This is the collar/scarf I was trying to design and was last pictured when it was blocking. It has been folded up in my knitting while I think on it. I was inspired by Brooklyntweed's scholar collar. I wanted to design something like a Miss Marple type collar - something I could wear inside my coat instead of wrapping around my neck. I like how this yarn looks with a chevron pattern stitch. I am not sure I am satisfied with my execution of the design that I had in my head. I also discovered that while trying this collar on under my jackets this yarn was uncomfortable on the back of my neck. So it is going back in the thinking pile.

Mitten project: stage 1 is done and they are ready to go into the washer for felting (fulling?).

I knitted these socks about a year ago - they were my first pair of handknit socks. I blew a toe today. Now I get to learn about the repair of handknit socks. I don't think this will be too hard to fix.

I started knitting the 'Avast' zippered sweater for my son and it did not feel write. I had trouble with guage, I did not like how the yarn looked with the pattern .... it just didn't feel right. So I asked him if I could knit the other sweater he liked instead and he agreed. The other sweater he likes is the seamless hybrid. I had shown him the one Brooklyntweed did last August. I am excited about doing this sweater because I have heard so many great things about it on Zimmermania. I hope to get started tonight.


Circle hat

I looked up the words 'beret' and 'tam' in the encyclopedia in order to know what to call my hat. The beret is usually felted wool, and pictures of the tam (tam o'shanter) were traditionally plaid. This needs more research but I am done for now. This is my circle hat. I worked until midnight last night, and then I parked on the sofa and knitted until I finished this at 2:30 a.m. I blocked it over a dinner plate.

This is a picture of the top side: (the colors are not really this bright)

Close up of the seed stitch head band and my hand.

I had high tea today with some friends and wore my new hat. I think I have finally found a hat that is comfortable to wear. I seem to have trouble with wool against my forehead but I can wear this style of hat further back on my head. It is a winner.

Pattern: made it up
Yarn: Manos, color 106
Needles: 7-1/2" dpns 5.5 mm.

ADDENDUM: I have decided that I like Mollyknits' suggestion and I am calling this my Tam O'Circle hat.


Jaywalkers finished

Yeehaw. My Jaywalkers are done. I enjoyed knitting this pattern and I like the way it shows off the colors in the yarn. Please excuse the wonky homemade sock blocker.

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina, Magknits.
Yarn: Knit Picks Memories 100% Merino in the Redwood Forest colorway.
Needles: AddiTurbos 3.0 mm and 2.5 mm; Knit Picks 2.5 mm. I knit both socks at the same time but on separate needles using magic loop.
Modifications: I knitted the cuff with 84 stitches and 3.0 mm needles so that it would not be too snug on my ankle that tends to swell (it was overkill; I would use the 2.5 mm needles on the cuff next time), and then switched to 2.5 mm needles after turning the heel to give that dense fabric that I like on the foot of a sock. I carried along the Schoeller Stahl while knitting the heel to strengthen the merino.

From 60+ degrees to snow in 3 or 4 days. The bush on the right is actually a small crape myrtle tree that is as tall as the house but is bent down from the weight of the snow. First thing this morning I knocked the snow off the tree and the bushes. Picture a middle age woman outside without a coat, standing under a tree, knocking the snow off with a broom, and getting covered with the snow in the process. Not pretty... entertaining for neighbors leaving for work...probably should not be allowed in decent neighborhoods. I like snow. When I lived in Bend, Oregon, I could step out my front door and put on my cross-country skis. I miss that.


knitting books

Soaking it up while I can. After teaching class at the community college today, I stopped in at the library to find some books on knitting. Our libraries are closing in 2 months. They just recently built a brand new huge library, plus did a lot of remodeling at the other libraries in the county, and now they are closing them due to a cut in federal funds (they should have seen it coming, others did). I want the paperwork laid out, audited, shine a light in all the nooks and crannies, figure out where the problem is, make a plan, design a conservative budget that will work, and stick to it. I would be okay with the libraries closing for a while, but I feel bad for the employees and the people who depend on it. Experience tells me that throwing money on top of the problem won't really solve it, we need to get to the bottom of things. Done ranting.



