Completed 2013 challenge


I completed this year’s spinner’s challenge, which for me consisted of purple llama, spun firmly, and made into a beaded doily.

I used the Myra pattern. I need to update it because I made a minor modification. On the rounds where there is a knit 2 together that uses one stitch from one pattern unit with another pattern unit, I moved the last stitch of the preceding round from the right to the left needle and then knit it with the next stitch. I shifted the loop halfway around the doily (since I was using the magic loop), by one stitch so that it would work out correctly.

After I test ran the pattern I determined I hadn’t spun quite enough. I now have a few yards remaining. This was my first time adding beads as I knit.  I used no. 6 beads that I had on hand. I had one bead left (hence why the middle alternates between 2 and 3 beads on a petal). I used a small loop of flexible jewelry wire, folded in half to put the bead on a loop. (Knit a stitch, slip stitch off, put wire loop through stitch,  poke ends through the bead, slide bead on, remove wire loop, put stitch back on the right needle.)

Remaining yarn & bead, wire used to thread bead on yarn This is also the first time I decided where to put beads in a pattern. The 2–3 beads on the large petal did not wind up where I expected them; I had thought they would be shifted to the right, centered in the point and running closer to one side of the petal. Actually, I think the problem is I should have added them a couple of rows later (on rows 22, 26 and 30).

chart for Myra doily with beads

I blocked it to 12″.

doilyYou can see the lace pattern better in this picture.



Myra Doily No.49

I wrote about the pattern from Myra’s knitting lessons and mentioned there seemed to be some errors in it. Since I am making a doily for the spinner’s challenge, I wanted to know how much to spin (I am supposed to spin the llama firm, so the yarn is firmer than I would want and do not want to have much extra), so I thought I would make a doily out of something else and then rip it out to see how much yarn it took. This also gave me an opportunity to see where I thought the pattern needed corrections. And also would give me a better idea of where to put the beads.

Years back I bought some yarn for a small project. Recently I have been using the yarn to tie skeins. I thought this yarn would be good to test the doily. Sometime after the original purchase and before it was relegated ties, I apparently did something where the yarn was cut. I knotted lengths together and wound it into a ball. The knots were a surprise when I started knitting.  I believe I used Patons Grace, 100% mercerized cotton, color taupe.

The pattern starts with 4 stitches, one on each needle. You then knit into the front and back of each one for two rounds. The needles kept slipping out of the yarn and I was having issues. I decided I didn’t care and just didn’t worry about the order of the needles since it wouldn’t effect what I was checking. In other words, please don’t pay attention to the center which is quite the mess.

Myra doily being blockedYou can see one of the knots just above 3 o’clock. I blocked it to about 11 or 11.5 inches, but the doily is about 10.25″ in diameter now.

Myra doily

So what changes did I make? I added a row between rows 13 and 15 in the original. The pattern jumped significantly and expected you to have more stitches than were available, Comparing to the original picture, it seemed like this missing row was pictured. However, there were the correct number of holes in the straight lines from the center for what was on the pattern. I believe the original one pictured lacks the last row; the diamond eyelet clusters seem closer to the bound off edge than mine, and the long petals do not end in a point, unlike mine.

In order to get row 13a (the row I inserted) and row 15 to look correct, I had to fiddle a fair amount. There would have been an easy way to get the right number of stitches, but that meant there were 2 stitches in a spot which I think should have only 1 to look right (I tried it and ripped it out). This also meant I needed to drop a k2tog from row 17. The chart below highlights areas that I modified.

myra doily chart, highlighting areas altered

Row 15 seemed to have an extra stitch at the end, and rows 27, 29, 31 and 33 all had an extra stitch before the last yo on each repeat, so I dropped those. Row 21 was also a bit of a mess. The k2tog followed the wrong yo, and they were not positioned consistently with the other eyelet diamonds. I also shifted the first eyelet diamond on rows 27/29/31 over one stitch to try to have the diamonds centered better.

I like DPNs, but part way through I found I was having trouble keeping all the stitches on my needles. I was stretching out the knitting pretty often to check the pattern, which wasn’t helping. It finally dawned on me to try the magic loop for the first time ever. That made the whole process much simpler. It would certainly have been useful at my modified row 15 and I think will help me at the cast on too. I will probably still prefer DPNs for most things, but for this doily, I think magic loop is the way to go.

Myra doily, detail

I have posted the PDF of my revised pattern.

I just ripped out the doily and I need to spin a little more. I have plenty of llama and 10 yards won’t take that long to spin; better to know now rather than later.

