around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Friday, March 31, 2006

Further signs of obsessive knitting

5. You will rip out 5 rounds of perfectly acceptable Fair Isle knitting (that's 384 stitches per round, folks) to correct an error that no-one would have ever seen.....

I had picked the one brown stitch at the beginning of my round as the one to hold on a safety pin for the beginning of the armhole steek. It should have been the white stitch right next to it (after all that was the center of the motif, I should have realized!). I managed to complete 5 rounds before I figured out that it should have been that stitch. I was still knitting in pattern and it would have been perfectly OK to leave it as it was.

As soon as I figured it out, I put it down and didn't touch the sweater for four days. I kept trying to convince myself that no-one would notice, no-one would know. The problem is, I would know....and it would bother me...... I didn't realize that this perfectionist streak was so strong! I've always thought of myself as easy-going! Apparently, easy-going in everything except knitting.

So, last night a needle with thin crochet cotton was surgically inserted in 364 stitches (that's before the steek stitches). Needles were removed and yarn carefully wound back into balls - with expert assistance from Miss Emy. Needles were re-inserted and the cotton removed. The correct stitch was taken from the flock and put on its locking stitch marker. (No pictures were taken, it was too devastating to contemplate.)

And we started over again....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Signs of an obsessive knitter

1. You walk around work all afternoon with a dpn stuck behind your ear (left there after knitting during lunch).

2. You keep a smaller knitting bag inside the big knitting bag in case the restaurant you're going to would object to a suitcase-sized bag in the aisle between the tables.

3. Your husband asks if company is coming when you actually take time off from knitting to vacuum and/or cook.

  1. There are more, but I'll leave that for another day.

One sock down, one to go! I love this yarn - it's nice and squooshy. I sat at the doctor's office this afternoon and got a good headstart on the second sock.

Oops! That's #4. You don't mind waiting at doctor's offices because that represents valuable knitting time!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Weekend knitting

First, the Fair Isle.....

I've reached the sleeve steeks! Observe evil kitty in upper corner of photo attempting to eat my Addi Natura circs. Lorraine the Knitting Hammy asked if this is my own design. No, I'm using a WendyKnits design and colorway for her Fearless Fair Isle. But I hope to design a Fair Isle of my own very soon! You know you're hooked when you go to the library and check out scholarly tomes involving the history of Fair Isle patterns (I'll try to remember and post the name of the book I'm perusing right now).

Next, socks.....

It's all Natalie's fault. She just finished an adorable pair of rib and cable socks from a Nancy Bush pattern in the IK Fall 2005 issue. I'm too lazy to try and scare up a copy for myself, so I designed my own rib and cable socks. I'm already decreasing the gusset of the first sock.....

I went to my lys on Saturday with the good intention of buying a few skeins of dark, solid-colored sock yarn. With these skeins I'm going to use up all the bits and pieces of self-striping or self-patterning sock yarn that are occupying valuable stash room. I did indeed find four skeins of dark blue Sisu Maskinvaskbar sock yarn (80% wool, 20% nylon). I forsee lots of striped socks in my future.

Right next to the dark blue, though, was this enchanting heathered gray in the same brand....I'd already been itching to start a pair of cabled socks and this just called my name and leaped into my hands. I've never used this yarn before; it's a bit more robust than the Regia that I usually use. It's knitting up quickly (ok, it's knitting up obsessively) on size 2 Brittanys. These are definitely going to be for me! (Sometimes, selfish is good)

I've ordered a pair of 1 1/2 (2.5mm) Brittany dpns so I can go back to Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks with confidence and produce socks that are not too small for my feet.

I've also ordered a wooly board from Lacis...let's hope this one is in stock.

I also just got my copy of the Yarn Harlot's new book Knitting Rules! delivered. I started reading and started laughing...if you haven't read any of her books and appreciate knitting humour they are all a worthwhile purchase. I've read some other people's complaints that she repeats too many stories that are already on her blog but I haven't noticed (or minded).

