This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dragon Double Knitting

I'm trying my hand at something more difficult than a Potteresque scarf or a checkerboard pattern. I'm double knitting a dragon. Granted, I haven't gotten very far yet, but I'm well on my way. I keep hoping that I have enough yarn, since this is technically the yarn swatch. But I want to knit the entire dragon, at least one iteration of it. Then I'll decide where to go from there. As it is right now, it is too wide to be a scarf. I could do the dragon panels and then make it narrower, but that would look too much like a minister's stole. I'll play with the idea and see where I get. In the meantime, here's where I am so far.

The dragon's tail, from each side. I'm using Lamb's Pride worsted weight (85% wool, 15% mohair). The colours are really intense, and I'm very pleased with it.

The pattern comes from tina13 on Ravelry (no, I don't know her, I was looking for stuff in patterns one day and found this). Her stuff can be found here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Double-Knitting, Please

I have decided to get over my doldrums of feeling unchallenged by taking on a double-knitting project. I had done a couple scarves last year, one a Harry Potteresque striped scarf, and another a checkerboard scarf. While fun and interesting, I want something more of a challenge. So this morning, in black and red Lamb's Pride worsted weight, I cast on 80 stitches. Mind you, this is just a test swatch to see how it turns out. The pattern calls for 40 stitches (not including the border, which I may or may not do. Of course this means that it is awfully wide for a scarf, but I want to see how it turns out. If I like it, I'll make it a real scarf, and if it is just too wide, I'll felt it and turn it into a trivet and send it to a friend who really loves dragons. Or something like that. I don't have a picture of my own knitting, since I just got the first three rows done, but this is what it will look like when finished. If I do it right. This picture was taken from Tina13 on Ravelry, and I have provided a link to her page and the pattern.

This is by Tina13 on Ravelry.
A link to her Ravelry page is here:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Wall, or, Thinking Out Loud

Coming to school on the subway this morning I thought that I had hit a wall in my knitting. All I seem able to do is scarves and hats, with the occasional sweater (finished three of them, have five or six more on the needles; what can I say? I'm fickle). So I made a list of what I've accomplished, and where I think my growing edges might be:

Hats? Check. I can make solid colour, striped, and fair isle. Tychus, too.

Scarves? Check. Garter, stockinette, double-knitted, cabled.

Sweaters? Check-ish. I still need help seaming them, and I've got about 5 or 6 of them on the needles. But except for the seams and the sleeves, they aren't much of a challenge.

Lace? Check-ish. I've done one lace shawl, and I really liked it. I'd like to do more, but I'm intimidated by them. Hmm, this could be a growing edge.

Socks and Gloves/Mittens? Nope. Never tried them. I'm feeling strangely ambivilent about socks. I'm really hard on socks, and am not sure I want to spend so much time making something that I'll walk holes into after the third wearing. I am interested in learning how to make gloves and mittens. So here's another growing edge.

So here are my growing edges: More lace. I need to make some round shawls, since the rectangular ones are really fancy scarves (not putting them down, but they aren't a true challenge). I also need to learn how to block shawls better than I'm doing right now. Need to learn the wire trick.

I'd also like to make some mittens and gloves. I have a pattern and the yarn for some fingerless gloves for a friend of mine, and I'm a bit intimidated by the fingers. That alone should tell me that this is a growing edge and I need to explore it.

Meanwhile, I'm working on another Noro scarf, this time in shades of blue and grey. I'm afraid it might be too monochromatic, but I'm only doing two skeins, and will do another two in different colours if it needs to be lengthened.
Noro Silk Garden, on size US 6 needles.
This is brooklyn tweed's pattern, and it can be found here:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stash and the Diesel

I've been thinking about taking pictures of my stash. You know, nine big plastic storage bins filled with an abundance of yarn. But I haven't gotten around to it. I've got lots of excuses: papers, reading assignments, resume writing, thinking about going to ALA in New Orleans this June.  And true, not all my yarn in stashed in my stash. Some of the stuff I got for Christmas knitting is still in my room, even though I'm not going to start knitting it up until after the semester is over in May. But it's soft. Malabrigo and Cascade Eco-duo. I need to take pictures of that stuff, too.

By and large I've been pretty good about not buying more yarn. I have structured my schedule so that I don't have time in my day to make it to the store. I've been talking to knitters who don't have a stash, or who only work on one project at a time. I just don't get it. My stash is an extension of myself. Love me, love my stash. But even I know that it is out of control and needs to be reined in, just a bit.

Met up with the Nine Inch Needles last night, and had a new guy join in the fun and games. Of course, he's a friend of mine from another social network site, but it was good to have him there. The only thing I don't like about having our group meet at the Diesel Cafe is that the accoustics are really horrible. I have hearing problems as it is, and in that space, I find that I have to ask everyone to repeat everything. Or I have to cup my ear with my hand in order to hear, and that makes knitting difficult. And since I attend for the camraderie as much as the knitting, this creates a bit of dilemma. I wonder if we could move to the front of the cafe, and if the accoustics are any better there than in the back. The lighting in the back is also pretty poor, with the dark walls and black ceiling, so if one is working with dark yarns, it can be difficult to see. But accoustics and darkness aside, I love the ambience of the Diesel. I like the dikey barristas, and their quirky senses of humour. And one of the cashiers knows my name now. How cool is that?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

I bought some new yarn this past weekend. It's already February, and I haven't started my Christmas knitting yet! What am I thinking?  Only 321 knitting days until Christmas, and I'm taking three courses this semester! When am I going to have any time to knit at all? I have a metric shit-tonne of knitting to crank out, including some lace knitting, which always takes so much time.

My advice to knitters, everywhere.

You can generate your own Keep Calm sign here:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chemo Caps and Others

I have discovered another friend who has breast cancer, and is soon going to be undergoing chemotherapy. Which means her hair is going to fall out. And she is not sanguine about this. Don't blame her. I don't think I'd be sanguine about it, either.

So, I put together a couple of hats. One will fit her, the other won't. She can give it to her daughter if she wants.

This is the tychus hat ( The pattern calls for five iterations of the pattern, but I only did four, because it seemed large enough. My friend Harry, who sent me the pattern, blocks these hats, so he does the full five repeats. Oops. I've never blocked a hat before, and he suggests doing it on a balloon. How cool is that? So I'll try that the next time I make one of these, which will be soon, since I have another one on the needles. This particular hat was made with double stranded worsted weight wool, Cascade Baby Alpaca (the white is actually undyed).

The other hat I made is this one:

I'm not sure this will fit my friend, so she can give it to her daughter if she wants. It is made with Malabrigo Silky Merino (51% silk, 49% merino). I like the way the colours fall in this. Hell, I might need to make myself one of these.

Finally, a hat made for the second part of the Pushing 50 Party, or, Div School Reunion, in Cascade Pastaza:
Not sure who is going to get this, but it is soft and warm and I really like the boldness of the black and red together. This was yarn stash leftovers from another project. And I still have some of each colour left over!

I'm currently working on another tychus hat, and a Noro scarf for myself; however, this time I'm only going to use two skeins of Noro, instead of four, since I want a shorter scarf (I don't need another 6.5 foot scarf!). I'll post pictures when I've got more than a few rows done.