Tag Archives: through the loops kal 2014


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I’ve got finishitis. I said recently that I wanted to finish one of my languishing not-done projects before I started another project, but now that I have finished one, I’m on a roll and getting some other things done too. Now, I want to finish ALL the things.  Sometimes you just get that spring cleaning thing in your mind… even though it’s the middle of July.  Plus, I did start a knit-a-long project and have two more projects to start this Saturday, as you will see, so getting more things done to balance those out is not a bad thing.

So, first up are the finished Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2014:


In my last post, I think I told you I started them in “March-ish”.  Well, I was right if you consider January 15  “March-ish”. Love them.

Then I finished my Hidden Gusset Mitts:


I only have a picture of one since one is in the yarn shop as a class sample, so, yet again you will have to trust me that they are both done!  A really fun knit, with some lifted increases to make that diagonal pattern.  Fairly quick too – they would make a great gift.  There are still spots left in the class I’m teaching for these, which starts next Wednesday so if you are local, call The Spinning Room to sign up!

And now I’m finishing my Knitter’s Brewing Company Mystery Sock VI: Cocktails for Two socks that I started January 31:


I’m pretty sure these are supposed to be mirror images.  Hmmmm.  Notice anything?  I have no idea what’s going on or what went wrong.  And I’m pretty sure my friend Lisa’s – who also knit these socks and finished them a long time ago – do not look like this.  I’m pretty sure that cable-y looking part on the left sock is supposed to be slanting toward the left alongside that ribbed part.  I started the sock with the orange marker first and got to the point you see now, then started the one with the green marker and put it down after about two inches.  Just picked it back up after many months, and started knitting from where I left off.  I swear I’m following the instructions.  And I can tell you this:  I’m not starting over.  I just can’t stand the thought, and I’m so determined to get them done that I’m going to continue telling myself that if I’m following the instructions correctly, then it will all work out in the end and that this probably actually does look the way it is supposed to.  I’m such a weirdo. [And really, maybe I should consult with Lisa.  Who will probably tell me it’s wrong and that I should probably start the one sock over which I will probably think about and then probably do.]

Ok, but now on to the good stuff.  The STARTING of things!

I started the Wendy Knits Summer Mystery Shawl 2014 KAL last Saturday and had to first clue done on Monday:


So far so good.  I love the colors in my Periwinkle Sheep Single & Looking yarn.  The colorway is called “Summer Garden”.  The second of three clues comes out tomorrow.

Also, The Spinning Room is having a Christmas-in-July-and-August knit-a-long, which starts tomorrow, to help us get a jump on Christmas knitting.  All I had to do was tell the shop what I was planning to knit and, if I finish, I get entered into a prize drawing.  Fun!  So I am going to knit the Sea Glass Cowl with this:


(Autumn Wind Hand-Dyed in the “Lily Gardens” colorway)  And, since that is a very small project, will knit the What if….? scarf with this:


(The navy blue yarn is Cascade 220)  I can’t start these until tomorrow.  I read that to mean I have to start both of them tomorrow.  Even though I have quite some time to finish them, and another knit-a-long to work on which I will need to finish a part of before next Saturday. But really, I’m just too excited, so I will have to.  If you are a knitter, you totally understand.  If you are not a knitter, it’s just another example of what a weirdo I am.


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So much knitting and spinning going on!  I won’t bore you with another picture of my red roving that I’m spinning.  But, I’m making progress and will show you when I’m done.  Which has to be soon, since it is a fair submission and the items are due in a week. (I think.  I better check.)

But, look at this cutie patootie Tiny Tea Leaves sweater that I finished:


….complete with the REALLY cutie patootie hippo buttons:


And now I’m on an I-better-finish-an-unfinished-project-before-I-start-another-becuase-the-unfinished-pile-is-bugging-me  kick.  Don’t you have those?  So, I’m finishing my Through the Loops Mystery Knit-a-Long 2014 socks that I started back in March(ish):


One sock almost done.  The other 1/2 done.   The toes will have stripes!  I’m determined to get these done asap.

HOWEVER….. (did you notice that there is always a HOWEVER…)

There is this other mystery knit-a-long starting.  And I wanted to use my new Periwinkle Sheep yarn:


So I have today to finish those socks, since this knit-a-long starts tomorrow.  (Hmmmmm.  In my head I can totally do it.)

Ok, and then there is this, which finally arrived in the mail the other day, and I’m dying to start them:


I ordered this six weeks ago, not realizing that it would take six weeks to get here.  It was one of those impulse buys.  If you remember, I’m not terribly patient.

