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Archive for July, 2009

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These stockings are from the pattern “Entrelac Socks,” by Eunny Jang, published in the Spring 07 issue of Interweave Knits. I finished these a few weeks ago, but didn’t get around to photographing them until today. Normally, I am excited to wear finished projects, or send them off to whoever they were knit for, but in this case, we have had a long stretch of 100+ degree weather and I haven’t worn any socks at all in quite some time!

I knit these with one lavendar skein of Regia 4-ply sock yarn, and two skeins of chocolate colored Lorna’s Laces, using size zero bamboo needles. I find that entrelac in general behaves much more nicely on wooden needles.

These stockings are knit toe-up. As I got close to the end of the first stocking, I found that the calf was uncomfortably and unbecomingly tight. Apparently,DSCN0859 cycling 60 miles a week does good things for my calves! So I modified the entrelac blocks to include higher stitch counts. After turning the heel and rejoining to work in the round, I knit 4 CC tiers with 6-stitch blocks, 1 CC tier with 7-stitch blocks, and then knit 8-stitch blocks until the stockings were long enough.

The pattern suggests making a twisted-yarn cord with attached pom-poms to garter the tops of the socks. Um, no thanks. Not my style. I’m still looking for just the right decoration. Good thing I’ve got a long time until cold weather!

I’ve had another fun little project going recently. Although we are still sad DSCN0865about losing little Ned, we have decided to move forward with procuring another hedgehog. Our new little one should be coming home in late August. While we are hedgehog-less, I decided that it would be a good time to design a new house for him or her.

Many hedgehogs seem to enjoy sleeping inside of “hedgie bags” (basically, a hedgehog-sized sleeping bag) inside of pipes or tubes, or covered up by their cage liners. Ned also always used to enjoy burrowing through a blanket on the couch, all around under our legs and feet. Hedgehogs generally seem to feel more secure in enclosed spaces. So, for this cage, I decided to increase the amount of enclosed space by using a plastic bin meantDSCN0867 to fit under a bed. It is connected to the top bin via a PVC pipe – can you tell that I had fun with spray paint this week? The bottom and top bins both have multiple large screened ventilation windows. For easy hedgehog extraction (well, as easy as it gets…) and yet more air flow I made a large screened door with a hinge for the lower bin. The wheel is a Cake Walk Supreme wheel and is really nice – totally quiet and easy to clean. (If you click on the link, and then click on “Testamonials” you will find on that page a link to a video of a hedgehog running on her wheel. Those little legs car really fly!)  Still to be added are food and water dishes, toys, a hedgie bag, and some ramp covers to increase traction inside of the slippery PVC pipe. I’m counting the days until we bring our new friend home!

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This is the Triinu Scarf, from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia. This is the second project I’ve made from that book, and it certainly won’t be the last – I think that I could happily make every project in the book, and then start playing with the included stitch dictionary. I knit this scarf with two skeins of Misti DSC00706Alpaca laceweight, and size 4 needles. The Misti Alpaca was likewise a joy to work with. It’s great to combine good yarn with such an enjoyable pattern!

I normally tend to tweak patterns to fit my particular tastes, but I largely left  this one alone, with the exception of not slipping the first stitch in each row. I used to always slip the first stitch of every row, which makes a nice, neat edge, but I’ve had a few lace projects develop tight edges during blocking.  At this point I’ve knit enough lace that my edged stay neat regardless, and I value the more flexible edge because I typically stretch my lace to the limits while blocking.

I also took some liberty while blocking, and blocked a scalloped edge on the DSC00699scarf. I thought that it made for a more unified look between the narrow, lace ends, and the garter-stitch long edges. It also meant that I got to use about 200 fewer pins! I finished this while traveling, and blocked it out at my mother’s house in Ohio. My blocking wires, alas, were at home in Texas, so I made do with straight pins from her quilting supplies. I don’t think that I would have even considered a scalloped edge if I had blocked it at home, so it worked out OK; I really like the scarf with the scallops.

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