Just knitting on...

A record of my knitting projects and events of my life

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alice Still Lives Here

Meet Alice. Santa Claus brought her to my daughter Christine on Christmas 1973 and she has lived in our house ever since. I took her off the shelf in the Teen Suite on the 3rd floor of my house to model the Berry Cute Hat. It's a lousy picture, taken by flash since it is a very gloomy overcast day in Cleveland. Poor Alice, she actually looks a little scary in this picture, but she is really very bland in person.

I am thinking about selling my house and downsizing to a condo. It's a huge decision. I love my house, but one person and a dog do not need three floors, seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and two half baths. I'm reluctant to leave over thiry years of memories, mostly good ones. And then there is all the possessions accumulated over the years. Still I think it is time. Maybe.

Friday, January 27, 2006


I'm glad it's Friday, it's been a long week. I do have a long list of errands to run tomorrow, but I won't think about that now.

There has been baby shower knitting this week. It turns out that the yet unborn baby is a girl, so I decided to knit Bev Galeska's pattern "A Berry Cute Hat". I knit this hat before for my granddaughter, Katy, although in the large size. This time it's the small size, which may be why it seems to be a more fiddly pattern that I remembered. I'm using the same yarn and same size needles. I'm using my Denise circular needles sizes US 7 and 9, and Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Cherry Moon and a dark green shade, can't remember what they named it and the label is gone. Here's what I've completed so far.

The leaf border is knit first on the smaller needle and wasn't hard, just garter stitch, increasing into the first or last stitch of the row, depending on whether it was a right side or wrong side row. When you reached the "point" you bind off five stitches, knit three, turn, and start all over again until you have 12 repeats. Easy peasy. Next was the band. This was just rows of stockinette stitch, which rolls up to form a brim. It was knit double stranded on the larger size needles. Now comes the fiddly part. You pick up stitches on the leaf border using a single strand of yarn, one loop through each garter ridge on the straight edge of the border. So far so good. Next, you put the needle holding the border stitches over the needle holding the band stitches, and holding them in your left hand, knit together a stitch from the front needle and a stitch from the back needle. You're knitting together two pieces of circular knitting and the smaller circle has to be stretched around outside of the inner, large circle! It works, but requires some wrestling with your knitting to get it to cooperate. During said wrestling, I am sad to say there was some cussing, causing the the dog to flee upstairs to hide under the bed. (I adopted her from a shelter and her former owner abused her. She's very sensitive to the least hint of violence in the atomosphere. Long story.) After knitting the two pieces together, the berry pattern in pink is started. It's a simpler pattern than it looks, being mostly stockinette except for every sixth row. Then, to make the little bumps, you're required to drop every 4th stitch down four rows, pick it up and knit beneath the "ladder" of four strands above it. This doesn't sound hard, and I don't recall having problems doing this when I knit Katy's hat. This time however, I kept catching one or more of the loose strands when I tried to pull the yarn through the stitch. I finally resorted to a crochet hook, picking up the stitch, pulling the yarn through it and putting the stitch on the needle. It felt a little like cheating, but it worked. Maybe the chardonnay I was drinking was a factor. Anyway.
There is progress on the Country Socks, although I may have been optimistic to think I could finish them before Feb. 1. I finished one sock, but have not yet cast on for the second sock.

We'll see how much knitting gets done this weekend. Have a good one.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Week End Knitting

Drat, just lost a post. I didn't save it before I previewed and when I closed the preview window that was the end of that. Live and learn.

Ok. I finished the Meillenweit socks. They are a pretty good fit, although a tad loose in the ankle.

The color is a bit washed out from the flash. They are really red, pinkish brown, and brown.

Next, I cast on for the Country Socks for the Folk Sock Knitalong. I've reached the heel flap on sock # 1. These are supposed to finished by January 31, and that shouldn't be a problem. They are interesting, but not terribly difficult. Here's a progress pic:

You can't really see the detail in the ribbing, so here is a shot of it stretched over my hand:

Hmm. I'm not sure you can see the detail well in this shot either. I did some work on Beadwork, adding about an inch to the right front. It's going back in the basket for a couple weeks, because I've been invited to a baby shower on February 4, and I need some time to knit something for that. It will probably be a hat or booties or both. Knitting a sweater would be cutting it close. I have enough stress in my life without adding to it. Well, that's it for today.

Knitting as an Olympic Sport?

The Yarn Harlot is encouraging us to joint the Knitting Olympics, to knit to the finish one challenging knitting project during the period from the Opening Ceremonies through the Closing Ceremonies. Am I tempted to join in? Yeah, I even know what the challenging project would be, Lucy Neatby's Camelot Socks. It's not going to happen though. I'll be visiting my parents at their winter home in Brownsville, Texas during the second week of the Olympics, and I don't think they'd appreciate it if I spent the entire week bonded to my knitting. Nor do I want to, come to that. Mom and I have big plans for shopping in Mexico, swimming in the pool, drinking coffee or wine on the patio etc. Most of those things, except for the coffee, do not mix well with knitting, or at least with my knitting! During the Winter Olympics of 1994, I was home and off work while recuperating from surgery. My sister was staying with me, ostensibly to take care of me, but we had a great time just loafing around, and spent many hours watching the Olympic Games. If I could, it would be fabulous to take two weeks off work, and just knit and watch the Olympics. I'm very jealous of folks who will be able to be at home and do that!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pride goes before tinking back

Darn that Beadwork! I've added a couple of inches and was beginning to feel like I might actually be making progress. Just as I was thinking, "You know, I must finally be getting all three charts down, I haven't had to do any ripping or tinking for almost a week", I saw it. A mistake four rows down. So I spent 45 minutes this morning tinking back to the mistake. So not how I like to start the day. Also, I finished the ball of Scottish Fleet I was using on this project and went to dig a new one out of the stash. I discovered that there were only three balls left. I still have to knit the left front and two sleeves! I bought this yarn two years ago, so there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that I'll be able to get more in the same dyelot. Well, I'll see how far it goes before I order any more. I was just wondering what that dark rectangle was at the bottom of this picture. I finally realized that it is my pager, clipped to a lanyard that has my corporate ID. I guess it swung forward when I leaned over to take this picture.

On to a more hopeful project. I've almost completed the first sock, just the toe left to do. Of course, it's just simple stockinette and not too prone to mistakes due to lapses in concentration.

Have a good one!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Still Waiting

The Naturespun yarn for the Country Socks hasn't arrived from Patternworks yet. So, being totally fickle, or maybe it's because I'm a Gemini, I had to cast on for a new pair of socks. The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Multiringel, shade 5030. I'm using US size 2 double points and a generic sock pattern from I forget where. I'm feeling very virtuous that the yarn is from my stash. Never mind that the day I bought it I just stopped in at the LYS to pick up a package of US 2 needles and came out with $75 dollars in yarn and pattern books!

I'm still adding a few rows a day to Beadwork, but there are some good reasons (excuses?) why I'm not spending a lot of time on it. The yarn is dark, and unless the light is bright it is difficult to see the pattern, particularly when working a wrong side row. Daylight is preferable. There are three different charts involved and if I don't really concentrate I make a lot of mistakes. This means no TV or conversation. Add a glass of wine and for sure I'll be tinking back in the morning. Therefore, Beadwork has been relegated to the 45 minutes or so knitting I allow myself before leaving for work. I've added an inch to it since the last picture--boring, I know.
So no photo, it would look pretty much like the last one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


As promised, the completed Whitby socks.

They were really a pleasure to knit. I used 3.25mm double points and Louet Gems Opal sport weight yarn. They only took about three days total to knit. They have a dutch heel.

I forget what the toe style is called-wedge, maybe? Anyway here it is.

I have ordered some Nature Spun sport yarn from Patternworks for my next sock project, County Socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks. I had some purple, turquoise and yellow Nature Spun in the stash that I thought I could use. I cast on and tried yellow and purple, but they just didn't go well together. The yellow is sort of mustardy and the purple is sort of a dull shade. Ugh. I ripped it out. I ordered natural and gray. I just looked at the socks on the knit-along page. I think I was looking at the wrong pattern. The pattern I thought we were knitting was Welsh Country Socks. There must be a second Country Socks pattern. Must check this out.

In the mean time, while awaiting the Nature Spun yarn, I pulled an old project out of the basket. I don't think I've touched it since last April.

This is the partially completed right front of a Jade Starmore design, Beadwork, from a Collector's Item. I started this project at least two years ago. I'm finding the pattern very complicated, and to get gauge, I have to use a size 1 needle. It's a very slow knit. I finished the back, which is the largest piece. Last night I knit six rows, found a mistake, tinked back four rows and then re-knit them. It took all evening. I may never finish this.

Monday, January 09, 2006


This past holiday season was the best for me in several years. The first Christmas after my husband left me (in September) was so hard. Nothing seemed right. The next one was better, but I was still sad at "what might have been" but wasn't. This year I was able to just enjoy the moment. I guess you do get used to changes, even hard ones.

The trip to Maryland was fun. It's a long drive, but my dog is too large to fly except in cargo, and I won't put her through that. Audiobooks help, and this trip it was Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. The visit itself was pretty much my usual grammy visit, once we opened Christmas presents. I did some babysitting so my daughter and son-in-law could go to a couple parties. I made Beef Bourguignon (spelling?) for dinner one night. We all went ice skating at the outdoor rink in Pershing Park in downtown Washington. It was the first time on skates for five year old Katy and three year old Jack. Since I haven't been on skates in, oh twentysome years, I would have been wise to just watch. Of course I didn't and boy did my back and ankle muscles protest. I really didn't skate that long before I fell right on my fanny. Very embarrassing. A very nice man had to help me back up. After skating, we all had lunch at the Old Ebbet's Grill. Tom also took me to the Round Robin bar at the Willard for a drink. I had a yummy Cosmopolitan. I left for home on New Year's Day.

I'm not a great fan of New Year's resolutions. But I do resolve to finish at least one of three unfinished projects in the knitting basket. I think the oldest one is two years in process now.

I finished the Whitby socks this weekend and they are washed and drying on blockers. Pictures tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Lonely Latvian Has a Mate

I finished the second Latvian socks during my trip to Maryland, but delayed taking photos because it has been so gray and overcast here. It is still gray and overcast--this is Cleveland in January, folks--but took the photos anyway.


Pattern from Nancy Bush's book, Folk Socks. I knit the pattern exactly as written and didn't find any errors. I used a provisional cast on for the picot hem. I was a bit apprehensive that the length of the leg would be too long for me, but it turned out ok. Knit on US size 0 doublepoints, using KnitPicks Essentials sock yarn in the shade Dusk. Would I knit these socks again? I dunno, ask me in a few months. They are such a fine gauge, it seemed to take forever to see any progress. It was one of those projects that the Yarn Harlot describes as "black hole knitting."

I'm currently knitting Whitby for the Knitting on the Road Knitalong. It is much faster to knit, being made with sport weight yarn and on 3.25mm needles. I'm almost to the toe, just one more cable to go.

I was going to post some about my visit to Maryland, but I've run out of steam here. Maybe tomorrow. There were no visits to yarn shops, alas. But otherwise a very good time.

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