The 4th Try Is the Charm

It is 7:30 on Saturday night: I am dreaming of knitting and starting a new project (For some reason none of the 5 million projects I have going is just right to work on right now. I’m studiously ignoring the fact that I have 5 million projects). I’m browsing Ravelry looking for something in brioche and I come across this cowl that I’ve had queued for months. Perfection. I buy the pattern.

8:30 PM on Saturday: I’ve rummaged through my stash and found the perfect yarn – Hedgehog Fibers Sock in Nutmeg (that I bought on my honeymoon) and KnitPicks Stroll in Midnight Heather. Yummy! I cast on, figure out how to do brioche again, and work a few rows. Exhausted, I go to bed.

yarn

12:30 PM on Sunday: *I pick up my knitting, work a few rows, and make a mistake I can’t fix. I rip it all out and start again. Repeat from * once more. Walk away frustrated. Clean house instead.

6 PM on Sunday: I notice my yarn is starting to show signs of wear. I stop to think before casting on for the 4th time. I decide to use a larger needle to cast on so the top will be nice and stretchy. I ask my husband to kiss my yarn for good luck before I start – he complies with no further questions, bless him. Using a US 6 circular needle I cast on the required number of stitches. I join to work in the round. I switch a smaller needle and work the foundation rounds. I join my second colour and start brioche-ing away. A few rows later I make a mistake, but it’s only a small mistake and easily fixable. I’m sailing away to Brioche land.

brioche!

Angerthas

angerthas

J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius. He worked on the Oxford English Dictionary, he wrote books for which he created a complete history/mythology, and he also created multiple languages for his books. The Angerthas is the alphabet he made for the Dwarves. Each rune is formed with all straight lines: perfect for carving in stone and for knitting.

Angerthas mitts

Last week I finished knitting the Angerthas Mitts, and now I’m looking for pattern testers, especially knitters with large or small hands. If you are interested in test knitting please read through the requirements here and reply to the conversation thread. I’m getting everything ready for when the pattern is released (for free) on December 31 in Knotions Magazine.

P.S. If you haven’t been over to Knotions yet, check out my most recent design, the Call Box Hat!

Fingerless Gloves Shouldn’t Take This Long

I’ve been working on another design, this time for fingerless gloves. They are knit with fingering weight yarn and US 3 (3.25 mm) needles. I started the first glove September 8, according to Ravelry.

glove

Of course the first glove was not quite right. So I had to knit a second first glove. I finished it last night and I think it is just about perfect. So now I am racing to the finish line, trying to knit the first second glove before the end of the month. Why the rush, you ask? The gloves have already been accepted by Knotions Magazine for their December issue. Squeee!

Swatching

It’s been a white since I published my last design. This hasn’t been intentional, but I find that if I don’t plan things out I don’t do them. Accordingly, I drew out a calendar for the next few months (can you believe that I don’t have a single calendar in my house??) and wrote in several design goals for the next few months. I included time for swatching, time for knitting parts of a pair (if applicable), time for pattern testing, and hopeful release dates.

yarn

So I have started work on my next design. It will be a pair of lightly cabled fingerless mitts. My first swatch is done and blocked, and I’m ready to start the second.

chart

Note to self: writing charts is hard!

Summer of Basics

At the end of May, Karen from Fringe Association announced a make-along that she called Summer of Basics. The goal was to use the months of June, July, and August to make wardrobe basics. Sewing and knitting were both allowed, and everyone got to decide what was a basic for their individual wardrobe. Brilliant!

I didn’t seriously consider joining until a reader commented that I should, at which point I realized that I make things all the time and wardrobe basics are super smart things to make since they get used all the time.

First up is my Call Box Hat:

call box hat

This is a pattern that I wrote (and it will be released September 30 in Knotions Magazine!). I had made a prototype version several years ago, but somehow I lost it and I missed it last winter. I wrote all about it here.

Second is my Alabama Chanin T-shirt tunic:

This tunic was a super easy make. It’s the perfect length, and I love wearing it! You can read more about the details here.

And Third is my Watson Bikini:

watson

I just finished these last night, and they fit well. Part of me can’t believe that I just made my own underwear, but there they are staring me in the face. You can’t get much more basic than underpants (also, I’m planning to make a matching bra. You’ll see that in the next few weeks).

So that’s my Summer of Basics. What counts as a basic in your wardrobe?

Knitting Right Along

It turns out that if I don’t have to use more than 2 needles or take live stitches off my needles I don’t mind cabling. Now, this leaves only a tiny number of the world’s cables easily available to me, but it means there are some I don’t mind. And it just so happens that 1/1 cables without a cable needle are covering the entire back of Portage. So I’m making good progress. I’m currently about halfway done with the raglan increases.

sweater progress

The yarn, Anchor Bay, is so lovely to work with! It tends to be a bit splitty, but once you get used to that it is just the softest, nicest yarn to knit with. I’m already hoping for extra yarn to make a hat or cowl.

In other news, I have been making gnomes. Oh, wait, that’s not news anymore…