Thursday, March 23, 2006


it let me post another picture! The Fair Isle has grown a smidge more than this since then, but not much - I was concentrating on finishing the shell socks. It will get a lot more attention now, since I'm going to have to order the 2.5 mm double points - size 1 1/2 in Brittanys. Maybe I can find a wooly board and the size 1 1/2s on the same website?

I'm glad, too, that I wasn't the only one that didn't know that a size one could be a 2.5mm. Thanks, Marina!

at least it let me post one picture

Blogger is still having took 9 or 10 tries to get this one to post.

I'll try later on the Fair Isle.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

1 does not equal 2.5!

Welllll....this explains a lot! I kept thinking that these socks I was knitting from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks were turning out a tad smaller than expected. She calls for size ones, I'm using size ones - her gauge is 8st/inch over stockinette. I almost always have to go down a size to get gauge, so you'd think mine would turn out larger than normal using the suggested needle size. Of course, I didn't check gauge until after the second sock was finished. My gauge is 9st/inch.

Her size ones are 2.5 mm. My size one Brittany's are 2.25 mm. Mystery explained! Considering how many of her patterns are using a 2.5 mm needle, I guess I need to scare up a set.

Thank goodness I left a few extra stitches on the foot when I did the gusset and the lace pattern is fairly stretchy. Thank goodness even more that my mother-in-law has small feet!

I'll post a picture tomorrow - Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload photos today. I'll post more Fair Isle progress too! It grew a lot over the weekend.

On the Fair Isle front - I ordered a wooly board to block my precious Fair Isle (when I finally finish) but they were out of stock. Guess I'll go to my second choice and order again. Maybe I'll have it by the time I've finished my sweater.......

Monday, March 20, 2006

I think she likes it!

and it fits!

Mom's going to kill me for posting a picture of her without letting her fix her hair and do her makeup.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fair Isle foto

My first Fair Isle!

I had forgotten how much fun this is....although I didn't have near as much done as I had thought! (Thank goodness I didn't pick this as my UFOlympic challenge.) I haven't touched this since December, when I started Mom's textured sweater. I really thought I had finished two repeats of the pattern, but there is only one done.

Emy must have gone into my sewing room, gotten into the sealed rubbermaid container, unzipped the blanket storage bag and then carefully unknit a whole repeat of the pattern. Then she must have rolled the yarn back into nice neat balls (I didn't know that she knew how to use the ball winder!). Yup, that's what must have happened......Gosh, she's a clever kitty!

I also had forgotten how long it takes to do one round of this thing - I sat there for quite a while last night and only finished 3 rounds. Oh well, it'll be ready for next winter. I'm steeking it for a cardigan as a wool pullover is so not necessary in Texas.

The shetland wool (Jamieson & Smith, baby!) is a bit rough on the hands - I may actually have to take a break every now and then and try to work on my Tina shawl. (that's an excuse to have multiple projects going, you know)

I'm going to get a woolly board (sweater blocker) for this ; Marina gave me the names of several places to shop for one. I think it will look much nicer properly blocked.

The shell sock is growing too - I'm on the third repeat of the lace pattern. I'd like to have the pair finished by next week so I can send them out in time for my MIL's birthday. (I don't count socks as a multiple project thing - there is always a pair on the needles.)

My solution for second sock syndrome? When I finish the first sock I immediately cast on the second one and do a few rounds of the cuff. Once I've started there's no problem with continuing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A reasonable picture of Mom's sweater......

Started Dec 2005 - completed March 12, 2006

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay - color red

Pattern: My own!

Needles: Addi turbo size 4 circulars

Gauge: six stitches/inch in double-moss stitch

It's tunic-style - no ribbing at the bottom per Mom's request, with a stand-up collar and an open placket (no buttons). It is hard to tell, but I've got mirrored cables on either side of a knit-purl tree of life design in the center. Double moss-stitch ground except on the lower part of the sleeve which is stockinette(took that from various pictures of fisherman's ganseys). The cables continue on the sleeves all the way down to the cuff. They are set-in sleeves to reduce bulk.

