The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stack O' Squares

The granny square factory is still in operation here at Chez Insanity. I sent off 12 today to our seamer extraordinaire, Pam, who lives in Louisiana. I have another 18 to send off on Monday when I get a bigger envelope.

Please ignore the random tails here and there; Pam requested that a 3" to 4" tail be left on all squares and hey, that's fine with me. Thirteen of these squares are wool and five are ickrylic. Apparently ickrylic is the fiber (can you even call ickrylic a "fiber"?) of choice. Allergies and washing concerns ya know. Of course I'd already crocheted 25 squares before reading THAT part of the forum but I am assured that all my hard work has not gone for naught. So the wool has gone back in the bin and out comes the ...

Bernat Satin! I developed a love affair with this yarn almost three years ago when I went home to Canada one Christmas. Since I'd never seen it in the States, I sorta stocked up. Then the siren call of the sheep lured me away. Now it's back to the ickrylic and in my humble little opinion, if you're gonna go man made this is the best of the lot. It's similar to Simply Soft with it's slight sheen but it's got a tighter twist than SS and it just feels as though it's better quality. And of course, now you can get it anywhere. Including online at Joann's where it's on sale for $1.87 a skein. A 100 gram skein even.

And finally ... since I do such a spectacular job of updating this blog, I had to start another one. It's more of an online diary than anything else. About movies. No knitting. No crochet. No cats. Just my obsession with movies. If you like movies, you might wanna check it out. Yes, I know, I need to go back to work.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Bribe

Let's look at some statistics on this Day Before Thanksgiving, shall we? I promise I'll try very hard not to bore you and at the end is a bribe that might make wading through all this worthwhile. Pinky swear promise.

One reservation - the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to be precise.

1) Home to over 40,000 Oglala Sioux Native Indians
2) The average life expectancy of a male living on the reservation is 47 years.
3) The infant mortality rate is 5 times the national average.
4) The unemployment rate is approximately 80%.
5) The average income ranges between $2,600 and $3,500 per year.

One granny square -

1) Approximately 35 yards of worsted weight yarn.
2) 5 rounds of crochet.
3) 30 minutes to make.
4) 42 cents to mail.

One group on Ravelry -

1) Afghan Squares For Pine Ridge Reservation
2) 78 members
3) Founded November 2008

One bribe -

1) Click 1 button to join our group by midnight PST, November 30th.
2) Be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to either Webs or, whichever you prefer.

Please note - you DO NOT need to make a square to be entered in this contest. Of course, it would be wonderful if you could but what I really want is for people to be aware. Aware that this travesty is going on in the richest country in the world. Aware that elderly people are dying of hypothermia in their own homes. That people are still using wood stoves to heat their homes. That this is happening now, on the Day Before Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Just in time for Christmas, easy peasy fingerless mitts for guys. If you would prefer a PDF copy e-mailed to you just let me know. Please do not hesitate to contact me at with questions or corrections. Have fun.


Materials – 1 skein Brown Sheep Lanaloft (Aran weight yarn, 160 yards)
Needles – 4 - U.S. 7 / 4.5 mm double pointed needles, 1 - U.S. 8 / 5.0 mm double pointed needle (for binding off)
Gauge – 4.5 stitches over 1 inch in stockinette stitch
Size – fits up to a 9” hand (not including thumb)
Pattern notes – These mitts were designed with guys in mind and were inspired by the Maine Morning Mitts. However, the rib pattern is different and the thumb is different. But credit where credit is due, eh?

PM – place marker
SM – slip marker
M1 – make one stitch. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s backward loop, has a number of suitable ways to increase by one stitch.


Using the long tail cast on, cast on 40 stitches and divide over 3 needles as follows: Needle 1 – 12 stitches, Needle 2 – 16 stitches, Needle 3 – 12 stitches. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist. Work K2, P2 rib for 32 rows (I prefer my fingerless mitts to be a little on the long side) or desired length.

Being working thumb gusset as follows:

R33 – (K2, P2) 5 times, pm, M1, pm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R34 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R35 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, M1, K1, M1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R36 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K3, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R37 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, M1, K3, M1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R38 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K5, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R39 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, M1, K5, M1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R40 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K7, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R41 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, M1, K7, M1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R42 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K9, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R43 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, M1, K9, M1, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R44 - (K2, P2) 5 times, sm, K11, sm, (K2, P2) 5 times
R45 - (K2, P2) 5 times, remove first marker, bind off 11 stitches, remove second marker, (K2, P2) 5 times
R46 – (K2, P2) to end. Note that when you come to the first stitch after the bound off stitches it’s a good idea to give that stitch a little extra tug after you’ve knitted it to tighten up the thumb gusset.

Continue knitting in K2, P2 for 6 more rows. This will end the mitts at the base of the fingers. If you prefer longer mitts, knit a few more rows of K2, P2.

Bind off loosely using a U.S. 8 / 5.0 mm needle. This gives the mitts a nice little flare at the end, and who couldn’t use a little more flair?

Cast off and weave in ends. Repeat for second mitt.

Copyright © 2008 Toque Du Jour Designs. This material may not be reprinted without the permission of the author; this pattern may not be used to produce items for commercial purpose.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Houston ...

... we're gonna need another cat bed.

Or at the very least ...

... a bigger one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From Far Away ...

... and without my glasses on, it doesn't look so bad. Yes, I know it looks like an oversized hat for a hot dog stand employee, but when one is stash busting, one takes what one can find. Not to mention that it only took a few days to make, although it did take 3 spins through the ol' washing machine.

I don't know whether that was because it was crocheted or because we have crappy washing machines in my apartment complex. I'm thinking the latter. I used up all my Cascade 220 for this magnificent example of kitty bed making. Now it's time to put on your sunglasses.

Yeah ... wowsers. Colors rarely seen outside the Red Heart palette. That yellow is something else. I actually had to go out and buy one last skein to make it big enough and by that point nothing was gonna fix this so I went with rust. Of course, I could just say, "It's crochet, it's SUPPOSED to be ugly." But that would be rude and uncalled for. And besides, I've already started a second one that is significantly prettier. Unfortunately it's for a friend and not for me.

Luckily DeeDee has already given the Hot Dog Bed her feline stamp of approval; she slept in it between the 2nd and 3rd felting. While I was trying to decide if it needed another spin. While it was wet. Ick.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


The No Purl Monkeys are done, blocked, and on display at Green Planet Yarn in Campbell. I didn't personally block them; Beth the store owner did. We all know how I feel about blocking. This is such a great adaptation of Cookie A's Monkey pattern. And I was really pleased with the Araucania yarn as well.

I think it's very similar to Colinette Jitterbug without the horrible pooling you can sometimes get with Jitterbug. It's also significantly less expensive. What's not to love?

Some people who read this blog may be under the impression that only one kitty lives at Chez Insanity. This is not true.

Here is DeeDee, living large (pun fully intended) in the sunshine on Saturday. DeeDee's not quite the character that Andy is. She takes mellowness to a whole new level. If someone comes to visit she assumes they've come to see her, regardless of whether she's met them before. A strange cat walks in the apartment? Yeah, whatever. All DeeDee really wants out of life is a continuous supply of Fancy Feast, a warm lap to sit in and someone to pet her constantly.

No, I'm not crocheting a giant bullseye. This is intended to be a snuggly bed for Andy. It's kind of the crochet version of Wendy Knit's "Kitty Pi." I started it last night and I hope to get it finished tonight. Say what you will about crochet, it's amazingly fast. I took it to the store today to work on and some people seemed to be under the impression that the yellow was a little too ... shall we say, bright? However, in my defense I must say that I had two very good reasons for choosing that particular yarn. First of all, this is a stash busting project and it was the only other color of Cascade 220 I had. And secondly, I'm hoping the siren call of this yarn might help to keep a certain someone awake for more than 30 minutes a day.