Saturday, June 30, 2007

catch up pics

Here are the pictures to go with last nights post. We've just finished our afternoon shower hard rain but I got these pictures a couple of hours ago when we were having some sunshine. And heat. And humidity. But I digress.

Here is one monkey and a nub of a toe of monkey 2:
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And a closeup of the cuff of monkey 1:
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And loksin leg 1:
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Notice some of the lace pattern continuing down the heel. I'm sure the heel flap would be perfectly fine as written, and probably wear better, but as I rarely wear shoes with heels, I did my own thing. Have I mentioned lately that I don't like [to knit] heel flaps?

Baby bear, stuffed and with his face on:
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His legs really are rather even despite their appearance in the picture. I think I must have had him posed at an odd angle.

And a bonus. A baby hat that makes easy farm knitting.
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knit with leftover Briggs and Little Tuffy sock yarn. I was advised that I would need three skeins for men's socks. I didn't. [I used parts of two skeins.]

Friday, June 29, 2007

rainy weather update

This rainy weather is playing havoc with trying to get pics outside in natural light. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Baby bear is felted and stuffed. Monkey sock 1 is done, essentially, and on holder needles until Monkey sock #2 is knitted. But the circ was "stolen" by Loksins #1. Loksins #1 leg is knitted and the heel flap is started.

The hat pattern was edited and emailed to Jimmy Beans. If I am selected, I should know within a couple of weeks. If I am not selected, they can hold the pattern over to be considered for the following two months. And a wool hat might make more sense in a month other than July.

Hopefully, there will be a dry part of tomorrow with perhaps some sunshine. And some pictures.

Monday, June 25, 2007

baby bear

More catch up from last weekend's knitting:

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Baby bear from the Fiber Trend's pattern:

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I've had the pattern for over a year (deeply discounted at last year's DFW Fiberfest) and the shetland wool yarn has been in stash for probably longer than that. And there's lots of it. Three (1 oz.) balls are destashed.

He needs more seaming then felting and stuffing. And maybe some socks?

There is progress on the Loksins socks. I'm midway through repeat 3 of chart A. I'm starting to remember the pattern so it's knitting faster. And I'm not stressing so much about losing stitches during the big slip.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did reduce the cast-on from 60 to 58, eliminating two stitches from one of the stockinette panels. I'll have to knit in some extra needles and have a try-on soon.

More later,
but not tomorrow, because Tuesday is knit night...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


There has been knitting and the sock has been having adventures, but the camera has not been along to record. So sad.

The monkey sock went to knit night last Tuesday. There were a couple of times I thought maybe it wasn't a good idea because there is should be a bit of paying attention and counting, but it turned out ok.

And Wednesday, the sock saw Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run. There is a picture on my camera of Sammy during his homerun swing but pictures on my camera do not know how to get onto my computer.

Then Thursday, the sock went to Norman to visit their knit night. I met some knitters from Norman when I took the class earlier this year in Guthrie. Wilma and I closed down Borders. At 11:00 pm. Borders people in Arlington, take note. In Norman, they get to stay until 11:00.

But before the knit night, I went to a new yarn store in Norman, Yarn and Loops. They were having a Fiesta night with margaritas and food. I was sorely tempted by some of the yarn but I got some pattern books and a t-shirt and some special buttons. Oh, and a little vinyl logo bag. The t-shirt and bag were half price. Call them up (405.310.3636) and get some. It may be a collector's item someday as they are changing their name to L&B Yarn.

Some pics of my new stuff, no stashalong violations:
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Then the sock went to Edmond and visited mom at the nursing home, then to Lake Hiwasee to visit my sister and help make food for the family reunion. The sock did not get to re-une (is that a word?) as I was too busy visiting. A bag o' stash yarn, mostly acrylic passed down from my mom from her crocheting days, was passed on to a cousin who crochets. And likes acrylic.

But the junior hat, the one that will not be shown until it's pattern is entered and wins, or not, did make an appearance and was tried on several little ones. It fits from age one and a half to age five. And heads were measured. Little kids have bigger heads than I would have thought. A sweet little great niece (the one and a half year old) declared it soft and liked it a lot. It is knit with Lorna's Laces worsted and she wore it for quite a while on a hot June afternoon in Oklahoma. I had to promise to make her one in girly colors.

