Friday, December 30, 2005

don't mess with me

....a small rant for yarn store owners

My mom the knitter and I did our review of projects at hand, and concluded we'd be remiss if we didn't pop into the local yarn shop. Knitters Logic, its right near the eye doctor she's on her way to, if we take the long way home. I'm in the car, pronto.

The shop sells all kinds of wonderful yarn and yet neither of us ever leaves with much of it. Even when its on sale. Even when we enter with a mission. Its like some force overcomes us and we devolve while inside. We are weakened jellyfish upon departure. Being crazy optimists, we keep going back.

This time we figured out what's wrong. The place is a mess. Its visual overload. Our brains can't sort it out. We get fatigued. There's yarn everywhere but no space to look at it in. The cubbies aren't organized logically. You have to ask the three people at the table knitting to get up everytime you want to go by them, or skip half the shop. We feel awful because one of them is, like, nine and a half months pregnant. She probably needs to finish a baby blanket to trigger labor and who wants to stop her? The other one has a big pile of yarn that falls over each pass, increasing our sense of dread. You are forced to tell the owner what you're looking for, which in my case is inarticulate half-thoughts such as"ummmm, I think I want something merino-ish - it could be chunky or worsted- like a Malabrigo but I know you don't sell that but really, its not that I'm set on that, I just want,ummm, nothing too fussy, kind of blue but not navy and not powder...kind of natural, not scratchy..." and then she starts showing you her idea of what she thinks you want. That's when the Flight Instinct kicks in, because now I have to explain to her why I'm rejecting her taste in knitting in her store, as she brings me fluffy mohair-ish skeins in just the shades I don't want.

I left with one skein of Noro Korchoran and some dpns to gift a knitting friend. And a feeling of needing a cup of strong coffee really really badly.

Rant over.

Another hat, this one a special request in baby alpaca chunky, shown here seconds after it was off the needles:DSCF0030
The pattern was a hybrid of several, the ribbing is a knitted in double weight hem for extra ear coverage. The yarn, Misti Alpaca Chunky, is heavenly to knit. Even my icy hands got warm working it. Not for you southern knitters.

I started a hat for myself- I just can't stop hatting . I can never figure out what weight is a thick & thin yarn - do you judge it by its skinny parts or its fluffy fat ones? Or take an average? In this case I made the classic mistake of starting something too late at night and insisting that it was the yarn's fault- not mine- that it was coming out strangely. This morning , I realized I'd taken into consideration the ball band suggestion for size 5 needles , except it was 5european (which should have been 8us). I cast on accordingly,as if it were a lighter weight yarn, thus having one inch of a king kong size hat on the needles. Rip. V2, tonight.

Ennervating yarn store aside, it was a lovely visit to DC and environs, incuding my first time at this place,museum the new Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. There was a Navajo woman demonstrating spinning and carding churro yarn , and natural dyes, but my sons spotted her ahead and literally hustled me by, one on each arm, to another area. My guys, they know me too well, if I started to get into it with her, we'd have to skip the room with the gold, and evil weaponry. I mean really, where are my priorities? Oh yeah, post.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

my monmouth

The last gift hat is ready to hit the road with us in the morning, when we head off to Washington/Maryland for the festivities. We've got chanukah, christmas and an anniversary to cover, and a slew of gatherings in the next couple days, so uncork the champagne and spin the dreidel. And car knitting! With no deadlines.

I am so proud of this hat I could just pop.
Monmouth, brim down
Monmouth, brim up
(you have to see its beanie-like essence on a head to really appreciate this view)

pattern: Monmouth by Sarah Bradberry
needles: size 9us dpns
yarn: Malabrigo held double for the brim and Araucania held double for the crown
notes: why am I raving on this? First, the brim covering your ears is double weight, in this case 4 strands of Malabrigo, because its a knit-in hem. So soft, so warm, so cushy. It looks finished and well made and solves that problem of knit hats never seeming to be warm enough for ears. The design lent itself to changing colors from the brim to the crown, a behaviour modification approach to get my variegated ya-ya's out in a way I can love. Or stand under. I am definitely making one of these for ME. When the brim is folded up, it sits like a hip little beanie. This one's going to my favorite bro-in-law, who sadly lost his last little hip beanie. I think he'll be happy. I'm sticking some chocolates in it so I'm hedging...but I don't think I really need to. I just like him that much.

Whatever your persuasion, enjoy these days! As the dreidel says, keep an eye out for miracles. They're all around us.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Thursday, December 22, 2005

done done done

Knitting small projects for gifts. I'm on a hat jag. I could easily move to a scarf jag. Maybe even a neckwarmer jag. Winter is long.

The Jester Hat
pattern: by Elizabet Morrison, I added some circumference to accomodate an especially large dreadlocked head
yarn: Malabrigo and Araucania held together throughout
needle: size 9us dpn
notes: when will I learn restraint with variegated yarn? It'll work for this artsy musician nephew but I invariably feelit looked better on the skein than on the object.
what I learned: aside form the variegated thing? My first i-cord! And my first knitted ball. Good cheap entertainment.jester2

The Layered Tube Scarf

pattern: fromAlterKnits by Leigh Radford
yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze(mmmm)
needles: size 7us circular
notes: when in doubt,or feeling frazzled, knit a tube of Kidsilk Haze . I tacked the silk to the knitting by sewing on a couple of freshwater pearls, so the inner layer didn't escape the tube.
what I learned: An alternative bind off, using a darning needle. The knitting was a cinch. Finding silk by the yard? Not so much. The local fabric store had "silk like" fabric and I just couldn't see that happening next to the KidSilk. Upon further self examination, I wasn't up for hand hemming 60" of silk either. tube2 I found these wonderful people at Thai Silks who sent me gorgeous colored silk chiffon scarves. I wasn't sure what color was best and at $3. a piece - uh huh, thats really $3. each- I bought three to choose from. Someone else had already hemmed them. Now I have an orange and a light green silk scarf to tubify at my leisure.

Ribbed Shoulder Shrug

pattern: modified from Staff Shrugs IK summer 2005
yarn: Frog Tree merino, worsted weight. You know how people say something's buttery? This is. It really is. Its a non profit womens cooperative in Peru that makes it, so go buy some. The color work is Brown Sheep Lambs Pride
needles: size 10 us
notes: I changed the pattern by lengthening the sleeves (the pattern came to just into the elbow), adding the colorwork, and increasing the width of the part that goes across the back, a little more coverage is good in the winter. My niece was openly coveting a shrug I made her mom, so I'm good here.
what I learned, that I should already know by now:
If I'd read all the way through the pattern before I started it, I'd have known I was, essentially, knitting a very long 1x1 ribbed scarf with flared ends, then seaming up the arm sections. Wouldn't I have been happier starting and ending it on circulars and not seaming ? Oh yeah. Just as I finished seaming, I saw I'd done the color work slightly differntly on each sleeve, or we can say, each sleeve is subtley unique. I'd thought about writing it down as I did it but,well, you know.

Another hat, in progress. Might be my favorite yet. Yes, that is more variegated Malabrigo on the bottom. I'm hopeless.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

optical illusions

What you're looking at appears to be 2 WIPs and some yarn.
Its actually a scarf, a shrug, and four different styles of hats. I'm not showing the mitts.
Illusion or delusion? Check back when the dreidels fly.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

decoy, cloud, distraction

Sounds like a duck hunting trip. Not!
In reverse order:
distraction so I get the Sundance catalog. Curse them! This is the collection that started me on a three year binge of beaded jewelry making not so long ago. Its innocent enough , you page through it, admire the goods, the graphics, think " hmmm, I can make that, I'll just go grab me some turquoise and leather and silver teeny tiny beads..." next thing you know you're selling jewelry from a gallery and your family is constantly stepping on microscopic beads that got away but just kill when you're barefoot. I think we all agree it so much nicer to step on snips of yarn fluff.

Which is all to say, there's Ann bravely leading her future search gang to perfection (you go girl, I'm with the group in the cocktail lounge but really...we support you!) and I see my own private (almost) perfection sweater,if I added a little shaping to the bod, there at Sundance Go take a look, I would love patterns for half of these.
Which brings me to decoy. Over Thanksgiving, my jolly houseful was pretty much a "Who's Who of Getting Handknits from Me Soon" so I resorted to decoy knitting and hid the gift yarn.
decoy1 I've been thinking of it as my back assward sweater, my starting point was to make a sweater to go with the button I bought. So you can see why that sweater from Sundance caught my eye.decoy2Now that I've got the back almost done, I'm not so sure about them together. No matter, as soon as the fiesta broke up on Sunday, it was put away... I pulled out the gift projects and that brings me to cloud. The tube scarf in KidSilk Haze.tubecloud2 >After 4 inches I thought I'd go stir crazy working on this, then something kicked in. Its meditative, its weightless, it flows effortlessly from the little light needles, you can knit 3 stitches or 300 or 3000 without jerking your gray cells to recall if there was a YO or a decrease or a buttonhole to do.tubecloud1 Its not the knit that you can escape into but its just right for this week. And we all float on, OK....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

flora unfortunata

The sighting of a rare flower.

Paradoxically, we'd prefer it to bloom less often. Like not at all. Most likely to grow at the confluence of Bad Decisions Even Though You Know Better and Stubborn-ness. Maybe you recognize it by its common name? Partially ripped KidSilk Haze.

I'm making the multi-layered tube scarf from Alterknits, its the smaller version of the shawl at the link, essentially a long narrow tube of KidSilk Haze with silk fabric through the center, with some beads and trinkets on the ends and give it as a gift.

I knew I cast on too tight, I know KSH stretches like mad in open stitches, yet I still decided that I knew better than the pattern how many stitches to cast on. So, 12" later I had a ballooning tube of ridiculous width billowing out from the choked cast on edge. Curiously, the fuschia seems to intensify as its knit, not diffuse. Go figure. I thought the spaces between the threads would take the edge off.

Out it came. I cast on (on bigger needles this time) with the correct number of stitches in a pale blue and so far, 3" later, so good.

But enough about knitting, I've got pies to bake,and a houseful of my favorite people - my loud hungry extended family - showing up here in just a few hours for a four day fiesta. Have a happy thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

and that's (t)hat

So sorry for the tortured title. The last thing I should be doing is blogging but is there, I ask, any better tool for avoiding what one really should be doing?
The last little hat had to be made when I was heading (ooh bad pun, so sorry again) over to my friend Susan's for a potluck lunch & head shaving with only a bowl of garlicky pasta & veggies. That's no way for a knitter to show up, a hat it had to be.
I knew that she'd need something snug and smallish, as well as soft and very warm. peoplepeople
It being the 11th hour, I made do with what was here. I improvised. It worked, I'm especially pleased with the smooth round shape, and it isn't too long on the sides. So, the pattern follows.
little rolled brim hat
• • • • • • • • • • •
fits women small/medium
yarn: 2 strands held together of Hopyard Spinnery Merino in hand dyed rust/brown/orangey shades and Brown Sheep Lambs Pride orange
needles: size 8 dpn
gauge: approx 3 stitches/inch
I knit a little on the loose side, so if you're a tight knitter, go to a size 9 needle.

Cast on 60 stitches, spreading stitches across needles and join, placing marker to keep track of round ending . If you want a larger hat, this is the time to cast on additional circumference. Just muliply the number of inches desired by 3 and that's your number of stitches.

Knit even for 6". If you want the hat to cover your ears, add length here, to 7-8 inches.

Next row: *K3,K2together* around.
Then work 2 rows even.
Next row: *K2,K2together*around.
Then work 2 rows even.
Next row: *K2K2together*around
Then work 1 row even.
Next row: *K1K2together*around
Then work 1 row even.
Next row: *K2together*
I purled my last decrease row just to have a tiny stitch circle on top. Truthfully, I did by accident but liked how it looked. Its an option.
Continue this until you have 4-6 stitches left. Cut leaving a long tail, thread the tail through a darning needle and pull it through the stitches left on the knitting needle, pulling them firmly together. Weave in ends, and you're good to go. If I'd time I would have soaked and dried it to make it even softer but the merino was so soft, it was fine as is.
Model is my resident 12 yo who managed to recover from the disappointment of not being able to keep this hat, in time for a photo op.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Need a couple of other hat ideas, just click your way over to Susan's serialized top down hat this week, or to Amy Boogie's Trifecta.

Monday, November 21, 2005

hats, the sequel

The Cirque du Suess hat is successfully duplicated. Calliope music, please. cirque1 I am enjoying this little hat. Late last night, my cousin popped in on her way from NY to Newport. She said "ooh, nice hat, that is so in style right now" When Melanie says things like this, I perk right up - she's not only much younger than I but she grew up in France and has that je ne sais quoi thing. Not that style reveals itself here, as I squint into the sun with a still- damp-from-blocking hat on my head.cirque2
Since Libby asked, the pattern follows. Writing it up makes me truly appreciate the talents of designers who write patterns well. Which is a nice way of saying.....well, proceed with caution on mine.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Cirque Du Suess Hat

fits women size medium
yarn: bulky weight wool with a bumpy texture works well , guesstimating 100 yards
(mine was some mystery wool given to me long ago, no info on it)
needles: size 8 dpns , size 8 circular , 16 or 24"

note: you're using needles 2 sizes smaller than what you'd think for the weight yarn, so you get a nice dense fabric that'll hold the shape.

The hat is knit top down.

Forming the top flume:
On one dpn, cast on 7 stitches. Do not join. Knit first three stitches onto a 2nd dpn. Knit next 3 stitches onto a 3rd dpn. Knit last 2 stitches onto the 4th dpn. Now join the round. Knit one round even. If you wish to exaggerate the flume on top, you can knit another ,or many more, rounds even now.

The top of the hat: On next round, increase 6 stitches evenly spaced. I do this by knitting into the front and back of a stitch, with nubbly yarn its a hidden increase. If you use yarn with better stitch definition, a lifted increase might be a better choice. Knit next round even. Place marker to keep track of beginning of rounds.

On next round, increase 7 stitches evenly spaced. Knit next round even.

On next round* Increase 8 stitches evenly spaced on the round. Knit next round even.* Repeat from * until the radius of the hat from the center flume is about 5 inches when flattened. This is somewhere around 70 stitches but will depend on your yarn and gauge. If you wish a larger hat, now is the time to keep increasing the top diameter.

Turning the corner: Purl next round. Purl second round , this time onto the circular needle. This may be unnecessary but its easier to handle. These purl rows put you over the corner of the hat, you're now knitting the sides that come down.

Sides: Knit even for 4 inches or as long as you like it. Bind off in knit, creating a roll brim. Weave in ends. Give it a quick soak and let dry standing up with some towels in it to keep the shape.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
If you try this pattern , let me know how it comes out!

I have another hat I came up with this weekend, its tale and pattern, too. I know, what was in the drinking water? I'll save it for a day or so. Meanwhile, if you want good gift ideas, hit Susan's treasure of a list, gifts to knit with 1-3 skeins. She should win a Public Service to Knitters award for linking all these, yeah, that's the unfortunately named PeSKy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

this entry sponsored by the letters h-a-t

Hats. They are turning my head this week. The plan was for mittens but they weren't fated.

