Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've been sitting at the computer knitting and reading blogs, so I figured I'd blog about what I'm knitting.

Guess what it is?

A mold for fondant for icing on a cake. Did you guess right?

I ran into a friend lately who was looking for such a thing. She makes great, fancy cakes and wanted to have the knitted impression for the cake.

After looking at some yarns, all were deemed too fuzzy. (The goal was to be edible without added fiber.) Tossed the idea of putting some plastic wrap between the swatch and the fondant--not sure if that would leave wrinkles.

On a visit to the local handyman super store, I found this "Dazzle" plastic twine. So far it's knitting up nicely, although it's accompanied by a squeaking sound with each stitch.

If you notice in the picture, my needles are two different colors. The blue one is my original needle from eons ago. They're the ones I said I still have. Figures I could only find one. I can only assume the other red needle is hanging around with the blue one on a WIP. While I stand by yesterday's statement that I rarely lose my needles, I do misplace them often. The difference is that the misplaced needles do turn up sooner or later.

Just thought I'd make that clear. :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hoodie sleeve

This was another soccer practice day, so today I took my hoodie.

The sleeves have been cast on, where I promptly found that I don't own any size 9's in either 16" circulars or dpns.

How can this be? I've been knitting ever since 4th grade, and while I accumulate needles slowly, and lose them rarely (I have my orginal set of 8's from way back then), that's still a whole lot of years of needle accumulation.

While I pondered that, I decided to try the magic loop method. I'm not a fan of that, because if I understand correctly, you use one big long circ, pulling the cord through the stitches about half way around, knit to that point, then pull the cord through halfway around again.

Is that it, or am I missing something?

That's the way I've tried it, though, and it just annoys me. Who wants to stop every half round and pull the cording through while possibly stretching the stitches?

In this case, though, I apparently don't own the right size, so though I'd go with magic loop until I buy some new needles.

I know that I'm supposed to use a longer circ, but this is what I had, and the cord is flexible, so it works okay.

Off I go to knit, while contemplating a trip to my LYS.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Picture-taking boredom has set in. I seem to have two options:
1. Daytime. Take pictures on the deck.
2. Nighttime. Take pictures on a piece of foamboard.

Instead of the above options, let me instead present:

Me looking goofy (but with my head chopped off. I can be goofy as long as I have makeup on.)(Not that I really wear enough makeup to make a difference.)

This was my solution to getting my arms out of the way so you can see the finished bottom. On to the sleeves. And the hood. I figure I'm only about 2/5 done. Sigh.

Here's an even more surprising picture: One that's actually away from my house. Somewhere that I had to drive to. And remember my camera. And the right knitting.

Yep, soccer practice. (For DS#2, not me. Ya'll weren't confused about that, now were you?) This is the overdyed yarn leftover from the faux cable socks. Again, they're Magic 28 socks, with a bit of maroon for the toes.

Should I mention how goofy I felt taking these pictures? I waited until the kids were all busy in their groups and away from the goals, but there was still a bored parent or two hanging around.

Nobody questioned me, though, as I slunk back to my car.

Here's the start of Cascade 220 skein #3. The pattern is from knoxsocks website by Judy Sumner. It's the free Flying Colors pattern, using the 8 st repeat pattern on these socks that are 32 sts around.

It's fun, and the second sock has been started.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Faux Cable Socks for CIC

Children in Common (CIC) knitting group knits warm wool items for children in orphanages in Russia. Where it's 45-50 degrees indoors, a warm pair of socks can make a big difference.

This pattern is written for toddler socks. The gauge is given, but gauge and size doesn't matter very much for CIC. Any size will fit some child. Consider going up a needle size for larger socks.

Yarn: About 150 yds. worsted weight (Cascade 220 100% wool was used in the example)
Needles: Four size 4 dpns
Gauge: 12 sts = 2 inches in pattern stitch
Finished Size: Toe to heel = 7 inches.
Heel to cuff = 8 inches.

K = knit
P = purl
SSK = slip knitwise, slip knitwise, knit those 2 together
K2tog = knit 2 together
P2tog = purl 2 together
Sl = slip purlwise
RS = right side
WS = wrong side

Loosely cast on 36 sts, putting 12 sts on each of 3 dpns. Join in a round.
Work in K2, P2 ribbing for 7 rounds. Working needle 1, needle 2, needle 3.

Leg Pattern:
Round 1, Twist round: *K2tog and leave them on left needle. Insert the right needle between the two stitches just knit together and knit through the front of the first stitch again. Complete the knit stitch by slipping the two stitches off the left needle. P2. Repeat from * around. (If my twists twist in the opposite direction from yours, it's because I'm lefthanded. Just ignore that and continue on.)
Rounds 2-4: K2 P2 ribbing.

Repeat rounds 1-4 for 7 more times.

Heel Flap:
Sl 1, K15, turn. (This borrows 4 sts from needle 2).
*Sl 1, P1, repeat from * for a total of 16 sts, turn. (This will borrow one st from needle 3 and will center the stitch pattern for the foot.)

Working over these 16 sts, repeat heel rows 9 times:
Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, K15, turn.
Row 2 (WS): *Sl 1, P1, repeat from *, turn.

Turn heel:
Sl 1, K8, SSK, K1, turn.
Sl 1, p3, p2tog, p1, turn.
Sl 1, K until 1 stitch before gap, SSK, K1, turn.
Sl 1, P until 1 stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat these two rows until all heel stitches have been worked. There are now 10 heel stitches.

Needle 1 (right side): Knit across all stitches of heel. Pick up 12 stitches down the side of the heel.
Needle 2: Work the instep stitches, keeping in leg pattern.
Needle 3: Pick up 12 stitches up the side of the heel. Knit 5 stitches from needle 1. This is the new beginning of round in the middle back of the heel.

Should now have
Needle 1: 17 sts, Needle 2 (instep): 20 sts, Needle 3: 17 sts.

Gusset decreases:
Decrease round:
Needle 1:K to within 3 stitches of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 2: Work leg pattern.
Needle 3: K1, SSK, K to end of needle.
Knit 1 round, keeping instep in leg pattern.
Repeat these 2 rounds until needles 1 and 3 have 9 stitches each, needle 2 still has 20 sts.

Needles 1 and 3: Knit.
Needle 2: Work leg pattern.
Work for 36 rounds (counted from gusset pick up), or desired length.

Toe Decreases:
Round 1:
Needle 1: Knit.
Needle 2: K1, SSK, K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 3: Knit.
(This round sets up for even decreasing so that at the end, needle 2 has doudle what needles 1 and 3 have.)

Round 2: Knit.
Round 3:
Needle 1: K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 2: K1, SSK, K to within 3 sts of the end of needle, K2tog, K1.
Needle 3: K1, SSK, K to end of needle.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until 12 stitches left. (3-6-3).

Knit sts from needle 3 onto needle 1. Graft toe sts with Kitchener stitch.

Copyright 2007 by Ruth Garcia. Socks may be made for personal or charity use. No socks may be sold from this pattern.


Look what I scored today at work! Certain colors of Lion Brand Wool went on clearance at $1.00 each.

A customer (who took all the purple) and two of us employees bought out every skein (I bought 15).

I may not make much money, but I sure do score some good deals!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend update

This is the second pair of CIC socks that I made. I promised a picture, and here it is:

I used a faux cable stitch, and hope to post the pattern soon. (It's the same stitch as my camera bag, which has been missing for the last month or two. Why must something always be lost? Why does every day off have to be laundry day? Why does the dog have to go out everytime I sit down at the computer? These are the questions I ponder....)

This is the leftover Cascade 220 yarn. This time I overdyed it with moss green and delphinium blue to make this pretty variegated yarn. I have almost exactly the same as last time, so this will become another pair of Magic 28 socks.

The deadline for the CIC socks is Sept. 30, so I'm hoping to do at least this pair. (I have another skein of Cascade 220 waiting in the wings, so we'll see how the week goes.)

I'm also trying to concentrate on my hoodie. Finally, one bottom side is complete. (The coloring this photo is pretty accurate).

Onward to the needles!

P.S. In case you're wondering.... I put 3 bandaids on my injured toe and wore my shoe to work. Better protection that way, and a smart idea. The toe is feeling much better than expected. My paranoid screaming of "stay away from my toe" has diminished also....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just be glad

I'm sitting here typing, wearing my hooded tunic body part. I'm imagining it as 5 inches longer... will that be long enough? I think so.

It could actually be too long, but I'm not ripping out. I know I'll wear a really big sweater, but I'm not so sure about a too wide, too short sweater. I've been postponing this decision for a couple of days, but I'm finally ready to commit.

There's no picture, though, since it's so similar to the last one.

There's also no picture of my toe. Be very glad that I didn't take one, because for awhile today my toenail was perpendicular to my toe. The whole thing. (My apologies to anyone eating breakfast right now. That queasy feeling? That's what I've been feeling for most of the day.)

The funny thing about blogs is that you somehow feel you must blog about everything. When I come to think about it, what does a smashed toe have to do with a knitting blog? The only thing I could think of is what it didn't let me do today.

For once I was mostly caught up on laundry (who ever gets completely caught up, anyway?) so I was going to do knitterly stuff. Dyeing some yarn, setting the twist on my handspun (I finished spinning those first 4 oz., but now I need to do something with it), maybe knitting?

Instead, I lay on the couch whining, then DH drove me to the doctor's. I was going to tough it out, but I just couldn't. It was a wise decision, and I'm much happier (and less whiny). The toenail was cut off (I love numbing medicine) and a bandage was put on. I'm having trouble thinking about work tomorrow since I have to wear closed toe shoes.

This was Diane's comment today, that I read about an hour after the above accident:
The worst part of summer? The end and having to put on leather shoes to go back to school which gave you blisters for the first week(back in the day before you could wear sneakers).

Well, Diane, that was my downfall. I'm still thinking summer hadn't ended when I rammed my sandaled foot into the grocery cart wheel. Next time I might consider wearing shoes.... amd will be welcoming fall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Answers and socks

I want to thank everyone for the comments they leave on my posts. They are read very carefully, answered very fully in my head, but the typing thing doesn't happen very well.

The comments show up in my inbox, showing that they're from a real person. I think "hey! I can answer her since she has a name!", proceed to do so only to get a mail returned from

Fooled again, I think. When will I learn....

Anyway, here's a couple of answers:

Lila B. had a question about my Diamond Handwarmers pattern: maybe i'm missing something but in your directions, i never see any place that you're supposed to purl. how do you get that classic chevron stitch without ever purling.

The handwarmers are knitted in the round, so no purl rounds are necessary. The diamond pattern is made with a set of k2tog and yo's, with the next round being plain knit. Try it--it'll work!

Diane asked: Nice hoodie. Is the picture in this post a more correct color? Love the combination.

Well, Diane, I took a picture of my rust yarn in the middle of skeins of red and orange yarns to show the contrast. The reason you don't see the picture? It doesn't show the contrast very well. (Ah, picture taking, the bane of my existance.)(Maybe not my whole existance. Maybe my blogging existance.)

Let's go back to the previous pictures. The first picture is better. The rust is rusty, not orange. The Fisherman's wool is natural colored, and not with an orange tint.


I've neglected my hoodie in the last week so I could be knitting up some CIC socks. The plan was to knit one pair per week, but they're addicting so I'm actually done with pair 3 already. (Pictures of pair 2 tomorrow. Or soon.)

I wanted to see how far one skein of Cascade 220 would last. I made one pair of gold socks, then took the rest of the yarn and overdyed it with burgundy and juniper green Wilton icing colors.

