Saturday, February 28, 2004

Olympic Memories

DS just reminded me that two years ago today was the last day of the 2002 Winter Olympics which were here in Salt Lake City. Yikes! I can't believe it's been two years! My best memories were seeing Apollo Ohno skate and watching the fireworks from the closing ceremonies from my porch. Awesome! Here's a pic of my kids with Kim Dong Sung.

I'm going to close the voting on the knit along tonight so vote if you're interested.

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Friday, February 27, 2004

Knit Along Anyone??

Is anyone interested in a sock knit along? I took the Estonian traveling stitches class from Nancy Bush and now I'm itching to knit the Canal du Midi socks from Knitting on the Road. Does anyone want to join me? I'd consider the New England socks from the book, too. Or, maybe you'd be more interested in the Broadripple socks from

How about this; let's take a vote. If you want to participate, indicate your preference by clicking here. Make sure you include your name and email address in the comments section; I can't count your vote if you don't include that information. I'm the only one who can read it. Thanks.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Felted Purse Pattern

Well, my felted purse pattern is finished! You can get it by clicking here. I've added a link to the sidebar under: Free Patterns.

I was inspired to develop this pattern by the success Wendy & Teresa had at Christmas time with their campaign for Heifer International. So, it's my contribution toward raising money for Heifer's Knitting Baskets. Please let me know if you have any trouble using the PayPal donation link.

The bag is made with a slip stitch pattern so you never change colors mid-row! Really, it's easy and fun. If you make the purse, please write me and send pictures! I'll set up a web page to host them. Also, if you like the pattern and think other knitters would like it too, please consider writing a little blurb on your blog and linking to my blog. I'll make sure the link to the pattern stays on my sidebar.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004


I finished DH's first glove last night.

Not bad for my first pair. I used the generic pattern from Ann Budd's book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I recall reading a review of this book on Amazon that criticized it because the patterns weren't clever enough and all it really did was make calculations which you could easily do yourself with a pencil and paper. Well, I was an engineering major my freshman year in college so I'm not a complete math dork and could do the calculations myself, too, but I still like the book a lot. First, it doesn't purport to contain clever patterns with intricate stitches and shaping. It's exactly what it's marketed to be: a book that contains basic instructions on how to knit basic garments in lots and lots of sizes and gauges of yarn. I've used it quite a bit for charity garments, when I can't measure the recipient. My only complaint is that the sizing seems much too generous.

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Monday, February 23, 2004

Back in Salt Lake

We got back from Stitches West last night. It was my first Stitches event and I'd consider going to another. Two of the classes I took were informative, but the third was a waste of time, although the attendee sitting in front of me had on the most fabulous sweater I've ever seen. The market was huge; almost too much to take in. Lots and lots of novelty yarn, which is not really my thing. I'm not much of a pet person either so the dog/cat hair booth creeped me out a little, although I think I can understand why it would appeal to some people. I did manage to pick up some Schaefer Anne yarn. Each skein is fairly unique so it was nice to be able to see and feel them instead of relying on monitor pictures. I got a couple of hanks of Interlacements hand-painted yarn, too, and some Koigu PPPM from a vendor who had a huge stock on the first day and almost none on the last. The best part, of course, was scoping out the hand-knitted garments being worn by the attendees. Predictably, they ran the gamut from fabulous to hideous. Based on my personal observations, I've reached the conclusion that no one over the age of 25 should wear Fun Fur, especially an entire jacket made of Fun Fur. I found the Fashion Show a bit disappointing and, by the end, I had the distinct feeling that Christopher Guest was surreptitiously filming the entire dinner.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

California Here I Come

Well, I'm off to Stitches in just a few hours. I didn't finish the first glove, but I did come pretty darn close. I only have the index finger and thumb left to complete. I've avoided making gloves for years but I have really enjoyed making these. I'm using my 5", 2.75 mm Bryspun needles and some sport-weight GGH sock yarn (wool & nylon). They're much easier than I imagined and the fingers are actually fun to knit. Now I'm inspired to knit a pair of Sanquhar gloves.

When I return on Monday, I intend to tie up all the loose ends on the felted purse pattern I wrote last month. I'll be posting the pattern on Tuesday or Wednesday so check back!!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Ask And You Shall Receive

My DH finally asked for a knitted item! He wore a hole in the finger of his favorite Patagonia fleece gloves and asked if I could knit him a replacement pair. Forget that I've never made gloves before, who am I to say no to a request for a knitted accessory! I'm working fieverishly to finish the first before I leave for California tomorrow.

Don't you like my little point protectors? My friend Kadri in Germany sent them to me for Christmas. Thanks again, Kadri!

I looked up the word "glove" in the OED and discovered that the first documented use of the word was in Beowulf (!) and Shakespeare was the first to use it as a verb in 1597. See all the wonderful, useful things you can learn reading my blog.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Wildfoote Finis!

Yup, you read the heading right; my Wildfoote socks are finished. In fact, I'm wearing them right now!!
I've decided the afterthought heel is not worth the bother, unless I'm short of yarn so I have no choice but to do a contrasting heel anyway. I really don't have a problem with the heels of my socks wearing out, so the re-heeling benefit is not a big deal to me. Here's the pic:

I gave them a bath in some Eucalan after I wove in all the ends (8 on each sock!). They're much softer now, but I should warn you that the black really bled a lot. I didn't let them soak for very long 'cause I didn't want the color to transfer to the leg and foot.
This was the last project I told myself I had to finished before I left for Stitches West. Is anyone else going? Are you as psyched as I am? This will be my first Stitches event. I'll be wearing my Wildfoote socks so look for me!

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Sunday, February 15, 2004

FO x3!

I finished three things since my last post: the second pair of CIC socks, a scarf for DD, and a pair of slippers for DD.

Yes, I know I should work on the Wildfoote socks, but I did that, too, while I watched Monk last night. DD went skiing at Alta with DH today so I thought I'd surprise her with a new pair of slippers to put on when she gets home. The pattern is from the book Socks, Socks, Socks and is for a woman's small size, but they turned out much smaller than that. I used Plymouth Encore (75% acrylic and 25% wool), a yarn I've never used before. Not bad for acrylic and they're easily washed.
The scarf is made from a yarn called Goa. It's a very unusual ribbon-type yarn that's a blend of rayon and nylon. You can't tell from the picture, but it's shimmery and changes color in the sunlight. DD chose it herself and it was calling to me yesterday afternoon so I knit it up on some #13 Crystal Palace bamboo needles. I bought the yarn yesterday at the Needlepoint Joint in Ogden. I love that store; it's well worth the 1 hour drive each way.

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Friday, February 13, 2004


Call me crazy, but I love the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). I looked up the word "blog" this morning and found that the word was first used in 1999. And, it can be used as either a noun or a verb. As a verb, it can mean either to write in a weblog or to (habitually!) read them. So, do you blog or do you blog??

Just to prove that I blog AND blog, I saw a really cool map on Wendy's blog this morning that showed all the states she's visited. So, I just had to make one of my own. Notice a pattern here?? Can you tell that I lived in the East for the first half of my life and the West for the second half.

25 states; that's not too bad. But, I really need to work on those middle states. And how did I manage to miss Oregon and New Mexico??

