Archive for the ‘Sherry’ Category
Nigel wanted me to knit a hat for the daughter of his friends, Lola and Tom, and had something specific in mind. The Norwegian Earflap Hat, by Tiennie, came closest to the idea in his head. He said that Maya was around 8 months old, but I heard 18. Thus, it ended up a little large. But still, she apparently likes it. They call it her “Laplander Hat.” The hat came out well (shown above, in my office before it was delivered) but see how much better it looks when you have a cute model? Look at those chubby cheeks!
I finally finished! This was supposed to be done for Zoe to take to school when she went back in September. Instead, I finished on the first day of winter. Good enough. This, though, is only phase one. It is a square blanket, and she wants it bigger. So I’m going to do another block of the largest squares to add to one end. But for a couple of days, at least, I call it done.
Zoe chose the colors, all Cascade 220, last summer. I’ve been making squares since then, since I’m pretty slow–more of a knitter than crocheter.
It’s all done, and ready to send. I have the lace bug now, and am going through patterns trying to decide what’s next. I have never been a shawl-wearing person myself, but am thinking I could become one if I put my mind to it.
This is my Forest Canopy shawl, the one that was a pleasure to knit until I reached the 8 rows of the border. The first picture was taken after I had un-knit 6 border rows a second time. Inexplicably, I COULD NOT get it straight. Well, maybe it is explicable. I was knitting in the car, and listening to NPR, and getting distracted. Also, there is that mysterious tendency to make mistakes when you are under the pressure of knitting something for someone else. I am embarrassed to say that this went on for days and days before I admitted to myself that I needed markers. (And reminded myself that knitting in the car should be limited to socks, or other simple objects. But not lace.)
Once I demarcated the 8-stitch pattern, I finished in no time. And I love how the scrunched-up knitted thing stretches and blooms into lace.
I decided that before I knit more lace, I will invest in lace blocking wires. I pinned this time, but with a lot of stretching, rearranging, and poking of my fingers, not to mention swearing under my breath.
I found myself knitting a standard sock for Nigel instead of finishing my flat foot pair, and decided to put in an afterthought heel. I haven’t done one in a while, and wanted something I could do without a pattern. I’m using two colors of Regia “4-Fach Haltbar: 4 fädig.” I don’t see the equivalent English on the label, except some that states it’s “dimensionally stable” and “hard-wearing,” which is just what Nigel needs in a sock. I started with 68 stitches for the cuff, and increased to 72 for the rest of the sock. I think the heel turned out really well. Sometimes I have a gap in the corners, but avoided it this time.
I also got it into my head to knit a Forest Canopy Shawl for a friend. In a meeting at work last Monday I found myself staring at Beth’s Forest Canopy Shawl instead of paying attention, and decided it would be a great pattern for the Karabella Lace Merino Silk yarn I picked up at School Products in NYC a while ago. I think I was right.
I finished one sock while we were driving, and took pictures of it in Bellingham. You can see that the sock changes color at the heel. I knit until I reached the end of the first set of rectangles. There seems to be enough Flat Feet yarn to knit 3 socks my size. Or, maybe one pair my size and a pair of child size socks. There is plenty of yarn for a large pair of socks for sure.
I like the feel of this yarn a lot. It’s a little nubby from being machine-stitched, but when I get home I’ll block it and see how that changes the appearance.
Backing up a little bit, on Sunday, while we were visiting Portland, our hosts graciously took me to Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks, where I found more yarn I had never seen before!
Must be nice to live in the Pacific Northwest, with such great yarn to be had everywhere!
The joys of summer vacation! Yesterday I got to go to three yarn stores in Spokane with my mother-in-law, Mary, and my brother-in-law, Chas, both of whom are knitters. There were many great things about this. Since we all knit, and we’re on vacation, we took our time in all three stores. My favorite of these was Paradise Fibers, which is oddly (or maybe conveniently, depending on your point of view) located in a building adjacent to an adult bookstore. Also great was the fact that I found some yarns I had never seen before, which doesn’t happen all that often. And, finally, we got to go to Sonic Burger for lunch, which we never get to do in Michigan.
The first of the two things I had never seen before was this:
This is not a scarf. It’s Flat Feet sock yarn, which is sock yarn that’s been machine-knitted into material and then dyed flat. Chas explained this to me, since I don’t dye, but this method (quite logically) yields different results than dying skeins of yarn. There is waste yarn at the end of the flat material which you remove, and then you start knitting. Instead of having a ball of yarn, you knit directly from the material as it unravels. I’m not sure if my hotel-room photos are doing justice to the bright colors, but here’s a slightly closer picture.