Impulse buy + six week shipping = buzzkill.  But, now that it’s here…..

I’ll let you know how things turn out.

Feeling the Pressure

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The Olympics start on Friday.  Which means the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry start on Friday.  And I’m no closer to figuring out what my project will be.   It has to be a challenging project to knit.  Something that will be difficult (but do-able) to finish in the 17 days of the Olympics, from the start of the opening ceremonies until the flame goes out at the closing ceremonies.  While deciding, I have to take into account things like babysitting time (but allowing for knitting time during naps), class teaching time, an already scheduled lunch with friends, writing the blog, and oh yeah knitting three other knit-a-long projects as their clues come out.  And again, this is all self-imposed.  I realize that.  But it’s what I do, and it’s fun.  Honest.

I’m thinking about, and think I’ve narrowed it down to, these patterns:

Prairie Ridge Shawl

Dark and Stormy

Sugar Frost Infinity Scarf

Halona Shawl

Color Affection



Don’t feel like you have to go look at all those.  But if you do, feel free to give me your opinion about them!  I just wanted to show you what a problem I’m having deciding what to do.  At any rate, I have a couple more days to figure it out.  Then I have to get all my supplies: pattern ordered, yarn picked out (and hopefully from my stash…but just in case I need to factor in time to shop for yarn), needles, etc.  Oh the pressure!  And I’m sure I’m not the only one going through this. Yet another example of how crazy knitters can be.

In the meantime, I finished the next clue for my Through the Loops Knit-a-Long socks:


Started my next knit-a-long socks, the Coctails for Two hosted by Knitter’s Brewing Company:


I decided to use Tosh Sock by madelinetosh in the colorway “logwood”.   It is a superwash merino yarn and a really nice yarn to work with.  I like most of madelinetosh yarns.  The colors are great and the yarn is soft.   Since I’m doing two sock knit-a-longs, I ran out of size 1 DPN’s so I had to use a long 40″ circular and do the magic loop method for one of these.   And so far, I’m loving this pattern.  That stitch is a new one to me – wrapping yarn around the needle three times, slipping that stitch for a few rows, then incorporating it into a cable – which made it so fun.

And I finished my second Garter Ear Flap Hat!

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This is the adult medium but I think it came out larger than it was supposed to, maybe to the large measurement.  And there is my creepy Styrofoam head again.  Remember how I said it was too small?  There is your proof.  It doesn’t fit an adult hat.  Whoever made it is a weirdo.  I have, frustratingly, lost the ball band for this yarn so I can’t tell you anything about it except the  colorway is, fittingly, “Monet”.  And I loved working with it -so soft and it makes for a very cozy hat.  It was a quick knit, only taking me 3 days.

Stay tuned for my Ravellenics project picking updates – riveting stuff coming up.


Random Things for a Friday

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I can’t put together a cohesive post today, so you are getting some randomnesss.  That’s what a few weird sleep nights in a row gets you.

1) I went to a “Bagels, Bialys and Pretzels” cooking class this week!  It was a gift from my mom for Christmas and it was great:


Those are bagels being formed.  I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures.  But I can tell you this:  Bagels, bialys and pretzels are much easier than I thought.  They were so yummy, especially hot out of the oven.  We also got recipes for a honey mustard pretzel dip and veggie cream cheese.  So. Much. Fun!  Stay tuned for my attempts to make these at home…

2) Just so you know, because I know you were wondering, my knitting is mostly under control, in that, so far, I’m caught up with all my knit-a-longs AND I’ve even gotten some other knitting done.  I have another KAL to start today, so check in with me next week to see how I’m doing.

My Through the Loops KAL socks have 1-1/2 heel flaps done and just the heel turn to go before next Tuesday:


As an added incentive, Kirsten, the designer who is running the KAL has offered up a drawing for a free pattern for those that can finish this week’s clue by then.  I’m totally up to the challenge.  (Especially because I’m almost done already.)

I dragged out my Rose Tweed Cardigan and got to 10″ (out of 16″):


(I love my sock monkey tape measure.)

I also started an adult Garter Ear Flap Hat:

I’m on the crown decreases and slightly worried I’ll run out of yarn, which I shouldn’t given the yardage requirements.  But my measuring may be off….you know how sock  monkeys can be.

I’m not showing you my Downton Abbey KAL project because it virtually looks the same, but with a few more rows.  So that would be boring for you.

