Thursday, December 6, 2007

Easy Dog Sweaters


This dog sweater pattern is so easy and fast I have made 3 sweaters since Saturday.

#1 knit on 15 addi turbo circular with Homespun for Sherman--followed pattern fairly closely and results were a sweater that was very short, even for my toy sized dog

#2 knit on 17 needles with fabulous, almost my new favorite Rowan big knit in color=storm (black and white, what else) pattern adapted in the following ways:
many more rows added after initial row of ribbing
decreased using k2 together instead of PSSO (which I suck at)
added many rows after the leg holes
results=fabulous sweater that looks good on Monkey (see above) but could be longer.

#3 knit on 15 needles with some Lion Brand chunky acrylic--similar adaptations in pattern with the addition of a neck ruffle
results=ok looking sweater that is a little tight and a little short for Sissy

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I spend more time buying yarn than knitting

Well, I was HONESTLY looking for a new dog sweater book to ask for as a Christmas gift...one of my friends is temping at Waldenbooks and gets a 30% discount....and I discovered that there are tons of adorable, free dog sweater patterns online. This was not necessarily a good thing. The one I found that I am going to make first requires Rowan's Big Wool: $15/skein retail. Well, there's always Ebay. $7 a skein seems like a deal until you buy 3 skeins plus shipping = $31.

The dog better look good in the sweater.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It always comes back to pet sweaters

Well, I was browsing through Knitty trying to find a scarf pattern for the super fabulous alpaca birthday yarn, and I just happened to see a dog sweater. I have volunteered to make at least one sweater for a co-worker's dog (an adorable rescue named Monkey), but I had NO IDEA that custom sweaters could be so lucrative. Check out Lucky Penny: http://www.luckypennyhandmade.com/purchase.html . I really need to open an Etsy shop or something. I mean, how many outfits can one adorable Boston Terrier have?????

Thursday, October 25, 2007

All I do is buy stuff, never finish

Last month, I bought 5 new knitting books. I also spent money on stockpiling the stash while Hobby Lobby had some good sales. I learned last year that they don't put the yarn on sale during the winter when you would actually use it. All I have made so far is one headband--but it really looked fabulous.

My plan earlier this summer was to make knitted Christmas gifts for my student employees. Since the number has expanded to 45 (and the number of finished projects=0), I have to move on to other ideas.

However, it's almost cold enough for the dogs to wear outfits again! Sissy has an adorable Halloween t-shirt, and I have approximately 7 (knit, not sewn or felted) other projects ready to go.

On another note, I just discovered JoJoLand yarns.
I am a HUGE fan of varigated yarns--less boring on repetitive patterns and they hide mistakes. I will be placing an order soon.......against my better judgement.Link

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Blaze, the Orange Teddy Bear

Pattern: Baby Bobbi Bear
Yarn: Frog Tree Alpaca - Sportweight #20 and #45
Needles: US size 9, dpn
Began: August 11, 2007
Finished: October 5, 2007

Here he is in all his orange-y glory! Guess who picked out the yarn!?! I was on vacation and had heard about this great yarn shop in Charleston called "Knit." So, I decided that was going to be on my list of places to visit. I had TL and MM with me, of course, so when I saw the cute little pattern, I asked TL if he'd like a new teddy, and then asked him to pick out one of the three colors on the pattern photo. He went straight to the dark orange with forest green eyes. As I tried to protest, MM said, "It's going to be his bear, let him get what he wants." The rest is history. I have decided (and started to knit 10 minutes after Blaze had his face) to knit him a little sweater, in hopes it will tone down the brightness.

Sherbet Socks, finally an update

I have never gotten around to taking and/or posting a photo of the socks I finished in July. I can't believe it's October! Ah well, better late than never, right?


Pattern: Mrs. Hunter's Socks from "Steppin' Out" by Rowan
Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta Fair Isle Effect, #6670
Needles: US size 2 (2.75 mm)
Began: June 18, 2007;
Finished: July 30, 2007 (While on vacation)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It is time to get serious

I SWORE that this year I would make some Christmas presents. In fact, I even told a couple people I would make them scarves (not TOO hard...) in order to force myself. However, other than asking for the color of people's winter coats--I have done NOTHING. I started working with the baby alpaca yarn, and have ripped it out about 4 times. And that was for me anyway!

John has been waiting for a hat for 3 years. Knitpicks.com now has free magic loop instructions online. I am going to try the technique AGAIN. If it fails, I will have to break down and learn to use the double points.

It might be time for me to go back to dog apparel. It's almost the season where they can wear stuff.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sweater on Hold

WK asked me about the sweater I'm not knitting (due to the tardiness of the yarn), so I'm going to give what details I can. It is from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2007, but for some reason the Vogue Knitting site is down, so I can't even try to link to the errata. Well, I'll put in the link, and perhaps someday it will work, how's that? Anyhow, I was/am planning on using RYC Cashsoft Aran, by Rowan, which is not what the pattern calls for, but I'm fine with that. I ordered the yarn in June, on the same day (or at least in the same week) I finished TL's sweater. I planned on knitting it all up in August, and have it ready to wear by now. Arrgghh.


So, I decided to use the Cashsoft Aran, which is a blend of
Wool, Cashmere, and Microfiber. It is lovely and soft. I'm going to make the sweater in black, and leave it in my office for two reasons: 1) it is sometimes freezing inside, 2) I don't always remember to dress like a grown-up on days that I have to have meetings with "upstairs people." this will do nicely in both situations.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Checking In

Hey there! I just wanted to let you all know that I have not forgotten my recent promise to copy WK and get back into blogging my knitting. I did knit this summer, but have not taken the time to prove it to anyone. I got bogged down in being too hot (long string of 100+ days here in Aug.) followed by back-to-school for TL.

TL has started to get back into the swing of school, I think. I hope. This will mean extra time in my evening for fun, which as recently been given up to nagging him to get his school work and piano practicing finished before bed time. Yuck!! He and I (MM having worked all weekend, again), toiled away at a 3-D map project ALL weekend. Thankfully, it is finished, he did a great deal of the work himself (I had to deny him the pleasures of the Exacto Knife), and is extremely pleased with himself. I am exhausted, but we since it's due on Friday, we decided it would be best to have it finished off on the weekend.

So, that's my current string of excuses for not taking photos of my own stash and projects. In my defense, I am Still Waiting for the yarn I ordered for a cardigan project that I had slated to finish over the summer. It "really should be in soon." I hope I get it before Christmas shopping season ...

Meanwhile, I will make efforts tonight to at least closely read the recent spate of blog postings and to make responses. If TL has his homework done when I pick him up ... finger crossed.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I still don't know

Look at my results. Doesn't this prove I had to go into Library Science for lack of specific focus?
Your in-depth results are:
Hufflepuff - 13
Ravenclaw - 11
Slytherin - 11
Gryffindor - 10

And another test calls me a Ravenclaw:
You are a RAVENCLAW!As a Ravenclaw and as an NFP, you value imagination, ideas and intelligence. You are probably somewhat of an individualist and avoid conforming just for its own sake. You are insightful and perceptive, and since you are empathetic and value harmony, you usually try to avoid conflict. Of course, you may enjoy participating in heated debates, but only as long as they remain on an intellectual level and not a personal level. In general, you are open-minded and curious, and set high standards for yourself.

I HATE Elmo

Obviously, I have no idea who I am.

Your Score: Elmo
You scored 43% Organization, 66% abstract, and 52% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.
First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes,
and I am NOT a messy person? Who designed this quiz????
while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.
I like logic but NOT math.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.
You are mostly organized, more abstract, and both introverted and extroverted.
Most people either love or hate Elmo. I hope you love Elmo, because that's who you are.
NO!
You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean.LIES You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Elmo has the same basic approach. His place is pretty tidy, but he doesn't spend all of his time cleaning it up.
Why spend any time when there are so many people willing to work for $7/hour cash?
You are both abstract thinkers. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by. Elmo's whole life is based on fantasy and his imagination. In the beginning he was a regular character, but now he spends most of his time in this fantasy world. You are both somewhat extroverts. Like Elmo, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations (if they are people that I know). Elmo spends some of his time with real friends, but he also needs some time just to chat it up with his goldfish.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Big Bird and Ravenclaw

Your Score: Big Bird
You scored 81% Organization, 70% abstract, and 57% extroverted!

You are very organized, more abstract, and both introverted and extroverted.


Here is why are you Big Bird.

You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.

You both are abstract thinkers. Big Bird is a dreamer who always wonders what the world is like. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by.

You are both somewhat extroverted. Like Big Bird, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations. Big Bird is always very comfortable around others, but he often prefers the quiet low-key presence that Snuffleupagus provides.

And for the Hogwart's House Sorting Quiz:




Sunday, July 22, 2007

Smartflix

I still don't know how to use circular needles or the magic loop technique. I am ordering some books from Knitpicks to help me along. I also found out about a place where you can borrow DVDs on things like knitting, metalworking, etc. = Smartflix. I'm going to try it once I return my Netflix stuff I've had for like 8 months.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Get rid of the stash? No Way

Ok, I have to admit that I didn't think Des Moines would have any great knitting shops. However--I was wrong. Creative Corner in Valley Junction has stuff I've never seen before. Even better=good prices. I purchased 5 different skeins there (for, you know=dog & cat projects).

My favorite has to be Araucanias Nature Wool Chunky. I bought color 108, an orange to make ST a felted sweater. It worked up beautifully, and I hope it felts nicely too. $8.95 for 100 gram ball, and it looks just like Manos but at nearly half the price. Next on my list to try from them is alpaca.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sherbet Socks

Pattern: Mrs. Hunter's Socks from "Steppin' Out" by Rowan
Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta Fair Isle Effect, #6670
Needles: US size 2 (2.75 mm)
Began: June 18, 2007;
Finished: July 30, 2007 (While on vacation)

I bought this yarn at a really nice knitting store in Atlanta, Ga. in February. The store's name is Why Not Knit and it's on 314 Buckhead Ave. When I found the pattern in the leaflet by Rowan, I decided to try knitting a lacy sock with patterned yarn. So far I like it, and it the colors remind me of sherbet! Yum.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby Girl Hat

Last weekend, I finished off another baby hat for (yet) another friend who's baby recently made her debut. I believe that I don't know anyone else who is currently expecting a baby, so this may be the last baby project post from me for a while.

I got the pattern at my LYS in a little kit, but the instructions don't say who designed it or anything, so I can't give her/him due credit for this easy, stylish little hat. The directions do give sizes up to Adult, so let me know if you want one!

Here is the girly version of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby Hat.
Pattern: Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby Hat
Yarn: Tweedy Cotton Classic 100% mercerized cotton #477
Plus some coordinating eyelash yarn that wasn't marked
Needles:
US size 6, 16" circular
Began: June 16, 2007
Finished: June 17, 2007


Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Raglan, Final Update

Pattern: My First Raglan, Lisa Knits #SW-024
Yarn: Filtes King Australian Merino (product of Italy) 100% Merino Virgin Wool
It's supposed to be shrink resistant according to the label. Color #1021
Needles: US size 5 for ribbing, US 6 for the rest.
Began: May 3, 2007 at around 8 pm
Finished: June 12, 2007

Well, it took 6 weeks to knit the sweater, but it is now finished! I had a great time taking the knitting class, and I learned a lot. I think that there are some areas of the sweater that could be better, but that's normal. I was very, very nervous about knitting the v-neck at the same time as knitting the raglan shaping for the sleeves, but it turned out well. My sweater teacher did say that the v-neck seemed shallow, but we couldn't figure out why, since I did it exactly according to the instructions.

The other part that had me worried was picking up the stitches around the neckline to finish it. This is one area that I think could have turned out better, but I think it means I need to practice. I did bind off too tightly the first time. It fit over TL's head, but just barely, so I un-bound off and redid it with a larger needle size (7 instead of 6). I think it was too tight because my tension got tighter due to my fear of this part. Now the neckline is nice and stretchy and fits over TL's head just fine. I think it is about 1 1/2 to 2 sized too big for TL right now, which is just what I wanted it to be, since it is in the 90s right now and he's unlikely to want to wear it very soon. He likes the sweater (he said so) but was reluctant to even try it on in the heat. The part where we have air conditioning in the house, so it's not hot in here, notwithstanding.

In an early post about this sweater, I said I wasn't sure if I'd ever knit another one. I guess it's still debatable, but I did buy the yarn to knit myself a cardigan, so here's hoping that I knit at least two!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knit the Classics

I know this is something most people would love.....it's a sort of cross between knitting and a book club. Since I'm a pop culture junkie, I can't imagine reading the stuff they are talking about, but....I know at least one former English major who could.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

First Raglan Update

My goodness but it's been a while since I've had time to add updates to the blog! I have been learning a lot in class and have made great progress on the sweater I'm knitting. I have the whole back done, as well as both sleeves. I am just about to start the decreases for the v-neck and the sleeve inset area. Here's a photo I took just a few minutes ago, after I'd set the pieces out to be blocked, but before the wet towel came out of the washer...
Pattern: My First Raglan, Lisa Knits #SW-024
Yarn: Filtes King Australian Merino (product of Italy) 100% Merino Virgin Wool
It's supposed to be shrink resistant according to the label. Color #1021
Needles: US size 5 for ribbing, US 6 for the rest.
Began: May 3, 2007 at around 8 pm
Finished: TBD


The mat that I've pinned the sweater parts to has been covered in clear shelf liner so that the ink from the cardboard mat will not run all over my wet knits. I like using this mat because it has the grid, which is marked in 1-inch increments, so it's easy to make the pieces measure what they should. I put it on a bed, so the pins go right through and hold everything in place.

It doesn't really seem like it's been over a month since I started this project, but then again, a lot of stuff have happened. Including that my friend had her baby (2 weeks early) and I rushed off finishing BBBB#3, and gave it to her, once again forgetting to take a photo of the finished blanket. Oh well, I'm pretty sure she'll let me take one sometime.

Hot Dog


Everyone should take care of their eyes, especially if one plans on hanging ones head out the car window with a lolling tongue.

A little bird told me the other day that this hot dog needs a bun-shaped sweater. Way too funny at the time!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Great yarn sale

I found a fabulous book at the library called Knitting in No Time by Melody Griffiths. Most of the patterns look easy to follow, and are for practical things like bags, shawls, ponchos. There are also some creative uses of knitting with -ahemmm-- jute for a market string bag and ripped up fabrics. I got a lot of ideas, and realized that I would have to buy some more yarn before starting any projects.

Most of my stash consists of single skeins that I purchases for dog sweater/accessory projects. Well, I found out about a site called Little Knits that seems to be having a fantastic sale on Noro, etc. Payday is coming up and I am going for it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sock news

Well, TL wore his Breathe, Relax socks for all three days of his End-of-Grade (EOG) testing. They held up well, even with being washed 3 days in a row. I'll have to closely examine the toes because he wore them with sandals yesterday. Apparently the socks are "hot and sweaty" on the playground in sneakers. I won't be surprised to find holes in the toes, the playground is mostly hard-packed dirt and he goes full tilt during recess.

He did say that he felt very good about the tests and that the socks did help him remember not to get stressed. Mission Accomplished!

I know Sari thinks I should make a bunch and sell them, but I don't think I have the energy right now. Plus, it would mean really doing the same thing twice, and I doubt I have it in me. Maybe in a different set of yarns would be OK to do.

Gifts for the Graduate


My standard gift for high school graduates is a set of towels. This year Lisa suggested I add a shower puff, and I thought--I could make something. The With One Skein book has an entire bath set, but it is so boring looking...


Second best advice before going to college from my mom: "You have to have a couple of nice sets of towels. You don't want to be embarrassed in the shower room." (She went to an expensive, Catholic women's college and I went to a cheap-ass in-state school known as #2 party school in US) but she was right!


Best advice from mom: "Don't join a sorority."


I need to give a present to a childhood friend's daughter who is going to Arizona State. If she is anything like her mom, she will spend time partying. Knitty came through with the perfect gift (besides the towels)--washcloths that say party or study....she won't get 7 but 2 will give her the idea.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Help with Circular Knitting on DPNs

Well, Sari, I had some time this afternoon (which I took off to clean the house, but I got bored) and so I looked for some free online videos to help you out with the knitting on double pointed needles (dpns).

I am including links to 3 sites I think you'll find helpful.
Knitting Help.com has several how-to videos on their site, but in Advance techniques, there is a section called "Small Diameter Circular Knitting" which includes help on knitting on dpns. I think the video looks pretty good, but it's the only one I looked at on the site.

Knitter's Review offers
Knitting Tips: Getting Started with DPNs in Four Easy Steps which is not a video, but a step by step description of what to do. It is pretty clear, and I think it could be helpful.

Another step-by-step description of how to use dpns is on Stitch Diva Studio's
Knit Tutorial - Double Pointed Needles. This tutorial includes photos.

One thing I learned from scanning several sites for easier-to-follow instructions is that some knitter recommend rotating the stitches around so that the same column of stitches is not always at the beginning of a needle. This is supposed to make your knitting have a more even gauge, decreasing the possibility of "laddering" between needles. I've never done that, but I don't think you can tell from looking at any of the socks I've made where the needle changes are. I can't tell on WK's either; Do you rotate your knitting, WK?

I think that the simple answer to what you're doing is that you're forgetting to use the newly emptied needle as the working needle, and are continuing to use the original needle after knitting the stitches on the original needle. Does that make sense? I know I had to read several descriptions of how to do this style of knitting, as well as look at that free online helpful videos. To find these things to pass along to you, I Googled this: "double pointed needle video" and this "double pointed needle help." As is usual with Google, some things just weren't helpful.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blogger needs help

Ok, for some reason I can't figure out how to delete my last stupid post. I don't know how it got entered twice anyway.

I figured out what was wrong with mobile uploads--Blogger doesn't support uploads from US Celluar.
This means it will be awhile before I upload any pictures because.......
1. Must take picture with digital camera #3 (mine) instead of megapixel phone camera.
2. Must pull memory card from camera and load pictures on to our server OR attach stupid cord to laptop to retrieve pictures from camera.
3. Must save picture in a place I can find it again.
4. Must load to Blogger.

Or,
1. Take picture with camera phone.
2. Upload picture to Flickr.
3. Edit Flickr picture, rights, etc.
4. Duplicate picture on blog.

Hmm, maybe that's why all my new pictures are on Facebook? I snap, click and it's there. Gee technology makes everything better, right?

I ordered a bonanza of lace knitting stuff from Knitpicks this morning. Baby Alpaca is $5 a hank versus $30 at the local store. I also ordered some nice bulky wool for--you guessed it--dog sweaters! I want to make a cute little hoodie in black & gold before fall.

I am also desperate for some help with double point needles. So far I think they are evil. No matter what I do all the yarn ends up on one needle. Magic loop seemed promising, but I think that between knitting "English" style AND my general lack of coordination it just might be too much. Socks may never happen either. I WANT to learn this technique so I can make some felted small bowls for my spanking new office. I think everyone needs a felted bowl for paperclips--right? When I get out the double points I am reminded of my sewing machine lessons. I cheated my way through a mandatory 6 week home ec class in junior high, and both my grandmothers and 2 aunts tried to teach me to use a sewing machine. All of them gave up. It requires some sort of coordination and use of mechanical skills that I just don't have the right combination of....and I can't blame my math disability I'm afraid.

I need help

Ok, I became lost in the maze of blogger help. I know there should be a way to upload pictures from my mobile phone automatically, but I can't figure it out. Am I stupid? Or is the help just bad? It is so easy to do with Flickr and Facebook. GOOGLE get with the program.
Jay-do you know how?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Update on Weekend Activities

It's all WK's fault!!

I caved in and bought a little needle felting kit over the weekend. I decided that picking up a kit would be the easiest way to learn quickly and decide if I want to do any more. Our local Hancock Fabrics is going out of business, so when I had to pick up some notions for a baby gift I'm sewing (not knitting) I stopped in to see what they had left. VERY dangerous. I noticed the purse kit and remembered WK's post on the craft and now I have another craft to try out.

Related to this is the very nice yarn TL noticed a nice wool boucle yarn by Lion Brand (#
930-206). I thought it was nice, but wasn't going to get any, even though it's 60% off, since I didn't have a project. Then I noticed the name of the color and bought all 5 of the balls they had left. I'll think of something! I did also get TL a set of kids knitting needles and a nice ball of grey wool. He said he knew I was obligated to teach him to knit, and he was now willing to learn.

I worked on the sweater and have almost the whole back done, it only needs about 10 more rows. I also started the sleeves during knitting class so I could learn the right way to Make One. I also spent a lot of time working on BBBB#3, and it looks like I just might get it done before Sunday (baby shower day). That is, if I don't "waste" all of my time cleaning and making food for the party. It is now about 2/3 done, so it's possible.

I also planted some nice flowers in the large pots for my deck. I was going to move mulch, but it rained too much.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Copying WK - 34

WK has posted about her LibraryThing page, so I decided to blatantly copy her. I started my page on March 1, 2007 (no, I don't just remember, it tells me when I'm logged in), but I haven't gotten nearly as far as she has in getting all of my craft and/or textile related books on there. My LibraryThing only has 34 books in it, but I know that I have more. In fact, if I glance to the right, they are sitting on a shelf, staring at me. I must not have knit enough today, I'm starting to get stressed about not getting them all added yet. It's a hobby, I can do it as time allows ... must keep remembering that.

BBBB #3 -- continued

I'm about an inch past the 1/2-way point in the pattern and about 1/2-way through the 4th of 7 balls of yarn which I purchased for this project. If my math is right, this means I'm right on track to have enough yarn to finish the blanket! You can double-check me if you like: I bought 7 balls and I have 3 1/2 left and I'm slightly more than 1/2-way done. Sounds good to me!

I wanted to take another photo so show my progress, but the pattern change just doesn't show up well yet. I think it will by the time I'm done with this ball of yarn. I added the latest ball sometime on Friday while Hazel was resting and worked on it during rest periods from house cleaning. The i-L(s) moved here over the weekend. This might not normally cause frantic housecleaning, but they decided to stop by our house for dinner on the way to their new one, bringing some of their oldest friends with them. At least I found out before Sunday morning. To be honest, I didn't do all that much frantic housecleaning, although I should have. With TL ill and not feeling well myself, I put HUGE blinders on and so avoided seeing too much of the dust and grime.

OK, the point was that I am making some progress on two projects. Sorry for the mini-rant.

My First Sweater


So, I'm now working on my first sweater in my first knitting class. The name of the pattern? "My First Raglan" by Lisa Knits (SW-024) I can't stand the coincidence in all these firsts. I'm hoping that none if it is a hint toward the future where these are all also "Lasts!" To be honest, the pattern I'm using is only based on the Lisa Knits one, as my teacher and I decided not to do the increases after the ribbing, eliminating the "puffy" look at the waist. I hope that the waist looks more like the adult version in the photo from the pattern on Lisa Knits website.

The sweater is for TL, but I'm attempting to make it large enough for him to wear next cool season, but not so big as it will overwhelm him even then. He loves the color!



Pattern: My First Raglan, Lisa Knits #SW-024
Yarn: Filtes King Australian Merino (product of Italy) 100% Merino Virgin Wool
It's supposed to be shrink resistant according to the label. Color #1021
Needles: US size 5 for ribbing, US 6 for the rest.
Began: May 3, 2007 at around 8 pm
(please note the Finished time in my last post)

Finished: TBD

Alterations: My teacher says I'm a "tight" knitter, so we went up a needle size to get the right gauge in the body of the sweater. We also went with TL's measurements (taken from an appropriate shirt). My teacher plugged everything into Sweater Wizard and printed out customized patterns for each of us in class. This way we don't have to negotiate the different size options in the original pattern. She also figured out the CO based on the yarn I chose, so I'm fairly certain that that is also a change. Since I don't actually have the original, I can't be certain, however.

