My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for July 2006

Psst! There Was Also Felting . . .

This past weekend was not exclusively about dyeing yarn. There was felting too.

Friday night I cast on for another Noni bag — “In the Sculpture Garden.”


I used the yarn called for — Cascade 220. I finished the body of the bag on Saturday.


It’s a small bag, so it went pretty quickly. Saturday night and Sunday morning I knitted some flowers:


And some leaves:


And then on Sunday afternoon, I felted everything.

The bag felted down prettily after 2 hot/cold cycles in my washer.


Cat included for scale:


I let the flowers and leaves go for 3 cycles, and then I trimmed the flowers a bit with scissors.


I have the same handles that are pictured on the pattern.


And I’ve got some lovely dupioni silk for a lining.


I think I’m only going to put one flower on each side — I like the look of the bag with just one. I didn’t use any mohair in the knitting of the flowers, by the way (the pattern directs you to). I decided I’d prefer a non-fuzzy flower.

Am I Dying to Dye?

While the Kool-Aid dyeing over the weekend was fun, I think I’ll leave the handpainting of yarn to the professionals. Though I do have enough Kool-aid left to dye another skein . . .

Weekend Hijinks

Friday night the KOARC and I indulged in a little Kool-Aid dyeing.

We more or less followed this excellent tutorial from Barbara Harris-Pruitt.

We got 10 different flavors of Kool-Aid and set to work. Here’s the KOARC’s skein:


Two shades of red with a splash of yellow.


Very nice, isn’t it?

And here’s mine:


A few more colors — less attractive, I think than the KOARC’s skein.


But fun, nevertheless!

Don’t ask me what flavors we used to get these colors — I have no idea!

Needles and Socks/Socks and Needles

I finished the first Pond Scum sock — lookie here:


And started the second one:


Kelly in New Mexico asked:
Other than the rosewood needles what are your favorite wood dbl.pts to use for socks. I kind of don’t like bamboo as much as birch or a hard wood, I was wondering what you preferred?

And Sheri in St. Louis asked:
My question – I knit with metal DPN’s because I find that I need that point when doing any sort of lace pattern & on short row wraps. I don’t knit overly tight at all – I just seem to need the pointy end to get into the stitches (especially when picking up short row wraps). Have you found good, pointy wooden DPN’s? (The Colonial Rosewood look a bit pointy. Are they?)

The Colonial Rosewoods are plenty pointy for me — I can easily do a k2tog with sock yarn and a 2mm needle. And when I’m not using my Rosewoods, I’ve been using my Skacel bamboo needles. Nicely pointy, I think.

And Now For Something Completely Ludicrous

This article was recently brought to my attention.

I think I’m going to patent my knitting style. Then everyone who knits like me will have to pay me a per-stitch royalty.

Lucy sez:


Another weekend almost over already?

Pond Scum

My Interlacements Tiny Toes socks make me think of pond scum.


Don’t have any personal experience with pond scum? Go here and check it out.

See what I mean? They shall from this moment forth be known as the Pond Scum Socks.

I am using the ubiquitous feather and fan pattern on the top of the socks. I was thinking on the train this morning that I knit a whole heckuva lot of feather and fan socks. They are great for commuter knitting — easy enough so you can knit in a semi-conscious state, but with enough stitch detail to make them fun to knit. And I love how feather and fan looks in handpainted yarn.

On the Log Cabin Blanket

Sally A asked:
On the MD KAL, there’s some discussion about binding off each side of the log cabin and picking up the stitches or just leaving the stitches live on circular needles. Which way are you doing it? I couldn’t tell from the picture. I tried it both ways. But then another project interrupted the log cabin before I could make a final decision. Thanks.

I am binding off each side and picking up the stitches. I don’t think I’d want to leave the stitches live. The yarn I’m using (all sock yarn) is soft and very drapy. Each little strip of garter stitch has a lot of stre-e-e-etch in it. The bound off edge of each strip adds a lot of stability to the blanket. I think if I had left the stitches live, the blanket would stretch out of shape every time you touched it. I like having those cast-off edges in there to help it keep its shape.

Hillary commented:
Wow! Your log cabin looks pretty big. I’m wondering what the curent dimensions are and if you have determined the point at which you’ll bind it off.

It’s not all that big. I’ve not measured it lately, but I’m guessing about 24 inches on each side.


Cat feet included for scale.

When will I deem it finished? My plan is to make it into a good size for an afghan. When it seems big enough to fold and drape over the back of my couch, I’ll consider it done and bind off.

No doubt when that happy event occurs, I’ll still have leftover sock yarn, so I can start Log Cabin Blanket Number Two.

On Needles

Elaine asked:
Grumperina has done a study on the Knitpicks needles and noticed that they are much heavier than the others – is this something that you have noticed yourself and do you find the weight of your needle makes a difference to your comfort?

In the circulars, no, I can’t say that I noticed any difference. I might notice a difference in the larger size circulars, but in the 3.25mm ones that I am using, nope.

Now the dpns are another story. The Knitpicks 2mm dpns are much heavier than the ones I habitually use to knit socks. But I habitually use wood dpns for socks. I never use metal dpns, so I couldn’t really make a comparison.

This might lead you to ask: if you don’t use metal dpns, why do you have so frigging many of them?

I have no good answer to that question.

Hey, have a good weekend y’all.


The Blog Days of Summer

A bit of knitting ennui has settled in. Must be the weather. Although, thankfully, it’s not nearly as hot as it is on the West Coast, the heat and humidity do get a bit much after a while. Or maybe it’s my Muse. Yeah, that’s it — she gets cranky in heat and humidity.

(Lucy, on the other hand, is happy to sleep on handknits.)


But . . . it could always be worse. I am exceedingly grateful for electricity and the joy of air-conditioning.

But because my brain seems to be on vacation, you’ll just get some random stuff today.

I just remembered today that I hadn’t posted about the Knitpicks circular needles I got in the mail a few days ago. I bought some of the smaller sizes that are not available in the interchangeable set.

Here is the 3.25mm needle, which I bought in the 32″ length, with an Addi Turbo of the same size. The Knitpicks needle is on the top.


And here is a picture of the join. Again, the Knitpicks needle is on the top.


I really like the Knitpicks needle. The tip is nice and pointy and the join is very smooth.

I put my log cabin blanket on the Knitpicks 3.25mm needle:


Hey, guess what’s on the Addi 3.25mm needle? It’s Keelan!


I haven’t abandoned it — I’ve done a little bit on it for the past couple of nights.

But even though I am knitting it in the comparative comfort of the air-conditioned indoors, it’s not comfortable. It’s simply not great summer knitting.

Mebbe I need to knit another Noni . . .


Oh. Like You’ve Never Felted the Living Crap Out of Anything?

Just sayin’.

I forgot to take a photo of the ends of the bag post-felting. Sorry! Thanks for asking to see it. Here you go:


I whipped up a couple of leaves. I’ll felt them the next time I’m doing laundry.


A couple of questions in the comments:

Deb asked:
I teach at a local yarn store and some of my students have commented that the patterns are tricksy and not as intuitive as some might require. Curious, did you find this easy to follow as written?

I found it pretty easy to follow. I’m wondering if your students had an earlier version of a pattern? I went to the Noni bags website and looked at the errata list — the errors listed for my pattern had been corrected in the version I have. It would have been more difficult to follow if they hadn’t, I agree.

Laura asked:
How come you order your zipper? Isn’t there a hobby store nearby with a fabric department or even a real fabric store you can go to?

I live in a vast wasteland where there are no hobby or fabric stores.

No, but seriously, I ordered a zipper for a couple of reasons. One, because I wanted a heavy duty zipper. In pink. Two, because the opening in the bag is not a standard zipper size. Ergo, custom zipper.

Annie had a good suggestion about zipper sewing:
I often sew the zipper directly to the lining, and then slip stitch the whole thing in. I have a similar shaped knitting bag that I used this technique on. It certainly holds up, provided the slip stitching is nice and tight.

I’ve not yet decided exactly how I’m going to put the zipper and lining in. As I mentioned, I’ve got some heavy duty interfacing, as well as the lining material. I was thinking about sewing the zipper into the bag itself perhaps using the sewing machine, and attaching the lining to the interfacing, and putting that inside the bag, and then sewing it into place by hand on the inside. This is one of those things that I won’t exactly figure out until I start messing with it, I think.

There’s also the handles to think about.

I bought grosgrain ribbon to make the little tabs to slip the handle hardware through, to attach the handles to the bag. You need 4 tabs, 2 for each handle. I’m thinking about extending the ribbon around the bottom on the inside and fashioning each end into a tab on each side. I’d sew it down on the bottom, to add some strength, and tack it to the sides. Doing this twice, of course, once at each end of the bag. Kind of hard to describe, but I can picture it in my head.


I’ll get to that eventually.

In the meantime, I finished the second Schaeffer Anne sock. Whee!


The pattern on the leg is just a simple little lace thingie. It’s done over 5 stitches thusly:

Row 1: (k1, yo, sl, k2 tog, psso, yo, k1) around
Rows 2-4: Knit around.

And I started a new sock:


This is Interlacements Tiny Toes, in colorway 402. The extent of my passion for this yarn in this colorway can not be adequately expressed in mere words.

The yarn is very Koigu-y — one of those squishy sproingy sock yarns that I hold so dear. And the color? Well, it’s green.

Like I said. Cannot be adequately expressed in mere words.

Lucy is feeling the love.


P.S. Beverley in New Zealand is looking for a place were she can order circular needles longer than 80cm (for use with the magic loop technique), possibly less pricey than Patternworks. Anyone have any recommendations for online vendors who ship internationally?