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, January 28, 2014

Monday Night Knitting Group

One of my favorite parts of the Monday Night group is seeing what everyone is working on!

All those squares she
 had to sew together!!

Linda brought in her truck blanket,
all finished . . .

Grandson #2 is a Curious George fan.
So of course he gets a 'monkey blanket'.

and she has started another blanket already! (Well, two grandsons does mean two blankets!)

Actually she is being a REALLY good
 granddaughter. Nana picked out the yarn,
Lindsey doesn't really like it . . . but she
 is knitting with it anyways!

Lindsey is being a good granddaughter . . .
She is making her Nana a sweater. 

She has more of the same yarn in a
different color . . .  I wonder what
she will do with it??

Katherine is oh-so-close to finishing her sweater. Just picking up stitches along the edge for the button band.

I think there will be a 'blankie' to
follow for this one too!

Elizabeth joined us . . . she is also working on a grandson project. Hers is a cute sweater in colors that mom picked out.

A years worth of work!!

It really was a night of blankets. Suzanne finished her Noro afghan. One word for this one . . . Gorgeous. We all had to touch it. (Actually we all stroked it and sighed).

Joan is almost done with her cardigan .  .  . and Janet is sewing hers together. 
(How did they escape having their picture taken?!)

We'll meet again on February 24th at 6:00 PM. Hope you will join us!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

If More is Better . . . Then Let's Increase!

I am still working on the plain stockinette stitch sweater for my husband. . . although it is working up pretty quick.
When it is next to a purl stitch,
the bar created when increasing
will just blend in with the other
 purl stitches.

I have just finished the cuff on the second sleeve and I need to increase 4 stitches evenly across the row. My favorite increase when I am doing it in ribbing is the easiest - the bar increase (knit into the front and back of the stitch). If you work this increase using a knit stitch that is followed by a purl stitch, the bar that is created will be hidden in the purl 'gully'. (If you use it on plain stockinette stitch the bar will be visible.)

Okay,  I'm going to go finish the row. Then I think I knit a few rows and start the arm increases. I'll use M1 (make one) increases. I like the way they blend in with stockinette stitch. 

Come back and I'll show you how to do them so they slant to the right and to the left. 

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

From the Library's Shelves . . . the Digital Shelves!

One of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions was to organize my patterns. What a mess I had . . . booklets, photocopies and pages ripped from the many knitting magazines I had . . . all in a pile. But I did it. I found huge loose-leaf binders and put each pattern in it's own page protector and then filed them away. All the scarf and shawls together, all the men's together,  the children's, women's cardigans and pullovers - each with their own spot to live in my bookcase. Very neat, very organized, very - hey, these-take-up-a-lot-of-room!

But I know if I go through and throw some of them out . . . well you know too. Someone is going to ask me for it or I am going to suddenly want to knit it. Looking at the binders does make me happy that I am now living in the 'digital age'. Reading, and being able to keep, a magazine on my iPad has kept my loose-leaf binder collection from taking over my den. I can keep as many as I want, all accessible at a finger tip. 

To make it even better . . . I can import the pattern from the magazine into an app on my iPad and knit it from there. Directions, graphs, I can make notes . . . all with no paper involved. I use KnitCompanion. Can it get any easier?

Well, maybe not easier, but it gets better! Knitting magazines for free! If your library has Zinio available (and of course Duxbury Free Library does!!), you have at your finger tips, access to magazines right there from your comfortable rocking chair while you sip a glass of wine. If you want, stay in your jammies. Interweave Knits and Knitter's Magazine are both available. 

Interweave KnitsKnitter's Magazine


Click here to get started. 

Go ahead, try it. If you need help give the library a call - you don't even have to tell us if you are in your jammies.

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

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Broad Shoulders? Short Rows to the Rescue!

I decided to be a good wife and for my next project I would knit my husband the sweater he wants . . . just a plain boring pullover in stockinette stitch. Well, I thought it would be boring. But I must admit it's really working up quickly and it's relaxing to work on. The yarn is a combination of wool, alpaca and has a little cashmere thrown in - so it feels nice between my fingers!

My husband is like a lot of other guys . . . he's broad shouldered so sometimes sweaters will ride up in the back. (He's also like a lot of other guys since he loves sports and can't be trusted to separate the colors if he does the laundry. But he always helps with the dishes and warms up my car when it's cold.) To keep the sweater from riding up in the back, I'm going to place a couple of short rows in the upper back area. It will provide a little extra length/ease for him without making the armholes too big.

There are a few different ways to do short rows. My favorite is the Japanese method. I think it's the easiest and smoothest. (Just my opinion!!). I'll show you how to do one and then I bet you'll agree with me.

I just started last week, so it really is working up quick!! 
(I'm not sure why the picture is this shade of green!)

I have worked the back to about 5 inches after the armhole bindoffs.

I'll put my first short row here.  

The locking markers are the easiest to use. 
They won't slide out when you pull the yarn up tight.

I knitted across the back until I had 20 stitches remaining on my left-hand needle. (I randomly decided to leave 20 stitches on each side of my short row). 

I turned my work so that the wrong side was facing me, placed a marker on the working yarn  . . .

. . . and pulled the yarn as snug to the needle as I could and purled the stitch with the marker there. 

Have you noticed my purple nail polish yet?

Here's what it looks like after I purled a few stitches across . . .

. . . . see the gap?

It will close up like magic pretty soon!

I purled across the row until I had 20 stitches remaining on my left-hand needle. (again, I am leaving 20 stitches on each side of my short row). 

I turned my work so that the right side was now facing me . . .
and placed another marker on my yarn . . . 

Are you nervous that I will
have  holes in my knitting?

. . . I pulled it up tight  and worked a few stitches . . .
and there is another gap.

Use the tips of your needles for the K2tog.
That will keep the new 'stitch' as small as possible. 

I knit across the row until I came to the place where I placed the first marker.

Here comes the magic part.

I gently pulled the marker until I had enough length to place the 'stitch' on my left-hand needle.

Next, I knit two together, using the new 'stitch' and the next stitch.

Wasn't that like magic?

Then finish knitting completely across the row.

Turn and purl across the row until you come to the second marker.

Okay, get ready to do magic again!

Gently lift the marker and place the yarn on the left-hand needle.

Purl the new 'stitch' together with the next stitch, through the back loops.

Finish purling across the row completely.

Tell the truth, Can you even tell
where the short row was done?

Here it is after I knit a few more rows.
No holes!

What do you think? Pretty easy, huh? 

Another useful place for short rows is the bust area of a woman's sweater. . . or, to make a handkerchief hem. 

What is your favorite way to do short rows and where else have you used them?

Short rows . . . an easy technique to keep in your bag of tricks . . . and a great way to customize the fit of a sweater.

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