Monthly Archives: October 2007

FO: Samhain Stockings

Just in time for the end of Socktoberfest, I have a completed pair of socks! Perhaps what I have lacked this month in numbers is made up a bit by length and festiveness?

autumn knee-high socks

Samhain Stockings!

I knit these most of the way to and from Virginia (hooray for car-knitting time!), and so have completed them in about 2 weeks. They’re a simple sock ‘recipe” — toe-up socks on the magic loop, though I knit these one at a time.

autumn sock details
Short row heel and toe.

Varying my game a bit, all the while keeping things simple for work the car, I used a shot-row toe to perfectly match my short-row heel, both out of my solid-coloured yarn. This actually kept things really neat — 56 stitches total, 28 per side, and when I’d knit about halfway up my leg (where one would cast off for a regular sock), I increased 2 stitches every fifth row four times, so that I had a 64 stitch sock (both of these numbers are ones I’m used to with sock-knitting). Then I just knit until I ran out of yarn (seriously: sock #1 is slightly longer than the other!), joined in the solid yarn again, and knit twisted-stitch 1×1 ribbing until I was done! I cast off in the ‘Russian’ way, which I like, but I may have to run some elastic thread through it to keep the socks on if I’m doing a lot of walking.

autumn knee-highs

Samhain Stockings
Pattern: generic toe-up socks (see above)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in “Autumn” (one skein, divided in half), and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in “Chocolate”
Needles: 1 long 2.25mm circular (magic loop)
Started & Finished: October 2007!

zombie cat
This Hallowe’en I have no costume, though I did wear my new stockings today. Arddu, however, is going out as a Zombie!!

Happy Hallowe’en!!



Filed under FOs, how-to, knitting, socks

Good Mail:Surprise Prize!

When I got home (late) yesterday, there was a happy surprise waiting for me!


A bundle of fibre from Katie!!

2oz. Stick & Stone natural soysilk roving; 2oz Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks’ Dyeworks “Hallie’s Berries” merino/tencel roving.

A while back she had posted a contest to guess where she would be taking her honeymoon, and I guessed correctly (Niagara Falls, of course!). She also was here in Toronto, but with her busy newlywed schedule we didn’t manage to meet up. Anyway, this is the first blog contest I’ve ever won, so yay for that –Thanks so much Katie!

Well, I was really needed something cheerful to pull me out of my funk, and who can’t help being happy about pretty rovings to spin? Inspired by MamboCat‘s post on spinning for All Hallows, I think tonight I’ll take out a spindle and begin working on that lovely merino/tencel.


Filed under fibre, good mail, spinning, Uncategorized

Limited Time Only

I’m really bummed out right now. Have you ever seen The Princess Shawl over at Heirloom Knitting? It’s amazing. It’s complex, and beautiful, and challenging. And it (the pattern, I should clarify) is also only available once every five years.

I have been eyeing this pattern for about three years now, before I even really could knit lace. I have been anticipating it’s release, have even set little reminders in my electronic calendar about this pattern.

It’s out now (a few days before I thought it would be even), and probably will be sold out quickly. Unfortunately for me, it’s price is set at twenty pounds (about $40 Cdn), and considering all my financial state, that’s about forty Canadian dollars more than I have to spend on a pattern alone.

I know I probably shouldn’t rant about money woes on a blog, but I have been wanting this pattern literally for years (and you have probably noticed I don’t plan my projects, or pay for patterns very often). So there it is — I’m sad because of a pattern I can’t have.

Well, misery loves company, so they say. So how about anyone who can sympathize with me here leave a comment with the story of your unattainable knits, or send me a link to the pattern/book/kit of your unfulfillable dreams. We’ll commiserate, and maybe if I get enough tales of knitting woe I’ll send someone chocolate.


Filed under knitting, lace, rambling, ranting

Virginia Vacation

I’m back from vacation, safe and sound. There was a lot of car time, so I knit socks:

autumn socks
STR “Autumn” and Lorna’s Laces “Chocolate”. One knee-high sock done, the other is at about this state now.

Sadly, I bought no yarn, nor fibre. I did, however, see some sheep in Colonial Williamsburg:

leister longwools

Leicester Longwools from the Williamsburg flocks.

These cuties are Leicester Longwools, a period-appropriate breed for colonial times. I got to hear a fair bit about the breed history (what does it say about me that the one thing on the programme I don’t want to miss is the sheep presentation?), and marvelled at the staple length — about 10″! I have got to get me some longwool, y’all.

In the “Me? A tourist?” category, I may have taken a photo of a possum. But he was right outside our hotel! and he was not, as I originally feared, a skunk, so that fact alone endeared him to me.

Not a skunk.

And finally I leave you with a photo of a very odd bush, taken from a parking lot behind a Waffle House. What the heck kind of bush has pink, purple, blue, and teal berries?!?

strange berry bush
Don’t know what it is, but it sure is pretty!


Filed under out & about, rambling, socks

Good Mail: October surprise!

What’s this, Max?
SP package

No, kitty, that’s not for you!
SP goodies

That’s some merino/tencel roving, a skein of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in “Velvet Plum”, and some cute “EMILY” stitch markers — it must be an October surprise package from my Secret Pal! Thanks Secret Pal!

Ok, so I’ve had time to blog this before we need to head out — think I have time to wind off that new skein? Nah, probably shouldn’t…


Filed under exchanges, fibre, good mail, yarn

Should / Not

Things I should be doing right now:
– finishing the ironing
– Packing for my trip
– laying out work clothes
– Relaxing with tea
– Going to bed at reasonable time

Things I should not be doing right now:
– worrying about not having knitting for the trip
– spending 1/2 hour looking a knitting patterns
– contemplating winding up skeins of sock yarn
– cursing Cobblestone for “ruining me for knitting”
– worrying about not yet posting FO photos for Cobblestone
– blogging

Yarn Chaser:

Misti Alpaca Worsted, from my Secret Pal. To become fingerless mitts?


Filed under rambling

Virgina fiber tourism?

Anyone know some fun fiber destinations in Virginia? I’ll be travelling down there later this week for a cousin’s wedding, and plan to take a bit of time wending our way back home by way of lovely historical towns and autumn-bright hills.

I’ll just be missing the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, but perhaps there are smaller-scale things happening during the week somewhere? Let me know if you know of a great LYS in Richmond or Williamsburg, a cool spinning shop along the I95, or any other little stops along the way!

I’ll also be travelling through a fair bit of Pennsylvania, some of New York, and perhaps briefly through Maryland. Any hidden gems there?

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Filed under out & about, rambling, Uncategorized


I should feel happy: I’m at home for the evening, little responsibility and lots of time to knit. I need some withdraw time, some space to pull back away from the work-stress and back into myself. I’ve got yarn in the stash (as my last post can attest! and that’s only a part of it), and have spent the last half hour browsing Ravelry. I have even made an accomplishment, which came out wonderfully.

And yet….

I miss knitting Cobblestone. (Points to Lani for guessing correctly from the teaser photo!) After months of knitting bigger and bigger challenges (from cables to lace to the MCW sock-in-progress) I finally discovered the joy of just plain knitting. That joy of simply of working with mid-sized needles and nice yarn and an easy but so very clever pattern. But it all went by so fast, so that at Lettuce Knit last night the grafting was grafted and the edge was bound off and the ends were woven in. It went from nothing to finished, and I barely had time to appreciate it all.

I will post photos soon (lets hope the weather stops being horrible) — Dru loves it so much he set it to block this afternoon while I was still at work! For now I just miss having that comforting knit to sit with and be simple with for a while. My plain-jane sock isn’t cutting it, and the sweater I want to start for myself is going to take brainpower. I’ll get over it, I’m sure; I’ll figure out something to do with myself for one evening, but I just don’t feel as relaxed as I was hoping.

So tell me, what’s your favourite simple knit? What project have you missed once it was done?


Filed under knitting, rambling

Flash your stash challenge

For the most recent SP11 contest in my group, we are too show photographic evidence of our yarn acquisitions.

Some of you out there have your stash in lovely, neat containers, or filed away in some organized system. I, however, am more of the Yarn Harlot camp, in which stash gets crammed just about everywhere to help aid in the illusion that I really don’t have that much yarn. The following photos may lead you to believe otherwise, but I stand by my affirmation that I could use more.

Flashing the Stash, part A: The Living Room
(I’ve added notes in Flickr to some of these photos.)

stash beside couch

This is the WIP pile that sits beside the couch. The giant stack of printed patterns lurks beneath the tea tray.

some of the stash
Most of the stash that lives in the living room is designated for projects in the queue, so that’s why it stays ‘on hand’. Also, I am ascribing to the “hidden in plain sight” attack.

stash on bookcase
On the bookcase, the “WIP basket” has quickly and quietly exploded to take over the surrounding shelves. A fair bit of my handspun gravitates here. This is also the area where knitting books, magazines, and printed stuff live.

stash in bag
This doctor’s bag of stash is a newcomer: I spilled a drink directly into the KnitPicks delivery box, and needed to come up with a new yarn receptacle, fast!

Stash behind the TV
More of the KnitPicks wouldn’t fit into the doctor’s bag, so I crammed it behind the tv. I’d be more ashamed of this is I wasn’t rapidly using it up.

Yes, that is the yarn stash in the living room.
No, that is not the full extent of the stash.
Yes, next time I will show either the “craft room” (ha!) stash (where fibre things are supposed to live), or perhaps the spinning fibre that’s in the living room.
No, I do not think I have a problem…

Now if you will excuse me, I need to neaten the living room slightly since Kelly is coming to visit (though she, if anyone, will understand the stash!), and then get back to decreasing the stash with my new favourite knit:

knit in progress


Filed under knitting, rambling, Uncategorized, yarn

Autumn Tea Cozy

You asked for it! Here’s my pattern for the Tea Cozy I made for my K1T2Swap pal.

