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!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Never Say Never

At the last Monday Night Knitting Night, Martha mentioned how she will rip out a sweater she has worn and grown tired of . . . and then re-knit something else with it. I was two steps short of being incredulous. Really? Undo the seams and rip it out?! I of course responded - "I would never do that. If I'm sick of it, I'll give it away. If it doesn't fit anymore . . . I'll give it away. I would never go to all the work of undoing the seams and then ripping it out. Never."

Fast forward about a week and half. Another knitting friend has a hand-knit skirt and sweater set . . . she never wears it anymore. Do I want it? (See, she is giving it away . . . she is not going to rip it out.) 

I took it home . . .  tried it on . . . and the skirt miraculously fit. The sweater fit . . . but sadly was knit in another era (think of the 80's), and it is a cropped style. How sad. But wait . . . the skirt would look nice with a matching vest. Something asymmetrical or even the currently popular 'rectangle with armholes' pattern.

Hmm . . . If I rip out the sweater . . . I can use the yarn. It really is nice yarn . . . SensuWool by Berroco . . . a combination of wool and nylon that makes a garment really hold it's shape . . . which is why it was a great choice to knit a skirt from. It's discontinued so I can't buy anymore. But if I carefully undo the seams . . . 

The moral of the story . . . 
A basic A-line skirt will never go out of style.
Always use good yarn . . . it really could last forever.
Never say Never. (And if you do, make sure you confess to Martha when you see her. I know I will.)

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

Always Try Something New

I was recently given 3 hanks of the most gorgeous single-ply aqua wool . . . from Ireland no less!! When I thanked this generous knitter she mentioned she had more at home in a partially knit sweater that she was never going to finish . . . did I want that too? "YES!" She suggested ripping it out, washing it, and then reknitting with it. I confess to you that in all my years of knitting I have never tried this. It just seemed like . . . well, work . . . but with the extra yardage . . . well I would also have enough to make a sweater.

She brought it in . . . I took it home . . . and ripped it out. (I did feel bad ripping out all her work . . . all that seed stitch!). 





I started to make hanks by winding the 
yarn around my hand and the length of my arm . . . but that didn't work. My hand ended up curling in . . . and I ended up with these stubby little hanks! 

Next I tried to wind it around my dining room chair . . . but it kept slipping off . . . and my newly adopted kitty from the shelter thought we were playing a game. (Isn't she the cutest?!)





So I consigned myself to my mudroom where I could shut the door on Mona the Cat . . . 
and lo and behold there was a bench with the perfect arms to wind yarn on! 

I loosely tied one end to the bench and then started
winding . . . loosely of course . . . I didn't want to stretch this gorgeous yarn!





When I finished winding I took a contrasting color and tied my hanks together at both ends . . . and then slipped it off. 

I ripped out the rest of the sweater and did the same for the other lengths. I ended up with 4 extra hanks of this gorgeous-I-can't-wait-to-use-it-what-should-I-knit-with-it yarn.









I filled my kitchen sink with lukewarm water . . . added a little Euclan . . . and submerged my hanks. I let it soak for about 20 minutes to fully absorb the water.  

It was really like magic . . . I could see the kinks coming out! 
I carefully took it out and gently squeezed out the water . . . and then hung it to dry. 


Check out my before and after . . .








Before . . .


















. . . After!!


See . . . isn't it like magic?!
It's like new!
Instead of knitting with crinkly used yarn . . . well I have this wonderfully smooth yarn.

Give it a try. Remember, it won't work with acrylic. Just wool . . . wool has 'memory' which is why it always look better and retains it shape better when it's blocked.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When a Favor is Gift

When I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a 'crafty' grandmother. I remember her mostly doing crewel, but she would also crochet, knit, a little weaving, sewed (plain summer shifts always with a patch pocket) . . . I think almost everything. Using whichever her 'craft of the moment' was, she would make an afghan every year for one of her grandchildren. She started with my cousin Diane, who is the oldest, and worked her way through 13 afghans for her 13 grandchildren.



Since I was at the younger end of the line, I had to patiently wait for my afghan. Mine was created with crocheted granny squares created from her huge pile of scrap yarn .  . . probably all left-over from the previous afghans of my cousins! Each square was outlined in cream and then sewn together. It has comforted me through many naps, went to college and to this day has it's place of honor over the back of a chair in my den. It's worn . . . faded . . . and has a few rips in the seams . . . which my daughter carefully tied together when she was 3, thereby adding to it's charm. (Of course my mother looks at it and says, "See, if you use good yarn it will last forever".)



So when a friend asked me a question the other day . . . there was only one answer.
Her 91 year-old mother-in-law was home with hospice care . . . and also waiting for her grandson to have his first child. Her mother-in-law has knitted (beautiful intarsia!) for years and was also kitting a Christmas stocking for the expected baby . . . just as she had done for all her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She was able to hang on until the great-grandchild (a boy!!) was born, and then died a week or so later with her family by her side. 

Leaving an unfinished Christmas stocking behind. 

