Friday, March 30, 2007

ECF: Old door

Old door
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I haven't touched my knitting (or photographed it) since Wednesday, and that was just to rip a bunch out. So, today you get this old door that I saw wandering around town.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Elephant seals on the beach

I ripped the top of the hat back to before where I started the decreases. Between decreasing earlier and the two 20" or so lengths of fun fur scraps, I hope I can close the hat properly.

On the other hand, it may already be too late to send to Tacoma.

Happy ocean photo. These are elephant seals. According to my environmental education friends, the babies have to gain something like 10 lbs a day before mom leaves them to figure out how to swim on their own. Apparently the milk from the mom is about 55% fat!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There are things worse than boring

Under the pier
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I finished the fun fur chemo cap #6, but ran out of yarn just before the end and filled in with some worsted red yarn I had leftover from the Red Scarf project. But it looks all wrong and holey, so tonight I will see what I can do with 2 20" pieces of fun fur I found about the house, to finish it a bit more in the fur and then maybe just cinch it closed.

My toe-up socks are coming out too big, too. At least I can measure my gauge and make a better guess for next time. (Oh, are you supposed to do that before you start?) Next time I'll use a piece of paper (a tool I seldom use unless it's a pattern print-out). But I might put them aside for a while in favor of Fetching or Dashing.

I need to work on seaming the Aran baby sweater for the Bustalong and knit a preemie sized beanie. I clearly need more knitting time.

On the way home today I'll stop and see if I can find some suitable buttons and really finish the Pea Pod sweaters - I washed them last night (machine wash warm, tumble dry low). I had irrational fears that they'd just come apart and I'd pull out big tangles of yarn. Thankfully, only one of them has 2 ends sticking out of the right side.

Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Springtime prize!

STR: Jewel of the Nile
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
Irisheyes Lynn, Kathy and Al had a contest for the Spring. BMFA STR yarn in colorway "Jewel of the Nile." The colors were so fabulous, I had to enter! These knitters are so sweet and included a note on a postcard from the Chicago area.

I'm thinking I might try out the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I love bright colors, and these are really brilliant!

Thank you so much, Irisheyes knitters!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Drowning in a sea of knitting

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
The Sweetie's parents visited this weekend, which meant no knitting group, and almost no knitting. I worked on the fun fur hat one night before sleep, and that's it.

More future things to blog about: I received my prize STR on Friday! Thanks so much, Kathy and the lovely ladies at Irisheyes! Photo tomorrow.

Also, have you heard about this? It's a traveling blanket / swap. I'm thinking I could do this - 1 square (or whatever), that I could do ahead of time and attach. If I'm ambitious, I could try something like Nona's swatches; if not, I can make a pretty square.

So I still need to finish the fun fur hat, the beanie for a preemie, and (it's getting close to the end of the bustalong) the aran baby sweater. And we are going to try and meet the twins who are the intended recipients for the Pea Pod sweaters over Easter, so I really need to find some buttons!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wee Tiny Sock received!

I received my Wee Tiny Sock from Jaimi! She says it is out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - just like mine was. She recently finished the Lady Eleanor stole from Scarf Style out of Noro Silk Garden, just as I am planning to do! Go take a look.

Thank you, Jaimi! And thanks again Emily for organizing this fun fun fun swap!

(And she'll have fun fun fun 'til her daddy takes the DPNs away-ay-ay....)

Here is a close-up:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Knitblog Lingo

Here is a list of abbreviations, acronyms, and terms often seen on knitting blogs (and sometimes blogs in general), to help the new knitblog reader along. Feel free to suggest more, and I'll add them to the list. Most of these were ones I had to figure out when I first started reading knitblogs.

  • <3: Heart. If you turn your head on its side to the right, you will see.

  • ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder. Many knitters suffer from knitter's ADD, a condition where the knitter starts up multiple projects and switching between them.

  • AI: American Idol. A TV show that seems very popular among knitblog writers, because I keep seeing AI and wondering, artificial intelligence? Al short for Albert/Alexandra? (Because in a sans serif font, capital I looks like lowercase l.) After missing this for the umpteenth time, I'm adding it to the list.

  • Alice St*rmore: Alice Starmore. A knitwear designer who (along with her daughter, Jade Starmore) is well-known for her intricate Fair Isle designs as well as Aran designs. She is the author of some very in-demand books (Pacific Coast Highway, Aran Knitting, The Fair Isle Knitting Handbook) which are now out of print and consequently are available from used bookstores for prices in excess of $200US. Some of her books (The Celtic Collection, The Children's Collection, Fisherman's Sweaters) are readily available. She currently sells selected patterns (some of which are excerpted from her books) in kits from her web site,

  • armscye: A garment construction term, referring to arm hole of a garment.

  • AS: Alice Starmore. See Alice St*rmore.

  • ASC: All Seasons Cotton, a cotton/acrylic blend yarn by Rowan.

  • b/c: because.

  • BFF: Best Friend Forever, or Best Female Friend.

  • BFL: blue-faced Leicester. A type of sheep, and also denotes the kind of wool from that particular sheep. Some spinners really like this stuff.

  • BIL: Brother In Law. See also FIL, MIL, and SIL.

  • blog carnival: A periodic collection of good blog posts centered around one topic. Hosted at For more information, click here. This term was most likely invented by the web site's owners.

  • blogcation. Vacation from regular blogging. May or may not be correlated with a vacation IRL.

  • blogdar. blog + radar = blogdar. Meaning: project detection mechanism. Flying under the blogdar: Engaging in stealth knitting and, therefore, not blogging about any or all progress made on said project(s). Definition courtesy of trek.

  • blogiversary. Anniversary / birthday of the blog. A milestone worth celebrating, sometimes by holding a contest. Other milestones include large round numbers of posts and comments.

  • BMFA: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the producers of the beloved STR.

  • BSG: Black Sheep Gathering, an annual fiber festival held in Eugene, OR, near the end of June.

  • BSJ: Baby Surprise Jacket. A popular pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman in which an oddly-shaped plane of knitting folds and becomes a beautiful jacket, hence the "surprise". There is full description at Knitwiki.

  • BTW: By The Way.

  • button: A small image which symbolizes a project, blog, or other idea. The Tricoteuses Sans Frontiers button on my sidebar is an example. Copy them to your own server and upload them to your blog, so that when your page is loaded it does not cause extra load on other people's servers.

  • CAL: Crochet ALong. See also KAL.

  • camnesia: The state of having forgotten the camera, resulting in any blog article about an event being without photos.

  • CASP: Cheap Ass Secret Pal. I think it was sponsored by Knitty on the knittyboard.

  • CE: Cotton Ease, a popular yarn manufactured by the Lion Brand Yarn company.

  • CFSP: Cash Free Secret Pal. This has been replaced by CASP.

  • circs: Circular needles. Two pointed needles attached by a flexible cable. These are used for knitting in the round (tubes), such as for socks and hat. See also DPN.

  • CMF: Crown Mountain Farms, a purveyer of handdyed fiber and handspun yarns.

  • CPH: Central Park Hoodie. A popular sweater pattern published in the Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene.

  • CSM: Circular Sock (Knitting) Machine. A hand-crank machine for knitting circularly, usually for socks. Here is a good reference about sock machines.

  • CTH: Cherry Tree Hill. A yarn company that makes several types of popular handpainted yarn, especially sock yarn and lace.

  • curse: See Sweater Curse.

  • CYCA: Craft Yarn Council of America. A trade association for the yarn industry. It has defined standards for knitting and crochet tools and yarn weights.

  • DD: Dear Daughter. Any other single or double initials which are not listed here are likely to be abbreviations for the blogger's family members whose names are being kept secret, in deference to their own privacy policy. See also DH, DS.

  • DFS: Diamond Fantasy Shawl, a shawl design by Sivia Harding.

  • DH: Dear Husband. Don't see many DW's around the knit blogosphere! Any other single or double initials which are not listed here are likely to be abbreviations for the blogger's family members whose names are being kept secret, in deference to their own privacy policy. On this blog, my pseudonym for my DH is The Sweetie. Another example is TMK (The Mysterious K). See also DD, DS.

  • DIY: Do It Yourself. Or "Do-It-Yourself", as a money-saving or creative strategy for getting something you want.

  • DK: Double Knit. This usually refers to a weight of yarn, lighter than worsted and heavier than fingering. It comes from the technique double knitting, in which a two-sided knitted piece is done both sides at the same time, and which was traditionally done in this weight.

  • DPNs: Double Pointed Needles. These are used for knitting in the round (tubes), such as for socks and hats. See also circs.

  • DS: Dear Son. Any other single or double initials which are not listed here are likely to be abbreviations for the blogger's family members whose names are being kept secret, in deference to their own privacy policy. See also DD, DH.

  • EAC: Evelyn A. Clark, a popular knit designer, especially of lace shawls. Most of her patterns are available from Fiber Trends.

  • ECF: Eye Candy Friday. Proposed originally by Purly Whites, a new tradition of posting beautiful photos on your blog on Fridays, to beautify the blogosphere.

  • EL: Elizabeth Lavold. A knitting designer and yarn brand for Silky Wool and Silky Tweed, among others. More here.

  • EoP: Eye of Partridge. A type of stitch used for the heel flap when knitting a sock. Alternative to heel stitch.

  • EL: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Percentage System. Described in Knitting Without Tears.

  • ETA: In a knitblog, this usually means "Edited To Add". That is, the author of the blog post went back and added something to the blog entry.

  • EZ: Elizabeth Zimmermann. A prolific knitter and writer, she is celebrated widely for her wisdom and fine yarn patterns in her many books.

  • FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. A collection of questions and their answers - if there is one, check it before asking a question.

  • F&F: Feather & Fan. A very popular pattern family, often applied to shawls and socks.

  • FBS: Flower Basket Shawl. A popular lace pattern designed by Evelyn Clark. It was originally published in the Fall 2004 issue of IWK and is distributed as a pattern leaflet through Fiber Trends.

  • FHBF: Future Husband / BoyFriend.

  • FIL: Father In Law. See also BIL, MIL, and SIL.

  • flashing: An effect when using handpainted yarn where bright spots in the yarn end up adjacent to each other, causing (unsightly) bright spots. See also pooling.

  • FO: Finished Object. This denotes a piece of knitting (or other constructed item) that has been finished.

  • FPS: Forest Path Stole. A lacy stole pattern original by Faina Letoutchaia, originally printed in the Summer 2003 edition of Interweave Knits, now available here (scroll down to PT-59).

  • frog: (verb) To rip out knitting. Etymology seems to be that "rip-it" sounds like "ribbit", the sound that a frog makes. Other terms extend this, such as "off to the frog pond" means something is to be frogged.

  • FYS: Flash Your Stash. The annual FYS day is April 1. This is when bloggers show photos of their entire stash. It appears to be organized on the Knittyboard.

  • GCNI: Gulf Coast Native Improved. A breed of sheep; also refers to fleece from this breed of sheep. More information here.

  • ggh: A German brand of yarn distributed in the US by Muench Yarns. It appears to be (or have been) an abbreviation for Garn Großhandel Hamburg.

