Sunday, September 30, 2007


I love the feeling of finishing projects! I am not sure whether it's the fact that I now get to wear (or give away) whatever it is or the feeling of accomplishment that I get from crossing off one more item on my To Do list or just my pleasure at looking at something I made. Maybe all of the above. I know that people try to classify knitters as process or project knitters. I think I am both. Or neither. I love casting on, I love the excitement of a new project, I enjoy the knitting process (except for knitting seed stitch. LOL), and I am so excited when I finish something that I must say that I enjoy everything about knitting.

I wove in the ends on my Tuscany shawl last night and it will be blocking in a little while. I finished and wove in the ends on my second Twisted Flower sock, and since I don't block socks, those are ready to wear. [big grin] I wove in the ends of a cute baby hat I've been working on forever (I just kept forgetting about it - it wasn't really that hard to knit) and now it's ready to be blocked. It really is cute, if I must say so myself. I also completed and wove in the ends on the first of a pair of garter stitch gloves. So, 3.5 projects completed in the last few days, with one more sock (the first of a pair) only about 1 inch of ribbing from being completed. That is such a good feeling. How long do you think it will take me to cast on something else?

Current knitting projects include
1) 2 socks on 2 circs in Trekking Natura. I am trying this technique for the first time and don't think I will do it again soon. I make mistakes. There's no getting around that. With this technique, every time I make a mistake, there's twice as much knitting to undo. Not the system for me, I am afraid, though I like the idea of the socks being identical since you make them at the same time. (I frequently take a generic sock pattern, insert a stitch patttern from a stitch dictionary and make my own socks instead of following a pattern, and I am not good at writing down what I do. I have a lot of fraternal socks)
2) Work socks for my son. He's in construction and frequently cold in the winter. Last winter he made the discovery that wool socks are warmer than 2 pairs of cotton/acrylic socks and did I know that? Really! So, he's getting several pairs of wool socks for his birthday (this week) and Christmas.
3) A red, white and blue cotton baby balnket. This is a project chosen to use up some yarn I purchased for another project that did not work out. It is not for any one in particular so there's no rush, and I work on it when I need something simple to work on in the dark (a long drive) or while watching an absorbing TV show.
4) About 2 years ago I started the Great American Aran Afghan, made 8 squares or so and got stuck on one. I haven't picked it up since, and I really need to get back to it.
5) Open and solid diamond lace scarf from Victorian Knitting, using KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud. I put this aside when I started the Mystery Shawl 3, but since I have decided to frog that, I will pick this up again. I love the patterns in that book and will knit many of them.
6) Side to side garter stitch gloves - the first is complete and I cast on for the second last night. The construction of these is intriguing. Starting at the thumb, you knit one flat surface (the palm) of the glove, go around the pinky finger and knit the other surface (back of the hand), grafting the fingers together at the sides. I am using KnitPicks Telemark.

I did some spinning yesterday - I have two of the 3 singles spun for the 3 ply yarn I want to try. I hope to get the third single spun today and possibly do the plying as well, but it's football day (Go Raven! Go Broncos!) and I can't spin and watch TV well. Knitting goes better with football as long as I choose a project that I don't have to look at often. Like the socks or the baby blanket.

My friend Karen is going to lend me her digital camera, so photos of these and subsequent projects should be coming a lot sooner than I thought. Thank you, Karen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Knitting progress

I finished Tuscany! I haven't woven in the ends or blocked it yet, but the dreaded seed stitch border and the bind off is complete. The pattern gives finished dimensions of 76 '' wide at the top and 26 '' long at the tip. My shawl, unblocked, is about 64 " at the top edge and about 27 " long. I added black beads every 8 rows just along the side edge. The yarn is a mercerized cotton a deep purple and I love it. The weather is beautiful here today so maybe I can get it blocked and drying this afternoon.

I have about 10 more rows of knitting to do on the Twisted Flower sock (and ends to weave in) and I will have another finished project! This pattern is wonderful. The charts and instructions leave no doubt about what comes next.

I hope to do some spinning today. I have never spun a 3 ply yarn before. I found some fiber in my stash in a soft blue that I divided into 3 even amounts and plan to spin a 3 ply yarn with it. I have no specific plans for this yarn. I just wanted to try something new. I love cables, and took a class with Janet Szabo at MD Sheep and Wool last year. She recommends taking the time and effort to produce a 3 ply yarn to enhance the cable, so I decided to try it.

If I spend any more time at the computer today I will run short of time for my fiber activities, so I will say goodbye. Have a wonderful day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

back from vacation

We have just returned from vacation. We had a wonderful time - great weather, lots of boating time, a good amount of knitting time and a visit to the LYS in Montauk. We went out fishing every day, usually abut 2 PM and returned to the dock (with fish) at about 9 PM. We watched the sun set everyday from the water. I hope to post some photos in a few days. Both husband and I had a great time.

It did get rather chilly once the sun went down, but that gave me an excellent reason to wear my hand knitted wool socks and my hand knitted from hand spun Jacob and BFL hat much sooner than I would have at home. We went to the lighthouse every evening and used the binoculars to look out over the water to Block Island, Connecticut and Fishers Island. The lights blink and twinkle and look so beautiful. We tried to identify each one by it's color and blink frequency (light houses and buoys can be identified with a chart in that way). This year we went into the Lighthouse and climbed the stairs to the observation area. What views! I know that in practise, lighthouse keeping was very hard work, but those views must have been part of the reward.

I was very entertained by listening to the calls on the VHS radio to and from other boats and the Coast Guard. We could, at various time, receive calls from the Coast Guard stations in Montauk, NY, Atlantic City, Long Island Sound and South East New England.

In August I started to knit Tuscany (a shawl) from No Sheep for You, and on the drive home (a little less than 7 hours) I was able to complete it. Since I knit on multiple projects at once, that's a record for me! LOL. I usually take much longer than that to finish one thing. I did decide to add an edging to the long edge so it wouldn't roll, and I am still working on that. I detest knitting seed stitch, but that's what looked best, so that's what I am doing. Only an inch or so to be added - I knit on it while chatting or watching TV so as to avoid going crazy. This was a great project and I can see myself knitting it in a different yarn for a totally different look.

I hope to start knitting on my merging colors capelet:
in the next day or so. I still have to divide some of the colors into multiple balls since you have to knit with 4 strands of yarn at once. I purchased the new Knit Picks Options Harmony Wood needle set and plan to use them to knit this kit. I'll let you know what I think of them. I currently have several of the metal Options needles and I really like the points. I do a lot of lace and cable work and those points really help. If I like them, I will probably get the new wood DPN's also, since I use DPN's a lot for sock and glove/mitten knitting.

I had hoped to finish my Twisted Flower sock (designed by Cookie A) while on vacation but I have to knit that with the pattern right in front of me. I just didn't have that much sit down and knit uninterrupted time. I am half way down the foot, so I am close. Maybe I will get if finished before I return to work on Monday.

Well, I am off to do another load of laundry and more unpacking. Happy Fall.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I just returned from attending Knitters Day Out in PA. It's a very affordable day of knitting classes and a market for indulging in your new (or old) passion.

One of the classes I took was on knitting side to side garter stitch gloves. The construction of the gloves was very interesting and I really enjoyed that class.

The other class I took was Latvian Wristers, with Beth Brown-Reinsel. We learned a little about Latvian mittens, and some of the techniques used in those mittens. Beth learned something, too. There was a woman in the class who was Latvian, and she taught Beth to pronounce the names of the 4 different areas of Latvia. In 3 hours you can only do so much, but it was a challenging class and I definitely learned some new techniques, such as how to make a herringbone braid. I also learned that if you don't like to weave in ends, this is not the knitting style for you. ; )

I purchased one Merging Colors kit for the mobius capelet and several patterns - very restrained for me!

We are off on vacation in a day or so - beaching and boating for a week. I hope the weather stays nice.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


It's September and almost time for vacation. I can't wait! We return to the same spot every year, though we have "graduated" from tent camping to pop-up camper to basic hotel room as we have aged. We haul our boat with us, about an 8 hour drive, and spend most of our time fishing and boating in the waters off Montauk, NY.

I always pack my knitting first. In fact, I start planning which knitting projects I will bring on vacation at least a month before departure. My clothes get thrown in the duffel bag a day or so before we leave, but the knitting....
The knitting is planned out, each project has it's own bag, the patterns are copied, the needles are chosen (and some spares, just in case), and I always bring more than I can possibly knit, because I don't know ahead of time what I will feel like working on. I am NOT a monagamous knitter. I tried it and it doesn't work. Now there's a yarn store in the town, so there's an added element to our trip. My husband cringes.

I am knitting a blue cotton cardigan of my own design, and I have been putting off knitting the bottom edging because I didn't think I had enough yarn for it. I recently purchased a digital scale, weighed the yarn, knitted a row and weighed it again. Now I know I have enough yarn and the knitting is going fast!

I always have a sock in the works, and right now I have 3 going. One of them is the Twisted Flower sock pattern by Cookie A. I love the pattern, and it is very well written and charted. Check out her patterns if you can.

Have a good day and enjoy the fall weather.