Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yes, it does have cashmere in it.

Debbie Bliss. To me, she it the Martha Stewart of Knitting.
I was one lucky knitter to spend the afternoon with Debbie.

My knitting career began when I picked up a debbie bliss book. Those gorgeous baby knits...not the crazy primary coloured trucks and animal sweaters. These were tasteful, beautiful knits for babies.

My child will wear these knits

And away I went...knitting, learning, searching, discovering...all the while wanting to knit everything that debbie bliss designed.
Imagine how I felt the day that I discovered her yarn. I actually drove an hour to another town to find it...I had to have some.
Now, Debbie Bliss yarns are always found in my house. I love the cashmerino line, it is truely one of my favourites.

I was surprised to see the chatter on line recently about the cashmerino lines. Surprised, not disappointed...surprised. Could it be true? Does the label say cashmere content, but indeed it contains none? Do I care?

Well, let me just say it's not that I don't care. I would hate for something to be mislabeled, and the public mislead...but really, cashmere or not...this is fabulous yarn.
It is a joy to knit with and if it was made from dog hair (which it is not!) I would knit with it.

That brings me to yesterday.
Debbie was in town...at the LYS for her trunk show. I had to come to grips with the fact that I had no sitter, and was not going to meet her.
Well, my DH came home early! I had to go!

Firstly, she is a lovely, brilliant and down to earth woman. The knits...oh the knits she brought that we could try on! Do I have a new list of projects!
We ladies...the handful that were there, all chatted with Debbie, asking questions, admiring her designs and new yarns.
She spoke of the manufacturing end of her yarns and I had to pose the question. I hated to bring it up...but I am glad I did.

I've heard the rumors on line of the dispute in regards to the content of her yarn...
Do you want the whole story? she asks?
Yes, of course.

The rumors are just that. Rumors. There is no truth to them.
There seems to be some back stabbing going on in the yarn business...like most businesses.

A yarn Debbie Bliss has put her family name on is being slandered. This is unfair.
She has been to the manufacturer in Italy...she has had the yarn tested numerous times, and everytime the goat hair content is there.

The label is correct.

I have heard it from the woman's mouth and have seen the sincerity in her eyes. It is so unfortunate the turn this battle has taken. She is really troubled by this whole thing. Her company is a small company of eight people....who all work very hard to bring us these designs and yarns. This is not only hurting the integrity of her yarn, but it is damaging to her name and her person.

Debbie, stand behind your product. You have done nothing wrong and I for one stand behind you. There is no ground for any action on "their" part...but I must say that if someone was slandering my product and my name, I would certainly be taking legal action against THEM.

Here is Debbie's open letter:
"As you may know there has been some malicious rumours circulating in the USA suggesting that my cashmerino qualities contain no cashmere at all.On hearing about the rumours my distributors in the UK, Designer Yarns , who buy the yarn from a leading Italian manufacturer immediately started extensive retesting of all my cashmerino ranges in the UK and Italy,including DNA`tests. All conclusively confirmed the presence of cashmere in these yarns.
As you can imagine this has been an immensely stressful situation for me, not only does it bring into question my own integrity but also that my distributors, and the manufacturer, all who have had many years of experience in the business .I am a small outfit, not a impersonal, large corporation, and I rely on the loyalty and fantastic dedication of a small group of knitters and pattern checkers to make my projects happen.The potential damage that these attacks could have hurt us all.
I cannot emphasis enough that the rumours are untrue. Meanwhile I take great comfort in knowing that there are fantastically supportive knitters and retailers out there."

Debbie's test results can be found here.
Let's be done with it and just enjoy the knitting!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Baa baa...

Check it out!

I am loving it!

This teal baby cashmerino is just gorgeous...and those sheep! Come on!

Working the skirt in the round was perfect. I divided at the arm holes for the front and back then worked them separately.

My worry was the head hole.
I've given birth to a 9lb 6oz baby...and I KNOW that those heads are big, trust me on this one.

The dress, as constructed, is a pull over the head number...well, this worried me. I just couldn't see it working...so I decided to make a slit in the back and will put a looped button hole for a button there.
This brings up problems with the collar. I will have to split it in the back...I am just not sure of the aesthetics of it all...we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

For now...I am working the arms top down! Oh how fun these short rows are!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Eye candy friday.

A little eye candy...or eye cookie I should say...

MMMMMMMMMM....sugar cookies!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sheep dress attempt

Ok...we have already established the insanity with Christmas knitting here.
Let's be serious for a moment. I will knit for parents, nieces and nephews...oh and the sibling gift...for sure. The others are if I have time, which I probably will make time...we will see.

So I attempt the EZ baby sweater...well...she doesn't really give a size and my gauge is different than the "pattern" gauge...I know it will be too small. I push some numbers around, in much frustration, and decide to look for a baby sweater sizing schematic...to see how big it should really be.

I go through that Debbie Bliss Baby Knits book, you know the one. Yeah, no schematics here.

I remember a couple things from this book that I would love to knit...oh the baby knits.

That dress, that is totally insane...oh that dress.
I have to knit it for my new niece.
So instead of a quick little baby sweater, I now have a major knit on my hands...

Here is the first attempt...as written, in intarsia. ( I steamed the edge to see if it would actually lie flat...baby cashmerino seriously rolls in stst)

I hate intarsia. Also, why are the back and fronts knit in pieces...I guess for the simplicity of writting a pattern...but I want to knit the skirt of the dress in the round and use fair isle. Also my gauge is off...so a little math later...we come up with this...

Much better.
The first attempt I knit the chart as written, but to get that smooth look on the bottom of the sheep, you must knit the first row in st st. ( you see that purl bump on the sheep's rear...that is what the whole row would look like if knit as the chart is written) Then the rest of the sheep in moss...I likey the moss stitch sheep.
I know that the floats may be a problem for those little toes...so I will HAVE To knit the matching booties...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Canada Socks

I finished these little babies up on the weekend...

Started: Sept 23, 2006
Finished: Oct 21, 2006
Yarn: Elann's Devon in Black (2 balls) and one ball of red and beige.
Pattern: Nancy Bush's Canada Socks in Knitting on the Road.
Needles: Knitpicks US#2...the second sock's fair isle is a little tighter...not sure why, but I hope it all works out after a little wear.
Adjustments: None really. A little length in the foot.

I really like these socks. They did get put on the back burner a couple of times for other projects, but they were fun to knit. I must say that I don't really like knitting with black yarn, it is really hard to see your stitch pattern unless you are sitting right under a light.

Fun socks, and another off the list!

FYI: some have asked about the dolls...I continually work on outfits and the dolls hoping to have another done to show you this month. They are from this book.

Also, I am lining my hats with whatever soft merino I have. Some of you have suggested fleece yarn to me, but I am really trying to use up what I have.

Finally, a question about the Rib and Cable socks. The cast on is with doubled yarn. It is really quite simple...just take two strands of your yarn and cast on (I used the long tail cast on). This makes a nice stretchy cuff for socks, plus it is really simple!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another one off the list...

So, some of you think I can do it...most of you think I am insane. It's true. I was in retail managment for 10 years...and Christmas was always hectic. Maybe I miss the insanity, and that is why I knit so much at Christmas....


Here's Nick's hat...black with white stripe. Done.

It is a simple hat I knit over the past couple days. I think I started Wednesday. I used up some black yarn, which I think is Zara and some devon doubled for the white stripe. A simple hem with some lining and voila.

Again, it is big...but the boys are big!

Another one off the list...what next?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Making a list, checking it twice.

Ok, here it is. Mainly for my own enjoyment...

Mom - I usually knit something majorish and minor...Major is done, and minor is just about there.
Dad - Also a major knit with a little something...done.
Sibling Exchange - Yeah, I had to do a little cheating with the secret name picking, and this is a major project that I don't even have the yarn for yet.

The nieces
Fana - doll, knit and one outfit done.
Cecilia - doll, already knit and complete with two outfits.
Alexis - doll not even near knit.
Georgia (only a month old now!)- a sweater that I keep changing my mind on. I am leaning towards this.

The nephews
Kurtis - Hat. The skull hat with flaps, done.
Nick - Hat. The request is black with a white stripe near the brim...I am working on it now.
Blake - Hat. Confirmed this evening that he would like the We Call them Pirates hat red with black skulls.
Lukas - Hat. Black and he is all about Pokemon.
Spencer - Hat. The R2D2 hat...done.
Connor - Hat. Not really sure yet, but will confirm with him on the next visit...Nov 7th.
Christopher - Hat. Ditto.
Corey - Hat, I have some ideas. I am thinking stripy...flaps.

The inlaws
MIL - would like a tank or sweater...but I have yet to see her wear the other two tanks or shawl that I have knit her. She like to save things for special occasions.
FIL - He would love another sweater, I am just not sure yet.
Rachele - I think another pair of socks would be great.
Tina - ditto.
Michael - Do I knit for the "boyfriend". He is really in (no pressure Michael if you are reading)...and I really would love a wedding to attend that I can show off my new dance moves!

Lastly but certainly not least...
DH - As picky as my hubby is, I think I may attempt a sweater he would enjoy...seamless hybrid? Can you say brooklytweed wanna be?
Lucca - Again, a sweater...batmanish...superwashish...swishish?
Matteo - Ditto but sub with superman.

Then there are like 10 birthdays before Christmas that I always seem to think I have time to knit for. I really would like to knit things for those family memeber who have yet to get a handknit gift...we'll see....

A little friday eye candy...

We went on our first field trip this morning to pick apples....mmmmmm....apple pie....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Work it girl...

Guess what I have been working on...

An arm here, a leg there, an outfit...a COAT! Not only is it fun to knit up these dolls...I am able to use up lots of scrap yarn.

This is certainly going to be the best dressed doll that my niece has ever had!

Perfect complexion of wool cotton...
Beautiful flowing alpaca hair...
Warm wool clothing...
Koigu shoes...
A cashmere trimmed merino coat...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Knitpicks Swish

Ok...here is the knitpicks Swish swatch (say that ten times fast!) before (again, bad lighting and I used a flash...sorry)

US#7 gave me a guage of 21 sts and 28 rows in 4"


Still nice. The stitches are blurred a bit.


I now have a guage of 21 sts and 32 rows in 4"


A wonderfully soft yarn. Knits up beautifully and washes well...but beware of the dryer.
I personally don't think I would knit up a sweater and toss it in the dryer no matter what the yarn is. I think blocking a garment flat enables you to reshape the garment and it may possibly save you from bearing your midriff.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Skull Flap Hat

Another one to cross off the list...

Started: October 14, 2006
Finished: October 15, 2006
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish dublin 2 balls and elanns Devon in white (doubled) 1 ball
Pattern: A combination of a few...altered so much I think I will call it my own;)

Where to begin. I really like Swish...it's so soft and squishy. I have yet to wash and dry a swatch in machines...but I will today. What a great yarn for kids clothing. Here is another view of the hat...a little blurry though, the lighting is crap today.

My guage is 20sts and 28 rounds to 4" using US#7 for st st and US#8 for fair isle.
The hat is really big. I actually don't mind that it doesn't pull on the fair isle and it doesn't squash the hair. The finished circumference is about 24". If you want it snug, you need to make a tighter gauge.

I started with the earflaps.
Long tail cast on 7 sts and purl one row. Work the chart, increasing in front and back of stitch for symbol.

The purled in skull motif is not really necessary, because the motif is hardly visible, but it does help the flap not to curl.
You end up with 33 sts that you put on a holder then make the second one.
The second flap you leave on your needles then cast on 39sts for the front. (I used the thumb cast on done really tight.)
Now knit the 33sts off the holder of the other flap. Cast on 15 sts for the back and then join it all in the round. 120sts.

Knit 1 round.
Purl 2 rounds.
Knit 12 rounds.

Work the 21 rows of this chart.

To keep guage in fair isle, I find I need to go up a needle size. So on row #6 I changed to US#8 needles and back to US#7 needles on row 17.
When the chart is complete, knit 9 rounds.

