Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday thoughts



This is how I set up my half of the coffee table for my knitting, pattern chart with paper under it to mark decreases made, basket of yarns and working project. Plus the all-important cup of tea. The white project is Elizabeth of York for my DH's daughter for this coming Christmas, a long line vest in knit/purl stitch patterns shaped with a deep back vent and side shaping. Done in pieces, which I normally try very hard to avoid, but there is so much going on in the shaping and the stitch patterns that I decided not to give myself the added headache of trying to rewrite it for top down, one piece construction. I'm using some Blue Faced Leicester yarn for it, sport weight, and it feels silky while sliding through my fingers. I got the yarn from Woodland Woolworks near Portland. Oh, and the toilet paper is because I'm recovering from a relapse of bronchitis and tp is much cheaper and easier on the nose than tissues.



This is my basket of yarns for Mara, and as you can see, being on the second sleeve I will have a lot of yarns left over. Terri and I ordered all the colors from three different lists we were given so we could choose what we each liked best, knowing we would have some yarn left over. The two green skeins to the lower left haven't been used at all in my Mara, but Terri used that shade in hers. I used the brighter green in the skein at the top of the basket for mine as I like bright colors. I do have more claret, that little ball is just the first of several I bought for us from Schoolhouse Press when I heard J & S was discontinuing that color. Fortunately Jamieson's still stocks it for other projects.

One day soon I will sit down with the color lists for Erin from 'The Celtic Collection' and see what I have on hand and what I need to buy for it. That is one of two projects my Mara group has decided on for the next round, starting April 2nd. The other one is Eshandess, by Anne of She Ewe Knits, a beautiful shaped cardigan she designed with Jamieson's yarns. I put up a poll to get some feedback from the group on what direction they wanted to go at this point and the largest number of responses were for another large project, but there were a significant number who also wanted a small project. So I am in the process of designing a tam using the leftover yarns from Mara, but I won't start mine until my sweater is done. I'm running out of the plum but fortunately Terri has some left and is letting me use it. Since she is very petite, she uses less yarn for her sweaters, while I'm tall and, um, let's say cuddly, so I need more for mine.



This shows the first pattern repeat done on the second sleeve, as of last night before I went to bed I have the second repeat done, with just one more to go before the cuff, yea! I've set a personal goal to get Mara done by Valentine's Day and I'm on track at this point to do it. Since I ripped out Inishmore when I finally admitted I didn't like how it was turning out in the yarn I was using and I found the major mistakes in the sleeves, I decided to make finishing Mara my other Winter WIP-It Work-Off project to get done. I may still end up having to get another skein of plum to finish the corrugated ribbing on the front bands. If I do, that would be a legitimate delay in not meeting my deadline, being something I can't control.

I did call my LYS that carries J & S yesterday but they don't have plum in stock. And I won't order through them after the debacle of ordering the yarns for the vest I designed for my DH three years ago. It took 10 WEEKS for the yarns to get here from the east coast!!!!! During that time I ordered the yarns for my Oregon vest from Scotland and they got here in 10 DAYS from the day I hit send on the keyboard. I was told by someone who works part time in the shop that they only order every couple of months from their distributor, so why wouldn't they tell a customer who prepaid her order and is eagerly waiting for the yarns to start knitting? Grrrrrrrrrr.



I'm letting my LLV rest for a while so I can focus on Mara right now. I don't know how many in my group are making an LLV so am giving the slower knitters some time to catch up if necessary. Plus I need to work up some more charts to post. One of the members who has a graphing program is kindly putting my charts into the program so they are easier to use. I lost the graphing program I had when my hard drive crashed last year and am still debating what to replace it with. I may end up later spending the bucks for Knit Visualizer. I saw a head to head review about it and two other programs on a blog and it looks like something I would get a lot of use out of with my penchant for modifying designs and colorwork.

Time for breakfast so I can shower and head to Portland to visit my Mom today. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A vest! I see a vest in the making!

