Friday, December 14, 2007

The Joy of Giving.....

Thank you a friend to knit with, I needed that reminder to just calm down and enjoy the season. I am stressed about gifts, stressed about packing, stressed about making my flight at 8am Sunday morning with a NorEaster scheduled to pummel us through the night. But I really should remember : Peace, Love and Joy!

And this made me remember Karate night. My girls LOVE to give gifts! And they enjoy giving candy. Like we all need more candy at Christmas (ha ha ha). Karate night, the girls brought a gift bag for their Sensei and a bag for his assistant Corrinne. They adore Corrinne. Well, I snuck into the bag a $10 bill (no biggie) BUT she just lit up with delight. Her smile, cheer and thankfulness was worth much more than that ten dollar bill. So I would like to add to Peace, Love and Joy.......Giving. Giving feels soooo good, definately better than receiving.

So I am going to take all these warm and fuzzy feelings on the plane to the UK. I am going to miss you all (as my in-laws still don't have internet access) and will catch up when I return in 2 weeks.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all!

Cast-on Two Cuffs on One Magic Loop - Tutorial

I have been away from documentation for a long time so I am not confident in my writing abilities, but let me give this a whirl.

1) Get your Yarn and Needles Ready! I like to use a 40 inch circular needle, although a slightly shorter needle (such as 32") works as well.

2) Cast on all your stitches for the first sock (mitt, sleeve etc) on one needle. Let's call this Needle A.

3) Pushing those stitches back off the needle you will count exactly half of those stitches. Then pull the loop through the halfway point. Now you have half of the stitches on each needle. This is where you would join in the round if you were only knitting one sock. Let's now cast on the second set of stitches.

4) Cast on only half the stitches for the second sock onto Needle A.

5) Slip (as if to purl) those stitches from Needle A to Needle B .

6) Now your leading strand is at the back of Needle B (rather than at the tip). Continue to cast on the second half of your stitches on Needle A.

Here is One stitch cast on Needle A.

Here are 5 stitches cast on.

Here are all stitches cast on, half on each needle.

7) Join in the round, remembering not to twist your stitches. At this point, you can refer to more information on Magic Loop knitting. There is a You Tube by Knit Witch you can refer to as well.
8) Remember to swap leading yarn when you reach the second sock. Otherwise you will attach the 2 socks together, or learn how to tink. I've done it, I know.
I hope this is a useful tool. All comments are welcome.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fetching Gifts

I really enjoyed making the Fetching Fingerless Gloves. They go so quickly and I have a few knit gifts to give. If only I had time to "make just one more". lol I just feel that every woman on my list must have a pair of these, but alas, I have run out of time. [please excuse the blurry photo, as I am in a hurry this week]

Pair on the left for Sister-in-law, Black pair for Mother-in-law, and bobled cuff for Ballet teacher.
Patterns: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath, And Bobbles from Kyla pattern by Monika Steinbauer.
Yarn: Green - Rowan Cashsoft DK, Black - Rowan recycled unknown
Needles: US6 Harmony Wood 40" Magic loop.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I have spent all morning chopping the one inch thick ice on the walkway and driveway with the hopes to get the car out. I got about 1/4 of the walkway done when my hands started cramping up. So I quit that and started the drive. I have 1/2 the turn around and 2 small tire paths cleared and my hands are really hurting now. The sun is so low this time of year that there is constant moving shadow from the house next door on the drive. And it is an upgrade from the garage to the top. Now, if I could only get to the top, then it is clear enough to park the car there overnight. But the lower part is so solid frozen I can't even put a dent in it. OK, now that I have resigned my self to being house bound today,,,,my hands are almost too cramped to type, I don't think I'll be able to work a pair of needles. LOL, is this what they call "murphy's law"?
Now where is that warm tea! :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Blue Tweed Cardigan Done

I LOVE this sweater. Came out just right. Cozy, snuggly, warm and layerable. Just need to figure out how to tack down the bottom of the zipper. There is a heavy plastic on the zip and I can't get a needle through it. And I'm afraid to break a needle on the machine trying...but I will try later anyway. Just had to get this photographed ASAP. I think this will be a FAV and will be worn and worn and worn. It is already slated as the sweater of the trip to the UK coming up.

