Sunday, July 31, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here the photo of this week’s WIP.

Will you be the first to correctly guess what it is?

And don’t forget about my contest (see 7/26 post below). I’ll be posing the second
question tomorrow or the next day. If you answer both questions, you’ll be entered twice.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Biggest Knitting Nightmare

Since I've asked all of your to share your biggest knitting regrets and disappointments, it's only fair that I share mine.

When my first child was born, I bought a wonderful pattern booklet full of cute baby/toddler sweaters at a local department store. I may be dating myself, but yarn and patterns were frequently sold in department stores in the "olden days." My favorite sweater in the booklet was a wonderful cabled cardigan that knit up in sport weight yarn. I made several of these for my son and made many more for gifts. When my daughter was born, knitting time became more scarce. Although she was able to wear her brother's hand-me-down sweaters, I thought it would be nice to knit her one in a "girly" color. So, when she was about 2 years old I procured some pinky/magenta yarn and set about making her one of the glorious cabled sweaters. It was slow going. Between two kids and working full-time, I spent almost three months knitting just the back, the left side, and part of the right side. I then had the fateful idea to bring the project with me to the pool on a Sunday afternoon. The pool is situated high in the Salt Lake foothills with an amazing view over the entire Salt Lake Valley.

It's also in a very breezy location.

You know where this story is going.

A huge gust of wind swept over the table I was sitting at and off went my pattern booklet. I watched in horror as it flew over the wall and down, down, down the steep curving hill toward the valley below. Yes, I could have finished the sweater by matching the right side to the left, but I didn't have the heart or the time. When I finally found the time, DD was much too large to fit into the sweater.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Passing the Buck Baton (and Contest!)

It's official. I've bitten off more than I can chew. Because various deadlines won't permit me to post as regularly for the next week or so, I've decided to pass the burden honor off to all of you. I have two questions I'd love the hear your answers to. The first is:

What is your biggest knitting regret or failure?

I'm looking for things like: the worst yarn, book, or pattern you've bought; the worst project you ever knit and why; the best class you ever missed out on; etc.

You get the idea.

Leave your answer in a comment and you'll be entered into a contest to win something from my stash. And, if you have a blog, post your answer there too and leave a link in my comments. Then we can see some photos!

Check back to read the comments and I'll pose the second question next week.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

WIP Revealed

Pattern: Caryl's Kerchief
Yarn: Koigu
Began knitting: July 16, 2005
Finished knitting: July 16, 2005
Finished blocking: July 19,2005

I’ve already gifted this scarf to my friend for her birthday and she loved it. She was with me when I bought the yarn in Sun Valley and I was surprised she didn’t figure out that it was for her. She loves pinks and other pastel colors and knows that I dislike them.

But, thankfully, the secret stayed safe and she was surprised.

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Friday, July 22, 2005


Sibylle has tagged me with a meme and since it's going to be pretty easy to jot down my answers, I'll do it this one time. But only because I really like Sibylle.

The total number of movies I own:

1 (Ken Burns' Baseball set which, admittedly, contains 10 DVDs)

The last movie I bought:

none; the Ken Burns' set was a gift

The last movie I watched:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (BTW, I hated it)

My five favorite movies of all time:

#1 Napolean Dynamite
#2 Annie Hall
##3-5 No other movie comes to mind.

See, told you that would be easy. and I'm not even passing this one on, so you're safe.
If the questions had involved television it would have been even easier. Don't watch it.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Musings on My Tivoli T-shirt

I don't have a photo of my Tivoli t-shirt blocked, so I'm re-hashing the unblocked photo:

First, I'm not a big fan of cotton yarn, but the yarn I used for this project, Butterfly, was very nice. I'd highly recommend it as a substitute for Cotton Classic. As an added plus, it comes in 125 gram hanks so you don't need to buy as many.

Second, I thought the pattern was fabulous and want to thank Grumperina for sharing it. It knits up quickly and the instructions are extremely clear without being overly "chatty." I did make a few alterations, but only so the sweater would fit me better. I'm very short (62 inches) so I did fewer decrease rounds and, correspondingly, fewer increase rounds. This made the middle section slighly shorter. I also attempted to control the inevitable rolling of the neck, sleeves, and bottom edge by working a round of purl stitches (you can't see this in the photo because of the . . . uh, urrrr . . . rolling). It was only mildly successful. Unfortunately, although I may be short I'm not particularly svelte so the bottom edge (which still rolls slightly after blocking) is not particularly flattering on me. Picture the Michelin Man. Ok, on second thought, don't.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday = Stash Sale

Here are this week's offerings from my stash.
First is a skein of Art Yarns Portrait in color #101.

I used this yarn to make a feather and fan scarf earlier this year and there's a pattern for a one-skein scarf on the label. Retail was $10.00. This skein can be yours for $7.50, which includes postage within the U.S.

Second, is a skein of Trendsetter Voila in color #34:

The photo is a bit overexposed, so the yarn is actually darker than it appears. But I'm including it in the post with the Portrait because the colors are nearly identical. Retail on this was $11.00. I'm asking $8.50, which includes postage within the U.S.

Finally, I have two skeins of Filatura di Crosa Annabella in color #27.

Retail on each skein was $9.25. Both of these can be yours for a total of $14.50, which includes shipping in the U.S.

Email me if you're interested in any of these yarns.

Now I'm off to finish "The Book."

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Not Much Knitting Going On

OK, it's hot. Much too hot to knit anything heavy or concentrate on something complicated. So I've decided to devote most of my free time to reading "The Book." We picked up a copy in Twin Falls on Sunday as we drove back from Sun Valley. DS finished it last night and I've got about 300 pages to go.

Speaking of Sun Valley, between the car rides and sitting around doing absolutely nothing for two days, I got a lot of knitting done. Does that give you any hints about the WIP of the Week? Here's a photo of where I spent most of my knitting time:

But, it wasn't all knitting and no shopping. There's a wonderful needlepoint/yarn shop in Ketchum and each year my friends and I stock up on goodies that aren't available in Salt Lake City.

And, I even manage to find a little time to take a little bike ride. Here's the view from the trail.

The Excitement Continues

Remember my "secret" projects and exciting news from last week? Well, here's the next revelation. One of my sock patterns has been published by Knit Picks.
I knit up the sample a few weeks ago from the new solid-color sock yarn that they just added to their site yesterday. So, I guess I was the first person in the world to knit with their new sock yarn. Pretty fun!

The photo on their page doesn't show the pattern as well as I'd hoped and the color is a bit off. Here's the photo I took of the same sock before I mailed it to them. The color is much truer.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

WIP of the Week

I'm a little late this week, but here's a photo of the WIP of the Week:

Any ideas what I'll be working on this week??

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

WIP of the Week Revealed

I’m unveiling the WIP of the Week a little early since I’m headed out of town for the weekend and won’t be posting tomorrow. It's knit, but not yet blocked:

Pattern: Tivoli t-shirt
Designer: grumperina
Yarn: Butterfly mercerized cotton (I used less than two skeins)
Started: July 9, 2003
Finished: July 13, 2005

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fire Aftermath

Thanks a million to everyone who commented and sent emails about the school fire I blogged about yesterday. My daughter is still upset, but was somewhat assauged by the Superintendent's promise to keep the kids and teachers together at a different facility. How the District intends to accomplish that, won't be revealed until next week. But we're crossing our fingers. In the meantime, you can see what the school looked like before the fire if you watch the movie "Life is Ruff" which was filmed at the school and will premiere on the Disney Channel this Friday. *sob*

Venice Socks

I got several comments and a couple of emails about the pattern I used for the socks I knit from the Regia 6-ply yarn I got in Venice. It's the same pattern I posted on April 20th.

rnd 1: knit
rnd 2: k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk

This is the third pair of socks I've made from this stitch pattern and I still love it. I used it with some Regia Jubilee yarn that Tine sent me and with some Fortissima that Kadri sent me.