Things I'd do differently next time? The sleeves are a bit long, Mom may have to fold the cuffs up a bit. Double-moss stitch on size 4s? What was I thinking? Knit1, purl1 gets real old after awhile. But I love the way it looks......

Yarn - The Cathay knits up into a very substantial sweater. Warning! You might want to knot the very ends of the yarn while you're working with it. It separates into about 20 separate strands. Being mostly cotton it has no give - my hands got tired after a while. It's great for showing texture work - cables really pop out.

And here's sock #1 of the shell pattern socks. Did you know that people look at you funny when you're sitting in your car in a grocery store parking lot with the car door open taking pictures of a sock in the grass?

Marina, I agree with you, thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to pull the Fearless FairIsle out and see if I can figure out where I was! And any other readers out there - if you appreciate FairIsle work go look at Marina's work, it's beautiful!

Monday, March 13, 2006


I finished piecing together Mother's sweater last night and finished the first of my MIL's shell socks! Pictures to come as soon as I can get outdoors for good lighting.

Mother - it looks good; I hope it fits ok.

I've cast on for the second shell sock, but now I have time to go back to some unfinished business...

What do you think? The Fearless FairIsle cardigan (I'm doing the earth tones colorway with a cardigan steek) or the Tina shawl?

They're both completely different so maybe I could alternate between them? Of course, I'd make faster progress if I concentrate on only one (ignoring the fact that I always have socks on the needles, too).

Oh well, I'll figure it out when I actually sit down to knit.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

watching movies and knitting

I knit in the collar of Mother's sweater last night while watching Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby. We had never seen it before and I wasn't particularly interested in a movie about a woman trying to get into boxing.

It was definitely a surprise - not what either of us expected. Very dramatic and wonderful performances from Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.

As I hate it when people tell me all about a movie I'd like to see for myself, I'm not saying anymore.

By the way, I'm happy with the way the collar came out.....I may even seam the sleeves and side seams this weekend.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Well, I actually did not knit for two days. (I must have been ill)

Last night I did pick up Mom's sweater and knit in the plackets and sew the shoulder seams. Maybe I can knit the collar tonight.....or sew in those darn sleeves.

Go here and give Lene a boost; she needs some friendly comments.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

..and the crowd goes wild!

Oh my gosh...could it be....could it actually have happened?

Yes! I finally finished the sleeves of Mother's sweater. Please ignore the lousy photo, I was tired last night (great shot of the cat's tail, though).

Now I must dredge up enough energy to knit in the button placket and the collar, but that's ok - the sleeves are done! (Oh, then there's all that sewing together of parts, let's not forget that.)

I definitely am glad I decided to knit both sleeves at once. That's the first time I've done it and it made a big difference. Especially since this is my own design - I wanted to make sure that the changes in pattern, decreases, etc. all happened the same way on each sleeve.

I'm almost to the toe on my first shell sock, too!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

auditors = sporadic blogging

The auditors will be at work starting tomorrow for two weeks - random blogging may occur during that time (but don't count on it).

Instead, go to one of my favorite websites: Only here can you have fresh daily helpings of cute baby animals, cute baby humans, cute can even buy the t-shirt.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Simply amazing

I must make these socks. Ignore the fact that I already have several projects on the needles and many more waiting in the queue. If I was sensible (ha!), I would wait until I'm finished with my Fearless Fair Isle cardigan and use the left-over Shetland yarn to make matching socks.

Has anyone actually made any socks from this book? I've got it and notice that there's only one 'pattern' for a generic toe-up Turkish sock. The rest is pictures of socks and charts of the patterns in the socks.

I'd be interested in your opinions if you've knit any of these.

The shell socks are progressing - I'm past the heel and working my way down the gusset of the first sock. I'm thinking about leaving a few more stitches than called for....I'm a little worried that the sock might be a bit snug for the recipient.