Finished Object: Nipote

It took me six months from cast on to last end woven in, and missed its recipient’s birth by a month and a half, but the baby blanket I have knitted for my nephew, lovingly called “Nipote” (both the blanket and the nephew), is finally finished.

I would have loved to give this a nice photo shoot outside, but the last couple of days were rainy and cloudy. Today it’s been sunnier, but the ground is still damp.

Anyways, let me introduce you to my latest finished object, Nipote.

Yes, that’s a router box it’s sitting on.

Here are some of the specifics:

  • Pattern: I didn’t use a pre-designed pattern for this one, but I used this tutorial as a template, and the base consisted of 13 triangles of 8 stitches each. All of the tiers and side and end triangles also have a base number of 8 stitches. The tutorial is free and also has a YouTube video embedded if you’re more of a visual learner or just need a visual refresher on certain steps.
  • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, in Soft Blue and White; I ended up using maybe a skein and a half in the blue and 2 full skeins and part of a third in the white. (You’ll learn why I used more white in a minute.)
  • Needles: U.S. #7 (4.5 mm) circular needles, 29 inches. (This project is worked flat, but the cable supports the weight of the knitting better than straight needles do. Believe me, I learned that the hard way.)

I cast on for this blanket back in March, when my sister-in-law would have been around 5 months pregnant. The technique I used is called “garterlac”, which is entrelac worked in garter stitch. The primary difference between the two techniques is that while entrelac uses stockinette stitch to give the short row blocks a woven texture, the garterlac uses two different types of garter stitch to achieve sort of a harlequin style appearance. Depending on which side I was picking up stitches from, the blue tiers were done in knit garter (stitches were picked up and knit, and the short rows were worked with knit stitches and ssk — slip, slip, knit — decreases); the white tiers were done in purl garter (stitches picked up and purled, with the short rows being worked with purl stitches and p2tog — purl 2 together — decreases).

Now you may notice that the stitching in the white blocks looks a little looser than in the blue. This is due to my knitting style. I tend to purl looser than I knit, and unfortunately switching to a smaller needle to work the purl rows would have proven too cumbersome, as I would have had to slip all the stitches from the previous tier from one circular needle to another one before I could begin working the next tier. When taking a look at the white tiers compared to the blue ones, I realized the visual difference wasn’t all that jarring. So I just decided to work with the same needle all the way through. The only major issue was that I needed a little more yarn to work the white tiers since the looser gauge used up more yarn. I ended up getting two skeins in the blue and three skeins in the white.

As of this post, I have not yet met Nipote. He’s almost two months old (he’ll reach that mark in a little over a week). My sister-in-law has been especially cautious about COVID possibly getting into their home, and hasn’t really let anyone visit. Also, with any newborn there’s usually some chaos going on as everybody starts to settle into a new routine. At least this is the last baby they plan on having, so the chaos is going on one last time. I’m hoping once my dad and I are fully vaccinated (which should be by the second week of October), they’ll finally let us come over and meet him. Anyway, at least this blanket is finally finished and ready to give to the recipient and his parents when we finally do get to meet him!

Before I go, I’ve got a couple of quick updates of what is currently on my needles.

I’ve been working on the Study Hall shawl by Sarah Schira, which is available for free on Knitty. The original pattern calls for some fancier yarn on size 6 and 7 needles, but I’m using Red Heart Ombré (in True Blue, which is a gradient yarn) and Red Heart Super Saver (in Black) and size 9 and 10 needles. I’ve gotten most of the second section done, but I’m excited to get to the slip stitch section. Should be nice and cozy when it’s done.

I’ve also resumed work on my Neapolitan blanket after it was in hibernation for the better part of a year. I’m currently working on a round of brown rectangles, which will then be followed by a round of white rectangles, and then I’m thinking of adding the final large corner squares and finishing with a narrow brown border.

What have you all been up to? I’d love to hear about your latest projects (be it yarny, or written, or even just some sort of renovation project). In the meantime, I’m off to get ready to cook a slow cooker stroganoff. I’ve made it before, it’s delicious.

