Tag Archives: pattern


The iPod that I got for Christmas was my first one, ever.  It’s BRIGHTPINK and shiny and smooth and beautiful and I love it, and I never ever want anything to happen to it.  So I purchased a clear silicone case for it.  But that wasn’t enough.

So I started searching on Ravelry for a case pattern.  I knew just what I wanted – sock yarn, double-thick (more cushioning), a secure little strap to hold it closed, a pocket on the front for my earbuds, and a hole in the bottom for the hold button.

You know where this is going…there was nothing out there that was *quite* like what I was picturing.  So I sketched out a little schematic, made a few calculations and measurements and spent a lot of time turning it over and visualizing it in my head.  So I pulled out a scrap of Trekking XXL (the blue/purple) and one of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (the semisolid blue).  The next day, I had a prototype completed:

It seemed pretty much perfect.

My Nano lived cozily inside (pictured here without the silicone skin), and the pocket is the perfect size for my earbuds + cord.

(you can sort of see, also, how the lining layer is knitted in that same contrasting color I used for the pocket).

I found the perfect button in my button-box:

I was even able to work in the hole for that hold button:

(kind of hard to see, but easy to access by feel)

For a first run, I don’t think it turned out too badly.  But you know how I am – as soon as I finished my prototype, I started thinking… “what if I decrease a couple more stitches right at the turn?”  “what if I make that strap just a bit wider?”  “what if I use a button without a shank?”

So just a few hours later…

Wider strap, shankless button, 2 fewer stitches on the inner layer.  And a different sock yarn this time – recognize those leftovers?  It’s the LL again, this time paired with my remnant from my blueberry pie waffle socks.  Every time I look at it (which is frequently), it reminds me of my happy time in Minnesota 🙂

I’m happier with this one than I was with the first, but we’re still not 100% there.  I am not that wild about the decreases on the strap, and I need to come up with a simpler way to join the two layers at the hold button hole; right now the inner layer slips apart from the outer.

(with silicone skin this time)

But as I said, I’m getting there.  Designing is so new to me – it’s really fun to twist my brain around and see what it can come up with! (mostly just brainjuice and dust, but I guess there’s an idea or two in the muck as well)

PS > Thank you, everyone for your comments on my new layout!  It’s my first time fooling around with it (I’d been using the same theme since I started using WordPress in Feb. 2008.  It was time for a change! 🙂

Hike Matching

(“Hike Matching!” is what my brother used to say when he saw two things that were identical, or similar, or had a similar attribute, or took a related form, or were the same color.  Pretty much all the time.)

The Yarn Harlot posted last winter about her daughter’s request for a “more matching” winter accessories set, and that really resonated with me.  As knitters, we have a tendency to pile on every handknitted item we can, for the “I made this! And this!  And THIS!” pride, without too much regard for mainstream fashion’s idea of coordination  (in fact, today I was quite proud of myself for wearing *only* three handknitted items – socks, shawl, and fingerless gloves.  Nevermind that the socks were pink lace, the shawl was deep reds and greens and blues, and the gloves were…well, you’ll see.)

So when I started this set in August, it was with a clear goal in mind:  similar but not matchy, Knitterly but not…knitterly.

For the fingerless gloves, Merletto Mitts:

I know the richly verigated yarn obscures the lace and cables a bit, but believe it or not that’s kinda the look I was going for.  Knitterly.

cozysquishywarmwow.  These are the *perfect* fall accessory, if you ask me.

For the cowl, Good Luck Cowl.

A super-simple lace pattern (which, umm…I still haven’t blocked.  Should rectify that.), it’s cozy and happy.  This is my first true cowl, and I’m loving the concept – it’s like a scarf! But without the useless dangly ends (which I’m not dissing because they’re fun in their own right)!

And the whole ensemble together?

Awesome! I think it says “Knitter” without being too “KNITTAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR”, don’t you?


Happy Friday, everyone.

Hope those of you who are attending Rhinebeck have a fantastic time.  Hug a sheep for me.

I’ll try to Tweet at Maple Leaf, as I remember 🙂

PS>The yarn is Chestnut Bay Fibers merino sock yarn and I LURVES it.  Though it’s one of those enigmatic yarns that appears completely different knitted up than it did even in the cake.  I kinda like when that happens.

Tell ya what

I’m incapable of making a decision.  You knew this.

Please help me again, ok?
I need a fun, lively new sock project to start this weekend.

