Friday, December 28, 2007

Purplish Socks

The socks that I started at O'Hare are now done. They're in Essential Meteor Twist with size 1 needles. The pattern is from the Yahoo! Sockamaniac Sockalong group and is called Fire on the Mountain. (A second picture of the socks is at SaM KAL4.) I really like how the feather and fan design changes how the shape of the top of the sock.

As to the color: Shortly after came out with their Essential Twist colors, I decided to try them out. This is the first of the colors that I've knit up. (It looked loud while still on the skein.) I'm pleasantly surprised at how relatively muted the color knit up. The dappling is really nice.

My next sock project is Errant Lace Socks using Shoreline Twist.

I'm also taking the time between lace shawl KALs to work on sweaters. Until I made a list of the sweaters I finished this year, I didn't realize how close I was to finishing the goal of 12 sweaters in a year. So, I decided to work on a couple of quick sweaters. I've almost finished OJ, a drop-sleeve boatneck -- and, in doing so, discovered changes that needed to be made to my pattern. I also discovered that seaming isn't terrible after all. In fact, after getting over a reluctance to thread a needle, I had fun weaving the side seams together. Then, I used the crosswise bars in determining where to pick up sts for the sleeves.

I've started working on a short-sleeve v-neck raglan in CotLin with size 5 needles. I don't know whether or not I'll get it done by the end of the year. But, it's quick and something I'd been wanting to do.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have the Happiest of New Years!

Friday, December 14, 2007


We had a power outage last night. It lasted from about 5 minutes before midnight to 5:38am. (DS2 was up with the kitties when the lights came back on.)

I was surprised that the house stayed fairly warm during that time. Of course, I did put a couple extra quilts on the bed.

The kitties didn't like the power outage. They were ok as long as one of us (DS2) was up with them and had a candle lit. But, the one that gets in most of my knitting pictures and helps me knit a lot of the time especially didn't like the house without electricity -- which is sort of surprising since cats are nocturnal. Maybe she likes having at least one light on in the house.

The picture at the right is a circular dishcloth made from a pattern Ruth gave out (with size 6 needles). I started it while waiting to leave from Newark about a week ago. I finished it in Chicago. It's the first circular one that I've made.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Year of Sweaters

At the beginning of the year, I joined a sweater KAL with an aim of making 12 sweaters this year.

Here's my progress:
1. a smocked raglan sweater in a wool/alpaca blend and on size 3 needles. The pattern I used is here.
2. T-squared, a square-neck sweater knit sideways across the top -- similar to Tubey (in acrylic and size 7 needles). The pattern I used is here.
3. another T-squared. This one was knit from yarn I frogged from the Tubey I'd made the previous year (in acrylic and size 7 needles).
4. a basket-weave raglan -- in acrylic from the local post office to our previous home in Broadstairs and size 3 needles
-----May was the month that I started my first shawl (in Homespun Prairie and size 10 needles). It turned out more like a throw than a shawl, and so I frogged it this month.
5. a short-sleeved raglan, ribbed at the top. This was the first time I'd tried Paton's Wool Merino. I love the yarn. (I used size 7 needles.) I also really like the pattern.
July was the month when I discovered lace stoles, namely MS3.
6. Summer square, a ultra-short-sleeved wide-boatneck raglan (my own pattern)-- in KP Shine Worsted and size 7 needles
7. Tomato (in KP Swish Superwash and size 6 needles)-- and I see that I can't count. (Well, I never claimed that I could.) This was the first colorwork that I'd ever tried. It was fun. The pattern is from Knitting Daily.
8. Festive -- a yoked sweater with a wide neck and ultra-short sleeves, a pattern of my own creation (in acrylic and size 7 needles) -- which is not written up yet.
-----I tried to make Festive with KP Swish Superwash, but it didn't turn out. The pattern may work with cotton, though. It definitely didn't work with wool.
-----October was the month that I discovered that I really like knitting lace shawls. I finished knitting MS3 in September. I started Chrysopolis just before the beginning of the month and finished it in December -- just in time for my DD to take both shawls back with her. The second was made with KP Shadow; the first with KP lace-weight bare.
-----I also knit my first capelet (from the Bits and Bobs Yahoo group) and my first Faroese shawl (from Knitting Daily). Both were made with Wool-Ease -- another of my new favorites.
9. test knitting -- a short-sleeve scoop neck raglan (for which I'll post pics when the pattern comes out)
10. test knitting -- a short-set-in-sleeve v-neck (for which I'll post pics when the pattern comes out)

So, I guess I could conceivably finish 12 sweaters this year. I've got yarn to make a couple simple long-sleeve sweaters. ..... And the Spring Shawl Surprise doesn't start until New Year's Day. ......

The baby blanket for charity is finished. Some pics are at my crochet tutorial. (I used a crochet edging.) Other pics are at my Ravelry page.

Then, while waiting for a plane at O'Hare, I started a sock from the Sockamaniac Socknitters Yahoo group. I'm doing the Fire on the Mountain sock in KP Essential Meteor Twist.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


For the knitting guild December party this past Tuesday I was going to make some fudge. So, on Tuesday morning, I got out my old recipe and mentioned to whomever that when making candy one has to follow the recipe exactly and that the only time it turns out for me is when I make it around 10:00 pm.

The first thing I did was to say I might as well substitute 1% milk for the evaporated milk -- which would mean I wouldn't be following the recipe exactly. I was asked whether there was a can of evaporated milk in the pantry, and I answered in the affirmative. So, I used the evaporated milk. Well, I cooked it to too high a final temperature, and it turned out hard and crumbly.

The next afternoon, I decided to try again. I used the rest of the evaporated milk plus some 1% milk. I didn't cook it to a high enough temperature, and it turned out syrupy. So, I brought Oreo cookies to the get-together.

When I got home, the fudge was still syrupy. So, I poured it back into the pan and added the first batch to the pan as well. I cooked it just as I would have if I had been starting from scratch -- except there was almost twice as much in the pot (another no-no when making candy). The other bad part about this is that the nuts and butter were already added. (They're supposed to be added at the end.) This time I did cook it to the right temperature, the soft ball stage. The soft ball stage is determined by dropping some of the candy (while still hot) onto a surface (like a pan lid). If it forms a soft ball, it's at the soft ball stage.

The fudge turned out perfectly.

So, I guess the morals of the story are: First, I can only make candy late in the evening. Second, candy making rules can be broken -- but only some of them.

A couple more comments. I use terms like "soft ball stage" instead of a temperature since I've lived in places that water doesn't boil at 212F. In Colorado Springs, it boils at a temp just under 200F. In Stockholm, it boils at a temp just above 212F. Because of the way the earth is shaped, sea level isn't always the same.

