Not your typical hellcat biker chic and
Li'l Deb would say "that's not a bad thing!"

July 3, 2016

Secret Agent a.k.a....

Dirty Unicorn

Pattern:  Emissary
Yarn:  Republic of Wool/Twist Fingering

This is my first purchase of Republic of Wool and I love it.  The yarn is hand dyed in small batches and not easy to get hold of on the East Coast.  It's soft and the colors are beautiful.  I chose "Dirty Unicorn" for the best grandaughter in the whole wide world (BGITWWW).   She loves all things unicorn "even dirty ones."

After reading through the pattern I cast on for the size 10.  I chose the twisted rib for the sleeve and body hems.  I wish now I had knit the neckline in twisted rib.  I slipped the first stitch on every row purl-wise with yarn in front.

Pretty little selvedge.

Pretty Dirty Unicorn!

Knitting went smoothly up to the sleeve join.  It was when I had to pick up two silly stitches that I knit into trouble; the ends did not meet well. After three attempts I put the project away for weeks. The fourth time around all went well on one sleeve.

Please excuse the shadows. I was outside trimming Mock Orange shrubs.
I cannot wait to give BGITWWW's cropped cardi a soak!

The second sleeve join has been horrendous!  I have stretched the fabric at he join so much that I and have to go way way back to firm up via the purl side.  I only have 11 rows to knit and this will get done but am too frustrated presently so I started another project.  I do plan to finish this before the end of this month.

The swatch was spot on for this in a size 10 from the pattern but it is quite roomy in the back and the sleeves so I knit it an inch longer in length.  The positive side is that there is growing room and I'm confident the yarn will withstand the test of time!

...Happy Trails....

July 1, 2016

Ode to Ashes' Anthro Wrap

An explosion of color in every row!

Pattern:  Radiant Wrap by Healther Walpole
Yarn:  House of A La Mode Bangin Bulky

As I knit along I see a dramatic and unique wrap pining for the cold.  The colors are vibrant and the fabric has a soft hand with some respectable weight to it.

I knit a very long swatch and rolled it up to look like a pretty floret before frogging it.

Swatch Floret

The Gauge:   My gauge for this swatch on US 10 1/2 bamboo needles is 3.25 stitches per inch. I should cast on 65 stitches for a 20" wide scarf (not 80 as the pattern instructions read).

Bamboo Needles

However, I have decided to use addi Turbo Rocket needles.  Daughter-who-doesn't knit sent these via Amazon and they are amazing!  Stitches slide off the needles without drag and the tips are sharp! Vrroom!

My gauge for this swatch on US 10 1/2 Turbo Rockets is 3.12 stitches per inch so I should cast on 62.  I will actually cast on 64 stitches; 62 for the pattern and 2 for the selvedge edges.

addi Turbo Rocket Needles
The Selvedge:  I slipped the first stitch of every row with yarn in front and knit the last stitch of every row. This creates a chain like decorative edge that is smooth along the sides.  Later I will lift up each selvedge stitch with a needle to even out the tension.

Swatch with Chain-Like Selvedge

Happy 4th of July!   BGITWWW and I walked to the lake.  I was able to knit a few rows on this while she read Warriors.  The breeze masked the 88° temperature and the water was quite cold but refreshing!  

Ch-Ch-Cha Changes...

...Happy Trails....

June 28, 2016

A Text from Daughter-Who-Doesn't-Knit

"I'd love a nice big scarf."  

I replied "You can help look for a pattern!"  Later she texted several photos of wide scarfs. I replied "pick one."  Whoosh, she sent a picture of a long purple wrap with a caption "Free Knitting Patterns, Cowls."

I was relieved to find the pattern, thrilled it required bulky weight yarn, and surprised it was only stockinette!  OOPS!!!  It was not until later that I learned this pattern actually uses worsted weight yarn.  At the time, I looked at many patterns and confused this with another!! I was rushing to get this taken care of while getting ready for work.  No waste on haste though!

Previous to my error in yarn weight:  I had just ordered her 4 skeins of House of A La Mode (Into the Woods and Dew) from Happy Knits but it was the wrong weight for this.  I started looking for bulky cashmere/merino yarn and sent her some links.

I got another text from Daughter-who-doesn't-knit:

"My fav is still the one you bought initially."  

I knew exactly what she was referring to and the yarn search was over! She was referring to House of A La Mode's Od'e to Anthro.  It was my very first purchase several months ago in bulky and dk weight. I bought this colorway thinking my daughters would love it and they do!

I'm happy that Daughter-who-doesn't knit remembered it.  She gets the bulky weight!  Daughter-who-knits will get her bundle of Od'e to Anthro in the dk weight on the 4th of July!

