30 May 2007


i finished the "wild thing" socks! they are drying from the wash + double-point-ladder-removing blocking. pictures tomorrow. next day at the latest!

29 May 2007


sockletthis is my first not-a-sock. i really like it, but the project gets no respect. one of the other gals i work with at the LYS went so far as to tell me to my face that she thought it is stupid.

i think you have to wear it to appreciate the idea. i like to wear flip flops and these add a nice bit of cushion for the ball of your foot.

and they are a good excuse to knit something little in koigu! isn't this colorway pretty?

you can download the pattern on the german Coats & Clark site here.... Coats.de. don't worry, the pattern is written in english. i think this might be the pattern i use to test out the Cascade Fixation--short and sweet!

27 May 2007

big boy socks?

i've been on a quest for yarn to knit a pair of socks for thehairyape. sock yarn + thehairyape = tricky situation.

he is allergic to the fluffy animals, so that eliminates 90% of all sock yarns because they contain wool. there are cotton and bamboo yarns out there that do not blend in the animal fluff, but they are hard to find, and when found, often come in decidedly girly colors. so girly i won't even wear them.

the obvious choice is Cascade Fixation, and i will probably eventually make him a pair out of this yarn (once i can order some manly colors!) but i want to do a pair for myself first. i'm not convinced of the comfort level yet (i hear walking of the purl bumps of Fixation can be ouchy.) so i have found an alternative.

Rowan Calmer!
nice stuff. it is a cotton and spun polyester (some skeins say they are acrylic, not polyester) blend that is super stretchy and soft. it has good stitch definition, and with just a little tug in the opposite direction of the stretch, you can return the garment to original shape.

i made up a pattern for thehairyape's first sock and have, in fact, finished one.... but i can't give it to him because despite my swatching and math, i made a sock with a width that fits my foot well (woman's size 8-8.5) and he wears a men's 10.5-11. this is a problem i think i hit because i'm using yarn that is a larger gauge than i typically do a sock in.

Calmer also has a strange gauge personality. it behaves and looks like DK yarn, but it is supposed to be knit on an US8 needle at something more like a worsted gauge. and i went down to US4 and US5 needles... so.... surprise!

time to up size! the pattern is a relatively easy basket weave sock, so it will be very easy to increase the size in pattern. no pictures right now because i need to hang on to the pattern. something special may come this sock's way...

updates in the future!

22 May 2007

sock update

i've been tinkering with my second sock. still the first pair, but i am getting there.

second sock

i'm starting to see why people start knitting socks with a heavier yarn. this first pair is in regular sock yarn, and it is a lot of knitting. i'm considering the yarn for my next pair, however.

we got an awesome shipment of koigu at the store last week, and i found a pattern for sock that uses Rowan's Calmer. both are contenders.

20 May 2007

when life gives you yarn...

lemon and limemake lemons! (and limes.)

these are the fruition (har. har.) of my current groove on needlecraft whimsies. i saw all sorts of patterns for fruit, but the only fruit colors i have on hand are citrus. i found knit patterns for lemons and limes, but i didn't have needles that would work. alas, i couldn't find crochet patterns i like. so i made one up!

for your enjoyment...

Crocheted Lemons and Limes

  • Small amount of worsted weight yarn. (For the lime I used Sugar and Cream kitchen cotton. The lemon was made from scraps of Berrocco Touche.)
  • Size US “H” hook
  • Small amount of polyester fiberfill or wool roving for stuffing

  • Fruit is worked in continuous spiral rounds—do not join. Work tightly in order to prevent stuffing from poking out of the stitches.
  • If using a lighter worsted weight yarn, work an additional increase row after Rnd 6, one additional even Rnd, and an additional decrease Rnd before the written Rnd 10. (Lemon was worked in this manner.)

Ch 2.
Rnd 1. Sc 4 in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 2. Sc in each sc around.
Rnd 3. Sc 2 in each sc around. (8sc)
Rnd 4. Sc 1, sc 2 in next stitch* around. (12sc)
Rnd 5. Sc 2, sc 2 in next stitch* around. (16 sc)
Rnd 6. Sc 3, sc 2 in next stitch* around. (20 sc)
Rnds 7-9. Sc in each sc around.
Rnd 10. Sc 3, sc2tog* around. (16 sc)
Rnd 11. Sc 2, sc2tog* around. (12 sc)
Stuff firmly.
Rnd 12. Sc 1, sc2tog* around. (8 sc)
Rnd 13. Sc2tog around. (4 sc)
Rnd 14. Sc in each sc around.
Fasten off, pull ends into body of fruit, snipping off any excess length.

If you decide to make fruit from my pattern, please give me design credit. Also, selling finished lemons and limes created from this pattern or selling the pattern itself is a big no-no. And by "big no-no", i mean illegal.

19 May 2007

hardcore happiness

bluebirdi couldn't get to sleep last night. usually i stay up late on fridays with thehairyape, and with him out of state, i settled for crocheting and watching the second half of Cocktail on TBS. a pretty typical friday, but he wouldn't be caught dead watching TBS.

look who i made! he is a hardcore bluebird of happiness, and he was inspired by the Birds of a Feather over at Bittersweet. hers are a little sweeter, but the hardcoreness of my little bluebird of happiness was more his choice than mine.

i was merrily making him according to the Bittersweet pattern when i began to run short on azure yarn. (i'm used leftovers of SweaterKits CottonLicious from Dane's birthday sweater) so i subtracted a even few rounds (7 instead of 10) to make him a little shorter and finished the last round with the ocean blue. the ocean inspired me to give him a birdie mohawk.

the yarn and the mohawk made me decide to give him to Dane with the sweater (i have a photo of Dane with his "Sid Viscous" hair) so i had to modify the facial features so they would be safer for the little guy. the crocheted beak was a happy accident and the embroidered eyes give him an even more hardcore look.

my last mod was to do one less round in the wings to make them more in scale with his shorter body. clearly i cannot leave well enough alone. i plan to make some more of these little guys according to the written pattern with some of my bigger scraps of yarn.

go check out the other little friends and whimsies available on Bittersweet. they are great!

18 May 2007

concept rabbit

best bunnythis is my first crocheted friend. isn't he sweet?

yesterday at work BossLady was saying she wanted to make a store model so cute it would make customers die. some of us pointed out this would be a bad strategy for business and too many of our customers are getting old and dying anyway. well, i think the bunny is almost that cute.

please don't die from reading my blog.

here are the pattern details...

Best Bunny
designed by the Evil Empire: Lion Brand and published on their website--free!
pink tail
crocheted in scrap amounts (less than half a skein) of Tahki Cotton Classic (100% mercerized cotton) in magenta and Berrocco Touche (50% cotton, 50% modal rayon) in 7917 "peeps" on a size "H" US crochet hook.

the supplies for this darling came from the scraps left from the penguin and my pink and black cotton skirt. he is supposed to be made of a wool blend, but i think cotton is more fun to snuggle than wool--at least on your cheek. and we all know the cheek test is the most important. i suppose i could have made him out of angora and then he would have been a bunny made out of bunny. ha.

i only made one tiny change to the pattern. i embroidered more nose on him than they indicated. my big decision was about the tail.

i have scrap white yarn left from the penguin, but thehairyape suggested that he should have a pink tail because a white tail is too traditional for a yellow bunny with magenta ears. hence, the title of "concept rabbit". well, as the picture shows, the concept rabbit got his pink tail. he will have to meet thehairyape when he returns from his business trip.

that's right; he is gone, and for three whole weeks! (that is not an excitement exclamation mark) i guess that means i should post some fair progress on my projects for the next few weeks.

17 May 2007


As promised, here is a small glimpse of Betrayal, playing at the Everyman Theatre. photos by Stan Barouh. check out more of the photos here, or buy yourself a ticket to the show!

jerry and emma

jerry and robert

emma and robert

creature comforts

penguinlately i have been interested in making little friends. little yarn-errific friends. they are fast a fun!

i decided to make the penguin to practice short row shaping, which is a technique i will need to use in a sweater i plan to knit for myself. next up is a crocheted bunny made from scraps from the penguin and a cotton skirt.

the details....

Pasha the Penguin
designed by Alexandra Virgiel
published on www.Knitty.com (winter 2004 issue)

knit in Berrocco Touche (50% cotton, 50% Modal Rayon. 1 partial skein each of 7900 "Bleach", 7999 "Jet", and 7917 "Peeps") on size 5 US needles.

eyesthis penguin is not named Pasha. i don't know what his name is yet, but it is certainly not Pasha. he is just not that Chekovian. but he is fat! rotund even.

i really enjoyed this project, and it went nice and fast. i'm really looking forward to making more friends. i am considering a turtle on the knitty website as my next knit friend. crocheted bunny coming soon!

15 May 2007

real work

opusi've been busy busy. we have been teching and doing dress rehearsals for Harold Pinter's play Betrayal at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore.

i like working there. the company is fun, the people are rockin', and the whole operation has a humble quality even though they are experiencing great success and growing rapidly.

the picture to the left is from the show i designed there this fall--Michael Hollinger's Opus. photo by Stan Barouh. go check him out!

the details on the current project....

by Harold Pinter
directed by Donald Hicken
at the Everyman Theatre May 16-June 24

featuring: Deborah Hazlett, Timmy Ray James, Whalen J. Laurence and Jason Strunk. buy tickets here.

updates on knitting and such (and maybe some photos of Betrayal) coming soon!

09 May 2007

ready for #1

sweateri finished the birthday sweater! i'm way ahead of schedule, too. Dane doesn't turn 1 until July 20th. now i need to find a stuffed creature to wear it.

i want to send the present on a stuffed friend because Dane will probably like the friend more than the sweater, which is really for his mama to enjoy. the project details...

Striped Cardi
designed and published by the anonymous soul-sucking Empire That Fun Fur Built--Lion Brand.

size 24 months knit in SweaterKits CottonLicious (100% cotton 2 skeins #05 Ocean, 2 skeins #14 Azure, 3 skeins #06 Sunshine) on a size US 6 needle.

this was my first Real Knit Sweater. i have done a top down raglan, but that was easier and required very little finishing. this pattern actually required me to pick up stitches, make button holes, and sew seams. i accomplished all of those tasks and the very annoying task of weaving in all of the ends in a striped garment.

next sweater: shaped arm holes, baby.

the yarn i used is fun, but it took some getting used to. the CottonLicious is very similar to Mission Falls 1824 Cotton or Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria. it has the same wiggly texture as both of them, but it is brighter than the colors of the Missions Falls and it is more even than the Manos because it isn't hand kettle dyed. the wiggliness of the yarn makes it sort of hard to knit until you get used to the way the texture drags.

this means my knitting got prettier as i went. the first sleeves was only so-so, but the last piece is fantastic.

i hope Dane and his mama like he gift!

06 May 2007

gone to pieces

piecesit has been a long working weekend, but i made progress on the sweater. i had to work at the store on saturday and today i had a metro ride downtown, so i finished the button bands, neckband, and grafting the shoulders with my sitting time.

now i need to sew this baby up! this time next week--done. time to get some rest

03 May 2007

happy birthday mum!

shawltoday is my mama's birthday, and this is what i made for her! she opened it this morning, and it got the Mom Seal of Approval.

all summer she leads a very nice life in a bikini with a cool drink in her hand. the shawl is multi purpose. it can be worn as a swimsuit coverup, like a sarong, or it can go the traditional keep-the-air-conditioning-away shawl route.

the project details....

Sweet Pea Shawl
designed by Amy Hirtes
published in Deb Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker

crocheted in 6 skeins of Classic Elite Flash (100% Mercerized Cotton in color #6127 "Lotus Blossom") with a size "J" hook. as written, the shawl takes one whole skein of yarn for the fringe. if you are not the fringy type, you only need 5.

detaili really like this yarn. it is machine washable, and the colors are really vivid.

not such a big fan of making the pattern. it is very cleverly constructed, but the stitches are mostly double treble crochet, and i find they don't have a nice rhythm. you also start on the long side of the shawl and decrease two shells every row until you reach the final shell in the V. this makes the first 10 rows seem laborious. but the last 10 just fly by! in the end, the annoying pattern was worth it because the shawl turned out quiet pretty!

FYI to all who may do this later.... you seriously need to block this baby. it looks sorta wrinkly and scrunched up (not to mention too small) until you give it a really nice pulling into shape. then it is lovely!

02 May 2007

happy may day

i want a may pole. i got to do the little may pole dance in 6th grade when we had a middle ages fair. it was pretty sweet. i think you have to be a big dork like me to think a may pole is sweet. that's because what they don't show you in the cartoons is how the ribbons weave together and look very cool. plus, my mom was there that day helping in class (have i mentioned in the last 10 minutes how much she rocks?) so she got to watch.

i'm still a big dork.
she probably doesn't even remember the may pole, but i thought it was great.

spring progress is here.
i've been plugging away on Dane's sweater. some days i get a chance to sit and knit for an hour, and then i get a lot done. other times i just get to do one stripe. but i make that my goal every day.

i got the idea from my mom. she knits and crochets in the morning a lot because she feels fresh and has good light. well, i'm not a morning person, but i am more of a morning person when i start the day by getting up a little bit earlier and doing one whole stripe (8 rows in the garter stripes, 4 rows in the sockinette stripes) before hitting the shower... or work email.

so i do a stripe in the morning and a stripe at night. i think it is very relaxing. and it means... progress! as you can see the two fronts, both sleeves and part of the back are all done. i need to finish the back and do the neck band and button bands.

getting close!