Monthly Archives: April 2007

Twisted vs Untwisted

I think I’ve been twisting all my stitches. The comments on the last post prompted me to do some internet research and I found out a bit more about twisted stitches. I naively thought that since all my stitches looked identical (see the bottom of the first picture) they were ‘correct’.

Then I tried ‘untwisted’ which actually looks quite nice (phoenix was right, I’m a combination knitter). I like that when stretched, all the stitches loop together between rows and look identical. My twisted stitches are shaped like a ‘v’ or ‘y’ but have a single line attaching stitches together.

Here’s a bigger picture of ‘untwisted’ stitches (can you find the one stitch I twisted by mistake?).

Then I had some extra yarn from my calorimetry and ocean stripes hat which I used to practice ‘untwisted’ along with an i-cord cast-on, edging, and cast-off.


I found the i-cord edging in Annie Modesitt’s pattern for Alison’s scarf (look for the free pattern in the sidebar). I’m almost sad I didn’t figure out how to do i-cord edging myself; when I read through the pattern, it seemed so simple and obvious. I’ve been doing long-tail cast-on for all projects and was super-excited when I learned how to cast on the loops for purl. However, the i-cord definitely looks more professional and finished – I might try it on my next scarf.


everyone loves koigu

My very first sweater ever is made of koigu painter’s palette premium merino p118. I had no idea how popular koigu was when I was at the yarn shop picking out my college graduation present. All I knew was I loved the colors and it was wicked soft (I still can’t believe I got 9 skeins, a Jaeger pattern book, and needles as a present). It seems that koigu has some sort of cult following.

Watching my blog stats has become rather addictive. I was so excited the first day someone found me through a search engine! I don’t have a complete list of searches because wordpress seems to delete the old ones but I’ve noticed that some version of ‘koigu painter’s palette premium merino p118’ is one of the more popular searches leading here. This is rather sad because I have an artsy (in my delusions) but unhelpful picture of me wearing the sweater. It fails to show the inner beauty of the yarn which is mostly because I’m embarassed to say the knit and purl stitches look different. Very different. I’m still working on figuring out what ‘twisted’ stitches are but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that every other row is ‘twisted’ and every other row isn’t.
Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino Color P118
I’m pretty sure that my confusion about ‘twisted’ stitches results from the fact that after finishing the sweater I started knitting continental which given my crochet background made so much more sense. Somehow knitting continental, all my knit and purl stitches look identical, sort of like a tiny ‘v’ or ‘x’. If I’m guessing right, untwisted stitches are the ones that look more like a ‘u’.

Here is the pocket of my sweater (it does wonders to enhance my figure but isn’t at all useful to store things)
Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino Color P118
And here is the button band. These are buttons I yoinked from another project (the licorice twist sweater) – my mom got them when I was little (like pigtail braids and elementary school little) and they’re so pretty.
Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino Color P118

I hope this helps all you koigu lovers out there. When I finish grad school and am rich, I may make another sweater of koigu sock yarn. Until then, I have my one and only hand-knit sweater.

socks and patterning

My first socks were an adventure with magic loop and self-patterning yarn:
first socks
the beginners pattern I got from my LYS didn’t have many sizing options (I think the choices were ‘womans’ or ‘mans’) and so I got started with 8″ dpns which I hated and then magic loop (which gave me horrible laddering). They are a bit loose around the ankle but quite comfortable around the house.

My second pair of socks was for Mr. T and I don’t have a picture handy but they are forest green and I used Lucy Neatby’s Simply Splendid sock pattern. Ironically, the ankle is tighter on his socks than on mine (and I had more stitches on his) which I suppose is a sign that my sock making skills were improving.

I haven’t made socks in 6 months or so because hats were easier to give away for Christmas. However, since I’m supposed to be working on my print o the waves, I’m suddenly motivated to plan and start other projects. (I do have my stole cast on and 4 repeats done.)

I have a few balls of sock yarn already rolled up and split into equal balls of ~50 grams each (I used a precision balance I wish I owned). I think I’m going to use this one for mitten-gloves or hobo-gloves so I can have dexterity and warm hands next winter. It will match my calorimetry and ocean striped hat I think.

For real socks, I have a cool, bright self-patterning yarn:
I want to make Grumperina’s Jaywalkers

But I’m not sure if this yarn will look okay with the zig-zag pattern. I know that striped Jaywalker’s look great, but patterned?

Bloomfield Biking

I enjoy reading lots of other blogs and am sad when I click over for my daily fix and find nothing new. Of course, now that I have my own blog, I am faced with the sad reality that I post maybe 3 times a week and mostly on weekends. I’m going to try and post at least every other day as long as I have something worthwhile to say or show.

The beautiful weather continued today. It was gorgeously sunny, high in the 70s and I was happy to be outside at a bike race. It wasn’t all that much of a race for me but I got an excellent, hilly training ride. I’m happy I had nearly equal splits on the 3 laps (11.? miles each) which makes me feel better about my fitness level and will certainly help in my summer solo race.

On a completely unrelated topic, as I am cleaning and organizing in preparation for the coming-too-soon move, I find lots of interesting things. Here is a beret I crocheted from australian tapestry wool scraps my mom brought me sometime in high school. I think this was the third attempt. I can’t remember what was wrong with the first attempt but the second had some serious ruffling and probably 10x too many stitches by the time I got to the edge. This one was ‘just right’ and I wore it frequently when I dressed up in high school. I was convinced it looked sophisticated. I no longer like the look of the holey joins (barely visible towards the top of the picture) but I guess I did it then to keep track of where the round started (stitch markers…what were markers?). Besides a single book, I was a largely self-taught crocheter which meant my projects often lacked polishing.
foliage beret
somewhere, I have a matching belt.

