Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Knitting

A short introduction to the Wednesday knitting group.

We've been getting together on Wednesday's for almost two year.

Here's a run down on the people who were present.
knitSB, you've heard about him before. ;) He's knitting on a scarf from One-skein wonders called the One Skein Scarf using Cascade 220.
Songferret, also referenced in the blog for his amazing ability to relate everything to a musical in three sentence or less.
Cat who is working on some original bag designs based on Mary Ann's paintings.
Yarmando who is knitting on the Koolhaas hat. His second, I believe.
Big Matt joined us for the first time in a long time. He shares his camel toe sock and another project that I don't remember.
KnitMeredith joined us (without her knitting!)
EPSGuy is working on his Pie are Square shawl in a yummy alpaca.
The very shy KnitMary was putting a crocheted edging on the Butterfly Pullover.

That's the group. And we discovered two more knitters knitting at Cup o Joe! They joined us and fun was had by all!

Monday, July 28, 2008

My first "sweater"

I call it a "sweater," but really, it's just the pieces to the sweater.

I found this great book at the Library called "Two Sticks and a String" by Kerry Ferguson. While flipping through it, I discovered the pattern called the Easy Mohair Sweater. It's a nice design. Only 4 pieces to knit.

I know enough about flat pattern design to be dangerous. As I was knitting the sleeves, I didn't think that the sleeve caps would fit into the armhole. After I finished the sleeves and tried to fit them into the armhole, sure enough, they didn't fit. I had to tick back the front and back of the sweater to correct the error. If I remember correctly, the yarn is Touch Yarns two ply mohair/blend. I purchased the yarn at Susan Yarns. Did I mention that I started this sweater almost 6 years ago? I don't know if the sweater will fit me anymore.

Tell me about your first sweater.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Boys Fishing Trip Preparation

In one week, I'll be traveling to Michigan for the 14th annual "boys fishing trip."
I'm the youngest of 12 children (7 girls & 5 boys) and I like all of my siblings. This tradition of the boys fishing trip happened when my sister-in-law surprised my brother with all the boys and dad going fishing together. The first two years, I actually went out on the boat to fish. I'm not a fisherman. So I spend time knitting, chatting with my brothers and listening to music. My iPod comes in handy for the traveling.

My iPod is 60GB and has 8649 songs, 16 video, and 955 photos. I lied. It's quite full. I just listened to some podcasts so there is 1.2GB available. I'm sure I'll be able to add some more stuff. No, I don't listen to the music all the time. I enjoy the company of my brothers and we do talk and laugh and remember fun times growing up.

What do you listen to while you knit? Comment away!

I've posted about the previous "fishing" trips on the blog. There are lots of photos on the flickr account. On a sadder note, this will be the first trip without my brother John. We will miss him.

and yes, there will be a burn pile for me. It's cathartic to build fires.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Attention Interweave Knits!

Just watch then read.

The Preview for the Fall Issue 2008 was released today.
I look forward to the anticipation of what's coming in my next issue.

In case you haven't noticed, men wear sweaters.
Did you know this?
I can't tell that from the Fall Issue 2008. Not one man's sweater pattern.
Men get one nod in this issue: A man is used to show off mittens using angora yarn. Do men wear angora?
Did I miss that memo?
"Hey you. You with the XY chromosome. Yes, you. Start wearing bunny fur."


The mittens look fine, really. I'm concerned about the lack of patterns that might even be remotely appropriate for someone with the XY chromosome combination. That being said and full disclosure that I tend to be willing to bend what might be considered an appropriate sweater for a woman/man, there are a few nice looking patterns. The pea coat, backstage tweed and braided pullover to name three.

I am disappointed. The fall issue is perfect to start showing some patterns/designs/socks/something that might work for the men in our lives. Please start including patterns that could be worn by men. BTW: we do wear more than socks or hats. (I'm just saying.)

