Thursday, December 20, 2012

What else could anyone want?


It's all there:  a comfortable chair, my doggie and most of my circular knitting needles hanging from my lamp.  Oh, and there is the remote control!

The old doggie has had a tough time lately.  He scratched his right cornea and then there appeared a big red spot on his eye.  The blood vessels in his eye had apparently coagulated.  The vet gave him some salve and he is now on the mend, being his usual fidgety self and yapping and being demanding again.  Talk about being spoilt, the dog not me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Still more socks

I think I've mentioned before that I am on a serious stash busting binge, particularly coned yarns.  I was able to knit two more pairs of socks from the cone of fingering weight Brown Sheep Nature Spun yarn and still have enough left for a pair of two-colored socks.  I can't even remember how long ago I purchased that particular cone of yarn. 

The first pair is called Moody Stockings from the Yahoo group Sock Knitters Anonymous.  The pattern was designed by Erica Lueder and can be found on Ravelry for free. The Nature Spun was perfect for stitch definition and, of course, since it is 100% wool it keeps the feet dry and warm.  What more could one ask for.


The pattern for the second pair came from Stephanie Van Der Linden and is called Escherwuerfel (Escher Cubes).  I've wanted to knit this pattern for a long time and finally decided to give it a try with the Nature Spun yarn.  The pair turned out much better than the photo suggests.  My aching back decided to scream "I want to sit down" and I decided to better listen to it.  The pattern can be found here .  While the pattern is in German, do not despair.  It is only a chart and an explanation of how the designer came up with it.  There are only two symbols in the chart -- one for the knit stitch which is represented by "0" and the purl stitch is represented by a "-".  I decided on 60 stitches since each repeat is 10 stitches long.

Same yarn as the first pair of socks, but taken on a different day.

Knit on, Merrily!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Socks

Many sock knitters understand the phenomenon of collecting sock patterns.  There is always at least one more pattern that tickles our fancy and before we know it, we have collected more sock patterns than we can knit in a life time.  Particularly since we collect more as we knit from the list we already have.  I am trying to remedy this malady without much success.  Along with amassing patterns, we, of course, also amass yarn.  Recently, I found three balls of Brown Sheep Nature Spun, fingering weight, in oatmeal that came from a long ago bought cone of yarn. I assume I bought it at Paradise Fibers, but how many years ago is a mystery.  Also a mystery is what else I knit with this particular yarn.  This pattern comes from the German Yahoo group "Krea Socks" and was designed by Gudrun Neumann-Mack.  The design is called "Late Summer Blues." They were knit with 2.00 mm needles and were gifted to my in-house spinner, aka youngest daughter.  (I have to keep her happy so I can get more hand-spun yarn.)

Knit on Merrily.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two pairs of quick socks

Even though I have been hardly blogging, I have been busy knitting socks.  Here are two pairs of rather plain socks. These were knit for my pretend nephew who actually could be my pretend grandson and a special request from him for his girl friend.  It is such a pleasure to knit for folks who really love hand knitted socks.   I am so proud of Nick.  He is an ex-Marine and a veteran of Falujah, Iraq where he was wounded.  Since coming home, he has finished undergraduate school and this is his last semester of graduate school.  He deserves all the socks I can knit him.

Knit with In-Line 6 ply Comic Color. Pattern is K3, P1.

Pattern is Jules by Kate Blackburn.  Yarn is OnLine Summer-Time color.

Knit on Merrily!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Glauberg Socks

According to Wikkipedia "The Glauberg is a Celtic oppidum in Germany consisting of a fortified settlement and several burial mounds, a princely seat of the late Hallstatt and early La Tène periods. Archaeological discoveries in the 1990s place the site among the most important early Celtic centres in Europe. It provides unprecedented evidence on Celtic burial, sculpture and monumental architecture." Monika Eckert, a German knitting designer, has based her latest sock design on the Glauberg.  It was a Knit-Along through her Ravelry Group Klabauter KALs. The socks were knit with a generic off-white sock yarn from WEBS on two 2.5 mm circular needles.  The two circs were a first for me.  I actually managed to knit the socks with them only ending up on one needle twice. 


Thank you, Moni, for another wonderful pattern.
Knit on Merrily!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Almost caught up...

