Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More wristwarmers

Had fun participating in the Olympics, but didn't finish. Hands were hurting too much, and I was getting distracted by handwarmers so I took a break.

Here's the DK weight handwarmers, size small, that I finished. My model has the smallest ladies' hands that I know. She was a sport, too, since it was c-o-o-o-o-l-d outside. (Yep, the cup was just a prop. I would've shown true appreciation if I had filled it with a piping hot cup of coffee.)

I'll be modifying my pattern soon with the additional instructions for DK weight.

There's no reason for this picture, other than---what a cute flower shape it made as I used the yarn!

The things that amuse me!

I made 2 pairs of garter stitch wristwarmers, as a break from ribbing. (My brain has been saying, "uggh, ribbing..." for a week now.) They are super simple and are denser than st st.

I cast on 40 sts and knit for 56 rows, making a 7" x 9" rectangle.

Here's my stripes--just changing colors every 2 rows and carrying the yarn up the side. Sewed them together when done, leaving a hole for the thumb.

Took them to my LYS to add to the pile they're collecting for CIC. No matter how many times I told myself to take a picture, I still forgot. I'll be making more, though and can get a picture then.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Day Fifteen: Fighting with my mind

Question: If you spit splice while having a candy heart in your mouth, will it still work?

Answer: Yes, but it will make your hand sticky.

That's my experiment for today, folks.

Spit splice: A technique used to join 2 ends of feltable yarn by cutting half the plies of each back about 4 inches, "spitting" on them (yes, really), lining up the leftover plies, then rubbing them together in your hands until you feel the burn and they are joined together in one seamless (but sticky) strand.

It's wonderful. No weaving in ends. Just a slightly gross factor.

Working on the sleeves. Thought I'd try doing 2 sleeves at once. I've heard this is the way to go. This way there will be 2 sleeves knit exactly the same without a lot of guesswork...."Gee, I wonder what I did on line 45. And did I modify line 83 in some way? What kind of increases did I use?"

However, my mind fought against me the whole time.

"If you make a mistake, you have TWICE AS MANY stitches to rip out.

What if you go back and forth twice on one sleeve before getting back to the other?

These strands of yarn get tangled up so easily. You have to straighten them out on every row.

You're running out of markers.

This is taking SO LONG!

Who wants to be knitting with this long circular, anyway?"

(I just read what I wrote. Trust me, even though in the picture I didn't have tangled yarn, didn't use many markers, the circular isn't that long....it really was running through my head.)

Uncle! I give! One sleeve at a time will go faster, on short circs, with not nearly as many ends to untangle.

My mind has moved onto other things.....









Thursday, February 23, 2006

Day 14: Misc. news

I've been a blogging slacker. Here's an update on my knitting week.

Monday: It's baseball season but SOOOOOOOO not baseball weather. Especially 35-40 degree weather. However, since I'm not the one making DS#1's baseball schedule, we went to his first game. It was a 3 hour car ride each way, so I knit on the way up (on the way back it was dark. Plus, I was driving part of the way). Totally didn't knit during the game. #1: forgot my fingerless mittens at work and #2: not taking my regular gloves off for nothing. Don't even have a picture of me all huddled up in 10 million layers, or DS doing his pitching stuff. Didn't do any complaining about it, though, since I know how that would go.

"Honey, can I have a picture for my blog?"

"Well, if you'd like to help me, you can. I can't take video and pictures at the same time and it sure would be nice to have both."

Nope, that would require moving, and maybe taking off the gloves. Just not happening.


Tuesday and Wednesday were work days. (Pesky, but neccesary to go to if I want to keep my job.)

By the end of Wednesday I had developed a fullblown migraine. By the time DH got home from picking up the kids I was in bad shape.

"Honey, can you put socks on my feet? I can't bend down and my feet are cold.

No, not those, my wool ones. The black ones with the colored specks.

Oh wait, I threw up on those.

How about my blue ones? Wait...same problem....


By evening, though, I had recovered enough to finish this handwarmer.

It's DK weight and modelled by RB who has a tiny hand. So I figure that it's a ladies small.