Thanks to Annie

Annie had a book giveaway last week because she’s moving. I requested and received “Lavish Lace: Knitting with Hand-Painted Yarns”.
Lavish Lace
It is a very pretty book with a couple projects I’d consider making:

Falling Leaves:Lavish Lace Falling Leaves

Parrot House:Lavish Lace Parrot House

Rosebuds and Climbing Roses:Lavish Lace Rosebuds and Climbing Roses

Since I too have the luxury of moving in a couple weeks, I’m thankful that it’s a thin, lightweight book. Since I spent the daylight outside or socializing or eating, I had to take pictures with bad artificial light. The pages are shiny so I had to fight glare but I found that getting off to the side of the light and playing around with the position of the book and camera turned out some okay pictures.

which colors?

It was a beautiful day, rumor is that the mercury reached 80 deg F but I don’t believe it. I think it was 75 and sunny all day long. It was, in fact, so sunny that I sunburned my winter white northern european pale skin on my face and neck. I am already failing at my mission to avoid embarrassing tan lines while wearing a strapless dress in July. I can run at night, swim inside, but biking? I’ll have to keep myself covered head to toe to avoid tan lines which seems excessive and will certainly amuse those I ride with. (I wasn’t biking today, I skipped it to knit outside and play with a large, overly excited golden retriever. I will be biking tomorrow – it might be hot).

After making the bicycle hat for Mr T, I am excited about colors and stranding (has to be better than doubleknit) and I happen to have 6 different colors of the same yarn (Knit Picks Merino Style) with which to make myself a hat. Here are the 5 colors [petal, hollyberry, moss, dusk, cinnamon from top left to bottom right] with ‘bare’ being camera shy.

They claim it’s 5.5 stitches per inch but after a recent embarrassing debacle that resulted in an infant hat instead of a me hat, I’m not believing anything but a swatch. maybe several swatches. I tried swatching with a 2-color checkerboard pattern and got a believable 14 stiches/2inch or 7 stitch/in. I then cast on 144 stitches for my 21″ head and ended up with ribbing that could have been the beginning of a sweater and would have fit several heads. I frogged it all out before anyone could document my stupidity (too small last week, let’s compensate with too big this week).

I want to make a 2-color hat but I haven’t completely decided which two. I’m leaning towards petal and hollyberry:

because they seem to have the most contrast. Some of the less feminine (more versatile) combinations are also pretty.
moss and cinnamon: IMG_3298
bare and cinnamon: IMG_3301
dusk and moss: IMG_3300

I’m just starting to think about color seriously but it seems that something about combining dusk and moss (blue and green) just isn’t quite right. The blue seems a bit more intense and saturated than the green. The moss and cinnamon are okay but don’t scream at me. I do like the petal and hollyberry a lot – although I normally avoid pink – they seem to go together really well. Bare and cinnamon also looks really nice but I still think white is a color to avoid in oft-worn accessories.

Where do I learn more about color?

calorimetry for spring

I just walked home from latin dancing organized by the grad student society at a local studio. It was so much fun to relearn the basic steps and I didn’t even need to find my jacket when I left because spring is here! Hopefully to stay. 5 days ago, on Monday, I was wearing full winter gear with hat and mittens and it was snowing rain. Today, short sleeves and no coat. It was mid to upper 60’s in the afternoon and it’s supposed to hit 70 on Sunday. Yay! I’m doing a bike race Sunday in Bloomfield. Funny thing is, my weekly race/ride last Tuesday was cancelled for bad weather.

Besides enjoying the weather, I went on a small photography rampage in the exquisite daylight available after work one day. I took pictures of projects finished long ago and swatches a plenty. I’ve been working a little on print o the waves but I keep wanting easy projects. After my photo rampage, I found this ball of yarn:
ocean striped hat
leftover from this hat,
ocean striped hat
that’s been waiting for a worthy and small project. Something clicked and I realized I could make a smallish calorimetry just in time for spring (I’m washing and packing away all my hats). Since I was substituting Handpainted Arty Yarns, I made a small gauge swatch (6stitches/in in stockinette) and calculated I’d need 135 stitches for my 22″ head. I figured it would stretch a bit in the 2×2 ribbing so I made the main part of the headband 130 stitches. I added 30 stitch tails on the ends to use as ties. And I pretty much improvised the short rows until it seemed like a good size and I was running low on yarn.


Pretty! I wore it to school today which was somewhat gratuitous since I really didn’t need help keeping my head warm. I love the colors and wanted to show it off; everyone I work with is well-trained to ask if I made some new handknit which makes me happy. It is also nice when I’m leaning over some experiment and don’t have stray hairs trying to fall into my solutions or gels. If I make it again, I’ll try an i-cord cast-on and bind-off.

yarn: ArtYarns Handpainted Merino (color 139)

needles: 16″ Addi turbo 5mm/#8 (hat), 16″ Addi Turbo 4mm (calorimetry). I like how the stitches show up with the smaller needles but when I made the hat last winter, I had a smaller needle selection. Thankfully, I have since indulged in a vast array of Addi needles.

pattern: hat was my own. calorimetry is from the Winter 2006 Knitty issue with some modifications described above.