Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A New Sweater Project

Now that I have finished Even Flow, I have decided to start another sweater.  This one is for my mom (and funded by her; she bought the yarn).  I will be making Chickadee from Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague.

A swatch of the yoke motif in the colors that mom and I picked.

I am very excited to be working a sweater with a yoke, and Ysolda's book is fantastic at describing pattern alterations. 

A box of yarn!  For me!

I have figured out the gauge (she got the same gauge on #5 needles that takes me #8 needles) and I am ready to cast on.  I will keep you all posted.

But first I need to finish my French Market Socks. *sigh*

I am on the second sock's heel right now, so I will finish these in the next few days.  But as someone who rarely makes a pattern twice, I am a drudge when it comes to second socks.

However, these are turning out to be really pretty.  And I'm finding that my stranded colorwork looks way more awesome after blocking.

Ooooh . . .

There is a bit of stress along the edge of the heel that worries me.  This yarn is a loosely twisted 2-ply, which means that it is super easy to break, but it grips to itself and the stitches around it.  I think that I will just reinforce this area with another strand of the same color stitched over it in Swiss darning.  This should make the row along the heel better wearing, but only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Three Strand Colorwork

First, check out my stylish new sweater that I haven't taken off all weekend!

I am terrible at selfies.

Now, check out my new Craftsy and Etsy stores.

Finally, here's what I have been up to: Three Stranded Colorwork.  This is something that I really dreaded for a long time.  It just seems like there is so much potential for tragedy in the whole operation.  I mean, working with 3 strands of yarn at once?  Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

But it's pretty.  So very pretty.  And so, last week I picked up the Lampwork Hat and Mitts kit that I got a few years ago from Knit Picks and had at it.

Not too shabby. Now on to the matching fingerless mitts.

Now, I may be knitting with 3 colors, but usually a row will only call for 2 of them.  So I have been exploring ways to control the yarn.

The thing that has always baffled me about stranded knitting is that there are so many different ways to do it.  But there are 2 methods I want to look closer at: 1. knitting with a color in each hand and 2. my way, in which you drop the yarn when you are not using it.

I finally tried the first one this week.  (There is a tutorial with lovely pictures here.)  I normally knit continental style, with the yarn feeding through my left hand, but I understand how English style (with yarn through the right) works, so I thought I would give it a chance.  And really, it was kinda neat.  It does keep your yarns from getting twisted, and the efficiency of motion in your hands is awesome compared to dropping the yarns.  However, I tend to knit with a pretty high tension; I am forever going up a needle size to get gauge; and I just could not get the yarn to feed through both hands with the same tension.  Actually, I had trouble getting the yarn to feed through my right hand at all.  I have really worked hard on loosening up a bit, and where my left hand has been trained, my right doesn't seem to have gotten the message.  (Kinda funny to be right-handed, and yet less able to control your right hand while knitting.)

I'm certain that if I just kept at it, this method would totally work for me.  All it would take is a little practice.

But I am stubborn and impatient.

So I just went back to my usual method.  I will assign a top color and a bottom color (and a middle color if needed) and then knit while keeping them oriented that way.  When I am not using a color, I simply lay it out of the way to the right, being careful to keep it in its place of top, middle, or bottom.

I found that this way gives me a looser tension than I normally have, which is great because that way I don't have stitches that are buried into the background.  Also, this keeps my floats (the yarn that goes across the back of the piece to the next stitch of that color) nice and loose.

I have also finally learned to tack my floats.  If you just wrap the yarn you aren't using around the back of the stitch, it turns out that you don't have to continually catch your finger/toe/etc. on the yarn left on the back of the piece.

And then I discovered that there was such a thing as color dominance.  This one blew my mind.  It turns out that which yarn is assigned to the top and which to the bottom makes a difference in the appearance of the finished piece. (Check out the link for a great picture to demonstrate.)  So I have decided that I will always have the darkest color at the bottom and then grade by darkest shade to lightest from bottom to top.

