Thursday, December 20, 2012

Okay, an update to my previous post...hold off on sending shawls!  I found this update on Ravelry:

Thank you everyone for the generous outpouring of prayer shawls. The report from Kathleen is that they have an overabundance right now, so hold on to any shawls you haven’t sent. If things change and they need more, we will let you know.


Janet & Vicky

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prayer Shawl for Newtown

I've been working on a shawl for the longest time...

I started this shawl because I just liked the pattern.  It's a simple granny stitch triangular shawl that I thought might be a nice gift for someone.  I just didn't know who that someone was going to be.

Until Newtown.

It's simply unfathomable to me that Newtown, CT is now going to be thought of in the same vein as Columbine--forever.  It's horrifying that something that heinous could strike so close to home.  I can't begin to imagine the profound grief all the parents of lost children are feeling right now, or of the trauma the surviving children must experiencing--not to mention the first responders.

Most of us feel powerless to help, other than to pray.  I know my shawl is a small thing, but I'm hoping it will bring comfort to someone in grief.

The particulars are on my Ravelry page:

If anyone else wishes to donate a prayer shawl, you can find the particulars at:

May all affected be blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm happy to report we survived Hurricane Sandy! Our power blinked a few times, but that was it. Such a change from last year, where we all felt like we were living in a war zone. Unfortunately, the southern part of CT didn't fare as well, and my heart goes out to them--especially the families who lost loved ones.

We spent most of Monday watching the news coverage, and may we pause to say here that if I had to see one more TV news correspondent standing hip-deep in flood water (after every official, including the President, told people NOT to do that) I was going to scream. My personal favorite was the guy standing at the edge of a drop-off where, if the wind had blown just right, he could have tumbled down into Long Island sound and probably his death.

And, yes, I did do a certain amount of knitting! I'm busily working on yet another garment (with help from my adorable assistant).

Monday, September 24, 2012

My 15 Minutes...

In non-yarn-related news, I was contacted by someone who produces Huffington Post Live. Apparently, someone over there saw my Tweet on Twitter about Monica Lewinsky putting out another tell-all. They had me on with other people to discuss the possible up-coming book by her (it was an online thing via Google Hangout--and no, I'd never heard of it, either).

I thought I did horribly, but my partner and another friend said I wasn't half bad,'s the link.

Monica's Back

Just remember...if you're going to laugh, be sure not to be eating at the time! LOL...

And, yes, for those who know me, they mispronounced my name and got my town wrong, but I was too nervous to correct them...and yes, I'm aware that I was the oldest person on the panel, thank you very much!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pattern? We don't need no stinkin' pattern!

We had our SnB group last night, or should I say, two of us met.  It was an ugly, rainy and windy night, which I think kept people away.  The parking lot of our local Starbucks quickly transformed itself into a small pond, and we remarked that we were probably going to need an ark to get home again. 

That being neither here nor there, my friend was working on a mug cozy.  It was a crochet pattern in the round.  She was following the pattern, but the cozy wasn’t quite fitting correctly (she used her latte cup as a guide), despite being according to gauge.  That’s when I suggested she a) rip it out and start over again, using less stitches, and b) keep fitting it to the cup and use common sense—if the cozy didn’t fit that right, chances are, it would be useless with any other mug.  Sure enough, using less stitches and less increases than the pattern dictated yielded a perfectly-fitting cozy. 

This brings me to the topic du jour…madly ad libbing a pattern.  Honestly, I do this all the time.  I constantly come across patterns I just LOVE, except: 

1)  It’s too long or short.  Usually too short—I hate the current trend of shrugs and short sweaters.  It always looks like you couldn’t quite afford the whole sweater (I feel similarly about capri pants and tea-length skirts).  Also, sweater sleeves are usually too short for my taste and have to be lengthened. 

2)  It’s too tight or too loose.  I know myself and I know 40” around is a good sweater size for me.  If a pattern is 38” around and declaring itself a “medium,” I throw in extra stitches to make it 40”. 

