March 2006 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from March 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

February 2006 is the previous archive.

April 2006 is the next archive.

On Hold

As you know, it is my belief that socks make the perfect traveling project:

SecondSockCuff.jpg

With that in mind I have cast on for the second of my Sockapaloooza pair and packed my bag. The lace will have to wait, as I'm about to depart for the City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia.

Eagle-eyed readers might notice something in that photo besides knitting. Yeah, it's my iPod Nano. Thanks to everyone who offered comments and advice about their experience with iPods.

Have a great weekend--I'll be on line, but I won't be posting.

See This?

CosyBeginnings.jpg

It's not a coincidence that Cozy is arranged in a frown. What you see here is the second attempt at the first repeat of the second version.

Say what?

The first time through I cast on 85 stitches. That was 14 repeats across. All was fine until I checked the yarn consumption. Two and a half inches consumed 10 grams of a 50-gram skein. At that rate, I figured that I would have less than a two-foot scarf. Not very useful.

R-r-r-r-r-ip!

Version two: cast on 43 stitches. I began to knit the first repeat, thinking that I would get one repeat done before I thought about things like lifelines. Now, admittedly, chart reading and lace knitting do not go hand-in-hand with subway riding. I acknowledge knowing this fact before I boarded the train with knitting in hand.

Number of rides it took for something to go wrong: one.

By row seven of the first eight-row repeat, I knew that something was amiss. I didn't have enough stitches. It is remarkable to me how stitches simply disappear in lace knitting. I never see them leave, but leave they do. Where do they go? I was in denial about this for two subway rides. I checked and rechecked. When all else failed I counted stitches: 42.

I frogged back two rows. The missing stitch felt comfortable enough to return. I'm now back at 43, and back at row seven.

Remember This?

A very long time ago I won this yarn from Ms. JKC:

SheldrigeFarm.jpg

It's Shelridge Farm Softouch Heather in the Opal colorway. Knowing that it was destinted to be a spring scarf for me, I stashed the yarn.

Spring is now, so it's time to get knitting. Early last week, I experimented with the Frost Flowers pattern from Barbara Walker. As you might remember, the experiment failed. It was time to return to the original plan: Cozy.

cozyCU.jpg

I'm excited to begin this project. I'm tired of stockinette.

Sooooo Cute!

Ooh, these are so cute. Cute! Cute! Cute!

BunnyBooties.jpg

If you're keeping track, the Easter Bunny Booties are the third of the baby knitting trio. First, the Jelly Bean Blanket, then the Easter Egg Hat, and finally the Easter Bunny Booties. That's not bad for five skeins of Plymouth Encore Colorspun.

Shake Your...

Bootie (sorry, could not resist):

BootieDone.jpg

All I need to do now is to sew the seam, but I'll wait until I have the second one complete. This should take a matter of hours, if the first was any indication of how quickly booties are knit.

Now I know that this pattern could easily be converted into round knitting. Next time, that's what I'll do. For now, however, I'll keep both booties consistent and knit the second flat.

Hip-ity Hop-ity

I better jump to it on these Easter Bunny Booties.

I'm using the pattern from a 2004 Filatura Di Crosa baby series designed for Tahki Stacy Charles. Here's a visual listing of the patterns available. At $12, I think it's a bargan for the patterns it contains.

FirstBootie.jpg

This will be my very first pair of baby booties. I'm surprised to see that they're knit flat, and I'm curious to see how the shaping works.

Winter Weariness

Found at Forest Hills:

LeftHat.jpg

I'm sick, sick, sick of winter weather, too. I, however, will hang on to my hat because in addition to needing it, I made it myself.

Easter Bonnet?

Not quite! How about an Easter Egg Hat instead:

EasterEggHat.jpg

The i-cord knot on the top is my new hat topper of choice. It's just so darn cute!

And, still I have yarn left over. What's left? Jelly Bean Blanket, Easter Egg Hat....Easter Bunny Booties. Yes!

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week

Who's that I see in the distance (all blurry because the train was moving and I couldn't steady the camera)?

BlurryKIP.jpg

Why it's a fellow subway knitter!

RedKIP.jpg

It's been a while since I have been able to document the presence of fellow knitters on the Orange Line. This woman was working on a short-row heel when I snapped my pictures. Could it be a Sockapaloooza sock?

How 'bout That Hat?

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had some yarn leftover from the Jelly Bean Blanket.

How about an Easter Egg Hat?

EggOnTheBean.jpg

I like the striping better in these short rounds. The subtle shades in the yarn are allowed to pool and balance the more saturated hues. (Am I using the proper terms here? Color-theory people, please let me know!)

Jelly Beans

JellyBeanBlanket.jpg

The picture is not so great, but the real life result is fabulous. I'm very happy, both with the results and to have the project off of my needles. And, not a moment too soon!

What can I say about this blanket? Actually, the pattern is mindless enough so that I could think about other things while knitting, yet not so monotonous that it drove me crazy. The alternating knit-purl sections kept my hands from getting tired, and the color changes kept my eyes interested. In a brief lap test, I noted that the blanket was both warm and snuggly--all in all, a good blanket pattern!

The details for the Jelly Bean Blanket:

Pattern: Basketweave Blanket, from Melanie Falick and Kirsten Nicholas'sKnitting for Baby (But really, look at what I did. Do you really need a pattern for that?)

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun, 75% acrylic, 25% wool (3.5 oz, 100g / 200y, 218m), colorway 7333, five skeins (really, about 4.1 skeins, with enough left over for a hat. Hey....)

Needles: US8s

Size: 36 inches (91cm) square.

What I changed (because you know that I changed something): I adjusted for gauge.

Would I knit this again: Sure, why not? As I wrote above, the pattern and the stripes kept things interesting, and the stitch pattern looks great on both sides. No lining required!

(De)Frost Flowers?

Thinking ahead, I grabbed one of my Barbara Walker stitch treasuries (volume 2) some needles, and some leftover yarn and began to swatch an idea that I had.

I love the Frost Flowers pattern (it's on the cover of volume 2) but I don't like that it appears to run in one direction. Could I rearrange the upper part of the pattern so that the leaves grow down instead of up, thus eliminating the top and bottom look?

FrostFlowerChart.jpg

The first step was to chart out the original pattern. The only shortcoming to the BW books is the lack of charts. Then I recharted the upper portion, inverting the direction of the leaf motif. Finally, I swatched the results.

FrostFlowerSwatch.jpg

Um, no. I guess the lesson is that leaves won't grow down, or at least I can't figure out how to make them do it. The reason has something to do with the way that the decreases create relief in the pattern. It's why Annie Modesitt's Backyard Leaves scarf is knit in two parts and seamed at the top. There's no way to make the leaves change direction mid-pattern.

So much for my idea!

Nothing but Blanket

I'll give the Jelly Bean Blanket a "10" for cuteness, but a "1" for portability.

BlanketInBag.jpg

It's definitely not the thing for knitting on the go. That's the blanket taking up my entire bag. There might be a wallet and at T pass (sorry, I mean a Charlie Card) in there, but who knows.

The smart knitter would tell me to leave the blanket at home, and knit something else during my commute. That's a great idea, except that I know that the other project would instantly become more interesting than the blanket, thus ensuring the blanket's continued languishing. Nope, the only way to finish it is to work on this exclusively.

In Case You Missed This

Thanks, to Knitsmith Shireen, for mentioning this in my comments yesterday:

MakeWay.jpg

As soon as I read Shireen's comment, I high tailed it over to the Public Garden. Our mystery knitter made sure mother duck and her ducklings were properly attired for St. Patrick's Day. [If you don't know to what this sculpture refers, then google "Make Way for Ducklings".]

DuckTam.jpg

Over the past year or so, someone has up the task of knitting for the ducks. Who knows how this knitter slips into the Public Garden unnoticed. Surely someone must witness this act--but is keeping quiet. I didn't notice a trail of green lint which I could follow. This knitter covers her tracks well.

Ducklings.jpg

I certainly didn't look very closely for clues. While I do have a hunch, I have no interest in knowing if I'm correct. Solving the mystery would ruin part of the charm.

Almost There

Suddenly the Jelly Bean Blanket went from being little more than half-way finished to being almost done:

MoreBlanket.jpg

As I was knitting back and forth and flipping this thing on my lap, it began to feel heavy. I stretched it out and measured. I'm one repeat from the garter-stitch border. Nice!

Knitting Here, There, and Everywhere

Taking every opportunity to knit a few rows on the Jelly Bean Blanket (my name):

SubwayBlanket.jpg

Subway knitting.

Well, I guess that's not such a suprise.

I Just Want to Be Done With This

I knit most of this project and managed to keep it off blog. There's not much to say about an in-progress baby blanket.

Blanket.jpg

As you knitters know, the endurance event of knitting is the baby blanket. It's one flat plane of knitted fabric. It always seems a good idea way back at the beginning (and I think every baby needs a nice blanket), but at a certain point (for me, it's about half way) I start to doubt my sanity.

I whipped this sucker off the needles last night and measured my progress. At 36 inches wide, the 22 inches of height means that I still have 14 inches to go. By my calculations that's six more of the square repeats, plus the garter-stitch border.

The colorway is very seasonal, yes? My goal is to have this off of the knitting plate by the end of the week. I think that I can do it!

The Toe

After tweaking the tension loop by loop, my toe is finished:

TheToe.jpg

Can you find the grafted row?

Sock number one of my Sockapalooza pair is finished. I'm half-way there!

SockOne.jpg

Whoo!

There's not much to say:

The sock:

TheSock.jpg
(1.5 oz., need it in metric?)

The yarn:

TheYarn.jpg
(2 oz., metric here)

Thank you for your good yarny thoughts. I'll have enough by 15 grams, or a half ounce. Not much leeway, but enough!

By the way, many of you asked me where I bought this wonderful yarn. I purchased it from fellow Knitsmith Dani, who owns Sunshine Yarns. Have a look at her socks yarns. The colorways are fabulous.

The Toe

Why waste any time? I finished the knitting and decided to kitchener the toe right away:

HalfaGraft.jpg

What you see here is my second attempt; this one was successful. I never move the yarn to the rear needle correctly and this results in a row of twisted lower stitches. I never notice the problem until I'm half way through.

Once I get the toe kitchenered, I'll weigh the sock and the remaining yarn. At this point, I'm not sure what I'll do if I don't have enough yarn, but I'm not too worried. The ball seems denser than I first thought.

Moving On

The sock progresses toward its toe:

SameSock.jpg

(exciting, no?)

Actually, I'm beginning to worry about the yarn. That's a pretty long cuff. Will I have enough? What will I do if I don't?

Fleet Feet

Carole commented a few days ago that socks knit quickly once the heel shaping is finished. At the time I read the comment and thought "no, not really."

In retrospect, she's correct (sorry for doubting you, Carole). I knitted here, there, and everywhere yesterday and was surprised to look up and notice that the foot was more than half-way done.

MoreSockGoodness.jpg

A couple of you had questions about my shortrow heel. As Claudia wrote: shortrow heels are magic. I don't really understand how they work (but it must have something to do with the two sets of wraps creating a steep angle). I'm using the numbers from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts's Dream Socks pattern. At a gauge of seven stitches to an inch, the pattern advised me to leave 14 stitches unwrapped between yarn overs. That meant that I wrapped one more than half the stitches on each of the two heel needles. I don't know if this helps. If your heel seems too pointy, then try wrapping fewer stitches. If it seems too shallow, then try wrapping more.

Thank you everyone for your comments and advice about my upcoming purchase. I began thinking about an iPod last year, when I realized that my CD player was too large. I also realized that I was on my fourth (yes that's 1, 2, 3, 4) CD player in one year (one violently smashed in a treadmill mishap; one was faulty from the get-go; another I lost; and the fourth I still have) and before I spend money on an iPod, I have to prove to myself that I can be responsible with one piece of personal audio equipment for one year. My time is up in April, and that's when I can start looking.

Heels That Make You Go "Hmmm"

As I cruised to a finish on heel number one, I got to thinking. While I like knitting, it can be a little quiet (except for Knitsmiths time, when we're anything but demure.) Do you know what would fix that? Music.

Do you know what that means? An iPod.

Since I'm a woman of action, I went over to the official iPod website to have a look around. I wish that I could say that I wasn't drawn to these things, but I tend to have a weak spot for little gadgets. Then the mental calisthenics of justification kick in: think of how nicely an iPod would fit into the knitting bag! Heck, even Johanna's sock purse could accomodate a sock project and an iPod.

Inside.jpg

Speaking of calisthenics, there's the gym to consider. I must have my tunes for the treadmill! Juno recently asked us all about our favorite gym tunes. "Imagine being able to flip between three (or 10) CDs without needing to carry those three (or 10) CDs with me," I thought. "Brilliant!"

What doest this have to do with knitting? Not much, except that knitters have iPods, and maybe a knitter or two (or several) can tell me the good things about iPods: the Nano, the original, the Shuffle, or your MP3 player of choice.

Outside.jpg

Oh yeah, and I finished the heel.

Yay Heel!

Maybe I'll start to carry around a sock project wherever I go. People would see me and wonder where on my person the sock is stashed.

Just because they're small doesn't mean there isn't lots of fun things to do while creating them. Take the heel. I love a shortrow heel! Those backwards yarn overs? The SSKs? Tthe K3Tog, TBLs? They're all great.

YayHeel.jpg

I would be further along on this heel if I didn't have to frog it last night (damned dropped stitch....)

I hope that my sock pal will like wearing this pair just as much as I am enjoying knitting them.

Sock Update

I'm about to begin the best part: the heel shaping:

SockCuff.jpg

I have the same realization every time I reach the heel shaping: socks are really fun. But, why am I telling all of you what you already know? Yay for socks!

It's a PDF

The Subway Sweater is now available as a PDF. Enjoy!

[Due to some computer "issues" a planned Sockapaloooza update has been delayed until tomorrow.]

So Much Knitting

Because it was too cold for yours truly to do any skiing (without spending a hundreds of dollars to reoutfit myself with much warmer layers) I had a lot of time to knit. And by "a lot" I mean A. Lot. Somehow I had managed to forget my book and I soon discovered that the nearest bookstore was miles and miles (and miles) away. Sigh....

So, what's a knitter to do? Knit, and knit, and knit, and knit. Do you remember how the sock looked on Tuesday? Here's how it looked on Friday:

Wired.jpg

Lucky for me that there was a café in the "village" (which almost completely closed by 6pm each night--aaack!) where I could park myself for a good KIP.

I love how Dani's yarn is pooling in waves. I could have played with the stitch count or the gauge a little bit, but I decided to leave it as is.

Touch Down

If you can use that term to descibe exiting the Massachusetts Turnpike, then I guess that we touched down in Boston late yesterday afternoon. My vacation wrap-up cannot hold a candle to Alison's (Really, a gold medal?!? Now that's cool!) so I won't even try.

I do, however, have two things to tell you:

One: it was really cold in Vermont. Extremely cold. Wicked cold, as some of my fellow New Englanders might say. Too cold for this knitter to hit the slopes.

Two: I have a pattern. Go on, knit* yourselves silly.

*DISCLAIMER: Only size 38 of this pattern that has been test knit (by me!). The remaining sizes were created based on some math, and some guessing about proportions. I would love to have some unofficial test knitters working the other sizes of this pattern to let me know if my numbers work. I can't give you yarn or money, just my undying gratitude and my undivided attention to your comments and suggestions. If you're interested, email me at colleen[at]subwayknitter[dot]com.

Finally, if you left me a comment or sent me an email during the past few days, please accept my apologies for a less-than-speedy response.


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