So far this year, I've knitted

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Skylah Lace Panel Socks

  • 100 Grams of Sock Yarn (I used KnitPicks Stroll Brights in Pucker ( 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon)
    US #1/2.5mm circular needles or double-pointed needles (I do the double-pointed thing only because I have been knitting socks forever and am pretty fast on my DPNs. However use any method that you are comfortable with.)
  • Stitch marker
  • Yarn needle 
Knitting Gauge: 7 - 8 sts = 1"

SIZE  One size will fit an average adult foot.  
Cast on 28 stitches, using your favorite cast on method for socks. I use the magic cast-on because the tip of the toe looks so flawless.  You can watch this method on YouTube. There are several demonstrations, such as:

Round 1: Knit.
Round 2: On needle 1, knit 1, knit in the front and back of the next stitch. Knit to the last two stitches on the needle. Knit in the front and back of the next stitch, knit 1. Repeat on needle 2.  
Round 3: Knit. If using DPNs, knit the stitches on Needle 1.  Knit 8 stitches on Needle 2. Add a third needle and knit the remaining 8 stitches.
Round 4: If using DPNs, on Needle 1, knit 2, m1R, knit across to last 2 stitches. M1L, K2. On needle 2, knit 2, m1R, knit across. On needle 3, knit across to last 2 stitches. M1L, K2.
If using circular needles, k2, m1R, k across needle, until 2 stitches remain, m1L, k2. Repeat on second needle.
Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until you have a total of 24 stitches on Needle 1.

Next Round: K2, place marker. Knit to last two stitches, place marker, K2. Knit the rest of the round.

Lace Panel

-          Purl
\      SSK
/      k2tog
O    Yarn Over









Round 1 (over 20 stitches) – P1, k18, p1
Round 2 – P1, K2tog three times, (YO, k1) six times, SSK 3 times, p1.
Begin Lace Panel

Round 1: Knit 2, m1R, slip marker. Work the lace pattern between the markers (20 stitches). Slip marker. M1L, K2. On needle 2, knit 2, m1R, knit across. Needle 3: knit across to last 2 stitches. M1L, K2.
If using circular needles, k2, m1R, slip marker. Work the lace pattern between the markers (20 stitches). Slip marker. M1L, K2. On second needle, K2, M1R, k across needle, until 2 stitches remain, m1L, k2. Repeat on second needle.

Round 2: Knit to marker, slip marker. Work the lace pattern between the markers (20 stitches). Slip marker. Knit to last 2 stitches. M1L, K2. On needle 2, knit 2, m1R, knit across to last 2 stitches. M1L, K2.

Continue these two rounds, increasing 1 stitch on each side until you have a total of 60 stitches total. Working these 60 stitches, continue the lace pattern until the measurement from the toe is 2½” less than the total length of your foot.


While continuing the lace pattern, knit across instep stitches, and then increase one stitch on each side on the sole stitches. Increase stitches every other row until you have increased 10 stitches on each side of the sole.

Turn the Heel:

You will now work only on the sole part of the sock, leaving the instep stitches with the lace panel along for now. Begin on a knit side.
Row 1: Slip the first stitch, k 8. *K1, sl1 purlwise* five times, SSK, k1, turn.
Row 2: Slip the first stitch, p10, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Slip 1, k1, *k1, sl1 purlwise* 5 times , SSK, k1, turn.
Row 4: Slip 1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 5: Slip 1, k1, *k1, sl1 purlwise*, 6 times, SSK, k1, turn.
Row 6: Slip 1, p14, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 7: Slip 1, k1, *k1, sl1 purlwise* 7 times, SSK, k1, turn
Row 8: Slip 1, p 16, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 9: Slip 1, k1, *k1, s1 purlwise* 8 times, SSK, k1, turn
Row 10: Slip 1, p18, p2tog, p1, turn
Continue in this manner, working back and forth until all of the extra stitches from the gusset increases are worked and the original number of stitches are on your needle again.


You should be back to 60 stitches. Continue working the sock with the lace panel until it is 3 inches shorter than the total desired length.


