December 2004 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from December 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

November 2004 is the previous archive.

January 2005 is the next archive.

I joined a knit-along...

and you can too!  Start off the new year with a new (small) project. 


Grab your favorite sock pattern and visit memoija or Knit-a-long Sock to sign up!  It starts on 15 January.

Don't have a favorite sock pattern?  Go here to purchase Susan's Hugs And Kisses Socks.  All procedes from pattern sales will go to Oxfam America (based right here in Boston) to benefit areas affected by the tsunami.

Alison is doing a sock-along of her own: socka-pal-ooza.  Great idea!  Since, however, my sock-knitting skills remain untested, I don't think I should be subjecting anyone to them just yet.

If you're celebrating tonight, have fun and be careful.  Me?  I'll be curled up on the couch with a movie and my knitting, of course :-).

If you knit, you frog

What is it that Froggy Knits says?  Well yesterday there was definitely more frogging than knitting.

Yeah, so I'm knitting along (knit, knit, knit) minding my own business, and about to shape the armhole for the right side of the cardigan.  To be on the safe side, I compared the right side to the left.  Problem!  There was a two-inch difference between both sides.  What the...

A quick check revealed that I started the bottom decreases two inches too soon.  Drat and darn!  Rip, rip, rip, and a productive day of knitting was down the drain.


Not the end of the world, of course, but it was frustrating.  I immediately started reknitting the right side.  In a surprisingly short span of time I was again ready to shape the armhole.  As mistakes go, this one wasn't very punishing.

Knit PDA

I became the owner of a Palm Tungsten E on Palm_1Christmas Day.  I promised myself that 2004 would be the last Filofax year, after a frustrating hunt for a particular type of refill, and two attempts at online ordering.  I was without a calendar for a week, waiting for the shipment to arrive.  Some would say that all this Palm stuff is an overreaction; nobody really needs an electronic calendar.  I can hear them now.  "And that's all you'll ever use it for anyway."

Au contraire!  (It was the week-in-four-languages Filofax refil I couldn't find last year.)  Did you know that there's lots of knitting software you can load on to you PDA?  Ever stand there in the yarn shop thinking "Now, what gauge was that pattern in, and how many yards (or meters) of yarn do I need?  Don't I have a size 5 needle already?"  Sure, sure I could keep a list on paper of all this stuff.  But, it's hard to update that on the go.  Perhaps a handheld, loaded with my yarn inventory and needle collection, will be the solution.

There's even a Yahoo! Group for PDA knitters.  It will take a lot of reading and researching do decide which (if any) of the applications to download.  As a start, I created a quickie Excel spreadsheet for my needles.  Before I go crazy downloading lots of software, let me see what I will actually need (or use).

I'd love to hear about any readers' experiences (good, bad, or otherwise) with knitting applications of PDAs.

Sweater Tuesday

Leftside I was able to get a lot of knitting done on the cardigan during the Christmas weekend.  The left front is finished, except for the button band.  The catalogue photo (remember, I'm trying to model my sweater on this one from Lands' End) shows a ribbed button band.

So, the plan is to knit a K2, P1 ribbed strip about three-quarters (or perhaps more) of length it should be, then attach it to the left side.  By stretching the band when I attach it, the ribbing should stand out more.

I'm sure I'll have to experiment a little bit before I find the right length for the button band.  I'll let you know.

Wonderful WEBS

So Grandma and I jumped into the car and we were off to WEBS, where, I must say we cleaned up.

My grandmother picked up two bags of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, one bag in colorway 614, and a second in colorway 101, each at a steep discount.  I can't wait to see the sweater.

In case you haven't been to WEBS in a while, the store has changed quite a bit. 


The sales floor has just about doubled in size, the pattern area is much more spacious, and the warehouse is packed with even more yarn.  In fact, there was one room off of the main floor which we didn't even enter.

