Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Full Stash Disclosure

Here it is, as of today, all of my yarn. Even the ugly stuff and the scraps.


It all fits (barely) on the dining room table with both of the leaves in. Here are some other views of it. The teal Dream in Color Classy in this shot is planned for my Ravelympics sweater this coming February.



The box lid in front has all of my sock yarn scraps that I've been using for a scrap afghan. It will take me twenty lifetimes at my current rate of knitting on it.






This view from the other end of the table cracks me up, as it looks like the yarn just goes all the way out to the blurry horizon.


To use up some of this lovely yarn, today I set up some personal "club" projects. I chose 11 sock patterns and 10 small project patterns and matched them up with yarn in the stash. I wrote each on little squares of paper and mixed them up in an envelope, similar to the 16 sock patterns I set up for myself in 2009.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's not too late! I hope.

I knit some gifts for Christmas this year. They were made for specific people, well ahead of time, and set aside in my knitting cupboard. Last week I even wrapped them. I realized only today that maybe mailing the gifts would be a good idea, seeing as how Christmas is just a few days away. The last two boxes are on the way out right now.

It reminded me of how much I love my Click 'n' Ship account with the US Postal Service. Postage from my printer!! I made a lot of use of during the last Sock Wars. I'm glad I've dusted off the account in advance of Sock Wars V, which is starting up in January. Termiknitter 2!

If, like me, you have inadvertently left a few people's gifts to the last minute, or if you just can't face the post office, consider joining me in sending the electronic joy of an Amazon gift certificate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Packing up

Wherever you may be headed this holiday weekend, gentle reader, be safe. The crux of preparing for any trip is deciding what knitting to bring. For our trek to Iowa over the next few days I've settled on the raw materials for a few pairs of socks. Tomorrow there won't be too much daylight to work with, but I expect some general visiting time on Friday and an all day car ride on Saturday. I haven't had Thanksgiving in Iowa for....twenty years? Can't wait to see the family!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Several people have had questions about the Aubrey shawl not knitting up to be a symmetrical triangle. Hold on to your handknit socks, symmetry lovers, the next wrap pattern I made (pictured here before sewing of buttons) is a trapezoid. I have the pattern jotted down but not written properly yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wait a second. Do I seriously have nothing public to knit right now? I'm working on some swatches, but the only project I have going is my forever sock scrap blanket. How did this happen?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pool Party

I just won the Project Runway pool in my Ravelry group! Thanks, Irina!!!! I was worried when Neenagaseeah was making her stinky face about all of the black in her collection. Nice to see some knits from more than one designer. Woo-hoo!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hi, Alpacas

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Nothing to say, so I'll share this picture from last month of me meeting a few of the alpacas at Whispering Pines farm near Bloomington.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Totally missed two days of blogging. I have been sacking out early the last few nights. Here's the Biscuit, wanting to model her mitten when she saw me taking pictures of Greg's gloves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Silver Pitcher

Silver plate pitcher
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
This morning we walked around Main Street with our guests for a while, and stopped into an antiques shop we have not been in before. I was looking for something to hold my straight needles in, rather than having them tucked away in a plastic drawer. I fell hard for this artfully tarnished pitcher, silver plate over copper, for $10. Greg and I are talking about rearranging the office to set up a dedicated knitting area for me, and this will go on my craft table when I have one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Done Bespeaking

Bespoke gloves
Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Gloves are finished! I finished knitting last night and wove in the ends this morning while we were out to breakfast with our guests. They are reportedly very warm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sebastian Featherstone III

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Ellie had a Family Turkey project this week, in which she was to work with family members to decorate a turkey cutout and come up with an interesting name. This afternoon she colored it, pasted felt onto the stomach, and decorated it with stickers, and I knitted wings and a neck that she helped me to paste on and secure on the pack of the piece with tape. We topped it off with some sunglasses, a button from my stash. Greg and his parents helped us to decide on the name. Ellie says he's wearing the sunglasses because he's from California, like her.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Beware the seven-needled WIP. Do not fold, crush, spindle, or sit upon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Inbound Inlaws

Greg is at the airport right now waiting for his mom and her husband to land. They will be here until Saturday afternoon. Greg's taking the rest of the week off and we are keeping the Biscuit home from daycare to get extra spoilage from the grandparents. Ellie will be going to school but she gets out early enough in the day that there is still plenty of time to enjoy the family. I'm taking off Thursday and Friday. Not sure what we're all going to do, but there will most likely be quite a bit of talking/knitting time. Maybe I'll get to finish this second glove.

