Tangled String

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” G. Bernard Shaw

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wip wednesday

Not much in the wip category today.  I have turned the heel on the first Horcrux sock, but I haven’t taken any pictures.

When we were getting ready to go to Tahoe, I tried to skein up my Madelintosh Malachite Tosh Sock and discovered the bugs had destroyed a truly beautiful yarn.  I was distraught and went into the stash and grabbed the first thing that didn’t need skeining, which was Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka Teddy Color.  Which is sport weight, fluffy yarn and completely wrong for the pattern (and sport weight is just completely wrong for size 1 needles).  I am afraid the Frog Pond is in the very near future.

I was distraught over the Tosh Malachite — which is no longer available — and not thinking clearly.

Any suggestions for suitable substitutions on the Tosh???

I did start Katie’s Beret by Kirsten Kapur in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Multi in Tahoe colorway.  Not a lot to show, but I am halfway through the twisted ribbing.


Impressive, right?

I do have pictures of the Decidedly UnTweedy Vest:

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Tweedy Vest from Knitscene in Dale of Norway Heilo.  That is a rough yarn, so I am glad it is not going to be next to my skin.  Norwegians are apparently hardy folk.

And the Cabled Shell:

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Crystal Palace’s Choo Choo Cabled Shell in Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Multi — unknown colorway and the band is long gone.  I modified it by adding five rows of ribbing at the hem, neckline, and armscyes.  It was 78 degrees outside at 9:30 this morning, so this tank top is just in time.  (My apologies for the cat butt.)

Tonight I plan to use some Posh Yarn from the stash to cast on Evelyn Clark’s Leaf Lace Shawl, and find a sport-weight sock pattern.

Last year I knit two hats.  This year is better.

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wip wednesday

Everything I started last year is off the needles. Mr. B’s Spring Jacket, my Weekend Sweater, the Decidedly Untweedy Vest, and the Shadow Rib Socks are all finished, blocked, and worn.


Oddly, these socks fit me right up to the moment they went in the water. Something relaxed (the bamboo?) and last night Mr. B was smugly pattering about in them telling me it’s what I get for accidentally felting his sweater.

I am recycling the Plymouth Fantasy Naturale from an earlier attempt into Crystal Palace’s Cabled Sleeveless Shell. I am endlessly mesmerized by the patterns the variegated yarn is creating. Once this goes in the water, the yarn will relax and the bumpy look caused by knitting with previously used yarn will go away.


I also have a few rounds of the Horcrux Socks done, but it’s nothing to look at.

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experience is a lousy teacher

I do not have a problem with moths. Therefore, I thought my yarn was safe –especially my sock yarn arranged sooooo artistically in a wicker basket.

I was wrong. Not the moth part –the safe part.

We do have teesy brown bugs — they are freaking miniscule! not worth mentioning small — with hard little shells.

They eat yarn.

They ate my Madelinetosh sock yarn. In the beautiful jewel tone Malachite. That I was going to use to make Embossed Leaves socks.

The remaining sock yarn has been sealed in plastic bags; some with lavender.

This is known as closing the barn door after the horses are gone.

There may have been weeping.

And unladylike language.

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just barely wip wednesday

I actually only have one thing still on the needles — the Shadow Rib Socks.  I am a bit confusticated with the second sock.  The first looked like a fairly normal sock.

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I understand that bamboo and Merino take dye differently because they are completely different fibers.  However, Sock #2 looks like it has a very bad case of dandruff.

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I realize that, in the larger scheme of things, the sock will be under jeans and none of this will matter, but really?  It looks like it has a disease.

I am about 20 rows from the toe and expect to finish it on the drive to Tahoe.

In other news, Gingko Shawlette is blocked.

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This was a great pattern and it just flew off the needles.

I just pulled the decidedly Untweedy Vest off the needles, so I will be blocking it when I get home.  There is a short section (about an inch) all the way ’round that seems to be slightly lighter in color and I am not happy about it; but yarn is yarn and has its own way of doing things.  I am hoping that it will settle during blocking, but I expect that is futile.  Hopefully, it will not make me totally insane every time I wear it.

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The shawlette is off the needles and blocking.



It is supposed to be near 90 tomorrow, so it should dry quickly.

Gingko Shawlette using 2/3 of a skein of Wooly Wonka Arianrhod in Woad colorway.

This was a lovely knit.


wip wednesday

I finished Mr. B’s sweater with the help of five donated yards of yarn. and it is blocking so, of course, the mid-70s are supposed to drop tonight.  We need the rain more than I need a dry sweater, so . . .

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I have started a small shawl for myself.  I have had bad luck with lace and I want to shake the monkey off my back, so I picked something relatively simple.


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It does get lacier and more interesting later, or so the pictures indicate.  (Gingko Shoulderette Shawl)

We shall see how that goes when I get there.

The Tweedy Vest is proceeding apace, although I have not gotten as much knitting time in as I had hoped.  The body is finished and I am almost finished with one armband.

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Once it is finished, only the sock I started last July will be around to remind me what an abysmal knitting year 2013 was.  I have several doctors’ appointments in the next few weeks, so even that may get finished.

I have to say that starting the shawl has been really nice as it carries no guilt!