I have this project in my head that I just have to get out. I am documenting it as I go. The smart thing to do would be to wait to post everything until afterwards to see if it is a success, but this is my trail of breadcrumbs.

My inspiration comes from many sources: from being curious about types of construction, from needing an opening for the fingers but not wanting a flap, from past adventures in felting, from loving the designs on traditional mittens and also on more contemporary mittens, and many others. This is just a fun adventure, and at the very least I will end up with good utilitarian mittens in one of my favorite colors.

Features I want to incorporate into the mittens: felted hand, opening on palm, shaping for the relaxed curve of the hand, knitted cuffs, needle felting embellishments, and embroidery.

I am starting with the right mitten. Using 6.5 mm needles, cast on 36 stitches in cotton yarn and knit for 3 rows. Then knit in Lamb's Pride for 3 rows.

Start the thumb gusset, increasing after the first knit stitch and then the 3rd (5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th) stitches, knitting 2 rows betwen increases. Knit 3 rounds even. Knit 2 , then put those 13 gusset stitches on a stitch holder, cast on 3 stitches to bridge the gap, and continue knitting to the end of the round (should have 36 stitches). Remember that on left mitten the thumb gusset is done at the end of the round. Knit 4 rounds.

Knit 4. Knit 15 onto cotton yarn, return to left needle, knit to end of row. (left hand is reversed: knit round to last 19 stitches, knit 15 onto cotton yarn, knit 4). This will be the palm of the hand. Knit 16, wrap next stitch, turn. Purl 13. Wrap & turn. Knit to end of round. Knit 5 rows.

K34, W&T. P11, W&T. Knit to end of round. Knit 4 rows.

K34, W&T, P11, W&T. Knit to end of round.

Knit 8 rounds.

Decrease round. K1, SSK, K12, K2tog, K1. K1, SSK, K12, K2tog, K1.

Knit 2 rounds.

Decrease round. K1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches on palm, K2tog, K1. K1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches on back of mitten, K2tog, K 1.

Knit 2 rounds.

Decrease pround.

Knit 1 round.

Decrease round.

Knit 1 round.

Decrease. I should have ended up with 12 stitches but I have 14. Huh.

Draw yarn through remaining stitches.

Put the stitches that are on the holder onto a dpn. Pick up 7 more stitches from thumb hole. Knit 5 rounds. SSK, K1, K2tog, knit to end of round. Knit 7 rounds. K2, K2tog, to end of round. Knit 2 rounds. K2tog to end of round. Knit 1 round. Draw yarn through remaining stitches .

Fun time is over. That was a good start. The left mitten is next, and then they can be felted.


Excel is my friend

I could not enlarge the cable chart to make it easier to read, so I made a much larger chart that I could read at a glance. I do not have a knitter's computer program, so I did the next best thing and color coded the stitches using Excel.


Jaywalkers. Once I turned the heel I went from size 2 needles to size 1's. I ordered KnitPicks circulars, one each of sizes 1, 2, and 3. So this is my maiden voyage and so far I really like KnitPicks (it is the one with the purple cord). I have used Addi Turbos up to this point but I noticed that they are not pointy enough for some projects - they push the yarn instead of going through the stitch. I think I will order 3 more KnitPicks in sizes 1, 2, and 3 so that I have a pair of each size. I like to knit my socks magic-loop style, each sock on its own needle, and I like to knit them at the same time. (I have tried 2 socks on 2 circs and 2 socks magic loop, and I have found that doing it this way suits me better. ) I tend to knit one part of the sock, like the cuff, and then go to the second sock and do the same thing. This helps me to knit the socks the same way and it prevents me from getting second sock syndrome.

Underneath the socks is the beginning of the mosaic sweater. My plan A color combination did not work and so I went with plan B. The colors needed more contrast to make the pattern pop, otherwise the pattern looked more like random stitches. I do not care for it as much as plan A, but I will still like it and will wear it. I think of it as chocolate and violets.

I like Valentine's Day because I like to celebrate the love I have for my family. I am a single mom with 2 teenagers. It is a day when I can gush affection on them and get away with it. This Valentine's Day I had a surprise. First thing in the morning before my son left for school, he surprised me with this beautiful bouquet in one of his handthrown vases. It made my day.

