I want it to last for an Eternity

April 29, 2007

I did not want it to end…I wanted it to last and last for an Eternity. The silk yarn shifted smoothly from my bamboo needle, caressing my fingers. The nubbly feeling of each tiny little glass bead made me sigh of of delight.


This fingerless glove with just one cable running through it, is one of the first patterns I wrote myself. At first I was afraid that the variegation of the yarn would obscure the fine cable, but luckily, it did not.


I could not wait any longer to work with the blue beaded silk as well, wound it up in a centerpull ball by hand, and casted on quickly to make another fingerless glove, this one however, with a plaited cable.


Close up plaited cable:


These fingerless glove patterns are both written to knit flat. This means that I did not use double pointed needles, but knitted flat instead. After the knitting is done, I seam the glove. At the time I wrote this pattern, I could not knit with dpns yet.

Once a sleeping beauty, now wide awake, hugging my hand, I give you my fingerless glove named Denaedin:



Fortunately, oh lucky lucky me, I still have to knit up “Emanelle” the blue beaded silk! I am going to knit it very slowly, because I want it to last for an Eternity…

Previous post on this beaded silk yarn:

Two Sleeping Beauties

Intimidated by Socks and dpns Part II

April 26, 2007

My second Great Adirondack Soxie sock is done! Remember my first soxie?

Here you see the Soxie pair:

In this post I am going to touch two topics:

  1. Anatomy of a sock demystified
  2. Tip for knitting in the round with double pointed needles

In Intimidated by Socks and dpns Part III I am going to touch the following 5 topics:

  1. Zen of picking up stitches
  2. Zen of picking up DROPPED stitches
  3. Seriously getting Geeky with it
  4. How variegated yarn behaves in stockinette stitch
  5. How the journey to get there is more captivating than the destination itself

Before we start I just wanted to say that I am by no means a sock expert. I just wanted to document my own sock journey. Are you ready?

Now let’s get down to the Knitty Gritty.

1) Anatomy of a sock demystified

With these steps, I merely want to show how the sock is formed. I hope that by seeing these pictures, you will be less intimidated or even better, not intimidated at all anymore!

The pattern that I used for this sock is described in my post “How does one describe Beauty“. However, with this Great Adirondack yarn I used dpn #1.

Step 1: cast on x stitches on dpns and work in the round. If you do not know how to do this, watch the video instrcution on small diameter circulair knitting in section advanced techniques on the website knittinghelp.com.

Step2: Work back and forth on heelflap

Please note that on the sides of the heelflap, stitches will be picked up later on:

Step 3: turn heel and pick up stitches
Step 4: Shape gusset

Step 5: Knit in the round for several inches untill it is time to shape toe

Step 6: Shape toe! Lots of decreasing.

More decreasing untill there is only 8 stitches left.

Step 7: Grab those 8 stitches with a darning needle, pull slightly and stick needle in hole.


Step 8: Turn sock inside out and pull tightly. Weave in ends. (Yikes, looks like a snake)

Step 9: There you have it! Anatomy of a sock demystified!

2) Tips for knitting with double pointed needles

First of all, don’t get intimidated by the “many” needles you are going to work with. In my case I worked with 4 needles all together. Three needles you see on the sock:

And a 4th needle is thrown in the mix to actually knit with.
Now FOCUS on just the two needles that you are working with, okay? Just try to pretend that those other two needles are not there. Focus on the two that you are working with!

At some point, the needles you are not working with get in the way. See how my thumb is cramped up by a “non” working needle? No fun knitting like that!

If that happens, just gently push the needle that is cramping your flow to the back. And now you have plenty of room to focus and knit on the two “working” needles!

Hopes this helps a bit…

See all other posts on this topic:

Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles part I
Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles part III

The Seductress

April 24, 2007

You know the type. The one with wiggling hips, pursing lips, batting eyelashes and oops you can see the black string of her bra just peeking from under her tight top … Yes, THAT type.

My first bought yarn
Ever since my husband explained to me what the word “yarn” meant, I so wanted to go to a yarnshop but our travels from Washington D.C, to Tampa and Hollywood, FL got in the way. I had to put my curiosity on hold untill we arrived in Pittsburgh, PA.

On a cold and windy day in March I set foot in a yarnshop for the very first time. The name of this yarnshop situated at Woodstreet in downtown Pittsburgh appealed to me:

“Ewe can knit”

I vividly remember the proprietress’ friendly bright eyes, her fair face adorned by an abundance of reddish curls. I felt warmly welcomed into a wondrous world of color and yarn.

As I was wandering through a cascade of colors, browsing, fondling all kinds of yarn, I nearly screamed of pure delight and was about to lose my mind when suddenly I felt tapping on my shoulder.

It was quite an impatient tapping. Somebody really demanded attention.

I turned around and there she was… wiggling her hips, pursing her lips, flirtatiously batting her eyes and I kid you not, she was showing off her black lingerie!

I gazed at her for only a brief moment and then slowly rolled my eyes towards the friendly proprietress to see if she too noticed this seductive piece of yarn.

“No, hon. The curly redhead won’t notice a thing,” I heard a raspy voice saying and I slowly rolled my eyes back to the seductress.

“It is you I am seducing. Take me. I demand it.”

What can I say? I had to obey.


Here is how she looks knit up in garter stitch:


This HOT yarn contradictably called Polar by Filati FF in colorway 531 was a pleasure to knit with. I made my very first scarf with it! These two pictures are the only ones I could find in my archives. The scarf, knitted up in garter stitch with bamboo needles #13 was later given as a present to a very dear friend of mine.

It was the perfect first beginner’s project. Bulky yarn, big needles, instant gratification AND a good way to learn that knit stitch!

Great Adirondack Soxie Progress

I was cruisin’ along with my soxie today,


when suddenly this happened:

Oh bitter despair, I dropped them stitches!
In times of trouble, one needs heroes:


See them in action:


More tomorrow!

My first handknitted gift sweater…

April 24, 2007

Who does not remember their first kiss? Or their very first date? Even their very first break up for that matter…

Where ever your mind wanders off to now, hold on to that “my first” sentiment and link it to yarn and knitting.

This week’s theme will be, you might have guessed: “My First…”

My first (and only) handknitted gift sweater

A long time ago, when I was in my early twenties, my boyfriend’s mom knitted me a sweater. When she handed it to me, I politely said “thank you”, but my thoughts were condescending.

Being the smug and arrogant twenty something that I was, I looked down upon handknitting, categorized it foolishly as ‘old fashioned’ and oh ‘so not cool’. I stored the sweater in my closet and forgot about it. My boyfriend’s mom never saw me wear it.

Years later, long after her son and me had broken up, the forgotten sweater surfaced just by accident. I was amazed how well it actually looked on me! I got many many compliments whenever I wore that sweater. Still I did not appreciate it.

My First Sweater Gift

Now, a bit more mature, wiser AND a knitter, I hang my head in shame.

How I wish I could reach out to that sweet woman who knitted that beautiful sweater for me. How I wish I could say to her thank you for all the hours you put in that sweater, for choosing just the perfect color and yarn, for the time you took to sew the sleeves, front and back together.

Thank you so incredibly much for the LOVE you put in every single stitch!

However, some things from the past are better left untouched…

Great Adirondack Soxie Progress!

Uh oh … are you scared yet? Don’t worry they are just needles and so harmless, really:


Phew, looks much less intimidating this way:


Heel is shaped, stitches are picked up and the gusset is done:


Soxie is scheduled to be finished tomorrow!

Endless Possibilities

April 23, 2007

More than a week has passed since I decided to start my knitting blog with WordPress. My oh my, what a journey!

Knitting has not only opened up a whole new world in which I can play with fiber, colors, needles and patterns, but it has also opened up a whole new world for me in the blogosphere.

Learning blogosphere lingo, playing around with my digital camera, finding out about technorati, resizing images, scouting the net for information to get more web savvy… what an adventure and equally fun as knitting!

Just the other day, early in the morning, when I was admiring a small maple tree, I suddenly realized that there were tiny little dew drops hanging down off so many maple leaves. I pulled out my camera and tried to capture at least one of the dew drops.

Maple Dewdrop

I chuckled, because the maple leaf made me think of yarn, and the dew drop made me think of a glass bead.

There is so much beauty and creativity every where I look, every where around me. I am so fortunate to have the tools to capture it in knitting, digital photography and writing in order to express my creativity.

The variables yarn, needles, patterns, internet, photography and writing provide for endless possibilties in creativity and inspiration.

And for that, I am mighty thankful…

Two Sleeping Beauties

April 22, 2007

Two sleeping beauties covered in subtle early morning dew drops, and protected by Labradorite enchanted me. How could I not take them with me, these precious ones?


I once wrote a story about Denaedin and Emanelle, two elven sisters who lived in a magical forest somewhere in the realm of my imagination. When I saw these precious glass bead silk skeins, one subtle green with a sensitive variegation, the other vibrant blue with lighter hues, I knew that they were Denaedin and Emanelle.


The first one I am going to work with is Deneadin, her character is subtle green and very sensitive. I could not bare put her on a swift to brutally wind her up in a ball.

So I gently untwisted her, and decided to wind her up in a centerpull ball by hand. She was not easily to be woken up, but with some patience and a little persuasion it did not take long before I had her in the palm of my hand.


Denaedin is ready to be knit up in a pattern that I wrote myself: fingerless gloves with just one cable running through it …

How excited I am to see how Denaedin will bloom!

Yarn: Art Yarns, Beaded Silk color # 139s (green) and # 222s (blue)

Yarn source: Close Knit

Sturdy Elegancy in the Counterpane Carpet Bag

April 19, 2007

Approximately one year ago, while I was figuring out how to make purl stitches, I saw a knitted bag on a Livejournal blog called“yaiAnn knits!”. With my very novice knitting eyes, I was oogling that sexy bag, drooling over it, wanting to touch it so badly.
I was shamelessly LUSTING that bag…

As much I was lusting it, I realized that I was too inexperienced to make it any time soon, so I let it go and focussed on my second scarf which I was purling all the way through.

It never let go of me though … and now, one year after I first set my eyes on that sexy bag, look what I have on my palmwood needles:


The Counterpane bag, designed by Carrie Brenner and to be found in the book Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick, calls for 10 skeins of La Lana Forever Random Blend in colorway yellow brick road. Just like yaiAnn, I chose to work with Noro, Kureyon, colorway 95 instead and I am using size 10 straight palm wood needles.

The pattern is a lace scallop pattern and, at first glance, makes me think of the graceful Feather and Fan stitch. This scallop pattern, however, has a much sturdier appearance yet its elegant look stays untouched.

Sturdy Elegancy … Me like…


By the way, do notice how nonchalantly my Kureyon ball is seated on that piece of “cloth”. Oh yes, for the lining, we use, raw silk…

Great Adirondack Soxie progress

Of course I cannot wrap this post up without a picture of my first finished Soxie…


I have been pondering on this one… there is much I want to talk about: how the variegation of the colors behave in stockinette stitch , the art of SSK, the zen of picking up stitches and finally how the journey to “get there” can be more captivating than the destination itself.

I am seriously going to get geeky on this one…but not untill the second soxie is finished!

Intimidated by Socks and double pointed needles

April 17, 2007

I would always tiptoe around socks and double pointed needles. Very quietly, tippy toeing, observing, closer and closer and then … hastily back away. Oh how those socks and double pointed needles intimidated me!

But then, there was Robert. My knight in shining fiber armor, helping a damsel in sock distress and teaching me that double pointed needles are harmless. I met Robert at a beginner’s sock class over at Close Knit, my favorite yarnshop. He chased away my fear and showed me with lots of patience and encouragement that anyone can knit socks with double pointed needles. Will you believe me that I hugged Robert when class was finished?

The turning of the heel, the shaping of the gusset and toe are no longer a mystery to me. However, I only knitted 2 pairs of socks, so more practice is needed to fully understand the anatomy of the sock. Off to Close Knit I went and bought me some of this:


This luscious piece of skein is from Great Adirondack Soxie sock yarn in a springy colorway. It is 100% merino but so incredibly silky! Silky, Shiny and Springy… Yum. I decided to challenge myself and I am knitting up socks with needle size 1. So there you have it, this is what I have on the needles right now.

I just turned the heel:


Although no longer mystified by the turning of the heel, I still gaze at it and ask myself who was this brilliant person who designed this? Just look at it…


The hardest part of knitting socks is not the heel but picking up the stitches. With such small needles I am working with right now, I have to remind myself not to hold my breath but to keep on breathing. Breath in, pick up a stitch, breath out… breath in, pick up a stitch, breath out… Untill I’ve got them all picked up and then with a proud feeling of victory, I kick up my heels and knit one round. And this is what you see, isn’t tight, crisp and neat?


Ha! Socks and DPNs intimidate me no more! You know why? Cuz I am Getting Purly With It!

Intimidated by Socks and double pointed needles Part II
Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles Part III

How does one describe Beauty?

April 16, 2007

She stopped me in my tracks this tiny little pansy yet grand and dramatically beautiful. She did not even whisper to get my attention, nor did she purposely radiate her beauty.


But I spotted her. She was well hidden amongst all the other mediocre and loud ones and I chose her to take home with me.


The rich deep dark red with almost black streeks mesmerized me… Can you imagine how I gasped when I walked into my all time favorite yarnshop and saw this color yarn?!?


Be still my beating heart!

If one cannot describe beauty one has to knit it! I did not think twice, grabbed the yarn, searched for a sock pattern, got me some #2 dpns and right there and then in the yarn shop I casted on and started to knit. Within 10 days I had finished these:


They are my most recent finished object and my second pair of socks I have ever knitted. I simply adore them! I was so incredibly excited to knit these and I so eagerly wanted to finish that I knitted to tight in the end and I had to rip out the toe of the second sock several times and start anew. But that was okay, after all, it is part of the proces, isn’t it?

The pattern was written very very clearly, I had no problems at all following it. I did however, knitted the top of the sock 6 inch instead of 8 inch and I had plenty of yarn left. Also I knitted with #2 dpn instead of #3 dpn. I am a tight knitter, you see. It was a bit of a challenge for me to knit with #2 dp needles but as you can see, I did it!

Yarn: Jitterbug easy care merino 4ply by Colinette Yarns, colorway #116 Velvet Plum, 276 meters

Gauge: 7 stitches per inch

Pattern: Knitted Pure & Simple, beginner’s mid-weight socks #242

Needles: #2 dpn

Yarnsource: Close Knit

Bugging out in Washington D.C. while wondering what “yarn” is

April 14, 2007

Notes from the past

During Christmas 2005 my husband and I found ourselves in Washington D.C. I remember those days as cold, grey and foggy… or maybe the last had to do with the fact that we were accomodated at Foggy Bottom, close to historical Georgetown.

I could easily have chased away the grey. All I had to do is pick up my color pencils and draw. But my color pencils were silent … Magenta didn’t smile at me as she did before, Indigo was pouting and rolled his eyes at me while Vermillion refused to radiate her beauty. And Deap Sea Green? She acted like she didn’t know me.

Days and days went by colorlessly, without any inspiration and ever so silently.

I had to do something, anything, whatever to be busy! So I started to get into origami. I surfed the net and taught myself to fold tiny little origami stars. For hours and hours, day after day, night after night I folded and folded, the repetition of the movements of my hands and fingers were soothing, the pastel colors were kind to me and made me giggle.

By the time I had folded over a thousand tiny little origami stars, my husband said: “Woman, you are bugging out. You are totally bugging out! You need to go out there and find something else to be occupied with!”

And so I did. I got up from my lotus position and left a thousand stars behind me to “go out there”.

I remember wandering through beautiful Georgetown with no particular purpose or place to go to when I passed this shop called “StitchesDC”. In the window there was a sign that said “YARN SALE” and I saw this beautiful knitted sweater on a mannequin. For the life of me, I did not know what the english word “YARN” meant. Now you must know that I am not a native english speaker and that word “YARN” puzzled me.

That night I asked my husband: “Sweetie, what does the english word “YARN” mean? He explained to me that yarn is the material you knit with. “Oh”, I replied and wanted to go back to that shop if only we weren’t scheduled to leave Washington D.C. the next morning to travel to Tampa, FL.

My curiosity for that strange and funny english word “YARN” had to be put on hold as I could not satisfy it right there and then.