Updates from August, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:00 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Pure Joy 

  • knitting1105 12:27 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Knitting Helper 

    My sister Jill spent the past week with us at the beautiful Lake Michigan house in Montague.  She brought along 2 sweaters that she had started over a year earlier, and were nearing completion.  I admired her perseverance on these projects.  With my guidance, she was almost complete with both.  I had convinced her about 18 months ago that she needed to move beyond scarves, and she took the challenge.

    Jill tells me that I do not put mistake projects on my blog, although I would have to disagree on that front.  So, we decided to post photos of her second sweater, a beautiful soft purple silk/wool blend.  The shrug is knit starting at one sleeve, knit across the back, and down the second sleeve.  Then the lacier border is picked up all around and knit in the round on larger needles.  Jill has long arms like me, and has never had many store-bought clothes that fit well in arm length.  I think that she might have over-compensated on this sweater.

    It is not as easy to shorten the arms when they are both knit from a different direction, and we had to take several inches off.  The sleeve that was cast off was fairly easy, but we had to do a lot of decreases right away to get the cuff to be snug enough.  It gave the end of the sleeve a nice billowy appearance.  The sleeve that started it all was not quite as easy.  You cannot just rip back the same way.  So, when we got back to my house in the evening, we sat up and finished it.  Jill had marked off how short she wanted it, and I threaded a circular needle through at that point.  Then I cut the sleeve a couple of rows shy of that and pulled back the remainder of the yarn.  She then did a decrease row, and the cuff in reverse stockinette stitch.

    Jill’s comment was that she’s glad I did that, as I had experience.  I had to inform her that it was my first time! I am glad that it worked.

    Now we need finished photos of both sweaters Jill.

  • knitting1105 10:16 am on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Vacation Knitting 2010 

    We have been sitting at the wonderful beach house in Montague right on Lake Michigan for the past week.  As usual, I agonized over what knitting to bring.  Not too much, but enough to keep me busy.  Variety in case I ran into a snag, and something interesting.  This would have been the perfect location to bring all those unfinished projects, but that would have meant taking up more space in the car.  We had to have room for 3 adults, 1 dog, 2 bikes, some food, and clothes too.  Nobody seemed to want to have my knitting projects squished around them.  The only one who would not have complained is Lloyd.

    I decided to bring a Hanne Falkenberg kit, Chess, with me.  It is a sweater for my husband.  I had purchased the kit a couple of years ago, and this seemed like a good thing to bring along.  Provided you have the right needles, her kits are very well written, and I can easily work on them even when I don’t feel like concentrating.  The hardest problem was finding a pair of size 2 needles not tied up on another project.  I ended up bringing a pair of straights, as all of the circulars were occupied.  Good thing I did too.  Her pattern called for a 3 – 3 1/2 mm needle.  American size 2 is usually a 2.75mm, and the size 3 is a 3.25mm. I say usually, as every manufacturer has their own standards, it is very frustrating at times with the lack of uniformity.

    My progress was as follows:

    • I  cast on 125 stitches with the size 3, knit a bit, realized it was too loose, so recast on with the size 2.
    • Knit the entire rib, started the pattern and had difficulty with the # of stitches.  That is when I realized that my 3 1/2″ of ribbing was for the small size
    • Started over AGAIN, with size 2 needles, and the correct # of stitches (135) for the ribbing.
    • Changed to size 3 needles, worked the pattern for a few rows, and realized it was too loose, so ripped back to the ribbing.
    • This time the entire sweater is knit with a size 2 needle, and no major issues since.  Lots of easily memorized pattern knitting.

    So, after 5 days of knitting, I am not as far as I had hoped, but the gauge is correct, and I like the colors:

    The weather has been gorgeous here.  Friday morning is the first bit of inclement weather, with a few sprinkles that are blowing away to give us another great beach day.  My sister Jill is up here for the week with us, and she brought 2 of her unfinished sweaters.  She completed one, and the second is almost done.  She has been very determined to get these done while I am here to help her.

    Dan has spent his time reading, playing guitar, and swimming:

    View from the deck:

    View from the beach:

    And gorgeous sunsets:

    My son is here with friends.  I haven’t gotten photos of them yet though.

    I also brought socks and a lace project which I have not worked on here…

    • Little Miss Adventure 2:38 pm on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, that’s a big lake. I’m from the UK and can’t really conceive of a lake where you can’t see the other side. Looks like an idyllic place, and with no salty water to irritate your skin! Also, cute dog 🙂


      • atangledyarn 3:13 am on August 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Wow, Gorgeous pictures of all, but also that sunset is amazing. A for the sweater, at least you know that it will fit in the end:)


      • knitting1105 11:01 pm on August 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Lake Michigan is one of the most beautiful places I know, especially up at this house. I have never seen anything quite like it.


