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, June 15, 2018

Knitted Memories

One of my favorite things to do while I knit a sweater for myself is to plan what I'll wear it with when it's done. So, while I was sewing the collar on my latest project, I started to plan . . . and then it hit me. I realized that I have a strong tendency to knit a sweater, wear it once . . . maybe twice . . . and then it goes into the closet where it's forgotten.

I decided it was time to clean out the hand-knits in my closet. I reached in and pulled out the two closest piles. (Yes, I am a little embarrassed to admit that there is more. Much more.)

I hardly ever wear this vest anymore. A favorite library patron gave me the pattern . . . and she has since passed away. I remember the day I bought the yarn. I went to Worcester with my husband and father-in-law. Since my sister lives in Worcester, I hung out with her while my husband and father-in-law went to a Holy Cross football game. She took me to the nicest shop in Tatnick Square where I wandered around and fell in love with this linen-cotton blend. Then we went back to her house and drank wine until the game was over. It was such a nice day. I better keep the vest.

Again, another vest I hardly ever wear anymore. But this was my first feeble attempt at weaving something wearable. Pat, from the Monday Night Knitting Group, invited me to her home and gave me a little weaving lesson. She was so patient with me . . . and I thought it was so generous of her to give up her morning for me. I think there may have been coffee and muffins involved. I better keep this vest too.

Then I came upon this scarf. My husband took me to the Stitches convention when it was in Hartford a few years ago. It came as a kit. The hand dyed half gets woven through the knitted half. I did wear it a lot for a while . . . not so much now. It could probably go . . . at least the knitted part . . . I never wear it together any more. It was such a nice weekend away though . . .we went out to dinner . . . I think I'll keep the scarf.

Another weekend my husband and I went to a West Point football game. On the way out we stopped in Northampton. We walked all around the town . . .  had coffee at a little sidewalk cafe . . . and of course went into WEBS. While I was shopping I picked up the yarn for this top.

Should I keep going? I guess that's why my closet is filled with sweaters that I hardly ever wear. Maybe they aren't really sweaters. Maybe they are just physical reminders of past good times. Memories that are interwoven with cotton and linen, wool and mohair, and the sweet passage of time.

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

From Frustration to Genius

Anyone who knits enough has been there. You find yourself working with a ball of yarn that won't stay wound. Maybe it was a cake that was loosely wound . . . maybe it's a blend with silk making it slippery . . . maybe it's lace weight . . . maybe . . . well, it doesn't really matter why. All that really matters is you are knitting and giving the yarn a gentle tug . . . it's coming unwound . . . and it's starting to make you cranky because you would rather knit than untangle the mess that is starting to get a life of it's own.

Yes, there are pretty 'yarn bowls' handcrafted by independent potters. There are gorgeous ones that have been handcrafted out of rosewood. There are funky ones and there are silly ones and I'm sure Pinterest will have you making one out of something that is in your trash at home. But that's just it. They are at home. And there you are, not at home. 

Or there Lindsey was. In her car with some time to relax and get a few rows in. In her car with a skein that was starting to drive her crazy. Did she get cranky, like I would have? No . . . she took off her scarf . . . put the yarn inside . . . loosely tied the ends together and fed the yarn out from the top.

I mean, really. Is that not genius? Necessity really is the mother of invention.

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From the Library Shelves

When I started to knit socks, I quickly fell in love with Vogue Knitting the Ultimate Sock Book. (If you don't believe me, check out my post from October 18, 2013!)

Since my mother is a sock-knitting-machine, I seem to have a never ending supply of socks . . . so of course I stopped knitting them. I moved on to mittens and finger-less gloves. It seems when I finish a pair . . . some fit great, some fit so-so, and some just did not fit. I would check my gauge and check the yarn weight and in the end I would just give away the ones that didn't fit.

My problem is solved with Knit Mitts by Kate Atherley! This book does for mittens what the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book does for socks. Directions on how . . . and where . . . to measure your hand for the perfect fit. Knitting for a gift . . . or for a hand you can't measure? No problem . . . the author did a hand-size survey and gives some averages.

Kate Atherley provides directions for stretchy cast-ons, different thumb types, felting, linings . . . and strategies for warmth! There are patterns for just a plain basic mitten, two-color mittens, thrummed mittens, cabled mittens - you name it and she has a pattern in there for you!

It's a great book to check out of your library . . . but if you are going to knit a few pairs of mittens . . . buy it. It's a must-have for your personal library.

                                                              click here to place a hold

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


Saturday, February 3, 2018

What's in Your Stash . . . any "Pastrami"?

Frequently the biggest question of the day in my house is the popular 'What's for dinner?' The other night . . . since it was just my son and I . . . it was easy. The left-over pastrami. After we finished, there it was . . . more left-over pastrami. Then came the dilemma. It was too much to throw away . . . but not really enough for another sandwich. What to do . . . what to do. I of course put it in the refrigerator and I hope my husband will eat it someday for part of his lunch.
This to me is Pastrami!
I will probably never use it.
It will sit in my stash until
 I go on a huge cleaning binge.

Why am I talking about pastrami on a knitting blog? Well . . . at the last knitting night somehow the conversation turned to throwing yarn away. Some were aghast . . . (yes, aghast . . . indrawn breath, raised eyebrows, and a dropped chin) . . . that anyone would even think about throwing yarn away. "It could be a stripe", "You could seam with it", "Patch with it". There were suggestions and reasons to keep the smallest ball of yarn.

Keep in mind I'm talking 'throwing out'. I'm not talking about 'giving yarn away'.

Hmm . . . I don't know. I like to think I'm frugal. I 
have a friend that never eats left-overs. Dinner is over . . . whatever wasn't eaten is thrown out. I just couldn't do that. Too often I've had another whole 
meal from left-overs. But left-over left-overs? That 
pastrami in my fridge . . . I'm not going to eat it. 
I'll leave it for a couple days and then if it's not 
gone . . . I'll make it be gone.

This I could never throw
out. It's a pair of mittens
 just waiting to be created.

I treat yarn the same way. If I finish a project and have a skein or two left over . . . well that could be a pair of fingerless gloves . . . a hat . . . a cowl . . . or yes, a stripe in a sweater. But once the second project is done . . . and I am left with a small amount . . . I confess, I toss it. No pastrami in my stash.

How about you? Do you ever throw out yarn? 

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Grinch Was Right

At the last Knitting Night, Lynn was making fingerless gloves for Christmas presents. I fell in love with them. Beautiful cables and an inserted thumb hole . . . (not the lazy way that I do mine of just leaving part of the seam open!).

But then I got 'the story'. Her mom passed away at the beginning of the year. No one could quite bring themselves to wear any of her sweaters. So Lynn selected one . . . took it apart . . . and then unraveled it. I know, huh! Talk about tedious and time consuming. 

If that wasn't time consuming enough . . . She then took the yarn and she's knitting fingerless gloves for her sisters for Christmas. 

It's probably the most thoughtful gift they will ever receive.

The Grinch . . . and Lynn . . . nailed it.

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas he thought, means a little bit more."

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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

My daughter . . . 'the saver' . . . recently bought her own house. After multiple weekends of returning for "a few things", her room is finally empty (except for a notebook of Pokemon cards that I just found yesterday). 

While she was going through the purchase process, her boss kept saying . . . "What's your mother going to do?", "She's going to miss you!","What's your mother going to do with your room?"

Really? Hasn't he seen the Staples commercial where the son goes off to college, and as soon as the car leaves the driveway the mother is up in his room with a tape measure?! Since my daughter has bought a house . . . well, there will be no return on winter and summer breaks.

Just picture it. An empty room . . . okay, there is one twin bed in the corner . . . but these four walls will never have the title of guest room. I pulled all my yarn out from its hiding place under my eaves . . . grabbed the baskets my mother has made . . . and set about creating . . . finally . . . my craft room. Just saying it brings me instant serenity. 

I looked at my stash and admit I got a little stressed . . . no silly, . . . not because of the amount . . . but how should I 
organize it?

First, I quickly realized that Mona could not be involved in this process and she had to be evicted from the room.

I thought I would do it by fiber. All the mohair together . . . all the cotton . . . all the wool . . . you get the picture.
But as I was making the piles I soon realized this was not going to work. All the colors mixed up just did nothing for me.

Hmm . . . by weight? But what would I do with some of those unlabeled skeins that I'm not sure what they are??

So I grouped them together by color and the serenity quickly returned. (Please note that this is only a partial viewing of the fiber involved in this project!!)

Next I put each color group into a basket. I put all the fleece waiting to be knitted into mittens in another basket . . . added my knitting needle collection that I keep in my grandmother's old ice tea pitcher . . . and then added a felted bear to watch over the whole corner.

There you have it. After 29 years, all signs of a daughter are removed and replaced with a long waisted for craft room. 

Although . . .  if I sit there quietly . . . I can still see her sitting on the floor playing the Sims on her computer . . . there are still some spots on the walls from her glow-in-the-dark stars that I couldn't get out . . . I have memory flashes of wrestling matches and arguments with her brother . . . Elmo and blankie, Fisher Price toys, and band 
uniforms . . . and I might even hear U2. Oh ya . . . and the Pokemon cards are there. Perhaps I'll keep the cards . . . move them in with my stash . . . keep 29 years of memories safely cushioned and preserved by wool, mohair, and cedar chips . . . and love.

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

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Knot a Good Way to Start the Day

There I sat this morning. 

The window was cracked to let in a little October breeze . . . I had a cup of coffee in my hand . . . Mona was in my lap . . . I was knitting away and slowly waking up and thinking of the day ahead of me.

And then it happened.

As the yarn was coming up into my hand I felt . . . well, I felt 'that'. You know . . . that moment when you no longer feel the smooth piece of yarn and two options instantly pop into your head. Is it just a 'crink' in the yarn . . . or is it a knot?

I stopped and looked . . . and of course . . . a knot. I hate that. If we can put a man on the moon, why can't they make a skein of yarn without a break in it? 

It makes me a little cranky. It completely disrupted my flow. I had to undo a few stitches . . . get out my scissors . . . and do a join.

I know . . . I know . . . First World Problems . . . and I will still have a good day.

But really . . . don't you hate that too?

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