I have been working on a world tour of sock patterns. An ebook or something to honor places that I love. The only design I’ve fully finished is Šiauliai (pronounced “show-lay”), which is my tribute to Lithuania. I planned to publish these the patterns all together, but with all the goings on in the region, I couldn’t wait to express my love for this oft-overlooked corner of Europe.
Like a first love, the small Baltic country has secured a place in my heart.
Lithuania was the first country I ever visited when I signed up for a study abroad program. I was 19 years old and had only traveled more than 3 hours from Nebraska through reading the 1991 edition of the World Book Encyclopedias. My cluelessness knew no limits.
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.
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.
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!
The most exciting time of the year for any nerdy kid is the week before school starts. They spend the days unloading their backpack, loving looking at all school supplies, and reorganizing their crayon box. They reflect on the big questions – Dolphin folders are clearly the best for Science, but should rainbow unicorns be for Math or Social Studies?
Oh, kids don’t do that? No one else gets that excited about organizing? Angry Birds is ruining our youth.
One of the best things was the brand new packs of crayons and markers. The school supply list only required the basic marker set, but with enough whining Mom could be swayed to get a second set of markers. Bold colors. The best freaking colors on the planet – raspberry, emerald, azure, goldenrod. You had better recognize, kids who picked on me. There’s a new pack of markers in town.
(at this point, you might have picked up on a few of the factors that contributed to the teasing)
I didn’t realize until halfway through this quilt that I had borrowed my 8-year old self’s favorite color pallet. I’m sure the next niece, Izzabella, will also love it, because the kids want to be just like yours truly.
We have a house in Seattle, and I have my craft supplies back!
That’s nice, but I don’t care. I’m just here for the pattern.
In unpacking, I came across the most beautiful button I’ve ever purchased. I think the guy said it’s Czech glass made from antique molds. I bought it somewhere around 2005 for what I now realize was an obscenely low price of $3.
I decided it was time it finally got a purpose. And since I also came across some leftovers from my Haruni, it seemed like a perfect match. But, alas, once the hat was made, the button looked stupid so still it sits in a drawer, purposeless and alone.
Speaking of being stuck in the mid-2000′s, I also knit some Monkeys, the hippest pattern of 2007 (I can’t even maintain the cool among the knitters). The yarn + pattern combo is pretty horrendous, but they served the purpose of portable bus knitting and getting rid of yarn I’ve been lugging around for five years. So… now I have another pair of socks.
My project for the next week is turning this rink-a-dink room into a sweet craft room.
I hate the word “craft room”. It suggests that I’m in there hot glueing gemstones on things. Think I can pull off “studio”?