Detonating the Yarn Bomb

I know I’m over a month late with this, but better late than never, right? I have a ton of yarnbombing photos to share!

For my contribution I made sure to do much of the work ahead of time so that the actual installation would be as quick and painless as possible. It only took me about 10 minutes to get this up! I just pinned the top middle and bottom together on the light post with safety pins to hold it in place and then I climbed up onto the railing and quickly whip stitched the seam together.

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I was going for a vague Welcome to Night Vale theme, so I included the purple eye logo on the front.


I made a tentacle too. There aren’t really any tentacles in Welcome to Night Vale that I can recall, but it seems to be the universal symbol for “creepy and/or weird” so it seemed appropriate. I also included a handful of red dots for Dot Day. I thought about including a few blue dots as well, but I don’t really know what the consequences might be for such a subversive action. I figured the yarnbombing organizers might be upset if it resulted in an explosion or a black hole or something, so I decided against it.


That pale yellowish pink thing is my pathetic attempt at a Glow Cloud. There’s silver thread woven through it and I used lots of bobbles to make it look cloud-like. It didn’t turn out as glowy or cloudy as I had hoped. Oh well. I tried.



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The whole time I was making this and thinking up ways to incorporate the Night Vale fandom I was pretty much resigned to the fact that no one would get it. I mean, I know the fandom seems to have completely taken over the internet and any pictures I might post on the internet would probably get some love (and there was indeed a huge spike in views on my Tumblr page), but I wasn’t making this for the internet I was making it for a bridge. Well, someone DID get it! There was a poster board set up to allow people to leave comments about the project and it appears a city council representative stopped by to inspect the yarn bomb.


I was able to help put together a second lamp post cover on installation day. There was a really cool looking panel of black knitting with a gold spikey detail, but it was just a small section and needed a lot more added to it to fit around a post. I crocheted enough extra black fabric onto it to wrap around the post and added a small panel of knitted black eyelash yarn and gold-ish stuff at the bottom. Then I sewed on a woven piece that was donated and some black feather boas and tied it all onto a post in the dead of night. The next time I saw it someone had added a spiderweb to it which I think really ties the whole thing together.


Since mine was so quick to go up I was able to help install some of the other pieces. I helped out a woman named Amber with a few of hers.

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There was a person stationed at the bridge most of the day to help out and give directions, but most of the time everyone was too busy to sit down.


Someone from the local TV station came by to check things out.


It was amazing how quickly we were able to fill the bridge.



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After all was said and done Spectral Spiders managed to cover every single lamp post on the bridge – 30 in all! I’ve already shown you a few, but here are the rest:

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Apparently we couldn’t stop at just the lamp posts. A few other yarn bombs were found at the bridge.

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It was all up in time for Arts Walk! Unfortunately some of the pieces didn’t last beyond that night. Vandalism is something that happens frequently with yarn bombings, and this time was no exception. By the next day several of the pieces were gone, including Yoda which was a beloved traveling yarn bomb that had graced the streets outside the creator’s house for years.


The giant octopus was cut down as well, and was doubly painful due the fact that it was made by the same artist who made Yoda.


It sucks to have art vandalized like that, but that’s a risk one takes when making street art. There was one uninvited guest I found who seemed to really understand what we were trying to do. A tiny spider showed up on one of the spider-themed pieces in honor of the Spectral Spiders.


All in all it was a great experience! I’m definitely going to participate in more yarn bombings in the future!

Photocalypse: The Bluest Blue That Ever Blued

Today’s prompt was “blue” so I decided to do a full photo shoot of the bluest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a skein of indigodragonfly Merino Single Lace in the colorway TARDIS.

When this skein showed up at my house I think I ended up staring at it for at least 5 minutes straight before I was able to put it down…and then I kept coming back to it to stare some more. It’s so hypnotically blue I had a hard time looking away! It’s the first skein I’ve ever considered NOT knitting with. I sort of wanted to buy a museum-quality display case for it and set it up in the middle of the living room with spotlights on it so I could just admire it instead of knitting with it. I think I’ve snapped out of it by now. I’m planning on turning it into a Rock Island shawl at some point in the near-ish future, but I may get gun-shy when it comes time to actually wind it into a ball. We’ll see what happens.

