Knitwhitties: A Little Knitting Nothing

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex. - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vintage Velvet Scarf

I'm very fickle, I suppose. I started the Vintage Velvet scarf. I'm nearly finished with the first skein. I'm using Lantern Moon number 9's (and the gauge is close enough). I'm not having any worming, and it's very soft, pleasant to work with, and very forgiving of errors. I've nearly finished the third pattern repeat, over 66 rows. I can't wait to finish - which I foresee as being weeks from now. And I understand the fear of felting this - it's too luscious to spoil. What do you think so far?

Felted bag

I've mentioned that I've made some felted bags. This was the second one. I used 9 skeins of Nashua Wooly Stripe in the Ocean colorway. It was knitted on Boye circs 16 inch US 8. I love the colors, and the way the yarn knitted up. It was smooth and even. I would gladly work with it again.

You can see in the close-up the very interesting way that it felted up. There is still stitch definition. At first I didn't like these little bumps. But very shortly I decided that I did indeed like them. They add interest, and emphasize the color differences. It adds a tactile feel that is neat. I love this bag. I use it to carry my knitting. It will hold quite a large project, and patterns, and notions. The top cinches closed so that nothing falls out. And I made it!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


As in, I have been diligently working on that bag. Row after row after row. Knitting away. Oh, yes. But I'm so sick of it. I wish it were finished. It isn't. It isn't anywhere near finished. There's still an entire skien left.

And meanwhile, I keep looking at the Vintage Velvet pattern. And the Muench Touch Me calls... to touch. It's so soft, it's so beautiful, and I really want to turn it into the scarf. It doesn't help, though, when I find this and this and this . The temptation becomes over-whelming.

So right now I'm looking for the US 8's I need to knit this. Not that I'm going to start it right now, or anything. I am dedicated and diligent.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Knitting Books

  • Teach Yourself Visually Knitting - Sharon Turner
    Step-by-Step Needlecraft Encyclopedia - Judy Brittain
    Encyclopedia of Knitting - Donna Kooler
    Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    Knitting Rules! - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    At Knit's End: - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    One Skein - Leigh Radford
    Designer's Choice, Book 1 - Elsebeth Lavold
    Designer's Choice, Book 6 - Elsebeth Lavold
    Knitting From the Top - Barbara G. Walker
    Lion Brand Yarn Vintage Style for Today
    The Knit Stitch - Sally Melville
    The Purl Stitch - Sally Melville
    Color - Sally Melville
    Knitting Without Tears - Elizabeth Zimmermann
    Knitting Around - Elizabeth Zimmermann
    Knitting Workshop - Elizabeth Zimmerman
    Kids - A Knitter's Dozen
    Last Minute Gifts - Joelle Hoverson
    The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns - Ann Budd
    The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns - Ann Budd
    Knitting Journal - Char Loving
    A Treasury of Knitting Patterns - Barbara G. Walker
  • Friday, August 25, 2006

    Boye Needlemaster

    I mentioned the Boye circular needles that I need to start another project, in the previous post. I was, of course, talking about the Needlemaster set. Now, I know that many people dislike these needles. They could even be said to hate these needles. They complain that the points aren't sharp enough - or are too sharp. Or that the cables become disconnected in the midst of a project. Or some other difficulty is mentioned.

    I, however, happen to love them. Deeply and passionately. I love how they feel, and how the yarn just slips over the tips. I love the stretchy bendable cables. I have not had a problem with my cables seperating, thereby losing all of my stitches (although I do admit that if this were to happen, it would be a tad distressing). In fact, I recently needed a crowbar and pliars to seperate my cables from the needles. Were they corroded together? Did I not know my own strength and weld them together permanently? Or is this just the sort of odd thing that happens to me? Either way, I'm wondering if it's over the top to have two sets. Ummm, no particular reason. Certainly not so that I can start a new project before completing another. Nope, not me. No way.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Noble Knitting

    I've been knitting away on the bag. I can tell myself it is for noble reasons, such as that I really want to finish the bag so I can mail it off to its recipient. Or that I am a competent, organized, dedicated knitter that actually does complete one project before beginning another. There is a box stuffed in a closet, however, that puts paid to that lie. About five years ago, I started a quilt for the boy. I had never made a quilt before (technically, I haven't made that one either). I thought four-inch squares in shades of blue would be simple enough. Right? Right. Wrong. (Remember the whole disaster in the making a few posts ago? Uh-huh. It does not only apply to knitting). In order to accomodate the pattern, there are a LOT of four-inch squares. And by a lot, I mean there isn't a bed in the universe large enough for this quilt. It's huge. HUGE. A california king wouldn't do it. Did I mention the boy has a twin bed? So the top is (mostly) pieced & sewn, and then stuffed in a large plastic storage box, and shoved in a closet. Where it will probably remain forever, or until I decide he actually needs a quilt the size of Rhode Island, whichever comes first. So I can tell myself that finishing the bag is noble, rather than beginning the bulky knit sweater, or the Irish Hiking Scarf, or the Vintage Velvet Scarf. But the selfish truth of the matter is that I need the Boye circs that the bag is being knitted on.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    On the Needles

    I have on the needles another felted bag-to-be. It's using Patons Classic wool in That's Blue and Too Teal. I've just started going up the sides, and even on US 11's, it's slow going. That could be because it is the fourth one I'm making, and yes, even I get bored after making the same thing for the fourth time! It could also be because I keep getting distracted by other things, like the Schaefer Esperanza, or the sort of sweater that the Plymouth Alpaca wants to become. Kate A. had a nice suggestion about the Banff sweater from Knitty. There was also a pattern I had found, in Knitting the New Classics by Kristin Nicholas, called the vis-a-vis, a bulky mohair that was quite nice. And I was taking a look at Barbara Walker's From the Top Down. But I'm not sure if I'm ready for a pattern-less sweater. And who do I blame if something goes wrong?? I can only blame myself right? Meanwhile, that bag isn't going to finish itself.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Finally! An F.O.!

    So, here it finally is - the Schaefer Esperanza garter knit scarf. Pease don't mind the cell phone images. I didn't have much yarn left. I'm very pleased, overall. There are some mistakes - the too loose cast-on, the too tight bind-off - but overall, very very pleased. I love the colors, and the way the fringe seems to blend in with the rest of the scarf. And I wish it were a little longer, but I probably wouldn't have had enough yarn left to make it longer. What do you think?

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    More Secrets

    Take a look at this sweet stuff: Plymouth Yarns Baby Alpaca Grande, 100 grams/110 yards, 3 stitches per inch, 10.5 (US) needles, color 3317.

    Isn't this gorgeous?? And let me tell you, it's even softer than it looks. I have 10 skeins, and it believes it wants to be a sweater. Who am I to interfere with its dreams?

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Dirty Little Secret

    I hate to admit it, but I have a stash. Heh heh, I said stash. I shouldn't laugh, it isn't funny. I never meant to have a stash. I was going to start a project, finish a project, buy yarn for the next project, start and finish that project, and so on. But nooooooo. I have a love affair with yarn, instead. Now usually when I find a yarn I like, and buy it, I don't buy enough to actually do anything practical with. I also don't usually have a project in mind. There are a lot of single skeins in that stash, and no, that One Skein book wasn't really much help. But I do have a couple of yarns that were purchased with specific projects in mind, and hopefully there will be enough yarn to complete the project.

    First is the Muench Touch Me in green. It's 61 yards per ball, and it's the softest stuff you'll ever touch. It's going to become the vintage velvet scarf from Pam Allen's Scarf Style. That is, if I can ever stop just, you know, holding it & rubbing it on my face & stuff. This picture doesn't really capture the dark forest green, but you get the idea.

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Irish Hiking Scarf

    I've decided that the Manos del Uruguay in olive - 55 needs to become the Irish Hiking Scarf. Now, I know that some of you are out there thinking, "what a wimp!" "that's so easy" "gee, can't you come up with something harder?". But I want you to know that I am spatially challenged. I have extraordinary difficulty just creating the stitches, never mind trying to turn those stitches remotely into anything resembling a garment! So the Irish Hiking Scarf will a) provide a lot of practice for the heretofore-untried cable stitch, b) hopefully look presentable at the finish, and c) really emphasize the beauty of the yarn. And that's what it's really all about it, isn't it?