3) I really enjoy listening to the Knitting Pipeline podcast.  The host, Paula, is great and one of the segments is “Nature Notes” where she talks about all the wonderful things that happen in her backyard.  Including seeing owls and watching them stalk and catch their dinner.  I’ve been dying to see an owl around here.  I think they are so cool looking and they intrigue me.  We don’t have many trees that are very close to our house, so I haven’t seen any.  Today at 4:43am, while laying there hoping to fall back asleep, I heard one.  It hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooooed once.  I jumped out of bed to look out the window.  No idea what I thought I would see since it was dark and there are no trees near our bedroom window, but I think it was on our roof.   And now I know there is one here.  Somewhere.

4) Some it’s-so-cold-we-can’t-go-outside activities with the doodlebugs this week:

Playing nicely together with a ladybug antennae headband on:


And dressing up Mr. Potato Head (remember him???) with Play-Doh (remember that???):


By the way, at age 2-1/2, politeness abounds with these two lately.

B:”Can I please have that car M?”

M: “Of course. Here you go B.”

B: “Thank you M.”

M: “Your welcome B.”

I will savor it while it lasts.

5) I don’t like football and will only have the Super Bowl turned on to watch commercials and eat super bowl food.  Don’t ask me what super bowl food we will be having because I haven’t decided yet.  And don’t ask me why I have to have the game on in order to eat it.  Plus, I will be knitting. Like you didn’t know.

Knitting Hits and a Miss

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I was a knitting maniac this past week/weekend.  Remember I referred to this hat on Saturday?  It’s the Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl SoHo.  So. Stinkin’. Cute.


I started this on Saturday at 5pm and was done by Sunday at 2pm.  AND that included an emergency trip Saturday night to my mother-in-law’s house with Paul to fix a frozen pipe.  He used a hair dryer that she has had for 46 years.  FORTY-SIX YEARS!  It worked great.


(Try to ignore this creepy Styrofoam head. It took me forever to find one online and it’s actually pretty small – not an adult head – and I think the face is creepy. I need to get a different one.)  Seriously cute hat.  I love the little tassle.  This hat is a “kids” size. The pattern comes in many sizes, baby to large adult, which is nice.  I think I’m going to make an adult one too.  Easy and quick quick quick.  Also, I saw my doodlebugs at dinner on Sunday night and tried to get them to try it on since they are “kid” size.  No dice.  They’re two and a half so I don’t know why I thought they would do so willingly.  When I asked each of them if they wanted to try it on they said, “No fank you, Auny Wiz.” (read: “No thank you, Auntie Liz.”)  At least they were polite about it.

Next was finishing the Steek This Coffee Cozy fair isle knitting:


Now it’s ready for the steeking which we will do in a few weeks at the next workshop.  The little section on the front shown in this next picture is the part we will reinforce and then cut:


And see all those ends?  Ugh, weaving in galore, right?  WRONG!  Apparently, if I read the instructions correctly, they are all in the steeking section and something miraculous will happen where I won’t have to weave in the ends.  I think. (I hope).

Before the weekend started, I had knitted the clues for the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-Long:


It doesn’t look too terribly different but it’s coming along.  Now, I’m working on the next set of clues.  There are only 6 rows in this next set, since there are eleventy-thousand stitches on the needle at this point.  Eleventy-Thousand.

I also finished the leg clue for my Through The Loops Mystery Knit-a-Long:


A pretty intricate pattern for what I normally do – it’s been fun to see how they are turning out.

My next mystery knit-a-long starts this Friday: the Knitter’s Brewing Company   Mystery Sock KAL: Cocktails for Two.  Still haven’t decided on a yarn yet, but stay tuned.

I also finished the second Snow on the Laurel cabled arm warmer:


You’ll have to take my word for it that this is actually the second one. I can see how you may have doubts since I only recently finished the first one and I tend to procrastinate on knitting the second of anything.  However, the first one is at the yarn shop as a class sample so I can’t take a  picture of the pair.  Honest.  I had been done with my knit-a-long clues, looking for something else to knit and decided this was as good a time as any, and then I could cross it off my list. Took me just a couple of days.

Next, I knitted up the two-color brioche swatch which I will be teaching as a class at the shop:

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If you look toward the bottom of the swatch in the bottom picture you’ll see a little row of white stitches where I messed up.  I left it so I could use it in class as an example of what NOT to do.  So nice that I can USE my mistakes.  As a reminder, this is the two color swatch which will go with the teaching of the brioche stitch scarf:


And, finally, I worked on the weaving section of the Princess Franklin Plaid Collar:


A few challenges with this one.  Trying to weave the strands while keeping them loose-but-not-too-loose is hard.  Even paying close attention and trying to stretch it out a little, I ended up with some puckering.  You can see it at the top of the picture.  Then, just for “fun”, I decided to try it on to see what it looks like.  I apparently have a huge head, and a ton of hair which adds to the circumference of my head, because I had a hard time getting that woven section pulled down.  I tried putting my hands inside and gently stretching to make the woven strands looser, to no avail.  If I had stretched any more, the strand ends would have started unraveling.  Once I did get it over my head, it looked pretty good and was comfortable on my neck.   I’ll just need to re-do my hair after I put it on.  So, now I’m revising this pattern and will only weave about another inch, so that I can still wear it.  Since it is a rather tall cowl, about half of it will be folded under while I wear it anyway so why not make it easier to put on, right?

Whew.  That’s it.  Not much really.  (Ha! No wonder my hands are sore.)


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I’m in deep.  Again.  I’ve got myself signed up for three knit-a-longs as well as a project for the Ravellenic Winter Games on Ravelry (this used to be called the Knitting Olympics until the US Olympic Committee made them change it…. silly.)  Before I get into those four projects, look at these I’ve finished/worked on:

Started and finished my Easy Brioche Scarf  (free pattern!) in about three days:


Made with Euro Baby Maypole, a 100% acrylic bulky yarn.  I don’t usually knit with acrylic but this was nice to knit with and I like the colors.  Easy pattern (one row) and with big yarn and big needles it is quick quick quick.

You may remember that I started this with another yarn:


YAWN! Off-white in what-looks-like-a-plain-rib-but-isn’t might be ok for me on any regular day.  Nice and warm and cozy and goes with everything.  But I was making this for a class to introduce the Brioche stitch so I wanted it to have some pizazz and get customers’ attention.  Upon closer inspection, this is NOT plain ribbing – it’s a wonderfully lofty and squooshy stitch with the knit stitch really standing out. The first half of the class will be to introduce this interesting and easy stitch.  The second half will be to practice doing this stich with two colors – really stunning.  I have yet to create that swatch but will post it here when it’s done.

I also finished one of my Snow on the Laurel cabled arm warmers, also for an upcoming class:


Easy and a good project to learn cables.  The neat thing about this pattern is that it is knit inside out so you can knit more stitches than you purl (which can slow some down).  A nice bonus!  Made with Cascade Alpaca Lana D’Oro, an alpaca/wool blend.  Love this yarn.  Now I just have to knit the second one….

On to the Knit-a-Longs…

Knit-a-long the first, which you already know about is the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery KAL 2014.  This started almost two weeks ago and we are on clue #2:


I have A LOT of stitches on my needles.  I haven’t counted but we cast on 200 and have been increasing every other row from there.  I hope I don’t run out of yarn.  I shouldn’t, since I have 70 more yards than the pattern calls for, but I just have this weird feeling.

Knit-a-long the second is designer Kirsten Kapur’s Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2014.  Another knit-a-long where we have no idea what the finished project will look like.  It really is a leap of faith with these, but it’s so much fun!  This was week one and I’ve finished that clue:


Interesting picot (read: frilly) cast-on with a contrasting color and a twisted rib pattern in the main color.  Cute so far.  I really like Kirsten’s designs. Her blog is here:  Kirsten Kapur Designs.  I’m using Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors sock yarn in two colors.  The blue is called “Happy Making” and I have not idea what the blue-green is called since I lost the ball band. I love this sock yarn.

Knit-a-long the third starts on January 31.  It is the Knitter’s Brewing Company’s Mystery Sock VI: Cocktails for Two knit-a-long.  This is the second sock knit-a-long I’ve done with Knitter’s Brewing Company.  I really enjoy their podcast:  Yarn on Tap. I’ve narrowed my yarn down to three choices:


Any votes?

Finally, I’ll be participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games 2014 on Ravelry.  The basic idea is that you choose a project that will be challenging for you to complete during the timeframe of the Winter Olympics.  A fun way to challenge yourself and to get a project done quickly!  AND something to do while you are watching skiing, skating, luge and curling.  Currently, I’m thinking I will be doing the Prairie Ridge Shawl by Susan B. Anderson.  But that could, and likely will, change 80 times before the official cast on time (the beginning of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on February 7).

Whew.  The fact that they are starting in a spread out manner is good.  However, see me in mid-February when I’m working on ALL of them at the same time.   You can bet it will be all documented here on the blog.  If I’m not pulling all of my hair out (and I have A LOT of hair).  Mind you, I do realize that this is all self-imposed.  Knitters are like this, you know.