Thursday, December 18, 2014


Do you get stuck at certain points of knitting projects? I certainly do, which is where I am right now. Most of these sticking points are repeat offenders: seams on sweaters, thumbs on mittens, grafting ribbing or garter stitch, buttons.

I have a sweater that I started in 2008, finished knitting and blocking, that has yet to be pieced together. There are three sweaters I wear despite having no closures; I recently purchased a zipper for one and buttons for another, but the third defies a definitive solution. My granddaughter's belated birthday sweater lacks only buttons, which I have but have not sewn on. My first colorwork, a pair of mittens, lacks one thumb. Another pair has not gotten past the first mitten, which also awaits a thumb. Then there is a ribbed moebius scarf that has yet to become an endless loop.

I hit snags when knitting socks - casting on toes, turning heels, binding off ribbing - but with a little peace and quiet, I can get past these. Projects that require a lot of counting can also grind to a halt, but eventually they move on. Anything fiddly, however, is my Waterloo.

What are your UFO hangups?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

13 days until xmas

Sometimes the finishing is the hardest part. I use Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for toe up socks, but for some reason I could not get into the rhythm right away. Eventually it came, but struggles like this make me feel like I am getting dumber and dumber.

Pattern: none to speak of
Yarn: ONLine Supersocke 6-fach Milano Color, colorway 1616 (grays)
Needles: US3
Details: Turkish cast on (12 stitches, increased to 56 stitches), stockinette for foot, gusset heel, stockinette for leg, 1x1 ribbing for cuff, Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

I refer to socks knit in DK as "boot socks" and made the legs a bit longer than usual. The foot came out a bit long, and the toes have "bunny ears". Not perfect but perfectly wearable by the intended recipient.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

14 days until xmas

We are coming down the homestretch now for homemade/handmade xmas gifts. I didn't so much as plan ahead as simply start early. Consequently, things are looking good on this home front.

Pattern: Slouch 0-906 Hat by Drops
Yarn: Colinette Cadenza, colorway 72 Tapis
Needles: US7
Modifications: I knit until I had seven garter stitch ridges, then performed the decreases over stockinette only

I was hoping to get my granddaughter to model this hat to show how it slouches at the top, but she has been very contrary lately. You will have to use your imagination or check out the other photos on Ravelry.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Finishing an already finished object

Last March I deemed the Fibonacci Vest as complete, even though it lacked buttons. Not that we didn't search for buttons, but finding the perfect buttons proved elusive. Then summer came and meh, who cares about buttons on wool vests? With winter pressing down upon us, though, buttons once again seemed imperative. And we found some at Joann that satisfied that need.

Meanwhile, I *still* have not completed Tuckernuck. I got stuck on the set-in sleeves, then on the button band, and now on the button hole band. Plus a severe case of startitis hit (coinciding with the creeping crud - two weeks of misery) which led to some WIPs: a scarf, a pair of socks, and a hat, all requiring next to no brain power. I'm finally feeling better, so it's time to tuck Tuckernuck into bed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Free yarn!

Three years ago I knit a couple of Schmattas, then never got around to sewing buttons on them. Yesterday I pulled them out of the WIP pile with every intention of adding the buttons, when I wondered, "Why bother?"

No offense to Mason-Dixon Knitting, but no one I know would want to wear one of these, including me. Do I go ahead and sew on the buttons, then tuck the neckerchiefs into the gift drawer, never to be gifted? Or do I salvage the yarn and make something someone would actually wear, like felted slippers?

Do you have items in your gift drawer that you knit reflexively but that will never see the light of day? Or items that served their usefulness in a few short weeks, never to be worn again? In the latter category are some infant outfits I knit my g'daughter. Seriously, knitting infantwear other than booties and hats is a bit of a waste because babies grow so fast; better to make a blanket that will be used for years to come.

So I'm thinking of recycling the yarn from some of those ungiftable knitted objects. The baby outfits were knit from fingering, but since it is 100% merino (no nylon), I don't want to make socks with it. Maybe gloves? Or a fine gauge scarf? If this frigid weather keeps up, underwear is definitely an option.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another watch cap

Last spring, while visiting Massachusetts, I shopped at Webs in Northampton and grabbed a few skeins of Encore for knitting hats. I like to have a few extras around because sometimes people forget theirs or (ahem) some people lose theirs. I've knit this pattern before, so no surprises there. It's easy and quick and produces a perfectly serviceable winter hat.

Pattern: Watch Cap, by Judith Durant
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
Needles: US8
Modifications: none

Hand knit hats always seem much warmer than store bought. Some would say it's because they are knit with love, but, as my stepmother once pointed out to me, you can buy hats with love. I think it is because the process of hand knitting traps more air in the fabric. What do you think?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Who needs needles?

I was in some store like Walmart or Meijer when out of the corner of my eye I saw something about "arm knitting". Have you ever heard of this? I had not, so of course I Googled it.

Are you going to try this? I might. Someday. When I don't have anything else to do.