On the third Monday of the month a group of enthusiastic knitters meet in the Resource Room at the Duxbury Free Library. From 6:00 - 8:00 you can find knitters of various skill levels with yarn between their fingers. We would love you to join us. If you can't, follow us here!

Friday, April 11, 2014

"But the pattern says . . . "

Every year I knit a sweater for one of my friends (for some reason there is the only one that asks me!). This year, after many pattern searches she decided on Silver Belle by Debbie Bliss - a free pattern on Ravelry. She picked out a pretty off-white in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. Soooo soft! I sat down to cast on.

My usual cast on technique is long-tail method. 

This is the first side to be
 worked after casting on.

I always use this side and call it 'the pretty side'. (very scientific terminology, huh?)

Since it looks like garter stitch I think it blends in with the knitting and is more appealing to the eye.

Just an opinion.

This side shows on the second row of knitting.

This side of the cast on will leave 'a line'. For some reason (I just don't know the reason!), I don't like the look of this side.

Just an opinion.

I put the 376 stitches on my needle and I was ready to knit. The first row of the pattern is the wrong side - which meant, you guessed it - the 'line' was going to show on the right side of the sweater. So I knit the first row knowing the line would show, and even started the second row. (Isn't there a saying about doing something even though you know the outcome isn't what you want?!) By then the 'line' was really bothering me. 

Now I know that when I finish the sweater my friend not only won't notice it, but since she isn't a knitter she won't know there is two potential sides to a cast on row. But I sat there and thought of how it would just irritate me every time I looked down at it while I was knitting. I wasn't sure if there was enough wine in the house to deal with that kind of knitting tension.

Then it hit me. What I tell anyone that I have ever taught to knit. "You can change the directions if you want. It's your knitting". So I ripped it out, put 376 stitches on again, and I worked a purl row. Then I worked the first row of the pattern. Now the 'line' is on the wrong side of my knitting and I am at peace. 

Such an easy solution, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with it. 

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Round and Round the Stripes Should Go

See how the stripes are not matching?
Since winter doesn't seem to want to leave, I decided to knit up a hat to wear while I am walking. I went through my stash and found a pattern - and the yarn - for a two color beret. I can't remember the last time I did a two-color project - which became obvious once I started it. 

It's knit in the round and has stripes . . . yes, you guessed it. I forgot about the 'jog'
. . . you know, when you knit stripes in the round and the ends don't match up. As you can see, I didn't remember right away - it took me a few inches. Yes, you guesssed it again, I was too lazy to rip it back to the ribbing. Since it's at the bottom of the hat, I'm hoping that either no one looks at my head too close, or that my hair will cover it up.

When I got to the stripes at the top of the hat, I figured I better brush-up on Meg Swanson's 'jogless join' technique. (There is no way my hair will cover the top of my hat!)

Have you ever done it? It's really quite easy and it makes a difference.


Knit around to the beginning of the row  (if you have a marker slip it off). 


Insert the tip of the right hand needle into the stitch below.

Without stretching the stitch too much, pull it up onto the tip of the left hand needle.

Knit the pulled up piece with the next stitch.  Replace the row marker and treat this spot as the beginning of the next row.
(If you need to move the marker back to the original beginning of the row to keep planned increases/decreases lined up, or to maintain a design . . . well, go ahead!


 It's not blocked yet, but see how the stripes are complete now? No more jagged or crooked stripes!

I have finished the hat . . . perfect timing since the calendar says it's spring . . . but the temperature says it's winter!

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mark Your Calendar . . .

March 17th . . .  not only is it Saint Patrick's Day . . . but it's knitting night! Put your green on, grab your knitting and head over to the library for a night of social knitting with help available.

Hope to see you there!

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

From the Library's Shelves

I was working in the non-fiction area the other day and of course when I go by 746.43 my progress slows down. I have to take a look and see what is on the shelf. (What if somehow there was a knitting book there that I had not seen yet?!) 

As I was looking I noticed Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Anyone who has been knitting for awhile has at least heard of Elizabeth. She is renowned for revolutionizing the knitting world. In an era where knitting with flat needles was the norm, 'EZ' encouraged not only knitting in the round but also creating your own pattern using a basic percentage system.

The book just seemed so unassuming. There it was in paperback form with its dated cover, black and white photos, and even the sweaters seemed to be dated. 
Knitting Without Tears
Click here to place a hold

But then I started to read it. Really read it. Talk about a hidden jewel! The book is filled with practical instructions and tips - all presented in a way that makes you feel Elizabeth is sitting on the couch with you. (She would have been one heck of a blogger!)

Check it out. It's really worth the read. No matter how experienced a knitter you are - I bet you'll learn something. Read it for her stories and quotes.

"Knitting can be solace, inspiration, adventure. It is manual and mental therapy. It keeps us warm, as well as those we like and love. It has existed almost as long as the soft sheep, and in giving us wool they deprive themselves of no more than an uncomfortably warm fur coat in the heat of the summer."

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

More Increases

The cat eventually got up and I finished the sweater. (I have noticed however that it is still where I left it - all folded nicely. Meaning, my husband has not jumped at the chance to wear this hand-made-with-love creation!) It is plain, I admit it. But "that's what guys want" . . . or at least that's what the pattern book said.

When I did the arm increases I used the make one (M1) method. Here's a brief description of the method.

If you want the stitch to slant to the right

insert the left needle under the bar  between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the left-hand needle from the back.

Next, knit the stitch just created on the left needle as a normal knit stitch.

If you want the stitch to slant to the left,

insert the left hand needle under the bar from the front.

Next knit the stitch through the back loop.

Use your left index finger to manipulate the newly created stitch to ease the tension on it a little. It will make it easier to insert the right-hand needle into the stitch to knit it. 

Sometimes a pattern will specify if you should use a M1R (right slanting)  or a M1L (left slanting). If it doesn't, just think about where you are placing the increase and decide which way you would like it to slant. After all . . . it's your project!!

Speaking of projects . . . I guess it's time to start a new one! A friend and co-worker is looking through patterns . . . I hope she decides on one . . . 

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday Night Knitting Group

It was a chilly night but it didn't stop influx of wool - along with all sorts of other fibers - into the library!

She found the perfect buttons for it!

Joan came . . . wearing her finished sweater!

Janet also came wearing a sweater she knit. (There I am helping her . . . . not wearing a hand knit sweater!!)

I bet Audrey will be wearing hers next month!

You can't tell in the picture . . . but of course
 there is some sparkle in her yarn!

Suzanne is hooked on socks!

Susan is still working on
her 're-knit'.

You can't see them in the picture, but there
are pretty royal blue beads knit into her ribbing!

Elizabeth is ready to bind off for the armholes on her front.

Margaret is making a royal blue scarf . . . feels so soft!

Beth is going to make a cowl for herself.

Martha is making socks too . . . she also helped MaryJo with her cable.

Group photo of some happy knitters!!

We hope you'll join us next month!
(Monday, March 17th . . . I'll wear green if you will!)

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Caught Napping.

I have finished the plain green pull-over for my husband. I blocked it and I started to sew it together, but then it snowed . . . a lot . . . so then I shoveled . . . a lot. I was all set to sit down and finish sewing it together today and . . . 

. . . well as you can see it's 'occupied'! That will teach me for not putting it back in my knitting bag. I guess it can always wait until tonight while I catch up on Downton Abbey.

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.