for charity

my work is having a drive for goods and supplies for a local domestic violence shelter. their need includes art supplies.

I had a box of acrylic yarn that I took in and today I stopped Michael’s to pick up some more stuff.


I got some yarn (it was on sale!!), crochet hooks, couple sets of straight needles and a set of double pointed needles.

Me? I’m still working on the bunny… It has a head, 2 ears, a body, 2 arms and one leg. Not much hopping goin’ on around here yet. ;-)

See ya! :D

deja shawl

Remember this shawl that became a treat for some little bug?


Well, I finally ripped it out, washed the yarn and started reknitting this shawl. It’s going pretty well. It’s gives me lots of knitting therapy and the colors are pretty.


I lost several inches due to splicing the yarn back together, but all in all, it’s looking very much like it did originally.

working my way back

Hi. :) Yes, I’m still out here in the world. Is anybody out there?

It’s been a challenging year… during part of which, my favorite yarn store closed. I really only knit on one thing this for most of the summer – black rainbow shawl (the stripe study shawl) and I only finished it this past week.

These photos are pre-block. But I really like how it came out. Not really stripey, which I really like. This shawl is for me. Maybe one day I’ll make another one.

fo: monet shawl

*tap tap tap* Is this thing on? Anybody out there? ;-)

Yes, I’m still alive and breathing. I’m attempting to make some changes in my RL and unfortunately, blogging seems to be a casualty in this case. I am sad about that, but there’s only so much energy and time a person has.

So blogging for the next little while will be a bit sporadic. But I’m knitting up a storm and my spinning wheel is even getting a little attention these days. Hope you’ll hang in there with me. I miss sharing my fiber adventures with you. :)

I finished my shawl! I call it the ‘Monet Shawl’ ’cause the colors in the barber pole yarn remind me of impressionistic art. It looks different from far away than it does close up. (you can see the fiber and yarn in THIS POST)

Started: March 13 2011 – Completed: April 28 2011

a little knitting therapy

Lately, I’ve been a little stressed and a little overwhelmed… so I decided that I needed a little comfort. That, of course, meant knitting.

So I pulled out some handspun, wound it up and started knitting a very basic triangular shawl. No specific pattern but lots of mindless stockinette with lots of color. The color of the shawl reminds me of an impressionistic painting so I’m calling it my ‘Monet Shawl’.

Here’s are some photos of fiber, yarn and just a small peek at the beginning of the shawl. Enjoy! :)

fiber friday: mmmmm… cashmere

Buying new stuff for my stash is not currently in the budget so I am looking to my cherished stash to knit patterns that I’ve fallen in love with.

One such pattern is the Stripe Study Shawl. If you have not seen this recently released pattern, it is an asymmetrical triangular shawl knit in garter stitch.

I pondered a bit, trying to figure out what I wanted to use. I have some CCM Merino-Nylon that I could use, but the yarn said it didn’t want to be this pattern. (Yes, yarn can be pretty particular about what it wants to be.)

Then I remembered that I have some reclaimed/redyed yarn that I bought quite a while ago from AllSpunUp before all the lovely spinning fiber filled her shop. It’s this lovely, blue-purpley fingering weight yarn and oh so soft.

So the next question became what would I use for the contrasting color? Enter the cashmere/tussah silk fiber that I bought last year.

I originally had other plans for it but that did not come to fruition so, after I finish my current spinning project, I plan to spin a 2-ply fingering-ish weight yarn to use as a part of this shawl.

A cashmere/silk shawl…in garter stitch…can you imagine?

I’ll go now while you think about that.

Bye! :)

fiber friday: cherished stash

Do you have cherished stash? Stash that’s been waiting oh-so-patiently for that …*ahem* perfect *cough* pattern? I have a much of that here at Saffron Knits.

I’ve been wanting to use this particular yarn for this pattern for a while. So this year, at some point (how’s that for vague ;-) ), I’m going to use this cherished yarn to hopefully make an equally cherished shawl.

The yarn:

It is Cabin Cove Mercantile Merino-Nylon fingering weight yarn.

Colorway: Midnight Sky

Colorway: Sunrise

The pattern:

Daybreak by Stephen West

What I love about the idea of using this yarn for this pattern is that each was created by very talented men and the name/colorway of the yarn and pattern compliment each other so well.

I think going from Midnight Sky to Sunrise will make a very lovely Daybreak. :)

did I mention what I am knitting?

I am knitting a hat and a shawl….


Need more details than that? Ok, ok. :)

The hat is true mindless knitting. It’s the Sockhead Hat pattern and I am used Cabin Cove Mercantile’s Ombre yarn in the colorway ‘Coal’.

The yarn has this cool spiral thing goin’ on and this has been a great project when life stresses me out and I need to calm down.

The shawl I am knitting is a kind of ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-pants’ project. I’m making it up as I go along and keep changing my mind on every row.

The yarn is Tosh Merino Light – pretty drool-worthy stuff – awesome yardage for the price.

