Coco, Carinish, and Charley

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P2143576.JPG, originally uploaded by cuinceylon.

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
— Coco Chanel

(Watch for Carinish, my new sock pattern, available from Three Irish Girls this fall!)

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What’s new?

Wow. With all that’s been going on lately, January fairly flew by. Now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day. Five years ago on Feb. 14, my darling husband proposed to me. Hard to believe it was that long ago!

I’ve posted a few “new house” photos since we moved, so I’m sure you’re all rather sick of looking at the same landscape. But when I saw the sun making the distant hills rosy this morning, with twilight still in the foreground, I had to snap a few. Check it out here: Sunrise

Finally, lest you think I’ve been letting my knitting slide, here are a couple of photos. First, the “Frozen Feet” socks, made out of 100 percent alpaca. These suckers are going to be W.A.R.M.

Frozen Feet Socks

Next, a quick pair of “Fetching” gloves:

Fetching

I designed a neck warmer to go with them, but haven’t taken photos of it yet. I’ll try to be good about writing it up, because it turned out to be quite cute!

Hey, did you notice the fab Fiesta Ware sugar and creamer set in the Fetching photo? LOVE the color!!! And the price…I found the set for $15 at an antique store in Cape May, NJ last fall. Fun ;-)

Well, back to work. Duty calls, and all that. Until later, happy knitting!

PS. I HATE how WordPress works with photos! But Blogger doesn’t let me post PDF files of my patterns for you…So. What’s a girl to do? Guess I have some research to do on blog options. If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to hearing them!

Blue Friday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomatoes by Bonnie Rollin (my mom), photographed in her Sacramento studio.

On Wednesday, a wonderfully balmy day in DC, I did the unthinkable: I left the house without my knitting!

Now, I was kind of in a rush, since Chris was working late and we wanted to have breakfast together. But I’d planned on sitting out in Dupont Circle in the afternoon, listening to podcasts and working on a pair of socks.

We were a block from home when I noticed my project was still at home…in our fourth-floor walk-up apartment. Really, really did not want to climb all those stairs again, to say nothing of the back-tracking I’d have to do to get home.

So I decided to do what any self-respecting knitter would do. I hopped on a bus, went all the way up Connecticut Avenue, and headed for the Stitch DC-Chevy Chase Circle store.

After a lot of squeezing, stroking, petting, and general yarn fondling, I purchased a bag of jewel-toned, rich blue yarn: two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in a soft periwinkle blue, and two skeins Nature’s Palette Fingering in Lupine–a lovely violet blue. My plan was to make Jane’s Hedgerow Socks, which I’ve been eyeing for quite a while now.

So, yarn wound into a nice little cake, new Addi Lace circular needles in hand, I took the bus back down the hill to Dupont, and settled in on a nice sunny bench to knit in the glorious sun. The temperature was more than 70 degrees, no breeze…just a warm, wonderful day.


Knit four, purl two, knit four, purl two…The strand of Nature’s Palette felt so silky running through my fingers, even more so than in the skein. Jane’s Hedgerows were going to be mine.

But wait! Something’s happening…Oh, no. Not again! The color, the texture—I realized with a sinking feeling that this yarn was not destined to be the JH socks after all. My “creative genes” were kicking in, not to be ignored.

What became obvious to me was that the Lupine was perfect for a pair of socks I’ve been dreaming up for about six months. Later that evening, I pulled out the pattern notes I’d been keeping and started charting the pattern and swatching.

I was almost derailed when I realized I’d have to knit these socks from the toe up (which I’ve only ever done on one pair of booties), but I persisted and all is well. My excitement is growing…This is going to be one cute pair of socks :-)

So here I am, knee-deep (well, almost) in blue yarn. And someday soon, I’ll have a little surprise for you. Meanwhile, I have plans for the Pure Silk; a Chevron Scarf and my second Pink Granite sock to finish; and a halfway-designed cloche to complete.

Wish me luck…

Bon-Bon Socklettes (free pattern!)

Designed to wear while you pad around the house sipping hot chocolate, or when you feel like curling up for an afternoon of knitting, these socks are soft and cozy, like a hug for your feet.

They also make great gifts–quick and easy to make, and the mini mock-cable pattern doesn’t require a cable needle. Enjoy!

