Monday, December 17, 2007

Tiara Scarf (free pattern)

When we were seven years old, my friends and I spent countless hours playing “Princesses.” We’d spend most of the time describing to each other the details of our gossamer dresses and dainty slippers.

This scarf’s tiers and ruffles remind me of those days, and of the costume tiaras we would wear like the Crown Jewels, feeling regal as…well, princesses.

Click here for a PDF version of the pattern


PS. As always, please let me know if you have a problem with the pattern--I promise I'll get on it ASAP!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Reflections... (Or: "This Cold Weather is Makin' Me Crazy!")

My sister, Sarah, and nephew, Ethan, rushing up to greet me when I arrived for a visit last August

One of my favorite things to do is to sit and knit while I listen to other people talking, to the TV or a DVD, to podcasts on my iPod, or simply to the sounds of nature/traffic/music/my humming refrigerator. Somehow, I listen better when I knit. I'm more focused, and I tend to experience what I'm hearing more deeply and remember it longer.

I think this thought came to mind today when I thought about the upcoming holidays and time spent with family. I can imagine people gathered in their homes, wonderful cooking scenting the air, kids creating the kind of chaos only kids can create. And with those thoughts, my hands instinctively long for something wooly to work on. A soft sock, a cozy scarf, a warm hat--something easy and not too distracting. That way I could knit AND be part of the conversation.

Sarah and my brother-in-law, Todd

This year, Chris and I will be spending Christmas on our own, as we often do. Usually we head out to a nice restaurant for dinner on Christmas Eve, but this year we're getting ready for our January 6th move (to a cottage outside the city). Which means we'll need to cobble together a less expensive, at-home celebration. No problem there...we both like to eat, and we're both decent cooks. Cornish pasties, anyone?

Our holiday time together is often similar to other days---when Chris can turn off his phone and settle in for a well-deserved rest; when we can stay up late and watch Doctor Who reruns on PBS; when I can relax and knit with Maggie on my lap. It's peaceful and cozy time, and we look forward to it eagerly.

The "Holiday Season" also marks my favorite day of the year: Winter Solstice. As someone who detests the darkening days of autumn and yearns for year-round warm weather and long, sunny days, the shortest day of the year is a time for:
A) Relief that the darkest days are behind us; and
B) Joy in knowing that springtime is coming once again.

Sarah and Todd's tranquil pond (view from her patio)

You may think this makes no sense coming from someone who continuously knits warm snugglies...And perhaps you're right. But no one ever told me I had to make sense (thank goodness!). So I continue to delight in the beauty I find in this time of year, and to enjoy the variety of ways we find to mark this most introspective time of year.

Stay warm, drive safely on those icy roads, and, as always, happy knitting!

PS. Have you ever seen anything more lovely than Sock Pixie's new Raspberry Cheesecake colorway? I could just EAT it!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sweet Pea Pod Cozy (free pattern)

Remember me?
I'm the iPod Cozy, whose pattern Hannah promised you!

Many knitters tell me they design projects as they knit, but don't keep notes while they do it. So it's a pain for them to write up their patterns once the projects are done.

I honestly can't claim that excuse.

You see, I'm one of the obsessive-compulsive types who actually keeps great notes WHILE I'm knitting. But, for some reason, that doesn't seem to make it easier to type them up, test them, fine tune the details, etc.

However, a few people have asked for this design, so I decided to get off my duff and actually give it to you as I promised all those months ago. How many months? Check out the'll see how gorgeous the weather was. Yep. I designed this pattern last spring!

So, here you go. A little taste of spring, just for you, in the midst of a damp, chilly winter. I hope you enjoy it.


Yarn: I used Manos del Uruguay (in Mulberry, I think), but any other heavy worsted-weight yarn will do. Use 100 percent wool for easy fulling ("felting" is what one does to unspun fibers; either way, the end result is the same: dense, strong fabric). And remember, plant and man-made fibers will not felt. You will also need some DK-weight cotton yarn for the flower. I used Jeager Aqua Cotton (discontinued).

Needles: Sets of DPNs in US#10 and US#6, and a size G crochet hook.

Gauge: 14 sts x 24 rows = 4" in stockinette (approximate...if you're a little off you can adjust for that during the felting process)

Size: 8" x 3.5" before felting. Approx. 2.75" x 5.25" after felting. Final size can be customized when felting. See notes on size in body of pattern.

Cast on 30 stitches and divide among DPNs. Join for working in the round.

Knit every round until piece measures 8 inches from CO edge. Do not remove from needles.

CAREFULLY turn piece inside out (put the stitches on waste yarn if you find doing this on the needles to be too difficult), and work a 3-needle bind off. Turn right-side out again.

I-cord closure:

Using two US#6 DPNs, cast on 3 stitches.

Row 1: Knit across. Do not turn the work.

