Sunday, December 19, 2004

me and my trusty 17's

Oh, I love my 17's!

In the past week, the two of us (my trusty 17's and I) have churned out 10 scarves. Just simple garter stitch, ma'am, but combining two or three yarns make for plenty of textural and color interest.

I've been knitting during intermission of our Holiday concerts and several people stop to feel the fabric and comment on the colors. My favorite combination is Kertzer Ranee and Crystal Palace Fizz. Add my trusty Daisy 17's and it's a delicious recipe for a quick holiday gift.

Did you finish the sweater, Afton? I haven't even touched the one I'm knitting. Too many quick little gifts to knit first. After Christmas, I'm determined to get in some good knitting time and finish the two sweaters I have on my needles.

umm.... don't hold your breath, though.

:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I hate my knitting

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!!!!!

Complain, moan, gripe, whine, whine, whine.

Look, I really, really, really wanted to finish the "never ending sweater" for Hanukkah this year. It didn't make last year with the various upheavels in my life but this year I was going to make it! And I'm on the second sleeve, everything else is made, except for the very short collar. And it's in the round so I don't even have to really sew it up.

But I swear, I have torn out rows CONTINUALLY with this sleeve. I just lost a good inch because the double seed was wrong, and no, probably nobody else could see it but dang it, I knew it was wrong!

(Fill in your favorite curse word here)

Well, back I go and maybe I will start to celebrate Christmas just to be able to give this gift away!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Knitting (Not) in Old London Towne

It already seems like my trip to London was a month ago rather than just 10 days ago. To a certain extent this trip also proved to me how much I've lost my yarnaholic tendencies-I didn't buy a single ball of yarn.

Dedicated yarn shops have more or less disappeared from central London over the last 8 years and in spite of being in both Selfridge's and John Lewis (although only for a very short time in each store, as this wasn't a shopping trip), the only yarn department I ended up visiting was the one in Liberty of London, which, unfortunately, was rather a disappointment. From being in the same light-filled room as the rest of the needlework department, the yarn department has been pushed into a corner of the main Tudor building, which is very, very dark because of both the lack of windows and the heavy, dark wood which makes up the floors and ceilings. On the side of good news, I think this development came about because of the lack of space for all the available yarn in the other room, but honestly they could have done something about providing better lighting. (The only available lighting came from track spotlights overhead-ugh.)

The overwhelming majority of yarn for sale at Liberty is made by Rowan, which has been the case for yonks (many years). It was fun to see all the yarn spread out in their cubicles, recognizing some old favorites (Wool Cotton being one) and many new ones. Like many other yarn companies, the shift at Rowan seems to be towards big or quick-knitting yarn, though there does seem to be a tendency to recycle old yarns into new ones, like Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply taking the place of Donegal Tweed (although we'll never see the huge number of shades that were available in Donegal's heyday).

If I were a beginning knitter and didn't know Rowan's past glory, my opinion would probably be very different than what it is, and, of course, there is still quite a bit of Rowan left in my stash. (When the word went out that they were going to discontinue Donegal, I snapped up about 4 patterns worth, which is still waiting to be knit up.) Even thumbing through the Rowan magazines available at Liberty didn't stir up my excitement like they used to do; so many of the designs look to me like reworkings of older ones or are aimed at the newer knitter, which was one of the reasons I let my Rowan subscription expire.

To me, it does seem odd that with England's woolly past, knitting is not more popular than it is on first glance, at least in London. There were certainly many, many shops offering knitted accessories, though I have a feeling that the articles for sale weren't made in the UK. Maybe I'm completely off on this assessment and would be thrilled if one of our UK visitors would set me straight. But for the meantime, at least to my eyes, knitting in the UK has about the same popularity as it does here in Israel, meaning it's still reserved for grannies making a jumper/sweater or waistcoat/vest for their grandchild. And, of course, there's nothing wrong with that either. :)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

NutKnit

I've been knitting during the Nutcracker intermissions, as I said I would, and so far, I've completed a Noro hat, and a Fizz/Ranee scarf and another Noro hat are on the needles. Now I wish I had a few more to play just so I can knit.





Monday, November 29, 2004

little knitting

As the holidays approach my RL work schedule becomes even busier and I have little time for knitting. The projects that I knit must be small because I have to take them with me down into the orchestra pit so I can knit during intermission. Here's the latest little project, a small purse knit with recycled silk from Nepal.



And proof that David's Once Again sweater exists, although it's much too bulky to carry with me to knit during orchestra breaks.



In the meantime, it's little knits like scarves, socks and mittens.

How big is your knitting?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Knitting for Feetsies

I knitted another pair of slippers. For this pair I used Homespun. It is not as "firm" as Wool-Ease Thick & Quick but it's soft, warm, and squishy. They can be worn with cuffs down, or you can fold them up and wear them like booties:



I also knitted some baby booties for a friend who is having a boy. I used Becky's Baby Bootie pattern in the larger size (4" sole) which I slightly modified. I'd like to note that I used the same size needle as called for in the pattern and baby sport weight yarn and the 3" and 4" sole is before you sew it together, at least in my case. At first I did the 3" pattern and the finished bootie had a 1.5" sole.



I also made her an umbilical cord hat, using Homespun baby yarn:



I have a blanket on the needles that I'm slowly making progress on. I'm waiting on some yarn to arrive and I'll be making some more slippers for holiday gift giving.

And, just to stress you out...there are only 33 knitting days until Christmas! Ho ho ho!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

look ma! no fingers!

I devised my own fingerless mitts pattern.
At least, I think it's my own pattern. I just knitted until things looked the way I wanted, but who knows if out there in the Universe my knitting twin has come up with the exact same pattern and has published it already.





I'll attempt to write out the pattern soon - if anyone is interested.

What's on your needles?



Thursday, November 11, 2004

If I can't knit in public, when can I knit?

I took the now 18 year old twins to a lecture last night. (Birthday on Monday) It was extra credit for their senior history class on the holocaust. The lecture was regarding women during the holocaust and especially during the "night of shattered glass." Anyway, I'm going to get these girls graduated and if that takes extra credit, so be it!

Now I don't knit during the lecture part, but I did during the question and answer section. And it was a little, tiny baby hat that I did in my lap. You would have thought my boyfriend was horribly insulted. This is the same man that answered his cell phone during the Q and A part, too. I think we are looking at a long discussion here. The girls, of course, thought it was normal.

Speaking of the hat, it's cute but it's about the fifth one that I have done off this pattern. Getting boring, but the baby shower crept up on me and is not this friday, but the next, and for some reason at work they all expect something knitted! Annoying after awhile.

I finished Judy's poncho though I'm still not happy with it. I would rip it out again if she would let me get my hands back on it. And Becky's "never ending sweater" is still never ending and just might not make it for Hanukkah. Sigh. Such is life because I'm dying to finish that sweater I started for me!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

two minute knitting

My knitting time is decreasing as the hustle and bustle of daily life increases as we head toward the Holidays, and my RL work doesn't allow much free time for needles. I can knit in spurts of 2 minutes, so I've been knitting little projects like scarves and mittens.



I just received the Crystal Palace Daisy needles that I ordered from Fuzzy Galore and knit a CP Splash/Fizz scarf in no time at all. I knit a similar one last winter and have had so many compliments - or are they hints? - that I've knit several more as gifts.

These needles are light and colorful, which makes my knitting even more fun!



Thanks for the reminder, Linh! I'd better make some time for knitting!


Monday, November 08, 2004

Un-Sparkly Hat & Slippers

Yep, I'm still knitting! I feel like I'm monopolizing the blog a bit but I figure I might as well post while I'm still knitting. I'm sure eventually I'll go through a dry spell and then you might not hear from me for a while!

    

For the hat, I used Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and the Sparkle Hat pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch. I did it without adding sparkles but I think it looks just fine without it. It does look awfullly pointy but it's not THAT pointy once it's on someone's head. This is a going to be a holiday gift. I hope it fits their head!

For the slippers I also used Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and the Slippers with Cuffs pattern. It was the pattern that most resembled a pair of existing slippers my mom has had for years (probably like 10-15 years!). I was going to save it to give as a holiday gift but she was just saying how cold it is in her house so I gave them to her already. I'll probably knit her another pair for Christmas. I think after further contemplation and studying I have figured out how to adjust this pattern to make it more like her "old" slippers.

I'm liking the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. It's thick (classified as "super bulky weight") and knits up real fast. The only downside that it only comes with about 100 yards per skein which isn't quite enough for a pair of slippers. I think for the next pair of slippers I might try the Wool-Ease Chunky which comes with about 150 yards.

There are only 46 shopping knitting days until Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Ramblings

I'm quite happy with how productive I've been with my knitting. I can't say that it's helped me whittle down my yarn stash. Why is it that it's more exciting to knit with new yarn rather than yarn that's in your stash...even though at the time you bought the yarn in your stash it was pretty exciting???

I had made one slipper for my mom this summer. Yes just ONE. It turned out too small and while I could have made the matching pair and given it to someone with small feet, I just wasn't that excited about it. Yesterday I went and bought some Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. Thicker yarn, bigger needles and the size is much better. Now I have to make the matching slipper. Someday I would like to learn how to knit things like socks and slippers two at a time. Someday. I have yet to truly master making just ONE sock at a time.

Most skeins are made to be pulled from the center right? Is there some trick to this? I'm only able to find it maybe one out of five times. I usually give up and just pull the yarn from the "outside" which makes it a little more difficult since the skein ends up rolling about while I'm knitting.

Weaving in yarn ends. Is there no better way? This is my least favorite thing to do. (Seaming comes in at a close second). Most of my knits are for gifts and I guess I'm paranoid that something will unravel. I guess I just need someone to hold my hand and tell me it's going to be ok.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Devil Hat - Modified

I've been obsessed with baby hats! I think the ones with ear flaps are so cute. I found a pattern for the Lil' Devil Baby Hat and modified it a bit. I didn't necessarily want the "devil" look but just needed the basic pattern.



See a theme? Winnie the Pooh is my trusty baby knits model!

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Gone with the wind

The weather here has finally cooled down (even rainy!) and some of my precious spare time this past week was taken over by airing out my yarn stash. What a revelation! With an unemployed hubby home nearly 24/7, I had some serious hesitation in pulling out all the boxes, pillowcases and bags in one go. (The last time he saw the whole shebang was in 1990 when we packed up our belongings to move back to Israel and its only gotten bigger since then.) Instead I've done a few boxes/bags each day. I'm now on day 4 and there's still yarn that hasn't yet seen the light of day.

It's at times like this that I shake myself and shout, "What were you thinking?!"

Let me tell you what I was thinking:

  • When we lived in the States, there were 3 yarn shops within a 15 minute drive from my house. What better way to spend a rainy/snowy/sunny morning/afternoon/evening than surrounded by beautiful fiber and like-minded people.

  • I worked very part time in a large yarn shop where my monthly pay check usually covered my yarn purchases.

  • Shop employees often had access to sales on yarns that weren't offered to the general public (for a reason; more on that another time).

  • One of the local yarn shops used to have 2/$1.00 sales. Like I needed another excuse to stock up, right? But most of my luxury and plain ol' sock yarns came from there.

  • After a couple of harrowing experiences discovering that by the time I got around to actually wanting to knit a pattern with the called-for yarn and finding that the yarn had been discontinued, I learned to stock up while the yarn was still available. (Can we all say Rowan?)

  • Since Israel is in the YDZ (Yarn Deprivation Zone), whenever I travel abroad I carry along an extra suitcase just for my yarn purchases. (On occasion I have sent my clothes home by surface mail in order to make room for larger-than-expected purchases.)


I am a very slow knitter. While leaving most of the various online knitting lists has quelled the yarn acquisition Siren Song to a great extent, I still enjoy revelling in my own personal yarn shop, open 24/7.

Now to just find the right pattern/stash yarn combinations!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Knitting at Knoon

Yay for the internet! I was stumped as to how to cast on stitches on an existing row. I found the answer here. The best part was there was a video to demonstrate. I find some things hard to figure out simply from written instructions or even drawn diagrams. They have quite a few other knitting how-to videos (including kitchener stitch) which is great!

They also have some neat free patterns. I also like some of their kids and babies patterns. Especially the Blossom, Dick & Jane, and Lil' Sunhats designs!

I'm supposed to be working on things to reduce my existing yarn stash but everything I want to make requires yarn that I don't already have. Danger! Danger!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Latest

Howdy bloggers,

I have been knitting some cute little bears out of the many odd balls of yarn I have. They are great small projects and easy to take around.

My friend's daughter is in the hospital and when we go to sit and keep her company I bring my knitting. So the bears are a perfect project.

I have even inspired the patient to knit and she is working on a blanket for a friend's baby. When I am there and I get tired of working on my own project I give her a hand with hers.

I am also trying to make a pair of fingerless gloves. I am finding the project challenging. I seem to have problems with getting the measurements correct. The easiest measurement is the circumferance. The difficult part is getting the lengths right. I am working on a second glove.. I like the design but when I began the thumb "tube" it seemed to pull the length anad now the glove is too short. They are for my daughter, but they should fit me "like a glove"!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Baby Gift Set



I completed the pink beanie I was working on and made a matching scarf. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

SVP, your suggestions are requested

I completed a scarf for Melissa, and once again I will have a F(rogged) O(bject)! She likes the stockinette stitch, even though I knew it would curl - I just figured that I'd block it, no prob. Yes, prob, it's still curling too much, besides the fact that she won't block it after she washes it.

Any suggestions for a stitch or pattern? I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It's a lovely, soft yarn with beautiful definition.

I was hoping that this would be a quick project as winter quickly approaches, and it has been so far. But, I must frog.

On the subject of scarves, I've been intrigued by the Multi-directional scarf. A beautiful example of it here. I started mine with Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca in Wild Cherry colorway and size 11 needles which makes a lacy fabric. So far, it's turning out very nicely. Pictures in the future.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Baby Scarf and Beanies

Last night I finished a simple garter stitch baby scarf as modeled here by Pooh.



