Archives for category: knittage

As of today, 1 December 2007, I do solemnly pledge I shall purchase no yarn whatsoever for personal use in any circumstance. No exceptions.


That I’ll purchase yarn for bellamoden is a given, of course, because that is stuff I then dye, reskein, pack, and sell all over the world.


Patterns, as inspirations, are not things I normally run out and purchase willynilly, so I will take that on a case by case basis.


Needles will only be purchased if, for some strange reason, I lack the appropriate ones to complete a project.

This pledge will be binding for the next thirteen months, as I build my business and become the change I want to see. My stash and dyepots are incredibly inspiring, and I look forward to my focused creativity.

I realize that this is a challenge, which is why I am stating so publicly. I would appreciate support from each and every one of you. Thank you!

Hiya everyone. bellamoden Technical Services, aka Matt here, making a post on behalf of Fraro. She’s fine, just recovering from her wild dyeing spree and Thanksgiving. She asked me to write a bit for her, so here we go:

Fraro has dragged me into the world of knitting. I’m still barely starting out with one scarf under my belt. Recently I ordered a Suprise Me! box from her Etsy shop, and it came in Monday. I received a wonderful full skein, and a few small samples she wants me to swatch up.

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come

First is the full skein she sent me, Kingdom Come. Based on the graphic novel, I was very pleasantly surprised how nice it was. It’s very soft yarn, and I honestly have no idea what to make with it!

Kingdom Come
bellamoden tag

I definitely want to find something nice to make out of it, but since I’m still a beginner I have no idea what might be doable.

And now, the quick samples for swatching:

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz (Needs more yellow brick road!)

Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings (Love the color combo)

A Very Long Engagement

A Very Long Engagement

Watership Down

Watership Down

So far I’ve only had a chance to do one quick swatch with A Very Long Engagement.

Edge of A Very Long Engagement swatch

Plain garter stitch, 30 stitches on US9 needles. I tried a slight decrease along the way to see if it affected the striping at all. I think it turned out rather nicely. I’m hoping to get the other balls swatched soon, but certain feline members of the household are not helping too much.



Fraro will be back to blogging soon, along with whipping up new batches of yarn for her shop. Take care all!

It’s subtle, but it’s there. A shift. I look at patterns I like, and I think: do I want to spend the knitting time on this project? Is it worth not doing the other projects I want to do?

Knitting is life. But it’s also an investment, one with a finite resource: time.

Case in point: the everlasting bagstopper. I like the bag, and think it’s a neat idea. Do I want it enough that I’d sacrifice a hat or a sock or a sweater or a scarf or another bag for it? Frankly, no, I don’t. I look at it and think, I like my plain canvas bags well enough, and they are sturdy. Good enough for me.

Things I like. Things I wouldn’t mind having. Things I want to have. Things I want to make. Things I know I have no interest in the process of making.

I don’t worry about having yarn to knit with; for the most part, my stash is sufficient for my needs. My wants are an entirely different matter.😉 As knitters, you understand how it is.

The official wish list is now up – I know some of you guys have already found it. It’s not the same thing as “what will Rebecca knit next” because, let’s get real, the eyes are faster than the hands. The dreams and fantasies are part of the fun of being a knitter.

But the realistic plans… what about them? Summer of Socks has kind of careened off the tracks as I’ve gotten better and better healthwise and I’ve been experiencing jag after jag after jag. That’s really quite all right by me. It’s part of the joy of recovery, I’ve decided, and giving in to my impulses is just absolutely the right thing to do!

Still and all: priorities. Aside from the socks on the needles I’ve been thinking about making a pair of monkeys. And of course the August sockmania pattern. But I’m already thinking about the upcoming fall and winter, truth be told. Sweaters. Hats. Gloves. Scarves. Neckwarmers.

Mulling the things that I’m still tempted by.

For sure, the fetching mitts in Classic Elite Lush, a lovely pale blue. I saw a sample at Stitch DC in February, and was immediately smitten. And still am. So I should definitely cast on soon, don’t you think? Utterly worth the knitting time.

What else? I need to finish Veste Everest, which I do want…. and gramma keeps asking me about. I should confess, actually, that her asking was more like “if you cast on for another sweater before you finish Veste Everest, I will come and beat on you”. Which is kind of funny. But okay, yes, I’ll finish that.

I would like a pair or two of serious mittens, one in Colinette Jitterbug, and the other a set of peekaboo mitts

And I’d like some legwarmers… February is Febrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrary, mmkay. But fair isle? Simple 2×2 rib? I don’t know.

And I really would like that brown turtleneck sweater. I have the yarn and the pattern, and the constant thinking about it, even. I should swatch for it.

Maybe I need to stop making bags, then.

Matisse, on the other hand?


Have open knitting book? Will sit on it for you!

It sounds so strange, and indeed improbable, but nonetheless, it is true: I have discovered garter stitch.

Look at this if you don’t believe me.


It’s a project I all but finished a few months ago, a worsted weight interpretation of the laceweight Knit Picks scarf cowl pattern, using the purple Araucania Atacama alpaca yarn that Mary sent me. Look closely. Every single one of these stitches are twisted. This is how I did my “garter stitch” without realizing I was screwing up for oh, twenty one months. How the heck was I able to call myself a knitter?

I only figured this out recently, in the base of the Manos to-be-felted bag, where I experimented with wrapping the yarn differently to make garter stitch easier to knit. The aha moment when I’d realized I had previously been knitting all my garter stitch stitches through the back loops… oops.

No wonder “garter stitch” used to be tedious and take forever.

My flutter scarf suffered the same twisted fate as the scarf cowl. As did my fingerless mitts. What should have been loose and sproingy (I now realize) was rigid and more like a horizontally ribbed fabric. Not so bad in the items I made, (honestly, I think the twisted stitches in the mitt are perfect) but bad enough that I feel the need to redeem myself and discover the magic of plain garter stitch in something obvious.

But maybe not too obvious. A traditional garter stitch scarf seems too simple to repeat endlessly, although I confess that I’ve impulsively knitted one this week on Mr Pointy’s 12mm chunks of ebony, because I craved the process of the garter stitch. It filled two wonderful evenings while I was reading Stephen King before bed, and that was good.


Yarn Bee Beguile was lovely for a novelty yarn, being an unsnaggable center ribbon with flutters on both sides. I don’t even know why this yarn was in the stash, but the colors were great and it’s actually soft. Picasso and I both approved of the yarn. I probably should knit him a garter stitch square of the leftovers, to give him something to carry. He’s a freak.

But I want to celebrate garter stitch, not merely use it.

How about a horizontal garter stitch scarf? But in what yarn? I could do Manos… I have three shades of blue that would look great horizontally striped.

I also like the garter stitch neckwarmer idea that’s on that link too… I’d just use one of my skeins of alpaca and go to town, omitting the buttonholes because alpaca does tend to stretch. In fact, I’m gonna cast on for this now… quick and fun! I love Misti Alpaca Chunky soooooooo muuuuuuuuuuuch.

Or what about the swiss cheese scarf? Its startling simplicity combined with the visually stunning results is tempting. Perhaps in a lovely deep red laceweight. I confess I keep thinking about this. And thinking about this.

How about this diagonal scarf? The pattern seems especially suited for another (mysteriously present) novelty yarn I have in stash, consisting of different types of constructions and colors within one yarn. It’d be fun, and I do like novelty yarns in moderation.

I’m even thinking about whether Clapotis would look good in garter stitch.

Maybe an alpaca wrap using garter stitch entrelac in a loose gauge?

Tell me, what’s your favorite garter stitch project?

Many thoughts, few fit for writing.  A lot of kleenexes, a few bottles of medication, a deep appreciation for coffee, and groping for something approaching consciousness.  Sanity optional.  Relative freedom from pain a dream only.

Hot. Cold. Tired. Tireder. Whine whine whine.

I’m okay.  Yarn and I are best friends.  Mitten mitten mitten mitten thrum thrum thrum.   Of course, frogging and I? Also best friends.  Not that the catchen mind, they very much enjoy herding yarn for me.

It’s been cold lately.  My ears, though, are warm.  Because the hat? Flip flip, brim brim, and double warmth is my friend.


Blog Minion: Thank you for your kind thoughts and words.  Sadly, I was not able to finish the hat that night.  Being brave, I set my alarm (on a vacation, no less!), and woke up at 8am to finish the hat before the Thanksgiving Gluttony.  With a little more help, I was able to finish the hat, and present it to my mother.

Pics, maybe, as soon as I get them from my father.  He’s requested a hat, too.  Whee!

Fraro: In other knitting news, I had a little “gauge accident”, so I gave up on them.  Stupid socks.   Ribbit.   In desperation, I started working on one of the other pairs of socks I’m making.  For those counting, that’s 3 pairs of socks.  All on needles.  Go me.  But me?  Knitting ADD?  No.  Not me.  Couldn’t be.  And even if it was me?  I’m on vacation.  Doesn’t count.

For a change, I thought today we should go out for a bit, eat some KFC, breathe some of that “fresh air” I keep hearing about, and uh, oh yeah, maybe see a more local LYS. Way down on the list of priorities, that last.

The LYS was his idea, not mine. If you mean that he mentioned the word “LYS” before I did. All I said was KFC. So.

This is all totally true.

That I wanted to go to a LYS too is irrelevant. Besides the point, really.

(Minion: Not to mention I only mentioned a LYS trip because I figured she wanted one… But that’s gotta be beside the point, right?)


There just happened to be one down the block from the KFC as fate would have it. I’m really quite amazed the minion wasn’t aware of its lofty, heady, small presence already, given he goes past this little pearl of wonderfulness so often.

(Minion: Well, yeah. I’d been past the store once. Well, at least as far as my pre-yarn consciousness allows me to recall.)

Anyway. He bought yarn! Needles, too!! See!



This is another hat, and is his first gift knit. (Me crying: It’s not for me! Waaaaaaaaaaa. And stuff.)

(Now he’s glaring at me. WHAT.)

I might have gotten a little bit myself. Just the one ball. See?


It’s a 100 g yarn cake of delicious sportweight yarn from Claudia Handpainted. This stuff was called Caribbean. Tiphanie will understand why the name caught my eye. Sorry! It’s not for you!

I might have had a little spot of knitting ADD myself. Minion said if I wanted to, I should! That means it’s his fault, right?

(Minion: Now wait just a d&*# minute. I said she could if SHE WANTED TO. I didn’t tell her to. Not my fault!)

(Hairpats poor minion.)

One thing though, the pooling is decidedly very weird. What’s going on here? What will happen next? Only thing for sure is that there’s no way I’m gonna rip it… I’m perplexed but definitely curious to see what’ll happen next with the poooooooooooooling. I’m easily entertained. I’m OK with this.


I’m pretty sure we won’t be going to any LYSes tomorrow, and I’m okay with this. Well, ok, ok, my WALLET is okay with this. Me? I’ll hold the Claudia close to me.

And try not to make the minion rip out his hat. Again.










With deep deep apologies to Edgar Allan Poe:

Then this charcoal scarf beguiled my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy cast-on row be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure not unraveling. Much.
Ghastly grim and ancient scarf fleeing from my accidental scissoring and the subsequent Picasso maiming –
Tell me what thy lordly name is this Halloween!’
Unraveled the scarf, `Merino.’

I’ve started, finally, a wavy all for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. See?


But! At least the pattern is extremely obvious! Even in dark grey! And crapass picture!

It’s so nice to have a pattern that shows up so well even with the Patons classic merino in what they call a dark grey mix. Pretty accurate name, since it’s dark grey, with a bit of mottling. Not what I’d call a grey heather, though, and definitely an exercise in knitting blind. The pattern is wavy but you probably knew that, and I’m knitting it on vintage metal 4.5 mms.

Neither boy finds Patons wool snackworthy. Wonder why.


Picasso thinks . o O ( Wait, this isn’t the spa! )

10 months ago, almost 11 really, I knit the first version for my mother… And for some reason, I timed myself doing the knitting. At that time, my fastest rows were 5 minutes each. And my slowest rows were, well, slow.

Right now, knitting the exact same pattern so much later that it’s safe to say my current speed isn’t because I’ve memorized it (hah! 44 row repeat. As if I could…..), the slowest rows I’m knitting are 3 minutes. And I’m 2.5 minutes for the fast ones.

For each 44 row repeat, we’re talking 2 hours less per repeat. 20 less hours to make this than the first time.

Maybe it’s just me but that blows my mind.