Category Archives: Knit

All things knitworthy

Toe-Up Opals — Finished!

Toe-Up Opals

I started these socks (details at Ravelry) in December, as soon as I ripped open the package from my Secret Pal 11 pal.

I paused a little after finishing the first sock, because I needed to make something decadent and delicate and self-pampering (not that these socks aren’t pampery).

But recently it’s been cold here and I’ve been rueing all the super-short socks that I made in the spring. So I got back to my longish Opals.

Yesterday we went out for a drive and I got most of the leg done, which surprised me no end as it wasn’t that long a drive. This yarn knits up really quickly, though. It’s very satisfying.

This morning we planned to go out for a walk in the park, so I quickly did my sewn bind-off (finishing it, again, in the car) and popped on my new socks right there and then. It felt great.

On the way home I cast on for a pair of kid socks made from the left-overs. Otherwise, I’d only have had one project on the go!

(OK, apart from the sideways scarf, and the buttons I need to sew onto that little sweater, and thing things stuffed in the back of the cupboard of which we do not speak…)

Autumn Princess Cowl

Autumn Princess Cowl

I am really loving working on this. It is my first successful (to this point in a project) laceweight project. The pattern and the beading are just complex enough to keep me entertained but not so complex that I need to pay really close attention.

Every fourth row is a pattern row and every fourth row after that slips a bead on during one of the repeats. Apart from that, it’s knit, knit, knit, do-the-toddler’s-bidding, knit, knit, cook food, knit, pull-big-brother-off-toddler, etc, etc.


LYS Upgrade (I hope)

I’m excited.

I just drove past my Local Yarn Store to see a new sign outside. I popped in and yes, it has changed hands and there is going to be a grand opening next week and all that good stuff.

It has been a constant irritation to me (well, not constant, but…) that I have a yarn store within walking distance of my home, but that it wasn’t, well, all that I would have wanted. It was definitely the kind of store that was patronised by your granny and run by, well, your granny.

Not that the lady who ran it wasn’t lovely, but nobody could ever have accused her of being remotely hip. And I got the impression that she was just aching to retire. All of this was reflected in the store, which was, as I say, a bit grannyish.

Now that I think about it, of course, the new sign that has gone up is not what I’d call ‘hip’, either. The store is now called The Knitting Basket (instead of The Knitting Studio) and it has a country-fabrics type picture of a basket full of yarn. But it does say “where knitters gather” underneath, which is promising.

I spoke to one of the ladies and she said it was going to have ‘lots of new yarns’, which will be great. I think.

So I’m excited, but mutedly so.

Butterflies and Stars from Brendah

These lovely flowers and star discs are enjoying themselves among my spring flowers. They arrived today from San Francisco, along with a postcard.

Again, I love the fact that they are all different colours. There is also a cute silver heart charm that says “Made with love”. Oh, and I got seven markers instead of the regulation five.

Thanks, Ms Flowers!

I think I may be hooked on exchanges now…

Stitch Markers from Celena

Stitch Markers from Celena
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

These Happy Hearts arrived today from Florida. Thank, Celena!

They are the perfect size (making me realise mine were a bit big and heavy unless my giftees knit lots of blankets or chunky sweaters) and I like the fact that they are all different colours, since I’m always getting lost in patterns.


Stitch Markers: "Red Wave"

Stitch Markers “Red Wave”
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

These stitch markers will be winging their way to somone from the Stitch Marker Exchange, later this month.

I liked them so much I made myself some earrings that differ only in that the big white bead is a reddish/brown bead in the earrings.

I put different coloured seed beads at the top of each, so that someone could, potentially, use them to check quickly where they were in a round (if they knew the yellow one came first and the blue one was the last one…)


I’ve been feeling a bit isolated out here in knitland, in winter. I read a lot of blogs but I felt like I wanted something to connect me to a community, so I started searching for swaps.

I found this great site, which has a list of links to various knit-a-longs and swaps. The knit-a-longs seem more prevalant and I might get into that, but the thing is, I REALLY enjoyed both sending and receiving my socks during Sock Wars.

So down I scrolled.

I didn’t find a knitting swap as such that appealed to me (without scaring the wits out of me in terms of scale or timing) but I did find a stitch marker swap. So I signed up, and made one set while #1 Son did something crafty at the table and #2 slept. Hey, if I can do one set in the time it takes a newly-4 year old to get bored, I can probably complete the second set by the end of the month without freaking out too much.

On with the swap.

I guess I should take a picture of the markers sometime soon. I’ll wait to see if it’s all totally anonymous (or “anomolous”, as my mother likes to say) before I post anything. Can’t remember the details now.

Sock Crazy

I’ve been waiting to post until I had some pictures, but Vista is confounding my ability to share and upload pictures, so I’m posting pic-less for now.

Since my last post I’ve been working feverishly on warm black socks for the mister, who commented on how cold his feet were and how slightly-too-big his shoes were and how he had a knitting wife who never knitted him any socks, sniff, sniff.

Well, my dear knitters, you know what kind of an invitation that was, so within eight days he had four brand-new homeknitted socks. I’ve called them “Wool-Ease 44s” because they are knitted out of Wool-Ease worsted, on 44 stitches. I also rib 44 rows for the leg, turn the heel and do 44 rows before decreasing for the toe. Neat!

In the interests of not-going-insane-in-the-dimly-lit-basement-laundry-area I have added a grey stripe to the top of the first pair and a multicoloured strip to the top of the second pair. In all other ways they are interchangeable.

I’ve slowed down a bit after my sock-every-two-days initial burst. I’ve got the first sock of the next pair done, though, and now that I have a simple pattern I needed to vary it, of course. The heel and toe of this one are done in a salt and pepper colouring, which reinforces them as well as making them more obvious in the laundry. I’m not sure the toe was completely successful, but luckily the mister is so keen on the home-made socks he’s not liable to complain.

Nice to have found something I can make for him. And it’s so nice to think of his feet being warm and cuddled all day due to my efforts.

Homemade socks: a portable hug.

Harlotted IRL

I discovered that my real-world Not-So Local Yarn Store (NSLYS) had been ‘crashed’ by the Yarn Harlot.

There is a phenomenon online, where someone with a relatively low bandwidth (pipe to the internet) is happily posting away and their blog/article/story gets noticed and posted about on a geek site called Slashdot. Bazillions of geeks come to see the story and, Fwa-DOINK, their pipe gets clogged, their site is inaccessible and they are deemed to have been “Slashdotted“.

I have recently noticed this happening with some frequency whenever the Yarn Harlot mentions another knitting site (or blog). She innocently says, for example, “Heathen Housewife wants your odds and ends of sock yarn” and, Fwa-DOINK, poor Shelly’s site buckles under the weight of a billion knitters descending upon it.

I have coined (I think) a new term for this:

Harlotted: adj., to have your site overloaded after a mention by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in her blog.

Anyhoo, recently Stephanie posted pictures of her pre and post-felting Fiber Trends clogs.
Hundreds of readers commented, many to say they had made the clogs too, and how great they were. The rest promptly went off, as I did, and ‘Googled’ for the pattern.

If they were like me, they clicked on the top Google hit for stores stocking the pattern, Noble Knits.

I ordered and promptly rushed out to buy some yarn, anticipating having the pattern in my hands in a few days.

I waited.

And waited.

And, after a week I emailed.

And waited some more.

Then I discovered that Noble Knits is right here in my own backyard (well, not literally. I have a very small and hilly backyard…) so I strapped the children into the car and took a cruise to find it.

I found it and it looked lovely…and closed.

I went back a couple of days later, asked for the pattern and mentioned that I had ordered it online too a week and a half earlier, but was too impatient to wait.

“It’s the strangest thing,” said the proprietress, all perplexed. “Out of nowhere we got hundreds of orders for those things. Then we were out of stock and the publisher was out of stock and there was a trade show going on, so we just got our new shipment yesterday. But I don’t understand what happened…”

“Ha!” I laughed. “I know exactly what happened!”

I explained that she had been Harlotted, and advised her to watch the blog to see what Stephanie is talking about, and stock up accordingly. This is, after all, a woman who can inspire knitters to donate $150,000 to charity within a few short weeks.

Steph, you are a force to be reckoned with!