Category Archive for: ‘Non-knitting’

A Very Special FO Friday


You’ve probably figured this out from the month of radio silence…

Ronan1Our baby boy arrived on July 1, four days before his due date! We named him Ronan, a good Irish name like his mom’s and dad’s. He’s absolutely perfect and we’re completely smitten with him.

Ronan2We’re still adjusting to the new schedule, but Ronan and I are doing very well. He is generally very sweet-tempered. He does get grumpy sometimes, like when he’s waiting in the car with Daddy and Mom is taking too long in the post office:

Ronan3He likes to be held most of the time, so figuring out how to get knitting done has been a bit of a challenge. I did have a breakthrough about a week ago when I figured out I could knit with him snuggled up in my Moby wrap:

Ronan4I’d love to show off pictures of him modeling the baby knits I’ve been working on for the last few months, but unfortunately they’re all too big for him! He wasn’t a small baby (about 8 lbs and 20 inches long), so I think I’m going to have to revisit my sizing on those patterns. He’s growing at a rapid rate (he should be, with the amount he eats!), so hopefully it won’t be too long.

I did get a picture of him modeling my knit FO for the week, a baby hat for a friend who had her baby boy just a few days before I did. I think he sensed that this wasn’t for him:

Garter Flap HatHere are the specs on the FO:

Pattern: Garter Earflap Hat from Purl Soho (Ravelry link).

Yarn: Plymouth Superwash Worsted. I’ve had this yarn sitting in my stash for years and finally found something to do with it. It’s soft and squishy, very reminiscent of Cascade 220 Superwash.

Notes: This was a quick, fun, easy knit! Highly recommended. And the little tassel and earflaps, which are a little hard to see in the modeled photo of my wiggly son, are so cute:

Garter Earflap flatMore baby photos to come!

Day 5, Something Different: 4KCBWDAY5


knitting and crochet blog week bannerFor today’s prompt (something different from your usual style of blogging), I decided to show you some of the non-yarny pictures I’ve taken that live in my inspiration file. Time will tell if any of these elements ever make it into one of my designs!

(Some of these photos were taken on trips–see if you can spot scenes from Venice, Florence, and San Francisco! Er… but no points for Venice. That one’s easy.)




_MG_8926 DSC00463

_MG_8852 DSC00533 IMG_0964 IMG_0987 IMG_1069


Easter and Gray Sweater Update


Hope everyone out there had a happy Easter! (Or a happy Sunday, if you don’t celebrate.) My husband and I like to exchange little Easter baskets. This year, I left my shopping until the last minute–and to my horror, the store was out of Easter grass! So I improvised with a skein of truly horrific Day-Glo acrylic:

Wrapping the yarn before cutting...

Wrapping the yarn before cutting…

filling the basket

Filling the basket… Esme’s trying to distract me by being adorable, but it’s not working…

easter grass in basket


My husband was properly appreciative of my ingenuity.

I was hoping to have pictures of the gray sweater for you today, since it’s all done and blocked, but our impromptu photo shoot this weekend didn’t go so well. I wanted to take pictures of the sweater in the library of our new house, since that works with the sweater’s cozy feel. It turns out our library is just too dark for good photos, though, even with every light we have in the house.

Ah well. We’re scouting out potential locations for an outdoor shoot this week.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of this going on behind the scenes:

excel pattern writingI’ve finally switched entirely over to using Excel for pattern writing. I used to do everything by hand, but I recently took Faina Goberstein’s excellent Craftsy class on pattern writing, and I’m a total Excel convert now. It saves me so much time!

WIP Wednesday: Sweater-in-progress and Owl Puff


(This is fourth in my series of design process posts. Earlier posts are here: Part Three, Part Two, Part One.)

The sweater design is still rolling along! I just started the bottom ribbing on size US #3 needles, ugh. But I should be done with the body later tonight.

New sweater design WIP

Last weekend, I was working merrily along on the neck increases below the sleeve split when I realized I’d made a pretty serious math error when I set the whole thing up. This is, unfortunately, as much a part of my design process as sketching or swatching. (That’s what I get for trying to crunch numbers while watching Supernatural episodes.)

So I had two choices at that point–rip out the entire yoke of the sweater, back to the point when I started the neck decreases–about an inch from the cast on–or rearrange the numbers so they worked with what I’d already done.

Guess which one I picked?

Turns out I like this neckline shape better anyway, though. I’m calling it a fortuitous accident. :-)

I also cast on a little mini-project yesterday:

owl puff WIPIt’s an in-progress Owl Puff (Ravelry link)! A friend of mine has helped me tremendously with the fiction-writing side of my life and loves owls, so she’s getting a little surprise in the mail as soon as I can get to the craft store to buy some felt and safety eyes.

And along those lines: I signed with a literary agent for my fiction yesterday! It means I’m that much closer to my goal of writing for a living. So it’s been a very good week all around. :-)


Happy Valentine’s Day – and Coupon Code!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

yarny valentine

My awesome husband gave me a box of chocolate truffles and these wonderfully geeky coasters from my favorite TV show. Obviously you can see why I married him.

stargate coastersIn other news, the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry is celebrating Malabrigo March next month, which is a celebration of this colorful, yummy yarn (which happens to be one of my favorites!).

In honor of Mal March, I’m offering a Ravelry coupon code good for 20% off any of my self-published patterns. Enter the code MM2013 during checkout (either from this website or through Ravelry) to get the discount through March 15th.

Wishing you and yours a great Valentine’s Day filled with fiber!

New Pattern Release: Full Circle Cardigan


Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve posted! I do have a pretty good excuse, though. Besides the fact that my current knitting projects are two secret yarn company designs that I can’t show you, no matter how much I wish I could, there’s also this:

HouseAs of last week, the hubs and I are the proud owners of this house! We’ve been busy running around getting things ready to move in. I’m going to have a great workspace for my knit designs and plenty of yarn storage space. It’s pretty dang exciting.

But somewhere in the middle of all that, I managed to wrap up test knitting on my newest sweater design and get it published. So here, without further ado, is Full Circle:

Full Circle big

Modeled by my lovely friend Cheryl

FC Back

I finished the knitting on this sweater back in the summer (gulp! Can’t believe it’s been that long!), but I couldn’t show it as an FO because I sent it in for an online magazine’s call for submissions. When I got the word they weren’t going to use it, I started the process of self-publishing the design. And now I get to show it off!

The specs:

Pattern: My own Full Circle Cardigan pattern. I wanted a long, cozy cardigan when I moved back to the Midwest, so I decided to design one. I threw in the fun bubbly cables because, well, I like cables.

Yarn: Araucania Toconao, purchased from Little Knits when they were having their ridiculous full-bag sale ($35 for ten skeins!). I loved working with this yarn–it’s squishy and reminiscent of my beloved Tosh Vintage.

The only thing that bothered me, actually, was the obvious inaccuracy of the yardage given on the yarn label. I used about 6.5 skeins for the whole sweater, including two extensive swatches. If I use the 139 yds/skein given on the label, this was about 900 yds. I can’t knit a regular-length, all-stockinette sweater with 900 yds of Aran weight, so I knew that was waaaay off.

With some help from the Little Knits Ravelry group, I figured out that their skeins are regularly in the 160-170 yd range, which made much more sense, so I put a note in the pattern to this effect. I guess it’s better to get more yarn than advertised rather than less… but it’s still rather annoying.

Notes: I think my favorite part of this design is the teeny sleeve cables. They make me happy. :-)

Sleeve detail




Rhinebeck 2012 in Pictures


Rhinebeck was AWESOME. Completely amazing. I’ll be going again next year for sure!

Warning: very photo-heavy post ahead.


Barn of amazing vendors

Ravelry meetup

A shot of a small number of the people at the Ravelry meetup (it was huge!)

Mr. T the sheep

Mr. T the sheep

Rhinebeck dream sweater back

New sweater in action

Rhinebeck designers

Me with two lovely designers: Becky of Sugar Tree and Danielle of Makewise Designs

angora bunnies

Angora bunnies!

maple cotton candy

Delicious maple cotton candy next to undyed roving. Can you tell which is which?

