Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good news, bad news, good news

To start, here’s the very important good news: I’m having a pattern sale! This is a good one: buy one, get one free! Just put “upgradetime” in the coupon code box of your Ravelry cart.

sale time

 

 

So what’s the bad news? The rights have reverted from the publisher back to me on my book. This means Cast Iron, Cast On is currently out of print. And to make matters worse, my computer died.

Wait, why are these two things related? Because I can’t release the ebook back onto Ravelry, or make single PDFs available, until I get a new computer. So, that’s what the sale is all about. I need to fund this new computer. So buy patterns! Spread the word!

The final good news is that I have FIVE new designs that have been knit and photographed. Once I have my new computer I can get rolling on the layout and you should be seeing some brand new patterns from me this year! And I do plan on releasing all those book patterns in single PDF format as well. So 2018 should be a fun one, designwise. If I can just get past this broken-computer-hump.

Sale details:
The sale applies to any of the patterns in my store – including the ebooks. (It will always be the less expensive pattern that is free.) You can use the code more than once – but you’ll need to check out more than once. If you put four patterns in your cart at the same time the system will only give you one free. The sale runs from today through March 8th.

Thanks for sticking around!

 

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Stash expansion

Knitting friends, I’ve been knitting from stash for a looooong time. This wasn’t so much a yarn diet as a change of lifestyle (raising babies really cuts into knitting time). In the last 4 years really the only times I’ve bought yarn has been at fiber festivals (three times). and twice for specific baby projects (like those rainbow booties that sat at the top of my blog for a year).

That’s 5 times in four years. Oh, wait, 6 times. Because I did buy an awful lot of Hawthorne Sport when KnitPicks decided to discontinue that base.

Still, I think we can all agree I’ve been very restrained. Which is why I totally needed 4 sweater quantities of Peace Fleece. Right? Right.

That’s Amaranth and Palomino in worsted weight on the bottom, and Sheplovas Mushroom and Picnic Rock in DK on top.

I don’t even know what I’m making with them yet. But whatever they become will be so cozy!

Oh so cozy

I do actually have a recent FO I want to share with you! This past weekend I was at a knitters’ retreat and I finished my Hudson shawl.

I started this back in November as part of the indie designer gift-along and wrapped it up during the knitting olympics (how’s that for double dipping?)

I love it. I’m not usually one for simple projects. But I needed the meditative qualities of stockinette. The simple stripe pattern meant I could go stash diving for all the colors. And as an added bonus I used a couple of things from the deep stash.

The main color is a dusty rose peace fleece that I’ve had around since 2014 when I bought it for a baby sweater. Clearly 2 skeins would not cover the child who is now 4 years. So a shawl is a good use. The tan is leftover harrisville wool & flax which I picked up at a yarn swap somewhere around 7 years ago. The brown in the border? Bartlett wool that I bought online at least a decade ago. Yup. That’s some deep stash diving.

Tap, tap…

Is this thing on?

It’s been a year since I posted to this blog. And what a crazy year.

Do knitters still read blogs? I don’t think there’s any way to summarize a whole year. Let’s pick up from the present, can we?

Here’s a baby in some knitwear! She’s 7 months old now, and so smiley.

And here’s a WIP. This is Finlaggan, I’m knitting it up in some flecked Peace Fleece dk. There’s an any-sweater KAL in the Peace Fleece group on Ravelry, you may have seen me posting about it on Instagram…

What are you knitting right now?

more tiny things

The knitting of teeny tiny things  continues unabated:

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I. Can. Not. Even. Can you also not even?

I mean, they’re so cute. They kinda broke all my words.

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Here’s my Ravelry project. The pattern is the classic Saartje’s Bootees. I stitched down one strap and added actual buttons to the second. I’m deluded and think this will help keep them on baby feet (don’t try to argue that with me.)

The yarn is from Fireweed Dyeworks. I’d never heard of it before this, but I spent a lot of time scouring Etsy for short-repeat rainbow yarn and this stuff looked perfect (look her up: Alaskan Nancy on Etsy). The colors in Russian Rainbow are also perfect. And in a moment of pure synchronicity the booties knit up using EXACTLY one repeat of color. Which is to say, I didn’t actually try to make identical booties. I just got really REALLY lucky.

But the knitting of tiny things is shifting already. Next on my needles? An Iona blanket. I (of course) am making some changes and working the pattern in DK yarn. We’ll see what that does to my gauge. I do not have a great track record for actually finishing baby blankets. But I’m hopeful, because this one is knit in squares, and because each square can use different colors, that I have a fighting chance. Also, just check out the cables. How is this NOT already an FO? It’s so ME.

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© Lucy Hague

Teeny tiny sooo little

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned my little Fernboro hat project, and now it’s done!

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Feather and fan stitch patterns are one of those things that has grown on me over the years. I didn’t love them (any of them, in any form) when I was a new knitter. I don’t know why. But these days I love how the stacked increases and decreases can change the hem line of a thing. And I LOVE how this design uses cleverly placed fans to create wee little earflaps.

After that I finished up a much bigger hat that had been languishing (pattern is the Garter Earflap hat from Purl Soho). I knit the whole thing back in October, except it wasn’t nearly deep enough for Windsor’s head. Then she asked for a new pompom hat (she calls them “pony hats” like a pompom is some kind of pony tail) so I ripped this one back to the earflaps knit a new crown, and tada!

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And AFTER THAT I started in on a new project, a pair of little chausses: baby booties in quick, speedy worsted weight. Because apparently I’m on a finishing spree.

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What’s up with all the teeny tiny knitting? Well, we have a new teeny tiny soooo little baby on the way! That’s how Windsor describes the baby, “our baby is sooo small, teeny tiny, little, like this!” – every time. She’s more than a bit excited. Then again, so are the rest of us!

