Friday, November 30, 2012

It Is Genetic

Daughter, she who crochets, winding up the  last skeins in  her stash of fair-trade organic cotton. 

Guess what is on her list for Santa? 

Ain't life grand?!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Progress Is A Good Thing

There was much progress on several projects during this long weekend.

I finished another shopping bag.  This one is rather large so it will hold lots of veggies without squashing anything (pun intended).  This is a crochet project that was in the UFO pile because I don't like adding handles.  What I don't like is sewing handles onto a bag.

I'd already finished the top edging wanted a quick and easy way out.  Enter the slip stitch tie.  Why haven't I though of this solution before?

All I did was attach the new color, chain a length and slip stitch back.  Then I worked sc across the edge of the handle and worked another chain and slip stitch to complete the tie.  Love it.

There was a great amount of progress on the EZ blanket.  Actually more progress than shows up in this photo. The blanket is at that stage where I'm sick of garter stitch broken up by a few short rows.  The tediousness of it leaves ample time to consider adding an edging.  And ample time to become bored.

So, either the blanket will be finished before the next big celebration or it will make new friends in  UFO land.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hole in One!

I got a hole in one!

Is the hole in this front band?

Or is this a button band?

Is the hole in this front band?

Or is this a button band?

I did so enjoy the pick up and knit on a front band class taught by Joyce Wyatt.  Mostly I enjoy her stories and "just go for it" attitude.  This was not the first time I learned from Joyce; it will not be the last time.  There is always some little trick - like picking up with the "tail" on the right side, that just sticks in my brain.

You might recall that this was a short class for ESSS members as the annual year end treat from member Joyce.   We chatted about several issues.  Such as making sure that a purl is the center stitch in the band.  And why the joining knit stitch looks puffy.  And how to fudge the one row difference that can occur at the neck of some garments.

For me, the center purl stitch (as seen from the public side) is the most important thing about which we chatted.  For it is in that receding purl of the ribbing that one can hide the button hole!

Three rows of easy peasy trickery and Voila!

The moral of the story is this:  next time you have an opportunity to take a class in button bands, you might get a hole in one.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

EZ Blanket

A very EZ blanket is flying off the needles.  EZ blanket as in Elizabeth Zimmerman's knitted garter stitch blanket from her Fall 1962 newsletter #9.  I've said it before and will keep saying it - get thee a copy of The Opinionated Knitter

The geometry of this blanket is very simple.  Garter stitch with short rows to turn the corners and Voila!  A blanket.  Well, it is a blanket after one knits several shapes and stitches them together.  But that is a blog post for another day.

The stash yielded this discontinued Manos del Uruguay 700 tex which is a hand spun wool.  Although not as bulky as EZ's original in Sheepsdown, this is working up quite well on a size 13 needle. 

All that I'm hoping for is a television watching cuddly blanket.  I don't need a cover the whole bed and live through a deep freeze type of blanket.  However, all of the lovely slipped stitches along the edges have me thinking of adding on a border of some type.

Perhaps knitting it on sideways in a "big chunky holes" style would be nice.  Or perhaps a crochet style will jump up and say "pick me!"  But for right now, simple garter with a change of direction is a nice relaxation from the little bitty gauge of the Fall jacket.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The opportunity to take a class from a skilled artisan is reason enough to rejoice.  But when the class is on knitting button bands, my heart goes all a twitter.  I just might "get it" this time.  Don't misunderstand.  I've knit button holes, added button bands and even advised a few along the way.

Unfortunately it has always been a struggle.  As in get out the reference book and put it along side of the pattern.  Tune into a clear video online and take it one stitch at a time.  Then rip back three stitches and try again.  Eventually I reach the "acceptable" look. 

This time I am determined to figure out those button bands and have it click in my little head.  I've taken class from Joyce Wyatt before and I enjoy her skill set and her attitude.  First, Joyce speaks both crochet and knit.  So we speak the same languages.  She is an artisan after my own heart because she believes that there are occasions - more often than we might want to admit - when it is necessary to fudge and smudge rather that rip and redo.    Gotta love that!

Here is my homework for the lesson.  A simple swatch and contrasting yarns ready to knit button bands.  The swatch has ribbing and stockinette.  I fear that we will be expected to pick up along that ribbing and knit in a button hole that does not pull, squish, look wonky or need a very expensive button to draw attention away from the messy stitching.  If anyone can calm my nerves, it is Joyce. 

Can't wait for Saturday.   Just one more benefit to be gained from belonging to a TKGA guild!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Falling For Color

Twelve colors in one jacket back.  Progress is swift once life allows time for knitting.  Those twelve colors had the potential to mess with my mind.  However, I stared them down.  Yep.  I lined them up in A - L order and stared at them before picking up the needles.

And I learned a lot about making it all come out with flow and harmony.  The trick seems to be deciding on a major theme (ie: cool v warm) for the general scheme.  Then zero in on a multi Must Include This colorway.  From there, find a solid to piggy back on one of the shades in the MIT and a second solid (or semi/heathered) to put on the other side.  After that it is a matter of choosing another multi that includes the solid.  Keep building until Voila!  Twelve shades of Fall.

Travel will mess up plans to complete the fronts this week.  I've already decided that juggling twelve balls of color in an airplane seat is a recipe for disaster. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Twelve Colors of Fall

Never before have I seen so many Fall colors.  Of course I fell in love at first sight.  There might have even been an audible gasp of joy.  I went back just to make sure that what I first saw existed.  And that is when it hit me.  Full force. 

The reality that I was deep in the throws of breaking a few Commandments related to not coveting was all too obvious.  And with a swipe and a sign, the twelve colors of Fall were mine.

 Twelve colors of Fall - aka Prism Merino Mia -  all combined to make one jacket.  Left to my own devices, this could never happen.  But when those who understand color blending and movement better than do I put everything together in a handy dandy kit, how could I resist.

 So far I have this much of the back knit.  Each colorway appears one time in the whole back.  And the fronts and sleeves as well. 

Now that the evenings begin earlier than I prefer, it leaves long hours of darkness to work long sections of stockinette broken by a few rows of linen stitch.  I am enamored by the twelve colors of Fall.