While I've been home sick, in lieu of staring at the idiot box while I'm awake, I've gotten some work done on my LLV. I'm now on the 5th pattern and it's a lot of fun to design this on the fly. I'm not changing the stitch count of the garment to match the repeats of the patterns and so far it looks good. The main conflict was with the first large OXO pattern, which has 12.61... repeats across the vest. I calculated several times trying to figure out a good place to start it so it would come out close to even but finally gave up and just started knitting. Since I'm going to use a Norwegian pewter clasp at the top of the v-neck to close it, the fronts won't be close enough to each other for the discrepancy to show to anyone but a dedicated FI knitter, lol. And the colors are muted enough that it's not glaring at me. I'm trying several new things on this vest, so it's a learning project for me.
I changed the way I hold the yarns in my left hand, as I have been having a serious problem with the design strand, the one I hold to the left in my left hand, catching on my wedding rings and snagging the yarn and slowing me down. So I tried some different ways of holding the yarns and came up with one that is really helping my speed without snagging the yarns so much. Since I'm not constantly stopping to free the yarn, my gauge has also evened out, whee!



This is what I see while I'm knitting, showing how I separate the strands over my knuckle to keep them apart, and a little showing how I weave them through my fingers.


This is what the public sees, notice how the left hand strand is not caught under my little finger any more. And my rings are turned to my palm, which is also helping. the right hand strand is also held over the knuckle on my ring finger, to further separate the strands so they don't stick to each other. I don't actually bend my middle finger that way when I'm knitting, the needle started sliding as DH was taking the pic and I made a grab with the finger to hold it still. I try to keep my hands as relaxed as possible while knitting for several reasons. First, to avoid cramping, second, to minimize repetitive stress problems, third, it's more graceful, lol.

And now to show you how the vest looks so far.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Poll results on Mara KAL group, small rant

The poll closed Wednesday on the Mara group and the majority who responded want to make another full size garment, as opposed to mittens, gloves, or a hat, although there was interest in those projects as well. We had some discussion about a pattern available from She Ewe Knits and several folks wrote that they are interested in doing that one, while several others are interested in doing Erin from 'The Celtic Collection.' So starting in April we will have two large projects going at the same time - Erin and the cardigan from She Ewe Knits. That cardigan just doesn't sing to me, which is fine, not everything does, and I was thinking about how to deal with it, when I got the idea to do two large garments at one time. Erin is in a book that is somewhat hard to find and one has to work to match colors as the original yarns aren't available any more. The pattern from She Ewe Knits (and there's not enough tea in me yet to recall the name, oh, it's Eshandess, cool) is current, has some shaping included, and the designer is on the list and happy to answer questions about the pattern. So that makes it good for newer knitters or those who for various reasons aren't comfortable picking colors for themselves.

So now I need to really buckle down and get my LLV done before the end of March, as well as Mara. I have started the second sleeve on Mara and plan to get some work done on her this weekend. This week I've been working on DH's St. Enda and am about 6-8 inches down on the second sleeve. I did notice the other night when I was sitting on the couch working on it that there is a mistake in the cables at the shoulder where I picked up and knit down. Apparently I wrote the wrong row number down to continue from in the shoulder strap and there is an extra cross in the cable. But it matches on both sleeves so it's staying there. Design feature, don't you know, lol!

I also need to make a few baby things for my adopted Niece who is having a baby sometime around April 12th. Poor girl is not married, not working, and the father is not marrying her (which I already knew wouldn't happen, given the situation). So she's on public assistance and I hope she has enough pride left to get herself off that as soon as possible, since there's nothing wrong with her that some honest work wouldn't cure! I don't have a problem with people being on public assistance who honestly need it, say a mother with children who gets divorced by her husband or he leaves and doesn't send support, or someone gets hurt and can't work, or gets laid off and needs help while getting back on their feet. But someone who can work and just chooses to be lazy and suck money from the system, which is you and I hard working folks, that really p.o.'s me a lot. I've worked since I was a kid in the berry fields and I'm proud of what I've accomplished in my life so far. I really don't like supporting folks who just don't want to make the effort to get out there, find a job, and do for themselves.

