Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kelp Forest

As a child, I remember going to the beach in winter after storms had gone through. In California, the kelp grows thick. After a storm, some of the plants would inevitably get uprooted and deposited on the beach. My Mum showed me how the little bladders of air that usually help the kelp aloft in the water could be popped just like bubble wrap. Needless to say, I'd be entertained all the way down the beach. Pop, pop, pop.

The Kelp Forest shawl is inspired by the thick forests kelp that can be found in the waters along the California Coast.The stockinette portion of the shawl is knit side to side with stitches being increased and decrease along one side to stop the "stockinette curl." Once the body of the shawl is knit, stitches along one edge are picked up for the edging. The beginning of the edging has a thin line of stockinette to form the "stem" of the kelp. Then the air bladders are knit in before reaching the thick cabled kelp leaves. The whole shawl ends with a picot bind off which accentuates the mesh background.

Two different, yet similar colors of Mithril from The Verdant Gryphon were used in order to capture the subtle look of light shimmering on the kelp below the water: Forest Clearing and Green Water Snake. Just one color can be used just as easily in this pattern.

Kelp Forest can be found on, ravelry, and craftsy

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

White Rice Is Exciting

Hello friends! The last two and a half weeks have been quite a challenge. The special diet I was put on left me completely exhausted. This week I was told that I am allowed to start reintroducing things to my diet, but I'm being careful and adding only one new thing a day. (As a side note, you know your diet is strict when the idea of plain white rice fills you with joy.) There are more doctor visits to be had, but I'm just celebrating the little things as they come... you know, when I'm not stressing out about all the things I haven't gotten around to.

One of the things I have managed to get around to is finishing up the two baby Giraffe Hat samples. They came out cute! They now live at Green Planet Yarn, which is where you can find kits for these hats.

I also finished my Geographer Socks. They only took me... three months. There was a time I could get a pair of socks out in 8-10 days. Actually, I'm not sure how people can get socks done so quick. Either they knit faster, or, more likely, they have smaller feet than me.
I'm so happy with how these came out: matching and my size

With the Geographer socks finished, I got to go into my stash and pick out my next pair of socks. Out came Stray Cat Socks yarn in the Jaffa color way. My feeling on socks is the louder the better. If I can still hear you when you talk to me, my socks aren't loud enough.

Confession: I just went to Stray Cat's page so I could give you all the link. I'm really tempted by the Lilah color way. So very tempted. I'm going to be good because I'm knitting so slowly and clearly don't need more yarn. But if I needed more yarn, it would be that ball.

Since the Jaffa socks were the only thing on the needles, I decided it was high time to cast on another Equatorial Nights. It should have been for Mum's birthday last month. You can see how far I got on that. It might be awhile before it is done, but at least it has been started.

That's all the current knitting, but not all the current work being done. I've got a shawl pattern to put out this week. If things go well, it will be out tomorrow, if not, Friday instead. So me and my celery juice will be working on that for the next few hours.

Disclaimer: I hate celery and am torturing myself with doctor prescribed healthy things in an effort to never have to go on this terrible diet ever again. Also, I've decided to never drink another straight celery juice after this one. It is salty and weird.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

As The Needles Click

I have not been well for awhile. The last time I mentioned that things were not right was in April. I thought I was on the mend back then, but it wasn't to last. Since then I have visited many a doctor and been probed, scanned, and prescribed. After ruling out some really scary things, I made it to my nutritionist and it looks like we may have found an answer. I'm on a rather strict diet of meat along with certain fruits and vegetables now. I won't lie, I am mourning the loss of cheese, butter, and grains in my diet. (We just bought fancy cheese! Drat.) But if this works, I'll finally feel better.

While this has been going on, I've done my best to keep on knitting, designing, and being generally creative. I've had quite a few days of being exhausted, so progress has been slow. Never the less, I do have a little knitting to show off. I've been working on some shop samples. A baby giraffe hat and the cow variant of the baby giraffe hat.
After the second hat is complete, I'll put together the ears and horns

With all the doctor visits, I've snuck in a round or two of my Geographer socks. I was almost at the toe, but I noticed that there were two consecutive rounds that were rather loose. I don't want these socks to wear out prematurely, so I went ahead and ripped back a little to fix the problem.

Now that the Pucker socks are done, I feel I can use the white to mend my Sheep May Safely Graze socks. It turns out that the white I eventually chose, Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy, is really too weak for the heels. Heels are my wear point and after wearing the socks three different times, I have had to mend the heels two different times. I'm planning to rip out the heel (and maybe the toes for good measure) and replace it with some Baa! La Jolla in the La Perla color. I think the Rosy Green Wool will last just fine for the rest of the sock. I'm looking forward to being able to put my sheep socks back into regular rotation.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


When I started the Pucker socks back in the beginning of January, I had visions of finishing them by the end of January. That didn't happen.

I didn't realize when I started that I was going to have to do a 72 stitch sock rather than my usual 64 stitch sock. 22% more sock knitting was going to go into these socks. When I do color work, I often end up doing a 72 stitch sock. No big deal, I told myself. I'll be done in February.

It took a bit longer than usual to get the leg to the length I wanted. I figured I wasn't used to the pattern. When I finished the first heel of the first sock, I read the gusset instructions, which said something like: decrease the gusset every third stitch because mosaic knitting is tighter and you'll need to space out the decreases. Aha! That is why it was taking so long. I needed to knit a third more rounds in order to get the length I needed. All in all, I was going to have to do 55% more knitting than my usual sock knitting amount. I gave up on guessing when I was going to finish.

By the time May rolled around I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to be knitting these socks for the rest of my life. So after finishing some deadline knitting and decided that I was going to be completely monogamous with these socks. Why not? We were clearly going to have to get used to each other now that we were spending the rest of our lives together.

Lo and behold, after spending time on these socks and only these socks, they decided to finish themselves. Maybe they realized how long our lives were really going to be. One sock is slightly bigger than the other. (I'm putting that one on my bigger foot.) And now I can knit new things!
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