So, a few posts back, I mentioned that there was another test knit completed this summer. Silly me, I forgot to tell you all about it!

226/365 - 2009 | lunch time knitting

By mid-summer, I had agreed to test knit a rectangular version of the popular Ulmus Shawl by Kirsten at Through the Loops. She picked the color scheme, and I have to say…I love what she chose for the scarf!

YIP 2009 | 8.23.09

Using 2 skeins of Koigu KPPPM and 2 skeins of Spud and Chloe Fine, I knit the medium size in the pattern, using almost the entirety of each skein.

FO 2009 | Rectangular Ulmus, test knit

I absolutely loved knitting this. It’s easy but keeps you interested, especially with the changing color of the Koigu. The end charts are a delight, and work up so fast. It really is a lovely knit. I had planned on keeping it for myself, afterwards, but even though I love it very much, I found myself not really wearing it. I’m more of a triangular scarf person, then rectangular.

FO 2009 | Rectangular Ulmus, test knit

Lucky for me, I have many enthusiastic friends. I gifted this to my high school best friend, Laura, over Thanksgiving weekend. She loves it as much as I do, and I know it will get a lot of wear out of her.

Now my brother is requesting one, in a palette of blues. Guess I get to knit another one! No complaints here!

The details:
Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm
Yarn: Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) (colorway: p621) & Spud & Chloë Fine (colorway: orange)
Yardage: 2 skeins of Koigu (350 yds) and 2 skeins of Spud & Chloë Fine (496 yds)
Mods: none


Wow. This year is just flying by, isn’t it?

Things have been humming along, here at chez Knitting by Bicycle.

Philadelphia almost closed the libraries and other essential services, in a rather anxious budget mess that was thankfully resolved at the 11th hour.

• Summer came to an abrupt close, ushering in changing leaves and crisper air.

YIP 2009 | 9.14.09

• Philadelphia had its first Naked Bike Ride

YIP 2009 | 9.6.09
[yes, I know this isn’t of naked people OR of bikes, but hey. I respect all those who rode and I don’t want to plaster them on the internet without consent.]

• Kasy’s daughter turned the mighty age of 18. An apple pie was baked in her honor and a Silk kerchief scarf was knit and gifted.

YIP 2009 | 9.25.09

Helen's birthday present

[details on Ravelry. In short, 1 skein of Noro Kureyon Sock + 1 skein of some label-less navy blue merino sock yarn + Kate’s awesome instructions]

• A silly trip to Linvilla Orchards, on our scooter, on a drizzly Saturday, to get some apples and have some fun.

250/365 | Kasy's nightmare

YIP 2009 | 9.27.09

• And the beginning of a month long adventure of socks. My main focus on socks, this month, will be to finally finish my Through the Loops Mystery Socks from 2008 as well as to cast on and complete the Mystery Socks of 2009. Join us, over in the Socktoberfest group and the Fans of Through the Loops group, both on Ravelry.

Oh. And I biked 150 miles for MS this past weekend. And Rhinebeck is very, very, very soon. Gosh, I love this month!

FO 2009 | Honeybee Cardigan

September 16, 2009

This summer I did a little test knitting for a couple of designers I adore. I’ve been waiting to show you, blog readers, my finished test knits until the patterns were released.

Here’s the first, fresh off the press. Laura Chau released her trio collection, Flora and Fauna, Bees Flowers and Leaves, this morning and one of the patterns is the long awaited Honeybee Cardigan.

Test Knitting

When Jesh and I volunteered ourselves to test knit the Honeybee (I mean, how could I not volunteer! I’d been watching Laura’s progress on it and loving it!), we were under instructions to use a “robust” sock yarn. Both of us ended up using Malabrigo Sock, and Laura’s original Honeybee (the pink one in the pattern) uses Socks that Rock mediumweight. Hemming and hawing over colors, I chose Solis. Greens are always a success for me and this green, in particular, is incredible.

