aswim in knits

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's this???

What's this???

Why, it's a completed pair of Broadripple socks!!! And yes, these are my 2nd pair of Socktoberfest socks!

Project specs:
Pattern: Broadripple, from
Yarn: Cascade Fixation. Don't remember the color number, but look how nicely it matches my shirt!
Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbos, 2 socks at once.
Gauge: 7 sts/in, I think. It's a darn stretchy yarn!!

I finished these around 10:30 last night, and wore them until bedtime! I took them off and planned my wardrobe for today, not realizing that I own both a shirt and a sweater that the socks match nearly perfectly. How lucky.

Since it was dark when I finished these, I have not yet taken a good photo of them up close. If you don't mind seeing them on my feet again, here is what the insteps look like. I'll post a better picture later, probably this weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Creeping forward

No photos today, as I only knit about another inch on the socks. Instead of camping out on the couch last night, I was busy!

I left work a bit late, and then did some grocery shopping at the Trader Joe's near work. A whole lotta chocolate products jumped into my cart, so I decided to make brownies when I got home.

First, though, I had to load up the dishwasher and then handwash a sink full of glasses. Once clean, the brownie baking began.

These are no ordinary brownies, but triple chocolate brownies! They begin with a base of melted dark chocolate and butter, which then gets folded into an egg/sugar mixture, and mixed with cocoa powder and flour. To finish, the batter gets a mix of chocolate chunks and white chocolate chunks. Yum!

Luckily, I was able to bring the brownies to work and get other people to eat most of them! There are only a few left now, so I might escape without too much damage to my waistline.

Oh yeah, I also did several loads of laundry, and folded a couple more that I had washed over the weekend.

Then, I knit. But not for long, as it was late ... hopefully, more interesting news tomorrow!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Onward, toe!

The Broadripples have heels!


Soon, they should have toes too! It felt like the heels took forever. But as I am looking at this photo, I am realizing that the whole heel construction -- from the heel flap through the end of the gusset -- accounts for about 1/3 of the sock. I always feel like the heel is such a small part of the sock, it should take no time at all. But, heels are bigger than I give them credit for being!

I would have knit more this weekend, but I cleaned my bathroom instead. Top to bottom, including floor washing, toilet scouring, and tub grout scrubbing (with toothbrush!). Heck, I even cleaned the hand soap dispenser and the toothbrush cup. I don't clean often, but when I do, I go all out!

I have to go grocery shopping and do laundry tonight. Other than that, I think I can knit all evening. TNT is showing 4 back-to-back episodes of Law and Order, so I should be all set.

Hmm, with that ambitious agenda, I'd better get going...

Friday, October 21, 2005

TTK List

Things to knit:

1) finish Broadripples (by Halloween)
2) finish baby bootie #2 for Baby Sarah (by tomorrow mail call, I hope!)
3) finish alpaca scarf
(Those are all my WIPs...)

4) mittens for Da's Xmas gift
5) socks for Dad's xmas gift
6) more socks for me me me!
7) winter hat for me

Just keeping myself honest. Note to self: notice that your new sock yarn and sock pattern are #6 on that list. Just sayin'.

Does a baby bootie count as a sock?

Recognize this?

It's a baby bootie in progress. Soon, it becomes something like this ...
The one in the top photo is for a 6-9 month old, and just looked gigantic. So, while I waited for my car's brakes to be inspected on Wednesday, I made another smaller one.

These are made using the "Simple T-Bar Shoes" pattern from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit, by Zoe Mellor. Very cute! This is what the photo in the book looks like -- much better lighting in their shot!

I am making these booties for the baby of one of my mom's cousins. This one needs a button (I'm thinking a little round pearl one), so I'm going to the Fabric Place this weekend, while they are having a sale -- 25% off everything in the store. Oh yeah, it also needs a mate. Hopefully, I might find some time for a second bootie this weekend too.

I liked this pattern, but it's a little fiddly for a bootie that will only get worn a few times. After the body is knitted (like in the top photo), then 2 straps are added with separate pieces of yarn. I am still a fan of the Stay-on Baby Booties from the Falick/Nicholas book, since there are fewer ends and seams. But, I think these ones will be cute too.

The real question is, "does a baby bootie count as a sock?" If so, I guess these could count as part of Socktoberfest!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More sock action, part II

Umm, there was some accidental stash enhancement yesterday.

It started simply enough ...
I've been coveting the book Knitting on the Road for a good long time now. I think the patterns are gorgeous, but I never bought it because I didn't think that I knit enough socks to make it a worthwile purchase. Well, given my current sock craze, I've been thinking about it quite a bit recently.

