Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last socks of the year

With this pair, I am done with socks for 2011. No sock WIPs are being carried over into 2012, which is unusual.

Pattern: Four-Stitch Ribbing Patterns by Charlene Schurch, baby cables
Yarn: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka Degradee Color, colorway 106
Needles: US1
Modifications: none but I cast on with a 2x2 ribbing stitch

And that is also the last of the Degradee except for a skein that is becoming a scarf.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Baby needs a new pair of mittens

It still is not very winterlike around here - a bit of snow here and there, but its not sincere - but it still became obvious that Toddler N needed some mittens. So while she napped, I whipped out these:

In the pink!

Pattern: Child's Mitten
Yarn: Wool-Ease, I think, left over from who knows what
Needles: US3 DPNs
Modifications: None

With toddlers, you never know what they will like and what they won't like, but she seems to like all her grandma knits.

Ready for Rhinebeck!

I have not knit her any socks beyond the infant ones she rapidly outgrew, but I'm sure that will change.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Startitis needs to turn to finishitis

While I realize that my WIP in pile is nothing, nothing compared to some, it does weigh heavy on my mind. Not that that stops me from casting on something new, but still. Lets see just where we stand. (Note: I am not including any WIP that is not on my Ravelry page - some projects are best not mentioned.)

Minimalist Cardigan - All this needs are some seams. Please, please, knitting gods, give me a little fortitude, to finish this. It will expand my minimalist wardrobe greatly.

Belinda - This is finished, sort of. I bound off, then decided it needs a few more rows. The undoing of the bind off is my undoing - this is Kidsilk Haze.

Historic Danish shawl - This is languishing because I am afraid I will run out of yarn, and then what will I do? Plus, the yarn is not very knitworthy, as it was spun for weaving. I'm tempted to take up weaving, just to use this yarn for its intended purpose.

Mitered Crosses blanket - What is holding me up here is indecision about how best to assemble the squares. I've tried several methods, none of which I like very much. Maybe kitchener?

Baby cable socks - These I have been working on and have just the toes to knit.

Suspender cardigan - I am happy to report that GardeningWitch supplied me with a skein of yarn (and some stitch markers! She is one of those naturally generous people I try to emulate). Again, finishing this sweater will expand my wardrobe.

Mohair Bias loop - I put this away for the holidays, to keep it out of harm's way, and there it sits. My only excuse is it's Kidsilk Haze.

Cowls - There are four of them, all still waiting for their buttons. I decided to block them before buttoning them, but I'm sure they are dry by now. Seams and buttons - my downfall!

Scarves - While knitting the cowls, I would bind off one and drape it over the back of my neck while casting on another, and discovered just how much they helped ward off the winter chill. So I started wearing this scarf with a navy sweater that is usually not warm enough by itself. And now I want more "inside" scarves, ones that I can wear as accessories. So I started two. In fingering. What was I thinking?!?

And that is the end of the list. What's in your WIP pile?

Monday, December 26, 2011



This pattern is a good one for stash busting if you have a lot of spare cotton yarn on hand (which I do, for some stupid reason). I also think this pattern would make good dishrags and hot pads because of the garter ridges.


Pattern: Gridded Kitchen Towel
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid in 'Espresso' and Pisgah Yarn Peaches & Cream Ombres in 'Daisy Ombre'
Needles: US7
Modifications: I cast on 66 stitches after trying the recommended 87 because it seemed HUGE, but am now hoping it does not shrink a lot, as it is close to being the same size as my store-bought kitchen towels


I made a mistake at one end of the towel - purled when I should have knit, so one of those garter ridges came up missing. By the time I discovered it, I was NOT going to rip back. However, I duplicated the error at the other end of the towel, thereby turning a minus into a plus.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Knitted but not done

Sorry for my absence, but after working on a computer all day, it is difficult to go online in the evening as well. In fact, I make it a soft rule to stay offline in the evenings, just to give myself a break. But I wanted to post something before I forget what I am working on. So here are four cowls I've recently knitted.

Kerchief Cowl

Schmatta 1

Schmatta 2


And here are the buttons to go on the cowls.

I think I should make Sunday a sew-on-buttons day. Sounds like a good activity to watch football by.

Meanwhile, I am almost done with the Gridded Kitchen Towel.

I made a mistake near the beginning, something I did not discover until near the end. But if I duplicate the mistake at the other end, then a flaw becomes a feature, right?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Good news!

Re the yarn shortage for the Suspender Cardigan: Ravelry to the rescue! Despite the quirky search feature in their yarn section (you can enter the lot number as a search criteria, but it doesn't seem to do anything), I found some knitters with matching yarn. GardeningWitch is sending me a skein (all the way from the UK!), and if that is not enough, I have an offer of a half-skein from LauraB69. Aren't knitters grand?

Meanwhile, I have been cowling away - four are completed, using three different patterns. I will post pictures and details once the buttons are added.

And the baby cable socks are progressing nicely.