Monday, November 09, 2009


After tonight's session of bedtime knitting, I am just past the thumb gusset on the second of Greg's cashmere gloves. Since the first glove took less then a full skein, I am going to have an extra skein of the yarn left over. Not sure what I'll end up doing with it.

I need to dig up some stash to make myself some mittens. Our last few days of nice weather were a momentary respite from the advent of winter chill and I will be the last one in the family to have some hand coverings. I also need to decide pretty soon if there are any more gifts I want to knit for the holidays.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Can't blog, gotta watch Mad Men. What will happen?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fastest Knitter in Indiana Contest

My local yarn store, Stitches and Scones is Westfield, is sponsoring a free, fun contest next week. Their announcement is below:


"Fastest Knitter in Indiana Contest
at Stitches & Scones

Adult Winner $225 Gift Card

Adult Heat Times:
Tuesday, November 10th at 12 PM
Thursday, November 12th at 6 PM
Saturday, November 14th at 1 PM

Youth Winner $75 Gift Card
Under 18 Youth Heat Times:
Tuesday, November 10th at 4 PM
Thursday, November 12th at 7 PM
Saturday, November 14th at 11 AM

Pre-registration is not necessary, but the first 50 participants to register will receive a commemorative item.There will be one winner for adult and one for youth categories.
Bring size 8 US needle with you and we will provide the yarn. Each heat is 3 minutes and garter stitch will be used.

Join in the fun, call 317-896-4411."


It should be really fun, and that is an awesome prize!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Naturally Simple

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
This is a partial view of a Simple Yet Effective shawl I recently made from Wisdom Poems Sock.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sit and Knit

Since shortly after we moved here in June, Thursday night has been my knitting night out. Greg and the girls hang out for the evening and I get to go up to Stitches and have a few hours to knit and shop and chat with the other knitters. Tonight I took the second glove to work on, but neglected to bring the pattern with me, so after the cuff I had to set it aside in favor of the wrap in progress that was also in my bag. During the course of the evening I was helping someone who has not knitted in a while to start a felted bag and having the long knit rows of the wrap to work on and demonstrate with was helpful as well.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Citrus Palms

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
Small hands make for fast mittens. Here is the Biscuit wearing her new handgear this evening. Now to get back to glovemaking.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lil Mitten

Started working on B's mittens tonight while putting her to bed. They will mostly match a hat I made her recently. I am holding together a strand of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a yellow-pink colorway and a strand of gold Encore. The Encore is left over from a House Scarf I made for E, which was part of her Hermione Granger Halloween costume last weekend. The hat that goes with these mittens also had a strand of the LL, but was held together with some doubled Alpaca with a Twist Socrates that is pretty much the same color as the Encore. I likely have enough Socrates left to have used that for the mittens, but thought that something washable was a better idea. I should be able to make some good progress while I watch a Netflik with Greg.

Monday, November 02, 2009


A while back Greg decided that he would like for me to knit him some fine gauge cashmere gloves. He came into the yarn shop one day while I was working and pointed out some light Ecco Cashmere that he thought would make good gloves and kept dropping good-natured hints that were anything but veiled. "So.....where are my gloves?"

I looked all over Ravelry for a men's glove pattern and had some trouble finding something basic, decently manly, that wasn't fingerless and would work in a fine gauge. I ended up buying Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns, which has recipes for several types of basic knitted items in various sizes and gauges, including a glove pattern. The Ecco is laceweight, so I am holding it double to get eight stitches per inch on a size 1 needle. I finished the first glove yesterday and cast on the second this evening. Greg has been getting frequent fittings and is quite pleased.

I hope to finish up the pair soon, so I can get going on some winter gloves for me and some mittens for the Biscuit. The little mittens might sneak into the rotation before the gloves are done. It's getting cold and her teeny fingers don't hold much heat.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thar She NaBloPoMos

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
I enjoyed blogging each day the last time I participated in National Blog Posting Month and thought I would give it another go this year. Not as ambitious as a novel in 30 days, but still fun.

I don't know why, but November tends to sneak up on me. I am aware of Halloween coming up, and getting costumes ready and trick or treating, and then when the next day it's November I am invariably a bit surprised.

Knitting content: The Mochi Plus pictured here is already a skein and change into becoming an asymmetrical wrap. I stopped into the shop on the way back from buying pumpkins with the family last weekend and picked it up to try out an idea. I liked the Mini Mochi quite a bit when I worked with it and wanted to try the heavier weight for this new pattern. So far it is working out well.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Knitting for the Cure - Lynn's Ribbon Socks

This month I designed a sock pattern in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The twist pattern is inspired by the pink ribbons worn to promote awareness. It is named in memory of one of my college professors.

The pattern is available on Ravelry (Rav link) for $3.oo, and $1 from each sale of the pattern will be donated to cancer research. Buy now from Ravelry.

The sock is constructed from the top down with a heel flap and six gore toe. Any fingering weight sock yarn is suitable. Gauge is 7 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. The pictured pair was knit from hand-dyed Kraemer Jeannie on size 1.5 needles.

Knit Pink!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

UFO sighting

September has kind of gotten away from me. I set myself some goals for the month in the Ravelry Stash Knit Down group. Also, the shop knitters challenged each other to work on unfinished projects during this month, and I played along. I did have to cast on for a pair of socks yesterday, but I had two good reasons - I was heading to a party and didn't have anything portable, and it is the September pair of my personal sock club. I am making another pair of Waimanalo socks out of some ancient Jawoll jacquard from my stash.

For the UFO/goal progress
  • I am done with the main section of the shawl design I'm working on and am ready to start knitting on the border. I had to order a third skein of Jitterbug to do the border - it has arrived and is wound and ready.
  • I knitted a top-down raglan for E with some simple cables along the top of each sleeve and from the underarm to the lower ribbing. It fits her well and will be warm. Her verdict? "Itchy."
  • I finished the Gryffindor scarf, also for E, which she loves. It will be part of her Halloween costume and also be used for everyday once it gets cold.
  • I knit more than 10 rows on my sock yarn scrap blanket
  • I'm on to the second sleeve of my Radiate sweater. I've also woven in most of the ends. Need to finish this so I can cast on for something new AND recover my favorite hat needle that is currently being used for the sleeve. I can't work on it for too long at a stretch or it aggravates my right arm.
  • One more stash down goal is to start a fall wrap from some Cascade 220 superwash I have left over from the Amelia sweater. The yarn is wound but I haven't started yet. I am making myself finish the knitting on Radiate first. (Buttons don't count.)
I have several planned projects in the pipeline as well, including Amused sweater for me, gloves for Greg, mittens and a Hermione hat to go with E's house scarf. Haven't even thought about Christmas gifts yet. Lalalalala, I can't hear you, approach of Christmas.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Askance Cowl Pattern

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD

Reversible diagonal ribbing is easy to memorize and shows off hand-painted or variegated yarn. Only requires one skein of something you want to snuggle near your neck.

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (30% silk, 70% Merino Extrafine Wool), 1 skein (150 yards)
16 inch circular needle, size 7 (or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 18 stitches in 4 inches in k3,p3 ribbing. Gauge is not crucial.

Circumference: 24 inches (Note: To adjust circumference to suit, you can cast on more or fewer stiches in multiples of 6)
Height: 6.5 inches


CO 108.

Place marker to note beginning of round. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work 3 rows k3, p3 ribbing.

Row 1: P1, k3, *p3, k3*, repeat between * to last 2 stitches, p2
Row 2: Repeat row 1
Row 3: P2, k3, *p3, k3* repeat between *to last stitch, p1
Row 4: Repeat row 3
Row 5: *P3, k3*, repeat between *to end of round
Row 6: Repeat row 5
Row 7: K1, p3, *k3,p3*, repeat between * to last 2 stitches, k2
Row 8: Repeat row 7
Row 9: K2, p3, *k3, p3*, repeat between * to last stitch, k1
Row 10: Repeat row 9
Row 11: *K3, p3*, repeat between * to end of round
Row 12: Repeat row 11

Repeat these 12 rows until piece is 6 inches or one half inch shorter than desired height, ending with an even row.

Work 3 rows of the next odd row. For example, if you end the body of the piece at row 6, you would work row 7 three times before binding off.

Bind off all stitches. Weave in ends.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
I've decided that I need to make more sweaters. After all, how many scarfy things and socks does a girl really need? (Answer: More.) And Indiana has a proper winter, unlike Ventura County, where winter means it's a good idea to bring a coat for about seven weeks or so, but if you just have a sweater on it's not like you'll die. So I figure it would be prudent to have some layering options for under my walrus skin parka or whatever I end up wearing in the icy months.

Last night I cast on for a Radiate sweater from Knitty. I'm glad for the finished object photos on Ravelry, because the pictures with the pattern aren't necessarily the best. I bought this yarn, a Berocco cotton blend, with the intention of making a Mr Greenjeans sweater out of it, but I think that pattern would look better in something wooly to have better definition on the cables. I'm also thinking that the Greenjeans may accentuate my shortwaistedness.

It's Thursday again, which means knit night at Stitches and Scones - yay! It's great to have found such a welcoming bunch of knitters. Last Thursday I got there and pulled out my sock in progress only to discover that I was missing a dpn. It later turned up, broken, in the garage. Must have dropped it on the way out. The other project in my bag was on 14 inch needles, which is is a little awkward while sitting close to others. I had been reading on Ravelry about working socks on one small circular needle and thought I'd give it a shot. I bought a size 1 Hiya Hiya 9 inch needle and transferred the sock to it. It's tiny! It took me a few inches before I stopped feeling like I had giganto hands. I used dpns for working the heel and picking up the gusset stitches, as well as for the last few rows of the toe. It's nice not having to change needles as I'm working around the sock. I did realize how much I used the dpns for knowing where I am, though, like decreasing for the gusset stitches one stitch away from the end of the needle. When there's no end of the needle, the autopilot hiccups a bit. Using the circular also gave me a chance to try out some recently purchased pretty little stitch markers for small needles. I'm on to the second sock of the pair and am continuing the single small circular experiment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That Girl is Poison(ed)

I never want to work in the yard again. The one time I get ambitious and do a bit of pruning, I also manage to find the poison ivy lurking in the greenbelt. Since I'd never had it before, it took about a week for me to start breaking out, but it turns out that I am a delicate flower when it comes to poison ivy. A pudgy, cranky, delicate flower. I had blisters all over, one completely raw shoulder, and developed a charming little skin infection. My right arm swelled up such that I couldn't knit for four days. Even though I am now much better, my arms still look like I lost a fight with a badger.

I've got the beginnings of a sock to prove I'm on the mend. It's the August selection from my personal sock club. The pattern is Sunshine Socks and I'm using some KnitPicks Bare that I dyed a while back. I charted out the pattern for myself to make it easier to keep on track.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fairly Busy

I thought I would jump right in to being a Hoosier and enter some knitting in the upcoming State Fair. I don't expect to win anything but had a great time entering the Ventura County fair last year.Next weekend is the time to take in entries, and I've been working on several projects for the categories I am enrolled in.

The Eleanor socks I knit as the July pair for my personal sock club are my entry for Adult Accessory. The yarn is Knit Picks Bare that I dyed during my first attempt at hand-dyeing.


For Child Accessory, I made a mistake rib scarf, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, for the Biscuit to wear this winter and added a corkscrew fringe.


I am done with knitting another Cabin Carry as a Felted Purse entry, but haven't felted it yet.


I am totally thrilled with how my Aubrey shawl came out (see previous post for pattern and more photos) and it will be my entry for Shawl/Scarf.


I also signed up for Adult Sweater - One Color, and knit an Amelia in some cream Cascade 220 Superwash. I just sewed the buttons on this afternoon. However, I cocked up the neckline something fierce and the fit is otherwise disastrous on me. It is currently stuffed into a bag in my room until it either mends its non-flattering ways or I think of someone else to give it to. Plan B is to enter my February Lady Sweater, shown here in a lovely ladies room shot.


Not all of my recent knitting has been for the fair. Friday evening I finished this baby gift for a co-worker of Greg's. The hat is Little Pumpkin from Itty Bitty Hats and the sockies are something I ginned up on the fly to go with.


And sometimes I do thing other than knit and work and care for my young. After the morning thunderstorms cleared up yesterday and we were back from running errands it was a lovely breezy day outside. There is a dead tree of some kind, let's call it an Indiana Thornbush, in the greenbelt behind our house, and I went after about half of it with a handsaw and lack of common sense. I had a good time pulling out branches and snapping off twigs and said "C'mon, you son of a bitch" more than is probably ladylike.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aubrey Shawl Pattern

A simple lace shawl, worked from side to side. Pattern is written for fingering weight yarn but can also be used with other yarn weights. Use a needle several sizes larger than called for on the ball band.

Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi (195 yd/skein), 2 skeins
Size 10.5 straight or circular needles
Tapestry needle
Coil-less safety pin or removable stitch marker (optional)

Gauge: not critical

yo – yarn over
kfb – knit into front and back of stitch
k2tog – knit two together

Pattern Notes
This stitch pattern is based on garter stitch and will be very stretchy from side to side.

After a few rows have been completed, you may wish to place a coil-less safety pin or removable stitch marker to indicate the right side of the work. I usually place a colored elastic on the end of one of my needles – when I’m working with the marked needle, I’m on a right side row.

If possible, join new balls of yarn at the beginning of a WS row to facilitate weaving in of ends.


Cast on 2.

Work increase section as follows:
Row 1 (RS): Knit to last stitch, kfb
Row 2 (WS): Knit
Row 3 (RS): *yo, k2tog* to last stitch, kfb
Row 4 (WS): Knit

Repeat these four rows 38 times or until shawl is half of desired width, ending with Row 4. (Note: If you are using two equally sized balls of yarn, do not wait until the first ball runs out to work the center rows. Give yourself some wiggle room and work the center before half of your yarn is gone.)

Work center rows one time:
Row 1 (RS): Knit
Row 2 (WS): Knit

Work decrease section as follows:
Row 1 (RS): *yo, k2tog* to last 2 stitches, k2tog
Row 2 (WS): Knit
Row 3 (RS): Knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog
Row 4 (WS): Knit

Repeat these four rows until 2 stitches remain. Knit last two stitches together. Break yarn and draw through last stitch. Weave in ends. Block, if desired, to even out triangular shape.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quick note

Fear me.

In other news - new house, new job, new state, etc. all going swimmingly so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da

My life goes on in Sock Wars IV for the time being, though I was the first warrior to end it for three others. I am waiting for socks in progress to arrive and crossing my fingers that they will be here in time for me to knit them on the plane this weekend.

My thoughts and best wishes are with my friends and co-workers who have experienced changes in their employment situations over the past few days, both good and bad, expected and out of the blue. Good luck, everybody.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
This is an image Greg sent me today, of things getting loaded into the moving truck. (Knitting related content: the white topped plastic containers in the middle contain some of my yarn.)

My third Sock Wars target emailed me yesterday to confirm receipt of her socks - Termiknitter strikes again! She is planning to mail her Barcelonas in progress today, which would mean they should arrive by Friday, the last day I'll be able to get mail in California. My assassin has both addresses, too, but I'm hoping the only socks I get in the mail this week are for me to knit, not wear.

While I'm waiting for socks in progress, I am knitting some....socks. They're just such good travel projects. My June personal sock club socks are being made from some stashed Knit Picks Essential Tweed yarn in the Inca Gold colorway. I'm using the Traveling Vine pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks for the leg and keeping a plain stockinette foot. I'm about 60% with the first one. I have two more skeins of sock yarn in my suitcase in case I finish this pair before we are unpacked at our new home.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What Will Stay

The movers will be here in the morning to begin packing us up. This weekend we have packed suitcases for the next two weeks, taken the last few pictures from the walls, and set aside some books and toys for the girls to have with them. This afternoon I am picking up keys to the hotel room we will stay in starting tomorrow night.

All of our things will end up with us in Indiana at some point, but as I look around I think about what can't be packed away. The window I watched the unexpected August rain through on the morning Bea was born. The sink where I rinsed off Ellie's lost teeth and scraped knees. The backyard stump of the ash tree that toppled over on to the house last January. The path in the floor that I paced with an unhappy baby, singing Christmas carols. The trees that we planted, the garden walls, the grape vines just now growing their first fruit.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Stop me before I knit again

I have a second Sock Wars kill under my belt. The late, lamented knitaroundgirl was very quick in sending her socks in progress, because Greg just called from home to let me know that they've arrived. My initial assassin, Lunalover, met her socky death yesterday, so I hope I can get this pair of Barcelonas out the door and score three kills before my inevitable destiny unfolds.

In relo news, I have a new job waiting for me in Indy! I will start the same day Greg does, June 19th. We've approved an offer on the house we're selling in Simi, all things are moving along nicely for our new home in Carmel (knock wood), plane tickets for me and the girls are in hand, day care for the kids is getting lined up, the movers come on Monday, and on and on. It's been quite the whirlwind.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Take Cover

My first Sock Wars kill is confirmed!

Places I worked on that pair of socks:

  • My desk at work (cast on over lunch on Friday)
  • Home - also frogged back an inch, grr
  • LAX terminal
  • 30,000 feet above the American Southwest
  • The monorail (monorail, monorail, jazz hands) at the Dallas Airport
  • Dallas Airport terminal
  • 28,000 feet above middle America
  • Rental car
  • Our hotel room
  • Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Indianapolis
  • UA theater in Indy
  • Backseat of tour guides car as we tooled around Indy area - also frogged back an inch here because I was paying attention to the tour and not my sock
  • Backseat of real estate agent's car
  • Greek restaurant somewhere in Indy
  • Office of our real estate agent - finished the toe as we were drafting an offer on a house. He let me have a 2-day FedEx envelope and I sent it out from there on Monday afternoon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ready... Aim....Fiber!

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
The pattern for Sock Wars IV will be released in about 12 hours. I just tested my gauge in my chosen yarn and it's spot on using my favorite 1.5 size needles. I'm excited but don't expect to last too long with everything else going on. My assassin manages a LYS so is probably able to knit at work, whereas I am not. Maybe the vagaries of the postal system will help me out.

The sock pictured is one of a pair of Groovy Socks I made as a warmup to the Sock Wars battle. As of dinnertime tonight they are all done. The leg is a teensy bit loose on me but I plan to give these to my Mom as one of her Mother's Day/thanks for babysitting gift. Greg is picking her up in the morning and she'll be staying here with the girls while we are in Indianapolis.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sold Out

First of all, Happy Mothers Day!

Yesterday morning we had a garage sale to get rid of some things we don't want, don't need, don't fit, or can't move. We cleared over $400 - yay! We sold lots of outgrown kid clothes, some housewares, books, a bunch of computer equipment, potted plants (movers won't move them), toys, furniture....general stuff. We also gave away the firewood in the side yard, the remnants of the ash tree from the backyard that fell over a year ago. Thanks for the new roof, ash tree, it's a selling point in our favor. It was fun but exhausting.

I met a knitter from the neighborhood during the sale and we had a nice sock chat. She even showed me her socks in progress, made from the same type of yarn I'm planning to use for my Sock Wars pair. Speaking of Sock Wars, I received the dossier of my target this evening. My target has size 10 feet - ack! I wound my yarn into center pull balls so it's all ready to go on Friday. I'm almost to the heel of the second sock of my warmup pair but can put an unfinished sock on scrap yarn if I don't finish it by the end of the week and need to free up my 1.5s. Fear my pointy needles, Bond Jane Bond!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Target Practice

In preparation for Sock Wars IV, I'm working on a pair of Groovy Socks in Trekking XXL. This is my first assassin-style knitting competition, and it should be fun. We've planned our home search visit to Indiana for the weekend of May 16th, which just happens to be the day after the Sock Wars pattern is released. So, I should be able to make good use of several hours of airplane time to work on my socks. I'm expecting to receive the dossier of my target in a day or two.

I'm giving my arms a rest tonight and catching up on some recorded TV while my husband and his sister are at the Star Wars movie. She came into town today to spend a few days with us before we move, help us with Saturday's garage sale, and to go to a Shins concert with Greg on Sunday night. The girls were a giggly mess playing with her after dinner - they really enjoyed spending time with Sarah when we were in Hawaii in January and are quite excited to be with her again.

There has been a steady stream of agents, inspectors and appraisers through the house over the last few days, but Greg's been orchestrating all of it during the day while I'm at work. I think tomorrow someone from the moving company is coming in to assess how much crap we have - sorry about all the books, moving people!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whither thou goest...

Gee, it's been a while since I had a non-pattern post.

My husband has recently accepted a job offer in Indiana, so our family is getting ready to relocate next month. One of the first things I did was arrange and consolidate my yarn stash, which really has shrunk quite a bit over the last year. It fits comfortably into four Sterilite drawers.

I was born in Iowa and lived there until I was 12, and spent most summers there through high school, but it's been twenty years since I've been through a Midwestern winter. I've become quite accustomed to the mild California climate. We'll have a lot more use for handknits when there's actual cold weather.

There's so much to do it's better not to think about it all at once. We've been clearing out closets and getting ready to have a monster garage sale next weekend. We're talking with the relocation company tomorrow to discuss the timing of getting an appraisal on the house, making a trip to Indianapolis to find somewhere to live, and moving. I gave notice at my job late last week - my last day will be in early June. Once we get there, I need to find a job, and I haven't interviewed outside my current company for 11 years. Then there's day care for the kids, getting E enrolled in school, and learning everything we need to know about a new city.

All in all, it's an exciting change for us. I've always told people that the Midwest is a nice place to be from.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Seamless Spa Mitt


What to do with those little balls of cotton left over from making dishcloths? This spa mitt only takes about one ounce of dishcloth cotton. I’ve made gift sets with a matching facecloth and spa mitt from a single skein. It is knit in the round on double-pointed needles and requires no seaming. It looks small as you’re making it, but the ribbing will stretch quite a bit. It should fit snugly enough not to fall off the hand when wet.


Size 8 double-pointed needles, set of 4
Tapestry needle

Yarn: Sugar ‘n’ Cream cotton (about 1 oz, 30-40 yards)

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in K2 , P2 ribbing, unstretched

Cast on 28. Join to work in the round. Arrange stitches on three needles as follows:

Needle 1: 8
Needle 2: 8
Needle 3: 12

Work K2 , P2 ribbing across all stitches for 11 rounds.

At the end of the 11th round, when you have worked all of the stitches on Needle 3, turn the work. At this point you will back and forth on the dpns, which leaves a gap on one side for the thumbhole. Beginning with a WS row, work 9 rows of K2 , P2 ribbing across all 28 stitches. Remember to turn the work at the end of each row to work back and forth.

On the next row, which is a RS row, work K2 ,p2 ribbing across all 28 stitches. When you reach the end of Needle 3, join to work in the round again. Work K2 , P2 ribbing for 22 rounds or until desired length.


Turn work inside out. Slip the first two stitches of Needle 2 to Needle 1. Slip remaining stitches from Needle 2 to Needle 3. You should have two needles with 14 stitches on each. Bind off all stitches using three needle bindoff. Break yarn. Weave in ends.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Waimanalo Sock Pattern

This sock is constructed from the top down with a short row heel and toe. The marine color palette and gentle wave pattern remind me of an evening in Waimanalo Bay. I need to get better photos - these are rainy day cell phone pictures.


Needles: Set of 4 doublepointed needles, size 1.5 (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Tapestry needle

Yarn: Misti International Hand Paint Fingering, colorway Marina, 1 skein (437 yards)
Gauge: 7 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Size: Women’s medium

Pattern notes

Wave pattern:
Row 1 and 2: Knit
Row 3: *K2tog 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, K2tog 3 times*, repeat from *
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl


Using long tail cast on, cast on 54 stitches. Join to work in the round, taking care not to twist stitches. Arrange on three double-pointed needles as follows:

Needle 1: 18 stitches

Needle 2: 18 stitches

Needle 3: 18 stitches

Beginning with a knit row, knit 8 rounds of garter stitch (one row knit, one row purl). If a longer cuff is desired, add additional garter stitch rounds, ending with a purl row.


Work wave pattern 9 times or to desired length of leg, ending with row 2.

To set up for the heel, unknit the last four stitches of the previous round and place these unworked stitches on Needle 1. Next, slip the first four stitches on Needle 2 to Needle 1. The heel will be worked on the stitches on Needles 2 and 3.

Begin by unknitting the last stitch on Needle 3, and place on free needle. Wrap that stitch and turn the work.

Row 1 (WS): Purl to last stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 2 (RS): Knit to stitch before wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 3: Purl to stitch before wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until there are 10 stitches unworked in the center of the row.

Row 4: Knit to first wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn. (This stitch will now have two wraps.)

Row 5: Purl to first wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn. (This stitch will now have two wraps.)

Row 6: Knit to double-wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 7: Purl to double-wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Continue in this manner until all stitches have been worked.


The wave lace pattern continues down the center of the instep. Each round of the foot is worked as follows:

Needle 1: K4, work next row of wave pattern (18 stitches), K4
Needle 2: Knit
Needle 3: Knit

Work 8 repeats of the wave pattern or until foot is 2 inches shorted than desired length, ending with Row 2.

Toe is worked on the stitches on Needles 2 and 3. Begin by unknitting the last stitch on Needle 3, and place on free needle. Wrap that stitch and turn the work.

Row 1 (WS): Purl to last stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 2 (RS): Knit to stitch before wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 3: Purl to stitch before wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until there are 10 stitches unworked in the center of the row.

Row 4: Knit to first wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn. (This stitch will now have two wraps.)

Row 5: Purl to first wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn. (This stitch will now have two wraps.)

Row 6: Knit to double-wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Row 7: Purl to double-wrapped stitch. Wrap and turn.

Continue in this manner until all stitches have been worked.


Turn sock inside out. Slip stitches from Needle 3 to Needle 2. Use three needle bindoff to join stitches on needles 2 and 1. Break yarn. Weave in ends.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Unwinding with Ravelry

Originally uploaded by ShelbyD
This past Thursday evening I braved the traffic and the misplaced enjoying-myself-on-a-schoolnight guilt and attended a Ravelry event at Unwind in Burbank. The place was packed with knitters, decked out in their knits, browsing and buying and chatting and in general having a lovely time.

A door prize ticket was offered in return for food pantry donations, and I actually won a pair of books! I met some local and semi-local knitters, saw some beautiful projects, and had a chance to chat with Mary-Heather (the weather, for I am lame) and Casey (iPhones and software). The staff at Unwind were very welcoming and good-humored and remarkably chill about the half-chaotic crush of people.

I went in to the store pre-allowing myself to buy yarn for a pair of socks and a Tempting sweater, and left with two skeins of KPPM and seven of Tahki Torino. I started the Tempting this morning and am about 4 inches into the body. It would be nice to finish it in time to take to Hawaii next weekend (!), but I know it's probably a stretch.