by Judy @ 12:04 PM

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo

Please note: If you found your way here via Google, Ravelry, or other search engine, I appreciate you kind comments. I am not, however, affiliated with Knit Picks. I don’t know where the pattern is available. I will not copy the pattern or charts for your use, nor is my copy of the pattern for sale. Emails that ask me to violate copyright, ask me to sell the pattern, or ask for sourcing info will be deleted without response. Please contact Knit Picks to request information regarding the pattern, the kit, or the designer.

This is the Andean Chullo Hat Kit from Knit Picks.

It became the first finished object of 2009 because I was up until the wee hours weaving in little ends that I stupidly did not weave in as I went. And there were a @%#! bunch of them, gentle reader. After sleeping for a few hours, the hat got a very quick steam-block, which fortunately turned out to be all it needed. I sewed the tassels on in between dinner preparations and such. It was finished, photoed and wrapped about an hour before #1 Son showed up for dinner. Whew.

#1 Son’s take: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Mom! you are really rockin’ this knitting stuff! This is the best hat ever, and it fits perfectly. Look at the little alpacas on the earflaps! Too cute! My friends are going to be so jealous. They couldn’t believe all the kitted stuff from you that I wore when it was cold and snowy. [ed. that warms the cockles of my heart! what more could a mom want to hear?] So you had to finish this and is that the reason I couldn’t come up on Christmas? [ed. No! that wasn’t it at all!] Haha… Oh, yeah… there was this snow thing, huh.

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo closeup

Here’s a closeup of the main body of the hat. I’m using this picture as my iPhone wallpaper now. 😉

The Particulars:

  • Pattern: Knit Picks Andean Chullo Hat Kit
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Pallette included in the kit – 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, 231 yds/50 gr per ball – portions of 9 colorways: Sweet Potato, White, Bark, Semolina, Pimento, Blue, Clover, Masala and Pool. There’s plenty left over for another hat, or two, or three.
  • Modifications: none. Really. The pattern is a choose your own adventure. You pick one of two earflap charts, four of six pattern band charts, and one of two different hat top charts. Colors are suggested but not dictated and I did change one or two.

Andean Chullo inside
Andean Chullo inside

And for those of you just dying to see the inside (you know who you are), here you go.

I’m a two-handed fair-isle knitter — that is I hold one color in my left hand and pick it, and the other color in my right and throw it. Philosopher’s Wool has a wonderful video that shows this technique. Their technique recommends not having floats longer than two stitches. On this hat I have floats up to 5 stitches. Do watch their video if you have not done so before. Their weaving stitches are very cool.

I will probably knit another of these hats and be a bit more adventurous with the colors. The kit came with enough yarn to knit several.

modeling the goods
modeling the goods

Happy #1 Son with his hat and mittens. 😀 He wore the hat for a goodly portion of the time he was here, so I think it was very successful.

Food |Furry Friends |Knitting by Judy @ 10:36 AM

OFFF-goers enjoying the day
OFFF-goers enjoying the day

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival is the highlight of my fiber year. Fiber fanatics, fibery animals (really cute ones!), enough vendors to warm a fiberista’s heart, fleece judging, spinning contests, lamb BBQ (yes, I will pet my lamb and eat it, too). What more could you ask for?

The weather was perfect: sunny and upper 70’s (F). There was a hint of crispness in the breeze – just enough to remind us all that this is fall, after all, but not so much to make us forget why Oregonians live for September. (shhhh… it’s our state secret)

You can see that there were many people who agreed with me! On Saturday, there was a big crowd – larger than I ever remember. On Sunday it was a bit quieter, but there were still many people come to enjoy the day and the animals and all of the fibery goodness.

those crazy PDX Knit Bloggers
those crazy PDX Knit Bloggers

The PDX Knit Bloggers represented in style! We set up our tent under a handy tree on the main lawn. Several of us brought spinning wheels – not I, as I am not a spinner. We were prepared to demo and/or help with almost any fiber art that you can imagine. A lot of people stopped by to ask questions, look at the wheels, and find out what we were all about. A couple of us had a few things for sale, and Bobbie’s DH Tool Man brought some of the gorgeous shawl pins he’s been making. (confidential to Tool Man: open an Etsy shop!)

Not being a spinner, I wasn’t asked to demo many things. But I did teach Cindy how to use a nostepinne, and Monica (that’s the famous MonicaPDX) how to do Judy’s Magic Cast-On.

