Updates from February, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 12:40 pm on February 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Cookie’s Cookies 

    I joined 2 sock clubs, where you get the yarn and a pattern every other month.  There was a problem with my order, and although they were suppose to ship together, they will now arrive separately, and late.  I am hoping that the first one comes today.

    One of the clubs is by CookieA, and you receive a cookie recipe along with sock patterns.  She includes a difficult and easier pattern in each club (thank you), and a cookie recipe.  This month, even though I do not have the yarn, the patterns were sent electronically, and there were 3 sock patterns (2 variations of one), and 2 cookie recipes.  To lessen my disappointment in watching people around the world get their yarn, I cast on a pair of socks from the CookieA club using Malabrigo sock yarn.  I have finished the first sock, and am 1/2 way through the second.  I made the size large, but this pattern is very stretchy with the lacework, and I could have made a size medium.  The pattern name is Ripple Leaf Socks, each sock is a mirror image of the other.  Very soft and very bright.  I am having a difficult time photographing these, the color seems to have too much sheen.  I need grass and warm weather to get proper knitting photographs.

    And last Friday I made a batch of cookies.  There were 2 recipes, and I made the white chocolate & macadamia nut ones.  Delicious!

    • Karen 12:57 pm on February 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Your sock is very pretty (spring-y!!) and the rug is to die for!! Love it!


    • knitting1105 1:35 pm on February 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t that rug cool? It is made from recycled pop bottles, is reversible with a variation on the color on the other side, washable (I just hose it down). Resides on my front porch.


    • Rae 2:30 am on March 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I also have to agree your rug is very cool. I hope your stuff arrives so you can cast on some more socks. Cookies sound delicious.


  • knitting1105 5:10 pm on February 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Elitist knitters? 

    You bet!  Sometimes it seems like a competition, or one-upmanship.  This was a very interesting article in the New York Times (thanks for pointing this out Sofia), by a very insightful young woman, reviewing the difficulty rating system for Ravelry patterns.  After reading the article, I did my own mini recognizance.  Looking at the knitting patterns with a difficulty rating of 10, I had to chuckle at many if not most of them.  Patterns rated 9 were actually a bit harder and perhaps more accurate.  I then decided to go and look at my own rating system of my projects that I have knit or am in the process of knitting.  A 6-7 was the hardest rating that I gave for elaborate Fair Isle projects.  And many socks I gave a 1-3.  The issue with their rating system is that each person rates a pattern based on their own abilities at the time that they are knitting it.  As we know, knitting abilities vary widely across the spectrum, and we all improve.  New knitters tend to see their improvement curve rise quicker, and as you become a better crafts(wo)man, new skills are not acquired as readily.  I love taking knitting classes and seminars, but am to the point that I have to be happy if I leave with more than one new skill.  That doesn’t stop me, just makes the choices less available, and me more discerning.

    Here are my two nominations for a true number 10 difficulty rating.  And, they are on my list to tackle one day.

    Kaffe Fassett Lonely Virgins sweater.  An Intarsia sweater with 14 colors and 26 skeins of yarn.  Rows with dozens of mini balls of different colors to be managed.  That is a 10.

    And Gossamer Webs, Orenburg Lace Shawls.  I need to take a class in this one, as I am mystified how you keep track of the pattern it is so fine.  The guage is such that a 60″ square shawl could be pulled through a wedding ring.

    • Barbara 2:17 pm on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a fascinating article (though there seems to be something wrong with the NY Times web site – it said File not found, but fortunately Google had cached it). I think part of the problem is, what do you mean by difficult? Some people might grade a pattern as difficult just because they haven’t got the required skills yet, or you might rate a pattern as difficult if it’s badly written and so you have to spend a lot of time and effort working it out. I’d agree with you that the two you have picked are inherently difficult, and so most people (everybody?) would find them hard no matter what their skill level. But there won’t be many like that in Ravelry because most of the time we don’t knit at that level.


  • knitting1105 2:03 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    I should have listened to my Mom 

    I found this on the back of one of my xeroxed knitting patterns as I was organizing:

    I cannot remember why she would have written this down, obviously at my urging for some transgression, and for me to have for posterity.  I found this on the back of a xeroxed knitting pattern.  It is now gracing my new large cork board in my knitting room.

    Here are all of my individual patterns that have been loose, overflowing binders, and laying around.  They will all go neatly into binders, arranged by pattern type.  Just one more step in my knitting room organizing (then you WILL be invited over MImi).

    • Mimi 4:01 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      OK, I was already LOLing at the post title because, well, *my* mother would kill to have that in writing.
      Then, I got an actual shout-out in the post! Awesome. But seriously, it will only be safe to have me over once your industrial drool-shield is in place. An ounce of prevention dontcha know…


    • Andrew 5:23 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Is that a new rug?


    • Rae 1:01 am on February 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I have been organizing my patterns into binders also. I never really thought I had that many until I put them all together. I think maybe you sholuld frame that note lol.


  • knitting1105 10:03 am on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Customer Service 

    This is a tale of 2 complaints and the very different approaches to customer service.

    I finished my socks with the Ty-Dy socks from Knit One Crochet Too.  Remember, the first sock was made on the plane trip from hell on Southwest, more on that later.  When I got to the toe of the first sock, there was a knot, the bane of knitters.  I finished up, as the color matched.  I had wanted to repeat the color transitions as closely as possible, so rewound the skein to find where I would be able to start again. But, the second half of the yarn was not the same as the first. It was more of a gradual color change. This yarn was a Christmas gift, so I could not return it to the store. I knit up the second sock, and was very unhappy with how they looked together. I would have been happy with either of the two, but not together.

    I emailed customer service at Knit One Crochet Too, and got a very poor response:

    This particular yarn is designed to have random color changes which is what you experienced. It may have been a little exaggerated by the tie on if it made the same color show up for a longer length, I agree.

    No offer of a different skein to try, no apologies for quality control. No explanation of which of the 2 yarns they were really trying to make. I will not be purchasing this yarn in the future. Buyer beware.

    The pattern was Lindsay by Cookie A, and I really loved it.  It has a nice stretch, is easy to memorize, and works well with a variegated yarn (patterns for that are often hard to find).  The structure of the pattern really reminded me a lot of the Monkey socks by the same CookieA.  There are a couple of corrections to the pattern that I posted on Ravelry, and will repeat here:

    • After the rib, you do the set-up row, then start with Row 2 of the chart. Continue along.
    • The other area for clarification is on the garter-stitch heel. When you get to the last row of turning the heel it should read that you: end with a RS row-34 sts between ends, 3 stitches at the end of the needle (1 double wrapped, 1 single wrapped and one unwrapped stitch) (the beginning of previous row); and 2 sts at the tip of the needle (end of previous row) (1 single wrapped, and one unwrapped). This is because when you start the heel, you leave one unwrapped stitch at each end.

    After I got back from my awful Southwest experience last week, I sent them an email also detailing the flight from Hell sandwiched between two overly large men.  I asked only for the cost of the upcharge when I changed flights.  Here is their email, quite a different response.  Guess which of these two companies will be getting my future business.

    Dear Frances,We regret that you experienced an uncomfortable flight when you traveled with us since another Customer’s girth encroached upon your space onboard the aircraft. As you may know, we have a policy in place that requires any Customer who cannot be safely, comfortably, and completely accommodated in one seat with both armrests in the down position to purchase the number of seats occupied. We require and expect our Ground Operations personnel and Flight Attendants to ensure that everyone onboard our flights has adequate seating space.

    Admittedly and humbly, our Employees should have recognized the seating needs of this Customer of size before boarding began. Additionally, had our Flight Attendants noticed the seating problem prior to takeoff, they should have contacted station personnel to make arrangements to allow this Customer of size to occupy two seats. If the flight is completely full, then our Employees should either solicit for a volunteer to take a later flight with compensation or offer to reaccommodate the Customer of size so they can occupy the necessary seat(s). We regret that this situation was not addressed and handled appropriately before takeoff.

