My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Archives for May 2007

Sea Wool Socks

I did finish my Sea Wool socks last night and here they are:


As I mentioned previously, I used size 0 (2mm) dpns and Sea Wool in the “Marine” colorway, purchased from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe.

I used my new toe-up pattern that incorporates a gusset heel instead of my old standard short row heel.

Speaking of the pattern, I added a second toe technique to both the pattern for the sportweight sock and for the fingering weight sock. Why? Because I decided I’m not crazy about the toe I put on the pattern. But you could do any toe you like with these — the point of the pattern (at least for me) is the gusset heel. I uploaded new pdf files to my site — both patterns are linked to from my main knitting page. Here’s hoping I didn’t screw anything else up when I did that.

Speaking of Socks

Here is the start of my first Grasshopper sock.


Linda in Chicago commented:
I haven’t started the new Rockin’ Sock Club socks yet, but I’m curious about what size needle you’re using to get the 32 sts over 4″ gauge. It calls for US 2, but I usually use that size for STR medium weight and this new Silkies yarn seems a bit lighter weight.

I am using a US 1 and am getting gauge with those. The Silkie is just heavenly to knit! I love it. I am not so crazy, however, about working the pattern stitch, which involves a lot of purl 2 togethers. But I do like the results very much.

I discovered that this is not a great commuter project this morning on the train. I was executing a purl 2 together when the train lurched and caused me to not only drop the stitch but to yank on the yarn as well, unraveling it down 2 rows. I had to frog back to the toe and start over because it was a colossal mess. Not a great loss because I was only on the third or fourth row at the time. But I will need to be mighty careful while working on these given the lurchiness of the trains. As soon as I finish the miter sweater, this will become an at-home project. I can easily pick up a dropped stitch, even in a lace pattern, when my environment is not lurchy. I do not like the lurchy. With my years of experience riding on the train I have noticed that too much of the lurchy can also cause the barfy. But I digress.

Tomorrow I’ll start on the first sock from the new Loopy Ewe Sock Club. 🙂

Speaking of the Miter Sweater

Marjorie asked:
When you pick up the stitches at the edges of your mitered sweater, what sort of bind off do you plan? I’m working on a sweater with a similar feel (entrelac rather than miters), and I’m wondering whether I should use a “regular bindoff” on seed-stitch borders and collar or something with a little more stretch.

I’ve actually given this some thought. 🙂

When I did the neckband, I used a needle one size smaller than I am using for the body of the sweater. I picked up one stitch in each edge stitch, but I decreased as I knit the band and I bound off firmly. All this was in aid of having a nice neat, not-too-big neck.

For the bottom edge, I plan to once again knit up one stitch in each edge stitch, but this time using the same size needle as I’m using for the body. I’m not going to do a wide edging, just knit a row straight (no decreases) and then cast off normally.

Of course, if it looks lousy, I’ll regroup and figure out something else. 🙂

Rebuilding Greensburg – Block by Block

Check out Laura’s afghan project here. Laura lives in Kansas so the disaster that struck Greensburg last Friday hits close to home for her. She and her family have adopted a Greensburg family to help, and Laura wants to knit squares and make an afghan for them as part of her contribution. If we send her enough squares, she can make several afghans so more than one family can benefit. Please consider helping if you can!

Incidentally, do check out Laura’s May 9 entry too. It’s a fabulous tutorial on crocheting granny squares.

It’s Book Giveaway Time!

Yes, it’s another Inspector Banks mystery by Peter Robinson. This one is Final Account.Want it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday May 13, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient.

Lucy Sez



A Miter By Any Other Name . . .

. . . Would look just as square.

Yesterday I mentioned that by knitting the sleeves from the bottom up and sewing them onto the body of the sweater, rather than picking up stitches and knitting them down, I’d have all my squares facing in the same direction. Commenter Josie said:

Wendy, actually, the miters would be going in the same direction (e.g, lower right to upper left) no matter if you knitted the sleeves from cuff to shoulder or from shoulder to cuff.