Notorious Sock Knitters represented
Notorious Sock Knitters represented

The Notorious Sock Knitters from the Blue Moon Rockin’ Sock Club were there in force to bring sock knitting to everyone. I sat over in the PDXKB tent and knit the socks currently on my needles, which I will be telling you about in a future blog post (I promise). The NSK look like they were having tons of fun, too.

aLittleRedHen modeling her Condom Amulet Hat
aLittleRedHen modeling her Condom Amulet Hat

aLittleRedHen introduced herself to us. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Condom Amulet pattern an project? It’s been quite popular on Ravelry? (Find it here on Ravelry and on its own site otherwise.) (And if you are not on Ravelry, why aren’t you?)

The goal of the Condom Amulet Project is to encourage knitters to use leftover yarn to knit condom amulets and spread the word that HIV/AIDS and STDs do not have an age boundary and women over 50 are as vulnerable as any other group.

Tina with Henri the barn boy
Tina with Kevin Henri the barn boy

Here is Tina with her new bunny Kevin Henri the barn boy. (When I met him, he was a Kevin, but I understand he is now a Henri. Stay tuned for further developments).

Tina was not the only one to go home with a new friend. Deb brought home four bunnies!

I think I’d like a couple of fuzzy bunnies to use for bed warmers during those cold winter nights. But Moo Cow and Captain Kidd might object.


I got to watch sheep shearing. I always find it fascinating how the sheep don’t move and the clippers just whiz everywhere and all of a sudden there’s a naked sheep and a pile of fleece.

fiber on the hoof
fiber on the hoof

Look at all that lovely fiber! I always want to give these guys a big hug, and then run my toes through their fleece.

Rasta fiber
Rasta fiber

Every year I find someone who looks like they’re wearing dreads. Here’s the 2008 rasta-fiber shot.


And here is the obligatory babies that are so cute you could just die from it shot. Awwwww… they were seriously cute.

my favorite baby with his mom
my favorite baby with his mom

This was my favorite baby, though. Look how his ears and nose are all speckled and he has that big white spot on his forehead. Isn’t that just too cute? Jennifer from Tucson (who I believe may be, sadly, blogless) and I were ooo-ing and awww-ing over him, so his mom was nice enough to bring him out and let us pet him. What a sweetie!


Fuzzy alpacas. I always make #1 Son’s gloves from alpaca — it’s so warm and soft.


Isn’t this the most gorgeous llama you’ve ever seen? I can’t believe how white it was. There were some other pretty darn good looking llama there, too. The llamas all shared the second barn, so it took me awhile to find them.

hello there
hello there

Some animals wanted to get up close and personal with visitors. This one was very friendly and curious about me and my camera and just what the heck was I doing, anyway?

I love making new friends.

swag from OFFF
swag from OFFF

When shopping, I looked mostly for items that I can’t get any other way. I was particularly on the lookout for unusual or pretty locally-made nostepinnes, because I’ve decided a girl just can’t have too many. I didn’t want to buy very much yarn, and I mostly restrained myself, except for a few carefully chosen exceptions. The only impulse buys were a sock monkey kit from Blue Moon (yes, I finally caved), and a magnetic tapestry needle holder made from Carob from Crown Mountain Farms, because I can’t pass Klaus’ booth without buying something. I didn’t get a picture of the latter.

My swag:
On the right is the Blue Moon Sock Monkey kit.
Top to bottom on the left: Blue Moon Silkie Socks That Rock in Knitters Without Borders. (Not available on their web site.)
A Blue Moon STR Light Rare Gems. It’s in PI green-and-blue, and threw itself off the rack at me, demanding to be brought home. What was I to do? (Like all Rare Gems, this is available only at shows.)
Tactile Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Tencel in Golden Olive. I love Brooke & Maia and all their natural dyed, fibery goodness. I could order from their web site, but in person I get to chat and squoosh fiber.
Three nostepinnes: the top one is cherry and purpleheart and was made by Carl Herndon. It’s shorter and narrower than my others and is suitable for laceweight or lighter fingering weight yarns. The other two were made by B J Verts. The middle one is myrtlewood and the bottom one is walnut. Note the carved ring around the base of the walnut handle. What’s this for? I asked, thinking I might learn some new nostepinne secret. The answer: It rattles so everyone knows you’re working. Of course I had to have it, don’t you agree? Because I bought two nostepinnes from B J Vert, I received his cookbook — Buttered-Side Down, A Cookbook For The Emancipated Male as a gift. I don’t really qualify as an emancipated male, but I do like cookbooks. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet, but they look tasty.
Below the nosties are four stone buttons from Jason Jakubos of Rock And Wool. They don’t have an online or Etsy shop yet, but from the number of people I heard ask them to set one up as soon as possible, I’m guessing it won’t be long!

If there’s any chance you can join us next year, please do! Bring your wheel or your sticks and just sit a spell and chat. Or watch the animals. Or shop ’til you drop. It’s all good.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 2:57 PM

Tinker Toy swift
Tinker Toy swift

Yes, gentle reader, I’ve finally decided to join the rest of the… what? 12th century or so?… by actually acquiring one of those newfangled gadgets: a swift.

I found the link to this on Ravelry. But here is a direct link to Crafting Jen, who, I’m sure you will agree, is also very crafty.

Yes, that’s right, it’s made from Tinker Toys. Who wouldn’t see such a lovely toy tool and instantly want one? And there’s a toy tool store just right down the street. Isn’t that convenient? Because for some unknown reason, #1 Son, although the proud possessor of blocks and Leggos and Lincoln Logs, apparently never had Tinker Toys. At least I can’t recall that he did. But the Classic Jumbo Set is readily available at the toy tool store and comes with more parts than you can shake a tinker toy stick at.

It only took about 10 minutes of playing with my toys serious building to come up with a working swift. Mine is constructed a bit differently from Jen’s. I wanted mine to sit a little higher so that it’s at the right angle to turn well when sitting on my footstool. It’s very stable and turns very well. The beauty of using Tinker Toys this particular construction method is that it’s really easy to rebuild in any configuration should I want it higher or lower, or the arms longer or shorter or extended to keep a puffy skein from falling off.

It’s small and light enough to go anywhere — like up on a high shelf where Moo Cow can’t get her paws (and teeth) on the yarn. And, when I’m finished with it, I can take it apart and put the pieces back in their can, and they’ll be there the next time I need to wind some yarn.

That, by the way, is Blue Moon Silk Thread in Thraven. It takes awhile to wind 1,250 yards of yarn, so portability is a real asset. Especially since I’m going to have to wind two skeins before I can start what I want to do with this yarn.

Speaking of Moo, she ate her breakfast this morning and it has not come back up. She also seems a lot more like her normal self. I have hope that this means either that she is able to somehow digest silk leaves from my fake tree, or she managed to get rid of all of them. She is very interested in the silk that is on the swift. We had words.

And speaking of #1 Son, he was too ill yesterday to go to work and had to have a special excuse from the doctor. But when I called to see how he was doing, he was in Eugene. So apparently he was not too sick to drive 100 miles with his friends. Parenting continues to be an interesting exercise in futility experience.

Knitting by Judy @ 1:10 PM

Rockin Girl Blogger
Rockin Girl Blogger

Yesterday I learned that Maia of Maia Spins has tagged me as a Rockin’ Girl Blogger.

I’m really flattered, because I love Maia’s blog. She spins and knits and knits to spin and we get to see it all – plus lovelies and goodies from the garden and maybe a furry friend and a bit of real life tossed in for good measure. Her sock design tutorials make me wish I had a design process even remotely as well thought out and put-together. I always want to just sit down with Maia over a cuppa java and pick her brain.

And I know that I’m now supposed to pick five other rockin’ girl bloggers. And I’m going to totally wimp out on that. Because how can I possibly pick only 5 (or 7 or 10 or 50) out of all of the wonderful blogs that I read every day? I’m terrible at making that kind of decision. I often can’t even choose between yarns (thus my stash size)!

So… my head is bloody, but unbowed. Since Maia’s reward to me came at the end of such a sucky week (my previous post only scratched the surface), I think I will reserve my 5 picks and bestow them at times when a rockin’ girl is having a not-very-fun time of it and maybe needs a bit of a boost. So stay tuned.

Not much knitting this week, due to previously mentioned suck-ness. I finished one repeat on the dragon skin, snake scale, whatever-they-want-to-be-named socks. And I’m ready to start knitting away on the fish part of the Great Green Glob. Progress is being made in tiny increments.

There’s an interesting discussion on Ravelry (get in line for an invitation if you haven’t already!) right now about use of the term Muggles to refer to non-knitters. There are those who don’t see any harm in it, and others who find it offensive and demeaning.

