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Knit is a Four-Letter Word

Archive for the 'Knitting' Category

I’m a knitter (But & Because)

I’m a knitter but

My top 3 projects on the go are

a) the crocheted Holiday Homespun afghan that I’ve given away, and take back to finish
b) the crocheted purple and green Batman Interstitial afghan for Jeff
c) the crocheted two toned granny cotton washcloth where I’m practicing changing colours without cutting, with just one row for each of the two colour changes.

I’m a knitter because

a) I only know how to crochet granny squares and rectangles – going around in a circle I’m fine, but I don’t know what to do with the end of a row when turning on a flat piece
b) I can do much of my knitting (and purling) without looking down at my work or even in the dark (Theatre knitting)
c) I’m a knitter who crochets, not a crocheter who knits

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Christmas Knitting

Yesterday I gave a mostly crocheted afghan, with the ends not woven in, and the hook and edging yarn in the box, as my Secret Santa gift – with the promise to finish it and get it back by the end of this weekend. I finished off that morning sewing up the last of the seven wee tissue holders for the same night’s small gift swap.

Tonight, at 11:30PM, I’m 3 rows into the second half of the gift that has to be wrapped and presented by 3PM tomorrow. Granted, it’s a washcloth, but I’ve also plans to make a third wee thing to complete the set.

Christmas Knitting is kicking my arse.

(And yet I still have hopes of finishing an afghan for another gift, and keep thinking of people who would like scarves and hats. It’s a compulsion.)

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Dear Tim Gunn

Dear Tim Gunn

I’m not really a regular watcher of “Project Runway”, I’ve seen a few episodes, quite a few in the season where Jay won, but not much after that. Nothing personal, fashion’s not really my thing, and reality TV is rarely my thing, so the impetus to watch your show really isn’t there for me. But I’d always thought of you as someone who respected craft and skill.

Which is why I stopped in the middle of a cheesy Christmas Lifetime movie to transcribe the usually frothy and silly FaLaLaLa Lifetime Interstitial where you said this:

“Nothing says love like a homemade gift. Unfortunately nothing says cheapskate like one either”

Right.

As a knitter and erstwhile crocheter, I just have to say, you’ve pissed me off. Quite a bit there, to so offhandedly diss me and my kind. Knitters, Crocheters, people who sew.

People who may not spend a lot of money on the raw materials of the project (although if you’ve checked out the price of hand dyed sock yarn, you’d have to re-examine your cheapskate slur), but really, is the value of a hand made item
just in the cost of the item? If you buy a painting, are you really just paying for the paint, the canvas and the frame? Is the sum total of a book’s worth measured in ink, paper and binding?

I wonder if you’ve ever sat down and counted just how many stitches and hours go into, for example, a hand crocheted afghan. Not to mention the hours spent learning and honing the skill and dexterity, and yet more hours studying and playing with colour and texture to arrive at a pleasing result with the combination of yarn and stitch pattern.

Cate Blanchett, the very bastion of style and fashion, she’s been seen wearing a crocheted dress on the red carpet.

Going back to Jay McCarroll, your original winner, I remember him talking about the women in his family, the things that they made, how they inspired his fashion ethos.

Gordana from your Season 6, she knit a sweater when she was 7! Handmade, home-made gifts, I know they must have featured heavily in her life.

So, Mr Gunn, I have to say, I’m very disappointed with you. Disappointed if you truly believe those words, and disappointed if you’re allowing yourself to be a mouthpiece for a FaLaLaLa Lifetime writer hack who doesn’t get the first thing about why craft and skill matter.

No socks for you!

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What I’ve been Knitting

Pastel Tawashi on the line

Pastel Tawashi on the line

My current obsession is Wishy Washy Fishy Tawashi.

Close Up Tawashi

Close Up Tawashi


So far, I’ve made approximately 30 of these wee little beasties.
Tawashi Brights

Tawashi Brights


Brilliant thing about these – they use truly miniscule amounts of yarn. All those scraps from making other washcloths? Perfect!

Tawashi as Candy Corn

Tawashi as Candy Corn

Candy Corn Tawashi! (For those non USAns,

This is Candy Corn

This is Candy Corn

Tea Bag Bag Closed

Tea Bag Bag Closed


In a tea bag swap, I received a garter stitch knitted tea bag bag, i.e tea bag holder. This is my version – adapted from the ballband pattern. My first ones used velcro, but it gets caught on the cotton, so now I use press studs (aka snaps).
Tea Bag Bag - Open

Tea Bag Bag - Open


These bags fit approximately 5 or 6 tea bags. This is part of a package of washcloths and Tawashi that I donated to a Breast Cancer fundraiser. I neglected to take pix of the rest, but left this one at home in error – added a tea bag and neglected to put it into the package with the rest. I’ll be delivering it to the winner soon.

