Today I had to hunt through some email to find a field trip registration for my son, and I still never cease to be amazed at the spam that somehow gets through the email account.  I do not open any email unless I know the sender or have a really good reason to think I might know what is going on with the message.  Most mail I open on my phone so as not to taint my beloved computer…the phone is far easier and less stressful to fix…gotta love the people at Verizon…at least I do.  Anyway, I digress.  In the list of spam, isn’t there an email from a dating service I have never contacted and do not want to contact:  “Two men have expressed an interest in meeting you!”  They must be very misguided men indeed, to want to contact a cantakerous old lady with a foul mouth and a short temper.

Class this morning was fun and full of laughs (quick change of topic here).  I am once again in possession of the pattern I wrote for a k1p1 baby hat…this equals:  Bev came for a visit because she finished baby socks and was ready to go on to the next project.  This hat starts with the Emily Ocker circular cast on and is knit from the top down.  This works nicely because all the increases are hidden in the ribbing.  It is also a great way to use up leftover yarn and make it look like you meant it to turn out however it turns out…instead of having a nipple of color at the top of the hat that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the hat!

Bev working on a pretty pink baby hat

I love using sock yarn for baby items for a number of reasons; the first and foremost reason being that it is superwash and will take a beating.  I always have tons of leftover yarn bits from my sock adventures (we will not discuss the sock misadventures at this time!).  I prefer smaller needles because the fabric is more pleasing to my eye but I like how quick baby items work up…so this is win, win!

Speaking of socks, Debbie Elwell was back in for a visit today and is at the gusset of her candleflame stitch sock (see Barbara Walker 1 I think).  We discussed picking up stitches along the heel flap.  There are two or three tricks I use to make things look very tight and neat.  First, when I start picking up stitches along the sides of the gusset the first stitch I pick up is NOT noe of the slipped stitches, but rather the stitch connected by a ladder to the last stitch on the needle holding the instep stitches; this prevents a hole/gap later on at this part of the heel.  Second, once I get to the remaining heel stitches (those left after the heel turn has been worked), instead of knitting across them I slip the first one and THEN knit across the rest.  This maintains a smoothness across the row from the last picked up stitch on the edge of the heel flap through these stitches.  Third, I purl all the picked up stitches so that they are twisted as well.  Since the edge stitches of the heel flap were slipped stitches, they tend to be loose and working them so they twist, again, tightens up that heel nicely.  Purling these stitches also tightens things up a bit for a long lasting heel and just looks cool to me.  I don’t always use this purl stitch here; it is important to me that the stitch I use fits with the aesthetic of the fabric I am knitting elsewhere on the sock.

Debbie working on her Candleflame Sock

Jean came with a beautiful and nearly completed child’s sweater made out of Sirdar’s Baby Bamboo, a Summit Yarn customer favorite (along with Debbie Bliss Prima–same yarn, different label).  Once she was finsished she noticed a “mistitch” on the sleeve, so we needed to find a way to make it appear intentional.  We knit a small decorative flower and attached it to the sleeve…and we all thought the look was a success.  What do you think?

Jean and her adorable sweater!

Suzy took a break from work to come visit and regale us with great childhood stories…and she continued her Peas Please Shawl.  This is a rectangular version of a shawl pattern I wrote this past Spring (Suzy’s idea for the reactangle…credit where it is due and all).  We have used this stitch for a multitude of projects and it always seems to work.  We used it up the front of a sock and as a vest.  It is our strong opinion it would make a great baby blanket, despite the protests of those who prefer no holes in their baby blankets.

Suzy and her ultrasoft Bijou Basin Peas Please Shawl

Why do we like this pattern so much?  It is a simple (really) eight-row repeat pattern…and four of the eight rows are just knit.  It is an easy pattern to hold in my memory and it has nice visual cues, so that if a mistake is made – the mistake is EASY to correct; especially with the garter rows between the lace rows…ripping back to a point of rightness is an easy thing.  It is also just a visually interesting pattern with a look similar to crochet without the yarn usage that crochet fabric necessarily engenders.  Here is a close-up photo so you can see for yourself:

Close-up of Peas Please pattern

I began that pair of mitts yesterday…and what a breeze to switch up to size US7 needles from US4!  I made one mitt yesterday and plan to finish the other one today.  Maybe, I will make a pile of them in all different colors.  The Alpaca Silk is so nice as the silk lends a coolness to the fabric that is pleasing to my menopausal hands.  I did an extra-long cuff and also kept the thumb knit in the round so no seams and no sewing when the mitts are complete; just a couple of ends to bury.  The cuff is k1p1 rib and the hand is done in stockinette stitch; the top of the thumb and hand portions are also 1×1 rib to match the cuffs.  Here is a photo of them in progress:

next up for the "gift closet": mitts for friends!

One last word:  the egg count for Helen and Henry the Lovebirds is up to three.  This year they seem to be making a concerted effort to actually sit on the eggs.  They also are very proud of their efforts thus far!  The cockatiels, Maggie and Adele, are watching over the lovebirds like anxious Aunties.  I know when a new egg has been “delivered” because raucus squawking ensues upstairs!!!  I guess that is not so different from human deliveries after all!  Here is Nikkers, he wanted to say, hi!

Nikkers, the Compucat...it's okay if I chew on the screen corner, right?

 Take care and get2ntn!xox m.e.

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