Monday, December 31, 2007

Hey Brooke!

Your comment didn't include an email address, so I hope you'll see this! (Everyone else--I'll write about the rest of my trip, and all my knitting as soon as I recover a little more!).

Anyway... I didn't make any changes to the pattern for my azalea wedding shawl (except that I kept going to make it bigger). It looks like the picture to me, so I'm not quite sure what looks different to you. I used nearly 5 ounces of Zephyr's laceweight wool-silk blend in ivory on size 6 needles. The shawl is about 64 inches across.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Two Presents

The 2007 edition of the Kevin and Rebecca Christmas Tour is well underway. Friday after work we drove to Ithaca to see my parents, my sister and her husband for a speed Christmas, then on Saturday night we continued on to Ohio for Christmas with Kevin's parents and both sides of his extended family.

We won't open most of our presents till later this morning morning, but I've already unloaded two knitted gifts: Anna's sweater and the shawl from a few posts ago, which was secretly intended for Kevin's grandma.

Anna is also wearing presents from my mom: a hat and scarf my mom made, and matching gloves she bought. In person, the gloves look like she borrowed them from cookie monster's teal cousin--Anna gets to wear fun winter accessories because she lives in tropical Washington DC, not the wintry arctic of New Haven. (Also, she drives to work instead of trudging through the frozen, poorly shoveled tundra.)

And here's Kevin's grandma in her new shawl. One of my grandmas taught me to knit, but I never made anything for her (oddly, it did not occur to me to give her any knitted dresses for toy mice, which was what I mostly knit at first... Perhaps all her toy mice already had dresses?).

Grandma G. was completely surprised that the shawl was actually for her, and wore it for the rest of the evening--which is the perfect response to a knitted present.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Travel Knitting Undate

I'm not quite packed yet (even though we're planning to leave in 2 or 3 hours), but I'm sure you'll be relieved to know that I've sorted out my travel knitting. I finished my sister's sweater at SnB on Wednesday (between eating cookies--the world needs more cookie swaps!), and then Kevin's gloves last night, so I can go back to the projects I'd put on hold: my other sister's shawl and my marigold socks. So I packed those...

And then I went a little crazy. I'm bringing yarn for the chevron scarf (the Spunky Eclectic and Socks that Rock combo shown here). I wound them into yarn muffins which mixed the colors and now I'm even more excited to see how they knit up together.

But in case that doesn't work out I'm also bringing the yellow and tan yarn from the same post for socks, and some Brooks Farm Duet I've been hoarding for a while.

The Duet is the yarn that pooled in vertical stripes when I tried to knit a raglan in the round a while back (you remember this, right?) so I'm going to try a wrap cardi with it. I'll be knitting back and forth and over more stitches (because of the overlap for the wrapped front), so maybe that will combat the pooling. Or (more likely) I won't get to it at all, due to my insane knitting-related over-packing, and that will be fine too. We're driving so there's plenty of room, and it's not like a couple (or 5) extra skeins of yarn are going to slow down the car (we're renting a car, so the small hamster who powers our car won't have to exert himself--the additional yarn might have been too much for him!).

Also, I made a thingy and some other thingies, which I can't show till after Christmas. But they're really cute thingies! Yay internet and spinning guild for helping me find the thingies.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Still Mad

A mad hatter, I mean.

Scrap Hats

I'm a little concerned that these are hats only a knitter would appreciate and that whoever gets them will wish they were less colorful. On the other hand, Kevin did say he liked the middle one (which is the one I'm most worried about, since it's the most crazily colored--I stared out with a bunch of greens, and I tried to transition to blue/purple, but I'm not sure it was a success. Do you think the red stands out too much?)

I wound myself some new scrap balls for hats (and then forgot to take pictures). There's a yellow and brown one (less crazy than it sounds, because it will be tweedy), a blue/green one, and a red one. I think the reds need another strand to be thick enough, so I'm going to knit it up with black (or that's the plan, at least)... which will also make it tweedy and not quite so bright.

And since this is the last week before Kevin and I set off on our holiday travels, I've been thinking a lot about which projects to bring. I like to imagine that I'll finish Kevin's unphotogenic gloves and my sister's slightly more photogenic sweater before we go (and I actually think that's realistic: I have .5 fingers and 2 thumbs to go on the gloves, and 5 inches of body and 2 short sleeves to go on the sweater... And I only started last week... no seaming on the sweater because it's a top-down raglan, and I've been weaving in the ends as I go on the gloves).

I want to bring my other sister's shawl/stole, and the Marigold socks--I set them aside for x-mas knitting and I think they're getting lonely. But besides that, I'm not sure. I'm leaning towards another pair of socks (or maybe the chevron scarf... I'm leaning towards the purple too), because I'm likely to finish the current socks and I'll need another mindless project (which the shawl is not). But if I bring the scarf, do I also want socks? What kind of swatching am I likely to want to do? Is it worth it to try writing up patterns in the car? What if I save writing for when Kevin's driving?

