Posts Tagged ‘KAL’

Back on Track

May 8, 2015

So.  It took me a week to tink back the Saved by a Fish’s Kiss socks.  After a couple of days of being bummed and not so eager to pick them up.  However….little by little I persevered.  Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1500 stitches tinked.  And now I’m finally moving forward once again, sans vampire-bite holes and with the correct stitch count.

With the tinking came an extra little challenge:  What to do with all the yarn coming undone.  I couldn’t just rewind it, since these socks are being knit from the two ends of one skein.  So no way to really rewind.  I tried to keep the unraveled yarn neat, but in the end there were some….rather intricate tangles.  I used a pair of improvised butterfly bobbins, and managed to get it all sorted out with very little profanity used.  Well….maybe a bit more than very little, but not much, honest.

toe up taat back on track

They’re not terribly convenient to use either, but better than nothing.

I think I’m going to enter these socks into the Yarn and Falafel Fiber Fest WIP competition being held at the end of the month.  Basic vanilla socks, to be sure, but they represent a few new techniques learned, and I will be proud and relieved to finally get these finished after several years in the WIP basket.  All WIPs that are completed by the gathering are eligible for the competition, I will hopefully get a couple more things done and tag them to enter too.

I will again be teaching a double-knitting workshop at the Fest, and again use my Hot Cuppa Coasters pattern to teach.  The pattern has had great success, with two separate KALs done on Ravelry in different groups learning double-knitting, and in at least three off-Ravelry classes in double-knitting around the world.  Three that I know of – those in which the instructors wrote and asked my permission to use the pattern.  I have heard of one class taught in which the pattern was used without anyone contacting me.  Which, since it’s free, is cool, although I much prefer to be asked.  So far, in ten months the pattern has been downloaded by over 1000 people, there are 51 projects up on Ravelry, and it’s in another 94 queues.  Which makes me ridiculously happy.

More about the Y&FFF later!

I intend to get some housekeeping done around the blog soon, the pattern and book pages are woefully behind the times, and there are plans floating around my head to revamp some things as well.  We shall see.

Interesting clouds outside my window…

Shabbat Shalom!



A Leethal Adventure

September 9, 2014

Lee Meredith (leethalknits) describes herself as a maker of things, doer of stuff, with a main focus on designing original hand-knit accessories.  Her patterns are always amazing, like the Mikkey cowl I test-knit for her, shown in my last post.  Another test-knit was her Lerro shawl, a true knitting experience!

Lerro FO1

Lerro FO3

I spent many an hour with this going “huh?”, ruffling pages as I searched for clarification, then finally reaching the “oh!! cool!” moments, following up to 5 charts at a time, muttering to myself during stitch-n-bitch meetings.  (Luckily my knit sibs know me…I may have been giggled at a few times.  Ahem.)  The finished object is something I am immensely proud of!!

Lee has the ability to deconstruct stitches and put them back together in amazing and very unexpected ways.  She plays with colour.  She takes into account all possibilities, and many of her patterns are written so that you can continue knitting until your yarn runs out, or make whatever size or pattern combination you want. Complex but extremely thorough instructions – including tutorials – make her patterns many pages long, but the answer to any possible pattern question can be found there.  Last winter I knit her Robin shawl in no time at all, and it was great fun.

Robin FO


Lee’s patterns are always an adventure.  So when the 2014 leethal Adventure Knit-a-long was announced in July, I jumped at it.  More about it on her blog.  Parts of the pattern have been released all during August and into September, with an adventure story to accompany them.  Clues.  Teasers.  Hints.  Toys to play with.  There’s a mystery chest involved (and an attic).  The pattern is available in full pages, or in little foldable booklets.  Spoilers are clearly marked for those who want to be surprised.

adventureKAL books

The object and shape you knit can be chosen or randomly picked.  Cowls, scarves, shawlettes, shawls, and even a shirt in many possible shapes and variations can be made from the shape patterns.  Then there are 24 unique stitch patterns to mix and match, either deliberately or totally at random, they can all flow together.  So each finished object is different than all the others.