After my first WEBS experience, I learned to go in with a plan.  I had a list of a few likely projects, and all my yarn purchases were for those patterns.  I didn't stray into any spring or summer knits, even though I was tempted by some Silky Wool in a deep purple colorway.

Within minutes of arriving I had some half-price Koigu for my first sock project:Koigu

I bumped into Amber, who had a lot of interesting things in her basket.  I hope that she blogs about them.

Then, I found a lovely colorway of some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed:


I have enough (14 balls) for Giraffe, or Rogue, but I think the yarn is too tweedy to show off Rogue's cables very well.  We'll see what this yarn becomes.

Then, some of good old Cascade 220 to make myself a hat and some mittens to match my Madison Coat:


Finally, because I loved Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, I picked up the first volume: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns


Just leafing through it quickly, I can see that it's full of basic patterns that can be adapted and modified as desired.  This is a handy addition to my pattern library.

Let the Winter of Small Projects begin!  I'm prepared.

Lookie Here

That calendar wasn't the only thing Santa left:


Oh yeah, it's a gift certificate for WEBS.  Coincidentally, the after-Christmas sale starts today at 10.  Better get going....

Santa was here

Yup, the Big Guy stopped by a little early last night and left me this:


Boy, that Santa, he sure knows how to keep a knitter happy.  Dana had one of these at Knitsmiths a few weeks ago, and Matt just happened to stop by, and well....  Couldn't be a connection, could there?

I've promised myself that I won't dig into the calendar until 1 Jan, and then not too far ahead.  I'm curious to see how many of the patterns are keepers.

Enjoy the day, and I'll be looking to see what other Knitbloggers find under their trees.

Full disclosure about the tree in yesterday's post, it's my parents' Christmas tree, not mine.  They did all the decorating.  Isn't it beautiful?

Christmas Eve!!

It's time for the gratuitous Christmas tree photo:


Hmm, are those some knitted ornaments over there?  They are!




And finally, an ornament that you'd find only in New England:


If you're celebrating tonight, enjoy!  Heck, enjoy yourself even if you're not celebrating anything in particular :-).

Back on Track

I sat down with my needles last night and I finished the cardigan back.  Who-hoo!Cardiback

This project has got me thinking.  What with the official change of the season, I think a little change in knitting strategy is due.  While I am enjoying this cardigan, and plan to finish it, I can feel the sweater enthusiasm waning temporarily.  There are a few patterns out there I'd like to knit like this, or this.  Realistically, I think I have time this winter for only one more sweater before there isn't a lot of sweater weather remaining.   Don't worry there's lots of time to knit them.

Matt's hat reminded me of the benefits of the small project.  So, I'm declaring this a Small Project Winter!   I could use a few more pairs of mittens, a hat or two, and perhaps a new scarf.  Here's my chance to try new yarns, and maybe even pick up a few skeins on sale.

I'm still mad for cables, so my first project in the series will be a cabled hat or headband.  Then, we'll be on to some mittens.   Oooh, I'm so excited.

Thank you everyone for all

Thank you everyone for all of your nice words about Matt's hat.  He loves wearing it, and I'm always happy when I can pull off a successful knit :-).

In other news, 'tis the season...


glass: Crate & Barrel
candy:  Dairy Fresh Candies
bow pattern: Circles
yarn: Jamieson's Soft Shetland

Sweater Progress

Take a look at this.  According to CNN, we mini-knits producers are on the cutting edge of gift-giving trends.  Yep, you read that accurately the cutting edge.

Shocked?  So was I.

Hey, remember the cardigan?  Sure you do.  I haven't let that fall by the knitting wayside, no-sir-ee.  Although I don't have much progress to show you, I'm up to the armholes.