3)  It’s not wide enough.  I find I like a nice LARGE afghan, but too often, afghans are too narrow.  How is 36” across supposed to be good enough???  If the pattern is in blocks, it’s simple enough to add another row of blocks.  If not, I puzzle out the repeat pattern to add width.

4)  And don’t get me started on scarves that aren’t long or wide enough…

Of course, any of these alterations usually necessitates recalculating how much yarn is needed—I’m awfully happy I paid attention in math when they were teaching ratios.  Sometimes, it’s just a simple matter of one more or less skein of yarn.  I usually try to buy over the amount—much easier to return a skein or find another use for it, than to hunt all over area stores and online, looking for another skein in the same dye lot…not that I’ve ever had to do this…noooooo…

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yarn, yarn, every where...

...Nor any scrap to knit!

I am once again up to my needles and hooks in WIPs and UFOs, but I'm facing a crisis.

I'm contemplating ANOTHER Christmas project, because, of course, you can never have too much chaos in your life. I'm already working on a sweater for me, myself, and I to wear for the holidays. I also have a shawl on the needles for a friend. I've finished two crocheted afghans. I recently started a granny stitch shawl for another friend. Now...I've taken it into my head that I just HAVE to knit a hoodie for another gift.

Non-crafters probably are scratching their heads, wondering if perhaps something like this would be best procured at the local Wal-Mart. That certainly would make sense to a normal person, but normal? Knitters and crocheters? That ship sailed a while ago. My first thought was to make a multi-colored jacket -- perhaps an Adult EZ "Surprise Jacket," only with a hood, but my head hurts just contemplating this. I don't have that kind of time. Instead, my thought is to use the Bernat "Chunky Jacket With Options" pattern. This has the advantage of being a) free, and b) knit with chunky yarn, which hopefully will translate into "quick."

Now comes the issue. I have the most obscene amount of stash. I have bins under beds with yarn. I have yarn in bags and plastic containers all over the house. I have yarn at WORK and in my car, for heaven's sake. Now, ask me if I have a sufficient amount of CHUNKY yarn to create a hoodie...of course I don't.

This will necessitate another trip to the LYS...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another UFO zapped!

I'm happy to report that I FINALLY got the Granny Square Pillows done!  The details are out on my Ravelry page:

I feel so much better, now that I have turned another UFO into a FO!  I feel like I've accomplished something wonderful!  They came out beautifully.  

However, I now have a TON of leftover yarn that I need to figure out a use for.   As I've said before, women around me seem to breed at an alarming rate, so I'm sure I can use the leftovers for some tiny sweaters or a baby blanket.

In the meantime, I have (of course) started another project...

Monday, August 20, 2012


So, I'm FINALLY getting around to blogging again.

I haven't been blogging for two reasons:

a) I've been working on a stealth knitting project that I couldn't publicly write about, so as a result, I got sort of blocked when it came to writing about anything else.

b) I’ve been putting off finishing the pillows for my Granny Square Afghan and Pillows project, which I’ve been feeling massively guilty about; so again, I wasn’t inspired to write anything else.

Lame excuses, I know!

I finished my stealth project (I still can’t write about it or post pictures), which is a relief. I’m also plugging along now with the Granny Square pillows. I was stuck on the bolster pillow—I couldn’t get the correct size, but decided the only possible way out of my predicament with the pattern was to just change it up a bit and add another column of granny squares. So far, it’s looking good! I’m hoping to be done soon and post some pictures. Actually, this project is sort of stealth, too, as this set is going to a friend for Christmas.

It’s amazing how we tend to put things off that we think are going to be a chore, horrible, or just plain impossible; and then they turn out to be nothing at all! Here I was letting a little mismatched bolster pillow jettison my blogging schedule.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plagued by “Finishitis”

I’m having a crisis. In terms of crises on a worldwide level, it’s a minor blip on the radar of the cosmos. In fact, it probably doesn’t register anywhere…It’s annoying to me, nevertheless.

