Monday, November 19, 2007


Not since the spring of '75 had I officially gone on strike. It was my first strike. A bold move against the establishment and their cruel decision to create overcrowded working conditions. Ok, it was against my mom who was trying to make me share a room with my sister so that my sister's room could be tuned into a den. But I would have none of it. I made myself a strike sign and paraded up and down the hallway shouting that I would do no chores (like I was doing them anyway!) until my room was rightfully restored to me, and only ME. And I won. I broke management my mom down and got my room back. I was 9 years old.

My current strike was not in support of the ongoing writer's strike, rather against the Knitting Powers That Be. I seemed to be churning out one disappointment after another. Rather than continued public embarrassment I decided to knit on the sly and for myself. Size will always be an issue, I have big parts. My head, my hands, my feet and the rest of me. Perhaps most of my disappointments come from my knitting inexperience. Like cooking with a new recipe, I like to follow the instructions the first time round. Then I am ready for modifications. So the Jerusalem Jaywalkers were put to the side (and are ready to be frogged, but more on that later,) and I cast on a pair of plain and simple socks for me. I figured if I could make something work for me, I'd be ok for other people. And it seems to have worked.

Here is Sock One of my Peacock Picot Socks. It may be plain and simple but it FITS! And I've already cast on Sock Two.

Yarn: Knit Picks Essential: Peacock Multi
Content: superwash wool 75%, nylon 10%
Needles: 2.2.5mm Knit Pics Fixed Circulars
Gauge: 8 sts=1"
Picot Edge cuff, Eye of Partridge Heel

Close up: Heel and Gusset

Close up: Toe Decrease

Jaywalker is a challenging enough pattern without dealing with a shoe size half my own. So I have decided that another pattern is called for the Hi-Jinx Junky's socks. I'm thinking the Gwen, from Momma Monkey. A nice little pattern with an easy to memorize repeat that should move quickly but stop me from getting bored – there is only so much plain stockinette one can do before wanting to rip one's hair our! I'm still using the Jitterbug. I think the pattern will show but it should be pretty subtle. And I haven't given up on those Jaywalkers. After reviewing the finished versions in both Ravelry and Grumperina's gallery, I found that I liked the self striping versions the best. And the ones made with this were my favorites. So you know I picked some up for myself very cheaply on ebay and it has been dedicated to my own Jaywalkers. Unlike HJ-J I am not afraid of a bit of color.

Now, people, it snowed this morning. This California, Jerusalem, etc girl is NOT USED TO SNOW, especially not at this time of the year. Good thing I decided it was time to learn about making hats!

Odessa by Grumperina
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK in Borage
Content: 57% extra fine merino; 33% microfiber; 10% cashmere
Needles: 3.5 mm for ribbing, 4 mm for body. knit picks options
About 110 beads
Gauge: 26 sts and 33 rows = 4" / 10cm in hat pattern knit circularly.

Odessa was a pleasure to knit, and I was very happy with it, until I tried it on. Big head, remember; oh and lots of hair. So it is on its way to Jerusalem to Sari. I hope she enjoys it! Since I had 4 balls of this in my stash I have cast on again, adding an extra repeat, which should add another 1.5:" plus I've made the ribbing a bit longer. Should be about right. So what are the other 2 balls going to be used for? Wait and see…

Chevron Hat by Terry Matz
Yarn: Lang Mille Colori
Colorway: 0053
Content: 50% wool, 50% acrylic; about 1.5 skeins
Needles: 5mm (US 8) and 4.5mm (U 7) Knit Picks options

View from the top

The Chevron hat was also fun. I bought the yarn this summer at Dharma Trading Company in San Rafael. I have been deceived by self striping yarns before, so while I was hoping the stripes would be a bit thicker, I wasn't surprised to be surprised. I also let the beauty of the colors lead me astray, forgetting about my distrust of acrylic blends. This yarn is much like the Teddy Himalaya that I had so many problems with. This stuff doesn't like to be frogged and well, I rebuilt this hat a couple of times. Still, I admit, the quality is better than the Himalaya. The pattern calls for a thicker yarn and 5.5 mm needles but as I used a thinner yarn I went down to 5mm and added a repeat to compensate for the smaller needle size. I must have been knitting at a loose gauge or something, because despite the big head/hair thing, the first try came out too big! Not want to start over completely, I ripped back to the end of the first repeat and went down from a 5mm to a 4.5 mm. I think the finished hat is pretty cute. Still in the hat queue, Foliage by Emilee Mooney, available at Knitty. I have some Teddy Sympatic in a beautiful autumn colorway that should be just right. And it's top down, so something new to learn. Perfect prep for toe up socks… Also in the queue, the Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat in the same yarn and colorway as the pattern. Now these last two are bound to be presents and the recipients may be reading so I'll keep mum for now.

Finally a little project that took little time but I hope will make a couple of little boys quite happy. The Golden Snitches just need to be stuffed and sewn together. One will fly it's way to California in time for my nephew's 7th birthday, the other back home to England for my cousin's 10 years old son. Both boys have read all the books, themselves.

Golden Snitch by Melissa Mall
Yarn: Peaches & Creme in Yellow; Lily Sugar 'n Cream in White
Hook: 4mm (G)

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