Category Archives: On My Needles


Speaking of finishing off projects, I am really on a roll lately.

I’m still knitting on my Papaya sweater like a fiend, but I took a break yesterday to update the last little finishing touch on my Mini-Picard Sweater.

In case you forgot, I made a teeny little cardigan, inspired by my favorite Starfleet Captain, Jean-Luc Picard.  I broke out the red and black sock yarn and teensy little needles. I knit the whole thing up, blocked it and added buttons, and a row of little gold Captain’s pips on the collar.But the gold buttons I had bought were too big!  They looked awkward and funky.  They were only a quarter inch across, but they were too much for such a teeny sweater!So, I took another trip to JoAnn’s this weekend and picked up the teensiest gold buttons I could find.  And, voila! Perfection!Or at least close enough to perfect that I’m super happy with how they turned out!  Now my little sweater is fit for a tiny captain, and I couldn’t be more pleased!Have you ever made a small change that has completely changed your opinion of a finished object?

Call Me Ahab

I’ve been on a roll, trying to finish up all my UFOs before this baby shows up and takes up all my knitting time.  It’s felt really great- kind of freeing- to clear out my Ravelry WIP list (not to mention the shelves in my studio where I keep my WIPs-there’s so much more room in there!).

And, so, the time has come for me to really buckle down and get to work on the White Whale of my WIPs… The one that keeps getting away (or rather, the one that I keep intending to work on but then get bored with and do something else instead).

The infamous Papaya Sweater!I’ve been working on it all week, and I’ve managed to cruise through a skein and a half of stockinette for the body.  And, it’s looking surprisingly good!  I’ve got 10 inches of body so far, which feels like a great start.  I’m going to take a break from the body at the end of this skein, work up the arms, then use the rest of my yarn to see how long I can make the body.

I can’t say it’s terribly interesting knitting (it’s just miles of stockinette with a little bitty garter stitch border), but it’s simple and satisfying.  Plus, it’s kind of fun to see how big/long of a sweater it’s going to end up being.  I hope it gets massive!

Do you have any “White Whale” Projects in your stash?  What’s keeping you from finishing them up?

15th Street- Finished

I’m on a roll, you guys!  I’ve finished another project!  I don’t know the last time I finished so many projects in so little time.  It’s very satisfying.

My 15th Street Wrap is all wrapped up (if you’ll forgive the pun).It was a super satisfying knit, and the finished project is cozy, squishy and frankly, just kind of fun.  There’s something great about a simple project that ends up being so big and impressive.  Of course, it’s getting a little warm around here to be wearing big wool wraps, but I’m sure it’ll keep until next year.I mean, look at all that seed stitch!  You gotta love that!  (OK, maybe I didn’t love working up the seed stitch, and maybe it could do with a bit of a block, but still!)  There’s nothing cozier and more comfy than seed stitch, in my book.

Even Ollie wanted to get in on the photo shoot!  (I know he looks real grumpy in this picture, but I promise it’s just because he needs a haircut.  He’s a very happy dog with too much facial hair.)

Have you finished any projects lately?


Woo!  I’m feeling so good after finishing up all those projects for the Ravellenic games.  I think I might keep going!  (Plus, I don’t have any real plans for new projects, so I might as well keep finishing things off!)

Last October, I published a pattern, the 15th Street Wrap.  (It’s a free pattern, by the way!)It’s a cute (if I say so myself), oversized, cozy shawl/wrap, featuring major color-blocking and acres of seed stitch.  It’s a super simple pattern, but the finished product is very satisfying.

I started working on the pattern in May (according to my Ravelry page).  But, I got distracted halfway through, and never managed to finish my prototype!

I got through four and a half of the color-blocks, before losing steam.  And, since it was such a simple pattern, I didn’t feel the need to really finish up the prototype before I sent the manuscript to the test knitter.  Then, when she did such a good job on the sample, I really didn’t feel like I had any reason to keep knitting the shawl.

After all, I had other projects I could have been working on!

But now, buoyed by my Ravellenic Games success, I’m going to do it!  I swear!  I’m going to finish this shawl if it’s the last thing I do.  (Hopefully it won’t be the last thing I do- I’ve got lots of other projects I’d like to work on, too.)

Do you have any projects that have been hibernating a little longer than you’d really like to admit?

Sick Days and Sock Yarn

I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a rough couple days at my house.  I’ve come down with the plague, or as my doctor put it “just” a cold.  I’ve been a coughing, sniffling mess.  My house feels full of Kleenex and I’ve been drinking water like it’s going out of style.  It’s the worst!

I haven’t had the brain power to do any planning on my Ravellenic Games knitting, so I guess we’ll all be surprised with what I decide to do, come Friday morning.

I haven’t been able to muster the energy (or the brain power) for doing anything more than simple knitting-and only knitting.  No purling, no shaping, no counting.  I don’t want to leave the house to get more yarn (because I don’t want to spread this plague to anyone else), so into the stash I went.  And lucky for me, I found a ton of single skeins, half-skeins, and tiny balls of sock yarn.  I have a vague memory of going crazy a couple years back and getting 20 or so skeins of Knit Picks Stroll during one of their sales.  I’ve been slowly working through it, but there’s still quite a bit leftover, and not really enough of any one color to make a full pair of socks.

So I said, “Hey, let’s make a blanket with this!  But a baby blanket, because I’m not insane enough to try knitting a great big blanket with sock yarn.  And I should hold the yarn double and knit it with big needles so that it’ll go fast.”

And, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

I’ve cast on a bunch of stitches (I didn’t count, but it’s about a yard’s worth of stitches- I’m sick! Give me a break!) with some nice big US10s, and I’ve been knitting back and forth, watching crummy daytime TV for the last couple days.  And whenever I get bored of a color, or when a skein runs out, I switch that strand for a different color.  So far, I gotta say, I like how it looks!Plus, it’s crazy simple, and I’m cruising through really quickly.  It’s going to be a really nice, cozy blanket!

What do you like working on when you’re feeling under the weather?

L’il Cap

My little Captain Picard Sweater is almost finished!

OK, it is “finished,” technically, but I’m unhappy with some of the final details.

See if you can figure out what I don’t like about it:Did you zero in on the pips on the collar, too?  Because that’s literally all I can look at.

(Sure, it’s a cute shape, and the color-blocking turned out great.  It’s been finished nice and neatly, blocked nicely, and the tiny black buttons up the front are perfect.  It’s a cute baby sweater, without being too obviously “Star Trek.”  But those dang gold buttons on the neck!  They’re so bad!)

It’s one of those things that I’m sure anyone else wouldn’t even really notice, but they stick out like a sore thumb to me.

In Star Trek (at least in TNG), rank is marked with little gold “pips” on the front of the collar.  More pips means a higher rank, and a Captain’s rank is shown with 4 gold pips.

I thought I had bought buttons small enough to fit on my sweater’s collar.  I was incorrect.

I managed to fit on three (Lieutenant) before reaching the shoulder.  So, I thought, maybe if I replaced the topmost black button with a gold one, it would make up for the missing collar pip. But that just made them all look uneven and weird.Sigh.  I guess I just have to go back to JoAnn’s and see if they have even tinier little gold buttons.

And I was so excited about these guys!  They seemed so perfect when they were still on the card!  Oh well…

Have you ever gotten stuck on a final detail before you were able to finish off a big project?

Why isn’t this working?

I have a question for you.

Why don’t projects progress if you ignore them?


It’s been a couple weeks since I picked up my crocheted blanket, and honest-to-goodness, it hasn’t grown at allIt’s very frustrating.

I keep it in a nice big project bag in my studio, protected and safe, yet it refuses to crochet itself.  What gives?

Why can’t it just hang out and grow on its own like a potted plant?  I’ve thought about breaking it out from time to time over the last couple weeks… shouldn’t that be enough?

Sigh.  I suppose if my “ignore it and I’m sure it’ll be finished eventually” strategy isn’t working, I’ll just have to go to plan B (“get it out and actually work on it while binge-watching Masterpiece”).  Too bad.  I had hoped that maybe I’d just invented a new, more efficient way of working on projects.

