Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Vacation

Things have been crazy around casa del Eviebits, in preparation for the wee bit's first birthday and Halloween. Fear not, I have been knitting in my off time and I will update shortly with a tale of hand painted yarn and handwarmers. I've been crocheting as well, working out more of a technique than a pattern, really, on making sweaters. Also, there's been some thoughts floating on about patterns versus "just knowing" that I'd like to share, only when I have a bit more time and I'm not updating from work.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On Holding One's Yarn ...

My mom called last night to tell me she has picked up the needles again after a long hiatus. One of her problems before had been that she felt like she couldn't knit fast enough, that everything just slogged along at a snail's pace. She can crochet much faster, so didn't bother with the knitting for a while. When we talked about this last week, I told her "Well, Mom, it's because you're holding your yarn backwards." She just happens to be one of those crazy people that hold their yarn in their right hand. I just happen to be the opposite.

So, she tells me, "Now that I'm holding the yarn in my left hand, things are moving much quicker. I just had to tell myself it was alright to hold the yarn that way." Seems it made more sense to her in the first place to hold it in the left hand, as that's how most people hold their yarn to crochet. But, when she learned how to knit, she got it in her head that right-handed was the only way to knit. Her comment got me wondering, though. (I know that there's really no wrong way to knit, as long as you end up with the same thing, but the right handed way just seems so slow. If you happen to be one of those weirdo right-handers, don't take offense.) Was there a rather large period of time where the only acceptable way to knit was right-handed? Is it a regional thing, perhaps? And for those who still knit this way, why not try left-handed? Are there techniques or stitches that are easier to do this way? Does previous experience play into it at all, i.e., people who learned to crochet first tend toward left handed knitting?

Right now, it's all questions and no answers, but I'll let you know as I come across information. Also, feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences on this.

Oh, and I started an oven mitt for my husband. I'll post pictures later on. (Note to self: STOP STARTING NEW PROJECTS!! Especially when I have about a bajillion to finish.) Also, I have decided to give "Sheldon" (the turtle pattern from a try in the near future. This is because people in the knitting group I frequent here in Reston (
have a really bad habit of mentioning and/or showing off really cute patterns and getting me sidetracked into new projects. Enablers, the lot of 'em.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In My Knitting Bag ...

Well, I promised a post about knitting, and it was high time I cleaned out my bag as well, so here is a photo tour of my knitting bag. Enjoy.

Hello, giant orange bag! How are you today?

Random assorted pocket crap. Universal Toe Up sock pattern from, filled in with my mom's measurements for her birthday socks (which I did not take pictures of before I gave them to her. Silly me.), really really sharp scissors, pens, assortment of dpns from various projects, circulars recently freed from (as far as I'm concerned) finished sweater, and my yummy yummy Burt's Bees Banana Hand Cream. Best stuff for dry, tortured hands. Also doubles as a needle wax when things aren't sliding smoothly enough.
My little helper, tempted by the sharp objects Mommy is pulling out of her bag. Current recipient of 90% of my knitting.

Ruffled Surplice from Spring Interweave, in green Ultra Alpaca, sans sleeves. I finished it, don't like the way it fits me, and is soon to be scrapped for an alternative project. Probably tall socks and a hat. Something with cables.

Very beginning of new blue woolies for the wee bit. Check out my provisional cast on. These willbe my second pair of toe up socks on circular needles. This is also my first pair of Addi Turbos. Yum.

Finished fronts, needles and additional yarn for a wee wrap sweater for the guy. Will probably be too small by the time I finish, and end up being for a future sibling. Pattern is my own and in progress.

Pirate sweater from an old issue of Vogue Knit.1. The back is done and I've begun the sleeves. I'm saving the front for last as this will be my first real attempt at color work and I'm nervous.

Well, that's it for the bag -- how's about some random finished bits?
This was his first baby hat. It was once massive on his tiny newborn head. Now, it's just cute.
Baby socks!! The ones on the left are made from Plymouth's "Oh My!"yarn and quite fuzzy. NowI want to make a pair for me. The ones on the right are plain wool. Bothpairs are probably the last cuff down socks with a heel flap that I have done. Now, I'm all toe up and short row heels. Speaking of short row heels ...

Itty Bitty Kilt Hose! I made these to go with the Itty Bitty Kilt that I made when we took the baby to the Virginia Scottish Games this year. These are toe up, short row heels, with cables down the front and sides. Oh, and they're wool as well.
Just finished today! My first pair of socks on one set of circular needles. Wool, size 8 needles, short row toe and heel, and a little ribbing for a cuff. Very comfy. In fact, I'm wearing them now!

Well, that's all I've got for now. See? I do knit ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

See? I can finish things ...

Here we have the finished pillows. Goofy Gramma Pillows x 2. I will post progress of the accompanying blanket when I have more than four green squares.

Also, I happened across a few other finished projects whilst poking through old pictures. Yeah yeah, more crochet for my knitting blog. Shut it.

Pac Man potholders for a friend's new apartment. I charted the pattern myself from old video game screen shots. All acrylic, all double layer so hands do not burn.

And the granny square bedspread of doom. It took me five years (three spent sitting in my closet whileI actively ignored it) and the color layout changed tons of times, but it is done and quite comfy, thank you very much.

Well, that's all for now. Just wanted to show off. Next time -- I will post something about knitting. Promise.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Tale of Recycled Yarn

So, I start this blog about my knitting projects that need to be done and the first project I sink my teeth in to is a crochet project. Go fig ...

This project is a gift for someone and has sort of an interesting back story. Way back at the beginning of the summer, I hit some yard sales with my friend. At one church sale, I come across a large bag of yarn and someone's half-finished crochet atrocity. (If I can find the pattern that came with it, I'll scan it in and post it.) It's only three bucks and hey -- I could always use more Random Acrylic Yarn. So I buy it and take it home to breed with the other yarn in my closet.

First thing I notice is it's not the Random Acrylic Yarn I thought it was. It's three or four nearly complete skeins of 100% wool. Neato. Second is the incomplete project itself. It's a crocheted sweater circa 1980-something made up of tons of tiny little squares like the one in the picture. I start to pick apart the project, hoping for enough yarn to salvage, and end up with lots of these little balls of yarn. So, that's a hopeless effort. I started to think that if it were my crochet atrocity that I had obviously put much time in to, I'd want someone to at least try to use it in parts -- preserve my handiwork and all. So, I pick the sweater down to just the squares, leaving some flat sections joined and, making up a border pattern that seemed to fit, I made two larger squares. Ta-da.

It's also about this time that I notice the person who made all these lovely little squares didn't tie some of them off very well and they begin to unravel. Well, it's wool, so in to the washing machine my large squares go to get the crap felted out of them. Can't unravel if it's felted. Once I'm reasonably sure felting was the answer to my problem, I sew the squares together, shove an old pillow inside and toss it on my couch. Now I have a Goofy Gramma Pillow.

Now here's where the project gets bigger. I have leftover squares. Lots of leftover squares. I also have a MIL who has seen the Goofy Gramma Pillow, and announced (in the way that leads one to believe she wants me to make her one) that it would go perfect in her living room. Well, I can't give her the prototype -- I like my Goofy Gramma Pillow. So, I count up my squares, and I have enough to make not one, but two more pillows. Plus I still have the original three skeins of wool that I have now realized I will probably never use for anything else (not fond of the color).

The past two weeks have been a maelstrom of crocheting these things together. But I came out with four squares -- enough for two pillows. They're in the washer right now, but once they're sufficiently felted and I have assembled the pilllows, I'll post them here.

Oh, and the other yarn? Granny squares. Behold, the magic of a matching blanket. I'll put up some photos when I have more time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

And She Knits and Thinks ... Where Do I Begin?

I start. But I don't finish. OK, I rarely finish. Either way, I have a closet full of start, and a tiny box full of finish.

So, the thought occurs to me late one day ... if I tell other people what I'm working on, maybe I'll be more tempted to finish these things. If I finish these things, my closet will have more space. If my closet has more space, everyone is happy. If everyone is happy, they leave me alone and I can knit more. See how this works? Neat, huh?

Now then, on to business. This project has two parts -- one for me, the knitter and writer, and one for you, the reader. I will vow to update on a regular basis and keep you apprised of developments in my current projects. I will start and finish my projects, sometimes even in the same year. I will take pictures and share the joy that is getting this stuff done. You, dear reader, need to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Let me know what you think, if you like. And for the love of all that is good and wooly, KEEP ME ON TASK!! Break me of my habit of starting eleven projects and finishing one. Ask me, "And then what? What happened to that ambitious sweater you started ages ago?" Beat me when my excuses aren't good enough.

I will lay out my first task now. I will, in a reasonable amount of time (read: sometime this week, between work, the baby and the hubs) post a current list of projects I have in limbo. If I have enough time, you get pictures, too. I will also let you know which project is currently at the top of the list and where I stand on its completion.

I must depart now, for lunch time comes but once a day, but I shall return in short time to get this ball of yarn rolling.

Oh, yeah and a small warning: I do other things than knit. So, don't be alarmed when pictures of half-finished crochet, cross stitch, embroidery and sewing show up here, too. Because, they too, need to get out of my closet.