Sunday, December 21, 2008

Almost finished

Knitting update: I've completed the first round of short rows for the Emerald cardigan's shawl collar, as well as the button holes (I made 2 instead of just one). Yesterday I went to G Street Fabrics and found 2 nice big buttons in a compatible rusty shade. (I had put off finishing the collar until I was sure of getting buttons to fit the buttonholes.) The size has turned out well. I'm liking the shawl collar, but may make it wider than the pattern calls for.
I've also started a hat, using yarn (Kollage Creamy--milk and cotton!--in turquoise) and pattern purchased as a kit from Paradise Fibers. Except for being a bit softer, the yarn reminds me of crochet cotton. It's used double for the hat. It's a bit of a chore to knit--no elasticity, quick to slip off the needles and to unravel stitches down a row or two immediately--but makes a nice soft fabric. I'm just not sure it's going to be much of a hat. It seems too thin to be warm.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More knitting, with some math

I've been struggling with the border for the Emerald cardigan, and finally got the numbers to come out right. There are supposed to be: equal numbers of stitches picked up along the left and right fronts, and also a total number of stitches that is a multiple of 4, plus 2. Or to put it differently, an odd multiple of 2. I got way too caught up in sophisticated planning of stitches per section even though, with this boucle yarn, I can't see the stitches/rows all that well, which is a serious obstacle to counting them! Finally I settled on: 16 stitches across the neck, 15 along the bottom ribbing on each side, and 80 additional stitches spread however evenly I could manage along each front--no fancy counting of little sections. At this point I've done several rows of the border, including the buttonhole rows (I decided on 2 buttons rather than the single one called for in the pattern) and will finish the shawl collar, short rows and all, in the next day or so, I sincerely hope.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Starting the yoke

I'm plugging away on the Emerald Cardigan, having joined the body and sleeves and started my way up the yoke. The pattern calls for cables bordered by eyelet along the raglan shaping, but I am skipping the eyelet and substituting a one-stitch reverse stockinette edge to the cables, decreasing outside this stitch. Also, I am turning the cables towards the sleeves, rather than all in one direction. This is the exciting part of a bottom-up raglan: the accelerating ascent of the shoulders. I hope it all works out and fits!

Stopping and starting

Here is the completed red baby hat:

I have a good bit of yarn left, so I've started booties. The difficulty is having no idea if the booties and the hat will fit the same baby at the same time.
I've started--several times!--a striped raglan based on the pattern in the new Color Style book. I'm using TLC Cotton plus, which is a crisper yarn than the original, so I'm afraid the jog at the color change will always be more obvious than I would like, but I like the colors: yellowish green called "kiwi", a medium, slightly periwinkle blue, and a variegated blend of these 2 colors and related shades.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Knitting along

I've just about finished another hat:
It's based on a Raveler's take on a Banana Republic design, somewhat modified (mostly on purpose) by me.
I’ll like this when I’m done but it hasn’t been as much fun to make as I had hoped. The unelastic yarn is tiring to knit with, and a bit rough for my winter-dry fingers, though it will be fine as a hat. I thought the band was snug, but after blocking the hat the band was very loose and the upper part of the hat was maybe one row too long overall. Rather than start over I cut off the band (too tiresome to unknit), picked up and reknit the band downward, decreasing 5 stitches evenly placed in the last round before the band. (I’m still learning the right amount of negative ease for a hat made for my larger than average head.) Another issue was the big difference in gauge between seed stitch and stockinette at this weight of yarn. And for some reason I did 5 decreases per round at the top, instead of 6. But it’s turned out well anyway. All I need now is to sew on the button, now that I've found one I like, and work in the ends. It's such a surprise to find how much I enjoy hats when they fit!
In other knitting news: the Emerald Cardigan is coming along well. I've joined the sleeves and body and am starting up the yoke. I took a small detour with the white hat and also to start a solid red version of the Bundle of Joy hat for another upcoming baby.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby knitting

Here's a photo of my 2-day baby hat for a friend's upcoming infant:

