new home!

I’ve recently made the move here from blogspot. Pardon the dust while I correct any broken image links on previous posts!

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A quick update on the knitting front while I’m here—my Rogue Latte socks are progressing, and I just might have these done before the month is over. Just in time for the weather to get a little colder. This is being knit with SweetGeorgia Yarns’ Tough Love Sock, which seems nicely sturdy while still being soft on the hands while I work. It looks like I’ll have plenty left over after this pair is finished.

See you all next time!

yarn swift

I finally purchased a yarn swift. Nick’s pretty happy to know that he won’t be asked to sit through holding a hank for me anymore—not that he complained much about it (or has been asked that often to do it either). I feel a little bit more like a legit knitter now.



I'll try not to think about how a dark wood variety of this swift was made available on Knitpicks just days after I received this order. Of course the better looking one would show up after I commit to a product!

current candle i

When I moved to the new apartment, I made an arbitrary policy a few months ago to only buy and burn one candle at a time. The purchase of a new one is often very special to me so I figured it would be nice to share what's burning right now.
This one's by Enlighten, a candle maker based in Arizona. The scent's called Caribbean Teakwood, and I got it for around $25 at my nearest Whole Foods..
I love teas with hints of black tea or sandalwood, so this one's a no-brainer. Nick and I had a laugh about how this scent was coded as a 'masculine' one on their line. Wood, tobacco scents = Men!

I burn my candles nearly every day, so I notice a candle of this size will last me about 3-4 weeks...maybe even less if I really enjoy the scent.
Do you have a favorite candle business? Please let me know!

places : descanso gardens

Another post from my backlog of little adventure photos with Nick. Last spring, we went to the Descanso Gardens during the sakura festival. It wasn't so funny then, but I remember the unexpected rainy weather fondly. It brought us closer together (to stay warm, mostly.)




wip: seahawk nillas, garter squish blanket

Here's what I find are hands-down needs for me as a knitter, at least for right now anyway.
  1. I absolutely need a pair of socks in progress at any given time.
  2. I need a mindless scrap-eating blanket knit going on in the background.
These are two such WIPs I've got going on to preserve the natural and right order of life in this apartment:
This would be a pair of plain stockinette socks made from my first-ever purchased skein of Manos Del Uruguay yarn that I bought a year ago in my new favorite LYS, The Nifty Knitter. It's in Issaquah, WA which is decidedly not local for my Los Angeles-based self but the pleasant, inclusive spirit of that shop is enough for me to hold off on certain purchases until I make the flight/drive up there. I LOVE the place.
The hank of Alegria used was full of surprises. I initially bought it as sort of a joke. In Seattle, I show myself up as an Angeleno in a lot of ways, like calling it The 405 instead of I-405, or sporting the accidental tan that one gets just from working so close to Venice Beach.
My plan was to make a Seahawks cowl or hat or something with this squishy yarn to help camoflauge me a little more effectively while in this city. I liked the concept for this fun little knitting project but wasn't really in love with this yarn at first--it looked cute as a hank but...as a sock or hat? I...dunno.
But then I had it wound into a skein. and then I casted on.

As someone who's a bigger fan of more muted looks, even for things like socks, I might have to eat my mean words about yarns like these. Variegation and stockinette go together here like --this project is gonna be really cute, and when done and worn, I might pass as a Seattleite from 100 or so yards away in them (but not much closer than that).
---
This guy over here is a Garter Squish Blanket in progress, right now being made with a combination of gifted red heart worsted, and some other big-box craft store yarn. It feels really hypocritical to cast on such a thing after reading something like Slow Knitting, but I don't know! They're gifted! I'm filled with knitter's guilt, and they need to be something!
On top of that it just feels good to have something mindless to work on while watching something in the living room. This blanket will probably need to have the crap kicked out of it in a dryer before it's amenable to touch, but I respect and value its role in the WIP rotation. The mindless trash blanket will probably be here to stay.

Do you have any sorts of projects that you need to have in progress? What are they?
I'd like to think I'm not alone in this, let me know in the comments!

wip : stranded show offs ii


I'm about to turn the second heel of these Stranded Show-Off socks in a Zauberball. It's hard to put it down now that I see how lovely these colors look in this pattern. The Regia Hand-Dye Effect really did the pattern an injustice to me. When the yarn's a dream, the whole sock knitting experience is a dream as well.

I also finished Hannah Thissen's Slow Knitting. I like what ideas and values that this book fosters. As a long-time lurker of knitting blogs over the years it was exciting to see the profiles of names I recognised (like Bare Naked Wools, Brooklyn Tweed, Jill Draper Makes Stuff, etc). It was a little difficult reading this book in the format that I did (I'm talking about on a Kindle app, on an Ipad), but it's a recommended read if you're interested in source-conscious, sustainable wool and the mindset of slow knitting.