Second, if one pours the fudge mixture over popcorn without doing the last steps of adding butter and letting it cool (and then lightly mixes to coat the popcorn), one gets chocolate covered popcorn. My grandmother used to make it, and many family members still do. It's good.

Monday, December 03, 2007


My Chrysopolis stole is finally finished -- just in time for my DD to take it back with her to London. It turned out a little bigger than it was supposed to. I probably should have used a size 3 instead of a size 4 needle. KP Shadow seems to have different springy-ness from color to color. Size 4 worked well with Vineyard, but size 3 might have been better with Redwood Forest. I used size 5 with KP Laceweight Bare. But, I'm very happy with how it turned out. And the extra length is nice.

I finished a lot of knitting while she was here. I finished a top in her size which I was test knitting. Then I also finished a scarf -- another of Chrissy's creations. (As far as I know these haven't been added to her website yet.) I had knit a foot or so of the scarf as test knitting -- with Wool-Ease Dark Rose Heather. My DD liked it so well that she asked me whether I'd be so kind as to make the whole scarf for her.

My DD also loved the Swan Lake stole. So, I gave her both Chrysopolis and Swan Lake.

It's not as though I'll run out of stoles. Besides Bad Nauheim, dem-Fisher-sin-Fru, and Secret II, I've also joined the Spring Surprise shawl KAL. I think I'm going overboard with knitting shawls. It is addicting.

I've decided that I do like the KP chart keeper. I can put one half of a shawl pattern on one side of the chart and the other half on the other and not have to worry about losing my place. The charts are also kept at a nice angle for viewing. The magnets are also strong enough that I can put dishcloth directions (for example) on top of a shawl chart and use one of the smaller magnets to keep track of where I am on there as well.

The flowers next to the chart are from my DS1's girlfriend and her mother as a Thanksgiving present. They are such nice people.

The cats and the rest of us miss DD a lot. The cats were so sad to see her leave that they didn't eat their evening meal. They did join us at the table for some left-over turkey, though.

Finally, the charity baby blanket is going along well. I really like how it is turning out.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here's a perfect example of "Don't keep knitting, hoping it will look better eventually" and also "You can't expect a 7-color pattern to look good in only 2 colors". I finally decided to frog the blanket and start with a true 2-color geometric pattern.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chrysopolis - 6.Teil

I can't believe that I'm 3/4 of the way through knitting the Chrysopolis shawl. I hope to finish it by the time my DD comes to visit. I'm going to give her a choice between the dramatic MS3 and the warm and comfy Chrysopolis.

I got a chart keeper from KnitPicks but haven't decided whether or not I like it. I should have read the dimensions more carefully -- or at all. It's half the size I assumed it would be. But, I am able to put one side of the Chrysopolis chart on one side of the chart keeper and the other on the other. The only problem is that the paper is bigger than the chart keeper.

I'm almost finished with my current test knitting for Chrissy -- just in time for my DD to try the garment on -- since it's in her size.

Please take a look at my crocheting tutorial on Bits and Bobs the Blog. It's the first tutorial I've written, and I would love some feedback.

I haven't started the Monthly Dishcloth mid-November KAL yet. But, I do have the yarn picked out. Instead I've just been working on the shawl, the test knitting, and a baby blanket for charity. I haven't started the Sockamaniac sock-a-long yet either -- though I have picked out the yarn for that also -- as well as for another sock from the Sockamaniac Yahoo group.

Happy birthday to my mom who lives with us and who turns 91 today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chrysopolis - 5.Teil

Here is a picture of Chrysopolis through Week 5 of the instructions.

Moni, the creator of the pattern, has just announced 2, yes 2, new stole KALs. The Yahoo groups are dem-fischer-sin-fru (aka, the fisherman's wife) and the Secret of Bad Nauheim. Both are based in German, but there are English translation of all the important information. (The German Yahoo info pages are in the same format as similar English-based Yahoo pages.)

The Nautical Knitter has also announced a new shawl KAL on Yahoo. It's simply named Secret of the Stole II. The name of the group has changed. Now it has a "-" in the name.

My viewpoint is that one can never belong to too many shawl KALs.

On another subject, I've posted the second in a series on crocheting -- at Bits and Bobs the Blog. This new post is on the chain stitch. (I'm starting out with the very basics.)

Here is a picture of our "new" car, a 2005 Hyundai. We bought it as a small commuter car. It's a pleasure to drive. It's the first red car we've ever owned. But, there are quite a few red cars around here (because of Rutgers being in the state), and so it won't stand out too much. (When we think red, we think either Ohio State or NC State.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chrysopolis - 4.Teil

I'm still working on Chrysopolis, and I still really like the design. It's over half way done now. The shawl isn't the kind that immediately makes you take notice. It's the kind that you subconsciously think that that's a lovely, stylish, comfortable shawl.

I still haven't gotten time to work on socks again. Though, I hope to shortly. I'm still working on the charity blanket. (Entrelac is fun.) And I'm still working on some test knitting for Chrissy. This time it's a sweater with a complicated lace pattern (which takes more concentration than the shawl does).

I've made my first post to the Bits and Bobs blog. It's a first post of several on crocheting. I haven't crocheted for quite a while. But, like riding a bike, one doesn't forget how. I'm even learning some new stitches (for me) which I'll be posting on in a month or so. This week is an introduction. Next week will be the chain stitch and maybe the single crochet and maybe the start to a pattern.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 3. Teil

I've finally finished Week 3 for Chrysopolis and have decided that trying to work on 2 shawls at a time is not going to work. I've decided to concentrate on the more traditional one -- Chrysopolis. What really cemented my decision was my suddenly realization that one of the designs on the Secret of the Stole looks like a dung beetle (aka scarab). It's appropriate for New Year's because it represents rebirth. But, I'd rather have hearts and stylized flowers. (The white crochet thread in the middle is to mark the middle of the pattern.)

I've finished the fingerless gloves for my DD. They're Wool-Ease and size 8 needles. I used a pattern from Bits and Bobs except I made a gusset instead of just a thumb opening. I also misread the ruffle directions. For the ruffle, I did *k1, kfb* across, followed by k across, followed by a bind off.

I also finished a summer top that Chrissy Gardiner is designing. (It's not for sale yet and so no pictures.) I made it in CotLin -- which was nice to work with. It does bleed a bit in the wash (It's red.) and also shed in the dryer, though.

I'm knitting a baby blanket for a charity project (via a lady in the Wednesday night knitting group). They provided the yarn. I could choose a pattern. Having not looked closely at a baby blanket for quite a few years, I decided to look online to see first of all what size baby blankets come in. I found this one, a Tetris blanket, which looked fun. Entrelac is on my mental list of things to try out. I had only 2 different colors (a solid color and a variegated one) and so used different stitch patterns to differentiate between the shapes.

Finally, I'm not sure why I didn't do this before. Our Roomba hadn't been working for a few months. So, I finally emailed customer support. They replied quickly and sent out OSMO to reprogram the Roomba so that it works properly now. OSMO is the tiny blue object connected to the Roomba.

When the kids were young, I would wash the curtains and wash all the walls in the house twice a year (every spring and autumn). Now I have a robot vacuuming for me. -- Well, ... I do have a regular vacuum cleaner also. But, this is more fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 2. Teil

I'm going to have to work faster (and more often on Chrysopolis). Here is the stole through Clue 2. However, Clue 4 just came out. So, half the clues are out now, and I'm only 1/4th of the way through.

It's turning out to be a lovely shawl -- if I do say so myself. It would look even better if it were blocked correctly. Moni has created quite a design. (The red crochet thread was to help me keep track of where I was in the pattern.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Secret Stole - Week 2

The Week 2 clue for the Secret of the Stole Yahoo! group is now done. I'm beginning to see how this would be a nice shawl for New Year's Eve. It reminds me of fireworks -- at least so far. We're getting clues to the theme each week also. I'm debating whether the answer to the first clue is nobility, royalty, peers, or peerage. There could be a lot of answers to the second clue: lady, duchess, countess, queen, princess, etc., but I'm leaning toward lady. (One takes the first letters of the answers to the clues and then rearranges them.)

The questions are: What is a class of people holding hereditary titles called? What is a title bestowed upon a female who belongs to the class of people in last week’s hint? Where, on earth, would you find the class of people in hint #1 residing?

As an aside -- It's nice to have someone who understands computers around. I asked DS2 to change my start menu so I could play Spider Solitaire while every thing was loading. He did that easily. Then I asked him to remove RealPlayer from the start menu. (I have no idea why it was there. But, it was annoying. It gave me a chance to play a short video of whatever I'd played last -- usually something from the digital camera when I had taken a movie instead of a still picture, by accident.) He went to the menu and removed not only RealPlayer (from the start menu) but also quite a few other programs that didn't need to start up right away. Now, I don't even need to play Solitaire while waiting for everything to finish loading.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 1. Teil

After the first several pattern rows, Chrysopolis is now moving along nicely. Here is it being blocked with help from one of our kitties. (I don't know why the cats like wet yarn, but they do. -- But, maybe they like it just because it's there.)

I worked on it for a few minutes this morning. But, then midmorning I went outside to work in the garden a little and got stung by a wasp. It stung me first next to the bridge of my nose less than an inch below my tear duct. I brushed it off, and then it stung me on my left little finger. Despite putting analgesic cream and antihistamine cream on (and also taking some aspirin and an antihistamine and putting ice on the spots), both still hurt. And my finger is swollen. My finger hurts so much and is so stiff from the swelling that I can't knit. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow. I'd never known a wasp to be so aggressive. But, at least, it was only one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Secret Stole - Week 1

Week 1 for the Yahoo! Secret of the Stole is finished and blocked. I'm making it in KP Shadow Vineyard Heather and size 4 needles. This one is completely different from the first one I made (MS3). It has many more plain stockinette areas. However, I'm also doing the Yahoo! Secret of Chrysopolis Stole -- which is lacier than MS3. So, it evens out.... I'm hoping to have Week 1 of the Chrysopolis stole finished before Week 3 comes out on Friday. The first few pattern rows for Chrysopolis were difficult in that it was hard for me to keep track of where I was in the row. I'm glad I kept at it, though. It's turning out lovely.

I've also finished the Comfort Shawl in Wool-Ease Rose Heather (with size 10 needles). It didn't block too well. But, that's more an effect of where I chose to block it than the yarn. It started out looking really good (as you can see from the picture -- if Blogger ever allows me to add pics today -- I was able to add them the next day.). However, when I got up the next morning, it was pretty crumpled up. That may have something to do with our 2 cats and the fact that I was blocking it on the floor -- and also that our cats love to lie on top of damp yarn.

This past Sunday, we went out to Sandy Hook. It was a beautiful day, and there were quite a few people on the beach. It turned colder, more fall-like today.

I've put my second Festive on hold. I still can't figure out what to do with the sleeves. My best plan is to frog to under the armholes to make the armhole opening bigger. (One needs a deeper armhole opening with sleeves than without.) Then I'll probably make long-ish sleeves.

However, I just started knitting a sweater that Chrissy plans to add to her line. I'm knitting it just for the fun of it and since I really like the looks of it and since I have some yarn that I think will be perfect for it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Picking apples, etc

Yesterday afternoon, we went to a local farm near the Great Swamp to pick apples. My DHs family had a few apple trees in the yard (and so had picked apples before). When I was much, much younger, my family and I made an annual trip to the Western Slope to pick apples, peaches, etc. But, this was the first time our DS2 had ever picked apples from a tree.
-- When we lived in Lidingö, we had several apple trees in the front yard. The trees were large, and so we generally picked apples off the ground daily. Those were good apples!

It was fun. We rode out on a wagon pulled by a tractor to where the apples were. However, when we were finished, we went to the drop-off spot to get picked up and waited and waited. We finally walked back.
They had forgotten about us!!!
We got about 30 pounds of apples. So, I'll have to get busy getting them ready to freeze. Fresh apples are so much better than the ones in the store.

The day before was also fun. DS2 went to a Magic the Gathering tournament at Rutgers. I went on a yarn shop "drive" with some members of the local knitting guild. I hadn't realized that there were so many nice yarn shops in the area. Then that evening, my family and I went to probably the only Damon's in NJ. It was well worth the drive.

I've started on my Chrysopolis stole. I had to restart it. Even though size 5 needles worked well with KP bare laceweight yarn, they were too big for KP Shadow. I switched to size 4. I also used a new cast on (for me), the lace cast on from Eunny's blog (about halfway down the page). It's a really nice cast on for lace.

Finally, I tried my hand at designing a dishcloth. It ended up the right size, but .... Here is a picture. Can anyone guess what it's supposed to be? Hint: Whenever I mentioned within ear-shot of the cats what I was trying to knit, they walked away.

My DS2 helped in the design process. He helped me get a chart started with the right dimensions (a spreadsheet with a cell width of .21" and a row height of .14" -- so that the chart size was approximately the size of my finished project) He also helped with the look, the placement of purl sts on the chart. If it hadn't been for him, the design wouldn't look as good as it does.

One more thing: Is Sugar 'n Cream changing its yarn size? I use size 7 needles on my older Sugar 'n Cream yarn (except for the illusion dishcloth, which needed to be knitted on smaller needles in order for the pattern to show up). However, I've needed to switch to size 6 needles for the last couple of projects I've made -- including this one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MS3 finished again

My MS3 is finished again -- just in time for the next stole KAL to begin this Friday. I blocked it to 87" total length and an average width of 14". -- I think I'll probably reblock it to make it a bit wider.

The pattern for MS3, the Swan Lake stole, is now for sale on the Pink-Lemon Twist blog. It's a 3 for 1. Included are three versions of the stole: an asymmetrical one (one wing, the original pattern) and two symmetrical ones (one with two wings and one with none, which came about through requests from members of the Yahoo MS3 KAL).

The version I made is the one-wing one. But I made it with a different join. I was planning to reblock my MS3 to make it a little longer when I saw a new ending to Clue 4 in the Yahoo group files. It provided solutions to 3 things that I didn't like about my original stole -- though, I would have been happy with it as it was. It had a nice ending to the scroll work on the sides; the join was less noticeable; and it provided a little more length. The join is still visible but doesn't stand out that much. But, most of all, I like how the scroll work ends. (That part is me. So, this is really an alteration of an alteration.)

I had knit most of the stole with size 5 needles. I switched to size 4 needles to work the yarn that had been frogged. Then I switched to size 5 needles again when I joined unworked yarn to the project. Coincidentally, that was where the large feathers start (the top edge of the shawl in the picture). I don't know whether it's just me, but the feathers look bigger in this version (even though I did knit those last feathers with the same needle size, I think, that I did the first time around). Even with the added length, I still had a yarn left over from the 880 yd skein of KP bare fingerweight that I bought for the project.

Here's a picture of the latest dishcloth from the Yahoo Monthly Dishcloth KAL. This is probably one I won't use. But, it's so cute.

I'm basically stuck on my newest version of Festive. I can't figure out how long to make the sleeves. But, while the back of my brain is working on that, I've started a Comfort Shawl for my mom from Knitting Daily in Wool-Ease in Rose Heather. She needs a lighter weight sweater to wear around the house, and I hope this will fit the bill.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Illusion Dish Cloth

The New Jersey knitters recently had a talk about illusion knitting -- which was very well done and made me think that maybe I could do it. Then a couple of weeks later, the Yahoo Monthly dishcloth group had a post for info on where to find a Candy Corn Illusion Dishcloth. Well, it was in the files section for 2006. Here are 2 views of the final product. The first pic is taken head on. The second is taken at an angle.

As for my other knitting, I'm almost done with MS3 again. I'm also on the sleeves on my second try at Festive. My first version is here. I'm making it in wool this time with long enough sleeves to finish off the yarn I bought. :) The first was in acrylic -- which looked really well in cap sleeves. Cap sleeves just didn't make it for the wool I was using the second time around. So, I'm at least knitting short sleeves and maybe 3/4 length sleeves this time around.

In other news, the outside of the house is painted, and we have new garage doors. The painters did a wonderful job. However, the garage doors were scheduled to arrive and be installed Monday afternoon between 2 and 5. The installer called about 12:30 and said he was behind schedule and would it be ok for him to get there around 4:30. He finally arrived around 6 and was alone. He finally got hold of someone to help out. They worked until past 10:30. We weren't able to get the second of the 2 doors to open until yesterday when it suddenly started working.

(This is the second time in the last couple of months that something mechanical has suddenly started working. The first was a Pur water filter on the kitchen sink. It kept leaking around the attachment to the sink until one morning when it suddenly started not leaking. My husband was away on business. And, I doubt that the cats had anything to do with it suddenly working.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

MS3 again

Well, I did it. I frogged my MS3 to just before the end of Clue 4. The join still was bothering me. Then, I saw a new file in the files section, which had a different join plus a nicer bridge between the sections. So, I frogged the wing portion plus and am now reknitting MS3. I'm using size 4 needles instead of the 5's I used on the first go-through since the yarn is now used yarn. I like it a lot better now.

Also, Happy Birthday to my oldest! Congratulations on getting a new job!

Also, I want to put in a good word for the new Sci-Fi Channel series Flash Gordon. I love the interaction between the female leads in the show, and I love the humor.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday plus Sweater #7

I forgot to say in my last post that we went to Yankee Stadium last Saturday. We saw more of the Bronx than we had hoped to see. I guess we should have expected a big turnout for a holiday weekend. We couldn't find any place to park in stadium parking. So, we finally ended up parking on the street quite a few blocks away. We passed by the first closed stadium parking area about 20 minutes before game time. We didn't get into the stadium until the 3rd inning. To top it off, they were out of pepperoni pizza -- my DS2's favorite. So, he decided on just ice cream. I had a hot dog. I don't know what my DH had to eat. We had 2 free tickets from a friend and bought one off the internet. My DH ended up sitting in the second to last row near the left field foul pole. We were sitting in the middle tier of seats near the right field foul pole.

The first picture is of my finished Festive. It's made in worsted weight acrylic with size 7 needles. And it's my own pattern. It has an i-cord cast-on neckline and a trellis yoke. I liked the pattern so well that I decided to make another one. It's pictured next to the September dishcloth KAL. I've, of course, made some changes. (I never knit a pattern exactly as written, even if I'm the one who did the writing.) Instead of a cast-on edge of 110 sts, I decided on 100. Wool (in this case, KP Swish Superwash) has more give than acrylic. I was also tired of purl sts. I changed all the purl sts into knit ones.

I've also experimented on the dishcloth. The upper right hand corner had a baking soda bath. The lower left hand corner had a vinegar bath.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by the mystery garment in the Bits and Bobs Yahoo group. It's turned out to be a capelet-- and a handsome one at that. I'm making it in Wool-Ease with size 10 needles. There's only a few more rows to go before it's done. It may take me a while to finish it. I have to decide on a button. I'd really like to knit or crochet one in the same yarn as the capelet. I like the yarn a lot. This is my first time using it.

Finally, I was feeling lonesome for something challenging to do after finishing MS3. So, even though I've already joined the Yahoo group "Secret of the Stole", I decided to join the Chrysalis Yahoo stole group, as well. However, I outsmarted myself. The actual KALs start within a week of each other, one the end of September, the other the beginning of October. Luckily, I've got some KP interchangeable needles now.

Since hardly anyone reads to the bottom of a post anyway, I might as well say that I'm feeling down. My DS1 is out of a job. The car dealership he worked for went into a slump and had to get rid of some employees. He's currently busily looking for work. My DS2 has quit graduate school. I guess we should have seen earlier that he wasn't cut out for graduate school. Math used to be a joy for him. Now, it's become drudgery. We're not sure exactly why. On the other hand, we have great friends. My DD (who is still in London) volunteered to help clear out his flat. It was a lot of hard work. She and her boyfriend did a lot of the final cleanup. A friend of ours also helped a great deal. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


About a week ago, I didn't have anything on the needles. Then I decided to cast on for another Festive pullover -- in KP Swish Superwash instead of acrylic. I'm going to restart it in a couple of days. After blocking it on the needles, I decided that I had knit it too loosely (It grew.) and have since frogged it, rinsed and dried the yarn to get rid of wrinkles in the yarn, and wound the yarn into a ball so I can start again.

But, I did decide what to do for my next pair of socks. I was feeling guilty that I hadn't done anything with any of the mystery patterns from the Sockamania Sockalong at Yahoo. Then it came to me how to incorporate 3 mystery patterns into a sock. My only problem was that I needed a fourth pattern for the sides of the insole. Gail posted another mystery pattern yesterday that will fit the bill. I'm not sure whether or not I'll actually make a sock with 4 different patterns, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm knitting from the toe up and wasn't going to use the other 2 patterns until I got to the leg.

Saturday, the Yahoo Bits and Bobs group (which I had joined to learn how to make tessellated fish and hadn't unjoined) announced a mystery pattern. It really is a mystery pattern. It wasn't even clear to me when I started making it what type of garment it was going to be. I just had the first few rows of the pattern, yarn weight, needle size, how much yarn to buy, and the fact that it needed a button. Wool-ease was on sale when I went to Michaels. And so, I'm making it with that -- which I'd never used before.

Finally, there was a discussion in another group whether a vinegar bath helps keep cotton from fading. The arguments that it doesn't sound convincing. (To set a dye on plant fiber, one uses a weak base. To set a dye on an animal fiber, one uses a weak acid.) However, I've only had 2 dishcloths fade on me. (The other 20 or so haven't.) One was a variegated pink and the other variegated dark green and purple. They were the only 2 dishcloths that I hadn't given a vinegar bath to in the step before blocking. So, I'm going to experiment on my next dishcloth -- the September one from the Yahoo Monthly Dishcloth group, which I'm knitting in orange. When I get it finished, I'm going to dip one corner in a vinegar bath and the opposite corner in a baking soda bath and see what happens.
-- I'm thinking that the fading may have something to do with vinegar being able to get soap and detergent out of washed clothes (and hair). (Soap and detergent, as well as tap water, are slightly alkaline.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MS3 Clue 7

Yesterday was an unusual day. I finished 4 projects. Now, I have nothing on the needles besides a curtain that will take months to finish and hasn't been worked on for some time. I finished MS3, the "Out-of-Orbit" socks from the sockamaniac sockalong group, and my Festive sweater. Then since I didn't have anything to knit while watching tv, I cast on and knitted a Trek dishcloth. I "needed" to finish the socks before the end of August for SAM4. MS3 and Festive just needed binding off.

The picture at the left is of the final few clues for the MS3. I decided to block it loosely -- without wire or pins. I'd bought 2 skeins of KP lace-weight bare and wound them into balls. As you can see, there is still some left from the ball I used for the stole. The other ball was just used to make a swatch, the swatch in the picture. I basically did the scarf as written. I put an extra bead in on the last row and used a yo bind-off instead of the suggested one. But, that's it for changes.

By the way, I decided against joining a shawl/stole KAL so soon after completing this one. However, I did join a Yahoo stole KAL that starts in October, Secret of the Stole. And I also joined Melanie's Pink Lemon Knits Yahoo group, which is just a message group to announce things such as MS4, which is scheduled to begin after the Olympics next summer.

The dishcloth is a Trek dishcloth linked to on the SciFi knitting blog. I chose blue for science. (I'm a TOS fan.) After having to use something like post-it paper to mark rows in MS3, I used post-it paper to help keep track of rows for this much simpler pattern. It worked wonderfully.

I posted a picture of the socks on SAM4. And I'll post a picture of Festive in my next post here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 6

I've just finished Clue 6 for the Mystery Shawl. Here is a picture of the wing portion of the shawl. I've since started on the seventh and last of the clues. I was happy to learn that one can use crochet thread to help block a shawl. I didn't really want to buy blocking wire.

A new shawl KAL is starting on Yahoo in September, the "Secret-of-Chrysopolis shawl". A general lace knitting KAL is also starting/continuing on Yahoo, "Knitting Delight". Both were advertised in Mystery Shawl posts. And both are mainly in German. Joining these KALs would give me the opportunity to practice the German I learned in high school and college. But, I'm not sure I'm ready for another lace project just now. I may just wait until next summer for MS4.

I was happy to read about the existence of a pattern for a Trekkie wash/dish cloth on the Sci-Fi blog. When I finally finish MS3, I plan to knit it. MS3 has taken up so much of my time that I don't even plan to work on the mid-August dishcloth KAL, also from Yahoo groups.

I'm making steady progress on my new sweater. I'm ready to start the ribbing. But, the next time I make the sweater, I'm going to change most of the purl sts to knit sts. It looks more striking with the purl sts. But knit sts are easier to make, and besides I now tend to the understated -- although I still do come out with outfits that are overstated -- such as the way this one will turn out. (It's been rainy here the last few days. And so even bright colors like those for this sweater look dull.)

The final project I'm working on is "Orbit socks" from the Sockamaniac Sockalong. I'll post a picture when I get a little further along. I've also got great plans for the July mystery pattern from the same group. Plus a nice sock pattern was posted there today. -- So many things I'd like to make, so little time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 5

I finished Clue 5 a couple of days ago but hadn't taken the time to post a picture. I'm now in the middle of Clue 6. I haven't decided whether or not I like the wing, but it does add a lot to the shawl. It's not the wing so much that I'm not sure about but the join. On the other hand, the join is just a small, almost invisible part of the shawl. Today the last clue (Clue 7) comes out.

(The red line at the join for the wing is red crochet thread. I used it to mark ends of rows. Crochet thread makes a good marker. It's thin but sturdy and comes in a large variety of colors. It doesn't shed or bleed.)

I'm still working on the Festive sweater from the last post. I'm still happy with it. Though, some times I wonder whether I really want to do all those purl stitches. Next time, I'll probably make it in cotton and a trellis pattern that involves mostly knit stitches.

While moving pictures off of Yahoo, I came across this one which reminds me of my 2 DSs and a Holy Grail line that they quoted when seeing the statue: "Just a flesh wound."

It also reminded me of a trip we took around Great Britain before we knew we were going to move there. To keep everyone happy, we saw a huge variety of attractions. We saw football stadiums in Leeds, Newcastle, and Liverpool. We saw Hadrian's Wall and Loch Lomond. We visited the Cavern where the Beatles got their start. And we visited some Monty Python locations (from a map of film locations). In Scotland, my DD and I went into a little souvenir shop to ask where the Bridge of Death was. They didn't know where or even what it was. But, after explaining that it was from a Monty Python movie, they directed us to one of the castles in the movie.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Festive pullover

After much knitting and frogging, I finally discovered that Arbor couldn't be made in worsted weight acrylic yarn -- or, at least, I didn't have the skill to do it. The k3tog's just were too thick. Plus the yo's didn't add anything. (The blue yarn marks sections of 10 sts.)

But, I liked the i-cord cast on. And I liked the idea of doing a non-raglan pullover.

(To join the i-cord in the round, I picked up a loop at the starting edge and knit it together with the third st in the ending steps for the cast on.) I ended up casting on 110 sts -- 11 groups of 10 or 22 groups of 5. That gave a nice sized neckband. Then I knit around once and then decided that I liked the reverse side of the cast on better than what may or may not have been the right side. So, that gave me an i-cord cast on plus a round of purl sts.

I wasn't too sure that I had enough white yarn for the sweater and so decided to use some green left-over yarn as a decorative touch. After trying several variations to the Arbor pattern, I looked in my stitch book and settled on a trellis design. To change colors, I knitted around in the new color (in the reverse direction from before since the wrong side was now my right side). By making pfb's (purl front and back) in the first trellis pattern round, the repeat of 5 became a pattern repeat of 6. In a subsequent round, I made a pair of pfb's to get a pattern repeat of 8. It looks as if I'll have to make another pair of pfb's to get a pattern repeat of 10, which will give me enough sts for the rest of the garment. By accident, I have 4 pattern repeats for the sleeve section, 7 pattern repeats for the front (and back), and 1 pattern repeat to cast on for the bottom of the sleeve opening -- or 160 sts around for the garment itself and 50 sts around for each sleeve opening -- which is just about perfect, I hope.

I've called this a Festive pullover because it sort of reminds me of a Christmas tree. Though, if it were done in different colors, it would be equally cheery.

Sorry about this being such a technical post. I wanted to get the details and development down so I wouldn't forget. I'm also really happy how the sweater is turning out.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 4

It took a lot of work. Clue 4 is finally finished -- just hours before Clue 6 comes out. Evidently, the stole is over half done now. I think the center back falls about 4" in from the needle. Next come short rows and feathers.

And, surprisingly for me, I've followed the pattern exactly.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tomato finished -- Sweater #6

My tomato sweater is finally done. It's my sixth sweater for the year. This one gave me a lot of trouble. I'd originally made the yarn (KP Swish Superwash) into a v-neck on size 5 needles. It became too tight after washing. Plus, it was too warm for a short sleeve sweater -- because it was so tightly knitted. So, I finally frogged it. Then the Tomato pattern came along. So, I decided to use the yarn with that pattern (since the wider neck plus my using larger needles, size 7 this time, would make the sweater less warm).

Well, I miscounted on the number of stitches to set aside for the sleeves and didn't notice it until I was ready to start the sleeves and wondered why one sleeve was bigger around than the other. So, I had to frog to the underarms (and also undo the colorwork). It's finally done. I was worried that I'd have some yarn left over to remind me of my misadventures. But, luckily, there was absolutely no navy yarn left over whatsoever.

I guess that another reason it's taken so long to finish the sweater is that I hadn't figured out what to knit next. I started the Arbor-Pattern Sweater in some left-over DK yarn, but then decided that I really didn't want to try making an i-cord cast on for the first time with that weight yarn. The pattern calls for an applied i-cord as a last step, but I like to be finished when I'm finished. Plus, I'd have a better idea of the neck size and how long to make the garment top this way. To make a long story short, I decided to frog a white acrylic sweater that was too bright for me in the pattern I had knit it in, a ribbed boat-neck. I wasn't too sure which side was the right side for the i-cord cast on. But, I liked the underside better and so did a wrap and turn before starting the sweater itself. I haven't gotten far enough along to figure out whether or not I'll like it. But, it is fun just to start knitting and hope for the best.

I've finished the August dishcloth KAL but don't have a picture. I finished it the evening before my DH was to leave for a business trip to California. Our DS1 lives there, and so my DH is staying an extra day on the west coast. He also took along 4 finished dishcloths in addition to some clothes our DS1 left here before his move. It's the first time either one of us has been out to visit him. The only trips we've taken have been when my DSister has flown out from Oregon to stay with our mom while we were gone.

Finally, I've got great hopes of finishing Clue 4 on the Mystery Shawl before Clue 6 comes out on Friday. The cat paw prints for Clue 4 are really lovely, and now I know that they represent the pas de chat from the ballet. Cute. Really cute. I like leaps of imagination like that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 -- Clue 3

I'm making great progress on the Mystery Stole. I've now finished Clue 3. And even better than that, it seems to be approximately the same length as the creator of the stole had for hers (about 25"). I've never made anything like this before and probably wouldn't have if I hadn't joined the KAL after reading about it on one of the message boards and hadn't seen how lovely the shawls of some ladies in the knitting group I attend had turned out. There's no way that I'll finish Clue 4 before Clue 5 comes out. But, at least I'll be only one clue behind. I'm still not sure when or where I'll ever wear the stole. I really can't see myself wearing a stole around the house or to the store. But, maybe I can give it to my DD. And, if she doesn't want it, I might be able to give it to my DS1's girl friend for Christmas. But, it's worth making just for the beauty of it.

I haven't yet given my DH the socks I made for him recently. One of our cats (Tripper) likes to lie atop them.

It strange how perceptions change. About 6 months ago, I was having trouble finding sock patterns that I hadn't already knit and that looked fun. Now I have more sock patterns to knit than time or yarn (though it will be easy to change that latter). I've just finished test-knitting a sock pattern for Chrissy and am looking forward to making the second sock (even though it's not needed for the test knitting process).

Then the Project-a-Month KAL has decided to make socks for August and has chosen a cute pattern from Knitty. Finally, the sockamaniac_sockalong Yahoo group had an interesting mystery pattern for July that I would love to knit into a sock (but didn't mainly because of the shawl KAL). And there's an August KAL for the group which looks really interesting and fun to knit.

I never finished the July Project-a-Month KAL, a biscuit blanket -- mainly because I have issues with biscuits. -- I can't make them despite having lived in the South for quite a few years many years ago.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3 -- Clue 2

After getting back from London, I've been busily working on the Mystery Shawl 3 -- among other knitting projects. Here's a picture of my progress -- to the end of Clue 2. It's lying atop of an afghan made by my MIL many years ago. I hope to finish Clue 3 in the next day or two, but I doubt whether I'll be able to finish Clue 4 before Friday. -- And, I don't even have the excuse of reading the newest Harry Potter book.

Two of my grown children have read the book, and we all went to see the latest movie. I was thinking about reading the HP books, starting with the first book on the trip back to the US. However, my DD said she wanted to reread the books, and so I gave my DS1's collection of HP books to her. I can always check them out from the local library. I read the latest edition of Analog, a science fiction magazine, on the plane. I was going to read a Dresden Files novel instead but brought along the wrong book in the series.

Yesterday, I knit the mid-July KAL dishcloth in its entirety. It took me less than 3 hours. (I left out the edging because a moss stitch dishcloth doesn't really need any edging.) The dishcloth looks good from both the WS and the RS. It's in navy, which showed up lighter in the photo.

Unfortunately, the reason that I had so long to knit at one stretch was that I was waited for our car (a Pontiac) to get its regularly scheduled oil change and tire rotation at the dealership (in Union, NJ). My DH's name was on the work order -- even though I was the one to bring the car in -- and so they never thought to tell me that the car was ready. I gave them my name after about 3 hours, but nothing happened. So, I ended up waiting for 5 hours before I got worried because I was the only one in the waiting room. I guess that in this part of the country, one has to bug people about when something is going to get done. Though, I'm not sure it would have helped. I was the one who finally found the car in the parking lot. They told me that it was probably out on a road test. I spent the rest of the time reading Analog. (They hadn't left a message on my cell phone, my DH's cell phone, or our home phone either.) That will probably be the last time we go back to that dealership. They were nice enough, however, to refund the price of the service. I'm not good at voicing my displeasure at lack of service, but my DH is.

From reading this post, I guess I should have titled it "Nothing is going quite right for me". But, the knitting, at least, is turning out well. I've almost finished Clue 3 of the Mystery Stole; I've almost finished the sock I was test-knitting, I've almost finished Tomato (after having to frog most of it); and I'm up to date on dishcloths for the dishcloth KAL (and really like how they've turned out).

I "got rid" of some of my dishcloths by giving several of them to my dear sister. This a picture of her, standing in front of our house. She came out here from Oregon to stay with our mom while my DH and I were in England. She's a lot better looking than I am. -- Our house is in the background.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


We spent last week in London to attend our DD's graduation last Wednesday. Here she is after the ceremony looking at pictures on her camera while I took a picture of her with mine.
It was a nice ceremony. The university staggered ceremonies through the week. The afternoon of my DD's graduation, there were only 2 departments graduating students.
That evening we went out to an Italian restaurant in GX and also met her boyfriend for the first time.
We're not sure whether he's from East Anglia or Essex. Though, if he were from Essex, he would be unlikely to admit it. People from Essex have the probably undeserved rep of not being too smart.
I guess it's sort of like just after we moved to NJ. I told people that we lived near Newark -- even though we live 20-30 miles from Newark. I later found out from New Jersey-ans that I should say Northern NJ. People from elsewhere in the country are ok with the Newark description.

I bought along socks to knit. In fact, I finished the pair of socks for my DH. A picture of the socks is posted to SAM3.

I also started on test-knitting a sock for Chrissy. She designs such nice cabled socks. I forgot to bring a cable needle along and so had fun cabling without a cable needle. It isn't as hard as I thought. I used the method in which one leaves all the stitches on the RHN until done with the cable. (For a left-leaning cable, one first needs to slip knitwise each st onto the RHN and then slip them back purlwise before knitting the sts through the back loop.) Chrissy, of course, assumed that whoever was making the sock had a cable needle and/or would take the time to buy one. (And, yes, there are cable needles in London. But, I didn't see the need to buy one. I had a perfectly good one at home, and it was interesting looking at techniques for cabling without a cable needle.) I left my other projects on hold.

Shortly after getting back, I resumed my other knitting. Here is a picture of the July KAL dishcloth. I have yet to start the mid-July KAL. I also started working on the MS3 again and the Tomato. But, at least, I have a pair of socks finished -- just in time before the end of July.

While in London, we also went to the British Museum -- one of my favorite places. The area for the Mausoleum had been redone -- more befitting one of the Wonders of the Ancient World. We also saw the London Zoo for the first time.

To get to London and back, we tried out Zoom Airlines, a Canadian discount airline. It was a decent airline -- with a few caveats. The price in the ad is only part of what one pays. The amount we finally paid was about twice the advertised price since that price didn't include taxes, fees, and a fuel surcharge. It took a long time to leave JFK. We sat on the tarmac for a couple of hours before the air traffic controllers finally noticed us waiting to take off. Then, when we left from Gatwick, we found out the UK/EU regulations had changed and one was allowed only one carry on, including a purse or computer case. So, I dumped the contents of my purse into my carry on. However, the airline had a 5 kg limit on carry ons, and so I had to dump things like books from the carry on into one of our checked bags. At least, the lady at the counter was nice about it and did allow us to rearrange bag contents. She even suggested it so that we wouldn't incur an excess baggage fee. -- But, if one thinks about it, a 5 kg (11 lb) limit isn't much for something like a laptop and computer bag.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mystery Shawl 3

I'm a little late in joining the MS3 KAL. I joined just before the deadline (after reading about it on one of the knitting boards). I ordered my yarn last Thursday and got it Tuesday. Then I needed to wind it into balls (I got 2 skeins.) and swatch. Here are the first 49 rows.

Unlike most people in the KAL who posted needle size used for KP lace-weight bare, I decided to use size 5 needles. (I also got my first KP needles -- which are nice.) The beads are size 8/0.

Putting beads on the yarn isn't nearly as hard as I had imagined. And knitting with such thin yarn is nearly as hard as I had imagined, either. Though, I was expecting the yarn to be even thinner than it is.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Frogging a Tomato

I don't think my navy KP Swish Superwash yarn wants to be made into a sweater. I knit it into a v-neck last October on size 5 needles. Then this spring, I decided that size 5 needles made a fabric that was too thick. So, I frogged it and decided to use size 7 needles on whatever I decided to knit with it next (probably another v-neck).

Then Knitting Daily came out with its Tomato. I loved the U-neck. Plus the colorwork looked interesting. I'd never done colorwork before. So, after a couple of false starts, I got the neckline done. The raglan increasing went well. And the colorwork went surprisingly well. Though, I have a new respect for English/American style knitters. I don't understand how they are able to let go of the needle each and every stitch. I did the colorwork by holding the main yarn in my left hand and the contrasting one in my right hand. Well, I finished the garment bottom k1p1 ribbing and finished it off with a p2tog k2togtbl bindoff. Then I started on the sleeves and discovered that one sleeve was a few sts wider around than the other. So, after taking the picture here, I frogged the sweater to the armholes. I'll restart it when the yarn dries. (I've become good at rinsing frogged yarn, drying it (The air conditioning vents are nice for that.), and then winding it into balls. Generally, I wouldn't post a picture of a sweater about to be frogged, but I'm proud of how the colorwork turned out. The contrasting color is KP Capri Swish Superwash, which I had to make another still undermined sweater. I bought one more skein of that than of the navy since I was thinking of doing a sweater with 3/4 length sleeves.

