It’s been so long since I knitted something. And I want to pick something up today, just crank out a few rows so my hands remember how. And I have about 500 WIPs. But none are at just the right point where I can just add a few rows of stockinette. I think I stopped each one at a difficult spot:I have to learn something, figure something out or make a decision. I have bunches of yarn in my stash…but none the right color or quantity to start something new. I think: I’ll buy some new yarn for a new project! But then I can’t choose the right colors. This is annoying. I guess I’ll knit a dishcloth.

WIP: Panda Hat

“I’ll just knit a basic white hat and throw a panda face on it! What could go wrong?”

Ravelry Project Page: Panda Hat

I started to knit the panda face stranded, but ended up with floats that were too tight, despite trying to be conscious to make them loose. The nose and the right eye patch puckered. And the left eye patch did this thing where the entire left side of the black patch wasn’t anchored in any way to the white stitches next to it.

I put in a life line so I could rip back to a row before the chart.

nose puckered

apparently the whole side of this eye patch section did not attach to the white stitches


What worked:

  • Duplicate stitch for the mouth (like here). I think it looks much better as a duplicate stitch than it did when stranded.

  • An intarsia/stranded hybrid for the nose and eye patches. The white yarn was stranded across the back of the black sections but for each black section, I used a different ball of black yarn. Worked R to L in the black sections for a couple of rows and then L to R, by slipping the stitches to the right needle, turning the work and purling the black stitches, then slipping them back to the correct needle. (Like here)

So far, the nose looks great. It lays nice and flat and the white floats aren’t in the way. Hopefully the eye patches will work as well.

Next Level

Nothing makes me feel more competent as a knitter as being able to fix a mistake I’ve made rows before. When I first started knitting, the only way for me to fix any mistakes was to rip everything out and start over.  Which isn’t really a practical solution for anything past about ten rows in. Eventually I learned how to TINK. I figured out that I could knit backwards and undo stitches so I could redo them. 

And eventually I learned to drop down and fix stitches several rows back without unraveling any rows. 

I felt really super confident the other day when I had a slipped stitch, on an increase, while using teeny dpns, that I was able to fix by dropping down, holding stitches onto extra needles and using a very small crochet hook. 

I was sweating like crazy the whole time but I did it! 



I have always felt weirdly proud of myself for being a “neat” knitter. I have a small “curated” <eye roll> stash. I buy yarn with a plan! I keep only ONE (1!) small basket of yarn. I use up my scraps! I…have 7 unfinished projects going right now. And 5 sitting in my queue. I am suffering from some form of crafting ADD. I did just finish a baby blanket, so there’s at least one finished knit recently.

I (generally) keep my yarn stash well organized in a basket tucked neatly in my closet. Then next to my bed I keep a tote bag with whatever current project I have going. Which then turned into 3 different bags. And extra skeins piled on top. And it’s gotten a little out of control:

This is the (normally nice and neat I swear!) spot where I keep my works in progress. Right now it has yarn I’ve been meaning to turn into a scarf for my 9yo, Christmas gift yarn, leftovers from the baby blanket, a single sock that apparently will take me half a year to finish, my Great Aunt Betty’s Christmas stocking knitting bag – with my own half-knit prototype and modified chart, a “quick”gift project for a friend, AND Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Without Tears. And and and

I’m a bit of a mess, I don’t know what to work on, and nothing is close to being finished.

Socks for Me

I realize I have only finished one of my Syncopation Socks, and so I am at high risk for Second Sock Syndrome. I plan to knit the second sock, I want to knit the second sock. The yarn and needles are just sitting there in my bag so I can get started anytime. But.

But. I have some Knit Picks Stroll in Wonderland Heather that I just really want to knit. And since I enjoyed making the first Syncopation Sock so much I want to knit more socks but tweak things a bit.

I wanted to knit in magic loop this time (using a ChiaoGoo 24 in size 1 2.25mm circular), top down, and knit a smaller size sock.

The pattern is Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I am a sucker for a pattern with a nerdy theme, this one inspired by Hermione’s character. It looks pretty straight-forward, though at first glance, the heel instructions do not look super explicit (in Syncopation Socks the pattern lists the stitches for every single row and stitch so it’s easy to follow along). But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I do like that the pattern dictates exactly how may rows to work ribbing (20) and how many pattern repeats for the leg (18). I prefer this to “work for x inches” especially since I plan to knit a second sock and would like them to be as close to the same as possible.

Just like when I knit hats, I dislike starting a project with ribbing. It’s fine, it’s necessary, but I get really excited to knit something new and have to plug through a few inches of boring ribbing before I get to the good stuff.

So far the pattern is easy and will go quickly, just need some more patio coffee time.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks project page

The “I Miss You” Hat

I feel a little silly calling this hat the “I Miss You” Hat. But my husband, James, has been working on an important project at work that has required some long hours. And then as the project was winding down, he had a couple of (well deserved!) weekend trips. The evenings he was away for this last trip, I started this hat for him. I watched Harry Potter 7.2 and waited up for him to come home, knitting and missing him, like in some goddamn Victorian novel.

I bought the yarn a while ago (I had planned ahead, I knew it would be for a hat for him). And had this pattern in mind. I used the couple of evenings he was away as the right opportunity to put on a movie and knit.

I like knitting hats because they are straightforward and fast: knit in the round, no seaming or changing skills, just work in pattern until it’s done.

A few more nights of movie watching and I’ll have it done.

Pattern: One Bourbon