A Finished Object?!


Oh hello, Blog.  Nice to see you again.  Yes, I have in fact finished the plain green birthday sweater, first top-down raglan of my knitterly life.  The sweater journey that began in Fall of 2013.  It is done.  Well, almost.  I still need to block it.  I plan to bring it back to my parents house when I fly home for the holidaIMG_1346ys, so between now and then it needs blocking.  This will involve clearing off the top of my refrigerator and leaving the cabinet doors open, to prevent the ravenous Yarneater from devouring this deliciously sheepy sweater while it’s drying into shape.  It will happen within the next couple of weeks.

I really hope that it fits my six-foot tall dad.

And I’ve started a new project!  It’s the Campside Shawl, a beautiful triangular shawl designed by Alicia Plummer for the Pom Pom Quarterly blog.  It’s simple but lovely, and so far very fun to knit.


That yarn is a discontinued Rowan yarn that I bought about six hanks of on sale about seven years ago.  I still have plenty of it, but I think this shawl might clean me out.  I’m hopeful.

Between now and the new year I’d like to finish this shawl and get it off to its intended recipient, finish a small tatting project, and perhaps get in a pair of socks.  As always, check out my Ravelry page for more details.  Happy knitting!

And Jemima says ‘hello,’ as well.


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Split Ring Success

I made this little flower key chain yesterday, learning how to make split rings in the process.  I’m definitely seeing progress with my tatting skills, though I’m still having issues with tension and ease between rings.


I picked up a picot gauge to help make my tatting look a little tidier.  I like it a lot, even though it’s pretty fiddly to try and hold that while trying to make a double stitch.  I also picked up some Clover tatting shuttles to try something different from the Aerlit I originally purchased.  The Aerlit shuttles have removable bobbins, which is pretty convenient if you want to switch out colors quickly.  But I find that they unwind on their own while I’m working so that I constantly have to rewind to get a shorter working thread.  The Clover ones have a fixed bobbin, so you have to spin it around occasionally while working to release more thread.  I like these much better, I think.  The tips are also very pointy and curved, and work really well for loosening stitches to fix mistakes, and pulling thread through picots for joins.

The flower itself ended up with six petals rather than the five called for in the pattern.  I didn’t leave enough ease between each petal, and I think maybe my picots were too small, and the thing wouldn’t have lain flat with only five petals.  It still turned out fine, but it’s something I’ll have to keep in mind if I want to move onto to bigger, more complex projects.  I have my eyes on a couple of fancy doilies in the book pictured above – there’s some really beautiful stuff in there.

Here’s the link to the Youtube tutorial I used to learn how to do the split rings.  It was really helpful and concise.

Happy tatting!


PS. The sweater continues to grow.

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Well these are adorable…

Crochet friendship bracelets – a free pattern just posted on Pom Pom quarterly’s website.  These would make a pretty rad little surprise for a friend, or just for yourself!  Also, a great way to flex your rusty crochet muscles (and by “your” I mean “my”).  Take a look!

Pom Pom Quarterly Crochet friendship bracelets (photo credit: pompommag.com)

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Miles and Miles of Green

While the top-down raglan continues to grow, it looks largely the same – like a scrunched pile of green, woolly goodness.  Having set aside the sleeve stitches, I’m knitting around, and around, and around for the next foot or so, and it’s very soothing.  (Though I might be singing a different tune 10 inches from now.)

Unsurprisingly, this dark green scratchy wool has me jonesing for fall.  My tolerance for summer weather lasts about two weeks or so, after which I’m pining for a time far away from the hum of air conditioners and lawn mowers, and a time in which it’s reasonable for me to pile on my beloved woolens, and break out my Dalmatian footie pajamas.  And although my hot beverage addiction persists throughout the summer, it just seems a lot less reasonable as the thermostat climbs.

But summer isn’t SO bad – I’ve got lot’s of knitting time, and I do love my porch and all the evening fireflies that gather down here.

Hope you’re enjoying the weather wherever you are, and happy knitting!

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Art I want to Buy

I find making Etsy lists a great way to assuage my need for things.  Instead of clicking “Add to Cart,”  I can be responsible and save the item for some later, more financially stable date.  Often I go on binges of things I’d like to buy, spend a few hours scrolling through search results, and then add all of my favorites to a new list.  The other day I was feeling uninspired by the terrifically ugly walls in my apartment – no, seriously, they’re dark red, puke green, and puce, with plenty of peeling and water stains thrown in – and went hunting for some pretty illustrations to liven things up.  Since I can’t really afford to buy all the treasures I found, I figured I’d at least post about them here.  That way, I get to spend a little more time looking at them, and a few more sets of eyes will have the pleasure, too (and if you have the $$, put it in your cart!).  All credit to the artists and their beautiful Etsy shops!  Info in the captions, and click the pictures for links.

Northern Dream – A4 giclee print by vladimirsart

Children’s art print poster : Under the sea – kids wall art – kids poster – kids art print by lesmoineauxdeco

French Fox – Open Edition Print by CatherineNolinArt

Leafy Sea Dragon- Large Archival Print of watercolor by amberalexander

The twelve Dancing Princesses (special edition print) by beccastadtlander

Yeti Love Art Print by Rachelignotofsky


(Yes, there is a bit of an animal theme here.)