Waffle Stitch SoapSack - Closed

Waffle Stitch SoapSack - Closed

Another favourite washcloth pattern is the Waffle Knit I adapted the pattern to make a soap sack, using Breast Cancer fundraiser yarn. It’s a surprise for the daughter of a friend who’s just been diagnosed.

Waffle Stitch SoapSack - Open

Waffle Stitch SoapSack - Open

The tie is a 3 stitch i-cord through eyelet holes. It takes a tiny amount of yarn, and knits up so quick, I can see making more of these. I even did a crochet ruffle edge – found that in a magazine and added it on.

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And we Won!

34 days from start (8/28) to finish (9/30), whoosh!
Check out how truly truly close it was between first and second place.

Glory 2009

The team that came (just barely) second was the Chronicles of Yarnia, and they also did a kick arse job.

It’s great to have a group like that to compete against – it’s like when I’m swimming laps, I always, always go faster when there’s someone in the lap next to me.

A photo post will follow, wanted to get this up on time for October 1st. (I also need to work out why I have five of the “You might like this!” buttons across each post, it’s edging over into the navigation and I do.not.like.)

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And We’re Off!

Emily tagged me this morning, the DishragTag box is on it’s way to me!

I’m putting the widget here until I can work out how to add it to my sidebar.

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We are the Needling Ninjas!

DIshRagTag Needling Ninjas!

DIshRagTag Needling Ninjas!

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My First Second Sock

I’m working on my first pair of socks. I’ve had sock yarn for much longer than recently – bought my first skein over 3 years ago, but this year has been the plunge. Partly because I don’t think I could go to Sock Summit without actually having knit at least a pair of socks! It’s a step forward in my knitting development – both the physical skill of working with DPNs and the accomplishment of making an item of clothing that isn’t a hat or scarf.

The first sock went mostly OK. I had some help from Carla at Knitting within Borders – she did the long-tail cast on, and knit the first foundation rows of rib. She also helped me come to the conclusion that using three US#4 7″ bamboos was not as easy for me as 4 US#2 (2.75mm) 5 inch Brittanies.

I know, it seems counter-intuitive that smaller needles, both length and size, would be easier to knit, but they just were. Will (a Millville Stitchers knitter) said the difference between the first week (withe the wrong needles) and the second was night and day. The first was all snarling and swearing and fretting and grumbling – enough that another knitter who had yet to do socks wondered aloud if perhaps she really might not *want* to do socks. The second week, it was sunshine, roses and comfortable knitting. Amazing.

I finished the first sock in a Stitchers knitting class a couple of weeks ago, and instantly cast on the second. I’m keen on avoiding the dreaded SSS, aka Second Sock Syndrome, and would quite like to end up with a complete pair of socks. Mary (one of our Stitchers knitting teachers) taught me her revised version of the long-tail – not so much waving the needles and yarn about, much easier for the spatially challenged me, and I was off.

The second sock drama started at last Tuesday’s knit night. I zoomed past and through the 2″ of rib and 5″ of plain knit, and got to the heel. Still knitting on 4 needles, I attempted to follow the recipe, and add 32 stitches onto one needle.

And promptly dropped 2 stitches, one at the end, and one in the middle, which I didn’t noticed, and it pulled itself back 3 rows. After horror and swearing, I stuck the 5th Brittany in it as a stitch holder, and put the sock away.

My KnitPicks order came with their set of nickel sock needles, and I pulled out the size 2 needles, and set about rescuing the errant stitches. This in the midst of my monthly Michigan Rummy card game, so it was slow going.

Happily fixed, I kept the stitches on the size 2 needles, and continued knitting the heel flap.

I discovered today, on finishing the heel flap and about to commence turning the heel, at the hairdressers with much more light, that I’d in fact been knitting with 2MM needles, aka US Size 0.

Ah.

That would explain the firmness of the heel flap. It’s a little bit shorter than the one I knit on US#2 needles, on the first sock. I picked up the stitches, and transferred everything over to the US#2 and plowed on. BBe buggered if I was undoing that last 28 rows. That way SSS lay.

So now, the second sock is not quite the same as the first. At the stage of the sock I’m at, I can’t try it on my foot – it’d be forcing it past the ball of my foot. I’m really not inclined to push it and make a potentially odd situation into a dramatically crap one.

So, best case scenario, I have two weird feet, and both socks fit one or the other. Worst case scenario, I have to buy more of this yarn, and knit 2 matching socks.

I’m not actually sure I can do that. I’m sold on the KnitPicks #2s, and it’s easy working on three.

We’ll see when I get past the arch decreases, and can try it on!

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