Between Thursday and Friday, I knitted the first 50g (153 yd) ball and I have about 9 inches of the back done. The back is 17 inches wide. When the back is 14 inches long, I start the decreases to make a place to attach the sleeves.

I have decided at that point that I had to knit another ball onto a different project.


Breathe and Relax --Done!

Pattern: Relax and Breathe from Knit Socks! by Betsy McCarthy
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore D.K. in 4 colors (217-black, 1383-orange, 3335-green, 517-blue)
75% Acrylic, 25% wool

Needles: US size 2 (2.75 mm)
Began: April 20, 2007;
Finished: May 3, 2007 at around 6 pm


Woo
Hoo! I am finished with the Breathe, Relax socks and they have been happily tried on, modeled, and approved of by TL. He didn't want to try them on until I got the ends worked in, but I guess that's alright. As you can probably tell, his actual feet fit into the actual socks (whew!) and he seems to enjoy them.

If you look closely, you can see that the heels and the turning of the heels are two different colors. Getting tired one evening, I did try to convince TL that both of these areas could be either the same color as the body of the sock (highest hope) or at least be the same color as one another. But there was no negotiating, I should have known not to show him the photo in the book. Lesson learned! You can probably also make out most of the words, I didn't want to post more than two photos of the same socks, just to prove that I spelled both words correctly on each sock. You'll have to trust me.

The banding was kind of fun to do, but I was worried that I would increase the tension too much and make it pucker, but that didn't happen. I did knit Continental style and English style at the same time on those areas in order to even out the tension when changing color, and to be more efficient. I did end up regularly making the stitches face the wrong way from the yarn in the left hand, but it got a lot better with practice and not knitting late at night. I simply turned those stitches the right way as I went along the next row, so it wasn't disastrous.

Cables, weekend

Well, not the kind you're expecting. I have forgotten where I put the cables to connect my phone to the computer. This means that the great shots of the Breathe, Relax socks being modeled are stuck in there until I can get my brain to work. Hopefully, I'll remember today and post the photos tonight.

I did not contribute to the blog over the weekend because TL was sick with two things at once (pink eye and upper respiratory infection), and so my energy was elsewhere. I'll write up some notes on the TL sweater and post it later today. I did have to make a run to the bookstore because TL finished the novel he was reading and was desperate for the next book in the series. While there something WK mentioned forced me to look at the magazines, a section I studiously avoid in bookstores in order to protect my wallet. So, for the first time ever, ta da, I flipped through and purchased a knitting magazine! I actually got two. I picked up Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. I think I may ask my knitting teacher if she thinks I can handle one of the cardigan projects for myself, and the other has entrelac instructions and directions for entrelac socks. Who could resist? Also, there are some cute baby projects in there.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Breathe and Relax??

I stayed up to midnight last night and finished the knitting on the Breathe, Relax socks for TL. I still need to sew in the ends and have him try them on, but I think I can guarantee that I'll have them ready for him to wear at the end of grade tests that start on the 21st of this month. Do you know the little rotter had the nerve to ask me if I thought they'd be done in time on Tuesday?

The reason I stayed up getting them done was not pressure from TL, however. I had to get them to at least their current state before I could let myself cast on the sweater I'm making. Since class is in the morning (yikes!) and I'm supposed to at least get a couple of inches knit before then, I was pushing myself. It seems as though I may be staying up late tonight and getting up early even though I don't need to be anywhere until class starts at 9:30.

I'll take a photo of the socks on a willing model tonight and try to post about them tomorrow after class. I suppose I should have time to breathe and relax sometime after the baby blanket is finished. I'm 1/2 -way there and it's deadline isn't until May 20!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I need to learn to make socks

I need to learn to make socks. I don't even really like to wear them, but when there are cool free patterns like this queen of cups one I need to learn--soon.

Harry Potter Knitting

I am starting to LOVE Facebook. I know I will love it more when I have more time to edit it. I found out about Harry Potter knitting today. I'm not sure if I will do it or not, but I do know a few rabid HP fans.

Yarn for Baby Projects

Quite a while ago, WK asked me to post something on what types of yarn are good/recommended/better for projects for babies. I imagine that since I keep talking about the baby projects I've been working on this winter and spring, I may have given the impression that I know something about this. I didn't, I had a vague idea; now I've done some research and verified what my impression was. Whew, I was on the right track.

So I checked around the web, Googling various terms that seemed likely. Most of the results I found were for sales sites that have what is commonly called baby yarns in their inventory. That's fine, but not what I wanted. On Yahoo Answers, someone asked "Is Baby Yarn Really Necessary?" and received some interesting answers, not all of which I particularly agree with. However, most of the answers were fairly common-sense issues that are in the main repeated below.

I did find an excellent discussion in one of Knitty's featured articles, Babes in the Wools: Practical Tips on Knitting for Babies by Melissa Walters. Winter issue 03. She describes for the knitting non-parent what to think about when choosing yarns and accessories for a baby project, which happen to coincide with what I've been doing. Her main points of consideration that I find important include:

  • Washability - Babies can be messy (top and bottom) use yarns that are easy for parents to clean. These include many man-made fibers and blends, but also include some very nice washable wools.
    • I would add that the knitter also be concerned that the item is not easily felted. At some point, someone other than Mom or Dad will throw your gift into the washer and dryer.
  • Safety - Consider the pattern of the garment and little fingers and toes, will they snag? You may want to avoid the laciest of patterns so that little fingers and toes don't get caught in the pattern.
    • Using buttons? make sure to attach them securely. MW gives excellent advice and instructions on attaching buttons for baby items in this article. Remember, after 4 months or so, the infant will be putting things in their mouth and yanking on loose bits like buttons.
  • Sizing - Babies grow fast, plan ahead and try for easy on and off.
    • If you are not sure if the garment you are considering will be easy for a new parent to negotiate with a wriggly little one, seriously consider making a blanket or hat. Alternatively, you could discuss your concerns with someone who is more recently (or just more) experienced in wriggly babies.
    • It's easy to pick out some cute sweater or outfit and then get bogged down in life until after the baby has out-grown the size you started. There's no good way to avoid this unless you have some way of avoiding the everyday complications of life. Or start the moment you hear there's a baby on the way and hope you've given yourself enough time.
    • The baby could show up early! I have been trying to get my baby gifts done in time to give them as shower presents, but even this is not always enough. I learned how to make a baby hat in about 4 hours, which means I should be able to whip one up quickly if I have to, and then go back to the planned-on baby item. Bibs work well for this last-minute need, too.
Her other main points are:
  • Color Selection
    • I know you both already know this, but I'm saying it anyhow. There are more than two colors for babies. Pink and/or Blue are only options. I like to try to find out what the nursery is going to look like and coordinate with that, but sometimes I just pick out cool yarn and hope the new parents like it.
  • Alternatives to Sweaters
  • Knitting for a Baby Who has Parents that Knit

