Posted in Knitting

Will blocking fix this?


My current project is a hot mess. At knitting group this morning, I told my friends that the only reason I’m finishing it is because it’s 100 percent cashmere, and I can’t let that go to waste.

I’m working on Carrie Bostick Hoge’s  Lori Shawl from her wonderful book, Madder: Anthology 2/Simple Pleasures. I saw a sample of the shawl at Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, Washington (if you ever get the chance, GO THERE!), and I knew I had to have it. I’m working on the smaller-gauge version, knit with lace-weight Habu N-86 Pure Cashmere, on size 2 needles, too, which I hate.

But it’s pretty cute, right? It’s a right-angle, garter-stitch triangle, with two-thirds knit in gray and one-third knit in cream. I did the same colors as shown at above, which will fit right into my wardrobe.

The problem is, my version looks nothing like it should, and I have my doubts that blocking can fix it. Here it is in progress:


Yeah. And last night I found two more dropped stitches. It really looks horrible; I’m hoping a good soaking and blocking will help, and that this yarn has a pretty good bloom to help hide some of the problems.

This little knit shawl pattern has been in the works for quite some time, traveling with me in my purse. After a few rows, I had to change needles because the Addis I was using were too slippery. I switched to my Chiaogoo Spin bamboo interchangeables, which were better with this fine yarn. But I didn’t notice until much later that the new needles had loosened up my gauge. You can see in the photo above where I changed needles. One of the sweet ladies at a knitting retreat said I should think of the first few rows as a border. Done!

I’ve been working on this shawl pretty steadily for the last few weeks, and I think I can see my feelings in it. The loose gauge represents down days, thinking about my old job that I miss and pondering my future, and the tighter portions may have been knit while I was watching election results or the news. It’s interesting to actually be able to see my emotions in my knitting.

Two nights ago, I pulled out the shawl and discovered that one of my needles was broken. Argh!!!!!! I must have stepped on my knitting bag or something.

Broken needle.jpg

Huge bummer, and the only other size 2 needles I have are the Addis, which I ordinarily LOVE, just not for this project. But I had to switch back, and my gauge is a bit tighter. I just added the cream yarn, so maybe the tension issue will be hidden in the color change. Or maybe not.

I’m going to finish this sucker and wear it, regardless of the finished look. It’ll definitely be better than it is now, because it couldn’t get much worse, and it will be a reminder of this hard time in my life, and that I came out fine on the other end. Because I will be fine. In fact, I’m enjoying my leisure time and feeling better every day.

I’ll post a photo when it’s done.

Until next time,



Posted in Knitting, Musings

Starting over

Today is my first day as an unemployed person. Last night I kept dreaming that I was late for work; the irony.

I have very mixed feelings about my new status, which I’ve been thinking about and trying to make sense of. I feel a bit at a loss. Who am I now? I’ve been a person with a title for the last 26 years. I’ve had something to type under my signature in emails, bona fides to throw out there to get people to take my calls, an answer to the oft-asked question, “What do you do?”

I know I’m not a lesser person now that I’m unemployed, and I do have freelance jobs lined up, but it still feels so weird! And I already miss my job at Knitting Daily. I loved it so much, and I was really sad to leave. I decided to move on, but only because Interweave pulled everyone into the office in Fort Collins, and I didn’t want to move. I live in Spokane, WA, and I can’t uproot my family. And even though it was my choice, it feels a bit like I was let go, at the very least not fought for or supported. But those are my feelings—no one ever said anything like that to me, and I really love all of the people I worked with. They are quality folks, and I’ll miss them. Everyone says they want to keep in touch, but it really doesn’t happen, which is sad. Although, I’m hoping with Facebook and freelance jobs, I do keep in touch with people!

This November has been HARD, and it’s only the 16th. With my job ending, the election, and the hateful stuff going on in the country, it’s a challenge. Two particularly horrid things happened around here (that I know about, there may be more), in Spokane and Pullman, WA, home of Washington State University, my alma mater. In Spokane, someone spray painted the N-word in huge letters on the side of our Martin Luther King Family Outreach Center, and kids and families saw it. People gathered there quickly to paint over it, which was wonderful, but what a terrible thing to have happen in our community.

In Pullman, someone spray painted (should we ban spray paint??) FAGGOT all over someone’s car. What the??? That’s not so easy, or cheap, to fix, not to mention the emotional damage done. What have we unleashed with this election cycle? There’s so much hate going around, and it seems it’s only getting worse.

I did have a really bright spot this week, though. My friend Sue works at Serial Knitters, a wonderful yarn shop in Kirkland, WA. She sent me a gorgeous skein of Hedgehog Fibers Sock Yarn, in the color Vengeance. Isn’t it pretty?

Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in Vengeance

Sue and I were at a knitting retreat last month, and she showed me some other colors of this yarn, and I just love it. I hadn’t had the chance to see any Hedgehog Fibers before then, and I was so glad to actually touch it! Really beautiful yarn.

I love deep, rich colors, and Vengeance is all of that! I’m not a big fan of sock knitting, though, so I think it’ll be a shawl or maybe a small-gauge beanie. It’s supposed to be cold an snowy here this winter, so I’ll need a good hat.

What do you think I should knit with this? Give me some pattern ideas!

Well, enough for today. I’ll be back soon. Take good care, everyone; these are tough times.

Hugs to you all!


Posted in Knitting

My Zuni Cardigan Knitting Adventure

I’ve been working on my Zuni Cardigan (get the pattern) on and off (mostly off) for almost two years. I vowed to finish it this winter, and I’m well on my way. Here’s what I’ve knit  so far:

I'm on my way with the Zuni Cardigan knitting pattern! Back done and almost one front, too.

That’s the back in its entirety and one almost complete front.

I made a few moderations, of course. I added more length by knitting four extra rows in each section between colorwork stripes, and I went up a needle size on the fronts.

I’m a tight colorwork knitter, so I wanted to go up a needle size (from 4s to 5s) for the stranded stripes on the fronts and sleeves anyway, but I decided that maybe the whole thing could be a little looser, which give me a tiny bit of extra length in the front.

The Zuni Cardigan knitting pattern. The right piece is knitted on 5s and the left on 4s.

Here’s a closeup of what the back and front side-by-side. I think that gauges are close enough, and since I’m doing the same number of rows, I’ll be able to match everything up perfectly.

Normally, I add short-rows in the front of sweaters to make room for the boobs and belly, but I couldn’t do that with this sweater because it would look . . . weird. I’d end up with larger stripes of cream in the front, and I don’t think I’d like that. So hopefully, the larger needles will help. But since I added length throughout, I’m not too worried. And this is meant to be an outer layer, after all.

Yarn used in my Zuni Cardigan knitting patternI’m using Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted in Gold Spice, Charcoal Heather, and Oatmeal Heather, as shown at right.

I rarely use the yarn colors shown in the sample sweater, but this time I just had to! Jesie Ostermiller’s color choices are so right on. I looked and looked at other combos, finally deciding not to reinvent the wheel. These three colors just work.

What’s funny is that I’ve gotten so many compliments on the color combination, with people complimenting me on my ability to choose colors that contrast so well. I can’t take the credit, but I can enjoy the fact that people like the sweater I’m knitting!

I’m working on a bobble row right now, and I know from questions I’ve gotten on Knitting Daily, many people don’t like bobbles! But as it turns out, this is because they don’t know how to knit them. So here’s a quick video showing how these tiny little bobbles are worked.

I hope this helps you, bobble-makers!




Posted in Knitting

Seed-Stitch Elegance: My Multigrain Infinity Scarf Pattern

I got this project when Mimi and I traveled to New York City a couple of years ago. Our guide was all of the knit shops around the city; we toured Manhattan from LYS to LYS, and in a wonderful shop on the Upper West Side, Knitty City, I found a kit for  Multigrain by Antonia Shankland, this beautiful wrap (which I turned into an infinity scarf pattern).


As you can see, I’m pretty pleased with myself. (And I need a haircut.)

This was finished up at a knitting retreat, and the gals I was sitting near convinced me to convert the wrap into an infinity scarf. I’m so glad I did. I used a three needle bind-off to join the ends together, and even though the first row wasn’t live stitches, I poked the knitting needle through each of the stitches easily, so the 3 needle bind-off technique worked just fine. Here’s how it looks wrapped twice:


Wow, that’s a big photo of my face! But cute scarf, right?

Miles of seed stitch, I know. I worked on this on and off for about two years, and although it was tedious at times, the yarn was gorgeous to knit with. It’s a combo of three yarns, Shibui Pebble, Silk Cloud, and Cima, held together alternately to create a beautiful gradient combination.

This silvery-gray is probably my preferred of my favorite colors, dull, drab, and dreary. 🙂