Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not Knitting

I have not knit in almost a week. I have staved off withdrawal by knitting socks on the circular sock machine, but it's not the same as having needles in hand, putting the tip of one into a loop on the other, wrapping yarn around the needle, pulling through, transferring the new stitch to the needle. I need the zen I reach doing that.

Will Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater ever be my favorite? My work on it is on the ottoman, the lovely sheer knitting just tossed there connected to the rest of the ball which is with the worn instructions, half in half out of a plastic bag. A knitting guru of mine has advised me to get right back on that horse that threw me. However, she tempered that advice with something she learned from Sally herself. To paraphrase the paraphrasing, if a project causes that much angst give it up, move on and don't look back.

Yesterday I spent some waiting time with only an audio book playing in my ear from my MP3 player. I was at loose ends. I found myself thinking knitting. That was not a good substitution because it interfered with the plot of the book. Today I have a nursing home visit looming. I need some mindless knitting to see me through. The TV will be on. The resident will be reading the newspaper. I'll have idle hands again. The Abundance Afghan has grown too large to be a portaproject. I need to get back to my roots--SOCKS!

I have some socks on needles, but they require thought and I need mindless knitting. I need to get my muse back. I need to get my mojo working. I need to knit!!!

Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Knitting Roadblock

I don't know what's the matter with me. I seem to have hit a knitting roadblock. Nothing is coming out right. SFS Sweater continues to kick my butt. The last three, maybe four, pairs of socks (that's six or eight socks in a row!) on the circular sock knitting machine have had dropped stitches. Even my last dishcloth had a couple of funky stitches. What's up with that?

As for Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater, I am seriously considering giving up on it completely. It is definitely not destined to be my favorite sweater of any season. The last problem was that I took it with me yesterday while visiting at the nursing home. I forgot how fast I knit now and with my lightening quick Knit Picks needle, the hours flew by as did the rows of knitting. I knit too far for the sheer part. When I got home I decided to unknit instead of ripping back. But before I took out rows unnecessarily, I decided to follow Sally's directions and press before measuring for the final determination. Hell and damnation! My work slid off the needle. The fabric made with Linet is so slippery that when I gently picked it up from the floor some stitches started to ladder. I got them all back on the needle, but I am not happy with the whole mess. I came this close to taking a picture to label "now you see it" and then ripping the whole thing back to a ball to label "now you don't." I decided to sleep on that decision and this morning I'm not convinced that I should start over. I have some very nice looking inches of sheer fabric. Before deciding its fate maybe I'll let it rest while I recollect my knit vibe.

The second sock of a pair I started a few days ago has some issues. Aside from the fact that each machine-cranked sock had a dropped stitch (time-consuming latching up involved), last night's second sock is a different size than the first. Was I making women's medium or women's large? What's the matter with me?!!!

Bona Fide Knitter

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Knitter's, Spring 2007

The sweaters of summer are my sweaters for throughout the year. I am not a sweater person. My body takes sweaters literally. Sweaters make me sweat! And then there is my boobage. Therefore, I know my sweater limitations--cardigans, oversized pullovers, nothing fitted and certainly nothing binding. This Spring's issue of Knitter's Magazine has quite a few patterns that pique my interest.

For the most part I like mindless, boring knitting. What other knitters bemoan--garter stitch and stockinette--I can't get enough of, except every now and then I like to stretch and make something patterned, something that calls for some chart reading. Yes, every now and then I get a little crazy.

From the newest Knitter's I think I must make the cover sweater, Sensational Citrus.

I like everything about it, the colors and its asymmetrical style. I can see it in the summer with white crop pants and in the winter over a crisp white shirt and green trousers. Yes, I think I'll give that one a try. There is some tricky shaping and joining, but it is all stockinette.

Another one that caught my eye is the green lace cardigan, Loden Mist.

Lace? Did I say LACE?!!! I'm thinking that when everyone else has moved on from the lace craze that's when I'll get interested. Lace might require too much concentration for me at this time, but I certainly wish I had it in me. I really like that as a lace project for me. I hope I rmember it when the time comes.

And then there is the Shore Set, hooded top with cables. Perfect for watching the sun set at the beach. Lots of stockinette, a cable here and there. I could do this.

Speaking of cables I see myself in the long Walnut Twist cable-like vest. The color isn't for me, but that could be easily remedied.

I also like the Tie-Dyed Boxes, both of them, but not for me.

And although the little Bucket Bag is cute, none of those three will be put on my things to knit list, but I like them nonetheless.

Yes, this issue of Knitter's contains a lot I like. I give it two thumbs up. However, I have not forgotten my UFOs, my modified Rule of Three, the sock yarn stash and all the other reasons why I should not go off the deep end making plans or buying yarn to start any new projects. Better I should make what I already have.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Warrrshrag Wednesday

Okay, so as not to bore you silly with my washcloth/dishcloth mania I will limit such pictures and talk to Wednesdays. Here is the first of my Warrrshrag Wednesday offerings.

Like most of the ones I've knitted, this picture has meaning to me. It's a reminder of my short-lived camping days. When I retired we bought a travel trailer. We had it for a few years and really enjoyed the trips we took. We traveled on our own and belonged to a couple of RV clubs that we met with for many weekend campouts and a couple of "campventions." It was great fun while it lasted. My dream of traveling cross country never became a reality and eventually we bought a stationary summer retreat and sold the travel trailer. I still think fondly of my little travel trailer and the fun times we spent RVing.

I was deeply into quilting back then and never left home without my Featherweight sewing machine and a travel guide that listed quilt shops along the route. Now I never leave home without knitting needle sets, an antique sock machine and the Knitter's Magazine yarn shop guide.

Time marches on.

Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, April 16, 2007

Still Here

It's been a busy few days what with knitting socks and dishcloths. The SFS Sweater hasn't had a play in those few days. I'm really working on a sock 'thing' and it's coming along nicely if slowly.

What happened to Spring? We're having a very wintry April for the past week with cold temperatures and topped off by a nor'easter that is still raging as I type. Perfect knitting weather. But what weather isn't? One of my favorite places to knit is on the beach. That's when sock yarns with cotton content come in handy. This year it could be cotton dishcloths as well.

Speaking of which, here is my latest. Can you guess what the picture is?

I still can't get the pictures light, bright and clear enough. They are either too dark or washed out completely. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Did you ever try to wind yarn using a swift and an electric cone winder? It can be a real trial. I managed to wind quite a few cones over the weekend, but it was trial and error all the way. I guess if I had both swift and winder in the right positions and at the right heights it would be easier. I was working on the ironing board, both tools there. I was using my little table top swift, guiding the yarn with my hand, bypassing the winder's automatic shutoff coil. Sometimes the winder pulled faster than my swift turned because of yarn hangups. Those times I had to flip the switch and catch the winder before it fell off the narrow end of the board while still holding the yarn and grabbing the swift. It was a sight to behold. Once I got the right rhythm it was great--smooth sailing! Other times my equipment and I were in great peril. I must get back to de-cluttering so I have more room to set up my gadgets and tools.

While the wind howls and until the rain and snow stops completely, knitting is my game.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I 'Heart' 2 Knit

My friend and first knitting guru, Karen, sent me the tiny, wonderful charm that says it all. She said she saw it and thought of me instantly. Karen was there back at the beginning of my knitting resurgence. She helped me knit doll socks via email and introduced me to Stitches East via snail mail discount coupon. Now I knit socks for all, take classes at Stitches East and have gushed over talked to Sally Melville in the flesh. Yes, the charm says it all, I LOVE TO KNIT!

I suppose a picture of the SFS Sweater progress is in order. I'm nearing the end of the sheer bottom of the front. I've been this far before. The crucial pressing/measuring is next. I don't want it skimpy so I will knit to close to the required inches and then press. I must remember I'm short on yarn and that I don't want short sleeves. I'd better not make the sheer portion too long.
I'm pacing the work on this week's dishcloth. It has allowed me sweater knitting time and sock machine knitting time. Something new is in the works on the sock machine. Not new, but socks more summer friendly.

Another day of underexposed pictures. I need to work on that as well.

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

Spring has turned back into winter here. The closest I will come to an Easter egg hunt is this:

I'm still working on getting pictures that show the true color of the yarn and the stitch picture in these dishcloths I'm obsessing over. Anyway, this is my latest. It's really lighter, dyed-egg turquoise color, but I played with the exposure to get the egg to show up.

Further on the knitting front, the SFS Sweater is coming along, faster now that the dishcloth craze has slowed. Instead of one dishcloth every couple of days I'm doing one per week or per picture design I discover that I absolutely have to knit. Wait until you see the next one!

Today will be a quiet, reflective day, one for knitting and marveling over the fact that I actually re-joined the gym and went for a workout this morning. I plan to make a nice dinner for six for the two of us. That way there will be leftovers. Less cooking/more knitting.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Knittin' and Grittin'

I've been walking. No walk this morning because I hurt. I really hurt. Not muscles, I'm trying to find those. It's my bones that hurt, my shin bones, my foot bones. Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. I should rest a day. But no, I would have gone, but it was teeming at 7:30 a.m. . . . Thank God!

I've been knitting. The SFS Sweater is coming along, not by leaps and bounds at the moment, but by a few rows and another few rows. Dishcloths! Washcloths! Dishrags? Washrags? "Warshrags"? Whatever you call them they are a joy to knit. I'm especially fond of the picture ones, especially the pictures I find that mean something to me. I am also pleased with how quickly my Elmore-Pisgah orders arrive (Sugar & Creme), almost instant gratification. Certain pictures scream for certain colors--always a color or shade I don't have. With so many free patterns on the Internet, I thought I'd never buy any. Silly me. I've bought two already. Had to have them. They were made for me. You'll see them later this week.

I'm reading and enjoying The Friday Night Knitting Club. It's right up there with The Knitting Circle. If you haven't already, read them both. They are enforcements of the notion that knitting brings people together and that knitting can hold a person together. A dear friend of mine, a co-worker long ago before my knitting days, had an expression she used when she jiggled her crossed legs and puffed mightily on a cigarette, "What are you doing, Bert?" I'd ask. "I'm knittin' and grittin'," she'd reply. It meant that under the stress of a work project or a personal problem she was figuratively wrinkling her brow and gritting her teeth. I've taken it and changed the activity since I don't smoke or want to encourage wrinkles. It's what I'm doing when the going gets tough, knittin' and grittin'. The miracle of it is that really knitting alleviates the need for gritting.

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Back on Track

I accomplished all I set out to do yesterday. The dishcloth is finished and is so appropriate for me. What do you think?

It's socks! It's purple. It couldn't suit me better. After all, in addition to being a Bona Fide Knitter I am also The Sock Lady. The pattern is from Knitted Kitty Creations. Check 'Freebies' for the picture. You will have to join the Yahoo group to get the pattern.

I swatched the Cotlin from Knit Picks for another SFS Sweater and the gauge is a little too big using needles a size up. I will swatch again using the US 5 needles called for. However, this freed up my new US 6 needles to cast on again for Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater in Linet. I even got a few rows done. I think I am finally on my way with this sweater! Now if only I have enough yarn for the sleeves . . . but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Linet is not a joy to work with, at least not to cable cast on with. The opaque rows using a size 6 tip and a size 11 tip is going much easier. By the end of the week I should know whether this sweater is a go or a no-go.

On the knitting agenda today I have more rows on the sweater, another dishcloth to start, socks to Kitchener and the Abundance Afghan might get a row or two this evening. I walked for an hour today. The endorphins are kicking in. I hope I don't crash this afternoon.

Bona Fide Knitter