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, October 29, 2013

Product or Process?

My current project is the Romance Ruffle-Collar Shell designed by Irina Poludnenko for Tahki Yarns. I saw it completed in The Wool Basket and fell in love with it.

What do you think?
Should I add sleeves?

I have the back done and I am
half-way up one of the fronts . . . and I will confess to you . . . I don't really like working on it. Because of the incongruities in the yarn (which is one of the things I love in the completed project), I am finding it hard to maintain a grip in my right hand and keep a tension. But I already have a dress to wear with the finished shell.

So as I was working on it this morning and suffering in silence (well my husband doesn't really want to listen to me and there wasn't another knitter around!), I started to think about 'process' vs. 'product' knitting.

The rhythmic clicking of needles and the feel of yarn between my fingers always made me think I was a process knitter. I have worked out many problems in my life while my needles clicked away . . . (perhaps Congress should knit while they are in session) . . . or, if my pattern was hard enough to demand my full concentration, I could at least escape them for awhile! 

While I sit and knit I often picture my work once it is completed. Will my husband love it? Will my son/daughter wear it? Won't it look nice on one of my friends? If it is a gift, I try and knit a little wish of love and good health in between each stitch for the recipient.

Sometimes I like a complicated pattern. The challenge of multiple colors or cables added to following a graph and keeping track everything going on in one row . . . I feel like I am putting my brain to use! But sometimes I need a 'no think' project. I need to just work stockinette or an easy pattern that I already have memorized.

I must be a process knitter.

So I will often have two projects going at the same time . . . but I always finish them. (In fact I'll stress with more than two!) My closet is not crowded with sweaters left languishing on the needles. I love that feeling when the last end is woven in and the item is done. I quickly snap a picture of it and rush to post it on Ravelry. Ah, such completion.

I must be a product knitter.

Hmm . . . I don't know. Can you be both?

What do you think? Which are you?

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

From the Library's Shelves

I bet I know what you did last week. You became so enthused with our sock knit-a-long that you went to your local yarn store (LYS) to buy some sock yarn. But when you went in, you became overwhelmed with the choices. There was self-striping and self-patterning, variegated and colors you didn't know existed. There was bamboo, wool-nylon blends, silk blends, and even cashmere tempting you. Don't worry, you need only to confess to yourself that you bought too much. 

But wait. Did you buy too much? Perhaps not. Just because the label says 'sock yarn' doesn't mean you have to knit socks with it. You can knit other things with sock 
yarn. . . it is your yarn after all!

If you're not sure what to make, check out this book from the library. It will give you ideas for projects that use just one skein, or two or more skeins. There is a great explanation about what sock yarn really is along with how to deal with color repeats and pooling. I'm not sure which pattern I like the best . . . either the Fortunate Cowl or the Hodgepodge Wristers. (Although my mother has such a stash of left-over yarn I am also thinking about the Lizalu Blanket). 

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday Night Knitting Group

Another great night of knitting! We did cast-ons and seaming and had a wonderful time knitting with friends.
Carolyn brought us warm-from-the-oven
chocolate chip cookies! Yum yum.
Lindsey showed us her great looking socks and
Suzanne is getting close to finishing her afghan!
Marguerite finished her chemo cap.
Hope to see you when we meet the next time - November 18th. There's always room at the table!

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Night Knitting Group

Did you check your calendar? It's October 21st . . . the third Monday of the month. That means it's knitting night at the Duxbury Free Library! I can't wait to see what everyone has accomplished. 

There's always another chair available . . . so join us! There's also always an extra skein of yarn and a set of needles . . . so if you would like to learn to knit, join us!

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

Friday, October 18, 2013

From the Library's Shelves

Have you been admiring your sock? Well you should be!!
It's very easy to get bitten by the sock-knitting bug. Soon you will find yourself wondering how you could have lived without hand-knit lace socks or wildly-funky colored socks. Once you get started using self-striping yarn there may be no turning back. Why would you let that special man in your life wear socks without mock cables or yes, even argyle socks? 

If you are hooked, here's another book to check out of the library. This is another one you will want to have in your own collection. It begins with a history of hand-knit socks and then goes into construction detail for both toe-up and top-down socks. There is a
 great chart that  provides all the numbers you need to
 knit socks from a  baby to an adult XL . . . and in
3 different weights of yarn no less!

When you are ready to start designing your

socks there are guidelines and suggested stitches to

use. Patterns are also included if you would rather follow directions than write them!

I confess . . . this is my favorite sock book so far. Check it out from the library and let me know what you think.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Puzzling Jigsaw Tangles

Thursdays are "Puzzling Thursdays" at the library. You can come in and work on part of a huge crossword puzzle, fiddle with a rubics cube or work on a jigsaw puzzle. When it's not a Thursday, the jigsaw puzzle is stored in the staff room.

Here is where I become puzzled. I have seen my co-workers spend their break, lunch and even go home late to stay and work on this jigsaw puzzle. They stand in front of it carefully scrutinizing, straightening and strategically moving around these small pieces. They do this for a long time. Then, they triumphantly turn around and announce to me "I got a piece in!" Really? Really? I confess I just don't understand it and can't quite share their enthusiasm. Don't they know how many rows they could have knitted on a project in the length of time it took them to latch one small piece next to another small piece?

Admit it. It has happened to you, hasn't it?
It's a challenge any knitter would tackle.
Spend hours untangling - as opposed to
cutting and having another end to weave in
Then this morning I had a little 'ahah' moment. Someone gave me a skein of yarn that needed to be use double-stranded for a project. There was a tangle in it that of course became worse during the transport home. Did I cut the yarn like any sane person would do? No. I spent (no, I won't even tell you how long I spent), untangling this mess. I sat there drinking my coffee working loops through loops, keeping it loose so it would not knot, following the path of yarn into the black hole of the tangle . . . and yes, it was relaxing, soothing and stimulating all at the same time. It was a bit of a  brain
                                                           test. I would not let this mess get the
                                                           best of me.

Then it hit me. This was my jigsaw puzzle! It's just that mine is made of yarn and can be picked up. Now when my co-workers happily connect those little squares of 1" cardboard pieces I will silently root for them. (Silently . . . because I wouldn't want to disturb their concentration.)

If you can, come in on Thursday and help them out with the puzzle.

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber. (Yes, sometimes literally in fiber!).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #9

Are you ready to finish your sock?!

I have finished all my toe decreases and I have 16 stitches left.

Using needle #3, knit across the 4 stitches on needle #1.

You now have only 2 needles, with 8 stitches on each one.

Cut your yarn from the skein leaving about a 15" tail. Thread the end through a blunt end tapestry needle.
(My favorite are Chibi by Clover).

Next go someplace where you will be left alone for about 15 minutes. You will be glad that you did.

Hold the two needles in your left hand (I insert my index finger between the two needles to keep them stable an separate). Using your right hand,

- insert the needle into the first stitch on the first needle as if to knit and then slip the stitch off the needle.

-insert the needle into the second stitch on the first needle as if to purl, but leave the stitch on the needle.

-insert the needle into the first stitch on the rear needle as if to purl and slip it off.

-insert the needle into the next stich on the rear needle as if to knit, but leave it on the needle

Repeat these four steps until all the stitches have been joined. (This is why I told you to go someplace quiet. It's much easier to do this if you just repeat the directions in your head as you do it. Sometime the words come out of my head and I find I am talking to myself. If you are alone, well people won't know).

Too loose . . .
Just right.
 Do not pull your yarn too tight. I tend to work a little loose. I think it's easier to adjust the stitches afterwards using my Chibi needle.

It's much harder to adjust stiches that are too tight.

Fasten off the end of your yarn inside and also weave in the cast-on tail.

Put your sock on and dance around the house and say "Look what I made, look what I made!"

Then quickly sit down again . . . I think the Patriots are playing at 4:30 . . . you can cast-on for your second sock and work on the leg ribbing during the game!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #8

Almost done!!

I have finished the body of my sock and I am ready to start my toe decreases.

Here goes . . . 

Row 1: Knit to the last 3 stitches on needle #1, K2tog, K1 On needle #2, K1, SSK, knit to the last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1 and lastly, on needle #3, K1 SSK, knit to the end.

Row 2: Knit evenly across.

Repeat these two rows until you have decreased to about half of your original stitch count. I had 64 stitches so I will decrease to 32 stitches. 

Next, repeat only Row 1 until you have 16 stitches left . . . 4 stitches on needle #1, 8 stitches on needle #2 and another 4 stitches on needle #3.

(If you are making a man's or a large woman's sock, just watch how long your toe length is. You may want to work only Row 1 sooner to decrease down to 16 stitches without adding too much length.)

Hey, look what you have created and you are almost done!  Can you stand it?! Aren't you excited?!  Come back for the ending directions.

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #7

Time for the instep!

Using another needle, pick up stitches along the left side of your heel flap. Pick up half as many stitches as rows worked on the heel flap, or pick up one stitch into each of your slipped stitches.

I had 32 heel stitches and 32 rows in my heel flap, so I should pick up 16 stitches along the side.

There, by picking up a
 couple more stitches
  I am right next to the stitch
 on the next needle.

See the gap? I would
have a hole in my sock!

Use this number as a guide . . . when I picked up 16 stitches I found a gap between the last picked up stitch and the stitches being held on the other needle. . . . so I picked up another two. (Just make sure you make it even and pick up the same number on the other side of the heel flap).

Next knit across the stitches that were being held on the other needle.
Then pick up stitches along the right side of the heel flap, again make sure you pick up the same amount as you did on the left side.

You now have stitches on 4 needles, but we'll go back down to three . . . just knit half of the stiches off the needle holding the heel flap stitches.

If that sounds confusing - using needle #2 ,knit half of the stitches on needle #1.

Here's the K2tog
 slanting to the right. 

It's time to shape the instep!!
Knit across the remaining heel stitches and then knit to the last 3 stitches on needle #4, K2tog, K1.

Knit across the next needle.
On the last needle, K1, SSK, knit to the end.

Next row, Knit across.

(Remember my post about decreasing? Using the K2tog and the SSK in the same row will make a nice line on your sock instep).

Keep repeating these two rows until you have decreased back down to your original amount of stitches that were cast on.

I had 64 stitches, I still have 1/2 of my stitches on the middle needle (the ones held there while I did my heel flap), so I want to decrease on each of the other needles until I have 16 stitches left on each.

Phew!! That was a lot to do  . . . make sure you have your coffee before you attempt it! Once you have the instep done, continue working evenly until the length of the foot is about 2 1/2 inches less than the desired length of the sock.

Oh . . . don't forget to tell your friends you made a gusset . . . . they'll be so impressed with you.

Tomorrow we'll make room for our piggy toes.

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


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #6

Okay, our heel flap is done . . . now let's turn the heel!!
(we'll still ignore the stitches on the other needle and only work on the stitches at the end of the heel flap).

Row 1: Purl halfway across the row, plus 2 stitches, P2tog, P1 turn.
           (In my case, I had 32 heel stitches, so I purled 18 stitches, then purled
           2tog, then purled 1).
Row 2: slip 1 stitch as if to purl, K5, SSK, K1 turn
Row 3; slip 1 stitch as if to purl, P6, P2tog*, P1 turn
Row 4: slip 1 stitch as if to purl, K7, SSK, K1 turn
Row 5: slip 1 stitch as if to purl, P8, P2tog, P1 turn
Row 6: slip 1 stitch as if to purl, K9, SSK, K1 turn

Continue working in this manner until all the stitches have been worked. Drop the K1/P1 at the end when you run out of stitches.

*You should be 1 stitch before the 'gap' created so that when you P2tog you are closing the gap and creating a new one with the next P1 - that will be closed on the next row with the SSK.

The result is a cute little heel like this!

Go ahead and turn your heel. Tomorrow we'll work on the instep - also known as the gusset. (I don't like to call it the gusset . . .doesn't it sound intimidating? Instep sounds much friendlier!).

Here's another great sock book at the library.
More patterns to inspire you . . . If you don't have a lot of sock yarn in your stash, you may want to go shopping. I think you are going to love your socks so much that you won't wear any others. . . . and just think what a great gift they would be!
Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #5

Finally! I have worked the K2P2 ribbing for 7" for my leg . . . I am ready to start the fun stuff! First is the heel. Are you ready too?

Before you start your heel, you want to have 25% of your stitches on the first needle, 50% on the second needle and 25% on the third needle.

I have 64 stitches - so I put 16 stitches on needle #1, 32 on needle #2 and the last 16 on needle #3.

So far so good!

Next I'm going to knit across the stitches on needle #1 with needle #3. I will end up with just two needles and
50% of my stitches on each needle.

In my case I have 32 stitches on each needle.

(If you find it too awkward to knit across using needle #3, use your fourth needle and then just slide them onto needle #3 when you finish the row).

Okay, time for the heel flap!

Row 1: Slip 1 stitch as if to purl, purl to the end.
Row 2: *Slip 1 stitch as if to purl, knit 1 stitch*. Repeat from * to * to the end of the row. (slipping the first stitch will make it easier to pick up stitches along the edge later).

Here is the front of my
heel flap.
This is the back side of my
heel flap.
Work as many heel rows as you have stitches for the flap. In my case, I have 32 stitches, so I will work 32 heel rows. (Or, 16 repeats of Row 1 & Row 2).

End with a knit row. 

Okay, go ahead and do yours . . . tomorrow we'll turn the heel!

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #4

I'm still working away on my sock. When my mind starts to wander, I let myself daydream and try and imagine the kingdom of Henry VIII. I'm glad I wasn't the one to knit the socks he wore at the end of his reign (I'm also glad I wasn't one of his wives!). If he gained the weight history claims . . . well, that would take me a long time on my little double-pointed needles. 

http://cache0.bdcdn.net/assets/images/book/medium/9781/9314/9781931499651.jpgWhile you are working on your sock, check-out Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.
She provides a great background on the evolution of hand-knit socks and patterns. When you're ready to try different types of heels and toes designs, her book will give you lots of options. There are also patterns for everything from a plain man's winter sock to a fancy infant's sock. Check it out. It's a great read for any sock lover.

click here to place a hold

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

CD Designs Trunk Show

I'm still working away on my sock . . . but I'll have to admit the K2P2 ribbing is getting a little on the boring side. I'm glad we're doing them together - it will make me stick to it! But on the other hand, I don't have any other projects started. I have finished the scarf and also the Lingering Doubts shawl I was working on. They both need to be blocked and since I don't have any lace blocking wires, so I plan on visiting The Wool Basket today.

Good thing I took this
 picture, I realized my
 crochet hook is missing.
Where did I leave it?!
I purposely waited until today since The Wool Basket is having a trunk show tonight of knitting bags from CD Designs. I already have one of her bags . . . and I love it. There are pockets inside that give me a space for everything I need to grab quick. It's made of a durable fabric so it stands up but yet it's flexible too (mine has gone cross-country, to the library and  
                              everywhere in between).

Here's another bag by CD Designs . . .

You should go to The Wool Basket and check them out tonight. It's located at -

19 Depot Street,
Duxbury, MA 02332.

The trunk show is at 7:00 PM. Go ahead and pick up a gift for one of your knitter friends. Better yet, treat yourself . . . you're worth it.
(You can always pick up some yarn to put in there too!)

Tell them The Library Girl sent you.

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #3

I've been knitting on my sock in the morning while I have my coffee. I have about 2 inches done.

 How about you? Do you have a few inches on your needles? Are you nervous that it might not fit? 

Here's a tip -
     Place all your stitches on a piece of scrap yarn. Tie the ends of the scrap yarn in a knot.

Now put your foot through it. If your ankle won't make it through, then you need to rip it out and start again with more stitches. (Better to find out now than when your sock is all done!) If your ankle fits through - put the stitches back on your needles and knit on without any worries!


Go ahead and keep knitting in the round in a K2P2 pattern for 6"-7", depending on how long you want you sock leg to be.

While you're knitting I thought I'd show you some of the sock books we have at the library.

Here's an excellent one. Nice basic instructions (with great photos). It's a great reference book if you are just starting with socks, but it also has some patterns with lace and cables if you want to be a little fancy!

to place a hold click here

More instructions for our sock knit-a-long and sock books to follow!

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sock Knit-a-Long #2

Did you buy your yarn yet? I am going to use a blue/green blend of wool, nylon and bamboo from Plymouth Yarn. I did my gauge swatch and I am getting 8 stitches per inch. Next I measured the widest part of my foot, and I got 8". So . . . 

gauge x foot measurement = number of stitches to cast on.

In my case, 8x8=64. I will cast on 64 stitches.

Since we are doing a ribbed leg, just make sure your number of stitches is divisible by 4 and then the K2P2 pattern will be accommodated. If your number is not divisible by four, just add or subtract a stitch or two until it is.

Go ahead and cast on. Use either the long-tail cast on or the cable cast-on for a firm edge that will also have a little flex to it. Divide the stitches onto 3 needles, be careful not to twist any, and join. (I always cast on one extra stitch when I knit in the round. Then I take the last stitch from the right-hand needle, slip it to the left needle and I knit the first two stitches together. It helps make the join a little neater.)

Work in a K2P2 rib for a few inches.

More to follow tomorrow.

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