Knitwhitties: A Little Knitting Nothing

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's All Good...

I really am enjoying the knitting class. Mary Jensen is so knowledgable, and her sense of humor really cracks me up. Last night we learned what we should carry in our knitting bags, purling, increasing and decreasing. I figured out last week what I had been doing wrong on the purl stitch, so that was a big plus. I have to practice the increasing and decreasing, I'm not quite sure I've got it. I also showed her the Vintage Velvet mistake, and she told me not to worry about it - I'm the only one who will ever notice it. Lol, famous last words. But at least Idon't have to frog it AGAIN, and I AM going to start using a lifeline. She said that next week we will learn cabling, and we can start a project. So I have to decide which of my many projects to start. The sweater? (that should go fast on such bulky needles). The socks? Something else? I just don't know! I'm leaning towards the sweater.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Definitely Knitting Nothing

I'm still knitting away on the blue bag, as time permits. Time seems to permit rather often, since that is the one I bring I carry with me, and knit at lunchtime. I'm still knitting the vintage velvet. Why haven't I frogged it? Why do I persist in knitting it when I know that the mistake I made is unacceptable and must be frogged? What is the stubborn persistance that things will work out at the end? Very strange. Very, very, very strange.

I'm also planning some projects to start at the knitting class. These involve ribbing, and seed stitch, and a hat. So, we will see how it goes. Updates on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 18, 2006

First Class

So, I attended my first class tonight. I feel so energized! So enabled! So... I gotta knit! I learned the long-tail cast-on, which I couldn't seem to manage to teach myself from books or magazine or or anywhere else. I also learned that I've been throwing my yarn the wrong way. Oh, yes, I have. Which certainly might explain the extraordinary trouble I've been having with the purl stitch. Whoa! It's much easier this way! So I'm very happy, and very glad I decided to take this class. The teacher is nice and very knowledgable, and there are about eight other students.

On the knitting front, I've been working away on Vintage Velvet. I think I made a mistake about 6 rows back, though. I think I did a knit one row when I should have done a knit two row. Oops. It is rather noticeable. Yes, there is a sudden jag in the side panels. And of course, I did NOT use a lifeline. No, I didn't. I'm really, really, really wishing I had. Especially since I can't seem to tink, and wind up frogging. I'm very discouraged. Does anyone else seem to have this difficulty keeping track of where they are in the pattern?

And I've been wondering how the knit-out in Union Square went. I had wanted to go - knit in public in the same square mile as the Yarn Harlot and a whole bunch more knitters WOW - but I just couldn't summon up the energy to actually manage the trip. I did knit outside yesterday, so that I would be with everyone in spirit. I'm not sure if it counts as knitting in public, since I was on my deck, but hey. It's the thought that counts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitting Goodies, Or...

A visit to my favorite yarn store. I received a notice in the mail that their big end-of-summer sale is on, so of course I had to hie myself thither. And thus I find myself the ecstatic possessor of some new knitting goodies. Just call me greedy. I had told myself I didn't need to go, given that I have plenty of yarn and Plenty of projects in mind. But go I did. I got another skein of the Manos del Uruguay in the Topaz color. That makes five skeins total. I also got the Classic Elite Yarns Tweed Three pattern book, the Summer 2005 Interweave Knits, and something called the Rebecca Special, No 2, September - February. So I have some fun reading ahead of me. I was a little disappointed that when I found a yarn that would be perfect for a project I had in mind, that they didn't have enough of that yarn to complete the project. I told myself that it just wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Knitting Classes

I've decided that it's time to face the difficult truth. I'm too stupid to teach myself to knit. I can read the books, look at the pictures, use the videos at Knitting Help, ask questions at online forums, and all for nought. My purl stitches are difficult to manipulate, I can't rib or seed to save my life, and short rows cause my head to implode. Finishing? No. Weaving in? Nope. Read a pattern? Not terribly well. Socks? Out of the question.

My local adult school is offering two knitting classes this fall, Knitting 101 and Intermediate Knitting. They are each six week courses, and begin consecutively. I, in my impatience, er I mean infinite wisdom, signed up for both. Twelve weeks straight of knitting. Lots and lots of knitting. Knitting knowledge will be obtained. By the time I finish, I will be a knitting mastermind. I will be able to do it all. Fair Isle? A breeze. Intarsia? Sure thing. Socks? Absolutely! Aran sweater in a size for a gargantuan? Gotcha covered. I am, of course, known for my craziness, er I mean optimism. That's right, optimism.

