Progress and Planning

Brea is coming along nicely. The picture does not do the color justice at all. The color is a beautiful cross between burgundy and cranberry. I’m about 2/3 done with the back of the sweIMG_1049ater, and I still think this is the nicest yarn I have ever worked with. It’s soft and springy, and I can see it will be like wearing a hug when it’s finished.For all that it looks complicated, the yoke is a fairly simple four-row pattern repeat. I’ve done the armhole shaping, and am now working my way toward the shoulders.

This pattern has been a challenge for me in one way, however. Like most Americans, I use the Imperial system (inches and feet, etc). The pattern as written is in centimeters. When I ran the numbers through my online conversion website, the numbers it came up with were things like 12.6 inches for 40 centimeters. I decided to work this using the measurements as written. Fortunately, I do have a tape measure that has inches on once side and centimeters on the other, so I’m finding it easy to work this way.

I also saw a new sweater I want to make on Ravelry. It’s called Crete. It’s a slouchy men’s sweater in basketweave stitch and is done in linen yarn. I found the yarn on sale at Jimmy Beans Wool, so I grabbed it. I bought enough yarn to make the largest size, but with sizing down the length of the sleeves to fit my arms, I should have enough to make the second largest size instead.

So, it’s kinda late here, and I’m about to finish the row of Brea I’m working on then try to get some sleep. I have not been sleeping well lately, and it’s affecting everything from my blood pressure to my knitting gauge. So, I hope everyone has a great week and has some lovely knitting or crochet work to show at the end of it. (Beaded jewelry would be alright, too.)


Hello, Again!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here, but I have a couple of good reasons — heart surgery and spinal surgery. Between hospitals and rehabs, I have not felt much like knitting, writing, or even writing about knitting.

A week ago, however, Ellen Kushner posted a pic of a beautiful sweater her wife had made her. When I finally stopped drooling, I asked Delia for the pattern or a link to it, and she pointed me here. I then spent a few hours searching the web for someone who would have the correct yarn, which had been discontinued, in enough quantity for me to make the sweater in my size. Found the yarn (Rowan’s Lima Color in Colorway 712 – Rosario) at Seattle’s Little Knits. Then came the waiting for the yarn to arrive – one week to the day from ordering it!  It’s amazing yarn – 84% alpaca, 8% merino, and 8% nylon! Buttery soft, and very subtle color variation. It’s a chain, rather than twisted plies, and it knits up deliciously.

I swatched it before dinner, and decided that I needed to go down one size on the needles for the sweater, since I knit a tad loosely. The back has been cast on now, and is an inch long as I type this. If I can keep my gauge steady, which will be no mean feat, this will be the most gorgeous thing I have ever made. Pictures as the sweater happens.

Review: Stick Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting (Kindle Edition), by Ashley Anderson

I really wanted to recommend this book, but I cannot. The writer gets facts wrong, and her explanations are confusing at best.

For example, when discussing working from a chart she says: “When knitting flat, you will work the first row from right to left, and on the return you will knit left to right. Or, more simply, on odd numbered row you will be working from right to left. On even numbered rows you will be working across the chart from right to left.”*

Her first run-on sentence is actually correct, but her third sentence is wrong.

She also confuses Contentinental knitting and English knitting, among other errors. Most Americans knit Continental, which involves holding the yarn in the left hand and scooping one’s stitches. English knitting involves holding the yarn in the right hand and throwing it around the needle to make stitches.

There are many reputable beginner knitting books on the market, and I would be happy to recommend some if contacted privately. Sadly, this is not one of them.

*Anderson, Ashley (2012-06-26). Stick Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting (Kindle Locations 414-415). . Kindle Edition.

Catching Up…

I apologize for missing posting on Tuesday, but I spent most of Tuesday, all of Wednesday, and the beginning of Thursday on a stretcher in the ER at Beth Israel. I think it’s a legitimate excuse, but I really don’t want to have to use it too darned often.

The scarf did get finished and mailed out, and I’m now working on a pair of socks for a client. Haven’t heard yet whether the client likes the scarf, but it got mailed out a day later than it should have, because of the hospital thing.

Anyway, I’m now home, and catching up on things.  Will have a regular post for everyone on Tuesday.

A Post I Think Every Woman should Read

Artbeco is a wonderful crafter, and a mom. This post, “Doing it all. Or not.” is an excellent exploration of a dichotomy that many women face on a daily basis.

In truth, women face this dichotomy whether they are parents or not, and whether they are crafters of office workers or not, and I have rarely seen the issue stated so clearly or coherently.

Getting Organized

I have been spending a lot of the last month and a half getting organized, and that includes my knitting stuff.

I have been gathering all my needles into one drawer of my artist’s tray, and one large container (for the long straights), so that after I have found them all I can make a database of what I have , and fill in the gaps.  I’ve been putting all the crochet hooks into a jar, in preparation of doing the same.  My beads are mostly in boxes or bottles, but will also need organization. My art supplies are all over the place, but that’s tangental to getting the craft supplies organized, since there are a lot less of those:  filled notebooks, pencils, pens, rubber stamps, inkpads, and finishing & embossing supplies.

The main focus of my craft organizing campaign, however, has been my yarn.  I have yarn and fiber almost everywhere.  However, as I’ve been finding it, I have been photographing it and entering it — with as much detail as possible — into the “stash” database that is part of my Ravelry account.  Once it is all entered, I can decide what I want to keep, trade, sell, or just get rid of.  (Yeah, comma, right — we know how that last will happen, don’t we?)

I’ve found a lot of the loose yarns already.  There is a storage bin I still need to drag to my room so I can photograph and enter the yarn that landed there while I was cleaning out the living room in December.  And I have a two-shelf barrister bookcase that is full of yarn that I was given as a gift by a friend who was destashing.  And one of the bins under the window with the air conditioner is full of yarn.  I think that there is more yarn in the front closet, in some of the boxes from when I moved to this apartment.  I will get it all entered and stashed, but it will take some time.  And then I need to look at the handspun and the fiber waiting to be spun, and enter those.

One of my goals for 2013 is to finally get all of it organized, so that I know where everything is, and can utilize it all.  We shall see how much of this actually happens.  However much of it does, it will make it that much easier for me to concentrate on other things, like making things and designing things.

Do you have crafting goals for 2013?  If so, what are they?  What would it take to help you get your craft supplies organized?  Do you have spaces that you could utilize for organizing things?  What would it take to create such spaces?

A Treasure from the Past

I believe I have noted before that I learned to knit from my mother.  She learned to knit when she was pregnant with me, from her local knitting store.

I was cleaning out my living room today, with help from my friend J, when I found this:


2012-12-18 17.26.35

This is the baby blanket my mother made me.  It dates from 1952.  I have no idea what yarns were used, except that they were wool.  The background is a medium grey, and the kittens are red and white.  The nursery rhyme depicted is the three little kittens who lost their mittens.  I seriously love this blanket.  I’ve had to repair the background a couple of times, and could not exactly match the yarn, but it’s still one of my favorite things in the universe, and a little reminder of the work Mom put in to get ready for my appearance.

Below are closeups of each kitten.

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2012-12-18 17.27.00

The best memories are of things that someone loved.  Mom put a lot of love into this blanket, and I’m glad I still have it.  My only sadness is that I don’t have my own little girl to pass it on to, but I’m sure I will find a deserving little girl when the time comes.

Do you have any handmade treasures from your parents?  From other loved ones?  If so, would you be willing to share them (and their stories) with us?


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