Posted in Current Projects

Buried in WIPs, Liesl, and Ishbel Shawl

Ever get the feeling like you’re buried in WIPs?

222/365: Buried in WIPs
Buried in my WIPs

I had that feeling this weekend when I realized all the projects I have on the needles right now. Currently I have (in no particular order):

– Starlight sweater
– Liesl sweater
– Socks
– Toe-up stripey socks
– Nanner socks
– Button-Up Neck Warmer
– Ishbel shawl
– Secret Garden shawl
– Malabrigo scarf

That’s NINE projects in the works! 3 pairs of socks, 2 sweaters, 2 shawls, a neck warmer and a scarf. The Malabrigo scarf is a long term project. It’s a garter stitch scarf that I work on whenever I feel like it. Just something to work on when I just want to knit without thinking. The Nanner socks are likely to get frogged as I’ve lost all desire to finish them, but I’m letting them hang around to see if the desire to knit them comes back. The rest, I’m pretty actively working on. After realizing how many projects I had going on I’m feeling a bit like I’ve got too much, so I’ve moved a few things into “hibernating” status until other things get finished.

Starlight, stripey socks, Nanner socks, and the Malabrigo scarf are all hibernating until I get it’s equal done. Liesl gets finished and I’ll start back on Starlight. Socks get finished and I’ll go back to stripey socks or Nanner socks. Button-Up Neck Warmer gets finished and Malabrigo scarf gets worked on. There are very few times that I felt like I had a lot of things on the needles and needed a plan to get it back under control. I think that I’d like to keep my amount of projects down to three. A number that wouldn’t bother me, make me feel like I have too much going on, and enough variety to always have something I want to work on. That’s just me, though. Everyone is different and you might be someone who likes to work on one thing at a time or 10 things at a time. As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing, that’s the most important thing! 🙂

Even though I had 7 projects on the needles, I started 2 new ones last week. I mentioned in my last post that I started Liesl and it’s moving right along. I’m probably about halfway done with the body and have already split off the sleeves. This has turned out to be a pretty quick knit after a rocky start that involved a lot of frogging. I didn’t like the neckline the way I initially worked it, so I ripped it out and did the lower neckline (did the high neckline when I first started) and I like it a lot better.

Liesl - Arms Split
Liesl Progress

The other project I started last week was Ishbel. I started this on Friday. I think I might have been in a “I’m bored with these projects, I need something new!” mood last week. This is a pretty easy knit so far. Great for watching TV or knitting in the car (or while going through Costco while your significant other pushes the cart). I’m really loving the yarn!

Ishbel Shawl in The Yarn Bearer’s Uber Sock “Blood & Gore” colorway (Sock Club shipment)

Karen decided to do this shawl, too, since she recently ripped out a sock and wanted something else to do with it besides another sock. She was having a little trouble getting started and I was having a difficult time trying to explain it in words, so I did up a little diagram in MS Paint to help her out. I remember the first time I did a shawl in this manner, it took me a few hours to figure it out back when I really didn’t know any knitters yet. Some things are just difficult to visualize! I thought this might help others, so I’ll share it here. (Please excuse my not-so-great MS Paint skills.)

The shawl starts out by casting on 3 stitches, knitting a few rows in garter stitch, then picking up stitches along the side edge and cast on edge. I’ve seen a number of shawls start this way. Can you visualize how that should look? I sure couldn’t the first time I tried and I kept thinking I was going something wrong. Here’s what you’ll be doing, in graphics:

Ishbel - Casting on
This is what it will look like when you’re ready to pick up the stitches on the side edge and cast on edge.

Hopefully that helps if you ever need to start a project in this manner. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Pescovegetarian Mittens, 2009 Goals, Lakeside Socks, & Toe-Up Socks

This weekend, I decided it was time I knit myself a new pair of mittens. I lost one of them a few weeks ago when we got slammed with snow. I had hoped I would find it, but after a few weeks of looking, I figured it was gone for good and it was time for a new pair. It was really time for a new pair anyway since these were getting pretty worn out. The pair I had were the pair I knit back when I was still pretty new to knitting, so they are at least 3 years old, probably more. They’ve seen quite a few winters and were starting to felt pretty good!

I came across the Pescovegetarian mittens pattern a week ago and knew right away this was the pattern I wanted to use to make my replacement mittens. I had some Patons Classic Wool in my stash for just this purpose. A very pretty purple. I knew I wanted bulky mittens, similar to my last ones, which were also knit with Patons Classic Wool (in bright pink), held double. My plan was to use the Patons Classic Wool held double. Looking at the mittens, they seemed a bit bulky and I was afraid that using US 10’s might make the fabric a bit too loose or be too loose on my hands (I have fairly small hands). So, I decided to make some modifications. The modifications I made ended up turning out great and I love the end result!

Pescovegetarian Mittens 2

Pescovegetarian Mittens 1

43/365: Mittens

Pattern: Pescovegetarian mittens
Started: February 14, 2009
Completed: February 16, 2009
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, Royal Purple (used 1/2 of each of 2 skeins, about 1 full skein total used)
Needles: US 8 & 9 bamboo DPN’s
Notes: There are a number of notes for this one! I did change some things to make them fit my hands better – that’s the best part about knitting, right? Totally customizable! I used smaller needles (US 8 & 9 instead of US 9 & 10) size needles and followed most of the directions. Here’s my mods:

  • After knitting the two rounds after the 2nd increase round, do another increase round like this: at the beginning of the second needle, k1, m1, k6, m1, knit to end of round.
  • After the increase round, work 8 rounds (or until you get to the base of your thumb).
  • I chose to kitchner/graft the top of my mitten because I couldn’t get the yarn tight enough to make no gap. I ended up liking the way this looks better.
  • For the thumb, work as indicated, picking up the 6 stitches above and around the thumb hole. The very first round, decrease those 6 stitches to 4 so you have a total of 12 stitches.
  • Work as many rows as needed to get to the tip of your thumb then work two decrease rounds as follows: 1st round, ssk, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, k2tog, k2. 2nd round, ssk, k2tog, ssk, k2tog, k1. 5 stitches remain, pull yarn through the 5 stitches and pull tight to close up. I liked the way this looked better than decreasing them all at once.

I really love how these turned out. They fit great! I got to try them out this morning since it was about 25 degrees out! Kept my hands nice and toasty just like the old ones did.


I thought I’d give a brief update on how I’m doing with the goals I gave myself this year.

In this post, I outlined what my goals were for this year:

  • Read at least 12 books this year
  • Take one photo per day (Plurk Craft 365)
  • Blog more (personal and here)
  • Do more colorwork knitting
  • Knit something that requires steeking
  • Knit more sweaters and lace
  • Wear socks that I’ve knit
  • Try one new recipe per week using the crockpot

So far I have:

  • Read 1 book for the month of January (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel) and I’m a good way through my second book for February (Enchantment by Orson Scott Card). I’m also reading Getting Things Done by David Allen, but it’s taking me a while to get through it.
  • I have kept up with the one photo per day goal.
  • I think I’ve done a good job blogging (though I’d like to be more “regular” here still).
  • I knit a swatch for a sweater, but decided it looked to much like Christmas colors. There’s a new KAL coming up for colorwork, though, so I have plenty of time to get that in (after all, it is only February).
  • Haven’t done steeking yet.
  • Haven’t knit a sweater or lace yet.
  • Haven’t worn my handknit socks yet.
  • Did 3 meals in the crockpot, but ended up scratching this goal.

The reason I bring any of this up is that last one there. The crockpotting. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the crockpot. Matt wasn’t really wrong when he said I was trying to go too far with it, too exotic for a crockpot (with things like lasagna that ended up really greasy and not very good). He’s right. There’s plenty of things I could make that I already know that I like and maybe expand a bit from there. Perhaps I was approaching it totally wrong. It’s okay, though. My crockpot hasn’t been banished from the kitchen, but I have a much better idea what I’d like to do with it. Soups, stews, chili, roasts, whole chickens… that sort of thing. Haven’t done it yet, but soon!


I’ve been moving right along on the Lakeside socks. Nothing really to note about them. I’m following the pattern pretty much exactly (except for the mix up about using needles 1 & 4 and I used needles 1 & 2). I’m working on the gusset now. Here’s some progress shots:




I started a pair of socks for the Knitting Purls Toe-Up KAL that started today. I decided to use the Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn in the “Love Stinks (Yeah Yeah)” colorway. I like how it’s going so far. I started with 24 stitches (12 each side) and knit the first row, increased every row for 6 rows, and now I’m working on increasing every other row until I get the number of stitches I want (haven’t determined that yet). Kinda making it up as I go along!

