Sunday, October 30, 2005

Just in Time

...for the end of Socktoberfest, if not for Mr. A's birthday -- voila, the Log Cabin Socks! (Of course, pictured with coffee.) Here's all the pertinent info:

Pattern: Log Cabin, from Handknit Holidays

Yarn: Each sock took about 75% of one skein of Wool-Ease worsted in Fisherman

Needles: One 40-inch Inox circular, size 7; no cable needle! (woo-hoo!)

They're not washed or blocked, just straight off the needles. (I wanted to get them blogged before tomorrow!) I varied the pattern a bit; I did short row toes instead of traditional toes. I thought about doing short row heels, but there'd be no cool cables on the heels, which I think is one of the most appealing things about the pattern. I got gauge, but as you can see, the feet are a little big. The calf portion fits fine, so I think the problem is the lack of cables and ribs to draw the socks in. The next time I make these socks, I will do the feet with a smaller size needle. I'm hoping a wash and tumble dry will help too. While the toe seams are not Grumperina-perfect, I think I'm getting the hang of kitchener stitch. I even sort of (gasp!) enjoyed it.

One (maybe obvious) helpful hint for people who are new to cable patterns. I like to work from a chart, but I find the little symbols hard to read. So I recopied the chart and used different colored highlighters to mark where the right- and left-leaning cables went. That made the chart easy to read without having to pick it up and squint at it!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Carolyn's Most Excellent Idea

A knitting meme! I was stupidly excited to be tagged. It made me feel like one of the cool kids.

1. What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?

Well, although I own tons of it, and I totally agree with Chrissy that it's the "Budweiser of yarns," it's not Wool-Ease. I loved knitting with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, though it didn't frog too well. Also, I received a ball of Filatura di Crosa Zara as an RAK, and that is like heaven. So soft.

2. Favorite needles?

Well, almost always circular ones. Even if I'm knitting back and forth, I usually use circs. (As far as I'm concerned, the raison d'etre of dpns is i-cord.) For some projects, you just can't beat the Addis. I also have many 40" inch Inox circulars of which I am very fond. But I like the warmth and organic feel of bamboo needles, too, to put it as cheesily as possible.

3. What's the worst thing you ever knit?

Lord, where to begin? I went through a novelty yarn fluffy scarf phase. Is that bad enough?

4. Favorite knit pattern? The most fun to knit?

Hard to say. I knit a lot of things that are basics -- basic raglan sweater, basic socks, etc. The Log Cabin socks that I am working on now are really fun. Elizabeth Zimmerman's "yoke sweater by the percentages" from Knitting Without Tears is a favorite.

5. Most valuable knitting technique?

The combination of toe-up, short-row toes and heels, and the Magic Loop (knitting on one long circ) makes socks really, really fun to knit. Cabling without a cable needle has made me love cables.

6. Best knit book or magazine?

My favorite knitting magazine is definitely Interweave Knits. I love to look at the "Staff Projects." It's fun to see how different designers interpret a garment, even if I wouldn't want to knit that particular project. As far as knitting books go, I can't possibly pick one. I love Elizabeth Zimmerman (don't we all?). Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques is really helpful with a part of the process that I find trying. Maggie Righetti's Knitting in Plain English is an often overlooked, very valuable resource. For browsing/eye candy/inspiration, Weekend Knitting and Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick.

7. Favorite knitalong?

I'm really new to this KAL thing, but I love it! I can't really participate in an SnB (it's hard for me to go out in the evenings), so for me KALs and blogging are my only opportunity to knit with others. I have to give Lolly her props. Socktoberfest rocks.

8. Favorite knitblogs?

Well, I read all the Usual Suspects (Yarn Harlot, Grumperina, blue blog, Knit and Tonic). At risk of sounding like a total suck-up, I have to say Carolyn's blog is my favorite. Her projects really have inspired me to try new (usually harder!) things. Check out Anna's My Fashionable Life; she doesn't post very often, but when she does, it's amazing. Since I love to travel, and can't really, I like to do it virtually through blogstalking: international favorites are Carola's Sheep and No City from Iceland and Serendipity from Melbourne, Australia. Chris's bits of knits always puts a smile on my face.

