And here we have the little striped vest that restored my faith in knitting after various attempts at sweaters for Susan turned up a bust. This I think is a delightful knit. It is from the Barnes and Noble Basics series for knitting and crochet. It includes some cool patterns and good instructional techniques.

As a double bonus, this vest was a stash buster. It’s made from the scraps of Cotton Ease in taupe that I used for my Hey Teach! sweater. I did not have enough of the taupe to finish the striping pattern, hence the excess white on the top of the front. I wasn’t sure about it at first but I think it works.

It was gifted to the Larson boys of Rapid City. The reviews are still out, but in all fairness it was likely overshadowed by the other sweater I gave them – baby sophisticate. That was a huge success.

Until next time, Faithful Reader…

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These socks definitely do rock. They also fit as you can see by the lovely foot modeling pictured above. While I was typing modeling I was thinking that it would be funny to type foot yodeling. What would that sound like? Probably pretty quiet. My feet speak, but it’s in a non-verbal capacity – mostly messages to me that amount to, “smarten up and stop wearing uncomfortable shoes.” Or the ever popular, “please sit down.” That’s all.

Anyway, these are my second completed pair of socks and I’m proud to say that I have no uncompleted pairs in the home wailing about the victimization of second sock syndrome. The knitting and I do not suffer from that. Our vaccination appears to be holding.

These socks were knit with Pea Soup Handmade in the colorway Leaf Litter. This yarn is very high quality, easy to knit, feels good on the fingers and would rather die than split. I love the colorway. It’s very fallish, but also a little party for the feet, especially when paired with the very plain, though reliable, tan pants. I cast on for these on Easter Sunday and managed to get them finished before June 15. Not great, but not bad. They were used predominantly as travel knitting so the finishing speed was quick considering I didn’t travel that much in May.

The Yarn Harlot was responsible for the pattern which is her basic sock recipe from the book Knitting Rules. I find this pattern to be very intuitive, easy to follow and helpful in the area of fit. I am sold.

That’s all on the sock front for today. Until next time, faithful reader …

Sewapalooza continued last week with the completion of these lovelies. They were originally cut in July 2009 and languished in the to-do pile since. The grey one was even pinned together and then packed for a recent move.

The bird skirt was nearly done and just needed the elastic casing and hem. In two manic late-night sessions last week I finished both of them – minus the final ironing. They are both now ready to be merged into the work wardrobe. I’m fairly happy with the fit on the grey skirt – the hem seems flattering and the knit fabric is not too clingy. I’m less sure about the birds. I didn’t have enough bird fabric for a solid birdy skirt so I tacked on the black. Calf-level may not have been the best choice for a big strip of black. I’m going to wear them to work anyway and let the Fashion Police have the final judgment.

I’m also a little unsure of the hem length. It’s at the Clinton and Stacy prescribed length, just below the knee, which should be fine. It may not help that I tried them on while wearing white anklets. I am pleased to report that I did not need a special needle to sew the gray knit. My machine had no problems with it and since it came from the remnant bin I doubt it was top of the line. So make a note of that if the “special needle” requirement has kept you from diving into your knit fabric pile.

At any rate, I’m happy to have these two items off the to do pile because there is no shortage of projects in that queue. Until next time, Faithful Reader …

About a month ago I purchased this owl fabric from an Etsy shop, the name escapes me, and determined it would make some swell knitting bags. I like to have a light bag in the purse to keep sock needles from rolling all over the bottom and disengaging from their assigned sock. But I think it goes without saying that  I didn’t want to add any significant weight to the grip.

Several years ago I bought a new iron and a little drawstring bag came along for the cover. The knitting quickly appropriated it for its purposes. However, it became inconvenient when more than one project at a time wanted to go on a trip. Do you take the current project out and switch in the new project? Do you designate one project as the on-the-go knitting? You can see where jealousy could erupt. No one benefits from enraged knitting.

So I determined that a couple more drawstring bags – one made slighty larger for the more portly projects. And we all know there’s nothing the knitting loves more than an owl print.

After diddling around for quite awhile and mulling over how I would make these bags, I just sat down and did it – in about a half hour. There was some piecing involved when I didn’t have quite enough to make the larger bag and one for the socks.

I was quite proud of myself and so was the knitting. Both are currently in use and doing a bang up job. My only regret is the original ironing board cover bag is now Number 3 in the rotation. It doesn’t seem quite fair after so many years of faithful service.

And I can now cross at least one thing off the project list. Hooray! Until next time Faithful Reader …

Some days I do not know. Take Monday for instance. I finally tried on, with a critical eye and the sleeve pinned in, a sweater I had been knitting, off and on, since last year. The sleeve was too big and was gaping around my arm and the sweater, that looked like it fit just right last week, was also way too big. How does this happen you ask? I would say, of course, lack of gauge swatching. And a lack of measuring and a lack of being able to look at a partially knitted garment and realistically associate it with the actual size of your body.The silliness and lack of TAKING KNITTING SERIOUSLY abound.

But I’m also wondering if I will ever be able to get a sweater to fit without taking drastic measures to make my proportions less proportioned. It seems drastic, I know, but I am very frustrated by this latest development.

See? Gigantic. Why is the delusion so convincing?

Disappointed as I was by this failure, and the one I had two weeks ago, I also felt liberated because, A., once this project was off the needles at least one project was out of the bag. And, B., I could start something else. And, honestly, aren’t there always so many things to start?

These socks are further along now - I have turned the heel and started up the foot.

And even in times of great darkness, thank goodness, there are always socks. I am more than half way done with the second sock of the Second Socks, which means, of course, that I am done with the first of the pair – no Second Sock Syndrome for me. So, in order to one day wear them, I will soldier through the finishing of the socks, some golf club covers, the winding and swatching (yes, I’ve learned my lesson) of three yarns for three different summer sweaters – one I can’t wait to start. It’s crochet, don’t judge me. And after that I may even attempt a reno of this latest disaster. I have a plan.

And now, back to the question I asked at the beginning of this post: Why do I knit? Apparently I can’t help myself, because even after these recent failures, I am still spellbound and proud when I can turn a heel on a sock and have it turn out right and then pick up the stitches to start the foot. I am always immensely proud of myself and it never fails to jump start the fever of watching all of those little stitches line up to make a very, if I do say so myself, fabulous sock that could possibly fit.

Fingers crossed! Until next time, Faithful Reader.


Of course many babies are concerned with their individual levels of sophistication – do these booties say future Harvard Law graduate? Should I consider a boater over the traditional knitted cap? Is this the appropriate hooded jacket for morning wear? Appearance is everything. Thank goodness there is a pattern that takes these needs into consideration.

As the knitting and I were discussing which pattern to knit for the newest addition to the notably sophisticated Ross/Larson family we determined that this pattern was a no-brainer. Consider the tasteful shawl collar – perhaps a precursor to the cardigan a future captain of industry would wear while relaxing in his home library. The buttons are also quite delightful even if they were purchased from the somewhat less than sophisticated, although still impactful, Wal-Mart.

Some deets on this pattern: I started it this winter sometime – either November or January. I  claimed January on Ravelry to feel better about the fact that this sweater took much longer than necessary to complete. I zipped along until it came time to do the sleeves/collar portion and then this project fell off the rails. I found out months later that the sleeves and collar were no big deal. This sweater would probably knit up in a week if worked on consistently and providing that yarn quantities were sufficient – something I have yet to master. Adding the buttons also proved to be a rather relaxed affair but took all of 15 minutes. The irony.

Be sure to take note of the “knitting in the wild” aspect of the first photo. This image was artistically captured on my patio and I’m sure we all appreciate the juxtaposition of the blue sweater next to the green chairs, all of it back lit with the afternoon sun slanting fetchingly through obviously sophisticated foliage. The knitting and I do not mess around where photographing our knits are concerned.

I had hoped for more FO reports this week, but sadly, the nearly done are still languishing in the spare room closet. I have high hopes for next week – which I will prove to be fruitful. Until then Faithful Reader …

But instead it is a pile of little balls on my sofa. I was three-quarters of the way done with the body and nearly done with the sleeves of the Amelia sweater: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amelia-8 when I decided to actually try it on. Unfortunately, it was more kimono wrap than form-fitting cardigan. I determined there was very little to do besides commence ripping. And so, I did. Also unfortunately, I was supposed to be writing a paper at the time.

Both the paper and the ripping are done and I have moved on with my life. I have plans for the ripped yarn – maybe a replay of Amelia or maybe this:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/placed-cable-aran

In the meantime, I have another sweater on the needles that has been on them for much longer than any sweater should. And it’s a summer one so now’s the time to get cracking, according to the knitting. Until next time, faithful reader.