Finally, I finished the hat and have started my French Market Socks.  And I have to say, the choice of yarn for colorwork makes a difference too.  The hat was made in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, a very nice South American smooth wool yarn.  I am making these socks in Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, a Shetland wool yarn that has only a light twist and is a lot more "sticky" than the Wool of the Andes.  Turns out that Shetland is a very popular wool for colorwork and there's a reason for that.  The "stickiness" of the yarn makes tensioning a breeze.  Once a stitch is in place with the other stitches around it, it is not as likely as a smoother yarn to loosen up by itself.

Colors picked out by Shervie. Gotta love the twisted cast-on.

So, fairly long blog today, but it has been an enlightening week. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Tiny X-mas Present

I have a new pattern for all of you!  Here is my Tiny X-mas Stocking, now available for free on Ravelry!

Download yours today!

Isn't it adorable?
And in other news, I have finished the knitting on my Even Flow Sweater!  I will be weaving in ends and seaming pockets some time today and will have it blocked by some time next week.

This is the first sweater that I have knit and I am very proud.  

I have yarn all ordered up for my next one already.  I am planning on making a Chickadee by Ysolda Teague in KnitPicks Capra.

See? Two sleeves and everything!
All-in-all, a good week.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @AngieChervenak and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Day After Thanksgiving

No blogging today. I'm taking the day off. 

But here is a picture of a cat napping in the sun. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Sleeve and Some Research

I'm not gonna lie. I haven't gotten a ton done lately. I haven't been feeling well. 

But I have made some progress with this sleeve. 

And I have a design I've been working on for a while nearly finished, but now I need to write down what I did to make it before I forget. I would show and tell more about this one, but I have a pitch in for a magazine and I need to see what they have to say first. 

I am also reading a book about small business startup. I figure that I should probably get a hold on marketing and bookkeeping if I am trying to freelance. 

So, not a lot of interesting stuff today, but maybe things will pick up if I can lose this nasty sore throat/ears thing that I have going on. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

A New Pattern!

That's right!  I have released a new pattern!

The Harney Peak Hat is a spiral ribbed hat made from wool and alpaca.  This hat is super warm but unlike 100% alpaca it holds its shape.  I am very excited to see other people's versions of this hat!

I have priced the hat at $2, but for the first week (until November 29), you can get it for $1 by entering the coupon code "AJC" at checkout.

So go!  Get your copy today! It can be found here or from my Patterns page.

You know you need a warm winter hat.

And in other absolutely amazing news, I finished the black socks of doom.  I just sat and watched Poirot and let my hands go.

Not too shabby
They are now washed and blocked and once they are dry I can give them to my dad.

So, grab a copy of my pattern for yourself or your favorite knitter and I think I will kick back and have a beer for a week well done.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Like a Little Bird

That's right!  Just in case you can't get enough of my obsessive ramblings, I am on twitter!  If you would like to follow me, please check me out @AngieChervenak or just follow the link on the right side of the page.

I have actually been making pretty good progress on my list of projects since last post.  Some of the progress is on design projects though and I won't be able to share those with you until they are done.

However, I did whip up the crocheted slouch hat!

See, I can crochet too!
I have to say, this was a fun project.  I especially love the look of the band.  It is done in back post single crochet.

However.  Hmm.  I apparently crochet at a much tighter gauge than whoever wrote this pattern and instead of starting over when I realized this, I just decided that I would keep going as long as it fit.  So my super slouchy hat basically has no slouch at all.

Which doesn't really matter to me.  The even bigger problem is that my greatest fears about this yarn were realized.  The fiber content is wonderful, but the colors are hideous together.  Beautiful colors, absolutely goofy when knitted up together.  But I will wear this hat, because I love a hideous hat.  (Something my husband and I always had in common.)

There has been no sweater progress over the past few days because I decided to put it aside for a minute.  I have been working on that sweater very hard and I am proud to say that I will likely finish the whole thing within a month of starting.  But it is a personal project and I have other things to work on too.

However, the sweater has inspired me to add a list of links to helpful tutorials.  Check out the new "Links" tab at the top of the page.  This week I have added some links for my favorite yarn joining methods.  I have been spit splicing my yarn for this sweater and I am very pleased with the results.  Leave it to me to find a way to avoid weaving in all of those ends.  The russian join method is great for joining yarns of different colors without having to weave in ends.  I will be adding more links as I think of them.

