aswim in knits

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blog-cation over!

I'm back from Buffalo! I have a bit more sock accomplished, but not much. Hey, you try finding time to knit while supervising 8 teenagers for a week!

However, I did find time to take a blog survey for MIT this morning. If you blog, take the survey -- it only takes a few minutes, and it will help the Media Lab learn more about the blogposphere.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Toe accompli

I finished a toe at lunch. I like it well enough to keep.

(What, doesn't everyone pose their knitting with their office plants?)


TO: My faithful readers and anyone else who might have stumbled here by accident

FROM: Aswim in Knits

RE: My impending absence


I will be taking a brief blog vacation, since I will be spending my next week at the Esynchro Age Group Championships in Buffalo, NY. We're staying at the Holiday Inn Buffalo Niagara International Airport Hotel, which despite its name seems to be a decent hotel. They have wireless internet, but I have no laptop. We'll see if I manage to get a seat at the computer in the business center -- I'm travelling with a bunch of 13 year old girls, and with no email/IM access they get a little crazy, so they always make a mad dash for the computers when they have free time. But, you never know ... I might get in a post or two...

In the meantime, let me leave you with a photo of the sock I've been working on for the last week --
Yes, that consists of a provisional cast on and one row of knitting! I have tried at least 8 different toes or toe techniques for this sock before settling on Wendy's basic toe-up sock pattern. I think I will use a toe-up heel flap construction rather than a short row heel, though. After I found a toe construction I liked, I got through the toe and a bit of the foot before I decided that I wanted the socks to be knit at a tighter gauge. So, riiiiiiip ... then I somehow missed short rowing one row, so I didn't have the same number of wraps on the right and left side ... riiiiiiip again. I'm back to the cast on and I hope to be able to get through the toe at our lunchtime SnB today. I want to work on these in the car tonight, as I am driving to Buffalo with the mom of one of my swimmers, and I'm hoping she'll let me be the passenger during the last few hours of daylight!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I finally made it to the post office today to send off some Dulaan hats. There are 3 of them -- the two off-white ones are made of Plymouth Yukon and the black one is Encore chunky.
I knit the white ones during the winter, but never got around to giving them away, so they were still sitting in my stash bin. They will probably fit an older child or teenager.

The black one got knit in fits and starts throughout the spring. I thought Dulaan hats would be a great stashbuster, but it turns out that they are not all that quick when they are not your first priority! This one took me well over a month, working in between other projects. You can see the black hat a bit better in this photo. It's got a 1x1 (or was it 2x2?) ribbed brim and will probably fit a medium sized child.

In other news, I think I am going to order the Lara for the cardigan I am coveting. Two independent knitters conformed for me that they liked that choice!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Swatching it up

Urgh! I still can't decide what to do about choosing a yarn for Martha. I have 2 swatches, both in pattern stitch and blocked.

(Click to see it bigger -- the stitch shows better there...)

The one on the left in the more blue-ish purple is in Paton's Grace, very similar to Rowan's Cotton Glace. The one on the right is the Endless Summer Lara that I got last week.

Both are 100% cotton in a similar (though not identical) gauge. The Grace makes a thicker fabric, and is squooshier and cuddly-soft. The Lara has a bit of a sheen and is smooth-soft, but not cuddly-soft.

The Grace has 4 plies and the Lara has 10! The Lara is much "splittier" although I was able to avoid any split stitches by paying attention to what I was doing. The Lara costs about half what the Grace does.

So, in summary:

  • Cuddly soft

  • Slightly larger gauge, will be done sooner

  • Costs about twice as much as Lara

  • Has a sleeker look that might make it dressier (I will be wearing it to work)

  • Slightly smaller gauge, and thinner fabric, means I can make a matching tank if I want

  • Way cheaper!

  • Splitty yarn

  • The yarn is cheaper, but is the quality up to par?

Of course, the other option is still to go with the Knitpicks' Shine yarn. I am off to go view a color card for that one shortly ... It is cuddly soft like Grace, but a bit thicker, so definitely no sweater set for that one. (Do I really want to make a tank anyways?) Its price is comparable to Lara, and cheaper than Grace. I think I like their purple, but I'm afraid it is too dark ... I'll let you know what I think later.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Mail call!

Looky looky!

I got new yarn! The very lovely Christine placed an Elann order last week and was kind enough to throw in a few little goodies for me. On the left is a ball of Highland Wool in Boysenberry. The other three balls are all Endless Summer collection Lara. Ooh, ooh, maybe I found new yarn for my "Martha" cardi! I started to rethink the idea of using Shine, as it was perhaps a little thicker than I had planned for this sweater. I'm going to do some swatching tonight to see what I think of the Lara. Best part is that the Lara is only $2.39/ball, and each ball has 138 yards. I might also stash a bit for a black cardi, since I wear my 2 black cardigans constantly!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What book are YOU?

I take a lot of those short little on-line quizzes, but rarely share the results with anyone. For those few people out there who know me IRL, you'll know how appropriate this one is ...

You're The Dictionary!

by Merriam-Webster

You're one of those know-it-all types, with an amazing amount of
knowledge at your command. People really enjoy spending time with you in very short
spurts, but hanging out with you for a long time tends to bore them. When folks
really need an authority to refer to, however, you're the one they seek. You're an
exceptional speller and very well organized.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

(Thanks to The FemiKnit Mafia for this one!

Monday, June 13, 2005


At long last, the Little Star sweater is done. I think it took me about a month -- although the last 1.5 weeks were all finishing!

There are some fuzzy white specks on the sweater -- I think they are lint. I tried washing and drying the sweater, but the power went out in our apartment building as I was doing the laundry, so the sweater ended up being air-dried. I think if I wash and dry it again the specks will just fluff off. I'm also going to get some baby detergent and use that for the final washing so it will smell nice and "baby-like". This way, the sweater can be gifted pre-shrunk, and mom and dad (my cousin and his wife) don't need to worry about damaging it.

Anyways, here are the specs:
Pattern: Little Star, from the Zoe Mellor book "Adorable Knits for Tots"
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in "Wolverine Blue", "Barn Red", and "Cotton Ball" -- leftovers from the Sox sweater.
Gauge: About 5.25 sts/in.
size: The pattern called for 6 sts/in, so I made the 6-mo size, but got a sweater that is probably about an 18-mo size.

I still haven't decided what's next ... I've started to swatch the Koigu for socks, and I'm looking for a good toe-up sock pattern with a Dutch Heel. I might use the directions at this site.

I also have started a swatch using Knitpicks' Shine yarn -- I think this is the winner for the "Martha" sweater. Althought it knits to the same stitch gauge, It feels slightly heavier than the Paton's Grace I used for another swatch, so this one definitely won't have a matching tank made! I'm leaning towards the Violet or Turquise colors, as I don't have cardigans in either of those colors. A friend from my MIT Stitch and Bitch group bought a color card for those yarns, so I might try to sneak away to her office tomorrow to look at it and decide on a color for sure. I'm hoping to get the yarn before I go to Age Group Nationals at the end of this month, as we have an 8-hour car ride to Buffalo...

Friday, June 10, 2005

so close, yet so far

The Little Star sweater is almost done -- it's seamed and the ends have even been woven in. Now all it needs is a collar, which I chose to do last. However, this weekend I have NO free time -- I have a reception, a haircut, a 5 hour practice, a graduation party, a dinner, a boat cruise, a brunch, and a banquet to attend. And hopefully some time to do laundry so I have something to wear to all of these events. Yikes! (Please don't think I'm bragging about my kick-ass social life; most weekends I would only do one or two of these things, but somehow they all conincided this weekend.)

So, I hope to get my husband to do some of the driving so that maybe on Monday I will have a FO to show you ...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A visit to the doctor

Why I dislike going to the eye doctor:
Every single time, they try to perform an intraocular pressure exam, I end up in tears. I am terrified of having something touch my eye. It's usually not until I end up in tears that the doctors realize I'm not kidding about being so afraid of this.