I seem to have entirely too many things that are not finished. I have a crocheted granny afghan and pillow set that’s not done yet. Why? I’m putting off having to sew the pieces for the pillows together. One pillow is a bolster pillow, and I’ve never attempted to make something like this before. It’s a round, sausage-like configuration where the pieces may or may not join together correctly, reaching all the way around the pillow. I haven’t even finished the round end pieces yet (Okay, I haven’t even BEGUN them yet).

I also have a repair job that I’m supposed to be doing for a coworker. All she needs is for me to sew a pair of elbow pads onto her favorite sweater and firm up the armpits. She even provided me with the yarn. Have I done this yet? Noooooo…my coworker has kindly said she doesn’t need this done until next autumn, which makes it even worse, as I have even MORE of a reason to procrastinate.

If you’ve read enough of my blog, you’ll see that the common denominator here is…sewing. As much as I’d love to wave a magic wand and have everything I need sewn together DONE…such is not meant to be. I know I need to just bite the bullet. If nothing else, all the items I’m putting off are taking up entirely too much space in the bedroom, making it all but impossible to fit in MORE YARN.

A person has to have priorities…

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Sweet Tomato Heel Socks Finally Done!

I'm happy to report that my Sweet Tomato Heel Socks from my class are done!  This is Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel technique.  I liked the technique so much that I decided to start another plain pair using the same heel.  What I really like about Cat's heel is that there's no picking up stitches and endlessly decreasing to get back to your original sock width.  When you're done, you're done!  Also, the heel can be worked on either toe-up or toe-down socks.

Ravelry link

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Class Schedule for Creative Fibers in Windsor, CT!!!

For those of you knitters and crocheters in CT, Creative Fibers just put out their Summer Newsletter and Class Schedule!

In particular, they have a Tunisian class this time around, and they are going to make baby blanket squares! I'm tempted to try that one, as I haven't really done much with Tunisian Crochet at all.

Just go to their site and click on "Newsletter" and "Class Schedule."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mad Sock Mania!

I seem to have been bitten with a mad, mad, MAD urge…to knit socks. I don’t even particularly need to knit socks that are patterned—I seem to be content just knitting plain old stockinette socks with a 1x1 ribbing at the top for grip, and perhaps another session with the Sweet Tomato Heel. I do confess I loved the fact that once I was done with the Sweet Tomato Heel, that was it—I was DONE. No picking up stitches and endlessly decreasing to get back to the original width of the sock.

I think my sock mania is related to the fact that I just LOVE the actual sock yarn itself. I love the colors—it is the only yarn where I don’t necessarily go for a particular brand…I tend to be drawn by the colorway. In fact, sometimes I can’t even remember the brand because I’ve tossed the ball band way inside the project bag, in my haste to cast on. I also love the fact that you can splurge on a $20 skein of sock yarn and that’s enough for an entire project, versus spending $150+ on wool for a sweater project. I usually can’t wear wool right next to my skin, but I don’t seem to have that issue with sock yarn. I’m not sure if it’s due to the nylon in the yarn or the fact that perhaps sock yarn is just made out of softer, less scratchy wool.

It may be the time of year, but I love the fact that socks are a small project that’s not sitting in your lap on a very hot day, making you swelter.

Also, socks are the best KIP (knit in public) project ever!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baby's First Jacket - Done!

This is a baby sweater I made for a coworker's new baby.  It's a pattern by Julie Cashin (Buttonjar Knits).

The details are out on my Ravelry page:

It was a fun knit and the recipient was as pleased as punch over it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Knitting is useful for…

In addition to being relaxing, therapeutic—and just plain fun—I find that there are ENDLESS uses for yarn craft…and I don’t mean the final product.

1) You have something to do, look down at, and escape into when a scary, gory, or just plain gross scene appears in a movie or TV show. This happens to me all the time with “CSI” and “Bones.”

2) Ditto for those times you are crafting in at a public meeting that is getting entirely too controversial and heated.

3) You know that book by Susan Cain entitled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking? Yeah, that’s me. I find knitting in public is a great ice-breaker when I have no idea what to say to people in any new situation. It is amazing how many knitters and crocheters I’ve met at the doctor’s office.

4) In this same vein, if you want to be highly entertained by some of the craziest comments people can make about our craft, KIP can’t be beat. For some reason, around here, the allergist’s office is the place to be to experience truly deranged assumptions about knitting (like the lady who insisted I was “doing it wrong” when she saw me knitting a sleeve in the round versus flat). I personally think it’s because my allergist keeps people waiting entirely too long; and people just start going loopy after a while, especially if little Jimmy is attempting to take out a pamphlet display with his toy airplane.

5) Knitting or crocheting a complicated pattern is the best way I know to alleviate boredom. Also, the boost in your self-esteem can’t be beat, once you master it.

6) I hate to say it, but our craft is a very quick way to ascertain who is and isn’t supportive of you. I mean, really, it’s not like you’ve taken up something dangerous, sinful, or evil…you’re just knitting a sock, for heaven’s sake (I think people get frightened by the DPNs).

7) Going to Stitch ‘n’ B**** groups is a great way to meet new people, whom you may not have met any other way. As many have figured out from my Twitter posts, I’m decidedly left-wing. However, my perspective has broadened greatly from meeting many different people with different viewpoints…we all seem to be capable of listening to each other’s opinions, and we all happily bond over our communal love of yarn.

Now if the rest of the world could just work together in the same way…

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You Know You Knit Too Much When...

"I can't believe you don't have our Rewards card--You're in here all the time!" The cashier at Michaels Arts and Crafts.

Your friends never ask what you want for your birthday or Christmas or Anniversary or, indeed, any holiday that involves a present.

You're actually a little disappointed with the advent of Spring, as this means your days of showing off your handknits are numbered.

You hear that someone is pregnant, and immediately begin planning the project. You may or may not wait until the happy couple finds out the sex, depending on what colorway of yarn you manage to score in the meantime.

You don't understand anyone who can just sit anywhere without knitting or crocheting.

You're pretty sure your car can make it to the LYS without you steering it.

You refer to the nearby metropolitan area with Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and AC Moore as "Mecca," and the stores themselves as "The Big 3." It can take 45 minutes to drive to "Mecca," depending on traffic, but you don't care.

Your idea of a good time on a Friday night is hanging out at the LYS, knitting with people.

You get a resentment because you have two people in your life who are pregnant, one who is moving into a new apartment, one who is graduating school, and one who just wants you to just knit her the scarf you've been promising for years already, and one who's been waiting for knee socks since time and memorial--and really, these people just need to take a NUMBER!

You need to take a vacation day (or days...plural) in order to finish a project.

Normal people look in their closet, see that they don't have enough (shirts, skirts, sweaters, slippers, socks) and decide a trip to the store is in order. You, on the other hand, immediate try to determine if you can knit or crochet any of these items instead. You don't particularly care that it's probably going to take you a month to do each one.

Worn-out socks are a win-win for you. Either you can start investigating how to darn (something you've always wanted to learn) or you can knit more!

Other people look at the camera on an iPad as an odd thing. I mean, really, who carts around the iPad to take pictures of things? do! The iPad camera is better than your lame cell phone camera, and a very effective way to take a picture of a finished object (FO) and then immediately post it somewhere on-line afterwards.

Your significant other thinks it's an imposition to ask you to teach a friend how to knit or crochet. On the contrary, you feel it's your noble, sworn duty to spread the word of the yarn...

A friend at work, who is from another country, asks you what you mean, exactly by "theese yarn you speak of?" You immediately open your desk drawer and pull out a skein to show her.

You read my list and immediately think, "And your point is...what?"

(My plan is to elaborate on each of these items in future posts.)

Happy Knitting!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

103rd Annual Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival!

Be there or be square!  The 103rd Annual Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival!

I’ve gone for the past few years, and it’s a lot of fun!

It’s next Saturday, April 28, in Tolland, CT. They have booths, classes, sheep, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, dog trials, food, etc.  If you bring someone who's not into wool or other fiber (odd, I know), they can have fun checking out the animals.  My Sweetums especially loves the sheep dog trials--especially the less-than-successful dogs, where the sheep run amok all over the field...not as entertaining for the dog owner, I'm sure.

It's, of course, death on any stash-busting resolutions you may have made this year.  There are tons of booths for wool, alpaca, etc.  I always manage to pick up a skein or two (or three, or four, or...okay, probably at least ten).  For those of you who spin, they have wheels and drop spindles for sale, as well as workshops.  They are also going to have workshops called "Sheep 101" and "Alpaca 101" for those of you interested in raising and nurturing your own fiber-stock.

It’s a great time!  Can't wait!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pullover Done...Just In Time for Spring...

It’s been ages since I posted. Life, as it has a way of doing, threw me for a loop last month, and I’m still trying to process the situation, and to do the next right thing.

But, getting back to more cheerful knitting matters…In time-honored tradition, I’ve managed to get a big, bulky, ludicrously warm pullover completed—just in time for the warm weather! I’m going to have to put it away for the season, as we are having a freakishly early spring.

The details are out on my Ravelry page:

I used a Pure and Simple pattern, which was just that—Pure and Simple! It was a lot of fun to knit, and so easy that I was able to bring it anywhere as a KIP project. I used Misti Alpaca Chunky yarn. Normally, if I’m making a garment for just myself, I tend to go cheap. In fact, with the amount of scraps and stray balls in my stash, it’s almost time for another “Stash Sweater.” Come to think of it, if I modified the Pure and Simple pattern I just used for worsted weight yarn, I could probably use it for the next Stash Sweater. But, I digress. As you saw in a previous post, the day our LYS was having a major sale, friends talked me into taking the rubber band off the money and splurging on Misti Alpaca instead of my usual mainstays Plymouth Encore or Cascade 220 (or if I’m feeling really cheap, Patons Classic Wool, but only if it’s on sale at Michaels that week).

Misti Alpaca was great to work with! I found I got a firmer knit with a 10½ needle, so I slightly modified the pattern, adding on a few more extra stitches to make it roomy enough. The wonderful thing about a top-down sweater pattern is that you can continuously try on the sweater as you go, adjusting for size/length.

Note to self: It DOES freak out members of the household when you try on a sweater with the double-pointed needles still attached to the sleeves…

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Bernat CAL Clue #3

Are you a pattern chart person or an instruction person?

I used to think I was more of a written pattern instruction person…I especially find charts confusing when I'm doing knitted cables.  For some oddball reason, I find written instructions (C4F, C4B, T3F, etc.) easier to comprehend. 

I think the opposite is true with crocheting, though.  For the 2012 Waverly for Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along, I've been printing out both the written pattern and the chart.  All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR THE CHART!!!  The past two clues have been extremely confusing, and I think I would have been sunk without the charts.  Clue #3, in particular, is beyond inexplicable, what with needing to chain 7 and then doubling back, and then going forward, chaining 7, doubling back--on and on around in a circle.  When I just read the pattern, I almost broke out into a spontaneous migraine.  When I checked the chart, it all became clear.

Go figure...

Post Script...I found it was easier to do all the motifs up to the part where you break the yarn FIRST.  That way, I got that weird "doubling-back" section out of the way!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weird Posts

If you saw any odd, peculiar post this morning, it was due to my account getting hacked. I've since remedied the situation, so all should be well now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Bernat CAL Clue #2...A Sad, Wrinkly Affair...

IMAGE_9D19F5A0-8199-46EB-BFAF-0719E1ADE9ED.JPGSad Picture

After several attempts, I did manage to get gauge--that is, the motif measures 11". I used the K hook to do Rounds 1 through 3, but then reverted to an L hook (8.00 mm) to do the rest of the rounds. It was the ONLY way to get it to 11". As you see, however, I seem to have a slight warping issue. I'm tempted to just see how they look once I block them. I really don't want to do all the motifs over again!!!

The only other thing I can think to do is maybe to pick the motifs apart and redo Round #4, where you do the 5 chains and sc stitches, only use more chains, or do them looser--and then just re-thread the rest of the motif through the chains...

So frustrating!!! Ahhhh!!!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Bernat CAL Clue #1 comments

Yes, I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on my CAL update, seeing as Clue #2 is now up on the Bernat Forum...

Clue one was lots of fun and very easy, once I figured out that, in order to get the little circle to morph into a "square," I'd need to crochet the outer ring much looser. Here is a picture...not one of my greatest, but you get the idea.

The colors are Tibetan Red, Antique, Cadet, and Stone Brown.

Next week, I'll try to be a bit more prompt with my update!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Special Olympics Scarf - Knit - Free Pattern

This pattern is modeled after my "Scarf from He**" pattern.

Here are the particulars:


Measurements: 6" wide x 57" long.

Gauge: 2.5 stitches = 1” in garter stitch

Row gauge is not critical.


1 skein – Red Heart Soft Yarn – Navy (#4604) – A

2 skeins – Red Heart Soft Yarn – Really Red (#9925) - B

Needles: Size 13 (9 mm) needles

Hook: Size N15 (10 mm) crochet hook


Using A and B together, cast on 15 stitches, using a knit cast-on.

Work in garter stitch until the scarf measures 60” long.*

Bind off.


Double up Color B and, using a size N15 (10 mm) crochet hook, crochet into the garter stitch "nub" selvage at the row ends. Crochet in slip stitch up the scarf and all the way around, making a border.

Bind off and weave in all ends.

*The length shortened due to the crochet border step, which is why a length of 60" is knitted, but the finished result is 57".

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Great 2012 Waverly for Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along!

I’m happy to report that today is the first day of the great 2012 Waverly for Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along! Yes, yours truly decided to cave and participate. I’m going to give away the final product, so as not to completely jettison my New Year’s Resolution. For my colors, I have:

Main Color – Tibetan Red
A – Antique
B – Stone Brown
C – Cadet
D – Gypsy Gold

I purposely picked out colors that won’t work in my house, so that I’ll be forced to part with the afghan. Of course, one good paint job could take care of that. NO! Must not be tempted…must not be tempted…must not be tempted…

Anyway, I just completed the gauge swatch and discovered, in fine-honored tradition, that I need a hook WAY bigger than the size 5.00 mm (U.S. H8) indicated. I’m going with a 6.50 mm hook (U.S. K10). I also discovered that while I like the colors, I’m not wild about the splittiness (if that’s a word) of the yarn. Because of this, I’m using my Susan Bates Quicksilver hook. I don’t know what it is about the coating on a Quicksilver hook, but it just works miracles on yarn that splits.

If you’re interested in participating, just go to the Bernat Forums at:

You’ll see the Crochet-Along subject right at the top of the posts. There is also a Knit-Along, if you’d prefer that.

Let the games begin!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

In Praise of the Lowly Garter Stitch!

I found myself today at the doctor's office. We won't dwell on the utter pain in the nether regions it is to drive down to Hartford, find a spot in the hospital ramp garage, and then sit around for ages, waiting for my doctor. He's an absolutely wonderful neurologist, but today he was running woefully behind schedule...

Anyway, I had brought (yet another) Special Olympics scarf to work on (thank heavens, as I definitely had the TIME). I decided to use up the last remaining yarn by doubling it and making my infamous "Scarf from He**" which can be found at:

I have to say, it looks really nice in red and blue--I figure I'm going to trim it in the red.

ANYWAY, I was happily knitting away when a woman came into the doctor's office and remarked favorably on my scarf. Immediately, instead of simply thanking her, I had to launch into a lengthy dissertation to defend my choice of garter stitch. "Really," I declared, "I'm really capable of much more complicated work! I can cable and everything! I make socks, too! I'm just doing this because I knew it would be a quick knit..." I went on and on.

Afterwards, I had to stop and consider. WHY am I defending my great love of garter stitch??? I know it's the stitch of grade-school children, but it's also the basis for Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience Book 1: The Knit Stitch, Inspiration & Instruction. I think we can all agree that she turns out a mean pattern. I just love the soft, bouncy, squishiness of garter stitch. Blankets, scarves, and casual sweaters made from it are just so cozy. I love to make scarves where I stripe garter stitch vertically, which makes a nice effect. I'd love to try a log cabin afghan someday, as that's more garter stitching!

So, what is your favorite knitting stitch, and why?

P.S. I was mortified to find that if you Google "Scarf from he**" and "WildKnitter" my pattern comes right up...

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Bernat Mystery KAL/CAL...caving...caving...

Yes, I confess I'm being led astray from my New Year's resolution to buy NO yarn, unless it's for charity.

I just saw the pictures of the beautiful Waverly Bernat yarn on the site for the Bernat Mystery KAL/KAL. I've heard the chatter on all the forums. I'm being positively SWEPT UP by all the excitement!

Must be strong...must be strong...

Of course, if I DO decide to take the plunge, I can't decide if I want to do the KAL or CAL. Knit or Crochet? Knit or Crochet? Knitting an afghan is usually a massively tedious process, but the crochet version could be one of those weird, holey crochet afghans that make no practical sense.

I have a few more days to decide and take advantage of the Bernat discount. If you want to be wild and crazy, this is the link:

I, for one, am leaning toward the "Simplicity" colors...

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Carrying the Message...of the Yarn!

I think my teaching skills are improving...slightly...

I've always admired people who are teachers, as I'm one of those people who doesn't have a lot of patience. I dread it when they want me to instruct someone at work. I sit there grinding my teeth as the person tries again and again to do whatever the task is. I fight the urge to say "Screw it!" and to do the thing myself instead.

Lately, I've had a few instances where people have wanted to learn...I'm going to say the ways of the yarn here, because in the first instance I thought I was going to be giving someone a knitting lesson, but she showed up in the cafeteria at work with crochet hooks. This first attempt at instruction was sort of a bust, as I think I whizzed through chaining a bit too fast for her. We ran out of time, and I ended up just giving her a link to one of those crochet sites online where you can see videos of different stitches.

The other day, I got another chance. My partner has a good friend who used again, my partner wasn't sure if the woman used to knit or crochet, so I was in suspense until she showed up at our door. Sure enough, it was going to be another crochet lesson! This time, I tried to go a little slower. She caught on very quickly, though. I kind of went a little crazy and tried to teach her how to double crochet, but we both decided she should stick with single crochet for now. By the time she left the house, she was well on her way to making a nice sc afghan.

So, I feel a little better now, and I've managed make yet another convert! Do I get that toaster oven now???

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Mutant Yarn!

Check out the mutant strand of white in my skein of "Medium Willow" Mary Maxim Starlette yarn! Weird... (cue the "Twilight Zone" music)...

Some might say email the company and get my money back or a new skein, but that's not how I roll...I just think it's hysterical!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Swifting Around!

Show of many of you just LOVE to use a swift and ball winder?

I know I do!

When I first started knitting and crocheting, I mainly used yarn that already came in pull-skeins, a la Red Heart. As I further explored my yarn options, I came upon yarn at the LYS that one needed to wind into balls. At first, I used the back of a chair. This took ages, depending on the yardage and the yarn thickness. The only one who enjoyed this method was our kitty Franklin, who would leap up into the chair and try to play with the yarn as I was winding it. This is his modus operandi for many human activities...

Later, I began to use the swift and ball winder at our LYS. I got a quick lesson from the owner. I used other people's swifts. I thought of buying one, but figured it was too much money for something I didn't think I really needed. After all, I could always borrow someone else's...

Then, one year, I got a swift and ball winder for Christmas! I was touched by my partner's generosity, but again, didn't really see where I'd use them much. A funny thing happened, though. Now that I had my own swift and ball winder, I was free to buy WHATEVER YARN I WANTED, without having to worry about whether or not I could get it wound. A whole new world opened up to me!

Below is my latest "whirlwind" purchase...Misti Alpaca, to be used for the Knitting Pure & Simple Bulky Neckdown Pullover for Women...

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