Finally, I have a confession to make.  I gave in to the trend and made a ruffle scarf.  I can't see myself ever wearing it, but I am considering trying to start up a class in Custer on how to make these.  Gotta give the people what they want, but I can't help but think that this yarn would make a way better skirt embellishment than boa.

Not too bad.

Friday, November 15, 2013


My Even Flow sweater now has pockets!

See? Pockets!

I decided yesterday that I need to get more organized.  I wasn't sure what I had going on and I was getting a nagging feeling while working on my sweater for the past couple of days that I should actually be advancing other projects as well.  So I made a list of all of the projects that I am making or that I intend to make soon.  I came up with a list of 15.  Seriously.  15.

That might not seem like a lot, but you have to remember: These are knitting projects.  Most of them cannot be knocked out in a single day.

Here's a quick overview of some of my ambitions:

A few years back, my grandma gave my mother a knitting bag and some fabric.  The idea being that I would take the bag apart and reconstruct it.  Last week, I finally got around to taking it apart.

The handles aren't worn out.
It is currently sitting in my workspace waiting for me to draft and cut out the pattern in the new fabric.  But I kinda figure that if I am going to bother to do one of these, I might as well bother to do three at once.  So if I ever get this sorted (and find some handles that I am satisfied with at a decent price), there may be fabulous knitting bags up on an Etsy store.

Next, as a way of using up some of my limited edition colorway yarn, I have decided to crochet a slouch hat out of this Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted.

A beautiful colorway of which it would be difficult to find any more.
I got this colorway at the 2013 MN Yarn Shop Hop.  But designing with exclusive colorways isn't very nice, so, darn it anyway, I get to make something for myself.

Then there is the design project that I had to rip out and now have to restart.  Luckily, it will be on these needles:

Gotta love #17 and #19 needles.
And last but not least, about a year ago I said that I would make the Lampwork Hat and Mitts for Athenais and the yarn has been just sitting in my stash ever since.  Maybe she'll get to wear them this winter.  Maybe she'll have to wait until next.

So, as much as I enjoy blogging, I'm afraid that I have quite a bit to work on today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Phoning This One In

I am feeling pretty sick today with a sinus/ear/throat thing and I do not feel very verbose.

So here are a few pictures of progress and projects:

My new homemade niddy noddy.

Side view of the Even Flow sweater.  I am now working on the front edge, with stitches held aside for pockets.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Working it

I have been pretty busy the past few days working on my crochet design project.  If all goes well, I should have my first crochet pattern out some time next week! 

I have realized through switching  back (I learned to crochet first) that I am a much better and more sophisticated knitter than crocheter.  And the next time I say that crochet is easier, because I will, remind me to read this post. 

The stitches aren't difficult, but there are so many different kinds of them!  And seriously, I cannot remember the last time I had to count this intensely.

Lovely double crochet
In other news, another design project (a knit one), that I have been working on for a couple of weeks, has hit a snag.  I am almost done with it and I am not happy with the gauge.  And I am out of yarn.  And I was already working on the largest needles I own.  This is very frustrating.

So, I picked up some numbers 17 and 19 needles and I am about to frog (rip it) the whole thing and start over from scratch at a looser gauge.  Maybe I can get the drape of the thing right this time and stretch the project yarn to be enough all at the same time.

Otherwise, I am continuing to work on the black socks that plague me and the Even Flow sweater.  I am almost done with the patterned body of the sweater and will soon be working on the collar and the central front.  And I have turned the heel on the socks.

More work to do today, and I'm trying to dye over the coffee portion of my last dye project.  There's no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Knitters Love Winter

It snowed last night!  And it is still snowing.  Sometimes there is nothing better than weather that tells you, "Just stay inside and knit."

And what will I be working on?  Why, my Even Flow sweater, of course.  The last week or so hasn't been all that great, but I tell you what, sitting around and watching movies sure helped me make progress on this sweater.  I'm starting to get excited about it.  I'm not so excited about picking up the stitches along both sides of the front to make the edge, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

And to anyone who is wondering, that curl will come out when the edge is added.  And if there's any left after that, that is what blocking is for.  Wet it down and shape it nicely, there will be no curl at all.

