Friday, May 02, 2008


SKI-MET pattern

SKI-MET (convertible ski hat with helmet mask)

There has been some interest in the convertible hat I knit up a few years ago.

So I've typed up the pattern and it is now available for download HERE.
Happy Knitting,

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Surprise Jacket no longer

I decided to revisit a UFO (unfinished object).

This suprise baby jacket / sweater was completed about a year ago. But I didn't like the wide sleeves and uneven lengths of the front and back panels. I think someone mentioned the machine knit pattern I was using has an error in it somewhere. So this yarn was quickly recycled and is tranforming into a basic garter jacket.

I've got body finished. And am working on both sleeves at the same time.
Will get pics up soon.



HSS2 update

My HSS2 package went owl post to my swap pal Lily Ravenclaw. A week after the deadline. I received word it arrive safely. My pal continues to dilligently work on her sock transfiguration spell for my socks. She refuses to open my package until her package is complete. Very admirable. So I will hold off on my reveal pics so I don't spoil her surprise.

This is one of the un-progress pics.

Had to visit the frog pond after completing both socks.

Here is the package before I packed it. The finished sock is peeping out a bit.
Package weighted about 5 lbs.


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Sunday, November 18, 2007


A Hello Kitty Mystery!

There's a New 'Hello Kitty Mystery Knitalong 3' hosted by Oslofia.
I'm excited to join in.

Click on the banner for more info if you want to join.

Hurry! Sign-ups close on November 23rd!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


HSS2 Design Entry

Here is my design submission for the Hogwarts Design challenge.

The challenge was to design something Harry Potter related.

I created a graph of Fawkes surrounded by flames to place on a cup cozy.
You can use the
JAVA pattern from MagKnits and add this phoenix graph to it.

There are a couple of adjustments.
1. As instructed, place 1st stitch marker at the beginning of the round but place the second marker after 31 stitches (not 25).

2. Original pattern knits up in 21 rounds. This graph is taller at 28 rounds. So continue with pattern until you complete the graph rounds.

Happy knitting,

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Choose Your Knitting Wands

My Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 pal asked how socks can be knitted with circulars instead of DPNs.

There are two methods. The first with one very long circular 'wand'. Also known as the Magic Loop method. (Video tutorial)

The second with two circular 'wands' (needles). (Video tutorial)

I've tried both and found I prefer the two circ method since the Magic Loop puts tension between the two stitches where the loop of the long cable is folded. I still use the Magic Loop method sometimes if I don't have two of the same size circ wands handy. And I love it that two socks or two sleeves can be finished at the same time.


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Monday, August 20, 2007


HSS2: 6 Degrees of Seperation

HSS2 has put up another contest challenge. To link Draco to other characters in the HP books in 6 steps.

So from Arabella Figg to Draco Malfoy...
Arabella Figg (Neighbor to Petunia Dursley that babysits Harry sometimes)
Petunia Dursley (Harry P's Aunt)
Dudley (Petunia's son)
Harry Potter (Dudley's cousin)
Lucius Malfoy (Harry first met him in Chamber of Secrets and tricks him into releasing Dobby)
Draco (Lucius' son)

There it is, 6 Degrees of seperation.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


HSS2: Spells for Mini Wands - Stitch Markers

A student asked if I could share my incantation for Stitch Marking Wands (stitch markers). So for the benefit of those new to mini wand incantations... Muffliato!

This was fun to do and probably takes longer to explain than to do. I searched Hogwart's library and found an incantation similar to what I used.
Other variations on the incantation are listed below... I did not wrap the pin tail around the marker neck since I used a thicker 2" head pin.

Ingredients found at a tiny (craft) store at Diagon Alley that sold rainbow beads, dragon tears, ocean spray, elf made rings and silver moonlight head pins.

