Monday, February 22, 2010

Got the monkey off my back

A dog and her monster, it's a beautiful thing

Phew! The monster is done and has been given to its intended recipient (who in case you were wondering, is not actually the dog pictured above, although Fiona was fond of him).
No Seamus, don't jump! You're a sea monster, you can't fly, you swim!

As is only fitting, Seamus the sea monster was finished this weekend on an island in Maine where my family has a home.
Showing off his groovy fins and tail (this pattern was heavily modified per my sister's request and rather than wings he had to have "loch ness monster type fins")

I gave him to my older sister who was elated with her little monster Seamus von Swimmy. Ali had been positively demanding throughout this whole process so it was quite a relief to be able to give her the monster.
Notice his wave patterned belly

And as part of her insatiable desire for little knit monsters, I spent Saturday teaching her how to knit so that she can start her own monster factory!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This is not at all knitting related...
But I am now engaged!! My boyfriend of over three years totally surprised me last night and proposed. We are both very excited and have had a lot of fun calling all the family and just looking at each other and giggling. I really love his family and feel so lucky to be welcomed into it and am really looking forward to starting a family of our own in the future.

Guess this means the Ravelympics brought me good luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here comes a curveball

See the stash parade. See the crazy yarn take over my office. See me decide to do something about it...
The magnificent Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon. A truly amazing FREE pattern available at

Sitting here looking out at the snow, I realized that once my monster was done I would still have a week left of the Ravelympics. Now, the whole point of Ravelympics is that it's supposed to be a challenge and it just didn't sit right with me that I would have all that extra time. Didn't seem like it was much of a challenge.
This sweet pattern is Zooey, designed by Cassandra Dominick

That got me thinking and as I watched the snow fall down I realized my Ravelympics didn't have to end with Seamus. I love making hats and have a great deal of stash (excess/unused yarn) that needs to be used up: my yarn basket overfloweth. So I decided I could challenge myself to see how many hats I could make once Seamus is done.
Garter Stripe Beanie by Terhi Montonen, don't these look deliciously edible?

As an added bonus all the hats I make will be donated to charity to help keep people a littler warmer in Boston and other parts of the country.

Monster Teasers

I feel like one of those makeover shows where they don't let you see the full person until the "reveal" and until then you just get little snippets or "teasers." Welcome to a monster makeover then... In the photo above you see the stylist has not quite finished the haircut yet, or the head for that matter.
"This pattern is very slimming on you Seamus, really brings out your sea-monster-ness"
Of courses every sea monster must accessorize with a tail.
And finally some monster eyes...

Seamus is obviously coming along nicely, although he's not quite as chubby as I would like. I'm going home this weekend for my mother's birthday so even though the ravelympics don't end for awhile, my deadline for this little critter is the 20'th!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vine Yoke Cardigan COMPLETE

The cardigan is finally complete, and I'm wearing it at this very moment! I'm pretty happy with it, although I might give it a second blocking just to try to add some length to the body and get the shoulders to keep from bunching up. Overall though it was a fast knit and a fun project. I have full information about sizing and modifications over on Ravelry for those who like all those fiddly details, and for those who don't- this post is done.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A teaser...

Ravelympics have commenced!!
This may be a little vulgar, but it's 1am and I'm tired so indulge me... the picture above is actually my dear little monster's bum!

As mentioned previously, for the Ravelympics I will be knitting Seamus von Swimmy for my sister. Here is a teaser of the progress that was made during the opening ceremony. I am also proud to say that my other two projects were finished with all ends woven in before the opening ceremony and they are now blocking in my living room.

Many more pictures to come, but for now I am le tired. Off for some honk-shuuuuu and then more knitting fun tomorrow!

Your monster is coming sister dearest, he's a comin!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Knitting Goals

This is proof that I am able to meet some of my goals. This time last year all I could do was hats and scarves, then I learned how to cable, and then I got on Ravelry. This has made me a much less fearful knitter and I've been open to trying new techniques. Last February I would not believe that I could make a sweater, that to me was what "real knitters" did. While I've now made three sweaters I don't yet feel like a "real knitter" but I'm getting there (this is a teaser of the Vine Yoke Cardigan which I did indeed finish, I just need to block it and add buttons!)

I'm sitting on the couch with Rick, watching Bear Grylls do stupid things on Man vs. Wild, and looking through fiber classes in Boston and it got me thinking about goals. Now that I'm at the point in my knitting where I can fairly consistently make a project that at least vaguely resembles the pattern I'm looking to advance my skills more.

What things do I want to work? Well I'm so glad you asked?

Short term goals:
  • Improve my finishing skills, make each piece that much more "mistake-free"
  • Learn how to do entrela
  • Getting more comfortable with cables, oh how I dread those twisty devils
  • Finally writing up some legible designs, I have a languishing mitten pattern that has no thumbs
Longer term goals:
  • Learn to dye, I feel like this would be like a kid in a candy store: turning natural fiber into all different beautiful shades (I remember when my Mom used to weave and dye fiber in the basement, people would call and ask for her and I'd respond "Oh, she's in the basement dyeing")
  • Learn to spin!! (Rick should watch out because I have a feeling this is the gateway to me pushing for us to own and run a fiber farm...)
  • Join the Knitting Guild Association and do a correspondence course (thinking the professional finishing skills)
Long longer term goals:
  • Working on a Knitting Guild Association Master Knitting Level 1 (this is a big commitment but I'm thinking once I'm done with grad school and settled into a full time job I'll want something to give me a challenge both intellectually and creatively)
So whatya think? What are your goals?

Knitter's Boyfriend's Observations...

The following is a list of observations posted to Ravelry by user Padgee. I found this to be uproariously funny and had to share it will all you non-ravelers out there (but seriously, what are you waiting for? go join now!). Enjoy:

"I am not a knitter. I joined Ravelry to see where my girlfriend spends her time on the internet lol. In the 10 or so months that she’s been knitting I’ve been secretly/overtly observing and documenting this crazy thing called yarn and what it does to people. These things I know to be true.

  1. Yarn is NOT string and should not be referred to as such.
  2. Knitting needles are not sticks,stix, or styx.
  3. Casting on is NOT a fishing metaphor.
  4. Yarn comes in different weights, colors, styles. Kind of like drugs.
  5. People dye their own yarn with varying degrees of success.
  6. Knitting is taken everywhere. No exceptions are to be made.
  7. Fun fur is frowned on by “real” knitters.
  8. “Lemme just finish this round” is a lot like me saying “Lemme just finish this round of video games” fair enough
  9. A collection of yarn is a “stash” much like drugs.
  10. Yarn barf is actually a thing.
  11. Ravelry has a weird economy of bartering. Yarn can be exchanged for other goods not related to yarn. ????? Weird.
  12. There are knitting groups, where other like minded knitters knit together and (this part is an assumption) talk about how knitters should rule the world.
  13. Do NOT sit on or around yarn left on the sofa. This will cause knitter in the other room to jump up and rescue said ball of yarn from your evil ass.
  14. Thank goodness there are no shows about knitting on Primetime TV.
  15. Stitch markers are NOT earrings.
  16. Lots of knitters have kittehs. You know who also had them? Witches.
  17. If I want something, “Did you want to go to the yarn store?” are the first words out of my mouth.
  18. Yarn stores are populated by alpha knitters. Some stores are better than others. Michaels is not a suitable substitute for a yarn store.
  19. The needles that are attached with wire to each other, do not make good nunchuks.
  20. Kitteh won’t chase a ball of yarn no matter how many balls you throw at his head.

These things I know to be true."

Like I said, I was significantly and substantially amused so I had to share. Now I will have to find out if my own boyfriend agrees, although I know Rick has had to experience #13 several times.

Happy Snow Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have good news for my sister's monster... I will be participating in Never Not Knitting's Ravelympics team and Seamus von Swimmy is my project of choice!

As for what are the Ravelympics? Never Not Knitting herself explained that in her own blog so I'll let you look there.

As for me I better get this Vine Yoke Cardigan out of the way before the Ravelympics start, there's hope for the little monster yet!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Demanding Monster

The whimsical Tuppy Von Monster, as designed and created by Elli Stubenrauch

The sweater continues to progress well, I am about to reach the left sleeve and then the home stretch! It's been such a fun project to work on, and it's one that's made me so thankful for Ravelry. There are numerous forums about the Vine Yoke Cardigan on Ravelry and they really helped me figure out sizing information, and some aspects of the pattern. I do have to say though that Ravelry makes it look like a super intimidating project and it is not, do NOT be afraid of the sweater!!

On another note, the sweater has been practically flying off my needles because there have been repeated requests for a monster. My older sister (the one who didn't get anything knit for Christmas so I really do owe her) wants a monster. Not just any monster though, she saw the above image for Tuppy von Monster and decided she doesn't just want one, she needs one! I already sent her a scarf to try to buy some patience, but to no avail, the monster needs to be made, and it has to be now.

Seeing as how we're both island girls we've decided that this monster needs to have some special alterations. First, he will be a sea monster named Seamus von Swimmy. Second, the color scheme will be greatly altered for SvS, as will the colorwork charts for his tummy section. Now that you are perhaps as anxious with anticipation as my dear sister, you will just have to wait to see how he grows.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweater Progress

While school has started up the knitting is still going strong, or at least strongish... Anywho, progress has been made on my Vine Yoke Cardigan, I have moved past the arm section and am now getting ready to work 106 rows along the back. It doesn't look like much yet since the sleeve hasn't even been stitched shut and it hasn't been blocked yet. I am relieved however to say that the sizing is looking good so far, I was a little concerned since I changed needle sizes and a lot of people have had sizing issues, but so far so good. Fingers crossed the luck continues!