Friday, 28 November 2008


It's not quite homesickness, so much as nostalgia. For Australia. Something I really miss is lamingtons.

So I tried to make my own to take along to Thanksgiving dinner this evening. I didn't really have the facilities (or should that be faculties?) to bake my own sponge so I made do with angel food cake. Although it looked and tasted pretty good while I was putting them together, the chocolate coating didn't stay moist as it should have; instead it just dried like regular icing. Does the CWA have a branch in Washington state?

on exhibit

In August this year I took a class in block printing at the Kirkland Arts Center. This is located in a lovely old red brick building near downtown Kirkland and offers a variety of classes in drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics. They also have a gallery space.

I had done some linocut prints before but was introduced to the Safety-Kut block - it's a flexible rubbery block that is very easy to cut and can be cut on both sides. There's less chance of injuring yourself, too (the last time I made a linocut I cut myself; that's why it was the last time).

The centre also hangs and displays a selection of student work in the halls and my piece which is currently on display - 'Stormy weather' - a block print on recycled linen fashioned into a child's dress/sleeveless top. The design is adapted from the endpapers of an old book that I have (back in Melbourne - not even sure what book it is).
Although the effect is just what I wanted, it was very difficult to get the fabric printing ink (designed for screenprinting) to be tacky enough to succeed with a block print. I had to put a lot of medium in to thicken it up and am not sure how this would affect the colour fastness of the ink, were I to wash it. For the moment I'm calling it a prototype.

Monday, 24 November 2008


I have been using Ravelry a lot lately. I think that it's part of the desire that I currently have to get things in order. I've been assigning yarns to projects and thinking about knit categories and priorities. I'm really keen to use up some of the yarn that I have lying around - some of it has been carted across the Pacific and deserves to be used.

Unfortunately, the Ravelry queue doesn't quite accommodate my knitting plans so here they are for your (dubious) edification.

sock knitting
current - Baudelaire - going well, have completed the gusset and am about to start the heel on the first sock. I'm liking it.

next - Jaywalker in Noro Kureyon sock yarn, shade S233 - my mum chose this yarn when she visited and I want to try the Jaywalker pattern. I might even do it toe up.
and then - Travelling Stitch Legwarmers - I actually bought some new yarn for these (Louet Gems fingering weight in eggplant), an unusual state of affairs as I am quite committed to yarn recycling these days.

practical knitting
current - basic cuff-up mittens - in hand-dyed recycled yarn (90% lambswool, 10% angora from a Gap sweater). I have done one so far - I think that the ribbing could be tighter and both the hand and thumb shorter. They're size 2-3 years but I would be amazed if they didn't get lost before then!
next - foliage hats - presents for friends who sent our camera back to us from Switzerland, twice*. I'm going to use up some Manos del Uruguay that I have in stash and more of the recycled grey lambswool that I used to knit the wide-brimmed hat.
and then - oh, how to choose? Dashing, Cabled Cowl, Ice Queen?

project knitting
current - Swallowtail shawl - enjoying it already.
next - Now this is where it really opens up! It could be anything but there are actually some yarns that I have that I really want to use up - a recycled cotton/linen/silk in a bright indigo blue and a recycled heathered dark green Shetland wool. We'll see how swallowtail goes but I am thinking more lace. Then there's the small issue that I have never actually knit an adult garment ...

* We left our camera on our friend's kitchen table in Zurich back in May this year. He sent it through to Germany (our next stop) but it didn't arrive until after we had already departed. When it did finally arrive it was held by customs who wanted duty to be paid on it. We had by now returned to Australia anyway so we let it be returned to our friend in Switzerland who had now departed on a three-month tour of South East Asia. Upon his return to Europe he sent the camera through to us here in the United States. It arrived on Friday.

exigency knitting

Here's a category that I didn't even include in the official knit list but it's one of those situations that comes along where you urgently need to produce something. Like for a birthday present the next day. This knitting was so urgent that, sadly, there's not even a photo.

Last night I whipped up the baby hat from Leigh Radford's One Skein in the green Cascade 220 that I had left over. That's a bit heavier than the yarn called for but that's ok as I did the larger size (12-18 months) but wanted it to fit a three-year old. I'll have to just ask you to imagine.

The vital statistics
Pattern: baby hat from Leigh Radford's One Skein, size 12-18 months
Yarn: Cascade 220 shade 9430
Needles: 4.5mm Addi turbo
Start to finsh: 5:40pm 22 November 2008 to 10:56pm 22 November 2008 with dinner and child's bath included.

Comments: I like this pattern alot. I actually knitted the smaller size for baby bear before she was born. Knit in the round there is no seam and just the two ends to darn in. The Cascade 220 is a great yarn, it knits up like a dream.

Verdict: very happy. So happy in fact that I might have to make another one for baby bear. Then I'll be able to take a photo of it!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

project knitting

Thank you all for your very kind words about the baby ballerina top - it has been a most gratifying project and was well worth the perseverance. Now that it is complete though, I have an opening in my project knitting category. Project knitting is, well, projects - things that I want to make because they look great, or look like an interesting knit, or look like a challenge, or spark my imagination or curiosity.

At least, there was an opening in my project knitting category:

I cast on yesterday for the swallowtail shawl using the lace weight yarn that I bought at Value Village and subsequently dyed. I have done two repeats of the budding lace pattern and am a couple of rows into the third. That's a lifeline there out of sock wool and I think that I may need to use it shortly - I need to take a good look at it tomorrow in the light when I'm a bit more awake.

And in the background? Yes, that's snow! Not here in Seattle but a couple of hours drive away in Mt Ranier National Park. The snow was fresh and dry, the sky was bright and clear. We continued a bit further up the road into the park but as we rounded the mountain it became dark and wet and a bit scary so we turned back. A few minutes down the mountain, bright and clear again. Amazing.

Surprisingly, this is my first lace project. Yes, I know there's a difference between lace knitting (increases and decreases on both right and wrong side) and lacy knitting (increases and decreases only on the right side) but I don't really see the point of the distinction. Anyway, lace is why I started knitting ... three or four years ago. And finally I have gotten around to doing some. Amazing.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

baby belle

Giddy, absolutely giddy. That is the best way to describe how I feel about the baby ballerina top now that I have finally completed it.

Pattern: Baby Ballerina Top from Debbie Bliss' Quick (ahem) Baby Knits
Yarn: Linen recycled from an Elle B jumper purchased at the Salvation Army in St Kilda. The thread was four threads in thickness. I made it five threads by painstakingly separating one thread out from the rest and combining it with another four-thread strand. I have no idea now how I did it.
Needles: 3.75mm bamboo straights (I think).
Start to Finish: 10 August 2007 to 21 November 2008; yes, that's one year three months and eleven days. Quick eh?

Comments: I can hardly believe that I have actually finished this project! So much procrastinating, so much putting it aside, so much more procrastinating. And then a solid concerted effort to get it finished that just built up like a crescendo. It was so long ago that I started it though that I have forgotten (blocked out?) a few things about it. I substituted the yarn obviously and that required some fiddling - not sure what. I think that i had to make some of my own decisions about what decrease to use along the sloping front edges. I went for something bold. Anything would be ok as long as it is consistent.

The pattern is fine and I guess could be quick if you ... anyway, short row garter stitch collar which has a very nice shape and also short rows on the garter stitch front band (about where the ties attach). I wasn't happy with how this part turned out which is why the ribbon ties are covering the corner - "design feature".

I think that I now understand what hand and drape mean. Linen has gorgeous hand and drape. It feels beautiful to touch and is almost liquid when you handle it. I didn't knit the ties; instead I found a ribbon in just the perfect shade in the ribbon room at Nancy's Sewing Basket. It's pure silk and at US$6.90 a yard is the most expensive thing about this whole garment!

Verdict: Giddy, still giddy. Quite to my amazement I have created something that I think is truly beautiful. The colour, the texture, the shape, the ribbon, I just love it.

thump in the night

Things that go thump in the night:
  1. Baby bear scrambling out of her cot and hitting the wooden floor at about 2:00 in the morning. No apparent damage, except to my beauty sleep.
  2. My thigh against the edge of the bed end as I leapt out of bed and flew to baby bear's room as soon as I heard the thump. I didn't even notice it until much later in the morning when it had turned into a great tender lump.
The photograph is small to protect the identity of my thigh (and perhaps people's sensibilities).

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

not quite on target

I absolutely love the target wave mittens in Nora Gaughan's book Knitting Nature: 39 designs inspired by patterns in nature. I thought that I would be very clever and exploit the structure of the mitten by using a self-striping yarn, namely some Opal sock yarn that I bought in the form of a beanie and cardigan at the St Vincent de Paul op shop in Benalla quite some time ago (who donates hand knits?). Unfortunately the workmanship wasn't really up to scratch (perhaps explaining the donation) so I unravelled them.

Anyway, not quite so clever as I thought. Self-striping sock yarn is designed to self stripe around the circumference of an adult calf, not a two year-old's wrist so I really just ended up with chunks of colour in the hand of the mitten. The thumbs are stripier but only because I cut the yarn up, leaving me with lots of ends to darn in, avoidance of which was part of the point of doing it in self-striping yarn. And I cast on too tightly. And the thumb is too long, even though it's shorter than the pattern called for. And baby bear refused to wear it anyway (unwelcome theme emerging here - see previous post).

So, I'm cutting my losses, so to speak. There is one complete but there will be no pair. I'm not even going to bother frogging it for a few strands of yarn. There's quite a bit still left over. I might knit something suitable out of it - like, say, socks.


The vital statistics
The basic tam from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: basic designs in multiple sizes and gauges; the size is basically that which I achieved with the yarn that I used.
Yarn: dark blue Shetland wool recycled from a jumper that I bought at Sacred Heart Mission op shop on Chapel St in Windsor.
Needles: oh dear, don't remember, bamboo dpns I think.
Start to finish: 30 May 2008 to 7 November 2008

I was very pleased with the yarn for this - I decided that I wanted to knit a navy blue tam for baby bear and went out to the op shop specifically looking for a jumper in navy blue. I found one the first time I looked and here is the result. I knit this at a very tight gauge in order to make it as waterproof as possible. If I were to make a tam from this pattern again I think that I would start at the top centre (not at the brim). Then you could knit for a while and work out what your gauge is and then know when to stop the increases. I had some trouble blocking this - I did it over a plate and the brim stretched way too wide so it took me a while to actually get around to putting some elastic into the brim.

Hmmmm, not sure. The pattern is fine but the fabric that I have created with the Shetland is a bit rough. I'm not sure whether baby bear will enjoy wearing it or how well it will fit her because she hasn't shown much interest in putting it on so far.

Monday, 17 November 2008

the knit list

What is the ideal number of knitting to have on the go at any one time? I'm sure that it differs for each individual knitter but I have discovered from experience that to have too many things on the go at once is too chaotic for me. So I'm thinking about restricting myself to the following categories:
  1. sock knitting - always good to have a pair of socks on the go, currently Baudelaire
  2. practical knitting - these are the things that are actually immediately required in the household, like mittens for baby bear and some wrist warmers for Tim; plans are for target wave mittens in recycled Opal sock yarn and Dashing in Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed (Highlander)
  3. project knitting - something that I want to knit but that is not immediately needed; something to knit for fun; something to knit for the joy and challenge of knitting it; something like a Swallowtail Shawl perhaps?

Saturday, 15 November 2008

amelia vs the universe

Lots of yarn shots today.

Many, many moons ago I was most worried as to whether there would be enough yarn from my frogged Elle b jumper with which to knit baby bear's baby ballerina top. Well, this is where we currently stand - I have completed the two fronts, the back, the collar and two long sleeves (I was also worried that I would have to abbreviate them but no, long sleeves). All that remains is to knit the ties (it's a wrap top) - 5 stitches of garter stitch wide, 36 cms long, times two. The great existential question now is, can I be bothered?

Another of my potential yarn-saving ideas was to use ribbons as ties instead and I have become quite attached to the idea. Velvet ribbons, about 2 cms wide? Lovely texture, will tie nicely. I actually do think that the linen that I have used would not be quite sturdy enough for ties. They would quickly become pulled out of shape. So good, that's decided. But now, where to find just the right caf
é au lait shade of velvet ribbon?


I've always called it an aubergine, not eggplant. I love the word aubergine, it's delicious to say.

So, remember that really fine white wool that I bought a few weeks ago at Value Village? Well, the very excellent Val from Actual Size Creations held a dyeing party at her house on Tuesday and (with a great amount of help from her) I produced this:

Now it's aubergine.

A lace-weight clapotis?
Yes, I realise that I am waaay behind the times here. Clapotis was the viral knitting when I first joined the Melbourne stitch'n'bitch group some three years ago or more. The pattern itself is some four years old already and on Ravelry alone there are 8,524 finished versions.

I've been thinking about it for a long time. At first I felt compelled to do it in Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb but it was so hard to choose a colourway and the price was prohibitive anyway. The clapotis craze has grown larger than Lion and Lamb now though - I have seen it in lots of different sizes and yarns, including a lovely sock-yarn version. I think that it would lend itself well to displaying the very subtle semi-solid variagation in this yarn. Well, I can always swatch up and see.

Thank you so much Val for having us and for all of your assistance.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

goodbye mr kitchener

Who was Kitchener to begin with? Or why at least is it called Kitchener stitch? Well anyway, never again. Or not if I can help it.

Hello magical figure eight cast on. Yep, Monday I officially cast on for Baudelaire. And what a fabulous technique. It was my first time so the stitches are a little sloppy but I'll pull them into shape later. We'll see how this goes but it could be toe-up socks for me from now on.


Well, my little complain about the age of some of my works in progress seems to have whipped me into shape on them. A couple were easy - I frogged them.

Mavis - frogged. I knew that the stitch count was off but I couldn't remember which size I was knitting and couldn't work out where I was up to in the pattern so I decided to just relieve myself of the burden. It's also not imperative to knit a 4-ply short-sleeved cardi right now, even if they are puff sleeves. Back to the queue.

Morgan - frogged. I know, I hadn't even mentioned Morgan. In my search for a winter hat that wasn't a beanie I was swatching for Morgan, in the sense that I started to knit Morgan just to see if i could get gauge. A bit like the sleeve swatch except for a hat you actually have to start knitting it. So, I managed to merrily knit to about halfway through but didn't get gauge and decided to cut my losses.

Baby ballerina top - I frogged a sleeve. I was knitting both sleeves at once from either end of my remaining ball just in case the yarn ran short. Somehow I managed to not knit the sleeves the same so I frogged one of them and simply got on with the other. I'm confident that there will be enough yarn for both sleeves - hooray!

child care jumper - I didn't have to frog this one. I can't even find it!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

little girl blue

The vital statistics

Pattern: Jeremy from Favourite Designs for Toddlers by Patons, a pamphlet that I picked up at an op shop in Tasmania.
Yarn: Patons' Jet - shade 508, a bright gunmetal blue.
Needles: 5.5mm blue plastic - they were fine.
Start to finish: 7 November 2007 to 3 November 2008 - well, there was a zip involved.

Comments: This was a great knit, I really enjoyed it. Yes, again it was the finishing that kept it in progress for so long. Just a mental block about sewing in the zip. I followed instuctions from the Reader's Digest Complete Book of Sewing and Knitting which involved tacking the zip opening closed with some contrasting thread, then pinning in the zip. This ensures that the zip sits in the same place on both sides. It sat pinned for months until I finally stitched it in place. The zip was (of course) too long so I had to sew a good number of stitches at the top of it then trim it. Finished product looks good and works properly.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern but really, it was so long ago that I can barely remember. I did the raglan decreases two (even three?) stitches in from the edge and those stitches were in garter stitch. This gives quite a ridge to the raglan shaping.

Verdict: The Jet has knit up to a lovely weight and texture. It's very soft and I think will also keep baby bear very warm. I chose the bright gunmetal blue because I thought the pattern had quite a 1940s post-war look to it. I had planned to do some embroidery on the collar to pretty it up - a couple of daisies with yellow centres, some green leaves and a few french knots in red - but the weight of the collar's rib unfortunately doesn't lend itself to that. I'm going to declare it finished for now but will keep searching for some matching brooches or appliqué
s to add at a later date. It is a tad too big for baby bear so with any luck will serve another winter. All in all, very happy.

Monday, 10 November 2008

this is ... my favourite quote

Umm, I'm not really one for remembering quotes. I mean, every now and then I come across one which I think is great but there aren't any that spring to mind that I cherish or live by. But I do like this one:

Hope springs eternal, and I love the syntax.

This quote also appears in the book that I have been reading recently and
am still very taken with - Art and Fear: observations on the perils (and rewards) of artmaking. Particularly the following:

You don't have to do anyone else's work; just your own.

(To paraphrase - I'm here and the book is in the other room.) How liberating! And at the same time what fatalism! Liberating in the sense that you don't have to paint like somebody else, produce
designs like you-know-who, or have hand-writing like so-and-so. You don't have to produce someone else's work, which is great because that's their work and you can do your own thing instead.

It's just that you have to do it. That's the hard bit, the inevitable necessity.

So, onto handwriting - yes, this is something that bothers me. Have you noticed that architects and industrial designers and design people in general have this very graphic, sharp, often pointy handwriting? Any architects out there (and I know that there are a couple) - do they teach you that handwriting in design school? It took me a while to realise that I didn't have to have that handwriting, just my own.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

on a lighter note

Ah, seem to have recovered from my earlier dip - here is the yarn that I wound up today:

Or rather, unwound from skeins into hanks. I bought this lot at Value Village on Lake City Way a couple of weeks ago. Six balls (one partly used though) of 25 grams, packaged as three lots at $1.99 each. I think that the yarn is from Japan but this is only because I bought a few other balls that were definitely from Japan on the same day and just assume that they came from the same person. Anyway, this yarn is lovely and fine, lace weight perhaps and I have made it into two hanks:

It's almost quite sculptural isn't it? I'm planning on dyeing this yarn on Tuesday (public holiday in the US). I hope that I can get a brown/purple/deep pink thing going. I have never dyed yarn before but am going to have some help so promise to show how it goes.

And in a determined effort to actually document some works in progress here is some lovely yarn that I bought earlier this year from Handart in Zurich:

It is difficult to capture the absolute shade of a yarn, isn't it? One last effort there at the right. And as you can see, these skeins come with a special extra card of thread to use as reinforcement in the toes and heels. I don't think this is an admission of the yarn's ineptitude for the job, just a Swiss extra.

This is strictly speaking not yet a work in progress, it is a pre-work in progress; the yarn is wound, the pattern has been printed out (Baudelaire from Knitty), a plastic ziplock bag has been assigned. I just can't find my blasted 2.25mm Addi Turbo circular that I bought a few weeks ago specifically for sock knitting - bother. Might be pre-work in progress for a while.

ps. I've been using ravelry a lot more lately. I changed my user name to yarncycle because I like to use recycled yarn. That's what has prompted me to pay attention to when things were started and finished. In some ways it's great to know when you started things, in others ... well, see post below.


I'm in a bit of a slump. Baby bear is at childcare on Fridays and I spend the week thinking and planning and list writing in preparation for everything that I'm going to get done. Last night I fell asleep with grand plans about a day of solid making stuff. It's now 1:49pm and all I have managed is to wind some wool and sleep for an hour and a half. Hmm, perhaps that's just what I needed ...

I actually have some more finished projects to show. Yes, it's just a deluge of them around here. I've previously mentioned that my working style lately seems to be a lot of plugging away at various projects all at once, a little bit here, a little bit there, spreading myself rather too thinly. Finally a lot of these projects have come together and there are finished works to show. I'm trying my best to limit the new things that I am either planning, purchasing materials for or actually starting in order to have less things on the go at once.

So, before there are anymore finished projects, let's revisit some things that are still dragging on:

Baby ballerina cardigan - first mentioned on this here blog on 10 August 2007. Ouch! This was a me-vs-the-universe project because it was to be made from recycled yarn and I wasn't sure whether there would be enough. I have finished the back, fronts and collar and sewn it all up and it looks gorgeous. I just have to do the sleeves. Just. have. to.

Felted jumper bag - first mention on 7 October 2007. The tree and leaves are finished, I'm working (or rather not) on embroidering the birds. Then I'll affix them and actually make the bag up. Thank goodness no-one grows out of bags!

Childcare jumper - first mention ... hmm, never even got a mention? I think I'm going to rip this. It was supposed to be a thank you present to baby bear's childcare centre - in Melbourne. And not a we're-leaving-for-Seattle-thank-you present (which would be only five months or so late) but a thank-you-for-all-your-help-with-settling-us-in-to-childcare present. That would have been at around the six month mark. Eighteen months ago. It's finished of course, except for the seaming. I realised that the shoulders don't quite match up perfectly and that was enough to put me off. Yes, should just finish the bloody thing and give it to some deserving child.

Mavis puff-sleeved cardi - first mention on 21 April 2008. I have knit quite a lot of it but got an incorrect stitch count and put it down on 30 June 2008. Notice a pattern here of being easily discouraged by a small hitch?

Tam for baby bear - first mention on 30 June 2008 when it was practically finished. But I blocked it over a plate and the opening is now too large so I have to put some elastic in the brim. Said elastic was purchased on 31 August 2008. And it's cold now so she really could do with that hat!

Jeremy - first mention 7 November 2007 and it's finished! Oooh, only 12 months. I finished sewing the zip in on Monday evening. Photos? Have to go and get the car emissions tested first. What else to do on a crafty day?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

born slippy

With apologies to English electronica band Underworld whom I'm sure never had the finishing touches on my roses quilt in mind.

Anyway, do you see my tiny slip stitches there along the binding? No? Phew! Yes, hooray, I have finished the roses quilt and am very happy with it, for all sorts of reasons:

- it's the first quilt I have ever made
- I encountered and learned lots of new techniques including free-hand machine quilting and binding
- I just had to buy plenty of new notions like a free-hand machine quilting foot as well as threads and needles and pins and the like
- it turned out well!

The picture on the left below shows the effect of the outline quilting on the floral side of the quilt, and the picture on the right the stitches as they show through on the backing.

There's over eight metres of slip stitching around the perimeter there. Those tiny stitches, they're laborious but oh so satisfying and the actually process of hand stitching - very calming and very rewarding.
I wonder what the quilt is like to sleep under? Perhaps I'll just go and give it a quick test run ...


That is to say, it's raining in Seattle. It does this a lot. Coming from a water-starved nation like Australia it's quite a welcome change. And just in time I finished the little red raincoat.

Just a quick recap - this is made from an Old Navy raincoat that I bought at Value Village using a Golden Hands pattern. It was my first attempt to incorporate the already existing features of a full-size adult garment into a children's garment.

So, clockwise from top left:

- The finished product: I put in a zip, added a pocket and decorated it using some cutouts from my pvc tablecloth.
- Underarm eyelets because, I don't know, that's what other raincoats have.
- The hood with some pvc appliqué decoration. This one is so placed because there was actually a bit of damage to the fabric where I removed the buttons. I also had to sew two pieces of fabric together to have enough fabric for the hood and I managed to not get that seam to meet - design feature.
- Decorative appliqué on the front of the raincoat and the cord threaded through the hood. I put ... what would you call them? ... the bits on the ends of the cords to prevent it from getting lost through the eyelets and stuffed them with a bit of cotton flannel to give some body.

I haven't actually got baby bear to try it on yet but am delighted to have finished it. Last quick note on the eyelets. Again, here is something that I was at first totally resistant to, did not believe that you could get a good professional-looking eyelet at home, and lo and behold - I'm a convert. This Dritz large eyelet kit is great. Don't be put off by the seeming simplicity of it - it gives terrific results. The black disk acts as an anvil, you place the eyelet halves into the fabric (through a little hole that you cut), position them over the anvil, insert the tool and give a good whack with a hammer. Highly recommended.

to have an extra hour

Hello dear readers,

Well, this weekend with the end of daylight savings time we did get an extra hour but where has it gone already? I'm sure that this is an all too familiar refrain on craft blogs written by mothers but there is just not enough time in the day. Not enough time to:

- respond to comments that have been left
- look at other people's blogs
- leave comments on other people's blogs

Not to mention in addition to actually tackling the great universal all-encompassing list of things to do. Anyway, point is that I would like to sincerely thank you, dear readers, for reading and for leaving comments. I really love this blogging thing, I love the writing, I love composing the posts, I love adding the photos. The more I do it the more I find to write about and tell you all about. Thank you again for being here.

Ok, back to the crafty stuff next post!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

gentleman's fancy

Now, is fancy an adjective here, or a noun? Gentleman's fancy sock, as in the sock has a fancy pattern, or, this sock is named for a gentleman's fancy (that is something that a gentleman fancies)? In which latter case, what does a gentleman fancy?

Well, my gentleman (aka Tim my husband) fancies me because he has warm toes in the socks that I hand-knitted for him.

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks (did I need to clarify?)
Yarn: Patonyle in a variegated blue that I bought on sale for $5.00 a ball at the Stitches and Craft Show.
Needles: 4:00mm bamboo dpns to cast on; 2.25mm bamboo dpns to knit - they've bent a bit but I think that's ok.
Start to finish: 25 April 2008 to 31 October 2008.

Last month when my mother was visiting we went over to Bainbridge Island on the ferry and bought a ball of Noro Kureyon sock yarn at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. I joked to my mum that I was going to knit myself a pair first but not to worry, it only takes me six months to knit a pair of socks. Darn it - turns out that it does take me six months to knit a pair of socks! Oh well, this is because they are my background knitting - I work away at them in the odd moments, in the car when Tim is driving, at knit night, on the bus if I have my hands to myself. And again, I ran out of yarn just at the very end, just like with Tim's dad's socks, and had to use up a bit more of that same extra ball that I bought (again Patonyle).

This is a good pattern and as an added bonus, it looks really great inside out as well! The pattern looks like bamboo when the two plain rounds are in reverse stocking stitch. If I were to knit these again I would consider knitting them like this deliberately.

I followed the pattern to the t on these - using k1 sl1 psso instead of the usual ssk and making the quite pointy toe - to keep them authentically vintage.

So, next pair of socks are for me - hooray! It's just that there are so many patterns out there to choose from ...