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.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lyle's Hat

Lyle asked me to make him a grey hat, so I immediately thought of Cascade's Eco Duo which has a lovely yarn in grey tones. It is 70% alpaca and 30% merino, and is undyed. It is also the softest yarn I've ever knit with.

I cast 96 stitches on US 7 needles, and did a double rib all the way up.

I'm very pleased with the way it came out, and I hope he likes it when he gets it. Now, on to the scarf he wants.

This is the hat with the bottom folded up.

This is the hat unfolded.

I really like the way the yarn self-stripes, from dark to light. Gives it some depth and texture.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Some time last year I made my first-ever lace shawl for Miss Carolyn. She is the mother of a close friend, and I was delighted to make it for her. Conversations with Miss Carolyn are always a treat, and I enjoy seeing her whenever she graces us with her presence. After several false starts, I got my knit on, and made the shawl for her. Blocking scared the bejezus out of me, but eventually I figured a way to do it, and we sent it down to her.

Miss Carolyn has given me a picture of herself wearing the shawl.
Miss Carolyn, modeling her lace shawl. 

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth
gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

This is what the shawl looked like both when I was blocking it and right after.
Unfortunately, we photographed it upside down, so this is the wrong side.

This is the right side of the shawl, after it had dried from the blocking.

I don't remember the brand of yarn, but it was made of bamboo and silk. The pattern was found on Ravelry, and is called Upstairs, by WollSchnegge, and the pattern can be found here:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cascade Eco Duo

A friend who is moving to Chicago next year asked me to make him a hat and scarf in grey. He sent me a cheque, and I dutifully went to the yarn store and got some Cascade Eco Duo. I've been in love with this yarn since I first encountered it. I have some in my stash, but I haven't made anything with it yet. The yarn, 70% alpaca and 30% merino is undyed, and comes in several natural shades. The blended greys that I chose for this project are striking and handsome.

Here is the yarn while it is still in a hank (I got three hanks, one for the hat, and two for the scarf).

This is the first four or so inches of the hat. It self stripes, and the picture is not as pretty as the actual object. It's a bit brighter than this shows. (US size 7 needles, in the round, 2x2 ribbing, knit in the round.)

Now, about the yarn. It is extremely soft. Oh, so, so, so soft! It's like knitting with clouds. However, it is a bit splitty, and care needs to be taken so that it isn't split asunder whilst poking needles hither and thither.

That said, I am really enjoying working with this yarn. When this bit of knittery is done, I think I'll make myself a hat and scarf with what I've got in my stash. If I can find it. Of course I'll be able to find it! I'm going to catalogue all my yarn this summer. Right?

Right. I hope I live to see it.

My Thursdays have taken a wonderful twist, since a few of us from the library programme are meeting for a lunch-time stitch and bitch. It lasts a couple of hours, and it is one of my highlights of my week. This, along with Nine Inch Needles on Mondays are my favourite times of the week.

Which reminds me, there are only three weeks of school left. Three weeks, three papers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Person Who Knits in Public

Over the weekend some classmates and I visited the house of one of our profs to learn about cataloguing paper. He has one of the quintessential paper collections in the world, over 45,000 (yes, you read that right) pieces of paper, from all over the world, from across the centuries. It is, in short, amazing.

On the way to his house, Jess snapped this picture of me, knitting on a bench waiting for the train. To paraphrase Robert Heinlein: A person who knits in public may have other nasty habits.
I'm working on a hat for Joel. Another inch of ribbing and I can start the stockinette stripes. Black and blue. Either it's going to look like a bruise or like the leather pride flag. Well, I'll omit the white stripe and the little heart to keep it from looking like the flag.
Hmm, the blue yarn I'm using for his hat is a bit brighter than that, so *phew!* no worries there!

Counting this week, I have four more weeks of school left (and five papers). Then I'll have a master's degree. In science. I feel so very Ian Shoales.

I have been trying to make a list of things I have on the needles. Usually late at night, while I'm falling asleep, I remember something else to add to the list. From scarves (at least three of them) to sweaters (I think there are eight of those), I've got to get past the ADHD and focus on finishing some projects this summer. I'd like some new sweaters to wear come the cold weather. And yes, as a matter of fact, I have started my Christmas knitting. Hmm, maybe if I'm a good boy, Santa will bring me a pony an alpaca for Christmas!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I had planned a happy post for today, but I just don't have it in me. My friend Rhomylly, for whom I made some caps, succumbed last night, not to breast cancer, but to a heart attack caused by the chemo. Sometimes the cure really is worse than the disease.

I have several dear friends who believe that everything happens for a reason. Rhomylly left behind an adoring husband and a five year old daughter. I just can't see the reason behind this.

This is one of the hats I made for her.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The (Knitting) Gods Must Be Angry

I swear, the moon must be in klutz. I've had a series of mishaps befall my knitting over the last few days. In my striped hat for Joel, the decrease pattern got all messed up and there were more stiches on the needle than there were supposed to be. I frogged it back to right before the decreases start, and even managed to get the yarn back on the needles (no small feat for me), though I will have to tink back one row of 96 stitches in order to get things right before I can re-knit and begin the decreases anew.

Then I mis-knit the eye of my dragon scarf. I tinked back a row and a half and just when I thought I was clearn, I dropped another stitch. With the help of a friend, I got that back on the needles (I suck at picking up dropped stitches, and it really is something I need to learn how to do), and now I've got to go and re-count the stitches and make sure everyone is in the right place.

This too, shall pass. Or as one friend used to always say, "Worse things have happned to nicer people."

In better news, we had a lively time at Nine Inch Needles last night. Eight knitters and one visitor, and we talked about everything from patterns to yarns to Lurid Digs. No, I won't supply a link. Some things are better left to the imagination. Lurid Digs is an excellent reason not to have nekkid pictures of oneself taken. Ever.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


A friend just asked me what I planned for my next project, and I just plotzed. Aside from having the Noro scarf on the needles (and I must confess, I am terribly bored with it right now), I've also got the double sided dragon scarf going. I figure that alone will take up 90 hours of knitting, not including frogging and tinking when I mis-stitch. Long ago I told Lyle I'd make a scarf and hat for him, and he has sent me a cheque for the yarn. As soon as that comes I'll pick up some Cascade Eco Duo for that project. Jeremy wants a green and black Pastaza hat that will be so fun to make. I'm thinking of making the Stripey hat, by torirot. I've got a shawl and scarf for a married couple of my acquaintance, in alpaca. Simple patterns, they won't take me more than a week each, if I set my mind to them. Of course, finding the time for all this is what vexes me. And I'd like to finish at least four of the sweaters I already have on the needles for myself. I must admit, the unadorned grey one is a bit boring to work on. But the Rowan British Sheep Breeds, in the Bluefaced Leicester, is the one I really am looking forward to wearing next winter. All the pieces except the collar are knitted. I need to join front and back, make the collar, attach the sleeves and sew it up. And I'm sure there will be other projects to work on, as well. I've got some ideas for hats and shawls and scarves for Christmas presents this year, and yes, I've already started my Christmas knitting, back in March. What?

I will post pictures as each of these projects is completed. Might even post 'em whilst they're on the needles. Now if I could only get as enthused about my schoolwork as I am about my knitting....

Friday, April 1, 2011


Some time back I made a hat for my friend Jeff. He lost it when he moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado. Bad Jeff. Naughty Jeff. But because I'm a nice guy, I made him another hat. That's just the way I roll. It's Beroco ultra-alpaca, just a simple touque.
This is Jeff in his new hat. I think he wears it with a certain devilishness, a certain je ne sais quois.