Review: Sensational knitted socks

Sensational knitted socks 9781564775702 by Charlene Schurch came out in 2005. When I was looking for pattern ideas on Ravelry recently, I decided to make one in the book and was surprised I didn’t own it. I have made at least one pattern from it, but using the library copy. I really like the book. It gives simple patterns that can be used for socks, separated by the number of stitches in the pattern, and hence the number of repeats in the socks. It also provides details for a variety of gauges. The patterns are mostly fairly basic, which it turns out I like best in socks. DJ will still get fancier patterns, but I like the feel of fairly standard ribbing (boring, I know). So, in short, I really like the book and now that we are entering gift season, I need to let DJ know I like the book. (Hint hint hint)


Review: Classic Elite quick knits

Classic Elite quick knits : 100 fabulous patterns for wraps, socks, hats, and more 9781600854033 is very much a pattern book; it has virtually no text other than the patterns. The short introduction says:

In this book, we have compiled some of the most interesting accessories published over the last few years. Because they are small, portable and wearable, accessories lend themselves very well to all range of knitters, and due to minimal sizing requirements, are great for gift-giving to friends and loved ones.

This is a better description of the book than “quick knits”; the bag on the cover does not strike me as a quick knit. The sections are “hats mittens, gloves” (40 patterns), “socks” (11 patterns), “scarves, cowls, wraps, shrugs, capelets” (41 patterns) and “blankets, bags, toys”  (8 patterns). Many of the patterns are quite nice and I can see making some.

However, something was bothering me as I was looking through it. When I got to Quincy hat I realized what was missing; no designers are given credit for the designs. This bothers me. I recognized this as a Brooklyn Tweed design. In the front the photographers are given credit, so you can find all the Jared Flood photos (which means you can find all his patterns), but other designers are completely invisible.

The book listing on Ravelry is incomplete; only about 1/3 of the patterns are listed, but most if not all are in Ravelry from the original Classic Elite publication, just not pulled together in the book, so you may need to find the book to see what is included.

Knitty, deep fall 2012

I have been looking at the latest issue of Knitty in the last few days. A few things I want to highlight. I have been intrigued by Habu Textiles stainless steel yarn for several years (JQ—remember we made a yarn store trip in Atlanta just so I could see it and other Habu Textiles yarns), so it was interesting see the Tin roof scarf.

Geshenk, a shawl, uses very small amounts of yarn, designed for a special handspun skein. It is shown in three weights of yarn.

There are two pairs of gloves (Phalangees and Calertne) which look great, but I don’t think I would ever make them.

The Uhlan cap comes with a history of this type of headwear meant to be worn under a helmet.The history is interesting and the item looks warm. So it looks tempting to make. I like the picture from c1900 better—it has ribbing on the head not garter.

Ethnic Knitting Adventures has interesting information on Andean hats. This might be ab better option for a winter hat.

And of course the yarn roundtable and fiber fiesta were interesting and make me want to try the yarn and fibers out myself.

Two color cable

After moving blog posts and deleting the old ones from the other site, I found a stray picture. I don’t know if I ever used it in a blog post.I don’t know when I took the picture [it was February, 2007]. I don’t remember any details about it, other than I was trying a two-color cable. So, here it is, without any decent information.

Posts moved

I moved all my posts over from Technically it was very easy, but some of the formatting was a bit of a mess and I think a few images didn’t transfer. Most of the images moved into the wordpress media library, but some remained links to blogger. I think I found most problems, but if you see something weird in an old post, let me know.

I also took the opportunity to remove some of my more off topic rambles.

I revised the book reviews so they now all have an ISBN-13. The image comes from Worldcat (when available) and links to Worldcat. The title links to Ravelry, if there is a book entry in Ravelry.

One thing I find interesting about the books in Ravelry is how little some publishers seem to pay attention to them.  Ravelry is a large subset of knitters and I would have thought it would be worth their time to have someone make sure their books are listed and that all patterns are on the site. Even when books are there with all patterns, very often the pictures from the book are not on Ravelry.  This is a pity since the books generally have very good pictures of the items. Including them would increase the appeal of the pattern. It is great to see how people made something, but I think the pictures from books often do more to make me want to use the pattern (which can translate to purchasing the book or pattern) than another picture. It just seems like publishers should participate in this social network to at least a small degree as a form of marketing.


I finished the Multnomah shawl for my sister. I wanted easy, comfort knitting and this pretty much fit the bill. I had to rip it out a lot because, well, I needed easy comfort knitting and even this took my brain power than I apparently had.

There was also a bit of an adventure along the way, right at the end of the garter. I went to see Biden and Obama (and their wives) when they were in town. I had to go through “airport-like” security. Knitting needles are allowed on domestic flights, but apparently, not in airport-like security. The ball I wound by hand had already been falling apart (the alpaca makes the yarn slippery). I took the needle out very quickly and stuck it into the ground, right next to the curb, with the cable stretched between the two ends. I then needed to stuff the yarn and knitting into my small purse. Then take it out for security. Then pick it all back up and quickly move on.

The end result was a really big mess, with yarn tangled around my purse strap. I was able to find the needle the next morning, but it took a while longer to get it untangled (forming break from doing yardwork). This picture was taken well into the detangling and after it was back on needles. I was knitting again that evening so it wasn’t too horrible to fix.

When I was about to start the feather and fan portion, I had 52 g left in the main color and 22 g in the contrast color, which means the garter is about 50 g, or 2/5 of the total, about 180 yards. This of course depends on the accuracy of my scale. The pink contrast is about 80 yards, and I have only a few left.

The end product is not without errors, but I don’t think they are obvious (hence they were left). I completed it a couple days ago and then blocked it.


Detail of feather and fan.


After blocking.


My project on Ravelry.