Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tomorrow is my birthday…

Yes, May day.
An international communist holiday.
A pagan feast day (Beltane)
In the Hawiian islands, it's Lei Day

This year, I have decided to get older.

For some years now, I have been 47. It was a good age.
47 is, of course, a prime number, a befitting age for someone in their prime.

But--a problem has come about.. I claim to be 47—but passing for 47 is getting harder with every grey hair!
( I stopped coloring my hair some 4 years ago, and now, instead of blonde, my dishwater grey blonde hair is the pepper of an over all salt and pepper color.)

Another issue is, I have friends who really are (but don’t look it!) 47—well it’s a bit of stretch to look at both of us, and convince yourself we are the same age. I don’t want to force them into lying about their age.

In addition, I knit, and frequent knitting sites--and well, I have been knitting 48 years..(and admit to that!)

Now I took to knitting like a duck to water, but it’s pretty hard to believe that I was so precocious that I was knitting before I was born.

So Tomorrow I am going to acknowledge that I am no longer 47.

The next prime is 53, the prime after that, 59 is too old (I am not yet that old!)

So I’m getting 5 years older tomorrow.

Good bye 47, Hello 53!

(and if you read this blog,and have never commented, gift me with a comment for my birthday, tomorrow!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yesterday—(post) and Today

I never got this posted yesterday---

Progress and Mistakes

A bit of both today.
Here are the socks, with the fair isle heel flap(s)almost  half done.I should finish them up today and maybe even get the turning done.

The February Lady Sweater?
The good news—I had enough yarn to get the third button hole completed in the lovely multi-color yarn.I could have done 1 more row, --but then the color change would have shown on the outside of the sweater. I cast on in the  solid purple, and made a neat color change there—So a neat color change was in order for the bottom edge.

The pattern calls for a single row with some eyelets (increases)—further down, but since my ‘plan’ was plain garter yoke in multi color yarn; with the lace in solid purple, I am making a small modification.
I made a row of K2tog/YO’s (no net increase) and 3 ridges of garter, and the another row of K2tog/YO’s--only some are going to be k1, YO (the called for pattern increase) and others are going to be the K2tog YO—the result will be another row of beading.. (as the K2to/YO pattern is called)
The second row of beading will hid the increases. This makes the last few rows of garter a bit
 lacy—and makes the two tone design a bit consistent—Fancy yarn, plain garter stitch—Plain yarn, fancy stitch work.
Only late last night, in my haste-- I messed up! The row of beading was done on the wrong side, and yes, it does matter!
The best news is, after the increase, I will only need 4 more rows and I then I can divide the work (and reduce the number of stitches per row!) and start the lace..

So today’s first order of business is frogging that row—but that won’t be done for hours! Since tonight is LIC Knit get together. I should have the yoke finished tonight! (And will have some
 photographic evidence of my  progress, tomorrow!)

What's change? Where do I stand today?

In spite of my lofty plans (yesterday)  today’s reality is:

Good News! The garter is done! On to lace! Off with sleeve (stitches)!
(not done yet, but...)

On with something thing more interesting than endless rows of knit stitch, who’s only respite was an increase (or 8) every other row.
Here is the beading detail that elevate the solid purple wool to LACE. It’s a bit more than the pattern details, but not too much. (and it was a bit more interesting than the plain garter!--but then anything would have been!)


Not so good news:
The socks still don’t have a full heel flap— forget about even thinking about the turning!  But here’s a peek at the bit of lace at the top edge--when I stretch the ribbing (as I will when I wear the socks, the lace looks fine (and not at all to big!) 

It's not really a delicate lace-- it will stand up to being tugged on.. and stand up on its own, above the ribbing. 

Black yarn obscures all the details.. but the lace? It's a pattern of 3 row buttonholes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Knitting in the Round--part 3

Switching from DPN’s, to Circs

In the long history of knitting, most knitting in the round was done on DPN’s.

New knitters are often afraid of working with DPN’s—but find, once they try, they are not nearly as hard as they thought they would be.

Convention dictates that DPN’s are sold in sets of 4 needles or 5 needles-
(different countries have different conventions!) But knitters are not limited to using these numbers. It is quite possible to use 6 or 7 DPN’s at a time in a single project!

Circular needles are a rather new invention—the earliest circ’s had metal cords that resembled piano wire. The cords were stiff—and needed to be used with care, since the wire cords could (and did) break--leaving a rough edge that snagged each stitch.
By the 1960’s, new circ were introduced with nylon cords. These cords were stiff (by todays standards!) but they were more durable and much easy to use then the wire cords.

Today, circular needles come in a range of materials*—and the worst of the cords (Boye brand) are still 100 times more flexible than the old ones!

Most knitters today will use Circulr needles to knit in the round—especially sweater or other garments.. Few knitters still use DPN’s for large items, and its not easy to find sets of 14, or 20 inch long DPN’s, since so few knitters use DPM's for sweaters, or shawls, or other items.

The ready availability, and reasonable cost of circular needles, means most knitters will use circular needles to knit in the round—And that some knitter use Circs almost exclusively—for both circular knitting and flat knitting.

Sock knitters are one of the converts--today, many sock knitters knit socks 2 at a time on 2 circular needles (often called 2 on 2) and others knit their socks on a single long circular needle using the "Magic Loop" method.

What is hard, for many knitters, is grasping how to convert their knitting/or knitting patterns from one method to the other.

I will attempt to show you the process—(you might want to knit along to increase your understanding.)

I will show you how to work your way from a tube of knitting worked on 5 DPN’s (a box like shape) to a tube worked on 4 DPN’s, (a triangle) to a tube worked on 2 circulars, to a tube worked on 1 circular..

If you’d like to knit along you need:
1 set of 5 DPN’s,
2 sets of circular needles (one should be at east 36 inches long)
(all the needles should be the same “size’ –that is size 8/5mm or some such size)
stitch markers.. 5 will be needed--
4 of the markers should be numbered (1, 2, 3, 4)—you can buy or make fancy ones (like these) or use something like those paper disks used to mark keys.
Yarn.

These markers, (and this tutorial) will help you understand no matter what number of needles are used, the process is really unchanged—and by using markers, you’ll be able to easily use any method for any pattern.  I didn't mark the stitches/needles as I worked--and you don't have to either... it's just an option.

Step 1--cast on 48 stitches, 12 each on to 4 DPN- (5th needle will be use to work with)—at the mid point of each needle place a marker (# 1 on first needle, #2 on the second needle, and so on)
Step 2—Join into a round, and ‘crank’ out 1 round. Use a stitch marker to mark the BOR. With 4 DPN’s holding stitches, the needles form a square that easily collapses into flat shape. (The fifth needle is used to work the stitches.)







