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Angelarae Knits: July 2011

Angelarae Knits

...and Crochets

My Photo
Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Hello! Welcome to my Blog! I live and enjoy the fibery crafts here, in Raleigh, NC with my husband and 5 children! I love to share patterns, tips, and recipes along with my spinning from time to time. I hope you'll enjoy your time here and stick around a bit!

Friday, July 22, 2011


It's funny how things change in life, but never as you'd expect. Or, rather, you do not feel about them the way you thought you would. Do you know what I mean? I have had this little blog since 2005. That's five, almost six, years. If you go back and read some of those early posts, it's clear, I was a different person then. I remember the struggles I had, they were much worse. My husband has a brain injury, and at the time, 2005-2006, I was just coming to that realization, and, honestly, living a private hell that I would not wish on anyone. Yet, my writing was much better then than it is now. I seemed to be having much more fun blogging than I do now. I've come a long way since then. We have come to accept Hal's injury and deal with it realistically, our life is much more sane and ordered. I am actually beginning a career I have always wanted but did not seem to have the resolve or energy to carry out. Three of my five children have moved on. It is just the four of us now, and much less stressful, though I won't pretend that there is no stress. We have our times, just like anyone. I have learned not to freak out every time there's a flat tire, or a problem that must be overcome. We all have them. Let's deal with it as best we can and keep moving forward. We are beginning to improve our living situation by painting and repairing our home. Families in crisis generally don't do this...they have the energy to eat, sleep, and maybe watch television. That's it. So, I know we are recovering. Finally. Of course, God has had everything to do with this. I just had to be still enough to listen. He helped me to figure out much of our crazy behavior and a few other things, too. But I won't go into those right now. God Is Love. That's all I know. "In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:19. Many people, friends, were with me along the way, and I feel badly that I let them go along the wayside as I moved through my recovery to sanity. But I did not forget them. I just didn't have the energy to worry about another thing. That's all.
So, I've come a long way. And I guess I just have to get used to the fact that life is now what I've always wished for...normal...not perfect, mind you. Just normal.

Friday, July 15, 2011


The yarn support came for my Knit Picks project. I love this color:) And to my surprise, it's hand painted. I didn't know that, I thought it was kettle dyed. Doesn't matter, though, as this yarn accomplishes the look I want for the sock I'm designing. I have already wound this into two balls for knitting 2-at-a-time socks on two circulars.
Hoping I can get these done quickly. I have two other designs I'm working on.

Here's one of them....
My little hand spun project is progressing slowly, due to above work on sock pattern and life in general. Maybe if I had a little more pattern publishing experience, this all wouldn't be so stressful for me, but I am not sure what to expect nor am I sure what is expected of me and so, I am stressing much more than I probably should. In short, I should be able to work on other things besides the socks. I think I need the designer forum to calm me down.
Would probably be a good thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Scarf

Well, I have cast on my first hand spun knitting project, an Estonian scarf. It only has 32 stitches. Do you think that is too much? Let's hope not. I intend to knit in pattern as long as I can until I have to stop. I also will need to knit the other edging and graft it to the opposite end of the scarf, as it is knit from the bottom up. This pattern is called Kahekordne Hagakiri or Double Twig, from 'Knitted Lace of Estonia' by Nancy Bush. So many wonderful patterns in this book. If you love knitting lace, it is a must-have. There are stitch patterns and edgings in the back of the book intended for using to create patterns, so that's what I am doing here. I think it will work out nicely:)

Now, regarding the socks, I am making progress here, too. I now have a list of modification suggestions from my test knitters, and are waiting from anything else they may come up with. I spent a little time working out the numbers for an alternate heel for the large size. It comes out lumpy, as is. Still plenty of work to do.

Monday, July 11, 2011


That's me...up to my ears in socks. But, I'm having a blast:) Things continue to work out well with the sock knitters, and I feel great about that, but haven't heard back from Knit Picks that they are happy with the estimated completion date.
Meanwhile....I did squeeze in a liiiiiitle time for this....

Which turned into this.....

Which, I promise you, will turn into a nifty little project that requires less than 125 yards. This is laceweight (for the most part) singles. I measured the yardage by measuring the circumference of the back of one of my ladder back chairs, 32 inches. Then, I unwound the spindle around said chair, counting the 'wraps' as I went. I got 140 wraps + a little more. 140 multiplied by 32 equals 4480 inches, divided by 36 is 125 yards. So, I have 125 yards of lace singles. I think I can make a nice little lace scarflette out of it, too. In fact, I plan to make a couple more hand spun projects for my other two sample batts. I'll be sharing those as well.
In the meantime, back to the socks.....