Friday, December 14, 2007


So I've been wanting to make a 2-colored chevron scarf--like the one everyone makes from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, because I continue to be a lemming. (Plus, I really liked knitting the variegated plus solid feather and fan scarf I made as a freebie for the Garter Belt, and it's really similar.)

The two candidates in my sock yarn stash are:

Option 1

Socks that Rock in Lenore (from the STR club) plus Spunky Eclectic sock yarn in Irish Dreams (from the Woolgirl Sock Club... apparently, I should have joined a scarf club!)


Option 2

Same Spunky Eclectic plus Yarn Yard sock yarn from a trade

I'm leaning toward the STR because the purple/black color looks more like my gloves and hats and whatnot--the yellows and browns of the other would definitely be an exception in my knitter outerwear wardrobe. (Somehow, this isn't a problem for socks.)

Or maybe both options match too much? Some people have used completely non-matching colors, but maybe I want my colors to match better since my yarns are less similar? What do you think?

Not that this is really a pressing question--I have plenty of knitting to keep me amused for the next few weeks! But there's all that Christmas driving to plan for!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm trying to go to bed earlier, and it's not really working. I'm usually a good sleeper, but when I go to bed early I wake up REALLY early (so early it's late) and start obsessing about dumb things (last night/this morning a whole section of my brain could not let go of the idea that I needed to add applesauce to the shopping list... which I still have not done). I blame working out less because we aren't training for anything right now--the 5k we ran on Sunday was the furthest I'd run since Thanksgiving. Surely walking to work, yoga, spinning and a bit of running ought to be enough?

Anyway, the upside (and reason I refuse to think of this as insomnia) is that it means more knitting time. This morning I finished the sweater I've been designing for Schaefer (ends woven in and everything!). So now I just need to measure it, block it, and write up the directions--since it spend weeks as a body and 1.5 sleeves, this is great progress.

The sweater is made from Susan, Schaefer's sport weight cotton, in the Lillian Gilbreth colorway. So naturally, once I had a nap and got up for real, I wound a muffin of Laurel, the worsted weight cotton, also in Lillian Gilbreth. This one's going to be a sweater for my sister. It's possible I'll need a break from Lillian, but for the moment I'm just amazed at how chunky this yarn feels after the sport weight.

And last night at SnB I made all kinds of progress on the unphotogenic gloves for Kevin--now I have 2 unphotogenic fingerless mitts awaiting fingers and thumbs, rather than 1 mitt and .5 cuffs. Sadly for Kevin this means I'm about to ask him to try them on every couple of rows, but at least he's getting gloves out of the deal.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Socks on The Garter Belt

Look! I actually wrote up a pattern I talked about writing up!

The pattern for these socks (creatively named the Lacy Cable Socks) is now available through The Garter Belt.

I think this picture shows the texture the best--although the color is completely off (not that that matters--it's a pattern, not a kit). It's a 2x2 mini cable, alternating with this nifty slip, psso, YO, knit thingy that looks like a mini cable with a eyelet in the center.

350 yards of Schaefer Anne
2.5 mm (1.5 US, if that's a real size) needles
Cuff-down, reinforced heel flap construction

The fabric is rib-like and stretchy without being boring to knit, and the pattern can be yours for a mere $4, right here!

(You know, I thought I posted this a couple of days ago, but I clearly didn't... here it is now, at least.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Picture Only a Knitter Would Love

I didn't go to MA again, so I had to some time on Saturday to try to take pictures of the new shawl.

I think I'm OK at the very close up arty ones--that drive knitters crazy actually, so I take back the title of this post--but my attempts to show the whole thing were a disaster, more or less.


It can't be entirely my fault (New Haven is not the most photogenic city in the world, after all, and the shawl was the same colors as the park), but I'm impatient, my fingers were getting chilly, and my models (tress, benches, fences) were acting like divas.

On the other hand, this might make a good Christmas card--you can just about see the pine tree beneath the shawl.

Is this distracting you from my lack of pictures of other projects? Because that was my goal... I'm also working on a sweater for Schaefer Yarns (except for the pictures, that's all I did on Saturday, so I'm suddenly halfway through the yoke, rather than partway up the second sleeve--it has bottom-up raglan construction), the shawl for my sister, the STR/marigold socks for me, and now gloves for Kevin.

This is one extra project than is usual for me (4 rather than 3), and I'm trying not to feel antsy about it. I've put the shawl and socks on hold till after I finish the sweater or gloves, because they're "due" later. (The gloves are for Kevin--once he offered to try them on constantly to be sure they fit, I couldn't let him keep wearing free gloves from road races, could I?) (Oh, and a sweater for my other sister I haven't started yet... but it's thicker yarn, and she wants elbow length sleeves, so that will be completely fine).

But they're black stockinette stitch, and the sweater is smushed by the needles, and as we all know, I'm lazy about taking pictures anyway---so just act like you're distracted by the shawl, OK?

Oh! Heidi and I went so spinning on Sunday for the first time since the summer, and I made all kinds of progress on the purply-blue wool from Rhinebeck. Hurray! I could take pictures of that too, huh?

Thursday, December 6, 2007


So, I was looking at Ravelry earlier, and realized that I've knit 10 of the top 20 most popular patterns.

See? (The ones in bold.)

1. Monkey by Cookie A.

2. Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
3. Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
4. Jaywalker by Grumperina
5. Calorimetry by Kathryn Schoendorf
6. Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
7. Ballband Dishcloth by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
8. Saartje's Bootees by Saartje de Bruijn
9. Branching Out by Susan Lawrence
10. Pomatomus by Cookie A.
11. My So Called Scarf by Stacey
12. Swan Lake / Mystery Stole 3 by Melanie Gibbons

13. Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
14. Basic Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
15. Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt
16. Felted Clogs (AC-33) by Bev Galeskas
17. Odessa by Grumperina
18. One-Piece Baby Kimono by Christina Shiffman
19. Irish Hiking Scarf by Adrian Bizilia
20. Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock by Wendy Johnson

And I've thought about making Fetching, Jaywalkers, a Swallowtail Shawl, and Embossed Leaves. (Although I've heard that Jaywalkers don't fit high insteps very well, so maybe I'll skip that one.)

And some of them (Clapotis, Monkey, the Baby Surprise Jacket) I've made repeatedly--three times each, in fact.

On the other hand, I've only used 3 of the top 10 yarns: Cascade 220 (repeatedly), Lamb's Pride Worsted (a couple of times), and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (once). That one's thrown off by Schaefer--between designing, knitting a few samples, and getting paid in yarn, I use Schaefer yarns in an above average percentage of my knitting! (I know--poor me!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Before and After

I can't remember if I've written about it here, but I've been wanting to figure out how triangular, neck-down shawls work. I've only made one neck-down shawl (the flower basket shawl, like everyone else on the planet... or, um, every other knitter), and the interaction between the increases and the stitch pattern seemed like magic--where did the increases go, so the pattern wasn't messed up? (I knit it during a week of all-day training for my previous job... it's possible that I'd have understood if I'd been paying more attention).

So I bought Knitting Lace Triangles, and then a book-related miracle occurred, and my mom found Knitting Lace through her volunteer work as a book sorter for her local library book sale. (We nearly got it for $4, but my mom had a burst of honesty and told them it was too valuable to sell as a regular book, so they set it aside for the rare book room and I despaired. But, it turns out that they don't price even rare books at the full market price so it turned out to be moderately expensive, not crazy expensive, and she was able to buy it for me after all. Victory!)

Anyway... Knitting Lace pointed out that all you need to shape lace is an increase without a decrease or decrease without an increase (which meant I could use the increases that were already in the stitch pattern, but not work the corresponding decrease--you'd think this would have occurred to me before but it hadn't)... and suddenly I understood and picked a stitch pattern from Knitting Lace and drew pictures and knit like a maniac and ta-da!





I'm not sure how well they show up, but there are beads at the points--one orange and two green ones, since I didn't have enough of either color.

(The yarn about 350 yards of Anne from Schaefer, and I used a size 6 needle.)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hatting and Socking

For the first time in I'm not sure how long, I stayed home! all! day! on Saturday. I wasn't out of the country, and I didn't go with Kevin to Massachusetts for his class. (Let me just mention how weird it is that I'm sometimes cranky about leaving the house to go with Kevin to MA: the reason I want to stay home is to knit. But I knit in the car the whole way there, then meet up with my friend Annie to knit at Webs, then I knit all the way home. There's no knitting on the short drive from dropping Kevin off on campus to Webs (since I'm the one driving), but other than that? Entirely knitting. Yet I'm still cranky as I leave the house. I do the same thing about knitting group sometimes, even though I love it once I get there. I've missed my calling by not being a hermit.)

Anyway. Saturday, I stayed home! And knit! I finished a small shawl which is going to be a present (which I've just noticed I haven't blogged about at all, oops). And I worked on these socks.

They're the Marigold Socks, from Flint Knits (who also inspired me to make my Garnstudio jacket). I'm using STR from one of the summer club shipments--the one whose intended sock pattern had a lacy cuff. I've warmed to the idea of slightly lacy socks, but I'm not quite ready for lacy cuffs (or non lacy cuffs, for that matter--it's the folding over that I'm not sure about). Since the picture, I've turned the heel and gotten maybe half way up the leg.

But I've put it on hold to work on more hats for charity (I can't resist the excitement of using up tiny little pieces of yarn!). And I've restarted a sweater I started designing for Schaefer an embarrassingly long time ago--it was on hold because I wasn't sure about the sleeves, but I've stared at them some more and decided that I like them after all.

Being home also meant that I fixed the waistband on a skirt that's been bugging me since last spring, and finally replaced the buttons on my winter coat (which spent 100% of last winter with 50% of its buttons missing).

It wasn't the most exciting weekend ever, but I definitely needed it. And now my coat will stay closed!