Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Samhain

I had planned to update my blog to wish you all a Happy Samhain/Happy Halloween but along with some other things today, it never got done. Better late than never, huh?

I spent the weekend making a couple hats for my dad's birthday. Can't believe he'll turn 70 on Thursday. I still see him as 50-ish but I was too busy back then making his life miserable and fighting tooth and nail on everything. I'm so glad we made amends and he forgave me for being such a total fucktard but I still wish I had those years back so I could have had a relationship with my dad, not constant turmoil. But that's in the past and we get on so well now and that's what is important.

I am working on my other sock now, I turned the heel before supper so once I post this, I'll go see how far I can get. I plan to watch a couple horror movies tonight-per usual. Maybe Last House on the Left since it's been ages since I've seen just never did much for me. TV stunk with the spooky stuff this year.

Also went to Windsor Button again and picked up Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road book. WAY COOL! I won't be happy until I can replace all the crap socks I bought at the store with hand knit socks.

Oh-and I made my labels finally! Rock Chick inspired me after she got the idea from Dave D. This is a prelim label. I've always had a thing with crescent moons, they're an amulet of sorts to me. Half way through this label, I remembered I have some awesome brushes for Photoshop that I'll mess with and see if I can come up with something a bit more "me". Can knitting and the macabre go and in hand? LOL!

Happy Knitting all!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Trouble in Paradise

Have been working on my Aran cardigan most of the evening. I'm posting a scan of the cover of the book my cardi is in, does anybody have this book? It was my grandmothers. I have no idea how old it is but there is a definite problem with he one I'm making. Was hoping someone might have the same book and be able to help me out?

On the off chance someone does have this book, I'm making style #8410. Take a look at the sleeve instructions. They are dead wrong. I'm dead on with my gauge and if these instructions are correct, then the sleeve from underarm to top of shoulder is 4" which is not going to fit in the armhole of the sweater no matter how you block.

The problem, best as I can tell, is they tell you to cast of for the underarm...Fine. Then they want you to decrease one stitch every second row 14 times....then bind off 4 sts. at the start of the next 4 rows and it's done.

I need to alter this or it's not going to work. I have to rip the sleeve back as it is due to this. Instead of decreasing each end of every 2nd row, how do I better space the decreases? Every 4th row? Every 6th row?

What I did on the sleeve, as per the pattern, looks like a raglan sleeve. All the dec's are in the first few inches and then it just jutts up this long narrow block of cables. That's not right.

Any ideas?


I had to frog about 16 rows on my Aran. I did a bit on it this morning and noticed I hadn't been consistent with the decreasing on the right front. DAMNIT! I'm glad I caught it now, at least. I'd hate to get up to the shoulder and wonder why it wasn't right. That's gave me something different to do LOL! I've got all weekend to catch up now. And the best part is...we go back to STANDARD TIME! An extra hour of knitting! :) I've never been a fan of daylight savings time. I guess I'm weird that way...I love when it gets dark early.

I called Lisa yesterday and Chris and I went over there last night. She called her sister, Tillie, down. I was hoping we'd all get to stitch (and bitch!) but we mostly sat round the table and talked. I did bring my second sock and got a bit of the ribbing done. I also brought a skein of scrap yarn and asked Tillie if she could teach Chris to crochet. I tried but he didn't seem to grasp it. I guess I'm losing my edge. She chained some and started him off with a row of single crochet...made him continue and he got it. It just made me realise when I teach my cousin Linda to knit, I'll cast on and show her garter stitch and make her do that for a while, then teach her stockinette stitch then maybe to cast on and bind off. I think it's all too much at once.

This made Chris want to get his own hook and his own yarn. I told him to wait and go with me to Windsor Button tomorrow. I need to go and get some wool as my dad's birthday is next week and I need to make him a couple hats. One will be just a plain ribbed one,another will be stockinette st. with a cable band. I'm debating weather to call my cousin and see if she wants to go pick out a yarn and a set of needles and maybe teach her some knitting tomorrow. With her, it's probably best to plan this in advance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

One Sock Down...One to go

I enjoyed this more than I thought I was going to! I started this late Sunday afternoon and just finished it tonight. I still don't have my speed up on double pointed needles but it'll get there. I've never used them before.

So I learnt two new techniques...Knitting on dp's and grafting the toe closed on this sock which was a bitch and a half. The yarn is really soft (Mountain Colours Barefoot) so it tended to pull the stitches around the needle when I was going from the front to the back needle. The yarn is so dark I can't really tell if I did the grafting right. It's confusing. I'll need to practise it more.

I really loved turning the heel on's so cool to watch it happen and then see the gusset take shape. The worst part of the sock was at the toe when you're decreasing and have fewer and fewer stitches. I was certain a needle was going to fall out.

Anyway, here's a couple pictures of the sock. Its mate will have to wait...I really need to get some time in on my Aran cardigan. I miss that, but then....The other sock may call to me quite loudly and I won't be able to resist starting it. This is why I can't start more than one project at a time. LOL!

Thanks KnitSteph! You really were the one who got my ass in gear for these. When I saw the yarn you used, I had to see if I could find it around here. It is delicious!

I think I'm a sock-a-holic now! First one ever in all the years I've been knitting. What the hell did I wait this long to try one for????

Monday, October 24, 2005


Here's how the yarn is working up that I got. I'm loving this more and more. It didn't stripe like I thought it might but I love the colours. Can't wait to see how this looks when its done. I really need to get back to my Aran cardigan...I'm almost done with that.

Slippers with Teeth

Anybody know how you're supposed to sew the heel closed on these? I've got two 'teeth' on the back of each LOL! I couldn't figure out how to sew them closed. An "aunt" used to make these by the truckload for all us kids way back in the day.

And it's official-I'm addicted to double pointed needles and socks LOL! They are a blast. I never wear hats or mittens but I guess I will be this winter just to keep on knitting with dp's!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New Toys

I did go to Boston this morning and got some new stuff to play with. I got a set of bamboo dp needles size 1-8, two hanks of GORGEOUS Mountain Colours wool and a skein of junky yarn to practice with.

The girl at the store offered to show me how to work with the dp's which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. As soon as I got home, I pulled what was on the needles off and started over again to be sure I could do it. I knit several rounds and cast off and it's actually more fun than I thought it would be.

Now I'm off to find a sock pattern...I have one but it's just a rib pattern. I had thought stocking stitch would be better, I dunno. Maybe I'll work one sock up with the junk yarn to see what it looks like before wasting the Mountain colours yarn on it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ghosts from the past

I frogged a bit on the left front of the cardigan, the second set of buttonholes looked off. The one in the facing was too close and wasn't going to match the one on the front itself so I ripped and did it 3 stitches in instead of the 1 the pattern called for. This pattern has problems. I wish I could figure out what year the book was published, it's old. Early 60's maybe? Late 50's? I dunno.

I'm dreaming of doing socks now...Thanks you all! LOL! Have been spending a while in the morning surfing around looking at socks and different yarns. Maybe tomorrow I'll go into Boston and see if I can find a yarn I like. There's one definite I want that I'll order on line. It looks gorgeous.

I was thinking, I've got a bunch of patterns I printed off the net, a lot from the early 90's when I was on Prodigy. I have them folded up and stuffed wherever. It hit me this morning, I have Adobe's InDesign...I can make a neat little book with them and have them all in one place. I could even lay them out in InDesign and send it off to Apple to have them print it out as a hardbound book although I'll most likely just print it out myself. I can easily do duplex printing on my laser printer.

I miss the stitch & bitch sessions we used to have in the early 80's. I guess today was nostalgic for me. I was thinking of my mom and how I miss her and then thought of the 4 or 5 nights a week we'd go to Tillie's and her sister Lisa would join us. The three of them crochet, I was the lone knitter though my mom would someteims knit as well. Those were fun times. I can't remember the exact order they aired but I remember Wednesday nights we'd be watching Dynasty while we did our stuff. I forget what was on Thursday, Dallas? Fridays was Knots Landing and Falcon Crest. I can't remember what we'd watch Tuesday. The only night we didn't go to Tillie's was Mondays. She played Bingo Monday nights.

While I've gone down there a few times recently and brought my knitting, it's never come to that. We've just all sat round the table and talked. I miss the old days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Viking Cables

I was sitting on the sofa working on my cardigan and enjoying a great new CD, The 13th Hour by Midnight Syndicate. It's great mood music, spooky stuff. Anyhoo, Midnite, my cat, either decided she didn't want company or her dinner didn't sit right with her because she's farting. Hard to believe such a stench can come out of a cute little cat. Luckily that doesn't happen often but when it does-watch out.

So I'm blogging and asking if anybody out there has seen or has ElsebethLavold's book Viking Patterns for Knitting. I've never seen it in the stores so I'm not sure if this is something I have to have or not. Are there patterns for men in it, or patterns that are rather unisex? The few I've seen in the knitting magazines look good but I've learnt the hard I'm just askin'.

Found some stuff my mom had been knitting so I took her bamboo needles as well and ripped back a sweater she had started. I have a pattern for an Aran afghan I'll use that yarn for. It's a 'dusky' shade of blue, I think it'll work out ok for the afghan. The pattern was on DIY's Knitty Gritty show. It's more of a beginner's "sampler" to see how the cables work up.

