February 28, 2010


So as much as I despise the Bob dominated coverage… I have to admit that the 2010 Olympics were the Olympics of Redemption.  2010 was the year the Bode Miller finally got his gold.

The similarities between us are a bit striking. In 2006 we were both cocky – thinking we could easily cruise to victory, partying the whole way. We didn’t know how hard you have to fight to make it to the top of the podium.

And we both ended up with a DNF.
Tempting II. It almost defeated me. I eventually achieved victory, though. Or on Rav here: Tempting II

This year we returned. Refocused and determined. Now parents our partying days are mostly in the past.

I wanted the gold so bad I could taste it.

But the whole point of this project was to knit something epic. To challenge yourself. To compete at a higher level.  So I chose to knit something that I honestly didn't think was possible in 2 weeks. Something classic, something pure: An Elizabeth Zimmerman seamless yolk sweater with an Icelandic inspired colorwork pattern.  You can't get more entrenched in knitting than that.

And after staying up way later than I’m going to admit more times than sanity would dictate I have a finished, blocked, photographed sweater:

In 17 days.

That is Epic.


That is what the Knitting Olympics are about.


That is capturing the spirit of the games in yarn.

That is a gold medal performance.
I don't know. I was following what my Photographer told me to do.

The specs:
On Ravelry:  My Olympic Sweater
Pattern: Combo of the Hela short cardigan and an Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage sweater
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran. Blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. Total luxury.
Colorway: Venitian. With bits of quartz and cream
Mods: Um yeah. Knit the whole thing do a different gauge. Added in 4 short rows at bust for shaping.
If I could do it again: Would probably add a few more short rows, would add a few more rows of seed stitch to the bottom to keep it from rolling. Wouldn’t attempt it in such a short timeframe.

So I have enough yarn leftover to make the baby her own version of this sweater…. Should I do it or is that cheesy? I kindof want to do it just so that I can knit this chart again:

February 26, 2010

Two Things

1.) The Destination Yarn trunk show at Stash Style is tomorrow:
trunkshowstashstyle copy

Of course there are all of these reasons to go:
Knit the Rainbow
Trunk Show

Plus Chagrin is BEAUTIFUL in the snow:

The falls are basically right across the street from Stash Style. You should come check it out! I’ll be there from 11-5.

2.) My Olympic Sweater is knit up to the yolk:
02242010 020
I started the colorwork last night and barring any unforeseen disaster it looks like I have a solid chance of finishing. Fingers crossed!

And with that my YoGabbaGabba amused baby time is over... Hope to see you tomorrow!

February 22, 2010

Something the swatch was good for

So the Big Fat Liar Swatch was good for something (other than taking away about 15 hours of my life that I’ll never get back)… it gave me a really good concept of what the colorwork was going to look like:
Ravelympics Project
And honestly I was kindof meh on it.   I just didn’t like it as much as I thought I was going to. Problem is that this yarn is discontinued. It’s Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran – a squisy butter soft blend of cashmere, merino, and silk – and I bought it years ago when a local yarn store went out of business. Also this yarn has a very different feel from anything I’ve got in my stash (probably the cashmere. Don’t usually work with anything that luxe) so it’s not like I could just throw in whatevcer.

To the Internets!

After a bit of digging I found some of what looked to be a decent colorway on ebay and took a chance.

My colorscheme went from this:
Olympic Sweater Progress

To this:
Olympic Sweater Progress
Much better.

The result is subtle – but I like subtle:
Olympic Sweater Progress
Sleeve 1. V3.0

It took me 3 tries to get going on this sleeve. The first time I rounded up from the pattern repeats and started w/ 42 stitches. WAAAY too big. The second time I rounded down and was happy with the result at the cuff. Then I increased every 7 rounds and created a sleeve with about 3 inches of negative ease. Sexy. So I ripped that back and increased every 5 rounds and was finally happy with the result.

Olympic Sweater Progress

Last night I finished the second sleeve. Sleeve 2 also took 3 tries to get started. Once b/c I forgot the seamless join. Once b/c I’m apparently unable to count to 34. And one more time because I forgot to do the seamless join AGAIN. I blame the wine.

I’m about here on the body:
Olympic Sweater Progress
I need to decide what I’m going to do for bust shaping, knit about 3 more inches, join everything, knit the yolk and finish it.

I have 6 days.

Impossible? Probably. But I’m going to try for redemption* anyways.  And if I skate clean I might just make the podium.

*Has anyone else noticed how redemption seems to be Bob’s fav. Buzz word these games? It always seems a bit like a backhanded compliment. Like “well they won gold this time… but last games they SUCKED.” Shut up, Bob.

February 18, 2010

11 Months

So yesterday was the baby’s 11 month birthday. She celebrated by finally, FINALLY, getting her first tooth:
Feb 2010

See my new toofie? It's small but it's fierce!

That tooth has been along time (and a lot of sleepless nights and days spent rocking an upset child) coming.

On the whole she’s doing great. She chases and plays with her doggie constantly – which would upset him if she didn’t also feed him constantly:
Feb 2010
One Cheerio for me, One for Doggie.

Feb 2010
Want some venison risotto, Dexter? 

Feb 2010
It’s pretty tasty.

She’s an insane eater. Really. Kid loves flavor. Like curry and spicy burritos and pepperoni and asparagus. But she’s still a kid so Mac 'n Cheese is definitely a staple round these parts.
Feb 2010
Mac'npeas'ncheese is the best zzzzzzz

And when her belly is full she sings. No, really. A full chorus on how awesome her feast was. La la la la la la…

She also kisses the baby in the mirror, which is about the most adorable thing ever:
Feb 2010
And she’s really into her stuffed animals lately. Poking at their eyes and giving them hugs. Total cuteness.

Her main goal in life is to be free to explore. She’s figured out how to open doors if they aren’t latched and knows which ones push and which ones pull.
Feb 2010
Am I not allowed in here? Huh.

She hates being restrained/restricted in any way. For example the only way she’ll play with her bounceroo is this:
Feb 2010
Put her in it and she’ll bounce around for one rotation, figure out that’s all she can do, and get PIST. But she loves playing with it this way so more power to her.

She doesn’t stand yet and shows no interest in walking. Why bother when she’s so speedy quick crawling? That she’s perfected. She crawls like a normal kid on the carpet and then scoots once she hits wood floor. It’s crazy how quick she can scoot.
Feb 2010
Although I'm guessing when she finally does stand it will be to get at the dog:
Feb 2010
Doggie! Come. Here.

The best toys are either vroom vrooms - things with wheels that she can push around:
Random Jan Pics
or shaka-shaka's - things she shake to make noise:
Random Jan Pics
Although her fav things to play with are whatever I'm doing.  She has pulled apart many a ball of yarn while I'm re-skeining.  I even made her her very own knitting bag with a notebook and a tape measure and a few other baby safe things.  Hours of fun right there.

Oh and of course she loves the remote.  As soon as she gets ahold of it she holds it up in the air and aims it at the tv to see what will happen when she pushes the buttons.
012810 002
I can’t believe it’s almost been a year.

February 16, 2010

The story of a swatch

With an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater the whole thing is based on your measurements and your gauge swatch. It’s all math from those 2 elements. So I knew I needed to get them right. Plus this is for the Olympics. This is for Glory. There could be no “good enough for government work.”.

So instead of a normal swatch I knit this:
Ravelympics Project
Just a simple baby hat. But it’s knit in the round – my gauge might have been different knitting flat. Plus I used part of the colorwork pattern for the edging just to make sure my gauge was constant for that part, too.
Ravelympics Project
5 stitches and 7 rows per inch across the whole hat.

When I cast on I was confident that the sweater I was knitting would fit me perfectly.

Confidence angers the knitting gods.

The first weekend went well. I knit and I knit and I knit and I was through the waist shaping and getting very close to thinking about the arm. I was easily on track for gold.

Over confidence really angers the knitting gods.

When I finished the last increase row of the waist shaping I held up my sweater to my almost finished Heather Hoodie to compare the shaping. The hoodie fits me great (just needs ends tucked in and buttons bought and sewn on and it will be finished!) so I wanted to compare….

I believe my twitter stream probably sums up what I found best:

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK my gauge swatch was a dirty liar and my #olympic sweater is 10 INCHES TOO BIG.

10 INCHES too big.



Apparently the swatch hat is a dirty liar:
Ravelympics Project
Pictured: LIES. and Adorable.

It knit at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. My sweater knit up at a gauge of 4.25 stitches per inch. Which over the width of the whole sweater added up to 10 inches in difference.

Really the only appropriate reaction is to curse as much as possible, whine to everyone on the Internet, and then cry into a big glass of wine.

After that I frogged the whole thing and restarted:
Ravelympics Project
I’m further than that now but I feel like one of the Figure Skaters who screwed up the very first move of their short program. In all likelihood I won’t make the podium. I know it, everyone else knows it, but I have to go through the rest of the moves anyways.

February 12, 2010

The Knitting Olympics

So Today starts the Olympics. Also the Knitting Olympics. Where knitters all over the globe will challenge themselves to knit something within the 17 days of the games. I am knitting this:

Only not this. I’m using the charts from this sweater but I’m putting them onto an Elizabeth Zimmerman Seamless Yolk Sweater.

Which means it’s worsted weight, a pullover instead of a cardigan, and I’m doing a pile of math.

This will be my first colorwork sweater, my first EZ sweater, &my first seamless yolk.

Let the games begin!!!

February 11, 2010

Trunk Show Recap*

So my first trunk show was a success!
Trunk Show
Lots of people, lots of yarn, lots of delicious coffee from The French Quarter Café

Trunk Show

What more could you ask for?

Trunk Show

Display of the Olympic Yarns. 

Trunk Show
Display of the Sinuosity Pattern matched up with the yarn that inspired it.

Plus it was really, really cool to see all of my colorways and samples and everything set up for display:
Trunk Show

In case you missed the show this same display of Destination Yarn will be at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival this weekend. Just check out the Soft ‘n Sassy booth!

Tomorrow? The start of the Olympics. Wait until you see what I decided to do. It’s equal parts crazy/awesome.

