Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The back of the pattern booklet. I considered making the cabled green ones for mom. Can you believe this whole booklet only cost $1.67 and the MSRP was $2!

From 1981. Isn't it great? I'm making the mittens in view 1, which is the striped one in the bottom left.

Monday, November 28, 2005

If only I could put two titles....

The first would be: Hooray! Another finished gift!

I finished the scarf for Aunt Marty this weekend. I got some advice from my sister, who is familiar with the great white north from her tenure at the University of Rochester (in Rochester NY). The scarf is nearly long enough to go from waist to waist with two snugh laps around your neck. I pretty much knit until I had maybe 2 yards left of yarn, but that was too short to do a good fringe with. Was very much like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

To keep my balance, I cast on two things this wekeend:

1. some organic cotton from Elann. First I tried making the little bear from last summer's IK. But I couldn't figure out the nose. How do you get 5 stitches into one stitch? And with unstretchy cotton, no less. Frog! I decided it would be nice for a washcloth/dishrag. So I cast on for another mitered square dishcloth.

2. Mittens for my mom. Could I finish up the laptop bag for my mom? noooo. Instead I cast on mittens, using Cascade 220 superwash in a nice "goes with the airplane" turquoise, with yellow for the contrast color stripes.

Here's where the second headline comes in: Everything old is new again (Don't you know that song from our friends They Might Be Giants???)

The pattern I decided to use was one I had on hand - not sure where I got it, but I think it's from my Grandma's stash. It's from 1981. I decided to go with view 1. Striped cuffs, garter stitch or reverse stockinette on the outside. Of course the yarn is going to clash horribly with the scarf I made her 5 years ago, but I was thinking of making her a hat to go with the mittens. The one from the pattern. However, I wanted to reverse the main-color and contrast-color, but I don't have enough yellow. And I think the yellow I'm using is discontinued. But maybe I can go with the original scheme. I guess that wouldn't be so bad. Kind of matchy-matchy, but there are worse things. I scanned in the picture of the pattern and will post it later.

Monday, November 21, 2005

One gift done! Hooray!

Hooray Hooray! These are the socks for my Aunt Marilyn. They may be slightly asymetrical because I didn't take notes on how many rows for each part and the rows ended up being pretty hard to count after the fact. I still need to weave in the ends, but really, the hard part is done! And over a month before Christmas!

Here are the vital statistics:

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly, probably in a discontinued color. (DK weight)
Needles: Crystal Palace #5, set of 5 DPN.
Pattern: WiseNeedle Toe Up DK Socks, using the traveling rib option. Oh, and I bound off using Peggy's Stretcy Bind-Off.

I probably made the top part too short for someone who lives in northern part of Upstate New York, but what the heck. I live in Central Florida. I really only started wearing socks again recently - when the dew got too cold in the morning. And since then I realized that my loafer-mules are just the trick and I don't need to wear socks with them.

The photo is from my brand spanking new camera phone! It's a bottom-of-the-line model because I'm cheap. And I signed up for a very small text/photo message plan for me, and none for my husband. And he got the free phone of the B1G1 offer. Our batteries were not taking charges like they once were, and we decided that phones would be cheaper than batteries. How's that for a sad state of affairs?

In other knitting progress: The scarf for Aunt Marty is coming along. I'm not sure how long to make it. Right now, it's about my height (5'6") with no fringe. It wraps around my neck twice and doesn't leave a lot left after that (8-12") on either end. I'm planning to add some sporty fringe to it. So that one should be done by the end of the week.

For ornaments, I'm planning to try Val's Original Yarnball Pattern. The knitlist has a wealth of information. I have trouble wading through patterns without pictures, but that speaks more about me than about the quality of the archive. I realized recently that I don't have any "Christmas colored" yarn. I'm going to have to go stash diving again to see what I can find.

And oh, the things that I want to start! I decided that I wanted to make a mitered square afghan for the Monkey a la Mason Dixon. I figure if I start now, he can take it off to college with him. I want to make a little sweater for LaLa, (some choices are: the ubiquitous One Skein Wonder, maybe this Bell Sleeve Shrug, or something like this Anthropologie knock-off. I also want to make mittens for my mama. And I have no idea why, but I'm eyeing Ruffles from Scarf Style (and similar) and reversible cable scarves, like this and this (OK, I don't know if that's reversible, but isn't it cute!). Plus Jaywalker socks for me, and socks for DH and the monkey. Ugh. And totes and washcloths and on and on and on.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Turning the heel twice

Scroll down and look at the blue socks. I'm not quite that far anymore. A couple rows past that, I realized that there was a big honkin' hole on one side of the ankle where the round starts up again. I'm making these for a knitter. Frogged that puppy back to just before the heel-turning started. (I typed that and realized it sounded painful. Heel turning. Not ankle turning. OK.) Then I was too tired to do stockinette stitch (it turned into garter stitch, and that's no good.) Last night I turned the heel, and it was good. I'm mabe three rows up the ankle. I'm really hoping to get these socks done this weekend and maybe the garter stitch scarf too. I'll let you know.

I can't wait to cast on something for me. Never mind that I do have something cast on for me, a seed stitch scarf that will be 'swonderful, 'smarvelous when it's done. I started working on a wash cloth at work. Mitered square, walmart dishcloth cotton in a red-white-and-blue colorway. Found another source for interesting soaps. Don't tell DH, but I think I'm going to get him this camping assortment. Lala bought him some adventure shorts off of Land's End. The Christmas Shopping Season has commenced.

Oh! In non-knitting news, MIL is staying with DH's sister this weekend. It's wonderful. The monkey is camping with his troop this weekend. Delightful! And I think we're going to work on getting the house situated for Thanksgiving. We're hosting. My sister, her DH, and their son are coming up, DH's sister's husband and their daughter (Dh's sister has to work) are coming, plus us 5. Did you know that Butterball has a Turkey Calculator? It's a good thing. They're suggesting that I make a 17 1/4 lb turkey. And quite a bit of stuffing. They were an advertisement on Cooking for Engineers, which was also an interesting read.

OK. It's getting late. Time to start the movie and get some knitting done!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gift round-up

First gift: The scarf for Aunt Marty. The pooling in the yarn is doing a cool XOXO pattern. It's going pretty fast too - the ball of yarn is getting significantly smaller, and the scarf goes nearly hand to hand when I stretch it across me.

Gift 2: Socks for Aunt Marilyn. The first sock is still done, and I turned the heel of the second one tonight. The rest of the sock should be no sweat.

3. Here's the gift I'm worried about: The laptop case for mom. Problem 1: Her birthday is December 3, which was my goal. Problem 2: It's 17 inches and needs to be 50! Problem 3: I'm concerned about running out of yarn. Problem 4: (like I need another) it's really not portable at all.

A dress for Baby Sister Milk

Baby Sister Milk is looking pretty sharp these days. She's wearing an orange and blue hand-knit tank dress, with an A-line shape, hemmed with seed stitch.

Here's how it was made:

Yarn - leftovers of 2 worsted weight yarns. I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease (Blue - bodice) and Lamb's Pride Worsted (Orange - skirt)
Needles: Size 8 DPN, or whatever seems reasonable for the yarn.

The dress is knit in the round from the bottom up, kitchnering the shoulders together.

Hem: Cast 60 stitches of the skirt yarn on 3 DPN, joining together. Either mark the beginning of the round or use the cast-on tail as a bookmark. Knit 4 rows seed stitch (K1P1 odd rows, P1K1 even rows).

Main Skirt: Decrease line will be at the middle of the round and at the end of the round, every other round.
Row 1: K28, K2tog, knit to last two stitches, k2tog. (58 sts)
row 2: knit
Row 3: K27, k2tog, knit to last two stitches, k2tog (56 sts)
Do the decrease row where you end with 40 stitches on the needle (at some point in the above procedure you will probably have to redistribute your stitches), then do the knit round after that. End of skirt.

Bodice: Switch to the bodice color.

Have the doll try on the dress to see how far up her armpits are and if you need to make the dress narrower still. It's also a good reality check to see if the skirt is fitting still.

If reductions in width are still needed, continue with skirt method until the required width is reached. For Baby Sister Milk, we did only one row with decreases, then regular stockinette stitch until we reached her armpits. For us, it was a total of 4 rounds, and we had 38 stitches on the needles.

Arms: Divide the stitches so that you're working on two DPN - one for the front, one for the back. The lines of decreases should run up the right and left sides of the dress. At the arms, the pattern is worked in back-and-forth to leave an opening for her arms. The pattern is now stockinette with a two columns of garter stitch on either edge.

row 1: k across
row 2: k2, p to last two, k2

Do this until the flap you've created reaches the doll's shoulders. Have the doll try on the dress. Check to see how wide the head hole needs to be. In our case a 4 stitch shoulder was what worked. When it's long enough, the ending row is:

k4 to keep, bind off the middle stitches, k4 to keep. Leave a long tail for kitchnering the second shoulder. We had a total of 13 rows for the arm section. I ran a yarn through the live stitches, one yarn for each shoulder, and tied in a bow to use as a stitch holder.

Repeat this section on the other needle. If you work it right, you'll end up with a tail on each shoulder. If that's not how it worked out, tink back the last row, reknit in pattern, then do the last row and you should be squared up with a nice tail on each shoulder. Kitchner each shoulder. Tuck in loose ends.

It's a dress that could use some embellishment - a ribbon bow, a line of buttons, maybe some sparkles or felted flowers.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Baby Sister Milk

Needs a dress.

LaLa's babies are: Baby Sister Daniel, Baby Sister Thank You, and the newest baby sister, Baby Sister Milk. (BSM). BSM was a project at school - a muslin doll a la Raggedy Ann, sans the cool stripes, where the kids picked out the features (black curly hair and blue google eyes, a tan triangle nose and a red smile) and the teachers helped glue them on. She was wearing a jumper style dress made of Bob the Builder material, trimmed by pinking shears and held together with little tabs of velcro at key locations. When BSM had a dirty diaper and La was taking off the dress, she pulled the velcro off the material instead of pulling the velcro apart, leaving her with quite a draft and in need of new threads.

So far, the design is the body of the dress is orange Lambs Pride Worsted with light blue LB cotton-ease sleeves. Apparently Baby Sister Milk is a Gator fan. Influenced by the Perfect Sweater Project over at Mason-Dixon, we're going to go with a seed stitch hem. I've never made a sweater before, but we're going bottom up. Kind of an A shape with decreases along the left and right sides. Not sure how we're doing the sleeves. I'll post a pattern and picture when I'm done. Sadly, Baby Sister Milk went to bed with La, so we're missing our model. I've cast on 60 stitches on heirloom size 8 DPM's. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Boy Scout Knitting

Committee meeting last night at Boy Scouts. I knit away on that second sock for Marilyn. I'm at the point where I start frantically comparing the two socks to see if it's time for the heel yet. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? No. If only I had taken notes or measurements or something. I'll have to figure it out tonight and write it down.

Wrap Style and Scarf Style arrived last night. Buy.com had a thing where if you spent $25, then the shipping was free. Totally worth it to get Scarf Style while I was there (the books were 10% off Amazon's price.) So, both the books for $26, where Wrap Style is listing for $21. It feels like a major shopping coup. Both books are gorgeous. Some projects that aren't up my alley, but several that look doable and the back of the book as thoughts on formulizing your own design, which will ultimately become the most useful. It's an interesting exercise to go through the book, then look at the notes on what makes a scarf or wrap and do the derivations and figure out what it is I like about the various shapes, styles, and stitches to come up with what I really want. I'm still looking for something to do for a wrap/shawl with the yarn I bought for clapotis. I really need to take a picture of the yarn. It was interesting that a lot of the wraps were done in bulky or heavy worsted yarn (4 or 5 on the new guide), at least the wraps that were interesting to me. I'll have to do some contemplating, and hopefully after the holidays I'll be able to make something nice for me. After seeing that a shrug is basically a scarf where the ends were sewn into sleeves....that's intriging too.

Crap. I just realized I'm missing a webcast on SQL Express.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I really want to cast on.....mittens for mom, washcloths or little ornaments for many. Having a lot of projects on the needles is a lot like credit card debt - (A) it's expensive - especially if you have a stash and a huge queue (B) It's hard to feel like you make any progress because you're task-switching instead of single-tasked.

This has been a frogging week. I frogged Aunt Marilyn's second sock. It was almost up to the heel, but I went to snug up the toe and made a hole, right where her thumb-toe would be. Now I'm back up almost halfway up the foot.

I also frogged Aunt Marty's scarf. The drop-stitch scarf was just too macrame for me. Boy was that yarn not frog-friendly. But I cast it on as a 16 stitch garter stitch scarf, and I'm liking it a lot better. It's a quick knit.

Here's the problem with being "fluffy" and knitting a baby blanket at work - one of the QA engineers asked me when I had my baby. The baby blanket is not for "my" baby, who's almost three. I wasn't really sure what to think, although I did start getting up at 6 to walk since then.

Oh, I did some mitten research - the book my SP5 pal gave me had some good mitten information and a table of formulas. Woo-Hoo!

Have you noticed that all sorts of magazines have knitting patterns in them these days? I picked up a Good Housekeeping, seemed to be a holiday edition. Had a scarf pattern, baby bootie pattern, ornament patterns, and little stuffed animal (puppy, bear, and bunny?) patterns. And that was the second magazine I picked up with knitting in it. The other was called Creative something. Get Creative maybe? And this was in the grocery store, not really known for having a super-variety of knitting magazines.

I'm hoping to have this sock finished by the end of the week, and hopefully a good dent in the scarf too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


So, I signed up for this mitten-along......but I live in Florida, so we don't really need mittens here. I've been thinking about mittens for whom and from what and do I need a pattern.....First I was thinking Dulaan. An obvious choice. Then started to think about my mother (she lives in Connecticut now), and the mittens that she had when she was in college that her grandma made for her, with a special hand side that had a nubby stitch so that she could hold onto her ski poles better.....Now what was that stitch? I wish I could see the mittens for an example. It had a texture like seed stitch, but it was pretty small. I have some turqouise Cascade 220 superwash, that is "her color" and it would go with the airplane (my folks have a Cessna from the mid 1960's, it's Turqouise, black and white. Very 60's) Did you know you could google the N-number and you would get the registration info on file with the feds? No pictures though.

So, how do you make mittens? Are they like socks with a thumb and no heel and they fit your hands?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Progress Shots! I need to finish the roll of film

All of the good costume pictures were on my film camera, rather than DH's digital. It was on number 20 or so when we left for the tricks and the treats, so I had to take some progress shots last night. Surprisingly, the colors came out pretty true, and you are able to see the stitch patterns pretty well, too. Crazy.

First, here's Blue.

Then, the button for the Warm Hands Knit Along:

And Christmas Gift Progress Shots:

Dueling Scarves:

The short, red one is for DH (Cascade 220 superwash, Farrow Rib pattern). The long raspberry one is for Aunt Marty. A drop stitch pattern, size 15's, 13 stitches across (started off as 12, but I must have picked up a hitch hiker). I'm really thinking of ripping it out and just doing it as garter stitch, maybe 20 stitches wide on the same needles. Should still be a fast knit, and brainless enough for me.

The felted laptop case for my mother: (from either the summer or fall issue of IK)
It feels like it's making good progress, but I think I'm supposed to get it to 50 inches. That's 5-0. As in, 16 inches shorter than me! I'm not sure that I have that much yarn, so it may be a uniquely shaped totebag.

And finally, my favorite: the socks for Aunt Marilyn.

What I really should be doing right now, instead of sharing beautiful pictures of my Lala, is either (a) slicing up a month's worth of lexapro for my MIL or (b)doing the popcorn reports and getting organized for the big popcorn distribution this weekend.