Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The start of the sock class was a success. So much so that I ran out of materials. Yesterday's meeting had to have been one of the largest non-election meetings we've ever had. It's great to see the guild growing and expanding, and adding new members of all ages. You could almost touch the energy, excitement and enthusiam in the meeting last night.

Tonight I'm puzzling over my next project and taking a knitting break. It's beginning to warm up on a consistent basis during the day which means I can break out some warm weather yarns.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Carnival Time ( Albeit a bit late for Mardi Gras)

Success at last! All that remains to be done on the Carnival Cardigan/Jacket is the weaving in of ends and locating the clasp for the front. I used EZ's percentage system to design this sweater and with a little tweaking here and there it worked out perfectly.

It was a pleasant journey in which I learned quite a bit. I don't think I'll be as hesitant to step out and try my hand at designing sweaters in the future. This was a terrific confidence booster after the debacle with The Promise of Spring Sweater. The next stop on the sweater design train is set-in sleeves.

I'll give the full specs on the sweater once I've blocked it. Mom is very pleased even though she may not get to wear it until the fall since the weather here has taken a delicious turn toward spring.

I also managed to finish one of the many pairs of socks that are on the needles. This is my first pair of CTH socks and I'm anxious to see how they hold up. Mom's pair has already fuzzed and shrunk some, but she treats hers a lot more harshly than I do so I'll reserve judgement.


Pattern: Easy Toe, YO Short-Row Heel Toe-Up Socks (Isn't that a mouthful!)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Champlain Sunset
Needles: 1 US Inox dpn's for body of sock, 0 US Inox dpn's for ribbing
Size: Women's size 9 1/2
Started: November 1, 2006 Finished: February 26, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007


Every now and then you need a quickie.


Pattern: Sport Fit Beanie - Knit Great Basics
Yarn: Idena Villmark in Navy, Idena Juvel Variegated #997
Needles: 4 & 6 US Inox circular
Size: Small 18"
Started: February 8, 2006 Finished: February 8, 2006

The beanie started out as a hat for Isaiah. Even though his head is on the large side it's not as big as the hat. It fits me perfectly. Tomorrow I'll gift it to my soon to be baseball playing nephew, Jaylon, which means I'll have to make at least two more. Another for Isaiah and one for Jaylon's older brother Darius.

I had planned to make a hat and matching pullover or cardigan and I'm very pleased with the colors I chose. My original plan was to do a Fair Isle color but the blues blended completely and opted for stripes. These colors are great together so stripes it will be.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sockploration - Adventures in Sock Knitting

Last year I began a "Sockploration", a term coined for the ongoing exploration of the methods used in sock making including but not limited to cast-ons, turning heels, knitting toes and whatever other interesting little tidbits are discovered along the way. It all started with a fascination with toe-up socks and a quest for the "perfect" fitting sock. To date I've learned the following methods:

1. Short-row yarnover method (Toddler Ringel Color Socks)
2. Short-row no wrap (Isaiah's Ribbed Socks)
3. Toe-Up Heel Flap
4. Round Heel
5. Gussetted short-row heel (PP Knit-In Socks)

Heel Flaps
1. Stockinette
2. Slip Stitch
3. Eye of Partridge (Laburnum)

Cast-On Toe-Up
1. Figure-Eight
2. Magic Cast-On (Raked Leaves)
3. Easy Toe (Champlain Sunset)

Cast-On Top-Down
1. Longtail Cast-On
2. Twisted German (English)Cast-On - (Laburnum)
3. Combination (English & Longtail)

1. 4/5 Dpn's - This is my favorite and first method I learned.
2. 1 and 2 Socks on 2 Circulars(PP Knit-In Socks)
3. Magic Loop (Chevron Socks)- Judgement reserved until I finish the first pair
of socks using this method.

Further complicating my current sock obsession is the increasing number of sock singles accumlating on the sidebar. The "Sockploration" class begins Tuesday and I still have one more pattern to test before I can make these socks happy couples and do more "sockploring."

**Edited 2/17/07: The Sockploration class begins next Tuesday. Thanks Calvin for the reminder. I can slow the pace down a little.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy, happy day

It was a very slow knitting weekend. There was way too much entertainment in the house.

How can you knit when you're surrounded by such sweetness!

Sunday evening I started a sock for Isaiah. This boy has some huge legs, so I've knitted my first shaped sock. The pattern is a basic 2x2 rib with a Twisted German (English) Cast-On and no-wrap short-row heel (another new technique learned). I'm not sure about the size even though he was very patient when I measured him, therefore the little green sock chimney. His hoodie is about 2 sizes too big and headed for the frog pile.

Isaiah's Rib and Laburnum from SKS

These socks are samples for the sock class that starts Monday. I'm working a couple more to try some of the techniques I'll be teaching. If you haven't tried the Combination Cast-On check it out. It's the Longtail & English Cast-On alternated and works fantasticly with ribbing. No purl bumps on your knit stitches.

This picture was taken earlier this evening before I attached the sleeves to the body. Carnival is now on its way to becoming a raglan cardigan. Mom tried it on and it looks like the fit is dead on. I'm itching to get this finished after putting it aside for over a week.

Things are going to be very sock heavy around for a while or at least until I've finished a sample of every technique for the "Sockploration".

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Greenville Knit-In

Friday I packed a suitcase of yarn, needles and projects and headed to Greenville SC, with mom in tow, for the SC Knitting Guild's Knit-In. We arrived at the hotel around 7:00 pm, checked in and registered.

Byron, my youngest brother lives in Greenville and joined us for the evening. I've never been in downtown Greenville and it is wonderful. Lots of restaurants, shops and pubs catering to all ages. It was wonderful to see people over the age of 35 enjoying themselves and hanging out without appearing to be something of an oddity. Part of Greenville's eclectic appeal and openess is probably directly related to the number of European companies and employees living in the area.

Columbia's evening scene caters to the under 35 set. It's been a while since I've been out but if it's getting anything closer to what I'experienced this weekend it's a definite improvement. I can totally understand why little bro' rarely stays here overnight when he comes to visit.

On Saturday the real fun began. They hotel was quickly inundated with knitters. There were 3 vendors who set up shop and I purchased an Interlacement beaded scarf kit,

TNT Beaded Scarf Kit

a huge Laurel Burch bag (It will hold an entire sweater in progress along with several smaller projects unlike my favorite knitting bag.)

Deborah, one of the Guild members, gave up her spot for me in the Fair Isle class. I met Lou of the Piedmont Knitting Guild who helped me out of jam in the Fair Isle class when I couldn't strand the non-working yarn carried in my right hand. One of the guild members taught me the Magic Loop method which I'll demo during the sock class. Byron picked up mom to go shopping earlier and told her that he felt a little overwhelmed. He'd never seen that many knitters in his life!!!

The Yarngineer kindly drove 3 of us to The Needletree for their annual knit-in sale. I purchased yarn for a scarf, a bunch of 40" addi Turbos, scarfStyle and the recent VK.

That evening I got an impromptu spinning lesson that evening from Linda, also with the Piedmont group, and will remember from now on that where there are knitters there are usually spinners and vice versa and pack my wheel. She gave me some excellent tips on spinning on the Majacraft Little Gem. She spins on Majacraft Suzie and a Reeves Wheel, don't remember which one.

I made some new friends, learned some new things, had a great time and finally got a picture of the completed Log Cabin Socks.


Pattern: Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza
Needles: 8 US Inox circular
Size: Men's size 14
Started: December 6, 2006 Finished: December 24, 2006

Modifications: I added 4 stitches to allow enough width the foot. These were inserted on each side of the cable pattern.