Start the decreases:
round 1: (k13, k2tog) 8 times. 112sts
round 2: (k12, k2tog) 8 times. 104sts
round 3: (k11, k2tog) 8 times. 96 sts
cont decreasing this way until you have 56sts.
round 9: (k3, k2tog, k2tog) 8 times. 40sts
round 10: (k1, k2tog, k2tog) around 24sts
round 11: (k2tog) around 12sts.
repeat last round. 6sts. Break yarn and drawn through remaining sts and pull tight. Weave in ends.

I finished the edges with a single crochet all the way around. Then made two twists of yarn (7 pieces for each ear flap) for the ties.


FYI: Thank you all for your comments on the bus problemo. It seems I am not alone. I have called them everytime they have done this....guess that doesn't work. As I walked him to the bus...three blocks...PAST the perfectly good public school outside my door...in the pouring, freezing rain...with my 2 year old...I am really starting to "eye" that public school.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rib and Cable Socks

Do you sometimes wonder why?
As I run out the door minutes before the bus is to pick up my son...
to walk PAST the perfectly good public school right outside my front door...
three blocks with two children, so he can go to a Catholic School...
to watch the bus that is to pick him up turn a street to early for the fourth time this year...
run home the three blocks to get them in the car...
drive miles to his school to drop him off late...
where there are no "kiss and ride" adults to take him into the school...
then two buses pull up behind me...
Can you believe the bus driver is *shooing* me out of the way!?...
Guess what the good Catholic mother did...
I just wonder why.

Anyhoo...some knitting.

Started: October 2, 2006?
Finished: October 14, 2006
Pattern: Rib and Cable Socks from IK fall 2005
Yarn: Koigu, not sure the exact colour code. I really love this yarn. That was the last of it in my stash...I need more Koigu!
Needles: Knitpicks US#2...I LOVE these needles.
Adjustments: I shortened the cuff, for fear I would run out of yarn. I could have made it another inch though.

I really like the stretchy cuff on these. I know I have cast on with two strands for a shawl, but for socks it is great. I've tried to do the cast on around two needles and that doesn't work for me. Using two strands make a nice stretchy cuff.

These are a great pair of socks. I really love the pattern. It keeps your interest the entire time. I definitely will be making more of these.
A fabulous gift...for a knitblog friend.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let's talk hats.

I need a break from socks...I know it's socktober, but come on. I finished the Rib and Cable socks. They are drying and I will post on them hopefully tomorrow.

So, let's talk hats.

Someone knit one of my patterns!
Check out Martha's R2D2 hat! Beautiful.

She made it in a different gauge and loved the pattern.
Martha also decided to knit the lining first and then knit up the hem. I wasn't sure how this would work out with fair isle, so I avoided it.
She says "There is a slight dimpled line in the fabric where I K2tog the lining to the body of the hat. If you are a perfectionist I would not recommend it, but if you hate hemming it's not that noticeable."
I don't see it!

Martha didn't have a problem with the pattern, but says to remind you to knit the "may the force be with you" starting with the last letter "u" because you knit the chart from right to left.

Next, Kurtis' hat. After many emails we came up with something he would like. A mix of this and this....green and white...a huge head...and here we are:

I must say that I am loving this knitpicks swish...so much so that I have projects flying around my head clouding the christmas knits that are a priority right now.
I did hand wash the swatch because I had to use devon doubled in white for the pattern. I will swatch with extra yarn (if there is any) and put it in the washer AND the dryer...like it says you can do, and give you a report.

Have you seen the previews?

Vogue Holiday

Interweave knits Winter ...there is also a holiday preview that I was really looking forward to...yeah, it is mostly repeats. Very disappointing.

Can I just say, I will be rewarding myself after Christmas knitting with that bag, scarf and sweater (all in the same row) in the Vogue Holiday. HELLLLLOOO gorgeous cabled sweater.

Also loving the Provincial Waistcoat, the Pewter Coat, the Enid Cardigan, the Venezia Pullover, and the Blue Skies Cardigan in the IK preview. The Blue Skies Cardigan reminds me of what my Meme used to knit...love it.

Ohhhhhh so many projects for ME....after the Christmas knits.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wisteria Log Cabin Socks

Friday 2:00 p.m. I crossed the finish line.

