Teaching myself new tricks

I’m knitting slowly.

I got this a few weeks ago


to make this. ( I couldn’t get it not to glare and get the colors right.)


Snowflake, from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves.

Now, I have not done any colorwork beyond stripes, so this will be my first Fair Isle piece. I promise myself that I will swatch faithfully (no laughing here) so I don’t have to rip it out six times, and I have read the instructions. Please believe that I am learning from my mistakes, (we will see, won’t we?). Instructions give various ways for holding the yarn, as anyone who has read instructions for creating Fair Isle knows.

I learned to knit by casting the yarn from my right hand. You may call it the English or American method. (I am also a heretic, in case you were wondering.) This worked fine for me, and I have had no problems with it. In the past year I have managed to become adept enough at this skill that I don’t have to look at my knitting frequently, and I am fairly quick, though by no means speedy. I looked at the directions for holding both strands of Fair Isle yarn in one hand, and decided immediately that I would tangle the yarn many times if I did this.

So I have been teaching myself to pick stitches from my left hand, (or Continental) so that I can use both methods of holding the yarn for Fair Isle. This is why I am now knitting slowly. I started trying this at the beginning of January. I have now been trying it for 3 weeks. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, however I think I need more practice before I cast on.

Penny Measuring System

I am very excited about what I am calling my Paint Box Socks.They are in Patons Kroy sock yarn, colorway Paint Box.

I am knitting them at a very small gauge, which I didn’t think about when I started, (maybe something should have clicked when I was getting 10 sts per inch when I swatched) so it is taking me some time. I have only today, two weeks after I started the socks, realized how big a deal this is.

To give a comparison, I put a penny on my knitting and took a picture.


I took it on the ribbing, but for the comparison, I measured on the stockinette stitch part of the sock. (Right now that part is too small to photograph the penny on.) I get 7.5 stitches for the width of the penny on these socks, which are knit on size 1US needles. To compare, I get 5.5 for the same stitch patern per penny on my mom’s Fancy Silk Socks, knit on size 2US using Magic Stripes. And, compared to the hat I knit for my husband, I got 2 stitches per penny, from Lamb’s Pride Bulky yarn (10US).

Clearly, I am defining a new way to measure your gauge if you can’t find a measuring tape.

Random Ramblings

1. So, I am still kniting. I have finished one of the Fancy Silk Socks for my mom.

The bad news is that I have weighed the sock and the leftover yarn from the ball, and it is not close enought to attempt another one. Especially if I want matching stripes. (47g is close to 39g, right?)

2. In other knitting related events, I have shipped off the baby socks to my friends, who had a baby girl named Lucy Elizabeth on Saturday. Mom and baby (and dad) are all doing fine.

3. I have started twice on a pair of socks for my cousin as well. As soon as I realized that my original plan to use a stitch pattern I invented was not going to work, because I had started with a k2p2 rib, and the pattern was a k2p2 rib variation. I decided, for my own fussy reasons, that I could not have the cuff be so similar to the foot. So, I am starting over. I do realize that I probably didn’t invent the stitch pattern I created accidentally, however I have not seen it anywhere else yet, so it is mine!

4. I was also reading through the Harlot’s site, and got to thinking. (Don’t be alarmed! It really will turn out ok. Nothing burned or crashed or had a heart attack. Keep reading.) What was my approach to yarn? I know I am not a harlot, as I have not yet stooped to any level for yarn. So I looked up harlot in the thesaurus, and decided I am more of a Yarn Hustler. I looked up the definition.

1. an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.

2. Slang. a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.

Just insert yarn for money in the second definition, and you’ve got me. Now, this has me wondering, what kind of Harlot are you?

5. Some people asked where I got the sale yarn in my last post. I considered long and hard about whether I should share my secrets here (see #4), but decided it would be ok, because I would probably profit in the long run by having more opportunities to get yarn, since more people would be buying from Yarnware (www.yarnware.com). (sneaky, aren’t I?) They typically have selected colors and amounts in 25% off categories, with lots of varieties of yarn. Sometimes there are good things in the 50% off range as well. Since I don’t have a worthy LYS close, I have to resort to the internet frequently. Although I am not above subcoming to cheaper, acrylic yarn.

6. In totally unrelated knitting news, I have science news! It was very exciting, as the three baby hissing cockroaches I have in my classroom have molted! (This means that they shed their shell to grow larger, for those who are not science geeks.) It was so exciting that one of my coworkers actually went home to get his camera to get this picture. (The newly molted one is white. They look like the brown one once their new shell hardens)

Cute, no?

Sock Obsession

I have been knitting. What, you might ask, (of course you asked!) have I been knitting? Why, I have been hit with a lighting bolt gently persuaded to knit socks!

This is the Fancy sock I was working on for my mom.

No, it is still not done. I hate have serious concerns about this yarn. It is Lion Brand Magic Stripes, in color Lumberjack. Now, I have other Magic Stripes yarn, yet this colorway is thicker and not as soft as those other colors. I have no clue why, as the yarn labels have the same gauge information on them. Maybe someone can explain it to me who has more experience in these matters.

The reason I have not finished one of the above pair yet is that I keep getting distracted. I decided to knit some friends who are expecting baby socks with the left over yarn I have from Ella’s birthday socks.

