Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Birth of a Knitter: Episode 2

It seems that the leap from knitter to designer is, for better or for worse, a short one:

A cousin gave Diana a knitting kit for Hannukah (my favorite spelling, by the way, just for its retro look). She's doing the scarf first. And, since she thinks someone else might want to make one like it, she's written up the pattern. I wish, oh how I wish, I could show you the original handwritten version; but I can't get the contrast right and nothing shows up. I can show you the typescript she made from it, unedited:

The Acrylic Scarf
By Diana Myers
Your friend will love this extra long that
is so easy to knit!

3 feet 36 inches

U.S. 6mm size 10s
1 ball encore(shown in blue)
1 darning needle

Pattern Abbreviations: sts= stitches
Cast on 18 sts
Knit 36 inches.
Measure constantly.
Bind off.

Here’s how if you’re a beginner:

Knit 2 stitches as if you are beginning a row. Slip the bottom one off without letting the other stitch off the needle. Knit another stitch. Continue until 1 stitch is left. While you are doing this the scarf will get heavier. Cut the yarn away from the scarf, but from the ball of yarn. Don’t make it too long! Slide the stitch off the needle. Put yarn end through the stitch. Be sure it’s not the cast on
tail! Pull end in. Weave in ends.(Both)


Cut at least 54 8 in. fringes.
Find a place for 4 fringes. Put all 4 fringes into that place. Knot the 4 fringes [not together out of the place] but in the place. Continue doing this until you have done 30 for 4 fringes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Remember this?

It's bigger now.

Also, it's been wet-blocked: fully soaked and then stretched and pinned.

Though I obviously still have a lot to learn about photographing lace, I think most people would agree that the prettiest stitch so far is the fourth one from the left, the one that might look vaguely like rows of umbrellas if you turned your head sideways and squinted a bit. That's the one we'll be starting with in class tonight.

Toward the right end of this half, where things start to go all blurry, is the section that's been knit since I did the blocking. I find that, the better lace looks while it's on my needles, the more apt I am (paradoxically) to forget how much better it will look after it's blocked. When it looks bad, I keep reminding myself that it's going to improve; when it looks good, it seems unlikely that it's going to look better. But it always does. (All you lace-class students getting the hint here? Yours is going to look better, too. More better than you can anticipate right now.)

That big complicated diamond-shaped thing in the center of the last photo? That's the Trellis Diamond from Shirley Paden's "Wrapped in Tradition" in Wrap Style, which we're trying out at Wendy's request. (Hint to all you lace-class students: got your eye on a specific project? It's not too late to suggest other stitches for us to try out. It is a sampler, after all.)

Meanwhile, Robin's got the edging going on her Rambling Rows:

The consensus is that the color could not be more perfect. And now she's got lots of nice, mindless knitting for her upcoming plane trip.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


With just a few ends to weave in, the Jamaica kids' sweater is finally done.

It was a quick knit; it only seemed to drag on forever in my mind, because I kept waiting for a time when I felt fresh enough to tackle the finishing without the fear I'd be too braindead to do it right. Pattern is forthcoming...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Robin's Rambling Rows, & an Entrelac Bag

Every last square is knit:

Which brought Robin, and several others of us at Knitting Circle, to the brink of the final decision:

What color to use for the edging?

The blue-green Koigu along the upper-right edge had been the original plan, but not everyone thought it was perfect; it seemed maybe a little dull, maybe a little too blue. There were quite a few constraints--pardon me, parameters--to the choice, as well: vaguely the same gauge, washable, preferably gender-neutral. (The recipient is a boy baby, but he may someday have siblings.)

The ultimate winner was the pale green Koigu along the upper-left edge. If you don't agree that it's the best, please feel free to say not one word about it: everyone knows computers don't show color accurately, anyway.

And if you've got time on Sunday, you should come down and make your own one of these:

(For those of you who know my issues with felting, Jen did this one.) Class starts at 1:00.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


And now, please join me in wishing a happy birthday to my friend and colleague Carol. With three little kids, she still manages to spin the yarn, dye the yarn, knit the yarn into a garment of her own devising, work in the shop part-time, edit Rosie Knits patterns from home, return e-mail within 15 minutes no matter what time of day or night, write a witty and informative blog of her own, and maintain her sense of humor.

(Though perhaps her biggest achievement this year was persuading Tom to allow a pet into the house.)

Best wishes for a great day and wonderful year, Carol!

Monday, March 13, 2006

A special message for Mrs. Myers

Dear Mrs. Myers,

I know it's not easy being pregnant -- the morning sickness, backache, and all those other unmentionable symptoms -- and I know it's even harder going through labor (oy!), so on behalf of the staff and customers of Rosie's Yarn Cellar, I would like to thank you for giving birth to Lisa however many years ago today it was. Lisa is an amazing woman and her personality, her intelligence, her sense of humor, and of course, her knitting prowess make Rosie's the special place it is for all of us.

Happy birthday, Lisa!

And thanks, Mrs. Myers.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Meet Dolly

She's another one of the projects we'll be doing in the Intermediate Class.

She's not finished, of course, but I can't tell how far from finished she is. I have a shawl on needles, her skirt isn't fastened in back, she'll need a blouse or vest or something . . . .

Thanks, though, to all at Knitting Circle this evening who advised on hair color. This was clearly the best choice. (I'm still thinking about ways to incorporate the orange eyelash.)

P.S. Because it's "Blog Against Sexism Day" (or was until an hour ago), let me take this opportunity to remind you: if you see a man in a yarn shop, don't assume he's buying a gift for his mother or waiting for his girlfriend.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Welcome Back, Patti!

It's not that we haven't always loved Great Adirondack yarns. It's just that they were very hard to buy, for us: no sales rep, no functional color cards, and when we'd see them in person--Stitches, MD Sheep and Wool Festival--we'd be overwhelmed by the crazy, feathered, sequined ones that grab all the spotlight.

Now, however . . .

. . . they're back. This photo is the colorway called Kenya. (My monitor is showing the purple tones a little bluer than they really are--think blue, green, and plum.) The yarns you see are Sirino (a fingering-to-laceweight silk/wool, 675 yds, upper right), Soxie (merino, 360 yds, left), and Silk Delight (100% silk, 263 yds, foreground). Here they are in Paprika:

No time right now to photograph the other colors, or the Nassau (silk/cotton) or Silk Noir. Silk Noir is an old favorite: if you've ever looked at the Landscape Shawl here in khaki and mauve tones, that's Silk Noir. It's a raw silk, not shiny, kind of rough-looking. 900 yards in the skein is enough for the shawl; $30. Or maybe that Lotus Blossom shawl from Fiddlesticks?

Those of you who aren't within driving distance, my apologies: you won't find these for sale on the website. I'm not trying to tease you. I've just learned the hard way that selling hand-dyed yarns online is a quick road to misery.

The next sound you hear will be the staff scratching and clawing one another for the chance to knit the shop model Clapotis out of the Silk Delight.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

TiVo Alert

This Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m., the Oxygen network is going to premiere a new knitting show. This episode features Adina Klein (an editor at Vogue Knitting) and Lily Chin. Whatever you think of the specific personalities (and let's keep those comments clean, please!), it should be worth checking out.

Oh, and the stuff in boxes we can't find room to unpack right now includes Nicole (from Adrienne Vittadini, with the new Spring Vittadini pattern book), Classic Silk (from Classic Elite, blended with viscose and linen, with a raw-silk look), and Candy (the hit Artful Yarn from last year, with a bit of elastic).