The first class starts next week, and I am quite excited. Bravely we go forth into the bold unknown! Naturally, I envision myself whipping off projects every week, with insouciance. "Oh, this sweater? I finished that in three nights!". Unless I suddenly become some manic, deranged knitter, this will be patently impossible. After all, I AM the woman who took seven months to finish a scarf. Granted, the scarf was knit in the round on size US 2's, and is seven feet long, but still. So I believe the plan will be to bring in supplies for the things I'm having trouble with, and get assistance on those. Then I can practice that for a week, and so on and so forth. We shall see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Vintage Velvet Redo

It was a hard decision. I do so enjoy continuing and casting off on what has decidedly become a complete disaster, whether it be this project or another. But this yarn and this pattern are deserving of better. So I did completely frog the vintage velvet. I now know the value of the lifeline. I intend to use it rather frequently this time. I also decided to use the 8's for the redo. It's going much better this go-around. I don't know if that's because I have a much better grasp of the pattern, or if these needles work better with the Touch Me, or if the knitting deities are lulling me into complacency. We shall see. I've nearly finished an entire repeat of the pattern, and it's coming along nicely.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Vintage Velvet Update

If you'll remember back to a few days ago, I was talking about the disaster that happened while I was knitting the vintage velvet. That stitch marker (in the admittedly terrible picture) marks the broken & repaired stitch. And you can also see the terrible worming now that I'm attempting to knit much more loosely. Obviously, at this point, I have a decision to make. Forge ahead (as I usually do while a disaster forms beneath my needles) and hope that it all works out in the felting, or frog back to the row before the break. This would enable a proper repair, and would take care of some of that worming. Of course, I would have to figure out which row in the pattern that was, and be able to continue the pattern properly from that point. I've been trying to see what others have done with their vintage velvets, and what the result finally looked like. It's difficult to tell from their pictures. I'm inclined (naturally, given my deep dislike of frogging) to just continue, and hope that all turns out for the best. Any ideas or opinions?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


After reading all about Secret Pal 8, I have signed up for Secret Pal 9. It's early days for the sign-ups; that won't end until September 30th. Under Links on the SP9 are the registered participants. Over 300 have already signed up! The Yarn Harlot's hope that knitters take over the world may not be far off. This is amazing! I've been reading through the blogs and they are fascinating. From all over the world, from all walks of life, from a broad range of ages, and from a broad range of skill levels. And the blogs themselves are wildly different, and vastly creative in so many different ways. And I'm as excited as a child on Christmas Eve! Who will be my giftee? And who will be my giftor? Will it be one of those whose blog I read today? What will I send out? Will they like it? What will I receive? The possibilities are endless and the future a fantastic unknown.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


You like me! You really, really like me! Sorry, I... couldn't resist. But Lucia over at the Knitting Fiend has posted the results of the blog contest, and I came in second in the Best New Knitting blog category. Wow! I'm so grateful! For those of you who liked and voted for my blog, I can't thank you enough. And for those I begged, bribed, and generally browbeat into voting for my blog, thank you, too.

A great big thank you goes to Lucia for putting this contest together. I really enjoyed reading all of the blogs, including Anne's at Knitspot, Crazy Aunt Pearl, and The Panopticon.

On the knitting front, when I'm home, I work on the vintage velvet. I'm trying to knit more loosely so that there is no recurrence of the yarn snapping incident. This leads to a LOT of worming. A lot. An awful lot. I'm considering frogging it, and waiting until I'm a more skillful knitter to try to pull this one off. On the other hand, I've completed 5 full pattern repeats and I would hate to have to start over. And when will I ever be skillful enough? When I'm not at home, I'm working, er, diligently, on the to-be-felted bag. So things are moving along a-pace.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oh, the horror!!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I did, regardless of the uncooperative weather. The weather has been good for knitting, however, and I've been working diligently on vintage velvet. Until, that is, disaster struck on Saturday night. I had just finished a cable on the 93rd row, and was attempting the next stitches of the pattern, when... Oh, I can barely speak of it! The yarn broke! Snapped! In the middle of a stitch! I tugged the ends tight so it wouldn't unravel, and carefully put the knitting down. I then went to run cold water on my pulse points, since I felt faint. Then I went into the bathroom, because I felt sick. Then I had to lie down because I felt sick and faint. When I finally recovered enough to face it, I tried tying the two ends together. Did you know that chenille is slippery stuff? That didn't work. Try to tie another piece of yarn to those ends? That didn't work, either. Aarrrggghhh! What to do?? Can I glue them together? Drastic times call for drastic measures. One little dab, and I carefully joined the ends in an overlap, and allowed the glue to set. Success! I marked the broken stitch with a stitch marker, and continued knitting, gingerly. Several rows on, and my careful join comes apart. Aaarrrrgggghhhh!! Oh no! But look! Those ends are no longer slippery or fuzzy. I might be able to tie them. Several deep breaths later and I get the tweezers to handle this delicate operation. Feeling as intent and stressed as a surgeon, I manage to knot the two ends! Whew! Now, this is NOT an attractive knot. It's not terribly unsightly, or even noticeable, but it isn't attractive. And I'm positive that this is NOT the recommended way to repair this sort of problem. but nothing I've read addresses what to do if your yarn breaks AFTER you've knit it. Anyone know the proper way to make this sort of repair?