And if that were not enough, I started a Gridded Kitchen Towel. I guess I am in the mood to bust some cotton stash.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


At first, I was hoping to name this post "Two steps forward, one step back" because I had to redo the sleeves when I realized I had forgotten to include the decreases.

But after correcting my error and continuing on my way, I RAN OUT OF YARN.

WAH! The sleeves are about elbow length, NOT what I was aiming for. I tried looking on Ravelry for duplicate colorway (8401) and dye lot (9338), but their search feature leaves a lot to be desired. And most knitters don't record the dye lot anyway. So I emailed the store where I purchased it, to see if they have more (because of course I did not purchase it locally). If so, maybe they will be willing to mail me an order. Otherwise, I may have to drag the sweater from LYS to LYS, looking for a match. Unless one of you has a suggestion?

I am also stuck on the mitered crosses blanket, but only because of personal dissatisfaction with joining the squares. The pattern recommends a three-needle bind off, which I am not loving. I tried slip stitching and single crocheting as well. Next I will try a simple whipstitch.

So, I'm stuck working on my baby cables.

It has been a while since I've knitted socks, and it is nice to return to an old standby.

And let's finish off with another pic of Toddler N, this time modeling the Debbie Bliss hooded pullover.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

More progress

The Suspender Sweater continues to toot along. I've been alternating sides, and am actually farther along than these photos indicate. In fact, the sleeve caps are done, as are the sides. All that is left are the sleeves.

I'm getting a little anxious about running out of yarn. When I purchased the gray and pink, I did not have a sweater in mind, much less a garter stitch one. I also envisioned using more of the pink.

If I run short, I can repeat the suspender pattern at the cuffs, assuming all I need is two extra inches per sleeve. And I have enough black Cascade 220 to use that to i-cord around the hem. Let's just hope the knitting goddesses look with favor upon this project.

The Mohair Bias Loop is limping along. I can stand to work only a few rows at a time - love the result but hate knitting this yarn (Super Kid Seta by Trendsetter Yarns - very much like Kidsilk Haze).

You would think using US10.5 needles would speed things up, but no. I even have to count each stitch, to make sure I don't drop one. This project will take a while.

And just because she is so darn cute, here is Toddler N, modeling her Debbie Bliss A-Line Cardigan on Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful for a lot of things, but especially for grandchildren.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Carry on

When it came time to start the suspenders for the Suspender Cardigan, I found myself questioning the instructions, especially the slipping of a stitch wyif on the right side of the fabric. I started, stopped, ripped back, sat and thought, researched online and on Ravelry, thought some more, knitted a sample, then bit the bullet.

In the book, there are photos of several sample suspenders, but no closeups of the one described in the pattern. I contemplated doing something creative, using some oddball yarn, but in the end fell back on following the instructions and knitting with black, dark gray, and pink Cascade 220. I think it works.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Garter stitch orgy

Now that the baby/toddler items are done, all I want to do is knit. No seed stitch, no ribbing, no purling, just knit. The Mason-Dixon Mitered Crosses blanket is perfect for that.

I have all the mitered cross squares done, but am struggling with the joining of them. So I decided to weave in ends first, a Sisyphean task that is easy to put down.

When not weaving in ends, I have been knitting EZ's Suspender Cardigan from Knit One Knit All. Not only is this all garter, all the time, but it incorporates some interesting construction.

First, you knit the back.

Then you knit up one side of the front, and build the collar while attaching the back.

Then it is back down the other side of the front, making i-cord loops along the way.

That is just the center front/back. Once that is complete, you pick up stitches along the sides and knit the "suspenders" and sides and sleeves. Quite clever.

Last week I was on the road, so I do have a pair of baby-cable socks on the needles, but they are not progressing very quickly. And while trying to neaten up the craft room, I grabbed some mohair-silk lace weight (not Kidsilk Haze, but like it) that has been laying around for quite some time, and started a wrap. It's another project that is easy to put down, primarily because of the yarn. I guess I am feeling lazy, want only something easy to work on. Hence, the garter.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Last one

Technically, this project is not 100% finished. I purchased the buttons today but cannot sew them on until Toddler N tries on the pinafore. If I were to knit this over, I might put a series of buttonholes in the straps and attach the buttons inside the waist, to make it adjustable. Not that moving buttons is a big deal.

Pattern: Pinafore Dress from Debbie Bliss Essential Baby
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in colorway 340026 (kind of a blue/green/gray)
Needles: US2 and US3
Modifications: None

The hem was not the nightmare I envisioned because I had the sense to block the pieces before assembly, including the fold for the hem. Some of the moss stitch does not look perfect, but I decided not to inspect it too closely.

Thus ends this year's knitting for Toddler N. At least, that is the plan. I wonder if she needs mittens?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Last night I took advantage of the small turnout of goblins and witches Yankees and Scarecrows to finish up the hooded pullover for Toddler N. (YES, she is walking now, albeit not very enthusiastically. She's like a new skier, disbelieving her ability to stay upright.) The seams - and there were seemingly a bazillion of them - actually came out halfway decently (eventually - there were several do-overs). Maybe the trick to becoming adept at seaming is to stop avoiding it and to practice, practice, practice. Duh.