Autumn Tea Cozy

autumn tea cozy
This is just the right thing to keep your tea nice and hot while you curl up with a cuppa and a good book after a stroll through the autumn leaves.

~ 1 skein Noro Kureyon (or other worsted-weight yarn)
~ 5mm small circular needle and some 5mm dpns (or 2 circs, or a really long circ. for Magic Loop, what ever suits your fancy!)
~ 2 3mm dpns
~ 1 stitch marker
~ tapestry needle
~ crochet hook (opt.)

C/O 80 sts.
Join in the round — remember not to twist them! Place a marker to show beginning of rounds.

Picot hem
Rounds 1-3: knit all sts.
Round 4: *yo, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Rounds 5-7: knit all sts.
Round 8: Folding right side inward at yarn-over row, pick up 1 cast-on stitch and knit it together (as K2tog) with the corresponding live stitch. Note: If you don’t want to be this fancy, you can simply ignore this round and whip stitch the hem up at the end.

Next round: knit all sts.
Continue in St. st. until you have approx. 2″ (more for taller teapots) from picot hem.

Make handle opening:
Knit 1 round. Turn.
Purl to marker. Turn. Note: You are now effectively knitting flat!
Repeat these two rows until work measures approx. 3-3.5″ from beginning of handle opening.

Make spout opening:
(RS): K38 sts, k2tog, yo twice, ssk, k38sts, turn.
(WS): P39, drop double yo on needles, yo twice, p39, turn.
(RS): K39, drop double yo on needles, yo twice, K39, turn.
(WS):P39, drop double yo on needles, yo twice, p39, turn.
(RS):K40,p1, k39. (80 sts total, as ever.)
Note: Just let these dropped double yarn-overs dangle for now. Trust me!

Spiral Decrease:
Note: you will now resume knitting in the round. Re-place your marker if you’ve dropped it!
Next round: knit all stitches.
Dec. round 1: *K8, k2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 2 and all even rounds: K all sts.
Dec. round 3: *K7, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 5: *K6, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 7: *K5, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 9: *K4, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 11: *K3, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 13: *K2, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 15: *K1, K2tog* (rep. to end)
Dec. round 17: *k2tog* 8 times. 8 sts. remain.
Break yarn leaving a long tail. Thread yarn through all sts. and pull tight to close. Sew one or two tack stitches inside cozy by spiral join.

Top Loop
Thread yarn tail back up through center and either make a crochet cord or i-cord approx. 2″ long. Bring end of yarn back down through center, sew a few tack stitches, and weave in end.

Knitted Leaves
You can use 5mm needles, or smaller ones, your choice. I knit 2 small leaves and 1 large leaf.
tea cozy leaves

C/O 3 sts.
Row 1: Knit all sts.
Row 2: Purl all sts.
Row 3: K1, yo, k1, yo, k1
Row 4 and all even rows: Purl all sts.
Row 5: K2, yo, k1, yo, k2
Row 7:K3, yo, k1, yo, k3
Row 9: ssk, k5, k2tog.
Row 11: ssk, k3, k2tog.
Row 13: ssk, k1, k2tog.
Row 15: Sl1, k2tog, psso.
Thread tail through last stitch, pull tight. Weave in ends.
Note: to get colour variation for the leaves, I broke the yarn where I liked the colour, knit my leaves, broke yarn from leaves, and then rejoined the two ends with a spit-felted join.

Your top loop has already taken care of one end! If you don’t want a top loop, though, just pull your yarn threaded through the 8 top stitches tightly and weave in the end.
If you did not knit your picot hem together, then sew it up now, folding it in at yarn-over row and whip-stitching around. (Be generous with your sewing yarn, you want the cozy to be stretchy!)
Snip the dropped yarn-overs at the center of the spout opening, pull the little tails tightly, and weave these ends in.
Artfully arrange your leaves and tack-stitch them where ever you choose.
Go make a pot of tea!

The Fine Print:
This may be my first written-out pattern, and it may have some problems, but it’s still mine and I’m kind-of proud of it. Please don’t repost or reprint it (in whole or in portion) without my permission, lest you suffer a terrible fate. Likewise, you may not make items from this pattern for sale, or doom shall fall upon you.

You may, however, print up as many copies for personal use as you like! Make cozies for yourself, or for gifts! Feel free link to it from your own blog/website; that would make me happy! And of course, I’d love to hear back from any of you who make one, and hope to see your photos!

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

ED: My pattern is already linked up in Ravelry! How cool is that?

ED: There was an error in the math for knitting the spout! It has been fixed above. (Dec.17, 2007)

ED: Wow — hello all you folks from Rachel’s Knitting Room! You’ve certainly played havoc with my stats :) I hope you enjoy the pattern! (Jan. 16, 2008)


Filed under free patterns, knitting