Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:15 pm on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , free pattern, Koigu sock yarn   

    Variations on a Theme 

    Lately I have been making fingerless mitts almost exclusively. These are all a variation on my pattern for Koigu Twisted Mitts.



    Last week I sent out a pair to my son Ethan and his Girlfriend.  They are both in school, without a car, and out walking or biking a lot.  I thought that these would come in handy.





    I have made this pattern so many times, that it is intuitive.  And, it is fun to change it up a bit.  Uses a lot of my leftover sock weight yarn, all you need is about 50 grams total.  Recently I have been making some that are smaller, as I realized that not everyone had big mitts like me.  A very easy take-along pattern to use.  In conjunction, when I have ribbing top and bottom, I use the tubular cast-on and tubular bind-off.  Both of these have been covered here and here.

  • knitting1105 5:16 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply  


    My blue-green gradient socks with the now reworked and  finished up.  I am using this as a learning experience, since I have another set of sock yarn from this same vendor.  A simple twisted rib sock.  Sometimes I think simple is better, especially for this yarn.




    • Erin 7:16 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply


    • Diane 11:51 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors and I admire you persistence…great job!

  • knitting1105 2:45 pm on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A New Direction 

    I purchased this gradient yarn from Knitcircus in 2014 at YarnCon.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt sat until this year when I purchased yet another of her gradients hoping to make a striped gradient sock.


    Socks like these were on display in her booth, but I am guessing that the gradients are different to allow a more rapid color change


    I did try making striped socks with this combination, but the result was so poor (very little gradation showed up), that I ripped it back and started over.  This time with just the green to blue color and a simple twisted rib sock. Enter problem # 2, I am not a fan of toe up socks, as I think that it is harder to get the size correct and a good hefty gusset.  So, I started with the light blue and knit what I thought was a good amount to use up 1/2 of the yarn, turned my heel, and then knit and knit and knit—really wanting to see the green gradient come through.  The result was laughable, but I still made the toe and sewed it together.



    I don’t know what freak of nature these would even fit!  Therefore, I started the next sock from the opposite end of the skein, thinking that I would have opposing socks and that would solve my problem.  It wasn’t long before I realized that I needed to rip out the first sock.



    So, now I am almost finished with sock number 2, the correct way, and have been using the ripped out sock as a blank to knit from.  Works well.  Lesson learned.



    • Diane 3:04 pm on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      LOL…I like the 2nd sock much better too. A lot of work for a pair of socks, wear them well!

    • conniewockensolle 12:52 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      For me, this experience is another proof for the uselessness of most of gradiant yarns…
      mostly the result is ugly…
      only very long gradiance in big projects like cardigans and not mittens or socks have a chance to create acceptable effects…

      well, after all these problems while knitting you know have to wear these… I suggest use them with boots..

      please don’t see my comment as malicious joy, I know about wasted time when knitting and the eagerness to finish a project…

      Cheers, Connie

      • knitting1105 5:10 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Your comment made me chuckle. I love a good gradient, and I think in the end, these turned out well. Thanks for your input.

  • knitting1105 9:06 am on October 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Vogue Knitting Live 2015 

    Last weekend was Chicago Vogue Knitting Live.  I have taken classes each of the 4 years that it has been here, had some really good, and some so-so classes over the years.  After the first year where I was taking classes all 3 days, I learned my lesson and scaled back the number that i took.

    On Friday, I took the class Challenging Stitches from Japanese Designs with Gayle Roehm.  We learned 4 new stitch patterns that are not in stitch books, but came from garment designs.  It was interesting, and a good 1/2 day class.  I have misplaced my swatch, or I would show that to you.  A couple of years ago, I took an all day workshop through the Windy City Knitting Guild with Donna Druchunas.  That was really more comprehensive class in how to read Japanese patterns, and one that I would like to repeat again some day.  If you ever have a chance to take these classes from Donna, I highly recommend them.  In the meantime, if you want to learn how to read Japanese pattern books, this Knitty Article by Donna is very helpful, or a great refresher.  Many years ago, the Japanese government standardized knitting and crochet patterns and symbols, so it is very easy to figure them out once you have the general guidelines.  This book also will help to understand the different stitches, as there are very clear illustrations:




    The second day was an all-day class with Deborah Jarchow in Lace Weaving with Pick Up Sticks on the Rigid Heddle loom.  I really really enjoyed this class, my friend Jane was with me, and it gave me new insight and challenges to the Rigid Heddle loom.  My loom is bigger, and will pose some of it’s own challenges, but I am anxious to try out these techniques.  Here is the sampler that I made.  My only regret is that I used crappy acrylic yarn, which shows the stitch patterns very well, but if I had used good yarn I would have ended up with a nice ascot for Dan.







