October 31, 2007


The high altitude socks have been completed before the end of Socktober. Only one pair for me this year. I'm extremely happy with them though.

Oak Rib Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks
Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch Softcolours

Aside from the previously mentioned toe modification and a slightly shorter leg these were worked as written. The yarn has a bit of elastic in it, which took a little getting used to (keeping an even tension seems to be key). The stitch definition is still good, though I don't think it would be ideal for detailed texture work.

A shot of the modified round toe for Sarah (who seems to have the cold now). There is still a little extra fabric drawing in towards the closure, but probably not enough to be noticeable. When I get a report from the recipient, I'll pass it along. These are now making yet another high altitude trip back to France to Adam.

So far I've resisted the siren song of the lace knitting and cast on for the first Christmas gift knit. Another hat. I love to cable and this one is going quickly. It's easy to be optimistic in the early days, isn't it?

This yarn turns out to be an excellent match for the little Japanese maple in the front garden. This is the last tree to turn in the autumn and with the time change coming this weekend, it really is starting to feel like winter is on the way.

October 30, 2007

The Signs of My Undoing

Anne Hanson, genius lace designer has done it again. If you haven't seen the Cluaranach, go now. Right now. I'll wait.

Gah!! The thistle pattern! The Scots Gaelic! The wearable rectangularnes. I'm in lurve. And (and!) I have yarn in the stash that may have been waiting for this pattern all its life.

Must....knit....Christmas gifts.....


October 29, 2007


The little hat is finished and embellished and ready to be popped in the mail to start winging its way to the birthday girl.

The basic template is the Inca Snowflake from Itty Bitty Hats. The edging reveals my lack of dexterity where the crochet hook is concerned, but I'm really happy with the overall result. It is being modeled there by a one liter wide-mouth Nalgene bottle, which doesn't really help the shape. Here's the flat shot.

Still cute. However if hat knitting is going to continue at this pace, I'm going to have to think about getting one of those Styrofoam heads. Where does one even look for something like that?

I've been searching through hat patterns on Ravelry and plotting more gift knits. This may reach knitting jag proportions.

Joyeux anniversaire, Jeanne!

October 25, 2007

Blank Canvas

Once I recovered my senses enough to knit straight I zipped through the little hat in just a couple of evenings.

Doesn't look like much yet, but there is embellishment yet to come. That's the fun part.

The yarn is Patons Decor, which is 75% acrylic. Does anyone know if they've changed the 'formula' for this? I used Decor a few years ago for a couple of kid projects (washability, ya know) and didn't like it at all. Squeaky, sticky, kinda stiff - the usual complaints about the genre. This ball (and the three others I picked up recently) seem better. The label still lists 75% acrylic 25% wool and says it's machine washable. It's not something I'd use for a real garment, certainly, but the hand isn't all that bad.

The second high altitude sock is nearly complete. The pattern calls for a round toe, which I've never used before. It's easy to work and looks kind of cool so I'll be interested to hear if the fit is as good as my usual toe. I did modify it slightly: I don't like the little hole that inevitably results when drawing the tail through live stitches to close the top, so I reduced down to 16 sts as directed by the pattern, then closed as usual. Sort of a modified round toe, I guess, but I find that little flat bit pleasing.

I finally got a copy of the Interweave Knits Gifts Special today so now I can start my holiday knit list in earnest. I'm thinking more hats.

October 21, 2007

Brain Fog

I have the cold. It seems to be going around and I (foolishly) thought I had dodged it. No such luck. Whether to blame the recirculated airplane air or variety of contaious people I have contacted since my return to Canada seems irrelevant now.

I should have seen it coming. I was willing to attribute the tiredness to jet lag, then I started craving sugar. Then the stupid knitting mistakes. I cast on this hat late last week, a gift for someone with a fourth birthday coming up.

Those sticking out bits on the sides will be ear flaps. I strongly considered ignoring the pattern, picking up stitches and adding them at the end. But there is an edging to come, and to keep it smooth I followed instructions, knit the flaps first and held them on DPNs to be joined with the cast on row. And join them to the cast on row I did. Backwards.


Clearly the virus had already begun it's invasion. The flaps are on the right way round now, but the brain fog remains and means that progress has been somewhat slow. Must get on with it though, the gift knitting season is truly upon us and I already feel like I'm behind. I'm trying to keep my knitting list manageable this year. Any bets?

October 18, 2007

Actual knitted things!

The Fabric of the Cosmos bag was in fact completed and felted in time for my departure. I was concerned that I may have over felted it, in fact, but I've decided that I'm really happy with the results. Those big, wide stripes are so little now! It's a good, useful size for carrying a book and MP3 device and sock in progress (the necessities of daily life, in other words). The straps have stretched out a tiny bit, but I can always re-knot them. I'm calling the bag a success and suspect that I'll get lots of use out of it.

The secret unblogable knitting on the other hand was not finished before departure. At some point when I was knitting exhausted at 3 a.m. I decided that I had to give up. It just wasn't going to happen. I did finish it while in Grenoble though. Here's a peek - a full post is coming on this soon. It's s scarf for the coming winter, accurately described by Adam as being both wavy (his department) and wooly (mine).

The Beryl socks were finished as well and seem to have been a big hit.

The Socks that Rock Midweight does work up thick and results in a cushy sock. Despite my yardage worries there was plenty left over so I probably could have gone an inch longer in the leg. My only minor issue was that there was a lot of change in the colour way from the beginning of the skein to the end. Some of this is to be expected with the hand paints, of course, but for whatever reason this was enough to make me batty. I ended up cutting out some largish sections and weaving a lot of ends on the second sock to get a better "pair".

In another example of my personal knitting lunacy I stayed up the night before I left and cast a sock onto bamboo DPNs for plane knitting. Typically I would rather drive tiny bamboo DPNs under my nails than actually knit a sock with them. Once again though I have been pleasantly surprised by the superior smoothness of the SR Kertzer brand. I was concerned that my usual aluminium needles would raise additional suspicions at the security scan. I have no idea if that would have happened or not, but the sock beginnings on bamboo got through without any comment.

So I knit on them on the plane, and I knit on them in Pearson International (layover) and on another plane and on the TGV and even on the regional Rhone-Alpes train between Lyon and Grenoble. The pattern in Oak Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, but they have been nick-named the High Altitude Socks, and they'll be my Socktober project this year. The yarn is Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch softcolor. The colours shift in a pleasing and subtle way.

First one all done and second in the gusset shaping. Sorry about the iffy photo. Though it still felt a bit like late summer when I left here, I returned to autumn in full force and it is a dark and stormy afternoon.

This post makes me look much more productive than I've felt. That chevron scarf I was going to knit while I was away? Well.....that's another story for another post.

October 16, 2007


So not only did I fail to blog before I left for France, I didn't blog while I was in France. Despite assuring several people that I would (and therefor leading my brother to read a knitting blog, something which he normally would not do).

What can I tell you? It wasn't lack of time or lack of knitting or even lack of Internet access. I just didn't know where to start and so I never did.

There is a lot of change happening in my life right now. And while it's all good, it's a lot. Some of which can't yet be shared here. But this is above all a knitting blog so there will be knitting posts in the near future. Really.

How was France? France was awesome.