Staging and lighting: I braved the spider-infested outdoors for these photos. I went outside with a broom to clear a path to the side yard. I ran into at least five spider webs along the way. They’re trying to encase our house in webs. Creepy bastards. I set the yarn up on the fence between our house and the neighbor’s house. The photos were taken at about 10 am on a very cloudy day and (as always) surrounded by trees. The three photos I took are the only visible breaks in the canopy from the side yard.

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Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift diagonally, Lo-Fi filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue just a smidge, increased sharpness, increased saturation until it resembled the OMG BLUE that it looks like in real life

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

This was a hard one for me. When it comes to photographing yarn and finished projects I get VERY SERIOUS about color and texture accuracy and Instagram is not exactly the right platform for that type of photography. I tried to just edit it as a regular photo and not as a YARN! photo, but I just couldn’t do it. My top priority in picking the Instagram filter was to get the blue right and the Lo-Fi filter got pretty close, though it darkened the skein a bit. Following the rules I set for myself at the beginning of this challenge, I chose the photo I was going to Instagram and comparatively edit just by evaluating them on my phone. I picked that one because I was able to crop out some of the more distracting background elements within the square confines of the Instagram frame and it looked like a clear photo. When I reviewed the photos on the computer I realized that the one I picked for Instagram would not have been the one I would have picked if I had seen them on my larger computer screen. It’s a bit fuzzy. I did my best to counteract that by sharpening the image, but that has a tendency to make the photo look grainy. I was able to get a pretty good representation of the color with the computer edit though.

Since photographing yarn is such serious business for me I went ahead and edited the rest of the photos I took. From the angle I chose for the Instagram, here is the photo I would have picked if I had seen it on the computer:


It’s much clearer! I didn’t have to sharpen it at all. As you can see, I crop my images differently on the computer than I do in Instagram, so those distracting background elements that weren’t a problem in Instagram are still a problem here. It fits the thumbnail image size for the Ravelry stash page much better though. That is the ratio and size I keep in mind when cropping photos since that’s where the vast majority of my photos end up.

When choosing from all of the shots, this is my favorite:


I was able to get the blue just right in this photo! On my screen this is exactly what the skein looks like in real life. Isn’t it glorious?


Photocalypse: In My Project Bag

Today’s prompt for the Instagram challenge was “in my project bag.” I’ve been hauling around this project bag full of yarn scraps for over a week now, so it’s time you get a peek inside! This is mainly what I’ve been using to make my freeform fragments for the yarnbombing project.

Staging and lighting: This time I went to what could possibly be the best-lit room in the house – my bedroom. I have the same dim overhead light as the other bedrooms, but it’s bolstered by a standing lamp with a reading light attachment next to my bed. I emptied the contents of the bag onto my bed and pointed the reading lamp at the pile of scraps.

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Instagram edits: cropped, lux, Sierra filter with border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue, increased sharpness

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

I really like what the lux function did with the Instagram photo, so that one is the clear winner in this pairing. Everything came out so much more defined and the darker areas were lightened without washing out the whole photo.


Photocalypse: I Want a Pony

Today’s theme is “want” and I’m currently DYING to get my hands on a certain pony-themed self-striping yarn from a dyer-who-shall-not-be-named-who-may-or-may-not-be-going-out-of-business. I’m even selling some of my stash so I can have some cash in hand in case someone loses their mind and decides to let go of their skein of this glorious yarn. I never sell my stash. Never.

Staging and lighting: Today I went back into my sister’s lair to photograph her shelf full of ponies. Same lighting – just a dim overhead light – but on the other side of the room on the top shelf of a bookshelf, so there are more shadows involved. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but that shelf is almost entirely filled with pony figurines. I pulled Rainbow Dash and the other mane six (well, five – Fluttershy is missing) to the front of the shelf to catch the most light.