Choosing the ingredients is such a subjective thing.
Here is how I went about it. I conjured the wands like a story with a headline, a subhead and body of text. One 1/4 inch large bead would be the 'headline' focal point. Medium 'subhead' beads about 1/8 inch would give added color and texture. And the body is made up of small neutral color seed beads (helps the colors on medium and large beads stand out more.) (Make sure the seed beads have holes large enough to go on the head pins.) I chose to place one large focal point towards the bottom to visually anchor the wand. The rest, I folded a piece of white paper in half, and put beads on the inside fold to play with combinations of size and sequence until I liked what I saw and then placed them on the head pin.

Note: Longer markers with thick glass beads may end up being heavy. So shorter markers may be more user friendly to a sock knitter. I just happen to like the length to look like a wand. So my markers may be a bit heavier. Certainly the one with the largest bead on it.

Try it and have fun.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


HSS2: A Successful Spell!

I was notified by owl post that I've been paired up with Lily Ravenclaw.

I'm having fun running around the muggle net hunting up the proper ingredients for my yarn making potion. In the meantime I conjured up these stitch marking wands for Lily. After numerous wrong incantations. It finally worked!

For those of you who are NOT Lily Ravenclaw. Please say 'revealo' and tap the picture with your wand to see.

Sally-Anne Clearwater

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 (HSS2) Questionnaire

I'm a First Year in the Hogwarts Sock Swap TWO knitalong which runs from August 1 to October 31. Deputy Headmistress McGonagall has confirmed my application. Yeah!

Sign-ups started on July 14th and is filling up fast. So if you want to make and swap a pair of magical socks you can go

First Years are participants who didn’t enter the Hogwarts swap the first time around. Their swap packages will include: socks, a set of their pal's (house color) stitch markers and a set of sock needles.
Here are my answers to Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire.
What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Shoe size?
8.5" US

Foot Length?
9.75" US

Foot Circumference?
9.75" US (edited: Measured from instep (largest part of the foot). Circumference of the ball of my foot is 9.125" US)
List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
I don't currently use double pointed. For socks, I use 2 circulars or 1 long circular. I'm really awful about dropping DPNs. But if I have to choose then...
a. Lantern Moon Sox stix any wood size 2
b. Brittany Birch size 1-2 length, 5"
c. Crystal Palace Bamboo size 2, 6"

Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?
Any of the ones listed above.
But please note. My sock circulars have bad joins so I'm ready to upgrade. ...Would love to try Addi Turbo lace circulars. Size 2, 32 inch length. Or two size 2, 24 inch length.
( A quick online search and seems to have the lowest price and free worldwide shipping.)
If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?
I'm with Gryffindor. Love the burgundy-gold combo. I also love dark colors of wine, navy, and purples. Solid or gradual color changes, or stripes. Not Jaquard.

Allergies? Do you have any? Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals?
No fiber or pet allergies. I have animalgus Kois guarding my knitting. Otherwise yarns are stored in plastic bags and/or in bins when not in use.

Are you an international participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?
I'm in the US. International pal? Sure. Europe? Japan? Canada?

(My pal asked what length of sock I prefer. Calf length. Not knee socks.)

I look forward to starting my first year project. I hope the other HP fans at the home don't claim them before they're sent. It will be fun see how the house sox and book 7 develops. Whoo hoo!

Let the needles fly!


Sunday, July 15, 2007


A vist to Hogwarts!

I enjoy Rowling's HP books and have seen the latest film.

So what is a knit girl to do but to join a Hogwarts Knitalong!
This should be fun! Check it out. They're still open for applicants!

Hurry. Sign up quick. They will only take on 150 Hogwarts students!

Happy knitting,


Time at the Guild

I've been away from my site for so long.

Around January of 2006 I pitched in as an editor of the Carolinas Machine Knitters Guild (CMKG). That and along with life's busy schedule has kept me away.

Knitwise I have always kept a project on hand while traveling. With lots of UFOs still waiting for completion.

And I managed to knit a bit on my knitting machines. I usually don't get much opportunity to sit still to machine knit. And last year I knit something for submission to the CMKG yearly contest. My incentive was to knit something to qualify for a complimentary copy of the book. (No, since I'm not part of the contest staff, I'm not qualified to automatically get a copy).

What a lovely surprise last year when I placed First Place in the Beginner category.

This year I didn't have time for a timely entry. But I still put something in the contest book.

When I hunt down my knit pics over the last year. I'll post them.

Happy knitting,

Friday, January 13, 2006


Japanese Book Cover Sweater

OOooooohh Ahhhh... Just had to share this.
This japanese blogger has finished the pattern book cover sweater.

A beauty. (Front and Back pics) (Close up of center stitch pattern)



CIT Swatch Yarns B1 & B2

I set aside my first swatch for a couple of days and revisited it today. Doing that and checking the feedback. (Most advised to choose another yarn that's less busy and with less halo). I'm facing the fact and shall find a more suitable project for that beautiful yarn.

I've stash dived and came up with this one to try. Worsted Top of the Lamb. And since I've only got 1lb of it. I've paired it with NatureSpun sport for the sleeves. I've got 2lbs of it.
(I'll have to adjust for the thinner sport weight.)


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Swatch in the Sun

I posted a question on the KAL site "Tweed too Tweedy.

As suggested. I'm posting a picture of my swatch taken in sunlight so more detail can be seen.

What do you think?

(click to enlarge) Note: large image, 15 seconds to download on 56k modem.



KIT-KAL Swatch A

I've been saving a cone of scrumptuous 100% Alpaca Burgundy-Old Gold tweed to knit something special. The scale confirms there's two pounds of it. Woohoo. Enough to make the sweater.
Do you think tweed is too busy?

Here is what the swatch looks like. (Taken without the flash to show shadows)

Here is what the yarn looks like. The red should still be a bit deeper red.

I got gauge using 2 strands, U.S.#7 needles, knit flat. But the stitches are too open. So I'll be doing up another swatch with three strands.


Monday, January 09, 2006


Kerry Blue Shawl - Nearing the End

The shawl is off the needles. Here it is on the last knit row. My 2 year old is holding it. It's taller than her.

Here it is. Finally off the needles. Before weaving in the ends and blocking. The edge is rolling in over the crochet edging.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The Search for the Right Yarn

I'm finishing up another project before starting on the KAL. But for the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about what yarn to use for the KAL.

I have lots of yarn but the usual excuses come up.
Not the right thickness. (This happens most of the time)
Not enough of one color. (Only have 9 skeins of a Burgundy DK)
Not the right color. (Majority of other colors are not in the red family)
It's tweed and I need solid. (I have a beautiful burgundy/gold alpaca cone, might be too busy with cables. Not sure if I have enough yarn too.)

I would love to get some Blackwater Abbey yarn. The swatch samples posted by another knitter looks so pretty.

But what is the point of a yarn stash if all the excuses prevent me from using them? So I'm determined to stash dive. I agree that the cable detail would show better with a medium shade of color. So black and inky blue is out.

I have a 2-3 pound cone of navy superwash that I'm going to try. It's a thin sock yarn so I'll have to knit with at least five strands held together. This is the first time I'm knitting more than two strands. So I'll see if it drives me crazy or not.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Substitution Calculations & Such

Updated 01-04-06

Cara's knitalong site is open for sign-up

FAQ's touch on the pattern specifications.
Margaret R. D. in the Hebride group helped translate some of the pattern specifications. And confirmed what all the different numbers at the top of the pattern refer to. Thank Margaret.

So here is my summary and my substitution yardage calculations.

Yarn: HAMANAKA Men’s Club Master. Yarn color: Wine (#9)
(Yarn card here
Content: Superwash Wool 60% acrylic 40%, 50g skein, approximately 85m
Needle sizes recommended:
(Japanese needle size 7-8 or 4.2mm-4.5mm)
nearest U.S. needle size 6 – 7 or 4.25mm - 4.5mm
Yardage: Jacket 865g (865g divided by 50g skeins) = 17.3 skeins
Hat 120g (120g divided by 50g skeins) = 2.4 skeins
Jacket plus hat requires 19.7 skeins

