Sunday, December 11, 2011

Know when to say enough

Well I am presently on Day 11 of the 24 days until Christmas advent scarf KAL; I am current. That statement , for those who are knitting along, means I have put in about 4 hours a day keeping up with the daily pattern releases.

The first week was great ; I felt no pressure and was getting done in time with time to spare. I generally downloaded the pattern at 430 EST the day before and knit the spacer section. Then the next am after many had posted errata or clarifications and pics I would knit the days pattern. It was working.

SOunds like a race , right. But then something happened. I began making mistakes I had to tink back . I had to reknit then tink back again I would look at a pattern and my mind would go to mush. I tried to get ahead by knitting some of the pattern still at nite.I tried saving paper and using my laptop to read the pattern. I n short I tried to get too much done. The voice kept saying ," must keep knitting ".

Today is the day I will let it go and go back to enjoying the KAL. If I dont keep up, fine, Their will be others with me too , Plenty to read in the chat threads and offering encouragement . Still plenty to learn..

Norwegian Happy Knitting God Strikking

Any one else willing to share their language version of HAppy knitting?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things I have learned so far

Well, just completed day 8, 1/3 of the way done. I must say I and many others have come a long way in just 8 days. So what I have learned so far from the most elementary skill to ......

  1. It's good to slip the first stitch of every row in a scarf with a garter stich border; helps prevent curling
  2. slipping a stitch; wow this is a biggy. slip as if to purl if there is no decrease involved ie the first st of a row. Slip as if to knit when a decrease in involved SSK , . slipping purlwise does not change the direction of the "leg"
  3. yarnovers; from a knit to purl, bring yarn under and around then under needle to purl postion. From a purl to knit , lay yarn over knit and knit next stitch. Watch here as realizing you have more yarn involved the first YO the second.
  4. yarnovers on return row; hopefully the instructions will tell you. if not look at next right side row. If you want the stitch to blend in pattern then you should on return row do what will blend ie if next right side is a knit st then purl the YO.. All this aside if you want a different effect then blending then do not follow this
  5. learning to read charts left to right on right and right to left on wrong: pay attention some charts have even rows charted others dont. As well where even rows are charted most often they are in symbol terminoloiy of right side and your brain must reverse( if it were me I would use symbol we are suppose to actually do , KISS)
  6. Probably every stitch is written down somewhere and someone will be able to find a picture or video of it. If you are not interested in being the first one done, you might want to wait till the am...
  7. lifelines: I can now easily insert and know that I should.
  8. count: sometimes markers for pattern repeats work and othertimes they get in the way. On return rows it is helpful to count pattern repeat number. YOu will catch mistakes and may not have to tink back
  9. Do NOT knit when tired. Repeat DO NOT KNIT WHEN TIRED. Self explanatory
  10. knitters around the world are a great group. Will need a separate list just for that.
  11. AND finally but certainly not the last ... Be the boss of your own knitting. Dont want to do 2 repeats, fine do 1, or skip the day. This is to be fun!
Well I have 2plus hours till next day comes out so better get real life things done, lol Happy knitting!...... How do you say that in other languages

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I must be crazy

It's December and I signed on to knit the 24 days till Christmas mystery scarf KAL. December as in Holiday time, decorating, baking, shopping in addition to all other tasks real life entails. And yet, I find myself putting "things" aside so I can

  1. wait for the 430 local time posting of the next days pdf pattern.
  2. Printing, reading, checking the new day thread for potential errors
  3. I knit my spacer
  4. If I am really good I try to get some pf the pattern done
  5. I go to bed thinking about when I can put some knit time in the following day
  6. I get up and check for overnite speedsters who already finished. I check for potential errata
  7. I knit; I get the day done, Photograph and post to my project page and in the thread.
Then I start it all over again. I have kept up to date and so the pressure begins to build. Can I really get this done in 24 days.

here is hoping for a day with a an 8 row pattern, LOL

Monday, December 5, 2011


  1. I sit here at 430 est , done with day 5,.eagerly awaiting the Berlin time of 1030 for the day 6 pattern to upload I feel like i have been wrapped up in knitting this lovely lace scarf . What a wonderful journey so far. My husband and daughter have been out of town so I have enjoyed the solitude. I put up the CHristmas decorations and have spent my knitting time sitting by the sunny window listienng to Christmas music, some old some new. Its been joyous!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The knitting Journey

SO many knitters
so many yarns
so little time!

