Category Archives: Photography

Monkeying Around on a Sweater



It’s been a while, but I finally have pictures of projects worth sharing! Which is mostly to say that I actually have Work In Progress pictures, be they crappy iPhone ones, but still, what good is a WIP Wednesday post without photographic evidence, right?

So, as reported in Sunday’s Year of Projects update, there are 2 projects actively feelin’ the love these days. The lesser exciting but more mobile is my first of two planned Sock Monkeys.  Now, I know, some are of the mindset that Sock Monkeys are made of pure evil, but I do not subscribe to this theory.  It may be that I’m a life-long Curious George fan and therefore I’ve always thought monkeys to be full of win, or just that I think they’re plain old cute, but I love Sock Monkeys.  Others, like Mr.Me, may be quick to point out that this isn’t really a Sock Monkey because it’s not made of, well, socks, and that one I have no good answer for, but when I found the  Monkey Around at the local big box craft store, I knew I had to have it and instantly thought of the grandkids needing them.  So I bought the book, I bought a couple skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool and another of Paton’s Classic in red and tucked them into the stash room.

That might have been the monkeys’ downfall- they got relegated to the stash room where seeing the light of day again can be questionable. But the idea festered at the back of my head the whole time so it turns out they were safe.  Just waiting for a new project year for YoP and probably a new term for the Harry Potter House Cup.  Well the time finally arrived. I entered the fall term with mostly empty needles.  The quidditch prompts are such that 2 projects of at least 500 yards net a crap-ton of points for me and my house. Oh yeah, and also Giftmas is breathing down this knitter’s neck and I hadn’t a single stitch made yet.  So September was the month to start the monkey. (Is it me or does that sound like an euphemism for something?  I digress…)   So 2 weeks ago O’s monkey became my travel project.  It doesn’t take a ton of focus which makes it great for those stolen moments of knitting time and I am nearly finished with the body.  I think I’m going to go rogue and alter the construction a bit.  After seeing how a three and four year old love on the Parlor Cat I made a while back, I think sewing arms and legs on will be less sturdy than picking up stitches and directly knitting them in place so I’m about to go rogue but I think it will work just as well in the end.  I’ll report back later on that.  In the mean time, lets move on, shall we?

The much bigger knitting news is Ursula.  This is a pattern that’s been calling my name since last winter when I got Kate Davies’ Colours of Shetland.  Just before the book arrived in my mailbox, two big boxes of fluff arrived from the processor and this crazy spinner had a lightbulb moment.  Since the sweater calls for an actual METRIC crap-ton of yarn that would get very very expensive to buy, what if I just SPUN the yarn to knit it?! Probably the nice young men with the clean white coats and the nice jacket that helps you hug yourself should have been called in at this time given my whopping year of experience and almost utter lack of ability to turn out a yarn consistent with the vision in my head, but far be it from me to let sanity stand in my way, aspinnin’ I will go.

So I started spinning 2 ply gray Shetland.  A LOT of 2 ply Gray Shetland.  At least 4 different hand spun project listings in my Ravelry collection.  And a pile of finished yarn that looked like this:

Some of which headed for the dye pot to become this

The rest remains in its natural state and finally I think there’s enough.  So I cast on.  And promptly hated myself for ever even CONSIDERING this project. Because it’s fingering weight yarn.  And it needs to be knit to a fairly tight gauge.  And I need the size that requires 330 stitches for the cast on and subsequent ribbing. FOUR-FRIGGITY-FRACKIN-INCHES of 3×2 ribbing.  On size 0 needles. *headdesk*  Now, I will say this- at least it is not 1×1 ribbing. That crap right there will make me run screaming in search of the nice young men in the clean white coats. But 4″ of 3×2 ribbing on size 0 needles… Yeah, it nearly drove me to the brink.  So I quite at 3″. I’m short waisted, you see, so I was concerned that 4″ of ribbing would be too much.  And also that those really sharp, shiny points on my HiyaHiya needles were going to end up some place they really oughtn’t be if I didn’t quit when I did.  But again, I digress….

Ribbing done, I got to the fun part- the color work.  I’ve come recently to realize that I LOVE Fair Isle knitting.  I’ve even gotten pretty good at two-handing the process, main color in my left hand for picking, contrast color in my right for throwing.  Good times. Given that the rows grew to something like 342 stitches for the main part of the body, the rows are slow going. But at least it’s now on size 1s. And I do so love kntting along on my Signature Needles.  And visible progress has been made.

This was the progress photo to demonstrate my completion of my first OWL target in the Slytherin Dueling Club “competition”. Because, after all, what is the point of knitting if not to amass all the meaningless points and badges you can, right? Or is that just me?

Well never mind, whatever and all that jazz, I’m enjoying the knit.  I’ve got about 7.5″ of the sweater completed in 2 weeks time. I’m encouraged by this. Even if it does get me all that much closer to the dreaded Steek.  *gulp*. A year’s worth of spinning and a couple of month’s worth of knitting will be at the mercy of a pair of scissors soon. This terrifies me to my very core, but I’ve done it before and gosh darn it, I can do it again.  I think. Just promise me someone will be standing by with a bottle of gin and a couple of ice cubes cuz I expect I’m gonna need it.  But until then, I shall knit like the wind.  or at least a determined little knitter armed with a pile of hand spun yarn, the Cadillac of knitting needles and a lot of football…

Curious to see what the rest of the fibershpere is up to? Head over to Tami’s blog to check it out.