Summer Reflections


It’s getting to that time of year again. The students have finished exams, the marks are being collated, and everyone is gearing up for graduation in a couple of weeks or so. The sun is finally making its presence felt in this windy corner of the world 🙂

On the knitting front: I have been!  I would present a list of projects done and those still in the wings, but I just haven’t written stuff up. There are 3 pairs of socks, a hat and armwarmers awaiting the tender mercies of keyboard and camera. Another 2 pairs of socks are occupying my circulars, and I’ve started swatching for the Walker Treasury Project again.  The ‘ year of the sock‘ meanders its merry way…

will finish today by madelinetosh
Will finish today…
© madelinetosh, Flickr


2008 – Year of the Sock


Well… Mainly! There are a ton of other projects I’d like to do that outnumber them, but socks are top of the list, especially since I have enough yarn for 12 different pairs now 🙂

  • Socks: I’ve found tons of sock patterns, and thought of one or two more, so I’d like to try and make at least 6 pairs of socks this year, including ‘millicent’ and ‘thelonius’ from Cookie A.
  • Sampler blanket: started last year and maybe a third done. Would like to see this complete by xmas 2008.
  • Replacement hat in Noro Yoroi: I chickened out of this last year. Having issues with swatching a yarn that I can’t get more of. No more. It _will_ be done.
  • ‘Opera’ fingerless gloves for a friend who works from home.
  • Pomatomus: I made the socks (and baby socks) now it’s time for the gloves.
  • A scarf to a pattern that I dream up: the main knitting is done. All that needs to happen now is attach a backing and write up the pattern.
  • Write-ups, where I’ve made the piece but not written the pattern/post etc:
    • MO-3,MO-2, MO-1: projects I’d like to submit the patterns for. I need to write up the patterns.
    • Neckwarmer and hat made from Ull Flame from Lin.
    • baby pomatomus socks – write up the resizing instructions and baby sock pattern as a demo.
  • Small shawl from the gorgeous wine/burgundy laceweight my SP sent me.
  • Pomatomus toe socks/anklets – these little ones snuck in after I finished my first pair of toe socks.
  • Felting project, incorporating some of the yarn/roving my SP sent me.
  • Second moebius scarf, this time writing the pattern down as I go along.
  • Double knit scarf or hat
  • Shadow knit scarf
  • Angband/Rogue sweater
  • Faroese style shawl
  • Hemlock ring blanket – remake with number of repeats suitable for synthetic yarn that doesn’t block.

Longer list than last year – some of the items are small, but even so here’s to knitting faster…

2007 review


2007, a mixed year that’s had a few surprises, not least of which was buying the house! Taking a break from the seemingly endless white priming and undercoating, I thought about the more pleasant experiences I had this year.

I discovered that I like designing and writing up knitting patterns, when I tried it for the first time earlier in the year. After a couple more attempts, I found that while it tripled the time I took on a project and the maths was hairy at times I really enjoyed the process. So much so that I’m going to keep on doing it and with any luck produce something good enough to submit to online magazines.

There are three techniques which I learned this year that I now wouldn’t be without:

  1. Magic loop/2 circulars – gone is the second sock/sleeve/glove syndrome!
  2. Cabling without a cable needle – it really does speed things up, and you can do even complex patterns with it. I used the technique in all the cable samples I did for the walker treasury project.
  3. Russian Join – the neatest way to join yarns I’ve found yet. It really does blend in, and works well in wool type yarns and synthetic yarns designed to behave like wool.

The list of things I had planned to make took on a life of its own. I haven’t done some stuff and tons of other things crept in. I kept being inspired by the fantastic projects I found online 🙂 These are the items I’ve finished and written up. Everything else has become part of the plan for 2008.

  • A matching scarf and hat in Noro Sumile yarn – ok I realised they wouldn’t work matched but close enough!
  • Pair of fingerless gloves given to a friend for christmas.
  • Pomatomus socks given to a friend because they fit her better than me.
  • Extra projects that snuck in:

Regroup before midsummer

About, Resolutions

Houses – the owners have kept the place I made an offer for on the open market. Cue sealed bid system, and the fact that it’ll now go for at least 20% and more like 30 – 40% over the asking price. At this point I have to withdraw – if I did make another offer, and I won, I wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage, bills and then eat at the end of the day. Disappointed? yes 😦 Something else will come up though.