ArmholeTook a few tries for me to get the decreases the way I wanted them to look.  If you look at the sleeve decreases of the Lands' End sweater (and you can click on the larger view to zoom in), you'll see that they're very decorative, almost swirly.  To me (and anyone can correct me if my thinking is wrong) it looks like the sweater was designed with several series of right-leaning decreases on the left side (and vice versa).  I didn't want the increases to be so prominent as the catalogue sweater.  Good thing too, because I won't have enough decreases to establish a pattern like that.  Instead, I moved my decreases one stitch in from the edge.  By doing this I emphasized, just slightly, the location of the decreases.

Before and After

Matthat1_2 Matt's hat is done!  As luck would have it, Matt stopped by Knitsmiths a few minutes after I finished knitting and weaving in the ends of the hat.  Hot off the needles, he was able to try it on his head.  Whoops, it was too long!

A few of us went back and forth about how we thought it looked. Matt was off to do some errands, so I told him to wear the hat and see what he thought.  It would be easy to remove about an inch or two from below the decreases and work back up.

Matthat2Returning home, that's exactly what I did.  The hat will stretch a little with wear, so I didn't want it to start out too large.  I think the look is much better now.  Of Matt's look in the photos, he told me he was going for "manly, yet goofy poses" (tee, hee).  What do you think?

Matt's Hat(t)

There was more knitting on the hat this weekend.  Ah, the simple joy of knitting in the round!  This thing is just flying off my needles.  I'm just about to start the decreases at the top.P1010005_7

I thought it would take me until after Christmas to finish the hat, but maybe I can get it done today at Knitsmiths.  If I do, Matt can model those earflaps when he comes to fetch me.

It would seem as if I'll have at least a skein of the Gatsby left over.  Hmm, I wonder if Matt wants matching mittens, or a sharp little neckwarmer for days when he doesn't want to wear his Harry Potter scarf.

More minis

The web is full of miniature Christmas knits, mini sweaters, mini hats, and mini mittens (gosh darn,P1010006_2I can't find who was posting about them this week).  Put us together, and you would have a mini wardrobe.  Good thing we've got mini hangers!

I'm adding my mini bowties:

These shortrow cuties take about 10 minutes each to knit.  I found some leftover green yarn from my Madison Coat.  Because I'll use them as gift ties, I made a simple yarn tie around the middle, and skipped the recommended i-cord.

These will be perfect on top of some small Christmas presents, if I had any wrapped.  Speaking of which....

Hat's off (and running!)

Here's the progress on Matt's hat:P1010005_5

The first earflap I finished on my way to work, and the second was mostly done on the train home.   This is subway knitting at its best.

This hat is fun knittin'.  The pattern, More Hats that Fit by Nancy Lindberg, is great.  I love the concept.  Take any yarn, any gauge, your favorite sized needles and away you go!  You do all of the math up front, so when it comes time to follow the pattern, you're just plugging in numbers.

The Classic Elite Gatsby was a good choice for a hat yarn; it's very soft.  I do not think, however, that it would stand up to much frogging.

I hope Matt enjoys the hat half as much as I'm enjoying knitting it.

Not quite finished yet

Finishing skills are one area where I'm always fudging.

Allison lead a Wednesday evening workshop where we were taken through several bind-off methods, and learned the pros and cons of each.  Jenn and I were having a great time practicing all the different ways to bind off stitches.  Who knew theP1010001_4re were so many ways to end your knitting?  This was fun. 

Speaking of fudge, first we had chocolate. Mmmm, these were good!

Ninety minutes just wasn't enough time to do bind offs AND seaming, so Allison decided to offer a second session, for just P1010003_3seaming.  If you missed last night's class you still have a chance.  The second session will take place on Wednesday, 5 January 2005 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm (or 18:30 to 20:00, if you use a 24-hour clock).  Make improving your finishing skills your New Year's resolution!  The workshop is open to all, and if you're interested in attending, give Circles a ring at 617-524-5500. 

I finished my homework

P1010016_1I finished my homework for the finishing workshop at Circles: two swatches and one long swatch still on the needles (for bind offs).  I'm ready for class tonight :-).

