gazzal by hobium

they had me at ‘super bulky’,

(and ‘single ply’ didn’t hurt either).

you know how i love a good thick super bulky!

i’d never seen ‘gazzal pure wool’ by hobium before,

but i had been looking for a yarn to knit up into

the ‘leo’ scarf by jen geigley

ever since i bought her newest book

everyday: a casual, modern hand-knit collection‘ at stevenbe‘s pre-vklive party

and i knew right away that the natural colorways

of this 100% australian wool yarn were just what i’d been looking for.

with great stitch definition and oodles of squish,

the neutral colorways of gazzal have all the requirements

of a really good super bulky to me

as if that’s not enough, look at how it knits together.

two thumbs up!

‘looking’ taken from 37:18 of job.

now, time for just a little of the nitty-gritty.

i was given this ‘gazzal’ by hobuim to review,

but, you know me, a free yarn (even a squishy super bulky)

isn’t ever going to make me say that i like what i don’t.

i’m much too stubborn and pig-headed for things like that…

math and the choices it makes

you know when a pattern says

something like ‘decrease 12 sts evenly over the next row’?

that makes me nuts. as a designer if i wanted to do the math myself

i’d be writing my own new pattern, you know?

i always feel frustrated when a pattern

expects me to do the work

instead of instructing

me on what

to do.

this week i stumbled upon

eskmimi’s knitulator’ over on pinterest.

not only is it cute as a button, but it’s waiting there

at all times, ready to do the work. how cool is that?

you just tell it how many stitches

you’re starting with

and how many stitches you want to have at the end of the rowThe-knitulator-knitting-calculator-for-increases-and-decreasesand it will tell you how exactly to space either increases or decreases to get the job done.

it’s sort of a pattern lifeline, right?

i so bookmarked it.

besides finding this fun tool this week,

i also released a new pattern.

the pattern (wait for it) is called ‘lifelined’. yup, it sure is.

well, only i released the first part of the pattern.

as the pattern stands right now,

it uses super bulky yarn

(which if you know me at all, you know i love).

the next part of the pattern is the modifications for using

other yarns: bulky, aran, worsted and dk weight to be exact.

that’s all being tested right now.

when it’s done, i’ll send out a pattern update

so that if you already bought ‘lifelined’

for super bulky yarn,

you’ll get an updated pdf with the numbers for yarns

all the way down to dk weight.

pretty good, right? but, there’s more.

also being test knit right now

is a slight variation on the variations that can make a similar neck wrap (or shawl)

out of sport weight or fingering weight yarn.

this pattern of variations might get knit up in the heavier weights, too

if the math works out. still in the number crunching phase at the moment.

so, while i’m pondering the options

and you’re waiting for them to be seeable,

at least i can show you ‘lifelined’ as it is in the super bulky of lana grossa ‘ambiente’.'lifelined' collage with back shotit’s not a triangle, but has five points.

so when deciding just how to drape it around yourself, there are lots of options.

obviously, i love options.

i’m feeling chatty, but itching to knit,

so i’ll end here and go play with some yarn.

i give you permission to do the same.

but only if you smile.

‘released’ taken from 16:36 of acts.

here it comes

…and the winner,

of enough of julie asselin’s super bulky ‘yotta’ to knit up the neckwrap

water under the sky‘, is tinerw!


or as my cousins said at my graduation,

snoitalutargnoc (in true cousin style, they sang it in harmony)!

and for those who almost won,

julie has plenty of

amazing colors to check out.  enjoy!

‘sang’ taken from 38:6-7 of job.

needles at the ready?

IMG_4325cropi used up

one and a half skeins

of yotta to make

water under the sky‘,

braids and all.

now i have

one and a half skeins

left to giveaway

for someone else

to enjoy.

you have from now until this saturday night

to leave a comment (which includes your rav name

or some other way for me to reach you if your name gets chosen).

IMG_4317cropi’ll draw a name this monday, the 21st.

take a look at julie’s yarns

and tell me which one

 you’d most like to knit with.

you can include why if you feel so moved.

then check back monday to see the results.

ready? … set … comment …

‘half’ taken from 44:15-17 in isaiah.

‘water under the sky’

the summer i was fourteen years old,

i spent two weeks immersed at language camp.

IMG_4170cropthis meant only french

spoken, all the time.

the thing is,

most of us campers

knew very little french.

we’d whisper

in english

in our bunks at night

or behind

the counselors’ backs

trying to stave off

the deep feelings of homesickness

that were only intensified by the language gap.

in an effort to connect IMG_4158

(and to calm us down),

our cabin leader ingrid

would quietly sit


while she brushed

our hair until it shined.

she would then

do different

braids each day.

french braids (of course),

dutch braids, pigtail braids and my favorite, fishtail braids.

four of us had long hair then and became known for our daily locks.

we loved our matching braids and we ate up the attention.

IMG_4173shadewe were so far

from home and from

our own sweet mamas.

even now,


make me feel hugged.

this piece

of my history

is the inspiration

for today’s

new pattern.

‘water under the sky’ feels to me like a warm hug around the neck

and the fishtail braids are like emotional comfort food.IMG_4165sat

don’t you dare let

the braids scare you.

there are clear

step by step directions.

if you want more,

fishtail braiding

is easy to find

on youtube,

and tomorrow you can

to enter to win

enough yarn to knit and braid, your own ’emotional comfort’.

see you then…

1st and 3rd pics: julie asselin’s ‘yotta’.

‘water under the sky’ taken from 1:9 in genesis.

2nd and 4th pics: camaj fiber arts ‘boheme sari ribbon yarn’.

changing trains

the thing about blogging as i go,

is that i very seldom go in a straight line.

it’s full steam ahead for a few miles (or days) and then something catches my eye.

maybe the drape of the yarn gets me thinking,

maybe the colorway starts to pull me in another direction,

maybe a certain series of stitches does something i didn’t expect..

whatever the reason, i don’t end up where i said i was headed.

took me four different colleges in two different states to get my degree

so it’s not just in knitting.  my overall life seems to go like this.

and i’m ok with that.

actually, i’m more than ok.  i’m good with it.

i’ve learned to enjoy the scenery out whichever window i’m sitting in front of.

you know?

but i feel a little like

i’ve pulled you all this way and that,

right along with me, as i’ve talked about

working with julie asselin‘s super bulky ‘yotta’.

i was glad to have you along for the trip.

hopefully my distractible mind didn’t wear on you too much.

and (drumroll please) i’ve finished the piece.

probably hard to believe

after all the

twists and turns, but it’s 100% true.

here’s a sneak peek:

IMG_4194sati plan to release the pattern early next week

and you will absolutely be the first to know.

thanks for keeping me company

during the whole process.

i really liked that.

‘company’ taken from 15:24 of romans.

about yesterday

my ‘nearly wordless wednesday’ photo

from yesterday caused lots of questions to come my way.

most of them along the lines of ‘what in the world is going on there?’.

many times in need of a zipper to be shorter

than what i had on hand, i have shortened.

when you’re dealing with a metal zipper, it’s quite simple.

use needle nosed pliers to remove

the little metal stopper that halts the zipper pull from pulling all the way off.

make desired length by using scissors to cut the fabric backing in spaces between

the close-set metal teeth (that’s the hardest part),

then reattach the little metal stopper at the new end of the zipper.

takes maybe 10 minutes and you’re good to go.

but the zipper i was tussling with

is molded electric blue plastic.

2adcd3520c4d80cbde620cdec37b5f5negsatwit wasn’t key to any project (since i found a replacement)

so i thought i’d see what was possible.

turns out what is possible is to make a huge mess,

pretty quickly and with very little effort.


IMG_4120negsatthen i got an idea.  an ‘awful’ idea.  i got a wonderful, ‘awful’ idea!

(a la the ‘grinch who stole Christmas’)

and it has to do with julie’s super bulky

and with the reason i wanted a zipper in the first place.

and i frogged back (that’s the only ‘awful’ part about it)

to ‘no knitting done at all’ once again.

sound familiar?

47af87a250e09fd4e17f0f335d80118bigtoday i didn’t knit much.

i started feeling all inspired by the above pic,

so i drove and i did paperwork (not simultaneously).

i walked by the fjord colored yotta, in the bowl on the kitchen island,

as i tried to slow down the chatter in my head and hear it tell me

exactly what it wants to become … and it did.

might even be finished by tomorrow.

definitely making headway.

until then, remember that brave (wo)men don’t slay their dragons

(or their unproductive tendencies and quirky character traits),

they ride them.

the view from up here, by the way, is stellar.

‘effort’ taken from 36:19 of job.

saga of the jagged edges: part 1.5


my knight in shining armor, has fallen.

the result is both dented armor and a broken wrist.

tomorrow the storyline of the saga will continue,

IMG_3953filmbut for today we rest

filling our weary, battle worn heads

with dreams of the progress soon to be gained.

until next time, don’t forget to

keep your castles in the sky and your feet on solid ground.

‘weary’ taken from 16:14 of 2nd samuel.

saga of the jagged edges: part 1

once upon a time,

in a castle not so very far away,

there was a grand,

dare i say unequaled twine

that landed in the willing hands of a knitwear designer.

said maiden had in her noggin a vision

which longed for just such a fiber to set it free.

excitedly the designer and the twine set about releasing the vision,

until they tripped as one upon the jagged edge

of the need for a matchless zipper.

having scouted

about the village, they were

only able to obtain the proper shade.

 alas, the count of the teeth was too many

(too many by far…about 15 inches too far…)

IMG_4006and, but for the internet,

our tale might have ended upon this point.

instead, the ‘saga of the jagged edges’ continues tomorrow.

until the dawn, keep your sword close at hand, and your dragon well fed.

‘tomorrow’ taken from 14:25 of numbers.

nearly, and then…

it was almost done.

just waiting for me to bind off

and for the zipper (more on that soon),

so i put it down for a day.

IMG_3956cropthen, when i came back to it,

i wasn’t so sure.

this happens to me.

i can get so caught up in the forward motion

that i forget to step back, take a deep breath,

and give it a good hard look.

the color, the needle size and the ribbing i still love.

it’s the drama i think stepped into overkill.

big yarn, bright color, wide rib, big shape, heavy zipper…

you see what i mean.

so i ripped back to start again.

casting on a few less stitches and deciding

 to work from the bottom up, instead of the from the top down.

if i’m gonna redo, i might as well redo in a big way.

here’s to new beginnings.

‘bright(ness)’ taken from 22:13 of samuel.