We are in partial stealth mode here


I spent a good deal of my weekend working on some swatches for someone else's book, this weekend, so bloggable progress is pretty scant. I can show you my gorgeous Silky Wool swatch, though.

I am fighting every urge to cast on for this piece right now. But I can't and shouldn't, not until at least one turtleneck is done for Leo and my swatches are finished for the unbloggable items.

I will tell you that I have big plans for this yarn. Oh how I love the Silky Wool. I don't know how it stands up to the test of time, but it's a great weight, comes in a huge assortment of colors, has good yardage, has a delightful texture, is soft enough to wear against the skin and appears to have just the right balance of drape and structure to pull off a lot of designs.

In entirely unrelated news, I thought you might be happy to learn that the next season of Knitty Gritty has been scheduled.

New episodes should start airing next month. You can see what's coming in the next season by clicking here.

The two episodes that I'm in, do not air until later this year.

That's a-lotta sock in one skein


The socks have been my mindless diversion lately. They get knit on the bus or in waiting rooms, where the balls are tucked away in my knitting bag. Since I have a handy dandy cooking scale, I was able to divide the original skein of yarn evenly into two separate balls. After that, it was a matter of cutting of a couple grams of yarn on one ball to get them both started in the same spot (in this case, at the beginning of a brown stripe. The smaller of the two balls ends with a complete red stripe and a little bit of yellow, so it means I can have socks that have red toes, red heals and a red cuff. YAY.

What I hadn't noticed until recently, was how many repeats I actually had. I'm about to complete the second repeat, and it's already past my ankle, and then I have 2 more full repeats plus a couple stripes after that. That means my socks can be twice as long (from toe to cuff) as they are already.

I'm torn though. If the sock doesn't reach to my knee, and I'm not quite sure it will, will it just become a slouchy mess? Am I better off making a shorter sock?

I plan to do quite a bit of ribbing at the top of the sock (maybe 2-3 inches) but if it's mid-calf, I'm not sure that will help.

Anyone with sockspertise should feel free to chime in.

Ohhh, the horror


Now that I'm in full fledged "prepare for India" mode, I'm having to get things like Visas in order. In doing so, I've had to pull out my Passport. I still keep my first one.

This was issued to me in April of 1989 when I was 14 years old. No, that's not a mullet, I had bangs and two ponytails. Those white things are, yes, earrings. I never had big hair, not even when it was fashionable, but I definitely had big earrings.

Thank god I never ended up being a fugitive while this was my passport photo because I have no doubt that every news station would have run this photo of me.

Fourteen years later, my passport photo isn't much better but at least I don't look like I have committed a crime. I got this one three years ago with the hopes that I'd have some reason to use it soon.

And now I have another fug for the files, my Visa photos

I quote my mother, who once said, after I showed her a particularly bad driver's license photo of me, "Marnie, for a pretty girl, you sure do photograph ugly." I may be paraphrasing.

Swatching and socking

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You guys really make a 40 year old guy feel good. I, of course, tell Leo he's a youthful looking and damn fine looking man, pretty much every day, but he considers my opinion to be biased. Sheesh, like that matters. But who can argue with comments from relatively anonymous sources?

I have knit the mock turtleneck of his sweater and finally got him around to trying it on again and it looks great on him, absolutely delicious. I can't say I'm excited to knit several turtlenecks in the round now, but since it's all I have left to do, I hope to get at least one cranked out this weekend.

In the mean time, I've been doing two things.
Knitting some silly socks on the bus:

This has been the first week that I'm back to working in my LA office and I've forgotten how relaxing it is to be able to take the bus. I usually only knit a few rounds, since I'm generally too tired to deal with 2 circs and 2 balls of yarn (I like the yarn well enough, but it's like velcro to itself. Has anyone else had that problem with sock yarns?) I'm about 2 inches up the leg. I don't know how long I want these socks to be. I'll probably just knit for a while until I pretty much use up the yarn, or maybe I'll get bored, do some ribbing and bind off. We'll see.

The last thing I've been doing is swatching. It's my unfaithful little heart. I should be finishing, not starting, but what's the harm in a little swatching, right?

It's some beautiful Silky Wool that I bought from a destashing effort. It's been a while that it's been sitting in my own stash, and I've been reserving a little corner of my brain for ideas. They are still evolving, but I'm pretty sure I want to go with some sort of diamond all-over pattern.
After this shot was taken, I finished the lacy diamond motif that is partially knit by the needles and I worked a more vertically elongated knit and purl diamond motif. I then bound off, washed the swatch and am letting it dry flat. I would show you, but it is dark and I still have much getting ready for work to be doing.

Some people give me way too much credit, and Julia is one of those people. I wish it were true that Leo's sweater were finished and blocking, as she suggested, but it's not quite the case. However, it is terribly close to being done.

I'm just working on the neck now.
Leo looks amazingly good in turtlenecks, however, with sweaters, he finds that his stubble is always tearing the turtleneck apart, wearing out the sweater long before it's truly ready to be retired. This sweater will have a mock turtleneck and several separate full turtleneck pieces to tuck in and switch out as necessary. If that just doesn't work, I have the yarn and can simply remove the bind off on the mock turtleneck and knit a full turtleneck each time one wears out.

Leo has tried on the sweater up to the point you saw it in the last post. He has declared that the fit, fabric and look are all up to his standards, so I'm feeling pretty good about the endeavor.

For those of you who knit a lot of raglans, you may have noticed that the shoulder shaping is a bit different than one might expect. Instead of a steady slope, there is a true shoulder shape at the top. Do you see what I mean?

Here's a little sneak peek of how I did that.

There is an extra "raglan" running along the top of the shoulder that extends from the neckline to about the end of the shoulder (I actually stopped about a half inch short of the final shoulder length). Calculating it was an interesting challenge and I did it by printing out gauge sized charts and origami folding it to the right shape. This is not quite so mathematical as one might hope. Eventually, I plan to work out a pattern and will have to use my experience with this piece to write up a more useful explanation for determining the correct ratio.

Oh, and the sweater has been named. It's now "The Big Four-Oh" in honor of Leo's birthday. And I agree with any of you who share the sentiment that Leo doesn't look at all like he is 40.

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