Category Archives: Knitting

Summer

Summer is a great time to let yourself off the hook. I’ve finally finished some pesky and challenging WIPs (I’m looking at you Ondawa) and rather than start on another group KAL I’m doing a project I want to tackle. It’s seasonal and I hope to finish it while I can still wear it.

The tshirt style is a bit of an experiment for me. I’m using stash yarn so it may turn in to a shirt of many colors. Nevertheless, I’m feeling brave that I’m letting go of my need to purchase new yarn for every project. If it doesn’t work no one need ever know.

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Sweater club

I feel very fortunate that my LYS sponsors a sweater club. For a very reasonable fee we meet Sunday mornings and work on our projects under the tutelage of an expert knitter. We have such great and fun conversations AND we get help when we’re stuck. The kind of problems that might have earned a sweater a home in the UFO pile becomes easily fixed. Recently I wore a sweater to the meeting that I had made a couple of years ago. I loved the pattern, yarn, and color but I didn’t wear it often as the neckline sagged and slipped off my shoulders (think Flashdance).  Within minutes of arrival our talented leader Allyson Dykhuizen told me how to fix it. Job done and now I’m thrilled with it. Hooray for Allyson, Knit 1 Chicago, and all local yarn stores.

Hillary Clinton, Jerry Spinelli, and Ondawa

imageToday I spent a wonderful hour listening to Hillary Clinton addressing the American Library Association. Of course she was speaking to an audience that shares her values of education, accuracy, reading, and inclusion. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to listen to her. I must admit that I felt misty eyed and sad that we lost the opportunity to have such a special, intelligent, thoughtful woman as our president.

One of my latest reading titles is Jerry Spinelli’s The Warden’s Daughter.  He always tells a compelling  story with believable characters. I particularly liked that the main character’s central issue was not immediately obvious. This would make a great book discussion title for middle grade readers.

Finally, I continue to plug away on the Ondawa sweater. I’m trying to do nothing sleeves at the same time. I know I’ll be glad when they are both done, but it does have the potential for great confusion.

Local Yarn Stores

We all know LYSs as a source of yarny inspiration and help for troubled instructions, but somethings they offer even more. One of my excellent LYS, Knit 1 Chicago, has this year created  a Knit 1 Club. 4 local designers have each created a pattern that is packaged with a project bag, yarn, and special tool. Participants get to meet with the designer at a kick off party and then attend a special skill class. So far we have done color work with a hat and now a beaded shawl. I am loving this and it has lead me to participate in other programs at the store. What a great idea!

Tools

As I work my way through Bijou Basin’s lace panel top I can’t help but ruminate on tools I wish I could get. Number one on my list would be a replacement for my long legged knitting caddy. I bought this year’s ago at Michael’s. You can still find the basic shape, but now the legs are very short. I love this old style as I can just reach over from my chair to find what I need. Alas, it is really showing its age. The interior is torn and the fabric is faded. image.jpeg

Charity knitting

image.The knitting guild of which I am a member, Windy City Knitting Guild, supports the Red Cross’ Little Hats, Big Hearts efforts. This year I have decided to knit one of these tiny red hats for every project I complete. It’s also turned onto be a great grab and go peroject when I’m tackling a complex knit that would be difficult at meetings. Now I’ve found another use  — when I’m ready for the next step and need something that’s still damp on the blocking board. I think I’m going to make a lot of red hats this year.

Adjusting

I’m feeling rather proud of myself. I just deviated from the pattern instructions for the first time to make a sweater work better for me. Historically, I cleaved faithfully to the printed pattern and got rid of the sweater ifnitbdidnt work. Yesterday I removed a bind off and added two more pattern repeats to better suit my taste.  I hope it all works when I get it seamed, but even if it doesn’t I’m happy I’ve shaken the shekels. I know I won’t be so reluctant the next time.

Before I unraveled the bindoff I ran a line of waste yarn a few rows below just in case the frogging got away from me. Ultimately I didn’t need to rely on it, but I was much more confident because it was there.

Stash busting

My knitting theme for the year has been stash busting. I am determined to use the majority of the yarn I’ve been squirreling away for the last 2 years. Some of it was attached to a specific project and some of it was from an “I can’t resist it” place. It has actually been going quite well and I’ve been proud of the projects I finished. BUT I’m beginning to feel that pull to get more. I’ll have to be very careful at YarnCon in April. I hope I stick to my guns and get the stash under control. It will give me hope for next year’s theme of actually reading the knitting books I own!

Decreasing

image.jpegI have been going through my closet and weeding out clothes I’ll never wear again. This is at least a productive form of procrastination. Why procrastinate something I love like knitting?  I have reached that dreaded stage where I must decrease in a lace pattern. This always gives me agita. I am genuinly hampered by not really seeing a decrease as left or right leaning. So if the pattern maker hasn’t specified when to use K2tog or SSK and conversely P2tog or SSP, I’m in a dither every row. I’d rather untangle knots. At least the book I’m reading, Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter is engrossing.