Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

That way madness lies

Have you ever been in a situation where you know you have to do something, but you don’t know if you can go through with it? That was me, sweater vest and scissors in hand, wondering if really truly, I could cut my knitting.


Even though the sweater vest and I hadn’t been together for very long, it still represented hours of my life. I knew I couldn’t bare to see my life literally unravel before me. Yes, people steek all the time. Yes, they still have fully functioning sweaters at the end. People also bungee jump all the time, but I have absolutely no plans on ever jumping off a high structure attached to a gigantic rubber band. The sweater and I sat together. I hugged it, as if saying good-bye, just in case one of us didn’t make it through this endeavor. Then, I took a shot and proceeded to cut.

Snip – there goes the cast on edge of the steek
Snip – there goes the first stitch, cleaved in twain
Snip – there goes the next stitch, goodness, the stitches are holding!
Snip – they are holding!
Snip – this might actually work

I didn’t cut with reckless abandon, but I did begin to snip a little faster. The stitches held fast, but the cast of edge did fray a bit, not enough to cause any issues, but enough to make my heart beat quicken. By the time I snipped the last steek stitch, I felt confident in the process and sure of my stitches. I picked up for the armhole edging and after a couple of more hours, I not only had a new garment, but also a newly accomplished skill to add to my bag of tricks.



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Spoiler Alert!!!

Italian: What are you watching?
Italian: Ah, your British soap opera.
Me: Shhh. It’s not a soap opera. It’s a drama.
Italian: Hm, right.
Me: It’s not like they brought anyone back from the dead with amnesia or anything.

Then I saw Downton Abbey, Episode 5 of season 2 when yes, indeed, there was a character brought back from the dead, with amnesia. I’m still going to watch season 3 and pretend it is more drama than soap opera, because, to me at least, it isn’t the soap opera it seems to be, but is instead a complex drama of post World War 1 societal strife and upheaval. Just like my current WIP isn’t what it seems to be.


This oddly shaped blob of a garment isn’t a doggie sweater, but is a sweater vest. It will continue to defy American knitting convention when I cut it. It may seem as if I’ve had a lapse in sanity, but a lot of knitters out there are absolutely adamant that taking scissors to knitted yarn is not only perfectly ok, but results in a lovely sweater. The stockpile of wine continues to grow and I’ve added tissues just in case. Wish me luck.

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It has been brought to my attention, by more than a few readers, that my blog has been silent.  I apologize for the lapse.  I could regale you with tales of our adventures over the last few moths, but I think it would be better if we pretended I’ve been in training for the Olympics and move on.  So…

Let the games begin!

Despite the best efforts of the USOC, I will be knitting in the event formerly known as Ravelympics.  Taking a note from Nike, I am looking for my greatness in the form of a steeked sweater.


This is my first attempt at steeking, the act of taking a pair of scissors to a physical representation of hours upon hours of one’s time in the hopes the yarn holds and you magically end up with a sweater.  I’ve already begun stocking up on wine as I knit away.

Little Clover has also been striving to find his greatness.  He’s looking for his, not in yarn, but in something much, much harder – ice.


He began hockey earlier this year, and not only does he really enjoy it, but it’s something he can see himself doing for a few years.  Being a bit behind the eight ball compared to other kids his age who have had years on the ice by know, he decided to attend a couple of hockey camps.  I love watching his determination and grit while on the ice.  He’s a joy to watch and he continues to amaze me with each feat he tackles.

Granted, the Olympics doesn’t include any knitting or hockey this go round, but that hasn’t stopped our little home from setting our own personal challenges and striving to prove to ourselves that, yes, we can succeed.

Carry on.

