Ghosts in the Pumpkin Patch


There's been colds, train delays and major computer issues over in my neck of the woods. All keeping me away from my little blog despite having plenty to blog about. But good news... Philadelphia is finally a winner Phillies are World Series Champs!!! Everyone freak out! At least that's what its been like, especially down town. I was lucky to even get home from work on a train since septa suspended service for awhile trying to get enough trains to bring people down town for the parade. And let me tell you teenage boys stink after a day celebrating.

But enough about that, on to knitting were plenty of progress has been going on behind the scenes. It seems appropriate in so many ways to wrap up the month and Socktober with this final FO. I give you my version of the much knitted Little Pumpkin socks. Knit in Yarn Pirate's Merino Tencel blend, color Butternut Squash which practically screams November to me. I got this color through the yarn pirate sock club. The only mod here was knitting fewer pumpkin pattern repeats due to my larger gauge. Since it is Halloween today my little Ghost pin decided to hang around the pumpkin patch where he is hoping to meet up with the great pumpkin. He's from a favorite Etsy store smeeta who has too many cute felt pins.



Gauge has been problematic lately. Almost like the knitting Goddess got a little tired of me knitting one inch gauge swatches and decided to teach me a lesson. Maybe she gave me a free pass as a newbie and that’s why the first several sweaters worked out fine. Now she wants me to play by the rules.
Long story short, after all the waist decreases on my Fair Enough cardigan were finished the width was more like 40” and not the 33” it was supposed to be. Doh! I was able to salvage all the ribbing and one set of decreases because extra ease in my hip area is a good thing. The rest was ripped back and re-knit with a 7, one size smaller than I was using. Changing the needle size worked great through the waist shaping but might cause a problem in the bust area since the stitch gauge is half an inch smaller. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping the width and stitch counts work out. No pics yet because it's still a boring rectangle.

No Rhinebeck again for me this year since we had a long car ride last week, I didn’t want to drive myself and didn’t think my husband could be talked into doing it. (Can’t blame him….besides he’s only interested in the airplanes up there) I consoled myself by going to the newest LYS, The Slip Knot, and buying some felted tweed for no particular project. Probably another yoke sweater since they are just so darn easy to knit and end up looking professional. The owners had gotten Berroco’s merino in since my last visit and that was also veryyyy tempting. I was able to resist only because the color that spoke to me was the perfect red and there are already 10 skeins of DK weight red yarn in the stash. Really, one must draw the line somewhere.

The Odd Couple


The truth is we are both odd, but one of us is a more conservative dresser. (You should hear the disparaging things he says about dark wash jeans.)

Socks for him – Classic socks from “The Knitting Man(ual)”, knit in ShibuiKnits sock Rust.

The dude” as he likes to be called, picked this pattern out himself while we were visiting Yarn love in Hummelsville PA. He gets points for picking out an easy pattern, calmly entertaining himself in the yarn store and not eating all the free chocolate that was out. (We share this weakness)

Even though the row gauge was something like 11 rows to the inch, these socks knit up decently fast. I’d knit it again in some bright color for me…. Maybe turquoise. The dude as well as abiding, approves of the finished socks but does not want to see them again until Christmas. We’ll wash and block them all pretty for him.

Socks for her – Slippery socks by Madelinetosh Knit in Hazelknits Chuckanut Drive.

Totally copied Jen of Woolgirl who put this exact pattern and yarn combination on the woolgirl blog. Love IT!!

Things I'm tired of


1. The temperature being almost 80 in mid October.
Listen Nature, I've put the big comforter on the bed, washed all the plastic smell out of the stored sweaters and bought a new wool coat. You've got to work with me here. One can't wear jaunty berets in 80 degree heat either.

2. Campaigning
Can't we be like Canadians and do our elections quickly? At my office it's descended into supporters for each candidate arguing with each other over why they're right. I know from experience this kind of arguing never changes anyone's opinion about anything. Let's just get the picking over with so everyone can deal.

3. Plain White Rice
My husband isn't on board with my cooking of brown rice, so when he cooks I have to eat a lot of plain white. But when I'm cooking and subjecting him to some other hated food (leafy greens) I'll make this Mexican white rice to compromise. It's pretty tasty too.
From Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Gulf Coast Style White Rice Pilaf
1 1/2 T- vegetable or olive oli
1 1/2 cups -white rice (I use medium grain Goya brand)
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped finely
1 3/4 -cups chicken broth
1 tea -salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Set an ovenproof saucepan over medium heat and add oil, rice, and onion. Stir frequently until grains of rice turn milky white, about 5 mins. Add garic and stir a few seconds, until fragrant. Then add chicken broth and 1 tea of salt. Stir and allow liquids to come to a full boil. (At this point you can get creative adding dried herbs, fire roasted peppers etc) Set lid on the pan and transfer it into the oven and bake for 25 mins. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 mins, then fluff with a fork and garinsh with fresh herbs if desired.

