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  • knitting1105 7:05 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Knitting and Crochet,   

    Baby Girl 

    I knit this over the past month for my newest Niece, beautiful baby Ria. It is a Dale of Norway pattern, from one of my many DoN books, but I have neither the book or pattern number with me to refer to. I will update that info at a future time. I have yet to give this to my sister, but I am pretty sure that she is too busy right now to read this blog.

    The pink pearl buttons are so perfect, I think that this is such a beautiful baby girl pattern, which is ironic, as I started it just prior to Ria's birth when we did to know the sex. It seemed like a great boy pattern, just with a blue edging. However, I am glad that this is for a baby girl, because now that I have the pink edging on it I could not imagine it as a boy version.





    It still needs blocking, and of course being wrapped up.


    • Diane 7:36 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, this is absolutely gorgeous and will be forever treasured. I can’t wait to see of picture of Ria in the sweater. We still have all the sweaters you made Traver over the years.


      • MrsPeterson 11:18 pm on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        This sweater is absolutely perfect. The buttons are just right. What a beautiful way to welcome a new life into the world. Miss you and thinking of you.


    • atangledyarn84 9:48 am on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply



    • Janice 9:41 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Such a pretty sweater, it will be beautiful on Ria!!


  • knitting1105 11:06 am on April 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting and Crochet, ,   

    CookieA classes 

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday I spent the whole day taking classes with CookieA through the Windy City Knitting Guild.  The lessons were divided up among 3 1/2 day sessions, and originally I was going to piecemeal different classes together.  However, the drive out to Skokie is not a pleasant one, and I decided to stay the full-time each day.  I am glad that I did, as I learned something new in each class, and had a fabulous time.  I cannot say enough good things about what a great teacher she is, good sense of humor and genuinely nice.

    Friday Morning: Sock Innovation: Top Down Sock Design  Loved this class!!!  Taking this class has given me the confidence to tackle designing a sock, that is when I have the time, finish UFO’s and have some needles free.

    Friday Afternoon: Flat to In-The-Round and Back Again This was one of the classes that I was waffling on, and it turned out to be my favorite of all the weekend.  Sometimes the descriptions and titles do not really convey what you will get out of the class.  Cookie is fabulous with breaking down problems into manageable math solutions, and gives great handouts that clarify what she is talking about in the classes.  This was one of the classes that I was going to skip, and am happy that I did not, as it turned out to be one of my favorites.  Learning how to take a written pattern and chart it, how to take a pattern written in the round and transcribe it to flat and visa-versa. She had a great whiteboard to write on, and filled it up with very clear diagrams.

    Saturday Morning: The Perfect Rib  Another great class, and one that will help me to get that seamless rib into pattern look that Cookie is so well-known for on her sock design.  This was very well thought out and the handout, as usual, was superb.
    Saturday Afternoon: Cable Suckage Factor Don’t be turned off by this name.  The purpose of the class was to come up with our own personal cable “suckage factor”, so that we could both modify patterns for fit and design those that would fit.  We knit a plain sample swatch, and then knit 2 different cable pattern swatches to see how much pull-in we were getting as a percentage factor.  Then learned how to apply that suckage % to designs to make sure that our fit is good.  Suckage factors can be anywhere from 25-50%, mine was 42%.
    Sunday Morning: Toe-Up Socks with Gusset  I am not a fan of toe-up socks and while this was a good class, it did not change my mind.  We did, however, get good worksheets for figuring out the required widths and how to gauge when and how much to increase for the gusset.  This is always the part that poses problems for me with toe-up socks, and I do not like the short row heel with no gusset.  It just does not fit a person with a high instep like myself.
    Sunday Afternoon: Traveling Stitches.  This class did not give me much new information, as I had already completed many of Cookie’s socks and she loves to use traveling stitches.  This class combined with the cable suckage class really gave me lots of designing tools to use for socks and sweaters.

    Here are my weekend swatches.  Starting at the upper left and going clockwise:

    • (gold) perfect ribbing sample
    • (gold) flat to in the round and back again
    • (pink) traveling stitches
    • (purple) top down sock design
    • (green) 2 samples of cable suckage factor, plus gauge swatch
    • (white in center) toe-up sock design

     And some of my classmates:
    Including cute Mimi who for some unknown reason does not like her photo taken:
    I had my photo taken with Cookie, but it is not press worthy (totally on my part).  I will post it on my refrigerator for inspiration…
    • kathytny 12:46 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, your blog made me feel like I was right there! I have never gone to any kind of class for knitting etc. though I have dreamed of it. I would love to take a Cat Bordhi class! Everyone looks like they are having so much fun!


    • Stefanie 9:08 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh wow, I’m so jealous you got to take all of the classes! Thanks for sharing – She really was a fantastic teacher! I only got to take the toe-up socks class on Sunday, but totally would have taken a few more if time and money hadn’t been an issue. Also your swatches from all of the classes are gorgeous!


      • knitting1105 9:11 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much. I enjoyed all of the classes, and you can attest to what a great teacher she was!


  • knitting1105 11:42 am on June 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting and Crochet   

    Carless in Chicago 

    I am ending week 2 of my summer without a car.  We decided to give my son our car to take to college for the summer, as he needs to come home to check in with work periodically, and it was definitely cheaper than buying him a used one.  His campus is really sleepy during the summer, and this allows him to find a frisbee team to play with.  My summer school class was cancelled, and I work from home.  We thought that this would be pretty easy, and a challenge to see how we can live without a car for a few weeks.  My husband takes the train to work, and can go to the Farmer’s Market in the city twice a week, and we rode our bikes to the local market last weekend.  I can walk to the pet store, my knitting night, and supplies for the house.  What has proven to be the most difficult are getting to a free ATM, going to the gym (I will use my Groupon for the local yoga studio next month instead) securing wine (no location within walking distance), and the organic veggies that are not in season yet at the Farmer’s Market.  I will admit to cheating a bit, as we will stock up on the occasional weekend that he is home.

    Not having a car has also meant that when I am bored, I cannot hop into the car and go out on errands or shopping.  So, more knitting and spinning opportunities.  I will admit that I have less face time with people, which has it’s good and bad points.  When I am feeling a bit squirrely here, I take Lloyd out for a walk, so we are both benefitting.

    I am almost finished with the Roxanne shawl.  I will reserve my judgement on this until it is blocked.  The instructions are not the best at the moment, but it was a mystery KAL where the designer was trying out a new pattern.  Other mystery KAL’s that I have tried have been much more organized and clearer though.  I have to bind off, the instructions for that part were really confusing.  I think that I figured it out after letting it mull around in my mind for a couple of days.

    I caved when I was purchasing my pressure canner from Amazon, and bought the book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding.  It was just too funny, not sure that I will knit from it, but it was not too expensive.  And here is the funniest video using all of these handknit dolls.

    The photos are so cute, I don’t know how she captured the personalities so well:

    Try as I might though, I could not get Camilla to come in clearly.

    And here is my current spinning.  I need to get this plyed, as I am off to spinning classes all weekend at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival.

    • Mimi 10:56 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I hear ya on the carless deal. I have spent most of my life carless but even for me it becomes a challenge at times. I also think it’s hilarious that you caved and bought the royal wedding! I of course have to point you to a story about the group of librarians in Washington who knit the wedding:


      • knitting1105 11:16 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Of course a bunch of wild and crazy knitters would make this! I bet it was quite the hit.


  • knitting1105 11:05 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Knitting and Crochet, ,   

    JuDee, JuDee, JuDee 

    I gave this shawl that name, as I started working on it on the train to Michigan to visit Judy, and finished on our drive back from Mackinac Island.  This pattern, Haruni,  has been in my queue for quite some time.  I loved knitting it, and the end result.  I added one set of repeats onto the pattern.  As you may know, I am not a fan of the “Shawlette”.  I wish that I had enough yarn to add more, but I weighed the yarn out to make sure that I had roughly 1/2 the skein to finish the border.  I even put in a lifeline to assure that if I had to rip back, it would not be a problem, and I ended up with very little yarn left.   I used Anne Yarn by Shaefer, which has a bit of mohair in it and gives a nice halo effect to the shawl.  I really liked this yarn, so much that I bought another skein while in Michigan.

    Even my husband commented last night on how beautiful this was.  While I was making it, I swear that every person told me that this color was one of their favorites.  Apparently it is a universal color that looks good on many people.

    In progress:

    And blocked, I am always amazed at what blocking can do.  I really wish that I had a mannequin, and a foot mannequin, to model my projects.  My family thinks that it is a joke when I ask for that for my birthday and Holidays.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Haruni Shawl
    Pattern Source: Free pattern on Ravelry from Emily Ross
    Yarn: Shaefer’s Anne; Color Bluebell, 560 yards
    Needles: US 4 circular
    Date Started: 6/3/11
    Date Finished: 6/10/11
    Finished Dimensions: 40″ wingspan, Nape of neck to back 23″

    My next Anne yarn waiting for a shawl pattern:

    And, I swear, the last of the Mackinac Island photos.  If you have never been there, make a point of visiting one day, and staying overnight.

  • knitting1105 2:59 pm on May 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Knitting and Crochet,   

    Tubular Cast-on for Socks 

    I love the tubular cast-on.  It makes a garment look really finished and professional.  Years ago, when I saw a sweater knit with the tubular cast-on, I asked the owner how to do it.  She was teaching at the LYS, and I had taken many classes from her.  Her response was that I needed to just take that class.  I taught myself instead.  Well, I don’t teach knitting, and feel that the more we share the better.  So, here is my version of a tubular cast-on for socks.  This works for a 1×1 rib.  If you wanted to convert to a 2×2 rib, that is possible, I have done it on sweaters, but that is for a different post.

    • Do a provisional cast on using a crocheted chain in a different color of yarn, and preferably something like cotton that will pull out easily, and a fairly loose chain (i.e. larger crochet hook).  Chain a few more stitches than 1/2 of the desired finished number.  For example, here I want to end up with 80 stitches, so I did a chain of 45+ sts.
    • Next pick up one stitch in end of the purl bumps on the reverse side of the chain.  I start a couple of stitches in from the end of the chain (hence the additional chain stitches).  Use a needle 2-3 sizes larger than what you will knit your socks with.  I used a size 4 needle here.  Pick up 1/2 the number of finished stitches desired + 1.  I wanted to end up with 80 sts for my socks, so I picked up 40 + 1 =41 sts.
    • Join in a circle (with the forever mentioned note:  be careful not to twist your stitches), and knit 3-4 rows.
    • Using the needle size that you will be knitting the socks with:  *Knit the first stitch.  For the second stitch, reach over the top of the knitting into the cast-on edge, and pick up the first “purl bump” of your sock yarn (not the chain stitch yarn), this is where using a clearly contrasting color such as I did really helps.  Put it onto the left hand needle and purl that stitch.**
    • Repeat from * to **, ending with a K1.  You will now have your desired number of stitches plus one extra on your finished needle size, the first and last stitches will be knit stitches.
    • Do 2-3 rows of 1×1 ribbing.  On the first row knit the first and last stitch together.  The stitch count will now match your pattern requirements.
    • Go back and unzip the crochet chain, and you will have a beautifully stretchy edge that looks like it rolls over on itself.
    I am using this technique to start the Janel Laidman Granada socks that I am making.  These are a high sock, and I wanted a good stretchy edge to help them stay up. And here is the bounty from yesterday’s canning session.
    I made Strawberry-Rhubarb jam (used to be my favorite ever), and Raspberry-Rhubarb jam (my new all-time favorite).  I did not want to use Pectin, but tried oranges and lemons instead.  It is not as firm as I would like, but oh so tasty.  Next is a multi-berry jam, and I think that I will use Pectin this time.
    • stormarela 5:12 pm on May 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the tubular cast on instructions. I have been wanting to try it, and now I can. 😉 …. and.. strawberry rhubarb is my favourite jam. raspberry rhubarb? I will have to try that sometime.


      • knitting1105 6:20 pm on May 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the feedback. Let me know if you have any issues with the tubular cast-on, and I will try to “talk you through it”. Definitely, Raspberry-Rhubarb jam rocks!


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