Step 3—Change to a set of 4 double pointed needles.
A—Work the stitches on needle 1 (the first needle after the BOR)
B—Work the stitches from needle 2 and needle 3 onto ‘spare needle)
C—Put the now unneeded 5th needle away.
D—Work the stitches on needle 4 onto the spare needle
At this point you have an uneven triangle.
The needles form a triangle than can easily be collapsed.
Needle 1 and needle 3 each have 12 stitches, but the third needle (the center needle) has 24 stitches.

The stitches on needle this center needle are the stitch groups 2 and 3
If a pattern called for working on a set of 5 DPN’, and you only had sets of 4, you could easily ‘combine’ 2 stitch groups onto one needle—and either make a mental note when reading the pattern, or you could mark the stitches groups, and have a visual reminder of which stitches are the needle 2 group and which are the needle 3 group.

Step 4-- Next round, start by working stitches on needle 1 with the spare DPN.

Then, using any length of circular needle, work the stitches from needle 2 onto the circular needle. (All 24)

Finish the round working the stitches on the last needle onto the spare DPN.

Only 3 DPN’s are being used now—One DPN has been replaced with a Circular-- Which if you think about it, is a DPN—a long DPN, a DPN with a flexible cord in the center, but still, in all, a DPN!)

On the next round, again, start by working stitches on needle 1 with the spare DPN

The stitches on the circular needle can be worked by sliding the stitches to left tip of the needle, and bringing the other end of the needle round to be the right tip.
Work the stitches from the circular needle, onto the same circular needle.
This is easy to do with any length of circular.

Finish round by working the stitches on the last DPN onto the second Circular.
And then begin the next round by knitting the stitches on the remaining DPN (needle 1)onto this circ.

At this point, you can put the DPN’s away. All the DPN’s have been replaced with
2 circular needles.
The beginning of the round is centered of one of the circ’s.

NOTEthe BOR doesn’t have to be in the center—it can be at an edge too—
It is in the center because of the way we first divided the stitches. –
Normally when I switch from DPN’s to 2 circs, I end up with the BOR as the first stitch on one of the circs.

But it doesn’t matter how the stitches are divided—the stitch markers (numbered stitch markers) can be used to label each group of stitches--or you can just use the BOR to ‘keep track’--

No matter how you have divided the stitches, each Circular needle holds half the stitches.
When working, the stitches on the unused needle are moved to the center (cord portion of the Circ.) Always, the stitches are worked from 1 circular needle ONTO the same circular needle.

In the beginning, it is helpful to have 2 different circular needles (either different materials, or different colors, or different lengths)—what ever works to help you keep track.

The stitches on each circular needle are worked from the needle back onto the needle. This style of circular knitting, doesn’t crank the same as work on sets of DPN’s. Instead, it feels like flat knitting—Each turn of the work is a 180°--but each side is knit (if working in stocking knit!)

Step 5—the last step is the easiest. Using the longest of the 2 circ, work all the stitches onto the single circ.

The stitches are kept in 2 group-- A loop of the cord pulled to divide the stitches—as they are worked, the loop is continually recreated.

When one group of stitches is being worked, there are 2 loops of cord –one at each side of the work. At the end of a round (or half round, there is a single loop one side of the work, and the 2 tips of the needle at the other side.

This style of working in the round is called Magic loop—and with a magic loop a small number (48!) stitches can be easily worked on a long (36 inch or longer) circular needle.

A knitter could have ONLY 36 or longer circulars, and work any number stitches –from 4 to 400!--on a single circular needle. As the number of stitches increase, the loops will get smaller and smaller until they are no longer there at all!

Keeping track of which stitches are the needle 1 stitch's, and which stitches are the needle 2 or 3 or 4 stitch's gets easier with each project. But numbering the groups of stitches to correspond with ‘needles’ allows even a newish knitter to convert any pattern to this style of work.

Once you understand the different methods of working in the round, you can cast on and start knitting in that method--the interum steps here won't be needed!


I don't intend to discuss the merits of the different sets of interchangeable needles --but...
*Circulars are available as single needles, and as sets of interchange able tips and points.

Each set has advantages and disadvantages.. (and each knitter has personal preferences! I for one love metal needles (and dislike bamboo)

If I were starting out today, as a new (and in need of equipment) knitter—I think I would be buying some of the new interchangeable sets on the market.. ones with super flexible cords, and strong but easy to connect joints.

The cost of set of interchangables vary—but the range is from about $50 (US) to $100(US) –and each set is substantcially less than buying the same brand of needle individually. Every knitting forum that exist has any number of thread about the relative merits of each set.

Most sets, (used) retain about 90% of there value, and can be resold on Ebay or craig’s list for just a bit less than what you paid for them. So its not a bad investment to buy a set, any set and see if they suit you. Recouping your investment is not that hard!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The question is:

Will I have enough yarn to make it to the third and final button hole?

I think so--Just 2 more rows till the button hole. And maybe 2 more rows after that—That would be ideal Then I can switch to the solid “Royal Purple” colorway of the Patons Classic Merino—the same solid I used to cast on.

Thing is, the rows are so long now! While Sally Melville did a lot to make me appreciative of garter stitch, I am so bored with it! I can’t wait to get to the lace with it’s yarn overs, and knit 2 togethers, and glorious rows of purls.

Unlike Ms Zimmerman, I like to purl (I don’t LOVE to purl—thought I have occationaly worked garter stitch in all purls) but do love the change—rows of plain knit and plain purl get boring too—and huge swaths of stocking knit aren’t much fun—but they are still better than endless garter!
I’ll update with a photo when I get to the color change--maybe tomorrow --or maybe Wednesday--I hope the former.. but suspect it won't be till the latter.

My subway knitting—always a small, light, simple project is--yet another-- pair of socks.

The yarn is (once again!) Patons Kroy –Jacquard this time. The color way, Tutti Fruitti. I almost didn’t buy it—I wasn’t sure if I liked it. But it was half price in clearance bin…well--I had to—who can resist the opportunity to get socks for under $5?

I decided immediately, I would tone it down with a solid—I’d pick up a solid color to add to the cuff, the heel and the toe.

At home I checked my bag of mini balls of sock yarn* and found 2 mini balls of
almost the same colorway! And immediately recognized it.

It was from a few years ago—Lion Brands Magic Stripes in color way called spring stripes or something similar. The Lion Brand colors were less intense, Pink not a Hot cherry pink, and the black wasn’t so much black as dark grey.

Sure enough when I checked the drawer, there were a pair of socks with the almost the same colors/same stripes. (here they are in my Photobucket album—these socks are pre-Ravelry)—trimmed with the solid green and orange.

Hmm. I needed to do some thinking!—I wanted a very different pair of socks.

So this pair has a bit of black lace before the ribbing, and will have some black trim in the heel flaps, and black again in the toe—and will be different enough! Next time I photograph them, I'll do something to open the lace up, so you can see the detail. 

*I don’t have plans for an special project for my many mini balls—but I use them all the time to trim socks..

One of “unsuccess” attempts at creating an orange yarn(for the Ring of fire socks)—was just perfect for Mast socks.

And it’s likely a pair of socks—worked for the most part in solid orange, (or maybe navy)   will be trimmed with some intarsia leaves—made from the left over brown striped yarn of the Mast socks.

Which might result in a bit of Orange yarn left over...
Orange is just perfect for making a border of pumpkins --just the thing for trimming a solid black sock!

My bag of left over bits is a endless source of inspiration!





Sunday, April 26, 2009

And Again, (some more, and photos!)

Yes, the yarn is lovely. I stole it from Kelly (aka LICraftGirl)--it was part of a stash she had snagged at a garage sale.. (and this, beautiful as it is, was ho-hum compared to many of the other yarns—and a single skein, to boot)

Melanie, Melanie, Of course you can knit this sweater (in days—it knits up fast!)--because you, dear heart, would follow the pattern, (a pattern that hundreds, if not thousands have followed and knit) instead of having the ego that thinks “I can make it better”--(and didn't!)

And you would just cast on with out giving it a second thought, and not insist upon, a not particularly hard cast on (Judy's Magic Cast On) –but one that requires a bit of attention-since I was doing the cast on as reverse stocking knit, not stocking knit.

And then not paying attention. (again, and again.. I have mentioned, haven't I, that I am a slow learner?)--You can see the lovely detail today (it really was worth the effort!)

The cast on was done in Patons Classic Merino, as will be the lace (and perhaps the last few rows of the yoke!) The lovely yarn from Kelly is a full 4 ounces—but i don't know how many yards—and it's just the 1 skein.. so lets all keep our fingers crossed that we make it to buttonhole 3—and maybe a row or two more!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Here, Gone and Back Again (but no photo)

Started the February Lady Sweater.

Messed up...

Frogged.






Started again.. (got it right after a half dozen times--because I had to do it MY WAY.

Images to follow (the light is all wrong now)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Knitting in the round Part 2

When knitting flat, the knitting is worked in rows.
Each row is distinct. At the end of each row, the work is turned.

Half the row are worked with the Outside (right side) or publicly viewed work facing the knitter, and half the rows are worked with the inside( wrong side) or non public side of the work facing the knitter.

When knitting in the round the knitting is worked in rounds, which are really spirals.
Disks are knit in flat spirals (Think of the coils of a braided rug—or a snail's shell.)
Tubes are coils, but stack ones.  (Think of slinky toy—or of the spiral cord of a telephone)

Unless marked, it can be difficult to know where the beginning and end of one spiral is—so it is a common practice to place a marker at the point that marks the end of one coil and the beginning of the next. These are called Beginning of Round markers. (BOR marking is shorthand notation most often used.)

When you work in the round, the work is not so much turned, but cranked –the same side is always facing the knitter, but the work is turned (one third or one quarter)to the right.
çClosing into a round









Tail (from cast on) at 3O'clock positionè

çTail of yarn at 6O'clock position












Tail of yarn at 9O'clock positionè
Round 1 complete, tail is once again at 12O'clock position.í
Look at these images-- see how the tail of yarn from the cast on moves round? Moving from the 12 O’clock positions, to the 3 O’clock position, to 6 O’clock, to 9 o’clock and finally back to noon as the round is finished?

This is what I mean by cranking the work rather than turning the work (as in flat knitting)
Occationally (while working short rows) circular knitting is turned—but 99.9% of the time, it is cranked!

The exception is when working with 2 circs, or with a magic loop,when  the work is turned 180°--and ‘feels like’ flat knitting—but the right side or rather the same side of the work is always facing the knitter, instead of right (outside) and back (inside) as with flat knitting. 
Each crank with 2 circ or magic loop knitting turns the work 180°--but the outsideof the work is always facing the knitter.

Which brings us to a general rule:
When knitting in the round, the Outside (right side/public side) of the knitting is always facing the knitter --Unless the knitter chooses to work inside out!

Then the wrong side/non public side of the work is facing the knitter.

The choice is a matter of tradition, both are right, but right side out is more common for knitters from a European heritage. Inside out is more common for eastern (asian), and for many south amerian knitters.

Usually, the knitter works with the working needles to the front of the work
Sometimes, the work will turn its self inside out, and a knitter will find them selves working on the right side, but at the back of the work.--almost every knitter has done this at least once—(and some knitters work this way all the time)

The solution is to turn the work so it’s right side out—it that is what you want to!

There is nothing wrong about working inside out, and when doing stranded (color) work there is a slight advantage to working inside out!

Joining

There are several techniques for making neat joins when knitting a tube.
And like all knitting, the names for the techniques are numerous.
You’ll find almost every knitter has a different name for the same process!

1—basic join—just join the work into a round

2 – tail together join—Work the first few stitches of round 1 with both the tail and the working yarn.. be sure to treat these ‘double thread’ stitches a single stitch in round 2

3 –Cross stitch join—the last stitch cast on is crossed (cable style) over the first stitch cast on—Usually by swapping the stitches from one needle to the other.

4—Plus one join—an extra stitch is cast on, and then repositioned to be the last stitch—then this extra stitch and the last stitch are knit together (correcting stitch count.
All of these methods (and others) are correct.

Sometimes Lapped joins are used, too… Especially on gursey type sweaters—With a lap join, at each side (where the side seam would be), stitches are overlapped and knit together. Lap joints are good for mittens and gloves too.

A lapped join is exactly as it sounds, pieces of flat  knitting are over lapped, and then the stitches are knit together:
The last stitches, (W X Y Z)are over lapped with first, (A B C D) and knit together.

---Stitch D is knit together with Z
---Stitch C is knit together with Y
---Stitch B is knit together with X
---Stitch A is knit together with W
The total stitch count is reduced by 4—(by 8 if you over lap on both sides of sweater)

Lapped joints are usually made after 6 to 10 rows of knitting –and they can be uneven. The back of the sweater can be 2 inches of extra longer than the front when you join with a lapped joint.

Or it can be extra deep –it is possible to work 3 or 4 inch of knitting. before joining with an overlapping join. Deep over laps before the join, can be a nice detail on a casual sweater--and it makes it easier to get your hand into pockets

All of these methods for joining (and others) are correct. There are subtle, (and in the case of the lap join, not so subte!) differences. The best way to join is the way that works best for you.

One concern with joining is being sure not to twist the first row of knitting.
If this row is twisted, there is no solution but to unravel and to start again.
(Well, actually you can leave a twist in the first round.. but…)

The secret to not twisting? I don’t know it. There are some tricks out there, but I find them as awkward and as time consuming as just paying attention to what I am doing!

A cast on like Long Tail (which looks different on each side), good light, and no distractions (sometimes this last bit is the hardest to arrange!) are the tools I need.

Curiously, I find it easier to join neatly and correctly when working with sets of 4 DPN’s (than any other method) –but I prefer to work these days (especially sock) with 2 Circs.

I often find that I cast on and join using DPN’s. Then I switch over to circ’s to continue the work. It is what works best for me.

