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July 2012
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September 2012

My Knitting

Mouse 36 is at the beach!

Mouse 36

Heh heh. Fun with mice, ya gotta love it.

The Don't Blink! socks are done, but haven't been blocked yet:

Don't Blink! Socks

I'm about to turn this:


Into this:


... but yellow, not purple. I'm knitting the "Wanida" socks from Sock Innovation by Cookie A. They're named for her aunt, who taught her to knit. The yarn is Staccat0 by Shibui, 65% superwash merino, 30% silk, and 5% nylon, fingering weight. It feels lovely! 

Designed By Beth: Braided Cable Scarf

Braided Cable Scarf

Braided Cable Scarf

This cabled scarf is fun to knit, and itʼs reversible, too!


Size 10.5 needles

2 hanks Blueberry Farm alpaca/merino/silk (or about 210 yards of sport/dk weight yarn)

Special cable stitches:

C6B: put 6 stitches on cable needle, hold at back of work, work next 6 stitches in K1, P1 as established, work stitches from cable needle in K1, P1 as established

C6F: put 6 stitches on cable needle, hold at front of work, work next 6 stitches in K1, P1 as established, work stitches from cable needle in K1, P1 as established

Directions: Cast on 28 sts. Work in the following pattern until you are nearly out of yarn; bind off


Rows 1 - 5: K5, (K1,P1) 9 times, K2, bring yarn to front, slip last 3 sts as if to purl.

Row 6: K 5, (k1, p1) 3 times, C6B, K2, bring yarn to front, slip last 3 sts as if to purl.

Rows 7- 11: K5, (K1,P1) 9 times, K2, bring yarn to front, slip last 3 sts as if to purl.

Row 12: K 5, C6F, (k1, p1) 3 timesK2, bring yarn to front, slip last 3 sts as if to purl.

(Repeat these 12 rows for pattern.)

My Spinning

I take it all back.

Today I set out with a heavy heart to ply my yarn. I was sure it was uneven, would be underplied, would break constantly, would look absolutely horrible. I hadn't been really happy with it all along, and I thought plying the yarn would be awful.

But that wasn't the case after all! It was inconsistent, parts were laceweight when plied and parts were a strong worsted weight, but there were few breaks, it was spun nicely if a little inconsistently, and when I was done plying it I found I had made some darn nice yarn, and that makes me happy!

On the swift      Bobbin

Bobbin and swift      Close up

The fat kitty was close by with expert advice:

Fat kitty

She's my good luck charm :)



The other day a woman pulled up at our next-door neighbor's house and went inside. She came out soon after, and as she was getting in her car, she spotted Grace sitting at the top of our front doorstep. 

"Awwww," she said, and giggled. She got in her car, and took a picture of Grace with her phone. I could almost hear Grace preening herself at the attention.

"What a nice, fat kitty!" the woman exclaimed, and drove away.

Don't worry Grace ... you win some, you lose some!

Fat kitty

To Thee I Do Wed

Today is my niece's wedding day, so I thought I would showcase some knit and crocheted wedding dresses in honor of her nuptials. 

Ravelry, of course, has lots to give any bride who knits something to think about, and I've picked out four of them. 

First of all, there's this knit wedding dress from Nicky Epstein:


I love the skirt on this one.

This crocodile stitch wedding dress  by Bonita Patterns is amazing, and she only took three weeks to make it!


I love the skirt on this Wedding Gown by Linda Daniels and Jill Montgomery; it looks like it floats!


This Knit Wedding Gown Dream by Fashion Martina looks like a fairy tale princess gown, very enchanting:


Then, if you didn't want to knit or crochet your wedding dress yourself, you could have it done for you. Here are some pictures of designs presented in fashion magazines and showcased by designers.

And lastly, you could have one knit by a company called Makepiece. "Beautiful clothes with ethics. Natural yarns from sustainable farming. Undyed and natural dyed options. Low impact manufacture. Fair employment. Working to be carbon neutral." They make beautiful wedding gowns, among other things.

And now, you may kiss the bride!

Congratulations Hillary and Wayne! ::smooches::



My Knitting

Heeeeeere's Mouse 35:

Mouse 35

He looks a lot like the last three mice. I think next week's mouse is gonna be just about the last of that yarn. 

I fought the battle with sewing the top of my sock down, and I won:

Sewed down cuff

It wasn't hard at all. (I love the way the little angels look in this picture, hee hee.) It even looks good on the inside:


So my first sock is done, but it's still unblocked:

Unblocked sock

My second sock is begun:

2nd sock

It's not very far, because I had to do one of these:

Rose dishcloth

I think that's my one and only dishcloth.  I don't make dishcloths, but this one is a prize for the 2012/2013 NFL and Knitting fantasy football contest through Knitters Brewing Company -- needless to say I don't know what I am doing, but I can knit a dishcloth and pick winners and losers each week with aplomb. Go here to learn more. You only have to knit one dishcloth to participate. 

Roses have been on my mind lately, and the rose color is perfect for it! And even though the Rose Bowl is for college football and not the NFL, it is still football, and the college players probably go on to play in the NFL anyway, and Pasadena is in southern California like Knitters Brewing Company, and I like roses. 

I've been spinning outside more too, so I haven't been knitting. I like my sock though! Now that I'm on the second one it will go faster. 

Mrs. Weasley's Knitting Inventions

(I totally made this up.)

I wish Mrs. Weasley had some of these knitting inventions on the market! It would make knitting so much easier and fun:

Knitting Needles:

1. Needles that are self-measuring needles (both in the length of you knitting as well as side to side).

2. Needles that automatically count your stitches and set off an alarm bell when the incorrect number of stitches is on them.

3. Needles with charmed points that worm their way into multiple or tight stitches (like in a 7-stitch nupp) and then snap back into a rigid state when you finish the stitch.

4. Needles that continue knitting your harder-to-knit project correctly at knitting group while you work on plain stockinette stitch and gab and eat and drink.

5. Needles that you can pick up for mindful knitting, that don't really make anything, just rows and rows of stockinette stitch, which then unravels itself and winds up the ball when you are done thinking about the problem and put it down.

Other things:

1. A finder to run and go find your pattern, find that one ball of yarn you need from your stash, find your tape measure/scissors/pins, or find the glasses you left on your head.

2. A little being like the Quidditch ball that can go to whomever you need the measurements of, takes the measurement, and reports back to you. Also operates in stealth mode, for Christmas presents.

3. A special yarn additive that can make sleeves or body or fingers longer or shorter, body  wider or skinnier in the right places, and also sends the information back to the self-counting-stitches needles.

4. A clock that lets you stop time for an hour so you can just knit or crochet. Works over and over and over again.

5. A special page illuminator that makes perfect sense out of a pattern instantly.

6. The pattern for this fantastic top (I couldn't find it on Ravelry, go figure):

Mrs weasley

I could go on, but those are fresh off the top. What inventions would you like to see from Mrs. Weasly?


6 Things I Found on the Internet

1. A knitting grandma who plays World of Warcraft. I hope when I am her age, I can kick ass like that, too! Woot!

2. Arturo Di Modica’s “Charging Bull” sculpture on Wall Street gets a custom crocheted outfit. It's old news, but it's my blog. So there.

3. Maymott crocheted Coral Reef Ottoman. They have several really cool things to see on this site. I wish I had their job.

4. Mad Monkey Knits Stegosaurus Toy (pattern only). This site has tons of very cool knitted things. I especially like the dinosaurs, but there are some awesome hats and baby booties there, too. 

5. I Can Knit Anything's Angry Birds Hat. I just like it.

6. Babble PetsCat in the Hat: the 17 Best Etsy Cat Hats. My favorite is "Rawr", and who doesn't need a fez for their kitty?  But they are all cute. Best quote: "I wish I could get my cats to wear a hat. I would buy all 17 of these hats and pee myself laughing all day. "

My Spinning

So yesterday was Monday (funny how it keeps popping up like that every week, no?) and I still had not done any spinning, and today's blog post was making rumbling noises that sounded very ominous indeed, so I decided to just spin all day out on the porch.

It was a beautiful, sunny day to spin. Lynne showed up  to join me, and she stuffed envelopes and later knit. Somehow spinning goes by much more pleasantly with someone to laugh with! 

What do I have to show for it? Well, I spun one bobbin full:

Full bobbin
(Dust is for photogenic effect.)

Actually, I thought I had filled the bobbin, but later discovered that I had some fluff left in the living room that needs to go on the bobbin. Lesson learned: never trust a husband to gather up all the fluff that goes with the spinning wheel.

Here is how far I got on the second bobbin:

Partly full bobbin

That's nearly a third of it. It is going much more quickly now that I have quit fighting with it, finishing what should be a sport weight ply for a worsted weight yarn, and not trying so hard to spin it very, very, fine to make a two-ply sock yarn. The yarn and I are much happier that way, believe me.

I am happy to report that it looks like the rest of the week it will be sunny and warm (we have perfect weather here in Maine, and there are no mosquitoes here in Rockport), so maybe I should be able to finish it all up. Between finishing October Frost and finishing that purple batt, it's been a great August!

Pattern Referrals

One of my biggest referring websites is Knitting Pattern Central. They have my Gansey Gloves, Net Shopping Bag, Rainy Day Scarf (also known as the Wavy Scarf), and the Bobble Hat listed in their free pattern directory. I get about 100 hits a day from them.


I wonder how many hits a day I would get if the Penobscot Bay Pullover, the Catnip Mouse, and the Lacy Scarf were on there, too. The Penobscot Bay Pullover was always popular when I had the store. especially since it was great for men and kids. So was the Lacy Scarf, for that matter.


I also get significant numbers from and, for my Net Shopping Bag pattern. Who knew such a little thing would be so popular! has also got the Net Shopping Bag, and there's a link to it on has a link to my Ribbed Leaves Lace Scarf pattern.


I designed nearly all of these patterns for the knitting cruises or the knitting weekends that Unique One used to hold at the Lord Camden Inn. Since my stroke, I have designed only three things. And, I have a few things that I have designed that aren't up anywhere.

How many of my designs have you knit? I'm curious.



I got to thinking about roses. They are so pretty. 

Pink rose

(Photo Credit: George Bosela)

There are tons of roses on Ravelry and on the internet in general -- knitted and crocheted and felted flowers, sweaters with roses, afghans, mittens and gloves, everything. However, nothing struck my fancy til I saw the Travelling Roses scarf from Leanna Cooper.

I originally found it photographed in pink, and it was lovely; you can see it here. It was a lovely little piece of lace. Upon futher exploration I found it on Ravelry and, to my surprise, downloaded the pattern for free! Yay! 

I think I have some red, lightweight yarn that is going to be a perfect match. What could be better than knitting roses this winter!


(Photo credit: Ivan Marecic)


My Knitting

My knitting this week has been this lovely Mouse 34:

Mouse 34

I have only knit about two inches on this sock:


Poor little sock. It isn't that I don't love you, it's just that I have done a lot of knitting lately. Mostly I spend time just gloating over my sweater:


It's so beautiful. I can't believe that I knit it, after all that time of letting it glare at me from my bag on the window seat in the living room .... "This is the sweater that you can't knit because you are incapable of doing cables any more," it hissed at me. And now, here it is, transformed and beautiful. Pardon me while I bask in the pleasure of it!

I don't think I could have knit this sweater in 14 days even before my stroke. I definitely wouldn't have had the time.

Knitting is all about having the time, time to knit, time to think, time to plan and judge what the best course of action is. Time to learn how to do things. Time to figure out how to do things with one hand, for me. People are so busy, with work and their house, and their family, and knitting can only fit into a small part of that. I think it's remarkable that people knit at all.

So, my sock (the first) is ready to receive the cuff: it calls for a picot cuff, but they have a ribbed cuff as well that you can do if the picot cuff is too much for you. The picot cuff is knit a few rounds, do a round of knit two together, yarn over, forming small eyelets around the sock, and then knitting a few more rounds. (I can do that.) Then you turn the sock inside out and sew the live stitches down inside the sock, forming a picot edge when you fold the little eyelets in half. (I don't know if I can do that or not; I used to be able to, but now ...).

We shall see. A lot of people would probably knit the ribbed cuff and call it good. Ribbing the cuff is the alternative, but I will be really pissed at myself for not figuring out how to do it the other way; that means the stroke wins. I really hate it when the stroke wins.

New Knitting Books

I was looking on Amazon and I found a whole slew of books that were still in pre-order that looked quite interesting.

1) Crochet Noro: 30 Dazzling Designs -- I don't usually like Noro patterns, but this looks intriguing.

2) French Girl Knits Accessories: Modern Designs for a Beautiful Life by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes -- looks like a good collection of accessories, coming out in September, perfect for gift giving.

3) November Knits: Inspired Designs for Changing Seasons by Kate Gagnon Osborne and Courtney Kelley. It says it's a "must-have resource for this year". I'd like to find something that inspires  me the way that A Fine Fleece does. It's due out in October. 

4) Finish-Free Knits: No-Sew Garments in Classic Styles by Kristen TenDyke. While finishing doesn't bother me, and I can't knit with circular needles, I thought some people would like this very much (my sister, for example). It sounds pretty clever, actually, designing pockets, button bands, collars that are attached without knitting.  This comes out December 11. 

5) Shades of Winter: Knitting with Natural Wool by Ingalill Johansonn and Ewa Andinsson. While this focuses on organic, natural yarn and beautiful photography, we all know that what really floats our boat is good projects.  I'm gonna bet that this book has that too.  November 6 is the release date of this book. 

6) Cast On, Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting by Cap Sease. Oh.My.Goodness.  120 ways to cast on . . .  80 ways to bind off . . .  I want this book!! It's coming out right away too, August 20. 

Back To My Spinning

It's time to get back to my spinning. I kinda fell off the spinning wagon back during the Tour de Fleece, and during the Ravellenic Games I was all about knitting October Frost, but during the last few days I've been thinking about spinning again.

The problem is, I don't like this batt. It's a beautiful shade of purple, and I absolutely love the color, but the batt is hard to spin, it's coarse, the resulting yarn (judging from what I spun with the other batt) will be warm -- but coarse, although it's very pretty. It's hard to spin the batt -- any batt, I think; I could be wrong -- with only one hand. I end up with a lot of fiber in my mouth.

The other thing is, I really wanted to spin this much finer, which is why I am having a hard time with it. This batt wants to be a worsted weight two-ply. So, I'm letting it be what it wants to be, I'm not fighting with it anymore. I'll just have a lot of fine singles to ply with something else when it's all gone.

Here's where it is so far:


Here's what's left of the first batt:


Then I have a whole other batt to spin, and then there's the plying. Ever notice how when you don't want to spin something, it seems like a huge amount of fiber you've got ahead of you? I have to spin this so I can go on to spin something else. Seems like it will take forever. I'd better get started.

Ravellenic Wrap Up

From Ravelry:

"Event: wips wrestling

Please stand to honor our revered medal winners upon completion of their herculean challenges in this the 2012 Ravellenic Games!

Congratulations on a job well done, and freeing those needles hooks and project bags! And last but not least, turning those wips into Finished objects to be admired!

{a list of Ravthletes who won a gold medal goes here, including ME}

Accept this lovely bouquet of summer flowers plucked from hillsides of Mount Olympus. And from the Bobicii Nereids, your Event Medal!


You’re now officially immortalized forever in the history books of the Ravellenic Games! Yeah You!


Now will Ravthletes and spectators alike bow your heads for the stately yet thrilling Ravellenic Games anthem … dum de dum dum … dummmmmm .. DA DUMMM!

and the crowd roars with excitement at yet another successful bid for Ravellenic Glory is achieved!"

Thank you all for cheering me along while I knit my October Frost! It was fun, it was exciting, and now it's over!

2012 Ravellenic Games Banner

Ravellenic Games Day 15

I decided to weave in all my ends to finish my sweater absolutely. It was a cold, foggy, cold, damp, cold rainy day yesterday, so Nicky decided to come inside and get some lovin'. He thought it would be fun to jump up on the table and help me:

Weaving helper

Nora is helping too, from a safe distance. I cuddled Nicky for awhile, then he left, and I finished weaving in all the ends. 

Lynne came over and I thought she was going to say that she ran out of yarn for her sweater. This sweater needs a little back story here: back in 1986 or so, Lynne bought the yarn to make a raglan sleeved sweater, knit on it for a while, then for some reason neither of us can remember, she put it in the closet ... for 26 years!! Earlier this year, she pulled it out and decided to finish it. The pattern was nowhere to be found, and it looked to me like the amount of yarn needed to finish it was a little more than she apparently had. 

She got online, found the pattern (I think it was an old Candide pattern), long out of print, found a woman who had the pattern on Ravelry, got a copy mailed to her, found where she was in the pattern, and resumed knitting. She knit steadily along, eyeing her rapidly diminishing ball of yarn. Things got busy and I didn't hear about the sweater for a long time. 

Then she showed up yesterday with a very small ball of yarn, and a bag full of sweater.  "Here," she said. "Finish it!" 

I took the bag with some trepidation. My mind was already racing ahead to how we could get two colors of one-ply yarn, ply them together, and make a facsimile of the yarn she had purchased twenty six years ago. Imagine my surprise when I pulled out the sweater,  complete, seamed, and beautiful! 

Like me, she had just put her nose to the grindstone, and finished that sweater. She deserves a gold medal for jumping over hurdles that would have made other knitters throw in the towel and give up. Now we have both faced our challenges and can embark on the prize that we both want to knit, without fear of another unfinished object languishing before us, weighing on our minds.

I put my sweater on and was very comfortable in it; the day had become quite a bit colder. Nicky came and snuggled with me. He's used to sleeping on my sweater, so the fact that I'm wearing it makes it that much more snuggly. I like having a warm sweater on that a cat likes to snuggle in, better than sweater pieces in a bag by the window any day.

Oh, and I got Mouse 33 done yesterday too:

Mouse 33

Ravellenic Games Day 13

My second sleeve is all knitted, and I started sewing yesterday:

Sleeve 2 Done

This is going well. The saddle shoulder went in easily and it looks good. I wish I had been able to block the pieces before seaming, but I didn't have time; anyway, the pieces fit together well, and I can block it a little when it's done. This sweater is really well-designed, so that helps. Lisa Lloyd gives very easy to understand, step-by-step directions about finishing.

The only thing I would say is that the pictures for this sweater are more for art than for usefulness. There's a gorgeous close up of the sweater folded up, slightly out of focus; while it is very pretty, it is not very useful. There is also a picture of the sweater hanging over the back of a chair, with another sweater folded up on the chair as well There's no picture of a person wearing this beautiful cardigan, there's no picture of the sleeves or the back; you can't tell how long it is. I would say maybe her photostylist was not a knitter. I could be wrong.

Thankfully, we now have Ravelry, with lots of pictures of the finished project, so when I had a question, it was easy to look it up.

Today I have to finish seaming it together, and pick up the sts for the collar, and knit that as far as I can. I can't believe I'm almost done, tomorrow I will be all done this sweater. Tomorrow I will weave in the ends. While  I am happy to be finished, I'm a little sad, too ... until the next project!

Ravellenic Games Day 12

Well, I didn't finish my second sleeve yesterday, but I will today:


When this is done, all the pieces of the sweater (except for the collar) will be knit. I wonder, how long will it take to sew together? How long will it take to knit the collar? How long will it take to weave in all the ends??

I'm starting to look forward to next week, when October Frost will be completed and I can go back to knitting socks again. :)

Ravellenic Games Day 11

I knit on my second sleeve yesterday:

Sleeve 2

I'v got a pile o' knitting to do to get this sleeve done by the end of today! See those little circles there in the middle? There's 4 of them so far? The other, completed sleeve has 12 of them, and way more sleeve. Yikes! I'd better get the sticks to flying!!

Assuming I get the sleeve done today (itwillbedoneitwillbedoneitwillbedone), I just have to sew it together and knit the collar, which is 110 stitches in ribbing for 4 or 5 inches, which is a lot. Especially since I have the whole freaking sweater hanging from it while I knit it. I am not looking forward to that!

Ravellenic Games Day 10

Yesterday I finished my first sleeve:

Sleeve 1

I finished it at about 1:30 a.m., right about when Curiosity, the new Mars rover, began it's descent. It was so exciting! It went off without a hitch, and landed just where and how it was expected to.

You could see the strain on the faces of the mission controllers on TV. All those months of work, billions of dollars, everything riding on that piece of equipment out in space, hoping to make it to Mars, and you could tell, they didn't know if the new landing that was devised for the much bigger rover would work or not. I read about it, and it was a crazy idea, something only Americans would dream of -- and they made it work. While they were waiting for the rover to land, they kept referencing its heart beat -- tones that it was making, saying it was ok and still there. They passed out peanuts for good luck, another thing only Americans would do.

When Curiosity was safely landed and was in the right landing zone, with wheels on the ground, and started sending pictures back -- the place erupted with pure joy. It reminded me of one of the scenes in Star Wars when they blew up the Death Star and there was a big party, only this was more like birthing a baby, a big mechanical baby, and no one knew whether it would make it or not. Welcome to the world, little one -- I hope Mars will give you a lot to study!

Today I have to work as far as I can on my second sleeve; it should go faster than the first one, now that I know where it's going. It's got to be easier than landing Curiosity, anyway!

Ravellenic Games Day 9

I knit my corrected button bands:

Corrected button bands

I feel better having corrected them.

Then I knit a little on my first sleeve:

Sleeve 1

I only have one and a half sleeve to go! Today I hope to finish this sleeve. I figure the next sleeve will take two days, sewing up will take two days, and the collar will take one day, so I should be just finishing when the closing ceremonies are taking place, just in time!! The end is in sight and I can smell the gold medal!!

Ravellenic Games Day 8

Here is my first sleeve:

First sleeve

Alert readers will see that it is about where it was yesterday. 

I took some time to knit the button bands so I wouldn't have to do it at the last minute:

Button bands

But I did it wrong. I knit them for a man, not a woman, so I have to re-knit them from the buttonhole up on one side, and put buttonholes in on the other side. Luckily they don't take much time to knit!

Yesterday Lynne came over and we made peanut butter and chocolate cookies that were wheat-free, and they are very yummy. They're kind of like a meringue, but with chopped nuts, peanut butter, and grated chocolate. It sounds weird, but they are very good. 

Last night I decided to take a break from my knitting and I hung out with Nicky and slept instead. Today I'll finish my button bands correctly this time, and work on my first sleeve. Really, I will!

Ravellenic Games Day 7

The right front of October Frost is done:

Right front done

I would have taken a picture with the other front and the back, but somebody appears to have claimed that:

Nicky and the sweater

Silly boy.

I made a start on the first sleeve:


Today I plan to get as far as I can on the first sleeve. This sweater has a saddle shoulder, which should be interesting; I don't remember ever doing a saddle shoulder before, but with the tons of sweaters I've made in the past, I may have forgotten. I remember there were a few Alice Starmore sweaters that I wanted to make that had saddle shaping for the shoulders, and a top-down Aran sweater that had saddle shaping. I guess I won't be doing that one in this life; too bad I didn't do it when I could have. Let this be a lesson to you: knit the things you really want to try before you have a stroke and can't do them!!


Ravellenic Games Day 6

The left front is done:

Left front done

The right front is about half done:

Right front

I like the way the cables are reversed on the right front; they're easier to knit without a cable needle, and I can go faster.

Todays goal is to finish the right front, and do as much as I can on one sleeve.

I've been listening to a lot of music. Spotify has a great radio feature that lets you select whatever song or artist or album that you like, and makes a radio station from it, sorta like Pandora or or MOG does, but for some reason the Spotify radio is more appealing to me, even though it has less features than the others. It just reads my mind better, I guess.

I'm off to knit!

Ravellenic Games Day 5

Yesterday I put in a lot of knitting and got the whole left front nearly done:

Left front

I have 24 rows to go, with a little neck shaping thrown in. One thing I like about this design is that there enough shaping to make it fit well, but not so much to keep track of. Another thing that I like is how every chart has 24 or 12 rows, making it easy to keep track of while you knit. As Arans go, this is a speedy little knit!

Today I hope to finish the left front and knit the right front as far as possible.