Category Archives: Pop-up Paws

I am not a knitting quitter, but…

I am not a knitting quitter. I’m not really a quitter, period; I think persistence is a virtue that serves knitters well (e.g. the SlogalongCable and Rib and I are proud members). I have abandoned just one project in my years of knitting, and I was happy to do it, because no one reknits a sweater three times, right? Right?

But here, my friends, is the bitter truth: I am frogging Meadow Flowers.

I really don’t think I have enough yarn, and the fear of running out is outweighing the love for a great pattern. I have ~500 yards (probably less) of small-batch hand-dyed yarn, and the pattern takes 500 yards. Even I admit this is the knitting equivalent of stuffing ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag. So, so often, I choose the hard thing. I go the long way. I pick the complicated option. I was all set to swap yarn samples with Cassie to see if the extra yarn she had matched mine…Then it occurred to me: I could simply pick a new shawl pattern which requires less yarn. Brilliant! And also, easier!

This handy list, complete with yardage makes the picking of a new pattern fun, in a scientific, research-y kind of way: Shetland Triangle? No – not enough yarn. Flower Basket Shawl? Yes – er, in fact, I already have yarn stashed for this, so planning on knitting two of them might not be the best choice. This PDF featuring arrowhead lace staff projects from Interweave Knits contains the Arrowhead Lace stole (technically more yarn than I have, but it’s an “end-it-whenever” project) and the Little Arrowhead Shawl, a Pam Allen joint that takes just 280 yards of yarn. I could just about make two of them – but then I’d end up with the same nailbiting “will she or won’t she have enough yarn” situation. I can’t tell which shawl I should cast on for quite yet, but I do know it’s time to restash the Twinkletoes sock yarn Au revoir, Meadow Flowers!

PopUp Paws, completed In happier news, even though it is clearly not mitten weather, I have finished the Pop Up Paws, so that’s one project down. Vital stats: 2.375 balls of Bergere Irland yarn to make the largest size in a tweedy brown purchased from toadal discount yarn. Size 3 and 5 needles, with the rounded mitten top option (mitten cuff changed to 2×2 ribbing from garter because I wanted to). I liked this pattern a lot, and would recommend it for the sheer volume of detailed information within, plus the fine fit of the finished product. Thumbs (and fingers) up!

In even happier news, I was the lucky winner of Bonne Marie’s “spring fling” contest, and I am now the proud recipient of the Ariann pattern and seven beautiful blue skeins of Cotton-Ease. If you know of my general ambivalence toward cotton, you might have asked why I would risk winning a yarn with cotton in the name? One word: color. It’s so, so pretty, and I think it will be beautiful as a summer cardigan – one cannot live by wool alone. Swatching has commenced, eagerly. Thank you, Bonne Marie!

Stay tuned for our next episode in which I extol the virtues of Combination Knitting (and the charming Annie Modesitt), and the entrelac sock goes on a road trip to meet Lucy Neatby.

I may have to rethink my hard line on entrelac.

And now I bring you an episode of “Projects I have been hiding from the blog because progress pictures might be boring (look, another finger!).”

Pop Up Paw(s) I am bouncing back and forth between the Pop-Up Paw for the right hand (done, save for the Pop-Up) and the Paw for the left hand (at the ribbing for the cuff). As soon as I’m done with the ribbing, I can swap out my smaller needles for my larger ones on Pop-up #2 and finish Pop-up #1. See? Remarkably placid, tranquil knitting, unmarred by desperate “I had to frog it because it sucked” updates. I like many things about this project, including the pattern’s clear directions and teaching myself the suspended bindoff to ensure the fingers were loose enough around the knuckles for Knit One Purl Too’s Sunday Dinner Chef (aka my husband). He likes that this will be the second thing for him in 2007 – even though Cable and Rib waits, he is still getting the knitted goods.

I have been momentarily distracted, however, by the Step Above socks (from Knitter’s #75, Summer 2004) – those broken-rib entrelac squares are addictive. The entrelac is a great way to avoid the pooling I loathe and encounter so often in variegated yarns, and progress feels as fast as a plain old stockinette sock because each row is twelve freaking stitches long. Step Above Sock in progress Here, I have just finished the second full tier on the leg and started the third out of a total of five. I am following these suggested modifications for Step Above knitters who are knitting with less yardage per skein – I am also planning to decrease after the heel so that each square is just ten or eleven stitches wide; a looser leg is okay, but my foot needs less ease (and as we know, I make socks that fit, no matter what).

In other news, I had the opportunity to look at Knit 2 Together this weekend, and was pleasantly surprised – there were four projects I would make, which was four more than I was expecting (don’t hate me Tracey! I didn’t know!). The scarf/bonnet combo and the fitted jacket were especially nice [they remind me of the Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style and the Jess jacket, respectively, both patterns I like already], but I found myself inspecting the knitted jumper dress very closely – the lace panel at the waist would reduce bulk, provide some figure-flattering shaping and hide a multitude of minor flaws. Plus, I am a sucker for a turned hem.

But before I cast on for any dresses, I have several stashbusting projects in line: the Vertigo hat from Knitpicks, the Ribby Cardi from Bonne Marie Burns, Nezumi and the Santa Cruz Beanie from Magknits…and Lizzy from the Jane Ellison Naturally Noro book. Sharp-eyed readers will remember that I have loved this cardigan since I first saw it, and after a smashing swap thanks to the Knitter’s Review forums, I will be knitting Lizzy in the swoon-worthy shade of Silk Garden poetically known as 87, and Nina from San Francisco will be reknitting a vintage cardigan for her mom out of the finest La Gran Classic Elite has to offer. Stash knitting at its finest – it’s enough to make you plotz, really.