Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

January 2005 CIC Vest Challenge

What is CIC?

Three CIC vests from my 2004 knittingThe CIC Knit List is having a January vest challenge which I'm coordinating. I'm excited to see how many vests we can knit up in January.

The warm little vests are among the most needed and gratefully received knitted items. They're quick and easy to knit up and you can even have some fun with them.

Some knitters like to knit a pocket and insert a little toy. Other knitters like to play with the stitch patterns or yarn colors and come up with something cute and colorful. But even a plain vest in a plain color is going to provide much needed warmth for some child in an Eastern European orphanage, so don't feel you have to do anything special. Each vest makes one child warmer. That's special enough.

Here are the guidelines for the challenge:

1) CIC requests at least 50% animal fiber content. More is better. It doesn't have to be luxury yarn, it just needs to be warm.

2) Deadline for mailing is January 31, 2005.

3) Send finished vests to:
Kathy Graziani
9124 Flamepool Way
Columbia, MD 21045

4) To have your vest(s) counted as part of the challenge, send an email to CIC-knit@yahoogroups.com after the vest(s) are mailed. We like to hear about your vest(s) as you're knitting them, but they won't be officially counted until they are mailed. (If you're not a member of CIC Knit List, email me to get counted.)

5) If you want to make sure your package was received either use delivery confirmation or stick a stamped, self addressed postcard in the package.

6) It takes about 200 yards of bulky yarn to knit a toddler sized vest. If you have more yarn than time and would like to donate yarn to those who have more time than yarn, please contact me.

7) If you could knit more vests if you only had the yarn, contact me and I will match you up with a yarn donor if possible.

8) The most needed sizes are 2 (24 inch chest) and 4 (26 inch chest), as the children are small for their age. However if your vest turns out to be a different size, send it anyway. It will fit some child and keep them warm.

9) The classic What's In My Pocket Vest by Claudia Krisinski is very popular with CIC knitters. It's quick, easy, and no sewing except for the pocket. (I usually leave the pocket off, and that's OK.)

The three vests in the picture were knit using this pattern. You'll be surprised at how fast they knit up.

With the bulky weight yarn the vests are 72 to 76 stitches around and it only takes about 60 rows to make the length.

I use Lopi. Lamb's Pride Bulky is also excellent.

Some knitters use double strands of worsted weight yarn with warm, colorful results.

There are other vest patterns in the CIC Knit Files section, including a vest to crochet.

Each warm, wool vest makes a BIG difference to the comfort of one child. We can't make too many!

Will you join us?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Carol's Old Shale Two Yarn Sock

I know there are a few sock knitters out there who are knitting the Old Shale Two Yarn Sock Pattern. Today I was thrilled to see a picture of one of the resulting socks.

I'm sure it's very unsophisticated to be thrilled at this, but I am. It's my very first adult sock pattern and I'm loving it that knitters are finding it a fun pattern to knit.

Carol Breitner sent a message to the Socknitter's group:

"Hi, I knit the beautiful Old Shale sock. Yes, "sock." The second sock is partially done though! Marguerite so generously posted this pattern on her blog Stitches of Violet."

"I changed the heel and toe to garter stitch. I really enjoyed working on this pattern. I used yarn that somebody once gave me ("Can you do anything with one 50g ball of sock yarn?" Marguerite's answer is emphatically YES)"

Carol Breitner's Old Shale Two Yarn SockNeedless to say, I could hardly get to get to Carol's Picturetrail album fast enough to see how the sock looked.

WOW! The garter stitch heel and toe compliment the lace cuff just perfectly. A very artistic variation on the original pattern.

Carol says the garter stitch heel is cushioned and comfy. It looks it.

While I was browsing around Carol's Picturetrail album I admired the tiny little sock earrings. She sells the pattern online and I've seen it at several yarn retailers.

Take a look. They're really cute.

If anyone else completes an Old Shale Two Yarn sock, I'd love to see it and post a picture. e-mail Me.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Circulars vs Double Points

Someone left a nice comment about the Old Shale Two Yarn Sock Pattern and then asked "Can I use dpns with this pattern instead of 2 circs?"

There is nothing you can do on two circulars that can't be done on double points.

The Old Shale lace cuff is four repeats of 16 stitches, so I recommend using 5 double points with 16 stitches per needle to allow for easy stitch counting.

Even as an experienced Old Shale knitter, I count my stitches after working each 16 and also just before knitting the next pattern row. I hate ripping out lace and find the obsessive counting saves time in the long run. That's especially true for this pattern which has a yarn over at the beginning of the 16 stitch repeat.

Anyone with a basic understanding of instep stitches and heel side stitches won't have any trouble knitting this pattern on double points instead of circulars.

The gusset pickup part of the pattern is intentionally vague about needle usage. I always pick up the gusset stitches with double points and keep the heel side stitches on two double points until the gusset decreases are completed.

Sunny sitting in my kitchen knitting chairMy reason for knitting socks on two circulars has nothing to do with the knitting process.

Three years ago we got a little puppy. Sunny would sneak up and jump into my lap while I was knitting and I was afraid she would poke her eye on the double points.

The circulars dangle and are much less dangerous. I don't claim any other benefit of using circulars over double points.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Knitting Related Gifts

Two skeins of Opal Magic, a little dog, and a Sock Journal We agreed to have a frugal Christmas this year. I could tell all the gifts were thoughtfully selected with love. That makes them so special.

These are my knitting related gifts plus a little bobblehead dog from Kimmy. He is just the cutest thing with a hybrid of markings that resemble both of my little dogs.

John and Anne sent Opal yarn from Idaho. Both skeins are from the Magic collection.

I love Opal Magic. I've knit yellow Opal Magic socks for Heather, green Opal Magic socks for Mom, and purple Opal Magic socks for myself. Now I have blue and brown to work with. I'm looking forward to it.

I love all Opal sock yarn. I've told my family they can't go wrong giving me any skein of Opal that catches their eye.

Mom ordered the Sock Journal from my Amazon wish list. When it came, she was concerned because it was so thin. Nothing to be concerned about. It has twelve sock patterns, one for each month of the year, technical advice, and plenty of places to keep notes.

There are several of the patterns I want to knit. First will be the February socks with the lace hearts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Very Simple Barbie Wrap

Barbie in her red Glitterspun shawl wrapGranddaughter Kimmy just happened to get a strapless Barbie dress that exactly matched some Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn in my stash.

Grandma cast on 11 stitches and knit a very simple but beautiful wrap in seed stitch.

The yarn label called for size 7 needles, so I used size 9 to make sure the resulting fabric would drape well.

The resulting wrap is 2.5 inches wide and 11 inches long.

Glitterspun is a ribbon yarn with glitter, as the name implies. The glitter doesn't show up well in the photo.

I know this is a poor excuse for a knitting project, but it was quick and fun and just the thing for three days before Christmas. Kimmy is going to love it and Barbie really needs it.

Even though I'm going to see Kimmy on Friday night, I'm going to mail it to her tomorrow. She likes to get mail. It's part of the fun and it will make it much more special than if it is mixed in with her Christmas gifts.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Pink (Actually Blue) Beads Sock Progress

Blue beaded socks progress pictureThis is my progress picture for the fourth pair of socks in the Six Sox Knitalong.

The yarn is Opal Uni-Solid 26. Yes, for those of you who are observant, this is the same skein of yarn I used for the solid blue color in the Old Shale Two Yarn Sock .

The cuff on this beaded sock pattern is very short. I'm now past the gusset decreases on the first beaded sock and it looks like there is going to be enough yarn to finish it.

This is my least favorite of the Six Sox patterns so far. That's not as harsh as it reads. I feel neutral about this pattern: neither disliking it nor excited about it. I've loved the previous three patterns in the knitalong.

In doing these socks I have learned a new method of attaching beads on stockinette stitch. They are threaded on a slip stitch to hold them in place. It is going to be a very handy technique for putting beads on Barbie clothing.

These socks are going to Mom, hopefully for Christmas. Although what she really wants is a pair of Old Shale Two Yarn Socks in pink. She will get them, too, just not for Christmas. I love my Mom.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Old Shale Two Yarn Sock Pattern

Completed pair of blue Old Shale Two Yarn socks
Size: Women’s medium
Yarn: Sock/fingering weight.
Yarn requirements: 34g of A, the multicolor. Approximately 50g of the solid. (Shoe size 6-7 took 43g.)
Needles: 2-24” circulars US 1, 2.5mm
Gauge: 8 stitches/inch 10 rows/inch in stockinette stitch

The blue socks in the picture are knit with Opal Cool Ocean 226 and Opal Uni-Solid 26.

Note: The socks are designed to be worn with the cuff folded down. The picture on the left shows the ribbing under the cuff which functions to keep the sock snug to the leg.

yo = yarn over
k = knit
p = purl
slip = slip purlwise unless pattern specifies knitwise
ssk = slip knitwise, slip knitwise, knit two slipped stitches together
slip2 = slip 2 stitches knitwise
p2sso = pass 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch
k2tog = knit two stitches together
p2tog - purl two stitches together

Old Shale Pattern (16 stitches and 4 rounds)
Round 1: (yo,k,yo,k,yo,ssk,ssk,(slip2,k,p2sso),k2tog,k2tog,yo,k,yo,k,yo,k) 4 times
Round 2: knit
Round 3: knit
Round 4: knit

Cast on 64 stitches with A.
Join is the beginning of a round and the left side of sock.
Split stitches between two circular needles, 32 stitches per needle.

Close up of Old Shale Two Yarn cuff
Round 1: knit.
Round 2: purl.
Round 3: knit.
Round 4: purl.
Round 5: knit.
Round 6: purl.
Round 7: knit.

Knit the Old Shale Pattern 6 times (24 rows)

Turn the sock inside out on the needles.
Knit a round.
Note: This knit round is going in the opposite direction from previous rounds.
At the end of the knit round pick up the horizontal bar between the two needles and knit the bar together with the first stitch of the next round.

k1,p1 rib for three rounds.
Switch to color B.
k1,p1 rib for 20 more rounds.

Move last stitch of round to heel needle. Heel needle now has 33 stitches, instep needle has 31 stitches.

k7,p1 rib for 15 rounds, centering wide ribs as follows:
Heel needle: k4,p,k7,p,k7,p,k7,p,k4 (33 stitches)
Instep needle: k3,p,k7,p,k7,p,k7,p,k3 (31 stitches)

Cut B and attach A.

Eye of Partridge Heel
Row 1: (slip 1, knit 1) 7 times. slip 1, k2tog, (slip 1, knit 1) 8 times. 32 stitches on needle. Turn.
Row 2: slip 1, purl to end of row. Turn.
Row 3: slip 1, (slip 1, knit 1) 15 times, knit 1. Turn.
Row 4: slip 1, purl to end of row. Turn.
Row 5: (slip 1, knit 1) 16 times. Turn.

Repeat Row 2 through Row 5 7 more times. (Total of 17 slip rows)
Repeat Row 2 and 3. (Total of 18 slip rows)

Turn Heel
Row 1: slip 1, p 17, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 2: slip 1, k5, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 3: slip 1, p6, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 4: slip 1, k7, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 5: slip 1, p8, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 6: slip 1, k9, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 7: slip 1, p10, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 8: slip 1, k11, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 9: slip 1, p12, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 10: slip 1, k13, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 11: slip 1, p14, p2tog, p. Turn.
Row 12: slip 1, k15, ssk, k. Turn.
Row 13: slip 1, p16, p2tog. Turn.
Row 14: slip 1, k16, ssk.

18 stitches left on needle.

Pick up Gusset Stitches
Cut A and attach B.
Pick up 19 stitches along right edge of heel.
Knit across instep maintaining rib pattern.
Pick up 19 stitches along left edge of heel.

Knit a round.

Gusset Decreases
For gusset decreases, round starts at center of heel needle.

Round 1: knit to last 3 stitches of heel needle, k2tog, k1, knit in ribbing pattern across instep, k, ssk, knit to center of heel needle.
Round 2 - knit to instep needle, knit in ribbing pattern across instep, knit to center of heel needle.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 33 stitches remain on heel needle.

Continue knitting around keeping the 31 instep stitches in the wide ribbing pattern.

1 inch before the first toe decreases, cut B and attach A at the beginning of the sole stitches.

Toe Decreases
Start on sole needle 2 inches before desired length of sock.

Round 1: (k, ssk, k to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k) twice, once on sole needle, once on instep needle.
Round 2: knit

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 17 stitches remain on sole needle and 15 stitches remain on instep needle.

Repeat round 1 until 9 stitches remain on each needle.
Kitchener toe and weave in ends.

Copyright Marguerite Byrne, 2004. To be used for private, non-profit use only.
Send comments and corrections to knittingviolet@gmail.com

Friday, December 17, 2004

Blue Old Shale Two Yarn Socks - Done

Completed pair of blue Old Shale Two Yarn socksLove the way these socks turned out. They're just as pretty as the Old Shale on Fire Socks, but with a completely different personality in blue.

The socks are designed to be worn with the cuff folded down. The picture on the left shows the ribbing under the cuff which functions to keep the sock snug to the leg.

Do you have any partial skeins of sock yarn you want to use up?

In a women's medium with a size 6 - 7 shoe, the pattern takes about 34g (1/3 of a 100g skein) of the multi colored yarn and 43g (less than half of a 100 g skein) of the solid.

The blue socks in the picture are knit with Opal Cool Ocean 226 and Opal Uni-Solid 26.

The pattern is almost ready for publication. Hopefully it will be posted here sometime before the weekend is over.

Life is a bit more hectic than usual due to quickly approaching holidays. Gotta run.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

CIC Tally for 2004

Two vests for CIC, a green Cloverleaf Lace pattern and a blue Making Waves patternThis is the time of year when knitters on the Knitlist are posting lists of everything they've knit in 2004. Since I don't read the lists because I find them very boring, I hesitated to publish a list of my own - but only for a moment.

I'm not going to go back and count all the items I've knit this year, but I do keep track of my CIC knitting.

My goal for 2004 was a pair of CIC socks a month. Met! Total sock pairs sent to CIC this year is 16.

Another goal was to knit more CIC vests. After the first few they got very boring so I looked for ways to make them more interesting.

When I joined the Six Sock Knitalong, I challenged myself to use each pattern in a toddler vest for CIC. That has been fun. In this picture the green vest incorporates the Cloverleaf Lace pattern from the June/July knitalong. The blue vest uses the Making Waves pattern from the August/September knitalong.

The December/January knitalong pattern is a beaded sock. It will be a bit of a challenge to make a corresponding vest, but I have a few ideas. That vest will be number one done in 2005.

I knit and sent 9 vests to CIC in 2004.

At the end of my CIC list stands one lonely caregiver shawl knit using the Candle Flame Shawl pattern.

I share my list of CIC knitting in the hopes of inspiring myself and others to match it for 2005.

Here is a partial list of free sock patterns for children available on the internet, including my own Mini Basketweave Toddle Sock Pattern. Quick, easy take-along knitting projects to warm the feet of cold little orphans. How can you top that?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Avoiding Second Sock Syndrome

How do you avoid Second Sock Syndrome (SSS), where once the first sock is done the second sock never gets knit? Because who wants to do the same project twice?

I have learned that I can not be depended upon to ever knit a second sock once the first one is finished, so I have strict rules for myself.

Partially done pair of socks showing pins to mark rows1) Divide all 100g skeins of sockyarn into two balls.

2) Have the second sock on the needles before the cuff of the first sock is half done. (I use two sets of 24" circulars.)

3) When picking up a sock to knit, pick up the shortest one.

4) Never knit the foot until both socks have complete gusset decreases. Gusset decreases are my least favorite part of the sock.

5) Do not Kitchener off the toe until both socks are ready to Kitchener.

The last time I got lazy about rewinding the yarn into two balls was two years ago. I knit a beautiful Conwy from Knitting on the Road, admired it often, but never started the second one.

For almost two years every time I started a new pair of socks I had that guilty feeling I should be knitting a second Conwy instead.

Finally, when the Six Sock Knitalong did the Making Waves pattern, the Conwy yarn was perfect for the Waves pattern. I admitted there was never going to be a second Conwy. The lonely Conwy got frogged and the yarn turned into a pretty pair of Making Waves.

What Are the Pins For?
The plastic pins in the pictures are how I keep track of the row count. For Opal yarn knit on Addi Turbo #1s, my size 6 feet need 60 rows between the gusset pickup and the start of the toe decrease. I slip in a pin marker at 20, 40, and 50 rows. Sure makes the counting easy.

Rules are Made to Be Broken
The blue Old Shale Two Yarn sock currently on the needles is the first adult size sock I have ever knit with the intention of sharing the pattern. I took notes while knitting up the first sock. Then I wrote up the notes into a pattern and I'm test knitting the pattern with the second sock.

So, I'm breaking my rules in order to test knit the pattern. There is no SSS because I'm trying to get the socks done in time to give them as a Christmas gift. Don't want to count on that for future pairs, though. I need a better SSS avoidance plan for pattern writing.

Friday, December 10, 2004

On the Needles December 10

Blue Old Shale socks, one done and one startedOne blue Old Shale Two Yarn sock done and the pattern recorded in draft. Now I'm test knitting the pattern by knitting the second sock.

Usually I knit both socks at the same time to avoid SSS (Second Sock Syndrome). It takes a bit of will power to complete a sock and then knit another identical sock. It's not even OK to make the second sock a little better. It has to match the first or it won't be a pair.

I'm getting a new appreciation for knitters who write patterns with all the detail involved. It's hard work and it slows down the knitting.

Now I'm off for some fun with Granddaughter Kimmy. We'll do a movie, bake some cookies, and (shudder) go Christmas shopping at the mall so she can select a gift for her mother.

By the time I take her home on Saturday evening, I'll be exhausted but happy. She always brightens my life.

The dark blue beads for the Six Sock Knitalong have arrived. It's very tempting to get those socks started before finishing the blue Old Shale Two Yarn socks.

Thanks to a hint from list member Sheron, I now have a plan for incorporating some ribbing and keeping the beads in place on the smooth knitting. Will report in detail if it works.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Old Shale on Fire Socks

Old Shale on Fire socksA few months ago I knit this pair of Old Shale socks, making up the pattern as I went along. When they were done, I posted this picture on by personal blog, Seasons of Violet.

The socks are knit from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn. The multicolored outer cuff, heel, and toe are knit in a colorway called "Flame", so the socks are named "Old Shale on Fire".

Underneath the lacy cuff is two inches of solid red k1 p1 ribbing to cling snuggly to the leg. The lacy cuff folds loosely over the top of the ribbing, hiding it.

Once the ribbing starts to show from under the cuff, the ribbing changes to k7 p1 and continues down the instep.

The colorful toe starts an inch before the toe decreases in order to show off the Flame colors and keep the colorful yarn combination in balance.

These socks were knit for granddaughter Kimmy. I got so many requests for the nonexistent pattern that I kept the socks so I could knit a second pair and write the pattern down. That's what I'm doing with the blue pair of Old Shale socks pictured in Monday's post.

The first blue Old Shale sock is almost done. Old Shale has always been my favorite lace pattern and I'm enjoying the knit.

I've recorded the pattern and will test knit it by knitting the second blue Old Shale sock. The pattern should be ready to publish here sometime before Christmas.

Kimmy is finally going to get the Old Shale on Fire socks as one of her Christmas presents. Hope she likes them. If not, I know her mom will wear them.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Knitting Log for December 6

Fluted Banister socks in Opal Handpainted #12 and a pair of matching baby socksAnne's Fluted Banister Socks - Done
The yarn is a very beautiful, rich Opal Handpainted #12.

The purple accents don't show on my laptop, but they do on Bob's desktop monitor. Hopefully you can see all the colors and get an idea of the beauty of the handpainted yarn.

I couldn't resist using the left over yarn to knit a matching little pair of baby socks for my granddaughter.

Went to the internet for a free baby sock pattern and found several to use as a guide. I incorporated the Fluted Banister stitch pattern in the cuff so the baby socks would match Mother Anne's.

The socks look so little it's hard to believe they are going to fit. I'm sure they won't fit for very long. Baby Girl is due April 4 so hopefully she can wear them a few times before her feet grow too big for them and/or the weather gets too warm for them.

Six Sox Indecision
Saturday night I stopped at Hobby Lobby to look for 8/0 beads for the Six Sock Knitalong project. I wanted a deep, dark blue which I couldn't find. So I settled on pearly white. By the time I got home, I was sorry I had bought the white beads so I found some dark blues online and ordered them.

For the one pair of beaded socks I knit over a year ago, the instructions say that the beads need to be between two purl stitches in order for them to stay on the right side of the fabric. Our Six Sock Knitalong pattern doesn't have any purl stitches. I'm wondering if the beads are going to be OK just sitting there on top of the flat knitting. At the same time I'm wondering if the socks are going to fit OK without any ribbing.

We're allowed some leeway in modifying the pattern to suit our needs and preferences. I'm trying to come up with an acceptable variation on the pattern that includes some purling and some sort of rib pattern.

So far it has me stumped.

Blue Old Shale cuffOld Shale Two Yarn Sock
While waiting for the beads to arrive, I'm knitting a pair of blue Old Shale Two Yarn socks for daughter Heather.

The fold down cuff is Opal Cool Ocean 226. The solid blue color emerging from under the cuff is Opal Unisolid 26.

There is whole post worth of information to write about this project, so I'll save it for another day.

Mini Basketweave Toddler Socks for CIC
Karen at Tangles knit a pair of Mini Basketweave Toddler Socks using the pattern from my November 15 post .

This is the first report of anyone knitting something from a pattern I wrote and I was thrilled to see the picture she posted. She made the socks for CIC, making it even more special.

If you use anything found on this blog, I'd love to hear about it. It just makes my day to know that knitters are reading it and getting ideas from it.

Either email me or leave a comment.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Helmet Hat from Knitter's Winter 2004

Snowy dog walking path - reason for the hatThe Winter 2004 Knitter's arrived on a cold snowy day in very late November. While I was scowling through the magazine, I spotted a pattern for a helmet hat.

Ugly? Yes. Warm? Yes.

Perfect for walking the dogs on this snowy path. Plus, it looked interesting to knit and I happened to have a container of left over Lopi from making CIC vests.

Some of the Lopi even matches my new Squall Parka from Land's End.

Left side of Lopi helmet hat from KnittersMany times when a pattern strikes my fancy the urge to knit it fades rapidly after I look at the picture more closely. This was just a simple, quick to knit hat so I didn't study the Knitter's picture too long.

If I would have looked at the picture with a more critical eye, I would have noticed that the hat is very large on what appears to be a woman with a normal size head.

Since I have a small head, I went down a needle size and cast on without swatching. (Not swatching on small projects is a bad habit of mine that I am uninspired to change.)

The hat still turned out too big for my head.

Back of Lopi helmet hat from KnittersThe helmet knit up fast. The modular knitting was different and fun - until it was time to weave in all the ends.

Hint: When joining yarn for a new triangle, take time to figure out which stitches need to be picked up in order for the new triangle to end in the right place. Or frog like I did.

Only had to frog once before I figured it out.

The extra knitting probably didn't take any longer than trying to calculate the best joining stitch from reading the pattern.

Yes, that does mean that the pattern could have been more helpful. I wouldn't want to be a new knitter and try to knit this helmet with the minimal instructions given for joining the triangles.

Top of Lopi helmet hat from KnittersThe helmet hasn't been washed and blocked yet because it's cold outside and I've been wearing it several times a day when I take the dogs out for a walk.

I'm having dangerous thoughts about trying to shrink it a little. Shrinking is an exercise at which I've never been successful.

I could knit a swatch and see how it felts/shrinks. But then I would have to think about how if I only would have measured my head and knit a swatch in the first place, I might have a helmet that fit better without the extra fuss.

There's a pattern somewhere in an old Knitter's of a helmet hat that covers the entire neck and rests on the shoulders. I remember it being much more ugly than this one, but it might be warmer. Maybe I'll just find that pattern and knit a second helmet instead of knitting an after-the-fact swatch.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Almost Ready to Bead Again

We received our December/January pattern for the Six Sock Knitalong today. I was disappointed challenged to see that it is a beaded sock.

The name of the thing is Pink Beads Sock. The pattern is a neutral colored yarn with a band of beadwork in pink beads. It probably wouldn't be right to post the picture on Stitches of Violet, but if you click here during December/January you will see a picture of Pink Beads Sock.

Beaded Faux Cable Ankets for MomThe picture on the left is NOT the socks for the knitalong. This is the only pair of beaded socks I ever knit, a wonderful pattern called Beaded Faux Cable Anklets by Heartstrings published in the Summer 2003 Heels and Toes Gazette. (Back issues still available for purchase. Click here.)

The pattern was so well written, complete with every helpful instruction and hint necessary for success in a first beaded knitting project, that I couldn't resist knitting these socks just for the fun of seeing if I could do it.

The yarn in the picture is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Sherbet.

Beaded socks are not my style, so I asked Mother if she would like the completed pair. And, like a good Mother, she jumped at the chance. The socks were finished over a year ago and I love to see them on her feet. She wears them with pride and loves to show them off to anyone who will look.

I never intended to knit another pair of beaded socks. Once was enough. 480 beads was enough.

Now I'm faced with knitting another pair. If I keep true to the pattern name, it needs to be another pink pair. It's going to take a few days to get enthusiastic about this project.

The good news is Mom says she is willing and pleased to be the recipient of a second pair of beaded socks, so someone I love wants the finished pair.

The color is a problem. As is obvious from the picture, Mom and I have already done pink. I think the Pink Beads Socks for the Six Sock Knitalong are going to be blue.

I'll start knitting on the Blue Beads Socks as soon as I can get to Hobby Lobby and buy some beads.

Get ready for a bit of bloggy crankiness while I knit a pair of socks with 432 beads.

Please know I'm not really a crabby old lady. I'm grumbling about these socks with a smile on my face. Sometimes it's fun to complain a little.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Winter 2004 Knitter's Magazine

There was a time, several years ago, when one of the highlights of my knitting life was to receive a new copy of Knitter's. I would spend several hours going through it and enjoying the patterns and techniques.

Now I'm seriously thinking of letting my subscription lapse. The quality of the magazine has declined. The patterns are mostly things I could knit without a pattern - if I wanted to knit them, which I don't. What little editorial content there is holds no interest for me.

Still, it doesn't seem right to be a knitter and not subscribe. If I don't have my copy I won't be able to see what so many people on the knitting lists are complaining about.

Oops, that's not true. Knitter's does publish online pictures of the projects in each issue. I really have no excuse to pay money for this magazine. I'm still thinking it over.

While I'm thinking, the Winter 2004 issue arrived.

First thing I had to check out was the much ridiculed Sock Scarf with randomly placed afterthought heels.

In the large picture that goes with the pattern, they show the scarf looped around the neck of a man. He has both hands thrown up in the air as if he can't wait to get that scarf thing off his neck. The look on his face says, "This thing is awful but I'm smiling anyway because they're paying me for this."

After that description, I probably don't need to tell you my opinion of the Sock Scarf? Your opinion may differ. If you make it, keep your sense of humor and expect people to stare and point when you wear it.

Another ugly pattern is the Pick-up Diamonds Helmet Hat. But it sure looks warm, so I sat down yesterday afternoon and knit one out of Lopi. I'm still weaving in the ends so it's not ready for the camera yet. Should have a picture by Friday.

I'm only wearing this helmet in the privacy of my own property while walking my dogs.

Lastly, I'm thinking about knitting the Jean Frost Tea Rose Jacket. Mostly what I'm thinking about is all those bobbles. I'm not sure I want a jacket with hundreds of bobbles, although they look subdued and attractive in the picture. And I'm not sure I want to knit hundreds of bobbles. The effort could turn this into one of those projects that I can't bare to finish.

What do you like and/or not like about the Winter Knitter's?

Friday, November 26, 2004

On the Needles November 26

Start of fluted bansiter socks in Opal Handpainted 12Anne's Socks
It was a busy week getting ready for Thanksgiving. When I had a chance to knit I worked on DIL Anne's socks. This picture was taken this morning. It's now evening and both heels have been turned.

The Fluted Banister Pattern is easily memorized and perfect for short spurts of knitting.

I'm having a frustrating time trying to get a photo of the Opal Handpaint 12 that looks anything like the actual yarn. The actual yarn is vibrant shades of blue with accents of bright purple. The light looking spots are the purple.

I took pictures with the flash and pictures in the natural light and pictures in the sunlight. None of them did the yarn justice. It's the most beautiful, lush sock yarn I have ever knit and I long to show it off to my readers, so I won't give up.

When the socks are done, hopefully by the end of next week, I will try a few more lighting options. Any suggestions on how to make the photo better?

CIC Firefighter socks completedCIC Firefighter Socks
The socks for the Six Sock Knitalong CIC contest are finished, washed, and ready to mail out.

They were knit from Kim Salazar's Firefighter pattern using 30 stitches on #5 needles with Cascade Quatro 100% wool.

Barbie Aran showing front and shouldersBarbie Twisted Aran
No knitting progress on the Barbie Aran. In fact, I'm planning to frog it and start over again.

I sat down one afternoon and redid the front on paper, adding four more stitches across and planning a better transition between the body and lower ribbing.

There are moments of sanity when I wonder why I decided to knit something so complex for my first Barbie pattern. It's possible that after a few more good nights sleep I will decide this project was not a good idea and knit Barbie something much simpler.

No new projects on the needles this week. My new Opal solids are calling to me. They want me to design some socks using the solids and leftover self-patterning Opal in combination. I'm looking forward to doing that and plan to post the patterns.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Candle Flame Shawl

Finished Candleflame ShawlDuring the spring of 2004 the CIC_Knit List knit shawls for the CIC caregivers.

I knit this Candle Flame Shawl out of worsted weight Peace Fleece.

Using a #9 needle, the result was a nice draping fabric still heavy enough to provide warmth.

It took 16 ounces/800 yards of yarn, and I used almost every inch of it.

If you knit this shawl, remember to save a generous amount of yarn for the garter stitch band that finishes the long side of the triangle. (Experience speaking here. LOL)

I had to frog and make the band narrower than the pattern called for because I didn't have enough yarn left. Turned out I liked the narrower band better anyway.

Candle Flame Shawl stitch detailPeace Fleece is 30% Mohair, 70% wool), 2-ply wool.

They advertise themselves as "A yarn company committed to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade."

That's great as long as the yarn is nice - and it is.

The Peace Fleece colors are complex and rich. This color is Dusty Rose, a dusty pink with orange and white flecks named after the wild roses that grow high in the mountain valleys of Soviet Georgia.

Monday, November 22, 2004

No Sew Toddler Pocket Vest

Vest with no sew pocket
A very practical, easy to knit toddler vest is the What's In My Pocket? Vest. Claudia Krisniski wrote this pattern especially for CIC knitting and it has been used over and over again by those of us who knit for CIC.

The fun part about having a pocket is the opportunity to tuck a little toy in it. The unfun part, for me, was sewing the pocket onto the vest.

CIC vests are worn by the kids until they fall apart, and sometimes after they fall apart. I always felt like my sewn on pocket was the weakest part of the vest, especially with little kid hands going in and out of it. So I started making a knit in pocket.

No sew pocket up close

This is how it's done:

The vest is size 2, 72 stitches at 3 stitches per inch.

Knit two inches of k1 p1 ribbing. (Pocket will still work if you prefer the garter stitch bottom border. I like the ribbing better.)

Knit 17 rows after the ribbing.

With a second ball of yarn and a second needle, pick up 20 stitches just above the ribbing in the center of the front. To pick up a stitch, go into it from the top and loop around the horizontal bar of yarn.

Work the following 17 rows in the picked up stitches.
Odd rows are wrong side.
Even rows are right side.
Ssk = slip as if to knit, slip as if to knit, knit two slipped stitches together.
K2tog = knit two stitches together

Row 01 - K3, p14, k3 (20 stitches)
Row 02 - k20
Row 03 - k3, p14, k3
Row 04 - k20
Row 05 - k3, p14, k3
Row 06 - k4, ssk, k8, k2tog, k4 (18 stitches)
Row 07 - k3, p12, k3
Row 08 - k18
Row 09 - k3, p12, k3
Row 10 - k4, ssk, k6, k2tog, k4 (16 stitches)
Row 11 - k3, p10, k3
Row 12 - k16
Row 13 - k3, p10, k3
Row 14 - k4, ssk, k4, k2tog, k4 (14 stitches)
Row 15 - k3, p8, k3
Row 16 - k14
Row 17 - k3, p8, k3

Now go back and knit with the main needle. When you get to the center 14 stitches of the front, knit the pocket stitch and the vest stitch together.

