Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monkeying Around

Another opportunity to make a monkey---missed! Instead, another pair of my favorite brown monkey socks were born. If they fit my grandson, they will be his.
Yarn: Järbo Garn Mini Raggi - 75% wool, 25% Nylon, colorway 68074, brown.
Pattern: Improvised, using the Band Heel spreadsheet. No gusset!
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) dpns
Comments: The Band Heel seems to fit just fine. You might not even notice the difference between it and a regular flap. But it sure is nice not to have to do the gusset thing. Give it a try on your next pair of socks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Socks

Yarn: MC: Lang Jawoll colorway Navy, CC: Lana Gross Meilenweit, colorway Burgundy 1273.
Pattern: My own, for The Judge.
Needles: #1 (2.5mm) dpns
Comments: It took me months to finish these, not because they were difficult. They just take a whole lot of uninteresting knitting as they are for a size 13 foot. And they are a very dark navy (darker than shows in these photos) so most of the knitting was done during the daylight hours. But his feet will be warm this winter!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Band Heel

This is a Band Heel in progress, with an excel file to do the math for your size sock.Dave at Criminy Jickets has written such a clear tutorial about the Band Heel. He tells me it's an old pattern, and I am amazed that it is not being used more often.

You see, there is no gusset with this heel. You do a short flap, turn the heel, pick up a few stitches and just knit until the required length for the foot. No gusset!
Realizing that many people have their own way of making socks and the number of circumference stitches may vary, with Dave's encouragement I have created an excel spreadsheet to aid in using this heel for your own socks. Download it here or from my side panel. You will need to be able to read excel files in order to use it.

Simply type in your number of circumference stitches, hit the enter key on your keyboard, and it will automatically calculate the rest for you. No gusset, no math!

Now, it hasn't been proven to me that this is a satisfactory heel as far as comfort goes, but I really like skipping the gusset part. Having tried on the partial sock, I find it fits just fine without the traditional gusset or short rows.

And much thanks to Dave for his good math on the subject!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Knitting with Toothpicks

No, not really. But almost.* I decided to try some bamboo doublepoints. (I have never used these dpns before--shocking, I know!) They are light as a feather and it's worrisome to think that they could just snap. They would be ideal for a beginning sock knitter...unless one knits very tightly. How do these needles hold up to cabling? Do they survive being sat upon? Just kidding.

Still knitting...
*It's been done before at least once.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Silken Web

Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, 70% super kid mohair, 30% silk, colorway #585, "Nightly."
Pattern: Everyday Wrap by Julie Weisenberger. Sort of. Ravelry Link.
Needles: #9 Addi Turbo Lace circulars.
Here's all the yarn that was left.
Comments: This shawl/scarf started out as the Everyday Wrap but I had two skeins of this lovely yarn and I found myself just knitting and knitting and knitting. It was my "grab and go," car-riding, here-and-there (but mostly in the daytime because it's so dark) knitting for quite some time now.

Modifications: When I got toward the end of the yarn, I decided to add my own ruffle simply by knitting into the front and back of every stitch, effectively doubling the number of stitches. Then I knit ten rows and cast off loosely. Now the cast-on end did not match. So I unpicked it and added a ruffle to the other end of the shawl/scarf. This I do not recommend when you are working with cobwebby yarn. Better if you do a provisional cast-on.

So, this isn't really the shawl that it started out to be, but its inspiration (and number of cast on stitches) came from Julie's pattern. Thanks, Julie!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cable-Stitch Anklets (Sans Cable)

Pattern: Cable-Stitch Anklets
Yarn: Soxx Appeal, 96% superwash Merino wool, 3% nylon, 1% elastic, colorway 9510
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) Knitpicks dpns

The yarn is really a pale sage green, but it photographs more bluish. If we get another sunny day in this century, I will try to get a more accurate picture of it.

As you can tell from the title of this post and the socks, I left out the cables on this lovely vintage pattern. The yarn just did not show the cables well and it didn't seem prudent to put all that work into a pattern that would not show well. I have used this yarn before on my Purl Trax and Lake Geneva Socks. It has some elastic content, so you might need to stretch it ever so slightly--but not too much--to get the proper yardage, look and fit. But the comfort in the final product is worth the effort.

*Modifications were this: a Dutch heel...

And Joan's Favorite Toe (thanks, Joan!), which is more rounded than the wedge toe I usually knit.
Even without the cable stitch, I like the way the ribbing has that little extra "nub" in the purl stitches. So simple, yet so effective. The reverse side also looks good and makes me think that a scarf in this pattern even without the cable would be pretty.
*Why do knitters modify patterns? I'm as guilty of it as the next knitter, or more so. The reasons are too numerous to count and I have my own excuses for it, most of them purely subjective.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Daydream Believers

And Homecoming Queens.

Wasn't it just yesterday my granddaughter was this darling freckle-faced little girl?
Now she is a beautiful young lady--here with her dad (my son):

She and I saw the similarities between us:Circa 1960

I forgot to mention--she was Homecoming attendant this week at the academy she attends!I love this photo of them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Minnesota--The Maybe State

Well, it's a bit too soon for this much snow. Notice my two-toned house...painting should start the end of this week...maybe.
The leaves haven't even bothered to change color yet. Maybe they will.

It's not exactly a Renoir, but maybe it's refrigerator-worthy.
And somehow even the word "maybe" looks odd to me this morning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

High Tea in Hayward

My book club is the most fabulous group of women you could ever hope to call your friends. On our recent retreat, we had a Jane Austen weekend. This included reviews of six of Austen's books and a delectable high tea. Here's a short video taken with my phone camera, with apologies for the quality of the video:

And here are some still photos---note the salmon and caviar tidbits; they were out of this world! The weekend was arranged by the two gals in the first photo. I cannot thank them enough for all their hard work and their good friendship. We are truly blessed!

All I did was read, eat, and knit one measly washcloth. Yarn: Louet Euroflax Originals
Pattern: Feather and Fan Washcloth by Theresa Gaffey, from the book, "Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America’s Yarn Shops."
Needles: #3 straights.
Comments: I loved knitting this washcloth during our weekend retreat!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Simple Textured Socks - A Pattern

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Colorway D105.
Pattern: My personal pattern called Simple Textured Socks; see also side panel for pattern.
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) dpns.
Comments: The combination of "sproingy" yarn and this very simple pattern makes a most comfy sock with lots of textural interest. The rich fall colors of the yarn were difficult to capture on film.
I have made this pattern two other times--here and here, and have been asked to share it.

Here's how much of the 350 yards of Koigu KPPPM remained.
And I'm still knitting...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Birthday Monkey

Wouldn't every gal like an agreeable vintage huggable like this for her birthday?

And a book to go with him (this monkey may be a Conehead cousin):
And the best reissued knitting book:

more books (the Judge knows what to pick)...
and roses in the rain...Oh, and lots of good wishes from people I'm fondest of. I'm a lucky monkey!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Cowl and Mitts

Yarn: Mondial Extrafine Merino wool, colorway #500.

Cowl Pattern: Pashmina Cowl by Joelle Hoverson from the book, "Last Minute Knitted Gifts."
Needles: #5 ( 3.75mm) circulars.

Fingerless Mitt Pattern: My personal pattern.
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) dpns

Comments: Both were quick and easy to knit, and the yarn is really soft.
Perfect for typing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You Win Some...

And some don't turn out exactly as you hoped.Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed, 70% silk, 30% cotton, colorway #508.
Pattern: #294 Summer Open Cardigan by Knitting Pure and Simple.
Needles: #10 (6mm) 32" circular and #7 (4.5mm) 16" circular.Comments: The pattern is written for a loose gauge on a worsted weight yarn, and I probably should have used a wool, rather than the Summer Tweed. The pattern is very nicely written--as are all the Knitting Pure and Simple styes--and I wouldn't mind making it again in another yarn. It knit up quickly and feels really light to wear, perfect for summer nights.
I made the sleeves a tad too long, although the yarn might have a tendency to stretch in length, but I don't think I will go back and change them. The length does hide some aging elbows!
It might look better to me next summer, as I finished it just in time for winter.

Still knitting...