February 28, 2005
Today is a great day for knitting! We all went to bed last night with the expectation that we would have snow coming down hard by the time our alarms went off. We woke up at the usual time, and not a flake! But the weatherman was still promising a snowstorm, so all the schools were closed. It's coming down hard now in the afternoon and is not expected to stop until sometime tonight. I'm betting at the moment that there will be no school tomorrow as well.
Here's my DD, Diana, who loves to smile for the camera! You can really see the flakes coming down in this photo. Geez, a snowball in bare hands! Where are your gloves, kid? Right now, both kids are outside with Daddy, who is trying to mold a "snow train" for Steven, using a Rubbermaid tub for a mold. Guess I'll be back out there, shooting more photos when they're done!
Steven, John and Diana and their "Snow Train."
February 27, 2005
And the Oscar Goes To...
I snapped this photo of my Clapotis tonight; it's actually the same photo both times, but I wanted to show a closeup of the dropped stitches. I have just completed my third column of dropped stitches and I am so pleased! I think this scarf/wrap is going to be a thing of beauty.
I received two books on Friday! I've been waiting a long time for these to come. They are Scarf Style, which has some of the most beautiful and unique scarf patterns I've ever seen; and Weekend Knitting, which has some interesting ideas to make things I never would have thought of doing with yarn.
As I'm writing this, Million Dollar Baby has just won Best Picture. I am angry and sad. Anybody who thinks that this film is "inspirational" or that in the end the "right thing was done" for the disabled character in assistance with ending her life--what about giving her a life worth living? In her own home, directing her own quality care, and making it possible for her to do something meaningful and purposeful with her life? I am afraid that the "cause" has been set backward by this film and the attitudes it portrays. Anyone who wants to learn more should check out this website: www.milliondollarbigot.org.
With that, I bid you, goodnight.
February 25, 2005
Sigh... Bored Yet?
Man, this thing is taking FOREVER! I sure hope I still love it when I'm done. The folks on the knitalong must knit way faster than I do, because I feel like I'm just poking along. As you can see from the photo, I have just completed my second column of dropped stitches. The yarn is so soft it fuzzes upon itself and doesn't want to reveal those lovely ladders so easily. It took me half an hour just to pull the second column out.
It feels as if this project might never be finished. Yet, I cannot allow it to become just another UFO. I will finish this one; I swear I will. Honest. No, really. Just wait. Maybe this weekend I'll set up a gallery of my UFOs just to give you something else to look at for a change. Sigh...
Until next time... Knit On!
February 21, 2005
Let 'er R-r-r-r-r-rip!
Well! I finally did it! Here is a close-up photo of my first dropped column of stitches in my Clapotis. It's a lot harder to drop stitches when you mean to do it, rather than when it happens by mistake! I actually had to use a crochet hook to sort of dig them apart.
Forgot to mention last night that I did my first "spit splice" to join my new ball of yarn. Someone mentioned it on one of my many knitting-related listservs that I am on. I wet my hand with water, then took the two ends of the yarn (which both happened to be blue, but I trimmed one so they would be the same) and rolled them back and forth rapidly in my hands as if I were making a Play-Doh snake. I untwisted the yarn at the ends a bit first. After just a few minutes, the yarn magically felted itself together, just like that! Wow. Don't think I'll be weaving in the ends of same-colored yarn balls ever again! This only works with natural fibers that haven't been treated, and I knew this was the case with my yarn, but I was surprised at how well and how quickly it felted. I gave both ends a good yank to be sure they wouldn't come back apart, and kept knitting! Wow again!
Until next time...
February 20, 2005
Well, it's been a few days so I thought I would share the most recent photo of Clapotis. I finally have moved on to the straight section. No dropped stitches yet, but I am now confident that the first stitches will be dropped tomorrow. I elected not to do the final round of 12-row increases, because I'm using size 10 Denises, and the scarf seems quite wide enough. I suppose I will find out soon whether I have made an error in judgement, but I think I will be happy with the result.
Project for tomorrow? Find a new spot with bright light that is less cluttered. My Clapotis has outgrown my knitting photo-op spot! Until next time, knit on!
February 18, 2005
I came home today to find my next package from Knitpicks. What yummy yarns! Pictured here are Shimmer, in the color, Happy Dance; and Alpaca Cloud in the color, Stream. I've never done anything with yarns that are this lightweight, so I will have to see what I can do with it. I was thinking maybe this yarn would be good for a lightweight Clapotis, but now I'm not sure. Also pictured are my very first pair of Addi Turbos, and I am wondering if I will like them, or if they will be too fussy for my stiff, uncoordinated hands. I guess I'll find out! I still love my Denise needles more than anything, but they are not small enough for this yarn so I had to get something else to knit with. Such a tragedy, right? Haha. I'm sure I can think of something to do with my new yarn and needles.
I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the increases on my Clapotis! Yay! Maybe I can post pics of my first dropped stitches by sometime this weekend. Stay tuned...
February 16, 2005
Little Ripples, Up Close
If you guys are as tired of seeing another version of the same old thing, so am I. So tonight, I give you my Clapotis, from a different perspective. She is inches closer and closer to the next section, and I am so hoping to finally be there by the end of the week. But, time will tell, and I am determined to remain patient.
The pattern is getting easier, too, and I've had to refer to the instructions less and less often. The only place where I feel like I need a quick refresher is in Row 12 of Section 1. But, this last time around, I did it from memory. I think I'm getting the hang of it.
Still, I learned an important lesson today. I can't knit in the dark! Last night on my commute home I was cooking along with the pattern, and as the sun set in the horizon I was unconcerned about the lack of light. I could do this pattern by feel, right? Well, apparently not. In the daylight today I noticed that about five stitches in from the end of another row I had inadvertently wrapped the yarn around my cables somehow, so there was this giant loop of yarn where there definitely should not have been one. So, I had to "tink" (for the uninitiated that's "knit," backwards... as in undoing the knitting) back two rows. This was of course frustrating due to my mounting impatience with the amount of time it's taking me to work through this pattern, but on the positive side, hey... it was only two rows.
Until the morrow...
February 15, 2005
Knitpicks, Take One
Yay! It finally came! My Knitpicks yarns. I started wtih four different shades of Wool of the Andes: Stream, Mist, Mulled Wine, and Cloud. The "Stream" color is lots greener than my camera could pick up, and the Mulled Wine color is more like a deep rose. I like the way they look and feel. I'm wanting to make two felted hats in the Fiber Trends Pattern AC-1; one in the green color and one in the rose color. The green one will have a gray hat band and the rose one will have an off-white hat band done in garter stitch, with a sparkly pin (yet to be chosen) in the center of each. I've not tried this yarn on this pattern yet, but I hope it felts well and is a good choice for this pattern. It will be a good experiment, for sure!
No news on Clapotis today... she is but a wee bit bigger and still on the increases. No dropped stitches yet... sigh.
February 14, 2005
Word of the Day: Clappy!
I think the girls on the Clapotis Knit Along are getting punchy. Today someone started calling her scarf, "Clappy," and I think it's sticking. At least for now. No, I am not growing bored with the pattern. Yes, I am getting IMPATIENT! I want to get to the fun part where I can start dropping those stitches. I keep increasing and increasing, and so far I'm not near where I need to be. I knit so SLOWLY; I want to be able to turn out a project in a week like the other girls. Ugh. I guess that will never happen if the only knitting time I really get is during the commute; and even then, I am constantly competing with the insides of my eyelids who are screaming that I've not seen enough of them, either... Sleep? Who needs it? I've got KNITTING to do!
I was so hoping to be able to share pics of my yummy new Knitpicks yarns, but alas! They have not arrived yet. I think "Best Way" on their free shipping must mean by Pony Express! I usually get stuff so fast but this time it's taking a while (but so far, not longer than they've promised; I'm just spoiled!) and I'm finding it hard to wait.
Ah, well... back to the knitting! I've got increases to do! Til next time...
February 12, 2005
Clapotis, Day 4
Well, it's Saturday night, and here's my latest pic of Clapotis. She's coming along nicely, don't you think? I'm not the best photographer, but I think this pic shows off the "tie dye" look of my yarn really well. I love it! Yes, I do think my yarn was whispering the name of Clapotis all along.
Problem is, I'm the world's slowest and most impatient knitter! I want to get to the fun part where I can start dropping those stitches. Oh, to be destructive on purpose! What a concept!
Tonight I couldn't resist buying more Knitpicks house yarn. I couldn't resist the Alpaca Cloud in the color, Stream, and Shimmer, in the color, Happy Dance. I also bought some smaller size needles for the lighter yarn. I'm wondering how Clapotis will do with lighter yarn, on smaller needles. Will she make a summer shawl? Stay tuned!
I realized tonight that I haven't shared a photo of my purple hat in a while. I decided to display it yet again because it now has a wonderful pin on it, which my cube mate, Alison, gave me for Christmas. She said it looked like it belonged on my hat! I get compliments on it on a daily basis still, and even though it was one of my earliest projects, and has grown a bit floppy with age, it is still my favorite.
February 9, 2005
Ok, so the fact is I'm really not a joiner. But I've been struggling for weeks, no, months, on what to do with my fabulous Rio de la Plata yarn. I figured with 10 hanks I would have enough to do a winter ensemble—scarf, hat, and leg warmers. But alas, I tried one thing after another, and thought maybe this yarn would just never tell me what it wants to be. Paraphrasing a narrative line from Lucy and Desi's The Long, Long Trailer, "Then I saw IT." only in this case, the "it" was not the behemoth "cozy home on wheels," but Clapotis.
Clapotis, they say, is a French word meaning "little ripples." I did see this pattern when it first came out, and didn't really pay it any attention. I had my yarn already at that time, but the pattern, though cute, seemed confusing. Then Mary, one of the "moms" on the KnitList, said she thought I would enjoy it and I should give it a try.
Yesterday was Day One of Clapotis. She and I did not get along well at all, but I kept looking at photos of finished Clapotises (!?!) on the web, for inspiration. I asked a couple of questions on the KnitList, because it seems I was not counting properly and everything was coming out wrong.
Well, I guess a lot of people were doing the same thing, and making the same mistakes I was. And, when a lot of people start talking about one thing on the KnitList, well, when you've got more than 7,000 people, somebody's gotta spoil the party. Ugh.
But, it was Stephanie to the rescue! She created the Clapotis Knit Along for 2005, and now we can talk and share about our creations to our heart's content. As you can see from the photo, I'm not very far along with it yet, in fact, only on my third round of increase rows. I'll have to take a photo in daylight though, because the way the colors are flowing, I think my yarn has finally found itself.
Happy knitting, at last...
February 5, 2005
Scarf Tales, Continued
Well, it turns out that I really couldn't STAND the Brioche Stitch Scarf, so I grabbed another ball and started something different. This one has 20 rows of 2x2 ribbing, followed by garter stitch. I hope I don't get bored knitting it, but I like it better and my edges are neater.
Yesterday I bought some of the new Knitpicks Yarn, the Wool of the Andes yarns, In colors Stream and Mist, and Mulled Wine and Cloud. I'm hoping to get back into hat making with these. I bought enough to try a felting project and see how it goes. I'll write about my experiences when the yarn actually gets here. I hope I'm not disappointed, but the price can't be beat! Even if they don't felt well, for that price I am sure I could find lots of things to make with them.
I also bought two books, Knit Hats! and Knit Mittens! I've never tried the pattens in either of these books so I hope I'm up for the challenge of some of the really cool designs. I'm getting antsy for my new stuff to come!
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Work in Progress: Aran Sampler Rainbow Blankie - Click this page to see all the cool designs that are going into this project!
Finished Object Gallery - This page doesn't have a lot on it! I'm notorious for not finishing projects. But check back from time to time as I just might surprise myself!
Trish's Knitting Library - This is an assortment of knitting books and related materials that I've enjoyed, so I thought I would share them with you.
Trish's Knitting Links - I surf a lot for knitting resources so I thought I'd start compiling my discoveries here. Check back often!
The KnitList - This is probably one of the oldest and most comprehensive knitting resources on the Web. There are literally thousands of members, and people are always ready to provide information and help.
KnitTalk - and if you're sick of the Knitlist and just want a warm fuzzy place to chat about knitting, try this group on for size.
KnitHatsNow - A mailing list devoted to people who love to knit hats! We maintain an always-growing list of free hat patterns available on the web.
KnittingScarves - A mailing list devoted to people who love to knit scarves! We maintain an always-growing list of scarf patterns available on the web. Crocheters are welcome, too.
Knitty - Very creative online knitting magazine. Great patterns and really great articles. Best of all, it's FREE.
Trish's Knitting Tips
Knitting Small Round Objects Without Double Pointed Needles (a.k.a., "The Magic Loop") - Learning this technique revolutionized the way I knit! The booklet which describes the technique in detail is published by Fiber Trends and is available through a huge variety of knitting retailers. I also found that I learned the technique on my own pretty well visiting this website: How to Knit Small Circumferences Using One Long Circular Needle.
My Own Patterns
Cables and Eyelets Scarf -- I put this pattern together and I'm enjoying it a lot so far! Of course, my sample is still in the UFO pile, but the pattern is a lot of fun to knit.
Fancy Cabled Braided Scarf -- My first pattern! I love cables, and I love this scarf. I hope you enjoy it, too!
Commercial Knitting Resources
The Yarn Market - My current favorite yarn store. A wide selection of beautiful and fun yarns.
Knitpicks - My other favorite yarn store. This one carries tons of accessories and doo-dads I can't live without! Recently, Knitpicks has begun carrying their own house-brand yarn. The reviews are good and the prices can't be beat! Be sure to check them out.
Denise Interchangeable Needles - I love these needles and I use them exclusively. I have two sets! The needle sizes range from 5-15, and the cables can be combined to make almost any length. I find these needles lightweight and easy to work with.
Favorite Knitting Blogs
WendyKnits - This one is a hoot to read and contains lots of info on really interesting projects! But, Kudos to Wendy's tip on Cabling Without a Cable Needle. I've read many directions before, but this one was the one that caused my "light bulb" to go off.
Visit My Other Sites!
Day Family on The Web - This is our family website; check often for updates on the kids and other news.
"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." --Audre Lorde
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E-mail Trish: Trish@trishday.com