Archive for the 'Knitting' Category

Perfect knits for nervous moms

So I knit a pair of hats for my kids:


But these hats are not the ordinary, plain ribbed hem beanies they appear to be. They hold special powers that are very important to me as I send my kids on their twenty-minute walk to school in the deep winter mornings before the sun is up:


Ta-daa! I feel very clever.



There hasn’t been a great deal of production lately, but there has been some, and the holidays provided some much needed crafting time.

A colleague recently had a baby girl, which occasioned some baby knitting:
Baby gift. Can't decide if I like the booties better with the embroidery or without.

The hat is the (very popular) devil’s cap.

The booties are the ingenious Hodge. I love, love these booties, which take less than a day each, but involve no seaming! Check out the sole construction:
Baby gift. Can't decide if I like the booties better with the embroidery or without.

The contrast yarn is some leftover burgundy yarn from one of my earliest projects, and the main colour is Rowan Felted Tweed DK. I had seven balls lying in my stash for several years, but I recently completed a sweater from it. It was a pattern I’ve had my eye on for years, the Turbulence Pullover from Norah Gaughan’s fabulous Knitting Nature:
Turbulence pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. Added two inches in length, which was necessary.

The only modification I made to this wonderful pattern was adding two inches of lengh to the body (but it is still significantly shorter than most pullovers I buy for myself). It is absolutely one of the most successful knits I’ve ever made for myself.

Turbulence pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. Added two inches in length, which was necessary.

As the pictures reveal, it has been a few months since the pullover was completed. A more recent FO, however, was the first piece I have sewn since last spring:

White cotton jersey pencil dress

It is white cotton jersey. The pattern is a version of my trusty scratch-off pattern. The modifications I made were the split neckline (tricky to sew, but good-looking) and a narrower skirt, copied from a pencil dress I wear a lot.

White cotton jersey pencil dress

I keep the split neckline opening closed with a narrow gold-plated chain. The fabric turned out a little floppier than I thought, so the chain keeps the neckline from flopping open.

And my Easter knitting this year – a Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmermann, knit from a handspun silk/BFL combo. It is rather small, but beautiful:
Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmerman. Hand spun silk/BFL

The inner circles are solid, and the outermost circle is knit in old shale:
Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmerman. Hand spun silk/BFL

Drunk Monkey


I love these new socks!

Thanksgiving weekend, we took a road trip to New York. We had a lovely time and visited several yarn shops. My favourite was Brooklyn General Store:

BGS storefront

It’s a very cool store, chock full of lovely yarns, nice fabrics and lots of nifty notions. I spent almost an hour there, happily browsing and finishing some socks on their couch.

bgs store 2

bgs shop

I didn’t do a lot of damage to my bank account, but the one thing I REALLY wanted was some nice sock yarn. I got this:


(a yard of cotton fabric, merchant&mills eyeless safety pins and …drumroll, please… Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in color “In Vino Veritas”). As soon as I got home to my swift and nostepinne I cast on for a pair of Monkey Socks.

And now they’re done.


I made a few changes. I used the eye of partridge heel stitch instead of a plain heel flap, and knit the heel flap for a few more rows than called for in the pattern (inspired by my newly finished Hedera socks, where I really liked the tall heel flap). The Monkey pattern is knit over 64 stitches, which is probably realistically a little wide for me. By the end of a day, the socks are a little looser than other socks I’ve knit. They are lovely, though.


New sock


I honestly can’t decide which I like better: the pattern (Monkey by Cookie A.), the yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy, colourway In vino veritas, bought as a souvenir at Brooklyn General Store) or the eye of partridge heel I substituted in. This project is a delight, unfortunately. Unfortunately, because I promised my daughter my next project would be new mittens for her. Good thing it’s been pretty warm around here these last few days.

I definitely need to get more DIC yarn. But maybe get cracking on those mittens first.

Hedera completed


My long-suffering Hedera socks, started in December 2007(!) are finally finished. They have been languishing in a WIP bag lo these many years, but after I picked them back out a week ago to have some knitting on our road trip to New York, I have knit one toe (twice) and one whole sock. I reknit the toe because I could not figure out how to graft the toe shut. After several frustrating attempt ended in several unintended purl stitches, I gave it up and ended it like a round toe. Gave me some more wriggle room, too, so it worked out well. I really hate the colour of the yarn, which may have contributed to the length of time involved. As I write, my new Hedera are taking a bath with some black cherry, orange and grape Kool-Aid. After pictures to come! In the meantime, a couple more before shots:



What you can do on a two-week road trip



Five dish cloths. The bottom left square is – hopefully – the start of a fully handspun patchwork blanket. Knitting ten squares and spinning enough yarn for another ten will be my Tour de Fleece project.

Summer cardigan

Now that I’m a couple of weeks into my first summer here in DC, I’m beginning to realise the folly of knitting a summer cardigan for this climate. But I didn’t know that in March, when I started this project. I had stopped by Looped Yarnworks, and they had quite a lot of Rowan Summer Tweed at 40 % off. I wanted to knit a quick and easy summer cardigan. I have loved my February Lady Sweater, so I figured the same pattern would do the trick for summer as well. I love Rowan Summer Tweed in finished projects, but knitting it is surprisingly annoying. This yarn has an unbelievable amount of veg matter in it, I had to pause every couple of stitches to pull out an embedded bit of straw.


And it does! I have worn it a couple of times – we had about a week of cool weather (by which I mean temperatures that would have Norwegians flocking to the beach) where it was perfect.


I’m very pleased with it. Looking at the pictures now, I’m beginning to wonder whether I should have knit the sleeves another inch or two longer, but I’m very happy with the length when I wear it. In order to avoid the silk growing with wear (a tendency which could only be exacerbated by the garter stitch in the yoke), I reinforced the neckline with elastic lace hem tape. It has the benefit of stretching exactly enough to lie flat even on a raglan yoke, but still providing enough structure to keep the silk and cotton from stretching into an off-the-shoulder style cardie. Also, it looks pretty when it peeps out if I wear it open.

I guess thanks are due to Looped Yarnworks, not only for discounting the yarn, but also for having lots of customers willing to advise me on the buttons to go with the cardigan. I had it narrowed down to three different types when the customers at Looped unanimously supported the light wooden ones.