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, September 30, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #1

Well it seems fall is officially here. The leaves are changing, it's getting darker earlier, and the nights are certainly cooler. I guess it's also time to pack away the sandals and think about breaking out the socks.

I admit I am a little spoiled when it comes to socks. I have a draw full of socks in every color imaginable - all hand-knit by my mother. Every year around this time I am asked "How is your sock supply? Do you need anymore?"  Let's face it - there is nothing like wearing a pair of hand-knit socks on a cold day. (They kept my toes warm during many of my son's youth hockey games!)

I'm not sure why many knitters are intimidated by the thought of making socks. Is it because the directions refer to heel flaps and gussets? Perhaps it's the thought of doing the Kitchener stitch for the first time? I'm not sure. I only know I love to wear them.

Here's an idea - let's take the fear away and make a pair together . . .  a simple top down pair with a ribbed leg. We'll have our own knit-a-long. First step is to head out to your local yarn shop and pick up a skein of sock yarn and a set of double-pointed needles.

We'll start tomorrow.

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From the Library's Shelves

Have you ever been sitting in your favorite chair at home, happily knitting away and suddenly you are stumped by a technique or a term? I bet you wished you had your own personal knitting instructor sitting next to you.  Well, here's your chance.

A Knitting Glossary  puts Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swansen in your living room giving you a private knitting lesson. Watch the whole video or jump around to a specific technique. Either way, you can't go wrong. Go ahead, go check it out of the library.
click here to place a hold

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

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Favorite Websites

When you work in a library there is always this compulsion to make lists. Lists of your favorite books, lists of mystery writers, lists of MA authors . . . it goes on and on. 

So here is the beginning of a list of my favorite knitting websites.


Let's share the list . . .  add your favorites to it!

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Monday Night Knitting Group

One of the things we talked about Monday night was decreases. A well written pattern will tell you which type of decrease you should use. But if it doesn't  . . . well, what's a knitter to do?!

Just be aware that some decreases will slant to the left and some will slant to the right. The most common right slanting decrease is the k2tog (knit 2 stitches together). Here is a swatch with K2tog decreases done on both sides.
The left hand side shows a neat line slanting to the right.
The right hand side is more jagged.

The SSK is a common left slanting decrease. (slip one stitch knitwise, slip a second stitch knitwise, then knit the two together) Here is a swatch with SSK decreases done on both sides.
Notice how the left hand edge is jagged but the right hand
side has the smooth line that is slanting to the left.

By combining the k2tog and the SSK you will have a balanced look to your project. For example, when you fold the swatches in half you can see that using the 2 different decreases in one row will create a smooth neckline on a cardigan. They are considered 'mirror' decreases.

It will also create a smooth seam line if you were knitting a sleeve from the top down.

But don't rely on these two decreases only. There are other decreases that will slant to the right or left and will look different. Knit up a swatch and try them out. See which ones you like to mirror each other.

If you knit a couple of stitches before you decrease at the beginning of a row, and leave a couple of stitches to knit after a decrease at the end of the row, you will produce a wider line or bar. This is called a 'full fashion' decrease. It also makes it a lot easier to do any seaming or picking up stitches.

Even if you're an experienced knitter, give it a try. It's always nice to try something new and you may find a technique you like better than what you are using now.

Go ahead. Get out your reference book. If you don't have one it's time to stop at the library. We have some great ones. Tell them at the desk that Library Girl sent you.

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday Night Knitting Group

Another great night of knitting at the Duxbury Free Library! Such an array of talents. Take a look at what everyone is working on.

Janet has the back to a Rowan pattern done.
 (it is pictured in front of Katharine and Martha).

I made Martha model her sweater.

Mary is almost done with her baby blanket . . .

and Chris has finished hers.

Peggy finished a baby hat.

Suzanne explained to Joan (and me!)
how she is knitting the blocks for her Noro afghan.
We talked about decreases and our favorite websites. (Details to follow). We also had new faces. I hope to see yours next month!
Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

I know I wasn't going to mention holiday knitting again . . . but Friday I went into one of our local yarn shops, Wool Basket Yarns. (15 Depot Street, Duxbury, MA).  I saw the prettiest lace scarf. Correction - the prettiest, 2 skein, quick to knit up, pattern free with yarn, lace scarf. I have this much done and I just started it this morning with my coffee . . .
At first I thought of my son's girlfriend. Now I am thinking of my son's girlfriend, my hairdresser, my sister, maybe a library friend or two, and anyone that I will need a last minute gift for, and oh yes - myself. It's such an easy pattern. the hardest part is deciding what color. Black, white, a sea-foam green, a pretty pumpkin . . . maybe one of each!
Go ahead into Wool Basket Yarns and check it out. Tell Beth the Library Girl sent you.
Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From the Library's Shelves

I thought I would give one last suggestion about holiday knitting. (I am worried that with back-to-school, work, and all those other things - called 'life' - that keep you busy . . . well I'm worried that you'll do it 'later').

In case you need a little prompting, the library has a lot of books for you to get your inspiration from. Here's one in particular . . . .

last minute knitted giftsleft click here to place a hold

Lots of quick and easy ideas. The book is broken into 'time' chapters - less than 2 hours, 2-4 hours, 4-6 hours . . .and so on. Projects range from baby booties, wrist warmers, cute toys and some sweaters.

But just because the title says Last-Minute . . . don't wait until the last minute.

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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Okay knitting friends . . . .I hate to bring it up . . . but someone has to remind you. If you are going to knit a gift for the holidays you should start now. Don't be giving the sweater with the second sleeve still on the needles again this year. Let's not fall victim to that "a scarf will work up quick" mentality either. Spend a little bit of time on it each day and then you'll save yourself all that stress later.

And since we're talking about gifts. . . remember, knit what the recipient wants . . . not what you want to knit. So if you hate pink but the mittens are for a 5 year-old girl, well I think you better buy pink (or purple!) yarn. The guys on your list probably want navy blue, maroon or yes, even black. They could usually care less about all those intricate cables you want to do and will be happy with a plain stockinette crew neck. Save the pastel hand-painted merino for yourself.

Go on, pick out the pattern and get going.

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One day Suzanne* stopped at the circulation desk and asked me if I was familiar with Twist Collective. Since I wasn't, I quickly went on-line to check it out.

Wow! It's an on-line magazine that has instructional articles and some great patterns. (Wait, it's a FREE on-line magazine!) The patterns include everything from fingerless gloves to cowls, shawls and sweaters. The patterns are purchased and down loaded individually. No more buying a whole book for just one project!

Don't worry if you hadn't heard of it either . . . . they have back issues available. Check it out. 

Twist Collective

*Suzanne works in our reference department and she is also a knitter. One of her many responsibilities is purchasing the craft books for the library. (Can you imagine a job where you have to buy knitting books?!). She has selected some great ones!!
Come in and check out the collection and meet Suzanne. She's a great knitter, she's nice  . . . and also she also wears great shoes.

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Since it was Labor Day weekend, I decided to labor all weekend on my shawl. It was a little easier with an audio book to listen to . . . . but I still have about 20 repeats to go. (ugh!!)

Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend and then I'll be able to start the cowl without any guilt!

Hmm . . . do you think I have to finish blocking it before I can start the cowl?

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