Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another try with Flickr

The knitting progresses.

Last night, I fiinished the socks for Filia.

And Icarus is growing.

Last night, I also added buttons to my Spinnery Jacket. I finished knitting it in April and have been wearing it ever since (barring the summer). It's nice to have buttons on.

And the Latvian mittens are so nice, I think I'll post a photo of two of them. Hanging from a thumbtack on a rafter. There's lots more space to display mittens there.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Checking in

Ravelry is just too much fun.

I've been good, however, and actually gotten some knitting done. The Latvian mittens are finished, and when I travel, I work on Filia's socks.

And, I've entered around 70 projects, all the books on my shelves that Ravelry knows about, thought about entering my needles, and have decided it would be a waste of time to enter stash. Unless I want to sell it, I suppose, which I don't. I like my odds and ends. And that's another reason not to enter it. Stashes aren't normally odds and ends.

Ravelry helped me find a project for my Misti Alpaca Laceweight yarn -- and nicely enough, that pattern was already flagged for making on my shelf. Ravelry also gave me a clue how much Shamrock I'd need for legwarmers, and for a pair of socks. Plus, with the advent of cool weather, both Filii are bemoaning our lack of a fireplace, so I've added cardigans to the menu of things to knit.

And now, I need to get off the computer and knit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One down, one to go

Or is that two down, two to go?

My recent mitten misfires drove me to build a tidy pile of mittens laying around the house, a ruler, my knitting notebook, and mitten patterns. Armed with those things, I settled down at the computer to build a mitten database. I wanted to see - in so many words - what worked, what didn't, and how I got there, for mittens.

Armed with that information I decided that I needed to have about 85 stitches for the circumference of any mitten I made with fingering-weight yarn (especially Palette). And so I betook myself to Latvian Mittens, picked out a pattern that didn't have three colors in a row too much, calculated some pattern repeats, revised the cuff pattern (a 24 stitch repeat doesn't go with 85 very well, does it?) and cast on. With size 1 (2.25 mm) needles, for an inner cuff. After 2 inches, I switched to size 0 (2.00 mm), then did another 20 rows or so, turned a lovely picot hem, and brought out the size 1 (2.50 mm) needles.

It fits. Its got good body. The pattern didn't drive me batty. I used enough stitches for the thumb. My tension behaved itself. And I have enough yarn left for a second mitten.

And, there are only 232 people left between me and being a Ravelry Beta Tester!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

In which I am reminded why I prefer wool

This is the beginning of NHM #5. I do like those NHM mittens. But the yarn they call for is not in my stash, and I am diligently working from my stash, at least for a while. (Practicing what I preach - I told Filia not to get yarn for a big project until after Christmas, and I shall do likewise. Fortunately, I've got those 3 skeins of Misti Alpaca Lace, and am getting closer and closer to casting on for something.)

(A serious aside: Yesterday's NHM mitten called for Jamieson & Smith jumperweight 2-ply. I thought that sounded pretty close to fingering weight, so I cast on, knit a mitten, and did no more than notice that the drape was a bit looser than I prefer for mittens. But, not everyone likes their mittens to be windproof. The mitten came out lovely. BUT, though the pattern called for 25 grams of 'dark' and I had 30 grams, I only had 12 grams left after the first mitten.

Not good.

Also, I learned this morning, while the mitten was blocking, that the yarn called for was actually more DK weight. Oops. )

NHM #5 mittens, toddler sized, call for Dalegarn Baby Ull, size 2 needles, and 8 sts/". I figured I would use some acrylic stash and make some pretty mittens for a local women's shelter. After all, Folk Mittens uses worsted weight wool at 7 sts per inch all the time, and the mittens come out nicely. And if the mitten fit a youth instead of a toddler, that would be fine as well. I picked my skeins, selected some size 3 US needles (instead of the US 2 called for), and settled down to knit. Why swatch? The mitten is only 36 stitches around.

After two inches of stockinette, the mitten was demoted from 'Women's Shelter' to 'Sample for Future Class'. It feels like steel wool. I wouldn't be surprised if it stops bullets. No, it didn't squeak on the needles, but I think that's a reflection on Harmony needles, and not on the yarn. This mitten could hurt someone. So, after finishing off the star, and working some short rows so the top of the star wasn't right at the cast off edge (which I thought would roll terribly, and it does, but you can put the mitten on an anvil and hammer out the curl), I cast off using 3 different methods. If it's a sample, I can do that.

The moral of the story: Red Heart at tight gauges is scary. Wool at tight gauges is cozy.

Next on the agenda: Simple acrylic mittens with BIGGER needles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NHM #8

I decided to cast on for the mitten.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This is what my desk looked like a few minutes ago. It’s looked like this for the past four hours. I think that perseverance is paying off, and a buttonhole article is starting to take shape. In fact, it’s about halfway shaped, and I entertain fond delusions that the hardest part is over.

The writing process has not been aided by various thuds and slams echoing throughout the house, nor do the hollow sounds of a harp being nudged by a football inspire concentration. But I have been a good girl, have knit eight buttonholes, have written 483 words, and I will cast on for a mitten from Selbuvotter tonight. Unless I decide to work on the pink sock with my new Harmony needles. Unless by the time I finish reading Penrod I decide it’s bedtime.

The Anatolian Mittens are finished. They are a lovely fit after blocking, and their distinct lack of ends was a delightful change from the Fair Isle Mittens. Now, to find a home for them. Anyone need a pair of mittens as a Christmas gift? Perfect for a medium lady's hand, Packer fan, or collector of John Deere memorabilia.

The Wandering Lace socks look much better en foote than they do en deske, so here’s a photo to show off their lace. They’re made with KnitPicks Risata yarn, and I like it. Of course, I like Essential too. Risata will probably be my summer sock yarn of choice. I’m glad they came out with it, since my socks in Dancing are starting to wear seriously.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Most Serene Highness Lady Carolyn the Abrupt of Yockenthwait Walden
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

And lastly, a photo of our sunrise this morning. Filius' window looks to the sunrise, and he was outisde before 7 AM (barefoot on concrete at 37 degrees) taking photos. This is our view to the south.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hat and one Anatolian Mitten

I have some large projects swimming around in my head. There are two flavors of laceweight yarn next to my knitting chair, and a book of sweaters has been seen wandering around the house.

Still, it can be dangerous to start a large project right before Christmas. Filia wants to knit a cardigan, but I've told her to wait until after December 25th. To keep her busy in the meantime, she's unearthed a leftover lap robe I started doodling with several years ago, called Rambling Rows, and is industriously knitting away on it. It is, in fact the background for the last photo (and she's the model).

For myself, I'm working on small projects. At least, I think I am.

I finished Mom's Telemark Stash Hat. It used one skein of each color. There were a few yards left over. The hat could have used an extra row for symmetry, but it looks pretty bad to knit a hat from one's stash, using two skeins, and then have to order two skeins so you have those last 20 inches to be able to finish binding off. The pattern is my own, of the 'it just happened' variety. A stream of consciousness hat.

I've been doing good on using up yarn. Here are the leftovers from my last three projects .. sock, hat, hat. Not much extra!

And, thanks to Becca's blog, I was inspired to tackle the Anatolian Mittens from Folk Mittens. It's got errors in the graph too :( I raided my MerinoStyle, and picked Moss and Honey. Filia informs me those are Green Bay Packer Colors. I think they're John Deere colors. Either way, they've knit up into a nice warm mitten that's just a smidge snug on my medium-sized hand. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I started the project. I tend to need to upsize needles to get gauge, so why, when this project calls for worsted yarn and size 3 ndls, did I use DK weight and size 3 needles and expect good results?

It's not traveling knitting, so I need to get going on something else for the ride to church tomorrow. I'm not sure if it will be socks, or a hat, or plain mittens, or something else.

The guys were off to Drake today, watching Dayton win a football game. They should be back soon, but it's been a lovely day of sitting around with Filia, sipping hot tea and knitting. It's good to have those days every once in a while.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I buckled down, worked on those mittens, and completed them. This makes me, to the best of my searching abilities, the first person to report completion (or even the attempted start) of these mittens by the web community of knitters. No, I'm not on Ravelry yet ...

  • You signed up on October 29, 2007
  • You are #50461 on the list.
  • 8028 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 3914 people are behind you in line.
but a friend checked, and there are no mittens by this name there either. The chart has some color errors, when compared to the knit mittens (and the chart puts the thumbs somewhere other than where the knitter of the model did ... and I, though planning to follow the chart, neglected to notice the difference between 'right' and 'left' and produced mittens to match the book's photo.) No one had notified the publisher of errors in the 10 year old pattern, either. So, either these mittens are being knit far, far away from the web, by knitters who don't mention errors to publishers (likely) or no one else has made them (unlikely.)

My advice for the ends is twofold:
1. When knitting the straight part of the hand, weave in (from the outside, so you can control tension optimally), using duplicate stitch, a batch of ends when you're four or five rows past them.
2. When knitting the thumb or top decreases, leave the ends on the outside (yup, outside) and weave them in when the mitten is finito. I'd have a picture, but Blogger isn't cooperating.

Denise's yarn needle got a workout on Sunday. Not only did I finish weaving in innumerable ends (and, by the way, those ends are now a golf-ball sized ball of felted yarn), but Filia finished her Twisty Turns wrap and seamed it. Silly me has no picture of her wearing the finished wrap, but I will confess it looks lovely.

My current stash project is an inch or so from completion, but I'll show you a Finished Object or two instead.

Yarn: Fleece Artist 6/2 Merino
Needle: US Size 8
Pattern: Plain tube, using the Scroll Pattern from Barbara Walker's Knitting Treasuries.
Gauge: Looks about right
Length: About yea long.
Stitches: I forget ... 130 or so?

This would never pass a pattern board. Fortunately, I kept better notes on my previous hat, so I was able to just pick up the stash yarn and knit ... no calculations or guesswork necessary. I just had to figure out my shorthand, and that only took two tries.

My other FO is the Waving Lace Socks. The pattern is somewhat from Favorite Socks, and somewhat not. I reworked the pattern to be toe-up, ignored the given heel and cuff, and used different yarn and needles. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. All small chart of it. But these socks need a different name. They should be the Wandering Lace Socks. Twice, they were MIA. Once to a restaurant, once to my mom's house. Twice, they tried to escape by vehicle without me, but were rescued by my son who noticed them cowering in the front seat. These socks have wandered more than any project I've ever had. At least they were unsuccessful. Many years ago, a cross-stitch project successfully ran away. As near as I can figure, it jumped out of a magazine on a rainy day while being carried across a parking lot at 4:55 AM near Ft. Meade. It's never been heard from.