*So the recap is a bit late in coming. This week has been…. challenging. To say the least. This teething** thing is awful. She’s clingy and unnapped and grabbing at her mouth all the time. Not the independent happy little kid I’m used to. I just feel so bad for her. And it’s tough to do anything else when your baby cries if she’s anywhere but snuggled against you. Also any bets on how long this will last before producing some actual oh I don’t know… TEETH?
trunkshow20100207 011
I don’t need no stinkin’ toofies.

** my footnote has a footnote. GAH. Anyways I have tried all of the remedies. Except for whisky on the gums. You know I love me some whisky… but it doesn’t make my fingers numb when I touch it. You know what does? Baby Orjel. That shit is amazing. When she sees the tube she stopps crying and opens her mouth. Yeah.

February 7, 2010


Well I kindof ran out of time to list my last reasons with links and pictures and things... but I can fly-by post them.

4.) New Colorways

Sunday at the show will be the first time that my two brand new Olympic Colorways are available in the flesh. Also new – remember that non-repeatable kettle dyed Fall Road Trip compilation that was so pretty? Well I developed the concept into a repeatable variegated colorway. It is the newest addition to my line and won’t be available on Etsy until after the shows.

3.) The Samples

I’ve been knitting like a madwoman. So if there’s a colorway that you like but aren’t sure how it knits up? I probably will have a sample of it at the show. I don’t have all of the colorways but quite a few will be represented. (my mom has been knitting like a madwoman for me, too. I called her the other night and said “hey can you knit me a DK sock in the next 72 hours?” I’m lucky to have such a supportive family!)

2.) Delicious Nearby Food

So if you’re wanting to come to the show but Soft ‘n Sassy is far for you why not make a day of it and get lunch at a fabulous restaurant on your way? I have two delicious recommendations for you: Charm Thai Ohio – I’ve never actually been here but I’ve heard from a good source that the mango curry is fantastic. Or The French Quarter Café – run by displaced Katrina victims their muffuletta sandwich is belligerently good.

1.) Shop Local = WIN
By coming to this show you are supporting not one but two Cleveland Area businesses (both are owned by women - if you care about that sort of thing) Soft ‘n Sassy has also been shifting their focus to primarily carry USA produced and manufactured products. There are tons of articles on this philosophy (a quick google search will produce piles) but the bottom line? Supporting local businesses is a WIN.

And with that I"m out the door with 198 skeins of Destination Yarn!

February 5, 2010

Not Just Sock Yarn Anymore!

So how about a few more reasons as to why you should come to my Trunk Show at Soft 'n Sassy this Sunday (or my other trunk show on Feb 27 at Stash Style)?

7.) New Yarn Weights
No, really. It’s been along time coming but Destination Yarn isn’t just Sock Yarn Postcards anymore. I have two new weights of yarn that are premiering at this event:

Souvenir – a DK weight Superwash Merino in a bouncy 4 ply:
This is a 4 ply yarn of soft and squishy superwash merino wool. Perfect for thicker socks or easy to care for baby garments as well as hats, sweaters, or any fine garment. This is a very versatile weight!
New DK Weight
Currently Souvenir is only available in the semi-solids. Basically it looks so great as a semi-solid that I got a bit carried away and by the time I realized that I should try it in a variegated I was out of yarn. Yeah. It’s that pretty. I love the DK weight, too. It knits up on about a size 5 or 6 needle. Perfect things like scarves:

Vintage Pull-Through Scarf

Pull Through Scarf pattern available on Ravelry or in kits through Joseph Beth Booksellers.

And even better for baby knits:
Baby Hat
Hat pattern is my own design. I’ll be releasing the pattern once I finish the matching mittens. Also for the record photographing a baby knit on an actual baby is a lot easier said than done:
Baby Hat
Baby Hat
Baby Hat

The second new weight of yarn is:

Suitcase - a basic worsted merino
This is a 4 ply yarn of a soft merino wool. Perfect for for sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. This yarn is a workhorse. The bouncy nature of the merino will create excellently defined cable work or patterned stitches. Also great for felting!

I will have a few skeins of a limited selection of colorways at the show. Really I’m still testing this out. But so far it knits up like this:
Buttoned Scarf

Buttoned Scarf and Hat pattern available on Ravelry or in kits at Joseph Beth Booksellers knit in Yosemite.

Matching Hat
Both weights of yarn will be up on Etsy sometime after the Trunk Shows but if you want one before that please just message me on Etsy and I'll see what I can do!

6.)  Two words: Door Prize. 
I don't know about you but I’ll pretty much do anything for a shot at winning me some yarn. Also if you purchase Destination Yarn you get a free pattern, which, yay!

5.)  Superbowl Sunday
The superbowl doesn’t start until 6:25. And really, what better way to kill time waiting for the big game? Plus don’t you need a new project to knit while during the Championship? I think so. Also if you really want to be coordinated you can rock some New Orleans while watching my football husband Drew Breese kick some Manning butt. Coordination makes me happy.

I think that's good for today... even more reasons (could it be possible?) tomorrow!
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