Posts tagged ‘secrecy’

August 5, 2014

Summer Is Almost Over

Thank goodness. I’m not a summer person. Really, truly, and honestly, you will not find me wishing for summer in the middle of winter. I may pine for spring, or wax nostalgic over autumn, but even if it’s fifty below, I’m not wishing for summer.

It’s been a rough summer for us this year, for a variety of reasons, and I took most of July off from designing. I knit all through summer, except on the absolute hottest days (which, thankfully, this year have been few), but designing — however serious I am about it — is still at the hobby level for me. I put much more money into it than I get out, and this summer, I didn’t have the money to spend. But, that may be changing. At least enough that I’m back to working on the MKAL shawl I keep mentioning.

I spent about an hour last night working on the script for the video I’m going to do for the cast-on for the shawl. (Wow, that’s a lot of prepositional phrases.) Once I have that done, I’m going to start knitting the second prototype (the first one came out much larger, and used more yarn, than I wanted), and get a test-knit underway.

My original plan was to do this MKAL back in May, right after spring semester was over. Now it’s taking me so long to get it all together that I’m wondering if maybe it’s going to be next May!

June 29, 2012

The State of the Knitting

I’m making a pair of Paraphernalia socks (Ravelry link). I finally got really started on them around the 16th. Last Friday, the good spouse bet me $19.05 that I couldn’t finish them by the time we left my mother-in-law’s house on Monday. I wasn’t yet finished with the first sock. I took the bet. I might have made it, even, except my cousin died, and her funeral was on Monday, and that took precedence. But, I figured I could at least get them done in time to turn them in for Nerd Wars last night. But then it became an everything that can go wrong, will situation. So, I am not yet finished with them, but I feel pretty confident that I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks, if I put my mind to it (at least, a pair of socks with no colorwork), and I will have them done by the real deadline, which is someone’s birthday.


My pattern didn’t get into the Knit Picks Late Winter/Early Spring collection. Which just means I have to finish it so I can submit it to Knitty for the Spring & Summer issue next year. The sooner I get it done, the more likely that I can take season-appropriate pictures, but submissions aren’t due until January 2, so I’ve got time. Just so I don’t keep saying that and don’t get it finished.


I am doing a dissertation for Nerd Wars this tournament, and it is a design that I’m working on for the Design Along group. At first, I was working with the idea of Medusa, and her snakes. I wanted to do a cowl on the bias, but the Medusa angle (heh) wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and I moved from there to the Midgard Serpent, and from there to Yggdrasil and Nidhogg. So I added leaves to the bottom of the cowl. This is what I came up with for my first sketch:

Cowl sketch #1

The clown colors are what I thought I was going to use, because I had it on hand. Then I did a little swatching, and found more yarn, and came up with this:

Cowl sketch #2

The proportions are off, but the colors are a little less clownish.

Then I kept thinking about it, and realized that the number of leaves was the same as the number of tails on the oldest and wisest foxes in Japanese folklore (Kitsune grow more tails as they age, to an apparent maximum of nine), and decided those weren’t leaves after all.

Cowl sketch #3

I’m still working with the pinks and green, because I have them, but I think a combination of reddish-oranges and browns would be perfect.


Twist Collective has a call for submissions out for their Spring/Summer 2013 issue, and I’ve got an idea that I think would be good for that, too. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for at least a year, but this might be the kick in the pants that gets me doing more than doodling and thinking.

October 7, 2011

Things to do, the rough draft

To do in October, I hope. Thankfully, some of the Nerd Wars and Mystery220 stuff can double as holiday gifts.

Oh, crap, would you believe I wasn’t even thinking about Hallowe’en costumes? I had thought that I should dust off my pictures from last year when I tried to put together a tutorial for a trick-or-treat bag, though.

read more »

September 12, 2011

I feel like Sara Paretsky!

(FYI: All links are to Ravelry.)

I came across this really nice pattern, and realized it would make a good mystery KAL for the Mystery220 group. I sent a private message to one of the moderators about it, and she agreed. She got the designer’s permission, and we’re going to do it for a third September mystery.

And I get to run it! It’s kind of like writing my own mystery novel. Kind of. A little. Well, no, not really. But it’s still going to be a lot of fun!

The clues will be posted here, starting Wednesday. The materials needed are already up. And there’s a chat thread started.

It’s a small felting project, needing less than 100 yards of feltable worsted yarn. It’s perfect for using up scraps.

Come and join us!

August 13, 2010

Being sneaky

Except that I’m not, really. I’m making Grace a pair of Clandestine socks, and I haven’t told her I’m doing it, but since I’ve worked on them in front of her, and recently asked her to measure her foot, I don’t see how she can not know they’re for her.


I’m almost done with the first one. I have very little left of the first skein of KnitPicks Stroll that I’m using. I’m pretty sure there’s more than enough to finish the sock. (If there isn’t, I’m going to be really annoyed if I have to add on a new skein at the tip of the toe!) This means I should have two skeins leftover. I think Gracie will be getting a second pair of socks at some point (quite possibly Twisted). Good thing she likes this color!

I really like this pattern. (I have said all of this before, but I repeat myself sometimes. It’s a character flaw an amusing character trait of mine.) It’s not my style to wear, but I’ve really enjoyed knitting it. It’s quirky and different, and pretty fun. I think the instructions are easy to follow, although I really don’t think you need to put in the stitch markers (as mentioned in the post linked above). It may look a little intimidating, but I don’t think it really is.

Another note worth making (besides the stuff about the stitch markers) is that this is definitely better suited to using 4 dpns than circulars, at least in the leg. You repeat the pattern three times around the leg, and because of the nature of it, it’s really just best to have all the stitches for each repeat on the same needle.

I did misread the instructions for the toe, but I don’t think it’s going to be an issue (and it was my fault for misreading, not a problem with the instructions). After you move stitches a little to change the beginning of the round, you’re supposed to just knit a row, then do a row with the decreases. I missed the part about knitting one row plain. Instead, I knit the second row plain, then continued by following the directions (knitting the odd rows plain and doing decreases on the even rows). I’m sure Grace will never notice, even if I forget and do the second sock the way it’s supposed to be done.

March 25, 2010

In the works

But first, wow, someone searched for “sosoclever knits”?

I have, I think, finished writing the instructions for the Super Secret Felted Project, and am ready to pass it off to a test-knitter (him being the charming bibliogrrl’s boyfriend, he of the envy-making curly hair — why do guys always get the really good hair?). Hopefully he won’t find any huge problems with it, and then I can pass it on to a tech-editor, and then I can see if anyone is actually willing to pay for it. I’m going to knit a final sample, too, making sure I use the instructions as they’re written.

I said he could post pictures as he’s working on it, but I’m still leery of doing so myself. I really think I’ve got something pretty original, and I’m afraid if I release it too soon, I’ll wind up losing out because of it. Someone will see it and manage to reverse-engineer it, and I’ll lose my edge. Yes, I do realize that I’m a little on the paranoid side.

I’m almost finished with the pattern for She’s Purple!


Not the greatest picture, I know. And the pattern as written uses a different yarn with a different gauge. And now that I’m just about done with it, it turns out I’m not actually knitting at the gauge for which I re-wrote the pattern. It’s closer to the gauge I got with the original yarn. Doesn’t that just figure? I’ve decided I want to get that one test-knit, too, probably in size 2 and 16 (smallest and biggest), to make sure my numbers are right, and then I’ll have that one tech-edited (especially since it’s written for eight sizes), and take it from there.

I’m not done with the Hoover Blanket yet. I’ve been working on those other two, and figure I’ve got plenty of time! Of course, that “plenty of time” is now down to two months, so I should get cracking. Not that the Sea Monkey will care if it isn’t done in time.

The only other project I am working on right now are a pair of Clandestine socks for Grace. It’s kind of a surprise, except I can’t imagine that she sees me knitting something in this dark red (KnitPicks Stroll in Burgundy) and doesn’t know it’s for her. It’s the first Cookie A pattern I’ve made. It’s the first not-totally-plain sock I’ve made. I like it. The pattern isn’t my style (to wear, that is), but I like the way it works.

One note for anyone else who makes them, I don’t have a regular stitch marker at the beginning of my row. I’ve got a safety pin down at the beginning, showing which side is the first. The beginning doesn’t really move, at least not on the leg. It’s just that you’re adding stitches before it, and then at the end of the pattern repeat, you move the stitches you added to the end of the row, instead of the beginning. I’ve found it easier to mark it this way, instead of having to move the marker each time.

I do have another project sitting aside and waiting for me. I finally got my five balls of KnitPicks Palette in Celestial (which is a really pretty blue, and not at all purple, which might surprise some people, seeing as how I’m me), and I’m going to make another Shetland Shorty, this time with long sleeves. I’m forcing myself to wait until I don’t have so many other projects going at once, though.

April 21, 2009


I’ve picked up the Super Secret Project again. After the day where I played Baron Munchausen, I realized that the last piece of yarn I attached to finish off the last panel was not, in fact, wool. The room I was in when I was doing the hunt-and-splice bit doesn’t have the best light, and I pulled this fairly long bit of yarn out of my scraps bag, and it looked like the right color (natural), and I don’t have any other natural-colored scraps of the same weight, so I just figured it must be the right thing, right? And it seemed to felt together nicely, so it must have been wool!

The next time I took it out of the bag, it was pretty obvious I was wrong. The very last bit was actually white, not natural, and the last bit of the wool had kind of felted around the white (which must be the cheap acrylic stuff I used to make Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume a couple years ago). Ooops. So, I took that out and added on some of my WOTA. It’s a prototype. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

Now I’ve got my panels all put together, but I have some more work I need to do with something non-felting, and I’ve been agonizing over how to go about attaching it, and how to get it to work right, and I just couldn’t figure anything out. This morning, when I should have been getting ready to go to work, I pulled out the project, cut out a piece of scrap fabric and pinned it where the non-felted knitting is supposed to go, and just looked at it for a while. Then I did some measuring and hemming and hawing, until I finally just thought, “Short rows!” Seriously, with the exclamation point and everything.

I’m sure I’d considered short rows already, but discarded the idea as unworkable. Probably because however I was thinking of using them then would have been unworkable. But I think I’ve got it now. I’m doing a sample piece, not attached to the project, to make sure I’ve got the idea right, but once I have my numbers correct and it all looks good, it shouldn’t take long to do these last little bits and then throw it some hot water and see what happens.

April 4, 2009

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.*

You know that scene from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen where they’re coming back from the moon, and they’ve run out of rope at the bottom, so the Baron ties on a new length, and Berthold (I think it’s Berthold) asks where he got it, and the Baron explains, rather huffily, that he cut it off the top, of course? (Insert a similar scene from a Warner Brothers cartoon if you haven’t seen Munchausen, and then go rent the movie.)

I kind of feel like I’ve been doing that.

I was almost finished with the last panel on the Super Secret project, and I ran out of the Bare yarn. So . . . I fished some cut off ends out of my scrap yarn bag, and did spit splices. (My good spouse was in the shower, so he didn’t have to be witness to me “doing something gross.”) Then I ran out of yarn. I cut off the long tails left from casting on and did some more spit splices. I’m finally finished, and I have two little pieces left I could have spliced on if I’d become terribly desperate. They’re about two inches and two and a half inches long. And it was a near thing, too.

I’m going to use the Wool of the Andes I have to join the panels and do whatever else I decide I need to do with wool. It’s a prototype. It doesn’t have to look pretty. Although I think it still will look nice, just not quite how I picture the actual finished project.

I’m pretty sure that a single hank of the Bare will be enough to do the whole project. I have four gauge-type swatches that were necessary for designing, but someone doing the project by itself will probably only need one. We’ll see. I like the idea that it could be a single-ball project. Even though it won’t quite, because it’ll need a ball of non-feltable yarn, too, but it’ll be close.

*From The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

March 19, 2009


I’ve just finished the second panel of the Super Secret Project. Well, finished knitting. It needs to have ends woven in yet. That leaves two panels, and putting them all together, and adding the other part. Then I can felt it and see if it all works. Then, assuming it does, I need to get more of the Bare yarn and actually dye it and make a new one. So far, it seems to be going according to plan. I just hope it continues to do so.

I did use the smaller motifs. They work better in so many ways I don’t want to list them all. And I did remember to rip the first panel out and measure the yarn. It really made me wish I had a scale, because figuring total grams would have been a lot easier, I’m sure.

The ribbing on the legwarmers slipped down past my knees eventually, but that was it. The shaping of the calf kept it pretty well in place. The ribbing is very stretched out. I don’t know if increasing the ribbing — stitch-wise, not round-wise, of course — would solve the problem or exacerbate it. I have yet to wash them and see how the yarn holds up. I will do that this weekend.

March 3, 2009

Double the fun.

Or half? I did a panel of the super secret project with the motifs. I used the intarsia in the round method from Moth Heaven, which at first was awful because I thought my charts were simple enough I didn’t need to keep track. Ha! I know better now. I also knit it way too loose. So I ripped it all out and started over, keeping track of my charts, and it was lovely. I’m not exactly ready to do anything major in intarsia in the round, but for my purposes, this was perfect.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t come up with something to change before I’d finished the panel. What if I made the motifs half the size? As I was finishing them, I started thinking they might be too big. They’d probably work, but they were kind of a pain to fit in with the shaping.

Thankfully, I did not cast on for a whole new panel. I’ve got brains hidden away somewhere, and occasionally I actually dust them off and use them. I did a a test swatch, which I will felt tonight, and see what I think. If they look okay width-wise, but too stumpy, I can easily lengthen them. If they don’t look good at all, I’ll stick with the originals. If I don’t stick with the originals, I’ll rip out the panel I’ve already done so I can knit it with the new motifs and then rip it out so I can measure it. At least I thought of making the motifs smaller before I ripped out the old one and measured. Not that measuring would take that long, but I need to feel good about something.

In other news, I’ve decided not to do the feathered arrow vest redux with the Wool of the Andes. It was just too heavy. I have to find a different yarn, and I have to find something to do with all the yarn I’ve got.

Also, work continues on the legwarmers. I’m almost done with the increases on the lozenge. I think two more rows, and then I’ll try them on. Changing around the stitches to get them evenly divided again has done wonders, although I really wish I had longer dpns. I think I’ll have to put the stitches on a spare cable before trying them on.