So here is the current status of Monkey:
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and up close:
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And we have started a new sock in honor of Summer of Socks.
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You can't tell much right now but it is a Loksin from new pattern designer Cassie at too much wool. Show some support and buy a sock pattern. Between my Sisters Of the Wool and me, we bought 14. Watch for lots of Loksins coming from these parts. And from Cork, of course. Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns is an honorary Sister.

There is also a new baby bear project but I will save those pics for another day. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

happy blog-day to me

June 19, one year ago, I made my first blog post. It's been one year. The best part for me is the record of my knitted projects. When, what yarn, what adjustments to the patterns. And sharing it with you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

monkey's are real

I've decided the monkey socks are a real project. Witness the front:

and the back. I see swirling stripes on the back that I don't see on the front.

I'm about the finish the 3rd time through the chart. And I do like the pattern. It's Cookie A's pattern from knitty [Click here for a link.] I'm knitting it toe-up with the pattern count 64. I'm pondering the heel to use, likely a Widdershins style heel. I've wanted to try it and Brenda Dayne of Cast-on says it's the heel for her perfect sock. The sock is a bit roomy for me, but I think it's a Christmas gift, so roomy for me is likely to be a good fit for the possible recipient.

The yarn is Panda Wool in the red cinn color. I like knitting with it and I like the way the sock feels. I have to be a bit careful not to split the strands but I'm getting used to it so it's not slowing me down much.

I finished the hat for the maple man, including weaving in the ends. And I finished the smaller hat in the same pattern. The pattern seems to work. A couple of my Sisters Of the Wool are test knitting it for me. Thanks J & A.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Claudia's ride

Claudia is riding her bike 150 miles to fight MS. Go support her ride through this link to her blog. You can make a donation there with paypal or at the National MS site at this link. There are yarny good prizes.

I don't include a lot of personal content on this site but fighting MS is near and dear to my heart. My baby sister had MS. We lost her a few years ago.

There is knitting here at chez maple but no pictures, as the newest FO is a hat for the maple man. Knit with Lorna's Laces worsted, which is superwash. Because he made a felted bowl out of his last hat. It was an accident of course. But he needed a new hat, right? The yarn was one of my souvenier skeins from SF. The color is a variegated green and red and blue, maybe some orange too. I picked it because it looked like maple colors, plus blue because I like blue.

Anyway no pic because I'm entering the pattern in Jimmy Beans Wool pattern contest. You'll see a picture there if I win. Or I'll show a picture here and give the pattern to you here. Either way you win.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

pattern warnings

Warning 1:
I checked out some knitting books from the library last night. Mostly basic books to have some suggestions for my prospective students. One of the books was Knitting
by Jennifer Worick in the Getting Started series [Amazon link]

The sweater on the cover is their Go-To pullover, a basic turtleneck raglan pullover knit in the round, bottom up. In the picture, that turtleneck looks awfully small. And it is. It's 13 1/4 inches around.

Now I know 34" is a small sweater size, but a woman or girl who wears a 34" sweater may not be able to get a sweater with a 13 inch neckline over her head. Consider yourself warned.

Warning 2:

There is a cute basic v-neck pullover in the latest knitpicks catalog that they call the Plain Vanilla pullover [knitpicks link]. The yarn they call for is their DK weight cotton yarn called Crayon. It is 128 yards per 50 gram ball and some of the colors are on sale just now for $1.59, so it's very reasonably priced.

The problem that I see is that the small size (36") calls for 5 balls of yarn. That is 640 yards of yarn and I really really don't think that is enough yarn for a adult long sleeve pullover, even a small woman's size. My best judgement says it will take at least 7 balls, if not 8.

I emailed knitpicks about my concern. They say their model was knitted in the men's small size (38.5") with the 7 balls specified and the yarn requirements for the other sizes were mathematically calculated.

I say, way back when, I was a math major. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

back issue

I received some junk mail an invitation to subscribe to Knit 'N Style recently. You know the drill. They want you to start a subscription. You get the first issue free and can cancel when the bill comes. They hope you won't cancel. They don't know me. So, I took the bait and sent the card in.

