Category Archives: ravelry

Sock Summit: it followed me home

For someone who doesn’t stash, I seem to have suddenly acquired a lot of yarn. (And yes, there’s a bag under there.)


I really only bought two yarns this weekend. One was a skein of Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies, colorway Cat Bordhi Ah Ha! This is a great yarn for teaching; the short color runs mean that the color of the stitch on the next row will probably be a different color than the one below it. It makes it easy to describe what’s happening with either stitch. It’s a worsted weight single ply yarn, nice and sticky so it doesn’t ladder when you drop a stitch. It’s perfect for investigating techniques, too.

cat bordhi aha 2

cat bordhi aha

The other yarn I bought is Noro Silk Garden Lite, which is DK weight. I know exactly what I want to do with it; there’s a design idea rolling around in my mind.

noro 2

I bought a bag of 10 balls at Webs because I don’t know how much I’ll need, and the price was absurdly low.

Most of the rest of the yarn was from Deb Accuardi’s pre-summit luncheon at Gino’s. And it’s all fingering weight. I guess I’m going to start knitting with yarn that’s lighter than sport, because I have a lot of it! I love that it’s all from independent dyers. Here’s a recap of those yarns, starting with the one that was left behind. Deb brought it to me the next day. It’s from Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks, colorway Accuardi Insalata by Stevanie Pico.

accuardi insalata 2

Ladies that Lunch colorway by Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley). Candace, who sat at our table, stopped by the Knitted Wit booth with the sock she was making from this yarn, and it was knitting up beautifully. I love the colors.

ladies that lunch

Jules Verne, by Larissa Brown for Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks. You know I love blues!

jules verne

Pheasant by Abstract Fibers (Susan Stambaugh).


Cherry Mallow by Craft’s Meow.

cherry mallow

What else followed me home? The swag bag from the Ravelry party!

swag bag

How cute is that? here’s the back. I love that it’s labeled like the keepsake that it is.

swag bag 2

What’s inside? More yarn! This is Berroco Vintage Wool, in a color that I love. (And the stash keeps growing…)

vintage wool

A tote bag from Namaste.


A note pad from Lantern Moon.


And a very cool sock pattern, Odenwald, by Stephanie van der Linden.


Oh, I have two other fiber items, but they’re not yarn.


Why in the world would I need roving?


I have succumbed to the temptation. All those spinners. All those wheels and spindles. I’ve resisted for years. But when they showed me the cute center pull ball you get when you take the spindle apart, it completely stole my fiber geeky heart.

turkish sploded

Now I need to figure out how to use it. Fortunately, Portland Spinnerati meets this Saturday at the Central Library, and the temptresses who egged me on will be there.

I’m still pondering some of the questions from the Luminary Panel. More on that later. Good night!

Sock Summit: Saturday wows

Saturday at Sock Summit. I knew this would be a long day for me. Six hours of Dancing with Socks with Cat Bordhi, plus the Ravelry party tonight.

Cat Bordhi’s class was a huge winner. She’s a great teacher. She walked us through her short row heel turn method, Judy’s Magic Cast On, a Bosnian garter stitch toe, a formula for a perfect fitting sock from the toe up, and how to turn all of that upside down for a cuff down sock. Along the way, she also taught us a cure for the wobbly SSK line of decreases, and a better way to finish off the yarn tail at the end of a project.

cat bordhi

Here are the sample socks I worked on during class. The one on the right is a Coriolis. It was easier than I expected it to be! Note the garter stitch toe. The sock on the left is following her Upstream architecture.

pathways sox

Isn’t this yarn cool? It’s Bullfrogs and Butterflies from Lorna’s Laces, and the colorway is called Cat Bordhi Ah-ha. The short color runs make it easy to see what’s going on with the stitches from row to row. I didn’t have this yarn, but before class Elizabeth announced that she had bought some, had it wound into two balls, and someone was welcome to try the second ball. I did, and I loved it. Thank you, Elizabeth!


Oh, we also learned a stretchy new bind-off. It’s called Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off (JSSBO) by Jennifer Staimann, and it’s great. I can’t tell you more, because we’re sworn to secrecy. It will be in the next issue of Knitty. Keep your eyes peeled for this winner!

