Archive for the ‘Knitty’ Category

Felting Madness

April 8, 2008

I finally finished the first Fuzzy Feet (Foot?) slipper in a frenzy.  It did look like a sock for Paul Bunyan. 

 Fuzzy Feet before felting

Once I was done with the knitting I decided to felt it to see how it would turn out if the felting process would adequately hide my mistakes.  I had done a swatch to experiment with felting before knitting up the first slipper.  However, the slipper felted in unexpected ways.  First, it felted much faster than the swatch did.  Second,  the cuff did not shrink as much as I expected but the foot shrunk more than I expected.  Nonetheless, it looks very cute and I have my fingers crossed that it will comfortably fit my MIL. 

  Fuzzy Feet

So now I have finally unveiled photos of the before and after.  Yeah, I guess I am finally proud of what was once the Frankenstein of my UFOs.  I cast on for the second slipper – now let’s hope it will somewhat match the first!


Yarn Harlot and Conquering the Fear of Fuzzy Feet

April 7, 2008

Yarn Harlot book signing
Originally uploaded by fairgirl


The day of the Yarn Harlot book signing did not begin well for me. I thought I lost my cell phone. It had actually fallen under my car seat but it was on vibrate and it took awhile for me to hear the low hum. Some things that put a pit in your stomach are amusing a few days later. Well, not this.

The day turned around once my friend and I headed off to the book signing. He is not a knitter but we both enjoyed Stephanie’s talk. She really connects with the audience. I hope that one day she begins publishing fiction.

Being surrounded by lots of sock knitters energized me. I went home and picked up the fuzzy feet again. That first slipper is looking good. My desire to knit socks has been reignited. Suddenly visions of knitting socks are dancing in my head and sock patterns are powerfully attractive.

How I Got My Knitting Mojo Back – Part I

February 13, 2008

Originally uploaded by fairgirl

For us Christmas does not end until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. The days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are generally my favorite of the Christmas season. We spend time relaxing, enjoying our presents and the decorations, and eating wonderful leftovers. What I really enjoy is sitting in the living room and knitting by the glow of the Christmas tree. However, the unfinished hats were marring this time.

After some roaming about Ravelry I decided to be proactive and try to take my mojo back. At Rhineback I had purchased some yarn from Spirit Trail Fiberworks to make a Calorimetry. As many people know, Calorimetry is a wintery headband made using short rows. The designer is Kathryn Schoendorf. It was in the Winter 2006 issue of Knitty. It is a popular pattern and I can see why. It is a quick knit with an interesting construction.
Right after Christmas day I did a gauge swatch. Based on the swatch I cast on 80 stitches and started. Well, started is an understatement. It was my first time doing short rows and I must admit that when I read the pattern I could not envision how this was going to work out. That just made it all the more interesting. The more I knit the more fascinated I became with whether this project was going to turn out right. It was like a good mystery that you just cannot put down because you are enjoying it so much and want desperately to get to the end to see how it all works out. I only stopped that night because I was tired and feared that I would make a mistake.
The next evening we went to dinner at my parents’. Of course the project came along and I continued knitting with great anticipation of completing it. What I found particularly interesting was that as it was on the needles it just did not look like what I thought it would. I just could not tell if it was going to be the right shape. In fact, until I actually finished casting off, I was not sure if I had done it right.
That night at my parents’ when I finished I was elated. I felt the mojo surging through me. It did turn out right and it was adorable. I was wicked impressed with the shaping. It is just amazing what shapes you can make with a pair of knitting needles.
My gauge was a little off, I should have cast on a few more stitches. But Mom gave me a safety pin, which bridged the little gap, and I wore it on the walk home. Since then I take every opportunity to wear it.

How I Lost My Knitting Mojo – Part II

February 11, 2008

Misti Alpaca Chunky

The lovely Misti Alpaca Chunky my Mom rejected.

The loss of mojo might have been averted had I been making any progress on the other Christmas presents.  Sadly, I was not. 

Mom’s Scarf

One afternoon my Mom and I were in Downtown Yarns.  They happened to have a couple of skeins of the purple Misti Alpaca Chunky I had already bought with the intention of making her a scarf with a hood.  I sidled up to her with a skein in hand and casually asked her if she liked the yarn.  She glanced and it and said, “No.”  “You didn’t even feel how soft it is,” I said.  She touched it and said, “It’s not bad.”  All righteee.  Since I was not about to spend hours knitting something for Mom in a yarn she was not interested in and I did not have any other yarn in my stash that I thought would be appropriate, the scarf was off the list. 

Fuzzy Feet    

Based on the positive talk over at Ravelry I was looking forward to doing a bunch of pairs of Theresa Vinson Stenersen’s Fuzzy Feet from Knitty.  My plan was that I would give them as gifts unfelted and then the recipients would felt them at our house.  In particular, my in-laws were coming for a visit so I thought it would be fun to give both my MIL and SIL Fuzzy Feet during their visit so that we could felt them together. 

Anyway, I had the plan, the pattern and the yarn.  But no needles.  It was October and I wasn’t worried.  In my daily travels I figured I would just pick them up.  Except that did not happen.  Actually, I began to wonder if everyone was knitting these slippers because every yarn store I went to was out of the size I needed.  Unfortunately I finally found the needles when my in-laws were here so there was no time to actually make the slippers.  Fortunately, I found them at Seaport Yarn.  The store had on display a pair of felted slippers and my MIL thought they were nifty.  That made me feel better because I think she will enjoy them when she does finally get them. 


Despite what seemed like a good plan in October and hours of knitting, on Christmas day not one person on my knitted gift list actually received a knitted gift.  My BIL’s hat was finished but he was unable to visit so he would get his gift after Christmas.  Yup, the knitting mojo was gone.         

How I Lost My Knitting Mojo – Part I

February 8, 2008


Even though one of my favorite things to do is to give people I love knitted items, I have been oddly immune from the terror that is “Christmas Knitting Mania.”  For the Christmas that just passed I decided early in the fall to knit a few hats, a scarf, and some Fuzzy Feet felted slippers from Knitty as Christmas gifts. 

In particular, I wanted to knit my Hub a hat as I had never knitted him anything.  We went off to Patricia’s Yarns and he picked out some lovely masculine Rowan Coccoon.  My plan was to make hats for Hub, his brother, and a friend out of this yarn.  At one point I was somewhat delusional and wanted to make a hat for Hub’s Dad also.  I was busy envisioning a really nice picture of Hub, his brother, and Dad together in knitted hats.  Luckily Hub gently reminded me that his Dad spends much of the year in Florida and does not need a hat.

I really enjoy knitting hats and can crank them out.  I expected to have all the hats finished by the end of October.   Hub and I discussed what he wanted.  The hat was to have some ribbing with the rest in stockinette.  He also wanted a stripe.  Easy enough, or so I thought.  After I measured his head and did a gauge swatch I cast on 100 stitches and did the ribbing.  Hub tried the completed part on and advised that it needed to be just a little bit smaller with less ribbing.  So I frogged it and cast on 96 stitches to begin again.  I was almost done and Hub tried it on.  It was too big so I frogged back and began the  decreases earlier but when I ripped back and picked up the stitches I missed one so I ended up frogging back again.  Next thing I knew I was in the middle of a vicious cycle, I would be almost done with the hat when I would discover something wrong with it.  Parts of that hat were frogged so many times that I feared the yarn was going to felt from all the frogging.  Finally I just knit one of the hats intended to be a gift because I felt the need to just knit a hat and be done with it.  But it was too late, the knitting mojo was gone.  I kept knitting Hub’s hat and kept having to frog back because of some design issue or goofy mistake. 

From October to the end of December I became obsessed with knitting Hub the perfect hat.  In that time I knit a few small items but just could not enjoy the process like I usually do.  All my knitting energy was focused on finishing that hat.  It was finally completed to Hub’s  specifications on January 2nd.  Hub declared it perfect and I was both happy and relieved.  Immediately I cast on for the third hat intended as a gift.  I cast on 100 stitches  and overall intended to make it a little larger than Hub’s hat.  It was finished in two days.  I loved every stitch.  The mojo was back. 

Hub tried the hat on for me and, well, he liked it.  He liked it better than the hat I had make specifically for him.  He wanted to know if he could have that one instead.  Since my goal had always been to make him a hat he would love, I said “yes.”