Thursday 27 September 2007

I'm Ready Houston

I've gone over my class notes, I've selected sweater samples and put them in my brand new suitcase, I've got my clothes out of the closet and I've almost picked my knitting projects for the trip. I'm ready and very excited.

Tomorrow I'm flying to Houston Texas to teach at the Houston Knit At Night knitting retreat.

We are going to be designers for the weekend. With some guidance from me the Houston knitters are going to make a Top Down sweater plan on Saturday. Lots of talk about fit and variations which can be done as you work.

I truely believe that any knitter can design. Techniques are your tools but understanding how a sweater construction works means you can change it to accomodate your body shape and your knitting style. Knitting style is important. Are you obsessed with small details? Do you just plow ahead over all obstacles? Do you need symmetry?
I am particular about increases. I want my knitting to flow. If a lovely increase stops me in my tracks every time I come to it, I don't use it. I will use a 'good enough' increase that keeps my knitting flowing. I also like to read my knitting on the needles. I don't want to have to consult a chart for every single line of the sweater. It must have some sort of logic that makes sense to me so I can knit along on my own. I recently designed a lace cardigan which requires charts but I only have to check the beginning of every line to make sure the edge is correct and then I am off and know what I am doing. A glance is all it takes. That makes the knitting experience good for me. Have you given any thought to what makes it good for you?

I'm looking forward to seeing what makes these knitters tick. It will be fun,

Monday 24 September 2007

In The Bag

What's in your knitting bag?
An inventory of my bag contents:
Needles: 18 circular needles, 9 sets of dnp, 2 crochet hooks
Projects: 3 individual socks in progress, 1 lace cardigan, 2 hats.
Notions: 1/2 lb. of stitch markers, 2 pr. folding scissors, 2 measuring tapes, 2 calculators, several elastics, 2 boxes of safety pins, 5 sewing up needles, 1 bulldog clip,
Books: 1 Button Up Your Top Down, 1 Kid's Knitted Hats.
Patterns: 1 sock pattern in progress, 1 lace cardigan pattern in progress, scrap paper, graph paper.
Camera + 4 batteries.
Emergency supplies: 1 granola bar.
I was astounded to see it all out. I hope my massage therapist isn't reading this. She'll reeeally hurt me next time for carrying all that around. But how can I part with it.
And why is it out anyway? I found a squashed banana at the bottom of the bag last night. Yuck!
P.S. Yes I'm going to put all of it back in.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Door Number Three

I've been polling knitters and sock #3 won.

The lace design closer to the toe seems to look better. I started the lace pattern 6cm/2 1/4" from the very tip of the toe. Sock #1 is now being reknit into a sock #3.

A short post just to keep you informed.


Tuesday 18 September 2007


One more sock and I'm there. The pattern is in a rough state but the beginning is there. It's terrific working on such a small project because I generally reknit everything including the sweaters I am designing. The Spring Breeze pullover was done in walnut brown, navy, red and finally turquoise. The lace cardigan I'm working on is being knit a second time in denim just because I love the colour.

Sock number 3.

You were expecting a little more?
Patience is a virtue. But you don't have to have patience, you just have to wait.

Monday 17 September 2007


I'm getting closer to some design my unconscious started knitting. It began with a plain Toe-Up sock. As I was knitting I thought I would put a pattern in it just for fun.

Going along with this to see where it would end up and not thinking about it too much, I knit a second sock putting one more repeat in the foot.

I like it but maybe one more repeat? I have lots of wool and very small feet. According to Ann Budd's chart I have feet the size of a large child (8 1/2" foot). I shop in the senior boy's section of the shoe store quite regularly.

It's time to get to work. Subconscious, out of the way. You gave me the idea and now it's up to me to make it work. I'm on it.


Saturday 15 September 2007

Plain Socks?

I was getting ready to go to a get-together where I would be listening to music and sitting for a couple of hours. And since I just finished a pair of socks I am now entitled to begin another pair. My fingering wool and needles go into my bag. I'll just knit a plain pair of toe-up socks so I can work on them when I have a moment.

That lasted for 4 inches. Now I am back home and looking at my socks and thinking that I would put a little pattern in it to make it interesting. Another inch worked. The pattern isn't working as easily as I had first thought. Out comes the graph paper. Knit, rip, knit, rip, I've now worn down a 1/4" of my eraser and I have one sock made.

Hmmm. Now I think the pattern should start earlier on the foot, one or two repeats earlier. And I'm going to change the star toe to a regular wedge toe since the V shape will mimic the beginning of the pattern. I'll try all that on the second sock. It's looking very much like I'm not going to have a matching pair.

Reminder to self - try to take photos when it is still light out.


Wednesday 12 September 2007

Precious Little Knitting

Not much knitting going on at present. I am painting, painting, painting. I have 3 orange walls in my livingroom now and there is a certain glow to the room this morning. I have yet to do the wall with the bookcases on it. My knitting magazines are in there and it will be hard to empty the bookcases and not look at a few or more in the process. A weekend job obviously.

I did finish another pair of Sock Ridges in Soft Touch Ultra by Shelridge Farm, in colours Storm and lime-olive green variegated. The second pair is by Buffy of Shelridge Farm, one sock with green as the main colour and the other sock with rust variegated as the main colour. A sort of matching pair.

I am going back to the orange and when that's done I WILL KNIT.


Friday 7 September 2007

Let's try this one more time.

I knit this cardigan in the summer. It is my first crack at overall lace patterning and I did take notes so that I could write it up as a pattern. I wrote on the fronts of the several pages and then rewrote some of the same stuff on the backs, there are arrows for inserts and eraser marks and rewrites on the charts. I even dated one page (June 11) which would have helped me to see which revisions were the most up to date if I had only dated any of the other pages. I think my brain went on vacation with this one. But now I have a chance to rethink some areas of the cardigan because I am knitting it all over again.

This is not a chore to do. I'm still really pleased with the sweater and this is the easiest way for me to write the pattern as I go (not being awfully successful in the writing part the first time I knit this). So I am now set up with computer at the ready as I knit.

Beginning with the collar, Cast On. And we're off.

- Deb

Thursday 6 September 2007

In Many Directions

A new pattern is ready. It's the Junior J, an expansion of the sizing on the Baby J. If you like knitting in many directions you'll love patterns by designer Bernice Vollick. She goes off in the 4 directions of the compass on this one.

This is the schematic for it. You make the collar in the centre first (that's the centre square). Then you knit South on the Left Front panel, work around to the back of the collar and work North the Back centre panel, work around to the front again and work South on the Right Front panel. Pick up stitches from the side of the Left Front, pick up along the shoulder and down the side of the Back panel. Knit the side of the cardigan and the sleeve to the East. Pick up along the side of the Back and over the shoulder and down the side of the Right Front and work the sleeve to the West. Fold in half and sew up the garter stitch seam. Done.
I know that we generally do not sew but knitting the sleeves in garter stitch and sewing up a garter stitch seam is easier than working the sleeves in the round, knitting one round and purling one round. At least that what we all thought.

I knit the turquoise cardigan (size 4) and this is the octopus stage. Left Front done, Back panel done and working down the Right Front panel.

- Deb

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Crossing my fingers

I'm going to try this photo thing again.

Ta da, I have a photo. This is our latest felted bag pattern, Fairisle Bag, by Karen Lawrence of Sheepstrings wool store in Huntsville, ON. It's done in chunky weight wool, our Cabin Fever Northern Lights, and then felted but remains a very good sized bag.

These blogs I know are supposed to be easy to use so I'm not sure what that makes me. And Lynda is on vacation for a week. Sure set up the blog site and then leave. Nice. It used to be that every family needed a handy person to fix things around the house but now every family needs a computer person to help manage the world wide web.

I'm going to try again. Isn't this fun?!

Another photo, I'm on a roll here. I think I've got it by george.

This is my living room wall, at least the one I have painted orange. The other 3 walls are still blue. You can see that I haven't got the blue edging at the ceiling done yet.

This is work I understand. You use your hands and a minimum of tools and before you know it you have an orange wall. It's easy to manage and I can do one coat on one wall every other day and eventually it gets finished. It's slow and methodical and pleasant to do if you're not in a hurry. Does this sound like some other activity we all enjoy?

Slow and methodical, easy to pick up and put down, pleasant to do if you're not in a hurry. Ahh, perfect.

I'll get this blog stuff sorted out eventually. What's the hurry anyway. I'm not going anywhere. Relax, take it easy. I'm relaxed now and off to do some knitting.

See ya,

Tuesday 4 September 2007

Happy New Year

I was at the doctor's office last week to make an appointment and the receptionist said that the doctor was "now booking into the new year". She didn't mean January.

It is the beginning of the year isn't it. The trees are changing colour, the temperature is falling, kids are going back to school and everything is starting up again.

It's time to plan the new year of knitting too. Do you have big knitting plans for the winter? A large project to work for many months, something sturdy and warm? Or lots and lots of small projects so you feel you have accomplished so much. Or all of the above - that would be me. More socks, a new pullover to replace the Take It From The Top pullover I have been wearing for 6 years, a new hat (in fingering weight?), finish the lime green and purple striped hoodie for my son, a top down cardigan for myself and lace shawls for the fun of it.

Christmas is coming again and sooner than we ever expect it. Have you started your Christmas knitting? Do you do Christmas knitting ?- I should have asked that first. I suppose if one was organized, now would be the time to start planning to avoid the last minute rush. Organized is something I only aspire to, I just keep Christmas in mind until November and then I panic.

One of my plans for this month is to finish various projects which are sitting in a pile. This weekend I finished this.

(Sorry, can't get the photo up. Argh, new is coming as soon as I figure it out!)

A redo of the 4x4 Tank. I replaced the 4/4 rib with 4 sts garter stitch and 4 sts stocking stitch to make the rib flatter. I also put in waist shaping. It seems to work. I am still deciding about sleeves or maybe a matching cardigan. This has been sitting around since last spring when I got inspired. Something else had a greater pull and it was abandoned at the underarms.

Since this is the New Year it would be appropriate to have a list of resolutions. But I am at present only entertaining one.

1. Knit my own wardrobe.

I am pushing myself to knit tops and cardigans and socks and pants and shoes. Except for the last two, I think this is possible. Although I have been giving shoes a great deal of thought. Could you knit shoes? Anyway back to the possible, I knit myself about 7 pairs of socks last year which was a start. I also knit a short-sleeved top (The Spring Breeze pattern) and now have finished the shell above. Wow, I'm on a roll here. I may never have to shop in a ladies shop again. Ahh, that would be wonderful. I might try a skirt this year. That would be an adventure wouldn't it. Stop, stop, one thing at a time.

OK, I'll make a pact with myself. When I finish one project from the UFO pile I can cast on a new garment. This keeps my UFO project number static but there will be some finishing. Deal!