31 October 2006


At some point early in my knitting career, I came upon this site. It's been in the back of my mind for a while, and I found it again today. I thought there was more information on the clocks, but I seem to have been wrong. I think I'm going to have to try this some day, especially after buying the Vogue Knitting with all the sock patterns a month or so ago. Did you see those embroidered stockings? I am a sucker for decorative embroidery.

And here is some more information on period stockings. What about a clock from a stitch dictionary? I think my Vogue Knitting Book has a couple of very decorative cable and bobble patterns that might be amazing on a stocking. Crazy, no?

'Nother repeat

I am back to where I was when disaster struck Clapotis! Completed a repeat and dropped the stitch without too much incident, thank goodness. It's weird to go back to this laceweight after knitting up the sweater, scarf, and hat with Eljido. Clapotis is almost 40" long at this point, and I've done seven repeats of the straight section. My plan is for the piece to be about 60" long, so, mathematically, that means I have to do three or four more repeats. It will be interesting to see if it works out that way.

I can see why people do this pattern more than once. It's interesting yet not terribly difficult. And it's quite variable, depending on your yarn choice. And everybody's doing it!

30 October 2006


The wrap sweater is complete - just needs washing and blocking. Since I only used a smidge of the third skein, I decided to make some accessories for DD: 2x2 rib scarf and a 1x1 rib brim hat using the Maggie's Hats pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. The hat pushed me to the fourth skein (out of four - I wasn't sure how much I'd need for the sweater since I didn't have a pattern when I ordered). The Shells colorway will look nice with the little lady's dark brown faux shearling coat.

So, should I make some mittens for her or some lace-up wrist warmers for me? For the mittens I'd alter the mitten pattern in Weekend Knits (the one with the long stockinette wrist as opposed to some sort of ribbing to keep them in place), as I did last year with some Shocking Malabrigo. The lace-ups would be from Alterknits, though I have that Atacama I bought for Fetching. How many pair of wrist warmers does a girl need?

27 October 2006

Oh, cute!

'Nother cute pattern. I found this capelet clicking my way through a few blogs. I might need one of these. Oh, future projects!

Super cute gift idea

Found this on Craft's blog. Perhaps I could combine this with the certificate for a knitted item of your choice.

Holiday countdown

Christmas is less than two months away! And I've only made two holiday gifts so far. And neither one is for DH or DD. Sigh. There have been a couple of requests for hats - something more windproof than the Blizzard toppers from a few years back, when I first learned to knit. Of course that means the hats will have to be at a finer gauge (or felted), which will take longer. But that's part of the fun.

Guess I should make up a list (thanks, FlyLady for the help!) of who should get knitted gifts.

One member of the knitlist said she's going to give out gift certificates for knitted items (hat, scarf, mittens, socks) so the recipient can choose from a few different items something he or she would truly like. I think she was even going to include some yarn/color choices. I might run with that idea.

Or everyone could just get hats. Sort of like getting a new Weasley sweater every year.

I did start a 2x2 ribbed scarf for DD with some of the leftover Shells yarn last night. Over the weekend when we geared up to go to the beach, she made this cute hand motion indicating she wanted to put on a scarf. I often wear a light shawl (pashmina-style) as a scarf, but I'm not sure I'd even done that when she motioned for her own scarf. So, of course, I have to make her a scarf. What a mindless project! A nice respite from Clapotis, which I didn't touch last night (DDog had a tick, so DH and I had to put in some teamwork to remove and then try to remove the mouthparts, but our vet friend says not to worry about them, which is good because our attempted surgery was unsuccessful). I'm a little nervous about the stitch count OTN. We'll see. It's such a beautiful thing so far.

26 October 2006

Clapotis: Back OTN

So, one of the helpful ladies in my Knit Night group suggested just pulling back up the dropped twisted stitch. And I really tried. But then the patience ran out. So, today at Knitting Lunch I wove a piece of floss through the stitches back one repeat of the pattern (successfully for the most part, though I had a string of stitches that ended up on the floss one row below), sort of like creating a lifeline in lacework, only after the fact. And then I ripped. Scary. But now she's back OTN, and I just have to figure out where I really am and replace my stitch markers. Keep your fingers crossed.

I don't think I'll have this problem again (since I won't try to work on this project in a high-stress environment again), but the lifeline notion is fab.

I did pick up my Haiku cardigan for a little while last night, after I seamed up DD's sweater, and that yarn is just so luscious.

25 October 2006

All over but the finishin'

Cast off the other side of DD's wrap sweater last night. Had to wind a third skein of the yarn and then only had to knit three (four?) rows. I think I'm going to make a hat, scarf, and mittens for her out of the remainder. It's going to be a lovely sweater. Now, I just have to decide whether to do i-cord ties or ribbon. And sew up the seams. And possibly embelish the neckline, hem, and/or sleeves.

Next up is to fix the mess of the Clapotis. I've got a long US3 straight or my Bamboo Sister US5 with a long cable. We'll see which is better for picking up the stitches back a repeat or so. Argh.

24 October 2006

Yarn P***

Darn those crazy b's at Lime 'n' Violet! I listened to their podcast on the way to work this morning and am now (again) obsessed with the idea of hand-dyed sock yarn. I have yet to knit a pair of socks, but the stuff out there is so yummy. Be sure to check out sKnitches to see what I mean.

23 October 2006

DD cardi

With lots of counting and measuring, I've reached the second front of my lady's sweater. I even had to do a little tinking, since I'd forgotten the measurement I was going for until I'd gone an inch past it. Luckily, with this yarn I didn't have too many rows to go back.

I tried to put it around the little miss yesterday to see if I had measured correctly, but she would have none of it. I think I'm close enough though.

Now, the big question is how to finish it, aside from sewing up the side seams/sleeves. I did see a wrap cardi with a ruffle collar on someone else's blog last week (and forgot to note the URL, so you'll have to google it yourself, if you're interested). I believe it was from a Debbie Bliss book. I could pick up and knit around the whole edge, but that might be a bit bulky in this yarn on her. It would be sort of like the pinwheel cardigan on elann's website.

I guess I need to see how it looks plain before I make any additions. the increase stitch I used on the neckline was to M1 but without twisting the stitch, so it makes a little hole, which I like in this instance. I thought about doing kfb but am happy with what I've got here.

My other thought on "embellishing" was to do a perpendicular knitted section along the bottom like Kyoto on knitty.com, though that would involve more sewing. I'm going to have to wait and see.

There is a lot of pooling with this variegation at this gauge in these dimensions, but it's kind of cool, sort of like a butterfly wing pattern or something.

So, I did end up adapting the wrap cardigan from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. With my gauge and the dimensions of a sweater that fits her now, I used the stitch count for the smallest size as a starting point. But since then it's been almost all measurement-based.

19 October 2006

Pattern Generator

This is very cool. I think I should probably verify my Haiku cardigan. Better go find my gauge swatch...

DD wrap sweater

I cast on for this over the weekend after discovering the Clapotis disaster. I ended up doing a gauge swatch and then adapting the wrap sweater pattern from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies using dimensions of a sweater of DD's. Whee, lots of math.

I'm just doing stockinette, so it rolls. I may go back and knit an edging of some sort on the bottom (ruffle?), depending upon how it looks, but I'm a fan of the stockinette roll being a J.Crew rollneck sweater girl from way back. I'm not sure yet whether I will have to do some sort of edge on the collar. There is a cute Jedi sweater I found the other day that just let's the stockinette roll. We'll see.

The yarn is yummy. While the variegation is leading to some pooling, I kind of like that. The Shells colorway is beautiful.

I think it's going to be very cute. Just hope DD likes it.

18 October 2006

Sounds to Knit By

Unfortunately, I don't have enough time in the day to knit and listen to podcasts. I don't have much time to knit at all. But I do spend close to two hours in the car a day, so I've started listening to podcasts while driving.

  • Lime 'n' Violet - I've mentioned them before; they're fab! Unfortunately, family circumstances have them on a short (I hope) hiatus.
  • Cast-On - Many online knitters consider Brenda Dayne the grande dame of knit podcasting. Darnit, she's on hiatus, as well, working on her next season of the show.
  • CraftLit - Heather Ordover is so someone I'd be friends with: knitter, spinner, mom of two, former English teacher. I've really enjoyed her craft and literature discussions and am looking forward to the next book (her first choice was Pride and Prejudice - how could I not like it?!)
  • Math4Knitters - I just started listening to this, and it's very interesting, though brief, which is a pain in the car, since I haven't figured out how to tell the nano to play all podcasts in order from the beginning. There ought to be a way.

    I know there are more knitting podcasts out there, so I have lots of listening to do...
  • 16 October 2006

    Oh, the places you'll go

    when you start googling knitting. Did you know the V&A has, essentially, a knitting department? Now, you do.

    Jacket style (Fencing)

    There's a cute little knit jacket on peek keep from Odd Molly that I kind of like for the fencing jacket, though it's got a notch collar and the center front cuts up instead of dipping down. But I like the asymmetrical closure and use of ribbon (ooh, ribbon). No pockets, though, with the boucle yarn, I think. Ooh, I just made a doodle with the collar coming up the neck, bell sleeves, raglan armscye, a high, ribbon closure on an asymmetrical front, a nipped in waist, and a straight hem. The big question is where to have the closure hit - it's on the boob on the Odd Molly jacket, but I don't think I want to add more bulk to that area on me. Perhaps middle of the ribcage (under the boob), but then that makes working out the asymmetry on the right front more complicated. Of course. Maybe above the boob? Sorry, that's a lot of the b-word.

    Clapotis - oh no!

    Somewhere in the last repeat I messed up the stitch count, so when I dropped the latest stitch, it was the wrong one. So, I had a very had time dropping the stitch, since it was the twisted stitch! The stitch to be dropped was leaning to the side of the ladder area, which was my first indication that something was wrong. I can't bear to tink back twelve rows! I think I'm going to try "weaving" in another (smaller) needle back at the previous drop and then frogging. I may have to take a break from Clapotis and start up DD's sweater. Wah.

    13 October 2006

    Fencing Jacket?

    What about using my Natural Boucle yarn from Handpaintedyarn to make a Fencing Jacket style sweater? So, another cardigan but with a little bit of a collar and a diagonal opening. I think this would have to be constructed in pieces and then sewn up.

    I googled fencing jackets and came up with some modern-day stuff, as well as a bunch of reenactment things, which makes sense, but I really hadn't thought of the historical aspects of fencing.

    Some of the results had a diamond quilted pattern, which could be done pretty easily, though I don't think such a thing would show up in the boucle. Obviously, I wouldn't need the full V extension at the bottom, since I wouldn't really need to worry about the thing riding up in combat, but some extension might be interesting. There are interesting details here

    Is this just an exercise in thinking about designs? Or will I really make one? I do like the idea (and have, off and on, for a long time), though this may not be the yarn for it. But I'll have to do some gauge swatching and think some more on this. After the Clapotis is complete, of course. And then there is the little lady's birthday sweater...

    12 October 2006

    A club that would have me as a member?

    My membership was approved for the Knitlist today. Will this be the online knitting community I've been looking for? I lurk on the message boards at Lime 'n' Violet, Knitty, and Knitter's Review, but this may be very interesting. I have a great knitting group offline and have just started knitting with some women at work, but sometimes you just want a large pool for feedback. We'll see...

    11 October 2006

    DD sweater

    Perhaps I've been having trouble finding a sweater pattern for the little lady because I've been searching on the wrong terms. Today I tried "wrap sweater pattern" and found this, which could certainly be adapted to the yarn I've just swatched (yummy!). I wonder if I could even just do a top-down raglan cardigan and figure out the overlap(s) - extra increases on the edge, I'm guessing.

    This looks promising, at least structure-wise, though it wouldn't be on US3s. Looks like I should just draw and measure and make it up as I go along. Whoa! Adventures in knitting for sure.

    10 October 2006

    Lessons Learned While Knitting

    Don't let your daughter play with your knitting. Especially if you're using a single-ply laceweight yarn. And it's 850 yards. And you didn't want to weave in any ends in the shawl you're working on. *sigh* It's not the end of the world, but I was slightly peeved.

    In spite of the little breakage, I've completed four repeats of the straight row section on the Clapotis. It's fun, though the yarn is sticky, so dropping the ladders requires some work.

    I showed the WIP to one of my colleagues today and, as I was putting it back in my desk, I noticed more of the lovely hues in this colorway. Perhaps there is something to be said for fluorescent lighting. There are these lavender tones that I hadn't spied before. Lots of fun.

    So, to add my Clapotis adventure to the Yahoo! group database, I had to go check the yardage on Handpaintedyarn.com's website, I discovered some lovely new laceweight merino in the Oceanos colorway. If this Clapotis goes well, I think I'll have to do one for myself in this yarn. Oy.

    06 October 2006


    I dropped the first stitch on the Clapotis and ... it was a little bit anticlimactic to tell the truth. Mainly because it's only for ten rows I think. Presumably each one will be a bit longer, which will make it more exciting. But the Clapotis is coming out nicely. I really like the fabric. Unfortunately, I won't have quite as much time to work on it now that my car is back on the road. But that's OK.

    And the yarn was a little bit fussy to unravel but not too bad. Nowhere near a mohair level.

    05 October 2006


    I just stumbled upon Craft while looking for podcasts this morning. And that word made me ponder just what it is I do when I knit. I'm crafting something, but not in the "crafty", let's make stuff for the sake of making stuff sense. More like what I do for a living, which is graphic design and art direction.

    I've always maintained in my professional life that "I'm not an artist". Rather, I'm a designer, an arranger of elements. I do create things, but not really from scratch. I craft elements into a cohesive whole: The sum is greater than it's parts. And I've always been proud of the work I do as a craftsman (craftswoman is awkward, crafter sounds like I scrapbook or something, maybe craftsperson).

    Who, me, a teacher?

    At yesterday's Knit Night, my friends who own the LYS asked if I would be interested in teaching a class this winter, since another woman who recently joined the group said I was so nice and patient explaining what I was working on (haiku sweater and clapotis). Who, me, patient? Noooo.

    I come from a teaching family: Mom taught middle-school English before I was born, then was my Girl Scout troop leader when I was a sprout, and now serves as a docent at the Art Institute of Chicago; my brother was an assistant teacher at a private school after graduating college; then my little sister took the same position when she graduated; and my father is the soul of patience. But I always thought I was not the teacher type. I didn't really think I had the patience. Perhaps my little lady has made me more temperate. Or knitting.

    Anyway, what would I teach? Classes should go three sessions. Since it will be winter perhaps something wintry like handwarmers or hats or holiday stocking ornaments. Ooh, that could be fun. There are stocking and sweater ornaments in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. And those little egg warmer sweaters in Weekend Knitting.

    My other thought was a one-day class - Fearless Knitting, in which we have pattern or yarn but not both and venture forth boldly into the land of knitting in search of the other. Or Surfing the Web for Knitters - the art of finding patterns online (free and for sale) as well as the art of getting all obsessive about knitting-related items to the point of googling them all night long. Just more of a seminar deal to get people going.


    I'm almost ready to start the straight section of Clapotis! It's about 24" wide at this point, and I think I will make it about 60" long, which makes it overall just a little larger than the original pattern dimensions of 21 x 55". The intended recipient is on the small side, so I don't want to make it overwhelmingly large. The neat thing about it is I can already see ridges where the stitches are twisted, and the edges are a little scallopy due to that and the yarn overs. It's going to be really lovely.

    04 October 2006

    Fetching and other wristlets and podcasts

    I just realized as I started to google Fetching that I might want to do some Mrs. Beetons since Brenda Dayne came up with the pattern, and she is fabulous. Have you listened to her podcast? She really does a great job, and who doesn't want to hear about life in Wales.

    I'm a huge Lime 'n' Violet fan, also. During the first podcast or two (I started from the beginning) I thought they might be nuts. Now, I know they are. And they are fantastic! How can you not love these crazy women and their yarn p*rn? So much fun.

    The latest for me is CraftLit. I love that we started with Pride and Prejudice for the audio book. Annie Colman does an OK job of reading, though at first I wasn't wild about her voice. She *is* from St. Louis, though (where I went to school). Makes me want to give audio book recording a try...

    I tried listening to Insubordiknit, but it didn't do it for me. Lots of spinning talk, and I haven't gotten into spinning/spindling yet.

    Marie Irshad has a lovely voice, but I haven't taken to her 'cast. That may be because I started at the beginning, and there were a number of segments on the London wool show that were irrelevant to my life.

    There are more knitting podcasts out there to explore, especially while Brenda is on hiatus.

    Darned Yarn Sale

    Windsor button is having their Columbus Day sale on Monday. 20% off all yarn. And I will be at work on Monday, since we don't have it as a holiday. Grumble. Mutter. Just what I need: to buy more yarn. They have Malabrigo, and Dad wants a new hat.[How sad is it of me to complain about a sale? Pathetic.]

    Sweater for meeeee

    Ooh, selfish knitting. I want to do more. There are a number of things I'd like to make for myself:

  • luscious, haiku cardigan (on the needles but on hold)
  • sweater in Handpaintedyarn's Natural boucle (no pattern determined yet - thinking of a raglan with bell sleeves and some sort of turtle/cowl neck; body like the Hourglass sweater, I think)
  • Fetching handwarmers in Atacama aqua colorway
  • socks (because if I have to wear shoes here in cold New England, they should be lovely)
  • mittens or gloves
  • something with the black, laceweight, merino yarn from Handpaintedyarn, though it might not be for me

    I'm sure there is more, but that's quite a list for now considering that I also enjoy knitting for my family. And have a full-time job.