    As a gesture of goodwill for your inconvenience, we have refunded your one way ticket in the amount of $179.20 to the original form of payment used. Please allow one to two billing cycles for the credit to post. I am hopeful that you will accept this gesture in the spirit intended.


    A****, Southwest Airlines

    • belovedknits 11:47 am on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think your socks are lovely. I agree they don’t match as well as they should; thanks for the warning about Knit One Crochet Two, as I have been thinking about buying their yarn.

      Your SW Airlines response was amazing. Politically correct and they refunded you! I love hearing good customer service stories. It seems like good customer service is harder and harder to come by these days…


      • knitting1105 11:52 am on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for reading. It was good to have at least one positive response.


    • MrsPeterson 1:52 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Those socks are crazy different.

      I’m glad you were satisfied with SWA’s response, but I’m a bit confused– i thought you said they could get the armrests down? As a person “of size” who used to fly every week, I had my share of businessfolk who gave me dirty looks when they saw I was sitting next to them. Flying on a crowded flight sucks for everyone, but it’s worse when people around you can feel the hate from the person next to you.

      God I don’t miss that job.


      • knitting1105 5:59 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        It really was the issue of being sandwiched. Armrests came down, but my available seat area was compromised on both sides. In retrospect I should have refused to sit down.

        And the yarn company couldn’t see the differences in the socks!


    • Janet Kelley 8:40 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It’s crazy to think the yarn company couldn’t offer another skein to keep your business. They wouldn’t be losing much money and they should know that knitters talk far and wide! They’ve lost a lot of business because of your problem with them


    • Rae 11:23 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wow I can not believe the yarn people geesh way to keep customers happy tell them too bad not my problem great way to lose customers idiots.


    • Carol 4:33 pm on February 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I like the colors of the sock on top. It seems that the green of the top sock has darker shades of green than the lower sock. At the place of the knot do you think that they tied on a totally different dye lot?
      I had a dyeing problem with BMFA. I had ordered 2 skeins of the BFL in their solid green color. I added a note to my order that the yarn was for a sweater so the skeins needed to match. When it arrived there was huge yellow splotches in the yarn. It was so horrible. Bright yellow. I didn’t want to knit a variegated sweater but a green sweater.
      So I contacted BMFA and and sent them a photo, they said the yarn was fine and to just send it back if I didn’t like it. I asked about the shipping cost and they said I would have to pay it since the yarn was fine and it was just my opinion that the color was wrong.
      I haven’t ordered from them since.

      Congratulations on your airline refund. That is great.


  • knitting1105 1:57 pm on February 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Perth and London, but no Chicago 

    Perth, London, Geneva, New Zealand, New Jersey, California, Iowa, Melbourne, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Norway and even most of Chicago finally.  Except me.

    I decided last month to join a sock club by Janel Laidman, the club with colorwork (she had two options available) called Illuminations.  At the time that I got the email, you had the option of either joining both of Janel’s clubs, or one of Janel’s and the CookieA sock club for a discount.  By the time I quit vacillating about joining or not, CookieA was full, and I asked to be put on a waiting list.  Well, I got pulled off the waiting list, and happily awaited my first shipment of yarn for both clubs.  They would be mailed in the same package and arrive at the same time every other month, the packages were mailed on the 12th and 14th (yup, today is the 22nd, so much for priority mail).   All packages were mailed at the same time, and they have reached destinations clear around the world, even in Chicago, and here I sit with no package.  It confirms my suspicion that I have the absolute worst mail delivery in the country.   The patterns for both clubs were sent electronically, so I finally decided to cast on the Ripple Leaf Socks by CookieA.  For her club you get 2 patterns to choose from, and looking at what others had posted, I decided that I would like to make the other pattern out of the yarn that comes with the sock club.  Since both clubs are featuring blue and earthy tones, I opted for the opposite end of the spectrum and picked a beautiful bright pink Malabrigo sock yarn.  I have the leg of the first sock done.  It is quick, I cast this on at my knitting group last night.

    With the CookieA club you also get a recipe for cookies!  In honor of her name of course, and her love of baking.  I bought the ingredients the other day, and think that I will make a batch of those when I get home from school tonight.  At least something to ease the wait.  I haven’t changed a bit from the small kid anxiously awaiting packages.

  • knitting1105 12:39 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Handspun for socks? 

    I bought the superwash roving dyed by Helen Mathey that I talked about in an earlier post to make myself a pair of socks with my own handspun.  I finished plying this up quickly on Tuesday night so that I would be able to take it along on my road trip:

    I was happy with how the colors came out together, and with one 4 oz bag, I got 300 yards, enough I thought for a pair of socks, and I have another bag of roving in these colors if needed.

    It looked better in the skein than the wound ball:

    First I tried using size 1 needles (my favorite size for socks), and making the Monkey Socks by CookieA.  But I was in denial about how fine I had spun this yarn.  Granted, it was considerably better than past efforts, but not really a fine fingering weight, at least not consistently.  So, I ripped that out, and started trying to make a pair of low cuffed ribbed socks on a size 2 needle.  Yet again, this yarn is not for those needle sizes.  I am going to take this out for  a second time, and try to make either heavy house socks (my daughter can always use those, she lives in my handmade socks year round), or a shawl.  Hopefully when I do decide, the third time will be the charm.

    • Rae 10:52 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I like the colors & how they are knitting up.


  • knitting1105 1:30 pm on February 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Going, going, gone… 

    I finished the Herbivore scarf by Stephen West a couple of weeks ago.  I was unsure about it, and concluded that I really did not like the design.  It works only if you wear the scarf in one manner, mine was not real long, and the shape was a bit funky.  So here it is finished:

    If I had made this out of a commercially spun yarn, I would have most likely left it intact, and gifted it away.  But not my precious handspun Fiber Optics yarn!  Too precious to even contemplate something that I would not wear.  That coupled with the fact that I have another 250-300 yards on the bobbins that I am plying together.  I am going to make something different with this yarn.

    So out she comes:

    And after coming off the knitty-knoddy, was a very springy, curly yarn:

    It is taking a bath right now, and will join the rest of the handspun from these rovings to become the Japanese Feather and Fan Shawl.  I hope to start that today or tomorrow.

  • knitting1105 12:11 pm on February 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    How knitting saved me from a double homicide 

    On Wednesday and Thursday I drove with a friend to Nashville, then took a flight home on Thursday.  I was scheduled to be on the 7:20 flight, which would have put me home about 10 pm.  So, when we got to the airport early, I checked to see if I could change my flight to one leaving in about 45 minutes.  Since it was less than an hour, I had to make haste to the gate, where I was on standby.  Given body scanning, security, parents traveling with tons of kids, and a large high school group in front of me, it was no easy task.  I made it to the gate, got my boarding pass, which turned out to be the very last seat which I did not know at the time.  When I boarded, I saw how full the plane was, no carry on luggage was allowed any more (I had only a small seat bag), and I realized seats were at a premium.

    I was the last on, and passed by full seats, and one empty seat between two very large men.  Getting to the back of the plane, I was sent back up to that seat.  I tried to tell the stewardess that I could not fit, but since they could put the armrest down next to them, I had no choice.  I really wanted to get back home, and the flight was only 70 minutes, and the plane doors had already been shut, so having no option other than a temper tantrum, and I took the seat.

    The man on the window side, really tried hard to stay in his seat and leaned in towards the window, and while closer to me than I would like for anyone other than my husband, it was bearable.  The man on the aisle side however, kept jabbing me with his elbows, he was tall and his knee was pushing into mine.  He was not polite, and then drinking whiskey on the short trip.  I pulled out my knitting, the Lindsay socks by CookieA, and thank God I was well under way, the pattern was easy enough that I had memorized it, and it was small and compact.  Amazingly enough I was able to even knit the short row garter stitch heel without mistakes.  I would have gone crazy in that seat otherwise, reading would not have been an option.  My arms were pinned to my sides from the shoulder to the elbow (by the bodies to either side), and I could really only move my hands.  It was difficult the couple of times when I did have to look at the pattern.  Once in the air, I could recline the seat the full 2″ back, and it was moderately better.  The free peanuts and drink were interesting, and I needed it as I was so thirsty.  Good thing I am not a thrower, as it would not have been possible to knit in that situation.

