110,080 Tiny Stitches

Six shades of undyed lace-weight yarn knitted into a large, striped stole.Some projects are so large that it’s almost counterproductive to sum up the parts. This undyed stole is one such item.

I started this little (huge) enterprise in January knowing that it would take some fortitude to turn nearly 2000 yards of lace weight yarn into a rather large rectangle on rather tiny needles. This project required a pretty long cast on — nearly 350 stitches — but the hardest part of the whole process was coming up with more than 40 stitch markers that weren’t already committed to a WIP (yarn-speak for Work in Progress).

The nice thing about the pattern (if you can call it that) is that once the stitches are on the needles, it’s just a matter of switching knits and purls at the markers until I either run out of yarn or forget where I left it. This stole has become my favorite project to work on while talking or reading. Even so, I go entire months without so much as glancing at it. Luckily, we have one of those friendships where you can go ages without talking and then pick right up where you left off.

The yarn is an undyed alpaca-bamboo blend that  is lovely to knit. I’m currently working on the 6th of what will eventually be 8 different stripes. The subtle, natural shading — three shades of gray and five shades of brown — adds to the zen quality of slowly working along each of these long rows.

73,272 stitches down. 36,808 stitches to go.

You know, if you’re counting.

Just keep knitting. Just keep knitting. What do we do? We knit. Knit.*


*With apologies to Ellen Degeneres.


Happy Traveler and Doctor Blue

Blue Variant Scarf Started
I finished up Gillian’s Season 12 Doctor Who scarf over the weekend, but not before Berns asked for one of his own. He didn’t want a Season 12 like his sister’s. He wants a Blue Variant for the 6th Doctor.

Of course!

What’s that?

I’ll save you some research.

The 6th Doctor — evidently — had a pretty wild costume. When they revived the character for an audio show in about 2002, someone decided it would be tons easier to tone his costume down from a bunch of bright colors to several shades of blue for the adverts.

(Silly me, but, after they’d already invented the multi-colored version and sewn it in real life as a costume for an actual person to wear, this seems a little lazy. I’m sure this thinking puts me into some kind of Whovian Interwebs Battle. Let me go on record to say that I don’t want a vote if someone’s keeping score.)

Okay. But what kind of scarf did he wear?

Best I can tell, he didn’t.

Of course!

Thank goodness for Tara Wheeler and the fact that she thinks of everything. Yes, there is actually an official unofficial, non-canon blue variant scarf pattern.

But Berns didn’t want that one. He wanted a Season 12 in Blue.

Of course!

Are you following?

So, I gathered 7 shades of blue wool — well, 4 shades of blue, 2 shades of turquoise, and a medium gray — and went back to the Season 12 scarf and decided which color of blue would substitute for each of the canon colors and got started. I’m making the stripes 2/3rds the size of the original Season 12 scarf. My goal is to make it 7-8 feet long. We’re calling it “Dr Blue“.

Of course!

Why in the world would I spend weeks of my life making garter stitch scarves based on a TV show from the 1980s that I didn’t watch at the time and have only seen partial episodes accidentally since?

This is why:

2013-09-08 16.30.57


Yes, she’s wearing it without the fringe and with the unwoven ends dangling in the back. She couldn’t wait.

Of course!

Season 12 or Knitting an Iconic Scarf

Season 12 Scarf Begins

All of my children seem to be fully immersed in all-things-slightly-or-even-extremely nerdy.

I can’t imagine where they got this inclination. Ahem.

At any rate, my youngest daughter screwed up her courage and asked me for a Dr Who scarf. (She’s my child who hates to impose and really doesn’t want to be seen as part of the off-beat crowd, but who could quote the entire script of The Holy Grail as a preschooler.)

Now, if you are the least bit familiar with the show, you know that these iconic scarves are known to be rather large and very colorful. What you may not know is that they are also highly scrutinized by Fans who can tell by the (originally, randomly placed) stripes the exact episodes each scarf appeared.

Gillian asked for a Season 12 scarf — the first one, Baker’s original, not the one from the second half of the season, of course! — which, according to the numerous patterns and photos available, is about 19 feet long and made up of seven colors of random stripes of varying widths.

Um, okay. Happy to do it. Let’s do some stash diving and see what we have on hand.

Luckily we came up with 7 shades that suited her in spite of the gray being a little too blue and the brown being more dark chocolate than cocoa and the green being more olive than kelly…

You get the picture.

I offered to take her to the yarn shop to select the exact-right colors. And, guess what? She refused!

I was amazed. Rather than stick with the “Are You Mad? This Is The Official Pallette And Nothing Else Will Do!” protocol, she decided to go off-map and to add some things to her scarf. She picked out a pumpkin orange and a deep turquoise — her favorite! — to add to the other 7 nearly-official colors.

She also requested that it be a “reasonable length” so that she wouldn’t trip over it. I find this rather practical (and a gigantic relief as I wasn’t looking forward to 19 feet of garter-stitch knitting) and enthusiastically support her decision.

So, I’m sort of following Tara Wheeler’s sequence, but cutting the counts down – the biggest stripes by half – and adding in the extra colors, and hope to end up with something between 6 and 7 feet long. I went further off of the actual scarf pattern by narrowing it by nearly half and adding a slip-stitched faux i-cord edging to tidy it up a bit.

We’re about 20 stripes into this project and it’s going pretty well. Gillian gets rather giddy when she comes to check my progress.

I do admit that it makes me laugh that we take haphazard, randomly made items and turn them into iconic patterns. I’m sure there is a life metaphor in there somewhere.

I’ll just leave you to ponder that with an image of my current progress on Season 12.

Season 12 Scarf Halfway Completed

Hot Tea and Wool Season

Knitting a Henley

It’s the time of year when it’s starting to get a little chilly and things like hot tea and wool call to me. As you may or may not know, I do a fair bit of crocheting all year around. What I don’t do is knit. Well, I have knit things along the way. But the reality is that when I’m knitting I’m thinking about the fact that I could have finished 4 crochet projects in the time it takes me to knit one.

Even so, I get the urge from time to time to knit something. This time it’s all Kristen’s fault. While she does a fair bit of crochet, she also knits, sews, and quilts beautiful things. I was successfully resisting the urge to follow in her footsteps until she posted her version of this sweater. Twice.

While out on a date-date with Ned Andrew on Friday night, I talked him into taking me to the yarn store to purchase new circular needles and some yarn. You know, because nothing in my room-filling stash was exactly what I wanted to use.

Okay, so on Saturday I was about 12 rows in and was pretty pleased to report that my stockinette stitch was knitting up even. I’d even call it gorgeous. My increases were a nightmare, though. In the place where I was supposed to be making a new stitch I ended up making a new hole instead. Near tears, I put the needles down and vowed to go to my local yarn store first thing on Sunday.

As luck would have it, Bliss wasn’t open when I got there and closed before I could get back. I was with the family and we had an outing all planned, so I thought all hope was lost. But a dear lady and yarn-lover, Pam, saw my cries for help, took pity on my soul, and invited me to her house for a demonstration of Make Ones. She also magically ended my twenty-year frustration with the continental purl stitch in about 45 seconds.

Once I got home last night, I ripped the whole thing out and started over. So far– 23 rows in — I only have one hole and I’m actually having fun! This is a miracle… seriously.

Add to that the first official day of hot tea season, and I’m a pretty happy girl.

I heart Autumn.

Hot Tea Season


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