Thursday, November 27, 2008

Over the river, and through the woods

To grandmother house we go...

Well, not this grandmother! And besides, It's through the tunnel and Over the interstate (I-495!) to grandmother house we go.. that is, if anyone was coming to grandmothers house this year.

Last year I spent Thanksgiving with my son and DIL and grandchildren, but not this year.
(That's the bad new, the good news is: I don't have the time this year because I am working!)

I'm thinking of them, and while there are still ends to weave in on Miss B's sweater, I think I'll cast on Master C's sweater (as a way of thinking of him)--It's socially unacceptable to litter someone else's house with trimmed ends of wool!

My cheating heart socks are almost back to where they were before I frogged them, and much improved in design—workmanship, too.

And when no one was looking, I made this little baby hat for a friend who will soon have a need for it.

It's the Sweet Baby hat (a free pattern on Ravelry) –and is reminiscent of Elizabeth Zimmerman's 3 sided hat–(a blast from the past project.. No where near being my oldest FO, but one of the oldest I still own! (it's about 20 years old).

It works up fast, and requires just a single ball of sock yarn (or other fingering weight wool).

This yarn is Red Heart Heart & Sole sock yarn with Aloe—so it's pretty soft.
I used up the left over yarn from Miss B's ribbed knee socks--and worked in 3 solid stripes of garter stitch to add a bit of texture.. (I really just can't knit a pattern a written.. I must do something different!)

Hope your Thanksgiving is one of family and friends, and love and joy.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Knitting is done (on this sweater) but it's far from finished!

It needs to be blocked—the fair isle checkerboard patches in front are all out of shape,--but first, there are hundreds of ends to woven in.

That’s a good project of Tuesday nights SnB—the LICKnits group that

I’ve been a member of going on 5 years now!
(How time flies when you are having fun!)

I found some taupe gloves (and a spare pair of white-- not the most practical color for kids) and will soon start on Miss B’s fingerless gloves to match the sweater.. I am thinking about making her sweater into a sweaters set, with a small closely fitted vest to go along with the sweater.

The sweater is over sized and puffy. A fitted vest might be just the best thing to go with it.

I'll see where I am with the yarn after I have finished Master C’s sweater… which will be striped too, but narrow stripes, with the yarns carried up the side! (I just don’t want to face all those ends to weave in again, so soon!)--its likely to be a bottom up with a placket opening.. and a maybe even a pocket.
Boys always need pockets.

I should have finished this sweater weeks ago.. but I have been unfaithful.. and playing with a sock design.

They are tentatively called MAST—but they are not sea worthy.

On Sundays, (well most Sundays) I have the pleasure of knitting with the Tsock Tsarina. (going on 3 years now!)

I love her socks—as object de art!

But I rarely like anyone else's designs (Ms Grossman’s included!) to knit.

Vintage was wonderful… All those little leaves..Just wonderful! but there is No F’in way I will ever knit a sock like that! I just won't put that much effort into a sock!

Still the idea resonated and fermented, and now I am working on a sock with a leaf design of my own.

Each sock has 1 leaf. (or rather will have one leaf, since I haven’t knit the leaves yet!--and the leaf is a tree leaf-- not a vine. It's nothing at all like Vintage.. Oh wait it is--it has a leaf!--

The design is still being worked out.. Some elements are locked in—but —I am only showing you the edge.. (Since the photo was taken, (7AM this morning)
I have frogged back to this point!)

If (when!)I get stuck, again, on how to make things work—(and I am likely too!)or when I frog again,I’ll start up with the fingerless gloves (and maybe even the next sweater!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Down to cuff…

Well-- not quite yet to the cuff. But the sleeves are moving along. )One more compete set of stripes and they will be done.

They would be progressing faster, but I’ve been cheating—with socks.

Oh and what fun socks they are!

I’ve just done the cast on and a few rounds—and have been searching for the right pattern for the sock /colorway. The cast on is a fun one... and it has all sorts of quirky stuff.