Before starting on the Tomato, I did one of my own patterns, the Summer Square in KP wave Shine Worsted. This is my Sweater # 6 for the year. So, I'm still on schedule to finish 12 sweaters in a year for the sweater KAL.

I can't follow my own pattern any better than I can someone else's pattern. This one has a slightly different neckline. I like this sweater a lot. The cotton blend has a nice feel to it.

I've finished sock number 1 of the Number 1 Husband socks. In my last post, I said they were ecru. They're actually in fawn. I should have made them into toe-up socks. But, it turned out ok. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish. But, I had a 1" round ball of yarn left over after finishing the toe. They look nice if I do say so myself. I'll publish a picture when they're done.

I've also joined the Mystery Shawl bandwagon. I've never made a lace shawl before, but I have made lace socks and lace dishcloths. I ordered lace-weight yarn from KP last Thursday, which I hope will arrive shortly. (At last look, it was in a sorting center in Edison, NJ.) Then I get to knit the test swatch to find out what needles to make. Or, maybe I'll just start with size 4 needles -- since a lot of people knitting the stole with this yarn are using that size needle. I may just knit a swatch to see how lace on lace-weight yarn looks. I think I'll blame my joining the group on a lady at the knitting group I attend. She makes lovely lace shawls.

My DD is back in London now. It was really nice having her visit us for a couple of weeks. She is missed already -- especially by the cats who both adore her. We adore her and miss her as well.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Perfect Crime

This past weekend we went into NYC to watch a matinée play. We were debating which play to watch when a couple of the people there said why not go to the play "Perfect Crime." Another person chimed in that she thought it was one of the best plays she'd ever seen. So, not seeing anything that struck our fancy on the half-price board, we took a flier and went to the box office to get the cheap tickets to the play. As we walked there, we tried to decide whether or not the third person was a plant.

Since we had time to spare, we went looking for a place to eat. There was a place right next to the theater which looked a lot like an English pub. It was actually in the process of becoming an Irish pub. The newer parts of the decor were basically Irish, the older parts cowboy/Western. The food was good. Plus, there probably aren't many places around here where one can get bangers and mash. We should have had beer with our lunch (It probably would have made the play more intelligible.) but decided on something nonalcoholic. As we left, we each got a free pen advertising the restaurant (on West 50th St near the Snapple Theater). That's the first time we got a pen for dining at a restaurant.

The play was something else. We still haven't figured out the why -- including why it's supposedly the longest running mystery play on Broadway.

To change the subject to knitting:
At the right is the mid-June KAL dishcloth from the Yahoo! dishcloth group. I think it turned out nicely -- if I do say so myself.

For my next sweater, I'm working on Tomato from Knitting Daily. I love the U-shaped neckline. My choice of colors isn't quite tomato-y, and my choice of yarn doesn't exactly fit the hot summer season when tomatoes grow best. I chose navy in KP Swish Superwash on size 7 needles. I had made a different sweater with the yarn on size 5 needles, didn't like how it turned out, and so frogged the whole thing (after wearing it a couple of times). This sweater seems to be turning out well. Luckily I had some Swish in a light blue that I was planning on making another sweater with. So, I used that for the contrasting color. (I'd purchased an extra skein of the second color just in case I wanted to do something different.)

I don't see how people knit English/American style. I decided to do the colorwork on Tomato by holding one color in each hand. I knit the main color Continental and the contrasting color English. ---
One has to let go of the right-hand needle to throw yarn English style!!!

For my July socks for SAM3, I've started on Number 1 Husband Socks in KP Essential ecru. My DH had been wearing the first and only pair of socks I knit for him around the house recently. So, I took that for a sign that he might like another pair.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Diagonal Rib Sock

These socks, the Diagonal Rib Socks from Knitting Daily, were fun to make -- for quite a few reasons. The first reason is that they're quick -- even with the twists. The second is that they're squishy. The third is that I wanted to learn how to do twists, and this was a perfect project. Another picture of the socks is here.

The socks are knit in KP Essential on size 1 circs. I made a few changes. The pattern, as written, is too big around for my foot. (I like negative ease.) So, I ended up making one fewer repeat of the pattern around the leg and extending the diagonal ribbing panel by 2 sts -- to make a sock 30 sts around. Then, since I had only 4 twisted rib panels, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to practice left twists as well as right twists. So, the sock has 2 right twist diagonal rib panels and 2 left twist diagonal rib panels. This is a wonderful link on how to make left twists that look the reverse of right twists. (I used the method in the middle of the third paragraph in the link.)

Twists are slight different from cabling 1 st over or under another. Because of knitting 2 sts together as part of the twist, they stick out more from the background than a regular cable would.

I couldn't decide on what kind of heel to make (plain, eye of partridge, etc.). And so, I just kept working the pattern down the back of the heel. IMHO, this looks nice. Though, if I were to make it as a men's sock (which I think would be nice), I would use a plain or padded heel.

Then, I decided to experiment by making the heel flap have a knit st edge instead of a slipped st edge. So, I knit the first and last st on each row of the heel flap, which produced purl bumps on the sides of the heel flap. The picture on the right shows these bumps picked up and ready to be knit. I like this just as well, if not better than the traditional method. The seam lies flat, and there are no holes on the side. What's left are some "decorative" bumps along the right side of the seam. The inside is smooth.

Finally, I get the Lion Brand email newsletter, which had a kitty bath mitt pattern as one of the suggested projects. I couldn't resist it. Here's an in-progress picture. I didn't want to wait to order Cotton Ease and so bought some Cot'n at our local store. The circs are size 7.

It's notable since it's the first time I've ever used a stitch holder, and this one has all three of my stitch holders on it. (I bought them years and years ago but never used them.) The base of the thumb is on one stitch holder. The base of the other ear is on the other 2. I cast on 33 sts instead of 44 and made the rest of the widths as 3/4 of the suggested widths. (I'm working it in the round because I try to keep away from seaming whenever possible.)

Finally, I don't know whether or not I should be allowed in the garden. I ordered several plants mail order, including some asparagus. I couldn't decide which side was up. So, I planted them so they looked nice. After looking on the internet for pictures of asparagus (I'd never grown it before.), I discovered that it was planted upside down with the roots sticking up from the soil like the top of a decorative grass. They've since been replanted the proper way.