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  • knitting1105 11:00 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The Manly Art of Knitting 

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    The title of this book intrigued me.  It had been out of print for years, so when it was reissued, I wanted a copy.  A cover that has a cowboy sitting on a horse and knitting is just too good to pass up.

    It is a very short book, 64 pages end to end, and not a lot of reading.  The instructions for beginners are amazingly simple and basic, this would definitely be a book that I would recommend to a brand new knitter.  The illustrations are simple and direct, and not a lot of extra stuff that would confuse the new knitter. And I love the full page photos of what your knit stitch, purl, ribbing, etc should look like.  I have read other reviews that pan this book, but I think that they are missing some of the great things.  Is it a book that you would go back to as a reference, probably not, but a non-threatening book for a novice.  This is going with me tonight to knitting for other reviews.

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    The second half gets into actually knitting something that any cowboy would love, a bed for your dog, saddle blanket, hat, hammock…

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    Especially love this as it reminds me of my beautiful Appaloosa POA, Sissy.  We had such great times riding together.

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    The books ends with a “Problems” section to help you solve those early issues that befuddle new knitters.  I think that the book well worth a read.  Most would probably just want to check it out from the library though.

    A review from ginkopress.com.

    A cult classic, The Manly Art of Knitting was originally published in 1972, but has been out of print for decades. Fougner initially published this book in the hope that it would encourage men to take up knitting and that veterans of the craft would embrace this quirky manual. In this amusing yet practical guide to knitting, Dave Fougner provides step-by-step instructions for beginners and those taking up the needles again. The book contains helpful illustrations and wonderful black and white photographs. You can t help but smile at the shots of calloused hands lovingly knitting blankets for dogs and horses. Chapters include basics, pattern stitches (garter, stockinette, purl, rib, moss, rise, and basket weave), projects, and problems. Fougner proclaims that only a man would knit a hammock with shovel handles for needles and manila rope for yarn. Whether or not this is true, Fougner will show you how it s done.

     
    • Erin 3:20 pm on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a find! I love the cover and helpful tips, like knitting something for an uncritical friend… your dog. Priceless!

    • AndreSue 11:40 pm on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great book review! I’ve seen the cover a few times online but didn’t know it was a real book! :)

  • knitting1105 4:27 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Color for my Feet 

    This past weekend we took a city retreat for my husband’s birthday. Very luxurious, and let us ignore the long cold winter for a bit.  Of course, I needed to take along knitting, and it needed to be a small, portable easy to work on project.  Socks it was.  I chose this yarn, that I believe I purchased from someone’s destash, but i can’t really remember where or when.

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    This is so incredibly beautiful, I was saving it for the right time/person.  Unfortunately, this person stopped dyeing yarn a couple of years ago.  When I was winding it up I fell even more in love with the colors.  The dyer was Family Pendragon.

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    There was a last-minute urgent work item that I was tending to, and remembered everything but the waste yarn to do the tubular cast on.  I tried it using the same yarn to no avail, and then tried just a regular cast on.  The yarn screamed at me that it needed to be done perfectly, so I just played around with it, and when I got back home cast on with the waste yarn for the tubular cast on.

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    And I am so glad that I did.  At the moment I am doing a twisted 1×1 ribbing for the cuff, not sure where I will go after that.  I was thinking that the Monkey Socks by CookieA might be worth another go with this yarn.  In the meantime, I am really glad that I started over.  These will be so fun and bright.

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    • Erin 5:04 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gorgeous color!

    • leslieagray2015 6:58 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely beautiful! My son walked by my monitor and was immediately struck by the stunning colors, so you know it has to be amazing! :-) What a gorgeous colorway!

      • knitting1105 10:14 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! I am in love with it, making me want to purchase some Vesper sock yarn now, which has gorgeous bright colors.

  • knitting1105 11:58 am on February 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    It takes an Internet Village 

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    The toes on my striped socks were finished, with the shockingly bright Kelly Green so I needed to move on to the afterthought heel.  Top down is my go-to sock knitting, as I can get a really nice gusset.  I have a high instep and do not like the short row heels in general as the sock tends to pull and bind at the instep.  After a first attempt following many instructions to just knit the heel like a toe, I was unhappy with how the toe looked and the holes created at the corners.  Ripped back, and went to the internet.  I have cobbled together my own version of how to do the afterthought heel using inspiration from the following 3 sources.

