Wednesday 31 December 2008

Clean Up

It's time to clean up after the holidays and put the house back in order. For the first time in 2 weeks I have all the dishes washed, Yay. This is a major deal when you don't have a dishwasher to hide the dirty dishes in. I also got a few things done.Or almost done. The slippers are finished and I bought a piece of suede to cut up and stitch onto the sole. My daughter's boyfriend really liked them so I better get them off to him finished in their entirety. As the clean up proceeds I have unraveled a whole sock which I didn't intend to knit a mate for and what good is one sock. I put the wool in water to get the kinks out and hung it to dry yesterday. But it is taking way too long to dry (i want to wind it into a ball to take to a party tonight) so it's going into the oven with a pair of socks which are also slow to dry and my test knit of the Cable Galore sock. That sock pattern only needs a photo to be complete. It will be the first pattern out in 2009.It's almost here, 2009, wow! Happy New Year!! All the best to everyone in the coming year and here's to lots of knitting to come.


Saturday 27 December 2008

Most of the excitement is over. And I am thinking up a better knitting plan for next year. I hate to shop! So next year I am knitting all my presents. That's my New Year's Resolution.
I got one knitting present from my mom. It's a felted planter. Cool eh? She went to a craft show and saw it and had to buy it for me. It's needle felted and amazing.

I always go and buy myself a Christmas present. This year I went to a wool shop in Bradford and bought Dream in Colour, Smooshy. Oh my it's lovely. I can start knitting socks right away.

Tuesday 23 December 2008


Sometimes Christmas presents return for a refit. Last Christmas, thinking that my daughter's boyfriend had been around long enough to be an addition to our family, I knit him a scarf so that he would get used to the idea of knitted presents.Yes, with lace holes even, a real test. He likes it and even likes the holes but could it be longer please? It is a little short but I didn't want to spend more than a skein of wool and the time that takes to knit on an unknown recipient.
I think he passed the test and I have another skein of wool here so he is going to get a longer scarf. He also asked for a pair of slippers in lime green and navy mixed together.They are being modelled on my daughter's foot so you can see that they are coming along. Apparently he will love them. They are a variation on Cat Bordhi's Sky Sock with 2 strands of worsted held together and ribbing down the front V. I have this one almost done and have until after Christmas to finish the second one.

Now I am off to buy rutabaga's for a casserole for Wednesday evening Christmas dinner, on Christmas day we eat left overs, yum.

Happy Holidays everyone. And if you aren't having a white Christmas you can share some of mine.

It's snowing again. We are supposed to get 15cm (6") today! We have some extra to share if you're missed the snow.


Friday 19 December 2008

For Myself

I am so glad that both commenters said they were finished their Christmas knitting and were (or definitely thinking about) knitting for themselves. Yes, me too. I started my second cabled sock. I love this colour and the feel of the wool is lovely ( . And I can't say enough about sports weight socks which are quick, quick, quick. In thinking about sports vs fingering weight socks I realized that from November to March I don't wear a shoe at all (except for my curling shoes). I wear boots and then slippers or my Birks inside. So sports weight socks are definitely an option for increasing the number of socks in my sock drawer. Lots of socks means wool socks every day and less wear and tear on the socks I do have. That is my plan anyway.

I Cast On my second sock at a Christmas party last night and got down to the heel. Yes that's me, life of the party, knitting in the corner. It wasn't a chat all night party. It was a 'bring your partner to our group because it's Christmas' party. My husband ( ) runs a songwriters group where each month you come with a song you wrote, perform it and wait for comments from the group. Every once in a while I get to go and observe this process. I thought when they started that they would all start to sound alike but this is far from the case. They have all kept their own voices and the variation in songwriting and how they approach it has been maintained over the 6 years they have been doing this. They are encouraging to each other, have learned to criticize constructively (not as easy as it would seem) and appreciate any leaps past their own comfort zones which happen mostly because of the safe environment they have created. We knitters could be doing more of this. I wonder if it's possible over the web?


Thursday 18 December 2008

Fingers to Toes

These were the mittens from last December. I couldn't remember where they were until my daughter came home from Christmas and there they were hanging out of her pocket.
The blog posting gives you the plain version where you can use any weight of wool. In the mittens I knit this year I ribbed the cuff (Cast On 8" worth of stitches) and then did the pattern with the thumb gusset in rib also. I did some fingerless mitts first and then some proper mittens and I put some cables on the back of some and a double moss stitch on the back of some others but any patten would be fine there.

And now I'm back to the socks. I love sports weight socks. They are quick to knit, cushy to wear and did I mention how quick they are to knit? Three evenings, tops, to knit a pair. I love that. Of course I don't have a pair yet. Just the one. But I love the colour of these so I'll be casting on the second one soon and these babies are staying home with me.

Photographing your own feet is kind of interesting.

These are the same socks done in fingering weight sock wool. I think I might write up both patterns so you could choose. The pattern repeat happens to work out for both.

I have one more Christmas knit to do but that can wait until the weekend. I don't quite have it all worked out in my head yet. How is your Christmas knitting coming along?


Monday 15 December 2008

playing with mittens

I finished a pair of mittens yesterday. I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky. They still feel yummy even on a 4.5mm/US7 needle. I know that needle sound small but you must take into consideration that I usually have to go down a couple of needles sizes from recommended needle size because I'm loose (but not easy). They are a little rough too because I frogged a sweater I didn't like to get the wool and make it into something I did like.
These worked up in a day. During the countdown I need these quick projects because I have a couple of longer projects still in the works.
I think I'm on a recycle thing because this also was frogged wool from a scarf I didn't want to finish. Now it's being worked into an Alhambra scarf (pattern by in a now unknown wool. All I can tell you is that it's lace weight which I am finding a bit of a trick possibly because aran weight is my favourite yarn weight. This is really pretty.
And I am determined not to be limited by wool weight preference. There are so many lovely lace weight projects out there that I would hate to miss them. I would love to get a couple more pairs of socks done but I don't think that's going to happen. I now have a sports weight pair on the needles. This wool is lovely. It's by and in this gorgeous colour. I'm also test knitting my pattern which is really in fingering sock wool but let's face it, sports weight is just faster right now and will do for a test knit.
And speaking of socks, I finished the pair of Home & Hearth Eyelet Anklet socks from Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters.
And they still look very odd without a foot in them but are very comfortable to wear and intriguing to knit. I am going to try another pair just because I think the heel is so cool. Has anyone else tried any socks out of this book?
Everyone else in my house is out shopping so I better get knitting while it's nice and quiet.

P.S. For everyone who was asking Lynda is using Fiber Trends pattern Alpine Boots (see post below -

Saturday 13 December 2008

'Cat' Sox

Whenever I am in a panic about anything I start something new. I looked to see when my mitten pattern, which I am now working on refining, was started - Dec. 2007. Yup, Christmas knitting seems to do this to me. It's totally counterproductive to begin something you have never done before. You have to read all the instructions carefully. I always meander down the wrong path once or twice (because the careful reading of instructions is not my strong suit) and have to frog my way back. There is the frustration of time wasted since the Christmas clock is ticking but also moments of - that's sooo cool - which make it worthwhile. So what's new?!
Does this sock look as odd to you as it does to me?
But it fits great. You can probably guess where it's from - New Pathways For Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi ( She has videos on this site too. This is the Ridgeline Sock Architecture with the gusset stitches sitting on the top of the instep.
That's the instep where you can see there are 3 YO's worked in the centre pattern and 1 decrease (which you may not be able to see in the middle there) so that gives an increase of 2 stitches every 3 rows. (I know I didn't use the best wool to show off the pattern but I'm trying to use up sports weight wool from my sock stash.)
These socks are done toe-up with a really interesting heel. After working all the instep increases you begin the heel by working half of a short row heel. You do the short rows with wraps working one less stitch until you have the required number of wraps along the sides and the plain knit stitches in the centre of the heel. This is the departure, you then knit to the end of the heel stitches working all the wraps and purl back across all the heel stitches working all the wraps on the far side of the heel. If you've done a short row heel, this is the first half of the short row heel.

And then to throw you a curve, you work back and forth across the heel stitches using the heel stitch (Right side:*Slip 1, K1*. Wrong side: Slip1, purl back.) and attach to the side of the sock the same as you do in a standard sock at the bottom of the heel except here it's at the back. OK got that? Here we have a combination of half a short row heel and the standard turning of a heel except it's somewhere different. Cool eh? Worth the time it took me to do these even though I am now dreadfully behind on the list of Christmas knitting. I am going to do one more out of the book for sure now that I have all of this under my belt.


Thursday 11 December 2008

Christmas Knitting

I've been working up some cool, felted "boot slippers" for my honey's daughters (aged 20 & 22) for their Christmas presents and boy, that's a lot of knitting! Here's the 1st finished pair with the 2nd pair almost done. They also want mittens, hats, socks .... it's just not going to happen!

Just for fun, and to knit something very fast, I worked up a few bangles! Takes next to no yarn OR time and I'm all for the quick results at the moment. The combination of I-cord and felting works great. I especially like the ones with beads and sequins in them - very festive.

At our guild meeting in November, we knit bracelets with beads and wire. That was quite interesting as no matter how often Megan told us to "knit loosely!!!" we were all wailing about how hard it was to knit into the tight little stitches ... no elasticity of course! But the results are very pretty.

I'm still working on a matching watch cap and dickie for Al ... I'm sure I've started a few other things but time is slip sliding away. We're going to be closed between Christmas and New Year's but then it's too late!


Tuesday 9 December 2008


Panic Christmas knitting has set in.
Does your knitting chair and table look like this? Last year I don't think I knit up too much. But this year I have requests. This is very odd since I don't think I have had any before from other than my children. I have started with some fingerless mittens, nice and quick. I unravelled a couple of childrens sweaters that I didn't particularly like and am using the wool again, very thrifty. My youngest sister wants some mittens so I'm going to work on refining my mitten pattern with the instructions written in inches only (no numbers for the gauge). So far using this system for the fingerless mittens has worked out great.

You can find the Anatomical Mitten pattern on the December 22, 2007 blog posting by going to the sidebar and hitting blog archives - 2007 and scrolling down the resulting page. Sorry I'm not a techy at all and can't seem to link this up.
I made some changes. I cast on all 8" worth of stitches for the cuff and ribbed for a decent amount instead of the rolled cuff in the blog pattern. I ribbed the thumb section and used a YO increase, knitting into the back of the YO in the next round to close the hole. This worked really well and gives a very good definition to the diagonal line. I like it. The back of the hand is in double moss stitch. Next I am going to do a full pair of mittens with some design on the back and see how that comes out.
Oh and I did knit another hat. The one on the left is in aran weight and is the same size and was knit from the same pattern as the one on the right which is in sock wool. My son informs me that the gray hat is very manly and he would wear it. I had a hard time wrestling it off his head. I pass all these things past my children since they are very definite on questions of fashion and colour. Whereas I am always questioning my choices of colour and pattern. I am trying to make all the hats unisex, sometimes its just a colour choice that makes that possible. Hats are kind of interesting that way.

Monday 1 December 2008


Back to the hats. Here are three Pillbox hats which are in different weights of wool. The two on the right are adult sized and the one on the left is for a child. The same pattern is used for all three to cover an array of wools - DK weight (hand painted), chunky weight (sage green) and worsted weight (orange).
I have now figured out how I am going to present the patterns, meaning how the write up is going to look on the pages. All the designers have sent in hat patterns for me to check out. So the sample (test) knitting begins. Yes!

Thursday 27 November 2008


NOT a hat post. Yes I did something other than knit another hat last night. Our Guild and everyone showed off their braids.
This is braiding with 6 strands, on a Kumihimo disk. The blue braid above is done with wool which is held in the bobbins. Speaking of those bobbins - did anyone else use spoollies to curl their hair in their youth? Spoollies are curlers just like these bobbins, but pink, and you wound your hair around and around and then flipped them closed. Because they were soft rubber you could sleep with them hanging all over your head and wake up with kinky hair. Ahh, the sacrifices I used to make to be beautiful!
These fancier braids were are made with 4 strands of ribbon and 2 strands of beads on thread. They come out gorgeous and look like those crystal experiments where you stick a toothpick in a jar of salt or sugar solution (I can't remember which but sugar would be more fun) and crystals form on the stick. Pardon me, everything seems to be reminding me of high school today.
The braids are pretty aren't they. The shawl is a Pie Shawl in progress and it's gorgeous too. But I didn't do any of this. NO, too busy knitting hats but I did put a hat aside last night to make a bracelet.
Is this cool or what. My first bead project and it was fun, fun, fun. We strung beads on no.26 wire (available at craft stores) and then cast on, slipping a bead between each stitch. We knit one row and then Cast Off, slipping beads between all these stitches. It was great and took about 45 minutes and a second bracelet would take about half an hour now that I am sort of used to the wire. It has no give at all, well of course it doesn't, but this takes some time to penetrate a thick skull. You have to do all of this loose, as loose as you can.
It's fun to see the different sized beads come up in line. I enjoyed doing it and it's not a hat!

Monday 24 November 2008

Watch Caps

Some more hats. You are going to be sick of them after a couple more months of 'more hats'. But I assume you are tuned into this blog to see what goes on behind the scenes of Cabin Fever and this is it - months and months of hats.

Here are the watch caps with a 2/2 rib done in fingering sock wool on the right and aran weight (heavy worsted) on the left. Very different yarn weights which produce the same hat. They feel different on and they took a hugely different amount of time to knit. As you might imagine, the brown sock wool hat took just into a second 50gm ball so that's longer than one sock's worth of knitting, and the heavy worsted hat took one evening - yay! But the brown sock wool hat feels great and will be warmer. The red aran weight hat is lighter but not as dense, but fast to knit. Pros and cons, the choice will be up to you because you get to decide which weight to knit each of the hats in.

That's the whole premise of this booklet - that every pattern can be knit in any weight of yarn from sock yarn knit at 32 sts = 4"/10cm up to chunky weight yarn knit to 14 sts = 4"/10cm. Sizes will range from Newborn up to Large Adult. Lots and lots of possibility here.

A close up and personal look at the same hat in two different gauges. This idea has made writing the patterns very interesting. Usually when writing a pattern for this type of hat I would divide the crown into 4 sections and use one of the K2 ribs in the centre of each section to work the decreases. But ... when I tried dividing some of the cast on numbers of stitches for some of the yarn weights and sizes, the decrease line ended up in the centre of a P2 rib. Not too interesting as a decrease line.
So I have written the pattern with 4 distinct rounds of decrease. You can see the circles there (the hats haven't been blocked yet and some of it should disappear). This worked for every yarn weight and every size. I am going to knit a child's size hat now for confirmation.

Stay Tuned for more hats tomorrow, or skip to next month. I'll still be knitting hats.