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28 June 2012 / freakapotimus

Summer Knitting: Montego Bay Scarf

Roz Houseknecht Handweaving Hand-Dyed Cotton-Bamboo

It is completely effin’ hot around here. I mean, 100 F with high humidity hot. Even sitting inside with the air conditioning, it’s still quite sticky, and I don’t feel like knitting. But I want to knit! It’s the conundrum of summer weather in the mid-Atlantic.

Even with lightweight wool or wool-blend sock yarns, my hands get sweaty, and my yarn gets sticky, and I find myself wiping down my palms after every third stitch. I would love to be catching up on fall and winter sweaters, things I could finish before the weather requires me wearing them, but, ugh. The thought of working with a DK– to worsted-weight yarn in this weather makes my skin crawl.

Luckily, a couple months ago, I bought this very lovely cotton/bamboo blend yarn you see above. Joanna and I spotted this while browsing stalls at Maryland Sheep and Wool back in early May. The colors! Oh the colors. This one called out to me, and before I knew it, I had made my first yarn purchase of the day.

I knew I wanted to knit something light and breezy with it. The yarn seems made for the Montego Bay Scarf, from Amy R. Singer. The lace pattern is not too busy that the colors get lost, but it’s also just complicated enough so pooling isn’t terrible.

Montego Bay Scarf

I’m only about a third of the way through this pattern, but it is a good one for summer. The stitch-pattern is easily memorized, and my lap doesn’t get all warm and gross from the project sitting on it. I’ve taken this on the bus, to the lake, on my couch, out for coffee. It may be another month or so before it’s finished, but I look forward to wearing it.

Perhaps when the temperatures fall back below 90 F.

17 June 2012 / nysssa

World Wide Knit In Public Day – June 2012

Several Years Ago – Social Knitworking was born at a WWKIP event hosted by the Third Street Ravelers in Rittenhouse Square. We were sitting on our park corner, knitting, eating, socializing, when a man rode by on his bicycle and yelled out SOCIAL KNITWORKING! We have no idea who this man was, but he is obviously brilliant.

This year’s knit in public day had beautiful weather, but far few dogs visited us than we like. We are HUGE fans of dogs, especially happy walking in the park dogs.

When I got to the park, I met up with Springviolet and she helped me unload my car so I could park without killing myself walking back. On the way from parking, I stopped to get paperplates and cups. I had made roasted beet salad with wilted greens and had nothing on which to serve it. There was also a little bit of gin since it was also International Gin Day – we social knitworkers are nothing if not equal opportunity celebrationists – so we needed cups in which to drink the gin that I had brought with me in glass spice jars.

I was surprised to see a new face – Goodstory was knitting a pair of two at a time socks whose balls had gotten away from her and were starting to become a tangled mess. She lamented the fact that she was missing most of the ingredients needed to make cookies and decided the best way to make new friends was with beer if it couldn’t be with cookies. On the phone she goes! Beer distributor on the line? Hello, can you deliver a case of cold Lager to the SW corner of Rittenhouse Square? Just call me and I will come out to the curb. Around 1 pm? That will be fine – thank you. We had beer delivered to KIP day. We called her BeerGoddess for the rest of the day. (we served it in plastic cups for safety and recycled all the glass and the cardboard case)

Beer wasn’t our only adventure. There was also a lovely young man from C19 handing out meatballs. You know how everything is better with meatballs, right? They were delicious and I hope to make it to C19 someday soon. After handing out the rest of his meatballs, our new friend came back and hung out for while before he started his shift at work. He works on our regular knitting nights, but we are hoping that we’ll be able to get him to attend some of our sporadically planned non-Tuesday events.

Also in attendance was deepginger – who was showing off some of her new and about to be available for sale handspun. Beautiful work – if you are in the market for handspun hers is gorgeous and reasonably priced!

BabyAndre was in attendance for a short time – enchanting us all with his chubby cheeks and thighs. His mom LadyfistForever brought Krispi Kreme donuts which, remarkably enough – taste delicious dipped in beer.

All together it was a very lovely day – the weather was not to hot for knitting, the company was amazing, and I’m very glad the motivation struck us to host again this year.

Social Knitworking in Action

11 June 2012 / Joanna

Pattern Review: Extermiknit

Pattern: Extermiknit
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in stone and turquoise
Needles: US 3

I know a lot of Doctor Who fans, myself included. So of course, the pattern Extermiknit has been in my Ravelry queue for a few years.

I tried using the suggested provisional cast on but I thought it was annoying and the project remained partially cast on for a few months. Once I decided the cast on didn’t matter I was able to get underway. Seriously, it’s just a toy, picking up stitches for the base is just fine.

The pattern is an easy knit, but because of the ovoid shape of the dalek body, increases and decreases aren’t evenly spaced. Because of this, it takes a bit more attention than you’d expect. Keeping tension in the stripes wasn’t difficult but then, I have plenty of color work experience.

I inserted a pipe cleaner in the plunger after it was knit. That was a *pain in the ass*. So for the eyestalk, I knit the icord around the pipe cleaner. It was clumsy, but in the end, less frustrating.

The finished product is pretty damn awesome. He’s a squashy, pudgy dalek. The resulting toy is so fabulous, I definitely want to make another one.

The recipient of this one loves him. The dalek’s pudginess inspired a snack obsessed personality. He tweets now and again. You can follow Fat Dalek at @fatdalek.

18 May 2012 / freakapotimus

Marigold Sweater

Bow ties are cool

Each year, our knitting group votes on something we call our “house color”; we then all knit something, anything, in that color, and wear it to that year’s fiber festival. The color for 2011 was orange, and I knit Cadence in a Malabrigo called Sunset, which I then debuted at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival this past October.

Our color for 2012 is red, so I decided to whip up something that I would be able to wear at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival just a couple weekends ago. What you see here is my result.

I wanted something lacy and summery, that I could throw on over sleeveless dresses, but could also work well in the fall over a long sleeved shirt. I’d been meaning, for a while, to knit something with Hempathy; using Ravelry’s advanced pattern search, I narrowed my pattern down to a DK-weight knit cardigan, with a lacy stitch and short sleeves.

The Marigold Sweater had everything I was looking for! I was immediately drawn to the wide ribbing at the hem, which would look great over the dresses I have in my wardrobe. I usually prefer to knit my sweaters from the top down, with raglan sleeves, but figured I’d give this one a try.

The pattern is pretty easy to understand, especially if you’ve knit sweaters before. A beginner may be intimidated, but I suggest just diving right in and figuring it out. It’s separated into sections—back, right front, left front, sleeves, neckline, and buttonbands—which are then seamed up when everything is finished.

I wanted a more cropped sweater, and since I’m short-waisted, I shortened the sweater length to 5″ for the ribbed hem, and 12″ from the cast-on to the start of the armhole.

Marigold: buttons

The seaming of the pieces was completed the night before we went to the festival, but I didn’t have enough time to finish knitting the buttonbands. Instead, I wore it to the festival open-front; no one knew there were supposed to be buttons! I finally finished the buttonbands this week.

My first attempt at the buttonbands left me with a too-tight bind-off. I ripped it out, reknit the band, and used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off to finish the band. Excellent! I’d used this bind-off on toe-up socks before, but this was the first time I’d used it on a sweater. It worked perfectly.

I had to do a bit of math (awesome!) to figure out how to evenly space my buttonholes; this may turn off beginner knitters. The pattern only instructs the knitter to evenly space buttons on one band, and to “[continuing] in patt, work a 3-st one-row buttonhole at each [marked button]”. I watched the buttonhole video at several times before creating my own, and it was very helpful.

Marigold: sleeves

Another thing I should have kept in mind while knitting was shoulder width. I’ve written before about the importance of knowing your measurements, but completely forgot to take this into account. The consequence is a sweater with droopy shoulders. It’s noticeable here, mostly because the cardigan is designed to have puffed sleeves. I don’t want to rip the sweater back and seam the sleeves again, so at some point I’ll just sew the sleeves a little tighter.