Cute, huh? My mom informed me that she wants something to fit into it, and could I make it sometime soon? Maybe I’ll dig out one of my old dolls and put them on it, and give it to her. That will make her happy, don’t you think?

I have also started a pair for myself.

These are also made from Paton Kroy sock yarn, in colorway Paint Box. I like them, and they will fulfill one of my goals this year.

And when I’m done?

Why, I’ll knit more socks, of course!

p.s.: believe it or not, all of the above were sale purchases. I know!

Maybe if I tell people…

I have been knitting a little less since my break has ended. I did finish another pair of socks. I gave these to my sister at her birthday party.

So she has two pairs now. And I have none. I also finished the poncho I was working on.

See what happens when I tell people I don’t want to do something? I get it done. It is a bit large for the cousin I had in mind, and all of my other bigger cousins wouldn’t fit it either. It almost fits me. Maybe I need to work on the math thing. Like actually believing the gauge when it tells me that it will measure 21 inches across the rectangle. I have also learned that my picture files are too large, and that is why my page loads slow for some people. Maybe if I tell people that my husband said he would help fix the problem on my blog, he will then get right on it. Just like my poncho.

Happy Birthday Ella!

Hooray! My sister is 24 today! (No, that does not make me feel old at all. Especially not after my MD told me that I was old enough now to have my cholesterol checked yesterday.) For her birthday, Ella got my first completed pair of adult size socks. (I had many false starts. I’m sure you understand.) 

 These are made from Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in colorway Krazy Stripes. The pattern is one I made up from failed attempts at other socks. (I actually tried to knit three other pairs before I did these. The first pair I did not like the way the pattern was looking as I got to the heel. The second I started, and I liked the pattern better. Then I started a third set, because I got some new yarn, and wanted to use the one color right away. Then, after knitting almost to the toe, I realized that this sock would not fit my slim-ankled sister, but a 8ft tall basketball player with chunky ankles. So I then became concerned about pair #2, reworked the calculations and determined that they were not as bad as pair #3. But still wouldn’t fit my sister.) Anyway, now she is enjoying the first cuddly pair of socks. I almost kept them.

Goals 2007

Ok, I don’t like the whole resolution thing, because it seems hokey to me. But I do have some goals I would like to achieve this year. Knitting goals:

  • knit myself a poncho
  • knit myself a pair of socks
  • make something with cables
  • make something with colorwork
  • design something
  • get a design published somewhere (maybe I’ll have to resort to here, however, I would rather have something more official, if you know what I mean)

Other goals:

  • Finish a mountain bike race
  • Read at least one classic novel

In knitting news, I have been working on a pair of socks that my mom requested.


 These are the Fancy Silk Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks that I got for xmas. She chose the yarn (Magic Stripes, Lumberjack) and the pattern. I don’t know if you can see the lace-work too well. This is perhaps the most labor intensive knitting I’ve done, because you can’t memorize the pattern, as every other row out of 12 is different. Maybe the socks are labor intensive, however the Apple Picker’s Basket-Weave Poncho that I am knitting for my cousin has taken forever compared to other things I have knit (since September. Obviously I have not undertaken any huge projects.)

 I am about 4 repeats from done the second panel, then I have to graft the pieces together. I’m very bored with this project, which is probably why it isn’t done yet. 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope this year is the best year of your life.

I am still working on the blog style, however I think it is coming along nicely. I even have a title for my blog now.

My loving family tried to help me come up with a name the other night. None of them are knitters, although they tried their best, bless them. It started off innocently enough, them giving me names, most of which have already been claimed by knitters. Then my sister started giving out bad poetry, and my husband took it from there. Here are some of the most painful noteworthy comments of the night.

Ella: Two rows diverged at needles end, and I took the one less raveled.

Davis: Tough actin’ Scarf-action

Ella: I’m needles and you’re yarn, anything you throw at me I make something of.

Davis: Someone knit me a brain

Ella: Anything you can knit, I can knit better.

Davis: Knit your face.

And together, they came up with: YARN = Young and Rusty Needles.

No, there was no alcohol involved.


I have always wanted my own little world, and now I have one! I am starting a blog, mostly because I want to share my knitted experiences with other who share my interest, especially since my family and most of my friends are insane for thinking knitting is boring uninformed about the joys of knitting.

I have been knitting for one year and one month. And yes, I would consider myself obsessed. I started to learn when I was younger from my grandmother, but never really took off with knitting. I have wanted to relearn for a few years, and last year I saw some cheap yarn and needles around Thanksgiving, so I bought some and plunged write in. My husband bought me the Stitch n Bitch book for Christmas, which was very helpful for learning how to knit. In return, I knit him this warm cozy hat that was one of the patterns in the aforementioned tome:

.Knit Hat

I have also knit 6 scarves, 2 pairs of adult socks, a pair of baby socks, a baby sweater, 2 other hats, a ninja mask, a few washcloths, and 3 wire napkin holders. I have also crocheted a few beaded braclets.

I am currently working on a pair of socks, a childs poncho, and more wire napkin holders.

Continue to check back soon, I am working on completing the display of my blog.