Ciao Roma

Here are the last of my Italy photos. We ended our trip in Rome but I didn't have a chance to search for yarn shops. We actually stayed with my cousins who live in a small hill town outside of Rome and day-tripped. Here's a photo of DD and her crazy looking "Carbonara" pizza which violates the "don't eat anything bigger than your head" rule:

Speaking of heads, check out the Sophia Loren sunglasses perched on the top of her head. That was the first thing she bought in Florence.

And here's the last photo we took. All of us sitting on the steps of the house my grandfather lived in before he emigrated to the United States in the 1920s.

How cool is that.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I had a post with knitting content all ready for today, but I don't have the heart to post it. Remember the "show me your sky photos" that made their way around the knit blogs last year. I posted a photo of my son's Jr. High School. Here's that photo again:

and here's what the school looked like yesterday:

There's a story on the fire here.

To say that my family, together with all the other families affected by this disaster, is devastated is an understatement. My daughter was scheduled to begin classes at this school in six weeks. It's unclear what the options will be. It is fairly clear to me that this school will not be rebuilt or replaced. It sits on a prime piece of real estate in a section of the Salt Lake Valley in which houses are being demolished and rebuilt because the land on which they stand is far more valuable than the house itself. But this facility was so much more than a bricks and mortar building. It drew students from all over the Salt Lake Valley. Many came for the unparalleled music and drama programs and others for the rigorous academics. This was a Jr. High in which hazing and cliques were nearly non-existent and in which the student body revered the Math Team more than the sports teams. That type of environment in a Jr. High School is simply irreplaceable.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

WIP of the Week

Here’s a photo of my WIP of the Week.

Can you guess what it is?? I haven’t had much time to work on it this weekend (see below) so I may not have an FO for you by the end of the week.

Exciting News

If I’ve been slow (or completely remiss) at returning your emails or responding to your comments, it’s because most of my knitting/blogging time has been spent knitting 5-6 "secret" projects. Now seems like a good time to reveal the first two. The first is a Nantasket Basket in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.

The exciting news is that Knit Picks will be carrying the pattern in their catalog shortly. How fun is that!! The Wool of the Andes was perfect for the pattern.

My other exciting news is that my next felted bag pattern is just about ready for sale. I feel like I should knit up one more prototype just to make sure for the tenth time there are no typos. Then I’ll make any final edits to the pattern. It should be available for purchase in about a week (unless you want a free copy by knitting up the last prototype for me). Want a sneak preview??

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Friday, July 08, 2005

WIP Revealed

Well, Jody was pretty damn close to getting the WIP exactly right. It’s a pair of ankle socks knit from the Regia 6-ply that I picked up inVenice.

I worked on them on the train from Naples to Rome and several Italian women admired them loudly. One of the women was desperately trying to communicate with me, but I speak only tourist Italian coupled with the choice swear words I picked up from my mother as a child. Somehow, it didn't seem appropriate to use the swear words. Although she spoke no English, I was able to discern that she crochets but does not knit and that she likes to make crocheted shopping bags. She expressed surprise that I was knitting the socks from “lana” and from her reaction to my Plymouth bamboo double-points I also gathered that she'd never seen bamboo needles before.

I loved the Regia, although I only had two balls of it so I was a little concerned that I’d run out of yarn. When I cast on for the second sock, I carefully found the correct place in the second skein so that the socks would be identical. Only after I got to the heel did I realize how wrong I was. Isn’t this odd; look:

Each sock is just one, looooooong color repeat, not two. Except the second half of the repeat is nearly identical to the first half. Curious. Anyway, their fraternality can’t be corrected so I intend to wear them “as is.”

And, as promised, here’s a photo of the yarn I scored in Sorrento:

One skein of cashmere/wool laceweight in a pretty (although slightly bright for my taste) pinky coral color. And one skein of merino laceweight in light pink.

Now where did I put those 4mm circular needles???

