Ice and Snow

Like most of the northern half of North America, it has been cold, and we had a big (or relatively for the area big) storm in the past two days.

It was some work getting out, needing a team effort, and we even got the snow blower out.


Even the neighbors dog was very excited that there was snow falling for the sky for him to romp in.

Luckily, I had lots of wool to keep me warm, although not much knitting got done, so no new pictures to show.

Wanna be knitting this…

Since we are still stuck in the black hole on the socks, (and I hope to be done one by the end of the week, as I want to start the next one on the ski trip this weekend,) we will post what we desire to be knitting here. (You like my royal we? I am hoping the attitude breaks the willpower of the socks.)

First, I will start with the most recent. As discussed in the previous post, I want to knit the Cable-Down Raglan, from Interweave Knits SP07. I am also intrigued by the green tea raglan, the indigo ripples skirt, the keyhole top, and of course, any and all of the socks.

Ever since I have seen the Maltese Shawl, from Victorian Lace Today, I have wanted to make it, color and all. It is so vibrant, yet lacy and feminine.

Plus, I want to knit a sweater for me. I haven’t decided what yet, although there are many styles I like. I do know I want to to be somewhat fitted, so I don’t feel like I am wearing a bag. I also want it to be usuable for work, so even though I like the Central Park Hoodie, I am leaning more towards something like this.

Gatsby Girl Pullover Interweave Knits 06

*Sigh* back to the plain-jane socks (but you can’t stop me from dreaming!)

Appreciations and Depreciation

First, thank you to all who gave me some feedback on my questions. Go here in appreciation!

Now, I have finished the pink hat!

The knitting gods ignored me for the most part, however I did hit some snags. Like this one:

And later on, I saw this:


I don’t know what it was. It was black, not yarn, and would not come out of the strand. And of course it is in the lightest part. However, I made it the wrong side and all is fine.

I appreciate the fact that it was a smooth progression of tones, and that it was practically instant gratification. Now I feel more motivated about the socks. (The socks have reached the black hole of knitting. All of them. They don’t seem to be coming out any time soon.)

I still am not fond of the yarn, with it’s snags and acrylic. And the fact that it was pink. Plus, I did not enjoy the fact that I had to rip every stitch through. Did I mention that the ripping was much more pronounced when doing a k2tog decrease? Oh well, I have suffered through and did not come out worse for the experience, so I might use what I have left to make a cousin a hat. (Bite your tongue!)

I also got my Interweave Knits this weekend! It looks yummy, and as soon as I finish the socks and other projects I have the yarn for, I really, really, really want to make this:

We wants it, precious!

Pink Hats

I got new yarn yesterday to make a hat.

Now, please know, I am not a person who typically likes pink. In fact, I think it is genetic, because my grandmother does not like pink either. She makes a face that will clearly convey her contempt for anything pink if you describe something someone wore in that color family. No, I don’t have a picture, however now that I think about it, that face would make amusing blog content.

So, if I don’t particularly like pink, why did I get this yarn to make a hat? 

In November, I was at a Terps football game knitting my sister’s green socks I gave her for her birthday, and a friend asked if I would knit him a hat. He wanted a hat like my husbands, but he wanted it to be with yarn like the socks I was knitting, and he wanted it to be pink and purple. (no, he wasn’t really demanding, it just came across that way as I was writing it. I got all of this through a series of questioning. He did say please.)

So I searched for pink-purple, self-striping, bulky yarn. There is a lot of pink yarn, there is a lot of purple yarn, and many styles of self-striping bulky yarn, however to find the combinations together, I had some trouble. The best one I found was this, in the color Impatiens. So I sent the picture to a friend, and he said he wanted more pink. (yes. more pink.) I searched some more, and found this yarn, Bernat Masala, and ordered it. I noticed it didn’t have any purple, thanks. Hence why it took two months to get the yarn. I am worried he will not like my hat because 1. it doesn’t have purple (maybe he is color blind?) and 2. what if he like the pattern it will make. I put ordering off to avoid the anxiety. (Boys can be very picky about what they will and will not wear. In case you didn’t know.)

Anyway, I swatched the yarn up, and this is what I got.