48/365: New Socks, Toe-up

That’s all I’m working on right now. Juno Regina is still on the needles, but taking a bit of a vacation for now! I did a colorwork swatch that I’ll share when I can figure out what colors I’ll be doing instead. And, no, Matt, I will not be doing the 80’s colors you suggested… Knit Picks doesn’t make the colors I need :oP

Posted in Knit Ramblings

How to fix a hole in your sweater.

I’ve been putting off updating because I’ve been lazy, but also because I was trying to decide if I wanted to talk about the hole in the sweater that I fixed and how much of it. With the help of some Plurk friends, I decided I’d show you what I did to fix my sweater! (Fair warning, this will be a photo heavy post!)

So about a year ago now, when I was moving all my stuff out of the ex’s house, I found my beloved Rogue sweater, which had been folded up in my craft room, had two holes in it. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was absolutely crushed by it. This was the first sweater I’d made for me. (The first sweater I made was Folly for my mom, which needs a different collar so she’ll wear it more.) I love this sweater and I had no idea how to fix it. Plus, at the time I was too heart broken about it to figure out how to fix it. It has sat in my stash for all this time, just waiting for me to get up the courage to try and repair the hole. I still have no idea what caused the holes in the first place. It really just looks like the yarn wore down in those spots.

Over the weekend, I was cleaning up my stash area and found the bag it was in with the extra yarn. I decided it was time to fix it. I sat down and looked at it. I decided that ripping out the row(s) and re-knitting would be the best way. There were two places there were holes, so I did one at a time. I started with the “worse” one.

Here’s the sweater:


Here’s a close up of the hole if you can’t see it that well in the above picture:


First thing I did was unravel enough of a hole so that the yarn bits were long enough to weave into the back of it.


At this point, though, I noticed there was another hole quite close.


Noticing this, I did some swearing, took a deep breath, and ripped another hole so I could fix this, too (might as well, right?).


I don’t have a decent picture of how I closed this up, but since it was only one row that I unraveled, I simply grafted it together. Yes, I’m crazy enough to just have the live stitches and graft them together. It’s similar to doing a kitchner and knowing how the stitches connect together, it wasn’t too hard to figure out (though it did take me a minute to get right). Here’s how it looked after I grafted it back together:


After that went smoothly, I tried to do the bigger hole, but it was late and it came out pretty awful. I put it down, quite frustrated, and went to bed, set to work on it the next day. I ended up dreaming about it and what I needed to do to fix it! So, the next day, I sat down, set to fix this sweater. I pulled out what I had done so that I had the live stitches back on a needle. Then I knit three rows. I did this by using a different piece of yarn for each row so I was only knitting across the stitches, but not back the other way (purling):


Next, I bravely took the needle out and grafted the live stitches together (last row, for 4 total rows “re-knit”). I got better shots of how I did this the second time around.

Here’s how I started:


If that’s not too clear with the stitches, let me show you how it looks with a little work done in Paint to show the path of the stitch:


I started by going up through the bottom of the first stitch, then up through two loops (first one through the front, second one through the back), then back down into the first stitch and into the one next to it from the back of the stitch. Above, I was working on the second stitch. Up through two loops, down through two loops, always in through the front on the first stitch and in through the back on the second stitch. Here’s what the needle looks like on the bottom (down) stitches:


Do this all the way across and it now looks like this:


Here’s what the back looks like (oh all those ends!):


After sewing in all the ends, I started on the second hole.


I ripped out a bigger hole:


This time when I knit it back up, though, I did it a little different. I knit one row and purled the second row. I think this worked out about the same as the “use new yarn each row” method, but was a slight bit harder to sew together and make neat (was a bit more fiddly).

After I did that, I was ready to graft it together, using the same method I used above. Once it was grafted, it looked like this:


I sewed up the remaining ends and here’s views from the front and back:



I was a little worried about how it looked, even after I was “done.” I hoped that it would look much better after a good washing and blocking! I think it definitely looks better after, but I’m not 100% happy with the first one I did because of the way I crossed/twisted the yarns when I was weaving them in on the back side. I did it differently on the second hole and that part looks better. I am satisfied with how it turned out overall, especially it being my first time doing this! In this picture you can see a bit of a line where the first “fix” I did was, but can’t really see any sign from the second one:

Fixed Sweater

My sweater is now wearable again!! I don’t think it was as hard as my brain made it out to be and now I won’t be so scared to do this should it ever happen again.