Every so often you’ll be knitting happily along, minding your own business, maybe enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to the kids play in the background when something just doesn’t seem right.  The kids are fine, the coffee is hot, but something isn’t quite right.  This gauge just seems, well a little loose.  It’s been a while since I’ve knit a sock, so maybe it’s just me.  No, no this really seems too drapey.  I like my socks fairly dense, and these are definitely not dense. 

Break out the tape measure… yep, not at gauge.  Rippity rip rip rip. 

Not a big deal, just go down a needle size, right?  Well, that sure would be easier if I had the needles I needed wouldn’t it?  Don’t you think a person who knits as much as I do should have 2 size 1 circular needles?  Well I don’t.  I have dpns.  And a 9" circular, but that will only work once I get enough stiches on the needle, and oh by the way, it’s holding a mitten I haven’t quite finished yet.  OK, take a sip of coffee and rip out the mitten.  I wasn’t really committed to it anyway.  Restart the sock on dpns, move to the 9" circular.  And promptly break the tip off the needle.

Oh for the love of…..

Does this only happen to me?! 


Speaking of things that only seem to happen to me, I screwed up the comments link on the last post.  So if you access the blog through the Duluth News Tribune website and were dying to leave me a comment about Three Irish Girls, please do so now.  I think I have it figured out now.  If you access the blog through then you shouldn’t notice any problems. 

Hold Onto Your Handknit Socks!

Malabrigo Lace that has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  It’s pretty though. 

Hold on a second because I am going to get all fangirl and start screaming…. THREE IRISH GIRLS IS MOVING TO DULUTH!  That’s right, the amazing dyer is moving back to Duluth.  Not only is she moving to Duluth, but she’s opening a Dye Studio in Downtown.  I am so excited I can barely stop myself from jumping up and down and yelling hooray! 

Why should I be so excited?  Well, she has amazing color combinations.  Just follow the link above and see Cranberry Cocktail or Crazy Quilt.  It’s puuurty.  I stopped at her booth at Sock Summit and was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of beautiful yarns she had brought.  The wool fumes overtook me at that point and I knew I had to get out of the booth or explain to my husband why I spent our mortgage for the month on yarn.  I don’t think I was even able to put a coherent sentance together in the booth!  She’s got a ton of really nice bases and will even dye your yarn with her colorways.  Which I’m going to give some serious thought to.  I’ve got some Misti Alpaca that I’m just not digging the colorway for an adult sweater. 

The other reason I’m so excited is that I love that new business (especially a fiber business) is moving to Duluth.  I think it speaks very highly of our community that we can support 4 yarn stores within a 25 minute drive of the Duluth-Superior area.  We may be mostly highly sensible Scandinavians, but we’ve also got an artistic streak in us.  (Although I maintain that knitting with wool in Northern Minnesota IS highly sensible). 

So here’s what I’m thinking… I’m going to stand outside her studio with a sign that says,

"Will work for yarn."  (nights and weekends are all yours)

"Please, Can I Be Your Sample Knitter?"  (I can’t help it, I’m a polite person at heart). 


"My young children want to be friends with your young children." 

As my friend Michelle would say, "this woman doesn’t know it yet, but she’s my new best friend."  And I mean that in the nicest, least creepy stalker type of way possible.  Especially since her Mom has been known to read my blog.  🙂 

A Quick Pattern

I whipped up a couple of headbands for the girls one night.  Addie was talking about how she had broke a traditional headband at school; I figured I could figure out a solution that wouldn’t break.  Each headband will take about a half hour or so to make, depending on how fast you knit. Garter Stitch Headband

Yarn: Peaches and Cream Cotton that I got as a gift. It’s my opinion that for a good headband you don’t want to use anything too stretchy like wool. Hemp or linen would be another good choice.

Pattern: Crochet a chain that is about 12" long. I forced myself to crochet this because it is much faster (even with my limited crochet skills) than doing I-cord.

Cast on 1 stitch at beginning and end of row so you have 3 stitches. K next row.

Repeat these 2 rows until you have 9 stitches. Knit in garter stitch for 15".

SSk the first stitch, knit until 2 stitches before the end, k2tog. K next row. Repeat these 2 rows until you have 3 stitches left. Slip 1, k2tog, pass sliped stitch over.

Crochet a chain that is 12" long. Weave in your ends and you are done!



A Knitting Time Out

I should have known better. 

I should have known that the insanely complicated sock was going too well.  Especially since I did a good part of the sock on a dark plane.  Twice.  I even had a very experienced knitter (whose advice I normally take) tell me that the calf circumference looked really big. 

I told her I have big calves.  Which as much as I hate to admit it on a public blog, I do.  They’re very muscular calves.  I even measured my calves to figure out what size sock to make.  After I cast on the stitches and had knit for an inch, I tried it on my calf and it seemed to fit just fine.  See, this sock pattern has you take 3 different measurements to figure out what size to initially cast on and then how to decrease correctly for the rest of the leg.  So what was the problem? 

Apparently measuring my calf in an airplane through my jeans wasn’t the smartest thing to do.  Tonight, I tried the sock on again and it was obviously too big.  About an inch too big.  I remeasured, and sure enough, I had been off in my initial measurement.  I’ve ripped it out and restarted, but now I’m starting to rethink the whole pattern.  Perhaps this just needs a time out. 

Should I,

a.) rewrite the pattern

b.) set it aside and make Simple Things

c.) set it aside and make Skew socks

“Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude…”

"…Nothing remains quite the same."  That Jimmy Buffet, he gets the island vibe.  I can’t tell you how wonderful having a week off and spending a good part of that in strong tropical sun felt.  Some of us decided that we must be just starved for vitamin D because just 2 days of warm sun made me a lot more energetic.  Even the day that was not sunny still had a warm rain, which is preferable to the freezing rain and fog I came home to. 


(That’s a photo of a dolphin)

We went offshore fishing one day with Sea Reed Charters.  We saw dolphins several times, but it’s really hard to photograph dolphins.  At least it is with my camera.  We didn’t catch many keepers, but we were busy hauling in little sheepshead and sea trout.  I guess because it’s been such a cool winter, the fish haven’t been as active as they normally would be. 


My last day on the island was spent looking for shells.  We rented a boat for a day and went to a nearly isolated beach with incredible shelling.  The shells were piled in deep drifts.  It was an amazing day, gorgeous sun, white sand and cool ocean water.  I was kind of hoping that since my plane was overbooked that I would get bumped onto a later flight.  No such luck though, I had to come home. 

I’m sure you’re wondering about how much knitting I got done.  Well… not a whole lot really.  I knit on the planes and I knit one morning on the beach.  Otherwise we really didn’t spend a lot of time sitting around.  We were really too busy to take out my knitting much.  I have a start on one sock and a start on the shawl.  I promise to kick it in gear and get something done for you soon.  I did organize part of my stash when I got home, but I’m not sure I’m ready to fess up to what that actually looks like. 


Spring Thaw


ThisThorpe Hat won’t be worn for much longer.  The days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer eah day.  I’ve been wearing my sunglasses almost permanently for the last few weeks.  If they’re not over my eyes, they’re resting on top of my head.  In this neck of the woods, that’s a sure sign that spring is on it’s way.  Now, I know that this spring thaw probably won’t last.  It’s a teaser before the real spring starts.  We always have a monster snow storm in March or a big ice storm in April.  So it won’t last, but boy does it feel good while it’s here!  Sam Cook, one of my favorite writers from the News Tribune, wrote an article about it here.  He wrote exactly what I’ve been feeling lately.  Check out the link today, as it’s only good for 5 more days. 

As for the hat, it’s one I made for my husband after he saw the baby version I did.  It’s made out of Cascade Superwash in a chocolatey brown.  My husband thinks it would be even cooler with a nose piece – it would look like a battle helmet.  I guess this is what I get for marrying a history geek.  🙂 

I am off to pack for my short trip to Florida!  I have some sock yarn in a yummy multi-colored brown to make Millicent from Cookie A.  I’ve got a thing for knee high socks, I must have a pair!  I also took some Handmaiden Seasilk for a scarf – seems like perfect beach knitting to me.  I’ll be posting photos on Facebook while I’m gone and will be sure to write a full report when I get back.  Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve heard that Sanibel Island has 2 knitting stores!! 


Olympic Overview

I had great intentions of taking pictures at the Olympic Closing Ceremony at Fabric Works on Sunday.  However, I was frantically trying to weave in ends and finish up my sweater.  Plus, the hockey game was on and you haven’t seen knitters until you’ve seen them screaming at a hockey game.  One of my Optimist Club members stopped by to drop off some hats and was shocked to see everyone watching the USA/Canada game. 

You might notice that my Slinky Ribs sweater is missing its arms.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to leave it as it is or if I’m going to knit long sleeves.  I wore it today under a black short sleeved shirt and solicited opinions everywhere I went.  I kind of like it as a vest, but I think a long sleeved sweater will have a more timeless look. 

As part of the Knitting Olympics, several Optimist Club members and other knitters donated 156 hats and 2 blankets to SMDC’s birthcenter.  I am completely blown away by the generosity of knitters. 

Now that my sweater project is in a lull, I’ve got a full blown case of Start-itus.  I’m trying to figure out what knitting I’ll take along on my trip next week.  In the meantime I’m trying to finish up a very old Unfinished Object (UFO).  I’m not sure how much I’ll be blogging next week – it will probably depend on whether I take my laptop with me to Florida or not.  Right now I’m thinking not.  No worries though, there will be plenty of knitting on the beach and I promise to take pictures.