And they back-issued me. It is June 11 and I just received the June issue. And last weekend I saw the August issue on the magazine rack at Borders.

This issue is full of tank tops and shells and other odd knitting. One redeeming feature is that there is a little knit dress pattern that Knitalicious may like to knit for her sweet little daughter. Or for an upsizing little girl dress example.

So the issue will go to knit night and hopefully be of interest to one of my Sisters Of the Wool. And the bill will be marked Cancel.

Monday, June 11, 2007

more swatch games

Here we have a pomatomus cuff swatch:

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I was stuck at this point. I am knitting on a circ ML style and after knitting one full chart there are instructions for shifting stitches dpn style. So I emailed Cookie. I said: "I have just knit the first repeat of the leg chart and the instructions say to shift the stitches around, 1 to 3, and so on.

Well, I am wont to say my needles don't have numbers, and I'm knitting magic loop style but I have a marker at the place that would be the start of needle 1 per the pattern.

What I need to know is, should I start to knit the chart start again, starting from the second stitch on what would be needle 1?"

Cookie answered quickly, at some point overnight and said "What you should do is shift the beginning of the round so that the first stitch in the round (wherever that is on your needles) to the end of the previous round. So the chart begins on the second stitch."

So now I understand the pattern. And I'm trying to psych myself up to knit 2 whole socks in what is essentially a k1tbl p1 rib with curves provided by some k2tog tbl's and yo's.

You may be able to see some larger holes in the close-to-the-cuff area. That is where I purled into a stitch formed by a yo in the prior row, as per the pattern. I don't like the larger holes much so I eliminated them by purling through the back loop. But p1 tbl is painfully and tediously slow with size 1 (2.5mm) needles and fingering weight yarn, so on the last few rows, I substituted k1 tbl for p1 tbl and I think it is ok. It is certainly faster to execute and eliminates the large hole adequately. It does require just a smidge more thinking on the next row as the stitch formed by k1 tbl, which should have been a p1, has to be purled on the following, and subsequent rows.

For the record, this is Cookie A's pomatomus sock, from knitty winter 2005 [click for pattern link], adjusted down to 66 stitches around (from 72). I'm knitting on knitpicks 32" circs size 1us (2.5mm) with some of my new nature's palette yarn. I think it's the dark indigo colorway, though it's not that dark, more like a medium blue, and almost, not quite solid.

Another problem I have with this pattern, well, it's not a problem with the pattern but with me and my knitting. I think I don't know how to pick up a dropped stitch in the twisted stitch (k tbl) format. And sometimes stitches get away from me. I intend to get a lesson in this tomorrow evening.
At knit night.

p.s. This is another swatch for pattern testing purposes. It is not-a-new-WIP.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

then again... this may work

The pink sweater may be a keeper:

I finished knitting the top shoulder strap areas last night and basted some of her parts together this morning. I tried her on and tried to do the bathroom mirror picture but it didn't work out.

So, I called a special knitting-in-public day meeting of the Sisters Of the Wool, to get opinions and pictures. (Thanks Angeluna) It was a small group but we enjoyed seeing each other and knitting together.

The sweater is a little more fitted than I usually wear. And a little shorter than I wish it was. But I think I'll seam it up officially, and keep it, and wear it some. Choosing pants-to-wear-with carefully to avoid the bare belly look. And I'll see if can gain an inch or so in length of sleeves and body in the blocking.

Toe swatches

I've been amusing myself with some swatching. I know, I'm maybe a little weird in that respect. Sometimes I enjoy swatching. I want to see what the yarn will look like knit up. I want to know what a new yarn will feel like to knit. I have an idea of a needle size that will work and want to try it out. And so on.

Here we have a couple of swatches:

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Tofutsies on size 1us 2.25 mm (a new size from knitpicks)

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Panda wool on size 1.5us 2.5 mm

I think these needle sizes are the right sizes for these yarns for the way I knit and the density I like in socks. But I'll have Joy check me. She's my sounding board for sock gauge. She checks for "airy" on request.

Now these swatches may look like sock toes. And they may become sock toes but today they are swatches. They distinction is important because of my self-imposed restriction on starting new projects and I'm not quite eligible. And I'm not sure these are the new projects I want to start, so they're swatches.

Oh, the games we play...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cestari brown socks are done!