    Clapotis is coming along well, though I had a near disaster yesterday and ended up with an extra stitch between markers. I ended up knitting two together in the non-drop stitches. Then a couple of rows later I somehow ended up with one too many stitches in one segment and one too few in the next. Somehow the stitch marker moved! After some tinking and counting and muttering I figured it out and just moved the marker, though I feared the k2tog had somehow precipitated the mess and was boggling at the thought of tinking back a couple of rows of 100+ laceweight stitches in single-ply yarn. Eep. But all seems to be moderately well at the moment, and I just have to decide if the piece is wide enough yet to get on the with straight section (and the drop stitches). I've done two extra increase repeats. Guess I should go look at some shawl dimensions to make an educated decision.

    Also, on the Clapotis I'm uncertain whether to stay with stitch markers or switch to purling the dropped stitches. At this point I have enough stitch markers, but after the stitch switch above and losing a marker on the train this morning, are the markers more of a problem than necessary? Would things be wonky if I switch in the middle? One of the files on the Yahoo! group makes it sound like you need to twist the stitches on the purl side as well if not using markers. A nice thing about the original version of the pattern is not having to think on the purl side: just slip the first stitch, purl to the last, then pfb. I'll probably continue with the stitch markers for this one but will consider purling if I do another.
  • 03 October 2006

    Sweater for DD

    So, I have this great yarn (Eljido 160 from Handpaintedyarn in Shells - brown and pink - sooo pretty) that I want to turn into a sweater for the little lady, who will be two in November. That means I need a pattern. A cardigan of some sort would be most practical, and the yarn with all its variegation will do all the work, so stockinette is fine - any fancy stitch pattern would get lost. I could do a basic top-down raglan cardie like the luscious one I'm working on for myself, but I could use a little variety in my knitting life. Perhaps a wrap style? I could cop out and do another child's tunic from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts - last year I made her one in Shocking Pink Malabrigo.

    There is an infant-size kimono cardigan pattern in Simple Knitting for Cherished Babies, though it's for the really wee set and is in garter stitch. You knit it up in one piece and then sew the side and undersleeve seams. I made one (was working on it the day she was born, in fact) in a lovely, pink, silk-cashmere blend for the babe that ended up too small. That will teach me to be more careful about gauge. So, I could swatch up the Eljido, adapt the pattern by doing a little math... Or I could spend a lot of time browsing for a pattern... And then make up my own pattern!

    Knitty's Tigger is pretty cute but not really what I'm looking for, I guess. And the MagKnits kid stuff isn't blowing my skirt up, as one of my colleagues is fond of saying. The search is on!

    02 October 2006

    Stash Enhancement

    In a little shopping spree this weekend (school clothes for mama and daughter, diapers, etc.), I added some yarn from A.C. Moore's four-hour 25% off knitting sale on Saturday with a couple of skeins of Araucania yarn and two of the Atacama. Did you know that Araucania now has a bulky weight? I didn't until I spied some lovely, slightly variegated grey that will make a nice, warm hat for my husband and go with the gloves I made for him last winter out of the regular weight Araucania grey. The other Araucania is a periwinkle to violet variegated yarn in their original weight.

    I gave some Atacama to a friend for a birthday present a couple of years ago and really liked that rosy colorway, but when I saw the aqua one, I decided a couple of skeins for me would be nice. Not sure what I'll do with them yet, perhaps Fetching though I wonder if the variegated yarn would distract from the cables. Or it could be really cool. I think I'm going to have to spend some time googling "fetching".

    To make the trip to A.C. Moore legitimate, I bought more stitch markers for the Clapotis and some big safety-pin style stitch holders for the luscious cardigan. However, the bamboo needles seem to have settled down with the Clapotis (or I've gotten the hang of working with them and this yarn), so at least I don't have to swap with the Bryspuns for now.

    And I put all my accoutrements in a little makeup case from Stila that looks like it might work well. It's got elasticized bands inside the "lid" that hold my sewing needle case, stitch holders, and other such tools, while the rest of the gear is loose in the "box". It's even big enough to hold the Sister Set case. This is probably a better solution than a felted bag, which I thought would be a future project.