My dog has been hanging out here lately. Right in front of the woodstove. And I mean RIGHT IN FRONT--about 1 foot. I don't know how he can stand it. His fur is almost too hot to touch. He loves it, though, even if he occasionally has to move to cool off.

Here's my KO sweater. Front is done. Not happy with the shoulder seams, but after 3 attempts, I give up. Next is the sleeves.

DD#1 brought me a penguin for my collection. It's so cute!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Day Nine: I knew better

DS#2 and I went to the Awana games this morning. What an event it was! Color-coded teams. Practicing for the relays. TONS of kids and parents--all screaming at the top of their lungs. The worst was the high screeching that is common among 5-6th grade girls. Yikes! Didn't really need to drink my coffee this morning after all (well, at least the third cup) since that shrieking would've kept me awake.

So I took my KO knitting with me. I'm now on the front, and having to do a bit of counting. After just finishing the wonderfully precise 19 page pattern of the Rogue, this pattern is a letdown. I have to follow this stitch count here, while doing this center panel there, of which cable section is explained over there, all the while decreasing as for the back.

I knew better than to try this amongst the screaming kids (did I mention that they were screaming? How about the fact that the person 2 rows in front of me stood up and waved a pompom at the end of every race right in front of my face?) I kept thinking.....it's going good. I must be getting better to be able to follow all these directions without making a mistake.

HA! (I knew better, but did it anyway.)

When I got home, I realized that I was decreasing every 2 rows, not every 4. Of course. Gotta rip out on each piece else it's not really a knitted item.

Here it is at the end of today. (It really is Day Nine. Yesterday I goofed. It wasn't Day Six's work, but Day Seven's. I guess I'm hoping for more days.)

It's displayed on the afghan that I use every day. I crocheted this afghan using the basketweave pattern during the time between when I graduated from college and got married, 22 years ago. It was just at this time of year, since I watched the Olympics while crocheting massive amounts of yarn. Since then I've used it almost every day, and it's held up quite well.

The handwarmer in DK wool is too small. Here it is on DD#2's hand. Notice the finger joints are showing. (where they're connected to the hand--what's that called?) The thumb area is also too small. Back to the frog pond.

I knew better.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Day Six: Slightly Distracted

I might've gotten slightly distracted from the Knitter's Olympics. Since I figure there's no way that I'll finish the sweater in the amount of time left, why not do other interesting things along the way?

First, I'm trying out the handwarmer pattern in DK weight on #3's.

This is Cascade Bollicine yarn, very springy merino wool. While DD#2 says that so far it fits (she has much smaller hands than I), I'm rather sceptical. Might as well do the whole hand, though, before deciding for sure.

This came about in a rather neat way. I contacted my LYS owner, told her that I had written a pattern, and told her about the CIC wristwarmer challenge. She gave (that's right--GAVE!) me this yarn to try out, hoping to make a store sample in a smaller size (at the end of March it'll be going to CIC). She's also promoting the challenge through her store, so hopefully we'll have a selection on wristwarmers to mail in another month and a half.

In another side venture (even Olympians need to take a break from training), I might've made a bunny.

I've been helping at DD#2's school for the their after school knitting program. Eighteen girls meet once a week and are learning to knit.

I was a little worried the first day, though, when there was only one left hander, and I wasn't sure she got it. (Great. One kid that I was responsible for, and I failed.....) But the next week she came back, and was much better, and seemed to have gotten it.

Anyway, I made this bunny for the group to show what you can do with a st st square and 2 garter st bunny ears. Here's the pattern.

Here's a picture to show that underneath the covers, the slight bump to the left, is my dog. That's right. That's his favorite place to be--preferably with a pair of legs.

Here's my KO progress--the back is finished! (And the bump is starting to move.)

The bump has surfaced. Hey--what are you doing out here?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

V-Day Chocolates

I woke up this morning to find this:

Take a moment.

Ummm..... Real. dark. chocolate. Ummmm.....

Not only did my darling hubby leave these for me, but he also took this pic for my blog. Is that training, or what?