The book wasn't enough to completely assuage my knitting-related impatience--I look at my stash feeling anxious excitement about seeing what they'll look like knit up. Sometimes I stay up late knitting something just because I want to make some arbitrary knitting 'checkpoint' so it can be further along. The concepts resonated with me, though. After some digestion (and a few completed projects) I might be a Slower Knitter in due time.

What are you reading right now? What are you excited about knitting?

fo : clarke, jacquard ankle socks, rhubarb show-offs

2017 has been a year focused on a lot of other things, like the surprising turn my career took, the first apartment I moved to (with a partner I never thought I would meet and grow with). I lost a lot of good knitting time this year being swept up with a lot of that but still managed to get a few things off the needles.
The problem (?) with taking so long to blog about something you've knit is that it's likely that you've already spent some time incorporating them into your life and putting them into use.

pattern : Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond
yarn : Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone Heather and Garnet Heather
needle : US 6, 7 [4-4.5mm]
size : 40
My Clarke sweater's already a little rough around the edges. I haven't really felt the push to block the garment to make this look as attractive as possible for the blog, I hardly even wove the ends in! As soon as it was bound off I wore it and continued to whenever the weather deemed it appropriate to. It can't be that heretical to admit that, right? I don't block that often at all!
The first pullover I knit was a Jane Richmond pattern. It was such a simple and enjoyable process that I sunk my teeth into the Clarke pattern expecting the same straightforward, highly customisable design. I was not disappointed and might make another sometime in the future. So far the Swish Worsted has been soft and very comfortable--no scratchiness at all. One issue I see is that it pills quite a bit. The pilling makes me wonder whether this batch of skeins I bought from knitpicks would suffer the same unfortunate fulling effect post-wash that I read complaints about on ravelry. It would suck to see such a fate from a sweater I love this much.



pattern : Show-Off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell
yarn : Regia Hand-Dye Effect in Rhubarb
needle : US 1 [2.5mm]
size : medium, 10"
This whole sock project was a nightmare, and it was entirely because of the yarn itself. I had this in the time-out pile since 2014 and didn't pick it back up until 2016. I was determined to finish it. Ignoring the general convention of knitting both socks with the same types of needle to ensure gauge is the same, I just picked some aluminum dpns and sped through the last sock.

With the frustration of the yarn behind me, I can enjoy these gorgeous colors and how the Anne Campbell's pattern has let them shine. To give the pattern a good faith effort once more with less annoying yarn, I casted on once more with a Zauberball skein instead. Anne Campbell kicked ass with this design.

pattern : Improvised (Toe Decreases by Brittney Elbertson)
yarn : Patons Kroy Socks Jacquards in Hip Hop, Regia Hand-Dye Effect in Rhubarb
needle : US 1 [2.5mm]
size : 10"
Another scrap anklet sock! I use a single skein bought on sale in Solvang. I wasn't sure whether it was going to be enough for this single pair but didn't mind too much. Turns out it wasn't the case, so I happily took the chance to use more of the leftover Hand-Dye effect to finish off the single toe. Two more little skeins like these for a few more ankle socks. I'll be even closer to my goal of a fully hand-made sock drawer.
I have three works in progress (not including shop commissions) remaining, and am excited to see those off the needles. I'll try my best to share them in a more timely manner than this!

wip: hue shift, bt beanie

Less talking, more knitting, right? A wip post, at long last.

On the circular needle was (was! finished it recently and haven't taken it off yet!) an improvised beanie using the Brooklyn Tweed loft yarn Nick bought me at Knit Purl..back when we braved unsalted Portland roads last winter for some yarn tourism.
The yarn is lofty and fluffy. The crunchy bits of dry grass between the plies add a touch of..authenticity I guess. I would consider shelling out for a sweater quantity someday, when I think I'm worth it.

I've had the yarn for this Hue Shift Afghan project for almost a year now. It's nice to finally cast-on and see what the fuss was about. This is my first mitred square project and I'm happy to know that I had little reason to feel as intimidated by the method as I was all this time.
My concern currently? Mostly, running out of yarn before I make it all the way through this blanket. A lot of knitters on Ravelry have complained that knitpicks cut it a little too close to the yardage for comfort. I'm doing what I can by avoiding breaking the yarn as much as possible but we'll see.

fo : manta


This has been finished for quite some time, but I hadn't photographed it until very recently--after some attempts to make it a part of my wardrobe this year I decided this belonged to one of my more fashionable friends for Christmas this year.



pattern : Stingray by Evan Plevinski yarn : Lion Brand Heartland in Great Smoky Mountains needle : US 8 [5mm] size : a little too large

I don't really remember what my experience was like knitting it. I didn't encounter any glaring difficulties in the pattern itself, but I did get a little careless at one point and worked to many repeats of a few of the sections. It gave me a larger, prettier fabric but wasn't faithful to the intent of the original design.
While it's not lacework, I'm happy to say that I've made something that I didn't think I would--a shawl. Thankfully this doesn't need the intense sort of blocking a super lacy, feminine shawl would have needed, I probably wouldn't have made it in the first place if that were the case.

I hope the recipient likes this gift! She and I agree on wardrobe color palettes for the most part, and I look forward to how she makes this a part of her already nice wardrobe.

sin city knit shop, las vegas

The second LYS I visited was the Sin City Knit Shop on E. Windmill Ln. From the look of it, this shop has been around for quite some time. I think I recall being told that until Mirage Fiber Arts opened its doors it was the only one in Vegas for a while.

I had the immediate feeling that the people relaxing and knitting were all good friends, and was greeted as if I was a part of that circle too.

I can't tell you how at home I felt here! I said I was looking for some sock yarn, and everyone there sounded off with great suggestions of what was in stock! It may have been for that reason that I wasn't even entirely sure who was the owner of Sin City Knits, it was like everyone was at home, I was a guest, and there happened to be a ton of yarn around.


The atmosphere is too charming here.

I decided to pick up one of Sin City knits' own dyed sock yarns in that lovely blue-green colorway, and a sale skein of Viking Raggen for some Christmas knitting (time-willing). Oh, and some point protectors. They just keep disappearing back home.


Thanks for such an enjoyable visit, Sin City Knit Shop! If anyone's in the area and are looking for workshops, classes, events and the like, or simply a place to knit, chat and find squishy skeins to adopt, the Sin City Knit Shop is a great bet.

wip: scrap socks 2, slide


Second sock syndrome successfully prevented. I think I made a good call on knitting these one-at-a-time. It helps me better focus on each sock's different pattern. It still feels like a bit of a waste to have just one sock being worked on a long circular needle, so, in spite of my renewed fear of snapping another thin needle while on the go...

..so I moved these onto dpns, and...

..casted on my second pair of scrap ankle socks. Scrankle socks. These are made using Brittney Elbertson's Go to Shortie Socks pattern. She originally wrote these for a small diameter circular needle (which is a fantastic idea! Someday.) But I wanted these both knit at once for some semi-identical socks. It feels like the way to make the best look out of a random and usually horrific color scheme you often get with yarn scraps.
It thankfully took only a few minutes to learn how to start cuff-down socks with a magic loop, as the method turned out to be super simple. Definitely an easy addition to any knitter's arsenal of skills.

Brittney's pattern is very well laid out and simple to follow. She took care to make these socks easy to adapt to your favorite sock knitting method. It all is coming out to be a quick and portable knit. I plan to use these (and all of my scrap ankle socks) for exercise. Scrap socks sit in the perfect place on the spectrum between specially hand-knit, but also un-precious enough to absolutely beat up on the daily run.

Brittney Elbertson's blog and Youtube channel are very charming and entertaining, too. Pay her a visit!

Linking this post up with Frontier Dreams' KCCO.

​ mirage fiber arts, las vegas

While on my thanksgiving weekend trip to Las Vegas with Nick, I took advantage again of Ravelry's fantastic LYS finder resource and found two shops to visit.

The first was Mirage Fiber Arts on S. Buffalo drive. The moment I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the ladies knitting on those adorable rocking chairs.

Their full walls suggested a generous and well curated selection of squishy yarns. I spent most of my time there handing skeins of alpaca or mohair to Nick and insisting that he squeeze and appreciate them.

While convincable, I was mostly on the hunt for something more llcaol than the usual staples of Malabrigo or Beocco, and found what I was looking for.

A skein of Nerd Girl Yarns Swagger in "I Ain't Nobody's Bitch", and Ethereal Fibers' Dark Matter Sock, a 70/20/10 Merino/Yak/Nylon yarn, which is unfortunately not the most well catalogued yarn on Ravelry.

I'm learning, however, that the wonderful thing about picking up a yarn without an existing and well-documented record of projects online is that my project will definitely be a nice little surprise to see all knit up. I'm not entirely sure now the Swagger Yarn will turn out, so I'm probably going to let it have its say on a vanilla sock or something. (Or maybe give the Stranded Show-Off pattern another try?)
I'll share my second LYS experience with you very soon! For now, I've got an Ease sweater to finish weaving in and blocking.

wip : gd


GD is 53" wide and about 57" long now! I'm getting so impatient about finishing this blanket that I'm closing up the bottom edge and single crocheting the sides to feel like more 'finishing' is getting done I found a few skeins in an old plastic bag in a closet, so it's not time to bind off just yet.