Years ago one of my best friends from high school told me that it was the government sending her the monthly support checks and that none of that money came from my taxes! She simply could not be made to understand that we are the government and yes, it is my tax money she was sucking in because she didn't want to go out and work. Her mom, who was retired by then, was more than happy and well qualified to watch her kid while she worked. But she had this fantasy that the government would support her the rest of her life while she stayed home and watched the idiot box. And I simply could not make her understand how taxes work, that I pay in and she sucks out. I wish her well but I haven't seen her since and that's been over 15 years ago now. She was never that stupid in high school so I don't know what happened to her after we graduated.

Anyway, I prefer to end on a happier note, so will wish everyone a good weekend and some happy knitting time!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday update

Got home from visiting my Mom and sister a while ago and took some pics of my LLV and DH's cardigan inspired by St. Enda by AS. Also have some other pics to share with you as well.



First up is my checkerboard border for my LLV, showing how the Purl-When-You-Can technique from Meg Swansen is working really well to curb the curling that was starting. I loaded this pic as a large one so you can zoom in to study it if you need to. That's my notes on the pattern as I develop it under the knitting.




Next is the finished right sleeve for DH's St. Enda cardigan, showing how the cuff worked out. Not quite the way the pattern calls for, as I didn't do any decreasing as I knit the sleeve down because it already fit him snugly. So when I got to the cuff, I did the decreases in the first two rounds, doing work 2 together in the purls and twisted stitches and adding two extra knits between the cabled stitches in the honeycomb section. I worked those two extra stitches together with the outside stitches on the second round, which is a work even round for honeycomb stitch. The following round, where the stitches move to the inside again, covered up the decreases very nicely - my Mom, who taught me to knit at age 5, couldn't see them until I pointed them out to her.



This pic shows the left sleeve picked up and started down. I forgot to take along the circular needle I had used for the first part of the sleeve and it was really a pain to work flat on three long dps. As soon as I got home, I dug out the circular and changed the stitches over, whew! so much easier now.




These are two of our three furkids looking adorable, as usual.




And this shows the snow we got in the backyard in the middle of the week, but it didn't stay around very long, poot!

Oh, and some kind of sad news. I worked last night and this morning on my Inishmore sweater as it was my second WIP for the Mara class challenge. Finally I actually looked at the sleeves and discovered one had a gusset and one didn't, one had more stitches than the other, and I realllllllllyyyy didn't like the way the fabric was coming out on size 6 needles, just too limp even though it had great stitch definition. So now the yarn is in two large center pull balls (except for the sleeves which will be wound tonight while watching TV) and will rest for a few months while I finish some other projects. So that crosses both WIPs off my list for this go-around and I can focus on other projects with a clear conscience. On to something that I have more interest in finishing!

Moral of the story - if you're really fighting yourself over finishing a project, step back and talk to yourself totally honestly about it, why don't you feel welcome to work on it, what is actually bugging you about it. Then give yourself permission, if necessary, to rip it out and use the yarn for some other project that sings to you, instead of trudging ahead on a project you know in your heart of hearts you will not wear more than once or twice because it's not right for you.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Casting on my Lovely Leftovers Vest

I sat down this morning and worked out the numbers for my LLV project so I can cast on before breakfast. It will be 375 stitches for a size large as follows: 9 steek, 1 purl, 8 facing, 1 purl, 8 band, 1 edge, 328 body, 1 edge, 8 band, 1 purl, 8 facing, 1 purl. I'm using the Mara pattern for a schematic and this comes out to 35 more stitches total, but I added 1 to the steek and my body needs to be divisible by 4. Usually you plan for half of a motif on either side of the front band, but on my vest the bottom and front bands will be in checkerboard with an even number of repeats all around so I counted out whole motifs in groups of four all the way around. The steek is 9 stitches because I'm going to do a crocheted steek and that needs an odd number of stitches.

And because I'm paranoid about stitches coming loose, I'm doing the full size steek so I will end up with four stitches on either side for safety. I know FI yarns are very sticky and cling, but I had a problem on my Oregon vest where a couple of stitches on the back left armhole came out and I had to use Fraychek on them. Most of that problem was the way I picked up the stitches for the corrugated ribbing and I've changed that, but I still don't want the fear factor in my knitting, lol. I've gone to using a small crochet hook to pick up the working yarn between the edge stitch and the body to avoid the problem I had with Oregon. I was putting my needle under both strands of the edge stitch and pulling the yarn through, which put too much strain on each stitch and the ends worked loose. If I hadn't cut the steek first, it might not have caused the problem, but I won't do it again on a dainty FI garment just in case.

Now, a little tip I learned to make casting on large numbers of stitches easier - use stitch markers every 20 stitches to make counting easier and faster and mistakes a lot less likely. If you do cast on one or two less or more than you need, it's easily taken care of in the first round to add or K2tog to make the proper number. Don't go ripping out the whole cast on for just a few stitches.

I'm also going to knit one round plain before starting the checkerboard pattern, to give it a nice framework at the bottom. That will allow me to put my section markers in place also. Now on to casting on!

Happy knitting!

PS In case some of you are wondering, the checkerboard pattern is simply K2 of the main color, then K2 of the design color, no purling. Second round is the same, third round is K2 of design color, K2 of main color and fourth round is same as third round. Easy and simple to knit and a comforting rhythm to work on.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Second FO of 2007!



Here is a picture of my DH's hat next to mine. I finished his last night, took this pic, washed them both, and they are now on the plastic rack drying for a day or two. And I am officially done with the Heilo yarns from my Sirdal sweater, so that WIP is whipped! Now back to Inishmore for the Winter WIP-It Work-Off on my Mara_class list on yahoo. I issued a challenge the first part of December to the members to post about WIPs they wanted to pick up and finish and invited folks to ask for help and support. So far only a couple of folks have taken up the challenge, but that's okay, it looks like most of the members are content to just lurk and get info for later projects.

Anne posted to her blog that she calculated that about 1.5% of knitters actually do FI knitting, so that made me feel a lot better about the lack of participation on the list. I was thinking I was doing something to put folks off from posting but it looks like most of them are just naturally lurkers who dream of knitting a FI, not folks who are actually doing it. So now I've started the next project on the list, the Lovely Leftovers Vest, with renewed enthusiasm thanks to her input.

The purpose of the vest is to help use up leftovers that folks have from the first two projects the group did, Mara and Marina by AS, as well as leftovers from other FI projects. I'm one person who doesn't like having a stash of unused yarn lying around attracting moths and dirt. I'm a project-driven knitter, I guess you could say, where I buy yarn for a specific project, not just because it's beautiful and I'll take it home and let it age while I decide what it will be. Once in a while, on Ebay, I'll buy some yarn like that, if it's FI yarns at a good price and colors I know I will use in an upcoming project, like the vest. I bought some FI yarns this summer on Ebay, knowing I would have leftover yarns from my Oregon vest, Mara, and Marina, and wanting some other colors to fill out the color palette. I got four skeins of Scottish Campion in Teal at a really good price, so that has become my main color for my vest and I'm choosing other colors around it. I've posted some charts on the list in the Files section and sent two emails this morning with links to other sites with charts for folks to choose from, as well as using charts from the two finished (or in progress, lol) projects.

I'm almost halfway done with the second Endpaper Mitt and think I might get it done today. These are a really easy to knit, well written pattern by Eunny Jang from her blog, and I had two skeins each of two colors in my closet to use for them. Otherwise, I would have changed colors as I worked up, as a usual FI project is done. I asked my sister Friday night if she would like a pair, as she won't wear mittens or gloves when driving because she's afraid of not being able to hang on to the wheel. But she decided she would just keep driving with totally bare hands (brrrrrrrrrr!!!!) and declined my offer. She's having trouble with her boys lately so is distracted with that. Please say some prayers for my little sister, if you would, that her problems have a good resolution for all involved and quickly, before something worse happens.

I still might make more of these Mitts, later, as they make a good Christmas present for next Christmas. I'll see what I have left in yarns after my LLV is done. My two nieces might even wear these, if they are still in style by then.

On the gift making and using up leftovers front, next up will be a pair of worsted weight socks in some of my Cascade 220 leftovers. For the first few months of this year I will only be using up leftover yarns and finishing up projects already started, in one way or another. My friend Terri thinks I won't be able to resist starting another large project, but I really need to get the ones already started finished first. The two exceptions to this are the 'Dazzling Knits' cover sweater, which I am spinning the yarns for and now have three skeins ready so might cast on in spring for it. The other exception is Grace's Cardigan, from Beth Brown-Reinsell's 'Knitting Ganseys' book, which I'm spinning the yarn for my DH with his Merino wool we got at Black Sheep Gathering 2005.

A roll call of projects in construction would be: St. Brigid, DH's St. Enda with mine still waiting (I'm not doing two in the same pattern at the same time again!), Inishmore, Mara, Marina, Forest for Kelly, Elizabeth of York for DH's daughter (which I told him not to expect to be done for this past Christmas as I wasn't going to put myself under that kind of pressure and then he made a comment the day after Christmas that it was too bad I hadn't gotten it done in time - where are his ears and what are they doing?????), and the Endpaper Mitts (second one currently about half done). Then I need to cast on for the LLV project so I can demo it on the list as I go.

On St. Brigid I'm up to the armholes and doing the front back and forth now. Then I'll do the back, pick up and knit the saddles and sleeves down so no seams (yea!). His St. Enda is about half done on the first sleeve, being done FLAK style from the top down and it's fitting him just right so far (so nice to be able to try something on the recipient as you work and adjust as needed at the time). Inishmore is at the stage where I'm knitting the front and joining the sleeves as I go up from the armholes. I need to sit down and count rows so I know when to start doing the neck decreases but I keep putting it off for other things. On Mara I've finished the first sleeve and need to pick up stitches for the second one, which I might get done this afternoon. This past week at work I made task lists for the next couple of weeks and broke down what needed to be done on various projects around the house.

Marina is going to continue to sit until I get some other stuff done, as I'm still intimidated by that knitter's very even gauge and want to be able to focus clearly on trying to match it. No, I don't want to tear out what he's done and restart it, managing all those little pieces of yarn would be a nightmare. I haven't touched the Forest vest for quite a while now, as after going through the 10 round chart once I have to put it aside for a while so I don't get confused because the repeats are identical, just offset a few rounds. And Elizabeth of York was worked on the other night, so she isn't so lonely any more. She will need to use my magnet board, which is currently being used for the Endpaper Mitts to save my eyesight. If I get those done today, it will free up the board for Elizabeth to use. It wouldn't be so bad, except that there are decreases every 5th row and that changes where you start the row constantly. The board makes finding that spot so much easier, with one magnet above the row to be knitted and the other one being moved in with each decrease to frame the section to be worked.

The little carry around stash using up projects aren't in the count, as they get done in a week or two generally, like the socks and Mitts. I showed the Mitts to some friends at my spinning group yesterday and one woman said she liked hers shorter, so they didn't bother the long sleeves she likes to wear, but she wears the pair she made in a different pattern all the time when she's at work. Since I rarely wear long sleeves, having arms two inches longer than the ready made garment standard, the longer length on these Mitts isn't a problem for me. I'm even thinking about taking them to work later this week, when we might get snow. The way the doors are arranged, the cold air just blows right in on us while we're working on the line and those mitts sure would have been nice the last cold spell!

Happy knitting!


Saturday, January 06, 2007

First FO of 2007!

I would like to share with you my first finished object (FO) of 2007! I finished the Heilo socks Thursday night and washed them Friday morning ( I had briefly considered wearing them to work Friday without washing them but DH didn't like the idea of the red dye coming off on my feet) and they are now drying. You can't quite see the pattern between the ribs, the pattern is K5 P3 for two rounds, then K5 P1 K1 P1 for two rounds, after the ribbing is done. These are the Country Socks from Nancy Bush's 'Folk Socks' book, which I have really used a lot. She gives a history of socks, explains several different methods of casting on, making heels, shaping insteps, and doing toes. Then the following patterns use these different methods so you have a chance to try them out on real socks. A really good book for someone wanting to learn traditional sock making.



Next is the first Endpaper Mitt, with mistake included at the beginning. I didn't notice it until I was well into the thumb gusset shaping and decided to do the same thing on the second Mitt so it becomes a design feature! Most folks don't notice it and I'm not going to worry about it. But I did get out my magnetic board after finishing Sirdal and am using it for these socks so I don't make the same kind of mistake again, lol. And I told my DH I need to get another magnet board so I can do two projects at the same time more easily. He tried telling me I could make my own but I don't think I can get the metal board anywhere around here. Besides, they aren't that expensive to buy when I'm ready. While I love Anne's cookie sheet idea, it won't travel well in my knitting bag so it would have to be for home projects only. Since I tend to grab whatever I'm working on when we travel, probably not going to happen.



I hope everyone had a good New Year's, we stayed home and played computer games until a quarter to midnight, then got out the wine glasses and opened the bottle of wine I had gotten. We watched Dick Clark count the time down, toasted and kissed each other, then went back and played some more on the computer. I was just so tired from all the overtime during Christmas that I didn't have the energy to go out dancing that night. I need to do some research on some vitamins and minerals to help rebuild my energy, along with getting back to walking in the mornings, now that my foot is mostly healed. Getting bronchitis right after Thanksgiving, then breaking my foot and working on it through Christmas with just my work shoe on it for support is really hard on my system. I put in for the weeks of Christmas and New Year's off for 2007. It was so funny because my boss called me at home to ask me about the leave slip which she had found in her box. She didn't show me off for New Year's week and was confused, until she finally noticed the year on the slip and said nevermind. I hadn't picked up the phone anyway when I saw the caller id, I was on vacation and don't answer calls from work then.

Today is the monthly get together of the local spinning group, a chapter of the NWRSA, so I need to get off my computer and get some breakfast, shower, and get there around 10. DH fixed my driveband while I was at work one day so now I don't have any more excuses not to get back to spinning his fleece, poot! It's been kind of funny to watch him with this, he told me when we were dating that he wanted to learn to spin and knit. Well, he got about three rows done on his scarf before I tore it out after it sat for a year and made him slippers out of the yarn. I don't think he's ever picked up the drop spindle I got for him. Maybe by putting the new driveband on my wheel he might be encouraged to learn to spin? At least he's brushing out all the locks for me to spin, so he's learning the steps in fiber prep.

Happy knitting!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lovely Leftovers Vest and New Year's Day Knit In!

LOVELY LEFTOVERS VEST PROJECT















First off, gather all available FI yarns into a basket, with Mr. Duke Dog watching carefully to make sure there are no treats getting mixed in with the wools.















Next, dump all the yarns out on the floor (DH has his Christmas gift from my brother's family, a 3,000 piece jig saw puzzle spread out on the 6 foot long dining table so I worked on the floor) to see what colors and quantities I have on hand. These are only the FI yarns which are not being used in any current projects. I will have more leftovers as I finish the projects currently on the needles. But I can use those yarns for the Latvian Mittens I am planning to make later this year, so no problem there. Mr. Duke Dog decided he needed to leave the scene of the mess so he didn't get blamed for it, lol.















Sort the yarns by color groups. I made groups of reds, greens, blues, and naturals, as I didn't have yellows or browns. The plastic bag in the lower right contains the 4 skeins of Scottish Campion in teal that is my main color, so they didn't get dumped into the mix.















This is the Scottish Campion in Teal, I got 4 skeins of this on Ebay last summer at a super price. And blue is my favorite color, with green a close second.















This is the initial pairing of colors I came up with for my vest. For those who are curious, it starts with the Teal, then I add in FC51 Mauve Mist for background, change to 1290 Eyebright for background, 58 Pine Forest for design color, FC54 Thistle for background, 87 Plum for design. Then change both colors with Mooskit/Shaela 115 for design and 203 Gray for background, 1100 Autumn for design and 55 claret for background. I'm using a mixture of Scottish Campion and J & S yarns, some leftovers from my projects and some purchased last year on Ebay. If you need to clarify which brand a color is, drop me a note in the comments section and I'll list it.

I'm going to do a checkerboard border, instead of corrugated ribbing, on my vest. I'm tired of the corrugated ribbing for a while and want to do something different. This will also allow me to continue the checkerboard up the front bands and do facings at the same time without having to worry about whether I picked up the right amount of stitches or not.

NEW YEAR'S DAY KNIT IN AT BORDERS















This is Carol from Vancouver with her Kromski wheel, she's only been spinning four months now but has gotten hooked to the point that she moved from spindles only to a wheel as well. Her socks are knit in Brown Sheep Wildfoote in a lace pattern which I forgot to get the name of. I've seen that sock pattern before on the web, though. I hope she puts the sock pattern name in a comment to share with others.















This is Carol's friend Christine, also from Vancouver, who has been spinning since last night, lol. She is using the park and spin technique with a top whorl spindle and some Louet roving and almost has her first spindle-full of yarn!















This is Megan, who has been learning to knit in school and is working on a potholder here. JC helped her learn to cast off so she could start another potholder before she left today.















This is Megan's mom, Sarah, who learned to knit today! She was happy to learn about the stitchnbitch group that meets on Wednesday evenings at the Blue Pepper Art Gallery here in Salem and is planning on bringing Megan as she is able. By the time they left, Sarah had quite a bit of knitting done and had learned about increasing by picking up the strand between stitches, called a M1 or make one, increase. They had stopped at a craft store on the way to pick up supplies, so cool!















This is Bethany, who has been knitting for about a year now. She designed the Fair Isle hat she is wearing, and unvented what she calls Fork Fair Isle, where she threads the strands of yarn between the tines of a plastic fork to keep them aligned while knitting. JC Briar and Joan Schrouder were very interested in her unvention. She brought some of the items she has made recently to show, including a pair of slippers in black and yellow she knit for her DH on Christmas (two strands of worsted weight yarn and she is healing a broken foot, so has lots of knitting time at the moment!).















These are Joan, Terri, Marina, and JC at work on various projects. Joan was working on the most beautiful lace with two strands of yarn held together but I didn't see the name of the project. Terri is working on Alice Starmore's Marina, which she is turning into a vest. Marina was working on a shawl. JC was finishing a hat from her WIP pile and several of the new knitters are lusting after the pattern for it. The finished items on the table are Bethany's recent projects, the black and yellow ones are her DH's slippers, which she had to pry off his feet to bring them. The light blue are some knee high socks she custom made for her grandmother, who is in her 80's. In the bottom left corner you can get a peek at her Fork Fair Isle technique.















This is the hat that JC finished while we were knitting away. She calls it a flame pattern but I see trees in it. Her hands are holding the yarns at the top of the hat and Terri is holding down the bottom.















This is Terri working away on Marina, the vest, not Marina the knitter, lol. The beautiful cardigan she is wearing is in wool, silk, and cashmere yarn in a fine gauge and just gorgeous.















This is the shawl that Marina the knitter is making, and the yarn is wool and seacell, a form of seaweed, I think the same Nori that is used for sushi. It feels like silk and has silk's luster, just scrumptious to handle.















This is my friend Megan, who came a little later and is working on a hat for a very young lady. She has a finished hat on the table in front of her and made the scarf she is wearing.















Another shot of Megan my friend, also showing the cheesecake I took three hours to enjoy, lol. The hat and mittens I made from my Sirdal yarns are there on the table, next to Christine's drop spindle.

I finally left at about 6pm, as Carol and Christine and I were the only ones left. Borders staff never mind how late we stay, they are always gracious and stop by to see if we need anything. We'll be having the Superbowl Sunday Knit In on February 4th starting at 1pm, so if you are in or near Salem, OR, on that date, drop by Borders and sit and knit a spell. Oh, and DH was a dear, he called before I left and suggested I bring a pizza home for dinner so neither of us had to cook dinner. Good man, glad I married him!

Happy knitting!