9. Favorite knitwear designer?

Hmmm. I haven't ever knitted one of her designs, but I like the look of Jo Sharp's stuff. Also Norah Gaughan.

10. The knit item that you wear the most?

Most of the stuff that I have made was either made for someone else, or I ended up giving it away. I have been wearing this sweater a lot lately. But I am sure that it will be displaced in my affection when I finish this. My Vineyard socks have been getting a lot of use too.
Minty, Olga, Carla, Chrissy and Kathy: you are tagged!

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes for G and the nice comments about the Log Cabin socks! I hope to be posting the finished pair soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What I Am... sick of dots. To paraphrase Russell Hoban's Bread and Jam for Frances.

Small Treats

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats. -- Iris Murdoch
The deals we make with ourselves... Ms. affiknitty was seriously behind in her laundry duties. The clothes were clean (most of them, anyway), but folded and put away? Not exactly. I wouldn't mind doing laundry at all, if I didn't have to fold and put away. Especially the unmentionables. But I perservered, and the dressers are refilled.
My small treat for the afternoon arrived in the mail today -- Knitting Vintage Socks! I spent a half an hour or so perusing it over a cup of Ceylon Sonata. The Socktober Madness continues!
Well, it's a lovely book. I enjoyed the introductory parts discussing her sources and how she adapted the patterns. She clearly put a ton of work into making the patterns doable for modern knitters -- for example, in the original patterns, the required yarn was sometimes described only as "pretty" or "soft." Yikes. But there weren't as many "I must knit that!" moments as I had with Knitting on the Road. Lots of socks for guys -- if Mr. A sees this book, I could busy for years just knitting socks for him. I really like the Fancy Silk Sock, Evening Stockings for a Young Lady, and the Child's Sock in Miranda pattern.
Is there a Vintage Socks KAL? And I'm also considering this for when Socktoberfest is over (sob!).
Somebody stop me before I KAL again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Happy Birthday Mr. A!

Today is Mr. affiknitty's birthday! Yay! To celebrate, some fun facts about the Man of My House:

1. He has been known to take his coffee, in a travel mug, into the shower.

2. His writing was anthologized in a book along with a work by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

3. Every August, he is sure that the Redskins will go to the Super Bowl, but by November he usually denies that he ever said that.

4. He was born and raised in the District of Columbia.

5. If you met him at a social event, you would never guess that he is a litigator that kicks butt and takes names.

6. In high school, he was the captain of the basketball team.

7. Nickname: "G-Money." Real name: same as one of the Brady Bunch.

8. He likes to make fun of the music I like, but I recently found one of my Coldplay CDs in his car stereo.

9. Our first date was for lunch, at a bagel place.

10. Once he drove me over four hours round trip, from Charlottesville to DC and back, in one evening, so that I could get my favorite dessert at my favorite dessert place.

11. He seems very serious, but can be super silly with the Little Guys.

12. He is a way awesome dad. What he has done for the Little Guys in terms of personal sacrifice is amazing, just take my word for it.

13. He did not freak out when he saw the picture of the stash.

14. I recently had the following conversation with him:

(Listening to radio program in which Tailin, Estonia is mentioned.)

Me: I'd like to go to Estonia some day.

Mr. A: Why?

Me: They have a very rich knitting tradition.

Mr. A (with straight face): I hear Hawaii has a rich knitting tradition.

15. He is 35 years old today! Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Coming Clean

Back when I flashed my stash ... I was not totally honest. I believe I said that I have "a lot" of Lion Brand Wool-Ease. But only a portion of that was actually pictured. I counted today, and rounding up (mostly entire skeins count as whole ones), I have (gulp) 44 skeins. That includes yarn that is currently being used in a WIP.

I know I said that I am not embarrassed to admit that I like Wool-Ease. And I do like it. Lots of colors, easy to find, inexpensive, wears pretty well, good for kids' stuff. But there's a whole lot of wonderful yarn out there, and Wool-Ease is, well, boring. I mean, Knit Picks has every manner of yummy fiber for low, low prices. Plus, Cascade 220 comes in superwash! And who wants to read a blog where every FO is made with Lion Brand? No one! So I am making a pledge. No more buying Lion Brand.

But in the interest of frugality, I'm going to use the Wool-Ease. Eventually. In order to make this effort slightly more interesting to blog, I have put a note on the sidebar about my progress in reducing the LB stash. So, if I haven't lost you already, stay tuned and see how I knit my way through a Big Honkin' Mountain of Wool-Ease!

In related and Socktoberfest news, I have one (almost) finished sock! As you can see, I still have to graft the toe. It's knit in Wool-Ease, natch. The pattern is "Log Cabin socks" from Handknit Holidays. These are ostensibly for Mr. affiknitty's birthday, though they're not going to be ready in time (it's, um, tomorrow). I told him that if I made them from 100% wool they'd be super toasty and more breathable. This led to the following dialogue:

Mr. affiknitty: Breathable? What do you mean?

Me: I mean, the moisture might get trapped in these socks made of acrylic. You know, your feet might feel a little clammy.

Mr. A: Better clammy than itchy.

Sigh. Oh well. More details on the socks will follow when I can blog the finished pair.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More on Frogging

Mia left a comment asking for the link to instructions on how to frog without fear. I looked through Minty's archives and found this link to a great Knitty article. That should help you out. Miss McSpazz also mentioned in the comments that, for lacy projects -- really anything other than straight stockinette -- it is much easier to use lifelines than to try to stick the needle back through all the loops. In that case, you will want to pull a length of waste yarn through your stitches while they are still on the needle. I am no lace knitter (yet), but I understand that you should do this after you complete a pattern repeat.

Sock knitting continues unabated here. And, because I don't have nearly enough WIPs, I started another pair for Mr. affiknitty, whose birthday is next week. Details to follow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Thanks everyone for the helpful comments about swatching for socks! As I more or less expected, there were almost as many methods (or nonmethods!) as there were commenters. Catherine reminded me that it's easy to do a small swatch when you use the Magic Loop method. Debi had a cute idea for a draft doggie made of connected socks swatches. Debi has an amazing tutorial on Turkish cast-on on her blog. (She's also done tutorials on beaded knitting and kitchener stitch for sock toes. Check it out!) Several people don't swatch for socks at all. They're in good company -- according to her intro in Knitting on the Road, sock guru Nancy Bush just starts the sock and rips if her gauge is off.

I just (re)bought this book today. Several months ago, in an eBay frenzy, I sold this book, thinking to myself -- Admit it, Laura, you are just not going to be a sock knitter. What was I thinking?! Ah well, that was BB -- before blogging. Anyway, I've read so many raves about this book from Sock Knitters in the Know that I decided I really needed to have it. So many beautiful socks! I really want to do Friday Harbor, Conwy, Whitby, and Unst. (I'm a little afraid of Unst.) I give Ms. Bush super mad bonus points for the handy chart o' sock yarns in the front. All that information would make substituting yarns a cinch.

I also found a copy of the new IK mag, knitscene. I expected it to be like VK's knit.1 but the projects are generally much nicer and prettier. That being said, there are some things here that I would never knit or wear. Prime example: the "Sleeveless Vest." You may know "Sleeveless Vest" by its other name -- "Tube Top." Kind of reminds me of "Not Prunes But Dried Plums." Knitscene features a goodly amount of novelty yarn, but there are plenty of projects using traditional fibers. There are a couple of nice-looking men's sweaters, too, and some crochet projects. Bottom line: fun eye candy in the IK tradition.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I Heart Frogging

How's that for an attention-grabber?

I've been knitting happily along on S's sock, wondering what I would do when I got to the cuff. I had an idea this morning, and carried it out for about 6 or 8 rounds. Then I decided another pattern would look better. So I used the trick I learned from Minty. It rocks! Thanks, Minty!

I put the needle back through the stitches below (through the right side of each "vee"). Then the fun part. RIP!

This little technique has changed my life. Now I frog without fear, for when the ripping is through, all your stitches are sitting nicely on the needle, ready to go, like this. Amazing!

It's true--I love frogging. Now, don't get me wrong. There are times when just the idea of frogging makes me feel nauseous. And those of you who have read "Too Much Information" know my embarrassing newbie knitter story about (not) frogging. But, now, for the most part, it's one of my favorite things about knitting. How many arts or crafts allow for do-overs? Not many!

Since I began reading knitblogs, and blogging, I've really developed as a knitter. The key difference between the Laura of Today and the Laura of Six Months Ago is that I now feel in control of my knitting. I am much more likely to change a pattern, design my own pattern, or forego a pattern all together and just start knitting. I know that if it doesn't work out, I can always frog it, either partially or all the way back to nothing. It's so liberating to know I can use that yarn again. All I've lost is some time--time that I was knitting. That's time well spent even if I have nothing to show for it. Isn't it funny? It's in the unknitting that I feel like a Real Knitter.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Knitting with the In-Laws

Well, I did knit while visiting with the in-laws. No adverse reactions! But I had to start something new, because I wanted to be working on something totally mindless. My Socktober project was at a heel-turning point, and I'm about to start the second sleeve on J's Weasley. Not really suitable for paying attention to your mother-in-law. So this is what I did... What is it? That's for me to know and you to find out! Snarky, aren't I? :)

Anyway, in Socktober news, I am working on a pair for S and I am turning the heel on the first sock. I just can't decide what to do for the leg part. (Toe up, it's the way to go.) I'm using Sockotta on size 2 needles, and my gauge is turning out to be 8 sts per inch. The ball said 7 sts per inch on size 2s and I planned the number of sts for the foot accordingly. You'd think it would be way too small, but I keep trying it on his little foot and it's working so far. But I may need to increase for the leg. A simple 2x2 rib would probably make the most sense, but gee, that's boring. I'm also considering a variation on the Retro Rib, like Carolyn's socks. I'm afraid the cables might make the sock top too inelastic, though. This blog should be called The Indecisive Knitter.

This brings me to another question for all you Socktoberists about gauge for socks. A flat swatch will necessarily be different than knitting in the round. And it seems to me that a useful swatch, from which you could get a good indication of your gauge, would be about the size of a ... sock. So, how do you swatch for a sock? Do you make a flat swatch and just fudge a little? Do you just make an educated guess and dive in, then frogging if necessary? Make a mini-version of your sock? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Little Opinion Polling

Just curious what you fiber fans think about this... My inlaws are coming in to town tonight. We see them about twice a year for a weekend. (They stay at a hotel, thank goodness.) Anyway, we always end up just sitting around "catching up."

Here's my question. Would it be totally rude to be knitting while we are sitting around? What if I'm doing stockinette in the round, with no charts? Or socks? Because, you know, it won't be Socktober forever.

Thoughts, comments, reactions?

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Definition of "Stash"

President Clinton would be proud.

I have photographed my stash. Of course, it all depends on your definition of stash. For my purposes, stash does not include:

(1) partial balls left over from random projects
(2) yucky acrylic that you wish you had never bought, because with the money you spent on all that acrylic, you could have bought, like, one skein of cashmere
(3) stuff you have no intention of using and plan to give away/throw away/eBay.

Also not pictured here is my Rowan Felted Tweed, which I'm using for the Weasley sweaters. Not a great picture, but hey, it's the best I can do with kids in the house.

Highlights: There's quite a bit of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, which I am not embarrassed to admit I actually like, and there are 13 balls of Cotton-Ease too. (Hoarding? Who's hoarding?) There's a lone hank of Colinette Giotto that I bought for $15 on eBay, whilst forgetting that I hate to knit with ribbon. I have a ridiculous amount of TLC Cara Mia and Katia Diana, which are basically the same yarn. The lovely wine stuff in the corner is Cascade 220 for my Kepler. The Lamb's Pride in the front is for sweaters for the boys. The purple stuff in the near foreground is Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (sigh) that might become a Vintage Velvet scarf (from Scarf Style). There's also my gift for joining Rowan International -- two balls of Kidsilk Haze in Trance, which is the most lovely teal color I have ever seen. The pale green stuff is Rowan Summer Tweed.

OK, so I did it! Christine has begged me not to tag her with this. So, I will show mercy. If you are the exhibitionist sort, and want to flash, consider yourself tagged. But Carla and Olga. You are most definitely tagged.

In other Socktoberfest news, I have washed and dried the Vineyard socks. Oh. My. God. They are so soft and comfy! And I thought they were nice before. (Is it gross to wear your socks without washing them first? I mean, they go on your feet.)

And for a bit of blog promotion...You all know how I feel about bleak, cold, green places. Through Alison's blog, I found Carola's blog, "Sheep and No City." She lives in Iceland. She knits amazing socks. And she is really funny. You must check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You Want Me to What?!

Deety tagged me. I have to, ahem, flash my stash. No one (read: Mr. affiknitty) actually knows the extent of my stash. This may be a big undertaking, documenting all this yarn. For sure, it will have to be done when my kids are busy or asleep. So, this is just a start. An amuse-yeux, so to speak.

So this is the sock yarn. Yes, just the sock yarn. In my defense, some of this was gifted to me, some was so discounted it was practically being given away, and some of it I have owned for years. (That navy thing on the right is S's leg!) More to follow. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Here they are, my first pair of Socktober socks! Why the vino? Because Carolyn challenged us all to be creative in the way we document our sox, and because these are knit in KnitPicks Simple Stripes in the Vineyard colorway. These were made with the Magic Loop method, toe-up, with short row toes and heels. Such a rockin' method for socks. There's something very elegantly efficient about combining short row toes and heels with the circular needles. They're short because I like anklets and I was seriously anxious to get them on my feet!

I'd have had these done sooner, but I had to do a little frogging and reknitting on the first one. First of all, as I was finishing the second sock, I had to start a new ball of yarn. And I realized that it was wound the opposite direction than the other ball I used. That is, the colors were occurring in the opposite order. Now I know there's probably an easy way to solve this problem, but the only one I could think of involved rolling up a ball of yarn from the skein. And we all know that I am a Lazy Knitter.

Also, the first sock I did had a little 2x2 rib and then a rolled stockinette top. It looked really cute and casual with this sock. But even though I bound off with a size 5 needle (as opposed to the size twos I used to knit them), they were a little tight around the top. Not tight around my leg, but it was kind of hard to get it over my heel as I was putting it on. So, on the next sock, I did 2x2 rib with a picot bind off. Cute! And much, much more elastic. Maybe a little too much so, as they slouch a bit. But I think that looks cute. And no one wants unsightly sock marks around the calves.

Interestingly, my bigger Little Guy was fascinated with my socks! He put them on and wanted to carry them around, etc. So next on the Socktober agenda is a pair of knit socks for S!

Also, thanks everyone for the very, very kind words about my last post. Being a SAHM is important, and fun, and tiring, and rewarding. As all you moms out there know, it's easy to forget many days that you are, to use Lolly's great phrase, raising little humans as opposed to just cleaning up poop and washing dishes and folding laundry. So thanks for the wake-up call. Because I love them to bits, here are gratuitous pics of my favorite Little Guys.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Quiet Life

These days, I'm working on toe-up Vineyard sock #2. It continues to be a pleasure. Have you visited Lolly's site, home of Socktoberfest 2005? It's not a KAL, but just a group of volks who are knitting socks this month. Join along if you heart socks!

I've also been working on J's Weasley and opted not to frog. Alison said that she thought my initial looked great. Probably she's just being nice, but that was enough for me. (I feel as though I've just been awarded house points from Professor MacGonagall!) The initial may be a little wonky, but I am pretty proud of these sleeve decreases.

In other news, Monday night I went to see The Constant Gardener with some of my girlfriends. (If you don't know, it's about a relief worker in Africa who uncovers nasty doings by Big Pharma.) A couple of us (myself included) left feeling, shall we say, insignificant. Well, I feel like a waste of oxygen. I mean, there is suffering and corruption and All Manner of Bad Stuff going on. And I'm knitting socks. And blogging about it. Sigh.

In my religious tradition (I'm Catholic), there are nuns and there are sisters (male counterparts are monks and brothers). Many people use these terms interchangeably, but that's inaccurate. Nuns and monks are kept away from the public, and lead a contemplative life of prayer and work in the cloister. Sisters and brothers are considered in the active life, and work in the world, often as missionaries, nurses and doctors, teachers, and so forth. It's often debated which is the better way to serve God, but of course, the "official answer" is that both are important and necessary.

Nonetheless, I tend to side with those who say it is better to serve God in the world. It's not enough to pray for the poor, you need to feed them. And then ask why they are hungry. While watching the movie the other night, I thought, boy did I shamefully waste my time when I was single with no kids -- I should have been in the Peace Corps/teaching in the inner city/fighting corporate evildoers.

Thinking about it today, I realize that my life as a stay-at-home-mom has more than passing similarity to being a cloistered nun. It can be very, very isolating. (That's one of the reasons I love this knitblog community, but that's another post.) There is much hard work involved. I am often tempted to write off what I am doing as not important because I am not out in the world. Not to get too self-congratulatory here, but maybe the "official answer" is right. The cloistered nuns and the stay-at-home parents are working for the greater good, in their way. When I'm knitting, I may not be deep in prayer. I might be working on something for myself. But I also think I'm being a little bit of the peace that I'd like to see in the world. It's not fighting world poverty, but it's something.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Embarassment of Riches

Boy, are we feeling the love at Chez Affiknitty! In the past two days, I have received not one, but two RAK packages. Bizarro coincedence -- each RAK was from a different Sarah from Ontario. This confirms what I have long suspected. Canadians are way nicer than average.

Yesterday, I got this fab Cascade Fixation (!!) from Sarah from Ottawa. I have been dying to give this sock yarn a try. Now, it's Socktober (right, Lolly?) and I've got some groovy purple sock yarn. Looks like I'm going to be a little bit rock and roll! (If you were born after 1975 or so, or your parents didn't let you watch Friday night television as a kid, you are not going to get that reference. It's for us thirty-something-and-up knitters.)

This morning I posted my RAK thank you at the Knittyboard and took down my wishlist. Because, really, two RAKs is enough. (I got one from Chrissy a while back.) Then, this afternoon, what did I find? Another package! Sarah from Etobicoke sent me all this! First, that's some Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, in my favorite color! There's a skein of Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I now have a few partial skeins and two whole ones, so I'm thinking maybe I can make a hat. Then, there's a ball of Schoeller Esslinger Merino Soft and a ball of Filatura di Crosa Zara in the most gorgeous dark red. I was just today admiring this Zara at the Yarnmarket site. Plus, she sent me a great-looking book, Fall on Your Knees, and the cutest stitch markers ever. I think we might need a close-up of those stitch markers. Too cute.

I was having kind of a crummy beginning of the week, just stressed about this and that. I was sorely tempted on more than one occasion today to self-medicate with a big ole yarn binge. And now I don't have to. Thanks Sarah and Sarah!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Vest Pattern Up!

I created a new blog, affiknitty patterns, where I have posted the how-to's on the abbreviated vest. Hopefully, this affiknitty original will not be lonely for long.

Here's the link.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rare FO Sighting on affiknitty

I'll bet you were beginning to think that I'd never blog about an actual finished object. But...yay! I don't hate it anymore! Here's the Instant Gratification Abbreviated Sweater Vest. At right are my notes and one of the photos from Lucky magazine that inspired my vest. As you can see, I originally thought of making a cardigan vest (and if you look closely, the featured vest is a hoodie), but I opted for a pullover in order to be gratified even more instantly. Also inspiring the color choice and shape of the vest was a feature about the "1970s collegiate" look for fall. I think my brown and cream V-neck has a bit of an Annie Hall look about it.

What made me initially hate this FO was the finishing. For lack of a better idea, I had put two rows of single crochet around the neck and armholes. May I say frankly -- yuck. But I picked up Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques. (Wow. How did I live without it?) It provides very clear instructions for attached i-cord, and with that finishing, a heretofore yucky vest becomes pretty cute. Another very helpful source for the armhole and neck shaping was Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

This is designed to be worn as you see above, with tails out or with something flowy underneath. The bottom hits right at the top of my natural waist. The ribbing is deep and stops right where an empire waist would. (As I have an hourglass figure, I like things that draw attention to the waist. The flowy layer underneath helps hide the tummy.) I made this with two strands of Lion Brand Wool Ease held together. These were partial balls lying around in my stash, so I'm not exactly sure of the yardage. But I think two balls each of two colors would be plenty, with enough for a generous sized swatch.

More details on the pattern to follow, if any one is interested!