Nighttime Knitting. Or Not.

*If you are looking for the post about the Adventurous April Knitalong and the Yarn Giveaway, click here.


I had plans to start the final repeat of my Tipperary Shawl tonight.  I spread it out on my bed and went off to grab a few things I needed.  

My cats typically ignore my knitting, but apparently there is an exception for Plucky Snug yarn — perhaps it's the bit of Alpaca in it?  Whatever the reason, Harry, my Maine Coon Cat, decided there were more important things to do than knit tonight.  Like snuggle all the knitting.

I really wanted to knit, though.  There are so many stitches in each row now that it's going to take me a while to get through the final repeat of 20 rows and the cast off.  I really wanted to get started.  So I tried to gently shoo Harry away with promises of kitty treats later on.  But he got feisty.


I had to buy him off with promises of a knit toy if there were any leftovers. Not much knitting around here tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow!



Progress Knitting The Honegart Hat


I'm knitting Steven West's Honegart Hat for my oldest child, who goes to school up north.  He asked for a new hat a while back, and I had been rather obsessively stalking Ravelry for a basic hat he would like when I stumbled across this pattern.

I'm into the second repeat of the honey comb cable pattern.  After one more set of cable patterns, I'll be ready to start on the decreases.  It's a simple knit with enough variation to keep you interested throughout.


The yarn is Elliebelly Alpaca & Merino.  I opted for a blue and a green, rather than the gray and yellow high contrast hat in the sample.  I loved the sample hat, but thought the boy might be more prone to actually wearing the hat knit in these softer colors.


Dye Yarn. Dye.

Sometimes a girl just has to dye yarn.  Nothing else will do.


I dyed some Blue Faced Leicester for a very sweet girl.


I dyed two skeins of Elliebelly's Eco Alpaca — I guess that makes this an Eco Duo — to use together in a hat for my oldest.  The skeins were dyed together and then the skein on the bottom was overdyed.  I'm hoping this means I get complimentary skeins that work well together.  It's an experiment I've been wanting to try for a while.  You can see the richness of the colors a bit better in the close up photo below.


There is a bit more yarn steeping and you would think I would be tired of dyeing, but of course, that never happens.


The Drop Stitch Scarf

As a knitter, I either have a dreadful case of attention deficit disorder or I am a highly efficient, multi-tasker.  I'm never sure exactly which one it is.  I do seem to have a knack for working on multiple projects at a time though, and just this weekend, as I'm working steadily on my cabled afghan and almost ready for the finishing ruffle on my Far Away So Close shawl, I suddenly became infatuated with Christine Vogel's Drop Stitch Scarf Pattern.

I've actually been intending to knit this pattern since the first time I stumbled across it.  I like the airy look of the dropped stitches.  Last night I printed out the pattern and this morning I looked through the stash for a likely yarn.


I ended up pulling out some Elliebelly Basilisk in the Cleo colorway.  The yarn is similar to the pattern yarn in blend — 50% silk and 50% merino wool, but is a somewhat heavier weight, more of an aran than the DK weight Lady Godiva yarn from Handmaiden that the pattern was written for.

This scarf looks gorgeous in every photo I have ever seen.  But, I'm having my doubts as to whether Cleo was a good colorway choice.  I understand that this scarf requires significant blocking when finished to open up the pattern, so I'm keeping an open mind.  I'm worried that it needs more of a rainbow colorway though.  Before deciding on Cleo, I looked at some handspun that was in my stash and considered both  some of my own Alpaca that a spinner did in a DK weight for me and some unknown handspun, but rejected them both because I thought it might be too much color and pattern all at once. Now I'm wondering — did I pick the wrong yarn?

I'm going to go forward with Cleo.  It's a fun and simple pattern to knit and I need something easy and portable for travel the rest of the month.  The Afghan has become too big for a travel project and I need a break from the Barn Raising Quilts squares.  So Drop Stitch and I will travel together, and we will see how it turns out in Cleo.



Afghan Progress



I've made it through two full repeats of the 14 row cable pattern, and am into the third.  I've used about four of the 16 balls I dyed for this project, so based on the size I'm feeling increasingly confident I have enough for a good sized blanket.


I tried tarting up the contrast on this picture in Photoshop so you could see the cables a little bit more distinctly.  I've chosed to do a very basic eight stitch cableover reverse stockinette, with four stitch bands of stockinette separating the cables.  Although I had a little bit of cable anxiety, this patterning is so easy that after the first repeat, you can just read the stitches and put the pattern away. 


The yarn is wonderfully soft.  The Merino content is giving it good stitch definition, but it's warm (I'm guessing the Alpaca) and very soft (must be the silk).  I could have knit this on larger needles to get a loser gauge I suppose, but I'm fairly enchanted with the firm, structured fabric flowing out of this uber-bulky yarn on size 11 needles.  As it gets cooler here, I'm trying to knit faster.  This is a piece of knitting that is definitely going to get a lot of love and use.



Dyeing Alpaca Roving

I saw this gorgeous handspun yarn on sale today.  It wasn't really enough for any of the projects I have in mind, but it looked like it was so beautifully spun that I was unable to resist an offering for a "your fiber, my spinning wheel" slot.  Although this appears to be a brand new spinner, or at least new to offering her yarn for sale, it was too beautiful to resist.

So, I'm spending some time tonight with this.


This is some Baby Alpaca roving that I've been saving for an extra special use.  I've got about 13 ounces of it, and decided to dye it in the old Elliebelly Melted Crayon colorway, so I could have some special yarn to use for Miss Ellie's fall sweater.  I can't wait to see the results!


How to Knit a Bird’s Nest

Thanks to some inspiration from the good knitters at the PurlBee, I've knit a nest.


Isn't it fun?  Instead of stuffing, I've used dried lavender blossoms in my eggs.  This nest will ultimately perch in one of the walk in closets, perhaps the one where much of my yarn is stored, as a deterrent to moths.  These first two eggs are knit from Manos del Uruguay's Serena, a lovely yarn that would make a fantastic little baby sweater.  I'm going to knit a few more from Blue Sky's silk/alpaca blend.