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Instagram edits: tilt-shift circular, lux, Hudson with border

Computer Edits: cropped, enhanced, increased exposure, increased blue, decreased shadows to minimum, increased saturation

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Hudson proved to be the best filter to get the bright colors of the ponies to come through and correct for the yellowing from the terrible lighting. iPhoto was able to correct for the color much better though. If I could combine the colors of the iPhoto and the tilt-shift and border of the Instagram this would be a perfect shot.

Photocalypse: Future Fair Isle

I have this crazy idea that I’m going to design a Fair Isle project. I’ve never actually done Fair Isle before. Clearly I’m insane. In any case, some of the most gorgeous examples of Fair Isle use multiple colors that gradually shift from dark to light. In order to pick out the right colors for this sort of effect it’s helpful to view the yarn in black and white so you can accurately assess their value.

Today’s #yarnpadc was “black and white” so I decided to take that opportunity to look at my possible choices for Fair Isle projects!

Staging and lighting were pretty much identical to yesterday – early morning light, diffused through the clouds of a gathering storm. I could hear thunder as I snapped these pics! I pre-sorted the yarn in the light box into what I thought would be the right value gradient and then laid them all out on a pillowcase in the backyard.

I’m going to show you the color photo first – this one was cropped and enhanced in iPhoto.


For the Instagram version I just cropped it a bit and applied the Willow filter and border.

For the iPhoto version I just did the light editing I already mentioned and then applied the “black & white” effect.

edited in iPhoto

edited in iPhoto

There are only two black and white filters in Instagram, and when I was testing them both out on the phone Willow looked the best. Inkwell looked too harsh. Now on the computer Willow looks way too soft. I decided to try it in Inkwell too, so here’s what it looks like using the Inkwell filter and border in Instagram.

It is a bit harsh. It looks like it’s overexposed or something. In this case, as a photograph I prefer the Willow-filtered Instagram, but as an instructional picture I feel like the iPhoto edited version is more accurate.

Also, I’m pretty smug about the fact that I seemed to put everything in the correct value order. Cora and Mrs. Patmore (fourth and fifth from the right on the top row) should switch places and the red that is the third from the right on the bottom row is misplaced (maybe should be the fourth or fifth from the left instead?), but that’s all I would change.


My indigodragonfly Obsession: The Greatest Love of All

Regular readers of this blog will recognize the name indigodragonfly. If I’m posting about something I’ve knitted, 9 times out of 10 it’s out of indigodragonfly yarn. If you’re a careful reader of this blog and read the captions on my photos you’ll know that part of the appeal is the creative and often hilarious colorway names. Names like “Zen and the Art of Clown Disposal,” “Pastor of Muppets,”and “A Thin Line Between Love and Batteries” are enough to keep me interested. It’s not enough to keep me knitting though – THAT requires much more than just side-splitting creativity with names.

The yarn is a dream to knit with. ALL of it is. I have knit with 13 different bases from this dyer and they have all instantly become my new favorite yarn. It’s a little awkward having that many favorites, but I’ve learned to deal with it. There are 16 more bases in my stash that I haven’t tried yet, so that problem is only going to get worse.

They dye the most amazing colors too. Seriously, I have a TON of hand-dyed yarn in my stash, but the most complex, deep, knit-friendly, can-always-count-on-it-not-to-pool-unexpectedly yarn is always indigodragonfly. And the range of colors is marvelous! They manage to make me like colors that I thought I hated, and any time I’ve been dreaming up a project that needs more than one color they always seem to have the perfect combination in their dyepots. It’s almost creepy how they do that. It’s like they’re psychic.

It’s not just the names and the fact that the yarn itself is like crack for your hands and eyes, it’s the dyers themselves too. Kim and Ron are wonderful people! I want to support them as much as possible. Besides just the general awesomeness that radiates from them, they also have THE BEST customer service I have encountered in the indie hand-dyer business. I’ve bought direct from eight other indie hand-dyers online, and it’s not that the others have been terrible (though a couple of them have), but ordering from indigodragonfly is so much more fun. When things (rarely) go awry, they are really good about communicating with the customers and letting us know what’s going on and when things can be expected to be fixed. They are the standard by which I measure all other businesses.

