Friday, July 30, 2004

round-up time

[ mood meter chill ]
[ what i'm listenin' to miles davis (Album - Birth of The Cool) ]

i got an FO!

let's see. i finished Maya's mittens last night. then i cast on to make her a matching hat. TDS says she loves knitted hats, so that's exactly what she'll get! i'm going to make it like a stocking cap. maybe with a pom-pom or something on the end. i'm still working the ribbing, now but i'll do some more of it tonight.

cloverleaf sox

i started and frogged the cloverleaf sox about 4 times yesterday. i was home sick from work. (long story short, i was dealing with some "girl issues." y'all know the kind i'm talking about.) anyway, i started with the required 60 stitches but by the end of the first pattern repeat, i had less than what i started with. i dunno how the hell that happens but it did. tomorrow when NAM are hanging out, we plan to hit about 3 yarn shops in town so i'm gonna pick up some sock yarn. maybe that will help. i was using some baby weight yarn for those sox. i need to get started on the making waves sox too.

a new hobby

yeah. like i need one of those. but i want to start sewing. i don't really want to spend a bunch of money on a new sewing machine. i've been checking ebay, of course, but i recently got hip to
freecycle. i signed up, and put out a message for a sewing machine. someone near newark said he had a bunch of sewing machines and would check to make sure there was one in working order. best part of this is that it's FREE. for real. go to the website and see for yourself. cheap is good, but free is, well, better.

about that cardigan...

i was happily swatching away for that accordion cardigan and stopped by the LYS that i got that yarn from to pick up some more and wouldn't ya know they don't have any more? i'm not surprised, really, but i was hoping they woud have some. when i go there tomorrow, i will take the pattern along with me and choose an appropriate yarn. wish me luck!

Monday, July 26, 2004


[ mood meter frustrated ]

i'm tired of fiddlin' with this knit tracker thing!  i've downloaded the images to my own server but i can't get the code right so that it points to the images.  it's giving me a headache so i'll sleep on it.  maybe something will "click" in my brain tonight.
OKC: i'm making nice progress on my 2nd mitten.  hope to finish in the next few days so i can work on that accordion cardigan, a pair of baby socks and whatever else i feel like working on.
meantime, it's hella late so i'm gonna go cut JWJ's hair then go to bed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

first mitten

 Posted by Hello

isn't she lovely?

wednesday roundup

[ mood meter happy ]

one mitten, coming right up!
all that's left is to knit the thumb and mitten #1 is done!  methinks mitten #2 should go much quicker now that i have a pretty good idea of what to do.  i had NAM's daughter try it on for fit...and it was perfect.  my little cousin will love it!  i think i'll make her a hat out of the same yarn. 

(special thanks to knitlisters marina, catherine, judi, marie, sue, karin, dorothea, karen and judy for being so incredibly helpful!)
the stashbuster afghan is no more!
in other news,  i decided to abandon the stashbuster afghan.  i know, i  just started the thing.  but i honestly didn't want to knit an afghan.  at least not a plain ol' garter stitch one.  so...i raided my yarn stash, putting aside all the stuff i was sure i wouldn't use.  boxed it up and...gave it away to NAM.  i was tired of looking at it, and anyway, isn't gluttony a sin?  plus....i want to upgrade my stash a bit.  nice wool, cashmere, mohair.  not that there's anything wrong with the lovely acrylics i have!  oh, what's that you say?  i'm becoming a YARN SNOB?  well, maybe a little...but in a -good- way!
swatches...not just for telling time!
(surely i'm not the only one who remembers SWATCH watches...and had more than one!  my first one came with a mini swiss army knife...) 
anyway, i started a swatch for the accordion sweater.  my office gets so dang-on cold (i generally don't like air conditioning) that i decided to make a sweater to keep at work.  now, realistically, it could very well be winter before the thing is finished, but hey, sweaters are always good to have in winter!  i have about 1-1/2 skeins of a lovely yarn i'd like to use.  i'm hoping my LYS has more of it.  the problem with this LYS, though, is that it's more like a warehouse or something.  they don't have labels on the yarn.  everything is sold in bulk and you pay by the ounce.  so for acrylics and cottons, which is most of what they have, it can end up being a great deal. this is the same dark gray yarn that i used to make the cabled mini bag (pictures coming eventually). looks like it will make a lovely cozy sweater.
so while we're talking about do you do yours?  my gauge for this sweater should be: 18 sts/ 28 rows=4" in stockinette.  i'm making my swatch probably about 5"x5" (maybe a little bigger) with a garter stitch border.  i figure this will help the swatch lie nice and flat when i measure (and plus it will look nice whenever i get around to assembling a nice knitting journal).  is this appropriate?  or should i just do 18 stitches and 28 rows and see if it measures to 4"? 

Monday, July 19, 2004

another FO

[ mood meter happy happy joy joy ]

stick a fork in it baby cuz the cabled mini bag is DONE!

this is only the beginning...

 Posted by Hello
...of my stashbuster afghan.  you may be able to tell that i started with 2 different shades of red before going to the rainbow multi yarn.  we'll just see how this works out.  like i've said, it's easy, just plain knitting.  i have no idea how many stitches i cast on, so i have no idea how big the thing will be.  i'm not sure what i'll do when/if i run out of rainbow colored yarn.  we'll just keep knitting and see what happens.  it will be functional, even if it's not gorgeous.  but it's the means to and end so i try to keep that in mind. i think this would definitely qualify as bad ass knitting :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2004

stash buster

i decided to try to use up a lot of the yarn in my stash by making an afghan.  i'm making it in rainbow colors.  i cast on a bunch of stitches onto size 13, 29" circs and i'm just knitting knitting knitting.  this will be good to work on when i'm watching tv or just don't want to think too hard.  i'm starting with red and i'll work that until i'm tired of it then change to orange, and keep going like that.  i want to be able to justify buying some new yarn so i figure i need to use up a lot of what i have first.  plus,  none of my yarn is particularly exciting.   mostly acrylic stuff that i got off ebay.  which will be fine for some of the stuff i'm planning to make for christmas gifts (mittens, hats, etc) but i want to upgrade the stash a bit.  get some pretty wools, cottons, neat sock yarns, etc. 
i'm almost finished with my mini cabled bag.  it's blocked and i'm just whipping up the i-cord strap.  i'm pretty excited that i figured out how to make i-cord (thanks to my handy dandy stitch n bitch book!).  i still have to find a neat button to use for a closure, but aside from that i plan to finish the strap and attach it sometime today!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

what's next?

[ mood meter excited about the blackberry cobbler i just made ]

so my task for the next few months is to try to use up a decent amount of the yarn that's in my stash. until i do this, i simply cannot justify buying any new yarn.  earlier today i was pawing through my big huge 53-gallon storage bin where i keep my yarn (mostly organized by color in big plastic bags), and found a few skeins of yarn that has a stitch gauge of 2.5 stitches per inch on size 15 US needles.  i have 4 full and 2 partial skeins of this yarn, which is classic elite weekend cotton.  the 4 full skeins are about 100 grams/51 yards.  so i'm wondering...what the heezy can i make out of this?  it's really pretty...variegated...colors range from medium blue to light green (some might call this celery or celadon or something along those lines).  
i'm halfway thinking about trying to make a shawl out of it.  i'd make it like i was making one of those tried and true dishcloths:
*  Cast on 4 stitches 
*  Knit 4 stitches 
*  Knit 2 sts, yarnover, knit to end
*  Repeat Row 3 until it's as big as I want it ... then cast off. 
maybe i'll try using bigger needles -- size 19 or 20 maybe? -- to make it lacier.  that would be a nice experiment.  i'll work on it -after- i eat some cobbler.  num num :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

knitting in the news, take 2

but this time it doesn't sound like an entirely positive thing.

a woman restaurant owner in Delaware, Ohio thought briefly about retiring a few years ago, but changed her mind. she said, "What am I going to do . . . sit at home and knit?"

my answer: "HELL ,YEAH!!!"

knitting in the newspaper

[ mood meter | content ]

this brief article was in today's columbus dispatch:

Purl from the past returns

A new generation can honor the past as the American Red Cross brings back its ‘‘Knit Your Bit’’ kit.

The kit, which features the tools to knit a pair of soft socks, was launched during World War I and became an even more visible sign of aid and comfort to U.S. troops during World War II. The homemade socks also served a practical purpose, as many American textile mills and manufacturers were tapped to produce military goods.

The 2004 version comes in a collectible tin that includes an insert with original-era poster artwork along with needles, yarn and instructions.

‘‘With the growing popularity in knitting, especially among young adults, we saw this as an opportunity to share an interesting bit of Red Cross history with a younger generation,’’ said Darren Irby of the Red Cross.

Irby noted that the knitting section of the Red Cross Web site has seen a boom in traffic during the past few years, with knitters seeking historic patterns.

The Knit Your Bit kit sells for $25, with proceeds supporting the organization.

On the Internet: www.redcross

Monday, July 12, 2004

this is what you call taking stuff too far

 Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

what you see above, gentle reader, is only a fraction of my stash of knitting needles. this, clearly, does not include my dpns or circs. this is straights only. but truth be told, it's only part of the straights that i own. i have several huge pairs, ranging in size from 13 to 20. they wouldn't fit in the vase. yes, i planned to cut a huge bunch of daisies today and put them in here, but i decided it would make a better home for my needles.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

questions: i can never ask just one

so this evening i was working away on my mitten. for those of you just tuning in, i'm making a pair of mittens for my 5-year-old cousin. i'm using the book "knit mittens!" by robin hansen and i'm working on the stop-and-go mittens (first pattern in the book).

i decided to measure my progress so far to see how much more i had to go before decreasing for the top of the mitten. the book says that the finished mitten length is supposed to be 7-1/2". what the...? is it me, or does that seem obscenely long for a 5-year-old's hand? heck, MY hand (from the heel of my hand to tip of middle finger) is 7-1/2" long. could this be a typo, ya think? or am i measuring totally wrong?

i'm not sure whether i ought to keep going until i reach the finished length as stated in the book, or just wing it and see what happens. this is just the "rough draft" mitten. luckily one of my "best good friends" has a 6 year old daughter who i could try the mitten on to see how it fits. i may see her tomorrow so maybe i'll try being patient until then :-)

in the meantime, if y'all have any more words of advice for a novice mitten knitter, please do le me know!

making thumb holes -- advice from other knitters

someone suggested posting the advice i received on thumb holes onto the knitlist. i've decided to put them here, so as not to fill folks' in-boxes with what could end up being a pretty lengthy message. my original question is posted below (waste yarn and other stuff i don't get). read on to see what some knitters suggested. i hope they help you, too!


OK, you knit the first 2 stitches of the round. Very carefully take
them off of the needle by threading a length of yarn through them. I
usually use cotton yarn in a bright color that does not match
whatever yarn I'm knitting with. It makes it easier for me to see.


For a twisted M1, you lift the yarn between the stitch you've just
knit and the stitch that is next to be knit, place it on the left
needle, and knit into the back leg of it. Most of the knitting
magazines or basic knit books have pictures of this. I don't
understand why they have you doing it here, though. If you've just
put the first 2 stitches on a piece of waste yarn, doing a twisted M1
increase is going to make those 2 stitches pull in way too much.

> cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole.

You will have a much easier time with this if you just use a simple
backwards loop cast on for these 4 stitches. Trust me on this one,
I've tried other methods & this one seems to be simplest, and the
results look great.


I'm assuming that you started off with probably 31 stitches? If you
put 2 of those stitches on waste yarn, you would then have 29
stitches. Casting on 4 stitches for the top of the thumb hole would
then give you 33 stitches.

> working in striped pattern, knit until mitten is finished length,
less 6 rounds.

Or, knit until the mitten part above the ribbing is about the length
from the base of the palm to the tip of your little finger. You'll
then probably be reducing stitches for the next 6 rounds.


> next round: K2, place on a piece of waste yarn
> (this is the first thing i don't get)

or put on a holder. putting it on a piece of scarp
yarn is less intrusive. use a yarn needle and pick up
those stitches and let them swing free!

> with twisted M1, cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole.
> you will have 33 stitches. (HUH?)

I'm going to assume you have 29 sts around?

an M1 is like a pick up. Um. You know, I would use
either a cable or half-hitch pick up for this. the
point being that you are creating a hole for the thumb
to go thru. basically you need four new stitches not
attached to the knitting below.


Though I'm not familiar with your specific pattern, I've made a lot
of mittens and they're all basically the same. You wrote:

"... next round: K2, place on a piece of waste yarn (this is the
first thing i don't get) with twisted M1, cast on 4 sts over the
thumb hole. you will have 33 stitches ..."

When you're making a thumb, you first have to 'park' some stitches
on a piece of waste yarn while you continue knitting the rest of the
mitten. Later you'll return to these stitches, place them on some
needles, pick up a few more stitches around the circle which is the
thumb hole and knit the thumb separately.

So, your pattern says to K 2, leaving these on your right-hand
needle. Then you'll need to thread the next X-number of stitches
(your snip doesn't say, it's probably about ? 10 ? sts which you
created by increasing, usually including and between the two M1
stitches) onto a piece of waste yarn - I use a yarn needle - and
remove them from your left-hand needle. Leave these dangling all on
their own until you're ready to knit the thumb later. Then, pulling
on your working yarn a bit to tighten the gap created by the parked
stitches, cast on 4 sts onto the right-hand needle. On your needles
you should now have 33 sts. Keep on knitting the remainder of your
mitten according to your pattern.

When it's time to knit the thumb, you'll thread the parked stitches
onto some needles and pick up probably about ? 4 ? stitches around
the thumb hole to complete the circle which will be the thumb.
There's inevitably a bit of a gap somewhere here so afterwards I use
the thumb's yarn ends to darn this area and make it stronger.


I think what this pattern is trying to get you to do is what we call a folk thumb - where you put aside a few live stitches on a big safety pin or 12" length of string or yarn (not the yarn you are knitting with), then cast on the same number (or a one or two less) at the same spot on the next round, then close the hole. If your mitt is about 33 st around, that might mean putting aside 6-10 stitches on the bottom of the thumb hole, and on the next round, casting on about that many stitches across the top of the thumb hole.

You have to make this hole fit the base of your 5-year-old's thumb, and I routinely find patterns too tight in there. To tell the truth, you are going to do better to abandon the pattern at this point, try something out, try it on the little girls hand, see if it fits, and redo it bigger or smaller if it doesn't. Go biggish for best fit, and then when you pick up the stitches for the thumb and work it up, you can knit two together every once in a while to snug it to the thumb as you go up. This leaves some ease at the base of the thumb, which allows for comfort.

When you cast on the stitches over the top of the thumb hole, the pattern recommends a M1 cast on. Its just a bunch of backward e's. You don't want it to unravel while you knit to the top of the hand. Any cast on will do. You can use for M1 cast-on and probably find directions on the Web. Whatever you did to cast on the cuff works too.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

well, whaddya know?

[ mood meter | groggy ]

okay. so after requesting help from the wise ones on the knitlist, this whole thing about how in the world to make thumb holes in mittens became crystal clear. when i got home this evening, i couldn't wait to jump right in. but i played a few games of tonk and spades with JWJ and his parents (and sipped on a jack daniels downhome punch) before getting cozy on the couch with my needles. i just did what the directions said and ended up with a lovely mitten hole!

thanks to everyone who emailed me about how to do this, especially: starr, dolma, robin and catherine.

i like the striped pattern, but i'm going to use this mitten as "rough draft" LOL the rest of the mitten will be done with the plain purple yarn. i'm tired of changing colors every 2 or 3 rows! that would make for an awful lot of ends to weave in at the end! for the "real" mittens maybe i'll use the variegated or something to make it interesting.

and speaking of stripes...does anyone have a better way of joining yarn? all i've been doing is tying on the new yarn to the old and knitting away. i don't like that method very much but i don't know any alternatives. holla if you can help!

Friday, July 09, 2004

waste yarn and other stuff i don't get

[ mood meter | sleeeeeepy ]
[ what i'm listenin' to | back in the day (puff) -- erykah badu ]

i started making my first pair of mittens (christmas gift for a young cousin who's about 5-ish), and i've gotten to a part that i don't quite understand how to do. i've gotten past the cuff and thumb gore, now it's time to make the thumb hole.

the directions for the thumb hole:

- next round: K1, place on a piece of waste yarn (this is the first thing i don't get)
- with twisted M1 (i get how to do that), cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole. you will have 33 stitches. (HUH?)
- working in striped pattern, knit until mitten is finished length, less 6 rounds.
(how the heezy do i know?!)

what the feezy does all this mean? anyone? anyone? if you can help me make sense of this...PLEASE do!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

what? no knitting?

[ mood meter | hungry ]

i didn't bring any knitting to work today. i feel so...naked LOL even if i don't get a chance to -do- any knitting during my workday, i at least like to have some with me. i will start those baby socks tonight...after JWJ and i clean the house in preparation of his parents' visit. shouldn't take long if we just hunker down and get it finished. that oughtta leave plenty of time for knitting. or maybe i'l -finally- put that hutch together for my desk so i can clear my desk of junk.


turns out that those cable-stitch socks i thought were for babies really aren't. guess they were baby-cables (ie small cables) as opposed to baby-size socks with a cable pattern. anyway. i found a perfectly appropriate baby sock to use instead. but now i'm thinking....hey it's july....i need to get going on whatever i'm making for christmas!

but now i gotta get going and get ready for work.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

gotta love grateful recipients

[ mood meter | eh... ]

so for the past several days there has been a thread on knitlist about grateful and ungrateful recipients. personally, i've never encountered ungrateful ones, but many people have. it's sad, really. but then again maybe most people don't understand -why- people knit stuff when they can just get stuff from the store. but i'll save that for another post.

anyway, i was so excited to finally finish the baby booties i made for my co-worker tracy's new baby girl, alexandra. tracy was not at her desk when i got to work so i left them for her (we work for the same company, but on different floors). she called me later this afternoon, saying she was nearly in tears because the booties are so beautiful, and that she didn't want to even put them on alexandra. ha! that nearly made -me- cry! but then, and this is the best part if you ask me, she asked me to teach her how to knit. she even offered to pay me! but for me, sharing the art of the craft is payment enough.

and because i'm so thrilled that she loved the booties, i just started on a pair of cabled socks for the baby. baby stuff is so much fun to make, i swear. little alexandra is going to turn into my baby-stuff guinea pig...since i don't have any babies of my own :-)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

bootie 2 -- not done...

[mood meter | irritated ]

okay so i haven't gotten the 2nd bootie finished yet. i'll try to finish tonight. i wanted to get it done yesterday but spent the whole day with mi familia, and got into a game of trivial much for knitting! this is my first day back to work after slightly more than a week-long vacation. i'm SO not ready for this, but here goes!


i finished the bootie...YAY!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

bootie 1 -- done!

 Posted by Hello

whew! i -finally- got the first baby bootie finished. i'll cast on for its mate today and get it done by monday. you see i crocheted a cute shell-stitch edging around the cuff...makes it much girlier :-) even JWJ said it was cute and that's a word that hardly EVER comes out of his mouth haha

Friday, July 02, 2004

she's baaaaaaack!

i get bored easily, what can i say? is very cool, but i think since i've been there, blogger has gone way up on the cool meter. so.....i'm back!

i've been fooling with this thing for the better part of the afternoon, trying to get it all set up. which means that i have NOT been knitting. so i'm gonna get back to it. i want those booties finished by monday!

ugh...starting over

so i cast on stitches to redo that bootie i screwed up so horribly. i'm thinking...the original pattern calls for 24 rounds of k1p1 for the cuff. i think when i finish the booties i'll crochet a pretty little shell-stitch edging around the cuffs. whaddya think?

oh yeah i learned the long-tail cast on the other day. i like it so much better than my old standby, the knit on cast on. so i'mma stick with it. until i learn another one, that is.

kvetching about kitchener

i am so sad about this. i was working on baby booties for a coworker. about 4am i was nearly finished with the first one. decided (against my better judgment) to kitchener the seam to make a nice invisible sole (these were worked in the round from the cuff to the sole). i even printed off color, step-by-step directions and STILL messed it up!! tried to undo it and only succeeded in making a tangled mess so now...i have to start my cute little booties all over. :-(

Thursday, July 01, 2004

new project on the sticks

i -finally- started a pair of booties for a work friend's new baby girl. i don't have pix yet but the pattern is "one strand booties" and you can get it here. i'm using red heart soft baby yarn (it's a 3-ply sport weight yarn). the color is called pastel fruits. i'd like to get at least the first bootie finished tonight but we'll see. i'm feeling all hormonal so i might just chalk up the knitting tonight and take my moody ass to sleep :-)

... this has been a QuietStorm production, dahling ...