Month in Review: October

Ten months down, and only two to go! That thought kind of gives me a headache.

So, this month, lots accomplished this month. One project finished early on that I can’t show you yet (and still need to photograph, now that I think about it).

My Elise shawl.


My Snicket socks.


My Felicity Hat.

And a Baby Surprise Jacket that I will post about very soon. It’s so cute! So much more than meets the eye! No, that will not get old.

I think next month I may knit Nutkin socks. I’m doing some traveling and they would probably be a good on-the-go pattern. PLUS, I’m hoping to bang out at least most of a sweater—I’ve started swatching for Chambourcin, so hopefully that will go well.

I’m not even going to discuss the yarn. Oi.

How was your October? Hopefully your November is excellent!


Days that start with “Y”

There aren’t many days that start with Y. Well, really only “yesterday” and that’s not exactly a fixed point in time, is it, being all relative and whatnot? But for me, yesterday was a “Y” day, instead of boring old Saturday.

Why “y”? Well, first there was Yarn. In the wake of the announcement of Sanguine Gryphon closing their doors to open up two new sets of doors in different locations, I went a little crazy and bought four skeins of their Mithril lace (the same yarn I used to knit my Rock Island shawl) because I LOVE that yarn base. It’s just as fluid as any plant blend lace but sturdy, warm, and well-plied and tightly twisted, unlike most wool laceweights.

There’s Big Bad Wolf…


La Belle Dame Sans Merci…

and Zodiac.

And I also bought a skein of Eidos in Melesias.

Those arrived just as I was about to jump in the shower to get ready to head to Denver for the other “Y” of the day, Ysolda Teague. Having met the owners of Fancy Tiger Craft while teaching a class in Iceland, Ysolda scheduled two days of classes on her current lecture tour at my favorite craft store in Denver. My friend Laura and I both signed up, so we ventured on down to Denver to hear Ysolda’s lessons on knitting the perfect sweater.

There were cookies at each table, which felt perfectly “Ysolda”.

The classroom is downstairs, and I’d never been there before, but it is a great space for taking a crafty class. The walls are lined with shelves that mostly hold sewing supplies, including some beautiful machines, but there are also stuffed tigers on some of the shelves.

And then there was Ysolda herself! Charming and engaging, her talk covered much of the information discussed in Little Red in the City, at least in general terms. The conversations that sprung up and the questions asked were insightful and hopefully really helpful to most of the class. I felt like I knew a good amount of the information—there were no revelatory “Come to Jesus” moments for me, but I was entertained by the discussion.

Laura and I chattered afterward on how we’re much more of the “teach ourselves” variety of learners and that perhaps we should look to classes that are more on a master skill level than broad general topics, but we both loved hearing Ysolda talk and getting to chat with her a bit after the class. She signed both of our copies of Little Red and was simply delightful. Here she is (I kind of Kinneared her) chatting with another student about a section of the book.

This post unwittingly starts off a marathon of posts from me, as tomorrow we’ll have October’s month in review, and then I’ll be attempting to post every day in November as part of National Blog Posting Month. Hopefully you’ll keep visiting me and I won’t completely run out of words somewhere along the way.

Friday Finds

Today is a pretty awesome day. Not only is it the last Friday in October, the last Friday before Halloween, the last Friday before the “holy heck the holidays are around the corner” mania kicks in (unless, of course, it’s already done so for you), and the day before a friend and I attend a class by none other than Ysolda Teague down in Denver, but today is also the anniversary of the Friday Finds! Fifty-two or so weeks of hunting down my favorite new knitting patterns and news and sharing them with all of you. Thanks for sticking around and occasionally contributing to the madness!

  • Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Liesl Cowl ($5) is a chunky cabled cowl with a large braided pattern. Knit flat and then seamed, I have to assume the length is adjustable to make it as long and loopy as you like.

  • Courtenay ($3.50) is a sweet little tam designed in Sweet Georgia’s Superwash Worsted (and you know I love Sweet Georgia). Simple lace and a nice slouch end in delightful crown shaping.

  • That kooky Cat Bordhi with her constant revisions to the concept of sock knitting has recently published an eBook on featuring her Sweet Tomato heel. I have yet to try out this heel construction, but I fell in love with her Victorian Birdcage socks ($6 for the pattern, $20 for the eBook with 8 patterns total). Has anyone tried out this heel construction? What did you think?

  • A few of my favorite designers—Elinor Brown, Kirsten Kapur, and Amy Herzog—teamed up to create The Charles Collection, ten patterns by these amazing designers. Guess what I’ve just added to my Christmas wish list. I think my early favorite is Fenway, because I am a sucker for twisted stitches and “need” more mittens.

  • FO: Felicity Hat

    I have been trying to get photos of this hat for days. Finally I gave up yesterday and took some crappy webcam shots with my new hat, Felicity.

    Felicity is a free pattern and a fast knit, great for gift knitting!

    I knit Felicity mostly as instructed, using size 5 needles for the lower portion, but going up to size 8s for the top. If I knit this again, and the only reason I don’t say that with certainty is because I have a lot of hat patterns in my queue, I would probably use size 6s for the lower portion—the hat is stretchy and fits as is, but just a little bit more ease around my forehead would be perfect. The hat took about 4 hours to knit from start to finish, or roughly two movies, which is how I tell time these days.

    The yarn is Roman Hills, a new yarn company created by a couple friends of mine. The colorway is Frankie (as in Frankenstein), on Gruber, their worsted weight, which clocks a punch at 225 yds. I used just over half a skein to knit this hat, so now I have to figure out what to do with about 100 yds of leftover worsted weight.


    There needed to be at least one decent photo in this bunch.

    As I mentioned yesterday, I’m knitting up a Baby Surprise Jacket and I think I might finish it today, humming “More than meets the eye” the whole way. I only wish I was joking.

    Snow day

    This is what the world looks like where I am right now.

    And there’s no power at my office, so there’s no work. Today will be devoted to working more on this project, a Baby Surprise Jacket. I’ve never knit one of these before, and I’m already a bit entranced by the magic that I can tell is going to happen. It’s like a Transformer! But with less destruction and more yarn.

    FO: Snicket

    I’m feeling really inspired to knit monogamously lately. I think it’s because of Maria of Subway Knits and her “Queue-a-long,” in which participants are encouraged to only knit patterns from their individual queues.

    Snicket has been in my queue for three years now, and was also on the short list for my 12 Pairs of Socks challenge. So bonus accomplishments for me!


    The pattern is really very easy—I memorized it within a few repeats and was able to cart the socks along with me without having to pull out a sheet of paper every so often. I worked all of the twisted stitch cables without a cable needle, and this pattern is really great for practicing cabling without a cable needle—short columns of twisted stitches that are cabled and a little bit of traveling stitch work. I love the look of twisted stitches, the pop they have, how they leap off the purled background just a little bit more.


    The pattern called for a short row heel, and I went along with that, working it in reverse stockinette stitch. Part of me wishes I’d worked a heel flap and carried the twisted stitches down the heel, but not enough to make me dissatisfied with the socks. I also went a bit off script and worked a reverse stockinette sole—that’s right, I purled. A lot. By choice. But with the reverse stockinette background to the twisted stitch pattern, I truly felt that the reverse stockinette soul would feel more cohesive.


    The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in their “Jasper” colorway. Based on the skein, I was expecting a slightly more uniform variation in the tonalities of the color, but I still love the way the yarn knit up. The fabric is squishy and the stitch definition is superb.


    These were a pretty fast knit, coming together in a little more than a week. I’m thinking my sock-knitting mojo may be coming back with the weather; after all, more and more days feel like days for warm knitted items right now.


    Friday Finds

    Here we are, another Friday! I’ve got a pretty clear weekend ahead of me, so I’m hoping to get a good amount of knitting done and maybe finish my Snicket socks—one is finished, and I’m about halfway through the cuff on the second. What are you knitting this weekend?

    • Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter series is one of the best tutorials on knitting for your body type, and now she’s got a detailed tutorial on sewing in sleeve caps. My approach is a little different, but I think her’s is a winner, so if you’re afraid of seaming sleeves, consult her post for guidance!
    • Northern Loop (free) is a quick, bulky cowl. Now is the season that some folks may start thinking about knitting Christmas gifts, and what’s better than a free pattern, big yarn, and some mindless knitting?

    • Octopod alert! My kind of eight-legged friends make an appearance around the crown of the Sea Creature Comforts hat ($3). Stranded colorwork in the round and cephalopods are both awesome.

    • Audrey (C$5.50) by Jane Richmond is a top down garter stitch cardigan with raglan sleeve shaping. Knit in a fingering weight and designed with variegated yarns in mind, this classic cardigan shape is perfect for any wardrobe.

    • Even before the Missoni for Target collection, I became a bit obsessed wth Chevrons on everything. Nadia Severns and the folks at Manos del Uruguay heard my call and published a chevron scarf pattern, Keeping Rosita Warm (free). Five colors of MdU Lace flit in and out for a lovely heathered look.

    • Alexis Winslow’s Georgina Cardigan ($6) is a beautiful cropped cardigan with lace, cables, and ribbing working together for a classic, effortless design. Bonus points if you wear it over a Regency-style dress and do your best impression of Mr. Darcy’s sister.