Yes, of course I will finish this stocking. The friend of course thinks I am doing her a favor. I, of course, know it is the opposite. She has given me the gift of helping to create what will be an heirloom item in her family. She has given me the privilege to continue another knitter's legacy. She has given me the vision of imagining this infant growing into a toddler . . . and then into a child old enough to be told that his Christmas stocking was the last item his great-grandmother knitted. She has brought the memory of my grandmother, who passed away 27 years ago, closer to my heart.


I think I will go home and take a nap . . . with, of course, my afghan.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Be Sure Before You Do The Happy Dance

Here it is October . . . and yes I am still working on my Counterpane Masterpiece. I finished the 15 squares the pattern called for and I did a little happy dance around the house. Then I got the pattern out and started to lay them out according to the schematic so I could start sewing them together.

Well . . . . let's just say I never should have done the happy dance . . . not yet anyways. It just wasn't piecing together right. Since I work in a library, I thought it would be a good idea to read the directions a little better. 

I almost had a melt down . . . after the paragraph telling me how many squares to make . . . is a paragraph about large triangles. Large triangles???

It seems that I also need 4 large triangles . . .  made by sewing two triangles together. I also need 4 'loose' triangles for the corners. I also need 2 triangles to sew to the modified triangles I made for the left and right neck edges.



After I moaned out loud "You've got to be kidding me" . . . I sat down to start making . . . yes, MORE TRIANGLES.



So I made . . . yes . . . more triangles . . . and turned them into large triangles . . . and I blocked them. Then I started to lay them out according to the schematic . . . again.


At this point I began to think that perhaps I was missing a few brain cells. I even went on Ravelry and looked up the pattern again hoping that someone else made it that had more brain cells than me . . . and there would be a 'oh, that's how you do it' epiphany. There wasn't. 




No matter what I did, I didn't seem to have enough triangles. See the triangle 'holes' on the right edge and again on the left edge? Hmm . . . it's the exact size as one of the large triangles. But the pattern said to make 2 for the back . . . which I did . . . but they are up at the top of the neck.






It now seemed time to try and use the few brain cells I have, so I got out pen, paper and a calculator . . . and I totaled up how many triangles I've made. I'm suppose to make 78 . . . I have made 74. Using the detective skills I've acquired through watching many episodes of Law and Order and Blue Bloods . . . I realize there is a mistake/misprint in the pattern.  If I make 4 more triangles and turn them into 2 large triangles . . . which will precisely fit into the two holes on the side . . . I will have 4 large triangles for the back - not 2 called for in the pattern - and a total of 78 triangles . . . which the pattern calls for. That's a lot of thinking and math for me. 

Okay . . . 4 more triangles. I am SO tired of triangles.

If my husband suggests a trip to Bermuda . . . I may go screaming from the room . . . . . I'm sure we'd end up in . . . you guessed it . . .

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






Thursday, October 6, 2016

Getting Squared Away

I blocked another bunch of squares for my Counterpane Masterpiece. I knew I was getting close to the 15 squares I needed, so I did another count as I took them off my blocking board . . . because the last thing on earth that I want to do is make extra triangles!!! 

Then I counted again. 

Woohoo!!!!!

I need 15 . . . I have 13 done and blocked . . . 4 triangles done and ready to be sewn together . . . which leaves . . . one square, or 4 triangles, left! (And yes, I was so excited to be that close to finishing them . . . that I counted again!)

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm looking forward to knitting something other than triangles . . . and a long weekend to do it in!!

Of course the squares still have to all be sewn together . . . 


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


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Monday Night knitting Group

It seems like just last month when the Monday Night group met . . . but suddenly it's September . . . and back to school . . . and another night of knitting!

Linda is making this scarf with a funky edge in a shade of chartreuse that I am coveting. She found the pattern on Ravelry . . . it would be nice if I could remember the name of the pattern . . . but of course I can't!!

To block it you insert a dowel in the loops and then they stay flat. 

I can't wait to see it done.





Peggy is making hats for her grandchildren  . . .












. . . and she made a cute Christmas stocking for a 3 month old. (She thought about putting a candy cane in the mitten . . . the group voted and thought a little single serving bottle of wine for the mother would be better!)









Mary was busy too. Cute sweaters with matching bonnets.











We had new faces . . . which is always fun. 

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






Friday, September 16, 2016

Plodding Along

I've been s l o w l y knitting away and working up my triangles for my Counterpane Masterpiece. The hot and humid days of August made it rough to knit with wool . . . (think sweaty hands and stitches sticking to the needles and maybe a little swearing and a lot of wishing for cool September mornings.)

Now that September is here, I am trying to knit faster and get them done! Not to mention that I just may . . . just may . . . be getting sick of making triangles and sewing them together!



So far I have 7 squares that are blocked, 1 not blocked and enough triangles for 2 squares. So about 38 more triangles and I can start sewing the squares together. That will leave the sleeves and the neck.

I think I better buckle down and get knitting . . . especially if I want to wear it on one of the cool fall days!!

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