Thursday, March 25, 2010

Third Time the Charm?

With four rows complete and a stitch or so off, I left the work on the needles, cut the yarn and with new needles cast on for the third time. How could one reasonably easy pattern cause me so much trouble? I have a list of reasons: (1) number of stitches, (2) counting, (3) different dec and inc than those that are second nature, (4) black yarn and stitch markers with black wire (5) and having mumble, mumble year-old eyes, (6) Addi turbos with blunt points, (7) wooden KnitPicks with too much drag, (8) . . . I think those seven just about sum it up.

After more than 6,300 stitches (which includes the crocheted provisional cast on stitches) and a week and a half of time (which includes weaving a seven foot triangle shawl), I finally have the right formula. The false starts were practice which served me well.

Picture this: headgear with magnifying lens, Ott floor lamp even during the daylight hours, KnitPicks nickel-plated circulars, thin pink (for knit rows) and blue (for purl rows) stitch markers, 3x5 cards with pattern and stitch count and a Post-It note for keeping my place.

For the first time I finished a fifth row of the pattern and can actually see the points taking shape. Maybe before long I can remove my security blanket--the stitch markers. But for right now, I'm in Volt heaven. I am on my way. The third time is the charm. knock on wood

Bona Fide Knitter

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I didn't realize how many interruptions I have until I cast on for Volt! It's day three dawning and I have the cast on and only four rows completed, count 'em, FOUR!! And count 'em fast because I'm gearing up to tink that fourth row. I came up with an extra stitch in there somewhere along the way.

Setting up this pattern is a counting nightmare. "Nightmare" for me because I can't count to 25 without an interruption or distraction, even on so-called free days. Sheesh! I've never counted so much in my life! When rows 1, 2 and 3 came out perfectly though, I thought I had it licked. By row 3 I'd even placed markers in the pattern so that recounts didn't have to begin at the beginning of the row each time. My confidence led to my downfall.

So this morning I will tink the last row hoping I will uncover where I went wrong. There hasn't been enough fabric created to spot a mistake by just looking. It does not help that I'm working with black yarn and that the Addi needles I used to love seem to have such blunt tips now that I've been using KnitPick needles exclusively for the past few years. I will tink with sharp-pointed KnitPicks Harmony needles and continue from there by either keeping the work on the KnitPicks wooden needles or switching to KnitPicks nickel-plated when they arrive, probably tomorrow. If need be, I will frog the whole thing (two days work!) and start again--or just consider those rows a swatch and start over. It doesn't bother me much. It will be easier the second time around and I love the process.

Bona Fide Knitter (or Tink-er)

Monday, March 15, 2010

At Last!

At laaast . . . my yarn has come along. My waiting days are over. And life is like a song. Oh, yeah, at last. The skies above are blue . . . da da da da da da . . . I'm singing like Etta James. Can you hear me?

The Isager kit for Volt arrived late this afternoon. I'll enter my new project on Ravelry and make yarn cakes immediately. After that I might accomplish the cast on before the night is over. If not, tomorrow is a free day and I will cast on and knit, knit, knit, knit, knit! Oh, yeah, and purl too.
Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Near Tears Here

The window weeps.

The swift awaits.

My Isager yarn is in HARRISBURG, scheduled for delivery MONDAY! I am in PHILADELPHIA wanting to get started SATURDAY! Why oh why couldn't it have been shipped USPS Priorty Mail instead of UPS which takes FOREVER!!! @&*%! @&*%!! @&*%!!! I could cry! Today is the type of chilly, rainy Saturday just perfect for marathon knitting. With a new book in my iPod I could have made great strides knitting Volt from The Fine Line.

So instead I bought a pair of Birkenstocks to go with the shawl I can't even start yet.

Don't ya just love 'em?

Bona Fide Knitter

Friday, March 12, 2010

Isager Yarn Where are You?

It is Friday. I has been a week since I ordered the yarn and it was "dispatched." Did they send it from NM via Pony Express?!!! I am soooo ticked. And that's putting it mildly. My life is on the suck side this week and my excitement over Grace Anna Farrow's designs and starting the Volt shawl has been the glue holding me together.

...deep breath... ...deep breath... ...deep breath...

Okay I'm sucking it up and moving on. The Harmony interchangeable US 4 needle tips and matching set of dpns arrived today. But now I'm thinking I should knit the shawl with nickel-plated needles. Guess what, the US 4 tips are not in the case. Give me strength!!! However, I do have some Addi Turbo 4s at hand, and a size F crochet hook for the provisional cast on is right here as well.

Anyway, by the time the yarn is finally in my hands I will probably have found all my missing size US 4 KnitPicks interchangeables.

Right now a glass of wine and some inches on a second sock. Then to catch up with a couple of episodes of Project Runway and this rainy, windy, not such a good March day will be a wrap.

Bona Fide Knitter

- - - WAIT! I hate to end on a low note. Here is something to smile about. At least they always make me smile. Like someone who started a Fickr group said, "There is something about a sailor suit."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is It Here Yet?

I hope to receive the yarn today. My whole knitting life is on hold waiting for the yarn to come to begin

I know I just ordered it on Friday and this is only Wednesday, but I want it NAAOOOWWW! ...whine...whine...

I've got the swift and the ball winder all set up. I've watched YouTube provisional cast on videos ad nauseum. I've researched i-cord in every respect, including cast off and attached.

I've got my KnitPick needle tips and cable on standby and exta Harmony ones on order. Today I will make a working copy of the pattern to keep the book pristine. I neeeeeeed the yaaaaarn naaaooowww!

The only things holding me back from a complete meltdown is I have a sock I can knit on and a timely gift that arrived Monday.

It's from my travel/shopping/knitting buddy Kathryn who knows me oh so well. Thanks gkat.

Bona Fide Knitter drinking calming, soothing herbal tea

Saturday, March 6, 2010


On Tuesday I read an email by my knitting guru, The Scarlet Knitter, describing her Stitches West experience. True to form I hung on her every word and went directly to the link she provided when describing the work of a particular designer. Stop the presses! Hold your horses! All bets are off! I was . . . "smitten" is the word that comes to mind. My dictionary provides the following definitions:

1. struck, as with a hard blow

2. grievously or disastrously stricken or afflicted

3. very much in love

Yes, I was and still am all three. After following that first link, I went to Ravelry and followed any related links and their related links to many places. I ordered the pattern book later on Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday. I reset my agenda, my priorities. UFOs be damned. USOs will remain so. I picked the cover pattern (I intend to knit them all eventually) and ordered the yarn on Friday. I stalked Ravelry for more people, more blogs referencing more patterns and followed them to the ultimate. I carry the book around with me, even to bed. I read it like a novel. I am definitely smitten!!!

This link will lead you into the depths: The Fine Line. Enter at your own risk.

Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Marches March

Although the remnants of our snowy winter remain on the ground, March came in like a tamed lion. That is, not as gentle as a lamb and not as ferocious as a lion in the wild. However, we all know of tamed lions who have turned ferocious.

Anyway, as I look back at February and the "snowmageddon," blizzards and nor'easters I can say I got a lot accomplished in the studio while snowed in. Three 3' shawlettes and one 7' shawl woven, one shawlette and one cowl hand knit, the studio made fit for human occupancy and organization, organization, organization.

With the extra boost I got from listening to Jasmin (The Knitmore Girls Podcast), who is finishing up UFOs in 2010, during my studio organization I came across two sweaters all finished except for the finishing. You know what I mean. All the knitting is done and I need to block them and sew them together, another failing of mine. What can I tell you, I'm a process knitter! That's why I like knitting socks. When they're done, they're done . . . well, except for weaving the toe together, at which I am expert. Call me Kitchener Queen! Sock machine socks have given me plenty of practice . . . but I digress. One sweater is a navy blue, cotton pullover which was made so long ago I was a size (or two) smaller at the time. I'd still like to do the finishing on it though. I plan to be that size again one day in the not-too-distant future. The other is a SWTC Tofut-Tee from Stitches East 2008 knit in one piece with only side seams to join and still a stumbling block. Never mind that I took a finishing class at Stitches East one year and bought a book on finishing.

UFO talk is causing me angst. Time to change the subject. Speaking of The Knitmore Girls, they are starting a KAL today, Mondo Cable Pulli or Cardi. There is limited finishing to do. I would have chosen the cardigan. Thank goodness I didn't get the urge to join in before it was too late to get the pattern and acquire the yarn by today. (Please, nobody write to tell me it's not too late!) I am determined to stick to knitting what I already have although right now I am between projects, having just completed the black cowl. Swallowtail Shawl or Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater anyone? They are next on my agenda.

Enough for this first day of March. I am invited to a virtual birthday party. I've already shopped online for the gifts for me in honor of the honoree. Time to go get the Chinese take-out and champagne.

Happy birthday Dorisanne!

Bona Fide Knitter