Monthly Archives: May 2013

It’s a smorgasbord! (of yarn!)

No matter how much yarn I have hiding in my house, more keeps finding its way in. I’d make a joke here about how the weather’s getting too warm to knit and all, but it’s been rainy and cold all week here in the ‘burbs of Boston. The sun finally came out today, but then the wind kicked up. So it’s still cold out. Uncool, Nature!

The yarn I’m referring to is, of course, more Knit Picks, which I love because it’s so budget-friendly.  Remember when I told you all about the cotton yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago to make dish towels? I bought 6 balls of Wool of The Andes as well, for an as-yet undecided project that I hinted at in my previous post.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s going to be Fair Isle. This much I have decided. I’m thinking about trying my hand at designing something original but  incorporating a traditional Fair Isle or Norwegian chart. I might make a cowl, which feels like sort of a cop-out. But I’m not that into math so a more complicated garment is not in the cards for now.  For the most part, it’s the armhole shaping that intimidates me; measuring myself, adding a few inches for ease and knitting a tube sounds easy enough.

I’ll keep these colors in the back of my mind and think of something fun to knit. Though I will probably stick with the cowl idea. I want to do the fair isle in the color couples as pictured. I don’t know exactly what I’ll end up with, but I’ going to have fun figuring it out. Now, where can I get some knitter’s graph paper?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy love-hate relationship with cotton has come to an end. I am loving knitting these dishtowels with Dishie. Lookie–I already have one done! Well, except for washing and blocking.  I’m done with the Conch yarn and have moved on to Azure. I can’t believe how fast these are to knit. I finished the first one in a week, including knitting on my lunch hours. I’m already past the first set of white stripes on the Azure towel so I’ll be approaching the halfway mark soon.

I’m glad I gave cotton yarn a try, although I suspect the unseasonably cool weather we’re having is contributing to the ease in knitting. I’m hoping to be done with this project before the humidity kicks in, which, at this rate, feels like never.


Dish Towels, Cotton Yarn. Or, Cotton. Oy.

I don’t seem to be able to work on one project and one project only. Ever. I get the desire to move on and start something new, even when I’m happy with what’s on the needles in the first place. I managed to work on the Albers Cowl from (re)start to finish focusing all of my attention on it, but now that I’m in the weaving-in-ends stage, my attention is starting to wander. The weaving in is tedious but coming along, to be followed by blocking each square and then sewing them together. Due to an impending birthday deadline, I’ve cast on for the Dish Towels pattern featured on Knit Picks’ website. Four towels make a set.

I have to admit I’ve never had the urge to knit dish towels before, but this pattern is so cute and so simple, it had me at Cast On…I don’t know, maybe it’s the jaunty racing stripes. The towels have a clean, retro look that I really dig.

Knit Picks was sold out of the Ocean colors kit when I placed my order so I used their Kit Builder feature and chose the yarn colors and the pattern. I don’t like the dark green Jalapeno so I chose the peachy Conch as the fourth color to keep with a beachy/ocean theme. Since my brother lives in a town known for its ties to the sea, I thought it was a nice touch.  Kit Builder is a great tool, but separately the cost is higher than the kit. I didn’t how how long it would take me to knit four towels so I bit the bullet and hit the buy button (I’ve gotta stop doing that).

I’ve knit with cotton only once or twice before, so I’d forgotten how different it is from wool. I gave up on a sweater that’s currently stuck in the Ghosts Of Projects Past bin because the cotton kept sticking to the needles. That was when I learned that plastic Denise Interchangeable Needles and cotton don’t get along very well.  I cast on in Conch for the first towel on a humid day earlier this week and almost regretted starting the project in the first place. The cotton yarn was slippery on the wood needles–a little too slippery–but sticky on my fingers. My cast on was very tight so the first row was hard to knit; passing the stitches over was frustrating. And then this happened:


Cotton, you’re not exactly winning me over.

Albers Cowl & The Knit Picks Book Sale

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABehold, I’ve finished the third and final log cabin square that makes up the Albers Cowl.  Now all I have to do is weave in like a gazillion ends and then sew the three squares together. This will not be a swift or fun process. At this point it will be several months before it’s cold enough to start wearing cowls again so I’m not going to sweat it. But I’m not going to let it sit unfinished for months, either. I’ll work on it little by little along with a newer and more urgent project: a set of dishtowels for my brother for his birthday. Because I never know what to get him (i.e. he’s kind of a pill), and everyone uses dishtowels, right? I have until July 4th to finish a set of four towels. So I’ll work on a warm-weather project and a cool-weather project at the same time for the next month or two. No biggie.

One of the things I look forward to each year is Knit Picks’s annual 40% off book sale. This year I got a couple of great bargains on books I’ve had in my wish list for a while.


The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt

This book is HUGE! I’ve been looking around for ages for the compendium of knitting knowledge and I’ve been thwarted at every turn. Richard Rutt’s History of Hand Knitting? Forget it. Vogues’s Ultimate Knitting? It’s hard to find a good vintage copy. Principles might just be what I’m looking for. First released in the 1980s, this reissued edition is bigger and better than ever; completely updated for today’s hand knitter. From gauge to measurements, math for designing garments, to finishing techniques, this book promises to be a treasure trove of important information and practical guidance. I’ve only flipped through the book so far, but, despite it’s hefty size, I’m looking forward to reading this from cover to cover. Coz I can be a total knitting geek like that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnitting With Two Colors: Techniques For Stranded Knitting and Designing Color-Patterned Garments by Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen

I’ll admit it: I judged this book by its cover. I am so in love with this beautiful Norwegian colorwork. And there’s that blue again.  I’ve long been an admirer of Meg Swanson and her Schoolhouse Press website, and so I decided that this would be a great addition to my knitting library and repertoire. After all, I love two-color stranded knitting.

As stated exactly in the title, the book’s focus is on the techniques for two-color knitting and on how to design garments. That’s great. I assumed, reasonably, I thought, that this book would include the chart pictured on the cover along with other colorwork charts. It does not. The focus is strictly on the processes described above. Except for a couple of tiny charts printed as examples, the book refers the reader to several Schoolhouse Press patterns available for purchase separately in order to knit the projects shown in the book. The blurb for the book states: “This book is a two-color knitting workshop for beginner to advanced knitters and a companion to the multitude of color patterns and color charts available in our knitting world.” I guess if I had read it more carefully I would have picked up on the phrase “companion to the…patterns and color charts available.” The misunderstanding could be on my end alone; I tend to hit the Buy button with an itchy trigger finger at times, especially when there’s an almost half-off discount to be had. But to me the wording seems a little vague, so I didn’t originally pick up on it. I think it could have been made a little clearer that there were no actual charts to knit from.

I liked the chart on the front cover so much I bought 6 colors of Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes because I wanted to use the chart to make a long cowl, perhaps with a picot edge. Sort of dipping my toes into the designing pool–the book’s purpose–but coming up with a simple shape and then using a chart borrowed from someone else. I’m disappointed that the chart is not part of the book. I might buy it from Schoolhouse Press, but I will probably just use a chart from one of the colorwork books I already own.





Who says you can’t buy candy for a quarter anymore?