Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Thermal’ Category

We Have A Winner!

Posted by notthatkat on January 14, 2008

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks won the race to become the first FO of 2008.   Mostly because I haven’t had the time and energy to sew the sleeves into Thermal, let alone go button shopping.


Here’s Thermal in it’s current sad state.  It only lacks shoulder seams, buttons, and weaving ends.  And a wee bath will improve it tremendously, I’m sure.  I’ll get around to finishing it soon-ish.  I promise.


What I have had time and patience for is fairly mindless knitting- something I can pick up and put down without worrying about losing my place.   It’s amazing to me how much quicker this is knitting up.  I know, larger gauge.  I will soon be at the point of dividing the sleeves from the body, and shortly after it will lose its dead simple quality, as all the detail (which I love) happens at the lower body and sleeve.  But I love it so far.


There must, of course, be a pair of socks going, so I cast on these on Friday.   I thought briefly about starting Thelonious or another CookieA sock, or something else more complicated, but again, the need for dead simple right now.  It looks complex so far, but after about this point, the patterning becomes much simpler.  These are Lenore socks, from the Rockin’ Sock Club (Oct 2007) and they were designed by La Harlot.  The yarn is part of the Raven series, and I may have to try some of the other colors if they’re still available when I allow myself to buy yarn again.

I’m off to catch up on some lost sleep before I go dashing off again.


Posted in FO, rockin' sock club, socks, Thermal, Yarn Harlot | 1 Comment »

WIP it good

Posted by notthatkat on January 2, 2008

Thermal Sleeves

Talk of future knits is all well and good, but it’s the current WIP’s that I’ve been focusing my energies on.  The Thermal sleeves are nearing completion: I started shaping the sleeve caps this morning.  The shaping adjustments I made still seem to be working out, so I’m not too worried about it anymore.  I am looking forward to getting this one done so I can wear it.

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks are practically flying off the needles.  I tried a band heel, and when I got to the pick up part, either my math was wonky, or I did something wrong, because I had more slipped stitches on each side than I was supposed to pick up.  This would have left me with too many stitches or holes if I skipped some on my pick up.  I pulled it out and worked my usual short row heel.  Maybe I’ll try this heel again later, but I just couldn’t face reworking it at that time.

Posted in socks, Thermal | Leave a Comment »

Merino Dreams and Snausages for All

Posted by notthatkat on December 28, 2007


Hope you all had a very Merry. I had a good one hanging out with Lucy and the rest of the family. The hand knit gifts got a very good reception. I think the biggest hits were the sweater for Lucy and Patrick’ s pirate hat.

Lucy Sweater Back

Lucy wore her sweater all day, and seemed to like it rather well. (If she doesn’t like a sweater, she will rub and roll and pull until she gets someone to take it off.) Patrick wore his hat for a while during the day as well, but it was too hot to wear indoors for very long. While I think it could have been a tad longer, Lucy didn’t seem to mind its slightly cropped nature one bit.

Lucy Sweater Side

Isn’t she a character? My sister keeps talking about maybe getting a second dog, but I’m not sure how Lucy would feel about that. She is used to her pampered lifestyle and tends not to play well with others (dogs). So far, Marie has resisted the urge, but I think every time she goes to the local pet store and sees the adoption dogs, she is tempted.

Merino Lace Socks

I finished my Merino Lace Socks on Wednesday night, then stupidly forgot my camera to do a lunchtime (daylight) photo session at work yesterday. The joke was on me, because it rained buckets today, so I had to do indoor photos anyway. Not that I’m complaining. We so desperately need the rain, it can rain as much as it wants to.

Merino Lace Heel

My favorite feature is (still) the heel, with the lace patterning extending down the flap. I’m not sure how it will do in shoes with backs, though, so these might need to be reserved for clogs and other backless shoes. These were fun to knit, and not hard at all once the lace patterning was established. These will almost certainly be my last FO of the year, as I don’t see completing any of my other OTN projects in the next few days.

Colortweed Socks

I cast on these socks once I finished grafting the others. This is Meilenweit Colortweed – the yarn was a gift. This is my first time using it. The colors are not my typical colors, but they are working up nicely. I did a picot hem at the top à la Claudia. Otherwise I am doing a simple stockinette stitch sock. Will probably do the usual heel and toes, but I’ve been wanting to try a band heel for a while, so maybe I’ll do that instead.

Thermal Sleeves

Thermal is back in rotation, with the sleeves growing a fair bit early in the week. I’ve done 11 increase rounds of 17, so maybe about 2/3 of the way to the underarm divide. The tape measure agrees, as I’ve got ~13 inches out of a recommended 19.5. I think my modifications for row gauge are working out swimmingly so far. I think the real test will be the sleeve cap shaping, though, so I’m not celebrating too much yet.

I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to jump back into this project at this stage after being dormant so long, but thanks to good notes and markers (note the safety pins up the side of one sleeve) it didn’t take long at all to find my way again.

Alas, my poor Bee Fields hasn’t had a stitch worked in recent memory. Maybe this weekend, or New Year’s Day. I’m off to Atlanta to visit friends this weekend. See you all on the other side!

Posted in animals, Christmas, Merino Lace Socks, socks, Thermal | 1 Comment »

Where Does the Time Go?

Posted by notthatkat on December 3, 2007

Sorry for appearing to fall of the edge of the earth recently.  I’ve been busy, busy and haven’t spent much time online at all.  First there was the holiday (Hope those of you in the US had a happy one), then my camera went AWOL.  Plus I’ve been working on a little project I’m not ready to go public with at this time.  (and since such phrasing seems to be practically code in the knit blogosphere – NO, I am not pregnant.  That’s all I’m saying about that.)  There has been some knitting accomplished, although not as much as I would have liked.  As I said – busy.

Pirate Hat

I finished the Pirate Hat for my nephew a couple weeks ago.  I had to sew the lining down twice, as the first time it came out wonky.  The second time did the trick.  I love this hat, and am seriously wondering if making myself one would lower the coolness factor of the hat for Patrick.  He’s 14, so seeing someone his parents’ age wear something might automatically lower the cool level, but I am the “cool” aunt, after all.

Fractal Handspun Project

I also finished spinning and plying my fractal yarn last week.  It’s a bit overspun in places (not usually an issue for me), but overall I’m pleased with it.  I like how the colors blend, and the yellow doesn’t seem too overwhelming in the skein.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it knits up.


I decided to work my Thermal sleeves at the same time, using Magic Loop  I have re-figured both the increases and the cap shaping for my smaller row gauge.  They are about a third of the way to the underarms, and so far so good.   I’m still loving this project, but it’s about to go back burner to make way for gift knitting.

Bee Fields

My Bee Fields is almost halfway through the Bee in Field section, which is the last section before the edging.  The rows are very long now, so I don’t tend to get many done at a time.  I consider 3-4 rows in an evening to be good progress.  Ditto the back burner comment for this one as well.

Merino Lace Socks

My Merino Lace socks have managed to get past the heel despite languishing in my Go Knit pouch most of the time and getting very little action.  But when I do work on them, they are tough to put down.  The temptation to keep adding just one more row/round is strong in these.  I had a bit of a situation when I reached the heel only to discover I had dropped a stitch in one of the lace sections a couple inches back.  I tried several times to drop back that section and work it back up, only to have it come out wrong every single time.  Finally I bit the bullet, put the error free sock on a spare pair of needles and ripped back the offending sock to before the mistake(about 2 repeats of the wide lace panel) and reknit those couple inches.  Okay, all things considered, I guess I’ve made a lot of progress on these socks.

Merino Lace Socks

I deviated from my usual preference of short row heels and followed the directions which carries the lace motifs down the heel flap.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a big fan of flap and gusset heels, but in this case, I like the effect.

Branching Out

I cast on Branching Out for my sister on Friday night.   I decided to start from the center with a provisional cast on and work both sides out so they would be symmetrical.  It’s about 2/3 done, with 12 more pattern repeats to go.

Branching Out

It has practically flown off the needles with very little effort on my part.  The yarn is some Knit Picks Shadow that has been marinating in my stash for a while.  I debated long and hard about lengthening it, but decided to go with the number of repeats directed in the pattern.  I know it will grow once blocked, and don’t really think it would look good super long.  Once blocked, I think it will probably go about 4 1/2 to 5 feet, a nice length to tuck under the collar of a dressy coat.

I plan to make felted clogs for both my parents, and possibly something for my brother-in-law (not sure what, but I’m considering options), but overall, my gift knitting for this year in not very ambitious.  Oh, and I need to come up with something fiber related for my fiber guild’s gift exchange this weekend.  It must be fiber related, and has a  $10 price cap.  Right now, I got nothin’.  I’m considering banging out a couple dish/wash cloths and wrapping that up with some soap.  I’ve had a couple other thoughts, but that’s the leader right now.

Posted in Bee Fields, Branching Out, Christmas, Merino Lace Socks, Pirate Hat, Thermal | 1 Comment »

Experimental Crafting

Posted by notthatkat on November 16, 2007

It’s hard to believe a whole week’s gone by, and I haven’t posted since Monday. The older I get, the faster the time just seems to whip right by. I have been busy in the interim, both working and playing. I’ve made significant progress on a couple of my knitting projects:


I finished the body of my Thermal just this evening. It’s off to sleeve island for this project.

Pirate Hat

I also finished the main part of my pirate hat and have only a little bit of the lining left to go. I look for this one to be an FO before the weekend is done.

I’ve also been doing a bit of experimentation in a couple crafting arenas:

Fractal Handspun Project

I pre-drafted this roving and have begun spinning it. It was inspired by the article in the summer 2007 issue of Spin-Off on fractal stripe spinning. The article described splitting a single length of space dyed roving to create singles with color repeats of different lengths the were then plied together. The roving I wanted to use was skinny enough I didn’t think I could split it enough to get the effect described. Instead I divided the roving in equal halves. The ball at the top was dyed with long repeats, while the other half was dyed in much shorter lengths and split once.

Fractal Handspun Project

I have almost finished spinning the roving with the shorter repeats. I’m hoping once it is plied the very bright yellow will be toned down somewhat by the other colors. The colors are divided about evenly, but that one really dominates on the bobbin. This whole project is an out-on-a-limb experiment, and even if I wind up with clownish yarn, well, I figure it’ll look okay peeping out between blue jeans and tennies.

Soap Balls

Last night and again tonight, I made soap in Christmas scents (Christmas Pine last night, Hollyberry tonight) When I mentioned making soap for Christmas, a friend suggested I made soap balls. I’ve made soap balls before, but only when a batch of soap came out soft and refused to unmold easily into nice neat bars. I’ve never planned to make my soap into balls in advance.

So I thought, what do I need to do to make soap that can be turned into balls once the initial incubation is done? The soap needs to be soft enough that it can be shaped and manipulated without cracking or flaking, but solid enough to hold its shape when I’m done with it. The answer I came up with was to increase the water content. This worked like a charm. The soap was nice and pliable and bent to my wishes.

If you want to try this at home, I used my basic recipe (scroll down to the bottom), but increased the water to 16 oz. The next day, I cut the soap into bars and kneaded it and shaped it like play dough. Make sure you wear gloves for this, as the soap is still quite harsh at this stage. I don’t bother with gloves when I am just cutting bars, but this much contact with raw soap is rather bad for the skin. Then lay out the bars to cure as normal.

After just a few hours, they feel much drier and are firming up. They should be just about perfect in 3-4 weeks, just in time for gifts for co-workers and acquaintances. Tomorrow, the soap I made tonight will get the same treatment. And I might make another batch, not specifically holiday, but because the soaping bug seems to have bit hard lately.

Posted in Pirate Hat, soapmaking, spinning, Thermal | 1 Comment »