(I am down to 2 patterns to use for the leg and instep—and will have to decide soon if I am going to continue.)
I have tentatively named the sock MAST. (and no, its not a blue sock or one that is boat or sea faring related... and YES, Mast is just the right name for it.)
And I’ve been buying sock yarn.

First, I went to the preview of the new Lion Brand Studio/store here in NYC.

First impression? Great!

The Studio is the ground/first floor of a 'brownstone' type building. About 25 feet wide, and 100 feet deep . They stock/sell every color/every style of LB yarn—but it fosters a Studio, not a Store feel.

Sales are sort of an “Oh yeah, you can buy that here”—but the focus doesn’t seem to be on selling—(well not initially--)

—They have baskets of swatches.. Every LB yarn knit up.. into an 8 inch square.. tagged/labeled with Yarn, Needle, gauge info--and other basket with everything crocheted..

--They have color sticks—flat weaving bobbins labeled and wrapped with swatches.. So you can see every color of every yarn—even if they are out of stock.

--They have great samples of FO’s—mostly afghans it seemed –but really beautiful ones. Kaffe Fassitt's tumbling blocks afghan for example, not wishy washy stuff!

--They have tables and ottomans to sit and knit, and computer terminals and printers to print out LB patterns (the computers only have LB info)

--They have great customer service—if you want a yarn (a single ball or enough for an afghan!) and they don’t have it stock (and they seem to have a HUGE stock room in the basement) they will ship it for free--and they promise to have yarn promotions (and discounts) too.

--Unseen—(but there) is a meeting/classroom space-- that is on the second floor—and looks to be as large as the ground/retail floor –and it has a private elevator (love it when things are handicapped accessable!)

I had to buy something--of course—and, what else but sock yarn?

I like the new LB sock yarn better than the old yarn (and I liked the old yarn enough, that I once found it on sale ($0.50 a ball) and bought $20 worth!) The new LB sock yarn is fine (sock yarn weight, not sports weight)

The colors --I got Toffee(brownish) and Taffy(blue colorway—2 of the ‘drabber’ colors--are nicer than the old line. The other colors are brighter with out being gaudy. Nice yardage too, (circa 440 yards (I don’t have the balls with me, and can’t be bothered to look up exact yardage))

I also lucked into a bargain yesterday at AC Moore--an errant skein of Kroy sock yarn.
It amazing how a sock knitter can spot a skein of sock yarn from across the room!

ACMoore hasn’t carried solid colored Kroy in over 2 years—and the last time I checked Patons home page, they no longer had a solid orange sock yarn either!--so this poor skein has been lost somewhere for a while.

But there it was--with out a band—but pretty much intact. It forced its way into my shopping cart (and came home with me for $0.50)

It's only a single 50gm skein. But I LOVE having single skeins to mix and match with left over yarns—especially at next to nothing costs!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Body Finished

On to the sleeves.
Yesterday morning I took a photo.. I still had an inch ribbing to work.

That got done last night at my Tuesday knitting at LICKnits..

The stitches for the sleeve are on the needle—but I haven’t knit a stitch yet.

This past weekend, when I should have been knitting, I spend some time making skeins of wool.

1 cone of lace weight wool (from scotland) got made into 5 skeins(this is brown is just on of the 5 skeins) (about 1000 yards in all) and washed –to remove the sizing added for machine knitting) This super fine yarn will be doubled for Miss B’s fingerless gloves. (I doubt they will use more than 200 yards of the yarn)

Another 1000 yards or so of lace weight cashmere was skeined and dyed--
Rocket fire—Deep rich red, and flame yellow, with smoke and smoky reds, yellows and oranges. Other cashmere (cones) are patiently waiting their turn to be skeined (likely overdyed) and balled up.

