March 2008 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

February 2008 is the previous archive.

April 2008 is the next archive.

The Evolution of a Bootie

Some friends are having their first baby some time in April. I don't know when in April this kiddo is due to arrive, so better safe than sorry, I'm doing the baby knitting now.

And what, exactly, am I knitting, you ask. Well baby booties, of course,


I completely love knitting baby booties, especially when I use my favorite pattern: the bootie pattern from this Filatura di Crosa booklet. I picked up the booklet a few years ago at A Good Yarn in Brookline. Do you know that I first typed "Brooklyn"? Perhaps this New Yorker gig is sinking in after all. Then again, I could have sworn I heard someone say "train to Ashmont" last week and it took a few seconds before I reminded myself that there's no way that I could be on the Red Line. Baby steps, baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, let's get back to the bootie discussion. Most of the reason that I like this pattern is that it works with worsted-weight yarn. Baby booties are fun, and quick, when you knit them with worsted weight.

There's just one itty bitty problem with this pattern. You first knit the bootie flat, and then you seam it. While I don't mind a little bit of finishing, seaming a baby bootie is unnecessary. Do you seam socks? No. How much difference is there between a sock and bootie? Not much. For the speckled pair (yarn unknown) I eliminated some of the seaming by using a provisional cast on, and doing a three-needle bind off for the bottom of the foot. That left me with only the back seam to finish.


Then, for the white pair (yarn: Peaches 'n' Cream, or Sugar 'n' Cream--don't know which is which) I had the brilliant (to me) idea of joining the stitches at the cuff. Combined with the three-needle bind off, this left me with only about an inch of a seam. A lot better, but still not perfect.


I think that I can re-engineer this pattern to be a top down pattern. All I need to do is to Change the decreases to increases and vice-versa. I'm convinced that the bottom seam adds some stability to the bootie's shape--so I want to leave that. If, however, I finish with the those stitches, instead of beginning, then a three-needle bind off is still possible--but does not require a provisional cast on.

Thea, how soon do you need that sweater? Can I play with some booties this week?

Oh, right...

[ETA: Marie left a comment that the Waffle House Socks pattern is available on her website. Click here! It's a free pattern. Why don't you make it perfect by purchasing a hank of Marie's Soft Spun Plus yarn?]

Yesterday, I completely forgot to post the details of Marie's Socks:

Pattern: Waffle House Socks

Yarn: Brooklyn Handspun's, handdyed, superwash sock yarn. colorway: Daring.

Needles: US2s, circular.

What did I change? Nothing. This was a test knit. I knit the pattern as it was written.

What did I love? I used the magic loop method for a toe-up design. Both were firsts for me, and together they might have changed the way that I knit socks.

What would I do differently next time: Somewhere, deep in the recesses of my knitting brain, is the way to do a more flexible bind off for ribbing. This is what I would do differently. On the second sock I tried casting off with a US3 (instead of the US2 that I used to knit the sock). It worked pretty well.

A Pair, We Have a Pair

Marie's socks are finished!

FinishedPair0327.jpg LoungingFeet0326.jpg

I love them. They make me want to sit on the couch all day and stare at my feet. Okay, I would probably still want to do that without the socks.


Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern. It makes the socks feel squishy, and even softer.


Here's one more (not-so-great) photograph from above.

This project earns me the title of "Slowest Test Knitter Ev-ah". Hear that Thea? She's enlisted me as a test knitter for her Golden Cardi (so eager was I to get my hands on this knit that I begged and pleaded until Thea relented and let me be a test knitter for her design).

I think that I'm ready for a sweater project. I am reunited with my blocking board, and (unlike Queens) I have space in which to do the blocking. We'll see how long it takes me to get to the actual blocking....


Most of you must remember this. By late last week I had mostly tucked it away as one of those quirky encounters particular to life on the internet.

However, last weekend an email arrived in my inbox from one of Christian Artisans group's moderators (not the moderator who participated in the original thread), apologizing for letting the whole discussion get out of hand. Wearing her moderator hat, she closed the thread to further commenting, and wanted me to understand that many members of the group had written to her in concern.

Needless to say I was quite touched. Although the whole matter was (in my opinion) over and done with last month, Theresa still took the time to compose and send a thoughtful note. It takes a certain grace to stand up and say "We were not fair to you, and we're sorry."--essentially taking responsibility for someone else's actions and apologizing for a whole group. It would have been very easy for her simply let the matter drop, especially when the entire "situation" happened on line. And, indeed, I was never offended by the original thread. Perplexed? Yes. Mildly amused? Yes. Happy to have a topic about which to post? Certainly. But, really, people can believe whatever they want--no moderator's going to stop that. All is forgiven, so let's just move on.

I had to think a bit about how to blog about this. At first, I thought that I would simply cut and paste the email (with Theresa's permission, of course). Later I thought that instead of sharing a private note with the entire world, I would instead write about it. And since I was so quick to share the original post, I felt a responsibility to share a (positive) outcome.

Real knitting content tomorrow.

Subway Crocheter Par Excellence!

This is not my photo, but, wow, I wish that it were. All of us "normal" subway knitters and crocheters are now, officially, totally boring. This guy rules, and we (frankly) drool.


via this thread on Ravelry, via Charchaa, via In-Public

Incidentally, I just discovered that there's a Subway Knitters Ravelry group! Guess who's a member now.

And, are you wearing your favorite sweater today?

Mail Call!!

Yesterday, Dava blogged about some stuff that she got in the mail (cool magnets, BTW).