I think I'll count the number of patterns for men (or lack of) in the past year and report back.
*sigh* I couldn't wait for the issue to show you the images better. (do you hear an echo?) The laptop will have to do.

ACK! The Fall Vogue Knitting 2008 preview is out too. Guess what's missing?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Red Bird Knits Sock of the Month Club

I get excited when I receive a notice from the post office that a package needs to be picked up. It's like Christmas morning, seeing the wrapped packages and not know exactly what's in the package. Well, today I picked up my last shipment of the Sock of the Month Club from Red Bird Knits. Wanna watch while I open the package?

The pattern for this month is called Anatoli. This is my last shipment only because I'm reducing my expenses. I have about 16 months of the Red Bird Knits SOTMC queued up for knitting. I think it was Damask that ran short on yarn. (Interesting to note that she's not carrying Jitterbug anymore that I can tell.) Robyn has some great sock club options. Sign up and they are mailed automatically. She makes the patterns herself and matches great yarn. My friend KnitMary directed me to Red Bird Knits. I reviewed the sock patterns and found there were some designed that I would enjoy learning how to knit. Most of the patterns will work for men. Now that I've gone to view the site, I could go to sock of the ever-other-month or even sock-of-the-quarter. Dang. Note to self set a number of kits to knit before considering joining up again.

BTW: I am working on casting-on the 449 sts for #1's shawl. I'll show you the completed cast-on soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stupid Questions knittingbrow asks

"Do You Knit Lace?"

The LYS that I (used to) work at (and mostly just teach a few classes) sponsors Knitters Connection. I really had fun at the event. Not only did I get to see and feel amazing amounts of yarn, I also met some great people. One of my passions in life is to help people find their "bliss" and it usually takes the form of getting the perfect yarn for their projects. Some of you have seen me help knitters find their yarn. It's fun!

I mentioned "Wooster" in previous blog and videoblog posts and how I met Chris from Briar Rose Fibers. They were at Knitters Connection! I'm an equal opportunity yarn person. I want to help you find the perfect yarn, regardless of who is selling it. (Shhh, don't tell my boss.) Briar Rose's booth was right across from our booth and I wanted people to see the colors in person (and touch the yarn). I'm that way. The video tells a story of the stupid question that I asked. Watch and then continue reading.

Yep, there it was. A reasonable question given to an interested knitter. I didn't find out who she was until about an hour later (I think). *face palm* Marilyn van Keppel translated the lace patterns for Bundanaurriklaedid available from Schoolhouse press. I own this book! She translated other LACE knitting books too!
knitspot and the Gale pattern! Quick, go buy some lace yarn from Briar Rose. Schoolhouse Press and knitspot have got lots of pattern options!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gauge Swatch #1

Here you have what could be a pathetic gauge swatch. Honestly, I didn't really expect this to be a true swatch and I was so excited to start on the project that I couldn't help myself. What I've learned is I want to try and knit more of a swatch, maybe even the full 6" swatch in st st. I'll try a size 6 needle but change to my Knit Pick Options (rather than the harmony that I used). Clara Parkes book, The Knitter's Book of Yarn tells amazing details of a variety of yarns. You might want to check this one out from your local library. St. Clara gave an inspiring description of "romancing yarn" before committing to a project. Knitting a gauge swatch never sounded better!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shawl for #1

My summer knitting has changed focus to knitting a shawl for a good friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Her favorite color is purple! I have some Malabrigo Lace yarn in "Purple Mystery." She decided on the Stóra Dimun Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. I want to complete a gauge swatch for this because I'm using a laceweight yarn instead of the sportweight called for in the pattern.

I feel that knitting this shawl for #1 and sharing this with you will create wonderful healing energy. My goal is that she'll be able to wear this during her chemo treatments and keep her warm and surrounded by love. I hope you'll be willing to share with me.

Expect a few more video posts for the progress.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What do you knit when it's hot?

It was hot here today. So hot in fact that I didn't do any yard work like I planned. The heat got me thinking about knitting during hot weather. I think knitting socks are a great idea for summer knitting. Socks are portable and small so the yarn doesn't need to sit on my lap and make me too warm.

This video shows you some of my socks that are available for me to knit. What do you like to knit during the summer? The tangling of the knitting socks on two circs gets me a little frustrated. I think I'm just going to stop trying. *grin*

Plurk is a microblogging site that can be rather addicting.
Nanner Socks is a pattern designed by WendyKnits.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hurt Books

(I promise to keep videos to 2 minutes and 30 seconds or less)

I got my delivery from the Interweave Hurt Books Sale.
The hurt books that were delivered include:
  • Gossamer Webs by Galina Khmeleva. The hurt part was the bent top. That would have happened anyway. I'm glad I got it.
  • Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelets edited by Erika Knight. This 50% off book had a bent corners at the top and bottom. I can live with those. I'm taking this one with me tonight as I consider a new shawl to knit for a friend.
  • Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel had the back top corner bent. It's the same type of bend that would be created when I put things back on the bookshelf.
  • Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle wasn't a hurt book but it was on my wishlist for awhile. I deserved a new book, don't you think? I just saw the errata for the book. My, there are quite a few corrections needed. I'll check my copy before starting any shawl.
  • Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman is another "healthy book" that's been on my wishlist. I'm gathering an arsenal of lace books and this one had to be included.
I promise to edit down my talking time. I'll continue to blog and post the videos. I'll do better. Comment away!

I do read the articles!

My thoughts on knitting magazines.
  • Cast On Magazine is the official publication of TGKA. I think this magazine has a lot of good resource material on knitting and knitting techniques. I get the magazine as part of my membership to TGKA. I read it for the articles. There are very few men's patterns.
  • Vogue Knitting is a very "vogue" magazine in style and photography. I enjoy this artistic and fashion forward approach to knitting. The few men patterns see to be vests or drop shoulder sweaters. I have enjoyed the designed by Brandon and Kaffe. One article I regularly read is by Meg Swansen from Schoolhouse Press.
  • Knitters Magazine is not a magazine that I enjoy. I do not subscribe and probably won't. The patterns tend to be over-the-top on last years fashion trends knit in colors that are too loud and scary. The photography is quite nice but doesn't highlight the sweater. I don't think it's too much to ask to have the knitted garment be the focus of the photo instead of the building behind the model. The Perri Klass articles are my favorite section of the magazine.
  • Spin-Off has my attention recently because of their good articles and exciting knitting patterns. This might be a magazine that gets a subscription from me. No wonder I like the magazine, it's an Interweave Press product!
  • Interweave Knits is my knitting magazine of choice. I subscribe. Great articles and well written patterns. I can see the knitted garments pretty well. Franklin Habit's blog can be found here. Contact me Franklin so I can be one of your 1,000 Knitters! Clara Parkes writes Knitter's Review and spoke at Knitters Connection in June 2008.
  • Piecework is a magazine that's an unexpected find for knitting magazines.
Thanks for watching. My goal is to not have a video that runs more than 3 minutes. After this post, if I can't say it in under 3 minutes, I should say it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

umm, UFOs

Hey, this turned out to be straight-forward on my MacBook Pro. I like to talk so I thought I would use a video to start blogging again.

UFOs are "unfinished objects" when related to knitting. I discovered this as my stash was being moved around as we were clearing up areas of the house. I got distracted and started to "shop from stash" and discovered some amazingly wonderful yarns. Before I cast-on another project, I want to complete some projects. The UFOs.
  1. d'zined yarn. This sock was cast-on during the fun of the Magician's Nephew that took place in March/April. I just cast-on and started knitting. The feel of the sock is comfortable so it has merit to be finished. I think it's more of a fall and winter sock because of the tight gauge.
  2. the "Lopi Sock." I learned to knit socks using this pattern and Lamb's Pride Bulky. These knit up fast on size 10 or 10.5 needles. I've knit 9 pairs of these socks. They are wonderful to wear around cold houses to keep your feet warm. A fast knit and short so they don't go up far on the leg, so it's a slipper sock. This one has a twisted cable pattern. I'm using ends of the Lamb's Pride Bulky so the colors are mis-matched, bright and cheery! I will finish this. Now, who should get this pair?
  3. Elbac Scarf. This pattern from knitty. I'm using Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted yarn in a blue color. I'm halfway through the scarf, almost. I found the knitting a bit too detailed to be "mindless" and I've had to keep track of rows and st repeats and such. bleech. Nice sound effect, eh? Who will get this scarf? The ribbing scarf does have some stretch to it so it will get a bit wider. This one might be in the "finish" pile.
  4. The Placerville vest. It's LOFTY LOU'S YARN SHOP in Placerville, CA. Lou spun the yarn herself and I like that I purchased a handspun yarn that no one else would ever have. I got creative by introducing a purple yarn to make the vest. I'm using the EPS system to create this vest to fit me. I will finish this. What I need to do is determine how I'm going to decrease the v-neck of the vest. I've got three steeks going (two for sleeves, one for neck). The lighting doesn't show the colors well at all. (n2s: better lighting)
  5. the Prayer Shawl. the M's gave me lots of acryllic yarn which is good for a prayer shawl because it's washable. The colors remind me of peonies that my grandmother gave to my Mom. Those huge pink blooms with a dark green framing and slight bits of dark pink. Wonderful memory for me. This one is knit length-wise with fringe, not tassels. It's knitting up fast and I'm only knitting on it around friends and people who love me. Nothing better to go into a Prayer Shawl than love and support. I'm giving this to my mother who will donate it to her church.
  6. Maryland Sheep and Wool Sock out of the claudia (I think). One sock is finished. I got lost in the middle of the second heel using Don's toe-up sock pattern from two years ago. If I ask, I wonder if Don could actually tell me where I am in the pattern. I'd like to finish this second sock. I mean, I'm so close and the sock has great memories of my first trip to MS&W.
  7. Scallop Scarf my own variation out of Jitterbug. I like my pattern a bit better because the color shows up a bit better. I've got about 1/2 of this scarf done. The thing that is tough is that I knit three other complete scarves for a class that I taught. That explains the "time-out" for the scarf. It wouldn't take much to finish the scarf and it's reversible and won't curl. Thoughts on this? I mean, the yarn could turn into socks, right?
  8. Baby Surprise Jacket out of Cascade 220. I used this as a class sample for the BSJ class I tought. I need to seem this BSJ with some interesting i-cord trim. I'm hesitating a bit because I've not done this technique before. Finishing this will be time consuming and buttons. This one is in the finish pile.
  9. Gale Shawl out of Grandma's Blessing from Briar Rose Fibers. Love the pattern. Love the Yarn. Love the recipient. Absolutely to be finished. Will I take it on the "fishing trip?" I've not decided. "wooster" Guess who walked in on the recording of this? See him in the back? He's like...what are you doing?
  10. Yoke Sweater using Lopi Yarns. The blog history of this error can be found in the archives by clicking here. The colors are my own combination. I've got to tick back to correct the error. Really, all that is left is the fair isle knitting on the yoke. I'm more than half way done. I wish I had pulled out the error before I put the sweater in hibernation. If I take this on the fishing trip, I need to be ready to knit on it. It's not car knitting for me.
What you didn't see are the 6 other projects sitting on the side table. Now, these are UFOs and not the "promised projects." That's a completely different post.

Thanks for watching and reading. Please leave a comment to let me know if you enjoy the new format and why. BTW: I went with youtube because I couldn't stop talking after 90 seconds. Flickr limits to 90 seconds.

videoblog entry

This entry is from I'm exploring options.

Did you like this?
Which was better to watch, Flickr or Youtube? Youtube is just above. The Flickr is the entry below


Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
Hi, I thought I would try something slightly different. Please let me know if you want me to video blog some more. This entry is from