Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I had a little time to catch up on some blog reading this weekend and noticed the Alison is gearing up to make some footlets this summer. This topic comes up frequently on the Socknitters List as members of that list search for footlet patterns. One of the first sock patterns I designed was a pair of "carrot" footlets I made for my daughter many, many years ago:

After knitting this pair, I decided that I prefer knitting footlets with both a mini heel flap and a short-row heel. I've found that they stay on nicely without slipping down when worn.

If you're looking for a pattern with a pom pom like the ones Alison knit, there's a nice pattern on MagKnits. Just click here. I haven't knit up this pattern, but it looks pretty straight-forward.

If you want to try a vintage pattern, this look interesting (click on the photo to get to the pattern):

I haven't knit this pattern either. It appears slighly more complicated since it's knit on two needles and then seamed up the top (?). Slightly weird. Although, they do appear as though they will fit very snugly.

If you can read German, there's a free pattern here. These also appear to be knit, at least in part, on two needles. Perhaps it's just a German translation of the vintage pattern because the two look strikingly similar. Can anyone confirm that?

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Monday, May 30, 2005

WIP of Week

Well, I have a new project for you this week:

Do you have a guess as to what it is?
I'll give a hint this week. The pattern is from a book that I've blogged about before. But, when I did a Google search, I didn't get a single hit. Strange, 'cause it's a really cute pattern. Oh, and Teri, I know what you’re thinking about the yarn, but keep it to yourself, okay. This is a family friendly blog.

More Flowers

Since you all seemed to enjoy the flower photos I posted last Friday, here are a few more:

The hosta in my front yard has set a flower:

And, here’s my earliest blooming dianthus:

My perennial bachelor button:

And, finally, a blossom from my favorite columbine plant:

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Friday, May 27, 2005

We Have a Winner

The winner of my WIP contest is Rachel (Rachel didn't leave a blog address). Her guess of 25,317 stitches was off by only 54 stitches. Although, I’m still a little confused as to how she came up with a number that’s not divisible by 101, given that there are 101 stiches in each row?? The guesses ranged from a low of 261 stitches (which I'm hoping was a typo), to a high of 256,000 submitted by a wonderful, albeit, math-challenged blogger.

Here’s the calculation:
I've completed a full 7 repeats of the 32-row pattern, plus an additional 18 rows of the 8th repeat. Add to that, the 9 rows in the border then multiply the whole thing by 101 and you get . . . .
25,351 stitches. Yikes! And I'm only slightly more than half-way finished.
Thanks for everyone who played along!


Here are some photos of my garden so you can see what's been occupying most of my time.

First, my largest lavender bush is just about to flower.

Then, my Peonies (or, pee-ooooo-nee, as it’s pronounced in the West) are enormous this year; probably because of all the rain we received this spring.

And finally, my first Poppy opened up this morning.

Have a great holiday weekend.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stash Sale Wednesday

Here's what I'm offering from my stash this week (excuse the crappy photo):

It's a cute kit to make a baby blanket and hat put out by Suss Knits. There's a good description of the contents and better photos here (scroll down to the "Level 1" kits). The kit contains cream colored 100% cotton yarn for the blanket and the hat, plus balls of green, pink, and blue cotton yarn for the trim, plus a pair of bamboo needles. Very nice. Retail was $40.00 but I'm offering mine for $20.00 plus postage. So, email me if you're interested.

I'm hoping to make a little space for the wonderful things that Tine sent me last week. First, there was some great sock yarns, including a ball of the elusive Opal Brasil 5001 and the new Petticoat:

I don't have photos of the other goodies, although they included some rosewood Holz & Stein needles (lucky, lucky me), a great sock pattern booklet, and some yummy German candies. I do have a photo of the amazing needle case that Tine sewed for me:

Isn't it daaahhhhling!


Don't forget to enter my contest. Scroll down to Monday's post for all the details!

Need a Laugh?

If you need a laugh, click here.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Weekend Frolic

On Sunday, I abandoned all my UFOs and headed down to the Salt Lake City County Building. Who said there aren't any beautiful, interesting buildings in SLC:

The area around the building was the site of the 2005 Living Traditions Festival. There were some food booths, a bit of entertainment, and some wonderful craft exhibits. I had some Tibetan Momos, then headed over to Anne Carroll Gilmore's weaving exhibit. You remember Anne; she's the designer of the infamous Dancing Stars Hat (reincarnated as a felted bag) and the Oriel Lace Stole that I knit last year. Her presentation on Scottish Tartan Weaving was amazing. Here she is finding her place while simultaneously answering inane questions from the spectators.

She was working on a tartan she's designed for the Salt Lake City Freemasons and it was just gorgeous.

What do you think. I need a loom, don't I.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

WIP of the Week Contest!

I’m recycling a project for the WIP this week. It's my Baltic Sea Stole:

Lest you think for a minute that I'm recycling projects because I didn’t start at least one new WIP this weekend, you can disabuse yourself of that notion right now, Missy. I just can’t show those new projects yet. So, to compensate you for having to look at my Baltic Sea Stole yet again, I’m having a little contest. The object of the contest is guess the number of stitches I’ve knit so far on the Stole. To make it a little easier, I’m offering up the following information about the pattern. There are 101 stitches in each row and the pattern is a 32-row repeat. That’s all I’m sayin’. To enter, just send me an email at this address and put your guess in the subject line. If more than one person guesses correctly, I’ll draw a winner randomly from all the correct entries. If no one guesses correctly, the winner will be the person who comes closest. The prize will be something from my stash; I’m just not sure what yet.

So what are you waiting for; make a guess already!

Who's linking here?

Friday, May 20, 2005

WIP Revealed

Well, Miriam was right. The WIP of the Week started out as a 1x1 ribbed strip with a lifeline. But, a few days later it was transformed into this:

Pattern: Ribbed Shrug by Pam Allen
Yarn: Paton's Katrina

Why the lifeline? Because this shrug was originally begun by the incomparable Lauren who decided it just wasn't her cup of tea. Since DD has been hounding me to make her a shrug, Lauren and I did a little swapy thang and the shrug made its way from CT-2-UT. I put in the lifeline until I was sure I could get the same gauge as Lauren. And, it turned out to be a wise move because I had to try three different needle sizes until I found the right one.

We're off to Italy in a couple of weeks and DD is planning her entire vacation wardrobe around this little beauty. Prego!!


Just in case you think DD is all fluff and no substance, here she is 30 minutes after the shrug photo was snapped.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Have You Any Wool"

I picked up my processed alpaca from Lynn at Spinderella on Friday. This time Margene came with me and I think she can attest to Lynn's enthusiasm for all things fibery.

I'm thrilled with how the roving turned out. It's a blend of white Corriedale, hand-dyed Corriedale in a color Lynn calls "copper," some silk, and of course the alpaca. My friend saw it and said, "Gosh, that looks just like the color of your kitchen floor." You know, she could be right; I do have an affinity for reddish colors. What do you think?

I spun up a little sample on Saturday using my fabulous Lollipop spindle.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. The alpaca adds a nice halo to the yarn. I'm hoping to spin up enough to make a lace scarf or (very) small shawl. This little hank is only 65 yards and it took me the better part of Saturday. Hmmm . . . this could take a while.

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stash Sale

In an effort to make some space for a secret prezzie I just bought myself, I've decided to sell off a bit of my stash. I'm thinking Wednesdays will be "Stash Sale" day here at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. So, check back every Wednesday and see what I have to offer. I'm anticipating selling off some wool, some higher-end novelty yarns, and some cottons, too.

I figure I'll start off with a bang and offer up some Rowan Magpie.

I love this yarn but I know that I'll never knit it up so it's time to give someone else a chance at owning it. Rowan Magpie is 100% wool and is now, sadly, discontinued. I have ten, 100g skeins for sale (two have been wound into center-pull balls). Each skein has 150 meters. The color is a nice deep royal blue (color #303) and it's not as bright as it appears in the photo. Retail is more than $11.00 per skein. The first person to plunk down $75.00 (plus postage) gets all ten skeins. Come on, you know you want them! Don't try and resist, just email me.

One More Link

Here's a link I inadvertantly left out of yesterday's post.
In case you're not interested in my Rowan Magpie, then head over to HoJo's site, Full Thread Ahead, and get the details on the opening of her new store. If you live in the Bay Area don't miss it. She's offering 15% off all her yarns. Evil enabler, indeed.

WIP of the Week

Come on people; is no one going to guess at the WIP of the Week? At least Miriam gave it the old college try; although I'm not sure her "guess" was really anything more than a description of the photo.
OK, here's a hint. Someone else has blogged about this very same WIP within the last 2-3 weeks. This someone has left a comment on my blog within the last week. That pretty much gives it away.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This And That

I've got a couple of links for you today that I've been meaning to post for a while.

First, I've added quite a few photos to the Nantasket Basket gallery. Click here to see the baskets knit by Beth, Beth, Wendy, Miriam, and others.

Next, the amazing Sabine has translated my Branching Out Scarf pattern into German. Click here if you want to try your hand at following the instructions in German. Speaking of Branching Out, Amy was asking about making it wider by repeating the stitch pattern. Well, Michael did just that. Check out his great Branching Out Scarf.

Last, but not least, I finished knitting the next sock in the Six Sox Knitalong.

Sorry, but I can't give the pattern away just yet.
In case you're behind the times, we've decided to continue the knitalong for another year. I still need three more patterns so if you're interested in contributing one, please email me.

Who's linking here?

Monday, May 16, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's the WIP of the Week, just waiting for you to guess what she will become:

Some of you are not allowed to guess this week. You know who you are.


Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and I got the most amazing gift from DH.

Isn't it hilarious. I have a sneaky feeling DD helped pick it out. But, no matter. It's one of the best gifts he's given me in seventeen years. Now I just need to get my hands on one of those T-shirts with the drawing of the Liger on it. Sweet!

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Friday, May 13, 2005

WIP Revealed

I'm a little late this week, but I haven't forgotten about the WIP of the week. It was a scarf knit from Artful Yarns Portrait:

I used a modified feather and fan stitch (fewer stitches) so that the scarf would be narrow enough and I could squeeze it out of one skein. I'm not really a mohair person so it wasn't a fun knit for me, although the yarn was very nice. I have one more skein of it in a different colorway and I'm thinking of offering it up in some kind of stash sale. Out with the old and in with the new, and all that jazz. Stay tuned if you're interested.

Here's the real question of the week, though. How did Little Miss Smarty Pants guess not only the item, but also the stitch pattern AND the yarn???!!! Guess there's no fooling those Sons Daughters of Eli.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Try, Try, Again

Although I’ve made several attempts to learn to love my drop spindle, I just wasn’t
getting much enjoyment from the process. I found the drafting to be tedious and it was somewhat difficult to get a single that was even. But, all that has changed.

Last Friday I brought my unprocessed alpaca to a local fiber artist. Our fifteen minute meeting turned into an 90 minute tour through her amazing business. Suffice to say that the highlight was seeing the machine she uses to card her wool. Unbelievable. It’s from a mill in Brigham City, Utah (think BIG) and I’m still unclear how she got it into her shed. She showed me some poor-quality wool that she'd just carded into batting for a client. The client is a local builder who uses the batting for housing insulation. I'd say that gives new meaning to the proclamation, "I Live In A Wool House."

The decision was made to blend my alpaca with some silk, some hand-dyed Corriedale, and some white Corriedale. While we were discussing that, I noticed the bags of roving she had stashed in a corner. I left with several fluffy balls (see photo in yesterday’s post). What a dream to spin with! It barely needs to be drafted and the colors are wonderful. I got so involved in spinning that I didn’t knit a stitch all weekend (OK, that’s a lie. But, I didn’t knit as much as I otherwise would have.)

Here are the first three skeins I spun. One is ~50 yards, the other ~70 yards, and the third ~90 yards.

Then, I thought I’d try my hand at spinning some finer stuff. Here’s what I got (Click on the photo for a larger picture).

It’s a two-ply. The dime is for reference:

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Well, for the first time in two weeks, it wasn't raining when I got up this morning.

*very big sigh*

Oh, and here's a teaser photo that should tell you what tomorrow's post will be about (assuming, of course, that I find some time to write the post).

