Stash fluffing*

I dragged out all of the yarn boxes yesterday and sorted through some things. Doing this every now and then reminds me of how much lovely yarn I have, and reminds me as well (or it should) that I don’t need any more yarn.

Here are a few photos:

No, that is not all the boxes.

I don’t need any more lace yarn. That’s not all the lace yarn, either.

I apparently don’t need any more Opal sock yarn. There is more Opal squirreled away in other boxes as well.

Or Three Irish Girls sock yarn.

Or anything else, for that matter. I sorted out a few things to get rid of that I know I’ll never use, those are going to my knitting group today to see if anybody there wants them, or knows someone who will want them. I put a few things back in the boxes that I’m pretty sure I won’t use ever, but couldn’t part with (I’m looking at you, 1500 yards of black lace weight cashmere), but overall I have a pretty fine stash of lovely yarn.

Whilst I was rummaging around in the lace yarn, I found the leftover silk lace from my Evenstar shawl. There is plenty leftover, but I have no idea how much. I started with 150 grams, but I didn’t think to weigh it on the cone before I started knitting. So now I’m winding it off so I can weigh it. It’s fine enough that I don’t want to use my industrial strength ball winder, so I’m doing it the old fashioned way.

Please send whisky. This is a very tedious project.

*Stash fluffing: pulling the yarn out of all the boxes, admiring it, and imagining what it might be some day.

Balvraid Hap

There is a finished shawl at Chez Knitting Doctor!

Project Details:

Pattern: Balvraid Hap

Yarn: Blacker Swan 4-ply. The color is Tussac. This is just the most divinely soft merino. I’m not sure how well it would wear in a sweater, but it is lovely wrapped around my neck. The shawl took 6 balls, a little over 1100 yards. The yarn comes from a small farm in the Falkland Islands, and they get one shipment a year. I have my credit card at the ready for the next shearing.

Needles: 4 mm for the main section and the border, 4.5 for the lace edging.

For: Me

Started/Finished: 6/3/18–6/9/19

Modifications: None

What I learned: Technically, I learned a new bind off, the suspended bind off. It looks very tidy, and is nice and stretchy without being sloppy.

The construction of this was fun. You start with a few stitches, then knit a big garter stitch triangle. About the time you are about to stab yourself to death with the needles out of boredom, you cast off the top edge, pick up stitches along the sides of the triangle, and knit the lace border. The edging is knit on sideways (applied edging).

Pattern Rating: ***** This is well written, the charts for the lace are very clear, and no errors that I could find. And it’s free. Of course that free pattern likely will lead you to Blacker’s shop online, which is a dangerous place.

I love knitting and wearing shawls. Even in the summer around here it is often cool enough to have something snuggly and pretty around my shoulders. This will keep me warm during cocktail hour on cool evenings.



Go Green Bay Packers Socks for Sissie!

I finally finished these last night.

These are knit using the same white bread sock pattern that I always use. The needles are Brittany double points, size 2.00 mm.

The yarn is Artistic Yarn by Abi, in the colors of, you guessed it, the Green Bay Packers. Although while I was knitting this mostly in the Pacific NW, I had a lot of people that assumed that it was for the Oregon Ducks. That works too. I dare you to go through all of her self-striping sock yarn without buying some.

This is lovely yarn, I’ve knit one other pair of socks in her yarn, The yarn is on the lighter side of sock weight, but seems to be wearing well.

These are for my sister, Linda, who is a delusional Packers fan. Abi also makes this yarn, though it’s sold out at the moment (not my fault).

Market day

We made a trip to the Olympia Farmers Market today. We found provisions for several lovely meals.

We always end up buying way more than we planned, but our meals in the spring and summer tend to run heavy on veggies.

Now to get it all home and plan supper!

Tidying up

I posted a photo on Facebook a couple of days ago, of part of my fake tortoise shell straight knitting needle collection.

I had a whole bunch more of these upstairs in a big crock. Some are paired up, most just loose and jumbled together.

These tend to get more fragile as they age. I found a handful of broken needles when I sorted through them.

I soaked the whole bunch in water overnight and am now working on pairing them up and tying them together with a bit of yarn. The ones that were already paired are held together with rubber bands, which tends to leave a sticky residue on the needles. Once they’re all cleaned up and sorted, they’ll be a lot more fun to use.

And no, apparently I don’t need to buy any more of these.

Really, I can stop anytime I want

Things often heard around here:

“I’ll just finish that white stripe and then go get some chores done.”

“Oh look! The green stripe! That’s so pretty, I’ll get that one done.”

“Oh man, I just pulled a whole yarn blob out of the middle of that ball. I better knit some of that up so it doesn’t tangle up in the bag.”

“LOOK! YELLOW! IT’S THE YELLOW STRIPE!” I’ve knit a whole sock worth of this yarn, I know damn well what color comes next.

“I’ll be just a minute, let me finish this row.”


“You’re knitting in the round, the whole damn sock is one row. Put it down!”


This is why I don’t usually bother to match stripes on sock pairs. Three attempts later at casting on, I give up. These freaking socks are just going to be fraternal.

Here’s the first pretty sock:


I’ve been knitting this shawl forever. It starts out with a big garter stitch triangle, then you pick up stitches on two sides and knit a wide lace border. I finally finished that part this morning.

The last section is a knitted-on lace edging, which is knit perpendicular to the shawl body, knitting the last stitch of every other row together with a shawl border stitch to attach it. It’s easier to do than to describe it.

Here’s another photo.

This yarn is so squishy soft that I want to keep knitting it forever. It’s From Blacker Yarns.

I might have a few more colors of this in the stash. It also comes in a DK weight, I’d love a sweater out of this.

In other shopping news, I’ve been coveting this bag forever. I finally broke down and bought it. It amuses me that it’s the same color as my Subaru. Army Blanket Green!

It’s Not My Fault

I’ve generally tried to keep the knitting projects down to three or four things. Usually it’s a sock, a sweater, a lace thing, and maybe a simple accessory item.

As of this morning, I had a sock, a sweater, 4 lace things, and 2 accessory items.

I bought a bunch of yarn a couple of weeks ago. I took photos of it today and got it entered into my Ravelry database. When I was closing the lid on the storage box, one skein hopped right out, rolled over to the yarn winder, then jumped onto the needles. So now I have TWO socks in progress.

IMG_7036 IMG_7032

The yarn is Signature 4 ply self striping, from West Yorkshire Spinners. It’s a BFL/wool/nylon blend that will make fine socks. The color is Owl.

John took one look at that and claimed it. Here’s where I got it, in case you need more sock yarn.


I haven’t done much spinning the the past several months. I’m not sure why, since it is such a relaxing thing to do at the end of a stressful day.

This fiber has been on my wheel forever. I had just a little bit to finish, and sat down this morning and spun up the rest of it.

It’s a Polworth/silk blend, from Three Waters Farm on Etsy. I’m going to leave it as a single, there should be enough for a “neck thing”. This was a dream to spin.

I also dug out all of my spindles and played a little bit today. Here’s one.

That is a Golding spindle, which I love. The fiber is a very fine merino/silk/yak blend.

Last but not least, a photo of my wheel.

That is my treasured Watson Marie. Andrew Watson, the maker, sadly died a couple of years ago. His father, James, has found a new wheel maker, and they are back in business, but I am very grateful to have one of Andrew’s wheels. He was an artist, and a pleasure to work with. I was on his waiting list for a couple of years, and then it took several months for him to build the wheel.

I often joke about what I would grab on the way out of the burning house, but I think I’d try to save this, it’s one of a kind.

She also needs a good cleaning and a new drive band. That’s on my agenda for tomorrow.

I’d Rather Be Knitting

I get to go to the dentist again today. I’m in the midst of a root canal, I had the first stage of it done a couple of weeks ago. It was not painful, but just long and unpleasant. The second half is today. The first stage was complicated by the partial crown that had been on that tooth fracturing a couple of days after, landing me in my regular dentist’s office for an emergency partial filling to patch it up. That happened the afternoon before we left for 10 days in Mexico. The rest of the old crown has fractures in it, so I’m expecting the same thing to happen today.

I also had several hours of rather weird vertigo hit me after the first part of the root canal. John is driving me today in case that happens again.

Sigh. At least I have dental insurance. And I have an appointment with my usual dentist later this month for a new crown.

Here’s what I’d rather be doing.

New Project Tuesday!

It was actually New Project Thursday, but I’m way behind.

I have three “regular” sized lacy-lace shawls on the needles, and then that Balvraid Hap thing that is heavier weight, with a big garter stitch center and a bit of lace at the edges. The last thing I needed was another lace project.

Meet Miss Ivory:

I found this on the Knitting In The Loft Ravelry group. They have an annual year long lace project designed by one of the moderators. This one is a sampler scarf that features complex Japanese lace stitch patterns. I couldn’t resist, so went digging in the stash. I found a number of things* that would work just fine, but settled on this yarn.

It is an undyed Bluefaced Leicester/silk blend, fingering weight. I actually bought this to do some plant dyeing, but I like it as it is in the natural color. The yarn base is called Ivoire, from Acme Fibres.

The next chart gets more complicated. The lace is patterned on both sides, and includes a bunch of twisted and cabled stitches that should make me pay attention. This is definitely not cocktail hour knitting.**

I took updated photos of all the projects that are in the (mostly) current rotation. Next time I’ll do a WIP Update post.

*Who am I kidding? I had easily dozens of yarn choices that would work for this. I have more yarn than some yarn shops.

**Someone remind me of this down the road when I get cocky. I am putting lifelines in this one after each pattern section.