Pink lady knits



I am a mere 10 repeats away from completing Clementine, which makes me so happy! Though I don't anticipate having a photo of it in use for a few more days. This weekend is going to be pretty busy for me, but hopefully I'll have enough time to get in those 40 rows. I can't wait until this is complete, I am going to get so much use out of it.

The repeats are simple and mindless enough for me to do while watching TV, but so beautiful when put together. I have loved the process of knitting this shawl.



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Sick time means knitting time

I am sick.
Not a little sick. Not sniffly sick. Not, I-don't-want-to-go-to-work-but-I-could-still-run-to-the-post-office-sick, but really sick. It came on slowly on Thursday, and got progressively worse over the weekend. I'd anticipated it having run it's course by now, but alas, it's still around.
That said, I have been able to make some solid progress on Clementine in the last few days. It was the only knit on the needles that I even wanted to touch while under the weather. There is something so soothing about the incredibly simple 4 row repeat. I've finished the first piece and all of the shaping on the second piece, plus 10 repeats of the main lace. I have only 20 more repeats of the main lace left, and then I can kitchener the two sides together. Funny story from this weekend: I put the live stitches from the first half onto waste yarn and then laid it onto the coffee table and cast on for the second piece. I was happily knitting garter stitch when I glanced at my husband who had a perplexed and slightly sad look on his face. I asked what was wrong and he said "So, I guess you gave up on it?" He looked so upset that I was happy to inform him that the pattern calls for two matching pieces that are then grafted together in the center. I don't think he understood the logic behind that, but I was just pleased that he had shown a genuine interest in my knitting and the completion of the shawl.
I am really enjoying this knit, and I think it may have transformed me into a lace knitter. We'll see when I cast on for the Kimono Shawl this Fall, though the next things that will jump onto the needles are: Glee, Interlocking Balloons, and a custom raglan sweater for my darling husband. It's the last item that scares me the most. I've cast on and begun this about four times now and have never been happy with the results. He wants a simple v-neck sweater, it's hardly rocket science. Does anyone have any suggestions? Please do keep in mind that I refuse to seam....


Frustrations into Joys

After my last post I decided to take some time out and ask some important questions. I now have solutions to the things that were frustrating me, which is wonderful!
Solution No. 1: I actually asked Katie what she would like (duh!) and got the answer that I expected and was hoping for. She would like Glee, so I will be casting on for it in the charcoal alpaca as soon as I can. I am excited to be buying this pattern because I have wanted to knit it for myself for a long time, now I'll have it and be able to. What a perfect solution!
Solution No. 2: I thought long and hard about what I'd rather do for my Dad; knit Shifting Sands or use the Cottage Tweed I had set aside. I came up with using the Cottage Tweed*, since it really is one of my favorites and sharing it with him is a gift I look forward to giving. This led me on a search for a new pattern, and I arrived at Interlocking Balloons. There are a plethora of beautiful examples out there in blog land, here are a few. I have actually wanted to knit this pattern for quite some time, but was intimidated by it until just now. Isn't it wonderful how we grow as knitters? Just looking at the pattern and thinking that I found it difficult not too long ago helps me to understand how much I have learned in such a short time.

*I feel the need to point out that I probably will still knit Shifting Sands this year, as I love the pattern and would like to make one for someone I love. I'm just not sure who that person will be yet.


Frustrations and Joys...

There have been some recent knitting frustrations...but there have also been several really exciting things, which means that everything in my world (at least) is perfctly copesetic.
The first frustration is that the Coquette I made for Katie didn't fit her. Yeah she is tiny. I made the smallest size and got a tighter gauge than the pattern called for and it still didn't fit. At this point, the solution (as I see it anyway) is to rip it out and make her something new. Thing is, I bought the yarn (the charcoal colored alpaca) at MDSW and there is enough of it - a total of 1220 yards - to make the Tangled Yoke I have been coveting from the new IK Fall 2007. I am thinking that I can either make her a new project in a yarn I have, or buy her new yarn. The budget (and frankly the stash) is telling me to go with something I already have. I am torn though, and my options are few, as she is SO difficult to size for. I have resolved to make her either a shawl - which I know she will use as she is a shawl person, a top that would look good on a tiny person, or a raglan top with custom shaping. Either of these could be made with the light brown alpaca that I bought at MDSW, and that color would suit her really well, so I wouldn't feel like I was "jipping" her. In all honesty, she is a "brown" person and I am a "black" person as far as our clothing choices go, so it may even be more suited to her than the charcoal. At any rate my top contenders are: the Summer Shawlette, Summer Wheat Tank, Glee, or a custom raglan top. Any suggestions are welcome!
Another minor frustration involves stash as well. My LYS has a yearly sale (The Velvet Rope sale) which requires you to be a standing customer (I believe just once will do it, but they don't want people from all over the country coming just for the sale), and it is always held in October. For two seperate years I purchased some odd balls of Cottage Tweed in various natural colors. I love this's not soft, there are random bits of "nature" in it, and it's only a one ply, so I can't really explain it, but it may as well be 100% cashmere for the way I horde it. It is a DK/sport weight yarn that has 360 yards in a ball, which rocks and at one point I had 5 balls (as you can see in the photo); two in a stone and two in a natural tan, and then one copper. I used one of the tan balls to make the Grand Plan Capelet which I love. I wish now that I had used the copper color though, because I am left with two stone, one brown and one copper...which will not make many projects. I decided that I wanted to make my father Shifting Sands this year, and I am ready to go, with the exception of the yarn. He has requested a tan color, which I have...but the Cottage Tweed doesn't have enough "put up" in one ball to make the whole scarf. I am left with the decision of using the stone and not using all of the second ball or making the scarf smaller (width-wise) and using all of the copper or the tan that is left. Neither of these options makes me truly happy, and though my father is deserving of the yarn I have cherished for so long, I don't know if I can make this project with it. Sigh...we'll see.
The good news is that I finally cast on for a project I've been wanting to make forever. It's the Clementine Shawlette from IK Spring 2007. It's a beautiful and practical knit for me, as I am frequently chilly and looking for something to throw over my shoulders. I've had the yarn - Lisa Souza 100% Superfine Alpaca in "Seaglass" - for quite some time now, and can't think of a more perfect application for it. Here are a few examples of some finished Clementines...aren't they fabulous? I am knitting it on #4 needles and am whizzing through it. The decrease and increase sections were fun and interesting to work on, and I am now at the point where I am doing the 4 row repeat for 15 inches. I've decided to do 30 repeats on each side because it seems like a nice round number, and leave out the last row on the second piece so that the two pieces won't be kitchenered on purl rows. I'll have photos soon. I just completed the eleventh repeat on the first 19 more to go and then I can start the second piece. So excited to be working on something fun for me...
I am attending Stitches East this year, though only for the Market. My friend Shelley is coming down from NYC (still coming Shelley?) and I am excited about the yarn possibilities there. Though I will have to be very careful, or I will get carried away really fast! I've never been to a Stitches, so it should be a really good time. I think my cousin Kelly is coming down as well, but she is checking into childcare for Miss Grace, so that's a little up in the air.
That's all that's happening with me now...sorry for the lack of photos, I took them, but I haven't uploaded to Flickr yet.


A New Obsession?

While we were in Pennsylvania visiting Grace, we attended a local event called the Hay Creek Festival. It was a lovely local fair that featured crafts, antique car parades, glass blowing, and knitting, spinning and natural dying. Needless to say I was drawn to the fiber crafts. There were a few local women there who were spinning wool and bunny fuzz (I will never get over how cool it is that you can hold an angora rabbit in your lap and pluck their fuzz while spinning,) and a very cool gentleman who was teaching people how yarn was dyed in the "olden days". He was using local berries, leaves, plants, and bark and the colors were wonderfully rich and vibrant. It was very cool to see large cauldrons of yarn simmering over an open fire. In addition to all of the yarn and the dye, there was a lot of roving available.
I have always wanted to learn to spin...but was intimidated by the concept of learning from a book or TV show. To me, spinning, like knitting, is a tactile craft that is easier learned when taught by human hands. Fortunately for me, there was a lovely woman selling drop spindles (that were made by her husband) as well as yarn, roving and knitted hats, scarves and mittens (knit by her granddaughter.) She was not only willing to show me how to use the spindle, but she threw in some roving so that I could learn. It's lovely Shetland in a chocolate brown, which I assume is natural.
I don't have any photos of the day, but I do
have a photo of my spindle at home with the chocolate roving spun and the white roving I bought from another vendor. It's been very fun so far.
And, once I get home I'll post the web site of the lovely lady who took the time out at the fair to show me how to spin...I really enjoyed it!


Grace's Third Birthday Sweater

It has become something of a tradition for Grace to receive a sweater from me on her birthday. A tradition I joyously participate in each year, and one that she seems to really enjoy. This is not to say that she doesn't get other knitted gifts from me each year, because she does. She has such a pure joy for the things I knit her, and a keen interest in learning to knit. This interest, plus her sweet smile when she opens something new makes me want to knit only for Grace...but I don't want to spoil her quite that much. Yet.
Last weekend we celebrated her third birthday with her (it is actually this Saturday, but my husband and I are both in a wedding, so we can't attend the party.) She got the complete Madeline stories, and the sweater I knit her this year. Oh, and a Disney Princess card that sang a song from Cinderella ("Cinella" in Grace-speak) when it opened. I think that may have been her favorite part.

Here she is listening to the music for the third or fourth time....whenever it would stop she would get a frustrated expression on her face and I'd have to close it and open it for her again.

Here she is flipping through Madeline with me. I read it to her in a French accent, which she seems to love because she stares at me instead of the book.
Here is the moment of unveiling for the sweater. She looked at it for a moment and then picked up the card again. I wasn't offended.

Pattern: My own, striped raglan pullover
Yarn: Dale of Norway, Baby Ull
Needles: #6 Addi Turbos
Notes: This sweater wasn't a pattern as much as it was a formula. I measured Grace very well, and left small allowances for her wearing it with things underneath, and of course for growth. Then I decided what elements I wanted and came up with garter borders, stripes, a split neck in the back with buttons and a boat neck. I knew I wanted the pink stripes to be secondary to the green base color, and so they got 6 rows each, while the green stripes were 10 rows.
She seems quite pleased with it, wore it to school this morning in fact, and that's good enough for me. I am very happy with the fit, and think I will do raglan sweaters for her birthday more often.

9.11.2007 I GET it!

These Monkey socks are certainly addictive! I am having a great time knitting them. The yarn (of course) is lovely - Lisa Souza Merino Sock in "Mombassa". I am knitting them on the recommended #2 needles and am happy so far with the results. These are for my Hogwarts Sock Swap Two pal...she is in Hufflepuff, and these colors go perfectly. I hope she loves them, I know she doesn't have a pair yet.
I am toying with the idea of casting on for a pair of Pomatomus as well...we'll see. I have the perfect yarn for them - Schaefer Anne in a deep blue, the color of the midnight sky (it can be seen here.) I have wanted to make a bunch of the Cookie A. sock patterns for quite a while, and now seems like the perfect time for a Cookie Intensive. :) After the two planned socks are complete, I will buy the pattern for an knit a pair of Flicker socks...because I don't think I can live much longer without knitting that lace!


Embossed Leaves

Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt
Source: Favorite Socks, Interweave
Yarn: Koigu
Needles: #2 Susan Bates DPN's
Notes: I loved knitting these socks, and this photo really doesn't do them justice. They are exceptionally beautiful and not just because I knit them. The detail that went into this design is astounding and I am enthralled by the finished product. I will be doing a photo shoot with better lighting, details, props...but until then I wanted you to see how truly DONE these socks really are. I love wearing them...they fit like a dream. I have seen some examples where the garter stitch portion of the heel lines up perfectly with the purled rows in the pattern, however, mine did not do this. I am not disappointed by that though, because every other tiny thing on this sock is perfect. The toe....well, the toe is amazing. Not only is it a super cool and innovative way to do a toe that is fun to knit because you see it swirl, but it is lovely how the last leaf flows into the point of the star. Really amazing knit, really. Make a pair. Go now and get the yarn....I'll wait.
As soon as these were complete I put them onto my feet and began to knit another pair...and addictive pair at that. Stay tuned.


