Thursday, March 31, 2005

Houston, We Have Yarn

Remember my first, misguided attempts at spinning my own yarn on a drop spindle? Well, I haven't given up yet. Margene and I dropped in on Anne last Sunday for a little refresher course. Damn, that Anne is patient (not to mention that she has a lot of fiber stashed in her basement). Although my ego was bruised a bit when my singles were equated to "dental floss," I left Anne's with a renewed desire to spin something that could actually be plied into useable yarn.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Monday was the first day I was able to devote any real time to sorting through emails and blog feeds that piled up while I was sick. I stopped diligently emptying my bulk mail folder the Friday I got sick, and over the course of the next 10-day period, I received over 3,300 pieces of spam. Holy junk mail, Batman! And the Bloglines feeds were another story. Gosh, you knit bloggers sure are prolific posters!

I once read an article that espoused the position that it is bad practice to keep a "to do" list and check off items as you accomplish them throughout the day. The article argued that most people include far too many chores and errands on such lists and feel a sense of failure when they are unable to tick off every item by the end of the day. It's much more reasonable to keep a "done" list and simply write down things as you complete them. Allegedly, you'll be amazed at the number of things you accomplish during the day that, mostly likely, you didn't realize needed accomplishing. So, in the spirit of the article, I made the following "done" list on Monday.

  1. Marked all Bloglines feeds as read.

  2. Pushed the delete button for the bulk mail folder without looking through a single email in the folder.

  3. Walked through Nordstrom without buying either shoes or a purse.

(I'm particularly proud of #3)

Good thing I was able to accomplish all this, because it freed me up to tackle this mountain of dirty laundry DD brought home from her vacation.


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Monday, March 28, 2005

WIP of the Week

I present the WIP of the Week:

Any guesses; well, any guesses beyond the obvious?

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Test Knitting

A huge thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for a test knitter. I have found someone. I tried to send a message to all of you who wrote to me, but I fear that Yahoo may have thought it was a piece of bulk mail and swallowed it. If you didn't hear back from me, thanks for volunteering!!

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Friday, March 25, 2005

WIP Revealed

Well, everyone who guessed the WIP of the Week guessed correctly. That’s some kind of record! It is, indeed, the Shedir chemo cap from the special breast cancer awareness edition of Knitty. As you can see, I didn’t get very far after I posted the first picture:

Once I get rid of this splitting headache, I intend to finish it because it’s working up just beautifully. Jenna's pattern is wonderful. And the Rowan Calmer; oooooh like heaven to knit with. When I started the cap, I didn’t have a recipient in mind but was just intrigued by the pattern. Unfortunately, there is now someone in my neighborhood who will need this cap shortly. So I have even more incentive to finish it.

New Pattern In The Works

Although I didn’t knit much on my Shedir, I did have some great ideas for a new pattern one morning about 2:30 a.m. Since I couldn’t sleep anyway, I jotted the ideas down and knit up a prototype yesterday. It’s drying right now or I’d show it to you. I’m pretty pleased with it; it’s different than anything I've seen out there (although I can't profess to having seen every pattern ever published).

Would anyone out there be interested in test knitting the pattern for me??? It’s not a sock, and it doesn't take that long to knit. Heck, I have the flu and I made mine in a day. I can’t offer much, but I’m sure we can work something out. Send me an email (knitsandwrits at yahoo dot com) and I’ll give you more details.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

WIP of The Week (*cough, cough*)

You didn’t think I was too sick to post a WIP of the Week, did you?
I actually got out of bed yesterday for a few hours and knit a few rounds on this:

Can you guess not only what it is, but the specific pattern?

Here’s a hint: I picked this up because it is very slow to knit even when you’re not sick. So the fact that I only completed two rounds yesterday, in between coughing fits, didn’t phase the little bit of overachiever in me at all.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Too Sick To Knit (or Sleep, or Eat, or Blog . . .)

Meet my new best friends:

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Friday, March 18, 2005


Ruffles is finished and she made her debut, fittingly, on St. Patrick's Day. Thankfully, DD didn't lose her on the first outing.

(Damn, my floor looks clean in that photo.)

I thought I'd let the Scarf Diva model her, too:

Pattern: Ruffles from Scarf Style
Started: 3/13/05
Finished: 3/16/05
Needles: 5mm H&S Ebony Needles
Yarn: 1 skein, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, color Lime Light
Pattern Alteration: Scarf was knit over 18 stitches instead of the 22 called for in the pattern.
Finished Length: 60" unstretched

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Practically Perfect in Every Way

Someone sent me an email asking how I was able to get the socks from yesterday’s post to match so perfectly. Actually, they’re close but not quite perfect. But, you wanna see perfect? How ‘bout these:

They’re probably the closest I’ve come to getting a perfect match of two socks that were knit seriatim.

The most obvious trick, is to make sure that you start each sock at the same point. This is easily accomplished by making the initial slip-knot at the point where the yarn changes from one color to the next. This makes it very easy to find the same starting point for the second sock. Beyond that, it becomes a mix of skill and trickery. I keep track of rows when I knit socks, but some knitters keep track of patterning. Others knit both socks simultanously which allows them to adjust tension and keep the socks nearly identical. In a previous life I cared more about knitting identical socks, although I do still try my best within reason.

Contest Winner

The winner of my contest was Lu. Her post was chosen at random but, coincidentally, contained a link to the only sock pattern suggested in the comments that I haven't already seen or knit up. I went to Lu's blog after her name was chosen and see that she is on a yarn diet. Wonder if that means she can't accept the prize.
Thanks to everyone for playing along. There are some excellent suggestions in the comments.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Don't forget to enter my contest. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Sock FO

I'm still working on the Ruffles Scarf for DD, but the end is near. I knit on it while I waited at the body shop and then the car rental office this morning. So maybe I'll have a finished photo by Friday after all. I did finish a pair of socks yesterday afternoon:

The yarn is Opal Elemente and it was sent to me by Tine. Aren't the colors beautiful. They are more true in this picture:

My list of 2005 FOs is growing slowly but surely. These socks bring me up to 13 items.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WIP Revealed

Well, yes indeed, my WIP of the week is the Ruffles scarf from the Scarf Style book (designed by Amanda Blair Brown). Erin was the first to guess correctly.

I made one of these last year for my daughter's friend and my daughter has been suffering from scarf envy ever since. Since she agreed to go to the LYS with me on Friday, I let her pick out some yarn for the long-desired scarf. She chose the brightest, spring green in the shop.

It's Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in color #840 - Lime Light. Don't you think it's fitting that I knit on this last night while I watched Shrek.

I altered the pattern slightly and restarted the scarf after I took the picture I posted yesterday, since I intend to squeeze this scarf out of one skein of yarn. I don't mind paying less than $10.00 for a scarf DD will surely lose, but two skeins would have set me back more than that.

Dang, I'd forgotten how long it takes to knit this thing.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's the WIP of the Week. No one guessed correctly last week. Will anyone get it this week?

And after you guess, don't forget to enter my contest. Scroll down to Friday's post to see the guidelines and then check the comments to see the great ideas that others have posted.

Google Search

Here's how some curious soul found my blog on Saturday using Google:

can i knit a scarf with two needles

Well, as a matter of fact, yes you can.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Contest Time

OK, I need something to snap me out of my current funk. And, I can’t think of anything better than a holding a contest.

Although I’ve been slowly and methodically knitting my way through my sock yarn stash, I’m a sucker for a beautiful skein of sock yarn. For each pair of socks I finish, I’ve fallen into the habit of renewing my stash with one new skein of sock yarn. Well, at least one new skein. Plus, unlike some knitters, I covet all self-patterning sock yarn. Oh, I love solid sock yarn, too, but there’s just something about the fabulous color combinations of the self-patterning yarns. Not to mention that there’s a surprise in every skein. Well, after I collected up all the sock yarn I’ve acquired in the last couple of weeks, I began to think that perhaps I’ve gone a little overboard.

Aaaah, doesn’t it look just like a little treasure chest.

If you want to win one of these little gems, listen up ‘cause here’s the skinny on the contest.

Although I adore the tried-and-true stockinette stitch sock pattern I use with self-patterning yarn, I’m amenable to trying other patterns with one caveat: I don’t want to spend a lot of time knitting up a stitch pattern that is obliterated by the patterning of the yarn. So, I’m looking for good sock patterns to use for self-patterning yarn. I already have Lucy Neatby’s wonderful book and a bookcase full of stitch patterns, but I’d like to know your favorite pattern to use with self-patterning yarn. The pattern can either be free on the Internet, available for purchase, or even something that your LYS gives out with a yarn purchase (make sure to leave the name and phone number for your LYS so I can call). Leave a comment with your suggested pattern and I’ll pick a winner randomly next week. The winner gets 100g of sock yarn.

Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Yes, I Do Finish Things

Although I admit that recently I've started more projects than I've finished, I did finish a pair of socks that had been languishing in my knitting basket for a while.

The pattern is Marguerite's Old Shale Two Yarn Sock. It's a wonderful pattern and Marguerite was very kind to share it. I'm very pleased with how the socks came out. I used some OnLine leftovers for the cuff and some blue Pingouin sock yarn I had in my stash for the rest of the sock. These are a gift for a friend and I hope to mail them tomorrow.

There are quite a few other socks in my needles at the moment, but I've not had time to take any pictures. Maybe this weekend. Although, the weather has been gorgeous here and I'm anticipating the need to do major yard work this weekend.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Close, But No Cigar

Several of you came close to guessing my WIP, but no one guessed correctly:

Pattern: Bethany Booties
Yarn: Berroco Suede (less than one ball)

Now head over to Susan's blog and wish her a speedy recovery.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's my WIP of the week. Make a guess and see how close you can come to figuring out what it is.


I am so far behind on responding to comments and emails that it's not funny. So, I apologize to every who has written to me but who hasn't received a response. Unfortunately, I have no reasonable prospect of catching up so please consider this an impersonal "Thank You" to everyone who has visited my blog in the last week or so.

Part of the reason for my inability to respond is the fact that last week was nothing short of a suck-fest for me. DH has been sick so I've been trying to juggle work and kid activities by myself. Not to mention that I'm getting a little tired of having two children going through puberty at the same time. Ugh! At work, I was trying to get my boss ready for a trip but I also had to grade the Bar Exam on Friday. Our committee was short three graders so it took more than twice the normal amount of time. But, the suckiest part of my week was the automobile accident I was involved in on Saturday. I was hit from behind at a stop light by a young woman who was paying absolutely no attention and slammed on her brakes when she was only inches from my car. Needless to say, she was still going pretty fast when she hit me. But my car (a Toyota minivan) took the impact really well. If you look underneath the car, you can actually see where the crumple zones have crumpled. And, they must have worked 'cause I wasn't hurt at all. Anyway, I'm not really in a mood for crafting interesting posts for the next couple of days so I'll accept Beth's invitation and respond to her meme:

1. Do you knit continental or English?
Most of the time I knit English and I flick the yarn over the needle with my right index finger; I don’t move my whole hand. If I’m working on something really boring, like a felted bag, I’ll knit part of it Continental just to keep my attention. When I knit two-color, stranded patterns, I always knit both English and Continental simultaneously.

2. How long ago did you learn to knit?
I learned to knit was I was about 10 from a booklet (© 1968) my mother bought me at Woolworths.

I still have the booklet (obviously) and I used it to teach my daughter.

3. First FO?
A pair of garter stitch slippers from the aforementioned booklet that were knit on two needles and then seamed.

You know that ones I mean; hasn’t everyone made a pair?

4. Favorite yarn?
Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn, Interlacements Little Toes, and Blackberry Ridge Kaleidoscope Yarn. My favorite reasonably priced, all-purpose wool yarn is Cascade 220. Although I prefer Jo Sharp, it's just a little too expensive for felting projects.