Ravelry pattern Bundle of Joy
It's a nice easy knit, with spiraling decreases and a little icord knot on top. The cell phone photo doesn't show it to best advantage. (Unfortunately, my camera battery is dead and I've misplaced the charger.) I aimed for a larger than newborn size and may have ended up with something larger than intended. I'm hoping that it will fit well in some cold season, rather than July.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Progress in spite of myself

Continuing on with my Emerald Cardigan, I started the cuff of the first sleeve on Thursday and knitted my way through it in the course of an evening get together with some fellow knitters. Since then, somehow I've kept knitting steadily enough that the sleeve is now complete. This is in spite of various digressions, including a Friday yoga session and a couple of hours of serious attention to the much-neglected yard.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


When I got home last night the Amy-friendly Lorna's Laces yarn had arrived from Jimmy Beans. (pix later). It's beautiful. !!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sweater progress

I've made a good start on the Emerald Cardigan:

Beginning my emerald cardigan

The color in the photo is a bit off but it shows how the yarn is shading. This is certainly a good pattern for that kind of yarn. The body (fronts and back) is knit in one piece. I've begun increasing above the waist while decreasing for the v neck. It takes a bit of concentration (and some notes) to keep it straight, but it's coming along well. We're having the kind of damp, windy weather that makes me want to finish this right away and put it on!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More about the hat, and a new project

I've cast on for a new sweater project. This time I'm making a cardigan, using the Knitty pattern called Emerald. I'm using a rusty tweedy boucle acrylic that I got in trade for some of my wool. It's unlabeled and wound into balls, so I'm not sure what it is or exactly how much I have, but I'm told it was originally purchased for a large sweater for someone larger than I am, so I should have plenty of yarn. The pattern is written for 5 sizes (XS, S, M, etc.) and I'm combining the directions for the small and medium sizes. I want it nicely loose but not too long. It has big stretches of stockinette, so I'm hoping it can be a mindless subway knit, in spite of the bulk.

As for the hat: I solved the hole-in-the-head issue by casting on only 4 stitches and increasing briskly. But I experimented with seed stitch and don't like it with this yarn, so I'm going to begin yet again--stockinette or reverse stockinette will be better, I think.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Top-down hats

I'm trying to start a hat, using the top down no swatch method. With very bulky yarn, it seems that the difficulty lies in getting off to a good start without a hole in the top. Supposedly, if you use Emily Oecker's method of casting on, you end up with a loop of yarn whose tail can be pulled to tighten everything up. It hasn't worked for me so far. Maybe I should practice with something other than a double strand of slightly lumpy cotton...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I got so excited about the news that the Amy's Vintage Office colorway Lorna's Lace's made in honor of Amy Singer was available in an Amy-friendly non-wool version that I ordered a whole sweater's worth from Jimmy Beans. I was somewhat relieved to learn that it is back ordered while Lorna dyes another batch. I want to think of something fabulously artistic to do with it--something that takes its innate stripy-ness in multiple directions. It's a sophisticated look--charcoals and teals--and I want to support "amyfriendliness" on principle.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Geometry

While traveling, of course I started another knitting project: the cloyingly-named Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Cap from the new Mason-Dixon book. It's cleverly knit as a flat piece with zigzagging edges:


By sewing the zigs and zags together along the edge that's on the bottom in this photo, you get something head-shaped. Then you attach i-cord ties.
The original yarn was something subtly shaded in wool. This is Plymouth Dreambaby in, obviously, solid red.

So now I'm wondering if I could use the sewed-up zigzag method for the crown of an adult-sized hat with a ribbed cuff. I think I need to start with paper and scissors...

Finished: the Top-down Raglan


I finished this last week while visiting my parents. I was glad to have finished it but also happy to leave it behind to await my next trip north. It's toasty and soft, but the neckline creeps up and the yarn must be kept away from velcro.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another view of The Hat


I really like it! What a surprise to find how much I enjoy having a hat that fits, in a color I picked. Most of my hats have been things I "settled for" because most hats are too small for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The cellphone photo doesn't do justice to the overall soft lime green color of this yarn. The hat used almost all of 1 skein.

Not quite a pattern, but here's what I did:
1. Measured my head
2. Knit a swatch (using handspun bamboo, hemp, and sparkle yarn from Folktale Fibers) in k2p2 rib to check gauge
3. Based on results, cast on 64 stitches (the closest multiple of 4 that would equal the size of my head, based on the gauge), using a larger needle so as not to cast on too tightly)
4. Joined and worked k2p2 ribbing in round for 2.5 inches
5. Knit 1 round for fold line
6. Worked p2k2 ribbing for 5 inches. This change means that the ribs on the turned up brim match the ribs on the crown of the hat.
7. Maintaining pattern, decreased 4 sts evenly spaced every row until 8 sts remained. I placed the decs so as to feed them into 4 ribs.
8. Cut yarn and drew tail through remaining stitches.
9. Worked ends of yarn into inside of hat
10. Turned up the brim on the fold line, put on the hat, and smiled.

Monday, September 8, 2008

That mood board thing

Inspired by caterpillars and squash, here's what I did for my summer "mood board" project:

I've been disappointed so far in the low level of participation, both on Ravelry and on the Inspired to Knit blog. I was looking forward to seeing what other people came up with.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Finished vest, and it even fits:




Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ribbed Vest: almost done!

I've knitted some parts more often than I can count, and I'm sure the ribbing still isn't perfect, but it's all over but the seaming (and blocking, and weaving in of ends...).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wool gallery

My remaining souvenirs of my wool-knitting days:



Last wool vest



Hand-dyed wool and mohair raglan worked in the round using Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage method. the ribbing was worked in wool and the body and sleeves used wool and mohair in alternate rounds.




Wool vest with zigzag eyelet pattern.




Ribbed wool vest.




Striped wool vest combining variegated and black yarns.



Mitten in Spruce pattern from Robin Hansen's Fox & Geese & Fences

Approaching the finish line

back or front of my cotton vest
My excuse for not blogging: I've been knitting along with the Olympics, to the extent that the broadcast schedule has been compatible with my need to sleep, eat, and go to work. The vest ran into difficulties (surely the knitter wasn't to blame...) and had to have its front and back re-knit from the start of the neckline up. At the same time, my Olympics viewing has been a repeated nightly round of beach volley ball and swimming, reinforcing the feeling of being stuck in one place. But this time both the back and front are truly finished. I am ready to bind off, join the shoulders, pick up and knit the neck and armhole ribbing, sew 2 seams, and be done. Oh, except, of course, for the weaving in of ends and light blocking.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Two steps forward, one step back

I have finished the back of the vest. I thought I was ready to start the armhole shaping on the front last night, but discovered, in my last self-satisfied look at my progress before going to bed, that I had skipped 2 rows of garter stitch a couple of inches back, so will have to retrace my steps and fix it. Still, I'm within sight of the end. I just hope I like the fit. The combination of cotton yarn and a somewhat stretchy pattern make it hard to judge exactly what the final blocked and assembled measurements will be, let alone how well I will like the effect on me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ribbed vest update

Here's a closeup of the stitch detail on the vest, using the Rowan Cotton jeans yarn. The back is nearly done.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ribbed vest progress

Using the Ribbed Tank pattern in Vogue Knitting: Very Easy Knits, I've made a good start on my vest. I've made several modifications to the original long, loose design, first published in 1983:
  • The original and substitute yarns are not available. I am adapting to the Rowan Cotton Jeans I have and am pleased with the result, even though the gauge is different from not only the one specified on the pattern but also the one recommended on the Rowan ball band.

  • The original pattern is for a long very loose-fitting tank with 4 inches or more of ease. I'm shortening the body to hip length and aiming for zero ease.

  • I've narrowed the width of the textured bands because I thought it would look better my shorter, smaller version.

It's been a good travel project.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Travel knitting

I was thinking I could use the small bit of chenille left from the scarf and some black yarn I got in a swap to make simple but fancy fingerless mitts or even gloves. Just one problem: the black yarn is really black, highlighting the essential brownness of even the darkest, most nearly black parts of the scarf. Too bad--it seemed like the ideal travel project. So I'm taking along the bit of chenille (so small, really, I can easily tuck it into my purse) with the road-to-stash-paving intention of taking it with me to visit midcoast Maine's yarn shops.

But I still need to pick a real project. Ribbed vest, perhaps?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Finished scarf

Here it is--the finished scarf! Crocheted scallops turned out to be the best finish for the edges. It's beautifully soft. The color of the jacket in the photo is a bit off; it's a darker bronzy brown and the scarf's colors look really nice with it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I spent Saturday morning at the Crafty Bastards craft fair because a friend had told me there would be a spinner with vegan yarn there. After fortifying myself with a mango Italian ice I found the Folktale Fibers booth. She had some really pretty yarn and sure enough, some of it was vegan. I got 2 skeins:

The one on the right is a blend of organic cotton, bamboo, and "sparkle"--something synthetic. The green one on the left is bamboo, hemp, and sparkle. They are both nice and soft. It was really helpful to be able to handle the yarn to be sure it would suit my skin. These aren't very good photos; the colors are much nicer than they look here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still knitting

I haven't felt like I've had much to post lately, because I keep redoing the end of a little scarf over and over. It's mistake stitch rib, in a variegated synthetic chenille with a nice feel but no structure. I want the ends to flair slightly and look decorative but so far nothing is quite right. Perhaps crocheted scallops?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ballband Discloth

This was a housewarming present for someone who lives near fields and water.
I crocheted around the edge. The pattern tends to contract, so additional repeats would have been required to make it truly square.

This pattern could also be enlarged to make place mats.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mobile post test and knitting update

The sleeves on the sweater will need to be reworked to taper at the
wrist--the ribbing is too loose and flares. I've started a ballband

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Even more top down raglan progress

Here it is, all but the sleeves. I made the "wrong" side the outside and added ribbing at the down raglan

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Top Down Progress

The progress so far, with detail of raglan shaping:


Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Project

I'm using the Bernat soft blue "Soft boucle" acrylic I got in trade for some of my wool to make a top-down raglan/sweatshirt equivalent, using this pattern:
Comfy Raglan from The
So far it's going well. I'm about half way down the yoke. I'm mulling the idea of using a contrasting color--maybe gray--somewhere to give it a little more structure.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I removed the slide show of yarns from the right corner. The wool is gone. Cottons, rayons, etc.are still coming my way. I've started an experimental rather narrow One-Row Scarf using the single ball of softly variegated chenille. Not sure if it's enough yarn yet but I like the effect, although the yarn puts a little too much friction on my irritated left little finger for extended knitting. Not sure if I need a bandage or if I should try knitting in my lifting gloves. Maybe a tiny finger puppet?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yarn Wealth

Today I took my last batch of wool in to work. The green alpaca found a home and the various remaining rusts will, I am sure, be on their way to new homes within a week. The best part of all this trading is that I received (and continue to receive) so much yarn in return that is just the sort of stuff I'm ready and able to knit with right now. I've finally turned that woolly albatross of a stash into something I can enjoy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Swatching and searching

I've been swatching my Peaches & Creme to see what needle size works for me and hoping (vainly!) that I would intuit my way back to the slip stitch stripe pattern I used long ago on that w**l vest I no longer have. This morning I found the stitch in my Barbara Walker II: "Stripe and Rib" pattern, to be worked back and forth on dps or in the round. I see a dishcloth cotton vest in my future. Will post a swatch later.
In the meantime, I've added 2 yarn slideshows (bottom right of page) so non-Ravelry knitting friends can see what I have. Soon I hope to have No More Wool!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More de/re-stashing

I've photographed and catalogued all my yarn. Thank you, Ravelry!
I think I've found, photographed, and recorded all my remaining wool.
I've brought home, photographed, and recorded all the fun stuff I got in exchange for the Dyed in the Wool variegated, which has found a home.
I've put the handspun naturals( coveted by at least 2 of my colleagues) into my gym bag so they will travel to work with me on Monday.
Meanwhile, I have a few tentative nibbles on Ravelry as well as offers of small experimental amounts of various non-wools.
Somewhere in here I got out to view the tulips and daffodils.
Now it's time to start knitting something other than that afghan. I'm trying to recall how I did a slip stitch pattern that came out as a restrained 2-color plaid, back in my woolly days. I' m picturing it as stockinette, with vertical lines of slipped stitches, and occasional rows of a contrasting color, crossed by the slipped stitch.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Destash and restash

The package of yarn traded for my Rowan designer dk arrived -- 6 skeins total of 2 different cotton blends in black, plus some magenta cotton and some orange suede-like ribbon to play with.
Meanwhile, I've rummaged around and discovered more wool. 4 skeins of alpaca in a soft green, miscellaneous variegated odds and ends, and some fairly heavy reddish hanks--unlabeled, but somewhat similar to Manos de Uruguay in texture and shading. Might felt well?? Don't have the energy right now for the whole upload-the-photos process. Maybe tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm hoping my Ravelry post will turn up some offers of oddments of nonwool I can try out to see what I like.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Wow, that was quick. The Rowan Designer DK went west, the Dyed in the Wool has headed just slightly to the south, and various cottons are rumored to be coming my way. So the only wool left is the assortment of natural handspun skeins (from multiple craft fairs etc. ) that I haven't offered to anyone yet. At least I think that's all. I don't quite have the nerve to double check the back of the top shelf in the closet. Not this late in the day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Ravelry is helping me get organized and starting me on the road to the final destash of all things woolly. I've been putting stash photos into Flickr and starting to share with Ravelry's ISO & Destash group in hopes of trading for something I can use. The process of making entries and taking photos is a little time consuming but very worthwhile. I see that I have plenty of non-wool yarn for a couple of vests and a couple of tees or perhaps a short sleeved summer cardigan. Time to knit!

Friday, April 4, 2008

40% done!

Here's the afghan-in-progress, with the first main section almost completed. It's going well enough to have given me the confidence to make a tentative start on a vest, using the Rowan Denim Jeans (in Jute) that I bought earlier this year. That in turn inspired me to return to the LYS, with the excuse of stocking up on Addi turbos in smaller sizes, and buy enough Cascade Pearls to make a tee (colors: 6388 - purple - and a bit of 9843 - purple/turquoise variegated).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mason-Dixoning again

Started and finished the Lobby Dishrag from the M-D site in 2 days. Personally, I like it as a washcloth. It's fun and easy to knit, and the Lily cotton yarn (in an ombre mix called "cool breeze") is nice for my skin.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


chair pad in progress
In the middle of block 20 of The Afghan, I rearranged a few things and ended up with a different chair in front of the computer, a wooden one in serious need of a pad for the seat. 2 days later, I've almost finished knitting strips of cotton knit fabric from assorted discarded garments into a completed pad--sort of a miniature knitted rag rug, in the spirit of those Mason-Dixon ladies. I would have finished it already, but I decided to rip back and take out a couple of colors that I didn't like.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I'm ridiculously thrilled to have finished block 14 with no mishaps. There's something about knowing these notes will show up on Ravelry that makes me want to have progress to report, and to report it, with some regularity, even though I can't imagine that any of my fellow Ravelers are really watching. My progress inspired me to drop by a LYS and stock up on some vest-worthy yarn: Rowan cotton jeans in a greenish brownish tannish tweedy shade called Jute. I yearned for the colors of the variegated Manos wools but I know it would make my skin cranky.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Progress, sort of

The afghan has 55 parts--large squares, small squares, and rectangles--all done in mitered garter stitch. I'm on part 11, but I'm going to have to rip it out. I got off by one stitch somewhere, and in navy blue I just can't see where.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Knitting again

I'm getting serious about getting back to knitting, in spite of my itchy skin that can't tolerate any wool at all anymore. I want to knit vests/sweaters I can wear. But first, to help my gauge settle down, I'm working on the Rambling Rows afghan using Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice yarn, in 4 shades of blue plus white. I got the pattern from Paradise Fibers.