I think that it's high time that I blogged about some marvy fabric that I got from her:


Oooh, yeah! It's funky retro. Thanks, Dava! Even better: it's polyester (we think). Can't get more 70s authentico than that, can ya?

Nope! Anyway, Dava sent the fabric to me and thought that it might be nice for a bag. It could work for that, but I think that I want something with a little more ooomph. This fabric is nice and light--perfect for springtime. At first I thought that it would make a nice skirt for mememe. But then I reconsidered that idea. The fabric is a little, um, loud. While I'm very pro-loud, I think that this print might get a better reaction on someone else. Someone like the Kate-ster.

It's time to make good on my pledge to do a little sewing for Kate. But first, some pattern shopping. Does anyone have other ideas besides the Big Four (McCalls, Vogue, Butterick, and Simplicity)?

La Dee Dah Dum Daaah!

I wish that I could be a little la-dee-dah lately, but homework has been kicking my bee-hind. Ugh. Two more questions to answer out of six and then I'm done! Whee!

Until that time, I must entertain you with the knitting of others.


Some people will knit anywhere! [Not that we would know anything about that, right?] Here's a knitter (with her back turned to me) knitting furiously in the post office on the ground floor of my office building. I have no idea what's on her needles, but it was important enough to keep her busy while she waited (and waited, and waited--this is the USPS after all) for her turn at the window.

Where Have I Been?

It's a good question. I long ago promised myself that I would not be one of those bloggers who apologizes for not posting in eons.

But, I've been out of town--traveling upstate for work. It was time for my semi-annual swing through the wilds of upstate New York. Alert readers might remember that I did the same thing last July. Once again it was just me, a rental car, and NPR for three days.

I had grand plans to (ready?) blog, finish my taxes (just one more state return to go), study, work, knit, AND relax a bit in the evenings.

Insert hearty laugh here.

I got next to nothing done. You drive for four hours a day and have several meetings with delightful people (seriously), and then see what you feel like doing afterwards.

There is, however, a sock update (remember the socks?).

I knit, and knit on the cuff. Knit and knit. Knit and knit. Knit, knit, knit. Get the picture?

Suddenly I realized that I must be done with the foot. Indeed, I must have been done with the foot for a long time. Yup, comparing and contrasting the long-finished sock with the sock in progress I had gone about an inch beyond where I should be.


Okay, admittedly it's hard to see in the photograph, but please take my word for it.

They All Wish...

...that they knew how to knit.


(photo by Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

Seriously, this is one of the things that I like best about knitting. It's such a portable hobby that I can take it anywhere and keep myself occupied. And if I encounter a situation like these poor souls (as most of the city did in August), as long as I can find a corner to sit, I'm one happy camper. Indeed, the one thing that kept me sane that steamy morning when the train inched downtown was the fact that I had my knitting.

Mystery Sock Darner of the Week!

That's no mystery, that's Sven.


Why he darns machine-made socks though, is a mystery to me. But, hey, whatever. It's not like he's asking me to do it. The sight of him bending over a thread, needle, and a pair of machine-made socks caused me to think. I make socks and I never darn their holes. My opinion is, why fix the holes when you can use it as an excuse to buy more yarn?

So, in the interest of sharing, I ask all of you, dear readers: do you darn your holes? [Here's where I should get all clever and got to some online place where I can create my own poll. Nope. Let's go low tech. If you care to answer, please do so in the comments.]

I Went Fabric Shopping!

On Friday, while most of the Spiders knitted, I perused the bolts of fabric at Brooklyn General.

And the yarn.


Yeah, ummmm, urmmmm, it was on sale. And I already have a pattern lined up for it. Alert readers might remember that I've knit this sweater before. They would be right (and very good at remembering things). I loved knitting it so much that I'm going to do it again! But this time I'll knit the thing in the round. I've been wanting to do an adult raglan-sleeve sweater in the round for some time.

Okay, now that you've read my justification, let's get back to the fabric. I just didn't find anything I really, really liked at BG--or at least nothing that I liked for shirts. There were many great skirt fabrics, and I anticipate that I'll go back there some time in the spring to stock up.

For the most part the repeats were too big for shirt-use (in my opinion). I was worried that, with my middling sewing skills, I wouldn't know how to properly adjust the pattern's cutting layout to work with those big repeats. And I knew that if I didn't match things perfectly, I would be disappointed.

You might be thinking "If the repeat were large, but random enough, it wouldn't matter." And you would be right. Thing is, I didn't find anything I loved. So, the search continues.

In preparation for this post, I searched a little bit over at ReproDepot. I'm a big fan of this store, but being that I'm in NYC (and have the entire Garment District at my disposal) it seems silly to buy online this time. But it's a great source for ideas. If it comes down to rushing over to Purl Patchwork one night before it closes, or making a leisurely purchase from the living room sofa, I might just take the sofa.

Anyway, so what do I like?

So far, I'm mightily taken by natural forms (all photos were saved to my own server before posting):


Leaves, especially.


And teeny flowers:


And twigs (but $16.95 a yard--oh my.)

Finally, there's the stuff that I ain't got no business buying. Merimekko. I dearly love these prints, but they just won't work for what I need. For that matter, for what are they suited? Upholstery?

reprodepotMERIMEKKO_1989_21148921.jpg reprodepotB&WMERI_1989_20997801.gif reprodepotTURBULENT_1991_124995328.gif

And then there are the silly things:


Cute, but I might save that for a skirt.

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