Saturday, December 19, 2009

Grandpa's Getting One Sock

A Christmas Story: It's late on December 18 (actually, early on the 19th) and the only creature stirring in the house is the crazy knitter in the rocking chair. This crazed individual realizes that even Lands End is warning that the remaining time to ship holiday packages is more-or-less non-existent at this point. But that doesn't worry her. Her mother's linen/cotton clapotis wrap is done, blocked and beautiful. And her father's socks are so close to being done that there is no worry about them being washed, blocked and sweetly wrapped and everything packaged for delivery to the Fed Ex counter on Monday.

The crazy knitter is finally getting sleepy and in the time-honored tradition of knitters everywhere, stops to take stock of the evening's progress on sock #2 before dragging herself off to bed. Holding said sock, upon which she has just finished the really fun gusset section (she loves this Oliver pattern) up against sock #1 to see about how much knitting she has to go before toe shaping, it hits her. Sock #2 is a little bit narrower than sock #1.

Keep in mind that she has been comparing sock #2 to sock #1 at regular intervals. She checked to make sure the legs were the same length and that the striping was coming out matchy matchy. (It was.) That the heel flaps were the same height. (They were.) And that her new, documented (on a Post-It) technique for ensuring no hole at the top of the heel gusset didn't create a distinctly different look than whatever she had done, but by now forgotten, to accomplish the same goal on sock #1. (It looked great. More on the genius technique below.)

In all this comparing, she had not one inkling that the circumfrence was different. No reason to consider why this might be so. And not the slightest clue that she had FORGOTTEN TO SWITCH TO THE SZ. 1 NEEDLES AFTER DOING THE TOP RIBBING ON SZ. 0s.

On Monday, she will be shipping the one sock with a long note of explanation and regret.

The good news? I can start Laura's present now!!

Knit on with love and optimism,


P.S. So here's the trick at the top of the gusset. Between the picked-up stitches on the heel flap edge and the instep stitches, pick up two stitches by snagging the sides of the two stitches to either side of the "bar" of yarn that spans the gap. (Check out Charlene Surch's Sensational Knitted Socks for a better explanation.) These two extra stitches belong to the gusset, not to the instep. Then, when doing the first decrease row, do your K2tog on the right side, then K3tog, then knit the instep stitches, then K3tog, then SSK on the left side. You're now back to your original stitch count. The result is beautiful and doesn't mess up the stitch patterning on the instep one little bit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Wussies

hehe. she is funny :)

Luckily, the things I am working on currently are going well and I will not be needing to rant about gauge for a while. Making toys as examples for a toy class is super fun, the finished size doesn't matter AT ALL!!!! And the featherweight cardigan I started for myself is going well and has not done any wild fluctuation. I will upload pictures soon, I swear. I am not doing it now because right this minute I have to stop writing this so I can pack a bag so Colin and I can leave after work to see Kate and Chad who are in the US for a short visit. We're going up to DC to see them and Patrick and Emily who are kindly hosting us all. I hope. I called Patrick yesterday to confirm plans and offer to bring something and the poor guy thought this was happening weeks from now. Oh dear. I'm sure we'll still have lots of fun, it will just be more um... chaotic.

Ok, seriously, going now, pictures tomorrow!

Friday, July 10, 2009



Why do swatches lie?

I just ripped out a lot of work. Because this sample sweater was WAY too big. I couldn't figure out why. My gauge swatch was perfect. Except then I checked the gauge just to rule it out was bad. Very bad. So I ripped. It's a sample. It needs to be right. And this is Karmic punishment for me telling people repeatedly that to get sweaters that fit they have to be willing to rip things when they're wrong. Sigh. So a week's work is reduced to a very large ball of crinkly. And, no, I didn't break rule 1 and rip in the middle of the night. I am jumping right back in, time is money with samples.

Anyhow, just needed to vent a touch...knew you guys would understand.

Love you,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hi blog!

I'm back with a request for opinions. While I'm working away on existing projects, I have started to think about what I would like to start next. This is new for me, ususally I just start things, not really bothering to think of what I would like to do BEST. Being the summer, I think I would like to work on something rather lightweight and have been meaning to make another triangle shawl because I acutally get a lot of use out of my Icarus and Silk Kerchief.

I read a blog called Through the Loops and she has been publishing lots of fun patterns in the last several months, but I've really been taken with Ulmus. I love the color combinations I've seen on Ravelry (they're worth looking at, go ahead, I'll wait). So I got out some sock yarn to look at potential color combinations for myself. I have photographed them and would love to hear what you think.

Option One: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in a medium blue with Prism Saki in a blue and brown varigated.
Option Two: Ella Rae Merino Lace in varigated pinky brown with Impulse of Delight Summit Sock in Blackberry, a deep purple mix.

Option Three: Two shades of Koigu, one a sky blue mix, the other a redish brown mix.

Option Four: Two shades of Dream in Color Smooshy, Go Go Grassy and Wisterious.

Those were my favorites and the best combos as far as texture combinations go too. What is your favorite? And why of course! Let's see what you guys have been working on!

Oh, and I added some pictures to Ravelry today; one showing the progress on the log cabin blanket (significant!) and the other showing a completely new and finished project, the Spidery Tank. Check them out!

Love you guys!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Porom Gauge

Hi everyone, but Libby specifically, I was wondering if you had made the Porom hat yet, and if so, if you had any trouble finding a yarn with which you could manage the proper gauge. Mom and I just bought a dk weight yarn because the Blue Sky alpaca silk (I know you were wondering what the content was before Mom, so there you are) stuff that you generously gave me wasn't working out for this pattern. (I made a different floppy hat instead, it's still pretty neat.) Anyway, if you have the pattern handy, could you consult with me on maybe increasing the number of stitches so that I can make a smaller gauge without making a smaller hat? I think it could just be any number divisible by twenty (because that's how many sts there are in chart B), but I'm not sure how the crown shapping will work, obviously with more stitches there will have to be more decrease rows. I know you're busy and I may be able to figure this out on my own, but if you get a chance I'd appreciate a consult. Also, do you think you could email me the Thermis pattern? Please and thank you.
Love to everyone,
Laura Anne

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love this, I couldn't really tell from the picture what you were talking and laura crack me up sometimes! I think we should post the rules in the sidebar to keep track!

Very soon I promise to post photos of the blanket in progress and soon after that I promise pictures of the apartment and my stash organization efforts. After THAT I will indulge in a discussion (monologue perhaps?) regarding what I want to cast on (or rescue from UFO-hood) to provide a bit more stimulation than giant garter stitch rectangles. Consider this post a placeholder for those more interesting posts to come!

love you~

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No Mother/Daughter Blog Would be Complete Without This

A list of rules! Granted, I don't have a whole list for you today. Just a rule that I applied (uncharacteristically) last night, and I'm so glad I did. So here it is, (ta da!) rule #1 in the Tightly Knit Rule Book:

1. No frogging after 11 p.m.

While I'm at it, here's rule #2:

2. Always, always, always have an unfinished scarf or sock (or three) handy to make it even conceivably possible to adhere to rule #1.

This morning, I see that the hideously stretched out edge stitch on the right front of my current project is not the result of a mistake in laddering, reladdering and then, for good measure, laddering again both of the twisted stockinette stitch stitches adjacent to the slipped edge stitch all the way down to the cast-on edge. No, my dear daughters, it was the result of being stretched out. And as every modern knitter (post Stitch and Bitch, that is) should know, it is in our power to wrestle stretched out stitches into submission.

So why am I displaying the "wrong" side of my edge? Because, dear girls, that is where the slipped edge stitch rolls to hide in this ingenious edge treatment. And don't they all look remarkably even and under control? It is wonderful to have this power. And I'd have never felt such joy if I had done what seemed like the only logical next step last night when it was past my bedtime and frogged the damn thing. I'm not saying these are the world's most even stitches, but they are fine.

And just to leave you with a little eye candy, here's what the front side looks like.

Knit on!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Great Knitting Magazine

Dear Girls,
Have you been holding out on me? I just randomly clicked on an ad on Ravelry (hardly ever do that unless I'm seriously interested, since I know it costs the advertiser half a penny or something like that) and am now in love with Knotions Magazine. How come I didn't know about this? I think it replaces MagKnits, which I never knew about, either, until it was history.

Here's the reason love Knotions so much. I've been searching hard for a shell to make to go under my current project. I've done several really serious searches on Ravelry, and even though I saw this, it didn't stand out from the crowd for some reason. I'm sure I can modify this a little to echo some of the design elements of the Retro Jacket. I'm so excited!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

From Judi: And Here We Are Again!

Well, my dear Libby, Baltimore doesn't know how lucky it is to have such an accomplished knitter moving in. And Cleveland's knitting community is a diminished thing without you in our midst.

But I am not sad because we are Tightly Knit! And even though you only semi-officially moved out this morning (leaving a shocking amount of stuff behind in some very unexpected places), I have a knitting dilemma and need your advice.

As you know, last night I started the Drop Stitch Scarf, #13 from VogueKnitting Spring/Summer 2009, and even though it is mega fun to knit the triple-wrap stitches to get the cross-wise "ladders," I'm dying see how it looks with the dropped stitches laddered, too. The pattern doesn't have you do this until the end. There's no way I can wait 'till the end. I know we freely laddered Jeanie while in progress, but I can't remember what we did with the top stitch. Just pick it up (as in a M1) and knit into it on the next row? Will that work?

After Judy G's experience with The Clap, I suddenly have a deathly fear of knitting an entire scarf only to find out the drop stitches won't drop! Tried to Google this question and got nothing I could use. You are my only hope. Am praying you took your computer to Baltimore!