Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympic knitting--Done!

Finished. With minutes to spare! And, here's the proof--The Torino socks.

I ended up using Lisa's Sock! yarn in the St. Valentine color and size 0 (2 mm) needles. The patterns were adapted from the trilogy sets of both the Fanderl and Erlbacher books. It has a Joyce Williams short row heel/sole combination with gusset and the toe is based on one from an old Stahl book (I think). I had hoped to make the pattern available immediately (from Heartland Knits, of course), however, want to wait a bit so I can be sure if the accuracy of the directions. Sometimes a few days or weeks away from the instructions can give you fresh eyes to spot mistakes.

So, check back soon.

Tick, Tock

The days of the Olympics are quickly slipping away. One sock is done, the first draft of the pattern is written and I've just started the second sock.

Tick, tock.

It might be easier to concentrate on the matters at hand if boxes filled with fun things to play with didn't keep arriving. I've been putting them in the back hall and trying to pretend they're not there. The last one came from far, far, away. The other side of the world, really. This one will be very difficult to ignore but if I want to complete this task, I had better do it. Because once it's opened, all bets on the Knitting Olympics are off.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Okay, here it is. The proof that I've knit farther than an inch on my Torino sock. As you can see, I was needlessly worried that the stitch pattern wouldn't show up enough in this nearly solid handpainted sock yarn. I think the striping problem occurred in the swatches because they were knit back and forth on a smaller amount of stitches. And, it actually looks much better in person than this photo shows. I found I couldn't keep the flash on my camera from activating no matter which lamp I took the picture under; no natural light possible today as we're in the middle of a blizzard.

However, I may be reknitting that initial inch one (maybe two) more times. A new yarn arrived in the mail today from CA and I think this will be the perfect match of pattern/color. Lisa said it was the perfect red...and well, it just about is!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Knitting Update

Okay, I thought I'd have progress on my Torino sock to report on each day but then the Polwarth fleece arrived on Friday and I've been consumed with washing it. I did cast on during the Opening Ceremonies last Friday and knit an inch. Didn't like the cast on, ripped, reknit. Didn't like something else, ripped, reknit. Basically the same inch knit and reknit several times over the last few nights. I think I finally have it figured out but Blogger isn't letting me upload photos today so instead I'll give you a recipe for an Olympic Knitting snack.

Sugared Pecans

Mix in large bowl:
1 egg white
1 TBSP water
Beat until frothy.

Add: 4 Cups (or 1 lb. bag) Pecan halves
Stir until well coated.

In small separate bowl, mix together:
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
Pour contents of small bowl into large bowl and stir until coated.

Spread out evenly into a 9" x 13" cake pan.

Bake 20 minutes at 300˚ stirring pecans every 5-10 minutes.
Decrease oven temp to 250˚ and continue baking an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes as before.

Cool and store in air tight container.

One of my former knitting students gave me this recipe. A little bit sweet, a little bit salty. Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2006

First Fleece

It's here! My very first fleece. Or at least, part of a fleece; about 1.5 lbs worth. Definitely less intimidating than dealing with a whole one the first time out. At least for me.

What you see here is a beautiful mushroom colored Polworth. Here is my preliminary analysis. It has about a 5" staple length and about 8 crimps per inch. I estimate the bulk as high, the luster as medium and about the only fault I see is that it has some dirty tips. As for fiber size, well, as I've only had a few locks to judge in a class I took last fall, I'm estimating about 55's to 60's. I know you want a closer look. Isn't it purty!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ready, Set....

The swatching. Done. The looking through stitch dictionaries. Done. Choosing patterns. Done. Calculating stitch counts. Done.

Please excuse the rather uncomposed photo but that's how the table in front of me looked. We have three different yarns. Sock! in Turqua and Sage and some cream Glimmer alpaca. There is a skein of cream Opal sock yarn on the way, too. I intend to use the Turqua unless the color variation obsures the st patterns too much. Then, I may switch to the cream to use as a cover model. Also shown are two sets of stitch dictionaries--the Lisl Fanderl Bauerliches Stricken series and another 3 book paperback set by Maria Erlbacher called Uberlieferte Strickmuster. Then various needles, both circular and double points.

I'm all set and ready to go. I know many knitters are planning to start when it's 2p in the States but I'm going to wait until the Opening Ceremonies are broadcast on tv. Until then...I'll be waiting.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Trying to knit the blues

So, I finished spinning the first bobbin of the blues (blue/lavender/aqua) Corriedale roving I dyed a couple of weeks ago. While spinning, I split it lengthwise into strips about 1" wide to avoid long color runs (such as in Noro yarns). And, tried not to overtwist it since I wanted to knit it as a singles, but found while winding it onto my niddy noddy that it drifted apart in several places. Looks like it hadn't been spun enough in those spots. After setting the twist, here's what it looks like in the hank and wound into a center pull ball--there are large bands of color swirling around it. Hmmm.

I had intended to make the Tempelhofer Airlifter shawl by Hazel Carter but when I took out the pattern and looked at it found that there could be a problem. It's a triangular shawl with a wide border. I thought the triangle shape and increasing stitch count of the rows would be good to prevent the colors from pooling. I hadn't considered the border. It is knit sideways which would make the colors form into wide stripes. Not good.

Well, there are other shawl patterns. And after looking through them, I decided on one I've always loved--the Mediterranean Lace shawl from Gathering of Lace. It is shaped like a triangle in the back and a stole in the front, however, the lace edge is picked up around all the edges and knit in long rows so the striping wouldn't be a problem. Or, so I thought. Here is the beginning of the shawl--the first 45 rows. See those wide stripes--Yuck! I ripped it out and tried knitting alternately from both ends of the ball and just got little stripes. It wasn't pretty. Yes, the stripes should become narrower as more stitches are added, but, I'm not sure if the lace pattern will show up enough through them.

Maybe...I ought to start considering a round shawl.