Row 2: Slide the three stitches to the other end of the needle and knit across. You will be using the yarn attached to the stitch farthest from the point of the left-hand needle to knit the stitch closest to the point. Tug on the working yarn at the end of the row to draw stitches together.

Continue working Row 2, tugging on working yarn to close the "tube" of the I-cord, until the cord measures about 12 inches.

NOTE: Obviously you can attach the I-cord to the cozy as you're knitting it. Just CO six extra stitches and leave them unworked on a scrap of yarn. Once you've finished binding off, you can come back, work the i-cord on three stitches, and graft the other end of the cord to the remaining three unworked stitches. To be honest, though, this may be more trouble than it's worth...I wrote this pattern with absolute beginners in mind, but I understand the desire to make things all of a piece. I may do just that next time I make one. So, decide what works best for you and do what makes you a happy knitter :-)


NOTE: You will need rubber dish-washing gloves to protect your hands from the hot water.

Fill a large mixing bowl with iced water. Turn your hot water tap to the hottest setting. If you prefer, you can fill a second bowl with the hot water. Or you can just use the water coming from the tap, which is what I did.

Wet the case with hot water and apply a little dish-washing liquid. Using your (glove-protected!) hands, rub, knead, scrub, and generally apply as much friction as you can to the piece. Periodically, dunk it in the iced water, as radical temperature changes help speed the felting process. Continue working the piece, alternating hot and cold water, until the case is the size you want it to be.

NOTE: It's great to leave some room at the top of the cozy so you can stuff your ear buds and cord inside!

Now, do the same thing for the i-cord. Hot, cold, hot, cold, roll between palms, rub it, knead it. Really work it. When it's about 8 inches long, you can stop.

Shape the case and i-cord, working out any crinkled spots and kneading out any uneven areas, and set out to dry away from direct sunlight. You can stuff a paper towel in the case to help it dry faster.

Crocheted Flower Closure:

Ch 5, slip stitch to first chain to form a ring. Change color, if desired.
Ch 3, DC 3 in first SC in ring. * Ch 3, DC three in next SC. Repeat from * 4 times.
Ch 3, DC twice in same ring as first Ch3 of this round. You should now have 5 "petals."
Cut and knot. Weave in ends.
Using a third color (if desired), thread a tapestry needle and create an X in the middle of the flower. Pull the two ends of this yarn to the back of the flower, and use them to attach it to the iPod cozy.

NOTE: You could also use a cute button for the flower's center, and attach it to the cozy by sewing through the button's holes.


Fold I-cord in half; using both strands, tie a half-hitch knot about 1.5 - 2 inches from ends, thus forming the loop that will hook over the flower closure.

With strong thread (I used the clear thread you can buy at sewing stores) or matching embroidery floss, sew the I-cord closure to the inside of the cozy's back, positioning the knot so that it appears exactly on top of the opening edge.

Insert your Pod, stuff in your ear buds and cord, hook the loop over the flower, and you're ready to go!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if there's an error in the pattern. Especially as I'm not much of a crocheter! If there's a problem, I'll address it for you ASAP.

Oh, just one more thing:
Since I'm not the world's greatest crocheter, I'm aware of the fact that my crochet instructions might leave something to be desired. If you wish, then, you might check here or here for crocheted flower inspiration OR here for knitted flower inspiration.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crochet: Inspiring Option or Distracting Dream?

Oh, the siren call of the Ripple Blanket...

OK, let me first state for the record that I am not One of Those Knitters. You know who I'm talking about...the nearly-militant anti-crochet zealots. Not large in number, but they're out there.

Nope, that's not me. In fact, the "problem" I'm dealing with lately feels like a sort of fiber-arts-related ADD--You'll note, I'm sure, the complete absence of "H," or hyperactivity ;-)

I adore knitting. And spinning. I've always liked to sew, and can spend hours in fabric stores. But lately, I've been finding myself attracted to crochet...Odd, since I've never been "a crocheter" in my life. Or maybe that's the point.

Who, after all, doesn't like a challenge. And with so many mouth-watering crochet books coming out, how can anyone resist? Books like this one, my new favorite (it has an adorable "breakfast set" pattern, complete with a retro tea cozy chocolate/robin's egg blue):

And this lovely collection of delights:

And this--complete with intriguing designer interviews:

See what I mean? Oh, what's a person to do with only 24 hours in a day?

To be honest, I count myself as fortunate, having a bit more "unscheduled" time than most people I know. So the solution to my little quandry is the ever-so-simple-and-yet-so-difficult task of moving beyond the dreaming and planning stage to the learning, practicing, and executing stage. I might find I love crocheting, or---horrors!---I might find I'm not very good at it.

Oh, well. I guess that's why it's so much fun to just page through books like these and dream of all the things you could make. Don't you agree?

Until next time...Think warm thoughts, and happy knitting (or crocheting)!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Blue Friday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomatoes by Bonnie Rollin (my mom), photographed in her Sacramento studio.

On Wednesday, a wonderfully balmy day in DC, I did the unthinkable: I left the house without my knitting!

Now, I was kind of in a rush, since Chris was working late and we wanted to have breakfast together. But I'd planned on sitting out in Dupont Circle in the afternoon, listening to podcasts and working on a pair of socks.

We were a block from home when I noticed my project was still at our fourth-floor walk-up apartment. Really, really did not want to climb all those stairs again, to say nothing of the back-tracking I'd have to do to get home.

So I decided to do what any self-respecting knitter would do. I hopped on a bus, went all the way up Connecticut Avenue, and headed for the Stitch DC-Chevy Chase Circle store.

After a lot of squeezing, stroking, petting, and general yarn fondling, I purchased a bag of jewel-toned, rich blue yarn: two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in a soft periwinkle blue, and two skeins Nature's Palette Fingering in Lupine--a lovely violet blue. My plan was to make Jane's Hedgerow Socks, which I've been eyeing for quite a while now.

So, yarn wound into a nice little cake, new Addi Lace circular needles in hand, I took the bus back down the hill to Dupont, and settled in on a nice sunny bench to knit in the glorious sun. The temperature was more than 70 degrees, no breeze...just a warm, wonderful day.

Knit four, purl two, knit four, purl two...The strand of Nature's Palette felt so silky running through my fingers, even more so than in the skein. Jane's Hedgerows were going to be mine.

But wait! Something's happening...Oh, no. Not again! The color, the texture---I realized with a sinking feeling that this yarn was not destined to be the JH socks after all. My "creative genes" were kicking in, not to be ignored.

What became obvious to me was that the Lupine was perfect for a pair of socks I've been dreaming up for about six months. Later that evening, I pulled out the pattern notes I'd been keeping and started charting the pattern and swatching.

I was almost derailed when I realized I'd have to knit these socks from the toe up (which I've only ever done on one pair of booties), but I persisted and all is well. My excitement is growing...This is going to be one cute pair of socks :-)

So here I am, knee-deep (well, almost) in blue yarn. And someday soon, I'll have a little surprise for you. Meanwhile, I have plans for the Pure Silk; a Chevron Scarf and my second Pink Granite sock to finish; and a halfway-designed cloche to complete.

Wish me luck...


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pulse Check Wristers (free pattern!)

Hi, friends...Thanks for checking in!

I've been really bad about keeping up my blog. Especially since Ravelry came along. But I feel it's important to spend less time ogling other people's knitting--fun as that can be--and more time writing. Writing is good.

During the past month I've actually been reading a lot, resting a lot, and knitting a lot...

I love the extended Daylight Savings Time, but when we changed the clocks this fall, the darkness came as more of a shock than usual, because it was later in the year.

As someone who thrives on sunlight, I think I've been suffering from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's amazing how many people have the same least among my friends and family. Or maybe I just befriend people who are so much like me that we all burrow away the minute darkness descends. Ugh.

That's one reason why I tend to celebrate Winter Solstice more than any other "Winter Holiday."

Winter sunlight at Dupont Circle

Another reason is the obscene amount of commercialism associated with Christmas. For this is the time of year when millions upon millions of people hit the malls with the battle cry: "Consume! Consume!"

Have you ever gone into a department store around this time of year and REALLY looked at the merchandise? So much of it is crap that--at any other time of year--we wouldn't even THINK of buying! And most of it is stuff that nobody really needs. I know I don't need more stuff... Though I always "need" more yarn ;-)

Well, to each his or her own, I say. We should all do what makes us happiest, since we have one crack at life and ought to enjoy every minute of it. I would just like to think that the gifts people give each other are meaningful, and that we all focus on quality over quantity.

So, to that end, I'm offering a little something you can whip up in an evening (or, if you take your time, in two evenings) and give to anyone who needs a little extra warmth and color during the winter. That person may even be you!

Pulse Checks are like tiny hugs for the wrists. Believe me, they DO make a difference in keeping off the chill...especially in older houses, which tend to be cooler. And that's good news for those of us who like to knit or crochet during the evenings!

Pulse Check Wristers

Yarn: Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Falk (superwash wool) in colors A and B (I used red and dark burgundy)
Needles: Size 5 DPNs or 32" circular/s (I used the Magic Loop method)
Notions: Stitch marker (optional) to mark beg. of round
Gauge: 24 x 28 = 4"
Size: Fits 6.5 to 8.5" wrist (I made my husband try them on to be sure!)

Woodsman's Check Pattern*
8 rounds in circular knitting
(multiple of 4)
Round 1: *K1 A, K1 B; continue from * to end.
Round 2: *K1 B, K1 A; continue from * to end.
Rounds 3 & 4: *K2 A, K2 B; continue from * to end.
Rounds 5 & 6: Repeat rounds 1 and 2.
Rounds 7 & 8: *K2 B, K2 A; continue from * to end.

*Based on stitch pattern found in Robin Hansen's Favorite Mittens

Here's the Pattern:

Ribbed Arm Cuff
: Cast on 36 stitches (in pattern is best, if you're so inclined) and join to work in round. Work seven rounds of K2 P2 ribbing, increasing 4 stitches evenly on 7th round.
(NOTE: To make nearly invisible increases in ribbing, knit into front and back of the knit stitch that comes just before purl stitches. The little "dash" formed by Kf&b increases will blend in with the following purl stitches and disappear!)

Wrist Pattern: Joining in color B, follow Woodsman's Check pattern above (Chart lovers: I feel your pain, and will post a chart as soon as I can). Be sure to carry your yarn loosely so the fabric won't be too tight. Work all 8 rows of check pattern 3 times, then work rounds 1 and 2 once more. Break off color B (leaving enough to weave in end).

Ribbed Wrist Cuff: Using color A, work seven rounds of K2 P2 ribbing. Cast off loosely in pattern.

Weave in ends, soak briefly with yarn soap like Eucalan...or you can use hair conditioner, if you want to soften the wool even more. Press between layers of towel to remove excess water and lay flat to dry. Halfway through drying process you may want to turn writers inside out to help the inner layers dry more quickly.

Now, slip them on and enjoy the comforting hug and warmth :-)

Enjoy...and Happy Knitting!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Vacation Brain (or: How I lost my USB camera cord)

Guess what? I was so excited about posting photos of our Cape May trip, complete with a mini-film of our rather "swell" (pun intended) ferry crossing.

I also have lovely photos of yarn, knitting, and a bag filled with eight luscious ounces of Federico's True Black Alpaca fleece...Mmmmmmmm...Ahhhhh...

BUT: When dropping off our rental car I managed to leave my camera case in the glove compartment (Hey, it was dark & the case is black!). My camera, thank God, was in its Camera Sock in my purse.

BUT: The camera's USB cord was tucked in the case. Which now seems to be permanently missing.

It was an expensive case. And the car has already been rented out again. Enterprise said they'd put a note in the system to check for it when the car is returned, so I'm holding out hope. (I tend to be cynical about people in situations like this, even though I'd be wracked with guilt for life if I took someone else's property. Go figure.)

So...we'll buy a new cord in a day or two and then I'll be back in business.

Until then, imagine golden sunsets over calm water, rich shades of Dale of Norway and Noro yarns, Alpacas frolicking in an idyllic pasture...

It was hard to come home.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

On Vacation...

Check back soon...I have lots to show and tell!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bon-Bon Socklettes (free pattern!)

Designed to wear while you pad around the house sipping hot chocolate, or when you feel like curling up for an afternoon of knitting, these socks are soft and cozy, like a hug for your feet.

They also make great gifts--quick and easy to make, and the mini mock-cable pattern doesn't require a cable needle. Enjoy!


Yarn: 2 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in color 300602
Needles: US #4 (I used a 32” circular needle for magic loop, but you can easily substitute your needles of choice)
Notions: Stitch marker (optional), yarn needle
Gauge: 20 sts x 28 rows = 4 inches

Petite Mock Cable Pattern
Row 1: *K2tog and then work first stitch again before removing stitches from left needle, P2; repeat from * to end.
Rows 2, 3, and 4: [correction] Work in K2 P2 rib
Repeat these four rows for pattern.

Cast on 48 stitches.
Work 10 rows K2,P2 rib.

Work petite mock cable pattern three times, ending with Row 1.

Heel flap
Heel flap: Knit 12 stitches, turn and purl 24 stitches. These stitches will form the heel flap.
Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to end.
Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to end.
Work these 2 rows 12 times, then work Row 1 once more.

Turn Heel
Slip 1 as if to purl, P14, P2tog, P1, turn.
Slip 1 as if to purl, K7, K2tog TBL (through the back loop), K1, turn.

Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to one stitch before gap, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to one stitch before gap, K2tog TBL, turn
Continue working these two rows until all stitches have been worked.

Pick up gusset stitches
Using needle holding heel flap stitches, pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 - 13 gusset stitches); place marker if desired; pick up and PURL the stitch below the first instep stitch; transfer this stitch to the instep-stitch needle.

Using needle holding instep stitches, work across instep stitches (you should be on Row 2 of Petite mock cable pattern); pick up and PURL the stitch below the first stitch on the other side of the gusset gap; place marker if desired; pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 - 13 gusset stitches)

You should now have 26 instep stitches; from here on, always purl the first and last stitch on the instep-stitch needle, forming a column of purl stitches to set off the edge of the instep pattern.

Heel-stitch needle: Knit across half of heel stitches, place marker to mark beginning of rounds from here on, then knit the other half of heel stitches; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Instep-stitch needle: Purl 1; work instep stitches in pattern; Purl 1; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Decrease gusset stitches
Round 1: Heel-stitch needle—Knit to 3 stitches before instep; K2tog, K1; Instep-stitch needle—P1, work instep stitches in pattern, P1; K1, K2Tog TBL; knit to end.

Round 2: Knit to instep stitches; work instep stitches in pattern (including the P1 you’ve established at either side); knit to end.

Repeat these two rounds until 50 stitches remain (24 on the sole, 26 on the instep). Arrange so instep stitches and sole stitches are on separate needles.

Instep: Purl 1, Work mock cable pattern, Purl 1; knit across sole stitches.

Continue working mock cable pattern on instep 12 times, or to desired length, ending with row 3. Sole will continue to be worked in stockinette stitch.

Next round: Knit sole stitches and on insetp, P2tog, P across to last two stitches, P2tog, to create a purl ridge before beginning toe decreases.

Round 1: Work to 3 stitches before end of needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit across to last three stitches on needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit to end of round.
Round 2: K to end

Work rows 1 and 2 until there are 12 stitches on each needle, then work decrease row only, until 6 stitches remain on each needle. Arrange stitches and graft together. If you prefer, you may also thread yarn through remaining stitches and draw tight to close.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

NOTE: I tried to be as accurate as possible, but nobody's perfect. So please do let me know if you find any errors in this pattern. Thanks!

(c) 2007, Hannah Six.


Monday, October 01, 2007


Is it just me, or could Ravelry be the most addictive thing invented since knitting hit the scene?

Jeez. I hardly have a smidgen of stash posted, though there's some stuff I'd like to swap or sell. And then we have the library, the projects, the friends, the groups, the volunteer editing...It's taking over! It's eating into my knitting time!

Must. Break. This. Habit. Or...maybe someone will offer to pay me for full-time Ravelry-ing...What do you think?

Oh, and I have a new pattern coming soon, for a pretty pair of bon-bon pink anklets. Keep watching this space!

Meanwhile, see you on/in Ravelry ;-)


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Frozen Peace Fleece, Anyone? (No? How about some Lorna's Laces...)

OK, please be honest. Am I the only knitter (AKA: stasher) who takes preventative anti-moth measures?

What you're looking at are three skeins of Peace Fleece, which I bought at Eco-Green, a local shop that specializes in organic, green, fair-trade products.

Why are they in the freezer, you ask? Well...because I'm sick. I literally dream about finding moths in my home (more of a nightmare, really). So whenever I buy yarn from a store that's an "unknown quantity" I pop it in the freezer for a couple of days to kill any fabric bugs/eggs that might be hiding in the depths of my new wool-babies.

The red yarn and pretty needles are going to be the Knitting Needle Bag from Bag Style. You can also download the pattern free at Knitting Daily.

Here's how the freezer trick works: You put the yarn in the freezer for 24 - 48 hours, which either kills the little buggers or puts them into dormancy. They think it's the deep freeze of winter. Then, when you take the yarn out of the freezer, they suddenly think it's spring! You give them 24 hours in the warmth of your kitchen, and then--this is the evil part--pop the yarn back into the freezer for a day or two. This kills the little guys who made it through the first freeze.

Three skeins of DK-weight Peace Fleece I bought at Eco-Green earlier this year...They're going to make some hefty boot socks to keep Chris' little piggies warm!

But I want to get back to my question: Do you ever take preventative anti-moth measures? Or do you know anyone who does? I need to know. Maybe, if I'm not alone, I won't feel so OCD! Do you think it's weird?

An orphan skein of Claudia's HP, rescued from Stitch DC last spring. Too pretty to pass up, don't you agree?


Last fall I bought five skeins of Lorna's Laces in Gold Hill, which I thought would make a really pretty leaf-patterned autumny wrap. But they've sat in my stash for the past year, and I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm probably not going to use them.

Help us fulfill our destiny!

I know, I know, I could make socks with them. But I wasn't particularly happy with the pooling in my Waving Lace socks (made with LL in Watercolors). I like how the yarn feels, and I like the solid colors, but the multicolored LL yarns aren't my top choice.

So... If anyone would like to buy them, or swap for them, please drop me a line at

Happy knitting!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Waving Lace Socks, Fab Sale Yarns, a Few UFOs, and a Free Shawl Pattern

First, some Yarn Porn
(Fleece Artist Blue-faced Leicester DK, bought from Stitches & Scones in Indianapolis)

Hi, friends and visitors! I hope you're enjoying the first days of fall. Here in DC we're not cooling off too much yet, but that's OK. Winter will be here soon enough.

I've got sooo much to tell you today, and have been working on photos and such for a few hours. I even included a free (though VERY simple and knitting-universally known) shawl pattern at the end. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know. OK, on to business...


Here's a photo of my Waving Lace socks, featuring my favorite shoes. They're Keens' "Calistoga" (brown), and "Barcelona" (black). Très comfortable!

I'll definitely make another pair some day, but probably with a different colorway. (This batch pooled more than I expected.) I really did love this pattern. Easy to memorize, easy to knit, easy on the eyes, and easy on the feet. All good, since they're for me :-)


Fab yarn at cheap prices. Who could pass it up? Not this knitter!

Four skeins of Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette in Peony. Four skeins for $28... Not bad.

I knit a swatch while sitting outside of Starbucks at Dupont Circle yesterday. God, the weather has been gorgeous here! On US#3 Brittany birch needles, it knit into a crisp fabric with a promise of softness.

That promise was fulfilled when I washed (in Eucalan) and blocked the swatch last night. The fabric has a rich hand, lovely drape, and a luxurious halo (almost angora-like). The teensy hint of itchiness I felt in the swatch disappeared, leaving a buttery smooth surface I can't wait to feel against my skin.

This yarn is destined to become a pair of long, lacy gloves, like the ones in Veronik Avery's gorgeous new book.

And another good buy: Cascade Fixation...Four balls for $8.88. Nice!

Last Monday Chris and I went up to Stitch DC at Chevy Chase Circle. Lo and behold, they were having a sale! Well, what else could I do but pick up some $4.44 Fixation? With two of the balls, I plan to make a pair of Flame Wave socks from Favorite Socks. If they feel good on my feet, not rough against my soles, then I'll make a pair for my oh-so-tender-footed mom. Which leads me to...


Before leaving for Sacramento last month, I picked up a ball of self-patterning yarn. After all, one always needs a mindless stocking stitch sock project in one's purse, right? The changing patterns help keep me from feeling bored and, somehow, seem to make the knitting go faster (obviously, this is all in my mind).

This is a really SOFT cotton yarn, so I decided to make these socks for my mom, since Sacramento gets so hot. And because she has ultra-sensitive little piggies, I'm making a reverse stocking stitch sole--they'll be smooth against her skin :-)

Moment of truth:

While traveling, I used Brittany birch DPNs. But when I got home I switched back to my trusty Knit Picks circ so I could do the Magic Loop. I'm just so spoiled by this method of sock knitting...I want to enjoy DPNs more than ML, but to be honest, I just don't.

Here, for posterity are a few more UFOs...

Chevron Scarf
This is really a WIP, not a UFO, because I'm actively working on it.

Wow. It's really long. But it's not a bad knit. Just one of those projects you have to keep plugging away at, sometimes enjoying it more than others. The FO will be worth it, though. I love the way it feels when I scrunch it in my hands.

Tube Shawl from AlterKnits
Oh, Tube Shawl, you are kicking my arse.

Honestly, can you imagine knitting six feet of stocking stitch on US#8 circular needles with Kidsilk Haze? Agony! But I. Will. Finish. This. Project. (Can you tell my teeth are clenching?)

It's a lovely shawl, and I'll enjoy it for years. But I started it in 2005, when I was still a pretty inexperienced knitter. Now I know better. I also know you can't frog Kidsilk Haze (ask me how I know). So, onward and longward we shall go.

Grandma Six's Hand Spun Shawl
I started this shawl about a year ago, for Chris' grandma. She's the greatest, and we love her to pieces. I spun half the Finn top on Karida's Louet S10, and the other half on my Kromski Sonata (adore it!).

I'm using US#10 Addi Turbo circular needles, and knitting from the point upward. It's an easy pattern...

Grandma Six's Shawl
Yarn: Any kind. I spun up a worsted-weight singles for the shawl pictured above.
Gauge: Not important.
Needle: One or two sizes more than you'd usually use for the weight of yarn you chose. Experiment until you get a fabric you like, with plenty of drape.

Cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: K1, YO, K1, yo, K1.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K1, YO, K to next to last st, YO, K1.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length and width.
Bind off LOOSELY.
Block as (or if!) desired.

Note: I don't claim that I invented this pattern. It's so simple and easy that it just kind of exists in the Collective Knitters' Consciousness. But I did think it might be a good idea to write it down, in case you're interested. Enjoy!

(And if you've received your Ravelry invitation, come see me: I'm "KnitSix." If you haven't, don't will get it soon, and I think you'll find it's worth the wait.)


Friday, September 14, 2007

Manly Socks (free pattern)

My gift to you: A free sock pattern. Why? Because I feel guilty for spending so much time on Ravelry lately that I've totally ignored my blog. (Sorry.)

These socks have a long history.

We ordered a Christmas gift for my step-father, Walter, last December. The person selling the product (son of the artist) said he was out of town but would send the gift when he got home. We were fine with that--my family is perpetually late with Christmas gifts anyway. After a month, however, Walter had still not received it.

Bonnie (my mom) and Walter (my step-dad) at a pretty Italian restaurant on a scorching hot day.

This went on and on. We contacted the guy, who said he sent it but would look into the matter. We contacted him again and he said we needed to deal with the post office, not with him (he hadn't even insured it!). Well, that didn't go over too well with us. To be honest, I wonder whether the gift was ever sent at all. We firmly requested our money back and eventually received it.

So now it was April, and I felt guilty. So I called Walter and asked him what he'd like "for Christmas." I had a feeling he'd like something handmade, and it turned out I was right...he said he'd love a pair of socks. Thus began the great sock hunt: right pattern, right yarn, right color.

Manly Socks

Overwhelmed by perfectionism, I cast on and frogged a few socks, bought a few different types of yarn, and generally drove myself nuts trying to make everything just right. Finally, feeling frustrated and even more guilty about how much time had passed, I decided to "just knit," rather than follow someone else's pattern.

I pulled three skeins of Koigu (purchased about a year earlier) out of my stash and cast on, designing as I went along. One-by-one ribbing at the top to hold the socks up; a slipped-stitch rib from the More Sensational Knitted Socks stitch dictionary that looked about right; an eye-of-partridge heel just for fun; my usual purl row before starting the toe decreases...

And suddenly they were done! Just in time, too, as I was one day away from boarding a plane to visit my parents in Sacramento. Yes, that's right. Walter finally got his gift for Christmas 2006--in August 2007. But he was pleased as punch, and that made it all worthwhile. I hope to get a photo of him wearing the socks soon :-)

These socks are great. They're warm as can be (I wore one on my arm for several minutes and noticed that it really trapped my body heat. That's because the stitch makes a lofty fabric with lots of air pockets. So they're perfect for winter or for people whose feet are always cold (like me).

This is the most detailed pattern I've written to date, so if you find any errors in the pattern, please let me know. Also, I'd love to see photos of your Manly socks if you decide to knit a pair!

(Note: The pattern appears below; if you'd like me to send it to you a PDF, just e-mail me at

Well, there you go. Walter's Manly Socks. Finis!

Now, how many knitting days left before Christmas 2007?

The lovely Tower Cafe, in Sacramento


Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 3 skeins, color P304
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) — I used a 32” needle from Knit Picks, and the Magic Loop method
Notions: 2 stitch markers (optional), tapestry needle
Gauge: 28 stitches x 40 rows = 4 in.

Slipped-Stitch Rib (SSR)
Multiple of 6 stitches
Row 1: *K3, P3; repeat from *
Row 2: *K1, Slip 1 WYIB, K1, P1, Slip 1 WYIF, P1; repeat from *
Row 3: *K3, P3; repeat from *
Repeat Rows 1 – 3 for pattern

Cast on 78 stitches using the Old Norwegian method, and arrange with 39 stitches on each needle.
Work 11 rows of K1, P1 rib.

Switch to SSR pattern as described above and continue in pattern until piece measures 9” from cast on edge, ending with Row 3.

Eye-of-Partridge Heel Flap
Important: To prepare for heel flap: Knit across 18 stitches; turn, and knit across 39 stitches; this should “center” the heel flap so that it begins and ends with “P3.” The instep stitches should begin and end with “K3.”

Turn work (You will work the heel flap back and forth on one needle; ignore the stitches on your other needle—these will become the instep stitches after the heel is turned)

Work heel flap as follows for 40 rows:
Row 1 & 3 (WS): K3, Purl to end
Row 2 (RS): P3; *K1, Slip 1; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; K4
Row 4 (RS): P3; *Slip 1, K1; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; Slip 1, K3

Turn Heel
Next Row: Slip 1 as if to purl, purl 23 stitches, P2Tog, P1, turn
Next Row: Slip 1 as if to purl, knit 10 stitches, K2Tog TBL, K1, turn

Row 1: Slip 1, purl to one stitch before gap, P2Tog, P1, turn
Row 2: Slip 1, knit to one stitch before gap, K2Tog TBL, K1, turn
Repeat these two rows until all heel stitches have been worked, ending with a RS row (If, for some mysterious reason, you finish the heel stitches on a WS row, you can fudge here by working a RS row without decreasing at end.)

Pick up gusset stitches
Using needle holding heel flap stitches, pick up and knit one stitch in each garter stitch bump (a total of 20 gusset stitches); place marker if desired; pick up and PURL the stitch below the first instep stitch; transfer this stitch to the instep-stitch needle

Using needle holding instep stitches, work across instep stitches in pattern (you should be on Row 1 of SSR chart); pick up and PURL the stitch below the first stitch on the other side of the gusset gap; place marker if desired; pick up and knit one stitch in each garter stitch bump (a total of 20 gusset stitches)

You should now have 41 instep stitches; from here on, always purl the first and last stitch on the instep-stitch needle, forming a column of purl stitches that sets off the edge of the instep pattern.

Heel-stitch needle: Knit across heel stitches; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.
Instep-stitch needle: Purl 1; work instep stitches in pattern; Purl 1; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Decrease gusset stitches
Round 1: Heel-stitch needle—Knit to 3 stitches before instep; K2tog, K1; Instep-stitch needle—P1, work instep stitches in pattern, P1; K1, K2Tog TBL; knit to end.

Round 2: Knit to instep stitches; work instep stitches in pattern (including the P1 you’ve established at either side); knit to end.
Repeat these two rounds until 78 stitches remain (37 on the sole, 41 on the instep).

Continue working sole and instep stitches in pattern as established until piece measures 10” (or desired length)

Next row:
- Knit sole stitches AND the purl stitch at edge of instep; transfer this stitch to needle holding heel stitches
- Purl across 39 instep stitches; knit the purl stitch at end of instep stitches and transfer this stitch to needle holding sole stitches.

Decrease row: Knit to last three stitches on Needle 1, K2Tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, Knit to last three stitches on Needle 2, K2Tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, Knit to end of round.
Next row: Knit to end.

Repeat these two rows until 38 stitches remain
Work decrease row only until 11 stitches remain on each needle.
Using tapestry needle, graft stitches remaining on Needle 1 and Needle 2 together with Kitchener stitch.

NOTE: These socks are very lofty and springy, so blocking is not necessary. If you do wish to block them, lay them on a towel and spray with water until damp; pat into shape and allow the socks to dry thoroughly. Enjoy!

For a PDF version, click here.

© 2007, Hannah Six. All rights reserved.
For more information or permission to reprint, e-mail me at or visit


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Ready to Ravel!

This evening I checked my e-mail, and guess what I found there? Yep, you got it: My Ravelry invitation! See?

frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!
"Here you go! Thanks for your interest in our little site. Let me know if you have any questions or problems! Jess"

Yay! Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!!!

Once I get all set up, you'll find me at KnitSix :-)


Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm back!

Alaska Airlines flew us past some monstrous mountains.

That's Mt. Ranier. What a treat for the eyes after living in the oh-so-flat (to a Northern Californian) Mid-Atlantic region for many, many years.

Oh, yeah, and one of their pilots also saved the lives of everyone on the plane when we flew back into D.C. I'll tell you the story soon.

First, I went to Sacramento and spent almost two weeks with my mom and step-dad, who were both feeling better when I left. Then I flew up to Seattle, where I spent a fun (if short) weekend with my sister, her husband, my newphew, and a handful of step-nieces and step-nephews. More on that later, too (including some photos).

And, lest you worry, I did manage to slip in a little yarn shopping and knitting along the way...


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Far, far away...

Hi, folks!

Please excuse my absence. Both my mom AND my step-dad have been suffering from heart disease, with various operations and "procedures" happening during the past few weeks.

Thus my lack of writing.

At this moment, I am far away from home, in Sacramento, Calif., helping them out at home, going to doctor's appointments, and offering unoffical medical advice (I'm a medical writer) and very official emotional support. They seem to feel better having me here, which was the point of my trip, so that's good.

I have been knitting, and finished Walter's "Christmas" socks--the brown Koigu slip-stitch ribbed ones. He liked them very much, indeed. I've also finished my Online cotton socks, which I started in June, and cast on the second Waving Lace sock. Also, I bought some kind of incredibly soft, self-patterning cotton sock yarn (I'll post the name when I can remember it!) and started a pair of simple stockinette socks on the flight out here.

Speaking of flights...If you ever have the choice of flying on Alaska Airlines, I HIGHLY recommend it. What a wonderful experience. Every employee I encountered was friendly and helpful, the planes were clean, and they were ON TIME! No small achievement in this day and age.

Tuesday, when I flew from D.C., the weather was spectacular all the way, and I got some gorgeous photos from the plane. It's so nice to see REAL mountains again...the soaring, awe-inspiring kind. The mountains back east are ancient, so they're subtler and gentler. Sometimes I miss the West Coast scenery.

Today, though, I'm missing my beloved husband, who had to stay in D.C. due to work. I hated to leave him alone... He just got digital cable, though--so maybe access to lots of soccer (REAL football) and good (non-NASCAR) auto racing is helping take the edge off of being alone ;-)

Well, until I can post again, I wish you all cool weather (or warm, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere) and happy knitting!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Eye Candy Friday...on Sunday

Look at the gorgeous lines on this sweet 'Vette...
1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS (built for the 12 Hours of Sebring)

A rather famous Mercedes...very futuristic!

1954/55 Mercedes-Benz W196 Streamliner (Formula 1)

(I took these photos at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum while at the 2007 US Grand Prix.)