Wednesday, October 29, 2008


About a year ago Wannabe posted about her favorite etsy shops and feeling the mood to browse, I clicked through the list of shops she recommended. I immediately fell in love with Plucky Knitter yarns and purchased 2 skeins immediately. She has since become so popular that I can't even keep up with her store. (Hello, everything sells out in 2 minutes, which is probably ok for my already too large stash....) Regardless, I also recommend her yarns so go shop!

Anyhoo, it was with much delight that I got to meet both Ms. Plucky and Wannabe at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. In fact, our initial meeting was much like the picture above. A lot of squealing, laughing and "woo hoo!"-ing. After that, we just decided that all our photos looked better if we were laughing.

And who can't put a smile on their face when they are surrounded by all things woolly? Rhinebeck is crazy. There were so many people, it was so crowded and geez louise, so cold. But in spite of all that, it is so much fun. There's yarn to pet, bloggers to meet and apple cider doughnuts to eat. I enjoy going every year.

My purchases consisted mainly of my favorites from Brooks Farm Yarn. Willow, Acero and of course a skein of Solo. Back at our hotel room (in crappy lighting) it proved to be a bit difficult to decide which was more delicious. A caramel apple or an armful of yarn.

Just about all that yarn is intended for gifts needed for the next 6 months. Progress shots to come!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An FO and a WIP

Well I certainly didn't expect it to take this long to update my blog! An FO is always a good reason to blog, and since I left you with my big mess of a mistake while on vacation, I thought it would be good to rectify the situation with a beautiful (if I do say so myself) finished sweater.

I present to you my Drops 103-1 Jacket made with The Fibre Company Road to China yarn in colorway "Jade". Very fitting for the Summer Olympics in Beijing, despite my pathetic finish.

Now you may notice that the front of the sweater seems a bit higher than the rest. I swear to you all is good with the sweater. Just look a little closer at the belly.

Baby number 2 is on the way! I found out in August that I was pregnant and spent September quite nauseous. (That hardly describes it - but trust me it wasn't pretty and I'll spare you the details.) So now do you forgive me for not having written sooner? I'm trying to blog more often and read blogs again, but had a little hiccup with the whole "whoops, I'm knocked up!" thing.

If you're going to be in Rhinebeck this coming weekend, drop me a comment. I will definitely be there on Saturday. Now if you'll excuse me, I am long overdue in setting my bloglines to my new computer. So much reading to catch up on!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Dreams

I appreciate challenges and competition. I love the Knitting Olympics. I was psyched to give myself the challenge of knitting an entire sweater in 17 days. I decided to give my Drops 103-1 Jacket another go, knowing that the time crunch was the major part of my challenge, not so much the miles of stockinette. At the end of it all, I would have a gold medal as well as a beautiful sweater that I had made. Well that's just freakin' fantastic.

I worked hard! I knit in the morning, I knit while boiling water, I knit while watching the Olympics at night. It was very challenging - soon after the Olympics began, my babysitter went on vacation. Soon after that, the Annie Knits family left for vacation. It was craziness but progress was being made on my jacket and the end was in sight. Every spare moment was filled with a row of knitting. Upon arriving at our vacation destination I looked forward to lounging on a beach chair and finishing up the last of the sleeves of my sweater and seaming everything in time for the closing ceremonies. What a way to celebrate - Olympic gold on the beach in Bermuda. Our first day on vacation, I open my knitting bag and pull out all my accoutrement. Needles, blocking pins, buttons, extra stitch markers, kitty tape measure.... No yarn. No yarn! I forgot to pack the 3 skeins needed to finish up the sleeves and seaming. Well that's just freakin' craptastic.

There's always Vancouver...

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Red Hot Socks for Hotty Hubby

Secret knitting is really killing my blogging. Hey wait, that didn't stop me from posting to Flickr. Hmm. Ok, ok, I'm addicted to Flickr!

Hi, my name is Annie. I am addicted to my new camera and this website called Flickr. It is sucking every spare minute of my time, more than Ravelry, if you can believe it. I hardly have time to knit.

Hello! Snap back to reality! Must have time to knit. These socks may have taken longer than expected, but they did get finished. For Hotty Hubby's birthday (back in June) I wanted to give him a pair of red socks. I started them in May and I finished them in July but hey, I have a kid. And a Flickr addiction. He was surprised and he loves them. He wears them with his camouflage shorts with air conditioning blasting. It's sweet and a little funny looking.

These socks are my own fudging using a stitch pattern from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Socks. I knit them toe up with a short row heel to take advantage of as much yardage as possible. I still could have gone on for another inch or so, but 7" leg (including a 2" cuff) was my goal so I ended up with some scrap yarn. Yarn is Socks That Rock Heavyweight in colorway "Brick".

The stitch pattern is a 4 stitch repeat, but on both sides of the leg I purposely omitted the pattern and did a little ribbing instead. My husband has narrow ankles so I wanted to be certain that the socks would be snug around the ankle.

I did receive a request for the pattern, but since it is an adaption of a pattern already mapped out in Charlene's book, (and since I didn't take that great of notes) I will leave you with a guideline of what I did so that you can make these socks if you so desire. The stitch pattern is called "Decorative Ribbing" - page 87.

Red Hot Socks

Queue it!

STR Heavyweight - 1 skein

Size 4us circular needle (36" for magic loop)

Using the toe of your choice, (short row I what I used) cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the width of sock you want to make. Fudge the number to make sure it is divisible by 4.

After completing the toe, work stockinette on half the stitches (sole) and work the other half the stitches in the stitch pattern, making sure that you start and finish with a PURL stitch. This may mean that you have uneven number of stitches between needles 1 and 2, but that doesn't really matter as long as your total stitch count is appropriate for the size you are making and is divisible by 4.

Ok, take a moment now and just measure the toe before the stitch pattern starts. Mine is 2". Make a note of the length of the toe part of your sock. Knit the foot of the sock until you are less the length of your toe. In my case, the sock needed to be 10.5" long for the foot, so I knit (including the toe) for 8.5". At this point, continue with the sole stitches (the half of the stitches that are stockinette, borrow evenly from the other needle to make sure you have half the number of the total stitches) and work a short row heel.

Once heels are complete, continue in the round picking up stitches at the edges if necessary to fill in any holes from joining. (Take the next round to knit 2 tog or purl 2 tog as necessary to get back to your original stitch count.) Continue in the stitch pattern - keep in mind that since you have a stitch count divisible by 4, you should be able to continue with the stitch pattern all around quite nicely. You may not necessarily start a row on the beginning of a repeat per se, but it should work out. Fudge, it ain't just dessert.

I wanted the ankles to be snug, so fudging it a bit, (you get the theme here, right?) I started needle one and needle two omitting the stitch pattern in the first 4 stitches and just did a quick bit of twisted 1x1 ribbing to make sure the legs would be nice and snug around the ankles. It worked with the stitch pattern perfectly and you can see it in the photo above. You do not have to do this at all, but a neat little trick to keep those ankles from sagging should that be a concern.

Keep knitting until 1.5 to 2 inches less of desired length. Continue in 1x1 twisted rib. (Continue working the knit stitches through the back loop.) I wanted a 7" leg so I knit the stitch pattern for 5" and switched to rib for the last 2".

Cast off loosely (EZ sewn cast off is great) and wash, block and wear! Any questions or mistakes, please leave me a comment.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on. Yah, that suffered too. But I'm back! Miss me?

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Garter Stitch Love Fest

Surprise! This glob of garter stitch is a...

Baby Surprise Jacket! Almost, anyway. I kept waiting to update my blog because I was so close to being finished. I figured I'd wait until I seamed it and added the buttons. And then nearly 2 weeks went by and I still don't know when I am going to go find buttons. So there you have it. My 95% complete BSJ.

I used Noro Silk Garden Lite in color 2015. I wanted to keep the jacket on the feminine side so I cast on using the coral color. Luckily the coral showed up again on the bind off. I am thrilled. It's giving the effect that I was hoping for.

Over all these colors are new for me. They still have the dusty quality that I like, but a bit brighter than normal, plus the striping which isn't typical of my style. I am not usually a fan of yellow and yet I love the stripe of golden goodness in my garter stitch love fest. Yes, love fest. I loved working on this jacket. This is my second BSJ, my first real go with Noro (other than the coffee cup cozies) and I found it all delightful. I hope the recipient feels the same!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shhhh! My Show is On

No progress on the Drops Jacket and no progress on Cashew's sweater. I'm pretending they didn't happen so I can have fun knitting another Baby Surprise Jacket. Noro is certainly addictive (Silk Garden Lite color 2015) and so is the pattern. Such a great "end of the day" type knit, which is exactly what I am using it for. After a long day, heck, even a short day, busy day, lazy day, I don't really care what type of day, summertime has some great tvtime. Junk food tv and I'm a junkie. And that means knitting time. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to watch the season finale of Top Chef. Tomorrow, it's the season opener of My Boys...


Sunday, June 08, 2008


I can't believe June is here. Where did spring go and how did it fly by? Technically I guess it is not summer yet, though the heatwave sends a warning that it is on its way. June has been a nice time for me to get my act together. Last year it was the month that I worked out a new routine with my new baby. Now I (finally) have a new apartment and a fun summer to look forward to. So I have started this June with a little spring cleaning - better late than never.

I find cleaning works best from the closets out. Even though we downsized before moving, we still have boxes of random stuff in random places and it is starting to spill out into our living areas. If I want time to be crafty, I have to be organized, so straight to the guts - the closets. So exhausting going through memorabilia, gear we don't know if we still want, photo projects not done, medication for the cat no longer with us. Oye.

A nice find was a box labeled "winter". In it I found all my fingerless mitts, scarves, gloves and in particular, two items that have previously never made it to the blog...or ravelry...or flickr... I made this cowl about three years ago. It's the Pashmina Cowl from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I used Araucania Nature Wool. I wore it a couple times and completely forgot about it. Cowls seem to be making quite a comeback so after a refreshing wash I packed it back up but placed it on top of all the other woolly gear. Next fall when I am cold and pulling down this box I will see it first thing and will wear it.

Also in the box is something I have not forgotten. In fact, to many of you it may look very familiar. In fact, you may wonder if I have any other scarves at all because I practically wear this every day in winter. For the last four winters! It is simple garter stitch made with Morehouse Merino bought at the Union Square Green Market when Morehouse used to sell there. I had knit this scarf one spring many years ago as mindless project to help me get through a summer job. It is by far the item in my collection of handknits that gets the most compliments. A simple scarf made out of pretty yarn. The scarf has not pilled or faded which I find very impressive for a super soft single ply.

I love that the simplest knits can be the most pretty.