Monday, May 31, 2010


Gretel Hat 2

My Mom's birthday is just around the corner so I worked up a hat that's been in my queue for some time. The pattern, Gretel, is full of twisty cable turns, whew!

Gretel Hat 4

I made the medium slouch version (there are three setups for this pattern), because I didn't think I'd have enough yarn to make the slouchiest size, which has 10 more rows of twists and turns. I'm quite pleased with the outcome and Mom seems to like it, too.

Gretel Hat 3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

World Record Crochet

Potholder #4 WIP

Hi Knitters and Crocheters!

Want to see your name printed in the Guinness Book of World Records? Can you crochet? Perfect! Come on out to Citi Field on Saturday, June 5 and bring your crochet hook! Many of you know that's the day for the annual Stitch N Pitch in our area. What you might not know is it's also a chance to set a World Record for most crocheters in one place, sponsored by Guinness (yes, the Beer Company and keeper of the Guinness Book...) before the first pitch.

Now that I have some crochet experience, I signed up to be part of the event. (true confession - I'm actually angling for a free beer!) Anyway, I followed some link to RSVP yesterday and tonight I received this email:

Dear Lisa,

We're sending you this email because we have only received 130 RSVP's for the Guinness promotion. We need 250 minimum to set a new Guinness World Record. We need more people to RSVP! We are asking that you reach out to anyone you know who loves to crochet and help us make history on Saturday, June 5th at 2:15PM at Citi Field.

The easiest way to purchase tickets is online:


If you would prefer to purchase through a store:

Also - here are the details about the Guinness event:

JUST IN - Deborah Norville is actually coming to help us kick off the Guinness portion and will be "reporting" in the stands. Also, the NY Times is going to run something in the paper on June 4th - this is what they told me and yes, tickets are on sale up until the day of the event!

We are super excited that over 500 people have purchased tickets to the Mets Stitch N' Pitch; surely most people have "forgotten" to RSVP and will still be participating.

If we had one person more for every person who has already RSVP'd we would easily make the minimum!

Please get more people to participate in Guinness "Most People Crocheting Simultaneously" and remember - you get free yarn, a crochet hook and Mets Project Tote Bag (first 500 people)! Please make sure to RSVP!!

If you have any questions please let us know!


Stitch N' Pitch Team

So, there you have it! Come on out to the ball game. Bring your crochet - which is actually pretty easy to do while socializing...and make some history! The RSVP is the key - and you can use the links above.
See you there!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tour de Fleece

This year I'll be joining three teams to participate in the Tour de Fleece (!!).

I'm spinning for Team Crankypants and Team Monkey Farts.

Shut up! You'd be cranky too if you had monkey farts!

And of course, my home team - Team Spin City.

July is going to be very busy.

In the meantime, I've started my training. After that last flame out, I see I'll need to improve my maneuvering on the tight turns and increase my endurance to make it through the event!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Knitting with Handspun

Fat Cormo Cowl with Buttons 2

It was a really long journey for this yarn, but it's finally been put to some good use. Remember when I made it? I do. My lumpy bumpy yarn, which everyone told me I'd never be able to replicate. How true how true!

Cormo Handspun 2

Over the months I tried a few stitch patterns. Back around Christmas I considered a project based on garter stitch. It didn't thrill me. I even thought of knitting up a baby hat but realized this is my first yarn! It stays with me!

So when I finished the Wurmy Angelfish hat and I was all giddy with the awesomeness that is knitting with handspun, I pulled this yarn out of the handspun stash again and this time did a serious scan of the queued up cowl patterns to find a match. Quickie Cowl (I know!) was the perfect fit. Why hadn't I noticed before?

Fat Cormo Cowl with Buttons Flat Folded

With a bit of a modification to narrow the width and thus make it long enough to join with buttons, I was able to use up all but 5" of the yarn. Yessssss! I finished it up late one Saturday night a couple of weeks ago and the next morning I surfed till I found the perfect match - handmade ceramic buttons in a pretty light purple, perfect for highlighting the subtle lavender in the yarn. Be sure to check out Julie's selections, she has some really pretty colors in a variety of sizes -

Fat Cormo Cowl with Buttons

Somehow I knew when I made the yarn it would eventually be used for something to put around my neck. The yarn is so soft - Cormo is wonderful for soft squooshiness - and the fit is perfect. This is going to be a very cozy neck warmer indeed. But it will have to wait till the seasons turn again, and in the meantime I'll use my newest photo prop, found sitting on the sidewalk just up the block from my house on Friday evening. Discussions in the works on a name, Prudence seems highly likely.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Win Some...Lose Some

A hot mess wrought from my hands, this is most likely never going to see a set of needles.


What I envisioned and what I created somehow did not meet in the middle!

PRS Hot Mess

The vision: Lightly fulled laceweight singles suitable for a shawl, preferably Citron.

PRS Leaf Mold

The creation: Heavily fulled unevenly spun singles that 1.broke in at least 5 spots when re-skeining, 2.kinked up so bad during the aggressive fulling they now appear as permanent bumps with heavy yarn abrasion, 3. fuzzy, frizzy yarn, 4. showing a very wide variance in diameter from frog's hair to light worsted.


Oh well, it does serve as a learning experience and the first lesson was to place an order on Amazon for Alden Amos' Big Book of Handspinning. Served with a heaping huge slice of Humble Pie!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wurmy Angelfish

Making Angelfish

Some yarns tell you what they want to be with such clarity there is no moment of indecision, no second guessing the choices; it is a direct path from start to finish, as if pre-ordained. This fiber knew it wanted to be Navajo Ply and the yarn knew it wanted to be a hat.