TLC Amore Yarn / Color: Celery / Size 10 needles

I just cast on 12 stitches and knitted until it measured 22 inches. I like the soft feel of this yarn.

I also started working on a beanie hat. I'm using the "Umbilical Cord Hat" pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch. The yarn is Bernat Cottontots in "Very Berry." I'm a sucker for variegated yarns! This works up real nice and makes my stitches look so professional and even! I think one skein will be enough for a hat and matching booties.

I love working on circulars. No fuss and switching needles. It's nice to just go round and round! I've worked about 5 inches and I'm ready to switch to DPNs.



Also, here is a hat using the same pattern that I knitted over the summer in the TLC Amore yarn.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

New Yarnaholic

Hello! I thought I'd make a little introductory post. Thank you Jen for inviting me to be a part of Yarnaholic Confessions! I was honored and happy to be a part of this group blog! I'm rather sporadic with my knitting and I think being involved here will help keep me motivated and productive with my knitting, not to mention help me "whittle down that yarn stash."

I've been knitting about a year and a half and consider myself a newbie. One of the fun things about knitting is that you learn so much as you go. It seems like with each project I learn something new.

As for yarns, I mostly use what is available at my local craft store. There are a few LYS nearby but their store hours are limited and not convenient for me.

I have about six friends who are pregnant and due between December and April. This is your warning! Most of my projects will be baby goodies between now and then! Also, I plan to knit a few holiday gifts.

Here are a pair of baby booties I knitted over the weekend:

baby booties

The pattern is from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies and I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

FO

ahhh yes..... my trusty US 2 needle. No, not for knitting socks. Or lace or baby clothes. I love my US 2 needle for gathering stitches when I frog.

FO in my knitting world means "Frogged Objects" not Finished Objects. In this past week alone, I frogged the Ballet Pullover (IK, summer 04), Divine shawl (my own pattern), and Melissa's Indiana scarf. And of course, there's the Supreme Ultimate F(rogged) O(bject), David's Once Again Sweater which has been frogged at least 5 times! (I started this sweater when I first began knitting about 4 years ago ). The Ballet Pullover: the picked-up stitches for the sleeve didn't look right at the raglan seaming. The Divine Shawl: Tried 4 different stitch patterns to find one that I liked. Melissa's Indiana scarf: named because she now lives in cold country and can actually wear functional knitted clothes. YAY! Again I tried 4 different patterns and nothing seemed to work. Then I figured out that it was the yarn that I didn't like (won't name it for fear of offending anyone), but decided on 2 x 2 rib just to get it done and off to her. In the meantime, I've placed an order for Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran. David's sweater? Well, that's a never-ending saga and I won't bore you with it.

oh! one last FO, a 'real' FO. I present baby slippers from Simple Knits For Cherished Babies by Erika Knight. (you can see another view here).


And these babies weren't frogged once! When I showed them to Molly, she asked, "How many times did you have to take them out?"
"Take them out? What do you mean?"
"You know. You undo them and start again. How many times did you do that?"

With the Holidays quickly approaching, I've got a busy frogging season ahead.
Happy Knitting!
and frogging!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Dumped!

Has it already been an entire month since we last posted? We must be too busy knitting. But regardless, it looks like we've been removed from the KnittingBlogs webring. (sigh)

I think Julie & Co. deserve real kudos in mantaining the ring. It's a huge and thankless job keeping track of 500 sites, but frankly, I don't see myself posting only about knitting on a weekly basis. Besides having another website to maintain, Real Life takes up most of my spare time. (One must have one's priorities straight, no?)

When the KnittingBlogs webring was started by Ivete in 2002, it was much smaller and you could actually travel the entire ring during the week. (Trivia note: The original ring image of a pair of knitting hands is the link I created for the ring way back when.) Now, because of time considerations, I only read the knitting blogs that interest me, most of whom are listed on the BlogRoll over there in the sidebar.

Give them a try and maybe they'll become regular reads for you as well.

Friday, September 10, 2004

How to Find Yarn Shops Online

You've seen variations of this on any of a dozen online knitting lists:
> Hi All!
> I am going to Carmel for the week with my family and I was wondering if there
> were any Yarn Shops and things fiber that I must see.
> TIA!!!

There are a couple of really good online resources for finding fiber shops. Interweave Knits has made available online their Knits Travelling Sourcebook, which is regularly updated. Not only do they list fiber shops, they also list events, camps and retreats of interest to knitters. TNNA (The National Needlework Association) has a retail directory on their website, where you can search by either product (knitting/crochet) or by location.

Of course, you can also do a search on www.google.com. A search there for "yarn shops"+knitting+California brought back 1,570 results. A further search on "Carmel" brought back 35 results. This does not mean that there are 35 shops in Carmel, but that those parameters show up in 35 places.

Since time is a precious commodity while travelling, it's always best to call ahead for shop hours and closings rather than suffer a disappointment.

Hope that helps someone!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

... and scurrying we've done!

Knitting, we haven't.

The last few days before leaving to take our older daughter to college were a whirlwind. I did take two projects with me, but there was never any time to knit. David's Once Again sweater was just too bulky to carry on, so it went along in the checked baggage. And that's all it did - went along for the ride - I didn't knit one stitch on it. I did knit a few rows on the shell (Takhi Lily, pattern from Spring/Summer 2004 IK), but that was the only knitting I managed. I've since completed the shell and it's rather nice to wear - so light and airy, it's like wearing a cloud.

I'm on the lookout for yarn stores every place I visit and I wouldn't leave Bloomington until I'd visited Yarns Unlimited. I spent an enjoyable hour browsing (and drooling) in this delightful yarn shop. I bought a pattern for hand warmers and some recycled silk yarn (which is gorgeous, indeed, and at a great price - $3.50/oz.). Oh! I wanted to buy more, but our suitcases were crammed full as it was. While I was waiting for the skein to be wound, we chatted with Suzanne who is the owner. She is a beautiful, delightful, warm person and it turns out that her Father is a 'cellist and her son is an Ethno-Musicologist! She was so kind and warm and she invited Melissa to call her at any time for some "Mom" time! She even gave Melissa her home phone number and asked Melissa to keep in touch with her. I can't tell you how much that warmed my heart. Just the fact that she was so genuine and considerate and warm and generous - she is an angel. If you ever visit Bloomington, please stop in to see her.

And, so now I must finish David's sweater. For awhile I thought that I would start over with new yarn - hey! any excuse to make a trip to my LYS - but I'm resigned to finishing it, just so I can say that it's done.

No other projects on the horizon, although I have plenty of patterns and a plethora of yarn. I finally organized my stash and I filled 10 - yes, TEN - storage bins with yarn. And yet, I still have an urge to visit my LYS. Why is it more fun to shop at the yarn shop instead of your yarn stash?

Friday, September 03, 2004

September - time to get knitting

Wake up people! I know that school started and we are scurring around, but what are you knitting? (Did I speak out place Jen?)

I threw a sleeve of Becky's "never ending sweater" into my pouch to take to work and knit while people were blathering. Of course, never where they can see - don't want to hear it. But have enough of a reputation that at least two came up to me and asked me about my shell that I was wearing. They were right, I had knitted it from Sally Melville's "The Knit Stitch" in a pretty pink stripped ribbon.

Onward and outward..........

Thursday, August 12, 2004

lack of knitting

Hummm, I haven't been talking about knitting. Probably because I haven't been knitting much!
The "never ending sweater" is not being worked on, because it's in the round and it's too darn hot to work on right now.

And the "never started poncho" is going to have to be ripped back. My daughter says this is probably the sixth time that I have done this. I think she is right. But it is biasing terribly (I know why, but it's a little too long to explain - I do know how to fix it) and I can't stand it. I have to change it. I just have to!

I got my new "Cast On" magazine from the TKGA. I'm not too impressed but hey, I think I have plenty of stuff to do. Like finish working on that Level Two Master's Knitter's program from TKGA. However, somehow, my argyle sock looks funny too. You think it may just be me?

Of course, now I want to try knitting the, ahh, how do I put this?, the humm, jock strap, there we are! from Knitty.com's latest issue. He won't wear it, but hey it's not a sweater and I don't want to invoke the "boyfriend curse" of knitting him something big! And he does wonder if I will knit something more besides that hat for him.

Later alligators,

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I love IK

Oh my! Why didn't anyone tell me that Interweave Knits has 2 PDF indexes of all their issues published from Fall 1996 through Spring 2004 available online FOR FREE?!

Have I mentioned how much I love this magazine? :)

Wish I had more knitting content to share, but what do you expect when it's 11:30pm and we've just now turned off the a/c? Back to the wet bandana...

Monday, July 26, 2004

Fulling Day

After much delay, my French Market Bag has been fulled. (Yay!)

Let's recap, shall we?

Act I: Knitting Nest
I knit the bag somewhat along the lines of the pattern found on Knitty.com, though I used two strands of Brown Sheep Nature Spun rather than the yarn called for in the pattern. Progress reports here and here.

Intermission:
The bag was finished about a week after starting it, but sat for nearly a month waiting to be fulled. Since I have a front-loading washing machine (European standard-I do not live in the US), I opt to hand-full it.

Act II: The Internet
I spent some time looking for resources on hand-fulling on the Internet and came upon Beth Brown-Reinsel's instructions on her website. With instructions read, it's time to full. I don't have huge expectations for mega-fulling because of the already relatively tight gauge of the knit fabric.

Act III: The Utility Sink in my Laundry Room
Scene I: Since the bag was not overly large, my utility sink was quite sufficient to handle the job. The first bath was in hot water from the tap with a squirt of "Fairy" dishwashing liquid. Our solar water heater makes the water quite hot but there was little fiber intermeshing going on despite vigorous rubbing, mostly with my knuckles. Apparently "Fairy" is detergent and not soap.

Scene II: I drain the hot water out of the sink as well as squeezing the bag and immediately plunge it into cold water, again rubbing vigorously. At this point there is a bit of surface fiber coming away from the bag.

Scene III: Second hot water bath and more vigorous rubbing. More fiber coming away from the surface of the bag and this time a huge amount of black dye was released into the water. My arms are getting tired.

Scene IV: Second cold water bath and the fibers just start to bloom.

A Brief Intermission: At this point I figure I need real soap to change the pH in the water sufficiently to get those fibers to mesh. I run to our bathroom to find any bar of hotel soap I can find. I know these are the real McCoy because my skin feels drier than heck after using them. Unfortunately, hubby has used them all up at the shower at the swimming pool. Emergency! I pick up the slice of Lush handmade soap that my son brought back from London and which has been sitting in our "fancy" bowl of soaps ever since because it, too, dries my skin.

Scene V: Back at the Utility Sink filled with more hot water and armed with the bar of soap, I start soaping the water and add the bag. More vigorous rubbing and this time I can actually feel the fibers contracting. More rubbing and finally, voila! Fulling has occurred.

Scene VI: Final cold water rinse, more rubbing and the fiber continues to contract. Squeeze out the water and toss bag into folded towels. I jump on the towels to extract as much water as possible and lay it flat to dry on a sweater rack.

Epilogue: As I mentioned above, I didn't expect the bag to full much because it wasn't as loosely knit as the pattern directions gave. Nonetheless, the bottom of the bag where I used two strands of black has definitely fulled more than the area where I combined a natural color with the black.Final dimensions are 19" from the bottom of the bag to the top of the handles; 12" from the bottom of the bag to the point before the handles are added and roughly 16" from side to side. (As the bag is still damp, I don't want to try flattening it too much in order to measure.)

Pictures soon. 

Friday, July 23, 2004

My cats are fruit cakes

The argyle sock I'm knitting for level two is absolutely fascinating to the cats - I can't knit when they are around! One sits on the arm of the car and gets car sick trying to watch the yarn flip around!

Heavens, it is so hot here today I can't stand it. It is actually making my stomach hurt. And I had to take twin number two out to try her driving testing again. Hot dog, she made it! I am so proud of her. She called everyone she could think of.

Off at the steaks that I don't really want to make, but I promised.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

summer heat, divine yarn, ribbon yarn and Noro yarn

It's extremely hot here in the desert...
but it's a dry heat! Or so, they say. Even so, I'm knitting scarves,
and sweaters...

progress with the Once Again sweater

and dogs..

arf!

Well, one can dream of cold weather, can't one? :)

I like to say that I'm not a yarn snob.
Okay, so I am. (wanna make something of it?)
However, I've fallen in love with Paton Divine! Divine is a lovely, fluffy, soft yarn and I just want to buy out the stock at Jo Ann's. hmmmm.... maybe I will. ;)

And now, a couple of questions for you all...
1.) Any tips for knitting with ribbon yarn? I'm knitting a sleeveless top with Collinette giotto. I love this yarn, but it twists a bit as I knit. Is this typical of ribbon yarns?

and...

2.) I adore Noro kureyon! I have four skeins - and will purchase more, if necessary (hey! it doesn't take much to get me to buy more yarn). Any ideas of what to knit with it, besides the ever-popular booga bag?

Happy Summer knitting!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

grumblings from the heat...

Well, I have made some more flip flops and have sold enough that maybe I won't have to worry about buying yarn for what I want to knit next for myself!

I also knitted up a little bag out of rainbow ribbon (the pattern was in Ribbon Knits) and tried waving it under the noses of the 17 year old twins.  Neither bit.  So now it hold my cell phone.  Sigh.

Other edging my lawn with a manual cutter (boy, do my legs hurt!) I have nothing, but nothing to add of a productive nature.  It's too hot!

Afton

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Summer!

Low to mid-nineties with eighty-five percent humidity and no A/C. I'm not knitting, not even cotton. The See-Saw socks look at me accusingly from their bag.

Summer is normally my planning season, when I flip through magazines and books and start thinking about what I want to knit once the weather gets cooler. Since I can't just pop down to the LYS and browse and no longer have any magazine subscriptions, this pretty much forces me to revisit my extensive knitting library and look for patterns over the net. (I'm still thinking if I really want to renew IK. It's the only subscription IMNSHO that is worth it, but the overseas' postage still makes it tres expensive.) I have also found this plan keeps me focused on what I have in my extensive stash. (Of course staying away from the online knitting lists and Elann has also helped!)

Of course, in spite of having at least two acknowledged UFO's (make that three really, but if I ever finish that one, it will be a time for much rejoicing), I do have the urge to start something new.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Introduction or who was that masked knitter?

Well, here I am. Just another anon. knitter in the vast internet of life. And yeah, I didn't make up my name. That's really it. (Named after my dad's favorite sister, she was the 10th one, I'm convinced that they had run out of names by that time and were scrambling.)

Knitting wise - I am sick and tired of flip flops! But I must admit, it has made me gas money this summer. And that always helps.

And my one daughter's "never ending sweater" is sitting in time out in the far back of my car. The other twin's poncho is also in time out until the weather breaks. I really think that I need to get off the stick and start working on my Level 2 Master HandKnitter's of the TKGA. I finished level one, how hard can level two be? Just have to find a toddler to make a vest for, don't want to knit something too big this summer.

Onward and outward,
Afton

Look Ma! No toes!

Here are the pictures of the completed socks-no toes.

look ma, no toes!

look ma, no toes


Those are my toesies - Melissa doesn't have them just yet. I'm going to take them to her when we visit this weekend. I told her on the phone this morning that I'd completed them and I would bring them to her, and she told me, "Well, Mom, I won't be able to wear them. If I do, they get sent back to you C.O.D." OUCH! That hurts!

The pattern? I used my favorite sock pattern and just didn't complete the toes. I knitted the decreases for three rows, knit one extra row, then bound off in purl. The pattern I used is from the Winter 2002-2003 issue of cast on magazine, but I"m sure that any sock pattern will do.

And...
while I have your attention, here is my current WIP (along with David's sweater and oh... about 10 other projects).

Ahem! Presenting CatKnit.

no, not catnip! c a t k n i t

And...
The finished product. (You can see in this photo that I'm NOT a crafty person!). I made this for Molly and she likes it because it's so funky and crazy. Yes, we both know that it has the "bear" face, but we're still calling it a cat.

M E O W !!!


Happy Knitting!

Secret Revealed


OK-the recipient has gone on vacation, hopefully without her laptop, so here is a quick picture of what I'm sending her.

This is the second time I've knit Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer's Oak Leaf and again it was a pleasure to knit. This time I knit it on a single strand of Bernat Cassino using size US1 needles.

A lot of Jackie's little projects are a wonderful introduction to a certain knitting technique without the major investment in time and money in a full-sized project. Gee, does this sound like an advertisement? Well, she is one of my favorite designers, so why not?! :)

Friday, July 02, 2004

Secretive Knitting

I've discovered that I really need the morning hours for the additional light it brings to my knitting spot. This is especially true if I'm knitting either something dark or something really fine. (The second instance happens to be the case right now, but I can't share with you quite yet what that project is. Let's just say it's being knit on US size 1 and is probably one the cleverest pieces of knitting I've ever done-now twice.)

Still haven't had a free moment to full my market bag, which I had planned to do this week, but then DH tossed all the extra ice we made for our day-long, planned power out on Monday. Meanwhile I did come across another hand fulling resource at Esther Bozak's site (voted "The 8th most boring website in the U.K." which is pretty funny, since Esther is in the US.).

Has anyone read either of the felting books on the market right now? There's this one by Bev Galaskas and this one by Kathleen Taylor. Any opinions?

Monday, June 28, 2004

So now she tells me

I finished one toe-less sock and am about a fourth of the way through the second. It's kind of funky, but I think it'll work, although I hate the yarn. Did I already mention that? ;) Hopefully the socks will be softer and more comfy after I wash (and dry) them.

Melissa called this morning and I excitedly announced that I'd completed one toe-less sock and was working on the other, and I hoped to finish it soon so I could get them in the mail to her before camp ends. "Mom, I won't be able to wear them. They made an announcement that we aren't allowed to wear toe-less socks." hmmmm.... The staff is on them! I guess some of the other girls were cutting the toes off of their socks, and here Melissa was going to be the first with hand-knitted toe-less socks. Ah well.... Maybe she can use them at college in the Fall.

sock - no toe
Sorry that this isn't a very interesting or imaginative image.

And, on the subject of socks, I saw the cutest pair of socks knit with scrap yarn. What a cute idea! Maybe it's something that I can do with all my yarn scraps. *sigh* another project....

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Thank you Beth Brown-Reinsel!

I'm ready to full my French Market Bag, but all the directions I've found on the net and in my knitting magazines for fulling involve the use of a top-loading washing machine. Sorry, we've got a front loader, so I'm opting for fulling by hand (Yes, I know the topic of fulling in a front loader was done to death on the KnitList, but since I wasn't doing it at the time, I didn't pay attention.)

If you are a KL member, you can also reference these threads:
Message 28123
Message 57034
These are probably the best posts on the topic that I could find over the past 6 months.

(I had a few moments of serious deja vu when Reminders for KnitList Chat showed up in the KL search results! LOL)

Further searching came up with an answer from the ever-knowledgeable Kim Salazar.

As I said in my earlier post, I don't expect the bag to shrink very much because I've used a double strand of yarn and it's not knit in as loose a gauge as the original Knitty pattern. Even knit with a double strand of yarn, the bag is not heavy.

Here are the pre-fulled dimensions of my bag:



If you know of any other sources of information on hand-fulling knit objects, please leave a comment. I won't be able to get to it for a few days yet, so any other advice is very welcome and TIA.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

knitting away!

Hi women! I tried posting the other day and somewhere the post disappeared. I hate that when there is just enough time to write ONCE and no more. Here I am. I am working on a baby sweater for my Italian teacher's baby boy...due in October. I am making a very basic pullover out of Lion brand cotton and acrylic. I wanted a rather flat yarn as the front has a very subtle seed stitch heart. Not too girly!

I think however I will leave the shoulder open and the neck and create a button closure. Any ideas on how I must alter a normal pattern for this adaptation? I think it will be easier to ge t it over the baby's head. Did I say I am making a one year size. Yes one year. It is a nice medium blue and the pattern stands out nicely. I can't wait to finish it and on to another new project or......maybe one that stands unfinished!

The best laid plans...

This isn't supposed to happen to confirmed yarnaholics! I've nearly run out of black yarn and I still have two more handles to go. So far, this bag has eaten up almost two full skeins of black Nature Spun and about a half skein of natural, which, as anyone who is familiar with Nature Spun knows, is a lot of yarn.

As I was knitting along I kept saying to myself that there's nothing to worry about, there's lots of black yarn in my stash. Only trouble is that black yarn is Lamb's Pride, a single ply, worsted weight, whereas Nature Spun is a multiple ply.

I ripped back a few rounds and then started knitting with one strand of Nature Spun and one of Lamb's Pride. So far, I can't tell the difference; it looks the same and it feels the same as the rest of the knitting. The proof, I guess, will be in the felting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What's Black and White (and not Red) all over?



As usual, I'm not playing by the rules. I'm using a double strand of Nature Spun worsted weight on fewer stitches than what is called for in the pattern. Knitting with a double strand is making this bag dense and I fully realize that it is not going to felt as well as the original, single-strand pattern, but I like it.

Another 6 cm to go and then I start casting off for the handles.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

O the luxury

O the luxury of not having any current projects.....

'Course, that's never stopped me from beginning a new project... and another new project... and another... *grin*

Along with my current WIP (three scarves, a sweater, two sleeveless shells.... uh, I think there's one other, but who knows?) and enough yarn for about 10 projects, I'm knitting a first, I do believe, toeless socks. Melissa attends Interlochen in the summer and the dress code requires that she wear light blue socks. Since we're from the desert, Tucson, Arizona to be exact, she's used to wearing flip flops. Two years ago, her friend, Nora, wanted to wear sandals and she got around the dress code by going to the art studio and painting her feet and legs light blue. Anyway, Melissa requested 'toeless' socks so she could wear her flip flops. I tried to convince her to let me knit toe socks, but she thinks these will be more comfy. She leaves in less than a week, so I've got to get knitting here.

I'll post a pic soon!

What to knit?

This!

And a Big Welcome to artmama!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Happy To be Here

Hi. I have started knitting again after a hiatis. Some babies being born and easy project or should I say small project coming into view.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

There's a first (or second) time for everything

First of all, a huge thank you to Pearl, who has graciously agreed to be a contributor here and to help me in ironing out the bugs in setting up this group blog. She truly is one of life's gems.

So, what's this blog all about? I won't hide from you the fact that I set up this group blog for a selfish reason, which is to get me knitting again after nearly a two-year hiatus. I'm hoping that with the help of a few good friends like Pearl I'll be inspired to tackle this huge amount of yarn that I collected during my insanely yarnaholic years. (We're talking a 20-year backlog here.) I must admit, though, compared with some of my yarnaholic friends I feel absolutely parsimonious!

Since summer is nearly here on the coast of Israel, with its accompanying high temps and humidity, I'm starting off with small projects, maybe even cotton. Normally I don't like to knit with cotton because it doesn't have much stretch and hurts my hands. A while back I started knitting a pair of Kim Salazar's See Saw socks with a really nice Dutch yarn called Cotton 8, but even that seems a bit of a challenge as a pick-up project right now.

What to knit? What to knit?