Started:Oct 11, 2006
Finished: Oct 13, 2006
Yarn: elann's Peruvian Highland Wool in Wisteria 2 balls
Needles: Addis US#5
Pattern: Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Adjustments: None.

These are some nice cozy socks! Great for keeping your feet warm around the house, like a pair of slippers. The yarn is from my stash...I am consciously trying to knit my stash...and it is ok. I can see these really pilling up after a couple of wears...time will tell.
Happy Belated Birthday MA!

Now, back to Christmas knitting...

Friday, October 13, 2006

And more socks...

How about a sock knitting race....


I have been eyeing the Log Cabin socks from Handknit Holidays. I was going to make a couple of pair for christmas gifts...but I haven't knit anything for my fellow knitting sister MA (she really just dabbles in knitting). So, with her birthday passing this weekend...I thought these would be great. She is frequently in town for work and her feet are always ice cold.
They are super thick socks, perfect for around the house. I just hope she doesn't slip on her hardwood floors and sue me....ha...you know how lawyers are...

Anyway, she calls me Wednesday to say she will be in town Thursday night for work Friday.


Well, Wednesday I had to take a migraine pill, so there was some lying around knitting...and knitting...and resting...and closing my eyes for a moment...and knitting...until I came up with this.

Yeah, that's right...an entire sock in a day.
Mind you, it is worsted weight yarn and being knit on US#5 needles...so it knits up pretty quick.

Here I am yesterday...for those of you who requested the "lying down knitting" shot...

Yes dad, the housework was done...the kiddies attended to...dinner on the stove...
Did I finish the pair....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The heel...as promised.

Check out the heel...

The pattern continues down the heel, without the cables and then there is that cool looking short row heel turn. Brilliant.
Oh, the pattern is Rib and Cable socks from Interweave Knits Fall 2005.

Now...a reader question...

Hi there -

Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a really big fan of your blog, and love seeing your FO's. As I've watched your progress over quite a number of things over the months, I've often wondered how you manage to balance your time as a mother, crafter and homemaker with all the many tasks that each involves.

As someone who struggles with time management, I'm always eager to learn from the success of others, and I'm wondering if you have any good tips to share regarding this area. In other words, how do you do it all? (Or even, what have you decided ISN'T important to your success?)

Thanks so much,

Ok Alison, here it is.
First. I don't work outside of the home. Well, not now anyway...but I may be back at it sooner than I thought. So imagine all the time you could find if you were at home.
Now, don't get me wrong...I am not sitting down all day knitting and feeding the children through a hole in their bedroom door.
We get up at around 7:30...coffee, breakfast, pack back pack...to the bus stop. In the olden fatty days, I would now have the second cup of coffee and knit a bit...like and hour. No more. Off to the gym. (well, not lately...I've been house organizing and painting...)
Home to shower and make lunch. Pick up at the bus stop and now I may knit while they eat lunch.
Errands...crafty with the kiddies...whatever needs to be done is done now. I keep the house organized, fairly neat and clean. Pick up as I go.

If I have a chance, I will knit an hour at this point. Laundry day is great...cause I knit between folding loads.
Some days there is no time to knit. Like the days I am continually painting the bathroom...we won't get into that.
Make dinner...and maybe knit a couple rows here and there if the project is really intense...while I make dinner.
Serve dinner and GAME ON.
I am off duty...well not really. Grab a spot on couch around kiddies and hubby and knit. Get them in PJ's and ready for bed. (Yes including hubby...he doesn't stay up that late!)
Now the serious knitting. I don't go out...no real social life here...I knit straight from 8 till midnight.
I knit fairly quick and I knit Enlgish style....unless there is fair isle happening then there is some continental action.

Thats it. No tricks.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Forbes Forest Nutmeg

Ahhhh...another Forbes Forest complete.

Started: Sept 17, 2006
Finished: October 9, 2006
Pattern: Forbes Forest from "Scarfstyle"
Yarn: Knitpicks Merino Style in Nutmeg
Needles: knit on addis US #5 (I've had to add this for my own personal use, I never remember the needle size used.)
Adjustments: No real adjustments done here. I knit till I was out of yarn...6 balls. It really did knit quickly when cabling without a cable needle and making bobbles without turning my work. I worked on socks inbetween to mix things up...but I will always love knitting this scarf.
It is just gorgeous and....another Christmas gift complete!

I am hoping for many FO's this week. I turned the heel on the second rib and cable sock and finished the colourwork on the second canada sock....oh and even cast on for another sock...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More socks...well, it is Socktoberfest.

So, I was hoping to give you that heel shot, but you have to wait until I turn the second heel. My feet are a little longer than the recipients and I don't want to stretch them all out...just be patient!

There are a couple interesting parts to this heel...at least to me. It is unfortunate that they don't show the heel at all in the photos of the pattern.
The pattern extends down the heel flap, not the typical heel flap for me. Also when you start the short rows, there are some interesting decreases.
My inner knitter spoke to me when I was knitting it, but as usual I ignored it. You really should k2tog then ssk on the other side of the center stitch...the next pair for sure.

Here is the progress...

Of course, I am reversing the cable for the other foot...I just think it will look nicer.
I also shortened up the cuff just because of my fear with koigu. I never think I will have enough to make the full pair...usually the patterns I choose need 3 skeins and I only have two. I did have some length left over so instead of the one inch cuff, I probably could have made it 2 inches, but it definitely would be cutting it close to make the 3 inch cuff as written.
Yes, I know, toe up would have solved the whole problem, but I really like the toe of this sock.

Let it be know that this is a great sock pattern. It is simple,quick to knit and definitely unisex.
I've been working so much with the Devon lately that working with koigu seems to move like a chunky yarn! I think it took two nights to knit the first sock, come on!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Answer time.

Kilt hose questions:

Q: Are those sparkly bits on the ankles, or little lace holes where the cables meet?
--Posted by Danielle

No sparkles...that is just my white skin showing throught the yo holes!

I want to make a pair of those, also not knee-high, but I'm a little stymied by not being able to figure out where in the pattern to start, due to the calf shaping. If you could give me any hints I'd really appreciate it!
Thanks --
--Posted by AuntieAnn

Well, I didn't want to get into any real calf shaping either...so I started where you would turn the cuff down and did about an inch of ribbing. Then I did do the shaping every 6 rows (whatever the pattern said) and tried it on as I went...it seemed to work as written for me.

Latvian Twist
Now that is dead cunning! One question, do you loose much length in your cast on because of the twisting? It really is beautiful.
--Posted by tammy

No I didn't really loose any length in the cast on. It is pretty stretchy. This particular pattern decreases a couple sts about an inch after the cast on...no big deal.

A couple public service announcements for knitters...

Shelley and Dianna thought it would be wonderful to get some spinners and knitters and make a shawl for each mother and sister, perhaps even grandmother, of the victims, deceased and alive of the Amish school shootings. They are thinking of assigning a spinner and a knitter to each recipient to have the spinning and the knitting be consistent within one shawl. Contact them if you are interested.
Shelley: shelleyplatt AT frontiernet DOT net
Dianna: knitmdster AT gmail DOT comThank you!-- Diannahttp://asheepinwoolsclothing.typepad.com/a_sheep_in_wools_clothing/

Rhoda would like you to know of a SNB group in Michigan:
Where: Tuscan Café, 150 N. Center, Northville, MI 48167
When: Second Wednesday of the Month, 6:30pm till ???
Contact: Rhoda sweetknits (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions

I had a little photo of the very cool heel of the rib and cable sock...but I seemed to have accidently deleted it as I cleaned up photos today on the computer. Hmmmm...another tomorrow maybe.
Meanwhile, I've completed the first sock and have started the second! Socktoberfest continues...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 06, 2006

