Updates from September, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 10:08 am on September 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    2009 – International Year of Natural Fibers 


    It is the year of natural fibers.  For lots of information go to this site.  Not only are natural fibers more fun to knit with wear, walk on, hang from your windows, sit on—they are sustainable, and better for the world economy.

    Now off to knitting with my eco wool.

  • knitting1105 7:28 pm on September 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Doily lap blanket 

    I started on the Hemlock ring Blanket by Jared Flood yesterday.  Essentially, all that he did was to take a vintage doily pattern, and work it with a bulky weight yarn.  What a simple concept, wish that I had thought of it first.  His version was made with Ecological Wool by Cascade, so I decided to stay with the same.  I bought this yarn in the spring specifically for this project.  This is by far the largest skein of yarn that I have ever purchased:


    And I was afraid that the ball winder would not be big enough to hold the entire skein, so I put it on the swift, and wound the 2 biggest balls ever:


    Then I cast on the initial 8 stitches using the Emily Ocker cast on.  I found this video on YouTube which has a great explanation of the cast on.  This cast-on is for circular knitting (doilies, socks, mittens) where you start at the center and do not want a hole there.  Essentially you are just crocheting along the working yarn, and pulling it taut at the end, but watch the video.   After just an hour or so of knitting, on size 10 1/2 double pointed needles, I made a bit of progress, this shows the center well:


    Then I switched to 32″ circulars after awhile, and now need to switch up again, but my LYS does not carry size 10 1/2 (Addi decided they were irrelevent), so I need to go someplace else tomorrow.  Obviously, the progress gets slower as you build out, but this is one quick project.  Doesn’t look like much yet all scrunched up:


    • Studyllc 12:15 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I was so intrigued by the idea of a huge doily that I had to google this project to see one finished. What a neat idea.

      Anyway, happy belated birthday Frances!


  • knitting1105 1:29 pm on September 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I finished my September Mystery socks… 

    I finished my September Mystery socks by Nancy Bush:


    I made no modifications to the pattern.  They are knit up for a friend with small feet.  I really truly love the Malabrigo sock yarn.  It has a few great semi-solid colors, and knits up so nice and soft.  It is a very fine gauge yarn, and I think will work well for Fair Isle sock knitting.  I am really curious how this compares to the elusive Wollmeise sock yarn.  I would love to get my hands on some of that and try it out.  Alas, it is not available in this country.  The colors that I have seen people use online are amazing.  Lots of variety.

    Here is my daughter wearing her sweater—finally.  The color is beautiful, one of my favorite.  The yarn is very soft (Sheffield by Valley Yarns from Webs), we will see if it pills and how it holds up over time.  I think that she was happy to have it finished.  Me too.


  • knitting1105 1:55 pm on September 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I have to apologize to the Valley #175 j… 

    I have to apologize to the Valley #175 jacket that I have been making for my daughter.  I called it a stupid pattern.  Soon after, it disappeared.  I thought that it had gotten mixed up in the yarn freezing rush during our moth invasion last summer.  I have been looking for the sweater, which was all finished except for the sleeves, for 3 months.  I have torn my yarn closet apart, and every place that I could possibly think of that I store projects and yarn.  My daughter kept asking about this sweater, and I had to tell her that I lost it.  How do you lose an entire sweater, with no trace?  Two nights ago, I had a nightmare about this sweater.  Now, I have never had a knitting nightmare before.  It was quite strange, and scary if you will.  I can’t remember all of the details.  Well, on Monday morning I woke up very exhausted from this nightmare, and a fitful sleep.  I was getting ready to go to school, and was in the front hall getting a pair of shoes out of the closet, and telling my daughter about the dream.  Now, mind you, I use this closet multiple times a day, store finished sweaters at the top that I am constantly using, shoes on the floor, and all of our family coats hanging up.  As I was telling her about my dream, a cloth bag hit me on the head, and I opened it to find the long-lost sweater.  I was freaked out.  I knew I needed to finish this sweater, and correct my language towards it.  I truly believe that items have Karma, not sure what is on the mind of this sweater, but I finally finished it up today.  It is off to be washed and blocked, then given to Sofia.  The yarn is very soft (Sheffield by Valley Yarns—Webs), we will see if it pills a lot or not.  In the washing process, it went completely limp.  Hope that it holds it’s shape when dry.


    While I won’t get into name calling, I will say that this pattern is not very well thought out.  It is a simple design, and effort should have been made to create it with elegance.  I ended up having to modify the pattern to get the ribbing to line up properly on the sleeves, slip the end stitches to make pick-up easier, and modify the decreases on the sleeve to make them symmetrical.  There were other changes, but it has been so long since I worked on this that I have forgotten them.  Also, I ordered the 7 recommended skeins for size Small.  (same number is listed for the medium).  I would highly advise anyone wanting to make this pattern to get an extra skein.  In theory, I should have had a bit of yarn left to go up to the next size.  But this was all I had remaining (I even had to piece the last sleeve with 3 long salvage pieces of yarn):


    Yesterday was my birthday.  I had a very nice low-key day.  Lunch with a friend, and afternoon wine with 2 others, and a nice dinner made by my husband.  We had gone out to eat the evening prior.  After my disappointing self-inflicted birthday party last year, I am taking a new approach to my birthdays.  I had planned on knitting most of the day, but was more occupied than I had planned.  The final clue came out for the mystery socks, and I wanted to finish them up on my birthday.  I was going to keep them for myself, as I love the yarn and softness, but have decided they are a bit tight, and will finish them up to give to someone later this week (with smaller feet than I).

    • Diane Hamilton 6:28 pm on September 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday Frances! I’m glad you found the sweater but I think it was Anita’s birthday gift to you.


  • knitting1105 1:58 pm on September 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Dutch Heel 

    I finished up Clue #3 on the Nancy Bush mystery socks.  She uses a honeycomb slip stitch back for the heel (which I used on the orange socks that I made of hers).  I really like this heel, and had been thinking about doing something along this line when I knit up the Ilga’s socks and it was used there.  I also incorporated it in my Maraschino Cherry socks.  It has a better look, doesn’t seem to bunch as much, and spreads the extra wear coverage out over the heel.  Then she used a Dutch heel.  I am knitting her Madder ribbed socks for my husband, and she uses the same heel there.  It does seem to hug the heel better.  Not sure if there is a good/bad way to do the heel.  The one issue that I see with this heel is that you don’t have as many instep stitches.  So, if the fabric is not stretchy, or you have  a very high instep (me), it might become problematic.  It is interesting to see the complaints on the Ravelry thread.  Either knit the way the pattern was designed and try something new, or change it the way you like.  Not sure why people feel the need to complain.

    Here is my heel, (I had 17 picked up stitched on the instep, so finished 2 full repeats.  I seem to always get 2 more than the number of slip stitch ends—like to close the gap) now waiting for clue #4 on Tuesday:



  • knitting1105 9:06 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    The other Stitches purchase 

    I bought one other thing at Stitches Midwest last week.  My sister and I met Anna Grace Farrow at the booth that was selling the Isager yarns.  She was so elegant and graceful, and modeling this shawl when we got to the booth.  This was on our first pass of the exhibit, and we both decided that we needed to go back to this one.  By that time she had already left, but we tried on many of the models from her new book (along with another woman who also ended up purchasing the same shawl yarn, different colors.

    Here is her book, which is self published, and I cannot find it on Ravelry yet:


    And, I am making the shawl on the cover:


    But with a change for the accent color from lime green to turquoise.  In this photo you can also see two different shawl pins that I got at the show to go with the shawl when it is finished.  They were made by a couple who are jewelry makers, and Jill and I both have an eye for detail.  By far, these were the best that we saw at the show.  One is silver, shaped in a lovely curl, the other is ebony with a turquoise tip that goes so well with the shawl.  I think that this will be a very quick knit, and be one of my SnB projects, or for non-focusing time.  I will wind the yarn later today:


    • beth 9:05 am on September 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This looks like a great project. love the colors and design. Will have to look for her at Stitches East! Look forward to your progress pics. take care.


    • MrsPeterson 12:49 pm on September 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I remember seeing that on her blog and falling in love with that shawl. I’ve been waiting for her to publish it. These photos were just beautiful: http://www.astitchtowear.com/blog/2009/06/coming-storm.html I loved the green, but I think the turquoise will be perfect for you.


  • knitting1105 8:32 pm on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Sock Knitting Box 

    DSCN1920I went to Stitches on Friday with my sister.  She has rediscovered knitting, and came to the market with me.  She thought that we were going to a yarn store, and I said no, we are going to THE yarn store.  Almost everything that you could want under one roof, and some things that you did not know that you wanted.  Like my new box.  This is another stunning knitting accessory from the wonderful company Lantern Moon.  It looks much like a cube purse, but holds a skein of yarn for knitting, and Dpns for your socks, has an opening on the side that you feed your thread out through, and work on projects without worrying about that ball of yarn straying away (or the cats playing with it).    I love the green and purple (my favorite color combination, and the interior is a lovely gold pattern), the asian fabric, and the simplicity of the box construction and fabric clasps.

    The knitting box has been holding my September Mystery Socks very nicely, and keeping the skein intact as I knit from both ends of the ball.




  • knitting1105 2:49 pm on September 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    September Mystery Socks 

    I cast on the mystery socks (designed by Nancy Bush for the Sock Knitters Anonymous forum on Ravelry) on Friday, and finished up through clue#2 on both socks by Sunday.  The top band is a 1×1 rib, then a “Vikkel” braid before you start the lace pattern on the front.  the back of the sock then continues the 1×1 rib for 3 repeats of the lace pattern.  Not sure the rational behind this, but that is part of the mystery.  Knit first, ask questions later.

    I am in LOVE with this yarn (Malabrigo Sock yarn).  It is so incredibly soft, and I love the semi-solids that I got.  I have another pair of socks in mind with this yarn when I am finished.  Clue #3 was posted a bit ago, and it is a beautiful day.  I think that I will sit on the porch and knit away.



    • theLady 4:05 pm on September 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, a different pattern on the back – odd! But I love that lace pattern on the front.


  • knitting1105 7:33 pm on September 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Because I needed yellow sock yarn 

    I discovered the Mystery sock thread on the Sock Knitters Anonymous forum in Ravelry in July.   Had a great time, found some amazing new sock patterns (many for free), and accomplished a lot.  So, this month, the mystery sock is by Nancy Bush, one of my sock idols, and it needed to be knit out of yellow.  The one skein I had was really a variegated yarn, which would have been okay, just not a qualifier.  I am a stickler for rules for the most part, so I needed to get a skein of yellow.  Last week I got an email that the owners of Malabrigo yarn company were going to be at Nina’s in the city.  I am home alone on Wednesdays, as hubby and daughter both have classes.  I normally do not do well at these events, but decided to go down, and hopefully find the yellow sock yarn.  I had one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn sitting waiting to be knit up, so I have not used this yet.  They had a fair collection of semi-solids, so I bought some (the center variegated red was the one that I already owned):


    The owners of Malabrigo are incredibly nice, and willing to converse quite a bit even though English is not their first language.  Haven’t we all been to book signings, openings, etc to meet the person behind the scene, only to come away disappointed in them.  Sometimes it is best to leave these figures to the imagination.  Not so with these guys.  I like knowing that yarn I buy is made by nice people.   I think that objects carry the vibes with them.  Also why I don’t like crabby contractors in my house or to work on my projects.  I think that these socks already have a good positive start to them.  Now to wind and start the mystery socks…

    • theLady 11:23 pm on September 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      How funny! I helped a woman today who was looking for yellow yarn for the same KAL! But since she doesn’t like yellow, she eventually decided to just get a color she liked instead.
      Wow, you are zipping along on that Poetry in Stitches sweater!


  • knitting1105 1:08 pm on September 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Knitting and wine 


    Knitting and wine don’t mix too well.  So, I have projects that allow me to knit without thinking, that I consider my “wine projects”.  I love a good glass of red wine in the evening, and still want to keep knitting.  This is my current “Zen” project that allows me to not have to follow a pattern closely.  I am making the Madder Ribbed socks from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks book.  The yarn that I am using is Crazy Zauberball.  My husband picked the colors when we were in Decorah (see earlier post), and I wasn’t sure.  But, it is knitting up very nicely.  Here is a description of the sock yarn that I liked:

    Schoppel Wolle Zauberball is a wonderfully colored yarn with long color repeats that fade into each other. You’ll love the finished socks you get when knitting with Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. One ball will make a pair of socks with most patterns, but you want to be sure to check your pattern requirements to be sure you have enough yarn.

    I am also progressing along on my Poetry in stitches sweater.  Started the sleeves, and decided to knit them up side by side to make sure that I have all of the increases matching perfectly.  I had to add an additional stitch before working the flower section, as they ask for the center stitch of the flower pattern (odd number of stitches) to be centered.  Without doing this, the sleeves would not have been perfectly symmetrical.  I still am holding back judgement on how the body of the sweater was broken up in the blue leaf pattern.  I also waiting to finish the sleeves to see how much blue I have extra to make the sweater body a tad bit longer.  The design is a very cropped sweater, and I think it would be more usually longer.  The other kit from this book that I knit up had a lot of extra yarn, and I am assuming this will be the same.  I am already thinking of mittens with these colors in the left over yarn, and using the flower motif.


    • Sheila E. 10:42 am on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      OMG! This sweater is going to be gorgeous!!!


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