BON-BON SOCKLETTES

Yarn: 2 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in color 300602
Needles: US #4 (I used a 32” circular needle for magic loop, but you can easily substitute your needles of choice)
Notions: Stitch marker (optional), yarn needle
Gauge: 20 sts x 28 rows = 4 inches

Petite Mock Cable Pattern
Row 1: *K2tog and then work first stitch again before removing stitches from left needle, P2; repeat from * to end.
Rows 2, 3, and 4: [correction] Work in K2 P2 rib
Repeat these four rows for pattern.

Cuff
Cast on 48 stitches.
Work 10 rows K2,P2 rib.

Leg
Work petite mock cable pattern three times, ending with Row 1.


Heel flap
Heel flap: Knit 12 stitches, turn and purl 24 stitches. These stitches will form the heel flap.
Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to end.
Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to end.
Work these 2 rows 12 times, then work Row 1 once more.

Turn Heel
Slip 1 as if to purl, P14, P2tog, P1, turn.
Slip 1 as if to purl, K7, K2tog TBL (through the back loop), K1, turn.

Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to one stitch before gap, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to one stitch before gap, K2tog TBL, turn
Continue working these two rows until all stitches have been worked.


Pick up gusset stitches
Using needle holding heel flap stitches, pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 – 13 gusset stitches); place marker if desired; pick up and PURL the stitch below the first instep stitch; transfer this stitch to the instep-stitch needle.

Using needle holding instep stitches, work across instep stitches (you should be on Row 2 of Petite mock cable pattern); pick up and PURL the stitch below the first stitch on the other side of the gusset gap; place marker if desired; pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 – 13 gusset stitches)

You should now have 26 instep stitches; from here on, always purl the first and last stitch on the instep-stitch needle, forming a column of purl stitches to set off the edge of the instep pattern.

Heel-stitch needle: Knit across half of heel stitches, place marker to mark beginning of rounds from here on, then knit the other half of heel stitches; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Instep-stitch needle: Purl 1; work instep stitches in pattern; Purl 1; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Decrease gusset stitches
Round 1: Heel-stitch needle—Knit to 3 stitches before instep; K2tog, K1; Instep-stitch needle—P1, work instep stitches in pattern, P1; K1, K2Tog TBL; knit to end.

Round 2: Knit to instep stitches; work instep stitches in pattern (including the P1 you’ve established at either side); knit to end.

Repeat these two rounds until 50 stitches remain (24 on the sole, 26 on the instep). Arrange so instep stitches and sole stitches are on separate needles.

Foot
Instep: Purl 1, Work mock cable pattern, Purl 1; knit across sole stitches.

Continue working mock cable pattern on instep 12 times, or to desired length, ending with row 3. Sole will continue to be worked in stockinette stitch.


Next round: Knit sole stitches and on insetp, P2tog, P across to last two stitches, P2tog, to create a purl ridge before beginning toe decreases.

Toe
Round 1: Work to 3 stitches before end of needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit across to last three stitches on needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit to end of round.
Round 2: K to end

Work rows 1 and 2 until there are 12 stitches on each needle, then work decrease row only, until 6 stitches remain on each needle. Arrange stitches and graft together. If you prefer, you may also thread yarn through remaining stitches and draw tight to close.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

NOTE: I tried to be as accurate as possible, but nobody’s perfect. So please do let me know if you find any errors in this pattern. Thanks!

(c) 2007, Hannah Six.

UnRavelry-ing?

Is it just me, or could Ravelry be the most addictive thing invented since knitting hit the scene?

Jeez. I hardly have a smidgen of stash posted, though there’s some stuff I’d like to swap or sell. And then we have the library, the projects, the friends, the groups, the volunteer editing…It’s taking over! It’s eating into my knitting time!

Must. Break. This. Habit. Or…maybe someone will offer to pay me for full-time Ravelry-ing…What do you think?

Oh, and I have a new pattern coming soon, for a pretty pair of bon-bon pink anklets. Keep watching this space!

Meanwhile, see you on/in Ravelry ;-)

Spicy Podcast and Mild Socks

More lovely 18th century Chinese porcelains to inspire you…
Aren’t they gorgeous? There are more photos below, but this is my favorite. That red looks as transluscent and luscious as a candy apple.

Isn’t it funny how candy apples always look much better than they taste? Caramel apples, too. Unless the apple is cut into wedges and dipped in a bowl of melted caramel. I had it that way in Lancaster County, PA one time. Leave it to those Pennsylvania Dutch to come up with a new sugar delivery system.

Sorry I was so grouchy last post! To be honest, I probably will hold true to my vow, but I thought Kristen made some good points in her comment. So, to follow up on my “when in Rome” title, here’s a new cliche for you: Variety is the spice of life…(Really, it is!)

So I guess my knitting life hasn’t been very spicy lately. No variety, at any rate. I’m still working on the slipped-stitch Koigu socks for my step father. One is finished and the other is about halfway done. When both socks are finished and blocked, I’ll post some more photos, but for now there’s nothing interesting to post about them. And that’s the extent of this week’s knitting! I’m on a mindless knitting kick, just wanting to relax and not have to think about pattern repeats, so that’s OK.

On the spicier side, however, is one of my new favorite podcasts: Knitters Uncensored. From the very first podcast I was drawn in by these three expats…funny (they always make me laugh out loud), friendly, interesting, crazy, sometimes a bit on the…um…”adult” side (which is very OK by me), and definitely about knitting.

Another plus, in my opinion, is that the podcast isn’t chock-full of music. I have my own music on my pod, and tend to avoid podcasts that include more than a couple of songs. (I prefer none, actually, but one or two are fine.) Also, Knitters Uncensored tends to run on the long side (an hour or more).

For some reason, podcasters worry about running too long. But I happen to enjoy long casts if they’re good: Like being in the middle of a great book and knowing you have a couple hundred pages yet to go. It’s satisfying, and gives me lots of guilt-free knitting time. Not that I ever feel guilty about it…but you know.

So give Knitters Uncensored a try…I think you’ll like them :-)

I also want to mention that Neighborhood Fiber Co. had a really successful trip to TNNA and The Knitter’s Connection in June. Karida got several orders from stores across the country, so you may see some great D.C. yarn turning up in your LYS. If not, you should go check out the Web site where you can drool over her pretty colors.

Until next time, then. Thanks for coming back, and happy knitting!

Frog, Monkey, Sock

This is the yarn I decided to use for the chevron scarf in June:I’d planned to make this my “vacation knit” when we went to Indy. But after about six inches, the blatant stripeyness started to make me crazy. So I decided to go for a more muted color palette and frogged it…Thank goodness I always pack several projects when I go on vacation!

Now, allow me to introduce you to the socks I’m making for my stepfather (whose Christmas present was never mailed to him by the artist we ordered it from, remember?). After trying a few different patterns and yarns, I ended up back with the Koigu charcoal/brown colorway:
The pattern is a basic slip-stitch ribbing, with 1×1 rib at the top and an eye-of-partridge heel. I incorporated Charlene Schurch’s garter stitch edging along the heel, just for fun.

Also, instead of using the usual “K1” next to the gusset decreases, I decided to work a P1…it helps set off the trim little decreases and enhances the ribbing on the instep. These are some WARM socks! I stuck my hand inside to better see the pattern last night and was surprised at the insulating quality of this stitch…
Finally, I’ve found the right pattern for the right wool–You just can’t go wrong with Koigu. Sock #1 is almost done, so I’ll soon have an “on-the-foot” photo for you.

By the way, last weekend we went to an estate sale on Q Street near Dupont Circle…I’d been in the house before, when it was on the market (pale green marble wall in the hallway, gigantic old fireplace in the kitchen…lovely), and enjoyed this opportunity to show it to Chris. We picked up a handful of CDs, a pile of silk scarves, a long black wool coat with a black fur-trimmed hood/collar (for me–$12.00!), and a couple of little pictures…
“Monkey-on-a-feather,” from Costa Rica. Strangely intriguing…

PS. I have a question: Would anyone be interested in the patterns I’ve been “unventing”? Over the past several months I’ve racked up a few patterns for items I’ve designed on-the-needles: Fingerless gloves, camera sock, iPod case, various socks, neck warmer, etc. Just let me know if you’d like me to write up the patterns. I’ll be happy to share :-)