Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas knitting

This year I only knit two Christmas gifts: a hat for my sister and a neckwarmer for my mother. Both were small and simple but infused with deep love and affection.
(That's me on the left, wearing my mom's neckwarmer, and my sister on the right, wearing her hat and smoke ring.)
Hat details:
Malabrigo worsted merino in color 'Pagoda,' to match my sister's flared lace smoke ring. Knit on size 7 bamboo circular needle. Cast on 90 stitches, then K1 P1 until just about covered the head. Decreased in 9 segments (Row1: SSK,K9 around. Row2: SSK, K8 around. etc.). Consumed well under 1 skein.

Neckwarmer details:
Knitpicks Elegance in color 'Coal,' under 2 balls, on size 7 bamboo circular. Can't recall the details, since I was winging it! But basically, I knit a {P5 K1tbl} tube, flared it a bit at the bottom with some yo's, then did a row of single crochet at the flared bottom and a double row of single crochet at the top to decrease curling.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

black blob

I haven't accomplished much in the last week. Cabled socks are at a standstill, since I turned the heel too late and am still too disappointed to rip it out. The bulk of my knitting activity was directed towards Christmas gifts, but this black blog is all I'm at liberty to reveal:
Mostly I've been up to yarn buying. Christmas has gotten me disturbingly consumerist, which is a state that I usually try to avoid. There's one funny anecdote about yarn buying that I planned to share, but I already wrote out the story once and then accidentally closed the window. I'll write it up again once the yarn arrives and I have an accompanying picture.

Last week before Christmas -- good luck to everyone's knitting fingers!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Flared lace smoke ring, basking in the sunset

The lace smoke ring is a delight. Once I memorized the pattern, it was a meditative pattern to knit. It's a beautiful and unusual piece to wear, whether worn as a dramatic collar or folded in half and tucked under a jean jacket. And it was even pleasing to photograph, which I did today in the gorgeous, warm glow of the waning sun.

Pattern: Flared Lace Smoke Ring by Heartstrings Fiber Arts
Yarn: Merino lace from, color "Pagoda," less than half a skein
Needles: size 6 Inox express 16" circulars

I departed from the pattern in three ways. First, the original pattern places a column of knit stitches in the middle of the sections that make the 'flare' at the bottom, which is to say in the middle of the breaks between the ribbed lace columns. I thought this looked messy and detracted from the lace, so instead I did straight purling for those breaks. You can see this best in the last picture.

Second, I thought the double YO's were too open, so I did single YO's after the first repeat. This meant that I did a purl into the front and a knit into the back of that single YO, rather than using a separate YO for each. This did make the knitting a little more fiddly, but I was pleased with the tighter result.

Finally, since there was zero probability of this being worn like a hood, I shortened the final length to about 13.5".

There was a point when I wished I'd chosen another yarn for this project, something with softer and more luxurious fibers like alpaca or silk. But the yarn softened and bloomed a bit after a soak in Eucalyn. And when I put it on, I realized that I liked the look of the crisp, sturdy fabric, rather than something slouchy and draped.

Tomorrow I'll lovingly pack this up and send it to my sister, who has been waiting for more than a year for me to knit this. But I'm so happy with it that I'm almost tempted to frame this last picture, which is dusky and purple-toned from the very last gasps of the sunset.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rosemary Cornmeal Cookies

I'm waiting for a sunny morning to photograph the lace smoke ring, and in the meantime, here's a cookie recipe I whipped up this morning. They're meant to be a crumbly, textured, not-too-sweet cookie to dip into a cup of tea. Please let me know if you try it and tinker with it!

Rosemary Cornmeal Cookies

1 stick butter, softened (=1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp pinenuts
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla. Beat in the eggs. Add flax seed, flour, cornmeal, and salt, and mix well (it will be a rather firm dough). Stir in pine nuts and rosemary.

Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until starting to brown on edges. Makes 3 dozen small cookies.

Those are the basics. I just made this recipe up, and here's what I'd do next time around: add more rosemary, pinenuts, and salt, coarsely chop the pinenuts, and maybe take them out a little earlier so that they're a bit softer. You could add more butter and sugar if you wanted it to be more or a standard, sweet and indulgent cookie.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Movie Night

I've no illusion that my works in progress are of interest to anyone else. In an effort to make them more engaging to watch, here's what they look like as movie themes

I. Lost in Lace

A story about persistence and finding one's way, focused on the flared lace smoke ring. I'm a mere four inches from finishing it -- oh, so close the goal!! -- but I lost my momentum, and seemingly my way, when I'd put it aside for a week. I think I'm back on track again. But we'll see what adventures come along to sidetrack me.

II. The Curse of the Gauge Dragon

A tragic and mysterious saga about the sweater for Mountain Man. The gauge is cursed, I tell you, CURSED! Take 1, the sweater gauge was dreadfully bigger than the swatch gauge. Take 2, I tried a different stitch and a bigger swatch, but the sweater still exceeded all predictions. Take 3 -- supposed to be the charm -- I measured off of the Take 2 sweater and expected perfection. But somehow now it's turned out too small!

III. Circle of Bends

A sweet story of an Aran sock. It's a tale about growing up, trying new skills like toe-up socks and short-row heels, and eventually, hopefully, finding a true sock pattern to love. Plenty of predictable bends in the plot here: cabling, magic loop, and, very soon, a turned heel.

(p.s. In case it wasn't apparent, the movie names were plays on Lost in Space, Circle of Friends, and The Curse of the Jade Dragon)

Monday, November 27, 2006


Last Saturday, I revelled in the primitive-romanticism of open air natural dyeing: Dyepots simmering over an open fire. Blustery, November weather. The pungent aroma of black walnuts and marigolds. The magical transformation of petals, husks, and white wool into richly-colored skeins. Since the final simmering was done at night, it had a very dramatic, witchly feel -- stirring pots, prodding fires, while looking at the stars!

I followed the mordanting instructions from A Dyer's Garden. The dyeing itself, though, was done free-spirit-style, only roughly following the book's recipes (they didn't precisely fit to the state of my ingredients). I made up four dyebaths: black walnut, semi-fresh marigolds flowers, dried marigold petals, and dried calendula petals.

The latter two were smaller baths done in glass jars, while the former two were done in enamel pots. They simmered over the fire, between 180 and 220 degrees F, for a little over an hour. I tossed in the yarn, which is Knitpicks Bare, merino DK (unmordanted yarn for black walnut, mordanted for others). I simmered it for another hour at about 160, since the fire was dying down.

The next morning, I was quite eager to see what had developed, since I couldn't really see the colors the night before. I pulled out the yarns, squeezed out the excess dye, rinsed them in a little Eucalyn, and then dried them by the woodstove. Here's the results....

Left to right: black walnut, fresh marigold flowers, dried marigold petals, calendula, and undyed wool.

I didn't get nearly as dark a color from the black walnuts as I'd expected, especially given that that the dyebath was like the thicket, blackest ink imaginable. Perhaps it reached too high a temperature on the initial simmer? And the calendula turned out to have no dye at all - the dye in the pot looked pink because the liquid was deep red, but the final yarn is just dirty looking. On the whole, though I'm super happy - I like the light caramel color of the black walnut dye is lovely and warm, and the two marigolds are delightfully complex. I can't wait to start planning a garden full of dyeplants for next year...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

blue socks, gray day

Nova Scotian Seascape Socks
Fleece Artist Merino Sock

Elizabeth Zimmerman's sock pattern with conventional heel from Knitting Without Tears

Sock is 2x2 ribbing, with stockinette sole. Started with 52 stitches.

Needles: Brittany 5 in birch dps, size 1.5 (US)

Nothing like some electric blue socks to brighten up a gray day!!

(Not that you can tell just how electric these are, but I promise that I did my best to capture all available natural light on this November morning. I'm sure my neighbors enjoyed the show of my feet out the window).

These socks make me HAPPY! They're beautiful and memory-evoking. The lovely, lovely yarn is shown off to its advantage with simple stitchwork, with the garter stitch details on the heel adding a bit of zip. My understanding is that this garter stitch heel border is unique to Zimmerman's sock patterns.
It's been a learning experience for me, since I know woefully little about knititng socks. There is, however, a bit of irony here: my only previous socks were a pair of Jaywalkers, which fit like a dream without any swatching, sizing, or cognition on my part. These socks, for which I carefully swatched and thought hard, are a little off. The leg is too short (I was trying to be conservative to avoid running out of yarn); heel a little too tight, toes a little constricting.

But please don't take this for complaining - I'm genuinely happy with these socks and just trying to lay the groundwork for figuring out what I learned from them. I will surely try this pattern again, and I now know that I should: 1. cast on a few more stitches, 2. anticipate that the top will shorten once they socks are on and the fabric is stretched out, 3. turn the heel with the method from the Jaywalker socks, and 4. maybe - just maybe - increase a stitch or two when it gets to the widest part of my toes (seen below).

I do need advice on one thing, though. For those of you with greater sock knitting experience, what would you recommend for lengthening the leg of the sock once they're finished? Would crochet be elastic enough? How weird would it look to pick up the cast-on and then knit upwards? Can I unpick the cast-on edge?

I can already feel myself being pulled into the gravity of sock knitting....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bad Kitty

Ah, Monday mornings. Gray skies, jarring alarms, anxiety about work. Pull myself out of bed and am confronted with this!! (and this is just a small piece of it all)
So THAT'S what the cat was doing at 4 am, when she was making a tremendous racket and disturbing my sleep. I gape at the tangle of mohair then turn around to look back at Leila, still curled up on in bed.
Bad Kitty! And she doesn't look the least bit remorseful.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

discouragement and recovery

Discouragement comes easily to me. This post isn't about the discouragement, though, so much as about the renewal of hope and patience.

This week I'd been discouraged about the community spirit of modern America, largely for reasons that I won't go into here. But the final straw was that someone stole the big terracotta pot of mint that I had growing on my front stoop (here's the summer savory that survived and is now inside). This was truly disturbing. Stealing herbs on a lark exhibits terrible insensitivity and pettiness; in some ways this mode of stealing because it's convenient or fun or 'there' is even more morally disturbing than stealing for economic reasons. I'm especially upset because the herbs that I grow in Cambridge are my tangible, everyday reminder of my garden in Vermont and my 'real life' there.*

But my sense of patient hopefulness was renewed last night with the election. Democracy in action can be an exciting experience. Still waiting for the results, but I'm feeling optimistic.

Anyways, that's really what was on my mind last night and this morning. But I do have a little knitting content too. As with other projects in life, I get easily discouraged when my knitting isn't going well. It's one reason why I often have half a dozen projects going at once and why I still haven't gotten up the nerve to graft the toes on those socks. This weekend, I was getting discouraged about my lace. I made a subtle enough mistake that I didn't notice it until I'd finished an entire repeat, which had to be gingerly ripped out. Yet somehow I'm keeping myself focused on this one project, and I've fixed the mistakes and am moving forward. Hope and patience.

*For those new to this blog, my main home is with my husband (Mountain Man) in Vermont, but as a grad student I have to be in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the week. That's also why my photos alternate between lovely, landscape-rich outdoor photos and cramped, indoor close-ups.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ends and Beginnings

Beautiful morning sunlight again. Seen basking in it are the Fleece Artist socks that I'd meant to finish for Socktoberfest (I wasn't officially a part of it, but it's like running unregistered in a marathon). The knitting was finished by Monday, so I could've grafted the toes and worn them for Halloween. But, oh, the mental block that goes with grafting for me. Also, I made them a wee bit too small, and once I finish them and try to wear them, I'll have to own up to my mistake. Hopefully they'll be done by next Monday:
But my new project has me in tingles. It's a "Flared Lace Smoke Ring" in handpaintedyarn laceweight, colorway "Pagoda." Initially started for my sister last winter. But I wasn't fond of the lace pattern, so I ripped it out and put it away. Last week I swatched several alternative lace patterns for it. The tricky thing, though, is to find a lace pattern that looks good even when it can't be blocked well. Back to the original it was, and I'm enjoying it this time with just a few modifications. Look at that lovely shadow halo!
The motivation to restart this is that I'm headed to DC to visit my sister this weekend. Hope you all have a delightful weekend too!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


My knitpicks order arrived last week -- marvelous! Yarnwise, there's 'bare' DK merino for experimentation with natural dyes and 'burgundy' gloss for socks. The merino was much softer than I'd expected. And the color of the Gloss is sensational, shifting from a mauve to a brick red depending on the light.

Along with the yarn came some needles, which were promptly put to swatching use. These are for Mountain Man's sweater. Naturally, his favorite is the stockinette, but I refuse to knit a sweater that could just as well be purchased at J.Crew. It'll still be raglan-sleeve, roll-neck, and mostly stockinette, but it'll be spruced up with a stripe of the branched travelling stitch pattern along each sleeve.