As a result of all that, any time I have needed yarn for a project my first thought has always been indigodragonfly. Any time I wanted a particular color I knew exactly which one would fit the bill, and it is always an indigodragonfly color. It’s only been two years since I stumbled upon their booth at the Sock Summit, but since then pretty much all of my disposable income has been spent on indigodragonfly yarn.


This is my entire indigodragonfly stash. Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s marvel at it from several different angles.

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Are you done marveling? Yeah, me neither. Go ahead and finish reading this post anyway, I promise the pictures will still be there when you scroll up again.

“That’s a LOT of yarn,” some of you might be saying. “That’s WAY TOO MUCH yarn,” more of you might be declaring. I can assure you, it’s not nearly enough. This yarn is addictive. You can’t just knit one skein. I can’t even manage to knit one skein at a time. Look at all the indigodragonfly WIPs I have going right now.


That’s two shawls, a pair of mittens, a cowl, a hat (now finished), and a bunch of hexipuffs.

“Wow, that’s FIVE WIPs!” some of you might be gasping. “Wow, that’s five WIPs,” some of you may be scoffing while glancing over at your own WIP mountain comprising 20+ projects. To both of you I say, “I KNOW.” ‘Cause either way you slice it, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in the “that’s not enough WIPs” camp I can assure you, the only reason there are so few WIPs is because I tend to finish my indigodragonfly projects as quickly as possible. If you’re in the “that’s way too many WIPs” camp, you’re about to think I’m a robot programmed to knit 24/7. Here are all of my indigodragonfly FOs:


That’s 8 shawls (one of them is even crocheted!), 4 cowls, 2 hats, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of socks, and a headphone whale. Not pictured are the pair of fingerless mitts that were stolen last year and a shawl I gave away to an ailing family member. Usually I only give away my indigodragonfly FOs to people I see every day so I can still pull out the knits and pet them when they aren’t looking, but that one was a special case.

So, just to reiterate, that’s 21 FOs in only two years! Or another way to look at it is 35 skeins in two years. At that rate, I only have enough indigodragonfly yarn left to last me four years! We’re not talking SABLE here (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy), this is actually a pretty modest collection based on my indigodragonfly consumption rate. And from what I’ve seen on Ravelry, I’m not even that rabid of a customer. There are others with indigodragonfly stashes that surpass mine, and they seem to knit from it at approximately the same rate.

The reason I’m showing you all of this is so you can understand the sheer volume of skeins Kim and Ron must have to dye in order to keep up with their voracious customers. Now imagine doing all of that dyeing without a studio. For the past four years, that’s what they’ve been doing. All of that dyeing has been accomplished in their kitchen – you know, the kind that was built to make food for a couple of people. It’s getting uncomfortable. They would like to eat sometimes, and maybe walk through their living room without having to play Mission Impossible as they navigate over, under, and around all the yarn that has taken over their house.

They need a studio. Their sanity, and the sanity of all of those who depend on their crack – I mean yarn – supply depends on it. To that end, they have begun an Indiegogo campaign!

indigodragonfly Indiegogo

They have AMAZING perks too, like a project bag (if it’s anything like their club project bags, I can tell you they’re awesome!), yarn in an exclusive thank-you-for-helping-us-build-our-studio colorway, and membership in a brand new fiber club! I’m not even a spinner yet and I’m drooling over the prospect of a fiber club.

These perks are so amazing that I’m sort of dying on the inside because I can’t have any. You see, all of that glorious stash was acquired back when I was employed. Now I only have 69 cents in my bank account and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I’m not just sad because I can’t get in on the fiber club (oh god, there’s a fiber club), I’m more upset that I can’t help them reach their goal. They’re so close! Maybe some of you can help them out for me? If you don’t knit or don’t particularly care for the perks I know someone you could send them to *nudge, wink*. And if you enjoy reading this blog, you may want to consider helping them out so that I can continue writing, ’cause if the indigodragonfly supply dries up it would end me. 

Minions, assemble! I need you, indigodragonfly needs you, THE WORLD needs you!

Level Up Your Knitting: The Yarn List

As I plug away on the needle felting (update on that tomorrow) I’m starting to miss my yarn. The needle felting is fun, I swear! It’s just that I have all these pretty skeins hanging out in my room begging for attention.

To get my knitting fix without actually knitting I’ve been leafing through The Knitter’s Life List by Gwen W. Steege. It’s a great book full of information, inspiration, and of course LISTS. I love lists, but especially these lists, which read like a skills menu in a knitting RPG. (Is there a knitting RPG? If there is I am SO IN!)

Each chapter covers a particular area of knitting interest, like sweater, hats, bags, know-how, etc. The first chapter is all about yarn. Since I’ve had yarn on the brain I decided to review the lists in that chapter to see what I’ve done and pick out a few things I’m really excited to get started on.

Here’s some of the knitting achievements I’ve unlocked:

  • I’ve attended a Clara Parkes lecture. She’s a fabulous speaker and can make subjects as dry as ply and twist seem fascinating.
  • Use multiple, closely related colors in a project:
  • Knit something for myself with special yarn that you just love to touch – That’s like, every knitting project ever. I actually have a hard time giving away my knits because the yarns I use are so precious to me.
  • Dig through your stash and examine yarns with different plies – I did that after reading Clara Parke’s The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and tagged all of my stash entries on Ravelry accordingly. I haven’t really kept up with tagging new stash as I acquire it though.
  • Knit with a silk-Merino blend: my Toorie hat used a 50/50 Silk-Merino blend and was luscious to knit with!

Toorie - pom pom side

  • Knit with angora: I have knit with it, but I didn’t really do it justice. I still need to frog this so I make something more wearable out of it.

Angora Scarflet

There are lots of things on the list that I haven’t done yet, but here are a few that I can’t wait to get started on!

  • Knit with qiviut: I splurged at the Sock Summit and treated myself to this tiny ball of 100% qiviut! I plan to make a Madeira Lace Scarf out of it.
  • Knit with cashmere: I’ve used it in lots of blends, but I have one precious skein of 100% cashmere that I will making into Wood Elves Gloves.
  • Knit with alpaca: I’m actually surprised I haven’t knit with this yet, but I do have four skeins in contrasting colors that I will use to knit Andrea’s Shawl.
  • Knit with orange: It’s one of the colors that I rarely (or never) use, but I have a very orange yarn that is destined to be a pair of socks – Baldersquash.
  • Pink is another color I don’t work with often, but I finally found a pink that I’m sort of obsessed with. This one will be a Gunn au lait hat.
  • Knit with solids: I’m so devoted to hand-dyed yarns that I sometimes forget that commercially dyed solid-colored yarns even exist. And in my stash, no less! Here are a couple I have plans for – The first will become a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret, the second will become an Aeolian Shawl, and the last will be used for an Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap.
Novita Charlie Mohair (I'll just be using the gray)

Novita Charlie Mohair (I’ll just be using the gray)

What’s on your must-knit yarn list?

A Study in Scraps

I never throw away scrap yarn. Never. Just can’t bring myself to do it. If it’s more than a few inches long I save it – that’s room enough for several stitches at least! I do abhor the thought of hanging on to useless objects though, so I try to find ways to use up those scraps.

So far my strategy has been hexipuffs. I’ve been collecting hexipuffs for a future Beekeeper’s Quilt for almost two years now. Every time I knit something and have a partial skein leftover I knit a hexipuff or two out of it. I acquired a vast array of miniskeins for the express purpose of hexipuffing them. It’s been very satisfying, and has gone a long way towards using up my leftover yarn.

gratuitous puff shot

gratuitous puff shot

However, it hasn’t gone far enough. Each puff takes about 12 yds of yarn to complete. That’s great! But what about lengths of yarn that aren’t quite 12 yds? What do I do with those? Every miniskein I use to knit a hexipuff is longer than 12 yds, but frustratingly not quite 24 yds long. That means I can get a single hexipuff out of each miniskein, and be left with anywhere from 5-10 yds leftover – not an insignificant amount of scrap yarn. I also don’t want to have my finished blanket dominated by a single color, so when I have a partial skein leftover from a project I only knit one or two hexipuffs out of it, even if there is enough left to make 10.

I used to give these leftover bits of yarn to my sister, who would add them to her ever-growing Frankenscarf. It’s just a plain stockinette scarf that she continually and chaotically adds to whenever she comes across some string. She knits it without any regard to gauge, yarn weight, color choice, or stripe size. It’s kind of awesome. Not my aesthetic, but awesome. It is, however, over 23 feet long now, so I don’t think she needs any more of my scraps.

What should I do with them then?

Have you ever seen City of Ember? If you haven’t, you should. It’s a great little sci-fi/fantasy aimed at children, but not so twee that it’s painful for an adult to watch. I loved the story and the adventure of it, but there was another thing that made my crafty heart skip a beat – the costumes! The setting is an underground city that has been isolated for 200 years, so everything in their world is pieced together from recycled bits of long-defunct objects. The clothing is no different. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I still remember being mesmerized by Lina Mayfleet‘s sweaters. They looked like they were knit or woven from threads pulled from a million other fabrics.

pic from Your Props

I loved that concept and thought that it would be a great way to use up leftovers. Maybe on a smaller scale though.

Enter A Study in Scraps: Sock #1. I was updating my queue on Ravelry and came across this gem and had an “a-ha” moment. The pattern photos show how the socks would look with only two different yarns, but I plan to take the “scraps” part of the title VERY seriously. I figure I could come up with two somewhat similar socks if I knit them 2-at-a-time and cut each scrap in half so I can split them up for the two feet. Will they have a lot of ends to weave in? YES. Will it be worth it? Probably.

I gathered up all of my scraps and stuck them in a box with a clear plastic top (another object I had kept, thinking I’d eventually find a use for). Based on my previous sock projects, I should need about 100 g of yarn for a pair of socks. I have 64 g so far, mostly from leftover miniskeins that hadn’t found their way into my sister’s scarf. I can’t wait until I have enough scraps to make these socks. Clearly I need to knit faster.

A Study in Scraps

WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Knitting Without a Safety Net

I’m living on the edge with this week’s WIP – for the first time ever I am knitting socks without a gauge swatch! They’re not for me, they’re for my boyfriend, who was so pleased with his first pair of handknit socks that he requested another.

I let him pick out the yarn, which many female knitters might cringe at because their male counterparts have a tendency to choose the most boring of colors. I wasn’t worried though. My man is braver than most. He picked this skein.

indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock - Roadkill: The Slower Red

indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock – Roadkill: The Slower Red

Definitely not boring! In fact, its origins are quite manly. The colorway was inspired by this picture of Joey’s garage in which he fixes up motorcycles and such.

Joey’s Garage – photo by Heather Sebastian

With the yarn decided, all I needed to do was figured out what pattern to use. I decided I would use this project to learn a new technique – knitting two socks at a time. It sounded like sorcery to me, but I love the idea of having both socks match exactly without worrying about my gauge changing between the first sock and the second or that I forgot to write down any modifications I made so I could repeat them.

Since I would be using a new technique I wanted to find a fairly simple pattern, but with highly variegated yarn like that having a little texture in the fabric helps break it up a bit and prevent it from looking like a hot mess.

After quite a bit of browsing I settled on Hermione’s Everyday Socks which uses a few well-placed purls to add some texture to the pattern. All I had to do was size the socks to fit my boyfriend’s feet!

Here’s where I descended into chaos…I cast on for the socks right away without knitting a gauge swatch. Why? Well, since I was trying a new technique I wanted to try it out with a realistic road-test. I figured the cuffs could sort of be my gauge swatch. If they ended up too big or too small I could just frog it and start over, having gained some two-at-a-time knitting experience in the process. I just grabbed some 2.25mm circulars (a pretty standard sock-sized needle) and went for it!

Micah's Everyday Socks CO

Knitting two-at-a-time was pretty awkward for the first 10 rows or so, but once there was a bit of fabric to guide me it was surprisingly easy! It’s really just a form of Magic Looping, the only difference is needing to keep track of two balls of yarn and making sure you knit things in a certain order.

