Knitting by Judy @ 7:08 PM
socks and sweater

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! Mine was quiet, but nice. And some knitting has been accomplished!

I have turned the heels on the class socks and I’m in the home stretch on the legs. The yarn kept to its striping all the way through the gussets and up the heels and back on to the legs. Nice for a change, since I usually get a blog of blechy pooling on the gussets with STR. I like the stripes. I probably won’t be ready to bind off by Tuesday. But that’s OK. My class can bind off without me binding off along with them.

I didn’t get up the legs because I’ve been distracted. The socks are cuddling up to the sweater I started. This is the basket weave henley sweater called the To-The-Cottage Pullover in the Purl Stitch book.

I am knitting it in Trendsetter Yarns Fatigues in color #13 (Khaki). It’s a rather strange 50% wool/50% Polyamide “yarn.” The fibers are spun into 1-ply yarn and woven into fabric. The fabric is then felted, ironed flat and cut into ribbons. The ribbons are sewn up the center to “add a little ruffle” (per the web site – I suspect it’s also to hold the ribbon together under knitting pressure).

The Knitting Experience: The Purl Stitch

I’ve been eying Fatigues since I first saw it, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Naturally as soon as the yarn was discontinued I decided I really had to knit a sweater. 🙄

The resulting fabric is… interesting. It has a strange hand – almost a rubbery squish, but not in any way harsh or scratchy or plastic. It’s also quite light weight, so the sweater will not be heavy to wear. I think I like it. I can see myself wearing this sweater a lot. Of course, that may change as I get further along.

I have a couple of beefs about this pattern: The texture is created sometimes on the right side and sometimes on the wrong side. And the pattern is charted quite strangely, with white squares being K on the RS and P on the WS, and colors squares being P on the RS and K on the WS. Once I had the pattern established I was OK, but getting there was slow because I had to keep stopping to think if I was on the right side or the wrong side and did that mean I needed to purl or knit… It seems like it would have been a lot easier to point out that row #1 is RS, and just have blank squares K and colored squares P. This is supposed to be an easy pattern, and I’m a fairly experienced knitter. The pattern also includes a few cute little errata like saying to work 4 rows in stockinette stitch, beginning and ending with a K row. Can’t be done.

I’m a bit (more than a bit) peeved, since I bought this book specifically to knit this pattern. I’m not sure if I will knit anything else from it or not.

Despite my peevedness, I’m doing OK with the pattern. But I think this helps to explain why googling for the pattern produces only a couple of finished sweaters and scattered comments of adventures in frogging and never again. As long as the damn thing fits when I’m done, I’ll wear it. I wouldn’t look forward to frogging out this yarn.

About knitting socks, Maia opines:

For me it is the tops that never end. Insteps go so quickly that I worry I will knit to much. There must be a corollary to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity relating to socks.

Maia, maybe we can make a partnership: You knit the feet, I’ll knit the legs. We should be able to get finished twice as quick, eh? 😆

~Kristie comments about the class socks:

I LOVE the striping effect of that colorway! I’ve never seen Socks That Rock do that!

What’s your secret? STR always stripes on my socks. The difference between these socks and the usual is that they didn’t pool on the gussets but continued to stripe. That was a pleasant surprise!

In closing… it’s raining. Still. We have now officially had the wettest November ever – and in Portland, that’s saying quite a bit! The snow level is lowering to settle around my house. We do no do well with snow here in the metro area, where many people, myself included, believe that snow should remain in the mountains where it belongs. So far I see wet, green lawn when I look outside. In the morning… we’ll see what we will see!

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:40 AM
Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope this day finds you warm and safe and surrounded by friends and family and those you love and are loved by.

I have so much to be thankful for this year!

Good friends. Wonderful family. Work I like. Lovely knitsters who have gathered me into their fold. Yarn to knit. (lots of yarn)

I am thankful that you, gentle reader, have chosen to join me in this little corner of the blogosphere.

Most of all, I am thankful that #1 Son will be home today. I have missed him very much.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

Back to knitting content and comments responding tomorrow.

Knitting by Judy @ 8:50 AM
class socks in Downpour

Lest you think, gentle reader, that I have totally deserted the blogosphere, I offer a little proof that I have at least been knitting.

These are the socks that I’m knitting along with my current class. (They aren’t doing the ribbing, though.) This is Socks That Rock in a colorway called Downpour that I picked up at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. The colors are pooling in a spiral stripy sort of way, but I do like it. I reminds me of rain streaking down the windows and blurring the outside gray/brown view. Just like what I’m looking at through my windows every day now.

At least the power has been on, and fairly stable. There are no high-wind storms predicted for at least a few days, so I will keep my fingers crossed. You’d think in a city the size of the Portland metro area that the power lines would all be buried. You’d think, eh?

I need to be ready to turn the heel on the class socks by Tuesday night. I only have about 12 rounds left to do on the gussets, so I should be able to make it with no problem. (Then I can start the sweater.) Then after Tuesday it’s just up the leg to the top. The leg never seems to take very long to knit. It’s the instep that is just interminable on every pair of socks. I swear I can knit instep rounds for hours and hours and when I measure I’ve gained maybe 1/2 inch. Where does all that yarn go? My theory is that it goes into a yarn-sucking, sock-instep-stealing black hole that requires extra knitting energy in order to break free of. The gravity thing, ya know?

When I hit the gussets, I know I’m out of the black hole and home free.

These socks are being knit for a man. They are the replacement to the ill-fated Socktober Socks #1 that swam into the frog pond never to be seen again. I love to knit socks for gifts. But men have such big feet…

Speaking of men… #1 Son (I know I think of him as a boy, but really he’s a man now) called yesterday from North Dakota. Today they will be in South Dakota. The show in Missoula fell through, thank goodness unfortunately, so they will have two days to drive to Spokane. That’s a long, long drive from Rapid City to Spokane. I don’t think they realize how long it will be in the winter. The tour is going well, but he admitted that he is ready to be home. Thursday morning is the expected Portland arrival time, so I will have many things to be thankful for.

Now… back to the socks!

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:48 AM
tags: , ,

Autumn, my favorite season, has quickly turned into winter, my least favorite. And winter has brought the first cold of the season. I feel blech. I ignored the coming cold on Monday and Tuesday, putting the aches and restless nights down to… some other cause but definitely not a cold. Yesterday I could no longer ignore it and by 7:30 I knew that this little daily ritual called going to work wasn’t happenin’.

We had another terrific windstorm yesterday — one of those storms that makes me glad there are no big trees around my house. It wasn’t as wet as the last storm, but definitely as loud and rambunctious. I settled into my favorite chair with my favorite blanky, some chicken broth, tea, a good book and the cats, and watched a couple of old reruns on TV. I had just finished my tea-and-soup when the lights flickered. That sucks I thought to myself. The lights flickered again and then went off. I unraveled myself from my chair and went to turn off my computer. The lights came back on. I turned off the computer anyway and located a flashlight. The lights went back off and stayed off.

The veteran of numerous flaky-power-supply winters, I have the number of the power company close at hand. I called their automated power failure reporting line. This was the message:

There is a power failure in your area. 1525 homes are affected. We have received 123 calls. We do not know the cause. We expect to have power restored at approximately 5:30 pm.

OK. I can live with that. I dug out my hand-crank radio (my one purchase as a concession to the year-2000 madness) and tuned to a local station. Power outages were reported all over the city from downed trees, etc. It sounded like a mess outside. I started a fire in the fireplace (gas), lit a couple of candles, settled back in my chair and played a mindless game on my Palm. The battery ran out. I’d better go put it in the charger I thought… and then remember that would be a futile gesture. I started knitting on the class socks.

At 6:00 pm, I still had no power.

There is a power failure in your area. 4520 homes are affected. We have received 752 calls. The failure was caused by high winds. We expect to have power restored at approximately 7:00 pm.

By this time I was knitting with the flashlight balanced on my shoulder so I could see, because at 6:00 pm it’s dark. And when there’s no light anywhere in the neighborhood, it’s really dark. I was also feeling a bit hungry, having had nothing since the broth in the morning.

At 7:30 pm, there was no power.

There is a power failure in your area. 4520 homes are affected. We have received 1325 calls. The failure was caused by high winds. We expect to have power restored at approximately 9:00 pm.

Sigh I rummaged around the garage and found a second flashlight, just in case. I really wanted to go back to bed, but I’m chicken to leave a fire going if I’m not watching it and I wanted the heat from the fire. By this time it was pretty chilly back in the bedroom. I wrapped myself in my blanket in my favorite chair, ate a few crackers, resolved to buy more food that I could eat without cooking, and napped a bit.

Have you ever noticed how many thing you want to do require electricity?

I couldn’t cook anything. No microwave. No oven. No stove. I didn’t want to open the refrigerator because I wanted the food to stay as cold as possible, so no milk for cold cereal. No ice maker. No computer. No TV. No heat. No light. I’m not a back-to-the-land sort. I like my little luxuries. I did have the radio. But I had to crank it back up every 20 minutes or so.

The power company is just darned lucky that Lost is on hiatus, or I might have come gunning for them.

The radio, when I cranked it, reported that there was a new problem causing an outage in my area. At 9:30:

There is a power failure in your area. 4632 homes are affected. We have received 2532 calls. The failure was caused by high winds. We expect to have power restored at approximately 11:30 pm.

11:30? But I’m hungry, and I just felt too lousy to go out in the storm and find sustenance. I called the power company again and waited to speak to a live person, who assured me that they were doing everything that they could to restore my power but there were trees down everywhere and they really didn’t know how long it was going to take. 11:30 was just a vague estimate that would probably move to 1:00 am or so if they didn’t make it.


I took my flashlight and went back to my bedroom for a box of Kleenex. While there, I heard the furnace kick on. I looked out in the hall. Light. There was light! Light and heat and the TV and the microwave and the fridge and the stove and the computer. Oh frabjous day!

I’ve missed you I said to my power supply.

Now if I can just kick this darn cold!

Knitting by Judy @ 7:40 AM
knitting at the rest home

The McMenamin brothers are famous for taking run-down but historic properties and turning them into some of the funkiest, funnest pubs and B&B’s in Oregon, serving as showcases for their microbrews, wine, spirits and very cool art by local artists. Nearly everything is decorated that can be — even the exposed overhead pipes have little faces painted at the elbows.

One of my favorite McMenamin properties is Edgefield. Built in 1911, Edgefield originally served as the Multnomah County Poor Farm. It was a self-sufficient environment, where the residents tended pigs and chickens, grew fruit and vegetables, operated a dairy, meat packing plant and cannery, and worked in the laundry, kitchen and hospital. The poor farm aspect was phased out in the late 1950’s. In 1962, it was renamed Edgefield Manor and turned into a nursing home. It closed in 1982 and most of the buildings were condemned.

The McMenamins purchased the property from Multnomah County in 1990 and spent four years restoring and remodeling and decorating and transforming. The main building now houses a 100-room B&B, the main restaurant and the winery. Out building house numerous small bars and pubs, a theater, a glass blower, the brewery and the distillery. Around the buildings are lovely gardens, the vineyard, and a 17-hole, par 3 pitch & putt.

My favorite thing, though, is the art. As in all McMenamin properties, the art can be surreal, strange, funky, beautiful – often in the same painting. The doors are painted, the walls have murals, paintings are hanging on the walls. It’s a magical place.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version. This painting is one of my favorites. It hangs in the waiting-room area just outside the Black Rabbit restaurant. As much of the art here does, it celebrates the history of Edgefield’s. I love the woman knitting the chessboard. If you click on the link for Edgefield’s artwork and scroll through the pictures, you will see another painting that features knitting.

Knitting by Judy @ 11:46 AM
tags: , , ,
Jaywalking in Nairobi

Finally! I’m free! I’m free!

Or at least that’s what it feels like.

Half way into November, the Socktober socks from hell are finally finished.

OK… I’ll admit it. I actually like them. Now washed and ready to go to their intended recipient at Christmas, they are incredibly soft and luxurious. I love the colors and how the zig zag in the Jaywalker pattern fits in with the African theme of the yarn color. This was a very happy marriage of yarn and pattern, and I am glad I listened to the yarn when it whispered knit me into Jaywalkers.

I will definitely knit with this yarn again.

I will probably not knit Jaywalkers again. I like the finished results, but I didn’t have a great time in the heat of battle. It just seemed like a fight all the way to the finish. I am sure that was an issue with the knitter, and not the pattern.

Please pardon the on-my-chair picture. The best only light in the house in the winter is through my dining room window, and the handiest flat surface is a chair. The colors are pretty true, at least on my monitor.

The Particulars:

  • Yarn: Regia Silk Color (55% wool, 25% nylon, 20% silk / 50gr 200yds per ball) in colorway 189, Nairobi — most of two balls.
  • Needles: Knitpicks Classic circulars, US#1 (2.5mm).
  • Pattern: Toe-up Jaywalkers.
  • Where I deviated from the pattern:
    • I used the Magic Cast On.
    • I knit my standard heel rather than the heel in the pattern.
    • I used Eye Of Partridge stitch on the heel flap.
  • Other techniques: I used the free end of the yarn to knit the heel so as not to disturb the color pattern on the rest of the sock.

Next up: The class socks. I have about 1″ of the toe done. Guess what I’m doing the rest of this rainy November day? 😀

  • Translate
  • Thought of the Minute
  • Word Of The Day
  • Current Weather

Wayback Machine
Stuff I Gotta Do

Follow The Leader shawl


entrelac wrap


Arabesque shawl


Jubjub Bird Socks


I Mog Di


Peacock Feather Shawl


Honeybee Stole


Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag