Sunday, October 27, 2013

A new Knitter!

I taught a friend to knit last Friday night.  It was late.  We were watching a movie at the same time.  This friend has insisted (for the four years I've known her) that she's not the crafty type, never has been, never will be... forget it.  She sat next to me and knitted... cast on and knitted row after row.  After awhile (and after several inspections on my part where I admired her perfect--no joke, incredibly straight even non-dropped stitches--work) she leans to me and asks why my knitting has holes in it.
I explained that I was making those holes, and then I showed her yo, k2tog.  She got it.  Did a row, and then went merrily on her way.
What makes this blog-worthy?  If you are a knitter, you know already, but if you haven't given it a try, and/or you have tried to pass on your craft to another person over the age of 20 or 60, I'll explain.  Learning to knit includes:

  1. Teeth-gnashing as  "It doesn't look right".
  2. Teeth-gnashing as "holes develop and stitches are increased and decreased without meaning to"
  3. No one knits with the TV on, and watches a movie at the same time or
  4. No one carries on a conversation while "learning to knit"
  5. The first piece of knitting is always thrown to the floor in disgust.
  6. You never ask to do more.
I don't know what alternate universe or something.

The next day, I chuckled and asked her if she had knitted any today (because surely she slept, and how can a beginner...???) and she answered no.
An hour later we were packing to leave and she announced she would knit a little to see if she could still do it, and... SHE'S HOOKED!
No help from me... she picked up where she left off, and on the car ride home she asked about binding off.  Well, she didn't know the term for it, but she wondered how you get a finished edge.  I was driving, so I explained as best I could, and she (taking the cue from one intrepid knitter to another) started binding off....  OK... I had to pull over a couple of times, but she got it!
I can't wait to see...take a photo for you.
It was the first time I witnessed someone starting with very little pain, and producing stitches where we didn't even count the number of stitches because it was so straight (garter stitch) I knew there was no need to confirm she had done it correctly!
I hope I get a picture before she rips it out...  Curious about who I'm talking about?

Above project is 19th-Century Honeycomb Stitch Scarf by Diana Foster

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Knitting Marathon

Almost, I say, almost enough to make me want to run!
From the Kansas City Star:  During Saturday's Kansas City Marathon, the graphic design professor from the University of Central Missouri broke the Guinness world record for longest scarf knitted while running a marathon.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nicer than a Rabbit!

How nice is it to make something that someone LOVES!  And looks so... see for yourself.  What do you think?
Upstate New York ready!!
Previous post:  Little Rabbit with Hat

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Warm enough?

Smile?  No, just a self-portrait.  The cowl is finished, and it's toasty-thick and perfect to wear with my sweater.
This is the pattern that goes with the cuffs that I finished a week ago.  The cuffs have come in on Sunday when the furnace/heating expired at church.  The 55ºF sanctuary wasn't very kind to my cold fingers, nor was it to the organ pipes and piano.  Our first hymn was sung in two keys:  The piano in one, and the organ a half step lower.  It was painful for some of us...  I put on my cuffs.  And no one complained about wearing choir robes!
Yarn:  Pastaza by Cascade Yarns
Aran/10 ply, 50% Llama, 50% Wool, 132 yds/100 grams


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Little rabbit

The little rabbit felt a I popped this on his head.  He likes it!  He doesn't quite fill it out like a little baby girl, so it's now in the mail and heading to "upstate" New York.  A 6-month old little girl, Fiona, will be sporting it this winter. (I made it in the 18 month size, just in case.)
Yarn:  Rauma Babyull (washable)
Pattern: DROPS from Baby DROPS catalog 18, #21.  It's my go-to pattern for little heads.
P.S. Did you know that DROPS patterns are free?  See

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Quilt

Made with inspiration from Pinterest, using my daughter's ideas and my sewing skills, until (and this always happens during these joint projects) she suddenly realizes I'm either not dedicating enough time to this project, or I'm going too slow.  Or both.  Then she takes over, and I'm ironing and she's sewing.  Gotta love working side by side with my daughter on HER projects!
In a finishing frenzy this weekend... It needed the binding.   That means:
a) Find a color for the binding.  The other side is crazy hot pink and purple with Alice in Wonderland in light blue, with golden hair.  !!!!!!!
b) Find enough of that color (in my stash) to make a biased tape.
c) Confidently sew and cut to make the biased tape.  First measure out strips, re-measure, and re-measure, and then make it wider than I thought.  Binding can't be too big... it always seems too narrow. I like it to be doubled so the edges are durable.
d) Sew it on to the quilt, and hope for the best at the corners.
I do this every decade or so, so I'm always not-so-confident by the time I finish up, and give a sigh of relief when I don't have to seam-rip the whole thing.
It turned out well.
Why the frenzy?  My daughter writes to me:  Don't send the quilt until you've received a package I'm sending to you...  Ummm. Quilt? I think to myself... Oh, THAT quilt, the one folded on the sewing machine for the past 3 weeks.  I guess she would like it BEFORE Christmas.
Biased tape for binding? My grandma taught me to make my own.  Now I can't bear to buy it.  It's the right color, often made of leftover material.  I'm sure there's a youtube video with instructions these days.  I probably should have looked--it PROBABLY would have saved me some time.  Next decade...  
Finished: 57" x 43"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nice cuffs!

There was teeth-gnashing over the workshop/class we took in Taos. It seemed to be the only interesting knitting workshop offered so we had ALL levels of knitters. I hoped to get a few tips even though I've done twisted stitches and cabled (without cable needles) traveling stitches before. Here's the first results.
I learned several ways to cable without a needle, and I chose one way for each (right and left leaning) direction.  I hummed right through these.
And now I want to make a cowl;  a cowl that will go with a specific sweater/jacket.  It makes my hands ache to twist those stitches over each other... It's not easy with bulkier yarn.
The above cuffs and cowl pattern:
Carex Cowl by Stephannie Tallent from Sunset Cat Designs
The yarn:  I wish I knew!  I bought it on the fly from Moxie in Taos, NM, and somehow the yarn band disappeared, along with my reader glasses.  That's what happens in motel rooms!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bigger IS better

I'm talking socks... What did you think?  And this holds true for most garments for children, right?  Too small, so sad. Too big, wait a few weeks!
I started these socks too many times to count; I didn't use a pattern; I only had a vision.  That vision was based on one day in June when Juju attempted to put on her hand knit socks, and they were too tight in the leg, and she gave up in about 3 seconds.  That's the attention span of a 3 or 4 year old. 
My results are roomy socks for a cold wet winter climate. Hopefully she'll be able to get them on in 2 seconds (each).
Finished October 6, 2013. 
Yarn:  Sportsragg by Viking of Norway
Sport / 5 ply
60% Wool, 20% Acrylic, 20% Nylon
109 yards / 50 grams

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Out of Town in New Mexico

No excuses... I've been too busy to think of sharing anything.  First there was a month of daughter and granddaughter, then just enough time to fit in some gigs, and I was off to Taos with friends from NY and PA.  Whew...  I must say that my bed felt great as I sank in, and... napping every day... lovely.  I felt like I had been many time zones away.
Ah!  Taos.  The drive there was amazing, the weather perfect! and the wool amazing.
Rio Grande Gorge
A trip to the nearby pueblo... and I assure you, the sky was BLUUUUe!
Taos Pueblo
The shops were open... we bought... Fiesta Ware!  (Not here, but at Monet's Kitchen.)

And the wools? We succumbed to Colorado Yak!
And finished up with a walk in the Santa Fe Plaza.
That was just last weekend.  I'll catch you up on projects---later!


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