Saturday, October 28, 2006

blog button

We have our first blog button. I'm so proud. See the lovely Socktoberfest button on the right. Better late than never, I always say. Well, I don't often say it, but perhaps I should.

Now, I've noticed recently that sometimes my sidebar content falls to the bottom of the page, and depending on how many posts are displayed, and how long they are, may be quite a ways down. Sorry about this and please know that if I had any idea how to move the sidebar content to the top, I would do it. In any case, with this post publishing, we have buttons.

There is a blog that was instrumental in giving me the instructions, and courage, to edit the template, to get some buttons. Please see Kate's aastrikke blog for lots of knitting blog helps. The post related to buttons is here. And the post about getting around blogger image hassles is good too.

Monday, October 23, 2006

knitting update

We have knitting.

The koigu socks are coming along and I got some outdoor natural light pics:

The red-line is a piece of scrap sock yarn, holding my place for an afterthought heel.

And another hat for the homeless. The rest of the skein of encore from the other hat. Two hats from one skein is pretty good, I'd say. Made like the dollar hat from a few days ago.

more later,

Friday, October 20, 2006


I wore Klaralund to work today. It was cool here. Started out in the 40's with highs in the 70s so that's sweater weather in my book.

I knitted klara last winter of Noro Shinano. Bought the yarn at a quilt shop/yarn shop on 12/31/05. Cast-on and swatched on new year's eve then finished her about three weeks later.

I knitted the pattern pretty much as written with the exception of the sleeves, which were knit from the shoulders down so I could make sure the length was right for me. Many bloggers and KAL'ers at the time were grousing about too-long sleeves. Plus I tapered the sleeves a bit so there not as belled as the pattern, as written.

more later,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

sock update -- with pics

My river rapids socks with Lisa Souza sock yarn (links in earlier posts to the sockbug and Lisa Souza). Down to the toes and ready to kitchener or three needle bind-off. I haven't decided which one and I haven't been in the mood. Anybody else have to be in the mood to kitchener?

And the lovely koigu. I DO like this yarn. This is sock #1 up to the ankle. Probably. I'm more of a top-down sock knitter. This is not my first foray into toe-up but let's just say I have limited experience in knowing when to do the heel for toe-up. Let's also say I've been known to cheat and knit middle up and middle down so I can be sure I get the toe where it should be. (Is that cheating?) But since these socks aren't for me, I can't be sure anyway.

If you look close above, you'll see some shiny brass pins on the little knittin' nubbin' that is sock #2. My first venture into Japanese short rows. Now you might ask about sock # 1. Aren't you doing the toes the same, you might ask. Well, not exactly. Sock #1 has a short row toe also, but of the yo variety. So, I'm not sure anyone but a knitter, who is a short-row variation expert, would know the difference. And she would have to have the foot wearing this sock (not sayin' who's foot) pretty close for examination. So I'm not worried about it. Here are some pics of that toe, close up, just a row or two into "picking up the wraps" or whatever you call it with Japanese short rows.

The back side then the front side. Aren't they cute? I didn't argue with the pins about which side they wanted to lay on. And it turned out that it didn't matter.

And I do like Japanese short rows. The jury is still out but I'm wondering if a second pin is needed, like that second wrap or second yo. During the picking up process. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Or more importantly, does anyone know the answer?

And a closeup of some good koiguey sock. I think I'll try some natural light for another picture. Another day.

more later, my knitting is calling me,


Thursday, October 12, 2006

dollar hat

The title does not refer to the cost of the project or the value of the project. Which is far more than a dollar. The dollar refers to measuring parts of the hat. I cast on 80 on size 9s, then knit (on size 8 clover dpns) k2p2 ribbing for one width of a dollar then changed to stockinette and knit to the length of a dollar.

Now I'm working on the decreases. Using 7 decrease markers, which are alternately set 11 and 12 stitches apart, since 80 is not divisible by 7. (Well, the markers were set 12 11 12 11 12 11 11, so they are not perfectly alternate, but it works ) Decreasing every other row with an ssk just after each marker. I'll go down to where the markers are 5 and 6 stitches apart, then decrease the 6's to 5's then on the next row start the decreases every row.