I had a gift certificate to Mind's Eye Yarns, so I dropped by to see if they had a copy of this, or a few other sock books I've been eyeing. Turns out, Lucy has stopped stocking books. A new bookstore, Porter Square Books opened in the shopping plaza across the street. I guess Lucy decided not to compete, so she is selling down her stock of books. But, the good news is, she is advising the bookstore on what knitting books to stock!

I went home with a copy of KOTR, although I also looked at Cool Socks Warm Feet, and Knitting Vintage Socks. I really like the KOTR patterns, better than those in the other two books, but I will probably buy CSWF later on, mainly for its techniques section.

I'm also interested in Socks, Socks, Socks and Sensational Knitted Socks. Too many sock books, too little time!

Because I had a gift certificate to Mind's Eye, I did buy some of her hand-dyed sock yarn, enough for a pair of socks for me!!

I'm thinking of making either Conwy or the Traveler's Stockings from KOTR. Not sure which yet... must finish the Broadripples first!
DSCN0729-2 DSCN0727-2

More sock action, part I

I restarted the Cascade Fixation Broadripples last night. Months ago, I had taken them off the needles to rip back to a mistake, so one was longer than the other. I knit on one until it was the same length as the first one. Then I got both back on the needles and knit about another 6 or 8 rounds last night. What progress, huh??

I like how the subtle variegations of the yarn show the pattern, but are not quite as technicolor as some other colorways of the Fixation.

I am at about 4 or 4.5 inches and the pattern suggests knitting 7 inches and then turning the heel. It's a race against time to finish these in October, as part of Socktoberfest!!!

(Stay tuned for "More Sock Action part II" and "Does a Baby Bootie Count as a Sock?")

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Socktoberfest socks!

Here are my Socktoberfest socks!

Technically I am considering them to be Socktoberfest socks even though I finished them on Sunday and didn't join Socktoberfest until Monday. But, they are socks, knit entirely in the month of October. And I had been thinking about joining Socktoberfest for a couple of weeks, but only got around to emailing Lauren yesterday. I think they should still count, right??

Anyways, these are the pair of Red Sox socks for my mom, which will be her Christmas gift. The design is based on the Red Sox logo, as she and my dad are big Sox fans.




Yes, those are my feet, and a little view of my polar bear pajama pants. The socks are a little small on me, since my mom's foot is a half size smaller than mine. And yes, I will wash them before gifting them!

I made the leg of the socks a little loose, which is good for comfort when lounging around and watching ball games on TV in the spring and fall. I made the foot snug enough to be comfortable under shoes, should she want to wear them around. After Christmas, I'll have to get a photo of mom wearing her Sox sweater, Sox pajama pants, and Sox socks, all handmade by me!

Project Specs:
Yarn: Plymouth Gjestal Silja superwash sock yarn
Needles: Size 3 Crystal Palace bamboo DPN's (no Addi in the right size for magic looping, unfortunately)
Gauge: 7 sts/in
Pattern: From the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.
New Technique: Tubular cast-on.
Improved Technique: Grafting of toes -- looks pretty good to me this time!


I joined Lauren's Socktoberfest! Yes, I know that October is more than half over. But, I'm sock crazy!!! I guess that's what happens when I spend too much time around Rhonda and Cynthia at SnB.

They aren't the only ones knitting socks, though ... I've also been inspired by the small gauge stylings of Katie, Stacy, Kathy, the Mafia, Erin, and Chris Q. I think I even spotted a pair from our queen of the large needles, Christine.

Of course, I joined up after I knew that I already finished one pair of socks in October, and got a good start on another pair, and have a third pair ready to be trotted out ... Is this considered cheating?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Socks that Rock

I am currently coveting Socks that Rock.
Rhodonite, Ruby, Ruby Slippers, Turquoise, Sapphire, Azure Malachite, Amethyst (my birthstone) ... any of those would work for me. Mafia, I might have to explore the idea of a "simple slip stitch pattern" if I accidentally come into possession of some of this stuff.

Anyone know where I can fondle check out this yarn in person?

FO #1

I have a whack of new FO's to show you. But, in the interest of keeping this blog interesting (ahem, for the 8 of you who read it ...), I will be spacing them out.

Today, I present FO #1, alternatively titled "Gender Neutral Baby Blanket".


This is the completed baby blanket, as seen from on tiptoes, which explains the funny angle. Lots of my rectangles get lopsided when I try to stand above and photograph them.

