Book of Knittings

Book of Knittings: Tourmaline Scarf

Same scarf–two versions. Six of one:


Half dozen of the other:


The difference is the bead on the longer magenta part. Should it be the same as the other bead, or different?

Working on just the beads has taken me two enjoyable hours (and I still have to clean up).  Feel more like creating beautiful pieces than writing these days. (Not that writing is not creating.)

Book of Knittings: I did it

When my two year old grandson figures out something, he gleefully announces, “I did it!”  That is about how I feel sometimes when I finally get a new knitting stitch–or discover something that cuts the frustration of learning that new stitch.

Say your pattern calls for  (yo, k1) 40 times and you just could not get it going without dropping a stitch and then the whole piece unravels for several rows. You have barely figured out the stitch and then you have to fix that mess with a crochet needle?  Frustrating, to say it mildly.  For me, usually impossible.

Inevitably I would end up ripping out the whole piece and starting over from the first cast-on stitch.

So one night waiting for sleep to take me over, I came up with this: Thread a yarn through the stitches along the needle and that will hold the stitches so you only need rip it out to the yarn. (Be careful not to thread the markers.)


So then let’s say you knit another 4 or 5 rows and–there it is–that gaping hole that screams, “YOU DROPPED A STITCH!”  (And, yes, I know that mistakes are doorways for spirit to enter, but that hole would suck them through like a vacuum.)

So all you do is remove your needle:


And unravel back to the securing yarn. Then slip a smaller needle along the thread to pick up the stitches–even the yarn overs (yo) are in place.


Hint:  Pick the stitches up on a needle a size or two smaller than the one you are using to knit–you will need room for the needle AND the yarn  or the stitches won’t slip smoothly into place for knitting.  Or use a lace weight yarn–but then it is harder to pick up the stitches.

After doing this twice, I did get the technique so now I know all the ways to make a mistake and how to avoid them.  And I won’t need to thread that securing yarn again….

I did it!


Book of Knittings: I love the internet

IMG_1049.jpg Shawl worked with Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk, and pattern, Oaklet Shawl, by Megan Goodacre on Ravelry.

I recently finished the somewhat intricate shawl (well more a scarf than a true shawl) and was inspecting it before blocking it. Much to my chagrin, I found not one but two dropped stitches.

IMG_1045.jpgHorror of horrors, say I to myself. Am I not a fool to have missed that?

Now the first mistake—the orange marker—I can attribute to getting caught up in the lives of Tony and Ziva on NCIS, but the second dropped stitch—that is a different story. I carefully marked the 8 stitch pattern so that I could count stitches whenever I finished the repeat. If I have 8 stitches, I must have done it right, right? WRONG!

IMG_1043.jpgHow did I drop a stitch and still have 8 stitches when I finished the repeat?

When I did that 21 row, 280+ stitch border, I had nothing going on around me –not even music because I was so fixated on it being done perfectly the first time.

But-wala—there it was a dropped stitch all due to a pesky sl2-k1-pss2o. Aggravating and I refused to do the frog stitch (aka rip-it, rip-it all out back to the mistake). Maybe I could just hold the dropped stitch with scrap yarn and weave the tails in? Would that work?

So I looked on the internet.

Man, I love the internet! Because not only did I find that my remedy would work, I found that even the “best” knitters do drop stitches.

So now I am onto my next big challenge, the Persian Shawl from Tanis Gray’s Knitting Architecture. Hmmm, yarn shopping on the agenda for today.



Book of Knittings


The poncho for my daughter-in-law.

Started 11/5/15 and finished blocking it 11/28/15. Done with Cascade Casablanca, a worsted weight, variegated yarn, on size 8 needles.  The pattern is from Amy LaRoux on Ravelry but now out-of-print.  (How can a digital file be out-of-print anyway?)

Now time to do the sweater to match the scarf I made in October…and to finish the fan-and-feather scarf I started late last summer…and to do the next lesson of TKGA’s Basics Knitting course.

Oh, I DO love retirement.

Book of Knittings: So what do you do when……

You knit a scarf and find you have NOTHING to wear that matches it.  I mean NOTHING!

You drive three hours to WEBS in Northampton, MA and buy more yarn to make a sweater.  So here it is–the scarf and the yarn–well half the yarn, anyway.  I bought twice as much. IMG_0975

The sweater yarn is WEBS’s brand–Valley Yarn, something called Northfield, a dk weight of Merino, Baby Alpaca and Silk.  Color is Stone Blue. Should make up well. Nice “hand” to it.

I knit the gauge swatch this afternoon. Soft and holds stitch definition well.  (Stitch definition? That’s my term for “doesn’t get all fuzzed together.”)

Oh, and the scarf?  A kit (I never do kits so don’t ask me why I bought this one) from Colorful Stitches in Lenox, MA.  Something called Frolicking Ft DK Gradient. Came in many colors, btw, but not too many left when I was there about a month ago.