Monday, January 31, 2005

WIP Of The Week

Here's my WIP of the week.

I had misgivings about posting this undoctored photo since the project is pretty obvious from the photo. But, maybe someone will have a very specific guess. Will that someone be you??

Who's linking here?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sock It To Me

I've been rather remiss at not updating the crap interesting tidbits on my sidebar. Although, in my defense, I have updated daily the total from the sale of my Hugs and Kisses Socks pattern. It's inching ever closer toward $600.00, which I think is completely amazing. A heart-felt thanks to everyone who's purchased a copy and especially to those who've paid more for the pattern than I'm asking. Maybe I should throw down the gauntlet and have a little contest among those who've purchased the pattern if the total reaches $750.00. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

In an effort to do at least a little blog housekeeping, I added a button for one of the knitalongs I recently joined.

My motivation behind joining this knitalong was to give me an incentive to finish the three socks languishing in my knitting basket. All three are just waiting for their mates. But, of course, as is true of most of my attempts at using knitalongs to motivate me, I instead cast on for a totally new pair. And, I finished the first last night. Now I have four sock waiting for mates. *sigh*

The yarn is the Twinkletoes sock yarn sold by Ebay seller lotusblossom. I was immediately drawn to this colorway because it reminded me of cookies my Italian aunt always served us when we made the trip into East Boston to visit her.

Alas, Stella D'Oro cookies are nowhere to be found in Salt Lake City. For now, I have only my one sock to comfort me, and that doesn't taste so good dipped in milk.

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

WIP Revealed

This week's WIP is none other than a Hanging Vines Scarf.

One reader actually guessed correctly. But she sent me an email instead of posting her guess in the comments.

The yarn was given to me by a certain knitter who has been doing her best to single-handedly sustain the entire retail yarn industry. It's a beautiful shade of aubergine. I had quite a bit left over and may try to squeeze a second scarf out of the remains.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Our Stitch ‘n Bitch group has taken on a little project that required me to put down my WIPs and knit up a little 8" square that will (hopefully) be joined with the squares knit by the other group members. We’re each using a different stitch pattern and I chose one I found in the fabulous pattern book Tine sent me for Christmas.

It’s a reversible pattern that’s perfect for the yarn and the project.

Although I waited until the last minute to start my square, I’m shocked at how quickly it’s knitting up. Then again, the quick progress could be explained by the fact that I'm using needles larger than 2.25 mm.

WIP of the Week

Here's a better glimpse at my WIP of the week.

Clear as mud, huh.

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 24, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's this week's WIP.

Any guesses?

Who's linking here?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Update to Today's Post

You can read a little more about bleaching wool and cotton here.

Who's linking here?

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Today, I'll show you a little trick that will either save you from doing something irrevocable to your wool garments or will allow you to identify unlabeled yarn in your stash as wool or a wool blend.

The basic truth upon which my trick is based is simple: Wool will dissolve if it comes in contact with chlorine bleach.




Wool Placed in Bleach:

One Minute Later: (notice how it's turning white)

Five Minutes Later: (notice how it has disappeared)


Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Yarn Source

There is a thrift store not far from my house that I discovered one day while driving home from my LYS. The proceeds from the sale of the items offered in the store are used to purchase new clothing for local, school-age children. So, I like the purpose of the organization. And, the volunteers who sort the donations do an amazing job of separating the wheat from the chaff. The store even refers to itself as the "Nordstrom of thrift stores." Plus, it recently moved into a newly constructed building so it's surprisingly clean and well-lit.

I'm always amazed when I go in there and see the stuff that people give away. For example, I was more than happy to purchase the two vintage, sterling silver Neiman Marcus Christmas ornaments that were discarded by a fellow Salt Laker. And, the 1953 Vogue Knitting magazine I picked up for 50 cents is one of my all-time great finds. But, I digress.