Luckily, I have lots of sock yarns, and many patterns in my queue.

First, the yarns:

Artyarns Ultramerino 4

Bare Sheep Superwash fingering/sport

Yarn Lust Back to Basics sock

CTH supersock merino, “Moody Blues”

Patons Kroy Socks (hard to tell, but this is a heathery taupe.  Very rustic.)

Araucania Ranco Solid (really a semi-solid)

OK those are our contenders.  Top three are lovely variegateds in some way or another, bottom three are semisolid/solid.  (Notice something else about them?  They all, to the best of my stash-shopping confines, go against my recent trend.  Well, 3 of them do anyway)

I have about 40 bajillion sock patterns in my queue, but here are some I’ve been loving lately:





Interlocking Leaves (gotta admit, I kind of want to wait on this ’till I find the perfect orangey brown yarn)


Cornish Scallops

Obviously, not all patterns would lend themselves to all yarns.

Which yarn/pattern combo do you like? Which should I start tonight?


I promise, whatever y’all choose is what I’ll do.

I solemnly swear.

Unless I change my mind 😛

(PS > Or feel free to suggest an entirely different pattern.  I thrive on new inspiration!)

The unexpected ones are always the best

Earlier this week  I posted about a package I received from my grandma, and undertook an exhaustive side-by-side comparison of our capital “M”s.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I was originally going to wait and post about the box’s contents once I had dealt with them, but at my current rate we’ll all be reading blog posts through our holo-monitors and sipping Soylent Green by the time I finish the project.  So I decided to post now (obviously).

I love getting packages from Grandma.  They appear at random intervals, old shoeboxes wrapped in butcher paper.  This is the most recent one:

At first glance, it would appear to be a partially-pieced quilt in a box, being carefully supervised by a cat.

This first glance would be correct.

It is, in fact, a partially-pieced quilt in a box.

Isn’t it beautiful?  It’s maybe 1/5 of the way done altogether.  Still plenty of work left!

Everything has been hand pieced by Grandma – we’re traditionalists, and in my mind there’s no better way to do something as fiddly as these little circles and wedges.

Grandma’s stitches are much tinier and more even than mine could ever – EVER – hope to be.

A lot of the quilts she and I make are based off classic block patterns, with the template pieces cut from sandpaper.  but this one was different – the pattern came in proper kit form.

(back in a time when women were “Mrs. Husband’s Name”, as below)

I love that. I love when Grandma sends me letters to “Mrs. Jeff Hoops.”

The kit consists of a large sheet with pattern templates, yardages, project layout instructions and tips and hints.

Here’s all our template pieces:

(I took these pics at about 9:00 on Sunday night, that’s why they’re so yellow and blurry)

Grandma’s notes with yardage requirements and price (I think the white fabric is probably all she had to buy – the rest is scraps)

I don’t know when Grandma started piecing this – I’m not sure if she remembers, either – but the pattern kit itself is very old:

In addition to the three completed strips above, there are a few more blocks ready to go:

And all the other pieces have been cut already:

Which is fantastic, because I truly, *truly* despise cutting quilt blocks.  It’s my least favorite part of the entire process.

Some of the fabrics in the box are new to me, some are very familiar.  That melon orange with the cotton blossoms? I’ve used that fabric in at least 2 other quilts, and seen it in many more.  Same for the daisy with the red background, and the white and red polka dots.

I’m sure my mom and aunt could identify even more; many of Grandma’s fabrics are scraps leftover from clothes she sewed for them when they were kids.

Yup, there’s a lot of wonderfulness in the box that Grandma just sent me; I’m excited and honored to finish the project for her!  Maybe if I rush I’ll have a new quilt to sleep under this winter 🙂

Pretend I’m wearing one of those old-timey green visors

The votes have been carefully tallied, and between the input of y’all, and on my old blog where I cross-posted this, AND from my husband (::exaggerated sigh:: “Knit whatever makes you happy.”) AND from the dog (“Snwarfle!”), we’ve arrived at the following tally:

Looks like Gail has won it by a hair!

So now I can tell you – that one was my favorite all along 😀

But there’s something else I can tell you, too:  I fully intend to knit every shawl posted yesterday.

I even have the yarn for most of them.

For the Springtime Bandit:

That’s Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light – a gorgeous and squishy sportweight.

For the Little Arrowhead:

Yummy Fearless Fibers light fingering weight (this is the same stuff I used for my Stardust shawl a year ago, with much success).  Or maybe this:

That’s Bare Sheep yarn superwash fingering weight in “Blue Period”, and if I’m being perfectly honest with y’all…this may be too pretty to knit.  I’m just not sure I’m ready to part with it yet.

And for the other two (Onerva and Heartland)?  I’ll be dyeing my own:


Or at least, that’s the plan as of right now…we knitters are a notoriously fickle and indecisive bunch.

Tonight I plan to finish my Hey Teach and set it to blocking, then I’ll cast on for Gail – I’ll have plenty of knitting time tomorrow, as I’ll be watching all 5 Harry Potter movies in quick succession 🙂  (Any St. Louis’ers want to join me? I’ll make brownies…)

Important E

Today I have a question for the Universe.  And by “Universe” I really mean, “All three y’all who read my b-log.”

I have a yarn (audience:  ::shock::  ::awe::)

It is this:

It is by Chestnut Bay Fibers, about 430 delicious yards of a single-ply fingering weight.

With this yarn, I wish to make a beautiful shawl to wear in Minnesota (or, perhaps more accurately, in the car on the way to Minnesota – Jeff is notorious for keeping the AC blasting with no regard for my comfort level.  Harrumph!)

I’m considering several patterns.  They are:

Heartland Lace Shawl” by Evelyn A. Clark  (photo credit SheepGeek).  I’m a bit shy on yardage but this looks like one where I can lose a repeat or two to no ill effect.

Gail” by Jane Araujo (photo credit MaweLucky)

Springtime Bandit” by Kate Gagnon (photo credit ZeitgeistYarns)

Little Arrowhead shawl” by Pam Allen (photo credit EraLunaris).  I would be able to add several repeats to this one, if I choose it.

And finally,

Onerva“, by Särmä  (Photo credit Saermae).  My only hesitation here is that I’ll have to (with help from others who’ve made it) translate the pattern from Finnish, and that doesn’t sound like a recipe for quick success.

So I’ll put it to you all – which shawl pattern would be best for my beautiful purple variegated single-ply?

I won’t tell you which one I’m leaning towards, because I don’t want to bias the answers…

The warm-up

This morning I Tweeted:  “Lovely early-morning thunderstorm. Makes me want to go back to bed

Then, that thunderstorm became a hailstorm, complete with driving winds.  It was brief, admittedly, but certainly not pleasant.  And as it happens, I’d parked my Ahura under a tree the night before, so I got to leave my breakfast (strawberries, vanilla yogurt and hoememade granola), throw on the first dirty clothes I could find, and dash out the door – run like hell! – to my car, rescue it from under the tree (which was threatening to crack at any moment), and park it safely at the side of the house, behind Jeff’s.  It was really exciting, actually.  And my hair was already wet, so that added to the drama a bit.  I felt like I was in a (very short, rather boring) movie.


Speaking of thrills…

I finished some socks! (and took pics of them on Saturday morning when I was really crabby.  I think that these photos reflect my crabbiness.  I have expressive feet, no? )

These are Hedera, out of the sturdy and thoroughly nondescript Fortissima Socka.

I’m really pleased with them; this is also a pair that I’ve been envisioning since before I knew how to knit socks.  I’m glad to see them come to fruition.

…save one thing, which I had *not* been envisioning:

Yup, that’s one eye-of-partridge heel, and one slipped-stitch heel.  Didn’t realize it ’till I was showing them off to Thi in Knitty Couture a couple weeks back, and by then I was almost ready for the toe decreases.

So therefore….It’s a DESIGN ELEMENT!

(that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.)

I also finished another pair, too:

They started out being some little know-nothing socks…you know, just something to keep me busy on the train, to toss on when I’m hanging out at home, that sort of thing.

But in fact, I quite like them.  I put on a turned cuff, which is just sporty and substantial enough.  Just my standard 64-stitch sock pattern; nothing exciting at all.

And I’m all for using up yarn scraps! (The light blue is leftover from these, and the multicolored is a 50g skein of Deborah Norville Serenity that I picked up at Hobby Lobby several months back)

(it also helps when one remembers to do EITHER two eye-of-partridge heels OR two slipped-stitch heels, not one of each)

I’m very satisfied, and I do foresee more of these sporty little socks in my future.  They go great with my Keens, too

As close as I’ll ever come to label-whoring:

In fact, I test-drove these socks at the Renaissance Festival on Saturday, right after we finished taking these photos.  I think that post will be coming up tomorrow!