September 26, 2009


I didn't think I could love knitting any more than I already do when I pulled out Janel Laidman's book, The Eclectic Sole. I love making socks because they're portable, quick and you can't get better satisfaction than being able to knit a pair and put them on your own feet.

This is the Rivendell sock. A vision of beauty even though I've barely begun to make it. The yarn is from Fleece Artist called basic sock (superwash), and the yarn is from Little Knits. I bought it years ago, so you can't get this color, but you can buy the yarn here. It's very soft and lovely. I felt compelled to make socks so that my current project wouldn't make me crazy enough to talk to my bra strap begging to be beamed up.

But the sock isn't the only think I knit to keep from being driven to drink hard liquor. I had to make the Ishbel scarf. As math challenged as I am, I managed to get through the pattern because the chart instructions were written out. I made way fewer mistakes that I would have if I'd have had to use the chart alone.

The color is brighter than in the picture. The yarn is Gloss (sock yarn) in burgundy from Knit Picks and I used US #7 circular needles.

I would not use this yarn for socks (too soft). And when I gave the scarf her bath (a nice 30 minute soak) before blocking, the water was bright red. I'll make sure to tell my mom not to throw this scarf in the washing machine with her whites!

OK, so the Baltic Sea Stole. You've seen it here before. I keep talking about it and I keep putting it off. Secretly, I think it's because I have more than 30 days to get it done. I don't think I'll be happy making it unless I have only 2 days to get it done. Knitting under pressure gives me (apparently) a thrill when I am fighting against time.

I'm up to set 10 and I'm close to the end:

I'm thinking this scarf might be a mile long. I plan to knit until I run out of yarn, which from the look of things, might just be when the pattern ends. In spite of the tedium, how can I look at this pattern and not be in love with it?

It's made with Exquisite Lace from Fiddlesticks Knitting, in ivory and US #7 needles. Lovely.

So that's what I've been doing for the past two weeks. Now I have to go pack my bag for Rhinebeck. OMG, I'm so excited!

I got a new memory card for my camera, I bought some rain boots (just in case), I'm trying to decide which pattern to bring and I've got to make sure my GPS system is charged (even though we chartered a bus, last year our driver got lost!).

So that's it. Happy knitting to you!

September 21, 2009


Well, see, here's what happened ...

I was happily working on the Baltic Sea Stole and of the 13 sets, I'm on set 9, but each set has 32 rows. After awhile, though the repetitive nature of the knitting gets on my nerves. Don't get me wrong, I love the stole - adore it, in fact. But I'm almost at the point of sticking the knitting needle through my hand. Can you spell b-o-r-i-n-g?

So I side tracked. I decided that it would be a good idea not to impale my hand and to pick up something that would give me instant gratification. Enter Ishbel. The pattern was a gift from my friend Sojourn Knitter (thank you!).

So here is my progress - 50% done in just 2 days:

I'm using Knit Picks Gloss in burgundy, fingering weight, 70% merino / 30% silk, and US#6 needle. All I can tell about the pattern is that it's as simple as pie because the pattern is written and charted (I prefer written) . It comes in 2 sizes, the scarf and the shawl, I'm making the scarf. I love the pattern and it's going to make a nice holiday gift.

The yarn is a whole other thing. I'm not loving it. The yarn is slippery, and the fact that it has silk in it, I was expecting more of a shine, but there's very little of that. It's got a very weak twist, and I was thinking it wouldn't be good for socks, it's much too soft.

I bought 2 skeins and I'm hoping the scarf uses most of it so I don't have to waste any time figuring out what to do with it.

So now I have 2 projects to bounce from and that's going to allow me to keep my sanity and now I can safely say that only the good mojo is going to go into Audra's Baltic Sea Stole

September 13, 2009

The Dedication is Paying Off

I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere!

Audra's Baltic Sea Stole is coming right along, and after a week of knitting I'm on the fifth set (of 13). Yay!

I've been extra careful to pay attention to my stitch and row counts, and while I have NO intention of drawing the attention of the knitting gods, there are no mistakes in this shawl. I didn't have to rip it back once.

Thank goodness The Lord of the Rings is on, too. I've only seen the movie EVERY time it's aired, and though I might not be able to watch it, I love hearing it. Isn't Aragorn dreamy?

Oh ... did I say that out loud? Geek alert! I'm making myself cringe!

Here's the shawl waving good-bye. I'm going back to my shawl and movie now.

Enjoy your Sunday, and happy knitting!

September 11, 2009

Why Is It ...

As soon as I decide to dedicate myself to one project, I find a million other things that I want to make? Does that ever happen to you? I want to make socks, and hats and scarves for Christmas gifts, and I want to knit the Ishbel scarf because I have the perfect yarn for it. And I have lots of yarn I spun myself from the Tour de Fleece that needs to be put to use too.

I was content to work on Audra's wedding shawl, and it's a beautiful shawl too. See:

It's the Baltic Sea Stole by Faina Latoutchaia. It's fast - for a lace project - but it's a 32 row repeat for 13 sets and I've just begin the third set. It'll be beautiful when its done. I'm using Exquisite Silky Laceweight yarn from Fiddlesticks Knitting and it's as soft as butter, 50% mulberry silk/50% merino wool.

However, I was working on the Rivendell socks from Janel Laidman's book The Eclectic Sole but it takes up too much brain to work on the stole and that, so it got put aside. I love Janel's book! She has a new book coming out at the end of the month called The Enchanted Sole and if you pre-order the book from her site, you get a free mitten pattern. Tempting, tempting ... somebody hold me back!

And then I ordered a sock book from the UK called Socken aus aller Welt, and it's got the prettiest socks in the world in it. The problem is, it's in German, and since I don't speak German I had to enlist the help of my friend Monika (thank you!) so I'd at least know how many stitches to cast on.

How desperate does one have to be to order a book in a language they don't speak all because of the love of a sock? I should be banned from ordering online for a week.

OK, I think I got it all off my chest. I'm going back to the shawl now.

September 07, 2009

OK, I'm Back

Whew, jury duty is over. Actually it was over on Monday and I went back to work on Tuesday, but I had such a head cold that I could barely function. I don't think my boss was thinking what I was thinking while I coughed, hacked and wheezed through the week ... swine flu. If I was him I would have sent me home.

When other people cough, I hear 'oink, oink'. It's ridiculous, I know. I ride the NY City Subway system and and I should be more worried about other things. The subway is like a moving hospital emergency room sometimes, I swear!

Anyway, I got a little knitting done, not much because I'm still trying to sleep off this cold.

Here's a stole I'm working on for my friend Audra. She's getting married in early December so I started today with the hopes that I can work quickly and without mistakes. It's the Baltic Sea Stole:

I think it would be prettier in a multicolor yarn, but it's for a wedding so white seems appropriate.

Then I did manage to pin the Sipalu Bag from Knit Picks:

The only heavy duty lining they had at my local fabric store was black. I guess that's ok, but I wanted something in a dark purple. No luck, though. They no longer sell this bag as a kit anymore, but the Palette yarn is reasonably priced (starting at $1.99), if you don't mind buying 17 skeins of it.

Lastly, I finished sewing up the Baby Albert (by Sally Melville) sweater which would be fine for the new baby is she weighs about 3 pounds, and I hope she weighs more than that! It's super small which is OK because nothing in my knitting world goes to waste. This sweater will join the others I made for the preemie project in February.

So that's it for now. Hopefully I'll have finished something - anything by the next time I blog.

I have to start hunting around for a prize to give one of the ladies in the knitting group for making the 'most creative' blanket for the Linus Project. Making blankets is boring, so just having to come up with something creative with appliques or bows or whatever for a prize might make it more interesting. I hope!