Taking stock

I have great plans for keeping my knitting notions organized. Of course I do! A needle roll, baskets, zipper bags for the little stuff, a whole craft nook with shelves and a dresser and a big table. But I don’t KNIT in my craft nook, just store stuff there. And in knitting bags. And other baskets all over the house. And eventually it looks like this:

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And while I’m usually pretty good at keeping my yarn stash updated in Ravelry (usually) entering my needle collection has been sporadic at best. And the worst part is they sometimes wear out. Not the metal ones, mind you, but the wooden ones can get splintery tips, and the skinnier sizes eventually break.* This was brought to the front of my attention when I recently tried to knit these orange socks, only to discover I no longer own ANY US 1.5 dpns. That, combined with the toddler mittens I knit on splintery US8’s late last fall has me thinking it’s time to take stock of my DPNs and figure out where the gaps are.

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This is almost every set of DPNs I own. I know there are size 0 square metal ones in the sock project in my drawer at work. And I suspect that 2 of my size 7 signatures are around here somewhere because a set of 3 would be pretty useless…

What have I learned? I do, very much, need a backup set of US8’s. That’s one of my favorite sizes and I own the signatures and the splintery brittanys that really need to be replaced.

I have a sticky note somewhere in my brain saying I need more 4’s and 6’s. This is a lie. I have FOUR sets of 6’s and THREE sets of 4’s. It’s possible I keep buying more because I think I need them, but clearly I need to stop that.

I have complete coverage for every size from 000 through 11 which is pretty good! But I definitely need second sets at a couple of sizes. That statement would’ve seemed crazy a decade ago. But I cannot tell you how often I have two or more projects going on size 7’s at the same time. And sure I have four sets of size 6’s, but I pulled three of them from three separate parts of my house because they’d come out of various projects and never gotten put away.

Also, I have a gift certificate left over from Christmas and, believe it or not, I don’t feel like I need more yarn** right now…

*we won’t talk about the entire set of US4 ebony DPNs that I snapped, one at a time, by using them as hair sticks.

**well, only because I just bought yarn yesterday. But that’s different! It’s for a specific project!!

I still hate cars

… but I may be willing to make some exceptions. This weekend I picked up my very first all electric plug in car. So far I love this little beauty. She’s zippy, she’s super efficient. And I never have to worry about an emissions scandal since there’s NO INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE.

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This is not the first time I’ve blogged about cars. Back in 2010 I bought my first diesel, and I was so excited to be cutting fuel use and improving the environment. (I don’t blog about it often, but hopefully you’ve gleaned that this is important to me.)

After five good years (ok, 3 good years, and 2 years of increasing repair costs. But that’s what you get with an old car). I upgraded to a shiny new 2011 TDI. I was thrilled. I was one of those VW owners who bought the car specifically because I wanted high mpgs with low emissions. I bought it in July 2015 and the honeymoon lasted right up until September when the freakin’ VW emissions scandal broke (summary: cheat device; cars emit far more pollutants than they’re supposed to; something like 450,000 recalled TDIs – including mine)

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I did my research and determined a certified, pre-owned Nissan Leaf was in my price range. The certification was key for me, because if I’m going to own a car with so many new-fangled systems that only the dealer can work on it – I need to know the dealer is willing to back those systems up. These cars are supposed to be low maintenance. They have no spark plugs, no timing belt, no oil to change. Pretty much the only things owners need to maintain are the tires and windshield wipers.

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The biggest challenge so far was driving the car home. There were none of these cars available for sale in VT, so I bought mine in MA and then I had to make the 233 mile drive on a car that only gets 70 miles per charge. I planned my route carefully, and with an overnight charge at my parents I made it home without incident! I did drive the longest leg (69.1 miles) without heat in order to save electrons. But I made it, cold toes and all! That’s my dashboard at the end of the longest leg home, where both the miles ’till “empty” and the battery remaining indicators have gotten so low they just show little — marks. But hey, I didn’t hit turtle mode, so I wasn’t dead empty (literally, when the battery is gone there’s a turtle-shaped dashboard light) 

OTN

Since this is nominally a knitting blog, let’s talk about what is on my needles right now, shall we?

Firstly, those knitted leggings are still moving along. I’m into the gusset increases (aka, the crotch) and so everything is pretty squished onto my circular right now. I can’t wait to get to the first leg, it’s gonna feel like the project is zooming by when I move down to half as many stitches.

Next up, I’m knitting a little Fernboro hat. It’s a simple thing, but I love how the feather and fan stitch creates those little ear flaps. I made some good progress on a long car drive last weekend. And I have another long car drive this weekend. More on all this driving later. (oh the things I have to tell you, dear blog, I’ve been so busy!)

Finally, I pulled a sock project out of deep (DEEP) hibernation so I could work on it in meetings. The title of this post was almost “zombie sock” because this project was started back in 2012. (that’s right, I have WIPs older than my three-year-old).

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But here’s the really big problem. Sometime in the last three years I needed those 1.5dpns, and I put the sock on a random set of size 0’s so as not to loose the stitches. And then I forgot. And also, those wooden 1.5dpns have broken. And I knit a whole ‘nother inch on the foot of the sock before I accepted that my gauge was WILDLY different than the fabric in the cuff. And then I went back to Ravelry to see if I could figure out what had gone wrong. I mean, I know my gauge can change over time, but I thought this seemed like a whole-different needle size. Which, apparently wasn’t quite right. It’s a needle and a HALF different.

So, sometime before next month’s round of meetings I need to buy myself another set of DPNs. And frog over an hour’s work. Two steps forward, one step back, right? At least the sock is out of the deep stash. For now.

Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

-The Shortest Day, Susan Cooper

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