Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fuzzy Feet

Bet you are surprised to hear from me! My needles and yarn were collecting dust for quite some time but I now I have a bit more time for knitting. I saw the pattern for Fuzzy Feet slippers at Knitty a long time ago but finally tried it. I had some Cascade 200 yarn just waiting to be knitted and felted. I'm gifting these to a friend for the holidays.

You can see the slippers before (left) and after (right) felting.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com

My goal is to *try* to use up yarn from my stash before buying any new stuff. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas...er, contests?

As if the pressure of finishing handknitted Christmas presents wasn't enough, if you haven't seen these yet and are interested, hurry up and get in on The Knitting Curmudgeon's "Christmas Crap-Along" and Waltzing Knitilda's "Ugliest Christmas Sweater 2005" contests. Some Luscious Yarn is being given away as prizes in both cases.

(As if you need a reminder about how prickly some knitters get at this time of year, go read "Holiday Stress and Knit Nonsense" over on my Knit Natterings page.)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

So Quiet You Could Hear a Size #00000 Knitting Needle Drop

As you can see, things are pretty quiet around here. We're either so busy working on projects that we don't have the time to write about it or not working on projects at all, so don't have anything to write about.

For myself, I'm finally getting around to knitting the pair of plain old, ribbed socks that my son in the Navy asked me for (gulp) nearly a year ago. If I don't hurry up and get them done, he'll be discharged before he's had a chance to wear them! With European size 44 feet (US size 10), that is a bit of knitting to do.

The weather here certainly hasn't been an inspiration to knit. With the exception of a couple of cold days and a rainy day, we've had nothing but warm, sometimes hot, and dry weather. That's one of the upsides of living here on the coast, but it certainly doesn't give you that same urge to knit like my old home state of Minnesota's sub-zero temperatures.

Pictures to come.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Unabashed Self-Promotion

Those exclusive Yarnaholic Confessions gifts aren't going to be around forever and with Cafepress offering Free Shipping through Dec. 6 on orders of US$50 or more, you can't afford to wait!

Go, go, go!

Support This Site

(Remember, prices are never more than a dollar or two above Cafepress's base product price.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halloween 2005

Knitting gone wrong, so very wrong. (hat tip Boing Boing)

I could be dead wrong, but I thought those were actually kinda cute.

Here are more links to keep you busy between doorbell rings:

  • Superstitions.com - everything from stepping on a crack and breaking your mother's back to black cats.

  • Ben & Jerry's - a trip to the Flavor Graveyard is a must! Scream Savers too!

  • Anita's Origami - All her origami is amazing, and the Halloween ones are unique. (The paper! The paper! The paper!)

  • Halloween Stuff from HP - everything from trick-or-treat bags to T-shirts. Lots of cute ideas.

  • The Toy Maker - Vintage style paper crafts.

  • Carve a Virtual Pumpkin (Flash Plug-in required), but alas, no pumpkin seeds to roast. (My mouth just started to water. Israeli "white seeds" just don't cut it.)

Happy Haunting! (Yes, I know I'm posting this a bit early. I figure if anyone actually wants to make their own Halloween crafts, a few days head start couldn't hurt.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Knitting? I seem to remember what that is ...

Actually, I've not been knitting or writing or blogging or doing anything all that much -- it seems that the "Pain in the Hands" virus must be making it's merry way around the 'net, as I've been afflicted with it, too. In my case, the problem is in my neck and shoulders, and not actually in the hands, but the pain is real and tiring no matter where it starts.

I went to the Needlework Show in Toronto (Canada) yesterday, where I took a workshop with Fiona Ellis (which I thoroughly enjoyed) called "Funky Fair Isles" -- we looked at photos of the urban landscape in order to inspire us to chart out a FI pattern. Oddly enough, by the time mine was done, it ended up looking like something out of Poetry in Stitches, more Traditional than Urban Funky.

But it was an interesting experience, and Ellis is an excellent teacher.

Then I did a stint in the booth of the Downtown Knit Collective (Toronto guild which I'm not currently a member of, since I don't live in Toronto and it's hard to get to meetings, but to which I still have a lot of ties), and and was reminded that I actually enjoyed helping knitters out with problems and whatnot. Which got me thinking about teaching again -- but what to teach? Apparently what is most in demand at the DKC are either Very Advanced workshops (Not Me), and One-Hour Workshops -- things that can be taught in an hour, as opposed to the traditional three or six (Possibly Me).

So I appeal to you all -- what are some ideas of good,useful things that knitters might want to learn that can actually be taught in an hour? Some things take longer, and a few things take only a few minutes. This will give me something to mull over while I'm busy Not Knitting.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

so, what's everyone knitting?

On The Needles
one (1) fingerless glove
one (1) Trendsetter Dune scarf

Oh, did I mention David's sweater?
That's becoming a joke around here, isn't it?

Actually, unfortunately, for the first time, my hands ache when I knit. And since I earn my living using my hands (playing the violin) and I have an important recital in less than a week, I've put my knitting on hold for awhile.

At least I finished this before the pains set in...
for jenna
...knit with my favorite, Noro Kureyon.

I'll have to knit vicariously through you!

So, what're you knitting?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The sweater was finished

I wore my new sweater to Stitches East. I don't know to be pleased or annoyed. People did NOT know I had made it! When it got mentioned, they would argue with me if I had made it. They generally thought I had bought it. Now, I'm pleased that it looked professional, but wouldn't you think that at a KNITTING convention, that most people had made what they were wearing? I don't get it.

But my part time boss gave me a paycheck (it's for working at a yarn shop part time) and it was nice, she had already given me a raise! I like those kind of bosses. She said I was bringing people into the shop as I'm know as "The Knitting Doctor" and I "fix" their stuff. Believe me, a lot of the time, that's just ripping back and getting them started again. No biggie.

