Saturday, December 4, 2010

just the hats 'mam.

I managed not to photograph the commissioned yarmulke for my uncle which was delivered over thanksgiving.  (Sounds normal enough, except for the fact that he and nobody he knows up in Ohio's Amish Country is Jewish.  I think he wanted a hat just small enough to cover his bald spot to be worn underneath a larger external hat.)  The next request was, of course, for a larger external hat. These are those hats.
I used stash yarn and the omnipresent Jared Flood Turn a Square pattern.

edited to add: Actually he plans to wear 3 hats at once in the following order:

1.yarmulke - no picture

3.lumberjack hat

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sparkly Blocked

Here is my sparkly shawl blocked.  The sparkly bits don't photograph well, you'll have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Shawl in the Bag

P1010110, originally uploaded by trifarina.

I am officially obsessed with knitting big flat things right now, especially if they're lacy. I just dropped this guy off the needles, made from sparkly Noro Aurora I purchased several years ago. I will block it once I get it back from Dookie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This guy is a rare pink addition to my collection of FOs, a mini shawl for my administrative assistant.  I did not realize you couldn't put "printer safe" transparencies in our copiers.  She had to peel melty plastic off of the fuser.  Sorry.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This might be the coolest thing I have ever knit.
It was also painfully tedious, so don't ask me to knit you one.
You can  do it yourself with the pattern Extermiknit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bonus Shawl

I made another one of these Flourish shawls for a coworker because they are so fast and easy.  I also broke my long standing goal of using yarn only from my stash when I purchased 2 skeins of Mirasol Yarns Nuna for the job.  I wanted to do it in purple and I just didn't have enough to make this happen.  It was fun to go to the yarn store instead of just back and forth between my apartment, work, and the grocery. 

Unfortunately, I may have to switch yarn store allegiances.  It would appear that the one by my house has decided to stop carrying good, dependable, nice yarns in sensible weights.  They no longer carry any Brown Sheep and all of the Malabrigo was this funky bulky/roving mess they had to hang up on the wall.  When I enter a yarn shop I should have voices screaming in my head advocating for the purchase of every bright and fluffy skein.  This time I took almost 30 minutes to find one I was merely "OK" with. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas List - 3/3

I win!  I finished my absolute Christmas knitting goal; 3 lace shawls!  I guess I underestimated myself and lowballed my speed estimates.  This shawl was knitted from the monter skein of October third and the pattern is called Flourish (on Ravelry).  It calls for worsted or aran weight yarn instead of weensy lace or sock yarn, which doesn't hurt my new land speed record.  Until December I'll be randomly adding other projects to my mental fiber queue.   I need to make at least one dalek for somebody at work and there are a few other ideas bumping around in my head.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Christmas List - 1/3

I plan to knit three shawls for Christmas presents.  One down, two to go.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monster Skein

I have recently discovered a cool place to get reused and recycled craft and art supplies in Houston, the Texas Art Asylum.  It's kind of a cross between a thrift store, an antique shop, and a craft supply depot.  On my visit I picked up a variety of picture frames to use for an upcoming project and two skeins of undyed worsted wool from the 70's.  (um, yeah... and a bunch of other stuff, but you don't really need to know about the grocery bag full of severed doll limbs.) 

This monster skein (hammer for scale) are those wee skeins dyed together.  I went with a tonal cornflower blue assemblage with a relatively long color repeat.  The lessons of this dye session have led to two new proclamations.

1. There shall be no more super long color repeats that require looping the yarn around the length of my apartment.  It's simply too difficult to keep the yarn from snarling into one giant entanglement, both while in the dyebath and later when trying to make a monster skein.

2. There shall be no more large scale dyeing until I have facilities like a yard and a hose.  I was responsibly doing the dyeing in a large rubbermaid type bin, but had no choice other than dumping it out in the bathtub for disposal due to the mass and density of water.  This resulted in a navy blue bathtub and panicked trip out for bleach.  (Which incidentally did the trick and the landlord will never know, but I could do without the extra stress.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Knitting in the Rain

I wasn't actually out knitting in the rain, but I did wait for the torrential downpour to take pictures.  Smart.  I jumped back inside off my balcony when the super charged thunder started.  Now I'm just trying to post this before the power goes out.  This is my current progress on the first of two Christmas shawls, one for each Grandma.  This one is for Grandma Brown.  High-larious, am I not?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lightly Blocking

I have finished the Citron.  It was so boring and painful to knit.   It was just row after row of stockinette with intermittent ruffle sections containing an exponentially larger number of stitches to slog through.  Blech.  Never again.  So say we all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Not so fast... sneers the Tromfast

I have been dreaming of a dedicated yarn containment unit for a good long time.  Yesterday as I prepared for an epic IKEA run I decided that this would be the day.  Along with several Billy bookshelves and a giant bag of carefully planned items for the kitchen and bathroom, I selected the Tromfast.  I opted for assembly of this piece first, it was the smallest item.  After several hours worth of questing for the damned allan wrench I was able to proceed.  I laughed demonically in the face of Tromfast and declared myself the champion.  But, as you can see from the picture, Tromfast had the last laugh when it was revealed that I had purchased shockingly too few bins/drawers.  Damn you Tromfast!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Citron in Purple

My evil plan to increase handmade accessories for work continues to progress.  I'm currently slogging through Citron from Knitty WI 09.  I needed something with very little stitch detail in order to showcase this lovely hand paint baby alpaca laceweight.  Unfortunately, stockinette stitch with tiny yarn for gillions of stitches gets boring.  How did I forget?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Possum Peddler's Shawl

A good friend of mine brought me this yarn back from her post-doc in glamorous New Zealand.  It's a delightful Possum/Merino blend in vivid cranberry.  This yarn was so coveted and so prized, it took me well over a year and several attempts to find the perfect project.

I recently got my sticky mitts on Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle and found the perfect project.  The Wool Peddler's Shawl  looked like a simple lace I could easily accomplish without too much frogging and frustration, with the added bonus of a historical fun fact I can tell anybody who notices my shawl.  During the reign of good old Queen Victoria, wool peddlers would wear to market bright red shawls so they stood out from the crowd and were easily identifiable.  Cool.

Thanks Dr. Katie! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dying Cotton

It's a huge pain in the buttockal region if one tries to do it properly.  It involves more chemistry than microzapping some wool steeped in kool-aid.  I'm not doing it again for a long long time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Shawl from Hell

It sneaks up behind you in dark corners and dares you to finish it.  You see a cute shawl in the new issue of Knitty, but you can't cast on a new one until you cast off another.  With every pattern repeat the centerline becomes increasingly erratic and non-linear.  There is no way to fix it without ripping out the whole thing.  I have committed to only wearing this folded and wrapped and what not.  I showed it to several muggles who didn't notice the hideousness, but I know it's there.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

DN-easy Ipad Cozy

This is more like it.  A quick, easy, and satisfying project that will fly off the needles in a night or two.  The double helix cable is easy peasy to work up and I have been told is surprisingly accurate.  (I prefer my science dead, with all DNA bits rotten away...) 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Knee warmers or volleyball/carpet laying accesories?

These damn knee warmers have been a bane and a pox on both my houses for over a year now, probably even longer if I cared enough at this point to do the math.  The concept seemed simple enough, but without a pattern I found myself doing more pondering than knitting.  You may recall the last time you saw these bad boys they consisted of little more than a straight ribbed tube.  I added an afterthought heel for the patellar covering, but perhaps the 90 degree angle is too severe. 

Tough cookies pal, they're done now and would be nigh on impossible to rip out and redo.  Why?  Because I thrummed them pretty good, that's why.  The tufts of roving felted to a certain degree almost instantaneously while working.  Here's a peek at the inside.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I attended a social event.

There's even photographic proof.

My palynologically minded friend and I attended the Etsy Houston Craft Party at Sew Crafty in the Heights.  The event was pretty well attended and featured free snacks, beverages, and project ideas.  The lovely item you see modeled here is a delightful fabric covered bulletin board that now resides in my entryway/kitchen/living room.  One of the other cool areas focused on fusing plastic bags from the grocery and whatnot to make new, sturdy items.  I may have to get an iron.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cupric Cryptozoology

 I introduce to you the brachiolope, a mysterious hybrid of... a brachiosaurus and an antelope?  I guess?

Well, if you like ellipses, vertebrates, or science, I encourage you to check out the podcast Science Sort Of...  It's the reason I finally broke down and bought a replacement for my runaway ipod.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Having Friends is Neat

I have a friend who brought me some yarn from WALES!  How cool is that?!  I'm working on some wrist warmers to wear at work.

(Yes, I live and work in Houston.  Yes it is hot outside.  Yes I do actually need them because I work in a dark meatlocker.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Knee Warmers

Procrastination must end and UFO's (unfinished objects) are no longer allowed in my house.  OK, a few are fine, but I have decided to cull the herd and make the pile a little shorter.  First off, we have the intermediate phase of a UFC (unfinished concept.).  Pictured above are a pair of kneewarmers in prep. for my uncle the deerslayer.  Apparently his knees get really cold while laying in wait for a nice rack to mosey on by, and he asked for something like this.  It has been more than a year for sure, maybe even two since the original description was passed down to me.  I think I was dragging my feet because I didn't have a pattern and I didn't want them to be crappy.  The concept is a tube made up of 1x1 ribbing for maximum elasticity, with an afterthought heel for the knee bend.  I'm also going to try thrumming in the heel/knee.  Stay tuned. 

Friday, May 21, 2010


I found this glass bauble at the big box craft store for 3 bucks.  It reminded me of an ammonite with tubercles on its keel and I had to bring it home with me.  With the new ornament I also found a perfect excuse to make my first attempt at chain maille jewelry.  The pattern is called barrel weave and it was tricky at first, but OK for a beginner.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Scratchiest Blanket Ever

I trafficked my ~12 year old super Bond knitting machine to Texas (two regular ones bolted together) after x-mas for the express purpose of making this blanket. I found a new friend who loves scratchy blankets. She has a favorite that was crocheted eons ago and is starting to literally disintegrate. Her mother made her 5-6 new ones to replace it, but they were too bulky. It seemed to me a knitted one would be more lightweight. There was no way I was going to hand knit a giant blanket with red heart specially selected by touch test for maximum irritation at the nearest Michaels. It is done, and it is scratchy…

The in progress shot above might be a little too revealing, but I decided to share it anyway.  You see that while I may be messy and cluttered, it is only superficially "dirty"  as evidenced by a plethora of hand and dish cleaning agents as well as Lysol wipes.  My dietary staples of velveeta shells and cheese overshadow a bag of clementines that have been pushed to the side. And of course I have a tin of pickle shaped band-aids perched expectantly near my Invasion of the Monster Women lunch/tool box.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I'm trying some new things, like welding metal together.  I'm not very good at it yet and need extensive supervision at this point, but it's just so cool.  This is a radiolarian pendant I'm working on.  After I cut out the shape in copper, I proceeded to file the edges down in preparation for the next step.  I didn't realize until I after I fashioned the death star that I accidentally filed each side of the points at a perfect 45 degree angle.  So cute, so deadly.  (I filed those down yet, I'm far too clumsy to be walking around town with WMDs.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yes, Blocking Works Wonders

The scarf now passes my test for giftworthiness, I want to keep it.  This lacy, girly, useless scarf will be sent off to a lady soldier in Afghanistan as soon as I get my act together.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm feeling a bit druzy...

