My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for July 2006

What’s in a Name?

Thank you all for your suggestions for a name for my vest. While reading through the comments I was thinking, “I really like the name Ciaran — but why does it sound so familiar?” Then I remembered — Alice Starmore has a design called St. Ciaran. She also has a St. Brigid, so that name is out as well.

I decided I didn’t want a name that was distinctly feminine, as the design is suitable for both men and women. I was trolling on a website of Celtic names and their meaning and found this:

Keelan — from a word meaning “slender” or “little”.

Because the cables are little and slender, Keelan it is.


So, ol’ Keelan is now up past the armholes on the back. I’ve put the live underarm stitches on lengths of yarn to keep them, well, live until I am ready for the knitting of the armbands.


And here is my first Fleece Artist sock.


A close-up:


And now for something completely different . . .

It amuses the hell out of me that 61 people searching for:


found my blog.

And because I have nothing else of any use to say at the moment (shocking, isn’t it?) I will sign off for now.


A Yarn Tale

Here is my progress on the cabled vest.


No, I’ve not named it yet. While the name “Fusilli,” which was suggested in the comments last week does have its appeal, I’d rather give it a Celtic name. Any ideas?

I am liking the Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply very much. It is very like shetland jumperweight wool, only a tad softer. It’s put up in 25-gram skeins, with 120 yards per skein. Jamieson & Smith shetland jumperweight is listed at 125 yards per 25-gram skein, so you can see it is similar.


In the above photo, the Rowan Scottish Tweed is n top, and some J&S shetland jumperweight is on the bottom. As you can see, they do resemble one another.

The Scottish Tweed is nicely heathered, and in the 2 skeins I’ve used so far, I’ve noticed that the thickness of the yarn has inconsistencies — thinner in some places, thicker in others. This does not bother me — rather, I think it gives the yarn a nice rustic feel.

Sharon asked in the comments how I am finding Scottish Tweed in comparison to (the sadly discontinued) Yorkshire Tweed?

The Yorkshire Tweed has a more substantial, solid feel to it, I think. It has the same specs — 120 yards per 25-gram skein, and the gauge listed is 6.5-7 stitches per inch on a US 2-3 needle, about the same as Scottish Tweed. But Scottish Tweed feels much lighter and airier.

I think this vest is going to be great for office wear — lightweight and warm — but not too warm.

Sharon also asked:
On a technical note, how many stitches does one add to stockinette stitch to accomodate cables? I thought I’d read somewhere that the numbers are 8 to 10% more per cable but I can’t find the source. For example, if I had a 60 stitch sock and wanted to put two 4 stitch cables down the sides would I add 10 to 12 stitches?

The short answer is that it depends on the cable.

When I am noodling up a new design, I swatch each different stitch pattern and cable, and put the design together based on each individual motif. I allow “x” number of inches for the moss stitch, “x” number of stitches for Cable A, etc.

Kris asked an interesting question:
What kind of sights and sounds from your daily life help to inspire you great cabled creations?

That made me stop and think. I can’t say I get much knitting inspiration from sights and sounds of daily life. I think it’s more accurate to say I get knitting inspiration in spite of daily life. I take the subway to work everyday, along with half-asleep commuters in the morning, and tired commuters in the afternoon. I work in a federal building with linoleum floors, and 25-year-old faded carpet, beige metal furniture, and walls the color of puke.

It’s a good thing I have an imagination.

Anyway . . .

Here is the Fleece Artist sock, which I have not worked on since Friday afternoon.


As you can see, I opted for feather and fan for ther leg pattern. I think it’s particularly pretty in this colorway.

Dave asked a very good question in the comments last week: am I going to handwash the Fleece Artist socks?

This is a good question because the ball band of the yarn stated “hand wash” but there was also a hang tag attached to it that stated “machine wash in cold water.” Interesting!

I checked out the details for the yarn on the Fleece Artist website, and there too it states machine washable. So that’s what I’ll do. But I will wash them on the delicate cycle, and air dry them, like all my handknit socks.

Speaking of “all my handknit socks,” Monika commented:
I can’t help but wondering, what are you doing with all the socks you knit? Are you wearing them once and throw them away so you can wear the next pair?

Ha, ha, very funny. I currently have 9 pairs of handknit socks. I have given away a bunch of socks that I made.

But ask me again in a year.

Lucy sez:


Please pity me, for as you can see, I lead a very tough life.

Sock Talk

Fleece Artist sock yarn, how I love thee.


In answer to comments questions, I purchased my Fleece Artist sock yarn from this online store: Simply Socks Yarn Company. And let me say right now, it is a very dangerous place to visit. So much sock yarn! Gasp! They’ve got a very nice selection of Fleece Artist sock yarns and they have the new Interlacements Tiny Toes.

Yeah, I bought some Tiny Toes, too.

But back to Fleece Artist. Knitting it, it reminds me of the Claudia Hand Painted sock yarn. I am knitting it on size 0 needles, as per usual.

By the way, the Sock Hop sock yarn I’ve got will need to be knitted on a larger needle than a zero — I tried a swatch on a 0 and it’s too dense. I’m thinking mebbe a 2.


As you can see, The sock is now past the mushroom cozy stage. But hey! What a great use for leftover bits of sock yarn: mushroom cozies. Or shitake slipcovers? Chanterelle chausettes?

Okay, I’ll stop now.

And the aran vest progressed as well, albeit slowly.

But there’s enough of it now to see the cable.


It’s creeping along, though — the row gauge is something like 10 rows to the inch. But it is highly satisfying knitting. Even if there is a whole heckuva lot of moss stitch through which I must slog. Moss stitch: hate to knit it, love to look at it!


Lucy is thrilled at the thought of moss stitch.


What I Did on the Fourth

For my family, the Fourth is a perfect excuse for a barbeque. So barbeque we did.

As usual, I took two or three photos before I got distracted, but the KOARC took a few more, and thoughtfully offered them up to me as blog fodder. So what follows is a photo essay courtesy of us both.

We went to my parents’ house.


The KOARC and my brother Dave bonded with beer and charcoal lighting.


I started a sock, and at one point left it on the kitchen table. When I returned to it, this is what I saw:


Yes, that would be a mushroom tucked inside the toe of the sock, courtesy of Dave. I considered casting off then and calling it a mushroom cozy.

My dad is going to visit relatives in Sweden later this month and wanted a photo of me with my book to take along. What could I do but comply?

I took this photo of my dad when he was preparing to take a photo of me:


And the KOARC took this of the both of us:


“Are we done yet?”


Then Dave wandered by to see what we were doing:


As you can clearly see, we know how to party.


Thank you for your very kind comments on my recently completed stuff! I started two new things yesterday. Please excuse the suckiness of the photos but hey! Guess what? It’s raining again and the light is not great.

The mushroom cozy sock pictured above is being knitted from Fleece Artist sock yarn, in the “seashore” colorway. Pretty colors!


And I started a cabled vest.


This is a design I’m creating, and I’m using Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply (in the “Skye” colorway) on 3.0mm and 3.25mm needles.

Lucy was very happy to have me return to work today after my four-day weekend. She said she hadn’t had a decent nap in days.


Red, White, and Blue


Well, whaddya know? I finished it.

Happy Independence Day.