Well, yeah, that’s true, but that’s not exactly what I meant. Look at this photo:


That’s the bottom of the back of the sweater, where I said that early on I accidentally picked it up up-side down and knit a row of squares in the opposite direction from the bottom edge. You can see that there is a difference in the orientation of the squares on the bottom row and the row on top of it.

I don’t think that the one strip of squares across the bottom of the back matters too much. But I don’t want the sleeves going in the opposite direction.

auntiemichal asked:
How much sock yarn is going to be left over from your miter sweater? Do you have any plans for it? How about “stashbuster spiral” socks?

I’m betting I’ll have at least half a skein of each of the colors (except for the one used for the edging) left over. I haven’t weighed the skeins, but I will do so after I finish so I can see how much is indeed left over.

I googled “stashbuster spiral socks” and found this. Yep, you could definitely use up the leftovers that way. But I’ve been thinking about mitered square socks. (So yes, Carol, there may be mitered socks in my future.) In The Natural Knitter, there is a pattern for mitered square socks that looks interesting. I know Heartland Knits has a couple of mitered sock patterns. Or I might figure out something on my own.

Just not right now.

So. Anyhow. I’ve got nothing terribly exciting to show you today. I’m still working on the second sleeve of the Miter Sweater.


I’m almost done with my second Sea Wool sock.


And last night, just for grins, I just barely started my first sock for the second installment of the Rockin’ Sock Club. I can post openly about this without any spoiler angst because I think everyone else in the club has not only gotten their packages but have started, and some have finished, their socks.

The yarn is a new Blue Moon sock yarn called Silkie — and they’ve got it available for sale on their website in several colorways. I might have ordered a couple skeins of it in other colors.


The pattern is called “Knee-High to a Grasshopper” — you can knit it as knee-highs if you purchase a second skein of the yarn — and it’s done toe-up. On two circular needles.

L-B and I both decided we’d give knitting on two circulars a try. I had tried it a whle back and did not like it, but thought I ought to give the technique a second chance. L-B started her socks a while back and it did not take her long to switch to dpns, declaring herself “L-B DPN-Hands.” (Like Edward Scissorhands — get it?)

I sat down with my 2 circulars last night and started a toe. And, um, it is not for me. I spent far more time moving the stitches along the circulars to get them in knitting position then actually knitting. Yeah, I switched back to dpns in record time.


As you can see from the photo, I did not really give 2 circulars much of a chance, did I? But the way I figure it, I am perfectly happy knitting socks on dpns. Your mileage may vary — if 2 circs works for you, great. But for me, no 2 circs, no magic loop. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

A Plea for Help!

From my buddy Tamara, who is on the hunt for a skein (even a partial would work) of Knit Picks Gloss in the colorway Dusk, Lot # 4547. She has a skein in a different dyelot (#16040), which she would be willing to trade for a skein in dyelot #4547. Or she’d be happy to pay for the skein, or send chocolate, etc.

Anyone have a skein in this elusive dyelot? Leave a comment and please make sure you have a valid email address attached to your comment in the “email address” field — it won’t display on the blog, but I’ll be able to see it and I’ll pass it on to Tamara. Thanks ever so!

And Now for Something Completely Different

A card I got from L-B.


For some reason it made her think of me. Hmmmm, I wonder why? 😉

Lucy Sez


“I don’t get it, Momma. But I don’t get socks, either.”

Now With Less Coughing

First off, remember a little while ago when Judy posted a comment about her dilemma — what to knit from the lovely Galina Khmeleva laceweight?

Well, she knitted a gorgeous Icarus shawl from it, and is auctioning the shawl on eBay. The proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Virginia Tech Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Want to bid on this beautiful shawl? The eBay auction is here. Go! bid!

