Lace Table Runner

lace table runner length

This lace table runner was my first knitting project (& the first thing on my needles period). It's acrylic, but that really doesn't bother me since I enjoy machine washable fibers. Throughout the project I experimented with different types of increases & decreases. It truly is what I learned knitting on.

lace table runner stitches

I'm not a big fan of being afraid of knitting. No one ever told me not to attempt lace first, so I went ahead & tried it out. Really made a great way to learn not only knit & purl, but also increases, decreases, & how to correct mistake stitches.

lace table runner close-up

That first foray into knitting is most likely why I believe that those skills are all those of a beginning knitter. An intermediate knitter should know a couple ways to cast on & off, knit & purl, increases, decrease, & (hopefully) how to read one's own knitting. An advanced knitter should not fear major projects & should be able to design (or at least alter) projects. I've been told that my ideas regarding the levels of knitting are far from accurate. I think I'll have to start looking towards advanced classes for myself even though I consider myself an intermediate knitter (by my own scale) at best.


Not Knitting Incorrectly

It seems that there are many knitters who are telling new knitters that they have their stitches reversed (from "normal") & are knitting wrongly. These new knitters aren't knitting wrongly or incorrectly. It does not matter how the stitches are set up as long as the knitter can read them & understand their orientation. I've posted some illustrations below of both "normal" & "twisted" setups & how to knit, purl, knit through back loop, & purl through back loop. Someday I'll post picture equivalents of the illustrations.

Stitch orientation Basic knit & purl Through back loop knit & purl Needle movement for knit through back loop knit & purl


After having one of my cats make a mess of a ball of yarn, I've discovered that a couple of things many people enjoy about wool I hate. The fact that wool "sticks" (which makes it great for steeking) is utterly annoying. I also strongly dislike the stretchiness. I love working with cotton & other plant fibers which most tend to dislike because there isn't any stretch in the fiber. Superwash wool is ok. As is a nylon/wool mix.


Cat Bed 2 Fin!

I snuggled the cat bed into the corner of our stripy couch &, lo & behold, the cat who sleeps there loves it as is! I put the hole towards the corner & it works fine that way. So I'm not going to bother with it anymore since it's already almost too small.


Cat Bed 2...Almost

It turns out that the garter stitch strip I knit for the sides of my second cat bed is too short. Therefore I'm thinking of filling the rest in with a felted red vest, just for kicks. My cats won't care, but it'll be interesting looking compared to the other (whose colors I like better).


Charts for Spring Socks

yo flower chart

These are the flower (left) & butterfly (below) charts that I'll be using on my Spring Socks. I'm still working out the placement & repeats, but I've finally decided on how to create the motifs I was aiming for.

yo butterfly chart
\ = skp
/ = k2tog
O = yo


From Opal Petticoat to Spring Socks

Opal  Palette 1290  2.25mm (sz1) 8.5sts/1"

This is my gauge swatch for Opal yarn in Petticoat 1290 on 2.25mm needles. Even though the socks I'm knitting are in the round, I knit the swatch flat. Early on I learned that my gauge is the same with both methods. (Well, perhaps a slight difference in rows/inch, but that's not a big deal to me.) I'd forgotten this yarn & was pleasantly surprised to find something so Spring-like amongst my stash.

I decided to branch out & try a toe-up sock with a short row toe & heel. My toe's short row pick-up row looks, imho, rather ugly. Perhaps I'll try a different wrap or wrap pick-up on the heel to see if the results improve. Presently, I'm attempting to decide what type of pattern to use on it. My favorites thus far lean towards yo flowers & wrapped bow/butterflies. I've spent too much time trying different types of decreases for the flowers. Whether to do them directly next to the yos or further away as a vertical row. Then, what type of decreases? The normal skp & k2tog or twisted versions? What type of twisted (both stitches at once, both stitches one at a time, or top stitch twisted only)? arg. I really wasn't planning on it taking this long to decide on a pattern stitch.


Lace Doll Sweater (by Gaela Designs)

Lace Doll Sweater (by Gaela Designs), back, on needles

This is the back of the sweater, supported by the ball of yarn, while it was still on the needles. Taken with my webcam, it's the best I can do. It's a top down, raglan construction. I decided to do the sleeves in the round on dpns instead of flat & seaming them as per the instructions. It required some extra math, but in the end I think it fits better than a seam would have allowed.

Lace Doll Sweater (by Gaela Designs), right front & arm, on needles

Here is the right front & arm of the sweater. Notice the sleeve stitches are held by some orange acrylic so they can be knit in the round later. It again sits on the ball of yarn. I love these colors!


How I Felt(ed My Cat Bed)

So far, I've had the best luck by

  • Hottest wash
  • Coldest rinse
  • Lowest water level
  • One quarter of the amount of soap for a small load
  • Bit of vinegar (keep the dye from bleeding
  • Double rinse
  • Dry in dryer on high
  • Use a dryer sheet

I didn't put it in a pillowcase or anything, but I'm thinking I might need to next time to spare my washing machine. I tie pillowcases shut with hair bands to clean them at the same time.


Harvest Wrist Warmers

Completed. Woo-hoo! There's a lot of left over yarn, so I'll probably end up knitting some baby or children's socks. They come in very handy for gifts & even if I don't give them away they'll be useful someday. I have the urge to begin knitting in the Japanese Kanji for hand ( 手 ) on the bottom of any hand-wash only socks. It just seems logical since I tend to consider everything machine washable (with normal loads) unless specified.

I really need to get a digital camera & some decent photo hosting space. I'd really like something with command line access since I'm not much on web-interfaces.


I gave the Violets by the River shawl to my mother-in-law for Xmas. I'm rather sure she liked it. The Misti Alpaca sport weight yarn was like working with butter. mmm. My father-in-law was given a pair of dress socks that were only the height of crew socks. It's the height he likes & it really beat knitting any higher. Due to being machine washable, I used Essential for the socks. Took just under three balls for his (big) feet.

After completing the Harvest Wrist Warmers, I've been asked to knit a doll sweater for my mom. Even though the pattern she gave me calls for a dk weight yarn, I bought a worsted weight in the most gorgeous colorway. Bo Peep Fiber Shop was having a yarn sale, so I just couldn't pass up the hand-dyed Dzined wool/hemp/mohair blend (color WHM22106). It was expensive for my budget, but well worth it. Before the sale it was already underpriced. Altering the pattern shouldn't be hard. I've done such before. Afterall, it's for a doll. It doesn't have to be comfortable.