Archive for July, 2007|Monthly archive page

a display of group effort (and a little diva ‘tude, sorry about that)

A few weeks ago, I happened to mention in an email to Knitspot Anne that I loved her Japanese Feather Stole and that I was trying very hard to resist its siren call because I really didn’t have time to knit it. She countered (very politely, I might add) that it was a simple lace pattern in fingering weight yarn and basically I didn’t have a leg to stand on. And part of the pattern sales go to charity.

Then I went in a flying trip to my LYS in a desperate search for yarn. It was a new experience for me. Usually I know what I want when I go in (or just buy sock yarn), but my dress and I had a great time combing the store for potential yarns (shout out to Barb, not only made it lots of fun, but also braved the bling aisle and was wholly in agreement that the $30 yarn looked just as good as the $60 yarn!).

All I have to say is thank goodness for enablers.

japanese feather stole

What do you mean, you don’t come here for my diva ‘tude?

japanese feather stole

I feel very very wrong cropping my husband out of pictures. But alas, I didn’t want anything to distract from the stole, and he did look very very cute in his top hat & tux!

japanese feather stole

specs: pattern- knitspot’s Japanese feather stole; yarn- 2 sk. Twisted Sisters Zazu in Charcoal; needles- K’picks options size 5

Just how much did I love knitting and wearing this stole? Well, I’ve since cast on for the scarf version with some merino-tencel handspun!


Listen, my knitters, and you shall hear…

…Of socks that vanished for o’er a year
‘Twas the mid of the summer, the heat of July
Hardly a sock was thought alive
that would match the embossed leaves that you see here*

This is a chilling true story, so you might want to make sure that all of your handknit socks are safe and close by you before I begin. Last summer one day whilst slaving over the laundry I noticed that I was missing one of my newly-finished, hardly worn embossed leaves socks (they’re red because they are embossed autumn leaves, people! Cut me some slack! 😉 actually at the time I didn’t have a sock yarn stash–now that’s scary!). Ah, but handmade socks don’t go missing, do they? Not after all the time and energy and love invested in them. Surely, I thought, it will turn up in the next load or two.

Well now we wouldn’t be having our little chat if it had, would we? I searched the dryer innards as deep as I dared, from the inside through the lint trap and then outside through the vent. I searched under furniture and in sleeves and pant legs and sheets and towels. I whined profusely. Six months later, I returned the leftover yarn to the “to-do” pile, thinking that my intentions of replacing the missing sock would lure it out of hiding. I even apologized for being disappointed with the wiry K’picks Essentials yarn I used to make them.


this very afternoon

upon arriving home from school

I noticed a reddish blur right beside my bed. Chiding myself for leaving laundry on the floor again, I never would have suspected that my hand would soon be holding the long-lost sock. After confirming that it was indeed the missing sock and not its well-behaved sibling, I was simultaneously jubilant and downright flabbergasted.

Now I want to know: how did a sock that was missing for a whole year end up sitting nonchalantly a mere yard from my sock drawer? What do you think happened to my sock in the year it was gone? Was it traveling as a stowaway with the Harlot? gracing one size 7 foot of a sock bandit? jealously building an army to take on the Cider Moon stash?

Robert Stack, now here’s an unsolved mystery for you!

embossed leaves

*Consider yourself lucky I chose Longfellow and not Peaches and Herb (?!?):

“Reunited and it feels so good!
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
‘Cause we’re reunited, hey, hey”

Oops, looks like I just did it anyway! Sorry, heh heh heh.


PS My only clue is that there are chew marks the piano bench and a page torn out of one of my theory books this week. Do you think some furry felon was stashing my sock to be returned at a moment when he needed to get back into his mummy’s good graces? Me too.

Coke and Vince

For the first time ever, I’m in the in-crowd

Or maybe not. Perhaps the knitting world has gone all Postal Service on me and now all the cool kids are looking down their collective nose at my monkey socks.

Oh well.

Great socks, fun & easy to memorize pattern. I like the fit–loose enough that the pattern can have some texture–and that the Lorna’s didn’t pool nearly as bad as it did on my Potawhatsits.

specs: Pattern- Cookie A’s Monkey socks, yarn- Lorna’s Laces in Tuscany, needles- size 0, of course!


monkey socks

monkey socks


PS In the interest of full disclosure, I only knit the ankle socks from Monday’s post in the past few weeks. The other pairs I knit last summer, and just was showing them because I wanted to contrast the bad cotton-y pattern-ness to the soft & smooth new socks. And because I like them, and you like pictures.

Guess what? More socks!

Many of you are probably already aware of the article in Knitty about knitting socks for diabetics. I was shocked to learn that the only pair of socks I have ever made for my grandma…



(whoops! made a matching pair for me too)

…was the absolute worst kind she could have, being cotton and patterned, so I set out to rectify the situation. I found this yarn at Hobby Lobby–an acrylic that is ridiculously soft, mostly white as per her request, and thankfully not squeaky at all. I think the ankle length will be easier for her to pull on and off, and also still provide a cushion in tennis shoes.

Gma's socks


specs: yarn- Baby Bee Sweet Delight Prints in “Puppy,” needles- size 0, toe-up CO 10 sts, inc. to 52. Wendy’s gusset & heel, picot edging.

Gma's ankle socks


For the record, that on-the-needles sock is how long the fifth Harry Potter movie is. My own magical powers came in the form of casting on in the dark and not dropping any needles or stitches.

Summer spinning

handspun swatch

Here’s my swatch from the summer spinning project–a two ply of some unknown fiber. I’m totally digging the texture of this yarn, and the resulting fabric (I would show you the yarn, but I can’t get a good picture of it). I was knitting my Leyburns at the time I started spinning this, and was going for the pebbly-ness of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. There are so many other colors in this brown, I wanted to make a yarn that would be interesting in plain stockinette. So far, so good, I think. I’m sure you’ll hear more about this as the process continues, including how I’m processing it––hint, abuse!––and figuring out what to make with it. It’s going to take awhile. In a stunning revelation (wait for it…) spinning takes time.

And for Specs, I give you Vince vs. the needles, part 453:

Vince versus the needles, part 453

Phase 1: I’m just a nice sweeeet putty tat.

Vince versus the needles, part 453

Phase 2: I’m playful, that’s why you love me!

Vince versus the needles, part 453

Phase 3: Attack cat!

(the phase 4 picture is not here because I suddenly became more interested in snatching my precious needles away than in obtaining photographic documentation of a sadly all-too-common event. Note that no harm was done to the options cords, or as they are known to the cat, Red Vines)


PS Wendyknits gave me permission to post the numbers for using her toe-up gussets & heels with the Swirl socks! I think I’m going to make up a separate patterns page, but for now if anyone is interested, I’ll post it here and to the original swirl socks post.


Rnd 1: Maintain pattern on needles 1 & 2. Needle 3- K1, M1L, k to end of needle; needle 4- K to last st, M1R, k1.
Rnd 2: Maintain pattern around (swirls on needles 1 & 2, St st on needles 3 and 4).
Repeat these two rows until you have increased 9 (10, 11) sts on needles 3 and 4 for a total of 40 (44, 48) heel sts.

Worked across needles 3 and 4 (or you can transfer all of these sts to one needle, and then separate them again to work the leg). You may prefer to substitute ssk for the k2tog and p2tog for the ssp, depending on your preference for the look of your heel. This version minimizes the line of the heel.

Row 1: K 22 (24, 26) sts, K2tog, k1. Turn.
Row 2: Sl1, p5, ssp, p1. Turn.
Row 3: Sl1, k6, K2tog, k1. Turn.
Row 4: Sl1, p7, ssp, p1. Turn.

Continue in this manner––slipping the first st., knitting or purling to 1 st. before the gap and closing the gap with a K2tog or ssp, then k or p one more st––until all heel sts are worked. 22 (24, 26) sts for the heel. Resume knitting in the round. You may find it worthwhile for avoiding holes to pick up an extra st between the heel and instep and then decreasing that st on the next round.

* ssp: slip 1 st knitwise from LH to RH needle, slip a second st knitwise from LH to RH needle, slip both st together back to the LH needle without changing their orientation, then p2tog through back loops.



Love = leyburns


Finished Leyburns! Lovelovelove!




specs: pattern- Leyburn socks from mintyfresh, needles- size 0 K’picks, yarn- Cherry Tree Hill potluck “Earth”- my NYC souvenir from last summer. Mods: I skipped the increases after the short row heel and they fit great!


love that texture!

I’ve found the underbelly!!! (ie, you guys are the best)

When the “7 weird things” meme came my way, I revealed that

2) I read knitting blogs for almost a year before finally jumping in and getting my own. I was convinced that there had to be some dark underbelly to all of these people posting pretty pictures of yarn, it couldn’t be that good!

Well, I’ve found it! The dark and unspoken underbelly of the knitting blog world. Are you ready?

It is that good, and even more amazing than the yarn is the people.

I really can’t tell you all how grateful I am for your willingness to give me a shot, and for your incredibly kind words and bursts of enthusiasm for my lil’ patternish sort of thing. Every so often I realize exactly how much being a part of this community brings to my life, whether in learning about new techniques, yarns, or patterns; giving recipes, books, and well-wishes; or the simple but necessary (as is oft forgotten) act of sharing lives and stories.


Thank you.



Oh, and the other, secondary fabulous thing about this community is that everyone is talented and I get to partake of that talent daily!!!! For example, take a gander at the goodness below, from Franquemont Fibers by Abby of Abby’s Yarns. Abby writes with humor and an inspiring level of attention to detail, and her blog is a treasure of knowledge. She is extremely generous in sharing her expertise, and does so in a manner that makes it extremely accessible and exciting.

And she makes pretty things. Enjoy! I figure that a little stash-flashing is truly the best way to express my appreciation for and to you all…


Abby's Falkland Top in Spice

Falkland top in Spice

Abby's Romney Top in Sea Foam

Romney top in Sea Foam

Abby's superwash top in lemon zest

Superwash top in Lemon Zest

Abby's domestic wool top in Deluge

Abby's domestic wool top in Deluge



Domestic wool top in Deluge





Abby's Merino/Tencel top in Maize

Merino/tencel top in Maize


Abby's superwash top in Oak tree

Superwash top in Oak Tree


Swirl socks for Mom and MIL…and you?

I made socks! I really like them! I wrote down how I did it in case you like them too Click for a PDF of Revised Swirl socks instructions!

ETA: Check out my “patterns” page for a revised version with a smaller file size and instructions for using the gusset and heel!! I’m very grateful to Wendy of Wendyknits for giving me permission to post the numbers for using her toe-up gussets & heels with the Swirl socks!

Enough with the exclamation points already, but you have to understand that this is not the kind of thing I do every day. I do tend to “make up” a lot of my knitting, but generally it is on the fly and rarely do I take notes. Even more rare is the effort of making those notes legible to others. Please let me know if you try it, you like it, or if I can improve it in any way!

This all came about when my Cider Moon ladies had two colorways in Glacier that were perfect for my mom and my MIL, both of whom have summer birthdays. The yarn is so beautiful (and so squishy), but you may recall that I just couldn’t settle on the perfect pattern to show off the DK weight and rich colors with some pizzazz. With these swirls, the colors get showcased but don’t detract from the beauties of the simple stockinette.
The “pattern” is really more like a stitch pattern–as far as heels and toes go, I usually just do whatever Wendy does, and didn’t feel right simply rehashing her instructions so I didn’t include any. I did do the heel decreases with k2tog and ssp instead of ssk and p2tog on the Apple Crisp sock (below), but that’s just personal preference. Short row toes & heels are always winners, and there are several other toe-up variations out there (widdershins, maia’s version, Miriam’s advice), or you can check out other socks on Cider Moon’s website for guidance. Oh, and also in case you are interested, here’s my new favorite toe-up cast on: Judy’s knotless magic cast on.

specs: Cider Moon “Glacier” in Pistachio (above) and Apple Crisp (below); size 2 and size 1 needles