Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Five Quick Things

I haven’t had much to write about for a couple of days since all of my current projects are
WIPs you’ve seen before and they are still in progress…

But I did cast on for one new thing.  

Pattern:  Squirrely Swedish Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch (Elliphantom Knits)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed in Spruce and Eggplant
Size 2.25 needle / Magic loop

I’ve knit the cuff and have worked the chart up to the last row of the squirrels section… see

On Monday, I got this in the mail:

Malibrigo Sock yarn (806 Impressionist Sky) … I’ve wanted to try it, now I need to look for a good pattern

Then the doorbell rang and this arrived:

Flowers from my Mom and Dad

On Tuesday, this came in the mail:

Two Skeins of Knitivity Down Home Sock Yarn and Knitters Winter 09 issue (full of some nice patterns)

And finally, this is what it looks like out my front door…

DH departs from Alaska tonight and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon (Christmas Eve), please cross your fingers that there are no issues with his flights (thanks) that’s the only Christmas present I am asking for this year.

Happy Holidays to all!
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

And Here's the Pattern

I've had several volunteers to do a test knit for this hat on ravelry, but forgot that I can't create a PDF at home.  so as a stop-gap, I'm putting the pattern here so I can get it published quickly.  Once I get some feedback, I'll do it up right and put it into a PDF.

The Santa Bang-y Hat


Worsted Weight Yarn in Red (MC) (80 grams) and White (CC) (approx 10 grams)

(I used two skeins of Berroco Pure Merino in Cardinal and some leftover white lion brand)

Gauge: 20 stitches / 28 rows = 4" (in stockinette)

Size 7 needles:  1 set 16” circular and 1 set dpn

Stitch markers, cable needle

M1, I used the slanted increase to do my M1, but you can use the one you like best
C4L - put 4 stitches on cable needle, hold to front of work, knit next 4 stitches, then 4 stitches from cable needle
C4R - put 4 stitches on cable needle, hold to back of work, knit next 4 stitches, then work 4 stitches from cable needle

With Circular needle and CC yarn, Cast on 96 stitches and (place maker for end of round) join to knit in the round.
Work K1, P1 ribbing for 10 rounds
Join MC and work 1 round as follows:
*K6, M1 repeat from * around (16 stitches increased - 112 stitches) (corrected 12/21)
Round 2: *K4, P2, (place marker) K8, P2, K24, P2 (place marker) K8, P2, K4 place marker; repeat from *
Repeat round 2 twice
Cable Round:
*K4, P2, slip marker C4L , p2, k24, p2, slip marker, C4R, P2, K4 slip marker; repeat from *
Cable round is now round 1 for counting
Round 2-7: Round 2: *K4, P2, (slip marker) K8, P2, K24, P2 (slip marker) K8, P2, K4 slip marker; repeat from *

Repeat cable pattern (rounds 1-7) 5 more times (total of 6 cable crosses) (corrected 1/4/2010)

Top Point Shaping:

Work 36 stitches in established pattern (including cables) place the last 16 stitches worked onto a stitch holder; switch to dpns and continue working the next 40 stitches (in pattern) onto 3 dpns (distribute so the cable stitches are together on the same needle).
Join stitches on dpns to work in the round (the rest of the stitches will hang out on the circular and wait for you to get back to them, but you can put them all on stitch holders if it’s easier for you). (edited 1/20/2010)
Now the fun begins, you will be starting on round 2 of 7 
The decreases for the tip shaping will be worked on rounds 2 and 7 as follows:
(Round 1: Cable round - already worked)
Round 2: K2tog, K2, P2, K8, P2, K2, SSK, K2tog, K2, P2, K8, P2, K2, K2tog (4 stitches decreased)
Rounds 3-6: work in established pattern
Round 7: K3, P2, K2, K2tog, SSK, K2, P2, K6, P2, K2, K2tog, SSK, K2, P2, K3 (4 more stitches decreased)
Round 8: K3, P2, C3R, P2, K6, P2, C3L, P2, K3
Round 9: K2tog, K1, P2, K6, P2, K1, SSK, K2tog, K1, P2, K6, P2, K1, K2tog
Round 10-13: work in established pattern
Round 14: K2, P2, K1, K2tog, SSK, K1, P2, K4, P2, K1, K2tog, SSK, K1, P2, K2
Round 15: K2, P2, C2R, P2, K4, P2, C2L, P2, K2
Round 16: K2tog, P2, K4, P2, K2tog, SSK, P2, K4, P2, K2tog
Round 17-20 work in established pattern
Round 21: K1, P2, K4, P2, K2, P2, K4, P2, K1 (no decreases)
Round 22: K1, P2, C2R, P2, K2, P2, C2L, P2, K1
Round 23: K1, P2tog, K4, P2tog, K2, P2tog, K4, P2tog, K1
Round 24 K2tog around

Cut thread and pull through remaining stitches

Now, picking up where you left off to start the first point, join a new yarn( leave a really long tail for working up at the end); with the circular needle K16 (move these stitches to a holder), work the next 40 stitches in round 1 of the cable pattern while putting them onto 3 dpns (as above). You will now have (in sequence) 16 unworked stitches (on holder), 40 working stitches and 16 unworked stitches (on holder)  repeat rounds 2-24 above reversing the CR / CL to match previously established cable sequence. 
Cut yarn and pull thru point

You should have two sets of 16 stitches each left on the stitch holders …put these back on the needles

If you are comfortable with grafting….using the tail you made when you joined the yarn before, begin by closing the hole between the point and the live stitches (duplicate stitch or pick up two stitches) work Kitchener stitch across the 32 live stitches and use the tail to close the hole on the other side. (edited 1/20/2010)

Or for the grafting averse…. Turn inside out and do a 3 needle bind off then close up holes on either side where points meet top of hat.

Finishing: weave in loose ends, make two pom-poms with CC yarn and attach to ends of points.

thanks to Stefanie for test knitting and editing help!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It Looks Like I Got a Lot Done

I suppose I actually did, but it’s more like since my last blog post, not just in the last day or so.  I have actually finished several projects and am still working on others.  I’ve only cast on for one more thing (so far).  Here’s a quick run-down.

The one I’m most proud of:

Some of you probably watch the show called “The Big Bang Theory” for those who don’t I’ll try to keep this brief.  On the 12/14 episode, Penny was wearing the cutest knitted hat… and of course being that sort of knitting dork who loves a challenge… I decided I needed to try to make it.  So here’s how it turned out:

Several people on ravelry did the same thing, but most of the projects I saw there were done in Chunky.  I had worsted in my stash, because basically I just not a chunky sort of knitter.  So, I worked out my own pattern and knit it up with the worsted I had.  I think it turned out pretty well.  You can see the original in this clip from the show: Penny's Hat

I also finished some socks. First up, the Mountain Color Socks I showed you in progress a while back.  For lack of a more creative name, I called these the Bearfoot socks

Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Eureka Colorway
Basic Top-down knit pattern with eye-of-partridge heel
Knit on Kollage square dpns size 2.75mm

And as a little bonus I whipped up these for the top-down workshop I’m teaching this month:

Sassy Toes
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Rock-n-Roll (leftover from these)
Pattern: basic toe-up/w/heel flap & gusset and a little improvised ruffle at the top
Size 2.5mm magic loop

I also made up this little set:

Pattern: (Hat) Lacy Baby Set from Homespun, Handknit / (Socks) just a basic sock
Yarn: Samantha in Stitches Footcrazy in Gemtastic

These and the pair above are for my granddaughter Sylvia. 

I also finished the Blue Lagoon socks (again, not very creative in the naming department lately).  This is a modified version of the original pattern which I found on my friend’s blog (

Pattern: Cut Paste Socks by Becca Diaz
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy
Mods:  Knit Top Down instead of Toe-up; added patterning on back of leg, added 1 purl stitch to side of chart

I am really happy with how these turned out.

I even finished up a non-knitting project: 
 that came with a little drawstring bag made out of muslin to carry the pieces in. The swift is doing fine, but the bag was getting a little beat up, so I decided I needed a better storage solution for it.  The pieces were a little bulky when stored in the bag, so I thought about making a case similar to a needle case that would lay flat and hold all of the pieces securely.  I played with a couple of ideas and this is what I came up with:

I’m not the worlds best at sewing, but it turned out well enough to work for what I need it to do. 

Well I have a few WIPS that need attention and it’s a nice snowy day to spend indoors knitting, so I’m not going to waste anymore time on the computer. I wish you and yours all the best.

Happy Holidays to all!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zelda Makes a Discovery

"Hmmm, this is interesting....

and about the right size, too...

it will do."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cables and More

I got a good start on the Bi-Colored cable pattern and I am really enjoying it. When I first cast on and knit the hem part, I was a little anxious about knitting the body in one piece with so many stitches and an increase for the front band when you switched to the beginning of the body after the turning row, but the cabled design is so interesting that I was having trouble putting it down.  The pattern has a little something for every knitter.  There are the cables of course, there’s also a little fair-Isle/intarsia fusion going on, with some clever shaping for those who appreciate great construction thrown in for good measure. Here’s what the section of the pattern that I finished so far looks like:

The rest of the fronts are a single cable crossing progressing up to the shoulders, but isn’t it lovely how those cables at the bottom all flow up into the single crossing?

I’m having fun with it

In other household news, Saucey has seen the approaching winter with our very slight dusting of snow the other day and has decided there is only one possible solution:


I also worked up this little sock as a sample for my toe-up workshop starting tonight:

The mate will by my demo during the workshop.  Anyone what to guess who will eventually get this pair?

Have a lovely week
Happy Knitting!

Friday, December 4, 2009


The tree (such as it is) is trimmed, the stockings are hung, the gift knitting is finished and the Nana household is as ready as it can be for the upcoming holidays and much, much anticipated return of DH.  The only thing there is really left to do at this point is to get the Christmas cards in the mail and settle in with the winter knitting.

I’d love to show you several FO’s that have been released from my needles recently, but since they are gifts, the pictures won’t even go up on ravelry until after the holidays.  My regular knitting which was suspended in order to complete a few gifts and get the house decorated is not much further along than the last time I showed it.  I’ve finished one sock each of the plain Mountain Color socks and Cut Paste socks (and cast on for the mates).  I finished the back of the big “v” vest and the shawl is growing at a snails pace.  The vest and shawl projects will remain on the back burner in favor of finishing those socks and starting a sweater. 
The sweater pattern name is Bi-Color Cables.  You can see what it looks like here.  My colors will be much different.  I’m sort of excited about doing this since I’ve been in love with this pattern for a couple of years.  I’ve also been sort of in the mood to do cables, so I think now is the right time.
I also need to prepare something for the toe-up workshop I’ll be doing this month, so that’s what I’ve been up to.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some pictures, so that the post won’t be completely devoid of knitting…

More socks and a hat for Miss Sylvia

Happy (holiday)  Knitting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's all the Fuss?

Zelda and Saucey say "we're ready for Christmas, why are you making such a fuss about it?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little Fidelity

Goes a long way...

Pattern: Arena from Knitters Fall 2009
Yarn Valley Farms Stockbridge
Size 5 & 7 needles

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Noisy Yarn

Do you ever feel like your stash is impatient with your current knitting projects? Do you ever just feel like you need to start another project RIGHT NOW? While waiting for the blocked pieces of the vest to dry (despite other projects already OTN to choose from) I obviously caved to some pressure from my stash and cast on a few more projects because suddenly my knitting basket is overflowing.

Exhibit A:

Cut Paste Socks
Cast on: November 12 / in progress
After I finished the Niagara Falls socks, I had already planned to start this pair, so I did. I had tried the pattern out with the yarn from the bubble wrap socks, but the combination didn’t do the pattern justice, so I hunted down a skein of Smooshy just to knit this pattern. It knew what it was destined for and was eager to get going.

Exhibit B:

Wiggles socks for Sylvia:
Cast On: November 13 / Finished November 17
This yarn was leftover from one of the pairs of socks I knit last summer. Leftover sock yarn practically begs to become baby socks. Besides, what little one doesn’t need a whole drawer full of socks from her Nana… this is pair one of many.

Exhibit C:

The Fidget
Cast On: November 15 / in progress
This black yarn had my number from the moment I first laid eyes on it, but I knew it would only be enough for a small project. It’s been jumping up and down saying “me next” since I brought it home in July, so I decided it would be the next project once I got the vest blocked. I put the Fidget pattern in my queue when I first came upon it and after sorting through one skein options, it seemed like the best match for a small project with this yarn. It’s not a perfect match, but I think it works.

Exhibit D:

Plain Socks:
Cast on: November 16 / in progress

This “orphan” skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot has been in the sale bin at work for a couple of weeks and the whimpering and sobbing got the best of me at work the other night, so I had to buy it and start knitting with it just to get it to be quiet.

And that’s not the worst part… now there’s a sweet little skein of Brooks Farm Harmony that has been calling my name and hinting that it wants to be a stole… sigh

To it I say “be quiet for now”… as of tonight it will be all vest all the time until it’s finished.
I hope your yarn isn’t being so demanding of you.

Happy (prolific) Knitting!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day Well Spent

Today three knitting friends (Kelly, Karen Michelle) and I went on a little adventure north into the Wilds above Milwaukee… okay, maybe I’m embellishing a bit here.  We actually went to the towns of Grafton and Cedarburg, WI to do a little shopping and eating and sight-seeing.  The weather was excellent for a day spent going in and out of little shops and such. 
We started out by hitting the Grafton yarn store.  I found the Curlicue coverlet pattern I’ve been on the lookout for and some really cute buttons for a future project for little Miss Sylvia. I also picked up some Noro in a kicky colorway, a back issue of Debbie Bliss Magazine that I had seen last summer but never got around to buying, some Arauncunia Yarn to try and an original hat pattern from the store that will be good to use with the Noro. 
Then we went to Cedarburg.  What a pretty little town.  It is chock full of little specialty shops, antique shops and museums.  There was also a store for the Cedar Creek winery.  We were all hungry when we got there, so we stopped for lunch at the Cream and Crepe Cafe.  I had the best vegetable soup, paired with a ham and cheese crêpe. Everyone else had soup or crepes and we all enjoyed our meal.  Of course we all were careful to save room for the pumpkin crepes for dessert - totally yummy.  Then we meandered around town seeing what was there to see.  I picked up some cute little sheep charms at the bead store and some handmade caramels at the candy shop.  Adjacent to the bead shop was the Cedarburg Woolen Mill Textile Museum which unfortunately wasn’t operating while we were there but we did get a peek at the carding machine and some of the other historical equipment.  Mostly we just had fun poking around and seeing the different things to see.  I may have also picked up a couple of bottles of wine from the winery store which I’ll have to sample soon!
On the way home we felt the need to make one more stop, so we swung into Ruhamas Yarn store and checked it out.  I didn’t really find anything there to buy, even though the display of Kauni did keep trying to trip me and Kelly.  I managed to stay on my feet and avoid the temptation, although there is one colorway that I could see working up really nice… Kelly found a colorway she liked, but she was unable to buy any because they didn’t have that color in stock. (excuse for return trip in future!)
After that we were feeling a little need for refreshment so we visited Kopps Custard and had some treats for the road.  Pumpkin Shakes for Kelly and Michelle, a sandwich and tea for Karen and the flavor of the day chocolate chocolate chip custard for me.  MMMM
I didn’t take very many pictures, but here’s a shot of my loot:

Even though I was certain that nothing but wilderness existed north of Milwaukee, I discovered a couple of charming little towns.  It was all very civilized and nice.  We had a fun time visiting and exploring and I’ll definitely have to take DH there sometime after he comes home.

All in all, it was a day well spent.

Oh, and in case you were wondering if I’ve been knitting anything lately; on Friday, I finished these:

This was a fun and pretty pattern which I will probably make again someday.

Niagara Falls Socks by Janelle Laidman (The Eclectic Sole)
Yarn KPPPM in P416138
Size 2.25 needles (magic loop, 2-at-a-time)

Happy Knitting!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Access Denied

2:30 pm

6:30 pm

I think I just discovered why I get less knitting done some days than others...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What’s In Your Basket?

I figured it was time I shared a little of what’s happening here at Nana’s.  I’ve been doing more serial casting on and less knitting than I would like (again).   But I am seeing progress on a couple of projects…

But before I get to those, I thought I‘d share a few yarn acquisitions I made recently.  The first is some beautiful handspun that knitter friend Paula gifted some of the knitters in our little Thursday night group.  Sherri got two skeins of brown energized singles and I got this:

About 270grams of a nice grey and white twist yarn.  Paula wasn’t 100% on the fiber content, but I think there is enough here for a nice hat or pair of mittens or maybe a cowl.  Ah, the possibilities.

Next up, you know I can’t resist alpaca in any form, so I went to the Northern Illinois Alpaca Extravaganza at the new Lake County Fairgrounds a couple of weeks ago and after ogling all of the lovely alpaca on the hoof, I found these two skeins of  Sport weight from the Whisper Meadows Alpaca farm… The yarn is named after the alpaca it came from … how fun is that

Peruvian penny (cream) and Patent Leather (black)
I’m thinking maybe a tam?

Then last weekend on Halloween I went on an excursion with Kelly and Carol out to the Fold in Marengo, followed by a lunch where we decided to go visit yet another shop that none of us had ever been to (Gene Anne’s Yarn in Barrington).  All in all it was a lovely day and a few things followed me home:

From the Fold, Cascade Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn in the glamorous color 9926

And from Gene Ann (who practically thrust it upon me) Dream in Color Knitosophy in Strength

So you see, with all this yarn shopping, who has had much time left to knit?  No seriously, I have still been seeing too many patterns that I want to knit right away and have been totally unrealistic with myself about the amount of time needed to actually knit the pattern…

So, here’s what’s patiently waiting turns in my knitting basket

Niagara Falls Socks by Janelle Laidman

Big V Vest by Melissa Mathay
Yarn SWTC Terra

I might have showed this one already… the It Ain’t a Pair of Socks Shawl (pattern Simply Effective Shawl by Cosmicpluto Knits

Yarn Down Home Art by Knitivity colorway Ain’t Gail

And the newest and most exciting project:

Arena from Knitters Fall 2009
Yarn: Valley Yarns Stockbridge from Webs

Whew! What’s in your basket?

Happy Knitting

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally Friday!

I was going to call this very cleverly titled post finished Friday or something of that sort, but really what I feel like is that it is finally Friday and I’m finally finished with a couple of things and October is (almost) finally over. Which means that November is due soon and I’m hoping December is following close behind (peek at the ticker above and you’ll understand my feelings here).

So what did I finally finish… as if you couldn’t guess? Yes! The Vest… here ya’ go, no more waiting.

(Sorry about the photo quality, that’s one of the big downsides to being alone… no one to take the modeled shots of your FOs).

Pattern: Chevron Shadows from Knitter’s Summer 2007 issue (K87)
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Gothic Rose and Prism Neat Stuff (Half) in Crème
Size 4 and 6 needles

I finished some socks… don’t know why I could only get one pair done (maybe the vest had something to do with that), but these are done and I like them.

Pattern: Bubble Wrap Socks by Sockbug
Yarn: Zaurbeball Crazy #1564
Size 2.50mm needles

I also have several things impatiently waiting to be cast on and a couple already in-progress to tell you about another time. Until then, one more FO... a little pumpkin hat for a last minute baby gift....

Happy Halloween and

Happy Knitting!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday’s Problem

Remember the vest I’ve been promising to finish and show off?  It’s going to be a while.  In a very play-off result type parallel I rallied to get it going again this weekend. I redid the bottom band and was quite happy with the result.  Then I started to pick up the recalculated number of stitches on the front I got through the left front very nicely, worked across the neck where there was no change and started down the right front. Things were not going well.  I ripped, picked up, ripped, picked up; put it down, smoothed it out, paused; LOOKED and oh (insert your favorite swear word here)!  I discovered that at some point I had made a mistake in the pattern repeat and had left out about 5 rows!

No wonder the thing was giving me so much trouble.  Needless to say I feel a bit like the Cardinals, Twins and Red Sox right now, swept and out of the series.  For such a relatively simple pattern, this thing is kicking my knitter’s butt. 

I did progress on the bubble socks and if not for trying to finish the vest would have finished the pair this weekend. 

So, you now know what I will be doing on my day off tomorrow. 

Happy Knitting and I hope your projects behave better than mine!