Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Dipping into the deep end of the pool November 11, 2015

Beyond all expectations, the yarn I ordered on Friday around 5pm arrived Monday morning!  Their easy to use site, the color picker which lets you see various yarns next to each other, and their delivery speed (always with a loto card and a roll of Smarties), are all reasons why I love shopping at Eat.Sleep.Knit, and now they carry Freia, which is drool worthy.  Using the guide in the description page for The Doodler MKAL, color A is supposed to be the main color, “the leading role,” something that ,”has space to shine.”  Color B is an accent color, “think about a pop of color.”  Color C, well he says it best himself, “Color C joins the party fashionably late. It’s a color that demands to be featured. This could be a bold sassy color or something dark and dramatic.”  These are the colors I’ve chosen side by side (as opposed to the thumbnails I showed you last week).

The Doodler Colors

It’s Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock and I really like working with it.  Tough Love is right.  When I went to break a strand by hand, it put up quite a fight and it’s only until I get a sturdier bag that I get a pair of scissors to put in with it to save my fingers.  Here’s my progress so far:


I’m about half way through clue one.  I was afraid when I saw the yellow in Honey Fig next to the Saffron and they weren’t the same shade, but the difference is working out really well and keeps the yellow in the Honey Fig separate from the Saffron.

In order to start something new, I had to get something off the needles first.  Yes, my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl is finally off the needles!

Follow Your Arrow 2 Shawl

To be honest, I needed the cable before I started The Doodler, but all the knitting is finally finished and I got to try out Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off (I used the video here to learn how to do it).  It looks very messy to my eyes, so I’m not entirely sold on it yet over the Russian Bind Off that I usually used for shawls and such.  We’ll see how it blocks out this weekend.

I didn’t get any knitting done today, but I’m trying to get this clue for The Doodler done for Friday so I can start Clue 2 right away.  Happy Knitting!


As if there wasn’t enough going on… November 6, 2015

I’ve decided to jump in on yet another Mystery Knit Along.  This time it’s Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL, The Doodler.

Westknit MKAL

These are the colors I’ve chosen in Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in the following colors:

Honey Fig

Honey Fig, Color A


Saffron, Color B


Pistachio, Color C

Based on the advice in the pattern about color choices, I think I’m pretty good to go.  After looking at it for a bit, I’m not one hundred percent sure about the Saffron, but I think it’ll work out.  I should have it on Monday or Tuesday and since I’m almost done my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl, I’ll be ready for this one.  This is my, “I’ve quit smoking,” present to myself so hopefully this will keep me on the wagon.  I hope it’s portable, because the Grass and Bubblegum shawl is strictly an at home project and I need something I can work on when I go out on Tuesday nights and riding the bus for long trips.  I’ll let you know once I’ve gotten the first clue which is supposed to be out today.


I still aten’t dead November 4, 2015

Filed under: Knitting,Shawl — knittykeen @ 8:18 pm
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Long time no see!  I haven’t been doing much knitting at all these past few months except for a spurt here or there.  A few weeks ago I picked up my Grass and Bubblegum shawl (Color Affection) and my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl.

Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl

Follow Your Arrow 2, almost done

Well I’m two and a half rows from binding off Follow Your Arrow and if you check out my Facebook page you can see my progress on the Grass and Bubblegum shawl I posted a few weeks ago.  Don’t have much time for a long catch-up chat right now, but I’ll be back soon and will be posting Work In Progress Wednesday pics on the Facebook page and more regular posts here.  Alas (or not so alas), there is to be no Christmas knitting this year as I’ve gone back to school and I don’t have the time to do it this year. TTFN!


Back to the drawing board February 8, 2015

Filed under: Knitting,Patterns,Shawl,Socks — knittykeen @ 11:14 am
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Well it’s not all bad news.  I’ve been working on the Flirty Shawl this past week and discovered that my numbers were off from the scant notes I took for the first one.  My gauge is off too, because even with sevens and adding 5 more short rows on each side it looks like I’m using less yarn than I did for the one I did on sixes with fewer short rows, my knitting is that tight.  Good news is that I found the perfect spacing for the short rows, so it wasn’t a completely wasted effort.  I’m frogging it this morning and will be using it for a bit of transit knitting while we meet up with some family.  I’m also going to switch up to eights and try a little bit not to knit so tightly (if I try too hard it looks awful).  I should definitely have an in progress pic up by mid week and maybe even have it blocked by the weekend.

In other news, the sock monkey that just wont die only needs another leg to be finished.  The finished object is really cute, don’t get me wrong, but I have not had luck with the pattern, it just not logical for me.  I have several holes I have to repair, there really should have been a wrap and turn when doing the mouth, and some parts are just plain messy.  I of course missed yet another deadline for finishing it (was supposed to be gifted yesterday), but I’ll carve out a day to finish it up and get it mailed out to my nephew.  I made a comment to my husband that the only toys I’ll be knitting from now on are ones that I have designed myself, which isn’t really true but it would be easier.  Some of the problems are in the design but I think a lot is the fact that it was written in German and I’m working off an English translation.  I think there are some things that may be common in German knitting (like the messiness of the pattern in places) that just don’t translate well into American knitting.  I want it done and out of my house so I can chalk up the whole thing to experience.

Never got around to taking pictures this week for WIP Wednesday on my Facebook page, but I’ve worked on Monkey Jacobus, Grass and Bubblegum Shawl (Color Affection) got a few rows done, almost finished the second repeat of my Earth and Sea socks (Pomatomus), and of course the Flirty Shawl.  I’ll take pictures this week, but that’s what’s been doing ’round here. TTFN!


WIP’s and an FO January 28, 2015

I’ve been flitting from project to project these past few weeks.  Some of them aren’t portable so I can only work on them at home, other’s only get worked on while I’m riding the bus on Thursdays and Fridays.  Here’s what’s doing.


Flirty v 1.0



Finally wove in the ends on this tonight and got some pictures to post.  This is the first version I did of Flirty way back in December of ’13.  The wing span is 62″ and the depth is 18″.  I’m hoping to get a bit more width out of it by going up a needle size and I also did a garter tab at the top so it looks neater.  Here’s where I am with version 1.1.


I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Georgia O’Keefe.  When I first looked at the skein I thought it was a dark blue, but knit up it’s definitely more green.  I have one more eyelet repeat to finish before I start the short rows that will add to the wing span, then onto the ruffled edging.  I’m hoping to have the knitting on this done by the end of the weekend.

Monkey Jacobus


He has a face now and most of an arm.  I’ve been dragging my feet on this one since doing it it fingering is such a PITA, but it needs to get finished so I can gift it at long last to my nephew next weekend.

Earth and Sea Socks (aka Pomatomus)



These really only get worked on during my commute to appointments on Thursdays and Fridays.  We’ll see how much progress I can make this week.

Grass and Bubble Gum Shawl (aka Color Affection)

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors




I’ve been able to add a couple of more stripes since I started it on the 14th considering I’ve had the yarn for almost a year.  The colors in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light are Jade, Lepidoptra, and Clematis.   It’s getting time to switch to a longer cable so I can stretch it out.  It’s reached the point where it’s not really portable knitting any more so it will probably only get worked on on Wednesdays during Thing 1’s appointment where there is a nice couch in the waiting room where I can arrange the yarn balls around me.  I’d like to get this finished sooner than later but there are other things ahead of it in the queue.

That’s all for this week.  I still have gloves that I’d like to finish before the cold weather is gone, but that’s another at-home project so we’ll see what happens with those.  There’s also a sweater but again I don’t know if I’ll have the time to finish it before winter ends.  Maybe if I can manage my knitting time better I’ll be able to start cranking out some projects.  TTFN!


Action Shot and Flirting January 12, 2015


Color Affection in action.

Way back last Christmas, my husband got me a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette (he was supposed to get sock yarn but the clerk told him sock yarn wasn’t for socks and steered him to the TML, definitely someone who shouldn’t be working in a yarn store, he goes to the other LYS in town now).  A day or two after Christmas I had an idea of recreating a shawlette that I had knit ages ago and of course wrote down no notes on how I made it.  I knew I used US size 8 (5.0mm) on the original and Noro Silk Garden Sock, but I chose to cast on with US size 6 (4.0mm) instead because I wanted to see how it worked out.  It’s a simple garter stitch triangle shawl with an eyelet row spaced every so often, then I added in short rows to make the wings longer without adding to the depth, and after a couple of days of crunching numbers and frogging back a time or two I added a ruffled edge and Flirty was born.  Illness and other stuff happened so I never got a chance to write up the pattern properly and publish it.  I just now got around to blocking it.


I should have used my wires, but I will when I do the next one.  Firstly, I want to do a garter tab rather then casting on seven stitches because it looks neater that way.  Secondly, I’m on the fence about going up a needle size to get more width out of it — I’m going to have to wait and see how this one drapes before deciding if I’m going to try it on US size 7 (4.5mm) needles.  I had about 100 yards of yarn left from knitting this and I think going up to an eight will eat up too much of that but I may be able to squeak by with a seven.  You can wear Flirty like a kerchief with the point in front and the ends wrapped around your neck, you can knot it loosely in the front to give your neck a little bit of warmth, or you can pin it on your shoulder with a shawl pin.  The ruffled edge turns it from a staid triangle shawl to something much more feminine.  Look for the pattern some time in February.


