Thursday, May 15, 2008


I made my first pair of socks last summer, in a yarn that I got on an excellent sale (full bag of 10 balls for less than $25!). I thought the yarn was a bit on the ugly side but would keep the knitting interesting.

I was bitten by the bug big time - knitting them was basically no more fun than other knitting, but wearing them is lovely. I come home, take off my work shoes, and snuggle up my feet in lovely wool. And then the knitting is very portable, which is great for riding in the car or walking around after Kittycat when she's on a nature walk ("LOOK, mummy!!! A ROCK!")

So, I knit another pair of ugly blue stripy socks, a pair of kneesocks for Kittycat from the leftovers, and then I got to start on my Boxing Day stash and make a pair of brown socks for Chi. He wanted them to be boot socks, so they are super long and gobbled up the yarn, but I should have enough leftovers for a pair for me or Kittycat.




I invented the pattern, knit them toe-up with an eye of partridge heel flap, and Chi, despite initial doubts that knitting socks would be worth it, really likes them.

Here are Kittycat's leftover kneesocks, which were really useful under wellies this winter. Toe-up with a shortrow (yarnover) heel.

Here is a WIP shot of the Diamond Waffle socks I made myself. It's a great pattern, but the yarn is horrible for the pattern. Still, I wear these all the time because they fit beautifully.




These are all photos of my first socks - a plain toe-up, short row heel sock. The two lower photos are of the two sides of the heel - the yo method makes them different from each other, at least the way I knit it. I wasn't happy with that at first, but the socks are still comfy and it's a handy way of doing a heel!

The brown yarn is SR Kertzer's On your toes with aloe vera, and the stripy stuff is Elann's Sock it to me Harlequin.

My mum saw me knitting these and liked the stripy yarn, so I gave her some for Christmas and lent her my Spring 2007 Interweave Knits with the toe-up recipe. She's been on a total sock bender. All her kids and grandkids got socks for Easter, Kittycat has 5-6 pairs made from the leftovers, she sent socks to my aunt and uncle and has made some for herself and my Dad too! I love that crazy knitting lady.

Victorian Lace in May


This is the Scarf with the Wide and Handsome border for a Mantel, from Victorian Lace Today, knit in Millefili Fine (sport weight variegated cotton), and taking just over 3 balls.

It's for MIL and she loves it - I saw this colourway and thought of her right away.

The pattern is relatively easy, especially for lace. The drop-stitch centre just flies by, and the ends are fun but not too complex or fiddly. Because of the heavier yarn I used, I did only 2 points instead of 3 at the ends. I used my lovely Lantern Moon straights (5mm, which gave a nice open fabric). I love the variegation of the yarn - it goes from a coffee-brown to a light golden-beige, and with the slight sheen of the cotton it really glimmers, without being such an extreme variation that it would detract from the lace pattern. I wasn't sure how the cotton would block out, but I pinned and steam-blocked it through a wet cloth, then left it to get nice and dry and the lace opened up quite nicely (and the yarnovers at the end stopped curling too).

I started it in December and finished it in May, but it was actually a quick knit, but with a long winter sleep when I abandoned it for other stuff.

In other news: I am starstruck! I left a comment on WendyKnits' blog and she emailed me back. I was all excited to get an email from her (cos she is famous!!). I love reading Wendy's blog because she's so prolific and always has something new (and beautiful) to show off. Of course, if you knit and have ever been connected to the internet in any way, you have probably come across her blog.

Other blogs I read are the Yarn Harlot (my favourite!), Lene's Dances with Wool (except she's off on a quilting thing right now - I'm reading her shared quilting blog, Fine Stitches, instead), and Yarnstorm (just beautiful! AND I had an email from Jane, too, a couple of weeks back. Turns out she did her teacher training at the same place, and with the same professor that I did, but she went on to gentler and prettier things, and I am still teaching French! I am very envious of all her talents, and her blog makes me smile with the gorgeous handwork and photos). I also read and love Brooklyn Tweed (beautiful knitting, spinning and photography - very happy he's got time to blog more recently!), Grumperina (she does excellent tutorials, knits beautifully and you've got to love an opinionated scientist who crafts!) and Lolly (who has made me all interested in weaving, like I don't already have my fingers in too many crafting pies - and she's into composting too which fascinates me big time and makes me want a garden).

Of course I'm linking to a bunch of famous ones, which is a bit lame, because anyone who has found their way to my little tupenny-hapenny blog has no doubt found all these other ones already - but for what it's worth, these are blogs I wholeheartedly recommend.