I stopped at this thrift store a couple of weeks ago to drop off some items my kids had outgrown and decided to take a peek at what they had inside. After confirming that there were no vintage Vogue Knitting magazines, I flipped through the sweaters. To make a long story short, I walked out with three. Two were clearly hand knit; one from Lamb's Pride Worsted yarn and the second from Cascade 220. The sad part was that both appeared to have never been worn. All that time and effort into knitting a sweater for someone who just tossed it into the give-away pile. *Sob* The recipient clearly is not knit-worthy. I felt compelled to buy them and restore some dignity to the knitter and the yarn she used. Both were top-down, yoked sweaters (a l?á EZ) and I frogged them in no time flat since they were seamless. I'm thinking the yarn will be perfect for a felted bag for the Utah Legal Services silent auction.

The third sweater was not hand knit, but was made from a wonderful cream-colored lambswool and angora blend yarn. Upon closer inspection, it was evident that this sweater had been discarded because the owner had the misfortune of placing her sleeve (avec sweater) in something that looked like tomato sauce. Quite possibly the first time she wore the sweater, too, since it was otherwise pristine. Hmmm . . . a stain on the sleeve of a cream-colored sweater. No problem; I can take care of that.

Although it took a bit longer to frog this last sweater, it yielded enough yarn to make Terri's wrist warmers and the Natalya fingerless gloves, with plenty left over.

Come back later this week and I'll tell you how NOT to clean the sleeve of a wool sweater.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

WIP Revealed

If you guessed that the picture of this week’s WIP was an Eyelet Rib Wristlet from Terri’s pattern, you were right.

I cast on for these in the morning and finished both by evening. It’s truly remarkable how much warmer I was once I started wearing them. Who would’ve thought. These wrist warmers and my Hugs & Kisses socks are the two patterns being knit in the Knit Your Bit Knitalong. Terri is donating all the proceeds from the sale of her pattern to Unicef.

But, wait, that’s not all folks. After seeing the wonderful fingerless mitts being knit by Norma and Siow Chin, the allure of Jody’s Natalya pattern became too strong. So, I cast on for those, too! I was only able to finish one and you can guess from the perfectly manicured fingers who saw it and snatched it right up.

I altered Jody’s pattern only slightly. After completing the thumb gusset, I knit two pattern repeats instead of one and then knit the k1, p1 rib for 5 rounds instead of 4. I also used a sewn cast off. For the thumb, I picked up two stitches at the base of the thumb which gave me 17 stitches instead of 15. And, I knit 7 rounds for the thumb instead of 6. I bound the thumb off rather tightly so it wouldn’t flare.

The yarn for both the wrist warmers and the Natalya fingerless gloves is a lambswool and angora blend. Wanna know where I got it? If you come back tomorrow I’ll show you.

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 17, 2005

WIP of the Week

Can you name this WIP?

I'll give you a hint this week: It's not a sock.

Who's linking here?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

The felted bag is safely in the hands of its new owner.

Pattern: Oregon Tote by Janet Scanlon
Yarn: Double strand of Nature Spun Worsted
Extras: One card of Adornments novelty fibers

Who's linking here?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Rewards of Bartering

I typically give away most of the items I knit and the felted bag I blogged about earlier this week is no exception. This time, though, I’ve received something in return.

My husband plays bridge once a week with some friends of ours, and a few months ago I made a simple Eros scarf for the sole female member of the group. She saw one I’d made for a charity silent auction and mentioned (truly just in passing), that she liked it. So, I popped in my Annie Hall videotape and knit one up for her one evening. DH brought it to her on bridge night and the next day I received a very lovely thank you email. But, a few weeks later I got this:

Yup, a beautiful hand-made bracelet. Oh, did I forget to mention that this woman makes jewelry from her own lampworked beads? See, we lawyers really do have hidden, crafty talents.

The next time I saw her, I happened to be carrying a felted bag I’d made months earlier. She gushed over it and asked if I wanted to trade a necklace for a felted bag. Come again! Was I hearing this correctly? A fabulous bead necklace for a felted bag! I’d be a fool to say no. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, DH came home with this:

It’s so unfortunate that this picture sucks, because this necklace is nothing short of stunning. And each bead is completely 100% handmade. Yes, even the shell in the center.

Shamed by my lack of progress on the felted bag, I dove into the project with a renewed vengeance. I completed most of it on the car trip down to Las Vegas and finished it a few days after we returned. I felted it on Sunday and it dried fairly quickly after I moved it in front of a heating vent.

Check tomorrow for the finished picture!

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Happy Birthday to Us

Laurie's done all my work for me today. Hop over to her blog and check out the photos from the First Anniversary party of our wonderful Stitch 'n Bitch group.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hugs & Kisses Update

I may be preaching to the choir, but you knitters are fantastic!! As of this morning, I have actually received (in hand!), $421.00 from the sale of my Hugs & Kisses pattern. That's a lot of patterns!!
The entire amount (plus a little more) has already been sent to Oxfam. But, I'm happy to send more (and more, and more). So, if you haven't done so already, buy the pattern, join the knitalong; you can even make the socks for CIC. Every little bit helps!!!

You Can Only Fool Some of the People

Beth and Debi both hit the nail almost on the head. Beth, doesn't this make you two-for-two in my little guessing games? They correctly identifed the mass of yarn in yesterday's post as a felted bag. And, there's a reason why the pattern may not look familiar. It's a cross between Janet Scanlon's Oregon Tote pattern and a pattern sold by my LYS.

I changed colors at unrandom, random intervals and added a little novelty yarn here and there. Also, the entire bag was knit inside out and I even have an explanation for that. The novelty yarn is knit together with the wool only on every other stitch. When it's not being knit, it's carried across the stitch. The purpose of this is to cause it to "pop" better when it's felted. This technique works best on the purl side. I didn't want to purl the entire bag so after I knit the base and picked up the stitches, I did a wrap and turn and knit the rest of the bag inside out. This way the ridge on the bottom edge is on the inside of the bag and the purl side (with the extra novelty yarn) is on the outside.

And, yes, there were lots and lots of ends to weave in.
Don't believe me:

Shannon and Margene suggested knotting them and then cutting them after the felting was complete. And, in my OCD defense, I did try that a couple of times. But, I just wasn't happy with the way it looked so I wove in the rest.

Later this week, I'll tell you who the bag is for.

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 10, 2005

Name That WIP

I've decided to add a new, weekly feature to my blog and I'm going to call it, "Name That WIP." Every Monday I'll post a slightly doctored and/or cropped photo of one of my WIPs. Your challenge is to identify it as specifically as possible.

Wanna play?? Okay, here's this week's WIP:

Any idea what it is?


Someone asked Tine how she made the scarf she sent me for Christmas and she asked me to post the pattern here.
She used two novelty yarns. One is Brazilia which is a short eyelash yarn. The other was Scala which is a railroad-type yarn.

Cast on 40 stitches.
Row 1: Knit with the eyelash
Row 2: Purl with the eyelash
Row 3: Knit with the railroad yarn
Row 4: Purl with the railroad yarn

Repeat these 4 rows until the scarf is as long as you'd like it. My scarf is fairly long and I would guess that Tine used 100 grams of each yarn.


Who's linking here?

Friday, January 07, 2005

No Foolin' You

Hell’s bells! You readers are smarter than you look. It didn’t take too long for you to figure out that my current SIP is a pair of Marguerite’s Old Shale Two Yarn socks.

Since you’re all so smart, you’ve probably also noticed that I’m not following the pattern exactly as written. Not because there are any flaws in it, mind you. But simply because it’s not in my nature. I increased from 64 to 68 stitches after I finished the cuff ribbing because the gauge on the two yarns was slightly different. I’ve decided to knit the entire foot one color and knit the heel flap a little longer than usual because I think it makes ankle-length socks fit better. That also meant, however, that there were more gusset stitches to pick up. But, I’m still doing the gusset decreases every other round although you could do them every round if you have a small instep.
DD is eyeing these more closely with each round that I knit.

For the cuff, I used some leftover OnLine yarn that patterns like Opal & Fortissima Mexiko and for the foot I’m using some navy blue Pingouin sock yarn that I had in my stash. I just love using up leftovers. Must be the frugal New Englander in me. The best part, though, are the needles.

I got them while I was in Las Vegas last week and I am already regretting that I only bought one pair. I’ve seen these before at my LYS, but never in a size smaller than U.S. #5. These are U.S. #1 (2.25mm) and I’m loving them. Can anyone help me out by giving me the name of an e-tailer who sells them???? I simply must have more.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

It's Official!

