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Saturday, February 28, 2009

kr34t1v bl0gg3r 4w4rd


What could that little red strip of knitting possibly be? Do you remember when I was working on three cable bags back in the beginning of 2008? Let me refresh your memory. There was the burgundy cable bag, the red cable bag, and the black cable bag. After knitting them up, I gave them to Vicki who would look into seaming all three and finding fabric to line the inside. She finally did this a couple weeks ago. We got together and she showed me the seamed bags and the three fabrics she chose for lining each bag. She did a wonderful job of choosing the color and print on the fabrics. We discussed handle possibilities and eventually decided on a knitted strap. We haven't figured out whether the strap should go on the bag before the lining, or the other way around. So she punted all the yarn back to me so I could knit the handles. This is what you see above, a handle/strap for the red cable bag. I decided to start with this one first because I know she likes this one the best and wants to keep it for herself. I think I am using 8mm needles for this. The yarn band suggests 9mm, but it can't hurt to have a nice tight knit on the handle. It is still kinda "stretchy" so we'll probably have to line the underside of the strap to reinforce it.

We starting thinking about this project back in 2006 or 2007. Yes, things move slowly over here. We're hoping to finish all three bags this year. So stay tuned... :-)

Speaking of slow, I have been meaning to post earlier this week. Unfortunately it got busy/crazy over here and then the Little One got sick. Of course she starts to recover once I call to make a doctor's appt, so that that when she goes there a few hours later, she is in a good mood, not listless, and not feeling like a hot potato to the touch. The doc prolly thought I was smoking the carpet or brought in the wrong kid! lol. But it was reassuring to know there wasn't anything serious, especially before the weekend starts. I've got lots of blog posts trapped inside my head and need to transfer them to the computer. Does this happen to you? I usually have lots of ideas floating around in my head. Then once I sit down in front of the computer, there is a brain fart and my mind is a blank. What did I want to blog about? I'm also still way behind in the email dept. I can't seem to stay focused on one task.

Happy Birthday Bets!

Barb, Beate, Kkhymm, Michele, and Theresa have given me this |{®3471\/ ߣ0993® 4\/\/4®Ð -- (that's Leet for "Kreativ Blogger Award"). Thank you so much for nominating me!

Here are the rules:
1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

It's so hard to single out just 7 bloggers when there are so many more who are deserving of this award. Go check out some of the blogs listed in my sidebar, you'll find lots af interesting blogs and people there. (I've only just discovered the new Blogger blog list widget and am still adding to that list, ran into error messages earlier and need to try again -- but there are 2 other lists just below that widget, and those should keep you quite busy!) But I guess y'all still want me to enumerate seven, so here they are:

Allison - Res Ipsa Knit With Her
Cindy - Baxter Knits
Darcy - Darcy's Knotty Knitter
Grace - Lovin Comfort Knits
Louise - Knit One Bake Too
Mireille - Torsades
Trish - My Merino Mantra

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

molasses on a cold winter's day


Very little knitting happening in my corner of the world. DH went on a business trip Research Triangle Park and brought back the magnet you see above. I specifically asked him for an (almost) unbreakable magnet, because Missy has played with the breakable ones on the fridge and they eventually get dropped onto the floor. Missy is normally an angel when DH is around and then turns into The Little Terror when he is not around. So it's been a trying time for us both while DH was away, leaving me exhausted at the end of the day and no knitting accomplished.

I had the pleasure of driving to my local airport, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) for the very first time to drop him off, and again during rush hour to pick him up. It was pouring rain when I drove him to the airport and I could not get a good feel for the airport layout or a good look at the signs. It was a clear day when I went to pick him up. I must say that the signage could be improved there. It is not quite as good as my previous local airport San Francisco International Airport (SFO) which made perfect sense to me, although having gone there on and off during the past several decades may have helped me gain an intuitive feel for how to manoeuvre around the place.

Note to self for the next time I need to drive to the SJ airport during rush hour: DO NOT take 101 to Guadelupe. It was a dead slow crawl. I could have walked faster! Ok, not really, but it sure did seem that way while I was stuck in traffic. Next time take Central Expy.

So besides not knitting, I haven't much time to catch up in the blog reading dept and don't even ask me about the state of my email messages. I am also not very good with Ravelry mail as I don't always think to check them and I can't seem to keep the number of unread messages under 3 digits cough127cough. I did however finally managed to figure out how to add my followers to my sidebar. So this is a small victory for me. See? It's in my sidebar! :-)

Here I am sipping on my cup of coffee while I contemplate giving up coffee again. I only started drinking coffee again in the fall, beginning with now and then, and then working up to having it daily. I am wondering whether the coffee is what is causing the underarm/side/arm pain I've been having on and off since about roughly the same time I started drinking it again. Yeah, it's a real pain, quite bothersome at times and then sometimes not very noticeable. Sometimes there is a bit of numbness in my arm, as if I had lost just a bit of circulation. Perhaps it is the coffee. Perhaps it is bad posture in front of the computer. Perhaps a bit of both. However when the underarm pain is at its worst, I don't even notice the pain I experience from my left dpn resting on my left ring finger. This is getting a little better, I am trying not to hold the needle as tightly.

I have finally finished this trilogy, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and am glad I can say it's done and over with. Now I can move on to something else. I've started this book of short stories, The Ladies ofGrace Adieu, because I recently finished and enjoyed reading Susanna Clarke's other novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrelll. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get into it, perhaps I'm just not in the mood for it right now and will just have to try again later. What do you do when you are between books? It is not like knitting where you'll have a couple of big projects and some little ones to fill in the gap. I don't really have a "go to" book to fill in the gap.

Regia 4Ply Color Sock Yarn

I recently picked up some sock yarn from a LYS in San Mateo, Nine Rubies, new stuff that I have never knitted with before. They have some lovely local hand-dyed sock yarn, BayWood Yarns (RavProfile, blog, Flickr photos), merino in gorgeous colorways. I was very tempted. However my goal was to get something with nylon content, such as Opal or Regia which Suzann had recommended. And I really could not justify getting more "pure" fibery goodness when I had recently added these 14 hanks to my stash. So I picked up 2 balls of Regia 4 Ply Color (Ravelry Link) because it is 75% wool 25% nylon.

Regia Silk Color Sock Yarn

I also threw in 2 balls of Regia Silk Color (Ravelry Link), a wool/nylon/silk blend. And I picked up Trekking Pro Natura (Ravelry Link), a wool/bamboo blend, to try out because I vaguely recall somebody mentioning this brand. Well, this should keep me busy!

Trekking Pro Natura Sock Yarn

It's too bad that Nine Rubies is a bit of a drive for me. I only happened to be in the area because I was meeting a friend at Hillsdale Mall. This yarn store had a sitting area on one side where several knitters were gathered and it looked like such a fun thing to do!

I've got more yarny goodness to share with y'all, I just haven't had time to get my pics lined up. I also have sock knitting adventures to share too ... yes, still working on Practice Pair of Socks #2.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On the needles


Pattern: St. Albans Valentine Cable Scarf
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, red maple
Needles: 5 mm (US8)

Here's what I have on the needles -- my first project using my new Knit Picks Options Interchangeable needles! This scarf is for my SIL, knit on 5mm (US8) needles using Elann Highland Wool yarn (Ravlink here) in Red Maple, which is a gorgeous color in real life. The 5mm (US8) seems so large after knitting on 2.25 mm to 2.75 mm needles for socks & mitts.

Can't seem to get colour to appear true in photos. :-(

There is a wicked cool contest over here. Look at all these goodies you can win! Yarn. Needles. Patterns. And more! Go check it out.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Friday, February 13, 2009


DH went shopping one day and look what fell into the shopping basket... a Nintendo Wii !!!

When you open the side, you find 2 little trays...

of stuff...

So we've borrowed some games, and I have to say I am hooked on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play:

Missy finds Mario Kart really cute (and so do I up to a certain point):

And I am undecided on Boom Blox:

... because it is frustratingly addictive and addictively frustrating.

Other reasons to go wheeee! include these:

Lots and lots of Cherry Tree Hill Super Solids. :-D

Quite bright!

This is a good guy color.

Whenever I see this color, I always think of the nursery rhyme here we go round the mulberry bush.

The one above is bright!

Lovely shade.

Although nice, this is rather boring...

Not sure if my old eyes will enjoy knitting with this last color. They are all really beautiful. I picked them up with socks in mind, then later noticed that they're all 100% merino with no nylon content, so perhaps socks isn't such a good idea. Maybe mitts then... lotsa mitts! lol

I have never worked from hanks before so not sure what I need to do. Maybe this makes a good excuse to get one of these Mama Bear Swifts, which means I would also need a Ball Winder too.
Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

les chaussettes sont finies

Related posts:
28Mar2009 post (1 photo, shoe shot)
30Jan2009 post (4 photos)
19Jan2009 post (11 photos)

Practice Pair of Socks #1 (cuff-down), Finished Pair

Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Elann Sock It To Me, dutch blue
Needles: 2.75 mm

Look! Look! My very first practice socks!!! :-D This was fun. I can see why people are addicted.

When I made the 1st, I wrote down how many rounds I did for the leg and how many rounds for the foot (46 & 33), thinking I could use this in making its mate and to make sure both were identical. Well that was no help in the 2nd. I tried knitting this 2nd one tighter since I thought the 1st was a bit on the loose side. As a result, the row gauge changed.

Am I supposed to block these? I don't have any sock blockers yet.

Oh, about that title. It should mean that the socks are finished. I was having a brain fart and couldn't remember how the adjective fini (pp of finir) should agree with the fem pl word chaussettes. Fini is masc, finie is fem. So finies is fem plural, right?

This 2nd one fits better than the 1st one. The laddering has improved compared to the 1st, however you can still see it on both sides.

Did I mention it is very difficult to take photos of one's foot?

The top view is not very exciting. I think the 1st is on the left, 2nd on the right.

I am very pleased with the ankle area. Not as holey as the 1st one. These 2 pics also give you a better close up of the ladders. :-(

I love the heel flap.

I actually made the 2nd sock slightly differently than the 1st, you know, just to try something new. The heel flap is worked a little differently. Same but different. I think I did a better job with it in this 2nd one. I also worked the whole gusset section a little differently too.

And to continue in this theme of trying to do things a little differently, I also did a slightly different toe decrease in the 2nd one. The 1st sock is on the left, where I did slow decreases and then faster ones nearer the end. The 2nd sock on the right had constant decreases all the way, making it more "pointy". I haven't decided whether one way is better than the other. I think I like the more "rounded" toe (left one) a little bit more.

I guess I got a little picture-happy since this is my very first pair of socks. I did have fun knitting these, even though they were on itty bitty 2.75 mm pointy sticks. I'll definitely do another pair. I think Practice Pair #2 should start at the toe.

I'm not sure when I will actually wear these socks. Probably just around the house. I've been wearing shoes similar to the one shown here with thin trouser socks. These knit socks would be a bit too thick for the shoes.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

HUGe - Part 3

This is Part 3 in a series on the 2008 HUGe swap.
Click here for Part 1.
Click here for Part 2.
Related post: 08Jan2009 post - 21 Photos - Elann HUGe 2008 Swap, Group 1 box

7 Bangles

Bangle #7:

Bangle #7

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for Bangle #7. I had an idea in my mind about doing a lacy type pattern that would allow the color of the bangle to show through. I started by trying out the Miniature Leaf pattern from BW1, held it over a few different colored bangles and did really like what I saw. I tried the lacy pattern on a silver/mirror finish bangle and a red colored one. Neither lookde quite right to me.

Version 2 was this zig zaggy pattern which you can see is too subtle for this project. You could barely see the zig zags and it is even less noticeable when considering that only a thin sliver of the middle section would exposed on the bangle. I was afraid people might look at it and think the pattern was just totally random or just botched up.

In the end I decided to try the Double Texture Cable from BW3 pg 70. I thought it was interesting because half the cable is plain stockinette and the other half is seed stitch. Unfortunately the pattern loses some impact on this black yarn. You can see what the swatch looked like in the photo above.

Elann Baby Silk yarn, black color

The yarn I used for this is a fingerling (sock) weight yarn, Elann Baby Silk. I've had this yarn since August 2005, and it took me 3 years before I finally dug it out to do somethnig with it. This one was a challenge to knit because the dark yarn made it difficult to see, and I was knitting it using 2.75 mm (US2) needles.

Black bangle

I used a black colored bangle for this one. The upside of using a black bangle is that with black yarn, I didn't have to worry about the bangle showing through in a bad way. :-) Seaming this took quite a bit longer than any of previous bangles due to the difficulty of seeing black yarn.

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:

Elann Baby Silk, Black
2.75 mm (US2)
Black bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 22 stitches.
Rows 1, 3, 15, 17, 19: K7, (P1, K1)x2, P4, K7
Rows 2, 16, 18, 20: P7, K4, (K1, P1)x2, P7
Row 4: P7, slip 4 sts to CN & hold in back, (K1, P1)x2, K4 from CN, P7
Rows 5, 7, 9 , 11, 13: K7, P4, (P1, K1)x2, K7
Rows 6, 8, 10, 12: P7, (K1, P1)x2, K4, P7
Row 14: P7, slip 4 sts onto CN & hold in back, K4, (K1, P1)x2 from CN, P7
Repeat Rows 1 to 20 for pattern.

7 Bangles

Bangle #8

Bangle #8

As basic as this cable came out, it actually took me 5 tries before I decided on how wide the cable should be and how many rows to cable on. I had an idea of using the Eccentric Cable from BW1 and started with a 3-over-3 cable every 6th and 12th rows. Then tried 4-over-4 cable ever 6th and 12th rows. The cable didn't seem wide enough, so third try was 6-over-6 cable every 8th and 16th rows. Then I changed the interval by doing a 6-over-6 cable every 12th and 24th rows. I didn't like the Eccentric Cable style, so changed this back to cabling every 12th row.

Red bangle

I knit this one with sock/fingerling weight yarn, Elann Sock It To Me in the latte color using 2.75 mm (US2) needles. The yarn is the same one I used for Bangle #6. And I used a transparent red bangle like the one above.

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:

Elann Sock It To Me, Latte
2.75 mm (US2)
Red bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 26 stitches.
Row 1 and all odd rows: K7, P12, K7
Row 2 and all even rows except for 6 and 18: P7, K12, P7
Row 6 & 18: P7, CF12, P7
Repeat rows 1 to 24 for pattern.

CF12 = Slip 6 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front. Knit 6 stitches. Knit 6 stitches from cable needle.


Bangle #9

Bangle #9

Here's Bangle #9. At this point I finally felt like I could finish the project before the deadline. I needed to make 10 items, so making one more should be a cinch. I was really worried about making the deadline to mail the bangles to Theresa, because I was making these bangles at a rate of 2 per month.

This was knit in the same yarn as Bangle #8, Elann Sock It To Me in Latte color with 2.75 mm (US2) needles. I decided to take a break from cables and do a simple Double Seed Stitch pattern. I used a charcoal colored bangle for this one.

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:

Elann Sock It To Me, Latte
2.75 mm (US2)
Charcoal bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 24 stitches
Rows 1 & 2: * K2, P2 *
Rows 3 & 4: * P2, K2 *
Repeat Rows 1 to 4 for pattern.


Bangle #10

Bangle #10

I still had plenty of the Elann Sock It To Me Yarn to make another bangle with it, however it was definitely time to use a different yarn and/or color. Looking at the 9 bangles made so far, there is a heavy slant towards the browns/tans. I think it is a good neutral color for most people, but really, it can be too much of a good thing!!! So with 4 brown/tans, 2 reds, 1 purple, 1 blue, and 1 black ... what color should be next? Purple is one of my favorite colors, although I don't think there are as many people out there would would like a purple bangle. So I nixed purple for bangle #10. I went back to the black Elann Baby Silk, using a simple Moss Stitch pattern.

Black bangle

Like the other one I made with black Baby Silk yarn (Bangle #7), I also used a black bangle for this one too. I was so happy to finally finish my 10th bangle, and before the due date too!

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:

Elann Baby Silk, black
2.75 mm (US2)
Black bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 24 stitches.
Rows 1 & 2: * K1, P1 *
Rows 3 & 4: * P1, K1 *
Repeat rows 1 to 4 for pattern.


Voilà! Here are all the bangles I made for the 2008 HUGe swap:

10 bangles

Project Summary:


Assorted Bangles


Cleckheaton Country 8-Ply, brown
Elann Baby Silk, Black
Elann Highland Wool, Ruby Red
Elann Luxury Merino Superwash, Capri
Elann Sock It To Me, purple
Elann Sock It To Me, Latte

Needle sizes:

2.75 mm (US2)
4.0 mm (US6)


Swatch Bangles

Stitch patterns used:

4-Over-4 front cross cable every 8th row
6-Over-6 front cross cable every 12th row
Chain Link Cables, BW3 pg 213
Double Broken Rib, BW1 pg 12
Double Seed Stitch, BW1 pg 11
Double Texture Cable, BW3 pg 70
Moss Stitch, BW1 pg 11
Pattern # 120, NKSL pg 73
Seed Stitch, BW1 pg 11

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.