Monday, October 1, 2012

Corriedale Fingerless Mitts

I purchased this corriedale fiber from the CT Sheep and Wool Festival.  After spinning and plying, I ended up with almost 200 yards of fingering yarn, giving just enough to make my sister these fingerless mittens for her birthday.  

I used size one needles for a really dense knitted fabric.  These mittens were knit from the top down with a thumb gusset decrease.  It was very interesting to work them up this way and it went very quickly.  My sister loved her birthday present.

If you'd like to see more of my spinning projects, check out my spinning blog - ""

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sock Innovation - Cauchy

This is the second time I am doing the "Cauchy" sock.  The first pair was for a sock swap I had participated in.  I had modified the pattern of the that sock, but in the spirit of following Cookie A's patterns to the letter, I attempted the picot cuff.  

I started out with the provisional cast on method that was illustrated in the book, but I kept having trouble with the uniformity of the stitches.  I switched to a different cast on that worked much better.  I'm not sure of the proper name, but I used a crochet hook a couple sizes larger than my needles.  I did a chain stitch for about 20 more stitches than I needed, then proceeded to cast on a stitch in the "bump" of the chain.  Once I was ready to join the stitches, I just pulled out the chain and the live stitches were there.  I would advise using a heaver weight yarn in a contrasting color to make this process easier.

These socks for my Dad were made with Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in a silk/merino blend.  I loved the caramel color of the yarn.  While it is a neutral color, the pattern really popped, resulting in a very elegant pair of men's socks.

I'm very happy that I am knitting the patterns in order of the book.  I find that in every pattern Cookie A teaches a new skill.  I also took advantage of her sizing tutorial to make these bigger than what for the pattern called for.  On to the next challenge..............................

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mastering the Art of Picot

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times; "I don't have the patience."  Well, I have always had the patience, but this particular technique really tried my patience.  The Picot Cuff is done the following way:  First of all, you do a provisional cast on so that you keep the bottom edge as "live" stitches.  This alone is enough to drive you around the bend.  

The second step to this cuff is to pick up these live stitches and knit them along with the other stitches in the other end.  The cast on that was suggested in the Cookie A Sock Innovation Book was easy to do, but I did a cast on from a crocheted chain stitch.  I prefer this method because it is easier to pick up the stitches on each end.  I had to redo this cuff several times for the first sock, but the second was easier.  I recommend using a crochet hook larger than the needle size you need and a heaver weight yarn.  This will make picking up the stitches on each end much easier.  
Knitting is a perpetual exercise in learning the art of patience and gradually having the feeling that you can accomplish almost anything.  It is one of the only activities where you can actually have a "do over."

The Wedding Gift

This "Cable Knit Throw," available for free on Ravelry was a perfect, quick project for a quick wedding gift.

It was made with Knit Picks Brava Bulky yarn with size 10 1/2 circular needles.  It had originally called for worsted weight yarn, but a wanted a more "solid" blanket that would hold it's shape better.  

It knitted up in the perfect color of a brown with just a tiny hint of greenish gray.  It reminded me of the beach right after it had rained.  The pattern, listed at an intermediate level was easy to follow.  Just remember the basics; read the pattern and count your stitches.

The use of stitch markers went right out the window since the starting and stopping point of the pattern repeat changed in every row.  The recipients of the throw was my assistant minister and his new bride.  It was very well received upon the debut and also by my two friends who received a "sneak peek." 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Creatively Dyed Bamboo Bliss

I purchased this bamboo/merino blend from the Creatively Dyed booth at the 2011 New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.  

I really love the way the blues and unexpected greens popped up while I was spinning it up.  I navajo plied the yarn and came up with just under 200 yards, producing a super soft and light yarn.

I found this "Abstract Leaves Cowl" on for free.  It will look nice against my purple pea coat this winter.  The design of the pattern began with larger needles with the last two rounds of the pattern done in a smaller size needle for the graduated decrease effect.  This helps it hug the neck.  I will definitely be visiting the Creatively Dyed booth at Rhinebeck this October.  Here is the finished product.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Artistic Bex

The continuing project in Cookie A's Sock Innovation continues.  "Bex" was knit up in Knit Picks Silk/Merino Blend.  I finished these socks while I was on vacation in Tennessee.  

I love how the pattern popped out in the orange colorway.  Colored pencils and my new magnetic chart keeper from Knit Picks was a big help.  This is not a difficult pattern if you pay attention.  Lifelines and stitch markers are definitely  required.  When you get to the top of the foot pattern, you then repeat the same six rows over and over.  This gives a nice uniform pattern until you get to the toe increases.  Six more patterns to go...............

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ronan's Blanket

When my nephew Kyle and his wife Amanda had their son, I wanted to make something unique and unusual, with a "bright and dark" motif.  

This pattern - Op Art, available on Ravelry for free, hit the right note.  The pattern is visually stimulating as well as soft and warm.  It is worked in the round from the center out.  It got a little tedious near the end with finding longer needle cords.  I loved it's "off-center" design and slightly not perfectly squared shape.  The  blanket was a big hit with the new parents and grandparents.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sock Innovation Continues

The next pattern in Cookie A's Sock Innovation - "Sam" was made with Knit Picks "Gloss."  This is a merino/silk blend and I loved the colorway.  

I have really been partial to the monochromatic colorways which make the patterns in this book really pop.  The pattern is easy to follow, but you get a false sense of security with such a simple pattern. I did have to frog and start over several times.  Again, with all others you have to pay attention.  I'm closer to using up my stash and haven't had to buy any yarn for long project yet.  I am happy with the results.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Zahra's Blanket

This is the second time I'm knitting "Johnny's Blanket" but I'm calling this one "Zahra's Blanket."  

When a co-worker and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child, I was commissioned to to a blanket for them.  What impressed me most was the involvement of the father on this project.  He went to my blog, and picked out this blanket, chose the colors and asked me to alter the blocks so that his daughter's name go on the blanket.  He even consulted on the font of the letters.  It was a total collaboration.  

Knitting it in one entire piece was easier the second time around after finding yarn bobbins from Knit Picks.  I got it done in time for Mother's Day.  It was a big hit.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sock Innovation - Wanida

The latest submission of Cookie A's Sock Innovation - Wanida was simple to follow and worked up nicely.  I used the the Risata from Knit Picks that was in my stash.  

I'm really into the simple chromatic colors that make the pattern pop.  Even though the pattern is easy, remember that you need to pay attention with all of Cookie A's patterns.  It's hard to go back and pick up dropped stitches with all the K2T and SSK's.  You can very easily tell where you are in the pattern by paying attention to the design.  

I like the red/burgundy color which is out of my comfort zone.  Can't wait to get to the next project.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My First "Two at a Time" Toe Up Socks

I have always wanted to try toe up socks and finally decided to give it a try. This is a simple pattern that I found on The Sock Yarn is some nice 100% cotton yarn that I had received in a previous swap. The recipient was my sister who lives in Tennessee. The cotton made sense since the weather there is much warmer and wool socks probably wouldn't be worn as much. 

I used a "figure eight" cast on for the toe with 60" Addi Turbo Size 1 needles. It was a little tough beginning at the toe with so little stitches and such long needles. Once the increasing for the toe was done, it was smooth sailing. I did the heel flaps one at a time because it was just easier. One of these days, I'll master the short row heel and not have to separate. It was an easy project, but you have to do everything backwards from cuff down. Just pay attention to the directions and you'll be fine. I hope that my sister like them.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Cookie A's Sock Innovation, #5 - Angee is very easy one to follow. 

The colorway is called "Dune Twist" from Knit Picks, which was part of a sampler pack I had purchased a while back. 

Even though it's an easy pattern, you shouldn't forget to keep track of your rows and use your lifelines. The variegation in the yarn is just enough for you to get lost if you're not paying attention.

The yarn was a nylon/wool mix that would often split, resulting in ripping back some rows or picking up dropped stitches.  The nylon in the yarn will make it a long wearing sock.  I had this yarn in my stash for quite some time and it knitted up nicely, giving the sock a nice mix of color without hiding the pattern.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Veni, Vidi, Vici - Vilai

Sock Innovation project #5, Vilai, was a  challenging project.  You'll need to use all your powers of memory, focus and attention to stay on pattern. I had to  break out my colored pencils to delineate breaks in the pattern, as well as stitch markers, and lifelines. 

I did have to rip out the first sock several times, then it all came together in the second sock. I used some lovely Madelintosh sock yarn that I had received in a previous swap. The yarn is a nice rich forest green with flecks of brownish gray and teal. I didn't want to do a variegated yarn because I wanted this pattern to really pop. I used a size one needle for these instead of a size two called for making the fit much better for my small feet.