The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Coincidence? September 8, 2008

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

I hadn’t thought about making a tam o’shanter until Norman suggested it.  I had been thinking of a traditional snow hat, but a tam is a great idea (they’re not really meant to be pulled down around sensitive ears).  I had always thought that the tam o’shanter was from Scotland, though, so I looked up a little more about it. The name originates from Scotland, but tams are found in both Scotland and Ireland.  Irish tams have more Aran styling to them, which is great, because I love Aran cabling.  Browsing around for some pictures of traditional Aran tams, I found these:

Pretty and traditional!  I’m fascinated by the symmetry of these cables.  So, having found my inspiration, I headed off to Ravelry to find some free tam patterns so that I could figure out how these things are made.  What I found was this:



Looks just like the other tams, right?  This is the Aran Tam from One-Skein Wonders.  Isn’t that perfect?  And then, fate struck.  I looked at the yardage for the pattern.  350 yards.  “Well, that’s great!” I thought, “that’s about how much I have.”  Then, a glance at the suggested yarn…:  Kerry Woollen Mills Aran Wool!  I was practically floored by the coincidence.  I promptly (by that I mean the next morning) rushed to the library and checked out One-Skein Wonders.  That hat is going to be mine! (Well, I’ll probably end up changing it somehow… maybe sub a cable or two.  It’s just how I work.)  It’ll be just the right project to tide me over.  Tide me over until what?  Keep reading.


I’ve abandoned my sock WIP (work-in-progress, for the non-knitters.)  There’s nothing wrong with the yarn or the pattern.  It was just perfect a week ago, but now working on it makes me want to throw the darn sock across the room.  And it’s really not the sock’s fault.  I’ve been suppressing my extreme desire to knit something else.  And, as many of you know, once you’ve secretly given your heart to another project, nothing else will do until that new project is cast on.  What’s the project that’s got me pining away, unable to work on my previously fabulous, beautiful silk/wool sock?




The Estes Vest from Interweave Knits Fall 2008.  I don’t even know why I’m so in love with this.  But I have to make it.  Nothing else will do.  I’ve read the pattern probably 10 times so far.  It’s knit in bulky weight, which I don’t really use much (being a sock knitter and all.)  I’m itching to knit something bigger than a sock.  I really want to take the plunge into sweater knitting; the challenge of sleeves and necks and steeks intrigues me.  I live for learning new things.  The problem, though, is that I’m right in the middle of loosing some weight.  (I know everyone say that, but trust me, this is happening.)  Why spend hours, days, weeks, knitting a sweater that will be too big by next year?  So, I’ve very carefully squashed the knitting urges. 

But this vest… Vests can be a little big; they’re meant for layering.  Vests aren’t quite as much of a commitment, especially if knit in bulky weight, what with the “no sleeves” thing.  And look at the cute toggles!  (Which I want to make out of polymer clay.)  Let’s face it, the yarn is already in my cart in Knit Picks.  Wool of the Andes Bulky, in either Scuba or Sky, I keep changing my mind, which is why I haven’t actually placed the order yet.  But I think I’ll finally flip a coin and place the order in a few days.  Must… make… vest…!  But will make pretty hat until yarn arrives.


The Ghost of FOs Past June 25, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,Musings — Cailyn @ 4:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, it’s been busy around here. But, really, where isn’t everyone busy? My in-laws are coming to visit next week, which I’m really excited about. I get to do all the things we never do on our own, like take a ferry and visit Pike Place and drive down to Mt. Rainier and maybe go to a baseball game (I don’t really care about the Mariners, but think of the knitting time! And the snacks, or course!) You know, I think this paragraph holds some sort of Daily Skein record for “Most Links in Fewest Sentences.” Or maybe it’s just an unoriginal Seattle tourism ad, lol. We’re going to do lots of other things too.

As I mentioned earlier, things are busy. As much as I’m excited for their visit, in-laws coming does mean a lot of cleaning. Mainly of the fiber room- I mean, guest room. Right now, it’s fairly trashed from my recent spate of sewing projects and my periodic stash divings to find inspirtation. I haven’t had as much time for knitting, between the cleaning and errands during the day (not to mention exercising) and being busy at night…

I may not have mentioned yet, but I am a huge geek. I love playing video games and sci-fi and math. I even combined all these loves into knitting with my Space Invader gloves, which were my first colorwork project (and full of mistakes.) They’re made from Knit Picks Palette and very much inspired by the BMP socks on Knitty and Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts. They turned out slightly too narrow, so all the invaders look like they’ve been stepped on when I’m wearing them. The shooter and spaceship on top are done in duplicate stitch but the invaders are stranded. Some of the floats are really long and because the grey and black are such a contrast you can easily see the spots where I had to twist the yarns. But I did learn a lot and tried not to make the same mistakes on my Snowflake Gloves.

Like I said, big geek and proud of it. DH and I particularly love playing video games together. We used to play World of Warcraft and now we’re playing Age of Conan together. It’s taking up a lot of our evenings, but it’s so much fun! Anyway, my evening knitting time has been reduced to loading screens and bathroom breaks (his, not mine!) I have started a new project with the Pagewood yarn from Accidental Yarnage. I am so totally in love with this yarn that it’s not even funny. It’s phenomenal; it slides easily on my bamboo needles, it doesn’t split, it’s springy and soft, the colors are rich, and the stitch definition is great! I adore this yarn. I’m not going to tell you what I’m working on right now, but here’s a teaser (well, it’s not much of a teaser- I bet you can figure it out, even from the bad picture.)

To keep you amused while I finish these unspecified items, I thought I’d show off some of my early projects. These’ll eventually make their way to the Knitting Gallery.

Ah, my first project. Well, my first project from my knitting renaissance. I’m sure some of my original garter stitch doll scarves are still around at my mom’s house; I’ll have to take some pictures the next time I visit her. This, if you can’t tell, is the Calorimetry from Knitty. I decided that this would be a fun and simple first project that wouldn’t bore me to tears. It’s done in some cheap DK acrylic. I had pretty much forgotten anything I’d learned when I was ten about knitting. As you can see, I ended up knitting almost every stitch twisted! I did figure it out eventually, though, and I ended up remaking it in a nice 100% wool.

Continuing on chronologically, there are 2 projects that I can’t find to take pictures of. They’re here somewhere… they probably just fell behind the shelf or something. I wanted a pair of slippers that weren’t too warm, so I tried Lacanau in worsted acrylic (at the time, I didn’t really know the differences between fibers, but I quickly learned that I don’t like pure acrylic on my feet.) I then moved on to Widdershins in Panda Wool. I knit the first sock in a heartbeat, trying it on constantly. It fit like a dream. You can imagine my dismay when I cast off and could no longer get the sock over my ankle! Brokenhearted and determined, I ripped the sock out, went up a needle size, and tried again. Since I didn’t realize that the problem was the cast off edge, not the sock, the second sock had the exact same problem as the first. I figured out the problem, but now I was sick of knitting that pattern and I gave up on it. I switched to top-down socks and didn’t knit another toe-up sock for a long time.

Finally, a success story! My first completed pair of socks (although the second sock is missing right now.) Thuja, knitted in Lion Brand Wool Ease that I had lying around from a crochet project. My only problem with these socks was that Wool Ease can be very slippery on aluminum needles- my stitches slid all over the place! Oh, and I picked up the heel stitches rather wonkily. I’ve gotten much better at that now; picking up stitches is one of my favorite part of knitting socks! These socks are a little big, but they’re wearable. Can you tell I really loved looking at Knitty when I first started knitting again? 🙂

Will our intrepid author ever knit something that’s not from Knitty? Tune in next time: same knit time, same knit channel!