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sock Tests

The sock pattern I am working on for Knit Picks is moving right along. I have to say, I feel much better about the pattern since I have let the test knitters have a go at it. These women are saints, that's all I can say. Ornamental, though I had charts, etc. included, was written from my notes as I knit them. There were many improvements that had to be made and I did a little number crunching on the heel turn to check my work. The medium heel turned out close to perfect, but the large one remains to be seen. I knit up an alternate heel turn and one of the testers is trying that. None of it may, in the end, turn out to be necessary, but I want to make the pattern as simple and understandable as possible. The stitch pattern is only a 6 row repeat, which is nice and easy to memorize and I don't think I can make the toe any simpler. There may be one or two tweaks I'll make once the testers are done. The thing I love about socks is that they can be so easily customized. If a person didn't like the heel in a sock pattern, they could use another one or if they preferred a different ribbing, they could change that, too. So, really, what I am going for in designing my socks, is the overall vision of what it should look like, which cuff and ribbing looks best with the stitch pattern I am using, and what kind of heel will work best. For example, I think a 2x2 rib would be too bulky for Ornamental and a 1x1 rib is much more suitable for the delicate stitch pattern.

So I have really been eating, drinking, and sleeping this sock for the last few days. It was nice to take a break and do a little spinning. I am loving this gorgeous colorway and soft, soft merino from McMillan Fibers. It spins like butter. I went to sleep dreaming of what I will be able to make with this yarn, lace singles. I am thinking maybe some wrist cuffs.....

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I received an email Tuesday from Stacey at Knit Picks. They have accepted the Ornamental sock pattern for their IDP program! I couldn't be more thrilled. I have 3 wonderful ladies test knitting the sock right now, and I will hopefully be receiving yarn support very soon. I had already written this pattern from notes, but, it turns out there are plenty of issues that need correcting. Test knitting has already proven itself to be invaluable. I spent yesterday and this morning casting on the large sock from my pattern and knitting the heel turn and gusset. I have made some modifications, too. My original pattern included extra stitches that, in retrospect, I may not need. So I reworked the heel (for the size lg. only) and I think I like it some better. For now, it's looking like we'll need one chart for the front and one chart for the back of the leg, but maybe not. We'll see.
I also have another pattern I am working on for the fall, a neck warmer, another sock pattern, a hat pattern, and an idea for a crocheted neck warmer....I could go on, but why? Looks like I have my work cut out for me!

Monday, July 04, 2011


My grandmother, Nanny, taught me to knit and crochet in one sitting one day when I was maybe, 11 or 12 yrs old. I was probably spending the night at her house, as I often did on a random weekend or other times during the summer months. She taught me how to cast-on to a knitting needle and the knit stitch, and, she taught me to chain with a crochet hook. I think I may have knit 8-10 rows, and then did not pick up the needles again until sometime after my brother died. I was probably 32. I bought Melanie Falick's book, Kid's Knitting, and dove in. I made the garter stitch backpack, and several glasses cases for DH. (I did not wear glasses at the time) And, I must have made 50 or so of these:

I made them in acrylic yarn, Red Heart Supersaver, usually in the variegated colorways. Today, I made one for the first time in years, because it is *so* hot and humid here, and I really need some, but I don't want to go out and buy them. Firstly, the ones I can buy at the store rarely stay put, and the plastic ones give me a headache. Secondly, I'd rather make mine because I'm cheap and I want to use my stash yarn.
The pattern couldn't be simpler.
CO 8 sts. I used a size 6 needle for this headband and my gauge was about 5 sts/inch. Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) for approximately 11 inches. Switch to stockinette for 4 inches, bind off , seam ends together with a whip stitch and weave in ends. That's it! Garter stitch works best, as it stretches. I used Peaches and Cream for this one. A cotton blend works well, too. Cotton Ease is a good choice.
These are cheap because you can use stash yarn, quick to knit, versatile, because you can make them as wide or a thin as you like and whatever color(s) you need, and they are more functional than anything you can buy at the store. I love them because they keep my hair out of my face and off my neck. Cool.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Swatches and Swirls

I am currently working on a design for a crocheted Aran piece and I really would like to have a portion of the item have a sort of crochet version of moss stitch. The swatch here depicts 'moss stitch' in crochet, but is not exactly what I was looking for. I want the raised, textured affect but was hoping for a more offset design. I need to do some more swatching, I think.

Last night, Emma got out my umbrella swift, and she and I spun a few hanks into balls. Here's my favorite. I must have had this in my stash for more than 2 years now!

It's Claudia Hand Paints Fingering Weight Merino Wool in Colorway 'Begonia.' I love it! It is truely Smooshy yarn! It needs to be a scarf, for sure. Must come up with something!