Sunday, January 30, 2011


I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has watched the first episode of 90% Knitting already. Your comments have been so encouraging! Thanks so much!

At this point, I'm planning to do them weekly. I'm still decided about keeping it on Wednesday or maybe moving it to Thursday instead. Honestly, it may morph back and forth between the two, depending on my schedule each week...the schedule that seems to have forgotten the meaning of the word "routine." :::sigh:::

In the mean time, I finished these...

I started knitting this...

And I've been spinning some of this...

All will be featured on this week's videocast. here's my dilemma. I still want to share things via the blog between videocasts about what I'm doing, but I don't want things to become too redundant. What do you think? Any opinion?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

90% Knitting: Episode 1

And...ta-daaaa! The idea for a weekly knitting videocast has been percolating in my mind for a while, and this is my first attempt at making it happen. I beg your mercy for anything strange (including the hum in the audio...will work on that!). I'd love your feedback, as I hope to improve as I go, both technically and content-wise. :)

Show Notes:

Thanks to all of the knitting podcasters (both audio and video) who've come before me and been an inspiration for me to come and join the party. Special thanks to Laura and Leslie from The Knit Girllls and Carin from Round the Twist...your shows are highlights in my week and inspire and encourage me more than you will ever know! (And extra special thanks to Leslie for her technical assistance in getting this up on Blip!)

I said I'd link to my blog in the show notes. However, if you're watching the show, chances are you've already been to my blog, so duh! Still, here it is.

On the Needles: (links go to my Rav project pages)

  • I'm participating in the Year of Stash Socks group on Ravelry.
  • Little Girl Plain Vanilla Toe-Up Socks, Austerman Step yarn, generic toe-up pattern using Judy's Magic Cast-On and Wendy Johnson's gusset heel. (And yes, I realize my husband's cousin's daughter is not our niece...gah!)
  • Caldavos Cardigan, pattern by Thea Colman (Baby Cocktails), knit in Cascade 220. (And yes, I am good with the word things..."pattern writer"...really? I'm sure Thea would be thrilled to know I called her a "pattern writer"...desiiigggnnnerr. That's the word. Sigh.)
  • The all-white Haruni that I talked about but didn't show because it a gift that will be finished some time this year.

Finished Objects:

  • Year of Stash Socks January Plain Vanilla, my original Pair #1. Regia 4-ply, Kaffe Fassett colorway. (My Danskos that I knit them to knit!)
  • Pulpie and Val, made from my original design for a piece of orange juice pulp, that can do extra duty as a candy corn or water droplet. Pulpie was knit from Plymouth Encore worsted; Val was knit from Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Superwash.



  • Twisting & Twining Cowl, using Frog Tree Alpaca Sport, 130 yards (1 ball). I need a couple more test knitters before I publish this pattern, so leave a comment if you'd like to be one of them!


  • Why yes, Virginia, Malabrigo Silky Merino DOES felt. Really well. Sigh. (What the Beret de Printemps used to look like.)


  • The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd
  • Knitting Workshop, Elizabeth Zimmerman


  • It's the middle of a gray winter in Pittsburgh, it's snowing (again) today, so thank goodness I have my yarn basket of sunshine-y goodness! (And I mentioned the Cupcake Mittens that I haven't yet started.)
  • Lolita dress in progress. Go here to read about Lolita fashion.
  • The Steelers are going to the Superbowl in Dallas a week from Sunday! Woohoo!

Sunday, January 23, 2011




Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knitting Monogamy?

I've noticed this strange trend in my knitting lately, one that is largely reflected in my non-large WIP list over to the side. I've been working on fewer items at the same time! In fact, I often find myself focusing on one project at a time. Really! I've never been like this before. It's strangely fulfilling, yet odd. Remember, a couple years ago around this time, I was busy spending my January finishing up WIPs in an effort to get their number down into the single digits. Now, there are a whole two projects over there! There were three a few hours ago, but then I finished these:

This was my original pair of January "Plain Vanilla" Year of Stash Socks (YOSS) socks. That pair of worsted weight socks I made for my son slipped in there and ended up being my first pair for the month, but this was the pair I set out to make. They're made from Regia 4-ply, a Kaffe Fassett colorway. I love them because they will go with my Danskos perfectly! I'm irked with them, though, because they stripes do not match up. I have never been too anal about making my socks all matchy-matchy, but with such clear stripe patterns as this, I like to try. However, the first ball of yarn had a knot in it, and the splice did not follow the stripe pattern, thus the right sock, halfway up the cuff, is off. In retrospect, I could have either wound off the yarn until I got the correct color to keep that one in pattern, or I could have matched the color disruption on the second sock. But I did not think to do either of those things. At any rate, I love the colors, and at least the portion that will show when I'm wearing them with my Danskos will match.

Anyway...knitting monogamy. Whodathunkit?

On another front, I set about re-organizing my sock yarn the other day. That means that I pulled it all out of its bins and have since been arranging it in piles on the floor and in baskets, realizing I have more sock yarn than any one person needs, but that will likely not stop me from purchasing more in the future. I know. It's a sickness.

Anyway...see those two empty cubbie cubes? All that sock yarn is supposed to fit into them. Heh. Probably isn't going to happen. That's why it's all still on the floor. I must now figure out how to re-arrange and condense some other yarn cubbies to open up one more for my precccccioussss sock yarns. Because we lovvvvves it. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011


Pulpie, a fun little piece of orange juice pulp, was created in response to my teenage daughter’s ongoing references to her great dislike of pulp in her juice, to which I heartily agreed. Pulp = ick. The other day, however, the vision of this happy little guy popped into my mind, and I decided I must make him!

After knitting Pulpie, I realized his shape would make a wonderful rain droplet (or tear drop) as well as an aptly shaped candy corn, or a very dimensional flower petal. Once stuffed, you can shape him to be rounded or squish him a bit for a flatter appearance. And Pulpie is a great project to make with leftover yarn from other projects.

So, here you go, my first pattern for the new year, and it's a freebie to boot!


About 20 yards of worsted weight yarn. (Pulpie was made from Plymouth Encore; Val, the Valentine’s Day candy corn, was knit out of Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Superwash.)


Scrap yarn for stitching eyes, mouth, etc. Or, you can use small buttons or plastic eyes that have snap-on backs that hold them in place (usually found in the googly-eye section of craft stores). If knitting this for a young child, I do not recommend using the buttons or plastic eyes, as they could be a choking hazard if they came off.

Polyfil or yarn/fiber scraps suitable for stuffing

One locking stitch marker.

Tapestry needle.


Gauge for this project is not essential. You just want to make sure your resulting fabric is snug enough that the stuffing will not poke through the stitches.

Finished size is approximately 4” tall and 7 ½” in circumference at the widest part.


K – knit
Kfb – knit front and back
Pfb – purl front and back
K2tog – knit two together
SSK – slip, slip, knit


Cast on 2 stitches.

Row 1: Kfb (4 stitches)
Row 2: Kfb (8 stitches)

[Note: This project is mostly worked in the round knitting each row, but these first two rows are just
easier to work flat instead of in the round, I find. Technically, to keep the project all stockinette, Row 2 should be purled, not knitted. However, I do not find the task of purling front and back an enjoyable one. Since this will be on the base of the stuffie, I have no qualms about it being an odd row of garter stitch. If it bothers you, though, feel free to Pfb instead.]

Divide stitches evenly across four DPNs, two per needle. You will now be working in the round. Be careful not to twist your stitches as you join.

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Kfb (16 stitches, 4 per needle)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Kfb (32 stitches, 8 per needle)
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: *[K, Kfb,], repeat from *. (48 stitches, 12 per needle)
Rounds 7 – 14: Knit (this will add approximately 1” from last increase round).
Round 15: [K2tog, K8, SSK], repeat three more times.
Rounds 16 – 19: Knit (this will add approximately ¾” from first decrease round).

(Note: if doing a candy corn, Row 18 is a good place to change to your second color. Overlap your tail yarns with the working yarn on the inside of the stuffie for several stitches, snugging them up as needed, in order to anchor them and not have a visible gap.)

Round 20: [K2tog, K6, SSK], repeat three more times.
Rounds 21 – 24: Knit (this will add approximately ¾” from second decrease round).

At this point, you will want to add your eyes and mouth. Also use your cast on tail to cinch up any hole that might have resulted after you joined to knit in the round. Weave the tail in a bit and then pull it through to the inside of the stuffie where it can stay forever. Add your stuffing to this lower part of the stuffie at this point before continuing. It’s easier to add the stuffing as you go since the stuffie narrows as you go up.

Round 25: [K2tog, K4, SSK], repeat three more times.
Rounds 26 – 30: Knit (this will add approximately 1” from the third decrease round).

(Note: if doing a candy corn, Row 26 is a good place to change to your third color, again overlapping the tails to prevent a hole.)

Round 31: [K2tog, K2, SSK], repeat three more times.
Rounds 32 – 35: Knit

If you haven’t been doing so, add more stuffing now.

Round 36: [K2tog, SSK], repeat three more times.
Round 37: K2tog four times

Last chance to squeeze in some stuffing for the top!

Break yarn, leaving a 10” tail. With tail on tapestry needle, run tail yarn through remaining four stitches and cinch them up. At the back of the top, weave the tail yarn in and out a bit, as inconspicuously as possible. Now, take the needle and run it down through the inside of your stuffie, pulling it out the bottom. Snip the tail yarn off as close to the body as possible, then smoosh it around a bit to let the end pop back inside, never to be seen again.

Name him.

Squish him.

Love him.

Make him a friend.