Hat-A-Palooza

I have something to confess: since December, I’ve been obsessed with knitting stranded colorwork hats (otherwise known as “Fair Isle” knitting). I have affectionately branded this “Hat-A-Palooza”.

It started innocently enough: I had a significant amount of smaller balls of yarn to stash bust (from what The Lady Bryan sent to me for Christmas 2019), and it was around Christmas and I wanted to knit myself a hat with snowflakes on it. So, I took some balls of blue and white yarn and I knit myself a snowflake hat…

The Snowflake Hat

…and there was still some yarn in both colors left over. Then I got the desire to knit myself a TARDIS hat (which is supposed to evoke the TARDIS craft that The Doctor uses to time travel on Doctor Who), which I did…

…and I still felt like I needed to knit something. First I tried a brioche hat, but it became clear that two-color brioche and I haven’t quite come to an understanding yet. So decided to abandon the brioche hat, and I started on a colorwork beret. And I even figured out how to purl in Continental (where the yarn is held in the left hand) so I could make this gorgeous two-color ribbing. The hat itself wasn’t too bad once I got into the stranding on the charted section. However, when the time came to decrease for the crown, the chart got all wonky and I still can’t figure out what exactly I did wrong. But…I decided to leave the crown as-is and call the wonky colorwork in the crown a “design element”.

The Béret Généreux, stretched over a dinner plate to better show its shape.

I had these all knitted by the middle of February, but I was too lazy to weave in the ends and didn’t do so until a few days ago. So, here are my hats on my head, and I will link to the Ravelry pages of the patterns I used, all available for free.

Pattern: Snowflake Hat by Evan Plevinski / Yarn: Premier Yarns Just Yarn in Blue and White / Needles: U.S. #8 (5.0 mm) circular and DPNs

Pattern: TARDIS Beanie by Alena Ruman / Yarn: Premier Yarns Just Yarn in Blue and White, Mainstays Basic Yarn in Black /Needles: U.S. #6 (4.0 mm) circulars, 16-inch and 29-inch (for the crown decreases)

Pattern: Béret Généreux by Isabelle Allard / Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Baby Pink, Mainstays Basic Yarn in Black / Needles: U.S. #6 (4.0 mm) circular needles, 29-inch (and I think used 16-inch needles for the ribbing section)

In case you’re wondering, I took these pics while standing in the front doorway, all while my dog was sniffing around in the front yard!

I do have another project on the needles, but I can’t really talk about it right now. I’ll let you in on it when the time is right.

I know I haven’t posted much since the beginning of the year, but honestly not a whole lot has been happening…just life. However, my birthday is a week from tomorrow, and then my blogiversary is coming up after that…so we’ll see if anything good enough to write about happens at that point! Until next time, everybody!

On Lockdown: May 2020 Edition (Plus, A Finished Object)

As the nation enters its third month or so of social distancing measures, I figured it would be a good time to give an update on how my family and I have been doing in isolation.

Save for a couple of days last week when he went in to write up performance reviews for a couple of his techs, my dad hasn’t been to work in over a month (he had to go in for a few hours on those days because the database he and the other leads and supervisors use to evaluate their performance is only accessible from his workplace). Those two nights he went in, there was hardly anybody there and he was home by midnight both nights. His workplace is closed through at least the end of the month, but they are currently evaluating plans to possibly re-open at a limited capacity so the crowding isn’t so dense. Employees will also be subjected to temperature checks upon arrival (as fever is a notable symptom of COVID-19), which is a smart move (I’ve mentioned before that when my dad has brought home a cold or flu in the past, he’s almost always gotten it from someone who may have come to work sick). Florida is already starting to reopen some businesses, although I think most private businesses are still gonna be cautious about how they reopen and operate.

We’ve been getting our groceries delivered as of late, through one of the major wholesale clubs. Basically I’ve been trying to keep track of what we’re running low on and my dad’s been ordering the items online (although I’ve been letting him take charge of what protein items/meat to order), and then the club has a shopper pick up the items and deliver them to the house. We actually got pretty lucky on toilet paper this past week. We had been running dangerously low on TP recently (which, trying to find the stuff recently has been like mining for diamonds), and instead of trying to gamble on trying to get it at a store in person, my dad decided to order some through Walmart’s website. It took a few days to deliver, but we managed to get it delivered. Then we hit the jackpot again when we were ordering groceries, as the wholesale club actually had a pack of toilet paper in stock! So, between a dozen rolls in the first pack and 36 in the second, we should be set for a while now.

