July 29, 2009


One week until I leave for the Sock Summit! I'm getting my class supplies together, which sounds simple enough, but it's actually a process fraught with uncertainties.

I find myself asking weighty questions such as "what two colors of smooth worsted wool would really impress Barbara Walker?" [who knows? all her stitch dictionaries are in black and white...] and "Does Meg Swansen approve of semi-solids?" [probably not, since Schoolhouse Press doesn't carry any...] Also, "Bohus knitting: traditional colors, or something quirky and original?" [I can't even begin to guess]. It's enough to make my head explode.

One thing I know for sure: I'll thank Nancy Bush for requiring us to buy a class pack instead of bringing our own yarn. Easy, peasy.

Yarn chosen specifically to convey the fact that I am a serious yet playful knitter who enjoys windy days at the beach and chasing fireflies.

Thankfully, only one of my classes requires actual homework, and small, fun homework at that. That there is the beginning of my wee-bitty child-sized arch-shaped stocking for Meg Swansen's class. We have to work it down to the heel flap so we can get straight to the juicy arch-shaped bits in class.

Now if I can get over the fact that I'm sacrificing my beautiful discontinued Fleece Artist 100% Washable Merino (which MS will probably not approve of) for a pair of small socks that won't fit anybody I know, I can move on and worry about the fact that I do not have time to finish my Snickets before the Sock Hop.

July 17, 2009

Mid-July Update

Summer is in full swing here at Chez Elliphantom. The morning glories are large and in charge and my summertime pets, the praying mantises, are hanging around and making me happy. There's a new laptop in residence, which pleases me no end (I started this post from the exotic location also known as "outside"). Not much earth-shattering on the knitting front...just lots of bite-sized projects for my short attention span.

hallo! I'm scarftastic!

You've probably already forgotten about this scarf (last seen in April), but I took somebody's advice and checked out the Daisy stitch. It looked pretty awesome on the right side...just the thing to break up the color patterns in the hand-dyed sock yarn...but I wasn't particularly smitten with the wrong side. Sortof unremarkably reverse-stockinetty. So I changed the stitch a bit and got something that pleases me more. It still looks about the same from the front. I didn't get a picture of the back. Oopsie!

I glove you

In other knitting news, I pulled my Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves out the other day and knocked out most of the second glove. Why don't I do more large-gauge colorwork? It knits up so quickly! I should do something to remedy that.

The most exciting news in these parts is that, in few weeks, I'm packing my suitcase and heading off to the Sock Summit in Portland! I'm registered for classes with Nancy Bush, Chrissy Gardiner, Meg Swansen, and Barbara Walker, and a lecture with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I have to pinch myself every time I look at that list!

A couple other project photos from earlier in the summer that never made it to the blog:

Rae's plain old socks. Now finished, but not photographed.

The Snickets. Oh the loveliness...

October 30, 2008

Finished: Yum Yum Cookie Socks

Thanks for all the cashmere love, guys! I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the yarn, but you can be sure it'll be colorful! Also, if you think you'd like to try the sweater-unraveling thing, make sure you poke around online and read a tutorial or two. There are lots of useful hints out there.

Now! On to some finished knitting:

get your shoes and socks's time to roll around on the lawn!

The Specs:
Pattern: My normal toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits; also in the book "Favorite Socks." {ravelink}
Yarn: Cookie A. Handpainted Sock Yarn, 1 skein
Needles: Bamboo dpns, size 1
Start to finish: Fall of 2007 - Fall of 2008
For: Kricket, on the occasion of her 25th birthday (Gifted in late September. On time!)

Another pair of plain old socks! This time I shook things up a bit and did a plain stockinette leg with a rolled top. As usual, I will refer you here if you are curious about the conversion to toe-upness.

The Yarn:
This Cookie A. Handpainted seems to be a pretty rare breed. Nice though! Squishy and lovely, and the colors are even better in person (these photos got a little washed out).

The Funky Thunky pose (I don't ask questions. I just do what he asks):
yes...I will be dressed as the Corpse Bride this Halloween. why do you ask?

Final Verdict: Faboo! Time to cast on for the next pair.

December 5, 2007

19 days

Christmas knitting is in full panic mode here at Chez Elliphantom. If there were a virtual elli-cam you could witness me flitting between projects and not being able to finish any of them because I keep distracting myself with something else I should be working on. I totally love the holidays. So productive. Too bad it makes me all twitchy. Here's our sampling for today:

First up, Mum’s blueberry-flavored Shetland Triangle:

Hello. I am silky and blue.

This project hasn’t managed to make it onto the blog yet for various reasons. Back in October I knitted almost an entire one of these in navy Cashsoft 4-ply before I decided that it wasn’t up to snuff (read: too chunky and blah-looking). So that version got sent to Project Purgatory to await its fate, and I ordered up a hank of Blue Moon silk thread in the Haida colorway. Much better. I’m knitting the shawl with the yarn doubled and it’s turning out just exactly as I’d envisioned. Hooray!

Ho there.

The Chicago cardigan for my sister Rae is on the home stretch. All parts are knitted and the main body of the sweater is assembled. Still left to do: picking up and knitting the neckband and buttonbands, weaving in ends, and sewing on all those dinky little flowerlings. Anybody want to come over and help with that? I’ll feed you Christmas cookies and homemade hot cocoa! Anybody? What, no takers? Darn.

The current Plain Old Socks:


The usual recipe. Knit with the rare and wonderful Cookie A. Handpainted Sock. Kricket has claimed this pair already and, since she’s worn the heck out of the last pair I gave her, I have no qualms about sending these her way. We’ll see if they get done by Christmas. They get lower priority since she did get a birthday knit this year.

In other knitting, the Argyll vest knitting is on hold until I get Chicago and the Shetland Triangle finished. More projects planned. Stay tuned.

p.s. those of you drooling over the fishie bobbins from the last post...I regret to inform you that I found them at the thrift store. I do recall that they were made by Phildar, and it looks as if they have some similar ones for sale on their website. I have no idea what shipping from France costs.

p.p.s. no links in this post. I have to get back to my knitting.

August 23, 2007

Finished: Luna Socks

Look, more socks!


The Specs:
Pattern: A toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits; also in the book "Favorite Socks."
Yarn: Luna Park Ornaghi Filati.
Skeins: 2 balls in colorway 203.
Needles: Bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 1.5.
Start to finish: June 16 - August 18.
For: Kricket, who claimed them first.

Hello. We are shortrow toes.

Another pair of two-month live-in-my-bag pull-out-when-I-have-a-spare-moment socks. Seems I consistently have about one socks-worth of free minutes a month. It is nice to know that it all adds up to something, isn't it? See what the non-knitters are missing out on? Accidental productiveness. Incidentally, non-knitters are also strangers to the thrill and danger of shot-gun sock knitting...each day knitters everywhere risk their lives knitting in the passenger seat. What if the airbag deploys during a minor fender-bender and causes the knitter to be impaled on their own bamboo dpns, turning a minor incident into a spleen-puncturing ordeal? Wait. I seem to have lost my train of thought. Oh yes...the socks.

I knitted these in pretty much the same manner that I did the last pair. If you are curious about my conversion to toe-upness you can find the details in that FO report.

The Yarn:
The yarn was pretty meh. Meh-ness previously blogged about back in July.

Always looking for new and thought-provoking angles, Thunk insisted that we take a few shots like this:

I like to think of it as the Wicked Witch of the East shot

Final Verdict: Soxy. Time to cast on another pair!

July 18, 2007

Goings on

Wow! It's kind of hard to come down from that Demi post, but I guess it's time to move on. Thanks much for all the thoughtful comments; I'm all pink and blushy here.

Getting back to the slightly more's the latest Plain Old Sock project I've been carrying around with me:


This is Luna Park, color 203* and you're looking at sock number two. I haven't posted about this project yet because, well, let's just say that I'm a bit underwhelmed. The colors aren't quite as charming knitted up as they were in ball-form, and the yarn is annoyingly unbalanced which means both socks have a bit of a twist to them. Also, for merino it feels an awful lot like regular old sock yarn. Nothing special folks. Move along.

In other project news, I finished the first half of Hanami, picked out the provisional cast-on and started knitting the second half. Everything was looking lovely...I got a few inches in before I noticed that I was getting some nasty pooling. What gives? Needless to say, Hanami is in time-out for a while.

Fortunately, I have (relatively) new yarn to console me:

Hello. We are an impulse purchase.

Two Saturdays ago I may have spent some quality time in the sale section at Stitches and Scones in Indy, and we all know I'm nothing if not helpless in the face of discounted lambswool. I blame Wendie for taking me there and Jared for making a cameo as the little voice in my head who kept saying "but it's Tweeeeeeeed...**"

All right, I'm off to go knit now. More new-projecty excitingness coming soon!

*Didja see how I remembered to tell you what yarn I'm using for a change? 10 points for me!
**I'm sure he's not this whiney in real life.

May 20, 2007

Finished: Plain Old Socks

I seem to have accidentally finished some socks!

I need some sun. Real bad.

The Specs:
Pattern: A toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website).
Yarn: Trekking XXL.
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 110.
Needles: Bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 2.
Start to finish: March 19 - May 18.
For: Me!

This has been my brainless take-along knitting for the past two months. Considering that I just did a few rows here and a few rows there, I was pretty surprised when I suddenly found that I was finished.

Thunk says I'm not really this white in real life. Really.

I achieved toe-up-ness on these by starting at the toe "seam" with a non-invisible provisional sort of cast-on (basically the long-tail cast-on onto two needles, alternating stitches between needles until I had my 76 stitches). I held one needles-worth of stitches on some dental floss (makes your knitting nice and minty! Just don't use the whitening variety) until I had completed a short-row toe. Then I just I put the held stitches back on the needles, knitted the foot, executed a PGR shortrow heel, and proceeded up the leg. Easy-peasy!

The Yarn:
As plain old sock yarn goes, I love Trekking most of all because of the colors and the way they never come out the same way twice. It's common for the colors in two of the three plies to match up, creating a dominant color band, but this was the first time I've ever had all three plies synch up. You can see where it happened on the ankle of one of the socks...there's about an inch or so where it looks a little more rainbow-riffic. I thought about cutting this section out of the yarn, but I kind of like it.


Final Verdict: Nice warm socks, just in time for summer!

April 25, 2007

UFO Roundup

There has been regrouping. There has been knitting.

Need a refresher on what’s on the needles over here at Chez UFO? Me too.

brittanies, jump rings, and alpaca cloud

Starting back with the oldest and most languishy of the lot, we have the Flowerbasket Shawl, started sometime in the spring of 2005. Those of you who have been hanging around for a while might realize that I’ve only blogged about this project once (back in January of 2006) when I hauled it out in all its neglected glory to motivate myself to get a move on. As you can probably guess, no moves were made…until last weekend.

I’m currently cruising along with less than two repeats to go before the edging. Somewhere in the past two years lace knitting has got a whole heckofalot easier for me. Time to finish this one up!

Demi: most of a front, all of a back

Ah yes, the lovely Demi. I started her in November of 2005 and the front and back have slowly materialized over time. Problem is that I keep getting distracted by other projects and shunting her off to the sidelines. No more! The goal for Demi is to get her knitted before the weather gets too hot so she’ll be ready to keep me warm when autumn hits. My other secret goal is to get her knitted before Jared and Ashley finish theirs (don’t tell).

jaywalker_current.jpg plain_old_socks.jpg

I started the Jaywalkers in late December and I’m only up to the gusset on sock number one. Seems I just lost momentum.

Plain Old Socks:
No problem here! This is my current portable and brainless project.

So that’s the lot. Only four projects total (and two pairs of socks hardly count, if you ask me). The biggest problem is those two ancient hangers-on up at the top. Time to pull a yaiAnn and get them all outa here!

p.s. If you’re wondering where that green baby sweater is…it’s FINISHED! FO report soon.

March 29, 2007


When you do a search for “knitting ennui” you get 298 results (soon to be 299, once I publish this). If you take out the quotes you get about 64,200, which is why I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve finally hit a patch myself.

Stamps are wooly too.

Causes of said lack of knitterly enthusiasm? Start with a project that I’ve lost steam on (baby sweater), add a large dose of nice weather (finally!), a touch of carpal tunnel (boo!), a bit of under-the-weatherness (hello allergy season!), a rekindled interest in my stamp collection (you thought knitting was my nerdiest hobby?), and having the tv hooked up (two words: time sink) and you get one unproductive Elli.

Though I did do a bit of sock knitting. See?

A little summer on the right. A little winter on the left.

For those of you who asked about the yarn…I know it’s Trekking XXL, but I’ve temporarily lost the label. It seems I’ve been slacking off in the apartment-cleaning department too.

But things are looking up. I don’t have much planned for this weekend and I think a nice long sit-down with the knitting is just what I need.

March 21, 2007

The State of Things

Knitting has been a bit on the slow side here at Chez Ripalot. As I so briefly mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing battle with some seed stitch. Lucky you, now you get to hear the Whole Gory Story.

burning the candle at four ends.

So. Little Green Sweater. About the time I get to the underarms, I decide that I want to make the sweater a bit larger. No problem, right? The neck is now too small for what I’ve got planned but I just have to rip back the inch of seed stitch that is the collar and a few of the raglan increases, and then reknit the collar back on. So I went on my merry way. I finished up a ball of yarn on the body and, thinking this was a good time to do that quick little ripping job, picked out the cast on row.

Now some of you probably already know this but I feel it is my duty as a (now older and wiser) knitter to tell you:

The only time you can pick out your cast on row and just rip away is when you’re working in straight stockinette (maybe there are exceptions to this? Anybody know of any?). With seed stitch…well, it’s a royal pain. Every little stitch loops around other stitches twice making it nearly impossible to rip out. It’s like a bad dream.

To make things even more pain-in-the-toochus-y, I decided that I didn’t want to just snip off the collar and call it good. I made the oh-so-brilliant decision that, to avoid the minor pain of weaving in a couple of ends, I would save the yarn as I ripped it out. And pull the whole length of saved yarn through every. little. stinking. stitch. as it was ripped out. Yes, I know that this is insane. I knew it was before and now that I’m typing this out I’m beginning to wonder if I’m certifiably loony. Because really people…it took me a few evenings to do this (not whole evenings, thank goodness, but probably a total of 4-5 hours spread out over a few nights). Do I really hate weaving in two extra ends that much? Seems so.

Ok. Change of subject!


I also knitted and ripped out the toe of a sock.

So there you have it. I have achieved negative knitting this week.

January 26, 2007


Wow. It’s Friday again. Want the week in Elli’s knitting recap? Sure you do.

Last weekend I almost finished the front of Demi*, discovered I'd missed two underarm decreases and put it down until last night when I picked it up again, decided I didn't care, and finished it. Here's hoping that one extra stitch can be hidden in each shoulder seam without too much trouble. If it turns out to be a problem I’ll reknit it later.

