work in progress

wip : ski bonnet

This ski bonnet is a stash-busting project using up my remaining Ease yarn. Lacey Volk’s striking neon hat caught me, and I wanted to try my hand at making one of my own.

I managed to make it as far as the first section, having loads of fun in the process. The last real cable project I worked on were those Charcoal Angler’s Loop Socks, so this little repeating cabling pattern was exactly what I needed to feel giddy again about the neat things knit fabric can do.

But after finishing that first portion? I got stuck. I was intimidated by the ‘pick up stitches except for 5, evenly distributed’ direction. So I left this project sitting in time-out. I plan to unearth this project this weekend to tackle that silly fear—really, they’re just a hundred or so stitches, what’s the big deal? The math? There’s hardly any!

I’m thinking, if picking up 102 stitches is scary, maybe I shouldn’t have taken on the hue shift, right? I will need to get to the massive border of that blanket eventually. So what’s the deal?

wip - hue shift afghan

And just like that, I’m a quarter of the way through my hue shift afghan project.

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Mitered squares turned out to not be too difficult to work on. I admit that this wip spent a few weeks in time-out here and there because of some absentmindedly picked-up stitches on the wrong side.

Or at one point, a completed mitered square using the wrong color combination. After those speed bumps though? Yes. This can be smooth sailing now.

Many knitters of this particular Knit Picks pattern kit suggested that I break the yarn as few times as possible to compensate for such tight yarn rations. I’m still unsure if I’m doing well on that front, but we’ll see soon enough.

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!

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:

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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).

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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.

wip: hue shift, bt beanie

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

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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.

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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.

how ease-y is too ease-y?

After toiling on my NaKniSweMo project, I figured it was safe to actually try this thing on to see how the project was coming.

My first response seeing myself in a mirror in this thing was 'ugh, I look like a bag of sausages under a knit tarp'. Alright, I don't exactly have stellar self esteem here, but really--how big and comfy is too big and comfy for a sweater?

This is a really really comfortable garment to wear and all, but with these wizard sleeves and the waist-decreases that didn't seem to amount to very much at all on my figure, I'm beginning to think there's more to sweater sizing than, idk, carelessly matching the bust measurement in the pattern and just going for it.

Expecting some positive-ease to my sweater, I thought it was safe to do just that and get enough yarn for the Large size. 45" can work well with my 42" bust, but the waist on this thing is 37" (I'm something like a 32), explaining clearly why my sweater feels like a blanket with sleeves.

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So where can I comfortably sit on the scale between snuggly and actually flattering? I can opt for a noble path of (UGH) unraveling this entire thing and casting on a medium size (39" but..I guess I can mod it)?

Or just finish this project that I'm itching to see done, wear comfortably (even if it's not a thousand percent form-fitting and flattering), and enjoy a size down on my next sweater project?
I'm pretty sure I can pull off a cute oversized-sweater + leggings sort of get-up anyway, but I also have this pressing feeling that the Good-Knitter-And-Someday-Maybe-Designer thing to do is to stop whining and just tink and redo the whole thing. Just to learn some weird important lesson about achieving "perfect results" in knitting, buddhist sand mandala style.

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There's still a tiny bit of time left before my self-imposed deadline arrives. I think we all already know what the answer's gonna be.

wip: nakniswemo2016, slide + knitpicks stash acquisition!

Happy November! I recently made a big yarn purchase from Knitpicks for this special winter month, and now that they've arrived, I can finally show you. But first, a sock WIP update--

The Slide socks by Cookie A are a dream to knit up. I had seen a lot of her designs around ravelry and on various blogs and have wondered why her work has been so popular (besides the gorgeous designs, that is). If this pattern is enough to go by, she's got a way of making simple knitting stitches and conventions into impressive designs, and of explaining them clearly and flawlessly for even an uncertain beginner to comfortably follow along. I might have to queue up those ever-popular Monkey Socks sometime soon.
As for the Zen Garden yarn--it's easily the softest sock yarn I've had the privilege of working with to date, but I think the colorway shifts too aggressively for the purpose of this design. I'll likely keep knitting it, but another go at this project with a softly solid MadelineTosh might be in order in the future.

I'm participating in NaKniSweMo for a second year! This year's choice is Ease, a gorgeous pattern that has been sitting in my queue for a long time. I chose Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Superwash in Mineral Heather, which looks even better in person.
The colors are faaar more accurate in this photo than in the previous.
I'm happy to know that it's not nearly as rough for me as commenters on the Ravelry yarn profile complained. It feels great in my hands, and I expect it to soften up even more after its first post-bind-off soak. Full disclosure, though: I didn't swatch at all for this. We'll see whether I get out of this in one piece or end up cursing all the way back to the yarn winder after frogging an entire sweater. Living on the EDGE.
This lovely but kinda garish set of Brava Sport is another new addition. I bit the bait hard and shelled out the ~whopping (not) $25 for a Rainbow Hue Shift kit from Knitpicks. This is gonna be my first afghan project (well, one that isn't a sausage project anyway).
Suffice it to say I got bitten by the knitting bug this fall/winter and I'm happily letting myself head where the line leads me, even if it means breaking my Big Rule of WIP Monogamy. See you all soon with photos of these projects!

wip: slide & perfect fit short socks

After completing the Garden TAATs, I made it my mission this Socktober to cast-on two projects: an ankle sock scrapbusting project series, and a more involved sock project from my queue.

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I've made it an idle goal for a long time to own only hand made socks a long time ago (with the exception of Muji's adorable recycled yarn ones), but it hurt my soul to go running or working out with precious merino cabled ones. The solution presented itself the moment I took a detailed inventory of my Ravelry stash. Working on these toe-ups with the help of ArtDesign1's pattern, I intend to find a straightforward and fun method that will comfortably fit. I've enjoyed the nostalgia of knitting up yarns from past projects, and am excited to see how they clash together (though my current one looks pretty deliberate in color scheme).

As for the second list item, I went for Slide by Cookie A. Those socks look absolutely gorgeous and will definitely give this product knitter something to chew on and learn some patience. With these cooling(?!) southern California months, I've really been chomping on the bit for more wool and more FOs, so here's to slowing down and taking it one stitch at a time.

This post is part of Ginny Sheller's Yarn-Along. Click on the image above and share what you're working on!

wip : garden TAATS + teamlab

My garden TAAT socks are moving very slowly as usual! I cast on in May on our way to Silicon Valley, with the grand expectation of completion before our return to Los Angeles 4 days later. When there's a lot to see up there, sitting down long enough to knit a pair of socks is too tall an order to complete, no matter how long you're expecting to be in transit.

Lesson learned (and due to be re-learned).

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Now, I'd be thrilled if these socks were finished in time for a brand new Socktober project. As of this moment, I'm past the heel turn and on the cuff, so with a good book and a heat pack for hand soreness, I just might make it.

Speaking of the quick trip to the bay area, here's a tiny sample of what all was photographed there. The experience at the Teamlab exhibit was absolutely magical.

See you next time, and let me know what your plans are for Soctober and NaKniSweMo.

places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilities for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.

Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.

Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

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And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.


Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.

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Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.

Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.

Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).

I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

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The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gifts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.

The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.

I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.

After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

wip: rhubarb + another stash acquisition

GD is a joy to see progress and all, but it's past the point of being really hot and cumbersome now, so I've been gravitating hard toward this nice and portable kindle-friendly sock project.

The Rhubarb socks are slowly growing, I'm pretty sure I'll hit the 75% mark by the end of this coming week. I'm aching to get these off the needles and on my feet already. Metal or plastic needles might help lower the frustration level of this project, but I have this entirely irrational need to finish these socks with the same needles with which they were stared. That way it'll know who's the boss, right?

Oh, and about that new Regia skein! A good knitter friend and I were driving over to a café for some sketching and she reminded me that A Major Knitwork was just a block up from where we were that very second. We just had to check it out. I saw that particular skein in those particular colors, and just needed to see those become a part of my sock drawer. Me and this yarn? We're meant to be. That's all to really say on the matter.

rhubarb socks, take II

This regia hand-dyed sock wip has been in the time-out pile (as its only resident) for over a year and a half. Now that I've finished my last sock project, this might be the time to give this one another chance and see it through to finish. I have some frustration to look forward too with this stupid yarn, but the final result is guaranteed to be absolutely beautiful. So here goes.

wips: lassie and GD + stash addition


The Lass socks are still happening. I thiiink I might not be much of a lace person right now, as I'm a little too nonchalant to make sure the pattern's made as intended. It's just too comforting a think to know that the sock will still be perfectly wearable, even if a yarn-over is off by a couple stitches, or some diamonds don't line up perfectly.

Blanket update! GD's been growing quite a bit! They're at 30cm now (about 12in). I've run out of worsted yarn, so the smaller quantities of fingering weight have been held double for some of the more recent stripes. I've been making a lot of works for shop for the sole purpose of using the leftover yarn in the blanket, so many things are in stock and ready to ship when ordered!

If you have any yarn scraps (anywhere between 1-25m) sitting around your home that you want to get rid of, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d be happy to repay the cost of postage to you as thanks. At the rate I’m knitting regular projects with my tiny stash, this blanket might not be done for another...decade, so I’d love to help take care of your yarn stash too! Acrylics are preferred but I won’t say no to animal fibers or wool-blends. GD’s already a healthy mix of both so I won’t mind at all. Just no cotton please!
Speaking of stash yarn, I went out and bought a pair of skeins for my first shawl pattern. I’ve been thinking a lot about which yarn to use for a shawl I intend to wear often, and while the fine wools at our LYS’s would be a joy to knit, dryer-ability would have to be the key for me. Heartland seemed like the best bet for now. I’m planning to use the Stingray pattern by Evan Plevinski. This pattern's been sitting in my queue for months now and am excited to start on this once Lassie’s finished (let’s just disregard the existence of my Regia Handpainted sock for now…I'm still trying to forgive its frustrating splitty yarn after all this time).
So this concludes my personal knitting update for now. It has really been one hell of a stashbusting month for me. I’ve been piling up some charity knits from the more obnoxious looking yarns people have been donating to me over time, expect a update about those once I’ve successfully eliminated that stash.