We are all doing okay at the moment, none of us are sick and we’re still in relative isolation. It’s prevented me from returning some Tupperware to a neighbor, but other than that it’s been business as usual. The fact that my mom’s care requires us to stick to a routine has actually helped us from really developing cabin fever (although technology helps, too). Before we get too bored, it’s usually either time to give her something to eat or time to clean her up. In between, I’m usually either watching YouTube videos, taking a nap, or cooking.

I’ve gotten about 100 pages into Children of Virtue and Vengeance, though I could put a little more energy into my reading. I’ve also been working my way through Series 5 of The Tribe, hoping to finish a rewatch of the show that’s taken the better part of two years for me to try and finish. I’m near the halfway point of Series 5 (which was the final season produced for television), and I plan on reading the three sequel novels that have been released once I finish Series 5 (I have all three of them in my e-reader). I’ve only managed a few chapters in Dune thus far, but I’ll probably come back to it every so often. Luckily, if I’m having trouble understanding some of the stuff going on in the book, I have one Facebook friend I can message if I have any questions since Dune is one of his favorite books ever…and there is always Google as well.

Before I post this, I’d like to talk a bit about a project I worked on recently. As you may recall, my best friend (The Lady Bryan) and her mom sent me a bunch of yarn as a Christmas present a few months ago. There were a few large skeins of a golden yellow (which I’m using in another project), and then several smaller balls in all different colors. I decided I was in the mood to make a hat, and I initially wanted to make a two-color brioche beret, but I attempted two different patterns and the process was just not cooperating with me. And then I found the pattern I ended up using, which used a simpler colorwork technique called mosaic knitting (which is typically done flat, one color per set of two rows, and the stitches in the color not being worked are slipped with the yarn on the wrong side to make the visual pattern). This version, though, was worked in the round and also used two-color cabling in addition to slipped stitches in order to make the beautiful colorwork pattern that results. The designer named the pattern in honor of the British chemist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose photographs of the DNA molecule were essential in proving that the structure of the DNA molecule was a double helix. You can learn more about her role in this monumental discovery by watching this video. She sadly died at the age of 37 from ovarian cancer, possibly caused by working unprotected around the x-rays she used for her crystallography.

Pattern: Rosalind Franklin Hat by Mat Kladney (also known by his handles thathatoverthere and that.hat.over.there, a take on the slang term T.H.O.T. — pronounced “thought”, which is short for “That [Gardening Implement that Rhymes with “Sow”] Over There) / Yarn: Premier Just Yarn in Black and Pink / Needles: U.S. #7 circular needles, 29”, knit using a modified Magic Loop (which I may post a description of at a later time)

As far as I know, Kladney currently has this pattern available as a free Ravelry download for the time being, as he said it was “free during the pandemic”. The pom-pom is optional, but I just felt like attaching one because I thought a pink pom-pom on top would look nice on it. It ended up attaching a little more loosely than I would have liked, but I can always come back with a sewing needle and thread later to further secure it. It’s still gonna be a few more months before the weather will be cold enough for me to wear it.

I didn’t expect a hat to help with my knitting cravings, but after two years of shawls and blankets, it felt nice to work on a hat for once. I don’t know if this is the start of a hat-knitting phase, but this one was actually a lot of fun for me. And yes, it did help hold off the cabin fever, too. I have enough stash yarn to make more colorwork hats if I feel like it. We’ll see there’s any more yarn or patterns that speak to me.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

Who Says I Can’t Finish a UFO?

It was well over a year ago when I started Rock Me on the Bias, which was chronicled in the post Motivation Lost and Found, but I finally finished it a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t get a chance to give it a proper photo shoot, though, because of Thanksgiving week and life happening.

Well, it is finally a finished project…no longer a UFO (which means “UnFinished Object” in yarn arts slang).

Here is the finished version of Rock Me on the Bias!

Project: Rock Me on the Bias

Pattern: None used; this was knit corner to corner, casting on 3 stitches and increasing by two stitches on every right side row (working each color until it ran out or I was satisfied with the width of the stripe, then I’d work six rows in white in pattern) until the edge was my desired length. Then I worked six center rows in white with no increasing or decreasing. Then I attached the next color and started decreasing by two stitches on every right side row (adding white stripes when another skein of color would run out) until three stitches remained. I then bound off those stitches and wove in the ends.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in various colors and Soft White

Needles: U.S. #10 1/2 circular needles, 29 inch cable.

What was not seen in those outdoor shots:

  1. We’d just had a cold front come through and the outside temperature was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (kinda chilly for Florida standards), and it ended up dipping into the upper 30s. It was kinda windy, too.
  2. Our neighbor was having their septic tank pumped. It was pretty noisy.
  3. It smelled like exactly what you’d expect a septic tank being pumped to smell like.

I also finally got to meet my youngest niece, The Bambina, three weeks ago (she is 9 months old as of yesterday). My brother and sister-in-law were supposed to take a short trip to Colorado (without the girls) early last month, but then everybody got sick just days before the trip, so they stayed home. My sister-in-law, A., decided she needed some alone time to herself, so she sent my brother and the girls out of the house and they ended up visiting us. I immediately gave the Bambina Baby Blanket to my brother as soon as they arrived, and they spent about two and a half hours with us catching up and R. eating what was left of our Halloween chocolate. Both R. and The Bambina are very happy girls, with The Bambina being especially cheerful for the most part. In the three years since he became a dad for the first time, my brother has become a great one so far. Being a dad suits him and he’s a natural at it. I wish I could say the same about my own maternal instincts. R. and Bambina seem to get along very well and R. loves being in the Big Sister role. Makes me think back to my childhood, when I was also the Big Sister. J. and I didn’t get along very well as kids, and we argued all the way into our teens. These days we get along very well, and I think that’s due to both maturity and the fact we don’t live under the same roof anymore.

The latest in Books for me: a few weeks ago I got The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys, a historical fiction novel set in 1950s Madrid, during the regime of dictator Francisco Franco. It will be read after I finish The Testaments in my queue. I also redeemed another gift card and got the latest sequel novel from The Tribe, The Tribe: (R)Evolution; a collection of John Steinbeck’s short novels; and The Days of the French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert (which is a narrative history of the French Revolution) for my ebook collection. I finished The Color Purple and am now reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, my first nonfiction read in over a year.

Finally, we’ve decided it is time to bid farewell to our Ninja Coffee Bar after a year and a half. It wasn’t that it made bad coffee, it’s all due to faulty electronics that have frankly made brewing a pot of coffee more difficult than it should be. This particular model has a bad clean sensor that comes on after just a couple of brews following a cleaning cycle; we can delay cleaning it by a week or so but inevitably the brewing cycle will turn off mid-brew, and it will even sometimes stop a clean cycle while trying to clean it. I know Florida water is hard to begin with, but we were cleaning this thing pretty regularly and the gadgetry still decided to turn on us. Yesterday morning my dad ordered a new brewer that has a self-filling reservoir, meaning that it hooks up to the same water line that one hooks up to their refrigerator in order to fill and run their ice maker and water dispenser. One problem: we haven’t had a water line in our refrigerator for a few years because our old water line wore out and started leaking and had to be removed. We’ve had the parts to replace it for a while, but for one reason or another my dad hasn’t gotten around to it. Since the new brewer will require him to fix the water line anyway, he’s essentially gonna be tackling two jobs at once. I’ll keep you updated on how the new coffee maker turns out.

100 Posts: A Milestone, a Heat Wave, and a Finished Object

Not long after I published my most recent post, celebrating my 100th follow on this blog, I looked at my stats on my WordPress app and realized I had published 99 posts to date. Knowing that my 100th post was just around the corner, I knew I had to get going on the final stages of a project that has been in the works since late last year, so I’d have something to show off in my milestone 100th post.

Before I get to that, though, here’s what’s been going on lately around here.

The big story as of late around here has been the weather. While the central portion of the United States has been hounded by all sorts of storms and deadly tornadoes 🌪 (due to a collision of cold air from the northwest and warm air from the southeast, which has made the Plains and Midwest states a hotbed for severe weather in recent weeks), the Southeast (including Florida) has been bombarded by heat. And not the humid kind, either. (That usually comes in during the summer.) We have been bombarded by dry heat. It’s the kind of dry heat that blasts you in the face and keeps you wanting air conditioning for the entire day. We’ve had highs in the mid and upper 90s Fahrenheit for well over a week! Our grass has started to turn brown from the lack of rain, and the temperatures have been so hot and dry that in recent days it’s stayed in the 90s right until sunset 🌅. The pavement keeps its warmth well after sundown, and the heat has certainly sent my sweat glands into overdrive! Thank goodness our AC is currently functioning! We had an issue with a hum yesterday in the inside portion of our unit, which Dad checked out yesterday, but the hum disappeared after the unit was shut off briefly. He also cleaned off the coils in the outside part of the unit when he got home this morning in order to improve the cold air flow into the house. Our house isn’t ice cold (that would add extra to our energy bill), but it’s definitely much cooler inside than it is outside. Unfortunately, we don’t see any relief coming any time soon, rain chances are expected to be 30% or lower into next week.

One upside to all this heat: the sun has made for wonderful lighting conditions when it comes to showing off my finished projects! You saw that with my LoveWave shawl earlier this month, and now I have a new finished object…and it’s a major one.

I’ve finished the Bambina Baby Blanket! 🥳🎉🎀🧸👶🏻

It took me seven months to finish, and I missed my deadline by nearly three months, but I finally finished it! I have yet to meet The Bambina in person, but I’m glad that when I finally do (hopefully sooner rather than later), I will have a finished object to present to her parents!

Let me introduce you to The Bambina’s finished blanket.

Pattern: My own personal pattern, based on a 25-stitch small mitered square / Border uses elements of the Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown (pattern, which will be linked to, is available as a free download from Ravelry), adapted to work across 6 stitches to form the border.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Perfect Pink, Baby Pink, and Soft White. It took about a skein and a half of each of the pinks and less than a skein of the white.

Needles: US #6 (4.25 mm) needles. I started with straight needles, but switched to circular partway through to handle the weight of the blanket and also to speed things up.

I used my dad’s trailer to hold and pose the blanket in these pictures, and the pictures were taken around 7:00-7:30 pm, about an hour before sunset this time of year. Though the bed of it isn’t completely flat, it does allow me to spread out what I am trying to set up on it for pictures.

I plan on presenting this blanket to my brother and sister-in-law the next time we see them, which I hope is sooner rather than later. My oldest niece, R., will be turning 3 years old a week from today, on June 6th, while The Bambina will mark 3 months since her birth in just a few days, on June 1st. It will still be a few more months before The Bambina gets to the crawling stage, but I think this blanket should make for a nice crawling mat when the time comes. (This is especially since their house doesn’t have carpet; they opted for hardwood floors instead for most of the house.) I have a feeling they’re going to love it.

Thank you so much for sticking with me for these first 100 posts. It hasn’t been a quick journey to 100 (posts or followers), but I’ve gotten here, one post at a time. You’ve been with me through my very beginnings, my attempts to produce meaningful writing, my experiences and experiments in trying to grow as a blogger/writer, seeing my family expand to include a whole new cast of characters that I could have never imagined being in my life even five or six years ago, my various works of art that just happen to be made of yarn instead of paint and canvas, and my return to being a habitual reader. I hope the posts I make as I continue with this blog are interesting, engaging, and inspire you all, whatever it is that they spark.

Here’s to the future…whatever it may bring!

You’re Like a LoveWave

Today marks the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, where 26 countries (out of 41 who entered) will throw it down onstage for the chance to be named Europe’s best new song of the year and also for the right to host the 2020 Contest. The Netherlands’ 🇳🇱 entry, “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence, is heavily favored to win, but it is far from having this Contest in the bag. It’ll be interesting to see who actually ends up taking this year’s title. But I’ve talked more than enough Eurovision in my last two posts.

This is about my latest finished object, a shawlette that I wanted to do as my Eurovision project to be done in time for tomorrow’s Grand Final. I got two cakes of the yarn I used for it as a sort of Valentine’s Day present to myself, but only ended up using one. (The other is currently being used to make an asymmetrical triangular shawl that I hope to eventually showcase here at some point.) And while I’ve documented some of the difficulties I had with the lace sections with this shawl on this blog, I did eventually work my way through them and I am proud to say that I now have a finished object that just got in one day before the deadline.

I actually finished the knitting portion of this project back in March, but I decided to hold off on it in order to focus on finishing the Bambina Baby Blanket (which is going well, I am just working on the border, and then it will be finished). Earlier this week, I decided to pin out my shawl to prepare it for steam blocking (as the yarn was a wool/acrylic blend).

The shawl pinned out on my bed for blocking.

My bedsheets were in need of a wash anyway, so I took the opportunity during my dad’s work week this week (when I wasn’t going to be sleeping in my bed anyway) to wash my sheets and block the shawl. The steam blocking went all right. The garter stitch along the long edge still curls a bit, but I like what it did to the drape of the lace.

Just a weaving in of the ends yesterday, and I was finally able to present my finished project.

Readers, I give you…LoveWave!

I decided to call this project “LoveWave” for two primary reasons: 1. I did this as my Eurovision project, and it is named after Armenia’s 🇦🇲 2016 entry, “LoveWave” by Iveta Mukuchyan, who is an Armenian-born singer primarily based out of Hamburg, Germany. The song itself finished 7th overall with 249 points, while that year’s Contest was won by Ukraine. And 2. This project’s name combines the pattern name, “Wavedeck” (which I will link to shortly) and the theme of the colorway’s name “Aphrodite”, which is named after the Ancient Greek goddess of love.

So, here are the details:

  • Pattern: Wavedeck by Kate Atherley (available as a free pattern at Knitty)
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Cakes in “Aphrodite” (all the colorways in this line are named after figures in Ancient Greek mythology)
  • Needles: US # 6 and #7 circular (I used two different sizes because I purl looser than I knit, so the smaller needles were needed in order to keep my stockinette stitch even-looking, using the #6 needles for the purl rows)

My shawl ended up coming out to more of a shawlette size, but it’s perfect for Florida weather, especially when it gets a little cooler in the fall, and the wool in this yarn should do nicely in keeping my shoulders warm if needed.

Here are a few more pics of LoveWave in the Central Florida late afternoon spring sun.

Kinda looks like a wing here, doesn’t it?

On my pavement just outside the front door.

Don’t mind my squished up face…focus on the shawl.

Before I end this post, as always I try to provide a source for title references when I make them, and this is no different. Here is the music video for “LoveWave” by Iveta Mukuchyan.

Is This Your Shawl?

When we last left my shawl, it looked something like this:

It was a handful of repeats into the pattern, but already showing promise.

Over the course of 17 days, adding repeat by repeat, it started to look like a nice shawlette. Not a full size shawl, but honestly I’m cool with that because the weather here is (for the most part) too warm to warrant a full-size shawl, but is perfect for shawlettes and triangular scarves to complement a cute outfit or cover a lady’s shoulders when the weather does get a little more chilly late in the year. As the project got wider and longer, I started to worry: do I have enough yarn left? So, I made the decision to insert a lifeline at the end of one full repeat of the outer blue section of the original cake of Mandala (which you can see in the photo above). I got some leftover yarn from the Unicorn Virus shawl and threaded it through all the stitches on my needle…and there was well over 100, possibly 200 stitches in that increase section separate from the edging.

See the pink yarn there? That’s my lifeline. I told myself I was going to work one last repeat in the blue before binding off, thinking I was going to definitely be playing yarn chicken 🐔 on the bind off…and this was not an ordinary bind off. This pattern called for a picot bind off. That’s pronounced “pee-ko” for you non-crafters, it is a homophone to pekoe tea (sounds the same, spelled differently); picot is French for “pin” and refers to the points that the bind off creates. Basically, you cast on a small number of stitches using the cable cast-on (which creates a small point) and you bind off a slightly larger number of stitches than you have in your point. This project called for a cast on 2, bind off 5 picot bind-off. It took about half an hour of diligent binding off and some listening to Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on Netflix to make it happen, but it did! (We got rid of our satellite TV this weekend after multiple frustrations with the company; we’re currently on a free trial of an over-the-top service right now for our main TV, but as the app for the service is not available for download on my TV, we’ve decided to switch to the local cable company and we’re gonna have new cable equipment installed on Tuesday. Unfortunately, my TV also does not have a digital antenna plugged in, so I can’t even watch over-the-air programming when I’m in my bedroom, so my TV can only show Netflix, YouTube, and the WWE Network until we get the cable equipment installed.) Here’s a detail of the bind off edge; you can even make out the lifeline in the knitting if you look close enough.

When the picot bind off was done, this was how much yarn was left over:

(The bottom pic is a top view.)

As it turns out, I had plenty of yarn left over, even after the bind off!

So, here are some pictures of my finished project! First, the specifics:

Pattern: “Close to You” by Justyna Lorkowska / Yarn: Lion Brand Mandala in “Mermaid” / Needles: US #6 by Boye (6.25 mm), 29-inch circular needles

(I’ve linked to the Ravelry pattern database page, which is available as a free download from Ravelry if you’d like to knit this pattern yourself.)

Here are some pictures of the shawl in action! I must say, the temperature was in the mid-80s Fahrenheit when I took them, and I was sweaty as hell! (The humidity made it feel like 90.)

(I used the side view mirror on my dad’s Jeep for the draping shot, and then for the hands-free selfies, I set the iPad on the lid of our trash can and used the camera timer for each shot. I just wish my boobs didn’t look so big in these shots! 😂🤣😂🤣)

I had a lot of fun knitting this one! The colorway kept me interested, the stitch pattern was somewhat simple, but still enjoyable to knit, and I loved the asymmetric quality of the pattern. I’ll be resuming work on Rock Me on the Bias soon, but I just want to revel in the awesomeness of this one just a little longer.

All the World is Waiting for You, and the Power You Possess

Any fans of American television from the 1970s may recognize the words in the title of this post, for those who don’t, they’re lyrics from the theme song to the Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter. And as such, this post has something to do with Wonder Woman.

Or rather, the Wrap inspired by her.

You read that right: I have finished the Wonder Woman Wrap. She was actually bound off on the 14th, but I didn’t weave in the ends until the 24th, while catching up on two episodes of Ken Burns’ documentary The Vietnam War.

Pattern: Wonder Woman Wrap (knit) by Carissa Browning / Size: Wondrous / Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Burgundy and Soft White / Needles: Boys US #8 (5 mm) circular needles, 29″

(Just so you know, those are shadows on the left side of the wrap, not stains.)

This was actually kind of a fun knit for me. I love how the designer was able to make something so complex and challenging in a stitch pattern so simple as garter stitch. And me? Unless it involves intarsia, I quite enjoy a challenging knit. Ms. Browning did an incredible job making it look like how it looks on Wonder Woman herself (color scheme notwithstanding). The pattern itself is available as a free Ravelry download and it took me just a couple of skeins each of Super Saver to complete. You may notice that the white stripe in the middle left side is slightly wider than the one on the right. This is because this section was required to be worked in purl garter stitch, and for some reason I purl looser than I knit (and I was not in the mood to change needle sizes partway through the project). As a result, the stripe is in a slightly looser gauge compared to the rest of the project, but not really enough to detract from the overall visual appeal, in my opinion.

And now, some shots of this wrap in action!

You try positioning an iPad on the hood of a Chrysler Sebring and trying to get just the right position in front of the selfie camera and doing it all within the 10-second timer!

I have to say, though, this wrap is very accommodating to plus-size figures like mine, and I think this is the first shaped shawl I’ve ever made that actually fits around me!

Apparently, not only am I Wonder Woman, but the sun ☀️ seems to think I may be deserving of a halo 😇.

But of course, I am a woman, and I am wondrous, aren’t I?

