December 31, 2007

What I resolve for the new year

Groovy Socks in progress, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

While conducting a recent inventory of socks that I have completed so far in my lifetime (the total is 17), I realized that I could make more and so I set a goal for myself: To complete one pair of socks per month, 12 pair for the entire year of 2008.

As a head start to my goal I have a pair of Groovy socks that have been languishing on needles awaiting short row heels. I’ve been having a problem knitting a short row heel that I’m happy with. I guess I’m being a bit OCD about this because I have already knit a pair of these socks for my sister, Liz, and she loves them. So this is my second time knitting this pattern (same yarn too - I have a ton of it!). Part of the problem I’m having with the short row heel is my technique of purling which has recently been pointed out to me that I am doing it wrong (imagine!). Purling is not an issue when knitting in the round but going back and forth on short rows, it starts to become an issue especially when one is striving for consistency in technique. Well anyway, to make a short story long, I may very well be purling incorrectly but it certainly is fast!

Maybe this should also go under the heading of “I really need to get a life”.


oh yeah, and here is another pair of socks in progress...toe up socks started many months ago...

I really need to get a life

Dashing left, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

I finished left mitt - in less than 24 hours. Because of distractions, right mitt may take longer.

December 28, 2007

A quick knit and I’m “dashing” to the new year

Desperately needing a break from oven mitts and socks - I finished a pair of log cabin socks for Alice on xmas eve, wrapped them up and popped them under the tree- and she guessed what they were right away. Well anyway, craving a change of pace, Alice suggested I make something I’ve never made before. Brilliant! Inspired by the Yarn Harlot, I started Dashing last night. I really don’t know what to call these. Fingerless mittens? Topless gloves? In any case they’ve been frightfully easy to knit up so far. All this progress while watching The Office.

Dashing, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

I’m using size US4 needles instead of the size US7 which are called for in the pattern and the lovely yarn is Knit Picks Swish DK in Terra Cotta.

Stay tuned, dear Readers. The Oven Mitt pattern is coming!

December 25, 2007

The aftermath

The aftermath, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Everyone here seems more or less pleased with gifts received. Hope you are too. We’re off to see Juno now. Tschuss!

December 23, 2007

Ho ho ho...Who needs stockings?

Our Hearth, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

With oven mitt mania in full swing, the answer to that question is Alice. Alice needs stockings, that’s who! She nearly had a fit when she saw that I had used the oven mitts to decorate the hearth. Fear not gentle readers, the stockings aren’t going anywhere and will be positively bulging by Xmas eve. In the meantime I wish everyone everywhere a Happy Solstice, Peace on Earth and a most Happy Holiday Season.

December 16, 2007

And now for something completely different

Ballband Dishcloth, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Fans of Mason-Dixon Knitting will recognize the Ballband Dishcloth which is one of my favorite pieces of knitting meditation and if I’m not busy making an oven mitt then I’m making a washcloth. So today I took the washcloth, along with Alice and Max, out for breakfast to the Cup and Saucer Cafe on Hawthorne in Portland.

Here is Brent, our wacky waiter, taking Max’s order. Notice the secret message on the back of his order pad that only the recently initiated will understand. In between scarfing down food and snapping photos, I did manage to knit a few.

Another oven mitt in progress special ordered by Roland.

For myself I ordered the Northwest Salmon Benedict with fruit salad instead of potatoes.
Utterly delicious.

Alice likes to drown her poor potatoes in ketchup. We go through gallons of ketchup around this place.

All in all a fabulous way to spend a Sunday morning with the ones I love.
Get thee to the Cup and Saucer post haste!

PS: I've changed the settings so that anyone can leave a comment without getting a google account first. Try it out and let me know how it works. I would love to hear from you. :-)

December 11, 2007

Happy Holly Daze

Red Hat Tree Ornament, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

A few months ago I took a toe-up sock class from Chrissy Gardner and this lovely little socklet is the result. Not my first attempt at short row heel but I’m still not satisfied...still don’t feel that I’ve got it right. Almost a year ago, when I first quit smoking, I went through a sock knitting craze and now they hang all over the tree. My anniversary is tomorrow. I can’t believe I’ve gone a whole year without smoking. [A pause while I give myself a pat on the back].

Here is Alice’s favorite sock hanging near the pink ball ornament she picked out last year. The pattern for the conventional top down, gusset heel socklet can be found in the Holiday 2006 issue of Interweave Knits.

I like this sock. The mirror ball Xmas tree ornament hanging in the distance was purchased at the dollar store - TWO for a dollar.

After I painstakingly set up the tree the other night, Alice lit the menorah and it was truly a sight to behold. *sigh*

Warning: This is an experiment with strike through.

December 8, 2007

Gray days

Circles scarf in progress, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Actually the sun is shining today and it’s absolutely gorgeous outside so what am I doing in here? Just sharing another WIP with you and giving your eyeballs a little break from the constant barrage of bright colors that I subject you to. This is the Circles scarf from the book Knitting New Scarves and I abruptly stopped working on it some months ago. The challenge of all those little donut holes suddenly struck me as a real daunting task. Not sure when I’ll get back to it but I’m sure I will finish it someday. I always do. Finish things.

The yarn used is Knit Picks Panache which is quite possibly the softest yarn I have ever touched. It’s a simply awesome blend of Baby Alpaca, Cashmere, Silk and Extrafine Merino. So utterly soft. So unbelievably soft. Sorry but I think these colors are discontinued. Oh yeah, on size 10 needles. Can you spot a trend here?

Alice is on the sofa re-reading Atonement. I’m off to PDX. Ciao!

December 6, 2007

Homage to b r o o k l y n t w e e d

Hemlock blanket in progress, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Now it may appear to some of you that many of my projects are knock offs from the brooklyntweed blogsite and I need to address this issue. IT’S TRUE! I confess that I’m a huge fan of the designs and creations of Jared Flood. I think he’s an absolute knitting (and photographic) genius. At one time I must have had four or five of his knitting projects on needles at the same time. I have managed to finish some of them:
1. the Cobblestone sweater of course,
2. the Log Cabin socks, two pairs, which I first saw on his blog
3. the Beaverslide scarf although I didn’t end up making it from Beaverslide

HOWEVER, I *am* stuck on the Hemlock Ring Blanket. To the uninitiated, this lap blanket is really an oversized vintage doily with a giant feather and fan pattern. Somehow my count strayed and the feather and fan is a little lopsided, doesn’t jive with BT’s charted extension and seems overall a little warped (or maybe that’s me). I tried taking it off the needles to get a good look. It doesn’t lay flat but of course it wouldn’t because it hasn’t been washed and blocked yet. I thought I would start it all over but then thought better of it. It really is a lovely little far. And I do adore the color. In addition to brown, I'm a great fan of the color gray and this is an especially warm shade.

Perhaps I just need to let it alone for a while and allow it to gestate....perhaps I just need to give myself a break.

Stay tuned: More WIPs to come.

[Technical Info: Knit Picks Superwash in Squirrel Heather, Options circular needle size US 10.]

December 3, 2007


Oven mitts after, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Well I would have posted the finished oven mitts sooner but I took a detour over to Buddy’s house to pick up wood. The mitts are still wet but the colors being so bright and cheery really help me during these dreary, rainy, wet, gray…days. Hmmm seem to have run out of depressing adjectives to describe our current weather. Bob Dylan says it best. Still I think I have had it with the oven mitts and I’m thinking about casting on for a nice sweater. I have several options. Also several unfinished projects I need to attend to…some mindless some thoughtful. Some easy some complicated. More to come...

December 1, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside (and I'm all over the map)

We had snow flurries earlier but luckily they have subsided. Being from California I have to confess that I am not fond of the snow. Yes, it’s nice for about five minutes but this business of staying warm – and also paying for it – is truly a drag. On the bright side, it’s wonderful weather for knitting! Normally I do a WIP (work in progress) inventory at the beginning of every month and even though I haven’t officially done that yet, I have posted some pics of things I’m working on TODAY.

Future oven mitts, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

These two, pictured above, will become oven mitts when I throw them in the washing machine shortly. Just as soon as I get finished with this blog. The smaller one is an experiment that I hope will be become a tree ornament. I altered the pattern for the mini version so email me if you want to know the specifics (before I myself forget).

The oven mitts are my latest obsession. They’re so easy, offer instant gratification and make the best gifts. I’ve already given three away. I can’t even seem to wait for xmas.

Here’s one in progress that I started only last night as I was huddled next to the fire. Literally. Very dickensian I assure you. I’m using the bright brights of Lion Wool on size 10 wood needles that I’ve had so long I don’t even know where I got them. It’s a little like knitting with pencils. The clicking of the wood is oddly comforting.

And herewith another WIP but, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s a top secret GIP.