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Posts from January 2008

Ah, Cables!


I could just sit and knit these squares all day.  I don't know which is more fun, the knitting or pouring over cable pattern books.  I do know that I love this yarn for the way it pops those cables right off the surface, and its softness as I work.

The squares are going to Maryse for the afghan she is putting together for Elisa's Dad.

Yarn:  Moda Dea Washable Wool
Patterns:  Bottom from a Japanese stitch dictionary, top from Cables Untangled.
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Size: 8x8"

Speed Posting or I Really Should Be Packing for the Weekend!

This has got to be quick.  Speedy. Un-edited for lack of time. 
But there is good reason for me to post.


Sarah and Gudrun have both been kind enough to honor me with a You Make My Day Award.  I am very flattered since they are both quite talented.  Sarah is the Plucky Knitter, and if you haven't seen or better yet knit with her yarns, well all I can say is you are missing out.  Big Time.  Gudrun is a very talented designer.  Have you seen her Slipped Hours?  Fantastic.  Start digging through you stash, because you're going to want to.


So the idea of this award is to offer it to ten people who make your day, link to them and let them know so they can pass it on, yadda, yadda, yadda.  So this will be my list of ten.   Some of you may have already gotten the award, sorry that I don't have time today to check up on this.  So if your one of my ten, and believe me it could easily be twenty or thirty, don't feel obligated.  Unless you want to.

Here goes:

Stacey - On and Off the Needles - She knits the most amazing colorwork socks I have ever seen.  So it only made sense to me to ask her to test knit Sigrid.  (Oh and did you see the glorious yarn that Scout dyed for her to use?)  Guess what, she was kind enough to say yes.  Lucky me, I mean she is a pro!

Scout - Well you all know Scout; her Swag, her yarn, her photos, her amazing kids and all with humor, kindness and just enough of an edge to make her interesting.  I want to be Scout when I grow up.  (Okay, she's probably about 10 years younger than me, but you know.)

Anne Hansen of Knitspot- She's brilliant.  I don't think I need to say more.  How can one woman continuously produce such amazing lace patterns?  I'm convinced that she fell to earth from some other universe with much higher thinking inhabitants.

Cara of January One. Our favorite Bruce loving New Year's Baby- Always inspires with her amazing photos, wit, and fantastic color choices.  And she's having a baby!!  Just imagine the handknits that kid is going to have!

Lolly - I know for a fact that she's gotten more than one of these, but I'm passing it on to her to anyway.  I don't think there is one individual who does more for knit bloggers than Lolly.  Socktoberfest, Project Spectrum, fabulous tutorials, fantastic photos.  She always makes my day.

Lola and Ava Two Black Sheep - Everyone's favorite sisters!  Their affection for one another is contagious.  I want in on their family.  Their posts are always funny and interesting, along with lots of delicious knits.   Go over and have a look at Lola's newest project.  He's a cutie!  Oops, they nominated me too.  I really should catch up on my blog reading!  Well it's just the mutual admiration society around here!

Nova of Nova Made
- Yummy Pies!  Fantastic Knitting!  Beautiful Photos!  The Cutest Toddler in Knitblogs!  Yup, she's got it all, and a cool new pair of glasses too!

Nora of Black Dog Knits - Newly Wed and still managed to post inspiring photos right up to the big day.  She is a master of serenity, simplicity and beauty.

Pam of Flintknits - Every time this girl posts a FO, my Ravelry queue gets longer!  A rock star both literally and figuratively.  I was the lucky recipient of one of her socks in a sock exchange last fall.  I am blissfully finishing the second.

Leslie of A Friend to Knit With - Beautiful projects, beautiful photos.  Always an inspiration.  I still want to make a pom-pom tree like hers (scroll down).  I even bought the little pom-pom making gizmo.

So there you have it.  Ten who make my day.  Trust me, there are many, many more.


Now I'm off to pack, pick up DD#2's contacts, buy hay for the bunny, do laundry, finish editing Sigrid so Stacey can test knit, clean the kitchen, load the car, gas up, shower and pick up the kids by 1:30 so we can get into the city for DD#2's show.  She's a-singing tonight.  I love to listen to my baby sing.

The cable photos are of an afghan square for Maryse.  She is putting together an afghan for a friend's father who is in a VA hospital far from loved ones.  The yarn is Moda Dea Washable Wool.  I'll be knitting more cables in this yarn.  Squishy, Yummy.

Oh, and for those of you who wondered, yes DD#2 was freezing in her tank top when she posed for the Bainbridge photos.  But I'm her mom and she's got to do what I say.  Right?  Trust me, she makes me suffer way more than I make her!


Button-y Bainbridge

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your kind words about Dr. G's Memory Vest.   Each story of families affected by Alzheimer's and Dementia motivates me to get this pattern finished.  It is heartrending how many have had to watch a loved one fade away from these terrible diseases. 

Since knitters are such honest types, I will be using the honor system when I offer the pattern in exchange for donations to Alzheimer's and Dementia research.


I knit up a little Cap Karma last Thursday.  It was a particularly cold and blustery night in NYC, so I wandered uptown to String and treated myself to a bit of cashmere.  This stuff is delicious!  So soft!  I used Brooklyn Tweed's modifications for this hat to continue the cabling onto the crown.


It has taken awhile, but I have finally chosen a winner for my "help me find a pattern for my homespun" contest.  I swatched, and swatched.  There were so many wonderful suggestions.  I think I tried out about 6 or 7 of them before finally settling on Bainbridge.   I modified the pattern a bit by eliminating the ties and using a button to close it. 


Since three people suggested this pattern, I used a random number generator to select one.  The roll of the die picked Nova.  Send me your address Nova and I will send a project bag and some fiber-y goodness your way.

Bainbridge_close .

Bainbridge works up beautifully in handspun.  The simple broken rib of the pattern shows the yarn off to perfection and softness of Kim's fiber (silk, angora, merino) deserves to be draped around the neck.  I wore my new Bainbridge on my schlep into the city tonight and it kept my neck toasty warm!


Thanks to everyone for all of the incredible suggestions.  My Ravelry queue has grown quite a bit as a result!  If you haven't looked through all of the comments, go have a peek.  There are some fantastic, quick knits listed.



I started this vest back in August to honor my father who was suffering from Vascular Dementia.  The idea from the start was to create a pattern to sell and to donate the proceeds to Dementia and Alzheimer's research.  When my father passed away in September, I just couldn't face working on the vest.  I don't know if it was the mental challenge that during a time of grief I was unable to meet, or just the idea that the vest was about him and that was too difficult for me at the time.  I do know that I let the thought of details bog me down, like how to arrange for the donations, and how many sizes to offer the pattern in.  So it sat, waiting until I was ready to pick it up again.  Work re-commenced around Christmas, and Dr. G's Memory Vest is finally complete.


I hope to have the pattern ready in another few weeks.  If anyone has had any experience arranging for donations of this sort to go to charity, I'd love any advice you have to offer.  I want the maximum amount possible to go directly to the organization which I have chosen.  To me this means not going through Paypal, since they take a cut.  One thought was to let folks go directly to the organization to donate any amount that they are comfortable with.  Then it would be up to the individual to send me an e-mail, telling me that they had made a contribution and I would send them the pattern.  This relies on the honor system, but my experience with this community  of knitters leads me to believe that I can trust folks to be honest.  Opinions?  Ideas?


The yarn is Skye Tweed, but any worsted weight would work.  The gauge is 5 stitches to the inch.  The vest I made will be the smallest size, the chest measures 38".  My plan at this point is to go up to a 50", but I need to make sure the math works to my satisfaction for that.  I'll have modeled photos for you as soon as I have a model home in daylight.


I leave you with a paper cut that my daughter, DD#1 - the "Reader", did last night.  She constantly amazes me with her artistic ability.  (Yeah, I know, I'm more than a little biased!) Her response when I complimented gushed over the piece was, "It's only construction paper".  Always humble, that one.


Oh yeah, did I mention that my girls turned 14 on Saturday?  I'm still numb.  How did they get this old?

I Dusted Gigi Off (Now I'm having a contest!)

Inspired by Margene and Carole's NaSpiMoMo, I pulled out my wheel and worked on some spinning that had been put aside since November.  I'd forgotten just how much I love to spin!


All three of these were in various stages of completion.  It didn't take long to finish them off and free up my bobbins.


Soft and tweedy merino that my mom purchased at Rhinebeck.  She asked me to spin it for her.  I ended up with about 175 yards of worsted weight.  I'll be shipping it off to North Carolina tomorrow.  (Hope you like it mom!)


Above is tussah and alpaca that I bought the same day.  You've got to see the color in person to really appreciate it.  The alpaca is dark brown and the silk is dyed a rich purple.  The depth of this color combined with the shine is sublime!   The vendor only had one tiny 1 oz. bag of this left, so there isn't much here. 

Nope I don't remember who I bought it from.  Sorry.


This is my personal favorite, Red Maple angora, silk and merino from the very talented Kim over at Woolen Rabbit.  The color is as glorious as the autumn leaves it was named for and the resulting yarn is deliciously soft.  I think this yarn will be perfect for the start of Project Spectrum in February.  It will work very nicely with the first elemental theme, fire.  Kim tells me she'll be dyeing more of this in the next week or two, so be sure to keep an eye on her shop!

Wanna see a close up?


Now the contest.  I've got 225 yards of sport weight yarn here.  After seeing all of the amazing suggestions Scout got when she asked for project suggestions to cure her knitting ennui, I figured I'd do the same.  (Thanks for the idea Scout!)  What should I make from this yarn?   I'm open to all ideas, it just has to worthy of Kim's fabulous fiber!  Whoever suggests the pattern that I choose will win a project bag handmade by moi, with some yarn stuffed in it.  If you are a spinner, I'll even add some fiber.  If more than one of you suggest the pattern that I choose, I will pick a name out of a hat from among them.  You have until midnight on Saturday the 12th.  (That's my girls' birthday so it seems as good a time as any.)

Beret Recipe

One Day Beret 2, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

As promised, here is the recipe for the "One Day Beret". This will work for any gauge. That's one thing that I love about top down! For the hat in the photo I alternated each round between two colors of handpainted yarn.

To make the hat I cast on 4 sts.
For the first round I knit into the front and back of each stitch. (8sts) Place markers between each of these eight stitches, they will mark your increases.
2nd round: Kf&b each stitch (16 sts).
3rd round: (Kf&B 1, k1) repeat to end of round (24 sts).
(I work the increase rounds for each of the first three rounds to make the top of the hat a little flatter.)
4th round: knit
5th round: (Kf&b, k to marker) repeat to end of round (32 sts)

Continue in this way, alternating plain knit rounds with increase rounds. The number of knit stitches between the kf&b's will increase by 1 each time. Stop increasing once your work measures about 8.5" diameter.

Now work plain stockingette for 3 1/2 to 4". The amount of plain stockinette you work will determine how "slouchy" the hat is.

Begin decreasing by (K2tog, knit to marker) to end of round. Alternate this decrease round with plain knit rounds until the desired number of brim stitches** remain.

**You will determine the desired number of brim stitches "c" by finding your stitches per inch "a" and your head measurement minus 2 inches "b". Now multilply: axb=c.

Adjust this number to the nearest multiple of 8. Since you have already subtracted 2" from the head measurement, when in doubt adjust the number up.

Switch to needles that are 1 size smaller than those that your worked the body of the hat with and work in 1x1 rib for about 1-1.5". Bind off loosely.

On the Platform

On the Platform, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

Thanks for all of your nice comments on yesterday's post.
A lot of you mentioned on how impressed you were that I was able to do this from my phone, so I thought I would tell you how I did it. Believe me I am not a technology wiz, so if I can do it, you can too. Having the right phone helps.

The phone is an iPhone that my husband gave me for Christmas. (Such a fun toy, BTW.)

After taking the photos, I went to my Flickr account and uploaded them. Flickr gives you a dedicated e-mail address to send them to for uploading from a cell phone.

Once the photos were uploaded, I chose the "Blog This" option above the photo. At an earlier time I had set this option on my Flickr account so that it has my blog URL. The "Blog This" option gives you a nice little text box to write in.

This post is done the same way, except I am in the comfort of my own home, using "Blog This" on my laptop.

The only issues I have with blogging this way is I can't figure out a way to post more than one photo. Also, there is no spell check (Something that I rely on heavily!)

The photo above was taken just before the train in yesterday's post rumbled into the station. I love the depth of the station in this one, and the fact that my sweet girl is giving me the exact same "enough already, mom" look.

Look for a second post today. I'm going to post the Beret recipe from the hat I made my daughter for Christmas.

My Baby Takes the Morning Train

E Train, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

This is my first attempt at blogging from my new cell phone. I beg you to forgive my typos and the lack of links. I'm just not there yet.

What I feeling all giddy about is the quality of photos I seem able to get with this new toy. Not bad for a cell phone. Then again, the possibility exists that I will get home to my trusty laptop and realize that the photo is blatantly mediocre when viewed any larger than the 1.5"x2" screen of my phone.

For the past few days I haven't been able to get the annoyingly persistent song from the title of this post out of my head. (My appologies if I have just cursed you with this affliction!) The reason for this torture is that of late my kids and I have replaced our 3-4 drives per week into NYC, with train rides. The initial reason was to avoid the perils of holiday traffic. As I've enjoyed these leisurely rides I've found other benefits. The risk of having a bus take off my side mirror is significantly less (yes, this has happened), we reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use and emissions that we add to the air, my kids and I are much less stressed, and a great deal more knitting is accomplished. There is a downside however. The cost of three or four off peak round trip tickets is much greater than I normally pay for parking, tolls and gas combined. (We pay a monthly fee in a parking garage, so we pay quite a bit less than the average daily parking fees.) It also takes us close to twice as long (I know all of the best short cuts to get around tunnel traffic, and no, I'm not going to tell you, if everyone knew then I wouldn't be able to reduce a 1 you back up to 10 minutes!)(true fact, I did it last week!)

Enough of this babble, I should really get around to giving you what you've so kindly stopped by for, knitting.

The hat is the ubitquitous Foliage from Knitty Fall '07. It is a quick, easy, well written pattern. Perfect for stash busting and making last minute gifts to attempt to cheer vocal teachers who are enduring family crisis.

The yarn is Malabrigo worsted. I held two strands together and made the chunky version of the hat. I cast on at 11:00pm last night and bound off on the train this morning. I even managed to get 7.5 hours of sleep. That is a quick project. DD#2 is giving the hat to the teacher as I write this.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!