Tag Archives: scarf

There’s some buzz about the Mini Mania Scarf

This morning I got an awesome email from my best friend, letting me know that the infamous scarf has made it big – on Buzzfeed! That’s right, earlier this month the Mini Mania Scarf was featured in one of Buzzfeed’s pictorial “lists” – this time a tongue-in-cheek bit called 16 Scarves That Forgot How To Scarf. The hilarious sub-headline says, ” Seriously, scarves, you only have one job.”

Here is the scarf, in the illustrious number 13. position:
buzzfeed

I really think Buzzfeed missed the mark, though, on scarves that forgot how to scarf. There are some really stellar knit and crocheted ones out there, like:

The Squid Scarf – getting stuck on you since 2007:

Or how about the crocheted scarves that can’t decide if they should be bacon and sushi?

And leave it to the Japanese to create the first-ever Boob Scarf, still being crafted over at BoobsRUs:

Thanks for the buzz, BuzzFeed!

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My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. 🙂 Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.

Too hot to knit

It’s been too hot to knit. Even in air conditioning, with my limbs freezing, the wool slipping through my fingers makes me sweaty and uncomfortable. I’m trying to finish a boatload of projects – among them, my ill-fated Lost Scarf (it was supposed to be finished during the finale of LOST but a shortage of yarn led to its abrupt hibernation) and several tiny projects, that, if I just focused on one of them a day, I’d quickly whip into shape. But, like Alanis said, it’s just been too hot to hold any yarn, so instead I’ve found myself expressing my creativity in other venues – namely, making more stitch markers!

Enjoy another picture-heavy post (I swear, they all are these days) and remember, you can check out more of my work in my Etsy shop, Exchanging Fire, or click on the photo of the stitch marker set that attracts you to follow the link to that particular listing.

Take My Breath Away
“At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you, and once in a while people may even take your breath away.” - Meredith Grey, Grey's Antaomy



Sunshine Flows
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir



Dappled in Violet Twilight
“Inside, the cathedral is a Gothic forest dappled in violet twilight and vast with quiet.” - Wendy Insinger



Time Enough in the Desert Hills
”This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.” - Mary Austin



Mad Honey Disease
”There is a toxin, refined from the nectar of the rhododendron ponticus, infamous in the region of Turkey bordering the Black Sea for its ability to induce an apparently mortal paralysis. Enough to deceive even a medical mind as tenacious and well-trained as yours. It's known locally as...mad honey disease. What's wrong with Gladstone? Oh, he's just demonstrating the very effect I just described. He doesn't mind.” - Holmes in Sherlock Holmes, the movie

Holy crapola!

I’ve been slowing reorganizing my blog. Adding links here, a couple of more friends there, and studying my statistics carefully as a handful of visitors roll by little corner of the web (three people Monday, another one on Tuesday,seven whole visitors Wednesday…).

Then tonight I logged on before heading to bed and saw that my little visual stat counter had skyrocketed. I absentmindedly swung my mouse over to it, wondering where my visitors were coming from, and the mouse-over produced a number that made me sit up and gasp! Yesterday, 1,121 unique visitors visited my blog! Ok, you can close your mouth.

This statistic blew every other number out of the water. Just last week I was thrilled when 26 people checked out the blog the day I added a new pattern to Ravelry. So you can imagine that I’m a little numb right now from shock. The reason for it, of course, is the magic of publicity.

I mentioned it indirectly in my last post, but a couple of days ago I was wandering around the Internet when I stumbled upon a free pattern website, aptly called Knitting Pattern Central. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to tell the good people there that I had some free knitting patterns that were available for download to the general public. They sent me a nice email back, and I figured I’d be added eventually to their lists.

I guess I was added all right! According to yesterday’s statistics, 1 person found me by checking out my Ravelry profile, a second person followed a direct blog link out of a swap group in Ravelry, a third found me through Google, and 1,049 people found me through the Knitting Pattern Central! Out of those visitors, 737 alone were interested in finding out what the Betty & Veronica Scarf looked like, and many of them downloaded the pattern. Wow. I think I need to sit down.

Well, if you’ve stumbled across my blog because of Knitting Pattern Central, hello and welcome! (waves) I’m glad to have you checking me out. 🙂 Good night everyone!

Betty & Veronica pattern goes live today!

A new published pattern, the Betty and Veronica Scarf, goes live today! After a month of testing on Ravelry (I had eight fabulous testers helping me out), we’ve worked out all the kinks and come up with an accurate estimate of yardage to make it easier for everyone else to enjoy knitting.  I’m thrilled to report that one of my testers likes the pattern so much that she is starting a knit-a-long for it on Ravelry, in the Fun KALs – Shawls and Such group that she runs.

You’ll notice that currently I only have links to Ravelry for downloading my patterns. Well, that is going to be changing soon as I want to be a gateway drug for Ravelry give those who aren’t on Ravelry the opportunity to download my patterns as well. After all, I clearly remember trolling the Internet looking for great free patterns to knit up for myself, so it only makes sense that I would give others the same courtesy.

Also, for those of you interested less in the knitting aspect of this project and more in the owning of said scarves, I am selling two of the finished projects in my Etsy shop. The Raspberry Cheesecake Souffle one was the scarf that was actually the first of my final design prototype, and was knit in an extra-ruffly style that really makes the Veronica version of the scarf stand out. The second one I am selling is Veronica’s Dark Secret, and it was inspired by the fictional character Veronica Mars, from the television show of the same name. There’s just something lovely and deep about that scarf, and it is the first fine-tuned version of the pattern. The others have been traded and given away in turn as promotional efforts for the pattern.

Again, I want to give a huge thanks to all of my testers and everyone who willingly helped me out by knitting one, or two, or even  more of these for me! In truth, this pattern is slightly addictive, and many found that they couldn’t resist doing a second or a third to see how different it came out every time! I’ve actually knit this scarf six times already, and I’m currently on my seventh scarf. As soon as I get a chance to push aside my other deadline knitting projects, that is. This is a great stashbuster – my favorite kind of project!

On hold and dreaming

As I sit here listening to Stephanie Dosen‘s dreamy, whimsical music, on hold with something for work (frowns at phone) I decided that this would be the best time to update everyone on what’s going on in my fibery world. My dream of a scarf that would show off complementary handspun yarns and be cool and cute is nearing completion. The Betty & Veronica Scarf is in it’s testing phase! I’m still looking for testers, so if you are interested, go check it out here.

It took a lot of prototypes to get it exactly right. One of the first things I realized was that I couldn’t block the scarf, because it only flattened out the ruched look I was going for:

My next foray was great, except that I pulled the ribbed edging together too much, making it look rather ruffled instead of simply having a gentle edging:

Now that I’ve knit this scarf four times, I’ve finally figured out how to make it look “juuuust right,” as Goldilocks once said. After everyone finishes testing it and gives me feedback, I’ll be able to tweak the pattern and publish it for everyone else to make! Ok, the phone is ringing and the music has ended, so I’m diving back in!

P.S. – Almond Crush Pocky is delicious.

Image by Robert Otani

Betty & Veronica are rockin’ it

I’m sugar and spice and everything nice but if you wanna mess with me you better think twice.

I knit this scarf twice – once with the general idea of the pattern I wanted, and then a second time after I realized what I had done wrong the first time. UGH. I hate frogging. It was only sheer determination that kept me going. Basically, what I wanted to do was pair together two complementary yarns in my stash. Because one was handspun and the other a very expensive skein of yarn, they didn’t have much yardage, and therefore weren’t worth much by themselves. But together, they were more than the sum total of themselves alone.

I split the Rapture yarn evenly into two balls based on weight (which weighed about 22 grams each). Then I cast on with the Rapture yarn. Ik nit four rows of k2, p2 ribbing to create a loose ruffle. At this point I was torn – my original idea was to create short-rows a la Laura Chau’s Just Enough Ruffles, but I wasn’t sure I’d have enough. As I sat and envisioned how the final project would look, I got more and more mentally frustrated by things not knitting up properly, and decided that a short scarf with the added problem of having narrow ends probably wasn’t a good idea.

Instead, I retreated to my favorite knitting technique – ruching! Unlike most of the ruched patterns on Ravelry, I stuck to all stockinette stitch in order to show off the handspun look of my center yarn, as opposed to hiding it with garter stitch. Then I created a second ruffle at the other end, cast off, and viola! The Betty & Veronica Scarf. Now it’s time to write this pattern up and get it out there to share with the world! Ok ok, just with like-minded knitters on Ravelry. 😉 I’m also going to knit it again with slightly different yardages and weights in an effort to gauge how differently it can come out. Yey!