Monthly Archives: January 2007

January Sock-a-Month 2 Socks

These are the final installment of the Sock-a-Month Knitalong 2. These are my super secret, I’d-tell-ya-but-then-I’d-have-to-kill-ya socks from Knitty Gritty. They’re Cat Bordhi’s design, and I signed an agreement not to show pictures of it, until the episode airs and her book comes out (probably Spring). So, I think this isn’t quite a picture of it. You really can’t tell what kind of socks they are, so I think I’m okay.

They’re made from Austermann Step, and I liked the yarn. Squooshy with beautiful colors, IMHO. I was making them for myself, but when I cast off last night, Sweetie Hubby surprisingly showed interested in them. They turned out a bit big on me and quite stretchy, so Sweetie Hubby put ’em on. That made me happy, since Sweetie Hubby hasn’t asked for many knit items before, and in the past he has even pooh-poohed the idea of having handknit socks for himself.

This morning bright and early, we were at Sweetie Boy’s soccer tourney, and it was chilly. Sweetie Hubby sneakily donned them, and showed me at the soccer field. I was even happier he wore them (instead of using them for house socks) that I had to snap this sneaky pic of the socks peeking out. Yay!

Sweetie Boy’s team came in 2nd in their tournament pool, so no advancing to the finals this time around. They all played well, so we were really pleased. I haven’t seen him play in a game for over 2 months, and I missed it so. Here are some pics of his fancy footwork.

Fable is Stalled

I seamed up one of the sides of my Fable Ribbon Shell, and it looks crappy. It’s stalled until I can get myself to one of Patty’s drop-ins and get some real professional help. Hello. My name is Mary, and I am a seaming idiot. I have to get some serious help on this finishing stuff. Until then, Fable is languishing. Hopefully, Silvia is doing better on hers.

In the meantime, while we in Southern California have been experiencing these colder than usual evenings (like in the ’40’s, totally!), I knitted up a ribbed beanie for myself with some stash Kureyon. I really disliked this picture of me, so all you get is this tiny picture of just the top part of my head. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself? Thank goodness I don’t have to do it too much.

Project: Ribbed Beanie (4×4 rib) by Woolie Wormhead

Yarn: Noro Kureyon 1 ball of color #157

Needles: Inox US sz 7 16″ circular

Start: January 14

Finish: January 15

Thoughts: Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I love this pattern and Noro’s changes of color keep this from becoming boring. It’s a tad short, but I can live with it.

I’m also working on finishing up the Cat Bordhi socks from the December Knitty Gritty episode where I was a knitster. I figured I should finish them up and they would be my last Sock-a-Month 2 sock. Sock-a-Month 3 sign ups are going on, so head over and put your name on the list. I like doing this 6 month kal because it helps me keep sock knitting on the front burner, while working on other projects.

I gotta crank out a pair of Fetchings for a friend who is moving to Northern California in 2 weeks, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish that off, so I can start Wicked.

Today is Sweetie Boy’s 10th birthday. Hard to believe. He’s no longer a baby, toddler, little boy, little kid. He’s a kid now, a regular kid, a big kid. But he’s still my baby. Happy Birthday, Sweetie Boy!

I Feel Special, Oh So Special

(Warning: This post contains excessive amounts of beautiful yarn-related things, and fawning and gratitude to the bestower of such objects. Read on at your own risk.)

I got my final reveal package from my Secret Pal, Annie of Sittin ‘n Knittin, on Friday. Let me just say wow. No, more like WOW! Can I say it again? W.O.W. I was so wowed that I was rendered speechless for about five minutes. Anybody who knows me knows that is virtually impossible… me being speechless for about five minutes… and that it wasn’t because I had food in my piehole.

It really seemed like Annie got me, the colors I like, what I drink, how I like to pamper myself. On top of that, I especially love that most of the gifties are handcrafted from indie people. Really spectacular stuff all around. Walk down memory lane with me, would ya?

