It’s been a while since I’ve been knitting much.  I’ve been working on a Liesl sweater that really should be finished by now.  For Christmas though, I finally decided that I should knit a pair of mittens as a gift for the often cold-handed boyfriend.  Pretty?

Yeah – they’re pretty basic.  Pattern here.  I knitted it per the men’s size, with pretty much no changes.  I started on December 9, hoping for a Christmas completion.  I finished it on Christmas Eve – so not bad!  The yarn is Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK.  They’re warm!

So here’s to the final FO of 2009.  It hasn’t been a productive knitting year, but here’s hoping it gets better next year.


December 29, 2009. Knitting. Leave a comment.

SAFF 2009

This past weekend, I went to Asheville, NC for SAFF 2009.  This year, the drive was a bit longer coming from Atlanta instead of Knoxville.  I met one of my friends who live in South Carolina in Greenville (SC), and we drive the rest of the way up to Asheville together.

This year, neither of us were that excited about yarn.  I don’t knit that much anymore (as is probably evident by the lack of FOs on this blog), so I feel like I already have enough yarn to last me at least 10 years.  I was mostly looking for roving, since I just don’t have that much (OK… I have 5 lbs… which is probably a few year’s worth of spinning at my speed, but I digress).   For some reason, I just felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of interesting stuff there this year.  I came home with 2 things:

6 oz of BFL from River’s Edge Weaving Studio.  Beautifully dyed, plus I absolutely adore spinning my last BFL.

8 oz of natural brown alpaca from Little Barn.  Do you see the price tag?  Seriously, how could I not buy it at this price.  It’s nice and soft too, just like alpaca should be.

After SAFF, my friend and I went to a Laughing Seed, a vegetarian restaurant in downtown Asheville.  The food was seriously delicious.  I ordered the Tempecado sandwich, and my friend ordered the Dragon Plate.  I was going to take pictures, but alas, the food looked and tasted so good that it was devoured before I had a chance.  If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss this place!

November 2, 2009. Knitting. Leave a comment.

Battlestar Yarn

Yarn Yarn Yarn!

I haven’t had too many fibery accomplishments lately.  I just haven’t been feeling very motivated.  Dunno why.

Regardless, spinning is still the perfect companion to TV-watching.  I was completely obsessed with Battlestar Galactica for a while, and watched all 4 seasons within about 6 months (that’s fast for me).  If you haven’t watched it, you must.  It’s simply the best TV show out there.

Anyways, while watching Battlestar Galactica, I was able to turn this:

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to this:

Yarn Yarn

This is beautiful black BFL roving from Gale’s Art that I bought from Knitch.  It spun up so easily!  I really had nothing planned when I started spinning – it was mostly something to do with my hands while I watched an ungodly amount of TV.  Having said that, it turned out incredibly even, and I really like how the colors mushed together.

I haven’t measured it for stats yet, but it’s roughly fingering weight, and there was 4 oz of roving, so I’m imagining there’s roughly the same amount of yarn.  I’m hoping to (eventually) knit it into some Viper Pilot Socks.  Seems fitting, doesn’t it?  It’s too bad the roving wasn’t superwash… Guess I’ll just have to remember to handwash them (or turn them into Christmas ornaments if they accidentally end up in the washer…)

I have started spinning something else since these came off the wheel – a lovely heathered green merino that I bought from SAFF in 2007.  I figured I should start spinning at least 1 thing from SAFF that year before I got to SAFF again this year!

October 1, 2009. Knitting. Leave a comment.

Stitches South 2009

I went to Stitches South with Lisa last weekend.  I was so psyched that I get to experience such a big, talked-about event.  Lisa came down for the weekend and we had some fun touring the vegetarian cuisine of Atlanta.  I have a couple of friends who are vegetarians, so I’ve gotten to know the vegetarian landscape a little.  It’s amazing how much choices we have here!

OK – tangent over.  We went to Stitches on Saturday.  I was really amazed at everything that was there.  The show was really big with lots of booths.  Lisa and I were both on a roving kick, so that’s definitely what we paid more attention to.  We came across some really cool stuff though.  First stop was Sassafras Creation‘s booth.  I had seen ads for them online before, but had never seen the jewelry in person.  They are absolutely stunning!  I really debated between getting a lot of it, but I ended up coming home with this pair of earrings (photo not mine – it’s the vendor’s stock photo).


They’re super cute and super lightweight.  I wear them all the time now.  Nobody knows they’re old knitting needles.  It makes me happy to sneak around my knitting goodies.

They also had these watches that I completely fell in love with.  I didn’t come home with one, but I want the one with pearls so bad (second one from the left).  Anyone want to get it for me?


