Friday, June 29, 2007

Thank You "Secret" Swap Partner

I received my wonderful yarn swap box about 3 weeks ago, but because of most recent "moving" experience, I haven't been able to post this. My pal knew I was moving mid-June so was sweet enough to send early and I LOVE IT. She also sent a very sweet house-warming candle and holder. I haven't used the yarn yet, but am thinking of a small drawstring bag for my 5-yr old daughter.


Help with Cotton Tuscany

I posted MANY weeks ago about a lime green tuscany that I had started. Well, I have FINALLY finished, while moving my entire household from Oregon to California. YEA!!

So, here's where I need help -- I used an egyptian cotton. Do I need to "block" this? If so, how?

THANKS in advance.

Thank you swap partner!

I received from my no sheep swap partner yeserday- a wonderful ball of ivory colored Hempathy! It's SO soft and luscious! Absolutely fantastic.

It was also perfect timing, as it was the last day for a co-worker's who picks up our mail. He always teases me about all the packages I receive, so bringing me a big envelope from "The Yarn Fairy" made us all laugh! "The yarn fairy? The yarn fairy?"

Thank you yarn fairy!!!

This is going to be a well documented sweater:)

LOL:) But man, I made a lot of progress last night! A few things: (1) I'm doing stripes to make my way through stash rather than buying a sh*tload of new yarn, (2) I'm slipping the first stitch of every row - because it'll be easier to pick up stitches for the button band and it will look nicer on the side where we won't have a button band (did not realize that part because it's not in the picture and Karen F pointed that out to me yesterday (DOH!!!); and (3) whenever possible USE CIRCULAR NEEDLES (ahhhh that's better:)).
New pics:
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More variations of pink on their way. It's a fun pattern:) even if I have messed with its head....
PS - Stitch count is now down to 352 - gauge measurement was a bit off the other night/with straight needles. (when have i ever been straight?)
PPS - yarns are either linen (green) or cotton (pinks/neutral). Am hoping the linen part looks better after washing.
Have a nice day,
Joan a/k/a FSK

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Progress, not much, but progress

and the gauge is correct! It is slow going, but fun....

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back in the saddle again:)

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis pic is cross-posted from my blog. It illustrates the value of SWATCHING!!! Folks, when they say a size TWO needle for the Cables & Os pattern, they don't mean a size SIX needle, LOL. (oops....) I'm a big girl but not a size 6X! After a night of sitting at my local knitting meetup (for the first time, BTW), I now have another inch added to the above cast-on twisted ribbing - and the interesting half of my first button hole (although they don't tell you to do one in the instructions - but where is it written I have to be a good girl all the time?? Since pictures are better in daylight with my phone camera thingie, I'm waiting until morning to post more.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I had the most excellent surprise waiting for me when I got home from work on Monday... MY NO SHEEP SECRET SWAP PAL PACKAGE WAITING FOR ME IN THE ENTRYWAY!!!!!!! I immediately tore open the package and "oohed and ahhed" my way through it as I munched on the delicious Ghiardelli chocolate squares!!!! I loved it all but, I have to point the blue yarn out to all of you non-sheep knitters, it's made completely from corn. How cool is that? For more ups and info on my amazing no sheep swap present, please visit my blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thanks to my Secret Pal!

Another long overdue big thanks to my fabulous secret pal. I received a skein of Art Yarn Regal Silk in color #119 which is a gorgeous green and brown color. My package also contained two super yummy bars of organic chocolate, a fun nail file from Loop knitting shop in Tulsa and pretty green stitch markers. My SP rocks! Pictures to come as soon as my batteries for the camera recharge:)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

have I gone mad...??

... because it is full summer here, 30million degrees with the humidex here, and I am bound and determined to finish the He Gansey for DH (although he won't wear it for another three months) rather than start on all of the other cute summer projects that I have for ME. What's going on? Is it guilt?

