Aug 22, 2008

28 is the new 72!

I have often made jokes that my cat ownership, my knitting addiction and my love of Murder She Wrote and Perry Mason should make me eligible for honorary AARP membership.
Evidently, the AARP agreed...

And to make matters worse, I was getting ready for bed a few weeks ago when, what did I see glistening atop my head in the mirror???

It's a little hard to see, but I am going grey! I am yet to get married, have kids or, for that matter, turn 30, but apparently my trudge through old age is well underway. Don't be alarmed if I yell at you for being on my lawn or talk at length about how much a nickel used to get you; I'm just filling out the set. The one thing I will not be doing, from now on, is tempting fate with my ageist humour!

Aug 21, 2008

10 things #2: One down!

I finished one of my challenge projects. It's the little girl's outfit from Positively Crochet. It was meant to be a tank & capri set, but I loved the scalloping on the top so much that I converted it into a dress. I put a panel of DC in a contrasting colour behind the scalloping for modesty's sake. The original pattern would have been less work, so it's not cheating!!! I will ship it to Ireland next month for my cousin's daughter once I stop being unemployed.

That's one!

PS. The fact that #2 got posted before #1 is not an indication of my having shed my dependence on puritanical convention.... #1 has hit a snag of the yarn ran out variety!

Aug 17, 2008

Dr. Liz, Knitting Woman.

Hooray! I got my PhD!!!!! My talk went well, apart from the slides being moved up one line and being cut off by the projector, so that my slide "Tektin 2 depletion leads to cytokinesis failure" was changed to "FAILURE"!!! The questions were tough but fair, and gave me some good ideas for future work.

We have a really nice tradition in our department, where people who successfully defend get to aim a popping champagne cork at the ceiling and sign the dent where it hits. Here's mine. "Go Team Venture" is a reference to Venture Bros., and Adult Swim cartoon about a washed up super-scientist.... seemed fitting!

My boyfriend and his parents sent me lovely flowers to wish me luck. Someone else left the little vase, and while I thought it was very sweet, I have no idea who it was. Thank you, whoever you are!

Here's the cork I popped into the ceiling! I labeled it to commemorate the occasion, and get used to being Dr. Liz!

So now, I have some revisions to do, but other than that, I get to knit without feeling guilty - good times.

Aug 3, 2008

Pattern: Basket Case Socks

Pattern Notes

I called these the Basket Case Socks, on my friend’s recommendation, because I was a little stressed from working on my thesis when I designed them. I love the basket weave pattern, but I couldn’t find a pattern for socks that used it in both the instep and the cuff. I have included an optional ribbed cuff on smaller needles, because the yarn I was using was terribly elastic and the socks wouldn’t stay up. The pattern here was designed for a 9” circumference foot (a sock circumference of 8.1”). For a different size, adjust the gauge by changing the needle size or yarn weight (so that sts/inch x foot circumference in inches x 0.9 = 48 sts) , or if you’re familiar with the basket weave stitch you can adjust the number of repeats. The yarn used here is worsted weight, as it really makes the pattern pop.

Woman’s foot.

2 skeins/300 yds of worsted weight yarn of your choice (Bernat Soy Blends shown here).
Set of five US Size 3 needles and a set of US Size 2 needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
Darning needle
2 different colour stitch markers.

6 sts/inch in stockinette stitch

K = knit
P = purl
K2tog = knit two together
Sl1 = slip one stitch purlwise
SSK = slip, slip, knit
RS = right side
WS = wrong side

Leg pattern
Row 1: Knit
Rows 2,3,4: *P5, K3; repeat from *to end
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6,7,8: P1, *K3, P5; repeat from * to last 4 sts, P4

Instep pattern
Row 1: Knit
Rows 2, 3, 4: *P5, K3; repeat from *to last 5sts, K5
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6, 7, 8: P1, *K3, P5; repeat from * to last st, P1

Cast on 48 sts, and close round without twisting.
Arrange 12 sts on each of needle 1, needle 2, needle 3 and needle 4.
Needles #1 and #2 will form the instep; needles #3 and #4 will form the heel.

Work 1.5 to 2” of K1-P1 ribbing, ending after needle #4.

Change to larger needles. Starting on needle #1, K1 (left sock), K2 (right sock)†.
Place marker #1.
Begin Leg Pattern from first stitch after marker #1 for desired length.
End after needle 4, after row 8 of leg pattern.

Heel Flap
You should be at the beginning of needle 1. Knit the stitch(es) before marker #1.
Slip marker to working needle and K21. Place marker #2.
Knit the remaining 1 stitch (right sock) or 2 stitches (left sock) on needle #2.
This will count as row 1 of the instep pattern, so after the heel flap and heel turn are complete, you will work from row #2 of the “instep pattern” onward.

The heel flap will now be worked back and forth over the 24 sts on needles #3 and #4. Use a row counter to keep track of how many rows are worked over the heel flap.

Row 1: Sl 1, knit remaining stitches across needles #3 and #4. Turn.
Row 2: (WS) Place yarn to back, Sl 1 purlwise. Purl to end of needle #3. Turn.
Row 3: (RS) *Bring yarn to front, Sl 1 purlwise. Move yarn to rear, K1. Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 4: Place yarn to back, Sl 1 purlwise. Bring yarn to front and purl to end of needle #3. Turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for heel flap until desired length is achieved. (Shown here is a heel flap of 24 rows, including rows 1 and 2)

Heel Turn
You should now be ready to start a RS row.

Row 1: K14, SSK, K1. Turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, P5, P2tog, P1. Turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, K up to last stitch before gap. SSK using last stitch before gap and first stitch after gap. K1. Turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, P to last stitch before gap. P2tog using stitch before gap and stitch after gap. P1. Turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all stitches along the heel flap have been used.
On final 2 rows of heel turn there will not be enough stitches to K1 or P1 at end of row. Simply complete the SSK or P2tog and turn.
After heel turn is complete, you should be ready to start a RS row.

Knit along all heel turn stitches.
Using what will now be needle #4, pick up and knit selvage stitches along side of heel turn.
Pick up one stitch from between the heel flap and the instep to prevent a hole from forming. Shown here, from a heel flap of 24 rows, 14 stitches were picked up (not counting the extra stitch picked up between the heel flap and the instep).
Knit along instep, working in pattern between the markers. You should be working Row 2 of the instep pattern.
Using what will now be needle #3, pick up and knit a stitch from the between the instep and the other side of the heel flap.
Pick up and knit the selvage stitches down this side of the heel flap.
You should pick up the exact same number of stitches from each side of the heel flap.

At this point there will be 44 stitches (or a similar even number) on needles 3 and 4.
Divide these evenly amongst needles 3 and 4.
You should now be ready to work needle 4 (you may have to knit a few stitches to get to the end of needle 3).
You will now begin the gusset decreases.

Round 1: K to last 3 stitches of needle #4. K2tog. K1. K along instep on needles #1 and #2, working instep pattern between the 2 markers. On needle #3, K1, SSK, K to end.
Round 2: K along needle #4. K along needles #1 and #2, working instep pattern between markers. K along needle #3.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are 12 stitches on each of needles #3 and #4. (A total of 48 sts).

Repeat Round 2 only until the length from the back of the heel is 1.5” shorter than the desired foot length. Finish after needle #3.

Once you have begun the toe decreases, remove the markers and discontinue the instep pattern. The remainder of the work will be worked in stockinette stitch (i.e. K only).

Round 1: K to last 3 stitches of needle #4. K2tog. K1. On needle #1, K1, SSK, K to end. On needle #2, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.On needle #3, K1, SSK, knit to end.
Round 2: K along all of needles #4, #1, #2, and #3.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are only 24 stitches left (some people like to decrease by more stitches for a pointier toe, do so if this is your preference - just remember to make a note of how many decreases you did so you can do the same on the second sock).

K along row 4.
Organise the stitches from needle 1 and 2 onto a single needle.
Do the same for needles 3 and 4. Cut a tail of at least 9” of yarn.
Graft stitches together.
I really like Knitting at Knoon’s video for this technique at They also have great videos for other techniques used in this pattern.

Make second sock with the same number of pattern repeats, and picked up stitches as you did for the 1st.

The End

Please email pattern corrections/comments/questions to
†This offsets the basket weave pattern so that it can be continued along the instep in a seamless manner.

10 Things in 1000 days

I decided to rationalize my impulse purchasing of knitting books by setting myself a personal challenge.
Here's how long I have left:

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