Do you have any projects that you’re trying the “leave it in the closet and maybe it’ll magically get finished” strategy with?


I’ve been busy, you guys!  Not doing anything terribly productive, really, and certainly not working on anything that I have a deadline for (whoops!).  But, I have been busy, knitting away.

Remember the red and black sock yarn I found in my stash last week?  Well, I just had to get knitting with it. I considered a couple projects- Trek-flavored socks.  A cowl or maybe a hat that Captain Picard would be proud of.But, really, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to make a Jean-Luc Picard baby sweater.

I couldn’t help myself!  The yarn was too perfect!I broke out my copy of Knits for Everybody Two, and cast on a tiny (3-month-sized) cardigan.  I thought about coming up with a new pattern for this sweater, but figured, hey, I’ve already done all the math, why make it harder on myself?

I’m doing the yoke, hem, cuffs, collar and button band in black, and the body and sleeves in red.  It’s not 100% show-accurate, but I think it gets the point across without having to fuss with intarsia or any fancy colorwork.  I think it looks pretty dang captain-y.  (And I think it’ll look even better once I add some gold buttons and little captain’s pips on the collar.)

It is turning out super-tiny, though.  I accidentally started using US1s, instead of US2s, and didn’t realize my mistake until I was past the point of no return.  I mean, look!  I’m using a safety pin to hold the unused sleeve stitches!I think it’s ok that it’s tiny, though.  After all, babies are pretty small.  Or, worst case scenario, it could become a sweater for a doll.

What have you been working on lately?

Captain’s Red

I’m not doing anything as formalized as New Years Resolutions this year, but I do have some vague goals I’m going to try to follow this year.  I’m going to try finishing up some WIPs that have been sitting around my office for too long, I’m going to try learning some new techniques, and I’m going to use up more of my stash.


Me and every other knitter.

But, I suppose it can’t hurt to give it a go.

I went spelunking through my stash of sock yarn (it’s started overflowing its box lately, and I’ve been meaning to clear it out).  I found a bunch of small skeins (and even more half-skeins) of sock yarn, left over from projects over the years. Not enough to make a pair of socks in any single color, and generally I dislike making socks with too many stripes or blocks of colors.  (I get really peeved when I have to weave in lots of ends.)

But I did find a couple half-skeins of Knit Picks Stroll in Black and an almost-full ball of Firecracker Heather.And you know what’s tomato red and black, right?

(What’s that? You don’t?  You’re not a big old nerd halfway through Star Trek: The Next Generation?)

It’s Captain Picard’s uniform!The red yarn was almost perfectly the right color of “Command Red”!

Now I just have to decide- is this yarn going to be a pair of Command Red socks, or maybe a Command Red hat, or maybe even a tiny Command Red sweater for a baby nerd?  Choices, choices.

Have you dug through your stash lately?  Find anything good?

On My… Hook

I figured out what my next project is!  Yay!

It’s a simple, stripey, crochet blanket.  I haven’t crocheted in a long time, and I haven’t made a blanket in years, so I figured it was about time.

I love crocheting blankets, even more than knitting them.  Crochet goes so much faster than knitting, is much thicker (in other words, cozier) than knitting, and you don’t have to worry about it rolling up on you like stockinette.  It’s really the best thing for blanket-making.

I picked three shades of gray (OK, two shades of gray, plus black), along with a lovely medium blue for a pop of color.  (Jo-Ann’s was having a pretty good sale on Lion Brand Wool Ease, so I stocked up.  It might not be the fanciest yarn, but it’s soft, warm, and sturdy- perfect for blankets.)  I cast on about 5 feet of stitches (I didn’t even bother counting- another thing I like about crochet- it’s so easy to improvise!), and started working in a simple V-stitch.  I’ve made a handful of V-stitch blankets before.  They always look good, work up quickly and stay looking nice for years.  I’m kind of winging the stripe pattern, but I think I like how it’s turning out.  I just hope I got enough yarn!  (Though, if I end up having to go back to Jo-Ann’s, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…)

Do you ever dabble in crochet?