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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Every now and then, when I begin thinking I'm a hot shot knitter, something happens that slaps me upside the head and reminds me that I'm not so great as I think I am. Case in point: I don't know how to pick up a dropped stitch (hangs head in shame). I can do double knitting. I can do fair isle. I can cable. I can make lace. Hell, I even like purling, and I knit English!

But I don't know how to pick up a dropped stitch. Which means I either have to find someone to do it for me, or I have to frog or tink back to get the stitch back on the needle. I understand the theory of using a crochet needle to pick up the dropped stitch. I've even seen people do it, slowly, so I can follow it. But I'm a kinesthetic learner, and my best learning mode is to learn by doing, not by watching. So it still eludes me.

Somehow I dropped a stitch in my double dragon scarf. I am so close to finishing the second dragon in the pattern and I am knitting at a break neck speed. Well, break neck for double knitting. I mean, double knitting isn't exactly the fastest knitting I've ever done. Anyway, I'm now tinking back a couple of rows to pick up a stitch. Le sigh. I remember a saying for my chaplaincy days: Worse things have happened to nicer people.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Draco Draconis Redux

Some time ago I did a test swatch for a double sided dragon in worsted weight yarn. It came out very well, but was too wide for a scarf, which is what I wanted to make in the first place. So I picked up some Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, which is more of a DK weight, and began to knit the double sided dragon again. I put it down during midterms, and didn't pick it up again until last week. I am thoroughly enjoying double knitting, and this project in particular. It is coming along beautifully, and I've begun knitting the next dragon. Right now my plan is to make three dragons, put it on holders, and begin the other side of the scarf. When the dragons are done, I am thinking of a checkerboard pattern up between teh dragons, and then somehow, I haven't figured out yet, sewing the two sides together (if anyone has any suggestions how to do this in double knitting, I'd be happy to entertain them).

After this scarf is done, I've got some blue and yellow DK weight yarn that I'm going to use to make a fleur-de-lys scarf. I've been collecting fleur-de-lys patterns for a while now, and I'm really psyched about it.

I wonder if I could find a pattern to make a Florentine giglio?

Here are some photos of the scarf in progress. You can see the beginnings of the tail of the second dragon at the top of each photo.

The patter comes from Tina13 on Ravelry. You can see her page here, though this particular pattern is on page 3:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Old Projects

You'd think that since I'm not working, I'd get more knitting done. But since I can't afford to pay my internet bill, I can usually be found in the library, tweaking my resume, looking for jobs, and wondering how I'm going to buy groceries next week. But despite all that, I still have yarn!

So I took out some projects I'd put aside for a bit.
  • I've started knitting the dragon double sided scarf again.
  • I've re-re-re-started Annie's Shawl in alpaca for Laura. While this is a kick-ass yarn, it's a bit too fuzzy for what I want to do with it. Also, concerning this pattern, I seem to have the dumb.
  • I've found the green dragon double knit thingy that I'm making for someone who likes green. And dragons.
  • I've picked up the (second) Noro striped scarf, and growled at it.
  • I found four of the several sweaters I have on the needles and said, "Oh, I really would like to finish these."
  • I've located the yarn for Marilyn's shawl (along with the yarn for Hal's scarf). I haven't actually started them yet, so they're technically not older projects I'm picking up again, but I did get the yarn for them a while back, and they are projects that are much on my mind.
  • I found the scarves I'd started five or six years ago for my niece and nephew (in Manos de Uruguay), and am wondering if they still like those colours (purple for her, blue for him, and when I started them, their ages were still in the single digits, which they aren't, anymore).
  • I've drooled over the three skeins of Cascade Epiphany that I've got, and don't know what to do with.
So I've got my summer knitting plotted out. Plus some holiday gifties that I have inchoate ideas for. Well, sort of. Jake's getting a new Tychus hat. Miz K is getting . . . someting, not sure what, yet. Miz G is also getting something . . . a scarf? Again, I'm waiting for inspiration to hit me.

Like a ton of bricks.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lyle's Hat

I met up with Lyle this weekend and delivered to him the Eco Duo hat I'd made for him. I didn't finish the scarf, but I was able to show it to him. He was very happy with the results, and took the hat home with him. This is Lyle in his new hat.
Considering how cool (and rainy) it's been in Boston this weekend, Lyle might not have to wait for the winter to get some wear out of his hat. I think it looks terrific on him, but I'm biased.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Like Buttah!

Every now and then I have to remind myself that not everyone knits, not everyone know about fibre. Today I was showing my current project, which is being knit in Cascade Eco Duo, and said, "It's a blend of alpaca and merino," because of course, everyone knows what those things are. But now and then I'm met with the question, "Um, what's a merino?" What?? It's just one of the finest fibres out there, and knitting with merino is like knitting with butter. Like buttah!

It is not a secret that I am a yarn snob. I love the sensuousness of natural fibres. The softness of alpaca, the buttery goodness of merino (honestly, there is no other way I can describe knitting with merino, than the words, like butter), the softness of Rowan's blue faced leicestershire from their British Sheep Breed Yarns. Yarns from various breeds differ in so many ways, and I want to knit a sweater in each of the yarns offered in the series. Or maybe I should make sweaters with stripes from various yarns in the collection. Oh hell, why not go out whole hog, and just make all the damn sweaters. I live in New England, so of course I need a lot of sweaters!

For me, when I'm knitting a yarn, the feel of it is really important to me. I think this is why I could never knit with acryllic, since it feels like plastic and just doesn't smell right. I love the sheepy smell of some of the yarns I have in my stash, I love it when I come across a piece of bracken, a twig, a piece of grass, in the yarn I'm knitting. I know that this was on a living animal, that it grew organically, and was not spun from something that was pumped out of an oil well. The other day I was showing a friend my yarn stash (hey, she asked to see it!) and I rediscovered some yarn I got at Quarter Stitch the last time I was in New Orleans. Baby suri alpaca/silk/bamboo, this stuff is so soft that I can't think of a project that is worthy of it. I got three skeins of it, and I just love to look at it and smell it.

Currently, my favourite is Malabrigo. I love the colours of the Rios superwash yarn, they're so intense and inviting. I love the Azul Profundo, the Paris Night, and the Purpuras. Gorgeous! I want to make sweaters, or at least vests, in each of these. Hell, all the colours are gorgeous! A vest with each of them!

The following pictures are from the Malabrigo website, showing the three colours I mentioned above. This is why I have to find a job: to add these gorgeous yarns to my stash!
Azul Profundo

Paris Night


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Knit Your Own Dog

I really miss having a dog in my life. However, I am currently living with an elderly cat who is a Diva, and my landlord does not allow dogs. So I guess I'll have to knit one of my very own. Luckily, I just picked up a new book that will let me do just that.

Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches, by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne is something I saw in the bookstore window, and I just had to have it.
The patterns include Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Irish Setters, Corgies, Sheepdogs Labrador Retrievers, and many others. Knit them all! And these dogs don't need to be house broken or walkies, rope bones or even milk bones!
This is the English Sheepdog.

This is the Corgi.

And of course, the black and tan Dachshund.

I'm going to search through my stash and see what I've got to make some of these pooches. A thundering herd of Dachshunds would make me very happy.