I didn't buy that much. I still have a stash that is not to be believed that lives under the platform bed.

Friday, September 09, 2005

target: knitting

It seems that knitting and yarn are every where. I was in Target yesterday, and granted, this is an enormous Target, the kind with everything including a Starbucks, but they had yarn, needles, project books and knitting journals! And every item was $1. I wasn't tempted, though. I have so many unfinished projects, so many un-begun projects, so many patterns and books, and so many solitary skeins in my stash that I just can't add to the mayhem. I'm going to have to organize my knitting. *faint* ;)

I have had a hankering to knit lately. It isn't the nip in the air; there is none. The weather is only slightly cooler here in the desert. Autumn doesn't really begin around here until late November. It could be the plethora of knitting catalogs delivered daily. I spied quite a few delicious projects thumbing through them and quite a few yarns seem very yummy. I'm going to be strong, though. I must, I must, I must finish David's sweater. (how many years has it been, Jen?)

Now, if you'll excuse me while I knit . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Knitters

Christine, over at Big Pink Cookie and who lives in Houston, is collecting knitted items for the victims of Hurricane Katrina who have been relocated to her area. Head on over to her blog and drop her a note in one of her Katrina Knitters posts so she'll let you know where to send your items.

Thanks, Christine!

Friday, September 02, 2005

In the Aftermath of Katrina

Please donate whatever you can to the American Red Cross or any charitable organization. Also check out The Blog For Relief Weekend.

(Newer posts appear below. This post will remain at the top of the page through September 5.)

I'm back, how about you?

STILL knitting on the cotton sweater. I took to my inservice today at school, but was sitting to close to the presenter to ease it out and work on it. Can't be toooooooooooooooo noticeable, you know?

The girls go to college this Sunday. I know Judy is planning on taking her sweater knitting from "Stitch and Bitch" but I'm not sure if Becky will take anything. Which is funny, as Becky knits more than Judy does.

Not much else to report. Will go back to sorting all those socks that I found in the girls rooms (at least none of the handknitted ones are missing a match!)

Monday, August 08, 2005

We're on Vacation

See you in September.
Stay cool.
(And Godspeed to the crew of Discovery.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Time out for your knitting

Am I the only one that puts their knitting in time out? I had to rip out a bout 5 rows because, I swear, I find it VERY hard to fix lace knitting when it's more than one stitch and this was a whole pattern repeat.

But it's back on the needles again and I'm a little bit further down the road. I need to make another kippah somewhere along the line too as my boyfriend's youngest got his nose out of joint as I made one for everyone but him for his bar mitzvah. Well, I knew his bubbe had given him a new one with a tallit so why make another one? Shows what I know, huh? hehehe

I've been on the computer too much (I'm taking a on-line class in assistive technology and the print is way too small, just believe me) so I'm off again.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

summer un-knitting...

It's hot. Summer is hot everywhere, and like everyone else, I'm too hot to knit. Even my hubby noticed, "You haven't lost interest in knitting, have you?" My eye sweeps the corner where I have huge piles of bags of unknit yarn and my bookshelves housing a plethora of patterns, books and magazines, my minds eye sweeps the dark depths of all the closets that hold my huge unknit stashes (notice the plural), and I assure him that I haven't.

I have taken stock of my WIP's and I'm bound and determined to complete them all before I start another project, AND before I buy more yarn. Oops! too late for that! I couldn't resist trying some of the new yarns offered by Knit Picks. Who can resist that dropped stitch shawl for only $21.26? Well, actually I did, but I did plunk down a bit of small plastic for some of their sock yarns, and I'm waiting for that package as I type.

Back to the WIP's, I'm determined to complete David's Once Again Sweater and the Ballet Top (Teva Durham design from UK Summer 2004), then I'll frog the rest. There! That makes completing my WIP's a bit easier and I can cross them off the list I keep on my blog (it's getting a bit embarrassing since the list hasn't changed at all in a year).

In the meantime, I'm not going to read any books or magazines, peruse any catalogs, or visit my LYS or online stores - I WON'T be tempted, and I AM going to complete my WIP's . . . just as soon as it's cool enough to knit again.

note: I just used the blogger spellcheck and it seems that I've misspelled '21.26' and, get this, 'blog.' The suggested spelling is 'bloc.' Go figure!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Linky Love

As I commented in one of my earlier posts, it's now officially too hot to knit. At 85 degrees F and 85 percent humidity, it's so hot and moist that just the thought of wool makes me sweat. (But then, just sitting makes me sweat!) On the other hand, at work the A/C is cranked up so high that I'm getting a lot of use out of my old and very well-worn shawl.

So what does one do when it's too hot to knit? Surf the Web, naturally!

If all you can do is shake your head at some of the knitting designs offered over the past couple of years, check out, "You Knit What??" Presented by punk rock knitter and knitty kitty, YKW?? aptly points out, as my 23 year-old daughter says, the YUK in HYUK. (via the comments on The Knitting Curmudgeon)

When an old knitting friend showed up from the States for a few day's visit last month, she brought with her a garter stitch, corner-to-corner washcloth made out of a yarn that is new to me; South West Trading Company's Bamboo. Oh dear, this is the first time in a long time that I've had yarn lust, even at USD13 a skein. The hemp yarn looked interesting too. (OK-Step.slowly.away.from.the.credit.card!)

Then this week a friend from my old knitting guild, Oasis, sent me a note saying that she'd just knit her first ever knitting pattern in Hebrew. She received this pattern from her local yarn shop owner.

This is interesting in a couple of ways: one-that she has a local yarn shop owner (after all, we do live in the Yarn Deprivation Zone) and second, the pattern is in Hebrew. To the best of my knowledge, knitting patterns in Hebrew stopped being published about the same time that the local spinneries stopped producing yarn. That was probably about 12-15 years ago. Besides Polgat (a major garment producer here), there was also Vitalgo and Stork Wool. All gone, except in my yarn stash. The Teddy Wool that is being distributed in the shops here now is made elsewhere, lots of cotton from Turkey and wool from Italy, but the local distributor gets to put his own label on, which generally doesn't include little, unimportant things like, oh, recommended needle size or yardage.

(Woah! I just got back from a trip down Memory Lane after hunting up my old Hebrew knitting mags and meeting lots of dust bunnies on the way. Most of the designs look like fodder for "You Knit What??," but to be forgiving, they are the products of the 90's and look like they're trying much too hard to be trendy. Hm, see first paragraph...)

Ever since the London terrorist attacks, I've been thinking about going to London again. Even after visiting there four times, there's still so much I haven't yet seen and done. October/November is my favorite time to visit, especially during The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (make sure to check out the picture gallery from last year), followed up with a Rowan Workshop at Liberty of London or John Lewis. (You think I might miss my knitting guild? Nah!)

Lastly, this has nothing to do with knitting (other than there's a knitting basket on the floor and Granny's bun looks just like a skein with needles in it), make sure you have Apple's Quicktime installed on your computer and then go watch Le Building.

OK-time to go have an iced coffee and a lie-down. Only 2 or so more months of this heat to get through...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A funny thing happened on the way to the yarn stash

About ten years ago, when I got back into knitting in a serious way, I developed a serious problem with startitis. Well, at first I didn’t see it as a problem, but after a few years of racking up UFOs all over the place, and rarely finishing ANYTHING, I realized that Something Had to Be Done.

At the time, I came to the realization that I am a process knitter – I like the process, and when I learn whatever it was I wanted to learn when I started a project, I just moved on to something else.

This wasn’t an issue until the moment that I decided that it might actually be nice to have something to show for my investment of time and money. That was the moment when I put the brakes on the constant starting and stopping. That didn’t mean, however, that I suddenly because a One Project at a Time Knitter. No, it meant that I limited the number of UFOs at any moment. I permitted myself one or two small, mindless projects, and two or three larger projects of differing types, for some variety.

I worked at a steady pace, I varied my five or so projects, and I finally started to finish things. I was happy with this change in my knitting, and didn’t think much more about it until the other day, when I realized that, somewhere along the line, without my even realizing it, I’d become a One Project at a Time Knitter.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that this happened, but I do know that it’s a recent development. I can look back on the last three things I’ve worked on – the Must Have cardigan, a pair of socks for my sister’s birthday, and the Martha sweater, and find that they have each been worked on singly, alone, with no other project started, abandoned, and nothing else worked on at the same time. As well, there is Nothing Else on the go right now.

This was driven home to me the other day, when I was contemplating the desire I’ve had for a while to knit some lace, which has been piqued by the Summer of Lace a-long. I usually start a new project to work on while I watch the Tour de France cycling race, and started mulling over what I might choose, when I realized I didn’t want to start anything new until I’d finished knitting the Martha.

And to top it off, I realized something else – when I focus on one project at a time, I really do a much better job than if I flit between projects. I no longer find myself getting bored. I find it much easier to memorize patterns and not have to refer to my notes all that much. I’m not really working all that much faster, but there is a focus and intensity in what I’m doing that pleases me.

And it surprises the dickens out of me, too.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Greetings, Salutations, and A White Cotton Sweater

Well, the twins are graduated. Don't know how it happened but it did. I'm proud of them but do you think they could get a job during summer before they go to college? No? Evidently they think no too!

Anyway, since we last heard from our intrepid heroine I finished a couple of hats for the winter baskets we give the classes of cognitive impaired children that I case manage (only about 5 more hats to go!) and a nice scarf for one of our retiring Special Education teachers. Really nice gift - the yarn was some red mohair someone gave me years ago when they decided that they didn't want a sweater out of it. The pattern for the scarf was from a dear friend who had me field test it for a book she is making. And the needles were a birthday gift from the girls. Basically a free scarf, except for the time.

I've been working on a white cotton lace sweater - nice pattern but I'm wondering about those holes when I get up to the, ahhh, breast area. Do I want to make this in stockinette at that point? Do I just want to wear another camisole under it and who wants to do that in the summer on a very hot, humid island? Do I want to wear a nude color bra and pretend it doesn't show thru? I guess I will knit until I get tired of waffling and decide at that time.

Off to stare at the yard and hope that it will just feel guilty and mow itself. Don't think it's going to happen, do you?

PS - oh, oh wait a minute, I forgot I made three kippot out of Jenn's patterns! They were a great hit at the Bar Mitzvah - Neil wore one and girls each had one. I'm still of the generation that I wore a hat! But they looked awfully cute. Thanks Jenn

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Summer of Lace Redux

Well, at this point I'm having second thoughts about knitting my "Knit 'Til You Quit"; Shawl. I finally tracked down the three hanks of Jaggerspun in my yarn stash and it turns out that I misremembered the source. The yarn was actually purchased from Moonrise, Sandy Terp's website and the Jaggerspun is prescoured. That is a good thing, but it also means that the yarn has "bloomed" as a result of the prewashing and is now closer in gauge to a worsted weight yarn than a sport weight. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that Jaggerspun, like the Harrisville I knit the original KTYQ with, is actually meant for weaving, so there's a bit of sizing left on the yarn surface that needs to be washed out before using it as a knitting yarn.) The bottom line is that the yarn is pretty heavy stuff for knitting the KTYQ, which is a very open and light lace pattern.

Swatch1 for the Knit-Til-You-Quit Shawl

So I'm flipping through my books and my magazine stash to see if I can find some potential pattern candidates. So far, the list is:

  • the Garter and Lace Shawl that appears in Knitter's "Shawls and Scarves" is my first choice (and I have a vague recollection of having knit this once).

  • the Wool Peddler's Shawl in Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls." I also like the Stora Dimun Shawl, but it's a bit larger than what I want. (Provided the eyelet lace pattern along the edging has the right stitch repeat, I could probably leave out one of the garter sections between the eyelet rows, right?)

  • the Paisley Lace Shawl in the Spring 2005 issue of IK.

  • the Flower Basket Shawl in the Fall 2004 issue of IK. Both are by Evelyn Clark (Is there anyone left out there besides me who hasn't knit these shawls?)

If I don't make my choice soon, it'll already be too hot to knit!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Summer of Lace

June in Israel thus far has been atypical, i.e. it's still cool enough to knit.

I just finished knitting again Jackie Erickson-Shweitzer's wonderful lace Oak Leaf as a bookmark for a friend who is sending us the newest Harry Potter when it comes out in July. This little lace pattern is really a marvel. Jackie has the leaf charted out with distinct landmarks along each row and you can easily tell if you've gone astray. The end result is something "a little off the beaten path". (And, as if you couldn't tell, I'm as thrilled with the results this time as I was the first two times.)

While I was surfing around this past week, I came across "Wendy Knits," Wendy Johnson's site. She's started a Knitalong, Summer of Lace, on Yahoo Groups. Knitting lace really appeals to me right now, since I need something I can throw over my shoulders at work when the airconditioning drops to sub-zero temperatures (I sit in the lowest level of our 3-level office and cold air sinks).

My current philosophy to get myself back into regular knitting is to allow myself to only start projects that have a reasonable chance of being finished. So the lace project I want to work on is another "Knit 'til You Quit"; Shawl from three hanks of Jaggerspun that are relatively recent stash residents, only 8 years or so, since having been ordered from Herrschners after we came back to Israel.

For a while, I toyed with the idea of knitting Jackie's Cascading Hearts Shawl, still one of my favorites, but probably demanding more attention than I can muster right now.

And it's only going to get hotter.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Perfidy thy name is knitter

To you
My heart cries out “Perfidia”
For I find you, the love of my life
In somebody else’s yarns

Well, not really somebody else’s yarns, but certainly not Yarn from the Stash, which is what I’m supposed to be using up, right?

Your eyes are echoing “Perfidia”
Forgetful of the promise of stash
You’re sharing another’s yarns

Well, it’s not sharing if you’ve bought it, right? But it’s still not yarn from the stash.

With a sad lament my dreams are faded like a broken bamboo DP
While the gods of yarn look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we knitters be.

My dreams of using up the stash yarn, that is. And I don’t think that buying new yarn is necessarily romantic. Obsessive, certainly. Bizarre, definitely.

It started with the Must Have Cardigan, which, true to its name, was something I decided I had to have. Oh, I was good, I went through the stash and pulled out some possibilities, but in the back of my mind was this nagging thought that I’d only ever used Paton’s Classic Wool to make a few felted bunnies, and that I’d never actually made a sweater out of it. I considered this a Serious Oversight.

Then Michael’s had a coupon for forty per cent off one’s ENTIRE purchase, so it seemed that the fates were calling to me to buy enough Classic Wool to make the Must Have Cardigan. Which I have. Well, mostly. I whipped up all the pieces, and they are now languishing in the finishing pile, while I have (O, Perfidy!) moved on.

I realized that my sister’s birthday was on the horizon, and that she might like a pair of socks, and that the NSLYS (Not So Local Yarn Shop) had some Regia Wool and Cotton yarn in a really nice colourway, so rather than pull something out of the stash, I got some of that instead.

Then there was the forty per cent off one item coupon from Michael’s, which had me trying out a ball of Paton’s Grace, which is supposedly just as nice as one of the Rowan cottons (which are right out of my budget). Just for a lark, I started the sleeve of the Martha cardigan. And fell in love with it. This has caused me to start collecting up Michael’s coupons, and buying the yarn ONE BALL AT A TIME to make the whole sweater. Which means, of course, that I’m doing Dye Lot Gyrations, because one cannot buy enough of one dyelot when one is buying the yarn one ball at a time.

On the other hand, I am enjoying the challenge.

Finally, after having fallen in love with the Grace, I discovered a cache of it on deep discount at Len’s Mills, a local fabric/yarn/crap store – think dollar store on steroids. Yes, I’m buying that a ball at a time, too, though it’s getting harder and harder to find.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, I know this is nuts.

And now, my stash
I find my love was not for you
And so I take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s won

Really nuts.


(with apologies to Alberto Dominguez and Milton Leeds for butchering the wonderful song, “Perfidia”)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

my kippah

Thanks for organizing this project, Jen. With the temps up to 112°, I haven't felt like knitting much, but this was a welcome project.

melissa models the kippah I knit
The yarn is Sock it to Me! Collection: Puzzle (from Elann.com) and I used US 2 needles. I took the easy way out, using variegated yarn and the long tail cast on. At first I thought that it might be too small, but Jen showcased three different kippahs in her flickr gallery and it appears to be an okay size. I'm going to give this kippah to Melissa's and Molly's friend Willie, and I think that I'm going to knit at least two more, maybe three. I was inspired by the mosaic knitting that Jen used, so I'm going to try my hand at it on the next kippah.

Thanks for a great pattern, a great project and a fun time, Jen!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Kippalong 3: Mosaics, Faux Pas, and Other Edges and Finishes

If you've arrived here from the Eastside Fiber Arts website, please click on the link at the left to go to our new site's pattern page to download the most up-to-date kippah pattern!

Because the kippah itself is very plain, you can add some visual punch to it by starting it with a decorative edge in place of the garter stitch band.

If you are new to the concept of slip-stitch mosaic designs, I strongly recommend getting hold of a copy of Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs or Mosaic Knitting, the definitive books on the topic. She describes the technique in great detail and many of the designs in her books, while looking quite complex, can be easily done.

If you don't have access to Barbara's books, there are two very good resources available on the Net: The first, Esther Bozak's excellent online introduction to the technique, along with Esther's sample patterns to try.

The second is the article by Kristi Porter in the Summer 2003 issue of knitty.com, which includes a lesson on reading charts.

And speaking of charts, I would now like to apologize publicly for making a major faux pas design-wise: thankfully someone wrote and pointed out to me that only one of the four small designs that appear on page 3 of my kippah pattern is suitable for mosaic knitting. The main principle of mosaic knitting is that you only knit one color per pattern row while slipping the second color without knitting. Therefore, the color which is being slipped must exist at the same spot in the row immediately below it.

Backside Mosaic Slip-Stitch
Look Ma! No carries!

As Wendy would say, "I'm a Putz!" (By the way, Wendy has some neat mosaic designs, on her site, including totes.)

Gaffed Mosaic Designs:

Mosaic Design Chart Redux:

(Shown are three different charts and the little bar on the far right tells you which color you should be knitting in that round. You can right-click and save this chart to your own computer.)

All these designs need a foundation row. Once you've cast on your kippah onto your circular needle, don't immediately join for the next round. Instead, purl back on your cast-on row for the foundation row and then join the round and join in your contrast color yarn. What is important for us since we are knitting in the round, is that every slip-stitch is slipped with the yarn held at the back and that slipped stitches are always slipped purl-wise.

Mosaic Boo-boo
Spot the Boo-boo

Now, the designs that I mistakenly tagged as mosaic designs are still usable: You can either knit them as stranded designs, i.e. holding one color of yarn in each hand or, if you don't have the hang of two-handed knitting yet, you can do the following:
on the first round, knit the CC stitches and slip the MC stitches
on the second round, slip the CC stitches and knit the MC stitches
on Round 3, purl the CC stitches and slip the MC stitches
on Round 4, slip the CC stitches and purl the MC stitches

What you've just done is knit 4 rows which is the equal of one row of the chart. (While this works fine for such small patterns and for the short run, in the long run it's worthwhile learning how to knit with both hands.) However, exactly like stranded knitting, you must keep a loose tension on the working yarn when you slip the slipped stitches. If your tension is too tight, your knitting will pucker vertically. One way to help avoid this problem is by keeping your knitting bunched up on the left needle and spread out on your right needle, just like what we do when there are too few stitches on the circular needle but, goldarnit!, we're not switching to double pointed needles just yet! :->

Mosaic edge KippahOther edges: On future kippahs, I'd love to try entrelac or domino edges or even lace. Since I am so indecisive about what kind of edge to try, in all probability I will do a provisional cast-on with scrap yarn (the "Scoop & Dip" method) and first knit the crown of the kippah and then go back and knit the edge, if I've made up my mind by then. :)

I hope you find this information helpful for your own kippah. Please leave a comment any time if you need help with a technique or have a question, and don't forget to show off your finished kippah to the rest of us.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Kippalong 2: More about "The Yarn makes the Kippah" and Cast-on choices

First of all, a little more about yarn gauge and resulting kippah size. Let me preface this by saying that you should take my results with a grain of salt. The results you get with your chosen yarn will most likely be different than mine. However, in the interest of sharing information, I'm providing this as food for thought.

As I said earlier, my fiber preference for kippahs is cotton. Cotton, especially high-twist and mercerized cotton, will not compress as much as wool. With that in mind, these are the exact measurements that I got with my yarns:
-Fingering/Sock weight yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton (a cotton-wool blend), 26sts x 36rows=4" on size 2.25mm (US1). The finished kippah was 17.5" around and 7" across.
-DK/Sport weight yarn: Rowan Cotton Glace (100% cotton), 23sts x 32rows=4" on size 3.25mm (US3) needles. The finished kippah was 18" around and 7.5" across.

In order to knit a larger kippah, I used a DK weight yarn, but knit the kippah according to the directions for Fingering/Sock weight yarn. The finished kippah was 19.25" around and 8.25" across. (This is an all-cotton yarn, imported and labeled by our local yarn distributor, but without a recommended gauge; my gauge was 6.25 sts to 1" on size 3.25mm/US3.)

My last test kippah (picture soon-promise!) was knit with a very fine gauge yarn: Phildar Fil D’Ecosse (100% cotton), 30sts by 40rows=4" on 2.00mm(US0), which resulted in a finished kippah roughly 17" around and 6.75" across, the smallest of all the kippahs.

Because of the very fine gauge of this yarn, neither the instructions for the Fingering/Sock weight yarn nor DK/Sport weight yarn worked well. This resulted in my writing an addendum to my pattern. You can download it here. (If you downloaded my original kippah pattern between May 9 and May 21, you only need to download the addendum for extra fine gauge yarn. This addendum is already included in the current full pattern download.)

While you can get a larger kippah by knitting with a larger gauge yarn and following the instructions for either the fingering/sock weight or the extra fine gauge yarns, personally I don't recommend using a yarn with a gauge larger than about 22 stitches to 4 inches. The resulting kippah will not only be somewhat coarse looking (remember, we're using the purl side as the right side) and weighty, but more importantly my pattern's initial decrease ratio doesn't work very well with a large gauge yarn.

