crafts · knitting

Rusted root is finished!

I am writing this on a brand new computer! Well, ok – it’s not exactly brand new, but it is new to me. Marc was up til 2 am last night combining 4 computers into one computer and a server. Plus I have a new monitor that doesn’t take up any room – so exciting!

With a new computer comes an actual working usb card, so I finally have pictures of last week’s FOs.

Pattern: Rusted root from Zephyr Style

Yarn: Knitpicks shine sport in green apple

Needles: US 6 for body and 4 for ribbing.

Size: Small (for 32-35″ bust)
Comments: I do apologize for the lack of detail in this photo. Marc took it, and apparently he wanted “his cat” to be a star on the internet, because all the photos I have feature her. This was a fun knit. It took around 2 weeks, off and on. The pattern was very clear and I was never uncertain how to continue. I did have a few issues – one phantom dropped stitch on a sleeve, which I fixed, and a terrible join where the sleeves meet the body. I had to sew up both armpits during finishing. I’m not sure if that’s normal, since this was my first top town sweater. You can’t tell now though, so I’m not too worried.

Pattern: Multidirectional Scarf, pattern available free online.

Yarn: Noro Silk garden #82, slightly over 2 balls.

Needles: US size 8

Comments: This became, for some reason, the neverending scarf project. I restarted it twice, using different SSKs in the turn. I finally determined that both stitches must be slipped knitwise for this pattern. I initially found the silk garden impossible to work with, but it did soften up. After blocking with some hair conditioner the scarf is wonderfully soft and drapey. The second picture, with flash, shows the colors of the scarf better. I ended up splicing into the middle of the third skein of yarn so that I could get both ends to finish with that lovely purple color. It ended up being 5 and a half feet long, and 4″ wide.

Right now I only have one WIP going. I know – crazy, right? I’m making Marc a Scrunchable scarf in Araucania Nature wool on size 6 needles. Why the size 6 needles you ask? Isn’t that going to take around 50 million years? Why yes, but you see… there’s something you should know about the nature wool. It’s not really worsted weight. Yes, I know that’s what they claim, but there’s no way. I’m thinking it’s closer to sport weight, and quite frankly it approaches fingering. If it weren’t for the lovely colors I wouldn’t use it, but I’m a sucker for variegated shades of the same color. And the scarf is looking quite lovely.

I’ve finished 15″ at this point. Thank god he doesn’t like long scarves.

I also have a picture of the Clapotis of doom.

You see how it doesn’t even want to be photographed? It’s evil I tell you! Look at my poor little hand there… thanks to Clapotis I had to play all weekend with aching wrists, which is just not normal for me… knitting does not really hurt my hands. I haven’t taken it off the needles yet though… I couldn’t bring myself to. The colors are really just so lovely… I really want to find a way to work it without my hands hurting. I’ll keep trying.

I need another new WIP, but I have so many choices! I’m thinking of making the “Something red” cardigan out of either green apple or wave shine worsted. I don’t have enough green apple to make it long sleeved though, and I like long sleeves. And then I have all those new books – I could start something out of them. I am paralyzed with indecision. Choices are not my friend.

books · crafts · Crochet · knitting

I caved…

…and ordered the two books I wanted from Amazon, plus one more that was pretty cheap with some nice designs. They came this weekend (love the free shipping!) Here are my thoughts (with lots of pictures, since it’s hard to see what designs are in these books online anywhere)

Knit 2 Together

I randomly flipped through this book last week at Barnes and Noble, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the patterns.  The price tag (27.95) was kind of steep, so I mentally put it on my Christmas list.  It’s only around 18 at amazon, so when I saw that I ordered it a few days later.


This book contains a large variety of patterns.  Almost of all of them are cute, with only a few missteps (did the world really need two patterns for knitted pants?  I think not.)  There’s a knitted dress that I actually find sort of cute, amazing since I usually find knitted dresses and skirts to be kind of silly.  There are some great sweater patterns.

Must. Knit. Faster.  I want all three of these sweaters immediately!  This book even makes me want to try fairisle, and I do not enjoy color work.  But… this vest.  So cute.  I may have to cave!

I even find patterns cute that I would usually ignore.

A “grown up bonnet”

Felted slippers

A knitted suit (although I would probably just make the jacket)

And… legwarmers.  Well, they don’t call them that, but hey – I remember the 80s!  Don’t think you can call it a sock and I won’t notice that essentially these are legwarmers.  But they are so cute.  It’s the ruffle – I’m a sucker for ruffles.

Final thoughts

I recommend running out and buying this book right away!  It has a good variety of patterns,  for men, women, children, and the home.  There is a bath mat I would like to make, as well as an adorable ruffled tea cozy.  The patterns and schematics are all clear and include measurements so you can easily determine sizing.   Tracey Ullman includes cute little anecdotes throughout the book (including, at one point, comparing a project you know is wrong for you to a bad boyfriend -I’ve been there!)  Plus it includes one of the cutest baby patterns I’ve ever seen.  My friends should start having babies so I have someone to knit these things for!

Romantic Style

Romantic style is a book I can’t quite figure out.  Most, if not all, of the patterns are from Rowan Magazines (yes, that is Butterfly on the cover.)  It uses Rowan yarns.  Yet it isn’t a Rowan publication.  Very strange.   Having said that, I own zero Rowan magazines, so I was happy to pick this up from Amazon for less than the cost of one Rowan magazine.

The Patterns

The patterns in this book all have a lovely sort of 1930s feel.  I love everything, even the ones I wouldn’t necessarily make.  There’s a lovely super long dressing gown that would take 50 years to knit, but which I just love the look of.

The sweaters are, of course, lovely.


and the accessory patterns are also really nice


There are patterns for both the capelet and the sash in the first photo.  I love the “bed socks”, which are tied at the top with cute little ribbons.  And the shawl… it’s a basic granny square shawl crocheted from kidsilk haze.  I love the idea and look of this shawl, but dear god – if I hate knitting with kidsilk, I can’t even imagine the horror of crocheting with it.  And yet this shawl tempts me.  The book also contains the infamous “river” kidsilk shawl, which I may make someday – just not in a fuzzy yarn.  I hate fuzzy yarn.   There are also home patterns in this book – several very nice pillow covers.  I didn’t photograph them because I dislike how long it takes to knit things for the home.

Final thoughts

Romantic knits has a lovely aesthetic and  many nice patterns.  If you don’t own many Rowan magazines I would recommend it – it’s on sale for 18 at Amazon right now, which is less than the cost of one Rowan magazine.  Be prepared for it to awaken in you a desire to own all the Rowan magazines.

Vintage Knits

Vintage knits is not a new book.  It’s a book of reworked vintage sweater designs by Sarah Dallas.  I’ve read that there are some problems with the book, but I adore vintage sweaters so I thought I would give it a try.


There are some really lovely sweater patterns here.  Unfortunately, possibly due to the vintage nature of the original patterns, the range of sizes here is quite small.  Most sweaters will fit between a 32 and 38″ bust.  There are a lot of similar looking short sleeved sweaters. Most are made in Rowan 4ply cotton or similar fingering weight yarn, and are knitting with US size 2-3  needles.  Good news for people like me, who find that needles over size 7 hurt, but bad news if you’re looking for a relatively quick knit.  The short sleeves should keep most of the sweaters from being outrageous though.

The patterns


You get the idea.  I bought this book for the wavy line sweater above, and I may make one or two others eventually.  The book lacks schematics, and the instructions are rather brief, so this is definitely not recommended for beginners.  It’s a nice option if you’re looking for vintage styled patterns though.  I bought it instead of Rowan’s “Vintage Knits” because I don’t think the rowan sweaters look very vintage.

Whew!  I think I don’t need to buy any books for a bit.