I would add to MWs list:

  • Might the baby have allergies?
    • One of the respondents (crochetwithdee) to the question on Yahoo Answer brought up the very good point that babies have very sensitive skin and may have allergies to wool. Some organizations that accept donations of handmade baby articles only accept things made in acrylic or cotton.
    • You will probably want to make sure that the parents aren't allergic or have sensitivity to whatever you are knitting with, too.
  • Comfort and softness for baby and parents.
    • Everyone likes to feel soft, cozy things around them, right?
  • Weight of garment, babies feel hot, too.
    • If you are knitting a sweater for a newborn who is expected in July or August, make sure it can be worn in the cooler months or is light weight.
Make sure to give the label from the yarn (with care instructions) with your gift. This might be good advice for any handmade gift, not just baby knits.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Knitting in Las Vegas, Socks, and BBBB#3

So, I have been in Las Vegas for 3 days, but haven't had the chance to find a knitting store. There are plenty according to a quick Google search I did, so there are some, but since we haven't left "the strip," I'm thinking I won't see one just wandering down the street. I'll keep my eye out, though. An interesting thing I learned here, the slot machines don't have slots for coins. I suppose that proves I don't ever gamble, and "they" probably removed the slots from the nickel and quarter slot machines ages ago, who knew?



Pattern: Relax and Breathe from Knit Socks! by Betsy McCarthy
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore D.K. in 4 colors (217-black, 1383-orange, 3335-green, 517-blue) 75% Acrylic, 25% wool
Needles: US size 2 (2.75 mm)
Began: April 20, 2007; Finished: TBD

Before I left home, I started in on a pair of socks for Tortuga Lad to wear on days when he has tests. He might not wear them then, but that's my incentive. I got the pattern from Knit Socks! by Betsy McCarthy. I changed some of the colors that the pattern calls for, but I'm basically following the pattern for the smallest size. This is the first time I've done any kind of Fair Isle style knitting, and it's been a challenge to use two yarns at once, but I'm getting better at holding one color yarn in each hand to improve tension. It's working pretty well, as long as I can remember which hand throws the yarn clockwise and which counter clockwise. I'm almost up to normal speed, though! I took these photos before I start in with a third color, but the socks are starting to look striped as you can barely make out in this photo:


I think that it will be even more challenging as I start to include the pattern for the words in the sock. I mapped it out on graph paper, one sock will say "Breathe, Relax" and the other will say "Relax, Breathe." I may have to make another pair with less acrylic in them. As you both know, acrylic and other man-made fibers are difficult for me to handle very much. I am making a big sacrifice here to get TL the socks he wants! He is very excited that I'm making him something again, though. I haven't knitted for him in about a year.

BBBB#3 Update Number 3
I've been working at BBBB#3 for a while now and have taken another photo of it while here in LV. The blanket measures about 28" by about 12", so I'm nearly 1/2 way there. At the 1/2 way point, I'll switch to doing each row in knit and then purl stitches to the other way around, purl then knit. You can see what I mean in the photo, I think.

Pattern: Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'N Bitch
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Baby Pom Pom (41% cotton, 49% acrylic, 10% Polymid)
Needles: US size 5
Alterations: I cast on 164 stitches to account for the difference in the yarn gauge.
Began: March 24, 2007; Finished: TBD


Friday, April 20, 2007

Bib Project - 2nd (and final) Installment

Pattern: Simple Baby Bib
Yarn: Filatura di Grignasco Big (50% cotton, 50% acrylic, so it can be washed on a "normal" setting)
Needles: US size 8
Alterations: I cast on 30 stitches instead of 25 to make the bib larger.
I thought that a 6" square bib is just a little too small, especially when the baby is a toddler.
Began: April 16, 2007; Finished: April 19, 2007

I left earlier than usual yesterday evening (it was 5:05 instead of 5:30) and picked up TL from school, so I could rush to my LYS to pick up some double-pointed needles and a button. They close at 6, so I almost never get there during the week. After dinner, I finished off the bib! I made my first 3 button holes in knitting and they look pretty much like button holes!

I was a little concerned that the strap might not be long enough, so I asked TL to model it for me, and at the longest setting, it goes around his neck just fine. So I think that this will work, in terms of size, for several years for the recipients. The final product is very nice and soft, but appears to also be absorbent. It is also quite stretchy, so I'm hoping that if it shrinks in the laundry, it will also stretch back out somewhat. No, I didn't test or anything rational like that. I should have done a tad more than check to see if the yarn could be safely tossed in the washer, but I was in an hurry.

I tried to take a photo of the cute little cow button I found, but none came out well, even on my "real" camera. I am posting the best one I did get, because I can't find an image of it online.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bib Project

Pattern: Simple Baby Bib
Yarn: Filatura di Grignasco Big (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Needles: US size 8
Alterations: I cast on 30 stitches instead of 25 to make the bib larger.
I think that a 6" square bib is just a little too small.
Began: April 16, 2007; Finished: TBD

I started a bib project on Sunday for another friend who's having her first baby in June. The baby shower is on Saturday, though! I am using the pattern that Sari discussed in her post Easy Baby Bib Pattern. And she's right, it's pretty easy so far. I do still have to get a button for the closure, but that shouldn't be too hard at all. I am using a leftover ball of yarn that I found in my bag of yarn. I must have given away whatever I made originally, because I don't have anything like it. I meant to finish the bib last night, but I got very sleepy after I sat down to knit and fell asleep on the couch. Hopefully, I can get it done tonight. If I get the button on the way home.

