Monday, March 22, 2010

Man vs. Starmore...

And the man wins! This is the THIRD sweater John has made. He learned to knit on the Starmore his wife was knitting him - she did the body, he did the sleeves. Then on to a Kaffe Fassett intarsia project. In true Science Guy fashion he calculated the amount of yarn each of his stitches took, counted the number of stitches in each block of intarsia and laid his trusty Stanley tape measure on the bedroom floor. Then, running back and forth he measured out the EXACT amount of yarn he needed to wind on each bobbin. His latest Starmore is a wonder and he completed it in a few short months. Kudos to John the uber-knitter!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Knitless Weekend

Well, Spring is here. I know when it arrives because NOTHING can keep me in a chair. I tried to knit. I wanted to knit. I simply couldn't knit one stitch. Instead, I did paper work and sorted through my books and other belongings - typical Spring Nest Building. Cheryl came in this morning and said she did exactly the same thing. It's necessary and part of the renewal process. I've already uncovered ideas that were buried under the weight of mail and un-filed papers. Stay tuned for a burst of creative energy!

p.s. - Today is our 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Knitting Sally, the Eco Fairy

Yesterday, a hip, young thing named Alia (see? even her name is hip!) came in looking for yarn to knit Sally, the Eco Fairy. Sally was a beauty from a while back - you can find her in their archives. Many of you know how suggestible I am when I see you carrying armloads of one of my yarns. It usually goes like this, "Lopi! Now I want to knit with Lopi!" and then three minutes later, "Silky Wool! Now I want to knit with Silky Wool!" On and on. Well, Sally jumped on my needles before I could stop her for two reasons: 1. she's quick, and 2. she's fun. I'm not a dolly girl, but I started thinking how much fun it would be to give her brown skin and and little french knots for hair and put something subversive on her little underpants. I can make her hefty in a worsted weight yarn or petite in a fingering weight. Scraps will be used. Does it really get better than this?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Earthshaking Sock News!!!!

Through away your old sock patterns and enter a brand new day! Lori Law, the genius behind Oceanwind Knits has re-thunk the heel flap and gusset model of sock knitting. RUN to her website at and purchase the pattern for Sleepy Hollow Socks. It will change your Sock Life FOREVER!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Einstein Coat, finally...

I know I'm a little slow catching up on things. Sally Melville introduced us to the Einstein Coat in her book, "The Knit Stitch" in 2002. So, I've been busy! Anywho, one of my customers walked in wearing a gorgeous number done up in a tweedy gray Lopi and she looked so good, it's all I can think about. I found a "gently used" copy of Sally's book at my favorite local bookstore - Front Porch Books - yesterday and took that as a sign to begin Sweater #16. I want mine done up in a dark red Lopi. It takes 11 skeins of the regular weight Lopi and at $6.50/skein that's some affordable coat.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Knitting Candy

What do you do when you count the projects in your stash and find you have fifteen sweaters going, none of which are even close to completion? You knit hexagons! I call these Knitting Candy because they're addictive little suckers. I can complete one - from cast on to pinned to the table - in 50 minutes. Come and get your free pattern. Yum.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What not to do...

NEVER put the date on a complicated bit of knitting unless you're POSITIVE you'll finish it before the year's end! I messed up the decrease points on this mitten for my friend Katie - in DECEMBER - and it was the end of all things. Well, Kate, maybe this Christmas?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Knitting disaster!

I spent my ONE measly day off working on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Hurry Up Last Minute Sweater (see December in her book, Knitters Almanac). It's knit at a gauge of 2.5 stitches/inch and I had already joined the sleeves to the yoke and was cruising for home. I figured I would knock it off my needles in an hour or two. If you're familiar with this sweater then you know the yoke decreases come to a point miraculously at the neck edge. I realized something major was amiss when I still had 106 stitches on my needles after many rows of decrease. I calculated the distance from the underarm to my neck would be 2 feet, 1 inch. Dang. I'll admit I thought some less than respectful thoughts about dear EZ, may she rest. After much puzzling and musing I realized I had cast on 126 stitches to make a sweater adequate for a person with a 50 inch circumference standing 7 feet, 7 inches tall. Why?!!