Monthly Archives: September 2006

Coming to you live from Trafalgar Sq

This is such a drive-by post that I feel as though I should just wait and do it properly, but since I had the moment to stop in at an internet cafe in my travels and saw that Knitty was up…Hurray! I’m so glad that Ivy is here!

I’ll be sure to post more upon my return from the UK, but allow me to welcome new visitors to my blog and please feel free to say hello. I’ve seen one or two comments already adn hope to be able to respond properly in a couple of days.

Happy knitting! I think this Knitty issue is spectacular, there are several pieces in there that I am coveting.

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London, dahling

I’ve managed to score a brief internet connection at my friend S’s place, where I’ve been for the last 2 days. I’ll be carrying on to a different place for the rest of my trip so I thought I’d take advantage and make a quick post. Who knows when I’ll have a good internet spot again! ;) Also, allow me to say how pleased I am that I was allowed my bamboo DPNs on the plane. You should have seen the jealous looks I got from a group of senior ladies behind me in the hour-long customs and immigration lineup at Heathrow.

I was a dutiful knitter and made some yarn crawl stops on my first day in London (yea verily, my first day – I was on about 2 hours of sleep and a lot of caffiene and sugar, but I made it through until midnight for some uknown reason. There but for the grace of Coca-cola and Starbucks went I.)

First, allow me to heartily recommend Stash Yarns. Some photos that show off the beauty:

(That’s my jacket and sock-in-progress draped over the chair and table.)


Michelle was very welcoming and chatted with me as I fondled all the lovely yarns, then invited me to sit with a drink and knit if I wanted to. And, since I didn’t have anything else to do and was suitably jet-lagged to be in a highly suggestible state, I did just that. So we conferred on sock knitting, how neat the Yarn Harlot is, the latest knitting mags, and I watched as a few other customers popped in and were attended to. They stock all the good stuff, and I managed to get away with only a couple of Lorna’s Laces skeins and some Debbie Bliss, but there is Fleece Artist, Blue Sky Alpacas, Rooster (a UK line I hadn’t heard of), Malabrigios, and much more.

I also did the check-in at John Lewis and Liberty (picture below).


I may go back to Liberty and have a look at the bath and home section, but I didn’t buy any yarn at either place. They both have a fairly comprehensive selection of Rowan, Debbie Bliss, and Jaeger, but little else. I have to say also that Liberty’s does have beauty on its side – the building is gorgeous both inside and out.

And now I have heard from a friend of S that there are some other knitting stores to check out, so I may swing by I Knit London which has apparently just opened.

Happy Knitting to one and all!

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Stash lust

Tomorrow, I hop on a plane to spend 8 days in England for a combination of a conference and sightseeing. I’m not sure what’s stressing me out more: my presentation at the conference, or worrying whether or not I will be able to take my knitting on the plane. (I have brought bamboo DPNs assuming they will be less frowned up on than metal ones, and installed a lifeline in my shawl, just in case the circs get confiscated. I’m taking the risk – 10 hours in airports and on a plane is too much to go without knitting if I can help it!)

(I also don’t know if the Knitty fall issue will be released while I’m away. I don’t know what my internet access will be like, but I will check in as much as possible. If it is, then, well – I hope you like my pattern! Erm, it’s my first design. *glee*)

Today, though, I’m very much in love with my stash. Or at least, this part of it:


Allow me to tell the stash story behind all of this.

In February (or was it March?) I finished a fair isle cardigan with yarn from Philosophers Wool. (It was my first time knitting with 2-stranded fair isle. It was awesome and I was only finished 1 sleeve before I couldn’t wait to do another one.) I used the “Tradition” pattern in 4 colours: Dark Purple Heather, Navy, Jade, and Dark Raspberry. When it was finished I still had a full skein each of the Dark Purple and the Jade, and probably the equivalent of a skein left in little balls from the other skeins that I’d used. All in all, roughly the equivalent of 3 skeins or 600 yds of Canadian 100% wool.


Then, I recently found some of their wool in the sale section of my LYS, and I snatched up a few in the Raspberry and Navy because I knew they would match and I thought perhaps it would help me use it up – I’ve been reluctant to use up the 3 skeins of my leftovers because, well, once I use it up then it’s all gone. Sure, from those 3 skeins I could have made a couple of warm, cozy, kickass pairs of socks, some striped scarves and hats, maybe a shawl or a nice bag…But I still kept saving it up.

Then, my parents were on vacation in the vicinity of Philosopher’s Wool and i realized that, with the now 6 skeins that I had, I could add a few more and easily knit another full sweater, this time in the “Colour Your Own” style that lets you start with a base colour of 2-3 skeins’ worth, and then just add in your own selection. So, they were going there anyway, and I asked them to pick up a few more, so now I have 3 Raspberry for the base colour, and then a combination of Jade, Periwinkle Blue, Navy, Dark Purple Heather, Light Purple Heather, and Dark Maroon will form the fair isle combinations. This one will be a pullover, and I’m looking forward to it. But all this will have to wait – I’m off tomorrow! My shawl and a basic sock project are all that shall accompany me across the pond.

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Onwards!

The first of the Simple Stripes socks is now done. *whew*
(unfortunately this is the best pic I could manage this morning ;) )

Where possible, I did fudge over the colours a bit by adding in smaller lengths from my 2nd ball of Simple Stripes yarn. I’m stubborn that way and I wanted the colours to match all the way through each pattern. I added 5 more rows of black between the end of the foot chart and the beginning of the toe decreases. And this process did teach me the short-row sock heel, so go me!

I can say with pleasure that this sock fits just perfectly after moving up to the size “Large” from the size “Small” , in the pattern. This involves 72 sts around on the same size needles. BUT, it does fit pretty darn just right. A few sts less and we might have a different story.

This is the part that really does me in, though: according to the pattern, my gauge is loose, and I STILL only just managed to fit this sucker on my foot. The pattern expects you to get 10.5 sts per inch with “Size 2″ needles. *pause to curse KnitPicks and their US-needle-size-only system* Now for me, Size 2 translates to 2.75mm needles, which is a normal needle size for me and socks. (Usually “normal socks” also allow me to use only 64 sts, but moving on…) Using these, I got 1 st per inch less than called for, both times (I say both times, because I had already half-knitted this sock once and then started over).

I do have the Size 10.5/11 feet, I’m full and ready to admit this. (One reason that knitting your own perfectly-fitting socks is so awesome.) But, my feet have never been considered “wide”. It is possible that my arch/instep is bigger than I thought. So either I have been vastly underestimating the size of my feet, or this pattern is grossly underestimating the size of the average foot that will fit the socks procured as a result.

Either way, my advice for this pattern? Measure your feet, compare it to the expected size in the pattern, and then double-check your gauge. ;)

The Second Sock Syndrome on this pair is going to be a DOOZY.

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