The gloss swatch was even yummier. The idea is to have a 2x2 ribbed sock with the four-stitch aran braid down the instep. You may notice some strange black blobs in the photos above. Leila, as usual, insisted on getting herself in the middle of things. There was just a sliver of morning sunshine, and I could hardly move the whole operation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

fleece artist finished objects

Remember that fabulous Fleece Artist yarn that I picked up as a souvenir of Nova Scotia? I've been steadily, happily working through it. Last month I'd whipped up a hat with the blue-faced leicester, which was pleasant but somehow lacked punch. Last night I finally figured out how to make the most of the yarn.
Scarf: A short, fuzzy once-around-the-neck-and-knot-jauntily scarf
Yarn: Fleece Artist 'Mo' Mohair -- this is *monster* mohair, not some dainty kidsilk haze or kid seta
Pattern: 24 stitch scarf in a feather-and-fan pattern (knit two rows, purl one row, then pattern row of k2tog twice, (yo k1) 4x, k2tog 4x, (yo k1) 4x, k2tog twice -- and repeat) on size 11 needles.

Hat: super dense cap, with nubbin at top
Yarn: Fleece Artist 'Mo' and blue-faced leicester, combined
Pattern: cast on 64 stitches, join into a circle. K1P1 ribbing for 4 rows. K1 P1 inc1 for 1 row (96 st). Knit straight until about 4.5 inches long. Dec in ten sections, alternating a decrease row with a plain row (note: first dec row will be (k2tog, k17) twice, (k2tog, k8) twice, (k2 tog, k17) twice. Second dec row will be (k2tog, k7) around. Third dec row will be (k2tog, k6) around. And so forth). I did a few rows of 3-stitch i-cord at the top to make the nubbin. Needles were size 8 16" bamboo circular, with bamboo dps for the top.

I couldn't get the color right with this picture - which shows both hats folded against the scarf - but hopefully you can get a sense of the marvelous texture of the yarn (click on photo for larger view). The mohair and blue-faced leicester are very pleasant on their own, but they create a most amazing fabric when combined.

I managed to get the scarf and both hats from one of the 'favorite soft mitten' kits, which makes for quite a good value.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Banishing Dark Thoughts

I started this sweater towards the end of an exhausting month in which I got married, moved, finished a major paper, and took my comprehensive exams. The exams are terrifying enough on their own - PhD students usually study solidly for months and come close to nervous breakdowns - and trying to prepare for the exams in the midst of all these other major life events was truly harrowing and dark-thought generating. This cardigan saw me through the roughest, final patch, and it bears a slightly gothic aesthetic sense. When I wear it, it banishes my dark thoughts.
Pattern: my own, taking its lead from Glampyre's mini-sweater
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, about 2.75 skeins
Needles: size 9 bamboo circulars for the body, and size 9 birch dp's for the sleeves
The malabrigo yarn is scrumptiously soft, and even this half-sweater keeps me warm. The only drawback to the yarn is that it's also rather inelastic, such that the ribbing doesn't adequately pull the sweater snug against my body (if I were doing it again, I'd sneak some decreases into the ribbing section). But on the whole I'm immensely pleased with the way this has turned out. If anyone's interested, I might try writing up the pattern.

Friday, October 20, 2006

zimmermaniac socks

Afer the debacle of the gray Mountain Man sweater, I decided to scale down to a smaller Zimmerman pattern (the sweater will be back soon - but I need a breather and new needles before trying again). Time for socks! I'm following the pattern in "Knitting Without Tears"

Lovely Fleece Artist yarn and Brittany needles are making for an entirely pleasant knitting experience. If one needs to build up the knitting confidence, this is a recommended way to do it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

good grief

It was with great excitement that I cast on for Mountain Man's eco-wool sweater this past weekend. I carefully swatched and measured and cast on what seemed like a very large number of stitches. Then I hopped on the bus back to Cambridge and knit my little heart out for two hours. Progress is addictive, and I never really stopped to consider whether I liked the way the stitch pattern was turning out or how big it was (also, it was just on a 24" circ, so it was hard to tell). But I came back to my senses last night when I spread it out to see:

Good grief! Needless to say, this is destined for the frog pond. It does give me an opportunity to re-evaluate this whole project though. The first lessons include:

