Saturday, February 25, 2006

From Grandma with Love

When I was growing up I didn't know any one who knitted. At the age of thirteen I taught myself with the Coats & Clarks "Learn to" crafts leaflet. When I was in my twenties I taught my mother. Since that time, my mother has only completely finished one sweater by herself. She still has not broken her record.

My mom completed the pieces to this sweater about 3 weeks ago and after they sat in a ziploc bag for about a week, I took them out and blocked them. (She's also never blocked a sweater.)It's "fashionable at five" from the Fall 2004 issue of Cast On and she made it for her youngest granddaughter who's 2 1/2. Due to some serious gauge issues she has a while to wait before wearing it, but it's beautiful.

fashionable at five (Front view)

fashionable at five (Back view)

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I've been enjoying the Olympics - both of them. It's been fun seeing the various projects for the Knitting Olympics in process and their completion. In the meantime, my own progress has been a little lackluster. Lately it seems that I have been frogging just as much I've been knitting.

I'm re-knitting my sleeves for the cardigan, hopefully with success this time, and making them set-in instead of raglan. If I don't finish soon it'll be too warm to wear the sweater. Actually it's been pretty warm here in SC most of the winter so I can't use that as an excuse not to finish.

The Pharaoh's Check socks are waiting for a turn in the frog pile. I kept knitting the sock even though I was never pleased with the way it looked. In the process I tried a new sock technique, the round toe, and hated it. I've switched to knitting the Baby Cable socks from Sensational Knitted Socks in basic black and even though my brother was expecting Gamecock Red and Black, I think he'll be pleased with these.

(You can't really see the detail unless you enlarge the photo.)

Normally I don't knit with eyelash type yarns (not that I'm snobbish), but last Thursday evening I whipped out this cute little bag. It's the Fiber Trends "Night on the Town" accessories pattern.

This pattern works up so quick and fast. It almost took me longer to felt it than to knit it. I used an offbrand worsted, Filatura Lanarota, that I bought online and Funny Medium Glitter purchased from Bea Ellis Knitwear when she had the sale on Funny yarns.

Tonight I'm working on a class on "Textured Knitting" for my knitting guild, the Palmetto Purlers. I thought I had my class mapped out, but this topic has turned out too be more than a little confusing. Every resource I've read has a different interpretation of what is considered textured knitting. I think I'll knit a swatch from each group and cover the basics.

Smoking Update - 4+ weeks!!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Frogging, Knitting, Frogging

Sunday I seamed the raglan cardigan. There's only one word to describe the results. Disastrous! Either I've grossly underestimated my size or the Knitware pattern is very wrong. It appears to be the latter.

I'm pleased with the body size. I even like the length. My problem is the sleeves and the raglan shaping. While I did put on a significant amount of weight last year, my shoulders are not those of the "Incredible Hulk". The body of the sleeves fit well, but the shoulder shaping according to the pattern leaves only 4 stitches at the top. Way too few. So, it's back to the drawing board.

In the meantime, I'll continue to watch the Olympics and root for my favorite "Knitting Olympians".

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hidden Lessons

It's been almost 2 years since I first learned to spin on a drop spindle. Now it's been almost a year since I've been able to use a spindle or spinning wheel.

Yesterday I was sorting through my spinning supplies when I came across my first handspun and hand-dyed yarn. My first thought was to make something for me. You see, I've declared 2006 my year to knit for me. This yarn had other plans.

Even though they have been 2 years in the making, I have my first handspun, hand-dyed, and hand knit pair of socks and to my surprise they're not for me. Actually they aren't for anyone. This wonderful, riotous pair of child's socks have been a lesson in themselves. Sometimes I'm so busy looking for the obvious, mistaking the ordinary for the treasures, that I miss the real gems.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Design Process

For the past two weeks I have been working on a very basic raglan sweater design. I'm nearing the finish line and all that's left is to re-knit the raglan portion of the left front. In the midst of all the frogging and re-knitting I was trying to find a "good" book on sweater design. I own several but they all seemed to be lacking where this particular type of design is concerned. As I was putting the books up that I've been perusing for my next project, I came across an old gem - Montse Stanley Knitting. The patterns in this book are very dated, however the information in it on design is fantastic. I wish I had noticed it in the beginning.

This experience has given me a better appreciation for designers, especially those who continue to produce error-free patterns. It seems that a significant number of the knitting books and patterns that come out today have so much errata that it's hard to believe any "test knitting" was done. I'm sure this is probably due in part to the publishing industry's need to "strike while the iron is hot", but it's a great disservice to the knitter.

Quit Update - It's day 12 and I'm still smoke free. I've really been surprised that I haven't wanted to smoke. There's still a smoker in the house, my sister. It's not making me want to smoke, but the smell is driving me nuts!!! Now I need to get rid of the secondhand smoke.