firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
"Popularity of woollen coffins soars" in the UK.

Which made me wonder whether if I were dying I would like watching friends knit me a woollen coffin. Or what it would be like to knit my own.

(Although actually I want to be cremated, and it would be a shame to burn up good knitting with my body.)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Lately I feel like I want to learn something new, or continue learning something I've already done some of...mostly along the lines of arts and crafts. It's great that I want to do stuff and might have the energy to do stuff, because it's been a while since I felt that way. But it's also frustrating right now, because whatever part of my brain that I use to choose among various more or less equally good options seems to still be offline, so I can't make up my mind what I want to learn or where/how I want to learn it.
lists )
What do you want to learn? What are you glad you learned?
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Yay! I can now provide a link for non-Ravelry members to see my items on Ravelry.

Pattern: Ridged Helmet Hat by Ann Budd (The link goes to a page where you can purchase the pattern; the pattern used to be available for free also but I can't find the free version online now.)
Craft: Knitting
Made for: friend (I'll change this to the name of the friend if they give permission)
Size: one

Yarn: Grignasco Top Print
How much? 1.5 skeins = 165.0 yards
Colorway: 442 purples/greens
Acquired: gift from [ profile] leandra333's stash

Still learning that my gauge is loose; I made almost the whole hat with the recommended size 3 needles. It took 4 skeins and was the size of a prize-winning pumpkin at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. So I remade it on smaller needles and cast on fewer stitches than recommended. It fits snugly and covers the ears. The Grignasco Top Print is very soft and was amenable to being frogged.

lousy Photobooth photo )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
If you're on Ravelry you can see it here:

Curly Q Hat by Hélène Rush
Needle: US 8 - 5.0 mm
Yarn: Feline Fibers 2-ply wool
How much? 0.9 skeins = 108.0 yards (98.8m)
Purchased at: Black Mountain Weavers in Point Reyes Station, California

Someday I will learn how to compensate for the fact that I knit really loosely. The hat came out too big around. So I felted it.

Someday I will learn how to pay attention to the washing machine when I felt something. It felted it a bit more than I intended it to.

Now the shape is sort of cloche-like. I like it in an “embracing serendipity” sort of way.

my behatted and bespectacled mug )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I am finally blocking my Flower Petal Shawl today, and I also spent some time updating Flickr and Ravelry with a few old knitting projects that I hadn't gotten around to uploading yet. Most had already been posted in my LJ but below the cut is a pair of socks that I don't think I posted about.
alpaca & silk/mohair petal shawl
Pattern: Flower Petal Shawl by Elann
US 6 / 4.0 mm
1 skein (341.1m) Habu Kasuri Silk Mohair A-32D
Purchased at: TKCS Sep 07
2 skeins (804.7m) Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud "autumn heather" (via swap with [ profile] sistercoyote)

The pattern calls for worsted weight and I did it in lace weight, but it’s a reasonable size anyway. (I am not sure if I ended up doing more pattern repeats than specified.) I like how the strip of Habu works with the Alpaca Cloud.

flower petal shawl being blocked
petal shawl being blocked.jpg
two more pix )
firecat: little girl knitting (girl knitting)
Have Fun! Scarf by Sally Melville, The Knitting Experience, Book 1: The Knit Stitch
I finished this in 2005 but I got it out for a photo today because [ profile] auntysocial was talking about the book in question. I don't remember what needle size I used. I knit this from a bunch of different yarns I got at the Mendocino Wool & Fiber Festival in 2004. It’s knit sideways and self-fringing. I made the mistake of hanging it on a hanger, and it grew so now it’s over 10 feet long.
Read more... )
Regia Jacquard socks (two at once, top down on 2 circs)
(Finished last month)
Pattern: Boot Socks by Knit Picks Design Team
Size: custom
Needle: US 1 / 2.25 mm
Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Jacquard Color 4-ply / 4-fädig
2 skeins = 460.0 yards (420.6m)
Color family: Blue
Acquired: as door prize, TKCS Oct 07
Read more... )


11 May 2008 08:18 pm
firecat: little girl knitting (girl knitting)

Unoriginal Hat
Pattern: An Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Needle: US 10½ / 6.5 mm
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool
1 skeins = 87.0 yards (79.6m)
Colorway 21 (white and gray)

I used exactly 1 ball of Rowan Big Wool with only a couple of yards left over. The hat is a bit small on me; I misread the instructions and used size 10.5 needles instead of size 11. (But then I might have run out of yarn.) Rowan Big Wool is kind of hard to work into cables because it’s not very elastic. It’s very soft.

photos )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)

US 0 / 2.0 mm Knitpicks nickel-plated 16" circs
US 1 / 2.25 mm Knitpicks nickel-plated 16" circs

Yarn: Fleece Artist Nova Socks
1 skein = 355.0 yards (324.6m)
Colorway amethyst
Purchased at Stitches West in Santa Clara, California

photos and gory details )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This is just a bookmark so I can find it later. But if you find it useful, great.

Waist Shaping by Knitting Daily
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
In my review of the Golden Compass movie I mentioned a couple of the cool knitted garments that showed up in the movie.

The OH and I recently watched Jailhouse Rock. Elvis wears an very nice sweater in one scene. I wondered if I could find a pattern for it. A brief search turned up an adapted version (a personal pattern):

It also appears you can buy a reproduction of the sweater.
firecat: little girl knitting (girl knitting)
Baby Alpaca Mittens

Basic Mitten Pattern by Ann Budd, Knitters Handy Book of Patterns

Made for mom
Size women's medium

Needle: US 5 / 3.75 mm circular needles (one Knitpicks nickel, one Denise)
Yarn: Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
1 skein turquoise, 1/3 skein gray

photos and gory details )

silly hat

18 Dec 2007 03:16 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Made for Naomi

US 6 / 4.0 mm (top)
US 4 / 3.5 mm (ribbing)

Plymouth Dreambaby DK Solid, 0.75 ball
Baruffa Fur, 1 ball

Adapted from the top down hat pattern in Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. Reversible. One side has an I-cord "stem". The fur and dk part is stockinette; the part with dk only is 2x2 rib, with a stockinette edge.

hatted firecat with silly grin inside )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Tidal Wave Socks by Deby Lake
Free pattern from South West Trading Company

Knit from Ellens 1/2 Pint Farm hand-dyed wool/tencel fingering, "Evening Shadows" colorway

This was my first top-down sock project. I did the lace pattern all the way down the front of the sock instead of stopping at the heel. The yarn is luscious and perfect for the simple lace pattern. The top-down construction method was easy; the only problem I had was with the kitchener toe.

Jury's out on whether the socks wear well. (I am hard on socks.)

piccies )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
733 out of 50,000
912 out of 50,000
2103 out of 50,000

Widget from [ profile] gngr here.


  • Started 3 Garage Band pieces and finished four others
  • Finished a sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Started the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater while watching one of the dumber Original Star Trek episodes ("The Naked Time")
  • Knitted several rows of the Tidal Wave sock (and ripped half of them out again) while hanging with Serene in a cafe in San Francisco
  • Finished one Tidal Wave sock (it took two tries because I misread the instructions the first time and produced a too-short toe)
  • Finished the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater and started the neckline
  • Started the second Tidal Wave sock
  • Started and ripped a lace shawl (my own design)
  • Finished the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Finished the Tidal Wave socks
  • Started a sekrit winter gift project

firecat: kittens sleeping on yarn (kittens on yarn)
This info is written up more tidily on

Pattern: Heartbeat Sweater by Jill Vosburg
Craft: Knitting
Made for: me
Size: 44" bust with side panel modifications
Needle: US 5 (back panel), US 3 (front panel), US 2 (side panels, sleeves, neckline)
Yarn: mercerized cotton
Colorway: purple and pink varigated (front/back panels), purple (side panels, sleeves, neckline)
I got the yarn in a swap. (Waves to [ profile] punkmom)

The pattern goes up to a 64" bust, but as written it isn't all that well designed to accommodate larger sizes - the shoulders and neckline end up too wide. Also the side panel width doesn't change (but I think that it should—a person who is bigger around also tends to have wider sides).

We did it as a KAL on the ample-knitters yahoo group. Different folks modified the pattern in different ways to address these issues.

My bust is larger than the 44" size I knit; I made up the difference by increasing the width of the side panels. Also I modified the triangles at the bottom of the back sweater panel to accommodate wider hips. (I won't do that again if I make another Heartbeat Sweater, because it makes the bottom of the sweater into an upside-down vee shape, which isn't entirely flattering. But it looks OK for this one).