  • knitting1105 11:04 am on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Somali Sweater 

    This sweater was another that I found recently that I had made for Sofia when she was younger.  She no longer has a need for it, and it really is geared at the vision of a 13 year old.  I offered this to Andrew, along with the heathery grey purple sweater from an earlier post, to give to his mother who works with Somali refugees.  According to Andrew, this will be just the hit with the Somali women and girls, as they love beautiful bright and garish colors.

    The pattern is one of my favorites for kids, The Wonderful Wallaby, by Cottage Creations.  I love the pocket and hood.  It is basically a knitted sweatshirt.  One day I will make one for myself.

    It really feels good to have these going to someone who will use and appreciate these.  Thanks Andrew!

    • Rae 11:56 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That is very cool that they will be able to be passed on to people who will love them & use them.


  • knitting1105 9:50 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Sox Socks 

    Wednesday night was the Stitch ‘n Pitch night at Sox stadium in Chicago.  My husband went with me, and we met others from my knitting group, and were surrounded by knitters from the area.  Dan was happy with the seats in spite of their reasonable price, in left field right in front of the pitchers warm-up area.  I needed a mindless project to work on, so I started a pair of black and white socks for Dan.  I am going to try to put a reasonable facsimile of the Sox “S” on the top of the foot.  Right now it is just the cuff with 3 white stripes.  I am planning on doing white heels and toes.  The black yarn is Cascade sock yarn, not recommended.  It has lots of slubs, and is not very refined.  The white yarn is Jawoll, one of my favorite sock yarns.

    And the Sox beat the Twins 6-1.

    • pip 5:10 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      are you talking about the sox baseball team? if so, many years ago I stayed with a lovely family in Chicago… and I met the (1981) team … what a wonderful summer I had!


      • knitting1105 8:37 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yup, the Chicago White Sox, my husband and son’s favorite team. I am to the heel, and need to try an “S” on the top of the foot.


  • knitting1105 9:49 am on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    STR one last time 

    I have started my last pair of STR socks, “Holidazed“.   These date back to my last shipment from the club 2 years ago.  I cast on with size 1 needles, the  pattern called for size 1 1/2 which I do not have.  After completing half of the heel flap, I realized that these were just going to be too tight, so I ripped back to the 1×1 ribbed cuff, and knit the main body with a size 2 needle.  So, my progress photos are not as far along as I had hoped.  I like the way that the yarn is knitting up on a size 2 needle much better.  The first version was very striped.  The larger needles also give more stitch definition to the pattern, the fabric does not feel so dense, and the yarn is actually easy to work with.  I think that in many of their patterns, they are trying to make this yarn something that it is not by using very small needles.  STR should just accept that these will be bulkier socks, and use a size 2 needle.

    Par for the course, not my favorite pattern, but I am determined to knit what was given to me.  I have learned a few things along the way.  Most importantly it has taught me that I need to not be wowed by colors, but go for the weight and texture of yarns that I really love.  As in things that I put in my house: quality, beauty and useful or something I love.

    Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”  –  William Morris

    Tonight is the Stitch N Pitch outing of knitters to see the Chicago White Sox game vs. Minnesota Twins.  I must have something mindless to work on during that time, and these current socks require good lighting.  I am thinking a pair of simple white socks.

    • Karen 9:58 am on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What is the colorway? I know what you mean about STR but I’m afraid I am still in the “wowed by color” phase and I LOVE that one.


      • knitting1105 10:13 am on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Colorway is Muddy autumn Rainbow. Beautiful in the skein also.


  • knitting1105 9:21 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    EZ’s Birthday 

    Today is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s 100th birthday.  For the non-knitters who occasionally read this blog, let me give you a bit of a background on Elizabeth. She was born in England, and migrated with her husband to the US.  EZ is credited with revolutionizing and analyzing knitting starting in the 1950’s.  She wrote many books, had TV shows, eventually her own press and knitting retreats.  Elizabeth analyzed the craft of knitting, researched how old sweaters were crafted and constructed, and popularized the Aran and Fair Isle sweaters in the United Sates.  She broke a sweater construction down into easily manageable parts that could be manipulated to fit any body type.  My first introduction to EZ was with the book Knitting without Tears, which I read cover to cover immediately and loved.  It was there that I understood why I knit different than most other knitters I knew, and why it was so much faster.  The book The Opinionated Knitter is one I just recently acquired, and it will definitely be my vacation knitting.