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Mail Call

Although I didn't make it to MS&W, I did get some goodies in the mail over the last few days. First is this lovely skein of yarn I got from Jane. She's having a fabulous de-stash sale and now that I've procured my favorite of the lot, feel free to head over and take a look at what's left.

It's a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Merino/Silk in the African Grey colorway. Totally fabulous. Don't know how you parted with it, Jane, but I'm not complaining!

Next, to arrive was this book which I've been meaning to buy for a while:

Yes,I know it's been republished as Simply Socks, but I wanted the original. What a wonderful book full of amazing charts. I suspect I won't be knitting the socks toe-up, but the charts can be used anyway. I'm thinking afterthought heels would work famously.

Last (and also least), this was in my mailbox yesterday:

My friend gave me the subscription for my birthday and I don't think I've seen a single project I've liked since my subscription started. Sorry, everyone; clearly I've jinxed the magazine. I seriously doubt that I'll make any of the projects in this issue, but this one is my least favorite:

Come on, Rick. Really. An afghan made from Wool Ease in the colors that most resemble baby poop. I don't think so.

Who's linking here?

Monday, May 09, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's my WIP for this week:

Do you have a guess this week?

Yummmmmmm . . .

Well, the kids came through for me on Mother's Day. I got a Starbucks gift card and a wooden box filled my all-time favorite chocolates.

See the cute little chocolate mice with the tails made from silk thread:

I just adore this stuff. It's from a chocolate maker in New Hampshire called L.A. Burdick. Each piece is handmade and the flavors are really unique. Whenever I go back to Boston, I stop at their shop in Harvard Square. It's totally worth flying 2,000 miles just for the hot chocolate.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

WIP Revealed

I can't believe it; Kathy actually guessed this week's WIP. Way to go Kathy! You must be a knitting maven!

It's a Seaman's scarf; and it's knit from the same lace chart I used for the Branching Out scarf. Here's a photo right after it came off the needles:

If you've never knit a seaman's style scarf before, I highly recommend Myrna Stahman's book, Shawls and Scarves: Lace Faroese-Shaped Shawls from the Neck Down & Seamen's Scarves.
A traditional seaman's scarf uses a provisional cast-on and has ribbing at the center. This prevents the scarf from bunching up around the back of the neck. After the ribbing and the first side are knit, the provisional cast-on is removed and the second side is knit. Here's a photo I took right after I "unzipped" the cast-on and began working down the second side:

Because both ends are knit from the center downward, the patterning is not upside-down on one side of the scarf. So it's a excellent technique for knitting a lace pattern that clearly has an "up side" and a "down side." It works nicely with the Branching Out lace pattern because it means there's no "bow" at one end. See, how clever!

I also knit an applied I-cord onto this version of the scarf. It makes the sides nice and smooth. The only flaw is that it doesn't look quite perfect when it's cast off. But, I think I can remedy that when I block the scarf.

And just so you don't think I've been ignoring my Baltic Sea Stole, here's a photo of my latest bit of progress:

This thing is going to be huge!

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Nantasket Basket Gallery

Thanks to Lu, I now have a Flickr pro account. I fooled around with it a little yesterday and created a gallery for Nantasket Baskets.

Click here to see what I have so far.

If you've knit a basket, please send me the photo together with information on the yarn you used and I'll add it to the gallery.


Who's linking here?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Baseball Season

OK, it's not Fenway Park, but my SIP had fun at Sunday's Stinger's game nevertheless.

Although Salt Lake City is an MLB desert, there is a triple-A team here. We've had seasons tickets since the team arrived in 1994. Our original seats were on the third base side but they proved to be much too hot in the summer. So, about five years ago we moved to the first base side, two rows above the dugout. Here's the view looking east from our seats:

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, huh.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here's this week's WIP:

Yeah, I know it's not much, but maybe someone will have a flash of brilliance. What do you think it is?

May Day

Happy belated May Day to everyone. Here's a pic of my May basket just before I tore into it and ate a bunch of the goodies.

There's nothing quite like orange Milano cookies and Green & Black's chocolate for breakfast. Yummmmmmmm.

What did you get for May Day??

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