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Posts from June 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #3: Is the Honeymoon Over?


Forgive me gentle reader,
I don't mean to sound terse,
But the gals at The Amazing Lace,
Require I write in Verse!

Knitting, sewing, drawing, painting;
From these I do not flinch,
But express myself with poetry?
I'd rather kiss the "Grinch"!

Still, I am one tough blogger,
From my fears I will not flee,
Instead I will regale you all,
With tales of Birch and me.

She sits there uncomplaining,
In my stuffy knitting bag,
As aloofly I cast on,
A sock or plain dish rag.

Her Kidsilk Haze is slippery,
Four types of needles I have tried,
I must regain my focus,
And Birch, regain her pride.

In these next few days I'm packing,
For a trip across the sea,
Will my lovely Birch be ready,
To fly away with me?

To Sweden we will travel,
The fledgling Birch and I,
Viking ships, and shopping trips
And tasty treats to try.

The trip will surely heal us,
All those hours in the sky,
To diligently knit her rows,
And caress that silky ply.

And so my friend, I leave you
To wonder as I do,
If Birch and I are meant to be,
Or I flush her down the loo. . .



This is what it looks like on my deck this morning.  Yesterday was pretty much the same.  We need the rain.  My well has been a little cranky, so I know the water table is low.  Hopefully the deluge of the last few days will help.

This weather however, is not conducive to taking lovely photos of finished socks. 




Despite my best efforts, with various backgrounds  and the back door wide open, it was tough to capture how beautifully this yarn knit up.  Trust me.  It's gorgeous.  The yarn is from my Dye-O-Rama buddy.  Jen  L. of Monkeyknits.  I used a simple stitch pattern, to let the vibrant colors do the real work.  Jen L. named the color "Lana del Mar", because the color reminds her of the ocean.  I guess with the water theme, it is appropriate that I finished them on such a rainy weekend. 

I am off on my summer vacation this week.  Today is the day where I choose which projects/yarns come with me.  Such a tough decision.  I've got a pile of sock yarn, each wanting to be the next pair.  Of course Birch will go, and probably Turbulence from Knitting Nature.  Since I will be in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, I'm sure there will be some yarn acquisition. . .must leave room in the suitcase for that!

Added later:
For those who are interested, the stitch pattern on the socks is:
Cast on multiple of 4
Round 1: *k3, sl1; repeat from * to end
Round 2: knit
Just those two rounds, easy.

Crafty Day


What did I do today?  I had a day of creating. 
My tennis club is having it's Member-Guest event tomorrow, and I volunteered to do the flowers.  I love to arrange flowers.  These are just grocery store bouquets that I pulled apart and re-arranged.  I'm pretty happy with the results.

I've also been doing some sewing.  Those Japanese books that I showed-off a few days ago made me eager to start on my KSKS buddy's bag.  I had some old sweaters laying around that I had felted.  I cut them up and sewed them together, put on a little applique, added a lining, a handle and ta-da, a project bag.  I hope my buddy likes it!


Here's an action shot.  It seems to be a good size for my socks in progress.


Gotta run.  DH is calling me to go out to dinner.

Nasturtium Anklets Free Pattern


Last week my daughter asked me to knit a pair of anklets for her out of some yarn that I had dyed.  We started searching stitch pattern books, and she and I settled on a lovely chevron stripe pattern with lacy yarn overs.  As I started knitting this pattern, I realized that it closely resembled the talented Grumperina's, famous Jaywalker socks.  The difference in the pattern being the lacy effect of the yarn over increases.  I offer this pattern here, not to steal any of Grumperina's well deserved fame, but to offer a fun variation.  I am quite sure that my pattern is not nearly as well written as Grumperina's.  Hopefully, it is not so poorly written as to cause too much angst to the knitter!  If you find any errors, please let me know and I will happily correct them.  The pattern is in the sidebar.  Enjoy!

Japanese Craft Books! Yipee!

I finished the Nasturtium socks.  Now I can get back to the sock I'm knitting out of my Dye-O-Rama yarn.  The Nasturtium socks fit DD#2 pretty well.  She's got long thin feet, so the snug stitch pattern works pretty well on her.  I think I'll write this one up and post it as a free pattern.


The DH played golf on Fathers Day.  So my girls and I took a road trip.  We went to an area up by the George Washington Bridge,  that has a mall that is like a little Japan.  First we got some Udon for Lunch.  Then went to the Japanese grocery store, where they sell fish for sushi, and my daughters favorite, Pocky.  (Pocky are little bread sticks dipped in chocolate.)   Next we went to the dish store that has the most wonderful Japanese dishes.  I couldn't leave without these!


My favorite store on the trip, is always the Japanese book store.  I love to peruse the craft books.  Here are the ones that came home with me.


Two crochet books.  I know I just learned to crochet last week, but I couldn't resist.  Take a look at some of what's inside!


Crochet Cactus, what's a girl to do?


Charming little coin purses!


The "Lacework Mini-Doily" book is filled with pages like this.  I'm sure they are above my current abilities, but a girl can dream. . .

Then, inspired yet again by the Knit Sock Kit Swap.  I bought a couple of books with bag ideas.


For your viewing pleasure, here's a peek inside these.





Now I've got lots of ideas for my buddy's project bag. . .

Knit Sock Kit Swap Questionaire, Answered

What are your favorite colors? 
Greens and blues.  But also oranges and yellows; and purples and browns, I like all colors. 

Are you a new sock knitter?  How long have you been knitting socks?
No, I am not a new sock knitter.  I made my first sock over a year ago and have knit many in that time.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? 
Depends on the pattern I'm knitting.  But if I am in the store, just looking at yarn for yarns sake, I am definitely drawn to the multicolored.

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? 
Wool with a little nylon for strength.

Where do you usually knit socks?
Everywhere, socks are so portable.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? 
I just toss them in my purse.  I guess after this swap I won't be doing that anymore!

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? 
Whichever one I am working on at the time.  I love to knit lace and cables, so I usually chose something with some kind of stitch pattern.

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? 
Top down on two circulars.

What new techniques would you like to try? 
Two socks on two circulars, and toe up.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?

What are some of your favorite yarns? 
Lorna's laces shepherd sock, those from the many independent dyers, and the yarn my dye-o-rama buddy just sent!

What yarn do you totally covet? 
Cashmere!  Who doesn't.  But that's too fragile for socks.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? 
Socks don't cost much in time or money, so the pattern wouldn't be socks.  Probably a 100% cashmere lace shawl, like some of those in Folk Shawls

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? 
Addi Turbos although for certain projects they are too blunt.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? 
Something hand spun or hand dyed, not a well known brand, but a yarn from a small independent artist like Sundara or Scout.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? 
I love all candy.  I've got a major sweet tooth!

What’s your favorite animal? 
My Bunny, Smudge.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? 
Just the bunny mentioned above.  There's a picture of him in this post.  He's about 6.

If you were a color what color would you be? 
Green!  Definitely green.  I love the infinite variations of green.  In the spring and summer, everything around me is green, it gives me energy and makes me feel all is well with the world.

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s)..   
This one is tough.  It changes daily, depending on my mood.  The ideal shirt for me would be scoop neck, short sleeved and comfy.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? 
I love flowers and plants.  My favorite flower is probably the jaunty spring daffodil.  It reminds us that lovely weather is right around the corner, and is tough enough to put up with all of the unpredictable weather that spring brings.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. 
I 've stolen this one from my son, it's really his favorite quote, but it cracks me up.  "I love deadlines, I like whooshing sound they make as they fly by."  Douglas Adams

Do you have a wishlist? 
I just wish for pretty yarns, which is why my stash is so huge!  I also love stitch pattern books.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? 
I love the idea of this swap!  I'm looking forward to making the project bag, and dreaming up a pattern.  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Still Loving My New Yarn!

I couldn't resist.  I was already working on a pair of socks for DD #2, progressing quite speedily, really.  Then my Dye-O-Rama yarn came.  It was too beautiful, I just had to cast on.  So that night, cast on I did!


I chose a very simple stitch pattern to show off the lovely yarn, did a pretty picot edge, and spent my non-knitting time, obsessing about how much I wanted to get back to knitting that sock.  Then a largish 14 year old boy with his biggish feet stepped on my WIP.  (Here I'd like to insert a picture of the offending 14-year old, just to show you how cute he is, but he'd kill me!)  Result:  a broken DPN.  So now, I am back to the DD#2, Nasturtium sock.  I must finish it because it is tying up my only two US 1 Addi Turbos.  I guess fate is trying to tell me to stop being so ADD and stick to a project!


The good news is, that I should be able to finish that second Nasturtium sock by the end of the weekend.  Then back to my beloved Dye-O-Rama yarn.  Thanks again pal.

I also received another distraction in the mail this week. 


It's the result of my moment of weakness over at Scout's Hand-painted Swag.  The yarn is one of Scout's Hurricane Sock Yarns, in color "Blue Roof (aka Bluetini)".  Isn't it pretty!

This weekend will be pretty hectic for my family and I.  The 14-year old graduated from middle school last night.  Along with another family, we are hosting a party for his classmates, where he and his band will perform.  DH and DS have been working hard to pull it all together to make it a great night for all.  They have been creating videos to show behind the band, mixes to play between sets, along with all of the usual details one attends to when planning a party for 60, 13 & 14 year olds.  DH even got black t-shirts that say "SECURITY" in bold white letters, for all of the chaperones.  In less than an hour, the band  will be here for a final rehearsal.  Hopefully, amid all of this madness I will get time to snap my  photo for the second Amazing Lace Challenge.  I have a fun idea, but it involves the kids and a bit of set up.  I'm not sure we will get the chance.  The deadline is tomorrow at midnight.

I leave you, as I often have in the past, with garden pictures.


Trumpet lilies.


A rose, from which, I have long ago lost the tag.  Sorry I can't tell you the cultivar name.  But, I will say, it does smell heavenly.

Monkeyknits is Brilliant!

Look at this, just look, take it in, in all of it's yarny, gorgeousness!


That, my dear friends, is my yarn from my Dye-O-Rama buddy, Jen L of Monkeyknits.  Go over and tell her how great she is, go ahead, I'll wait. . . .

I never gave Jen any direction about color in this swap.  I felt a little guilty about that, but I also wanted her to have fun and "just have at it".  Boy, did I make the right decision.  This girl can really come up with some great colors when left to her own devices!  She dyed Louet's Gems Pearl, it's got the most beautiful twist, which really highlights the colors.

Would you like to see what else came in the package?   Okay.


There is of course the lovely yarn, but also enclosed was a sweet little "Cheeky Monkey" card, a tin of "Knitting Girl" mints and little stitch markers that match the yarn!  Do you see them there, tied onto the pink ribbon?  Here's a close up.  (Not too close, but it's the best my little Power Shot can do and keep the quality.)


I think I am the luckiest knitter in the world to get such a talented buddy.  She really got it right!  This was my first swap, and after this I may have to join them all!

Finally, just to show you how on target she was with colors I love, I learned to crochet yesterday, and made my first granny square.  It is a pretty pathetic granny square, but look how the colors I chose yesterday for the granny square, match the yarn I received from her today!  How'd she do that!?!


Free Pattern: Sunkist Cardi

At last I have finished writing up the pattern for my Sunkist Cardi.  I know I promised it over a month ago, but I'm easily distracted!


I've only done the pattern in one size, 34".  I made it with negative ease, my bust measurement is 36".  Since it's knit as a topdown raglan, it should be pretty easy to modify to your own size.  For a good formula for topdown raglans follow this link

This is the first time I've written up a pattern for other people to knit from.  If you find any errors, unclear instructions, or have any other thoughts, please let me know.  Also, if anyone actually knits this, I would love to see photos.  I will link to them or post them here.

The pattern is in the sidebar.  Enjoy!

Can't - Stop - Knitting - Socks!

I started another sock yesterday.  I know I should be working on Birch for the Amazing Lace.  I'm just going through a sock thing right now.  I think it's all of the hand dyed yarn I have laying around after my dyeing binges for the Dye-O-Rama Swap.  This time I'm knitting an anklet for my daughter.  The yarn is one of my hand dyes, I'm calling the color Nasturtium.  The yarn I dyed Is Dale Baby Ull, at Kristi's suggestion.  I must say I like the wash-ability factor of this yarn.  The pattern is my own, but is looking like a variation of the Jaywalker Sock.  My daughter likes "little holes", so I'm yarning over for the increases. 


Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern.


For anyone who's interested, here's the stitch pattern:

Round 1:  k1, yo, k6, k3tog., k6, yo (repeat to end)

Round 2:  Knit

Repeat these two rounds.

I cast on 64 stitches.  It's a tiny bit snug pulling it over her instep, but we have very high arches in our family, so that might not be a problem for other people.  I decided to stick with 64 stitches though because my daughter has very thin legs.  (That's my big old foot doing the modeling, DD was too busy doing homework.)  It's an 8 stitch repeat, if you wanted to make it smaller or larger, you could change the k6's to k5's or k7's.

Okay, I've been on a yarn diet for over a month now, and have been pretty good.  (I say "pretty good", because there was one moment of weakness last week over at Scout's Shop.  Go check it out.  She's got some cool new "Hurricane"  sock yarns.  She'll be donating some of the $ to hurricane charities.)  So, what is a girl to do when she's on a yarn diet?

Go buy FABRIC!


There was a time, when I was in my 20's, and living on a very limited budget in NYC, I was working in the Fashion District as a textile designer, and had access to amazing fabrics.  I sewed constantly.  I designed and made my own wedding gown, and a tux for my husband.  Lately, my sewing has pretty much been limited to Halloween costumes for my kids. That may end soon.  I keep seeing all of the great totes that people are making around Blog Land and have been thinking I might want to make a few myself.  I joined the Knit Sock Kit Swap last weekend.  The swap involves making a small project bag for your buddy.  This was just a little shopping to get prepared!  It looks like I bought enough fabric for about
7 totes. . . Oh well, I never claimed to have any self control! 

Back to knitting the sock, and avoiding laundry, and avoiding birch, and avoiding dinner preparations, and avoiding the dishes. . .