Sunday, April 20, 2014
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One of the most popular knitting books this Christmas is a book for knitting Christmas decorations. Here’s one of the best reviews I read… 55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colourful Festive Ornaments * Tree Decorations * Centrepieces * Wreaths * Window Decorations by Arne & CarlosSearch Press 2011ISBN: 978-1-84448-781-3   This book was first published in Norway in 2010 and was a huge hit. Under the title Julekuler it sold 37 000 copies, and was on the Norwegian bestseller list for four months. To follow up this success, versions of the book are now (October 2011) available in Finland,... (Read More ...)

Are you having a relaxing Labor Day weekend? I often have mixed feelings about long weekends. Yes, many folks find them a great way to relax.  There’s another side to long weekends though. Sometimes you’re the person who is left behind.  For example, you may be the professional or family caregiver who works through the long weekend when everyone else takes a break.  And so a long weekend can be a source of stress including caregiver stress. Is knitting one of the ways you reduce stress? After a long working day of a long weekend, I often found it helpful to relax.  For many years... (Read More ...)

The first time I knit lace, I didn’t know it was lace. Good thing too, because I’m sure the idea of lace knitting would have stopped me. Not that it seemed too hard. No, at the time I associated lace knitting with doilies and  lace collars & cuffs on elderly relatives. Image via Wikipedia My first lace project? An afghan for an elderly friend. With that simple lace pattern, I became fascinated with using increases and decreases to create patterns in the knitted fabric. In other words: I discovered lace knitting. As a first project, an afghan is not the wisest choice. Even in... (Read More ...)

I’m a fan of hand knit dishcloths. Every time I use one, I’m amazed at how long they last.  And how much better they are at scrubbing than manufactured dishcloths. Although they can be fancy with embossed-looking images, they don’t have to be.  A knitted dishcloth pattern can be as simple as garter stitch. I just finished knitting one in about three hours. Grandma's Favorite Knitted Dishcloth I used a dishcloth pattern that’s been around for years. It’s called Grandma’s or Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth. Its name suits. It’s a quick and easy knit. All you need to know is... (Read More ...)

The past few months, I’ve been knitting more socks. Including my latest one: Knitting socks includes using various knitting techniques — and different sock knitting instructions. My own adaptions, of course. Sock knitting does lead to odds and ends of sock yarn. Too small for a large project. I just can’t bring myself to toss out perfectly good yarn. Even if it is only an ounce or less. Periodically, I look for ways to use my stash of leftover yarn. After a long cold winter, when the colors outside are mostly browns and grays it’s nice to pull out some colorful yarn. And... (Read More ...)

Yesterday’s mail brought me a treat: Vintage knitting issue I first learned about Piecework Magazine’s annual historical knitting issue while reading this Peacefully Knitting blog post about vintage knitting, which convinced me to subscribe. I called first to be sure they were still offering the historical issue with paid subscriptions. Which they were. Phew! Historical knitting is intriguing. It’s interesting to get a glimpse of how our ancestors dressed and lived. While they’re now silent, their knitting can still give us insight into their lives. I grew up with stories... (Read More ...)

I’m typing while wearing one fingerless mitten. Why? Well, my fingers were cold and I decided to experiment. I was curious to know how fast I’d notice a difference between the two hands, I decided to try just one. Striped fingerless mitten In less than 10 seconds I noticed an improvement in the hand wearing the mitten. Wow! What a surprise! I always thought they’d warm the hands but not the fingers. Now if I could just knit that fast. While I like mittens and gloves, fingerless ones are better sometimes. For example, when you’re working at a keyboard, wearing regular mittens make typing... (Read More ...)

Recently I bought a book on knitting dog sweaters, glanced at it, and set it aside. When you live in the South — and it’s the middle of summer — it’s hard to get excited about knitting sweaters, even for dogs! Then I learned a dear friend recently became suddenly critically ill. It was quite a shock to learn of her crisis, even after she’d started her recovery.  I knew she had a dog that she calls her “baby.”  So, I casually asked her if her baby could use a new sweater.  The answer was a very excited “Yes!” Well, I figured that was as good a reason... (Read More ...)

Awhile ago, I started a pair of socks. Knee socks in progress Actually, they’re the first pair I’ve ever made for myself. And I wanted them to both fit, and to be knee socks. I like knee socks. When wearing pants,they often hike up when I sit down, and like to still have my leg covered. Recently I’m finding it harder to get knee socks in the stores or even online. So, I decided to make it myself. Many sock patterns either end just above the ankle, or seem to think calves are straight up and down. Results: they don’t fit.  Besides, after spending the time knitting a pair... (Read More ...)

A few days ago, I started two knitting projects, with patterns I haven’t used before. Only one had a knitting gauge; the other one’s knitting instructions were well — pithy. I think of myself as an intermediate to advanced knitter. Usually I can figure out the knitting instructions as I go. This time, however, both patterns presented challenges. And after a few inches, I realized they weren’t going well. Time to restart. So, I frogged the knitting. You know, ripped out the stitches. [Everyone say it quickly: rip it, rip it, rip it! ] And the result is: When knitting instructions... (Read More ...)