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wednesday = Stash Sale

Today, I have three wonderful skeins of Cherry Tree Hill North Country Cotton to de-stash.

From top to bottom the colors are: Dusk, Martha's Vineyard, and Champlain Sunset. Each skein weighs 4 ounces; contains 200 yards of 100% cotton yarn; and retails for $20.00. I’m selling mine for $15.00 each. If you buy all three, I’ll throw in this pattern for a cute hat. Each skein of North Country Cotton is enough to make the largest size (which is 21.5 inches). I have to confess that I'm having a difficult time parting with this particular yarn, but given the number of projects I've got in the pipeline I seriously doubt whether I'll ever get around to knitting with it.

WIP Guesses

Kudos go out to everyone who guessed that the photo of my WIP was taken in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. Wow, you guys are good! We stayed at a wonderful hotel just outside the town called "Settimo Cielo" which means "seventh heaven" in Italian. It was a great hotel, although the breakfast was horrible. I believe there is only one place in all of Italy that makes undrinkable cappuccino and that place is Settimo Cielo.

Several people guessed that the photo was taken somewhere on the Cinque Terra. Having now been to both places, I have to confess that I just adored the Cinque Terra but wasn't as enamoured with the Amalfi Coast which I found to be much too crowded. But, I haven't been to the Cinque Terra for nearly 8 years and have heard that it is now much more popular with foreign vacationers. Any truth to this rumor??

The high point of my stay in Sorrento was finding a yarn shop on the main street. Photos tomorrow of the haul!

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

WIP of the Week

Can anyone guess this week's WIP:

I'll be really impressed if you can identify where the photo was taken!

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Friday, July 01, 2005

WIP Revealed

This week's WIP was my second attempt at knitting up the vintage footlet pattern so several people guessed correctly. This time I modified the pattern using the lessons I learned from knitting the first footlet.

Because I received a lot of emails about this pattern, I'll share my modifications in more detail. But, this post won't make sense unless you also have a copy of the original pattern in front of you.

  1. I cast on 28 stitches and worked 5 rows in garter stitch.

  2. I then worked 31 rows in stockinette stitch, but knit the first and last stitch on the purl rows.

  3. I turned the heel by working the first two rows as follows:
    Row 1: p16, p2tog, p1, turn
    Row 2: sl1, k5, ssk, k1, turn
    Although I didn't follow the heel turning instructions in the original pattern, there is a typo in them. It says "10th row: K 1, Sl 1, K 1, psso. K 1. Turn." It should say: "10th row: K 11, Sl 1, K 1, psso. K 1. Turn.

  4. When I was finished turning the heel, I had 18 stitches on the needle.

  5. I broke the yarn (like it says in the pattern) and picked up 19 stitches along the first side of the heel flap, knit the 18 stitches, then picked up 19 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.

  6. I then decreased pursuant to the instructions until I had 42 stitches left.

  7. I then increased pursuant to the instructions until I had 64 stitches. There is a typo in the orginal pattern at this point. It says "Next row: K 2, Inc 1 st in next st, Knit to last 4 sts, Inc 1 st in next st, K 3." It should say: "Next row: K 3, Inc 1 st in next st, Knit to last 4 sts, Inc 1 st in next st, K 3."

  8. At this point, I transferred the 64 stitches to 3, double-pointed needles and began knitting in the round.

  9. I continued knitting in the round until the footlet was about 2 inches smaller than the total length I needed.

  10. I ended by working a simple wedge toe. Although a star toe would work nicely, too.

That's it. Oh, and the yarn I used was perfect for this project. It's Jaeger Stretch yarn. Very similar to Cascade Fixation only softer and fingering-weight. The fiber composition is 96% Cotton, 2% Poly, 2% Elastic and it's put up in 50g skeins each containing 286 yards of yarn. I'm fairly certain that this yarn is not made any more, but I have quite a nice little stash of it tucked away. Hmmm . . . Maybe I should de-stash some next Wednesday.

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