I haven't done a size 4 vest yet, but I'm thinking the pocket for size 4 will be two stitches wider and two rows taller.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Dividing Yarn for Matching Self Patterning Socks

Occasionally I get asked how I get my self-patterning socks to match so perfectly.

The "perfect" match is an illusion, but "close enough" looks perfect when the socks are on two separate feet.

First, let me say that I find exactly matching my Opal socks a fun challenge. For those who find it more frustrating than fun, I see nothing wrong with socks not matching if that is the knitter's intention.

Then there are some yarns with short color bursts where trying to get an exact match will only result in a headache: yarns like Opal Crocodile, Opal Handpainted, Opal Cool Ocean, Regia Line Steps.

For those yarns I just weight the skein on a kitchen scale, wind until half the skein is in a ball, cut the yarn and start winding a second ball.

Green Opal Magic socks with matching stripesThat said, this is how I get the perfect match as displayed here in the pair of green Opal Magic socks I knit for my mother.

Take the band off the skein and weigh the skein on a kitchen scale.

Put the skein in a slippery bowl with tall sides or a wastebasket so it won't roll all over when winding. I usually wind from the outside of the skein.

Write the color changes down on a piece of paper as the yarn is wound so you can get a feel for the pattern and the repeat. Write whatever it takes so you can recognize the repeats.

It might look something like this:
  • White with one inch black blobs
  • Light green
  • Light green with navy dots
  • Dark green
  • Etc

Use the kitchen scale to determine when half the skein has been wound. Cut the yarn at the end of a color band.

Sometimes when I have a picture of a finished Opal sock, I know where I want the cuff to start, so I make sure that stripe is the last color wound.

The second ball wound is not likely to end at the same spot as the first. But if the socks are going to match, it's necessary to have it end at the same color band as the first ball. Frugal people will have a hard time with this, but there will be a little ball of waste yarn at the end of the second ball.

Once you have two balls, very carefully measure the distance from the caston knot to the end so the second sock is caston in exactly the same place.

Friday, November 19, 2004

On The Needles November 19

CIC Firefighter sock cuffsCIC Firefighter Socks
The Six Sock Knitalong is having a CIC contest. Everyone who knits a pair of Kim Salazar's Firefighter socks for CIC and posts a picture before December 6 gets entered in a random drawing for a 100g skein of Regia sock yarn.

Kim calls the pattern Firefighter because the stitch pattern looks like ladders.

This picture was taken around noon today. Tonight Bob cooked dinner while I turned both heels and completed the gusset decreases. The socks should be done sometime tomorrow.

The pattern is actually for an adult size, toe up sock. The stitch pattern is a multiple of six. To knit child size in worsted weight Cascade, 100% wool, I've reduced the stitch count to 30. And, just because I'm in a hurry and can knit cuff down in my sleep, I'm knitting it cuff down.

Barbie Aran showing front and shouldersBarbie Twisted Aran
I'm attempting to design an Aran Barbie sweater on size 0 needles with fingering weight sock yarn. The cable looking stitch work is done with twist stitches, hence the name, Twisted Aran.

This is my fun project. Tiny little stitches and trying this and that and doing lots of frogging. I don't promise to have the patience to turn in into a polished pattern to publish. I'm not even sure there is anyone else as crazy as myself who would like to knit such a fussy little thing.

Granddaughter Kimmy is not going to be impressed with all my little twisted stitches. She would be much more impressed with something dazzling and cool.

This version is going to be too tight - if anything can be too tight for Barbie. It's obvious there are going to be other things I will wish I had done different, so I'm planning on knitting a second, nicer sweater out of Aran colored Opal solids. Unless I decide I have better things to do, like knit something Kimmy will actually like.

Red Opal solid and Lionbrand Fun Fur to create a Barbie somethingBarbie Dazzling Red
My Opal red solid arrived. It is very very bright, almost orangish, red. Beautiful!

I spotted the Lionbrand Fun Fur at the grocery store and just had to have it. I know that mixing this fun fur and this Opal red yarn is going to result in something that Kimmy will love.

Maybe a Barbie dress and a stole?

Start of fluted bansiter socks in Opal Handpainted 12Birthday Socks
Now that there are six family members plus myself who want handknit socks, I have to have a way to decide who gets the next pair. So I decided on birthdays.

Only two of the six have a birthday in the same month (October). The two who have never had a pair of hand knit socks have birthdays early in the year, so they will be getting theirs at the beginning of the list. Using birthdays should work well.

This is Opal Handpaint 12, a beautiful blue blend with accents of purple. The purple doesn't show up in this picture. Not sure why. The yarn is much prettier than it looks here.

These are for DIL Anne in Idaho. (John, don't show her this.) I'm using the Fluted Banister Sock Pattern again. I love my Fluted Banister Opal Handpainted 11 socks and am looking forward to working on this second pair for Anne. There should be no problem getting them completed by her January birthday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Free Sock Patterns for Children

This list is just the beginning of a list of free sock patterns on the internet suitable for CIC knitting.

If you know of any good children's sock pattern links, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

My Patterns
For now there's only one.

Other Patterns
I have not knit any of these patterns.

e-mail Me with your feedback on this list, additional free internet sock patterns suitable for CIC knitting, to report broken links, or just to say hello.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Mini Basketweave Toddler Sock Pattern

Two pair of Mini Basketweave Toddler SocksWorsted weight socks knit on two circulars.

Size: Small toddler.

Yarn: Approximately 100 yards of worsted weight.
Must be at least 70% wool for CIC.
Socks in picture were knit with 1.5 ounces of Cascade 220.

Needles: 2 - #5 circulars (or size needed to get a firm, solid fabric).any length 16” or longer. (I prefer 24” length.)
3 same size double points for the gusset area. (Optional)

Gauge: 5.5 stitches per inch.

Note: Gauge is not all important for CIC socks. They will fit some child no matter what size they turn out to be. It is important to have a firm, solid fabric as the socks are worn inside, usually without shoes.

Close up of Mini Basketweave Stitch PatternAppreviations:
k knit
p purl
ssk slip, slip, knit
p2tog purl two together

Mini Basketweave Stitch Pattern - multiple of 4.

Row 1: knit
Row 2: p2, k2
Row 3: p2, k2
Row 4: knit
Row 5: k2, p2
Row 6: k2, p2

Cuff and Leg
Cast on 28 stitches using the long tail caston.
Join stitches, placing 14 stitches on each needle with the caston tail on the right side of the first row.
First 14 stitches are the heel side, second 14 stitches are the instep side.

k2, p2 ribbing for 8 rows.
Work basketweave pattern for 22 rows, ending after Row 4.

Heel Flap
Row 1 (Right side): Slip 1, knit 1 alternately across the 14 stitches.
Row 2, (Wrong side): Slip 1, purl across.

Repeat the 2 heel flap rows 7 times.
Do another Row 1.

Turn Heel
Slip 1, p7, p2tog, p. Turn.
Slip 1, k3, ssk, k. Turn.
Slip 1, p4, p2tog, p. Turn.
slip 1, k5, ssk, k. Turn.
Slip 1, p6, p2tog. Turn.
Slip 1, k6, ssk.

8 stitches remain on needle.

Gusset Shaping
Note: Once the gusset stitches are picked up, there will be 26 stitches on the heel side needle. This works, as the number of stitches decreases quickly. A second option is to split the 26 stitches between two double points until the heel side is reduced to 14 stitches.

Pick up 9 stitches along edge of heel.
Knit instep, keeping in pattern stitch.
(If you followed the pattern exactly, you will be on Row 5 of the basketweave stitch pattern.)
Pick up 9 stitches along other edge of heel.
Knit 4 stitches from heel, place center heel marker.
Knit 1 round from center heel to center heel keeping instep in pattern stitch.

Gusset Decreases
Knit to last three stitches before instep, k2tog,k.
Maintain basketweave stitch pattern on instep needle.
On first three stitches after instep k, ssk, knit rest of stitches back to center heel.
Knit 1 round from center heel to center heel keeping instep in pattern stitch.

Repeat these two rounds until heel side of sock is reduced to 14 stitches.

Knit 28 rows (counting from the gusset pick up) keeping instep in basketweave stitch.
Start toe shaping after basketweave stitch pattern Row 3 or Row 6.

Toe Shaping
On heel side of sock k, ssk, knit to last three stitches, k2tog, k.
On instep side of sock k, ssk, knit to last three stitches, k2tog, k.
Knit a round without decreasing.

Repeat these two rows until 8 stitches remain on each needle.
Do the decrease row 2 more times until 4 stitches remain on each needle.
Close the toe with kitchener or three needle bind off.
Weave in ends and admire your work.

Wash socks in mild soap and lay out flat to dry. I use baby shampoo.

Copyright Marguerite Byrne, 2004.
Send comments and corrections to knittingviolet@gmail.com

Friday, November 12, 2004

First Opal Solids Order

Just had to spend some money on yarn today at my favorite online Opal source, Fiber Nooks and Crannys. No affiliation, just quick, friendly, and accurate service.

They are always first to get the new Opal collections up and available on their web site, so when I know a new collection is due I start watching. Yesterday I was rewarded by seeing the new Opal Solids for sale.

Trouble was I had about ten projects in mind for the Opal Solids, and needed to narrow the list down to a reasonable starting amount before I could order. That was my first task of the day today.

I ordered two skeins of red. There's a sock pattern with hearts and hugs I want to knit for someone I love. And red is one of my favorite colors to knit. I always have a use for red yarn.

Daughter Heather asked for blue socks, so I ordered a skein of the bright medium blue. It's going to be paired with some multicolored Opal for a jazzy sock with Old Shale lace cuffs.

I'm knitting a Barbie Aran. Have to say that with a smile because I've frogged it (rip-it, rip-it) several times. The pattern is an original design with saddle shoulders. So far it's been more error than success. The current version is in a light pink Lorna's Laces. I want to knit the final version in off white, so I ordered a skein of Opal Solid ecru.

Will also be using the ecru for solid color areas on socks. Like I mentioned, I have so many - too many - ideas of things to do with Opal Solids.

Fluted Banister Socks out of OpalHandpainted 11My son and daughter-in-law, who live across the country, have both requested a pair of Mom's knitted socks.

The Fluted Banister pattern is perfect for socks where approximate fit is the best I can do and it's beautiful in the Opal Handpainted. So, I "had to" order Handpainted #12 and #14 for their socks.

(Darn! After I posted I got notified that the #14 was sold out.)

The picture shows the Fluted Banister pattern in Opal Handpainted #11, my third pair of socks for the Six Sock Knitalong.

The new yarn should arrive sometime early next week. I have projects to finish before then so I will be ready to knit. Have no idea how I'm going to pick which project to do first. Guess I'll have to see which yarn screams at me the loudest.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Fluted Banister Toddler Vest Pattern

Fluted Banister Toddler VestVest is knit in the round from the bottom up.
No seams. No sewing required.

Yarn: 150 yards of bulky weight wool. Vest in picture was knit with Lopi.

Needles: 2 - Size 10.5, 24 inch circulars.
(Second circular is for holding stitches and can be less than 10.5)

Gauge: 3 stitches per inch. 4 rows per inch. (Approximate gauge is OK for CIC. It will fit some child who needs it.)

Finished Size: Toddler size 2 - 4. 24 to 26 inches at chest, 13 to 14 inches in length.

Body of vest from ribbing to underarm
Cast on 74 stitches, loosely.

Join and place marker (left side marker).

k1, p1 ribbing for 37 stitches.
Place marker. (right side marker)

Continue k1, p1 ribbing in the round for 2 inches.
End at the left side marker.

Knit circular Fluted Banister pattern for 4 inches (or a bit longer), ending at the left side marker after Row 4. (Total length, 6 inches.)

Circular Fluted Banister pattern:
Row 1: (k7, p4, k1, p4, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p4, k1, p4, k7) twice.
Row 2: (k8, p3, k2, p3, k2, p1, k2, p3, k2, p3, k8) twice.
Row 3: (K9, p2, k3, p2, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p2, k3, p2, k9) twice.
Row 4: (k10, p1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1, k10) twice.
Fluted Banister Vest Stitch Chart 1

Knit four more rows in the round changing the four stitches before and after each marker to purls.

Circular Fluted Banister pattern for the underarm inch:
Row 1: (p4, k3, p4, k1, p4, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p4, k1, p4, k3, p4) twice.
Row 2: (p4, k4, p3, k2, p3, k2, p1, k2, p3, k2, p3, k4, p4) twice.
Row 3: (p4, k5, p2, k3, p2, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p2, k3, p2, k5, p4) twice.
Row 4: (p4, k6, p1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1, k6, p4) twice.
Fluted Banister Vest Stitch Chart 2

Circular knitting ends at left side marker.
Markers are no longer needed.

Front Flap
Move 37 stitches of the vest back onto a second circular needle to hold until vest front neck edge is complete.