Building on one of Bonne Marie's posts last week (9th December), I tried the soak-in-Dawn-then-use-conditioner-in-the-rinse trick for the swatches.  This wool was scratchy.  I assumed it was simply low-quality fiber, but then later I wonder if a little TLC would help.

Well, if this were a scientific journal, I could report that I confirmed Bonne Marie's results in my knitting lab.  I washed, I soaked, I conditioned, I rinsed (a little).  The dried swatches feel softer than the wool still on the needles.  They probably would have been softer still if I didn't have to rinse them (used too much conditioner).

P1010005_4 Has there been any progress on the cardigan lately?  Yes, there has.  The back is coming along nicely.  Here are the latest modifications:

To begin the waist shaping I used the SSK left-leaning decrease on the right side, and the K1, Sl1, psso right-leaning decrease on the left side.  I didn't see that one decrease would have been preferable over another, so I used two techniques that I don't often use, just to do something different.  Must have some variety!P1010010_1

After finishing the decreases I knit straight for two inches (12 rows, ending on a wrong side row).  The next row began the increases, (once at the beginning and end of every fourth row, five times) to return the back's width to 19.5 inches.  I wanted the increases to be almost invisible, and I chose a lifted increase (knit into the back of the stitch below the next stitch, then knit the next stitch).

The morning darkness makes it impossible to get a decent photo of this piece with the camera that I own.  [Humor me here and let me pretend that this situation has absolutely nothing to do with my photography skills.]  Short of assembling my own photo studio in the condo ("Hey! What are these lights doing in here?  Where's the furniture?") I'll have to live with the dark results--sorry!

Knit by Popular Demand

I cannot deny that no yarn purchases occured last weekend.  Once again, the purchasing was not BY me, but FOR me--sort of.  As we were walking by A Good Yarn on Sunday, Matt said "If it's not too much trouble, and if it won't interfere with your knitting schedule, I think that I'd like a hat with earflaps."

P1010075As a final touch he offered to buy all the supplies, if I'd do the knitting.  That sealed it!  Into A Good Yarn we went to choose the yarn and the pattern.  HeP1010077_edited did a pretty good job, don't you think?  This Classic Elite Gatsby was hidden at the bottom of a rack, and I would have missed it entirely.  The pattern is less of a pattern and more of one long equation that allows for total flexibility in size, shape, and gauge.  This should be fun to work with.

While he was browsing for his hat, I was drooling over some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran.  I felt it knit up in a sample sweater (with cables, mind you), and it was so soft and cosy feeling.  A sweater in this must happen, soon!

The very capable Johanna made sure that I didn't leave the store with too much yarn (I tend to overestimate).  "Are you sure there's enough even with the earflaps?" Matt asked.  This guy wants his flaps!

Hey, at least it's not yarn!

Handybook_sw_patt_35Rainy dark mornings do not make it easy to photodocument any sweater progress.  That's okay, because I can report instead that I added a volume to the knitting library this weekend.  Actually, it was added FOR me, which is even better.  As an early Christmas gift I received The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges by Ann Budd, managing editor of Interweave Knits.   Between this and my copy of 1000 Sweaters by Amanda Griffiths (although the web listing gives an incorrect author), I may never have to buy another pattern again.  More money for yarn, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Readers who click on the book links may notice that they lead to Brookline Booksmith's website.  The Booksmith very generously donates a portion of its used-book cellar space to our weekly knitting group, so it's time to return the favor.

Odds and Ends

I'm participating in one of the Wednesday Workshops at Circles this week.  It's about finishing.  My finishing skills are so-so, and it's one area where I need to improve.   I figure if Allison taught me how to re-size a pattern using (gulp) my rusty old algebra she can just about teach me how to do anything--even make an invisible seam.
There's homework for this class.  Two complete swatches--for seaming, and one half-done swatch still on the needles for binding off.  I sat down and created one swatch yesterday.  I used some old Jack Frost yarn that I got in at P1010066a yarn swap.  Four ounces of knitting worsted, 100 percent wool, that someone originally purchased at Kings for--drumroll--$.69.  Yep, that's sixty-nine US cents!  There hasn't been a Kings store open in 25 years, at least, so you can guess how long this yarn has been stashed.

I worked out my favorite selvage method with this swatch.  Vogue Knitting has a slew of selvage techniques; each has a specific purpose.  For a nice seaming edge, I prefer the slip-stitch method on page 195 of my 2002 edition of VK.  Cast on two extra stitches, and if you knit continental (what the book calls German) knit across, before the last stitch, bring the yarn in front, and slip the last stitch purl-wise.  On the second row, purl the stitch you just slipped, work across until the last stitch.  Bring the yarn to the yarn to the back and slip the last stitch purl-wise.  Back to the right side and knit the stitch you just slipped.  Continue this way until you finish whatever it is that you're knitting.  This selvage also makes picking up stitches easier.  Good to know.  Or, P1010055_1gut zu wissen  :-).

I also finished another mini-hat.  I think this one might be a prototype for other wizard hats, because I'm not thrilled with the overall shape.  The colors are cool, though.

Cardigan Update

Thanks everyone for your support with regards to rippin' it all out and startin' all over again.

P1010040I've made some progress since I last posted a shot.  The back is coming along nicely; it's about 6 inches along.  You're right, Johanna, I'm more excited about this sweater than I was with the other one.

P1010047I will continue to tweak the pattern that I posted on Saturday.  First, instead of nothing for an edging, I've done three inches of K2, P1 ribbing (closeup on the right).  Second, I've added two stitches on the back, to create the slip-stitch selvage.  I hope this will make seaming easier.

Now, I'm on to waist shaping.  It's not necessary, but I think a slightly hourglass shape gives a sweater a very flattering fit.  To do that I'll decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every fourth row 5 times.  Why?  I'll take you through my logic below.

[If you read this and think "WTF is she going on about?" I highly recommend Knitting Math 101 and 102 series at Circles.]

When I began the back, I determined that starting the decreases about 6 inches up from the cast-on edge would be fine.  I knit 3 inches of ribbing, and 3 inches of stockinette.  Then I figured the decrease amount.  In my case, since the bottom started out at 38 inches wide, I thought that decreasing the diameter by 4 inches, to 34 inches would give the cardi some slight waste shaping, without being too drastic.  If I layer underneath, I want some ease. 

Now I need to figure out the decrease amount each cardigan piece.  I'll have to reduce equally at each side seam.  Each seam comprises two edges.  There are four points where I reduce: on each side of the back (2), and on one side of each front piece (2).

Next, I divide the total amount reduced (4 inches) by the number of opportunities to reduce (4).  That means each point reduces by 1 inch, and both seams by 2 inches total.

With my gauge (5sts/in) I know that 1 inch equals 5 stitches.  Every point will lose 5 stitches total (5sts x 4points=20 stitches; 20sts=4in @ 5sts/1in).  Half the waist shaping will happen on the back, and there are 2 decrease points on the back (each end).  The back will lose 10 stitches in total (5sts x 2points=10sts; 10sts=2in @5sts/1in).

I know that I will loose 2 stitches every time I reduce, so there will be 5 reduction rows (10/2=5).  How do I space these rows?  I do some more measuring, and figure out that I'd like the hourglass to reach its narrowest point about 3 inches after I start it.  Checking my row gauge (6rows=1inch) I need to accomplish all my reductions in 18 rows (18/6=3inches).  Since 18 doesn't divide evenly by 5, I'll round up to a number that does, 20.  Divide 20 by 5 to get the spacing: 4 rows.

I need to reduce at the beginning and end of every fourth row 5 times.  Which type of decrease do I use?  I'll let you know.

Bazaar Bizarre

This is weird and cute at the same time.  If you're interested, Carrie, and lots of other unusual crafters, will be at the Bazaar Bizarre in Central Square this Saturday, 11 December.

On the knitting front: can you shortrow i-cord?  Answer: yes.  Next question: what does it look like?

P1010031_1This on the front

P1010032This on the back

The back looks best if if you don't shortrow all the way across, but do a few stitches every few rows.

Do you think that Carrie would like some Cheez Doodles to go with her cheeseburger? :-)

On Frog Pond

It's quite wonderful this time of year.

P1010023_1Yep, my knitting and I took a stroll around Frog Pond yesterday.  I ripped out the cardigan I started on Saturday.  Early in the fall I'd seen this sweater in the Lands' End catalogue (whatever a "mock neck" is--there is a collar).  At the time I thought that I could knit something like that, instead of buying it. I'd forgotten about it until Tuesday night--when I leafed through a new catalogue and though "Oh, right...."  P1010029_3

Just as I finished ripping and rewinding, the sun broke through the clouds and bathed the yarn in a golden glow, confirming that I'd done the right thing.

P1010030_2I've got a few rows of the new ribbing done (K2, P1 ribbing, instead of the knit-all garter) and I'm happy.  This second chance is also the opportunity to attempt creating a selvage to aid in seaming.  I have consistently forgotten to do this.  There are, I think, a few different ways to do this; I am casting on two extra stitches, knitting the first stitch on my needle, and slipping the last one purl-wise.  One can also casting on four extra stitches (two on each side) and slipping the first of the two, and knitting the second.)  I might try the second method on the front, and see if I have a preference.

Mad Hatter!

One of the security guards at my office building calls me the Mad Hatter because I wear an assortment of hats to work.  One day I wear my Red Sox cap, the day after that it's my ski hat with the huge pom-pom, the next day it'll be my Mary Tyler Moore beret [aside: Ever wonder about the woman in the background of that frame who's staring at Mary?]   I keep them guessing.


I guess the name also fits with my knitting.  My mini-hat family keeps growing--these little guys are so much fun.  When will it end?  It's anyone's guess.

Tuesday Contentment

P1010003_2Ah, so this is what it's like to blog in daylight :-).  I've made a little bit of progress on the back of the cardigan.  This yarn lives up to its name; it feels soft, and it's softly twisted.  Contrary to what you might imagine with a lightly twisted strand, my needles do not get snagged, nor is the strand very splitty.

This will be a very simple cardigan, which is okay with me. Everybody needs a simple, neutral sweater that goes over everything.  The buttons will be the focal point of the cardi when I get around to choosing them.

In an attempt to console myself about the lack of cables, I'm guessing that this yarn may not have held a cable well, anyway.  The yarn's slight shimmer gives the stockinette a touch more depth, and adds interest to the piece.  A cable pattern might have overwhelmed the shimmer, so I'm glad that I'm making the most of that effect with stockinette.P1010009_edited

This sweater is knit at five stitches an inch on US8s.  Even though the yarn label claims that I can get four stitches per inch with US10s, I can't see how this yarn would look its best if it were knit at such a loose gauge.  It doesn't feel like a bulky yarn to me.  Then again, I think most yarn looks best when knit slightly denser than the label's recommendation. 

Between the calming color of this emerging cardigan, and the instant gratification of my mini-hats, I am one content knitter.   What more can you ask for on a Tuesday morning?

Itty Bitty Knitty

Johanna started it with her angel.  Alison is doing it with the mini-Weasleys, and now Dava has some darling little hats.  Cute Christmas mini-knits are everywhere, and I couldn't say no.  I grabbed some yarn leftovers and some double-pointed needles, and away to Starbucks I went.

P1010003_1A few hours, and one cup of coffee later, I had this:P1010006_1

Shameless imitator that I am, it's a striped mini-hat.  Following Dava's instructions, I cast on 28 stitches, joined the ends, and knit as I saw fit.  I mixed in a few stripes along the way, and when I felt it was tall enough I decreased about every other row until I could cinch off the top.  While working the little thing I discovered a good way for me to hold DPNs: the needle with the to-be-worked stitches should be on top of the other needles.  Who knew working with DPNs could be so satisfying?  Can socks be far behind?P1010005_3

As soon as I got home, I immediately cast on for another one.  They're so much fun; I can't resist making a few more.

Have you seen the new issue of Knitty?  Look at that fabulous cowl/hood on the cover.  Mmmm.  That looks warm and toasty.  And, if this isn't our very own Alison!  Way to go!

Pocket it

My goal yesterday was to wear my coat to Knitsmiths.  That meant that I needed to finish the pocket linings.  So, how do you line a knitted pocket with corduroy?  Beats me!  For the life of me, I could not figure out how to line each side of the pocket so that both pieces of corduroy were attached to each other, the coat, and the pocket lining, and slit the corduroy so that it lined up with the pocket slit on the front of the coat.

A clever person probably could figure out a way to do that.  I, on the other hand, decided that the least complicated thing to do was to line only the back of the pocket (i.e. the part the peaks out from the slit).  I was also a little bit concerned that the line of the coat might be affected if I affixed some fabric to the front.  Because I didn't want to destroy the darned thingPocket_pin after so much time and energy, I decided to play safe, and to do what I knew would work.

First: pin knitted pieces to the fabric, and cut out the pocket linings.

Second:  cut out the fabric, unpin the knitted pockets,
and iron hems on the corduroy.

Third:  attach hemmed fabric to knitted pocket.  Now, originally, I thought of pick stitching  the pieces together.  Ugh.  Then a wonderful alternative dawned on me.

"Aaaaiieeee!" you say, averting your eyes and running away from the computer.  "A sewing machine!? You attached something to a knitted garment with a sewing machine?  What were you thinking?" 

I was thinking that I didn't want to spend all day pick stitching those bleepin' pieces together.  This way, the seam was much stronger than anything that I could have done by hand and no one will see the seam.  Okay?

"I guess," you reply, as you gingerly retake your seat in front of the monitor.
Once the sewing bit was complete, all that remained was to attach the pocket pieces to the back of the coat.  That, I completed with some leftover yarn and my tapestry needles.

SlitResult: a little bit of red poking through the slit, and warm, soft pockets for my hands.  Thanks for the idea, William!

Saturday Sillies

This guy needs a hand-knit sweater.

I'm starting something new at Knitsmiths this weekend.  Oh happy day!

Last night, however, I realized that I have a yarn crisis on my hands.  I don't have enough of the Softwist to make the BPT that I've been carrying on about.  Talk about silly....

Never one to dwell on the negative, an opportunity now opens to knit BPT with Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, as mentioned to me by Maggie .  I've seen the Aran Tweed, but didn't buy any because I didn'tP1010001_2 have a project in mind for it.  Now that I do, I'll keep an eye open.

What about the Softwist?  It's getting lonely in the yarn cupboard :-(.

How about Giraffe, from the current issue of Knitty?   That cowl will be perfect for chilly days, and the gauge even works.  Grab those needles, it's time to swatch.  Wait just a minute.  The yarn in that pattern is 152 yards per 50g.  The Softwist is 132 yards per 100g.  Giraffe in Softwist would weigh a ton.  Nope!

[Imagine this going on through several tentative patterns.  Either the gauge or the yarn amount was wrong each time.]

What's a knitter to do?

Fear not, dear reader.  There are other sweaters up my (ahem) sleeve.  Last spring, at WEBS, the oh-so-creative Jill whipped up a pattern for me with The Sweater Wizard.  It's a simple crew-neck cardigan, and I can share it here because it is not copyrighted.  Hey, what would be wrong with that?  Nothing, that's what!

Lesson learned: buying yarn "on spec" is not a good idea for me.  It's better to flag potential patterns, and buy the yarn as I come to knit them.


It's Knitsmiths tonight, instead of Sunday, and we get an extra hour.  Who-wee!  Pack those knitting bags; it's going to be one crazy time.

Material Girl

Shopping for fabric in Boston means shopping in Chinatown.  If you know where to look, there's a lot of great fabric to be had for little money.  Here are three stores to try.

P10100032Clement Fabrics, 80 Bedford Street ("behind" the Hyatt).  Mostly dressmaking fabrics, some upholstery bolts, and many remnants.  There is a small section of sewing supplies and notions.  It's always worth a browse if you're looking for something, because you never know what you might find.

P10100181Van Fabric Discount Sale Co., 14-16 Beach Street.  Beautiful silks and dressmaking fabrics for the serious seamstress.  No notions or other supplies, but if you need a Buddha figurine to go with the clothes you just made, this is the place to shop.

P1010009Winmil Fabrics, 111 Chauncy Street.  There's dressmaking fabric (both plain and fancy), upholstery and home decorating fabric, calicoes, all sorts of notions and supplies, patterns, and instruction books.  If you sew in Boston, then you need to know about this place.

ChauncyNew Englanders are famous for mentioning what no longer exists in a particular location.  Many of us start driving directions byP10100081 saying something like "Remember where Lechmeres used to be?"  [Be honest: do you miss still miss Lechmere?  How many of you called it "Lechmeres" like I did?]  So here goes.  At the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Chauncy Street, there was a great fabric shop.  Mostly upholstery, but some dressmaking and light cotton remnants.  While taking this photo, I noticed the absolutely fabulous colonial-revival entrance at this building.  Did you notice the carved stone around the entrance?  Wowza!  Don't see too many of these in this part of town.  Too bad that the origininal doors have obviously been replaced.

P10100201I found the corduroy at Winmil.  I wish that the wale wasn't as small as this, but beggars can't be choosers.  The color matches quite well. I think.

Knit and Learn

I finished knitting the pocket linings last night, with no time to experiment with fabric liningPockets Good thing, too, because I don't have the fabric yet.  Notice a difference between the two?  Yup, that would be because there is a difference.  The pocket slits were knit differently on each side of the coat.  When knitting the left front I interpreted the pattern one way, and then when I got to the same part on the right front I said "Hmmm, I wonder if that meant..." [Alert readers of this blog will notice a similarity here to my abilities with sewing patterns.]  So, I knit each side a different way.

Now, a curious reader might ask "Why did you switch half way? Why not knit the second side the same as the first? Wouldn't that have looked better?"

In hindsight, that would have been a better choice.  Why I knit them differently is a mystery.  On the outside of the jacket, however, the slight difference in the slant of each pocket opening is not noticeable.  At least next time I'll remember not to do that.  Oh well.  Knit and learn [seems like I should have learned that one a long time ago :-)].

This just in: Merriam Webster, the dictionary publisher based in Springfield, Massachusetts, released the top ten list of most searched-for terms on its website.  Want to know what number one is?

I take it all back....

Remember what I wrote about Kohler the other day? Well, I take it all back.  Bounce on over to Gidget Casts On and read about large corporations that donated to the Republican Party.  The information might change some of your Christmas shopping plans.

Pocket Progress

In the end, I decided to the triangular pocket Pocket(looks more like a boot to me, actually). 

The shape will prevent whatever I do put in there from ending up above the pocket opening and subsequently falling out of my pocket.  I lose enough stuff on my own without any additional help from gravity, thank you very much.

My goal is to have this finished by the weekend, so that I can begin a new project.  What will it be?  Perhaps a new hat-and-mitten set to go with my new coat.  All of Sandy's mitten knitting has been inspiring.  Perhaps the BPT hooded cardi that I blogged about earlier.  Wait and see.  I'm not being intentionally cagey, I really haven't decided yet.

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