I was also going to post a photo to show how much progress I've made on BBBB#3, but it came out blurrier than I realized and I have to retake it. Maybe I'll get it posted tonight.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Another Baby Hat, BBBB #3 and books

I knitted another baby hat on Saturday evening. It looks remarkably like the last one I knit, so I haven't bothered to take a photo. I made it pretty much exactly like that one, color of yarn included. I'll be making a more feminine version soon, so I'll take a photo of that one.

I also haven't yet taken a new photo of BBBB #3, but will soon, hopefully today. The blanket now measures approximately 10.5" by 28", and so is coming along nicely for something I keep neglecting for other projects. I am still hoping that I can get it done by April 27, when my first ever knitting class starts. The hope is no longer quite as high as before, though.

On Saturday I went to the book store and purchased two new knitting books. Well, new for me. I finally got Mason Dixon Knitting, because after Wendel Kate mentioned that cushion cover and all those cute baby gift projects I couldn't hold out any longer! I think it's going to end up being a very important source for patterns for me. This is just to agree with Sari and Wendel Kate, I really like the book.

I also got (and read most of) a very handy book called Knit Fix: Problems
Solving for Knitters by Lisa Kartus. I thought it would be a good idea to have a concept on how to fix problems/mistakes/errors before I take this knitting class. Maybe that's weird, but now that I've been knitting for a couple of years, I think it's a good idea to have some idea of how to make a stab at fixing mistakes. So far, I've both taken the whole thing apart and started again, or (and more likely) to say that it makes my piece Unique. Now I know that either philosophy will work, but now I know that there's more than one way to fix a problem, and it doesn't have only involve ripping or ignoring. Anyhow, if you haven't seen this book, you should at least browse it to see if it's for you.

Rating: 3

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Easy baby bib pattern

Here is the baby bib pattern that is sort of like the Mason Dixon baby bib. I think you could adjust the sizes easily for a larger child.
http://www.knitlist.com/2003/babybib.htm

There are variations in the pattern if you want to use different sorts of yarn. I think this make a nice baby gift for the work acquiaintance.

Of course, if you like to knit baby stuff, there are many worthwhile projects like The Preemie Project too.

Dog knitting is THE BEST

I got this book yesterday, and it is #2 on my list of dog knitting books already. And it is #1 for cats. There is a purple and fun fur throne in this book. How many cats don't need that? Especially Siamese cats.

There are also some really easy patterns, and ways to use up novelty yarn. The cartoons are funny and the measuring instructions are pretty complete. I will make a few things from this book right away.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Learning, learning

After 2 years, I still am only at the scarf/hat/dog sweater level. I think it is because I knit to relax, and I am usually doing something else like watching trashy tv or riding in the car. Or maybe, it could be my fascination with new gadgets.....today I got a new cell phone, a Nokia 6265i.

It has EVERYTHING--camera, video,calendar, etc. If I can get it all to work, (and that is a big if), I can use it to take pictures of my knitting, right? Or, learning to use the damn thing will take all of my free time....too soon to tell if I like the phone or not, but it does seem sturdier than my Razr....replaced 3 x in a year.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Another Sock Project - Finished!


I finished the baby socks tonight. I don't have a suitably-sized model on which to show off my knitting (unlike some co-bloggers!), so I stuffed these with a tissue each so they'd stand up and look nicer. I need to make things for people who live in the same house so I can have models for my stuff! Who knew?

Anyhow, it took me longer than I anticipated because I didn't knit everyday since my last post. So I suppose they took about the same number of hours I expected them to, but it took me more days to get those hours in. These are the first pair of socks I have knitted any kind of a pattern into, and I think they came out pretty well. They have a very nicely even scalloped edge at the top, which I like.

I enjoyed making them and have learned that knitting socks (or probably anything else) with a pattern/lace doesn't seem to have to be as terrifying as I initially thought it would be. I took one photo of the cute little socks with a quarter, so you can get an idea of the scale.

I do have some pretty darn crooked size 1 double-pointed-needles to show for my work, though. Since this is the first project I've used them on, I fear for their lives. I do tend to make even the sturdiest looking embroidery needles curve, but somehow I didn't expect it from bamboo. Do you both end up with curvy needles? Am I just being obsessive about tension, perhaps I need to relax in order to save my poor needles?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Another Sock Project



Last night I decided to get a start on knitting infant socks to match the Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby Hat I made on Monday. I am using a pattern from Knit Socks! by Betsy Lee McCarthy. This is the first pattern of hers I've attempted, but the directions seem very clear and easy to follow. Good since this is the first time I'm attempting to make any kind of lace, besides making tiny socks. I cast on 36 stitches on size 1 (2.25mm) needles, using Tweedy Cotton Classic 100% mercerized cotton #420 (blue). This is the left overs from the hat yarn. If all turns out as planned, the socks will be about 3 3/4" long when done and fit a 0-9 month old baby. I decided to try to knit both socks at once, so I got a second set of needles and I'm working each part of the sock on one, then doing the same part on the other sock.

I've officially wandered down the path of having two unfinished projects in my bag at once. (Evil!) I usually refuse to start a second project until the current one is complete. All these babies coming near the same time is making me adjust my normal working principals. Probably for the good ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Last Night's Project


Last night I took a break from the BBBB to whip up a baby hat for a completely different baby. I took about 4 hours (give or take) and knit this hat up. It is called a Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby hat and I knit most of it on a 16" size 6 circular needle, but used dpn at the end for the last decreases. I cast on 72 stitches and used both the variegated and eyelash novelty yarn for the first 4 rows. I have it displayed here on a vase, but it doesn't do it justice. I have enough yarn left over to make a matching pair of infant socks! I am going to make another set for another baby boy who is also on his way this spring. Is everyone experiencing a baby boom in their areas?

Just so you know, I did intend to post this last night, but after the knitting binge, I ran out of steam to get the camera out and write this up. I got done just before midnight, so I decided that I could post this "first thing this morning." I realize it's afternoon now ... :)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Suss Cousins Home Knits

Ordinarilly, I don't check out knitting books from the library, because I keep them too long.  I should have turned this one in on time.  It is a beautiful book, with many interesting ideas--knitted lampshades, vase covers, pillow covers, bedthrows--but most of the patterns are made more fabulous with her yarns.

Knitting Class!

Good News: I have registered and paid for my first ever knitting class! I'm very excited to be taking "Knit Your First Sweater" on Friday mornings at my LYS, Great Yarns. It runs for 6 weeks and meets for 2 hours on Friday mornings. I'll have to take some leave time, but there have been no objections. More sweater details as they happen. The class doesn't start until April 27th.

I am going to knit my first sweater for Tortuga Lad, he is going to be so happy that one of my big projects is finally for him. He's getting tired of my "not this one, honey" responses. I was struck by the idea that, in just much-too-little time, he's going to not want me to consider making anything for him. I must strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. I'm not taking up metal work, though, no matter how big a freak Wendel Kate thinks I am!

BBBB #3 -- Second Installment

So, I don't have a photo this time to prove that I've made progress on BBBB but I've been knitting in between everything else I had to do this week. I knitted in the waiting room of the pediatric dentist, I knitted in the waiting room of my dr., and I knitted while waiting in line at 6 am on Saturday morning at the Y (and again at registration at 9 pm), and I knitted while waiting for the piano lesson do be done. The blanket is now 6 1/4" long and I'm 1/2 way through the 2nd ball of yarn. Not bad, I think I'll be done by the end of April (or that's the goal).

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sassy Girl Scarf


I don't pretend to be a skilled knitter. I like to use knitting as a way to meditate, and I need to work on easy, repetitive projects that don't require counting, making swatches, etc.


I made about 6 scarves for the Red Scarf Project.

I think this one turned out the best--it is made from Sassy Girl Yarn, available at Hobby Lobby. Regular price=$9.99/skein, 1 skein makes a scarf about 60 inches long. Watch for sales at Hobby Lobby--I got this stuff for about $3.99.
I used a simple pattern of 2 rows garter stitch, 1 row twisted drop stitch.



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Big Bad Baby Blanket #3 -- first installment

On Saturday, after I finished up with Sock #2, I dove right into making my third version of Debbie Stoller's Big Bad Baby Blanket pattern (as found in the print version of Stitch 'n Bitch). I am using one strand of Filatura di Crosa Baby Pom Pom yarn (red) on size 5 needles and cast on 164 stitches. I put a link on to a website that sells the yarn so you can see it, but I didn't buy it at that store. I finished off the first ball of yarn tonight and the blanket now measures in at 4" long and approximately 28" wide, so 1/7 of the way there. At this rate the blanket should be done before my friend's baby arrives.
The edge is no where near this wavy! Must be the way I laid it out.

I have never used the yarn Debbie Stoller suggests in the pattern, but have had pretty good success. I never got around to taking any photos of the first two, so can't prove anything. At least I could find all the yarn labels and enough notes on how to alter the pattern to make is seem like I was keeping track of my projects when they were under construction.

The first BBBB I made (almost 2 yrs. ago) was made with two strands of Lang Yarns Bebe Color, which is very nice washable wool. I used two different colors to get a variegated effect. Sorry, but I can't remember which size needles or how many stitches were cast on. On a positive note, I've been told that that the baby really enjoyed rubbing her fingers over the blanket.

The second BBBB I knit (last summer) was made with one strand of Trendsetter Yarns Scoubi Du (aqua) on size 6 needles and cast on 138 stitches. I also made a matching hat with this yarn. The baby and mom seem very happy with the set. The color went perfectly with the nursery theme, too, which was cool.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

JQ's First Socks


Pair #1
Well, I thought I should also jump in and post about some recently finished projects of mine. In the last two months I've finished two pair of socks, using very different yarns and patterns. We don't really need to get into how long ago I started either of these pair of socks.

On my very first sock, which I affectionately call Sock #1, I used Regia sock yarn (Regia Cotton Color), which is made in Italy, but the label is in German. I got it at my local yarn store, so it didn't seem all that exotic until I tried to read the label. I'm not sure what convinced me to start with "good" yarn on my first try, but I believe it had something to do with the option to knit no patterns into the sock, but to rely on the self-striping properties of the yarn to give them some uniqueness and beauty. Since it was also my first adventure on double-pointed needles, I was hoping that the stripes might hide any deficiencies. I used a Regia pattern leaflet called "Inspiration: Kreative Strickideen, socks with the whole Regia family, which was recommended to me at the yarn store as a good set of beginner patterns.

Since I didn't actually have to follow any of the charts, or pay close attention to any pattern since I'd decided to only knit, it worked out well for me. The chart on sizing was good, told me how many stitches for the height, width and turning the heel, how many stitches to pick up, etc. And it gives all the details for each type of yarn available from the company. The instructions on how to work the sock seemed crystal clear for Sock #1, but somehow were a little murkier for Sock #2, but since I had a model to work from, I think the pair turned out OK.

It took me a while, and a different pair of socks completed, for me to get back to getting Sock #2 started and finished. Sock #2 is a misnomer, I realize, since it's technically Sock #4, but I had to have it match up with Sock #1. This is a known problem for me. Anyhow, I'm about to ship these off to Mom, so I wanted to write about them while I could.

Pair #2
For this pair of socks I used a really nice and easy pattern from Jacqueline Fee's The Sweater Workshop, 2nd edition. The materials I used were a set of 5 double-pointed size 4 needles and Sugar'n Cream 100% cotton yarn from Lily Cotton. I started these as a quick project to show a friend how to knit. She is now pregnant (and not knitting yet) hence the aforementioned baby blanket. As you can see by looking closely at the toes, I somehow managed to knit them purl side out. I have decided that I won't be working any more socks in yarn this heavy. I prefer the finer yarns, to be sure. They are very cushy and cozy, though.

WK has already done lots of cool things with patterns in her socks, and I'll likely give it a try after I'm done with the baby blanket I'm working on now. She and I went to a yarn store together recently and she FORCED me to buy lots of cool sock yarns, so I'm hoping to increase the sophistication of my socks.