Thank God I listened!

This is Wurmy Angelfish. So named for the pattern and the colorway. Incredibly soft and squoooshy, thanks to the amazing prep by David of Southern Cross Fibres. Navajo ply turns out to be less scary than I thought once I slowed down. Really slowed down.


But that was the only part of this project that was slow. Because the yarn jumped onto the needles on a Sunday evening and flew off around 1AM. The four hours in between were smokin'. Fingers on fire, no anxiety, no hesitation, no ripping, just knit knit knit with such intensity I wasn't aware of anything going on around me. Zen. Or mad driven. You choose.

Wurmy Angelfish4

A bit of slouch in a hat is a good thing. Teetering on the edge of 'crazy old lady in a loud hat', but...not. quite. there.

Wurmy Angelfish2

It was meant to be. Every detail. Like ending in a little blue 'anus' surrounded by a hot magenta halo which was completely unplanned. And that makes me giggle.

Wurmy Angelfish10

I'm kinda glad the weather turned chilly, cause it gives me an excuse to wear this and now I don't wanna take it off! Knitting with handspun is the bomb diggity!!

Wurmy Angelfish5

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Wasn't Kidding...

I told you there were more fingerless mitts...Ha! Here's a pair just finished up and barely dry...

Garnet Natalya5

These mitts are really all about the yarn. Which I bought at my first Rhinebeck in 2007. It was near the end of the day and I was wandering through one of the sheep barns when I saw three little skeins sitting all forlorn by themselves. The husband was tending the area and he didn't know much but I also don't recall asking any questions. It was priced right and seemed lovely, but didn't give it much thought beyond that.

The yarn went to live in my stash till now. I pulled it out to try this pattern (Natalya by Jody Pirrello) and that's when I started to observe what I was really working with. Oooh. A very simple straightforward two ply, but quite special in it's honest presentation. Probably hand spun. Maybe by the farmer's wife? And the color? Very rich, Garnet Red. I'm not completely sure, but it seems the base wool was dark - perhaps a gray or moorit? So was it dyed after it was spun? Was the wool carded with multiple colors? There are glints of gold, green and blue in here. And a shadow of gray or brown. Really lovely stuff.

Garnet Natalya3

After these soaked and blocked, the yarn bloomed beautifully. And now the mitts are soft yet sturdy enough for everyday. Best of all, they don't look likely to pill (my nemesis). The cabled pattern makes a nice warm mitt. These are winners in my book.

I started the project fully intending to gift them (as seems to be the normal course of things lately - all gifts, all the time). But after working with the yarn a bit and tweaking the pattern a bit I could not bear to let them go. These are staying with me, and I'll have to make another pair to give as a gift. Oh well.

Garnet Natalya6

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fingerless Mitt Mania

For nearly five months now I've been knitting Fingerless Mitts. Fast and fun, I'm finding these projects are terrific gifts and a great way to use up the small lots of yarn that invariably make their way into the stash.

Fetching 1

My Ravelry queue was so heavy with Fingerless Mitts I created a special tab just for them. Which prompted me to create tabs for all manner of knitted categories - Hats, Baby, Cardigans, Pullovers, and on and on and on. Oh man, to know me is to know I am pretty obsessive with the Queue and Stash organization. But it all started with the Fingerless Mitt category.

Fetching 4

Once I'd nailed the Fingerless Mitts into their own file tab, I delved deeper into researching suitable yarns, viewing other knitter's finished projects and trolling my own stash to find pattern-yarn matches. All the while making electronic notes to jog my memory once I sit down to actually knit the project. God, the hours I spend in the planning - it boggles the mind! But I guess for me the planning stage is part of the process. And though I often get frustrated that I don't knit faster, or act more spontaneously, the reality is most of my projects require me to marinate the ideas till I am sure and can commit.

Fetching 5

These cute blue cabled mitts are the now very ubiquitous Fetching Mitts which everyone in the knitting blog-o-sphere knitted like crazy three years ago (yes, I am very late to this particular party). Quite fetching indeed. A few hours of knitting back in February resulted in a perfect birthday gift. And they hit a sweet spot for me in the Great Houndville Stash Knit Down of 2010. All the technical details are here including the modifications I made - they are longer than called for in the pattern.

Next up is this lovely pattern called Susie's Reading Mitts. Which was perfect since the recipient's name is a bit variation on that. She was so patient waiting for these - the whole Potholder Swap thing kind of jumped to the front of the line in March!

Suanne's Reading Mitts

I had a few false starts with this project. In fact, it started as a different pattern but I hated the way it knitted up. That pattern got booted out of my queue and I moved this one to the top. The yarn was deceptive too! It took several changes in needle size before I found the magic combination of fabric drape with heat retention density. I cannot remember why I bought this yarn in the first place, but once I started working it up on this project, I kinda fell hard in love with the color. And used up all but a smidgen of the yarn, so woo-hoo for continued stash reduction. Linky here for more gory details.

Suanne's Reading Mitts

This mitt design is lovely - simple and feminine without being fussy. And it invites you to consider small changes - additions or deletions, depending on the yarn being used. I particularly like the picot edge, something I'd never used before. It's a nice touch and worth the effort. This pattern is a winner and it will likely become a standard as I work on building that gift stash.

Suanne's Reading Mitts

So the Great Houndville Stash Knit Down is becoming an enjoyable discipline/challenge. It's like a competition with myself to see if I can bring out the best in the yarn by matching it with the perfect pattern. Stay tuned for the next parade of fingerless mitts, there's more where these came from!