Archive for September 2008

I’m sizzling like an isotope

September 26, 2008
From Toxophily

Pattern: Squidge Cloth by Sasha
Yarn: El. D. Mouzakis Butterfly Super 10 (100% mercerized cotton), colorway Cobalt
Needles: U.S. 6 aluminum

On Monday I sent my two handknit facecloths to school with Archer — my contribution to the spa basket the second grade is providing for the school’s silent auction. Here’s the second one, which I completed last week. Easy alternating knit-purl checkerboard pattern, but a very nice result — a squooshy, luxurious-feeling cloth with an exfoliating texture.

From Toxophily

I’m glad I chose to do two different styles of cloth: one elegant and pretty, one that looks and feels like personal pampering. I hope the two help bring in a high price at the event, along with all the other bath products that second-grade parents will be donating.

From Toxophily

And because I can’t stand to have nothing but fingering-weight projects on the needles, here’s the Drop-Stitch Lace Tank (from Stefanie Japel’s Fitted Knits that I started up this week. Extensive research convinced me that (a) I have enough Berroco Love It in the stash to make the medium size; and (b) I’d rather use it for this than for the ribbed tank I had previously selected.

From Toxophily

This is only the second women’s garment I’ve knitted, and although I plunged in with confidence, fit is always a concern. The size I’m making should have 8-9 inches of negative ease. For non-knitters, that means that its diameter is going to be 8-9 inches smaller than my own, and therefore it will have to stretch to accommodate me. No worries that it’s stretchy enough to do that — it’s extremely stretchy — but of course that makes it form-fitting. (You know — a Fitted Knit.) And for a woman who hasn’t been to the gym more than a couple of times in the month of September, that’s a daunting prospect.

The tank is knit as two rectangles with ribbing for shaping, with the front split for a neckline. I’m a couple of repeats past the split on the right side, and it’s going very fast. Stay tuned for the thrill of seaming!


Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past

September 15, 2008
From Toxophily

Pattern: 8-Trick Pocket Hat by TECHknitter
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK (100% superwash merino wool), colorways: Terra Cotta, Dusk, Hollyberry, Peach Cream, Frost
Needles: U.S. 5 Harmony Options 32” circular, U.S. 3 Nickel Options 32” fixed circular

I’ve finally completed the last of these three hats, and I think I’ve absorbed a few of the many lessons the pattern is designed to teach.  It took until the last one before I really grasped a new way to join the long-tail cast-on in the round.  The tubular edge was easy.  I struggled with the jogless stripes, but by this last hat, I think I’ve just about got it.

This is my first major striped project, my first project with more than two colors.  I’ve resisted multicolored projects because they require an investment in several skeins of yarn, and it’s just seemed … risky, somehow.  Now, having tried stranded knitting and stripes this summer, I’m addicted to color.  I still don’t have a whole lot of confidence in my ability to combine colors – my mother-in-law does things with her quilting that make my jaw drop, and I just can’t imagine how she makes those decisions – but I’m willing to throw some combinations against the wall and see what sticks.  Especially if I can do it with Knit Picks yarn on sale, as in this case.

At the end of all this learning, my family has a set of handsome hats to wear this winter.  Want one?  I can whip it up for you in a jiffy.

A fire that slowly fades till dawn

September 14, 2008
From Toxophily

Pattern: Scrunchable Scarf by Susan McConne
Yarn: Bamboo Spun (77% bamboo, 23% polyamide)
Needle: U.S. 9 wooden straights

I finished my contribution for the Red Scarf Project in the Show Barn at the beautiful Winthrop Rockefeller Center atop Petit Jean Mountain, alternately standing up and sitting down as my freshman students tried to name all 100 of their classmates.  But always knitting, knitting, knitting toward freedom!

From Toxophily

The finished scarf is about as cuddly a creation as you could imagine.  Knit at a loose gauge, the texture is like chenille, but lightweight.  I can’t stop fondling the fabric and thrusting it into the hands of passersby for them to feel.  “It’s bamboo!” I exclaim, to generally puzzled looks.

As soon as I can get some gifty items to accompany it, the scarf will be on its way to the Orphan Foundation of America to become part of their Red Scarf Project.  Godspeed, soft scrunchable bamboo red scarf — may you warm the neck and forward the fashion of a worthy college student this Valentine’s Day!

‘Cause sometimes she used to sing

September 11, 2008
From Toxophily

Pretty Purls Spa Cloth by Brianne Keene
Yarn: El. D. Mouzakis Butterfly Super 10 (100% mercerized cotton, DK weight)
Needles: U.S. 6 aluminum straights

Archer brought home a note from school last week announcing a silent auction to benefit the school. Each grade level is putting together a gift basket on a different theme. Fortunately for my ability to contribute, the second grade theme is Spa.

From Toxophily

I immediately went looking for a face cloth pattern using DK weight yarn, since I had just gotten two large skeins of lovely soft shiny cotton from This understated, elegant cloth caught my eye.

The knitting was enjoyable and fast, and after a couple of pattern repeats I could read the knitting easily and keep track of where I was. Now that it’s complete and there’s a real luxe look for my first cloth, I’m considering a something a bit more rustic for the second one. Deadline for the basket is early October, so I’m got to get cracking.