5. Favorite pattern?
I guess that would be my very own Almost Argyle Socks pattern. Otherwise, the pattern I’ve knit more than any other is Janet Scanlon’s Oregon Tote felted bag. Janet's bags are often copied but simply cannot be duplicated. And, I'm still amazed every time I knit a pair of the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs and they turn out perfectly. Very nice pattern.

6. Favorite pattern source?
The best pattern book I own is Knitter’s Stash. That’s where I first saw Janet Scanlon’s Constant Companion pattern. The book is a great resource with a wide variety of patterns (I also like the Meadow Flowers Shawl) and lots of good tips set out in the margins. I love to browse vintage pattern booklets for stitch patterns to insert into my “plain vanilla” sock pattern. And, I love the older Knitter’s magazines; some of them contain amazing patterns. The newer Knitter’s magazines are just awful. Anyone want to sell or trade for older Knitter’s?????

7. Favorite needles?
No hesitation here: Plymouth Bamboo double-points in size 2.25mm (U.S. #1). I don't recommend trying short-row heels without them. (Although, Beth, I did have the end of one split on me once.)

8. Nicest thing you’ve ever knit?
Well, I’m not sure what is meant by “nicest.” If it means the most beautiful, I guess that would be my Oriel Stole. A close second would be the Faroese Shawl I made last year. I did make an amazing sweater for my daughter in my pre-blogging days but I am not able to take a photograph of it. Want to guess why??

9. Most hated project?
Again, no hesitation: the Mexicali Olé baby sweater I made last year was, without a doubt, my most hated project. I knit it from cotton yarn (which I dislike) & when I got to the collar and thought that the pain was almost over, I realized the collar instructions were all wrong. Finally, because it was knit cuff to cuff, the sides seams turned out all bulky and ugly (and, for once, this was not due to my seaming technique). The recipient, however, loved it.

10. Who are you going to pass this on to?
No one. But feel free to lift the questions from my blog and post your own answers.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Twist Me, Turn Me

Thanks to the herculean patience of Anne, I present to you my first attempt at spinning:

And here's proof by a preponderence that it was really me and not the elves.

Tell me the truth; how bad does it suck?

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sophie Handles


Here's the finished (post-felting) picture of my Sophie bag:

I used a double strand of worsted-weight wool and a strand of Lion Brand Trellis novelty yarn. Because I was afraid I'd run out of the novelty yarn, I only carried it with the wool every other round. I had plenty left.

If you've never made this bag, the pattern calls for a single strand of Cascade 220. I highly recommend splurging for a second skein, because the finished bag is much nicer if it's been knit from a double-strand.

Like the last Sophie bag I knit, I didn’t make the handle from two separate I-cords. Instead, I worked a double-sided I-cord. After I described this technique last time, I got a few emails from readers who didn’t understand my description. So here it is, fully illustrated by blurry pictures.

Cast 6 stitches onto straight needles. Double points are not necessary.

Knit 3 stitches and move the yarn to the front

Slip the last three stitches to the right-hand needle

turn and repeat

That’s it. Eventually you’ll see the strap start to take shape. It looks almost like a flattened I-cord.

My mistake with this Sophie bag was twisting the handle after I knit it and before I Kitchenered it to the other side of the bag. I was a little uneasy about the strength of the handle because the bag seemed too heavy to be supported by it. So against DH’s advice, I gave it a few twists first. Big mistake. The top of the bag torqued slightly after it was felted. Not really enough that most people would notice, but enough so that I noticed. Did this happen to anyone who made the two I-cord, twisted handle the way the pattern suggested????

This bag is on its way to a silent auction in St. George, Utah to raise money for Utah Legal Services. Bon Voyage.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lame Post

I only have time for a lame post today. So, here's my WIP (pre-felting, of course):

I'm looking forward to Stitch and Bitch tonight because Anne has promised to show me how to use a drop spindle. Watch out!!

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