Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We Have a Winner!

Posted by mtmom on January 30, 2009

I let Chloe (the unbiased cat) pick the winner, and it is Jean! I’ve contacted her by e-mail and will be posting the Debbie Bliss book to her soon.

To the rest of you, thanks *so* much for taking the time to Comment. I hope you’ll continue reading . . . and writing!

More about the Neon Argyle sock coming soon.

-Mt. Mom

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Personal Deadline Met!

Posted by mtmom on December 31, 2008

Yeah! I finished “That Pair of Socks”, the finishing of which was the condition I set myself before I would pick back up the Kilt Hose that I set into snooze-mode a few months back.
I wanted to be done before the calendar clicked over, and — hurray! — I did it!

Uh. . . I actually can’t show photos yet. . . it’s sort of a secret. But they’re red. I hope to show them. . . sometime!

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Posted by mtmom on December 18, 2008

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Spending Wisely

Posted by mtmom on November 20, 2008

I very much enjoyed David Reidy’s essay in the middle of his podcast this past week.  Please go to his site and download the (approx. half-hour) episode and listen to it yourself.  About crafting in “tough economic times”.

Sticks and String,   episode 82: “So Much More”

The show is also available through iTunes, if you search for “Sticks & String podcast” (note that “string” is singular).

I have long maintained that Spending Wisely does not merely mean Spending Less.  It has to do with Where you Spend your money, whose work you support with your dollars (or pounds or yen or euros or whatever).  For instance, I’ll spend a bit more to buy a SchoolhousePress book, or another title that I’m buying *because* they recommended it, directly from Schoolhouse Press, rather than saving a few dollars by buying from Amazon.  Not that Amazon is bad — I truly appreciate the service they provide — but I especially want to support Meg Swansen and her company.  I want them to still be in business when all the panic is over.  As David Reidy said, “It’s an investment in my knitting future.”

Think on it:  given finite knitting dollars, where are the *best* places to spend them?

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Vest Complete!

Posted by mtmom on November 3, 2008

It’s done!!!

I’ve finished the pieces, seamed them, added trim, and tucked in ends.

And it fits!!!


The story:

I began with the back piece, working the plain part until nearly to the underarm.  Then I cast on the front piece, to see exactly how many rows of pattern would fit before I split for the V-neck (I didn’t trust my arithmetic).  I finished the whole front and then went back to the back to add in the lace rows and supplement the neck opening with another 1/2″.  Seamed shoulders and sides, then picked up stitches from provisional cast-ons for bottom trim to be worked in the round.  Armholes next.  Finally the neck trim, which I ripped out once because of flaring.

I am pleased.

I hope the Master’s judges are too!

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Getting Stripes with Space-Dyed Yarns

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2008

Spring is continuing to spring here on the mountain.  budding aspens

But check the webcam (sidebar link) over the next few days — we’re expecting some new snow up on the Peaks over Thursday night.  Once the clouds clear, the view should be spectacular!


I thought I’d like to try explaining more about how I work with space-dyed yarns to get the stripes on my “28-Hour Caps”. 

When I start a cap, the colors line up seemingly haphazardly.  top of green-multi cap

But, after some increasing, like colors begin to line up and stack atop their cousins from previous rows.  Here, 8+ green stitches were worked into whites, but then I started working new white stitches into old white stitches.  green stitches before whites line up

After another group of increases,  fewer green stitches are over whites before the new whites start.  green stitches over whites

Pretty soon, the whites will be lining up vertically.  If I want semi-vertical stripes, that place of even-ness is my target.  More usually, though, I’m after diagonals.  I could stop at this circumference and get diagonals that go down and to the right.  But at this point in my increasing, I have only 60 stitches, and that’s a pretty small cap.  If I increase more, I’ll pass the vertical alignment point and my diagonals will start running the other way.  white sts over green

Now (above), the new whites start 2 stitches *before* the old whites.  My zigs are now zagging. 

More increases, and the whites will start even sooner.  whites over greens 

3 stitches sooner on the next 2 rounds, and then 5 the round after that.  5 whites over greens

That’s a slope I can enjoy, and 72 worsted stitches is a nice size for a child’s hat.  So, I stop at this size and work even from here on down.  I get a chevron near the top. . .  green chevrons

. . . and diagonal stripes down the sides.  sides of cap show stripes

One interesting thing I’ve learned lately, from measuring the length of several yarns’ color-change cycles (see previous post with photos of 3 samples), is that, at my gauge in these yarns, a 60″ color cycle (like this Caron) meets itself at about 60 stitches, while a 70″-73″ color cycle (like the TLC) meets at around 72 stitches.  Pretty cool, eh?!  So, unless I want a stripe-direction-reversal like at the top of this green cap, a cap for a grade-school child should be worked with a yarn that doesn’t repeat colors sooner than 70″.  For an adult cap, I could use a 70″ color-cycle yarn and go through the zig-zag, or I could hunt for a longer-cycle yarn.  All this, because the striping depends on the interaction between the yarn’s color cycle and the amount of yarn used to work each round (circumference and gauge).

Did you ever notice that there’s alot of math involved in knitting?  Well, in the planning part at least.

Oops, looks like someone has fallen asleep while thinking too hard!  sleeing Thinker-cat

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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 »

Crochet and Knit, both. Also blogiversary!

Posted by mtmom on January 13, 2008

Some Christmas-tide progress on the knee socks.  One and 2/3 socks

But I also have done quite a bit of crocheting in thick chenille since last I wrote.  The (free) pattern for the 2 caps is available in the sidebar.  The brown & white cap you’ve seen before, I believe, but this is the first I’ve blogged about the dusty blue cap with brim.  blue-grey chenille cap

Writing up patterns, particularly in crochet, is new to me.  But the skill is an important part of TKGA’s Master Hand Knitter program, so I’m seeking to gain some facility at it.  Constructive criticism is welcome.  [I say that now.  We’ll see how I feel after some take me up on the invitation!  😉  ]

I have also recently learned about “blog stats”.  What fun!  Thanks to WordPress, I can view a graph of number of hits over time, and a list of sites from which people followed a link to here.  That can help me to do more of what works to gain knitter-exposure.  Speaking of which, I’d like to hold a giveaway in honor of my one-year blogiversary on January 29.  I’ll send a goodie (I have a particular book in mind) to one person who leaves me a comment between now and Shrove Tuesday/Super Tuesday, 5 Feb. 2008.  Tell me where you heard about my blog, what link you followed or what search you made.

Now, back to knitting content!

Another pattern I’ve written up, eventhough I have not finished the prototype (!) is for this 3-color Spiral Cap.  I enjoy these single-round stripes — learned this technique from Meg Swansen, someplace where she was talking about avoiding jogs in circular color-work (Dubbelmossa?).  I have made a cap in 2-colors of Baby Alpaca Brush before, but using 3 strands is also fun, and the combination of different yarns stimulates even more ideas for more colorways.  Here is Dreamsicle’s beginnings.  start of spiral cap

And then more. . . .  holding up half a cap

See how each round of color ends 3 rounds further down than it started? And yet, the older stripes appear continuous!   trying to show spiral effect

And here, see how I’m about to pick up the lowest/oldest strand (the dark orange) to begin the next round?  large photo of eor

Here I’ve worked a handful of orange stitches past the end-of-round shown in the photo just above, so you see the imtermediate rounds being scrunched as I resume using the color from 3 rounds down without twisting it around any other strands — very important.  another way to show spiral 

One tip for success with this technique:  don’t pull the first stitch of the new round very tight.  Tightness doesn’t help make the transition smooth; leaving it a bit loose helps the stitches even out later once they’re away from the “scrunch zone”.

Next post (Lord willing):  more Master Knitter swatches.  Thank you for reading!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Crochet, Design, Knitting, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Phase 1 Done!

Posted by mtmom on December 15, 2007

Aha!  All the things I’ve thought of to mail out-of-state are now boxed up, addressed, and ready to be posted tomorrow.   Hurray!  stack of boxes to mail

I had read online somewhere (FlyLady?) that the US Postal Service recommended mailing packages by Dec. 15th, so I set that as my deadline.  One box I got out earlier this week, but this stack represents all the rest that I had planned (plus a few added at the last minute).  Anxiety had been riddling my thoughts and rattling my brain, but I beat it and got this done — hurray!

More about some of the knitted items included in those boxes . . . in a later post — Lord willing.

Now, it’s on to thinking about and finishing up the local items.  But first, some basking is in order!  Ahhhhh. . . .

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New Citizen

Posted by mtmom on October 19, 2007

Not much (if any) knitting content today — although I am decreasing for the toe on my Mad to Dance socks, and bought some new drawers for my yarn, and am practicing intarsia-in-the-round with another cap — but my main topic for this post is the new citizen of our household.  As yet unnamed, here she is: new kitty

She says, “I’m alright, as long as I’ve got uncle Michael’s elbow.”  kitty in elbow

“Although, my auntie’s lap is very nice, too.”  kitty in K's lap

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