Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for the ‘Celtic’ Category

Kilt Hose Done -and- Celtic Festival Enjoyed

Posted by mtmom on July 19, 2009

Mostly photos today, as I’ve been doing so much knitting (and so little sleeping) that I’m short on words.

Robert Watt appreciates his new Kilt Hose

Robert Watt appreciates his new Socks

Aaron's mended Hose -- match his Kilt

Aaron's mended Hose -- match his Kilt

2 Wicked Tinkers:  piper Aaron Shaw and wildman-drummer Keith Jones

2 Wicked Tinkers: piper Aaron Shaw and wildman-drummer Keith Jones

My girls had a good time

My girls had a good time -- and butterflies.

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

“Congratulations! . . . “

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2009

I passed Level 2!

(Not to leave you in suspense, it’s just that I really didn’t have much computer time yesterday.)

Some comments, excerpted from my completion letter:  “Your resubmitted swatches and written items were all nicely done.  The edges of your swathes were straight and even.  Seams were all neatly joined. …  The [resubmitted] written instructions read clearly and contain all necessary information. …  You made very good use of the Design’er’s Notes on swatch #16 to include special instructions.  The buttonholes are correctly worked.  The tubular edge on swatach #21 is very nicely done.”

I am now “eligible to apply for Level III,” but haven’t saved up enough knitting-dollars yet.  It’s probably just as well, because I’m currently feverishly working toward a knitting deadline:  the pipers come back to town in early July and I want to finish the commissioned kilt hose before they arrive.  Then I’ll also have time to make any alterations before they leave. RWatt sock

This particular pair is for Robert Watt from Northern Ireland.

Some of the other instructors have expressed interest in handknit pairs as well, but I don’t know if I’ll want to do this.  A custom pair can take 90 knitting-hours and that’s alot of “production knitting” time — not usually my favorite.

The yarn is very nice to work with:  Satakieli 100% worsted-spun wool from Finland.Satakieli green

I also finished a knit cap. honey hat on Ch, profile

I enjoyed the knit, once I figured out the placement of the double-decreases and especially after I realized my in-pattern top-decreases were working out.

I may write this one up, but I’d want to check with Arenda first — she used this stitch pattern in some socks in last spring’s Cast On.

honey hat on Ch, top

Posted in Cap/Hat, Celtic, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Knitting Explorations

Posted by mtmom on November 9, 2008

Knitting continues at Chez Mt. Mom.

Having finished the vest for Master Knitter level 2, both the knitting and (I hope) the writing-up, I turned my attention to another one of the required projects:  a child’s pair of mittens with a band of stranded color-work just above the thumb-separation and before the tip-shaping.  It calls for 4 colors of my choice.  Here’s my first experiment: 

Too dark overall, I think.

Back to the stash bag.

For more color-work, let’s check in with my Fair Isle sampler/scarf. 

The purple is now gradually morfing to red-violet/hot pink.  I’ve decided to change the background color from cream to lightest gray, to see how that looks.  Can’t really see it yet in the photos, but it’s there.

I came in after taking that photo, to do some more knitting, and look what happened out there: 

Storm is moving in!

Hey, it’s just started to snow!

What I did while the clouds rolled in:

These are some more reversible 2-color stitch-patterns, from Jane Neighbors’ book.

The 2 you see here are each 2-color variations on what we Americans call “moss stitch”.  That’s a k1-p1 pattern where on one row you match the stitches, knitting what look like knits and purling purls, as in ribbing, on the alternate rows you work the opposite, knitting the purls and purling the knits, as in “seed stitch”.  (I know that in the UK, the terminology is different, but I can’t always recall whether they call our seed as their moss, or our moss as their seed.  Jo?)  In the lower band, the colors change on *each* row; the light row is always the “matching” row, and the dark is the “opposite” row.  In the upper band, the colors change every *2* rows; you change colors on a “matching” row, and keep that same color on the “opposite” row.  The next band I hope to do will have me switching colors on the “opposite” rows and keeping the same color on the “matching” rows.  Then, pure seed stitch, also with 2 rows of each color.  We’ll see what those looks like!

