Friday, October 17, 2008

What are you doing here?


Those colors can be only one thing. Well, two things. A big mess o' color, or a Doctor Who scarf. This is the latter.

I really really really really really love Doctor Who. Well, I love Russell T Davies' Doctor Who. Watching old episodes of Doctor Who just mostly makes me fall asleep, which I realize makes me a heathen in the realm of Anglophilia. But I want a scarf.

Well, except for that I don't want a scarf, because that sucker is 15 feet long. No. I want some arm warmers or wrist warmers, and a scarf of moderate size. So I'll be heavily modifying the pattern. I'll be using smaller needles, less stitches, and I am halving the number of rows per color colour.

If there's one thing I'm really good at, it's looking at a guide or instructions or the rules and saying "Well I'm not doing it that way." The Doctor totally digs that. And, I think I did okay for completely forgetting the list of colors when I went to the store. Not only did I get pretty darn bloody close/close enough on all my colors, I actually did not even forget any colors! Er, colours. Colours!

Friday, October 10, 2008

New sweater!

Now that I've done two sweaters, each being sort of an albatross around my neck, I felt a little anxious about 12 hours into my new sweater-less knitting status. So I started another one.

jaali 1

It's a Jaali! I've knitted three gauge swatches, and none of them came close to what I needed for the row count. You know what, I'm just not gonna worry about that too much. Let's see what happens.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fall is officially here!


I've been cooking turkey in the slow-cooker, wearing lots of Samhain (and my vintage is from 2005; this stuff lasts and lasts, folks) and Holy Terror, drinking a little Octoberfest, and knitting a bat. And a pumpkin.


Ya gotta love that outside lighting! Overcast skies can be the perfect diffuser for glare.

Bat and Pumpkin. This pattern I found to be a little easier than a Hansigurumi pattern, but some things had me scratching my head anyway. For one, I'm not happy with the holes that M1s will leave, so I used a variety of knit-left-loop and knit-right-loops on the upper half. Seaming seamlessly still evades me to some point, so I just make it sloppy and figure that nobody will see those parts but me. The pumpkin was much easier and I modified it to make it shorter and plumper by running the brown strand through the center top and bottom stems and tightening. Squish!

My purple sweater is still blocking. I might get to wear it this week, though!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Vine lace cardigan is blocking! All ends woven in, armholes seamed up, soaked and now stretched out on some towels.

Possibly related, it smells like wet dog in here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Sweater in the Low Light.


Purple sucks and I am tired of trying to get it to photograph right.


Sometimes it looks like this.

Vine Lace Cardigan

This is probably most accurate.

COMPLETELY related, I do not like it when a pattern tells you to "pick up 5 sitches, then 58, then 5 more" on the cast-on edge, oh and also, the amount of stitches you cast on at that edge six months ago? 64. I guess this thing happens a lot! Because I see a handful of other projects in this pattern on the Ravelry, and nobody else mentions this problem. Like, it happens with every pattern and people just accept this? Or there is something glaringly obvious that I am not interpreting in these instructions! Finally I ripped the collar out and started over with just matching the stitches I had cast on originally. And now I have a collar which is JUST FINE, THANK U VERY MUCH.

Last night was spent around a little bonfire, and now Arwen smells kinda smoky. I KNOW the yarn is called "superwash" and I've gotten it wet once before to block it, and again, superwash, but the thought of washy-washing it is making me a little nervous. It's my first sweater! And I'm going to WASH it. Scary!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Leetle Adipose

I have been very, VERY busy doing things* which are not knitting! Alas, I have not forgotten you, Bloglandistan. I am back with the first of what will be MANY posts updating you all on the little projects I've managed to finish.

This is Adipose attempt #2. After about TEN attempts to get the feet right on Adipose #1, I abandoned him entirely and started over with this lush Andean Silk**. A few notes!

One, I managed to do a proper provisional cast on for the top of the head, making the seaming up there kind of a piece of cake. I'm much happier with this one, even if he does have a bit of a Frankenstein scar going on up there like his predecessor.

Two, I totally made up the hands AND feet this time, loosely basing them on the original pattern*** but going with more tube-like limbs instead of the flat ones. I like! I could not re-create if I tried, because improvising and not taking notes is how I operate best.

