Everyone should make a fleece lined hat!

March 8, 2010 @ 10:01 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: finished projects

Michael's new climbing chullo
Michael’s new chullo
Bockstark Handspun 2ply sw merino laceweight in Malaekahana
this one took me a year to finish!
Bee Mice Elf alpaca/silk in Secluded
Bee Mice Elf alpaca/silk

I just finished lining Michael’s new chullo hat with fleece. I’ve never done that before and couldn’t believe how easy it was! The best part about it is that because I knitted it loose, it came out slightly too big for him, and the fleece makes it fit PERFECTLY! For more detailed instructions, see this article from techknitting.

After I was done knitting that, I got the spinning bug again! It took me about a year to finish off this 2ply and was amazed that I got 680 yards!!! I think that is a record for me. After I finished that one up, I started right away on some alpaca/silk from Bee Mice Elf. I bought it awhile back and am in love with the colors. For some reason, I’ve been really hankering to spin with alpaca, have no idea why!! It’s great to be spinning again!

And on that note, I opened up my etsy shop again and added a few new yarns.

Comments (3)

Getting back into the knitting swing

February 19, 2010 @ 5:13 pm
posted by kris

Kiseki's Oriental Lily
Kiseki’s Oriental Lily – front detail
Kiseki's Oriental Lily
full view
WIP:  Cross Country Chullo in Wollmeise
Cross Country Chullo

So ever since I finished the shrug, I have found a lot of projects that I NEED to do! :) But I need to start with the “necessities”. The first up is a gift for my niece who is turning 1 in April. I knitted Oriental Lily in Sublime Yarns Extra Fine Merino DK. The pattern is fabulous – top down construction and she can wear it awhile since it would look good as a tunic as well. And the yarn, oh the yarn!!! I want to knit more stuff using their merino!!! It’s so divine, you would think it has some cashmere in it or something!

So now the next project I’m working on is a Cross Country Chullo for Michael. I’m doing the Anemoi variation. He lost his beloved handspun hat somewhere in Austria (shame on him). I can’t complain though, he has used that hat quite a bit and it has been on summits such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn and it was probably time for a new one anyways. I am knitting it using Wollmeise Spice Market dark and natur. I am quite pleased with it so far but my stranded knitting needs a lot of work. I think I’m knitting quite loose but it turns out a tad bit tight. I hope blocking helps! And then I’m planning to line it with fleece, which is a first for me. Thank goodness for the techKnitting blog, I don’t know what I would do without it!!

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Re-inventing myself

February 6, 2010 @ 4:55 pm
posted by kris


Loch Ness Marathon

I’m a work in progress
Monoton Ribbed Shrug
My first shrug!
20091103-DSC_7073
Stephen and me at the Munich airport
20100127-_DSC0331
WonderMike and me at SFO

Wow, it’s been almost a year since I last posted. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what the hell happened to me! I haven’t been blogging/checking blogs/knitting/spinning in awhile (obviously!). A lot of it has to do with not being able to really afford to buy stuff anymore (or at least controlling the habit) and reading blogs, looking at flickr pics and being on Ravelry was really making me spend a lot of money and all it did was build up my stash.

So what did I do for all that time? Well, I decided to get off my butt and start exercising. Computers, knitting and spinning involves lots of time sitting. It just got to the point where I had to do something. And I’m also at that age where you hear a lot more about people getting sick, dying, or what not because they didn’t have a healthy lifestyle. I feared that I was going to end up in that camp.

I started casually walk/running from November 2008 – 1 or 2 times a week, for 2 to 3 miles. Nothing major, just something to get started. Then in March, I got an advertisement in the mail to run the Munich Half Marathon and I thought about it for a few days and then decided “why not”? I started training in earnest then walk/running 3 days a week – 2 of them short runs (3 miles) and 1 of them a long run. I was really serious about it and stuck to my schedule. In June 2009, I completed my first half marathon! I was the very last person to cross the finish line and it was a slightly humiliating experience, but there you are. But I was just happy that I did it.

Then one evening after drinking some wine, I thought “hell, why not just go and do a full marathon!” Crazy, I know, but I was really determined to do something BIG. So I searched around for marathons that have a long time limit (most ones in Germany have a 6 hour limit, which isn’t enough for me) and since I’ve always wanted to go to the Scottish Highlands, I decided on the Loch Ness Marathon. I am happy to say that on October 4, 2009, I completed it AND I wasn’t the last one. :)

During the year of training, I lost about 35 lbs. I didn’t have weight loss as a goal, but it was a very nice side benefit. I bought new clothes and feel more confident and more like myself again. I still have a ways to go before I’m in the “normal” weight range, and that’s what I’m working on this year.

All this running and activity has made it uncomfortable for me to sit and knit or spin for long periods of time. I know at some point I will pick it up again because I do miss it, but for right now I’m putting it aside. So that’s my story.

So now that I bought a whole bunch of new clothes, one of which is a sleeveless dress, I had to make something to cover up my saggy arms. And I love shrugs but never owned one so it was my first knitting project in a year (or maybe even more) beside a couple of Jayne Cobb hats that I knitted for some friends. The pattern is the Two-tone Ribbed Shrug from Fitted Knits and the only mod I did was to make the sleeves longer. I really like it and will probably make another one in the short sleeve version!

In other fiber news, I was also lucky enough to meet up with the Y-Knit boys, Stephen at the Munich airport and WonderMike at the SF airport. I just love both of them, they are so much fun to hang out with! Mike was such a doll and brought me some wonderful Verb goodies and fiber!!! Thanks so much, Mike!!

So that’s all the news fit to print. Thanks so much for listening!

Comments (11)

I can’t frickin’ believe it!

July 25, 2008 @ 10:13 pm
posted by kris


Mmmmm…tasty!

You won’t either! I have TWO, count ‘em TWO finished objects!!! I am done with my BunkyBoBos merino in Cotton Candy (ok, it is only 2.2 oz’s but still, it counts) AND

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I am FINALLY DONE WITH MY TORTURE SCARF!!! It’s blocking right now so I will post pictures later, hopefully while on the recipient. I was so happy when that was done!

But what did I just do? Pull out another roving and split it. Mmmmhmm…and then I balled up some handspun to knit a baby hat. Yeah, ADD indeed.

Comments (9)

GAH, I’ve been so bad

July 9, 2008 @ 3:55 pm
posted by kris

Twisted Fiber Art Cloudy in Ravelry (2ply light fingering)
Politically incorrect in Greg (2ply fingering)
Handspun hat modeled by Kelp!
About to N-ply the Lovesticks sw merino in Patina
All Spun Up sw merino in Chocqua

I’ve been so bad about blogging lately. Cuz it takes away from spinning! :) It’s been so long since I last posted a “real” post, I don’t even remember what it was about. How about I just fill this with pictures and make the text short. Let’s see….

I finished the Twisted Fiber Art Cloudy skein, I also finished the Politically Incorrect batt (that I started in May!). I am currently working on a Lovesticks sw merino navajo ply and a AllSpunUp sw merino 2ply. Both of them are delish!

As for knitting, I finished a handspun chullo hat for Michael, to match his handspun socks. I thought about crocheting a border around the edge, and did a few sts and decided I didn’t like it. He also hasn’t had time to model it for me, but luckily Kelp! came to remedy that problem. It was really great to meet her and talk about how much we hate Houston. Heh!

I am currently wrapped up in the HHHH swap. There are almost 100 participants and it is a lot of work to keep track of everything/everyone and try to match them up with someone you think they would like. Some of them I couldn’t, due to allergies and skill level, but hopefully it all goes well. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. It looks like I have a great bunch of peeps, they are like my kids. It’s so rewarding when they post about the swap and enjoying the process of getting to know their pals!

Comments (7)

Let’s start with a sandwich

April 8, 2008 @ 11:41 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: finished projects


Mmmmm…delish!

Firestarter and matching toddler socks

Stockinrib socks

My Wee Tiny from Elinor

I finally took a picture of my most favorite sandwich in the world. It is the Kornspitzkäse sandwich from Rischart. It is plain, but every bit delicious! I never in my whole life thought I would like a cucumber and cheese sandwich so much. The bread is what makes it, but I have to say that the combination is just amazing. And it’s only 2,60eur!!! I always get a sandwich whenever I pass a Rischart, and I get very angry and mad at myself if they run out.

I have a couple of finished objects. First, I finished the Firestarters for my thesis-completed neighbor. I had a lot of leftovers and so I made her son a pair too (not Firestarters, but normal socks). He was really excited that he had matching socks with his mom. Those were made with Hello Yarn Tough Sock in the Lonesome Water colorway. Man, the yardage on that is like Wollmeise – I made a pair of socks, pair of toddler socks, a wee tiny sock (see next paragraph) and I have enough to make some booties, or maybe even two pairs of booties.!

The second FO is my first “stockinette always on the needles” project – the Stockinrib socks. I had this on hold for awhile because I was going to show Cashyie how to do a toe up heel flap, but she is resisting, so I decided to show her on another sock whenever she is ready. The yarn doesn’t feel like it will last, but we’ll see. It was certainly soft and smooshy though! The yarn was Violet Green Socrates Merino in To the Lighthouse colorway.

I also participated in the Wee Tiny Sock swap and got mine from Elinor, who is in HIGH SCHOOL! I don’t think I’ve ever met a high school knitter, so I was really impressed. Not only that, she spins too! I normally just assume that everyone is my age (er…hmm…that’s OLD), so to get something from the younger generation is a nice surprise. She made hers in Dream in Color smooshy and it is well..smooshy! I have a couple of skeins of DIC, and this sock has pushed it higher in my queue. I sent my Wee Tiny to Jessica! It was a really cool low-commitment swap – I like those! And now I have two new fiber friends (who spin!).

I got obsessed about spinning again, but it is clear that a wheel is not in the cards for me right now. So I’ve decided to pick up the spindle again, but I have to buy another one since Cashyie broke the one that I had. I went looking around and wanted a Goldring one, but damn – $90 for a spindle??? Geez. So I decided on a Cascade Shuksan – mostly because of the name (it’s from Washington!), but also because it came recommended by a couple of folks. So hopefully it will go better this time. I will make a better effort, I promise. But now I have to order it and wait. and wait. and buy some practice fiber. If anyone else has recommendations for a spindle, please let me know.

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The 9 day miracle

March 23, 2008 @ 11:32 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: finished projects


Looks good on him, yes?

OK, so it’s not a miracle, but look! I finished my Cobblestone in 9 days!!! Yeee-haw! It fits perfectly, it looks fantastic on the Mr. and he likes it and will wear it this week to work. The pattern is super easy and almost no seaming/finishing. I did felted joins on the yarn (LOVE IT) and overall just loved the process of making a garment. I think the whole no-seaming thing is what did it for me. The only part that was tedious was when first joining everything for the yoke, there was 200+ stitches and it took forever to do a round. I wish I made maybe 2-4 more rounds of stockinette at the neck, but it’s no biggie. Now I want to make kids versions of it so they will be matching their dad.

This has really opened my eyes and makes me more excited about knitting garments again! The only hard part is that if you’re knitting for someone else, you have to involve them in the process – what style, what color, etc. so it can’t really be a surprise. I am scrounging around Ravelry searching for something I can make for my mom and sister. My sister is easier since I have seen her wear sweaters and she lives in a colder climate. It’s also hard to find something that I like that is mom-appropriate. But there are a few things that I put into my “favorites”.

Has anyone out there made “Tubey” from knitty? It looks like a really cool knit and I want to make it for a friend, but reading the comments scare me off (it’s too big, doesn’t fit well, etc). If you’ve had a good/bad experience with it I wanna know!

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Perfecting the bootie

March 7, 2008 @ 2:01 pm
posted by kris


Modified Saartje’s Booties in Hazel Knits

Oh so tiny!

I have been completely obsessed with perfecting Saartje’s Booties (pdf)! So now, I give y’all permission to have more babies! :) I have already knit 3.5 pairs, but only 2 completely finished.

The first one was the one with sublime baby cashmere

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merino silk dk and while I did a fairly good job with the seaming, it just took a lot of time doing it and going around the heel was kind of weird. I followed the pattern to the “T”. I was slightly confused with the strap parts, but eventually figured it out. The tutorial that I used for the buttonloops are here. The buttonloops are my favorite part but I still need practice with getting them both the same size. I also went over some mattress stitch tutorials here and here. Katariina gave me a good tip about the ends sticking out, and told me to thread the ends through the sts to “hide” it. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before!

I also made another pair with Wollmeise Rittersporn and Sonne, but only completely finished one side but just knitted the other. All that seaming and ends weaving in is a lot of work!

So I decided to try doing it in the round via fleegle’s method. I had to learn to do the Turkish cast on (a lot easier than I thought it would be), but was dissatisfied with the knit sts at the cast on edge. And also, to keep it true to the original pattern, I turned it inside out and did the straps the “normal” way. This also made the strip of knit stitches on the inside so it’s not as noticeable. So it wasn’t completely seamless, but I think it looks better. Also, I like the original button loops and not crochet version.

So, this is leading me to my own variation of the pattern, one that I think keeps true to the form of the original while doing it in the round, except for the last bit. I will write it up in case anyone else is interested in my method.

The booties in this pic are with Hazel Knits Artisan sock in Tulip and Chocolatier. Yummeee! I am making these for boy/girl twins, so I’m thinking of making the other one brown and green or blue, haven’t decided yet.

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Knitting with handspun

February 23, 2008 @ 4:54 pm
posted by kris


First handspun hat

Yesterday I had a serious hankering to knit a new hat. Last year, I did a swap with Chawne (cauchy09) and she sent me some really gorgeous handspun. I didn’t knit it up right away, but I thought about it a LOT. I wanted to have the perfect pattern! It was also only around 100 yards, so it had to be small too. Back when we swapped, I didn’t make a whole lot of hats, so that didn’t even cross my mind. But yesterday, I was really really driven to make a hat and that was the first yarn to pop into my head.

I originally wanted to use the red skein, but it had less than the other color, so I thought I should be safe and use the one with more yarn. It didn’t take long to make – maybe 3 or so hours? It’s a simple “square” hat, knitted in the round on 72 sts. Then I kitchenered the top except the 4 sts on each end. Then I made some icord and voila!

I love handspun now and want to get more. Anyone up for a trade? I have LOTS of Wollmeise! :)

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Handspun from cauchy09 – Hello Yarn 100% corriedale top “trodden” – 3ply, dk/aran weight
Needles: Knit Picks options US9 circ needles
Started: February 22, 2007
Completed: February 22, 2007

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Pictures…finally!

December 21, 2007 @ 9:27 am
posted by kris


Yarn binge!

Mom’s new tabi socks

La Digitessa…masterpiece in the making!

Ugliest baby sweater EVER!

Poisonous Firestarters are done!

I know, I have been super horrible with pictures. I get them up on flickr and then forget about them. Let’s see…I went on a yarn binge in Houston, I finished up the Firestarters that I’ve had on my needles since October. I also finished up tabi socks for my mom for Christmas. I have also been chugging along on Yarnissima’s La Digitessa. Gorgeous!!!! It is a little snug, and I’ve considered frogging. But now that I’m on the gusset, I think frogging is out the window. I think I’d rather give them away if they were too tight. Who am I kidding though, as much work as this sock is, I don’t think I could part with it. It takes an amazing amount of concentration to learn the pattern, but once you learn it (it only takes 1 repeat), you can chug along. The gusset is a little tricky, I hope I’m doing it right, I guess I’ll email Yarnissima herself and make sure.

Notes on the Firestarters, the pattern is changed quite a bit. I did a magic toe, I didn’t do any ribbing except for a 1×1 twisted rib cuff, and I did an eye-of-partridge heel. This sock fits very, very nicely. It’s a little snug and I like it. It’s like buttah. And the best part is that I have enough yarn for another pair, I may even do Firestarters again!

I also included a picture of the fugly Striped Lily the Pink. It is awful. and ugly. And I cry every time I look at it since I believe I will have to chuck it. I am putting it on the side for now until maybe I learn how to put things together properly.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying my time in the islands. The weather here is perfect. It has rained every day, but just for a minute or two and then the sun comes out and rainbows are everywhere. I thought it would be a lot hotter and humider than it is. The breezes are really nice. The whole family is enjoying going outside without having to put on a sweater, jacket, socks, shoes, mittens and hat. This year Rowan really enjoyed the beach. In previous years, they have been too scared to go into the water. Elijah is still scared to go in, but we’re going to try again at a different beach (one without waves) and I think that will go over better. I have also been eating all of my favorite foods (ono grinds) and probably gained about 5 pounds in 2 days.

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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.