Mmm, spit-splicing

There’s no more polite name for it (‘saliva-enhanced yarn joins‘? nah…). Spit splicing is something you probably don’t want to do in public, but in the privacy of your own home or studio, it is a lifesaver for certain yarns. For example, I’m working on my NaKniSweMo sweater, in Tahki Donegal Tweed. Weaving in ends makes for bulk so I’m spit splicing as I go along, which is virtually undetectable.

(Not to mention I just finished a project for an upcoming Stitch Cooperative project that involved weaving in a zillion ends and I can’t bear one more loose end at the moment! Of any kind!)

The pattern I’m planning to release from this piece already has a name (Torc), and I’m ashamed to say that while this particular bag of Tahki was purchased specifically to knit Rogue, I’ve just never gotten around to it. It’s ok, I’ve got another bag of it in a different color, one of these days I will knit Rogue. Heck, I even swatched for it. Jenna, I swatched for you. I don’t swatch for anyone. But you…you I will swatch.

Fingers crossed Torc lives up to its big sister Rivulet…my most popular pattern, and it also started out as a NaKniSweMo project!

NaKniSweMo 2009: LET THE KNITS BEGIN!

When I founded NaKniSweMo several years ago, Ravelry wasn’t even around yet…and now we’ve got nearly 500 people in our group there and elsewhere online knitting a sweater in the month of November. You can join along, too!

See here for all past posts on NaKniSweMo. And here’s the “how it works” post!

I can’t wait to see what you all create!

NaKniSweMo VICTORY!

FINISHED! Her name is Rivulet.

And like its owner, it’s got more going on in the back than the front.

The buttons are recast pewter 1943 Australian Schilling buttons with ram’s heads on them. They are available here from The Ram’s Horn, on the buttons page. Their shawl pins and such are just amazing. I bought these buttons a few Rhinebecks ago, and also have a ram’s head pin and some other jewelry of theirs. Heartbreakingly, I lost my Celtic-style pennanular broach from the Ram’s Horn on the NYC subway several years ago.

The sweater pattern will be for sale soon. I photographed it on my mannequin because it’s still a little damp from reblocking after I added the edgings. I absolutely love the Beaverslide yarn I used, I cannot recommend it any more highly. (Although, that said, this sweater would be a prime candidate for Malabrigo, and we all know I have a Malabrigo Problem).

Bloomed like a field of flowers, it did

So. Don’t hate me, NaKniSweMo’ers, but this social recluse thing has paid off. All knitted save the button band and collar! I was feeling impatient, so I put the collar stitches and bottom edge stitches on cotton waste yarn and threw the whole shebang in the washer with some Soak.

Oh yes. You heard me. The washer.

(Delicate cycle, I’m not crazy).

My sweater’s knit with Beaverslide 2-ply fisherman’s weight and it is beyond amazing stuff. It seems stiff — practically stands up on its own as you’re knitting it! This is nice for getting your cables good and tight, etc. The yarn is slightly thick-thin, enough to give it some interesting texture and then… pow! you wash it and it goes WHOOSH! and blooms right open and forms the most gorgeous fabric, you just cannot believe it.

It’s drying on my dressform now. I tried it on when it was mostly dry — couldn’t resist — and it is so soft. Much softer than it was before washing. I will get a photo of it tomorrow when there’s proper light outside, and perhaps with a bit of the buttonband knit so you can see the difference between washed and unwashed. There must be some serious spinning oil on there to keep it so compact while you’re knitting it, yet allow it to bloom so fabulously. The only yarn I’ve seen that opens up as much is Noro sock yarn!

(Speaking of sock yarn, River Colors next door got Malabrigo sock yarn in Friday. It’ll be lucky to make it til Tuesday given the weekend feeding frenzy).

Photos to come!

NaKniSweMo speed demon!

Blurry, ’cause I’m knitting so fast. Well, I cast on for NaKniSweMo and promptly became a crazy social recluse. Swatching on Halloween (here, kids, just take some candy from the bowl, Shannon’s counting), staying up an extra hour (thanks, daylight savings!), avoiding family and friends over the weekend… but if I can pull off this sweater before the 15th, it gives me hope that my Super Ultra Crazy Plan might work.