What’s in the works January 8, 2015

Haven’t done one of these in an age in a half.  I’ve been posting Work in Progress Wednesday pics on my Facebook page but I haven’t taken the time to write up what I’ve been doing.

Color Affection


I started this way back on October 17th.  Started off with Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Oak, Nutmeg, and Golden Hickory.  Finished the first section only to find out that I had read the instructions wrong and had to frog the whole thing.  Got through the second section and started the third when I realized the Golden Hickory had too much green in it and blended in with the Oak, so I ordered a skein of Sequoia and that did the trick.  I finished the knitting on it about two weeks ago and am only now getting a chance to block it so I can gift it on Sunday.  Once I got into the rhythm of it it was a great watching/listening to TV knit.  Not super portable once you get to three colors, I had to arrange the balls around me in a certain way so I didn’t get tangles.  I have yarn to make myself one which I’ll most likely be starting next month.


No Purl Monkey Socks



These were started about the same time as Color Affection, but they were finished on the Sunday before Christmas.  No real problems with these except for my needle bending which made them painful to knit.  The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Deep Sea Flower.  Despite the painful knitting, the yarn was a dream to work with.  I was worried that they would be too small for their intended recipient since the pattern called to start the toe 1.5″ from the length of foot and I’ve always done 2″, this was one of the first times I was working directly from a pattern and not just a lace chart and my own measurements.  I went with the 2″ and they fit her perfectly.




These were the bane of my existence this holiday season.  The plan was to have the pattern go live the beginning of November with a stock of finished ornaments and kits to make them to sell in my Etsy Shop.  Illness got in the way and that launch date got pushed further and further back until I just decided it wasn’t happening this year and I’ll try for next year.  I managed to get 4 bodies done but only finished two of them to give as teacher gifts.


Neck Warmer


This was a quick and dirty knit for my son who needed something to keep his neck and face warm.  I used my Neck Warmer pattern but instead of the pattern stitch I did 2×2 ribbing since it was for a child.  It does look nicer than this in person since the ends have been woven in and it’s been blocked.  Only problem is that Thing 1 declared that it’s too itchy so he hasn’t worn it.  This is some Patons Classic Wool I had in my stash so next time I’ll have to go with something softer since he does have sensitive skin.  It’ll be a good back up for my husband.




I call these my Earth and Sea socks.  They are knit from River City Yarn’s Adam & Eve, a merino, cashmere, and nylon blend in a color way called Walnut.  The yarn was a gift from a friend in Canada and the yarn made exclusively for the yarn shop.  I have always loved Pomatomus, but I was afraid that the sock would be too tight on my big feet so I used the advice in Cookie A’s Sock Innovation to alter the leg chart to a 14st repeat and altered the instep chart accordingly.  I was a bit nervous about the instep chart since it has those two bits on either side, but when it came time for me to do the second instep repeat it worked!  I probably could have done another half a repeat before starting the toe, but it still looks good.


Monkey Jacobus


This is the head and neck of Monkey Jacobus.  The first snag came when the Knit Picks Bare Merino Fingering (which they don’t make any more) I was planning to use for the face was moth eaten, so I had to use Knit Picks Palette instead which is a different base from the Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Sock in Carnival (a discontinued color) that I was using for the body.  Second snag is that knitting this pattern in fingering is a study in frustration.  I’m supposed to gift it on Sunday and I don’t have any real worries about finishing it on time but weaving in ends and using new techniques are that much harder when using US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles.  I’m sorely tempted to see what I have in stash to do this in worsted weight, but I’ve already come so far that I’m going to see it through to the end.




This is actually my third go round with this pattern.  The yarn in Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Sock in Kathmandu that I bought last January.  After some searching for a pattern for my larger than average hands, I settled on Ann Budd’s basic glove pattern from her book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.  I decided to start out with a woman’s large at 8sts/inch.  Turns out that I get 7sts/inch on my US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) needles, so I frogged and decided to try the women’s large at the proper gauge.  When I got to the finger I knew that this wasn’t going to work since I could barely slide it on.  I’ve decided to go back to my original 8sts/inch women’s large (basically a men’s medium) knowing everything will be a bit larger because of the gauge difference but I’m sure I’ll get a better fit.


There’s a lot coming up – a sweater for me, a shawlette pattern that I need to do one more time before I have it tested and published, two shawls to finish and one to start, and stockings to make.  Due to illness, I didn’t get much knitting done in 2014, but 2015 will be different.  TTFN!



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