Early on in our marriage, after a large heart-shaped box of chocolate from a big box store, I said to him, "I don't really want flowers or a bunch of stuff. Just a small box of good, dark, chocolate."
From then on, that's what he did. I was happy. He was happy (he knew exactly what I wanted....and how often does THAT happen?)

Then came the closing down of the candy store last year. Slight panic set in. What to do for this year's Valentine's Day? He went on a quest to find a candy store. He must've gone to 3-4 malls before finally finding not one, but two stores. So he bought chocolate in both. (That's right. He's a keeper.)

In the first store he bought these chocolate bars. I'm to do a test on how much dark chocolate is the right amount.

Hmmm... A test that I will enjoy taking.

Then at the second store, he found this box. Check out the name.

Need I say more?

Oh, yeah. Knitting content. Here's Purple Passion, reknit 6 stitches wider, and almost to the armholes. Now if I can only keep the chocolate off the sweater, I'll be fine.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Turbo charged

I'm not sure I'm turbo charged. Asleep on the couch is a more apt description. But anyway....

turbo charged
You are "turbo" charged.
Fast moving and classy, you get things done with

power and grace. Your expensive tastes can

be deceiving, since what you really value is

quality and efficiency. As you're careening

around those corners in life, finishing a

dozen knitted objects each month, stop and

smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of


What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, February 12, 2006


To all athletics come some setbacks. Some are major, like having to pull out of the competition due to a groin injury.

Some are minor, like losing your luggage.

So it is with this athlete.

It was going swimmingly (or maybe skate-ingly) along. On Day Two, I had completed this much:

Check out the snow. We got some after all. Plus a power outage that lasted 11 hours. Sounds like prime knitting time, doesn't it? HA!

First, I had to conquer the sinking realization this morning of "hey, how do I drink my coffee?" Do I just crunch some instant crystals between my teeth? Drank some Mountain Dew while thinking. Once we started our wood stove I put some water on top to heat up and voila! coffee.

Then, some people at this house expected me to do something OTHER than knitting. Like playing games where I had to concentrate. Card games, that kept my hands occupied. Card games with adults (or almost adults) where I had to pay attention, and play quickly.

Card games that I had no hope of winning. The only training I did was for Team Chocolate. And I trained well.

After a lot of non-knitting time, and some contemplation, and some soul searching, and electricity, and more coffee, my sweater became this:

Yep, it was too small. No matter how much convincing I tried with myself, I couldn't believe that it would fit. Measured it against me. Measured it against my favorite ribbed sweater. Had a couple of "That looks WAY too small, mom" comments.

So here it is, Day 3 at 7:15 p.m. Sigh. The setbacks of an athlete.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Day One

It's Day One of the Knitter's Olympics, and here I am getting ready to cast on.

"But Mom, the Olympics haven't started yet, so you can't start yet."

"But Son, it's 7:50 p.m. and this is a picture just for effect. I won't ACTUALLY cast on for the next 10 minutes."

(In case anyone's worried, behind the pile of yarn is a pile of chocolate.)

Why is it, that on normal days I get zero phone calls between the hours of 7 and 8, but last night I got a bunch? (To be fair, I made a couple of those calls. Well, maybe 3. Or 4.) We have an impending snowstorm to worry about. All three of today's events got cancelled. More knitting time for me!

Here's what I got done on Day One. Notice the lack of snow. Next picture, there should be 6-12".

In figuring out how to determine how much I've got done, I realized that I have 16 balls of yarn, and there are 16 days of knitting. Hmmmm.....let's see if I can do the math.....

One ball of yarn per day? But....I need a day for seaming and blocking. So I have to get ahead by one ball. (Nevermind the fact that I'm already behind. We'll ignore that.)

I'm already complaining about the pattern. I mean, really. a turtleneck sweater that is all over ribbing? How crazy am I?

Knitwit asked me where I got my progress markers. I got them right here from indigirl. (This link doesn't currently seem to be working, however. Hopefully it'll be up again in a couple of days.) They come with code that you put in your template.

