Friday, September 29, 2006

Knitting at the Beach

Finished the red sock which is the mother of all socks. Great yarn, great fit, fun techniques. I married Louet gem merino with Candance Eisner Strick's Austrian Traveling Stitches and Lucy Neatby's garter st heel and toe. I love this sock. I love the heel and the toe and the design. I love the wool.
This is the perfect sock.
For the Austrian Stitches, you really need to take Candance's class. There isn't a book. And I've not seen an instruction that was really the sharply defined, traditional technique. Sorry.

The toe and heel are described in an article on the Interweave Knits website. Very clear instructions. The heel and toe are thick which I find a plus for winter in sandals and clogs.

The Swallowtail shawl from the fall IK is also finished and hanging at Charlotte Yarn to advertise the class which starts October 5th. This one is made from the Misti Alpaca on a size 4 needle. It, as intended, is small, more a suit shawl. Others have knit this pattern and been very happy with it in Silky Wool (#8) or Brown Sheep Handpaint (#9). Those two came out more normal shawl size. I think there is a new deep purple one in my future. PlumFun yarns got a new shipment of Silky Wool with a deep deep purple that I covet.

Wild Dunes is beautiful and the weather is great. Lots of laughter. We brought out own food to the beach cottage. I would share more, but we have agreed that what happens at the beach stays at the beach. The second beer run was less that one day after arrival.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

See Jane's House Fall Down

This is my home. Built in 1941 and with all the lovely problems that can bring. Inside it is a cluttered nightmare. I've got yarn in every room somewhere. I've got a bit of everything in every room. I keep trying to de-clutter and all I do is move stuff around and never get anything consolidated. Also I never get happy with the layout.

Enter Meghan's father-in-law. Lee is a contractor in Wisconsin and was visiting. Helpful man said he'd come look the place over as we get ready to talk about remodeling for the 900th time. Lee comes. Lee says cheaper to level it and rebuild. Jane and Steve smile.

Everytime we leave with the dog, Steve prays for fire.

This seems the right decision.

Creative juices will go into this project for a long while, so I bought another person's pattern to occupy my mind. It is the Eris pattern from The Girl From Auntie. I have been wanting a zippered sweater so this is perfect. It is a downloadable pattern -- all 40 pages. Ran out of ink at page 12, but am impressed already by her discussion of the pattern in the intro pages. So much info to set you up to knit it easily. It begins by knitting the cabled collar and then picking up stitches and knitting down. My favorite way to knit. Now to find the right yarn in my stash. Please--I want to use something I've already got. Lessens the amount to store,

Still knitting socks and chasing the perfect heel. Have started a new pair using a honeycomb pattern. Pics soon.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Free Pattern for Holiday Decoration

Top Down Miniature Raglan Cardigan

I designed this to help teach a top down class for students who don’t yet use dpns well. It makes a cute tree ornament, present topper, or may even fit Barbie. I'm going to use novelty leftovers to make some for my holiday tree. DGSs won't be able to break these

Materials: I used Worsted Weight Wool, US size 6 circular needle.
CO 16 sts. Purl a row to place the markers thusly: P3, pm, P2, pm, P6, pm, P2, pm, P3.

Next row (Inc row): *Knit to marker, inc, slip m, K1, inc; repeat from * 3 more times; then Knit to the end of the row.
Following row: P 1 row.

Repeat the previous two rows 4 more times. You should have the following number of sts on your needles: 7,10,14,10,7 = 48 sts
Set up to knit the body and place the sleeve sts on holders.

Knit 7 front sts, sl m, place 10 sleeve sts on a holder, remove marker, knit the 14 back stitches, remove marker, place 10 sleeve sts on holder, sl m, knit the 7 front sts. Purl the next row. (Ignore the sts on markers.)

Continue in stockinette st or a pattern st of your choice until the sweater is the desired length. ( I knit 8 rows.) Knit 4 rows of garter st and bind off. Use a smaller needle for the garter stitch if you have one.

SLEEVES: With RS facing, use the circular needle to pick up one st from the underarm, knit all sleeve sts from the holder onto the needle, pick up one st from the underarm . Picked up stitches are at the beginning and end of the row. (12 sts)
Purl the next row which is a WS row. Continue in pattern or st st for 6 more rows.

Row 7: K1, dec 1, K to the end. Continue in pattern for 3 more rows.
Row 11: Work in your chosen pattern until only 3 sts are left on the needle, dec 1, K last st.
Work 2 more rows in pattern (or in garter st) and cast off.

Repeat these instructions for the other sleeve.


Sew the underarm seam.

With RS facing, pick up stitches along the edge of the right front and knit 2 rows; bind off. I picked up 15.)
Pick up stitches along the edge of the left front and knit 2 rows; bind off.
Pick up sts along the neck edge and bind off.
Close the fronts with a pin or ribbon.
Make a hangar out of wire and place on your tree.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Knitting in Public

So when was the last time you knit in public? How many people did you attract?

My favorite place to knit in public is hotel bars, preferably while watching some sporting event such as soccer or beach volleyball. Of course a large beer (brown ale) is required. Just sip it or you'll be ripping stitches all night. No one expects you to be knittng in a bar, so people react. They ask about your project or, my favorite, they tell you a knitting story from their life. I think that is a bit of a gift. Usually it is a young man that comes over to ask. Women just smile at me unless they, too, are knitters and then all bets are off.

I wonder if the 20-something generation discovered this aspect of knitting--the attract a cute guy or at least give him an opening to talk to you aspect. Walking a dog used to be the thing. My daughter enjoyed us visiting her at college with the dog. She walked him and talked to all kinds of cute guys. Perhaps some of the fellowship we enjoy from knitting doesn't even involve other knitters. Probably not.

But anyway, pick up your knitting and go someplace unexpected to knit. The MS Bike Ride to the Beach is coming up and my husband will ride it. I will tag along as a support person which means I drive him from the finish each day to the motel. I plan to take my knitting and a lawn chair and set up near the finish line. I'll meet some interesting folks and some of them will tell me their knitting stories. A day well spent, I think.