Tuesday, October 23, 2018

For Knitters Only

Unless you are a non-knitter who is bored or someone who has a little free time to fill.

I am finally making progress on the sweater I bought yarn for in 2014.  I think it might even fit, miracle of miracles.

 However, when I got to the sleeve cuffs, the instructions said to use the Kitchener bind off.

Oh sure.  I'm on three needles, y'all.  How the $%^&* does that work? Do I need six needles???  Why not just tell me to fly a plane while I'm at it?  I don't know how to do that either. 

Google to the rescue.  I found a video on using the Kitchener bind off in the round, which is what knitting on three needles actually is.  

For those knitters out there, here it is:

It is genius!  And easy, as long as you pay absolute attention to what you are doing.  I had a couple of spots where I couldn't tell what I had just done, because I looked away AT THE VIDEO while I was knitting.  Don't do that.  Watch it, bind off a few stitches, and watch again if you need to.

I don't understand the technical part of knitting, so I could never have created the Kitchener stitch in the first place, and whoever figured how to do it in the round must have, as my grandson claims about himself, a very big brain.  (He's right about that, says doting grandmother.)

My finished result.  Not as smooth and perfect as the bind off in the video, but this is only my first attempt.  I have one sleeve to go.  Which I now must knit.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I Baked!

I made oatmeal raisin cookies yesterday.  I almost never bake,  even when my grandchildren are here.  Youngest granddaughter loves to bake (she's 10) so I stand back and let her do it all.  She made cupcakes the last time she was here, using flat-bottomed ice cream cones for the baking cups.  

I buy cookies ready-made from the store.  I figure if I bake them, I'll eat them, so I buy them. And then eat them.  I might as well make my own.

Aren't they pretty? I used the recipe on the inside lid of the Quaker Oats container.

I had hoped that they wouldn't be as sweet as the store-bought cookies, but they are.  They are too sweet for me, so my husband will have to eat them all.

He won't mind.

On another topic, does anyone else love Abbott and Costello?  I came across video clips of them on You Tube where I was watching a cat video, as one does.  I remember them from when I was a kid. They were funny then, and they are funny now, in the old videos I mean, since they are dead now.  Poor Costello died in his fifties, and Abbott in his seventies.

This is their most famous bit:  Who's On First?

There are many, many more.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018


I might be making an ugly sweater.  

I bought the yarn in 2014, started another pattern twice, and am this far on my first attempt on the second pattern.  

It's supposed to look like this when it's finished:

It's The Weekender by Andrea Mowry, and I'm making it from Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter, which, I tell you, I will never knit with again.  It is beautiful, I love the rustic feel and look of it, and it's woolen spun so it's light as air, but it BREAKS.  Tug a little to pull the yarn through a stitch, and it BREAKS.  Pain in the you know where.

Anyway...mine looks like a big square with small holes for the sleeves.  I'm to pick up and knit 60 stitches around each armhole, but it's going to be a tight squeeze.

AND, do you see the line running up the middle of the front?  There is one in the middle of the back too.  A design element.  

This is mine:

It's all wobbly and the stitches to the left of the line are stretched out.

I always believe in the magic of blocking.

Sweet Mother of Purl, let it be so.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hope Springs Eternal

so they say, and I'm back to working on the sweater I started years ago.  MANY years ago.  I bought the yarn while I was in Austin visiting Heather and her family.  I broke my ankle, and before I could get to a doctor to have my ankle put in a cast, I hobbled, using borrowed crutches, up the ramp to Hill Country Weavers to buy the hard-to-find Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn for a sweater.  I thought that if I waited until after getting the cast, the doctor would forbid me to walk any farther than into the airport to go home.  So I defied him in advance.

However, the yarn has gotten the best of me several times.  The first pattern I tried it for didn't work out, so I frogged all but the difficult twisted rib stitch bottom border and tried again using the same pattern.

Didn't work.  Frogged the whole thing and put all the yarn into a very extended, multi-year, time out.  Then I found another pattern, Weekender, by Andrea Mowry.  THEN I got to the short row section (shudder) and put the project into time out again.  

But now it's back and I'm ready for battle. I don't like short rows because I can't find the wrapped-and-turned stitch when I need to count from that stitch.  And on dark purple yarn it's even more difficult to find. But, clever me, I came up with a fix:  I put a removable marker at the w/t stitch, remove it when I get to it, and put the marker at the new w/t stitch.

Brilliant!  I bet no one has ever thought of this before.  (I'm told that yes, they have. But no one told me, so I still proclaim brilliance.)

Now I am knitting away, making progress thanks to Knit Companion.

I can keep track of multiple counts at once, and mark where I am so that if I put it in time out again (which I am determined not to do) I'll know where I am.  

So there's hope.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel.  And there's luck---the light isn't a train coming at me.  

Time will tell.  Any more clich├ęs?

Future Sweater
The only problem now is that I have no idea if it will fit me or not.  I made, for the first time ever, multiple gauge swatches, washed them, dried them, counted stitches and picked the correct size needle to get the size sweater I wanted.  Then I started knitting.  The gauge swatch results did not match what was happening with the sweater fabric. Swatches lie, y'all! 

I saw what another knitter was using Shelter for, and I liked the fabric she was getting, so I switched to the size needles she was using.  I am throwing caution to the wind and not measuring gauge at all.  I have two daughters and three granddaughters, so my theory is that it will fit SOMEONE.

I will finish knitting the sweater, soak it, block it, and lovingly wrap it in tissue paper and put a yarn bow on it and tell the recipient that I made it for her. 

I'm a saint, I tell ya.