Friday, April 27, 2012

Follow Up

Are you all wondering, "what ever happened to the Mitered Cross square Sarah was talking about learning at Woolbearers with Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon fame?". 
I actually loved making this square and for a fleeting moment thought I might make an afghan.  Perhaps it will become a lap robe of a few squares instead of the original idea of a pillow?  I love the idea of using a different color of Boku for each square. 
I think it will most likely remain a square to be admired and be inspired by. 

You may also be asking yourself, "what has happened to all of those beautiful sunsets and occasional sunrises?".  Well, the sun is moving around in the sky and it is not so spetacular anymore.  However, I did catch the early morning sunlight on the sailboats out my front door this morning.  I will take this view, anytime.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Moebius

Last week (Planet Purl, April 18) I posted about taking an online class with Beth Moriarty of Planet Purl.  It was a 2 week class designed to make her Sunset Moebius from her book, Deep South Knitting
I started by following the instructions given in her pattern and used lace weight yarn.  I found out during the class that we could really use any weight yarn, that we didn't really have to make the Sunset Moebius.  I tend to be a rule follower, but teaching classes myself I should have already known that I could stray.  Doing something for the first time though, I feel like I have to follow exact directions. 
We all think we have done a moebius before by accidentally twisting our work when we are casting on for work in the round.  However, a true moebius is a half twist and that creates a full twist.
The cast on is done on a long circular needle, the needles become doubled and you work outwards in 2 directions at the same time from the cast on which is actually the center of the mobius.  Confusing?  If you think it is confusing to do, think of the mind that thought of it in the first place? 
After a first failed attempt, I figured I understood what I was supposed to do and the night before the second class (I can be a procrastinator) I got out Cat Bordhi's book, A Treasury of Magical Knitting, and tried again with a worsted weight cotton & silk blend yarn.  I do recommend when trying anything new, use at least 2 different resources.  Last week I used the you tube video from Planet Purl. 
As you can see there are way too many twists in my first attempt with lace weight yarn.
This one has just one twist up at the top.
I started a little Feather and Fan pattern, but I ran out of yarn and time.

You can see the twist at the bottom of the moebius and it is much longer that you think it is going to be when it is on the needles.
She taught us 2 bind offs, the I cord bind off and the beaded picot bind off.  I chose to do the picot bind off without beads, this was just practice after all.  I do think the picot bind off was a little tight, especially for the loose pattern of the moebius. 
I always love learning new techniques.  Sometimes they can really stretch your mind.  I'm not really sure if I will use it, but I can now if I want to.  But I may just teach a class in the moebius myself.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not a secret anymore.

A month ago, (March 21, It all comes out in the wash), I was talking about some secret knitting I was doing, a shawl pattern I was planning on submitting to  I didn't make the deadline, since I had to celebrate my birthday for 4 days straight (I will blame it on my twin sister, or maybe I should thank her). 
I would have to wait another several months for another Knitty submission opportunity and then my pattern might not really fit in to what they would be looking for since it changes.
I decided to submit it myself but didn't get around to it until yesterday. 
Not to brag or anything (OK, I'm bragging) but I made the top of the list of patterns that Ravelers are looking at today.  It took a message from a Raveler who congratulated me for me to realize what was happening.  I had 30 sales yesterday, my first day!  I figured something was up, but I didn't know what?

I don't know how I got on the top of the list, my husband says because a lot of people were looking at my pattern.  I could say something sarcastic here but I will leave that to your imagination. 
I also have to thank my son (in addition to my sister) who gave me the yarn that inspired my design (I feel like I am up on the stage accepting an award).  I do feel special because of his gift every time I wear it and isn't that what handknitting is all about?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mason Dixon knitting

Our somewhat local yarn shop, Woolbearers, was hosting a clinic with Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon knitting fame.  The north & south duo of Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne have produced 2 knitting books with projects as varied as a reusable mop cover and scribble lace.  You'll want to get these books just to read through them, they are clever and funny.
Another production of theirs is a very tongue in cheek video of both authors singing a country western style song with knitting lyrics.  A must see!  Check out their blog and watch their video.

Kay loves afghans, and for someone who never knits afghans she has almost convinced me to knit one. I will at least knit a square and maybe make a pillow out of it.  She is definitely a process knitter and I think I weigh more heavily on the side of being a product knitter. 
She was teaching us the mitered technique in her Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern.  For our $30 we got the pattern, the $5 price going to Mercy Corps, one of her 2 books, and of course the class itself.  It was a great deal and a relaxing night of social knitting.

Kay was kind enough to sign books and pose for photos afterwards. 
My knitting buddy Elizabeth, Kay and me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Planet Purl

The internet has so many great resources for knitting. 
Everyone knows about Ravelry of course and You Tube videos. 
I would like to tell you about a great site called Planet Purl
It is run by Beth Moriarty and it is full of free lessons and other knitterly stuff. 

Last night I signed up for her free class on knitting a moebius.  Yes I bought the Cat Bordhi's book (2004), A Treasury of Magical Knitting where she talks about the moebius and the magic of the design.  I looked at all the pretty pictures and promised myself I would knit at least one design.  I vaguely remember looking at the directions for the cast on and saying , "manyana" ("an indefinite time in the future" according to the
When I saw the Sunset Moebius class offered on Planet Purl I knew I had to sign up, even though of course I did not really have the time.  But there is nothing like seeing someone doing something even if she is in the virtual world. 
I feel very "techy" when I am sitting there in front of my computer taking a class.  And believe me I am not (just ask my kids!)
I am a pretty good knitter, I design, I constantly read about knitting, some people would even tell you that I knit in my sleep, but this cast on blew me away.  I made some mistakes and I will have to start over.  But there is a class next week to finish up the moebius with a beaded picot bind off or an I-chord bind off. 

Her classes are archived and you can go back to them from what I understand, but I haven't tried that yet.
I took another class from her, 2 at a time socks!  It should be archived and I keep meaning to go back and look at it again.  Manana...........

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Shut the front door!"

This can have 2 meanings, one being, close the front door.  But the other is a term of amazement, popularized by Stacy London of What Not to Wear fame, the makeover show we would all secretly love to be on.  (Or is that only me?)
Early yesterday morning that phrase popped into my head when I looked out the front door and saw 6 mallard ducks, strolling around the yard. 
We happen to live on the water, a river where there are occasional ducks, but we are on a 60' bluff! 

There were very friendly, in fact at one point I think they were going to come over and check me out.   

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I am inconsistent.
I have tried to hide this from my kids for all these years since as a parent you are supposed to be consistent.
I hate routine, but I love organization.  I'm sure we all struggle with inner conflicts.  Is it the left brain, right brain trying to coexist? 
This is all a round about way of saying that I have not blogged in awhile.  It is not for lack of content.  In fact I am trying to add all of my patterns to my blog on a separate page.  A project my son helped me start, the same one who when I was sharing my idea of starting my blog with him said, "you can start it right now I will set it up for you".  Was it all those times we said, "Do it now" that was being thrown back into my face?
I am inconsistent.  I have tried to keep notes for my blog in a notebook.  But my notebook is not always with me when I think of something and I am still not thinking of my blog when knitterly things happen.  I will try to do better.  My husband and I suggested to our daughter to start a blog.  She is a good writer and was looking for an expressive outlet.  She started a blog and set up a routine for herself and she consistently puts a post out every Sunday. 
I am going to try to do better.  Maybe I will put out a post at least every, Sunday.  I will start today. 
We can learn from our kids, or maybe they learned from us?

This is my go to baby sweater to knit.  I love knitting the sweater but do not like putting in the zipper.  But mothers love this sweater and I have been knitting it for 2 generations now.  My niece needed a baby shower gift and my sister's sister in law was having her first grandchild.  This pattern is available on my website for free.  I will have to add it to my blog!  But for now you can go here.

I didn't think I needed a yarn bowl but when I was in Philadelphia with my daughter and we walked to a local farmer's market, there was a white whiskered guy, obviously a real character, sitting at a small table filled with pottery and I spotted his yarn bowls.  Faced with the potter himself sitting there selling his wares, I had to have one.  Now I love it and wondered how I managed to live without one for so long.  OK, so I exaggerate sometimes.  It is useful and adds beauty to my life, kind of what arts and crafts is all about.  The seller also has an etsy shop, Fat Man's Pottery.  If I burned incense I would totally buy his insence holders.