Saturday, January 31, 2009


How *is* everyone doing with their 2008 Knit From Your Shelf Goals?

I finished a project from my shelf - the Nachaq.

I did not get another project started :( so I have flunked the 'Always Have a Project From Your Shelf On Your Needles' portion of the year. I'm not too concerned, however, since I am diving into the world of test knitting and have decided that juggling test knits, travel knits, and Shelf knits is unreasonable. Especially when my travel knits are Norwegian Patterened Stockings. They're not my typical travel knit, but they work. I have great plans for finding a quiet lighted corner at the church Super Bowl party and getting much knit.

I also added a book to my shelf - Poems in Color. If this keeps up -add a book, use a book -I will not 'clear' my shelf of unused books.

Next on the agenda is the Maikell shawl from Estonian Lace. I started a swatch and got nice pointy needles to work it on. I hope to get going on it more in early February.

Today we're experiencing a January Thaw. It was warm enough to go for a decent walk (2 miles) with the dog (who hasn't been out, except to go out, since what, October?) and the front walk is actually drying out in places. Hooray for Filius, who has kept it faithfully shoveled!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Knitting Away

Rather like Anchors Aweigh, but different. Although tomorrow I will be picking up my anchor (you know, the knitting box I'm never far from?) and heading Up North for a while. A class to teach, some cashmere to come home with ... that sort of thing.

Since the slippers departed, and the Nachaq got finished (but not photographed yet. It's lurking in the depths of the aforementioned anchor), a sweater has jumped off and off my needles. Quick knits are fun, and wool sweaters are warm. This one isn't my usual waterproof, densely knit, stranded efforts. That probably has something to do with its short lifespan on my WIPlist.
  • (Rosemary's Middle Sweater, size small, + Rosemary's Small Sweater, size large)/2, from Green Mountain Spinnery.
  • Yarn, Knit One Crochet Too Arabesque in Toffee. 10 balls and a bit. Yay for Elann!
  • Needles, 10 1/2 US
  • Gauge, 18 sts/4" and I never even looked at the row gauge.

A sock is my only project on the needles now. Saturday will see the beginning of a twined hat, and Monday should see the beginning of something else. So my only logistic problem is ... what do I do if I finish the sock before Saturday at noon? Maybe I'll have to read a book, or something.

Speaking of books, with the completion of the Nachaq, Arctic Lace is now a 'used book' from my bookshelf. I'm not sure what I'll make next. Something lacy, with the cashmere I'm getting tomorrow? Or something Bohus-y, from my fingering-weight stash? It'll probably be one of those two things. I certainly don't have enough stash yarn to pull off Russian Prime in anything larger than a Barbie size.

Responsible parenting has landed me in the realm of Facebookians. Curious thing, that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This could also be called

The January Jinx

and if I were smart, I might swear off knitting for the rest of the month. I'm not that smart, though. I will use the remaining 20 days of this month as an opportunity to practice the Maintenance of an Even Temperament in the Face of Adversity (Even That Occasioned by One's Own Idiocy Stupidity Mortality).

This year I have knit some mittens I am calling The Frogged Project. And with that, begun last Monday, the January Jinx began. Knitting was going beautifully, until I got to the stranded section above the ribbing and discovered I had the wrong number of stitches. Starting with the cast on. Frog, and re-knit. I dove into the stranded section with delight (one can only take so much ribbing, after all) and was doing dandy until I was drawing to the close of the mitten. And there I discovered that it was Way Too Long. A bit of digging revealed that there was a bit of a gauge problem ... the item needed to be Severely Blocked, so while I had stitch gauge nicely, the row gauge was Severely Off, and smaller needles were called for. Frog back to the ribbing. Stick tongue out at knitting. Proceed. Later on in the same project, I picked it up to do some knitting, glanced at it to make sure I was where I thought I was, and knit merrily away. 400 stitches later, I glanced down to see if I was ready for the next part of the pattern ... and discovered that all 400 stitches needed to be frogged since I was ready for the next part of the pattern when I picked up the knitting.


Next, I knit a beehive hat. It was great and grand, until I washed it. Then it grew so that it sat on my shoulders and would have fit a kitchen trash can. I frogged it and reknit it while it was still damp.