I’ve tried the instructions for casting on half the stitches to one circ, and then casting the second half of the stitches onto a second circ—and the results are so ugly I rip them out. OBVIOUSLY—others have done this successfully. But not me.

In the end, the best method, as always, is the method that works best for you!

Cast ons

When knitting a TUBE—almost any cast on will work. Most often, a stretch cast on is desired—but there are almost no other limitations.

I like to cast on some stitches to Needle 1, then step stair style, some onto needle 2, and again to needle 3, and to needle 4.
so by the end of the cast on, I am holding all 4 DPN’s in my right hand.
(presuming I am doing a Long Tail or Long Tail variation cast on.

Then I lay them flat, double check to see the stitches aren’t twisted, and start knitting.

When knitting a flat disk, you can start with a conventional cast on, or with an eyelet (aka noose) cast on*, or with a provisional (aka chimney) cast on.

there is:
the disappearing loop cast on (a link to my YouTube video)
the Emily Ocker loop cast on--(still images)
and the slip knot loop cast on--similar to the disappearing loop, but worked in a slip knot.

A chimney cast on is a short bit of knitting in an alternate yarn, that is used to support the knitting/needles. After the work is completed, the chimney is unraveled (from the cast on edge) and live stitches of the working yarn are sewn into a drawstring with the tail of the working yarn. The chimney can be a few inches of I-cord.

Again, all the methods are correct, and the choice is yours.

It is slightly more common to knit flat disk from the inside (center point) out, than it is to knit from outside edge to center point--

Steeks
Are cut portions of knitting in the round--this tutorial is not going to deal with steeks! There are lots of tutorials about steeking—but really the best way to learn? Knit a swatch, (40 stitches is plenty-) by 20 Rounds—and practice making a steek in the swatch. It’s so much easier to cut a swatch than your real knitting for the first time.


Still to come:
How to knit on DPN or Circ—and how to change from one style to another
and how to adapt any pattern to any style.
Basic ratios for working in the round to create flat disks, ovals, or squares.
Stitches and patterns for working in the round
Jogless color changes and other persnickety details.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Knitting in the Round--the Basics

Learning to knit in the round is a perennial problem for new knitters—Every knitting board and forum has the same basic questions being asked time and time again.

So lets go over the basics.

The tools:
Basic tools for knitting in the round are Double Pointed Needles (DPN’s)
These come in size (US sizes/mm sizes) and lengths.
The common sizes are from 000 to size 15.. (about 2mm to 20mm)
The common lengths are 5 inches to 14 inches –with 7 to 8 inch long ones being the most common.

DPN’s commonly come in set of 4 needles and in sets of 5 needles--today sets of 5 are more common, but there are still companies that sell sets of 4.
But they can be used, in sets of 6 or 7 or 8—by buying 2 or more sets.

Circular needles are (think about it!) another form of a double pointed needle!
These come in sizes (US sizes/mm sizes) and lengths
The common sizes are from 00 to 15—but its not as hard to find uncommon sizes (like 000 or 35!) as it is with DPN’s
The common lengths are from 16 inches to 40 inches (or about 28mm to 1 meter) but there are lots of places that carry uncommon lengths (12 inches or 47 inches, or even 60 inches)
The commonest lengths are 24 to 40 inches.

Both DPN’s and circulars (circ’s) come in a wide range of materials
Aluminum, nickel coated brass, steel, bronze and precious metals
Bamboo, birch, ebony, rosewood and other natural materials
Nylon, plastic (various sorts of plastics) and glass and so on, because this list is far from complete.

Circ’s, also come in INTER CHANGEABLE sets—there are lots different sets and complete discussions about the various sets is an other whole essay!

The sets consist of tips (about 6 inches long) that screw or snap on, and cords of various lengths that can be use, as is, or joined together to make any length cord desired.
Most set include connectors (to connect the cords) and ‘buttons or end caps” that allow you to use the cord as a stitch holder, by removing the knitting tip(s) and replacing it with a button/end cap.

Set come in different material, and different ranges of sizes.
Most set can be, (if you find you don’t like something about the set) resold on ebay or on swap forums for about 90 to 95% of what you originally paid for them.
(Especially true if you bought them when on sale or if you use a discount coupon for the purchase)

Circ’s can be used 1 at a time, --a 32 inch circ can easily hold 60 inches worth of stitches--or in multiples (remember they are just long flexible double pointed needles)
A single LONG length circ can be used—for any number of stitches--even very few –by using a method called Magic Loop. Circs that are 40 to 47 inches long are the most common size for Magic Loop knitting, but in some cases, a 32 inch needle is long enough.

When knitting in the round there are 2 basic styles:
Disks or Tubes.

The disks can be flat (perfectly!) or NOT.
Doily’s, shawls, placemats, “pinwheel’ blankets and other blankets are some uses for flat disks. Beret’s are make from flat disks, too.

Uses for cupped disks are hats, or knit (and felted) bowls, or other shaped items.

Cupped disks often turn into TUBES.
A disk that has excessive increases wil ruffle, and flat disks can be trimmed with ruffles.

There are some general guidelines for making disks, and some general (not perfect, but general rules) for the number of increases or decreases needed to create a flat disk, vs a cupped one vs a ruffled one. This information will be in a future post. 

Tubes can be straight, or tapered or even something like an hourglass shape.

Both methods can easily be combined.
Flat disk can  change into tubes, and tubes can change into flat disks
A hat is a Tube with disk (usually a slightly cupped disk).
Socks are shaped (bent) tubes with marked cupped disks (pointy toes!)

A hat can start at the brim (with a tube) and end with a disk (the crown)
Or it can start with a disk, (crown) and end with a tube (brim)

The same is true for socks(they can start at the toe or at the cuff,), mittens, (tip of the mitten or the cuff) and sweaters.(hem to neck band, or neck band to hem)

In some traditions of knitting, one method is more common than the other, but both methos (styles) work and both are ‘correct’.

Sweaters knit in the round can start with a single tube (the neck line)
the tube can expand (rapidly!) and then be divided into 3 tubes (2 smaller ones are the sleeves, the large center tube will be the body)
Or you can knit 3 tubes (2 sleeves and a body) join them into a single tube, (shoulder/yoke) and end at the neckline.)

More about knitting in the round tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It’s Earth Day—What are you doing?

Something—I hope! There are thousands of ways you can help make this world a better place.

Oh, yeah, I finished the socks. They look nice—to me, they are nothing special--and likely to be worn sometime before I cease wearing socks (for the summer)—I don’t totally give up on socks for the summer—I have a half dozen or so cotton or cotton blend socks—but I go bare foot as often as I can.

I really enjoyed having the few extra yards of the Lemon Drop color way to add--Thank you to the Lion Brand Studio for making it available!

The sock is a bit of mish-mash--mostly plain... I cast on (long tail) in Lemon Drop, and then switched over to the Rock Candy grey for a bit of a brighter edge to the Latvian twist on the top of the cuff.

And then worked some rounds of Latvian braid --and was happy with the results--even though the semi stripe pattern of the yarn muted the braids (that work best with strong constrast)

The two colors worked up differently in each heel--since I made no effort (at any point!) to have the subtle stripe match.  2 color linen stitch is a strong dense heel stitch--that will be shown off in clogs as often as its tucked into shoes--and will never wear out!

The toes are just a simple stripe--and again--interesting how they change the look of the main colorway.  

The whole sock is sort of a study of how the two colorways play together.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When I was a child

I dreamed of being grown up-- of being rich, and famous, and understood.

I was going to be a writer, of course—and live alone, high on a hilltop, looking out at the mountains.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to be writing—but I suspect it was poetry.

Reality:
While I have worked on and off at writing –both professionally and for my own pleasure—it’s not something I has made me rich.

Or famous. Today, with 16 followers to my blog is about as famous as I have ever been—which makes me a very small fish, in large ocean!

As for being understood—well I have learned to be more understanding.
I am a bit less self-centered. Change is hard, and even when I embrace it, I still often find that I get dragged along rather than gracefully accompanying it.

What I never dreamed as a child is what I am doing. My life is very different than my parents lifes, and very different than anything I imagined.

I still live in the same city I was born in. I’ve moved around inside of NYC—but I’ve never left it—I doubt I ever will. I love living here.

And while I love and in awe of the mountains—I can’t imagine living in a rural location. I am one of those people that makes Wyomingers happy.. I want to come visit—enjoy the views--and then go the hell away!.. (I am happy to leave it empty once again for them.)—I count Wyoming as one of the prettiest (what a trite word for the majesty of Wyoming!) place I’ve seen.—but then, I love to travel, and there are very few places that I have loved visiting.

I certainly never thought that computers and all the related technology would be as big a part of my life as it has been. (I know, I am not alone there—Did anyone really see this coming?)

I saw movies and television, and my dad even owned a movie camera, but home movies are not quite the same as YouTube.---and I have come to really enjoy YouTube—even if I am just barely able to make it work for me.

But more than anything-- what I am loving about technology today is the interconnectedness… How this(1) is connected to this(2), is connected to this(3), and this(4) and this(5)and this(6) and(follow the right path on the last link, and you'll find me at the end!
The connections are endless..

And this is mostly just the technology side--slip over to the art side, and a whole new set of connections develop—and collide!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I rarely knit sweaters--

For myself-- I get so little use from them.

I am never cold –unless I am sick, and then I am more likely to cuddle under a blanket than wear as sweater.  My co-op apartment is usually so overheated I never need a sweater indoors.

I hate the bulk of sweater sleeve under a coat (not that I wear coats often) —but I do knit and wear vests.

I am so, so picky about sweaters too…
I want loose necks (I hate high or tight necks—snug turtle necks are a kind of torture I think)—but I don’t want a loose or baggy neck either...
I want ¾ sleeves... Long sleeves are OK... but not ribbed cuffs, and nothing so loose I can’t push up and out of my way (that a lot to ask of a long sleeve!)

I wouldn’t want a sweater at all—but I have been working in the ‘front desk’ of a computer café—one with out heat—but even if it had heat, every time the door opens, there is, (well there was) a blast of cold air. And I have actively wanted a sweater many days this past winter--Come summer, it’s the opposite--the door is left open to catch a breeze!—But winter will come again, I will need and want a sweater—again!

I couldn’t help noticing how lovely the February Lady’s Sweater is (or is it the Lady February sweater?)

Amy made one, and so has Rena, and so has Kelly—and each has been pretty than the next.

So I pretty much decided--I was going to make one.

I have yarn enough—(for a dozen sweaters!) but—mostly boring solids. I have some hand painted yarns--but nothing in worsted—and not enough of any to do a whole sweater.

Then yesterday, Kelly was showing of a huge (one of those glad EXTRA Large storage) bags of yarns she snagged at a garage sale. It contained goodies like 900 yards /double stranded (mohair and rayon)/hand painted + other hand painted wools (2 and 3 huge skeins)—and then this odd skein.. that cried out to me.

Kelly looked at it and said ‘Eh—its nice, but look at this…” and pulled out another hank of beautiful yarn. 

And I told her.. I am stealing this skein.
I told her.. It my birthday (not for another 10 days—but…) and she said Keep it!
(Isn’t she wonderful? But then, we are always gifting each other yarn and other goodies at the West Babylon meetings!)

So now I have a beautiful skein of mystery yarn to knit the yoke—and as for the body?
Maybe the light grey I had original planned?
Or the slate grey?
Or should I match up the dark teal that the hand painted features?
Or try to match one of the rose or ruby reds?
Or some other color?
Or some other neutral?

I will let some skeins out to play with the handpainted, and see which colors play well together! I can hardly wait to get started!

First—of course—I need to finish the Grey socks.. –another inch and I’ll be shaping the toe. Tuesday will be 3 weeks that I have been knitting them-- Enough, already!

My mental queue is getting backlogged—I always have more plans for knitting that I can do… fighting for top place in the queue are these contenders:
The 1950’s/Retro cocktail hat
A new version of the Russian hat
Think pink socks
A lace shawl…
Pink potholders.

Non knitting projects are also demanding my time—
pink bags, a trimmed apron, and pink earings—for my DD fund raising projects
Pretty little paper books –made from recycled calendars..

A few home improvement projects
I NEED desperately to do something to organize my stash—yes, it's neat enough in clear zippered ‘suitcases’ but where to put the suitcases!?—and then there is the Art work piled up in the living room—waiting patiently to be hung…

One of my stated goals--since I started back to work--has been to replace my (the original 1960's installed when the building was build) wall hung bathroom lav with a new one.. something else I haven't done! I haven't even bought a new lav or vanity or the new hardware.
(the old lav is chipped and stained, the faucet is flaking off chrome, the stopper is broken, and the hot water has a leak... It is, in all ways, worn out and needing replacement!)
(and this week end—nothing got done.. I had a good excuse, but…)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Continuing with Cast Ons--The Eyelet Loop.

Most of the Cast on’s I have demo’d with YouTube have been straight line cast on.

Straight line cast on’s, can be, of course, joined into a round—and used to create a tube—some (the stretchy ones) are quite suitable for socks or hats.

But there is another way to knit in the round... the ‘Disk’ (vs. the tube)

Hat, Doily’s, Shawls--and a host of other knit objects start with flat or shaped disks.

The cast on directions are often vague, and sound impossible—
Cast on 4 stitches, divide evenly on 4 needles. Join
Round 1: K1, YO, (4times) 8 stitches.


Round 3 is often an other increase round (another 8 stitches) and each Odd numbered row increases by 8 – (or the increases come at different intervals)

Some patterns with 8 –instead of 4, or 6 or 10—but all these directions are maddeningly difficult--a straight cast on, of 8 stitches, joined into a round leaves a big messy hole.
How do you get a neat start with 8 stitches crammed into the center.

And trying to manage 4 DPN's (each with 1 stitch, or 1 stitch and a YO!) is no fun either!
How do you manage 4 double pointed needles with just 1 stitch on each!?

I know EXCELLENT knitters who have spend an hour our more starting—redoing, and redoing a cast on—working hard to get it neat.

One solution: the Emily Ocker cast on.
This is a great cast on.. but it often feels like you need 3 hands to get it done--I've done it.. but it is VERY fiddly!

Another solution: TechKnitters slip knot cast on (see her alphabetical index)
Easier than the Emily Ocker, but it starts with a slip KNOT --not something I want--especially in super light yarn and lacy shawl. 

My solutions: the Loop cast on.

I’ve made video after video—and each time, I’ve had small ‘mishaps’ –I’ve forgotten yarn overs—I have been out range, or out of frame (I make my video’s using a tripod (between me (my body) and my hands and sometimes it really gets in the way—and the knitting goes to the south of the framed image or to the north!

This video has a small mishap or two... a strand (from a round worked as I cord) get caught in front of the work—and I just move it to the back--and at one point, I lose my working yarn!

I left these mishap in—(and several other jumbles) because I think its important for newer, or newish, or just new to this cast on knitters, to  see, while this cast on is easier than some, it's still a bit fiddly.. And I have fiddled with it a bit.

But with just a bit of confidence, and a bit of working through the fiddliness, you can get a beautiful center eyelet – 

The Video is long (almost 11 minutes!) And you may need to watch it a few times to get the process –But I think its general faster (to learn and to do) and prettier (than any straight cast on joined) and with a bit of practice EASIER than any other eyelet cast on.

So if starting that shawl with a cast on of 4 stitches, and Round 1 of K1, YO –has left you saying, NOT TODAY… then maybe this will help.

This cast on works for Cast on 4, Round 1 K1, YO (4 times) and it works for Cast on 6, cast on 8, or cast on 10 (any even number) --and it gives you a beautiful tight eyelet each time.

Now that you've read all about--give it a try.
Warning! it is an 11 minute long video.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I am still whittling down the gusset--

Since I didn’t do much knitting over the weekend.

This is a busy week for me—so this weekend I did a lot of prep work.

I have 2 pots of coffee made and cooling in the fridge (I drink a big (16 oz!) mug (travel mug) of coffee every morning (well between 8:30 am and noon—

Need I say it? -- I am a bit obsessive about coffee.

I freeze coffee ice cubes (actually ice bullets... big chunks!) And pre make my coffee and chill it (I drink ice coffee year round.) this way I have cold, non diluted coffee.   One 1 pot of coffee became “coffee ice cubes” and the other pot is left liquid.

I got oatmeal made too. Since I like to have oatmeal for breakfast, and being picky, I want slow cooking steel cut oats, not mush quick oats.—and I am not willing to spend 45 minutes cooking it each day.. So much easier to make a big pot, and portion out servings to reheat each day.

Fruits are the third component of my breakfast—but the easiest... NYC is blessed with lots of fruit stands. I can buy ahead and schlep fruit to work. Or I can buy fresh every day on the way to work... (I do both!)—and I do it both ways—I sometimes schlep home fruit for an after dinner sweet.

So breakfast for the week is taken care of.

Clothes too... Laundry was washed, dried, folded and the all too important last step PUT AWAY was done too.
The weather here has been normal –one day spring like, one day as warm as summer, one day blustery as cold as winter. It’s the time of year that requires a range of clothing—and some days, layers (donned or discarded) as needed--its hard on planning... and it means both wintery and summer wardrobes.

I did some grocery shopping too, -- And precooking.

I hate to have more pots to wash then diners—and since I often dine alone. I don’t want more than 1 pot—which can be limiting.

I’ve learned some tricks.. Like salad—instead of cooked vegetable dish --one pot eliminated—and precooking entries is another trick. My freezer is filled now with some containers of chili (with beans) and some home made soups… so dinners this week will be pretty simple. (And there will be few or no pots to wash!—making for a quick clean up.)

All this prep will leave me time to check in on my daughter’s cat. (DD is a way for a few days—and Siobhan is getting old and gets lonesome if she doesn’t see someone every day—so I stop in and pet and cuddle her till she purrs.)

And to get gas and an oil change—like many, I get my car repairs one place, my gas another (my car repaid doesn’t sell gas) and my oil changes in a third place (a quick lube place)--

I started the weekend by renewing my driver’s license. –Every ten years its new photo time and new eye test –well driving license eye test. I get my eyes examed more frequently than once every 10 years!

And I am still working on some special projects—no single project is very time consuming. But all together—it’s enough to keep me busy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Interminable Heel Flaps

Are now done-- And 1 heel has been turned, (and the first of 4 sets of gusset stitches picked up)–as of 7AM.

Now, (mid morning) the second heel is turned, the second set of gussets have been picked up and I am back to working in the round .

The flap is 3 inches deep, (not unusual) but the linen stitch is dense, row wise—I picked up 26 to 27 stitches (1 per chain) along the edge (not the expect 16 to 18 (for a 32 stitch heel flap) so the gussets will be extra deep.

Likely, I’ll decrease 2 rows, then skip a row (8, not 6 decreases every 6 rounds) other wise the gusset will extend almost to the toe!

I am very happy with the way the colors of the two yarns interplayed. Light grey some times came before or after the light olive (and the two shade are so close—its hard to tell them apart.. in other places the light taupe came close to the golden brown-- The heel flaps show the interesting kind of color play I hoped to see in the Latvian braids—not that they look bad, its just I didn’t make any effort to start the socks at the same place in the colorway, and I did the same with the Lemon drop yarn—I just started at the end.. and made no effort to cherry pick the colorway for the most optimal intersection.

Sometimes I do make this effort (a clear stripe, vs. these sort of stripes) are likely to be perfectly matched) but sometimes its fun to just let the yarn take charge.

And while I take the subway regularly, (and not too infrequently meet other knitters) I’ve never met a knitter or crocheter from Ravelry –or--more specifically, any one from Ravelry’s Subway knitters group—except when I have planned to do so.

This week, two different knitters (women of a certain age/ (that is to say, older than me!) both were interested in my socks.

One woman (from Uzbekistan) commented she always knit socks toe up, the other looked at my 2 on 2 circ method with a bit of distain, and said she always worked on 5 pins. (Neither had knitting with them, nor were either of them wearing hand knit socks.)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It’s My OWN Fault.

I had to opt for a 2 color linen stitch for the heel. It looks fine--but it is slow going—the linen stitch is pretty dense—which makes it durable (and a great choice for heels or toes.) if slow.

It would go faster if I knit more. I really can expect much progress when I only work on the socks on the subway, and then only on the way home—mornings are reserved for glancing at the headlines, doing the crossword puzzle, and then actually reading the news.