Project specs:
Yarn: Knitpicks' Shine, in butter, apricot, and green apple.
Needles: Size 6 Addi Turbos
Pattern: Squares and border from 200 Knitted Blocks, adapted to fit my preferences.
Finished size: About 28x36

The blanket is for Tracie and Chris's baby, who is expected on November 27. The baby shower was yesterday, and Tracie seemed to like the blanket. She got 4 other handmade blankets, including one crocheted and 3 quilted, so this kid is going to be set!

Here's how I packaged the blanket.
I raided my mom's paper stash and found some nice papers to match the colors of the blanket. The wrapper says "Made with love for Baby Krueger by Danielle (Care instructions: machine wash and dry)".

They don't know the baby's gender, hence the color selections. I used close to 3 skeins of each color for the blocks, and another skein and a half or so for the border. I guess that was about 10 skeins of the 15 I bought. I have plenty left for a matching sweater, hat, and booties set. Probably for another baby though -- I'll likely make a sweater for this kid, but in in a more gender specific style, once he/she arrives.

Tomorrow (or later this week, depending on how busy I am): more FO's, including one from a couple of months ago!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Decreaed knitting output

It's been raining for quite some time now. A couple of days, I think. Bleah. So, I stayed in last night and got some work done on the second Red Sox sock. I'm done the heel flap (in white). I also got a bit further on the purple alpaca lace scarf. The pattern says I need 2 balls for a 48" scarf, but I think I'm going to get 28-30" out of one ball. I think I'll use the 3rd one for a matching hat.

So, why the decreased knitting content, you might ask? Well, swimming season is in full swing. In addition to the actual practices (14 hours per week), there is also a lot of time spent on commuting to the pool (60 minutes from work in weeknight rush hour, 30 minutes from home later in the evening or on weekends) selecting and editing music, choreography, parent meetings, coaches' meetings, administrative meetings, and costume design.

Yes, we do design all of our own swimwear. We've got 64 swimmers on the team, and over half of them swim more than one routine. So, that's a lot of suits, probably around 100 custom made swimsuits per year! The girls all get measured and the suits are sewn to fit.

We start with this ...
It's a book full of fabric swatches with all of this seson's available fabrics. We then sketch out a design, send it to the suitmaker for pricing, then adjust the design to fit our budget!! She sews the suits, and we (coaches, swimmers, and parents) come up with embellishments, usually sequins, rhinestones, beads, and other trim.

Here's an example of the suits, once they are all done. Sorry for the blacked out faces -- I never post images of swimmers that can be identified, at least not without parental permission. You never know what kind of crazies are out there.
This is one of the simpler suits -- the only embellishments are the rhinestones on the neck and straps, and some sequins where the different fabrics meet up.

For some really great suits, check out the Netherlands Synchro website. The site is a little confusing to navigate, but has great photos. Like this one, or this one, both of which are Canadian duets. Imagine the time that goes into making those suits ... each color is a different piece of fabric or nude colored mesh, all stitched together and then sequinned and rhinestoned.

As you might expect, since I enjoy socks and other small gauge knit projects, I also like the little sequins, beads, and rhinestones! More photos to follow as we get our suits worked up for the year...

Friday, October 14, 2005

new WIP's

I finally updated my sidebar to reflect my WIP list. I also updated my "in the queue" list.

At the moment, I only have 3 things going...

I started a pair of Broadripples a long time ago. Maybe last spring? I made a mistake, so I put them down. I think I fixed the mistake, but then I never picked them up again. I even put them on stitch holders so I could use the needle for something else. I was working the 2 socks together, and this is how far I got ...
I haven't moved them to the UFO category yet, since I really want to wear these socks and am on a bit of a sock kick at the moment. I hope to finish them up soon, before Thanksgiving if I get motivated!!!!

I am making my parents matching socks for Christmas. They are both big Red Sox fans, so I am making them red and white socks that look like the ones in the Sox logo. I started them at the hotel in DC last weekend. I've got one finished.
Look at the lovely tubular cast on ...
And damned fine grafted toe ...
I'm not too worried about "second sock syndrome" since #2 is on the needles and a couple inches are already complete. I'm more worried about "third and fourth sock syndrome". I might have to take a break between pair #1 and #2.

I also started a lurvely alpaca scarf while travelling. It is from yarn and a free pattern that I got at WEBS last fall. I thought it was about time it became a scarf. Ummm, pardon the flash.
And, pardon the lack of flash. The true color is somewhere between these 2 shots.
But, isn't that the cutest baby alpaca on the ball band? He's got a ball of yarn hanging from his teeth. Aww, I bought it just for that picture :) And because it is quite possibly the softest yarn I've ever pet. I just keep rubbing the scarf-in-progress against my neck. I've got about 23" done, and have not yet finished the first ball. I think 2 will make a scarf somewhere over 4 feet long, which should be fine. I bought 3 balls though. Any ideas of what to do with an extra 100 yards of baby alpaca brush, 3.5 sts = 1"?

So, not yet a WIP, but I will have to start soon on a pair of booties for another cousin having a baby. I think I will use the sample of Knitpicks sock yarn I wrote about in this post. As soon as I free up the needles that are currently in the Red Sox sock...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Random Wednesday, Part III

Subtitle: Why Catholic girls love Yom Kippur

Because, with lots of people out of work for the religious holiday, I could "dress down" a bit. I wore my coffee socks...

Random Wednesday, Part II

Have you seen this meme? Go to Google and search on "Yourname needs" and list 10 hits.

Here's what "Danielle needs."

  • Danielle needs to involve Cienna in the process of getting ready for bed by letting her do simple tasks, such as squeezing the toothpaste onto the brush.

  • It's a shame that Danielle needs four wheel drive.

  • Danielle needs new sequencing with her putting.

  • Danielle needs to be attuned to how she is feeling to determine how far she can push herself.

  • Danielle needs more.

  • Danielle needs to retire.

  • Danielle needs to raise £1000 to cover flights, food and Team UK uniform. She has been raising money for this by making and selling cakes and ice pops.

  • Danielle needs more self-respect when it comes to the boys she chooses.

  • Danielle needs a change of pace or a vacation.

  • And, my personal favorite ...

  • Danielle needs a translator to interview the hot new Spanish sensation Robert Hernandez, all the way from Madrid.

Random Wednesday, Part I

Okay, if Mama Cate can make a Random Wednesday post on a Tuesday, I can make one on a Thursday, right?

Be forewarned, this is the first of a few photo heavy, rambling posts, since I haven't had time to say anything in a week...


We survived the road trip to DC for Thom's cousin's wedding. The car only has a few new bumps and bruises. It did put up a bit of protest when my mother in law decided to go from zero to 60 in a short span of time while crossing a bridge (the Tappan Zee, perhaps?). Yes, rubber was burned, and tires squealed. Go speed racer, go! We switched drivers shortly after that.

While in DC, we stayed at the fairly ghetto Channel Inn. The hotel was okay, but the service was so bad that I had to complain to the management. At least we ended up getting a 35% discount on the room rate.

The wedding itself was nice, although there were torrential downpours on Saturday. We were late to the wedding, through no fault of my own!! The reception was at the Fort Leslie McNair military base in DC, complete with vehicle inspections by armed guards at the entrance. No photos ... the nice men with guns didn't seem like they wanted their picture taken.

However, we did get a few photos of our nieces. This is Jane with her dad (my brother in law Girard) just before dinner.
She perked up after dinner, and danced until 10:30 with her little sister Gracie.

Gracie danced with everyone! This is Gracie with Thom's cousin Mary (obviously, the bride).
As you can see, Gracie's white tights and patent leather Mary Janes didn't last long...


Sunday was our first anniversary. I spent 8 hours in a car with my in-laws. It's a good thing Thom took me out for dinner on Friday night!

Getting to dinner was not easy, though. It took quite a long time to get a cab. We called the hotel front desk 90 minutes before we wanted to leave the hotel, and asked them to get us a cab for 7:30, to get to our 8:00 reservation with time to spare. Reminder: we were in the middle of a near-monsoon. Everyone wanted a cab.

I will spare you all the details of what took place when there was no cab waiting for us at 7:30. Let's just say that it involved me whipping out the "taxi cab" section of the yellow pages and shoving it across the desk to 2 lazy hotel clerks. We did eventually make it to dinner in time, and had a lovely meal. We ate at Bistro Bis, near Union Station. I had a nice Riesling, some crab cakes, halibut, and "macaroni gruyere gratin" -- fancy french mac and cheese -- followed by a ymmy chocolate cake for dessert.

The next morning, we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It's a nice museum, and there were lots of adorable kids running around between the airplaces and rocket ships!

Stealing a page from the FemiKnit Mafia, let me leave you with a photo of Thom and me on our wedding day.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Road trip

I'm driving to Washington DC this weekend, with my husband and my in-laws, to attend a family wedding. We are driving to Thom's parents' house in West Springfield tonight, when I am done coaching. Then, we will leave for DC on Friday morning.

