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July 23, 2007

London Bound

I'm in London for a week accompanying nona-hubby on his annual business trip to said local.  Hopefully by the time I return this yarn will be transformed into a pair of Sockapalooza socks.  Cheers!

Louet Gems for a pair of modified Monkeys.

July 23, 2007 in Sockapalooza | Permalink | Comments (10)

July 20, 2007


One of the insignificant woes of empty-nesthood is the relative lack of readily available photographers.  These days I either need to be up and dressed at the crack of dawn -- the nona-hubby is an early raiser -- or still be put together by the end of the day.  I wonder what my young neighbor would think if I started showing up at her door step, digital camera in hand, clothed in a partially knit sweater, requesting a few shots?

This morning I rose early -- just for you -- to get this photo of my completed Josephine Top.  I absolutely love it and will wear it often!

Started: May 22, 2007
Finished: July 11, 2007
Pattern: Josephine Top designed by Deborah Newton.  Published in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits
Yarn: Rowan's Cotton Glace
Needles: US 3
Modifications: None!  Since Deborah Newton is such an excellent designer with an eye for details I decided to knit the top without any modifications.  For me, I could have added 1 more inch to the upper body as the top's tie doesn't quite make it up and over the ladies.  But alas, the ladies are so diminutive only I will notice this fashion mis-hap.

July 20, 2007 in It's Done!, Project - Josephine | Permalink | Comments (25)

July 17, 2007

Stitch Markers

I saw these at Harlem Purls's Etsy store and couldn't resist buying them.  Take a close look, closer, closer -- see!  They're Sidewinders stitch markers.  I'm especially happy with the thin wire Chante used for the loop and think these markers will be perfect for the socks.  I cannot wait to cast on my next pair and give them a test drive.  Thank goodness I'm going on an East Bay yarn crawl on Thursday, 'cause I'm in the market for more sock yarn.

Sidewinders Stitch Markers!
Handcrafted by Harlem Purls

July 17, 2007 in Sidewinders | Permalink | Comments (9)

July 15, 2007

Cabin Fever Fever

Have you seen the new Cabin Fever book, Button Up Your Top Down?  The sisters at Cabin Fever advocate no-sew, top-down, in-the-round knitting and have written a wonderful book for women's cardigans based on this philosophy.  The book begins with two generic patterns -- one in D.K and the other in Aran -- which allow you to mix and match different necklines, body lengths, and sleeve styles.  Basic, customizable, and rich with possibilities.  The remaining patterns in the book are designs created by the Cabin Fever team based on these generic patterns. 

I'm curious, oh so curious, to try one of these patterns.  Now that Josephine is finished -- pictures and details to follow shortly -- I've casted on an Aran weight, crew neck, hip length, 3/4 sleeve variation, perhaps with a touch of deep ribbing.  Looking a bit like a big blob I must say, but I'm quickly approaching the infamous body-sleeve divide where the big blob should begin to resemble a sweater.

July 15, 2007 in nonaReviews | Permalink | Comments (8)

July 11, 2007

Facts About nona: Part 11


nona thinks raising the two nona-boys was one of the best things that ever happened to her.

nona is thrilled for the two nona-boys who are off on summer adventures and will be together at USC next fall.

nona is enjoying the beautiful summer weather and spending time with nona-hubby.

nona is not home much these days, nor on her computer.

nona loves being an empty nester!

July 11, 2007 in Who Is Nona | Permalink | Comments (22)

July 10, 2007

A Riddle

Dear nona,

I have a riddle for you.  I'm tight where I should be loose and loose where I should be tight.  My dilemma cannot be fixed by the gym or a diet.  I'm on my side and following the rules.  What am I and can you help?

Riddler from Reno

Dear Riddler,

Could it be that you're having trouble with the paired increases and decreases in your Sidewinders Sock?  Are your paired decreases too loose, forming a gap in the center and your paired increases too tight, causing a twinge of fabric distortion?  I made a pair of ankle Sidewinders to experiment with a few ideas. 

Loose Decreases
To close the gap between the paired decreases try any -- or all -- of the following:

  • Work your decreases tightly.  I rarely advocate yarn tugging, but this is an ideal opportunity to tug away.
  • Make sure your center heel (or toe) marker is -- to quote Monty Python -- wafer thin.  A thick stitch marker will definitely leave a gap between the decreases.  Why not take the old fashion route and use a thin yarn loop.

  • If all else fails, add 1 stitch between the paired decreases.  Whether you're decreasing for the heel or the toe, add the extra stitch on the foot side of the center marker.

Tight Increases
Finding a set of paired increases that didn't distort the fabric when worked every row was tricky business.  I found the raised bar increase to be the best, though far from perfect.  If your increases are too tight try the following:

  • Work the two center stitches and the newly formed make-one stitches very loosely.  There needs to be plenty of give between each center stitch and its associated make-one to allow for the connecting yarn to be picked up on the following row.
  • Add an extra stitch between the paired increases -- 3 center stitches instead of 2.  Separating the pair increases seems to help a bit.  Whether you're increases for the heel or the toe, add the extra stitch on the foot side of the center marker.

Further Opinions
We would all me a bunch of dullards if we didn't have further opinions.   Here are mine:

  • In both cases, sometimes a wash and a wear is all that is needed to lift, tuck, and separate.
  • Only add the extra stitch as a last resort.  I think the sock looks and fits best if the paired decreases are side-by-side and the paired increases are separated by 2 stitches.

  • If you add the extra stitch to one, also add it to the other.  This will ensure that the increases and decreases are symmetrical.

  • It's only a sock.  As long as the fabric is sound and the fit is good, a little space here or a pull there will only remind you that these sock were made my hand -- your hand!

July 10, 2007 in Ask nona, Sidewinders | Permalink | Comments (12)

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