Other loot I ended up with from Stitches:

Shawl pin.  I’ve been looking for one for a while, for the theoretical shawl that I will be knitting.  Plus they’re really handy to close scarfs and cardigans and other stuff like that.  I dont’ really have too many things that need one…actually, I might not have anything that needs one, but that’s beside the point.  It’s pretty and I like it.

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Webs was also at Stitches.  I’ve been listening to the Webs podcast for a while, although I haven’t really kept up lately.  It was totally weird to see one of the owners, Steve Elkins, there.  He’s just normal guy running a booth at a yarn show.  But weird because I heard his voice in person.  Am I a dork or what?  Knitting celebrity, anyone?

Anyhow, Webs had AMAZING prices, as usual.  First thing I saw walking into the booth was a 10-ball bag of Plymouth Worsted Alpaca for $37!  Holy moly.  I almost walked away with it that second.  I browsed some more though, and found 2 yarns that I’ve been wanting for a long time, and opted for them instead.  I bought Malabrigo sock (heavenly!) and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (so sofffttt).  Both yarns are AMAZING!  Can’t wait to knit something with them… all my other sock yarn will have to line up.

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That was it of my loot.  I think I did pretty good.  I have to say, though, that I think I prefer the atmosphere of SAFF more.  Maybe it’s just the fiber thing – I’m just way more into fiber than yarn.  I have much too much yarn already (although compared to the rest of the knitting community, I’m quite tame).

On a slightly different note, I finally finished my Spring Forward socks.  They’ve been on the needles forever – can’t even remember when I started them at this point.  Actually, I think it must have been around August, since I started them for Football season.  I’ve put them away and not knit on them for a while, especially due to busy season and all the other crap that has been happening in my life.  Anyways, Lisa gave me a good pep talk and I finished them Sunday night.  Aren’t they pretty?

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For the record, self-sock photography is super hard.  This is the best I can come up with.  Sorry.

This didn’t use much yarn – only about 2/3 of the skein.  I have a lot leftover I don’t know what to do with.   Matching coin pouch?  Any better ideas?

Ok – that’s it for now.  My yarn adventure continues later.  I’m almost done with the BFL I started spinning a short while ago.  Will post pictures when it’s all done, skeined, and washed.  It’s looking super pretty!

May 2, 2009. Knitting. 1 comment.

PVC Swift/Skeiner tutorial

Note (Dec 2011) – I’ve been told by many that the cost to build the swift has increased since 2008.  When I built this, I lived in a part of the country with pretty low cost of living, so between that and inflation, the costs are now reportedly much higher.  I’ve heard about $20-25 is average now, depending on the tools you need or have on hand.  YMMV.

UPDATED! 7/6/2009

Many, many, wonderful knitters have told me that there’s a mistake in my tutorial for a while now, but I’ve been so busy with life that I haven’t had a chance to correct it.  It’s a minor one – the swift requires 4 2″ pieces instead of 3 as noted.  Anyway, it’s finally been corrected!

I finally did it! Remember the PVC Swift/SkeinerI talked about around a month ago?


The tutorial (pdf) is done!


  • Acts both as a yarn swift and skeiner
  • Holds up to a 2-yard skein
  • Collapsible so it can be stored flat
  • Has optional yarn guide to make winding on easier
  • Cost roughly ~$10 of supplies from a home improvement store (plus some tools)

OK, so I know that I’ve been super slow about it, but exam procrastination got me so I wrote this up (I would rather do anything but study… as you can see).

I tried to be real thorough about where all the parts go and to give detailed pictures and directions. Please let me know if you use it and find any mistakes or confusions. I would love to improve them. Send me an email at beatawih AT gmail DOT com (replace AT and DOT, obviously).

Also, if you build one of your own, let me know. I would love to see what yours look like!

OK, here comes the PDF of the tutorial. Enjoy!

April 29, 2008. Knitting, Spinning, Tools, Tutorial, Yarn. 28 comments.

Baby Hoodie

FO time! I finished this baby hoodie on spring break.

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Thanks Abby for modeling! As you can tell, it’s still a bit big on her. This is good, since it’ll still fit her next spring.

Some specs:
Pattern: Hooded Baby Cardigan (P630) from Plymouth
Yarn: Oh My! by Plymouth – 7 balls
Needle: Knit Picks Options size 10
Project Ravelry page

Pattern knit entirely as is. I wanted to convert it to be knit in the round, but was too lazy to. The pattern is very easy to make.  It made for really productive SnB knitting, and spring break knitting while traveling in the car.  The only change I made was to kitchener the top of the hood instead of bind off and sew it together. The bind off just seemed a little arbitrary, plus who would want a seam there?

I read on ravelry that the yarn unravels easily from being weaved in, so I (gasp) knotted the ends in after weaving. Let’s hope that withstands the pulling and tugging of a toddler!

I made the buttons from polymer clay. It’s sort of a new hobby of mine. I consider it an extension of my knitting (like the beading – it’s just for stitch markers, really), so it’s not really a new hobby. Can you see them? I rolled the clay on the thickest setting of the pasta machine, cut them out from a 5/8″ template, and textured it with a rubber stamp. Then I painted it with a wash and put gloss coat on it after baking it. I love them!


My floppy dog was also kind enough to model the hoodie for me.

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Isn’t he just so darn cute?!?

March 29, 2008. Knitting. 2 comments.

Seduction Socks

This is my only Christmas gift crafting I did this year. I had to wait to give it away before posting, just in case the recipient sees it.

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Pattern: Seduction Socks (link to PDF)
Yarn: Reclaimed yarn – 43% Rayon, 39% Nylon, 10% Cotton, 8% Angora.
Needles: 32″ US1.5 (2.5mm)

This was knitted almost exclusively as a travel project for about 2 months. I kept it in my purse and worked on it at weekly SnBs and when bored waiting somewhere. I finished pretty quickly, considering. I did work at home on the heel and toe, since those parts are a little more complicated. I even had to wait on the heel because it was simply impossible doing it 2 at a time on one circular. I ended up order a set of sock dpns from Knit Picks just to tackle heel area. I’m really glad I have it now though.

The socks turned out a little snug, but in a good way. It stretches nicely, but I’m not sure of the yarn’s recoverability. Erin tried it on and it seems to fit her better than me, so yay!

January 1, 2008. Tags: , , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Go Big Orange! Toboggan (Hat)

One of my friends who is also a huge football fan found out recently that I knit. He has always wanted a orange and white checkered toboggan (for those who aren’t from the south – it’s a hat, not a sled), so he asked me to make him one. Of course, I obliged. It’s a great excuse for me to learn colorwork in a basically non-intimidating setting.

I went to pick up the yarn about two weeks ago. Originally, I wanted to get some good superwash wool so he can wash it safely. However, even in this big orange country, I couldn’t find anything in the official orange! If you live around here, you probably know. There’s Auburn orange, and then there’s Florida orange. There’s even University of Texas orange. But none of that is the same as UT orange. The closest I found was in Red Heart Super Saver. I vowed to never knit with that stuff again, but oh well. Guess I had to make an exception. I also got a “I Love this Yarn” from Hobby Lobby. It’s a much nicer Acrylic than Red Heart Super Saver, but I’m not sure if “I Love this Yarn.” It’s still acrylic, even if it’s softer.

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Pattern: Chessboard Hat
Yarn: 1/4 ball of Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin & 1/4 ball of “I Love this Yarn” from Hobby Lobby in White
Needles: Denise size 8
Size: M (cast on 104), 8-swirl decrease
Gauge: 20 sts = 4″ in stockinette
Ravelry Link

The hat turned out great! The ribbing on the bottom is a little larger than I want. I probably should have used an even smaller needle to do that part. I’m really happy about how the colorwork turned out. The front has wonky spots, but mostly it’s pretty even. The back, however, is amazing. I’m totally impressed with myself. Check this out:


Neat carrys, no dangling strings.  I’m quite happy.  I might have erred on the side of too tight, but it works.  While doing this colorwork, I learned the 2-handed method of color-stranding.  Knit Picks has a great tutorial here that I followed.

This hat only took me 2 weeks to knit.  That’s amazingly fast since it wasn’t a project I could do while studying (colorwork required too much visual attention for me to read and knit it at the same time.)  Since those acrylic yarns come in such gigantic packages, I’m thinking of making one for myself.  It’s quite festive and would be great for football games (although I don’t want to wear an identical hat with my friend for now.  Maybe I’ll just make one for his wife so they can match… hmm…)

Go Vols!

October 3, 2007. Knitting. 5 comments.

I haven't blogged in a while…

and there are several reasons for that.

  1. I’m working full-time right now which means I have little time to knit
  2. I’m sick of having 10 WIPs so I’m working on finishing them all, but it’s taking forever, which means I have no exciting new knitting to share.
  3. I’m absolutely addicted to Ravelry and spend too much of my time there.

Isabella is almost done – I finished seaming it last night and just have to knit up the armhole edgings. As soon as it’s done, I’ll share pictures!

July 12, 2007. Knitting. 1 comment.

Isabella almost done!

Or so I’d like to think.

It is a lot closer to being done though, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m up to the neckline in the front now, and is probably about 75% done with that piece. There’s still armhole and neck edges to pick up and knit, and sewing it together is going to suck, but otherwise, I almost have a new snazzy tank!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

June 24, 2007. Knitting. 2 comments.

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