I saw another sweater I have to hunt down the book for. Was surfing a lot of knitting blogs this morning and saw on someone's a sweater called Cabin Fever from a Paton's book. It looked like a must-have for me which means the book/pattern is probably long out of print-that's how my luck runs.

Here's a picture of the two sets of buttonholes I've done so far. Not half bad for never having worked them before. Actually, the picture will have to wait. My ISP is acting up again. Man I hate comcast!!!!

Mish mash on a Tuesday

I started the left front of the cardigan last evening. Never knit buttonholes in my life until last night. They're not as bad as I thought they'd be. The hard part for me will be figuring out how to secure yarn to do the blanket stitch around them for reinforcement.

I've been seeing so many knitting blogs showing socks and dp needles that I decided after I finish this cardigan, I have to attempt a pair of socks. I've never tried dp needles and thought it's about time. I have an issue of Knitters magazine from last year that has a way funky pair of socks I want to try although, that self-striping sock yarn has me intrigued too.

It started off nice and overcast today but now the sun decided to come out and ruin everything. I'm a bit weird that way, I guess. There's times I really love grey, dreary weather. It's a great time to curl up on the sofa with a good movie and knit all day.

Samhain is fast approaching too so I need to set up for that. It's my very favourite holiday, especially since last year I felt my mom's presence VERY strongly.

Had so much on my mind this morning, I should have written at 5 AM. Can't remember half of what I was thinking now.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Jacket/Camisole set

This popped in my mind when I was eating supper an hour ago. In the early 80's, I had knit an intricately cabled jacket and camisole set for my mom. I forget what I did it for, it may have been for an event she was going to or it may have just been because she was my mom and I wanted to. I found the jacket, I can't find the camisole. She may not have kept them together, though that's unlike her. I'll keep looking for it.

Anyway, this has been sitting in a drawer for who know how many years, I can't remember her wearing it outside of a few times after I had given it to her. The cables are a bit wrinkled from being folded. The sleeve caps are puffed up, it looked nice. This was knit in 100% cotton yarn. For some reason, I want to say it was Bernat yarn. Whatever it was, I found I didn't care for knitting with cotton. It's difficult to work with, has no give at all so you really have to make sure your not knitting tight which I always did back then.

If I had thought of this set two and a half years ago, I may have buried my mother wearing this. I wish I could find the book this came from. I'd like to adapt the cable for something else. It was really sharp looking and fun to work up. There's a lot of my knitting books from back then I can't find. They're in my dad's attic somewhere.......I hope! A lot of memories tied up in those books.

Teach Knitting?

Both my cousins want me to teach them how to knit. At first I thought this would be fun, sort of evolve into the stitch & bitch my mom and I would go to, what, five nights a week with Tille and her sister? Then one night last week Chris asked me if I'd teach him, said he wanted to try knitting. Out came the scrap yarn and some needles. It didn't go so well. Nor did crocheting when he asked if that would be easier.

He was fighting the process all the way, knitting was almost as if he were trying to joust with the needles, crochet wasn't much better. He got too frustrated and quit. Told him it was a skill that took time to learn, especially knitting. You won't pick it up in one night. I didn't know weather I was going too fast, teaching him to cast on first. Is this what it'll be like with my cousins?

Truth be told, my grandmother taught me to knit when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I'd run to her or my mom with plastic needles and beg them to cast on 100, 500, 1,000 stitches LOL! I don't exactly remember who or how I learnt the knit stitch but I'd happily sit there knitting 100 stitches worth of garter stitch while my grandmother cooked supper, my mom helping her.

So it's been almost 30 years that I've been knitting and take it for granted that it's easy. I just don't think about it anymore, I do it. My mom preferred crochet over knitting but she knit as well and though she eventually grew to ask me how to do this or that with it, she had the basic knowledge of how to do it down so it was never an issue. It's funny, I sit there with my cable needle and work on this Aran sweater and think how simple it is, anybody could do it. Same with Tumbling Blocks when I was knitting that how easy it was, just dreadfully tedious. I guess I take it for granted and that maybe not everybody can do it? But that still seems like rubbish to me.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Right Front done

I finished the right front of my cardigan this afternoon. At this rate, it seems to be working up one piece a week. Faster than I thought. This piece looks odd as it's not blocked yet but it'll look fine once it's assembled. This is strange as I've never knit a sweater before that had facings or a neck band. I guess the facings are added stability for the buttons and button holes. I started one of the sleeves already. I hate leaving them both for last, I like to break them up so I'll do one now, then the left front, then knit the last sleeve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Whisper on a Wednesday

1. What is your favorite book of all time?
all my friends would jump to say The Exorcist but I think my all-time favourite book would be The Endless Night by Richard Laymon. He's my favourite author and this book is one of the few that is scaring the shit out of me.

2. If you had to write a biography about one person you know, who would you write it about?
probably my mom.

3. Pick one- Narrative Essay or Persuasive Essay?
narrative...I've never been good at the art of persuasion

4. Pick one- Poem or short story?
tough one, I like writing both. Short Story, I think.

5. What is the worst book you ever read?
The Tommyknockers. I wanted to throw the book out the window when I had stayed up so late many nights only to find they were alien fix-it beings. This is why I have a very hard time with Stephen King novels.

6. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what is it called?
yes, The Endless Night by Richard Laymon-he's my all-time favourite author.

7. If you were told to write a fiction story, what characteristics would your main character have?
intelligence, honesty, integrity, compassion, ability to laugh at himself, strong morality, strong sense of tradition/family.

8. If you wrote a book, what would the topic be?
probably a romance. The two books I've started to write have turned out to be romance. I've never been able to read romance novels and have grown up on horror movies. Go figure...

9. Would it be fiction or non-fiction?
probably a bit of both

10. They say you should read at least a book a month, do you live up to this statement?
usually, yes. I always read. There's nothing like turning the page of a good book.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday Madness

1. Name one productive thing you accomplished this past weekend.
I got a lot of work done on my Aran sweater

2. Name two things that you look forward to doing.
Cooking supper and watching Constantine finally

3. Name three things that gross you out.
Cleaning the cat box, cleaning the toilet, cleaning hair out of a sink or shower drain

4. Name four things that you normally do on a daily basis.
Vacuum, food shopping of some sort (ugh!), think of roller coasters, do laundry

5. Name five things that you own that you think you could get rid of and not miss.
Oh god, I'm a Piscean pack-rat....Ummm......My windows computer sitting in the closet, about 4 pairs of jeans that no longer fit me, all the crap in my junk drawer. I can't think of two more things

Sunday, October 09, 2005


This was a pattern I've had since my days on the Prodigy network back in the early 90's. This pattern was passed out to the knitting group I was in. I think many of them made it, I hung on to it and never knit it up until a month or so ago. I had no idea what it looked like. I think it's pretty cool but the next one I do will be with much cheaper yarns. This cost me almost $300. in yarn. Kinda hard to get a good picture of it. This is the best I could do for now.

Zebra Stripes from 1983

This was the first sweater I knit with real wool. Was also my first designer sweater. I saw this in an old issue of Vogue Knitting and it was so wild, I had to have it. In the department stores that sold Perry Ellis, this sweater cost close to $400 back in 1982 or 1983. My grandmother bought me the yarn and had to teach me to knit in the Continental style as this sweater required knitting with both hands at the same time. One colour in my left, one in my right I set out to knit this. This was A LOT of fun work. It was a challenge but was so cool to watch the colours working up. I loved this. Think it took me 4 months. I remember binding off the last stitch during the Jerry Lewis telethon in 1983. I was 15 when I made this. Here it is, 22 years later and I am amazed I can still wear this. It still fits! This is probably my biggest accomplishment to date. I still have the pattern and maybe I'd knit it once more just to do it. I think my technique has improved quite a bit since I first knit this

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Close up

This is the Aran pattern close up

Aran Cardigan

Finally I can start new projects without having that Tumbling Blocks sweater looming over me. It feels good to be free of colour work and to be able to do cables. They are relaxing to me, I've always enjoyed watching them travel up a piece of work.

I started this last Thursday and it feels so good to do fun stuff again. It's just a bit strange as my grandmother knit this same cardigan for my dad a long time ago. He can't find it anymore which bummed me out. I have nothing that my grandmother knit. She taught me to knit 28 years ago, now I'm doing the same sweater she did at least 30 or more years ago. The smell of the wool with the natural oils still in it makes me high LOL! I love that smell.

Tumbling Blocks

I am finally free of this damn sweater. I finished it a couple weeks ago. I started this Kaffe Fasset gem thirteen years ago while I was on the Prodigy network. I found a knitting group there and so many of them were Kaffe nuts. I fell in love with this sweater and my mom ordered the kit for me. December 1992 is when I started it and with all the bobbins dangling in back from all these colours, I was sure it would drive me mad. I have never enjoyed anything LESS than I did knitting this. If not for the fact my mom bought me the kit, which was very expensive as it's all Rowan yarns in silks and wools, I'd have surely thrown this in the trash.

I'm glad I finished is a beautiful sweater but I will NEVER, EVER touch another Kaffe Fassett sweater again. They're just too much colour and TOO much work. I don't enjoy that.

I only wish my mom were still alive to see it done. She only got to see the back completed.