At this point I have:
The Rocket fire cashmere, (circa 1000 yards)
The Big ball of Peachy merino/silk ( over 8 ounces—1500 yards?)
A big ball of Silvery pink (another 8 ounce ball)
Another ball (never photographed) of Red Cashmere (over 6 ounces of lace weight yarn)
and no current plans for a shawl!—of scarf)

I know eventually, I will knit these yarns up--but first:
Finish Miss B’s sweater
Then make Master C’s.
Then a set of finger less gloves for Miss C
(double knit with the brown wool above-- and lined with a wool/angora blend)
and a set of fingerless gloves (and matching hat—or will it be a scarf?) for me

Fermenting is an idea for a knit puppet.. (will it be a bat? with a flowery (echolocations) nose? or a fantasy creature?

And I am in total denial about the sock yarn… Really… (sock yarn doesn’t count, right?)—and the socks I started last night? Let’s pretend I didn’t!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Not quite half way done..

I haven’t been working hard at this sweater--but its moving along nicely.

Yesterday I reached the first big landmark—and the stitches for the sleeves are now on holders, and I am a few rows past—working down to the waist.
Sleeves are about 1/3 of sweater, (and part of the sleeves are, in effect knit.)

The body is not quite half done; but close—I guess I am 5/8th done (or 62%) in total. Not bad for a week’s worth.

I’ve been thinking about the buttons.
And I have come up with 2 options.

1—get a kit to make a set of covered buttons, and knit some birds eye checks and some small checkerboard swatches, and make matching knit buttons.
2—get some polymer clay and make some checker board buttons in the same shades/colors.

We’ll see—maybe I won’t be able to find good polymer colors—more likely I won’t make good buttons! (I am not very skillful with polymer clay!)

I also realized I have some fingering weight brown wool (a cone!) and some wool/angora in a shade close to the light aqua (2 orphan skeins) … Miss B might find herself the owner of some mittens (or fingerless gloves) double knit –with angora (all soft and fluffy) inside, and plain brown wool (suitable for making snowballs!) outside.

Fingerless gloves are very grown up—and might get more use—worn as a fashion items.

Maybe I’ll look for some teal gloves (machine made) to pair with the fingerless gloves.
Real gloves are needed for camping (something the family does)—but aren’t often needed in SF proper.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Miss B’s Sweater First…

Then one for her brother—it will be the same colors--but arranged differently (I am not going to put white cuffs on sweater sleeve for a little boy who love playing in the dirt.. He has dinosaurs attacking his Tonka trucks—and other adventures that involve playing in the dirt.

He needs something that won’t be be obviously filthy in 5 seconds!
Likely stripes-- but other ideas are still floating round in my head!

Miss B’s is a basic top down seamless raglan.
You can duplicate with any basic sweater pattern generator.

The Details...

1—A tubular cast on—my favorite for a top down sweater!

A knit in place button band
Intarsia style, with half ribbing.

3—Stripes-- in this case:
2 rows of A,
4 rows of B,
2 rows of A,
6 Rows of C,
2 rows of A,
8 rows of D. (repeat)—I am about half way through the second repeat)

4—The stripe detail
On the first row of the color change, K2, P1
(on subsequent changes, keep the pattern in line--all the P1 are in single column)

5—the Increase—a center stitch was selected for increase:
R1: K, YO, K into center stitch
R2: P
R3: Lifted increase, K1, Lifted increase
R4: P

6—Some color work in the front.
A broken pattern of birds eye check and a small checkerboard

There are only a few more rows till its time to separate the sleeves.

The bottom ribbing, like the top and button band will be white.I am looking for buttons. So far nothing has been quite right--but eventually something will be!

You Don't Need a Weatherman....

Rosa Sat
Martin Walked
Obama Ran
Our Children can learn to fly.

If McCain had run his campaign, as he the man he was last night at his concession speech, --and not as the GOP wanted (and he obviously acceded to) it would have been a much closer election.

The boo's (that he time and time again) tried to quiet, came from the mean-spirited part of the GOP--they distracted --and clearly saddened Mr. McCain as much, or more than loss of the election.

No matter what your politics, it is an honor to live at time, and be part of the electorate that made this monumental change.