Archive for July, 2015


shawl in progress

another thing that my church knitting group does, besides these blankets, are scrappy prayers shawls. the fun part for me is that they nearly always come out of my stash… so i get to coordinate the colors and throw in odds and ends of everything. this is perfect for working with smallish amounts of handspun etc.  in my opinion, having several textures and kinds of yarn is key. click through the picture to flickr to see what yarns i chose. the other thing about these shawls is they can be passed from person to person and knit on by many, while still looking great.

here’s the how to:

get a pile of yarn. for this one, my pile ranges from bulky to worsted.
choose a needle size. we’re using a 10.5 US (6.5 mm) 24 in. circular. i usually do somewhere from 9-11 US.

set up:
cast 5…

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I am working on the Cromwell Court Afghan that I got through the Lion Brand web site. See the link below if you are interested in making this afghan yourself. I am making it for my step-mom because she requested that I make her an afghan. I think the pattern is very pretty even if it is repetitious. Did I ever mention that I don’t like repetition? I don’t know how I enjoy knitting because it really is a series of repeats and repetition to get your project done! I do love it though because of the pretty things that I can make with yarn!


Cromwell Court Afghan


I am doing this blanket in 3 colors. I am using white as the main colorway and accenting it with burgundy and gray. I have more of it done than this picture, but I wanted to get this out on my blog today and I have yet to take a picture of it in it’s current state and upload it. ( I have uploaded new pictures as of 07/16/2015.) I see the merits of doing it all in 1 color, but I really like the colors that I have chosen for this blanket and I know Rachael will love it.

I have made a few changes to how I am doing the pattern. I am using more than 1 color, and I am using US size 10 needles. The pattern called for US size 13 needles but I can’t get into a rhythm with those needles. They are just too big and cumbersome to knit with. I don’t know how people knit with those size 35 and 50 needles! As it stands now, even the size 10 needles are too long for me to knit with comfortably. I have a problem with longer needles, which is why I don’t use straight needles.

Do you find that you use circular needles almost exclusively or do you use straight needles almost exclusively? Interchangeable versus fixed circular’s? What is your favorite length for your needles? I think my favorite length for my fixed circulars is the 5 inches for the needle itself and 47 inches for the cable so that I can do magic loop easily. My favorite length for my DPN’s is 5 inches as well. The longer DPN’s get in my way and it makes for a very frustrating knitting session when I use the longer DPN’s. Sometimes it is necessary to use a long DPN because of the amount of stitches that wind up on the heel needle. In that case, I have 5 inches for the instep stitches and a 7 inch for the heel needle. For this afghan, the size 10 needles are about 6 inches long with a 32-inch cable on them, and I find it very difficult as my project grows to get into a rhythm with the pattern so that I can hit my knitting zen level that I usually reach when I am working on a pattern that I have memorized. This pattern is one that I have memorized so I don’t have to look at the pattern every 10 seconds to see what I am supposed to do. Most of the work happens on row 3. The other 3 rows are simple knits and purls. Row 3 is where you are doing the YO and the K2tog stitches to make the wave in it.

I did something stupid though. I got bored with the pattern and I decided to do stockinette thinking that it would be extra warm where the stockinette was. My plan was to knit a large amount of straight stockinette and then when I wanted to end it I would start back with this pattern at the end to make the ends match. I got several rows done and I just didn’t care for the way it looked, so I ripped it back to the lifeline and I am now about where I was before I did that stupid thing. I really have to stop changing things up like that, and if I insist on doing it, then I need to run a lifeline BEFORE I start doing the different pattern so that I don’t have to rip back many rows to get to my original lifeline that I ran way back. It almost feels like I am starting over. Once I got everything back on my needles, I counted my stitches to see if I had 114 stitches like the pattern calls for, and I had 124 instead of 114 stitches! I can’t remember why I have more stitches than called for. I started this pattern last year sometime, and I didn’t take notes on it so I have no clue why I have more stitches. Nevertheless, I did several P2tog stitches on my last purl row to bring the count down to 114. I hope it doesn’t make it look weird. I tried to space out the P2tog stitches all across the row, so I am hopeful that the difference between the 124 stitches and the 114 stitches won’t be too noticeable. It is a design element, yeah! That is it! It is a design element for this afghan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

Notes to self:

1.  Always, always run a lifeline before you start to change a pattern in case you decide you don’t like it you don’t have far to rip back!

