Saturday, July 28, 2012

Round and round,

The next few days will be about knitting around and around and around in single rib, whist I decide if there will be button holes or sewn on giant snaps, and what cast off I will use. I'm not even sure I know what buttons i will use, but I have a few options, vintage black Victorian glass, dark shell shirt buttons or something entirely new .... For now I am just knitting ribbing around and around on four long circulars like a weird variation on knitting on bendy dpns.

Knitting on four circulars
The second sleeve has been knit up to the point where the ribbing starts, and set aside. I have threaded a life line through the live stitches. I wanted to finish neck and front bands before finishing the sleeve, as I know that the neck band will 'lift' the shoulder, pull the neck in and so mean I will need a longer sleeve. When I worked the ribbing at the hem I set up two full rounds of tubular rib, ready for a cast off. Between then and now I decided I wanted to knit the front, neck and hem edges all in one piece, so I frogged the tubular set up back to single rib, and picked up the live stitches. I then picked up stitches on a slightly smaller needle right around the edge, the two front edges, and the neck. As well as using a smaller needle I picked up one in four stitches, my standard pick up ratio for stocking stitch.

Extension of hem ribbing,
I'm using not quite a smaller sized needle at the hem, a 2.5mm, as I really don't want this cardigan to be tight at the lower edge. The cardigan is knit on 2.75mm, which gives a nice firm gauge in sock yarn, I like my knits on the firm side, well cardigans and sweaters, shawls and scarves I like softer and loftier. I took extra care to make sure I picked up stitches along the same line on both left and right front ... The more i knit, the more i finish, the more I'm learning which bits to take care with and which bits don't need so much care. Picking up is One of the area that shows up as messy if I rush.

Pick up around neck edge
Around the neck and the front edges I used a 2mm needle, because I want those edges firmer and more stable. Using two different sizes of needle means that i will have to make sure i knit from ends of the needle the stitches i am working on. I picked up three in four stitches from the purl bumps of the long tail cast on and it looks like when I knit the neck rib the effect will be fairly seamless, almost like a provisional cast on. I plan to increase at each corner, two stitches, every second round. As for button holes .... I'm still thinking about those. I found an option in the big book of knitting and knitting school that looks promising but i'm not sure it works on a ribbing band as they show it worked on stocking stitch. Who knits stocking stitch bands?

Na Stella

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Not really knitting - but fun

I am easily distracted, I know this. Sometimes I fight against the distractions and other times there seems little point. Whatever it is that has caught my interest will just snag and catch again and again until I either find a new distraction or give in.

I really tried to avoid this, honest ...
Here is the latest distraction, nail stamping ... and of course the fatal hit was discovering that knitting was involved. Please excuse the tired mannicure, it's been a week and at least several sink loads of hand washing dishes for we do dishes the old fashioned way with water, soap, and a coth here at casa Knitknitfrog. The matchy-matchy grey knitting and grey nail art was completely accidental, but I can see that if I allowed it, this level of coordination could easily get out of control and have me knitting with projects that looked good with my nails.

And yes, I noticed the missing stitches, with no accompanying yarn overs, dropped or laddered stitches, or decreases ... I am aware that the nail stamp is not a true representation of a knitted fabric ... but it's fun.

Details, the polish is a soft almost metallic grey by OPI called I Vant to Be Alone (caps and spelling as on the bottle). The knitting is applied using a clever variation on etching, Polish is applied to an etched metal plate, in this case Konad M69, the excess scraped away and the image transferred to then nail using a wee sticky pad. I used a cheap black polish from the 'import' store, cost me $4.50. Video tutorial below (not mine, but nice and quick) if you are as easily distracted as I am and want to know more.

Plates care made by several brands, I have only tried Konad, and come In a variety of designs, usually with six or more patterns on each. So far I have argyle, paisley, knitting, plaid, dots, stripes, cute cartoon animals (for small cub)' and even tiger stripes ( or zebra if done I black and white).

Knitting related post this weekend, I promise, and that is the second sleeve, well on the way to the elbow.

Na Stella

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Look lace!

I've been crocheting lace, and I love it. I'm not really one to crochet much, I can, but there are other fibre crafts I prefer. Prefer for their look, their end result and maybe even the process - but I have been working some crochet lace and I like it. Imagine how much I will like it when it is blocked and sitting open and even more lace like?

First up is the sleeve, now it isn't finished, merely parked. I worked until I was mid way down my forearm and decided to park the live stitches until I worked out how long the ribbing was to be. I like the idea of a generous ribbing - but I don't want to run out of yarn.

Then I thought, if I am wanting to avoid running out of yarn I should work all the little unknown bits like the crochet lace around the neck. The original pattern was worked in pieces, and seamed, then the crochet stitched to the neck edge. My modification involves knitting the cardigan as a top down raglan, starting with a band of eyelets. I decided to pick up and crochet along the purl bumps under the eyelets, as I thought the crochet lace was a good match for the look of the eyelets. That was the plan, it was largely untested. Oh I had swatched the crochet on two different hook sizes, and picked up along the crochet edge and knit a band, and I had swatched the eyelet band ... but I had not combined them all in the same swatch. The plan worked out well, very well.

So well that the lace finished symmetrically at the centre front neck edges! I was impressed, even though it was more blind luck than planning, but impressed enough all the same. There are ends to weave in, and still a neck band to pick up and knit, at the same time as the band for the front edges. At this point I am thinking little grey or black buttons, on a band, but I am not sure. I want horizontal button holes but that means knitting a vertical band and I'd rather knit the band horizontally as one with the neck and hem edges ...... decisions, decisions. Suggestions, suggestions ?

For now I am back to the other sleeve, I have picked up and will be working away tonight decreasing away the small underarm gusset, another modification. Then it is down the sleeve, decreasing every 6th round until it is the same length and hopefully the same stitch count as the other sleeve. I have the 'right' stitch count now, and in theory after the same number of decreases I should have the same number of stitches .. but in practice there is always between one and three stitches over or missing. One of those universal truths of knitting - theory and practice are not the same thing.

take care
more soon - maybe even a sleeve. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here, again

Just before this past weekend, Bear asked me when I was home, I said Sunday. Then he asked when was I away again. The answer is late August, and it wasn't always this way. Not so long ago Bear was the one who tripped around the world and I was the one who stayed home. This past weekend was a quick trip up to Nelson, some nine plus hours drive, two days of the NZ Costume and Textiles Association Symposium, and then nine hours drive home. Luckily - the wonderful C from work did the driving so I could knit.

Before we went I did the usual knitters thing, where I dug out all my current projects and rejected all of them as not quite right for knitting whilst away. I cast on two new projects, after much time deliberating and selecting of patterns and yarn ... and then tossed them both aside and took the plain grey cardigan with me. I suspect that the process of selecting, planning, rejecting and then retreating to something known is one I share with many others. Todays post is late, and replaces the wednesday and Saturday posts that did not happen, one because I was searching for something to knit, and the other because I was away ... and have not yet mastered mixing blogger with an iPad.
 First up the finished hat, with tassels. Smallest cub requested pom-poms, but I felt like making tassels so convinced her to at least see what I had in mind. She can still have pom-poms if she likes, but she has to make them. The hat fits well, and the tassels are fun, the decreases worked out just fine.
 Each tassel was 20 wraps of yarn around a wee piece of card, with a twisted rope of yarn threaded through and then bound tightly. The twisted yarn rope was threaded to the inside of the hat and tied neatly.
 This was the project I thought I would knit on the way, Green socks, the pattern Pirate Danger by Jeannie Cartmel. Most of the projects on Ravelry that use this pattern are knit from a varigated yarn, but I succumbed when I saw Jeanniefanihi's version (here if you are a Rav user) with a plain yarn, the travelling stitches hint at a scull and crossbones, which appeals to the not-sugar-sweet side of my project nature.  The yarn is Vintage Purls sock, a colour way from the 2009 sock yarn club, Daphne for the sock of the same name, a very good sock pattern, and one I plan to knit soon .... but maybe in some thing darker.
 Whist the instep and leg are all in reverse stocking stitch, the sole is in stocking stitch. Quite a neat touch ... I can't wait for the gusset and heel to grow out of this. I happily worked the toe, and then started the pattern before deciding that a twisted traveling stitch pattern that was heavily charted might not be the best project for a road trip and conference ... where the lights were dimmed. So I promptly started a new Ravelry queue search and a stash dive before starting Icelandic Poppy shawl in a fingering Merino, Possum, silk blend on a cone. Fortunately I came to my senses rather quickly, around 6 rows in, realizing that fine yarn, pointy needles and charts were the reason I abandoned the Pirate Danger sock and were the same drawcards for Icelandic Poppy.
 The Thursday rive up was fine, long but fine, nine plus hours, and we arrived Friday to this welcome and a full day of talks and chats about all things costume and textile.
 On the drive up I finished the 1x1 rib on the plain grey cardigan, and even worked two complete rows of k1s1 to set up for a tubular hem bind off. I have the stitches threaded on self yarn so I can work this at my leisure. I decided the lace around the collar will be the feature and the 1x1 ribbing was a perfect extension of the plain stocking stitch fabric. I also decided that twisted rib was to much to attempt flat in a car at speed.
  Early on day one of the conference I set aside the hem and picked up for the sleeve. I had stitches on a holder and some cast on at the underarm to pick up. I had worked a wee gusset decreasing away the extra underarm stitches, as a form of dart or shaping, and did the same on the sleeve. Seemed appropriate to construct a vintage pattern-making feature, the underarm gusset at a symposium filled with people who not only know what such things are but are interested enough to write papers on them.
On the way back there were three of us, so I sat in the back - all the better to knit and knit. By home time I had this much sleeve done ....
This was the view much of the way, spectacular green, gold, and yellow tree  lined farmland and rolling hills, with a slight cloud cover. The speedo is in km ... and 93 is under the speed limit, just in cast you were wondering.

My backset companion was this lovely fragrant bunch of teeny mini daffodils and sweetly scented blossom in bud, heavenly. We were all surprised so see and smell these in what is only a few weeks past the shorted day, but this winter has been mild. The flowers were not mine, but I enjoyed them for nine and a bit hours.

And now I am back, all enthused for the next symposium and with ideas already of what I could present. I've already written a contact - please may we letter.
Aso enthused by the progress on the grey cardigan ... imagine that!

take care
na Stella

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two weeks on leave and what do I have to show

Not much, we upgraded the computer through several operating systems, and got a new mouse - equivilent (Magic Trackpad) which I am still coming to terms with. Bear is an amateur historian in his non-working life, and like everything Bear does ... his research is at a level that I would consider appropriate for some one who is an academic. He has taken to using Google Maps to track confirm or eliminate the existance of early 20th Century Basil Hooper Houses in Auckland. Quite handy really as we live about 1400km from Auckland, but apparently an upgrade was needed to let him take advantage of the new-ist and best-ist features. So what you say, well this week seemed to disappear in cyclic sessions of installing new system software, waiting for the TimeCapsule back up to complete, then for the newest updates to load, then back up, before moving up to the next version. All in all a lot of time spent wandering into the room with the computer and seeing it still had to restart, or that it estimated that the next step would take 2 hours and 14 minutes, knowing all the time it was just one stage of many that needed to be done. All in all I'm pleased but a little nervous, usually software and system upgrades cause some sort of dilema or difficulty so I am still kind of waiting for the fall out on this one. the complete irony of this is that we upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard, then to Lion, just in time for Mountain Lion to be released this month so its not over yet. (Small note - just hit my first snag - the flickr uploader I use needs to be upgraded to work with the new OS .... please excuse me whilst I do that now, it shouldn't be long). 

Second Sanquhar mitt starts

I have been knitting, and frogging, and despite the frogging things are growing. I've cast on for the second of the Sanquhar mitts, and managed a few rounds. Luckily I keep rather good scribbled records so I knew what yarn I had used for the cast on and what cast on I had used. Given that I started mitt one way back on the 25th of February, I'm rather glad I keep a workbook of my knitting.

Knit One Below hat, squared decreases

I've also made good progress on the Knit-One-Below-Hat, and happily report to being half way through the crown decreases. I'm not really following a pattern, so the decreases were a little bit unplanned. I determined my stitch count was easily dividable by four, so decided to decrease at four points. The first trial was decreasing three stitches into one, at each of four points. If you have ever worked knit-one-below, the flaw in that plan may be obvious, but it wasn't to me. I just couldn't work out a neat method of maintaining the appearance of the knit-one-below fabric where the decreases were. So after a good 12 rounds, I'm not always quick at noticing when things are not going well, I frogged and started again with a new plan. The new plan seems to be working, based loosely on Jarad Floods Turn a Square Hat, I'm working eight decreases, two paired around four points.  So far so good, I'm keeping the knit-one-below pattern intact as far as I can by working the knit-one-below as part of the decrease when needed.
Matched Pairs of decreases in Knit-one-below fabric, 

Side body of my great grey cardigan

My plain grey cardigan seems nearly ready to do something else, I've worked over 6 inches of the body and am thinking that any row now I should switch to ribbing. I'm thinking 1x1 twisted ribbing, because I like the look of that and the drape, I'm not sure if I will go down a needle size or not. Probably not as I don't like cardigans and jerseys that pull in at the hem, much preferring  a nice swing to the hem.

Decisions, decisions, I do understand why most knitters follow patterns, they can select what something will look like, and then select similar yarn, follow instructions. I sometimes think that hand knitting is one of the slow-food styles of designing, in that the process is slow compared to may other crafts, and so decisions can have repercussions that involve more work, and more risk of frogging. Its easy to take a risk with a technique that might result in a frog 12 rounds of a smallish hat, not so easy to plunge into the same risk for a much larger body of knitting like a cardigan knit in sock yarn.

Feel free to leave advice on what I should do with the Grey cardigan hem, remembering I will be adding the crotchet lace from the Clair Cardigan to the neck, and there will be sleeve cuffs to match the body hem eventually.

na Stella

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Inspired ...

This week I have been inspired by another knitter, something that happens all the time, when I see the knitters around me do clever beautiful things,when I see clever beautiful things on Ravelry and on blogs. This time it was a local knitter who has inspired me to finish and complete. As well I've been playing with my new hand carders, and making rolags, and I have that new project to introduce.

This is the project that inspired me, Kiwimoth from Ravelry gifted the youngest cub her Sanquhar mitts. Knitted in lace weight yarn, stranded, and on 1.25mm needles. The gauge is 13 stitches in 2cm, so 65 stitches in 10 cm or 4 inches, 17 stitches per inch - give or take. I am in awe, awe that Kiwimoth knit one, then two of these, awe that she gave them away! Her gift did inspire me to finish knitting mine, which has a gauge of 43 stitches in 10 cm or 4 inches, or 10 stitches to the inch. 
Here is the difference those seven extra stitches per inch make, on top Kiwimoths child sized mitt, underneath my more adult sized mitt.  One of the reasons I was dragging the chain on finishing mine was indecision. I didn't know if I wanted to make them gloves as the pattern was, I've never had a pair of gloves I felt comfortable in. I already had several pairs of mittens, and and to turn these into mittens seemed odd. When I saw how good Kiwimoths mitts looked, which she had finished with a teeny tiny picot edge ... I was inspired to do the same to mine.

I tried the picot edge, and it didn't really work.The top edge stretched, so I frogged and worked the picot again this time decreasing the facing stitches by a factor of 10%. I grafted the live stitches down .. but still the edge flared and the picot didn't sit on the edge. So I was in awe a third time that Kiwimoth had worked a picot edge at that gauge and had done so successfully. I frogged the top cuff back and worked a round of plain chocolate, then three rounds of single rib, then I worked two rounds of rib-slip to set up for a tubular cast off. I loved the final result, not as pretty as Kiwimoths, but neat and tidy.
I also spent some time playing with my hand carders, making little rolags. I turned a 100g  braid of soft silver grey Perendale from Vintage Purls into light sleek roalgs, and then spun a few.  I've played with long draw before, but not really felt in control of the process. After watching the two dvd's I bought I was convinced that like everything, success was reliant on good preparation. I have (Drafting the long and the short of it & How to card wool, as well as several books with instructions on carding it hand carders.   The thing about preparation seems true, because the silver grey rolags are a dream to spin.

I also visted you tube, and the most useful video I found was one by Hervorandweyland. Most videos and books told me the carding teeth should not touch, that they should skim over each other and not even mesh. I understood that to mean the teeth should just skim past each other, and I couldn't see how the fibre would be carded. This video shows the difference between a light hand with carding, where the teeth just brush past each other and meshing the teeth deep into each other (around the 2min mark), Seeing that made it clear to me that the teeth could touch, just not deeply.

I had so much fun spinning the first few rolads of pale grey that I dug around in the my stash to find something else to hand card into rolags. This is deep green, purple, wine merino, dyed by me 160g. At the base of the bag the fibre is more  black and green, at the top more wine and teal. I have no idea how I will ply it yet, but I plan to spin long draw.

And this little project, a hat, knit in the Knit one below style developed by  Elise Duvekot. The knitters study group project this month was Knit one below, which I have done not once but  twice before. I wanted to knit socks, but two things worried me, having enough yarn, I had 50 of the grey green and 100g of the variegated mauve, and fit. Elise recommends yarn with lycra or elastic fibres as being great for Knit one below socks, and I didn't have any yarn with lycra and didn't want to knit baggy socks. So I switched to knitting a hat, using the garter strip as the 'cast-on' edge. I love the way the stripes transition from the garter to the body of the hat. In an effort to stop the hat colours being to regular I'm switching the variegated and plain columns at the pale section of the colour way repeat.

I'm hoping that when little cub comes back from her grandads she will let me post her current project. She is knitting Elijah, and it is such a clever little project. The increases and decreases are all planned very carefully so the knitter knows exactly where and how to pick up stitches for the body, the legs, the arms, the ears and the trunk curls up a little because it has extra decreases to shape it upwards.

Take care
Knit lots, or spin, try long draw ... even
na Stella

Saturday, July 07, 2012


 Julia made me a cake, I suspect she was 'put up to it' by others who shall remain nameless, but she made me a cake. And not any cake, but a cake inspired by David Hockney's swimming pool art, all white and blue .... with dolls in jelly. Well there was jelly before the cake traveled home with me, a tsunami occurred, upon arrival at home the babies were found tumbled in a mass of blue jelly. Bear as an engineer pointed out that once one side of the pool had been munched - the collapse of the jelly water was inevitable. There is a back story, as would have to be with a cake like this. A few weeks/months ago the local knitters were discussing birthday cakes, and how as children we saw amazing decorated cakes in books .. I mentioned that as a child I had seen one formed like a pool with dolls swimming, and Julia remembered and recreated it. I'm happy to cut and pass slices to any who want any - and I apologize for the mess I made of the cake Julia crafted for me. 
Saturday night was the annual local Thursday night knitters gift swap - and I was gifted this amazing duo, a vintage toned crochet scarf and pencil case. I wish I could show you this in all its glory --- and as soon as Julia (yes the same one as crafted the cake  and so here is a link to her blog and much better photos). The colours in the scarf are all soft and tone with everything in my wardrobe ! The joins are amazing, Julia told me the details are all in the blog she links to on her blog, so I looked and I am further in awe that every sing side of every square was stitched to another that way.  I am one very lucky local knitter.
This was my humble offering for the swap, in amidst amazing illusion war of the words socks, and lace shawls and wraps and cabled tams, I managed a teeny little pencil case. Every year Ngaire organizes the swap, and every year we openly tease each other that all the gifts are actually for Ngaire. That way we can talk about gifts without really taking about who they are for. This year my gift was for Ngaire! Ngaire is amazingly artistic and loves all things grey, and draws like I imagine angels draw. When I saw Tom of Holland's Sanquhar pencil case - I knew I had to make it for my swap partner and fill it with things grey. I found this when I was searching out Sanquhar patterns, and now subscribe to Toms Blog, he has a great approach to visable mending that inspires me.
 The local fabric store had the perfect vintage inspired school print, with checkers that perfectly matched the folds in the pencil case.
And this is a new project, a Knit one Below inspired hat that I will introduce next post - because I want to go and admire cake and my lovely scarf, and amazing pencil case, besides my dad is here for the night so I really need to be a good host instead of tucked away with the computer, the internet and blogging.

na Stella

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Getting back to unfinished projects

Todays post has two parts, I have a much better image of the finished Teosinte socks, and a languishing project has been dug out of the workbasket and ..... worked on. I also discovered that I had completely missed the start of the Tour de Fleece, the annual self paced spinning event that accompanies the Tour de France. I had signed up .. but somehow wasn't at the start line on the day. I guess that happens some times with the cycling tour, people miss the start.  I'm wondering if my Tour becomes a clearing of the work basket  - with the rest of the time devoted to working on unfinished projects.
Teosinte socks all done and blocked
It is daylight here, Wednesday, and Winter, so daylight is between 9am and 4 pm. Well I might exaggerate a little, but before 9am and after 4 there isn't enough light to make good photos, and I am torn between pulling the curtains and putting the lights on or sitting in the dusk. Some how it just seems wrong to pull the curtains and turn the lights on so early ... but if I want to read, or sew or do anything detail-ish - that is what I have to do.
Teosinte is a lovely sock, and makes the most of a yarn that is more stripy than semi-solid. I like it. 

With the sock off the needles, and the grey cardigan caught in the endless loop of rows between the armscye (fancy tailoring name for arm pit) and the waist ... I dug around in the Work in Progress basket for something to finish. There are plenty of things there, gloves, fish, and a colour work beret. The Gloves won out - so between last night and now I have worked 6 rounds. I'm impressed, I was able to work out just where in the chart I was thanks to the highlighter tape I was using. I opened my workbook page and there the next round was ready marked and easy to spot. There are 13 rounds to work before I divide for the fingers, at which point I get to decide if I am making fingerless gloves, or gloves. Right now I'm not even sure I will make a second, so the decision seems even the more difficult. I've never had gloves that really fitted, I have long fingers, and most commercial gloves have short stubby fingers and leave me with glove-webbing at the base of each finger. I'm tempted to make these as gloves - just to see if I can make gloves that do fit.

Next post I might have a new sock started, littlest cub admired the Tardis socks I knit for elder cub and requested some of her own. Then again  I might have fingers and thumbs, on a glove . .. who knows? The excitement of indecision, this must be why I keep knitting.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Term break

It is term break, which means the cubs are on holiday for two weeks, in July,  mid-Winter, so frost and sleet and hail and wind ... and maybe if we are lucky blue sky, sun  or snow, all of which would be  good. I've taken two weeks leave, one of the few bonuses of being an academic, lots of leave, but the pay scale reflects that. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of marking and meetings, knowing that I was to be away for two weeks and knowing that I was to come back on a day of teaching - I had to get marking and such squared away before I left. Today is a bit of a tidy up as well, responses to the last post, and reports of things done .... one post-able and one not so much.

Soap sweaters, I posted last time that I had been making a few of these, and I was asked to say more. I'm not sure what to say, there are a few patterns on Ravelry, this is the one that is perhaps the most like the ones I make, but mine are plainer. I cast on as for a toe up sock, and then knit to fit, with increases and decreases as needed. I graft the top together. Some times I have worked an icord three needle bind off and added a wee loop so the soap can be hung up. Previous soap sweaters have been knitted, but I mistakenly thought that I could crochet them faster. Turns out no, but the crochet ones are pretty, and maybe have a little more texture. I think I mentioned before that I like the way the soap sweaters keep the soap from going soggy, especially when traveling, and double up as a bit of a wash cloth. I can squeeze the soap+sweater almost dry in my towel and pop it in my wash bag ... and it survives a trip nicely. I've knit mine in a variety of yarns, handspun, and most weights from sock to Aran ... they all work fine, just use the appropriate sized needle. I use circs or dpns, but I guess you could knit them flat and seam them.
 These are some old and empty soap sweaters. They smell like the soap they contained, so these are a mix of Pears, and Eco Store scents which are heavenly. As the soap is used the wool felts and shrinks around the soap, and at the end there is a little felted bubble of wool with a delicious smell. I store  mine in the blanket box - to keep the winter bedding smelling nice. I have heard that some people make their soap sweaters refillable - and you could if you used superwash wool so it didn't shrink and felt. I'm not sure a button or dome would be useful, but one of the patterns provides for that - with the water and agitation and all, I just can't see that working for me, both staying done up and not shrinking so it could be refilled. Besides I can cover 3 or four soaps  in an evening and I love the little felted peebles and rocks that are left over.  If I refilled them I would miss out on those.
 I finished a sock, the second so technically I finished a pair of socks. Teosinte by Knitspot, all done, rib, cast off, and ends woven in. These turned out a tad looser than I would like, and they have a short row heel with is not my favorite to wear, so I'm putting them aside for Bear. He has ten pairs in his drawer, so I feel ok about stockpiling some for when he needs more. I do have to admit I knit the larger size .. and I would knit this again, in the medium and with a flap and gusset heel for me.
 I used Judy's magic super stretchy bind off for the cuff edge. I love this but have to look up every single time how to work the yarn overs for a knit and a purl stitch. I love how the way the extra yarn overs are worked at the transitions between knit and purl forms a hinge that lets the cast off zig and zag like the rib pattern. I also love how this stretches ..... I don't have a photo but believe me it easily stretches three times or more its original width.
And the last photo, is the two Bears, Big Bear and eldest Cub, hanging out and doing what ever guitar players do together. Jamming? Eldest cub asked Bear to show him how to finger a particular cord, so he could play a particular tune .. and they sat and played for a good three hours. I thought I better record this moment so when one turned into one of those teen age trolls that I hear about I could remind myself that there are times that he is not a troll. Hidden amongst the yarn at the end of the blanket box is my mystery swap knit for 2012. For now that is as much as you get to see, it may be done, it probably isn't, and if you guess what it is or who it is for please keep mum until after next weekend when it is swapped.

The rest of today involves a finger nail painting party with the younger cub, her friends arrive at 1 with their favorite polishes, I have a large pastic mat, lots of cotton balls and nail polish remover, have given several lectures on the importance of 'being very careful', and have bought chocolate biscuits, fizzy and baked muffins. Seems a good way to kick of a term break.

Take care
na Stella