Or how to keep in touch with your best knitwits when you live 3,000 miles away from them

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

i think i have arthritis

from all the projects that i've started and the possibilities of me finishing them before christmas seems a little bleak.

but here's the list...

two knit and tonic cardigans, (they are really cool to knit, its just the finishing that sucks)
a hat for a coworker
another hat for another coworker
a new harry potter scarf for my father-in-law

plus a variety of other projects that, due to my knitter's ADD, i have to finish...

but i did finish Al's socks, he hasn't actually worn them yet, but he is mighty appreciative.

mims... yeah!!!!!

mims and everyone else... whatcha all working on?

i trust that turkey day went well for all. i came down with one of my stomach episodes, so i think i'm back to my pre-Thanksgiving weight. Not really the diet that I would recommend, since I'm pretty much on a liquid diet for the past 2 days, but I am wearing my skinny jeans to work!

on another note, i've decided to do the barbara walker book for the yearinstitches blog. i think i really will have arthritis after next year.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

woohoo!!!!!!! part 2

i am finally spinning on my wheel. it was an hour drive to dundee, oregon, but there i found pacific wool and fiber, and i am now the proud owner of a full pound of white corriedale cross top which i am spinning into an amazingly inconsistent yarn, but spinning none-the-less! vv, the article in the spinning magazine you sent me finally started making some sense to me after reading it for the 40th time today. and assuming i improve enough to create a yarn that would actually be knittable, i can move on to the next endevour-- dying it!

i knit my first scarf with a hood over the past couple of days, i'm not quite sure if it's turned out okay. somehow, where i was decreasing on the hood came out kinda funny, like my tension was way too loose on just the decrease stitches or something. i've put it aside for the moment and decided to wait a couple of days before making the decision to rip out the hood or not.

i hope everyone had a good thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving You Guys!

I miss seeing all of you so very much! I don't think I realized how fond of am of each of you until I wasn't able to see you each week. One of the ladies in the
'Ol North State knitting guild just e-mailed this pattern. It's not actually a chicken but sure looks like one. http://www.alohamedia.net/sarah/hats/chicken-viking/. Looks like it's only sized for a baby but it's still adorable! I love the basic stitch pattern - minus the horns/wings.

Hoping to get some knitting done this weekend. I got so bored with Christopher's sweater that I put it aside for a while. I'm making headway on a shrug out of Calmer and a shawl. Ripped out Nicole's Berroco hot pink Suede shawl and I've got to start on that again.

Our office move went well. I'm now over at the North Hills Shopping Center and I believe I've told you we're right above Moe's (I'm sorry - I've probably told you this half a dozen times). It's like being on Rodeo Drive! The stores (other than Penney's and Target - what would I do without Target?) aren't exactly the kind that you'd just swing into and pick up a few things. I've only made it to the Starbucks once. The guys working there weren't particularly friendly but I've decided that I'll whip them into shape! I spend too much time and money in Starbucks to deal with little snot nosed guys. Perhaps I"ll have to knit them something to wear them down.

Anyway, you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we've absolutely got to get together soon! I'm already so excited about the next Maryland Festival because I know that we'll all be able to get together - at least I hope so! Gotta see VV and Mims! Hope to talk to you or see you on the blog soon!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


our party's gotten a little bit bigger over the past week!

joe's hat is finished. and i made another hat this weekend. i think this one is for myself, which seems so wrong this close to christmas, but it'll look great with my coat and it's damn cold here and i almost never knit anything for myself. it has earflaps. they make me so happy...

other than the hats, i'm knitting away on the boring scarf for my sister's boyfriend. and still working on the crochet blanket. it's going to be a wedding gift for my friends allie and jordan who got married at the beginning of the month. they only announced 6 weeks before the wedding date, so i figure i have a couple months grace period to get the present done.

in fun knitting news, i've been invited to join a knitting group at work. they meet on tuesdays at one in our office lunchroom. i have no idea how many people there are (or who they are other than the asst. arts editor who invited me). they will obviously be no knitwits, but it will hopefully be fun none-the-less!

Friday, November 18, 2005

one sock done!!!!

and i'm turning the heel of the second sock. i really like this circular needle sock thing. the heel is a little pesky, as is the toe, but the fact that i don't have to do the kitchner stitch and not mess with five needles is pretty darn sweet.

kristin and arati, it's so good to see you guys on the blog. and thanks kristin for making me feel better about ripping back the sweater. it's nice to know that i'm not a freak about not liking the sweater that i knitted.

i'll take a pic after i finish my second sock. did i mention these are for al? he's been supersweet about them to. maybe i should finish his sweater next.

So glad to hear from you Kristin and Arati!

Well, my office is packing up and the movers are coming in this afternoon. We'll be in our new North Hills office space on Monday morning. We're on the two floors above Moe's if you ever get over that way. There are three - count 'em - 3 Starbucks right around me! There's a Target and movie theater. I told Julie that all I need is a yarn store and I could just move in there! Anyway, they'll be shutting down our computers in a little bit. Hope everyone's doing well. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm so behind in my knitting

I was supposed to have knit a scarf for my hair stylist -- last year. So I went to see her today wearing a little, pink kerchief scarf I made last spring, and when she said she liked it, I took it off and gave it to her. I liked it, too, but I'm so behind in knitting that I had to do it.

I need to make my sister's cashmere mittens, a cashmere (or cashmere-ish) scarf for Andy, some garlands (because I gave away my best garlands) and a blanket for Ross. Can I crank these out in a month?

Teaching has been a major time-suck, and I can't remember when I picked up my needles last.

Long time, no post

I'm back! Sorry, but my time when Amelia is napping is so precious, I just can't blog too much. Anyway, I was wondering if any of you knew of a good pattern for felted clogs. I found one through the Yarn Harlot's site from Fiber Trends. But when I went to buy it, I realized that you don't just download it online. They send you the pattern and charge you $5 shipping. $5 shipping for a piece of paper! That is just so ridiculous that I can't buy it. Maybe they have one at Great Yarns.

Also, speaking of going all the way back, I have my own story. I finally finished a sweater that I'd had on the needles for about two years. I put it on, and realized that it looked stupid. I was never going to wear it. So I ripped the whole thing out and am now knitting the Hourglass Sweater with the same yarn. It's a larger gauge than the yarn called for in the patter, so I'm knitting the size small and hoping it will come out more like a medium. Here is a picture of me in the sweater that no longer exists.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Typically the spinning books and instructors tell you to start with a long fiber wool, although i skipped all that and just went for the good stuff, romney and merino. (then cashmere). also they say that you should start with wool that it hand-combed, which i will say is a little easier to spin, but it's a little too slow of a process for me. i might have some romney that is already combed in my possession somewhere. i'll try and mail some to you.

if the fiber is too slick, you could also try dusting it with some baby powder. that's suppose to help, however i haven't it tried it myself.

hope that helps.

also i think i'm leaning a little to towards the treasure of knitting stitches. it seems a little more on the classy side.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

where do i even begin...

i suppose i'll start with the fact that i finally finished knitting joe's scarf. i still need to sew in the ends and block it, but the knitting is finally done. also on the knitting front, i ripped back a bunch of joe's hat tonight because i'm combinning multiple patterns to get the shape i want with the yarn i'm using and it looked like the hat was going to be too tall. i did everything but bind it off tonight only to discover that it is too short. it looks like i would have been done with the hat tonight and would have had the chance to work on something else if i hadn't ripped it out the first time. now i need to rip it out to when the decreasing started. oh well. and i'm doing it on one long circular needle thanks to vv's inspiring sock post!

my spinning wheel arrived on saturday. so far i am completely inept. i have decided that that is at least partly due to the fact that the fiber i have is way too smooth. it's 50% merino and 50% tencel and slicker than snot. i think i'll have an easier time of it with something that has a little more texture. any recommendations vv?

at the yarn store this weekend i saw the stitch a day calendar. have you made a decision yet about what you're going to do vv? by the way, the reason i was at the yarn store this weekend was my friend lisa (a third one named that, not either of the 2 i've talked about before) was visiting from idaho. she left knowing the knit stitch and about a 1/4 of the way into her first knitted scarf. i love converting people, hee hee!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

i think i have done the impossible

currently in my knitting bag i have a sock. so that's not earth-shattering news. but i'm knitting the sock toe up. again, we've been there and done that. but i've knitted the sock without using a provisional cast on, so the toe is enclosed. i know, pretty nifty, eh? okay, now i can pull the rabbit out of the hat....

i cast on and i'm currently knitting this sock in the round ... on one circular needle!!!!!


and you can too, go to http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/mloop.html

for the toe instructions, you got to go to http://boogaj.typepad.com/knitting/2003/01/figure_8_cast_o.html.

it's a little cumbersome casting on the circular needle, but it can be done. you could also just cast on double pointed needles and place them on circular needles when you are done.

i'm so thrilled, i've even thought about throwing away all my double pointed needles. (just for a minute)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

VV's here's an idea

I've been looking at this pattern for a few years now - always thinking that I had to get the Barbara Walker book. This doesn't really answer your question but it does make the book seem more enticing (spelling?). I tried looking some of these stitch patterns up on the internet but couldn't find them so figured I'd have to buy the Barbara Walker book. It really does sound like a lovely pattern:

Lace Sampler Scarf

My purpose was to experiment with a wide range of lace or lace-like stitches for their tonal values, as inspired by a Margaret Stove workshop. Here are design guidelines for making a similar scarf. However, don’t hesitate to deviate from what I did and explore other patterns that intrigue you!

Fingering weight yarn and size 6 needles
(I used a 2-ply yarn I hand-spun from 65g of varicolored dyed tussah silk roving)

Begin scarf with 48 stitches worked in Herringbone Faggot for 8 rows (see pattern 1 below), then place markers to establish the edging and sampler areas as follows:

8 stitches Herringbone Faggot,
2 stitches garter stitch (i.e. knit every row),
28 stitches for sampler area,
2 stitches garter stitch,
8 stitches Herringbone Faggot.
You will continue the Faggot and 2 st garter patterns up along each edge. Between each pattern below, work 4 or 5 rows of garter stitch across the sampler area, depending on whether the lace stitch begins on a right- or wrong-side row. Increase or decrease sampler area to accommodate pattern repeats (I varied between 27 and 29 stitches). Work each sample for a little while (about 2 - 4”); you want enough to get a good sense of what the pattern is doing, so just stop after you think you’ve had enough!

Except where indicated, All patterns below reference Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Vol. 1, (my edition is copyright 1968, ISBN 0-684-17314-X) . If you don’t have enough yarn to do all the patterns, just save about 50 yards of your yarn for the finish. (or if you have more yarn and want a longer scarf, do some more!) Remember that other stitch pattern books you have are likely to be good sources of lace or lace-like stitches as well.

Herringbone Faggot, p. 186 (begin with this as indicated above)
Fisherman’s Rib (as for Charlene's Scarf)
Star Rib Mesh, p. 196
Traveling Leaf Pattern, p. 204
Dewdrop Pattern, p. 149
Garter Stitch Lace Ladder, p. 188
Madeira Mesh, p. 151
Lace Butterfly - allover version, p. 189
Veil Stitch, p. 165
Bird’s Eye, p. 197
English Mesh, p. 193
Crest of the Wave, p. 205
Cane Stitch, p. 182
Open Star Stitch, p. 154
Yarn-Over Cable, p. 154
Open Honeycomb Stitch, p. 154
Daisy Stitch, p. 153
Waterfall Pattern, p. 151
Vertical Lace Trellis, p. 191
Finish with :

4 or 5 rows of garter stitch in sampler area (increase or decrease the sampler area to 28 stitches if needed).
Repeat Fisherman’s Rib pattern. (pattern 2 above).
4 or 5 rows of garter stitch in sampler area.
And finally 8 rows of Herringbone Faggot across ALL stitches (pattern 1 above).
Bind off loosely. Block as for lace under tension. The final dimensions of my scarf were 11” x 72”.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

bev, thanks so much for the pattern, the pdf is great.

vv, i have no idea about which you should knit, i've never heard of either of them. so how big of a swatch are you talking for each day?

i was in the mountains of virginia this weekend for a friend's wedding. on planes and in airports and cars i knit a scarf from the brown and blue yarn vv gave away before she moved. i alternated between blocks of garter and stockingnet on pretty big needles, and i really like how it turned out. i think it is for lisa, but i'm not sure yet. i also started a hat for joe. i got as far as when the decreasing started, but i didn't have a second set of circular needles with me for that. i also started a scarf for my sister's boyfriend. (i only got about 3 or 4 inches of that last one done. it started in garter and my sister wanted it striped, but not in a different color. so just tonight i started some rows in seed stitch. this stitch is a serious pain in the rear-- this is the first time i've used it and it just might be the last... and it doesn't even look that different from garter.) now, i'm sure you will all be dumb-struck, but i still haven't finished the damn scarf for joe! everyday, i think i just need about 10 more rows and i'll be done. then i knit 20 rows and it's still just a little too short. i swear, it has stopped growing at all.

my other airplane activity was the sunday soduku puzzle. it is the first sunday one i have ever finished, so i'm feeling pretty darn pleased with myself.

Okay, I might have to go to Plan B.

So I walked into a local yarn shop and they were out of the calendar, and also advised me that there are a bunch of mistakes in the calendar, so many in fact that I could pretty much just go to the website and look up the stitches there without having to buy the calendar.

As an alternative suggestions, the sales assistant said Barbara G. Walker's 'A Treasury of Knitting Patterns' was a far better choice. So I bought it, and I got to say, it looks intimidating. This is OLD SCHOOL. No pretty color photographs here. I think the publisher may have just taking the stitches and laid them on a xerox machine and called it a day.

So tell me what you think, should I go with Plan A and get a copy of the calendar and follow it on the blog, or should I go old school and do 'A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.'

yep, that's me one sadistic knitter...

i thought i'd stop washing my hair, it will save time and money. both things i could use next year when i start this experiment.

thanks for the heads up on the pattern beverly, i'll check it out.

btw, i went to urbancraftuprising.com this past weekend. pretty cool stuff. i got a bag from persnickitydesign.com and a t-shirt from cupcake. sooo cute. al was very good and didn't say anything about me buying another bag. he's very sweet.

Monday, November 07, 2005

so maybe i've gone off the deep end

so i know marcy said never to make major knitting decisions after 10 p.m. and i really think that it was tecnically 9:30 when i decided to do it, but remember the orange sweater. you know, the whole hollywood knits velma sweater. well, it's been quite chilly lately and i've been wanting to wear it, but i put it on twice and just keep futzing with the neck.

so i ripped it out.

that's right, i said it. i went back. ALL THE WAY BACK. i would show you guys a picture, but it's a little painful to look at it right now.

so, the plan is to make a new sweater, one that i will want to wear all the time, possibly a cowl neck. but more importantly a sweater that i will not futz with the neck when i wear it.

on another note of going off the edge, i decided to do another blog, www.ayearinstitches.blogspot.com. i made it a different one because i'm taking the 365 stitches perpetual calendar and knitting a swatch of the stitch of the day starting jan. 1. why? you ask, well, i like the idea of doing something guiness-book-of-world-records-like, but don't acutally think i could pull something like that off, so this seems in the realm of man with the longest fingernails, but not as gross or as time consuming.

anyone want to join me? (insert Bach's fugue in D organ music here.)

Met Julie to knit Sunday! Yep, I'm excited.

It was just so nice to sit down with one of my favorite buddies and knit again. We met at Starbucks and had a nice time. I filled her in a bit on Mims wheel that she's expecting and on VV's patterns. I'm only a couple of rows away from finishing the back of Christopher's hoodie so that's good news. Julie filled me in on what she purchased at the Asheville festival and of course I drooled. Now I didn't actually "see" what she purchased but all it takes if a brief description to get me drooling. She also saw this really neat contraption that spins for you, really quickly, so that you don't need the wheel. She was mezmerized to say the least but the price - wow. Still, I think she's giving it a bit of thought.

Gotta run. Just wanted to post. Mim's let me know if you didn't get the pattern clearly on the pdf and if you want me to send it to you through the mail.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Okay girls - where is everyone?!

Mim's I just pdf'd the Red Riding Hood pattern to you. I can also mail you a color copy so just let me know. I have your address. It's the weekend so I wanted to make my end-of-the-week post. Talked with Julie a bit last night when we were picking up the little boys. We're hopefully going to get together Sunday at Starbucks on Peace and Glenwood - if anyone wants to join. I normally try to get there around 1:00 but sometimes it's 2:00 or later. Sure would love to see you guys. Mims and VV - we need to hook up some sort of live webcam so that we could sit a laptop on the table and you two girls could be in the same room with us! Anyway, I'm going to keep chugging along on Christopher's sweater. He's going to be 4 years old next Sunday, the 13th but unfortunately I will not have the sweater finished by then. Hopefully by Christmas. Still looking for some reasonably priced cashmere to make my boss a scarf for Christmas. I've found some great cashmere but not in the color I want. I want a dark brown and everything I look at is either natural color or tan or some bright color. Keep a lookout for me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Orange sweater

It's been forever since I posted, but I wanted to make sure VV saw my orange sweater. I sent her a pic on e-mail, but it bounced back. So, now I'm posting the pic here. Ross took the photo, which explains the low-angle shot. I know I look tired, but I love my sweater! I wore it on Halloween.

what happened to me???

so i walked in this morning to work and on the free magazine table i spotted a magazine that caught my eye. i started thumbing through it and was like, 'that's cool', that's looks like i would wear it', maybe i should get my hair cut like that', and then i thought, 'what magazine is this again?' and i flipped back to the cover and discover it was FAMILY CIRCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

(insert psycho music here)

this is one of those defining moments that years later i'll look back and say, 'that was the moment i could longer kid myself any longer, i was so out of MTV's demographic.'

(but i watch the 'real world' and 'pimp my ride', i halfway understand what the vj's are saying.)

but i know in my heart i really am a vh1er. 'i love the 80s' – watched every single year, 'the best week ever' – the best show ever.

i guess now i'm a family circler too. that blows.