...with the Afghan squares.  Here are the September ones:

I think the last pattern would make a nice sock pattern, using 4 or 6 ply and possibly self-striping yarn.
Knit on merrily!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Squares

Four more squares finished:

 Diamond Stripes
 Stormy Seas

Knit on merrily!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Update on Crazy Quilt Afghan

I have been amiss in posting pics of the afghan squares I've been knitting.  The saying goes "time flies when you're having fun." Unknown to me I must have had lots of fun this year since October has already arrived.  Here are the photos of the July squares.  August and September squares are done as well, but I have to find out first to where the photos disappeared when I stored them on my computer.  Oh well!

Knit on merrily!

Monday, September 10, 2012

What to do Part 2

As I said in my previous post of August 29, 2012 beside commercial yarn, we have also accumulated a significant stash of hand spun yarn over the past ten years.  All the hand spun yarn is the creation of my youngest daughter.  Mother does not spin.  The ability to have my hands and feet do different things at the same time eludes me.  Therefore, the use of a spinning wheel is out of the question.  I am also useless at spindle spinning even with my tongue sticking out and, believe me, my daughter can do an entire comic routine around observing my attempts at spindle spinning.  It isn't a pretty picture.

The second result of using up hand spun yarn is a giant, warm and crazy zippered cardigan which will serve me well during Michigan winter months.  I used the basic pattern for a bottom up Raglan sweater from The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee.  And here are the results.  Remember I did emphasize crazy.

And the spinner in the family is modeling the concoction.

The next project using up hand spun yarn is already finished.  The shawl is awaiting a good soaking and blocking. 

Knit on Merrily!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fifty Years in the US and I forgot

No one reminded me in the month of June that I have now lived in the United States for 50 years.  I arrived in NYC in June of 1962, 22 years old, pregnant, and knowing little about the US.  My only asset was that I spoke fluent English with a very British accent.  My itinerary told me that I would arrive at the Columbus, Ohio Airport 1/2 hour after take off from Idlewild (now JFK) Airport.  Of course, no one had explained to me that there was a one hour time difference between New York and Ohio and, therefore, the flight actually lasted 1-1/2 hours.  The turbulence started over Pittsburgh and I threw up from that point to landing in Columbus.  I wonder if the fellow sitting beside me ever recovered from that experience?  At that time women who were pregnant were only allowed to fly up to a certain time.  I was just under the time limit.  Between being sick and apologizing to the fellow next to me, I had to continuously assure the flight attendants that I was not dieing, but only suffered from "all day sickness," a curse which I endured during all three pregnancies.  I was met by my husband, a newly discharged Air Force veteran, in Columbus, Ohio. As we drove away from the Airport toward our new home in Lancaster, Ohio, I was overwhelmed by the width of the road (US33) on which we traveled.  Roads just weren't that wide in Europe and the darn thing was flat as a pancake and straight on top of it.  No careening around mountains, just a flat wide road and the drivers were sooo polite.  Life in America had started.  It has had its ups and downs, but overall life has been good to me. Yet, I still miss a good loaf of real German bread and the dark green honey from the Black Forest and the smell of its pine trees and, of course, "Maultaschen," the pirogis of Poland or gnocchis of Italy in their Swabian form. 

Knitting content coming later.      

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What to do...

...when you have a spinner in the house and her accumulated stash of 10 years of spun roving that she just had to have?  The answer of course is a lot of small and not so small skeins of colorful yarn that clog every nook and cranny in the house. One solution could be to insulate the walls with the yarn, but that would make the walls way too enticing for the mice that populate the woods around us.  The only practical solution is for the knitter in the house to knit with it.  And since winter is not too far around the corner in these parts of the world, the first item to be knit was a Ruana Style Wrap for the spinner.  The original pattern was knit with Boku yarn by Plymouth.  The pattern #1061 is probably the worst written pattern I have ever come across.  The only redeeming factor was the schematic, but it too had its shortcomings since it did not contain the measurements of the finished piece.  What to do?  Forge ahead, of course with no particular plan, different yarn and different sized needles.  Since not all yarn was of the same weight, I doubled yarn or combined yarn at times.  The shrug contains Shetland, Alpaca, silk, a bit of the late Captain Crunch (a Romney and who knows what else mix), Blue Faced Leicester and some yarn from long forgotten sheep varieties.  I used US 7 (4.5 mm) needles. The spinner loves the wrap and all is well with the world.

Knit on Merrily!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Working on...

...various things, including these socks.  The pattern is by Claudia Tietze called East Meets West given to the German sock knitting group KreaSock . While the pattern looks quite involved, it is fairly easy to knit and easily remembered.  The second sock is waiting to be finished.

Other things on the needles or almost finished are a cardigan and shrug knit with all the odds and ends of yarn spun by my youngest daughter and accumulated over the past ten years.  The cardigan is awaiting its zipper and the shrug is about 3/4 finished. 

Knit on, Merrily!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More favorite knitting cartoons

It's a hot, humid Sunday afternoon.  We had some rain yesterday which has made it too humid to even stick a nose out the back door.  On top of it no knitting projects are finished.  Socks and Afghan squares are on the needles, but not finished as yet and I'm watching NCIS reruns.  So I thought it would be a good time to update my favorite cartoon post.  All have been snagged from the Internet and credit given were known.

If you have already seen them, I beg your forgiveness.  Otherwise, enjoy!

Knit on Merrily. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The mistakes are many...

But luckily not very visible, thanks to the pattern. 

My old trusty German sock knitting group unfortunately has folded.  The list had changed owners and the new owners just didn't have the time to keep it up and have designers donate bi-monthly patterns.  However a replacement group "KreaSock", a German abbreviation for "Kreative Socken" or in plain old English "Creative Socks" was started.   This was the first pattern for the group and it looks beautiful despite the mistakes hidden between the cables.  For some reason I had difficulty with the pattern.  While the pattern is not at all difficult, it does require concentration and my concentration had gone AWOL while knitting them.

The construction starts with a nineteen stitch cable pattern knit sideways until the necessary leg circumference is reached and either Kitchener stitched together or a three needle bind-off.  Then stitches are picked up and the leg is knit as usual through the toes.  Lastly, stitches are picked up once again from the sideways cable strip and the cuff is knit.  The pattern was created by Anke Jagnow and, unfortunately, is only available in German and from the Yahoo Group KreaSock. I did not find it on Ravelry.  The other inconvenience for English only speaking knitters is that the pattern is only available in German.

I used my trusted 2.5 mm metal double point needles and a hand-dyed skein of yarn.  The dye job, as usual, is by my talented in-house dyer, aka youngest daughter.

The heel on this particular sock is a horseshoe heel.  Basically the horse shoe heel involves knitting short rows over half the heel stitches and then continuing with a standard square heel until all the heel stitches are used up.  The decreases for the gusset are placed at the end of the heel stitches and the beginning of the stitches picked up from the sides of the heel flap rather than at the end of needle 1 and the beginning of needle 4.  This is the first time I've knit this type of combination heel.  As a youngster I was taught the square heel, also called a Dutch heel.  When I picked up knitting again I divided the heel flap stitches into three and then knit/purl 2 stitches together and knit an extra stitch and then turn.  My daughter prefers the short row heel for her socks.  She claims the short row heel fits her feet better. I think the sock pattern could be knit with whatever heel fits best. 

This photo shows the horseshoe heel. 

That's all folks.  Knit on, merrily.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lake Michigan

We visited Ludington State Park in Michigan yesterday.  It's only a 40 minute drive from our home. By the time we got there the temperature was a comfortable 10 degrees F cooler than it was at our home. The park is right along Lake Michigan and includes a part of the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake and Big Sauble River.  It has three campgrounds within it's confines.  It's one of a number of State of parks along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.  It has lots of foot and bicycle lanes, boating on both Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake and one can go "tubing" on the Big Sable River.  Of course I went in my new top knit from Maggi's Cotton/Linen yarn.  The yarn is rather expensive, but a dream to wear.  Each time I wash the Tee, the fabric gets softer and cooler to wear

The pattern can be found here at and is called Gemini.  It's a top down pattern which always causes problems for my figure.  Around the neck and shoulders I need a small size but from the bust down I need a much larger size.  If I were to knit it according to the author's pattern, it would either fall of my shoulders or not fit in the bust area.  What I finally did was start with the second smallest size, and then after knitting about 1/3 of the neck area, I started increasing every row for the front and back and every fourth row for the sleeves.  The next time I will start with the smallest size for the neck.  Of course, I didn't write anything down.  Since I am old enough to spit on the side walk and wear red with purple, I suppose I can get away with "winging" it.

Since this photo was taken on our property, I decided to show you some of the ones we took at the lake yesterday. For any of my overseas readers the Great Lakes are made up of five Lakes--Michigan, Huron, Erie, Superior, and Ontario-- and contain about 20% of the world's fresh water supply.

Hamlin Lake with its swimming and boating area.

A view of Lake Michigan

 Lake Michigan shoreline with its sand dunes

 More Sand Dunes

Dune Grass

 The Big Sauble River

 And another view of the Big Sauble

One lonely deer on the far side of the Big Sauble River

No knitting done on this trip but when I got home, I continued with my Advent Calendar Scarf.

Knit on Merrily!