wee knitting, quickly

I'm working on a test knit for Shannon Okey's forthcoming book, Frozen: Aurora Borealis Mittens. This is what I can show you:


I can also unequivocally state that, while I like the look of corrugated ribbing, I do not like the knitting of it.  Glad I'm now past that part. More pixs as they warrant. 

Actually, one more picture. Around here, you know it's spring when the cats flock to the front room, which is a) the coldest room in the house (which is why we keep it closed up all winter) but b) the one that gets the best sunshine.


actual knitting content

I finished that Noro scarf, which will now take its place on the Long Range Planning shelf:


All spread out:


If you'll look closely, you'll see a black-and-white fuzzball at the left edge of the picture. Barney would like me to get out of his way so that he can go back to his happy place.



Hold his calls.

actual knitting content: red! socks

About a billion years ago, my friend Quinn gifted me a hank of red sock yarn, whose tag with the name and fiber content has been lost. Finally, after that billion years, I've made it into socks.


The pattern is the lovely Jane's Hedgerow. The toe shaping, however, is my own invention and was born from my not reading the pattern correctly. Not Jane's fault. The instructions are clear as day. I just sometimes forget to read all of the words. 

Still, this toe shaping works for me and I have zero intention of reknitting. Because I love these socks as they are.

actual knitting content: done

And, lo, let it be written that my Chimera Cardigan is done. 


Buttons were acquired from Purl Soho. While I love Moving Mud, who was recommended, the cost for 11 buttons would be more than the cost of the yarn.*Although Purl is spendy, too, these buttons were perfect.


I also found a use for a souvenir ribbon from Prague. While others buy snow globes and beer steins, I always bring back sewing notions.**


I'm the only one in the house right now*** so you're going to have to endure some iffy selfies. Sorry.



Fits perfectly, yes? That Amy Herzog is a genius.


* This is totally the direction I'll go if I need a couple of focal point closures, tho. Gorgeous.

** Not totally true. Usually, I bring back yarn, too.

*** Lucy is also here but a) not a human and b) only snaps shots of bacon.

actual knitting content: a quandary

It dawned on me that now that my Chimera Cardi is ABB,* I have space in my life for another project. And what should my wandering eyes spy but this --


Plucky Knitter 100 percent Cashmere Lace in Oatmeal, which was a door prize I won at the last Knitter's Review Retreat. I am a lucky girl indeed.

But I'm not sure what exactly to do with it. I'm thinking scarfy cowly thing, mostly because I have 400 yards and don't know that I could get much more out of it. I could be wrong. Lace weight always confuses me. I do think that I'd like to play with beads, though, and pulled some options out of the bead bag. 


These were leftover from a cross-stitch project for the Tween, back before she was a Tween.**


Lucy wonders why there is all of these beads and yarn on the window seat as well as why I'm taking pictures of it rather than playing with her.***


I got these in Prague. Love them.


These, too. But my shopping companion that day thought they were less than gorgeous by several degrees of magnitude. And while I agree that I wouldn't want a whole outfit that color, I think they'd be lovely as an accent.


Lucy (and the spouse) still wants to know why I'm not rubbing her belly.


Finally, these, whose provenance I'm unsure of.

So which would you choose? And any thoughts on a pattern? Or why the corgi belly is so irresistible?


* All But Buttons (which are on their way)

** I feel like I've blogged about this but can't find it. The finished project is on her wall, tho.

*** Ignore the carpet. Soon it will be replaced - but years of cats and kids have taken their toll.

actual knitting content + i mean it this time

Sometimes you have to go a very long way out of your way in order to come back a very short distance correctly. 


This is my second attempt at knitting a right front for my Chimera cardi. You can read about the first attempt here. I think I might have nailed it this time. But I won't really know until it sew it up with all of these bits:


So there's still plenty of time for it all to go horribly wrong. 


McGregor is, of course, just waiting for his opportunity to pull out all of the pins and shred the sweater front with his claws of justice. He's like that.

Knit Like A Pro

(A few weeks ago, I was asked to host a post for the 30 Day Sweater folks. As I support people taking on crazy knitting challenges, I said "sure." What follows is a brief run-down of finishing techniques, written by them. Use as you see fit - but it's some pretty good advice.)

