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January 1, 2013 / Gillian

I’ve Moved!

Come check me out and please follow me at the new Diagnosis Knitter (on Blogger).  All my old posts will remain here.  The new blog will provide links to all my patterns as well as brand new posts for the new year and beyond!

December 21, 2012 / Gillian


It’s a holly jolly holiday for me today so I’m not doing a regular post.  I did want to announce that I’m going to be moving from WordPress to Blogger within the next couple weeks.  Once I’m moved you’ll be able to check me out at  More news on that to come!

December 14, 2012 / Gillian

This Week in Challenges…

Let’s start with this: BFF got her sweater and it fit great and she loves it.  Insert giant sigh of relief here.

New challenge!  It’s holiday time and I’m utterly unprepared and BFF’s daughters are not getting their presents on time.  In fact I wasn’t sure at all what to get them until BFF said that they’re really into their American Girl dolls and so she suggested I could knit something for the American Girl dolls.  Being the mom of a son, American Girl dolls are not something I have mass experience with.  I didn’t even know that Ravelry had American Girl doll patterns, mostly through never having thought about it.  Of course Ravelry has American Girl doll patterns.  Duh.

Not terribly challenging, right?  Correct.  But!  They also like to wear the same clothes as their American Girl dolls, so what to do?  I found two cute cardigan patterns for the dolls, but what about the girls?  Well, that’s where the challenge comes in.  Can I successfully size these patterns up from the doll pattern to the girls!?  Can I?!  Hopefully.  American Girl dolls seem reasonably proportioned.  BFF sent me some measurements to work from so I’m feeling good about the whole thing.  I ordered yarn this morning, so hopefully I can knock them out within two weeks of the yarn arrival.

In the meantime, I’m looking at American Girl Dolls because I thought, I wonder if my niece would like one.  Holy crap are they expensive.  Jeebus.

Anywho, let me also share that last weekend I went to an open house at Underhill Farm in Hollidaysburg.  Their yarn is gorgeous!  The farm is absolutely a delight.  I’m wildly jealous of their house which is this gorgeous old farm house.  Anyway, the yarn.  It’s beautiful.  I got a worsted weigh skein, 80/20 mohair/wool, gray.  It was $30, which is way above my normal yarn budget, but it was so worth it.  The skein was 255 yds.  I made this hat out of it…

The pattern is called Shakti, it’s free on Ravelry.  I couldn’t get a great picture on my head, at least not without help.  I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I finished it.  I passionately want to have enough money to make a sweater out of this yarn, a really comfy cardigan.   Really, the yarn is amazing.

Okay.  Well, I hoped to say more this week, but I’m in the process of deciding whether I may want to move Diagnosis Knitter to Blogger from WordPress.  This would clearly be a big move, but I find my way around Blogger much easier and it’s part of the Google family now…  It’s a lot to think about.

In any case, very happy holiday knitting and I’ll talk to you next week!

December 8, 2012 / Gillian

Knitting and Talking

Today’s bit will be short.  It’s morning, which is not my usual time.  Yesterday my son was off school, so my schedule was a little mixed up.   Here’s a thing I learned: be careful knitting and talking.  My son had a playdate with his friend and during this playdate I got to sit and chat with friend’s mom who is my friend.  We always have delightful conversations and so I was paying more attention to the conversation than to what I was doing.  Upshot?  I now may have to tink 4 rows at 580 sts a piece.  Ouch.  Lesson…maybe learned.

I finished my BFF’s emergency sweater.  Here is is…

Nice?  I think so.  I hope so.  I sent it away to her and she should have it by now.  In fact she should be using it today.  She hasn’t called me back about it yet so I assume it doesn’t fit right, it looks awful, and she’ll never speak to me again.  Crazy?  Probably not, but that’s where my head is at right now.

Meantime, I’m working on my altar cloth, but have to figure out the tink situation.  So that’s where I’m at.

November 30, 2012 / Gillian

Emergency Sweater!

Not everyone has an Alice in their life, but they should.  I have an Alice in my life and it makes my life so much better because I always have someone to snark with.  It is, though, an unfortunate fact of my life that my Alice lives in bumblefrak Missouri.  Well, she lives near a major city, but to me all of Missouri is bumblefrak.   In any case, Missouri is far away from me and so I barely ever get to see her.  Seriously, I have physically seen her once in the last three years.  It blows.

I digress.

In any case, she called me and said “hey, if I order you yarn, can you make me a sweater?”  I say sure, because I don’t say no to my Alice.  She needs a cowl necked black sweater that is clingy but not necessarily fitted that covers her backside so that she can wear leggings with it to do a Mommy & Me dance at her daughter’s recital.  It’s rare that the exact sweater that you want exists in readily available form when it’s this specific.  Oh, and it shouldn’t be too heavy.  Can do!  I immediately thought – as you may know – of the Idlewood sweater, the pattern for which can be purchased on Ravelry.  I already have the pattern, so no purchase necessary.  In fact I made the sweater for me, but I’d like to make it over again in different yarn at some point.

For Alice’s sweater I’m using Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Black, which just arrived at my house on Wednesday.   I’ve started it and I’m just to the shoulders now.

Oh crap sorry…I got totally distracted by the internet.  Where was I?  …shoulders.  Yes.  I’m on the shoulders and this sweater is all stockinette.  I should blow through it.  That’s the hope.  For now, I’m freshly showered and have comfy clothes on and I’m going to stick a podcast in my ears and go to town on it.



PS. I will update this post with a progress picture tomorrow.

November 26, 2012 / Gillian

As Promised, The More!

So, last week’s post was extremely short.  Mostly the reason was Thanksgiving and also I was riding on a post-child-sweater-knitting high and just didn’t feel like talking about anything coherently.  I am still feeling triumphant about the sweater.  Look, he’s even wearing it around the house!

So cute!

Anyway, what else am I working on?  A moebius!  The Topsy Turvy Moebius to be exact.  Here’s where I’m at with that…

Looking good.  The yarn, in case you were wondering, is Abbey Sheep & Wool which I dyed with Jacquard Acid Dyes in Silver and Gunmetal.  I need to re-paint my fingernails.  Anyway, the moebius is for me and I’m feeling happily reinvigorated since Friday when my BFF told me she needed a sweater by December 8 and it didn’t exist yet and she wanted to send me yarn to make it so.

In the words of Barney Stinson: Challenge accepted!

She’s going to be doing a mommy and me dance at her daughters’ dance recital.  This is a dance school at which she is also a teacher, so she wants to look really nice.  What she wants is a clingy, plain, black sweater with a cowl neck.  It’s got to go past her backside so that it can be something she can wear leggings with.  My immediate answer to this was the Idlewood sweater.  Last year, actually at the exact time I was visiting said friend, I made myself an Idlewood.  It’s got two square pockets on the front.  For BFF’s sweater I’ll be leaving off the front pockets.  Personally, I decided that I’d like to do the sweater again for myself also and without the front pockets.  Alternatively, if I did do a front pocket I’d do one of those pockets that you put your hands in from either side…what is that called?  Kangaroo pocket.  I was right.  I just thought I might be wrong because that’s not how actual kangaroo pouches work.  Oh well.  Anyway, as I said for her there will be no pockets at all.  I still have to determine whether the sleeves stay short or we make them longer.

The yarn we ended up choosing was Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Black.  I figured it’s breathable and washable so it should be perfect.  Besides that it’s pretty inexpensive.  Enough yarn for the whole sweater was less than thirty dollars, plus whatever she paid for shipping.

Having a deadline is giving my motivation new life.  Currently I need to finish this moebius, then the sweater, and of course I’ve still got the altar cloth…for which I need to order more yarn…  Knit Picks is having a big Cyber Monday sale today, so maybe if I’m a really lucky girl their Bare Stroll Superwash will be on sale…unlikely though.  Nope.  It’s not.

Alright, ladies and gents, it’s time for me to go.  I’ve got more knitting to do, and it’s time to exercise.  I’ve been letting my workouts go by the wayside lately and I’m feeling a little out of shape.  Off I go to workout while I listen to The Smartest Man in the World (The Greg Proops podcast!).

Have a great day and happy knitting!


November 23, 2012 / Gillian

Triumph, Thy Name is Flat Sweater!


I did it!!!  I finished the sweater and it’s so cute!!  Look how cute it is!  In fairness, my cute kid helps a lot, but also the sweater turned out awesome.  It fits really well and yes the sleeves are a smidge long, but that was intentional.  I’m just really excited.  The process of knitting this sweater was kind of excruciating because, as mentioned, I hate flat knitting.  Look though!  I pushed through and followed the directions.  It has been a long time since I’ve felt this good about a finished project.  This isn’t even the best picture ever, but I’ll take a better one at some point later.

I have many more knitting related stories to tell, but I’ll have to get back to you with that at the beginning of next week after I get home from the Thanksgiving holiday.  In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

November 16, 2012 / Gillian

The Sweater of Flatness

I’m struggling to knit.  I really wanted to make my son a sweater and I found a pattern for this super cute kid’s fisherman sweater, but it’s knit flat.  Have I gone over my hatred for unnecessary flat knitting?  It’s a sweater!  Why I am knitting a thing that is round in a way that is flat?!  Why am I not making it round?  Why am I seaming?  This is knitting!

This sweater is cute though.  I’m doing it in blue…

This is the back of the sweater.  I have since actually finished the back and moved on to the front.  I figure, once I get that front done it’ll just fly along to doneness.  In the meantime…ugh.  I feel like the fact that I hate flat knitting makes it feel like it’s going to take longer and so I don’t knit at much and so it really does go slower and then…vicious cycle.

The altar cloth is still trucking along.  I had to dye a second skein of green yarn and so now I’m going to have to buy more yarn.  This this is going to be huge.  It’s weird though because I thought I had more yarn, but I guess I don’t.  In any case this is where I am with that…

You can’t really see the green because as the cloth gets better it becomes more squished onto my needles.  The next skein of green is a little darker over all but I’m going to try to make it seem intentional.  …I hope.

I’ve also dyed yarn for a moebius.  I’ve got plans and I want to do stuff, the motivation is just beyond me though.  Minimally, I’ve got a fun new task manager on my phone that I hope will aid me in remembering to blog regularly.  We’ll see how that goes.

October 29, 2012 / Gillian

Green With Hurricane!

Does today’s title make no  sense?  Yeah, no.  No, it doesn’t.

I’ve been insanely busy and barely knitting at all, which is probably a large part of why I’ve been so scattered and insane the last couple weeks.  I finally got to green on my altar cloth though…

See!  I know, the yellow ring is disproportionately larger than the orange one and the green one is probably not going to be as wide as the yellow and so all the rings won’t be the same size, I know.  I’m not made of magic.  Here’s what I decided though about having one too many colors for pattern rings.  I’m adding another right.  The outer edging connects on every other row in a pattern of 16 rows with means that I need the previous ring to be an 8 stitch repeat or at least a multiple of 8 repeat.  The pattern for what is now the orange ring is an 8 stitch repeat so I’m going to increase again after the green ring, add another ring of chart B in blue and then move onto chart E in purple.  This way, the cloth will be even larger and each color gets its own ring which will look better anyway…even if all the rings aren’t the same width.

I have basically nothing else, knitwise, on my mind at this point.  I have no space for other projects in my head.  This is troubling since I need to pick missions for my BSG group.  Although, now I have an XO, so maybe I’ll pass that along to her.

…message sent…

Hm.  Someone just pointed out to me that my altar cloth currently sort of resembles Hurricane Sandy.  That’s kind of funny because I had a mild sort of panic attack last night about Sandy.  Likely the worst that will happen to us is the possibility of a power outage.  Still, everyone’s making such a big fat fucking deal out of it that I have become a little worried.  Snow storms are my thing.  I’m used to living in Pennsylvania and snowstorms are my wheelhouse.  Hurricanes are not.  Snowstorms are nice because once you’ve got your supplies then you can have hot chocolate and hang out.  Hurricanes are scary.  I live in the mountainous central region of Pennsylvania…I should not have to worry about hurricanes.

Deep breaths.

I won’t.  I will not worry about it.  I’m going to knit.

October 11, 2012 / Gillian

Seriously, Doing Yellow Now…for real…

I just put my soon-to-be yellow yarn in the crockpot to soak.  I’ve been vacillating about whether to do a partial skein of yellow because I definitely don’t need the whole skein or just to do a full skein and say fuck it, I’m just going to buy two more skeins of bare merino.  Fuck it won.  Doesn’t it always?

Remember that Hemlock Ring Blanket that I was doing?

There she is!  I have to say, I powered through this pretty quickly.  It got finished in time for me to send it along with munchkin when he went to be babysat.  And that reminds me!

Look, it’s my scarves!  Also, I got my picture taken with Jay Paterno (and on the other side of Jay is my husband)…

How cool is that!  We had a great time.  It was so fun and Jay was a fantastic speaker.

Moving on.  I’m seriously dyeing my yellow yarn today.  I was in a funk after I finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket.  There was no next project.  That was my problem.  So there I was, checking out stuff online, looking through my patterns.  I had no idea what I wanted to make and then I thought of the Every Way Wrap which was in the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits.  Awesome, project decided…except…


Aaargh!  I’m so jacked because that’s the issue with Angelica’s Coat which I just finished a couple months ago.  That magazine is in my house somewhere.  Somewhere.  I don’t know where it is and I want it.  I thought I’d buy the digital copy, but it’s 9.99!  Does that seem like a rip off to you?  Nine ninety-nine is more than I paid for the physical copy of the magazine in the grocery store.  So I sucked it up and flipped through my other mags and I found the Aquitaine Pullover.  It’s pretty cool.  Caron Simply Soft was on sale so I said, okay.  I’ll do that.  I don’t feel committed to it or in love with it though.  My husband wants me to make him a sweater, but I just don’t feel like it right now.  Meh.

So, in any case, that’s where things are right now.  Yellow is happening.  A sweater is tentatively happening.

Check you later!