Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas(-ish) Shawl!

Every year, I get myself an Advent calendar.  It's a tradition I've hung onto since I was a kid.  I don't always eat the chocolate each day -- sometimes I'll leave it for a few days, then eat five or six or twelve at a time to catch up.  One year, I got the calendar on Christmas Eve, so I just ate the whole thing at once...but I digress.

Anyways, I decided to get myself a different kind of Advent calendar this year (in addition to the chocolate Avengers one I already got).  It's a knit-along Advent KALendar.  Basically, each day leading up to Christmas, they release another little chunk of the pattern, so that by Christmas, you have a finished project.  I thought this was a super cute idea.

Day 1
You don't get to see the finished design until the end, so there's a bit of trust involved when getting into one of these.  Anna Dalvi, who designed the shawl, has some very lovely designs, so it was a leap of faith I was more than willing willing to take.  Plus, the inspiration for the designs comes from two of the Slavic goddesses, and I'm a sucker for mythology.

With all of the other projects I've had on the go, plus all the regular Christmas preparations like shopping and wrapping, plus the baby...well, I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the pattern releases and be finished by Christmas, and it takes considerably longer to knit up even a few rows than to eat a dozen or so little chocolates.  Still, starting late is better than not starting at all.
Day 2
I've managed to avoid the Ravelry forums for the KALendar so far, since I don't want to ruin the surprise for myself as everyone shows off their work, but from what I've managed to get finished, it's going to look fantastic.  There's little picots along the edge, which is a new skill for me, and I'm working it in red and black, to go with most of my fancier outfits.  I'm also thinking of adding some beadwork to it when I'm done, but I'll figure that part out later.

Day 3
Wishing you all the best for whatever holidays you're celebrating this time of year, and I hope you have had a chance to relax and enjoy yourselves!

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I'm a total sucker for unusual and novelty yarns.  Sometimes you find a yarn that just calls to you, even though you have no idea what you're going to do with it.  I found such a yarn, in many colors, and it sat in my stash for months.  Then, suddenly, inspiration struck.  Basically, I had Christmas gifts to give, and a whole lot of yarn to use.
Pom-Poms for all!
  When I first bought this yarn, I bought a whack-load of it.  I'm pretty sure that's the technical term.  The cashier was a knitter herself, but even though she thought it was "so neat", she had no idea what to do with the yarn I chose.  Hopefully, she finds this blog and gets a few...because I've come up with several.

Most commercial yarns come with a pattern on their labels...generally something basic, like a scarf.  I took that idea and got a bit more creative with it.  This yarn gives a lot of creative leeway, once you learn how to work with it.  Keeping in mind it called for a US9 needle, I just sort of let my intuition guide my work from there.

The first work was a cowl and matching headband.  The cowl was worked eight Poms wide, 52 rows long, and the headband was four Poms wide, 42 rows long.  Each was twisted, and then sewn together to give it a mobius shape. It's a great style for the younger crowd, or the more fashion-forward.  My sister Naomi has that sort of "it's-quirky-but-it-totally-works" kind of style, and she was the first one I thought of when I came up with this design.

The pinks in this just screamed Naomi
To get the mobius shape, it would have been possible to knit the whole thing in the round, simply twisting the stitches once before joining, but the finished piece would have had no give to it.  Since a bit of elasticity is good in this sort of thing, I opted to go through the extra step of sewing it together later, in order to get the proper fit.

The second work was a more classic scarf, seven Poms wide.  A hole was worked into the design 40 rows in, so the scarf could be looped through itself, without having to be tied.  Another great style, which doesn't have to sacrifice function for form.  One great advantage to this pattern is its simplicity to use -- my mother-in-law suffers from arthritis, so not having to tie and untie a knot is much simpler.  Also, I'm rather lazy, so I made one of these for myself.  All you have to do is bind off the six middle stitches (keeping four on either side) after 40 rows, which is 20 rows of Poms on each side (counting your cast-on as the first row).  Then, on the next row, cast on those six stitches again, and just keep knitting till the end of the yarn.  

A no-knot scarf -- perfect for anyone on your list!
Knitting with the Pom-Poms is a bit of a trick -- basically, you knit two stitches between each Pom, one just before, and one just after.  You start with a stitch just before a Pom, and you end with a stitch just after one.  So, if you're knitting a scarf, for example, seven Poms wide, you'd have fourteen stitches in total.  Once you get the hang of it, the yarn knits up rather quick.  

These Poms are so soft, I just love it!
I was working on one of these at the doctor's office, and an older lady stopped by to watch.  She'd seen the yarn in stores, but wondered what it would look like knitted up.  We sat and chatted for a bit, and I gave her a couple of tips.  It made me think that, when I'm knitting things for my own grandkids, I hope I still have that urge to learn something new.  And hopefully, there will be lots more interesting yarns to work with!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


So, in my frenzy of preparing all my hand-knit goodies for Christmas, I forgot one major mistake in my scheduling.  I did not, in fact, need them ready for Christmas...I needed them ready for our family and friends get-together -- which was this past Saturday.
A no-knot scarf -- just pull the end through the hole!
I love this yarn, it looks like confetti exploded all over it

A twisted cowl and matching headband
Hats of every size!

All packed up and ready to go

With a few late nights, three and a half seasons of Merlin, and the ability to knit like the wind, I can happily say that I have completed my quest.  The gifts have been given (and happily received) to all but a couple of people I'll be seeing later on, and my hands can now take a well-deserved rest.  Although, there is that lovely grey worsted that has been begging me to become a sweater...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

An Early Christmas Gift For Me!

So I'm probably a bit more excited about this than I should be...but I got a package in the mail yesterday that I've been waiting for for a while now.  My first set of bamboo double-pointed needles!  Well, technically, 16 sets of dpn's, one in each size of needle.  They were on for a super great price.
I had to label each package in the US size, since the needles themselves are only marked in metric
And the best part of my new gift to me?  I can use them to make gifts for everyone else!

Working with dpn's is another skill that I used to find intimidating -- or at least, confusing.  Kishi often remarks that he believes me to be a wizard, and my knitting is some sort of sorcery.  (I am alright with this.)  But once I got started, my hands seemed to figure it out on their own.  The biggest thing to remember is to double and triple check that your cast-on stitches are straight before joining them to knit in the round.  Considering you're generally using three or four needles at a time, that makes three or four more chances for your stitches to get twisted.  Also, try to keep your stitches centered on the needle, so they don't slip off the end while you're working.
So much faster than knitting flat and sewing it up later!
These new needles will definitely help speed up my gift-making, and besides, one can never have too many needles.  The more needles, the more projects on the go, right?  Now, let's just see how long it takes me to mix up the packages...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Arya's Baby Blanket!

This is basically the project that started it all.

Finished this blanket with just a week or two to spare!
For years, I was the one that knit scarves -- just your basic, run-of-the-mill garter stitch scarves.  Garter stitch was all I knew.  I made a blanket for my first daughter, Morgan, which was basically just a wide, short scarf.

But when I got pregnant with my second daughter, I found a whole new world of knitting.  I was at my friend Lioness' place one day, for one of our knitting dates.  She was working on a baby blanket for someone she knew, in a Fan and Feather pattern.  As I watched her knit, I fell in love with the pattern, and I knew that I wanted one for my own baby.

I found a pattern here, and I jumped on it.  It's actually really simple once you memorize the basic repeats.  I did alter it slightly, first by switching the colors of the border.  Each round, you need to remember to twist the one yarn around the other when switching colors to keep the stitches connected.  This was my first time working with more than one color, and it took a few attempts to get it right.

Otherwise, I chose a 9 pattern repeat.  The number three is powerful, and is prevalent in most religions (ie, the Holy Trinity; the Maiden, Mother, and Crone; the Norns or the Fates: Past, Present and Future, etc.)  Three times three is especially powerful, and is considered a protective charm to many Pagans.  I chose to repeat the fan pattern nine times across, and since the border started in pink, I worked nine repetitions of the cream rows.  This made the blanket a bit bigger than the original pattern's dimensions, but it works nicely for bundling her in the stroller, and she'll be able to use it once she starts sleeping in the crib (which will likely be very soon, the way she's growing!).

It's amazing to look back and see how much I've learned in so short a time -- and there's still plenty left to master!  I'm thinking of trying cables next...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mystery Gift Knits!

Apologies for the radio-silence lately, but I've been hard at work on some gifts for the coming Holiday Season.  Without going into too much details and spoiling the surprise, I can at least offer a hint as to what I've been up to.
Here's a quick tease of what I've been working on.
First of all, I've got a mountain of yarn that's threatening to take over the bed in the spare room.  More than I need?  Possibly.  Enough time to finish everyone's gifts before Christmas?  Bah, who needs sleep anyways?  Besides, losing feeling in one's fingers is perfectly normal, right?  Right?
There's still about a dozen more balls where these came from...
Anyways, I've been working off-pattern on these, making it up as I go, since there never seems to be a pattern available for what I'm planning to do.  So, a fair bit of trial-and-error involved.  So far, I seem to have hit on a couple of designs that work -- hopefully everyone enjoys what I'm whipping up for them!

Back to work, I suppose...I'll be posting the completed designs after the holidays, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Baby Hearts!

Though I've been knitting on and off for most of my life, I've only gotten very serious about it in the past year or so.  As such, I still consider myself to be a bit of a newbie, with a lot to learn.  That's one big reason why I'm always finding a new project to try, with new skills I can practice.  I love learning new things (and knitting certainly offers up an endless supply) but I know that it can sometimes be a bit intimidating.  It's easy to look at the work of someone who's had years of practice and experience, and think "I'll NEVER be able to do that!"

This was my feeling towards sweaters.  With a new baby, the urge to dress her in cute little cardigans and pullovers was there; there are certainly no shortages of patterns available, either.  But I just kept thinking I wasn't ready for that yet.  I didn't have the skills.  Or the needles.  Or whatever.
Bubblegum and Raspberry...and they look delicious!
Then I found this yarn.  As soon as I felt it, I knew it was going to be a sweater.  My first sweater.  I pored over pattern after pattern, finding plenty that were cute, but none that were THE one.  Slowly, the nerves faded away as I realized that I knew all of the technical skills the patterns described, and the general formula wasn't so difficult after all.  

So, before I had the chance to psyche myself out unnecessarily, I cast on and didn't look back.  Seeing as I only had my US6 straight needles (I do plan on investing in some double-pointed needles at some point in the near future) I opted for a cardigan style.  It's also much simpler to button a sweater than to wrestle a squirming infant into a pull-over.  Taking the sweater formula I'd worked out from checking out other patterns, I just sort of made it up as I went -- though I made sure to write it all down, so I can do it again, or make some changes for next time.

My first sweater -- finished in only a week!
Using straight needles meant that I had to seam the sleeves afterwards, which is a bit of extra work, but thankfully sewing is another of my strengths so it wasn't a biggie.  And of course I couldn't keep things simple for myself while learning something new -- no, I have to mix it up with some colorwork, too.  Just simple little hearts, and it turned out so adorable!  I do need to work on keeping the colorwork a bit looser, though, so it doesn't pucker...not that it's very noticeable, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
Great, now I need to pick up a boat-load of cute buttons for all the sweaters I'm going to be knitting! 
The sweater itself fits the 6 month size average...but I probably should have aimed a bit bigger.  Arya's on the tall side for a 5 month-old, and the sweater just fits.  She likely won't be in it for long, but at least we can get some use out of it while this gorgeously warm fall weather lasts.  It's a lighter-weight yarn, so I think I might make her a new sweater for spring -- but I'll wait until it gets closer, since there's no telling how much more she'll grow by then!
Cuteness overload!
 I will be posting the pattern I created eventually, with a link to my Ravelry page.  For now, I've told myself that I have to finish at least one more Christmas gift before I move on to my next project.  A knitter's work is never done...
This is what my average project looks like on paper...now to translate this archaic text into a proper pattern! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Getting Historical!

This square isn't for a particular fandom that I'm fond of, but for an area of geekiness in which I excel.  I'm a huge history buff, focusing mainly in ancient history -- Ancient Egypt, the Greeks and Romans, right up through Medieval Europe.  When I was little, I always wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up.  Oh, who am I kidding, I still want to be an archaeologist.
Who didn't want to be Indiana Jones when they grew up ?!
Egypt has always held an especially fond place in my heart, and even if nothing else on my Bucket List gets done, I'd be perfectly content if I could get there myself one day to see the artwork and monuments.  Even as a child, I was drawn to anything Egyptian -- my Foster-Mom used to like telling the story of how whenever we'd take a trip to the Museum, I would wander off by myself.  Every time, without fail, she would find me in the Egyptian exhibit, talking to the mummy on display.  I even began correcting some of the tour guides when they made mistakes while discussing the artifacts -- I got in trouble for that one, even though I probably did know more about the exhibit than they did.

This square pays homage to someone who is probably my most beloved historical figure.  I kid you not, I have always had a serious, hard-core crush on him, despite the fact he's been dead for almost 2,000 years.  My dear husband has learned to cope with this fact remarkably well, might I add.  Without further ado, may I present to you His Royal Highness, Ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, King of the Sedge and the Bee, Nebkheperure...or, as most of you know him, King Tut.
King Tut's famous death-mask
Most people know Tut because of his famous tomb discovery in 1922, which was one of the only tombs to have had all its treasures still intact.  I was actually fortunate enough to get to see his exhibit when it came to Toronto (the guided tour was actually voiced by Mr. Harrison Ford himself -- how many archaeological exhibits can say they're led by Indiana Jones!?)...my Foster-Mom got me tickets, and I gushed at her over the phone for hours afterwards.  It was actually one of our last conversations before she passed, and I'm so glad I got to share it with her.  She always encouraged my passion with the past, and shared lots of stories about the places she'd been.
My Foster-Mom actually visited the Temple of Indiana Jones's Last Crusade...it's in Petra, Jordan
Here are just a few quick tidbits about him:

  • His father Akhenaten tried to abolish the worship of the traditional Egyptian Gods.  He worshiped the sun, spent hours staring at it every day, and eventually went blind.  And crazy.  The crazy may have come first.
  • His step-mother was Nefertiti, said to be the most beautiful Egyptian queen of all time, and it is believed that one of his Great-great-something-grandmothers was Hatshepsut, who was one of the first women Pharaohs, who dressed like a man and ruled her kingdom like nobody's business, and said "Screw you world, girls can be kings, too!"
  • His sister (and wife -- they did like to keep the royal bloodlines pure...) was Ankhsunamun...which was the name of Imhotep's girlfriend in the 1999 version of "The Mummy" with Brendan Fraser.
  • Tutankhamun brought back the worship of the old Gods after his dad died of crazy, stopped the destruction of the old temples, and if it weren't for him, we likely wouldn't have half the knowledge of the Ancient Egyptians we have today
So knitting in hieroglyphs was definitely something new for me, but thankfully this cartouche (the symbol which holds the name) was fairly simple.  It's actually Tut's royal name, Nebkheperure, spelled out.

The trouble with double-sided knitting is figuring out which side to display...
Hubby spent a good while trying to figure this one out...at one point, he asked if it was a bowl of ramen.  While I do enjoy cups of noodles, I do not enjoy them enough to designate a square of my blanket to them.  Sorry, ramen noodles, though you are delicious.
Apparently this is a depiction of ramen noodles in a claw machine...okay, I can kind of see it...

My pattern design can be found here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Frills Everywhere!

Soooo...I may have a new addiction.  These little skirts are so quick to turn out, and super easy, since I'm basically designing them on the fly.  Each one turns out a little different, while I'm working out the basic numbers for the various sizes.  This second one is a bit bigger than the first, and it's my back-up for little Sabby's gift, in case the first one is too small.  I haven't seen her in a while, and kids have this really annoying habit of getting bigger.
I am super loving these frills lately!
 The ribbing around the waist, as well as the drawstring, means that a bit of growing room is allowed.  I can say from experience with both my girls that there's nothing sadder than finding the most adorable outfit for your little one, only to find they have outgrown it before they can ever wear it again.  Also, because they are so super cute, you will likely be too absorbed in squishing their adorable selves to take any pictures to forever prove how sweet they look...thankfully, little Arya won't likely have this problem, since Daddy's camera-trigger finger would put an Old Western gunslinger to shame.

The one thing that this whole skirt kick has emphasized for me -- which is an ongoing issue I have dealt with my whole life -- is that I have no visual sense of measurement.  I honestly cannot compute distance or size by sight, whether it's an inch or a mile.  I can look at something I've knit and say, "Oh, that's about an inch of ribbing," when it's actually closer to four...or else I can say "Yep, that's a whole six inches of stockinette!" when it's really only two.  As such, sizing is really hard for me.  I can look at something and think that it will fit the intended recipient for sure, when in reality it comes nowhere close.
The black and purple makes me heart this piece

Most of the wearable items I've made so far have been either one-sized or accessories, which is safe for someone like me...but the one thing I wanted when I first started this blog was to learn new things, and that means stepping out of my comfort zone once in a while.  This has definitely been a new experience for me, and while I may never be able to accurately judge the length of a garment on sight, I have at least learned a few things.

First of all, I have come to rely on my trusty measuring tape while I knit, and to double-check the sizing as I go.  Having the exact measurements of the recipient helps, but checking online against market sizing standards helps, too.  Also, I keep a sort of knitting journal, where I record each and every step I take in creating the piece, as well as any variations I make.  Everything from the type of yarn used to how many stitches and rows in each...it's a great help when drafting patterns that other people could use, and it really helps keep track of what works and what might need some tweaking.  All things considered, I might have some new patterns ready to post soon!  Keep an eye out for me on Ravelry, as DizzyStitchin.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Frilly Skirt!

Ever since I got my Sashay Sparkle, I have been envisioning little frilly skirts.  Like, a ton of little frilly skirts.  For everyone.  It helps that between my friend Lioness and I, we've got three little girls under 8. It's great practice for figuring out different sizes for my patterns, and I have the safety net of knowing that even if the size is a bit off, at least one of the girls will fit it (or grow into it).

A bit of asymmetrical flair adds to the floofy-ness
This was also my first attempt at knitting in the round, and I'm super pleased with the way it turned out.  Rule number one, though, is make sure your stitches aren't twisted when you're joining them, or you'll spend about an hour undoing the rows you've knit and untangling your yarn.  Trust me.

The frills are on the purl-side of the work, which is the inside when you're knitting.  I'd stop every few rows and flip it inside-out to check that it was looking the way I wanted it to, but there was also the added plus that the knit-side ended up looking really cool, with a stripe of color where the frills were on the other side.  Honestly, I think this skirt would look great both ways -- either all ruffles, or with the ruffles just peeking out the bottom.  Hooray for reversible knitwear!
Love the way the black makes the color pop

It has taken me a while to get around to this project, mostly because I was waiting to find the perfect yarn to pair with each of the colors I have in Sashay.  Salmon, rhubarb, and emerald aren't the most common colors at my usual yarn depots, and the vibrancy of the colors made them pretty difficult to match.  Thankfully, inspiration hit me like a Glam-Rock Hair-Band (which may have come from watching too much Glee lately) and I realized I have a ginormous amount of black yarn lying about.  Hello, 80's!  

I used a length of Sashay for the drawstring waistband
I'm still working out the pattern in different sizes (there's a lot more math in knitting than I'd imagined) but for now, this one's going to little Sabby, who turned three last month.  My girls will have to wait, I guess, though probably not long, since I've got a second skirt on the needles already, in a slightly different style.  I have a feeling that there will be an abundance of frilly skirts in the girls' wardrobes shortly.  I'm also thinking up a big-girl version for me, though maybe with a little less frills.
The inside, showing off that little bit of flair

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zig-Zag Scarf!

This is one of those pieces that just kind of came together without any sort of conscious thought.  I was headed to my sister's place for the weekend, and wanted a project I could work on in transit.  Everything I had on the go was too cumbersome to transport easily, so I grabbed a set of needles and the first ball of yarn that came to hand from my stash drawer, packed up the baby and the husband, and set out.

The ball I pulled was a pretty, marled (hah, I just learned that word -- it means when a yarn has two different colors twisted together!) self-striping wool, and the colors remind me of sherbet.

