Mar 30, 2009


And with March Monogamy is now complete (soon to be followed by "All Projects Welcome" April to be sure) :)

Tropican Jaden - March 2009

Pattern: A combination of Jaden for the bottom lace and Tropicana for the top shaping (pattern links are to Ravelry); my Rav project notes are here.

Yarn: S.R. Kertzer Butterfly Super 10 (Fantastic yarn, but boy does cotton stretch!)

Needles: US Size 4 (bottom and straps) and Size 3 (ribbed bodice)

Mods: The obvious one is that I made this a short-sleeved tank instead of a long-sleeve pullover. I also had to do some major match for fit on this one because the stitch counts for both patterns didn't quite account for fitting the...erm..."girls".

I would like to say that I'd like to do some parts of this over (the straps are loose and the single crochet bind off is wobbly), but that wouldn't be exactly true. I don't want to do another thing to or with this project. It's time on my needles has come and is now passed. I'm mostly pleased with the result, and learned alot about what I'm capable of when I just won't let a project beat me (and I mean stuff other than how many curse words I know).

Thanks for your support!!

Mar 26, 2009

Now Available in the Shop

I found this great crochet shawl while thrifting and I've put it up for sale over at my Etsy shop - Dreads & Curls.

Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl

Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl

Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl

Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl

Vintage Crochet Cotton Shawl

Adachi and I had a great time doing this photo shoot.

Check the shop for this and some other great handmade accessories that would look FAB on you! ;)

Mar 16, 2009

Slogging to the Finish?

A few posts back, I talked about my addiction to joining things, and how it lead me to the March to the Finish Challenge (aka Monogamous March) with some of my co-fans at the Stash & Burn Ravelry group. I listed 3 targets for finishing this month - a cardigan, a pair of socks, and a sweater. I'm thrilled to report that 2 of the 3 are now F-frickin-O's baybee! :)

Northampton Cardi Vest

Valley Yarns Northampton in Charcoal Grey; 100% wool (this yarn gets 5 stars)
Used just over 1 skein (love kid-size knits!)
US 7 (4.5mm needles); knit in pieces and seamed
Black plastic buttons and custom label from JoAnn's
Pattern Generated using Sweater Wizard v3.0 (this program rocks)

Boyfriend Socks for Me

Tess Designer Yarn Super Sock & Baby; 100% superwash wool (this yarn also gets 5 stars)
Used every bit of one skein, about 450 yards - I love that about toe-up knitting
US Size 0, 1, and 1.5 needles; knit toe-up 2 at a time using Magic Loop technique
Pattern is Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell (who blogs at Slipped Stitch)

Ok, so I'm a little excited about these two.
So what then of the final albatross? The knit that refuses to be tamed. She who will not be frogged. Alas, it is my pink Jaden.

Jaden WIP

I took her out of her project bag yesterday as a step forward. She looked at me rather crossly because (a) she's getting no attention and (b) she mumbled something about the crumpling and how the bag creases mussed her stitches. Blah, blah, blah.

Jaden WIP 040708

Ahem. This project has major guilt entwined throughout it's rows I tell you. My good friend and I started this as a knit-a-long (you must wonder if I do anything at all of my own will; I wonder that too). We fell in love with the pattern on Knitty
and talked at length about gauge and yarn substitutions, and the wonder and frustration that is cotton. Somewhere along the way though, we Just. Plain. Stalled. In our defense, figuring out decreases in a lace pattern without explicit instruction just ain't fun. Add to that our stubborn row gauge and the need for more math than anyone should endure...the project crawled to a halt. So now what?

Jaden WIP

FO coming soon - with a brand new top!

For now, I'm going to try to ride the wave of my recent finishing spree. I'm going to take hold of my KnitPicks Options needles. I'm going to put this (heavy!) cotton top in my lap, pull out my calculator and the shamefully dingy pattern copy, and dangit all, we're gonna kiss and make up. If you don't hear from me for a while...send wool.

Mar 13, 2009

2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibers

Have you heard about this? I just happened to come across it while reading one of Adrienne's blog posts at The Dye Garden (of A Verb for Keeping Warm fame).

According to the webcast summary,

"The United Nations General Assembly declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres. IYNF 2009 aims to highlight the importance, significance and continuing relevance of a sector that produces close to 30 million tonnes of natural fibres worth some $40 billion annually."

As an excerpt from the website, here are the objectives behind this initiative:

  • Raise awareness and stimulate demand for natural fibers;
  • Promote the efficiency and sustainability of the natural fibers industries;
  • Encourage appropriate policy responses from governments to the problems faced by natural fiber industries;
  • Foster an effective and enduring international partnership among the various natural fibers industries.

I found the associated webcast to be pretty interesting too, and I feel generally inspired by this to keep stitching away at this love I call a hobby. It feels good to be taking my part in contributing to production in this industry and to supporting developing countries.


How cool is it that we now a totally justifiable, socially responsible reason for acquiring more yarn??

Mar 5, 2009

Ahhh...Love at First Step*

*clicking the title of this post will take you to my Ravelry Project Page with the full details about this project and a few more photos...

This yarn started out its life as another pair of socks altogether, but after some frustration with modifying that pattern to be knit toe up with a short row heel, I went digging around Ravelry for a replacement pattern. Cables? Toe Up? Easy to memorize repeats? Yes please !

Girlfriend Socks - Out & About
Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell
Yarn by Tess Designer Yarns, Super Sock & Baby yarn
Needles - US 1 1/2 (2.5mm) mostly; US 0 for the ankle and heel section

The knitting on these started in October, and ended in March...interesting that their twisty-turny meandering pattern matches quite well my knitting life - and life in general - over that same time period. I worried over EVERY thing each time I picked these up. Would they end up too small? (nope!) Could I deal with a certain amount of pooling? (no problem!) Can I live with the holes in my first short row heel? (of course! a badge of honor!). But once I bound off with some great instruction from this video, the worry slipped away. I LUV them!

Girlfriend Socks - Out & About
Hand knits belong in the great outdoors

~I skipped the cabling pattern on the back of the leg and knit plain stockinette there instead. I wanted these to be longer, and thought this would be a good way to maximize yarn usage.

This yarn is wonderful! Really springy and the color is so rich. It doesn't split, and the slight variegation still allows the cables to show up well. I would make this pattern again, and I will definitely use this yarn again (ahem...I have 2 more skeins in the stash, so...).

Girlfriend Socks - Cableliscious

Oh, and I MUST give a shout out to all you Toe Up Sock Knitters - this technique is brilliant! I knit until there were only inches of yarn left to use. I feel so resourceful and non-wasteful and satisfied. Sigh. Already looking forward to my next pair

Girlfriend Socks - no scraps Girlfriend Socks - no scraps

I Am This Close to a Pair of Socks

Bracelet by 579 Jewelry
Yarn by Tess Designer Yarns (Ravelry link)