Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for March, 2008

Knitter’s Heartbreak

Posted by mtmom on March 31, 2008

Oh, wail and moan!  I have to give up the project of my heart (at the moment), the Apple Pie kilt hose I was designing.  This was a project to seek to remedy the shortfalls of the prototype green/blue knee socks — you know, the sagging.  I jumped right back on that horse and cast on for a turn-down cuff, with plans for coordinating garter and leg ribbings.  Ah, the excitement of a new idea, a new plan, the realizing of a new design!  But, alas, it was not meant to be!  At least, not in its first form; not in Apple Pie yarn.

The sad story:

I had bought Apple Pie yarn several times, but  :: ahem ::  had yet to finish a project in it.  The last batch I bought came with a strong smell.  I contacted both vendors from whom I’d bought this yarn in the past.  One told me that this brand was particularly prone to perfumy-ness, the other contacted the dyer and found out what treatment she had used.  Turns out the dyer uses Tide laundry detergent in her final rinse.  I don’t know about you, but, as a chemically-sensitive individual, I find that Tide is something that sets me off every time.  Very uncomfortable.  Contrary to the helpful dyer’s expressed expectations, the smell did *not* go away after washing (and airing outside and rinsing with vinegar etc).  It did dimish somewhat, so that, when dry, the yarn doesn’t knock me over.  But when it gets wet — as this gold did when I test-blocked my cuff — oh my my!  fumes from cuff

I turned on my vent fans and eventually took the cuff out to the clothesline to dry.  Others might find the aroma pleasing, or not notice it at all, but I personally just can’t stand it.  Now, I look at those lovely cakes of colorful wool/mohair/silk-blend  sock-yarn, and I no longer want to have thousands of stitches-worth of it running through my fingers.  {{heartfelt sobbing sigh}}

I.  Have.  Given.  Up.  {{whimper}}

I have not yet decided what to do with the yarn I have:  1 Pot ‘o Gold, 3 Arizona, and 2 Earthly Delights.  Ohhhhh!  {{grimace, moan, sigh!}}

 apple pie reds & goldapple pie browns

Posted in Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

More of 8-Trick Hat and other Colorful Works

Posted by mtmom on March 29, 2008

Some more photos of the recently finished 8-Trick Pocket Hat — ‘cus I like it!  8-trick hat on mama  8-trick hat on mama 

top view of 8-trick hat 

OK, so . . . that was fun!

For a friend who asked, here’s the current status of the Fair Isle sampler:  FI sampler 

 Moving on. . . .

I started another colorful project, this time with some hand-dyed yarn from Twisted Fiber Arts that I’ve been eager to try.  beginnings of twisted diagonal scarf 

The pattern I found online, linked from Cathy-Cate’s blog, “Hither and Yarn“.  This whole thing started with her scarf in Twisted’s “Ravelry” colorway:  green & pink; adorable!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

8-Trick Pocket Hat is done! And more Beginnings.

Posted by mtmom on March 28, 2008

Spring is proceeding.  Remember the shot of daffodil leaves, a week or so ago?  Well, here they are again, only bigger.  daffodil shoots

We also have tulips coming up.  tulip shoots

I finished the 8-Trick Pocket Hat!  Here it is, just before I grafted the top shut.  8-trick hat, pre-grafting 

This hat has been FUN to knit!  The back-join (see TECHknitting — link in sidebar)continued to give me problems, eventhough I had 4 yarn-changes to practice it on, so I varied it for the last stripe and it worked better for me that way.  Went ahead and darned the ends in more securely than specified. 

I, of course, immediately cast on for another project.  This will be, I hope, a new colorway for my 3-Color Spiral Cap pattern (available free in PDF here and on Ravelry).  I’ll try for truer colors in future photos; this is navy with medium green and light turquoise.  “We’re in the Navy now…!  La da da di dat ti dah.”  top of maritime cap

[BTW, see if you can spot signs of my Little Helper in each of these knitting photos!]

On the sock-design front, I have 2 sock-tops in progress:  one as the beginning of a sampler to show Lord Scott some possibilities. . .  purple sock top

. . . and one for my next pair of knee socks — gotta beat the sag!  gold apple pie sock top

Posted in Cap/Hat, Cat, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

See the Little Zombies. . . . SM2 Updates.

Posted by mtmom on March 24, 2008

I have not knit Zombie Socks for Round 1 of Sock Madness 2008, but you can see photos of the 100+ pairs knit so far here, and check how the 4 divisions are progressing (who has finished and how many total) here:

Baylor Ball Bands.

UConn Cast Ons.

Maryland Merino Madness.

Tennessee Twisted Knitters.

Posted in Sock Madness | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

All Accesories, All the Time.

Posted by mtmom on March 23, 2008

Hats and socks.  That’s the tune at MountainMom Designs these days.


