Navigation Tips

Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.

Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.

The most comprehensive listing of Patterns, Pseudo-Patterns, and Pattern Outlines can be found on the Pattern Bibliography page.

Please read the Blog Housekeeping section in the sidebar for more info.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Test Knitting


Anybody know what this is called? It's very fragrant. Some of the vines are intertwined in my rose bushes. They're also lining the back fence of my back yard.

M rode on a pony for the very first time. First words out of her mouth at the end of the ride was, "I want to ride again!" Guess she really liked it. Would you believe that I have never ridden on a pony before?

We're going on a little road trip up to Wine Country sans the LO and I am thinking of using this purple yarn for either Luna Moth or Swallowtail. Probably Luna Moth. The yarn comes in little hanks, so I will have to rewind them before we go because I am not sure if there is anything appropriate I can loop it over at the place we're staying. No, I can't count on DH to hold yarn. Plus I want to get it started at home because the Luna uses PCO which drives me batty since I can never figure out which side to pull to "unzip". I'm thinking of making this for myself, so I can wear it to a wedding in Sept.

What is that mess, you ask? Whatever it is, it's quite overgrown on one side. Those branches are weighed down and pretty much touch the elevated section of the back yard.

Look! It's fuzzy fruit! Or more accurately, organic fuzzy fruit. :-)

Here's the test knitting I mentioned in earlier posts (back in April?), but couldn't show you until the KAL started in June. Well it was the middle of June when I discovered that Dianna decided not to use this pattern for the June KAL (she used this one instead); I haven't had much time to hang out on Rav lately. So I asked Dianna and she told me I could go ahead and show photos of the mitt (yay) even though she hasn't published (or named) the pattern yet. Of course the challenge now was to dig up the photos I took such a long time ago...

Here's what it looks like on my hand. Pretty good fit (I have smaller hands than the average person). These mitts were a cinch to knit, and very quick using worsted weight yarn; it's very similar to knitting the my mitt pattern from Dec2008. This means it'll be great for last minute prezzies. My hand is odd and it makes the design shift towards the thumbs rather than being centered on the back of my hand. If I make these again, I would add extra stitches between the pattern & the thumb to compensate for this. I'm so glad I knit these back in April when the weather was much cooler. I can't imagine knitting these now, while we have been having temps in the 25º~30ºC range.

I just finished watching the 1st episode of Royal Pains (yeah, I'm always behind on everything on my dvr) and it looks interesting enough to watch the next episode. The problem with liking a show on the USA network is that they always have shorter tv seasons. I didn't have time to rewind those hanks today and it is getting late here, so I'll try to do it tomorrow. Time for bed...

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Darcy is having a contest over here, prizes are a sock needle gauge on keyring & stitch markers. You have until 24Jun09 to enter. Please tell her I sent you. :-)

Well, I apparently missed any WWKIP events in my area on 6/13-14, however I did manage to knit a few rounds of a sock at SB while sipping a mocha that Saturday ... at VF Mall when DH had to stop by the FruityComputerStore to talk someone at the Genius Bar about a MB battery not holding a charge. This is the 2nd replacement battery under the FruityCare Plan. If this replacement is bad and we have to get a 3rd replacement, then the FCP will have paid for itself.

I inherited 7(?) rose bushes with the house and have left them alone for the past year and a half. They seemed to thrive with neglect, blooming often on their own, although they look big/bushy/wild now mingled in with a multitude of weeds. It took this long before I discovered that I could have fresh roses inside my house. I picked a few and found a plain vase to put them in, then set them on my kitchen counter. They bloomed over the next few days and then I replaced most of them with a few more from the garden. I took these photos the day after the 2nd picking. (At least) Two of the roses were from the 1st picking (5 days before) and the rest are from the day before.

I have no idea what type of roses I have. I couldn't find a website showing photos & rose names. I suppose there would be too many varieties to be able to identify what mine are.

I tried reading up on pruning and find it very confusing with all the conflicting info. I discovered that what I'm doing isn't really pruning, but more accurately called dead heading. I'm just cutting/pinching/snapping the dead/dried part of the stem underneath the spent flower ... it's definitely closer to the peduncle than hacking off half the plant. I read something about cutting back down to the 5-leaflet. I'm not sure how that works because there isn't always a section with 5 leaves. ???

After a bit of reading, I discovered that the "stick with pom pom" looking roses which Cynthia mentioned are called tree roses. These are the ones I see outside my neighbours' houses.

Light Pink

Light Purple

The light pink and light purple ones are from 5 days before. I think they'll last one or two more days in the vase.

Orange, medium pink, red

different pink, red, orange

These two close bud roses (pink & red ones from 1st photo of the 2) should open up in the next few days. The red one is the most uninteresting out of the bunch. I think it is because it most resembles the typical store bought rose, however mine is infinitely more fragrant than any store rose. I wish I could convey scent in a blog post.

light white/yellow w/pink edges

This is one of my favourites, this light white/yellow rose with a bit of pink around the edges. It also seems to be one of the more fragrant ones.


This orange one is another fave.


I think it's neat how the petal edges aren't just simply smooth/rounded.


You saw some pics of my yard when I first moved into this house. It does NOT look anything like that now. It's been neglected, parts are dead, parts are overgrown with weeds. I suppose the bushes would look healthy if I actually fed/watered them. Here are some pics of my rose bushes. They're overgrown, rather than neat and tidy. I really should learn how to prune them. I'll start from the west side. Sorry the photos aren't great. It was very sunny outside when I took these so I could not see the LCD at all and was using The Force (no viewfinder on my camera). Please ignore the weeds. :-)


Group 1: 2 bushes, 1 red, 1 pink

There are 2 bushes here and they don't seem to thrive as well as the bushes on the east side of the yard. No idea why. It's pretty dead here now, just branches. There might be a few flowers now and then.


Group 2: 2 bushes, both different shades of pink

Here's the next set, 2 bushes.


Group 3: 3 bushes I think, pink, purple, red

Sometimes it is hard to tell where one bush ends and another begins. But there are definitely 3 different colors in this bunch, so I'm gonna say there are 3 bushes here.


Group 4: 3 bushes I think

Group 4: White with pink edge

Group 4, 8 days later, not much difference

I think these are pink, light white/yellow with pink edge, and yellow. In this grouping, you will find the bush with the white with pink edge flowers. The 2nd photo here shows you a healthy set of these white ones that is nestled in the center of the bush, surrounded by dead or non-flowering woody branches. (I had to push aside some prickly branches - ouch! - to get in close enough to take that pic) It's kinda odd looking to see this bush with brown branches & green leaves, then this nice healthy green branch smack in the middle of all this.


Group 5: 2 bushes, 1 red, 1 orange

Group 5, 8 days later

Group 5, orange, 8 days later

Group 5, red, 8 days later

The bushes from these last 2 groups are the ones I see right outside my bedroom window. The bushes are planted in a raised section of the yard. V thinks this was done intentionally so that they can be viewed from the bedroom window. There's a clearer photo here showing just how much higher this raised section is.

The orange and red bushes had a few more blooms 8 days later. I have a hard time taking pics of some of these because these bushes are a bit taller than me (I'm 5 ft).


Group 5, 8 days later, view thru window

Groups 4 & 5, 8 days later, view thru window

Group 4, 8 days later, view thru window

This is the view through the bedroom window. The raised section in the yard makes it easier to see them through the window. Yeah, the view could be much better if I learned how to take care of these roses. I'm working on it...

Oh, those photos above were taken a week apart, I noted which ones were taken at a later date. Right now I have more blooms on some of these bushes. I guess I should leave a bunch of flowers on the bushes so they don't look so bare. Besides, I do want to have some flowers left for V to pick the next time she visits.

Hmm... I wonder if I should not post those pics. It's rather embarrassing. Or perhaps they'll make you feel better about the state of your garden. :-) If you want to see a pretty garden, check out Trish's eye candy over here. She takes beautiful photos.


These grow freely in a small corner of the yard.

Claudia mentioned enjoying the music from the movie. I'm not sure whether she meant the Movie Soundtrack or the Movie Score. I definitely like the Score more than the Soundtrack. There's only one song I really like from the Soundtrack, it's Track 1 by this group. I like A LOT of their songs and would be hard pressed to single out my favorite 10 songs (out of their 100 or so songs). Lessee, other songs from the Soundtrack ... Track 2 isn't bad. Track 12 was not at all what I expected as the Lullaby I imagined from reading the novel. It's not bad at all on its own, as long as I don't think about it as B's Lullaby. (BTW, Claudia, I missed the MTV awards; can't remember if I already mentioned that)

Rita mentioned Twi-inspired yarn. I had no idea they existed! I do not need more yarn. I do not need more yarn.

There are a gazillion Twi-interviews out there. I thought you Twifans might enjoy these old ones ... this MF unscripted interview with SM, KS, & RP (it's about ~10 min long), because it's a little different from the majority of interviews you see out there. After you're done with that one, you'll find a bunch of interviews on EW here (4 with TL, 5 with RP, and some others; use the scrollbar to the right of the vids to see list).

Oh and for you guys who are more into photos than interviews, lotsa pics of RP in Cannes here.

So where's the knitting? Well, I did make one more earbud (see first 2 pairs here), but can't start on its mate until I get a sock off the pointy sticks. Yeah, I sorta started another sock with those same needles before I started the 2nd earbud. No idea what I was thinking there.

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


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sock 6 FO


Susie is having a contest over here. Yarny prize, all you need to do is tell her a joke.

Practice Pair 6:

Razzle Dazzle

Yarn snobs may sneer. I love this sock yarn (Ravlink). This is my second time knitting with it; first pair here. The yarn feels nice in my hands. Could it be the aloe?

Practice Pair 6, 60 st, 2.75 mm

Like the other H&S pair, this one also starts at the toe. It's also the same k2p2 rib.The only difference is that I decided to try SRH again. Hey, it's getting easier! I did have a bit of a wrinkle with the SRH on Sock1, where my stitchesinlimbo didn't match up on the left and right sides. This happened when I was adding those side stitches back into the center batch of stitches. And i don't mean being off by 1 or 2 sts. It was way off, like 4 or 5 sts at some point during that process. I have no idea what happened there. I suspect I didn't concentrate as much as I should have while I was bouncing around in the car because I worked on the heel during the drive back from the big lake (lake photos here). I did better with the heel on Sock2, paying more attention. My st count matched on both sides the entire time.

You can see the socks side-by-side here. Notice anything odd? Yeah, the colors don't match. It's most noticeable with in the whitish sections, where you'll find more green there on the right sock than on the left sock. The other shades are slightly off too, just not as noticeable as that whitish section. The green on the left sock is more yellow than the one on the right sock. The weird thing is that the lot# for both balls of yarn are the same! So what's up with that?



Since I botched up the heel on Sock1, I imagine it to be a bit lopsided due to compensating to fix the prob. I haven't looked that closely to see whether this is the case.

I need to improve the heel section, i can still see holes. You can see it is the Sock2 heel photo. I'm sure more practice will fix this.

Well, I guess I should be happy that I managed to get the stripes to match up more or less in both socks. Sock2 (left) is 2 rounds shorter than Sock1, because I wanted the tops of both socks to end with the same color. You can kinda see how obvious it is when looking at the topview photo.

Same but different:

Here's my leftover yarn from both balls. You can see that the top one is slightly darker than the bottom one. I don't know why I didn't notice the difference with the two full balls of yarn; I just assumed they'd be identical since the color/lot# were the same on both balls.

-- JMCO 12/24, inc 3x -> 60st
-- Start SRH@ 6.75" (no incr b4) = 53 foot rnds (not counting toe section)
-- Start rib backside @ rnd59.
-- 125 rnds total b4 bo (not counting toe section)
-- 123 rnds total b4 bo to maintain orange color at top of cuff.

Leftover H&S, 2.75 mm


V lost the foam covers that came with her earbuds and complained that her earbuds now constantly fell out while she was at the gym. She also mentioned searching all over for replacement covers and ended up paying $10 for a pack of 5 pairs of foam iPod earbud covers. So I thought surely it must be possible to knit some for her.

It took 6 tries before I got the 1st earbud the way I wanted. The challenge was partly due to working on so few stitches using itty bitty pointy sticks, it was just awkward. The other 3 covers were much easier after finishing the first one.

The covers fit loosely over my earbuds. I think I should try using 2.5mm next time for a tighter fit. It's a pretty quick knit. And one can make a lifetime's worth of these from just one ball of fingerling weight yarn. :-)

I finally finished Book 3. Yay! But I think I shoulda read Book 3 before Book 4. It would make more sense. I think I like Book 3 more than Book 4. I need to reread Book 2; I didn't like it that much the first time, perhaps my opinion will change with a 2nd reading.

I've planned another little trip for the end of this month. Thought we'd go to this national park but couldn't get lodgings at such short notice; surviving a Dalek attack would be easier than procuring lodgings there. Thought we'd go to LV but the plans didn't come together, plus I wasn't looking forward to flying and the heat there. Briefly thought of a quickie trip to these islands, but it just wouldn't be right to go all the way there for just 3 or 4 days. We've gone there before, for 2 week long trips, and even that wasn't long enough. I wouldn't want to rush things there. Thought about wine country city S, ultimately decided on spending time in wine country city H. We've been there before, staying at this B&B.

I'm hoping to get my hands on this teen fiction before we go on our little trip. Megan originally recommended the book to me, then I later discovered that Sara had read it and also liked it. She thinks the novel was recommended to her due to her liking N Stephenson's novels. So I have the feeling I'll enjoy this book too, since I'm also a NS fan. I feel like I've been dumbed down, reading only teen fiction these days.

Time for me to return some things to the library, get some lunch, and then go pick up DD. Have a wonderful weekend...

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



Saturday, June 06, 2009

Rewound & Knit


Jean is having a contest here and there are some pretty cool prizes! Check it out. Contest ends 15Jun2009.

This orchid, a gift from V (thanks!!!!), bloomed so I took the opportunity to snap a pic before it started to die. You can get a better look at this type of orchid from this person's better photo (and the name of the orchid type is underneath the pic). I don't know why "blue" is in the name, it really should be "purple". Anyhow, I managed to unearth an old blue colored pot and placed the orchid in that. I think it's a good color match.

I used to have a modest collection of orchids at the old house. It was back when I worked at a company that decorated lobby/waiting areas with orchids and other plants. Once the flowers dropped, they would give the pots to anyone who wanted them, otherwise they would get thrown out. There weren't that many people interested in orchids whose blooms have already fallen off. They just couldn't see that the orchids would eventually rebloom someday. However there were some of us who could rescue these orchids from the trash bin. I'd take some of them back to my desk at work. With just the right amount of "neglect" (really!) they will grow and bloom again. Over the years I eventually ended up with around 20 pots of orchids at home (just phals, oncs, & dens, plus one paph). The collection dwindled over time and then I moved. Zero orchids at the new house. V's trying to change that. The purple one you see above is the 2nd one she gave me.

I picked up 2 hanks of this yarn a little while back, a very soft merino wool. And I really do mean SOFT! (The other colors I picked up) As this was my first time working from a hank, I had to figure out how to undo it. I managed to figure out where one end was tucked into the other, untwisted it carefully and it revealed itself in one large loop of yarn, all neatly kept together with yarn tied in 3 or 4 places along the loop. V had a wonderful idea for reusing those bits of yarn (that were holding the hank together), she is going to use them on bookmarks. bits of yarn Since I had neither swift nor ball winder, I improvised with 2 chairs from M's kids table/chair set. I placed 2 chairs side-by-side, put the loop of yarn over the chair backs, and then moved the chairs apart. This worked nicely to hold the big loop in place while I slowly unwound...

... and it eventually ended up rewound into these 2 balls. Don't they look neat and tidy? I kinda didn't want to undo these balls by knitting from them. It took me four tries to find the right needle size to use for the MSCS I was making with this yarn.

The yarn label said US 9 (5.5mm) so I started with that. Nope, fabric way too tight. Definitely did not like this.

Tried US 10 (6mm). Just slightly better, still not happy with it.

Then I tried US 10.5 (6.5mm). A little better result. Not completely satisfied though.

Then I tried US 11 (8mm), even better!

Unfortunately I couldn't try it out with US 13 or US 15 because US 11 was the largest size needle I had on hand during my trip to the big lake (see 01Jun09 post). So I ended up using US 11 for the scarf.

V's Scarf, pattern here, this yarn, 8mm

I worked the pattern as-is, CO30 and knit until I ran out of yarn. The yarn is a thick/thin type and I think it's a 1-ply(?). I was unsuccessful at trying to spit splice the 2nd ball. I couldn't pull the yarn apart into strands. And the two ends just didn't stick together, they came apart with a bit of pulling. With 2 hanks, 147 yds each -> 294 yds total, the finished scarf ended up being 6" (15cm) wide and 68" (173cm) long. I had to bind off twice. It flared too much the first time, so I redid it. I think the scarf turned out ok. I can see why this scarf has a high appeal, it is a very quick knit on big needles!


This is a close up of the front side. The scarf is nonreversible. I still have trouble taking pics of anythinig red colored.

Allison had asked where to get this yarn. I haven't seen this yarn at a local shop, I had to order it online sight unseen. I had no idea what it would be like, but was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and wished I had ordered more. Thanks for the book rec!

Yay, I finally got my hands on Book 3, which is just as well because I haven't been able to get my hands on this book which Megan recommended and described as a modernized 1984.

Let's see, what else is going on here. Well, besides trying to plan my next little trip (unsuccessfully, there doesn't seem to be lodging available), I am still trying to tackle the weeds outside my house. I can tell you that it no longer resembles the photos I took back in/around June2007:

Orange Tree, now overgrown, but still full of oranges. V pointed out that I'm an organic gardener. Haha, I never thought of it that way.

Lemon Tree (now dead)

And this is the back yard with a peach(?) tree, and lotsa roses on the elevated portion. The roses have grown positively wild since then. They definitely don't look like the neat tidy rose bushes my neighbors have outside the front of their houses ... you know, the ones with one main stem, and a leafy/flower section at the top of the stem? My rose bushes have grown wild in all directions. I'm starting to prune them back, although I don't know if I'm doing it correctly. I'm just cutting off any dead looking branches for now. They may not look very nice, but the roses sure do smell wonderful!

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