My Monday through Thursday knitting looks like this:
Toe up Jaywalker in Lemongrass Socks that Rock.

This sock may look all innocent and beguiling, but this is the third attempt.

-First attempt (started over New Years): I read the pattern wrong, resulting in the start of a teeny-tiny little skinny sock. No good. My ankles could be described in a variety of ways, but none of them would include the adjective “skinny.”

-Second attempt (on flight back from Christmas): I embark on one of the larger jaywalker sizes. However, this time I read the pattern correctly. Now I am knitting the sock that ate Minnesota. Even my big feet aren't that big.

-Third attempt (Monday): I go back to the original size I’d planned to knit but to shake things up I decide to do the toe-up version. Because really, who wants to knit the same thing three times in a row? Plus this way I can make them as tall as possible before binding off. Very smart. I am happy.

It’s really a good thing that this one is working out since I think I’ve exhausted every available online Jaywalker resource. This is one well supported sock.

*For those of you who are curious, I’m knitting Demi in Rowan Magpie Aran. Yes, it is discontinued. I know. I’m sad too. But I have another sweater’s-worth squirreled away in the stash. La, la, la…

November 6, 2006


This past week was a bit on the unproductive side…it’s amazing how much less I get accomplished when I have a cold. A bit sad really. But I’m all healthy now.

One thing that wasn’t at all dismal was the mail. Early in the week a package arrived from Lois (all the way from Singapore!) with my prize from her birthday drawing. Thanks, Lois!


See that yummy looking yarn? It’s pretty much a direct sub for Kidsilk Haze. I keep having visions of it knitted up in a simple shawl. Maybe something similar to the bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon Knitting except, you know, less curtainy. It really wants to be something simple to show off the colors. Still, it’ll be a couple months before I have time to cast on for that. Plenty of time to think, but suggestions are always welcome if you have any!

On Friday another package was waiting for me when I got home, this time from the lovely Angela! Guys, she knitted me socks!

Do I have the whitest white-person legs or what?

Hooray! We had to have an artsy-fartsy photoshoot to celebrate (Thunk is really a good sport about this whole knitting photography thing). The socks are absolutely perfect…and I’m talking down to the very last stitch. Here’s the proof:

Beautiful, eh?

I took them on a test run to the doctor’s office this morning. Nothing’s better than a pair of nice hand knitted wooly socks to keep you warm when you go in for your yearly lady-parts appointment. Though a heated examining table is nice too.

If you want the specs and back-story on the socks, check out Angela’s post for today…it’s pretty funny, actually.

Thanks again Angela!

In other news:

Saturday I felt a sudden inspiration to cast on for Beau (gotta get those Christmas gifts in gear!) and cranked out a goodly sized patch of knitting while listening to Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation (which I loved). It’s amazing how quickly things go when you aren’t knitting cables or lace.


At this rate Beau should be done in no time. Hooray for mindless knitting!

October 30, 2006

Finished: Elfine's Socks


The Specs:

Pattern: Elfine’s Socks, by Anna Bell, pdf here.
Yarn: Socks that Rock (light weight).
Skeins: One 4.5 oz skein in Star Sapphire…just recently removed from their website, unfortunately. It’s a bit uncanny how they remove colors as soon as I use them. Though Cara says that you can call Blue Moon up and request colors, even if they aren’t currently on their site.
Needles: Size 1 bamboo dpns.
Start to Finish: October 8 to October 29.


A lovely easy lace sock pattern. Lots and lots of cute little leaves!

The only part in the pattern that I found to be less than clear was the bit about the heel increases on the shortrow heel...normally I stick around to figure these things out, but I was in the middle of watching a movie. So I just ripped it out and subbed in a Priscilla Gibson-Roberts shortrow heel (my first love when it comes to heels). Other than that, I followed the pattern!

Final Verdict: STR + easily memorizable pattern = happy Elli

p.s. due to an unfortunate confluence of events (work deadlines/evening classes/contracting a lovely case of the Upper Respiratory Ick), I am even more behind on returning e-mails/responding to comments/commenting on your blogs than normal. If you haven’t heard from me lately…I’m working on it. Thanks, as ever, to all of you who take the time to read, comment, encourage, and otherwise make me feel all warm and fuzzy about belonging to the knitblogging community! -E

October 20, 2006

Ready for Bindoff

Hey look...the sun came out!


One Elfine (almost) down, one to go.

Have a lovely weekend!

October 17, 2006

It's dark.

Ok, I spent the entire sunny weekend not taking pictures of the current projects. I just kept putting it off. So now it's depressing and rainy and dark, dark, dark. Blech. Oh well, I've got a few saved up...

Recent stash acquisitions:

Socks that Rock in Lemongrass and Star Sapphire. Since the pic, I've knitted almost an entire Elfine's sock (link to pdf here) out of the Star Sapphire. (But do I have a picture? No! You'll just have to use your imagination. But it's stunning. Trust me.)

