The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Hot off the needles

A mother-in-law gift I can be proud of.  Je vous présenté Le Cravat!

Pinned straight

The lacy Baktus edges were too raw, and even with the extra 200′ of yarn it still felt small for her neck.  The sides have a garter lace edging charted in EZ’s Knitting Around, page 114.  Meg Swansen adapted it from a book called Classic Knitted Cotton Edgings by Furze Hewitt.  It was quick & not fussy at all to knit on.  I just picked up a stitch each even row, and knitted it together with the edge stitches.

I loved getting back to EZ & am seriously scoping out the books she learned with.  Another up-side?  A new knit knack from starting the edge – invisible cast-on!

The top is edged with an applied i-cord with the outer stitch slipped.  The edges are from my 1st skein of Sea Wool (the cowl).  The colourways are different but blended together very nicely, I think!

With no time to waste, I’ve already started Fetching fingerless gloves.  It’s from stash – this plum Berroco Ultra Alpaca:

I’m thinking it will go to a younger cousin.


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Out of the Delldrums?

5 weeks ago we ordered a new laptop from Dell.  The original delivery date came & went but now they promise the gem is “in the truck” en route to our house.  This is no special-order machine by the way.  Ask me about their customer service if you dare!

Baby Sierra was born yesterday afternoon.  Her aunt sent word to say mother & child are both well!  This is the dress I designed & can’t wait to give her Mom.  It’s been under wraps for months but I’m 100% certain that no-one close to her will be checking up on me now, so!  Thankfully, the Baby Bamboo yarn behaved well under my serious blocking.  The edging is now blessedly flat and even (phew!).

Blocking the world's first Sweetie Pie Dress

This is the FO on a hanger.  Love the wood buttons lots!

I am going to work this pattern up as soon as the new laptop is up & running.  Let’s hope that Dell is correct and the laptop is well & truly out of production….

‘Tis the season for Christmas knitting… my Angee sock is still without a mate, and I am resisting the strong urge to spin.  This is what I decided on for MIL’s cravat request.  Take 2 is a Lacy Baktus scarf in a variegated colourway of the Sea Wool yarn by Fleece Artist.

If you can make it out, there’s a green stitch marker to the right of centre.  It’s what I needed to keep the row counting going.  The pattern is the very soul of simplicity but I was getting my odd & even rows confused.  Garter stitch does that.

Do you know what else garter stitch does?  It eats up yardage.  I am playing with over 380 yards of the Sea Wool but this is looking like a mini-scarf.  As you can see, I made peace with that idea, and started to decrease anyway.  This is only part of MIL’s presents & well, another skein is not in the cards.  I am now on the hunt for a nice pin.  Tying a knot with the ends is, admittedly, out of the question.   DH is in love with this & I hope he’s an accurate predictor of his mother’s reaction.

Also knitted is a prezzie for someone in the bloggy audience.  Obviously, I can’t post a picture here – yet.  Check out Irieknit on Ravelry if you care to peek.


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Mohair & other Pitfalls

Where did the week go?  Just one big blur of frenzied knitting.  I’m not quite wedding ready but am getting there.  The Wisp wrap was painstakingly slow.  Working with 2 yarns is usually not a big deal but mohair?  Keeping it all straight meant stopping each row change.  And the dark colours did not help matters at all.  Take my word for it, overcast fall days are not the best time to use black Silk Haze mohair.  A few hours in & I was running upstairs in search of white clothes.  Contrast matters with this stuff.  It just does.  

Oh, and the dropped stitches!  Thanks to Macwinger, I managed to get those under control.  There I was with open stitches & no idea what to do about that when she suggested I thread in yarn instead of a needle.  Yes!  Yes! Yes!  A lifeline.  Smart knitters use lifelines in lace.  That was the turning point in this project.  Shocking pink Jitterbug yarn saved the day.    

Up close & personal - Wisp 'o Necessity

 And the full monty:

To set all of this off, I will have a custom necklace.  Just this summer I learned that my neighbour, Sonja makes jewelry.  She uses materials from Asia, and her pieces are exquisite.  I tried it on this morning & am very excited.  It’s black onyx with a drop of coral.  The dress is black, so the coral will stand out beautifully.  Sonja has final touches to make but I will definitely post pictures of the final piece!  

The continued knitting is because I would like to wear the Purple Cocoon Cardi.  It’s a U.F.O. from this summer that would be perfect for San Francisco in October.  Except, I really went & did it on this one.  Instead of just ripping back the wonky tops, I went & frogged both front sides down to nothing.  Yea.  Even I can see that finishing this is impossible if I hope to do important things like pack for the trip…  Perfectionism is a terrible thing.

On the brighter side… Here’s proof that I have company in the stubborn department:  one of our daylilies has said to hell with the fall & bloomed today!

Sight for sore eyes


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Attests, Yes it’s a Vest

Ah, the joy of knitting:  baby Sammy’s gift is starting to look more like a vest & less like a tube top.

A boy could wear that!

Pinning this one into submission was a breeze.  Looks like I may just be getting the knack for baby clothes.  I wet blocked it last night, so it’s still damp.  The next step is to knit up a bunch of stitches for a garter neckline & sleeves.  Then it’s off for wrapping & mailing.  Good, quick summer knit.

This is generally shaping up to be a cool week.  DH’s birthday is around the corner.  He’s getting his wish for a low-key celebration.  Path to his heart?  Gift and good food!  Also, one of my oldest girlfriends is in town.  It’s been months, so I’m looking forward to having her over for a good old lyme.


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Cooling my foot

Cool yuh foot!  That’s Jamaican for telling someone to calm down or chill out.  Today makes it 1 full week since I walked with anything approaching grace.  So, I am still here.  Still cooling my foot.

The good thing is that I can sit up & knit now.  The slouch knitting was not so cool.  The ends of my needles were in the couch or I was knitting in the air, and it was all driving me to distraction.  Good posture regained, the left front is knit up to the cocoon stitch stage:

Purple Cocoons left front work

Purple Cocoon's left front work

The edges want to curl.  They are like little brats with all this curling.  I will fix their business in blocking!

After all my hanging out in Ravelry’s fora, I am seriously thinking about making a triangle lace shawl.  These are grandiose designing thoughts.  I have lived almost my entire life in jeans.  All of a sudden I need a triangle shawl to wear with them?  Man, am I becoming girly or what!?!

My orchids are still going strong.  Pippi is slowly coming with her first spray in my care.  I have an idea she’s an oncidiuum…

Pippi sending a spray for the summer

Pippi sending a spray for the summer

Happy 4th of July when it comes!


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Another pictureless post

My ankle is in no rush to heal.  At least the pain has largely subsided, and I’m learning how to get comfy for hours at a stretch… That and my hopping skills seem to have improved.

DH is coming home early to take me for X-Rays and a fracture boot.  The doctor promises said boot will help me to get around.  Let’s hope so.  MIL arrives this Sunday for her visit.  Right.  Well, DH may be many things but domestically inclined, he is not!

Yesterday, I had a stretch of good knitting while semi-watching Wimbledon.  My camera is waaaay upstairs, so any pics will be posted later on.  I’m almost finished the back piece.  In between blazing up the Ravelry Big 6 boards, I checked out some project notes for this Silk Cocoon Cardi.  There were some beautiful FOs & interesting notes.  My chief worry has been the 1/2 inch curl at the bottom edge.  I am assured it stays flat after blocking.  Phew.


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Woolsy Anniversary & Trip Pics

Happy Anniversary, Hubby dear!  Emily Post’s Etiquette says wool is ye olde 7th anniversary gift.  N.B. – The Knit Knack’s shamelessly brazen plug for More Yarn Please!

MIL outdid herself this year!  Even her son is in awe of this beauty of a gift…

Our first Rose Bush!

Our first Rose Bush!

We already did our celebrating in Houston.  Fancy dinner at a wine bar/ steakhouse called Flemming’s.  It had v. good internet reviews, and I am still hearing all about his bone-in rib-eye.  The server was snooty but we broke the ice by ordering the Chocolate Lava Cake.  It was to die for!  Loved. Every. Bite.

It was my first trip to Houston & the 90 degree weather was just heavenly!  The Lady B bag was the best carry-on luggage ever.  I started the Seduction Socks by Ann Budd with my mystery sock yarn.  The pattern is free here.  My main mod is to make them shorter:

Smallscale Seduction Socks

Smallscale Seduction Socks

This is because half of the yarn was used in my first-ever sock.  That’s the needle sock, and I’m not frogging it for love or money.

After all the selfish knitting, I had FOs for each day of this trip!  Texans were very friendly – every elevator ride lead to bubbly conversations & ended with, “Have a nice day, y’all!”  Co-elevator riders were actually the first to admire my Tender is the Night shrug when we set out for the wedding.  The shrug was a hands-down success.  It was perfect because I was the 2nd reader for the ceremony.  Dictates of modesty:  no bare shoulders for “reverencing the altar”.  That black pashmina was thrust upon my cousin the 1st reader.  Here we are processing:

Tender is the Night does me proud!

Tender is the Night does me proud!

It was a dream to wear, kept me warm during the air-conditioned reception, and netted a bag of compliments.  Mine is not a crafty family, so I was very surprised by the great response.  I am now a fan of silk shrugs – there is no slip sliding into soup bowls or constant arranging of fabric.

We did have a day out at the Johnson Space Center with my cousins.  I modeled the sunny sidekick but have no pics to prove it!  Here’s NASA Graffiti at its best:

Housing 30-story-tall rocket

Housing 30-story-tall rocket

Texas Longhorns – at NASA – huh?

Languid Longhorns

Languid Longhorns

That perked me up some for the tour of Mission Control.  Ancient consoles!

Not computers but consoles

Not computers but consoles

They sent men to space with just that level of technology?!  OMG.  After lunch we came to a quick consensus & off we went in search of Kemah and its boardwalk.

Can you say "Tourist Trap"?

Can you say "Tourist Trap"?

More of the amusement park setting:

Choo choo by the Gulf

Choo choo by the Gulf

Yay – the Sea!!  Kemah is on the Gulf, and a long ways away from good ol’ Lake Ontario!

It was a busy trip & I came home tired but with a full list of things to do.  I’m settling back down now & have a big reason to finish the baby kimono – Eden’s safely arrived!  Not deja vu or anything but here’s the baby gift being blocked:

Blocking Edens Baby Kimono

Blocking Eden's Baby Kimono

I know this has been an angst-filled project.  That said, green is the better choice for a wee one named Eden!