Wednesday, August 29, 2007


A tardy birthday gift arrived today, but it was worth the wait.

The Vogue Knitting "Ultimate Sock Book." Candy for the eyes.

The book is divided into four sections. The first offers a small history of knitted socks, with pictures and information about the history particular to England and North America. Chapters two, three and four are full of technical information and directions for knitting the different parts of socks. Both toe-up and top-down socks are represented. Also included are diagrams of the different parts of the socks. There are also charts for the number of stitches to cast on for each size a la the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

The next section is about designing socks, and reads much like Sensational Knitted socks, without the organizing factor of having the stitch patterns with the same number of stitches grouped together. However, many of the stitch patterns are lovely, and I think they would look quite nice in socks. Following this is an almost-afterthought section on sock knitting around the world.

The remainder (about half) of the book is patterns. There are 25, and a good variety of colorwork, cables and lace. Unfortunately, all of the lovely patterns that appeared in Vogue last fall are included here, which is great if you didn't buy the issue, but a little disappointing if you did. I also think, and I could totally be wrong, that one or two of the patterns appeared in the earlier Vogue sock books. That said, there are about four patterns in here that I have my eye on.

Ultimately, if I had to choose between this book and Interweave's Favorite Socks that came out earlier this year, I'd go with Interweave. More beautiful patterns, even if you had purchased the magazines they were in, I think it's worth it to have them all in one book. And I find the Interweave patterns more appealing, perhaps because of their classic-ness and sensibility. I'm just not one for crazy colorwork socks. Won't wear 'em. And I won't wear short socks, which there are two patterns for in the Vogue book. However, this makes a lovely addition to my library, and I'm looking forward to having time to sit down and read it, especially the history section.

Oh, and if you want it - hubbo ordered it from, who said it was in stock (it still took a few days longer than normal), as opposed to Amazon which still has it as a pre-order.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hit or Miss

I had three (mostly) wonderful packages in the past few days.

From Scout - Zuluknitty sock yarn (Love the colors!), from The Loopy Ewe - Seacoast Panda, and from the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club.

I love the Zuluknitty. The Seacoast is gorgeous, but feels a bit acrylic-y. I'm hoping it softens with knitting. And I don't like the BMFA Sock Club yarn. It has a rust color in it. Rust is so not my color. I also don't care much for the pattern (an ankle sock with a fold down top). I knit my wool socks to keep my feet and legs warm in the winter. I don't have much use for shortie socks. I'll keep this in the stash and let it marinate for a bit. Perhaps someone else will like it more, and I'll knit gift socks. We'll see. It does look OK in the pictures I've seen of it just in plain stockinette, so that is a possibility too. I suppose it had to happen - out of the six shipments, I had to dislike one.

I may have accidentally tripped and slid my credit card through the internets. More on that news as it develops.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quickie FO

I've had this finished with only the ends to weave in for over a week. I finally got around to it.

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Aran
Needles: Clover bamboo DPNs US 6
Mods: I did a plain bindoff, as I found the picot bind off too fiddly, and it seems to make the top of the mitts want to roll.
Thoughts: Another cute success! These are off to live at the shop as a sample. But I might need some, if it ever cools off around here.

Oh, and I did block my sweater, and it seemed to help, and I did wear it today for first day of school luck. It must have worked, as I seem to have a very good class.

To block it, however, I had to get creative, since The Girl was home, and I didn't have another room with a door that closed. How was I going to keep the cats from pulling all of the pins out?

When in doubt, go with cooling racks. Worked great.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yay! A sweater that fits!

Pattern: Rusted Root from Zephyr Style.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece - 2 3/4 skeins
Needles: Sz US 4 Susan Bates and Sz US 6 Clover Bamboo circulars.
Size: 36"
Mods: I cast on with the size 4s, and knit the ribbing at the top before beginning the body of the sweater, in order to avoid picking up all those stitches later. Worked out fine.
Thoughts: Could be a skotch longer. I'm hoping blocking will help solve this problem. It's about to be blocked, so I'll let you know how that works out. But otherwise, I really really like it! The fit is perfect, I love the lace detail, and the sleeves aren't too tight (something I always worry about). Would have been done much more quickly, had I only worked on it.

My apologies for the blog absence - getting ready for the new school year is exhausting. But I have some blog posts ready to go, so I hope to not be as quiet this week. Wish me luck tomorrow morning - 4th graders! Ack!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not much

Back to the grind this week - inservice days all week and kiddos return Monday. Ugh. So not ready. All three pairs of my "mindless" socks are at the heel flap. How does that happen?

Kitchen pictures tomorrow (hopefully).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Eye Candy Friday - birthday edition

Today's eye candy brought to you by my hubbo, who thoughtfully purchased both items I bookmarked for my birthday.

Zulugrass bracelet (idea shamelessly stolen from Scout.)

And all kinds of goodies from piddleloop - I LOVE my pouch (it has an elephant! Squee!), and Jen and Wendy sent along some extra birthday goodies - how sweet! (I particularly love the stitch markers with my initials!) I love that they include little "extras" from other etsy shops - knowing that they support each other like that makes me want to buy more goodies from all of them! Oh, and hubbo was very impressed with the customer service, and I am very impressed with the quality of my goodies - there are already two socks living inside!

Would it be totally wrong to wear the "Hello, my name is Crafty" button to the first day of school?

And finally, Happy Birthday to hubbo! I love you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What's going on

I got new yarn in a ravelry swap - eco wool (enough for a big cabled sweater) and Spunky Eclectic sock yarn - I love the pinks!

I finished the back of Cherry!

I picked up the stitches for the top of the back of Camisa! (Apparently, if I just blog about wanting to accomplish these things, they get done! Think this will work for everything I want to get done?)

And I stubbed my toe at school Monday - isn't it pretty? Ouch.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A month of sweaters?

I had grand plans at the beginning of August - I was going to finish up Rusted Root, the Bowknot Cardigan and Cherry. It is almost mid-August, and I'm not too close, so barring a miracle, it may not happen.

However, I do have the back of the Bowknot cardigan done. The back of Cherry is nearly done, and I have 2 1/2 pattern repeats and some ribbing and Rusted Root will be done.

I worked a bit on Camisa a week or two ago, and I have the bottom half of the back finished. The only thing preventing me from working more on it is the picking up stitches - blech.

I have ripped and restarted mom's sweater three times now - too big, too small, and now, hopefully, just right. No new picture, as it looks much the same as it did the first time (I have 12 rows done).

I did cast on for a new project a few days ago - the Lace Curtain from Knitpicks out of Nashua June. Hubbo wants to know if the curtain or the kitchen will be done first. Funny guy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sweet Socks

Here it is! The freebie pattern for the Sweet Socks.

Yarn: Hill Country Yarns Sweet Feet, or 100g of any fingering weight yarn.
Needles: Sz 2.75mm double pointed needles
Gauge: 8 st.= 1"

With size 2.75mm needles, cast on 64 stitches. Divide stitches onto needles - 16 stitches on each needle. Join being careful not to twist. Work in K2P2 rib for 1".

Set up round: K16, P2, K4, P2, K16, P2, K4, P2, K16.

Cable pattern:
Round 1: K16, P2, C4B, P2, K16, P2, C4B, P2, K16.
Rounds 2-8: K16, P2, K4, P2, K16, P2, K4, P2, K16.

Repeat rounds 1-8 of cable pattern until leg measures 8" or desired length.

Heel Flap:

K16; turn work so that WS is facing.
Sl 1, p31. Heel flap will be worked on these 32 sts.

Row 1 (RS): *Sl 1, k1* to end of row.
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, p31.

Repeat these 2 rows a total of 15 times.

Heel turn:
Row 1 (RS): K17, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2: Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 3: Sl1, k6, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 4: Sl1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 5: Sl1, k8, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 6: Sl1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 7: Sl1, k10, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 8: Sl1, p11, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 9: Sl1, k12, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 10: Sl1, p13, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 11: Sl1, k14, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 12: Sl1, p15, p2tog, p1, turn work. 18 sts remain.

Knit back across 18 stitches. You are now ready to pick up stitches for the gusset. Using free needle, pick up 15 stitches along the edge and one additional in the corner before the held stitches. Continue in the cable pattern across the 32 instep stitches. Using free needle, pick up one stitch in the corner near the instep stitches, and pick up 15 sts along the edge of the slipped stitches. Knit across 9 heel stitches. Slip remaining heel stitches to needle one.

Round 1: Needle 1: Knit to 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1. Continue in cable pattern across needles 2 and 3. Needle 4: K1, ssk, K to end of needle.
Round 2: Knit.

Continue repeating rounds 1 and 2 until 16 stitches remain on needles 1 and 4.

Continue in cable pattern on needles 2 and 3, and stockinette on needles 1 and 4 until foot measures 1 1/2" less than desired length.

Round 1: Needle 1 - K to 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1. Needle 2 - K1, ssk, K to end of needle. Needle 3 - K to 3 sts before end, K2tog, K1. Needle 4 - K1, ssk, K to end of needle.
Round 2: Knit.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 5 sts remain on each needle. K stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Slip stitches from needle 2 to needle 3. Graft stitches together. Weave in ends.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I totally lied

I forgot to count 7 skeins of the new cotton ease that hubbo and The Girl picked out for me (more on this later), and the 2 skeins I purchased for the bee shawl. I didn't come out on top last month. Damn it.

However, I did come out ahead in books! Thanks to the Knitpicks book sale, these arrived a few weeks ago (the sale is ending this week - if you haven't been over there go now!). Now if I only had time to read them.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Single Sock Seeks Same

I've started to worry that I've accidentally joined the Single Sock Liberation Movement. Although I am in great company, I was not expecting this detour.

Fortunately, I managed to finish a pair this week.

Pattern: generic top-down sock
Yarn: Lang Jawoll - 2 skeins
Needles: Sz 2.25mm ChiaGoo DPNs
Mods: n/a
Thoughts: I'm not a huge fan of this yarn. I'm not sure why exactly I don't like it, but it may have something to do with the "superwash" (though I've used other superwash wools before and they haven't felt like this).

I made no attempt to match the stripes, so I'm pretty pleased that they're close.

Not to worry single sockers, I've got more single socks en route!

Oh, and I suppose you want to know about the countertops? The are indeed concrete (can't sneak anything past y'all!) and my random number generator (hubbo) choose Louise! Congrats Louise - email me with your address so I can ship out your box. Unfortunately, I don't have any good shots of the kitchen, so you will have to wait a tiny bit longer. I'll try to take lots tomorrow!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Rags to Dishes

When Emily came up with "Dish Rag Tag" earlier this summer, I knew this was one swap I had to do this year. The concept is great - get a box with a finished dishcloth and two balls of dishcloth cotton, knit a dishcloth with one ball, keep the other and the dishcloth that was in the box, repack the box with your dishcloth and two new balls of dishcloth cotton, and tag your next teammate.

My goodies.

I was tagged on Friday (I'm a team captain! Woot!), and even though I had a date with Jason Bourne Friday night, I managed to get my dishcloth knit and in the mail on Saturday.

Here it is posing with the bathroom sink at the yarn shop, and in all it's finished glory.

Pattern: Round Dishcloth
Yarn: Peaches and Cream Peppermint
Needles: Sz US 8 Susan Bates
Dates: Friday August 3-Saturday August 4.
For: ?????
Mods: none.
Thoughts: this is a really lovely pattern - quick, easy and very interesting. The girls at the shop were quite taken with it, and I have plans for many more of these!

It winged it's way off on Saturday (although I was worried for a minute that our substitute mailman wouldn't take it - he really inspected the click 'n ship form before he left the shop), and it has arrived at it's destination. Fingers crossed for a speedy trip to the next stop!

Go team Rags to Dishes!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Quick knits

I did manage to finish a few tiny things in July, in addition to the sweater that shall not be named (which I plan to try blocking this week - thanks for all the advice!).

Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Landscapes - one skein.
Needles: Sz 8 Clover bamboo
Dates: one day at the end of July
For: Shop sample
Mods: I cast on 98 stitches and only worked 12 repeats of row 5.

Thoughts: The yarn is very nice and soft. The pattern again, is simple and wonderful.

Pattern: Saartje's Booties
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton (leftovers from the Petal bib and the ballband dishcloth)
Needles: Sz 6 Clover bamboo
Dates: mid July-late July, but mostly all in one day.
For: Shop sample
Mods: I used a slightly heavier yarn to upsize the pattern, as I had read that it ran small.
Thoughts: So cute! Great for babies, super quick and stylish.

There is also a nearly finished Sophie bag around here, and some other projects nearing completion. I'm hoping that August will be the month of the finished sweater, but I'll have to stop working on socks for that to happen.

Oh, I nearly forgot. I used up 9 skeins of yarn this month and purchased 8. Finally a month on top (barely)! Fingers crossed that I get lucky again!

Tomorrrow - the first leg of my team's Dish Rag Tag is complete!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Eye Candy Friday (and a contest!)

It's been too long since we've had any good eye candy. How 'bout some yarn porn?

The Knittery Merino Cashmere, Yarntini, and Gypsy Knits, all from The Loopy Ewe. I may have to buy some new sock needles to take advantage of this goodness!

And what's that I spy they're laying on?

Could it be a countertop?

But what kind of countertop is it? (And if you already know, please don't ruin it for everyone else!)

Submit your guesses by midnight CDT on Monday August 6. If more than one person guesses the correct answer, I'll draw a name. What do you win? Dishcloth cotton, of course!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Just what I needed

I've had the Stitch-It Kit for about a year and a half now, and I received the Sublime Stitching book last fall in Austin. They have sat on the shelf, unloved, since then. However, no AC=no knitting, what with it being too hot and all, but I can hold a hoop and needle. And so new supplies were purchased (really I didn't need anything, but all my hoops and floss and needles are tied up in my cross-stitch stuff, and I didn't want to "steal" from one craft to support the other. Besides, the floss was on sale at JoAnn's, and hoops and needles are cheap.), and a new project started.

And I'm in love. The color possibilities, the choice of item to stitch, the array of designs available.

The only downside? I really don't have room for more stash.

P.S. We have a new AC unit and it sure does feel cold in my house!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It never rains,

but it drops steaming piles of dog poo on you.

So we're behind and over budget on the kitchen. But we expected that.

Then, two weeks ago, the garage door broke. Ka-ching.

Last night? The AC. Compressor. Won't be fixed until tomorrow (and that's assuming it stops raining!). It's a bit warm in here. I'm just really glad it hasn't been hot yet, and that it IS raining, since it helps lower the temperature.

Pass the ice?