The hat is intended for a homeless person. The yarn is Encore donated for homeless hat knitting by Sympatico Yarns in Bedford.

And dollars are handy for measuring knitting.

Just for the record, koigu makes yummy socks. Yummy to knit and yummy to look at. Knit toe-up to make the most of the yarn without risk of running out as I near the toe. Or making the leg shorter than it has to be so I don't run out. As I near the toe. These are destined for my brother's girlfriend or my mom. Depending on who they fit. They can't be for me because they don't fit my narrow foot. But there's more Koigu in the stash. For me.

more later,

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

river rapids near the end

Here is the river rapids post I owe you:

And on deck we have Koigu:

I had a comment/question from Maybe about rpm. Appropriate to the Socktoberfest season, it's a sock question. Maybe asked how to make rpm swirl the other way. One of my knit night buds has already figured this out so I'll pass on that you need to add one to the cast on instead of subtracting one and she will swirl the other way.

To be more specific, the pattern cast-on is 54 --- my pattern mod to simplify the knitting is to cast-on 53 --- and to reverse the swirl T says to cast-on 55. If you're on gauge as 7 spi, this will increase your sock circumference (more math words ) by 2 stitches or about one-quarter inch.

For those who may not have seen rpm, it's on knitty in the summer 06 issue. Here's a link.

more later,

Sunday, October 08, 2006

river rapids progress

We have two socks with two heels and a few more rows each. I've learned to put them down just after doing one of the YO rows so I can see where I am more easily. There are two stretches in the pattern where there are three rows of stockinette. I don't know about you but for me it's hard to see, with dark yarn as fine as sock yarn, whether I've done two rows of stockinette or three rows of stockinette (or four) but a few rows later, it's quite apparent if you've done too many rows of stockinette. Ask me how I know.

If you're looking at sockbug's river rapids sock pattern , I think you'll find a cast on of 64. Well, 64 is usually a bit loose for me, so I dropped the 8 repeats of the 8 stitch pattern to 7 repeats, making my cast on 56. Now, one of the reasons I tell you this is that you may wonder how I'm handling the half on the heel, half on the top, usual division for non-stockinette patterns on socks. Well, what I like better than half and half is the smaller half in pattern on the instep and the bigger half in stockinette on the sole. To be more specific, I am continuing 3 repeats of the river rapids chart on the top of my sock and have what would have been 4 repeats of the chart in stockinette doing the heel and continuing on the sole. And to be even more specific, I kept the two purls going on both edges.

So what we have in the foot portion of the sock is
p2, mid-chart YOs and ssk/k2tog, p2, mid-chart..., p2, mid-chart..., p2, k32
[Yes, it adds up to 58. I added a coupla' stitches because it was a smidge snug.]

The chart has one purl stitch on each edge but my brain doesn't think that way, so, for me it's purl 2.

Angeluna asked why I was trying a new heel. Well, I don't have a good answer. I guess, we might say, because it's there. I have been finding that YO heel in patterns I read, from time to time. And it flabbergasted me the first time I read the interweave article. But now I get it. And I do like it a lot. It's easier to me, except for those pesky sssk's, than the wraps. The yos make little paired stitches that are easier to see than those little wraps which can be difficult to see. And to pick up. And I like the end result better. As far as fit, I think it's very similar to a short row heel done with wraps. And for fit, I recommend doing a short row heel over a number of stitches greater than half. Here I used 30 instead of 28 (which is half of 56).

For those of you who may read Sensational Knitted Socks, which I recommend, by the way, sometimes the author will tell you what sizes you can make a sock, and how many to cast on, and there's a gap between one size and another, and perhaps your foot is in that gap, it may be because she doesn't usually recommend an odd number of repeats. [Gracious, that's a long sentence. But I'm keeping it. ;)] If you're of a mind to, you can extend and adapt Schurch's chart/pattern to use an odd number of repeats and fill the gap and fit your foot.

In other news, I wound a ball of my new koigu. And I do wish I could show it to you as it is yummy. And I wish you could feel it, so sproingy. Is that how you spell sproingy?

There are no pics in this post because the camera batteries are dead. And the AAs in the battery drawer were apparently put there by someone who thought maybe there was some life left in them. There is not. So until later today when more batteries will be bought, there are no pictures.

more later,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

YO heels

The river rapids socks are coming along.

