My current work in progress:

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


Archives for April 2007

Blog Rules: What To do When You’ve Got Nothing to Blog About

Remember the Peapod Sweater I made last autumn? Here it is, being worn by the recipient:


Isn’t she adorable?

(This would be Blog Rule number #47: When you don’t have much to say, open with a cute baby picture.)

Yes, I am still knitting mitered squares. Yes, I am still enjoying it. No, it does not make for terribly exciting bloggage.

But here is the front in its current state.


Nancy asked:
Are you worried about the sleeves blooming too much at the cuffs with the decreases (half squares) so close to the cuff and less distributed than in a standard sleeve?

Sleeves? I’m adopting a “just wait and see” attitude.

Monkia asked:
Isn’t this mitered knitted fabric going to be a little stiff for a sweater?

It is totally not stiff, in fact, it is very soft and drapey. Remember, this is sock yarn that I usually knit in stockinette on a size 0 needle. I’m knitting it in garter stitch (which I do looser than stockinette) on a size 2 needle.

Blog Rule #48

(Also know as the Imitate Ann Rule)

Show a piggie picture.


The large pig is about 2 inches long. If I’d had my wits about me, I would have included a coin for scale.

These piggies are toys from my childhood. In other words, antiques. They were made by Britains Ltd and acquired by moi when I was a child living in the U.K. I had lots and lots of them — both farm animals and wild animals.

(I googled Britains Ltd but did not find much, except for their old toy soldiers going for exhorbitant prices on eBay and suchlike. Are they still in business? Does anyone know?)

Blog Rule #49

Post a silly picture of yourself.


The KOARC and I are going to a Swedish picnic on Saturday. Johanne thoughtfully sent me some accessories to make the occasion more festive, so I thought I’d model one of the items she sent. Thanks, Johanne!

Blog Rule #50

End with an impossibly cute kitty pic.


Lucy sez:

“I know exactly how cute I am!”

The Miter Report

Mostly sunny, with a chance of miters.


I am at the point where I’ve started to think about the sleeves for this sweater thang I’m cooking up. I plan to start at the bottom of the sleeve and knit up to the top, because that’s the way the front and the back are constructed (well, apart from that little hiccup on the back where I accidentally picked the piece up up-side down and added a row of up-side down miters to it, but we won’t speak of that) and I want everything all matchy-matchy.

And I want to ensure that when I get to the top of the sleeve, the squares properly alternate green and brown where the sleeve attaches to the sweater.

So I made this highly technical drawing.


The shaded squares are the brown ones. I got bored with filling them all in, so just did them around the edges. simple, but effective.

Y’all Love Your Magnets, Doncha?

I got 662 emails from y’all, asking to be entered in the drawing for the Interweave word magnet set. Some of you were very wheedlesome in your emails, but hard-hearted bitch that I am, I was not swayed by your words. Rather, I let the random number generator choose the winner. The winner is:

Valarie K., whose birthday is today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy birthday, Valarie!

I wish I had a set for each of you! But thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to send me an email.

Happy Earth Day!

The KOARC and I celebrated in our usual mad fashion.


Lucy is more contemplative.


Breakfast of Champions

(Note: this entry was meant to be posted last night but due to internet issues, I was not able to post until this morning.)

My co-worker, Pat, showed me a new Diet Coke this morning.

So of course I had to go get one too.


Diet Coke Plus — with vitamins and minerals. Breakfast of champions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the Fridge

A number of you commented on the word magnets. Here are a few close-ups.





Yes, I am childish.

These word magnets were created by Interweave Knits, and before you ask, I have no idea how to get a set. A LYS owner gave me my set a few years ago.

But hang on a sec . . . I have a second, pristine set.


I don’t need two sets, so I’ll give this set away in a random drawing. We’ll do it instead of a book drawing this week (so as not to confuse me – I am easily confused).

Want a set of knitting word magnets? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 22, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient. As per usual, anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter the drawing.

Robin asked to see what’s inside my fridge. Okay, you’ll be sorry . . .


(Note the little sightseer at the bottom of the photo.)

And Anne Marie in Philly knows what I keep on top of my fridge. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This one’s for you, Anne Marie!


(ETA: If you look closely, you can see the bottle of “Hokie Red” wine there — there’s a VT on the label. So my fridge is properly dressed for Hokie Hope Day.)

I totally swiped the idea of showing the front of my fridge from Chris, btw. I’ve seen it in a couple of other places in the blogosphere, too. I love seeing what other people have on their fridges!

On to knitting talk . . .

Roseann commented:
I plan on using your Toe-Up Sock pattern for my Jitterbug sock yarn as I was startled at the low yardage. Because it is thicker than Koigu, will you still use size 0 needles? I’m thinking size 0 for the toes and heels and size 1 for the sock and I will give the 60 sts a try instead of my usual 64 sts.

I generally go down 1 or 2 needle sizes from the size recommended because I tend to knit more loosely than most, I think. A look at the Colinette website tells me that the recommended needle size is a US 3 (3.25mm) and the recommended gauge is abut 7 sts/inch. I’ll likely use a US 1 and either 56 or 60 stitches around rather than my usual 64 stitches.

A couple of you have mentioned in the comments the presence of knots in your Jitterbug. Doncha hate that? I will be splitting this yarn into 2 balls for knitting, so I’ll be extra vigilant for knots as I do.

What’s Hard?

Lisa C in TN commented:
Over on Mason-Dixon, Ann is talking about hard patterns and mentions “that Jade Starmore pattern called Katherine Howard, from the Starmores’ Tudor Roses.” I know you’ve mentioned in the past, the Wedding Ring Shawl from Heirloom Knitting. Which do you consider harder-insane color or insane lace? I personally lean towards the lace- more obvious mistakes and harder to correct.

I read Ann’s post yesterday and left the following comment (goaded by her stating in her blog post “I don’t even think Wendy has made one, and she’s a real sucker for punishment.”):

That’s one Starmore that has never, ever, called to me. Possibly because in that colorway I’d look totally putrid wearing it.

It’s funny — I’ve never considered that the hardest sweater in Tudor Roses. I’d give that honor to Margaret Stuart — the one that’s knitted in strips and sewn together and embellished with buttons. That just seems like WAY too much work to me.

Upon reflection, I sorta take it back. I don’t think Margaret Stuart is hard — I think it would be very time-consuming, what with all the sewing. I am inherently lazy, and I look at something like that and think — “Ew! Look at all the finishing work required. No thank-you.” (But I do like the sweater, very much. Maybe someday I’ll knit it.)

So. what is hard in knitting? There is certainly stuff I don’t enjoy doing — like intarsia. But I’ve done intarsia, and some fairly complex intarsia at that. Anyone remember a knitted vest with an intarsia playing card (if I recall, the Queen of Hearts) on it from (I think) Vogue Knitting back in the 1980s? I made that. I never wore it, but I made it. I also made the Princess Diana black sheep sweater back then. And I’ve made a couple of Kaffe Fassett sweaters and a coat.

But I’m over intarsia. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, Bohus knitting when you need to do three colors in one row with some right-side purl stitches on tiny needles — that’s tricky. Also, knitting lace in cobweb weight wool on size 0000 needles. Yup.

What do you think? What’s hard?

Lucy would like to note that while I did a blog entry with absolutely no photos of my current work in progress, there is no way she would allow me to not post a photo of her.


Tofutsie or Not Tofutsie?

That is the question.

If you read the comments to yesterday’s blog post, you’ll find a lot of pros and cons associated with the Tofutsies yarn. So it seems as though it’s pretty much a subjective thing as to whether you’ll like it or not.

About the Colinette Jitterbug — it is low yardage — approximately 297 yards per skein, but commenters say it’s heavier than, say, Koigu, and you can get a decent-sized pair from one skein. Still, I’ll be dividing my skein into two balls when I get around to knitting it. And of course knitting it toe up. But then I almost always knit my socks toe up.

Diamond Miters!

Commenter Leisel pointed me towards the Ample Knitters project for the Diamond Patch design from Jill Vosburg of Just One More Row. Wow! There’s a lot of inspiration there including a number of fabulous photos — thanks for pointing it out, Leisel.

My miters are coming along. Here is the progress photo of the front.


And I finished one Melon Ball sock.


Because I don’t have much to say, I’ll show you photos of all the crap on my fridge.


Scary, huh?

Lucy is mortified.


Still Mitering

Yes, I’m still mitering along.


Aussie Rosemary asked if I had considered an i-cord edging for the sweater.

I had, but I think I’ve decided against it. Because the body of the sweater is all garter stitch, I’d like the edging to have the same or similar texture. While this might not be an issue for a solid color sweater, I think there’s already enough going on with the 16 different colorways I’m using that a change in texture for the edging might be overkill.

Angeluna asked:
Did you consider doing your garter bands using one row at a time of all the colors you used?

It’s an interesting idea, but I think I’m going to stick with one color for the bands.

PlazaJen commented:
I’ve been watching the mitered sweater grow, and I’d be really interested to hear your opinion on the size of the squares, in relationship to the size of the person who’d be wearing it. I’ve often thought about making something similar – even took a class once wherein it made astonishing sense to design your own garment with the modular knits – but as a much-larger knitter, I have to think about not only the overall size & drape, but how the yarn will look assembled on a “larger canvas”, if you will. So do smaller blocks create a smaller pattern (that in turn flatter the wearer, in a smaller sort of way), or does it really matter? (Well, obviously it matters, because there’s such a thing as going too big and having a gigantic god’s eye greeting the world before you do…) I’d just be interested to know if you had developed some thoughts in the process of knitting this garment, that could help the ample-knitters approach a similar project. (Believe me, I haven’t even thought about pricing out a Koigu sweater for myself. I’m still in the gloriously naive place of concepting!!!!) TIA!

This is definitely food for thought.

I can’t say that I really thought about this much when I started the sweater. (Actually, that’s true of a lot of stuff in my life — act on instinct, think later. Sometimes that works really well. Sometimes, not so much.)

The way I started this sweater was to go into my sock yarn stash and pick out 16 different yarns, 8 in a predominantly brown colorway and 8 in a predominantly green colorway. Why brown and green? They are my two favorite colors, so I’ve got lots of yarns in those shades. Why 16? No particular reason — it just seemed like a good number to go with. I knitted a square starting with 25 stitches. Why 25? No particular reason. It just seemed like a good number to go with. Not too huge, not too small. While I like to knit socks on a 2mm needle, that seemed to small for this project — I wanted the fabric to be drapier. So I picked out a 3mm needle and started knitting. I liked the size of the square — 2.25 inches.

You could definitely make the squares larger or smaller — though I don’t think you’d want to go too far in either direction with the number of colors I’m using. As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve got some lovely handpainted silk that I’m picturing in my mind as a short-sleeved mitered sweater. Because it is all one colorway, and it’s a worsted weight yarn, I’m thinking I’ll make each square bigger. Perhaps I’ll stand them on end and make them diamonds. I haven’t thought it through yet.

And I’ve still got plenty of time to think about it!

Sock Yarns

Thanks for all your comments on favorite sock yarns. Most of the ones you mentioned I’ve heard of, but there were one or two I hadn’t, so I appreciate hearing about all of them.

Aussie Rosemary also asked if anyone’s used Colinette Jitterbug or SWTC Tofutsies.

While I’ve not used either, I have a skein of each. I’ve heard only good things about the Jitterbug, and I’ll knit it up eventually. Like I said — so many sock yarns, so little time!

The Tofutsies is another story. It looks sort . . . ugly . . . in the skein. I don’t know about it. I realize that I ought not to judge the yarn without knitting it, but truthfully I’m not terribly inspired to knit it up. Does anyone have any experience with it?

Lucy News


Leslie asked how much Lucy weighs. She is a petite girl for a Ragdoll — she weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces.

Several of you have asked about Lucy’s limp. She has pretty much stopped limping at this point. It’s barely discernible most of the time and when I came home from work today she trotted up to me with no limp at all. She does limp a bit when she first gets up from sleeping.

But then, so do I.