21 May 2010


So, it seems I'll be knitting for two grandsons now. Ashley had her ultrasound yesterday, and it is definitely an unashamed boy! That will be lots of fun for everyone (well, maybe not to big-sister Audrey!) to have two cousins just 6 months apart in age! What are your favorite baby boy patterns and/or yarns?

So, yesterday afternoon I treated myself to some fresh flowers:

Seriously, how does Nature manage to create such color? I'd like to spend the whole day just looking at these tulips. They'd like it, too!

Well, I can look at them while knitting on this beauty:

Patina by Rick Mondragon from Knitter's magazine, Spring 2010. Sally of String of Purls (also of the Big Louie post) made this bolero as a shop project. Then Judy whipped up one. Now I'm hooked. It's a lovely, speedy-to-knit project. A squared-off bolero. No fuss, but has a perfect fit. I'm following the size medium directions for the number of stitches, but the size large for row count so the ribbing doesn't fall right across my chest. Sally changed up the colors just a bit to match what the shop currently had in stock. (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine - color 1293, Lane Borgosesia Toreador - color 104, Berroco Lumina - color 1610, color 1618, color 1605, color 1620)

Gotta run. My stomach is growling for lunch and the tulips are feeling neglected!

17 May 2010

Wanderings II

1. I found a fun group on Ravelry - Prairie Girl's Guide to Life. It was started by a Mom as her way to spend a entertaining summer with her daughter by making many of the crafts that are mentioned in the "Little House (...in the Big Woods, ...on the Prairie)" series. I've joined, though I don't have a young daughter at home anymore.

2.I've completed my sock design for the Twisted Yarns Sock Club. I'm hoping to get my model (she's a young knitter/nurse friend of mine who loves the model title!) to wear them for photos today. It's a beautiful Spring day in Omaha. Here is not a sneak peek:

[Photo was here]

I lost my head and jumped the gun. I really don't want a sneak peek out there. Duh.

Oh, Linda-B, you may like this...I checked out your profile and saw that you like all things Robert Frost. I had to smile since all along I've been thinking of this sock as "Two Roads Diverged", thanks to Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.

3. I just completed the new knitting/mystery novel Moon Spinners, by Sally Goldenbaum. This is her third novel set in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. They're enjoyable books. They sure do make me want to move to a little town full of salty air, great food, resident artists, and life-time friends. The murders that happen in Sea Harbor are just a minor negative in an otherwise blissful community!

The knitting references also seem believable. There aren't any mentions of lace gowns that are knit (without a pattern) in two weeks. I suppose that could possible, but certainly not if you are also an LYS owner with just a couple part-time employees!

Sally, the author, mentions the myth of the Moon Spinners - women/goddesses who wind the light of the moon onto a distaff and then let it out again once a month for a full moon. "The moon spinners were working their rightly magic, winding the strands of moonlight onto their distaffs, moving the world toward darkness. Providing protection in the darkness, or so the legend went." (Moon Spinners, Sally Goldenbaum)

I did a little on-line research last evening. There are many ancient myths with three spinners who spin the full moon. In Greek mythology the goddesses are Selene who is the personification of the moon, Artemis who is the goddess of the hunt, and Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. Baltic mythology has Saule, the life-giving sun goddess. This myth connects the Sun and Moon (no Moon phases to see without the Sun's light being reflected at the Earth) as Saule spins the moonbeams. And the Celts have three goddesses (sometimes one goddess at the three different stages of life) of the moon, the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. I didn't find mention of the legend that Sally speaks of, but I'll keep looking. It sounds interesting - especially for fiber fanatics.

4.And, finally, a big, BIG thank you to the readers and followers of this little blog. It amazes me that people take time from their busy lives to check out what's rattling around in my head. I am honored and delighted to have you stop by this site.

"...I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

09 May 2010

New Day, New Phrase

One of the joys of knitting is that there is always something to learn. Yesterday, for instance, brought along the term "rowing out". I knew of the situation, but not the term. If you look at the top rows of this swatch you will see that my rows of stockinette are lumped in pairs of rows. Two rows, gap, two rows, gap. Rowing out:

What a great term! I read that Priscilla Gibson-Roberts coined that phrase. (That may or may not be so. You know, don't believe everything you read!)

It's most apparent on the purl (usually the WS) side, but is also visible on the knit (RS?) as uneven-looking stitches:

Unforgiving fibers, such as cotton, really make rowing out apparent, though it can pop up any time. The trick is to keep your tension even with your knits and purls. TECHknitting has some great tips and strategies here, and Janet of twistedknitter.prettyposies.com has written about rowing out here.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, sliced bread, and seamless gutters, let me tell you that if you use a search engine of your choice and look up "rowing out knitting" you will find many articles and blogs on the subject. For me, I've solved my conflicts with rowing out, more or less, by knitting a row with Continental knit, and then purling a row in the English, or throwing style. My usual Norwegian purl will stretch the purl stitch too much, especially when working on cotton stockinette.

One final website of note is Annie Modesitt and her article on Combined Knitting, or as I've heard it called - Eastern Uncrossed - here. I'm thinking I might want to practice this technique.

Here! Here!

01 May 2010

"Lizard" Wraps

If you've been around me at all, you know that I hate to miss a party. I'm a social-events joiner - and that especially includes KAL's (Knit-A-Longs). All I need to hear is, "Wouldn't it be fun if we all...?" and I'm grabbing my needles, buying yarn, and downloading a pattern.

So I was a sitting duck when I asked my friends from Twisted Yarns some questions about the Lizard Ridge afghan from knitty.com. Did they knit separate squares, strips, or Version 2 - all one color? I heard back from Janet (aka Twisted Knitter) and she suggested a KAL! (Run for the needles, buy yarn, print pattern!) Within minutes we had the Lizard Ridge KAL set up on Twisted Yarn's Ravelry site here.

We were all set to start on May 1, but being the weak person that I am, I jumped ahead. (If this doesn't sound plausible, ask Nancy Bush. I don't think she was too pleased when I jumped ahead in a sock workshop of hers. And Nancy, you were right, I got into a mess!) I'm not a big fan of Wrap and Turn's because the wrap yarn always stretches when I lift it up to knit with the stitch. But I learned something great from my partially finished (I promise, I will finish it!) Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid - you don't have to W&T to get the same effect!

Using the Lizard Ridge pattern, purl to the first W&T location, turn without doing the W&T stuff, yo (as usual, from front to back) and knit the required number of stitches. Now turn as before, without the W&T stuff, yo, and purl the required number of stitches. (This last yo is again from front to back, and then forward again to purl.)

After doing this as the pattern instructs, you will get something that looks like this on the purl side:

It looks like multiples of the gaps that occur in turning a heel of a sock, and you treat them much the same with "closing the gap" by working the two stitches on either side of the gap together. On the purl side, purl the 2 stitches together through the back loop. This can be a little awkward at first, since the needle is going into the two stitches through the back from left to right, but it becomes easier with time:

You need to p2togtbl to get the correct twist to the stitches. If you just p2tog it will look like you forgot a to pick up a wrap.

When closing the gap on the knit side, you just need to knit 2 together in the usual way:

I'm loving this pattern. Way to go, Laura Aylor, the genius designer!

The "egg crate" bumps disappear. "It all comes out in the wash (or blocking)."

Next Generation

Public Service Announcement #1: When at Washington Dulles International Airport, use the security check-point on the lower level. I made it to my gate 55 minutes ahead of others who entered the airport with me, but used the upper-level security.

Public Service Announcement #2: If while traveling you meet up with a 30-something named Echo, run the other way. No details.

I was in the D.C. area a few days ago to meet this fine young man:

My grandson, Adam. This photo was taken the day that my daughter was running her 3 1/2-year old to the doctor's after she got sick in the morning. (Ruptured ear-drum with no mention of pain, etc. Kids.) Grandma was left babysitting, so I got a shot of Adam with Baby Blue.

My grand-daughter, Audrey, isn't so fond of having her picture taken. We bought her a shark towel, since she thinks sharks are grand, and I wanted a post-bath photo of her with the towel. My little Canon has a setting for Kids/Pets that helps, since kids/pets are always on the move. Here are the shots I got of of her:

And then I finally waited until she was walking down the hallway:

Maybe I won't apply for a job with National Geographic. Sure do love those kids, though.