I sat next to Melinda (gldelx on Ravelry) during class. I didn’t realize it was gldelx until we swapped some stitch markers, and she gave me a card with her Ravelry name on it. She’s local here, too.


During lunch I met Kathy Elkins (on the left) from Webs. It was nice to meet her in person; we follow each other on Twitter.


The Ravelry party this evening was great. We all got swag bags with cool stuff in them. I’ll post an inventory and picture after I get a daylight shot. I hung out with old and new friends, including Sam and Kathy (I thought I had a picture with Kathy, but it’s not in the camera).


And GlennaC and Chrissy Gardiner (of the wonderful Toe-Up sock book).

glenna chrissy

Check out Glenna’s cool knee socks.

glenna sox

step knit

Deb interviewed Jess for the At the Kitchen Table podcast.

jess deb

And I met Jess (frecklegirl on Ravelry); and got to pose with her and the Bob finger puppet! Note our Ishbels.

jess bob

Bobbie, Leila, and Tami are trying to get me to spin. I’ve been successfully resistant. Then Leila pulled out the Turkish spindle, and showed me how it makes a center pull ball of yarn when you’re done. Uh-oh…


And I love this Dianna shawl that Kristin was wearing.


Lantern Moon was one of the cashmere sponsors. Thanks for a great party! Here’s Sharon, Joel, Sally, Sarah, and Jess.

LM peeps


We’ve only just begun…

The first day at Sock Summit isn’t the first day. You can pick up your registration packet, and set up your booth if you’re a vendor. Classes start tomorrow (Thursday), and the market opens for a student preview in the afternoon.

Even so, it was a very Sock Summit day today. I started at Deb Accuardi’s pre-summit yarn-tasting luncheon at her restaurant, Gino’s. Lunch was wonderful, four courses paired with wine and yarn. The room was filled with happy knitters.

lunch 1

lunch 4

lunch 2

And the swag was amazing. Chrissy Gardiner donated a copy of her new book, Toe-Up!, for each of the knitters there.

lunch swag

Deb put together swag bags with Portland info, a gift card to Knit/Purl, coffee or tea, and this button.


The yarn was incredible! The yarn with the first course was from Stevanie Pico at Abundant Yarns. It was inspired by a caprese salad, and the colorway is Insalata Accuardi. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of it, because it didn’t make it home with me! I’m hoping it was found under the table, or in Lorajean’s box o’ fun. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Accuardi Insalata

Here’s the rest:

yarn swag

The blue/green yarn is “Jules Verne”, dyed by Larissa Brown for Abundant Yarns. The pink/brown/cream is “Ladies Who Lunch” by Knitted Wit (Lorajean). It was inspired by the tiramisu dessert, but to me it looks like chocolate and raspberries with cream. The multi-color brown/green/red/everything is “Pheasant” by Abstract Fibers. It was inspired by Deb’s pheasant, and meant to go with the quail and warm potato salad. And the pink and lavender yarn is “Cherry Mallow” from Crafts Meow. I can’t tell you the story on that, because Lorajean and I had to leave before dessert was served. It was time to set up the booth.


It was pretty quick work! We have Lorajean’s yarn and fiber, felted hats from Attitude Hats, stitch markers from Marilyn (but I don’t know her business name, will find out), books and felting fiber from Leigh Radford, and my patterns. I’m in very good company. We’re ready to roll tomorrow. After set-up, we went to Lantern Moon’s vendor party at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. I even met Jess (Frecklegirl) from Ravelry.

LM party

LM party 2

And here are the Sox Stix girls! They’ll be roaming the market, creating buzz for Lantern Moon’s sock needles. The needles come in silk taffeta bags, and the Sox Stix girls are wearing taffeta pants inspired by those bags. Same same, but different!

sox stix girls

Tomorrow’s agenda: Sock Design Workshop with Star Athena, Hooked on Beads with Sivia Harding, and a tour of the marketplace. But for now, sleep…

Ishbel, you heartbreaker

Heartbreakingly gorgeous, yes?


It’s been a bumpy road with Ishbel. First, I chose a yarn that I didn’t enjoy working with. Then I switched to a different yarn, and ran out before I was done. (Sooooo close. 1.5 rows, plus bind off.) After a rescue by KellyinTexas from Ravelry, I finished the knitting on Saturday.

Here it is unblocked.


unblocked close

I was pretty pleased, and started the wet block process. I bought blocking wires last year after making my Shetland Triangle shawl. These are a great invention. I love how easy it is to pin out points with these. But seriously, I am going to have to get a plain white towel for blocking. This cacophony of color is just too much!

blocking ishbel

What is it about a blocking shawl that is so attractive to cats?


As I was pinning the shawl out, I noticed this disintegrating section (without the needle in it, of course).

bad corner

I must have dropped a stitch during the bind off. I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do, until the shawl was dry. Which gave me time to think it through. There were bound off stitches on each side of the dropped stitch(es), so that meant the run was confined to a small area. After Ishbel was dry, I picked up all the live stitches I could see, and then removed the blocking wires. I tinked back the bound off stitches (luckily, this was near the end), and then proceeded to recreate the three rows that had ripped out. This took three tries to get the lace pattern correctly. I finished binding off again, and voilĂ !


See the second from the bottom motif on the left? Yeah, I fixed it. Due to the bit of curl, you can’t see the whole motif, but it’s there. It just needs to be blocked to bring out the point. But no, I’m not going to re-block the shawl right now. It’s just fine the way it is.

But I have a comment, and a question. I never quite memorized the lace pattern, despite the fact that the repeat section is the same in sections A, B, and C. Is it because I was fixating on the holes, and not the solid parts? Which is figure, and which is ground? The branching holes, or the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine? What do you see?

figure ground

Despite all the stumbling blocks, I’d love to knit this shawl again. But I think I’ll make the larger size with the smaller border, or the smaller size with the larger border, to make sure I don’t run out of yarn again! And this yarn blocks like a dream, and is soooo soft. I’m going to love wearing this!

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Larger size, with larger border
Malabrigo Sock yarn in Violeta Africana, one skein plus a few more grams!
Size 6 (4 mm) needles (Lantern Moon ebony circulars)

Ishbel, interrupted

I must be loose. A looser knitter than Emilee, anyway. She finished her gorgeous Ishbel with less than one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. That seduced me into thinking I could do the same. As I neared the end, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I weighed the remaining yarn and found that it takes a little more than one gram per row. I had 10 grams of yarn left. And 10 rows to go. And a bind off row. Ouch. I really didn’t want to buy another $20 skein for about 3 grams of yarn.


I kept knitting. Now I have three rows left to knit, plus a bind off row. This tiny ball of yarn isn’t going to make it.

Luckily, there is a Ravelry group called Malabrigo Junkies, and they have a forum thread titled “ISO/FT/FS.” In English, that’s “in search of/for trade/for sale.” Since I only needed a little, I posted there. Within a couple hours, I had a reply. KellyInTexas is my hero!

I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Mitered squares, topsy-turvy

I’ve been making a lot of socks, knit from the cuff-down. I know you can knit them toe-up, too; I just haven’t, yet. Well, once, but I never finished the first sock.

I’m knitting a mitered square for a Ravelry group project Afghans for Afghans blanket in honor of Kay and Peter. So why not turn that idea upside down, too? Instead of starting with the long edges and decreasing down, what if we start at the point, and increase up? Anything to mix things up a bit! And no gauge swatch required, because you’d stop when the square reaches the right dimensions.

Here’s my first attempt:


Cast on 2. Knit the first row (wrong side).

Row 1: KFB (knit in front and back of stitch), place marker, KFB

Row 2: Knit.
row 3: K to stitch before first marker, KFB, slip marker, KFB, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing colors as desired, ending with a row 2. The symmetry lover in me would probably bug out not knowing if the stripes would all be the same number of rows. I’m that way. But maybe I’d get around it by making all stripes just two rows (1 garter ridge), or 4 rows (2 garter ridges), and carry the second yarn up the side of the block, twisting at each color change. Binding off was a bit tricky; my regular knit bind-off was too tight and the piece wasn’t very square. I changed to a suspended bind off, and that made it looser, but there’s still not a nice pointy corner on the bound off edge.

I also tried this with yarn over increases on each side of a center stitch, like this:

yo k yo

Cast on 3. Knit the first row (wrong side)
Row 1: K1, yo, place marker, K, place marker, yo, K1

Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K to marker, yo, slip marker, K, slip marker, yo, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing color as desired, ending with a row 2. Again, I used a suspended bind off to keep the edge from pulling.

You could use any increases you like, as long as you increase just before and just after the center. Some need a center stitch to separate them, and some don’t. I can never remember which M1 increase leans left and which one leans right, but paired increases would look nice. Here’s a link to‘s excellent page on increases.

I’ll add this information to the mitered square pattern page, just in case someone else wants to mix it up, too.

After all of that, I’m making my current mitered square in my usual way, long edge first. It needs to be 10 inches square, and I know that I get 4.5 sts/inch in garter stitch on US size 8 needles. 10 inches times 4.5 st/inch is 45 sts for each 10 inch edge. 90 stitches for my square.

Knit on!

Think pink! and purple, and…


shurt fo

The Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) socks are done. And I love them! The color pooling has been vanquished (except maybe a hint of a pink puddle on one side of each of the ankles), the spiral has been embraced, and all is well.

shurt fo 2


Shur’tugal by Alice Yu (Socktopus), knit for the Ravelry Socks that Rock 2nd quarter Knitalong.
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Bleeding Hearts
Size 1 Lantern Moon Blond wood Sox Stix (I really like these 6 inch needles!)

shurt model

I modified the pattern to from 56 stitches to 48 to compensate for the heavier yarn and to escape the color pooling I had with 56. The socks look narrow, but they are a perfect fit. The fabric is pretty stretchy; I think they would also have fit at 56 stitches, but they wouldn’t have been nearly as pretty. And these are very, very pretty.

shurt model 2

I love the detail on the heels.

shurt heels

Thanks to Alice (Socktopus) for a great knit!

What is a sock

What is a sock start, but a gauge swatch?

Yesterday’s foray with the Bleeding Heart Shur’tugal left me cold. That big blobby pool of pink just didn’t make me happy. The spiral reversed direction between the ribbing and the dragon scale pattern, and the area where it reversed was like a big pink eyeball. I couldn’t take it, so I ripped it out.

bleeding hearts

The pattern calls for 64 or 72 stitches. I had already reduced it to 56 stitches on size 1 needles because I’m using STR Mediumweight instead of Lightweight. I knew if I increased to 64 stitches, I would have to knit on size 0 or 00 needles. No way. So I went the other direction, and cast on 48 stitches on size 2 needles. (ETA: I thought they were 2’s, but they’re still 1’s! I guess I can switch back to my new Lantern Moon blondwood Sox Stix, since they’re the same size as these Brittany Birch.)


(Please excuse the harsh lighting. The sun actually came out, hooray!)

What a well behaved spiral. Just what I wanted, and it looks a lot like the spiral on the designer’s revised pattern for Shur’tugal. (Ravelry link for the updated pattern, but I don’t think you can get it elsewhere. Join Ravelry; it’s free!)

So I’m much happier. The sock is a little snugger, but still big enough for my leg and my foot. And there’s no pink eyeball. Ahhhhh.

April is for casting on

It’s time for the next Socks that Rock knitalong on Ravelry. The pattern choices this month are Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) and Mad Color Weave. I chose Shur’tugal, and bought this STR Mediumweight for it last month.

bleeding hearts

The color is Bleeding Hearts. Although there’s not much knitting to show yet, I couldn’t resist taking this picture, because it wasn’t raining!

bleeding hearts

But I’m not sure I like what the color is doing. The brighter colors began a spiral around the leg while I was knitting the ribbing, but when I changed to the dragon scale pattern, the spiral reversed direction, resulting in a huge color pool. The reverse side of the sock is all dark. I’m going to go through one more repeat, and then decide if I can stand it.

I also picked up the next installment of the Single Skein Club from Twisted; I’ll take some pictures soon!

Knit on!

A long time coming…Seafoam Socks Pattern

I just can’t stop knitting this pattern. It makes me really happy! The pattern is so logical, so easily memorized, so easy to track. I had to make another…


The Fly Designs Monarch sport on top is my favorite yarn so far. The colors are even more vibrant than in the picture. The yarn is really springy and fun to knit with.

The pattern has been written for a while, but I wasn’t happy with my pictures! Pictures that looked good on the screen didn’t look good coming out of the printer. It’s been a frustrating couple days, but I think I have what I want now.

The pattern is available as a pdf download for $5 US through Ravelry. See the pattern page for more information.