Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Pehuen Shell’ Category

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 »

FO – Embossed Leaves Socks

Posted by notthatkat on July 5, 2007

Embossed Leaves

(I finished them Tuesday Night, but I was not online much yesterday. Most of the day was spent at Peach Festival. Hope you all had a happy 4th.)

Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks (and IK before that)

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid in Loden

Needles: 2.75 mm (US2) 16 inch circulars (2 socks/2 circs)

Embossed Leaves

Started: June 23, 2007

Finished: July 3, 2007

Modifications: I changed the cast on to long tail cast on. I did an extra full repeat of the lace pattern on the leg (4 1/2 repeats). I substituted my usual short row heel for the flap and gusset heel in the directions.

Embossed Leaves

Speaking of Socks

Once again I cast on my next pair almost immediately. If all goes well the pattern will be written up for my entry in the SOS design competition.

Original Design Socks

They are just barely past the ribbing, and the stitch pattern is not visible in this picture, but everyone who’s seen them loves the color. I actually didn’t immediately cast on. First I cast on some leftover sock yarn and swatched different stitch patterns until I found one that really popped. I had different plans for this yarn, but I thought this sock would look great in it, but not so much in the yarn I planned to use. And it meets the design contest criteria of being readily available from at least one of the sponsors. So the switch was made, and they’re looking great so far.

In keeping with my tradition of double purposing my KAL knitting, it is also perfect for Project Spectrum this month.

When Good Socks Go Bad

Rococo Socks

I made these socks back in February from one of Anne’s patterns. I loved them. They were one of my favorite pair of socks. I took the picture above and several others to share with Anne in mid May. A couple weeks ago, I put them on to find they were a bit on the snug side. I wondered if they might have felted a bit, but they looked fine and were made with superwash wool, so I dismissed it as a bad foot day. Until earlier this week, when I tried to wear them again. This is what they look like now:

Felted Rococo Socks

I’ve already contacted the source, and been promised a replacement skein. Apparently, I am not the first to have this happen, although the number is small. It is being attributed to a mill error. It seems lately, I’ve had a lot of problems with yarn and knitting- related products. I don’t think I’m especially picky – really. Just give me decent yarn and a nice pattern that doesn’t require an advanced degree to interpret and I’m usually pretty happy. I can go for months to years at a time without feeling the need to lodge a complaint. But lately, I feel like I’ve had one knitting product issue after another. Hopefully the end is in sight.

Non-Sock Stuff

Pehuén shell front

I’ve finished about a third of the front of my Pehuén shell. This time I’m using two balls of yarn and changing balls every 2 rows. I should have done this on the back, knew better at the time, and just didn’t bother. Lesson learned. I still don’t think the back side looks too bad, so I probably won’t rip it out and do it over. Probably.

Mystery Stole

I’m also most of the way through Clue 1 of the Mystery Stole. Turns out there is one dwarf that makes crochet hooks small enough to go through the center of my beads. His name is Leonard and he left the Lonely Mountain to seek his way in the world. It turns out a 1.0 mm hook will go through the center while a 1.3 mm hook is way too big. Go figure.

Posted in FO, lace, mystery stole 3, Pehuen Shell, summer of socks, WIP | 1 Comment »


Posted by notthatkat on June 28, 2007

I’ve joined the Tour de Fleece (see button in sidebar).  I am in danger of overextending myself beyond even my usual craziness.  Since the goal is to spin at least a bit every day for the Tour (except two days off) with no specific amount or type, I am planning on rolling this together with my Spun Stitches spinning, which I want to get going on soon.  To that end, I’ve done a bit of spinning and plying the last couple days.

Grafton Corriedale

That’s the yarn I spun from the Grafton Corriedale batt, finally spun and plied last night.  It’s just shy of 300 yards and weighs in at three ounces.

Grafton Corriedale

The main colors in it are purple, yellow and aqua.  They shouldn’t work together, but they so do.  I tore strips off the batt (more blended/layered than graduated) and just spun them randomly.  I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into a muddy mess once it’s knit up, but in skeined yarn, I think it’s beauteous.  It’s still a bit damp, and I haven’t measured WPI, but it’s pretty darn fine.

I was still feeling the spinning urge last night once that was done (I am in training, after all), so I figured it was time to put my new hardware (high speed flyer and fat core bobbins) to the test.  I didn’t want to start with the merino/tencel I am planning to use for my shawl until I had a bit of practice with the new parts, just in case there was a learning curve.  I shopped my fiber stash, and came up with the roving I dyed a couple months ago.

Midnight Blues

I divided the roving in approximate halves and pre-drafted.  In case you’re new to spinning, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to pre-draft your roving.  It makes the spinning so much easier.  I spun a bit on this last night; some more during lunch today.

Midnight Blues

The love affair with this roving and colorway continues.  It is dark and mysterious and sublte, and I think will look fabulous as a small shawlette or scarf (again, I have about 3 ounces).  I am calling the colorway Midnight Blues for now.  Hopefully I’ll come up with a better name later.

And the new hardware?  LOVE it.  I was doing pretty good with my standard equipment, but the new flyer and bobbins make spinning fine so easy it’s practically effortless.

Pehuen Shell Back

The back of my Pehuén shell is off the needles.  I may have misread the instructions the software I’m test driving generated and knitted about 2 inches too much that needed to be ripped back when I realized that the armscythes would stretch nearly to my midriff, but we shall not speak of this.  It’s enough that this frogging did not have to be reknit, and I finished off this piece less than an hour later.  I didn’t knit from alternate skeins of yarn every few rows, and it shows a bit at the first ball change, but not so much at the second one (the back used ~2 1/2 balls).  I’ll do better with the front.

Embossed Leaves

The leaves have gotten a bit of progress as well.  I’ve done three repeats of the lace pattern.  The pattern calls for 3 1/2 before the heel, but I like a bit more leg to my socks than this will give me, so I’ll probably do 4 1/2.

Posted in Pehuen Shell, spinning, Spun Stitches, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | 1 Comment »