This is the last of my March Madness jewelry making binge, and one of my favorites too.  The chain is pretty long so it makes for a dramatic touch and the heavy quartz blob could be used for self defense in a pinch.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Scarf In Progress

This  bad boy is currently weighing in at 1.5 balls of Rowan Damask.  I'm a bit concerned about the finished product because the yarn loops that are intended to look graceful and lacy keep catching on my fingers and other ungainly protuberances, resulting in a pulled out, shaggy looking mess.  Maybe with blocking...  we shal see.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm a bad geologist

I had to google "peacock stone" to try and figure out what this stuff was.  Michael's crafts isn't so good at labeling with the chemical formula.  I should consider myself lucky for getting "peacock stone".  One questionable internet source suggested it was also known as bomite, but that looks like an alias for chalcopyrite, which this is not. (though chalcopyrite is sometimes referred to as "peacock ore.")  The circular bodies do look a bit like oncolites, but I don't get a particularly sedimentary vibe from these guys, and they would have had to have been replaced by silica.  Unfortunately, I'm still not sure.  I can't find my mineralogy textbook anywhere either.

Monday, March 29, 2010

One for me, one for you

And then this similarly citrine laced combo goes to a friend at work.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bear with me

All you fellow fiber fiends are going to have to bear with a few more jewelry posts.  My newly computer intensive job leaves my hands a bit sensitive at the end of the day, and so the dusky knitting habits have been subjected to a level of self restraint unknown since the broken thumb incident of last year.  In lieu of fast paced knitting and permanent neuro-muscular damage, jewelry is being made in the evenings.  (there is still yarn being used, I just have no FO's...)

This set is for me.  I'm a real square.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Jewelry

I went to the craft store for two things, but all the beads were half off.  What was I supposed to do?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bourgeoisie Cross Stitch

It physically pained me to embroider a happy polka dotted kitty cat on this baby blanket.  I would have rather given it themes such "avenging dalek", "Timmy the trilobite survives predation", or try out some oil industry play on words with a derrick shooting out babies ("baby oil").  But I realize not everybody shares my sense of humor, so happy polka dotted kitty cat it is.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I made a pretty

It's a necklace. I made it. Glass beads and the pendant is colonial rugose coral.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baby Straightjacket

003, originally uploaded by trifarina.
This did not turn out anything like I expected. I bought the yarn, Plymouth bear hugs, packaged like a kit in a ball, simply too gimmicky for me to resist. The pattern and buttons for the baby sweater were cozily tucked inside.

Well, I didn't read the pattern right and went with all garter stitch. I also lost the bear buttons. The finished cloth is heavy; almost too heavy for any garment let alone one for an infant. Oh well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm weaving things.

007, originally uploaded by trifarina.

I don't know what to do with all of them, but I can't stop. These are just dishcloth cotton and you get 5 or so cloths per ball. A little too small for a washcloth or dishcloth, but it's so much fun. (I'm also working on squares for an afghan.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February is American Heart Month

Did you know that February was American Heart Month?  Well, somebody must have, as they took the opportunity to decorate lots of signs and art at the Texas Heart Institute with some rather festive crocheted hearts, on Valentine's Day no less!  Good thing I happened to be in the neighborhood to snap some pics.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weave On!

I'm working on about 100 things at once right now.  I don't have enough free time for all of my creativity to work itself out over the weekends between doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher; so when I take a second to play with the yarn, things have a tendency to get out of control.  I don't have any finished projects to show you (other than a highly classified one that you'll have to wait for).  But, I did recently acquire some lap weaving looms from Hazel Rose Looms.  Here's a taste.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Progress Report

Progress: fair to good
Momentum: waning
Alternate projects with hotter deadlines: imminent

In other words, take a good look now, she's going on hiatus.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


004, originally uploaded by trifarina.

I also picked up a few too many skeins of Elisabeth Lavold's Silky Wool. I love the stuff.