I had wrapped the yarn 80 times around a chair, so I took 40 wraps and wound them each into a little ball

with a knot in the middle to designate the center.

The result? I got almost 2 pairs of socks out of one skein of Cascade 220.

(This is what happens to my camera when I don't guard it carefully. Little people take random pictures with it. Here's an example. Believe me, there's a picture on there that I can use for later blackmailing.)

The first was the 36 st Mossy Ridge Socks and the second was Magic 28 socks. Both were knitted using size 4 dpns. The Magic 28 socks just needed a bit of black for the toes. I figure that one skein willl make it all the way through 32 st and 28 sts socks, or maybe even a 36 and 28 if there's no pattern.

I think I might try this again.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where I grew up

My brother recently sent me a couple of pictures that I thought I'd show ya'll.

This is the house where I grew up.

I loved the house, with plenty of room to roam both inside and out. It was built in the 1860's, had wide plank oak floors, 10 foot tall ceilings, and was freezing in our bedrooms in the winter.

The things we did back then.
- Swimming in the creek while wearing tennis shoes 'cause the mud was too icky for barefeet (and checking our legs later for leeches).
- Running up and down the old pig pen roofs--sometimes sliding on them.
- Walking out onto the barn roof while the men were working on it.
- Going barefoot all summer (except in the creek).
- Catching fireflies at dusk and putting them into a jar.
- Peeling off layers and layers and layers of old wallpaper, only to find that we had to redo the plaster anyway. (There was some absolutely hideous wallpaper.)
- Finding a cat and her kittens up on the rafters in the barn.

Here's a view from our house up the road to our neighbor's. We had to walk this road every day to catch the bus. For the most part, I would carry a couple of books (no backpacks for me), my purse, my flute, my lunch, and sometimes my gymbag. At the dark blob in the middle (pine trees), the road turns and you couldn't see the bus until you got to the next turn. I'd be running late, so would be running with all my stuff until the next turn.

People say that I live in the country now....and I say....not compared to where I grew up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My necklaces went to the Bead Doctor yesterday. (Or is it the Chain Doctor? The Queen of All Jewelry?) Mine (with the pendant) had been worn exactly one time and DD#2's had been worn 3 times when both broke and were missing their jump rings. (DD's had a bit of help on the playground, and was in 4-5 pieces.)

HRH (Her Royal Highness) not only fixed the necklaces in a timely manner, but actually MADE the rings when she didn't have any the right size. She says they're a different color--but I sure can't see it.

Many thanks, from your loyal subject. (P.S. photographing jewelry is NOT an easy thing to do.)

Meanwhile, the CIC Mossy Ridge socks are done. Lots of fun, and nice and quick using worsted weight, size 4 dpns, and 36 stitches.

I liked using that combination so well, I cast on for another pair. This time I'm using a faux cable stitch. If it turns out well, I might write up the pattern.

My hoodie is progressing. This picture is an attempt to show you how big it is. I think it will be okay, but it certainly has plenty of extra room. (Even allowing for the fact that I'm sucking in my stomach big time. )

The pattern has me knitting until I'm 5 inches before it's long enough. This will be tricky. I never know if it's long enough until I'm there, so how am I going to know 5 inches before? I will hate it if it's too short (especially if it's too short and too wide), but I also don't want to sit on it.

I'm pretty sure I have at least an inch or two until I'm there, so I might as well keep going and worry about it then.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hoodie start

This is going to be my new fall jacket. It's the start of the hooded tunic from Knitting Pure and Simple. It's going to be nice and warm and will be the perfect thing to wear on cold soccer mornings.

As I seem to be doing lately, I'm using a different gauge than the pattern states. This time I actually did a gauge swatch, got gauge the very first time, then abandoned that for needles one size larger. You see, my hands hurt from using those needles and the resulting knitted item was a bit stiff.

Since I wanted this hoodie to be nice and big and comfy, this should not pose a problem. (Yes, I really do believe that. It could very possibly be true. Please don't burst my bubble and tell me all the things that could potentially go wrong. I'm sure I'll encounter them along the way.)

The goal for this hoodie was to use the rust yarn my dad got for me during an auction sale. I've never heard of it, but it came from Ireland and is like a sport weight. The Fisherman's wool being knitted with it is making a nice tweedy look.

Also, CIC is doing a mini challenge for the rest of September for little kids socks. I'm making it a goal to make 3 more pairs, and here is the start of pair one.

Figuring that my hoodie has endless rows of st st, I'm choosing a pattern stitch for each of the CIC socks. This one is Mossy Ridge (I think I got it from 6SoxKAL, but am really not sure.)

(Here I'm at the hard part of my post--typing in the word verification letters. Anyone else have a hard time with that? I can't even read the first letter--it looks like a number sign. Oh, the things that keep us safe....)

( I guessed wrong on try #1--the first letter will always be a mystery as I try again....)

(Try #2 with a new set of letters was also wrong. Why is this so hard for me? Is this a Candid Camera joke?)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

(Pick any of my previous excuses and apply them here as to why I haven't blogged for so long.....I hate to repeat myself. :)

The purse is done. It took a couple of days to get up the courage to finish it, but here it is:

(Yes, you see one end peeking out that I forgot to hide. It's really on the inside of the bag, so I think I'll keep it as a design feature.)

I've been figuring all along....when it gets dirty I can just wash it. It's wool, but I know how to handle wool, so no biggie.'s sewn on. Sewn onto handles that most likely will not handle wetness very well.

Plan B: Don't get it dirty.

My purse stuff is now in it, and I've carried it around for a day. I have heavy purse stuff, so we'll see if it gets stretched out. I may have to make a separate liner.

A picture for Janice. She figures I'm just fooling everyone and just made this to carry yarn. (Not actually true, but a good idea....)

Janice, did you guess this many?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pretty purse progress

These are yesterday's knitting pictures that I didn't attempt to load.

It's my purse, and it's almost done.

Here's the purse's outside:

I had actually twisted the wrong way on one of the cables about 15 rows done, but was successful on ripping out those stitches and reknitting the cable. That was a very useful skill to learn.

Here's the purse's inside, which looks interesting in it's own way:

Here's the ribbon and handles.

Now, if that shoemaker would loan me his elves, it'd get put together in a jiffy.

If we have to wait until I do it, it might take awhile....

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Stalking ebay

Guess what I did today?

Was it something outdoorsy on this nice, late summer day? Nope.

Was it something interesting, like going to see a play?

Was it something energetic like painting the walls?

Was it something knittery, considering this is a knitting blog?

I spent a good portion of the day on ebay.

That's right. On ebay.

It wouldn't have been too bad, if the computer wasn't moving slooooower than molasses the whole day.

But...when college starts back up, and the kids need textbooks, it's worthwhile spending the time.

DD sent me an email stating she needed three new books (one she was reusing for the second semester) and the costs ranged from $113.95 to $177.95 and did I want to check out ebay to see if I could find used books cheaper?? betcha, I said.... I'll get right on that.

One was bought the first day. One wasn't found. One was bought today for DS (while I'm ebaying, I might as well.) One was stalked for days until this evening, when I won.

HA! I was victorious!

I've also been trying to sell the previous semester(s) books. That doesn't go quite as well, because the publishers update their editions every couple of years to force the poor (in more ways than one) college students to buy new books. Nobody then wants the old books. The only way to know if the old books will be any good is to go to the first day of class, find out from the professor, then do a mad scramble to find the books. It's an evil plot, I tell you.

Sorry....not only do I have the adrenalin pumping 'cause I won, but I also have extra sugar in system.

Why? 'Cause DD#2 and I made a cookie for dessert. Okay, a big cookie. Okay, A REALLY BIG COOKIE WITH SOME ICE CREAM.

And I ate it all!