News from Double Ewe - Issue 32

November 2009

In this issue:

  • A Designer Among Us: Pattern Launch Party
  • New Stuff
  • New Yarns
  • Guest Writer
  • Classes & Stuff to Do

Pattern Launch Party!

We’re pleased to announce that Terri, one of our instructors here at the shop, has had her first pattern published! Bisbee, an easy, lacy scarf pattern, is in the new issue of Knitcircus, and that calls for a celebration. Come for good company, treats, and a chance to win a turquoise necklace. Everyone who attends will get 20% off on the purchase of the magazine and a skein of Eco wool. You must be present for the discount and to win, so please join us for a fun afternoon!

When:  Friday, November 13th, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

New Stuff

Addi Clicks
Addi Turbos are often called "The Cadillac of Needles", and they really are. It's happened to a lot of knitters: once they try Addi's, they have a hard time knitting with anything else. Earlier this year, Addi came out with an interchangeable set, called Addi Clicks. I've been on the waiting list to get them in the shop for a while, and now they're here! They come in a very nice leather case and contain tips for sizes 4 - 15 with three cable lengths. Very, very nice. So now I have three interchangeable choices: Denise, Hiyahiya, and Addi. Something for everybody!

New Yarns

Tweed Montage
Chunky, soft & tweedy, this is a yarn with a lot of interest. This wool/acrylic yarn offers unique color striping and an added tweed effect, all in an attractive, value-added 150g ball! 247 yards. Next time you're in the shop, check out the cute cabled vest I made with just two balls.

Crock-O-DyeOur newest fingering/sock yarn from Knit One Crochet Too. Gorgeous tone-on-tone hues in a warm & luxurious yarn. A blend of wool, nylon and silk, Crock-O-Dye is terrific for socks, scarves, shawls, fine-gauge sweaters, tops, gloves, etc.

Malabrigo TwistI've been waiting a while for this one, but it's finally here! Twist is Malabrigo's newest yarn. Made of 100% baby Merino, Twist is an 8-ply, very subtly thick/thin yarn that knits up at a gauge of about 4 stitches per inch. As usual with Malabrigo, the kettle-dyed colors are gorgeous, and it's soooo very soft. 150 yards per

Along with the Twist, I've got some new colors in Malabrigo's other yarns: Merino Worsted, Silky Merino DK, and Malabrigo Sock.

Guest Writer

This is one of the most popular sections of the newsletter. I'd love to feature your personal essay, technique article, or book review. Heck, we've even had poetry! Tell us about your visit to a woolen mill or to an alpaca farm. Share your personal knitting trials and successes. If you're interested in contributing, just email me at kelly@double-ewe-yarn.com. Don't be shy! As an added incentive, you'll earn a $10 gift certificate if I publish your article. I’ve gotten great feedback about this feature, so write on!

Knitting Ninja Socks

By Sharon Knutson, www.knittingmywayhome.blogspot.com

My sock knitting has settled down to being pretty consistent. I always have a pair going and usually they are my take along knitting while I wait for my girls during their activities or during my short lunch break. I’ve had success in giving them as gifts. I have many lovely pairs for myself. This may have lead to my overconfidence when I started a new pair of socks from the book, Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. I loved the many patterns for their superb textures and their Japanese inspiration. I looked through my stash and found a beautiful royal blue solid from Cherry Tree Hill and dived in working up the Ninja set. The name of the pattern should have forewarned me.

I rarely worry about gage on socks, (bad me). However, this time, I should have paid attention. I knew casting on 60 stitches using size 1 needles was smaller than the comfy 72 stitches I normally cast on. But heh, I figured there must be a lot of stretch/give in the pattern; it did have a lot of yarn overs, so I'm sure that is why the author used this number for the cast on. I dove in, knitting away, just loving how the textured pattern looked. As each row grew, I eyed the sock, hmmmm, it did look a bit small in width, this will surely fit her....yup, I'm sure you can see where this is going....why I couldn't see it or more but I'm sure if I keep going it will work out fine. I kept knitting, the bumpy texture looked marvelous...still it did seem a bit well, petite looking. And there is nothing small or petite about my size 11 feet. I slide it on, just the cuff, hmmmmm that is really a bit tight, but I had an idea. Even as I realized it wouldn’t fit me at this point, I start thinking of someone with smaller feet who will be happy to receive a lovely hand knit pair of socks for Christmas. This is turning out just fine; I’ll be able to finish Christmas knitting before Christmas Eve! That is GREAT! See how much in denial I was? I know just the family member, she is petite and likely admit it, is beyond me.

