Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ah, Blog Filler....

Kim had this on her blog and as I thought it was cute and I have nothing particular to post about today, here you go!

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

"You are a very sensual person. You like to experience all the sights, smells, tastes and textures the world has to offer. Ordinary be damned, because you want to do it all."

If you take this quiz, please comment with what flower you are. :)

Monday, January 29, 2007


I finally did it! I started and finished a toe-up sock! I cast on with my Posh Yarns Lucia in the color Passionate (from the Pick Up Sticks Sock Club) Friday night using the magic cast-on from Knitty. I decided to try a peasant heel as I haven't been happy with either short-row or reverse heel flap heels. Early Sunday afternoon I finished up the sock and I love it!

I basically googled various sites for the directions so I don't have a specific source to point anyone to, but really all you do is when you are about 2 inches short of the total length of your foot knit across half of your stitches with scrap yarn then purl back with the scrap yarn. Then simply pick up your sock yarn again and carry on knitting.

Whenever you want to, go back and pick up all the stitches that are on the waste yarn. I picked them all up before I took out the waste yarn just to be on the safe side. I picked up all of one side on one needle and all of the other on a second needle. Then start knitting the heel with your sock yarn (or a contrasting colored yarn would be cute), picking up 2 or 3 stitches on the ends between the two needles just to prevent holes (so you'll probably pick up a total of 4 or 6 stitches). You'll want to knit the heel on 3 or 4 needles.

From that point simply treat the heel as you would a cuff down wedge toe, decreasing 4 stitches total one round, knitting plain the next, over and over, until you get down to however wide you would like your heel to be (I decreased down to 12 on each needle, but next time I'll decrease down to 10 or 8 I think). Then just kitchener stitch it shut and voila! You have an incredible nifty looking and nifty fitting heel.

This heel technique opens up a world of toe-up sock possibility. Hooray! I'm already on the leg of the second sock. These knit up in no time.

FYI: The peasant heel is often times mistakenly called an afterthought heel, but there is a difference. A peasant heel uses waste yarn to mark where the heel will be (and that may make it easier to pick up the stitches). An afterthought heel, specifically that found in Elizabeth Zimmerman books, involves just knitting straight through without using any waste yarn and then coming back and snipping the yarn where you want the heel to be. I can see that going horribly horribly wrong for me, so that's why I chose the peasant heel.

One more note...please ignore any laddering you may see in the photo. I was too excited about this sock to wash and block it before I took the photo!

Friday, January 26, 2007


In order to get around this ennui I've been having with regards to my knitting I'm overhauling my whole project list process. In the past I have kept a large list of future projects broken into categories (e.g., sweaters, scarves) and then listed the projects with no particular priority. I also have my giant sock list with patterns and yarns all matched up. Then, I had a month by month goal list with projects assigned to each month. (My god this sounds geeky!)

Not anymore. I'm redoing the whole list and the way I'm doing it is by project type and then priority. (Yeah, sometimes I have a lot of free time). So, here's yet another revised list of what I'll be knitting in the future. I'll try to be working on something from each group at any one time, but I don't think I will restrict myself by monthly goals anymore. Also, these lists come with the disclaimer that I will rearrange, add, and remove things on random whims.

Scarf/Hat Projects:
1) Endpaper Mitts (Blues)
2) Coronet Hat and Here & There Cables Scarf in Malabrigo Brown Berries with Anemoi Mittens
3) Patons SWS Entrelac Scarf and Ribbed Hat
4) Wide Ribbed Scarf and Hat for Matt (Brooks Farm Duet)
5) Fake Isle Hat in Noro #148
6) Endpaper Mitts (Greens)

1) Posh Yarns - another toe-up attempt.
2) Duet Socks from A Swell Yarn Shop
3) Project Runway Socks - Yarn from Yarntini
4) Philosopher’s Stone Socks for Matt (again)
5) Stillwater Lorna's Laces Desert Flower Socks

1) Pippa Cardigan
2) Wicked
3) Knitting Pure & Simple Top Down Shaped Neck Cardigan
4) T-Twist in Green/Brown Brooks Farm
5) Shaped Neck Tee in Red/Brown Brooks Farm

And there you have it! Now, on to some actual knitting....

Marmalade Citrine Socks
Pattern: Marmalade
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in mediumweight Citrine
Needles: Inox 2.5mm (US 1)
Start Date: January 15, 2007
End Date: January 24, 2007
Comments: These may be the most cheerful socks I've ever knit. I love the combination of pattern and color. They knit up quickly and I did not change a thing. Not much else to say about them.

Great Pattern + Great Yarn + Great Needles = Wonderful Socks

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fake Isle, Real Happy

I present to you the first official non-sock finished project of 2007:

Fake Isle Hat
Pattern: Fake Isle Hat by Amy King
Noro Kureyon #150 and Patons Classic Merino in Black
Size 5 Denise circulars and size 5 KnitPicks dpns
Start Date:
January 22, 2007
End Date:
January 23, 2007
Monday I printed out the pattern, looked through the yarn stash, and started knitting. Tuesday night I finished. What a fantastic pattern! I knit the medium/large size and it fits pretty well. It's a tad too long so I'll just flip the rim up a little when I wear it. Matt assures me it looks cute that way. Unstretched the hat is 21 or so inches and my head is 22 inches around. (That sounds big when I type it). No modeled pictures as it is drying from it's bath last night. I already have plans for more of these hats. It's the perfect project to use up the occasional single ball of Kureyon. The hat took a full skein of Kureyon and only around half a ball of Patons Classic Merino.

Monday I received a little order from A Swell Yarn Shop. They are starting to sell their own line of sock yarn and I couldn't resist the new Duet sock yarn sets. The Duet sets are unique because they come with a little solid coordinating color yarn for the toe and heel. I contained myself and only ordered one color, Sweet Valentine. When it arrived I had no idea it would be so soft. It's just lovely yarn. Apparently they sell out within 24 hours of posting these sets, so if you are interested, you might want to sign up for their email list.

The Marmalade Citrine Socks are nearing the finish line. Pictures Friday!

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Already?

This weekend went by a little too quickly and here we are at Monday morning already. Well, only 5 days until the weekend! :)

I didn't knit too much this weekend since we went to see Pan's Labyrinth at the theater on Saturday (it was fantastic!) and then yesterday I spent most of the day reading. I started The Terror by Dan Simmons the other night and I'm totally engrossed. It combines naval historical fiction with a supernatural thriller. Great combination for a cold wintry weekend read.

As for the knitting, I did finish the first Marmalade Citrine sock and I'm already on the foot of the second one. The mediumweight Socks that Rock just flies off the needles! I did knit a little on the Phoebe sweater, but I'm just not sure if I'll continue. I'm unsure whether it is the yarn or what, but I'm not really into the project. I think I may stick with knitting a few winter accessories for a while. And socks. I do love to knit socks... :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hooray for Friday!

This has been one very long week and I'm very happy the weekend is nearly here. Work has been somewhat busier than usual so I'm looking forward to a couple days away from the office.

I'm now in the gusset decreases of the first Marmalade Citrine Sock (Socks that Rock mediumweight in Citrine, Marmalade pattern). The heel flap looks terrific! The slipped stitch pattern is knit over the whole flap. Pretty nifty.

I'm in love all over again with the yarn. I am pretty sure this was the first Socks that Rock I ever bought and even though at first I thought the colors were too cheery for mid-January knitting, turns out they are perfect to brighten my mood. Oh, and why do I ever knit with any other yarn? I just love the mediumweight Socks that Rock so so much (I use the word "love" a lot when I talk about this stuff, don't I?).

Wednesday night we had a terrific Group knitting night. It was one of the first times in over a month that almost everybody could make it. One new person as well as six regulars were able to attend! Welcome to the group, Tamra (hope I'm spelling that right - I'm bad at names and spelling them). I'm so happy we were all able to make it. I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to be with all those wonderful women. Plus Lynae brought her daughter's Girl Scout Cookie order sheet - I love those cookies! :)

To celebrate getting through a month of neck problems I did treat myself to a new bag. I'm normally not one to go for Vera Bradley patterns. They just aren't my style (though I do like the one Liz brings to group). Well, I saw that there were some new prints and I was immediately taken with Pink Elephants. It's the breast cancer awareness pattern for the year so 10% of proceeds will go to the Vera Bradley Breast Cancer Foundation for breast cancer research. And it has pink elephants! Love it!

I got the bucket tote which is just the perfect size for the Phoebe sweater I've started (Not much to show on that one. I've completed the bottom ribbing and an inch of stockinette. Pictures to come when there's something to see). I'm so tempted to get all the little matching accessories with the elephant pattern, but I really need more knitting accoutrement like I need a hole in my head (I have another Offhand Designs bag on special order...). I had almost ordered a Lexie Barnes Flo bag the other day, but then I decided I would really like have a bag that was a little less conspicuous as a knitting bag so this Vera bag fit the bill! (And it has pink elephants!)

