Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘kilt hose’

Robert’s First Foot

Posted by mtmom on May 26, 2009

I’ve been working feverishly on these kilt hose.  RWatt sock foot

I ripped that heel all the way once, resumed, then ripped part way twice, then, when I’d completly turned the heel and found the foot too long (sigh), I ripped it all the way back again, plus 2″ or more up the foot.  I had told myself that, if I had to rip again, I’d add in some reinforcing nylon next time, so I did.  And now, here we are, with one foot and about 1/2″ of ankle.  I recounted my stitches and plotted out some possible ribbing patterns.  I’ll be going with k7, p2, k2, p2 . . . with some modification at the ankle to narrow that portion even more.

(See the designer’s brain in action. . . .)  RWatt rib plans

By my calculations, I need to knit on these at least 1 1/2 hours per day, on average, to finish in time.  Must keep the intention flowing!


Posted in Design, Knitting, 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 »

It’s in the Mail!

Posted by mtmom on February 22, 2009

Well, I completed my Level 2 work and put the notebook all together.  (Hurray!!)

And made sure all the projects were tagged and bagged.

And boxed it all up, with padding for protection (I hope!).  Here, teen-genius helps the box and me out to the car.

We posted the box to Ohio, and hope to hear soon that the main office has received it and sent it on to its first reviewer.

I felt pretty lost the first few days after the push to finish was done.  But I’ve since gotten back into editing the pattern I submitted to Sock Madness.  Hillary has been test knitting it, and had some extremely helpful suggestions to improve the pattern’s clarity.  The best way I’ve found to check one of my patterns is to see if I can knit *from* it, so I cast on a third sock and have worked almost all the way back through the main parts, leaving out the length of the foot and the heel turn.  (No photos — it’s secret!)

And I’ve also got another incarnation of my new Square-Top Hat pattern going. 

Then, I pulled my hibernating Kilt Hose out and decided I didn’t like how this arrangement of calf-increases looks.  So, I ripped back the last 3 increase-pairs and have devised a new plan.  We shall see.

And maybe a bunny, maybe a skirt, maybe that entrelac shawl,will also be added/restored as Works in Progress.

. . . while I wait to hear about Level 2.

(Hurray again!  Phew, too!)

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Let’s Catch Up — A Retrospective and Status Report

Posted by mtmom on January 18, 2009

I haven’t posted alot about my knitting lately, so I thought I’d do a bit of catching up and summing up.

Last summer, when the bagpipers were in town and the Highland Games were afoot, I was focused on kilt hose.  I started a pair in DK-weight yarn that later got set aside.  I also began a pair in regular sock-weight yarn for a reenactor-friend, to be followed by a pair for an Irish piper.  I set these all aside when submission time came for patterns for Sock Madness 3.  Now that SM3 is pretty much handled, I hope to re-start on my kilt  hose.  I’ve been working both socks on one l-o-n-g Magic Loop circular needle.  Status as of 8/24/2008: 

I like writing patterns for Sock Madness.  Last year, the competitors wrote such nice things!  I know I could make my pattern-writing more terse, and shorter, and be able to say that all the necessary info is “in there”, but I prefer to include explanations and photos, to make the work more accessible and intuitive to the more-visually-inclined among us.  I suppose I write ’em how I like to read ’em.  No photo-posting, however, until the Cone of Silence is lifted and the contest coordinators release the pattern.

Aside from the socks, my main project-of-focus has been Level 2 of TKGA‘s Master Handknitter program.  I worked through the swatches and their accompanying questions, section by section.  Remember when I was experimenting with buttonholes in 1×1 ribbing?  Boy, I had fun with that one!

And then there were the reports (started, but not done), book reviews (not started, although I have taken some notes), and projects.



And now, Argyle sock[Yes, they really are THAT BRIGHT.  Dale calls these colors “neon”.]

I have progressed on these to just past the centers of the second rank of diamonds, but I don’t have access to the digital camera just now. . . .

I hope to submit my Level 2 work soon.  Perhaps by the end of the month?  No reason to hurry, except to be Done.

Along the way, I’ve worked on some hats — always hats!

Currently, I’m developing the pattern for my Square-Topped hat

and knitting my second Maltese Fisherman’s Hat, by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  [This one’s for ME!]

That pattern is available in a SpunOut one-sheet (#9) called “A Horde of Hats”, along with 4 or 5 other cap patterns, for $1 (plus postage) from Schoolhouse Press.  [NAYY, but I love to do business with them.]  Dig the garter stitch short rows.

Other projects still live, but are receiving less of my attention:  Fair Isle sampler scarf, Reversible 2-color pattern sampler, Twisted bias scarf, Noro entrelac shawl.

I think that brings us pretty much up to date!

Don’t forget to enter my 2nd Blogiversary Book Giveaway — scroll down a few posts and leave a comment THERE (so I’ll know it’s an entry) with a kid-safe joke/riddle or other nice comment about Aran/Guernsey/dbliss/kid-knitting.  Deadline is Jan 28, 2009, so there’s still time to join in.  I love to “meet” my readers!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Beginning. . .

Posted by mtmom on August 24, 2008

Two things, actually.

First:  I looked out my window, and guess what I saw along the edges of the leaves on one (only one, so far) of our aspen trees. 

And amongst the sumac leaves. . . 



September and autumn approach!



The other thing that’s beginning:

Designing for Sock Madness 3!  (More stealth knitting.)

I *can* show you some balling of tentative yarn, with the “help” of my feline companion, Chloe. 

She has actually been showing much more restraint when it comes to the swift.  Of course, once the yarn is balled up — if you look away — she swipes it!

When I learned that the deadline for SockMadness pattern submissions was nearer than I’d realized, I put Lord Scott’s kilt hose on hold and dove in to my stash of ideas and sock yarns.  Currently the “front burner” idea involves . . . 




— wait for it  —






. . . BEADS!

But, of course, I can’t show you much in the way of photos.  [sigh]

Here is how far I’d gotten on Lord Scott’s socks, when he tried them on and I saw where I need to make alterations (after I finish the SM3 design). 

Need to taper the toe and widen the instep.  Yep, that means ripping — from both ends!  But he likes them, and that’s good news.  Haven’t made a final decision on the cuff pattern yet.

My own (prototype) hose are just into the calf-shaping. 

I’m increasing on either side of a central k3 rib, that itself arose from a k1.  We shall see!

If I like it, I may shape more pairs similarly, but I’ll probably shape Scott’s in a more “tradtitional” way with no “spacer” between increases.  Not sure yet.  That’s why I’m working these first — to learn and try.

Posted in Cat, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

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 »

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 »


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 »