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While the midwest is being slammed with snow, our temperatures are still in the 60s. The above freezing temperatures haven’t deterred us and we are determined to be prepared when the snow comes. The rain may be falling outside, but we have a sled! Italian hasn’t completely bought into the idea we need a sled. Little Clover and I are still resolutely doing our best to show the usefulness of a sled especially since we may only get one snow a season. Our sled is a beautiful blue saucer type and it makes a handy laundry carrier, balancing seat when watching movies, Lego holder and sorter while building, an excellent training tool for working on your posture, and finally, it is a magnificent shield. Italian is weakening to the wonder that is a blue saucer style sled.

The mitts he’s getting for Christmas are helping him get into the winter spirit. It’s difficult to turn away from the powers of a pair of hand knit fingerless mitts. Because I want these to be just right, they aren’t a surprise and he’s trying them on as they grow. He loves the sheen and the softness and has been asking about the fiber content. I’ve refused to tell him because I want him to use them for fishing and feared he wouldn’t if he knew they are a cashmere blend. The softness and warmth of the mitts might be too much for him to resist. I think he’s going to wear them no matter what they are made of.

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Knit like the wind

What does one do when binding off over 500 stitches on a shawl and one realizes with growing gloom there is not enough yarn to make it to the end? I don’t know what you do, but I keep binding off, run out of yarn with 12 stitches left, rip back the bind off by a couple of inchecs, run out yarn with 5 stitches left, rip back the bind off even further, make it to the end with two inches left to spare, and then I ask Italian to pour me a pint.

From 2011 Finished Objects

The pint was an excellent victory pint, and the victory wasn’t just showing the yarn that if it worked with me, it could make it to the end of the shawl, but it was also a pint to celebrate the completion of the shawl before the Camp Loopy project 1 deadline. Never have my hands worked so quickly. I even had to dust of the wrist brace to wear inbetween bouts of knitting. In the end though, it was worth the pain.

From 2011 Finished Objects

The yarn is Tosh Sock in Ivy and Moss. The Moss weighed in heavy so I thought I could add two rows of stockinette at the end of the second chart. Those two rows would be my almost fatal flaw. Jennybuttons supplied the beautifully handcrafted brass buttons. The pattern, Catkin, is beautifully written. I’m placing the shawl in the suitcase to accompany me on my next great adventure.

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Two different camps

Summer camp is in full swing for both Clover and me. He’s in his second week of Zoo Camp and even though the zoo is in the heart of the city, he’s had plenty of wildlife encounters.

He’s fed hippos and played with iguanas. A trantula walked across his hand. An eagle came to visit, as well as a host of other animals. Despite not really knowing anyone else at camp, he’s plunged in everyday ready for a new adventure and missing his camp friends from the previous week.

My camp experience has been wildlife free, but I’m having a blast! Cabin 3 is a chatty and friendly bunch. Being the late night cabin, we chat almost all hours of the day. I’ve got a bunkmate from Washington state, and other campers post drinks and recipes. Virtual camping has also been full of pranksters sneaking into our cabin and announcing the prank they’ve just launched. We’ve had our shoes shuffled as well as a few other camping pranks. The campers post lovely pictures of their works in progress and even with everything else going on, I’ve knitted a decent amount on my campfire shawl.

From WIPs

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Going to Camp

What does a busy mom on a yarn diet with an active family and a job outside of the home need? Why one more thing to do of course, especially if it involves buying yarn! I’m heading to camp, but not any camp, I’m “packing up” for Camp Loopy, a virtual knitting camp. I dashed off to Cabin 3 with all the other night owls. My bag is bursting with my yarn, and I’ve casted on for Catkin, a lovely little shawl I hope to take to on vacation later this summer. The other campers are a chatty bunch, swapping recipes, showing off their projects and yarns, and overall, keeping everyone intertained. One camper even started a little campfire and posted a picture of us to huddle around.

I’ve never joined a knitalong quite like this before. In fact, I’ve only been part of a swap once, and loved the experience. The best part of the swap, and what I think will be the best part of Camp Loopy, was the flexibility to knit on a project of my choosing while still being part of a larger collective experience. My cabinmates as well as my pattern mates with keep this camp exciting, and we don’t have to worry about bug bites or poison ivy.

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