Archive for the ‘Widdershins’ Category

I think that the Widdershins now count as my longest WIP. I actually started them in August of 2006! I gave up on them December 23, 2007. It’s too bad because there were several parts of the sock that I liked.

The toe was my first Magic Cast On, which is now my favorite cast-on:
widdershins toe

The short row heel turned out beautifully (because I modified the gauge significantly I had given up on the reverse heel flap in the original pattern).

widdershins heel

And in general I just thought the sock looked nice.

Unfortunately, I hated knitting them, I hated it with a passion. The yarn I used, Brown Sheep’s Wildfoote, was just awful for this pattern. It was rough on my hands and extremely splitty. Knitting cables on size 1 needles was not fun at all. Knitting is supposed to be fun-right? After I finished the first sock and sat down and thought to myself “Do I really want to knit a second one?” My reply was an emphatic “No!” So, I frogged it. I’m using the yarn to knit some basic 2×2 rib socks and I’m much happier.


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time for a bath…

Not me, the sweater. Although I probably could stand a nice, long, hot bath right about now. I have finished the majority of my Malabrigo Saddle Shoulder Sweater with apologies to Elizabeth Zimmerman because I’m still skeptical about how the saddle shoulders and neck turned out. I’ve decided to try blocking and see how she fits. If it seems good I’ll add the hem on the body and sleeves. If not, I am happy to rip back to the joining of the sleeves and body for the second third time, because I’m a perfectionist like that.

No sooner did I lay down the sweater to photograph its pre-blocking glory and Tigger decides that it’s actually his sweater. Look at that face! What do I mean I didn’t put it out for him to sleep on?!?
tigger thinks it's his

Luckily he seems to have a short attention span lately.

malabrigo sweater pre-blocking

See the neck? It looks a little wide to me. We’ll see.

While the sweater soaks I’m going to work on my Widdershins sock. We were having some issues the sock and I, but last weekend I decided to work it out. We had a little knit in where I paid attention only to the sock.
pre knit-in:
sock in repose
(I feel compelled to stick a piece of knitting in that tree whenever I’m outside taking pictures. Plus, it was the only dry surface that morning.)

current state:
(hey, that’s a lot of progress for a cabled sock, especially compared to the minimal amount of progress I’ve made on it over the course of the last five months.)

Also, look at this cute little pouch I got for my notions. It’s the perfect size for my tape measure, pins, stitch markers (those are in the Vermints container), scissors, pen, extra set of dpns, calculator, etc.
I got it at Townsend Bertram & Company here in Carrboro, but you can find one here. They also make a square one and they come in a few different sizes. The only bummer is that the color is associated with the size, so if you want a red one you have to by a medium and vice versa. I love Timbuk2 products. I bought a messenger bag from them several years ago and it’s still in great shape. They have so many great products, new options, and new designs available I am so tempted to get another, but it’s holding together so well I can’t justify the expense! (They can get pretty $$$ if you get all the bells & whistles.)

Now I’m off to cable a bit on my sock and watch a little Boston Legal on DVD. I am on Season One, Disc Four and the show cracks me up. I watched it on the real TV last night and it wasn’t as funny as the first season and so many of the characters have changed. I may have to get used to them. After 2 years of no tv, then 8 months of watching Law & Order on semi-pirated cable in my little hovel in Somerville, I told myself that I couldn’t get into any new TV shows, Lost and that was it. Now I’m into Grey’s Anatomy (in spite of myself) , Boston Legal, and Everybody Hates Chris (that show is hi-larious).  I could probably watch more except those networks like to put their good shows in competion with the other good shows so I have to choose.

Gratuitous cat photo:

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weighing the yarn
A cute little scale to weigh my handspun. I had one of those Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons they always send in the mail and I couldn’t find one in the thrift store, so I splurged the whole $4 or so.

It even comes in its own little box and you use the box to put whatever you’re weighing on the scale. Very clever. (pardon the reflection)
and it comes in a neat little box.

The scale allowed me to finally get the details together for my candycane handspun. All were spun on a Ashford top whorl spindle. I started spinning it in June, took a break, did a little wheel spinning, when back the spindle and finished the last skein on weds.


top to bottom
1.75 oz, 48 yds, 11 wpi
1.75 oz, 48 yds, 9 wpi (?)
1.75 oz, 32 yds, 6-7 wpi
1.5 oz, 30 yds, 6-7 wpi

I also took a minute to look inside my little knitting bag that I use to carry around my bus/waiting in line project(s). It’s certainly not the travel satchel…it measures 12×10.

my lil' knitting bag

But look at all it holds!
what's in the bag?

clockwise starting with the Koigu sock…

One Koigu socks in blueberry waffle, plus one ball for the mate.

Widdershins pattern, toe of the sock and the rest of the yarn (Brown Sheep Wildfoote)

Size 1 dpns, plus a tapestry needle

Size 2 dpns, Hurry up baby booties, and the rest of the yarn for those (gifted yarn, possibly Mountain Colors Bearfoot)


2 tape measures

Size 11 dpns (bought today for my handspun)

Ann Budd’s Knitters book of handy patterns (to guide me on the heel flap for the baby booties

camera case (and usually the camera)

and in the middle: my wallet, a pen, a tiny crochet hook, and the Koigu yarn label.

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two things

My yarn is still drying from last night. I tried to get some close-up photos and failed. My camera is being super cranky. I put in freshly charged batteries tonight and it powered on, but the low battery light is still flashing. I bought some extra strength rechargeables tonight, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Otherwise it’s going back to Best Buy–it didn’t eat batteries like this for the first two months I had it.
drying yarn

“Widdershins” take 3. I think I finally like it! The cables are more balanced and it fits well. I might stop calling them Widdershins since I’ve modified the pattern so much. I changed the gauge and I’m not doing the toe-up heel flap. The only thing I’m really using from the pattern is the cable, everything else is different. Anywho…here’s a pic.
Cable and Rib sock take 3

I’m very tired tonight. I watched the BBC production of Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith. It was pretty good, I read the book almost 5 years ago so I didn’t remember all the plot twists and turns. I forgot how exciting it was! I haven’t heard of her writing anything lately. I will have to see. Her books would be great to listen to while spinning.

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And by cable needle, I mean filed down broken piece of a Brittany dpn. Luckily I had an extra.

I’m starting to lose my newfound love for my Widdershins (that took about a day). I wasn’t thrilled with the pattern to begin with and now I’m pretty much just using the cable pattern. (The pattern is at 7 sts/in and I like my socks at 8-9 and then the heel readjustments were very complicated to figure out, so I used a short row heel instead.)

On Monday I took them to SnB and decided that I would frog the heel (again), knit for another cable repeat (again), and then continue on with the leg. Everything seemed fine, but then I realized that the leg was just going to be too tight. So I figured I would add a few extra stitches and do a little “seam” up the side. I did, it looks fugly.

Last night I decided I would just increase about 4 more stitches and add another cable. So I did that, this morning on the bus I realized that increasing about 7 extra stitches on one side of a sock was going to put a huge bulge on that side and that it would no longer be the side, but the front. Eh. Great.

Now it looks like I’m going to have to frog the thing AGAIN. I honestly might just rip back to the toe and start the sock with 72 sts. I’m already at 9 sts/in and cables pull in, so I think that will be good.

For a while I was just going to frog them and start over in a new pattern, but now I’m more determined to get it right!

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I have to vote

The thing is I can’t figure out this stupid leg pattern for my sock, so I’m going to look like an idiot standing there cursing at my yarn inline.

It’s a cable pattern, multiple of 9, so I have 7 pattern repeats, but I think I need more stitches, right now I’m at 66 so I was thinking that I would just put a strip up the back, but that comes out weird with the alignment of the cables. Maybe I’ll put it up the side and have right/left socks.

Also, I have to eat, it’s rainy and gross and I don’t feel like cooking. I suppose I could take myself out as a reward for being a good citizen???

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I’m starting to get a little impatient with my whole “finish or frog” campaign. I have some projects that I really want to start. At the same time I really want to get some of these old projects out of the way. Unclog my knitting chi (or something like that).

I have a few different ideas for things I want to knit.

  • First, I want to work on some mittens and a hat out of my candycane homespun. I actually knit a hat, but it’s a little too big and decreases look funny. I figure I’ll frog it and wash the yarn when I finish up the little bit of top I have left to spin. I hope I have enough for mittens. Fingerless mitts really don’t work for me; it’s my fingers that get cold!
  • Then there are my Koigu socks! I have two little balls of Koigu sitting in my armoire. I see them every morning when I get dressed. They are my finishpiration. I’m thinking that a garter rib pattern on the leg will look lovely.
  • I have that cone of Artfibers Alfabeto that I want to design something for. I was initially thinking that I would make a shawl, but I haven’t found any shawl patterns that I thought would go good with the yarn. I also keep that yarn in my armoire-I keep asking myself “what does this yarn want to be?” I haven’t come up with anything yet. I’m this close to asking the yarn what it wants to be, but I’m not that cheesy. I’ve knit a long swatch in a couple different stitch patterns, it has a certain kink to it that makes look better in some stitches than others.
  • I have also fallen in love with the Frost, Flowers, and Leave shawl pattern from A Gathering of Lace. I found it when I was looking for patterns for the Alfabeto yarn. I am thinking that I will order some Jaegerspun from an online vendor that sells it wicked cheap.
  • Warm winter gloves. I need a pair and the Mission Falls 1824 Wool is perfect.

Now, on to the frogging and finishing, maybe I can work some of this stuff out.


Lace Hat and Gloves

I think I want to finish these. I’m not sure though. The hat is so soft and silky, but the lace looks funny. I might just rip out the lace and do a picot edge or ribbing. I can’t decide.

I like the glove, but the thumb is funny. It seems like such a waste to rip the whole thing out because i don’t like the thumb. I should probably try to fix it before I frog it!

BBBB_IP50 Big Bad Baby Blanket
This is coming along and it certainly is big!
Vintage Knits Sweater, front Striped Cotton Sweater

I’m kind of grumpy at (with?) this sweater right now, I don’t even want to look at it. The colors don’t seem right and I feel like if I finish it I’ll never wear it. I just don’t know what I’m going to do with all these short pieces of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. I feel like that’s my biggest barrier to frogging, I just don’t know what I want to do with the yarn after. I’ll probably stuff it in a space bag and throw it in the bottom of my closet. I need some space! 😉

Widdershins progress Widdershins
I’m also at a point where I’m not sure what to do with the pattern. The ankle is just too tight, but the foot length seemed okay. I like the gauge and the way the cables look. I think I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and redo the heel–maybe I’ll try another pattern repeat.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I have to redo the lining in my laptop pattern and line my Monk’s Travel Satchel. Why does my brain work faster than my hands?

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