Sunday, December 14, 2008

Number 11 and counting

Here's the 11th set of socks this year. They're knit from the top down and done in the wonderful Austermann Step with Aloe. I'm in love with the stripes and the repeat was frequent enough that it wasn't hard to match the striping on second sock

I tried something different with the toe: I modified the Round Toe and ended with the kitchener stitch. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE LOOK OF THIS TOE!!!!!! It has a lovely curve and using the kitchener avoids the funny little elf point one so often gets with the regular Round Toe. more sock to go. The stress of getting it done for Christmas was getting to me, what with everything else going on. Then it occurred to me that the year doesn't end till the 31st! SO it doesn't look like there'll be a knitted gift under the tree for my husband this year...

That takes a bit of pressure off. There's still so much holiday work - haven't wrapped a thing, still have to decide on the Chrismas Carols we're singing next week so we can learn them all, there are parcels to mail, fruitcake to make (a pale apricot pistachio this year) and the Christmas cards aren't quite finished - looks like England won't get theirs till the week of New Year's at this point...My parents are visiting and Mum took care of the baking-of-the-cookies-with-the-kids this year. (There was a wee bit of stress when my mother realized that my husband had accidentally poured the Wheat Flour into the All Purpose Flour tin, resulting a cookie dough was unbelievably soft and difficult for the kids to roll out, but Mum was a trooper and made the best of it.)

We did make the annual trek out into the woods of Edinboro to cut down our Christmas tree this morning. On a sad note, it was the first year in recent memory that Bailey wasn't with us, bounding around, getting her leach tangled in the trees, and occasionally knocking one or the other of us into deep snow in her exuberance (she never really did lose her puppy mentality). Her absence was especially noticeable because it seemed like EVERYONE IN ERIE COUNTY was at the tree farm WITH THEIR DOG this year...but I think in general fun was had by all.

Here are the kids modeling their knit hats...I love that they love the things I make them!

And thanks Amy and Linda for your kind comments about Bird in Hand Designs, I'm having a really good time with it.

For now it's back to #12. I'll feel better if it's at least on the needles,

Yours in Trekking,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I've got news!

I'm starting a pattern business! Bird in Hand Designs

Printed copies of my patterns will always be available at Cultured Purl (thank you Sue and Shirani!), but once is up and running, you'll also be able to find me online at Ravelry and Etsy. Toward that end, I have started a blog here at so feel free to stop by and let me know what you think. There is a TON of set up involved: I'm hoping to be officially open for business in February. In the meantime I'd love your thoughts and comments.

I just got designer status at and I have a couple of free patterns that you can download here and here.

Take a peek and let me know what you think!

Yours in knitting,

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another toe-up sock completed!

My younger daughter is getting a pair of socks for Christmas, and here they are - my second pair of toe-ups done in the gorgeous but sadly discontinued Trekking 100. For this pair I used the new square needles Shirani and Sue just gone in. They're nicely fast, being metal, and the point is a joy for getting through the tiny wraps at the short row heel, but I have to say my tension is not as even as it is with wood, and I found the shortness of the needles caused a bit of cramping in my hands. But, they are definitely worth a try, if for no other reason than to throw a little novelty into your knitting! They come in sets of 5, which is nice for the toe-up technique, and I believe Shirani has them in 0,1,2,& 3s.

My younger daughter is also a dancer, and although her arch is not quite as high as her sister's, it's high enough to warrant the addition of two 6 stitch gussets at the turn of the heel. (See the detail of the gusset in the photo below.) Also, her point shoes have a wider box to accommodate the width of her toes (making pointe a lot less painful!) so to account for her specific foot shape, I made a much wider toe by beginning the cast-on with 24 stitches.

These small changes to the basic toe-up pattern, made better fitted socks for both girls (although they won't know it till Christmas morning!) For my son's pair, and that's number 11 if you're keeping count, I'm going back to my old friend the top-down sock. I'll let you know how it goes,

yours in yarn,