Saturday, December 26, 2009

Him Again

He's very a photogenic youngster. He was given up for adoption to the courier (dad of the prospective parent) yesterday, along with his dossier which you can see in the background. It's hard to see the horns, but they're there. I doubt if all the hair will stay in, but most of it should. Remind me how much I don't like making toys the next time want to I start one. Wait, too late! Lookit! At least this one doesn't call for hair. It calls for 13 colors, but never fear, Sue is here! And I suppose these could be considered toys. They were made for an old library school buddy/colleague because she saw me knitting socks at a meeting a couple of years ago. Since then I've been urging her to take up knitting again, but I finally gave in and promised to knit her a pair of socks. Thar they blow. Though you may not need one, here's the pattern: Tiny Socks This hat and these wristwarmers are some more holiday knitting. The pattern for the hat is Le Parisienne Beret by the Sock Pixie aka Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer. I think the hat pattern makes a better beanie than a beret, but your mileage may vary. I do love her hat designs. I've also knit her Jewel Baby hat. She should think about changing her name to Caroline-Dlugy Headwear. The wristwarmers have no pattern. I used 4 repeats of the chevron stitch from the hat and I may have deducted 2 stitches per repeat. I made all the thumb gusset increases at the outside center of the thumb to mimic the chevron. Chevronically, it was better than not doing that, but not much. I tried to knit the cast off ribbing in pattern and it was a bear, but not worth it. I didnt get the shaped edge I wanted. The second hand, I did plain. Characteristically, I haven't finished my last bit of holiday knitting. It's still on the needles.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I bought this yarn last month at the Sow's Ear in Verona, WI where Sue and I went on a little jaunt. The top is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for a pair of socks because I shrunk my old ones. The purple stuff is School House Press Unspun Icelandic. There are 4 rounds of 300 yards. It's about 20-22 stitches per inch. I'm thinking vest, which surprised Sue not at all. The soda was delicious.
This is not her. This is Elizabeth. Look at her beautiful vest. Sue reports that she is happy to have been yarn browsing while the cameras were out.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

That Guy

I made a lot of progress for a while. I had mucho trouble getting the arms positioned correctly. I decided it was time to be satisfied with what I had. I tried a number of things to make the claws and got nowhere, but then John, the crocheter from Saturday morning knitting, figured out how I could do the claws. I read a few online tutorials about how to sew on doll hair. The next thing to do was to trim it. I didn't like it. Then I split each piece of yarn in half. This resulted in a slightly curly, full afro. I suppose that would have been ok, except that the yarn is all falling apart and gets all over and doesn't stop coming off in little piles. That yarn was Cascade 220 superwash. Now I've borrowed some black sock yarn from Lauren from Monday night knitting. That will be thin, but still hold together. When I remove the old hair and add the new, I'll just have the face and horns.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I will blog again.

Soon. I swear. Well, I don't swear on my blog, but I promise.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Unsung Knits for an Unsung Man

This is my friend Jerry. He just had a big birthday. Here he is at Lambeau Field modeling knitwear. I'm sure you can guess by the amateurish embroidery that I made this mitt. I made another one, too. Unfortunately that one says, YRREY. I got a little excited when I got to the last letter and forgot I was going backwards. I'm pretty sure he's wearing that one, too. It just didn't show in the picture because maybe he's scratching or something. I believe that thing around his neck is what we used to call a transister radio. I had an avocado green one when I was in 6th grade. They are a precursor to the I-Pod and maybe even the cell phone.

I splurged on the yarn. It's Berroco Blackstone Tweed. It's got a felted quality and I enjoyed working with it. The pattern is Knucks from Knitty. I can't remember what I did, but I tweaked the pattern a little because of gauge and so the palm fits a bit oddly. Maybe it's because it's my first top down pair of gloves. I made the fingers a bit longer. You only need the ends of your fingers to poke out. Well, frankly, I usually only put thumbs in wristwarmers, not fingers. Maybe I'll go even longer next time. It gets cold here, baby!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Had a Dream

Last night I had a dream that I was working on a sock and had finally gotten to the point of trying it on to see how close to the heel I was. Well, there was a big ole hole at the ball of the foot. Bare naked skin was shining through. I was very upset and said to my Grandma Schultz, "This is the first time knitting has ever made me cry." And I cried. Of course there was other weird stuff and jumping around, but as we say in the teaching reading biz, that was the main idea.

It was nice to see Grandma Schultz again. I guess I was thinking about her because at work we had been talking about learning to cook and sew. She moved in with us when I was about 9 or 10, I think. We shared a bedroom and she had an ancient electric White machine in a cabinet with a knee control. That was a great machine. It had 4 drawers and one whole drawer was all buttons, wonderful buttons, which I've been using over the years. This is not a picture of the actual machine. I found this pic on the Internet. Our cabinet did not have a curve and was a different shade of brown. It also had a light bulb in a little cover. I think the one pictured here is a treadle model. Ours looked something like this, but I don't know about the belt. It seems like I remember a belt, but I don't remember it ever breaking or needing replacement.
Grandma was a consumate saver and maker-doer. Afterall, the first half of her childhood was spent on a farm and she was a single parent for a while during the other Depression. (Sometime ask me about what I used for my period at first and how to get rid of a tapeworm.) The button collection has now dwindled alarmingly. I try to replenish it, but it isn't the same.

I say it with pride that I get some of my make do-itiveness from her. Some people see this as fearless creativity. Once I had wanted some little black boot type shoes (read 1980's) and couldn't afford them, but I found a pair that was black leather except that they had large, army green canvas sections that I would probably like now. So I bought them and took a big magic marker and colored the canvas sections black. I had some friends who thought this was highly creative. I don't know about that, but I did get the shoes that I wanted.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Faceless, Armless Wild Thing

Wild Thing in progress. The toes/claws were an interesting structural problem, but I am satisfied with them now. Here is the crocheted original. I did try to do it in crochet, but let's just say that as crotchety as I am, I am still a better knitter than crocheter. I am very worried that I made the head too small. It looks smaller in real life. Once I start putting hair and features on it, it will be too late. I have to decide today if I will knit another head and slip it over this head to get more size. I couldn't stand it if this thing was just off enough to look like a cheap imitation. This picture was taken by Trini of Saturday Morning at Alterra Knitting and e-mailed from her cell phone. Thanks, Trini!

The Wild Thing's intended turns 1 tomorrow. Time, she is a-wastin'.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I figured out what was wrong with Blogger. There was a hitherto unnoticed box that had somehow become unchecked in the picture importation window.

These socks developed this. It must have been a laundry accident. Now I just have to find the leftover yarn . . .

These Norwegian House Slippers fascinate me. The second one is sewn now, but they still need felting. I went big on the needle. We'll see what happens. I'm pretty sure they're not going to fit me. I'll probably make myself some, too.

Here's the second skein of Knitting Notions Superwash sock yarn in the color wildflowers and what it's becoming: a Lacy Baktus. (You may recall that I made a mohairy Baktus last January or so.) The combination of yarn and pattern are working here. It didn't even take 22 tries! Now here's an interesting question for me. Why am I compelled to immediately knit this even though I just knit another skein of it? I have so many other likely candidates.

I finished these. Seiding and Elizabeth saw me working on them at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. I decided to give them to my hairdresser, Annie. I was foolish enough to ask her if she thought one was shorter than the other. In essence, I unfinished these. I took them back and will lengthen the shortie as much as I can given the small amount of remaining yarn. The cable is supposed to line up along the outer edge of the hand, not the center. They do this better on Annie. The lumpy wrist is due to my watch. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Angora. (60% Angora, 20% wool, 20% nylon)
Speaking of Annie, here's what she did to me. Well, she didn't mess it up like that or force me to take a badly lit picture, but she did give me purple highlights. Really purple. I love it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Pictures on Blogger

Well I tried to post the other day and the pictures wouldn't upload. Today the button that you press to upload the pictures doesn't even work. So Hello, Howdedoo, etc.

It's hot at work, even when it's nice outside.

I did some knitting.

I had trouble with it.

I am doing more knitting. I am having trouble with that too.

It is better with pictures, isn't it?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back in the Bloggle again

At this point in the socks. I decided that the shafts were too wide. So I dropped columns of stitches down to just above the heel (a bit further than the picture shows) and brought them back up with my new favorite crochet hook (Bates 2.0 mm) and I created ribbing at the back center of both socks in order to cinch them in a bit. The truth is that I did it once, didn't like it, dropped down and brought the stitches back up in stockinette, knit another inch, changed my mind and dropped down again for the ribbing. Here's an interesting nugget: Making ribbing this way produces a tight, even ribbing. The cuff is mostly 1x1 ribbing, but the knits are twisted and the back of the cuff is consistent with the ribbing that runs up the back of the shaft. I did a 2 stitch knit ridge surrounded by 2 purls right above the diamond motif. I wish I would have surrounded it by only one purl stitch. Then it would be smoother, yet more prominent. By the way, I like the pooling. There was no pooling on the feet and I was disappointed, but now I am satisfied because it is there, but it's not all crazy and dramatic.Here's a picture of the latest unwrapped short row heel I've tried. It's called the Sherman Heel. (one tutorial)(the original tutorial) I am proud of myself for figuring this out, because I had to combine the 2 tutorials to understand it. Our minds all work so differently. Despite my trouble with the directions, it's actually the easiest short row heel in my opinion so far. Here's my tutorial: Make short rows without wraps. When you get to the increase point and are returning, slip the stitch before the gap (knitwise on the knit side). Pull up the stitch below the first stitch on the left needle. Knit or purl that stitch with the slipped stitch. Turn. Do not slip. Repeat. Ignore the part about wrapping the 1st 1 or two stitches and ignore the term, "encroachment," unless it works for you. I added 6 stitches gradually to the bottom of the foot started at about 2 inches before the heel; then I knit the heel on 42 stitches. I hope this compensates for the possiblilitlity that Mr. Williams has high arches. Here's how the design on the sides of the foot turned out. Handsome picture of the side of the leg design. Ta Da! And ironic that the paper that horned in on the photo shoot is my teaching license, because have I mentioned that Mr. Williams is my former principal? He is one of the best people I've ever known and I sure as hell hope he likes his socks. Secondarily, I hope they fit him. Thirdarily, I hope he wears them once in a while or gives them to his wife. Details
Pattern: Well, you know, a little of this, a little of that. 72 stitches, toe-up, Sherman Heel.
Yarn: Knitting Notions Superwash Sock Yarn. (I did have enough yarn. The yarn I ordered before I knew that, matches perfectly. I hate to say that I always have enough, because saying so could jinx it, but I always have enough yarn.) Color: Wildflowers, but for Mr. Williams, let's
just let him think the colors are his college frat colors and are not flowery at all.
Needles: Mostly magic loop, some 2 needle circular and some dpn work. Size: Foot & cuff, 2.25 mm, Shaft, 2.5 mm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Endless Socks

The endless socks have heels now. I only had to make three and a half heels to get two. I'm streamlining my process. In the meantime, I've ordered more yarn and the dyeist is going to see if she has any old stuff left because the new batches of this dyelot are much lighter. The dark purple especially looks not dark at all. These are very special socks and I can't have the leg being short. I also can't have them in "femmy" colors, so we'll see what the mail brings.
There are a lot more things planted on the hill. I'll take pictures in some little while when more plants are established. LLD, I did plant one periwinkle. I didn't know that it put down more roots as it goes. That is just what is needed. If it does well, I'll put in more next year. It is a greenish-yellow leaved variety.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009


This is Jaala. Sing with me: "Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?" Aside from walking in beauty like the night, she is good designer and a really good knitting camper. She designed the sweater she is wearing. I think I might knit it. I'm going to get the pattern from KnitCircus magazine which will be delivered right to my door any day now. It's full of other nice designs to knit. It's a good magazine. She and Elizabeth(sidebar) publish KnitCircus. Ask for it at your LYS or go here to see the patterns and to order a copy or subscribe. Here's Jaala's blog.
I accidentally left Jaala's name off the list of campers even though we caravaned and arrived at knitting camp together, even though we had a shouted conversation through an open window at park headquarters while she was outside in her car and I was inside on line with 30 people. Even though she let me have the short chair. Shame on me.

I love you, Jaala.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Aced the Test

My friend Bev is a knitting designer. She asked me to test knit a simple but beautiful hat, or maybe I asked her if she'd allow me. The pattern is very well written. She made the stranded colorwork easy. It's called the All-American Baby Hat and it's availble for $4.00 in Bev's Etsy Shop or from Ravelry where she is known as knittersjourney. Not having a baby head handy, I photographed it on some laundry. Here is her blog post about the hat with nice pictures.

Isn't it cute?

Friday, August 07, 2009

I made a shawl.

I started this last summer. I know I had it at Alt. Schmores Knitting Camp '08. I finished it right before Alt. Schmores Knitting Camp '09. It is two skeins of Suri Alpaca. I don't know the name anymore. It just reached. I probably could have done one more row because I had about a foot left over. The shawl is designed to tie around the shoulders at chest level to keep you warm and have your hands free. It's a copy of a gray one I remember from years ago that my roommate, Gwen, gave me. At least she gave it to me for a few months, but then she moved and she wanted it back. I had no choice but to knit my own 20-some years later.
I got back from knitting camp this week. The company was terrific--smart and funny, the food was sehr yummy, we found the best campsite ever, and even the weather was perfect. I saw a lot of these butterflies, but this is the one I saw first:

I neglected to take a picture of everybody. I won't torture anybody by posting her picture since I can't torture everybody. You should come next year, at least for the day. You don't have to actually camp. Think of it as a day in the park with knitting. A knitting picnic.

MollieBees, Elizabeth, Sue, Helen, Christy, Janice, Sheryl, and Jen, thanks for the memories and the treats including 3 kinds of marshmallows.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Glove Love and the GIANT UFO

This glove had been making trouble for months in the pile o'crap important knitting paraphernalia on my couch glorified futon knitting area. It's mate was there, too. I think they would meet furtively somewheres in the fluidity of the mass that is my well-organized, systematic storage facility. There they would snicker like Beavus and Butthead and hatch diabolical plots, pitting yarn against yarn. I'm sure they were high fiving on the one hand and and high zeroing on the other over acts of sabotage such as what you see pictured here. I expect my yarn to be tangle free now that those 2 miscreants have been put in their place, the top shelf of the hall closet.

I received the black yarn in a swap with my Monday night knitters last December. I've got an oatmealy color of it also, perhaps 2 balls. I've got most of one of the black balls left. It's got some angora in it, which provides the nice halo which I can see (and feel) and you can't. Well, maybe you can see it a little. It's got other natural fibers in it, maybe silk and definitely wool. It has a felted feel, but actually it's got 2 plies. It knits in an aran gauge. Sooner or later I'll come across the other balls that still have labels. No gloves fit better than gloves you practically knitted directly onto your hand. They are plain stockinette.

How to Knit a Glove

I used my basic method where I knit the cuff then a couple of plain rows where I increase 1-4 stitches for the palm. Then I increase 1 for the thumb gusset and put markers on either side of the increase. After that I increase at both markers every other row or so until the gusset is 15 stitches, then I knit straight until I think the level of the knitting has reached the big valley between the thumb and index finger. Then I put the thumb stitches aside and forge on. Of the fingers, you have to knit the baby finger first because its valley is 2 rows lower than the other valleys. With this yarn I needed 13 stitches for the Baby, 14 for the Weakling, and 15 each for the Tall Man, Pointer and Thumb. I used approximately 10-12 of the live stitches for each finger and picked up and cast on evenly on sides between the fingers. In order to close up gaps I had to pick up more than the necessary number of stitches, so I decreased gently to get the right fit. I didn't know in advance how many stitches I'd need until after doing the pinky. From there I could estimate, but trying on was the key. Closing the fingers was a little more difficult for me to get the exact right length. I had to be willing to rip and reknit those last few stitches, which I was, but it was only on a few stitches. The decreasing there is all done in the last 2 rows before stringing the remaining stitches and pulling up tight. Figuring out that the finger doesn't need to be carefully tapered has saved me a good deal of knitting angst.

I call this my method, but I read it somewhere else first. I don't know where. It is probably an amalgam of patterns. I just hope I get a lot of use out of them before I lose one. But when I do, since it is ambidextrous, it will make a pair with any singleton I have, most of which are lefts.
As I go to press, the picture of the pair of gloves is vertical. It's not supposed to be. Perhaps it will have fixed itself by the time you visit.

The Hill: Grass and weeds subtracted, rocks added. I have erosional thinking. I played around with this hill for years, trying to get things to take over the grass. Now I've hired a neighbor. My tweezer method wasn't very effective, but we'll see about the sledgehammer method. Now it's a race to get it all planted, but I can't decide what to plant. I might hire a woman I've met who is a landscape designer to plan the space. There are some ground covery things planted at the bottom toward the side with the phlox (the big green strip). They are starting to fill out, just a bit. It's been raining everywhere but here for a few weeks now. See how dry the ground is?

Cat added for scale.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First a Kitty

Musette. That's not her tail, it's a mushed up kitty pi. That makes a total of 3 knitted items in which she is nesting. The red thing, knitted by the illustrious Laura, is a sweater which I've altered but still need to reknit the button band. Hi Laura. The rainbow thing is the circular blanket. This had to happen. All the little packages finally got the upper hand. It was like the scene in the first Harry Potter where all the letters are shooting in through the fireplace and the mail chute and flapping around trying to get attention. I need to tie a needle gauge to it.Oy. I'm working on this now. It's going to be a stole. The pattern is Swing Stitch from Barbara Walker #2, p. 264. I spent a good 2.5 hours knitting tonight only to end up having knit one more row than when I had picked it up. Counting Fail. Lifeline Win! The lurid green highlights are due to having messed with the color values to get the knitting to be this shade of purple. I think it's pretty accurate. It's interesting that the color of the unaltered picture was pretty close to the pictures in the online stores. Maybe I'll get another skein after all.These are finished. I finally located the original pattern! I had to have help from the Patterns forum on Ravelry. They are called Rise and Shine socks. The author is Tikru who blogs at Made By Myself. Forgive me for posting so many pictures of them. I love them so. I'm working on another pair. If I don't watch myself carefully I'll frog the plain one and reknit it as a Rise and Shine sock. Maybe I'll make the zigzags further apart.

I'm invited to a wedding, but I need your help. Chicken, fish, or vegetarian?