Tons of progress for less than a week.
Last Saturday was my wheel spinning class at Fall River Fibers in the Ace Hardware Store in Hot Springs, SD.  It was great.  I took a sleeping pill the night before so that I could be up in time to make it to the 9 AM start, and then I slept through my alarm.  But I wasn't too terribly late, thank goodness, and it was awesome to be around other people who love yarn.  Ok. it was awesome to be around other people period.

I found out that I am a fast spinner!  I am a productive spinner!  I make "art yarn"!  These are all really nice ways of saying that I should slow down and that I may need some more practice before I can be consistent.  Well, everyone starts out as a beginner, and I really did have fun.  Throwing myself headlong into new things is really how I learn best.
But Fritz thinks it's awesome.

After washing and setting the twist.  I think that little bit of plain white is probably my best piece.

And I am still working on dyeing yarns.  I now have pH paper!  I'm not sure that it makes me a better dyer, but it makes me feel more confident that I know what I'm doing.  This latest skein, I tried coffee and my new neon McCormick food dye.  I also tried a non-immersion dye method. 

I really like the blue.  I am very happy with the food dye results, but I am pretty nonplussed by the coffee.  I think that I will have to overdye the coffee part of this one before I am satisfied.  I think I may go for a purple rather than a brown.

Ooh, blue!
I also picked up a 100g skein of undyed, New Zealand, 2-ply, wool yarn.  It is about worsted weight but I will check.  I was thinking that this skein has hat written all over it and I will have to dye it in colors that I will actually wear. 

Well, that was the weekend for me.  Pretty dang productive actually.  And now I have to leave you to work on the crochet design project that I have become obsessed with.  I have a few more knit designs currently on the needles, but they have to stay under wraps for now.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Knitting Hermit?

I wimped out.  I didn't go to the Fiber Arts Guild meeting.  I just didn't have it in me.  I will go to the next meeting after first making contact with the group.  

I also feel apprehensive about the spinning class tomorrow.  What if I don't feel up to interacting with people?  I think all of this anxiety is something that I had best just push myself through.  I sometimes get this way, but once I am actually out of the house, I tend to have a good time.

Well, enough obsessing about my social anxiety.  The week has gotten rough since Tuesday, with the anxiety and my sleep schedule being thrown completely off, but I have managed to cast on for my Even Flow Sweater!

So far, so good.  What you can see in the picture is the back between the shoulders and I have just started working the right front panel.

Other than that, I have only been plugging away at the black socks.  I have a few more design projects on the needles that I hope to get out in November, I am waiting on pH paper to dye more yarn, and I will definitely keep all of you updated on how the spinning class goes tomorrow.  I have to admit, I am excited to learn about making yarn.  But really, who wouldn't be?

One last thing: I would like to thank everyone who downloaded my dishcloth pattern.  48 downloads and counting!

The sweater thus far

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Publish or Perish

Ok, so the title of this post is meant to be a really bad pun on dyeing.  I may occasionally be guilty of awful puns; I blame the geology degree.

It was a pretty good weekend.  I even managed to have a somewhat relaxing day on Sunday in which I only knit for some of the day.  Otherwise, some very exciting firsts happened:

I published my first pattern:

Double Heart Dishcloth
It can be found here, as a free Ravelry download or from the links on my brand new Patterns page!  Seriously, download one even if you don't need one; just to make me look good.

It actually is a kinda fun, quickie project and the cotton yarn it's made of is dirt cheap.

I also swatched for my Joji Locatelli Even Flow sweater.

Mmm . . . swatches
I have to admit: I hate swatching.  I want to just cast on and go!  That is why so many of the projects I do are items that you don't need to swatch for or that (like socks) you can measure your gauge as you are knitting it.  I know that you are supposed to swatch on pretty much everything, but I find it very boring.  

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that I would be more annoyed to knit an entire sweater only to have it not fit.  And judging by the fact that my swatch on the recommended needles didn't match the gauge in the pattern, it is time well spent.

Then, the most exciting news:

I am teaching myself how to dye yarn!

I started with food dye on some cream colored Cascade Eco Wool that I had lying around and came up with this:

My first attempt
Not too bad for the first time.  Of course it leaves plenty of room for improvement though. 

This was done with just water, white vinegar, and McCormick food dye.  Apparently if your dye bath is too acidic, the red will be taken up into the yarn faster than the blue and instead of getting a purplish-blue, you get red splotches with blue around them.

In order to prevent this from happening again, I have ordered pH paper from the internet.  When in doubt, apply science.

Finally, tonight I may go check out the Black Hills Fiber Arts Guild meeting.  I don't necessarily feel like going out and talking to people, but I think I have to remember that it is never as scary as it feels before hand.  And I have baked an apple spice cake to take with.  How could I go wrong if I'm bringing a cake?

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Very Busy Week

I have been working very hard in the last week.  Mostly because I am trying to spend more time working and less time dwelling on the traumatic past.  I guess this is the productive stage of grief.

I have been thinking lately of actually getting a job, but life is funny, and it seems to be easier said than done.  Out here in the Black Hills, the economy is very focused on tourist season.  It is very, very easy to get a job here between May and September, but it is almost impossible to find a job in winter, especially if you are looking for something non-professional.

So, here I am, with nothing to do but focus on my knitting and fiber projects.  And in a turn that I could never have predicted, I have the time, the support, and the space to really go for it.

First, the projects that I have finished:

A River Runs Through Mitt
I finally finished making the second mitt of A River Runs Through Mitt from Darn. Knit. {Anyway} at the 2013 MN Yarn Shop Hop!  I even wove in the ends.  Now I just have to give them a good wash and they will be ready just in time for cooler weather.

Double Bump Dishcloth
I tried my hand at dishcloth knitting with the Double Bump Dishcloth.  Amazingly, this is my first dishcloth.  It was fast, really fast, and kinda fun.  I worked this one up because I wanted to make one with someone else's pattern before designing my own.  I am currently planning out a 3-class, beginning knitting class that teaches the basics though a dishcloth pattern that I designed.  I will keep you all updated as to when and how this class might happen.

The black bamboo/silk socks from hell.
I really don't mean to whine about knitting.  I love knitting, and I love knitting socks, and I really love a challenge.  But these stockinette, black, size 1.5 needle socks really seem to be kicking my butt.  The stockinette is boring, the yarn can be hard to see, and there are quite a few stitches.  And just to make it harder, I was trying to make these socks for my husband just before he passed away.  But I believe that the project is worth it and they will be beautiful socks when I am finished, and I will be able to give them to my dad.

The good news with these socks is that I finished the first one this week and started the second.  The bad news is that I still need to pick up tiny black stitches along the heel of the second sock.  Oh well.  All projects have their frustrating points and I'm sure they will turn out beautifully.

A sweater finally?
I have also decided that I am going to make a sweater with the sport weight Wool of the Andes that I have had stashed for an age.  I picked up the pattern for Even Flow by Joji Locatelli.  I'm thinking of casting on today.  Wish me luck.

Finally, I submitted my first design proposal this week.  I have been designing a cowl and I pitched the pattern to a magazine.  We will see if anything comes of this.

Otherwise, for future excitement:
-  I will be working on networking in the Black Hills fiber arts scene.
-  I am signed up for a wheel spinning class next weekend at Fall River Fibers and my mother might be joining me in that adventure.
-  I am teaching myself how to dye yarn with food dyes.

Just some things for readers to look forward to.  I have assigned myself a posting schedule of Tuesday and Friday every week, so please tune in!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Check and Check

The shawlette is now officially finished and blocked and so is a hat for my brother's birthday!

I really enjoyed making the shawlette. The rhythm of lace knitting and reading the fabric as I knit was both relaxing and challenging. I particularly enjoyed how much it challenged my problem solving skills. 

I know that sounds like I am being sarcastic but I assure you that I am not. I have been working on solving missed stitches or incorrect stitches without ripping back and it was very educational to do this kind of fixing with lace. (I believe that this method of correction is called "laddering down".) One of the things that I find most fascinating about knitting is the geometry of it all. The series of knots that you must do to turn what is essentially a line into a 3 dimensional object. 

The hat was a quick project for the yak yarn I have in my stash as a present for my brother's birthday. I used the free Rinsessa-pipo pattern found on Ravelry. I really liked how easy this pattern was and the decreases at the top are very clever. The pattern goes all of the way to the point. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I have almost finished my Ashton Shawlette! Not bad for my first shawl. Lace is fun; it is nice and rhythmic and never boring. 

I did most of the work while I was in Virginia last week and I will finish the knitting here in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, I won't be able to block it until I get back home to Custer and that won't be until the 16th. 

I did end up switching to a circular needle. It was just too many stitches for the straight needles. But I was lucky enough to find a lovely little yarn shop in Alexandria, VA that carried Hiya Hiya circulars. 

While in Virginia, I also picked up some new yarn that will hopefully end up in a designing project. 

As for myself, I am feeling ok. Sad sometimes and happy others. I am starting to be a little tired of traveling and I find that I am getting anxious to be home and working on projects. But I will enjoy it while I can and get the most of it. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Getting Started

I started working on my Ashton Shawlette today in Portsmouth, NH. I am trying to learn how to keep working on these things no matter where I am. So far, so good, but I am beginning to wonder if the striping in the yarn is going to become a little bit weird as the shawl grows. Lace charts have been pretty simple on this pattern so far and I am excited to watch the pattern emerge. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

A New Project

Today I finally decided to put aside the boring black socks and do something fun. Knitting was becoming drudgery, so I decided to spice it up and take a shot at doing a lace shawl. I chose the Ashton Shawlette pattern and pulled out some Berrocco Sox sock yarn. 

I'm going to try to do the pattern on straight needles because I don't have the circulars called for, and let's be honest here, I probably don't need to buy new needles for every project I do. I will let you know if any difficulties develop, but I have always liked using straight needles. I know that circular is all the rage, but I am a bit of a traditionalist. 

The yarn touches a bit of a nerve. I initially bought it to make socks for my husband. So much of life we never got to. But repurposing things helps to recontextualize life, and I'm sure he wouldn't have minded even if he were here to argue. 

This is the first project that I will be using a pattern on my iPad Mini for and I am excited. I will be traveling to the East Coast next week and it is awesome to not have to carry any books with. 

Finally, I am no longer in Saint Paul. I moved back in with my parents in Custer. Hopefully this means that I will have more time to knit and sew. Realistically, I have been traveling and working on incredibly boring socks. But things should perk up this fall, and I hope to have a lot more to share. 

My nascent shawlette:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Worst Thing That Ever Happened

I know that I have been gone for a while. 

It was cancer. My boyfriend of 3 years got cancer. And then there was radiation and chemo. His grandpa died. My grandpa died; cancer in both of them. Then, in one of the most  beautiful shining moments of the past 4 months, we got married. And then he died on our one month anniversary. 

I'm sure you can understand why I haven't posted. I feel an awful lot like the lovely bamboo/silk sock that he died before I could finish for him: a work in progress that doesn't know where it's going or why. 

I'm hanging in there. I will try to get this thing back on the rails, but right now I'm trying to be gentle on myself, so posts may still be a bit sporadic. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hospital Knitting

I know that I haven't been posting much lately. It all started with some drama at work, but that quickly got shuffled into the not important category.

My Significant Other got sick. Really sick. In the past 5 days I have been to the emergency room twice and now that he has been admitted, I have spent many hours sitting by a hospital bed.

The second Asymmetrical Cables sock is done except for grafting the toe and I will be sitting with a design project tomorrow. I've also been thinking of casting on a hat, but I'm not sure how reliably I will be posting here.

I'm sure all of you understand.

I will try to update when I can, both on my knitting and the status of the SO.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Bad Week

I'm sorry that it has been a while since my last post.  I have just been having a really hard time lately and I'm not sure how to talk about here, or if I should talk about it here.

Suffice it to say, all is not so f***in' sunny in day-job world and I'm having trouble coping with it. 

I've been trudging along with the April Asymmetrical Cables socks and I am on the second one.  I am actually very happy with how they are turning out and my SO is starting to almost sound excited for me to finish them.

Also, I managed to complete the Yarn Shop Hop here in the Twin Cities and I took some notes.  I will work on a post of my impressions for later this week.

In the meanwhile, here's a cat in a cowl:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why Do I Even Ask?

I wonder if everyone experiences this:  Last night I talked to my brother.  He lives out in California and I wanted to get his sweater measurements because I'm kicking around an idea for a Christmas present for him.  However, I have been so excited about this idea, that I actually told him the basic concept.

I think this is where I may have started to go wrong.  Now he has an opinion for everything from exact length, to zipper vs. buttons, to design motif, and I am listening to him.  I know, it will be his sweater, but it will be mine as well since I am designing it.  Where do you draw that line?  I want him to be happy with it, but it is a present that I am going to be spending a lot of time on.

And my brother may be notoriously fussy, but I did explain to him that if I take the time to design and knit a f***ing sweater for him, he will f***ing love it.

I guess I may be a little cranky today.  I have been pretty knocked out by the flu for most of a week now and although I have gotten some knitting done, I have managed to take care of very little else.

Right now, my socks are the only thing that I have on the needles that isn't a design project.  I have moved from the instep decreases to the foot now and feel like I am in the home stretch with this first sock.  I will be teaching myself how to graft with Kitchener stitch for the toes!  I am actually kind of excited.  I love how seamless Kitchener stitch can look and I know it frustrates some people, but I seem to enjoy some of the more frustrating aspects of knitting.

So close to done!

And now, the moment people have been waiting for:  The Drawing!

I ran the 35 comments through the random number generator at Random.org and the winner of the Knit Picks 4" dpns is . . .

#23 - Connie K.  greyowl (on ravelry)

Congrats to Connie and I will be PMing you on Ravelry to get your mailing info!

May these needles make you many beautiful socks.

Fritz don't care, he's got a sunbeam.

Monday, April 1, 2013

On Wings of Stainless Steel

Wow. What a response to my last post! So many wonderful sock ideas! I too dream of the perfect legs for my socks. And for you beginners who commented: do not be afraid of cables; they are much easier than they look.

However, I realized that I never described my dream socks.

I am currently dreaming of making the Almondine socks from Sock Knitting Master Class in something bright and colorful. I love leafy botanical patterns.

And as for the new HiyaHiya needles, this sock has started to just fly by!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My First Giveaway

So I made a mistake.  Last post, I was so excited because my new needles from Knit Picks had arrived and I was all set to make this second pair of socks.  The mistake?  I need longer than 4 inches of needle.  My hands are just too big for these needles.  So after struggling through most of the leg portion of my first Asymmetrical Cables sock, I have thrown in the towel, bought a pair of HiyaHiyas and admitted to myself that I will never be able to use these needles.

My new needles that don't poke me in the palm.

The needles that I wanted to use.
So I have decided to give away the whole set of 4" Harmony Wood knitting needles on this blog.  I will take all of the comments from now until Friday, April 5, 2013 at midnight CST and run them through a random number generator to pick a winner.

Please tell me in your comment what your dream sock looks like.

But look at those cables!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Mystery Solved

Hello internet peoples!  I have finally solved the Mystery of the Missing Knit Picks Box.  After checking the website and following the tracking number link to find out that the box was delivered on the 19th, I asked the neighbor if she had seen it, and low and behold, it was sitting in their kitchen.  We have an apartment with three girls living in it next to us and about once a year one of them moves out and a new one moves in.  Apparently that was happening this month and my box got mixed up in the confusion.  I am just glad that I found it.

Of course I was so excited, that I immediately cast on for the Asymmetrical Cables sock that I plan on making for the month of April for The Sock Project.

Finally started.
I'm afraid that they are still not in a very exciting color, but soon I will make a pair for myself again and those will be in more interesting colors.  I am, however, very excited about the design of these socks.

I also got some blocking done today because I finally have the Euclan that I ordered.

Hooray for Euclan!
The nice thing about not getting my box of goodies on time is that I actually finished all of the projects that I had on needles and it made me feel restless.  So I started on a designing project.  It is now in the works and I will update you about it when I am finished.

If anyone would still like to knit along on the Asymmetrical Cables socks, it is not too late.  You can comment on this blog, message me on Ravely (BettyCrocket) or just send me an email at bettycrocketdesigns@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blocking for the First Time

Today I actually blocked something for the first time.

I know. I probably should have learned about that long before now, but there is no time like the present.

This is a swatch for something that I am designing for self publishing. I will definitely post here when I finish the pattern, but other than this picture, I am trying to keep my mouth shut about it until it is done. Wish me luck, both with the designing and the keeping quiet.