This Week’s Knitting Round Up

I spent this week out of town, which was both good (flight delays and hotel insomnia = extra knitting time) and bad (Iphone camera photos of my knitting are very unsatisfactory).  Here's the round up:

(1) Before I left I put in a little time dyeing which yielded both this fabulous dye pot

Random dyeing

And this choice of trim for finishing off Ollie's Crayon Ragman.


Any thoughts on which color you think will look more like a design choice and less like a screaming "I ran out of yarn" advert?

(2) On the road I got through the better part of two (of four) repeats on the Orchids and Fairy Lights Hat.


This pattern is SO much fun to knit and have I told you I'm knitting it in a thick, soft, buttery cashmere?  This hat feels incredible.  And the bobbles are fun, the cables are a challenge to keep straight, and all in all, this hat makes me feel good about myself — a pretty big pay off for a little bit of careful pattern reading.  Stephanie Dosen is the designer behind Tiny Owl Knits.  She is a fabulous designer and articulates a great, clear pattern.  I can't wait to knit her Amy March Slippers and her Catching Butterflies Mitts as well.  You should really look at every single pattern she has, but if you look at only one thing, check out the incredible Bee Keeper's Quilt.  I definitely have a crush on Stephanie and her beautiful patterns!

(3) I've finished (except for a line of crochet trim on the bottom edge I need to teach myself to do this weekend) the Honegart Hat.

Finished on ollie

I love the pattern.  The details are clever and it is a very satisfying knit.  Several members of my household are vying to keep this, but it's a birthday present for the oldest child (who doesn't read my blog), so I suspect I may knit a few more.  I like the way the skeins of yarn play together — as I mentioned, two skeins were originally dyed together and then I overdyed one of them, so that some of the original color shows through.  It's hard to display in a picture, but if you look closely below, you'll see some of the green from the band showing through in the blue "honeycomb" top.

Finished on ollie2

(4) I also got in some time working on the body of Ellie's Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan.  I'm well into the "miles and miles of stockinette" part of the body which, while not the most exciting knitting is possible to do while carrying on a conversation or catching up on the news.

Body progress

I'm hoping to finish up the body this weekend so I can get to work on the sleeves and button bands.  I'm knitting this sweater in Madeline Tosh, Tosh Vintage Merino, which is a wonderful yarn.  I'm wondering if it would be possible to consider this yarn a collectible item so I could justify buying some in every one of her amazing colorways.  It's great to work with and the softly dyed colors are very pretty.

That's the wrap on this week's knitting, and a satisfying collection it is!  Usually I'm in varying degrees of frustration, but all of these projects seem to just want to go well.  The knitting gods seem to be smiling on me at the moment, which I'm going to try to enjoy, because I'm sure it will be fleeting.



What Do You Do When You Are Out Of Yarn?

I never cease to be amazed by the ways in which people convince themselves that something that is clearly not right is actually okay or even good.

You might think that this is a very successful knitting project in the works for a very sweet young man.


But you would be wrong.

I spent the better part of the week not knitting on this sweater, while telling myself I had plenty of yarn to finish the sleeves and the ribbing at the bottom.  Briefly, I entertained the possibility of finishing out the sweater with a solid gray yarn — a moment of deep practicality.  Then I pushed the notion aside and reminded myself I still had three partial balls of yarn and everything would be, well, okay.  Or even good.

Last weekend I hedged my bets by starting in on the sleeves early.  I knitted the body of the sweater just far enough to do the last button hole, leaving a couple of inches of ribbing at the bottom to be done.  I started one sleeve, and then I told myself that just to be sure, I would start the second one.  At this point I had three circular needles and three balls of yarn attached to the sweater, and knitting the third sleeve was an interesting dance of needles and tangling balls of yarn.

And then this happened:


Two partial sleeves.  Two rapidly diminishing balls of yarn in ziploc bags.

I can "catch up" the shorter sleeve on the left to the length of its mate is on the right with the remaining yarn.  But that is about it, as you can plainly see.



Really, I knew.  I knew this day was coming.  After I exhaust these two little stubs of yarn, I'm going to have to bring out the gray — I have some lovely Alpaca — and pray that I can get gauge.  And that it doesn't looks stupid, a sort of a "hey, I ran out of yarn but I'm trying my best" sweater.  I'm hoping I can embrace the mistake and that it will look like an intentional design element or at least that it won't look like a total disaster and become the kind of sweater all children fear their mother may knit them some day.  In the future, I will try to keep myself from ignoring the impending train wreck, or maybe just recognizing that when the math on yardage is a little bit tight at the outset of a project, it likely won't improve with time.

Despite all of this, I am oddly delighted with this sweater.  I like the bulky Elliebelly Talia Merino yarn and I love how the colors play together.  The Ragman pattern is simple, but a joy to knit and not in any way boring.  So I'm going to suck it up, start knitting with the gray yarn, hope for the best, and trust that  another solution will present itself if the gray yarn doesn't work out.