Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Leftovers, scraps; odds & ends, the more items you knit the larger the pile becomes. They're also extremely difficult to part with. Much, much harder than the actual garments they were used to create. If you're lucky, there's only a gram or less remaining. In extreme cases there may be several skeins. Either way, they become more stash.

I don't have a hard time tossing the odd yard or two, but when it's more than half a skein I tend to toss it in a basket I've set aside for this purpose. The sock ends go in ziplock in case there's a need for repairs. I've had to repair socks only once so that bag continues to grow as well.

Reducing the sock remainders became a goal when the sock stash exploded. It's been a relatively simple problem to solve when knitting for myself. I like my socks longer, my feet are large and my calves are about 14" in length above the ankle which allows me to get maximum yardage out of most 50 or 100 gram skeins. Out of the trio of socks below only one, the Broad Spiral Ribs pictured in the middle, consumed an entire 50 gram skein.

Even though I had concerns about the yardage for the Cascading Leaves, I need not have worried. I have about 10 grams remaining from the first sock and could have another repeat or two.

Theresa commented that the sock bag in the previous post "could double as evening bag. The smallest version is an ideal size for an evening bag. Excluding the flaps, the medium bag that I made is approximately 8" x 8" x 2" making it neither too bag nor too small. I can easily carry a hat or some other type of small project.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This evening I retired the old faithful sock bags easily recognizable as your standard run of the mill zippered plastic bag from the linen section of any store. I've been using them as projects bags for several years and when they start falling apart I simply replace them with another.

I usually carry my large knitting bag at all times and depending on where I am, I'll either take the entire bage or pull out a project bag and take it in with me. Lately it seems that even if I have a sweater in the bag I'll usually work on socks which are always packed.

Today I completed the upgrade.

The pattern is McCall's M4884 by sewing with Nancy in red and gold brocade from Hancock Fabrics lined with gold print cotton. While the execution is far from perfect, I haven't sewn in years and it's showing, I'm excited to have sat down at the sewing machine once again and made something. It's packed with the three pairs I'm currently working on and the essentials. It'll seem a little strange the next few days not toting the big heavy bag to work everyday, but my shoulder, back and neck will be grateful.

One of my nieces asked for a lap quilt a while back so I'm thinking that might be my next project. I also purchased some black brocade fabric at the same time for a sock bag for mom. These days she rarely knits and in retrospect I'm realizing that it might not have been a good idea. It's hard for me not to include her when I start thinking about making or doing something knitting-related. However, it's something I'm going to have to work on since she doesn't seem to have that much of an interest in most things craft-related anymore.

Yesterday I hosted several knitter's from the guild for a small knit 'n sit at my house. The food was great and the company fantastic! I truly wish I could muster the energy and time to do things of this sort more often.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good Sockage

SOS started at 5:01 this morning. I was still turning over in my bed all comfy cozy at that time, although I'll admit that if it hard started at midnight I would have cast-on socks.

On the way out this morning, I grabbed a skein of Sundara Sock and a skein of Regia Cotton Color planning to make my decision on one of my breaks. When you narrow your options it's interesting how quickly a choice can be made. It took minutes.

Sundara Sock + Cascading Leaves = Sock Heaven!

The pattern is from the Townsend Sock KAL. I've been a member of this kal for at least two years and have yet to knit any of the socks. Cascading Leaves is an easily memorized 8-row repeat that is addictive.

I originally purchased the yarn with this pattern in mind and never got around to starting it. I'm still a little leary about the yardage though. The ball seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate. These are for mom who likes her socks much shorter than mine so there's probably more than enough yarn and I'm just being a little paranoid. I'm more comfortable in about the 200 yard per foot range.

Chatelaine is on the needles and I'm loving the addi Turbo Lace needles. I'm so glad that I waited the week it took them to get here. There's not much to see as I haven't completed the first repeat and already one thing is crystal clear. I cannot knit this pattern and watch interesting TV. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What's in a name?

Sweater in Nougat from Sandra Nr. 6 - June '03. The yarn is Tahki Satin from the stash purchased several years ago during a clearance sale at the lys. It's a wonderful melon color that screams of things tropical.

A not so "plain Jane" sock on the needles in Regia Cotton Top Color. I bought this last year when I purchased the Bamboo Color and for some bizarre reason I thought it was variegated as well. The disappointment has worn off finally and mom likes the colors so it worked out okay. The other skeins are Cotton Color and they aren't self-stripping. All is good in the land of Fiberitis.

Loveliness still abounds with Glads and Stargazers making their appearance in the flower beds. This one caught me by surprise this evening ...

and mom rescued these Gladiolas before the storm got them yesterday morning.

SOS starts at midnight. I'm furiously going through stash, books and other collected patterns to find the right pairs. Some top picks so far are :

1. Cascading Leaves - Townsend Sock Knit-Along
2. River Rapids - Sockbug
3. Heart Crook - More Sensational Knitted Socks
4. Friday Harbor - Knitting on the Road

And the list goes on and on. So much sockage, so little time.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Design - Lace

This week I've been swatching and calculating stitches and proportions for a stole. Not just a any stole, but a stole designed for a raffle by an organization of which I am a member. I've chosen the pattern - Chatelaine from Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

I've done the calculations for the execution of the body and that part is pretty much a go for know. The difficult part is picking out the edging for which I've consulted Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting. (If you're interested in knitting shawls and other fine lace articles this book is a must have.)I've narrowed the choice to 6 edgings which are appropriate for the pattern and stitch count.

My brain is at present farting out on the technique for attaching said edging. This isn't my first time attaching an edging, I did it on the Shaped Triangle Shawl from A Gathering of Lace, but those directions were neatly written out for me. I'm going to plunge ahead and work on the body of the stole and practice the edging in the hope that by the time I'm ready to attach it my brain will have caught up with my reading and my hands.

Sockploration - Adventures in Sock Knitting, Part II

*New techniques used since original post on 2/16/07. This is the second of ongoing updates.

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 heel (PGR) - Toddler Ringel Color Socks
2. Short-row no wrap - Isaiah's Ribbed Socks*
3. Toe-Up Heel Flap (Judy Gibson) – Generic Toe-Up Socks
4. Round Heel
5. Sherman Heel – Supersocke 100 Fun 765

Heel Flaps
1. Stockinette
2. Slip Stitch - Broadripples
3. Eye of Partridge - Laburnum*

Cast-Ons for Toe-Up
1. Figure-Eight - Lilac Lace
2. Magic Cast-On - Raked Leaves
3. Easy Toe - Champlain Sunset
4. Turkish Cast-On – Broad Spiral Rib *

Cast-Ons for Top-Down
1. Longtail Cast-On - Maze
2. Twisted German (English) Cast-On – Laburnum Socks***
3. Combination (English & Longtail) - Isaiah's Ribbed Socks***

1. 4/5 Dpn's - This is my favorite and first method I learned.
2. 1 Sock on 2 Circular Needles
3. 2 Socks on 2 Circular needles – 2 x 2 Rib
4. Magic Loop - Broad Spiral Rib (Great for portability. You don’t have to worry about dropping and/or losing dpn’s.)*

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Purple, Blue & Pink

Thanks so much for your comments about Daphne. Completing this sweater is making me reconsider to Tilia. I've had it on hold for several months and won't be picking up anytime soon since it is long-sleeved and I've already cast on for another short sleeve sweater but I'm lookin forward to working on it again. If Hemapthy came in a wider assortment of colors I'm sure that I would purchase more.

In the meantime, one of the rescued Hydrangeas began blooming this week. They aren't as vigorous nor as a large as they would have been before the unexpected freeze came through this spring. They were almost completely devastated and had to put out a lot of new growth.

This is one of my favorite colors and I saw one recently on a walk around the job in an unsual color that I'm going to take some cuttings from.

I finished the first Broad Spiral Rib sock yesterday except for casting off. I want to try a new casting off technique and haven't made a decision as to which one to use. Summer of Socks kicks off in a few weeks and I'd like to have this pair and another in Regia Cotton Color that I've recently cast-on under my belt before it gets under way. The biggest difficulty I'm having is picking the socks for the KAL so I'm glad there's still plenty of time to choose.

Sunday, June 03, 2007



Pattern: Daphne - Elsebeth Lavold Book #8 The Enchanted Garden
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold
Needles: Size 3 US Rosewood straights for edging, 4 US Holz & Stein Ebony circular for body.
Size: Women's large
Started: April 3, 2007
Finished: May 24, 2007

Modifications: The pattern called for needle sizes 1 & 2. After making a gauge swatch and comparing the suggested needle sizes for other projects in the book it was obvious the sizes are incorrect. No other modifications were needed. I'll need to take the buttons off and reinforce the band with grosgrain ribbon to give some stability and prevent the drooping and gapping. Other than these adjustments, I enjoyed the project and the yarn blocked out to a very even fabric with wonderful drape.