I also finished a secret project over the weekend, but I'm not going to post about it until my family gets the e-mail I just sent out re: Christmas knitting, reading blog at own risk, blah, blah. Last year it wasn't really much of an issue since the knitted gifts were mainly for people who didn't know about the blog yet, but this year it's a different story. I just can't tiptoe around for 1/4 of the year not showing you guys what I'm working on. That would be silly.

In the mean time, here are more vintage needles to soothe your poor wip-/fo-shot deprived souls:



September 25, 2006

Finished: Jessica's Pomatomi

I finished them! And just in the nick of time…I wove in my last end just before midnight on Friday. Saturday morning we swung by Kricket’s on our way out of town and she graciously agreed to model them. See those slender ankles? The graceful curve of those toes? Those smooth and silky calves? All Kricket.


The Specs:

Pattern: Pomatomus from Knitty, by Cookie A., Pattern here.
Yarn: Socks that Rock (light weight).
Skeins: Almost exactly one 4.5 oz skein in Olivenite (I haven’t seen this color on their website lately…I’m not sure if they still make it.)
Needles: Size 2 bamboo dpns.
Start to Finish: July 28 to September 22.
For: my cousin Jessica, finished just in time to give to her at her commitment ceremony to the beautiful and wonderful Liz. Hooray!


I loved this pattern. It may not be the quickest knit ever, but it's so unusual and clever. I especially love the way the pattern on the back of the ankle grades into the ribbing on the heel (hmmm…I forgot to get a picture of that. But trust me, it's stunning).

I did end up shortening the first sock so that I could get a pair out of the yarn, but that was the only real snag I ran into with these. I think they were a little too long anyway, so it’s all for the best.

Final Verdict: Best. Socks. Ever!

September 18, 2006


the first sock

what's left

Not the end of the world, but a bit of a pain. I tried on the first sock and it's sufficiently long for my largish feet and they only need to fit Jessica's (comparatively petite) size 9.5s. So...I'm going to knit the second sock from the other end of the skein and shorten the first one appropriately when I get to the end. Still, I hate cutting things this close.

I'm also cutting it a bit close on time. In the time since I took the pics I've made it halfway through the cuff of number two. While this is good progress, I’m going to see Jess this weekend and really want to give them to her then. Of course this is a week that I have something scheduled every single evening…

August 21, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

Ack! Is it Monday? It is.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Actual celebration of the birthday with family (which is really the best part of birthdays anyway) will happen this coming weekend, so I still have that part to look forward to. My birthday itself was lovely... I feel older and wiser and everything.

This past weekend flew by. Saturday was our anniversary, so there was a little more celebrating. Somewhere in there I found a little time to knit. Sock progress currently looks like this:

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

I've rounded the heel and I'm heading down the foot. The goal is to have this one finished by the weekend so that I can try it on the intended recipient and make sure it fits before I embark on number two. I've got gauge, but it just seems smallish to me. So we're just going to play it safe.

Most of the weekend knitting was devoted to this:


That would be a mystery project involving Lamb's Pride worsted, size 10.5 needles, and lots of stockinette. You'll find out what it is soon enough. It should be fast and easy...I'm already half way done with the knitting.

p.s. I'm accepting entries for the birthday contest until noonish on Wednesday, so if you want in just say so in the August 17 comments. Birthday wishes are no longer required. Lurkers welcome.

August 1, 2006

Weekend report

Back from Michigan now! I have a bunch of catching up to do in blogland (seriously people...I leave for three days and you all post like maniacs...)

I started a new project in the car on Friday:


Pomatomus, eventually for my darling cousin Jessica who is a keen crochetist and is lucky enough to work in a yarn shop (which I will visit someday, I promise). She claims to read this blog, so I'm not even going to try to be sneaky about knitting these for her. Besides, I already told her I was making her socks. Surprise, honey!

The knitterly highlight of the trip was a visit to the Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday to see this lovely lady:


Yeah, we got stuck in the overflow room watching the live video feed. They'd better start finding larger venues for Ms. Pearl-McPhee. Despite our lack of proximity, we had a fabulous time. Thunk was thoroughly diverted by the whole spectacle and one-upped me by knowing more knitters at the event than I did (his ex-boss Diane was there, having traveled across the state to attend. Hi Diane!).

I achieved my lifelong dream of holding the sock. I can now die happy:

famous knitter for scale

I enjoy the coincience that the artwork behind Stephanie makes her look as if she has simultaneously sprouted horns and a halo. Perhaps this is symbolic?

Bonus shots:
My pomatomus meets Dana's pomatamus (in line, waiting for book signage).
Goofball shot (she jumped/I ducked--it didn't really work out as planned, but hey...I'm shorter than she is in that shot).

June 18, 2006

Finished: Stripey Regia Socks

I'll go ahead and say it. Fickle knitter, thy name is Elli. First I get you all worked up about new projects and how there will be Picovolis and Rivers up the wazoo and then, you guessed it...I go and work on an old project that you probably don't even remember (we're talking bottom of the basket here). But hey, I finished something!

Recent shoe purchase inspired by

The Specs:
Pattern: Your basic toe-up frankenpattern.
Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf
Skeins: A little under one ball of color 5411.
Needles: Started on Addi size 2 circs, switched to bamboo dpns, sizes 1 and 1.5.
Start to finish: Sometime last summer - June 18
For: Me!

These socks started out as my first and only attempt at the two socks at once/magic loop method. I managed to knit up to the heels before switching to dpns (yup! I'm a big old quitter). I used my favorite PGR shortrow heel, knitted a k3 p2 cuff and finished them off with a stretchy bind off (the one that involves picking up and binding off an extra stitch at even intervals around the top of the cuff), which seemed to work pretty well. It's a little ruffley looking, but I don't mind.

The Yarn:
Cotton Surf is 41% wool but it still knits like cotton (makes my wrists hurt), is pretty inelastic, and tends to be fairly splitty. On the plus side, it's nice and soft and the colors are nice and fun. No comment on warmth's too hot to give these more than a five minute test wear. So, not a bad yarn for what it is (being cottony isn't actually a sin after all) but I think I'll stick with wool sock yarn from now on.

Final Verdict: Everybody loves a good sock!

April 12, 2006

Jacking up the Apricot

The Apricot Jacket is back, folks. Look, I finished the fronts!


I finished the knitting on these Sunday night. Things went pretty smoothly after I managed to get the ribbing at the bottom correct (you are looking at attempt #3 there). The sleeves are on the needles as I type and, if I don’t get all distracted, I might be able to finish them before I head up to Michigan for Easter weekend. I'd like to say I'll have everything finished and sewn up by the time I get back, but I tend not to knit much when I'm around my family. They bring out my slothful side.

FYI: the finished cardi will be about the same color as the lightest bits shown in the pic. This yarn looks all orangey and blotchy when it's wet.

In other news, The Rib and Cable socks have been gifted. After much rigorous brother-in-law testing, Natey declares the Mountain Colors Bearfoot to be Not Itchy. There you have it folks. His sensitive footsies have spoken. Selah.


April 3, 2006

Finished: Modified Rib and Cable Socks


The Specs:
-Pattern: Rib and Cable Socks from Fall 2005 Interweave, severely modified.
-Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot, in Juniper, and Sock it to Me Essential 4 Ply in Mint Leaf.
-Skeins: One 100g skein of MC Bearfoot + about 20 grams of the Mint Leaf.
-Needles: size 1 bamboo dpns.
-Start to finish: March 5 - April 2.
-For: Brother-in-law Nate, for his birthday (which was in February...hmmm).

I severely underestimated these socks from day one. They may look all green and innocent, but under that cabely exterior they're really pretty devious. This was one of those projects that turned out fine, but took forever to knit because things didn’t go quite as planned.


-knitted toe-up in case I ran out of yarn. (I did, so that was good).
-I made the socks 80 stitches around instead of the required 60, to make them man sized.
-I used a PGR shortrow heel.
-The first sock was a bit too snug in the ankle (I was knitting tightly, in hopes that I wouldn't run out of yarn.) so I dropped the stitches on all four of the cables on the back of the leg and hooked them back up again sans cables. This took forever, but it fixed the problem.
-When I ran out of the Mountain Colors Bearfoot, I stopped cabling and just knitted the ribbing pattern using leftover yarn from the Squirrelly Swedish Mittens (points for stashbusting!).

In fact, the only part of the directions I followed was the bit where you set up the cable pattern. I didn't even read the rest of it. Oh, and I used the required yarn, but not at the correct gauge.

Other considerations: The yarn pooled, so I alternated knitting from the inside end/outside end of the ball. This was a pain in the neck, and the yarn still pooled anyway.

Final Verdict:
Pending. [If we disregard the fact that I am gifting Very Warm socks just as the weather is getting nice and balmy, I will consider these a success if a) they fit and b) Natey doesn’t find the mohair content in the yarn to be too scratchy.]

**a bit later** geesh--I'm a grouch! I just re-read this and I sound like the biggest negative grump. I really do like them and I'm thrilled with the way they turned out. I just thought I should add that. Coming soon: more positive posting!

March 28, 2006

Trials and Sock-u-lations

Who knew that introducing simple cables to a sock (and making them for largish boy feet) could suddenly turn socks into a three week process? I wouldn't be surprised if, after I finally finish the green cable and rib socks, I don't knit another patterned sock for the rest of my life. It'll be plain old stockinette socks from here on out people. I know they're not that much fun to look at, but it's not as if I've got much to show as it is. The second sock pretty much looks like this one right now.

What is it they say about taking hair from the dog that bit you?


Socks that Rock in Olivenite (more accurate color here). Obviously too nice for just plain old stockinette socks. I think this skein is going to go and sleep in the stash for a while.

March 10, 2006

bloggity bloggity

It's been a wee bit hectic around here this week--we had the apartment repainted, I was gone for a couple of days for a conference, and my sisters and their male companions came to visit for the weekend. I don't have much knitterly to report, but I did start a sock with the Mountain Colors Bearfoot, see?


