Wednesday, November 30, 2005

holiday knitting

i think the only thing that can suck about the holidays is not being able to show all the things i've been knitting, because, a certain recipient reads my blog and would have her surprise spoiled. so, it will remain in secretlandia. (sorry mom)

but, inbetween all the tiny stitches on tiny needles, i've been periodically working on my dreaded mohair wrappy wrap. this is the mohair i purchased on my vermont trip, from the booth, where the vendor told me and all my friends, individually, to cast on a different number of stitches. this hex has resulted in some multiple trips to the frogpond.

but, not too long ago, i decided that 66 was the magic number.


this has become my mindless knitting project. all my other projects require focus or too much yarn to haul around.

though not totally knitting related, this is knitting assisted. i put my tree up yesterday. it's an old aluminum tree from the 50's, and looks like it's had a long celebrated life. but, the hole drilled ontop of the dowel for the king branch is a little loose. so, the king branch would kind of lean. and, when i put my heavy treetopper ontop, it leaned heavily. so, what's a knitter to do? how about reinforce with a size 3 aluminum needle?

tree topper

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

knit bits

at the request of mom, i must update. because, mom is "tired of looking at that stupid caterpillar!" okay mom, here it goes, but, because of the secret knitting, i can't really show too much! maybe i should start a secret blog.

first of all, i found a lovely hank of yarn in my stash. and i had NO idea what it was. i smelled it. nothing. not a clue. think, think back, where did you get this? yes! as stitches east, from rosie's yarn cellar. i could "see" the pile of lovely hanks on the table, and the difficulty in choosing just one.


so, i did what any obsessive knitter would do, i called rosie's .... "um, hi. i was at stitches east a couple years ago and bought some yarn, but lost the label, and was wondering if you could identify it for me ...." i swore it wasn't what i thought it was, but, the woman i spoke with described it better than me because it was what i suspected! it's schaefer's anne!

why i doubted it wasn't anne, because, it was missing the trademark vinegar scent most schaefer yarns have.

so, mystery solved! anne has 560 yards of superwash merino, mohair, and nylon. it was created as a sock yarn, but it hasn't said yet what i wants to be.

next on the blocking board is my newest favorite yarn! it's called stampato eXtra and it's 100% merino wool. the label says shrink resistant, but the wash directions show handwash. i'll probably handwash, as i don't want to felt a pair of pricey socks.

stampato socks

stampato stitches

i really had a hard time capturing the actual colors, but the yarn has at least 8 or 10 tiny strands plied together, and each of those strands is a different color, with the dominant color being two shades of green. i knit these on size 6 needles at a gauge of 5 sts/inch .... so, i have a 40 st. sock!
they're rather cushy, and thick, so destined for the bed and lounging. i think they helped me get over my sock slump!

and, here's a cute picture of agent gray .... she/i am modeling a koigu hat from last season .... it's from interweave knits, the issue with the stupid waiter boys in chunky sweaters.

agent gray's koigu hat

fun tidbit of the week ... i loaned a book to one of my sweetest knitting girls ... and she returned it with extras ...

agent gray's secret

say hello to my modified victoria's secret bag and TRUFFLES! .... the perfect companion to seasonal knitting! thank you soooo much beth!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

hello, i'm a caterpillar finger- puppet. i have some stuffing in my head, and i'm knitted with size 2 rosewood needles, and some of that fabulous knitpick's pallette! i'm from Fiona McTague's knitted toys book.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

who am i?

i posted this tidbit on somebody's blog today. with all the grace in the world, she replied! (ps, her comment is in the previous post, so check it out!) eeeks! so, i had to go back and read what i wrote ... oh my .....

you know, you could decorate that zit you think everyone notices and make it look like a 3rd eye!
i don't do holidays with grace. (i don't like to shop, and all those i'd shop for have everything they need, ... and if they don't, neither of us can afford it anyways!) i come rushing on the field, in the bottom of the 9th, all gung-ho to knit a ton of christmas gifts. but, it's the last minute, in the last hour ..... hey, where's my _last minute knitted gifts_ book?! ... or _weekend knitting_? melanie falick to the rescue!

but now, i reflect, and, ... yes, this is me. wow. what does this mean? (don't get me wrong, because there is no wrong here, there's just an odd smile on my face i can't pinpoint.) and it's good. it really is! the introspective knitter ....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

oh! what's this?

isn't she cute? the pattern is from this book. do i need a big box of yarn to knit a teeny bug? of course!

this is what's good about this kind of knitting .... no swatching, it doesn't have to "fit", and it's part of the secret project!

look what i got!

it's not that big of a surprise, because i ordered it for myself, but just look!

be sure to move mouse over photo

it's a big box of knitpicks's palette. i ordered the palette sampler. it's part of the christmas secret knitting plan. now i'm off to do some secret knitting! shhhh!

