Archive for December, 2013


December 4, 2013

I’m so excited!!

OK, the beginning.

In October, the 2013 Indie Gift-A-Long was born in the Ravelry community.  To quote the group:

Prepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers!

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

For the first two weeks of November, 177 indie designers sold their selected patterns at a 25% discount for use in the GAL.  Now anyone knitting or crocheting one of those hundreds of yummy patterns can join in the group just by posting their project and tagging it.  Lots of chatter in the threads for the different categories, lots of designer encouragement, games and oh, of course lots of prizes.   And it runs until December 31st.


So, one of the patterns I chose (yes, one of them, what’s your point?) is the Boxy Cowl by Michelle Krause.  Waffle Stitch pattern, very textured, in aran weight yarn.   I’m currently trying to knit only from my stash, so what I fished out of the yarn cupboard for this was the Hjertegarn Stripe yarn I scored when my friend Marina had a destash party.

Hjertegarn Stripe

The cowl uses a provisional cast on (with a very long tail) onto waste yarn, which is picked up later.  I decided to cast on directly onto a spare cable needle, to save me the hassle of picking up the stitches from the waste yarn.  Easy cast on, but verrrrry fiddly joining in the round and knitting the first row(s) with that extra cable getting in the way.

Boxy cast on

Lovely pattern, simple knit, and it is now finished and blocking

Boxy blocking

(The sofa really doesn’t need all of its cushions at the moment, right?  I mean, the size is just so perfect.)

Knitting merrily along, I loved the texture of the pattern, and how it really popped with this yarn.  Perfect match.  I realised I would have extra yarn left over, so I was inspired to knit some matching fingerless mitts!  Took a break mid-cowl to do so, and was delighted with the result.  Basic mitts with a thumb gusset, lovely with this stitch pattern, and very stretchy!

boxified mitts 3

As soon as I posted them on my project page, I began getting flatteringly positive response, both in comments and in messages, and several folks wished for the pattern.  So…I wrote up my notes, had some terrific knitters test-knit them – thanks Dawn, Kiwa, Jenni and Linda!! – tweaked it a bit as per their suggestions, and the pattern went live yesterday in my Rav store.   I asked for – and received – Michelle’s permission to mention her pattern as my inspiration.


(Click on the picture to get to the pattern…)

Now, this isn’t the only pattern in my store, but it’s the first in over 3 years.  And folks are faving and queueing!  And even buying!  So as I said before, I’m so excited!

The Boxified Mitts have also been added to my Patterns page, to make them easy to find.  If you should feel an urge to search for them.  😉

There are so many great things about Ravelry, I never invested much time in my “store.”

I’m thinking…  this may change….


Hitchcock Revisited… “Good Eeevening. And welcome to a Murder of Crows.”

December 2, 2013

On Saturday we had an odd little episode.  I was happily resting and knitting in the afternoon, when I heard a cacophony of cawing outside the window.  I went to the balcony to look.  Dozens of crows were swooping and circling between our building and the building across the street.  And making a whole  lot of noise.  They were also perched on the roof across the way, and on the street light posts.  But most were not being still, they were in frantic movement.  Some just metres away from us.  I grabbed my camera to catch just a few seconds of it.

This went on for easily 10 minutes.   I have no idea what set them off.  But they were obviously stirred up.

The cat was mesmerized.

watching the birds

After what seemed like an eternity, they finally settled down and flew to wherever it is they usually hang out.  And we settled down as well and I got back to knitting.

Very odd.  I didn’t see Tippi Hedron anywhere outside.  (Yeah, I looked.)

tippi hedron

Maybe someone bought a pair of lovebirds?  Anyone familiar with crow behaviour?

I suppose Alfred was just having a giggle.