    These socks might have to go into a gift pile, much as I love them, as I would forever be reminded of the plane trip from hell.  The yarn is Ty-Dy Socks which was a grab bag gift from Marilyn at our Christmas exchange at SnB.  I like the yarn, it is a nice fine gauge.  The only issue is the pattern has K4 tog’s on every 8th row.  It is really tough to do, and the yarn often splits when doing this.  I am not sure how many yarns would do in this situation.  The long color changes are beautiful.  I am going to see if I can match the color changes on the second sock.

    There are a couple of clarifications from the pattern instructions that I will elaborate on in a future post.  The pattern was printed in CookieA’s book Sock Innovation, which I bought when it first came out in 2009.  This is my first sock from that book.

    • Marushka 12:48 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I feel like my knitting projects can pick up some of the ‘vibes’ from what was happening at the time I made them, so I can understand your wanting to give these away (despite how lovely they look).


    • knitting1105 12:54 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I know, my husband has suggested “saging” them. I might give it a try, as they are really nice.


  • knitting1105 2:48 pm on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Spinning Sock Yarn 

    I bought this painted roving on New Years Day (when my husband graciously drove the 60 miles to The Fold, so I could knit).  I bought 2 bags, because my prior spinning did not yield enough yardage out of 4 oz of fiber.  I think that I might have enough this time.

    I spun the red, yellow, orange rovings on one bobbin, and the green (and I see a little blue which explains the resulting aqua sections) on a second bobbin.

    I was afraid when I plyed these together that I would get a “Christmas effect” with the red and green.  It seems to be turning out lovely however.

    Now, I have to decide what to make with these.  The first pattern that comes to mind is the Monkey sock pattern by CookieA.  I have made 2 pairs of socks using that pattern, and it works exceptionally well with variegated yarns.  Both were given away (these will NOT be), and I would like a pair for myself.  I could Navajo ply the 2 colors individually to use for the heel and toe.  I have to go on a road trip soon, and was hoping to have this plyed so that I could take it along.  My progress was impeded by a bum knee.  With the help of Acupuncture and massage, it is slowly improving to the point that I was able to spin this morning.  I hope I didn’t cause any regression in my healing process.

  • knitting1105 1:05 pm on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Knitting Legacy 

    I made Dan a continuous loop scarf for Christmas to keep his neck warm while working on the computer and sitting around the house.  Sofia liked it, and wanted to make one of her own.  So, she went to my stash and chose yarn.  And of course it was the cashmere silk (the variegated) and alpaca silk (soft green) blends.  She does have discriminating tastes.  I helped her start with a provisional cast-on, and she just knit in garter stitch, alternating the variegated with the solid every 2 rows.   When the knitting was finished, I Kirchner stitched the beginning and end together, and wove in the ends (I will teach her those skills eventually), and you have a continuous loop with no clear start or stop.  Her knitting is very even, and she made this up quickly.

    Both sides have a distinctly beautiful look, and work well when wound around the neck.  I always hate a scarf that has an ugly side, because I inevitably have that showing.  Excuse her T-shirt beneath the scarf.

    This is so soft, it really turned out lovely.  She told me that her and a few friends from work are starting their own SnB group next month, so we looked at Ravelry for a simple sweater, and she picked a pattern that is a great first sweater.  Not only is it relatively easy, but it is cute, so it will be worn.  I am so happy that she is discovering knitting.  And, I am sure that she is so happy to have my stash to shop from.

    • MrsPeterson 2:05 pm on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Sofia, did somebody, like, knit that???

      Awesome job! It looks so beautiful. You have made your mother a very happy woman.


    • Mimi 12:41 pm on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      “Excuse her T-shirt beneath the scarf.” LOL! I guess I liked the versatility implied by the casual garment under the (very lovely!) scarf.


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