FO: Green The Whole Year Round, aka how not to panic

I blocked my latest FO on Saturday morning on Boo's bed while she and her sister played their ongoing, never-ending and incomprehensibly elaborate game of pretend. As I was pinning it out and adjusting the points, and smugly commenting to myself that it was absolutely lovely, I saw it.

You know what I'm talking about. It.

The dropped stitch:

I think all of you who have ever knit lace know the feeling that hit me at that moment - suddenly and completely incapacitating panic:


Thankfully I had enough functioning neurons left to take the first and most important step in a lace (or any kind of) emergency:

Step 1: take your own pulse*

Step 2 really only applies to lace emergencies: stop the drop

In this case, with a handy dandy split ring stitch marker. Stick it through the dropped stitch and bammo - no more dropping.

I took a few moments (ok hours) to regroup and let the shawl finish drying. Then the next step was to fix the boo boo.

Step 3: find an appropriately sized crochet hook and fix the dropped stitch.


Step 4: find darned darning needle somewhere in the morass of chaos you call a desk/office/studio/room full o' wooly goodness, take a bit of leftover yarn, and secure that little barstard tight up against the i-cord bind off.


If done carefully, the result of Steps 1-4 is a invisibly repaired lace piece without having to resort to Valium and/or liters of red wine.

wrong side

right side

I was helped in this instance by a few factors - yarn that wasn't too slippery (100% silk would have been....trickier) and a lace pattern that called for moderate blocking rather then full on Nuclear Warfare blocking. The stitch had only dropped down about 3 rows when I caught it, and there weren't any complicating lace stitches below it to screw things up. That being said, the same sort of fix can be done with more complicated and elaborate lace patterns. The key is deep breathing and going slowly.

Without further ado, my latest FO:

please excuse the bad pretentious iDevice selfies, but I can't find my camera anywhere

Pattern: Green the Whole Year Round by Anna Yamamoto
Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply (55% merino/45% silk), 399 yds/100 g, in Cherry. My shawl weighed in at 102 g, and I still have a little bit left over, so the skein might have been a bit heavy.
Needles: US 9/5.5 mm for the cast on, US 6/4.0 mm for the rest of the shawl
Start/finish: 17 January 2014 - 1 February 2014. Knitting done by 29 January, but, you know, blocking...

Comments/modifications: I made one major modification, which was to cut out one pattern repeat to make the shawl slightly smaller. I was worried I was going to run out of yarn (it calls for a full skein of sock yarn, so 440+ yds) and my yarn was slightly heavier, so I figured it would still end up big enough. The final dimensions of my shawl are 16 in deep at the middle and just over 50 in long, so about the same size as the original pattern.

Now for the comments portion of the evening: since doing more tech editing I find myself incapable of reading patterns without a running (usually waaaaaay more snarky then necessary) internal monologue. I try to keep this to a minimum, particularly with a lovely pattern like this which is provided for free. But sometimes I can't help it. I had two major problems with this pattern:

1) the designer includes charts AND written directions for every single line of the lace pattern, WHICH IS FANTASTIC! However, the symbols used in the charts were not ones with which I was familiar. The biggest brain cramp for me was that the symbol that I usually associate with a knit stitch (a blank square) was, in this pattern, the symbol for a purl stitch. Cue headache...

2) Problem 1 was exacerbated by the fact hat I didn't find the key to the charts until I was doing the short row section of the shawl (in other words, was done with the lace section). This is because the key was on the very last page of the pattern, and not with the charts. To solve my confusion, I ended up having to go back and forth between the written directions and the chart to decipher the symbols.

So really, these two problems were mostly on my head, for not hunting harder for the chart key, but I also think that they could have been avoided by putting the key with the charts. /end grumpy porpoise

The pattern is otherwise very well written and put together, and the final shawl is gorgeous. As soon as I get my act together it will get packaged up to off to it's recipient.

And now that it's finished, I can get back to my Unravel's everybody else doing with theirs?

* When I was teaching newbie Ski Patrollers in college, this was A Real Thing. Just the act of stopping to take your own vital signs is enough to stop the freeze up that can happen in critical situations. 

Tangible love

As in previous times of struggle for people I care about, I have responded to the personal events of the last week by grabbing yarn and needles and casting on. The act of knitting for someone else is never so weighty and meaningful as when you can't physically be there yourself.

Fyberspates Scrumptious (55% merino/45% silk) in a gorgeous deep dark cool red (Cherry), in the process of becoming Green the whole year round by Anna Yamamoto. I am enjoying the pattern except for the fact that the charts don't use the symbols I'm used to (and there's no key) so I keep having to go back and forth between the written directions and the chart to see what's going on. Thankfully there are written directions!

The yarn is definitely living up to it's name. I'm about halfway through the lace section now, and should be done by the end of the week so it can go off to it's new home. With much love.


I have a hard time getting started with weaving. I think of it kind of the same way I think of going out to ride my bike: the initial activation energy is much higher (getting on the gear, pumping up the tires, etc, etc) so I'm much more likely to through on my running shoes and head out for a run. Weaving is on the same order of effort: there's getting the loom out, finding the right heddle, figuring out yardages and lengths. Then there's warping (OMG warping), which always seems like such a HUUUUUGE deal, that it's easier to do something else more accessible.

Of course, once it's set up, weaving is way faster then knitting or crochet. And I think I've figured out a solution to the activation energy problem: as soon as I finish one project,

I need to warp for the next one.

Finished: washcloths (that is, the weaving is finished), warped: table runner. As a complete aside, I adore hemstitching...

This brings the status of the holiday list to:
one table runner - warped, to be woven tonight/tomorrow
three washcloths - DONE
set of dish towels (3) 
four scarves - one of which is next up

2 scarves - 1 done, one may be woven instead
1 cowl - have yarn, will cast on and start today

one pair of adult socks - cast on, on leg of sock #1
one adult hat
four child hats
one child mittens - now fingerless mitts instead
one child fingerless mitts
two baby sweaters -- DONE

The number projects that have to be done in the next two weeks so they can be shipped to the States?

5/11, with 5 woven remaining (including already warped table runner), and one crocheted. Totally. Doable. 

One Fund Boston

I've just made a donation for $170 to One Fund Boston, funded by your generous purchases of the Travelling Hats. Thank you so much for your support, and every penny of your purchase price will help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

So far, over $64 million dollars has been donated to the fund, and it will continue to help the victims of the bombing and their families in a number of ways. Thank you again.

(I promise to go back to more fibery-related posting next week, starting off with the plethora of yarn that I've spun during the Tour de Fleece - stay tuned!)

Baptismal hedgie

Last weekend, I went to the first christening I've been to in approximately 30 years. This being an English christening, I was, of course, a bit concerned about the proper etiquette of gifts. So off I toddled to the John Lewis page of christening gifts.

Blergh. What a load of unnecessary and unispired rubbish. Plus, £95 for a sterling silver box for a lock of hair? No.

By this time it was Wednesday, and time was getting short to come up with a gift before Saturday. It will come as a surprise to no one that I ended up grabbing the knitting needles and a bunch of scrap yarn, and came up with this adorable little creature, hiding in the barn Himself built:
Baptismal hedgie
Who's that?
Baptismal hedgie
Why, I do believe it's one of Mrs. Tiggywinkle's relations...
Baptismal hedgie
Be brave little guy, come on out...
Baptismal hedgie
Pattern: Knit Hedgehogs from the Purl Bee blog.
Yarn: leftover Cascade 220 from my Christmas slippers and some Knitpicks WotA Sport in natural, both held doubled
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm and US 8/5 mm
Start/finish: 5 June 2013-7 June 2013 (it took that long because I had to spin/dye some bulky weight for the eyes and nose).
Comments/mods: I changed the yarn weight and the needle size to fit what I had in the stash, but knit it as written. Lovely, quick little gift option, even if Himself pointed out that it looks more like an armadillo...
Baptismal hedgie
I suspect there will be more of these in my future, since Boo found it awfully hard to let this one go!
Baptismal hedgie