Pattern: Used ideas from various patterns, but basically "winged" it.

Yarn: Rowan Yarkshire Tweed Chunky (bought 8 balls but only used 6)

Needles: US11 for body and US9 for cuffs and collar. (Denise interchangeables)

Construction: Top Down Raglan to fit.

For the Zipper installation I referred to this tutorial. But the "key" is to wash, block and baste together the two halves before placing and pinning the zipper for installation.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Toasty Warm Winter Socks

For Catherine:
These whipped up real quickly. I love the striping. It is a lovely yarn.
Pattern: Toe Up Socks by Iris Schreier (received pattern upon yarn purchase)
Yarn: Artyarns Handpaint Stripes
100% Luxury Merino Wool (wonderfully soft)
Needles: 40" circular US 5 Harmony wood needles.
Construction: Worked toe up, one sock at a time.
Ribbing is k2xp1 (36st around)
First sock toe was started with 8 stitches around, I round this too pointy and used 12 stitches on the second sock. Much better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Even on the internet it can be a "Small World afterall"

I was searching for tutorials on the net for sewing in a zipper on a knitted sweater. I stumbled here, which then made me curious to learn more about this blog. So I went to the home page: Getting Stitched on the Farm, and saw that she is having a book launch. So of course I want a chance to win some yarn, and sent off an e-mail. Then as I read more I found that she grew up in Northern NJ (as did I) and now resides in MA (as do I). Pretty cool Eh? Oops the "Eh" is a left over from my time in Canada :-).

Go on over and check out the book launch. The book is Kristin Knits.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Photo sharing time...

I love this log cabin quilt. I made this well before my twins were born. But because I hand stitch my quilts it takes a long time. I used to love the cold winters in Ottawa Canada (I lived there for 4 years before my girls were born) only to sit in the evenings with a quilt draped over me. My Honey and I would watch a film while I hand stitched the quilt. Next I had children and then I found knitting ... the rest is history. Well, I have decided that this quilt is going on the bed, pin basted and all!

And speaking of twin girls can sometimes be so very different! Catherine likes (or so she says) her bed a mess, but Sarah loves to "set up" her bed every morning. Pooh Bear, Pup and all. Too sweet, I love them!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doll Sweaters

A question was asked of me, "where did I get the pattern" for the doll sweaters. Well, I am going to make a long answer to that question. I always start at for the Simple Worked-From-The-Top Raglan Pullover Pattern Calculated by the Percentage Method . I use the guage as listed on the ball band, or if using a smaller needle, do a swatch. Then measure the dolls chest, and punch in the numbers. This will give a basic sweater. Then I modify the sweater from there. Things like an open front for a cardigan and color changes. One thing to keep in mind is that you want to make it easy for the child to get the sweater over the dolls head. So one can make the colar opening a bit bigger, or keep it open for about an inch before joining in the round and later add a button or two. Or simply make sure to use a stretchy cast-on.

You can basically do anything with a small sweater, copy from a picture or from a full size sweater you have made for yourself. My Mom has a few good books where ideas have come from. The heart pattern came from a book by Charlene Schurch called Knits for Girls & Dolls. She also recently purchased Matching Knits for Girls & Dolls by Eileen Adler.

It really is simple, quick and fun! And of course, the doll doesn't care if there are mistakes, so I rarely frog, and I use these opportunities to learn more about knit patterns in general.

I have also used up left over yarn from many things like socks. In this picture you can see the sweater and shorts from left over sock yarn from Pat. The shorts are a bit too short, lol, but I really did run out of yarn on them! I practiced my first cabling on those shorts!
Hope that answers your question Paulettel. :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Just an FYI, I got my Ravelry invite and I am MomofTwins. What a fount of information! Although a bit overwhelming ;-).

Another gift Done.

I Love these socks. They were so much fun to make that I look forward to making another pair for ME! As my husband says "It's all about you isn't it?" Ummmm Yeah! Except when it is all about the kids, oh yeah and you too. LOL. It is funny how children come into our lives and just take over, absorbing all of our energy, love, thoughts etc. Then I found knitting. I do quite a bit of knitting for my kids, but mostly knitting IS all about me. Well, I digress - back to the socks at hand.
Yarn: KnitPicks Essential Tweed in colors Inca Gold and Flint.
Needles: One 2.5mm HiyaHiya 40" circular steel
Construction: Mostly followed the pattern, but changing colors for toe, heel and cuff. I also used my new favorite bind-off for a nice looking, stretchy cuff, the Kitchener cast off. Also called the Tubular Bind Off.
These are a matching gift for the lovely friend who is also getting the Endpaper Mitts. And the yarn went along way! I still have plenty left over for another pair of socks!
I wanted to do more Christmas knitting, but I think I am out of time, I am hopping on a plane for the UK in just 2 weeks. Although I think I will make a pair of Fetching and see if I think my Sister-in-law might like them, that would then be a nice little under the tree gift.
I also need to download some more books for my flight, any suggestions on good reads lately?
Have to share one funny comment: My daughter said " Ooh Mommy I like these, but I don't like the bubbly colors, can you make mine with just the brown one?" I must say I am not crazy about the tweedy look either. I loved working with the essential yarn, and have more to use, but I won't be tempted to buy more of the tweed style.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mom's are GREAT!

What's better than a $70 swift? A Mom who collects antiques and is willing to share! Check out the way I wound this skein of yarn. COOL.

What an insane day. The girls had half day and I needed to pick up a few things at Whole Foods. I thought we could all go and have lunch together and shop. What a relaxing afternoon.....NOT! The crowds were incredible and grumpy as all get out. All errands ran today were faced with grumpy last minute holiday shoppers. Lastly, I dropped everyone at home and said "honey I need to pick up some scotch". And what a cheerful place to be (the liquor store)! It cheered me right up (without even a sip). I wonder what that says....

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the parade, the football, the food and of course family and friends!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


First snow of the season, I get all excited! I love the snow. It looks beautiful and refreshing. So you will see some flurries on the Endpaper Mitts. Pre-Blocked Mitts.

Yarn: KnitPicks Essential Tweed in Inca Gold and Flint
Needles: 3.0mm (Addi turbo) & 3.25mm (knitpicks Harmony) circular.

- I had a bit of trouble with the Italian cast-on, There must be a better way.
- Loved the tubular cast-off, especially after finding the best summarized instructions here.
- I think these came out a bit loose, but I think the person intended to receive them has slightly large hands than I.
- I think the pattern could be done with about 3 less repeats on the arm. I can't immagine trying to shove these long arm covers under the long sleeves I would be wearing. Although they do look elegant without sleeves.
- I would not recommend using a tweed to do color work. The tweedy nubs tend to take away from the design.
- All in all, I am quite happy with the end result of these! They seemed to take forever, as just 4 rows would take about an hour, but should be a nice gift.
Mom's Socks
Pattern: Plain foot, purled gusset, 2x2 ribbed leg
Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes. (Mom bought this at 60% off)
Needles: 3.0mm Addi Turbo 40"circular
Just your basic sock, but I bet these will be nice and warm!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Getting There

I am getting close to finishing some of my projects. I'm just so excited I had to post! I'll find time to get photos tomorrow, I finished my Mom's socks, and the Endpaper Mitts (although they still need blocking). Next up, the collar on my Blue Cardi and the ribbing on Mom's Cardi. Woo Hoo! Have a good night!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nothing like a quick knit.....

to keep you going on the rest. I had a lot of fun making these leg warmers for Catherine. Next up, a pair for Sarah. Due to a shortage of models I had to make do with some card board strips. But you get the idea.
Pattern: A 4 stitch cable with P2, K2 ribbing.
Needle: US 4 HiyaHiya 40" circular needle
Construction: Two at a time, in the round, starting and ending with a 1x1 rib
Now if I can only finish those Endpaper Mitts, they are taking so very long!!!! But since they are targeted as a gift, and I don't have time to frog them and start something new....I better stick it out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A free minute

The kids grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and ran out to the neighbor to see if they want to play. So I am grabbing this minute to blog my finished socks.
Pattern:Crest of the Wave (pg.101) from More Sensational Knitted Socks.
Yarn: striped using 1 skein KnitPicks Essential in Ash, and 1 skein ka hand-dyed in color Vintage (which I found at a LYS near me).
Needles: Foot and ankle US1 (2.25mm). Leg US1 1/2 (2.5mm).
Construction: Toe up. One circular needle.
This was my first attempt and "winging" my own socks. Learned a few things, but am quite happy with the end result. In the Wave pattern I used the first purl row as row1 and knit both colors together each time on this row. I like the effect. Alternated colors for each 12 row sequence carrying the colors up the side. My first try at a K2tog type of bind off. It is nice and stretchy, and has a nice look to it. Can be done more snuggly if necessary, but these socks hold themselves up in the snug patterning. Therefore a looser bindoff adds a nice contrasting look and feel.
I also changed the number of stitches. I often find the Schurch patterns to be too big for me, so I reduced the number of stitches to 60 (instead of 72). With a 12 stitch repeat this was fine. I rearanged the stitches on the top of the foot to fit in 30 stitches. Then when I got to the leg I moved stitches around to work 2 sets of repeats on the top and 3 on the bottom (circular needle). This worked perfectly and the fit is great.

Finally a completed project! Wave Socks.

Sometimes it just seems like so long between finished projects, and it has been about 3 weeks. I guess I just have too much going on at once. And trying to do at least a few rows on each when given the opportunity to knit, makes it seem slower. Also things are getting quite busy as a family. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas with so much preparation to do, as well as all the days off from school this time of year. This week the kids are in school full day Tues and Friday only. And half day on Wed & Thurs. Is the matter of fact the kids are demanding my attention NOW! So, I will have to present you with the sock details later tonight. Happy Remembrance Day!

Monday, November 5, 2007

SockWars and other knits

It's time to talk about my SockWars experience. Mom keeps asking me everyday, so here goes Mom.

I really enjoyed the hype of the sockwars prior to beginning. I enjoyed the excitement of knitting socks quickly. I really enjoyed the pattern and was quite pleased with the pair I made. I sent those of to my target, who like them. In the mean time I was getting "pressure" from my Assassin via anonymous messages, about that she was almost ready to mail my socks. The pressure spurred me on. But it was quite a while before I received my socks. Above you can see a photo of those socks. I'm not sure if you can see in the photo, but only one sock has a heel flap, one has the heel turned right at the ankle. The socks ended up being too small, there are knots in some quite uncomfortable spots, and the knitting technique used on creating the "scars" were not consistently used throughout the sock. I was not too pleased. But I do like the yarn and color, so I frogged them and will use them to make something nice for myself.

I have a couple of other projects I have started to work on. One is a pair of socks for me. The colors seem to be difficult to photograph, but they are grey striped with a lovely colorway of soft lavenders, greens, and yellows. I love them! And a patter from "More Sensational Knitted Socks"

I have also started a pair of Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang, and am having a hard time with them. First it took me about 3 trys to get the Italian Cast-on just right. Then I reallized that I was knitting the colors backwards *ribbit*. Then found that I had dropped a stitch *ribbit* etc. I seem to be doing a lot of frogging on this one. But I am determined to stick it out, especially after all the time and effort alread put in.
Oh, and one last photo, the socks I am making for my Mom, modelled by my husband. Coming along quite well now, just going to continue the leg until I run out of yarn.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween sugar low...

Hope everyone had a great halloween. Ours was crazy but great fun. so crazy that we forgot to take photos. Then after the girls went to bed, my husband and I had a nice dinner, wine and ALL the left over candy. So needless to say I am exhausted today. Can't wait to go to sleep. Arghh another knitting night lost to fatigue. And today I spent all afternoon turning the heel on my grey socks (photo tomorrow), then realizing that the turn was off center so I frogged one heel turn and one heel flap + heel turn. Hmmmm probably should have done a nap today instead!

But for today's photo (left), I got some Peruvian Highland Wool in the mail yesterday and swatched it last night. It is very nice to knit and doesn't seem itchy scratchy. Although, hard to tell, till actually worn. It made lovely cables and I am going to use this Butterscotch color for my cabled sweater (pictured right).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calorimetry for the knitters slump

Matching headbands for the mittens. Now I will definately have to finish the other mitten....Just hope I haven't used too much yarn for the Calorimetry. Had to go double strands to make it work and I reduced the number of stitches cast-on (92 & 88 respecively). I also changed the short row interval to 6 stitches (rather than 4) on the second one to make it a bit narrower. Both are perfect on the girls and I could even borrow if I wanted to. I guess I'll have to get some more Noro to make a matching one for me. Or if you have any other fun yarn ideas for me, please share!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Mall

Took the kids to Bertuccis for dinner tonight and had to stop in at Talbots to check out the sale items. Well, I fell in love with this top. I looked at it and said, I can make that.....then I tried it on and said.....I have to have it NOW!. Of course I didn't buy it, but I am so tempted to quit knitting, get a job and buy it. So much quicker, less mistakes and the yarn is already chosen, I am useless at picking out yarns. I just had to share that, oh and one more thing, this sweater is beautiful as well. Comfortable (not itchy) and no work involved :-). And actually probably less $$ than if I were to make it myself, and no pulling my hair out. All kidding aside, the photos don't do the sweaters justice, they really are lovely, and the first knits I have seen since starting knitting that I actually like. Do you think I am cured of my knitting obession? Maybe stranded knitting did me in.... Any suggestions for something to get me back on track? I'm bored with my current projects and overwhelmed with mittens. lol!

And now back to my real life....

OK, I spent too much time on this, and there is one glaring mistake (kids won't notice), but one mitten is done and I do like it. (oops not quite done, still needs a thumb). Although this is all the knitting I can do today, I just had to post after all that hard work.
It is funny how the rose pink looks red, but it is the same pink as the previous mittens. These will be the warmest mittens ever, with 3 strands all around the hand.

Pattern: My own, sketched on graph paper. to be scanned at a later date.
Yarn: Peruvian Highland Silk, Antique Blue, Peruvian Luxury Merino Superwash in Regency Rose & Devon Cream.
Needles: size US3 40" circular needle for cuffs, finger tips and thumbs. Size US4 32" circular for stranded hand.
Construction: One Mitten on one circular. 42 stitches around (21 on each side). Worked from cuff to finger with an afterthought thumb.

Running: good for the sole

Running is good for many things, but today it was good for my knitting. Check out this mitten. I designed it myself and it is gorgeous (if I my say so myself) :-) But, working 3 color stranding is a pain in the bumm. I have been concentrating on the stranding so much I forgot to put in the thumb..... Arghh. I spent the morning thinking of all the alternatives I could take to avoid doing these 4 extra rows all over again. Even to the point of ripping out to the cuff, and making this a striped mitten. Then I went for my morning run. Now I feel invigorated and ready to continue tackling this mitten. I will frog the 4 rows, put in my thumb and get right on with it.

I always enjoy a challenge, which this is, but I like it to be fun as well. 3 color stranding is not fun, BUT the results ARE fun. So I will persevere. At least it's not a sweater, lol.

First I must hit the showers and get some breakfast. Good day to all!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Something New - Mittens

Pattern: My own.
Yarn: KnitPicks Telemark in Mineral Heather.
Needles: size US3 40" circular needle.

I tried something new. The first pair I just started as if I were doing socks, starting at the cuff. Then stuck in the waste yarn for the thumb. I did these one at a time and learned new things all along the way. I even grabbed some graph paper and sketched a diagram for the stranding work on one mitten.
Next I had some yarn that I ordered for the new pattern on Six-Sox-Knitalong, the Black Diamond Socks. I was having trouble with these socks and opted to save the yarn for something else. Pat mentioned that the yarn would be nice for mittens. Hmmmm. Well, I searched and searched for a pattern, and found this one. I had to make modifications to size for my children and for the DK weight yarn.

Pattern: My own modification of Corazon (see chart below).

Yarn: Peruvian Luxury Merino Superwash in Regency Rose & Devon Cream.
Needles: size US3 40" circular needle for cuffs, finger tips and thumbs. Size US4 32" circular for stranded hand.
Construction: 2 Mittens on one circular. 38 stitches around (19 on each side). Worked from Finger to cuff with an afterthought thumb.

These went so fast. After I discipline myself to finish the collar on my Mom's sweater, I am going to do another pair of mittens, but adult size. I think I will do this pattern but convert it to mittens rather than fingerless.
Here is the chart I drew up: It is 19 st by 25 rows. I placed the thumb between rows 8 & 9 (if working from cuff up) or rows 17 & 18 (if working from fingers down)
Question: Any other blogger users out there? Can you tell me, why does blogger allow some photos to be enlarged and other not? i.e. the 2 mitten photos above, are the same size, but only one can be enlarged with clicke on.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feeling Down...

After the "high" of knitting like a madwoman for 2 days, packaging up the socks, mailing them, and then saying goodbye to my Mom (who was here for 2 weeks helping out), I feel down. I'm sad to see the socks I worked so hard on go, isn't that weird? So instead of rambling I think I will post some photos of what I have been up to the last week.
Ahhhh...wait.....wait....wait......there we go, that's better, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and a coors light. Much better, now back to blogging. :-)

First I made a bag with a pattern and fabric I had purchased more than a year ago. Ugh. silly non-functional bag. Felt more like quilting than making a bag. So, I decided to make something more useful. Using an old bag, some things I read on the web and scratch paper, this is what I came up with:
Oops forgot a photo of the matching tissue holder.
Then I went on to knit some doll sweaters:

Ignore the sloppy heart, as the pattern was written bottom up (I did top down) and I don't have much experience yet with lace work or travelling stitches. And the cardi on the right is still missing buttons.

And lastly I made more bags, stitch markers and then along came the SockWars. Wow, what an exciting mind game. I was busy most of Saturday and just when Mom was going to take the kids out of my hair for few hours I got a message from my assassin that she was ready to mail my socks to me. Well, that took the wind right out of my sails. Talk about Psyched out! A dead stop with only the cuff and 2 scar repeats done. Then a couple of good friends encouraged me to continue, and I realized that I really wanted to send the package to my target myself. AND, here it is Monday afternoon, I have not yet been assassinate, and my personal package has been sent express to Texas! That feels good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall has arrived, so has the PostMan!

Well, the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling and the rain has come.....Fall is here. I also got my delivery from KnitPicks. Awaiting a box from too. But that has not yet arrived. I have just swatched the yarn from KnitPicks and it is perfect gauge. It also looks and feels great. I was really surprised as I knit this up, that I was falling in love with it. It is Telemark in color Mineral Heather, knit on the new Harmony 3.25 circular needle. I received 3 balls, I hope that is enough.
Saturday is coming up soon. And my LYS, The Fiber Loft, is having it's Fall sale this weekend.....Oh the choices we must make. I usually cannot do much knitting on the weakend as I have to care for children. But my Mom is here and can help me out.....although; now I have to choose between knitting socks and buying more yarn.....Hmmm. I think it will have to be both.
My husband says "stay focused! Knit Socks!" I say....multi-task? my husband is a WOW fan, and when he is on a mission, he stays focused, even if it takes all night. I must say, I cherish my sleep way too much to sacrifice, so all I can do is my best, and dream that I am the winning assassin. LOL :-)