(Note: 1 meter = 1.0936132983 yards)
Kanzawa site lists yarn at … 85meters per skein.
edit: This is NOT correct. As Marina of pointed out to me. The color card notes 75meters. Thanks Marina.
(I've removed the calculations of 85 meters. The following is the correct yardage reference)

At 75 meters per skein...
19.7 multiplied by 75 = 1477.5 meters = 1615.81 yards for Jacket and Hat
17.3 multiplied by 75 = 1297.5 meters = 1418.96 yards for Jacket only

(Add a skein or two to ensure you have enough yarn for your project)

7 buttons of size 2cm x 1.5 cm (the ones on the pattern picture are shaped like an oak leaf)

Size: Pattern only provides one size.
Jacket: Finished chest circumference = 99.5cm (38.8 inch)Finished jacket length = 57cm (22.2 inch)Finished sleeve length = 76.5cm (29.8 inch)Hat: Finished hat circumference = 54cm (21.1 inch)Finished hat depth = 20.5cm (8 inch)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Japanese Knitting Symbols - Demystified

I posted more findings of knitting symbols to the Hebride list and thought it would be good to note it here at my blog. Go to Japanese Translation Tips. Scroll down to the bottom.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Secret Pal Strikes again!

I am leaving a quick note of thanks to my secret pal for sending me my last package.

So many lovely treats. The lace shawl pattern I've been hoping for. And my first set of Addi Turbos! I was always afraid to order them because it might spoil me. I have over 30 other non-Addi needles.

And there were so many other cute goodies. I'll post a picture of everything after Christmas and reveal my secret pal then. Thank you secret pal.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Another sample of the Aran

Wow. This japanese knitter has the back finished and is working on the sleeves. And she's not even part of the knit along. Wish I could ask her opinion on her knitting progress. But I did not get a reply when I e-mailed her.

Lovely. Just lovely.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Join the Japanese Aran Knitalong

edited: Dec. 22, 2005
The Knitalong will begin January 1, 2006. Cara of will be setting up a knitalong blog so members only can post their progress there.

We will be knitting from a Japanese language pattern book. The aran cardigan pattern:
Am KaminThe pattern book is call "nitsuto ni koishite shimada toshiyuki no se ta butsuku dentou nitsuto no atarashii densetsu ~ by shimada toshiyuki"
a.k.a. New Style of Heirloom Knitting
ISBN: 4529039927
Here is the initial info she posted about it.

I ordered the pattern book from and it took a about a week to arrive from California.

It has 17 gorgeous designs. Here are some of the pics.

Check out Mary's
swatches . She made them even before she received the pattern book. And she provides a sample of the
Swatch Chart she used too. Awesome!

edit: I've joined two discussion groups that touch on this pattern. Recently there were discussions about yarn choices, questions on swatching and resizing the pattern. You can join them at Aranknit Yahoo Group, Knitting Beyond the Hebrides list


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Crossed in Translations - Japanese Translation TIPS

I'm excited to join in the Crossed in Translation knitalong. For this beautiful sweater set. And I just got in my copy of the book. As mentioned here on my blog, I don't know Japanese. But have worked on interpreting a toddler japanese pattern from another book. So here are a few hints on interpreting the pattern.

Crossed in Translation:
Aran Knitalong Translation tips
Added Dec 19, 2005
Added Dec. 21, 2005

Added Dec. 22, 2005
Added Dec. 27, 2005
Updated Jan. 03, 2006

Suggested Cast on method:
Looks like a tubular cast on is the method I'll try on the ribbing. There are several tutorials for Tubular cast on that require cutting the waste yarn. But I like this one the best. Using a string of crochet stitches to start with and then just pull the end of the crochet stitches to remove quickly, without cutting.

Gauge - On the project description, line 8. It mentions 10cm. On the same sentence is 28 a boxy charater then 24 and another character.
edited: In addition it lists A~I with a four character phrase before it. The phrase = pattern stitch

Translation: Swatch size is 10cm or 4" square. 28 stitches, 24 rows
in pattern stitch A through I.