Joni and Marti have the new knitalong up and running already! Here's the link to buy the pattern and here's the link if you want to join. Well, of course you want to join 'cause I'm planning to donate a raffle prize. I just haven't decided what it is yet.
They're calling it, "Knit Your Bit," which I think is pretty clever. There are several cute buttons to choose from:

I continue to be so pleased with the positive response to the pattern. Several knit bloggers have even purchased more than one copy. But I really mean it when I say that every little bit counts. The total is slowly creeping up thanks to all of you.

Yes, I Am Still Knitting

I was once accused by a certain straight-laced, decidedly non-potty-mouthed knitter of being a "sock tease." No kidding, that's the term she used to describe me in a comment she posted to my blog. See, you should read the comments more often. On a typical day there's more good stuff there than in the posts. Since I promised a picture of a newly cast-on WIP, and also feel the need to live up to my legacy, here's just a peek at the socks I cast on after I finished up the Hugs & Kisses pattern.

Any guesses??

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

News Flash

I was just trolling some blogs and noticed that Arow is knitting the Hugs & Kisses Socks in green and grey. WooHoo!
Check them out. They're fabulous!

Who's linking here?

What's Cookin'

So, you may be wondering what the hell I’ve been knitting the past few days. As usual, I’ve started more things than I’d care to admit. But I finished a few, too. I’ll start with the FOs. First is a pair of socks that I knit out of some Opal Handpaint that Tine sent to me.

Yes, they’re knit entirely in stockinette stitch and I make no apologies for that. I finished these the day after Christmas and it was completely relaxing to just knit round, and round, and round, and round without any thought or counting. They fit great, too. DS has been eyeing them but I love them too much to give them up. The yarn is wonderful and, like all Opal yarns, it softened up after washing and bloomed nicely.

My second FO is the second sock from my Hugs & Kisses pattern (of course).

I made a big dent in the second sock in the car on the way home from Las Vegas and finished it while I watched the University of Utah Fightin' Utes crush Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. The only good thing about living 7 hours by car from Vegas is all the knitting that can be accomplished on the ride. I told Margene that the best part of this last trip was that I was in the car knitting for 14 hours but spent only 16 hours in Vegas--one of which was spent in a yarn shop and eight of which were spent sleeping. Can't beat that.
I think I’ll make another pair of these for DD from grey and pink yarn when Marti's knitalong starts, but I’ll probably make them as ankle socks and just work one of the pattern charts. See, the pattern possibilities are endless! Buy it now and do some good in Southeast Asia.

Tune in tomorrow for the beginning of a parade of newly started projects. Oy!

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 03, 2005

I Just Read

I just read somewhere that it costs $5 to provide one packet of chlorine tablets and hygiene supplies to the survivors of the tsunami. So just think, every Hugs & Kisses Socks pattern you buy means you're saving several survivors from dysentry & cholera. Every little bit really does count!!

Let It Snow

Margene's still in pain and wasn't able to take her usual amazing assortment of "Monday Mountain" pictures. So, DD stepped in to help and took these photos from our porch with her new digital camera.

Looking East:

Looking North:

Makes you almost wish you were here shovelling, too, huh.

Six Sox Knitalong Makes Headlines

Jen and La have my Six Sox Knitalong listed on their "Best of 2004" list under the heading, "Most Popular Knit Along." WooHoo. If you haven't joined yet, get out from under that rock and sign up! We hit 1,000 members today!

Who's linking here?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

I'm Back

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my Hugs & Kisses Sock pattern. The response from bloggers has been wonderful and I’ll be mailing the first check to Oxfam this week. Beth made a fabulous button that I’ll add to my sidebar later today.

If you click on it, you’ll bring up the page with all the information about the pattern. Also, Marti has offered to host a knitalong to knit the sock. If anyone is interested, hop over to her blog and let her know.

While I was in Las Vegas, Melissa, a member of the knitlist, sent me a picture of the scarf she knit from my Sideways Short-Row Seaman’s Scarf pattern.

Doesn't it look great. I’m happy to see that at least one person has knit the scarf (and that the instructions appear to be correct). If you’ve knit it too, send me a picture.

I’ll leave you today with a picture of the gift I gave DH on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t too enamored with it so he re-gifted it to me on Christmas Day. Now, how did he know I wanted an Ott Light???

Who's linking here?

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