Jun 27, 2012

Fuse Cardigan and my Queue

I'm working like a madwoman on Fuse, which is probably not right for the season, but with the Juneuary we've been having, I might be wearing it before October. We shall see. Anyway, I'm working like a madwoman on it because I've promised little niecy that she can have a bright pink sweater. That'll only take a week or two, and then it's on with .................


Yes, I said it.

I don't have time or the mental stability to leave it all until the last minute, so I figure a five-to-six-month period of at least a 50% focus on Christmas knitting is a good use of my time. With any luck, I'll finish it off in September.

First step: Determine what will be knit and spun for December. That's really the hard part. Then I dig through the stash (because I've got lots ... on a yarn diet here) and dedicate it to a pattern. The use of Ziploc bags is encouraged in this process because otherwise one forgets to what one has dedicated yarn ... and then one winds up with a giantish stash that needs to be tamed.

I'll post pictures of Fuse when it's finished. It shan't be long now - the cowl is in progress and I'm decreasing, decreasing, decreasing.

In other news, I've been dying to tell you that I'm getting dye pots. I'll actually be dyeing at home instead of just at workshops! I've got a man-sweater's worth of undyed yarn that wants to be chestnut brown, and I have some other undyed yarn and roving that I'm going to Kool-Aid dye with my favourite 11-year-old crafter.

Here's to a summer of awesomeness!

Jun 19, 2012

New Favourite Online Tool


I made a chart to go with the Manta Pequena pattern. Just took a couple minutes to get the hang of it, and there you go - chart added to the pattern below.


Jun 3, 2012

Manta Pequeña - Small Blanket Pattern

This small blanket is made for a wee tiny baby, and, as the baby grows, may be that special item that gets dragged all over the place. With its smaller size, perhaps it won't be dragged on the ground so much, but perhaps more through air. It's a lightweight blanket perfect for spring/summer. In my opinion, the crazier the colours, the better. This one did some really interesting pooling. It was exciting to knit, to see how things would line up.

You'll Need:
  • 1 skein fingering/sock weight yarn (less than 400 yards). I used Tough Love Sock in the Hummingbird colourway. It gave me a 16x22 inch blankie. If you want a bigger one, use more yarn!
  • 3mm needles, straight or circular, but you're knitting back and forth.
  • Two markers.

The Stitches:

k - knit
p - purl
yo - yarn over - bring the yarn to the front, under the right needle, then over the top of the needle to the back again
k2tog - knit two stitches together
ssk - slip two stitches (one at a time) as if to knit, then slip them back to the left needle and knit them together through the back loop

The Double Circle Pattern:

Row 1: *ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog, k1* ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog
Row 3: *ssk, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog, k1* ssk, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog
Row 5: *ssk, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, k2tog, k1* ssk, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, k2tog
Row 7: *ssk, yo, k7, yo, k2tog, k1* ssk, yo, k7, yo, k2tog
Row 9: repeat row 7
Row 11: repeat row 5
Row 13: repeat row 3
Row 15: repeat row 1
Row 17: repeat row 1
Row 19: repeat row 3
Row 21: repeat row 3
Row 23: repeat row 1


1. In the chart, the bits between the yellow squares are the repeated sections. Do not knit the yellow squares - they're just markers.
2. Read the pattern starting at row one, reading right to left.
3. Start and end each row with 5 knit stitches, both on the right side and the wrong side. 
4. All rows are purled on the wrong side, except for the five knit stitches at either end.

The Pattern:

Cast on 141 stitches using the long tail method for 10 pattern repeats. If you want it wider than 22 inches, add an additional 12 stitches for each repeat.

1. Knit all stitches for 5 rows.
2. Begin the Double Circle Pattern, maintaining a garter stitch edge of 5 stitches at the start and end of each row - place markers to remind yourself that those 5 stitches have to be knit.
3. Repeat the circle pattern 5 times, or more if you're using more than one skein of yarn.
4. Knit all stitches for 5 rows.
5. Bind off.

The Finishing:

Weave in yarn ends.

Block to desired dimensions.

Put it on a baby, not on a clematis.

Manta Pequeña

Manta Pequeña
I finished the blanket. It's 22 inches wide x 16 inches tall, and used less than a skein of sock yarn. It's made for a wee tiny baby and will be a nice weight for summer. I did five of the pattern repeats, with 10 patterns across, bordered by 5 knit stitches on each end, and a single knit stitch between each repeat. I used 3mm needles so it's a bit loosey, but not sloppy. I'll post the pattern separately, and cover off all the usual random news in this one. Pictures to follow with the pattern.

Camping! May long weekend:

Learned to play crib this weekend, and called it cribbage as a rule. Love it. "What's in your cribbage?"

The camp set-up. Lots o' trees.

What's camping without knitting? These socks are coming out way too small, so they'll be a gift for a neighbour. She'll be happy. Normally I wouldn't make a "way too small" type of error, but I wasn't really paying attention to measurements on these ones so they suffered a bit. However, the rule is that with socks that don't fit the intended recipient there is ALWAYS a willing Plan B person.

A trail behind our site. 

A tree with some character.

Looking straight up from my knitting/reading chair.

Salmonberry bushes ... this is really just fun with the macro setting. 

And the wicked remote holder in its final mounted state:

Wicked, right? I love putting the remotes away in it. It serves its purpose well.