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    More Yarn

    This beautifully soft stuff is Trendsetter's Scoubidu, again in the ocean colorway. Perhaps I'm not really obsessed with knitting, but merely with the ocean colors - do you see the theme here? Anyway, this is a 50% cotton/50% acrylic, 95 yards/50 grams per skein. I have 4 skeins.

    What the heck should I do with it? I had to have it. I love touching it, looking at it, smelling it. But I don't know what it wants to be. Any suggestions?

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    More Knitting Idiocy

    Why is it, when knitting, one might refuse to see the obvious? For instance, it was obvious early on that the scarf was going to be far too wide. Because when I cast on, I look at it and decide it isn't or won't be wide enough, so I cast on some more. And even more. Until I have a scarf as wide as a blanket! It was also obvious that the way the color was appearing was not the most attractive use of this yarn. Now, rather than do what I usually do, which is to continue to knit until the piece is finished, I actually frogged it. I did this about 12 inches into the scarf. I didn't wait until I was finished. I usually finish it because I have hopes that the disaster that is appearing at the end of my needles isn't actually a disaster. I persist in this hope until I cast off, and it becomes obvious that the item is, in fact, a complete disaster.

    So I frogged it. And re-cast on 160 stitches, to knit the scarf lengthwise. I'm much happier with its appearance. I am beginning to think that the finished scarf may not be long enough. I'm also not sure how wide it will become. Is it wide enough? Should it be wider? Shall I continue until it's 2 feet wide? Is 5 inches wide enough? I don't know. I just don't know.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Knitting Idiot

    Yes, it's true, and time I faced the sad truth. I'm a knitting idiot. I decided that the Schaefer Esperanza should be a seed-stitched scarf. It begged to be a seed-stitched scarf. After 12 hours of casting-on, attempting to knit in seed stitch, and frogging, I gave up. It is now going to be a plain old boring garter stitch scarf. The good news is the affect is similar to the seed stitch, and the stitch definition and color variation are the predominate focus. About 10 inches into the scarf, and yes, besides being a knitting idiot, I'm also a very very s-l-o-w knitter, and I'm loving it. That's because it's such a beautiful yarn, and a pleasure to work with. Pictures forthcoming.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    More Wonderful yarn

    and more naked rolling in it. I have some Schaefer Esperanza in this colorway. Isn't it stunning? It's 280 yards of a 70% lambswool/30% alpaca blend. It's quite bulky. It's also crying out to be made into... something. I'm considering some sort of mosaic. Any suggestions?

    I don't have an LYS in less than an hours drive in any direction. My favorite is the Knitting Gallery in Colt's Neck, NJ. Carol is absolutely wonderful and helpful, and the broad selection of yarns & supplies makes it well worth the trip. That's where I snagged the Manos & this Schaefer. I've also found another favorite yarn there, Nashua Wooly Stripe. I love that yarn. It's a dream to knit with, and the way it felts is amazing. This is my favorite colorway, ocean.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Wonderful, beautiful yarn

    Isn't this beautiful? Doesn't it just make you want to take off all your clothes and roll around in it? It's so soft, and the colors are so intense.

    I was lucky enough to snap up three skeins of Manos del Uruguay in the topaz (x) colorway, and two in an olive green. Now I'm left with the dilemma of what to do with it. What does one do with small amounts of glorious, breath-taking Manos? Do tell!!

    This does leave me with a little problem, however. Now, I've only been knitting since January. I know me. I know exactly how I am. I know that I am fickle, with a short attention span. I swore! that I would NOT start a new project until I had finished the previous project. I also swore that I would NOT buy yarn before I knew what project it would be used for. Well that Manos was so beautiful, so touchable, so seductive, that I found myself out the door, petting them and calling them precious, before I knew what hit me. Without a clue. What. To. Do. With. Them.

    I've read my books for patterns, scrutinized magazines page-by-page, critically went through my pattern notebook, all for nought. Nothing says to me... make me in that Manos! Soooo... help a girl out, would you? WWYD? What Would You Do?