Auntie Ann Knits

Friday, August 31, 2007

Falling Water Socks

Apparently I'm in love with Stansfield 196.

On my recent vacation, I knit a sock using the chart for that pattern from "More Sensational Knitted Socks". It's a very pretty pattern, easily done and easily memorized. There is no cabling, just simple increases and decreases.

Falling Water Socks

And here it is, in Trekking XXL, color "77". Love the color name, don't you?

It's for someone with feet a bit smaller than mine, hence the petite leg on this sock.

I kept thinking it looked familiar. I had long wanted to knit the River Rapids Socks, a free pattern by Sockbug, but hadn't gotten around to it. (BTW, that's a link to the main site and not the pattern itself since I don't like to link to PDF's, it causes havoc with my browser when I click on a link to a PDF, and yet, do I ever learn?).

Guess what? Sockbug's pattern uses the exact same chart.

Anyway, I took a scarf project along for travel knitting, also. It's the Falling Water scarf, free on this blog. My friend Lisa saw me musing about it on my blog, knit it, entered it in the Minnesota State Fair, and won a ribbon and a small (very small) cash prize to boot. I would demand a finder's fee for having the idea, if not for the fact that Lisa just put up with me put me up, along with DD, for a week. And the fact that the cash prize is (ahem) $2, or so she tells me.

Scarf beginning

Here's the wonky, unblocked beginning of my version.

Isn't that a lovely stitch pattern? I started mine on the plane home using the lovely purple wool / tencel sock yarn I got at Stitches West, and it's partly done (haven't decided exactly how long to make it yet), and -- wait just a gol-dern minute!

You guessed it! Stansfield 196 strikes yet again. Imagine my surprise on the plane home to unfold the scarf pattern I had printed out so long ago and look at the chart, only to immediately put it away again, having memorized that chart a short way down the leg of the sock.

Now, a question for you all -- is Trekking thinner than other sock yarn? I don't notice that the yardage is significantly more than other sock yarns, at least per the label, but on the first plane ride, after grafting the second toe on the Sunday Socks, I accidentally cast on one entire extra pattern repeat on the cuff of this sock.

And didn't notice it until I had knit the entire leg and heel flap and was ready to pick up the gusset stitches. Because apparently I am even more of a moron than I had previously thought possible. But somehow the sock is the right size, and I measured my gauge at about 10 freakin' spi, which is the only way I could be such a maroon and still have the sock come out the right size.

The knitting goddess was smiling on me when I knit this sock, that's for sure. I just hope she smiles on me again when I go to knit sock #2, because I have taken what notes I can and set it aside for now, being completely captivated by Cat Bordhi's new book.

I'm off to the ball game tonight with Coriolis sock in hand, hopefully I will put up a pic over the weekend.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sunday Socks

Here's the second Sunday Sock:


What, you don't believe me? Just because I didn't show the other one? If I stuck them both on the scanner it would be a bit crowded and nothing would show, and I was just too lazy to pull out the camera.

I finished the second sock on the plane on the way to Minneapolis (no knitting needles were confiscated, although I had put the sock onto my less-favored-circ, just in case), and promptly cast on for another sock. Which I will try to show you Friday.

The second sock of that pair really might have to wait a bit, because I started a sock from Cat Bordhi's new book. So far, I like the toe (yes, that's as far as I got, wanna make an issue of it?). It's going to be a Coriolis sock when it grows up.

I have decided to give the Sunday Socks to one of my brothers, the one whose feet, happily, are just a bit bigger than mine. I just did not feel like re-knitting the first sock. It's true that I do this for fun, but re-knitting a sock I had already knit does not count for fun, in my book. This puts me at odds with EZ, I guess, who said we should welcome frogging as a chance to do even more of our favorite hobby.

Where does this put me in the process vs. product knitter divide? I guess this is a point for being a product knitter.

ETA -- Dee, since you asked, my favorite Earl Grey is Twinings, loose in the yellow tin. I have been getting my fix at Cost Plus, but they may have stopped carrying it. There was none last time I was in, and no one could help me find any.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fun Fur Hat by DD

Sometimes DD really surprises me, and in a good way. Like the time she just up and taught herself long-tail cast-on out of a teen knitting book. Or the scarf she whipped up, using elongated stitch. Something I've actually never done, and consequently did not teach her.

Or this hat, which she whipped up by herself on her Knifty Knitter one day out of some sort of novelty yarn from my stash. Not very warm, but cute.

fun fur hat

If I can keep from pushing her too hard, she might just become a life-long knitter, hey?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hello, Minneapolis!

Any guesses as to who I met while in Minneapolis?


Readers of the blog that the Rainey Sisters co-author will recognize the screen name of the Minneapolis half of that dynamic duo.

I went to a knit night to meet Susan and some of her knitting buddies, bringing my knitting friends Lisa and Nancy:

me, nancy, lisa
Lisa, Nancy, and me.

Why do I look taller in these pictures than I am in real life? That is a mystery. I am 5'4", and I believe that both Lisa and Nancy are taller.

Adding to that mystery, here is a pic of me with Susan, who is definitely taller than I am:

Susan and me 3

Anyway, we all had a wonderful time, and saw some amazing knits!

Here is Emily's amazing shawl, which I believe is the "Heere be Dragone" shawl, available here.

heere be dragone by Emily

And a fabulous scarf and a cardi-in-progress, by Mary:

cardi by Mary

We went canoing and kayaking in Minneapolis, visited a waterpark and outlet mall in the Wisconsin Dells, and the Mall of America, once back in Minneapolis. Also, a couple of yarn stores in Minneapolis, where I bought Cat Bordhi's new sock book. I love this new book. So many new possibilities for socks! It is also the first sock book I have ever read that discusses negative ease (she doesn't use that term, but the stitch counts for her socks are all reduced 10% from the actual foot measurement so that they will fit better). Having said that, however, I don't find that the measurements by shoe size given in this or any other sock book I have seen bear much resemblance to the actual measurements I get from friends and family.

I promptly took my book to have it wire-bound at Office Depot, but the person behind the counter was neither competent, helpful or friendly, and so I will wait for another day.

Alas, I had to return home before the Minnesota State Fair opened. Time for back to school and everything that entails.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


No, I'm not gone yet. I will be leaving tomorrow for a visit with some high school friends, still dear friends despite living several thousand miles away.

One of them is the mom of this lovely girl.


They will be putting me and DD up for a couple of days, and we will all be going to the waterpark for a few days.

And I hope it was cooler when she took that picture. Those are all the items she submitted to the State Fair this year. Hopefully she'll win some blue ribbons!

Back in a week --


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sunday Socks

I started out to make the Undulating Rib Socks from Favorite Socks.

False start

Wrong pattern for this yarn. It just looks lumpy.

That was on a Friday. This is another story a bit like the High Anxiety Socks. You will all think I am a hopeless bundle of anxiety and nerves, and perhaps you will not be far wrong.

Saturday morning I ripped out the Friday sock and began a plain sock, with an inch of ribbing.

I was intending this sock for my BIL for Xmas. So it was 72 stitches around (mine I usually make at 64 stitches), on a US #1 circ.

I knitted on this plain sock every chance I got on Saturday. It was another form of anxiety sock, because I had promised my mother to take her shopping for her new mattress on Saturday. Her previous mattress? She had had it for all of about a week.

We spent 4 hours in the mattress shop Saturday, with a short break for lunch. Every mattress that she was interested in, I had to lie on as well. By the end of this time, I knew by heart the coil count, coil gauge, coil construction and padding make-up of all the ones she was primarily interested in.

She finally made a decision about 4:00 (if you order by 4:30 they deliver the following day), and I left. I knit on the Saturday Sock all through Dreamgirls that night.

On Sunday, I decided that the plain 72-stitch sock was ugly and it kept freaking me out because it looked so large to me. I ripped it all out and started a sock with 2x2 ribbing on the leg and instep. And here it is:

Sunday Sock

Alas, it is too short. I did the end of this sock in the car, on the way to drop DD at music camp, and although I did measure, I started the toe decreases too early. DH tried it on and declared that both the foot and the leg are too short. Now, his foot is a bit larger than BIL's, but still.

This sock actually fits me pretty darn well, because of the ribbing, I suppose. But I'm not crazy about the colors. If I'm going to wear hand-knit socks, they should be brighter, prettier ones, it seems to me. It might fit one of my brothers who has small feet pretty well, his feet are not much larger than mine. But he lives in San Diego, and these are wool socks. Last year I made him socks from the same cotton / wool blend as my High Anxiety socks, which he liked. Then again, he was also the very most enthusiastic recipient of all my hand-knitted socks last Xmas, so maybe they are destined to be his.

So, dear readers, here is my dilemma -- do I rip this sock back to the top of the heel flap to make the leg longer, and knit the foot longer? Or keep them? Or give them to my San Diego brother? The second leg is almost to the point where I must decide.

I'd love to hear your suggestions.

As to the new, new mattress, first she liked it, then for some reason she put on the pillow top from her old mattress, then she hated it and wanted to return it, then took off the pillow top and loved it, then she wasn't so crazy about it. The saga continues, but at this point I'm afraid to ask. I really don't want to spend another 4 hours in a mattress store any time real soon.


Monday, August 06, 2007

High Anxiety Socks

You might remember that a great many of my family took part in the SF Pride Parade this year. And it was a lot of fun!

But not completely without a downside. You see, spending a whole weekend packed with family dinners, etc., has its effect on me. And I don't mean a good effect.

And on this particular occasion, to make matters worse, my mother and my father had not previously seen each other in nearly two decades. This was not entirely by accident, either. At one of DD's toddler b-day party weekends, in fact, we went to great lengths to make sure they never met. It wasn't easy and involved some half-truths. Or white lies. Whatever. Mom just did not want to see Dad.

Not long before the weekend of the Pride Parade, I finished a pair of socks. I believe it was the Waving Lace Socks.

So the prospect of facing all this family togetherness without a sock on the needles was too much for me to bear. I had to cast on a sock, and immediately.

Lo and behold, the "High Anxiety Socks" were born. I knitted them in the car all weekend on the way to and from these various family events, which helped ease my poor nerves.

High Anxiety Socks 1

They're very matchy matchy, cuz that's the way I like them.

High Anxiety Socks 3

And just this last weekend I made myself this sock blocker:

High Anxiety blocking

I used this tutorial, and an inexpensive, thin plastic cutting board, one of a set of 4 that I had gotten a while back, probably from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I don't see the exact ones on their website now, but they are supposed to be color-coded to avoid cross-contamination. Something like green for veggies, yellow for chicken, red for red meat, and blue for fish. We used them for whatever, and this one has certainly had its share of use. But we didn't really need to have all 4 as cutting boards, so this one was sacrificed, because I like blue better than the other colors. Maybe I'll make mini-sock blockers for my mini-socks from the scraps.

I traced one of my socks on it, then expanded the shape to be closer to the measurements of my foot and leg. This was too big, so I made it a little smaller. It is probably still a little too big, and I might cut it down more sometime. But it doesn't matter much, as it's only for taking pix.

Sock details:

Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf, 41% superwash wool, 34% cotton, 25% polyamide, color 5416. Nice stuff, I like this blend of wool and cotton.

Pattern: Adapted from Slouch Socks in Not Just More Socks, with (guess what?!) eye-of-partridge heel flap. No surprise there.

Needles: Knitpicks 32" circ, size US 1 (2.5 mm).

Again? Sure, I like this easy pattern and this yarn.

Oh, and the family? Not too bad, actually. Let's see, my dad was his usual hyper-critical self (upon showing up unannounced at the house, first he commented that our dog was getting fat, then after listening to DD perform for him on her flute, he went over to examine her sheet music because he thought he had caught her in a mistake). Guess what? We're never asking her to play for him again. I can't believe that even the poor dog caught criticism.

And whatever the reason was that had led Mom to avoid Dad for so many years (possibly the criticisms might have had something to do with it?), she had gotten over it, and that part went fine. It was downright anticlimactic. You'd think they could have made more drama over it, for my sake, after all my anxiety.

At least I have my socks.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Running Away to Join the Circus

Can you do this?

Toss Juggling 2

I used to be able to, and as you can see, DD now can:

Toss Juggling

That is "toss" juggling.

Toss Juggling 2

And this is "contact" juggling.

Contact Juggling
Contact Juggling 5 cropped

Here's the finale of the Big Show at Camp Winnarainbow for DD's session earlier this summer:


Everyone sings:

Finale 4

Ever tempted to run away and join the circus?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Giant Bag Tamed!

Remember that brave girl who was nearly devoured by a gigantic knit bag?

leah and bag Aug 07

She has now tamed it. Felting helped, no doubt.

It even goes with her shirt.