2.  Keep notes on your patterns so that you will remember how you did the first sock so that the 2nd sock matches it. If you would have taken notes for this afghan, then you would be able to remember why you had 124 stitches on your needles for this blanket. That would be so nice to know! **sigh**

3.  Learn how to use PDF Expert  better so that you can annotate your patterns right on your iPhone and not have to write anything down on a slip of paper that you will lose eventually. Hmmm.. I need to call my friend, Cheryl, because she knows how to use PDF Expert really well.. Maybe she can help me.. If you are interested in buying this app, here is the link to the App Store on iTunes for this app:

PDF Expert 5

Ya’ll have a great day and the rest of your weekend!
Until next time,


I finished them!


I have finally finished my Azurea Socks! In the picture on the left, that was the first sock in the pair. It was blocked in that picture. The picture on the right is both of the socks, one is blocked, the other one isn’t. Can you tell the huge difference that blocking this sock made? It opened up the lace pattern and made the yarn look better too.

For the particulars:  The pattern is called Azurea Socks. It is in the Interweave Knits Sockupied Fall 2013 issue. The sock pattern is for people who have wide feet and ankles because a lot of folks aren’t able to make socks that fit their wider feet and ankles.

Let me just say that I love these socks! They fit my foot so well! Perfect length, perfect width, everything is so cool! I don’t know what kind of heel this pattern had in it. The designer didn’t say or give it a specific name. I just need to remember how it was done so that all the rest of my socks will fit me this well too!

The yarn was MadelineTosh Twist Light in Flashdance colorway. It is a new yarn that MadTosh just released recently that has nylon in it for durability.

I used size 2.25 mm needles which falls between US size 0 and US size 1 to get a gauge of 9 stitches per inch. I used magic loop, one sock at a time. My next sock adventure will be 2 at a time toe up socks.

I found out that my foot is 10 inches long, that my foot circumference is 9 inches around so I need to make my sock 8 inches foot circumference so that they will fit snugly, that I needed to work from the toes up the foot for 6 inches before I start making the heel that equals out to about 4 inches long when it is all said and done. This gives me the perfect length for my socks. Previously, I was making the foot portion 7 inches long before the heel, and the heel was crawling up the back of my ankle towards my calf. That pair was so big! I am tempted to take those apart and re-do them so that they fit properly. I may just make another pair with the same type of yarn, only in a different colorway, which was the Lang Jawoll Atkion Yarn that I made my Southwestern Socks with. Those socks grow on my feet as I wear them, which means that I used a needle that was too large, and I made the foot portion too long, and that is why I have the problem with them moving around on my foot more than this pair. This new pair hasn’t budged since I put them on this morning!  I just LOVE them!

As this is the first patterned sock that I have done, I think that they turned out great. The other pairs that I have done were basic sock patterns that had no shaping. They just taught technique really. They showed me how to use DPNs vs. Magic Loop and top down vs. toe up. I think that I like the toe up best. Those seem to fit me better than the top down. I will have to make at least 1 pair of patterned top down to compare whether I like the top down or the toe up version better. I think I am gonna err on the side of toe up to be honest. I just like doing the toe up version.

I hope that all the rest of my socks turn out this good, and I hope that I get better with sock making as time goes on. I have to learn to tackle the gusset and the short row heel with the wraps and turns. I tend to shy away from any pattern that has those items in it, meaning the short row heel with wraps and turns, because I have had trouble in the past doing short rows with the wraps and turns. I need to conquer my fear of that technique, don’t I? I want to be making at least 1 pair of socks a month until I get a whole drawer full of them! How many pairs will that take? How many pairs of socks do you make each year?

Until next time,


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