FO Monday – Less Pants, More Banjo

FogKnitsCyber MondaySale

Before we take off our pants and play banjo, I’ll wish everyone a happy Cyber Monday.  I’ll follow that closely with a little shameless self-promotion.  I’m offering free shipping this week with coupon code ‘ILoveKnitting’ over at ye olde etsy shop.  I’m imaging most of you are here for inspiration, not shopping so…on to the fun stuff…

I’ve finished my Joni Mitchell inspired Banjo hat!  Somehow amongst all that doodling, I managed to purl a bit.  Seriously, much like intarsia, who’s bright idea was reverse stockinette?  I hate purling.  This hat took twice the time it should have because I just don’t like doing it.


In an effort to enjoy the process, I did square decreases.  Not sure I like that decision but I’m not changing it now (because that would mean even more purling.  NO!)  I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope the recipient’s monster head will fill it out and it won’t be so weird and lumpy.

banjo strings

I tried to string one of the banjos just for fun.  Again with the weird and lumpy.  Those strings are not staying.

So, what’s next?  I feel a hat binge coming on…




Doodler Decision Time

Clue Four has arrived!  I finished Clue Three just in time!


Now it’s decision time!  Clue Four comes with options!  I can do an i-cord bind off.  I can do a garter edge and then an i-cord bind off.  I can do a garter edge with an i-cord bind off and picot embellishments.   And of course, I can do whatever I want with the colors.   I am officially out of A & C.   I can continue in B (that’s the light grey color) or I can add another color.  Here’s my option for Color D…


It’s the color I wanted, initially, instead of the grey but my LYS only got it this week.  I have enough B left and in the name of stashbusting, I should just use it up.  I’m really draw to a fourth color though (and I bought it, so it’s really stashbusting either way!)  What to do?  So many choices and only one thing is certain, they are all awesome!! I can’t go wrong, they will all be lovely options.  I really love this MKAL.  The Doodler is awesome!  Stephen West is awesome!  And now it’s the weekend…Let’s Knit!!

The Doodler: Clue 3 (In Which Improvising Goes Awry)

I expected to have Clue 3 done by today.  As usual, Stephen had different plans.  This is all the progress I’ve got to show for my weekend.


Wedge 1 is complete!  I’m calling that a win for the moment!  Now how to proceed?   Wedge 1 has left me with 70 g of a 100 g skein, meaning Wedge 1 used 30 g.  We all know these wedges grow…I am doubtful that 70 g is enough to complete 2 more wedges.


I thought, perhaps, I could stretch my yardage by adding a stripe of Color B between wedges.  It’s still a solid plan.  Unfortunately, my execution left something to be desired.  I put my stripe on the wrong side…I had unsightly purl bumps.  I usually wave off ‘mistakes’ and embrace ‘design features’ but this was too much.  Purl bumps are just TOO offensive.  So I set about to tink back two 500+ stitch rows.   It’s taken days.  There may have even been a trip to the timeout corner.  I stopped short of corporal punishment, though.  That wouldn’t have benefitted anyone.

So, new plan…knit until I run out, add more colors as necessary.  Rainbow stripes are the best design feature ever, anyhow!


Saturday Stash Acquisition

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman with a lovely record collection.  I could have spent hours reading liner notes and looking at album art but I had to make due with a quick flip through!  Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark caught my eye!  Not because I’m a fan.  In fact, I didn’t even know such an album existed.


I did know that MadelineTosh has a colorway called Court & Spark though.  It’s such a specific name, I knew it had a reference and it’s a beautiful color!  And now, it’s mine!  <insert evil laugh here> MINE!


I didn’t really need it, but Tosh Merino.  Seriousleeeeeeee?  How does one resist?  I haven’t figured it out.  I had store credit to pay for it.  Plus, I need to knit a hat called ‘Less Pants, More Banjo’.  I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Court & Spark is about.  Let the knitting begin!


FO Friday – Cleaning the Needles

Clue 3 of The Doodler arrived yesterday afternoon, as expected.  I promptly got started picking up 300 stitches but with a row that long, there isn’t much to see just yet.


It’s gonna be awesome!!  I can’t wait!  One of my students has an awesome doodler too… her color C is bright yellow!  I love seeing all the different color combos!


Her Color C is bright yellow!  We picked the colors with a ‘what would Stephen do?’ mantra.  I think we picked right!  I love seeing all the different color combos!  I love them all!


While we wait for more Doodler progress to ohh and ahh over, I did manage to finish a few things that had been lingering in the queue for many moons.

First, the R2-D2 beanie, who’s idea was intarsia?  I always think… it’s not that bad.  Except, it’s always that bad.


I turned that mess into something reasonable but not my cleanest work.  It took a late night following a long happy hour to actually get it done.


I said a little prayer to the gods of blocking, R2 is drying now.  Hopefully my prayers were heard!

And a long lingering WestKnit has come to an end.  This is the Colonnade Shawl, started 18 months ago.  I decided to end it several inches short of ‘complete’.  I’m the boss of my knitting, I can do that.


And, if I don’t want to block it, I can ignore it in the sink for another hour or three.  It’s good to be the boss!

Happy Friday…I’m off to doodle!




The Doodler: Clue Two

doodler clue two garter stitch cables

Clue Two has been doodled!

Giant garter stitch cables…I never would have guessed!

the doodler cables westknits style

I’m slowly doing a row or two of Doodler #2 here & there but second shawl syndrome is even worse than second sock syndrome.  Instead, while I wait for Clue 3, it’s back to the R2-D2 hat.


A viewing of the new Star Wars trailer has inspired me.  I can’t possibly have the premier happen while I have half an R2 unit in a bag, on a shelf somewhere?!?

Doodle in Progress Wednesday

My first doodler is ready and waiting for Clue 2!  I have absolutely no idea what to expect!?!


I am in the unfortunate group that ran out of yarn.  Luckily, I ran out at the very end.

westknits doodle

That’s two garter ridges short.  No big deal.  Wedge 17 is an increase wedge with kfbs at the beginning of each ridge so, theoretically, I’ll be two stitches short.  I don’t count stitches, so I’ll never know!  Huzzah!

I am now, cautiously, working on Doodler the Second.  I don’t want to repetitive strain myself right out of commission so caution is necessary.  Knitting field trips slow progress, so today, we went to The Spire for a spot of morning knitting.  It’s an Andy Goldsworthy installation in The Presidio.  I love Andy Goldsworthy!  He works with ‘found’ materials in nature, paying particular interest in how they change over time.  I enjoy keeping tabs on the progress.  It’s a lovely spot for a morning knit!

the spire andy goldsworthy knitting

and so, I completed one little wedge.  Almost nothing compared to the final wedge.  I’m enjoying it, knowing how quickly it’s going to grow up!


The Doodler Clue One


The Doodling continues!  Last you heard from me, I was highly confident I’d have this done by now.  Turns out, Stephen had other plans!  Clue One is HUGE!


And I’m still not done!!  Of course that could be because I started a second Doodler…


So far, it still seems like a good idea!  I have no idea what the remainder is going to be but I absolutely LOVE what we’ve done so far!


I’m Doodling!


I’m Doodling!  Yay!  As if I didn’t love Stephen enough already, he released Clue One at least 12 hours early!  Thank you Stephen!

Although, I might suggest The Metamorphosis as the new name for this MKAL.  We started off with a hungry little caterpillar…


And then it started to grow…


…into a beautiful butterfly!


I wish my colors had better contrast but if I were a butterfly, I’d be pretty stoked to have these wings!  I can do high contrast on my next one!   (which may happen 3 hours from now! ha!)

Now for the part where I curse Stephen a little bit every wedge, Break Color B.  Really??  I’m still weaving ends from my last WestKnit short-row,  garter stitch shawl.  Here’s the ‘honest’ photo of my progress thus far…


Ugh!  But the i-cord edge is the perfect little hiding pocket for an unused strand up the edge of the shawl!  So no more, I refuse to Break Color B again.  Here’s a couple action shots, just in case you also curse like a sailor while weaving in ends.

This is the first time you work the Color A i-cord, the initial insertion of Color B into the center of the i-cord.  I’ve brought Color B (the light) over Color A (the dark), effectively doing a wrap to lock my tail in place.


Here’s the next i-cord row on the same edge.  At this point, I don’t wrap Color A (dark) and Color B (light).  Color B comes straight up, Color A simply passes behind it and goes along it’s merry way.


Here’s the result, a neat edge with no ends to weave and no sign of an unsightly carry up the edge!


Of course, this is really just trading one hassle for another…having Color B attached the whole time means yarn management becomes a thing, to avoid tangles.  Totally worth it to avoid all those silly ends though!

Here’s the pool I’m contemplating for my second set of colors…


So much yarn…so little time!  At least it’s finally the weekend!