Saturday, November 20, 2010


So, I finally learned to use dpns, and it is hat season. So far this week I've made a red beanie (rejected by John), and a Who hat. The Who hat was for Ashley but it looks a little big. It might be someone else's Christmas present.

Tonight I am going to start working on a beret for me. We are going to Minnesota in a week and it will be cold for sure.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Swedish knits: classic and modern designs in the Scandinavian traditon -- Review

I grabbed this book because I liked the look of the scarf on the cover. However--the title of this book is completely wrong....this is a wonderful book for new knitters.
There are basic instructions, basic and advanced stitch patterns, and the best part--a chapter on "averting disaster" with the best instructions and pictures for correcting mistakes that I have seen. There are patterns--which of course lean heavily towards sweaters. There are also instructions on making your own patterns, including measuring.

Overall, this is a pretty decent reference book. Recommended for new knitters to add to their reference library. Experienced knitters--use a copy from the library!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pattern writing is NOT fun

So, I need to make a scarf pattern for someone to wear at football games....and because it will have obscene language, I am pretty sure I will have to do something on my own rather than find a pattern.

The color scheme will be black and gold (Go Hawks!), so this would also lend itself to shadow knitting....but I don't know how to do that either.

I have found some knitting/chart pattern generators online, but they really don't seem to be working the way I intended. I may have to use graph paper and just do it the old-school way.

I am thinking that intarsia will be a)too much work b)look terrible in the back. Duplicate stitch will be first. A hat with an intarsia border might work ok too.....but might not have the same affect as a scarf.

And why do I care how this looks, since it is a joke after all? I expect my design to be on national tv, as the intended recipient--Russell--is always in the front row at football games.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

400 Knitting Stitches : a complete dictionary of essential stitch patterns- review

I had high hopes for this book, and the online reviews looked good. However--it is not something I feel compelled to add to my knitting library.
+lots of interesting patterns, arranged in logical categories
+charts included (not that I care)
+binding lets the book mostly lie flat when you have it open
+18.95 list price is decent

-instructions sort of ramble on and don't have line breaks--so they sort of go like this 1st:blah blah blah. 2th, 7th, 9th rows do this. 3rd do something else.
-no yarn or needle size recommendations--you are just supposed to intuit what would work best
-the title made me think this would be very comprehensive, but there were lots of patterns missing

Check this out from the library before purchasing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vogue Knitting Shawls & Wraps - review

As I would expect from Vogue, this is a gorgeous book, with patterns at all skill levels, including the adventurous and the easy (felted shawl). The directions look complete, with charts and written instructions.

The only problem that I see is--many of these projects require numerous skeins of high end yarn (10 skeins of cashmere = $375-500!!!) and if you wanted to exactly replicate the look, it could be beyond expensive. No yarn substitutions are suggested, but since sizing is as important with shawls and wraps, you could probably make adjustments.

At $24.95 list, I'd recommend looking at this at the library first. I will probably try to buy it at a discount so I have enough money left over to buy yarn.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review-Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr

This is a beautiful book, great illustrations, very complete instructions, nice photography, which probably explains the $29.95 price. However--I find many of the stitch patterns overly complicated, (19 row repeats!) and flat out ugly. I did like two of the patterns--for a 4 color reversible bag, and for a hat, but in reality--I wouldn't even check this book out from the library.
NOT recommended except for those who really like to experiment.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Carolina FiberFest 2010

The second annual Carolina FiberFest was last weekend (May 21-23) and it was great! I took some time on Friday morning and went over to the NC State Fairgrounds. The whole festival was put on in conjunction with an annual AgFest, so there was a lot of bustle on the fairgrounds in general. I went on Friday to beat the crowds, and I'm glad I did. I met up with a few friends, picked out some new yarns, met some new friends and signed up to take a spinning class next month!

I've been toying with the idea of learning how to use a drop spindle for a long time, mostly to copy WK. :) just joking A few months ago, I picked up a book called "Spin to Knit" by Shannon Okey. I intended to review the book here, but never got around to it. I did actually read the book, though, and think it's very informative and helpful. I just didn't have any fiber or tools, so I didn't dive right in. There were a lot of people spinning in the vendor booths, at exhibit tables and so forth at the FiberFest, so I started thinking of buying a drop spindle. I even interrupted someone who was spinning in her booth with some questions I had from reading. She gave me a nice little demo and some advice (which I think I can remember until I get a spindle).

One of the ladies from the Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild was at the FiberFest, and we started chatting when I sat down at their table to knit for a while. Anyhow, she let me know she's teaching a drop spindle spinning class at my favorite LYS on June 6, so I ran over and signed up. The fee includes fiber and a drop spindle, so I decided it would be best to strengthen what I'd learned from the book with hands-on practice.

Hopefully, the next time I post, I'll have a photo or two of something I've accomplished!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Linking to Other Blogs

So, after reading someone Else's blog today at lunch (shocking!), I realized there must be an easy way to include links to interesting blogs on our blog. So, I not only was right (also shocking), I figured out how to and linked to 2 blogs in the right-hand navigation column. I think that they will be interesting to all of us, and not just me. Sorry if I'm wrong! :)

I encourage you both to also add blogs that you think we'll all like.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knitted Sea Creatures

Here is a photo of the sea creatures (all invertebrates), that I knit for a friend's baby boy. I had intended to get them done before he was born, but I ended up getting them done by his 1st birthday. Considering the problems with the patterns, and the amount of un- and re-knitting I had to do, I think I did pretty darn well! I could add all the details about the designer, the yarn and needles, etc., but I frankly didn't jot enough down and would have to make up at least 1/2 of it.

Oh, and I did really get these done in February, so I'm pathetic, but not quite that pathetic.

New Blog to look at

I thought you both might be interested in this blog. "Bee Log" It's not knitting, but it is about a hobby!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Christmas Dog Shrug pattern

I always prefer to work from someone else's patterns. I was running out of time, and this one was a great idea, but would have taken too long.

This was written specifically for Roxy, a 6-pound Yorkie mix. I used Red Heart Christmas yarn--red with gold.

I didn't write down everything exactly, but this is pretty close to what I did. (I guess you could call this an Elizabeth Zimmerman type pattern...even though I don't like her style).

Cast on 16 stitches and make 1.5 inches of K2, P2 ribbing.
Then: increase 1 stitch for the next 10 rows.
Garter stitch until you are 2.5 inches from the full length. (Roxy's version is 16-18 inches total).
Then decrease 1 stitch for the next 10 rows.
Then K2, P2 for 1.5 inches.

Sew up the ribbing + a couple of rows of garter stitches on each side. Put on dog, and see how long it lasts!

Adapt this to your dog/any yarn:
measure around the dog's lower front leg--this gives you the width of the bottom of the shrug

measure from the dog's lower leg, across back to similar place on other front leg--this gives you the total length

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've finally done it!

I have finally figured out how to use DPNs. I think it only took me 4-5 years, 10-15 books, personal instruction. Ok--to be truthful, I can only seem to make it work if I have 3 needles in a triangle shape, but it has opened up a whole new world for me.

I have made 2 hats so far, and will probably make many more. I like one skein projects best. I like to finish things. I'm a project knitter for sure.