Friday, September 29, 2006

In the meantime I'm amusing myself with Fiddle-Faddle!

Looksie here! My Bedbugs Lacey Scarf is a-blocking! I finally got to it this morning. Taking a deep breath I tool a book with grafting instructions and went to it. Let me tell you (and I'm sure you know it already) grafting is not too bad, unless you are grafting for the first time and lace at that. What a mess! It was not very stretchy and for some reason I had more sts on one needle at the end (even though I've counted and they were the same in the beginning). Anyway, this scarf will stay in the family, so it doesn't matter if it's a master piece or NOT. I've learned a few things, and that's important to me. More about the Bedbugs as soon as it's dry and ready for another photo shoot.

In the meantime I've amused myself with E.Z's Christmas Fiddle-Faddle from her book "Knitter's Almanac". I've wanted to try the tree and the star for quite some time now, and having signed up for Zimmermania, it gave me the excuse to do it. It's such a fast knit, you have to be careful, because if you blink, it's all over!

How much fun was that?! There are many more E.Z. projects I'd like to do. She's had such a great mind. How can you come up with something like that on a camping trip?- or at all?
Anyway, onward!

I've got a triangular shawl on the needles. It will be a present for my grandmother. I've searched for an easy one through all my books and found one which is quite easy to memorize and knit. More about that as soon as I have something to show you (blocking stage and after). It's just a red blob right now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

E.Z's Ganomy Hat!

Wow, black is really hard to photograph! Last night (it always happens at night), I've started the Ganomy hat. It's going to be a B-day present for David. His favorite "color" is black. So in order for him to wear anything I make I had to get some black yarn. This was made with Pure Alpaca from It's so soft and slippery too. I've tried on the hat and it's incredible warm.

The pattern is from E.Z.'s Knitter's Almanac - June. If you know her you know that her directions leave a lot open for interpretations. My first try landed in the frog pond. It was way to long and I ran out of yarn. This morning I ripped it back quite a bit. Still I've ended up with a hump on top. You look like a smurf with this hat on. I'm not sure David will wear it as it is now. I've looked closely at E.Z's Ganomy hats. They are long on top too, but she'd put bobbles on them. Oh, well, if he wont wear it, I'll warm my head whilst shoveling snow in the month to come. I don't want to rip it out again, because (main reason) I've already woven in the ends.
Another piece which landed in the frog pond is the landscape scarf by E. Clark (pattern Fiber Trends). I must say, lace is still not my friend. This one bugged me no end. I had actually done about 30 rows more as in the picture. I made mistakes all over the place, even with the marker in place. I hated making the picot edge, even though they just HAVE to be there, for the looks. I like the Landscape schawl, but this one will have to wait for a while.

Still working on the second pair of Flow Motion socks. Knitting the same pattern twice, right one after the other, was not such a good idea. Got bored a bit. Now, before I'll start something new, why not finish a few things? I've also knit the end border of my Bedbugs lace scarf. Now I have to get some courage to graft it together. God help me with that! ;o)

Monday, September 25, 2006


First of, Sam think's he is people too! Whenever we sit around the coffee table and talk, he sits down pretty on the sofa and listens. Biko has never done that.

Now we come to the transformation part. On the right you see an ugly ball of sock yarn. I really didn't like it at all (was given to me), but after knitting it, it was not so awful any more. Still don't like it much, but I can at least look at it now.
I made socks as a gift and know that the one getting them will like the colors at least. It's a simple sock with a K3, P1 leg. The foot is simple stockinett stitch. I did try out a new heel though. It's the jojo heel. I found the instructions on the Lana Grossa website. If you really want to know, I'll look it up. Anyway, I like this heel. It's fast and easy and there are no ugly ridges or pumps. If you don't have a high instep, it will work out great! With this pair I did 3 heels, because I had to rip out the second one (not because of the heel, but because of the yarn).
Notice the matching stripes! I started the first sock from the outside and as is my way of doing socks now, started the second one right away from the inside. I noticed that the stripes will match and was very happy about it. I had to cut the yarn after the second heel though, otherwise I would have had one blue row after the heel. But it turned out fine.
By the way, this pair of socks was made with appr. 24,640 stitches, not counting knitting the heel a second time. Pretty impressive! My son said, " you are nuts". Well ...Yarn used:Super Soxx by Lang& Co, 78 g of the 100 g ball. I made mens size 11 and the legs are 8 inches high. The ballband said 2.5-3.5 needles. I've started out with 2.5 but changed after the toes to 2.25mm, much better fabric. I could have used 2mm , would have been fine also. O.K. enough said about the socks.
Now see here: My ugly selfdyed is not so ugly anymore! I quite like it knitted up. It's going to be the Flow Motion socks by Cat Bordhi again. I just love the pattern. I use 3.75mm needles to get a smaller sock, for women's size 9. The last ones were made with 4mm needles and they fit my 10.5 foot perfectly. (You can't change the sts count with this pattern. Only by changing yarn and needle size can you achieve a smaller or bigger sock).