I’ve been enjoying using leftover sock yarns in my 8-trick Pocket Hat, from TECHknittingband 4 of 8-trick pocket hat

Each yarn has a story.  Band 1 is yarn I used to make my first-ever handknit socks; dd still loves them.  Band 2 came from an EarthFaire kit in which I learned lots of beading techniques from Sivia Harding.  I remember really liking the feel of this yarn; Ellen told me it was Louet Gems, either Opal or Pearl — soft and strong enough to carry pre-strung beads.  Band 3 is Arial from Twisted Fiber Arts on etsy, colorway “Firefly”, a fun-looking mini-skein that came along with an order of her hand-dyed yarn.  Meg gave me some advice toward beginning to hand-dye on my own.  Band 4 is some Wool Socks for Summer yarn in Tonal Apricot that I got in a co-op purchase from my cousin Angeluna‘s friend Grace.  This is the yarn I used in my super-secret Sock Madness 2 design.


Speaking of Sock Madness, Round 1 is winding down and Round 2 is scheduled to begin around the end of next week.  No one but the coordinators, Hillary and Carole, know which design will come up next!  But, not mine yet — so no photos yet either.  Talk about an embarrassing case of Second Sock Syndrome!  I knit a prototype in spare yarn, then tested the written pattern in a first sock in “real” yarn (i.e., I had enough for an entire pair in that yarn).  But I got bogged down on the second “real”/third actual sock.  Only finished that one this past Monday, eventhough I sent in the pattern (on deadline) over a month ago!  One cool thing about working this last sock:  my teen-genius son took videos of some of the techniques I used, and we hope to post those to YouTube when my pattern goes out.  I will most definitely let you know!

I have also cast on for another pair of knee socks.  I’ve been thinking about them alot, and as I design them, I keep flipping between these 3 books:  3 sock-knitting books 

I plan to use Apple Pie Yarn in “Pot o’ Gold” (CC) and “Arizona” (MC) colorways. beginnings of apple pie socks

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spring, Socks, Stealth, and Sags

Posted by mtmom on March 16, 2008

First signs of spring are popping up here on the mountain:  first signs of daffodils

Those will be daffodils; we also have tulips, but no signs of the crocus yet.  Odd that.

Sock Madness 2 has kicked off with Zombie Socks for round 1.  I am not competing this year, but the excitement is contagious!  If you’re on Ravelry, check out the group at .

Stealth-knitting is proceeding apace.  Here I am starting a tricky part in my (secret) Sock Madness pattern demonstration sock.  Teen-genius son has been taking video footage of this demo, with plans to post some minutes to YouTube for competitors to view when the pattern is released, probably sometime in April.  I'm not telling yet! Fun, eh?

Chloe was “helping” us with filming recently, but she decided watching herself replayed on the TV screen was more interesting than wrestling a pair of hands with needles and yarn.   Chloe watches herself on TV

So we were able to continue in peace, with her watching the proceedings electronically.

And what about that reference in the title to “sagging”?  Sadly, it’s my knee socks. Sagging knee socks

I apparently have more work to do to “perfect” my knee sock design!  Hopefully, replacing stockinette with ribbing in subsequent pairs will be sufficient.  Both socks measure the same around the calf, but the one with tighter gauge is sagging less.

Posted in Cat, Design, Sock Madness, Socks | 3 Comments »

Knee Socks Finished!

Posted by mtmom on March 8, 2008

The knee socks are done! — and they match, too, this time.  top view of knee socks

Ahhh!  crossed knee socks

Now, it’s just the . . . ends to tuck in

. . . um . . . well, you know.

Posted in Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

A Tale of Two Gauges

Posted by mtmom on March 4, 2008

Did you miss me?  I had 2 sick girls in the house, and then came down with cough, aches, and fever myself.  Haven’t felt up to writing — sure you understand.  Thanks for coming back to read today!

While I have been ill, and eagerly awaiting the next installment of TECHKnitter‘s 8-Trick Hat Knitalong,  (BTW, here’s how mine looks after completing the first stripe:  1st band of 8-trick hat  Happy!). . .

. . . I worked on my knee socks.  See the nice increases fanning out from the center back of the lower calf?  back of calf inc line 

(the coilless safety pins mark increments of 10 rounds, for ease of later counting)

After working the same number of rounds on the second sock calf as on the first, I began the decreases for the calf-top and then paused to try them on.  Something was fishy. . . .  trying on the 2 knee socks 

I should be ready to start the blue ribbing, but. . . .  Do you see a bit of a discrepancy in the height of those 2 socks?!  [My teen-genius ds says they lack “gauge symmetry” and that that’s a physics joke.  He turned quite red laughing.  Ah, well.]

I ripped back to the last increases and added another pair.  Unfortunately, the having-been-ripped (what kind of past-participle is that?) yarn was less full and springy, and my stitches continued to be a bit skimpy.  I’m hoping the eventual washing will make things better and not worse.

So now, I’m going by inches instead of by round-count.

And look, I’m nearly done (again)!  2 cuffs 

And my tensioning finger — I use the left forefinger for most of the action — is sore.  Taking it a bit easier for a while.

Posted in Design, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »