Monthly Archives: November 2003

Stick to your knitting.

I wait too long between entries. I’m hesitant to post, because the only time I have to take photos is usually early morning (when it’s dark) or after dinner at night (when it’s dark). If that’s the biggest problem I have, then I’m a lucky girl – we’ll just forge ahead and see where this entry takes us.

Willa’s link reminded me that I never reported on knitting with Christine Lavin – we went to her recent show in Kent, and she was nice as pie to the knitters (actually, this was mostly just “nice as pie to me,” because the other knitters left to have dinner before the concert – I was the hardcore knitter who stuck it out!) and funny as all get-out onstage. Her fingers and wrists were bothering her, so she didn’t actually knit with us in order so save herself for later guitar playing. But I got to say “hi” and talk about knitting with her, which was almost as fun.

I’m almost done with the replacement hat for the one that got eaten; my hands knitting that very hat might actually be in the paper this week – a reporter from the Plain Dealer (who is also a socknitter) came out to do a story on the charity knitting group that I’m a small part of. hatprogress1117-sm.jpg Let me also say how much I’m enjoying the Lamb’s Pride Bulky Superwash – it glides through my fingers compared to the Ballybrae…

…which brings me to the top-down raglan update – I’m thisclose to dividing for the sleeves, and things seem to be going swimmingly, though I am finding it challenging to make sure I do indeed have the right number of stitches between each marker. sweaterprog1117-sm.jpg Even though it shouldn’t be this hard, I’m showing why I was not a math major in college. I put the raglan aside, though…

…because I simply must get cracking on my Christmas knitting. Alison’s keeping me honest. You’ll see in the sidebar that I’m supposed to be making three of those ribbed watch caps from Hip to Knit – I’ve made exactly zero, so far, and I think my sister-in-law would like a Bucket-O-Chic, not to mention my brother-in-law (do I hear knitalong?). As if that weren’t enough, my mother-in-law doesn’t know it, but I think she’s getting a mohair scarf so she won’t feel left out when my father-in-law gets his watch cap. I have the Zara for the watch caps, and I even have the mohair, but I’m not going to be joining anyone in a yarn diet anytime soon…

…because my husband is getting this lovely cardigan for Christmas – or more accurately, he’s getting a box of Lamb’s Pride worsted that will become that Lopi cardigan in a different colorway – my first Fair Isle. because he found the Lopi Light a little scratchy, I asked the KnitList for substitutions – they suggested Mission Falls 1824 Wool or Lamb’s Pride, or yarn from Beaverslide Dry Goods. The Beaverslide looks so tempting, but though I am a yarn adventurer, I think good old Lamb’s Pride will be the yarn of choice. I had originally intended for Alice Starmore’s Na Craga to be my first “husband sweater,” and he and I both agreed that Black Water Abbey Yarns Bluestack was lovely, but he’s dying for a cardigan – the “easy-on-and-off” factor wins out over the cabling goodness, for now.

Speaking of cabling goodness: I saw this cabled wide brim hat in person the other day, and it’s very good looking – and quick. Amy also has a nice essay here about her knitting philosophy and how she de-mystified cable knitting for herself by sheer force of will. Finally, all of Elisabeth’s chatting about the Bed and Breakfast sweater by Kathy Zimmerman in the latest Interweave Knits got me curious enough to look for myself, and all I have to say is Na Craga may just have to wait – that is one fine sweater, and sooner or later, stack of hats before me or no, it will be mine.

A step back, a leap forward.

I’ll start with the bad news first: as you can see, the pretty purple hat did not survive a trip to my parents’ house last week. They have a Golden Retriever with an oral fixation and a wee anxiety disorder; chewing is his coping mechanism. He was so excited to see me, and obviously pleased as punch that I had brought a knitting bag full of items with soft, chewy centers. The only thing not in a Ziploc for traveling was the finished hat; I like to think the hat sacrificed itself so that the raglan sweater might live on.

So I have another hat on the needles, and the raglan sweater is progressing – a progress photo would look about three inches longer than the last one. The good news? My progress photo would be boring because I appear to have picked up the mother of all dropped stitches successfully last night – I noticed it four rows down, in the middle of some KFB increases for the shoulder seam. I was nervous enough about fixing it that it took me four days to come back to it – I can’t imagine what steeking will be like!

I looked at Knitty’s excellent instructions for picking up dropped stitches, but my knitting was harder to read because everything was at an angle thanks to the increases. I poked and prodded and pulled, worrying that I would have to frog back, but luck and patience were on my side – soon enough I had straightened everything out. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s good advice about picking up dropped stitches (“you’ll know when it looks right, and if it doesn’t, let the stitch down and try again”) held true, and I found myself saying “Hey, that looks pretty good!”

I’ve joined at the base of the v-neck and have about 20 rows to go before I divide for the sleeves – when I was KIPing with the sweater last week, people kept asking what I was making – now I can say “A sweater with no dropped stitches!”