Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Holiday

Last night I watched the movie, The Holiday, which was a really cute chick-flick. In the movie, the character Amanda wears the most amazing sweater:

This picture does not do it justice. The front cables fold closed and is probably held with a pin. It goes high around the neck like a mandarin collar. The two cable panels on the sides go over the shoulders and down the back in a vee to the waist, then flare back out again. And the rest is covered in baby cables and panels of moss/seed/stockinette stitch. The whole thing is quite fitted. I've become quite obsessed over this sweater, and was up 'til the wee hours of the morning scouring the internet for info. All I got was this pic, that is by TSE Cashmere and this clip (you'll need Windows Media Player): click here for clip. I definitely need to make this, but maybe not 'til next fall. Love it!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Yeah! My Malabrigo sweater is done!

It's supposed to get colder this weekend, so I'm looking forward to wearing it. It is so soft and cushy! The only thing is that I'm scared of touching anything 'cause I don't want it to pill. I used almost 4 1/2 skeins on 4.5mm needles. The Phildar yolk was perfect, and I changed the hem to a rib/cable to match the yolk. I loved making the yolk; I just think the inward decreasing cables are so nice. I definitely want to play around with that design in the future.
Ahh....there is nothing more satisfying than making a nice sweater...and having it fit!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Embossed Leaves

I cracked open my new Favourite Socks book, and started the Embossed Leaves sock:

What an awesome, well-written and addictive pattern! It's strange how I feel knitting a patterned sock goes faster than a plain one sometimes!

I brought this sock with me yesterday to playgroup, and when I started knitting on it, I was surprised by the other mom's reactions. It was the same feeling I get with my family; I got the vibe that they were thinking "why would you waste your time making a sock?". Very strange. Maybe they were just coveting my sock ;)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cracking the Yolk

Here's an update on my Malabrigo sweater:

I'm ready to begin the yolk. I'm thinking the Refined Raglan might be a little too simple, because the sweater is looking quite masculine. I need something just a little more fancy. I'm going to try working the Phildar yolk instead. Also I need to redo the hem again. It keeps rolling up too much, and I can see myself getting really annoyed by that. Hope I can get it done before all the cold days are gone! It's supposed to be 17 degrees today, not that I'm complaining.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Diamond Lace Socks Correction

There is a little correction that needs to be made in the glossary:

sk2po - slip one stitch knitwise, knit two stitches TOGETHER, pass slipped stitch over.

Also, Chart #1, Line #9 was a little unclear.
Because sock is knitted in the round, the beginning of the round had to be temporarily moved to make the pattern work. The chart shows you how to begin and end the row, but only the middle section is repeated. Refer to the written instructions if this is unclear.

Thanks to the one who caught this mistake!

Serenity Knits

I've discovered heaven on earth, and it's called Serenity Knits. I recently found out about this store from another blog, and was shocked to learn it's only 15 minutes from my home! Everything about this shop is wonderful. The co-owner Karen is the most sweetest, nicest person ever! I've never received better service than what she gave! And the! Fleece Artist, Koigu, Nashua, Trekking...the selection was awesome. And I really liked that they had tons of books, patterns and magazines. They will also be getting in the new lace Addis soon. The reason I went was to get yarn for ISE4, and this is what I chose:

Ahhhh! Handmaiden Sea Silk. I've always wanted to try this. It is incredibly soft, and the colours are so much nicer than the photo. And it smells too! Not like stinky seaweed; more like relaxing on a beach!
Of course I came home with more stuff:
This is the first time I've bought books. I've always thought it ridiculous to shell out $25-35 for a couple of good patterns, but these books were different. Almost everything in them was something I liked. Karen convinced me to try the Brittany dpns. They're really different: only about 4 inches long! And I couldn't resist some watermelon coloured Trekking. I can't tell you how hard it was not to scoop up all the Koigu they had.
Shopping is the best thing ever. I feel it's okay for me because I don't buy clothes, shoes, make-up, jewellery, don't get my hair or nails done, no facials or massages...just yarn! Okay, maybe sometimes I go a little overboard, but knitting makes me so happy. Happiness is priceless, right?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another One!

Thank you for all the nice comments on the Goosebump sock! There was a chance that it was going to a sock club, but after they were completed, it was determined that the pattern was too simple. That's okay, 'cause it meant that I could share it with everyone!

Joined ANOTHER knit-a-long today!! Hee hee!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Goosebump Socks

This pattern is also posted on my pattern blog here:
Goosebump Socks
by Michelle To

Here is an easy, beginner sock with cute knots scattered all over. The knots remind me of little goosebumps! The knot stitch was found in A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker.

Woman's M (shown on size US 7 feet)

Unstretched, measures 3.25 inches across

9 sts = 1 inch
creates sock with a firm fabric

Nature's Palette Merino Fingering Yarn, 50g/185yds, 2 skeins
set of 5 - 2 mm dpn
set of 5 - 2.25 mm dpn
tapestry needle

MK - make knot: insert right-hand needle under running thread between 1st and 2nd sts on left-hand needle, and draw through a loop very loosely; then inset right-hand needle between these same sts above running thread, and draw through another loop very loosely; bring yarn to front between needles and purl the 1st st on left-hand needle; then with point of left-hand needle pass the first loop over the 2nd loop and purled st, and off needle; then pass the 2nd loop over the purled st and off the needle. The looser you make the drawn loops, the easier it is to pass them over.


Picot/Rib cuff:
With 2.25 mm needles, CO sts 60 using backward loop cast-on.
Join in round, and evenly divide sts onto 4 needles.
Knit 2 rows.
Knit turn row: [k2tog, yo] to end
Knit 2 rows.
Fold cuff, and knit 1 row along with CO loop together.

With 2 mm needles, work k2, p2 rib until cuff is about 1 inch

Switch back to 2.5mm needles.


Row 1: [MK, k5] to end
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: K3, [MK, k5] to last 3 sts, MK, k2
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Knit

Repeat last 7 rows until leg measures 5 inches.

Heel Flap:
Rearrange sts on needles so that you are holding 30 sts
on Needle 1 and 2 to be worked later.
Put rest on sts onto one needle; heel flap will be worked on these 30 sts.

Row 1: Sl 1, p to end
Row 2: [Sl 1, k1] to end

Repeat last 2 rows until 36 rows have been made.

Turn heel:
Row 1 (ws): Sl 1, p18, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 2 (rs): Sl 1, k9, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, p10, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, k11, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 5: Sl 1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 6: Sl 1, k13, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 7: Sl 1, p14, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 8: Sl 1, k15, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 9: Sl 1, p16, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 10: Sl 1, k17, ssk, k1.
20 sts made.

Put last 10 sts made on another needle. This is now Needle 1.
With this needle, pick up 18 sts along heel flap edge, and 1 sts between flap and held sts.
Work across held sts in pattern.
With another needle, pick up 1 st between sts and heel flap, and 18 sts along heel flap edge.
You should now have Needle 1 - 29 sts, Needle 2 - 15 sts, Needle 3 - 15 sts, Needle 4 - 29 sts.

Top of foot is worked in leg pattern. Bottom of foot is worked in stockinette stitch.

Row 1: K Needle 1 to last 2 sts, k2tog; work Needle 2 and 3 in pattern; on Needle 4, ssk, k to end. (2 decreases made)
Row 2: Knit

Repeat last 2 rows until you have 15 sts on both Needle 1 and 4. (60 sts)

Continue working Needle 1 and 4 in stockinette stitch, and Needle 2 and 3 in pattern,
until foot measures 1.5 inches less than desired length.

Place sts of Needle 3 onto Needle 2. Toe is worked on 3 needles.
Row 1: Needle 1 -k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; Needle 2 - k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; Needle 3 - k1, ssk, k to end. ( 4 decreases made)
Row 2: Knit

Repeat last 2 rows until you have 6 sts on each Needle 1 and 3, and 12 sts on Needle 2.
K Needle 1 and place sts onto Needle 3.
Break yarn leaving tail and graft toe closed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Instant Gratification

Worsted socks are great to knit if you want instant gratification. I was able to complete these in 2 days. My first try with an afterthought heel was just so-so. It didn't look very neat at the stitches that were picked up in the corners, and the sock was too tight across the gusset. Not quite sure how to correct that...maybe knit a few rounds on the heel before decreasing?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Grace!

My little princess is now four years old!



When it comes to baking, I'm no Martha Stewart. But if you stick a toy on top of your cake, your kids think you're the best baker in the whole universe.

Happy Birthday Grace!

Clover Minis

I purchased the Clover Mini Circulars when they first came out, hoping for magic miracle needles that would quickly and effortlessly churn yarn into brilliant socks.

Alas, I was greatly disappointed.
Here are worsted weight socks knit on the 6", 3.5mm needles:
It's about 4" of work, which took about an hour to do. At this point I had to change to DPNs, because I physically could not continue. It was incredibly difficult to hold and work the miniature needles, and the sock was stretched to the max on the cord. My fingers were sore and stiff, blistered and chaffed.
Here is another hour's worth of work on 3.5 mm dpns:

Twice as much work was done.

And in about another hour, sock was complete:

My first afterthought heel; learned from here.


In my opinion, Clover Mini Circulars are tiny instruments of torture designed to fill you with false hope, inflict serious pain to your hands, slow down your knitting, and waste your money.

I'll stick to my dpns from now on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Busy, busy

Nothing new to show you today. Been very busy. I've been working on a sock for a magazine submission, but I'm not sure if I can finish is for the deadline on the 15th. DH is also off 'til the 15th, which means very little knitting will be done. Someone has wonderfully asked for the pattern of the other sock I'm working on for a sock club, so I hope that works out. Can't show you the socks just yet.

Yesterday we took the kids to the Ontario Science Centre. They have a Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition, which we've known about since last October. Why we picked going on the first day of March Break completely puzzles me. I think every kid in Toronto was there! Normally I love going to places like that, but big crowds totally frustrate me.

Today is our play-group, tonight dinner with friends, tomorrow bible study...I wish I was knitting!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Be Happy

My husband said something to me yesterday that really, really disturbed me.

I used to be a terrible tv shows in the morning, soaps and Oprah in the afternoon, 3 hours of prime time, plus rented movie videos. It was such a waste of time, and I realized it was an addiction, so about a year ago I stopped.

My most favorite tv show was Alias. Giving that one up was the hardest! The other day we rented the whole last season of the show, and started watching them. I was so shocked at my physical reaction to watching the show! I guess its like an addict relapsing!! I had butterflies, and adrenaline pumping though my body, my eyes were all wide and I had a goofy smile pasted on my face. It was the best thing ever, and I still have 3 more discs to watch!

Anyways, back to my husband's comment. The next morning he said to me, "You were so excited watching Alias! That's the happiest I've seen you in a year!". As soon as he said that, my ears perked up. Happiest in a year?? I'm happy, aren't I? I would say I'm very content with everything I have. I sure am thankful...the Lord definitely provides and blesses our family even though we are undeserving. But I tried to think about the last time I was really happy; happy enough for it to show through my face. Big, silly smile or an uncontrollable laugh...I became quite upset because I truly could not remember the last time I was happy. Lately I've really struggled with the repetitive routine of being a stay-at-home mom, and since my miscarriage I have been a little blue, but I think I've made it a habit to not be happy. I definitely have plenty to be happy about. So I've decided to be more happy; happy enough so that it shows through my face. I'm off to find something to laugh about. Have a happy day!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Spring Knitty is up!

The new issue of Knitty is up, and like always, it's fantastic!! There is a pair of cabled socks called! I seriously have to stop looking on the internet and buying new magazines, because my to-do list is just too long!

I joing another KAL! It's Interweave Knits Knit-Along, and I'm sure it's going to be lots of fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Interweave is the Best!

Got my new Interweave Knits!

In my opinion, this magazine blows all the others away. Everything about it is better: the patterns, the photography, the articles. When I first saw the layout change, my first reaction was to hate it (because I hate change), but after a few read-throughs, it's really not that bad. Unlike Vogue, there are nice sized pics with the patterns, so you really don't have to flip back.

I was especially excited about this issue because the 2 projects I like the most, I actually have yarn for:

#1: Clementine Shawlette using Blue Sky Alpacas

#2: Roza's Socks using Lorna's Laces
Call me crazy, but I also love the advertisements!
Check out these tempting pics (click them if you want a close-up):

Love it, love it, love it!!

Monday, March 5, 2007

New Sock

I didn't get much knitting done this week-end. I started a new sock, using my Barbara Walker stitch book:

The pattern is called the Dot Knot Stitch, and the yarn is Nature's Palette. I love buying yarn from small companies, because you can just see the love put into the yarn. This Nature's Palette merino is very soft, and has a slight sheen to it. What I love the most is the suble changes in shades of blue throughout. They use only natural dyes. I hope that means from something like flowers, and not crushed bugs or mold!!!

Here's what else I made this week-end:

Snow fort for the little ones!! I wish my mom had made a snow fort for me! I was outside for about 40mins wearing my Corazon mitts, and my hands stayed nice and warm. By the end, my mitts were soaking wet too, and I didn't even feel it!
Today I'm scheduled for performing surgury on my Malabrigo. I finished the body, but really can't stand the hem. I think I'll change it to a simple rolled hem. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Thank you!

I got a lot of comments about my sock, and I just wanted to send out a big thank you to everyone for their kind words and encouragement! I don't have any friends and family who knit, and my husband is the opposite of supportive when it comes to knitting, so meeting all of you online knitters has been so wonderful.

Here is my Malabrigo sweater that I started:
The colours remind me of army camouflage. I don't really like the folded hem because it keeps flipping up, but I'm too lazy to start over. Hopefully it will behave after blocking. The feel is like polar fleece; super soft and squishy.
The needles I'm using are Lantern Moon ebony. I bought them not too long ago to go with my lace shawl. At first they were great for lace, since I was a beginner and the blunt ends made me knit slower and more carefully. Now that I got the hang of it, I can't use them anymore, and have to find something sharper for the lace. However, they are working great with the wool. Honestly, they are the best needles I've ever used. Dare I say, I think I like them more than Addis! They are as light and warm as bamboo, but more slicker. And the swivel join is such a great feature. The cord is not as thin and supple as Addis, but the swivel join doesn't make that an issue.
Anyways, on another topic, have you seen this scarf? Oh my goodness! Haruha Ahh-ooo-ga!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Non-pdf Pattern

Urgh! I don't like computers!! I posted the sock pattern in non-pdf just in case anything else happens. Also, thanks to help from Monika, I hosted the pdf version on, which doesn't have downloading limits. Thank you Monika!

If anyone has tips on how you post patterns, especially how to post pdfs and charts, I would really appreciate it. There has got to be an easier way than what I did. Maybe next time I'll just skip the whole pdf thing.

Okay, enough about this pattern; I'm tired of it.
I'm also tired because I stayed up 'til 2am last night knitting Malabrigo. I couldn't put it down!

Diamond Lace Socks

This pattern has been moved to here:

Diamond Lace Socks

Yarn: Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock yarn, 1 skein

Materials: set of 5 - 2.25mm DPN
darning needle

Size: Approx. woman’s US 6-8
To make the sock a little bigger or smaller, the sock can be knit on 2mm or
2.5 mm needles. There is a bit of stretch in the lace. Because of the
pattern repeats, I ended the foot length at row 2 for a 7” foot. You could
end the foot at row 12 to make the foot ¾” shorter or longer, but that would
make a half diamond at the end. One diamond repeat is about 1.5”.

Gauge: 30 sts = 3.5” unstretched

yo – yarn over
k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
skpo – slip one stitch knitwise, knit one stitch, pass slipped stitch over
sk2po – slip one stitch knitwise, knit two stitches together, pass slipped stitch over

Note: For chart #1, line 9, because the sock is knitted in the round, the beginning of the round is temporarily moved. Chart shows you how to begin and end the row, but only the centre part is repeated. Refer to the written instructions if chart is unclear.

Picot cuff

CO 60
Join in round. Mark beginning of round.

Knit 6 rows in K2P2 rib.
Knit 1 row.
Knit folding row: [k2tog, yo] to end.
Knit 7 rows.
Fold & knit next row, through stitch and cast-on edge together.
Knit 3 rows


Begin chart #1, or follow written instructions:

Row 1: [k4, k2tog, yo, k4] x 6

Row 2: knit this and all even rows.

Row 3: [k3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k2] x 6

Row 5: [k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, skpo, k1] x 6

Row 7: [k1, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, skpo] x 6

Row 9: k2, yo, k7, yo, [sk2po, yo, k7, yo] x 5,
slip last stitch onto needle #1, sk2po, slip made stitch back to needle #4

Row 11: [yo, k8, k2tog] x 6

Row 13: [k1, yo, skpo, k5, k2tog, yo] x 6

Row 15: [k2, yo, skpo, k3, k2tog, yo, k1] x 6

Row 17: [k3, yo, skpo, k1, k2tog, yo, k2] x 6

Row 19: [k4, yo, sk2po, yo, k3] x 6

Row 20: knit

Repeat last 20 rows 2 more times.
Knit row 1 and row 2.
On very last knit row, knit to one stitch left. Place this stitch onto needle #1.
Place last stitch of needle #3 onto needle #2.

Your work should now look like:
needle #1 – 16 stitches
needle #2 – 16 stitches
needle #3 – 14 stitches
needle #4 – 14 stitches

Heel Flap

Combine stitches on needle #3 and #4 onto one needle. Heel flap
will be worked back and forth on these 28 stitches.
Leave needles #1 and #2 for instep.

Row 1: (ws) sl 1, purl to end
Row 2: [sl1 kwise, k1] to end
Row 3: sl 1, purl to end
Row 4: sl 1, [sl 1 kwise, k1] to last st, k.
Repeat these 4 rows 8 more times (36 rows made).

Turn heel

Row 1: (ws) sl 1, p16, p2tog, p1
Row 2: sl 1, k7, ssk, k1
Row 3: sl 1, p8, p2tog, p1
Row 4: sl 1, k9, ssk, k1
Row 5: sl 1, p10, p2tog, p1
Row 6: sl 1, k11, ssk, k1
Row 7: sl 1, p12, p2tog, p1
Row 8: sl 1, k13, ssk, k1
Row 9: sl 1, p14, p2tog, p1
Row 10: sl 1, k15, ssk, k1

18 stitches made.
Place last 9 stitches onto anther needle.
With this needle, pick up 18 stitches along heel flap, and pick up
1 stitch between flap and held stitches.

Work in pattern of chart #2 for needle #2 and #3 (begin at row 3 on chart).

With needle #4, pick up 1 stitch between needle #3 and flap, and pick up
18 stitches along heel flap; k9.

Your work should now look like:
needle #1 – 28 stitches
needle #2 – 16 stitches
needle #3 – 16 stitches
needle #4 – 28 stitches

For those that prefer it, here are the written out instructions for chart #2
to be used for needle #2 and #3:

Row 1: k5, [k2tog, yo, k8] x 2, k2tog, yo, k5

Row 2: Knit this and all even rows.

Row 3: k4, [k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k5] x 2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k3

Row 5: [k3, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, skpo] x 3, k2

Row 7: k2, [k2tog, yo, k5, yo, skpo, k1] x 2, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, skpo, k1

Row 9: k1, k2tog, yo, k7, yo, sk2po, yo, k7, yo, sk2po, yo, k7, yo, skpo

Row 11: [ k2tog, yo, k8] x 3, k2tog, yo

Row 13: k2, [yo, skpo, k5, k2tog, yo, k1] x 2, yo, skpo, k5, k2tog, yo, k1

Row 15: [k3, yo, skpo, k3k2tog, yo] x 3, k2

Row 17: k4, [yo, skpo, k1, k2tog, yo, k5] x 2, yo, skpo, k1, k2tog, yo, k3

Row 19: k5, [yo, sk2po, yo, k7] x 2, yo, sk2po, yo, k4

Row 20: Knit


Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit stitches on needle #1 to last 2 sts, k2tog; work needles #2 and #3
in pattern; ssk, knit to end.

Work these 2 rows until you have 14 stitches on needle #1 and needle #4.


Work needles #1 and #4 in stockinette stitch, and needles #2 and #3 in pattern,
until 4 pattern repeats have been worked on gusset and foot. Work 2 more rows, ending on row 2 of chart. Foot should measure about 7”.

Your work should now look like:
needle #1 – 15 stitches
needle #2 – 30 stitches
needle #3 – 15 stitches


Place first stitch of needle #2 onto needle #1.
Place last stitch of needle #3 onto needle #4.
Place stiches on needle #2 and #3 onto one needle.

Row 1: Knit to last 3 sts on needle #1, k2tog, k1; k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts on needle #2,
k2tog, k1; k1 ssk, k to end.
Row 2: Knit

Work these 2 rows until you have 7 stitches on needle #1 and #3,
and 14 stitches on needle #2.

Knit needle #1, and place stitches of needle #1 and #3 onto one needle.
Break yarn, leaving 12” tail.
Graft toe closed.