Why I like going to the eye doctor:
I have been seeing a neuro-opthamologist at Mass Eye and Ear, which involves a schlep into downtown Boston. Since I hate parking there, I park at work and take the T in. I never know how bad traffic will be or how soon I can catch a subway train, so I always leave extra time. Today, I got to the office with 30 minutes to spare. Yep, quality time with the Little Star sweater. Photos soon, I promise.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


32 It's hot out! According to, it's 89 degrees, and feels like 92. I'm still plodding away on the Little Star sweater. One sleeve has been attached, and side seam sewn, and I'll start the other one tonight. Then the neckband, and I'll be done. Hopefully, I can finish the sweater by the end of Thursday lunch knitting, and pick something else to start ...

I really want to start the Martha cardigan from Rowan 37.
I swatched in Paton's Grace and I liked the color and the yarn. So, I thought I'd also make a shell and have a nice twinset to wear to work. But, since I messed around with the sizing and gauge, I have no idea how much yarn I would need. I don't want to spend a ton of extra money and end up with a ton of extra yarn. So, I thought maybe I'd try the Shine yarn from Knitpicks, but I'm hesitant to buy something I've never handled before. So then I thought maybe I don't need it to be a twinset after all, but would just do the cardigan. Then, I thought I might like to use Cotton Fleece again since it has great colors and I love how it feels.

So, to make a long story short, I'm having fiber indecision. I'll need to think about this a little longer... In the meantime, I want to start a quick project until I figure things out. What should I do next?

- Make another Dulaan hat and use up some more stash (leftover lime green Lamb's Pride from a felted baby bag and leftover Kureyon #40 from my Klaralund)
- Start some socks with the Koigu I mentioned in May
- A scarf from the Recycled Silk I got at Cummington
- Make a tank top or a shirt for my 3 1/2 year old niece, Gracie, from some Bernat's Cotton Tots in a strawberry pink color.
- Heh, heh ... maybe I should just dig out and finish the Broad Ripple socks I started some months ago and get them off my WIP list ...

Help me decide what's next!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

... and now for the wool!

I went to the MA Sheep and Wool festival with only one thing in mind -- a drop spindle. Well, mission accomplished!
This is my new drop spindle, made by Grafton Fibers. Thank you to my coat for posing as a backdrop during one of many traffic delays during this morning's commute. (Yes, not only do I knit at red lights, but I take advantage of them to shoot photos in natural light. Don't tell my dad, the original "Mr. Safety".)

Check out its beautiful tulipwood whorl --
This is exactly what I had envisioned for myself -- something beautiful and functional. I took a lesson at the festival, but have been too busy to break out the new roving and practice.

Oh, you want to see the roving too? Here it is ...
Why such a boring color, you might ask? Well, I'm thinking this would be great for a foray into Kool-aid dying, either dying the roving or the finished yarn.

Finally, one other thing caught my eye. This skein of lovely recycled silk came home with me too.
Look at how the bright colors totally confused my camera -- the purple jacket is much brighter, like the photo above. I loved the colors, and this skein was only $7.50. I'll make a drop stitch scarf with it. Maybe for me, or maybe for my friend Abby, who spent time in Nepal when we were in college. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


So, last weekend was our trip to Thom's family, with a day at the MA Sheep and Wool festival, a.k.a. "Cummington". We left Friday afternoon around 4:00pm. Traffic was pretty bad ...
sheep and wool commute
(This was taken with Thom's patented "hold the camera out the car window and shoot" technique.) What is normally a 2 hour trip took 3 hours. We finally got to Springfield a few minutes after 7:00pm. We had a nice visit with his family. I won't go into details, since they will bore you ...

On Sunday, we went to Cummington with Thom's parents and 6 year old niece. As expected, we saw sheep ...

And llamas ...
mim with llama
(That's my mom-in-law. She really wanted to take the llama home with her.)

And goats ...

And even a yak ...

That pretty much covers the "sheep" part of the festival. "Wool" to come tomorrow...