Auntie Ann Knits

Monday, April 30, 2007

How cute can you get?

Look what Liz sent me for my birthday!

Mini Socks 2
Mini Socks card

These arrived late on Friday, and then a houseguest came for the weekend, so I am just now getting around to posting. But these really made my day!

She even suggested I can use my Chibi to block them if they need laundering after all that carnage from the "knunchuck" use gets on them, LOL.

Only after the mail arrived did I realize why Liz had casually started a conversation on google chat earlier that afternoon. Our mail comes late, what can I say.

Aren't these the cutest? They are perfect little socks in every way, with a heel flap and, presumably, grafted toes. It makes me faint to think of grafting the toes. Love the card, too. Thanks, Liz!!!

p.s. -- apparently I am the only one who cannot hear or see the words, "oh, dear, what can the matter be?", without responding, "seven old ladies got stuck in the lavat'ry". Yes, I spent way too many years at camp. And loved every minute.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oh, Dear

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?

Oh Dear

This deer and his pal were in our yard the other day. They'd better not come back after I put in my tomatoes!

I think they came by to wish me a happy birthday. Yes, today is my birthday and I'm dang old today.

But there are compensations. DH made me a swift!


Isn't it fabulous? This is based on Anne's pattern. Thanks, Anne!

Within minutes, that 475 yards of sock yarn became this:

Yarn cake 2
yarn cake

Yarn cake, yum.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy ANZAC Day!


Tomorrow is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, and we celebrated early by eating this package of delicious cookies we found at the grocery store. But wait, isn't it already tomorrow there? I'm so confused . . . .

As you can see at the bottom of the package, part of the proceeds go to the VFW. Support the vets by eating cookies! Now there's a concept I can get behind.

You can read more about ANZAC and ANZAC day here. Me, I'm off to look for more cookies. G'day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Falling Water Scarf

A while back, I posted that I was thinking of making the Falling Water Scarf with some lovely purple sock yarn I got at Stitches West.

My friend Lisa (who never comments here -- ahem) did that very thing! And here is her lovely daughter modeling said scarf:

Falling Water 2

Lisa sez:

"When I read your blog a month or so ago, you had just brought some very cool yarn and you were contemplating what to do with it. You pointed to a few patterns for a scarf that you were considering. I loved one of the patterns, so used it on some yarn of mine. Once I made the scarf, I realized it probably would look better as a solid color, rather than this Koigu thing I did, but trust me, it looks absolutely gorgeous with my light blue winter jacket. I finished up the scarf in Hawaii and thought I would just block it, then put it away til next fall. Little did I know we would get an inch of snow a few days ago, and it came in handy while I was walking the dogs (in my winter parka) at 6:00 am."

Lisa lives in Minnesota. 'Nuff said.

I guess I'd better get busy turning my own yarn into this scarf, now.


Monday, April 16, 2007


The front and back panels for the Ohio Star tote are done:

finished side

The stitches on the top of the pic are being held on a piece of yarn, because eventually they will be part of the top of the tote, which will be bound off with an i-cord bind-off.

I threw a short row in at each corner, because otherwise the width of my first picked-up edge panel doesn't quite match the width of the center motif panel:


I don't think it's just me, because if you look very closely at the picture that was in the mag with the pattern here, you can see that the top edge dips slightly in those locations, just before the left and right corners. At least, that's what it looks like to me. Anyone know a better way to pick up stitches to avoid this problem?

As I said, both the front and the back panels are done, which means it is time for the -- EGSGOD!

The directions for the knitted piece that makes up the left and right panels and the bottom are as follows:

Cast on 16 stitches.
Knit 408 rows.
408 rows.

GAAAHH! It's enough to make you want to poke your own eyes out with your needles (except the Denise needles are, you know, so blunt).

I have dubbed this piece the Endless Garter-Stitch Gusset of Doom. EGSGOD for short.

I think I'm a little over 1/3 done:


In desperation (and because I'm something of a geek), I decided to figure out how to knit backwards. I thought it would be awfully hard for me.

You know what? I just wish now that I had done this sooner! It sure would have made those pointy little segments easier. Almost all of the EGSGOD so far has been knit backwards every other row. This makes for no turning, no putting-down-the-needle and re-settling-yarn-in-hand. I can't say I knit backwards quickly, smoothly, or well, but the whole process flows better. And any wonky stitches will felt in the wash.

Right? I hope I'm right.


Friday, April 13, 2007


Posts like this one by Maia and this one by Scout sometimes make me think my palette of choice is too limited. I will adamantly say that I don't like green, but I do seem to like it when it is combined with blue. Pink and brown together didn't sound so good to me, nor some of the other combinations listed in Scout's post, if you just list the colors. But when I look at her skeins -- yummy!

So next time I buy yarn, maybe I should deliberately broaden my palette and go for some sock yarn in colors I wouldn't normally wear or knit with. Just to try it. If I really don't like the results, I'm sure I can find someone else who would.

Yesterday we had a family field trip to San Francisco. It's been a while since I've been to Japantown, and I didn't remember this:

Japantown Peace Plaza

This is a cool fountain with water flowing over a number of flat slabs, so that you can walk right through it without really getting wet. The birds love it, too.

But the main goal for me and DD was to visit Ichiban Kan, as Freecia and Cookie did. And try to duplicate some of Cookie's sheepy purchases, which I loved. Am I a copycat? Yes, but I copy from the best.

At first we couldn't find them and I was afraid Cookie had gotten them all! But we did find them, and I got:

mag file

A couple of magazine files for my knitting mags and patterns (and it's filled with gift bags, each only about $1).


Some pencil knitting pouches and notebooks.

water bottle tote

A water bottle yarn tote.

sewing kit

This cute sewing kit, with lots of needles, a needle threader, tape measure and tiny scissors, for $1.


This lightweight nylon totebag (part of my ongoing quest to use fewer shopping bags), one of our more expensive purchases at $2.


These sauce dishes ($1 each) to catch the drips from my tea strainer. Oh, yes, the pig? Press a button on its head and light shines from the nostrils in the snout. No keychain should be without this safety device.

Then we had sushi at the sushi boat restaurant (yum!), where I forgot to take pix, before leaving to see Picasso at SFMOMA. But that's another story.

All in all, the three of us had a monstrously good time.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fickle, Fickle Me

I liked these socks when I first finished them. And then I wore them a bit, and rats! they are actually a bit loose on me. Very disappointing, and I blame it on the biased stitches. Or really, on my inability to figure out proper gauge for biased knitting. I washed them and put them through the dryer (quel horreur!). Still too big.

So I gave them to DD, who at age 12 has slightly larger feet than me. (Yes, she's going to be taller than I am, but that's not saying a whole heck of a lot.)

She politely accepted them, but never wore them. Not once.

So I asked for them back, since even if they are a bit loose I still will wear them, and besides these I had only one pair of hand-knitted socks. Most of the socks I have made were Xmas gifts for last year.

Meantime, I had acquired these shoes from REI specifically for the purpose of showing off my hand-knit socks. I was inspired by Chris's Keens, although hers are "Seattles" and mine are "Calistogas".

with Keens

I have to say I love these socks with these shoes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


This is a little late, but so was our family Chinese New Year pot luck.

This is the year of the boar. Or the year of the pig, if you prefer.
pig cake 07

As you can see, I mistakenly let the frosting get too soft and runny while we made the sushi (yes, I know sushi is not Chinese, but it always gets gobbled up and there's no last-minute heating -- the perfect pot luck food). Still, I think it's cute.

And so is my assistant chef, don't you think?
pig cake 2 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


This is my brother and his DH on their wedding day in 2004:

They have just been elected (with the help of some of you -- thanks!!) as the "Individual Community Grand Marshals" for the San Francisco Pride Parade, which will take place Sunday, June 24, 2007!

I'm so proud!


Ohio Star gets a background

More progress has been made:

The background color will be the solid blue ("New Denim"), and I think the white ("Aran") will make the star just pop. I am loving this project, it is very fun to knit and at this stage I still get to imagine that any little mistake or unevenness will just felt away.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Want An Exciting Career? Be A Firefighter!

I just got this in an email aimed at us GS leaders:

"Want An Exciting Career? Be A Firefighter!

12th International Conference of Fire Service Women
Everyone Welcome

Hands-on and lecture workshops on a variety of Fire Service topics, such as Forcible Entry, Ventilation, Command, Grant Writing and . . . ."

OK, I don't mean to make fun of firefighters -- I love firefighters! We go every year to our local fire station to sell them cookies (they buy lots), and I have taken CERT (community emergency response training) at the fire station. We go to Fire Extinguisher Day every year or so to practice using our fire extinguishers and then get them recharged. So let's just say I don't think this ended up being distributed to the target audience they had in mind when they wrote it. Take my troop to a presentation on Forcible Entry? I don't think so.

Ohio Star

Lookie what I've been making:

This was like the proverbial potato chip -- once I started, I just had to keep going. You start at the center square, and each section is picked up and knit from there. I believe this traditional quilt motif is called an "Ohio Star". I have two.

They are for this felted tote:
pattern image

I think this is so cute. It's from Knitter's magazine, Fall 2006. Can you see why I was eager to see if I could machine-crank worsted i-cord? However, the pic in the magazine is so not my colors. I'm allergic to green, and beige-y colors do nothing for me at all.

Mine is Paton's Classic Wool. The solid blue is "New Denim", and the other is "Denim Marl".

And under the heading of "lessons learned", we have this:

Ever heard that some white yarns do not felt? I'm here to tell you that it's quite true. Paton's Classic Wool in "Winter White" has been bleached in the processing and, well, apparently what it did is considered slightly felted (fuzzy, lost its stretchiness), but the different shrinkage rate from the blue? Not good.

The white will go in the places the green went in the pattern photo, so it has to shrink at approximately the same rate as the blue, or -- I shudder to think. So despite the label that says, "Ideal for knit, crochet and felted projects"? Not true of "Winter White". But new swatching has been done, and "Aran" shrinks just fine. Onward and upward.