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!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Could Be Trouble . . .

Last night was another great night of knitting with the "Monday Night Knitting Group" at the library. I love to see the progress of everyone's projects . . . especially when they are completed!!

The picture really doesn't do it
 justice. The colors are gorgeous.
The night was going quite smoothly and then Pat showed us her weaving loom. . . and then Pat let me 'do a couple of rows' (I don't remember what the correct term is!) on her weaving loom . . . and then Pat offered to bring the loom back next month. Oh no. 

I can easily see how weaving would have the same relaxing effect that knitting does. Sitting there envisioning what the finished piece will look like and day dreaming about how it would be used or worn. I could easily forget all my troubles while doing the back and forth repetitive motions. Not to mention what a terrific way to use some left overs and single skeins of yarn in my stash.

What do you think? Is it time to learn a new craft? I'm going to go think about it. I'll work on Judy's sweater while I do.

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What are you doing next weekend?

One of my favorite library patrons called yesterday to tell me she saw an ad in the Boston Globe for the Knit & Crochet show. (You really have to love someone that thinks of you when they see a 'knitting event' and also takes the time to call . . . thanks Ruth!!).

Well, I figured I should share it with you. Check your calendars. If you aren't doing anything, head up to Manchester. It's not far - maybe an hour and half or something like that? If you can't go for the weekend, go for the day. 

Go on-line and investigate (knitandcrochetshow.com) . . . it's probably not too late to register for a class. If nothing else there is always . . .  SHOPPING! The marketplace will be filled with sock yarn, hand-painted yarn, alpaca yarn, mohair yarn, silk yarn . . . get the picture?? It will be like fiber heaven.

Let me know if you go. Better yet, let me know what you buy.

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I heard you.

I'm sorry . . . I've been absent for awhile. It hasn't been a very good knitting time for me. My aunt Audrey (one of two aunts that taught me how to knit) passed away at the beginning of the summer, and my dad - who had been sick - passed away at the end of June. Add a little heat and humidity to the mix and the result is that the sweater I have been working on for my friend Judy has been left to languish in my knitting bag.

So this morning when I took my coffee out to the deck to listen to the birds sing and enjoy the cool air, I began to fondly remember the many summers I spent with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at the family beach house in Mattapoisett. Into my head popped all those things you are told as a child/young adult and then conveniently ignore. So many times from my father I heard "If the job is worth doing, it's worth doing right" . . . "You get what you pay for" . . . "Get the right tools for the job". . . And when Audrey caught you sitting in a beach chair doing nothing . . . "Well, where is your knitting?"

Indeed. Where was my knitting now? I put down the coffee and quickly went into the house to get it.

As I sat and knitted away on Judy's sweater, I couldn't help but smile. 

(Yes Audrey, I am knitting. I am no longer just sitting idle. And if it gets too hot for the wool to be 
on my legs, I will use a pillow case . . . just as you taught me.) 

I am using Debbie Bliss yarn which moves through my fingers so smoothly. (Yes dad, you do get what you pay for - so I always use good yarn.) 

The stitches are moving quickly from one needle to the next on my Addi Click interchangeables. (Yes dad, I splurged one day and bought really nice needles.) 

I have also been checking my cable work throughout the project to make sure nothing is twisted the wrong way. (Yes dad, I'll do it right.)

I kept knitting and could picture the two of them, both in beach chairs, looking out at the ocean. Maybe they will turn to each other and say, "Hey, she was listening to us after all!" I was. To everything. Don't worry, I'll carry on. One stitch at a time.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Learning Experiences"

See it, the cable between the two blue markers?
Going to the right instead of the left.

I'm still working on Judy's sweater. I decided to follow my own advice and check on my progress . . . good think I did . . . of course there's a mistake right in the middle of the row. . . you know, the row that has 376 stitches in it.

This one wasn't too bad - I saw the mistake after just one row. But if you discover a mistake after you've worked a few inches . . . well that's just depressing. 

Has this happened to you too?! I decided to pretend that I did it on purpose. . .  so I can show you how to fix a cable without ripping out all your hard work. . . you know, a learning experience. (It sounds better than admitting to screwing up a cable).

First work the next row until you come to the point where the mistake is. Then turn the work so the right side is facing you.

Slide the stitches off the needle. 
(Go ahead, don't be afraid).

Get a cable needle and give the yarn going through the stitches a little tug.

(If your mistake is down a couple of rows, just keep pulling out each row until you hit the mistake).

The stitches are untwisted now and you can fix your mistake.

Since I wanted the cable to twist to the left, I am going to pick up the last two stitches first. Then I will pick up the first two, but place them to the left of the stitches on the cable needle.

Here are the stitches on the cable needle . . . this time in the right order . . . ready to be 're-knit'.

Next take the stitches off one at a time and using a crochet hook, grab the floating yarn and pull it through the stitch and place it on the working needle.

(If you have pulled out more than one row, just make sure you grab the floats in order.)

Here it is all fixed . . . you would never know what happened if I didn't confess to you. 

It only takes a few minutes . . . much quicker than ripping out the row.

I am just about to the part where I will divide for the armholes. I'll work on it
 tonight . . . but if I have a glass of wine, I'll put it away. . . then I won't have any more possible 'learning experiences'.

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

From the Library's Shelves

Click here to place a hold
Have you sometimes wanted to take a knitting class but for some reason didn't? Maybe you have young children at home and no sitter, there isn't a yarn store close enough, you work at night or you work all day and you're just too tired to leave the house after dinner?

Well now you can take one (for free!) and have a glass of wine while you do it. (Can it possibly get any better? I think not!)

Margaret Fisher is a Master Knitter and teacher. She developed a class based on some common questions her students had. From the class came the book - and the book is your chance to take her class in your living room (or out on your deck if it's nice out.) 

Seven Things That Can Make or Break a Sweater. . . It will teach you just what it says - 7 things.

1. Tips for your cast-on edge
2. How to increase in your ribbing and where to place the increases
3. Which decreases will slant which way and which ones to use where (that's a
    lot of 'whiches'!)
4. Which increases will slant which way and which ones to use where (OMG, 
    even more!!)
5. Blocking (you are blocking  . . . aren't you??)
6. How to pick up stitches for a band or edge
7. Where to place buttonholes and how to make them

That's it. Just those 7 things. But wow!! If you aren't doing those 7 things half-way decent . . . well, let's not go there. 

I had the library purchase it for the collection, then when I took it home and read it, I purchased it for mine. It's really that good. Go ahead, check it out and take the class. You'll be glad you did.

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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Library Girl says 'Read' your knitting

I've been knitting away on my friend's sweater. (The Silver Belle pattern by Debbie Bliss - It's for Judy, come and see her wear it in the library).  I have the pattern pretty much 'in my head' so I figured I would do a few rows while I watched Agents of Shield with my daughter the other night. 


Sounds like a good idea, right? Well it wasn't. I got too engrossed in the show (trying to figure out if Agent Ward is on the good side, or the bad side), and I didn't pay attention to my knitting . . . and I didn't realize it until the next morning.

See my mistake . . . I did one row of the pattern twice . . . (it must have been when Agent Ward was taking his lie detector test). So I will unravel those 6 stitches, break out my trusty crochet hook and fix my mistake.
I will do this with the TV off!!

Moral of the story? 'Read' your knitting. Especially if you are working cables. Take a look after every few rows to make sure everything is turning, twisting and lining up the right way!  It's a lot easier to fix mistakes that aren't too far down.

Also, don't knit when you are watching Agents of Shield.

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

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.