I'm actually further along with the sock. I've also another project on the needles which will also be a gift. More about that the next time.

I go knit now.
Oh yeah,
the moral of this story, don't be too hasty in judging yarn you haven't knit with yet! ;o)


Margie: What I meant with one sock from the outside and the second one from the inside, was that I started knitting the first sock with the yarn from the outside of the ball (if the ball is a big one 100g and makes a pair of socks). I start knitting the second sock right away, so I don't get the second sock syndrom and pull out the end of the yarn inside the ball. Sometimes I divide it into two balls so they will not hang together. I hope I didn't confuse you too much! ;o)

Dipsy Doodle: On the LanaGrossa website you have to go to "Der Stricktipp./Knitting Tip". There you'll find "Sockenmit JOJO-Ferse" (Socks with JOJO-Heel) and other great tips.

I really liked the JOJO heel. Have fun!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Flow Motion socks finished!

I'm so happy about these socks. I'm wearing them right now, hot off the needles! After a falls start and some ripping, they found a happy ending.
On the right they are still connected, knit from one ball. I substituted the yarn so I had no idea if the yarn I choose would be enough for a pair, and it was.

pattern: Flow Motion by Cat Bordhi Vogueknitting Fall 2006
yarn: Speed Demon, sweetgeorgia yarns, 100% Superwash Merino Wool sportweight yarn, 280 yds; colorway coffee bean
needles: 4.0 mm
modifications: magic cast on; only 2 pattern repeats on the leg and instead of the picot edge on the cuff, I did a K1,P1 ribbing.
size: women 101/2 wide (I told you I'm Bigfoot)

They fit my feet perfectly and are warm, soft and just wonderful. Since yesterday, it's necessary to wear socks again. Just in time!

This is my ugly self dyed yarn. I'll be making another pair of Flow Motion socks with it. But not right away. I have to knit some boring socks with selfstriping yarn first. (no yarn, ugly or not, goes to waste in this household)

And - I've been knitting on my vest last night and shortly before midnight frogged the whole thing. It was just not working out. I've got to find myself a nice pattern for a vest. I really need it like yesterday. I don't want to have to put on my old ratty fleece jacket again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I blame the construction company!

I could kick myself! I did some very stupid things today. I blame it on the construction going on in front of our house/street. Work started before 7AM with jack hammer and trucks driving backwards, if you could go by the peep, peep, peep. Thank god they are done now!
Well and not enough sleep might have played a role in my stupidness as well, or because it's the 19th of the month? Who knows?

To bring you gently closer to my most stupid thing done ever, I present you this (f)ugly dyed yarn. It's unbelievable how this turned out. It could not have been worse. Shake your head and look away in disgust! I can't, it's like I have to stare at it, most of the day anyway. It actually grows on you, or is it that one simply gets used to ugliness as well? I'm still going to use it and knit the intended socks with it and if it's at all possible throw the socks in another color bath afterwards. I've used Cool Aid (first time). I've presoaked the yarn, squeezed it and let it gently glide into the first of two bath. It took all of a second, you could see it sucking up the color the instant it hit the bloody red liquid; very uneven and only clear water was left. Into the second bath it went, stewing for a while. Would you believe it took only two colors to make this??? I'm amazed that I was surprised by the result. What was I thinking? At all? I'm usually good with colors. Not that I studied them, I just go by feel and I like surprising effects. Well, enough said. I came to the conclusion, dyeing is best left to the professionals. Still, I'll be doing it again and hopefully with a more pleasant outcome. On to my BIG mistake!
Sob... you know what I did? I'm ashamed to admit it, I did a three needle bind off with my lace scarf!!! Well, that bit me in the butt.

How should I have known? It's my first lace project. I was so happy to have finally knit the last stitch today. I've knit the border lace some time ago, so I would know better how much yarn was left for the main body. So, there I was binding off very loosely, whistling along to Dean Martin's "Sway with me". Horror of all horrors, as soon as I was done, I knew I had made a big mistake. It would not stretch a tiny bit, nothing. First I've tried to undo it stitch by stitch, but soon it was apparent, that I'd have to be careful to get the main body stitches first and forget about the border lace. I'll have to rip it and knit it again. Even now I'm not sure I've got all the stitches. I don't dare to look yet. It's going to rest for a few days until I get the nerve up to have a closer look. Sob. I'd like to throw it into the garbage, but of course wont do it. So many hours of working "air" as my son said to me today. "I don't understand how you like doing that. You are knitting air." (or something to that effect). Sob.

The following mistake is to relax again, after the big catastrophe. Last night I gave in to the urge to knit socks. I've cast on Cat Bordhi's "Flow Motion" socks from Vogueknitting Fall 2006. I absolutely love the construction. It's knit on US # 6 needles, but I substituted the yarn. The row gauge was off and that means the sock got too long in the foot. It was meant for a size 9 foot, but turned out to be even too large for my feet. On the left you can see the ripped out wool, on the right is where the sock is now (and was last night close to midnight). The only thing which bothers me with this pattern is, that you can't (for a long time) memorize the pattern, that's me anyway. You have to keep looking at the pattern directions which are written row by row. Of course in the magazine they are Princess-pretty as they call it, and mine look more like peasant foot wear. It's the color (coffee bean by sweet Georgia) and the thickness. It's soft and quite lovely actually. I'll need another 2-3 pattern repeats before binding off. I love those socks already and will be making at least one other pair.

Anyway, it's late again. I'm tired and wont touch any knitting anymore tonight. This was not my day. Sob.

OneSkein secrete pal revealed!

I just picked up yesterday's mail and what a surprise there was! I've got my OneSkein secret pal final present. Look at this wonderful and beautifully knit beret (yarn: Rowan plaid-merino/acrylic/alpaca) and a most lovely yarn it is! I Love the colors (which do not show on this foto)! And an added bonus which was not necessary but very much appreciated - yarn. It's handpainted Originals (Brown Sheep Company) mohair and wool mix. See the Art Deco card in the background? I Love Art Deco and have a small collection of cards like this one.
Dear Jeanne , I thank you very much! This is a lovely gift and as you could see on previous posts, I've already used up the other skeins you've send me to make VERY comfortable accessories for the coming winter!
I don't think I'll be wearing this beret though (big head) but my daughter has a head which can be adorned with almost anything and looks good. So I hope you don't mind. She's the one in our family who loves to wear stuff on her head. The next time she'll be home I'll take a picture and you'll know what I mean.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I can't tell you for how long I've been wanting to make myself some wrist warmers. I don't like the bulky ones.
On the left you see my first pair, nothing special, except they are made with angora wool and the yarn is selfdyed. You can see the halo going on. They are like heating pads, unbelievable warm. I've used up all of the 50g ball I've got from my OneSkein secret pal. They will come in handy once it gets cold, I love them. Hannah is modeling them for me.

Sam was so good to model the rainy day scarf. Finally done! It was not raining that day, but cloudy and dreary. The specifics for this scarf: yarn: Valley Yarns: Kangaroo Dyer, color: Night Sky, 50% Alpaca 50% wool, 250g/350yds on 5mm needles, the pattern is from "yarn demon", size: 4.5"X79" unblocked. I will not block it. It draws in quite a bit. At first I wanted to use up all the yarn, but the scarf got long enough and I had a little left over. So I made this little wallet sized thingy. Just playing around and having fun. I love this kind of blue (actually several hues of blue).

I've lined it with fabric, leftover from my quilting and sewing days. The button is from my visit to the Kitchener Fair.
Last night I started and finished these fingerless mittens. Would you believe it that I took time to get gauge? I wanted them to fit well. With a little math I figured it out. Looking through the blue Barbara Walker book I found this old German stitch pattern called "Fuchsia". This draws in a lot as you can see on the small picture. You would not believe they could fit, but they do.

I've used Filati Corallina Merino extrafine, not even one ball. On 3.25mm needles, it's a 12 row repeat. This yarn is springy, if you pull it, it pounces back. Funny feel to it too! Anyway, I love the color, that's just my kind of green, warm and juicy and they fit perfectly.
It seems I'll do anything to avoid to continue knitting on my "Bedbugs" lacey scarf, although it's grown a little. I'm not sure I'm ready for lace weight yarn yet. Although I'm enjoying it very much, I can't get over it how long it takes to finish something!

I've done 13 pattern repeats of the main lace part (and the beginning lace part). It's a 20 rows repeat, so I've done 282 rows X 65 sts = 18330 sts so far! I think it's a little over halfway done.

Since I've finished some things, I have the wildest urge to cast on some socks. I have so many nice sock yarns, it's hard to choose from, but I have to be strong. I still have to finish the vest for myself, I've got still 2 blankets waiting to be done, the lace scarf over there. I'd like to make some Christmas gifts (6 pair of socks, 2 lace shawls (HaHa), 2 hats, fingerless mittens) but I'm not going to make myself crazy if I can't do it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Honorable Hermann the (h)adorable Hedgehog!

Meet Honorable Hermann the (h)adorable Hedgehog! I just couldn't wait for a sunny day to show you. Isn't he cute? He's 8" high and 22 1/2" around. I made it yesterday, knitting, felting, stuffing and finishing. It was so much fun to do!

I couldn't find the eyes and nose in any stores so one of our little stuffed animals had to bite the dust. Hermann's nose is a little bit wonky, but that gives him character.

pattern: Fiber Trends Huggable Hedgehogs designed by Debbie Radtke

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Waterloo County Knitters Fair 2006 in Kitchener!

I've been looking forward to this Fair since April this year. That's when I first heard of it. Until this morning it was not certain, that I could go - but I did. It was open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. We wanted to get there early, but traffic and several detours later it was already 11 AM when we got there. It's the first time I was in that area, I was pretty excited about the whole thing. The parking lot was full, full, full. We stalked a couple of women who came out the front door and where obviously leaving and it paid off - sorry about that! (behind us where three other cars with the same idea - I think).
I had ten bucks ready for the cover charge. I didn't bother filling out the stubs for the door prizes and made another woman happy (by giving her mine). By the way, my son David was my driver, thanks David, but he refused to carry my shopping bags. He told me so from the beginning. He knows me well. (As it turned out, he shouldn't have worried about that).
We got a smiley stamp on the back of our hands and a purple sheet with the program on it. All around us it was buzzing and we where shoved right into this madness. The event was held at Bingeman's center. There were 92 booths set up in one large hall (but not large enough). I was set and ready to go and imagine my disappointment. Everywhere I went I was in the third line in front of the booth's. I could not even touch yarn, just look at it longingly from the far. Now, I'm not a person who pushes her way to the front with her elbows, no way, that's not me. But after walking around the hall without getting near some yarn, I started to get desperate! I swore to myself, I would not leave without SOME YARN, no matter what! There were so many pretty knitted scarves, shawls, sweaters on display all around and you could admired them mostly from afar, some I touched in passing , pushed on by the tide. I think 11 AM was the worst time we could have arrived there. After circling twice I knew I wanted to get close to the Alpaca stand, and I wanted some lace weight yarn. I was looking for sock blockers but we could not find a single booth which sold them. I saw a sock blocker made crudely out of brown cardboard, but just to show off a silly sock made of the Alpaca yarn I was coveting. I recognized some yarns, again only from a distance, like Koigu with a prize sign $ 14.00 a skimpy little skein, which made me walk on smartly. (it was clear to me that you can get most of the yarn with name brands like Koigu on the internet a little cheaper) I saw handmaiden/fleece artist yarns, let my fingers slide over them in passing. Grabbed the ocational skein of soft yarn I did not recognize, but the prize made me put it back hastily. Then I saw a beautiful scarf in many shades of green. Wow! So amazing, I was looking for the yarn on the table in front of it and even found the same shade. I made a run for it, grabbed it, but hey! I almost dropped it as soon as I picked it up. What was that? The label informed me, that I was holding 100% wool from a Romney sheep. Boy that was scratchy! Who would want to wrap that yarn around his neck? Nobody in my family! No matter how beautiful the colorway was, sorry but NO!
On my third or fourth run around I came upon a booth with no customers at all. I saw my chance an browsed the buttons. Real nice. One lady before me was paying for her stuff and then it was my turn. The Lady from this booth didn't know the prize of the buttons and asked me to go and get the prize and the code number. By that time you once again couldn't get near the tray's with the buttons in them. I said , no way Lady, forget it. Well, I've brought home those buttons, she did it herself. Me likes them very much! ;o)
By that time David was very uncomfortable indeed. He was one of three men there (believe me, we counted). I've had enough of this pushing and shoving as well. I've got my loot, so we left.
Just now, at home, I was able to read this purple sheet with the 2006 vendors on it as well as the schedule of events. I'm sorry to say that I've missed Sally Melville's seminar. I've just recently bought two of her books and I like them. Would have been nice, really. I'm also sorry to have missed the dyeing yarn seminar using cake decorating dye, because I bought some yarn I'd like to dye myself.
In conclusion, if I'll ever go to this fair again, it will be with more time on hand and arrive there earlier. I would read the program right there, so I wouldn't miss some interesting seminars.
Now, here's my loot:

Jagger Spun, painted Zephyr, 50% merino wool and 50% Tussah silk, color: Moss (LOVE it), 115g skein/1260 yards. It's from

Polworth Wool, 2 skeins, each 150 gms/823 yds, natural, which I will dye. It's from Rovings in Dugald, MB, Canada

These Edelweiss buttons and the dancing people buttons are from "The Wool Room" in Kingston, Ontario

These are 10 balls of Baby Alpaca. The label just says INCA Tops, Peru, no yardage or anything else. It's wonderfully soft and I've got a Diamond cover pattern with it (which I will not use). I might dye some of it.

Well, there you have it.

This was an exhausting day. I'm going to get a few garter stitch rows on my blanket, but that's all I'm going to knit tonight.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy 21st Birthday, Christopher!

Lets get the important stuff right out of the way. Biko and Sam, both exhausted from a hard day of playing, relax in front of the TV. She's a real couch potato and melts into the furniture. Sam has his special place and was not too happy about the flash light. How can I be so rude to wake him? Anyway....

Since in our house you can not sit down without having to worry about needles in your six, you will get the urge to take them and do something other than through them across the room. Well, Hannah got the urge and asked if I had some black yarn. The only black wool I had was the one my secret OneSkein pal sent me a few weeks ago. She wanted to make a hat (and did so). Hannah's always fast. Casting on was done while standing and with a little help from good old mom she was on her way. She had a pattern, but didn't bother to read it carefully (a quick glance was enough), naturally the ripping followed. Long story short, as you can see, she's wearing her Alpaca hat in black! For some reason the dogs where very interested in this finished product (while it was still on the coffee table). They usually don't bother at all with my knitting!

On the left the fruit cake ;o) for Chris's party. Can you see the skull?

And on the right is Chris (Hannah's boyfriend) with his birthday socks, knit by - moi. They fit even on his spindly legs. It's like walking on clouds (color or softness or both?) I ask.

Why is it that I spend so much time online, playing with the dogs and do anything but knitting lately? I can't figure it out. Maybe there are too many projects in my head and on the needles, that it makes me paralyzed. Don't know where to start first. Should I knit here a little, blankie? Lace? Ahhhhhhhhh! Thank god the young'ens are away for a few days, so there'll be some peace and quiet around here again. ;o)

Have a nice productive, relaxing weekend!