That oddly shaped purple hat I was making to go with the fingerless mitts gift last entry, well, when it was done I thought to myself "huh, that's a weird one" . Plopping it on my own head, went to the mirror for a good laugh and discovered that Libby and Lee-Ann were right - they both commented encouraging things about it- its totally wearable. Maybe even stylish.

I then had to grab me some other bumpy yarn and cast on to replicate my mistakes & odd moves clever design for a Cirque du hat to keep. I've definitely got the flume part down. I'm hoping I can fake the move that made a ridge. flume FYI its not gigantic, thats a baby pumpkin and size 8 needles.

By the morning light, now I've got ridge. The hat is looking more Suess than Cirque. ridge

More hats: both Sons Who Don't Wear Wool took an interest in having a hat knit for them. This is a startling turn. The younger one felt some cashmere and said he wouldn't mind a hat made from it. Umm...... no. I'll pop for some merino. The older one asked for "something I can wear mostly at home to, y'know, squoosh down my hair so it won't be puffy when I go out".

There is no puff in his hair. But I know better than to debate hair with a 15 year old. I played it cool and said in as close to a monotone as I could, "well..since we'll be in Northampton on Saturday, we can stop by Webs and I guess you can pick some yarn out." Inside? I was jumping up and down, chattering with exclamation points. Anyway, I'd already planned on dragging him & his cousin to Webs before we left town , now I had an excuse they could relate to. He hasn't asked me to knit anything since a purple sweater with penguins on it in kindergarten. I hopped right on that one too. I don't think that's what put him off saw a lot of action. Really.

My traveling companions in Noho - please try not to be distracted by the hair that so obviously needs squooshing on the right- NoHoKidssmjpg were way into the food and the used CD store so we got to Webs just before it closed. Can I just say? How lucky is MamaCate to have this as her local yarn joint? I always get overwhelmed by choice there. So much yarn, so much space to look at it in, that whole back garage warehouse full of discounted yarn and all those cones. I needed more time, we left with 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss WoolCotton on sale half off for the squoosh hat.

Every winter I try to make close fitting 2x2 rib hats that don't have wonkiness in the decreases or top shaping. blocking Still haven't achieved it. Fortunately these hats are worn by people taller than me, so I don't have to look at the wonk daily. Including the Squoosh, shown here drying with an assortment of What Was on The Counter today. Thus documenting my wonkiness level as well as why we are the place you want to come to first on a scavenger hunt.

Thanks for the comments on the ribbon and laceup mittens.cairn Blogger makes all the comments anonymous, I often can't figure out how to find your blogs or email to write back. Just know I appreciate every word. And if you feel so inclined, leave your blog address in the comment.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

literally laced

Having recovered my senses, I finished the Laceup Fingerless Mitts and went silk ribbon shopping. Its entirely possible I chose to make these because of the ribbon.
I wasn't sure what color I was looking for but when I saw it, knew this was the one. I don't have to look far to figure out my inspirationcolors I mean, really, how literal am I? Look for red on Valentine's Day and green in the spring...
The colors appear faded in this image, they're richer in real life
pattern: from Alterknits
yarn: some heavy-ish mystery wool boucle I've had here for a while (no label but very soft after blocking)

Score one more for Nona's knitalong. My next Peaceful Palms are going to be different than these. And even more literal.

Also score almost one more for my holiday gift list. I decided to accessorize these with the leftover yarn. A scarf came out so ugly (how ugly? so ugly I couldn't bear to photograph, so ugly even having gorgeous Hanah hand dyed silk ribbon woven through its dropped stitches didn't help. That ugly.) I started a hat, with a laceup vent echoing the mitts. I knitted it top down not knowing how much yarn I have left. It came out ginormous and blob-like at 98 stitches around, so I ripped it back to the top at the part where I'd only increased to about 80 stitches. It had this odd flume at the top the first time around. But I did something funky when I picked up the stitches.hatstart and now, I seem to be knitting a miniaturized tent for Cirque Du Soleil.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

what i said yesterday?

I had a bad day yesterday. I rarely have bad days. When I do, its on the order of cosmic misalignment. Many things go wrong. I make goofy mistakes. And then announce them in public.

It seems I'll be the guest crafts columnist in this month's Modern Jackass Magazine .

So. Referring to yesterday's post: There's nothing wrong with the way the Laceup Fingerless Mitts are written, I remain an AlterKnits fan. When I ripped back and started again, I realized the thumb gussets are pretty much centered. All I needed to do was flip the friggin' mitt over, put it back on my arm and give it a little tug. The open eyeleted area would have fallen on the correct side of my arm.


Now that I'm redoing the gusset. I'll move it 3 or 4 stitches around to make a definite right handed mitt but its truly NOT necessary.

As far as bad days go, could have been worse than ripping out half a mitt and trumpeting it on a blog. Last bad day I wiped out all the work - hundreds of digital images- on an external hardrive . Yesterday's lowpoint? The above mentioned idiocy. Followed by the dramatic smashing of a wine glass filled with orange juice and EmergenC vitamin fizz- it looks festive that way, I thought it'd cheer me up- as it took a dive across my laptop keyboard. Then I went to bed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

the untinkable

Its not like it didn't cross my mind.
Lulled by her beautiful design & photos, the good clear instructions and- I admit it- the use of hand dyed silk ribbon, I decided to go ahead, flaunt reason and trust Leigh Radford in AlterKnits when it came to the second Lace Up Fingerless Mitt.
The instructions say: Make a second glove to match first.
OK. My first, sans ribbon lacing:correct

and then,this second glove to match the firstgoodone

Yeah. Well. Its not like I'm new to mittens. Last winter I took to fingerless mitts like...well, like Kay to One Shrug Wonders. Which is to say I have some experience in making sure the thumb gussets start in opposite places, corresponding with the digits themselves on the human hand. Yet, it wasn't till I tried the thing on to check for hand length that I realized the lacing & eyelets were going up the inside arm on the second glove.

Time to rip.
Most sad, this is my yarn I've been enjoying all along. It is is fuzzy and gnarly, wooly and messy, and warm, and pretty much, untinkable.

Monday, October 31, 2005

no trick

Some local color

...and now its time for another
• • • • She Shoots Book Swap• • • • •
New Knits on the Block
My brand new copy of this should go to someone who'll knit the great things in it for little kids. Ten years ago I would have been ripping into it, knitting a mermaid costume for my niece, the pirate hat & skull & crossbones bath getup for a son, and some very funky hats & toys. I just don't have this age group in my life - not in my gift needing life- right now. The ideas are fun, and a good range of skill levels. The DIY Knitty Gritty show host Vickie Howell put this book together.

So if you have a book to swap with me, drop me a note at ezisusATsnetDOTnet ( or in the comment below, just make sure you leave an address becasue Blogger anonymizes - is that a word?- allof them ). What book am I pining for? Hmm, a Jane Ellison Noro, or a Rowan knitting book , or maybe a skein or two of Kidsilk Haze.. as they say in the Yankee Swop cloumn, "will swop for what have you...?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Let the gifty knitting season begin.

Branching Out, for the first in a snowball of gift giving occasions, my mom's bday just after Thanksgiving. By the way? That's not my personal lump of Kryptonite in the background, its some coral that I stuck in to contrast its bright whiteness with the yarn's natural warm white shade, but the sun came out just as I shot. Superman, you can still drop by, anytime.

pattern: Branching Out from Knitty. This is the scarf to knit to get your lace chops. Well written, too.
yarn: Cashmere from Elann, Far East Collection. 1 skein . I think they're out of it now.
dimensions: blocked 6" wide x 60 " long
my 2¢:
The yarn is quite the bargain, @ us$12.50 . At first I wondered if it was living up to its cashmere pedigree hype. After a dunk & block, it became so light and soft that it floats around your neck, and its just lays, instead of hangs, on you. Warmth with no heft.
I've had a rough relationship with lace knitting. This pattern was a breakthrough. Still, I spent the first 75% of the scarf restraining myself from ripping it out. The needles, size 8, seemed so big for a lace pattern, the yarn too plain (I have this problem with color. I like it. Lots of it. ) The pattern alternately looked too messy or too fussy... I guess I"m an instant gratification girl at heart and lace takes some faith. It doesn't really sit up to be admired till you finsh it & block it.

Now, I love it. The only restraining I'm doing is from giving the scarf a test run in my personal wardrobe. Not really. But it crossed my mind to get another skein of this and dye it.... oh wait, what was that about gifty knitting?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

that big sucking socking sound

First I order a skein of yarn from an ebay store and just for fun, she throws in a sock pattern. Knitting socks? Nah, not really interested.

Second,the wonderfully generous and fleecy MamaCate deems me the winner of her oldest living WIP contest and gifts me with this beee-yyo-tiful Koigu.yarn3 Whatever it looks like on your monitor, its even richer and redder in person. I've never knit anything in Koigu. (I've also never won anything on a knitting blog. I am on a roll. ) It is sock weight. I'm not interested in knitting socks. Or am I? I browse the web for sock info, getting all- toe-up or down? Calculator or set pattern? Ribbed or sockinette? No lace, please. Where is a simple stockinette pattern that'll let me just knit 'round and 'round as the colors unwind?

Third, I looked down. At my favorite fall shoes. Those plain socks. Its just not right.feet

Is there a conspiracy afoot ?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

ursa MAJOR

I put out a call for the last of the critters from last winter's Knitting Happy Hours (see my archives in March & April for unparalleled bear & wine action ) for the Mother Bear Project , a charity. Look who showed up. group
There are almost as many UFO bears sprinkled around the area. Its been requested demanded that this winter's knitting happy hours only be scarf producing, for the increase/decrease impaired.

A testament to personality. And if you think tension and gauge don't matter, look at the assortment of sizes we came up with from the same pattern & yarns. We amuse ourselves endlessly naming them.

pattern: aWW2 classic from The Mother Bear Project
yarn: anything & everything machine washable - acrylic, cotton, superwash wool
degree of difficulty: you can do it
notes: no ends to weave in- they're all sealed inside!
Also, stuffing makes the shaping very forgiving,wine makes the shaping irregular, good company makes the wine more enjoyable, and the knitting very festive.
Festive, especially mid-winter, is good.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

yarn botany

warning: nothing Rhinebeck here. Not a whiff!
What I meant to say at the end of my last post was to see if the aggravating ebay yarn would be better when it bloomed, not blossomed. I did the scientific thing, soaking and airdrying a swatch from an earlier scarf start.before . Better but several degrees short of miraculous. after I wouldn't make anything that you wear on bare skin but a scarf that goes over a layer of clothes might be fine. This is now,officially, one of those get back to it when I feel like it deals.

I won't be feeling like it this week, because the Elann cashmere arrived, and I'm Branching Out.branching I'm showing tremendous discipline by knitting it plain white. Accordingly, I'm only swigging colorless beverages while working on it, which is cramping my early morning caffeine & knit style. I think I figured out why lace patterns & I don't always get along. I knit through the back loop and that makes some lace maneuvers slant the wrong way, unless you modify some specifics on how to do the stitches. I was feeling all out of step about this until I happened to visit Annie Modesitt's site and learned that 1) there's a name for what I do, its combination knitting and 2) that's the way she does it. And Annie Modesitt is pretty damn cool. She also says she writes her lace patterns explaining the effect you want (like a slant to the right) not the specific way to get there. Because (say it with me) in knitting , there's more than one way to do it right.