Monday, September 22, 2008


Last Wednesday, I took two items to enter in the Panhandle South Plains Fair. One was the Leafy Fall Cardigan which I entered in the division for knitted sweaters. The second is my Geese Gone Goofy ruana, a knee-length wrap made of fingering weight yarn. It is knit so that there are diagonal stripes, and all in garter stitch. I figured that I knit a bit more than a mile of yarn into the rauna, but because the yarn is light weight, the garment is drapey and light, very comfortable to wear. I entered it in the knitted coats division.

Yesterday, I went to the fair to visit my sweaters. I have never before even considered entering anything at the fair. I was really surprised to see that both garments received blue ribbons. I will post pictures as soon as I have them ready.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cardigan completed

This morning, I completed my leafy fall cardigan. It is beautiful. I like the derived design made by combining features of Jean Frost's Hanover jacket and Ruthie Nussbaum's Minimalist Cardigan and adding a couple of features that were my own design elements. I really like the result and the yarn is soft and drapey. I hope to have some photos posted tomorrow. (Pictures did not show the garment well, so I'll have to try again.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sock woes

Several days ago, I got as far as the middle of the leg of the second sock when I decided to suspend working on it because it will not be suitable to be a fair entry. The reason for its current status is that the socks are for me and therefore, the left leg must be larger than the right leg due to my lymphedema. So---, I have started a second pair of almost "Spring Thaw Socks" for the fair. These are made from Paton's Stetchy Sock yarn, very like the Dancing yarn that Knit Picks used to carry. The colors in the ball look sort of like old bubblegum stuck to the bottom of a desk. When the yarn is knitted, the color blend really comes alive with purples, greens, cream, pink. Unfortunately, because the yarn is multicolored, the leaves don't show up as well as they do with solid colored yarn. I have begun the outer spiral of leaves over the knuckle of the great toe instead of in the middle of the top of the foot, and I am eliminating the inner spiral. So far, I like the derived design a bit better than the original. I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

I really need to complete the "Leafy Fall Cardigan" by assembling the pieces. All the knitting is completed and the pieces have been blocked. It will be a lovely, soft, colorful sweater -- perfect for cool fall days and a great addition to my wardrobe -- I hope. I have not yet tried on the sweater, so I don't know how it will fit me. Perhaps, sewing the cardigan together will be my craft night project for tonight.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

One sock down ...

Last night I completed the first sock of the pair of Spring Thaw Socks. There is absolutely nothing boring about knitting this pattern. Just as you are about to complete one leaf, you have to start the next one. On the leg portion of the sock, one may be working on as many as three leaves at once, all at different stages in the chart.
For the first time, since this is the first time I've knitted socks toe-up, I bound off at the top of the sock. The pattern called for using the tubular bind-off. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out the tubular bind-off, and a bit more of a challenge to ensure that the sock top would fit around my leg. I measured my calf and then found a can (a tuna can) in the pantry that had the same circumference as my calf. I bound off most of the sock making sure I left it somewhat loose, and then inserted the tuna can and completed binding off. It worked well.
Now, what will I do for the other sock? Because I have lymphedema, my left leg is 4 inches larger at the sock top than my right leg. I may have to go up a needle size on the leg of the left sock. I don't usually have to make any adjustment; however, as I've said before, this is the first pair of toe-up socks I've made.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sh-sh-sh! Christmas gift socks

The photo above is a pair of socks I have knitted as a Christmas gift, one of eight pairs knitted so far since March. I won't say who they are for because I do want them to be a surprise. The leg of the socks is the maple seed spiral stitch pattern Angela Hahn used on a hat she created. I think the pattern comes from one of the Barbara Walker books; however, I haven't found it yet. I intended to continue the spiral onto the instep, but that does not work out. The maple seed spiral stitch pattern is a simple 4-row sequence that is very easy to memorize. On the left sock, the pattern spirals one direction and on the right sock, the pattern spirals the opposite direction.