Pattern: Hooded Pullover by Debbie Bliss (in Design It, Knit It Babies)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto in colorway 23006 (oatmeal) and Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-Ply in colorway 22015 (lime-ish green)
Needles: US6 and US3
Modifications: None

There are a few errors in the pattern that are published and a few that become apparent as one goes along. The instructions become kind of vague toward the end, but I managed to muddle through. All in all, a success.

My daughter recently returned a bagful of handknits that Toddler N has outgrown. Now that she is a toddler, sweaters and hats will fit her for at least a season if not a year or two. My advice to new grandmas is to refrain from knitting up too many newborn and baby things, sweet as they are, but to save one's efforts for the later stages of growth.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One done

The seams are not the best but they were sewn and the buttons were added in time for Baby N's first birthday party.

Pattern:  A-Line Cardigan, from Debbie Bliss Design It, Knit It Babies
Yarn:  Baby Cashmerino in 340026 (a greenish-grayish color)
Needles:  US3
Modifications:  Several - after all, the book title says "design it"

One obvious modification was substituting ringwood stitch for the stockinette in the body.  This greatly reduced curling.  The sleeves I kept as stockinette, but on Chrisknits advice, added a little ringwood at the cuff.  And I dropped the collar, at my daughter's suggestion.

Using a different stitch than simple stockinette was a bit of a challenge in places, like under the arms, where I reverted to stockinette to reduce bulk.  But apparently I cannot count, because the back and fronts did not line up right.

Fortunately, two wrongs make a right, so while the stockinette is not a perfect match, the back and fronts were the same length.  Whew!

I still have the pinafore to seam up and the hooded pullover to finish.  My best excuse for not having these done is I was sick last week, with an intestinal virus, that laid me so low that I could not even knit.  Feeling much better now, though, so hopefully the rest will be finished anon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My own "grandma set"

I knit these up a while ago, but per usual, it took me forever to get a button sewn on.  I make these for my agemates as they become grandmas, and decided I should make a set for myself.

Pattern:  Baby Bib O' Love from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn:  Elann Den-M-Nit Pure Indigo Cotton
Needles:  US6 (I think)
Modifications:  None

Pattern:  Baby Genius Burp Cloth, from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Elann Den-M-Nit Pure Indigo Cotton
Needles: US6 (I think)
Modifications: None

They have already been used.  The cotton is very absorbent.  And washable.  A must with babies.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Kittyville - the small size

I decided Baby N needed a new winter hat.  Enter Kittyville.  The pattern was for an adult size hat, but using some arithmetic, I determined that knitting it in DK instead of worsted would yield a toddler-sized hat.  Since the width of the seed stitch border and the width of the sides below the crown were given in inches in the pattern, I guessed that a 1" border and 3" sides would be about right.  And they were.

Too bad the seed stitch is barely visible in this craptastic photo
Pattern:  Official Kittyville Hat from Stitch n Bitch (no link - thanks, Blogger)
Yarn:  Valley Farms Valley Superwash DK in 03 (black)
Needles:  US5 DPNs
Modifications:  DK instead of worsted, smaller band and sides

Too bad you can't see the ears in this otherwise adequate photo
Now, a slacker mom like me would view this hat as an opportunity to dress Baby N in a black leotard and tights, add some whiskers, and consider the costume complete for baby's first Halloween.  If anyone asks, she is Hello Kitty's evil twin.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Got yarn?

On our trip to New England, I hit two yarn stores, one scheduled, one not.  First up was Charlotte's Web in Exeter, NH.  As I have done elsewhere, I asked about local yarn and learned that the hand dyers in that area frequent farmers markets and such.  Unfortunately, we would not be around for one.  I did snatch up a couple of skeins of this:

It's from Seacoast Handpainted Yarns; content alpaca, silk, and merino; colorway "Shy as Acorn".  Yum!

I also purchased some Noro Kureyon for the Mitered Crosses blanket I've been itching to start.  Later, at Loom with a View in Newburyport, MA, I added some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted.  And then when I got home, I could not wait to start.


Block one of ten started
As if that were not enough, I also ordered from Webs some Debbie Bliss Rialto DK and 4-ply for a hooded pullover for Baby N (who I will start calling Toddler N once she starts walking).

Oatmeal and lime anyone?
And I could not wait to start that project, either.

In case you are wondering about the other projects for Baby N, they are not being totally neglected.  For one thing, weaving in the ends took forever.  For another, I decided to block before assembling.

A-line Cardigan
The ringwood stitch for the cardigan did resist curling except on the edges, which will be seamed together, so no worries.  The button bands lay flat, much to my relief.

Pinafore Dress back

Pinafore Dress front
The only part of the Pinafore Dress I was worried about was the hem, which suffered from some serious curling.  Dressing wires to the rescue!

Pinafore Dress hem detail
My goal is to have the Baby N projects completed by her birthday later this month.  Then, on to xmas knitting!