Cast-on Choices:
Just like a collar of a sweater, the cast-on for the kippah is located in a very visible place and deserves your best efforts. In my kippah pattern I suggested using the Cable Cast On. I find this cast-on edge not only lies flatter than the standard Long-Tail Cast On, but it also makes a lovely decorative edge. If you find the Cable Cast-on difficult, try it's little brother, the Knitted Cast-on. However, like many things in knitting, there are no hard and fast rules here. Try what you like and see if it works for you.

When knitting my sample kippahs, I also used a provisional cast-on in order to leave live stitches available for adding i-cord after finishing my kippah. If you click on the 3rd thumbnail below for the largest kippah, you can see the results. It made for a very polished-looking finish to the edge.

Regardless of what cast-on you choose, if you tend to hold your needles and yarn in a death grip while casting on, use a needle one size larger than what you are going to use for the kippah itself. While elasticity is not a huge factor here, you still don't want your edge pulling in.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Dog ate my homework

After my webhost's server ate my DNS settings, I now have a small family matter that needs attending to before I can continue with the kippalong. Sorry for the slight delay and I should be back with a post on Sunday.

Meantime, your yarn's vital stats please. I'm finding that many people are wishing to use finer yarn than what the current pattern calls for and if that is the case, I will write up an addendum to the pattern.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Kippalong 1: The Yarn makes the Kippah

Hopefully by this time you've downloaded my kippah pattern (new link as of May 2009) and have given some thought to what yarn you're going to use to knit it.

As I said in my pattern, my first preference is cotton, and if at all possible a highly twisted and mercerized cotton. Why? Two reasons: First, stitch definition (although this is less important if you are using a rag-type yarn as I did with my first kippah):



And second, weight. This isn't to say that you can't use other fibers or fiber blends. Since I don't have any linen or silk yarn in my stash and since I'm trying really hard not to increase the size of my yarn stash, I didn't have those fibers to experiment on.

If you are participating in the kippalong, please leave in this post's comments your chosen yarn's vital statistics: name, fiber content, the stitch and row gauge printed on the ball band and the needle size you are going to use with it. If you don't have a ball band, let us know what stats you got with a gauge swatch.

The next Kippalong post will be Wednesday or Thursday.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Things finally calmed down enough after Passover so that I could sit down and tackle rewriting my knit kippah pattern. With the number of knitters on the Internet, it surprises me somewhat that my pattern is one of barely a handful available for knitters. So I'm happy to announce that my completely rewritten kippah pattern can be found on my new web site (new link as of May 2009) and includes instructions for both DK/sport weight and fingering/sock weight yarn.

Another knit kippah pattern available online is
The Accidental Kippah
In print, there is the one in Interweave Knits, Summer 2002, Page 96: Silk Skullcaps by Joanne Seiff.

Unfortunately, a few more knit kippah patterns were lost when Carlin took down her wonderful pattern repository on VanderbiltU. If anyone knows if the pattern by Lois Silverman, the pattern by the Women's League for Conservative Judaism or the pattern by Amit Chitwood have found new web addresses, I'd be thrilled if you'd post the new address in the comments. A search on Google didn't turn up anything.

Why the rewrite of the pattern, you ask? Most of the comments that I received since posting my knit kippah pattern after my older son's Bar Mitzvah (and who is soon to turn 20!), were that knitters found the kippah too small for an adult head and that my directions were confusing. Both those problems have been solved with the new pattern. (What can I say other than it made perfect sense to me at the time and I knit about 2 and a half dozen kippahs for 13 year-old heads!) What I chose to eliminate from the new pattern, however, was the wordy explanation of mosaic slip-stitch knitting in the garter stitch band at the beginning of the kippah. Unfortunately for a lot of people that band is what attracted them to the pattern to begin with, because it mimics the patterns in crocheted kippahs. If there is enough demand, once we've worked our way through the basic kippah pattern, we'll hold a separate session to discuss the mosaic slip-stitch patterns one can use in the band.

So, starting Sunday, May 15, watch this space! (Feel free to grab the link button and put it on your own website.)

Currently Kippalong-ing:
Pearl (done!)
Mozemen (done!)
Brenda (done!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Discovering a "New" Knitter

Even before Knitty's "Flash Your Stash" day, the School for Wayward Skeins had a mini-outing with my bestest friend. She and I have known each other for, oh, 20 years or so and she's just recently started knitting after being inspired by her 14 year-old daughter's efforts. Suddenly knitting is the hip thing for Israeli teens to do. (Pardon me while I collect my jaw from the floor!)

When we sat down to go through my yarn stash (we only got about a quarter of the way through it because we were looking through magazines and books too), it really hit me that, er, my stash is kinda sizable. It's not that I didn't know this before (what with taking up a third of my son's 2.50m closet, top to bottom, with two additional large Tupperware bins at the end of the hallway), but this is the first time I've ever done serious stash diving with someone else present in the room. All I can say is thank God she's a really good friend!

The punchline is that my best friend is knitting a.g.a.i.n. That's right. We've known each other for 20 years and she's never mentioned even once that she used to knit, even when she's come over and seen me knitting on something. (She's one tight-lipped Brit! Though being British I should have probably guessed...) So now I have another local cohort in fiber and even more importantly, someone I can share my yarn stash with!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Stash and more stash

Now that I've had to face my stash I find that I have some yarns that I really want to knit. I just have no idea what to knit with them. The yarns are Idena Flamenco (which I bought five years ago) and Rowan Cashsoft DK in Sweet (I adore this color). Flamenco is a boucle in a beautiful sunset colorway, deep purples, vivid oranges and reds.

So, now I must face my pattern stash. I have books here and there, with various slips of paper marking patterns that I like; I have some printed patterns in clear sleeves that I'm put in random order in a notebook; there are purchased pattern pdf files in one folder on my computer, but not organized; and the biggest mess of all are my bookmarks of favorite patterns on the internet.

Is there a simple solution? For now, mine is to put them back in the stash. And start a new project with summer cotton yarns. Hey! the temps are already in the 90's here. Which means that I can buy more yarn, right? Because I don't have any cotton in my stash.

heh heh!

What are you knitting this Spring/Summer?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Jen, I accept and meet your challenge!

(Another Flash Your Stash Entry below this one.)

Presenting my stash!

It's not that impressive, I guess, but it sure takes up more space than I wish that it did. All told, there's enough yarn there for about 10 projects and at least 1,000 scarves. That's not a typo. I have a bad habit of buying single balls of yarn just so I can see how it knits up.



April 1-Flash Your Stash Day!

Yes, thanks to the good folks at Knitty, today is "Flash Your Stash!" Day. While my stash really hasn't grown a lot over the past 5 years, it's still kinda on the large size because: a.) I hardly knit a thing over the past two years (knitting slump) and b.) I'm the world's slowest knitter.

If you think you're up to looking at all the class pictures of Ms. Yarnaholic's School for Wayward Skeins, just click on the thumbnail below to go to my Flickr photoset.

01-Ms. Yarnaholic's School for Wayward Skeins

And you can find a complete list of all the participants in today's "Flash Your Stash!" here.

(P.S. Hahaha...I'm laughing now. I thought I'd managed to flash all my stash. Five minutes ago I found a canvas bag in the living room with three more projects in it!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

rip it -- rip it good

Oh, I'm not a knitter who is averse to ripping out. If there's a problem, I'll rip.

But I've never actually made a whole garment, finished it, washed and dressed it, put it in the cupboard, and THEN decided to rip it out.

There's a first time for everything.

A couple of years ago, when the Bob sweater at knitty.com was all the rage, I made one of my rare forays into the land of knit-along. I bought the yarn, Rowan Calmer, at a trip to Liberty in London, and loved every minute of knitting Bob.

Then I tried it on. Blech. I couldn't stand the neckline – it was too off the shoulder, too across the neck, just – too. And not in a good way. Bob was just not flattering.

Bob got packed away – until this winter, when I found it when going through clothing to donate to charity. There it was, never worn. I decided that I had to fix it. But I had no idea how. Then the pattern for the Nothin' But a T-Shirt showed up on Magknits, and I knew right then and there that it would be a better use of my yarn. So I made the decision to rip Bob right out and re-use the yarn for the Tee.

I've posted a mini-photo essay over at typepad.

I will say that it was absolutely the right decision I could have made. I was concerned that the yarn would look worse the wear for the ripping, washing, reknitting, washing and dressing, but it doesn't. And miracle of miracles, the thing actually fits! And apart from the extra weight I'm carrying around (which is not the sweater's fault), doesn't look awful. Would look really nice if I could manage to lose the weight, but is still wearable and comfortable nonetheless, and not unflattering.

I'm already planning my next conquest. Not surprisingly, it's to rip out another knit-along fave, Klaralund. I knit it, but haven't sewn it together. I thought I was being lazy, but I know that I'm procrastinating because there's no hope that the thing will look any good on me. I'm looking forward to turning it into Tilt (also from knitty.com) – which has the advantage of using up the rest of the same colour of Silk Garden that's in my stash!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

knitting conditions

With a daughter home on Spring Break, a sick cat, tons of rehearsals and concerts, not to mention temperatures in the mid-80°'s, there's not much knitting going on around here. I still have about 4 or 5 projects on the needles and yarn for at least 10 others, but no knitting time.

I must finish a pair of tip-less gloves, though. I knit quite a few fingerless versions (at least 10 pairs) this winter because they became quite the 'rage' with Molly's friends, and I still owe a pair to Arthur who wants tip-less gloves. I knit the fingerless gloves with two needles because I really wanted the stripes to match up, but I think it'd be best to knit the tip-less in the round. (I'm using the pattern from Ann Budd's the knitter's handy book of Patterns. I did a google search for jogless stripes in the round and came up with a few solutions, none of which really do it for me. Do any of you have tips for this?

With our weather conditions here in the desert I'm glad that I'm not knitting anything larger than gloves. ;)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Current projects

I am just now finishing a project that is kind of a sad story. My friends daughter went into the hospital to have a bone marrow transplant and asked me to get some yarn for he so she could work on a sweater for her sister-in-law, who was expecting a baby. Unfortunately, she became so sick and was unable to make the blanket. She asked me to do it for her. So I am about to finish the baby blanket and unfortunately Dawn will never see it. She passed away on the 5th of January. So working on the blanket had a very special meaning for me as well.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I'm envoking "the boyfriend curse"?

Well I casted on, and that's about it right now because I need to write and then go to bed, for a vest for "the boyfriend". He would like a sweater, but I told him no way. Both of my 18 year old girls looked aghast at him and asked him if he was trying to break up with their mother! He was very confused. After we were done giggling we let him know that you, never, ever, make a sweater for a boyfriend if you didn't want to break up. I don't think he quite believes me but we did compromise on a vest.

Speaking of which - I want to make it fair isle. Haven't done that for a while, who knows when. Any good books to suggest so I don't have to wing the patterns on the vest? I mean, I'm winging enough to knit a vest for a 6 foot 9 inch gentleman anyway. I will finish casting on tomorrow, and then work on some ribbing for awhile and it is 10 percent less than 38 inches (yes, I do follow Elizabeth Zimmerman's rules/suggestions) so it's going to take awhile to get this puppy up to the point of patterning.

It's a nice soft cashmere blend a friend gave me, with various balls of the same stuff that she dyed. They seem to go well together. We will see.

Well, off to bed. I can hear the cat calling!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hello, is this thing on?

Is anyone else out there like me, unsure of how to jump into the conversation when you arrive at a party that's already in full swing? Oh, good, there are more of us...

I'm still working on ironing out the photo wrinkle, but there isn't much to show off these days -- yes, I'm another knitter in a slump.

This makes no sense to me -- I have lots of yarn in the stash, and lots of inspiration, either in books or magazines or through seeing what others post on their blogs. But most days I just don't feel like knitting. This leaves me feeling a bit crushed by the weight of the stash -- definitely not a "She Who Dies With The Most Wins" situation. I *really* want to rid myself of that stash.

Hopefully, participating here will drag me back into actively wanting to knit. A little inspiration from the knitting fairies would be welcome right now, too!

Monday, February 21, 2005

News to me

This is probably old news for anyone currently on the knitting lists, but since I'm not, it was news to me.

Political protest turns to the radical art of knitting

(via Dave Barry's blog. Honest! and DRAT! If I'd known about this, I'd probably have postponed my trip to London to March...maybe.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Little knitting re-visited

I've injured my left hand. Possibly from knitting, but more than likely from playing the violin. Unfortunately, for a professional violinist, this is not a good thing. In any case, knitting is suspended for while, as I MUST continue to play.

Until this occurance, I've only been able to knit in the car while David drives us to rehearsals and performances, and therefore, I can only knit little projects that don't require much space. Considering all this, in the past few weeks I've knitted several scarves, hats and fingerless gloves, but now, I'm anxious to finish David's sweater (yup, four years on the needles) and I have yarn for at least 5 or 6 projects (most of which will never be knitted).

I have been knitting chemo caps - sadly, quite a few of my friends are going through chemo - and have found that Crystal Palace Merino Frappe knits up into the softest cloud. I order it from Fuzzy Galore. The last chemo cap I made was inspired by the Kittyville hat. Sorry for the terrible picture - the hat is actually a lot cuter in real life. ;)

I've also been working through these short row tutorials, which I've enjoyed and hope to complete. Now, if only my hand would heal so I can resume my happy knitting.

Friday, February 11, 2005

and who would you be, dear poster?

I have no excuse for not posting except two words - teenage daughters. Need I say more? :) I love them, but............

Well, I did finish the never ending sweater (will send pictures when I develop the roll- I'm still SO not digital) and it was a hit. Once I blocked it, that is! The arms had really pulled in and she was afraid that it would be too uncomfortable and was rightfully scared to tell me. But it blocked out nicely and the rest of the sweater fit anyways. I don't much care for the marbling, heathery look of Black Water Abby yarns, but this daughter seems to adore it. It's the second sweater she asked for out of the yarns.

I worked up a nice scarf out of some left-over cashmere blend that I had hand dyed (new experience there!) and sent it off to another teacher friend in El Paso. I have always felt guilty that I'm the reason she teaches Special Ed., as she has told me that I was her influence. Well! Anyway, her mom told me that the scarf stays in the coat pocket and goes around her neck every time she leaves the apartment. It's nice to be appreciated, no?

Right now - no projects - I'm making a Spanish Tudor costume. What are you talking about Afton, you say? I use to be very active in a group call the Society for Creative Anachronism, but kind of dropped out after the divorce (he got custody of the group! heheheh) and my old group that I helped start back in Las Vegas has asked me to come out for the 25th year celebration of the founding of the group (Heavens, that makes me feel old!) They recreate the middle ages and I need a costume as I'm 20 pounds heavier than what my old ones were made to fit. Just think high school reunion with corsets and hoopskirts and you get the idea. (A corset can only squeeze so much in, you know!)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Knitting for Baby

Thanks to inspiration from Linh and the fact that my niece just made me a great aunt, I picked up my knitting needles to start a baby project: the Triangle-Edged Cardigan and Booties from Debbie Bliss' Quick Baby Knits.

It's a good thing I have a handle on the location of all my stash yarn, though I had somewhat of a short-lived panic until I figured out where this particular yarn was located. (In the potential trade bin!!) I'm using the only 6 skeins of Phildar Coton D'Egypte Sport that I have and it's working up at about pattern gauge, 25 stitches to 4". I'm making the largest size, 9-12 months. I figure larger is better, given the fact that babies tend to grow quickly and by the time they're about 1 or so they don't get a whole lot bigger around, just longer in the body. (Not to mention that I'm such a slow knitter, there's no point in making anything smaller!)

The pink is a little brighter than what I probably would have chosen, more of a candy floss pink than pastel pink. But what the heck! When you're working from your yarn stash (and determined not to buy more yarn), that's the way it is!

Sunday, February 06, 2005


I finished a few more items.

I call this my Super Skinny Spring Scarf. It is Patons Cha Cha yarn in "Vegas", knitted on size 13 needles. Eight stitches across in garter stitch.

Knitted another umbilical cord hat. I like this Lime Green color! It is Bernat Cotton Tots yarn. I incorporated a little seed stitch near the bottom.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Finally, it's complete!

I have FINALLY finished the blanket!

This is a slightly scaled down version of the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch. Rather than knit with a double strand of expensive, high maintenance wool, I went with easy to care for Wool Ease from Lion Brand using only a single strand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Long time no blog

I guess we've all been busy!

I knitted some scarves recently (some for Christmas, and one for my SIL's birthday). Mostly Lion Brand Fun Fur combinations. They seemed to be big hits. Of course, I forgot to take pictures!

Monday I finally picked up that baby blanket I started ... oh ... seven months ago. I am about 65% done. I had such grand plans of all the baby blankets I would make for all my pregnant friends. It's not going to happen. This just may be the one and only baby blanket I make ... ever! It's taking me forever. I don't know if it's because I'm a slow knitter, or an impatient knitter. Maybe both!