What’s the SUCP? Doing NaKniSweMo AND NaNoWriMo. I blame Kim Werker. And Amy O’Neill Houck. And Michelle Wiener. All fiberistas. All doing NaNo, too. Come ON! I founded NaKniSweMo so I wouldn’t fail miserably at NaNo each year!

That said, if you’re doing NaNo, feel free to friend me there. And check in on the NaKniSweMo progress thread to let us know how you’re doing with yours.

Official NaKniSweMo 2008 sweater is here!

You saw it earlier here. Here’s the pattern page on Ravelry, and you can purchase it in my Ravelry store here.

(See thread in the discussion group here).

If you’re not on Ravelry — and for heaven’s sake, why not? — email me (admin @ this domain) and I will send you a PayPal invoice. The price is $5 but if you’d like to donate extra — as we’re selling the pattern to benefit a local no-kill animal shelter — let me know how much, or purchase more than one copy! Thanks so much.

The Official NaKniSweMo 2008 sweater

(cross-posted to this Ravelry group topic)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here…almost.

Here is a photo of the official NaKniSweMo 2008 sweater. The pattern will be coming out later today or tomorrow, and it will be for sale on Ravelry (look in my Rav pattern store), in the Knitgrrl pattern shop and inside this post as soon as the file is available.

A little background: Elaine (mom2bassets on Rav) took my sweater design class at Stitch Cleveland last month. This is what she designed in class (and now she’s well into her second no-pattern-required sweater, which I got to see yesterday. It’s beautiful!)

As you might guess from her username, she loves animals, too. We decided, after seeing how quickly her lovely design knits up, to make it the official NaKniSweMo sweater and to raise money for one of our local no-kill shelters. Berea Animal Rescue does wonderful work — my family has supported them for years.

Official NaKniSweMo 2008 Sweater

It’s a simple yet compelling knit in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran, which, although discontinued, is kicking around a lot of yarn stores and stashes if you want to be exact. If you want to substitute, there are plenty of possibilities. It would look great in Noro, Cascade, Tahki Donegal Tweed…you name it.

Stay tuned — the pattern is coming soon!

(BTW, the bassets are Elaine’s — say hi to Abigail and William, who are just so incredibly adorable in person, you cannot imagine)

Daily dose of dachshund cute + NaKniSweMo

Attention NaKniSweMo knitters! November is nearly here, and it is time to start narrowing down your sweater choices! One of my sweater design class students is coming to model her finished sweater tomorrow with her two basset hounds. I will be writing a full pattern based on her design and we will be selling it as the Official NaKniSweMo Sweater, with proceeds going to our favorite local no-kill shelter. So if you still can’t decide, that’ll be available for sale soon. Hurrah!

THIRD Annual NaKniSweMo is coming up

And, as per usual, I’m going to point you to last year’s post for more, including trackbacks and what people had to say about last year, as well as the NaKniSweMo category here.

How it works with NaNoWriMo: write a 50,000-word novel in a month. As they said on previous versions of that page: “This is not as scary as it sounds.”

How it works with NaKniSweMo: knit a 50,000-stitch sweater in a month. If you divide your chosen sweater pattern’s rows or rounds by 30, you’ll have an idea of how many rows you need to knit each day to make it. Yes, the stitch count thing is crazy, but I think I can say with confidence that most sweaters out there are at least that, or more.

NaKniSweMo also has a Ravelry group! (Here’s the thread for this year). But no worries if you’re still on the Rav waitlist — post a comment here and say you’re taking part. If you’re super-proud of your FO, send me a photo and I’ll post it in December!

This year, time and sanity permitting, I’m going to put together an “official” NaKniSweMo pattern (if you find yourself in the — frankly, unimaginable — position of not having anything to knit) to raise funds for our local animal shelter. Anything in particular you’d like to see? Or should it be quick-and-dirty/can-knit-in-your-sleep easy?

If this doesn’t impress you…

…you cannot be impressed.

Behold! the amazing NaKniSweMo sweater of Larisa (Risa) Brown, not to be confused with fellow-knitter Larissa Brown. Says Risa:

The pattern is Salina from Rowan Vintage Style, and I used 6 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed in Phantom…Thanks for the inspiration!

What a beautiful sweater! What a beautiful photo! Great job, Risa! And congrats to everyone who finished their sweaters on time.