There are many different ways to randomize the (named and numbered) patterns.  You can just choose a number, or ask others in your family or circle to choose.  Throw dice.  Use a random number generator on the computer.  I already told you about the fortune teller/cootie  catcher(s) for patterns.  There’s also a Ouija board for choosing both shapes and patterns, pattern cards to draw, the fortune teller when laid flat can be the base for spinning a bottle, and a sheet to determine pattern choices by numerology!

adventureKAL randomize


I decided (without the Ouija) to knit a long strip or loop for a cowl.

I started out with the set-up and part of the first section with  Soul Wool Tibetan yarn in purple,  but it was soon apparent that as delightful as the yarn is to knit with, the colour changes were obscuring the patterns.

adventureKAL 1st 2

So the first attempt was frogged, and the yarn will be used for something else yummy.  I cast on again with Sublime Yarn Baby Cashmere Merino Silk 4ply, and it was a good call!

I’m halfway through the middle section, which means I’m halfway done!

adventureKAL loop sect1-2

(The colour is actually a lovely blue, totally washed out in the pictures…I’ll try to get better pictures when it’s done.)

This will be amazing blocked.  Some interesting combinations of stitch patterns are emerging from the (mostly) random order.  (The order muppet in me has interfered in this chaos muppet project a couple of times, in a general way.)

I especially like the Pallas-Virgo-Vesta combo:

Advkal pallas-virgo-vesta

and the Astraea-Aries-Sun combo:

Advkal astraea-aries-sun

And who knows what comes next!!!

I can later use the pattern for other projects, other shapes, either randomizing the stitch patterns or determining them in advance, for many more unique items to come.

The adventure continues.



Fuzzy Blue Giraffe

November 1, 2013

Happy November!

So the monthly K/CAL in the Ravelry Cowls group is colourwork cowls!  Any kind of colourwork – intarsia, fair isle,  double knitting, slipstitch, stripes…   I don’t usually join in the cowl KALs, don’t know why, but this just called to me.

I’ve had Shui Kuen Kozinski’s Spotted Giraffe Cowl in my library and in my queue for a long time.  When I bought the pattern over a year ago, I got a sweet message from Shui Kuen inviting me to join the KAL for the pattern in her group, but things were crazy and I didn’t get to it, although the yarn was already picked out.  Mondial Le Perle Prestigio Super mohair in teal and white.  Lace weight, but close to cobweb. Knitting a blue giraffe.  No relation to the giraffes currently populating everyone’s facebook profiles.  (I refused to play that game – I don’t open the door to anyone at 3am, thank you – thus keeping my profile giraffe-free.)

So anyway, the colourwork K/CAL was the perfect opportunity to cast on!

Casting on over 250 stitches in lace weight mohair, held double, took a while.  And then I failed basic counting class, even with stitch markers to help, and cast on too many.  Which meant I had to take out some of the cast on stitches.  And the fuzz of the mohair had totally stuck together.  A tiny 0.75mm crochet hook couldn’t get out the knots, I had to use a sharp needle.  Which kind of de-fuzzed part of the yarn.  OK, not a good start.  But once I got untangled, it was smooth sailing through the border.

Giraffe border

Like knitting a fuzzy cloud.

The pattern uses the hexagon, or honeycomb stitch – slipping or dropping one colour while knitting with the other.  No floats, knitting with only one colour at a time.  The first row of spots was soon done.

Giraffe first spots

Now I’m on the second row of spots – not bad progress for the first day!

(I may even be able to join another KAL if I finish this quickly…  Not that I’m addicted or anything…)


Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

Minion Jewelry

July 1, 2011

In the Indigodragonfly Summer Knitalong of Doom I have completed a brand new project . Using up just a wee bit of my leftover Minion MCN sock, I have created a Minion Membership WIP Pin!

OK, so the toothpicks and beads and pin backing aren’t from Kim, but the yarn is. And that’s all the rules call for.  Not that anyone pays attention to rules in that crowd.  Which is why I love ’em so much.

I entered this in the “sooper sekrit”  category of the KAL.  Although there’s also a “Less Big” category –   can’t get less big than this – or I could even have created a new jewelry category.   (That last would have given me a higher chance of a prize, I suppose, less competition…but I don’t think Kim would have gone for a one-project category.)

It could be argued that the bitty sweater is a WIP, of course, but the pin is a FO depicting a WIP, just to confuse the issue… and confusing the issues is one of my favourite things!

The pattern actually suggests making the itty bitty needles first and knitting the WIP with them.   I said oh no, uh-uh, no way.   So I knitted with regular needles, then made the toothpick needles and slid the stitches over to them.

My mama didn’t raise no fool. 😉

I still have a couple of ideas concerning the rest of the Minion yarn.  As much as I adore Indigodragonfly yarn, all I have in my stash is the club yarns, so I have to make do with that for as many projects as possible.

Minion Accessories.  I has it.


May 24, 2011

Is anyone surprised??

So I started the Wendy Knits mystery KAL.  With the Fleece Artist yarn.  When I pulled it out of my stash, it was much more variegated than I remembered.  All red, but a wide range of reds from burgundy to almost-but-not-quite pink (ack!), orangy to purplish.  There’s wine red and candy cane red and blood red and more, all blended into one another.  And it’s gorgeous.  I just hope it’s not too intense for a lace shawl.  I hate it when the yarn distracts from the pattern.

So far it seems to be OK.  I cast on last night and did the set up rows, then started the first chart.  Got halfway through it.

The detail is lovely.

I have one more row now before I start the second chart.  Can’t stand it, have to just see what it will look like.

Yep.  I like.  Carry on.  Time to finish the chart, bung in a lifeline and start the second chart.

The only thing so far I would have done differently is the double decrease – the pattern calls for a left- leaning dd and I would have done a centered one.  But it’s still good, nothing I would start over for!  I do have to pay attention to the SSK – Wendy specifies slipping the first stitch as if to knit, then the second as if to purl, then knitting them together tbl.  She says that for her it’s nicer, lays flatter.  So I have to remember to do them that way.  Always good to learn alternative ways.

On with the mystery.

Uh oh, temptation calling….

May 23, 2011

I am such a sucker for temptation.

OK,  let me clarify that.  At least when it comes to knitting.  And maybe just a few other things.  Which I’m not going to talk about right now.  Ahem.

One of my favourite designers is  Wendy D. Johnson, or Wendy Knits.   Wendy Knits is well known for her many patterns, especially socks.   She has written several books about toe-up socks.

She is also the author of Wendy Knits, A Never-Ending Adventure in Yarn, and the soon-to-be-released Wendy Knits Lace.

Here are some of her free patterns, if you’re interested!

Wendy’s blog is one that I follow, with enjoyment.  Last week she announced a new project, the Summer Mystery Shawlette – a KAL.    Uh oh.  I really like her lace patterns.

She is publishing clues over about three weeks, a few rows at a time.    I haven’t yet cast on, but it’s a real temptation!!!  I may well capitulate.

Her first post covers skill level, choosing yarn and needles, casting on, etc. There are a total of five parts of the pattern — here is the release schedule:

* Preliminary Information — cast-on and set-up — Sunday, May 15
* Part One — Chart A, 12 rows — Tuesday, May 17
* Part Two — Chart B, 12 rows — Sunday, May 22
* Part Three — Chart C, 72 rows — Thursday. May 26
* Part Four — Chart D, 20 rows, and finishing instructions — Thursday June 2

She adds:

Note that Part Three is a big chunk — I wanted it to be released before Memorial Day weekend (here in the U.S.) so those of you who have extra knitting time can indulge. But remember, because you are knitting from the bottom up, the rows get shorter and shorter, so it is not as daunting as it sounds!

Well, I don’t have a long weekend, so the third chunk may take me longer, but never mind.  Of course, I don’t have to cast on now at all, I can wait for the end, and see all the finished results on Ravelry, and then decide if – and when – I want to do it or just stay with my other WIPs…but where’s the fun in that?  The key word here is mystery, after all.  And you know how much I love mysteries.

I’m thinking of using the Fleece Artist yarn I got in the TTB…

Variegated, but not too much, so the lace is highlighted.  I’m also debating adding beads, but I don’t think I will…

There’s a discussion of the KAL in her Ravelry group, along with the clues she’s also publishing in her blog.


I really want to finish some of my WIPs.  I’m halfway through the Criss-Cross scarf.  Other WIPs are close to being finished.  And the yarn is ready for several other projects in the queue.

Oh, piffle.

Can I stand firm?  Should I?  What would you do?