Archives for posts with tag: stitches

I spent a couple of weeks in February in California, visiting friends and family. In addition to this, I got a chance to meet up with a lot of knitting friends and do a bit of yarn shopping! Possibly even too much yarn shopping, if you can believe it–I got back to Madison with no particular desire to attend this year’s Knit-In (guests of honor: the Mason-Dixon Knitting ladies).

I stopped in at A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s physical space in Berkeley for a couple of hours one afternoon. It is really small, but a beautiful space, jam-packed with gorgeous, natural-dyed fiber. The bin of silk roving! The new camel-silk yarn! Amazing stuff. I had a great time chatting with proprietors Adrienne and Kristine and meeting shop Dachshund Cleo and her best friend, who had come to visit the shop–I forgot his name, but he is another Dachshund, and there is nothing quite like multiple tiny dogs running around a tiny space to lift one’s spirits.

My friend Molly has recently gotten into crochet, much to my delight, and we took a trip to Article Pract in Oakland. It’s a lovely LYS with a great selection (mmm, Fibre Company) and sales room–my only complaint is that it’s too dark to see the yarns very well.

I met up with Prachi from Adventures of a Desi Knitter and Kristen from Knitting Kninja at Stash Yarns in Berkeley. I had met Prachi before, when she came to Madison for a conference last year, but it was my first time meeting Kristen in person. It was great seeing Prachi again and meeting Kristen for the first time and chatting with them both–first over a gleaming pile of MadTosh sock yarn (a new shipment had just come in and GOOD LORD is this stuff gorgeous, the pictures online are good but don’t do it justice!) and then over warm drinks at the Starbucks next door. It was a cold and rainy day–nothing better than warm drinks and yarn-ogling in good company.

Oh, and there was a little thing called Stitches West. I accidentally (really accidentally!) timed my visit so I’d be there during Stitches. My mom and stepdad live about 15 minutes from the venue, so I girded my loins and headed out there Friday morning. I have a good amount of practice going to wool festivals by now, but it was really utterly overwhelming. From the Midwestern festivals I’ve been to, I’m used to a more low-key mixture of yarn and livestock, but this was gigantic, completely indoors, and with no alpacas to mix it up. The experience had more in common with E3 than with Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. I waited in line for about 15 minutes to even buy my ticket and get into the expo, and then I kept walking and walking and it kept going and going. I felt incapable of buying anything for the first two hours I was there–finally developed a game plan and went back for a few things.

I got in trouble because I completely missed the sign at the front about not taking photos. Oops. This is the only photo I have that was taken with permission, and I deleted the rest:
california 025
…ah, Malabrigo. Being a Malabrigo Junkie, I walked away with a free sample of navy blue Dos, and also purchased some Twist that will be making an appearance here soon–by the end of the month, with any luck.

The Dos:

I had lunch that day with Hilary from The Yarniad . Hilary works nearby, so she couldn’t come yarn shopping with me, but was able to take off her lunch hour to meet up. I spotted multiple Citrons up as samples on the show floor and was excited to tell her where to look out for them!

And last but not least, I met up with my favorite podcasters, Nicole and Jenny from Stash and Burn, and Jenny’s sister Alma. We didn’t get to talk for too long in the madness of the show floor, but it was nice to at least meet them in person, and check out their Stitches haul. Nicole and John welcomed a new member to their family shortly thereafter and Nicole said the long walk at Stitches was probably what got things started…

Highlights of Stitches West:

So, at Stitches, aside from the Malabrigo I mentioned before, I also bought this baby alpaca/silk/cashmere blend yarn, 400 yards fingering weight for $28, from Pigeonroof Studios. The color is Greenstone and it is luscious.

And that was the fibery portion of my trip to California.
california 014

Now I’m back to the Planet of the Apes Madison, where Spring is finally springing–I took this photo a few days ago, but the ice has since melted too much to go out on the lakes anymore:
latlong 101

Oh, and I’ve just put up a pattern on Ravelry that I’m really excited about–you can just about spot the hat and cowl I’m wearing in the photo above–but will save the post about it for later–but right now I have to get off the computer and start baking some pies. I’m having a Pi Day party (it’s 3/14 today!) Blueberry, Key lime, and savory corn pies. Yum.

I screwed up!

So a few days ago, I finished making my presents, went down to Hobby Lobby to get gift bags, wrapped everything up, wrote up little cards and care instructions, put everything in big boxes and drove down to UPS to mail them, with a great sense of pride and accomplishment swelling in my chest.

Then I found out it would cost $63 for each of my two packages to get them to California by Christmas! I don’t have that much holiday spirit. So my presents won’t arrive till the Friday after Christmas.

Here are two more of the Christmas projects I finished.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

Yarn used: Unfortunately, I have no idea of how much yarn I used, since one was handspun and the other was recycled. Some amount of my neverending hyacinth violet Lopi, some amount of black walnut-dyed handspun Romney singles, both single-stranded. The yarns were really hard to felt–I had to run them through the washer on hot three times, and they still came out kind of fraternal, but at that point I had run out of other clothes to wash with them and lost patience with trying to get them exactly the same size.

The Romney singles didn’t felt very evenly or completely, as some areas were very energized and others were quite underspun and soft–but it did felt to an interesting and pleasing kind of boucle texture that worked well as the trim/contrast color on the clogs.

I quite like the lavender and light brown combination.

Needles used: US size 13/9.00 mm

Started: 12/13/07

Finished: Finished knitting 12/16/07. Took another day to felt, and one more day after that to caulk the bottoms.

Size: Women’s Small. Pre-felting, the clogs were roughly 13.5″ long, 6.5″ across instep at widest point, 21″ around ankles, and 6″ high.
pre-felted clogs

pre-felted clogs 2.

Post-felting, they were roughly 11″ long. 5.5″ across instep, 14.5″ around ankle, and 3″ high.

Subjectively, this meant that they fit my feet reasonably well lengthwise, but were very loose around the instep.

Mods: I accidentally knit the outer sole and bumper in the main color instead of the contrast color. The bumper was showing little blips of the wrong color and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Then I looked at the pattern again and realized that I was supposed to knit them in brown instead of lavender. Hence the brown blips showing up where I had picked up stitches.

The other thing I did was, instead of purling, to just turn around and knit the other direction in the round where it calls for 6 rounds of reverse Stockinette stitch at the ankle. I figured it was being felted anyway, so why not? I don’t usually hate purling that much, but it really wasn’t fun with the big thick needles.

Notes: I made these for my great-aunt for Christmas. I don’t know what size shoe she wears, so perhaps they’ll fit her better than they fit me.

Some research on this pattern on Ravelry revealed that there are two versions of this pattern, and you’re SOL if you bought the old version and want to upgrade to the new one. You just have to buy it again! I thought that was pretty annoying.

I knit the old version, AC-33x, printed on teal paper. The new version is labeled AC-33 and is printed on white paper. The newer version is apparently narrower than the old version. It seems like the new version would fit my feet much better than the old version, but I’m not sure I want to shell out for the pattern again. The designer suggested that I could leave out one or two plain rows from the sole to make it narrower, but apparently there are many other changes to the new version, including the decreases being moved around to different places.

I wear a women’s size 6.5 or 7, but after testing the pattern this time, I think I’d make the women’s size small despite the admonition that it’s only suitable up to size 6. It seemed still quite loose on me.

I added stripes of latex caulk to the bottom for traction. Nicole’s advice was to use latex caulk instead of silicone caulk, which gets very slippery when wet. I took this advice, but despite her excellent clog-caulking tutorial, I totally forgot to buy a caulk gun and ended up digging out caulk from the container with DPNs and slathering it over the soles–hence the somewhat skimpy amount shown here. The only color I could find was white, which seems to get dirty VERY fast, but better that than super slippery clogs. Unfortunately, I didn’t put enough on the soles to find out how effectively they retain traction on wet surfaces. They seemed pretty good, but there is so much exposed felt, I’m not totally sure, and I found the clogs getting so dirty from my sliding around the bathroom floor that I decided to stop all clog-testing immediately in the interest of keeping them looking at least somewhat new.

I have a lot of Lamb’s Pride worsted stashed away to make this pattern again–twice, once for myself, once for my boyfriend. I feel kind of sad that it didn’t fit me that well, but perhaps with a more quickly felting yarn and the two plain rows removed from the sole, it will be OK this time.

For my great-uncle, I made this:

Pattern: Jared Flood‘s Koolhaas, from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007, now also available as a single pattern from the Knitting Daily pattern store

Yarn used: Plymouth Encore Worsted in 0149 Light Blue Heather, left over from my Tilted Duster, about 0.75 skein

Needles used: Size 6/4.0 mm for the ribbing, US size 8/5.0 mm for the rest of the hat

Started: 12/17/07

Finished: 12/17/07

Size: 18″ around, unstretched; 8.25″ high.

Mods: When I was knitting the first Koolhaas I made, I thought it would be interesting to try using twisted stitches instead of cable crosses. So I used the following twisted stitches throughout the hat:

“1st st” = closest to needle tips (distal)
“2nd st” = farther from needle tips (proximal):

1/1 LPC: knit 2nd st through back loop from behind and leave on needle, knit both sts tbl, drop from needle.

1/1 RPC and 1/1 RC: k2tog and leave on needle, knit 1st st again, drop from needle.

I prefer working right crosses with twisted stitches, and I think they look cleaner, so I substituted a right cross instead of a left cross on rows 3 and 7. However, I didn’t notice until I got to the decreases at the crown that the decreases would start spiraling the opposite way. Oops. Because I was in a hurry to get this done, I wasn’t about to rip back or rewrite the decreases to use k2tog, so I just let the crown go the other way. Perfectionists will doubtless be disturbed to their core by the untidiness of this substitution.

The twisted stitches have better stitch definition than the cables–they really pop!–but they also cause little tiny holes all over the knitted fabric. They’re faster and less fiddly to do, I think, but in the final analysis, I think the original pattern’s 1-over-1 cables are superior.

The holes are really only visible when the fabric is stretched out, so if there were an application for this pattern with positive ease, I think the twists would be a suitable substitute. However, since this hat is a few inches smaller than the average head, the holes do become visible when the hat is worn.

The twisted stitch version came out a little bit larger than the cabled version. I don’t know if this was partly due to the difference in yarn, but the needles were the same and I knit them right around the same time.

I took some side-by-side photos and some closeups so you can see for yourself and decide. Obviously, the brown hat in the photos is the Koolhaas made the proper way, and the blue hat is the twisted stitch version.

Cable pattern, stretched out:

Twisted stitch pattern, stretched out: