Do you like our owl?

Owlette scarf My Owlette scarf is finished

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and I hope we get a few more cool evenings so I can wear it a couple of times. Wish my camera hadn’t died in Italy last year because it’s really not that convenient to take pictures with an iPad. I spent a lot of time trying out different stitches to find a good starting point for owl feathers and my owlet motif is a heavily edited version of a stitch I found on a Russian website. Now that was fun… deciphering not-so-clear Russian instructions, and of course they use different knitting symbols from either American or Japanese sources. Owlette scarf Playing with color was the most fun part. Holst Garn Supersoft has over a hundred colors and my favorite is probably “truffle”, a grayish brown that goes well with both grays and earth tones. Just great for owls. :) Owlette scarf Front and back, in case you are curious. Owlette scarf I knit two halves and then grafted them in the middle; used a 2.5 mm circular needle and six colors of light fingering wool yarn (Holst Garn Supersoft). By the way, thank you for your comments and welcome backs (can I pluralize that?). I can’t believe you still had me in your feed after all this time. Happy Sunday everyone!


Or finita, as in Italian “scarf” happens to be feminine — la sciarpa. You’ve heard it before; this was the most boring project ever, yet perfect for the long trip from LA to Seattle and back. Ben was driving and I had all the time in the world. As soon as we move to Portland or something, I might even get to wear it.

Wild Apple scarf

La sciarpa è finita.

We are actually considering the possibility of moving to Oregon or Washington and might go back to the area

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for a closer look during colder weather. Who knows… Wild Apple scarf in progress

Fragile Heart – testers needed

Fragile Heart lace scarf

Tanti cuoricini

The heart scarf is done and I love the semi-solid red of Anzula’s Wash my Lace. Much brighter than anything I’ve had in a long time; sometimes you just have to dare beyond gray, my default color these past few years.

I am writing up the pattern and will need testers soon. If any of you are interested, please leave me a note in the comments or email me at dada @ fluffbuff .com. The scarf itself is a decent time commitment (well for me it was, because I knit slowly), but even testing the stitch chart would be very helpful. The stitch is complex and requires some maneuvering (p2tog tbl, lace on both sides, dropped stitches picked up in subsequent rows, short rows).

Fragile Heart lace scarf

Cappuccetto Rosso?

P.S. I’ll revert to a weekly posting schedule soon. I don’t know what’s come over me this past week… I know posting too frequently becomes a bore.

Cuoricini (tiny hearts)

After finalizing my lace stitch,

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I knit a few more swatches to try it in different yarns and eventually cast on with a semi-solid red yarn called Wash My Lace. I am a bit apprehensive about the superwash merino bouncing back after blocking, but I wanted to get started right away to get a lot of knitting done this weekend and this color called to me.

Heart lace swatch

Cuoricini (tiny hearts)

Six repeats so far. I am thinking of making the scarf about 50″ long. Back to the sofa for more knitting.
Heart lace scarf cast on

I cast on last night with Anzula's Wash My Lace (color: One Red Shoe)

Testing Riva

Thanks to the thoughtful feedback I received from my friends (you girls are the best), my pattern is

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now in good enough shape to be tested and I just submitted it to the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry. Fingers crossed that enough knitters like it and can fit it in their testing schedule for the next few weeks; I just need 2–3 testers. I would like to publish the PDF by end of May. I know it won’t be exactly scarf season in many places, but it’s always cold somewhere,

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right? Waves madly at Andrea in Bolivia. Before I posted to the testers group I set up a designer’s page on Ravelry and I may have goofed there because now I think that it might have been better to do that after the pattern had been tested. A bit of eager beaver syndrome here; I wasn’t at my most alert early this morning between getting up too early and then getting distracted by the baby hummingbirds outside my window. The mama hummingbird we had last year came back to her nest — at least we think it’s the same bird — and had two babies who are now growing very fast and starting to run out of space in the nest. I keep looking out because I know they’ll be gone in a few days and I’ll miss them.

Baby hummingbirds outside my window

Baby hummingbirds outside my window

First draft

It worked. I finished my first draft Friday afternoon and sent the PDF to a couple of friends for feedback. In the meantime I have already spotted a major omission: the yarn quantity. How could I have missed that? I wasn’t sure of the amount of yarn I had used and kept putting off the estimate until I forgot and was reminded only when I started reading the rules of the Free Testers group on Ravelry. In addition to the guidelines for posting, they have many useful pages to help designers write their patterns. But really, to leave out the quantities?

Finding faults with everything

Finding faults with everything

Another thing I have to specify when I post to the group to find testers for my scarf is an estimate of the time it takes to complete the project. Clueless again; I wasn’t keeping track while I was knitting and figuring things out at the same time.

While I wait to hear from my friends I am working on refining the layout for legibility and to reduce the number of pages. The one thing I thought I didn’t need to revise were the charts, and then I read this great post about charts (thanks Bethany!) that is making me think of useful tweaks. At some point I’ll have to stop futzing.


When I started writing down the pattern for Riva, the stash-buster scarf, I thought it would take a few days. After all it’s a simple idea; I did not expect it to take too long. But a string of unexpected social engagements, a nasty intestinal bug, some web work from an old client… and here I am two weeks later without a finished pattern. To be honest I did make some progress. In fact I should have a finished first draft tomorrow or Friday and then I will send it off to a couple of friends who will give me honest feedback and, I hope, spot the unavoidable lapses and oversights of the beginner. After that I am thinking of submitting the pattern to the Free Testers group on Ravelry before publication. The only reason I am posting about this is to force myself to keep to a deadline — will the threat of public shame do the trick? Talking about sticking to a plan, I just read a post by Cornflower about how she plans to finish a languishing project by knitting two rounds a day for the next several months. One of her readers commented by offering to sponsor her if she finishes the project (a scarf) by an earlier date, and I thought what a great concept: sponsorship to beat procrastination. Maybe I can convince Ben to take me out to dinner if I finish this tomorrow. Are you reading this, Ben? It might also help to talk about the reasons I am having a hard time getting this pattern out the door. It’s a first. I have to figure out everything for the first time: what to include, what to leave out, how to structure it, how to phrase things, design the layout, get better photographs, chart the

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stitch patterns, make the software do what I want it to, and so on. Even though I worked as a web designer for many years, I’ve never really used Illustrator much and even less InDesign. Most of what I did was in Photoshop and code, so this is new territory and I have to figure out the what and the how at the same time. So I keep finding faults with everything I do: the color doesn’t print out right, the instructions are too verbose, no one will want to do multiple cast-ons (I must be out of my mind!), the design sucks. I shouldn’t be blogging. Back to my layout. Oh, wait, no photos? I can’t bear to post without pictures (what does that say about me?) There. Just to show you that not everybody in this household is a stress ball.

Kelvin and the birds


Pipie and the birds


A man and his scarf

A man and his scarf

Do I really need to wear this?

Riva (Italian for shore, because of the gentle waves in the patterned sections) is finished, and Ben was good enough to model for the camera. This is a good stash buster project that can be knit from small quantities of yarn in different colors, although in my case the yarn wasn’t left over from other projects and I was just playing around with my beloved Holst Garn Supersoft.
Riva wants to roll

Even after blocking, Riva wants to roll.

The edges roll more than I intended so if I were to knit this again, I would keep both outer segments short.
Ben being a good sport for the camera

Ben being a good sport for the camera

I do like how it turned out. Maybe Ben will even wear it for real next winter. :)
The green groove

The green groove

Front and back

Front and back

A peek at the wrong side.
Riva, the stash buster scarf

I can picture this in so many color variations.

Ready to be put away until next year, or until we move somewhere

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