FO: slouchy beret

This hat didn’t quite come out the way I’d hoped. (Katie’s Beret by Through The Loops)

The brim fits fine but the hat is hugely slouchy and looks more like a mushroom than a hat.

This was a fun knit but I don’t think the yarn is meant for this project. I may rip this out and try something else. I do have a total of 750 yards. I think I have an idea of what might suit this yarn better.

Stay tuned. :)

FO: elemental hat II

There’s been a flurry of finishing here at saffronknits… here’s one!

I finished the elemental hat! It was a fun mindless knitting project.

The yarn went from the stripey-ness to more barberpole at the top. Next time I make yarn like this, I’ll work to keep the stripey-ness throughout the whole yarn.

I think I want to make another one! :)

picking up where I left off

I recently pulled out a hat that had been languishing. (It’s Katie’s Beret by Through The Loops.) I’d started it in April and had begun the decreases and somehow my stitch count was off. Discouraged, I put it aside.

I’d even considered ripping it out but when I picked it up recently, I saw how much work I’d put into it and how good it looked and I just couldn’t do it. So, I figured out what the problem was and began working on it again.

The yarn is amazing. It’s the colorway ‘Cobalt Passion’ in sport weight superwash Merino by Spincerely Yours. I even went back and bought a 2nd skein in case I wanted to make something matchy-matchy.

But first? Finish The Hat! :)

ever had one of those days?

Recently, I re-discovered a pattern that I had in my ravelry library – Chickadee Cowl – a free pattern by Through The Loops. It’s been in my library for a while but I just realized that I had the perfect yarn for it.

Three skeins of Zitron’s Loft Color – a bulky single in 100% Merino. A dear friend sent me this yarn from Germany and I had yet to find the pattern(s) for its use.

The Chickadee cowl looked perfect – so I cast on…

#1 – I misread the instructions and used wrong size needle, despite casting on the correct number of stitches…

#2 – Found the right size needles (DPNs) – counted stitches three times and somehow by row 2, stitch count was off…

#3 – Please see #2…

#4 – Found comparable size circular needle to cast on with – again, by row two, ‘easy’ stitch pattern not matching up.

At that point, all was ripped out, needles shoved back in the case and yarn thrust back in the bag and put (not so gently) out of sight.

Mama never said there’d be days like THIS!

got stripes?

I do! See??

OMG! I’m in love with this scarf! It’s inspired by the Noro Striped Scarf on the BrooklynTweed blog and the Pass-through scarf.

I can’t put it down. When I working some of my other knitting project (which I love as well), this project is like my reward. Currently, it is over 62 inches long and I only have a little bit of yarn left. :D

I’m using two skeins of my handspun that is sock/sport weight with size 3 needles. (I put rubber bands on the ends of a couple of DPN and it works great!). I cast on 55 stitches (1×1 rib +1), changing colors every 4 rows and am carrying the yarn up the side.

I learned and used a ‘new’ cast-on just as I finally got the stitch count for the width I wanted. It’s the Reversible Contenintal/Long-tail cast-on. I had gotten Knitting Daily TV series 300 DVD set from the library and was kinda listening and looking up occaisionally but when Eunny Jang demonstrated this cast on in episode 303, I sat up and paid attention.

I found a tutorial of it on YouTube (but if you can see the DVD with Eunny Jang, I highly recommend it).

Continental and Reverse Continental Cast-on for 2-2 ribbing

I used this cast-on for this scarf and I really like how it looks.

Ok… gotta go … must … knit … more … stripes!!!

alas, my poor handspun shawl

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about my handspun shawl. I truly haven’t. I had been hoping to spin more yarn for it. I’ve got one bobbin done and the 2nd is barely started.

But when I pulled the shawl out of the drawer, I discovered holes. YES! Some little bug chewed holes in my shawl over the summer! I had some other woolens in the same drawer and it seems the bug(s) have discriminating taste as they only went for the merino. (Yes, they went for my blue dream in color socks as well. :( )

So, I will have to rip this out. There’s not a lot of holes, but there’s no way to repair it so I basically would have to knit it again and compensate for the broken yarn (and keep it in a plastic bag).

Despite this reality, I can’t bring myself to rip it out… yet. *le sigh* :(

playing with depth of field … and yarn

A while ago I bought a Chevron Mitten Kit from Knitterly Things, but I never really took good photos of the yarn.

I’ve been thinkings of knitting this pattern recently so I pulled the yarn out to get some shots and ended up having a little fun with depth of field and having different areas in focus. (If you wanna ignore all the camera talk and go right to the pictures, I understand. It makes my head hurt sometimes. :roll: )

(According to Wikipedia, depth of field of an image is “the portion of a scene that appears acceptably sharp in the image”. So basically, the smaller the f/ number, the smaller the area in focus.)

I shot these at ISO 400 with my 50mm lens, but because my camera doesn’t have a full sensor, it represents as 80mm.

Shutter speed: 1/20 sec
Aperture: f/4.5

Shutter speed: 1/200 sec
Aperture: f/1.8

Shutter speed: 1/10 sec
Aperture: f/8

Shutter speed: 1/8 sec
Aperture: f/8

Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
Aperture: f/2.8

This one is just for fun. :)


Remember these fingerless mitts…

made out of this handspun??

Well, I had some yarn left over so I had to make a matching hat.

I tried to make up a top down hat…

…but it wasn’t working.

So I camed across the Sockhead Hat. Very basic and simple and really allows the yarn to do most of the work. It’s designed so you fold up the ribbing over your ears to make it warmer, but I didn’t want to mess with the flow of color in the handspun so I only did half the amount of ribbing.

This is fun stuff. I love knitting with handspun (especially my own ;) )!

knitting obsessed

I’ve been obsessed with knitting lately… and loving it!

Previously, I’d only have about one to three project going at a time. This year that fell apart and it’s been bugging me most of the year. Well no more. Instead of being bothered by it, recently I have embraced it and started three more projects – all of which I equally enjoy knitting.

I know there is an ebb & flow to creative energy so I just riding this wave for as long as I can. :)

One project I am working on is the “Pass-through Scarf” from the Fall 2010 issue of Spin-off. The pattern is designed to work with handspun, but as soon as I saw the pictures (and checked the yardage), I knew I had the perfect yarn in my stash –

- Two skeins of Alpaca with a Twist’s Big Baby in the Lumberjack colorway. I’d been wanting to make a ribbed scarf with it and am so happy to be finally using it. (I bought it in 2008).

It’s SO soft and has wonderful drape.

The pattern calls for a provisional cast-on and I tried that. I’d never tried to knit from a provisional cast on and the fuzziness of the yarn made it hard to figure out what I was doing. Plus, I didn’t like how it looked. So I ripped it out and started over, despite being over 50% done. I just knew I wouldn’t be happy with how it looked. Since the yarn is bulky, I’ll be back to where I was in no time. :)

Yay for mindless knitting! :D

cast on, cast off

Whenever a new knitting technique comes out, I tend to be a little skeptical… and I end up late to the party. Plus, picture tutorials don’t work for me.

Recently, I finally tried and learned them with the help of two videos from Cat Bordhi. If you are a knitter and haven’t tried these, I highly recommend that give them a try. :)

Judy’s Magic Cast-on

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

from fiber to finis!

I finished my fingerless mittens!

I call them ‘Elemental Mitts’ (aka Ele-Mitts). (A woman from my knitting group came up with that and said I could use it! :) )

They are mine, all mine and I love them! My first completed project using my own handspun! :D

I still have some yarn left to make something matchy-matchy so stay tuned for that. I’m still deciding what to make.


an ending and a beginning

I finished the pink shawl… FINALLY! Geez, it took me six months. I’m so happy that it is completed ’cause now I can gift it! :)

To celebrate it’s completion, I joined a knit-a-long … sort of. The SpinDoctor podcast is having a knit-a-long – Maine Morning Mitts using handspun. My ‘kinda-sorta-maybe-in-a-way-but-not-really’ participation is to make fingerless mitts with my handspun … but not use that pattern but more making it up as I go along.

But you can’t see ‘em until I’m done.


Don’t look at me like that.


Ok … here’s a peek. ;)


a blanket for j

A couple of weekends ago, I was going to write a blog post. I was going to write about how I felt my blog has felt a little unfocused this year (hence the silence) and talk about some knitting angst I’ve been having … then I got some news. Not good news – someone I cared about had been hit by a car. Such an odd sentence to say … think .. write. It doesn’t make sense to read the words, ya know?

It’s not really something that I can wrap my mind around to even grasp the reality of it. What I can grasp is that it makes me sad … but glad that no life was lost. … and all my knitting angst suddenly was unimportant. Who cares how many projects I have on the needles. I no longer did so I dropped everything that I was knitting … I am now knitting squares.

I hope these squares will end up as a blanket – I don’t know if I’ll manage that … but the moment I started knitting them, I felt better… Knitting once again has allowed me … helped me to be constructive when otherwise, I’d probably worry and obsess way more than was needed.

So keep good thoughts … for my loved one’s recovery … and the blanket I hope to make for him.

A blanket for J. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I’m making it up as I go along … but isn’t that what life is all about?

Peace to you … and go tell someone you love them. Life is precious.

back to the beginning

Well, I washed the swatch.

I was in the process of determining gauge (It was hard to see the stitches clearly after it had been washed), when I heard from my LYS – the color I wanted in that yarn was discontinued. However, there was only a brief moment of disappointment. I liked the yarn I’d chosen, but I didn’t love it. So it’s ok. And I’m back to the drawing board, in search of the yarn to make my first sweater – yarn that I love. I have an idea or two. I’ll keep you posted.

Also, I finally finished my yarn from Ravelympics – that’s coming up next! :)