Sunday, January 29, 2006

Stranded Knitting 101

I bought 1 ball of black yarn yesterday to continue working on the mitre squares blanket. According to rule #2 of the stash-along this is a legal yarn buy.
(2) If you have to get a ball of yarn to finish a project already on the needles because you ran out of said yarn and you intend to finish said project by the end of Stashalong, that's okay.
I don't know if I will finish the blanket in time but it won't be from lack of trying, I'm working on it pretty much every day.

I also just joined the Unloved Sock Yarn Swap. Deadline for signing up is this evening.

Rebecca asked me about stranded knitting in the previous comments. So I'll give you my take on colour-work.

My mother taught me to knit fairisle when I was about 14, so this is the only way I know. First, I am a thrower and carry the yarn in my right hand, when working with two colours I carry both strands in my right hand weaved through my fingers and palm in a certain way that they don't get tangled. This varies with the type of item and type of yarn I'm using but my general rule of thumb is to carry floats for 5 stitches, after 5 stitches I weave in the float.

Whenever possible I weave in the float yarn over a stitch from the previous row that is the same colour as the yarn I'm weaving, of course this is not always possible. The 5 stitch rule works well for me as I find that if you weave in at shorter increments the woven in threads have a tendency to show through.

When working in the round on dpns I always use 5 needles since knitting the Gotland Island Mittens. It was a little bit fiddly at first but now I find using 4 needles awkward. Go figure! When you use 5 dpns (using 4 as working needles) you are able to lay your needles horizontal when switching needles and carrying floats over the join which avoids your work pulling in.

Oh, also when carrying a float longer than 5 stitches over a join between two dpns I always weave in the yarn at the last stitch on the needle, again making a nicer transition over the needles.

And basically, that's how I knit stranded work.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Socks Once More

Stranded socks are finished. My camera is on the blink again, so ignore the date stamp on the image.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: my own (based on Traveling Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks)
Yarn: turquoise (unknown), rust vintage 100% wool, Multi (Bernat Sox Hot Tamale)
Notes: I used the original chart for colour distribution. I replaced all the motifs with my own and used seed stitch instead of garter stitch (in the original). I also did the whole thing on 2mm needles and the fit is wonderful (not boxy like the original). I used a star toe. Absolutely love knitting this type of sock and will be starting another one entirely from scratch (my own design).


Currently working on the December Rose (sotmc) socks and a mitre blanket using alternating stripes of black and anything & everything from my scrap basket.

Click here to enlarge.

I've got a puzzle together and am hosting an altered puzzle with the theme of the "Wizard of OZ" for my altered puzzle group. Can't wait to get this going.

I also ventured out into the world of GTCs and made my first cards. GTCs are basically the same as ATCs only they are entirely glued/collaged. My latest gluepage and a GTC for you. Visit my flickr galleries linked in the sidebar to see more.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

I'm thinking here of any story that is split into more than one volume, stories such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Rowling's Harry Potter volumes, Eddings' Belgariad, to name just a few. Christie's Hercule Perot stories do not count, nor do Gardner's Sherlock Holmes stories, as the reader can consume them in any order. Savvy?

  1. Do you enjoy reading multi-volume stories? Yes, yes, yes!

  2. Do you prefer the shorter stories that are done in two or three volumes, or do you willingly go for longer tales? Both

  3. What do you like/dislike about these long tales? The worst part of reading a great book is to have it end. Sometimes you feel let down when the book is over, you have nowhere to go to find out more about these people. Trilogies and epic multi-volume sets keep on giving, you become familiar with the characters and they become friends. I love reading fantasies and very rarely read a stand-alone anymore.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

First Altered Puzzle Piece

No knitting pictures to show today. I'm almost at the toe of the stranded socks I'm working on so should have a picture in the next couple of days. I'm also working on a mitre square blanket, alternating stripes of black and anything & everything from my scrap basket. Will show a picture when the socks are ready.

I've been glueing almost every day, it's a great way to get the creative juices flowing every morning. Here's my latest:

The daily prompt for this was "round" things.

I also did my very first ever altered puzzle piece which was so fun to do I think I might just get hooked.

The theme for this one was "think pink".

A Great Day for Canada!

Finally!!! We can only hope now that change will finally come. It is going to take a while for the jubilation in Alberta to die down.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Drumroll .....

Do we have a winner???


The winner is MJ! Who correctly guessed that I was born in Holmfirth,England. The home of Rowan Yarns

MJ wins a skein of Opal Rainforest Collection Parrot

MJ, email me with your address.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Booking Through Thursday

Have you finished any books yet? yes

If you have, how many, what were they, how did you like them? Fatal Voyage - Kathy Reichs (loved it as I do all her books); Good Morning, Young Lady - Ardyth Kennelly (very good); + and an X-Files and a ST:TNG Juvenile books. (good)

If not, why not? Are you currently reading anything that you just haven't finished yet? Currently reading The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John Le Carre

PS: - I'm really enjoying the guesses for my birthplace contest, some very interesting places and reasons!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Contest , FO and More

First of all, this is my first time having a contest and I guess I made it a bit too hard. I've given more clues in the entry below, so if you've already guessed, guess again!

As to my question about one or two blogs, thank you to Katie and Cindy for taking the time to comment. I have decided to keep just the one blog and blog away on everything hobby/craft related here.

Now, finally a FO!

Pattern: Julia's Stole by Carol Fetherston from 2006 Pattern-a-day Calendar
Yarn: For the cream I used a strand of an unknown linen/cotton blend held together with a vintage sock yarn. For the brown I used a strand of vintage Coats #30 crochet thread with a strand of Schepjeswol Mohair Ombre (67% mohair/28% wool/5% nylon)
Notes: OK, lots of notes this time. The pattern called for 3 different shades of lace weight to hold together with the mohair but I didn't have any laceweight so I went with the #30 crochet thread. I also only used one shade since I used a variegated mohair.

Next the pattern has a couple of mistakes or is not very clear. #1 - the materials call for laceweight and then this is always referred to as silk in the instructions. #2 After studying the picture numerous times I decided that the garter stich ridge was done only once instead of twice as the pattern would indicate as written. So if you are knitting this when the pattern says " work pattern sequence 21 times" I repeated only Rows 3 to 10. My stole came out to the same dimensions as given.

And finally, I absolutely love this stole and pattern! My yarns went together fabulously, wonderful texture and very soft and light. The pattern stitch is simple and easy to memorize and very pretty, I think.

I finally received my December sotmc kit. I love this one. Purple and Gold ... Mmmm! It's a worsted sock and I'll probably be starting it soon.

Since I'm in the stash-a-long I feel like maybe this cheating, but I did sign up for the club way before the stash-a-long. So I think I'm still technically ok aren't I? Kim?

Non-knitting content follows.

So, as I mentioned a few entries ago I've started a new addiction to collage. I joined the gluebooks group and have been working in one for the last little while. I'm adding a gallery link over in the side bar. Here's the first one I ever did.

I've also joined the altered puzzles group and can't wait to get started on that.

This weekend Michaels had a fabulous sale. 50% off a lot of stuff and a bunch of things for $1.50. Since I'm on the stash-a-long, I had a peek at the yarn and then bought some crafting supplies since I'm not allowed to buy yarn.

And a visit to the thrift store resulted in some crafting supplies, too. Thankfully, they had no yarn so I didn't have to pass that hurdle

A journal to collage in or alter ... an iron on face ... a landscaper's stencil of flowers and bushes ... a box of paper fasteners ... and some vintage wrapping paper.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Edit: I've given better clues ... if you already guessed ... guess again. See above post for explanation

I've been thinking, one way to help reduce my stash is to give something away. So I'm holding a contest. The winner will receive a skein of Opal Parrot sock yarn.

To enter the contest you have to guess where I was born.


The city/town where I was born has a very well-known knitting connection.
Trish is right I did emigrate ... so the city/town is not in Canada.
In fact ... it isn't even in North America.

Leave your guess in the comments and make sure you include your email address so I can contact you if you win Guesses can be made until Friday. On Saturday I will announce the winner. The person who guesses correctly will win. If more than one person guesses correctly, I will put the correct guesses in a sock and draw a name for the winner.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


When you have more than one interest do you have a blog dedicated to each interest or do you just put it all on one blog?

I want to start blogging about a new obsession of mine, collage & altered art. But do I start a new blog or start putting it here? I like blogs that are focussed on one topic, but I don't think I could keep up with posting to more than one blog and what if I got another passion would that mean still another blog??

What would (or do) you do?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Getting in A Mood

Every once in a while I get in one of these moods where I always have to be knitting something other than what I am working on and I keep starting new things. I'm in one of these moods now. I'm working on the Shell socks from "Knitting Vintage Socks" and I love the pattern, possibly one of the prettiest lace patterns I've ever knit on a sock BUT I just can't get myself to work on them. Every time I pick them up it feels like a chore and I end up working on something else or starting something else.

I think the problem is lack of colour. When I think really hard about what I like about knitting, I get the most gratification out of putting a bunch of colours together to create something. That is why I like mitred squares, crochet squares and stranded knitting so much. And I'm just in a mood right now where I want colour-work in my knitting.

Stashbusting for the Stash-along has been in full gear around here. The second scrap rug is done and I've used up all the yarn. (Yeah!)

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: none, basic mitre squares
Yarn: double strands Phentex and other scraps of polar weight. 8mm needles
Notes: object was to use up the yarn, which I did, so it has a scrappy look to it compared to the last one.

I also finished the first sock I was working on based on the Traveling Socks from Socks,Socks,Socks.

Click here to enlarge.

I used the original chart for colour distribution. I replaced all the motifs with my own and used seed stitch instead of garter stitch (in the original). I also did the whole thing on 2mm needles and the fit is wonderful (not boxy like the original).

And one more Finsihed Object this week.

Pattern: Slanted Eyelet Scarf by Sandi Rosner from 2006 Pattern a Day Calandar
Yarn: Baycrest Elysee (acrylic/mohair/wool) (2 balls)
Notes: very easy pattern, has a bit of a "clapotis"-look to it. The ends facing the same direction might bother some, but not me. The yarn is some ancient stuff from the stash, just the right amount of mohair to give a nice halo but not enough that it's up my nose the whole time I'm knitting. I have three more balls left of this.

Current WIPS
Shell Socks
Julia's Stole
Granny Square Vest

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First FOs of 2006!

First up is the mitred square rug made with Phentex from the stash. I just have to get some of that non-skid stuff to put on the back. I'm making another one since I still have some Phentex left and am adding some other polar weight scraps, so it will be more scrappy.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: none, basic mitred squares
Yarn: double strand of Phentex, 8mm needles.
Notes: This rug is for the laundry room. I've added boots to the pic for scale.

Click here to enlarge.

Pattern: Whitby by Nancy Bush from "Knitting on the Road"
Yarn: Briggs & Little from stash, unknown because label is lost, but a light worsted/dk weight. 2.75mm needles
Notes : followed the pattern exactly. Easy pattern to memorize, the B&L yarn is somewhat rough to work with but I've used it for socks before and will soften after washing.

Current WIPS
1) scrap mitred square rug
2) my stranded socks
3) Shell Socks from "Knitting Vintage Socks"

Sunday, January 01, 2006


OK, as the new year comes in I am doing some housecleaning here at Sock It To Me and I need to get my knit-alongs under control. I need to have time to do the kals and still have time to do my own things. I also want to concentrate on designing this year. So here are my current knit alongs, comments and decisions on what has to go.

Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. One sock every two months. I am the owner of this kal and I love it so it is definately staying.

Mittens. No deadlines. No commitments. Just knit mittens when I feel like it. So this stays, also.

Nancy Bush's Folk Socks. Hmm ... well most of the socks in this book I would not realistically get around to without the kal. Both socks I've knit for the kal, I love. One sock every two months. Really don't want to give this up, so it stays.

Tough decision. I guess I haven't really been thrilled with any of the socks in this. Nice patterns, but not earth shattering. Definately enjoy the Nancy Bush socks more. I've done 5 patterns in a row, but find myself not wanting to knit the current one. I have to give up something ... so ... this one is going. Goodbye 6sox kal!

Nacy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Haven't started this one yet but I did get the book for Christmas. One sock every two months. I love Nancy Bush patterns and it wouldn't seem right not to participate in this, so ... it stays!

Socknitters SAM

This kal has changed its format and is going more into techniques than actual patterns. I have other places I can learn new techniques so I'll say ... Goodbye Socknitters SAM!

Socks, Socks, Socks

Love the book. Love some of the patterns. one sock every two months. Have not knit this months socks and do not intend to. How about I make a bargain with this kal? With 70 patterns, there is no way I want to knit every sock in this book. So the bargain is I will participate if the sock pattern chosen is one I already want to knit and have a suitable yarn in stash.

This one is easy. No commitments to knit. Just use stash for all of the above!

2 knit-alongs given the boot.
6 remain.

1) 3 socks every two months, possibly 4. That's 1.5 to 2 pairs of socks a month.
2) An occassional mitten when I feel like it (... and I will!).
3) Plus everything must be knit with stash.

2005 Books Read

No knitting content.

A few years ago I started keeping a list of books I read. I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to and my reading is a lot lighter than in the past. But this year I managed to read 55 books and from the following you can see I have quite an eclectic taste in genres though mostly science fiction and YA Fantasy. These are organized by author or series rather than in order read for my own reference.

Andromeda – Destruction of Illusions – The Broken Places – Way Station
Angel - Impressions
Animorphs – Invasion – Andalite Chronicles
Robert Barnard – Death By Sheer Torture – Death of a Perfect Mother – Death in a Cold Climate – Death of a Mystery Writer
T.A. Barron – Mirror of Merlin (The Lost Years #4) – The Wings of Merlin (The Lost Years #5)
Vicki Blum – Shadow Unicorn
Buffy - Immortal
Orson Scott Card – Lost Boys
Michael Crichton – The Lost World
Catherine Cookson – Hamilton – Goodbye Hamilton – Harold
Paul Corkery – Carson , the biography
Patricia Cornwell – Hornet’s Nest
Coronation Street – The War Years by Daran Little – The Complete Sage by Katherine Hardy
Bruce Coville – Into the Land of the Unicorns (#1) – Song of the Wanderer (#2)
Kara Dalkey – Transformation (The Water Trilogy #3)
John Dunning – The Bookman’s Wake
Michael Ende – The Neverending Story
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
David Gerrold – Jumping of the Planet
Monica Hughes – The Isis Peddlar (#3) – Invitation to the Game – Castle Tourmandyne – Space Trap
Ardyth Kennelly – The Peaceable Kingdom
Keith Laumer – Earthblood
Valerie Martin – Mary Reilly
Ed McBain – Hail Hail the Gang’s All Here – Jigsaw – Fuzz
Sharan Newman - Guinevere
Garth Nix – Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom #1)
Christopher Paolini - Eragon
Kathy Reichs – Deadly Decisions
Anne Rice – Interview with the Vampire
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
John Saul – Suffer the Children – Punish the Sinners – Cry for the Strangers
Star Trek TNG – Encounter at Farpoint
X-Files – Antibodies – X Marks the Spot – Goblins – Whirlwind – Ground Zero