Thursday, March 31, 2011

Peasant feet

In a former life, I was, if I was anything, a peasant—In this life time, I still have the peasant feet.

I love silk and silky fabrics—but I coarse wool doesn't bother me—my mother sometimes cringed at the sight of me in some coarse wool sweater—worn next to my skin—she sometimes demand I put on a shirt beneath it—It bothered her just looking at me wearing a sweater she found itchy! (I ended up with a good number of sweaters that failed to meet other family members standards for comfort this way—including one an Aunt in Ireland knit!)

As I mentioned, my puffy striped socks (now past the 6 inch inch mark for the foot) are being knit from Kroy sock yarn. My stash is top heavy with Kroy--(a few years ago, as many solid colors were discontinued, I snatched them up—and I liked the yarn so much, I've bought more when ever I can—so I have a bunch of discontinued solid colors, and some odd balls--that look like matches, but are different dye lots (and I am not so picky—when the price is right--at least 1 ball (orange) was $0.50--and anything under $1 is always a good price!)

I have more than a pair or two of socks that are slightly different—subtle dye lot differences—and a few more not quite identical (ie different dye lots) balls to knit up some other pairs. I could point them out--but if you haven't noticed..well then!

Some knitters (ones who haven't been blessed with peasant feet) complain that Kroy isn't soft enough (it's not, I'll admit, the softest yarn—but it does get softer with washing and wearing, and it wears like iron!)

While conceding it's not the softest sock yarn -- it's plenty soft for me. But then there is the black.. I don't knit a lot of black--(1 pair (years and years ago now) for my son, and sometimes, toes and heels in solid black, and 3 or so years ago, the ring of fire socks—which were mostly black)--3 examples in a whole bunch of sock knitting! As I knit the foot, I am reminded, of all the Kroy yarns I have knit with, the black is the softest.

It so soft, it is noticeable different. It is distictly softer that the white, or greys. The yarn feels thicker, plusher, too. (the fabric is both softer, and denser) If every color/pattern/style of Kroy yarn felt as good as the black does, Kroy would easily be considered a premium yarn.

I know that different dyes can effect yarns, some leave them softer, some scratchier, but this black yarn is—so soft and plushy—it more than makes up for the difficulty knitting with a color that eats up light like a black whole!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Flapped, Turned and Gusset'd!--Well almost gussetted—there are still a few decreaese to be done, but I've turned the corner on the socks, and now it's swift race down to the toe.

Once the heel is complete, I feel as if the sock is almost done. I know in reality, that my foot is almost as long as I like my cuff, (and there fore, almost as many stitches are required—but not quite.

The turning and gusset part of the heel do make up about 2 inches of the foot, and the toe shaping another inch, inch and half.. so the foot is just 6 inches of plain knitting. (vs 9 inches of rarely plain knitting in the cuff & leg)--But also, once the heel has been turned, it begins to look like a sock, (or rather, socks) and I just want to see them done!

It's a very simple heel—the classic flap of heel stitch, a half round turning, and a simple side gusset. The foot is just stocking knit--the kind of sock knitting that takes very little attention.

Already, I am thinking about my next pair—And even though theses sock are (cuff and leg wise) more grey than any other color, I think the next pair is going to be grey, too.

Tentively, they are going to be Garnets in the Granite—done with a near solid grey sock wool (10% in the blend) —with red beading studding the work, as veins of garnets do, in granite.

There are details to work out--The stitch (granite stitch most likely—but not for sure) the direction, (top down, again I think) the beads—prestrung? Or slipped on as I go? And the heel's --F/T/G--or some other heel? or perhaps just a non standard gussets. (I guess there are some options about the toe, too, but...)

It's been a while since I've done a reverse shapped gusset—maybe it's time again—or maybe something completely different!

The nearly completed puffy socks reminds me—I have some red fabric that is destined to become a skirt--(and some brown, and some brick, and a piece of plum-ish sort of purple) I have various socks to match all these fabrics (and when the Puffy socks are completed,, another pair to match!) I have things to do! I better get to work!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Work A Foot...

Since 2 more puffy stripes have been knit, and now it's to black,black, black work.

The yarns are all Patons Krow sock yarns—and I've knit with this black before—it reminds me of a Monty Python skit—about black pudding—where even the white bits are black.

It's very deep, matt black the swallows all light. It's hard to see the stitches. Its' impossible to see mistakes (I suppose this could be a good thing!)

These socks are rapidly progressing into day time knitting only socks—even my full spectrum (not an Ott brands—but very similar) light doesn't do much.

But they are happy socks--I like them! I like the puffy stripes, the graduated colors, the simplicity. I like that I have a hope of finishing them before the month is ended!

Monday, March 28, 2011


In Red, in White, in Light Grey, and Medium grey. About to have a dark grey puff.. and then a black one, and then a boring black foot.

I am quite happy—and think--this could work—In blue--followed by white and all the greys and black, and Yellow, and –Why just about any solid color for color one!--

As puffy stripes, or chevrons, or.. Whoa!--(there are way to many ends to weave in now—Just how many pairs, with how many colors, and how many stripes? ) I seem to alternate between easy; one color, simple patterns, and extravagances of pattern and colors (and ends to weave in!)

Well—The Blue version will be pushed off, and be part of next years sock set—I have plenty enough ideas for sock for this year, and while maybe I will (or maybe I won't) have these finished by the end of this month (Thursday!) --since I have over 14 ideas, and so far in month 3, not yet 3 pairs of socks—well—it's not looking good right now for 14 pairs I have on the list for for the year --It's not even looking too hot for 12 pairs! I don't need to be adding to the list!

There are more hats on to knit too—simple(ish) ones, and—not so simple ones. And list and list of other things (shawls, and scarves (Yes, I know, I keep saying I am never going to knit another scarf...)and tops and sweaters, and...)

Then there are theses—they don't much look like a hat –They don't look like a hat at all! But these little 2 toned leaves are a start --Plus, I am thinking fibonocci-- 3, 5, 8, (that's 16 double pairs!) and is that enough? Or are another 13 (pairs!) going to be required? They are little—about 2.5 inches--(though the last 8 will be a bit bigger) –knit on size 5 /3.75 needles as two separate leaves, and then sewn together--not very much knitting--but then again 16 or 29 (or more!) of anything are a lots of knitting in the end. And there is more to the hat than just these leaves.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello, Again.

Another week of not much knitting—Unless you count a dozen roses!

Big ones, small ones, colored ones, black ones.. some now have pin backs, or hair clip backs(the smallest one has a small hair clip—the larger roses larger ones. The bunch on the left are all finished--the five below still need hardware--(and there is a sixth one on needles, too!)

All these for a sale tonight at a punk EVENT—I'll be there for a few hours.. Selling the roses, and the patterns to knit them, and a few kits (pattern, needle, and yarn) –my funky noro vest will be there too--(black top, black skirt—wild and crazy colors of the noro vest to be as funky as fat 50 year old female can be.

My daughter is bringing the ear plugs--(I was never a concert goer even when young—and loud music has never been my choice!)

I've got some other kits planned (next step in making knitting a career—the Etsy shop)--and have been busy behind the scenes documenting patterns—The patterns for these roses (a slighly improved rose,with more shape and detail than the basic rose) will be up next week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cast On's--Truths and myths

Style X (see my list of cast ons here-- sub any cast on from the list for X) is LESS STRETCHY
Style X (see my list of cast ons here-- sub any cast on from the list for X) is MORE STRETCHY

Both of the above statements are true--(no matter which cast on you substitute for X!)

Well, many not quite true—maybe each is just a general statement.
What is true—Amost any cast on can be worked tight--(and will be less stretchy) and almost any cast on can be worked loose (and will be more stretchy).

Let me show you—the differences as I work are almost imperceptable. But the end results are VERY perceptable. (and this is something you can do your self at home.)--You can see a video of this demonstration here.

Take about a yard (more or less) of scrap yarn.
Fold in it in half, and place the yarn over a knitting needle. Twist the needle to make a loop.

Don't get (or do, if you want to!) get all anal about making sure the loop is EXACTLY at the half way point—just about even is good enough.

Then cast on stitches using a long tail cast on cast on--(sling shot or thumb style)
When you've run out of yarn, see how even (or uneven) the remaining yarn is.

With a long tail cast on, the thumb yarn makes a 'simple cast on loop' that is immediately “knit” with the index finger yarn. IN THEORY—both halves of the yarn should be usesd equally.

But—and it's a BIG BUT—if you over snug the thumb yarn, and make the 'simple cast on” part of the long tail tight—Well the cast on is going to be tight.

It takes some effort and practice (and there are other solutions) but you can learn to snug, but not tighten up the thumb yarn.

Look what the results.

In Sample 1—(the upper needle) the remnants lengths differer significantly.. the thumb yarn remnant is more than 2 times the length of the index finger remnant.

In Sample 2—(the lower needle)the remnants are almost the same length--(the thumb yarn is a bit (20% or so) longer than the index finger yarn remnant—so they are not exactly even, but close.

Stretch the stitches out on the needle—what do you see? Significantly more stretch in the second sample. When the thumb yarn isn't over tightened, the cast on is significantly stretchier.

If—instead of short lengths, these were actual cast ons for projects—one project would have a neat (certainly the loops aren't loose and messy!) edge with plenty of stretch, and the other project would have a much less stretchy edge.

Long tail cast on can be a stretchy cast on—or not!

I know that for me, I find it hard to get a loose, stretchy, and neat cast on edge with a cable cast on--It's not that cable cast on can't be all three things at once –It's ME.
The fault is not in the star's, or in the cast on, the fault lies with in ourselves (or myself!)

I find Long Tail to be a good cast on for me—But I recognize—there is no one cast on that is best--(or stretchiest, or prettiest or ...any other superlative).

There are only cast ons that we do best, or best suit our purposes.

I am sure, I could-- if I put my mind ot it—learn to do a neat, stretchy, cable cast on. It's with my power—but I haven't bothered. I like my version of the cable cast on—and I use a cable cast on when I want a firm, not too stretchy cast on! (for say a buttonhole)

When it comes to cast ons—there are so many factors that go into making a good cast on edge.. And some of those factors are totally within our control.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Stories of Our Lives

One story I tell of my childhood—is my parents never went (or took us) to museums.
NYC is filled with museums—and many of them are virtually free (you must pay something, but that something can be as little as 1 cent)--but I never saw the inside of them until I started going on my own.

But I always point out—museums were the only thing we missed. The UN? We went to the UN headquarters and took the tour so many times, I almost knew the tour guides monolog by heart.

The docks? Hardly a ship arrived in port that we didn't visit it, Queen Mary (my mother came to the US on the Queen Mary), the Queen Elizabeth, too, and tons of other ships.. Some Sundays, we drove down the East Side drive past NY hospital-- where I was born-as it was always pointed out.
We were reminded , as well, as we drove under the UN headquarters, that technically, we had left the US (and entered international territory!) down to the tip of Manhattan, (and admired the statue of Liberty) then back uptown on the West Side--going at a crawl--to see all the ships in port—back then, there were so many!

I clearly remember the day the USS Natilaus (the first atomic submarine ) came to NYC (a pre cursor of the Fleet Week we now celebrate) –because we were all up and out of the house by 8 AM--(and for the most part, we were not a family of early risers!) and while we weren't the first on line to get on board the submarine—we were close. Some where there is photo of me on the deck of the submarine.

We went to the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens all the time—they were within walking distance—but we also went to parks far and wide. My early childhood memories include trips to LI Game farm, to Kissina Park, (where we went out on the lake in row boats—something that we frequently did when ever they were available). We went to Howe Caverns (I remember being so frightened when they turned off all the lights--I still have a fear of profound darkness!) Harriman Park? I remember it from before it was developed--(and the only toilets were at the Bear Mountain Inn--(elsewhere it was latrines (outhouses!))

Niagara Falls? Check. The Capitol? Check. Atlantic City (long before the casino's—I remember going to the Steel Peir and down under the water in the diving bell!) And there were at least two, (maybe more) trips to Indian Point—the local atomic reactor. Back in the day (a very long time ago!) the plant was open to tours... and we took them!

I think my parents were slightly in awe—and very optomistic about atomic energy-- because I know I tend to be slightly in awe, and optomistic on the subject. And, as scary as things are now (and they are as scary as Three Mile Island (and less scary then Chernoble) I still retain some of the awe and optomistic outlook.

Which is not to say, I am unaware or unconcerned—I am and if prayer alone could have resolved the problems in the Fukushima powers plants—I would have single handed resolved the issues days ago. ( I know I am not alone in prayer.)

I started out my life—inspite of air raid drills and hiding under school desks—with optomism about atomic energy. I hope I don't have to change my way of thinking before I die. I hope the story of my life doesn't change—for me, and for every one in Japan.

--Oh--Knitting--The puffy striped sock is onto stripe 2-- and the punk roses are gathering into a small bouquet.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I have 8 (I need at least a dozen—more likely 2 dozen!) roses now--(no leaves yet)--but the bag of yarns for my puffy stripes socks (left over bits of red, white, 3 shade of grey and black) started crying in unison—and I cast on.
For the past few rows, a voice in my head has been saying—enough—the stripe is big enough—but that voice is WRONG! The stripe needs a few more rounds. But its getting there—soon it will be long enough.

There is some other yarn (stored with yet more red and black for punk roses) that is saying, ME too, me, too! Make me into a quick hat! (and I am listening to that yarn! )

And there is still 1 major, (and several minor) UFO's hanging around.

–To be honest, a good percentage of the roses are UFO's at this point--
some will become pins, (broaches in the old fashioned term)
some will become hair clips (small and large ones)
some will be attached to rubber hair bands--(the fabric coated type, not the plain rubber ones)
some might become scrunches (I-corded rubber hair bands)
some will become magnets-- and maybe even a push pin or two.
(What am I doing here—sitting at the computer--when I have roses and leaves to knit!)

Right now—only one has been completely finished.

And in a dream—a lovely (well it was lovely in the dream—and I think it may be lovely in person) idea for a leaf laden hat came to me.. It was a spring green leaf--(and the first go at it will be in spring/mossy greens) but I think it will be a fun fall hat too.. (done in the many colors of fall leaves!) I had to write down all the details so I didn't forget them!

Just when I am going to get around to knitting this hat—I am not sure of! But soon, soon!

(And then there is this distraction—an earwig—I keep hearing Carly Simon's song—You're so vain...and keep subbing new words--(you probably think this post is about you, don't you?) I am so enjoying the show-no publicity is bad publicity, right?)

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Pile of Snipped Threads

One hat still need a pompom—but is otherwise finished.

The fingerless gloves have all the ends (a seemingly endless amount of ends!) all woven in, got a good soak to relax the fibers,and are now lying flat to dry.

The Noro vest fits and feels much better with its little cap sleeves—they were just the thing! It fits and feels so much better, I am no sure I want (or will add) anything (I-cord ties) to make a front closure.

Going on a half dozen little flowers have been knit—and at least an other half dozen to go—along with some other little knits—and a knit kit or two for a Punk Crafts Fair at the end of the month.

This is part of my DD's effort to keep me hip (a thankless task—I never was hip, or in with the in crowd, or popular--and never much cared)--and to promote my knitting career (such as it is).

But black roses are interesting- and knitting is becoming more and more popular--so ready made knit roses, and patterns (and kits) for the same will be for sale.

There are still other odds and ends and UFO awaiting my attention... so slowly over the next few days the odd UFO will be posted.

If (and likely I will) I grow antsy—well there are simple hats to knit—There is always a hat!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I thought I was done...

But—I didn't like the final result.. the shoulders are too wide, the armholes too gaping and drafty.

Not in the mood to frog and start again—I continued and added a bit of a cap sleeve—Just the ticket!

It closes up the armhole, it improves the fit, it carries the teal blue ribbing from the collar and adds it to the sleeve. One is done –(an hour? An hour and half? --plus the time spent weaving in the ends) an the other sleeve has stitches picked up..

It's still not a great project—but it feels better on and looks better too!
So in an other hour/hour and half--a FO.

One down, a pile more to go!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Am Putting Down My Knitting Needles

And picking up my tapestry and sewing needles.

The Noro Vest is Knit.. meh. It's OK.

Its warm, it functions. It's OK but it doesn't send me. Beautiful colors, OK yarn, so so finished object. And it still needs some I-cords and finishing.
I ended up, after the front bands, with about 2 yards of the Noro left over.
A bit of good luck.

LOT'S of things need finishing, too Some just a thread or two to be woven in, some—several hours worth (snaps, embelishment, trim).

So while there will be some little knitting (a bunch of very small projects needed by the end of the month)-- For the most part, for the next few days, the work of the day will be one of finishing up—weaving in ends, making a pompom or two, and what not.
Turning a bunch of ALMOST done stuff into actual FO's.

Then Socks! I have a week to finish --a bunch of stuff-- (and I don't think it will take that long) and then a week and few days to make a pair of socks. Not that I have to knit a pair of sock every month--it's just sort of a goal (a want to).

And then? I don't know! Maybe I'll go back and finish knitting the cotton top I started too late last summer (I've knit the yoke—but not the body!) and there are some other UFO kicking around (REALLY?!)-- and always yarn, and ideas. (list and lists, and new lists of ideas!)

Oh yeah, hats! I need to knit some simple hats for a charity project (I have done 3—but well I need to do more) And, and , and—there are always more things I want to knit, I need to knit. There is always yarn, and ideas, and knitting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cut and Paste Cures

There was (is) a meme going round FaceBook yesterday... Cut and paste-- as your status--a 4 line bit about not bullying.

There's the fix! Cut and Paste and make the world better. I didn't (I never do) I don't like cut and paste fixes.

I wish a fix was so easy. I've seen some bullying—as well as proposed bullying—and I've done nothing.
I've watched—and did or said nothing—just watched—as did a bunch of normally, very nice people did nothing, also. Worse, some thought the proposed bullying was a good idea.

It's not something I am proud of—to have done nothing. It's a behavior that I realize I need to confront—and since I have seen some support for the bully—I am afraid, if I stand up and say something, I am not going to even get Cut and Paste support.

It's so much easier to do nothing (its not) It's so much easier to ignore that some behaviors are bullying—Let's just pretend its FUN instead—Let's plan a road trip to have some fun (at the expence of others).

The bully (Ms Alpha dog of the group) suggested just that--a Road Trip—To invade an other groups space and to intimate them. She KNOWS SHE CAN- She knows she is bigger (not really, she is not a big person) strong, faster and all over, superior.
She knows, she can make them cry.
All of this announced at the top of her voice—all said gleefully (Oh the smile, she does have a winning smile!).

Then, the recount of the last time this was done—again the gleeful face, the joyfull affect--how proud she was of her behavior!

And she wasn't alone. She is quite proud of having organized a small posse to bully this another group in the past. To displace them, to make them feel uncomfortable, and other joined in recounting the episode.
It was so much fun, she wants to do it again. To go out of her way, to harrase and intimadate. (Guess she's not getting enough fullfilment where she is.)

Really-- a group of grown women, seeking out to confront another group of grown women to harrase them and intimidate them—in a word, to bully them! So many seconded the idea! Ms Alfpha Dog makes it sound like fun!

I sat frozen—I watch this display and said nothing. Well, of course, she has bullied me--(and no one came to my defence) and yeah, I am sort of afraid of confronting her.

And there is the problem. It's so easy to cut and paste a nice sentiment and think “There, I've done my piece! I have done MY part to end bullying”

And it is easier (I know!), so much easier to confront a single stranger acting a bully. I've done that.

But in a friendly (well supposedly friendly—no wait, not just friendly, but REALLY friends!) group, it's so much harder to stand up, and call out a bully.

Especially when she surrounded by willing minions—eager to do her bidding; Look how she rallies them round!

So much easier to pretend that what is being suggested is FUN (I doubt the women in the other group saw it as fun, or enjoyed the experience) To go along to get along.

I have resolved that I will confront her—should Ms Alpha Dog make the suggestion again and attempt to firm up the details—I will stand up and call her out for behavior.

I need to.

I am not willing to join a cut and paste fix —and I don't want to cut and run either.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Look, See I Did REALLY Mean It

Looking Vest like—

The basic shape—done.
The shoulder seams—done.
The neck edge—almost done.
The crosswise front bands—still being thought about.

But progress! I like it a bit better with the collar--(which is a single ply wool—Stitch 'N Bitch Full of Sheep)

There are 2 very small balls of the Noro left--(the front bands). These are smaller than they look--since they are hollowed out center pull ball. Some of the teal will be made into some I-cord for a closure (frogs? Or maybe just plain ties) for the front--bringing together the solid color shawl collar and the front.

And because, in cyberworld, links are what make the world go round—a special one.
One of my cyber (and IRL) friends is the web master for Wonderwool—a UK (London) brick and morter store with an online store as well—Just another wonderful place to engage in SEX--(Stash Enhancement EXcitement)

I've added the link to my Web page, too, and I am continuing to make small additions and improvements--Like a new videos --the Maine Cast on--for 1.

The Maine cast on is the the thumb (vs sling shop)version of twisted long tail cast on- If you've had difficulties doing the twisted cast on--you might like this method better. A link has been added to Cast Ons Part 1 list-- and will eventually be added to the cast on page, too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Getting Back

to you, my readers, and to the Noro Vest. Really, I mean it this time.

I need to finish it.. and then.. well LOTS of stuff to do.

A knit flower project—Goth spring. And March's socks, and another vest and some hats, and..

OK so in the meanwhile.. Harlequin Spring

—Knit but not finished (a pom pom—a mini one--and weaving in ends.

It looks overwhelming on the Head (I should give the head a name—ghoulishly—its just the Head) –And I am not 100% happy about it.. but.

And remember last week's hat? The cleverly name Green Color Work hat?

Well it's about to have a matching set of fingerless gloves—the end haven't been woven in, nor the stitches neatened (all the ends inside make the gloves look a bit puffy) nor have they been blocked, and really color work doesn't look its best before blocking.. but here's a hint of what they will look like.

These, like the green hat, were a fun finger dance—and things are so dreadful (floods, earthquakes, tsunami's) that something light hearted was sorely needed.

I am not a matchy-matchy time person –I do like symmetry--and matching socks, but sets? Of earings and braclets, necklaces and rings? Not so much but sometimes matching stuff is nice. Hats and gloves are OK and Scarves and Hats, or scarves and gloves.. but not all three!

These aren't a perfect match either—the lozenge in the hat is shaped differently (because of the decreases.) but they are a nice set. I don't think I am going to keep them—I think they might go to a raffle, with the proceeds going to some good cause.

So that's what I've been up to—and now, I'll be getting back, to knitting, to an accumulation of laundry, to all the other things I need to do.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Harlequin Spring

It's grey today-Heavy rains are forecast—with flooding. The storm that has been ravaging the Ohio valley (yesterday) is expected to do the same to day the Hudson Valley, and later to the Connecticut River valley. Grey, grey, grey. Rain, rain --and some who wish for rain --but will get snow. More snow on top of the snow they got Sunday and Monday. What relief is there to this grey wet weather?

The Noro Vest is in a bad place-- I am coming to the end of the yarn before coming to the end of the vest. Other yarn(s?) will be needed. Its becoming way more effort than its worth.The colors are pretty—but overall, I am not happy with the result.

So to cheer up—a diversion—a spring hat. Kings Cakes –a huge fried donut with purple, green and gold frosting or sprinkle (or both!) are not part of my religious tradition or ethnic culture—So I didn't even think about the colors I dyed my mini-skeing—but look—purple, green and bright yellow (sort of gold tone)--Add some white—and a bit of pattern—and a funny hat is at hand.

First the pattern. I wasn't sure what kind of a pattern I wanted—but inspired by my previous hat, I thought a diamond shape—something harlequin.

I wasn't sure about it. I am still not sure about it.

But OBVIOUSLY it was the right choice.

The colors were almost perfect for the design--can you see the shortfalls in the photo? --They are highlighted below--and visible if you know where, and take an effort to find them--but not too obvious if you don't.

The mini skein was divided haphazardly—but look—1.5 repeats of the purple
(OK so it was 10 stitches short—but close--so close!)

And then 2 full repeats of the pattern in the green
(OK so 7 extra green stitches mixed in with the yellow.)

And enough—just enough and maybe a few inches left over—for an other half repeat of the yellow. I know there is enough--just by looking at the yarn left in the ball.

REALLY—I am amazed.

It is amazing! I didn't start by winding the skein on my niddynoddy—I just wrapped it round my hand to elbow—I didn't do any methodical or scientific division of the yarns—I didn't swatch or measure—I just knit.

Clearly –all these random elements should have resulted in a failure. But instead—near perfection!

I have another half repeat of the yellow to finish (and just enough yarn!) Which will bring the patterned part of the hat to about 11 inches—and the peak (and yes, crown will be peaked) which will be another 3 inches or so. A a nice long (14 or so inches) stocking cap—a bit of whimsy—a comic relief for a grey spring.

You could repeat in a more methodical way with small left over skeins of the same colors—or choice some colors of your own—but not today—I am still documenting the pattern!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Inches and Inches

And still more to do.

Last night—4 full inches of the back knit. Since the photo's—another inch and half (5.5 inches)

This is just about half of the inches needed.

--and now I am worried I won't have enough wool! The balls (in use) are getting smaller and smaller--I feel sure I am going to run out of yarn before I run out of the inches of back I still need to knit.

I have some other single ply wools (Lamb's Pride, (which has some mohair mixed in) and/or Lion Brand Lions wool, and even some Patons SWS (soy/wool solids) that maybe I can use to finish off the front and edges.

I am sure I don't like the raw garter stitch edges—and think the whole thing would look better with a finishing edging-- a bit of a front band and a bit of collar at the least.

But I maybe I am just borrowing trouble.. I'll know soon enough how much yarn I need (vs how much I have!) if I just keep knitting.

Mostly—I just want to have it finished. Enough already. Noro Kurayon has beautiful colors—but I don't really like the yarn. I don't like the thick and thin, the broken colors the rough texture.

I WANT to like it. I do like the colors.. but all the other qualities (see, I am being nice and saying qualities, not defects) aren't to my liking. I paid very little for this yarn--($5!) and I don't think I got my money's worth. It was an experiement—and I would be very dissatified if I had paid full price (and fully understand why the previous owner wanted to dump this yarn.)

The vest will be OK—and I know some will admire it.. But its not really something I love –not knitting, not how it looks, not the yarn.

I want to get back to something more regular and even. The yellow/green/purple skein keeps reminding me how pretty it will look in a simple 2 row stripe--or even an staggered stranded stripe.

But I will plug away at this for now.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Miter... and More

OK-- so not much is happening on the Noro Vest--(and no new photo's)

By the end of day last night—the miter + 1 full row was completed. (yes, that is just 9 rows of work since I last posted about it.)

OK—So what have I been doing?

Well for one—I was forced to make a hat. The yarn just insisted. And this hat is now making nagging sounds about a pair of matching fingerless gloves, now too! (and I will soon do something to end all this nagging)

It was made with a bunch of left over yarns—and there is still a bit of the multi color wool (a single, partial skein I inhereted)-Which no doubt, could be divided and worked into a pattern with the green and white --and I still would have MORE of the green and white bits left over.

Plenty enough to work with the mini skeins I dyed last week. One of the skeins(the green/yellow/purple) has explained to me how it wants to be knit up--(a lovely idea) and I have promised it—OK—just as soon as I finish the NORO.

As for the pattern for this hat--Pattern? What is this pattern you speak off?? The yarn just got its self together and dicated (in a conspiratcy with my fingers) how it was to be worked.

I cast on (the yarn is pretty fine) 120 stitches (a multiple of 12) using size 5 /3.75mm needles.

I worked some ribbing, and then increased (can you guess?) 12 times. And then checkerboard, and then some more increasess and the lozenge shape –a 6 stich pattern that just created itself as I knit.
Then a final increase (156 stitches) and a picot (K1, K2tog) turning round.

Decreases follwed the turning round, and another set of large lozenges--(12 of them.) I thought this was going to be a set of chevrons when I started them—but as I knit, my fingers duely informed me I WAS WRONG—and Yes, the center of those lozenges are filled with 2 colors—plus the white border.. a half dozen rows of 3 colors per row.

If you look close, you can see the raised double center decreases at the back half of the lozenge--where there were more decreases.

Some more checkboard, and final set of decreases—12 rays of green with the multi color yarn between them. Finally a little I-cord stump.

Blocked Saturday (midnight) till Sunday evening—and finished (all the ends woven in) by midnight last night. I really like the results... Knitting this hat—with its Oh, . SO regular color changes--(vs the wild color changes of the NORO) was a pleasure. I LIKE (really like) orderly colors and symmetry.

What is worse—a whole bunch of other colorful (some of them rather subtly so) are crying out—ME, too, Me, Too—I could be something beautiful too!--I could be symmetrical, I could be orderly, I too could be a hat!

No doubt, they could—and eventually—will be.

I could have worked on the Noro Vest yesterday at Panera's—that was the plan. But instead I got a treat –(2 actually!) First Rena (aka GlassNeedle) asked me to help her—Her super sized skien of yarn—not Red Heart it was softer—but some acrylic that she was using for the Red Scarf project—had exploded. And she asked me to help. I don't belong to the Untanglers group on Ravelry—but I LOVE (OK maybe just really enjoy) detangling stuff.

When I was done—the second treat—lunch! --(same old French onion soup that I get 99% of the time) which still problebly cost more the skein of yarn new.

But I understand-- We all get some donations—and hate to waste yarn.

So that's my story--

Friday, March 04, 2011

Turned the Corner--

Well almost—4 more rows till the miter is finished. Then straight up the back and the main body of the work is done. Good thing too, because I am using the last big (full skein or nearly so) balls of yarn.

I have 2 mini balls for the front bands-- and what ever is left over from the back will become the collar.

I cast on for a hat last night—and have about 1 inch of ribbing.. which is nice progress—its a fine yarn (sports weight) and size 5 (3.75mm) needles—not my more usual worsted/size 7 or 8.

It will be color work—a multi color yarn (no, not one of the mini skeins I dyed early this week) and some solids--(more of the left over Kashmira wool I used last summer/fall for mittens and last week for fingerless gloves)

So a quick photo—and back to knitting—and cleaning.

I tend to buy 'bargain/family' packs of meat--(they are cheaper) and then to cook up a storm--(this week? Sauted chicken (cook and frozen) Curried Chicken 2-kinds/recipes--(cook and frozen) Chicken Soup (cooked and frozen)--I like chicken—and it was on sale–But I also cooked up some Italian sausages--(so its not all chicken, only chicken!) and now I have a sink full of pots to wash!

My daughter has become a dedicated Locavore--and given up, largerly, her favorite fruit—Bananas.

Not me.
Yesterday, I was at the green grocers stocking up on depleted veggies --No onions! (I can't function with out onions!) And a nice big cabbage—a favorite winter green, and a cauliflower (roast cauliflower will go so well with curried chicken!), and peppers---got to have some greens to go with all that meat!

While there, I had no trouble snapping up the green grocers overstock--I treated myself to some out of season fruits—bargains all! A half pint of raspberries—79 cents (already gone!) and a pint of strawberries (for today's fruit portion!) also 79 cents, and 2 star fruits—for $1--(I plan to have one them minutes from now as a fruit snack.) and a bunch of avacodos—a $1 each--

1 of the half dozen (they were small) haas avacacos is already gone—eaten last night as a gaucamole (a some what hot and spicy one made with a generous portion of crushed dried chipoltas)—which is so much better than tartar sauce with “fried” fish (Mrs.Pauls—oven baked not fried, filets).--and besides, I don't like tartar sauce!

Luckily—I had cooked up all the chichen—because the green chili's and tomillos tried to convince me to make a white chili—and I already had avacodos. For the next few weeks, dinners will be heat and serve—unless I am feeling creative. With onions, potatoes and peppers on hand—I can always cook up a frittia—eggs were on sale too, and I have 2 dozen to work my way through.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Moving Along

Sides panels (a mere 3 inches) done, and back miter half done.
--Wait make that the first half (making the short rows) half done--actually a bit more than half done.