Off to knit and watch for the first snowflakes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I have recently discovered evidence that someone is participating in my Olympic training:

Not only are they training (because it is widely believed that there is more than one trainer in this house), but they DIDN'T LEAVE ANY CHOCOLATE FOR ME!!!!

Are there any Team Chocolate police? Coaches, maybe, who can teach these wanna-be's that the training is ONLY FOR THE ATHLETES and if they want to participate, THEY MUST ALSO KNIT SOMETHING!!!

Phew. I feel better now.

Bring on the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I've been training for the Knitter's Olympics, in which I will make myself and everyone around me crazy, while consuming WAY too much chocolate and coffee. So...I've been swatching....and buying chocolate.....

Both have me worried, however. How to measure a swatch of K2P1 rib? If it's totally unstretched, then I'm an inch too narrow. But, it hasn't been washed yet. Hmmmm..... Gonna have to decide something soon.

I'm also worried about my chocolate. Even though I bought a full bag of hearts just today, I'm not sure they'll make it til Friday. And if I need to (and I NEED to) consume chocolate for every day of the Olympics, this might pose a problem. (Nevermind the weight gain.) I made brownies today in the hopes of diverting attention from the hearts.

Finished the afghan for work (Warm Up America style). Washed, dried, and ready to go. Still have a slanting action going on, but I don't plan on trying to block acrylic. This will have to do.

I might have cast on for a new set of wristwarmers. It was suggested that I take a break and rest before the Olympics. (Obviously not by a knitter. :) I'm feeling fickle tonight, though, so this is as far as I got.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Diamond handwarmers pattern

Here's my pattern for Diamond Handwarmers. I adapted the diamond from Nicky Epstein's book Knitting on the Edge. For lack of one good picture, I've included three not-quite-as-good ones. Notice that in the picture of the handwarmers by themselves it looks like the diamonds are off center. However, they look centered when on the hand. (I tried knitting these one stitch over, and they don't look centered when worn.)

Note: I'm left-handed, and while every effort has been made to write this for a right-hander, there might be an error. If you notice anything, please let me know!

This pattern makes a ladies size large. (I have large hands/long fingers, so on most people the top will come up higher.)

I rewrote this pattern and put it in a pdf file on Ravelry. It has a smaller size and is written a little more carefully. (For example, I didn't mix up rounds and rows like I did here and just fixed.) Check it out here on Ravelry.

125 yds. worsted weight yarn (exactly. Have a bit extra unless you like to live dangerously.)
US #4 dpns, or size to get gauge (I use 4 dpns)

Gauge: 5.5 sts per inch, 8 rows per inch

K: Knit
P: Purl
M1L: From the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into back of loop
M1R: From the back, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into front of loop.
SKP: Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass slipped stitch over.
yo: Yarn over needle, wrapping from bottom over.
pm: Place marker.

Left Hand:
Cast on 40 sts. Join in a round, being careful not to twist.
K2, P2 ribbing for 30 rounds.
K for 6 rounds.

Row 1: K1, M1L, K1, M1R, K to end.
Row 2: K4, K10, yo, SKP, K to end.
Row 3: K to end.
Row 4: K4, K9, [yo, SKP] twice, K to end.
Row 5: K1, M1L, K3, M1R, K to end.
Row 6: K6, K8, [yo, SKP] 3 times, K to end.
Row 7: K1, M1L, K5, M1R, K to end.
Row 8: K8, K7, [yo, SKP] 4 times, K to end.
Row 9: K1, M1L, K7, M1R, K to end.
Row 10: K10, K6, [yo, SKP] 5 times, K to end.
Row 11: K1, M1L, K9, M1R, K to end.
Row 12: K12, K5, [yo, SKP] 6 times, K to end.
Row 13: K1, M1L, K11, M1R, K to end.
Row 14: K14, K6, [yo, SKP] 6 times, K to end.

Finish thumb:
Row 15: K1 and leave on needle, BO 13 sts in purl, K to end.
Row 16: K1, cast on 2 sts as for buttonhole, K7, [yo, SKP] 5 times, K to end.

