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Showing posts from August, 2007


The other day I was on Ravelry doing my thing and realized that maybe I should spend a little time seeing what other people were doing. I began my poking with a search on Jo Sharp Silkweed Aran yarn, that yarn I made my Steely Winter Set out of.

I might not have made clear how in love with this yarn I am. It feels like heaven knitting. It feels like heaven once it's knit.

A Ravelry member named Andrea is using this yarn on a hibernating project from the Fall issue of Interweave Knits.

Originally uploaded by andrea_murley

This project, or type of project would be perfect for me. I love cables, the Silkwood Aran would look beautiful cabled, and the yarn would make a very warm and cozy shawl which I need since my work cube is freezing year round. I think I could design a beautiful shawl in the icy baby blue shade of empire.

Question is do I wait to buy the yarn until I finish some projects or do I splurge now. Since I'll have to buy this yarn on line, I think…

You've been tagged!

Shannon over at Minerva Turkey, (who is holding out on us with photos of her clapotis WIP!) tagged me for my first meme. The theme of the meme is 8 random things about yourself. Here goes!

8 Random Things About Moi:

1) Although I took French for a hundred years in school I was never very fluent nor ever able to use it conversationally. However, when I'm writing drafts of my blog posts I often think in French and have to constantly check myself to not include French words. I think it would come across as extremely pretentious.

2) At work I hate not being busy all the time. My work product coincides with the fiscal quarters of the year so I have down times in between that drive me nuts. But at home, I hate being busy. There is nothing more delicious to me than a weekend morning where I can contemplate on having absolutely nothing to do except what I want, like reading a book in front of the fireplace or knitting in the sun on my deck.

3) I didn't learn to drive until I was 26 ye…

To the moon, Alice, to the moon!

Finally, finally, finally, I have begun my Blueberry Moon sweater using the Malachite colorway of Rowan 4 Ply soft, which is a fingering weight merino wool. According to Rowan's website it is a washable yarn, so maybe that's why my washed swatched didn't blossom. Hmm....

I was hoping to knit this on size US2 needles. I have a set of two 16" bamboo circulars for the initial knit up but knowing I'm going to need the larger lengths for when I get closer to the bust portion of the garment I hit the web in search of bamboo needles and found zip. Seems like the only market for size 2 and smaller is sock knitting and sock knitters primarily use dpns or metal circulars. I want bamboo. Insert a big WAH!

In fact some of the things I did read about bamboo needles in the smaller sizes echo the complaint that I have with the needles I do have. There is a metal join between the nylon cording and the bamboo needle. It snags at the stitches so that one must manually push the stitch…

Knitting under fire

I was going to include the following in an 'everything PLUS the kitchen sink' post again, but I decided against it. This should stand alone.

I have a coworker, Mr. W, who isn't the nicest guy. I knew when his group moved in near my group and he became friendly with me that no matter how nice he seemed at first it wouldn't take long before we didn't like each other. I knew immediately that he's the type of guy where things go down in flames between people. The first clue, before I even spent any length of time conversing with him, was that he isn't all that friendly with his group members. The second clue was that like knows like. I'm the type of person who has relationships go down in flames, too. I'm an extreme personality, that's how I roll. Yet I wasn't going to be rude, I would let nature take its course. This time I would keep my guard up so that when the end came it would peter out as naturally and quietly as the friendship had grow…

Earth Socks

After some bumpy choices, I am moving right along on my husbands Earth socks made in the Earth colorway of Cherry Tree Hill supersock 100% washable merino wool yarn.

I started off using size 2 needles on the 2 x 2 rib cuff for 15 rows but after knitting a few stockinette rows I decided to rip back to the cuff and began the knitting the leg of the sock in size 1 needles.

According to Cherry Tree Hill's colorway cards the Earth colorway I'm using on these socks, as well as the other colorways I've used this summer (Blue/Breens and Brights) are no longer being marketed and I guess this means they're no longer being made? Seems like a great loss to me. I loved these socks I made in the Blue/Green colorway

Knitterly musings

The other day I was googling needles or yarn or something or other and I happened upon an interesting website, Knitter's Review. I was immediately sucked into their yarn reviews and confronted with the rules of yarn engagement of "real" knitters. Specifically, I was reminded that "real" knitters make swatches and wash them and then block them so that they know they are knitting something the "right" way.

When I first took up knitting I was constantly in conflict. Part of me screamed swatches! we don't need no stinkin' swatches! while another part belittled my lazy knitting ways, wishing I had the patience to prepare knitting projects like a "real" knitter.

The rebellious knitter won out and I made a few poorly shaped sweaters. But along the way I also made a couple of nice ones, too, so there wasn't that much incentive to mend my errant ways until recently.

What's brought about this change is being able to see what "…

And the planning continues...

First things first. I've had many hours of preparatory knitting with the Rowan 4 Ply Soft and I finally have something to show for it. Not a pattern, but a name: Blueberry Moon.

Second things second. I am so longing to start this project. Still. Yesterday, after moaning about my lack of pattern books, I actually had two ideas. One was to check my local library for the Barbara G. Walker books - which yielded three of the four treasuries - and the second was a simple solution to my swatching fears.

Swatching fear happens when one’s need to swatch and test knit meets up with the realization (or irrational fear) that one may not have enough yarn to finish the sweater once one has swatched herself to kingdom come. For this problem I realized test yarn was needed and after work I hit a LYS and found a similar yarn, with the same ‘twist’ as the Rowan 4 Ply Soft.

By solving these two dilemmas so swiftly in succession, I thought I could swatch out my idea and the pattern would magically revea…


I am soooooooooooo itching to knit another sweater. I have new yarn stashes for this express purpose but I'm floundering. I'm just so picky about patterns.

The problem is I rarely see a pattern I like and that I can actually wear and enjoy. On top of this I hate following directions so who the heck am I fooling even looking at patterns. Just me, it seems. Because really I've been rolling pattern and stitch ideas over in my head since I picked up the yarn two weeks ago and I've got very little to show for it.

I thought this Rowan 4 Ply Soft Malachite yarn was going to be a top-down\raglan sleeved sweater with a buttoned shoulder flap like Jemima which I caught on one of the blogs I've been stalking, My Fashionable Life. In some spare moments I have been swatching stitch increases and also incorporating a small cabling motif, all with little luck.

Seeking inpsiration Sunday, I went through my meagre knitting library and all I got out of it came from the reference guid…

When kids come to play, the yarn gets put away

We had our nephews for a few days and between the preparation in advance of the siege and their actual occupation, very little knitting was done, and only a little was thought about.

Last night I wrapped up the Sweet Tarts Socks.

Cherry Hill Tree Superwash
Fingering weight
100% Merino

I didn't measure my gauge. (Your thinking this wrap up is helpful, aren't ya!)

I used size US2 clover bamboo dpns

Sock Pattern:
I used your basic toe-down sock pattern. I cast on 84 stitches and knit in k4,p3. The knit stitches became alternately a left leaning cable and a snake cable.
At about row 24 I began purl stitch decreases. I decreased one purl stitch in a three stitch section every six rows. I offset the decreases so that the second decrease was on the opposite side of the sock as the last decrease. When I began the heel I had made 12 decreases, turning the p3 section of the rib into a p2 rib. There were then 72 stitches on the needle.

Instead of going right into stockinette ri…

Everything, including the kitchen sink...

When I asked the hubster to model the steely winter set for me, not only was he a good doobie about it, he reminded me that he should model it with the aran sweater I made him. So sickly sweet, eh?

I'm plugging along on my sweet tarts socks. One sock is done (sans kitchener), and only about 30 rows remain to be knit on the second.

I also did get a half an hour this weekend to work on my burgandy throw. It was so deliciously cool on Saturday, it was a comfort to have it on my lap. (Might I add that I can't seem to get down the spelling, is it burgundy or burgandy? Isn't burgandy a place and burgundy a color? I'm too lazy to google it!)