I only had 4 skeins in the bulky so Daughter-who-doesn't-knit ordered the last 7 skeins from Happy Knits. They arrived quickly and I noticed right away they were from various batches so I will take some time to arrange the skeins for the best color pattern.

10 Skeins of Bangin Bulky

...Happy Trails.... 

January 17, 2016

Happy Knits

 A House of A La Mode 

I spent hours without power the other night but time flew surfing the web for "house paint a la mode."  My research took a wonderful turn and far away from house paint.  I was feeling like a RipVanWinklette; asleep in the knitting world for 20 years without the benefit of moonshine.

I found beautiful hand painted yarn;  House of A La Mode on Andrea Mowry's blog.  I learned Happy Knits sells it.

Timing is everything!! I emailed Happy Knits and learned a delivery of House of A La Mode was arriving at their shop that very same day and on their website early evening.  I'm on the East coast so the time difference worked out beautifully for me.

Later at work while riding in an elevator I seized the moment to see if the yarn was LIVE.  It was!  I placed my first order of Stunning Single Ply DK in colorways Od'e to Anthro and Star Light, Star Bright.   The yarn arrived quickly, wrapped up in vivid colored tissue with little gifts and a personal note on the receipt.  WOW!!!!  Oh, and the yarn is very stunning indeed!

Od'e to Anthro

Star Light, Star Bright

I placed a second order but this time I chose Bangin Bulky in Od'e to Anthro and Star Light, Star Bright. Again, the order arrived quickly in bright colored tissue with a gift and note on the invoice.  I love Happy Knit's customer service and I get a kick out of those little notes on the receipts!


Bangin Bulky in Od'e to Anthro

Bangin Bulky in Light,  Star Bright

I'm awake now, Rip!  Daughter-who-knits and Daughter-who-doesn't-knit favor Od'e to Anthro and I.LOVE.THEM.ALL!

...Happy Trails....

January 6, 2016

Yarn MOJO: Bangin Bulky, Fancy Fingering, Stunning Single Ply...

Charmed, Dazzled, Enchanted

with House of A La Mode 

It all began on a bitter cold night during a Nor'easter.  I arrived home after a late shift at the hospital to find the power to my home was out (no heat, no lights, no running water).  The power company reported power restoration was 3 hours (4 a.m.).

Nearly prepared for such an inconvenience I put on my lovely Rowan's Chunky Alpaca hat and socks and Koigu fingerless mitts.  I turned the sofa into a lean-to-tent using a down comforter and lots and lots of pillows.  I strategically placed several beeswax candles in their safety cups across a bench in front of the sofa and lit them.  I settled down into my "tent".   The heat from the candle flames flowed in and it warmed up nicely!   I grabbed my iPhone and its portable lithium-ion battery and settled down.

Already thinking of Spring and home improvements I went on-line searching for house paint.  A co-worker suggested paint called "a la mode."  I typed:   "paint house a la mode"

The results went something like this (pay particular attention to #5 and #6):

  • Heirloom Traditions- A La Mode - Heirloom Traditions Paint
  • SW 7116 A La Mode - Paint Color - Sherwin-Williams
  • Glidden DUO 1-gal. #GLO19 Peach A La Mode Eggshell Interior Paint ...
  • Chalk Paint - A La Mode Quart- Heirloom Traditions
  • Ravelry: House of A La Mode Stunning DK
  • Tinsel Mitts with House of A La Mode - 3 styles, 5 sizes — Drea Renee ...

  • Skipping the paint searches completely I clicked on "Tinsel Mitts."  I was taken to a lovely designer's blog, Andrea Mowry.  I spent at least 90 minutes looking at her knitting patterns and reading her blog where I first learned of:

    Beta Jezek:  HedgeHogFibers
    Heather Bostic:   House of A La Mode
    Steven West:  West Knits 

    I read about House of A La Mode on dreareneeknits so I clicked on Ravelry. The link took me to House of A La Mode's yarns of various weights and fibers in stunning colorways.  I noted my favorites and clicked on "buy this yarn online HAPPY KNITS" and learned colorways and quantities were limited.  It was all so beautiful and so far away!  It was also 4 in the morning and still no power so I snuffed the candles, pulled out some pillows and let the duvet fall down on me

    By the way, I purchased the pattern Tinsel Mitts!  I also found my paint: Pratt & Lambert.  The closest supplier is a 90 minute drive (one way) and the cost is about $49 a gallon.  Hmmm...that is about 2 skeins of House of A La Mode!! What's it gonna be:  House Paint or House of A La Mode?  It's too early to buy paint...

    ...Happy Trails....