Daffodils Are Here


My March, Sock-It-To-Me 2015, Ravelry group, Daffodil socks are done! The birthstone for March is aquamarine and it’s flower the daffodil. I had originally planned on knitting a pair of socks evoking the wonders of water, using a beautiful skein of yarn with various shades of aquamarine with just a hint of yellow, which I ordered from an Etsy vendor. However, the Etsy time for my review came in before the skein was even sent. I had to email the person after 5 days to see when it would be sent. Sigh…… I’ve never had this problem before. So on to Plan B – I knit the Worsted Anklet pattern by JoAnne Turcotte for Kraemer Yarns, adding a lace pattern to the top. The original, Elisabeth Lavold wool was putty color, so, after the socks were done, I overdyed the socks into this pretty daffodil color. I’ve never overdyed after a project was finished before so my fingers were crossed. The pattern looks as if those are closed daffodil bud.

Undyed Daffodil Sock showing pattern

Undyed Daffodil Sock showing pattern

The socks were knit using a magic loop. For me, circular knitting is either done on two needles or using the magic loop. With this pattern, there were a total of 40 stitches, 20 on each part. The lace pattern for the instep was based on a 16 st pattern, an 8 stitch repeat. I knit two stitches before beginning the pattern and two stitches at the end of the pattern to give the 20 stitches required. I know I’ve blogged about using graph-lined index cards to make my knitting easier. This is the card I used while knitting the lace pattern on Daffodil. For my foot length (Ladie’s size 8), I repeated the lace pattern 3 times.

Lace Pattern for Daffodil

Lace Pattern for Daffodil

I add the two + on either end of the pattern as a visual reminder to me that I had to knit the first two and last two stitches of the row. Knit the pattern on the odd rows and knit across the even rows.  I’m not sure when I changed from having to read a row of printed lace pattern to being able to read a chart. Hasn’t been that long.


Throw In A Bit Of Mystery Shawl With Some Tips!

~Remember my mentioning that fellow bloggers just lead me into temptation? Well, because Peacefully Knitting has mentioned being in a KAL for a Mystery Shawl I though ,”What fun!” and coerced Barb into  joining the Fall 2012 Mystery Shawl KAL. Funny thing, when I joined I found it was the same person who sponsored the last mystery shawl I did about 5 years ago! At least for this project the pattern is free and I had the yarn and needles, so cost = $0!

I have finished Clue 1 and this is what it looks like so far:

I have a few tips for knitting lace and adding beads:

1. After trying many markers, I found they were all to “heavy” for lace weight yarn. So I make markers out of embroidery thread. They’re “light” and don’t weight the yarn down.

2. I like a smaller sized bead with lace weight yarn. None of my crochet hooks fit through a size 8/0 bead. I know other people use the stiff dental floss, I don’t like it. It is perfect for threading my Baby Loc though. Instead, I cut the end off of a beading needle. Really easy with wire snips. I also do a small snip to the other end to blunt it. See how nicely the needle opens? You can trim the needle shorter if you’d like.


A. Open the wire and slip through the stitch:

B. Pick up the bead.


C. Pull the bead down the wire and the stitch.

D. Place stitch back on left-hand needle.

Now your ready to knit the stitch with the bead.

Lastly, I use a pdf app which allows me to mark up the pattern. This helps with reading. This Mystery Shawl only has charts, so I make notes on the chart. This is my Toshiba tablet and I use the RepliGo PDF editor. You can see how I’ve marked the number of stitches on the chart. Also / = k2tog. If this were a written pattern, I’d block differ areas and fill with color. (Yes, you can see my reflection.) When I use the iPad, which is technically Hubs, I use GoodReader. Neither app is free, but well worth the money!


I have to go on the record saying that I really do not like knitting with lace-weight yarn! Peacefully Knitting and I agree on that point! But, I did go through a period 5 years ago when I was in a lace frenzy. As a result, there is plenty of lace-weight in my stash, so…….

Oh, I hear my California Towhee in the back chipping at me. Time to go out and throw some seed at him.




Not Another WIP!

~Hey fellow bloggers, I’m retired! You have to quite posting such wonderful “things” which I, in turn, lust after! (Jump down a few lines Alan) And… then have to buy! A limited income only goes so far you know! So which one of you had a link to Grumperina? ‘Fess up! I saw the Volna scarf and loved it. Now, I did use my will power for at least a week before I bought it.

Before purchasing, I decided to browse the Volna projects on Ravelry, I noticed that someone had used Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel using US 6. That sealed it. The pattern was MINE! I just happened to have Crazy Zauberball in my stash. I bought it because I LOVE the colors, not because I had a project in mind.

