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Lift and Separate September 17, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Big Girl Knits, Knit Alongs, knitting, plus size, Rhinebeck, sweater.

Sounds terribly suggestive, doesn’t it? Let me reassure you… it is.

First and foremost the requisite pitiful attempt to justify where I have been during my weeks of silence. I do think I had a pretty good excuse this time… the dreaded horror of moving. Not only did I move, but I landed in Orlando, FL where it seems like fiber crafters have to justify their very craftiness. That said, they seem to be a dedicated bunch. I am very much looking forward to knitting, spinning, and weaving guild meetings.

I have begun my first knitting-with-a-deadline project in a long time. Why the insanity? Because I want something fun to wear at Rhinebeck. Silly I know. I am not the kind of person that wears handknits to Knit Nights or the LYS. But something about New York State in fall and a wool as far as the eye can see makes me want something cozy.

So this weekend I cast on Lift and Separate from Big Girl Knits. Which meant I got to join the Official Fluffy Sweater-Along on Ravelry which is a great joy. Fluffy knitters unite! Ahem. Too bad they don’t yet have a group (that I have found anyway) for procrastinating, easily distracted knitters. We shall see if there is any chance in hell of my finishing this over the next few weeks. Ha! A long shot, but fun nevertheless.

After all, if you are going to knit a suggestively low cut, wrap sweater it might as well be red! This is in Elann’s Pure Alpaca in the garnet colorway.

Slow Bee MS3 July 20, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in beads, Knit Alongs, knitting, knitting lace, lace knitting, MS3, Mystery Stole 3, sloth.

Believe it or not, I am one of the happy participants in Mystery Stole 3 – a wonderful knitalong which gives you a new piece of an undisclosed lace stole pattern each week. This is an original pattern, one of many fabulous patterns by Melanie who is now leading this madness for the third time.

I say believe it or not because while the much awaited fourth clue was released this morning, I have just churned my slow way to finishing clue number one. What can I say? It is summer, I have been working, and one thing I have learned not to rush is lace.

Ignore that red thread up there. It is just a life line – the first of many. One of the things I am really enjoying (to my surprise) is the use of beads in this stole. I don’t normally think of myself as a beads and lace kind of woman, but this has been a pile of fun. Maybe it is that I am finally getting to use my size 12 crochet hook that I snagged about a year ago at Lacis in Berkeley.

I chose size 8 beads in a “green iris” colorway – a blend of greens, golds, bronzes, purples, and pinkish beads to complement the JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk Yarn in Sable. The effect is subtle, but much more noticeable on the stole than in the pic. Still you get the idea.

So I am “slow bee” according to the MS3 group – and I am proud. Just in case some of you are thinking derogatory thoughts… here is proof that sloths (maligned, in my opinion) are truly adorable. I ran into this one a couple of days ago at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Babies on the Road July 14, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in baby surprise jacket, baby sweater, Elizabeth Zimmerman, fo, Knit Alongs, knitting, Knitting - FOs, Project Spectrum 2.0.
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I travel a lot. My work draws me back and forth across the United States, usually coming back to rest somewhere in the middle.

I knit a lot of socks.

As you know, socks are the most polite type of knitting to bring on airplanes, and that reality has wedded me almost permanently to the world of 16 inch, size two circular needles. Two by preference.

But then recently I decided to carry somewhat else with me on the road. And one evening, by the blue light of a laptop left on way too far past work hours, I began this:


Everyone seems to have tried Elizabeth Zimmerman’s baby surprise jacket at some point in their knitting career. I had to try it myself. Her almost cryptic directions called to me. I admit it. I was investing in the knitting origami of the future.

Fold A to A and B to B and sew up these two little seams and voila!

It just did not seem possible. Such a bizarre shape… talk about flying on faith. I finished this jacket at a large annual convention in Portland, City of Roses – see below. That may be why I did not manage to capture a final amoeboid shape pic before the origami ensued. Enter the baby surprise jacket.

This has already been sent to Baby N’s parents… awaiting his arrival in less than two months now! I used Mountain Colors Barefoot for the main body and Knit Picks sock yarn doubled for the button band. And I used one extra button. Ahem. Pretty much because I had six.

I was not thinking about the Project Spectrum colors as I started this, but by happy coincidence it definitely counts. Ha. And here I thought I was totally slacking off behind.

They Really Are Blue! February 28, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, Project Spectrum 2.0.
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I decided to post a pic of my Broad Street convertible gloves/mittens in progress just to prove that I am, actually, knitting something blue.

You will note the bagginess of the glove… these are not for me but for a friend whose hands are much larger than mine. Having never worked on gloves of any sort, I am enjoying watching the construction of these unfold. That said, I seem to be spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking about someone else’s finger crotches. Which is troublesome.

Of course the mitten part of this left hand-warmer has not yet come into being. I am still working out how to adapt this to add for a “thumb flap” since my friend wants all of his “gripping surfaces” available to him.

Really, this project has been pure comedy. Stay tuned.

From Cincinnati, to Savannah, to D.C. February 19, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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This poor sock has travelled long and far. I pretty much refused to work on it while not on a plane, other than its toe and the very top of its ribbing.

It began its formation in Cincinnati during a friend’s guitar lesson, and after that grew mainly above ground. It took a brief detour to the warmth of Savannah, and then finally made its way to our capital.  Finally this evening (after returning from Washington, DC) I took pity on it, finished the last half inch of ribbing and wove the ends in.

The pattern on the leg is a simple twin rib (known to many as rib of doom!).

Poor thing was starting to collect frequent flyer miles!

Travelling February 8, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.


I have been away from the blog for a while. Mainly because I have been travelling. I discovered today just how bad the photo capabilities are on my phone… apologies all around.

 I simply wanted to prove that I too am making sure to knit socks in public (though I always have) after the Rockin’ Sock Club saga of last month. This is today’s undertaking, on an airplane from Cincinnati to Chicago, using Socks that Rock in the Puck’s Mischief colorway. You can tell it’s an airplane by the seat back tray tables. I know that I am too late for the contest, but it seemed like a good idea to document just the same.

I figured that there is enough blue in this yarn to qualify it for Project Spectrum 2.0. And if not, well, things will have to wait until I arrive home again. At least this continues to serve as polite knitting, though the other day a fellow passenger stopped on the return trip from the bathroom to inform me that it was unfair that I could take my knitting needles on the plane.


Needles, needles, needles October 31, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in jaywalkers, Knit Alongs, knitting, lace knitting, Socktoberfest, yarn.

These past few days have been showered in knitting needles. First… a moment of silence for the recently frogged Birch Leaf lace socks. They were super cute! They were growing… but the neon-glare of an intensely turquoise spiral up and through the lace was taking away from the beauty of the pattern. That Lorna’s Laces Baltic Sea colorway will have to be used for something else that highlights its beauty. Has anyone else made gorgeous socks from this colorway?

So… one pair of empty Addis. So sad.

Next I decided it was critical to begin work on the gorgeous Socktoberfest colorway from Scout’s Swag before the end of Socktoberfest. After much careful thought (and almost succumbing to a mosaic plan) I decided that it might be time to give in to the tidal wave of Jaywalkers taking over the net. In truth the pattern does bring out the beauty of the yarn. So here is that first beginning on a set of Inox needles… I am enjoying the sharper points:

One final set of needles? You bet… seven in fact! This first attempt at doily making (don’t ask me what I was thinking) was supposed to be done on three needles, but as it is a hexagon, seven seemed easier for actually checking the pattern. I have never blocked pearl cotton before… should be fun!

A blessed Samhain to all! May your ancestors treat you with kindness this evening.

FO: Socktoberfest Goal Met! October 27, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, Knitting - FOs, sock wars, Socktoberfest.

I am just so pleased I cannot stand myself. All of my socks from yesteryear have been completed and I even added in another pair of socks of doom for myself. Woo hoo! This from the Empress of a Million WIPs.

The amazing thing is that I am not yet sick of socks! You would think with all the reading, knitting, dying (a la Sock Wars), and frogging that I would have had enough. But no… I am thinking of Jaywalkers with Scout’s Socktoberfest yarn.

Maybe that is a good thing. I travel so much for work that I had better not get sick of knitting socks. Of course, moving from California to a wintery place means that I should invest more time in those two sweaters currently on the needles. It is COLD here. Sheesh.

 Anyway… this is me admiring my warm toesies. May you all have toasty hand-knit socks to protect you from the Wintersmith.

FO: Catching up! October 24, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, Knitting - FOs, Socktoberfest.
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This is definitely my first Socktoberfest miracle… completing this basic stockinette pair of socks that I started two years ago! You see, this became the Yarn of Infamy. Imagine it… you are three quarters of the way through your sock using self-striping sock yarn. Then you come across… a knot. This has happened to me with other yarns (it always pisses me off), but this case was particularly obnoxious. Why you ask? Because the knot was made with complete disregard for the striped patterning of the sock.


So I had to frog enough to weave in, cut out tons of yarn until we were back to the right place in the patterning and then finish the sock. So I am of the belief that it is not entirely my fault that working on the second sock took so long. This was no regular second sock syndrome.

 That said I am amazed and delighted to report that I have caught up with my sock knitting! The oldest socks I have in progress went on the needles about two weeks ago. Huzzah. So… the polite socks of doom are just missing one cuff, they should be done soon. And the Birch Leaf socks are progressing slowly. Surely I have been sooooooo good that I can finally cast on with Scout’s Socktoberfest yarn, or maybe that luscious new Lorna’s Laces in their flame colorway.

 Decisions, decisions….

A Socktoberfest Book Review October 18, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, Socktoberfest.

I have been doing tons of reading this Socktoberfest. I have now gone through every book on sock knitting in my local library, and I thought it might be worth sharing some of that information with the rest of you. No one really needs every sock book in print on their shelves, so I am hoping that these reviews might save you from taking too much money away from The Yarn Stash. If you have other books that you want to review, please leave a link in the comments so the rest of us can benefit. There are indeed other sock books out there. Unfortunately I returned several before thinking of doing this, so there are some great texts that have gone unfairly unnoticed. Please help me to correct that. 



Vogue Knitting Socks

Color, color, color! This little book (just bigger than an outstretched hand) is full of color work and interesting little details. With only three lace patterns and a scattering of textures, these patterns mainly focus on using color in creative and traditional ways.


The Vogue sock book has what I would call a medium-low level of basic sock knitting instructional detail. It includes some advice on sock construction, yarn types and substitutions, very general descriptions of color work methods, and a few diagrams of casting on methods and the
Kitchener stitch. Also the familiar U-shaped pompom template for those making golf socks. There is some also some advice on gauge, blocking methods, and useful crochet stitches. But nothing is covered in great detail.


To be honest, this book is pretty low on my list of possible purchases, but it would travel quite well if you are looking for a pocketbook sized sock book.

Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles 


This book by Cat Bordhi is a well known classic that many have used on the journey away from dpns (I know, I know, many of you love them). If you have longed to work your socks on two circulars, this is the book for you. The Magic Loop method is not covered in this book.

This is not a very full volume. It contains mainly an overview of the technique (with very useful photos), some tips and tricks of the trade, and also some sock patterns formulated specifically for use with two circular needles. I found the section on translation a traditional pattern the most useful. The patterns in this book did not wow me, but the technique itself is one that I prefer, so if you have not yet ventured into this method of sock knitting, give Cat’s book a whirl.


Knitting Vintage Socks



This is just one of Nancy Bush’s well known knitting books. She is our resident historian, celebrating the methods and traditions that are still inspiring us unto this day. What I appreciated most about this book was its focus on the history of sock knitting. There is a great deal of information on the many and varied ways that socks are put together. Dutch, German, Welsh, or French? All of these heels types have diagrams, instructions, and advice. There is equal diversity among the demonstrated toes. This book definitely helped me to better understand why we do the things we do when we knit socks. Well… not everything, but you understand.


There are also many beautiful patterns in here with a classic feel. There is a great deal of texture and lace, with less color work than some other books I have seen. In these patterns you will find the foundation of many that are published in places like Knitty or MagKnits.


Knee-high lovers will find some great stocking patterns in this collection. If you are looking for timeless, traditional looks and a better understanding of the essence of sock knitting, this is the book for you.


Sensational Knitted Socks



This book has been much touted in the socktoberfest flickr group as a favorite in our community. I have to agree with everyone else. If you can only purchase one sock book, this is the one I would recommend.

What I love about Charlene Schurch’s work is that it contains more practical information than any other I have read. Everything from shoe sizes to knitting techniques to troubleshooting can be found within these pages with clear, helpful diagrams.


What makes this book so versatile is that every single pattern is given with instructions for 4dpns, 5dpns, and 2 circulars. There is something to learn from each sock project, and the range is wonderful. You will find lace, color work, and texture in these pages. And every project has a variety of possible patterned stitches within it.


This is a treasure trove! As the back of the book says, “This is the only book on sock knitting you’ll EVER need! Choose virtually any yarn, gauge, stitch pattern, and size you like – with nearly 1000 variations, the possibility for knitting fashionable to funky socks will last a lifetime.”


Socks Socks Socks



This book is a close close close second to Sensational Knitted Socks. What I love most about this text is the surprising collection of patterns; most of them bringing a new spin on a timeless article of clothing.

Here you will find 70 winning patterns from the Knitter’s Magazine Contest, edited by Elaine Rowley. There are things I had never dreamed of in here – from knitting socks with licorice laces, to embedded poetry, to piggy toes, and back again. I love the dragons whose tails wrap all the way around the sock leg. This book is a must have for lovers of knee-highs and those who like a little adventure in their knitting.


Who knew that socks could be constructed of colorful blocks, or that pattern’s for kids could be so wonderful (I am going to have to covert some of these for larger feet).


You will find very little sock knitting technique taught in this book, so if you are looking for help with basic sock construction I would look elsewhere. But if you are ready for new patterns to inspire your knitting… look no further.