    I must have Elizabeth mojo today.  I was in the bookstore, and stopped to look at the knitting magazines.  I have given up all of my subscriptions, as I found them to have less and less of the types of projects that I like to knit.  Today I decided to purchase the current issue of Interweave Knits, as it had a nice article on Elizabeth Zimmerman, and another on Barbara Walker.  Two women who changed the face of knitting in America, and people I wish I had known about at a younger age.  I knit in such isolation for many many years, and knew nothing about the books that were available to me.  Now there are too many influences.  Barbara Walker also wrote 4 definitive stitch guides for knitters.  I had the fortune to take a class with her about 10 years ago on slip stitch knitting.  It was very fun to meet her, and she told the owner of the knit shop that I was the fastest knitter that she had seen.  What a great compliment.

    So, today while trolling artound on the Ravelry site, I found a shawl that was a free download and a tribute to the Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi shawl.  And then 2 others on the same page!  I saved all 3.  I have been looking to a new project, and this might be the ticket.  Now to decide which I like the best.

    The Gull Wings:

    Or Hearts

    Or Camping

    My favorite so far is the last one, Camping.  I have some beautiful natural wool, Inari from Habu Textiles, that I think might work nice for this one.

    • Andrew 10:42 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      All three are gorgeous. There is something about the scalloped edge of the first two that I love, but the leaf pattern in the third feels very arts & crafts. What color are you using?


    • Debbie S 7:20 am on August 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I love the last one but the first two are pretty, too. Have you ever made EZ’s Pi Shawl?

      KYFarmgirl (Rav)


      • knitting1105 8:25 am on August 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I have never made the Pi shawl. I think this is a good time. All of the 3 patterns have a repeat of 8-9-10 in honor of her birthday.


  • knitting1105 2:01 pm on August 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Barely Enough 

    i just finished my second to the last pair of Socks That Rock (still looking for that last skein and pattern).   As ususal, the skein barely squeaked by with enough yarn for both socks.  This is all that is left:

    I really had wanted to put another repeat on the cuffs, as they are a tad shorter than I would like.  I stopped at the time, as the pattern called for 6 1/4″ , or “desired length”, code for you won’t have enough yarn if you don’t listen to us and follow the pattern.  So, now they are all done, pair #11 from the 2nd and 3rd years of the STR club, and the only ones that I have kept for myself.  It is a bit cool right now, and I am wearing them around the house.  They will always be house socks, as they are a bit bulky.  The garter stitch toe and heel are very comfy however.  They look kind of funny when not on a foot, and the cuff is a bit loose for my tastes.

    • Rae 11:21 pm on August 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I like the color & the pattern they go great together. I hope you find the yarn your looking for.


  • knitting1105 10:32 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    One finished 

    I finished the first of a pair of socks from the STR sock club that have been waiting patiently for me for 2 years.  I have stated in the past how their sock yarn is not my favorite, and you could never do fair isle with it—that is if you wnated to actually wear them.  The yarn is thick.  I was less than enamoured with this pattern, and still don’t like the cuff as it flairs out.  But…in trying them on, I love the way that they feel.  The pattern and the garter stitch heel and toe are so soft and squishly.  Mind you, these would never fit comfortably in a pair of shoes, they will be indoor only socks.  I wish that I had done one more repeat.  I was nervous, as I have had barely enough yarn for the socks from this club in the past, and didn’t want to go beyond the reccomended length.

    Now, somewhere I have one last pattern to knit up from that club.  I am keeping these, and I think the last pair that I will make.  Just wish they used a different base yarn, as the colors are really beautiful.

  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on August 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Gumdrop socks 

    This is the second to the last pair of socks from the 2008 (yes, 2 years ago) Socks That Rock sock Club.  If you haven’t read my earlier posts on this club, you would not understand why it took me 2 years to get to these socks.  I originally joined, pre Ravelry, to have some camaraderie, and to expand my sock knitting repertoire.  However, the camaraderie was minimal, and for the most part, the patterns were less than engaging.  The club was really geared at beginning sock knitters.  I also am not a fan of this yarn.  It feels like knitting with thick cotton string instead of wool.  I don’t know what the treatment that they used to get the superwash component, but it has to be a chemical one.  The yarn does have nice stitch definition, and I generally like the colors that it is dyed.  However, when knitting with it you constantly get a twist in the yarn, even when using a center pull ball.  And the yarn is way too thick for my tastes in sock yarn.  I have given away every pair that I have made thus far, so I think that I will keep these and see how they wear.  The reports for wear are not stellar on Ravelry.  My last comment is that the skeins are very skimpy, and with every pair there is a fear of running out before completing the second sock.  Another 20-30 yards would be good, especially at the prices.

    The colors are really beautiful, especially in the unwound skein.  It is knitting up nicely.

    Pattern is easy to follow, and will have a lot of stretch:

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