I used #5 needles and continental knitting for the first front/back panel, but the fabric was too loose. I switched to #3 needles and combination knitting for the second front/back panel. When I was ready to start the sleeves, side panels, and neckline I discovered the purple yarn was much thinner than the multicolored yarn, so I knit with two strands held together on #2 needles.

The sweater is loose on me - my gauge-fu for garments larger than socks or hats is weak (and it doesn't help when I change techniques and needle sizes mid-project). It has some drape so it looks OK at this size, but I may take in the side panels at some point.

Better pictures to come. I've mislaid my camera so I took this on my crappy cellphone camera. It's a detail of the front panel and neckline. stitches )
firecat: crocheted doily (yarncraft)
UFO = "unfinished object"

Interweave Press has a fun blog/newsletter called Knitting Daily. The past few days they have been talking about UFOs. Many folks seem to be buying into the assumption that UFOs are bad and you should have only one project at a time. Here's the comment I posted:

I've realized I have a multitude of different knitting desires. This means I need multiple projects going at once. So my seven or eight unfinished OTN projects aren't UFOs so much as multiple WIPs (works in progress).

I desire: (1) variety (so I allow myself to start new projects before finishing old ones, if they are different); (2) some easy *small* knitting that I can take with me to doctor's offices, on planes, etc.; (3) some easy knitting that I can do while watching movies at home (doesn't have to be small); (4) to learn new techniques; (5) to work with delicious yarn; (6) to make clothes that fit me; (7) stashbusting; (8) to practice my design skills; (9) to experience the delight of wearing home-made socks (I've only got 3 pairs so far, I need at least 14 in order to be able to wear home-made socks every day!); (10) to make practical things (hats, shawls that will keep me warm when my cat insists on having the window open in winter).

Of course one project can and usually does meet multiple desires, but no one project can meet *all* those desires. Hence, multiple projects are necessary!

One task for today is to look through my stitch dictionaries to find a colorwork pattern suitable for a band of my new sweater.


22 Aug 2007 11:11 pm
firecat: crocheted doily (yarncraft)
My third pair of socks, first pair of worsted-weight socks, first pair that didn't follow a specific pattern. I'm getting better, but I still haven't figured out how to get rid of the holes at the edges of the heels where I turn the short rows. Next time I'll try the flap-and-gusset heel.

Made from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm worsted superwash wool, 1 ball red and 1 ball red and gray stripe. I used #3 casein DPNs. They were lovely to work with, except you can't hold them in your mouth or they start to melt.

Read more... )
firecat: crocheted doily (yarncraft)

I'm on a mailing list called GLBT-knit (at queernet). I asked them for suggestions for plain-color wool yarn raised and produced in the US and Canada and dyed in a variety of colors.

I got many suggestions and also other related suggestions for undyed yarn, non-wool yarn, roving, progressive yarn companies, and web-search sites for local products.

Here's a summary of what list members suggested and what I found on my own. More suggestions welcome.


Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This scarf has been on the needles since last December; I started it in the airport waiting for a flight to Las Vegas to visit the OH's cousin and [ profile] kitchenwitch. I've been carrying it around in my bag as my "knit in waiting rooms" pattern, and I ended up taking it to Wiscon. Every time I got annoyed in a panel I picked it up, so I quickly finished it. :-)

The pattern is from a book called Knit It Now!. The book teaches six stitch patterns and gives patterns for three or four garments in each pattern, each made with a different type of yarn, so you can see how a single pattern looks in a wide variety of yarn types. Nice idea, but the garments are mostly kind of dull.

They call this pattern Brick Stitch. It's a slip stitch pattern, which means that you're only knitting with one color per row but slipping some of the stitches from the row below to bring that color up into the current row. To my eye the result looks complex but the process is pretty easy. It was my first attempt at two color work that wasn't multi-row stripes.

The yarn is Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo. I really like the yarn; it feels really nice in my hands, drapes well, is lightweight, and has good stitch definition. It's not particularly warm.

I really like how this scarf turned out, and I got lots of compliments on it while I was knitting it.
pix - also available on flickr at firecatstef )


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

February 2017



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