Knit Like a Pro: Finishing Touches

One of the most important things about making a great looking sweater is how you finish it! Take the time to learn how to finish your knits properly so you end up with professional looking knits that you’ll be proud to call your own. Here are a couple things to pay special attention as you’re finishing your next sweater. For this article I thought it was important to add videos for how to do each technique, so a special thanks goes out to New Stitch A Day for providing all of the videos.

1. Weaving in ends

Take care to weave in all of your ends so that they will stay put even when your sweater is stretched and worn. If you’re not sure how, check out this video. Even just taking this one step will improve the final look of your sweater drastically!

2. Seaming

Be sure that you’re using the proper seaming method for the type of seam you are sewing (there are different techniques based on what you’re trying to accomplish). Usually the pattern will specify which type of seam to use on your garment. Here are links to a few videos for different seams to use in different situations:


How to seam two bound off edges together

How to seam two vertical pieces of stockinette

How to seam two vertical pieces of garter stitch


There are many more seaming methods but these should get you started toward creating beautiful, professional looking seams!

3. Bind Off

A too tight or too loose bind off can throw off the look and fit of your entire sweater. Before you bind off take some time to find a bind off that will be suitable for your edge. If you are binding off ribbing in particular, make sure that your bind off is stretchy enough for your sweater to fit easily. Sometimes using a new bind off that is more suitable for your fabric will take a bit longer, but it’s totally worth it! Invest the time to get a great looking edge! Here are a couple of my favorite bind offs for sweaters;


The Tubular Bind Off

Bind Off In Pattern

The Eyelet I-Cord Bind Off

4. Blocking

The last thing that you should do for every sweater is to block it. Blocking is a way of evening out and setting the stitches for a nice smooth looking fabric. It is a very simple process but it will take some extra time for your sweater to dry. To wet block your sweater, fill your sink with water and about a teaspoon of rinseless wool wash, let your sweater soak in it for about 15 minutes. Drain your sink and press your sweater against the side to squeeze out any extra water, don’t wring out your sweater. Lay your sweater on a clean, dry towel. Roll it up burrito style and lay it on the ground. Stomp on the towel to get all the extra water out of the sweater. Unroll the towel and lay your sweater out on a flat surface. Use T-pins to pin your sweater to your desired dimensions then let dry completely. 


So there you have it, four steps to finishing your knits like a pro!


If you’d like to learn more about preparing to knit a great, professional looking sweater, download our free Sweater Planning Guide. In this guide we talk about choosing a suitable yarn, how much yarn to buy and how to plan a sweater that you’ll love!


Click here to download


This guest post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this month as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/martini and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot! See you in October! 


actual knitting content + naked cat

1) My Blumchen has found a new home:


Scott's sister was happy to give it a home, even though my sub-par button sewing left them littered all over her house.

2) I made a little something with the second batch of Clara Yarn:



Merging Ripple Shawl. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone up a needle size. Ah, well.

3) Our elderly cat Trout, whose decline I've been chronicling, decided to stop grooming, which is a problem for a very long haired cat. He'd become a matted mess, one who was clearly itchy under all of the fur. And, so, steps were taken. 

(Warning: graphic and sad and amusing, all at the same time. Additionally: poorly photographed because Trout is twitchy at the best of times and these are not the best of times.)



It's like he's wearing little kitty UGG boots on his front paws. We will say nothing about the tail.


The upside is that we were able to get an x-ray while he was sedated and know what the cause of the problem most likely is, which is, essentially, spinal degeneration. We're not sure what to do about it yet, however, but are leaning toward drugs for the pain and not further traumatizing the Trout, because even just taking him to the vet taxes his nervous system. Like the Stones said, what a drag it is getting old.

more! actual knitting content

I know! Two knitting posts in one week! It's like I decided I needed to finally finish a bunch of stuff so that I could start some new stuff!

I had no idea what to do with Clara's first batch of the bale. As heretical as it is to say this: In general, I'm not a big fan of cowls, which is what a bunch of folks were making. I wanted something simple and cable-y that would be good to wrap around my shoulders on a chilly day when I am sitting and working. Ergo, this:


It's more like a small rectangular shawl than a scarf and will be perfect.

Here's what it looks like on a smaller person:


What the pictures don't convey is how soft and squishy it is. Oh, bale. You are pretty nifty.