March 15, 2010
Knit Tagging: The Pole
About 3 weeks ago -- give or take a week here or there -- I finished this pretty little item replete with a crochet edge, a super long tail, and a Q button. Perhaps I was overly attached to this soft and cheery item, but I couldn't quite bring myself to give it away until the conditions were just right.
Now that the rain has subsided and we've had two beautiful days of spring it was time to deliver this item to it proper location. Using the long tail and the crochet edge, my item was quickly and cleanly attached to its final destination -- The Pole. We'll see how long it lasts.
March 07, 2010
A Mystery No More!The Mystery KAL is a mystery no more! On Friday a gaggle of the KALers donned their newly complete Skoodlets and descended upon the community table at Uncommon Threads to share, munch, and laugh. I think I have just discovered the perfect accessory for an evening of knit tagging -- stay tuned.
February 26, 2010
Curiouser and CuriouserI've just completed the 2nd installment of the Uncommon Threads Mystery KAL and it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. This installment features short rows, button holes, and asymmetrical increasing.
There is something disorienting -- yet strangely exhilarating -- about knitting something for which you have no clue what it looks like. I'm beginning to piece together a partial visual image and believe this "accessory" will be donned on knit tagging evenings. Third installment due out next Monday, party the following Friday -- I'm jazzed!
February 23, 2010
The Joy of a Well Written Pattern
I am one of the 966 Ravelry knitters who has experienced the sheer joy of knitting Brooklyn Tweed's Girasole pattern. Part of this joy stems from the uninterrupted rhythm of knitting in the round. Another portion of said joy can be attributed to the Malabrigo yarn I'm knitting with -- if they made eggplant colored butter, this yarn would be it. While nostalgic memories of past doily knitting accounts for another smidgen of my joy. But really, when you peel away the layers, the heart of my Girasole joy comes from a well written pattern.
Each of us -- based on our experience, knitting style, and brain quirkiness -- have qualities we consider essential to a well written pattern. Here are my reasons for declaring Girasole to be one:
- The designer, Jared Flood, respects the intelligence of his knitting audience. His instructions are concise and precise and he includes links to additional resources for the curious or those seeking further explanation.
Girasole is a potentially daunting project filled with many rounds of 600+ stitches, but the pattern is divided into managagable sections allowing for a sense of accomplishment and movement through the project.
The Lace charts are large, clear, accurate,and accompanied by a detailed legend.
The pattern itself is aesthetically beautiful and well designed -- from the layout, to the color scheme, to the gorgeous photos.
And last, but not least -- the pattern is error free.
If you're one of the 2069 knitters who has this project in their Ravelry queue, I have but one thing to say: What are you waiting for? Cast on!
February 20, 2010
Miss Marple Would Be ProudMiss Marple is my role model. There is something deeply appealing about her attention to detail, her tenacity for solving problems, her love of knitting, and her ability to drink a cup a tea with the best of us. I'm convinced this crafty sleuth would have enjoyed the puzzle of a mystery KAL. With the first installment of the Uncommon Threads Mystery KAL completed, I've donned my Miss Marple thinking cap -- or would it be a lace shawl -- and have begun to suspect a potential accessory for the mystery item on my needles. The hostesses for the KAL will neither confirm nor deny my conjecture, so I'll have to wait for the next installment to gather additional clues.
February 18, 2010
Knit Tagging: The Bison
Have you seen the new book, Yarn Bombing? From the moment I leafed through -- and immediately bought -- this inspiring book I've been unable to pass a pole, a fence, or a bench without seeing it spruced up with a knit tag. How can you not be inspired after seeing the likes of this, or this, or that!? Although this type of public art is typically called yarn bombing or knit graffiti I prefer the less aggressive term "knit tagging", which seems more fitting for this risk-adverse nearly 50 year old. Please let me live under the illusion that I'm not "littering" and am still a good role model for my 7th graders.