Then I made slippers. Slipper one went beautifully. Slipper two went along nicely, right up until the second round of the 'upper.' At which point I realized ... hey, the FIRST slipper didn't look like this. Uh-oh.

And the January Jinx hit me. Cast on, frog, finish project. Repeat.

So, I finished the second slipper, frogged the upper of the first, reknit it (it's quite tricky to knit the upper of a slipper when the center of the sole is seamed. And I just sliced through the cuff. My ends were woven in too well, and hidden and snagged in the little tube quite secretly) and then today?

Today, I *felted* the slippers. I felted them with great watchings. Check every 5 minutes? No way! I checked every 2-3 minutes. The familial consensus is they're a bit large, but I'm not putting them in for another 2 minutes. Nuh-uh. They fit the circumerence of my foot snugly, the length is just a smidge long, and the opening is loose. They will do.

And my old ones are in the TRASH.

I suppose I could rescue them and cut out pieces, roll them up, and let my son use them in his marshmallow blaster. But I don't think so.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Postman Cometh

The postman brought me three boxes of goodies on Monday, but I forget what the third one was. It wasn't my new knitting book :( which I need like I need more yarn.

But wait ... I did get more yarn! This is a Very Important Yarn Box. The primary purpose was to get yarn for a Sweater Filii ... but in the lower half of the box, you see Slipper Yarn. Slippers are on the agenda as soon as I get a test knitting project done (ideally, tomorrow), and re-knit a Beehive Hat (ideally, tomorrow also.) My toes may be warm on Monday!

The other box was really a padded envelope. Inside the envelope were two pieces of cardboard, taped together neatly. And labeled. With a clue.

Out came the scissors (since I had an inkling what might be Inside Here, and had no intent of just ripping the cardboard AND contents into smaller pieces). I carefully sliced the tape all around, reverently lifted a piece of cardboard, and saw ...

I won't be knitting slippers on these. Mittens and lace, anyone?

Oh, that's right. I already have something on the needles. But that will pass -- hopefully by early February.

My Nachaq is sidelined at the moment, but it's looking good. I'm not to the half-way point yet, but I was getting there once upon a time. It's sulking in my knitting box at the moment while I'm working on test knitting (THAT was the other package I got on Monday. More yarn!) and a class sample.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Wrap-Up and 2009 Preview

Last year was the Year of the Monthly Mitten. My goal was to make a pair of mittens each month. And how did I do?

38 pairs of mittens, plus 4 'demo' models that don't quite make pairs. Can that be called 40 pairs? Probably not. Especially since 2 mittens are so demo they don't have thumbs. I may make matches for one of them sometime this year. The other will probably have a productive life in my collection of Things Not To Do (And The Colors Not To Do Them With) for classes.

2008 was also the year of the Puritan Reading Challenge. Mom and I both endured to the end. Mom is actually still enduring, closing in on the final pages of the last book.

I had fine intentions of calculating how many yards/miles of yarn I had knit up, or how many pounds. But my kitchen scale lives in the kitchen, and I was not faithful in weighing my finished projects. That's not going to happen. But despite acquisitions (most of them from helpful enabling friends), I think my stash is lighter than it was at the beginning of 2008. I certainly didn't order as much yarn as I did the previous year. (I think. Maybe I shouldn't think too hard.)

2009 promises to be an interesting year. The gentle nudges of a few friends have bumped me into Designer Status, despite my pleas that I am not a designer. Thanks to a well-connected friend and a Ravelry group, I am beginning to do some test knitting. And thanks to the same friend, I will be teaching a class or two not located at my LYS. Which is sort of scary, if you think about it, since I've only ever taught one knitting class even AT my LYS. The things I like to teach about are perhaps too strange for this area? Aren't there thousands of knitters dying to spend a year knitting a lace shawl on 000 needles with thread it takes a magnifying glass and good lighting to see?

Let me close by sharing a tip I learned (the hard way) this morning: When knitting socks with dpns of the sort with stiletto tips, one ought NOT scratch one's nose with a knuckle on one's index finger unless one's thumb is firmly placed on the uppermost tip of the free dpn in that hand.