Wednesday, May 30

Tiny Socks!

Anybody read Mutts?

In two days I knit a little pink sock. Okay a tiny sock but a sock nonetheless.

The pattern is Tiny Socks! from Cider Moon.
Needles: 5" bam
boo dpn size 4
Yarn: Some leftover cotton I got with my "Learn To Knit" kit

I figured before tackling a full sized pair with my lovely sock yarn from Maryland Sheep and Wool some "training
socks" were in order. While searching for pair of arm warmers I spotted my starters. I used a more sturdy yarn than called for in the pattern because I've never done a sock before and wanted to see the stitch definition. Tiny Socks has all the elements of a grown-up sock except there's no pad at the toe I think. It's 6 inches long from the back of the cuff to the toe if you stretch it out. The pattern called for just drawing up the last few stitches with a needle and weaving in the end. Nah. I whipped out my Knitters Companion and did a kitchener stitch with the last eight stitches. In the directions it says "used to close the toes of socks and under the arms of sweaters knit in the round". Sheesh! I wish I had known that when I was gnashing my teeth over my Knit for Kids sweater. I know I was only doing eight stitches, but the rhythm was no worse than what I was doing I think. Very cool how the top of the toe joins the bottom. It was impossible to photograph, sorry.

There were two places I think may have been mistakes in the pattern or at least I may change for the second sock. One is a missed SL at the beginning of the first heel flap row.


It looked sorta wrong to me after a few more rows and I ripped it back a few rows and reknit it. When I saw it was in the pattern I thought there might be a reason and moved on.
There wasn't.

<-------------------- I'm also not thrilled with how the weird triangle area at the heel looks. Only four stitches are picked up on the side of the heel. It's kinda holey. But c'mon we're talking 22 total stitches cast-on. The thing is, I did all the elements without a hitch barring my own decision to check out the hiccup with the slipped stitch.

On to sock two.

Tuesday, May 29

Knit for Kids

The damn Knit For Kids sweater is done. I never thought I would be so glad to be done with a charity project. Seaming up from the bottom was easy, but going across the sleeves was a NIGHTMARE. I must have ripped it out 8 – 9 times. No lie. I had 4 references for seaming and just couldn't get it through my thick skull (or thick fingers in my case). Then while studying the diagram for the umpteenth time I heard a click. Yup, my brain actually clicked. I picked up that tapestry needle and began to seam that puppy.

Somewhere along the right sleeve I must have added a stitch so I had to do some fancy work to make the edge work out but finally


I washed it and blocked it on a cool piece of insulation Bobby got for me for a blocking board covered with a towel. After I show it off to my knitting pals it’s off to the post office and some little kid who will love it more than me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great experience. But if I never see another seam again . . .

Oh, and there's one more thing that blew my mind. The Gauge. I knitted according to gauge. I measured and counted obsessively. Throughout the whole process I picked up only one stitch on my first sweater. The freaking thing came out waaay too wide in the body. I was a fraction off on two other dimensions but we're talking four inches. But check out the drawing from the pattern.

See any similarities?

It looks like short stubby arms are all the rage.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 28

WIP barz

<-----<< Check 'em out in my sidebar over there <-----<<

I've been working on them off and on for about 6 months and finally got them to work. I had to mess with CSS, edit HTML, create an image and had no idea what I was doing. I had a "guinea pig" blog site to work on the module. Cool huh?

Friday, May 25

Stitches East

I got my letter confirming my first choice for all four of my classes for Stitches East in October.

Thursday Techniques and Tips

Class Title: Round Up
Beth Whiteside
Description: There’s more than two ways to knit a round and a round! Cover the old standbys, circular and double-points, plus try out two circulars and the Magic Loop. Get warmed up on a neckwarmer, then test drive the techniques on the small diameter of a fingerless glove.

I need some help with purling when I change needles on DPNs and want to learn Magic Loop and two circulars too. I'm also starting my first socks soon and I've heard the horrors of ladders and such. This class was right up my alley. As a bonus I can use the two projects as gifts like I did last year.

Friday Color and Creativity

Class Title: Free-form Potpourri
Teacher: Colleen Davis
Description: This freeform technique is one among many that will open up a whole new world of fun knitting, let you break a few rules, use partial skeins of yarn and stretch your creativity Knitting will go in different directions and an assortment of shapes will be made by picking up stitches from previous shapes.

This stuff fascinates me, and I’d like to try it even if I never use it. Besides, I hate left over partial balls and can take all of mine with me.

Saturday Projects and More Projects

Class Title: Off the Cuff Beaded Wrist Warmers
Teacher: Susanna Hansson
Accessory or jewelry? Hard to say. Either way, these sweet pulse warmers knit up quickly, make great gifts and are a fun addition to your winter wardrobe. Or wear a sparkly pair with a plain black top and you will be dressed for a night on the town.

From the materials list, it is beading without stringing all the beads first by using a tool. Now THAT I can get into. It also makes a little gifty item – probably for my nephew’s wife in California.

Sunday Techniques and Tips

Class Title: Switch to Continental Style Knitting
Teacher: Leslye Solomon
Description: It doesn’t matter how old you were when you learned to knit, Leslye will help you quickly and easily change your style to knit a more even fabric. Begin to fly through and love ribbing and seed stitch, and finally stop knitting too tight or loose. Aches and pains caused by your present method might be greatly reduced. Enjoy renewed knitting confidence.

I have a little trouble with my right hand dexterity so I’m really looking forward to this one. I tried it on vacation while doing some FairIsle and just wasn't sure where to put all those fingers. It was sloooow going but satisfying. I hope I’m not too beat after four days to get the hang of this one.

I had back up classes chosen for each time slot, and would have been equally happy with any of my alternates. I decided to not take any of the all day classes. Last year I did that two days in a row and nearly killed myself. Of course, I was a fairly new knitter and knit and purl was the extent of my arsenal of stitches. Still, by taking only half days and spreading the classes out over the whole run of the show, I'll have more time to shop and perhaps see some of the other exhibits. Last time I had to knit my project through lunch in miniature and re-knit it later. I was fuzzy headed and bushed! This way I can choose to go in early - or not. Stay late - or not. What a smart knitter I am.

I hope.

Thursday, May 24

Yo Ho, Yo Ho

Just got back from Pirates of the Caribbean - At Worlds End. It's Bobby's birthday so I skipped sit-n-knit to go to the first showing of it at 8PM with him. Funny how knitting has affected my life. All I kept thinking about every time Johnny Depp was on screen was

I wonder what yarn they used to felt that hair? Sheep, llama, alpaca, a blend? Did he have allergy issues? Did they braid it? I cord? Straight roving? What size needles?
Didn't I see that pattern on the Lion Brand site? Knitty?

Kinda changes your perspective, knitting does.

I just realized my Sheep and Wool post was still in edit and I never published it. And now, for your viewing pleasure . . .

Friday, May 18


Oh yes. I did go.

Looking neither to the left nor to the right, I headed for the Main Building. There I found my nostepinne, right where Sheila said it would be. With all the beautiful woods, my decision was a difficult one. I settled on Big Leaf Maple, for it’s beautiful whorls and light weight. At $15.99 it beat the ebay price by far and – no shipping. I’ve already begun to wind yarn on it and it sure beats using my fingers. He had lots of other fine UWOs (Unidentified Wooden Objects) that were related to spinning and weaving. I tossed a little bobbin thing in my basket just because the Tulip Wood was pretty - although I have a few uses in mind.

My main goal accomplished, I began to push my way through the aisles. And I do mean push. Last year Bobby and I went late on Sunday. Today it was was packed and getting into the tiny stalls packed with yarn, roving and doo-dads was dangerous for me. I did venture into one shop that was more open for some cute Knit Clips, Bamboo cable needles, assorted tapestry needles and some yarn bras. Can’t beat Sheep and wool for doo-dads! I started a parade though and nearly took a tumble. Later at the Wall o’Sock Yarn, I stayed outside the stall with my purchase while another shopper held my place in line so I could sit on my scooter for a while. After a bit, the shop owner came smiling out to me and we conducted business right there. It was a bit embarrassing to go ahead of about eight other yarn starved women, but I paid for the German self striping sock yarn (mit Aloe Vera und Jojoba Ol) for Bobby and my sister Debbie and slunk away.

Some very cool wool/cotton blend caught my eye. I had been looking into the stalls for my sister’s favorite color for her birthday in August. Actual yellow yarn is very hard to find for some reason – everything is rather golden or orange. It's Green Mountain Spinnery 20% organic cotton 80% fine wool. The yarn feels rough now, but the shop owner assures me it softens right up with washing. I rethought my plan for socks though. There’s a bit more wool in them that I remembered for her diabetic feet – besides, her son does the laundry and neither of them has the patience for lots of hand washing. No, those skeins want to be arm warmers. Because of the solid color, it will lend itself to cables nicely. Perhaps Cabled Fingerless or Spooky Cabled Mitts . I’ll have to play with needle sizes a bit but I’ve got three skeins and can knit up a good sized swatch and launder it for both shrinkage and feel.

I gave up on finding the perfect yarn for two selfish projects. It was impossible to get into the places where I could fondle the good stuff for one of my dreams or spend time lining up nine compatible colors for another. Entrances were tiny and floors were cluttered. There was one place with wide aisles and lots of choices, but you had to buy 10 skeins of each color. Not to fret. I have plenty of other fiber to keep me busy for several years. Dreams.

There were plenty of non-fiber distractions at MSWF. I watched the Working Sheepdogs at work. They had Border Collies, and even though I’ve seen this many times, I’m still fascinated. New to me this year was the auction. While the focus was on spinning and weaving equipment, there was enough entertainment value to keep me there for close to an hour near the end of the day. I needed a break to eat a delicious lambburger anyway. Dilapidated looms and spinning wheels with pieces missing went very high I thought (bought for parts maybe?) and whole boxes of magazines and grandma’s patterns sold for $1. A used ball winder caused a frenzy for about $35. I believe the metal arm was missing. Now folks aren’t stupid, but it looked very used. A new one costs that and with a coupon . . . rural areas don’t have access to stores like Joann’s and the internet I guess. Sheesh!

I ran into several old friends. Maggie Sansone is still playing her hammered dulcimer of course. I worked with her my whole career at MDRF, playing a little percussion now and then at Musical Merrymaking in the mornings. One year her set followed ours on Gatehouse Stage. She had several musicians setting up on stage and I would talk and tease with her to help her keep audience between shows. I used to joke about her needing a better bodice to increase business. Yeah, right.

Brooke Parkhurst was tending her partner’s booth and gave me her newly released CD An American Wake. She had a personnel change in Tinsmith recently and the sound is much brighter without the (ahem) discord. I’ve been humming Evening Song ever since. But it was Sliabh Gallion Braes that made my eyes go wide. A personal dig at John, Brooke? It was good to see her and Bobby and I hope to get to a show soon.

At the RE Piland booth I stopped to see if Rob was in and got a warm greeting. Seems he had heard I was dead (a horrible misunderstanding/rumor I was already aware of) and we had a nice visit. Liz, he says, get me Bonnie Swans. Now Rob and I go waaay back (Ren Fair again) and he already gifted me with an expensive malachite ring from his shop back when Bobby was courting me. He let me pay the $12 for resizing it and Liz says he still has the envelope with my trademark kiss behind the counter. Geez. Anyway, out pops Liz from behind the counter, then she frowns and goes down again. A second later she is threading a long silver chain through my newest bauble. Rob’s celtic knot work is always beautiful, but my love of birds makes this one special to me. The chain is delicate yet won’t catch in my hair or sweaters and feels sturdy enough to stand up to a good pull by a small child’s hand. Bonny Swans hasn’t been off my neck since. That’s quite a feat since I’ve worn the same gold necklace most of my life.

Music Festivals and many other artsy gatherings bring out the renn fair crowd. A few fans of The Bawdy Balladeers spotted me too. Some I recognized, some I didn’t. Still, it is nice to be NOT dead and be remembered.

The last thing I remember was zipping into a building in the rear at closing. They had Koigu KPPPM earlier but were swamped beyond reason. I couldn’t get near the stuff which was tucked behind the register. I guess they keep it under a watchful eye for a reason. The place was nearly deserted at 5:45 and I boldly parked my scooter and went in to the inner sanctum. There! A color that reminded me of a peacock I saw in Disney World. But my elation was short lived, there was only one skein. I pouted. She had bags and bags of Koigu and only one dream skein. She must have heard me moaning and began to haul out boxes of the stuff from under the table. What a gold mine! We hunted for a while, but it was after the witching hour so I decided on another lovely color for my own arm warmers. No wonder knitters rave about this stuff. The colors are like the wings of dragonflies, or water. Ever changing. Photographing this yarn was tough. The one in the shade on the left is truer to color but dark. Out in the sun, it reflects too much light like the yellow cotton above. But you see why I had to have them? Do you? And some sock blockers which were too cool to pass on?

She had to open the barn door to let me out.

Wednesday, May 9

Google Calendar

I just added a link to my calendar over there <---------<<<

I use Google Calendar. I can access it from anywhere and don't have to carry a book around. Seems every business has internet these days and I carry a teeny purse because of balance problems and using a cane. I've never had trouble getting a Doctor's office to let me access mine to make an appointment. In fact, most think it's pretty cool that I can do that. Anyway, Google lets you have several calendars in different colors. I have two, one for me and one that has my husband's schedule on it (he has access to it as well). When I found out I can now post a calendar to my blog I thought I'd change my knitting events to a new color and call it tinkknitz. I may add other local knitting events to it as a resource to others.

Today I'm off to knit with the Kiwanis ladies. Oh, and draft my dissertation on the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!