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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cynthia's Red Scarf Project Scarf - Free Pattern

Cynthia’s Red Scarf Project Scarf
A fast-to-knit, chunky scarf with garter stitch borders and a central cable

Go to for more information about the Red Scarf Project.

Two skeins Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn (75% Acrylic, 25% wool) approx 200 yards & 100 grams each (or any similar weight yarn) (I used Encore color #174)
US Size 13 (9 mm) needles (can be circular or straight)
Cable needle (or double-point needle)
Yarn needle

Approx 3 st/inch with two strands of yarn

Finished Measurements:
Approx 6” wide by 60” long

Use two strands of yarn throughout

Cast on 20 stitches.

Border rows:
Slipping the first stitch as if to purl (Slp), knit across. Repeat 3 times for 4 rows of garter stitch.

Pattern rows:
Row 1 (rs): Slp, K4, P2, K6, P2, K5
Rows 2, 4, 6, 8 (ws): Slp, K6, P6, K7
Row 3: Slp, K4, P2, C4F, K2, P2, K5
Row 5: Repeat row 1
Row 7: Slp, K4, P2, K2, C4B, P2, K5

Repeat Rows 1 through 8 approx. 30-31 times or until you have about 4 yards of yarn left. End on row 4 or row 8.

Repeat border rows - 4 rows of garter stitch.
Bind off loosely and weave in ends.
Block if desired.

This pattern is free for your personal, gift-making, or charity use. Making one for you? Think about making one for your favorite charity as well.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Not quite as planned

This weekend - So did I work on any of the three projects that I have going right now?

Of course not!

I saw the Red Scarf Project button on Fuzzy Britches' blog, which reminded me that I've got the stuff to knit a red scarf for and well....

Pattern to be posted later this week!

Friday, October 27, 2006


Some of you wanted to see the swag from my last yarn shop stop....

** Wow, Mom doesn't usually leave the big toys out for me! ** (no yarn was harmed in shooting this footage - I think she was scared of it)

Sock yarn - Schaeffer Anne sock yarn in a nifty autumn colorway and Steinbach Wolle Strapaz in one of my favorite shades of bright blue. Don't think I've used either of these brands before.

Kathmandu Aran in color Bark - This is the ongoing search for a complimentary yarn for my Circumnavigated Cardigan. I'm not going to have enough of the estate handspun that I've chosen for my main color, so this will be for the bottom ribbing, cuffs, button band and collar. It's got a similar feel and heft as the handspun so should work OK. Any extra may become a matching hat or mittens.

I'm trying to figure out how I spent so much money on so little yarn... and I didn't even succumb to the buffalo yarn!

And a gratuitous shot of Country Sock #2 - I think the odds are good to have this close to finished this weekend!


I've had a couple of requests for the marriage gansey pattern. If I like how it turns out, I'll probably write it up and post it here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

No title, but....

Marriage Gansey

....everything progresses

I'd post pictures of the Country Socks and the Lacy Scarf, but it's not really necessary. Use your imagination - they are both a bit longer than Monday's picture.

Thanks for all the suggestions on Jamieson and Smith vendors - and for the offer to walk down to Four Seasons and find out what's going on (thanks, Brigitte!). If I don't hear from Jo-Anne in the next day or two, I'll give her a call and get an update. Like I said on Monday, this has not been a typical shopping experience - usually she's very responsive.

I'm probably going to order direct from J&S next time. Marina tells me that she usually has a good turn-around from them.

Speaking of yarn stores - I went to one I've not been to before. Simpatico Yarns in Bedford, Texas. Mary Jane was very friendly, without being pushy. The store's not big, but has a reasonable selection of good, basic yarns (aka- not full of novelty fun fur). Plenty of wool and wool blends, cotton, alpaca, mohair, silk, and even buffalo yarn.

I had a nice leisurely shopping time there, only broken by an offer of coffee or tea from Mary Jane (they have a nice little kitchen area in the back room) and by another yarn browser with an enormous dog in tow. Part Newfoundland and part Great Pyrenees - it was a seven-month old gentle giant (that puppy's going to be huge when full grown). This is a nice store to visit - a bit far for me to go very often, but it's on my list. (yes, I spent plenty of money there, too)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Baby steps

baby steps of progress.....

Country Socks
Sock #1 complete, sock #2 begun - this will actually be finished in time to mail off for Christmas! It looks like a plain ribbed sock, but has a little bit of interest in the purl part of the rib...there's a kind of seed stitch thing going on there.

I tried this on my husband to make sure it will fit his dad.
Lacy scarf growing inch by inch - this, too, appears to be a do-able Christmas delivery even though I'm only about one quarter done.

I neglected to get a picture of the marriage gansey before I left this morning. It's got a third heart motif done. That means about 1 1/2" more than the last picture. I'm eventually going to decide how long to make the body. (What? You mean I was supposed to decide that before I started?) I'm using traditional underarm gussets so will need to stop the body about 2 inches short of the actual underarm. For once, I'm confident that I've got plenty of yarn and can make this as long as I want, but will probably settle for the low hip - I want it long, but not tunic length.

Fair Isle? Are you wondering why you haven't heard anything about Fair Isle lately? I'd love to be swatching for my two new Fair Isle designs, but for that I need yarn. I ordered yarn September 19th. Lots of yarn. September 19th. Five weeks ago. Haven't seen the yarn yet. The charges weren't on my September statement (haven't got my October statement yet). Sent an email last Monday. Sent another email (to the other address I had) last Friday. No reply. No yarn.

This is unlike my vendor - she is usually very responsive. Is she sick? On vacation? Out of business? Computer broken? I know she's a one-person shop. It can sometimes take a while to get here from Toronto - but not this long. Not sure how long I should wait before ordering from someone else. Methinks I need to find someone closer, but no-one in Texas seems to stock Jamieson & Smith. Maybe if I just find someone within the US borders? Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Making up for lost time

Sorry for keeping quiet for so long. Lots of life going on - but lots of knitting, too!

Pattern: Spearfish Socks by Designedly, Kristi
Yarn: Reclaimed 100% wool yarn from my Red Cross Sock Kit
Needles: Brittany US Size 1, 2.25 mm dpns

I love this pattern. It's well written and comes in three sizes (I made the medium). The only thing I changed was stopping the lace pattern when I finished the gusset rather than continuing it down the foot. A much better use for that yarn than the Red Cross socks languishing in the sock drawer.....
Marriage Gansey progress report:
Hey, I've completed a full repeat of the heart design! You can now see the open heart, filled heart sequence. I haven't spent as much time on this one this week - see below for the reasons why...

This little lace scarf started out as a different lace scarf ..... It was very pretty, but I could see me taking months to finish it. I had to sit and look at the chart for practically every stitch (and I had to make the chart myself since the designer gave line by line directions only). As this is intended as a Christmas gift, I ripped it out and started a much simpler garter stitch feather and fan design.

It's already much further along than the original, so I feel I've got a chance of completing it on time. This is with some of that yummy 100% cashmere laceweight I bought recently.... I think I'll write this one up and post it on the blog, in case anyone else wants to try it. Since it's garter stitch it looks good on both sides (a plus with a scarf).


More gift knitting! These are the Country Socks in Nancy Bush's Folk Socks. Another nice and relatively easy knit. There's an easy four round repeat of the pattern and the calf shaping wasn't too hard to keep on track.

I started these on my new Celtic Swan Forge bronze dpns, but decided I needed to go up a size. When Nancy calls for a size one she usually means a 2.50mm rather than the 2.25mm that most of my size ones are. So I changed to my Brittany Size 1 1/2s and I'm much happier.

Note the dark color? Remember my recent ranting about using dark sock yarn and my vow not to? This is stash yarn that I purchased well before that rant and it's too nice to let it go to waste. It's Knit Picks Essentials in Pine. Since the pattern is fairly simple I'm not having too many problems with seeing - it's mostly knitting by touch...


Oh - about those Celtic Swan dpns? They're beautiful. A bit heavier than I'm used to - duh - they're bronze not wood; of course they're heavier. Not enough to really bother me.

The swirled design in the center keeps the yarn on the needle, but doesn't interfere with knitting at all.

Any advice? After knitting with them for an hour or so my hands started turning black! I had rather forgotten that bronze has this effect on me; I've got a bronze ring that does the same thing. Beyond keeping a polishing cloth handy, I'm not sure what I can do to keep them from reacting with my skin. It's not just a little black, it's a lot, and I'm worried about soiling my sock yarn.

Sigh. Ok, I'm all caught up now.... see y'all later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Will you come play?

Will you come play with me, Daddy?

When Emy wants to play, she walks up to her daddy, sits downs and just.... looks. She has perfected the penetrating, guilt-inducing stare. Her daddy, being perfectly trained by now, gets up and either gets one of the myriad feather toys in the den or the rubber ball (we've got about 20 of these and can usually only find about 4 of them at a time).

If he just reaches down and pets her she allows only one stroking, then sidles towards the den (aka the cat playroom) and looks over her shoulder - she's quite a minx.

Methinks she is a bit spoiled (but only a bit).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Gansey progress

I slipped it on two circulars so I could try it on and make sure the size was working out. I'm very happy with my progress, although I'm going to rip the last few rows back. I managed to mess up the 'marriage' line - it zigs one stitch too soon on most of that round.

By the way, 322 stitches per round on size one metal needles is hard on the hands (my hands, anyway).

I'm enjoying the pattern and, ignoring the 'zigged when it should have zagged' incident, it's really easy to keep up with it.

The Spearfish sock is almost past the gusset now. I'll post a picture when it's finished - hopefully, later this week.

Thanks for the comments on my husband's butterfly pictures. He's having a great time with the new Canon digital camera. He'll have an even better time after he works his way through the rest of the rather formidable user manual and advanced manual. It's like taking a college course....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

SSS Swap sock received!

I got it! I got it! (ok, visualize me jumping up and down at this point)

Heatherly the YarnYenta was my sock maker and she did a great job. See? It fits beautifully! (Excuse the colors there, the camera was doing weird things - it's not orange.)

Below is a much better picture and shows all the nice warm browns (and other colors) off. She was trying for 'violin colors' and did a great job. Besides the great sock (made with Mountain Colors Bearfoot in color Yellowstone - yay!) and its neat pattern, she also sent me two other patterns - a sock pattern that I'd been thinking about getting for myself (how did she know?) and a really cute sweater pattern. If I'd been thinking, I'd have the name of the patterns with me but I'm doing this from the office and the patterns are at home (of course).

There's also a set of bamboo dpns in a darling brocade needle case, one of those transparent yellow pattern markers (boy can I use that!), a bookmark, a yarn needle and some wonderful blueberry tea with the brand name of 'Stash' (ok, I really had a giggling attack on that one!).

Thank you so much, Heatherly! This was my first swap and it was a smashing success...

Now to knit the second sock -

Texas Monarch Migration (with extras)

Let's start with an American Painted Lady..... Then the Monarchs coming in for a landing....
...and then feeding on the nice, sweet-smelling flowers....

The Gulf Fritillary coming to the feast...
And this was one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots - see the reflection of the Monarch in the hood of the car? The reflection looks larger than the butterfly itself.

All pictures were taken by my husband....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Marriage Gansey

Think I've swatched enough yet?

Four different needle sizes and two different pattern layouts later.....

Casting on....

I love casting on for new projects, although it's amazing how often I end up ripping it off the needles and starting over before I'm happy with it.

This is the start of the front half of my welt. Split welts are a traditional feature of some fisherman's ganseys. After knitting up both halves, I'll join them together and start knitting in the round.

As this is a 'Sunday best' gansey, there will be patterning all the way up, rather than just on the top. And it's got a name now, too - it's the Marriage Gansey. Both open and filled hearts, marriage lines (those zig-zag lines representing the ups and downs of married life), and ropes (the ties that bind!) - enough symbolism for you?

Not yet.... there's the color - dark red, like old wine (some things get better with age). And our initials will be knitted into the side panels - his on one side, mine on the other. Ok, I think that's probably enough symbolism for now...

By the way... my needle size for gauge? Addi Turbo's in US size one, 2.5 mm. That gives me 7 stitches and 10 rows per inch.

The Frangipani yarn? It's the traditional 5-ply gansey yarn - 'fisherman's iron'. Very tightly and smoothly spun and about the size of sock yarn, but much denser. I thought it would be a rough yarn, but the swatches are very smooth and softened up after a bath in warm water. It's meant to be very hard wearing stuff. It's great for textured work - the designs pop out really well.

Of course, now that I've started, I want to continue on... but tonight it's off to guild and the start of the Circumnavigated Cardigan! I think I'm feeling like Marina did the other day - let's see how many new projects I can cast on at once!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ten Things

Grumperina started this one and I've seen it floating about -

Ten Knitterly Things You Didn't Know About Me (Maybe):

1. Mom and I argue about who taught me to knit - I say she did and she says I learned it on my own by reading her books. I was about 10 or 11 at the time. No argument about who taught me to sew (Mom) and crochet (Dad).

2. I re-learned knitting by looking up everything on the internet.

3. I knit Western style but use Continental if it's really repetitive (endless garter stitch anyone?) or I'm in a real hurry (ummm, right before Christmas).

4. I rarely knit exactly to the pattern (Ok, that one may not be a surprise to those who've read my blog for a while). This sometimes leads to interesting results.

5. I love to try traditional techniques, materials and patterns. One of these days I'm going to knit my own underwear using this pattern. (Whether I actually wear them is another matter)

6. I don't use both hands to throw the yarn when knitting Fair Isle - it's all done with the right hand and I drop the color I'm not using. It sounds slow, but it really isn't. With Fair Isle, I also knot my color joins and cut them about 1/4-1/2 inch long after I'm all through - no weaving in of ends for me. (I wouldn't try this with anything but Shetland yarn, though.)

7. Sock knitting is the ultimate portable knitting for me - I try to always have a pair on the needles. I've done this technique before in blankets and washcloths but here's a good explanation of double knitting socks (knitting one sock inside the other at the same time) that I'm thinking of trying.

8. I get very testy if anyone interrupts the knitting - I'd like to apologize to my husband right now. I'm particularly bad if it's lace or something that requires a lot of counting.

9. I'm ok with starting knitting a new design with only the vaguest ideas of how I'm going to finish it. That's part of the fun, after all. You have to be willing to frog if it doesn't work out.

10. And one more thing-
When I was quilting, I made lots of quilts for family and friends and even more for charity and never made one for me. When I started knitting, I decided that I deserved some stuff, too.

Completed items (since 2003) 65
Items for others 53
Items for me 12

Fearless Fair Isle - Finally Finished!

Pattern: Fearless Fair Isle by Wendy Johnson in the brown colorway
Yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2-ply (my supplier-Four Seasons Knitting)
Needles: Addi Natura circulars US size 3
Started: October 2005
Completed: September 2006

Changes to the pattern: I did a central steek and added a button placket to make it a cardigan.
Things I'd do differently next time: Maybe change the shape of the color and the neckline a bit. (that's only because it's written as a pullover and I changed it to a cardigan without any shaping changes-it was fine as written)

Ok, that looks like a very long time to complete one sweater, but in between I also completed four other sweaters, many pairs of socks, a few scarves, and a bunch of baby stuff.

This is my first Fair Isle project and I loved it. I highly recommend the pattern - Wendy does a good job of putting together a project that is challenging without being too intimidating. There are seven colors and two alternating pattern bands. If you haven't done Fair Isle before and need some online help, Anne has a great tutorial that I studied before I started this project.

And now on to the next two Fair Isles I'm designing...and the fisher gansey I swatched this weekend...and the Christmas knitting I started last week...and the sock I'm trying to finish...and the Tina shawl I want to retrieve from the UFO list...and the Circumnavigate Cardigan we're starting at the guild tomorrow...

My WIP pile is going to look like Sillyewe's shortly.

And by the way....the Monarch's are migrating! One of the bushes near our home was full of them yesterday morning.