Overall, I am very pleased with my finished project, especially considering I didn’t like the stitch pattern in the beginning! If you find yourself in the same boat, give it more than a few inches before calling it quits. The stitch pattern looks much better in the completed sweater.

You can view my Red Marigolds project on Ravelry. You can also purchase the Marigold Sweater pattern for download at Interweave Store or find it in the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits.

15 May 2012 / nysssa

Aminals !

For Mothers Day I went with my Mom to Fellowship Farm in Pottstown for a walk and to see the rescued llama, donkey, ponies and alpacas. They are all rescues.

They have a retreat center and walking paths. It was very pretty and I was thinking of suggesting it for a Social Knitworking retreat.


14 May 2012 / freakapotimus

Fell in love with a sheep


This past weekend, I attended the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with several knitting friends from back home in Philadelphia, including two other SK contributors. Wool festival, you say? Well, if you ever wonder why I attend fiber festivals, just look at those little guys above. How can you not get all blubbery when swooning over a baby sheepie named Abe Lincoln?

There were six of us staying the weekend with Matt (my partner) at his house, and I even woke up before 8am on a Saturday so we could get to the festival in time. It was a warm spring day, leaving me with a little sunspot on my chest in spite of the sunscreen. I drank a giant birch beer and was inundated with stall after stall of lamb sandwiches, lamb curry, and lamb on a stick. I ate a grilled cheese instead.

The sun was shining until well into the afternoon! I should have brought my umbrella with me, but I was worried about smacking into other people with it—Jenn had no such reservations. I bought a good amount of yarn, an insane amount of honey, and a few odds and ends. I picked up a few skeins of yummy gorgeousness from Maple Creek Farm; I always pick up something of theirs at Rhinebeck, and was glad to see them at Maryland.

My one complaint about the festival, as with most fests and cons I attend, is the people. There are certains vendors that always attract a crowd, like Miss Babs, Spirit Trail, The Verdant Gryphon, and while the staff at those booths try hard to keep the peace, certain bad apples ruin it for everyone. I found myself pushed out of stalls or smacked around with bags too many times to count, and due to my tendency to get a little panicky in those situations, I steered clear of a few booths I would otherwise have liked to peruse.

Having attended just the New York State and the Maryland festivals, I must say my preference is for the former. I like fall and winter over spring and summer, so even forgetting the crowds, it’s obvious which one I would choose. I am counting down the days to October!

11 May 2012 / freakapotimus

Vibrator Cozy

Vibrator Cozy

What’s a more fun gift than something to keep your fun safe? Discreet enough to keep on your nightstand or dresser, large enough to hold your favorite dildo or mini-vibe or anything in between.


  • 1 skein Artful Yarns Candy Sweet Tart
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Yarn Fun Fur Violet (optional)
  • 1 set US size 8 double-pointed knitting needles


Gauge: 20 sts + 32 rows = 4″ on size 8 needles
Dimensions: 4″ x 10″ without fun fur


CO 42 st, divide evenly across 3 DPN (14 sts on each).

Rnd 1: P
Rnd 2: K
Rnd 3: P
Rnd 4: K
Rnd 5: K
Rnd 6: [K5 YO K2Tog] to end
Knit next 70 rounds.

Vibrator Cozy

Begin decrease

Rnd 1: [K4 SSK K2 K2Tog K4] to end
Rnd 2: [K3 SSK K2 K2Tog K3] to end
Rnd 3: [K2 SSK K2 K2Tog K2] to end
Rnd 4: [K1 SSK K2 K2Tog K1] to end
Rnd 5: [SSK K2 K2Tog] to end
Rnd 6: K2Tog to end

Vibrator Cozy


Pull yarn through remaining stitches. Turn inside-out and weave in ends. Turn right-side-out and thread a ribbon through the YOs.

To add fun fur, pick up all stitches on the cast-on edge. K 1 round, BO and weave in ends.