1. Need for a new stitch pattern. Mistake ribbing is excellent for a scarf, but I think it's too busy for an entire sweater. The wrong side is a bit more subtle (see both below). But I think I'll be looking for something else entirely.
2. Need longer needles. A 24" circular is fine for a close-fitting sweater for myself, but for a loose-fitting man's sweater, it's absurd. Upside is that I now have an excuse to test out some of knitpicks new options needles!
3. Need for better gauge checking. My gauge swatch gave me 4.75 st/in, but as soon as I started on the sweater it went up to 5.25 st/in. That adds up to over 5" difference in the circumference of the sweater. The lesson is that I need to be very conscientious about checking that my sweater gauge matches my swatch gauge.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

progress and sweater plans

Substantial progress has been made on the tie-front shrug that I started last month, progress both in terms of knitting and major re-designing. The softness of the yarn (Malabrigo) made me think that the wear and tear on the ties would have seriously limited the life of the sweater. And the increases closed the front rather faster than I'd expected. And the style seemed a bit, well, on its way out perhaps. The plan now is for a half-length cardigan that closes with pewter clasps. Looks a bit ragged in the picture, but I'm gleeful about it when it's on!
I'm all in full sweater mode now, getting ready to embark on two more seamless sweaters a la Elizabeth Zimmerman - bottom up rather than top down. On the left is Knitpicks Andean Silk in Navy, intended for a yoked sweater for myself, probably in plain stockinette with garter stitch borders. On the right is Cascade Eco Wool in Silver,intended for a mistake-rib, raglan sweater for Mountain Man. Hopefully I'll be able to finish my purple cardigan this weekend and will very soon be able to cast on for these sweaters.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

natural color

I'm all abuzz with inspiration after attending a natural dyes workshop last Saturday. It was at St. Brigid's Farm in Peacham, VT, which had the most wonderful fiber workroom in a converted garage - overflowing bags of mohair, spinning wheels, three looms, and an excellent staging area for dyeing. I was particularly taken with the artistic array of naturally dyed wool - this photo doesn't do justice to the colors, which ranged from deep, jewel-tone magentas to subtle, smoky purples to soft yellows and woodsy browns.

I mixed up two small dyebaths for my samples. First I got an incredibly luminous watermelon hue with cochineal and quebracho red on plain, worsted wool. Second, a gorgeous golden-caramel color using madder on tussah silk.

After that, I got to toss some fingering merino and a silk-wool blend into an indigo dyebath. I brought home the saturated samples in plastic bags. The next morning, I rinsed them in a bucket of rainwater (that's the photo above - complete with pine needles and autumn foliage) and hung them up to dry.

I'm in love. I'm already plotting all kinds of experiments with marigolds, which I pluck from the garden, and black walnuts, which I gather from carefully scoped-out trees around Cambridge. The workshop itself primarily used powdered dye extracts rather than the raw plant and insect material, but I'm really excited to try working from the natural materials too.

As an entertaining post-script, I feel I should add a few words about my only previous experience with natural dyes. When I was traveling in Peru two years ago, I was informed by a guide about the "cochinilla" bugs that infested much of the prickly pear cacti. I made my sister slink around with me and scrape a good cup or so of the fat little bugs off the cacti, intending to try dyeing something of my own. All I had that was clean and white was an unopened pack of cotton underwear - so into the bag of squished bugs it went!! Vaguely knowing something about needing something acid to fix the dye, we squeezed in a couple of limes from the market. And the results? (sigh). You can see the underwear drying in the sun here:

The fabric initially turned an amazing rich, dark fuchsia, as seen on the right. But as it dried it started to fade to murky purpley-grey, as seen in the middle. By the time they were fully dried and then re-washed, they were a dull greyish-white with icky black spots (not mildew - they dried in no time in the hot, high altitude sun). The weird thing was that for the next few months, I would occasionally find spots of magenta re-appearing on them after they were washed. But even that entertainment soon ended. I think they may end up in the marigold dyebath next.

This natural dyes workshop gave me new perspective on this incident in three ways: 1. I now understand why the dyeing didn't work. 2. I now realize how expensive cochineal is, which makes me wish I'd dried the bugs and smuggled them home instead of wasting them on lousy underwear. 3. I am thinking they might be well suited to marigolds next....

Monday, October 02, 2006

happy autumn!

Saturday was a gorgeous autumnal day in Vermont: mist in the valley - chilly and breezy - air perfumed by fallen leaves and pine needles - overgrown gardens on the edge of frost. It was a perfect day for curling up with a steaming cup of lapsang souchong tea and wool knitting.

I spent the afternoon playing in a natural dyes workshop, but I'll leave that to another post. For now I just want to share the weekend's finished objects, festooned with a few blossoms from the garden.

Ipod Nano Cover
Pattern: just whipped up on the spot. 26 stitches, knit straight down with just one row of eyelets for a cord (which I later deemed unnecessary). i invented a funny bind-off at the bottom - a three needle bind-off would have been best.
Yarn: leftover Trekking XXL from my jaywalkers
Needles: size 1 dpns

Cabled Baby Sweater
Pattern: 'Bookworm Sweater' from Miss Bea's Rainy Day
Size: 1-2 years
Yarn: Rowan All Season's Cotton, 'Safari' (discontinued color), 5 balls
Needles: size 7 16" circular for the body and sleeves; size 6 16" circular for the neck
Modifications: Where to start? I started this sweater last summer but was finding it to be too short and fat. I started over, doing the body up to the arms on one circular needle, then dividing to do the front and back flat. I pared 5 stitches off each side of each side, which is to say the body was made with 20 fewer stitches than was called for (although 4 of those stitches accounted for not needing selvedge once it was done circularly). I only bound off 3 stitches for each side of the arms (i.e. 6 stitches for each arm in total). I lengthened the body up to the sleeves. Lengthened the sleeves. Shortened the neck.

In the end, I think it's a marvelous sweater, and it feels so satisfying to have finished a project that had been on pause for too long. I'm especially fond of the cable pattern with the seed stitch spikes in the background. If I were doing it again, I'd probably take the cable pattern and adapt it to a bottom-up seamless raglan sweater, because I found all the seaming and fitting of pieces to be slow and fiddly. But I'm really pleased!

As is Leila. Naturally, she sauntered over towards my knitting photographs to inspect my progress. I think this shot gives you a useful sense of scale.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

back on track

Theme of the week: getting back on track with things long left neglected.

For knitting, this takes me to a baby sweater that I started last summer. I'd finished the back and sleeves, but I put it aside because it seemed awkwardly short and fat:
The ten-month old baby this is intended for is already wearing the 18-24 month size I was knitting. No chance of getting more yarn since this was a discontinued color. I'm out of time - must get back to it before baby grows too big!

I pulled out the sweater this weekend and held it up to a shirt that the baby has recently been fitting into. Oh how embarrassing. Short and fat indeed! The sleeves are waaay too short, and the body is both short and hilariously wide.
Solution? Over the weekend I added a couple of inches to the sleeves, and I started reknitting the body in the round. I'm up to the sleeve join now, and I just have to knit the front and back in flat and then seam it up. Hopefully will have a finished sweater to show after this weekend.

I must say, it's lovely how the knitting flies off the needles when you're knitting with purpose.

Friday, September 15, 2006

FO Friday

Had myself a grafting derby last night, and I FINALLY got all the finishing done on two neat little objects.

Rustic Baby Sweater
Pattern: Child's Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish, color "truffle", 2.5 balls
Needles: size 7, 16" circulars
Modifications: Similar to the mods for the froggie version I made earlier, although I stuck with seed stitch instead of garter stitch. I used the stitch count for the smallest size but the length measurements of the next size up. Cast on fewer sleeve stitches (27 st for the seed stitch border) to avoid belled sleeves. Three buttonholes and coconut shell buttons.

I was on the woodsmen's team in college - splitting wood, throwing axes, chopping down trees, and all that. This sweater is going to a friend who was on the team with me, which is why I was determined to give it a rustic, woodsy feel.

Pattern: Grumperina's Jaywalker Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL, color ???
Needles: size 1, KA bamboo
Modifications: none.

I am giddy about these socks! I wish I'd 'accidentally' made them too small for my sister (I've been knitting them for her) so that they'd get returned to me. Just kidding - If you're reading this, sister, it's a joke! More accurately I should say that my only previous sock-knitting experiences had been unsatisfying, such that this good experience left a strong impression. I can't say that I immediately took to it, as the tedium of small dps was not lost on me. But it was so gratifying that I'll be casting on for my own socks soon enough.