Yarn substitution possibilities - Aran weight yarns: Cascade 200, Blackwater Abbey, Virtual Y arn 3-ply (Stitches have less definition), Jamieson's or Jamieson & Smith (Stitches have more definition). They're all nice yarns. On the Hebride knit list, it's been suggested that DK yarn may work too.

Yarn substitution calculations:

On the a top of the back panel chart is 14 (40 boxy character)
Translation: 14 cm (40 stitches)

Increase and decrease notations. For example the sleeve increases noted as 2-1-6 and then 4-1-2.
Translation: First number is how many rows before an increase,
second is how many stitches to increase, third number is how
many repeats.
From example increase every 2nd row, 1 stitch at each end,
repeat 6 times, then increase every 4th row, 1 stitch at each
end, repeat two times.

Additional decreases by sets.
On right side of the back panel are three sets of decreases. Then a '> 9 with box in box character'.
Translation: You decrease as noted 1-1-3 and 2-1-1, repeat the first then second decrease sets 9 times before doing the third set of decreases.
(Box in Box is the charactor for 'Repeat')

On each of the diagrams is a bold arrow.
Translation: Cast on from that edge and knit in arrow direction.
(I've seen on another pattern where there were two arrows on the
diagram. Indicating to cast on above the ribbing to knit up and
then pick up on cast on to knit down for waist ribbing.)

The script 'L' symbol is knit through the back so the stitch twists.

I don't know about the symbol that looks like a flying fish. Someone mentioned the Austrian Twisted Stitch (Bovarian Twisted stitch) is part of this pattern. Is this it? I'm going to look up this stitch in the 'Knitting in the Old Way" book.
edit: "Knitting in the Old Way" describes the traveling cable as a cable formed by a knit twist stitch with the knit or purl background stitch. Twisting the stitch gives the cable more depth.

In the aran pattern, there are two types of flying fish symbols. One with a hyphen underneath the fish flipper and one without the hyphen. A hyphen means the cable is formed by a knit twist in front and purl stitch on back. No hyphen means two knit twist stitches that cable cross. For how-to diagrams (without a cable needle method) click
HERE and scroll down to the flying fish symbols. Note: Read the diagrams from RIGHT to LEFT. This link has clearer images on how to knit through back loop for a "knit twist stitch", and purl through back loop for a "purl twist stitch" .


Updated Dec. 27, 2005
Japanese Knitting Symbols - Demystified

On the Hebride list. There was a request to clarify a symbol used in the front cover sweater. And some question on the flying fish symbol. I checked my Japanese pattern books and found the two symbols in question. I also found that Tata-tatao has illustrations for the most common ones too.

Cover Sweater:
'Old fashion water pump with handle on right and hyphen under symbol'. (Hyphen means you purl the two stitches instead of knit shown in this illustration)
Old fashion water pump with handle on left and hyphen under symbol'. (Purl both stitches instead of knit.)

'puppy nose symbol'

'standing fish symbol' = Make 1 (M1) or Twist stitch. Look at next row in pattern. If more stitches appear then it is M1. Otherwise it is a twist stitch.
Make one, twist right, knit - Used in cover sweater
Make one, twist left, knit - Used in cover sweater
(If hyphen is present under symbol. You make one as shown in the illustrations above and you purl instead of knit.)

These 4 kinds of M1 stitches are used in the cover sweater. (See page 69, Chart E, next to row number 70, standing fish notations (Bold and non-bold)

Twist stitch (Used in Am Kamin, red sweater and hat pattern)

'flying fish'
The illustration in my japanese pattern book confirms this is cable cross. With the front stitch as a twist stitch. And the back stitch as a knit stitch. Unless a hyphen is present then the background stitch is a purl.
Just as illustrated previously.


Friday, December 09, 2005


Slow progress

With the winter weather I have a bunch of projects I would love to finish up. But I've had little time to focus on my knitting. Other life obligations butting in.

I did finish the feather fan portion of KBS, a few rows on the Mosaic socks, and a test swatch here and there.


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