I have managed to keep up to day but I think day 6 will be key as my family returns home and life goes"off vacation". ON day 1 I was slightly, , frustrated that pattern designer was not exactly specific on some terminology and said to myself,. Why cant she just add slip as if to purl or knit so we all know. But now I see almost the joy in not being specific.

1. It allows knitters from the globe to share their knowledge and insight and encouragement.
2. It also fosters a sense of creativity and independance in me the knitter, something taht affter 40 years of knitting I still dont have.

I made the decision to follow last year bead placement in the spacer after some suggestions and pics form others. I know I will be a better knitter after day 24, whenever that may be... Thanks Kristin!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Knitters around the globe knit together

Twas december first
and all through the world
knitters, were gathering their yarn, beads, and tools,
to join along in this years 24 days till Chrisitmas knit along

each day designer Kristin releases that days pattern
as we all blog and frantically try to complete that days journey,

In different lands , stitch symbols are different
and the yarns may be different
but we all work to the end result
a lovely knitted scarf

So thanks to Kristin
for being our inspiration
and sharing this wonderful gift during this special season
and as we knit each daily lesson may we all be mindful of the reason for the season.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dead heat mad dash to the finish

Well officially there is 11 days left in the dead heat dash. I suppose I officially came out of the “black hole” last weekend when I finished my 2nd summer of socks project, medallion lace socks. I was glad to get them done. It is the first pair of socks that I can say I wont knit again. The design is nice but it creates little puckers; so you would have to block the socks each time. I dont block socks. The knit one crochet ty dye yarn was nice; while a little splitty I think it will wear well.

SO only 11 days and I must finish tamarah. I am still sloggn along 8 rows at a time on each end. Justify Full I think if I calculated to leave about 50 g of each ball for step 3 that should work. Wouldnt that be a hoot if I had to rip because I ran out of yarn. I have a feeling the shawl may block a little big. Pattern said 19 in wide but in retrospect I like mine narrower . Oh well

Then I cast on with leftover cherry tree hill from my marvelous mitts to do a pattern in one skein sock wonder beaded mitts. I am past the thumb on mitt 1 and see they are going to be small. I dont want to rip as getting the beads on with crochet hook has most likely damaged the yarn. They look lovely but…. I think I will cast on mitt 2 and use +8 stitches and maybe sz 2 needles for body of hand.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the black hole stage: danger zone

I have only been working on my current projects for roughly 10 days( I started Tamarah on last stage of TDF and my 2nd summer of sock pattern on July 21). I think its because its summer. its hot, and I finished too many projects during the TDF KAl(can’t wait to see my stash yards at aug 31)

Tamarah was interesting at first but as step 2 continued for 24 in each side… yawn, yawn So will do I think about as I knit 98 st back and forth in a 3 stitch pattern repeat for 54lnches? First, I yarn usage and if I would have enough( it looks like yes). Then I started to start think about how image to block this rayon cotton item( will blog next on that). Maybe that will get me through this blackhole stage of this project. Stephanie Pearl Mcphee describes it in her book Cast Off. You know, that stage, when you have knit for 5 hours and the project seems to measure the same as at beginning of day. I even have been fantasizing about buying some yarn , 1 skein only,..danger..danger

Maybe I need to think about a pretty shawl pin . Ok Thinking about Blocking and pins will get me through at least to step 3 when I begin decreases But no thinking of yarn purchases even if my birthday is comng up….

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MIddle of the project= Boredom

Well I have been at this project about a week and am getting a little bored. It was exciting initially seeing the shape takes place but now I knit in pattern till basically piece measures finished length or about 54 in

Plus I am thinking that it is going to be too wide when blocked. I am a petite frame person ; a 20: in width hmm . I should have aimed for 14. Now seeing the pattern I know exactly how I could have changed the pattern.

As well I worry I will not have enough yarn left. I suppose I could weigh the balls after a " set " of 4 rows and calculate how much yarn used per # stitches ; then figure how many stitches in step 3 and weight needed at that point.

And finally I am thinking maybe needle size could have been one more larger for a more open weave. . I dont want this to be " heavy" feeling.

SO boring pattern at this point = too much time to think. SHould I keep knitting or rip out and start again

Friday, July 29, 2011

Progress on new project

I completed making the first 2 triangles. I ended up using a sz 8 needle. Now I am beginning to worry that I may run out of yarn. I have 400 yds each .

I opted to knit out from the center. Once I put the 2 triangles together at start of step 2 I knit 4 rows of each yarn then switch to other side. I did not break the yarns as instructed. It is very curious how this construction is setting up. Allmy LM line up so I must be on right track..

On the bad side I came upon a knot in the rayon yarn and shortly thereafter a frayed section. I will see how I can hide it but now worry about the "strength" of my finished project. It was such a long time ago that I wound this into balls I have no idea what is to come. The first knot I tried to do a type of braided join . The damaged section I may hide a knot edge. Rayon is a slippy bugger.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Project

Well, the Tour de france is over. I had so much fun knitting quick projects and my one white jersey project that I realized its good to step outside the box and challenge yourself.

SO with stash I have had for about 10 years. I am embarking on Iris SChreiners's Tamarah.

I will be using Wool in the woods capri and double kiss which I must have for at least 10 years. The LYS is long closed. They are 2 of the very few summer yarns I have. While not the Artyarns brand of Iris I will see what I can get from this.

The yarns are dk so I started with needles suggested in pattern, size 7. Difficult to do gauge swatch giving nature of modular piece.
After first triangle I thought it looked small etc so knit up one in sz 8 needles and I like what I see. Its rather interesting how the shape develops into a semi circle.. So I will continue on to 2nd first triangle...( but with no TDF to watch

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tour de France Knit a long: Choices – to frog or not

My TDF KAL project Lisa’s periwinkle got off to a great start and within 2 days I was halfway through the published stated length or about 22 inches. Unfortunately, the combo of yarns was not saying to me, this is great. Instead it was saying to me, this looks like the afghan you made last year and I dont want to wear an afghan. I decided to put the project aside for a day or two hoping that some time away would enhance its love to me.


I quicky cast on project 2 for tdfkal raspberry ribbon scarf. Again this is another quick knit and one that I had the exact yarn(imagine that) in my stash. k1c2 Tartelette.

I first used this yarn about 10 years ago to make a self fringing shawl; I loved it and quickly searched out 7 more colorways from an online seller. I still have some of 2 colorways. As this project is knitting up I like it; I guess it looks like the picture which was a look I liked. I can see this pattern in other yarns as it is a one skeiner. I think as soon as i finish I will choose another stash yarn and make again to see if I can deviate from the pattern ie be a little creative.

Through all my years of knitting choosing the right yarn for the pattern has always been a struggle. Ravelry is a great source to see what others have done I see many beautiful patterns but yarn availalbility is limited even with the internet. I even see that in different countries brand availability changes. Sometimes yarns are dsicontinued by the time the book is published(saw this last night when researching yarn for Plum Perfect Swirl design. I have often thought it would be a great idea of kitting up yarns for patterns and selling them like that , especially for magazine designs.

Eventually I will need to decide what to do with the periwinkle. I am not a fan of ripping but nor do I want a finished item I will never use. I will most likely have to trash the frogged yarn as lengths are short. This was one of 2 major knits in my dead heat dash project as well so will have to use my get out of jail free pass and do some substituting.

Frog or knit on….

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour de france knit along: Choices

Just a few days before the start of the 2011 Tour de France(TDF) I found a Ravelry group dedicated to knitters and tour watchers. I joined in and immediately began thinking which category competition I might enter, yellow, green white, polka dot or domestique.While 3 of 4 projects I have planned in my July August Dead heat basket could fall in one of these categories, in the end I decided to stick with my pre TDFKAL group project and call myself a domestique(takes the pressure ff too). It was periwinkle by Louisa Harding. It has been a pattern I saw many( 5+ years ago) and even bought the button for it. Alas though Louisa harding yarns are not plentiful in the states so as part of my cold sheeping I decided I could put together some yarns that would work.

The concept behind this LH design is a tried and true feather and fan stole approximately 8 inches by 40 long.The yarns are 4 different weights of ribbon ranging from bulky to dk weight. WIth a stash of 150 plus yarns I thought pulling together 4 yarns like this would be simple. In the end I did not have 4 different ribbon weight yarns and decided to go outside the concept of all ribbons. and use yarns I like. I pulled 6 different yarns, 1 dk, 2 worsted , 3 bulky. My color choices are not monochromatic either. I picked 2 yarns as my focus yarns and built around that.

So I did a trial start last nite and realized that with more bulky weight yarn the FF would not show so I moved up to a sz 13 needles as well as condensed the pattern to 24 plus 4 border stitches.

I am curious to see how this works out. IF I am going for the look in the pattern picture I may be disappointed. If I am trying to be creative with yarn I have , it may work. So the Tour has begun and so will I…

Monday, April 11, 2011

April Afterthoughts

I just finished participating in Ravelry's stash down group 2011 virtual retreat. I t was a fantastic experience, all for the price of nothing , and knitting from my stash as well. The retreat began Thursday and the theory was each person did what they could. You fillled a basket with projects albeit wip or skeins of yet started yarn. And worked from the basket as much you could over the weekend/ Many of us did have obligations during the day whether it was work or family stuff but in my case I dedicated the hours of 5-11 for knitting.
I only had 4 projects in the basket , 2 of which only required buttons but this was just the motivation I needed to completely finish the project. I had one wip project and one start to finish prject, a scarf from a kit. SO I was delighted when I finsihed my basket early on Sunday morning. At that point I continued to photo and enter my stash and found a purse that I could start and did. It was fun experience throughout the weekend watching other knitters report their progress throgh words and pics. I t was both encouraging and inspiring. I think it would be fair to say that all involved enoyjed the weekend and would like to see it happen again. There were knitters from Australia, germany, Uk, Canada and? It was fun to see yarn brands not available to us here in the states( less to covet).
As I was frinishing up the weekend I did come across antoher thread in the stash dwn group for a stash dash challenge. I am inspired to particpate as this will carry me through to the next virtual retreat. I would encourage anyone out htough struggling through wip and stash to check this out.

In the coming blogs I want to share my thoughts on knitting projects that I have loved, the idea of knitting in the moment, and why we have stashes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Virtual retreat 2011

I have agreed to join in a virtual knit retreat through the stash knit down groupThursday through sunday. I will most lkekly not be able to do during day thrus and frias i am a tax accoutnant so still have returns to get done. Here is a picture of my goodies. 2 sweaters just need buttons and I can list them as 100% on my project list. The one has crocheted sunflowere like things which is probably what held me up.
I also have one pair of socks on the needles to finish and and scarf from my stash using knit one crochet too chenile. I bought it as a kit 10 years ago and I still like it so no time like now to knit it up. SO with only 4 things in my basket I hope I am on the road for sucessful retreat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Celery and tomato Anklets

Celery and tomato anklets

I have written the pattern for these anklets and it may be found here. Let me know your comments...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March SOck Madness

SO as I am working on sock #5 for my 2011 personal sock challenge , and I started to think of all the socks I made these past 6+ years of knitting socks, which ones have worn the best and or which do i like the best. First let me say I have always knit top down until this past Christmas when I ventured int o the toe up. It was ok but I am just not comfortable yet. I knit socks because it is somewhat mindless( I usually use a k3, p1 rib pattern mostly on sz2 DPN bamboo needles), they are portable, . and they always fit when I am done, and I wear nothing else on my feet at this point. I knit socks for my mom and my niece. I have a stash of sock yarn about 12 skeins most of which ar e high end handpaint such as cherry tree hill , lorna laces . I ALSO HAVE SEVERAL SKEINS OF SELF STRIPING YARNS.


So to begin, some of my first socks were done with a variety of the OPAL brand. The far left was zebra, and the far right was lady bug the middle 2 were self stipers. I use a siz2 needle, cast on of 60 stitches and follow the Yankee Knitter generic sock pattern. The skein yardage was plentiful. Most of these are 4 years old and even older. They have held up well, retained their color and shape , and no special washing. They feel nice. Initially the yarn was rough but after intial wash they were great. The purple skein had a not and since this was one of my first socks I did not handle it proeprly; I know better now. . I may have paid in the 10-20 range per skein at the time. I like this yarn and would defintley use it again...Even better if I can find it on sale. I may try the 6ply dk weight sock yarn.....

The middle and right sock were my first 2 socks made form Regia yarn. They are still goin strong and show no sign of heal thinning or color loss. I used the same k3p1rib sz 2 bamboo DPPN. I believe I used 2 skeins and each was around $7-8. While there are certainly more spectacular handpaint colors etc. These socks really cant be beat. It is a good yarn .
The left sock was a cotton wool sockyarn I believe by Sockotta that I used a k2p2 rib on a siz 1( I read somewhere that cotton socks should go down a size. I like these but have not warn them as much; I prefer the wool . The yarn seems to be non pill and the color o still vibrant. I dont know if I would buy much cotton sock yarn s once the weather gets warm ... And I still prefer wool for cold weather wear. But if you were looking for a cotton wool blend, I would recommend this.

The third batch of socks features yarns from Cherry tree hiLl. This usually retailed for 24-26 and the yardage was ample.; I found no knots The colors were nice. BUT. Usually within one washing the yarn began to fuzz or halo. There has been some loss of color. A pair made for mom wore through within the first season. This yarn always has a good feel as you are knitting but just doestn seem to hold up well. No one is looking at my fuzzy socks but since I paid more money I naturally expected them to wear better. I suspect its because they have no nylon in them and and the quality of the wool itself may be a factor. I will not buy any more of this brand.

The final 2 socks: The left is made from 2 skeins lorna laces in a free pattern . These are several years old and have washed and worn well. I loved the color and the feel. However, I have made a 2nd pairin the past year from this lorna laces in same pattern and hasve had halo and a hole develop where the yarn was thick and thin. I dont think these socks will last as long. I wonder if hte change in ownership has affected their quality....This yarn is pricey and i think a pair runs 25-30. I would have to think twice before using this yarn agian. I still have one coloraway in mystash so we will see.... The right sock was just finished this january using the toe up, my first. I used MAdelinetosh fingering which cost about $28, getting pretty pricey. I loved the color and the feel. But after the first washing I saw they began to get the halo or fuzz. I like the feel and love their colors but that is too much money..

SO in summary what have I discovered. While I love the colorways and the intial feel of the more expensive yarns I am not convinced that the quality is there to warrant the extra cost. I f I add to my stash I will look at Regia and Opal and perhaps stay with choices that have some nylon in them Pleaase forgive my photography sklils. I will work on this....

Monday, March 21, 2011

More March musings

Well, it's Monday and we just got back from 3 days at my 16 year old daughters state swim meet championship. Meets are always a whirlwind and this one was no exception. When I got home I had a long awaited package from a fellow knitter in England that we had arranged swap. I gave her yarn that I no longer wished to use and she gave me finshed items from her etsy store with same or similar yarn. Wow was I so excited to get the packages. Not only were the items packaged so lovely but the items are gorgeous. They are boas/ scarfs whatever you want to term them but they are gorgoeus. Very glitzy. My photography does not do them justice. The trek across the ocean may have taken 6 weeks but it was worth it. Thank you Julia

I have been knitting for probably 40 plus years and I cant remember when someone bought me or gave something actually related to my hobby. I request, drop hints but most dont take the time to follow through(including hubby, I understand) ) I have given many items away but have always wondered and more recently felt that in general most people do not apppreciate and sometimes do not want handmade items .some that require special care etc. . SO I tend to not waste my time making gifts for family members unless they have asked for something. So getting the boas was for me in many ways a gift ; one very appreciated .

I did get one anklet started at the swim meet. I must have researched ravelry for hours trying to find something which would use one skein of claudia sport yarn @225 yds. In the end I devised my own pattern, which is totally new to me. I have been knitting socks for some 6 year so really it should not be that bad. So far I am pleased and have listed them on ravelry as sock #5 of 2011. I call them my celery and tomato anklets as the colorways is very springlike . I have started the 2nd and we will see hopefully that I dont run out of yarn. If this works I will write up instructions and post. And quick make a 2nd pair because I have one more 225 yd skein in my stash.

I have been doing good, if that is what you call it, about buying yarn. Low cash flow will certainly do that for you. Plus I recognize at my age that I do have some very lovely stash yarn and might as well use it up. I know it doesnt help my LYS but I can still buy needles and books right.

I guess I should mention that my daughter did very well. She came home again a state champion which for state of PA is impressive as we are a tough state. She broke her own state record set last year in the 2IM, and broke the record in the 100 free as well . Unfortunatley there were 2 girls and .13 separating her and first place. It was an excellent race which was what she wanted.(will post video at some point) There is more swimming on the schedule this week but I must stay home and get some taxes done. The grass is starting to grow and my house is mess. But I really want to knit!.......

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March musings

Well almost halfway through MArch, and one month of tax season to go. I finished sewing the mya cardigan on Sunday but havent tried it on yet. It is pretty heavy so I really wont wear it much yet this year. It looks lovely and some nice buttons will finish it off I hope. If easter were early I could wear it as an easter sweater!

I have been hearing many geese flying north as well as the sound of birds so I know spring cant be too far behind. With that will come grass cutting and outside work. while I love to look at a well cared for yard and garden I dont seem to have much patience for it myself. I saw they began work on our community outside pool which is always a welcome sign of spring .

My daughter has the state swim championships this weekend and I hear the weather is to be warm. I will need to pull out a new project , most likely socks. I have a skein of Claudia sport but fear it may not even be enough for a pair of anklets. I have found a pattern9after spending 2 hours on ravelry), ruffled lace anklets from interweave but I dread the idea of getting to the toe on 2nd sock and run out of yarn. I will do a gauge swatch and see how many stitches and go from there.

I read good news that my daughter's swim coach had great news re his leukemia. latest bone marrow biopsy came back all clear of leukemia blasts. This is so wonderful; coach is very young ,27, and has been battling this for 4 years. All the while, he has never complained publicly . I hope his recovery continues on the positive note!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We are nearing the end of february which always feels short to me but then March follows and it seems long. As a tax preparer these are usually stressful months. I enjoy getting emails with new spring and summer yarns and use it to take a break.

I did pretty well with my Feb knit goals: I reknit the taiyo yarn into a shrug, I finished 2 pairs of socks ( one toe up and one regular), and am on the sleeves on MYA cardigan. I am concerned that I made the wrong size. I choose to make the extra small knowing that I am not really an extra small any longer but feared that since I tend to knit loosely it would be too big. Not sure if this yarn will stretch a little once wearing or not. It is Araucania Azapa. I really dont want to rip the front and back and reknit but maybe I should; that would be depressing but not as bad as a sweater I will never be able to wear. I am half done with t he first sleeve and may switch to one size up needle after done all increases , from a 10-10.5 might do the trick then go back to 10 for armhole segment.

We are in for some heavy wind and rain in the next 2 days so it looks like some movies and knitting are in order for nightime.