Three, I was not able to replicate the awesomeness of Adipose 1's face, but I guess that's okay. This one is pretty cute too. Embroidered, instead of knit & sewn on.

Next up: A NESSIE! Maybe. Also a bat.

*Painting, painting, smelling BPAL (The Buggre Alle This Bible is my current fave, god bless Terry Pratchett), gardening, and being taken out for happy hours numerous times by all my awesome friends. Also looking for a job and I do believe I am in the midst of Career Assessment Test #94.

**AHMG, I want a sweater out of this stuff. But I kind of don't. I know I'd manage to shrink/felt it somehow. I'm already questioning the entire bulky sweater that is almost done, of which I made using non-superwash Cadena (pics to follow, maybe). That was dumb. But this, this is awesome and definitely worth the money.

***I thought a revised, BBC-sanctioned version of this pattern was going to be released soon, but I haven't heard anything yet. I really, really, really wish I had jumped on the Test Knitters bandwagon. Curse my shyness!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's been a while! I've made a squid.

pinkish squiddy

This one's for me. The main yarn is Moda·Dea silk & wool blend. The visual effect is perfect for this little guy, but it's kind of a pain to work with all the shaping.

pinkish squiddy

It's pretty cute!

The eyes are the palest Cascade 220 pink I could find. I also did a slight modification to the eyes— cast on 18 in light color, join in round, switch to dark color, k2tog entire round, k entire round, k1 k2tog last round. Break, run tail through remaning sts. I like that it made the eyes a bit more bobbley. This is probably not actually correct, as the awesomely talented pattern designer tends to lean towards accuracy over exaggeration. (Unless it's a Nessie!) Mainly the original specs made the eyes too big to fit in my allotted area. For this squid anyway... I didn't seem to have this problem with the teal one.

It's hard to knit now that I've discovered Boomshine. No joke!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hungry brain slug.

The brain slug found a host.

Radar & The Brain Slug

The host is alarmed initially, then realizes that having this thing on his head isn't really going to interfere with his number one directive: SLEEP.

Radar & The Brain Slug

The brain slug loses strength and slides off. The host is unaffected.

Radar & The Brain Slug

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I had some tech bloggy problems, but I think things might be straightened out now. And by problems, I mean I had an extreme case of "maybe I should move my blog! No, maybe I should rename this one. Noooo... move it. No. I don't know."

This could be related to the fact that I've had a rather hungry brain slug attached to my head.


A few notes for when I make this again: I used a long tail cast on and skipped the initial row ones which consisted of knitting straight across. This whole thing could be quite easily modified to knit in the round, and I regretted not doing that almost immediately. I am no good at seaming!

In other news, rumor has it that Mazzmatazz's infamous forbidden Adipose pattern will be available in a Guardian supplement come Saturday. Since I do not live in the UK, I must remain hopeful that I can take a peek at the pattern some other way to determine what the bloody hell I have been doing wrong with the feet.


I am actually ambivalent about my little Adipose project. His face turned out very cute, but I'm not happy with my seaming (vile seaming!) nor the acrylic yarn I used. I have a bit of Cascade 220 in a nice off-white, so I'd like to try to do-over. However, I know that a do-over has no chance of again achieving such a face. Squish.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Here is a squid.

squiddy2, originally uploaded by ambulardandelion.

I knitted this for my friend Kristi. Very cute, very squishy, very much of the insanity-inducing type of project.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

frogged kimono

frogged kimono, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

This is the "heartbreakingly cute baby kimono" which is, I admit, pretty cute. But I think worsted weight makes the texture of this a little too thick and unwieldy. As I was re-winding the yarn, I realized that there's enough of it (this is one of those ginormo skeins) to make the vintage cardigan, and being 100% cotton, I can dye it too!

I am most certainly going to do another baby kimono, but with a DK weight and probably a mercerized cotton, which is softer.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I hope you brought your defibrilator, mofos.

nessie, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

Because I am Nessie, and I will KILL YOU with my CUTE.


Now bring me a piece of cake.




Monday, June 30, 2008


nessie, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

And so, the lesson learned here is that no matter how straightforward an instruction seems, it's best to look it up beforehand so you don't make a GIANT MESS and have to start over.

At least I have half an idea of how to actually PICK UP STITCHES now. Hee.

She kind of looks like a giant pea pod right now. Needs some flippers or something.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


SWEATER, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heart Scarf

Heart Scarf, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

You know how sometimes you have yarn that you know what you want to do with it, and yet it keeps not working out right, and you've frogged three scarves with it now, plus it's Malabrigo so it's starting to look a little worn, and you're this far on version four and you want to rip this one out too because you loathe your edge stitches and wish you'd slipped them so you didn't end up with these weird lumpy things?

Yeah. That.

I'm not allowing myself to frog this, but I am making note that I need to slip my edge stitches whenever possible on future projects, because I just can't do them properly.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Now the grey one has a buddy.

pair-o-daleks, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

This should absolve me from ever knitting anything with acrylic and metal dpns, like, ever.


Friday, May 16, 2008


I thought I had kicked the BPAL obsession to a mostly benign level—but it turns out, I've just replaced them with Knit Picks.

My Harmony Options arrived yesterday, which made yesterday easily the most exciting day of the week so far! I quickly assembled the 8's onto a 36" cord, and started knitting Arwen (which has grown far beyond what my 12" straights can handle). About four stitches in, I realized I had a serious problem. One of the tips had a teeeeeny nick in it which was causing the yarn to catch. Serious bummer. This was the only project I wanted to use these needles on for the moment, and I couldn't use them!

This morning I called (according to their site, their phone hours are between 5am and 6pm PT Monday through Friday, 6am - 5pm Saturday, oh woe for the rep who has to go to work at FIVE AYEM, that is not even an hour I'm sure exists on this planet) and explained the situation, and was told a new set of 8's would be sent to me. I can keep the bad pair, which is nice because there is still one good tip, and I had kind of taken to using it as a cable needle last night. Since I had them on the phone, I ordered that pretty pretty purple yarn, about five color cards, and the Harmony Wood cable needles also.

Before I called, I had picked out everything I wanted and put it in an online cart. This turned out to be useful, I think, because the rep asked me for item numbers first, and then confirmed descriptions. So, a tip if you phone in your order: Have the item numbers handy.

In conclusion: Beth at the Lab, if you were wondering why I haven't ordered any smelly things lately— that's why. Sorry! My TKO is getting down to the last third, so it'll be time for a re-order soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Next project.

As a bit of incentive to finish Arwen, I am going to allow myself to order this Cadena (in the gloriously rich Heath), which will be used to make this Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan. I must be very careful to not drool too much, or felting could unwittingly occur. I also want some color cards which should be back in stock on Friday.

It is complete agony waiting until Friday to place this order. Agony!

I am somewhere on month 4 of working on Arwen, so I am hoping that a sweater knit in bulky weight will go much more quickly. In the meantime... I'm still knitting SLEEVES. They never end!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Daleks in Love

Daleks in Love, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I'm excited to be nearing the end of Pinky the Dalek!

I may need to someday take the bottom off of the grey one and add more stuffing. The under-stuffingness on that one has always bothered me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finished Bag

bag closeup, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I had to use every little bit of yarn to get the bag finished, but it's done and it's a perfect fit to the Knitting Tarot deck. Take that, gauge.

I just stumbled upon this adorable vintage pattern. But, vintage! Will I be able to find the book?

Easier than I thought, actually. The first google return on Coats & Clark Book #140, Sweaters and Accessories turned up a buy-it-now on ebay for $1.25 and $1 shipping. It took me longer to remember my ebay password, reset it, and sign in.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What is this 'gauge' you speak of.

Gauge, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I was knitting my plain ol' shiney scarf when I glanced over and saw my Knitting Tarot, which has long been on my list of "things to knit a cozy/sweater for." (Other things on list: myself, cats, wine bottles, teapot, Helo.)

The traditional meaning of this card, Justice, goes something like this: "With Libra as its ruling sign, Justice is about cold, objective balance through reason or natural force." The Knitting Tarot meaning of this card, well, I didn't read it in the book because "BLOODY, SODDING MATHS" sums it up exactly. Gauge is not my friend. We are not on speaking terms. Every time we converse, I consider taking out a restraining order. So it went something like this:

"OH HELLS NO. You know, that deck is pretty big, I'm just gonna throw a bunch o' stitches on there and see what happens, and ... yeah I think if it works out, I'll take it as a sign that gauge can BITE MY SHINEY METAL ASS."

I have about 8 rounds done now, and so on my break at work I stretched it out a bit on the DPNs and took stock. It seemed big. Hmmmm. Now I can't even remember how big the deck is. This could be trouble! But, it's okay. I have the internets! Maybe there are dimensions at the Knitting Tarot website? And what do you know, THERE WERE! Rawk. Except, those numbers just didn't seem right to me. The deck is taller when stacked, right? I forget. It's TALL. I can't even shuffle it properly. But the numbers on the website (3.5 x 1.75) were not even close to what I'd done so far, nearly 16" in diameter. I called the roomie.

"Please go upstairs and measure my tarot deck."
"Okay. *pause* It's 1 and five-eighths high."


But actually, I think this will be okay. I'll do a couple more rows, and then decrease a little. This will make the top, above the drawstring, a little ruffley. Which is what I totally meant to do in the first place!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Silky Yarn

Silky Yarn, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I picked up a skein of this yarn over the weekend. It's a 100% spun silk with European glass beads. It's so soft. Unbelievably soft. And silky. It reduces you to "Oooh, soft. Pritty. Shiney." when you touch it.

Because sometimes you're knitting a sweater and it just keeps going and going and going and you need something else, something small, in the meantime or else you'll just be knitting a sweater from now til 2015.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Casey has a sweatuh

Casey has a sweatuh, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I think he actually likes it.


Poor Casey, he has no idea.

I'm taking a break from Arwen to whip this up quickly. Arwen, meanwhile, is finished on the left side, and about halfway on the back. I guess at this point I could say - HALF DONE OMG. Since it's been in progress for two months, I'll give myself lots of padding and say it'll be done in four months.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Arwen part whatever

Arwen part whatever, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I have now managed to goof up the cable FOUR TIMES. So, whatever. It always seems to fix itself, and it's not blaringly obvious. I don't think, anyway.

I am going to HAWAII tomorrow, which means I will have a lot of time to knit on the planes. This project is kind of too complicated to wrangle in an airplane seat, but I really really really want to keep moving on it. Also it requires a cable needle, three different cheat sheets I'm using plus the pattern, a measuring tape, pencil, stitch markers, cutting apparatus, and I'm already carrying on my laptop and my SLR camera + lenses. TOO MUCH STUFF. Then I remembered the back. The back is a large, simple stockinette rectangle without even any increases or decreases. So, that is what is all bunched up there on that shorter needle. It is ready for takeoff! Two skeins of yarn, two needles. Much easier to deal with.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Arwen part eleventy.

arwen11ty.jpg, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I managed to put all the stockinette back on a thinner circular needle, then carefully ripped back, repositioning the cable sections back on the needles one stitch at a time. This whole process took about a half hour, much much faster than backwards-knitting all 1500 of those wrong stitches.

And I'm very glad I did so, because it looks like it's going to be a perfect fit AND it will knit faster—that's three whole other sleeve sections I will not have to increase.

The instructions say to graft the cuff together to form a seamless cable. but that was not going to happen ever. After several frustrating attempts to come up with 24 stitches to put back on the needle from the cast-on edge, I finally decided hay I think it will be alright if my sweater has seams. Seams happen.

Friday, March 07, 2008


That is approximately how many stitches I am backwards-knitting of Arwen, because apparantly I do not need to widen the arms any further and I'm terrified to just frog it to the point before I added all those stitches. So, no pic because it was further along than the last pic, but now it's just further along less than before with more to go backwards on.


Thursday, March 06, 2008


CABLES, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

Scarf: Cabled. Yarn: Malabrigo. Needles: METAL man I hate metal.

Since I can do about two or three rows per day on my "breaks" without getting interrupted by people DEMANDING to know what is wrong with the color printer, I can only hope this will be done sometime before next December.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quidditch Sweater

Quidditch Sweater, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I love this yarn, it's just Cascade 220 but it's this great obnoxious pink/red color, and the green is equally blinding. The pattern seemed simple enough, but the arm pictured is way too long and that was after I redid it without the cuff! I'll try it one more time using MATHS to reduce the number of rows, and if that doesn't work I'll just have to frog this sucker. I guess it could be a felted bag or something.


Arwen, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

There should be 158 stitches across now, I'm actually afraid to count it. It takes 15 minutes to do one row.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Branching off

Branching off, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I am frogging this because I keep screwing up rows 3 and 5 of the lace pattern. I don't know WHY I keep screwing them up. I can't even see the mistakes! But I'm afraid it will turn into a giant mess if I keep going, and I've had no luck knitting back.

Also, I would rather have cables.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


AHHHHHH.jpg, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

At least this mistake just randomly happened and then eventually fixed itself, unlike the one from the other night which spiraled further into disaster with every row.

I've added on for the sleeve and am making short rows. This pattern is kind of scary.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday post fixing.

Friday post fixing., originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I still have no idea how it happened, but on Tuesday I screwed something up and wasn't able to fix it properly due to the coffee shop kicking us out. I spent an hour on it still that night and finally got it fixed to some point or another. On Wednesday, I didn't knit at all. On Thursday, I was all prepared to move forward when suddenly, I found myself in a Bigger Mess™. This involved lots of frogging, and some tears, and there may have been wine involved!

I was actually dreaming about these crazy cables last night. It was a bad, bad situation.

But tonight I took a more concentrated effort to fix it, which seemed to go very well for the first hour, then it was wrong AGAIN. This was when I realized that my problem was happening because the thing I thought I fixed on Tuesday was not really fixed properly. The second hour, I spent knitting backwards all that I had just spent fixing, plus the extra two rows from Monday's error, and then finally doing a complete set of eight rows to make sure all the errors have been fixed. (They have, thank Hera.)

Tomorrow: Lifelines!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


branching-out.jpg, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

This is fun, but it's hard to see the pattern because my needles aren't wide enough to stretch out properly. I got two pattern repeats done today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Malabrigo, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

What self-respecting knitter is wearing a store-bought scarf? Um, that would be me. But I totally cannot wear my Harry Potter scarf anymore, I'm just tired of it. I also like to keep a small, simple project at work for my breaks, lunches, and those days when Illustrator takes ten minutes to open.

I'm going to do a scarf and a head wrap thing, I think. I have two skeins of this. It's SO FANTASTIC, of course.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gauge is for worryworts!

Gauge is for worryworts!, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

Day two of Arwen. The cables are still gorgeous. They look like that on the other side, too!

The main concern is of course the gauge. The pattern calls for 18 sts and 26 rows = 4". My swatch ended up being 18 sts and 24 rows = 4". The last time I tried to do a sweater, I had similar results and therefore went up a needle size, which brought me to long sweater (is looooooong). I turned to the Knitting Answer Book. It said:

"If you have the right number of stitches per inch, but fewer rows than you are supposed to, it means that your stitches are too tall. This can happen if your stitches are a little too loose." And, "If you can't match both, then matching the correct number of stitches per inch is more important, because you can adjust for a row gauge that's not quite right by simply working the length indicated by the pattern."

Right, I can totally do that.

Except while knitting away, I thought well, self, I do tend to knit pretty loose. Maybe tightening up a bit will help? And so once I got past the hem, that's what I did. And now, my gauge is at 19 sts and 26 rows = 4".

WHATEVER. I'm just knitting a frakking sweater here. It will either fit or it won't. It's now long enough that I can hold it up to myself and guess, yes it should fit.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A sweater for Arwen.

Arwen, originally uploaded by jen.fotos.

I'm knitting a Sweater for Arwen. For myself. We are like one in the same, Arwen and me. We're both brunette, immortal, and all that stuff.

This right here is an entire day's worth of work. (There may have been occasional pauses to watch BSG and reflect upon how pretty Helo is.)

I'm already somewhat hesitant about the pattern, since size M is going to be a perfectly tight fit, and size L was going to be, I don't know, Eomer-sized instead of Arwen-sized. (I don't know, Eomer seems like the beefiest of the LOTR guys.) Since I started this as a retaliation to the sweater that is looooooooooongcat, I'm now going to err on the other side of caution. This cardigan will probably end up to be Frodo-sized.

But the cabling. It's so pretty. And it's reversible! I am very taken with it. It is getting fondled a lot. (Maybe I should name it Helo???)