In neck pain news, I saw the neurosurgeon yesterday and the good news is that I don't need surgery. Yea! I do need to do 6 weeks of physical therapy, but I kind of expected that. The doctor said that I need to stop participating in any sport that causes jarring, so no more bowling for me. :( I'm pretty bummed about that since I really like to bowl (I'm a good Midwestern girl). Oh well. I'm also not supposed to ever run or jog unless I'm on an elliptical or treadmill. He said I was doing well though and I really do feel better. Bummer that our bodies fall apart. :(

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Getting into the swing of things

With the holidays and the neck problem I just haven't been knitting nearly as much. Well, I have been knitting, but I haven't been enthusiastic about it. Perhaps I have a lingering fear that the knitting is what caused the slipped disc though according to the doctor that is unlikely. Whatever it is, I've just not been as into it lately, but I think that time is ending.

I liked those Jingle Bell Socks I knit. And then I saw a cute sweater pattern on Knit Picks and went ahead and ordered it. It's the Phoebe sweater. I really like it. So, the other night I decided it was time to do some spontaneous project knitting and I made my swatch. The pattern calls for Knit Picks Andean Silk (which is lovely), but I had some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen languishing in the stash so I'm going to give that a go. Last night I only got an inch of the ribbing done, but I have a feeling this sweater will go pretty quickly once I get going.

The Marmalade Citrine sock is coming along nicely. I have almost finished the leg of the first sock. Looking forward in the pattern I see that the heel flap will have a slipped stitch pattern that matches the leg. Should be fun. I'm very happy with how this pattern looks with the yarn (Socks that Rock in Citrine mediumweight). The color is so light and airy. It makes me think of lemons and cantaloupe. :)

Happily, I'm feeling up to going to Knitting Group tonight. I haven't been able to go since before the holidays! Who all is going tonight?

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, January 15, 2007


Jingle Bell Rock Agate Bay Socks
Pattern: Agate Bay from Northern Sunshine Designs (modified to add a repeat for sizing)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Jingle Bell Rock (lightweight)
Needles: KnitPicks double points US size 0 (2.0 mm) - 9 stitches per inch
Start Date: January 7, 2007
End Date: January 14, 2007
Comments: I'm very happy with how this pair came out. Originally I had planned on just knitting 2x2 rib for the whole sock, but I'm glad I used the Agate Bay pattern. It adds a little pizazz, don't you think? The lightweight Socks that Rock knit up very well and I really like how the colors spiraled on the foot. As with the Philosopher's Stone socks that I'll have to rip out due to yarn shortage, these Jingle Bell Socks were a close call. Luckily I had my little scale to reassure me, but it was still close, even with a short leg. I'm just not sure how much more Socks that Rock in lightweight I'll use since I can't get a longer leg out of it like I can with the mediumweight. These socks do make me smile!

Next up is some Socks that Rock in Citrine (mediumweight). This yarn wasn't on my January knitting goal list. It wasn't on the revised goal list either. I'm clearly ignoring my list! I'm still contemplating what pattern to use. I'm leaning towards Marmalade from Northern Sunshine Designs. Anyone else have an idea? I'll be casting on tonight.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Demise of the Philosopher's Stone Socks

Today I had hoped to show you the finished Philosopher's Stone Socks for Matt. However, my little orange kitchen scale arrived a few days again and confirmed my fear - I did not have enough yarn to finish the second sock. I told Matt I would need a little time before ripping them out and starting over. He's bummed and so am I.

For posterity I will record that I was knitting the Garter Rib Stitch from Sensational Knitted Socks using lightweight Socks that Rock in Philosopher's Stone. I knit a 6 inch cuff and a 10 1/2 inch foot for the first sock and apparently that took too much yarn and did not leave enough for the second sock. I think when I redo them I may use a different pattern. Any suggestions?

The good news is that the first Jingle Bell Rock sock is finished. Yea! That's the first Socks that Rock Jingle Bell Rock (lightweight) sock. I'm using the Agate Bay pattern and size 2.0mm needles (KnitPicks US 0). I'm absolutely thrilled with the colors and it's pretty cool how I got a little bit of a spiral on the foot.

In nerdy news, I revised my list of projects for the next 6 months. I decided to take the pace down a notch and give myself a little more time for certain projects. The revised goal list for January is as follows:
1) Lichen Socks - FINISHED!
2)Garter Rib Socks (Matt)(STR Philosopher’s Stone) Back to the drawing board...
3) Jingle Bell Agate Bay Socks
4) Tapestry Scarf (and if anything left over maybe a hat?)
5) Moss Sea Stitch Scarf - not too sure about this...I swatched and I wasn't in love with it...
6) Finish Trinket Scarf

I'll now leave you with a random picture of the Jingle Bell Rock socks gusset. I love the gusset decrease.What's your favorite part of a sock?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock

Jingle Bells in January? Yep! I started on my Socks that Rock lightweight Jingle Bell Rock socks on Sunday night and they are flying off the needles. I had wound this skein in mid-December, hoping to knit it over holiday break, but the silly neck pain thing changed those plans (in yesterday's post I revealed the solution to the neck pain mystery - a slipped disc!). So, Sunday night, as I was feeling better, I could resist the call of this brightly colored and festive sock yarn no longer. Who cares if it's the middle of January!

I only knit an inch or so of 2x2 ribbing on Sunday night so on Monday I decided to use the Agate Bay Sock Pattern (the pattern starts with 1x1 ribbing, so pretty close). I had to modify the Agate Bay pattern by adding a repeat just to be sure the sizing would be correct. This pattern is knitting up very quickly and I'm already at the gusset decreases. Ah, how I love Socks that Rock.

The pattern is very unique and I really like that it's just on the leg. The pattern writing itself could be a little better. Firstly, why oh why is there no chart? I used to hate charts, now I almost feel lost without one. A chart would make me so happy...Secondly, in the written instructions, the pattern writer uses dashes/hyphens when it would have been better to use a) nothing or b) commas. Oh well, I love the design and it was cheap so I'm not going to complain too loudly. :)

I'm afraid I'm going to have to miss knitting Group again tonight. :( I am unable to drive yet due to the neck (and the medication) and Matt has to work so he can't chauffeur me. I'll miss you all! It seems like so long since my last Group night...I'm going to do my best to make it next week. For those yarn enthusiasts without injury or excuse, you are welcome to join our little knitting Group at the Border's in Wilmette at the corner of Lake and Skokie. We meet every Wednesday from 6:30pm until 8:00pm. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mystery Solved

For those of you following my continuing saga of neck pain, the MRI results are in as of late last night. (My doctor was nice enough to call me at 9:00pm last night when she received the results). So, the neck pain is being caused by a slipped disc. Disc C6 in my cervical spine to be exact. I'll go see a neurosurgeon for a real quick routine check to be on the safe side before beginning some light physical therapy. I should be fine within a few weeks of continued treatment. Yea! Mystery solved! I'm just glad to know what the heck is going on so that now I know how to make it better.

Back to your regularly scheduled knitting blog tomorrow. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

First Socks of 2007

Lichen Socks

Pattern: Lichen by Meghan Jackson from the Pick Up Sticks Sock of the Month Club
Yarn: VvS Painted Yarn in Art Nouveau
Needles: Inox 2.5 mm (gauge of approx. 7 stitches per inch)
Start Date: January 2, 2007
End Date: January 7, 2007
Comments: The moment I unwrapped the VvS Painted Yarn I was taken with its similarity to Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight. Once I started knitting with it I was surprised it knit up the same as well. Nice! As you all may have noticed, I'm a bit of a fan of Socks that Rock (STR), so to find another yarn in lovely colors that has similar properties is a real bonus. I'm so glad I'm in the Pick Up Sticks Sock of the Month Club otherwise I don't know if I would have ever tried this yarn in the first place.

So, if you've knit with STR in the mediumweight you'll k
now what it's like to knit with VvS Painted. The colors of the VvS yarn are a bit more subtle than STR's tend to be and they have an unusual overlaying of colors. It's difficult to describe, but, for example, in one of the longer cream sections there will be a haze of pink as a top layer. I really can't describe it very well, but I assure you it is very pretty.

The pattern is a club pattern and I really enjoyed knitting it. (I think it's very similar to the Monkey sock pattern in the Winter Knitty). I'm sure I'll knit it again as it will be perfect for some STR I have. Plus, it knits up very quickly and held
my interest. I love that the pattern is carried on down the heel flap. A very nice detail.

Saturday I got my third shipment from the Sweet Sheep Sock Club. This month's yarn is an absolutely stunning All Things Heather Sock Yarn in the color Winterberry. I have been keeping this by the computer so that I can pet it off and on all weekend. The depth and variety of colors is so gorgeous. Just the perfect color for winter sock knitting! I'm so sad that there is only one more shipment in the club.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Yarn Delivery

The first of my Petals Collection Sock Club kits arrived! Well, it actually tried to be delivered on the 24th, but as we were out of town and with the numerous postal holidays it wasn't until yesterday that I actually got the package. It was worth the wait.

Here's a shot of the lovely wrapped kit. I waited until this morning to unwrap it since I was hoping for some sunlight, but that didn't work out so well...

And here's what was inside: A skein of gorgeous sock yarn in the color Lenten Rose, a picture of Lenten Roses (Christmas Rose or Hellebores to some of us), a pattern to use with the yarn, and a little welcome note. I am very happy with this kit. All my expectations were met. The subtle color shifts in the sock yarn are just lovely. And, purple just happens to me a favorite color of mine. :) The sock pattern is very lacy so I'm not so sure I'll be using it. I tend to like more solid patterns, but you never know. Maybe as I see other club members knit it I'll be inspired.

In knitting news, I finished the first Lichen sock and I hope to cast on for the next one tonight. Those socks really knit up quickly!

Here's a final close-up of the beautiful Lenten Rose yarn. Yea!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Out With the Old

Monday I was feeling up to knitting finally and as I perused my current works in progress I just didn't really want to work on any of them. Then I did something I've never done before. I intentionally ripped the needles out of a perfectly good nearly finished sock. The Pure Fall socks are now officially off the needles. Someday (maybe next fall?) I'll start them again. I was just getting aggravated with the whole toe-up heel flap nonsense.

As for the Socks that Rock Philosopher's Stone socks for Matt? Well, I'm really not sure I have enough yarn to finish the second sock. So rather than continuing on blindly, I am awaiting delivery of a small kitchen scale which will give me the cold hard facts.

That leaves the Rowan Tapestry scarf all alone in my knitting bag. Once I picked it up, I decided to just knit it for a little while and I ended up making some real progress. I may actually finish it some time soon!

Yesterday was my last day off before heading back to work so I decided to cast on for some unscheduled spontaneously chosen socks. I decided to knit one of the Pick Up Sticks Sock Club Kits. This is the VvS Painted Yarn in the color Art Nouveau and the Lichen pattern. I believe it is the 4 ply. The sock is knitting up very quickly due to the larger gauge and great pattern. I do feel like I may have knit a bit too much the last couple days as well as doing other daily things like washing dishes, sorting bills, etc. as my neck is feeling not so good. I just hope being back at work today doesn't make it worse.

Knitting Group is tonight at the Border's in Wilmette (the corner of Skokie and Lake) at 6:30pm. As always, all yarn enthusiasts are welcome. I'm hoping to make it, but it really depends on how I'm feeling by the end of the day. I just hate to miss a meeting with all my knitting buddies!

Monday, January 01, 2007

In the year 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. We had a great time in Carbondale though the visit was too short, as always. The stupid neck pain I've been dealing with did prevent me from knitting the last couple weeks, but I have high hopes for 2007. Once I get my MRI done on Friday we'll know for sure what's causing the pain and I'm sure I'll be back in knitting business. :) At least I've been able to catch up on some reading!

Here's my little knitting wrap up of 2006 and my goal for 2007:

  • I did alright knitting from the stash, but I know I added a bit too much to it as well.
  • I knit my first lace project (the Baltic Sea Stole) and loved it!
  • I received a Gold Medal in the Knitting Olympics.
  • I attended Stitches Midwest again and had an excellent time.
  • I knit much more for myself and Matt.
  • I became a more consistent blogger. Thanks to everyone who reads this blog!

  • Only one goal: Keep the stash from growing! As we will most likely be moving by the end of this summer I am motivated to minimize packing by knitting through the stash. :)

January 2007 Knitting Goals - all of the following projects are somewhat tentative as I need to finish up a couple items from December while taking care of my silly neck...

1) Cheesylove sweater from Knitty2) Forbes Forest Scarf from Scarf Style
3) Socks in Yarntini 4-8-15-16-23-42
4) Finish the Trinket Scarf!!! (my oldest work in progress)