4. Knitting Socks
Well just a bit tired of knitting socks. It seems like a big project is in order since variety is the spice of life. Last week I popped by the Knit and Tonic blog to catch up and lo and behold Wendy had just released this fetching little cardigan. She's lucky her little cardigan is safely across the country, away from my greasy mitts. It would go with half of my wardrobe and I wantsssss it! But like a normal socially adjusted knitter I'll put away my urges for petty theft and knit my own.

Meanwhile at the Renaissance Fair.....


We saw some cool Scottish bands....
pictured The Rouges and not pictured but kick ass Albannach.

We did a little window shopping...

Frog was excited by all the hats

We took a few pictures...

(My hubby was smiling before I snapped this.)

I started a new sock....
Little pumpkins in Yarn Pirate Butternut.

It just slipped off the needles


Apparently during all that DVD watching last Sunday my fingers were moving along at a decent speed. Even though this pattern is all knitting with a lot of slipped stitches I'm a bit surprised to have a finished sock already. Something about the texture of the slipped stitches brings to the mind the bumpy back of frogs. (Frog bias may be influencing me) Taking a time out from Christmas knitting with my favorite yarn and an easy pattern was the right choice. Instead of being grumpy about socks I'm enjoying them again.

One of the things I was watching during that DVD marathon was a TV series that a work friend convinced me to check out. He said he knew I'd like Pushing Daises and he was right, l love it. Between, knitting references, spontaneous outburst of song and spoofs of things like the dream sequence from Vertigo I've been laughing loudly and often. Since Ravelry is awesome there is a Pushing Daises knitting group already. I've joined but need to get caught up before posting to avoid any spoilers.

Meanwhile the second sock moves along while frog and I enjoy a sunny fall day. We are so coordinated.

A Hypothetical Do Over


Is the sweater finished?

Is it wearable?

Is it "perfect"?

Will you rip out what could be changed to make in perfect?
No way in hell!

So that's where we are with my somewhat cowl, it's done and it's going to stay that way. The finished product is a bit to big but I wore it to work and no one made jokes about hand knitting or even asked if I made it.

But hypothetically how would I reknit this?

1. Knowing now that alpaca grows I'd knit the size 34 instead of 36.

2. Looking at other people's Somewhat Cowls on Ravelry I like the way this sweater looks in darker colors a lot more than in the pale lavender yarn. I'd probably go for a gray or brown.

3. The raglan line has already been shortened but I'd reduce the length further. Or maybe raglans just don't work for my shoulder/bust configuration. Not sure on this point.

4. I'd cut out even the tinniest place where the silk in the yarn did not spin as finely as it should have. When knitting in the round cutting out these areas seemed like a pain and I only did it for larger slubs. But now there are smaller slubs in the bottom front of the sweater that continue to annoy me.

Considering that this sweater was cast on in mid 2007, I'm just glad it's done!

I'm slipping this one in


Turns out 47 yards of reinforcement thread is not enough to finish heels and toes of two man sized socks. DOH! So much for finishing up one of my husbands Christmas presents. While another spool is on order I found myself free to pursue other socks.
Hazel Knits - Chuckanut Drive
Pattern - Slippery Socks
Maybe I can trick myself into participating in Socktoberfest if I never sign up. :)

It's that time of year again...


when the temperature dips down to the 60's and I get routinely mocked for dressing in wool jackets, scarves and hats. I know their just jealous of my hand knits.

My current favorite is this new gretel beret knit in Ultra Alpaca Oceanic Mix. It has been worn every day on my walk to the train station and sometimes in the office where the air conditioning continues to run.

This is the smallest fitted style with one mod, the ribbing is knit on a size smaller needle. The size 6 needle made the fit nice and snug even after blocking.

Initially this hat was almost ripped since the unblocked version had almost no slouch making my head looked my some sort of mutant blueberry. (Blueberry brains, the favorite of every zombie!) But then the nugget of information that alpaca grows when it hits the water was remembered just in time. The finished hat is perfect in my opinion with just enough slouch to be a bit sassy.

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs