Monday, September 28, 2015

A Nifty Trick

So I saw this somewhere on the internet (of course I didn't record where I saw it). I can't take credit for this idea, but I had to try it and share if it worked.

I always felt that yarn cakes are delicate things that would get tangled and dirty if handled too much (this might just be a me thing, not reality). Then I read about this trick where you protect yarn cakes by using the toe/foot of a pair of new nylons. I picked a nice pair of black ones (think more thick tights not sheer nylons).

It is a nice snug fit that keeps everything in place and can be handled, tossed in a bag, carried around, etc without much worry. I put in a brand spanking new cake and started knitting.

I loved it! The yarn was wonderfully protected and the outside of the cake didn't come loose and fall apart no matter how much I handled it. My only worry was if it would tangle and knot as it got smaller.

It did knot once or twice (which was way less frequently than I had expected), but the knots were pretty easy to resolve.

I will definitely be doing this more often!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Picked up my 9-month old sock today and put in a few rounds of ribbing.

String Theory Colorworks' Continuum (MCN) in Atom

If I keep this up, I might even start on sock #2 before the 1-year mark.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Who knew? No really, who knew that dishcloths could be so incredibly satisfying to knit?

This one took me about a week of barely knitting on it (it often came to work with me, but few lunch hours were spent with it) and suddenly it was done!

Sugar'n Cream in Fruit Punch

It's just a super simple stockinette square (CO 32 I think?) with a little garter border.

Absolutely mindless. Absolutely awesome.

A palette cleanser after a big project finish.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Permanent Stitchy Space

I think that one of the reasons I have barely stitched in the last year and a half is because it's such a pain to pull out all my stitchy stuff when my knitting is right beside me. I was often so tired I couldn't even reach to the side table to get that! I tend to like big projects, which means floor stand, light/magnifier, and lots of threads, needles, and patterns. So much stuff to get out and organize before I could even put a stitch in.

Now that school is finally finished, I have set up a permanent stitchy space again:

My dog Toka loves to steal my spot on the couch.

I have stitched more in the past 2 weeks than I have in the rest of 2015, I think. Even on the days I'm dead tired I can often bring myself to put in a few stitches at least. I'm starting to get excited by stitching again. I want to pull out some of my big, super complicated pieces and give them some love!

Before that happens though, I really want to finish Elizabeth by Mirabilia.

I still have a long way to go (that is a ridiculously big pink dress), but at least I am making progress on a more consistent basis. Woot!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Mighty Scare

This happened in mid-August:

In the days leading up to my PhD defense, there was much knitting being done. Partly I was trying to make a deadline so I could give the shawl to my advisor as a thank you gift, but mostly it was to give me something to focus on to manage my nerves. Apparently I didn't focus enough, because I ended up with a stray eyelet.

I was 4-5 rows past the mistake when I noticed it, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to fix it without ripping back that far. I took it in to my LYS and they tried to fix it, but once I was back home and looking at it, I wasn't satisfied with the fix.

So I did this:

I have never been so scared. I pulled my needles out and ripped back 4 rows. I had more than 250 live stitches just a hair's breadth away unravelling into the last eyelet section ... something I was sure I couldn't recover from if it happened. Without a care for direction, I carefully slipped every stitch back on my needle, holding my breath the entire time (which also helped me not throw up). It was nerve wracking.

I managed to pick them up without missing any, and the next row I knit was slow going as I had to reorient every stitch properly. But I did it!!! (I'm a pretty novice knitter, and this is probably the biggest fix I've ever had to do.)

I successfully defended my PhD, but did not get the shawl done in time. I'm working on the last 4-5 rows now and hope to have it done and blocked by the end of September.

Ardent by Janina Kallio
Hazel Knits Entice in Indigo

This has been a project of firsts ... first major lace project, first major error, first major fix, and first of my big projects almost done!