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Friday, January 31, 2014


Yesterday afternoon, when Caleb and I finished the day of school, I started charting my new design in the computer*.  I like to work from a computer generated chart instead of my initial hand drawn one because then I can make any corrections or changes as I go.  Once I know for sure the chart is done right, then all I have to do is put it in the pattern with the rest of the directions.  This is how I’ve done all my designs.  Also, once I have made the chart, I print it out and work from the printout, using correction tape to keep my place on the chart - the same way I did before I got an iPad and Knit Companion.  I prefer to use paper because again, I can make notes, corrections and changes right there.  (Knit Companion allows you to make notes, but when I’m designing, I prefer to just scribble on my papers.)

So once I got the chart done and printed, I sat down with yarn and needles and started knitting.  I was happily knitting along on my second attempt (I didn’t like how I’d done a few things the first time, so I just frogged and did it differently) when Max woke up from his nap.  Max is two and a half now and while we’re definitely through the craziest of the kitten issues and he shows signs of real maturity, he still has his moments.  Max came to check out what I was working on and after a very polite knitting inspection, he began to circle in my lap in preparation for a nice sit down.  On his second circle, he noticed the chart.  Then he noticed the correction tape.  Then it was on.  Before I realized that he wasn’t making a third circle, he had leapt upon the chart, pulled the correction tape off, and was tearing off down the hall with it.  Obviously, he was neutralizing the threat that had been right there beside my knitting.  I had no idea I was in so much danger.  Since I’m human and don’t understand such things properly (clearly), I just got the tape away from him and put fresh tape on the chart to continue knitting.  Once again Max came to my rescue, saving me from imminent death, and stampeding down the hall with correction tape flying behind him, this time still partially connected to the chart page.  At this point I realized that if I was going to get this new design knitted at all, I wouldn’t be able to knit it with a paper chart and correction tape.  I went back to the computer, put the chart in PDF format and sent the thing over to Knit Companion.

As I was doing all this, it occurred to me that there was probably a reason I’m not doing very much knitting or designing with beads right now.

*Since someone might ask, I’m using Stitch Mastery charting software right now.  It lets me make the chart and it generates the written out version of the pattern from the chart.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Little of the Second Sock

I finally cast on for the second sock and got going on it.  (Here’s the Rav project page.)  I also began designing another shawl yesterday!  I hope to get the chart made and start knitting on it today.

What I’ve been spending most of my knitting time doing over the last week has been trying to pick a project for the Ravellenics.  If I was smart, I would choose my Babette and get it finished once and for all.  I really don’t want to work on a Work In Progress though, I want to start something new.  On the other hand, this will be the first time I’m homeschooling while I’m knitting along with our athletes, so I don’t foresee any epic knitting projects happening.  I could choose several small projects, like I did the first year (I knit four pairs of socks that year), or I could choose a single bigger, yet still sensible project.  I’ve got some ideas marked in Ravelry but these range from a shawl to a cardigan to a blanket.  Not all of the ideas are exactly sensible.

So, if you’re going to knit for the Ravellenic Games, what are your project plans?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Earl Grey Shawl

Earl Grey is the ultimate comfort tea to me.  When I was designing this pattern, I wanted it to be comfort knitting:  easy to knit, easy to memorize, and with just enough going on in the stitch pattern that it wouldn’t get boring.  I wanted the design to work in solid colors as well as multicolored yarns, and I wanted a shape that would be easy to wear.
The stitch pattern makes a slightly textured fabric that will trap body heat without being bulky.  The shawl is a “heart” shape rather than a true triangle, so it sits on the shoulders easier and wraps around the wearer like a hug.
I hope that knitting and wearing this design are as easy as curling up with a cup of Earl Grey and a good book on a stormy afternoon.
Finished size as shown:  20 inches deep from center back neck to point and 82 inches around the outer edge.

The size can very easily be adjusted by either knitting more or fewer repeats or by changing the weight of yarn used.  The yarn shown is fingering weight.

Shown in Huckleberry Knits Willow in Earl Grey color way.  80% Blue Faced Leicester/ 20% Nylon.  4 ounces/420 yards per skein.  Knit on US 5’s (3.75mm).


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Monday, January 27, 2014

One Finished Sock

I finished my first sock of the year last night!  I will cast on for the second sock sometime today.  You don’t want to let these things wait or you could lose all forward momentum.

I would have cast on right after I finished the first sock, but Sherlock was starting and I don’t knit during Sherlock.

I would like to take a moment to thank Whoever Plans TV Shows for finishing this season of Sherlock right before The Walking Dead starts up again after their mid season break.  That was good timing!  I appreciate simple things.

Here’s my Rav project page link.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

I’m Finished With My Thing!

My Pretty Thing to be exact!  This was such a fast, little project with really yummy yarn!  I could see working a few more of these up at some point.  Fortunately, it’s just gotten cold here again, so I can wear it today!
I added one repeat to the pattern because I don’t like tight things around my neck.  Otherwise, I knit the pattern as written, even doing the sewn bind off.  I’ve never done this bind off but I like the way it worked out, so I learned something new!
I think Fifi looks lovely wearing the Pretty Thing,
but I know you’re all wondering what it looks like on Logan.  Here he is!  I think Max was mocking him a bit, but he’s a good sport about it.

Here’s the project page link on Ravelry.  I think I set it up so anyone can see it as long as they’re using this link.  Thanks for the tips in yesterday’s comments!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back to the Sock

I’ve cleared the heel flap and heel turn on my sock and I’m working through the gusset decreases now.  Last time I showed this sock, there were a bunch of questions about the pattern and the yarn.  I went back and edited the previous post (I had originally included the info on my first blog post of this project) to answer the questions.  I realized that maybe what I need to do is start linking all my blog posts to their Ravelry project page.  That way if I am feeling lazy and don’t want to link to yarn and pattern sites every time, anyone who is curious can just check out my Rav page and see what I’m using.  The catch is only Rav members will be able to see the page (on Rav, anyone can still see the blog), but the way I figure it, if you’re a knitter, you are on Rav (or should be) and if you’re not a knitter, you don’t really care what the pattern is or what yarn I’m using right?

So, for all of you inquiring minds, the pattern is Hermione’s Everyday Socks, the yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight and here is my project page if you need to chase either of those down!  I hope this helps to answer some of your questions!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Little Something

I bought a single skein of Sojourn during Miss Bab’s End of Year Sale and as soon as I squeezed the hank of yarn, I knew I wanted to knit it soon.  Actually, if I’m being truthful, as soon as I squeezed the hank of yarn, I wanted to curl up with it somewhere and call it George.  Then I decided knitting it would be a better choice.  You see, Sojourn is a blend of cashmere and silk.  It’s a very nice blend of cashmere and silk - not too shiny from the silk.  It’s soft like baby kitten bellies or Golden Retriever ears.  Soft.  Seriously, everyone should have one skein of this stuff just to pet or ride around on their shoulder.

I decided to make mine into a Pretty Thing.  This is an easy, straightforward pattern meant to use one skein of a special, soft yarn.  Sojourn is perfect for it.  Mine is the Dahlia color way - it’s a warm pink that tips a little bit towards coral.  This thing is crazy soft.

Did I mention how soft this yarn is?

BTW, I added pattern and yarn information to the post from Friday (just below this one) for those who were asking.


Friday, January 17, 2014


Yesterday Caleb had a long orthodontist appointment and I got to put in some serious time on my sock.  In fact, I made it all the way down the leg and I’ll start the heel flap next time I pick it up!  This sock has restored my faith in socks.  I love the yarn that does not split, I love the stitches that I can see, and I love the simple pattern that’s easily memorized so I can just knit these without really thinking about them.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I’m hoping to get some knitting done!

ETA:  The pattern is Hermione’s Everyday Socks (free!) and the yarn is BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in a Rare Gems Fire color way.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Finished Hat

I finished the hat last night.  I love quick projects like this, they make me feel like I’m actually getting things done, even if the only knitting I’m doing is a tiny bit at night in front of the TV.

Not much else to note this morning.  I followed the pattern exactly, used Cascade 220 Superwash for my yarn and presto, a hat was born!  Now it’s off to my Father in Law so he can cheer for Baylor!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One More Hat

My Mother in Law’s birthday is right after Christmas, and this year she asked for a hat.  In bright yellow!  So I knit her a bright yellow hat for her birthday (but didn’t get any pictures).  My Father in Law saw it and immediately asked for a green one.  You see, they love college basketball and every year they get season tickets to the Baylor Women’s Basketball games.  Baylor’s colors are green and gold.  The green can and has been anything between dark forest and a bright leaf green and the gold can a be a bright, dandelion yellow to a dark gold.  So you see, when I finish this dark green hat for my Father in Law and he wears it with my Mother in Law and her bright yellow hat (and the green and gold scarves and T-shirts), they will fit right in at a basketball game!

The hat pattern is The Bend hat, which I knit in black for Caleb a couple of years ago.  I’m using Cascade 220 Superwash so it’s easy to care for.  The color is a little lighter than it’s photographing, but it’s a dark, rich green.

Sic’ ‘em Bears!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Hitchhiker - Finished!

I finished up my first Hitchhiker this weekend.  I say “first” because I’ll definitely do it again.  This was a fun project, perfect for tired evenings in front of the TV.  I got a total of 39 “teeth” on the edge of my Hitchhiker.  (The original pattern has 42, naturally.)  The finished shape is a narrow triangle, and I think it looks best worn as a scarf.  I love the way the gradient colors worked out and it still reminds me of Fruit Loops!  Here’s a link to my Ravelry page for the project, if you’re interested.

I think this pattern will work well in some stash yarns I have that I know are going to pool (Lorna’s Laces, I’m looking at you) and it should give a completely different look.
I’m going to knit a couple of other things before I jump into another Hitchhiker, but I know I’ll be knitting another one of these soon!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

One Last New Project

I’ve just got one last new project to show you and it’s a pair of socks - Hermione’s Everyday Socks to be exact.  I always like to have a sock project going, and after knitting the never-ending black socks of manliness, I decided to knit a simple, bright colored pair for myself.  The yarn is Socks That Rock Lightweight in a Rare Gems Fire color way.  I’ve used this yarn before in socks and mitts and shawls and I even knit a sweater out of the medium weight, and I can’t begin to tell you how much better it is to knit with than certain other yarns that were used in a pair of recent black socks.  (Clearly, I’m still feeling some resentment towards those socks.  I’m sure it will fade.  Eventually.)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  It’s raining here, but I’d rather have rain and warmer temperatures than what we had at the first of the week!


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Something New

Last year for my birthday, I got the Redbud pattern and yarn pack.  I’ve done some little, stranded color work projects before, socks and mitts and a hat, but never anything this big and never anything with steeks*.  The Dyakcraft Lovers group in Ravelry is having a steeking KAL and there are one or two people who’ve done lots of steeks who will be there to hold our hand when it comes time to cut them, so I decided this was the perfect time to jump in.

At this point, I’m just past the corrugated ribbing and I’ve almost finished the first stripe.  Little Loopy (the sheep in the red shirt) is there for color correction - I read somewhere that if you are having problems with your camera photographing things in the red family that are not true reds, if you add something to the picture that is a true red, your camera will quit monkeying around with the colors and you’ll get a more color accurate picture.  This is the first time I’ve tried it, and it works for me!  Unfortunately, The Loopy Ewe doesn’t carry this yarn (Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift) or the pattern - I don’t want to mislead anyone.

*If you’re wondering what a steek is, stay tuned - I’ll discuss them when I get to them.  Also, my autocorrect seems to want to change steek to steak or steel.  You’d think by now this computer would know how to knit, right?

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I had so much fun knitting my Iron Maiden with my Ombre Mini Skeins, that as soon as I finished it, I cast on for a Hitchhiker in the December yarn.  This is the first yarn in the Mini Skein Club that I’ve gotten that is a Gradient instead of an Ombre and I love it just as much!  It goes from an eggplant purple to a bright orange.  I decided to start with purple because I prefer purple to orange and it seemed to me that it would look like I used more of the first color than the last color, because it would have more of the “teeth.”  I realize that realistically, there should be the same number of stitches for each color, but our eyes play tricks on us sometimes and I think that starting with purple at the narrow end will make it seem like I used it more.  This might or might not work out that way, but for now I’m convinced that it will.

I’m on the fourth color now, a red orange that bridges between the hot pink and the bright orange.  (It doesn’t show up as well in photos as it does in real life, but the last couple inches or so by the needle are knit in the red orange.)  This group of colors is called Crush Gradient or something, but it reminds me of Fruit Loops!  It’s just so happy and fun and perfect for knitting while it’s so cold outside.

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Monday, January 06, 2014

I’m Back!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s holiday!  We had a nice relaxing holiday season here at the Pink Lemon Twist igloo.  We woke up to 3 degrees (F) with windchill this morning, but seeing as that’s 3 degrees above zero, I think we’re in better shape than a lot of the country.  Logan did his business very quickly this morning!  I hope you’re staying warm, wherever you are.
There was a lot of knitting over the last couple of weeks and I finished my Iron Maiden shawl.  I didn’t need to use the extra ball of solid black yarn and I’m really pleased with how the shawl came out.  You can kind of see the sparkles in the yarn at the edge above.  This shawl looked really small before blocking, but once it was all blocked it came out much bigger.
Of course, I know you’re all wanting to see how Logan looks in it.  Doesn’t he just look bored?  Despite the fact that it bored the dog, it was a fun, quick shawl to knit.  Maybe it was the color changes that kept me amused, but this seemed to just fly off the needles - even when I got to the beaded section and slowed down.  This is a simple pattern and would be a good one if you’re trying to learn to read your lace.
All the yarn and pattern details are in this post and here’s the link to my Ravelry project page if you’re curious.

Stay warm and stay safe!

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