Mystery House

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Tales of Yarn category.

Two New Designs



All photos courtesy of Knitcircus

They’re both in the Summer issue of Knitcircus!  Which just went live on Saturday!  And Café is even a free download!  You’ll check it out, won’t you?  I do hope that you will.



The scarf is now in the hands of its new owner, and I am thinking that I really need to make one for myself.  In black.  For some reason, I don’t seem to have a black scarf, at least not a knitted one.

A Knitted Gift, Not Yet Blocked

The design is Knitspot’s La Novia, in the very soft and smooshy Misti Cotton.  I love that pale pink; I wish I could wear it and I hope the recipient likes it as much as I do.  This is a nice, quick pattern to knit, although I do recommend very pointy needles to make the P2tog TBL easier.  I’m going to block this and give it away this weekend!

It’s Done!

I just love starting Monday with an FO, particularly one that I’ve been itching to finish.  After having to rip back and reknit the sleeves post-blocking because I didn’t like the length, my Circumnavigated Cardigan is done.  Not done as in sitting in my finishing basket.  Done done.  Ends woven in, buttons sewn on.  Done as in I can wear it this week.

I know I’ve said it ‘leventy-squillion times, but I love this pattern.  It’s genius.  No seams, and it’s made precisely to your measurements, so it fits no matter what size you are.  If you haven’t knit this one, you definitely should.

It’s possible to modify this pattern in many different ways, but for this first one I followed it exactly so that I could see how it worked.  I may make one without pockets next time, or with a different style of cuff, and I’ll probably put in some waist shaping.  Who knows?  The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to make another one as soon as I can.  (This statement is probably making the M.E. very worried, since he has asked for a pullover.  Fear not, my Sweetie, your sweater is next!)

Sewing on the buttons really made my day yesterday.  It was that final sprint to the end, which always feels great, plus I adore these buttons.

I found them at an antique show.  (There’s a closeup in this post.)  Just as I was saying to the M.E., I need buttons for my sweater and I have no idea what I want, I turned around and saw these.  I immediately snatched them up and bought them, and it turned out to be one of those all-too-rare times when the buttons actually turned out to work perfectly when they encountered the sweater.

Happy sigh.  All is well at the Mystery House, and I have a new sweater.

A Valentine’s Day Visit to the Stash

Valentine’s Day seemed the perfect time to visit my stash, to remind myself how much I love my yarn and to remind my yarn that I love it.

In other words, my some of my bins were so full I could barely close them, and they needed sorting out.  I was beginning to fear that I didn’t have room for any more yarn, and that simply would not do.  So I hauled it all out of the closet.

Skeins were all over the place, yarn enough for sweaters tossed willy-nilly into different bins so that I couldn’t really tell how much I had of what.

There were quite a few of these situations:

I detangled all but one of them.  Must leave some fun for another day!

Now, a supremely organized friend of mine is going to be shocked to learn that not only did I sort out my stash, I actually organized it.  Well, my kind of organizing, anyway.  There are no spreadsheets or numbering systems, no labels on the bins, and I have no idea how many skeins I have.  But look!

Sock yarn, all in one bin:

Lace yarn, all in one bin:

Bulky stuff and onesie-twosie skeins for scarves and design projects:

Sweater yarn:

More sweater yarn:

Plus there are bins for partially used skeins, odd things that don’t fit anywhere else, and a whopping tower of yarn which could technically be termed vintage, since much of it dates back to the early 80’s.

The best part?  The very, very best part?  Even better than finding forgotten treasures?  After rearranging, condensing, making better use of the space and designating one pile of what-was-I-thinking novelty yarn for deaccessioning, I discovered that there is room for more little yarny friends.  (Don’t tell the M.E.)

I gave all my lovely yarn a pat and tucked it safely away in the closet.  The bins closed.  The closet doors closed.  I imagined new projects to be made with the treasures I found.  All is well, and I must say that this was a very good Valentine’s Day.

Bad Photos of New Little Projects

I’m using the method in Knitting Lace Triangles and some Frog Tree fingering to make a shoulder shawl.

The Storm Cloud Shawlette, with Malabrigo sock yarn.  Very soon, an FO!  It’s even a big one!

Long, Long Ago…

Things seem to happen slowly sometimes, but then you look up and realize everything’s actually gone very quickly.  Like the way a snake appears to move not at all as it sneaks up on its prey, and then strikes so fast you aren’t sure you truly saw it.  That’s what happened to me.  I didn’t intend to do this.  Never, never intended it.

But here I am with a new master, one whose superior teaching lured me from what I knew, from what I always thought was right.  “Hello,” she said.  “I am Darth Hook.  I think we’ll enjoy getting to know each other.” And I was lost.  I’m on the Dark Side now.

Oh, I haven’t lost my Jedi knitting skills.  I use them every single day, faithfully.  But this — I’m doing this, too.  There was just one at first.  One innocent, small thing.

I did it just to see what it would feel like.  What harm could there be in that?  But then I made another.  You know, to try a different yarn.  And, I admit, to see if I could improve my skills.  Learn the pattern.  Come to terms with using a hook instead of two needles.

Well, it’s mortifying to admit my weakness, but I couldn’t stop.  It was one after the other, deep purple stars clinging to each other.  Curled like dead, drying spiders.

Darth Hook smiled her inscrutable smile when she saw them, and said, “You’re learning well.  And there is much more.  Come with me, and I’ll show you.  There are even books.”

What could I do?  I mean, there are books here, and yarn, and what everyone says is true.

My purple stars go off into infinity now, and I fear for what the future will bring.  You see, the hook is beginning to feel more natural in my hand.  I’ve memorized the pattern.  And I knew, definitively, I had crossed a threshold from which there would be no return when I made the purchase of a book of stitches.  My master says it won’t be long before I learn them.  And then what?

Diary entry of Darth Mysterious, formerly known as Bunnington Skywalker

It’s Up!

The spring Knitcircus is up!  Just click on the tiny magazine (the one that’s flipping its pages to show off for you) to access it.   Once it’s up on your screen, you can download a PDF of the issue by clicking on the button at the very bottom, in the righthand corner.

Of course, I do hope that you’ll check out my contributions:  the interview with Lily Chin, and the Bebop scarf.  Come back here and let me know what you think, and thanks for reading!

An Announcement (and Some Knitting)

Wednesday!  Wednesday!  Wednesday!  Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday.  Do stop by on Wednesday.  The 27th.  The day right smack in the middle of the week.  I’ll be chatting with the Editor-in-Chief of Knitcircus, and she’s got all kinds of news to share with you.

Some of you may know that I’ve been writing for Knitcircus, and that I have them to thank for my first published pattern.  The next issue, which appears on February 1st, will be particularly exciting for me, because it includes an interview I did with Lily Chin (which you really won’t want to miss!), and another pattern.  By me.  That’s a lot of me me me, but somehow they’re able to stand it.  Well, women who have the fortitude to launch a print magazine, make it successful and then take it online are obviously quite strong, and can probably put up with a lot.  You’ll have a chance to read more about how all that happened if you stop back here on Wednesday.

And now, the knitting.  I did take a blogging break over the holidays, but not a knitting break.  There’s been lots and lots of knitting going on at Chez Mystery.  Here’s the first FO of the year:

I don’t remember exactly what date I finished it, because I don’t keep track of stuff like that.  But I’ve been wearing it for a couple of weeks already.  This is the pattern (I added the button and icord tie).  The yarn is Malabrigo worsted; the button is vintage.

This cardigan is almost done, at last:

The pattern has been nothing but trouble, but I refuse to be defeated by bad proofreading and inconsistent instructions.  (It’s described as “very challenging,” but the only reason for that is because it’s so poorly written.  I won’t bother listing the multitude of mistakes in this pattern, but here’s one example:  The instructions say to cast on 16 stitches for one of the button bands, and then provide an 11-stitch chart.  Nice.)  I’m currently sewing on the bands.  Then I’ll graft them together at the back of the neck, start sewing up the sleeves and hope nothing else is wonky.  I think I’m going to like wearing it much better than I like knitting it.  Even if I only sort of like wearing it, that will be an improvement.

Here’s a cardigan that’s going much better.  Well written pattern.  Bonus points to designer Medrith Glover for thinking this out so completely and writing clear directions.

All I have to do is finish the cuff, weave a few ends, block and sew on buttons.  There is no seaming.  None.  She’s a genius.  I absolutely love this pattern, and I’m planning to make at least two more.  It’s a perfect, basic cardi, it goes fast, and it’s ten tons of fun to knit.

Just started another cardigan.  This one’s for the class I’m teaching (which is called, of course, “Cardigans”).  Because a girl just can’t have too many cardigans.  So far, so good:

It’s a top-down raglan.  I’m liking this method of construction very much.  Check out the pattern.  I’m not sure why more people haven’t knit this one.  It’s nicely designed, and flattering to lots of different shapes and sizes.  The yarn is Galway worsted.  Very nice.  First time using it.  Quite happy so far.  Tons of yardage for the money, and the quality is good.

Oh dear.  I’m in a color rut, aren’t I?  There are quite a few projects going that I didn’t photograph today (enough is enough).  Let’s see if I’m doing any better there:  Another cardigan, variegated turquoise and tan.  Lace shawl, camel.  Lace shawl, gold.  Lace shawl, black.  Scarf, black.  Lace scarf, blue…hmm.  Anyone else in a color rut?

Reclamation Project

It’s the New Year.  Happy New Year! I suppose I should be knitting something out of brand new yarn.  Instead, here I am picking apart an old, partially-knit sweater so that I can use the yarn for something else.

It’s actually kind of exciting.  I love making new, happy things out of old, not-working things.  Yes, I’m a geek.  But I’m a geek with some very pretty old/new yarn.

What are you knitting?