It fits! (Those last two shots were positioned with the iPad standing on the trunk of the Sebring, btw.)

I haven’t quite figured out my next knitting project yet…but I know I’ll figure something out eventually. And I still have the Virus shawl in progress.

Are you willing to unleash your inner Wonder Woman?

While I Was Away (Or, Ermahgerd…Finished Objects!)

In case the title didn’t give it away…La vie en rose et violet is finally complete!


I actually finished this baby on September 6th (and I know this because I wrote the date down in notes I was keeping for the blog in the event of a much longer hiatus).  She turned out to be a thing of beauty.  It took me almost 6 months to finish, but I love how it turned out.

Name: La vie en rose et violet / Pattern: My own, improvised pattern using the mitering technique / Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in various colors: shades of pink, purple, Black, and Soft White / Needles: US #9 29-inch circular needles (5.25 mm diameter, and that is not a typo as these were Boye needles, whose #9 needles are manufactured slightly smaller than the industry standard diameter of 5.5 mm for this particular needle size)

My “knitting void” that resulted lasted all of about an hour.  Then inspiration struck me.  I noticed there were a couple of mostly full skeins of some shades of purple left over, and I got the idea (💡) to begin a garterlac throw, one that you could sling over the back of a chair.  And so I started to cast on.

Here is my current WIP, Orchid (named after one of the shades of purple Red Heart has, or specifically “Light Orchid”, which is the lighter shade here, which I would normally call “lavender”; the darker shade is officially called “Lavender” by Red Heart).

You’ll notice I have two different colors of circular needles in that picture.  This is because I am actually using two different styles of garter stitch in this project.  With the exception of the base triangles, all of the dark tiers of blocks are being worked in purl garter stitch (almost every stitch in every row is purled, and the tiers are joined in this set of blocks with a purl 2 together; I use this stitch because I am starting on the wrong side of the work when I work each block, as picking up the stitches for each block results in a right side and a wrong side), and for some reason I tend to purl somewhat looser than I knit (I have very uneven-looking flat stockinette for the same reason, and I have to use two different-sized needles when I work flat stockinette, with the purl rows being worked with the smaller needle).  In order to compensate for this, I am actually working those darker tiers with a smaller needle (a US #7 circular needle, which the lighter-colored needle in the picture) to keep the fabric from looking too loose.  The lighter tiers of blocks are being worked in standard knit garter stitch (every stitch in every row is knit, and the tiers are joined with ssk decreases: slip, slip, knit), which uses my standard needle for afghans, my US #9 circular needle, which is the darker, green needle in the picture.  I was in the process of slipping the stitches from the smaller needle to the larger one to begin the next tier, and decided to take the picture while the slipping stitches process was at the halfway point so it’s not all bunched up.  I hope to be able to share much more of this project as I go.

Finally, I decided to dip my toes back into crochet a little bit, and thanks to a YouTube video, I did my first little experiment in amigurumi.  It’s nothing too complicated…just a little ball.

I had no fiber-fill, so I used old yarn ends to stuff it instead.  See?  I actually do crochet!  Actually, Red Heart and Lion Brand have both recently released gradient self-striping yarns, and I’m tempted to crochet a shawl with either one of them at some point.  I’ve also found a couple of patterns that I’m tempted to knit in the near future, the Wonder Woman Wrap (I finally watched the movie with Gal Godot and my current celebrity crush Chris Pine during the hiatus, and it was awesome…probably the best movie adaptation of a DC comic since The Dark Knight), and a cowl pattern I found through Tumblr called the Pine Sway Cowl, although I probably wouldn’t make it in green.  I think either black and gray or charcoal gray and a soft white may be a better combo for my tastes.  Both of those patterns are available for free, by the way (I obviously can’t afford Ravelry’s paid patterns, so I am always on the lookout for quality and well-designed free patterns).

So that’s what I was up to with the yarn while I was away.  Obviously, there is an elephant 🐘 in the blog here, Hurricane Irma.  Honestly, Irma deserves her own posts, and yes…I did say posts.  The Irma Saga will be a two-parter.

Hope you enjoy the pics, and have a great day!