If you knit this project, it is easier if you use pointed, lace tip needles. There is a lot of k2tog and picking up yarns. I only had a “fat” tip pair of US 6 and it does slow me down. Also, notice my two other knitting tips. 1. I tied the tail around a plastic bread tab. I always leave the tail so, especially in garter stitch, I know which side in the Right Side (RS). The hanging tail gets in the way. How many of you have accidentally started knitting using the tail? Sigh….. 2. The wave pattern repeats 5 times. Wanting a quick counter, I put 5 beads onto a safety pin. Reminds me of the abacus! Quick and easy.

As with any pattern, there are two parts: the instructions and the row patterns.  The Volna has three pattern parts: Wave A, Wave B and Main. Using notecards, I wrote each pattern on it’s own card. On the back of the card, I wrote the written instructions for that part, see green card. Love these cards!  So, with the fan on me I’ve been knitting yet another new project!


Fuzzy’s (aka mom) comment reminded me that not everyone is a member of Ravelry. So here is the picture of Volna from Ravelry:

My Dyed Harvest Yarn Shawlette

– This is one of the most satisfying knitting projects I have done. This is the vanilla yarn which I dye and have named Harvest Yarn. We blogged about our dying project in our very first post on March 27, “It’s All About the Dyeing!“.

I chose the “Maia” pattern from 7 Small Shawls, by Rosemary Hill. I thought the pattern looked like falling leaves which is perfect for my Harvest Yarn. I used my own, hand-made, heart stitch markers to keep track of the pattern and Q’s handmade cake covers to hold the yarn. Her pattern for the cake cover is featured in our April 7 post, “Cover that Cake with Colorful Berries“.

When I started working “Chart F,” it wasn’t working out, there was a problem. The pattern called for a 3sltog (slip 3, knit two together, pass three stitch over knit.) This makes a four stitch decrease. The stitch count kept coming out wrong, there were not enough stitches. After a bit of frogging, I did a 2sltog, a three stitch decrease, it worked out great.

The shawlette was soaked for 20 minutes. It was then blocked on my large blocking board. If you missed the instructions for making a large blocking board, check our May 6 Large Blocking Project part 1 post. I explain how it’s done.

What start out as plain, vanilla yarn was dyed and then knitted into a shawlette. It feels good making something no one else has. That is what is so great about knitting. You choose a project and make it your own. 🙂

Translation Needed?

~ Half of the fun of reading the knitting patterns from the last two centuries, it how knitting terminology has changed. It looks as if effort has been made to have a “universal knitting” language. This image is a copy of the Directions for Stitches Used in Knitting found in all of the issues of Needlecraft Magazine.

Modern Translation, followed by modern abbreviation:
To knit plain = knit (K)
Narrow = knit 2 together (K2tog)
Purl or seam = purl (P)
Purl-narrow = Purl two together (p2tog)
Over = yarn over (YO)

Fagot = yarn over, purl 2 together* (YO, p2tog)
Slip, narrow and bind = slip first stitch, knit two stitches together, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch (ssp)

Slip and bind = slip one stitch, knit one, draw slipped stitch over (sk2p)

The fagot term puzzled me. I had learned that the fagot stitch was “yarn over, knit 2 together” (yo, k2tog), this article says “purl” instead of “knit”. Their definition for fagot stitch sent me off on a research journey. I LOVE research, it really is like putting a puzzle together. 😎 Google Books here I come!

Most of the middle 1800’s knitting books by Miss Lambert, Miss Pitt and Miss Copley called “yarn over, knit 2 together” the “open stitch”. Fagot stitch wasn’t mentioned. Finally, in the 1890’s I found some references to the fagot stitch:

1894 The American Agriculturist, Volume 54.
Fagot = thread over twice and purl two together. (Note: The knitting is not continental so one of the forward threads is used for purl as explained in the Directions of Stitches Used in Knitting.)

1894 Good Housekeeping, Volume 18 page 287
Fagotting – slip one, knit one, thread over twice, knit two together by seaming, thread over once, knit two together by seaming.
Translation of fagotting: slip one, knit one, yarn over, purl 2 together, yarn over, purl 2 together. Remember, the purl stitch was also referred to as “seam” so “seaming is purling. 😎

I found that this term was used through the 1920’s. I wonder when and why it went out of general usage?

Sister Barb knit a beautiful shawl and gave the pattern to me. I used it to knit  a mohair shawl for mom. The pattern called for “yo, p2tog”. I found this to be really annoying and complained loudly about the p2tog. “Why the heck is it p2tog and not k2tog?” I’d mutter as I was knitting. Finally, I just k2tog. It looked the same to me since the mohair covered any changes. Now I understand the pattern was based on the fagot stitch which was used for the lace.

In my exploration of old lace patterns I noticed two interesting differences:

  1. Some of the lace patterns had fagot stitchs on both sides, so there really wasn’t a right or wrong side
  2. Some of the lace patterns had yarn-overs, k2tog on one side and purling across the back row so there was a wrong side.

More research showed that if both sides use the fagot stitch, etc it is called Knitted Lace. If only one side uses the fagot stitch, etc, it’s called Lace Knitting. Go figure. 😎 This means that the shawl I made for mom was Lace Knitting.

If you are ever on Who Wants to be a Millionare, you will now win the $$ for the question: “Knitting with fagot stitches on both sides is called……”

Knitted Lace by Miss Lambert in My Knitting Book (I have changed to modern terms)
Cast on 12 stitches in very fine cotton or thread.–Number 25 needles. I tried the pattern with sock weight yarn and number 6 needles. It worked.
Row 1: sl 1, k 2, p 1, k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k1, yo, k2tog
Row 2: sl 1, k1, yo 2x, k2, p2tog, yo, k1, p2tog, yo, p2tog, k1
Row 3: sl1, k2, p1, k2, yo, k2tog through back, k1, k2tog, k3
Row 4: sl1, yo, p1, k2tog, yo, k4, p2tog, yo p2tog, k1
Row 5: sl1, k2, p1, k2, k2tog, yo, k3, p2tog, k1
Row 6: (sl1, k1, pass sl stitch over) 3x, sl1, k1, yo, p2tog, yo, p2tog, k1 yo, p2tog, k1

If any of you try this pattern, please send pictures.

A final word from Miss Lambert:

“It is easiest to learn, by holding the wool over the fingers of the left hand; the position of the hands is more gracefully when thus held”

Continental knitting holds the wool over the fingers of the left hand, I knit continental, so excuse me, I must go and make my hands look graceful while knitting!


– The circular jacket is finally ready to block. As I said before, I did the body of the sweater on the knitting machine and the lace by hand. I used Sirdar’s yarn Crofter Dk, shade # 47 Skye. I have to thank my good friend Claudia for getting me interested in machine knitting. We have lots of fun figuring out new techniques.  The pattern is called Circular Jacket. Claudia says, “It is from a very old Machine Knitters News, the English magazine that is no longer in print.”  We are very luck to have two class on machine knitting in the San Diego Area. They are held at the Foothills Adult Ed. Building. The teacher has been teaching machine knitting for years.

This is the first major project I have completed on the machine.


After hand washing, I placed the piece between two towels, rolled it up, and gently pressed to get most of the water out.


I am so glad that I made a 4 x 8 foot blocking board. See Large Blocking Project Part I on instructions for making a large blocking board. I used “T” pins to hold the shape of the circle until it dried. I lightly steamed the lace. The blocking board worked frantastic.


Well this project was worth waiting for. I have decided not to put sleeves on it so technically it is a circular vest. Well what do you think? Cute? Notice, I’m wearing my hand-dyed t-shirt too!

Well I am off to start another major project.

Knitted Lace Edging

  – One of the most unique projects I have ever done is making the body of a circular sweater on the knitting machine and then hand finishing it. I have done small projects on the knitting machine, but I have never finished a large one. This was one project I really got excited about. Q found a perfect lace edging for the circular sweater. I told her I wanted a knit-as-you-go pattern. I did not want to pick up a jillion stitches around the edge.

The tricky part of hand-knitting a knit-as-you-go edging is picking up a stitch from the body. I found that using double pointed needles works great. I used double pointed needles since I only have a max of 23 stitches on the needle. You can use circular needles just as easily. Here I have all of the stitches for the row and I am ready to pick up a stitch from the edge of the sweater.

See how I pick up one stitch from the edge of the sweater with the point of the needle. After I pick up the stitch,  I slide the stitches back to the opposite end of the needle. I knit to the last lace stitch and the picked up stitch.

When you reach these two stitches, you knit them together and presto the lace is attached. Knit-as-you-go.
I am half done. I am looking forward to blocking it. After blocking, I am going to make a decision about sleeves; should I add sleeves, or leave it sleeveless? Decisions, decisions, decisions!
There are quite a few wonderful edgings at this site; they can all easily be attached to a sweater, cuff, etc.  If you want the knit-as-you-go, the edge stitch of the garment is counted as the first cast on.  You will pick-up a stitch from the garment every other row.  Continue the lace pattern until you reach the end of the garment where you want it to be.