Myra’s No. 49. Design for a Pincushion

I need to make a doily for the spinner’s challenge. This means I needed to find a pattern for a doily. The University of Southampton has digitized many of Richard Rutt’s books (that would the Rutt of the History of Hand Knitting), which is super fun. The collection is here. The first book listed is Myra’s knitting lessons. No.1. Ccontaining the rudiments of knitting and various useful patterns for this work (the double c is in the metadata). Myra comes from Myra and Son, the company which published the book. The book has no date on it; The University of Southampton has c1800 which is clearly too early—it probably comes from a vague date of 18?? in the cataloging record. The text refers to vulcanite needles, so must date after 1839.¹ The entire book is available as a secure PDF. I have no idea why they made it secure, but it means I can’t copy the out of copyright text.

There are two doilies in the book. I decided to make “No. 49. Design for a Pincushion.”

Myra no.49 doilyThe pattern is of course not written quite like a modern pattern and it isn’t charted. I retyped the pattern, and made a non-secured PDF, along with some other relevant content from the original.  I then put it into modern abbreviations and charted it (PDF). I am glad I did that because it became quite clear there were problems with the pattern. To begin with, the pattern has you make two points on each needle. It calls for 4 needles and says “3rd row.—Knit 1, make 1, knit 2, make 1, knit 1. Repeat on the other two needles.” A quick look at the picture will show the pattern requires five needles, with the pattern being repeated on the other three needles.

Below is the chart. You can see that various rows do not have the right number of stitches on them so it needs a bit of help.

Myra No.49 doily chartI will save the alterations I made to the original for a separate post.

1. The History of Knitting Pin Gauges  By Sheila William. Melrose Press, 2006. Page 5.

Scarf with a Wide and Handsome Border

Habu Scarf detail

When I was a fairly new knitter, I purchased Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. I decided to knit Scarf with a Wide and Handsome Border in the Tsumugi Silk it called for (as an excuse to try a Habu Textiles yarn). I purchased some at a yarn store in Atlanta while at a conference in 2008. I even purchased the color used in the book, although that had to do with what was in stock not with wanting to completely follow the pattern.

Soon after the conference, I cast on. At some point in the first border I realized I had made an error. I wasn’t sure if I should rip it out or keep going. I kept going. The error kept bothering me. I kept going. I finally realized I had to rip it out without the error. This was a good lesson for the future—when in doubt, I should rip it out because it will bug me.

This scarf was the first thing I have done where you change direction (the border is knit side to side, you almost full bind off, then you pick up stitches and continue down the length, at which point you cast on more stitches, go back to the side to side border, joining each row with one of the live stitches. The first turn wen OK. The only problem I had with the center was judging how far to go while allowing sufficient yarn for the border.

The second border had me flummoxed. I was still a pretty inexperienced knitter and it just wasn’t making sense. I set it aside. For years. Probably from about summer 2008 until March 2013. I decided it would be good plane knitting for another conference trip, interesting enough to keep me occupied but small and lightweight. At the airport I looked up how to do a crochet cast-on and got started. I figured out what I was supposed to, and then it went fairly smoothly.

I wasn’t sure I would have enough yarn; I was watching it run down and had no real sense of how much I might need or how many yard were in quite a small space. I did have sufficient yarn, but as I approached the end, I realized I somehow had 66 stitches not 65 as called for in the pattern. And I could only figure out how to deal with 64 stitches anyway, so I shoved a couple stitches together because I was NOT going to find the problem.

Feeling a little triumphant for finishing a project that had been languishing for so long, I laid it out so I could see the whole thing for the first time. I saw holes. That shouldn’t be there. Sigh. After a delay fixing them, it was time to block.

I am a bit unsure about the pre-blocking size. I measured before fixing the holes and it was 11-12″ for the borders but only 8″ for the middle, and 59″ long.  I didn’t want to mess with it too much because there were those holes. After fixing it I laid it out and got 10″ wide and 53.5″ long. It says to block to measurements (10″ x 70″) but I didn’t pay attention to that and am only now checking how that compares with my finished size. [Pause to measure]. I apparently blocked it to 12″ x 64″.

Here it is being blocked. I clearly need a another set of blocking mats (as well as T pins).

Being blockedAfter blocking:

Habu ScarfHabu ScarfI am happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to figure out how to wear a scarf (and remember to do so).

Habu Scarf

I didn’t know moths ate silk

I should have known, I really should have, since silk is a protein fiber. It just didn’t occur to me that moths might eat silk. A while back we had a small infestation of moths. I think they were mostly confined to my poorly stored WIPs. I have found damage on a baby surprise jacket, a cardigan for me and socks for TH. I recently finished a silk scarf and when I got to the end, I looked at the whole thing and then saw the holes.

moth holes

I immediately used safety pins to stop the holes from growing and to decide what to do.

holes stopped with pins

I didn’t have much yarn left. I first considered mending the spots, but I wasn’t really sure how to do this without being obvious. The was about 5″ in the middle that needed serious help.

5 inches with problems

I decided to split the scarf, putting a needle on on either side of the bad regions. This shows the needle in and beginning to pick up the stitches.

separation beginning

After the scarf was in two pieces, it was easy to rip back to the first needle.

separation in process

I then had two sections and varying lengths of yarn.

fully separatedUsing the longest sections of yarn I had, I reknit that middle section.

ready to beginThen I watched two videos on garter stitch kitchener so I could join the two sections. The pattern for garter kitchener is knit-knit-purl-purl, so it is a bit different than regular kitchener. The first time went pretty well, but after I was done, I realized I should have remove one more row; I had connected a front with the back and the pattern was wrong. The incorrect row is to the left of the needle.

mend completed incorrectlyI almost left it alone. I wove in all the other ends and decided I needed to fix it. Out it came again.

ready to begin kitchenerKitchener stitch in process. When holding wrong sides together, you should see purl bumps on both sides facing you.

kitchener in process

Finally, back together, correctly.

mend completed

Next up: blocking.

Reversible cable scarf

Back in 2009 I bought some fiber and spun it (70% wool, 20% silk and 10% mohair). It is a transitional roving and I spun it to knit as a singles yarn to keep the color transition. L had made a scarf (Onduleux cables) that she had seen in LYS2. Reversible cables were very much the thing at the time. I looked at her scarf and decided to make one like it, without an actual pattern. I got 2/3 or 3/4 done and then it was spring and I didn’t want to knit a winter scarf. I set it aside and finally dug it back out in January. With no pattern. And no notes with it.

Reversible cable scarf

Fortunately, my local group of knitters was able to help me sort it out. I finished the scarf soon after but didn’t wash it/block it (which was needed because of the singes yarn) because I started wearing it right away.

Wearing reversible cable scarf

Reversible cables are basically just regular cables made k1 p1 throughout, which looks like stockinette because the ribs pull together.  This also makes it thicker, which is nice for a scarf.

Reversible cable scarf

The beginning of the scarf may not have been the same, but this is the pattern for the end of the scarf. I used about 600 yards of sport or DK weight (my yarn varies and I’m guessing). Size 7 needles. Cast on 48.
Rows 1-7: K1 P1.
Row 8: 4 sets of 6 over 6 (which look like 3 over 3) left slanting cables.
Rows 9-15: K1 P1.
Row 16: (K1 P1) 3 times; 3 sets of 6 over 6 (which look like 3 over 3) right slanting cables; (K1 P1) 3 times.
Repeat rows 1-16 until desired length is reached. End with another rows 1-7 rows and bind off.
Finished size: about 4″ wide and 100″ long.

Reversible cable scarf

Reversible cable scarf close-up

Offset rib socks

Last June I went to a conference which involved a lot of hours in the car with co-workers. On the way back, I started a pair of socks. I had thought I had carefully put a pattern on my mobile device to use, but I missed some part of it (I don’t recall exactly what was wrong) so I just winged it.

2012-11-014I used Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn in Briar Rose (9904). I think I got it at the  anniversary sale at my LYS a couple months before. I wasn’t positive whether the socks would be mine or DJ’s. I neglected to take pictures of the before skein, so this is what is left over. Since I wanted to see the color repeats, I needed to reskein it.


2012-11-002I did a basic top down, heel flap sock (based on having read the Yarn Harlot’s sock recipe years ago and making socks since then and my faulty memory). I cast on 60 stitches, using probably size 1 needles (although I don’t recall if it was primarily or 2.5mm—I say primarily because I had some issue with losing needles once I got home). I did a 2×2 ribbing for 12 rounds (1″).

My pattern, which I am calling offset rib1, was as follows:
rounds 1-5: k3 p2 (repeat)
rounds 6-10: p2 k3

Continue until leg measures 8″.

2012-11-004Make a standard heel flap, etc. and continue with foot. I tend to make the sole a couple stitches less than the pattern on the instep, because straight stockinette doesn’t pull together as much as ribbing. When I get to the toe I either do my ssk & k2tog only on the top for a round or I shift stitches slightly so that they are even on top and bottom.

I knit the foot until it was about 7″ from the heel flap and then started decreasing for the toe (standard toe with kitchener stitch closing the sock).


I liked the socks but my sister had been doing a lot for my Mom, so i decided they were hers. I was not sad when she said they were a bit big and so they were mine. They have turned into the socks I pull out first from the drawer to wear.


1 I’m sure this is in countless pattern books, but I didn’t use one of those books, so I figure I can call this whatever I want.