Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wait, is that rain I see?

It’s another rainy day here in Seattle…oh wait no I live in New England but man it sure feels like Seattle. In the past 6 weeks (42 days) I would be willing to bet a sizable amount of money, that it has been sunny no more than 5 days. That’s 12%. That’s ridiculous for late spring in NE. Besides rain, what’s been happening?

Well I finished the iTardis: Ipod cozy. I’m now in the habit of picking up my ipod and whishing it around the house informing anyone that’ll listen that the Ipod like the Tardis is indeed larger on the inside than the outside. That’s the end of my father inspired knitting for this month. The helmet earwarmers are a great idea but not with this yarn. I’ll be ripping them and re-knitting them for Christmas I think.

Next month’s Socks From The Toe Up Knit Along will see me knitting these lovely socks. I’m using the Caper yarn from String Theory that I got at the Maine Fiber Frolic a few weeks back. It had been resting a top the TV (really more of a decoration than an appliance since we canceled cable), along with several other remarkable skeins of sock yarn.

But yesterday I became overwhelmed and skeined for a couple hours, skeined until almost all the sock yarn that wasn’t caked before became a nice compact cake of yarny deliciousness. The Communicator did voice some concern that that much skeining may cause Skeiner’s Elbow and I should be careful. Luckily no damage.

I’ve been listening to the book Bloodsucking Fiend by Christopher Moore. It’s hilarious. Another great recommendation from Meow Meow Head. She's like my own personal NY Times best sellers list.

Since the contest seems to have stumpped you, I'll give you a hint. Elijah Wood.

Monday, June 29, 2009


In honor of our next family member, The Boyfriend would like to host a contest…enter as many times as you’d like. All submissions should be emailed to knittingsamurai at gmail dot com. The winner will be chosen at random from those who submit the correct movie title and quote who speaks the line. OK, are you ready?

This pictogram illistrates a quote from a famous movie…

The winner will receive either a skein of Araucania Ranco or a Borders Gift Certificate, winner’s choice.
Contest ends July 7th!
ETA: Pay special attention to the June 22nd post...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy 30th!

The socks were a hit! Of course it doesn’t hurt that half of the people at the birthday party are knitters. Best of all, she loved the color.

Friday, June 26, 2009


The Father inspired knitting has been going well. At first I cast on for a pair of biking helmet ear warmers. Unfortunately I’m about 2/3rd of the way through the first side and I’ve used half of my yarn. I have other possible yarns but knitting ear warmers isn’t that exciting so I’m thinking I’ll let that go.

Dad helped by requesting fingerless mitts. I finished them yesterday. I did more frogging on that project than I’ve done in a while. I think that happens when you

a) Have become a bit of a perfectionist about your knitting

b) Try knitting new items that you have no experience with

c) Really need to pay attention to the shaping in the pattern but are too busy watching Law & Order SVU to read the pattern.

But it’s all good now and actually I’m knitting myself a pair now. I wonder if that counts as father inspired since knitting a pair for him made me want a pair for me.

And last but not least. Can you say Tardis? I found a pattern for an Ipod cozy that looks like a Tardis. Of course I’m knitting this for me. I had thought to make us each one since our Ipods are the same size and we both love Dr. Who but after doing one I’m less enamored with the thought.

As it nears the end of this challenge I’m starting to consider next month’s. Any ideas on what I should shoot for? Last week it was discovered that I have enough sock yarn to knit 61 pairs of socks, not counting the leftover bits and bobs from all my completed socks. Perhaps I’ll challenge myself with something sock related, cuff down, stranding, only gift socks, something like that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

4th Pair

Today I finished Birthday socks for a knitter’s 30th birthday this weekend. While they’re not my best work, she’ll appreciate them. They are my 4th pair in the 52 Pair Plunge. OK I didn’t want to bring it up, and jinx myself but it’s week 4 and I just finished my 4th pair. Do you know what this means? I’m on track to really do this. I signed up thinking it would be a fun little challenge that I’d never meet but at least it would get me to knit a few more pairs of socks. Cause you know I need help with that. Ha!

I find that it’s encouraging me to think of others. With 52 pairs in the mix, I certainly don’t need them all for me! I know I might get off the sock kick someday, and a surplus now will keep my feet cozy in the future if that does happen.

Another incentive for thinking of others is the fact that nearly everyone else I know has smaller feet than me. Isn’t that great?

Isitt, Linus, & MacOban are doing well. As you can see, they are in desperate need of a new cat bed. Usually they alternate who gets to sleep in it as it really doesn’t fit all three of them very well. Linus and Isitt seem to spend the most time in it with Mac sitting over with me. That’s alright with me since he’s usually the standoffish cat.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Proud to Introduce

The newest member of our family…Isitt Rose.






Yes she is as sweet as she looks.
She is a Cinnamon Silver Patched Tabby Mink: Devon Rex. Which in layman’s terms means she’s cream colored with light brown markings on her face, ears, feet and tail.


The Boyfriend says "she's white with some brown highlights. Also she has an adorability generator located behind her right shoulder."
She’s 5 months old and adjusting very well to life here with the Samurai family.
Mac & Linus have already taught her about Chipmunk patrol.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hey Teach, I'm finished!

Today I finally finished sewing up my Hey Teach. The sweater that took a just under two weeks to knit and just over three weeks to sew up. What can I say, I’m a knitter not a sewer. Yes that’s right, I said sewer, one who sews, passing needle through fabric to form a seam. Not to be confused with a sew-er, one of those things that your toilet empties into.
According to dictionary.com there are 3 definitions for the word sewer…

· Pronounced [soo-er], an artificial conduit, usually underground, for carrying off waste water and refuse, as in a town or city.
· Pronounced [soh-er], a person or thing that sews
· Prononuced [soo-er], a former household officer or head servant in charge of the service of the table.
So if you read previous post and thought of the first soo-er, all I can say is, get your head out of the toilet!

But I digress, the Hey Teach is finished. It looks smashing and feels wonderful. I can’t wait to wear it. The yarn is wonderful and I’d definitely use it again, Crème Brule from Decadent Fibers. The pattern is a breeze. I’m considering knitting another with a different lace pattern on the top half. Hey did you see cute the back of my hair looks? I never see the back so I’m not used to seeing it. Just thought I’d point that out for you.

I also finished my KAL socks last week. I had about 2 yards of the fuchsia color left when I cast off the second sock. I was glad to use up the yarn and more glad to be done with that pattern. After The Communicator helped me memorize the pattern I was so resentful at all the difficulties, i.e. ripping, I had to do before hand that I never liked the pattern. I wouldn’t be opposed to knitting this again but with size 2 needles instead of 0s and a bulkier yarn.

Oh and I ripped back Dad's fingerless mitts to the finger attachment. They were about an inch to big around the hand so I decreased 6 sts and added 10sts of ribbing to the top of hand which creates 3 purl ribs that sort of resemble wolverine's hands. He tried on the mitts this afternoon and bounced his hands around over the table so that the hanging needles would make lots of noise. We all laughed and I'm guessing he'll like them a lot more when they're finished.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knucks for Dad

This past weekend Dad showed me a ratty pair of dark green fingerless mitts. He said nothing. I picked them up and said

“Dad I’m not a sewer. I can’t fix these holes. They are a lost cause.”

Pause and Dad is smiling at me.

“Wait, why don’t I let you tell me what you want.”

To which Dad says, “Can you make me a pair of these?”

I look more closely at the gloves. They are clearly a wool synthetic blend, machine knit on size 0s or 1s, very dense with two holes/tares but no wear to the yarn itself. The ribbing at the wrist is elasticized and the edges of the fingers are rolled because the fabric is stockinet.

I tell him it is possible and then we begin the color debate. He wants black. I hate black. He wants dark green or navy. I don’t have any of these colors in fingering weight yarn.

I advise him that they wont be as tight on his wrist as the originals, he says he don’t mind. He tells me he wants them for inside his regular gloves when he’s in the woods in the winter. I ask when he needs them, he says November. I am willing to take on the challenge but unsure that my hand knit creation will be as nice as the store bought ones he’s had for many years.

I’ve been dying to knit Knucks from Knitty for a while now and this is the perfect time. I remember a skein of army green superwash wool that could be knit on size 2s and will probably be just the thing. A wool nylon blend may be a better choice in terms of wear but it’s not like he’ll be walking on his hands. I hope the fabric wont get a halo from brushing against the other gloves as he wears them. Then I realize that I have a long list of concerns and if they don’t wear well, or they aren’t exactly what he wants, then I can make another pair. After all I am always looking for things to knit. So stop worrying.

The anxiety that comes with knitting for a request is an interesting thing. You would think the more specific the request the easier it is to craft exactly what the recipient wants, but that’s not the case. The more specific the more opportunity to fall short of their vision. If they were shopping in a store, they would try on the item, weigh its merits and choose to buy it or not. When I present the finished item, there is no return. It’s one shot to get it perfect.

But that’s just the neurotic in me creating a false ideal. It never has to be perfect, if they wanted perfect they would’ve bought it. They came to me because they want something the store can’t provide, something unique and hand made with flaws and love. Hopefully more love than flaws.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spring Daffodil Baby Socks

The most recent pattern from Mychawd: The Knitting Samurai is...

Spring Daffodil Baby Socks

I'm not sure how to upload PDFs so there are three ways to get the pattern. Double click on the photo and print that. Or you can send me a comment with your email address and I'll be happy to email you a copy of the pattern. It's also available as a free download on Ravelry.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What I've been listening to and working on

The Boyfriend is on a Sweedish Techno kick. Which means I too am on that kick. This song is called Patrick and the Small Guy. I wonder if it's a Coupling reference? I've been listening to this one almost non-stop all afternoon.

And after a trip up to the Maine Fiber Frolic... I have some wonderful new yarns. String Theory and Dream Sox.

I also got some knitting in on my Lacy Rib Socks and my Van Dyke Socks. Both are from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up book.



Saturday Mum and I hit the cat show with Clearly MzUnderstod Callie. She sure was, imagine our embarrassment when her official color had to be changed from a Brown Patched Tabby and White to a Silver Patched Tabby and White. Are you looking at Callie's picture? Clearly this is not a silver cat by the naked eye. Most people would call her a calico, but because of the lighter colored roots she's considered silver first and for most. Good thing that doesn't apply for human hairs. Callie did well and is now officially a champion although one judge made a point to tell us that she should be a Grand Champion. It was a nice complement.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Introducing the Starling & Perfect for Hand-Dyed Socks Patterns

As you know I’ve been knitting a lot of socks. And the designing bug has bit me. I’ve just finished two new sock patterns.

Starling Sock Pattern
Was inspired as I listened to those talkative birds one morning in early spring. The North American Starling has a reputation as an invasive species of bird that has strong feet, and a gregarious nature. Knit with vibrant stripping yarn this sock, like the Starling will be both strong footed and expressive.
Perfect for Hand-Dyed Socks Pattern
Every sock knitter seems to be unexplainably drawn to those amazingly variegated Hand-Dyed yarns. We can’t seem to get enough of them. But let’s be honest, Hand-Dyed yarns can be difficult to pair with a pattern. Either the complexity of the pattern is lost in the variegation of the colors, or the color pattern spiraling up the leg distracts from the stitch pattern as the eye focuses on the pooling or a zigzagging of colors. This pattern is the perfect solution to that problem. The pattern smoothly transitions from one color to the next, effectively confusing the eye and disrupting any sort of color patterning.
Both Patterns are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop.