Monthly Archives: September 2004

An all-dessert knitting potluck.

Since we last saw each other, I’ve been a very persistent knitter. Here, at last, is a picture of the first finished RibTip sock with (of course), its mate well underway.

But the piece de resistance may well be the Age of Aquarius hat from Knitter’s Stash that I’ve been working on as a Christmas gift – it’s cleverly constructed (or perhaps this is just me because I’ve not knitted a hat like this before) so that you knit the brim and then after purling the turning row, you flip the hat inside out. . Then you knit the crown in a slightly different cable pattern, and when you’re done, flip the brim up for contrast. Just imagine the top of the hat here – even half done, isn’t the alpaca yummy? I normally don’t use words like that, but Classic Elite Montera is doing it for me. Plus, I’m going to finish a Christmas gift soon, and it’s not even close to Christmas.

The hat was my knitting on the way to A Wool Gathering, which was fun, but I was…whelmed. I came, I saw, I bought 2 ounces of roving for thrummed mittens, even though I am not thrumming along, petted some llamas and goats, ate the best peach danish of my life, and left. As Knit One Purl Too’s Yarn Acquisition Specialist (my husband) said, “It’s like a potluck where everyone brought dessert.” There was some beautiful handspun yarn, and more beautiful handspun yarn, and some alpaca, and more alpaca. And the hemp sock yarn lady Bonne Marie likes was not there after all, and there was very little sock yarn (even the vendor who carried Cherry Tree Hill had no SuperSock merino. I spent most of that weekend gripped by socknitting fever, not to be quenched with all this lovely handspun (and let’s be honest, some of it was not so lovely, it was just rustic). I did come away with an idea for a hat pattern; if I can reverse-engineer the hat I saw (and add my own twist to it), you might see a pattern here someday (If you wanted to design your own projects, you couldn’t do better than this notebook as a place to sketch them out, complete with a space for notes.). The hat idea is not just an excuse to buy the notebook.

What’s a girl to do when not quite satisfied with her first fiber festival? Why, make a detour to The Fifth Stitch, where Ellen hooked me up with some yummy (there’s that word again) sock yarn. I could easily have walked out of there with twice as much, because she had an amazing selection – Apple Laine in Dark Chocolate for a Jackie E-S lace sock pattern, Cherry Tree Hill in Peacock, some Lang Jawoll, and another skein of Mountain Colors Glacier Peak for the gift socks for the person with really big feet I mentioned in my last entry. At one point during my frustrated search for something, anything I really liked at A Wool Gathering, my husband whispered “Enhance your stash” in my ear. So I did, thanks to Ellen.

Speaking of socks, the next Six Sox knitalong socks are Fluted Bannister Socks – I happen to have some Sockotta, which is what Susan knit the model in, and I’m very suggestible when it comes to yarn. [FYI: Susan also has an excellent tip for improving the IK Flower Basket Shawl by using a symmetrical decrease – cool.]

Content unrelated to knitting, but I want one: sock dog instructions.

Content related to knitting, because Audrey is on my list of sweaters I should already be wearing: Audrey neckband instructions.

And also from the “sweaters I like more than I thought” department: Vivian Hoxbro’s Wine Leaves jacket (that’s actually the pullover – this is the jacket, but I like the pullover colorway. I am not normally swayed by the newfangled (even modular knitting, which is not really all that fangled), but that’s beautiful!

But in the end, it all comes back to socks: I like a tasteful sock just fine, but these Bib Overalls socks from Blackberry Ridge are so cute I may just have to make them.

What big feet you have!

First things first: the first Ribtips sock is done (look for a picture shortly) almost done (maybe ten rows to go before grafting), and let me just say I had no idea size 9 1/2 feet were so much bigger than size 6 feet – how could I have been so naive about how long this was going to take? I think realizing the foot was going to be longer than the cuff was a clue that I was in for more knitting than I expected. But it’s looking gift-worthy, so I’m pleased.

Second, the sadly shredded sock first mentioned here? I was in denial – that yarn was shredded as well, and left a hopelessly tangled mess – my dog was efficient. I have relegated the partially-finished second sock (sob!) to a dark corner of my stash, not to be spoken of anytime soon. When I started knitting again in earnest, I wanted nothing more than a pair of those swank self-patterning jacquard socks; thankfully, I have some backup Regia – now all I need is the time to knit it.

Third: In just a few short days, the Knit One, Purl Too staff (me, husband and dog) are hitting the road to Yellow Springs, Ohio for A Wool Gathering. I am also in denial about how I have convinced the entire family to go to a knitting-related event that lasts multiple days. Woo! Also? It’s at a dairy that makes their own gelato – woo woo! This is my first real vacation in quite some time – I’m a little excited.

[Fourth (shhh!): My husband doesn’t know this, but I’m about to frog the 3/4″ of the Man-along Cable Rib cardie and start over – I got a little too creative with my stitch counting, and refuse to continue with a sweater that will only get more wonky as time goes on. This does not bode well for a January 1 finish, but I’ve gotten religion as far as using selvedge stitches for seaming is concerned, so there you have it.]

In other news, out of curiosity, I looked into thrummed mittens (I always want to say “strummed” – is that disrespectful?), mostly because I am about to frog a charity mitten I had almost finished, but didn’t like the looks of. I liked the dots on Stephanie’s mittens, and even through she’s promised a thrumming report, I’m a girl that likes to do her own research. Here is a free pattern for thrummed mittens from Yarn Forward, and I now understand that they are essentially, stuffed. so now, not only do I think “strummed,” I think “turkey” when I see mittens. “Strummed, stuffed turkey” – I’m hopeless, and potentialy senile. Is it just me, or do thrummed mittens seem like cheating in the two-color knitting department? Not that I’m bitter about giving up (temporarily) on the two-color sweater or anything, but working with short lengths of roving gives very little opportunity for the yarn/roving to tangle and frustrate the knitter. Easier knitting? What fun is that?

Mitten bonus: I’ve wanted to make the Broad Street mittens from Knitty ever since I saw the pattern Here are some handy tips if you want to make them too.

In the “tips” department, file away these Salt Peanuts tips – now that Theresa has finished her Salt Peanuts, I am inspired to knit this all over again (thankfully, it’s already in my stash). Salt Peanuts bonus: The Salt Peanuts knitalong.

Bonus bonus link:A really good-looking twisted-rib sock pattern. Yes, that’s right, more ribbing!

Every day is a holiday…in September.

At first, I thought I was in a knitting slump. It was so hot that even my Fixation sock was sticking to my Brittany needles, so it was going….very…slowly. But as I come to the end of sock #1, I’ve already begun thinking about what’s next, and I have to admit two things:

1. I may not be in the frame of mind this fall to teach my hands a fiddly technique like two-handed, two-color knitting.

2. In knitting terms, the holidays are right around the corner – I better get started on holiday gift knitting.

Longtime readers will remember that i finished my last 2003 holiday gift in the car on the way to Christmas dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. Oy. That was the capper on an all-too-hurried holiday season, so this year, I’m saying I’d like to finish knitting gifts by November 1. I have several on my list already:

Danny Oulette’s Crossing Cables socks in Mountain Colors’ Bearfoot Granite Peak for a friend with big feet.

A cabled hat from Knitter’s Stash for another friend in cranberry Classic Elite Montera , and the Nordic Sweetheart Hat for her husband (so I will get some two color practice, even if the Lopi goes back in the stash. Besides, Nanette says smaller-gauge two-color projects are better for beginners, and who am I to argue with the expert? I’ve wanted to make that hat for awhile – so there you are, another project rationalized).

A doubleknitski hat for my brother in law, and a hat for my sister-in-law (perhaps the Frugalhaus cabled hat).

All these hat people have been waiting for quite awhile – I started blithley tossing off “I’ll knit you a hat” prior to the *last* holiday season, so I feel some urgency to put up or shut up, knitting-wise. So Nanette is having sock month, Michele is having post every day for a month month; I think September will be “get started on my holiday knitting” month for me.

So, of course. what did I do? After organizing my knitting basket, I started something else. It’s just the back, and it’s an inch if I’m lucky, but isn’t it beautiful? It’s the Cabled Rib Cardigan from Men in Knits in Blackwater Abbey Yarns’ Bluestack, a lovely tweedy grape, with flecks of brown and red and blue. A knitting slump, even a small one, is helpless in the face of such great material. I can’t help but pick it up, something which makes Knit One Purl Too’s Yarn Purchasing Watchdog (my husband) very, very excited. Is this a holiday gift? Realistically, no – but I’ll have fun trying (isn’t that the same thing they say about making babies?).

Bonus link: The cable needle as fine jewelry; I prefer cabling without, and I still can’t look away.