Posted in knitting

A Year of Making Features Daily Fiber

Blogger friends, I was pleased to be selected by the folks at LYS Harps and Thistles to appear in their weekly newsletter. This yarn shop is in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, next store to where I grew up. If I only lived in Ohio, it would become my regular hang-out. (sigh)

Anywhoo, the newsletter is full of interesting articles and links to events. Here is the issue that features myself and my blog.

Their webmaster did a great job with the images and narrative. The only correction I would make concerns my mom. The newsletter says she was a quilter. She STILL IS a quilter at the ripe age of 90. She even has a high-end, computerized sewing machine with all the bells and whistles. Go, Mom!

Posted in knitting

Finished Object Friday

I am remiss in not sharing photographs of the completed cashmere socks that I knit for hubby. They have been off the needles for about a week. I was hoping to take a photo of them on his feet, but alas, he hasn’t worn them yet.

They are slightly loose on my feet, but look okay in the photograph.

The cuff is a 3 by 1 rib which is carried on over the foot. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s method for heel flap and gusset.

The yarn is from Knit Picks. I enjoyed knitting it so much that I plan to buy more in other colors. Just think how nice a cashmere-blend cowl or scarf will feel around your neck on a cold, blustery day.

Posted in knitting

Wednesday Work in Progress

The weather has been so nice that I have started knitting outside. Yesterday during our weekly knitting session, my friend Kathy helped me fit and measure the top-down cardigan that I cast on last week. The body is already half-way done! Obviously, I am enjoying the process and have spent time working on it daily.

On this back view, you can see the yoke detail. The cables are finished, armhole openings are threaded onto waste yarn and I am speeding toward the hem What’s not visible is the small lace motif that I am inserting. It’s a six-row “snow” pattern. I am staggering the snowflakes about 15 stitches and 14 rows apart. This is my way of staying interested in a project that has long stretches of stockinette stitch.

The only point of suspense is the same age-old question. Will I have enough yarn? These Plymouth Encore balls are pretty hefty. I’m feeling fairly confident that the answer will be in the affirmative. Time will tell.

Posted in knitting

Cast On Monday

Yarn is Plymouth Encore

Good morning. The sticklers among you will point out that today is Tuesday. But yesterday I didn’t have time to write this post, due to a shopping trip to Tulsa.

My original idea was to make up my own design. It was to be a loose wrap-like cardigan, knitted from the top down, incorporating both cables and lace. I had a few false starts that didn’t please me. So I searched Ravelry for something similar and came up with this delightful pattern by Michelle Porter.

It has all the features I require and I can begin knitting immediately.

The lace pattern has no name, and it isn’t charted. But I am finding the row by row instructions pretty easily to follow.

The color number is 686. While it looks brown, in sunlight it is a heather merlot.

Increases are made by yarn-overs. I love the round motif that progresses into a twining cable. The original pattern has only two pattern repeats. I am considering modifying the back to take the cables all the way down to the waist.

Michelle’s pattern can be found here:

Posted in knitting

Sock Saga

This story may sound like whining, but it’s not my intent. It’s more like a true confession. You see a beautiful sock in this picture. The dirty truth is that it took me three tries to get this one sock knitted.

The yarn is a cashmere blend by KnitPicks which I acquired to make my husband a pair of luxury socks. Incredibly soft and delightful to work. I started knitting with great enthusiasm and high hopes.

Instead of using the tried and true Woodman’s sock pattern by EZ, I wanted to get “a little fancy”. So I chose an interesting – and free – pattern off the internet. It featured a sort of herringbone stitch on the cuff and instep which rolled beautifully around the foot.

Almost immediately I ran into trouble. The pattern was described as suitable for both women and men and was offered in four sizes. I started knitting the medium size but quickly discovered it was going to be too small. So I frogged it back. After measuring around the widest part of hubby’s foot, I cast on the largest size and tried again. It took me forever to knit to the end of the gusset.

The resulting sock was enormous. When tried on hubby’s foot, it draped itself loosely around his instep. Clearly I needed to start over – again. It was painful to frog it, especially as I had already spent a few weeks on the project. But I did. Afterward I trashed the fancy pattern.

Okay. Let’s start right. I went up a needle size and got gauge for a generic medium size men’s sock. Then I modified the Woodman’s sock pattern to suit a fingering weight yarn. Within a few days I was ready to try this on hubby again.

Perfect fit.

Elizabeth Zimmerman Woodman’s sock is written for worsted weight yarn. It was originally published in 1963 as a newsletter. Now you can find it in The Opinionated Knitter, published by Schoolhouse Press.

Posted in knitting, painting

Vacation in the Rear View Mirror

Another view of travel knitting, this time on the way home. While on vacation I was too busy to finish this sock. However I do have a few things fibery and artsy to share.

When visiting one of my favorite yarn/book stores, I snagged this pretty ball of Berroco Sox yarn and 1000 yards of Plymonth Encore in a heathery mahogany color.

My grandson agreed to accept a pair of socks from me, and approved of this yarn. I plan to use the Plymouth yarn to knit myself a loose cardigan for lounging around the house on cool winter nights.

I got the sketch book out during the vacation just once. Here is a view of Shell Lake.

It was so fun introducing my 2-year-old granddaughter to water color paint. First I made an assortment of paint puddles, taped down a piece of drawing paper and handed her a cotton swab. Following my example, she dabbled with lines and dots.

She also grabbed a small sponge, stroked it over the red paint then applied it to the paper. When she ran out of space on the paper, she wiped the sponge vigorously over her belly.

FYI: Red watercolor paint on a baby’s body looks very much like a bruise. Gramps had a moment of concern upon viewing her body art, which he quickly overcame after I wiped her clean.

Today marks the last day of WorldWatercolorMonth. Despite being gone for twelve days this month, I was able to complete fifteen of the 31 challenges. Here is my final one. The prompt is Pose. I chose this little cedar waxwing, who was posing for the camera by cocking his head to one side.

It’s nice to be back in my studio. I look forward to digging in to my stash of UFOs and dreaming up some interesting new projects.

Posted in knitting

Toddler Jacket Finished, on to Socks

It’s Christmas in July, based on the appearance of this toddler jacket. Because there were only two skeins of green yarn, I was forced to make contrasting cuffs and collar using cream colored yarn. The result is a garment that might be found on one of Santa’s elves.

Thankfully, toddlers are rarely fussy about clothing. I feel confident the jacket will be deemed acceptable by my two-year-old granddaughter.

Detail of cuff and pleats.

It was a fun and a quick knit. Here is a link to the pattern:

Now I can turn my attention to socks. I have these yummy yarns from Knit pick

The Capretta is a cashmere blend that is incredibly soft. This will be made into socks for hubby. I haven’t yet decided who will get the socks made from the Felici self-striping yarn. Perhaps someone in my daughter’s family.

Everyone deserves to have a least one pair of custom-knitted wool socks. It is one of the secret luxuries of life not easily available to most people, and totally appreciated by those fortunate enough to be loved by a knitter.

A jacket in the style of Santa’s elves? Well, you must have a strong fashion sense to pull off that look.

Posted in knitting

Garage Sale Yarn

About a week ago, my friend Kathy suggested we visit a church garage sale because she knew there would be yarn.  After perusing the options, I chose these.


There were two skeins of the green Vanna’s Choice and one of the cream color Bernat cotton blend.  $1 each.  I had been looking for some bulky yarn to use in making this funky toddler coat.

070920 Petite Panache

Pretty cute.  It is offered by Megan Jones of

Since the green did not have enough yardage to complete the size 2T version, I plan to use the Bernat yarn for cuffs and collar.  Here is what I have knit so far:


Does this color combination suggest anything to you?  To me, it looks like the beginnings of a Christmas elf costume.

While I’m not sure how I feel about that, I will continue knitting.  It amuses me to think of my granddaughter as an elf.

So far, the hardest part was pleating the lower edge.  The rest of the coat will be knit up with a raglan sleeve-yoke construction.  The collar is picked up and knit down from the neckline.  I should be able to finish within the next week.

Posted in knitting

Finished Object Friday

Fresh socks off my needles and blocked

This is a stash-buster project, made from Cascade Heritage sock yarn.

The pattern is called Firefly. It features a two by two right twist cable that is inserted in a staggered fashion. I love how it looks and how much stretch it provides to the sock cuff.

Wearing them feels like walking on air.

I highly recommend the pattern, in fact I recommend the book where the pattern appears. It is by Clara Parkes.

The Knitter’s Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover’s Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime

I borrowed it from the library, but it is available on Amazon.

Posted in knitting

Summer Stashbusting + Pass-along

This time of year I frequently find myself diving into my yarn stash. The goal is to USE it, and to use it in projects that are comfortable for the knitter to make on hot summer days and nights. Today I have three items that fit in this category.

First up is this quirky little hat.

Earlier this year my daughter gave me the small, beat-up hat you see on the right side of this photo. She had inherited it from another mom. Our baby really liked wearing it, but now it was too small and full of holes. I dove into my stash and found plenty of yarns that almost matched, color-for-color, the hues of the original hat. De-coding the pattern was quite simple, since it was a classic shape and used only stockinette with a few purl rounds. The only challenge was working the decreases at the top, to reproduce the “stem.”

During my stash dive I discovered several sock yarn skeins, some of which have enough yardage for a pair of socks. This deep blue yarn was left over from a sweater I made for myself a few years ago.

Love this Color.

The sock pattern comes from a book by one of my favorite knitting writers, Clara Parkes. The Knitter’s Book of Socks is quite good. It includes twenty sock patterns, each by a different designer. She also writes about the characteristics of different yarn fibers, and how these might match up with the qualities required by socks: elasticity, strength and absorption. I highly recommend this book for knitters who like making socks.

This pattern is Firefly, by Jennifer Hagan. The two by two cables are all right-leaning. She has them spaced out along the leg of the sock in such a way that they are easy to make.

My last stash buster started out as a pass-along yarn. Knitting friend Kathy gave me several skeins of Peruvian sock weight yarn in a so-so shade of blue. The blend includes alpaca and wool, but also 50% acrylic. In my stash I found a pale blue tweedy sock yarn bought on sale that had not inspired me. But by knitting them held together, these two yarns worked harmoniously. There was just enough for the skirt of a toddler dress.

When the pale blue ran out, I continued on up the bodice with the alpaca blend held double. The yoke includes a small pattern using strands of Cascade 220.

The dress design is mine, but the stranded design comes from a traditional Faroese Kettunøsin pattern. They are little dog heads.

While I sit here indoors, out my window it is raining heavily. This downpour is quite welcome, since it is the first rain since May. Gardening is out for the day, but knitting, quilting, writing and painting will keep me busy until dark.