And by Thursday, when the puzzles are getting harder.(they get progressively harder, everyday, with Saturday’s being the hardest—Sunday’s is bigger, but it has a title that gives you a clue to a theme.. and that makes it easier) I don’t always finish the crossword in the morning ride.

So I have scant inch of knitting to show for yesterday’s work.

It looks good… but it is very slow going.. (oh, that the 3rd time I’ve said that—I guess I really want it to go faster!)

And yes, it would have looked better if I had eased into the linen stitch… working the center 6 stitches, for a few rounds, then the center 8, then the center 10.. then increasing to the center 14, 18, 20 and then increase faster still, 26, and finally 32—and then starting to work all 32 stitches as a flap…

But its not like these are the last socks I am ever going to knit. I can add that improvement to the next pair of plain sock that I knit and that I use the linen stitch as a heel stitch.. (well that is, if remember!)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I woke up in the middle of the night--musings of a lunatic

A big, almost full moon was shining so brightly, I woke me.

It won’t be full till 10 am tomorrow—10:56am to be precise. (I just checked with the NYTimes for the exact time.  The Times is a newspaper that I love because it has astronomical information, (when the sun rises and sets, and the moon, and Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—(well, information about which ever planets currently visible)  And it doesn’t have astrology! 

(What? you think the positions of the stars (based in large part on where the stars where several thousand years ago!—and  totally ignoring that the fact that the  light that reaches us from the stars is million of years old--is an important determanent in your life?--Not me!)

Yes, I know the sign of the zodiac I was ‘born in’ –both the western/European system and the Chinese system.  But I think that it’s silly to think these things have any effect on my life!

I have also been informed that today; April 8, 2009 is the first day of a 28 cycle.

We in the west tend to use the solar calendar, but many cultures use the lunar calendar—in general they don’t coincide.

Since a lunar month is 28 (some odd) days long, (about  28.5) and 28.5 goes into 365.4 (a year) 12.5 times. This is why some years, we have a 'blue moon' 2 full moons in a single calendar month--since calendar months are, except for February, longer than lunar months.  
Getting solar years and lunar years to 'line up' is not an easy thing!

But after 28 years, the cycle begins anew—Cycles like this are almost never part of our lives anymore—We keep time by minutes and hours, days and weeks printed on calendars.. The Sun and moon, and there cycles are a lost art to most of us.

Do you know how the date for Easter is decided? Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the equinox.
The equinox was March 21st, tomorrow is the first full moon since then, and Sunday is Easter.

In the Jewish calendar, today is the day that the 28 cycle that marks the intersection of the solar and lunar calendars. It’s a day for blessing the sun.
A good day for spreading goodness and peace—something all religious faiths endorse--so I offer you my blessing. 

Here in NYC, the sun is hiding behind the clouds—which are intermittently spitting (a light mist) and flurrying.   And it’s Cold!—April is the cruelest month—and today is a cruel day.. gone is warm sunshine and promise of warm days to come.. instead, April is flirting with winter! Hurry back sunshine!

(Tomorrow-photo’s of the simple socks –with heels! last night I finished the leg (I thought I’d end at 7.5 inches—but instead I knit a full 8 inches! Time now for the flap, the turn and gussets—there will be a bit of detail added here.. and then back to plain knitting)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Moving along

Last week, (Tuesday) I was finishing up the Mast Socks.

Wednesday,(past) I started my simple socks in the new Lion Brand Sock Ease.
(Mea culpa!  I looked up the yarn, and see I have been calling it the wrong colorway.. I am knitting with the Rock Candy (mostly grey and taupe) colorway, not the Taffy color way) 

Today they are 6 inches long, (that is there were 6 inches long at 7 am) By tonight, I expect I’ll be an other inch and half longer, and I'll be ready to start the flap!

Little bits, of other knitting, are getting done… (My deadline looms!)--the weather has interfered --I need good light, and lately the weather has been all  April showers!

And I am working on a multi-part tutorial—mostly because I am lazy.

There are times when I want to share, I feel like a vessel full of knitting information—Overflowing!  I feel compelled to share with others, all that has been so generously shared with me.

Then again, I get pissy and short tempered when reading knitting forums, on Ravelry or else where--(What AGAIN? Some one is asking this question AGAIN? Didn’t I just answer it?)
I don’t always express it, but I do think it! (and yes, those who know me best are snickering at the idea I don’t always express it!

But I if I set up a good tutorial, I can point beginners, (with their repetitive beginner questions) to my tutorial—and feel good about. I can feel I am helping them--with out going over the same thing, time and time again.  (If they don’t like the way I’ve presented the information, they can look else where!)  But at least I know I have tried!

It’s a bit self centered to point people to my blog. BUT—well, I am a bit self centered.

I am a good teacher, too; and willing to spend the time to outline the material, write it up, take and edit photo’s, and make a YouTube video when needed. Each tutorial I do, I do better (It's a learning curve for me, too, teaching this way!)

And it’s a bit of conflict for me. I teach (that is, I get paid to teach knitting!) and I realize that my knowledge is valuable. (As is my time)--and I don't want to give away the store (of knowledge!) 

But I learned most of what I know, not from classes I paid for, but from aunt (real and honorary) from Grandma’s, and Bubba’s, and Nana’s –Not all my own, but a host of women who made me part of their knitting family.

I am the product of the generosity of thousands of other knitter--from hundreds of generations. (So I feel the need to be generous--and tutor for free.) 

But I also know, however that some of us, don’t learn well in isolation, or from reading.

We need instruction and interaction.  We need to see what we are going to do, before we start, To see what we are learning being done; to hear about it; to do it.  We need to watch others do it, and to help them—or at least, be able  articulate what we are doing, and get (immediate!) feed back. 

And a class is the best way to meet all these needs. And I am very happy to be paid to teach!

Monday, April 06, 2009

I don’t do memes

I haven’t mentioned that in a while, and when a subscriber tagged me...  Well here it is.

I am supposed to tag 15 people--if you want to be in this meme, consider your self tagged.
(there is a part 2 coming tomorrow, the FugueState tells me.. well, I am telling you right now,  I am passing on part 2!)


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No—my mother had a policy (that I used too)--New Names for a new baby. None of my siblings were name after anyone (unless you count saints!)

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Some time last week. (I read the news, but it often distresses me.)

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? –my formal writing? YES. My casual writing (it’s illegible!) is ok.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I don’t eat meat at lunch time much—but lately I have been hankering for a nice liverwurst sandwich on rye with fresh onions.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 2—both grown, and doing well. My son (& his family) in California, by daughter lives a few miles away.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, I think so.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Yes, (and I sometimes, I  think I should feel guilty about it, but I don’t).

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes—its not a great body, but its intact. 

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No –I’ve used bungees a lot, and have seen them fail! I would never trust my life to a bungee cord. 

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Oat meal–steel cut, thick, with no milk. (I don’t much like milk on any cereals-hot or cold) 

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No—not that I have many shoes with laces (though I have some with buckles, and I don’t unbuckle them) 

12. YELLOW LIGHT: SPEED UP OR SLOW DOWN? Depends (slow down more often than not)

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Vanilla or vanilla with cinnamon added. (or coffee & I like that with cinnamon added, too!) 

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Hands.(And clothes, or if they are knitters, their knitting…) 

15. RED OR PINK? Red. 

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I am too hard hearted. I need to be more generous, especially in spirit. 

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Living? My sister Geraldine (she lives in Tokyo, Japan) Deceased? My friend Joan,  who was like a mother to me. 

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Only if they want to--(and I didn't really want too (and won't complete part 2) 

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? A skirt (black) and tan shoes. 

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? What ever they playing on WQXR (the radio station of the NYTimes, one of NYC’s classical music stations) 

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Purple.

22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Spices—and I like weird smells, like metalics (copper, and even the smell of sulfur (not a strong sulfur smell, but a subtle faint one—a faint smell of skunk is interesting.) 

23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My daughter Emily

24. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON/PEOPLE WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? –Never met in Real life, but I read her blog 

25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I don’t watch sports much… 

26. HAIR COLOR? As a child it was blonde, but it faded to a dishwater (ash) and now it going grey… A nice silver grey, but still some dark ash so it’s a sort of salt and pepper. 

27. EYE COLOR? Blue --pale, icy blue.

28. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?  I can’t stand the idea of putting something into my eyes.

29. FAVORITE FOOD? All! I especially like spicy foods—Asian, Indian, Mexican, African, and other spicy cuisines. 

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I don’t like either/or choices.. and I like movies with ambiguous endings!o 

31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Chaos Theory

32. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black with embroidered flowers

33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall and spring 

34. HUGS OR KISSES? Both… 

35. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I don’t care I think memes like this are trite.

36. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I don’t care --(also see above)

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Nothing! I finished In Defence of Food, (Michael Pollen), last week. I have Angels and Devils (Dan Brown) to read, but haven’t started it yet. 

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Nothing. At work it’s plain blue, at home it’s plain black 

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Law and Order (I am addicted to these shows). 

40. FAVORITE SOUND(S). Music—just about every kind, (except jazz) City sounds; traffic, sirens, trains clacking along the tracks, horns (not too often or too loud!) and the sounds of nature. 

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Either/neither. 

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Tokyo, Japan

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Aside from my general brilliance? No. Being brilliant is enough. 

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? New York Hospital(68th and 1st), NY NY.

45. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? No ones in particular

46. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? Right now there is no significant other.  I met my Ex at church (he’s still living and remarried), and Tony at work, (RIP, November ’03.)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lemon Drop and Taffy sock

Remember the image of the balls of yarn?

It looked like I had absconded with yards and yards of yarn—(the lemon drop yellow colorway.) from the Lion Brand Studio.

But the lemon drop ‘ball’ was all air, and the taffy –an all too solid cake from the ball winder.

A dozen and half rows of lemon drop--and it’s more than half gone!

But it’s done its work.

If anything, the colors of the two yarn are so well paired, it’s hard to tell that there  is a second color in use

You can see it a bit—the cast on (in the Lemon drop), was followed by some rows of stocking knit in the taffy, and then some rounds of
 Latvian braid (after the Latvian twist and joining into a round.) with the 2 colors of yarn.

The braid has interesting look--the color changes in the yarn changes the over all effect of the braiding (not to mention the blurring effect of having 2 very similar colors work their way together—which makes the braid even less evident) --I know, I know, the image is drab--blame it on the grey raining skys.. I'll take an other photo tomorrow or on Sunday.. with brighter light... and you can see everything better then. 

But I like it—it’s just enough to move the socks from dead plain--

3 inches of the socks are done –and now the race is on to the heel...

I had sort of thought of doing the heels in the lemon drop yellow-- but I don’t have enough left for that-- maybe the heels will be done in a 2 color linen stitch. .I
should have enough left for that—(but not enough for a full pair of heel flaps and turnings!)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It’s taken long enough

They have been 3+ months in the making--But they are so worth it...

I love them! (Look to previous post for front views)

The Fall is my favorite time of the year, anyway—and now, I have these great socks to wear when it rolls around (knowing me, I’ll hold off –and let them make a public debut at Rhinebeck)

Just look at these lovely little acorns!
Last night I cast on my Lion Brand Sock Ease sock—You might ask; What about the Pink socks you’re supposed to knit for your daughter?

Well Tuesday, at the LIC knit meeting, Kim (blog less Kim) offered to loan me a book with a sock pattern (for pink ribbon socks)—that also includes some patterns for illusion knitted pink ribbon wash clothes--and other Think Pink patterns.

But I won't have the book till next week, and I have to have something to knit in the meanwhile!

So these socks are going to be simple socks (the fancy part—a Latvian twist at the cast on edge, and some Latvian braiding—is half done.. after that, its going to be a bit of ribbing then plain stocking knit, with a no brainer Flap/turned/gusseted heel –(nothing I can’t do almost in my sleep)

And instead of getting a scant 2 rounds done on the way home, (the lace pattern wasn't hard,but it did involve 3 sets of Center raised decreases, and a K/YO (7 times into 1 stitch)  every seventh row. Which is slow going one a moving train with size 2 needles.

I will easily get twice as many rows done with plain knitting—and will make short work of them.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Russet Leaves

(Who is Russet? Where did he go? Why should I care?)

Oh wait, russet is also a color name--and these leaves are really to bright to be russet--but it is a fun bit of word play!

And yes, the leaves are knit and tacked in place, and looking good.

Inside the sock, ends have been woven in, as well; all the ends except for the tail where the acorns should be sewn on.

Oh, right Acorns--there are supposed to be acorns. 3 dimensional acorns hanging from the I-cord tail.

But the Acorn’s aren’t… 
They are on the needle (A LIE—the stuff I started last night, I don’t like, and will be frogged-- all 10 rounds. )Let’s see, a cast on of 4, with 3 increase rounds… Minute’s worth of work!

But I am happy with the oak leaves—and the socks in general.
And I will have months to enjoy them before I wear them!

I am so confident about getting the acorns finished today—that last night I divided a ball of Lion Brand Sock Ease (the taupe grey color called Toffee) and packed it in my bag for something to work on the way home.

The last time I was at the Lion Brand Studio, I reeled out a few yards of the Lemon Drop sock yarn—Just enough for a bit of contrasting color on the cast on edge and cuff—the toffee is grey with a bit of yellow and light brown highlights.

The Lemon drop color way is mostly yellow (a bit brighter than the yellow in the grey yarn) with light brown and green highlights—2 shades of green—a bright spring green, and grayish olive green.

I think the colors pair up nicely.

One of the features of the Lion Brand Studio is cones of yarns to experiment with—I am experimenting mixing the colors!