Sock 1 has turned the heel. I'm doing a short row heel which I have done a couple of times before, but this time with a yo instead of a wrap. This method is usually attributed to Pricilla Gibson Roberts. In my lap during the heel was my copy of Ann Budd's article from Interweave Knits for baby socks. The article was published half in the magazine in summer 2005 and half on the web so the web half is available to you if you did not buy the magazine, or you're not sure where you've "filed" (or piled) it.

In this technique, there are yarn overs and backwards yarn overs and neither seem natural to me, at least not yet. So every time I started a row, I had to look at the diagram at the bottom of page 2. And there are sssp, which involves purling 3 through the back loop. Now this sock is on size 1s and this is sock yarn and this sock yarn is dark, and I don't much like purling through the back loop, so a crochet hook was pressed into duty at that point in the process. Perhaps for some of you who may be knitting purists, this is cheating. Oh well, for me, it worked.

I think sock 2 will get it's heel later today, so it has a chance of looking something like heel 1.

We have a new achievement to report. We have passed the 3000 mark. Thanks to all of my readers.

more later,

Thursday, October 05, 2006

STS pics plus

Here she is, the Swallow Tail shawl laying out on the tables at Starbucks at knit night:

Sorry, I missed the tips. They're nice too.

And in other knitting news I worked out the decreases on dd's hood. If you recall from my RS (right side) rant, in the post below, the pattern had a shortcoming in their directions for the row leading into the decreases at the top of the hood. I did some swatching/experimentation with a scrap of plain wool knitting up a few rows in the same rib pattern as the hood and did the decreases in the way I think they should have written the pattern with the k3tog on the right side and it worked well enough but then I tried symetrical decreases with sssk on one side and k3tog on the other and I like it better so that's what I went with. The sssk, in this example is, three stitches before the center line (where the orange marker is, in the pic), slip one as if to knit, slip the next as if to purl, slip the next as if to purl, then knit all three through the back loop. Then just after the center line k2tog. Here it is. Not sure how clearly the pic will show the details but...

And in other knitting news, I've joined Socktoberfest. For my first socky event, I have picked up some socks from earlier in the summer. Sockbug's river rapids socks in Lisa Souza's Sock! yarn in the Wild Things colorway. This is great yarn by the way, at a good price. And her shipping is reasonable. I have knit another repeat of the chart on both, and they are ready for the heel.

Yes, there is a variety of needles in this sock game, all size US1.

more later, j

Monday, October 02, 2006


There is much grumbling from my knitting nest on the sofa. I am on the home stretch of dd's sweater. Ready for the hood decreases. The pattern says to work even to 8 1/2 inches ending with a RS row. I was at a smidge over 8 and I knit two more rows and I was at 8 3/4. How could this happen?

I was near the end of a ball, with one "most of a ball" and decided to take a yarn pulse. The last ball had knit about 18 rows of 87 stitches (1566 stitches). A quick spreadsheet of the remaining rows showed there were 17 rows left with two k3tog's every other row or 1206 stitches left. Well, if a 50 gram ball knit 1566 stitches and I have 40 grams, that should knit 1252.8 stitches. (That math degree comes in handy sometimes.) Too close for comfort so I tinked back two rows.

And pulled my pattern close to make sure of how these decreases are going to work. Now remember the pattern said to end the work even with right side row. The next section tells me how to do the decreases and says to start with a right side row. There it is RS in bold. Now tell me knitters, how does a right side row follow a right side row? Ding ding ding ... it doesn't.

I checked vogue for errata/corrections. None for this pattern. I emailed them but I'm not holding my breath. I'm going to guess that these k3tog are to be done on the right side. But first I'm going to knit up a sample and do some testing. This stretch of yarn has been tinked once and looks ok but it's not going to hold up to repeated tinking. And I don't have any extra yarn. That extra ball I bought, well, it's knitted up. All we have left is that 40 grams. And some trimmings.

In other news, Swallowtail pics are still coming. As soon as I figure out how to get her pic. I'm taking her to knit night tomorrow so maybe one of my Sisters Of the Wool can help me get a pic.

more later,