  • grrl: An alternate spelling of the word "girl," often with the connotation of strength as opposed to weakness associated with the word "girl." Probably derived from Riot Grrrl.

  • GYS: Gimme Your Stuff, a swap focused on international swapping.

  • Harlot, The: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot. A knitter and author of "knitting humor" books. She blogs at More information at Wikipedia.

  • HP: Harry Potter.

  • IC: Interweave Crochet, a new crochet magazine, published by the same company as IK, Interweave. It has had several special issues, and starting in Fall 2007 will publish quarterly.

  • IK: Interweave Knits, a popular knitting magazine, published by Interweave.

  • IMHO: In My Honest Opinion, or In My Humble Opinion.

  • IOW: In Other Words.

  • IP: Intellectual Property. Or, Internet Protocol.

  • IRL: In Real Life. Face to face, in person.

  • ISE: International Scarf Exchange. A popular swap of scarves.

  • IW: Short for IWP.

  • IWK: Interweave Knits. See IK.

  • IWP: Interweave Press, a publisher of craft-related books and magazines, such as Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, and Spin-Off.

  • JMM: Judith MacKenzie McCuin, a well-known spinning instructor and author.

  • k: An abbreviation in knitting patterns which means knit (as opposed to purl or yarn over). It may be capitalized, but does not have to be. K2P2 is "knit 2, purl 2" and when repeated creates ribbing. Generally, kxpy refers to a ribbing pattern of some kind. See also p, yo.

  • k2tog: An abbreviation in knitting patterns which means "knit two together". This means to insert your needle into two knit stitches and knitting. It is often used in symmetry with ssk. This is one of many types of decreases.

  • KAL: Knit-A-Long. When 2 or more people decide to knit the same project (or from the same book or publication, as in the case of Scarf Style/Wrap Style) at the same time. Usually, there is a blog affiliated, where all KAL participants are expected (or even required) to post regularly about their project, and where questions and discussions of the pattern are welcome. See also CAL.

  • KAMS: Knitters Against MS. Organized by Claudia, those who support Claudia in her annual Ride Against MS.

  • kfb: Knit Front and Back. This is a common increase, in which you knit as usual but do not remove the stitch from the left needle, and then knit into the back loop (like ktbl) and then pull the stitch off the left needle.

  • KFYS: Knit From Your Stash. A KAL focused on knitting from your stash. This was proposed in 2007 by Wendy of Wendy Knits.

  • KIP: Knit In Public. Displaying the activity of knitting in a public space, such as the subway or bus, park, coffeeshop, or bar. This helps us Represent how popular and fun knitting is to the Muggles.

  • kitchener: (verb) To perform Kitchener stitch. Kitchener stitch is a technique for grafting knitted pieces together in a way that appears seamless. Typically used for closing the toes of top-down socks. The story of its origin, and a new technique for performing it, is at TECHknitting.

  • KMKS: Knit Mitt Kit Swap. A swap for knitting kits to knit mittens. There is a web site for a recent one (the first?) here.

  • knitblog: A blog focused primarily on knitting (and sometimes spinning too!)

  • KP: KnitPicks, an online retailer which offers economical yarn and knitting supplies. Their most recent hit is the KP Options interchangeable needles set, competing with similar products from Denise.

  • KPM: Koigu Premium merino yarn. Produced by the Koigu yarn company.

  • KPPPM: Koigu Painter's Palette Premium merino yarn, a handpainted version of KPM. Produced by the Koigu yarn company.

  • KR: Knitter's Review. A free, weekly online knitting magazine which, in addition to providing great searchable reviews of yarns, hosts a forum, shop, an occasional in-person events.

  • KSKS: Knit Sock Kit Swap. A swap for knitting kits to knit socks.

  • ktbl: Knit Through the Back Loop. This is a knit stitch variation in which you insert the needle through the back loop instead of through the front loop and knit it. It twists the stitch and looks a bit different. It is often used to tighten up what would otherwise be a loose stitch.

  • KVS: Knitting Vintage Socks. A popular sock knitting book by Nancy Bush, published by IWP.

  • LMK: Let Me Know.

  • LMKG: Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a popular book of patterns. As the title implies, great for gifts, last minute or no.

  • LOL: (from Laughing Out Loud or Lots Of Laughs. It has also been reported that some people think it means Lots Of Love.

  • LTL: Larger Than Life. Usually refers to the Larger than Life bag in the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet.

  • LYS: Local Yarn Shop. As opposed to online or non-local yarn shops. This is the one you go to when you are out of yarn, needles, or notions, or when you just want to browse.

  • MAS&W: Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival. An annual event held in May, possibly the last weekend.

  • MDK: Mason-Dixon Knitting. A book written by the authors of the Mason Dixon Knitting blog. This book is known for popularizing many patterns, including the ball band warshcloth, log cabin blanket, facecloth, dish towel, and burp cloth.

  • MDSW: Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Also seen as MD$W in reference to the emphasis on the marketplace. An annual event held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD, on the first full weekend in May.

  • meme: A thing that someone does on a blog, and asks other people to do the same thing on their blog. Note that to make this interesting, everyone's results should be kind of different. There are lots of them. It's kind of like playing "Truth or Dare" in blogland - it reveals a little bit about yourself. It also comes in handy when there is nothing else to talk about. Some popular memes: 6 weird things about yourself, books you've read / want to read / have no interest in / on your shelf. Here is what wikipedia has to say.

  • MIL: Mother In Law. See also BIL, FIL, and SIL.

  • MSn: Mystery Stole n, where n is a number. Mystery Stole 3 started in June of 2007. A Mystery Stole is a pattern which is released in parts, over a period of time. The final design is not known until all of the parts are released. It is designed by Melanie Falick of Pink Lemon Twist. To receive announcements of Melanie's KALs, join her Yahoo! Group.

  • MS&W: See MDS&W.

  • muggles: Adopted from Harry Potter books, this refers to non-knitters. Coined by the Yarn Harlot.

  • NETA: New England Textile Arts, the founding organization of SPA. They have a Yahoo! group.

  • netiquette: Etiquette for the online world.

  • NSG: Noro Silk Garden. A popular yarn by the Noro yarn company. This yarn (as well as many others by Noro) is best known for its long color changes.

  • NSK: Notorious Sock Knitters. A moniker adopted by BMFA for its clientele. They include NSK stickers with orders.

  • nupp: A combination stitch which involves knit and YO stitches in the same stitch over and over. On the following row the stitches are all purled together. The effect is a little round bead of knitting. This stitch is difficult for many knitters. It can be approximated by replacing the purl n together with "slip n-1, p1, psso". An extended discussion of the role of nupps and similar stitches in Estonian lace may be found here.

  • OK: The Opinionated Knitter, a book by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

  • OMG: Oh My God.

  • OTN: On The Needles.

  • p: An abbreviation in knitting patterns which means purl (as opposed to knit or yarn over). See also k, yo.

  • PDX: The airport code for Portland, Oregon, it sometimes generically refers to Portland.

  • PGR: Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, the author of Knitting in the Old Way.

  • PITA: Pain In The A**.

  • PNW: Pacific NorthWest. Seattle area, Washington State, and sometimes Oregon.

  • pooling: An effect when using handpainted yarn where colors end up adjacent over several rows, causing (unsightly) large blotchy spots of color. See also flashing. The same yarn, and indeed the same pattern, can appear either variegated or with lots of flashing and pooling, depending the amount of yarn used in the circumference or width of the piece. Both flashing and pooling can be avoided by alternating skeins, to break up exact repeats of the color sequence. Some knitters dislike pooling and either alternate skeins or avoid handpainted yarn; others embrace the look and let the yarn do what it will.

  • pr0n (spelled with the digit 0), sometimes pron (spelled with the letter o): An alternate spelling of p-o-r-n, in an attempt not to be found by web searchers looking for the real thing. Usage is usually knitting related: yarn pr0n is beautiful, often close-up, photographs of yarn.

  • PS: Project Spectrum. A celebration of color and crafting. In 2006, it was a different color a month. In 2007, it is a few colors every few months. Project Spectrum was invented by Lolly.

  • PSA: Public Service Announcement.

  • psso: Pass the Slipped Stitch(es) Over. This is a pattern instruction which usually follows slipping stitches and then doing a knit or purl stitch. This usually decreases the number of stitches.

  • Ravelry: An online organizer and knitting community. A Ravelry user may enter his/her knitted or crocheted projects, stash, list of future projects, link it to photos in Flickr and blog entries, and see who else in the Ravelry community is making the same projects and stashing the same thing. Currently, accounts are by invitation only, but anyone can request one by going to the site. There is a several week backlog of serving invitation requests, so please be patient. Future Ravelers (as members are called) are advised to photograph all projects (in progress and finished) and all stash items individually and upload them to Flickr in order to prepare for starting your notebook.

  • Rhinebeck: New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. An annual event held in Rhinebeck, NY on or near October 20 (might be the 3rd weekend in October?).

  • Represent: A movement started by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to give a theme to her book tour and to encourage knitters everywhere to show the world how great knitters are in works and in numbers. Official page.

  • RS: Right Side. A knitting abbreviation that refer to the "right side" that is, the side that is meant to be visible in the finished object, as opposed to the "wrong side." See also WS.

  • RYC: Rowan Yarn Classic, a sub-brand of Rowan yarn.

  • SABLE: Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy. The situation of having more yarn (or fiber) than can be knit within the rest of your lifetime.

  • SAM: Sock A Month. A KAL, currently in its third year, where the participants knit a sock a month for the year. There is a blog here.

  • SAHM: Stay At Home Mom.

  • S&W: Sheep & Wool. Example: Vermont S&W Festival. There are lots of festivals dedicated to the display and sale of sheep and sheep-related products. See also MDSW, Rhinebeck, VTS&W.

  • SIL: Sister In Law or Son In Law. See also BIL, FIL, and MIL.

  • SKB: Simple Knitted Bodice. A sweater pattern from Stitch Diva.

  • SKC: Sexy Knitters Club. A KAL where the participants knit sexy designs. It is hosted at [Note: All of their dates seem to be in 2008, even though I'm living in 2007.]

  • SKS: Sensational Knitted Socks. A popular sock knitting book by Charlene Schurch. There is a sequel, More Sensational Knitted Socks.

  • sl: Slip. A knitting pattern abbreviation meaning to slip stitches from the left needle to the right, usually purlwise (as if to purl).

  • SLC: Salt Lake City. Lots of bloggers live there or go there.

  • snail mail: Postal service mail. So called because it is slower than e-mail.

  • SNB, also written SnB: Stitch 'N' Bitch. Many knitting group use this as their name. This was already a widely used name for knitting groups before the book Stitch 'n' Bitch came out. I think there was some legal wrangling when the book came out defending a "trademark" but I haven't heard about it recently, so I figure it died down.

  • SOAR: Spin-Off Autumn Retreat. Sponsored by Spin-Off, a magazine published by IWP.

  • SOTM: Sock Of The Month, as in a SOTM club. There are lots of these, where you "subscribe" to receive sock yarn and patterns on a regular basis.

  • SP: Secret Pal. A recurring swap where each participant prepares goodies for a recipient, but they are supposed to keep their identity a secret. As of this writing SP10 is closed to signups. There are other secret pals swaps, as well.

  • SPA: SPA, Knit and Spin. An annual event since February 2003, held in Portland, Maine and sponsored by New England Textile Arts.

  • squee: A happy noise, like "yay".

  • SS: Stockinette Stitch. This stitch is formed by knitting on the right side and purling on the wrong side.

  • ssk: An abbreviation in knitting patterns which means "slip, slip, knit". This means to slip the first stitch knitwise (put your needle in as if to knit, and pull it off the other needle), twice, then stick the other needle through the two slipped stitches and knit. It is often used in symmetry with k2tog. This is one of many types of decreases.

  • SSS: Second Sock Syndrome. The ennui experienced when, having finished a sock, the knitter realizes s/he has to do it all again before the project can really be considered "finished." The reluctance to start or work on the second of a pair of socks. This can be avoided by doing the two socks of a pair at the same time, either on separate sets of needles or by doing 2 socks on 2 circs (or, for the bravest of all knitters, doing two socks simultaneously, one inside the other.

  • SSYC: Simply Socks Yarn Company, an online retailer of sock yarns.

  • stash: Stash is the yarn and/or fiber that the knitter already owns. Sometimes events such as "Flash Your Stash" are held in the blogosphere, where people show photographs of their stash. Some knitters collect yarn whenever they are moved; others avoid stocking up on yarn unless they are ready to work on it. Most of us, I gather, fall somewhere in between, being limited in funds and space to store said stash. Marinating is what the yarn (or fiber) does while you are not looking at or using it.

  • stash enhancement: What happens when items are added to the stash.

  • Stitches: An annual trade show. There are three held regionally, Stitches Midwest in August, Stitches East in October, and Stitches West in February. They are sponsored by Knitting Universe, which also holds "camp" events and publishes XRX books.

  • STR: Socks That Rock. This is a sock yarn created by Blue Moon Fiber Arts (see BMFA) and has many enthusiastic fans.

  • st: stitch. sts means stitches.

  • Sweater Curse: The Sweater Curse states that if a knitter knits a sweater for his or her loved one prior to matrimonial ceremony, they will break up. A more detailed description is in Wikipedia.

  • SWS: A wool/soy blend yarn by Patons. It has long color changes, similar to Noro.

  • SWTC: South West Trading Company. A yarn brand well known for alternative fiber content, such as soy, milk, and corn.

  • tag: (verb) To tell someone else (usually another blogger) to do something, usually a meme. Common usages: I've been tagged, I'm tagging you (with a meme).

  • TIA: While it could mean any of several things, in a knitblog it probably means Thanks In Advance.

  • tink: To undo knitting one stitch at a time. "Tink" is "knit" spelled backwards. This is a much slower way of ripping back than frogging.

  • TLC: A sub-brand of yarn by Coats & Clark.

  • TMI: Too Much Information. Occasionally, a blogger posts information that might be a bit more than we all needed to know.

  • TNNA: The National NeedleArts Association. A trade organization which holds trade shows and sponsors such programs as Stitch 'n' Pitch and Stitch to Win Against Breast Cancer.

  • TPI: Twists Per Inch. A way of measuring yarn for twist.

  • TSF: Tricoteuses Sans Frontiers ("Knitters Without Borders"). Organized by the Harlot, a movement within the knitting world to donate to and support MSF/DWB (Medecins Sans Frontiers / Doctors Without Borders).

  • UFO: UnFinished Object: A piece which is not finished. Implies that it has been set aside due to any number of causes, ranging from misbehavior to just plain ennui. Some knitters feel that these are a blight- they should either be finished or frogged.

  • unvent: (verb) To "invent" something that has been invented before by someone else. To discover something for the first time yourself, knowing that someone else has probably done it before. It was coined by Elizabeth Zimmerman who humbly refused to credit herself with techniques that she describes in her books.

  • VK: Vogue Knitting. A well established, popular knitting pattern magazine.

  • VLT: Victorian Lace Today. A relatively new book focusing on lace designs from the Victorian era, updated for modern yarns and styles.

  • VM: Vegetable Matter. When working with natural fibers straight from the farm, they often contain VM which needs to be removed.

  • VT S&W: Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival. An annual event held in Essex Junction, Vermont on or near September 9 (second weekend in September?).

  • WIM: Work In Mind. An idea for a future project.

  • WIP: Work In Progress. A piece of knitting (or other constructed item) which is in progress; the implication is that it is actively being worked on.

  • WPI: Wraps Per Inch. A way of measuring the weight of yarn.

  • WPI tool: A tool, usually wood and shaped more or less like a dowel, which helps measure wraps per inch. For a good explanation (and photos of beautiful hand-turned ones) look here.

  • WS: Wrong side. A knitting abbreviation that refer to the "wrong side" that is, the side that is NOT meant to be visible in the finished object, as opposed to the "right side." See also RS.

  • wtf: What The F**K.

  • Yarnival: A blog carnival for knitters. To submit articles or get information on the next Yarnival, go here.

  • yds: yards.

  • YFC: Yarn Focus Challenge. A movement where the participants vow not to buy yarn except on certain days, in order to limit the growth of their stash. The latest one was announced here.

  • YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary. In other words, you may get different results.

  • yo: yarn over. A knitting "stitch" where the yarn is looped around the needle to make a stitch. The effect it creates is a hole in the fabric, and it is a mainstay of lace patterns. See also k, p.

  • YPF: Yarn Pr0n Friday. A movement to show really nice photos of yarn on Fridays in the blogosphere.

Thanks so much to everyone who keep sending in new terms to list!

P.S.: If you have a blog and would like to link to a specific term here, you can! Just use <a href="
term">Word to be linked</a> (all in one line, with no space after the #), where term is the word you want to link to (the word in bold) with any non-letter symbols and spaces removed. The term is called an anchor. For example, you can link to LYS by inserting this code:
<a href="">LYS</a>
which looks like this:
LYS. To find anchors in this page, select View Source in your browser and look for the <a name="term"> tags.

This article has appeared in Yarnival! and in Lucia's Carnival of Knitting.

Read all about it (later)

Ocean bluff
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I have two knitting news bits, both of which will wait for better photos for the full story.

Firstly, I received my Wee Tiny Sock from my swapee, who has a blog but I left her notecard at home and can't tell you where it is. And I took a photo this morning but I had a slow start and didn't have time to upload it.

Secondly, I finished the second Pea Pod sweater last night. So all I need are buttons. Maybe this weekend I'll have a chance to look for some.

And now top of my knitting list is finishing the fun fur hat and sending it off, making a beanie for a preemie, sewing and finishing the baby Aran sweater, working on my toe-up socks, and unearthing some more UFOs (lace scarf?). If I'm really good and can start a new project, I can start the bump sweater and/or Fetching and Dashing.

Sorry for the lack of links. I'm still working out whether I like blogging best from Flickr (the way they insert the photos is nice) or Blogger. Heck, I might even try the Emacs interface (now I'm showing my geekiness).

Enjoy the photo (especially you, Knits by the Seashore!). Gosh, I thought I'd have to take lots of pictures of the cat to fill in on days when I have no knitting to show. Turns out, the ocean is just as photogenic and a lot more cooperative.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wee Tiny Sock Swap

Wee Tiny Sock Swap
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
(Blogless) Megan has received her package, so I am showing you my photo before I sent it. I included one of Aija's markers (have you not ordered from her?) which she sent FOR FREE with my order. I was just passing on the goodness. Okay, I kept one for myself, but I thought this was a perfect thing to include in my tiny sock swap. I included it in an envelope that Aija used to include a business card - that is also an Etsy product made of repurposed paper, in this case, pages of an atlas.

Thanks, Emily, for a great swap! Hopefully, I'll receive mine soon!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Winning for spring!

The girls over at Irisheyes had a contest for spring, and I won! So the most beautiful skein of STR is heading my way.... Can't wait to see it? Click here.

Chemo cap #6

Chemo cap beginning
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
Okay, so this photo is really of chemo cap #1, and #6 is not this far yet. But it's due by the end of the month, so I thought I'd best get started on it and right after that, on at least one beanie for a preemie. The coolest thing about these hats is it's knit knit knit until you've got 6 inches, and then only 20 rows or so of decreasing around the crown, and it's done. It's on nice big size 8 needles and I can do them without looking at them (a bit slower than when I look) and any errors - twisted stitches, tension problems - don't matter. Heck, I think if I even dropped a stitch, it would stay in place.

On Sunday I did finish the first of the Pea Pod sweaters, but you'll have to wait until I finish the second. It won't be long, as long as these hats don't get in the way.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Black & Tans

Black & Tans
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
No, not knitting. Beer! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I made these black & tans myself! Harps on the bottom and Guiness on top. The one on the left has more color separation. We had lots of theories as to how to make the beers stay separate, and I had chilled glasses, chilled beer, etc. First I poured the Harps, first into the one on the left, then the other. Then I started pouring the Guiness into the one on the left, onto a spoon held against the side of the glass, and then did the same for the one on the right. The one on the left had a bit of foam at the top from the Harps; the one on the right's foam had subsided by the time I got to it, and the Guiness sunk a little as it fell. So pour the Guiness in right away and don't be afraid of a little foam!

We had corned beef and cabbage with red and yukon gold potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. One friend brought over a wonderful salad of mixed greens, blue cheese, nuts, and freshly chopped pear, and another friend brought homemade apple crisp, which we baked during dinner. A wonderful night for everyone!

Hope you had a happy day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wee Tiny Sock sent!

I mailed my Wee Tiny Sock this morning. I hope the recipient likes it.

Otherwise, I have no knitting news. I've carried my sock toes around, but haven't gotten them out.

I leave you with this photo, which I took a couple of weeks ago. Today started out very foggy, which is typical following several days of hot weather. This is for you, She-Who-Knits-By-the-Seashore!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Progress continues on the Pea Pod sweaters. (The photo is from last weekend, the same day as the two piles of finished and unfinished.) Last night my knitting group met and I finished weaving in the ends, and picked up and knit the neck for one of the sweaters. I would have possibly have finished it, except that I was 2 rows into the neck pattern before I realized I'd been knitting it in the main color, and not the contrast color. Oops!

I also received these buttons (the strawberry ones) from Peace Fleece. I knew when I ordered them that they might not be right for the sweaters, and now I know they are not. But they are so cute, I might just have to figure out a sweater to knit for them!

Also in the order was a potholder kit (scroll down), which includes a set of wooden needles with painted tops. I plan to give the kit and the Kids Knit book to my friend's daughter if when I teach her how to knit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Socks on Circs

I started a new project. I know, I need to finish 3 baby sweaters (now all at the same stage) plus I have promised 2+ hats for charity. But I wanted some mindless, in the round knitting (hats hats hats should have been it) and so I started.

For my next socks, I wanted to try some new techniques.
  • Toe-up. I'd been eyeing the magic toe-up cast-on from Knitty, and I wanted to use it. So far, I love it, as there is no discernable edge where it began. Next time, maybe I'll use Wendy's provisional cast-on and her short-row toe. I hadn't realized it wasn't compatible with the magic cast-on.
  • Short row heel. For this, I do plan to use Wendy's Generic Toe-up Sock Pattern. Also, this yarn came with reinforcing thread which I might use in the heel part. Too late to use it in the toes.
  • 2 socks on 2 circs. I have vowed henceforth to always do both socks simultaneously, if necessary switching back and forth between them, in order to avoid SSS. But I've not done it on 2 circs before, and I'm finding it interesting.
I'm otherwise doing a plain stockinette sock, as I think the jacquard pattern is too busy for much else. That is new too! This kind of making up a pattern based on measurements (and lots of try-ons). How high will they go? Only time will tell.

A quick needle review

I chose to use an Addi Turbo and a KnitPicks needle (classic circular). Both are size 1, 24". (Don't do two socks on 2 16" needles. I tried that.) It's cool because I know my Addi (greenish cable) is needle 1 - the first needle of the round - and the KP (purple cable) is needle 2, so I don't have much sorting out to do when I pick them up. But it is giving me a unique opportunity to try them side-by-side. I'm finding that other than the pointiness of the needle, I prefer the Addis. It might be that, as Grumperina reported, that they are lighter. I know for sure that when I slide the sock onto the needle from the cord, it slides smoothly on the Addi, whereas it is likely to catch on the KP needle. I only know that I feel somewhat more relaxed and happy when using the Addi (except when doing M1R, when it's devilishly hard to get the needle in right).

And the best part is it's using yarn from the stash.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

FO: Wee Tiny Sock

I finished it! Actually, I started it on Sunday and finished up the toe Monday night during the break from choir. Kind of sad I didn't actually finish it in one day. This was for the Wee Tiny Sock Swap.

Project specs:
  • Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, almost solid Pine, left over from the Amana Star bonnet.
  • Pattern: Wee Tiny Sock.
  • Needles: Size 0 Brittany Birch. It actually made sense to have 5" needles for this project!
  • Mods: I picked up 12 stitches on each side of the instep instead of 9. I like to pick up as many stitches as I feel are necessary to avoid holes. I think it made for a roomier ankle area, since I had more decreases. Also, I did the heel twice because it came out wonky. The second time was less wonky, but I am still not 100% happy with it. The second time I did wraps for the short rows.
  • Notes: It was super fun to do this tiny sock. I found myself talking about my plans for making fingerless gloves, because I just can't imagine making individual fingers, and then realized the irony that I was basically making a finger (the sock leg).
Sunday, my knitting group celebrated our 1 year anniversary of being together by going on a road trip. We had lunch, then yarn shopping at a LYS, and then had tea. It was so hot that I had a "cordial" instead - a drink made from fruit concentrate, water, and sugar. Kind of the original "juice from concentrate". I met another knitter in the LYS (hi Anne!) and we chatted about other yarn shops, Shaefer Anne yarn, and how we both were on the watch for Addi lace needles. Unfortunately, she lives too far away to join our knitting group, but hopefully she will drop in on us now and then.

Monday, March 12, 2007

We love you, Eunny!

I just read from Rose-Kim Knits that Eunny Jang is the new editor-in-chief for Interweave Knits! So exciting for Eunny, so wonderful for us!

Okay, Eunny, we understand your long blog silence. Now we get to read you in print, with your touches all over Interweave Knits.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Aija's got a contest

Aija, my favorite stitch marker maker, is having a contest! Win cool stuff from her favorite Etsy shops! (Or just buy stuff from them, like I did...)

All you have to do is write a couplet for Choka On It, and let her know!

I did notice quite a few knitting-related couplets on there lately. Mine:

Suddenly a blog contest -
Everyone enters.
Why don't you try it, too?

I'm a joiner!

I finished the knitting on the Pea Pod sweaters. I'm partway through weaving in ends - the right side represents the done weaving ends pile (light green body only), the left side is the pieces that need ends woven in (dark green body + 4 sleeves). Then seaming, and finally knitting the neck band!

Have you heard about the Wee Tiny Sock swap? Today is the last day to sign up - it's super fast and it ends next week. Just sign up, knit a tiny sock, and mail it next Friday. Fun and quick, and doesn't break the budget (or yarn diet).

Thursday, March 8, 2007

(Knitting book) stash enhancement!

I took my dad to Solvang this weekend for some sightseeing and wine tasting. And we just happened to pop in to Village Spinning & Weaving! I hinted that maybe I should start there while they (The Sweetie and dad) were lingering over brunch, but they demurred. So they wandered around for a while, while inside the shop I petted yarns and mostly paged through books I've seen mentioned in the knitblogging world and which are in my Amazon wishlist.

Most of them I found I didn't need so much - the Montse Stanley book that Grumperina worships might have a place on my shelf eventually, but a large portion of it covers knitting skills I already have. I should visit it again before buying.

They did have a copy of Kids Knit, which made its way home in my bag. It's really not for me, so it's okay, right? A friend mentioned her daughter was interested in knitting, and after perusing it, it looks like a good kids book. The only hitch might be that she's left-handed. I plan to teach her "right-handed" especially after the survey that ScoutJ put out, but I was going to try and teach her continental. This book has only English. Maybe we'll start there and if she doesn't like English, we can go to continental. I also this week ordered a knit potholder kit from Peace Fleece - it includes 4 colors of yarn and some nice needles with hand-painted ends.

But here - a book on designing kilt hose! I happen to know someone who wears kilt hose: The Sweetie's sister's husband. And I happened to ask him if he might someday want a pair. Smart man, he said yes. This book is a delight - written by a woman from Argyll, Scotland, and recently reprinted by Schoolhouse Press. There is a wonderful paragraph about deciding what kind of stocking you are designing - one for running about outside at work, or fine stockings for evening wear. The knitting group had a few giggles over that one!

The bookshelf has gotten rather heavier as a result of the yarn diet so far this year!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New Knitty!

I haven't even looked at it yet. Just wanted you to know.

From the fact that it took two reloads to get the front page, and even then some of the photos didn't load, I am not alone in trying to see what's in it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Good Causes & Happy News

There are many good causes in the world. I have the blessings of having a job, owning a home (well, a mortgage the size of California), and being able to go out to dinner when I feel like it, and I feel that I don't donate enough of my money to charity. And with the web and PayPal, it's really easy. Knitting is easy too, especially if you have stash yarn waiting around, and if they're stockinette hats in kids or baby sizes.

Here are my opportunities, shared here in case you want to join the fun:
  • Fun fur hats. Mini is done, but she is passing the torch to her friend, MargaretGraceMills (AT) gmail (DOT) com, who will donate hats to Seattle Children's Hospital. Finish up your fun fur by April 1!
  • Heather, yarn dyer extraordinaire, at All Things Heather, is raising money to buy books for her daughter's school's sister school in South Africa. She is offering deals on her own hand-dyed yarn for those who donate! $20 gets you a skein (Heather, are you crazy?), $25 gets a skein dyed just for you, and $50 gets you 1 lb of yarn at 50% cost for wool or at cost for silk yarn. You can add to stash while not buying yarn!
  • Julie is collecting preemie hats until April 15. A great way to end the Stash Bust-along, don't you think? I have a bit of leftover sock yarn that would be great for this.
And just because I'm a sucker for weddings, Theresa is setting a new course! Congratulations Theresa!

[ETA: Also, I have donated to the Harlot's favorite, MSF, and also to She Knits By the Seashore's campaign for IBS, Get Your Guts in Gear. More info here. Really, donating is a good idea, sweetened even more by the possibility of winning some nice yarn in a drawing!]

Monday, March 5, 2007

FO: Baby Bolero

Finally seamed, blocked, and declared finished!

Project specs:
  • Pattern: Debbie Bliss Baby Bolero pattern from Baby Cashmerino 2 (the cover photo)
  • Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, red color, purchased from Monarch Knitting & Quilts, Pacific Grove, CA
  • Needles: Size 3 bamboo needles, Takumi/Clover. I usually prefer circular, but due to TSA recommendations, I chose straights. The pattern called for two sizes, 3mm and 3.25mm. I decided I could live with a difference of .25mm in my needles.
  • Notes: The pattern is kind of vague at times. In the future, I would avoid stair stepping* the shaping at the bottom. I might try the 3-needle bind-off for shoulder seams. I would definitely do a provisional cast-on for the edging and I might even attempt to knit it in one piece, to avoid grafting and the line that appeared when I wove the ends in; at least, I'd take care to end the ends on the inside edge of the edging. I did steam the edging flat, although I'm not sure how aggressive you can be when you don't touch the fabric.
The yarn was a little bit splitty. Mostly I noticed that since it is S-twist yarn, the stockinette had a vertical stripe look to it, where one side of the V was twisted tighter and the other side of the V was looser. I think I prefer even Vs created by Z-twist yarn. But it does wash and dry (in the dryer on low) well.

Overall, I'm glad it's done. I'll add it to the "finished objects" pile; it might get sent to a somewhat distant relative/friend who is expecting.

My dad was visiting this weekend, so we went around doing touristy things and I didn't take photos of my eBay purchase yet. But it did arrive and was speedily shipped.

[11:45am: ETA Re: Stair stepping: I read somewhere on Friday, a link to a link, about avoiding stair stepping when binding off some of the stitches in a row, to keep the last loop to be bound off, slip it to the left needle, and knit it together with the first stitch not to bind off. Now I can't find it...can any of you, dear readers, tell me where I read this? This is not the same as short row shaping.]

Friday, March 2, 2007

Eye Candy for Friday

I've had these in the Flickr account for a while now. The Pea Pod sweater has made it past the dividing for back and left sides, and is 2 rows into the ending lace chart. Finishing is soon - but my dad is visiting this weekend so the outlook for the weekend knitting is low.

And a couple of close-ups (okay, I was just playing with the macro lens) of Aija's stitch markers. I am such a sucker for those pearls!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I promised you some musings...

I don't really have any news to report. I do have a FO, but I'll blog about it after I get a photo taken. And it's not Friday, so no eye candy either. Instead, I have a photo of my co-habitant cat, Fred. I was taking photos to document my stash, and he wandered in and seemed to say, "Aren't I worthy of a photo?" There you have it.

My new favorite blog: Nona Swatches. Seriously, this woman is making the rest of us look bad. She has pledged to do a swatch a day. Talk about creativity! The swatch, in its size and simplicity, in its no-or-low expectations, in its minimal investment of yarn (and economy - use up scraps!), is just a perfect medium for going out on a limb: trying out new techniques, new color combinations, practicing new skills, different yarns in combination, different stitch patterns. The insight Nona is getting about her own knitting is fabulous, and she is generous enough to share it with the rest of us. She has a perfect stockinette swatch that she knitted backwards - knitting backwards and purling backwards. Today's swatch is a mini Orenburg lace shawl. All of the technical components, done out in sock yarn, now prepared to tackle it in gossamer weight...

Nona, you are truly inspiring.