207/365 - 2009 | honeybee knitting underway over here

I bought the yarn from eat.sleep.knit. and have nothing but praise for their speed of shipping and all around pleasant experience in purchasing yarn online. Seriously. If you haven’t used them before, do. You won’t be disappointed. Anywhoo, I purchased 4 skeins to be on the safe side and also because I still wasn’t sure if I would knit elbow length or full length sleeves.

Honeybee Cardigan - blocking

I’m not going to lie. I had some trouble figuring out the Honeybee stitch at first, but thankfully Jesh was able to help me out, since Laura was on vacation during that time. Once I had the stitch down, I was flying. The body knits up so quickly, since there isn’t waist shaping. Laura included a fabulous picture tutorial in the pattern to make sure you guys don’t have any problems with the Honeybees, so don’t worry about the lace seeming complicated looking. It is so simple, and you can read the lace in the pattern as you knit, so if you make any mistakes along the way, you’ll see them almost immediately for fixibility.

Honeybee Cardigan

The cardigan also employs the most darling set-in sleeves, which were my first to ever try. I have to applaud Laura, again, on how simple her instructions are to execute and how prim and proper the sleeves fit onto the body.

224/365 - 2009 | Is fall coming?

All in all, this has to be topping the list of best things I’ve ever knit and I am so pleased that Laura let me test knit for her. She is a delight to work with and her designs just keep getting better and better. The cardigan is the perfect transitional weather piece, adding some warmth without feeling like you’re wearing a full cardigan. It knits up pretty fast and the results are stunning.

Honeybee Cardigan

I’m pretty sure I’m making another one of these in the near future. I want a black one, just like Jesh’s!


The details:

Pattern: Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau
check out Laura’s blog for all the accessibility and pricing info!
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Solis (2.58 skeins used)
Needles: size 5 circulars, size 5 dpn (for sleeves) and size 3 for bottom hem (not part of the pattern instructions though)
Buttons are from Rosie’s Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia
ravelry project page

Say that 3 times fast!

A few weeks ago, a little adorable kid decided to have a birthday. This is the same adorable kid that came on the bike tour from Pittsburgh to Leesburg, in the care of his parents. He’s a spectacular little thing…and I don’t usually like kids!

Anyways, his birthday came around and so did the birthday of his best friend, causing a 2 year old birthday brunch celebration to be had out in West Philadelphia. Holy moly, where there a lot of little kiddos there!

Not wanting to arrive empty handed, I whipped up (yes, quite literally since these take just a couple of hours to make) 2 kiwi birds to gift on the birthday kids.

Birthday Birds

Using only stashed yarn (who doesn’t love that) and fabric scraps as stuffing, in a day and a half, these cuties were born.

I first saw the pattern on Ravelry and queued it immediately. I mean, how could you not. Of course, as my queue keeps growing, I tend to cast on for wearable things instead of toys and whimsy that part of me would rather me making.

YIP 2009 | 7.25.09

I didn’t have any real problems with the pattern, except that sometimes working with DPNs on such few stitches can be a bit finicky. I only used size 5 needles, instead of size 7 for the body and size 5 for the beak and legs. I liked the fabric it was making and, for some reason, trying to use the size 7 DPN was too finicky for my liking.

So, one bird for each kid. Matchy enough, but different enough too. Oh. And appropriately labeled.

Birthday Birds

Pattern: Crazy Kiwis by Hannah Kaminsky aka Bittersweet (blog link | ravelry link
Cast on: July 23, 2009
Cast off: July 24, 2009
Needles: Size 5 (3.75mm) DPNs
Yarns: Light blue = Araucania Nature Wool Solids (used less than ~.5 skein)
Teal = Cascade 220 Heathers, colorway 4009 (used less than ~.5 skein)
Yellowy Green (beaks and legs) = KnittyDirtyGirl Worsted in Intergalactic cabbage (used just a wee bit)
Mods: used only size 5 needles. stuffed with scrap fabric. embroidery thread for eyes. used scrap fabric and embroidery thread for name labels on bird tooshies.

