Friday, February 29, 2008

Guernsey-ish thing

I really love the Scarborough guernsey in Gladys Thompson's book. The child's sample is simply a double seedstitch yoke with some steps along the edges. It is the inspiration for my Lana d'Oro wool/alpaca smock - very heathered and drapey. This is a sturdy linen stitch for the yoke, the rest will be plain stockinette. I'm following Barbara Walker's directions for knitting from the top: a provisional caston, a few short rows, then knitting down to the start of the armhole.

I am still thinking of a more traditional gansey - in a worsted-spun, 4 ply sport weight blue wool. I'm going to do a crosswalk pattern and a pottery wheel, but I'm not sure what else. And I need to use up that Rowan denim on some more ganseys for the chums. And now that Elann has the black denim, I need to do something all washed out and gray. I feel myself drifting into a gansey period.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alpaca leaves

This is the very popular Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt from Interweave Winter 2005, except these are toe-up and the leaves are growing up the leg. I like the lace pattern, but now I'm switching to a rib pattern. This sock feels really wonderful when I try it on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Red sock

Here's Harry's Broomstick Sock from Charmed Knits knit up with some leftovers and a beautiful red merino superwash from Pagewood Farm. The color is beautiful, but my favorite is still Jitterbug. Now that I've read the Knitter's Book of Yarn, I realize that it's the extra plies in the Jitterbug merino that I love. I also see that a little elastic knitted into the ribbing at the top of the Alpaca Sox would be smart. I'm still working on the Opal sock. I'm going to re-try the Trekking and the Bearfoot at a smaller gauge.

Monday, February 25, 2008


These books are making me SO smart! Clara Parkes' Knitters Book of Yarn does for knitters what Shirley Corriher's CookWise does for cooks. At last, I "get" yarns for cabling and flours for puffy cookies. And I found another honey pattern - Kate Himmelberg's Honeycomb Socks - over in the free patterns at Interweave. I'm going to start a honeypot of yellow yarns and bee patterns.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Harry's sock

I'm knitting these toe-up using the pattern chart from Charmed Knits.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I'm throwing these in the runcible bin. The book on the left is Sabine Domnick's Cables, Diamonds, Herringbone. I want to create my own story, using stitches from here and there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hundertwasser socks

Finished up another Noro scarf listening to the The Egypt Game with the Thursday readers. When we walk around the University I am always on the lookout for neighborhood landmarks in the book. I'm working on a free as you go sock with the Hundertwasser yarn. I need some yarn for the Harry Potter socks from Charmed Knits. Somewhere out there is a quote from Hundertwasser himself on wearing socks that are each individual expressions of art (mismatched). I think he would approve of Harry's socks, one green and one red. I'm going to have to use something a little semi-solid for the backgrounds and maybe some of that glittery yarn for the gold snitches?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Haagan Dazs funds bee research

Dessert tonight got us talking about Haagan Dazs's worries over the honeybees. UC Davis is worried too. I'm quite taken with the idea of "colony collapse disorder." I've seen a hive just up and leave twice now. It's quite amazing, like they are all being called home to the mother planet, and then they vanish. I wish someone like John McPhee would write about this. I'm sure someone has. Let me know who.

All the honeycomb stitches and bee stitches in B. Walker sent me searching Ravelry, and I came upon Anne Hanson's Honeybee Stole and socks! I'd love to make a honeycomb blanket out of thick golden wool like Jo Sharp's Silkroad Aran. But really, I just want to buy pounds of La Lana's wools in all the yellows. There just isn't enough yellow yarn out there. I'm looking, starting now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

B Berrier socks

Well I like these Woven Ridge socks by Cat Bordhi out of Jitterbug yarn. They are named after the chums favorite Odwalla juice. I like how my clogs press the linen stitch into my foot. Right now I'm using some Shepherd Sock and the Cedar "sockitecture", but I'm planning several pairs. I've been thinking of a Hopscotch pair - dark blue/black like playground blacktop with a chalked hopscotch going up the instep with embroidered beads as the stone markers. Maybe I'll embroider the hopscotch. Then comes jump rope socks. Is there already a snakes and ladders pair out there?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Friday when I dropped my chum off at preschool, I picked up a half dozen eggs from another mom who keeps chickens. Making an omelet with mushrooms from the farmers' market makes me feel like an article from the British Country Living mag! If only I'd worn boots!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gifts from London

Such treasures have come home with Mr. Lear! I was going to wait for Yarnstorm's book to be published here in the U.S., but I am so happy to have a copy at last! It is stuffed with gorgeous pictures and full of inspiration. I love these kinds of books. I am not sure if it is all the chocolate I have eaten or that the plum trees are blooming that my head aches so. I am washing it away with lots of tea and doing a spring cleaning while all this sunshine lasts.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New socks

The Rushing Rivulet socks went so quickly. I may re-knit the larger one because I like the fit of the smaller one. Next up is Woven Ridge in the Jitterbug yarn. I am really a semi-solid color lover, but for some reason with the sock yarns I go a little crazy. I once saw a darling kit that included a change purse frame and sock yarn - the resulting purse is for your "sock money". I think that's an incredible idea for those who only want to knit one sock. It would make wonderful giftwrap for gift certificates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cards in sleeves

This Edward Bawden design for Fortnum's Easter catalog is such a wonderful idea for a Valentine's card. As you pull the insert out, the hidden panels are revealed and the picture shifts. This could be quite nice as a tulip tree that blooms, lovebirds that fly, red books that fall off a shelf. This would also be a lovely way to wrap a book or a box of chocolate. I might try this with one of my messed up boxes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I scanned the tin. I'm looking around the house for round things to scan. I'm thinking about the insides of the boxes now. We are watching Jane Austen movies still and I am thinking of linen and wishing I could find it in yellow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mor-o Valentine ideas

I know you recognize the handy Martha template for a Valentine volvelle. I'm throwing it in the runcible bin with this Mor-o marshmallow tin and these old stamps. I also have two chocolate boxes to decorate. I want the insides to be beautiful backdrops for the chocolate. I'm going to use the Mor-o tin for Mr. Lear. I need to find a beautiful gold velvet ribbon.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Pathways sock

With a double skein of Nancy Finn's Willow sock yarn in my lap, I paged through Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. When the Rushing Rivulet pattern caught my eye, I began knitting the toe, then measured my gauge and my foot, plugged in the numbers and began knitting! I love this kind of personalized and free pattern. I have been wearing the sock pictured all day and have decided I prefer the knit side against my foot. So I am knitting the sister sock with a purl sole and slightly smaller.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Candy boxes

I have always admired the Joseph Schmidt lips boxes filled with Valentines chocolate. This year we are painting our own boxes and filling them with our favorite chocolates and some homemade candy. Each piece will have a little message hidden beneath it. Maybe we should paint each other's portraits inside the box. Ordering various chocolates to be divided among individual boxes is a dangerous enterprise - three days into Lent and the chocolate covered cherries are gone.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

In the year of the rat

After enjoy our elevenses at Masse's, we brought home these little cakes for Chinese New Year. I love these holidays that pop up all over February. We are beginning some intense chocolate gathering for our Valentine's boxes this year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Primary colors

I love Irene Williams' "Housetop Variation" from the Quilts of Gee's Bend. I always wish I had something patriotic to wear on voting days - a crazy fair isle vote! vote! vote! vest with some suffragette silhouettes. Maybe I could crank out some vote!vote!vote! socks by November?

To celebrate this important voting day with song, listen to a bit of Schoolhouse Rock's Sufferin' Till Sufferage - listen to them all!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Threads

The Threads article on Charles Kleibacker is really wonderful. I like his drawstring necklines with empire waists. There's also an article on cutting your sleeves on the bias. I have that old issue where they show you step by step how to cover yourself in duct tape and make a custom mannequin. I should do that every 7 years like the cicadas.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl socken stricken and Ingo Mauer

I found this wonderful article in the newest batch of magazines from the Munich airport, courtesy of Mr. Lear. It inspired me to run into my favorite lys between downpours where I found some very special sock yarn for the Superbowl - Nancy Finn's 50% tencel 50% merino in hydrangea. (The game was too exciting to get very far on the sock.)

Back to the German mags, it seems that all German houses have an Ingo Mauer light - farmhouses, modern apartments, and semi-abandoned hunting lodges. It's high time ReadyMade did a how-to on this. I need a hanging lamp fluttering with grocery lists and quotes and sketches. Jeez, they have, it's here. If you love this idea, don't miss the night light, the flying ship light, the laundry room chandelier - just read them all!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pink sock

Here's another little sock trial. The polka dot knit fabric became a tshirt, which didn't work out and so will be recut for Miss Lear. I'd like to modify this pattern so that it fits really well. I'm looking forward to Wendy Mullin's book about sewing with stretch fabrics. I need to practice some more.