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the luck o’ the irish

Today turned out to be an amazing day.  I had some books to process this morning — including two copies of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.  This is apparently THE book to read.  We have (had) one copy and eight holds.  Checkout is three weeks.  There are not 24 weeks left in the school year, so I visited Barnes & Noble this weekend.

Processing means coming face-to-face with my nemesis — printing barcodes.

Amazingly, all the barcodes landed just where they belonged on the label sheet.  On the first try.  I almost fainted.

I came home to finish Mr. B’s sweater — I am on the final cuff.  Everything is done.  It is even mainly sewed together, except the last few inches of sleeve and the aforementioned cuff.

Then I noticed that the skein was looking a tad sparse.

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That screaming you hear is me.

SIX ribbed cuff rows from the end and there is No. More. Yarn.  As in they don’t make it any more.

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Drastic measures were called for.

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Green.  Alcoholic.  In honor of the Saint.

Fortified, I headed to the Internet.  No one on Rav or eBay had the yarn.  They had the yarn at one time, but not now.

Then I found a blog.  Balls to the Walls Knits, run by a creative young woman.  She had made some hats with Plymouth Grass Color 9088.  Might she have some left? I inquired.

She has five yards left.  More than enough to finish.  And she’s sending it to me!

Never underestimate the kindness of knitters!

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just barely wip wednesday

It is still Wednesday, so I shall ruminate.  I did finish my Weekend Jacket.

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Cheryl Oberle’s Rachel’s jacket from her book Knitted Jackets using 589 yards of Cascade 128 Wool in color 9560 on size 13 needles.  I am unsure about the bell sleeves and may modify them by adding decreases.  This is a lovely yarn which I will use again.

I finished the repairs on Mr. B’s sweater, finished the right front and have started the right sleeve.
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I hope to get it off the needles this weekend and REALLY hope that blocking will take care of the slight wonkiness left from the repair.

My untweedy Tweedy Vest is almost finished.  It currently looks like a long skinny tube, but it is almost a sweater.
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The yarn is a dark navy but the left shoulder has been joined and I am getting ready to start the right front.  After that, just the ribbed armscyes and neck will be left.  Maybe next weekend?

After that the sheer rapture of starting something which has not been staring at me in an accusing manner.


no reason that i can think of

Mr. B loves Mari Dembrow patterns.  I made one for him out of a lovely, soft, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y yarn which I tried to felt “just a bit.”  It went from fitting 6’1″ him to fitting 5’2″ me.  It is an olive green — not one of my faves and now Miss B wears it.  I made him another.

I am now working on her Worsted Shawl Collar Jacket and it giveth me fits.  I lost count long ago of the starts and restarts and the number of times I forgot to cable.  The mistakes have been as the stars in the sky.

I have finished the back, the left front, and the left sleeve, and I am currently working on the right front.

I did not know that I had made a mistake on the shawl collar increases of the left side until I got to that point on the right side.  The garter stitch section between the shawl collar and the cables was shrinking rather faster than had happened with the left side.

Well, I must have gotten it wrong.  I have frogged it back twice and am restarting from Row 95 for the third time and it only NOW occurred to me that mayhap the error is not with the right side but with the finished left side.

A close examination of the picture showed me that I was right.  As in, the right side is right and the left side is wrong.

Did I mention that the left side is already bound to the back with a three-needle bind-off and the stitches for the sleeve have been picked up and knitted down to the cuff and the entire left side seam sewn?

This morning, I divided up the stitches I knew to be correct — the 30 that had always been part of the ribbed shawl collar from the 16 stitches which were gradually (but incorrectly) added to the ribbed shawl collar plus the garter stitch section which is supposed to, apparently, disappear as the shawl collar increases.

I have laddered down to the first increase — from 30 to 32 shawl collar stitches — and am preparing to fix the error and build those two stitches back up to the neck.  Then on to stitches 33 and 34, and so on.  Since I can’t face more than a few of those on a daily basis, I will continue working on the right right side.


The Tweedy Vest and the Shawl Collar have brought home to me the importance of reading the directions all the way through — which Mari Dembrow nicely mentions at the top of ALL her patterns — before starting the project.  I sincerely hope that I will someday do this and avoid some anguish.

I am not holding my breath.

I have actually finished my weekend sweater!!!  But California’s long-awaited rain, which still falls far short of the mark, has resulted in increased humidity and, to the cats’ delight, the wool is drying slowly.

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wip wednesday

I usually work on my Weekend Sweater during my lunch hour at work.  Last week was fairly bumpy, so I did not get that much done.

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I had to start the left front of Mr. B’s sweater again.  I had somehow turned the left into the right front and the buttonholes were all wrong.  I suspect that I will not be finishing this by the Closing Ceremonies, but I have made progress.

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I apologize for the extreme crappiness of the photo.  I took it with my phone camera in morning light under the direction of a very bouncy, needs-to-be-in-the-middle-of-everything, 10-month-old cat.

However, the back, the left front (with buttonholes where they belong) and part of the left sleeve are done.

I also made progress on the second Shadow Rib Sock yesterday during a three-hour doctor’s appointment, but I didn’t get pictures.


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