For my first knit tag, I took a trip back in time to Bucknell University where the iconic Bison statue guards the field house -- a place of many fond memories for this once-upon-a-time field hockey player. Many thanks to my partner in "crime" RC for doing the actual tagging late one night. I don't know the current fate of this horn cozy, but I do know it lasted at least a couple of weeks. Can any Bucknell student update the status?
February 15, 2010
Several years ago I had an epiphany while swatching. On that uneventful day in early May 2007 I realized one of my greatest pleasures in life was figuring things out. What can I say, I love a good puzzle. So why, oh why, dear reader has it taken me so long to jump onto the Mystery KAL bandwagon? Perhaps it was my preoccupation with teaching mathematics these last few years that had diverted my attention away from the knitting shenanigans happening across the blog-a-sphere. But let's leave speculations for another day and discuss the cold hard facts. Today I joined the Mystery KAL sponsored by my LYS and am completely and utterly hooked. I'm already halfway through the first installment and have no clue -- not a one -- as to what I'm making.
November 06, 2007
Trivial Pursuit is at the bottom -- way, way, down at the end -- of my game list. I'd much prefer a rousing game of Cribbage, Sequence, or Rummy-Cube. My dislike for this classic American favorite stems from the inevitable moment when the reader of your question sighs, rolls his eyes, and exclaims how unfair it is that you get all the easy questions. At which point he reads a question for which you have no earthly idea what the answer might be. I suppose a twinge of public humiliation is good for controlling one's ego, but it sure ain't fun.
Perhaps Trivial Pursuit would be more enjoyable to me, nona, if one of the Popular Culture categories was changed to Knitting. Then I could be the one to roll my eyes and declare, "Too Easy!", when reading questions such as:
Question: What happens when the yarn-overs in a lace pattern are not immediately next to their paired decrease?
Answer: Click Here
As fate would have it, I was just thinking about undulating, rippling lace fabric while stewing over Veronik Avery's Woolen Gloves pattern. I love these gloves, but want to modify the pattern so I can knit the gloves from the top down -- fingers to cuff. The long lace cuff, however, features just such an undulating lace fabric and I'm afraid knitting it in the opposite direction would ruin the effect. What's a girl to do? I-cord fingers on one hand -- pun intended -- and proper looking lace on the other. Since my Grafting Epiphany eliminated all fears of grafting, I'm planning to work the gloves in both directions and graft the halves together at the wrist. Who knows if my approach will work, but the attempt will certainly be more fun then a snoring game of Trivial Pursuit.
November 04, 2007
Under Gloves & Over Mitts
It was love at first sight. The perfect mix of color, lace, fingers, and thumbs -- practical and versatile, yet fun loving. Have you seen Veronik Avery's Woolen Gloves and Latvian Fingerless Mitts from her new book, Knitting Classic Style? This dynamic duo has been designed to be worn separately or in combination -- mitts over, gloves under. Come on, my friends, this is too cool to be resisted. I've ordered the yarn, knit the gauge swatch, and am poised to cast on. For those on Ravelry, I'm using these projects as my first foray into the mix -- check them out here.
I've found through experience that I'm one of those knitter's whose gauge differs when knitting in the round verses knitting back and forth. It's most certainly related to my tendency to row-out and to purl purls slightly bigger than I knit knits. One advantage of my self awareness is that I now know to knit my gauge swatch in the round for in-the-round projects. The gloves and mitts each call for a slightly different gauge even though they use the same yarn. In an attempt to front load my swatching, I knit this swatch for both project using three different needle sizes -- US2, US1, and US3.
October 29, 2007
An Old Favorite
Today was the first cozy sweater day of the season -- overcast with a bit of rain, chilly but not cold, and a bit of breeze here & there. Time to pull out the wool sweaters and to put on one of my absolute favorites.
If memory serves me -- which it doesn't always these days -- I finished this sweater at the turn of the century. Sounds longer than 8 years ago, doesn't it! It's the "St Brigid" sweater (sans fringe) from Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting. I love wearing this sweater almost as much as I loved knitting it.
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