After the last short row has been created, the miter will be half done. Then another set of short rows, are needed to complete the mitered corner.

Then Up the back to the shoulders—so I've passed the half way point of the basic knitting and shape—but I am likely to add a front band (knit crosswise) --and collar –if there is enough yarn.

On the mini dress form (it doesn't have a size, but at the fullest point of the bust its only 32 inches --making it a size 0--or perhaps a girl's size 14..) the fronts meet--but on me, there is about a 1 inch gap.
Since the stripes don't match perfectly--a cross wise band would make that less evident. (the Back doesn't come close matching.. but I don't mind that in the least!)

I am pretty certain they will be enough for the front bands—the collar is a bit iffy.

When I am not knitting –I have been continuing to work on my web page—Rewriting tutorials (from past blog posts, editing some of the free patterns I have posted in the past (and getting ready to turn them into PDF's and uploaded to Ravelry—where it will be easier to find them, (as well as adding them as links to my web page), and making some more slide shows of FO's for my gallery page.

Later this week I should have Part 1 of a tutorial on Cast ons.
When I made a series of blog posts on cast a few years ago,
1—I forgot some cast ons,
2—Since then, I have learned some new ones,
3—New cast on's have been created!

My count (and I have to double check to make sure none are missing) now stands at 48! I feel like an auctioneer—and want to cry, 50? Can we make it an even 50? going once, going twice...

Plus-- I've done a video of a new cast ons for my list—A Twisted Chain Edge Cast On It's another one I devised. It's a 2 yarn cast on, that is attractive, and stretchy—super stretchy. But –it has its disadvantages--The twists that give it the super stretchy quality, result in the 2 cast on yarns twisting round and round each other.

Worked in a single color (long tail style) it's not hard to pull the first yarn (the tail) out of the twist, but worked as a 2 color (which is an especially effective way to show off the chain edge) is quickly becomes tedious. The twisted yarns are annoying.

In real life—but not in the video--I stop and untwist the yarns ever 20 or so cast on stitches. (I just cast on for a hat—108 stitches—and I stopped to untwist the yarns about 5 times.)

But the cast on is pretty enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Fronts Mitered

Now on to the side panels—I am going to pick up 4 stitches first—and make the side panels deeper than the miter.

This will allow me to make the back wider (the front panels will have a gap) and make the whole vest fit better. I've used about 1/3 of the yarn so far—I should have enough—the side panels won't take up a third—but the wider (and slightly longer) back panels will take a slightly more than a third.

If there is left over, maybe a collar or front band to use up the last bits.. (or maybe I am being overly optomistic about the amount of yarn I have!) But a front band (crosswise band) would help hide the few rows difference in color banding.. and make the center front mis match less obvious.

Yesterday's mini skeins have been balled up—I definitely want to start a hat with the tri color skein—and while I haven't cast on for socks (they are going to wait till the vest is done) I have moved the bag of red, white and grey yarns front and center, and tucked a pair of needles into the bag, and small ruler, too. So I am ready to go with them as soon as this vest is finished. (or knit up, if not completely finished.

March's socks are going to be top down socks...and aside from the puffy stripes (rows of reverse stocking knit alternated with standard stocking knit) pretty much plain jane socks.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This Past Weekend's White Mittens

Were made from left over yarn—2 partial skeins of white wool that had been used for last fall's mitten project.

I have more white (2 full skeins) , and some deep wine red, darkish green, and black (more mitten left overs)—2 partial skeins of each of the three colors. A rather limited range of colors.

Today, one of the 2 skeins became a spring color way—the other skein-- a berrry (boyesberry/raspberry) color way.

Maybe a spring hats, or a cowl--a whole bunch of my friends have signed on to a a Cowl a Week knit-a-long. I haven't (and don't intend to!) but seeing their FO's—its hard not to be inspired!

Paired with white, or black or the darker green (I think almost certainly the dark green!) —I think the bright yellow, crocus purple and spring green will be plenty for a hat. Starting with a cuff of the solid, and a simple stranded pattern—letting the yarn make the color changes—I can slip in a few rows of white, too, to make more colors—and a more interesting design.

The Berry yarn? Definitely a cowl. Maybe with the red, maybe with the white—maybe--spiral knit? or with a slip stitch pattern? or just an interesting stripe of some sort.... Who knows?

Now all I need to do is knit--I am blocked for the moment--a bit of personal sadness has overwhelmed me. But it will pass-- and as it does, the residual sadness will be transformed into a colorful hat or cowl, or be part of my Noro vest, or March's socks...