Gold Clutch

Here is a pretty little thing I finished up while in the airport on the way to Las Vegas.  It was made for my best friend out of the skein of Tilli Tomas Rockstar I got from Mom for my birthday (oooh, shiny). It was also my first sewing project in a long, long time (as in, I haven’t done more than hem anything by hand since seventh grade). But I think it turned out quite well, considering, and although it wasn’t quite big enough for all the things the recipient wanted to carry around that night, it fit my camera, my id, and my lip gloss, so that I could go and see Eddie Izzard in style.

About a third of a skein of Tilli Tomas Rockstar


public knitting

I admit it: I’m one of those knitters who just can’t keep my needles in my bag. I knit at work over my lunch break. I knit in the gym while I’m waiting for kickboxing to start. I knit on the sidewalk after the gym while I’m waiting for my ride, which makes me look like some strange purveyor of knitted goods. There I stand, in my long pink raincoat and my bright sweaty gym clothes, all “Hey, baby, need a scarf?” Not that I would give away most of the things that I knit to strangers outside the gym, though I do give away a lot of things. But I can’t say it’s not flattering when someone passes by and says, “You should make me one of those.” I am, after all, more than a little bit of a showoff, plus it keeps my busy hands from making mischief. wavy scarf

Lately I’ve been working on a couple of scarves, both from Knitty: the Wavy Scarf in Tonalita’s Trendsetter (just look at that pretty colorway) and the reversible cable Elbac in some possibly discontinued stuff that Mom gave me, because who doesn’t love reversible cables? The pretty weather has me itching to knit summer things, but then as soon as I think about it, it gets cold again. Besides, that involves buying more yarn than I have the expendable income for right now, and all of the summer things I want to knit are so terribly fitted. I just want something to occupy my hands for now. They’ve both been adventures, though. I ran out of the Trendsetter for the Wavy Scarf, because I’d only bought one skein (40% off!) at my LYS, to try it out, and that was the last one that would coordinate at all. Fortunately, I went to New York City last week, and so I did a little research in advance on the many yarn shops there. The charming Knitty City came through for me.

The Elbac I started in a combination of yarns, some nice fat maroon wool that I bought and a hank of pale pink Brushed Suri. I was trying out some eights, but the fabric was just too stiff and busy, so I ditched the Suri and started over, then went up to tens and started over again. Still not drapy enough, so I switched to what I think is a Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. This meant I had to trade my lovely cranberry wool away to Mom, but at least the Elbac is now exactly the way I want it, and I’ve got ten and a half repeats done. Sometimes it takes five tries to get something right! This, I think, is the most important thing I have learned about knitting. There are times you just need to close your eyes and frog, rather than ending up spending hours on something you are miserable with. A good thing to consider before I start into my birthday skein of Tilli Tomas Rockstar, which has been sitting there glowing at me for weeks. Choirs of angels sing every time I take it out of the bag. It absolutely wouldn’t do to spoil that.

Christmas knits!

Here are the photos of the Christmas knits I did for my coworkers. Nothing complicated!

Lauren Kent’s Prisoner of Azkaban Scarf, with a star stuck on to hide a snag.

Tudora from knitty.com.

Kind of a Jayne hat for kind of a Jayne.

Just a simple fluffy sparkly scarf!

These were all pretty well received, even the ugly hat, and everyone was so pleased to get something hand knit! I just used yarn out of my stash. Things you can do with tools you have around the house, eh?

You guys, you guys. I am so excited. My Ribby Wrist Warmers are now the ones that are up on the pattern page at Ravelry. I’m internet famous! Well, sort of. I’ll take it!

Almost done with the Christmas knits for my coworkers. I won’t post them yet, because I’ve got this page linked from Facebook, and it’s conceivable they might find it. Nothing incredibly difficult, but some new challenges! And some old favorites that turned out nice. I finally found something to do with the large stash of strange and wonderful acrylics that I inherited from my grandmother and my great-grandmother.

Other than holiday gifts, I’ve been working on my first pair of socks. I went for Wendy Johnson’s Toe-Up Socks, figuring I might as well learn something new for a new project (short rows, which turned out to be approximately as easy as pie). I liberated some Regia self-striping cottony stuff from Mom’s stash for this project, given that she’s not prone to knitting socks or anything that involves tiny yarn and tiny needles, so it’s only just that they fit her better than they fit me. They’re *just* too big for me, though the short-row heel is perfect, exactly as narrow as I wanted. Ah, well. Fortunately, she likes short cuffs on her socks, which will probably leave me with a whole skein of Regia to play with (which is great: I love the blue/brown/white/grey colorway). One sock down, one to go! Also, handmade socks impress your coworkers. Who knew?

but she’s checking in anyway…Seriously. Hi. I’m Anna, and I graduated in 2006. I was a Philosophy major and a Russian, Central, and Eastern European Studies concentrator. I now teach high school English and live in a city fortunate enough to have wonderful yarn supplies and gaggles of knitters who collect at my neighborhood coffee shop on a regular basis.Preface: I’m not good. I’m self-taught, not very disciplined, and have too much going on in my life to be terribly dedicated to my craft. But dear lord, I love it. Show me a cozy soft wool and I will twist and writhe until I break down, buy it, and find something to do with it.Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…Foliage This is the project I cranked out in a fit of knitting last weekend. Foliage from the current issue of Knitty. I knit it with Malabrigo Chunky in the most delicious colorway I’ve ever ever seen. The lacey detailing doesn’t show up in the above picture because it is both out of focus and not opened up (i.e. on my head). Suffice it to say: this hat is the hotness.Next up…MonkeyMonkey This is Monkey, a fabulous pattern published a few Knittys back. I am not a total Knitty whore, but there are some divine, simple lace patterns in there that I really do enjoy. I’m only this far into my first one of the socks, but they’ll get done someday. Knitting on one of my very favorite yarns, Dream in Color’s Smooshy. The colors are to DIE for. Plus, the yarn is 100% merino wool. Superwash. LOVE IT.My Dream in Color yarn fixation extends to another project that remains on the needles. Reversible cable scarf from Scarf Style. I LOVE THIS PATTERN.Here and There Scarf Here and There Cables CloseThe texture is gorgeous. I cannot wait to wear this someday. Amazing. The other big project on the needles is the one that really needs to get done. And, thus, it is the one I can’t bring myself to finish. This is the Cardigan with Moss Stitch Edging from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino 2 book. It will soon find itself on my newborn niece, Eulalie.Cardigan in Pieces I HATE the finishing. I know it’ll be worth it. I really rationally do. I just… ugh. Can’t explain my aversion to putting in the hour or two needed to wrap this one up. But I need to in order to make sure she gets to wear it once or twice before outgrowing it…All right. So. Otherwise, I’m just cranking out hats for my younger brother. This year’s knitted goods for the little man will be boring. He requested hats. I’m 2/3 of the way through the first one, knitted in my new woolen love, 1824 Wool. SO SOFT. LOVE THE COLORS. Pictures will appear when the hats actually look like hats.Thanks for holding me accountable to knit! I need to get inspired, friends. Thanks for the nudge back toward my needles…!

kazinkas, the knittyfish

Right. So I just moved to California a few months ago, and left my stash in Iowa. My sister will appreciate it! I said. She’s a better knitter than I am! I’ll start my new life all over from scratch, with less clutter.

And yet somehow here I am a few months later raiding Knitpicks all over again, and tempted to call my family to mail me the balls of slubby mystery silk-wool-whatever blend I found for a dollar a ball at a secondhand store in Grinnell, and cursing the Curse that keeps me from knitting an aran in Shamrock Reilly for the person who would appreciate it most. (And a Kelley for me, and … nobody’s going to get that.) I can only sigh and conclude that some things are in the blood, doomed to come back over and over again.

Anyway, I have a few posts planned – I need to pimp out Knitpicks, after all, and contemplate its place in the world of yarn, and there’s always my growing knittercrush on Ireland – but for now, I’m tired, so you get some pictures of the yarn I have now.

Wool of the Andes, for the Rogue sweater (about which I fully intend to wax lyrical). It’s a lot softer than I thought it would be, and it makes a really gorgeous fabric considering how notoriously uneven my stitches are. And cables look gorgeous in it. It’s not quite Merino, but oh how it will do. Plus the heathering is really nice; I don’t like solid yarns for single-colored pieces, I think they look really boring, but twists and spaced-dyed stuff just look funny to me. I wish it was easier to find heathers.

Andean Silk;. I’m still not sure what I think of this. It’s hella soft – every time I touch it, I think “om nom nom” – but it doesn’t seem to be taking the cables I bought it for well, so I don’t know what I’m to do. Luckily the person I bought it for doesn’t seem to be having her wedding anytime soon, so I’m probably safe.

(Pic stolen from a friend of mine, as I can’t find my Blue Beetle issues.) Now this is a neat one. As you may or may not know, I love comic books. Love them to bits. The current Blue Beetle is one of my favorites (I adore John Rogers to a rather terrifying degree). So needless to say when said friend found this, it didn’t take long for us to clear out the reserves. The colors go so well together. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much on the opposite end of the gauge spectrum from where I’m used to working (aran weight all the way, baby!) so I’ve no clue what I’ll do with it. Maybe a really thin Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, it’s been ages since I’ve done one of those and it would look really good with these colors.

Thea (that’s basilido to you) bought me this at the dollar store. I love Thea. I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of tape, so I don’t know what I’d do with it, but I’ll treasure it always anyway.

Bonus: the Rogue so far, as it’s the only project I’m really doing much with.

Isn’t this sexy?

Mmmm, cables. I’ll be in my bunk.

So I used to be a one-project woman, never starting something new unless I had properly finished, blocked, and worn the preceding project around. Now? HA. Right now I remember four projects that are going, and there may be more I’ve forgotten. But, of course, tonight I’m going to blatantly ignore those (and my NaNoWriMo novel, currently stuck in a terrible rut) and start another project tonight! But, before I do that, I thought I’d show the world my horrible project infidelity.

My longest languishing project is Eunny Jang’s Anemoi Mittens for my dad, which is a project that, since the fair-isle/colorwork pattern is asymmetrical and irregular, can’t be done with a book, a movie, or a cat. Since I am rarely without any of those, these are off in la-la-land. But they’re pretty!

This is made from a random cone of beige weaving yarn, a ball of a random grey mohair, both from my stash, and about fifty grams of handspun in greys and tans.

The second languishing project is actually for work, so I don’t get to keep them. It’s a pair of thrummed mittens, which is a Scandinavian technique involving using little bits of wool roving to create a layer of fluff inside the mittens. I dyed two things of roving for this; one for me to spin for the yarn to knit them, and one to make the thrums. This is the completed mitten, from a pattern I wrote myself, and I don’t actually know where the hell the other, not finished one is. Hmm. . .

The third project is the first in a pair of socks from Magknit’s Rainbow Socks pattern, with yarn that I dyed myself. I haven’t finished this one, since I want to start the second one and work them both at the same time after the heel, since I don’t know how much yarn I’ll have left. So! I’m taking a break before starting the second one.

The last project I’m in the middle of is a pair of Knitty’s Red Herring Socks. I worked very hard to modify the gauge for a slightly thicker yarn than called for (a yummy baby alpaca and a cashmerino from my stash), and then, when it came time to try it on, it was too small. So they’re getting ripped back and started over with more stitches.

The other stuff on the agenda? A pair of Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts in this hand-dyed sock yarn I bought today:

A pair of Interweave Knits Summer 2007’s Motorcycle Chica Gloves in this yummy stuff:

an undecided lace something-or-other with this and a purply-grey handspun (check out the name of the company):

And of course, dad’s Aran sweater that I have yet to finish either designing or even carding the wool for, a tam that I need to finish tweaking the pattern for (knitting and ripped back three times! Yay! Stupid mitered knitting), and whatever else is in my Ravelry queue. I need me some sweaters of my own!

So now I’m off to cast on for the Motorcycle Gloves. Anyone who’s read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods will understand why I’m going to call these my Mr. Nancy gloves!