And now returning to knitting; I thought I’d look back at what I’d decided to try ‘n make this year and sort out what’s still waiting.

In Progress
  • A sampler blanket – this is progressing slowly, and it may well be the end of next year before it gets sewn/knit together.
  • Extra projects that insisted they were next!
    • linen scrim/neckwarmer/hat to be made from the charcoal linen my SP sent me – have been swatching/frogging already; hope to finish it by June 22nd or thereabouts. More on this soon.
    • MO-1 , I need to make a second taking photos of all the stages and then write up the pattern (by 1st wk in July) – it’s even got a proper name now .
  • A scarf to a pattern that I dream up – I figured out the pattern some time ago, and it should take a month of on/off knitting to complete. All I need to do is actually cast on!
Waiting to be started
  • Replacement hat in Noro Yoroi – been putting this off – don’t want to waste yoroi on swatches, but I have to to find out how much it shrinks by when knitted with 3 different needle sizes. I wouldn’t be so concerned except the yarn is discontinued and difficult to find these days.
  • Pomatomous gloves – I’ve now got a good idea how to increase/decrease in pattern, so I’ll be looking back at my swatches soon and working out the number of stitches I need to cast on.
  • Extra projects that snuck in along the way:
    • Small shawl from the gorgeous wine/burgundy laceweight my SP sent me. This may be a simple allover openwork piece, with an attempt to hide the increases in the pattern.
    • Felting project, incorporating some of the yarn/roving my SP sent in the first packet.
    • Toddler lizard ridge hat – for christmas for my friend’s 2 year old (3 next month)
    • ‘Opera’ fingerless gloves for a friend who works from home. She likes bamboo fibre so I tracked some yarn down for her.
    • Second moebius scarf, this time writing the pattern down as I go along.

The list has definitely expanded a fair bit! 😉

Designs Upon a Shawl

Resolutions, Resources

The last couple of evenings have been spent partying, with Friday being a small wedding reception. So today is recovery and really not doing much. Ok, so I say not much, but I’ve been looking at shawls and thinking about my SP’s question about whether I’d consider knitting lace, and I think I may have found a concept I like…

The shoalwater shawl. This is a basic triangular piece knit from the top down. I then started playing around with it. I started thinking about changing it to a semi circle to lose the point, and so the increases wouldn’t be concentrated in 3 areas. I found the old shale tablecloth which is worked from the centre outwards, and thought it could be adapted to suit. Reconsidering, I’ve found shawls slip too easily when I try wearing them, so I started looking at other shapes. This turned up various images and comments about faroese shawls, which frankly intrigue me a lot! There’s even some basic notes on how to make them out there. However, it isn’t clear whether they should be worked top-down or bottom-up or whether the shoulders are shaped in the center of the triangles or along the outer edge . Last but by no means least, there’s also a cross between a stole and triangle idea in the pacific waves shawl.

Lots of shapes and decisions to make! If I go ahead with this, it’ll be next year sometime. Talk about organisation! The common theme is the pattern, so I’d better make a swatch or several with the help of the knitting fiends maths to see if I like it as much in real life…

Resolutions 2007


I decided this year that it was about time I started knitting again, along with the usual ideas about getting fitter of course!

Several years have passed since I’ve picked up needles with any seriousness. This was brought home to me when two friends asked me to show them how to knit. ‘No problem’ I thought… Actually it’s a lot trickier demonstrating to complete beginners than I expected, and one of them is serious about learning.

I figured that explaining things better would come with practising more myself , so I made a plan:

  • A sampler blanket – each square showing a different stitch or technique – I’ll use the squares to practice ideas before going on to each larger project.
  • A matching scarf and hat in Noro Sumile yarn – turquoise/purple/brown – this’ll be the first time I’ve worked with chenille.
  • Pair of fingerless gloves – never made these before.
  • Replacement hat in Noro Yoroi – I didn’t take felting into account when I made the first one 2 years ago.
  • Pomatomous socks and gloves – I love the pattern!
  • A scarf to a pattern that I dream up.

The general idea is to help my friends more and get these finished by xmas at the latest – I knit slooowly! Although hopefully this might change:)