Reveal

Yesterday was the white elephant swap at Gothee House. I had been working on my contribution up until we left the house to go to the party. I didn’t snap any pictures before wrapping them, so I had to wait anxiously for them to be opened in order to capture a photograph.

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The Nyan Cat scarf was the first to be opened.  It was much sought after throughout the game, which made me feel really good.  I had been worried that I had picked a meme that was funny and would be appreciated, but no one would actually want to wear it.  The people who tried to claim it surprised me a little – definitely not the individuals I would have pegged for wanting a bright rainbow scarf.

The other item didn’t get opened until the very end of the game, when we were opening the extra gifts for the final swap (to make sure everyone left with something they liked).  Ellette laid claim over the item.

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We call it the Gothicorn.

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It is made from Cascade Magnum, a ridiculously lush and chunky yarn in a beautiful blue.  The horn is made from a pale yellow in Ella Rae classic, and the mane is a bunch of odds and ends I threw together to make the unicorn more goth (the theme for the party was “gothic elf”, which we embraced with abandon).

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The hat is the Unicorn Hat, and my fifth or sixth one made.  I adore the design.  Ellette wore the hat for the remainder of the evening, and left the house this morning with it firmly on her head.

I have had to slow down on my knitting even more, and crochet is out of the question as it sends a strange numbing sensation up my arm.  I’ve kind of said “screw it” to trying to make anything in time for the holidays.  Now I’m racking my brains for other gift ideas and my knitting has gone to a slower paced – what-do-I-actually-want-to-make format.  What has happened thusly is that all of the designs I’ve been sketching, charting, writing, and desiring are being realized (one is even with test-knitters now).

Oops! My Apologies!

Well, it happens.  And as a fledgling designer, I have to shrug and accept it, change the mistake, and move on.

An error was found in the Little Witch’s Cap pattern.  I have since corrected it, revamped the layout, and updated the download link.

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It’s a lot of work to go through my sales history and find out who has purchased the pattern since it was released, so let me know if you need the updated pattern!

It’s one of those things you have to take in stride.  Errors happen, and I am no math whiz, so they are bound to happen for me.  This pattern was released before I discovered the awesomeness of test knitters.  I am slowly working through my old patterns and having them refreshed and tested to make sure errors are fixed if they exist.  I do appreciate all of the kindness and patience from my peers.  Mistakes happen, that’s embarrassing enough for me, so telling me gently instead of getting upset (while I know having to stop in the middle of a project because Row 25 doesn’t make sense is frustrating!) is wonderful.  I promise to fix it as quickly as possible.

By the way, it’s available for download from this blog (go to the “patterns” page), Ravelry, and Etsy.  And remember, now through Halloween, my “costume” patterns are a whopping 25% off! No coupon needed.

Also, show me your Halloween costumes in my Rav Group!

Tonight kicks off the start of my Halloween celebrations! I will try to upload photos of my costumes when I get a chance. I was up past midnight last night working on the one for tonight’s Blues dancing bash!

How to Not Knit a Hat

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter F and the number 2.

F is the 6th letter in the English alphabet (I actually had to use my fingers to figure that one out). 

F is for Flounder, Flop, Flunk, Fail, and a really bad word not suitable for children’s ears that I seem to have been saying a lot in the past 24 hours.

The number 2 is a rather elusive prime number that I CANNOT COUNT TO!!  WHO CAN’T COUNT TO TWO?  1…..2…. See? Done.

Except when you start knitting a hat and the pattern says “Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until piece measures 5 inches” and I diligently repeat only round 2 for 5 slogging inches.

Considering how the past couple weeks have been going, blow after blow to the point where I’m super bummed, exhausted, and scatterbrained, I thought a hat would be simple enough.  I picked out Windschief by Stephen West – what I thought would be a simple, masculine hat fit for a holiday gift.  My first cast on was a failed attempt.  It was too tight, and I knit 3 inches, held it up and said to the ladies at knit night – “This is way to small for a man’s head” which they all agreed to, and proceeded to frog it.  I cast on the medium size and went up a needle size, worked for 5 inches, wondering if maybe it was a little too wide now (people assured me it wasn’t), and why it had this weird curve to the brim, until I got the point of decreasing for the crown.   I referred back to the pattern and saw my mistake. I wasn’t counting right.

I think I nearly cried.  I’m so out of it, I can’t even count to two.

Tonight will be brought to you by the letter W for Whiskey and the number who-gives-a-crap-I-can’t-count-to-it-anyway.

This is Not a Sweater

I reached the hood of the sweater, for those of you who are wondering after my progress.  Although, I may just be deluded in thinking that there are people who seek no more fulfillment to their day than wondering what my current stitch count is, have the buttons arrived yet (they haven’t), and whether or not I’m going to finish on time.  Deluded.

I seem to have entered a fiber vortex again – worse than the body portion of the sweater.  The hood is knit back and forth, and every row adds 2 stitches.  So every row takes a little bit longer to finish.  It has taken me days to suck it up and plow through the monotony, but I am still 7 rows away from hood completion.  I then have the two fronts to knit – and I am still waiting on errata, but I think I may have to wing it on shoulder shaping in the end.

To protect my sanity, my temper, and the happiness of those who live with me, I started a new project.  This is the balaclava that I am knitting for the White Elephant.  I love it so far, although if I decide to reknit and produce a pattern, I am going to make a few big changes to the design.

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Madeline Tosh Worsted on size 10.5 needles.  I don’t know the colorway offhand, but I adore it.  It has very subtle browns mixed in here and there that really add dimension to the overall effect.  The cables are nice and chunky, but not overpowering.

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I am about 3/4 of the way through it, and I think I will be sad to see it completed.  It is fantastic mindless, transportable knitting that I can work on anywhere because it doesn’t matter who sees it.  Unlike that cape that is looming over me right now, making me wonder how I am going to finish it and get enough sleep in the month of December, because I can’t work on it when Ellette is around – and I swear, that curious 7-year-old will be around every waking moment.

Some Days

Some days, I need a break.  I’ve been looking at my knitting and I have the immensely frustrating realization that – I HATE EVERYTHING!  I do not like anything I am knitting at the moment.

Leif?  Yeah – It’s too short.  It hits the widest part of my hips, it doesn’t pull in enough at my waist, and I don’t know how to fix it.  It’s in time out.

I started a commission – a lego-man ski mask.  I thought this would be pretty easy, and last night I got to the point where I could try it on and see how it looks.  I think it is hideous.

I started them about eight times so far.  I realized the skein was only 100 yards instead of the 200, and that I had gotten so fumigated by the soft, lofty warmth of the yarn that I didn’t stop to realize it wasn’t superwash.  It is an absolute joy last night, but I sort of had a panic attack at knit night last night – would I have enough yarn?  What could I do to prevent felting?  How do I modify the pattern to make the most out of the yarn?  I opted on an afterthought heel in a contrasting yarn that won’t felt, and continuing that motif with the toes.  I think that is my best option, because this yarn is really nice, and the recipient is going to love it, and it’s so very expensive.

As of this moment, I’m just past halfway done with the first sock, and hopefully it won’t take long to get through the second since I know what my gauge is and what modifications need to be made.

Then comes several insane projects simultaneously – a cape for Ellette (just wait until you see it!!), a sweater for myself for NaKniSweMo, another pair of socks, a cute scarf, and a balaklava.  All by December…

I can do it, so long as I don’t end up hating everything when I’m done.

A Circus and Yarn

This past weekend was the Circus in Progress show.  I don’t have any pictures of it since I was in the green room most of the time, but as soon as pictures are made available I will share.  Being in the green room meant that most of the time, I was knitting (when I wasn’t stretching).  Call was one hour before house opened, and our act was in the middle of the show.  After the first show, we were given food and rested before the second show.  This meant I had hours of knitting time.  I knit up the fronts of the Leif pullover.

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And got through most of the back by Sunday evening.  Now, I have to finish the last inch and work on the hood.  I’m so excited to have it almost done.  I just want to wear it already!

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I was not alone, however.  My instructor – Jill – was also knitting when she wasn’t working.  This is us at the tech rehearsal on Friday.  It was awfully dark, but both of us were working away on our projects.  She was working on a beautiful fair isle sweater in super soft alpaca (rusty orange and mossy green).

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I was working on a rather interesting commission – a Lego head ski mask.  Unfortunately, I could not find the right color yellow, except for the Red Heart acrylic.  It doesn’t feel too icky, so I hope it will be alright.  I will share my notes when it is complete.

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My body is still recuperating from the trapeze beating.  I just want to lay down and sleep and knit and not think about anything.  Our house is a mess, and I just realized I mis-counted how many Farmer’s Markets I have left.  I have two more, not one more.  This elicited a hefty groan from me as soon as I realized my error.  I’m not done yet.

On The Deviousness of Lace

There is a baby in the future.  Not mine, no – but a very close friend of mine is having a girl who will become my god child (I’m ridiculously excited about this).  I want to do the baby and the mama justice by knitting a blanket fill with warmth and hope and as much magic as I can possible invest in it.

I found this really beautiful doily pattern that I thought I could enlarge for a lovely swaddling blanket.  There is a small amount of lace in the middle that extends into this fun lace edging.  The color is “Fairytale” from Knit Picks in Comfy Worsted.  I’m using US size 6 needles.

My predicament:

I reached the end of the body as written in the pattern, and decided the body wasn’t nearly big enough to wrap around the baby, so I needed to continue knitting.  Doubling the pattern entirely would produce a blanket much too large (and I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn or time for that) so I counted the beginning number of stitches for the lace pattern and increased to a multiple of that number (11, for anyone who is interested).  The problem lies in the fact that, while the first lace pattern is a mulptiple of 11, it ends in a multiple of 10 and the second lace pattern is a multiple of 30.  I didn’t realize this until I nearly finished the first round of the second lace pattern (because there are no charts, just written instructions) and couldn’t finish.  That meant I had to tink back 320 stitches so I could think about my next move.

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There is no way I am ripping out the last twelve rows and knitting to double the pattern size so the numbers will match up.  The baby is due on October 27th, and I need time to block, weave in ends, and get to the expectant family.  So, now I have to devise some sort of lace pattern that fits in with the traingle motif that is already there and that adds about three or four inches.  I am looking at it, thinking the inverted traingles could easily become leaves with a feather and fan motif to separate and add a neat ruffled edge.  Or, I can combine two triangles with a descrease to create a large heart motif with diamonds between them.  I have to remember that I am knitting a flat circle, and that means increases need to be placed in strategic places to continue the “lying flat”-ness I require.  Or create some sort of crazy ruffle.   I haven’t qutie decided which.  Thoughts?

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In the meantime, I almost sold out of pumpkin hats last weekend, which means that the majority of my knitting this week will be making more.

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