I went back to work today. Thanks for all your good wishes for the state of my health. I think I am going to live. I kept debating over the weekend whether or not I needed to go see my doctor. Will it turn into pneumonia? Will I ever breathe normally again? But as of today, I am feeling much better. I’m not coughing nearly as much and I haven’t heard the odd little rustling sound emanating from my lungs since Monday morning. so it does seem as though the worst is over. (Knock on wood.)

Lucy is pleased that so many of you enjoyed her video. And after seeing it, you can probably guess why my fingernails are so long — Lucy steals all my emery boards so I can never file my nails. Heh.

Suzanne asked:
Is that a Minstrel in the background? I played with one of those at Maryland S&W. My first time with a wheel and it spun like a dream! What’s the other wheel? Do you have a preference?

There is a Kromski Minstrel and a Lendrum pictured in the video. The Minstrel was my first wheel, the one I taught myself to wheel-spin on (Two weeks after L-B taught me to spin on a drop-spindle).

The Lendrum is my favorite wheel. I can spin much, much better on it than any other wheel I have tried.

Not that I’ve done much in the way of spinning lately. I don’t think I’ve done any since the beginning of January.

Susannah B. asked:
Thank you for showing the sleeve in progress, but if I may ask, why are you knitting them separately and sewing them in? From your earlier posted diagram, I got the impression it was going to be done in one piece – any benefits to doing it this way? Does the seam add stability or stiffness?

Excellent question!

I did want the front and back in 2 pieces so I could join them at the shoulder with a 3-needle bind-off for a more stable seam. And I wanted to knit up from the bottom on all the peices so that all the miters are going in the same direction. If I had picked up stitches and knitted the sleeves down from the body, the miters would of course be going in the opposite direction.

Of course, I did screw up on the back and accidentally knitted a row of miters along the bottom edge because I wasn’t paying attention and picked the piece up upside-down early on in the knitting. It really isn’t terribly noticeable, and it’s at the bottom of the back, so I’m not overly concerned about it.

When I put the sweater together, I plan to do a simple edge around the bottom of the sweater and the edge of the sleeves — possibly just pick up stitches, knit one row, then bind off on the next row, using the same color as I used for the neckband. It briefly crossed my mind to crochet a simple edging, but given the depth of my loathing for crochet, I’ll likely stick to my plan of knitting it.


Am I now “over” miters?

I don’t think so. I keep thinking of other fun uses for mitered squares. As I think I mentioned before, I’ve got some gorgeous worsted weight handpainted silk that I think would make a great summer top. I need to dig it out of the stash room and have a look at it and see how much I actually have.

But when I complete this sweater, I might work on little things for a while. I’ve got a number of pairs of socks waiting to be knit up. In fact, I think I’ll do some sock knitting tonight.

Lucy plans on taking it easy.


The Latest Movie

This just in, from Cecil B. deKOARC, depicting Lucy at one of her favorite activities.

A couple of you mentioned in the comments not being able to visualize the sleeve for my miter sweater. Here it is, folded in half and placed next to the body of the sweater in the position it will be sewn.


The sleeve looks a tad odd now, but will look much better once it is sewn up.

Meantime, I am working on the second sleeve.


I’m starting to see mitered squares in my sleep, but the end is in sight — another week or so and the sweater will be done.

Lucy, in the meantime, works on achieving a perfect circle.


Just a Quickie

Cuz I’m still not feeling great.

But I’ve finished the first sleeve for the miter sweater.


And I started my second Marine sock.


Elise asked:
Does that heel feel any differently on your foot due to the location of that line down the back?

You can’t feel it. At least I can’t. It looks more obvious than it really is.

Dobarah asked:
Is there any chance you could take a 5th picture of what the underside of the heel looks like?

Here are a couple of shots.



A couple of you asked how I do my increases on the sock. I do a raised increase. There are instructions with pictures on this page — scroll down to the raised increase.

Book Giveaway

Rebecca M. was chosen by the random number generator to receive my copy of Wednesday’s Child. Rebecca, I’ve emailed you.

And here’s what happens when the KOARC gets his hands on my camera.