Row 17: K to end.
Row 18: K3, K8, [yo, SKP] 4 times, K to end.
Row 19: Knit.
Row 20: K3, K9, [yo, SKP] 3 times, K to end.
Row 21: Knit.
Row 22: K3, K10, [yo, SKP] 2 times, K to end.
Row 23: Knit.
Row 24: K3, K11, yo, SKP, K to end.

K 2 rounds even.
K2 tog, K to end.
K2, P2 ribbing for 4 rounds.
Bind off in purl.

Right Hand:
Cast on 40 sts.
K2, P2 ribbing for 30 rounds.
K for 6 rounds.

Row 1: K24, pm, M1L, K1, M1R, K to end.
Row 2: K12, K2 tog, yo, K9, K4, K to end.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: K11, [K2tog, yo] twice, K to end.
Row 5: K to marker, M1L, K3, M1R, K to end.
Row 6: K10 [K2 tog, yo] 3 times, K to end.
Row 7: K to marker, M1L, K5, M1R, K to end.
Row 8: K9, [K2 tog, yo] 4 times, K to end.
Row 9: K to marker, M1L, K7, M1R, K to end.
Row 10: K8, [K2 tog, yo] 5 times, K to end.
Row 11: K to marker, M1L, K9, M1R, K to end.
Row 12: K7, [K2 tog, yo] 6 times, K to end.
Row 13: K to marker, M1L, K11, M1R, K to end.
Row 14: K6, [K2 tog, yo] 6 times, K to end.

Finish thumb:
Row 15: K to marker, remove marker, BO 13 in purl, K to end.
Row 16: K7, [K2 tog, yo], 5 times, K to last st before buttonhole, cast on 2 sts, K to end.

Row 17: Knit.
Row 18: K8, [K2 tog, yo] 4 times, K to end.
Row 19: Knit.
Row 20: K9, [K2 tog, yo] 3 times, K to end.
Row 21: K to end.
Row 22: K10, [K2 tog, yo], 2 times, K to end.
Row 23: Knit.
Row 24: K11, K2 tog, yo, K to end.

K 2 rounds even.
K 1 row, decreasing 1 st at thumb area.
K2, P2 ribbing for 4 rounds.
Bind off in purl.

Copyright 2006 Ruth Garcia. All rights reserved. This pattern may be used for personal use and charitable purposes only.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl knitting

Here's what I knit during tonight's Super Bowl:

A drop stitch scarf! We went to our church tonight for the first half of a Chili cookoff/Super Bowl party. I put my chair down, got some food, and by the time I came back I found myself next to a lady who knits. When she saw my knitting, she went and got hers and we found ourselves both making drop stitch scarves! Pretty cool, huh?

Mine is made with the yarn from my LYS, purchased a week or so ago, plus my first attempt at spinning:

It's lumpy and bumpy, but I love it all the same. I finally got it knitted up into something useful. Not good spinning, but it will be a fun memento.

Friday, February 03, 2006

It is done

It is done.

It is done.

And yes, it is done.

The Rogue Hoodie is done.

And sewn together.

And millions (and millions) of ends were hidden.

It was washed.

And blocked.

And dried.

But pictures? Of the Hoodie on it's recipient?

Not to be had.

"Mom, wait 'til it's a good hair day."

"Mom, I gotta go. Then do this. Then do that."

It was suggested that I could take a picture of DD#1 wearing the hoodie on the way to school.

What? In the 5 nanoseconds that she has before exploding out the door? It would be one big orange blur.

So, until I can capture DD actually wearing the hoodie, I present:

Pictures of Rogue doing the things that DD normally does.

The Rogue is napping (DD's favorite activity).

And sending IM's to friends. (Yes, the Rogue has ridiculously long arms. "I want the arms longer, mom." "Another inch longer please." and one more "Just a bit longer." Hence the sleeves that go past her fingertips.)

The Rogue is doing push ups (DD is an athlete).

The Rogue playing the piano. (Not what DD does, but a mother can dream, can't she?)

The Rogue doing what DD does best!