Monday, April 30, 2007

FO: Quickie hat

Quickie hat
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
A friend of mine has been reading my blog (Hi, Liz!) and asked me to make a chemo cap for a friend of hers. We are working on choosing a pattern and yarn for a really nice hat, but in the mean time, I whipped this up from yarn in stash (using up stash - woo hoo!) in a night, more or less, while watching the new Bill Moyers documentary.

Yarn: Berrocco Plush, yellow with a little bit of blue (the blue was donated from my friend Ali's leftovers)
Needles: Size 9 dpns, probably Clover/Takumi.
Pattern: Basically the No-Hair Day Chemo Cap pattern meant for fun fur (CO 60, knit for a while, and decrease). I added 2 rounds of blue, 1 round of alternating yellow and blue, and 2 rounds of blue in the middle. It's a bit tight (now I understand about that Fair Isle tension of floats issue) but not overmuch.

Instant gratification, instant FO.

Friday, April 27, 2007

FO: Daisy sweater - Knitting Olympics 2006

After nearly a year, I'm finally getting around to showing my Knitting Olympics project. "What's that?" you say?

In early 2006, I had just discovered blogs. I started reading them, heard about the bloggy awards and therefore found the Yarn Harlot. I started reading (back then I was still hitting reload in my browser - are you still doing that? That's so 2006....) and the timing was just right for me to join the Knitting Olympics. (Go read. I'll wait.) We had more Knitting Olympics participants than the real Olympics did.

So I decided on the Yarn Harlot's own pattern, a baby sweater. Why a baby sweater? Because it has all the parts of a sweater, but it's smaller. This way I could finally practice my finishing techniques and have a real pieced-together finished thing.

I stopped by my local sewing shop that had yarn, got some Tahki Cotton Classic, and began. I knitted during meetings at work (I explained the challenge). I knitted during my lunch breaks. I took it with me everywhere. I rediscovered that I like knitting - a lot! And my hands didn't hurt! Yay!

So here, after all this time, I finally took a photo. When I finished (just barely in time; I think I had it done except for the buttons being sewed on) I used some leftovers to make a hat (my first "self-designed" hat) and some socks/booties.

Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, aqua, I think I ended up buying 3 skeins
Pattern: Daisy Sweater (from Knitty), by the Yarn Harlot, without any embellishment, in the smallest size.
Needles: I have no idea. I probably used size 7 circular, Susan Bates.

And finally, I have a blog so I can put up my medal.

A close-up of the fish buttons:
Thank you, Elise of Simply Recipes, for getting nominated for a Bloggy, so that I could discover the Yarn Harlot, so that I would join the Knitting Olympics, so that I picked up knitting again, so that I could start this blog, and meet all of you!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Old FO: Berry hat

Berry hat
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
Thanks so much for all the comments on the Faroese yarn. I think from the resounding response, it is destined for a Feather & Fan shawl! Should I use the one from Folk Shawls, or one of the many other patterns out there?

I finished this at least a year ago, possibly two. It's a really fun pattern - you start by knitting the leaves, casting on and binding off to make the points. Then you pick up stitches and make the rest of the hat. The bumpy berry pattern is easy to memorize, too.

Yarn: Heirloom superwash wool, I think it was 8ply. I think this is it. I haven't seen it in shops very much, but I really liked working with it.
Needles: Um...probably size 7 circulars Susan Bates. I'm guessing here.
Pattern: Berry Cute Hat from Fiber Trends

Also: more opportunities to give, with yarny prizes:
Gretchen is walking for the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, and strangelittlemama is walking for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (wow, that's a mouthful. But I didn't think you'd understand if I said ACSMSABC.). Give if you can.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stash enhancement: Faroese yarn

Faroese yarn
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
My friend Eric is a great yarn friend. Why? He has been giving me yarn ever since I took up knitting. And even though we hadn't communicated in about 6 years, when he found out I was bringing him his scarf, he acquired a gift of yarn for me.

This is Faroese yarn that I believe his mother acquired many moons ago in the Faroe Islands. It looks like it is natural colored, in dark brown, grey, and cream, and could be handspun. I think most if it is 2 plies, making a rather bulky-weight yarn. There is lots of VM in it. It probably also has natural lanolin in it.