This is the pamper-myself part of the gift: 2 beautiful handknit washcloths in that gorgeous deep lilac color that were wrapped around beautifully fragranced natural herbal soap from, a tin of Simpson & Vail jasmine tea with handwritten directions on how long to steep it, a terrific little tea strainer, 3 delicious milk baths were also included in the package in yummy scents: coconut rose, hot cocoa and lavender dream. I’m going to smell divine!

This is the knitting notions-related portion of the package: a cute green zippered pouch, four delicate beaded stitchmarkers that were in a perfect shade of green with just enough sparkle, a whimsical sheep tape measure (I haven’t seen this one before and it’s hysterical! The wool is coming off the sheep and forming into the ball which is the end of the tape.), and a sock blocker keychain with pattern. What? You can’t see how cute the stitchmarkers are?

Here’s a close up of the delightful little stitch markers. She thought of everything, didn’t she? But wait, there’s more…

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Around. Annie, how did you read my mind? I only have her Knitting Without Tears, and I’ve been aching for more of her books, so I can understand the knitting around stuff even better. Perfect! And yet, the last bit that rocked my world and knocked my socks off.

Yup. A skein of Socks That Rock heavyweight in Nodding Violet colorway. I had a hard time picking myself up off the floor. Wouldn’t you? Did you want to see it up close?

Here you go. Say it with me. Yummmmmm. It definitely has some denimy blues but the violet and periwinkle shades aren’t coming through in the camera. Hoo boy. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s going to be yet.

This is the mountain of stuff she sent. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it? I am in complete and utter awe of her generosity.

Annie, you did such a terrific job getting to know my likes and wants. I really love every bit that you sent me. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and getting to know you better through your blog. Thank you thank you thank you for making my first Secret Pal exchange so wonderful.

YOTM November

My very first month of membership in the Yarn of the Month Club was November. I was tickled pink to see the theme was alpaca. Yummmmmm. I was already an alpaca fan, so I was immediately liking it. Fast forward to this weekend, when I finally pulled out the alpaca samples and actually knit them up. They were soft, luscious, and cozy, a real treat to knit with. Each one is a true champion in her own right. I won’t go into the detail of each because I would only reuse words like soft, luscious, cozy, drapy, warm comfortable, squooshy and like synonyms over and over and over. Suffice it to say, they were all dreamily soft, warm and with beautiful drape.

(L to R) Atacama by Araucania, Baby Alpaca Chunky by Cascade Yarns, Baby Suri Alpaca by Misti Alpaca, and Alpaca Soft by RYC.

The Araucania yarn is 100% alpaca and featured here in color 510.
Cascade’s Baby Alpaca Chunky is 100% baby alpaca and shown in color 552.
The Baby Suri Alpaca by Misti Alpaca is 80% baby suri alpaca and 20% silk (color 302).
Alpaca Soft by RYC is 50% alpaca and 50% cotton. It’s in color 264 and has a bit of a boucle feel to it.

Next installment: December’s novelty yarns (ugh!). I’ll do it, but only for you!

Social Knitting

It was nigh impossible for me to work on the shoulder shaping of my Fable-along Ribbon Shell, while socializing and chatting. I needed some easy stockinette, but not a big project that would distract me from the Fable-along project. La! Problem-solved. I pulled out my Yarn of the Month samples of yarn that I’d gotten for the past 3 months. KnitDevil hit it right on the nose when she talked about how addicting these are. I got a little… um… obsessive, as is my wont, and this is what I chugged out in an evening.

(L to R) Worsted Weight by Carodan Farms, 2ply by Imperial Stock Ranch, O-Wool Classic by Vermont Organic Fiber Co., and Organic Cotton by Blue Sky Alpacas.

January’s theme was organic fibers, and I was so excited to when I opened the envelope and found them in their little plastic envelopes. I’ve been curious about organic fibers, since a friend, who is no longer into knitting I might add, turned me onto them.

It was great to have an opportunity to work with organic wool without committing to a specific project. Lately, I’ve been yearning to work on a project using “classic” wool, imagining either Cascade 220 or Lamb’s Pride. I haven’t yet committed to a pattern or purchased yarn yet, as I’ve been trying to knit from the stash for as long as I can. After knitting these babies up, I’m glad I held off because that classic project might be using one of these organic wools.

I really enjoyed the feel and slide of all three wool yarns. The green tweed from Carodan Farms is to die for, especially the color and richness of the tweedy flecks. 100% wool, the color is Bracken.

The Imperial Stock Ranch happens to be in that eggplanty color (#65) that I adore, similar to the color of my SKB. 100% Columbia wool, I was impressed how the stitches look straight and even without the benefit of blocking.

The Vermont Organic Fiber Co. wool was my first choice to knit up because of its softness, and it didn’t disappoint. I hadn’t knit up these samples before, so I blindly cast on the recommended number of stitches for 4 inches and added the 6 extra stitches for the garter stitch frame. Oopsies, ran out of yarn in the middle, so I just cast off and that was that. Made of 100% organic merino wool, the color (#2301) is a bit faded but that’s not a detractor by any means, and it was surprisingly soft.

The Blue Sky Organic Cotton (color #83) is already one of my absolute favorites, because of its buttery softness, but I haven’t made anything for myself with it yet. Of course, I have it in my stash, but I’m waiting for the right inspiration, I guess. It softens even more as you wear it and handle it. My friend first turned me onto it, when she knit a scarf with it. Its softness had such an impact on me that I kept remembering the touch sensation of the buttery softness for months afterward. Simply divine.

What can I say, except I would definitely use any of these four yarns for a project. When the time comes to choose the yarn for my classic project one first, I’ll be hard pressed to make the decision.

Now, I just have to decide how to store and file these swatches. I guess that means a binder. Does anybody have any other good solutions on how to manage your swatches?

Coming soon, November’s YOTM swatches. Theme: Alpaca. Mmmmmmmm. Need I say more?

Fable Progress

Both sides are done. Next is joining at the shoulders and sides and seed stitch neckline and armholes, not necessarily in that order. I really hate seaming and finishing, mostly because I suck at it. Maybe I should make that a new year’s resolution. To become proficient at seaming and finishing. Right. Maybe not.

Hopefully the next picture I post will be the FO pic. Right. Maybe not.


Silverknits and I met in blogland and realized we have such a connection. Our knitting obsession, our taste in patterns, our preferred yarns, our body types (she’s petite, while I’m shrimpy and chunky – okay that part’s not so similar), our kids, these are some of our similarities. A while back we were both blogging about the same yarn, Artful Yarns Fable made of cotton and silk, our love for it and the need for a good pattern. Lo! Our mini fable-along was born. We decided on Blue Sky’s Ribbon Shell pattern, and after many delays, we finally found the time to start it up. Our first kal of the year, albeit a mini kal, began this past Monday.

My progress so far, one side done. The color looks pinker than it actually is, although it’s closer to the shade in the picture on the left. The yarn is a twist of 4 colors, deep red, medium red, pink and orange, so it’s kind of tweedy looking. My swatch on US 7s was way too small, and the swatch on 8s was only marginally better. I didn’t want to go to 9s because I thought the fabric would be too flimsy, so I did the math and am knitting 2 or 3 sizes up. I’m happy to say it has worked so far, because the one finished size is the right width. Ahhhh, I love it when that happens. Hopefully, I’ll post another progress shot in a few days.

Remember when I was a knitster on “Knitty Gritty” last month? They asked me to post this message because they’re looking for some unique knitting groups, so here ya go.

The producers of “Knitty Gritty” are looking for uniqueknitting groups for a one-hour special. We are looking in the Los Angeles area and nationwide. It may be a formal group or informal, but we’re searching for groups with a”story” or extra-special quality. Maybe a sports team/league who knits together on the bus rides, a group of Harley bikers who knit together, a group who hit various pubs and knit while they visit, OR people who knit for a purpose/cause. Contact Joy Wingard at