…And Then the Tears Came

I was having a great day today. I went shopping with my mom, who bought me some really gorgeous amethyst earrings for my new earholes. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to go shopping together but I think she finally feels well enough and that feels really great to me.

Then I took Diana to the pool where she met up with a friend and I settled in for an evening of knitting.

That’s when I saw it. a dropped stitch, right at the cable cross of my baby sweater. I managed to rip back to the row with the dropped stitch:

closeup of cable after ripping out

closeup of cable after ripping out

But am doubting my fortitude for picking up ladder by ladder and re-knitting. This yarn is so splitty and hard to do cables with. But tonight, I got some encouragement, of a very high order.

I did a search on Ravelry for fixing cables and up popped a message by Janet Szabo, the Queen of Cables, in my book, where she stated that she’s about to have a DVD come out on cables. In the DVD are techniques for fixing them She invited folks to drop her a line and say if they wanted to be informed when the DVD is released, which of course I did. I mentioned that I am in the middle of trying to fix my first cable. She must have been online because she replied within minutes and offered to look at a photo of my poor cable if I had one. (I had taken the photo for this blog post not 10 minutes before… LOVE my macro photography settings on my camera!)

So I sent her the photo, and basically she suggested that I do what I had been planning to do, that is, re-knit, ladder by ladder, but she also suggested that I use some straight cable needles, like the Brittany cable needles, so I ordered some. Hopefully they should be here soon. In the meantime, I’m stepping back from the sweater.

Thanks, Janet!

Just When I Thought my Birthday Was Over…

My DH told me before that something he got for my birthday didn’t come in time. Well that was two weeks ago, so I was starting to think it was becoming a non-issue. But then, today, this came:

Namaste Newport bag in the peacock colorway

Namaste Newport bag in the peacock colorway

It’s the Namaste Newport bag in the Peacock colorway. I know folks are simply rabid for this bag in this color so it must have been backordered. I’m going to love it… it’s smaller than my others but it does have a firm bottom. Great for knitting in the car, which is where most of mine gets done.

It does, however, have an imperfection:

closeup of bag handles showing excess threads

closeup of bag handles showing excess threads

It looks like it got caught in the sewing machine! It has several places where it is stitched with several layers of thread and there are extra strings. I’m going to try snipping them and see if it holds up. If it doesn’t, I’ll send it back… but I think this bag and I are going to be fast friends. Thanks, hubby!

Worms, Anyone??

worm binder, front cover

Ok, this is going to sound crazy, but on the Knit Picks discussion board on Ravelry, folks started talking about finding a better way to store their Harmony needles. Someone mentioned that they found a “worm binder” at Wally World and that it was a perfect fit. Now, I don’t go browsing the fishin’ pole section every day, in fact, never, so I had never even heard of one of these marvelous contraptions. Yesterday, I braved a throng of tween girls at the new Hannah Montana movie, and it just so happens that at this mall where my favorite theater is, there is an Outdoor World store, that includes a Bass Pro Shop. Lo and behold, there they were! But alas, the one I found in the store, and bought fairly immediately, is not available online — yes it is, here’s the link: Extreme Worm Binder (Mine is the “medium” size.). The bag is made of some sort of waterproof fabric, and includes lots of little ziploc bags (for fishing tackle) inside. The outside has a zipper pocket, and because the bag itself is soft sided, it is really very roomy.

worm binder, inside, showing zipper pockets on inside front cover

Here is a view of the inside front cover, showing two zipper pockets. They are the perfect size for my needle sizer, scissors, or whatever else I need to carry.

worm binder, inside, showing zipper pockets on inside back cover

And here is the inside back cover, which has quite a few small pockets, perfect for end buttons, stitch markers, the little “key” thingys that help tighten the needles, etc.

worm binder, back cover

And this is the back cover, which has a mesh pocket with a velcro tab for holding it closed. Overall, this bag is great! All of my needles fit in there, which is more than I can say for the bag that came with my Harmony set. (Ok, there’s enough room for one pair of each of the interchangeable tips in the bag that the set comes with, plus you can throw cables and stuff in the center section, but then where would I put my fixed circulars that are sized 0 to 3? especially since the 1’s and 2’s have two sizes each, and the needle sizer doesn’t have holes for each of these. I would have a devil of a time telling them apart. PLUS, I have multiple pairs of tips for my favorite sizes, and now they will all fit in the ziploc bag things. It’s great that I can keep all of my needles together.

So, I highly recommend a fishing worm binder (also called a tackle binder or a bait binder) as wonderful knitting needle storage. I should have gotten more than one. The only thing is I hope I can somehow remove the Bass Pro patch off the front and replace it with something a little more “girly”…. My dad would be rolling his eyes at me if he could see this!

I’m So Weak!

purple skeins of yarnOk, yes it’s true… my Yarnaholic Tracker does not lie. Last week, I caved and bought yarn. LOTS of yarn. What am I going to do with it? I don’t know yet. But it’s here. In my stash. That pile, you know, the one that’s overtaking my house.

I shopped at Knit Picks, as per usual, and got Wool of the Andes in Amethyst Heather and Onyx Heather. My daughter has a lovely purple afghan that my step mother made for her a number of years ago, when her room was purple. So I got enough yarn to make myself an afghan and have some left over for some felted hats (of course).

Then there is the not-so-small matter of the endless brown blanket for Miss Z. I am making progress. I am. I am. I am still enjoying knitting it. But there is the issue of that huge box of new yarn and I SO want to make something with it. The Miss Z. blanket cannot wait so I must remain strong. I must hold my resolve to finish that project first and to work on nothing else until it is done. Miss Z. needs it. I need to be able to give it to her. And I will. In a way I am glad she likes brown and I don’t. for a brown blanket, it is turning out BEAUTIFUL if I don’t say so myself, and if it were in colors I actually loved I might have a hard time giving it away. No, not really. I can’t remember the last time I knitted something with such joy and such purpose. It’s a cool feeling.

charcoal colored skeins of yarnWanna know what else was in the box? A set of size 7 Harmony needle tips with a 24″ cable set, that’s what! IJ at work has been eager to learn to knit. About a month ago she bought herself a learn to knit book and I told her about KnittingHelp.com. She doesn’t live near a yarn shop so I offered to include starter needles and a ball of yarn in my big order, which of course she then paid me back for. She decided she would go home with her book, yarn, needles, and website and see what she could do on her own, then she’ll come to me with questions next week. I hope she has an easy time and can get going! I bet she’ll be fine. She seems like the kind of person who would be a successful self-taught knitter. I can’t wait to give her some pointers on Monday!

Harmony Cable Needle Set The last item in my bag was the Harmony Cable Needle Set. Aren’t they just lovely? I usually prefer to cable without a cable needle, but there are times when the extra insurance is really helpful, such as with a slippery yarn or one without much give. I just love looking at them, and hope they will be not too slippery to do the job!

All for now, talk to you soon.


circular knitting needles

The other day when my mom was over she asked me if I still have the yarn I was planning to use to make her a felted hat. The snot green yarn. for the snot hat? Why yes, I still have it. My mom has taken up knitting this year, and nearly every grandkid has been gifted with fuzzy mittens this winter. But now she wants to tackle her hat. Herself. How cool is that??

So on Sunday, she’s having a hat knitting lesson. She of course needed the right tools for the job, so I ordered for her, her very own Size 11 Harmony needle tips and cables, which will be perfect for the job. The yarn is all balled up and ready to go. And I actually own more than one copy of the pattern (link chosen at random… lots of folks carry this pattern). I’m going to teach Magic Loop simultaneously with the concept of knitting in the round, so that my mom will never have to switch to double pointed needles while making her hat. I think it will be fun. Then we’ll wrap up our knitting lesson with a yummy steak dinner. I can’t wait! How fun it is going to be.

Of course, I couldn’t buy needles for my mom without putting in an order for a little something for myself! I got all of the Harmony Circulars in sizes 0 to 3, just to round out my set. I also will get a set of the Harmony Cable Needles sometime soon, but only because they’re so pretty. I don’t really use cable needles that often… it depends on the give in the yarn. Still, I am finding these Harmonies to be too beautiful to pass up!

Miss Z.’s blanket
is coming along great. Yesterday we had lots of volunteer knitters at work, so the list is growing! Our director of HR gave permission for me to send an email to our whole organization. So, people were coming in and out of my office all day. More pics this weekend…