Anyway, with your indulgences I'll post a photo of it to speed me along on this mission... I do love the Rowan All-Seasons Cotton but I'm not thrilled with the greyness of it. I DID let him pick the colour... hmm... next time I won't be so selfless! ;-)

detail from the neck:

whole thing, more or less:

No Sweat Socks

Hi everyone, this is my first project related post here! I started the No Sweat socks the other day using some Panda Cotton in the Sable colorway. They're coming along great, I just finished the ribbing at the top and started the stockinette portion.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Way overdue Thank You!

I got my package from my Secret Pal on Saturday, and I just want to say thanks!! I will post a couple of pictures tonight or tomorrow. I got a lovely periwinkle skein of Hemp for Knitting, an adorable notepad holder by Lantern Moon (this is going to be indispensible for jotting down knitting ideas on the go!) and a really cool vintage sweater pattern book. Everything was right up my alley-- she definitely reads me really well!
Sample caption from my favorite layout in the pattern book: "GAY BY DAY-- RIGHT AT NIGHT!"
Pictures to follow. Thanks again, Secret Pal, whoever you are...

Embryonic, but no sheep:)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHi, my name is Joan and I'm happy to be joining you all in the NSFY KAL. I have to admit the somewhat catchy title and the interestingly clad model on the cover of the book had me thinking it was going to be full of "stuff" for people, let's say a lot younger than moi and perhaps a bit kitschy. But I should have known that anything Amy Singer put together would be that... and more:) There are all sorts of new things in there plus some really really interesting and lovely projects. Have to admit, I thought of tackling the Morrigan, but figured "lessigan" was better for now! Please bear with me - this may take me years to complete with my crazy schedule and my tendency (when I finally do have the opportunity to settle in for a good knit) to stare off into space only to come back to reality/the pattern with a start and having to tink back three rows (I'm still a bit chicken about frogging rows at a time - I know, I know, eventually I'll be a big girl and do that...)

As for me personally, I'm a married woman, mother of six, grandmother of two, and advocate of about 150 young people at any given moment. Have been knitting since the Middle Ages - some time after Charlemagne, I think, albeit not with a great deal of care. I'm getting better, though:)
Law is my profession, but music is my heart. I'm a rabid liberal both in my politics and my theology (well, I guess that depends on where you are coming from, right?).
I've always wanted to knit something with cables and lacy-ness, so this looked like a good candidate. There is a little twist (other than the cables): I am having to dig into stash and therefore may have a few color changes, but I will try to be gentle. Thanks for this book, Amy - it's really quite good!
Am really looking forward to seeing everyone's creative efforts!
Joan a/k/a FSK+

This is Me.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Marlyn the librarilan. (At least that's what my husband calls me.) I just joined this group after reading about it in Knitting Daily.
I'm not working on a project from NSFY yet, although I plan to, soon, as soon as I finish at least one of my current projects, which are:

A simple triangle shawl from sari silk,
a chenille Chanel-style jacket from the book Knitting Simple Jackets (p.45)
a shawl from the spring issue of Knit Simple (p.26) made from bamboo yarn,
aaaand a pair of fingerless gloves.

I'm an avid reader, and review books on my blog (and occasionally other peoples' blogs).

I'm also a novice gardener, having moved into a house with a garden about 4 years ago.

I'm interested in the Skein Exchange, but I see it's too late.

Total Rock and Roll Thanks

To my lovely Swap pal who made my day/week.
The package was beyond the call of duty and so wonderfully put together.

Pictures and more gratitute at my blog:

Whats that? Another Tomato?

Yup, you got it! I am cruising right along on my Tomato:)

I'm about 10 repeats away from separating for the sleeves so that I can increase on the chest area.

This is my first time knitting wity Blue Skye Dyed cotton---I am so loving the experience! I can hardly wait to have this little number off the needles for the summer:) Oh and the color --is the original colors Wendy used for the design. I love reds!

Plum Tomato?

