Friday, December 30, 2011

Clapotis Finally

Clapotis (A French word...pronounced clap-oh-tee) is an insanely popular free knitting pattern on

As of this moment, there are 18,720 Clapotis projects listed on Ravelry. I have had this project in mind for quite some time and tried to make it with some beautiful, colorful Noro yarn I have in my stash. After a false start with the Noro, I have decided the Noro yarn would be better suited for a different pattern. But I remembered some beautiful Cascade Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn I bought awhile back and I decided the pattern and yarn were destined for one another.  I cast on yesterday and here is my progress so far.

The project is a large parallelogram shaped shawl of sorts.  It features rows dropped stitches.  I have just completed the increase portion of the project.  It starts with 2 stitches and then slowly increases to 107 stitches.  Now I am at the straight section of the project where I am staying with 107 stitches and dropping rows of stitches once in awhile.  I can now see why this project is so popular; it is a VERY FUN KNIT. It's complicated enough to keep you from getting bored, but not so difficult that you easily lose your place.  If you are interested in this project, or have been toying with the idea of making a Clapotis yourself, I highly recommend it.   I also recommend joining a Ravelry group called How Do You Pronounce "Clapotis?"
In this group, I found some great tips for this project. I even reached out to a few of the experts in the group (who have made numberous Clapotis) and they've been very responsive and helpful!)
The Knitting pattern link can be found HERE.
The Ravelry pattern link can be found HERE.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ravelry Group: "12 in 2012"

A gal on Ravelry who goes by the name "MommyLovesYarn" started a new group on Ravelry a few weeks back.  This is how she introduced the group:

"I want to work down the stash and the queue and figured why not get some my my best knitting buds in on the action. Heck, why not everyone.  Lets complete 12 full projects in 2012. Not a feat for some but a big challenge for me. We can post pics, ask each other questions, chat or just cheer each other on.
SO who’s with me?"

So of course... I joined. 

In case you are not familiar with these Ravelry groups, there are a ton... a group for every interest you could possibly have.  And, if you can't find what you are looking for, you can start and moderatie your OWN group.  I've talked about my favorite group called "12 months=24 hats" but on Ravelry you'll find...Knit 11 Shawls in 2011, fans of Lucy on the "Attic 24" blog, fans of Harry Potter books and movies, cable lovers, fans of Knit Picks Interchangeable needles, Berroco Lovers, a group where people post what they put in their Crock Pot for the day, fans of designs by Susanna IC, people who are devoted to knitting from their stashes only, people who are all knitting the Multnomah Shawl, fans of Mike Row and the show called "Dirty Jobs"... I could go on and on.  New groups are being created all the time. Why, I think I belong to 46 groups but am active in only a few.

Since I joined the "12 in 2012" group a few weeks back, more and more folks are joining in on the fun and there is a lot of discussion about what 12 things folks intend to knit. This has got me to pondering my goals or knitting resolutions for 2012 and this is what I have so far.  I am not just planning 12 specific projects, but I am establishing 12 goals for myself to use yarn I already have in my stash. 

NOTE: If you have a Ravelry account, you can click on the highlighted portions below to look at both the pattern link and a photo of the yarn I have in mind for each project listed.
(1)  An afghan called "Nature in Natural" (a pattern from Lion Brand) using up my Berroco Weekend yarn/color: natural, oatmeal.  I may re-purpose this yarn to make a pattern called "Girasole" by Jared Flood.  I just can't decide!
(2)  A sweater called "Pismo" for me using my Cascade 220 Superwash Wool yarn in a lovely lavender/periwinkle color.
(3)  Make something out of my gorgeous two (2) skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock. This yarn is too beautiful to waste!  I just can't decide!
(4)  Make an "Annis Shawl" with beads instead of nupps with yarn from the Sock Summit 2011).
(5)  Make one (1) shawl (for "Wrapped in Care" group on Ravelry).
(6)  Make a "Swallowtail Shawl" in teal Lion Brand Sock Ease yarn. 
(7)   Make an "Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl"-Inspired Christmas Tree skirt out of Mom's Stash Yarn:  Schaffhauser Wolle 'Nancy' in an antique/off-white shade.
(8)   Use remaining stashed Berroco Comfort DK yarn for chemo caps.
(9)   Find a good use for Mom's Stash Yarn: 'Lil Grins' (cotton/acrylic blend).  May make a little sweater.
(10)  Make 12 Christmas Stockings for "Operation Holiday Stockings" (at LEAST 12 stockings in 2012).   (11)   Make 12 of pairs of SOCKS *** OR *** make 12 of projects from book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders" (or any combination of the two that adds up to 12).
(12)  Try, try, TRY to not buy new yarn for 12 entire months!

I could easily make a goal to make 12 shawls in 2012, as there are so many shawl projects I love.  Gail, Haruni, Holden, Clapotis, Bitterroot, Ginkgo, Larch, Multnomah.... just give me a minute... I know I can come up with at LEAST 12 shawl-like patterns I want to make!

Of course, before I start in on these NEW goals, I should probably set a goal for myself to complete some works in progress (WIP's) before now and the end of 2011.  Off the top of my head, I would say I would like to complete my "Chasing Rainbows Blanket" by the end of 2011.  Now that I have put it in writing, I better get busy!  Of course the fact that I have cast on two pairs of socks, a scarf/wrap called "Chinook", and two pairs of fingerless mitts in just the past week or so is not helping me finish my blanket... oh, what's a knitter to do?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hemlock Ring Blanket... a gift

Hemlock Ring Blanket for my Mom and Dad for Christmas. The pattern link is HERE.  For this gift, I used three skeins of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, which is natural Peruvian wool.   I used nearly all the yarn I had except for about 1/2 of an ounce. That's cutting it close.  The Hemlock Ring Blanket is based on a vintage doily pattern.  The pattern was adapted to be a throw or blanket by Jared Flood.

As you might expect, this project was a big deal to block.  I soaked it in the sink in the kitchen and attempted to let it drain.  I put it on a kitchen towel on the island in the kitchen and the water oozed and oozed.  With a river of water on the floor behind me, I raced to the clothes washer, which was just several steps away, and set the blanket and towel on "spin" to use the centrifugal force to remove a good deal of the moisture. I used the futon in the spare room for blocking.  The futon mattress was covered with towels and a fitted sheets.  Hundred and hundreds of pins did the job! 

A few more photos... a photogenic piece of knitting...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Skein Wonder: Calabaza Calypso Complete

Calabaza Calypso Scarf

I started knitting this project in September, when fall colors were in their full glory here in Colorado. The colors in this yarn had me thinking of autumn leaves and pumpkin patches.  I had to take breaks from knitting to go to the kitchen and bake pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread. Yes, I had pumpkin on my brain!  I noticed on the can of pumpkin puree that "calabaza" is the Spanish word for pumpkin.  The pattern for this scarf is called "Calypso" and it's from the great book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders"... so there you have it... Calabaza Calypso.
This is made from one ball of Berroco Sox Metallic (do you see the little flecks of silver metallic thread?). It knit up beautifully... very nice yarn. I wish I had more in my stash!  The pattern called for making this project into a much wider stoll.  I reduced the number of stitches to 36 for a narrower scarf and I am happy with the results.  It's a simple pattern and I like the look of the drop stitches.  If you've not made a drop stitch scarf, you should.  I think it looks nice in colorful yarn but I think it would also look nice in a solid color.  The patter called for beads but I thought the metallic thread was enough bling for me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is coming....

Every year, when I decorate my six foot tall Christmas tree, I think to myself... someday I would like to decorate my tree  with homemade ornaments only. 

That will take a lot of work. 

This year, I have a small table top tree with some ornaments I've been working on and I wanted to share.

This little sock is my favorite.  I am using up leftover bits of sock yarn. 
This is from mittens made earlier in the year.

This is my favorite sweater.  It was from a little sample of yarn from the Sock Summit
(sock yarn from Hazel Knit's booth). 
The sweater was knit from the top down and the yarn was a dream with which to knit.

The sock on the left is more yarn from Hazel Knits
and the sock on the right is Crazy Zauberball yarn
(leftover from socks I made for my dad).

A little cardigan (needs buttons!)

A pullover...

And another pullover. 
I am sure a few more ornaments will find there way on my tree between now and Christmas.  I like how making each ornament reminds me of the projects I made with the yarn originally.  Little memories... little keepsakes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sockhead Hat

"Sockhead Hat:" a free pattern from Ravelry (click HERE for link)

Super slouchy,
Super stripey,
Super simple...

For this hat, I used Knit Picks Yarn:  Felici Sport Self-Striping in the colorway "Alexandrite".  A fun use for pretty sock yarn!  This would be a good for males or females, depending of course upon which yarn you choose.  I have to admit the four inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing was a bit tedious... I took lots of breaks... but once I got to the stockinette, it was much faster.  This hat calls for nine inches of stockinette, after the four inches of ribbing, before the decreases begin... on tiny US 2 needles.  There are 144 stitches per round. That's a lot of little stitches.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Boy Socks for my baby boy (Slipper Sock Pattern)

I really am trying to NOT buy new yarn.  I made that goal a year ago (knit from my stash!) and I have really not done well.  For some reason, however, I feel a little less guilty about buying new yarn if (1) I have something in mind for the yarn and (2) I cast on right away.  That was the case with the yarn I bought in late November 2011.  My local yarn shop is one year old now and they were having a sale.  I bought two skeins of Bernat Jacquard worsted weight yarn in a colorway called "Jet".  I decided the shades of grey and off-white were good colors for a boy.

I love the way my yarn shop organizes things. It works with the way my brain works.  From left to right, the yarns are displayed from thinnest to thickest.... on the far left... lace weight, sock and fingering weight yarns... in the center, DK and sportweight, worsted and aran weight yarns... followed by chunky and bulky yarns on the far right. Brilliant!

But for some reason (most likely because it is a "self striping" yarn), the worsted weight Bernat Jacquard yarn was WITH the sock yarn.  So it got me to thinking of making socks with heavier, worsted weight yarn.  I looked on Ravelry, and I found that lots of folks make socks, mittens, fingerless mitts, and hats with this yarn.  I initially was going to use a pattern called "Just Perfectly" which I found on Ravelry.  I ended up improvising my own pattern and this is what I came up with.  My project notes are far from refined but here they are.  The socks are very thick so I cannot picture my son wearing these with shoes, but he loves to wear them around the house.  In fact, when I finished the first sock, he insisted on wearing it... just the one.  He said he was, "... like Michael Jackson but with his feet!"  You know, how Michael Jackson used to wear just ONE white glove!?  Hilarious!

This weekend, when I would see my son shuffling around the house with just the one sock on his foot, I would hold up my knitting and say, "Look, I am working on your sock.  I am knitting JUST as FAST as I CAN!"  Sock #2 finished last night! What a relief!

Big Boy Socks (Slipper Socks)
Size US 5 needles (double pointed needles)
Two (2) skeins of Bernat Jacquards (worsted weight) yarn

  • Knit the Cuff:  Cast on 48 st on size US 5 dpns.  Join to knit in the round.  Knit in k2,p2 rib for 40 rounds on three needles (you can knit more or fewer rounds depending upon how long or short you want your socks to be).
  • Knit 1 stitch.  Move this one stitch to needle #3. Over the next 24 stitches, knit the heel flap.  The remaining 24 stitches (which will become the instep) should be held on another needle (or two), a scrap piece of yarn, or a stitch holder.  Knitting the 1 stitch and moving it to needle #3 centers the stitches. That way, when you knit the instep, it is symmetrical. K1,p2,k2,p2... continue in k2,p2, end with a k1.  I am a LIBRA... I am all about symmetry!
For the heel flap, I followed instructions I found in a pattern called "Just Perfectly" by Bitta Mikkelborg.  The Raverly pattern link can be found HERE.  These are socks I definitely plan to make some day in the future.... a very interesting looking sock pattern for worsted weight yarn!

Heel flap:
Working on 24 first stitches only, leaving remaining instep stitches on hold.
Row 1: *With yarn in back Sl 1 knitwise, k1* repeat from * across row.
Row 2: With yarn in front Sl 1 purlwise, purl across row.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked 31 rows, ending with row 1.

Heel turn:
Row 1 (WS): With yarn in front sl 1 purlwise, p 12, p2tog, p1,turn.
Row 2 (RS): With yarn in back sl 1 knitwise, k 3, k2tog tbl, k1, turn.
Row 3 (WS): With yarn in front sl 1 purlwise, p to 1 stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 4 (RS): With yarn in back sl 1 knitwise, k to 1 stitch before gap, k2tog tbl, k1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel stitches are worked.  You now have 14 stitches left on your needle.  End on a right side row.  Divide these stitches on to 2 needles (needle 1 and 4).

The round now begins under the foot (in the middle of the foot) with needle 1. The thread is now at the end of needle 1. With needle 1, pick up and knit 16 stitches along the heel flap on the right side. Work the stitches on the instep needles (needle 2 and 3), in pattern... k1,p2,k2,p2,k2... end with p2,k1. With a free needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches along the left side of the heel flap. Knit the 7 stitches on needle 4. At this point you should have 23 st on needle 1, 12 stitches on needle 2, 12 stitches on needle 3, and 23 stitches on needle 4.

Gusset Decreases:
  • Knit round: Knit 1 round, keeping instep stitches in pattern.
  • Decrease round: Knit stitches on needle 1 until last 3 st; then k2tog, k1. Work stitches on needle 2 and needle 3 (instep) in pattern.  On needle 4, k1, ssk, then knit all stitches to end of needle.
Work these two rounds, alternating between knit rounds and decrease rounds, until there are 12 st on eash of the 4 needles (48 stitches total).
Knit the Foot:
Needle 1: Knit
Needle 2 and 3: Work instep stitches in pattern.
Needle 4: Knit
For my son's size 11.5 feet (Holy Cow!), I completed 40 rounds.  You could knit more or less of course for shorter or longer socks.

Toe Decreases:  When you begin the toe decreases, you stop working the instep stitches in k2,p2 ribbing (For the toe, I did decreases each round until a total of 16 stitches remained).
Needle 1:  Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.
Needle 2:  K1, ssk, knit to end of needle (no more ribbing)
Needle 3:  Knit to last 3 stitches (no more ribbing), k2tog, k1.
Needle 4:  K1, ssk, knit to end of needle.
When a total of 16 stitches remain, graft toe using Kitchner Stitch.

Done... except now you have to make the dreaded "Second Sock!" 

So there you have it!  Slipper Socks done in a jiffy. A great last minute Holiday gift perhaps. Hmmm, maybe I need a pair... my knit shop has just the right yarn...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grandma Fluck's Anise Molasses Cookies

Last weekend, I posted about my cookie baking adventures and included a photo of these lovely treats.
I've posted the recipe on my other blog.  Click HERE if you'd like to see more...