See you in 9 days!

May 29, 2009

We’re off biking the the Allegheny Passage and C&O Trail from Pittsburgh to DC and going to Leesburg, VA for le Circque du Cyclisme!

Checking the map

Brendan T. Byrne camp site

Have a lot of knitting with me, including a test knit for Through the Loops and a Madelinetosh Silk Lace Pi shawl. I wonder how big the Pi will be when I get back?

295 | 365 : prep knitting for my bike tour [134/365 - 2009]

Be back on June 7th! Have a great week, everyone!

My high school best friend Laura got married this spring. It was a fantastic wedding and all the pre-wedding and wedding festivities allowed me to get back in touch with some of the best people ever.

At the beginning of 2009, I knew I wanted to make something for Laura to celebrate the big nuptials. Something simple, sturdy, and pretty. Something she would love to wear.

Landscape Shawlette for Laura

Enter, the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark. I originally planned to make the full version, in lace weight, but ran out of time due to school commitments. I stuck with only 3 sections, but knit them until I really had to bind off in order to block it for the bachelorette party. I used Hand Jive’s Nature’s Palette wool/silk laceweight in a dark blue and since I didn’t make the big version, I have an extra skein now! I think I might need to make one for myself. I love triangle scarves, and I loved working with this yarn. And the pattern? Yes. It is a winner.

Landscape Shawlette for Laura

Best wishes to you, Laura, and Joe. I love you guys!

Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Needle: size 4
Yarn: Hand Jive Knits Nature’s Palette Silk and Wool Lace-Weight
Yardage used: .75 skein =491.3 yds
Mods: Only did 3 sections and continued with them until it was the size I wanted.
on ravelry

FO 2009: Felicity Hat

May 15, 2009

Back in March, when I took my thesis research trip to Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, I brought some knitting with me, and promptly finished it (still haven’t blocked it, but when I do I will reveal it). I didn’t have much down time in Pittsburgh, sadly, but I had a lot while in Morgantown, West Virginia. After a couple of posts in the Morgantown Knitters group on Ravelry, learning the great spots to eat in town (Black Bear Burritos) and find yarn (The Needlecraft Barn).

The Needlecraft Barn

I went to a meeting at West Virginia University, and stopped off at this cute little shop on the way back. The front window was filled with fiber in shades of green, for St. Patrick’s Day, and the inside was bursting with amazing needlepointing, embroidery, and knitting/crocheting goods. Lots of great things to look at and consider purchasing. I hemmed and hawed, knowing that I only wanted 1 skein since I have so much yarn in my stash already.

235 | 365 : gggrrrrRAWRrrrrr [76/365 - 2009]

I ended up with a skein on Araucania Nature Wool Solids in a dark, mottled green. Gorgeous color. My first go with this yarn, and I totally loved it. It’s sturdy but not rough. Perfect for a Felicity Hat (the pdf is in the side bar of the Knitology page), which I’ve been meaning to make for a long time.

FO: Felicity Hat

Probably picked the colorway because it reminded me of all the lovely mossy trees I saw on the WVU campus —

Project Spectrum Inspiration for North

Anyways, the hat pattern + the yarn choice = perfect. I had a size 8 circular with me, and about 7 hours later, I had a hat! Easy as pie pattern, written wonderfully. Only changes I made: longer section before the crown decreases, to make it big and slouchy, and a couple of rows of garter along the edge, instead of 1 row of purl, hoping that the edge wouldn’t curl. It still does, but not as much as it would have without the mod, I believe.

253 | 365 : Just another day [95/365 - 2009]

Ended up wearing it for the rest of the cold days in Philadelphia, instead of my Thorpe (not that my love has changed for my Thorpe, of course).

Needle: Size 8 circular
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Solids
Yardage: less than a full skein (approx 200 yds)
Cast on: March 17, 2009
Cast off: March 17, 2009 (took 7 hours from start to weaving in ends)
Mods: longer section before crown decreases; 4 rows of garter stitch on edging
Ravelry Project page