R2 D2 Hat

R2 D2 Hat
(Please note that I am hoping I interpreted my notes properly...so this pattern as written has not been test knit. Please email me with any problems or if you make one!)
Yarn: Elann's Devon. One ball of each in navy(main colour), grey and white. Waste yarn for provisional cast on.
Needles: US #2 circs or double pointed needles (which ever you are comfortable with). Whatever size you need to get guage.
US#1 circs for the lining.
Size: 20" Youth - you could easily make it adult size by using a thicker yarn or adding a few rows and columns.
Gauge: 17 sts in 2" and 17 rows in 2" worked in pattern, in the round, after blocking.
Notes: The hat is knit entirely in stockinette stitch in the round. (except row #3 the purl row near the cuff). The chart is repeated 4 times per row reading the chart from right to left, except for the wording chart that is inserted around the 160sts.
*The red outlines indicate the chart I used from THIS SITE. Insert the R2D2 there. ( I have put in the feet to help.) I made the body white and the "head" of r2d2 in grey, this way working only 2 colours per row.
Stitches 35-40 (part of the "o" and the "u") in row 7-11 is the ending of the "May the force be with you" chart found HERE. Insert this 92 stitch chart in the red outlined area then knit the 2 stitches ( st 127 and 128 of these rows) after the chart in main colour and stitches 129-160 repeat the 5 stitch motif ending on stitch 4. I hope this makes sense...sorry.
Here is the 5 stitch motif:
Decreases: The decreases are worked every row started at row 67.
/ = k2tog
\ = ssk
With main colour, waste yarn and using larger needles, provisionally cast on 160 sts. Join in the round and place marker to indicate the beginning of the round. With main colour, start row 1 of chart. Switch to double pointed needles when needed, or just work magic loop.
When chart is complete, k2tog around. Cut yarn and thread the tail through the remaining stitches. **Weave in ends.
Remove waste yarn and place the stitches on size 1 needle. Join the grey and knit one round. Decrease the next round as follows:
K2tog, k8 16 times. 144sts.
Knit in straight st st until lining measures 2.25". Join main colour (navy) and knit one more round, leaving a 2 yard tail. DO NOT BIND OFF. I found it easier to now put those remaining sts on scrap yarn. Fold hem up and steam flat with and iron. Tack each stitch down to the inside of the hat. Wash and block.
* I am trying to avoid copyright problems.
**I recommend knitting in your ends (nona shows you here) as you work the chart.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Socktoberfest questions...

Compliments of Lolly...the socktoberfest questions:

When did you start making socks?
Back at the end of April 2005. That was adult size socks. I had made some two needle baby socks before that.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself...and I always learn a whole lot from the internet and other bloggers. Many a night I find myself sitting in front of my computer with yarn and needles in hand.

What was your first pair?
Ah, the ugly socks. Remember those? Were you around then? I really wanted to host an ugly sock KAL...

How have they "held up" over time?
Well, the yarn is not the best sock yarn I have used. It is kind of ruff feeling and I don't know why I picked those colours. I now tend to knit socks in a plain colour with texture or lacework...yet I still wear the ugly socks!

What would you have done differently?
Nothing really...I learn as I go. I started with basic socks and just moved up. I started with some inexpensive yarn and my taste grew for finer fibers!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Hmmmm. Koigu, I love, as many of you do. Regia silk is another obsession...it is so soft and it is a really fine gauge which I seem to lean towards now. Devon is working out just great for colourwork in my socks, I've yet to really see how it holds up.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I knit them, you've seen my crochet efforts...they haven't gone to far. Magic loop is the method for me. I have tried double pointed needles and hated the ladder I got inbetween the needles. I know with blocking and practice that would go away, but I like just working across two needles instead of 4. I would hate having to set my self up each time I moved to the next needle...wrapping my yarn for tension around my pinky...etc.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
It really depends on the sock. If it is an elaborate texture design, I go for the simple look of a short row heel. I do love the flap, I just think it is more durable for a heel.

How many pairs have you made?
I had to go count the finished knits...14 complete. I also have two more styles on the needles...the canada socks for a Christmas gift and I just started the cable and rib socks from IK winter (I think)...a surprise for a friend.

And what is a post without a picture?

Following Ashley's lead, I ordered these labels. I went with plain black on white because I couldn't really decide on a colour.

I think my knits deserve a label now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Socktoberfest feature: The Latvian Twist Cuff

How to make a Latvian Twist cuff.

I think this is a beautiful detail on socks, and would look equally as lovely on gloves or a hat. For this particular project, I am using 3 colours and a knit 4 twist repeat. You could use whatever colour combination and make your twist longer with more stitches knit inbetween, or shorter with less stitches knit inbetween.

The cuff is worked back and forth on long needles (or circs) then switch to your double pointed needles or magic loop and join in the round.

Cast on with CC1 (contrast colour)
With main colour, knit 2 rows. Using a CC2 knit 2 rows.

Now, using main colour knit 4 stitches (this number can be whatever you want, in this gauge and for this particular pattern, I am using 4 stitches.)

Now rotate your left needle counterclockwise around your work, one full turn...

and end back at your knitting position.

Continue knitting with main colour. Knit 4 stitches and rotate again as above.

Complete the steps across the entire row and voila!

Latvian Twist complete! Now, using your main colour and working magic loop or on double pointed needles, join your work for working in the round and away you go!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

10 Knitterly Things you didn't know about me, a meme

Ok, it's taken a little time to think of 10....so thanks to Grumperina, here it goes...

1. I hate knitting with hairy yarn. Long ago, back when I was a beginner, I wanted to make this Rockstar scarf. I bought the koigu and the hairy monkey yarn...after a small section of working with the hairy yarn, I quit. Thankfully so, because the koigu later became these.
Remember River? No? Neither do I. Nuff said.

2. I knit patterns that don't require a lot of thought. As much as I love a well fitted garment, I choose the one that basically will fit me well. I would reather spend the time knitting than doing the math to make the garment fit.

3. I must learn new techniques. I had a fantastic art teacher in highschool (His name is Zimmerman...hey that is so weird that I now learn so much from the knitting Zimmerman) He said that you must learn something new everyday...it makes it all worth while. So, every project I hope to learn something new. You know, then I can become one of the all knowledgable knitting guru's.

4. I think often of opening a knitting boutique. One day, when I become a knitting guru, I may just do it. I am leaning towards a knit cafe. In the mean time, I WILL go into both the LYSs here and fix them up. I hate the way they are put together. 10 years in retail management and merchandise display work, I could really help them sell what they have.

5. I love casting on. I really do take some time and think about which of the million cast on's out there will apply to the project..

6. Socks are a must knit for me. I will be knitting socks for my grandchildren.

7. I will never spin yarn. I know, never say never, but I will never spin yarn.

8. I may try dying yarn one day. The colourwork interests me, but dying yarn would never become a source of income. I know, never say never.

9. I think often that I should knit for charity...but I have too many relatives that I love knitting for. Heck, there is a hospital right next door to me, those babies could all be wearing a little hat knit by me. I consider knitting for my brother Tom knitting for charity. (I know you will ask where your sweater is Tom...lets just say when we choose names for Christmas, I WILL get your name.)

10. I am a blog stalker. How could I have the time with two young children, all that knitting, a house to uphold and the blogging that I do...well I make the time. I stalk all of you and you don't even know it. Some of you may have figured it out...my internet host showing up in your hits a million times a day. Thank goodness I discovered bloglines...oh the times that I was waiting and waiting for a post...constantly checking your blog...like some crazy knitting stalker maniac.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Socktoberfest presents....The Schottish Kilt Hose

All done just in time for socktoberfest. Let the games begin!

Started: September 11, 2006
Finished: October 1, 2006
Yarn: Elann's Devon in Cocoa
Pattern: Highland Schottish Kilt Hose from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.
Adjustments: A few. I obviously didn't do the turn down cuff and I had to add some stitches to the cast on to accommodate the foot circumference for the recipient. I didn't go knee high...that would have really been a challenge, and I made the foot longer than the pattern.

I really like the pattern in these socks, definitely a unisex pattern.
Another Christmas gift complete!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts yesterday.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Two Years.

It seems like yesterday.
My brother John.
Missed so very much.

We love to play games when we get together...be it cards, scrabble, board games...this happens to be an intense boggle competition.
I am not sure the exact date of this photo, I think is was Christmas 2003.
John is at the head of the table, myself them my sister Colleen on his left. John's best bud Jamie (casanova) and my youngest brother Tom (you've seen him before!) to his right.

It is still just unbelievable....

I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Alan Wolfelt when he was in Windsor. When dealing with grief, he really knows his stuff. I also picked up one of his books. If you are dealing with a loss, check out his site.

Or just knit...KNIT ON!