Nob Hill Naturescapes in Spring Spray
I started and re-started a couple dozen times on the bus ride over, not sure exactly what I was trying to do, but just knowing that I wasn't doing it.  Finally, I got something going that I was happy with, and it just took off from there, forming itself into what it wanted to be.  Turns out, it's another scarf.  But a really pretty one!

This one was pretty simple, so it worked up fairly quickly -- just plain garter stitch with an increase at the beginning of the row and a decrease at the end for the zig, then switching them around for the zag.  Since the wool is so fine, it's more of a fashion scarf than a winter face-warmer, and the zig-zagging pattern gives it an interesting drape.  As I told my husband, it's "wonky".
Knitting this really made me crave sherbet
Back at home, I was slightly sleep-deprived over the next few days as I continued working on my wonky masterpiece -- which anyone who knows me will tell you generally leads to statements of random silliness.  The shape of the scarf reminded me of a lightning-bolt, which made me think of Thor, who really has no business with such fruity oranges, pinks, and purples.  And yet, in a half-lucid state, I announced to Kishi that I have titled this piece "Thor in Springtime".

Because it made sense to me at the time.
All ready for temperatures that require sleeves!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Moonlight Shawl: Part 2!

Getting through the main body of the shawl was just fine, and once past the initial intimidation factor, reading the lace charts wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  Granted, I specifically chose a simple repeat pattern to start with, but it certainly helped to build up my confidence for the next project.  Besides, once you learn to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Norse runes, knitting charts are a breeze by comparison.

I brought in an extra set of stitch markers (super glad I decided to make the second set!) to help myself keep track of where the pattern repeats started and ended, but that's mainly for my own personal OCD reasons and not absolutely necessary.  Also on that note, the original pattern required you to switch to the lace charts in the middle of a four-row repeat...which required me to do some quick math and add on an additional six rows, in order to keep both the pattern and my sanity.  Switching mid-repeat literally makes my brain itchy, and I go out of my way to avoid it whenever possible.  (The pattern must be completed!  That's why it's called a pattern, not a random!)

Zigzag edging
If I had followed the pattern exactly as written, the whole thing would have been finished on a single ball of yarn...as it was, I had to dip into a second for the last four rows and the bind-off.  Not bad, though, and I still have enough of this gloriously soft yarn left to make another two shawls, with a bit left over.  Honestly, this stuff feels so wonderful, I would knit myself a full body-suit out of the stuff and wear it all the time.  Maybe a onesie.  With feeties.  Oh Gods, now I need to invent a pattern for that!

Anyways, with the exception of a good soak and blocking (laying the piece out and pinning the edges to dry in its desired shape), my shawl is now finished, and just in time for fall.  I can certainly see it coming in handy as the nights get cooler.

It's a wooly-soft stingray!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Winter is Coming!

Despite the fact that it is only the very beginning of September (where did the time go?!) and still a gorgeous summer here in Ontario, it's only a matter of time before the cold weather hits.  That being said, I figured it's a good idea to be ready for it.  And, since I already own about a million scarves, I decided to try something new -- a hat!  Now I can keep more than just my neck warm.
A wonderfully silly hat
I wanted something fairly simple to work on in the few minutes I can find while the baby's napping, so I came up with a piece that is knit flat, then stitched together at the end.  I had a ball of worsted yarn kicking around, and still had a bit left over at the end.  (It's actually a sage green, though it looks different in each image...)  This was done on US6 needles.

A simple design for this trial-run
The bottom/top edge is just a simple rib stitch, and the main body was done in stockinette.  I added a simple design for texture, which is just a 1-3-5-3-1 reverse-stitch diamond pattern (just purl the stitches on a knit row, and knit the stitches on a purl row).  Basically, the body can be done in whatever stitch you choose -- you could add cables, color-work, or anything you'd like.  Just remember that the finished piece will be folded in half, with the ribbing at the bottom on both sides.

Stitch the two edges down the sides
Keep in mind when casting on and off that you need the edge to have a bit of give, so keep it loose.  Once you've finished knitting, just fold it over and sew down the two long sides.  (It's probably easiest to do this part inside-out.)  After that, you're basically done.  Feel free to add pom-poms, tassels, or other decorative adornments.

Wear, enjoy, and keep warm!

Voila, un chapeau comique!

Simplified instructions:

CO 45 stitches
K1, P1 for 10 rows (rib stitch)
Knit for approx. 14" (93 rows in stockinette for me)
K1, P1 for 10 rows
BO loosely
Fold in half, stitch sides together
Decorate as desired

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stars and Stripes!

"I understood that reference!" - Steve Rogers
Captain America is not my usual brand of hero.  He's too much of a stand-up goody-good, who's got a problem with foul language.  (Spending an hour with me would likely give him an aneurysm...my dad was a trucker.)  I'm not generally one for the straight-laced good-guy characters.  In fact, I spent most of "The Avengers" cheering for Loki.  Many hours have been spent in lively debate with my dear friend Lioness, who is an avid Cap fan, and while I could certainly agree with some of her points -- and the fact that he is rather good-looking -- I just really didn't like the guy.

Then, something inside me snapped.

I don't know if I suddenly discovered my inner goody-two-shoes that had been locked away in some deep, dark corner, or if Lioness's arguments had subtly shifted my perceptions, or perhaps my older daughter's obsession with him was contagious.  (Note: you cannot win a "who's cooler?" argument against a five-year-old, even if Iron Man is way cooler than Cap.)  Maybe I'd just been binge-watching Marvel movies too often.  (I like to watch the full collection, in chronological order, before going to see the latest release.)  Whatever it was that happened, I realized that I had -- *gasp!* -- become a Cap fan.  Not like on a borderline-creepy level, like Coulson...but still.

I was ashamed, at first, and tried to hide it.  But when I found myself sneaking away from my husband at a convention to buy a Captain America t-shirt, I realized that I had a problem, and had to come clean.  I came out to both Kishi and Lioness over sushi that night.  They were both very supportive.  After the initial gloating and mocking stage, of course.

Anyways, I still don't understand exactly what it is about Cap that makes me like him so much; it's been sort of a slow build that defies any rational explanation.  He is good-looking, though, and built.  And his anachronisms are adorable.  I must admit that I'm going to be rather torn, once Civil War is released.
There's something to be said for a good-looking guy on a bike...
When I first designed this square, I had used blue as the main background color, and planned to swap the red for white for the star.  The blue and red stripes just didn't work well for me, too dark...Kishi asked if I was making a Spider-Man square at first.  Changing the blue for white on the stripes worked better, and is more true to the costume, too.  Once I finished the stripes and switched in the blue, Kishi figured it out.  A little over half-way, which isn't bad.
The great thing about working in double-sided knitting is that you don't need to worry about weaving in the ends of your yarn.  Simply insert a small crochet hook and pull the ends into the "pocket" that forms between the two sides.  Just remember to knot them first, to avoid all your hard work unraveling!

My pattern for this square is found here.

Monday, August 24, 2015


This square has certainly lived up to its fandom, as I was starting to think it would never end.  This was entirely my own fault, since I kept letting myself get distracted by other projects.  Finally, it's finished, and I can add it to the growing pile of squares I've got waiting to be joined.

The Neverending Story was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and Atreyu was one of my first crushes growing up.  I mean, he had a horse!  I think the story kind of played into one of my all-time biggest wishes -- to be able to become a part of the fantasy worlds in my books.  I always sort of identified with Bastian, being the odd duck with their nose stuck in a book, staying up all night reading because I had to know what was going to happen next.  Also, there was a pretty good re-make that was done as a mini-series, which was truer to the original book (which I still need to read...if I can ever get my hands on it).

I love the Auryn symbol, since it's always reminded me of both Celtic knot-work and the Ouroboros of mythology.  Both can symbolize a sort of never-ending cycle, so I always thought the author was rather clever in its design.  I'd love to use the pattern again sometime, maybe on something unexpected, in lieu of traditional knot-work.  (And I'd love to see how many people notice...)
Socken wanted in on the photo shoot
Hubby couldn't guess this one, even after seeing the finished pattern.  He was more of a Goonies kid, I guess.

The original pattern is from the Lattes and Llamas GAL.