The lighting is not very good (either too much flash or not enough), but I wanted pictures of my flowers anyway. Mmm... they smell good.

Happy Valentines Day to my blog friends

I appreciate all of you who drop by, those who stop to say 'hi' as well as those of you who prefer to quietly tip toe through, and I want to take this opportunity to say thanks. You make my days a little brighter. Happy Valentine's Day!


This and that

I have frogged the mosaic sweater and am starting over. When I ordered this yarn I expected there to be more contrast between the two. I don't mind a subtle pattern but I am concerned that the colors are too close for the pattern to show. I could wrap myself up in these colors, I like them so much. So today I will do swatching and compare this color combination with this combination ..... Contrast. The pattern will definitely show up. But will I like it? Swatches are the project for today.

Next up is this sweater from Knitty.com called Avast. This is the sweater my son picked out. I think it will look nice on him. He also picked out the color of yarn. This is the color 'Snickerdoodle' which just happens to be one of my favorite cookies.

This is Sparky. He is my son's dog. He was a pound puppy (we got him from the county dog pound). He was listed as an Australian Shepherd mix that would weigh about 35 lbs when full grown. He now weighs over 100 lbs and has a build more like a German Shepherd. He has been a part of the family for several years, and because of age-related issues he has become mostly an inside dog. I was checking lights and door locks late one night and came across him with his teddy bear (we call it his 'woobie'). I quickly grabbed the camera and took this picture. He is a sensitive soul but I never would have thought he would be a woobie-toting dog.

My son is a potter. Last fall he became the youngest person to be accepted as a member of a local/regional organization called Clayfolk and to show his work at their annual show/sale. It was a dream come true for him. These are some of his practice pieces - tea bowls and a vase.


Slouch hat

A little better picture of the finished silk and wool slouch hat. It had a bath last night and is drying. My inspiration was a hat worn by the main character in the movie of The Secret Garden, although this one is a bit more on the wild side.


Silk juggle ball slouch hat finished

Instead of a Super Bowl Sunday, I had a Super Knit Sunday. Start with the Silk Juggle Ball and some leftover Lamb's Pride from the stash.

Unzipping the provisional cast on.

Folding the 1 x 1 rib in half lengthwise to form headband portion of the hat and do the 3-needle thing.
Ribbed portion done. Bring in the recycled silk.

I decided to alternate rows with the yarns. The Lamb's Pride gave a good foundation for the Silk's wild side.
What's on TV? Knitty Gritty and Monk.

I finished it! It desparately needs to be blocked but it fits (as much as a slouch-type hat is supposed to 'fit') and it is comfy to wear.

(I am not very good at the picture-in-the-mirror photography)


Big uns

Hee hee hee. They are HUGE! Size 35 next to the size 5's, 6's, and 7's. I needed a smaller nostepinne than my cardboard tube for winding my finer yarns, and I found these Brittany needles today . I now have 2 nostepinne for the price of one, and they double as size 35 needles should I ever need that size (?!).


Block party with the Power Rangers

I hope this turns out like I planned. I will be able to finish it when it is dry.


Silk juggle ball WIP

I stopped work at about 11 o'clock last night and then played with the Silk Juggle Ball until 1 o'clock this morning. Funny how I was falling-asleep tired sitting at my desk but as soon as I started knitting I felt focused and relaxed but not tired. I want a floppy beret or slouch hat. This attempt did not match my vision and so is being frogged. I now have a better idea about what will work and what won't. I have a ball of black Cascade 220 that I am thinking of adding to the silk. Double strand? Alternate rows? I don't know. I am starting to get some ideas trickling into my imagination, though. What about alternating the yarns in the 1x1 rib at the brim? mmmmm... no, too fussy. What about making the hat garter stitch so that one yarn is dominant? maybe.... How about double strading and using size 13 needles? maybe. The silk yarn was spun very tight and is a little stiff, so maybe the Cascade will fill in and soften it. I have to go back to work . For now I can daydream about my project. The manos project was finished last weekend and is waiting to be blocked. I hope it becomes the vision I had.