Friday, May 23, 2008

always losing my Blistex (not anymore)

Aren't these just the cutest. I got them from an Etsy seller, Mindy's Embroidery. They are inexpensive, nicely made, she ships quick, and I think they'll make a cute gift.

See how nice it hangs on my bag? Oh, and if you're wondering about that fabulous knitting pin ("just one more row!"), I got that from another Etsy seller, Buttonhead.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ipod socks and crazy socks

Monday, June 11, 2007

Opal Neon #1933

Opal is not one of my favorite yarns, but I sure do love this new colorway, Neon. Such bright colors.

I just sent a few pairs of bent #1 circular needles back to Skacel for replacing, I sure will be glad when they get back. In the meantime, I've switched over to #3s for a while. This green pair is a gorgeous hand-dyed mohair/wool which I got at the Rhinebeck show last October, from Persimmon Tree Farm. Beautiful dark greens and gold. I reinforced the heels and toes with wooly nylon and used the Blueberry Waffle pattern for the sock.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

mosaic socks

Here are some cool new socks I made. #1 needles, 72 stitches around. I took the mosaic patterns from Barbara Walker's book.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, loosely knit on #10.5 needles. I used the turkish cast on
with 40 wraps, or 80 stitches total.

Horizontally, it felted from 10" down to 7", and vertically from 12" down to 8". Handles are not included in those measurements. For the handles, I did i-cord on 5 stitches, and Kitchenered them together. They felted down to a nice heavy rope. The little ball of yarn is how much I had left from one skein of Lamb's Pride. Oh, and I used a bit of eyelash yarn along the top.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Really important stuff

I got an Ipod recently and I've been knitting while listening to podcasts, what a heavenly combination. Here are some of my favorites: America The Green and Good Dirt Radio.

Next on my list is to find a good book review podcast. I tried the New York Times book review podcast but wasn't crazy about it. There is one from the Boston Globe that I'd like to try. NPR has lots of good stuff. What are your favorite podcasts? I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I love leftovers. All those small balls of different colored yarns, I love combining them into something new and crazy. I think I am not the first person to consider trying something as insane as a mitered square afghan with sock yarn leftovers. That's what I've got in mind right now.

Years ago, I was a quilter. I've still got lots of fabric and books, and I'd like to get back into it one day, but right now I'm enjoying knitting more. This scrap quilt is one of the last projects I worked on, and one of the first projects I'd like to return to. It's hexagons cut from scraps, some joined with hand-piecing, some with machine piecing. I'd finally mastered set-in seams when I abandoned this project. It was great to take in the car on long rides, I could just work on a few hexagons at a time, then join them up with the larger quilt piece when I got home. And then, somehow, I drifted away from quilting, and back to knitting. Scrap quilts were always my favorite, sort of like all those sock yarn leftovers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knit Picks tweed

This is a really nice, super soft wool, and very reasonably priced. 65% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 10% Donegal. Because it has such a soft and silky feel to it, I felt I needed to reinforce the heels and toes with wooly nylon, although most sock wools that I've used, with a 25% synthetic content, didn't need it! Sock yarn doesn't count when stashbusting, right? :-) It might not look like it, but I really am continuing the effort.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter socks

Kit Zerbe's dimpled socks

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hats and new yarns

I made a pair of socks in Kit Zerbe's Dimpled Socks pattern a few years ago, in a worsted weight yarn, and ever since then I've been wanting to make a pair in fingering weight. It's a simple lace pattern: (K2, K2tog, yo) on a multiple of 4 stitches. I'm so happy with how this sock is turning out, it has a delicate antiquey look to it. The yarn is Opal Uni and I'm using 72 stitches on #1 needles. I did not do a picot edge on top. I use a backwards loop cast on, and the rib is: Rows 1 and 2: (K3 P1) across. Row 3: (K1 P1) across. The two rows of K3, P1 give it that wavy edge.

My cousin gave me a gift certificate at The Warm Ewe in Chatham NY and this is what I got. I think it is going to want to be made into hats. Gifts don't count when stashbusting, right?
Here is another new yarn I got recently, Opal Bamboo, I am excited to try socks with this. Nice and soft. I love the greens. Sock yarns don't count towards stashbusting, right? This is only one skein.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sideways Hat

This is from the book Not Just Socks by Sandi Rosner. A really fun project for sock yarn. I think I will do another.

First you knit a scarf-type band, using an invisible cast-on, to go around the head. The pattern called for 36 stitches, but I did 40, and it only just fits my 8 and 10 year old girls. To make an adult size hat I would even do as much as 48 stitches. Then kitchener the band together.

Next you pick up a whole lot of stitches (130 or so) around the brim, and do 3 sets of a K row and a P row. Last, you pick up stitches in the same way around the top of the hat, and decrease in a fan-like fashion to get down to just a few stitches.

All of the picking up stitches is kind of a nuisance, but I'm really happy with the end product.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kitty bed

I felt a little guilty about spending $20 on this bed, when our cat is comfortable sleeping pretty much anywhere in the house. but now that I see how often she uses it, and how much she loves it, I'm glad I got it. I'd like to try knitting something similar. Can you suggest a good pattern? Is felting the way to go?


Isn't it funny how your fingers enjoy the switch from working with big needles, then changing over to small needles?

This first pair is from a Knit One, Crochet Too yarn, 36 stitches around on #5 needles. Nice rich, dark colors.

The light pair is Lorna's Laces Whitewater, on #3 needles.

Now I'm ready to switch back to #1 needles.

I know I am Knitting From Stash Only. But some day I would like to try Interlacements Toasty Toes and Schaeffer Anne. :-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Knitting From Stash

I'm not calling it a New Years Resolution, but I'm working really hard to knit only from what I have on hand, and not buy any new yarn. My last purchase was 11/16/06. So far, so good.

Here is something fun and different I'm working on. It's a thick-and-thin yarn from MCY Yarns on Ebay, 65% wool, 35% silk. I'm using #5 needles and 36 stitches around, with a simple 2x2 rib. It is a gorgeous yarn, soft and dense.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

if I had this kind of self control...

... I'd be 20 pounds thinner, have more money in the bank and less junk that I don't really need, have a cleaner house, and be more organized.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I love looking at pictures of others people's yarn storage ideas. Snapping together these wire racks is about as mechanically capable as I get. They are lightweight and make great storage. I will be honest and say this is not ALL my stash, I have about 14 skeins of Muskoka wool hidden in a closet, plus all my leftover sock yarns in old plastic pretzel tubs on a window sill. This is not good news for Martina, now that I can actually SEE my stash (it used to all be in Rubbermaid tubs), hopefully I will not be shopping for a long time, or at least until she offers another free shipping special. :-)

Friday, August 25, 2006

fingerless gloves in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande

This was a nice change of pace for me; I'm so used to working with #1 needles. This is Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande. I used #9 needles, with 32 stitches around. This is the softest yarn you can imagine, it is just wonderful. The cable stitch is not really a cable, but is: K2tog but leave on left hand needle, then knit the first stitch closest to the point of the needle, then slip both stitches off the left hand nedle.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

short row heels

Once I tried Priscilla Gibson-Roberts short-row heel, I never turned back. It's a great heel and I can't imagine ever using another one (though it is fun to experiment). One of the things I like best about it is that all the stitches stay on one needle, and there is no counting and re-distributing stitches like in a heel a flap and gusset.

One thing I'm not crazy about in the PGR heel, however, is those little holes that tend to come right at the corners near the top. So I have modified the heel a bit, for my own use. I do a teeny little heel flap, 4 rows. Then I complete the heel like you'd normally do it. Then I pick up 3 stitches on each side, right on the teeny heel flaps. I decrease those new 6 stitches on every other row, as you would with a flap/gusset heel. Does that make sense? I hardly ever get those little holes when I do it this way. I think that by picking up stitches perpendicular to the existing knitting gives them extra strength and stability, and doesn't really give holes a chance to form.

You can click on the photo above to make it bigger. I think the dark blue of the heel makes it easier to see that little jog of 4 rows. Sorry about the lint and pilling on the heel, I didn't notice that until after I'd taken the photo. These are old socks. I love how the self-striping sock yarn stands up to wear. I've been wearing these socks more than 3 years.

I'd highly recommend Priscilla Gibson-Roberts book, Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy to anyone who wants to learn how to do these heels. A great book for any knitter's library.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Efficient use of a 100 gm skein of sock yarn?

One pair of ladies size medium socks, one pair of fingerless gloves, and a walnut sized ball leftover, great for Frankensteins. If I hadn't used the contrasting solid for the ribs/heels/toes, I think I still would have been able to complete both pairs with one 100-gm skein of sock yarn.

Monday, August 07, 2006

what to do with leftover sock yarn

Here's what I do with leftover sock yarn. I throw them all together into one crazy sock and make an unmatched pair. Sometimes I might make the heels/ribs/toes the same, just for a little something to tie them together. A knitter in Germany did the same thing and she called hers "Frankensteins."

Opal solids!

Great package in the mail today - I got these from an Ebay seller, can't remember the name. These are nice autumney colors and I've got a slip stitch pattern in mind for them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mock Croc Socks

This is a fun pattern I found at the Knit Picks web site. Easy to remember after the first few repeats. This is a knitting neurosis I have: different projects for different times. Plain stockinette for times when I want to knit but not pay attention to what I'm doing. Walking my kids to the bus stop, for example, or in the movies. But to keep life interesting I like to be working on something a little more involved at the same time. Wonder if I'd be able to make a mortgage payment if I sold all my Addi turbos?!

I used Regia Splendid #4200, 72 stitches around on #1 needles. This is what the yarn looks like on the bottom of the foot:

And here is a close up of the cable/lace pattern:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

county fair

I've won ribbons in the county fair before, but it didn't seem like much of an accomplishment because there weren't many entries in my categories (socks, mittens and hats). This year, however, I won Best of Show on a pair of socks, how exciting! They are done in Regia 4-ply tweed, 72 stitches around on #1 needles.

It makes me sad to see less and less fair entries as the years go by. Our county is less agricultural and more suburban, and the overcrowding and development only get worse every year.

Here's a close up of the cables:

Monday, July 31, 2006

fingerless mittens

I do fingerless mittens on two 24" circular needles, size 1, with a Regia or Opal sock yarn. Cast on 60 stitches and do about 30 rows of 2x2 rib. Then do 20 rows in stockinette before increasing for the thumb gusset, which I increase up to 24 stitches. Bind those 24 stitches off in plain stockinette, and it makes a nice curled edge. After re-joining, I do another 30 rows in stockinette before binding off. I think this is just the right size for a ladies hand, but my kids also wear them. These are pretty sketchy directions, if you need more detail, e-mail me.