Friday, September 9, 2011

Solar Circuit Racing

Guess what! Tyler started a game company - Moon Monster Games - and he just put his first game up for funding on (a crowdsourcing website) at

In order to get the game illustrated and manufactured, he needs to get the word out about the game and about the Kickstarter page. I would really appreciate it if you would help us spread the word. Tell your friends. Tell your mom. Tell your friend's mom. Anyone and everyone you tell would really help him out a lot.

Also, Moon Monster Games is on Facebook, so go Like it!

And now, a note from Tyler:

Thanks! I wouldn't have even gotten this far without the help and support of my friends and family.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Finished object alert!

An innocent looking capsule...

But lo - what is this?

Something begins to emerge!

Partially transformed,

Welcome, Octopus!

Pattern: Cephalohedron by Erica Schlueter
From: Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2011
Yarn: Cascade 220 Sport
Needles: Size 4 US (16" circular and DPNs)

This pattern is awesome.  Clear and well-written (there was one minor error - see my Rav notes)  I love that I didn't have to sew any pieces - everything is knit together as you go, even the eyes!  Also, it is self-stuffing, so I didn't have to look for my elusive bag of ancient fiber-fill.  I started on Sunday and finished on Wednesday.  I could see making some of these as holiday gifts if I had any children on the list.

Cascade 220 Sport is also awesome.  The name is slightly misleading - it's only 164 yards - but this stuff has great stitch definition and is dirt cheap to boot.  It's just $4/a skein at the Fiber Gallery, and two skeins will definitely make two cephalohedrons, or possibly even three.  I really have no excuse not to make at least one more.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sample Knitting

One of the things people assume about yarn store employees is that we get to sit around and knit all day. A lot of the time we have other things to do - helping customers, restocking yarn, cleaning, etc. But, sometimes, we do get to sit around and knit. Samples for the shop, that is.

I recently completed two such samples:

Grace by Tonia Barry

Knit in Classic Elite Pirouette (67% mohair, 25% bamboo, 8% nylon) on size 6 needles. This took less than 2 balls of yarn, and includes some insane ruffle increases which I rather love.

The finished product is larger in reality than the photo in the booklet makes it appear. Or, maybe I just had gauge issues.

Winding Way Mitts by Cheryl Beckerich
Knit in Cascade 220 Sport (100% wool) on size 4 needles. The pattern calls for one skein, but I only made one mitt so I only used 1/2 a skein. I would have to weigh the remainder to be sure, but it seems correct.

If I was a fingerless mitts person I would definitely make myself a pair of these. The cable pattern is engaging and easy to work, and the ribbing in the hand makes for a great fit. The 220 Sport is lovely to work with - lofty and soft, with awesome stitch definition.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet Harald Bairhair

Last fall I bought a DK weight cashmere sweater at Value Village. It had a hole in it, and wasn't the most attractive thing I'd ever seen, but it was extremely soft and a nice clean white color, so I bought it. I brought it home and washed it, and then it sat in a box for months.

This weekend I finally pulled it out, dissected it, and frogged it onto my ball winder. This is what it yielded:

Also this weekend, at the yarn shop, a customer showed off the adorable bear she had just finished. I asked her about it, and learned that the pattern was Peabey the Polar Bear by Snowden Becker. I immediately queued it, and favorited her project, then went on about my day. On Monday I realized that I could make him out of a bit of the cashmere, and off I went. Two evenings later I was finished.

Isn't he cute? The pattern is thorough and clear, with lots of great photos of the construction. I ended up using 7 dpns at once and wasn't even annoyed about it, it was that clever. Plus, 50% of the pattern sales proceeds are being donated to polar bear research and conservation. Everyone wins!

Tyler, tasked with naming our new friend, came up with Harald (after Harald Fairhair, first king of Norway). Bears are pleased.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


All of these are growing on our little porch.


Red Bell Peppers


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Partial Blankets in My Life, Part 1

This project began as an Albers Cowl by Ann Weaver, but quickly evolved into a sort of freeform patchwork blanket. I am slipping the first stitch of each row to facilitate pick-up, and am increasing the size in a willy-nilly way, working in all directions according to whim and yarn quantities, until I reach 100 stitches on a side.

The first square is the more Albers-inspired so far - I started it in the middle of the new living room, surrounded by boxes in the midst of our move, because I needed a break from deciding where to put unpacked items, and because I had just unearthed my Ziploc full of fingering weight partials. It consists of sock yarn scraps from my stash: madelinetosh, Rowan, Yarn Hollow, Carpool Sock, Jitterbug, Malabrigo, and Sunshine Yarns.

The second square contains Erin's sock yarn scraps, which she listed upon their delivery, but the specifics of which I did not note. I may ask her to identify them again once I have finished the square. The layout of this one happened even more organically, and the majority of it was knit while watching My So-Called Life on Netflix Watch Instantly. Did you know that there is only one season of that show? Shocking.

I have more of my own scraps, and Jen has given me some as well, but I know there will be many sections added to this item which I haven't purchased the yarn for yet, let alone knit the socks or shawl to leave me with oddments. I am picturing this as an ongoing project, which I will add on to now and then as a meditation, whenever I feel like it and also have sock leftovers available.

And this one is a Mitered Crosses Blanket--for Japan by Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting. I'm using Noro Taiyo for the center crosses and Rowan Amy Butler Belle Aran for the borders. The yarns are very different from each other, but work well together and I like the way that each draws attention to the texture of the other. I selected three colors of each, and paired them off, which I'm hoping will ultimately create a harmonious effect. We'll see.

I am enjoying working on this - it makes excellent modular, portable bus knitting for those long commutes. It also indulges my semi-random-self-striping-Noro fixation, with a little bit of slubby silkiness to boot. I'm using size 8 needles (instead of the recommended size 6, for Silk Garden), and I'm slipping the first stitch of every row. I'm yielding 4 crosses for every skein of Taiyo, and 1 border for each ball of Belle Aran.

I have at least three more unfinished blankets - one of which dates back to high school. If they ever see the light of day again they may get a write-up.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Good Things:
  • hanging pictures
  • in-unit laundry
  • finishing knitting projects (details will follow)
  • interviewing

Not-So-Good Things:
  • the aboxalpyse
  • not enough kitchen storage
  • or book storage
  • interviewing