Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I don't have many pictures to show today because, while it has been sunny enough to catch my purples at their truest, it has also been so windy as to blow every thing away while I compose a shot.

I did though want to say that I blocked my purple scarf and it looks fabulous. I even wore it. I even took a picture of myself wearing it. But then after I wore it I realized that probably after two wearings it is going to need to be re-blocked.
  Photo on 2012-04-17 at 13.58

 I also have been knitting fast and furious on the purple sweater. So much so that on Saturday April 14th I realized I had given myself a blister from poking my finger on the knitting needle pushing the stitches along. I'm on the second sleeve now--the sleeves tend to go faster for me. Also, contrary to my usual sweater MO, I am not feeling the "yarn pinch" as I still have 2 skeins of yarn. It made me realize I could add a hood!

 My other daughter wants a central park hoodie. And while she's too small for the smallest size, it is close enough that I'm thinking I could probably shrink it down. So, I'll be swatching that soon. So many things to knit, and hopefully many more lovely days in which to bring my knitting with me to the park.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Darn it! no! Reknit it!

My local friends of the library has 3 used book sales every year in which they sell donated books and magazines. Well at the sale (or rather the pre-sale because I'm a member!) I scored a whole stack of Interweave knits magazines. I bought 15 of them even though I had a few thinking I'd sort out what I already owned and let my knitting friends choose from the leftovers. One thing I like about the older magazines is that you can really tell which styles are "classic," they are the ones that still look good 12 years later.
Another thing I like is that the articles can be really helpful. So when I saw that the Winter 1998 issue had an article on repairing your knitting by darning and a few other methods I decided to save it. Good thing too because I discovered to my horror a hole in one of my hand knit socks.

So I decided to dig out this magazine and read the article and try, not just darning but maybe something new (because I already darned some socks). Of course it took me a while because somehow even though I have no qualms about knitting in public, or making homemade jam, or baking bread I seem to have in my head that "mending" is old fashioned old lady work.
Which is stupid because I don't think "mending" things around the house is old fashioned or delegated to old ladies. I think of that as practical.

So today I decided to get over this and read the article and figure out what I needed. Lo and Behold, I learned several things. First is that you don't need to darn, you can re-knit. AND if you don't have a hole yet, you can swiss darn. So today, I reknit this hole.

First I gathered my supplies:
equipment The magazine, the sock, the extra yarn, several sets of needles as two sizes are needed, and a tapestry needle.
I forgot to include my egg and my scissors. But I had them.
The first instruction was to make the hole square--which meant making it wider! It also was supposed to be an odd number of rows.

Then you were to pick up stitches using a needle two sizes smaller than you originally used, two before the hole, all the way across to two after. How were you supposed to know what size needle you used before Ravelry? I have no idea. But I looked on ravelry and discovered not only did I use size 2.25mm needles, but I finished these socks last July. So tsk tsk tsk on longevity! I'd have more to say about this yarn if I wasn't a firm believer in the adage: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all (except to your husband who just hears yarn yarn yarn yarn no matter what I say about yarn)
It looked like this:
pick up
And then you are supposed to knit the same number of rows you are repairing in the pattern of the area you are repairing--in this case stockinette.
So then I had this little flap:
well and then the instructions said to graft it or kitchner it to the top and I got so engrossed in the directions I neglected to take pictures. This is why it is called "disasters with yarn" and not "perfection with yarn"...

I managed it and my patch looks like:

Then I sewed up the sides using the tails. I'm fairly happy with the result.

I think sometime soon I need to do a complete entry on swiss darning because you can use that to shore up the "thin" spots on socks that eventually wear into holes, and I have a few of those.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This last week was spring break for my girls, and we did a bunch of crafty type things, but I neglected to photograph any of it. Mostly we worked on Brownie projects, we made two of the snacks required for the snack badge one daughter is working on, and made spool dolls for a local display on the history of girl scouts. For the record, the snacks were homemade trail mix (both girls made a recipe where they use the measurement of "hand-fulls") and cookies where you took a chocolate chip cookie recipe and added something that was not chocolate chips. I think my baking soda is old or something because they came out all flat. Each girl added two things (I divided the dough in fourths) one added craisins and pop rocks candy. The other added butterscotch chips and york pieces. We added all of these to the growing column called: things that are nasty that I taste for my children while smiling and saying Aren't you clever. Actually 3 out of the four weren't THAT bad, but the flatness added a layer of yuck. Plus the girls did all the measuring themselves, so something else could have been off.

But you didn't come here for the brownie crafts, you came here for the knitting! the disasters! When I last wrote I was working on a lace scarf for me just like the ones I made for the teachers for the holidays this year. I finished that but have not yet blocked it. I was also struggling with a cardigan I wanted to knit for one of my daughters. Actually I'm knitting one for each, I'll get to that later.

To refresh your memory on the cardigan thing, I was driving myself crazy because I was afraid to just make up a pattern and/or wing it. I had in mind I wanted to do top down raglan style and found a pattern similar to what I wanted. Try as I might though I just could not get gauge. When I looked at going with what I had and doing a smaller size, I realized that for my size 10 child, I'd be making a 4! That is probably what made me say--Look this yarn is cheap (Brava by knit picks) and you want this sweater to get done, just fire up your raglan calculator and cast on already. So that's what I did.

I have pictures, but I also have to talk about those. See both projects (along with a lot of other stuff I knit) are purple. Purple is really hard for me to photograph true to color. I don't have a fancy camera, a simple point and shoot is what I use. So I struggled, googled and finally decided that my makeshift light box needed direct sunlight. Fortunately we had that yesterday.

This is actually really close to the true purple. Might be just a tad on the blue side, but pretty accurate.

The unblocked scarf. Hopefully there will be more sun when I have it blocked. Because the colors are pretty true on that as a well.