Sunday, December 17, 2006

2 here, 1 to arrive later

The house is starting to feel more lived in now. We picked up 2 of our children at the airport Thursday night. The plane was delayed because of fog here. The flight was scheduled to arrive at JFK from London around 10:30 -- but the estimated arrival time was changed to just before midnight. So, we drove to JFK's terminal 8 and timed it so we would get there just as they were clearing immigration and customs. When we got there, we were surprised that less than a dozen people were waiting for an international flight. Well, we stayed in the lounge for a while (over half an hour) and visited with a lady who was waiting for the same flight and had been there longer than we had. Finally, I walked over to the AA desk and asked when the flight was going to arrive. The lady said it was arriving at terminal 4 since the international portion of terminal 8 closes at midnight (the immigration and customs people stop working at that terminal then). (As far as we know, there were no announcements to that effect. If I hadn't asked, we would have been there for a long time.) So, we drove over to the other terminal and arrived about 15 minutes before our children (home from college) came into view. We didn't get home to NJ until 2:30. But, at least, the traffic was good.

I'm starting to knit a scarf for my other DS's girlfriend. She's arriving here the day after Christmas. I'm using my usual scarf pattern, which my DD likes. My DD has the three previous scarves I made with the pattern. She says it's so soft. It's also very easy to make. I'm using a navy colored worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles and cast on 30 sts because I wanted to make it a bit wider than the other ones I've made. After starting it, I wondered about my directions for the slipped st edging. (I didn't know the "correct" way to do a slipped st edging back then. I hadn't realized there were so many online resources. So, after trying different ways of doing one, I settled on slipping the first st with the yarn in front.) It gives an edge that faces out instead of lying flat as the usual edging does and which I like better than the usual one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

a version of Smock

I'm happy. The version of Smock that I'm making is turning out nicely -- after a couple false starts. Here is an in-progress picture. I think I stood too close for the flash on the camera. The hanger turned out white instead of a light brown. The smocking is turning out well. The biggest difficulty is counting to 6.
For the sweater, the first decision I made was to use a garter stitch neckline instead of a ribbed one. (I think it looks nice with this sweater.) I also decided to make it into a top-down raglan with a k3 raglan seam. My false starts relate to the type of neck. I started it with a boat neck and then decided that I really didn't want the front of the sweater rubbing against the front of my neck. Then I restarted it with my usual crew neck pattern (which I keep changing). Then I thought "why am I doing it this way?" So, I frogged it back to the neckline and proceeded with a new plan (which is slightly more pleasing to me than the old one). Details are in my other knitting blog.
-- When I get around to it, I'm going to change the directions for the men's v-neck tweed linked to in the side-bar of this blog to reflect my change of mind regarding how to make a crew or v neck. It's just a minor change. I decided to start wrapping and turning with the backmost sts of the front raglan seams instead of the middle.

I'm happy because the children are coming home over Christmas break. Two of them are coming home at the end of the week. The other is coming here Christmas eve. Plus, a very good friend of his, whom we all like a lot, is coming the day after Christmas. It will be nice to have a full house. (We'll be having other friends of the children coming by as well for a brief stay. None of them lives in NJ.) I don't know how my mom, who is living with us, will take the change. But, I guess, if I write it all on her calendar, she'll be ok with it.
On another note, I finally got up the courage to wash my KP shine worsted pullover. It came out wonderfully. It was damp dry coming out of the wash machine. I then decided to try putting it through the dryer. It came through all of this with flying colors.

Friday, December 01, 2006

alpaca/wool blend

The yarn I bought on ebay from MysticInca is really nice. Contrary to my usual practice, I even swatched it (5.5 st, 9 rows per inch with a size 3 needle). I first washed it by hand in cold water. The gauge didn't change much (6 st, 8.5 rows per inch). Then I hand washed it in hot water and soap. The st gauge didn't change, but row gauge did, but only a bit (6 st, 8 rows per inch). Then, because I had always thought that wool shrank, I put it in with my regular laundry on a warm setting. The gauge stayed the same from the hot-water wash, and there was minimal felting, if any. The only thing all the washing did that I could tell was make the fabric a bit thicker.
So, now I'm considering making Smock out of the yarn. As I'm basically incapable of making a pattern as written, I'm making it in the round, from the top down, as a raglan, with a garter stitch neck. I haven't gotten to the point in Smock where the smocking begins -- so I can still change my mind. The smock pattern begins on the sleeves at the elbows and a bit under the armholes on the main part of the garment. The fabric feels a little too flimsy now, but I have great hopes that after washing it will be less so.
On another front, I accidentally put my v-neck in KP Swish into the wash with my regular laundry. I didn't notice that I had done that until I was getting clothes out of the dryer. Luckily, there was minimal shrinkage. Though, next time I use Swish, I'll use a size 7 needle, as recommended.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Anastasia socks

Just a short update: I've finished the Elfine socks in KP autumn stripes. I'm currently working on some test knitting for Chrissy aka Knittin' Mom and also a pair of socks in KP bubblegum parade. I'd started the latter socks with the Wyvern pattern, but that didn't work for such bold colors. However, the Anastasia pattern is perfect. I got to the ankle, however, before realizing that I had the wrong length of pattern repeat. With this yarn and size 2 circs, I had a sole and instep of 26 sts each. So, what I should have done initially and have done now is to make the repeat 13 sts (half of 26) -- ie, k9, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, for the sock I'm making now. It'll be the opposite, but still 13 sts, for the other foot.
A few more details on this sock: To more or less center the pattern, I started w k5 and ended w k4 on the first pattern row. Also, I used a Turkish cast on for the toe and am planning on using a Widdershins heel.
I've also made my first yarn order over ebay on Wednesday. I can't wait to see the yarn.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It was so nice to be back in England again and especially to see the children. We had a wonderful time. It wasn't hard at all to readjust to driving on the other side of the road and to use British phrases. You'll have to forgive me for slipping back and forth between American and British usages. (My "best" combination of the two was a month after we moved back to the States. I left the LYS by saying: "'Twas nice meeting y'all." -- We lived in NC many, many years ago.)
We had a busy time. On the Saturday we arrived there, we went to a soccer game in High Wycombe with the whole family (even our DD). It was a fun game, which Wycombe won. We didn't recognize any of the players. However, one of the assistant coaches was a very popular player while we lived near there. On the way back to London, we drove past two of the houses we rented. They looked pretty much the same, but the towns they are in had changed a bit. (The third house we rented in the 4 1/2 years we were in England is east rather than west of London. We moved once because they were going to up the rent on the house we were in while rents in general were falling. That house was also a Feng Shui disaster. We moved house a second time because the company my DH worked for was bought by another company who decided to close the office in High Wycombe.)
We didn't do much except miscellaneous sightseeing until Wednesday, when one of our DSs had his graduation ceremony. It was a grand ceremony with over 1800 people graduating. The picture is of our three children on the way to the graduation ceremony.
The next day my DD and I met at the British Museum. We had lunch with a friend of mine there. Then we went about looking at the sights. (My DH joined us there, as well, even though he had been there a year ago.) There are rooms and rooms of antiquities that the Ottoman Empire sold to people who then donated them to the museum. When we were in Turkey, we saw one of the palaces and several of the mosques that were made possible through this influx of cash.
The British Museum is perfect for anyone who loves ancient history. The museum has several giant (and I mean giant) winged horses from the Assyrian Empire. It has friezes from the Parthenon. It even has statues from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Masoleum at Halikarnassos, and a couple of pieces from another, the Temple of Artemis (aka Diana) at Ephesus. It also contains the Rosetta Stone plus several rooms of mummies. Here is a picture of part of the family resting on the steps of the British Museum after a lot of walking.
The next day my oldest got us tickets to "Spamalot". He had to go to four different ticket agents before finding one that had tickets. It was a very enjoyable play. My two DSs especially liked it since they are Monty Python fans. When we were in Scotland once, we saw some of the sights from their movies. Though, the clerks in one store were taken aback when I asked them for directions to the Bridge of Doom. They weren't able to direct us there but did direct us to one of the castles in one of the movies.
On our final full day in England, we drove up to Leeds to watch a game at Elland Road. On the way, we stopped at Sherwood Forest. For a change, Leeds won the game. It was the first time my DH and other DS had seen Leeds win. It was the second time I'd seen them win -- though the first time probably shouldn't count since it was a testimonial game against Cambridge United who were a couple or more divisions lower than Leeds at the time.
Our trip back was uneventful except for immigration at Newark. The immigration officers wouldn't let people in our line go to another one since the one in that line wanted to go on break as soon as possible. (He went on break while there were about 10 people in our line.) Then the one for our line decided to go on break after we passed immigration and while the two people behind us in line were trying to help someone who spoke only Spanish complete the forms.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

off to London

My husband and I are off to London on Friday to go to our son's graduation next Wednesday. It will be nice to see the children again, all three of whom are attending university in London. We lived in England for 4 1/2 years. (We had a lovely back garden for the last house we lived in there. Plus, it was near a continuation of the White Cliffs of Dover. Years and years ago, the Spanish Armada went past that part of the coastline.) It will also be nice to be back in England again. Besides the graduation, we have plans to attend a football game with our other son and to go to the British Museum with our daughter.

I'm planning to take along sock yarn to knit a pair of socks for my DD while there, probably using the Wyvern pattern and Parade yarn with size 2 needles. I'm also working on a v-neck sweater for myself with KP Swish and size 5 needles and getting a gauge of 4 1/2 st and 6 1/2 rows per inch. I'm using the tweed-stitch v-neck pattern that I used for my DH's sweater except for doing a plain knit stitch instead of a tweed stitch. I cast on 100 sts divided 35 sts for the back, 9 for each sleeve, and 47 for the front. Because of this, I had to end quite a few more short rows with k2tog and p2tog. Also I didn't knit any sts together at the base of the v. I would post a pic, but sts in navy don't turn out well. (Of course, it could be that my camera still needs a little fixing.)

Obviously, we got our camera back from being serviced at Best Buy. However, we still haven't gotten back the laptop we took in for servicing over 2 weeks prior to that. We had hoped that it would be ready by the time we left for England. It's our son's laptop. He's had to share his brother's laptop for the first month of school -- which is hard for both of them. Well, there's a couple more days left for them to finish with it...... If nothing else, we can bring out there the laptop that I'm currently using which I inherited from my other DS -- though it's far from state of the art.