Also finished another cap this week (last night, actually). 

3 strands wound together, knit on 11’s.  Nice and cushy!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Celtic, Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter, Reversibles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

More to Scotland than Pipers?!

Posted by mtmom on August 10, 2008

I do realize that there’s more to Scotland-linked knitting than pipers’ hose.  (I know, I know — hush, you in the back there!)  And I do have more knitting going on, eventhough I have been intensely concentrating on Lord Scott’s socks for the last 2 weeks or so — more on that later in this post.

Half-way between Scotland and Norway is the group of islands called Shetland or the Shetlands.  One of my favorite knitting styles finds its home on one of these North Sea isles:  Fair Isle.  Officially part of Scotland these days, it has also sometimes “belonged” to Norway, and its culture reflects aspects of both “parent” nations.  The local language includes words from both, says Fiona Ritchie of NPR’s “Thistle and Shamrock“.  Nordic influence can also be found in the geometric shapes common to both knitting traditions.  But while the knitters of Norway and Sweden, the Selbu region in particular, favor using only 2 colors in a garment or mitten,  the crafters of Fair Isle use many many colors in each project– although, only 2 at one time.

Here’s the progress I’ve made on my Fair Isle sampler scarf, having completed the first major motif and one peerie band from Betts Lampers’ “Autumn Color Fair Isle” cardigan pattern (the sourcebook for this and many other delightful patterns, Sweaters from Camp, is, sadly, going out of print.  But you can find other wonderful books with charts and/or patterns at Schoolhouse Press — NAYY).

photo 1 

photo 2 


Well, I can’t write a post today without bringing you all up to date on Lord Scott’s kilt hose!  I’ve turned the heel on foot #1 and commenced the ankle pattern, slowly adding in ribs around the sides and back, as I did in my Godmother’s Socks.  (G’sSox pattern available on Ravelry as a PDF download.) 

Lord Scotts hose

Lord Scott's hose

(I think I’ll end up redoing the toe.  We’ll see after he tries it on next weekend — Lord willing!)

And, I’ve bought yarn for Robert Watt’s hose.  These are Satakieli’s 3 greens — nice worsted-spun, sock-weight, wool yarn from Finland.  Robert has asked for a near match to his current favorite hose, so I’m going with the far-right yellow-green.  A pretty good match, don’t you think? 

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

More “Scotland in Arizona”

Posted by mtmom on August 2, 2008

Continuing on the Scottish theme. . .

I collected this from a neighbor up the street.

Lots of kilt hose knitting still going on.  Mine, in DK, are almost halfway up the calf.   (i.e., photo plus about 2″ more)

And, since these are going well and my Aug. 16th try-on deadline approaches, I’ve begun the hose for Lord Scott, in fingering weight. 

Posted in Celtic, Design, Socks | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Lots of Kilt Hose goin’ on

Posted by mtmom on July 27, 2008

Master Knitter-ing has been supplanted (temporarily) by kilt hose knitting, mostly due to all the bagpiping going on around here lately! — see previous post

I’ve been determined to improve upon my previous prototype (the green with blue) by adding all-over ribbing.  Being a bit impatient to know how they’ll turn out, I’m using DK-weight yarn and working a variation of my thoroughly-tested Godmother’s Socks pattern.  (Ravelry download available here.)  When I got to the heel, I decided to re-think the turn:  a short-row heel a la Godmother, or a flap/gusset arrangement.  I checked several designers’ versions of toe-up heels and decided to try something new-for-me that I didn’t see in any of my collected patterns:  a regular flap, but on the bottom of the foot instead of behind the heel (‘cus that’s where *I* wear out my socks and these are for me).  I added in wooly nylon and worked Eye of Partridge on the flap and around the turn — all the back-and-forth parts. 

I was particularly pleased by how the gusset decreases lined up with the purls to continue the knit3 rib along the side. 

Since these photos were taken, I’ve progressed a few more inches up the ankle and should soon begin increasing for the calf.

Once I finish these, I plan to cast on for Lord Scott’s pair, in fingering-weight merino/nylon.  Those will take longer, but I hope to have at least the foot portion done in time for him to try them on in mid-August.  That’s when the We Make History folks come up to Flagstaff for the Highland Ball and picnic, including the traditional Football in Kilts.  (Hoo-hah, what fun!)

After *that* pair, I get to start work on a replacement pair for these: 

This is piper Robert Watt, he of the Flying Fingers!, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, playing the “small pipes” and wearing his favorite handmade hose.   I don’t know who knitted them, but they’re quite an act to follow, having lasted 10 years in regular use.  My mind is abuzz with sock-possibilities!  These will need sturdier yarn than I’m using for mine and for Lord Scott’s, and I want them to fit well and be wonderful.

One sock-related trend I spotted at this year’s Celtic Festival is that of topping plain (even store-bought) knee socks with a sewn-on decorative cuff.  I didn’t get a photo [bad blogger!] of Wicked Tinker Warren’s interesting pair: purple and black entrelac cuff over plain yellow/gold sock-body [sounds wild, but matches his kilt nicely].   Dixie Ingram [no link, and also no photo 😦 ] and his whole band wear white socks with a white-white rayon cuff in Trinity stitch, or something similar.

I did, however, get a shot of an anonymous leg in a sock during the parade. 

Witness the flashes (ribbons hanging from elastic garter under the cuff, to help hold up the hose) and laces which continue up the ankle (a knitter better not add much texture there).  All things to take into account when designing kilt hose!

*Then*, after/among all these socks, . . . . Designing for Sock Madness 3 !!!

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

It’s Piping Time Again. . . .

Posted by mtmom on July 24, 2008

So much excitement around here this past week.  Teen-genius called it “bagpipe immersion week”!  First was a week of eavesdropping at the Bagpiping School.  International instructors taught classes, including some which were open for us non-students to listen to — what fun!  Followed by the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Society’s Highland Games/Celtic Festival, with parade, vendors, kilted athletes, dancers, and more piping, including The Wicked Tinkers.  Here are some (tiny) photos of the activities.  (First one can link to a larger image.)  Knitting content will have to wait until next post — 2 kilt hose at a time on one 60″ circular.

Bruce H, Robert W, Iain M, Aaron S, Dixie I

Instructors: Bruce Hitchings, Robert Watt, Iain Macey, Aaron Shaw, Dixie Ingram


Iain Macey plays Piobaireachd

Iain Macey plays Piobaireachd

Robert and Bruce play lowland pipes

Robert and Bruce play lowland pipes

Kilt Hose and piping students

Kilt Hose and piping students

Parade with massed bands

Parade with massed bands

Parade and massed bands, contd.

Parade and massed bands, contd.


Small sword dancer

Small sword dancer

Highland Fling

Highland Fling


Robert Watt

Robert Watt


Wicked Tinkers

Wicked Tinkers

Posted in Celtic | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Master Knitter — Cables and Holes

Posted by mtmom on July 10, 2008

Some cable swatches, for your perusal.  I made 4, picked 3 to submit.

Wave Cable

Wave Cable


Close-up of Wave Cable

Close-up of Wave Cable


Open Cable

Open Cable

OXOX Cable Hugs & Kisses

OXOX Cable "Hugs & Kisses"


Gull Stitch, w/ compensation for cable flare

Gull Stitch, w/ compensation for cable flare


[Captions are a new feature — I like it!]

Now that I’ve done three cable swatches, it’s on to . . . buttonholes!

Horizontal, vertical, and others (like eyelet).  I pulled out several resource books and tried 31 different styles.  

32 Buttonholes!

32 Buttonholes!

    The “tubular buttonhole” I tried twice.  

Tubular Buttonholes

Tubular Buttonholes

  Next, I plan to focus on just a few — the ones that looked best to me in the LONG sample — to hone my technique.  Then, a swatch for submission with the best of each kind.

While the Master Knitter compels me strongest lately, I have also cast on for a pair of kilt hose in KnitPicks cotton-blend Risata.  I *hope* (at least feebly) to finish these before July 19th, the start of our Celtic Heritage Festival. 

Risata kilt hose - the beginnings of a cuff

Risata kilt hose - the beginnings of a cuff

Posted in Celtic, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nice words and Master Knitter Lace work

Posted by mtmom on June 30, 2008

Gracious fellow sock-designer, ruth “the Yarnarian”, wrote some very nice things about me and my Godmother’s Sock pattern today.  Won’t you go and check out her blog:  And this woman knows sock designs!  Need corroboration?  Here’s Celtic Memory Jo’s blog post where she praises Ruth’s “utterly glorious Leafy Green Socks” (scroll down toward bottom, after small-town-Ireland St. Patrick’s Day parade photos).   The Ravelry pattern for those socks is here:

In my last post, I predicted Master Knitter lace photos, and here they are.

Tilted Block or Tilting Trellis.  Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 11 (lace 1)

Arrowhead Lace. Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 12 (lace 2)

Openwork Diamonds.     Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 13 (lace 3)


Anyone reading this who has more expertise than I in knitting lace — I’d appreciate some constructive feedback.  The judges will be looking for even tension, consistent hole-size, smooth decreases, and proper blocking.  Blocking the first one was especially challenging, due to the wavy nature of the biasing stitch-pattern.  I used a smaller needle on the third one, since it had so much stockinette and I wanted it to be very even.  But perhaps that was just my lace-insecurity!  I should probably re-block the 3rd swatch’s bind off row — it looks like it pulls in just a bit. . . .

More progress on the Fair Isle sampler “Autumn Colors” band.  Three quarters of the way through the first of three motifs.  Fair Isle sampler, \

Pretty bright, eh?!  Especially compared with the Feitelson band just beneath.  I’m considering knitting another band in this sampler with the same motifs (love the 3-rhythm!) but different colors — perhaps a Noro sock yarn for one color. . . .   Also comtemplating Meg Swansen’s “Russian Prime” pullover, which has a comparable 1-3-5 rhythm that might feel similarly “right”  [Image of sweater about 1/3 down this page of SHP videos].  This scarf is becoming quite a bag-ful:  (Hi, Chloe!)Bag full of Fair Isle

Our Honey Locust tree is done leafing out and looks grand!  Love the multi greens!Honey Locust tree

Prediction for next post:  Cable swatches and Sock-tops.

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by mtmom on June 22, 2008

I hosted an event for World Wide Knit in Public Day here in Flagstaff last Saturday, 14 June, 2008.  We were a small group.  WWKIP day group

But we had fun in the shade in Wheeler Park downtown.  One gal even brought her Shih Tzu, Romeo.  Romeo the dog

Esther (in blue) came all the way from Showlow and worked on a prayer shawl.  Marilyn from Tuscon (in white) came into town from her Munds Park summer home and worked on a Baby Surprise Jacket in Trekking sock yarn.  My elder daughter, on the bench next to Esther, continued her 3-Color Spiral Cap in Lion Brand Glitterspun.  And I worked on 2 sock projects:  Nancy Bush’s “Madder Ribbed Socks” in navy for my mother, and a sideways braided cuff for my kilt hose sock-top sampler.  Here’s a current photo of that bit:  cable braid for sock cuff

If you look closely, you may notice a slight difference in puffiness between the first few crossings and the latter few.  I’m trying to decide which I prefer.  The two “sizes” are produced by working different numbers of short rows in the braided segments.  Keeping in mind that this is only the cuff part of a full length knee-high sock (potentially), which texture do *you* prefer?

Coming Soon:  more lace swatches for Master Knitter level 2.

Posted in Celtic, fun, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »