Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Archive for July, 2007

An FO, a nearly FO and a Tour de Fleece wrap up

Posted by notthatkat on July 31, 2007

As promised, I finished my Pehuén shell this weekend.  The perle cotton was just perfect for seaming, and I will remember it the next time I’m looking for seaming yarn for cotton knits.

Pehuén shell

I think it came out rather well.  The photo below shows the colors more accurately:

Pehuén shell

Pattern:  Calling it an original design makes it sound much more elaborate that it really was.  A simple sleeveless top (shell, tank, camisole, pick your favorite fashion term) with waist shaping, a turned hem and crochet around the neck and sleeves.

Yarn: Pehuén by Araucania in colorway 8 (lavender, red, black, grey) Used almost 5 balls of the 8 in my stash.

Needles: size 6 24″ circulars from my Knit Picks Options set

Started: June 15, 2007

Finished: July 29, 2007

Hokie Jaywalkers

The Jaywalkers are almost done.  I need to bind off and put in my heels, and then they will be complete.

When Jaywalkers Meet

The other night, I was working on them and looked down and realized that I was wearing my other pair of Jaywalkers.  So they had a little meet and greet (This is the third time I’ve knit this pattern – the first pair I made went to my niece.)

Mystery Stole 3

I finished clue 3 on my Mystery Stole.  I have not actually blocked it, but it looks like it will come in pretty close to the proscribed length once blocked.  I’m gonna try to get as much of clue 4 done in the next couple days as possible, but I’m not sure I’ll be done clue 4 before clue 5 comes out.  No worries – I’m not falling too far behind.

Cable-Down Raglan

I was going to wait to cast on another sweater until I got at least one lace project off the needles, but looked what jumped on my needles before I could stop it.  In wool, in South Carolina, in August.  I am finding it enchanting so far.  The siren call of one more row keeps pulling me back.

Finally I wanted to do a wrap up for Tour de Fleece.  I am not the most prolific spinner, and will never claim to be.  I love spinning, but I am so busy, I tend to go for long periods at a time without spinning at all.  Even making an effort, there were many days when eeking out 10-15 minutes to spin was difficult.  I do think it was good to spin more regularly and I am going to try to spin on a more regular basis from now on.  That being said, in addition to this yarn (which was started before the Tour started) I didn’t finish a single yarn:

Merino tencel laceweight

I am almost through the first 2 oz merino/tencel roving I am spinning for my Spun Stitches project.  This roving, Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks colorway Purple Haze ordered from Crown Mountain Farms, is spinning up wonderfully into a very fine single.  I have a long way to go on this, as once I finish this roving I have another one to spin up for the second ply, but I’m enjoying the process, so don’t take this as a complaint.

Sock Singles

I managed to spindle spin about an ounce of superwash merino from Mama E.  The plan is to spin 2 oz, Navajo or chain ply, then repeat with the remaining 2 oz.  Hopefully when I’m done, I’ll have a credible sock yarn to show for my efforts.

So very little finished yarn during Tour de Fleece, but good progress for me.  I want to continue making an effort to spin on a regular basis, and hopefully, I might finish me some yarn in the not-too-distant future.


Posted in Cable-Down Raglan, FO, mystery stole 3, Pehuen Shell, spinning, Spun Stitches, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | Leave a Comment »

Foreign body is not another term for immigrant corpse

Posted by notthatkat on July 27, 2007


My Pehuén shell is off the needles, blocked and ready for seaming. I found some perle cotton that I think will work out great for seaming:

Seaming Yarn

Now I just have to sit down and seam it and crochet the edgings. This weekend, for sure.


I will admit to being sidetracked by a practice run for Dish Rag Tag which starts on Wednesday. I’ve decided not to try anything fancy, just a simple bias knit garter dishcloth. This has the advantages of being quick and simple to knit and looking good with most any yarn that is sent to me.

My Jaywalkers are a bit longer, but 4 inches of leg doesn’t look much different than 2 1/2, so I’m not posting a picture.

Work: (skip if you’re not interested)

This morning a chihuahua came into my office with vomiting and the possibility that she might have swallowed something indigestible. After a thorough exam, we decided to take some x-rays.

Chihuahua X-ray

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?

Chihuahua X-ray

How ’bout now?

Chihuahua X-ray

This is the same view with the problem area marked. After an unsuccessful attempt to make her vomit it up (longshot, but worth a try), I tried to get her seen at the referral center in town for endoscopy (flexible fiber optic instrument would be passed down into her stomach to retrieve visible foreign body without surgery), only to find out that both internists are out of town; the other vet in town with an endoscope was out of the office; and the referral surgeons couldn’t do the procedure I wanted. We were left with no good options but to go to surgery. Since the foreign body was still in her stomach, I could go in through a relatively small incision and get in and out fairly easily.

Suction Cup

This is what I removed from her stomach (quarter included for scale). The owners had found the metal piece from this suction cup on the floor, but were unable to find the rubber/plastic part. Found it!

I have a little file cabinet in the back of my brain full of stories and anecdotes entitled “If I ever write a book”. Sometimes I get a patient in and think almost immediately, “this is one for the book.” I think I’ve got a full chapter and then some worth of things I have removed from dog and cat (and occasional goose) digestive systems. This is not the oddest or funniest by far.

My patient is recovering well so far – she can only have water until mid-day tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll send her home tomorrow evening or Sunday.


In the midst of all this, and my two other (routine) surgeries of the morning, one of the guys from the boat place next door brought this guy they found under a boat. The theory is that there was a momma cat who moved her babies and this little guy got left behind. I estimate him at about 3-4 weeks old. He’s eating diluted canned food from a syringe and learning to eat from a plastic can lid (the bowl was a bit much for him). Anybody want a kitten? He is feline leukemia and FIV free and I’ll neuter him for you when he’s old enough.

Posted in animals, Dish Rag Tag, Pehuen Shell, socks, work | 1 Comment »

Decisions, Decisions

Posted by notthatkat on July 24, 2007

Hokie Jaywalkers

My Hokie Jaywalkers are past the heel and working fast up the leg.

“But Kat,” I hear you say, “Those socks look very flat to be past the heel.”

Turn them over and you would find this:

Hokie Jaywalkers

“Where’s the heel? I don’t see any heel.”

Hokie Jaywalkers

See the row in contrasting yarn? That’s where the heel is going to go, once the rest of the socks are knit. Afterthought heels. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I really liked the way the stripe pattern was coming out. So much so that the closer I got to the heel position, the more I worried about how putting the heels in place would interrupt the striping sequence. While the stipes would re-establish themselves once I began the leg, there was no way to predict where the color sequences would align with what was already in place up the front of the foot (the bottom of the foot will be separated from the ankle by previously mentioned heel). Normally, this wouldn’t bother me too much, but for some unknown reason this time it did. Then it struck me like a bolt of lightning – afterthought heels. I could put in a strand of waste yarn, continue with the color pattern in sequence, and put the heels in after the fact. Now I just have to make sure I leave enough yarn for both heels, but that shouldn’t be a big issue. I’m about 2 inches up the leg. I’ll probably do about 6-7 inches plus about an inch and a half or so of ribbing. Then the heels. Which should resemble the toes, in terms of color distribution.

Pehuén front

The front of the Pehuén shell is almost done. I have about 10 more rows before I bind off the shoulders. I don’t want to use this yarn for seaming because of the texture. I’ve been considering seaming options, and I think if I can find a color of embroidery floss that will blend well, that would make a good seeming yarn. Since tomorrow is my day off, I guess I’ll make a trip to the craft store and see what I can find.

I have done a bit more on the christening blanket, but haven’t touched my Mystery Stole since I finished clue 2. I think I have too many big projects going right now, and can only really do justice to one large and one or two small projects at any given time. I’ll finish my shell tonight, and hopefully can make a good dent in Clue 3. I think this is the week Melanie said she wouldn’t post a new clue, so maybe I can get caught up a bit.

Next month, I need to submit my entries for the state fair. Last year I entered for the first time, and did very well. I’ve been thinking about what I might want to enter this year. I know what some will be – I hope to have the christening blanket done in time and plan to enter it in the knitted lace category. I have a pair of Bayerische socks I finished up in January, but haven’t worn yet other than to model: our fair doesn’t have a sock category, but I will enter them in the “other knit item” category. My mystery stole will go in the shawls/stoles/capes/ponchos category, most likely. For the purse category, I will probably enter my messenger bag. Between now and the end of August, I need to decide if I want to enter any other categories. The fair doesn’t happen until early October, so I don’t necessarily have to be finished making my entries until then.

Posted in Pehuen Shell, summer of socks | Leave a Comment »

This is why I rarely go to my LYS anymore!

Posted by notthatkat on July 21, 2007

Warning! Danger Will Robinson! blatant Yarn P0rN ahead! Consider yourself warned!

As I said the other day, my LYSO held her annual Christmas in July sale this week (Thurs-Sat) and I met friends there after work today. Now, in my defense, most of what I got was deeply discounted (the discontinued yarn up to 70% off), is earmarked for specific project, or was bought in project sized quantities. Furthermore, I haven’t been to my LYS since the last sale – in January, and I used the last bit of my hoarded tax refund money. I regret nothing!

All that being said, I fell off the wagon. Hard.

Luxuary Yarn

This was the deal of the day. 10 balls of 100% silk fingering weight yarn in a dusty teal color. Not cheap, at least by my yardstick, but a third of the pre-discontinued price. I don’t have a specific project for this, but I have enough to do at least a short sleeved sweater. I do have an idea of what I want – just not sure I can find it. I might design the pattern myself.

Lana D'Oro

Enough Lana D’Oro for either a Rogue or a Cable Down Raglan. I already have some Wool of the Andes in my stash I was planning to use for CDR, but again I could go either way on that one too. Which do y’all think?

Indiecita Alpaca

Enough Indiecita Alpaca to do a long sleeved sweater as long as it doesn’t have (much) cabling. This yarn is not hot pink like it looks in the photo – more of a dusty rose.

Shetland Lace

I got 4 skeins (just over 1000 yards) of 2 ply Shetland lace weight. The colors on this yarn have wonderful complexity and depth. From a distance it appears blue-grey but it has lots of subtle heathering and variegation.


There were only 3 skeins of this lovely purple Hempathy left in the clearance basket, but I have some pink in my stash that I think it will work well with. I’m thinking I might take a page from Grumperina’s Book and make The Bag from No Sheep For You.

Heaven Adirondack

Heaven African Violet

These two lonely skeins were in the clearance baskets priced at a measly $5 each – about 1/4 of retail price. Each is enough to make a decent sized scarf (Christmas knitting is coming, after all).


I’ve been longing for this color of Trekking since I first laid eyes on it several months ago. I’ve picked it up and put it back more than once. It wasn’t quite as deeply discounted as some of my other purchases, but I figured if I’m going to get it (and it was seeming inevitable) I might as well get it on sale.


Last but not least (yes, there is an end to all this blatant consumerism), I got 3 skeins of Lanett, a superwash merino that I think will make a good substitute for Louet Gems, which is, sadly, not available to me locally. It is enough to make any of the non-knee socks from Cookie’s collection. I’m thinking Gothic Spire at the moment, but that may change.

Thus ends the Yarn P0rn. Now I’m gonna climb back on that wagon and try to stay there until SAFF, at least.

So, who else was at the local bookstore at midnight to get Harry Potter 7? Since I don’t have kids, and my sister’s family decided to skip the release party due to scheduling conflicts, I decided to wait to get there until after 10. I did use a gift card left over from my birthday to treat myself to Charmed Knits in keeping with the theme of the evening. Then I joined the end of the already forming line (in line by 10:45) and pulled out my spindle and roving and proceeded to spin for the next hour or so. This is one of my first times spindle spinning in public. I got a few questions and second looks, and the most frequent comment I heard as people were passing by was “cool” (most of these people were in the pre-25 set, and since I am decidedly not, I found this fascinating and thrilling.)

Spindle with superwash merino

I got a fair bit of spinning done and have spun up about a quarter of of this roving. I am planning to spin up the first half (2 oz) and Navajo ply, then repeat with the second half to give me two ~2 oz skeins of sock weight yarn. We’ll see if the reality matches the intention.

Getting in line early was a good idea, as I had my book and was out the door by 12:05. They were snaking the line through the aisles and I was in the turn between the second and third aisle back. By the time they started handing out books, the line went all the way down one side of the store and half way back up the other side.

Hokie Jaywalkers

I’ve made a bit of progress on my Hokie Jaywalkers, and although they seem a bit loose at the moment, I keep reminding myself that they will tighten up at the ankle when I start working the pattern all the way around the sock.

PSA: Moth balls are very bad for dogs. And kids. Keep them away from those who don’t have enough knowledge to leave them alone. And if, for some reason, your dog (or child) does get into them, seek help right away. Early intervention means a better chance of saving a life and minimizing symptoms (this is true for any potential toxin exposure).

Posted in socks, spinning, stash enhancement, Tour de Fleece, work | 2 Comments »

FO – Fine Cabled Mitts

Posted by notthatkat on July 19, 2007

Fine Cabled Mitts

These were a great quick knit and they came out fabulous. I will certainly make them again, maybe next time for myself.


Pattern: Fine Cabled Mitts by Anne Hanson (yes, the love of all things Anne continues unabated) Large size

Yarn: Handspun Merino  I had about 3 1/2 oz -350 yards and I have a fair bit leftover.  The estimate of 200 yards was about right.

Needles 2.75 mm (US2) 16 inch circulars – I worked both at the same time much like I do socks.

Fine Cabled Mitts

Started: July 15, 2007

Finished: July 18, 2007

Modifications: Changed the cable crossing on right mitt to the opposite direction – symmetry, ya know.

Hokie Toes

We now return you to Summer of Socks knitting already in progress…

This yarn was a custom order from Scout in Virginia Tech colors.  She doesn’t have it listed in her color gallery, but if any Hokie knitters would like a skein of their very own, I’m sure she’d be glad to  recreate it.  I am planning to do toe-up Jaywalkers.

I have managed to knit a few dozen rows on my Pehuén shell this week, but it just doesn’t seem very photogenic at the moment.  The farther I get on the front, the more tempted I am to rip out the back and re-knit it alternating balls of yarn every couple rows.

Despite my efforts at yarn dieting, I managed to acquire a few new fibery items this week:

STR Lightweight

This arrived in my mailbox on Monday.  The skeins in the middle and right were replacements for yarn with issues that was sent back.  The one on the left was a total surprise, but the colorway (Lunasea) is one I’ve been longing for since it first went up on the Blue Moon Site.  Thanks, Tina.

Russian Laceweight

This came yesterday: 5 skeins of laceweight wool at 1613 m per 100 g skein.  At a bit more than seven dollars a skein after shipping this was too good a deal to pass up.

Finally I joined Yarn Pirate’s Booty Club last month (timing is everything) and my first shipment arrived today.  I’m putting the picture behind a cut so as not to inadvertantly spoil anyone else in the club that hasn’t gotten their package yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in FO, socks, stash enhancement, summer of socks | 3 Comments »