It's so nice to knit with better yarn like the yarn from KP. And so I'm redoing sweaters in wool or a blend that I had originally knitted in acrylic. The original sweaters have since then "melted" in the wash machine. (Too high a water temperature causes a sweater to double in size.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Square summer raglan

I'm so happy. I've finally finished the summer sweater I was making in KP Shine Worsted. I redid it once because I didn't like the joins. But I finally found one that looked ok with a cotton blend (knit 1 st w new skein, knit 1 st w old skein, then continue w new skein - tying the loose ends in the back until weaving them in). Then in the middle of the project, I had to order more yarn. I finally ended up using all but a few inches of 7 skeins of the yarn -- and that's with ultra-short (8 or 9-row-long) sleeves and a simple bind off (knit or purl then slip st over). I didn't have enough yarn to do ribbing on the sleeves and so did the sleeve pattern there instead. It was really touch and go. I would have had to order more yarn if I weren't so short. I usually knit a medium size but take off an inch above the armhole and another inch below. To save yarn (and to make it more form fitting), I also shaped it around the waist by decreasing 4 sts every 10th row above the waist and increasing every 5th row below. (Added 12/17/06: I've changed the chart to show the underarm diamonds as well. In the underarm diamonds, one can see the first 2 decrease row. I've also changed the chart to show the full sleeve pattern.)
It looks really nice, if I do say so myself. A picture of the sweater in progress is at my August 8th post. I used a size 7 circ and got 6 rows and 4 sts per inch when slightly stretched. (I didn't do a swatch first. I just assumed that a size 7 with worsted would give that gauge. But it worked out ok because the material did stretch.) Here's how I began the sweater. Line 1 of the garment chart is line 45 of the sweater as I made it. (Also line 45 of the sweater is line 1 of the sleeve.) The pattern is knit across on even rnds. I also fitted a couple of diamonds under the armholes themselves - which is now charted here.

CO 92. Join.
Work *p1, k1* around for 6 rounds, starting w the p1.
*p1, k11, p1, k33* twice
p91 (ie stop 1 st before beginning of round)

Upper Body:
R1: *m1, k1, p1, k1, m1, knit to 1 st before next purl, m1, k1, p1, k1, m1, knit to 1 st before next purl* twice (For the first k1 on the first time knitting R1, p1 instead -- to complete the purl around.)
R2: knit the knit sts and the m1's, purl the 4 purl sts

Continue alternating these rnds to 17 increase rnds total and 238 sts total. Continue making just R2 until 45 total rnds for me (51 for most people) not including the ribbing. (The 45th rnd can be used to start the pattern by replacing R2 with: purl the knit st, purl the purl st, *k3, p3* around, p1.)
Then to start the lower part of the sweater: *k1, put the next 13 sts on a spare circ, co9 (w single cast on), k66* twice. (152 sts total)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tempting II finally finished

It took a while, but my version of Tempting II from knitty is finally finished. It took a while because I frogged it after it was finished because I had made the yoke too long . Because of the ribbing and the length of the yoke, the sweater's neck was riding up around my neck. To make it worse, the arms were also too tight. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't made it top down.

However, I really like the neckline. I might use it for another sweater -- but a raglan this time. Here's how I started:

CO 90 sts (chain cast on), join.
Round 1: p90
Round 2: k90
Repeat these 2 rounds for a total of 14 rounds in garter stitch On the next to last knit round, increase more or less evenly to 108 sts. End w a knit round. (There will be a line where the rounds begin.)

(yo, k1) 108 times
(p1, k1) 108 times (216 sts in round)

Continue working in p1, k1 until the sweater is about 1 1/2" shorter than my normal sweaters. Then divide the sts w 41 sts for the sleeves, 65 sts for the garment, and casting on 13 sts under the arm with a single (not provisional) cast on.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Zokni socks finished

My DD is modeling a pair of Zokni socks in KP Essential that I finished a couple of days before she left to go back to university in London. Universities in the UK start classes around the first of October. Hopefully, they'll keep her feet warm this winter.
They're made toe up with 2 circ size 1 needles, with a Turkish cast on, a round toe, a Widdershins heel, and a crocheted bind off (single crochet 1, chain 1).
Here's how I started the sock:

Wrap yarn around 2 circ needles 9 times (under, back, and over). k9 off of top needle. k9 off of bottom needle.
R1: k1, m1, k..., m1, k1 on top needle, k1, m1, k...., m1, k1 on bottom needle.
Repeat R1 to 19 sts on each needle
Alternate R2 (k across) with R1 to a total of 25 sts per needle
Do R2, R2, R1 to a total of 29 sts per needle
Do R2 on top needle and k across on lower needle. (31 sts on top, 29 on bottom)
After that, work the Zokni pattern across the 31 top sts. Knit across the bottom.

Approximately 4" (for me) before the end of the foot, start making increase as in the Widdershins pattern. Since I wanted a heel flap of 28 rows and 31 sts wide, I increased to 51 (= 28 + 23) sts then worked the Widdershins heel on the middle 23 sts.

I'm currently working on finishing Tempting II, which I hope to finish in a few days, hopefully before it gets too cold to wear. Though, it has been warm here recently -- a lot warmer than I thought it would be here in NJ.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk Socks

Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk Socks is an easily knit cabled sock from KnittinMom in sportweight yarn for size 3 needles (or thereabouts). Information on ordering the pattern plus a picture of the completed sock are also in the sidebar. Proceeds from the sale of the pattern will aid in the fight against diabetes.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Yankee Stadium

We went to Yankee Stadium yesterday to see the Twins play the Yankees. Our tickets weren't as good as the tickets we had to the Mets game, but they were nice. We sat in the loge section behind right field -- in the first row. The game started on time despite rain from what was left of Ernesto. It tried to rain several times before the bottom of the 8th inning when it started raining hard enough to first delay the game and then have it called on account of rain.
Rules have changed since I looked at them last. The official score for the game was 6-1 with the Twins scoring 4 of those runs in the top of the 8th inning. The Yankees were only able to have one batter in the bottom of the 8th before the rains came. Back when I knew, or at least knew quite a bit about the rules of the game, the final score would have reverted back to the score at the end of the 7th which was 2-1. But the official MLB site has the official score at 6-1. I wonder why the change was made.
On the way back to New Jersey, we decided to avoid traffic. (Yes, there was traffic even after the 40 minutes of rain delay before the game was called.) So, we went down through Manhattan by crossing the Harlem River and then going along the Hudson River. We passed by the USS Intrepid. It was very impressive.
The mountain picture is of Will Roger's Shrine on Cheyenne Mountain. Cheyenne Mountain, some people might know is the home of SGC. ;) My sister and I were driving along the Gold Camp Road west of Colorado Springs when we stopped to take the picture. We were lucky at the timing because we also got to hear the chimes from the Shrine -- which we hadn't heard in years. The Gold Camp Road originally connected the gold mines and miners of Cripple Creek and Victor with Colorado Springs and places to spend the gold the miners had accumulated. It's still gravel, 1-1/2 lanes in most places with some fantastic scenery.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back from Colorado

I'm back in NJ after a week in Colorado. Before going there, I finished my DH's sweater which is modeled by my DS on my other blog. (He needs a shave and, in fact, got one while I was gone. He prefers to let his beard grow until whenever and then shaves it off.)
I thought I'd get some knitting done while in Colorado but didn't get any done. My mother is too old (90 in Nov) to live by herself anymore especially since my sister and her family just moved from Colorado to Oregon. (My family and I just moved from England to NJ.) So our mother is now living in NJ with us. My sister and I spent a week at her house taking items to Good Will and also the Marion House, cleaning, and also filling up a 15 cubic foot bin. I hadn't done so much lifting for quite a while. Fortunately, her house was in pretty good shape and didn't have as much clutter in it as I had feared. We worked every day from about 8 in the morning to 10 at night with time out for meals. We also got a lot of visiting done.
In talking to her, I learned that there were children other than my own who had refused to watch "Sesame Street". Our children, when of preschool age, liked shows like "Winnie the Pooh" but wouldn't watch "Sesame Street". Mine even liked to watch "Mr. Wizard" at that age. There's just something about the voices that was condescending or, at least, annoying.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tweed v-neck update

I'm making good progress with my DHs tweed-stitch sweater, if I do say so myself. I've finished one sleeve and have started the other. (The sweater has a white sheet of paper so that the v-neck will be more visible.) To start the sleeves, I took the 13 provisional cast on stitches off of the chain stitches used in the cast on and put them onto a circular needle (the one holding the sleeve stitches -- 6 onto one end of the needle and 7 onto the other). Then starting with the middle stitch, I knitted 6 sts from the cast on, knitted the last cast on st together with the nearest sleeve st, knitted to the last of the sleeve sts, knitted that together w the nearest cast on stitch, and then knitted 5 sts to reach the middle again. (The last sleeve round was a slip 1, knit 1 round.) Then to start the new round, I looked at the sleeve sts to see whether I should start w a knit or slip stitch and then worked the *k1, s1pw wyif* pattern around.
I'm almost through with a sock for my DD who's attending university in London. (one almost done, one to go) She likes to save money by keeping the heat low in her flat. So, I hope she likes the socks. She doesn't know I'm making her any. But, I think she'll like them because the last time she was here to visit us (and especially the cats) she borrowed a pair of mine. The sock has a Zokni pattern with a Widdershins heel. I posted a picture of it on the Sock-It-To-'Em knitalong (See sidebar for link.).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Knitting w cotton

I never thought I'd knit with cotton until I joined a dishcloth Yahoo group after hearing about it at It was strange knitting with cotton at first. It felt as if I was knitting with cotton string that I remember from childhood when you were supposed to tie parcels before sending them. But that strangeness left when I found out how nice the finished object looked and how well it worked as a dishcloth. Now I'm working on a new dishcloth twice a month through that KAL.
Since people at were talking about cotton being a nice type of yarn to use for summerwear, I decided to make a summer sweater out of cotton yarn, specifically, Knitpicks Shine Worsted. I'm using a size 7 circular needle and assuming 4 sts and 6 rows per inch -- even though it's actually more like 4.5 sts and 7 rows per inch. (I'm glad I didn't check gauge. Otherwise, the sweater would be too large. It is stretchy.)
I like to keep several projects going at once. I'm making good progress, at least I think it's good progress, on my DH's sweater. I'm almost finished with the bottom ribbing. I like separation between ribbing and the rest of the sweater. So, I ended the tweed stitch with a knit round. Then I knitted another round to decrease the stitch count by about 10%. Then I purled a round and joined it to the previous one the way one joins round to avoid jogs. (Rounds start and end at the center front, and so I had to do something to keep the purl round from jogging.) Then I knit a round before starting the k1p1 rib.
I'm working on a dishcloth from the dishcloth KAL and a pair of socks with a Zokni pattern and a Widdershins heel. By the way, I looked up Widdershins in Wikipedia. Among other things, it means anticlockwise or in the opposite direction from normal -- which is what this heel is. It's a heel-flap heel knit from the toe up with only 8-10 short rows and no stitches to pick up.
We're getting the piano tuned as I'm writing this. The piano hasn't been tuned since we lived in Sweden about 5 years ago. We bought it in Ohio. Then moved it with us to Sweden and then England and finally New Jersey. I'd forgotten how much one of our cats likes the sound of the piano. (It was so out of tune that no one had played it since we moved here.) She's usually the one who hides under a bed whenever anyone comes to the door. Instead of hiding, she's in the living room with the piano tuner.

Monday, July 31, 2006

USB cable found

My husband found the USB cable for me. Actually, he found a miscellaneous cable near the modem and asked me what it was for. So, now I'll be able to post pictures from the camera again.

The first is of my DH's sweater after I frogged it back to the neck ribbing. It was very satisfying to see his sweater that way. I hadn't liked how it looked before the frogging. But, now, with the yarn ball about half the size it was, I still like how the sweater now looks. So, so far, so good. (The doily is one crocheted by my mother-in-law.)

I have some hopefully good news to report about the tree in our backyard. It's possible that it isn't an Ailanthus. Although, Ailanthus is the tree featured in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", it is also as close to a weed as a tree can get. According to the web, it looks like a walnut tree -- except it smells and is very aggressive. My hope that it isn't an Ailanthus comes from the facts that the only smell I can detect from the leaves is a "green" smell and that we've found 2 green walnuts in our driveway in the past week.

The other picture is of the game we went to at Shea Stadium. It was fun to go to a ballgame again. The last few "ball" games we went to were soccer games in England -- which were fun as well.

The only other thing I have to add is that I've finally made my sweater planner into an Open Office spreadsheet. I should have done it a long time before -- It's such a help. I wasn't sure about the row gauge for the tweed stitch and, in fact, changed my mind about what it was a couple of times. (I've finally settled on 7 1/2 rows per inch and 4 sts per inch.) Having a spreadsheet made it much easier to redo calculations. (By the way, I'm using Open Office instead of Microsoft because I'm using the laptop that I inherited from one of my sons.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tweed sweater update

I still love the tweed pattern for my yarn and am still very, very happy that I frogged the old half completed sweater that the yarn came from. I'm past the bottom of the armholes now after doing a provisional crochet cast on (for the armhole base) which (--the cast on--) I learned about while making Tubey. I've changed my mind about the front center of the sweater twice now. I originally decided on a k3 for the center -- but after a few rows decided it didn't look good and besides it had accidentally been started off center. So, I got out my crochet hook and redid 2 of the k3's into the tweed pattern and then knitted a few more rounds of the sweater. It still didn't look right. So, I got my crochet hook out again, dropped stitches to the bottom of the v, and redid it in the tweed pattern. It looks good now -- even with rounds starting at the center front of the sweater. (I'll post a picture of it after I find my USB cord. It got lost again.)
On another note, we (my husband, one adult son, and I) went to Shea Stadium Monday night -- our first time there. It was a good game. We followed online directions to get there (by going through Manhattan and also through a couple of tunnels) and then after we got there discovered where it was in relation to the airport. So, when we left, we decided not to risk the Manhattan traffic again and instead went through Staten Island on our way back to New Jersey. It was just over 10 miles further but, in our opinion, worth it in terms of the aggravation of waiting to enter a tunnel.
Let me preface the rest by saying that weird things often happen to me. I don't know why. Anyway, while at the ball park, I decided to take a couple (and by a couple, I mean exactly 2) pictures of the field and scoreboard before it got too dark to take pictures. I took the pictures with my little Sony digital camera and was seated at the time. Well, a security guard comes over to me to say how dangerous it was to be taking pictures. He said I might be hit by a foul ball or a bat. I explained to him that my son and husband would protect me and I was done taking pictures anyway. (While our seats were just a few rows from the field, we were seated about halfway between first base and the outfield fence.) I still can't figure out why he felt it necessary to come over to give that warning. Other people were taking flash pictures. A lot of them were a lot closer to home plate (and "danger") than I was. So, I decided to root for the Cubs -- who eventually won the game.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tweed sweater

I'm really enjoying the tweed sweater I'm knitting for my DH. The stitch looks so good with the yarn I'm using. I'm very, very glad that I frogged the sweater to the neck ribbing and started over. While frogging it, I discovered that I had started the sweater before I'd even heard of wrapping and turning or short rows. I'd used short rows in making the sweater, but there were many big gaps because I hadn't known about the proper way to make short rows. I had attempted to hide the holes by ending the neck ribbing with a knit round followed by a purl one. I kept these rounds when making the sweater anew. (Details of how I'm making the short rows for this v-neck sweater are in my other blog which is linked in the sidebar.)
At the bottom of the V, I decided to use something else I learned and knit the 3 stitches at the bottom of the V together to make that sturdier and to keep there from being a hole.
Now I have another problem. Rounds begin and end at the center front of the sweater. For now, I'm having the 3 center stitches in plain stockinette and the rest in tweed stitch.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Using advice offered in the WIP KAL at, I decided to frog some of my WIPs. The first one I frogged was a sweater that I had started a couple of years ago. Once I finished the body of the sweater, I discovered that I didn't have enough yarn to finish it. Then about 6 months after that, I discovered that the yarn had been discontinued. (It took me that long because I didn't remember what kind of yarn it was.) I even checked on eBay and actually found it -- a couple of hours after the bidding had ended. So, it kept sitting in the back of the closet -- until I finally decided that I really wouldn't care for the sweater even if it had sleeves. So, I frogged it and made it into a shrug. It was even touch and go for the shrug. I finally finished it with 3/4 sleeves and with a garter stitch cuff for the sleeves.
Today, I frogged a sweater that I was making for my DH. I frogged it all the way to the neck ribbing. It was a top-down sweater that I'd finished the body for. I had actually started on one of the sleeves. But, the cables, etc. that I had made on it never really fit with the yarn. I decided that the reason that it was taking me so long to finish the sweater was that I didn't like how it looked. I'm going to make it in tweed stitch -- and have my fingers crossed that this time it will look ok.
By the way, I'm also working on the mid-July dishcloth from the Yahoo dishcloth group and a Zokni sock.

Monday, July 03, 2006

mid-June dishcloth

The house we moved into a few months ago is next to a small stand of trees -- as many places in NJ are. Having never lived in the Northeast before, I recognize some trees here, but some are a mystery to me. This tree recently finished blooming. It's a good looking tree, but I have no idea what kind of tree it is. The flowers were pretty, and so I took a picture of them, and here it is.

The other picture is of the mid-June dishcloth from the Yahoo dishcloth group. It turned out pretty well. And I even got some help knitting it from one of our cats. She and her sister are 15 years old and still alert and still really, really sweet. We got them from a friend of ours who was adopted by a stray cat. They're world travelers, too. They were born in NC, but they've also lived in Ohio, Sweden, England, and finally NJ. They even understand a little Swedish.

By the way, I also finished a new pair of socks. It's the mix and match pair described in the June 11th post. Details and a picture of the sock are at my other knitting blog (on aol). By the way, thanks to one of my sons who is here on break from college, I now know what a Wyvern is. He showed me the Wikipedia article. He's played a few video games that had Wyverns in them. The sock pattern does look like a Wyvern's scales now that I think about it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

flowers for my birthday

Here are the flowers my children and husband sent me on my birthday. It is so sweet of them to send me flowers.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

plans for new sock

I decided to try another toe-up sock since I decided that I shouldn't give up on it after one bad experience and because I had a ball of yarn that was barely enough for 2 socks -- if they were short enough. But this time I decided to do everything differently using a completely different toe and heel than the short row ones from before.

I'm going to use the closed toe from Bradyphrenia and Debbi Young and the heel from Denise Powell and Dianne Martin. To make it a little more interesting for the self-striping yarn, I'm going to use the Wyvern pattern from Marnie MacLean

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hedera finished

I actually finished this Hedera sock a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be my April socks for the sock-a-month KAL, but now it's my May one. I thought I'd better post this before it became my June socks.
The socks are done in Fortissima Colori Disco Socka Color, which is 71% superwash, 26% polyamide, and 3% metalized polyester. It's the first expensive sock yarn I've ever used. At least, I consider it expensive. For me, with short legs and narrow feet, it took 2 - 50g balls to make the socks. To get the colors to match, I did one sock by taking yarn from the outside of the ball. I did the other sock on the other ball by taking yarn from the inside.
If I had it to do over, I would have used smaller needles. (I used size 3 since I hadn't yet bought any size 1s.) I would have also done the second yo differently. I did both yo's in the pattern by yarning over front to back. If I had it to do over, I would have done the second one back to front -- hopefully, to keep the holes approximately the same size. Or, maybe, to get bigger holes, I would do the first one back to front and the second one front to back.
My other project, other than unpacking boxes and working in the garden, is Tempting II.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Things settling down

Things are settling down -- not so much as they have settled down but that things have started to get into a routine.
The trip to Turkey was great. The weather for the eclipse was almost perfect. (For details, look on the web at eclipse-chasers -- which is hosted by one of the leaders of the tour.) Turkey is a fantastic place. Highlights for me (other than the eclipse) were visiting the ancient site of Troy and, in another part of the country, seeing formations just like the ones on Tatooine (in the movie with the young Anakin Skywalker).
When we got back, it was time to resume unpacking from our recent move. (We closed on a house about a week before going to Turkey. We had been living in a rental until we could find a house.) Happily, two of our children came to visit also. They'll be leaving for university later this week. (Spring break at British universities lasts for a few weeks. Then after the break, students have exams that cover the entire year.) My 89-year-old mom is here, too. She's here for a visit now (since my sister and family are preparing for a cross-country move to the west coast). She'll be moving here in June.
As for knitting, I'm working on Hedera socks. I'm going to see if I can make them knee length (which isn't too hard) and if they will stay up (of which I'm hopeful given the stretch in the pattern).

Sunday, March 19, 2006


We'll be heading off for a week plus in Turkey soon. We're planning on watching the solar eclipse there as well as doing a lot of sightseeing. We'll also get to see our children for the first time since Christmas. (They all attend university.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tubey finished

I finally finished Tubey!! It's a great way to use up extra yarn. (A doorknob is hiding behind one of the sleeves.)
After redoing Tubey (from quite a few times, I finally came up with something I like. I'm still not sure about the neck. I might add some stitches to the bottom of the neckline to make it higher. Instead of knitting 60 sts back and forth for the entire top, I decreased the number of stitches to 30 for the middle of the top with a garter stitch edging to keep it from curling. I'm short; so I decreased the arm length by about an inch before the stripes and an inch after. The body is as in the pattern -- except it was long enough after I finished the last stripe.
I've been making a concerted effort to finish up projects since we close on a house tomorrow. Then the next day (and the day after) we'll get our boxes unloaded to our new house, and I'll get to start unpacking.

Monday, March 13, 2006

March socks

Well, I finally finished my first (and probably only) pair of toe-up socks. The cuff-down socks that I made for January and February for the sock a month KAL were relatively easy. This pair was extremely difficult. First, I had to redo the toe several times to get it the right width and also to be able to pick up stitches from the cast on edge to work the rest of the sock. Then I had to redo the short-row heel several times. Evidently, my high arches don't just mean that it's hard for me to find shoes that fit; they also mean that I have to do some adjusting to get a heel to fit. I had to add a few stitches to the sole half of the sock before starting the heel to be able to get a heel that wasn't stretched out of shape. After redoing the heel quite a few times, it finally looked ok. Then I thought all I had to do was a little bit of ribbing and the cast off. The ribbing was ok, but I ended up doing a very loose crochet bind off in order to be able to be able to get the sock on.
The socks are made with one 50g skein of Moda Dea Sassy Stripes 100% acrylic yarn. Details of how I made this sock was made are at my other knitting blog.
On the plus side, I found out that it was possible to make a pair of socks with one 50g skein of yarn -- 150m. (I knit one sock to a point just past the heel with the outside of the skein, then put the skein inside the sock and knit the other sock with the inside of the skein.) I found out that acrylic is warmer than a wool blend. And I became almost an expert at doing short-row heels and toes.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Since there was a discussion on knittyboard about skirts, I thought I'd post a picture of the one and only skirt that I've made. I made it out of some cheap worsted-weight acrylic yarn that was on sale for a very low price. It's really comfortable, doesn't stretch except at the waist and probably a little bit lengthwise, and is really warm to wear around the house. I keep thinking I should make another, but there are always other projects that get in the way. Here's the link to my directions for making the skirt: . The bottom of the skirt is done in a checkerboard pattern (each square is 4 sts by 6 rows so that they're square) with occasional cable overs.
The main things to remember are to make the waist a little smaller than your waist and to make the hips a little larger.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sherman sock thoughts