    I did go to the Market, but was very selective on what I purchased.  A woman had a booth with Vintage buttons, I wish that I had known that she would be there and I would had taken stock of projects that needed buttons.  I got a few from her, and then a cool new book and some Rauma yarn to make some mittens (have been wanting to try this yarn for quite some time.



    No Vogue Knitting in Chicago next year, they will be in Minneapolis.  Might just have to take a road trip and visit some friends.

    • Jane 1:20 pm on October 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like your crappy bright colors on your sampler. I did mine in “good” yarn and Joe does have a nice muffler.. but it is much harder for me to see the patterns so I can pick and choose which to use on other projects. And I too wish I had ideas for the button lady.. I have never seen such a great collection of buttons.

  • knitting1105 2:16 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Whooo New   

    Whooo Me? 

    My friend Barbara has this amazing business where she makes bags out of recycled fabric sample books, she also focuses on the needs of the knitter and crafter, hence the plethora of pockets and storage compartments.  A couple of years ago she did a trunk show at our house,  I blogged about it here and here. She always amazes me with her creations, and I had really wanted one of her bags.  Her business is Whooo New!, and I love all of her stuff, but wanted to choose my own fabrics.  That was easier said than done when you arrive at her house and see bin upon bin of gorgeous colors, and try to think how they will work together.  Purple and green are perennial favorites of mine, and when she pulled out this paisley fabric I knew that was it.



    I chose the size, and left the rest up to her.  I could not be more pleased.



    Pockets inside and out…



    Now, I want a bigger bag for larger projects….

    • Barbara 3:58 pm on September 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! How nice of you to write about me and my bags! I was just thinking about how I can’t wait to get sewing again now that the weather is turning cooler and the sun is setting sooner! I’ll have to get to work on your bigger bag! :-)

  • knitting1105 12:43 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s my Birthday! 

    Been absent from here for awhile.  It has been an adjustment getting used to the house without Lloyd.

    My SIL Stacey sent me the best gluten free virtual cake!


    A brief meeting, then back to knitting for me.  It is an absolutely gorgeous day.  Spending as much of it outside with needles in hand as I can!

    • Erin 2:00 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have a wonderful birthday, outdoors and knitting–perfect!

    • Diane 3:25 am on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree it is the perfect cake!

    • Pam Moriarty 9:40 pm on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy birthday to you. Your cake is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

      • knitting1105 1:15 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!

    • Barbara 9:58 pm on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Frances! Happy birthday to you!

      • knitting1105 1:16 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Barbara!

  • knitting1105 1:47 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    With Reckless Abandon 

    lloyd puppyOver 15 years ago, this little bundle of Joy came into our lives.  When we went to choose a puppy, he was the runt, but the one with the most personality.  People told me that I should not have picked the runt, but my comment was “Oh, but you have not met him yet!”  He proved all stereotypes wrong, from runt to little dog to poodle.  We named him Lloyd, after Frank Lloyd Wright, my favorite Architect.

    He loved life, the beach in Michigan being one of his favorite things.

    DSCN3006 DSCN3543

    Sometimes he loved to embrace his Frenchness

    French Lloyd

    Other-times he held strong political views.

    Field of dreams001

    He loved my knitting also.


    Last night we had to say goodbye, one of the most difficult decisions that I have made, but the right one.  The past couple of years have been a slow decline; loosing his hearing first, then this spring the rest of his sight. I wanted to give him a good summer, and the chance to be with Ethan one more time when he came back from Japan.

    Ethan and Lloyd

    When Lloyd was younger, I said to Dan one day that nobody had ever loved me like Lloyd does.  His response was: “What, with reckless abandon?”  I said “Yes!  that’s it!!!”

    Goodbye dear friend I will miss you so very much.

    DSCN2960 DSCN0633 DSCN4470 DSCN4486

    • Daniel 1:52 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I will miss him very much as well!

      Thanks for all the pictures that we can use to remember him and the times we all shared.

      • knitting1105 1:54 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. It took Lloyd to get you to look at my blog!

        • Daniel 1:57 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink

          I’ll will always know where there are pictures when I want to think of him.

    • Diane 2:19 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Frances, I started crying when I read your post. I am so sorry, I know how hard it is to make this decision and how different it will be not to have Lloyd around. I remember how excited he would be to see us every summer because he remembered we were the “Beach People” and he was thrilled when he got to go along. I remember how he played hide and seek with Ethan and Traver in the dune grass. He was so full of personality, was forever a loyal companion, and loved you with all his heart. What more could you ask for? I am so sorry. Sending hugs and love, Diane

      • knitting1105 2:27 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Diane. And thank you for giving him and Ethan all those great beach summers.

    • 1marylou 2:28 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m so sorry.

      • knitting1105 8:31 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you.

    • Kim 4:11 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Francis and family, sorry for the loss. I never met Lloyd, but could see through the pictures what a wonderful friend. Wow, what a tough decision, we did a few years back and I remember the day and still have the emotions. Take care and Lloyd will live on through the memories🌀Thanks for sharing!

      • knitting1105 9:19 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Kim. You would have loved Lloyd. He stole everybody’s hearts. My heart too.

    • Michelle 4:43 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Frances, I am so sad that little Lloyd is gone. It breaks my heart to think of you without your little buddy. He’s always been such a sweetie, as long as I knew him, which wasn’t too long, but I got the drift on him. A fine little dogger.

      • knitting1105 8:32 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Michelle. My heart is breaking right now. “A fine little dogger.”, love that.

    • Karl 10:39 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, so sorry to hear about Lloyd. Such good memories you guys have and what a faithful friend Lloyd was.

      • knitting1105 1:56 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, he was the best of friends. I tried to live up to his expectations of me every day. He thought me perfect.

    • natas75 9:05 am on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing his story and the photos..

      • knitting1105 1:55 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you.

    • elaine 9:13 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      :-( so very sorry for your families loss…

      • knitting1105 4:03 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much.

  • knitting1105 3:50 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   



    When planning to head out to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, I naturally needed some very portable knitting projects.  I took some socks along, but they were on my precious metal Signature needles.  Not wanting to take the chance of TSA trying to confiscate those, I put them in my checked bag, and pulled out this Fiber Optic yarn that I had spun last winter.


    This was spun using 2 braids of the color way Thistle.  My yardage was 1,070 yards.  Not as much as I would have liked.


    So, then the night before having to get up at 4am for a very early flight, I am on the computer looking up patterns.  I opted for Pulelehua, which means butterfly in Hawaiian.  I am hoping that I have enough yarn, as the yardage on peoples projects is anywhere from about 1,000-1,500.

    About 1/2 of the yarn has been knit up to date, this is my progress thus far:



    For the second half of the shawl, I am weighing the yarn after each chart section is done.  Not sure yet if panic will set in, but I am already thinking that I need to obtain another braid to use just the dark blue end to finish off.


    And, while knitting on this the past week, we have had great fun watching the Monarchs in our native plantings at the side of the house.  This garden was planted about 10 years ago, but this is by far the best year for Monarchs, and a few Black Swallowtails as well.



    I counted 7 one night, and that was just from my back porch, I didn’t venture down the side of the house!


    There is even the Monarch moth on the plants.


    They are just loving the tall white flowers, my husband thinks that they are the  Tall Bonest, but looking at the book I am thinking perhaps Wild Quinine, we need to get our neighbor over to help identify these. To a lesser extent they are attracted to the Tall Coreopsis.  In addition there are many native pollinators, wasps, honey bees, crickets, etc.  It is fun to walk on the side of the house and hear all of the insects, with the Cicadas as the background music.  I hope that we are making a difference in our own little piece of the world.  I see more and more native gardens in lieu of pesticide lawns.  All these pollinators desperately need our help.

    • elaine 8:07 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful spinning, knitting and butterflies, of course! Love the colors!

    • 1marylou 10:19 am on September 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful yarn, pictures and project!

    • Diane 12:34 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love all the butterflies, I am sure it reminds you of Mom and Anita.

      • knitting1105 1:58 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        They do!

  • knitting1105 2:23 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: color   



    This recent article on the origins of the color purple got me to thinking about colors, and how they are precieved.


    I have always been fascinated with color, how some people see or don’t see it, why it is important to some and not others, and how it affects people.  Since I was a child I have loved colors, starting with the new box of Crayola Crayons that we got at the start of every school year.  The big huge box was never in our school bag, as there wasn’t enough money for it, but I lusted after them.  The packaging is so iconic, and I remember the built-in sharpener when it came out!


    So, of course, my own children received all the crayons, and lots of other ways to express themselves with color.  I am not sure that it has held the allure for them that it dos for me, although Sofia is always well coordinated!


    Fast forward to Architecture School, and I fell in love with Prismacolors.  The intense beautiful colors that you can get with these colored pencils is unlike any others.


    My wish list for the past few Christmases has been this amazing set of all the Prismas in a beautiful wooden box.  Maybe this year?…


    In my work, I get to use color a lot, although not normally the really bright versions.  But, I love my paint color fans.

    Close-up view of a color chart used for paint selection

    Close-up view of a color chart used for paint selection

    And naturally, knitting allows me to use color in a very free and creative way,  I love collecting the color cards from yarn companies, Jamieson’s being one of the best.

    IMG_1584IMG_1586 IMG_1585

    And, while it is a smaller selection than Jameison’s, the Dale of Norway Baby Ull provides some great colors, and I get to use these the most creatively in the baby sweaters that I knit.

    Dale of Norway Color Card

    Recently, I came across these couple of quizzes for how you see color.  I tend to differentiate colors very well.

    To see if you have the “eye of an eagle”, try this quiz.  I got a perfect score!

    And this one where about 15% of the people have a 4th cone, of which I am a select member.


    I am fortunate to have both a hobby and profession that are creative and allow me to continually experiment and utilize color in so many different ways.

    • KrisD 3:28 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
      have you done this test? it is pretty interesting. I made my husband do it and the struggle of picking paint colors for our bedroom makes so much more sense now. lol.

      • knitting1105 3:39 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting. I did not score as well on that as I had thought that I should. Will have to try it again later. Blame it on my computer monitor!

        • KrisD 3:54 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink

          what did you score? I had 15. I’ve done better, allergy season with itchy eyes and contacts probably isn’t the best time to try to do that sort of thing.

    • soknitsome 10:14 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great! I’ve also got eagle eyes with a perfect score – but I got 35 in the second one so I see like a bee!

    • natas75 4:47 am on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely post. I’m also very fond of colours. Whether it’s crayons, yarn or colourful clothing. I shared your post on my page, if you don’t mind..

    • natas75 4:53 am on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And also perfect score on the quiz! Still don’t need my glasses :-)

  • knitting1105 10:22 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Knitting Fiction 

    First off, I would like to thank Erin Fanning for a great series of guest posts on this blog.   I encourage everyone to read her new Novella, Blood Stitches.  If you missed the posts, you can catch them here, here, here and here!  And Erin has started a new Facebook page for everyone interested in Fiction with a knitting component.  I just joined!

    How timely, as our SnB has decided to become a book club as well, reading books with a knitting component, have knitting in them, or written by a knitter.  We are starting by reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.  Barbara Kingsolver is a knitter herself.


    I have not gotten very far into the book yet, and knitting is apparently a small part of this book.  But we do have Barbara Kingsolver to thank for our group name Stitch ‘n Bitch, from the book Animal Dreams, which will be coming up soon as a part of our SnB literary component.  We need to understand the origin of our name, it was one of my favorite books, and I look forward to reading it again.


    And of course, Blood Stitches will be coming up as well as a knitting good read.


    How fun to combine literature and knitting!  What is your favorite book that incorporates knitting into it?

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 308 other followers