Episode 21: Stash Enhancement, FTW!

Hey everyone! It’s been a while, as usual! I hope y’all have been doing well and have gotten lots of knitting, spinning, and all other crafty endeavors done – because I certainly haven’t… though there is an addition to the Alumni Roster this week. 🙂

I talk about a few things before getting into the Crafty Stuff – if you’re not following the blog in a aggregator, you may be missing out on posts as I start to use the blog as a blog as well as a place for show notes. (Don’t worry, the blog will always have to do with the ‘cast, I promise!) I’m hoping to put reviews on here, rather than take time in the recording, which will hopefully keep the time down. Also, don’t forget – you’ve still got until midnight on the 31st to enter your finished socks in the August “Socks, Socks, Socks!” thread for a prize!

Current Roster 

  • Bondi Socks by meI finally cast the second sock on and promptly remembered why I don’t knit socks on DPNs all that often. I grabbed my Chiagoo Red Lace circs in a US1.5 (2.5mm) and went to town. One thing I remembered about 2″ in? I knit looser on the Karbons, which is what I had started in and knit over half of the first sock in. So, this sock might be a little snugger than the first for Mom… she’ll love them anyway, right? I’ve made the decision to rip back the toe on the first sock and knit the foot longer, but I can’t stomach that right about now, lol.

Alumni Roster 

  • Brickless by Martina Behm. I finished this in 15 days. 15 days. That is almost unheard of, in my world. I could have gotten this done in fewer days if I had just pulled it out and worked on it more. This really was potato chip knitting for me. I really didn’t want to put it down once I picked it up – and it was so easy to remember. I finished this on Monday, just in time to squeak in under the deadline for the  Knitabulls’ Brickless KAL with Sadie of Yarnivore. I knit this out of a skein of Storied Yarns’ Superwash Sock (75% SW Merino/25% Nylon) in the Condescending Wonka colorway. I love how this came out. I was left with a tiny ball of leftover yarn – maybe it will be enough to knit a square? Yes, I still need to block this, but I’m still calling it finished.

Stick Handling 

I finished the braid of fiber from Fibernymph Dye Works – and it is lovely once spun up. It’s a little itchy, but I’m hoping that will soften up with a good soak and thwack.

Scouting Report: Patterns 

I swatched for three of four projects (yes, one of the swatches did double duty and worked for two sweaters) and posted a poll in the Rav group on which I should make next… because Maine is a little chilly in October. I think I’ve decided to cast on Narragansett by Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails, as it’s a worsted weight sweater and should knit up quickly.

Scouting Report: Stash Enhancement 

Yeah, retail therapy happened. I hate it when I fill a cart and Paypal just kicks in like that. Oops.

What’s Making Me Happy 

There are so many things – too many to list! One big thing? Just over one month until the NHL Regular Season start. (You know, in case you’ve forgotten about my hockey love.) Our first game is on October 1, against the current Stanley Cup Champions in Chicago. Yeah, we’re going to lose that one, but honestly, I won’t care because hockey will be back! (I’ll care for our first home game against the Flames on the 3rd, though.)

Have a great week, everyone! I’ll see you soon!


Review: The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits

004Interweave Knits has brought us another specialty issue of their magazine, in the vein of their Jane Austen Knits series. When rumors surfaced that there was going to be a specialty issue devoted not only to the Harry Potter universe, but also to Downton Abbey, I admit I was really excited. (I totally admit to being a huge Potterhead. I know I’ve admitted in the podcast that I’ve named my car Fawkes. Heh.)

Due to copyright infringement issues they have named this The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits and are only selling this in the United States. Unfortunately, if you are elsewhere in the world, you will have to find an obliging soul to buy it and send it to you from the US. (They will be doing the same for the Downton series, so if you are interested, line those US friends up now!) I got my copy at my LYS the day they received them in the store – and they sold out fairly soon after, which seems to have been the case throughout the US. (I did see a number of copies at the local Barnes & Noble, hidden behind the other knitting magazines, so I know that they have no clue what they have on their shelves, lol!)

So, onto the review. Overall, I liked the direction they went with the magazine, dividing it into five distinct categories, each a class at Hogwarts: History of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense of the Dark Arts. Naturally, some of my favorite patterns are the socks. 🙂 There is a great variety of patterns in the magazine: sweaters (for both men and women!), socks (again, for both sexes, woot!), gloves/mittens, shawls, and other accessories. It’s nice to see that Interweave has chosen a variety of patterns (and models) for this magazine.

I love that there are blatant shout-outs to the books; so many times you have something that is, in every respect, something from a book, but is something different. However, here we have Hagrid’s Sweater – the same yellow sweater he was knitting on the Underground while taking Harry to Diagon Alley! (Really, that may have sold me on the whole magazine. Even if it doesn’t look just as I had imagined it. Truth.)

The photography, for the most part, is good. Not excellent, but good. The outdoor shots are arts-y, and try to evoke a feeling of the books. The indoor shots… well, are not great. The lighting in a lot of them is horrible and you can’t make out features of the items being shown. The section least well shot was the Defense Against the Dark Arts – I understand, that they were trying to evoke a gloomy, dark feel – and I love some of the items they’re trying to show – but YOU CAN’T SEE THEM. FAIL, Interweave. When you are trying to “sell” a garment, you need to have light. Period. If I had gotten the digital copy instead of the print copy (which I did consider), I would have been so upset.

The patterns are wonderful – the variety is awesome and I can see me knitting a few of these as it gets colder here, but the photography leaves a lot to be desired. I certainly hope that the photography for the Downton Abbey issue is better – because, yes, I’ll be buying it.

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Episode 20: All Over the Place

Hey there, everyone! It’s good to see you all again. It’s been a busy week plus, but at least I recorded, right? 🙂

Remember to post your finished socks in the August thread to win a skein of sock yarn! Also, post your finshed projects in the Show and Tell thread for bragging rights. (Hell, don’t we all need to brag on ourselves a little bit?) I did pull for the winner of July’s sock thread… and I’m not going to post that here. I want the person who won to find out herself. 🙂 Winner, please PM me on Rav your favorite colors and address so I can pull a skein of yarn and get that out to you ASAP! (I know what waiting for yarn is like, I don’t want you to wait all that long. Heh.)

Again, a shorter episode this week, and no pictures – I can’t find my big girl camera… it’s been put away in a “safe place” in the last cleaning spree and I just need to locate it. There’s only so much you can do with the iPhone camera, right? Actually, my phone has been great at pictures, I just want to find my expensive camera.

Current Roster 

  • Bondi Socks by me. I still have not cast on the second sock, nor have I kitchenered the toe of the first sock. I needed the recipient (Mom) to try it on first and see if it was long enough. It’s just a tad short, so now I need to figure out if I’m going to rip out the toe and knit a couple more rows, then decrease, or if I’m just going to throw a couple more decreases in. I’m probably going to take the lazy route, but we’ll see.
  • Brickless by Martina BehmI decided to join in on Knitabulls’ Brickless KAL with Sadie of Yarnivore – I really needed something other than socks to try and jumpstart my sweater mojo, since i’ll be needing that soon. I’m working with Storied Yarns’ Superwash Sock (75% SW Merino/25% Nylon) in the Condescending Wonka colorway. (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this colorway!) The pattern calls for a light worsted on US6s (4.0 mm), but I didn’t want anything that dense. (Worsted on a US6? I’m not sure how she was getting 4st/in, but whatever.) I am loving the pattern so far – it’s just enough to keep me interested and mindless enough to keep me relaxed.

Alumni Roster 

  • Bowties are Cool Socks by Mandie HarringtonSo happy these are done. They were a bit of a slog somewhere in the middle of the first sock – you know, where I stopped – but when I picked them up again after finishing my Allons-y socks, I was knitting like a woman possessed. It was nice to have some of my knitting mojo back. These were originally cast on for a pop-culture KAL with Aimee and Darren from Knitting in Circles, but just ended up being a big fail. I love how these turned out. These were knit out of The Uncommon Thread’s BFL Sock in the Debauchery colorway on US1.5 (2.5 mm) needles.

Scouting Report 

  • I got the new The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits from my LYS. (I also saw quite a few at the local Barnes & Noble, if you can’t find one near you.) I won’t do a review on the podcast, but I will do one as a blog post.

Lots of stash enhancement!

Stick Handling 

I’ve been working my way through a braid from Fibernymph Dye Works – from the Unclub in September. I love how the colors are coming out, but I’m not thrilled with the fiber prep. This is NOT a slam on Lisa’s preparation at all, there was just a lot of veggie matter in this braid that I wasn’t expecting. I also realized that I need to pre-draft this fiber before spinning to have the smoothest time spinning it. (I haven’t been pre-drafting lately and I’ve become so much more consistent, so it was a bit of a bummer that I realized that I really had to halfway through.)

What’s Making Me Happy 

  • My friend Michelle (travelingknitter) woke up early and registered us both for the Highlands on the Fly retreat in October in Maine. SO. FREAKIN. EXCITED. Hosted by two of my favorite podcasters, this looks to be a fun time!

There were other things, but I can’t remember them right now. 🙂

Have a great week! See you next time.