Knit the Fluted Banister pattern for the front flap back and forth across the front 37 stitches until flap measures 5 inches (or a bit longer).
End after knitting Row 4.

Fluted Banister pattern for the front and back flap:
Right side Row 1: (k7, p4, k1, p4, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p4, k1, p4, k7)
Wrong side Row 2: (k4, p4, k3, p2, k3, p2, k1, p2, k3, p2, k3, p4, k4)
Right side Row 3: (k9, p2, k3, p2, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p2, k3, p2, k9)
Wrong side Row 4: (k4, p6, k1, p4, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p4, k1, p6, k4)
Fluted Banister Vest Stitch Chart 3

Front Neck Edge
k1, p1 rib for one inch.
Leave stitches on needle. Do not bind off.
Cut yarn, leaving 8 feet of yarn attached to vest.

Back Flap and Back Neck Edge
Join yarn at right side.
Make back flap and neck edge the same as front flap and front neck edge.

Shoulder Seam and Bindoff
Turn vest inside out.
Bind off 4 stitches on the left shoulder using 3 needle bind off.
Without breaking yarn, bind off across the vest back neck edge VERY LOOSELY, stopping with 6 stitches remaining on needle.

Turn vest and bind off 4 stitches on the right shoulder using 3 needle bind off.
Without breaking yarn, bind off across the vest front neck edge VERY LOOSELY and weave yarn into left shoulder bind off.

Turn vest again and finish binding off the back the same as the front.

Make sure the neck opening will pull over your head before you cut and weave in the ends.

Wash the vest in mild soap (I use baby shampoo) and cool water.
Lay out flat to block and dry.

Fluted Banister Sock Pattern

Copyright Marguerite Byrne, 2004.
Send comments and corrections to knittingviolet@gmail.com

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Basketweave Toddler Sock for CIC

Basketweave Toddler Sock for CIC One sock down and one to go. These little socks knit up very quickly on #5 needles and worsted weight wool. This pair is Cascade 220, a 100% wool that flows off the needles.

It's a bit of a challenge to come up with different stitch patterns to put on the cuff. With only 28 stitches around, the pattern needs to have a low number of stitches and rows in order to look good. (Hum, maybe I can prove that theory wrong. I'll have to work on that.)

Also, my feeling is that it's best if the stitch pattern has some elasticity in order to fit a variety of foot shapes. I've read that the young children do not have their own clothing assigned to them, so a different child may be wearing the socks each time they are washed.

The little basketweave pattern meets the above requirements and is interesting and fun to knit.

I will write up the pattern and post it here sometime within the next week. I can test knit the pattern while knitting the second sock and have a pair ready to send off.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Fluted Banister Vest Completed

Fluted Banister Vest for CICThe third sock in the Six Sock Knitalong is the Fluted Banister. After knitting a pair of Fluted Banister socks for CIC and a pair for myself, I knit a CIC toddler vest incorporating the Fluted Banister pattern and sent the socks and vest off to CIC.

Shortly after that I heard from Laura Gallagher, the designer of the Fluted Banister Sock Pattern. She requested the pattern for the Fluted Banister Vest and I didn't have it written down.

That incident was one of the inspirations for starting this blog. I wanted a place to write my patterns down and share them with whoever would like to use them, especially knitters knitting for CIC.

With that in mind, I knit another Fluted Banister vest for CIC - this bright pink one. And, while I was knitting I recorded the pattern. If all goes according to plan, the pattern will be posted here on Stitches of Violet sometime Monday.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What is CIC?

CIC, Children in Common, is a group of parents who adopted children from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They were so shocked at the conditions in the orphanages that they banded together to try and help the children that had to be left behind.

It's estimated there are about 700,000 children living in orphanages there. For a complete picture of all that CIC does, go to the CIC link. My affiliation with CIC is through knitting.

Winter indoor temperatures in the orphanages hover around 45 Fahrenheit (that's 7 Celsius). That's why CIC requests heavy knit sweaters, vests, socks, in at least 70% wool. I use 100% wool.

The greatest need is for wool worsted weight socks and wool bulky weight vests for the very young children. The older children are taught how to knit for themselves.

There is also a need for donated knitting needles.

The knitted items are sent to a central location (Kathy’s garage). They are then packed into suitcases and taken directly to the orphanages by couples traveling to the area to pick up a child they are adopting. This prevents the donations from being "side tracked" and sold, never making it to their intended destination.

CIC-Knit is a Yahoo group focusing on the knitting efforts to help the children. It has approximately 400 members. We share news about great yarn sales, appropriate free patterns on the internet, and motivate each other to keep knitting by having an occasional knitting challenge.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Barbie in Opal 2002

Barbie Poncho in Opal 2002A few months ago Susan posted a free seamless Barbie poncho pattern. I left it on the table when granddaughter Kimmy came to visit, and, sure enough, it resulted in a request to knit Barbie a poncho - or two.

This poncho was knit with a fingering weight sock yarn, Opal 2002, using #2 double points.

The pattern would work well in any striped yarn. Since it is knit in one piece (no sewing), there is no problem getting the stripes to match.

I bindoff tight and had to re-bindoff the neck three times before I could get it over Barbie's head. The last, successful time, I used a 10.5 needle for the bindoff. The poncho neck is still a tight fit.

If I knit this pattern again, I will either leave more stitches for the collar or leave the collar open in the front to make it easier to get on and off over Barbie's hairdo.

Short Barbie tube dress in Opal 2002Barbie needed a dress to go with her poncho. Since I still had some Opal 2002 left over, what could be more fun than to knit one up?

This dress was knit with the Basic Tube Dress pattern from Judy Gibson's Barbie Wardrobe.

I used #0 needles and 40 stitches around.

The dress is a little tight. Barbie has the figure for it, so she's not complaining, but if I were to make the dress again I would use #1 needles.

Judy's pattern gives instructions for making the dress with any yarn and any gauge that is suitable for Barbie. It provides three different lengths: ankle length, knee length, and short.

Other patterns in Judy Gibson's Barbie Wardrobe include

Friday, October 29, 2004

Just Starting Out

Welcome. This blog is under construction. Please come back occasionally to see the changes.

This is my new blog to post knitting related topics.

On the sidebar, I plan to post:
  • Links to free patterns for CIC knitting
  • Original patterns for CIC knitting
  • Links to Barbie patterns
  • Original patterns for Barbie
  • Original sock patterns
  • Whatever strikes my fancy

My goal is to update this blog once a week or more frequently if there is something knitting related to post.

My non-knitting blog is Seasons of Violet, which gets updated a minimum of three times a week. Would love to have you stop by Seasons of Violet and get acquainted.