The Cestari brown socks are done!

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and up close:

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They are done at least for now. And they count as an FO for purposes of counting FOs and for purposes of starting new stuff. [I'm on a self-imposed 2 for 1 game.] I say for now because I expect to un-cast-off and knit on a wool cuff of some sort to give them more length and some ribby memory. They fit pretty well but have a stretched out big on my ankle look (and feel) shortly after the "putting on".

You may see some little green blips in the pics. It's a semi-permanent lifeline. I'm going to wear and wash them a time or two and see how they feel, and how they wash, and how the brown color holds up (it's Rit dye).

Just for the record:
Yarn: Cestari 2 ply sock yarn in the Timberwolf Gray color, dyed orange, (unsuccessfully) with kool-ade, then brown with Rit dye
There were 59 grams of yarn to start and there are about 15 yards left. The yarn is 75% cotton 25% wool. It feels cottony soft knit up but has very little memory.
Needles: size 1, 2.5 mm Knitpicks circ (32")
Pattern: knit magic loop style toe-up with a knitty Judy's magic cast-on (10 stitches per needle)
k2 p2 rib over the top of the foot and the cuff. With a k4 on both sides of the cuff because of a mis-calculation in the middle back. I'm calling it a design element and repeated it on sock 2.
52 stitches "around"
heel: Wendy's new heel
Special notes: Bound off with a size 7. I usually do a sewn bind-off but that would be next to impossible to un-bind-off so I went with a traditional bind-off on a really big, relatively, needle.
Started in April 2007, finished in June 2007.

more later,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

koigu 6.99

This morning an email came in from one of my Sisters Of the Wool. Koigu at patternworks for 6.99. Yes Koigu, usually 12.00 per skein for 6.99.

I did click over and find it and confirm it was true. Discontinued colors, I think but I can't imagine that that matters to me. I printed the chart of colors and the drop down of colors available and matched them up.

Then I recycled it.

It took great restraint but I resisted. I still can't believe it.

If you're in a yarn buying mood, click on over to patternworks and see if they have any left.

In knitting news, the brown Cestari socks may be done this evening if I go and get knitting... Which I am going to do just now.

p.s. eta we just passed 9000 blog views. Yea!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

close only counts in horseshoes

There is progress
on the brown socks.
I am knitting up the heel on sock 2:

and there is progress on the pink sweater. I am knitting up the shoulder sections after some binding off for the neckline:

Then comes the seaming and neckline knitting. And the deciding what to do next.

more later,

Monday, June 04, 2007

the pink sweater… or what was I thinking?

This pink sweater has been in time out for a while. A long while. My notes show dates in March 2005. It's from the time when I re-started knitting, probably in Nov-Dec 2004 with scarves and hats. Then I wanted to make a sweater so I visited a lys and bought a book and yarn.

Last week, I decided to pull the pink sweater out of time-out to assess the situation. I found a full back, and a front knit almost up the armhole decreases. What was I thinking? Why-o-why didn’t I finish it then?

Here are the front and back. The dpn shows where I found the front.

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Sooo I decided to baste the front and back together and give her a try-on. Had to offload the stitches to a piece of yarn. And I tried it on. It is ribby with twist cables resulting in a very stretchy fabric. In my husband’s words, and he chose them carefully “that’s more fitted than you usually wear.” And when I started knitting this sweater, I was 10 to 15 pounds heavier --- what was I thinking?

There are sleeves too. Both of them:

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I held the sleeves up to my arms. They look like little miniature sleeves. A good look at the pattern shows ¾ sleeves with a flared bottom, which I did not do (the flare). Again what was I thinking?

Sooo I’ve been knitting some pink sweater. I re-needled the held row, and tinked back one row to get rid of that stretched stitches look that stitches which have been held too long can get. It worked. The needles were with the project, a set of long size 3 straights. They seem to work for me to get a stitch gauge very much like the knitting in the pieces and parts. I was a bit worried about this as lots of knitting-water-is-under the bridge in the last two years and sometimes different styles of projects mess with one’s gauge. But, not to worry, if I didn’t show you where I re-started knitting, you might not know.

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Sooo, I’m planning to finish knitting this pink sweater. This month. Then I’ll try it on and test it out. It may be for me, or maybe it’s for someone who is smaller. Or who likes more fitted sweaters. And who has shorter arms. Or someone who likes ¾ sleeves.

Just for the record, the sweater pattern is in The pleasures of knitting by Ann McCauley.
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more later,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June yarn day

Let's get the disclaimer out of the way first. I'm stash burning, supposedly, and just joined the stashalong blog but I felt a "need" to go to Shabby Sheep sale today. The stashalong blog rules give me one free "buy yarn" day per month and I guess I just used my June day. Big time. On June 2.

I almost didn't make it to the Shabby Sheep. I called for directions, but traveling from the south, somehow, instead of having an opportunity to follow the directions and exit I-35 in the downtown area, I found myself in the north Dallas Walnut/Royal area. Those from Dallas, or who know how to drive in Dallas (I don't), are wondering about me but I exited and found a way around the traffic jam in the southbound lanes and called the shop for new directions. Exit Harry Hines she says and this and that... ok I say. And I drive south on I-35 looking for Harry Hines. Well, soon I'm in south Dallas, exiting to call again, in a neighborhood my mother probably shouldn't know I was driving in. (Note to mom, who does not use the internet, but mother's have a way of knowing things: I had the doors locked.) It turns out that the Harry Hines exit is on I-75 not I-35. oops. (This one was not my fault). Back on I-35 north and back to following the first set of directions.

Eventually I got there and here are pictures of the new goodies:

I hadn't intended to buy quite so much but when I found out the nature's palette was 60% off, during the write the ticket phase, just before checkout, instead of 25%, I went to show J (txknitter) where it was and when she declined it, and she helped me find more than I knew was there, I bought them out. Except for one lonely skein of a brown they called chocolate. Nature's palette reminds me sooo much of koigu, same yardage, same twist, and these were semi-solids in colorways that will overdye nicely. So I couldn't help it. There are 11 skeins total.

I found some tofutsies and panda wool, both yarns I've wanted to try and at 25% off, I didn't think about it long. I got 1 skein of tufutsies and 2 of panda for one pair of socks each.

There was one color of mission falls wool I need for my striped sweater. I resisted more colors of mission falls that would have been stash balls. The mission falls was pretty picked over.

And I got Nancy Bush's knitting on the road (Amazon link). And a couple of fibertrends shawl patterns, flower basket and shoalwater.

And my very first zepher. 3 skeins.

And I felt like a slacker compared to the woman who checked out ahead of me. A total slacker.

Then after the yarn buying fun, I got to meet my dd for coffee. She let me show her my goodies. She doesn't quite "get it" about the yarn and the knitting but she didn't roll her eyes. To the mother's of teenagers, sometime in the early to mid-twenties, they get over that eye rolling stuff.

more later,

Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1 status

The state of the knitting at chez maple:

finished during May 2007 count 9
MC barefoot socks
brown striped hat
beige rectangle hat
teal garter square
block for rebuilding Greensburg
lace lunch bag
Cookie A baudelaires
rose varieg. Suri alpaca scarf
stockinette square (blue varieg)

This makes 11 pairs of socks completed during 2007.

2007 Knitting status 6/1/07 Started: count 7
Cat Bordhi lace socks
blue Regia two skein stripes
knitty Grace
pink cotton sweater
recycled silk bag
new hat for the maple man
brown cestari socks
multidirectional scarf
red cotton sweater
seaman's scarf

The multidirectional scarf no longer has my interest. I knit it some. Last year. I understand the technique. There's not enough yarn to make a decent sized useful scarf and I'm not the decorative scarf type. To the frog pond with you.

The red cotton sweater got a fair start but I winged it on some back of the neck shaping that isn't quite right. I do want to make this project with this yarn but not just now. To the frog pond with you too.

The seaman's scarf is a good idea, and one I will use, but not knit with this lace pattern or with this yarn. Not now. And it is just barely started. Another frog into the pond.

The UFO count last month was 10, the month before was 9. With the frogging candidates out of the count, the UFO count now is 7.

For June knitting, I plan to finish some projects and knit some stash. I plan to finish two projects for every new project I start (down to at least 3, see my logic in yesterday's post). I want to knit some Monkey socks, so I better get knitting,