Thursday, March 29, 2007

Feather & Fan socks on the Needles...

After all the angst of posting with pictures yesterday, I ended up not sayin' much about the two projects whose pics I did successfully post, and there are a few things I wanted to say about them.

First of all, I love the Berocco Pleasure yarn - it's incredibly soft, easy to work with and shows stitch detail very well. It's a heavy worsted weight yarn so it knits up really quickly. I used size 9 (U.S.) needles for both projects. The yarn is not being made any more, but you can find it on eBay at reasonable prices.

When I made the Human Genome scarf, I learned how to cable without using a cable needle. I did great with this technique as long as the "loose" stitches were held in the front...When they were behind the needle, more often than not, they would begin to "drop" and I would have to fish them back up again using a crochet hook. This took longer (and was more frustrating) than using a cable needle in the first place. I kept trying to analyze the process while I was doing it - why are those stitches wanting to run away? But didn't get to the point of fully understanding the problem - at least not enough to prevent it from happening. So, I'd have to say that my success rate with this new-to-me technique was only about 50%, but it was/is still worth it. Not having to keep track of the cable needle, pick it up and use it for every single cable crossing (and there were lots of them in that scarf!) was a good thing.

The pattern for the Human Genome scarf is from Interweave Knits, Fall 2003. I made it pretty much according to the pattern, but I substituted stockinette stitch for the long borders because I knew they would curl under and I thought that would provide a soft edge to go along DH's neck. I really like how it turned out.

My everyday shawl is very plain. One of the things I "learned" from it when planning it out beforehand was that knitting-math, even the most basic, can cause me grief. (Oh, sigh.) It has a garter stitch border with selvage stitches and the main-body pattern is "Diamond Brocade" from B. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The directions in her book are written out so I made a little chart to follow. I love charts! I find them much easier to use than written-out directions. (If you look really closely at yesterday's picture you may be able to see the cute little stitch markers!)

I'm also working on a pair of socks, using Wendy's generic toe-up pattern with her Feather and Fan pattern for the legs. (Size 2 needles for the feet, and size 3 needles for the legs & cuffs.) I have large feet, thick ankles and "muscular" (read fat) legs, and don't know how long to make the legs/cuffs - don't want to run out of yarn, so I knitted the first sock and did a couple or three repeats of the Feather & Fan on the legs, and then began the second sock. I plan on knitting it to the same point and then go from there with what ever much yarn I have left to make the legs/cuffs of them both. I tried the Feather & Fan pattern on a pair of socks last summer, but ended up ripping it out because I really didn't like knitting on #1 needles - very hard on my hands, and the fabric was so stiff and hard that it felt a lot like cardboard. The yarn I was using for that pair was gorgeous, and I will be using it for different socks (or maybe another Feather & Fan) but on larger needles.
For the current pair I am using On Line 6 Ply that I bought here - 150 grams of sock goodness.

By the way, I apologize for the sock pic. It doesn't do those socks justice at all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I've been trying, since my last lonely post to upload some images of knitting interest. And the doppelganger is back...or, more correctly, I can't figure out how to change something in the blog template to allow images to upload. Drat and ratzafratz! See, these are the kinds of frustrations that threaten to send me right back to bed and pull the covers over my head!

What is a blog entry without pics? B - O - R - R - I - N - G !! I wanted to show you the Human Genome Scarf I finished for DH - knit with Berroco (or is it Berocco?) Pleasure yarn in the "leather" color. Yummy, and I'm not even particularly fond of brown. And, then my own design every-day shawl also knit with the same yarn but in the "emotion" color - a beautiful, subtle lavender-grey sort of color. This shawl is a "blower", not a "show-er" as my Grandma used to say - that is, it's made to be functional (warm!) not showy or lacy. (But, I really do like the pattern.) (Grandma referred to her hankies as either "blowers" or "show-ers" - the pretty, lacy ones weren't too functional, but Grandpa's purloined handkerchiefs were good for alleviating drippy noses.)

Now, as for the problem with uploading images...I'm a reasonably intelligent person, and although I do not belong to the computer-savvy generation, I should be able to figure this out, right? So, I will try (again). That's one of my missions for today: get pictures into my blog entries. (You might be wondering, if you have looked at posts from the past, why there are pictures in many of those posts...Well, since doing those posts, 1-Blogger has changed to Google hosting and 2-our computer has undergone a resurrection of sorts 3-And we've changed Internet providers 4-And email is only recoverable thru Outlook Express - Somewhere in all those changes lies the rub, so to speak.)

Wish me luck!

OH, GLORY BE! An image appeared! (Not where I wanted it, but let's not be picky!)

I'll try another one!

GLORY BE! Now there are two!

Hmmm...I wonder what will happen when I go from "draft" to "publish" with this entry. Hopefully, the pics will publish, and I'll write again tomorrow - maybe even try images again. :o)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hello...I'm back, I think

Sometime after last August 31 we suffered a computer meltdown and for a long while I couldn't blog or even read blogs. And, I "lost" my favorites, so even when we got back on line so I could read blogs, I couldn't remember all their names (like when you have automatic dialer on your phone and you soon forget your friend's "real" phone numbers). And then we were pretty much into late fall and the shorter days began to take their toll and I was just too depressed to write, knit, read, cook - just about everything except sleep.

During the past month or so, I have re-found most of my favorite blogs and a few new ones as well, and the last few days have really been feeling the nudge to return to my blog. So, I go to blogspot dot com and find that they're all new fangled since last I posted. I don't do very well with "new" stuff, but I think I've made it through so that I can once again post.

Knitting? Most of the UFO's I posted about last summer are still UFO's - if you read my blog then, you'll remember how I love to start new projects, but finish them? Not so much. But I did start AND finish a few things... And, of course I'm working on some new projects, too. Tomorrow I promise some pictures...