Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Official "Trick or Treat" hours here

are 4-7. Also, the time hasn't changed back from Daylight Savings.

I get the safety concerns and all, but damn, Trick or Treating in broad daylight just seems lame. (Actually, having "official hours" seems sort of lame, too. I'm getting old and curmudgeonly.)

Friday, October 30, 2009


In 1843, Miss Lambert gave directions for working a "Star Pattern Shawl" using a pattern stitch that boiled down to:

Row 1: *yo, sl 1, k2, pass the slipped stitch over the two knit sts; rep from *.
Row 2: purl

The directions were complicated just a little by the fact that she shapes the shawl with an increase at the beginning of each right side row. She notes: "As the increasing adds an irregular stitch, some rows will have one and others two knitted stitches at their commencement." Unfortunately, she doesn't specify which rows will have one and which will have two. They were also complicated by the fact that she changes colors every row.

At this point I abandoned Miss Lambert (for the time being, anyway) and spent a day playing around with different combinations of a yarn over and this particular decrease, knitting in the round rather than flat.

I'm not sure yet whether I'll actually use any of these in a finished object, but it was an interesting exercise.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Somewhere about midsummer we arranged to have new insulation blown into the attic. The crew came yesterday and did the job. It will be interesting to see if the house feels cosier and/or the heating bills go down. (Of course, to really figure the latter we would have to factor in comparative fuel prices and actual outdoor temperatures over the season...). At any rate, I'm hoping to be less of a polluter. I'm also hoping that better attic insulation might reduce the size of the ice dams that form at the edge of the roof. We'll see.

Because the front door had to be open for the the blower hose thingy to snake in and up the stairs, the cats were confined to the kitchen and basement for several hours. Merlin found some relief for his feelings about the situation by jumping to the top of the refrigerator and shredding most of a roll of paper towels.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Needs New Toes

The sock at the bottom had a big old hole in the toe, so I re-knit it.

The one at the top isn't quite worn through, but as it has a spot that's thinning I decided to fix it, too, and be done with it. I've run needles through the stitches of the "pick up" round. I'll cut the toe off a couple of rows above that.

It would make sense to then unravel back to the row of stitches on the needles. I discovered on the first sock that the knitting is just felted enough to make unravelling difficult, so I let it be. I don't know if the resulting couple of rows of double thickness will be uncomfortable when worn. Time (and wearing) will tell.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where all the Women are Strong...

The AP (via Yahoo news) reports:

"A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to driving his motorized La-Z-Boy chair while drunk. A criminal complaint says 62-year-old Dennis LeRoy Anderson told police he left a bar in the northern Minnesota town of Proctor on his chair after drinking eight or nine beers....

Police said the chair was powered by a converted lawnmower and had a stereo and cup holders...."

Lake Woebegon lives!

And I must confess that my first reaction to this story was relief, because the dateline was Duluth. So many of the doofy stories like this on Yahoo do seem to be set right here in the Badger State. Which reminds me that when I moved to California from Minnesota, I had to listen to unending repititions of the "land of fruits and nuts" line. Yeah, like Midwesterners are all monumentally sane and that's why they drive drunk on motorized recliners and bar stools (the latter was in Wisconsin as I recall.)

Well, the winters are long, and I guess a guy's got to have something to tinker on in his garage...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Raining Again Today,

but yesterday afternoon was lovely: sunny, almost 70 degrees, a gentle mild breeze. A fall day couldn't be more perfect, and this year there have been few like it.

The cats took full advantage of an open window - there probably won't be too many more opportunities before winter.

I went outside and puttered - a little pruning, a little cutting back, some just sitting on the front step and enjoying the air around me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Went With the Blue Thumbs After All

Mostly because that's the only color I was absolutely sure I had enough of to finish both. Well, I do have some bright plum, but that looked kind of gaacky when I held it up to the other colors.

The mittens look very long and narrow, but there is a lot of width wise stretch. I pushed the ribs in as much as possible while they are drying. They will relax outward a bit as soon as I pick them up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Mitten's Just a Sock with a Thumb and No Foot

In it's most basic incarnation, anyway.

These are tubes of 2 x 2 ribbing. About half way up I put 8 sts on a piece of scrap yarn, cast on 8 sts and kept going. At the top I worked a few rounds of fairly rapid decreases. (Well, I did on the first mitten. I'm not quite to that point on the second one yet.)

The yarns are leftover odds and ends of worsted weight wool. I just changed colors whenever I felt like it on the first and made the second to match. When I changed colors, I worked the first round all in knit, for a smooth color transition, then went back to k2,p2.

I haven't decided what color the thumbs will be. At first I thought about the dark blue used at the cuff, but looking at the picture I'm now considering medium green.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Since I seem to have no bright ideas at the moment, and no snazzy pictures, (and besides the sun is finally shining and I would rather be outside today) I have no blog post of my own: good, bad or indifferent.

But I highly recommend Karen's thoughtful essay at Hissy Stitch. It's well worth a read.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Since you asked...

kmkat asked about the yarn in my second triangle. It's Cascade "Heritage" sock yarn, 75% Merino Superwash, 25% Nylon, color 9928. After blocking, the gauge is 17 sts = 4 inches. I'm estimating it took me about 420 yards.

The finished length from the top edge to the lower point is 23 1/2 inches. The width across the top edge is 46 inches.

Hmmmm, think I should iron that shirt?

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Triangle Done

I finished the second go around with the triangle pattern, and it's blocking now.

I had less yarn, so I worked fewer pattern repeats. This meant that the solid center is smaller in proportion to the whole than on the first one. And of course, the whole thing is slightly smaller. I'll wait to take finished measurements until after the pins come out, because I stretched it pretty hard, and I expect it may pull in slightly once it's no longer under tension.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Out of the Past

A very long time ago (well 17 years, but it feels like a lifetime), I sold some patterns to the Nomis Yarn Company. They published the patterns in a leaflet, and as far as I could tell it never made any sort of splash at all. I never actually spotted it for sale anywhere. And as it had been a "work for hire" situation (where I sold all rights outright) there was never any question of royalties, or sales reports, or any follow up at all. I pretty much assumed the whole thing had dropped into complete oblivion.

Then this morning I received an email from a knitter with a question about the directions for one of the blankets (it's the one on the right in pink). The Internet really is amazing! I dug out my copy and worked up an explanation for her that I hope made sense. Then, just out of curiosity, I went to Ravelry and poked around, and by golly, someone has posted a project knit from another pattern in the booklet. (She actually improved on it by adding a pretty crochet edging).

I don't know why this all feels so intensely exciting, but it does.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Really, they look so innocent. Of course, much of the time they are tearing around the house, or chewing on each other, or jumping on places they really aren't supposed to be. But attempted pictures of those activities mostly result in a blur. So I catch them while they're sleeping.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Since You Asked

Hi Tess, I didn't have any way to contact you directly, so I hope you see this. I've answered your question re: the Soap Sack Sachet in the comments to that post.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Knee Caps, Anyone?

How about a bustle, bosom friend, brioche or imitation coral? There are directions for knitting all of them to be found among the old books on Google. Also "imitation sable" muffs (worked in graduated shades of brown - possibly pretty, but not too convincing an imitation, if you ask me).

The "brioches" in question appear to be pillows or hassocks (none of the directions give anything like finished measurements, or gauge) shaped rather like the french baked goods of the same name. I swear that at least one of them was worked in brioche stitch, the same as the stitch currently going by that name, though darned if I remember which book I saw it in. So did the object give it's name to the stitch, or was that merely a fortuitous conjunction?

A "bosom friend" may be the same as a "sontag", although at least one set of directions I saw would have produced simple rectangle with some narrow strips at the end "for the shoulders" (ties? loops for the arms to go through?).

The "imitation coral" was a cord worked in red silk. Was this to imitate a coral necklace? Or am I missing something all together?

At least I know what a bustle is, though I don't anticipate that I will ever need one, knitted or not. You never know, though. When I first started knitting I though that the soakers I saw in "old" pattern books from the 40's-50's were quaint relics of a bygone age. Shows what I knew. From the projects on Ravelry, it looks like some folks are knitting diaper covers like crazy. So maybe I should bookmark those bustle patterns.

And the knee caps? Well, with The Old Farmer's Almanac predicting a mighty cold winter I just might want to get started on a pair.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Since you asked....

Hi Kathyshandscreate (stands up and waves to get attention),

The new triangle scarf/shawlette is a pattern I'm in the process of creating. If you like to work from charts and you think you might like to test it out after I get a first draft done, email me through my profile.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Taking it from the top

Well, in this case from the bottom, really. But you know what I mean.

I've started a second go around on the triangle pattern, tweaking it just a little. So far no big change - just 4 sts of garter at the edges instead of 3. When I do get to the top I'm going to try something different, hopefully less prone to curl yet still visually satisfying. We will see.

This will be smaller than the first one because 1) it's a finer yarn (Cascade "Heritage" sock yarn) and 2) I have less yardage.