This is very special yarn, which Eric bought from his mother (I'm guessing after a bit of begging for her to part with it) and I love it. I think I want to re-skein it and wash it, and try and pick the VM out of it. Any opinions out there, about the best way to prepare it for use? Should I not wash it because of the lanolin?

What to make? I was considering a traditional sweater, but it really is too thick - I'd never get a chance to wear it. So I'm thinking of a folk shawl instead. Any suggestions? I'd like to try for Faroese style (not lace, although a lacy pattern might work with this) or anything that captures the rustic, ruggedness of the yarn and its islands.

Thank you, Eric, for such a wonderful yarny gift.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Charity always pays

STR Fairgrounds
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I knitted 3 beanies for preemies and mailed them to Julie, and she picked me to win the STR!

This colorway (Fairgrounds) is so pretty- lots of purples with green/blue and orange. It just joyfully cries "spring". Julie also included a cool notepad which has a cover which closes, like a matchbook, and a beautiful card. And I included the envelope in the photo, because she taped pictures of flowers on it and used lots of Hershey's Kiss love stamps. It greeted me when I got home from a long day of work followed by a long choir practice. I literally jumped up and down!

Thank you so much, Julie! But really - doing charitable works always gives to the giver, whether or not it results in stash enhancement!

Monday, April 23, 2007

FO: Eric's Sampler Scarf

Eric's Sampler Scarf
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.

[ETA: Welcome visitors from Lucia's Carnival of Knitting!]

This scarf was commissioned by my friend Eric. He provided the yarn (vintage grey worsted wool, with little strands of purple in it) and he wanted a scarf. I picked out Ann Norling's Stitch Sampler Scarf pattern, on his approval. It features 8 different stitches, although instead of hearts I did a single panel in the center with an "H" on it (Eric's last initial).

I finished it back in 2000, just after I'd moved away from Davis. It was the second project I attempted, after two children's hats. But I managed to get in touch with Eric, who still lives in Davis, to give him this scarf last weekend.

Yarn: vintage grey worsted, with lines of purple in it, 100% wool (don't wash it, Eric!)
Needles: I think I used size 9 aluminum straight needles. I love the swoosh, swoosh sound they make when they rub together.
Pattern: Stitch Sampler Scarf, by Ann Norling. Substitute a perl "H" instead of the hearts.
Modifications: Just the aforementioned perl stitch "H". I didn't have much experience, and I didn't know the vertical perl sections would go in and the horizontal perl stitches would stick out. If I did it again, I'd do it in seed stitch. I also didn't block it, as I didn't know when I finished it that blocking would be usual, and when I took it out of its bag it was mostly straight. I chose to leave it unblocked, as it would have been had I delivered it right away. Eric loved it. He even reported that his mother (who was once a knitter but now quilts instead) was very impressed.

Here he is, wearing it proudly.

Eric's Sampler Scarf
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.

Friday, April 20, 2007

ECF: The no new photos edition

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I lost my camera last weekend when we went to Davis for Picnic Day. Luckily, a friend of mine works in the building where I lost it, and she located it and is mailing it back to me. So no new photos until it arrives.

But this photo was just waiting to appear on the blog.

A tale of two socks

Last night, I determined that my socks were 1.5" shorter than a pair of (machine-knitted) socks that fit me perfectly, so I started the short row heel. I was humming along, until I realized that I'd reached the point where the heel was a stitch shorter than Wendy's pattern/recipe said to stop decreasing. No problem, because my feet are small. Then I held them up to my feet.

[Imagine a photo of a sock with a big foot in it]

My sock is way too small. It fits my toe perfectly, although it is possible the stitches are more stretched than they "should" be - I'm not sure how stretched out they should look. My foot where the toes begin is 8 1/4" around, but just where the instep is is 9". This, at 7 sts/inch - 10% ease puts my stitch count at 50-58 stitches.

But here is my puzzlement - it seems that over the course of the toe, I should increase 8 stitches, but in all sock patterns I've seen, the stitch count remains the same throughout the foot. Are my feet weird, or do I need to have a loose toe? (Remember, I previously frogged the foot because it was too big - I think the stitch count was 60.)

Have a good weekend! I think mine will involve frogging some socks. But I want to get these right, so I can use it as a template for all of my future socks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

FO: Chemo cap #6

Chemo cap #6
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
If you've seen the other 5, you've seen this one too.

This was the last cap, made with the last bits of fun fur. I in fact ran out and originally finished with some worsted weight yarn at the top - not attractive. So back I went to find all of the odd lengths I had about - a 36" or so one, a 20" piece - and ripped back and started the decreases a bit earlier. This time, thankfully, I had enough. But it missed the deadline, so I'll hold on to it for the next chemo cap drive. I don't think it will be very warm, so I'm not sure it's appropriate for the Yarn Harlot's Represent tour.

Stats: see the this post.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Laceweight prize!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
Yesterday I mentioned an addition to stash that consisted of some laceweight. A while ago, Mr. Fickleknitter had a funny post about his transformation from normal person to parent. He concluded with a clever little trivia quiz, and promised some of his wife's "white elephant" yarn as a prize. (Fickleknitter herself asked in the comments if she could get new yarn if she won.)

Well, Mr. Knits With A Silent K, a.k.a. The Sweetie, is a great movie line rememberer. It was one of his traits that I had to get used to when we were courting - references all the time to movies, or episodes of The Simpsons, or TV shows pop up in conversations all the time. I think he and his brother could have entire conversations speaking only in movie lines.

Anyway, I asked The Sweetie to try the quiz, and I added one answer that he didn't get, and we (e-)mailed it in, and we won!

I can't truly believe that this yarn is "white elephant" - she included KP Shadow in Oregon Coast, and a ball of Icelandic laceweight (in manly colors, since The Sweetie really was the one who won it), and a bonus stitch marker taped in place of the "i" in my name. What wonderful stash enhancement! I shall never again say one negative word about The Sweetie's ability to remember movie lines.

The Icelandic yarn feels a little scratchy, but I have a feeling it will soften up with washing. Anyone out there have experience with this kind of yarn? It looks like it's spun as a single. [ETA: I really do love this yarn - I'm just curious about it. But I feel very fortunate to have this stuff!]

Thank you so much, Fickleknitter family!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bustalong wrap-up

First the good news: This KAL thing seems to be a good motivator for me. I successfully finished both red baby sweaters by the deadline.

I'm really glad these are done, and I look forward to setting more goals for the next parts of the Bustalong.

Subtractions from stash: 4 balls of pink and purple fun fur, some scraps left over from the baby bolero, and a few yards of scrap sock yarn for the Wee Tiny Sock.

Finished "scheduled projects": One red scarf and 2 Pea Pod sweaters.

Begun projects from stash: One pair of toe-up socks.

Additions to stash:

  • 10 skeins of Noro Lily - my indiscretion.
  • 2 balls of laceweight angora and approx. 10 balls of Rowan Linen Drape, given to me by a friend who didn't want it.
  • 1 skein of Sophie's Toes sock yarn, won in a contest.
  • 1 skein of STR, won in a contest.
  • 2 balls of laceweight, won in a contest.

So you see, my stash has grown, even if you don't count my indiscretion. The sock and laceweight yarn goddesses have been too kind. And the button stash has begun....

Monday, April 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
The new Yarnival is out, and I'm in it!. My article on Knitblog Lingo was selected for this Yarnival.

There are lots of other great articles there as well; I submitted at least 3 articles (in addition to mine) for this edition. They all made me smile or laugh out loud.

If you came here from Yarnival, welcome!

Friday, April 13, 2007

FO: Aran baby sweater

Aran baby sweater
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
Tax time is good for knitting, if you're not the one doing taxes. Wednesday and Thursday the Sweetie was working on taxes, giving me time to seam and finish this sweater, my second goal for the Bustalong.

Pattern: Heirloom Aran baby sweater, by Lisa Lloyd, from the Spring 2004 Interweave Knits. It is also available from her web site. I knit the smallest size.
Yarn: Schaefer Anne, colorway Rosa Parks, less than one very generously sized skein.
Needles: size 1 straight bamboo needles, I forgot the brand (with Addi Turbos and KP size 1 circulars for the neckline).

Notes: This was a lot of fun but also a lot of work. The pattern notes start out warning that this pattern is so intricate it would have to be "for a very special baby" - and I have to agree. The cabling patterns, though, were easy to memorize.

It seems to me that the sleeves are very large in comparison to the body, even though I blocked to measurement.

The dye ran a bit when I blocked the pieces. I will block/wash the sweater again when I've sewn buttons on, at which point I'll first soak it in a vinegar solution, as per suggestions from the Schaefer rep I asked.

More photos available here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Sweetie sweater
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I have joined Ann's Slogalong, in hopes of making slow but steady progress on The Sweetie's professoring sweater. I hope to finish it before he retires.

Read all about it here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Toe-up socks

Toe-up socks
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I showed you the start of these before, but I did get several inches before deciding they were too big. So I picked out where in the increases I should have stopped and picked up the stitches with dpns.

I have to say, I don't mind picking up stitches, but what gets me is the edge stitches; because they're so twisty it's hard to know which loop to pick up. This is one reason that I feel very apprehensive about ripping. But this time, it was in the round - no edge stitches! And as long as I picked up on a non-increase row, it was pretty easy. Just a little fiddling, and it was done, and I rip-rip-ripped them out.

I did (ahem) measure gauge before ripping. 7 sts/in, on size 1 needles. I had heard around the blogosphere that KP size 1 were really size 1.5, but unless Addis also do this, I'm not sure. I'm using one Addi Turbo and one KP (I can tell by color which is which) and they look the same to me. (I'll have to get some calipers. The Sweetie approves of having calipers about the house.)

I knew that my feet were small in length. I didn't know they were also small around. These socks, ladies and gentlemen, are 44 stitches per round.

It does make for fast sock knitting.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beanies for Preemies

Beanies for Preemies
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I finished 2 more hats over the weekend to send to Julie for her Beanies for Preemies collection. The first, the one on the left, has a garter stitch brim, complete with jogs where I changed stitches. (Does anyone know how to prevent jogs in garter stitch? Is it the same as preventing jogs for color changes?) Hat number 2 is seed stitch (and therefore 49 stitches instead of 48 like the others). Hat number 3 is a roll-brim (I bet you notice that already) and I made enough I-cord this time to tie it in a knot. This after the first I-cord wasn't, hence its longish and slightly stretched out shape.

All 3 were done with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, left over from the baby bolero (from DB Baby Cashmerino 2, the cover pattern) on size 5 DPNs (rosewood, by Lantern Moon - very nice).

Hat #3 was started by my BIL's mother, who wants to learn to knit socks. I was working on my toe-up socks and she exclaimed, "I want to knit socks!" and started asking how. She hadn't knitted in the round before, and I started to explain. Then I remembered I had this yarn in my bag, so I cast on for the hat and let her go. Another knitter returning to the fold!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Butter Lamb for Easter

My SIL is Polish, and I had read on several blogs last year that a Polish tradition is to have a butter lamb, so I resolved to try and make one this year. I also found out that in some areas you can just buy one at the store. Also, you can buy molds to make them, but I simply softened two sticks of butter and removed the parts that didn't look like a lamb. I did have a model of a lamb to work by, and that made it much easier. The eyes are peppercorns. After I finished it, I froze it for the journey to my in-laws and packed it in a cooler with a block of ice.

You can see more photos here.

We enjoyed the lamb as a centerpiece / decoration Saturday night, but Sunday we viewed it as butter. It was not what you might expect to receive from "Please pass the lamb." DH started by excising its tail, and we proceeded from there. Mmmm. It was tasty spread on homemade bread.

Knitting content tomorrow!

Friday, April 6, 2007

ECF: Sunset

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I took this photo off my deck last weekend.

I finished my preemie-sized beanie, although I don't think I made enough I-cord to make a knot at the top, but it's a bit too long. Oh well, I don't think the preemie will mind. I might have time to make another before sending it off (lots of car riding this weekend).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Button Stash begins

New Buttons
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
This past weekend, we wandered into the local independent hobby shop which said it was having a huge sale. Turns out, it's getting rid of half the hobbies and downsizing to half its size. The sewing, knitting, and crocheting supplies are all in the "getting rid of" category.

On the upside is that those supplies were on sale. Having just searched and searched for cute buttons, The Sweetie had (on his own) the idea that we should just get good buttons when we see them. So I got all these, plus some plastic clasps (the kind you use on a messenger bag), a crochet hook, and some cheap decorating garland, for $16 and change!

I especially like the bear claw print buttons at the bottom left. I think they have a future on some navy and gold knitwear. Go Bears!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Give give give

I meant to mention that Sandy's daughter Bethany is running the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. Oh, and she's giving away yarn - winner will be drawn from those who donate. You know I'm all about winning the yarn for donating, right? Go forth and win yarn.

And it's not too late to knit up a quick preemie sized beanie for Beanies for Preemies. Julie needs them by April 15 - tax day in the U.S. C'mon, you've got something in your stash that's soft and if it's worsted it's hardly any time at all.

My Indiscretion

Noro Lily
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
This is the yarn I bought during the Bustalong It arrived in a timely fashion, I just forgot to photograph it until this past weekend. It is Noro Lily, a silk and cotton blend. This is a bag of 10 skeins.

My only disappointment was that I thought it would have long color changes; instead it appears to have each color 12 inches or so before changing. Otherwise, I am looking forward to making a special sweater with it.

My blog entry title reminds me of the TV series "Scrubs" where each episode is called "My" something.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New tools: DPN holders

DPN holders
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I bought these from Three Owls Knitting after Aija listed that shop as one of her favorite etsy shops. To be brutally honest, there was a delay before I got them, but trusting Aija, I wasn't worried. Then Sherry, the seller, contacted me to find out if I'd gotten them - apparently, she'd had some problems with some of her items being super delayed in the mail. I hadn't, and so she sent replacements.

They are really nicely made and I really love the blue flower beads. And I sort of didn't really believe that the price was for a pair of them...and now I've received the first and the replacement. Eight pairs! Guess I'd better start some socks on DPNs.

Also in the new tools category, I've added some links on the right sidebar. Firstly, I've changed the RSS feeds to point to feedburner. Those of you who already have the Blogger RSS feed are still fine, although the feedburner will give me better statistics (that is, it will include you) if you change. Secondly, I know I'm being read by some of you who keep reloading the page. That is fine with me, but if you would prefer, feedburner offers this new RSS by email, so I've included the link. Finally, at 4 FOs for 2007, I decided to add a Flash badge of the FOs for this year. Hopefully it will fill up! If you see stuff you like, don't like, or don't see something you would like, do let me know in the comments or in email. You can find my email by clicking on the profile (top right) and clicking the link to send email.

Monday, April 2, 2007

FO: Pea Pod Sweaters

Pea Pod Sweaters
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I finally sewed the buttons on and they are done!

Pattern: Pea Pod baby set (sweater only), by Kate Gilbert, Interweave Knits, Summer 2006 (available as a free download here.)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Grass and Green Apple, approximately 4 balls per sweater.
Needles: Knit Picks Options, size 5, 24".
Buttons: Peace Fleece handpainted buttons, Strawberry.

I wasn't sure about the Strawberry buttons, and had decided not to use them, but after looking at every shop in town that had buttons and finding nothing cute, I tried the strawberry buttons again, and liked them. I sewed them on with dark green polyester thread I had from quilting, and backed them with plain black buttons. I found that it was easier to make sure they weren't too tight against the back buttons by putting a split ring marker between the button and the fabric.

The light green sweater turned out slightly bigger than the dark green, even after it got a second washing. But I think they're close enough.

Overall, I loved the pattern. I would definitely knit this again! The ribbing itself is so cute - I had the idea to knit Alison's pants with this ribbing around the ankles. But that would be for next time. Hopefully these sweaters will go to their recipients next weekend. And maybe after that, we will get a modeled shot!