Friday, July 28, 2006

Trek-a-Long -- Statue Stalking

Today I took my Trekking sock for a walk around downtown Ottawa to look at some statues. Being Canada's capital, we have a LOT of statues here.

We have statues of the Queen.

We have statues of ordinary people.

We have statues of bears eating fish.

We have statues of giant spiders.

We have statues on pillars.

We have statues on domes.

We have some very linear statutes.

We have some rather rounded statues.

We even have some unintentional "statues."

At the end of our walk we stopped with these nice ladies ...

... to have some statue tea.

Come see Ottawa. It's a beautiful city, with much more to offer than statues.

(All photos taken within a 10-minute walk of where I work.)

Beauty is in the ......

Thank you, everyone, for your support for my ugly socks. You came up with some very creative suggestions -- everything from overdying them to using them to find my way out of a darkened theatre. You have convinced me that they are, indeed ... ummm .... useful.

They have grown on me a little, and they do feel wonderful. I guess they aren't all that bad, when properly accessorized ....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SMAK July - done!

These aren't the socks I was going to do for July, but they've been sitting in the Unfinished Stuff pile for long enough that they still qualify as "taking care of business."

Unfortunately, they may also qualify for the World's Ugliest Socks. The fact that I forged ahead and got them done shows that I have great fortitude of character -- or that I am too stupid to frog and forget them. You can take your pick.

They started out innocently enough.

Lorna's Laces, in Colour No. 32, Forest. You can see the brown tree trunks and the mossy green of the forest floor, the brighter green of the leaves on the trees and the blue sky shining through. Yeah, right.

Instead of a dappled glade, I got .... stripes. Which in themselves can be fine, if that's what you think you're going to get, but that's not what I thought I was going to get. I had one leg done and was contemplating trying to make it do something else ... anything else ... until I really looked at them.

That green -- the leafy green -- washes through and gives them a lovely radioactive glow.

That green is sneaky. It's the type of colour you don't really notice inside, but when you go out, or under fluorescent lights, it zaps you.

They really do glow. To be fair to them, I did try to take an arty-fartsy close-up.

I even tried flinging them into a bush.

No luck. Still ugly and radioactive. Oh well, I'll wear them on days when I dress in the dark, with really long pants and high shoes.

In Other News, I am a finalist in Challenge #4 of the Amazing Lace. If you have a moment, please head over and vote. For me, that is. Vote for me. If you feel like it. Thanks ever so.

And in even more Other News, Garterlac Dishcloths are starting to pop up here and there. Good on ya, dudes -- they're looking great! For the record, the ones pictured here are made from: beige and black, Sugar 'n Cream, Colour No. 176, Oasis; green and purple, Bernat Handicrafter, Colour No. 105, Twilight Ombre; and yellow and turquoise, Bernat Handicrafter, Colour No. 23743, Summer Splash .

Friday, July 21, 2006

Garterlac Dishcloth

(Edited March 16, 2009, to indicate that an alternate way of knitting this with NO cast-on edige is available here.)

(Edited August 25, 2006, to indicate that a PDF version of this pattern is available here)

(Edited March 25, 2007, to indicate that the tutorial that was previously on line seems to be no more. It was not my tutorial, and I can't re-create it. I can say that where people run into trouble with this pattern seems to be when it comes to picking up stitches for the next section. The simplest way I can say this is to look where your yarn is right now. It's coming from the right hand needle. Immediately coming off the needle to the left is an edge from the previous "row". Start knitting up stitches (draw through a loop using the working yarn) right where the edge meets your right hand needle and work towards the left until you come to the next batch of live stitches, or the end of the edge. The stitches you just picked up form the basis for the next portion of the pattern, and you join them to live stitches by either K2tog or SKP, depending where you are in the pattern.)

(Edited July 13, 2011 to indicate that a pictorial tutorial can now be found here.)

(Edited April 18, 2008 to indicate that Laura has a devised a very cool and very stretchy cast-on that works wonderfully for entrelac - give it a try!)

(Edited May 12, 2010, to add a link for another way to begin this cloth that starts with a cast-on of just one stitch -- perfect!)

There have been a few requests for a pattern for these dishcloths, so here goes.

They're just entrelac, done all in garter stitch. Because there is no right or wrong side, and because you just use the same "colour" throughout, and because its just a *dishcloth*, you don't have to worry about blips showing through -- in essence, entrelac simplified.

Garterlac Dishcloth

Materials required: 1 ball dishcloth cotton & appropriate needles


K -- Knit

K2tog -- Knit two stitches together

K-FB -- Knit into the front of the next stitch and, before removing it from the needle, knit into the back of the same stitch

SKP -- Slip one stitch knit-wise, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over

Turn -- Put the stuff in your right hand into your left hand and the stuff that used to be in your left hand into your right hand

Pick up -- Insert right hand needle from front to back into side of previous layer between two garter bumps, wrap the yarn around the needle and pull a stitch through


Very loosely, cast on 24 stitches.

Bottom Triangle:

K 1, turn, K 1, turn.
K 2, turn, K 2, turn.
K 3, turn, K 3, turn.
K 4, turn, K 4, turn.
K 5, turn, K 5, turn.
K 6, turn, K 6, turn.
K 7, turn, K 7, turn.
K 8, do not turn.

Repeat the directions for the Bottom Triangle twice more – three triangles in total. They look a little twisted right now. Don’t worry; they’ll sort themselves out as you go along. Turn and make an Increasing Side Triangle.

Increasing Side Triangle:

K 1, turn, K-FB, turn.
K 1, SKP, turn, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 2, SKP, turn, K 1, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 3, SKP, turn, K 2, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 4, SKP, turn, K 3, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 5, SKP, turn, K 4, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 6, SKP, turn, K 5, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 7, SKP, do not turn.

Now make a Square.


Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
* K 8, turn, K 7, SKP, turn. *
Repeat between the *s another seven times, but do not turn at the end of the eighth repeat.

Make another Square, and then a Decreasing Side Triangle.

Decreasing Side Triangle:

Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn, K 8, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 7, turn.
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 6, turn.
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 5, turn.
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 4, turn.
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 3, turn.
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 2, turn.
K2tog, turn.

You are left with one stitch on the left hand needle. Transfer it to the right-hand needle. Pick up a further 7 stitches down the side of the previous row so you have 8 stitches in total, turn, and continue with the directions for Square.

Make two more Squares.

Continue adding layers in a similar manner.

The next layer will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

The next layer will be three Squares.

The next series will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

Now it is time to make triangles along the top. Transfer the remaining stitch to your right hand needle and proceed with Top Triangle.

Top Triangle:

Pick up 7 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 6, SKP, turn
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 5, SKP, turn
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 4, SKP, turn
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 3, SKP, turn
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 2, SKP, turn
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 1, SKP, turn
K2tog, turn, SKP.
K 1 and pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first. You are left with one stitch on the right-hand needle.

Make 2 more Top Triangles, fasten off last stitch and weave in ends.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I like the Babel game, in which you take some English text, plug it into Babel Fish and translate it into German, plug in the German text and translate it into French, and then plug the French in and translate it back into English.

This is the results of a recent Babel:

Instructions: Form on 4 fixings series 1: knit 4 series with 2: If you knit more rueber 2, yarn, you knit on the series repeat a series with 2, until you have 44 fixings on the needle. Series of 3: If you knit 1, you knit together, yarn more rueber 2, you knit together to 2, you knit at the oddment repeat a series with 3, until you have 4 fixings on the needle.

Isn't that hilarious? Do you recognize it?

Instructions: Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1: Knit 4
Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row.
Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches on the needle.
Row 3: Knit 1, Knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.
Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches on the needle.

Poor Grandmother would have conniptions trying to knit her Favourite using that Babelled pattern :-)

Dishcloths, eh? Yeah, I whipped out a few dishcloths as a housewarming present for a friend.

Not the Babel version, obviously.

I like garterlac -- nubbly in all directions, so it's good for scrubbing, stretchy but not overly so. It has just enough counting to satisy my semi-OCD type personality.

Unlike the bubbly stockinette-based entrelac, because garter stitch is square, garterlac lays nice and flat.

One of those minimal effort, maximum results type of projects, easy enough to do in front of the tv.

I think I'll go do a couple more.

Edited to add that the pattern is here:

Knit Sock Kit Swap -- Don't Sweat the Bag

Thank you, everyone, for your warm welcome for my new cat Tidget, and for your kind words and encouragement with my other, um, endeavour. Whoever said the internet was impersonal is wrong, wrong, wrong.

One of the rules of the Knit Sock Kit Swap is, “Don’t Sweat the Bag.” Given the horrifically high temperatures lately, that’s been practically impossible. It also seemed impossible for me to knit a simple two-round pattern, but I have preserved.

I am one of those who can’t/doesn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t sew, so I knew I had to knit my sock bag. My initial impulse was to grab some Kureyon and do something along the lines of a Booga Bag, but then I remembered I had some denim that needed to be knit into something.

Digging through my patterns, I found this in Vicki Square's Folk Bags:

It’s a small bag based on a Korean jumeoni, and I thought it was cute. I had to up-size it somewhat to make it suitable for a sock bag, so unfortunately it doesn’t sit quite the same, but I think the end result preserves the character of the design.

The pattern calls for a shaped rectangle sewn up the sides. Instead, I cast on both tops and did the shaping, joined in the round and knit to length, then turned it inside-out and did a three-needle bind-off.

The pattern also calls for some fairly complex embroidery, a combination of curlicue and paisley. Given my non-existent embroidery skills, I opted to go for something simpler and just freehanded in some lines and shapes.

The embellishment is done only on the sides and not the front and back. It’s a nice, simple way to gussy up an otherwise somewhat plain bag.

The handle is I-cord. Lots of I-cord.

The fabric didn’t come out quite as firm as I’d hoped, and the bag is unlined. As a result, the final product is a trifle more home-made than hand-made. I hope my swap partner will overlook that when I bribe her with some luxurious yarn.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Amazing Lace - Challenge #4 - Premature Re-purposing

The question: If you bound off your lace RIGHT NOW - what could it be used for?

The challenge: One photo of your lace in a reasonable approximation of its potential use at this very moment.


You may wish to avert your eyes right now if you're the squeamish type.

Presenting: The Butterfly Bikini.

And here is the real Official Team Portrait for this leg of the Race:


That is the number of stitches I've knit on it in the last two weeks. I have been, umm, otherwise occupied. Time to get back at it ..........

Friday, July 14, 2006

Monkeys, Dinosaurs & Kitty Cats

Lately I seem to be ripping more than I'm knitting, but I do have some news to share.

About Monkeys:

As in, sock monkeys, all over my wonderful new sock bag from Trek. If you haven't traded with her yet, do so -- you won't be disappointed. Thank you, Trek, it was a pleasure to deal with you, and I'm very pleased with my new sock bag.

It looks like I'm finally ready to start Trekking !!

About Dinosaurs:


Well, Dinosaur socks.

These were knit using The Sock Pattern to End All Sock Patterns, courtesy of Anne at KnitSpot. This is a great pattern that starts with your gauge and helps you build a sock that fits your foot. I love learning new sock stuff, and Anne's pattern has a new-to-me way to determine heel flap depth. They fit perfectly! Thank you so much, Anne, for the opportunity to knit your pattern.

The yarn is the Dinosaur colourway, sport weight, from Spunky Eclectic. I'm not much for wild, but there's something about Amy's wild colours that I absolutely love. She has a club where you can get some of her lovely yarn delivered to your house every month. I had to join.

You should too.

About Kitty Cats:

After having cats for 30 years , I have been cat-less since last Thanksgiving. I was sort of enjoying not having to deal with the litter box and smelly food and cat hair everywhere. However, when the local Humane Society put out a call for help because they were over-run with the new cat crop, I decided it was once again time to join the cat world. I checked out their web site and found a beautiful Lynx Point Siamese. Although I liked her, she didn't like me :-)

There was a young lady, though, who took a definite shining to me. The minute I picked her up, she held on tight and started purring and licking and generally being totally lovable and adorable. I had no choice. Meet my new cat, Tidget:

She's had a rough couple of months. When she came to the shelter in April, she had possible frost bite on her feet, a urinary tract infection, an eye infection, a dental problem and ... she was pregnant. She's since had her kittens, and her medical problems are resolved. She was obviously someone's pet who escaped and wasn't claimed. She is a lovely, sweet little cat who has fit right into my home and my heart.



Thank you.

Here is the obligatory cat/yarn photo:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Amazing Lace - Challenge #3 - Poetry


A Po-em .... by Dave.

With pic-tures .... also by Dave.


There once was a knitter of socks

who tried to knit outside his box.

He knit and he purled.

The shawl, it unfurled.

"Zounds!" declared he ... this lace ROCKS!

Official team portrait, Leg 3: Charts 2 & 3, Row 97, and lookee-see what I got:

Butterfly butt !!