I'm planning a Tomato, in a nice silvery plum color. The yarn is from my stash, a discontinued Classic Elite Spotlight. Trouble is, I don't have a contrasting color. I wary of using another brand, I've been burned before. I thought I could purl the herringbone pattern, for a more subtle effect.
I know this is a great yarn for this sweater, in fact, I'm frogging something I'm not crazy with, to use the yarn for a Plum Tomato.

Swatching for Morrigan

I acquired a couple of inexpensive balls of Rowan Calmer on ebay (sadly not in colors that I would actually want a finished sweater in) and have begun some swatching to see what the yarn is like. I will probably also try to test knit section of some of the charts to see if they are beyond me. The yarn is very soft and will definitely make a lovely sweater, once I decide on a color (probably not the tangerine or sour, sadly).

Is anyone else working on Morrigan?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome Knitting Daily readers! Check out our Tomatoes Slide Show by KAL members! We can't wait to see yours.


On May 30th, I went to Northampton, MA, to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee on her book tour. (If you dont mind, please see the June 4th entry. Thank you.) Since WEBS was organizing it, of course I went early to shop. This is what I got:
Papiro 100% cotton for another Berthe Collar. Sorry for the blurry picture. This yarn looks nubby, but is very soft to the touch.

Next up, Jo Sharp cotton DK. At $2.99 each, I got enough to make the Cables and Os Cardigan.

Saucy Sport will make a Tuscany shawl, for a friend who looks stunning in that shade of blue.

I also bought something for my secret pal, but I can't show it here or else it won't be secret anymore. I thought I did pretty good, left the building to go to the reading, and then they had us stand in line for the book signing later, right by the aisles and aisles of severely marked down yarn. Those evil Webs people....even serving us glasses of cold water while we waited....and then I saw this:

100% silk. $4.98 a ball. I tried to leave it there at first, but before I knew it I had a bag of 10 clutched in my arms.
I have no idea what it will be yet. But there was no way I was going to leave without it!
Happy Day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thank you Secret Pal!

A HUGE Thank You to my Secret Pal for her June package. I received it yesterday after a terrible day at work and cold wet winter weather, it cheered me up enormously. I was lucky enough to receive 2 skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed in Brilliant and some Matte Latte teabags from the Republic of Tea, which I'm really curious to try. I will upload a photo when I get my camera back.

Meanwhile I've sent my Pal her package but I know she's on this board so I won't give the surprise away. Somehow I accidentally ended up with 2 upstream and 2 downstream Pals in this exchange- no worries, the more the merrier.

Knitting projects completed: socks (sheep fibre socks- sorry), a cotton raglan baby cardi for my baby-to-be in Septembe. WIP: Opal cotton/synthetic socks for a friend as a gift- they're going to be matching mommy-baby socks as she's due 3 weeks after me.

No Sweat Socks

I just finished my No Sweat Socks today. I'm pretty happy with them and I hope they will soften up when I wash them. The yarn I used is Wick in the columbine color. The pattern calls for 3 balls of Wick, but I had only 2. In order to make the socks with only 2 balls of yarn, I made the smaller size in the pattern and I made the leg portion of the sock an inch or so shorter.


I'm getting ready to knit up Intoxicating. I am having a problem finding 100% silk yarn at my LYS. (I live in a really small town.) I have looked at all the LYS' in my area and I still can't find it. Does any one think if I use cotton would it make a difference?

What's that? Another Tuscany!

I finished my Tuscany over the weekend. I did one less repeat because I'm short, but love it all the same. I think it the best blocked project I've done. Pictures and more information on it at my blog.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Review: South West Trading Company’s Bamboo

Fiber content: 100% Bamboo

1 Ball Contains: 100g, 250 yds (228.6m)

Price: Mine was in a swap, but it retails for $11.50 to $14.00 American, around the same in Canada.

Label’s Gauge and Needle Size: 5 sts and 8 rows = 1″ st st on US6 (4mm) needles. Nothing listed for crochet.

My Gauge, Pre-Wash: 7 sts and 7 rows = 1″ st st. 27.5 sts and 32 rows = 4″ st st (this is why you should never trust what your gauge is for 1 inch. It’s never right.) In crochet, I used a 5.5mm hook (US I hook), and got 13 sts and 18 rows = 4″

Post-Wash: No change.

Colour Range: 36, according to their Website.

Washing Instructions: Hand wash preferable. As a note, I’ve read that it is not a good idea to put something made with bamboo yarn in the dryer. Since I don’t own my dryer, I didn’t test it, I let it dry flat.

This is the other ball of yarn that I received in a swap with Stitch-ay Woman. I was excited about this one, actually, but decided to save it and use Calmer first. I’ve been wanting to try bamboo yarn for months, but didn’t have the opportunity. I kept hearing about how great it was, how durable, how beautiful, how soft.

This first one, above, is with 6US needles. The colour, Plum, is beautiful, and makes a lovely fabric, even though I prefer it knit with larger needles. But it felt so rough. I can’t imagine wearing a shirt made out of this, unless it’s meant to go on over something and not touch the skin. Even after hand washing, it was still rough. So, I went up two needle sizes and tried it again.

I got the idea from looking through Stitch and Bitch Nation. There’s a tank/vest in there called Accidentally On Purpose, which is basically a drop-stitch pattern, something like the above. It’s not only great on top of another layer, it’s *meant* to be on top of a layer, unless you’re feeling a little risqué. It’s still rough, but not as rough as the first swatch. I think it'd also be good for making the Network hat in No Sheep for You.

The crochet swatch gave me another idea. Bamboo is durable, and there doesn’t seem to be much stretch to it. It would make a great handbag. Even in plain sc, it looks great. With the wide range of colours, you could do stripes, or a pattern in another colour, like a skull, heart, star, whatever. I think the spike stitch would look neat, but that just occurred to me, so I need to test it with another colour/yarn.

If anyone has knit or crocheted something in this yarn and didn’t find it rough at all, please, let me know! I want to be wrong about this. And for the record, I’m not giving up on bamboo yet. There are other brands to try, and there’s a brand called Crystal Palace Panda Cotton that sells a sock yarn with bamboo and cotton content. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping the cotton makes it softer.

Bacardi - ole!

My Bacardi is finished, and I love it!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, given the sour look I usually photograph with) I can't post an "action photo" just now. It's still a bit damp, and I'm a bit impatient.

More info on my blog.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Geeking up the Cables and Os.

So I actually started this swatching process a while ago, but it took me a while to get my, um, self together and post this. This was my gauge swatch for Cables and Os (I have started on the real one, in black, by this time) and it was a really educational experience.

For one thing, I made the swatch about 8 inches square (a little bit bigger, actually) and this gave me an accurate gauge as well as a good feeling for how I would like the finished fabric. It grew on me. I confess that I was not all that excited about the yarn in the store, but it is knitting up into a lovely fabric. Too bad it doesn't photograph well in black. (The gauge yarn is a sage color both because I bought all the black for my sweater and because I liked this color but they didn't have enough of it for a sweater. The actual color is somewhere between the light and dark pictures that I took-- stupid camera.)

If you look at the close-up, however, you can see that when I unknit the twisted stitches incorrectly, it really showed up due to the fabulous stitch definition of this yarn. Can you see my goofs? The swatching paid off again, because I was able to identify a big stumbling block before I was knitting across a zillion stitches. I eventually figured it out, but it took a while. (Hint: you have to un-knit a twisted stitch out of the opposite loop to all of the other stitches you are unknitting. It's really hard to describe but easy when you see it.)

I identified another stumbling block: my edge with the eyelets on it was ruffling out. Since you use this edge naked, with nothing picked up and knitted along it, for the buttonholes, this was not going to cut it. I fixed this problem by slipping every first stitch on each end and this is working out dandy on the real thing, which is about 5" from the cast on edge right now.

I was a little too antsy to wash this before I started the real sweater, but the swatch is sitting in my laundry basket right now and I am washing it tomorrow. I am doing a cold water wash and flat dry, so I am not expecting it to shrink too much in width, but I can at least see how much it shrinks in length and adjust the distance to the armhole divide accordingly (I do not have the figure for cropped sweaters!)

River Rock Scarf attempt

I tried working on a River Rock Scarf but I wanted to use yarn & beads that I already had. I've never seen the yarn called for in the pattern & no, I didn't do a swatch. It's a scarf -- I usually don't do swatches for a scarf. I really should have this time.

The yarn I used is some handdyed silk/ [cough] cashmere [cough] yarn that's 28/2. I bought it years ago for weaving with (hence the 28/2 which I've totally forgotten the meaning of), before learning to knit, but was too chicken and stuck it in a bin with 2 solid colored skeins of silk. I used this one (despite the goat content) since it has multiple colors. I didn't have enough beads of one color so I dumped several together & stung them randomly. I briefly considered trying to
string the beads so that each "rock" would be a single color (because my brain just doesn't do random well) but ditched that in favor of remaining sane. After showing my strung bead mix to about 6 different people & getting positive comments, I finally decided they were right (I really don't do random well.) and cast on.

I started out of size 6 needles, went down to 4 (don't have 5's), and then 3's. I can see lots & lots of mistakes where the beads don't line up but not a large difference in the needle size. I'm
sure I didn't do enough rows with each one. I'm going to frog it & start over with the 3's. It's going to look very different than the one in the book but I think it'll be neat in the end.

6/17 update: I started it again on size 3 needles. I think it looks a lot better. The beads like to slide out of position though. I finished the border and I'm getting ready to start the body.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Substitute Yarn Advice

I've been thinking about knitting Tomato for a while, and I have finally decided to bite the bullet and buy yarn. BUT, I can't afford Blue Sky cotton. I have seen a few folks working with Mission Falls 1824 cotton, and a few with Cotton Ease. Cotton Ease is more in my price range, but the color choices don't make me swoon.

I spent some time on Yarn Market tonight and was wondering if anyone had used Needful's Kim or Knit One, Crochet Two's 2nd Time Cotton. Would either be a good substitute? Are they hard to work with? Would Knitpick's Crayon be too fuzzy? Or does it split like their Shine Worsted?


Blue Tomato (eww...that sounds icky)

That blob is all I've got so far. I think I knit much slower than the rest of you! This "Tomato" is CottonEase in the "lake" colorway. I'm not sure how well it's going yet as this is my first sweater ever. I think my gauge is way off. Initially (in the geeky thing) it was 21 stitches per 4 inches (and 30 rows) with size 7 needles. So I went up a size - in both needles and size I was knitting - because I wanted slightly tighter fabric. But then when I started, my gauge was *looser* than it should've been. Huh. Well, we'll see how it goes - I'm back to knitting tight on size 7 circs. I'm expecting this to be a learning experience!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bacardi - aka Cuba Libre

I have come to know this cardigan by its (new) second name ;-)

I'm posting before it's finished - hope you don't mind - just trying to ward off the dreaded SSS (second sleeve syndrome). Having said that, this pattern is GREAT and I'd recommend it highly (not only because it uses my favourite yarn, either).

Monday, June 11, 2007

I made one too!!!

Hi! Here's my finished Tomato, aka the Midnight Tomato. Dorky, I know, but it makes me giggle.

I used about 7 skeins of GGH Samoa in black and then less than 1 of the multi.

It was super fun to knit, really quick to finish and it fits awesome!! The deck really wanted to model it though.

Rowan Calmer yarn review

I traded my remaining Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton with Stitch-ay Woman for some Calmer and Bamboo. Here's the review for Calmer, in both knitting and crochet:

Fiber content: 80% cotton 20% Elitè Polyester Fiber (I have no idea why that’s an accent grave, that’s what it says on the label)

1 Ball Contains: 50g, approx 160m (175 yds)

Price: From what I can find, it retails for $11.50 to $14.00 American. According to Rowan’s website, it’s either not available in Canada, or they haven’t updated their website. The distributer is in England, though that doesn’t explain why there are dozens of retailers in the US and none in Canada.

Label’s Gauge and Needle Size: 4″ st st = 21sts and 30 rows on size 8 needles. (nothing for crochet)

My Gauge, Pre-Wash: Knit - 4″ st st = 24 sts and 28 rows on size 8 needles. Crochet - I didn’t sc for long enough to get a set gauge, but I used an H hook (5mm), and it’s about the same size as the knit swatch. If I was making clothing, I’d go a size or two bigger since this made a fairly stiff fabric.

Post-Wash: No change.

Colour Range: At least 16 colours according to The colour I have, Garnet, isn’t on the card, so there are probably a few more new ones.

Washing Instructions: Hand wash, dry clean in only certain solvents, do not tumble dry, dry flat out of direct heat and sunlight.

Calmer is the stretchiest yarn that I’ve ever used. Amy mentioned in the book that it's comparable to wool, though having never used wool, I don't know personally. It was hard to use at first, and I had to cast on several times before I was used to it, and then started the swatch over at one point because it was much wider than I wanted it to be. I tried stockinette with a garter edge, k2tog yo every few stitches for a row, double seed stitch, and cabling. The yarn overs looked alright, but I wasn’t a fan of double seed stitch with it. The cables were great, the elasticity makes it an excellent choice for a cabled sweater, I can see why the designer of Morrigan chose it. It’s incredibly soft, both on the ball and knit up.

Once I got used to the stretchiness, the only downsides were the price and having to handwash. To knit Morrigan, I’d need 13 balls for a 41.25″ bust. The largest, 55.25″, takes 20 balls, and the smallest, 36.5″, takes 11. So if I wanted to knit Morrigan, I’d be looking at around $169 for yarn, not including the taxes and shipping. However, I’d have a beautiful sweater that would keep me in knitting for months.

The colour in the knit swatch picture is more accurate.

While crocheting, I had the same issue when making the chain as when casting on, but once I got going, it was nice to crochet with. I did sc, hdc, dc, some shells, then back to sc at the top and an sc row around.

As most people who do both crafts know, crocheting uses up 33% more yarn. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you probably won’t want to use this for large crochet projects, like a lacy sweater. It’d be great for smaller projects, like a cute handbag, slippers, etc. However, if you have a huge stash of these and want to use them up, crocheting is the way to go.

Overall, a great yarn, I’d definitely use it again.

x-posted to my blog.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tomato - Done!

Here's my Tomato - I have not woven in the ends yet or washed it. Any suggestions on how to wash this to make sure that the red doesn't bleed into the white section? It's the recommended yarn, Blue Sky Dyed Cotton. I'm thinking it'll loosen up a little too when it's washed as cotton usually "grows".

61007 003

61007 005

61007 006

I made the smallest size, but didn't switch to the smaller needles to do the sleeves or the neck pickups. I think that worked well, as the sleeves are pretty fitted but are OK.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

'Cheeky Ribbed Socks finished'

My 'Cheeky Ribbed Socks' are finished at last - well I have been busy knitting other things too. I love the colour and feel of them.

My next project's either going to be the 'River Rocks Scarf', 'The Bag' or the other pair of socks. I have got some yarn for the scarf - I just need to find some beads to match now - so maybe it will be this - I'll keep you posted!

Friday, June 8, 2007


After a couple of false starts with different yarns, I settled on one of my new favorites Knitting Fever's King Tut cotton in color #1130 (orange). I made a few tiny changes to the design. #1 - I made it a bit longer, #2 - I did not add the edging to the armholes, and #3 I shortened the armholes (the full 8" for my size would have been way too long). My upper arms are basically like big hams and they do not require enhancement of tight tank armholes...I think the scoopy armholes are much more flattering.

So here she is: Eileen

But wait, there's more!!!

And more...

And still more... And this, my friends is the money shot!!