To make an honest caption out of this post, let me add that yesterday Dunkin' Donuts rudely put caffeine in my coffee, regardless of a clearly stated request to the contrary. I was still pretty amped up, even after partaking of some pharmaceutical relief at 8:45 pm, though the last sip I took was before 4:30 pm! Notwithstanding…

Steely Winter Set Done

The hubster's Steely Winter hat and scarf set is done. It was a great in between, morale boosting project, you know? It worked up fast and gave me a feeling of accomplishment when a host of other projects seem to be languishing on their needles with no end in sight.

Jo Sharp Silk Road
Ravelry considers this an Aran/worsted weight yarn
85% wool, 10% silk, & 5% cashmere,
About 3 and 3/4 skeins at 93 yards per ball, or approximately 349 yards.

Suggested gauge 4.5 stitches per inch on size US8 needles. I didn't measure my gauge.

I used size US8 needles. I used a 16" circular for most of the hat until the decreasing made it necessary to switch to four dpns. I used dpns on the scarf, since it was so narrow.

My stitches look fabulous on the hat, but with my tendency to purl tighter, the stitches on the scarf are just a weensy bit pinched looking.

Scarf Pattern:
I love the basketweave stitch and used a 4 stitches by 6 row pattern repeat on the scarf, with to…

So much knitting, so little time...

Thought I'd be knitting this weekend but then I realized I need to get the house ready for my nephews next week! Lots of laundry and cleaning was done instead.

Road Trip Knitting AAR

We took 128 to I-90 to I-91 to get to Webs last Saturday. I worked on the Sweet Tart socks on the way out of town but was glad to put them to the side after leaving Webs with lots of booty. My knuckles were aching from working on its size 2 dpns.

I immediately swatched up the Rowan 4 Ply Soft yarn I purchased. The color is Malachite (#399). I think this color would be considered a 'jewel' tone. It's luscious in its 100% merino wool goodness.

Not that it's noticeable, I used US size 3 needles to knit/purl the bottom half the swatch. I used size 4 to knit, size 5 to purl on the top half. This latter portion of the swatch looks better, but neither end "feels" right to me. I may try a size 2/size 3 combo to see if this generates the texture I was hoping to obtain with this visually striking yarn.

I have yet to finalize the sweater design I see in my mind for this yarn, so once the swatch was done, I quickly moved on to another yarn I purchased at Webs. By th…

Road Trip Recuperation

I'm at home recuperating from the whirlwind roadtrip with a new project and several episodes of Showtoo's Big Brother After Dark today. It's sooooo good to be home.

This is the top of Brandon Gap (road elevation 2144 feet about sea level) on Route 73 in Vermont. I just love the Green Mountains!

The blues are back...

I was head over heels excited last week when I mapped out an itinerary across Massachusetts for our trip to the Adirondacks to see my dad and neices. Now that I'm on the cusp of it all I'm mopier than heck. I hate this.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a fantabulous summer road trip/shopping extravaganza and all I have to show for it is intestinal disruption.

We are supposed to go to Webs (my first time eva!) Then we are supposed to hit the flagship Yankee Candle store in South Deerfield, where we like to stock up on xmas presents, and then take Route 2 over to the Williams College Museum of Art to see the Sarah and Gerald Murphyexhibit. I've never been out to this corner of Mass and I'm expecting it to be resplendent in it's summer garb.

Now all I need is a good mood. Until that shows up I figure I'd take this opportunity to post a picture of my best knitted work ever, an aran sweater I designed for my husband and finished knitting on January 1, 2006.

I'm pa…


Back in my early crochet, pre knitting, days I was primarily inspired by filet crochet designs in your basic white. Color was very daunting to me. The first, pricey colored yarn I purchased about 12 or so years ago was Brown Sheep cotton fleece from Woolcott & Co. in Harvard Square. With it I made this floppy, but colorful granny square throw (my first CIP, courtesy of the #66 bus):

I was so in awe of this color combination, and with my coming up with it on my very own. To this day I haven't really had a color inspiration I felt was equal to it. And yeah, the combination no longer inspires, but I will never forget how it once evoked a sense of perfect warmth that made me want to bury myself in it forever.

Down through the years I have come to learn this bit of color inspiration was a fluke. I just don't have an easy rapport with color. The next best color combination I came up with just barely nips at the heel of the granny throw. It is the color array of my firs…