It's inspired by the Rib and Cable Socks from Fall 2005 Interweave. I decided to do them toe-up and make them man-sized, and I'm changing the heel. Other than that they are the same.

This afternoon's project is to work on the mitten pattern. I should have it finished in time for the warm weather...

p.s. Angela of yaiAnn knits! is running an Ironman triathalon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Donate if you can, or just go and look at the cute pics of her being all active and stuff.

January 25, 2006

Finished: Baby Socks

Today at work we threw a baby shower for my friend Katy and her 10 week old (v. adorable) baby, Genevieve. Cute babies require cute knitted things, so I dropped everything and made some baby socks.


The Specs:
-Pattern: Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Bud, from Interweave Knits, summer 2005.
-Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly DK (about 1/2 of a 50g skein).
-Needles: size 0 dpns
-Start to finish: January 22 - January 24
-For: Baby Genevieve

This is the second time I've knitted these baby socks. They work up super-quick and are a great way to use up leftover ends of skeins. Hooray for stashbusting!* I have to confess, part of the reason I like this pattern so much is that it uses the PGR shortrow heel. Someday, before I die of old age, I promise I will try a different heel....but for now, why mess with a good thing?

*In case you're wondering if I've been infected with the New Years Stashbusting Bug...don't worry, I'm not on a real yarn diet, I'm just interested in maintaining a healthy stash lifestyle.

January 16, 2006

I have a little secret...

I've been hiding WIPs from you. Shameful, I know. To be perfectly fair, I haven't worked on any of these in the time that I've been blogging--they've all been loitering at the bottom of the knitting basket. Since I've been in a cleaning mood lately, it seems like an appropriate time to introduce you to the Projects Which Languish:

Apricot Jacket from Rebecca 27

I started her in September. I got 500 kinds of insecure about knitting a cotton blend. I put her down.

Heirloom Bag from Rowan 37

This was started over Labor Day when my sister Rae came to visit. She wanted to crochet something (being good at that sort of thing) so I gave her the leftover KnitPicks Shine from the bolero I'd just made her. I had some other colors sitting around (originally for Anouk) and she whipped up all of the crochet motifs in about a half hour. I started the bag part, but once Rae went home I lost steam. Mostly because the colors are, well, a bit vile. But I'm going to finish it. And besides, Rae just asked me about it on the phone last night.

Flower Basket Shawl from Interweave, Fall 2004

The oldest WIP going, I started it last spring when I thought I'd get a jump on the Christmas knitting. It turns out that I hate knitting lace. A lot. I picked it up again this fall and didn't get much more accomplished. It is slow. It is tedious. It makes me want to eat glass. I'd be crazy to rip out all my hard work now, right? The really sad part is that people keep citing this as an easy beginner lace project. Oh the shame.

Regia Socks


Also started last spring…a pair of toe-up magic loop socks. Much to my surprise, I loath the magic loop. I'm going to be a total wimp and finish these on dpns.

So there they are. Hopefully putting them up in the sidebar will motivate me to finish them.

January 12, 2006

Finished: Octopus Socks

Another one down! See how short the Current Projects list is getting?

In real life they are the same size, I promise.

The Specs:
-Pattern: Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2000 (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website)
-Size: Men's medium [76 sts]. This is why I don't join sock exchanges...
-Yarn: KnitPicks Color Your Own, dyed by me
-Skeins: Nearly an entire 100g skein (2g left over—I didn’t run out!)
-Needles: size 1 and 2 bamboo dpns
-Start to finish: Sometime last summer - January 10.
-For: Me!

Notes: I knitted a strand of sewing thread into the heel to increase the durability of the merino and make them last a little longer. I'm not sure how much good it'll do, but I thought I'd give it a shot. The yarn isn't superwash and they don't really fit inside any of my shoes, so I'm not sure how much I'll wear them. They are my favorite colors though, so I'll probably wear them around the house.

How would I rate them?
Practicality - 3
Cuteness - 10
Final score - 6.5

Oh, and after reading Knitting Iris' post on fading kool-aid dyed socks, I think I'm going to steam these just in case I didn't set the dye properly. The first sock (the one that I knitted last summer) already looks like it's faded a little bit.

P.S. DWTS is on tonight! Keep voting for Jonathan and Anna! If you missed last week's show, you can see the video clips here.

December 27, 2005

Finished: Lou's Socks

Well, Christmas provided with me with such a huge heap of blog-fodder that I froze up for a while there. That and vacation makes me lazy. So I guess I'll just jump back in and start where I left off. I finished Lou's socks! That was back on (counting on fingers...) er, December 20.


The Specs:
-Pattern: Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2000 (also in the subscriber-only portion of their website)
-Size: Men's small (80 sts)
-Yarn: Steinbach Wolle Deo Socke Antibakterielle (tee-hee)
-Skeins: Nearly 2 skeins @ 50g each
-Needles: size 1 and 2 bamboo dpns
-Start to finish: Early July - December 20. (severe plan-aheadage combined with last minute knit-panic)
-For: Lou for his birthday/Christmas

Notes: This is the only sock pattern I've ever used. It's a versatile pattern as it has a nice range of sizes for many gauges. I also really like the PGR short row heel. However, I think that after this pair (and the still unfinished octo-socks) I'm ready to move on and try another pattern. Maybe something with some cables? Maybe something toe up? Any recommendations? My only requirement is that it has to fit large feet. Nobody in my family has smaller than size 10 feet.

Final Verdict: Cozy socks all around!

P.S. Thunk has made some improvements around the blog over the last couple of days including (but not limited to) getting rid of that weird gap below the Categories button and making me a Finished Objects page. Yay!

November 28, 2005

A little (more) Christmas knitting

On Sleeve Island. Send Hula dancers. I need something to distract me from the Endless Miles of Stockinette.


On a slightly different tack, remember how I was going to knit just three Christmas gifts this year? How I decided that it was the best way to avoid holiday knitting insanity? Well, apparently I can't take my own good advice because a few other things have crept into the queue.

Thing One: Trellis. For Thunk's niece O. This baby needs a snuggly sweater. Oregon is a cold, cold place and her parents requested something warm for her to wear for Christmas. My knitter's alarm bells went off so I ordered some Jaeger Matchmaker Merino in the color tinsel. The yarn should be here by the end of the week. Justification: It's a small sweater; I should be able to finish it before the 10th of December when I see her, right?

Thing Two: Socks for Lou. Lou deserves some socks. I could give you the 20 or so reasons but I'll keep this short and just give you two. One: he gave me a big beautiful wooden swift last summer (no occasion). I had told him I was saving up for one and within the week he had bought one for me. Turns out that, when he was a little thing, his mother used drag him to yarn shops and then made him hold her skeins while she wound them into balls (see? knitting trauma can result in more thoughtful men). Second reason? His birthday is in December. Besides, I've almost finished the first sock.

Don't worry, I have huge feet. They'll be large enough.

I’m using the same basic pattern that I did for the Octo socks, and this yarn. I'm guessing that "antibakteriell" is a cognate.

Also, I'm planning two or three smallish mystery knits (I don't even know exactly what they'll be yet). Justification: I am going on a cruise to Mexico in a couple of weeks and need small, mindless things to knit on the plane/ship. As we already know, I can't really bring anything that requires pattern reading if I'm going to be around people. And, as you can see, I seem to have a burning need to knit something for everyone I know.

So what does this do for my Christmas knitting schedule? Well here's the plan:
-December 4: Finish Laurent (doable, if I stay on task).
-December 9: Have most of Trellis finished. I figure I could do some finishing on the boat, if needed.
-December 10-17 (on cruise): Knit Lou's second sock and get one or two more small gifts knitted.
-December 18-20: Finish any remaining small gifts.
-December 21-28 (in Washington) Wrap up lose ends and finish Thunk's sweater.

I know I'm just asking for trouble, but there's no harm in trying, right?

November 5, 2005



Angela asked about the Kool-aid recipe for the octopus* sock yarn, so I thought I'd share. It's pretty simple.

I used one 100g skein of sock yarn and the following Kool-Aid combinations:
-darker blue: 1 packet Berry Blue
-pale blue: 2 packets Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade
-pale green: 1 packet Arctic Green Apple and 1 packet Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade

If you do more than one skein at a time you might have to increase the Kool-Aid a bit (?) I don't think I exhausted any of the dyebaths, but this was months ago and I can't really remember all that well. Experiment at your own peril.

The self-striping yarn tutorial found at ginabeana is great. If you plug in your gauge, the number of colors you want and your desired stripe width and it tells you exactly what to do. I did a 5 row stripe, in case you were wondering. Knitty also has a good article on dying that shows color swatches for some flavors. Can I just say how much I love the smell of Kool-Aid dyed wool? It's like scratch and sniff stickers.

In other news, I cut it a little close, but it looks like I'll have enough yarn to do a second Octo-sock. I have a whole gram to spare.
But where are the other 3 grams? Grrrr. Maybe the label weighed 3 grams?

*why octopus? The colors reminded me of a little tag painting of an octopus that Susie did over at Her shop is closed for the time being (sad) but she does really fab work. I love her owls and octopi.

Julia wanted to know where campus is. I've never attended IU...I leave the school-going to Thunk these days. Maybe if they had a PhD program in knitting it would be a different story.

November 4, 2005

Other Things

I want to get at my size 1 dpns so that I can use them for a certain knitting experiment but they’re currently occupied with this sock:


I Kool-Aid dyed this yarn last summer and I love how the colors turned out. However, I abandoned the sock when I realized that I was cutting things pretty close with the yarn. Think I’ll make it? I just have to turn the toe. Oh, the suspense.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here that I took the afternoon off work. I was able to make some good progress on Thunk’s sweater (almost finished with the back now), finally ordered some yarn for Mum’s Christmas Sweater, and took a stroll around campus to soak up some of the fall colors. Now I'm all recharged and ready to face the weekend.