Thursday, February 25, 2010

Almost back to where I was--

And happy with my progress!

I still have to pay attention.. I had to tink a half row—I was once again decreasing (with out increasing!) as I worked the pattern--but that is what I get for knitting late at night! But working the pattern flat is much easier--

Actually, it is working a whole flower head motif at one time, and not split over 2 needles that is easy--I know working on DPN's would be just as simple (except, I would end up with SOCK not socks!)

I still have a few yards of unraveled yarn—and so a few more rows to work till I am back to were I was before I undid all the work.

I wish the top of the socks (and the flower head) was rounder—I suppose I could have started with 3 repeats, and then gone to 5 (instead of starting right away with the 5 repeats of the cluster stitches..) but I am not going to undo and change now!

That’ it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Did you ever have problems with squirrels?

You know, how they come into the garden on a clear sunny spring day, and bite off the tops of crocus, or tulips, rip the flowers apart for the sweet nectar at the base, and eat up the protein rich stamens, and leave the headless stalks and piles of torn apart petals as debris?

I was squirrelly last night.

Did you see the hyacinths yesterday? Good! Because today, they are gone—right down to the cast on!--I'd show you a picture.. but you've seen yarn and empty needles before, I am sure.

As I stopped to admire my progress yesterday before I headed out to Tuesday knit night (a nice turn out last night! 1 new (totally new!) and 1 returning (from 3 years ago!) knitter showed up. (Hello Jennifer!)—I noticed that things were not quite right—and a stitch count confirmed the worst.

One group of 20/22 stitches (1 hyacinth) had 13 stitches?!—

On big disadvantage of knitting 2 socks on 2 circs is mistakes like this are hard to resolve (for a single sock)—so off the needles they came and they got frogged to the garter cuff. My first thought was I would change the beginning of the round location. And I got one sock back on the needles right—but the second? Messed up AGAIN!

So it was Rip, Rip, Rip—a frogging we did go!

Back to the cast on-- and the drawing board!

I realize that I had problems with pattern—partly, it is the nature of the design.. and thought about how to resolve.

I saw two options.
1—I could knit them 1 at time on DPN’s—and divide each hyacinth onto 1 DPN—(and I am going to write and chart up directions for doing just that!)
2—I could do something different—I could knit the top of the sock flat (and seam it!) and will have an alternate set of directions for this option too!)

I am going with the second option. I will work the top (cuff and flower heads) flat, and join into a round at the heel (well the flap will be knit flat, D’oh!) and I won’t join into a round till I work the gussets. )

It’s not common any more to knit socks flat (I’ve met old (older than me!) knitters who knit socks flat (all the way!) and seam them—I am old enough to remember seamed stocking (nylons) –and yes, you did feel the seam—and yes, you got used to it. But I don’t want seams in the soles of my socks!

This will work –and yet it will still be strange, because the seam won’t be center back but off set! I’m keeping the positions of the flower heads the same (1 center back, 2 straddling center front) and the seam will be not quite on the side!

So maybe by tomorrow I will have some progress to show you—who knows, I might have as many rows as I ripped out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aren’t they pretty?

I know, I know, it’s just a scant inch—but these lovely hyacinths are hell to knit!

But let’s not dwell on that! See the lovely picot knots of the channel island cast on? The first detail!(the bit of orange on right? its a stitch marker!)

The arching curves start in the garter stitch—hyacinths do have rounded tops, and this is a nice little flower like detail—as well as an just being an other interesting element.

Then there are the florets— since hyacinths are made up of hundreds of little florets. Each is made for the pattern that uses the cluster stitch—(*k1,) [K3tog, YO, K3tog into same stitches before letting them drop of the needle].

The cluster stitch is a stitch completely unsuited to working on the subway!
K3tog is not a fun stitch in general –and 5 per flower means15 every other round, per sock—or 30 at time!—On the moving subway!

The pattern is a 20 stitch repeat,
R1: K1, cluster,
R2: (and 4) plain
R3: K3, Cluster, (end with K2)
The result is a bit of stocking knit at each edge—and I didn’t like that!

The 3rd round is the same, in effect as R1, but offset—the new cluster is centered on the K1 of the first pattern—but I have altered the pattern slightly—by increasing (and decreasing!) and working the pattern so there is never more than a single stocking knit stitch at the end.

This results in a ever so slightly wavy edge to the hyacinth—but these increases/decreases results in repositioning stitches every 4th round. A real PITA to do when you are knitting socks 2 on 2!

I will write up the directions to this sock –and my directions will be for socks knit on Magic loop (1 at a time) or for working on DPN’s (positively EASY!)

With 1 pattern repeat (that is 1 hyacinth!--which is made up of a bunch of cluster stitches!) per needle, the pattern will be much easier to do (there will still be all those cluster stitches.. but –well that is one of the sacrifices we make for beauty, isn’t it?

I opted to have the 3 hyacinths positioned so that there is 1 in center back, and 2 straddling center front (I have more than a few pair of shoes that have open backs, and I think its fun to have something interesting down the center back of sock—(see my MAST socks!) –but I also plan to have a 3D leaf embellishment.

These leaf embellishments will work best on the front—and wouldn’t work (well wouldn’t work out well in my minds eye!) with the 3 hyacinths positioned with the center back being the seam/purl ditch.

I actually did the math on this detail! (And it worked out so simply with the center front being the ditch, and was awful the other way round!)

But the leaf and the leaf extensions are miles away—(I don’t even have the green yarn I plan to use!--)

But everywhere there are signs of spring—Even the weather –The forecast was for snow—but the temps are in mid 30°’s—and it cold rain
Cold rain is not much fun, but it is washing away the what was left of the snow from 2 weeks ago—and making the streets look clean and shiny(an illusion I know, but one I hold!) instead of clotted with lumpy burgs of old grey snow.

My hyacinths will are emerging the reverse of the real ones (for me, first flowers, than leaves!) but how pretty they will be –pretty enough to hold their own against the real ones!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Lost Weekend

I went out (to dinner) on Thursday of last week.

I came home from work Friday spent--I was mentally more alert, and more upbeat—but exhausted.

I took a 2 hour nap, and still was able to get to sleep at my normal time.

Saturday—I got up, shower and dressed—and crawled back into bed.
And slept for hours. I got up and did NOTHING and after a few hours of that, I needed another nap. I went to bed a bit late, but slept well.

Sunday—was a repeat--both days I barely ate (supper only) because I was too tired to eat! (have you seen me? I don’t look like a person who is ever too anything NOT to eat!)
I didn't make it out to my knitting friends in West Babylon--(2 weeks in a row now!)

This morning I woke, and felt sure I had overslept the alarm—the bright sun shine and wonderful sense of complete rest--I was sure. But no, it was 6:40—I was awake—bright eyed and bushy tailed before the alarm!

So I feel great today—rested, refreshed, (lighter!) but I’ve haven’t made a stitch of progress—either on my Ravelympics shawl, or my hyacinth socks (which, did I mention—are busting me!)

The pattern is working out fine--But clearly these socks should not be knit 2 at time on 2 circs. Ideally, they should be worked on a set of 4 DPN’s, with one pattern repeat per needle. (I have slightly modified the basic 4 stitch pattern—so that the sides are not straight—and compensated by creating make 1’s in the purls ‘ditch’) this has accentuated the scallop—but what a PITA to do when you need to move stitches from needle to needle (OK at the ends, but not much fun in the center of the two socks—I can (and do!) do it, but its not something I expect most knitters would be comfortable with (it involves a weird way of transferring stitches from needle 1 to needle 2. (and fore thought!)

But they do look pretty! The scalloped top, the defined clusters of little flowers, the pure white (well it is not really it is called ivory—so it’s close!)—a color I so rarely knit with—all are making these socks really special!

Photo’s tomorrow—I promise!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Real Olympics-- and Knitting

I watched some of the mens figure skating last night—and was once again reminded—I know nothing about figure skating .

I used to be able to ice skate once, but never did it much—I am able to roller skate.. but when I am on the ice, I am usually ON the ice (on my butt, on my knees, on all fours, flat out!—and only on my skates for a short time. I never really learned to skate (well) and I am short on knowledge of the basics—forget the fancy stuff!

I listen to the commentators—a Triple Lux, a double toe loop, an axel--to me, they are all the same (the skater jumps, turns and lands!)—I don’t know the differences and I don’t see them.

I know there are differences (obviously!) and the commentators know from how the skater is positioning himself, what jump and spin is coming up.
Me? Not a clue!

I recognize, that my eye is not trained to see the difference. (I could learn, and maybe one day I will, but for now—I am happy in my ignorance!)

Lots of knitters don’t see their knitting –they are the same way about knitting as I am about skating! The way I don’t see skating detail, they often fail to see knitting details. They are clueless about what is happening.

They might follow directions but they don’t see the big picture, and they don’t see the lead up—or why things are done a certain way (and when or why they can or can’t change details)

I can sit and watch the skaters, and be awed by their grace--and know: just staying up right is work, and jumping, turning, landing, going forward, backwards –and all the other movements are incredible skill—with out ever knowing the detail that go into the skill.

There are knitter, too, who follow patterns, (hope for the best) and are hopelessly lost with knitting—they don’t have the basic skills and understanding of what works: they don't know the how and why of what a pattern instructs.

I know, that when you are learning some knew skill, a good coach or teacher is a big help.

What is needed is to break down the program (or skill) into a series of small easy to understand tasks, master each small task, put them together, and turn the small tasks into a huge undertaking.

For knitting the basis begin with seeing and recognizing the difference between a knit and a purl. It is from this basic skill that all the other progress.

Other basic skills are increase and decreases—there are a easily a dozen different ways to either increase or decrease. Some are easy and straight forward (k2tog!) and others are well..

Lets take YO’s. In most American patterns, the generic term Yarn Over is used.

This term YO is for an OPEN (eyelet/lace) increase.

Now, actually as you are knitting there are slight differences in how the yarn over is created.
1—between 2 knit stitches
2---between 2 purl stitches
3---between a knit and purl
4---between a purl and knit.

I KNOW there are slight differences in how a yarn over is created in each of these four cases. But I have so internalized the techniques—I have trouble teaching or explaining to a new knitter HOW to work each one. I just know!

How do you balance on one skate? I know it can be done. I know I can balance myself on one foot, (or perhaps even on one roller skate, but how do you balance on one thin ice skate blade?—with practice! You learn how, and the knowledge is not perhaps something you can express in words. It’s muscle memory—you KNOW how—but articulate how you know? Hard to do!

When it comes to making a yarn over, I have such a profound understanding of knits and purl, that I just know how to make a new stitch –anywhere in my knitting (as I worked the lace edge on my Fruity Cowl, I make yarn over in both the standard style, and in the true left handed style of knitting.. and my fingers did the work—I didn’t think about what needed to be done—they just knew.

I could sit down, and slowly knit, and watch and break down each step to making a yarn over--UK knitting books tend to define a YO in 3 or 4 different ways –depending on if it is between knits, or purls or between one of each. And give directions to each process.

So I don’t bother—I just refer those who don’t KNOW to one of these books or to a site that has also done the same thing.

It is fine to watch figure skating –and not know the details of each jump—and just enjoy the beauty of it.

And its fine to knit, and not understand the basics of techniques, and just do as instructed (and blindly follow the pattern –hoping it is correct) but the more you know the more you come to appreciate well designed and well knit patterns.

Learning the basics will make you a better knitter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2 Days—no knitting, no photos

Got in a funk –I have a bit of Seasonal Affect Disorder—(SAD) not a bad case, but I do find I get tired and cranky as the winter goes on. You’d think as the winter comes to end, and the days begin to get longer I would be rebounding about now—but no—late February and early March (until the earth moves round and days actually are longer than nights) are worst. It’s a cumulative effect. And its culminates just before the equinox!

I am at my tiredest, I am at my weakest (this is the time I am most likely to get sick, because my resistance is weakest) I am grumpy, irritable and short tempered. I don’t think clearly—and I need more sleep than ever. When I younger, I frequently found my self seriously depressed at this time of the year--but not so much now days.

I feel generally better with a more exercise—but I am least inclined to make the effort!

Shoveling—No, not really shoveling, ICE chopping—and getting my car free last night was tiring—(and I am achy today—not back pains—(they come from shoveling) but upper shoulder pain from lifting the 20 lb ice chopper and dropping it (again and again, and again, and again—ad infinitum!) did me in.

While I was working I was comfortable enough, but a rest of more than 5 minutes, and I got cold—So two hours later when I was all dug out (and done in) I was cold and tired.. (And took a 2 hour nap!)—and slept away most of the evening and my knitting time.

But the exercise has done its job—in spite of some residual shoulder soreness, I am in a much bright mood today—It’s time to get back to work!

2 nights ago I was just too tired and irritable to be able to count to TEN—nine times—pathetic!
I knit and tinked and knit and tinked… and just couldn’t get things to work

Now I am ready to start the new row of blocks—half plain knitting, half lace patterned—and to make some progress—my time is almost half gone, and I am not half finished. I better get cracking!

While I was tired and distracted, and wasn't looking, some white yarn snuck onto a pair of needles. Like the green tips of daffodils and tulips that I see peeking out of the ground--braving the ice and snow-- these hyacinths are insistent—and they just won’t stop! They will be knit and they will be knit NOW.)

So far, they are just cast on and half done cuffs—but I think once I get to the flower part of the pattern—I will have a full battle on my hands! They will be demanding my time and attention.. Ravelymics be dammed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ta Da! Another FO!

Well the knitting is done, and the ends have been woven in, but it hasn't been properly blocked. But...

This pleases me! I rarely use other people’s patterns—and frequently I don’t really make and use patterns for myself. This method has varying degrees of success.

Like the cook who searches through the cupboards, and finds what’s available and turns out a good (Great, PERFECT) meal with what’s on hand—I often knit with just a vague idea of what I want, (and how I will achieve it)—I wing it.

Some times I have successes—some times near success –a near success is a FO that every one loves--and I am “eh’ about. It is a FO that works (as what ever it is) but didn’t work out as I hoped. This cowl is a success. (The straight tube part of the neck ring is pleated to sort of lie flat--it looks a bit strange.. but it made it easier to photograph!

When I knit free hand like this, there is no pattern—just a vague idea—and some basic formulas for achieving the desired result.

This Neck Ring/Cowl is a pretty simple formula.
Cast on X (about 20 inches worth of stitches) work some ribbing (I should have done more... about 1 inch would be enough)—but you could use garter or some other stitch.

Then work in a spiral stripe pattern, straight for 4 inches or so.

Then continuing in the spiral stripe, increase about 10 times every other round –making sure the increases are staggered (they shouldn’t line up!) –or you could have them line up—a totally different design feature!

The increases should be almost invisible –I used a stitch lifted from bar between two stitches –a classic M1—but any smooth (vs. Kfb which leaves a small purl like bump on front of work) would do.

Work about 3 inches (in the increase mode) then find an edging you like, and use edging, (knit crosswise) to bind of main body of stitches.

Edging can be a single color, or it can be striped. My stripe is worked intarsia style, but you could combine to edgings –and first work one edging down, then a second (in the second color) crosswise.

Depending on how deep your edging is, you might want to every 8 to 10 stitches skip binding off one (sort of like a short row)

This cowl/neck ring used the better part of 2 skeins of yarn (each skein is 166 yards--) a small amount of the yarn was used for top (1 inch) and bottom (another inch) and thumb of the fingerless gloves (and I have about 4 yards of the raspberry yarn left!)
This formula would work for yarns ranging from fingering (sock yarn) to chunky –of course you’d need many more yards of sock yarn –and many fewer of chunky—how many? (Well that is not my strong point!—guess!

(About 200 gms I would guess—since frequently that WORKS --i.e. 200 gms of sock yarn is 800 yards—vs. 200 grams of worsted (350 to 400 yards) but it works out frequently, and if not perfectly, it does give you a ball park estimate.

So now, armed with an idea—and clue—go out and knit your own cowl!

You can make it snugger (if you like things snug around your neck—I don’t) or looser.
You can make it taller (knit 6 inches before flaring) with less of flair (covering less of your shoulders, chest and back) or you can make it longer (and make it more like a caplet.

You could make it smaller –and make it for a child. Just be sure to use a supper stretchy cast on... kid’s heads are 90% of adult size at the crown (but they have smaller jaws and necks)—so they seem smaller. If you want a narrow neck—just be sure to have enough stretch to go over the head!

You could substitute a lace pattern for the stripe. There are lots of small changes you could make—and make it your own! It’s not a very big project. Worse comes to worse—you can always frog it and go back to drawing board and start over!

So, in addition to finishing this, I also finished off the 7 block section on my Ravelympics shawl (From stash yarn)—and I am finally nearing the end of the skein. At this point—I am sure I am going to go for a 15 block base before separating the arms of the V from the base.

Maybe I’ll share some snippets with you soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When you get lemons…

Make Lemonade! (or as I prefer, when you get lemons, make Margaritas!)

Well I don’t have lemons (a lie, I always have some fresh lemons around!)
But I do have onions.

Remember back in December, I bought a 10lb bag of onions?

Well I finally got around to making my onion soup (and a fine one it is too—I had half a bottle of pinot noir—and the soup broth was made with it, as well as beef broth (and water)! Yum!

I used about 5 lbs of the onions. I like onions, and I don’t much like a hunk of bread and ton of cheese on my onion soup—a few croutons and light grating of cheese is fine—what I want in an onion soup is onions! I ended up with 6 pints of soup from my 5lbs. of onions.

So—what with peeling (and slicing) onions, I had a big pile of onions skins.

I tell you all this because my friend Robyn, (aka WeeBallYarns) has been doing this wonderful art project at Wave Hill—and one aspect of the project is hand made (knit or crocheted) hats from home spun, naturally dyed yarn.

Well-- I have some home spun—it's not very well made stuff (my stardards for myself are very high!) –but it is NYC grown wool that I cleaned and carded and spun—and then yesterday dyed it. –OH yeah the onion skins!

The color is wonderful—Not yellow, not orange, not brown—but a pale but earthy almost red ocher. I don’t have a lot of the yarn, so I will cast on with some ready made wool for the ribbing, and then make the crown with the home spun, vegetable dyed wool

It’s pretty true to the actually color on my monitor—but what you see might be close or not!

While technically this yarn is not part of her project—I hope she’ll accept it (I am sure she will!)—It’s made in the spirit of her project—(and I have participated in the most peripheral way) in the project—and this is my small contribution.

I’ll sneak this knitting in one day soon—but I am confident I can—my Ravelympics project is progressing nicely.

I cast on about 9PM Friday—(7 stitches) and now have over 100—(7 blocks of 10, plus a knit in place border) The current blocks are about half done –so things are progressing at a good pace—and the stitch count is halfway to 90 (+30)

My plan was to have 11 blocks--but I might bring that number up to 15—(150 +30) before considering the base of the V finished. There are compelling reasons to do so.

There were several factors in my original plan –1 being yarn! But I am still on my first skein—so I think I will have more than enough to go the extra length (and width)

My thinking was –a bit sketchy, to be sure— 3 skeins for base of V, and 2 skeins each for arms. (which is plenty!) I think 1 will reach a full 9 blocks on skein one.. and while the rows are getting longer and longer, I still think I will be able to continue up to 15 blocks with out putting a dent into skein 3.

Secondly—I like the idea of a larger neck back—(30 stitches wide and not 10 stitches wide. So with either 11 blocks or 15 blocks, the arms of the v will be 7 blocks wide. (unblocked, this is about 20 inches)

Larger is better—more coverage of the shoulder and arms is what I want from a shawl-- 15 blocks will be close to 50 inches at the shoulder—plenty!

But one big advantage of the planned V shape, is: just as the number of stitches in a row becomes onerous—I’ll be dividing the work! And working on 2 shorter length arms—and when these become boring—and start feeling tedious—they will be shaped into points by decreasing—and I’ll be done.

It will, of course get larger still when blocked—but I am not doing to do a hard block and only stretch it about 10 to 20%--(not 40 or more!) and for you none lace knitters, --Yes—it is not uncommon for a blocked lace project to almost double in size.

Maybe tomorrow—I’ll post some peeks. Or maybe I’ll have finished (and I still haven’t!) the Fruity Cowl (neck ring) and I’ll have photo’s of it!
I am working on the last quarter—and at this point itching to have it finished.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Count Down Has Started—

It’s less than 10 8 hours till the start of the opening ceremonies—Let the Ravelympics begin!

So last night and this morning—I was hard at work finishing up the Fruity cowl.
It’s a good reminder of why my Ravelympics project has a knit in place border!

This border is endless. Last night I reached the half way point, and stopped and pinned it out for photo—it really does look pretty—the striped lace echo’s the striped pattern of the body nicely. But it goes on and on.

This morning, picked it up again, and knit on the morning train—and got another 15 % or so knit--I have more than 1/4 of the stitches on side 2 (second half) done. (or more than 1/8 of the total--and 1/8th is 12.5%.)

If I continue this afternoon, I should be able to get another 15% done (30% +the 50% of the other side= 80% complete by the start of opening ceremonies!)

I’ll bring it to work one day, and finish it—and then work non stop on my Ravelympics shawl for the remaining days as both a subway and home knitting project —the pressure is on to work on it, (and nothing else) –We’ll just gloss over the sweater (still sleeveless) that was my last winter knitting Olympics project.

I might finish it one day—it is quite pretty (and I would like to have those needles back in circulation!) Maybe I’ll find a photo and blog about it (instead of blogging about my current project.

Part of the problem is, it is a very warm sweater. And I so rarely need or want a very warm sweater! But I should finish it. I mean too... but.

That is one of the problems with UFO’s (vs. Wips) you loose interest in them.
The spark of an idea grew to a fire, and then suddenly the fire went out. Now the idea is ashes— and I will need to re-kindle interest to get it finished.

I remember what happened—It was the last time I had the flu –one day I was fine, and then for the next 10 days, a rag. Washed out, fevery, unable to do anything but get up, excrete some fluid, replace with some fresh fluid, take some medicine, and go back to bed—only to repeat the process some 4 to 6 hours later. Day after day, too sick to do anything.

By the time I was over the flu—the Olympics had ended, and the sweater was still sleeveless. By the time I thought to pick it up again, and get to work--Spring and warm weather was arriving and the heavy warm sweater had no appeal what so ever.

But is still like the idea of it.

The hyacinth socks keep insisting I should be working on them. (I am ignoring them… but I don’t want to!)--but I did work on a draft of the pattern--not just thinking but actually figuring out how many stitches, and how many rows of cuff, and the cuff pattern, and all the other details.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day

I took yesterday off—from work (real, for pay work) and homework (cleaning cooking and general stuff—including knitting!).

All day Tuesday I had been feeling blah, worse than blah--Tired cranky and all-over achy. Still, I had planned to come to work yesterday. I got up showered, dressed, and then just knew—while going to work was an option, the idea of heading home at the height of the blizzard (this mornings news says—Not a blizzard-- the winds were never quite wild enough) was not.

So I stayed home and slept a good deal of the day away. I was afraid I would be restless and unable to sleep come evening--but no, I was fast asleep moments after turning the lights out. What ever was ailing me responded well to a day of rest.

I feel better today—Not 100% (I am still achy—but what can you expect with the double whammy of fibro and arthritis? When the joints don’t ache, the muscles do… on bad days, both!) I am do for a dose of NSAID and once it kicks in, I’ll feel better.

Tuesday afternoon as I headed home, I got a few repeats of the edging lace done on the fruity cowl—but I haven’t gotten 25% done yet—(since the spiral knitting gives a quick and easy measure!) and likely won’t finish it before starting the Ravelympics—my shawl will be small enough and light enough to carry with me as a subway project—and will likely become one—I only have 17 days for the project—I don’t know if I will have the time or energy to be working on 2 projects! We’ll see.

I have been getting a foundation laid for the Ravelympics—I have been using a moisturizer, and trimming my nails, (and cuticles) and getting them all smooth and soft for fast snag free knitting.

Certainly, between cold winter weather, and knitting, my hands tend to be dry (my nails to the point of cracking, peeling and splitting)—and while I don’t use it often, waterless hand sanitizers (mostly alcohol) doesn’t help—I know I tend to pick at and go after dry hard cuticles savagely—(less so than in the past) and that if I don’t make an effort to keep them smooth and moisturized, I end up with raw, chaffed (and worse) finger tips.

One thing I did get done was a swatch—I’ve found an interesting edging stitch for my Ravelymics project. It’s not a totally new idea (I’ve seen things like it) but it’s not a common one –and not (to my knowledge) a documented edge stitch pattern—and I’ve combined it with a lacy increase, and a bit of faggoting.
Its use, with the other stitches I will be using will be one original design element of the project.

It is scalloped textured edge—the shawl will be made of squares (starting with 1, increasing to 3, then 5, then 7, then 9 then 11—and then dividing into two 5 block arms.. that will continue at 5—but will be offset (decrease on the inside edge, increases on the outside edge), and eventually tapering to 3, and then 1 block.

The scallop edge will soften the blocks—and make it more of V rather than looking like something constructed of Lego’s--and I particularly like the depth of the edging.. (its 3d, not flat!)
The blocks will be worked in different stitch patterns--garter and seed stitch alternating with lace stitches. A sort of mock entralac design—with triangles of lace up the outside edges.

I will be holding out--and not posting a lot of photos of the project--you'll have to wait till the end of the games to see the (hopefully!) finished project.

I’ve knit shawls like this before—and just now, looking, I see I’ve never photographed either of the two! One is a done in a red mohair blend, and the other is done in a Lion Brand Mohair—Moonlight Mohair—the Rainbow Falls colorway—that one is just a blocks of simple (stocking knit, garter and seed stitches) –I wore it today—here is a snippet of it. The color and yarn obscure the blocks of stocking knit and garter--(and the dark background (the wood toned desk at work) don't help either! But...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The First Border: Found

Last night I found a pretty, but VERY simple lacy serrated lace edge I like—in my stand by resource—Nicky Epstein’s Knitting On the Edge.

I modified it a slightly and I am working it in 2 colors –grape color closest to cowl, raspberry as the edge. I’ve just got 2 repeats done, and it’s hard to see the detail now (because the work is bunched up.) I modified the pattern and added a gutter of 2 purl stitches-the color change takes place in this gutter—it makes the edging a little wider, but it’s still pretty narrow. The gutter and color changes clearly make the grape faggoting and the Raspberry serrated element separate.

The edging is over 2 inches. And will bring the finished length to over 9 inches. Plenty big enough!

The last 3 rounds of the cowl were worked in the hand painted ArtYarn merino, in garter—and before the edging the cowl is 7 inches from end to end.

Speaking of ends, the end is in sight for this project—and not soon enough since the weather forecast is for biting cold wind and snow.

Not the ½ dusting that NY got over the weekend, but real snow –the kind the Mid-Atlantic states got (and will be getting more of)-- Real winter weather.

I dreamt about the other border I need last night (really!) and will swatch it today and see if it is really my dream border… or some crazy nightmare!
I still need some other swatches for my Knit from Stash, Original design Ravelympics entry... but—well, those are less of an issue.

My V shawl is going to be knit from the lower point of the V—and then the two sides will be worked at the same time. One advantage to having 7 balls (vs. a large skein) is it will be easy to work both sides, each with their own ball of yarn.

Ultimately, my goal it to have a knit in place border—not one that requires me to pick up stitches and knit after (or worse, knit and sew in place!)— But I want a border that is different, (but not too hard)—and one that will easily allow me to increase as I go. I am so demanding!

Notice—that is what I am doing with the Fruity Cowl—I am knitting the border on, as I cast off (in effect).

As for the (I shouldn’t mention them, I shouldn’t even think of them) Hyacinth socks—well I think I found the yarn. (in my stash—naturally)

think I know which cast on, and which cuff I will be using—and the top of the sock has been reasonable well thought out.

The stems and leaves? Not so much... I know I want a stem--that’s easy enough to knit—there are lots of ways to make a nice thick stem (a cable? Slip stitches? (a slip stitch pattern is, for now, the most likely choice) or some knit and purl combination? But the leaves…mmm, not so easy.

I’ll keep thinking about it... and looking… there is a textured stitch pattern called tulip leaves. Maybe it can be modified into narrower hyacinth leaves. But I also have an idea for a much detailed leaf. (Maybe I will use it in the front of the socks, and not the back (or maybe the other way round!).

There are other details too, like stitch count (how many stitches for the flowers—and the flower stitch itself, how stretchy is it? Do I need to add extra stitches for the sock (as I would for cables) and the dimensional aspect too. How do I make each hyacinth stand out (and appear to have more depth?) should I rib between each flower? Or just do purl stitch ‘gutters’? (should I swatch? YES. Will I? Maybe!

I wore my passionate purple petal socks last week for the first time—(I finished them at the end of November, and I have been petting and admiring them for the past month!) –I thought about them for a while before I knit them. Some times socks (even relatively simple socks!) require a good deal of thought before they are knit—and luxuriating in after they are knit.

This luxury –having the time to think about fancy socks (and the time to knit fancy socks) is a treasure. A few hundred years ago—no one as poor as I am would have had anything but the plainest of socks. (if they had socks at all!)

I am lucky to be able to knit socks in my leisure, and not for necessity.. And to have fancy socks as well—and the opportunity to wear them.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I’ve Been Thinking About Knitting

And even doing some... but thinking more than doing!

Are you planning to join the Winter Knitting Olympics? –or perhaps the Ravelympics? I am part of Team Baconator on Ravelry Bacon --as in the food—though there was a vote for Kevin Bacon’s image as our banner.

My plan (an ambitions one!) is to design and knit a shawl—a V shaped one--and by that I mean not a V shaped triangle, but an open V. I think triangle shawls bunch up around your neck—and I wear a shawl because my arms are cold! I want something that sits on the shoulders and over the arms—open V’s work better for me.

I haven’t even decided on the yarn yet. (Some plan, huh?!) Oh, yeah, it’s a stash busting project, so I have a wealth of choices.

I have some mohair (pick a color, any color-- I have some mohair in that color—that is not quite true, but damn close!)

And I have some silk –Blue/violet hand painted, or solid black, or taupe, or rose, or red/violet, or … (I have quite a bit of silk—no where near the amount of mohair, but… If you start adding in the silk and wool blends—there are more than a few choices. )

Then there is the Filatura-di-Crosa College--a kid mohair blend (my stash is an embarrassment of riches!)—in a very pretty blue--I only have it in blue, a half dozen skeins—Oops, make that 7 skeins--quite enough to make a generous shawl.

It is the lead contender right now. I’ve made a scarf with this yarn (some 4 or 5 years ago—(pre blog, pre Ravelry)—and it was a joy to work with—and the blue color I have is really beautiful. It will be great for formal stuff—but it would also look great with denim. (And why not were a lovely shawl with denim!)

Then there is the design... I have an idea—I just need to swatch a few edging to find the right one—Yesterday-- I found one of the wrong ones. So it’s back to the drawing board.

I also got a few more rounds of the Fruity stripes cowl neck warmer done (my DD—she should bit her tongue—called it a dickey!) –it’s over six inches long—and taking shape—I have been increase 8 stitches or so every other round—so it is flaring out like a funnel –(to better sits on my shoulders). At about 8 inches, or so, I will work a round (or 2) of the hand painted Art yarn, and then bind off with a lacy edge—most likely one worked crosswise, and I will work intarsia style with a stripe of the grape and final outside edge of the raspberry.

The other knitting I have been thinking about is my next pair of socks-I know, I don't need any more socks--But love knitting socks!

Some Treking XXL thought it was next—but it was wrong.
The next sock involves a bit of thievery. The newest Tsock Flock Sock (club) sock is out... and I am so stealing an idea. (I got to see the prototype socks, finished, yesterday)

My sock will be nothing like The Abby sock-- but it will by hyacinths. Definitely hyacinths—(note the plural there—not one hyacinth per sock--but multiple)
In a different color, knit in a different direction, with a different heel, and most definitely a different cuff! (no gargoyles!) —it will be totally different—except I know, I have totally stolen the idea!

Not that The Abby sock isn't magnificent--it is--the photo's don't do it justice. It is a beautiful design--with all the details one expects from Lisa's designs.

My sock will be child play--so much simpler! but then, I plan to knit them on the subway, and not in my living room, and I want (and need) something that doesn't require much in the way of charts or thinking, for that matter!

I don’t know if I will start them before the Ravelympics—though I am itching to start them NOW—(and I don’t have all the proper colors of yarn now!) –and I most definitely will need to swatch too! – there are a few details to work out.

Well, my socks will be spring themed (not literature themed) and I still have 5 weeks till spring; so I guess I can wait--I have to!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Look What I Got!

Right from the beginning, Knitty City has had great bags—Not just the kind for sale, but the kind you get with a sale (purchase).

The styles have changed—but commonly—the bags have been medium weight clear plastic. For a while, drawstring ones; yesterday for the most part, 2 gallon size zip lock style (with a deep edge on top of the zip—that has a small hand hold)—but I got this bag (I guess I am special!)

Knitty City bags become instant project bags. Clear, sturdy, large enough to hold a project (OK so not large enough to hold an afghan, but plenty big for a small sweater) and closeable.

This bag is BIG—about 18 inches from side to side, with a big flat oval bottom (so it easily sits flat) and tall (9 inches from bottom to bottom of hand hold) and very sturdy. Not afghan project sized, but a nice size for lots of projects.

So yesterday was a 3-fer!
1—I was able to retrieve my current project (the Fruity Neck Ring) and notions bag (a joy it wasn’t lost!)—No photo—well because I not much of a change in the project—it is 6 or so stripes longer than it was last time I photographed it—but that’s about it!

2—I got the great bag (see above) –I know, I need another tote bag as much as I need to gain weight—but it is a great bag!

3—And 3 balls of some solid colored sock yarn. That was the hardest part!

Knitty City has a fairly large selection of sock yarn—I knew what I wanted in the most general way—50gm balls of solid colors-- but Oh, my! How hard it was to choose!

I was tempted by the Dark Chocolate Brown/ Coffee with cream/ Ecru –I have some tweedy oatmeal (a bit darker than ecru) and some Milk chocolate brown sock yarn already—and there is this cute multi color/multi stitch striped sock in Sock Innovations done in several shades of brown—
But—I don’t have much in the way of brown clothing…and I don’t think I want brown socks.

And I was tempted by the RED—Oh what a lovely clear red!
The deep cherry pink was tempting too, but I have a skein in that color already.
(the pale pink? Eh—pink is not my color and besides I already have at least 3 different pink sock yarns!—too much for someone who is not a pink fan!)

If there was a middling green, and not just the rich bottle green and the light grassy green, I might have gotten a set of greens… I am always surprised by how many green clothes I own-and in so many different shade of green.

But instead, I got 3 different colors--a slightly orangey yellow (a marigold yellow) a light, but not really pastel green, and a middling purple, too—(to me it is heliotrope – not a hyacinth, or a crocus, or pansy purple but a definite heliotrope!)

What will I do with them? OH so many things!

First off, they are almost 200 yards each—and I know, 160 yards skeins will often knit up to perfect length socks for me.. So I have plenty of yardage.

Second—I have a full skein of a darker purple (and some white that could, with a small effort become a pale purple!) and I could easily use the solids together—they do make a lovely spring combo all on there own.

If I do—well 3 skeins of yarn—for 1 pair of socks! I will have lots of left over yarn—and I can…
Trim a self striping pair of socks with a solid cuff,
Use the solid with a self striping yarn to do a fake fair isle band after the cuff,
Use these three together (a lovely spring combo) together as make a set of spiral stripe socks,
I could use a small amount to add some patterning to a pair of socks made (mostly) with some plain but boring color –like oatmeal!
Work up a stripe pattern of my own—black socks with stripes, using these yarns and some of the other solids in my collection.

I love having clear solid colors to trim socks; I like being able to add small details to self striping socks, and solids are great for lace trims, or other details.

What will I do?! Well time will tell!

For the past 48 hours--the news has been nothing but SNOW...And I know the mid Atlantic states are getting more than their fair share. But here in NYC?

Maybe old man winter will get even from me mocking him.. but this morning the snow was this...
Drifts of an inch or so!

Friday, February 05, 2010

I love NY.

I suppose you love your home town, too. I was reminded of this last night—out late, Colette was kind enough to drive me home—and we took a detour through Brooklyn—and coming north on I-278 (aka BQE) I took in the beautiful skyline.

It wasn’t that late (8:30!) We (most of the members of LICKnits group, but only Dana and I in the car ride home!) were coming home from an event at Knitty City --namely a book signing event with Nicky Epstein (and I actually remembered, before the event was over, to take some images!--but Nicky never was still for a moment--and many of them are blurry!)

Here is Randi modeling both one of Nicky’s sweaters (She didn’t want to take it off) from Knitting On the Top of the World (You know about the KAL to knit everything in that book? No? Well look here! )
And at the same time, she is modeling Melissa’s new Liliann hat.(you can just see the tab on the left, and will have to take my word on that!)

Nicky is NYer too, a transplanted one. NYC is home to several designers-and frequent appearance and trunk shows by the same. (It’s so easy to convince a designer to come some place uptown—(a quick drive or subway ride away) or downtown, or cross town—so we have lots of opportunities to get to know them.

I had hoped to see Nicky last week in an other event at the Brooklyn Public Library—Grace Shanahan has made –with the help of the library staff—the BPL a hub of knitting activity-- (Last year, on KIP day, I went to joint the Park Slope Knitting group on the library steps/plaza and had a great time)-- but life interfered.

It was wonderful to see Nicky—I don’t always like all her designs (does anyone always like everything?) but Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch is a wonderful collection. (I LOVE Nicky’s technical and specialty books, like her Knitted Flowers and her Edging books! And while I don’t own every book she has written, I do own most of them!)

We also got to see a preview of her collection of buttons and clasps (Oh, my!) that are only hinted about in her store link—You can see many of them in use in the book—and if you were wondering where you could find clasps as pretty, or as interesting, or as different as the ones you see in the book—well the answer is, they will soon be available in her store!(--see the link above to her home page)

In addition to Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch, I also bought The Essential Guide to Knitting in Color—a book I have wanted since Lars first brought it to show and tell about a year ago.

It is an amazing book—it covers the basics, has great ideas (for stitch pattern, color combination, and other applications), and could be a textbook for knitting color work. I do have a preference for reference books (as apposed to pattern books or other knitting books) and this is a wonderful addition to my (ever growing!) library of books.
(Ask me, if you dare want about how I earn gift cards to B & N by reading junk (advertisement) email. I am more than half way to earning my next $25 gift card—and another book!)

Finally I need to give a shout out to the staff of Knitty City—I (am hopelessly brain dead when tired, and I was tired last night!) left my spiral neck ring (and my little bag of knitting notions—with my favorite little scissors) at the store—and they had put both aside, and sent me an email that came before it got home! (I had more than my usually share of stuff to carry what with 2 books. Love em, but dang, books are heavy!

So I am momentarily with out knitting—but thrilled that I haven’t lost either.
It is fate—I saw (and passed on) some lovely sock yarn last night (beautiful clear solid colors). Now, I will return to the store—and not leave with out a skein (or two? Or..)

The only question is: will it be the spring green? Or the turquoise? Or the bright red? Or some yellow? Or… I am in trouble!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

More on Spiral Knitting

I think spiral knitting is hard to understand when you read about it, but becomes easier as you do.

There are several applications for this technique—the two main ones are for Tubes (like I am doing now) and for Disks. (Flat disks knit in the round) Obviously, items like hats or mittens that are combination of flat knitting and tubular knitting work as well!0

Once you grok the process (either in a disk or in a tube) you can easily do it either way. But don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to understand.

OK, so the first image:
The Beginning of the round is on the right (note a Big Blue stitch marker at the hem/cast on edge, and the tails of yarn.

There are 4 balls of yarn, 2 grape (left & top) 2 raspberry, (right and bottom)

In the center of the work, you can see (not too clearly, but...)an orange stitch marker, and even less clearly, a turquoise one. the orange marker divides G1 and G2.

Here the stitches on the needle are labeled—G1 and G2.
If I were working on a set of 5 DPN’s, (instead of 2 circ’s) G1 and G2 might be Needle 1 and Needle 2.

If I were working with more colors (and/or more balls of yarn, Needle 1 of set of 5DPN’s might hold G1 and G2!)

Likewise, I could work with 3 colors (1 color per needle on a set of 4 DPN’s)
Or just as easily I could work with 6 colors! (2 colors per needle)

I am using 2 colors (paired) so I am getting 2 row stripes.
If I worked with 4 balls of yarn /4 colors, I would get a pattern of 4 single (1R) stripes would be repeated every 4 R's.

There are lots of options--thick and thin stripes, multi color ones.. the numbers of balls of yarn you use, and how you position them will control the pattern.

As I knit, and come to the end of group 1—it’s easy to find-(with out a stitch marker!) –the last stitch in the group tends to stretch as you work it --Because it has been knit with a different strand of yarn.

Here, at the end of group 1, you can clearly see, 2 strands of yarn, one strand in the last stitch knit (on the needle) and one strand (the same color) coming from the stitch in the row below.

G2 is knit with the lower strand—(and as you pick up and work this strand, you correct the tension.)

At the end of the needle, the work is turned (if working on DPN’s the turn is more of crank, (a partial turn)). G3 and G4 stitches are in the front, ready to be worked

At the beginning of this needle there are again 2 strands of yarn available for use--The raspberry (in the last stitch knit) and the grape, in the last stitch of the previous row.

G3 is worked with the grape yarn.

At the end of G3, 2 strands of yarn again, and again, the lower yarn, from the stitch in the previous row is used.

At the end of the round, there is only 1 strand of yarn. (The last yarn used—in this case, grape.)

The work is turned, and the new round is started with this yarn.

At the beginning of a round, you will always only have 1 strand of yarn available to knit with—the yarn used in the last group. (G4 in this case.)

If you had 4 (different) colors of yarn, you’d notice it take 4 full rounds before Color 1—is once again Yarn 1 (first yarn used in a round)

Worked in a tube, (this neck ring or socks like these, or a hat, or...) the spiral is subtle.

swirl shawl.But you can do the same thing working in the round in a flat disk, the changing yarns make a clear spiral –this WIP—is a fun shawl that is being knit from an assortment of yarns, silky ribbon yarns, smooth yarns, fuzzy mohair ones, chenilles-—8 different yarns in all! The spiral is clearler in a flat disk like this.

Flat disks like this can be Knit in Public projects. If you use 8 yarns, and 8 circ’s; 8 knitters can work on one shawl at once!

The knitters sit in a close circle, and work from one end of a circ to another, and as soon as they finish a row, the yarn moves to the left, and they start the next row with the yarn coming from the right.
The stitch pattern can be a simple knit stitch, or 4 segments can be plain knit, --with an increase –R1:K1, YO, knit all remaining stitches. R2: Knit all
-and 4 segments can be work in a 2 row pattern of R1: K1, YO , * k2tog, YO. /R2: Knit all stitches.

When the shawl is smaller, only 4 knitters can work on it at once, but as it get bigger, you can add yarns (or not, having started with 8!) and add needles (dividing 2 groups (G1 and G2) from 1 needle onto 2.)

The completed shawl can be raffled off as a fund raiser, or donate.

This project is fun for a guild or knitting group, too!

02/06 February's sock--a spiral stripe of 4 colorsSpiral knitting is fun way to make some wild and crazy socks.. Use up all the odds and ends—worked entirely in solids, the result is subtle stripes--see the socks above. Worked in solids and self striping or hand painted (alternately) it’s a bit more mottled.

(These socks are from Feb of 06--before i was blogging--and interestingly enough, were gifted to Pianogirl--(she's not active on Ravely--or any of the BB's much any more) when she was destashing (giving away yarn!) and she was the person who gave me the hand painted ArtYarn--used in the Fruity Fingerless gloves, and on the edge of this neck ring!)
Work with no solids, the socks defy description—sometime they are wonderful, sometimes, well wild and crazy, and sometimes. A mess!

But there is the fun of it--and worked from scraps and odd and end, they become a pair of free socks!—perhaps best worn under boots for shoveling snow; or as a booby prize for a contest.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Thumb’s up..

But not quite done!

One thumb is, but the other still need a few rows of ribbing to be complete.
(16 stitches X 5 rows.-plus the bind off—less than 100 stitches to completion.)
All the ends have been woven in, on both gloves--so once the thumb ribbing is knit, and those two ends worked in--a FO!

I got the first thumb done on subway—and managed to lose the small (size 2) circ I was using to pick up the stitches—I find it is easier to pick (with a needle, not with yarn) and then knit –and as the same time divide the stitches evenly for working in the round.

And I do the pick up with a smaller needle (so much easier to get the stitches on the small needle!) The circ I lost was a ‘reject one’ (too short for my comfort for general knitting) but it was still useful for project like this—And losing it messed up my finishing!

So I went to work on the matching hat. Hat? Did I say hat?

It could have been a hat—that is, if I could count right—the fingerless gloves were made to fit round my hand (7.5 inches round) and I cast on 38 stitches –(let’s round the number to 40)

20 inches –or so would be a good size for the hat band (for my huge head) Based on my gauge for the fingerless gloves, that would be 40 stitches + 40 stitches (15 inches) +20 (another 3.5 inches) +the extra from rounding up (another inch)—or almost 20 inches.. a good number.

Too bad I cast on 120! (3 times 40(and 38 stitches =7.5 inches)—or over 22.5 inches! )—0% negative ease.

And with that many cast on, I didn’t have much of ribbed band –counting the tubular cast on, 4 rounds of 1 X 1 ribbing. Certainly not enough to support a hat.

Well I could have frogged—but instead made a snap decision—this is not going to be a hat—it’s going to be a neck ring! It’s a nice size to easily pull over my head—and the narrow edging of ribbing is fine for a neck ring.

I am knitting it in spiral stripe. This is fun method of striping.

You use X (3, 4, 5 what ever number) balls of yarn. The yarn can be all different colors, or not. For this project, X=4, 2 balls of raspberry, 2 balls of grape.

After an edge (OK you can do this from the get go, but I like an separate edge—in a single yarn) you divide the stitches into equal groups (in my case, 4 balls of yarn, 4 groups)

Knit the first group of stitches (G1) with Ball 1 (B1) the second group (G2) with B2, and so on. Just pick up yarn and knit (and drop old yarn as you work)

R2—at the end of R1, after completed G4, you come to beginning of round
The only yarn you have available to knit with is B4—so knit G1 with B4.
At the end of G1, you’ll have 2 yarns (B1, (from previous round) and B4 (that you just used. Drop B4, pick up B1—knit G2 with B1,
At the end of G2, you’ll again have 2 yarns- B2, and B1, (that you just knit with)
Drop B1, pick up B2, and knit G3, and do the same at G4 (drop the old yarn; pick up yarn from previous R.)

At the end of the round, you’ll only have 1 ball of yarn avail able (B3—use it to knit G1)—and for R2 basic repeat the process—knit a group, change yarns (to one from previous R, and repeat.

The result is spiral stripe—a jogless stripe, too.

In my case I am using 2 balls of Raspberry, and 2 of grape, so I am end up with stripes that are 2 R’s deep. (If I had 6 balls, (3 and 3) I would have 3 R stripes.)

If I had 4 different colors I would end up with 1 row of each color and a repeat of the stripe pattern (A, B, C, D) every 4 R’s.
See the top (first round) of this image—the left half is raspberry, the right grape.(the stitch marker divides the groups)
The last round (on the needles) is at a change point too. (the second strand of yarn is from the other side of the work)

It's one of those things that are easier done than explained!

The stripes of the neck ring will echo the stripes on the ribbing of the fingerless glove—and it makes the knitting a bit more interesting.

There have been several blogs that have posted info on this process (Grumparina had the best tutorial –it’s a few years old,( so you have to search) but it’s a good one.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Almost Done—and Thank you

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, at work, (I can knit, and do knit at work) I cast on again for the fingerless gloves--the Fruity Fingerless Gloves--since the solid colorways are named Raspberry and Grape-the hand painted yarn is named with a number, but it is shades of raspberry, and cherry, and strawberry and grape--a fruity combo of colors.

A 2 color tubular cast on, using the solid raspberry and grape yarns, (Mode Dea Washable Wool) some ribbing, 1 X 1, natch, and some stripes.

The fingerless glove itself, -stocking knit—and again, knit from the fingers end to the cuff. Before I left work I had the thumb gusset started—a |/ one—not a V shaped one. (My personal favorite style thumb gusset)--and I got a lot done on the subway ride. Stocking knit if fast knitting, and each round is just 36 stitches--and 8 rounds an inch!

By last night (and I cheated and worked on these at home) the body of the glove was 8 inches – (another of inch ribbing yet to come)

They could have been longer, but I saved some yarn—a few yards from each glove. These scrap of yarn will be the cast on and ribbing of a matching hat—The body of the hat will be stripes of the solid contrasting colors. Not a match in the most conventional sense, but more of go together sort of thing. Still there are stripes of the solid colors as ribbing, and the hat will feature stripes of the solid colors in stocking knit. With ribbing in the hand painted ArtYarn.

These have been a fast knit (even with the frogging the first idea) –I hope to have the cuffs and the bit of ribbing that will finish the thumb done by tonight—Just in time for the snow tomorrow! And better photos, too! I over slept this AM and in my haste took this image with the general setting, not the close up one. (And it’s the only good one—of a half dozen)

Late in the month, I got on the bandwagon, and put up the Rip Off, no, I mean, Rib Off Hat on Ravelry for sale. The proceeds from the sale were earmarked for Help for Haiti.

As the month ended, 8 copies of the pattern had been sold, and this generated $24-(less Ravelry’s handling fee). So I am pleased to say, a $25 dollar donation is being sent to Doctors Without Borders— my pattern sales are a small contribution (some designers have generated thousands of dollars of sales) but I am pleased to have done this small part.

So I need to thank you—It pleases me no end that you like the pattern enough to purchase it, and it pleases me more to make the contribution to help those in need in Haiti.

Meanwhile, JelliDonut has completed the first hat—she was the spark that started the project, and she test knitted the pattern—she hasn’t yet linked in Ravelry. For now you’ll have to follow the link to her project page--since Ravelry is balking at linking it to my pattern. In the meanwhile, for you none Ravelry readers, here is her image of her DD modeling her version of the hat.

I’ve cropped away most of DD’s face—and love that this image shows the cast on detail—the detail that makes the hat special.

You can also read her thoughts about the hat on her blog.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Lot's done this weekend—more undone!

I spend time cleaning (yes, boring cleaning.. it was time to take a shovel to the mess and clear a path—someone has to do it—and since I live alone and make all the mess, it falls to me!)

And I was rewarded –as I hauled out the garbage--with not 1, not 2, but 3 suitcase style storage bags (You know the kind that new comforters or bed in bag come in—plus one of those vacuum storage bags.) All new, all clean, all sitting in a small pile in the recycling room.

So now I have some new bags to pack some yarn in—(more tidying-if not cleaning-up.) I love this style bag. They zip open and closed (and really stay zipped) they are clear so you can see what is in them, and this bunch (pillow sized) are small enough that there will be just a single layer of yarn—so it will be easy to see what’s in them. They stack nice too, on shelves, and they are tacky enough not to slip (well so long as you don’t pile them up!)

(Of course, in the ideal world, these bags would come in a limited number of stock sizes—instead of what seems an infinite number of sizes, and they would stack all the easier!)

I cooked, too, so this week will be an easy one --I will just reheat main dishes and make salad! Since I have already cooked (and washed up) all the pots and pans, clean up will be dishes—(and flatware, and glassware) Easy Peasy!

AND I got all the laundry I did last week hung up and put away.
(I have no problem washing, drying and folding laundry--it’s the last step, hanging up and putting away that I fail at—it’s not unknown for me to go for weeks taking undies out of a laundry basket of clean clothes. (Not out of the undies drawer, that remains empty!)

As for knitting—There is were things got undone. There was more UN-knitting, than knitting done. (I did manage to get a few rounds of my still incomplete red sock done--the red sock, and a pair of socks being knit with a hand painted yarn just don't do anything for me, and I just have trouble working up the effort to knit them.)

The tam was frogged back to the ribbing—(I know the count is correct there)
I made some bobbins up too—since 5 100 gm skeins of yarn are just too bulky.
So now, I am ready to start it again—with more success I hope!

The fingerless gloves? Well the stitch pattern is pretty and fun to knit—but there is not enough contrast, and it looked too busy—so they too, got frogged (completely!) The new version will have some stripes—the cast on and ribbed edges-- but will mostly just rely on the hand painted yarn for interest.

But the stitch pattern? Well, I still like it—and find something that will make good use of it.

This morning, (at work) I cast on again, and now have a dozen or so rounds worked. So I’ll have something to show you tomorrow!