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Sweater Update

Sweater is coming along!  Currently it looks like a scrunched up green mess, but I am about to set aside the sleeve stitches and work down the torso.  Honestly, I am looking forward to mindlessly knitting in circles, not an increase in sight.



I spread it out onto an additional cable the other day to see what it looks like.  And it looks like a sweater!  Feeling pretty pleased with my ability to make simple garments.  Until next time, happy knitting!

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Playing with Makeup and Books

So I have a Youtube channel where I mostly talk about books and participate in the BookTube community.  Today I posted a video where I take inspiration from one of my favorite book characters and turn it into a costume-y makeup look.  In this video I talk about Saturday the Marid from the Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente and do my best to capture his stormy, blue, ocean-ness.  I had a lot of fun putting the look together, and the process of putting together this new type of video was also a really fun challenge for me.

I also posted a review of this awesome book series earlier this week.  Check it out if you’re interested!


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Current WIPs

I’ve got three projects on the go right now.  The first, a plain top-down raglan sweater, is the reincarnation of the Branching Aran Guernsey that went awry in the Fall.  My phone started buzzing last night to remind me that father’s day is fast-approaching, and since the guernsey project was originally started as a birthday gift for my dad, I thought now was a good time to figure out what to do with all of this guernsey yarn I had purchased.  I felt ready to tackle this again, now that I’ve got a little distance between me and that unfortunate gauge mishap.  So this time around I’m going with a plain top-down raglan pullover sweater.  I haven’t made a sweater in many years, and that was my only one, so I thought it might be helpful to start a little slower this time.  I’m using this sweater pattern generator, which really provides more of a loose recipe than a pattern.  But, if you have a little bit of experience with knitting and shaping garments, then you’ll probably find it useful.  This is my first top-down sweat, and so far it seems to be going all right.  Here it is at the moment:


Yes, that picture is pretty blurry, but I’ll have more progress shots soon as I hope to be working away ferociously on this all week.  Rawr!

Next up is the Kaleidoscope Scarf, my first crochet project in a long time.  As you can see below, it’s a scarf of little granny squares, which I’m making out of Kidsilk Haze.  While the yarn is lovely, it makes the squares pretty fiddly, especially given my rusty crochet skills (which were never that great to begin with).


But I am super proud of the colors I put together for this project, and I’m excited to work through repeats of each different square so I can see each color combination.  Possibly this will be a huge mess when it’s done, but at least it will be a colorful, soft, and fuzzy mess.

Finally, I’ve brought out my tatting again, and even found a pretty little bag to keep it in:



Currently I am obsessively reading, watching, and rewatching Game of Thrones, and I’ve got an idea for a GOT-related tatting project.  So right now I’m just making little motifs to practice all the skills I’ll need.  I don’t quite have the tatting chops to start designing projects yet.  But soon!  (hopefully!)

Thanks for looking, and until next time, happy WIPping ;)

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FO: Endpaper Mitts

Hey there!  It’s been a while, but I’m back in full force for the summer (hooray!).  Today I wanted to do a proper write up on the Endpaper Mitts I finished a few weeks ago.  Here they are in all their washed and blocked glory (or at least, here one of them is – it takes a lot of extra effort to photograph both hands at once using my phone).


I’m pleased with how they turned out; though it did require a bit of fiddling with needles and gauge to get the right size.  Even though I knit them on the largest recommended needle size, they are still quite slim-fitting due to the Knit Picks Stroll yarn I used.  It’s cheap and soft, but very lightweight and squishy.  I mentioned before that the first time I knit these mitts I used Dale of Norway Baby Ull yarn, which is much denser, and that gave me the expected gauge and some nice, sturdy mitts.  I don’t think these will be quite as sturdy, but they should do pretty well.

After putting these new ones through the wash, the yarn has bloomed quite a bit (gotten a little fuzzy all over).  I expect that there will be some pilling on these, but I’m still really pleased with the color combination, and they’re nice and stretchy and soft, which is most important.  Overall I would recommend the Stroll yarn, but I would say you should expect to use a very small needle (probably size 1), in order to get a sturdy fabric.  But it is REALLY soft for an inexpensive sock yarn.

I’m also quite pleased with the tubular cast on and cast off I used on these, as recommended in the pattern.  By the end of the second mitt, I felt I was really getting the hang of it.  Getting the right tension on the bind off can be tricky, and I found that taking a close look at how the bound off stitches move and sit together is really helpful in getting the right tension.  It’s a bit hard to describe, but I’m thinking I might do a video tutorial to show you what I mean.  I’m pretty much addicted to the tubular cast on now – I’ve used it twice since I finished these mitts.

Anyways, thanks for looking at my latest finished project, and let me know what you think!  I’d also like to hear about your experiences with Knit Picks Stroll, this pattern, or with tubular cast ons and cat offs (I know there are a few different methods).  As always, you can find more details (yarn, colors, needles, etc.) about this project on my Ravelry page.  I’ll be back again later this week for an update on what I’m currently working on.  Until then, happy knitting!

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The mitts are done – well, technically they are almost done, as I’ve got to throw them in for a wash and dry tomorrow to even out the stitches.  BUT they are all knit, and everything is woven in and in its proper place.  I’ll do a full post when I’ve got pictures of them all fluffy and clean and even.


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