Gavin face

Hubby clowning around in the sweater I knit him last year–we got so many compliments! Of course, it helps that he's adorable.

knitting in line

Knitting in the (very long) line for lunch


Another barn full of amazing vendors

Rhinebeck Chandail

(Pardon the lens flare) A sighting of Chandail in the wild!!! I was so excited! This lovely lady is Amy, who sought me out at the meetup! :-D

I spotted another Chandail just walking around, which made me stop in my tracks and squeal to my husband like a little girl. And I had several people tell me they had been following the progress of my new sweater on Ravelry and were excited to see it in person! I passed out loads of business cards and (of course) bought some delicious yarn.

More on that in a few days :-)

Mini Moo Business Cards!


I’ve been meaning to order business cards for a while, and when I saw was having a 30% off sale a few weeks ago, I jumped on it.

Here are my adorable new Mini Moo business cards:

business cards - Mini Moos

business cards front and back

They are SO CUTE. Seriously. Here’s a pic with my hand, for scale:

card with hand

Now I have cards to give out at fiber fests, yarn stores, or when I meet fibery people!

An Explanation for my Absence


Hi out there! Sorry it’s been so long, but I have a good excuse. After much deliberation over these past few weeks, the husband and I decided to move to Indiana! At the end of this month, we’ll be putting our belongings and our cats in the car and driving cross-country to set up our new life there. We’ll be very close to my family, which is awesome.

Of course, this decision necessitated a huge flurry of preparations. We’re selling most of our furniture, so we’ve been juggling Craigslist postings, cleaning, decluttering, organizing….

Well, I say “we”, but I really mean my husband. I’ve mostly been sitting in my chair, knitting frantically on the first of the two commissioned designs I have to finish before we leave. Any lesser man would be a whiny mess, but my husband has been unbelievably understanding and amazing about this.

So this means you’re not going to be seeing much blog posting from me in the next few weeks. But I miss blogging! About mid-July, when we’re settled in, I’m going to get back into a regular routine. So hopefully I’ll see you then :-)

Review: Kirby’s Epic Yarn


I got the yarn for one of my commissioned designs and have been knitting as fast as my fingers will go… but of course, I can’t show any of that here.

So instead, I’m going to talk about something only tangentially-yarn related: Kirby’s Epic Yarn!

Kirby's Epic Yarn box


I got this Wii game as a gift a few weeks ago (my brother’s comment as it was gifted: “How do you not have this game already?”). I played a few Kirby games when I was younger, but this one isn’t much like those at all. Instead of being able to inhale his enemies and take on their traits, Kirby is made of… wait for it… yarn. So he can transform into other shapes by himself instead.

Our Hero
Our hero.

The whole world of the game is a smorgasbord of crafty materials: fabric, yarn, buttons, beads. There are patches to pull off the walls, zippers to unzip, fabric to fold, and things to sew together.

Kirby bear stage

The main villain knits his minions using a pair of very angry-looking knitting needles and wears a sock around his neck:

Yin YarnNow, my favorite games of the past few years are the LEGO Harry Potter and Star Wars games–so I’m not exactly a hardcore, Call of Duty-type gamer. But I have to say, I was a little disappointed in this game. Once I got over the novelty of everything being made of yarn and fabric, the gameplay didn’t do much to hold my attention. It’s easy. Like, really, really easy. I’m playing in two-player mode with my hubby, and we both agree that the game was probably aimed more at the 7-12 year old set.The cutscenes are narrated by a guy who sounds like a kindly old uncle telling a story to his toddler and feature lots of highbrow lines like this:

kirby cutscene

So… yeah. It’s not a bad game, especially for those more interested in the fibery aspects than the gameplay. The design is pretty awesome, at times even inspired. And I have a high whimsy threshold, which means I’ll probably keep playing the game to the end.

Have you tried Kirby’s Epic Yarn? What did you think?

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