Next Round: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1. Work lace panel. K1, P1 to end of the round.
Continue the 1x1 ribbing and the lace panel for 2½”.  
Next Round: Work 1x1 ribbing over the lace panel (to prevent curling). Continue the 1x1 ribbing for 1/2 inch.

Bind off loosely.
Weave in the ends, and then block the socks as you normally would (I just put the socks on my feet and enjoy them! My feet are the best blocking equipment I have.)

... And Then They Leave

I have not been posting as much as I should, but life and work gets in the way. I haven't even been knitting as much as I would like.

It is such a shame that you spend all your time raising your children to be independent and self-sufficient, and then they leave you! My oldest son Lorne moved to Los Angeles this week to follow his dream. He has a degree in film editing and there just isn't enough work here in Colorado for him. Although he hasn't lived at home for years, he has at least been in the same state. He stayed with us the last couple of months so he wouldn't have to renew his apartment lease, so we got to spend lots of time together. It only makes this worse because he is a delightful, fun and a comfort to be with. Ken and I will miss him greatly. Thank goodness for Skype.

And another thing -- how I am supposed to make hats and woolly slippers for someone who lives in sunny California? I guess I'll have to make him socks.  (Speaking of socks, I designed and finished a pair of pink socks that I will posting the pattern for tomorrow. Stay tuned)

On a knitting note, I am working on a sweater in a navy blue yarn. I have frogged it twice before I found a pattern I liked. That probably means I would have had a finished sweater twice over had I kept at it. However, the weather will be unsettled today and I feel an overwhelming need to make a hat. So I think I will put my sweater aside for today and make a hat. I have a creamy sky blue DK yarn I am itching to cast on.

Back to the needles.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Victoria Cowl/Hood

I like to name my designs after people I know, so this is named for my niece, whose middle name is Victoria. I already named a pattern after her first name.  I am going to have start using the names of my friends' children because I am running out of nieces. 

The Victoria Cowl can be worn as a cowl to keep your neck warm, or as a hood when the wind picks up.  It's a simple lace pattern, very similar to the feather and fan pattern. It comes out looking like a ribbed lace pattern, yet it's dense enough to keep the cold out. 

Victoria Cowl/Hood

2 Skeins Cascade Yarn 220 Superwash Sports Raspberry
   (100% Superwash Merino Wool -
     50 g(1.75 oz) - 136.5 yds (125m)
Size 6 (4mm) 16” circular needle
Stitch marker                
Yarn needle

Gauge: 4” = 22-24 stitches

Cast on 136 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker to note the beginning of the round.
Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Repeat these two rows two more times. 

Begin lace pattern:
Row 1: K
Row 2: *K1, yo, K1, yo, K 5 tog (slip the next four stitches onto your right needle, k1, pass each slipped stitch over the k1 one at a time), yo, k1, yo*. Repeat from * around to marker.
Rows 3 and 4: Knit

Continue these 4 rows for approximately 10 inches, or as long as you want the cowl. The longer the cowl, the better a hood it makes. End with row 2.

Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Repeat these two rows two more times. 
Bind off loosely in pattern.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Downton Hat Pattern

Since I have received so many requests for it, the Downton Hat pattern is free at

It's a pattern by knitsofacto on Ravelry. Check out all the hats on her page.

My next hat will probably be purple.

Back to the needles.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

OCD - Downton Style

I can't stop knitting Downton hats! I would say I need help, but I just don't want to. I am beginning to think that I have some sort of OCD when it come to knitting certain patterns. I find one I really enjoy making and I knit it over and over again. That is the case with this wonderful hat.

I saw this behavioral pattern emerging for the first time when I started making socks (see my posts beginning September 8, 2013). I spent about two months straight knitting socks. I made about 20 pairs before I was done. I have enough socks to last the rest of my life as well as enough sock yarn to make 20+ pairs in the future. I have an entire basket of sock yarn to prove it. Yet when I see another cute sock pattern, there I am downloading the page, checking my inventory to see if I have the right yarn to make that pair, and checking my bank account to see if I can buy another skein of sock yarn.

After a month or two of knitting socks, I will suddenly change to a specific scarf or cowl pattern and do the same thing. Right now, I am back to hats -- one specific hat. So far I have made three Downton hats -- and winter is almost over. The funny part is that I have a purple coat, so I will need to make another to match it. I am fighting the urge to run over to my local yarn store with my coat to match the color.  Or maybe I should just buy another coat. I bet they are on sale now. See my problem? I will probably solve my problem by buying both yarn and new coat.

The red hat is made with Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca which is the same type of yarn as the gray and black one (Pattern link available on the February 11, 2014 post). This alpaca yarn is incredibly warm too, almost self-heating, so if you are suffering from a cold bitter winter, this might be the yarn for you. The blue one is made with yarn from Brooks Farm that I bought at a wool festival a few years ago. I think I had originally intended to make a shawl with this yarn, but I also have dozens of shawls as well (due to my knitting OCD), so I don't need another right now. But after finishing three hats, I am not done with this pattern. I need to make another.

Back to the needles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Games Kitties Play

Neko is not an especially playful kitty, but when he does, he certainly has some preferences.  It appears that only a specific person can play a certain game with him. Cases in point:

The only person who can play chase the laser light with Neko is my son. Neko will run across the carpet after that little red light like a running back cutting across the field to avoid being tackled. In fact, his claws dig into the carpet as if he were wearing cleats! His favorite place to chase the laser is up and down the carpeted steps. However, if Ken or I were to pick up the laser to continue the game, it's game over. The little red light can dance across the floor, jiggle in front of his paws, or peek around a corner, and Neko will plop down on his side with no interest in what is going on.

Is this my toy? What am I
supposed to do with it?
Last night though, Neko jumped up on the coffee table to play one of his favorite games with me. He nudges an empty plastic cup until it falls onto the floor. I pick up the cup and it back on the table. He pushes it off again. We played this game for a solid 10 minutes until Ken came into the room. He tried it. He picked up the cup and put it on the table in the exact way I did it. Neko walked to the end of the table and started grooming himself.  Obviously, Ken was not playing this game correctly.

What is weird about this is that Neko plays more games with Ken than anyone. He will shoot crumpled paper across the room and Neko will chase and attack it. I will pick up one of these papers and do the same thing, and he will completely ignore me. Ken can pick up the same piece of paper and Neko will start to play again.

We all know that cats are the masters of control, and I see it every time it is playtime. And we put up with it. And he knows we will.
Sorry. Play time is over.

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Kitty Knitty Bowl

My knitting accessories have grown by another item. I purchased a beautiful little knitting bowl that will sit on my side table while I knit watching TV or listening to books on tape.

Although I have a swift and a yarn winder, I usually wind my yarn by hand in a ball. I like yarn balls better than a yarn cakes because cakes will collapse in on themselves. Then I get a lot of tangled yarn toward the end. Then I end up winding the tangled mess into ball anyway.  However, a ball just gets smaller and smaller.  

Not that there isn't a downside to a ball of yarn. I cannot count how many times while knitting away, my ball escapes onto the floor and rolls under the coffee table, only to be batted and chased by a little black paw to the other side of the room. Then it becomes a game for Neko as he continues to jump on it and wrap himself in the yarn. Then I have to crawl out from under my warm afghan to rescue my poor little yarn, rewinding it as I reverse the path of the yarn across the room, under the coffee table, and unwrap it from the legs of the side table. And the yarn is usually snagged by kitty teeth with a slobber of kitty spit. There might even be blood if I had to entangle the yarn from little old Paws and Claws.

So the solution is a knitting bowl. I went onto Etsy to look around and came across the perfect knitting bowl and of course, it has a kitty on it. What is even cuter is that the tail of the cat silhouette is the tail of your yarn. And the best part is that Neko has no interest in the kitty on the side of the pottery.

I ordered it on Etsy from Shars Art Pottery (

So my kitty is safe, my yarn is safe, I can continue to keep warm in my chair and all is right with the world.

Back to the needles.