Not knitting very much right now

A week or so ago, I finished knitting a heart dishcloth for my mom. It only took me a couple of days, and I really enjoyed it. It is such a cute pattern! Pattern link

I am about 3 rows away from finishing the first page of chart 1 for the dragon-phoenix scarf (Born of Fire MKAL). I really want to get to the face part that is on page 2.

The charts are like this:

Part 1, charts 1-3: the phoenix

Part 2, charts 1-2: the rest of the phoenix and start of phoenix fire

Part 3, charts 1-3: transition from phoenix fire to dragon fire, and change  from phoenix main color to dragon main color

Part 4, charts 1-3: the dragon

It’s still exciting to think about it!


Double knitting in a MKAL

One of my goals for the year is keeping up fully with a knitalong. I joined the Born of Fire KAL on Ravelry. I started off okay, but my participation fell off some when it took me a while to get the gist of it.

Not that it was difficult; I just had moments when I realized I was knitting the front side rows from the wrong direction. And had to frog certain rows and do them over.

Also, since it’s double knitting, there were some instances where I would frog down to correct a problem, but the yarns were twisted around each other. That’s not something you can really fix without frogging down to it. It’s so pretty, and there’s so much more knitting I have to do, that I can live with those errors.


Here’s the other side:


I have 18 rows left of chart 1 of 1. There’s about 18 charts, I guess.

I am also still working on the rainbow socks for myself. I finished the heels and a little bit of the leg. I tried the fish lips kiss heel for the first time and they fit my feet so well it’s a little scary. I wouldn’t mind them being a smidgen less tight.

The yarn is like laceweight level, so I am having to increase about 16-20 stitches for it to fit me at the bottom of my calves, and then once I get them wide enough I will start about 2 inches of knitting to finish them off. I love them, but honestly, I wish I was using thicker yarn.

That said, it’s been an educational experience on making smaller gauge items, and I appreciate Melissa helping me out with those. I will probably be doubling up “fingering weight” yarns to make myself more pairs.


Crafting goals for the coming new year

  1. Full participation in a knitalong.
  2. Finish Juliet sweater.
  3. Make more socks for me. Finishing my first pair of small gauge socks for myself. Had to get them checked by my friend Melissa to make sure they were still on point and I didn’t have to frog. Still good! Maybe I’ll be able to start the heel before Jan. 1.
  4. Start the master knitter program. Big dreams, long process. Probably after the summer.
  5. Start another sweater. Either the Viking fair isle one, out of Cascade, or a top down one. Bottom  up is not my thing.

Sock knitting revisited



The whole reason I started knitting for myself was because I wanted the finished project, not because I liked knitting. I knew going in that there weren’t going to be a whole lot of things I would make myself because they took longer than three days (my threshold for making crochet projects).

I have accepted that things I want to make aren’t necessarily going to be warm (shawls). I have accepted that the majority of the sweaters I fell in love with on Ravelry will have to be admired from afar, because I prefer faster knits where great fit is not required. And that I may only have two handknit sweaters in me over my lifetime.

One idea that took a lot longer to die, though, is that all socks, regardless of yarn weight or foot size, should be knit on size 3 needles or larger. (My knitting friends have been laughing their heads off for quite a few years about that one.)

I made myself some socks on 2’s and 3’s, and while they met my “good enough’ standards, I want the ones I make from now on to fit me well and last longer. So I sucked up the unfairness of it all and asked my friend Melissa to show me how she knits socks.

She pays attention to her knitting, pattern instructions, and things like details. She knits socks that fit, and her sock fabrics tend to be closer knit than mine, because hello, she uses size 0 needles or whatever’s called for, versus, say, size 3s.

After she stopped laughing, she showed me how she starts the toe ups and looked at the toes I had started already. The ones on size 1s or 2s were too loose (dammit. I’m a loose knitter, apparently.) So I started another pair on size 00s. She thought the fabric on those came out much better.

Since that afternoon, I did my usual 2 or 3 restarts, and I have about an inch and a half of dense sock toes to my credit. I’m up to 60 stitches and hope that will be enough for my narrow feet without being too many.

I don’t usually mind the 00s knitting, but every now and then I’ll have my “irritated knitting” fit and have to put them down for a while.

I’m not sure where the irritation comes in. Maybe it’s how I feel like I’m knitting a section more tightly than the others and it drags across the needle in a weird way. Or worry that I have too many or not enough stitches, and I won’t know for sure until I have enough foot to try them on.

Anyway, here’s what they look like right now.


So far, so good. I think it’s a good use of the JL Vinca yarn. I tried knitting this yarn as a couple of other projects, but they didn’t feel like a good fit for the yarn, so I frogged them all and put it back in the stash.

Worked on the shawl some more, poncho design in test knits

Came in here to add on that I wasn’t going to fix an error I’d made in it earlier, and decided to just do another post while I was at it.

I came across this gorgeous poncho on the Testing Pool forum on Ravelry. That is a prolific kind of place; it seems like 20 or more new designs a day pop up in there for people to test, usually for free, with restrictions on yarn used and a time limit to finish the pattern.

I am not a great test knitter, and I have to constantly quit trying to be one. My ego keeps telling me “You can do eeettt!!!” Experience tells me, “Would you freaking stoooooopppp lying to yourself and designers before I do a Lady Mary and commence to ‘slapping you about the head and face?'” (Experience has a point there.)

I now tend to just tell people to earburn me when the pattern is ready. That way I can plug it elsewhere on Ravelry, and maybe in here. Over the past couple of weeks I requested a lot of earburns on sweater test knits so that I can post links to them in the sweater inspiration group I started on Ravelry.

The poncho thread is “Open – Knit: Girl’s Best Friend Poncho,” and the designer has just started looking for test knitters.

I love it! It’s like a lace mesh diamond design with garter stitch neckline and borders. It may even work with some of my worsted weight stash. I’ll keep an eye on it.

Pictures of the Japanese Garden Shawl and Juliet sweater

Japanese Garden Shawl

Original yarn picture from

Feb. 21, 2015

March 22, 2015

May 10, 2015

May 16, 2015

I hope that’s what the center spine (on the right) is supposed to look like.

When I was taking the picture, I noticed an error where I purled instead of knitted. I’m not sure I want to go back and correct it.

When you drop a stitch with this yarn it tends to run itself down the row like a stocking if you don’t put something in there to stop it. There’s also a mix of K2tog stitches in there I’d have to keep track of. I’m going to put it in time out while I think about it some more. (Later: Nope, didn’t put it in time out. Not going to correct it. Just kept going.)

Here’s the back. Knitting the wrong side is like an eight-stitch repeat from purl stitch to purl stitch. It took a few rows before I caught on that it’s seven stitches then a purl across the back. I occasionally have to catch myself and go back a few stitches.

Juliet sweater, front, bottom up

Feb. 9, 2015

May 10, 2015

May 16, 2015

About 25 more rows to go until I start the bust increases.

Working on the heel

For a pair of toe ups. Using Wendy Knits toe-up slip stitch heels for high instep. (LOL if I heard the person use some other term and got it mixed up with “high instep.” I’m hoping that if they fit me, they will fit her okay, but won’t know until I’ve turned it and done a little more work.)

* * *


Changed the plans and went with Blossom Knits’ video tutorial. Had to frog it back down some because it was a little too long, but I like how it looks like a more traditional heel flap.

Cold sheep goal status:

  • STARTED – knit the Japanese shawl by Wendyknits.
  • STARTED – design sweater for that yarn using Custom Knits and the Shirley Paden book, and the Top Down Knitting book.
  • knit one of the mitten patterns I bought.
  • only buy more yarn if needed to finish a pattern or supplement other 400-yard yarn in stash.
  • purchase one sweater-quantity of yarn this year for a personal top down challenge
  • STARTED but frogged – knit the Brandywine shawl.