The Create Along


Today is not just auspicious for being my 32nd birthday. Today is the day that Julia and I are kicking off a Create Along.

I'll be parallel posting, both here and there, along with my normal blogging. We sincerely hope that anyone with a love for, or interest in designing knitwear, will join us. To join, send an email to createalong (at) gmail dot com, with the subject line, "JOIN."

I'll be making my first post tomorrow, but Julia has a great one up there right now.



I have overcome one of my previously mentioned afflictions, or at least have suppressed it long enough to complete the Silky Wool piece.
The lighting in the "model" shots is a little cruddy, but I'm happy to say that shooting myself in front of a dark brown wall appears to make me look slightly less fish-belly white. Not a bad trade off.

I'm modeling here with a pair of dark brown cargo pants, which, oddly enough, suit the top. I'm thinking the top needs some sort of lacy cami underneath, in order to be truly practical, but as a garment, am happy with the end product.

Pattern Notes
Design: My own
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
Method: Knit with crochet
Will I write up this pattern? I'm thinking not. It's a rather involved pattern and I can't fathom having the time to size it and write up the whole thing. Who knows, maybe someday.

Some bits and details:

The sleeve has a button to keep the pleat from flaring too much. It made a huge difference in the finished appearance. The Silky Wool is so light and able to hold it's shape that the sleeves tended to fly out a bit too much for my taste. An alternative solution would have been to start the pleat halfway down the sleeve, but I like how the button pulls the design together.
The sleeves were knit in the round, from the top down, using Barbara Walker's method, though I had to make some serious modifications to the technique in order to leave the opening for the pleat. In fact, saying it was knit in the round is really a misnomer since the sleeve was worked back and forth with short rows, leaving a wide opening where the pleat went.
The inset was worked by picking up the stitches from the top of the armsceye and working down, then the edges of the inset and the edges of the sleeve, were seamed via crochet.

Here you can see the princess shaping. I have about a 10" difference between my waist and my chest, and hips. When I've knit a piece to correctly match my dimensions, by only decreasing at the side seams, the garment has tended to fit oddly with a funny little peplum effect at the sides and too much excess fabric at my lower back. These princess seams allowed me to distribute the shaping over more points and where they are most needed. I removed the side seams altogether, working it all in one piece. I faked the seams up the princess line by working a slipped stitch, every other row, where the seam would be. The project could just as easily have been worked in separate pieces which would have made the piece easier to block, but it would have probably made the seams less apparent because mattress stitch tends to be so invisible. I really wanted the "seams" to be a design feature.

The buttons are just from my local craft store, nothing fancy shmancy, though I like them. They are metal, maybe pewter, and have a relatively ornate engraved design. I thought for a while about what sort of button would best set off the piece and while I thought wood would be a nice color compliment, it seemed too rustic for the design, while shell or pearl was too dressy. The metal seamed to blend more with the look of the piece, so that they complimented while not overpowering the piece. Even better, the holes in the button were big enough to accommodate a small Chibi. This meant there was no need to find matching embroidery floss or thread to finish the piece. Life is good.

So that's that, another FO.



Second Sock Syndrome (SSS)
I finished the first of Leo's two socks and it looks and fits great.

No, he doesn't have itty bitty feet, the gusset just pulls the sock in a bit and makes it look shorter, I swear.

The heel is really unusual and attractive. This is the bottom of the sock and you can see the paired decreases that form a delicate ridge along the bottom. It isn't bulky at all, it just has a nice little visual detail.

I've cast on for the second, but it's moving slowly. 9" of ribbing in the round is just not my idea of big excitement, especially now that I'm not working under any deadlines and the world is my knitting oyster.

Sewing Buttons Syndrome (SBS)
I've discovered that while I like buttons, I dislike, with great zeal, sewing them on. I find it tedious, boring and prone to fault. It's sad really. When you are at the point that you should be sewing buttons, your piece is all but done. What could be so bad about sewing buttons on?

For about a week, the Silky Wool piece has been at this point, give or take.

The buttons aren't far enough apart, I'm currently taking them out to sew them back in....again.

Oh and remember all that talk about having juuuust enough yarn to knit the body of the piece? Well, I did some stash organizing and clean up this weekend. Guess what I found? My original giant swatches and the ball form which I knit, equaling a whole additional ball of the main color.

In my defense, much of our lives still sits in boxes because we:
A) Sold most of our furniture
B) Don't plan to buy furniture until we buy a house
C) Don't have anywhere to put stuff in the interim.

While this is, by no means, the way I hoped to start things in Portland, it does keep us motivated to pay off what remains of our credit card debt and start house shopping. Woohoo, and way to go off on a tangent.

5 Weird things about me


Patty has tagged me for the 5 Weird Things meme, going around.

The rules are:

  • Someone Tags you

  • You post 5 things about yourself that you haven't already mentioned on your blog

  • You tag 5 people about whom you'd like to know more I open the meme to all of you who are interested in playing. Consider yourself tagged.

Here's the thing, I feel like I pretty much tell you guys everything I'd be comfortable telling you. It's always good to keep a little mystery in the relationship, right? So I figured, if I think I've revealed all my weird, maybe there are things I just haven't noticed are weird about myself. So I asked Leo and my mom to come up with some things they think are weird about me. I've weeded out things I've mentioned here before. I know it's supposed to be 5 things, but since I got these from two different people, I'm rounding up to 6 total, 3 from each.


  • I like my chocolate frozen. Well, if not frozen, definitely refrigerated. While I'm aware that all chocolate authorities, insist that chocolate, like cheese and red wine, should be served at room temperature, I find it highly distasteful to have my chocolate melting on my fingers. I refrigerate most of my chocolate and freeze certain varieties. Oh and I prefer dark, thanks for asking.

  • Leo's never seen me wear a mini skirt.
  • I think I've mentioned that I'm not really a skirt person, though I own a few, but it's true, the only ones I have are at least knee length.
  • I have more gray hair than Leo does, despite the fact that he's 9 years older.
  • I started finding gray hairs in my late teens and I've been getting more salt and less pepper, since then. It hasn't really started bothering me yet. What can I say?


  • Was a "polar bear" (i.e, dove into the cold morning water) at summer
    camp but now puts on her woolies when the temps drop to 60.
    Actually, I bundle up right around 70 degrees. What's your point?

  • First word was "mine!" yet grew up to be very generous. I was obviously referring to chocolate, about which I've never been generous.

  • Looks delicate and fragile but can lift large pieces of furniture. Hmm, well, I'm not sure if the current state of my caboose could be described as "delicate" but I've always been able to hold my own when it comes time to lug boxes into moving vans.

Another great day at the beach


You may all be getting sick of Cannon Beach pictures, but we never get sick of going, and, of course, it's Panda's most favorite place, being so full of water, sand and fetch. What's so great is that the beach is clean, there are hardly any crowds and there seems to be minimal rip current to pull our cutie pup under the waves.

We are continuing our quest south down the beach, this time starting from haystack rock. You can see all the pictures from the beach, by going to this page.

Beach going is one part sight seeing to two parts fetch.

A stick carved by some sort of wood loving creepy crawly.


The mist rising up around Haystack rock. This time the tide was too high to reach the rock without aid of some sort of kayak or large burly man to carry you.


Seagulls walking along the beach.

Fetch and resting with the squirrel until someone throws it again.

It's all very tiring yet satisfying work, as I'm sure you can imagine. However, there are risks. Getting to this tree stump was far easier than getting away.

There was no water near that thing when he climbed up. We weren't sure if he'd make it home or if we'd just have to leave him there.
He planned, though, since he had the car keys, we decided to wait out the flood.

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