I complete the patterned section of the cuff and before I even start the heel flap I have my twelve year old daughter try it on, sure it will slide gracefully on her foot. Nope, she struggled to get it past her heel.....and this was without the heel. That did it, I numbly realize if I want a normal human to be able to wear this sock I'd have to succumb to the screaming inner knitter in me and rip it out. So I did, I ripped a beautifully albeit too small, sock completely out. Ninja Sock 1, me 0.

I started again, this time, figuring out the stitch pattern and what I would need to increase the cast on to in order to fit it over my foot and still keep the needle size at 1. This time I cast on 80, yes a little bigger than my normal 72, but I'm confident (from experience) that the cuff pattern is very snug so sure the 80 will not result in a stretchy floppy mess wrinkling into a puddle around my ankle. I still love knitting the pattern and am very happy I can now keep these socks for me. So much for my thought of completing a Christmas present early! They are all MINE. I knit along and whip through the cuff; after all, it is for the second time. Follow the pattern directions for the heel flap, hmmm, the inner knitter starts ringing those warning bells again, this pattern calls for a shorter heel flap than I normally do. You would think that I would remember the reason I had to restart this sock, but no....I again, blindly follow the directions, even though holding it up I keep thinking, that is a pretty short heel flap....somewhere my brain stopped after hearing the "pretty" part and ignored the "short" part. I kept knitting, turned the heel and started flying on the foot which is in stockinet....hmmm, because the heel flap was short, there was very little decreasing required on the gussets to get back to the 80 stitches.....inner knitter by now is up and screaming in my brain, jabbing with knitting needles....but sadly yes...I keep knitting, watching each stitch fly off my needle, chortling in delight as it grows...and grows....and grows....not just length wise...width wise as well.....I finally bow to the screaming inner knitter who is clearly hoarse now and I pull on the sock....and it is the saddest ill fitting sock I've knit (other than my first pair which I refuse to discuss). I again look at it and grimly realize if I want to wear these socks, it must be done....and I rip it out AGAIN. Ninja Sock 2, me 0.

At least, I only had to rip out to the heel flap....where I proceed to add nearly 3/4 of an inch...I turn the heel and I'm now seeing the normal gusset amount and I'm also going to reduce to 72 stitches for the foot instead of the 80. I will vanquish this Ninja yet...and I will relish wearing them....and hopefully my inner knitter will figure out a way to yank my yarn fume high knitting fingers back to reality next time so I don't waste so much time and effort into clearly wrong directions.

I complete sock one when I’m waiting at church for my daughter and need something to hold the remaining 8 stitches so I can kitchner it later at home. This way I can immediately free up my circs and start the mate. I find 2 toothpicks in the church pantry and slide the last live stitches onto the toothpicks, feeling oh so smart for being able to improvise. Ninja Sock 2, me 1. I’m feeling a comeback!

Over the next week or so I slowly move through the patterned cuff, something is starting to niggle my brain but I push it aside to keep going. I’m a bit tired of these blue socks

Sadly, I’m feeling those all too familiar jabbing sensations in my brain from my internal knitter’s needles and while I'm at least aware of them now, there isn't much I can do at this point. I'm just starting the heel flap, pattern is done (I would hope so on the third try) ready to just cruise on the plain foot, but I look at the remaining amount of yarn left to knit the whole LONG foot of the sock and I’m starting to get the idea that there just may not be yarn enough left to finish a second size 11 sock. Remember I added 40 stitches, FORTY, to the cast on to make the pattern work and still fit over my foot comfortably. It appears those extra stitches ate up an impressive amount of yarn. I usually have plenty of left over sock yarn after completing socks so never once did it occur to me to do something like weigh the completed sock and then the remaining ball of yarn to see if they were equal. Nope, not me.

It is going to be close; I pretend to not hear the devious laughter from that ball of shrinking yarn. I continue to knit along, convincing myself I will have “just enough.” Well, shhhhh don't say this out loud, but I have a back up plan, I have not kitchnered (is that a word?) the toe on sock 1, which means I can easily rip back (AGAIN!) the toe section and add that yarn to the last foot section of sock 2 and hopefully get to the toes. I have ideas of what yarn to use from my stash to finally finish the torturous blue Ninja socks. I believe the pattern name of Ninja is more perfect than just cute as I thought when I started this exercise. These Ninja socks have really kicked my knitting confidence where it hurts!

But I refuse to give the sock another point yet, I'm not defeated, I have a back up plan in place, if anything I should give myself another point! And since I'm the one knitting these crazy Ninja socks that is what I'm doing...so it is a draw, Ninja sock 2, me 2. And now that I've waved a bright red flag in front of the ninja knitting sock gods, I can't wait to see what happens next....