The Sherman sock toe has sort of a moccasin look on the sides (don't know if it's me or the pattern). So, for turning the heel, I decided against using the directions as the heel and decided to use the directions from for toe-up patterns -- with the wraps and double wraps.
LATER UPDATE: This still didn't work. So after staring at the sock (and a cuff-down sock) for quite a while, here's what I'm going to try. First of all, I have half the sock stitches on one circular needle and the other half (the sole) on another. Starting 3" before the heel, increase by 2 sts every other round by doing k1, m1, knit to last st, m1, k1 on the sole needle, 4 times. Then use the directions for the short-row heel (haven't decided to go back to the Sherman one or use another one). Then decrease 2 sts every other round by doing k1, k2tog, knit to 2nd to last st, k2tog tbl, k1 on sole needle, 4 times. I hope this works. I'm getting very discouraged with toe-up socks.

Friday, March 03, 2006

sock and Tubey updates

After quite a few false starts, I've finally got the toe done on my Sherman sock. (The pattern is probably in a few different places, but the place I found it is in a Yahoo group:

I found that I had to place a short strand of yarn at the end of each row as I made it in order to figure out where to end the next row that direction. It took my full concentration. Plus, I started by using a crochet provisional cast on and then found that the loops were hard to find after removing the crochet yarn. So, I restarted with a single cast on. Then after getting a few rows past the toe, I decided that it was going to be too wide. So, I frogged again and cast on 22 instead of 26 stitches. Finally, I decided to do a Crusoe pattern after that. (I love a good pun. A stranded sock called Crusoe is in that category.) Unfortunately, the sock looked better on the plain side than the stranded side. (It's Moda Dea Sassy Stripes yarn -- which I thought I'd try even though I do like the Magic Stripes yarn I used for my two previous socks.) The yarn has a nice pattern to it. Maybe I'll try the Crusoe sock in unstriped yarn.
More in the "I like to FROG" vein: I've frogged my Tubey sweater quite a few times as well. The first time I frogged, I frogged to the top of the first sleeve so that I could make the sleeve fitted to the elbow. Then after finishing the shrug part and getting about 20 rows down on the tube part, I decided I didn't like the neck. It turned under; it felt tight at the back of my neck; and there was so much knitting that was hidden. So I frogged the tube, one sleeve, and most of the back -- and then made the neck squarer with garter stitch around the sides and back of the neck. The neck is a lot wider now even though I made it so I would cast on fewer stitches for the tube in front.

Friday, February 24, 2006

February dishcloth

I just finished the mid-February dishcloth from the MonthlyDishcloth Yahoo group. I started it in one color but decided that the color I was using didn't do justice to the pattern. So I bought Sugar n Cream Cool Breeze Ombre and really like the results. I used the least noticeable cast one that I knew -- the single cast on. Then I finally found a matching, I think, bind off -- the crochet bind off.
(While I was buying yarn for this dish cloth, I bought yarn for a few more. Making dishcloths is great.) -- The picture makes the dishcloth appear darker than it is. It is actually a fairly light color.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jaywalkers now finished

I've finally finished the Jaywalker socks for my DH. Surprisingly, for me, I didn't make many changes to the original pattern. Also, surprisingly, his foot is just 1/2" longer than mine. Though, his ankle and instep are an inch wider. He also has a wider heel -- which is no surprise since I have a very narrow heel. Because of his short feet, I was able to use just one ball of Magic Stripes yarn.
The original pattern is at: . Details of how I made this sock was made are at my other knitting blog
I'm looking forward to making my next pair of socks. If it hadn't been for the sock-a-month KAL, I probably would have stopped after the first pair of socks. But now, I find that I enjoy making socks and am looking forward to making my next pair (toe-up socks).
I'm also enjoying making dishcloths -- thanks to the MonthlyDishcloths Yahoo group that I found out about on

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Washing Magic Stripes

I'm happy. After dreading and postponing washing my first pair of socks -- made with Magic Stripes yarn --, I finally decided to wash them. I put them in the washing machine with the rest of my clothes -- hot wash, cold rinse -- and then the dryer. They came out perfect -- no shrinking, no expanding. They look better than when I finished knitting them in the first place.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sock ideas

Mom's Fast Florida Footies by LynnH at has some nice ideas for socks. First is the cuff. Instead of having k2p2 or k1p1, the cuff is k one round followed by a k1s1 round -- to make a rolled cuff. The heel flap is done in a modified garter stitch -- ie, knit the WS rows, k1s1 the RS rows. The heel is turned w the same stitch and the regular directions for turning a heel. The sole of the foot is done w purl stitches (and the top with knit stitches). Though, I'm unsure why the whole sole isn't done in garter stitch. ---- a lot to think about
I enjoy the planning more than the making. And I like to start planning even before I'm finished w a project that will use the same needles.
I'm also thinking of doing my next sock with crochet thread (the larger diameter kind).

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tubey, a further update

I increased the number of rows for the back part of the shrug to 138 from 130. That crocheted provisional cast on is nice!! I can't see where it was. With 138 rows for the back, I'll have 69 chain stitches on the sides (1 chain loop per 2 rows). Then my plan is to work k3, yo across the back to end up w 92 sts across the back. (69 + 23 = 92)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tubey update

I frogged the sleeve I was working on (the first sleeve) because I wanted some shaping. So, I decided to decrease 2 sts every 10th row to end up with 50 sts from the original 60. Then I decided to keep the bell part of the bell sleeves by increasing 5 sts evenly around. Instead of doing (k10, m1)5 times, I did k5, yo, (k10, yo) 4 times, k5. Then to keep there from being a hole from the yo, I knit into the back of the yo in the next row. Finally, for the jogless color change, I picked up the stitch in the bottom row by picking up the back of the stitch below (before putting it on the left-hand needle) which gives a short of twist to the stitch below. I guess after knitting on Cinxia for so long, I've grown to like twisted stitches. :)
When I get to the other sleeve, I'm going to knit a few rows flat before starting knitting in the round, to make the back a little bit roomier (as suggested at

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jaywalker update

68 stitches cast on works. I've done 14 rounds of k2p2 and then 26 rounds of the Jaywalker pattern. Now it's about 5" long and I'm ready to start the heel.
I haven't decided what to do with Cinxia. The neck is a little too big for my liking. I have worn it and found it to be nice and warm. I'm debating whether to wear it as is, redo the collar and neck to make it smaller, or to frog it and make a skirt with the yarn. (I've frogged whole sweaters before. I figure it's better to frog than not to wear.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jaywalker sock sizing

Since a cast on of 52 stitches worked for the last pair of socks I made (for me for k2p2 socks), I thought that a cast on of 60 stitches would work (for my DH for Jaywalker socks -- pattern at I'm using Magic Stripes yarn with 2 size 3 circular needles. Well, after doing the socks down to the ankle, I decided to FROG. The socks fit me but probably wouldn't fit my DH. So, I'm going to cast on 68 stitches this next time. I already decided to do 14 rows of ribbing instead of just an inch and to do k3tog tbl instead of the dd.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Plans for next socks

My next pair of socks will probably for my DH. Though this may change, I'm currently thinking of using the dark, almost black, Magic Stripes yarn along with a jaywalker pattern and a heel that people are talking about in now (s1k1 pattern on RS rows of heel and p on WS rows). --
Tubey is going well. I'm on the first sleeve.

Monday, January 23, 2006

finally finished

I've finally finished with both my first pair of socks and Cinxia. The socks are knit with Magic Stripes yarn and 2 size 3 circular needles. I decided to make it a short sock to hopefully fit with and look well with tennis shoes. The k2p2 pattern down the top is to get a tighter fitting sock. Details of the pattern are at my other knitting blog.

Friday, January 20, 2006

almost finished w sock & Cinxia

I have great hopes of finishing my socks and also Cinxia over the weekend. I'll have plenty of time to knit tonight with 2 hours of Stargate and 1 of Monk. I'm down to the cuff of the second sleeve for Cinxia (which since I'm knitting it from the top down, is the last I need to do on it). I'm halfway through the second sock. Though I still haven't decided how to finish of the toe of the first. I'm strongly leaning towards turning it inside out and crocheting the leftover loops together or else binding them off from the inside.
When I finally get these projects done, I've promised myself that I can start on Tubey.

Monday, January 16, 2006

almost finished w first sock

I'm almost finished knitting my first sock. I've redone the toe a few times. Hopefully, this time it will turn out -- right length and right shape. Then I'll have to work on seaming the tip of the toe together. While I'm thinking about what I want to do with the sock, I've been working on the second sleeve for Cinxia.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Restarted the socks

Well, I've given up for now on trying to post a picture here. I've also frogged the sock I started. I'm going to make it tighter (52 instead of 56 stitches around) and shorter so that it will work, hopefully, with tennis shoes. I've almost finished with the first sleeve for Cinxia -- 2 rows to go.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some baby gulls

I'm trying to post a picture. (edited, finally got it posted) So here, I hope, is a picture of the backyard for our old house in Kent with a couple of baby seagulls and our cat looking at them. Our cats learned that one does not get too near a baby gull. If one gets too near, the babies start to yell, and suddenly there are a lot of adult gulls checking out what might be the problem. (There were no confrontations.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Trying to knit socks, too

I've finished the body for Cinxia and am now working on the cuff of the first sleeve. Luckily, the sleeves are wide enough that I can use alternating circular needles on it -- ie, knit one round with one circular needle, then knit the next with the other, then the next with the first one again, etc.
I'm also working on my first sock -- using a generic sock pattern. I may decide to frog it because it's pretty roomy even though I started by casting on 56 stitches. I'm using 2 circular needles per round on the sock. The first half of the round is always done with the first circular needle and the second half by the second one. (I did it this way because when I was ready to begin knitting the sock, I discovered that I didn't have any DPs in the right size, but I did have a couple of circulars in the right size -- size 3.) I'm using Magic Striped yarn.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Restarting Cinxia

Well, I finally got the yarn to finish Cinxia. I'm almost finished with the body -- haven't started the sleeves yet. I'd almost given up on finding the yarn. I'd looked in Colorado and New Jersey but couldn't "find" any. I was almost ready to order it on line. Then as my oldest son and I were walking through WalMart, we saw it. There were enough balls to finish the project. I was so happy.
Now to the strange part: I guess I must have been waiting till the Christmas holidays were over with to start on Cinxia again. It turns out that some yarn that I'd bought over a month ago because I thought was the right color but then decided wasn't, actually was. (I knitted that yarn into a scarf.) So, anyway, I'm now happily knitting Cinxia again. It looks like it's going to turn out nicely.
A day or two later, I got some more yarn for other projects -- a couple of sweaters from the newest issue of