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Thursday, February 12, 2004


I just read that CIC is having a February sock challenge. So I set my second Wildfoote sock aside and picked up some worsted weight wool and #4 needles. I made the pair in about three and a half hours.
I cast on 36 stitches, worked a k2p2 ribbing for 30 rounds, then worked 2 plain rounds. The heel is a Sherman heel worked over 18 stitches. I knit 28 rounds in the foot and then made a regular old wedge toe. Gosh, I wish my kids' feet were this small. The yarn is from a thrift store sweater I frogged a few months ago. I used some of the wool to make a felted lunch bag for my DD and had just enough left over for the socks. It was a little rough to work with so after the socks were finished I gave them a nice bath in some Eucalan. Gosh, I love that stuff. Now they're beautiful and soft!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

One Down, One to Go

I finished the first Wildfoote sock. Here it is:

I used Dawn Brocco's afterthought heel which is a variation of a star/round toe. It actually fits very nice and I would use it again. The next time I knit an afterthought heel, though, I think I will use Elizabeth Zimmerman's method. She doesn't knit a strand of waste yarn across the back of the sock, but simply cuts the yarn at the spot where the heel should be placed. This would eliminate the need to knit the heel before the foot of the sock is completed to ensure that the foot is the correct length. On the other hand, I guess I now know how long I have to knit the foot if I use Dawn's heel again. Hmmm . . . I'll have to think about this some more. There is some appeal to both methods.
Here's a close up picture of the eyelet rib stitch pattern:
The directions are here on my blog . . . yes, over there on the sidebar under "Stitch Patterns for Socks." See it?

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Monday, February 09, 2004

New Toy

I got a fabulous new knitting toy on Saturday. I've not been able to find a row counter I like for sock knitting. I tried one that slips onto the DPs but it was too big and obstructive. So I went back to putting hash marks on slips of paper. Of course, I promptly misplaced the papers. Leave it to DH to come up with a sports-related solution to my dilemma: a golf stroke counter! And here is my glorious new gadget:

I got it at a golf store for the ridiculously low sum of $2.50! It totally reminds me of the little red & white counter my Mom used to keep track of how much she was spending at the grocery store in the years before calculators became cheap and commonplace. Come on, you remember those don't you?

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Sunday, February 08, 2004


It started snowing Saturday evening and here's what my street looked like when it was finally over on Sunday morning.

This picture was taken from my driveway looking East. The foothills were partially obscured by clouds when I took this, but the sun came out later in the day.

I worked on my Wildfoote socks at DD's gynmastics on Saturday. One little girl could not stop staring at me but couldn't work up the courage to ask what I was doing until the end of the hour. She wanted to know if I was knitting a sweater for my cat!

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Friday, February 06, 2004


The knitting books I ordered from arrived yesterday. Although I typically buy my knitting books from my LYS or order them at the local independent book seller, I got a B&N gift card as a holiday present and couldn't resist the discounted price and free shipping. So, what did I get?? Knitter's Companion by Vicki Square and Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. I've had my eye on the Folk Socks book since I borrowed it from the library a few months ago. Although most of the socks are knit with heavier yarn than I usually use, I like the section describing various types of heels and toes. My first sock was knit from the simple pattern in the book. But, it was given to me as a handout at my LYS, which Nancy owned until just a few years ago.

I didn't work on my Wildfoote socks last night 'cause the medicine I'm taking is making me feel a little dizzy so it was too hard to concentrate. Instead, I finished up the BYU scarf which was pretty mindless. Thanks to everyone who gave me some advice on the Wildfoote yarn. The consensus seems to be that it's not pleasant to knit with, but it blooms nicely after washing and the socks wear like iron. Well, that's encouraging!

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Thursday, February 05, 2004


I started a new sock on Tuesday using some Brown Sheep Wildfoote yarn I had in my stash. I had one skein of "Forget Me Knot" and one of black so I have to do contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes. The stitch pattern is from Barbara Walker's First Treasury and I adapted it to circular knitting. I also decided this was a good project to attempt my first afterthought heel. Here's what the sock looked like with the waste yarn knitted in:

And here's what it looked like after I removed the waste yarn and picked up the heel stitches.

If you're wondering why I've started the heel before finishing the first sock, it's because I did not split the skein of Forget Me Knot into two balls before I started the sock. So, I'll have to work both feet at the same time or I could run out of yarn on the second sock. Now, I didn't do this because I forgot or got lazy, but because the yarn is so loosely plied that I was unable to stop it from twisting around itself when I tried to split the skein. I really, really dislike this yarn. It's so thin and scratchy that I feel like I'm working with really rough cotton. Plus, the loose ply is completely annoying. It keeps twisting up while I knit and I have to stop and unwind it. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I had to go to the doctor this morning and brought my BYU scarf to work on.

I got pretty far along, huh. What does that tell you about the wait (or my current mood)? The owner of my LYS helped me pick out the yarn which is kid mohair paired with white Fizz. When I pressed her on whether she thought the finished scarf would appeal to an older, BYU Law School graduate, she said, "Ah, if it's blue and white they'll wear anything." Should I be comforted by that??

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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Broadripple Socks Finished

I finished the Broadripple Socks last night and took a pic this morning. Gee, my camera hates the color red for some reason. As you can see, they aren't quite identical although they're pretty close. Admittedly, I could have fudged with the toe of the first (which I didn't Kitchener until the second was done) to make them perfect, but it was late and I'm getting too old to care as much as I did last year when I was younger.

I know some people have had trouble getting a pair of socks from one 100g skein of Magic Stripes. I actually bought two skeins so I could be sure that the finished socks matched. In typical obsessive-compulsive fashion, I examined each skein in the craft store to find the two that looked as perfectly matched as possible. It ended up that I only had to go about one yard into the second skein I bought before I found the identical starting point. I weighed both leftover skeins at the post office this morning; one weighs 2 oz and the other 1.9 oz. So, I didn't even use half of each skein to make each sock. Now I can make another pair from the leftovers 'cause each one starts at the same place. Yippee!

I did alter the Broadripple pattern slightly. I didn't knit the 12 rows of garter ripple, but immediately began the main ripple stitch pattern. I cast on using the Twisted German Cast On and left a really long tail. When the socks were done, I used the tail to work an edging of single crochet around the top. I also used an Eye of Partridge heel with garter bars instead of the slip stitch heel in the pattern. And I worked it for 30 rows instead of the 17 called for in the pattern. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as the original with a shorter leg.

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Monday, February 02, 2004

Super Bowl

I can't believe the Patriots won the Super Bowl again. After all those years of watching them lose, lose, lose this is crazy. It's actually been a banner year for my sports teams. First, the Syracuse Orangemen won the NCAA men's basketball title, and now the Patriots. Too bad the Red Sox crashed and burned. I'm convinced, though, that the only reason the Orangemen won was because I was in Europe when the game was played. So, I wasn't around to jinx them. If the Red Sox ever make it to the World Series, I've already told my family I'm taking an impromptu trip to New Zealand. I think that's as far away as I can get.

Thrift Store Bonanza

I finished my red Univ. of Utah scarf while I watched DD do gymnastics on Saturday morning. Here it is:

And here's a close up:

Don't you like the pointed ends. I had the afternoon to myself so I went to a couple of my favorite thrift stores. I put $20.00 in my pocket and vowed to spend no more than that. What did I get? I found a partially felted Coogi sweater that someone had foolishly thrown into the washing machine. I felted it the rest of the way on Sunday and then cut it into squares which I'll use to make two pillows. I even got the pillow fabric at the thrift store. Here's the felted fabric:

Total cost: $3.99 for the sweater and $1.99 for 2.5 yards of fabric. Then I hit the motherlode! A brand new cashmere/merino wool men's sweater in the most fabulous shade of steel grey. That evening I took it apart and frogged it. The result -- 1.2 pounds (!) of amazing cashmere/merino yarn. And the best part is I have 4 huge balls (2 sleeves, back, and front) with no knots! The sweater set me back $4.00 which left me plenty of cash to buy the Coach! purse I spotted on the way out. It was barely used and a steal at $5.99 so I snapped it up. And, in case I thought it couldn't get any better, I snagged these fabulous MOP buttons on their original card.

All in all, a very satisfying afternoon and I even had a tiny bit of change left from my $20.00!

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.