Once I finished the cuff I had boyfriend try them on. They fit!

Micah's Everyday Socks start of leg

I proceeded to the leg. Once I finished the leg I had boyfriend try them on again. They fit his leg!

Micah's Everyday Socks - partway through leg

Then I had him try the leg portion on over his foot since the leg and the foot of the sock are supposed to have the same number of stitches. That was the first sign of trouble – it was too loose for his foot. If I pulled it tight enough to fit his foot the same way his first pair of socks did I would have to lose about 12 sts. That sounds like a lot to me and I don’t remember having that much trouble figuring out how to get his socks to fit the first time, so now I’m starting to worry that the I might have screwed myself over by not having a gauge swatch.

Micah's Everyday Socks - gusset picked up

I already finished the heel and did the gusset decreases up until the point where there are the same number of foot stitches as there were leg stitches. Based on the measurements I made I should continue the gusset decreases until there 12 less foot stitches than leg stitches. My gut is telling me that’s too tight. I think I’m going to put a lifeline in before I continue.


WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Pool Party

First let’s start this post with a mini muggle vocabulary lesson. In knitting, “pooling” has absolutely nothing to do with water. Pooling is what happens when you’re knitting with a yarn that has many different colors in it and the same colors start stacking on top of one another making a “pool” of a single color. Usually it’s a complete surprise when this happens. It’s basically a freak of math. Depending on how the rest of the colors are interacting and what the knitter’s intention for the project were this could end up looking either really cool or really crappy.

I have been experimenting with taming this freak of math and pooling my projects intentionally. I learned how to do this by taking a class called “Planned Pooling” taught by Gladys We (wenat on Ravelry – check out her projects page for tons of beautiful examples of planned pooling). Basically it involves laying out your skein of multi-colored yarn, figuring out the length of the color repeats, and then adjusting your knitting gauge until those color repeats stack on top of one another!

I had the perfect yarn to start with – bright colors, easily distinguishable, with decent sized color lengths, and nerdy to boot.

First I made a cowl with a simple seed stitch.




Then I tried playing with the pooling a bit by making a ribbed hat and accentuating the yellow parts with cables. Pardon the crappy selfie, I haven’t had a chance to do any glamour shots yet.



The class actually focused more on trying to keep vertical pooling, but I’ve been loving the swirls!

For my next trick, I wanted to see if I could make a smaller circumference project – how about fingerless mitts? That would come with the extra difficulty of having to repeat the process twice in order to get a set.

I decided on a simple 1×1 rib, but added a bit of interest by knitting through the back loop for all the knits – that just makes the ridges look more dramatic. For the thumb opening I thought I could just make a buttonhole and call it good. Unfortunately the buttonhole turned out looking a bit messy. On the side where it was started there’s a weirdly loose strand stretched across the thumb opening.



The other side looks fine though.



I’ve never really had an occasion to make a buttonhole before, so I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with my technique, or if I was just following some crappy instructions for a buttonhole. In any case, I’m going to have to figure out how to clean that up. Maybe a crocheted edge around the thumb opening? I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it. Other than that, the first mitt looks pretty good.



I’m not 100% sold on pairing that stitch pattern with this yarn. I was happier with the painterly quality of the seed stitch and the exaggeration of the cabling on the hat. The ribbing does make it VERY stretchy though, to the point where this could truly be considered a one-size-fits all project. That mitt fit my boyfriend’s man hands, my mother’s miniature hands, and everything in between!

Starting a second mitt to match it was a bit challenging. It took four tries before I could get the cast on to pool even remotely like the first one did. Even several inches into the knitting, one of the yellow swirls is looking way more chaotic than the other and I can’t seem to correct it. Oh well, I guess they’ll just have to be fraternal twins.

Pooled Mitt WIP Mitt the Second


I have learned one thing from this experiment though – I don’t like trying to match pairs when I’m pooling. I’m better off sticking with single item projects from now on. My blood pressure will thank me for it.