Monday, November 14, 2005

some things work out, some don't. not even the photo upload feature on blogger is working now. and flickr is dragging .... so, i will ever so sloooowly make this posting. in socklandia, i ripped out the previous sock, and cast on for this other sock. but ....

fun colorful sock

if i rip, it will only be the heel. the heel is a bit too deep. i discovered that when i tried on the sock, and slipped my foot into my clog, and i ended up with a bit of extra fabric behind my heel. i love the colors and striping, and how the heel looks. i'm not 100% happy with the sock because of the heel, and a wee hole i have yet to sew up near the ankle.

now, what did not work out. awhile back i cast on for a wrappy wrap ... with my mohair boucle i picked up in vermont. i swear the lady who sold the yarn told each of us very different instructions. so, yet again, i ripped out 80 stitches and 18" of garter st. in mohair! UGH!. next time ... 66. 66 is the magic number!

and now, for the FUN! as what happens with the blog world, we find something, click on a link, follow another, and find new things. this i did one day, and found this ...

click me to go to her website!

i have trouble keeping knitterly secrets ..... click on the photo and go check out her site! there's a link for her blog on that page.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

wee hour posting

be sure to move mouse over photo

yep, ole meilenweit hit the frog pond. i simply did not like the holes in the short rows ... they were especially bad on the heel.
but, i made myself feel better by casting on another toe up sock, with older fresh yarn ...

supersocke 100 swatch

it's looking mighty pretty! i'll post my progress later. ps i'm using lucy neatby's garter stitch toe and turkish heel. no short rows!

i also knitted a swatch for the viennese shrug. i think i need to go down a needle size though.
viennese swatch

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


i ran some errands this morning ... to pick up my library books and get some paperwhites. but, somehow i ended up at a yarn store (gasp!). and i made a purchase ((gasp!) again).

debbie bliss books

viennese shrug

i've been eyeing those debbie bliss books for awhile now, so it was past time for me to bring them home. and, i've fondled the yarn many times, so, after a certain number of visits, it expects to come home with me too. the shrug in the picture is the viennese shrug from interweave knits summer 2005. you cast on with a provisional cast on at the center back and knit toward the cuff. the color of silky wool looked kinda like oxidized red wine, but, in different light, looks more like a rich reddish chocolate. it can't decide. kinda like me.

and my sock? well, it's still a sock. but, i'm secretly planning on ripping it out! i think it wants to be knitted like the dorchester sock.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

knitter's tantrum!

i'm stalled on my sock. i don't think i like how short rows look. i don't like how they break up the pattern, and i don't like the holes! whaaaaa!

aqua stripes sockish aqua stripes fabric shortrow heel sucks! aqua stripes ball

please, click on any photos for a big exploded rude awakening!

part of me says, "but, they're socks! who cares about the aesthetic?!" ummm, i care! i care that the holes at my short rows will reduce the lifespan of my socks! (maybe!) i don't know. but, i know none of my top down socks have all kinds of holes at the heel and toe. and, there's no "guessing" as to where to place the heel on a top down sock. it seems i wasn't converted.

but, in defense, i do like lucy neatby's toe up bosnia toe turkish heel sock !

(big sigh) what to do????!

Monday, November 07, 2005

... and, the rest of the knitting!

before i left for work today, i had a special visitor ... atom. atom knows how to knit and crochet, and has left me with some yummy yarn to knit him his next hat ...

atom's yarn

this yarn is leftover from a scarf he knitted for his sister a couple + years ago. i remember him picking out the yarn, and knitting the scarf! i made him a machine knit hat a few years ago, that apparently has been worn out. so, it's time for a replacement. and, i love knitting for someone like atom, as he's very appreciative of the handmade object and the maker. thanks atom! thanks for letting me work with some yarn that i've never knitted with before!

i had to consult with olive landlord today ... i was having doubts about my shortrows on my sock toe. lucky me was working with her today, so she looked at my stitches and said they passed inspection! so, onward i knit on the sock :) olive landlord is knitting on some yarn we purchased in vermont. i got a deep aubergine, she, ... an earthy pumpkin rust. olive landlord loves natural colors, the colors of the season.

olive landlord loves boucle

olive landlord is a little shy. see (and scroll down )what i mean!

as i mentioned before, i did finish my backyard leaves scarf, and here are the pictures to prove it!

finished backyard leaves scarfgratuitous cleavage shot

the stars mark the blemishes (i've had a stressful _____), and the second photo is a bit gratuitous, but, they both demonstrate how all the cool kids are wearing it ... folded in half, and tied through the "loop".

it feels good to be done ... it was a stash buster project, and i still have part of one ball left. but, one leftover is better than 5 full balls! now, i just need to finish the curly twirly pumpkin scarf ....

surprise knitting!

i want to do some surprise knitting (read: christmas knitting)! but, need to order something in order to accomplish this knitting! thank goodness for free shipping .... if you think i might be making something for you, then don't look at this next linky dink don't do it if you wish, hope, suspect that i might consider knitting you something!!!!!!

that's all i have to say about that. if you want to spoil your surprise, then go right ahead.

in the meantime, i will continue with selfish knitting ... my sock is calling me!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

(very) latenight knitting

who can resist the temptation of fresh sock yarn? i saw this colorway the other day, and had to have it. since i've knitted a lot of socks since the summer, i've been looking for alternative ways to knit the sock ... vs. my usual cuff to toe method.

while in vermont, olive landlord was knitting a very pretty koigu sock, toe up. she was doing a short row toe, and the knitting was so neat and tidy. i decided that's what i want to do with this yarn. i'm following the same pattern as agent olive, it's wendy's generic toe up sock pattern. i also found a very good article on knitty about toe up variations.

as most my knitting, this is my second start with the sock. i initially thought my size 0's gave me the fabric i desired ... but, i don't want a sock that can stand on its own, and it was too small (shhhh!)... so i ripped it out and reknit with 1's. i prefer to knit socks on 1's, because i'm afraid i'm going to snap those tiny 0's in half!

the pattern has the heel short rowed too ... i guess i'm willing to try that. i can always rip it out!

oh yeah! almost forgot ... i finished my backyard leaves scarf! the ends have been woven in since thursday. i've been procrastinating. but, no more --- it's a little embarrassing to say you have not finished a scarf because you have to sew a tiny 4" seam. i shamed myself into finishing. i'm also almost finished with the curly twirly scarf ... FO pictures soon!

Thursday, November 03, 2005


yes. i have to find out what my "wingspan" is, so i can determine how long my sleeves should be. that's where agent onyx divine comes in ... little does she know ....

see, it's all this fit issue, i'm okay with the body being oversized, but i don't want the sleeves to be too long. (if worse comes to worse, i'm not afraid of a little sweater surgery either)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

how many times can angora be ripped?

apparently, at least twice, w/o any ill effects :) in my determination to knit a sweater that fits, i reached out to bloglandia and emailed some ladies that have successfully knitted the lara cardigan. size can be an issue, especially when you're knitting a debbie bliss pattern, as she does not provide schematics. but, someone in the know let me in on a little secret ... debbie bliss will be including schematics in her upcoming publications :) but, that wasn't really my problem.
my problem was more of a, "how do i want this to fit?" . it looks great hanging open, and just as nice pinned closed. of course, if it's pinned closed, then it does need to be bigger for the overlap. also, my size is on the small end of the medium ... so, i felt sort of stuck between sizes. i did opt. for the medium though. and, onward i knit! but then, my increases for the sleeve are every 7th row. i didn't want to be making increases on right and wrong sides, so i changed it to every 6th and 8th rows, alternating between the two ... averaging out to 7. all this makes me understand why there are scarf knitters in this world, and i'm not talking about scarfs from the _scarf style_ book, if you know what i mean.

lara sleeve

so, with all of that said, i'm only about 2" away from casting on the extra stitches for the body. i imagine that's where the knitting can really slooooow down, as instead of knitting with only 68 sts, i'll be knitting an additional 114, for a whopping 182 %!@*?# stitches.