According to Mapquest, it should take us less than 7 hours to get to DC. I'm betting that with lunch, rest stops, traffic, etc., it will take us close to 10 hours. We're planning to leave at 8:00am, and I am hoping to be at our hotel by 6:00pm, as we have dinner reservations to celebrate our first anniversary. We are eating at Bistro Bis at 8:00pm -- our "real" anniversary date is on Sunday, but since we will be in the car all day Sunday, and at a wedding on Saturday night, it made more sense to celebrate on Friday night.

Then, we are driving home on Sunday. Yep, close to 1000 miles in one weekend, and close to 20 hours of long-haul driving. Thom and I agreed to share the driving so I can do some knitting and he can do some studying for school. His dad might also drive for some of the trip. His mom is also a knitter, so I know I won't be the only one hauling WIPs. But, what knitting should I pack?!?!?

After some reflection, here's what is coming with me:

  • Lopi Lite for some squares for the John Glick blanket project. I've got 2 done, and am hoping to finish a third at lunchtime knitting group today. I might have enough yarn for a 4th.
  • Silja yarn for a secret Christmas gift project (yes, it will become socks, but on the off chance that the intended giftees read this blog, no pix until after Christmas!!)
  • Cascade 220 for gloves for my f-i-l's Christmas gift, a pair of mittens to match his 2004 Christmas gift of a hat
  • Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush yarn in a deep purple, to make this scarf for myself.
  • some leftover Plymouth Encore and Wool Ease for charity hats for this winter.

I also have my binder of needles, since the blanket squares are the only project I've started so far. I also grabbed my DPN's for the Silja socks, which I did swatch for already. The mittens and scarf will go on circs, though, magic looping the mittens.

I need to update my sidebar, since I am done all my WIPs, except for the Broadripple socks. I even thought about bringing those with me on this trip, but thought that I had better get started with the Christmas knitting instead. So far, I am commited to 2 pair of socks and a pair of mittens. Also, some stitch markers as a gift. That list might grow, though!

I'll update my WIP list on Monday, once I know which W's are actually IP!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Yee haw! My first pair of socks are done! Well, they are actually the second pair of socks I've knit, but the first pair was for my husband. These ones are all mine!
(Thank you to The Mafia for her fine photography skills during our morning coffee break/gab fest/WIP show-and-tell session.)

Project Specs:
Yarn: KPPPM, not sure what color number -- as always the ball band and the computer are not near each other.
Needles: size 1 clover bamboo
Gauge: 8.5 sts/in
Pattern: my own, combining the toe techniques from Wendy's free toe-up pattern, the heel from Denise's cybersocks pattern, and my own leg shaping.

Thoughts on the finished product:
I give these an A-/B+. Yes, that's wishy washy, but the perfectionist in me can't stand any grade that starts with anything other than an A. As one friend says, "even your blood type knew it had to be A+, or you'd ask for a transfusion of something better".

I like the Koigu at this tight gauge, although I intended to knit at a slightly looser 8 sts/in. I often am loose on a swatch, and get tighter as I go. It has something to do with pulling the yarn tighter at the place where 2 DPNs meet. I think I just keep pulling a little tight for the rest of the row. But, the socks fits like a glove ... or a well-fitted sock, I guess. The legs are snug but not binding, as I added some increases in the calf area.

I don't love the heel, though. It is worked by knitting a "tongue" that sits under the heel, worked over 1/6 of the number of stitches used for the circumference of the foot. If I did it again, I would make that tongue over 1/4 of the original # of sts, for a slightly wider piece that would cover the whole bottom of my heel, rather than have the heel flap start on the bottom of my foot and then up the back of my heel. Wow, that sounds very confusing, but it's not ...
See the part at the bottom? I would make that wider. The heel flap would then be a bit shorter.

Any recommendations for a good toe-up sock heel that does not use short rows? I do like me a good gusset.

Also, I learned that while I like to fondle hanks of Koigu, the colors once knitted up don't wow me in the same way as the hanks or balls do. I think I might like this yarn better in a lightly textured pattern. Perhaps I will try that with my next Koigu socks, as I'm sure there will be more in my future.

One last parting shot ...

Tomorrow, the other FO, if I remember to take a photo!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I have a FO to show!

And a near FO!!

And no time to take a photo and post it before I leave work!

Maybe tomorrow there will be 2 FOs and a WIP. Now there's a name for a band -- "2 FOs and a WIP". Sounds nasty, huh?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming ...

... to bring you this important public service announcement, which I found on Norma's blog:

Another type of MEME

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...
Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage.

And, for you in Massachusetts, here's a little more info on the subject...