinct line, I almost passed out from delight at the sight of ‘smoke’, ‘ice’ and ‘eggplant’. So, I impulse bought a yard of each and then proceeded to wage an unrelenting war with it until this materialized.
What you’re thinking (I assume) is “cute!”. But really, what you should be saying is, “Here, let me pour you a glass of wine. I know this was rough, but it’s over now.”
Why so rough?
Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
You know what is an endless source of entertainment and wonderful pun opportunities? Chickens.
You’d think, having been raised on farm and all, I’d already know this, but my father is the most anti-poultry person you’ll ever meet. The only childhood memories I have of chickens was when Grandpa Wortmann would, ahem, gather a few for dinner. I’d “help” by running around like a chicken, ahem, with its head cut off, and then run into the side of the barn and fall over dead. With creative fun like that, who needed a Nintendo!?
(me. the answer is me.)
Anyway, meet my feathery friends! They lay tiny, delicious eggs.
In knitting news, I finished TWO fingering weight sweaters. First, the easier one:
I made an online, easily browsed stitch dictionary you can see at 9-stitches.com!
Mostly, I started this project because I got annoyed one day.
I was looking for just the right stitch for a sweater I’m designing. I love my stitch books, but seriously – the images are tiny, often in black and white, and there are rarely charts. I’d have to translate the written instructions to a chart before knowing if I even wanted to try swatching (I might be a bit feeble, but working from written instructions makes my brain ache). And heaven forbid if you want to look at 4 or 5 sts at the same time or search for something. Books are the worst.
Okay, not really. Don’t hurt me, librarians.
Books are lovely, but there has to be a better way to browse stitch patterns. I couldn’t find one, so I made one.
It’s an online stitch dictionary that’s 66% free! (About a third of the stitches are available only to subscribers.) It has both written instructions and charts, where applicable, and is completely searchable. It’s design is adaptive, which means it’ll look good on any device and that it very fun to sit around and resize the window. Plus, when you print, it gives you only the stuff you need to knit it – swatch, chart and written instructions. No ads or website navigation junk wasting your toner.
There are 33 stitches up there now, and every day for at least the next month, another will be published. The swatches are coming in from knitters from Ireland to Ohio.
Check it out, and let me know what you think!
Almost four months into the Great Western Experiment, and one thing is resoundingly clear: I am a terrible housewife. Horrid. Before we got settled in, I envisioned that I would fill my days with hobbies – making elaborate, healthy dinners, ethically sourcing all of our food, knitting, long hikes with Pico, and drinking coffee with all my fancy new Seattle friends. And, yeah, that happened. For maybe a week.
Now, the fella is greeted with “Welcome home, Bread Winner! Now, about that bread – we’re having slacker dinner, because I decided to take the bus for a hour and a half to get coffee because I think the people working at the six coffee shops within walking distance* are starting to think I am a creeper. And then it was hot, so…”
His reaction confirms that I married very well.
*no exaggeration. Actually, possibly an understatement.
But, even while on Sabbatical, my internal Achiever would like you all to ignore this, and instead high-five my accomplishments. Specifically:
These are also a part of a project I hope to be rolling out some time this month. Is your interest piqued? No? Does using exclamation marks help!?! Still no? Bummer.
A new cowl design!
A new design, Continental Divide, is ready for test knitting. I started designing this one on the drive out here, and here it is.
I really wanted the design that symbolized our journey West to include drop stitches. I love the symbolism of having crafted this beautiful piece of fabric, and then dropping stitches with the belief that something more gorgeous is waiting.
This was to use up the yarn from the shawls I made Mom and my MIL for the wedding. It doesn’t lay great. I think the beads are too heavy for the yarn. But, whatever. The pattern is free and easy.