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!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yarn Bomb at 77 Alden Street!

Monster Feet!!
 Make sure you visit us and see our yarn bombing at the library!

If you are not familiar with term 'yarn bomb', here is the definition from wikipedia -

Yarn bombing is a type of graffiti or street art that uses colorful displays of knitted or crocheted fiber as opposed to paint or chalk. unlike other forms of graffiti, they are easily removed and there is no damage to the structures they covered. It is usually done secretively with the attempt of leaving a little whimsy behind.

Sweaters to keep the trees warm.

Since we have Ann Hood visiting the library on Sunday (with some of her writer friends that also knit!), we thought we would welcome them by doing a little yarn bombing. So . . .  under the cover of darkness last Sunday night, the trees in front of the library were given bright sweaters (just in time too . . . it was freezing out!). 

A dragon takes over the bike rack!

Spider webs on the balcony!

But we didn't stop there! Make sure you visit inside the library . . . we have mittens on the rocking chair, socks on the sign holder, wristlets on the hand sanitizer . . . and more!

Of course we also have knitting books on display!

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Democratic Neck Warmer . . . or What I Did During Jury Duty

I was summoned for jury duty last Monday. That means I "played a part in the democratic process" and it also means I had plenty of time (5 hours!!) to finish the lace scarf that started out as a swatch. 

I didn't have as much yarn as I thought, so I guess I wouldn't call it a scarf. But I had enough length to go around my neck . . . so I added 4 buttonholes before I bound it off and decided it could be a neck warmer.

As you can see it really needs to blocked, so let's do it together.


First I'll let it sit in a bath of tepid water. While it's soaking, I'll go get my blocking supplies.

I have my blocking board, T-pins and lace wires. The wires make it a lot easier to block lace - otherwise I would have to use 50 million T-pins (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I would need more than I have).

A blocking board is also nice to have since they are marked off in 1" squares. The measured squares make it easy to pin your garment to the pattern specifications/measurements. If you don't have a blocking board you can use towels. Make the pile smooth and thick enough to be able to insert T-pins and also absorb the water. If you are putting the towels on your antique dining room table, place a plastic liner underneath so you don't ruin the finish! 

My piece of lace is small, so when I lift it out of the water I won't have any trouble holding it in my hands. . . but, avoid taking any large pieces from water without support . . . wet wool stretches quick! You can always place the pieces in a colander for support if they are too big to fit in your hand. Then just push down  gently to remove the excess water. Another way to remove excess water is to  place the piece on a towel and then roll it up. 

Then it's off to the board.

I ran my blocking wires along the 2 long edges of my neck warmer. Next I placed T-pins along the edge of one wire and then I stretched it out until it was flat and placed a couple
 T-pins against the second wire. Then I did the 2 ends. I used the measured squares on the board as guides so that my rectangle would be even.

After blocking. 

Next step . . . off to my stash to pick out another project. I need something to work on while it dries.

Hmm . . . Suzanne made some really cute wristlets . . .

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


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday Night Knitting Group

Another great night of knitting at the Duxbury Free Library! We had some new faces join us . . . and others brought in their completed projects to show.

Look at those busy hands!

Susan brought in one of her many 
baby sets . . .  complete with a 
hand-knit with love tag!
Peggy had the cutest American
Girl Doll outfits . . . and Thomas hats.

Mary-Jo broke out some
 unfinished projects . . .
. . . and Katherine worked on
seaming her sweater.

We talked about blocking and also how to determine how much yarn to buy if you are using something different from what is called for in the pattern. A fun time. Hope to see you next month!

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


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Author visit

Here's the reminder I promised you -

Mark your calendars . . . two weeks from today Ann Hood will be at the Duxbury Free Library to discuss Knitting Yarns. I have started to read the book and so far I love it! Registration starts today. Call the library (or go on-line) to reserve your seat.

I'm sure she'll bring a few authors-who-knit with her. (Or are they knitters-who-write?)Knitting Yarnsclick here to place a hold on the book

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Floss once a day . . . unless you are knitting lace, then twice.

Wearing any type of knitted lace is sure to draw the "Oh, that must have been so hard" comments. Often it will elicit more than a complicated cable pattern or a Norwegian knit. But yet, many knitters are reluctant to attempt it. Why is that? Are the graphs too intimidating? Is it the fear of making a mistake and not being able to correct it without ripping the whole thing apart?

Let's make it easy. First, make sure you insert markers after each repeat of the pattern. That way if you make a mistake you'll know before you start the next repeat. That's always better than finding out at the end of the row.
Plus your graph will look pretty . . .
and it's a chance to color!!

If the graph seems too intimidating with all those symbols to memorize, here's a step to make it easier. Break out your colored pencils and color code it! Instead of trying to remember which symbol means to SKP, you just need to know that pink means to SKP. You'll be able to knit quicker without referring to the graph key too!

You'll always know what
row you are on too!

Some people are just not 'visual' learners and hate to work from graphs. If you are one of them, just write out the pattern on index cards. One card for each row. Then just read the directions for the row you are on.

Once you have a couple repeats of your pattern done and you know there are no errors, insert a lifeline. When I talk to other knitters I find that lifelines are almost like gauge. Experienced knitters respond, "Oh, I don't use them" (and then they confess there have been times they have sat in silence and uttered curse words out loud because they did not insert one). Beginners will respond, "What's a lifeline?"

If you are nervous that your lifeline
will work it's way out, tie the ends to a
 stitch marker. They will anchor it.
A lifeline is usually used in lace knitting, but they can be just as handy in any complicated pattern. Take a piece of waste yarn and using a tapestry needle, thread it through the stitches on your needle. I have found dental floss to be the best 'waste yarn'. It's cheap, it takes up hardly any room in my knitting bag, it slides out easy and it's thin which makes it easy to slide through the stitches on the needle. (Did I mention it was minty fresh too?)

Make sure when you get to your markers that you go around them and not through them. (Otherwise you won't be a happy camper when you go to slip them on the next row!!) If you use interchangeable needles you can tie the floss to the tightening hole on your tip. As you knit across the floss will automatically go through the stitches.

Make a note of which row you were on when you inserted the lifeline. Then, if you have to rip back you'll know exactly where to start up again. As you knit and complete more repeats, move your lifeline up. The less you have to potentially rip back to, the better!

Are you ready to knit some lace? Go ahead. Start with a scarf or a shawlette. I might turn my swatch into a scarf. Give me a little time to finish it and then we'll block our projects together.

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

From the Library's Shelves

I was lucky enough to be at the desk the other day when Suzanne was checking in new magazines. She smiled and announced, "The new Vogue Knitting is in!" I raised my eyebrows and said "Ooh." Then I patiently waited for my lunch break so I could look through it. (Okay, that's I lie. I seldom wait patiently for anything. Especially lunch).

I love having the new issue of a knitting magazine in my hands. I take a few minutes and just look at the cover and let my mind wonder what treats will be inside. Then I have 'that decision' to make. Will I start at the beginning and go through it page by page? Read each article as I come to it? Or should I do a quick flip through, check out the pictures and then read it in no particular order.

Of course I couldn't wait (didn't I mention my lack of patience?). I did the quick flip through and immediately stopped on page 46 when I saw a photo of Ann Hood. . . . and a photo of her latest book. What a lunch break I was having. 

Ann has edited an anthology of essays from writers describing what knitting means to them. If you would like a sneak preview, read the essay by Ann Patchett. It's reprinted in Vogue. (I brought it back from my lunch break, so it's there at the library waiting for you). It left me hungry for more. But I will have to wait, (not patiently), until November 11th when it's released.

click here to place a hold on Knitting Yarns

But wait, it gets better. Here's the exciting part . . . and I'm going to tell you first. Ann Hood is coming to the library on December 1st. Mark your calendar. Registration will be two weeks before, but don't worry. . . I'll remind you when it's time. You won't want to miss it. I know I don't.

Next decision, should I put it on my Kindle or do I want the physical book?

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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Add an Hour!

Daylight Savings Time tonight. You know what that means don't you? You can knit 'just one more row' (for an hour!!), and still get in your regular amount of sleep. What a gift! 

Don't do anything silly like the laundry or the dishes. Make sure you spend the extra hour knitting. . . or reading. Reading about knitting would be the best.

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