The second thing I had never seen before is this: a lucet. It’s a little wooden thingie that you use to make i-cords. With a little bit of coaching from Chas, I got the hang of it very quickly. He says that you get to the point where you don’t need to watch, and then it’s really easy to do this on a bus or while you’re walking to work. I have to admit, it’s oddly addictive. I can’t wait to get one and then find a project that needs i-cords.
Now, from the hotel room window I see tons of smoke. There seems to be a warehouse fire north of us, which is bad news since it’s windy and hot and dry.
It was nice on the sock blocker, but once off, yech. The main problem was the yarn. It was too fine for the pattern, I think. The pattern looks nice in pictures I’ve seen of it, but on me the sock is slouchy, and puffs out over the heel.
I like the stockinette on the sole, though. I’m frogging this and will turn the yarn into a plain sock. This means that, once again, I have failed to complete a pair of toe-up socks.
A minor setback for me. I have 2 other pairs started, both simple enough to knit on the plane tomorrow as I fly across the country to Seattle.
Two days into summer, and the Summer of Socks, and some knitters have finished entire pairs of socks already. Boy, not me. But I have made progress. I decided to start with the pattern designed especially for participants, using some Schaefer Anne I’ve had in my stash for a while. First, I learned how to do a Turkish Cast-on (here’s one tutorial) which is what this toe-up sock pattern calls for. I’ve never finished a toe-up sock; started many, never finished. This may be a first.
Here’s the toe, held up by my very accommodating husband:
The instructions for this cast-on specify two circular needles. As soon as I could, though, I switched over to dpns. I’m just not comfortable with the circular needle method of sock knitting. Too many dangling ends. And here’s how far I’ve gotten:
Summer and the Summer of Socks both started yesterday. Coincidence? If you take a look, you’ll see a lot of sock frenzy going on. I am a slow starter–I began summer by finishing one pink sock, modeled here by its recipient.
This pair won’t count, but that’s okay because I’m not trying to knit the most socks this summer. Instead, I am in the group that is taking socks on vacation because, for the first time in a long while, we’re actually taking a vacation this year! In anticipation, I tried to find some socks from Knitting on the Road that fit with our vacation locations, but there are none from Arkansas or Washington State. So I am choosing to knit ones that I’ve wanted to do for a while. First, the New England socks.
Second, the two Hiiumaa Mismatched Mates.
Third, I really want to try the Francie sock pattern which I purchased recently, and think I’ll do it in green.
There has also been a sock pattern created just for the summer of socks that I may start with. So many choices, it’s almost paralyzing.
For years now (literally), in the middle of every shower, I’d think, “I need to knit myself a washcloth.” Last week I finally paused all my other projects and knit one. I was going to knit it out of purple hemp, but this is what I found when I went looking for it:
Or maybe they love it. But either way, this is what they did to mine.
I had no patience for disentangling this mess, and so moved on to some eggplant-colored linen. On size 6 needles, I knitted 10 inches of tile stitch (this pattern being one in the book Knitter’s Stash).
Here’s my favorite part.
I knit in an eyelet and crocheted in a grommet so I could hang it up on a hook.
I am also spending spare moments on a crocheted afghan for Zoe. She wants to take it back to school with her in the fall, giving me a very good excuse for a yarn shopping spree. She chose yarns in oranges, browns, yellow, and reds. It’s sort of a Babette, except I’m not really following the pattern. I like the cheerful little squares, and estimate that I’m about a quarter done with the square-creation.
It’s fun. I’m still new at crocheting, and, zen-like, still trying to make a perfect square.
It was warm and sunny enough to take my socks outside yesterday for a picture. Here’s a progress report:
I’m using Lorna’s Laces Yarn in Flamingo. The cuff is simply k1, p1 all the way down. I have 2 skeins in my stash, so I can afford to make the cuffs a little longer than usual.
I decided to use a heel flap on this one instead of my usual short row heel just to experiment with what it does to the stripes. There’s a little bit of a garter stitch border there, too. Maybe I’ll make the second one with a short row heel just to see how the color behaves differently. For myself, I find that short row heels fit better.
Since it was so nice, I took Nigel’s new socks out, too. Almost done! These are basic socks from Vogue Knitting Socks Two, except with a short row heel.
The heel on the right sock looks a little messy, doesn’t it? It’s my curiously recurring attempt to figure out the Jojo-Heel. I have tried knitting this heel seven times, but have failed miserably every single time. I always think I have it until I reach this line:
“After these 2 rounds work again short rows with double stitches, however this time from inside to outside.”
I have no idea what that means, so when I reached this step I just continued as if I were doing my regular short row routine, but with some sloppily wrapped stitches instead. I figure after a wash or two it will all even out…
Not that perfection has ever been a problem with me, but luckily all my socks end up with enough quirks to prevent hubris. In this case, I somehow lost my mind and knit the first sock cuff with a k2p2 ribbing and the second with a k1p1 ribbing. Way to be wild. But will the recipient notice?
As I said, this was a great pattern and it seems to have rekindled my interest in knitting socks. I already have 2 more pairs going. In addition to a plain pair of blue (see previous post) I’ve started a pair of pink ones with yarn purchased long ago. Beth knit a pair of socks for Ava with this same yarn, and it’s interesting to see how the stripes are coming out slightly different.
Quick post. This weekend I finished two socks, one (on the right) of kindness, and one, well, not. Just a basic sock with a short-row heel.
The blue one is made of Wildfoote sock yarn, a sturdy sock yarn that will last a fairly long time for my husband. He actually wears my handknit socks until they wear out.
Now, I must go to work.
Life has been crazy, but I have been knitting away during my commute time in the morning. I’ve done a clapotis, years later than everyone else, but now that I’ve finished I love it. I want to marry it. (Sorry, dear.) It’s made of Sea Silk, which is 70% silk, and 30% sea cell. So, I’ve been exaggerating slightly when I’ve told people it’s made of seaweed.
I also realized, with shock, that I haven’t finished a pair of socks yet this year. I’ve started several, but they bored me. So when I saw the pattern for Socks of Kindness, I thought I’d give it a try. I bought a skein of Jawoll Color at Stitches East when I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, and really like the way it’s going with this pattern. I don’t know if there’s any story behind the Socks of Kindness, but I like that the initials spell SOK.
It’s March already, and I’ve not really knit anything since January! I was traveling for a while, but worse than that, I lost my knitting motivation. I have started one pair of socks three times now, and am totally bored with each pattern I try. It’s annoying because I OWE SOMEONE A PAIR OF SOCKS! (And you know who you are.)
Anyway, I’ve not been totally unproductive. I continue to teach myself to crochet. I found a pattern in Hip to Crochet for a scarf I liked, and I had some Socks that Rock yarn in the shade of Bella Coola. So I began with one perfect square.
Then many more perfect squares.
Finally, I joined them all together.
Now, I need to find some yarn with which to finish the border.
Oh, look at her Nutkin! And, oh, look at the sock done in Knit Picks gloss. I’ve only done one sock with Gloss so far, but maybe I shouldn’t bother with the second. Look at Pat’s blog posting to see what I’m talking about. Here’s my Canada sock, destined to be a loner:
I made this out of KP Gloss–will it last?
Ah, the tunic. After years of knitting moss stitch, I finally finished the family tunic from Weekend Knitting for Nigel. Although it’s called a family tunic, I’m afraid he’s the only one in our family getting one. Enough moss stitch is enough.
Everybody say “yay!” The tunic is done!
When a year begins, as Beth pointed out yesterday, you never really know where it’s going to end up. I began this year all fired up about socks, but got diverted into some other areas. I did finish 12 full pairs and three singlets, so while I didn’t actually meet my 14 pair goal for 2007, I didn’t miss by too much. One of the fun things Kristen and I did recently was to volunteer knitted items as prizes for an office food drive. (And we got a scarf donated from Kira, too. Thanks, Kira!) That was fun, and gave me a motivational boost. One example of this pre-Christmas knitting was my Misty Garden scarf, from the Scarf Style book, in purple mohair.
You may remember the yarn from an earlier picture, in which our family’s knitting action figure, Hank, was scaling my yarn basket.
I also took a random turn into crocheting this year. I’ve had no interest whatsoever in the art of crochet before now, but have suddenly become determined to master it. I channeled this determination into one Christmas present, the Garden Scarf, from The Happy Hooker, using up some leftover Lamb’s Pride in the process:
Here’s a closeup of my favorite flower, in raspberry. I took a liking to it.
I’ve discovered, as many others already know, that crocheting is really handy for using up stash yarn, which I have in volumes. I’m trying to use some up in an afghan. Although I can’t locate the original pattern anywhere, I’ve seen enough Babette pictures to try to attempt a similar afghan on my own, and have created in the last couple of days some “babette-like” squares. These are before blocking, and with only a few hundred more to go.
One of the laws of the universe is that the process of using up one’s stash actually attracts more yarn, especially around the holidays. From my mother-in-law in Boise came this yummy yarn: Boise Yarn, from Boise!
And finally in today’s news (as they say on NPR), I received for Christmas the needles I was coveting from Knit Picks, Harmony Wood 6″ Double Pointed Needle Set US Sizes 0-3, to be precise. I love them—smooth, sharp points, and each size comes with 6 needles, providing insurance against loss.
Just what I need to kick off another big year of sock knitting!
I had a burning desire to crochet a scarf, even though I don’t know how to crochet, and not just any scarf, but the Zen scarf that I found in my daughter’s Crochet Pattern-a-Day calendar for this year. I felt compelled to drop everything in progress — hats, socks, handwarmers — to get this out of my system.
- My first attempt consisted of trying to get past the starting chain, while looking up each and every abbreviation in the pattern multiple times. That ended in a tangled mess.
- The second attempt got me into the pattern further, but the sides of the scarf were bulging in various directions.
- The third attempt got me 3 inches of scarf, but I became convinced (and rightly so, it turns out) that in the printed version there were three extra turning stitches called for between rows two and three. (It made me proud to discover that this was corrected in the online version — I caught an error in my first ever crochet pattern).
- The fourth attempt yielded 4 inches of scarf, but yikes, I got confused somewhere and the pattern was all wacky.
- The fifth time I thought it was going okay, but when I held it up to check Emily laughed out loud because the end was flaring out while the body of the scarf was getting narrower and narrower.
- Finally, for whatever reason, the sixth time it clicked and here it is:
That took up the first 2 days of the Thanksgiving weekend. On Saturday and Sunday I managed to finish these 3 items, which shows how much faster my knitting is than my crocheting!
I’ve been knitting, yes I have. Christina’s socks are coming along. I took a closer-up picture than the one below, but it came out too dark. I’ll add it later. Anyway, they’re Ribbed Lace socks from Sensational Socks. I’ve admired this pattern for a long time, and the yarn, something by the Great Adirondack Yarn Company, seems to be a good fit. It’s sort of knobby and has an interesting texture.
Here’s how Emily feels about the swap, in which she gets a new pair of extraordinarily lovely handwarmers for doing, well, nothing:
And what is that sock resting on, you may ask? The baby blanket I’ve been working on forever, which is coming to its natural conclusion. I didn’t do much with it during the summer, and in the 90 degree days of early fall. But now the weather is cooler here I’ve been enjoying it on my lap while I knit, and have been toying with the idea of just keeping it for myself–it’s just the right size for sitting and knitting… But, no, it must go on to a baby. To finish it, I need an i-cord of impossible length to sew around the outer edges, and then approximately 300 bobbles to pull through all the diamond intersections (look at the larger pictures to see the diamond pattern on the blue piece). So, maybe the end really isn’t in sight.
And, a pair of socks for me–made with gray Trekking–which gets me closer to my goal of 14 this year (that is, one pair a month plus two to increase the challenge).
Something kept poking me as I walked from the parking lot to work on Thursday, and finally I looked down to see one of my sock needles sticking out of my backpack. It went through a knitting bag and two layers of backpack material just to poke me in the butt. When I showed Beth (of course I left it out to show her) she had our co-worker, Stephen, take a picture immediately with his iPhone.
I should have used my knitzi.
Despite my lack of posts, I have been busily knitting. Idle hands, and all that. First though, I want to say to Allison, who sent me my Sockapalooza socks: “I tried to message to say ‘thank you,’ but my email bounced back! I hope you see this and know that I appreciate them.”
Part 1. Sock knitting.
So, I got the urge recently to organize the top layer of my stash and took over the dining room table to lay it all out. It can be a great pleasure to sort lovely yarns and remind oneself that one doesn’t need to go shopping any time in the near future:
In my mind I matched up all of these skeins to specific sock patterns, and now that summer is winding down just want to sit and knit them all at once.
I started by finishing a pair of manly socks. This is one more pair for Nigel, easy to do in the car while we commute.
This gets my annual total up to 11 pairs of socks. My goal is 14 this year, so I’m well on my way. I have at least 3 other pairs started, and more sock yarn in my stash than I can shake a stick at.*
*possibly “an old shepherding term where you have so many animals to herd, you cannot shake your stick at every individual animal to herd them.”
Part 2. Non-sock knitting.
Yes, there’s more, and I’ll be brief. I’m knitting a baby blanket. The pattern is from Minnies: Quickknits for Babies and Toddlers. This is relaxing knitting – it’s quick and the pattern for this side is just interesting enough. Once I’ve finished this piece (4 more repeats of the pattern), I’ll knit the back panel in green, all in stockinette. Then, the two pieces get sewn together with an i-cord border and bobbles are added to the diamonds.
The pattern calls for Brown Sheep Bulky, which I’ve never thought of as particularly baby-soft, so I substituted Cascade Chunky. It’s turning out well.
I happened upon these “Leggy Creations” last night.