    First, to pick up the stitches, this was brilliant, from KnitGirllls.  I will definitely do this for the next sock, as I had a bit of a challenge getting the stitches picked up without disaster. If you already know how to set up for the afterthought heel, start the video at 6:00 minutes.  You can stop at 11:30. That is where the advice I took from this source stops.

     

    Next, to avoid the gaps in the corners, follow this video, it is really neat and makes a very clean pick-up by taking a stitch from below combined with the yarn coming off the adjacent stitch to create a tight hopeless corner:

     

    Her method of picking up 2 extra stitches not only closes up the holes, but gives 4 additional stitched for the round, which helps with the ease in the gusset.

    Now that I had all of my stitches picked up, the gap problem solved very nicely, I still was concerned about having enough give in the heel area.  Some suggested just knitting for 1/2″ – 3/4″, and I felt like that would be very clumsy.  Then… I found this resource, not a video, but very well put together blog post on how to create a neat little short row gusset.  Her instructions occur part way down in the post.  She suggests making a small gusset using short rows at each of the corners, I did this and it came out nicely as you can see here.

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    The heel was then finished using a Sl 2 tog as if to knit, K1, Pass 2 slipped stitches over together.  This gives a very neat column of decreases.

    One of the suggestions was to purl a stitch every other row at the decrease column, which I did, it does give it a definitive column.  The jury is still out on that, it makes it a bit bulkier. So, here is my heel finished, using all 3 of the above techniques.

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    The socks are very fun and bright, and the combination of these 3 methods made for a neat, very comfortable heel with no gaps.  Afterthought heels will no longer give me pause.  These were intended for the sock gift pile, until my husband told me that he would like them!  Apparently he loves the bright surprise toes and heels.

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  • knitting1105 1:13 pm on February 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    So Little Time… 

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  • knitting1105 8:00 am on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    When Stash is not Enough 

    A while back I showed my stash of Dale of Norway Baby Ull yarn that I was choosing from for my newest project.  I narrowed the colors down to these:

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    There were a few fits and starts as I tried to get the colors just right.  I chose a lovely pink gingham check border, then went on to work on the ducks.   That is when I realized that my green, which was supposed to evoke the feeling of grass, but instead was a beautiful bright Kelly Green, was all wrong.  So, ripped back and waited for the replacement green to arrive.

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    Here is the project reknit with the more appropriate color of green (old green next to it for comparison), I neglected to take a photo of the bright green knit up.  Just trust me, it was wrong, even my husband said order some different yarn.

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    And, while I was at it, I just needed to order a few more of the gorgeous new colors that DoN has out.  There is always a constant rejiggering of colors, so need to keep my stash relevant.  Love the light and dark eggplant.

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    Not a fan of the new Baby Ull yarn ball bands, the eyes look creepy to me.

    And of course, since I was ordering from my favorite DoN provider, Kids Knits, I needed to get a few pattern books also.

    Always, always a fan of the Olympic sweaters.  I have made a couple and love to have the books on hand as they tend to become unavailable after a while.  This one has 16 different sweater designs from 1956-2010, the last being Vancouver.  I knit the Vancouver one several years ago during the winter Olympics for the Ravelympics.  Glad that I have this book in my collection, and would highly recommend it.

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    At the same time, there were a couple of Baby books that I had not seen.  Ordered both of these, and my enthusiasm is not quite the same.  They are missing the great classic Fair Isle patterns that DoN is famous for.  The books do contain some good basic sweater patterns and a couple of cute vests for little boys.  If only there was a store in the area that carried this yarn and the pattern books, then I would be able to better discern which ones I wanted to purchase.

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  • knitting1105 8:01 am on February 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Tube Socks 

    This yarn was gifted to me, and I needed a project that was very mindless to take to meetings and such.  I cannot remember that the yarn name is, I do believe that there is some bamboo in it.  Simple 1×1 twisted rib socks fit the bill, I kept the twisted rib on the top of the foot, but not the bottom.  However, the stripes are so regular and dominate, that I did not want to do my traditional heel, which would have made for some short rows of color bands.  Instead I put a waste yarn in to put in an afterthought heel.

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    Last night I reached the end of my easy knitting on this, and now need to choose a heel/toe color.  Something that really contrasts with the blues and purples without fighting with it would be fun.  Here are some choices that I had on hand.

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    And, I think that the winner is the very bight green.

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    Stay tuned to see if that works, or if I rethink my choices.

     
    • Erin 10:11 am on February 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love the stripes!

    • Yvonne 4:31 pm on February 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How do you do this after thought heel? Never heard of it. And how did you continue the knitting once you put in the waste yarn?

      • knitting1105 2:45 pm on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I will put up a post tomorrow which explains it and has some great links.

    • Linda 6:41 am on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      LOVE those stripes! But all those ends to weave in….yikes.

      • knitting1105 2:44 pm on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        No ends, it is a self striping yarn, which is precisely why I chose to to the afterthought heel. That would be a lot of ends for a sock!

  • knitting1105 12:24 pm on February 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy New Years, Year of the Sheep! 

    The Year of the Sheep, passive and the arts, what a great combination.  Let us hope that it holds true.

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    The Chinese year of the Sheep (Goat) 2015 will start on February 19, 2015 (according to the lunar calendar).

    THE YEAR OF THE GOAT (SHEEP) 2015

    The Sheep (Goat) is a Yin energy, a symbol of Peace, Harmonious co-existence and Tranquility. That is the primary and fundamental mood for this year. Though there are cries for War and a countdown is soon to begin, if any almanac serves me well – War will be averted and a period of mending and compromise will be undertaken to ensure Peace is maintained.

    The Sheep is the symbol of the Arts. It relates to passive and nurturing times. It will help the healing process with regard to past events caused by individuals who have little respect for the human race or life itself. It will be a year of banding together in faith and in belief that good will prevail and win out over the forces that refuse to comply to a peaceful way of life. For those who trust in goodness, happiness and success will follow.

    The emphasis will be on joining forces in order to fight the evil and destruction that has been brewing. With the planet Saturn into the sign Scorpio and the planet Pluto in its long stay in the sign Capricorn, there will be greater concern with structure, getting back to basics and using greater intuition to find solutions to problems that have been plaguing the world for some time.

    Much will depends on this – the balance of international economy and social harmony is in peace. The call for war is not a step to be taken lightly. Though sabers are rattling on either side, as the calming vapours of the Sheep year spreads over the Nations, sentiments will be kindled and wisdom will prevail. Fate will send emissaries to change the faces of aggression towards a more Peaceful compromise. It does not kill the doubts, anger or desire for violence, but it puts a blanket of constrain over it.

    So will it be among family members and bitter economic rivals. Many will look into their hearts and souls and wonder at past passionate grievances and the realisation that the road to harmony and economic strength is through peaceful rather than violent ways.

    On the family front, it will be a time to unite and instil loyalty and discipline. Angers will cool and decisions that will disrupt family harmony will be laid aside to give it time to heal. So capture the moment to mend fences and broken promises.

    The aura of the 2015 Sheep (Goat) year will gradually radiate its way to all. The most turbulent times will be during the period of the Dragon, which is from the Vernal Equinox on March 20th till April 20th, and especially the period of the Ox where a grave threat will again raise its ugly head. This will be from the Day of the Winter Solstice on the 22nd of December till the 20th of January 2016. But for the moment, allow the calming balms of the Sheep’s vibrations to flow through you, and through you, to touch every heart you meet.

    2015 is a year to use mental abilities over brute force. For those who wish to be aggressive, expect to be out-maneuvered by strategy and common sense.

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  • knitting1105 5:13 pm on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Valentines Day! 

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  • knitting1105 9:55 pm on February 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Stash is Good 

    No Judgements here…

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    Having enough Baby Ull on hand allowed me to start planning a new project.  Very excited about this one.  First I had to choose the colors that went together, a total of 15-20.

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    I am not sure about the Bright Green in this mix, might have to change it up a bit.  Watch for coming up progress on my newest Dale of Norway baby creation.  I just love their patterns.  Any guesses on which one it is?

    No local yarn shops carry this wool, so when I see it I try to add to my collection.  My absolute favorite for making baby sweaters.

     
  • knitting1105 12:12 pm on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Snow Day! 

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