I’ve use the term a time or two, in what I hope came across as a rather fond way. There are people to understand the love of fiber and there are people who just don’t. I don’t think that makes me better or them less, it’s just a different point of view. There are many people who think whacking away at tiny little balls with big sticks while strolling around on a very big lawn is just the best thing since sliced bread. I, however, do not see the attraction. Before I get a lot of nasty emails from golfers, I say if that’s your passion, go for it. Just don’t ask me to whack along with you. Would I be offended if a group of golfers referred to non-golfers as muggles. I don’t think so. I’m pretty secure in my non-golf-ness. I’m also pretty certain that if I picked up golf equipment and asked for a little help (not going to really happen, OK?), my former non-golfing status would be quickly forgotten and I’d be right in with the golfing crowd (except maybe the exclusive clubs, but I digress).

As humans, we have a tendency to split the world up into me and not-me, like-me and not-like-me. So… knitter and… what? Non-knitter? Person-who-doesn’t-get-knitting? Person-who-doesn’t-like-fiber? Non-fiber-enthusiast? Non-pointy-stick-wielder? Muggle? We will always find some term refer to other. That’s not to say that knitters as a whole are not an inclusive group. If a person-who-doesn’t-knit picked up pointy sticks and some string, most knitters would be happy to help them learn. I see this happen all the time in the LYS.

Some people also object to the label muggle simply because it originated in the Harry Potter books as a term for people who don’t do magic and don’t even realize magic exists.

What do you think, gentle reader? How do you refer to not-like-me?

not so globby, but still green

Last weekend wasn’t all Harry Potter. I did take a little time out now and again to work on the Great Green Glob. I finished the pine trees and the sand dollars. Next up is the water. Then bubbles. Then fish. Then one border. Then another one. Then some I-cord. And it keeps on getting bigger and bigger.

Some of it looks a little wonky in the picture. In person, the seagulls are flying straight and the trees line up and the sand dollars are round. I didn’t do that great a job pinning it out for this picture. I really need blocking wires to keep it straight. But, it’s really not nearly as wonky as it looks.

Since birth, the Great Green Glob has lived on a variety of needles. It’s currently on an Addi Lace needle. I really, really, really love those needles. I can’t imagine a better needle for lace — and that include the Knitpicks needle that the Great Green Glob was on previously.

Knitting bouts were but brief interludes. UPS (do those guys have great legs, or what?) delivered my preordered copy of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows at about 11:00 AM on Saturday.

In grade school I used to drive my reading teachers nuts. My reading habits used to drive my Mama nuts, for that matter. As I child, I always had my nose stuck in a book, no matter what else I might be doing at the time. But… confessions, now… I rarely read a book from front to back. I read them back to front. I read them front, then back, then middle. I start randomly in the middle and read towards both ends at the same time. I skip around. If the author skips from character to character, letting one rest for several chapters, I will skip ahead to find out what happens to that character and then go back to catch up to the others.

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

So… I will admit it. I read the last part first because I didn’t want to wade through 750 pages to find out. Then I started back at the beginning, with a resolve to read it cover to cover, no cheating. And I kept my resolve.

Risking being branded a heretic, I will say that I think the beginning was a bit of a slog. But somewhere around the middle, the action picks up considerably. I don’t think that knowing parts of the ending made the middle part any less exciting. I was turning pages quickly and reading fast and I couldn’t wait to get to the next part. The last 1/2 of the book was definitely a good read.

I will not give anything away here, never fear. If you want to start at the end of the book… you’re on your own. I found the ending satisfying. For one who cut her teeth on fantasy, it wasn’t all that surprising (again, this does not imply I don’t think it was a fun read). But it was satisfying. Ends were tied up, questions were answered, etc. I give it star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar-half.gif

Now… on to other things.

What do you think you would get, gentle reader, if you crossed Yahoo Groups, My Space and Widipedia, then added yarn? Well, I’m not sure exactly either, but I’m betting it would look a whole lot like Ravelry. I know you’ve probably heard enough about this already. But, no matter if you don’t plan on organizing yourself, this is a terrific tool. If you haven’t already, go and get yourself in line for an invitation. And there’s a new feature where you can look yourself up and see where you are in the list. I know that people are being sent invitations just as quickly as possible. I waited 3 months for mine. It’s so worth it!

If you’re already on Ravelry, add me to your friends list, or look me up. I’m there as jabecker (I’m so incredibly creative with names — I’ve used this screen name various places for 15 years).

In other news, #1 Son returned from his travels. His first bit of business, I thought, was to find gainful employment. He would, he told me, but not during his birthday week.

Excuse me? Birthday week??? Since when does anyone get a week off just because it’s their birthday? 🙄 Welcome to the real world, my child.

I expressed my displeasure.

#1 Son starts his new job tomorrow. 😉

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