Owen's Socks - Free Pattern

Owen's Socks
These socks were inspired by the adorable cabled baby hats at Hey Julie. There were no existing baby sock patterns with a similar cable to the hats, so I created one. Feel free to knit and gift, but please don't knit and profit. Also, please let me know if you find errors in the pattern.

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Set of 5 #1 Double Pointed Needles

Darning Needle

Cable Needle


CO: cast on

K: knit

P: purl

C4F: place first two stitches onto cable needle, knit last two stitches off of the needle, then knit first two from cable needle

SSK: slip two stitches knit wise, seperately, onto the right needle, then knit them together through the back of the needle

K2Tog: knit two together


CO 32 stitches onto 4 double pointed needles, and adjust so that there are 8 stitches on each needle. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. Begin cable pattern:

Rounds 1-5: *K1, P1, K4, P1, K1 repeat from * across all stitches.

Round 6: *K1, P1, C4F, P1, K1, repeat from * across all stitches.

Repeat rounds 1-6 two times more (three times total), then begin heel construction.


Knit across 15 stitches from needles 1 and 2 (transfering the stitches from two needles onto one needle), then wrap the last stitch by pulling the yarn to the front, passing the stitch to the right needle, pulling the yarn to the back and then passing the stitch back to the left needle, then turn your work.

You will have one stitch on your right needle (the one you just wrapped), purl across the needle to the last stitch and repeat the wrapping process for this stitch, then turn your work.

Knit across to the last stitch before the one you wrapped, and then wrap it and turn your work.
Continue in this manner until there are six unwrapped stitches in the middle of your heel (you will end ready to work a right side row.)

1. On the right side, knit to the first wrapped stitch. Pass the stitch to the right needle, then using the left needle, pick up the wrap and then return the slipped stitch to the left needle. You will now have the wrapped stitch and the wrap, knit these two stitches together. Wrap the next stitch (this will give this stitch two wraps) then turn your work.

2. Purl to the first wrapped stitch. Pass the stitch to the right needle, then using the left needle, pick up the wrap and then return the slipped stitch to the left needle. You will now have the wrapped stitch and the wrap, purl these two stitches together. Wrap the next stitch (this will give this stitch two wraps) then turn your work.

3. Knit to the stitch you double wrapped. Pass the stitch to the right needle, then using your left needle, pick up both wrapped stitches. Return the slipped stitch to the left needle, and pass one of the wraps over it and onto the right needle. Knit the stitch and one wrap together, then pass the slipped wrap over. Wrap to the next stitch and turn your work.

4. Purl to the stitch you double wrapped. Pass the stitch to the right needle, then using your left needle, pick up both wrapped stitches. Return the slipped stitch to the left needle, and pass one of the wraps over it and onto the right needle. Purl the stitch and one wrap together, then pass the slipped wrap over. Wrap the next stitch and turn your work.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all stitches have been worked. You will end ready to work a right side row.
Knit across all heel stitches. You will end ready to join the heel and instep.


Seperate the heel stitches back onto two needles (8 stitches each). The yarn will be at the left side of the heel stitches. Pick up and knit one stitch on the heel needle, then knit across the instep in the ribbing pattern:

Instep Ribbing Pattern: [K1, P1,
K4, P1, K1] 2 times.
Pick up and knit one stitch on the other side of the heel, then knit to the last two stitches on the heel and knit them together.

Repeat the instep ribbing pattern, then SSK the first two stitches on the heel needle, then knit to end.

Continue knitting,
keeping the instep stitches in the established ribbing pattern, and the sole of the foot in stockinette stitch, until foot is about 1 inch. Begin toe.


Round 1: Needle 1 - K to last three stitches, K2Tog, K1. Needle 2 - K1, SSK, K to end of needle. Needle 3 - K to last three stitches, K2Tog, K1. Needle 4 - K1, SSK, K to end of needle.

Round 2: Knit all stitches

Repeat rounds 1 and two until there are four stitches on each needle, then knit round 1 one more time (3 stitches on each needle.)

Graft the toe using Kitchener Stitch.

Copyright 2007. Pink Lady Knits.


The Goings-on

There is a lot going on (knitting wise) over at Chez Stansbury. I have completed both Coquette and the Baby Things, which is nice because they were deadline-related knits. I have made a lot of progress on the Embossed Leaves (I am currently at the heel of the second sock) and I am enjoying them immensely, so much so that I anticipate being a little sad when they are done. And, finally, Grace's Third Birthday Sweater is moving along swimmingly. I got tons of it done while at a family cookout yesterday, and will likely finish the body tonight, leaving only the arms and attaching the buttons to complete. I love knitting raglans in the round, they are such fast and satisfying projects!
Some projects that have been languishing are the Irish Diamond Shawl, my Mom's Yellow Alpaca Socks and my black Roza's Socks. The IDS is a long-term project, I don't see myself finishing that any time s
oon, as it takes over two hours to complete one repeat at this point. The Yellow Alpaca Socks are a nice easy knit, and are what I bring with me to the movies (or the drive-in), in the car or two someones house to visit. I like knitting them, as the alpaca is so soft, and they will be perfect for my Mom when they are done. The only reason they are languishing is that other projects had deadlines, and therefore, priority. My Roza's Socks have been back-burnered because they are my "work knit", which means they live at my office and are knit upon at lunch. Thing is, I haven't been taking lunch lately because of some new and exciting opportunities to be involved with more high profile (and time-consuming) clients. I am in no rush to finish them because they are for I'll get to them when I get to them.
With all of that in mind, I have photos of
some of the Baby Things....

Riley's Things
Ruffle Rib "Better than Booties" (PDF) and Bonnet from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a pale pink and Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in a hot pink
Needles: Susan Bates #1 DPN's and #6 Addi Turbos

Notes: For the socks, I followed the pattern verbatim until the toes. I really like regular toes, call me old fashioned. I love these socks, they may be the cutest thing I have ever knit, and that's saying something, cause I like to knit tiny baby things.

The bonnet is an amalgam of several things. I liked the ruffled rib in the socks and wanted to incorporate it into the bonnet, so I multiplied the number of stitches I wanted to end up with by two and cast on for the ruffle. Once I had completed that, I did a row of eyelets for a tie and then I followed the general construction guidelines for the bonnet, but instead of seaming the "T" shape in the back, I picked up those stitches and knit them on. I am SO a one piece construction kind of a person. I added a little bit of seed stitch to the bottom and then braided some alpaca silk to use as the tie for the front of the bonnet. I think it turned out really well, though it is a bit large. At least she will get wear out of it for months to come.

Also, if you are an observant knitter, you will notice that I took this opportunity to practice a combined knitting technique that resulted in a very pretty, but slightly different stockinette stitch. When I knit items flat (or back and forth, as it were) I am a very loose purler. Because of this, I often get gapping on my purl rows which results in a bumpy finished fabric that I am never happy with. I had heard that there are several methods of combination knitting and wanted to try one of them on this project. So, I knit through the back loop Continental Style and purled regularly Continental Style. I like how it looks, but don't think I would use it most of the time, as it seems a bit....well, fancy.

Owen's Things
Pattern: Cabled Baby Hat from Hey Julie and My Own Cabled Baby Socks
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a pale blue

Needles: #1 Susan Bates DPN's and #3 Susan Bates DPN's
Notes: I found the pattern for the hat on a Flickr search and knew it would quickly become my favorite baby knit. It is well thought out, well written and produces something so cute and tiny that your heart hurts a little when you look at it.

I was so happy with the hat, and cast on right away for the Cable Rib Socks in the "Better than Booties" pattern. However, I didn't feel that they were "matching" enough, so I wrote my own pattern. I am really happy with how they came out, and plan to shoot Julie a short note on the pattern so that she can direct people to me if they'd like matching socks to go with the hat she designed. The pattern (and photo, sorry) will be up tomorrow.