HAHAHA! You can barely make out the stitches, can you? Me, either! How am I supposed to get gauge? And, the needles I was knitting on (which are coincidentally hot pink as well) kept catching on the fuzz, so I had to practically rip every stitch through. It is not going to be nice happy smooth knitting, is it? (I think that this is all punishment from two days ago when I noticed I am not frightened by knitting in any form. Great, thank you, all-that-is-holy-about-wool! Now I will just be cursing at my knitting instead of cowering in a corner. I guess that is better.)

So after much squinting at the swatch, I figured out my gauge, estimated my friend’s head size, and started. This is what I have so far.

Yes, the knitting is still a pain in the arse unpleasant. However, I like the stripe transition. And it is going quickly, much more quickly than the socks. Even though it is *gasp* acrylic/polyester, I sorta like the feel of the knitted product. Maybe my sister would like an afghan out of it. Yeah, maybe in this color. Or this one. (Ella is not a big fan of pink either) However, I might have to teach her to knit so I don’t suffer a stroke over the knitting part.

My plan is to have it done by next weekend, when I see my friend next. That gives me plenty of time. ;o) (Ignore me, all-that-is-holy-about-wool, I am not worthy of notice.)

In non-kniting-related news, we had snow here this week! I wanted to share the pretty scene with you. I took it on Wednesday, when I didn’t have to go to school.

Questions in want of answers

Ok, so I need clarification on some issues, so anyone who can help will be appreciated. (yes, i meant that the way i wrote it)

1. As I have only been knitting (seriously) for 1year and 2months, I have gradually accumulated by reading blogs and books on the subject, that sock yarn does not count as stash. Does this mean that if you have a majority of sock yarn, that that part of the stash doesn’t count, even if you have twice as much of it? Or what if you only buy, knit, and cuddle sock yarn, then technically you don’t own any stash?

2. If you started a Stitch n Bitch/Knitting Circle/whatever you call it, how did you go about doing it? I have seen some ‘rules’ as well as descriptions of how other people did, and I would like to start one, however I would like more info before I dive in.

3. I have been knitting from a number of sock patterns, and the toes always seem really pointy to me (The ones I have seen are decrease one round, knit the next, repeated until there are 8 stitches, then Kitchener/thread yarn through.) If you have a way for me to get them to be less pointy and fit better, please let me know. (I have been knitting them from the top down, I am going to try toe-up next, but I would still like to have socks that I can wear without the witch shoes.)

4. Any suggestions for good online sources of yarn enhancement, as I find it difficult to get to a yarn store?

I already appreciate you anyway for reading my blog!

How I Came to Knit…

My grandmother knits, and she has knit for as long as I have known her. She also does various other crafty, talented things, however since this is a knitting blog, I will talk about the knitting.

I don’t know when I first wanted to learn to knit. I don’t remember when I first asked. I do remember sometime around the age of 13 or 14 (I think?) being given a ball of grey acrylic yarn and a pair of silver aluminum Boye size 10 US needles. My grandmother showed me how to cast on, and how to make a knit stitch for the first row, then followed up with a purl stitch on the next row. I knit the yarn for a few inches. My goal was to make a scarf (now looking back I know I did not have enough yarn for this, however my grandmother humored me).

I know I continued the basics she had taught me, because I still had the grey yarn into my early twenties. I would take it out and practice with it infrequently, using the stitches I remembered. The yarn got to be worn, dingy, and crimped, as I frogged and reknit it several times. I trashed it about 3 years ago when I moved in with my husband, thinking I would never use it.

I have been drawn to pick up needles again, more seriously than at 14, however beyond the few rows I did with the acrylic, it didn’t happen for a while.

Then, before the holidays in 2005, I was in Target, of all places, when I was suddenly struck by the urge to knit! You know their little dollar section at the front of the store, the one where they have cheap gifts and holiday related items? They had yarn, and needles, for 50ยข each! (Haha! The thought of buying yarn from Target now! Hahaha!) I thought that it was a cheap way to start relearning the skill of knitting, so I bought some. It would be easy, as I remembered most of it, right?

I went home, chose a yarn, and began to try to remember what I had learned. I was trying to follow a pattern that came with the yarn, so I went to the internet. I found written instructions, and went from there. I couldn’t see the pattern, or the v’s I was supposed to be making. I went back to the internet several times. (I realized a week later that I had chosen a very bad choice of yarn for a new knitter. It was the string kind. With little squares every inch or so. I chose a new yarn.) My husband thought I had taken to insanity, because I kept ripping it out and starting over. He kept asking why I thought I would like this. I stuck with it, because somehow I knew it would be excellent.

Since my grandmother taught me the basics, I gave her my first knitted item. This scarf was the result many, many years after she showed me the first stitch.

(Honestly, it was so full of mistakes I thought glared at you, I didn’t think anyone else would appreciate it.)

So I have to say thank you to my grandmother, who instilled a love of a craft that I have taken up with a passion that will hopefully last many years. I have already made it through one year, so I think I’ll stick to it. (Besides, I have already spent more money on this craft than any other. I can’t quit now.)

Those US10 Boye silver aluminum needles? I still have them, and I used them to knit my grandmother’s birthday gift I gave her last month.

Socks, Sales, and Soapboxes

I’ll start with some soapbox shouting…

It irks me that some knitters with blogs (who will remain nameless) have their blog set up so that you cannot comment on their posts without a Google/Blogger account. Seeing as I already have 3 personal email accounts, 2 logins for the network at work, a login for the help desk, another for the scheduling system, at least 2 for web-based activities for my classroom, and many, many accounts for other online activities of both personal and professional natures, I am positively piqued that someone, especially a knitterly person, wants me to have another account purely so that I post a comment.

As for sales, I have found a shop called Stitches, just like my club, nearby. The good news is that they had a groundhog day sale where everything was 50% off, and I got this stuff.


I swatched a pair of socks for my husband using the US2 bamboo needles I bought to give them a try. This is my first time using any wooden-type needles, and it is definitely different. They are lighter and the shop owner was right, stitches don’t slip off the needles normally.

The bad news is that they are going out of business in March. However, maybe I can buy more needles if I decide I like them.

I have also been knitting more socks. I am still working on my Paint Box Socks. I also started this pair for my mother, see why below.


They are Regia Canadian Color, and are nice and soft. I told my mom I am going to steal them. The picture is awkward as I have been working too long and need some rest before my brain is fried.

And to wrap up all of the title together, I am putting the lone, lonely Fancy Silk Sock in a time capsule. It will be accompanied by the story told here. It was my mom’s idea. There is no use trying to wait for another ball of this yarn to become available. I have been checking to see if the Magic Stripes Lumberjack Black yarn has been in anywhere, and no one has gotten any. I went to Lion Brand’s website, and the description of said colorway was grayed out like they don’t have anymore. I emailed Lion Brand this message:

When will more of your magic stripes lumberjack black yarn be available in stores?

Now, maybe I didn’t explain my problem clearly enough. This is what they wrote back:

Hi, You can locate stores in your area that carry our yarn by clicking on “local stores” at the top of our home page. Not all stores, however, carry all of our yarns in all available colors so you will need to check with the individual store. You can order any of our yarns in any color online at or by calling our toll free order number at 1-800-258-9276. With Warm Regards, Lion Brand Yarn Company

I tried thier online store. No Lumberjack Black.

What is up with this??? Did these people actually read what I wrote, and check their store? Do the just have some person sitting in an isolation both answering emails from a script? A person who has not been told of any of the changes occuring at Lion Brand in the past year? 

So I wrote back. The yarn I need? Discontinued!

(I didn’t like this yarn in the first place, so I am not considering this a huge loss. However, could they have told me this the first time??!!)

Spreading the word

I have started a club at school for students who want to learn to cross stitch, crochet, and yes, knit.

I had been knitting at school to finish presents for people, and my students wanted to learn. They said we should have a club, I should start it, and it should be called Stitches. (Did I mention I love teaching at this school?) So I agreed, I did, and it is.

Yesterday was our first meeting. I had seven girls show up, half of who wanted to cross stitch and the other half wanted to crochet. (I know, but I have hope that some of them have said they want to learn to knit who couldn’t make it yesterday.) So between some very excited and impatient students, I taught the basics of both skills in an hour, and by the time I was done, I felt like I had been run over by a truck. However, it made me very, very, very proud that my one student came back 4 hours later, (we also had meet the teacher night for the second semester) and showed me her inch-plus-some scarf she had crochet. Her mom came by as well and told me how she was also trying to teacher her sister. By my second period class today, she had a foot.

Hoorah for me converting some other poor unsuspecting soul to the obsession of fiber arts!