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, December 20, 2016

Monday Night Knitting Group

It's always hard to get together when it's so close to the holidays . . . but there was still a handful of merry souls that met last night!

Joy was in the holiday spirit . . .  and not just in name!! She is making tree ornaments . . . literally! Look at these cute things. By the end of the night she had little balls sewn onto it.

Speaking of ornaments, Peggy 
gifted us each with a
'sweater' . . . complete with a little clothes hangar.

Peggy is also on the cutting edge. Yesterday I was browsing (also known as wasting about an hour) through Pinterest and noticed a lot of Pins of 'pony tail' hats. Some had the opening at the top (also known as a 'bun' hat), and some had the hole in the back. Peggy of course already had one knitted up!!

 Lizzy brought . . . okay, did you notice that it doesn't involve yarn? They were delicious! As she started to explain the recipe, she told us it was in the Barefoot in Paris cookbook. Of course I ran up to our non-fiction section and grabbed it!

They are called Elephant Ears, or Palmiers. I like Palmiers much better than Elephant Ears.

Linda brought in her finished 'Football Season' scarf . . . with a matching Patriot's hat. What lucky grandkids!!

Linda is also working on her Christmas Gifts. Check out what she is working on. She was worried about her gauge . . . but I told her if it came out too big . . . well, just get a bigger wine glass to put in it!

I am told the pattern is available on Ravelry.

It was a wonderful night of knitting . . . coffee . . . cookies . . . and Palmiers. (See, doesn't that sound better than Elephant Ears?)

I recommend them. Go ahead . . . check out the book, make them, and tell me I'm wrong. I don't think you can.

Image result for barefoot in paris

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

Monday, December 5, 2016

Never Say Never

At the last Monday Night Knitting Night, Martha mentioned how she will rip out a sweater she has worn and grown tired of . . . and then re-knit something else with it. I was two steps short of being incredulous. Really? Undo the seams and rip it out?! I of course responded - "I would never do that. If I'm sick of it, I'll give it away. If it doesn't fit anymore . . . I'll give it away. I would never go to all the work of undoing the seams and then ripping it out. Never."

Fast forward about a week and half. Another knitting friend has a hand-knit skirt and sweater set . . . she never wears it anymore. Do I want it? (See, she is giving it away . . . she is not going to rip it out.) 

I took it home . . .  tried it on . . . and the skirt miraculously fit. The sweater fit . . . but sadly was knit in another era (think of the 80's), and it is a cropped style. How sad. But wait . . . the skirt would look nice with a matching vest. Something asymmetrical or even the currently popular 'rectangle with armholes' pattern.

Hmm . . . If I rip out the sweater . . . I can use the yarn. It really is nice yarn . . . SensuWool by Berroco . . . a combination of wool and nylon that makes a garment really hold it's shape . . . which is why it was a great choice to knit a skirt from. It's discontinued so I can't buy anymore. But if I carefully undo the seams . . . 

The moral of the story . . . 
A basic A-line skirt will never go out of style.
Always use good yarn . . . it really could last forever.
Never say Never. (And if you do, make sure you confess to Martha when you see her. I know I will.)

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

Always Try Something New

I was recently given 3 hanks of the most gorgeous single-ply aqua wool . . . from Ireland no less!! When I thanked this generous knitter she mentioned she had more at home in a partially knit sweater that she was never going to finish . . . did I want that too? "YES!" She suggested ripping it out, washing it, and then reknitting with it. I confess to you that in all my years of knitting I have never tried this. It just seemed like . . . well, work . . . but with the extra yardage . . . well I would also have enough to make a sweater.

She brought it in . . . I took it home . . . and ripped it out. (I did feel bad ripping out all her work . . . all that seed stitch!). 

I started to make hanks by winding the 
yarn around my hand and the length of my arm . . . but that didn't work. My hand ended up curling in . . . and I ended up with these stubby little hanks! 

Next I tried to wind it around my dining room chair . . . but it kept slipping off . . . and my newly adopted kitty from the shelter thought we were playing a game. (Isn't she the cutest?!)

So I consigned myself to my mudroom where I could shut the door on Mona the Cat . . . 
and lo and behold there was a bench with the perfect arms to wind yarn on! 

I loosely tied one end to the bench and then started
winding . . . loosely of course . . . I didn't want to stretch this gorgeous yarn!

When I finished winding I took a contrasting color and tied my hanks together at both ends . . . and then slipped it off. 

I ripped out the rest of the sweater and did the same for the other lengths. I ended up with 4 extra hanks of this gorgeous-I-can't-wait-to-use-it-what-should-I-knit-with-it yarn.

I filled my kitchen sink with lukewarm water . . . added a little Euclan . . . and submerged my hanks. I let it soak for about 20 minutes to fully absorb the water.  

It was really like magic . . . I could see the kinks coming out! 
I carefully took it out and gently squeezed out the water . . . and then hung it to dry. 

Check out my before and after . . .

Before . . .

. . . After!!

See . . . isn't it like magic?!
It's like new!
Instead of knitting with crinkly used yarn . . . well I have this wonderfully smooth yarn.

Give it a try. Remember, it won't work with acrylic. Just wool . . . wool has 'memory' which is why it always look better and retains it shape better when it's blocked.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When a Favor is Gift

When I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a 'crafty' grandmother. I remember her mostly doing crewel, but she would also crochet, knit, a little weaving, sewed (plain summer shifts always with a patch pocket) . . . I think almost everything. Using whichever her 'craft of the moment' was, she would make an afghan every year for one of her grandchildren. She started with my cousin Diane, who is the oldest, and worked her way through 13 afghans for her 13 grandchildren.

Since I was at the younger end of the line, I had to patiently wait for my afghan. Mine was created with crocheted granny squares created from her huge pile of scrap yarn .  . . probably all left-over from the previous afghans of my cousins! Each square was outlined in cream and then sewn together. It has comforted me through many naps, went to college and to this day has it's place of honor over the back of a chair in my den. It's worn . . . faded . . . and has a few rips in the seams . . . which my daughter carefully tied together when she was 3, thereby adding to it's charm. (Of course my mother looks at it and says, "See, if you use good yarn it will last forever".)

So when a friend asked me a question the other day . . . there was only one answer.
Her 91 year-old mother-in-law was home with hospice care . . . and also waiting for her grandson to have his first child. Her mother-in-law has knitted (beautiful intarsia!) for years and was also kitting a Christmas stocking for the expected baby . . . just as she had done for all her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She was able to hang on until the great-grandchild (a boy!!) was born, and then died a week or so later with her family by her side. 

Leaving an unfinished Christmas stocking behind. 

Yes, of course I will finish this stocking. The friend of course thinks I am doing her a favor. I, of course, know it is the opposite. She has given me the gift of helping to create what will be an heirloom item in her family. She has given me the privilege to continue another knitter's legacy. She has given me the vision of imagining this infant growing into a toddler . . . and then into a child old enough to be told that his Christmas stocking was the last item his great-grandmother knitted. She has brought the memory of my grandmother, who passed away 27 years ago, closer to my heart.

I think I will go home and take a nap . . . with, of course, my afghan.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Be Sure Before You Do The Happy Dance

Here it is October . . . and yes I am still working on my Counterpane Masterpiece. I finished the 15 squares the pattern called for and I did a little happy dance around the house. Then I got the pattern out and started to lay them out according to the schematic so I could start sewing them together.

Well . . . . let's just say I never should have done the happy dance . . . not yet anyways. It just wasn't piecing together right. Since I work in a library, I thought it would be a good idea to read the directions a little better. 

I almost had a melt down . . . after the paragraph telling me how many squares to make . . . is a paragraph about large triangles. Large triangles???

It seems that I also need 4 large triangles . . .  made by sewing two triangles together. I also need 4 'loose' triangles for the corners. I also need 2 triangles to sew to the modified triangles I made for the left and right neck edges.

After I moaned out loud "You've got to be kidding me" . . . I sat down to start making . . . yes, MORE TRIANGLES.

So I made . . . yes . . . more triangles . . . and turned them into large triangles . . . and I blocked them. Then I started to lay them out according to the schematic . . . again.

At this point I began to think that perhaps I was missing a few brain cells. I even went on Ravelry and looked up the pattern again hoping that someone else made it that had more brain cells than me . . . and there would be a 'oh, that's how you do it' epiphany. There wasn't. 

No matter what I did, I didn't seem to have enough triangles. See the triangle 'holes' on the right edge and again on the left edge? Hmm . . . it's the exact size as one of the large triangles. But the pattern said to make 2 for the back . . . which I did . . . but they are up at the top of the neck.

It now seemed time to try and use the few brain cells I have, so I got out pen, paper and a calculator . . . and I totaled up how many triangles I've made. I'm suppose to make 78 . . . I have made 74. Using the detective skills I've acquired through watching many episodes of Law and Order and Blue Bloods . . . I realize there is a mistake/misprint in the pattern.  If I make 4 more triangles and turn them into 2 large triangles . . . which will precisely fit into the two holes on the side . . . I will have 4 large triangles for the back - not 2 called for in the pattern - and a total of 78 triangles . . . which the pattern calls for. That's a lot of thinking and math for me. 

Okay . . . 4 more triangles. I am SO tired of triangles.

If my husband suggests a trip to Bermuda . . . I may go screaming from the room . . . . . I'm sure we'd end up in . . . you guessed it . . .

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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Getting Squared Away

I blocked another bunch of squares for my Counterpane Masterpiece. I knew I was getting close to the 15 squares I needed, so I did another count as I took them off my blocking board . . . because the last thing on earth that I want to do is make extra triangles!!! 

Then I counted again. 


I need 15 . . . I have 13 done and blocked . . . 4 triangles done and ready to be sewn together . . . which leaves . . . one square, or 4 triangles, left! (And yes, I was so excited to be that close to finishing them . . . that I counted again!)

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm looking forward to knitting something other than triangles . . . and a long weekend to do it in!!

Of course the squares still have to all be sewn together . . . 

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Monday Night knitting Group

It seems like just last month when the Monday Night group met . . . but suddenly it's September . . . and back to school . . . and another night of knitting!

Linda is making this scarf with a funky edge in a shade of chartreuse that I am coveting. She found the pattern on Ravelry . . . it would be nice if I could remember the name of the pattern . . . but of course I can't!!

To block it you insert a dowel in the loops and then they stay flat. 

I can't wait to see it done.

Peggy is making hats for her grandchildren  . . .

. . . and she made a cute Christmas stocking for a 3 month old. (She thought about putting a candy cane in the mitten . . . the group voted and thought a little single serving bottle of wine for the mother would be better!)

Mary was busy too. Cute sweaters with matching bonnets.

We had new faces . . . which is always fun. 

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Plodding Along

I've been s l o w l y knitting away and working up my triangles for my Counterpane Masterpiece. The hot and humid days of August made it rough to knit with wool . . . (think sweaty hands and stitches sticking to the needles and maybe a little swearing and a lot of wishing for cool September mornings.)

Now that September is here, I am trying to knit faster and get them done! Not to mention that I just may . . . just may . . . be getting sick of making triangles and sewing them together!

So far I have 7 squares that are blocked, 1 not blocked and enough triangles for 2 squares. So about 38 more triangles and I can start sewing the squares together. That will leave the sleeves and the neck.

I think I better buckle down and get knitting . . . especially if I want to wear it on one of the cool fall days!!

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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

From the Library's Shelves

I've been working on my Counterpane Masterpiece, but I confess that with my short attention span the triangles are getting a little monotonous . . . but I'm really sticking with it and seaming up a storm. I really want to wear it this fall. 

Image result for refined knits idril pullover
click here to place a hold

So when I saw one of our new 
knitting books . . . Refined Knits by 
Jennifer Wood . . . I only took a quick 
look . . . and as I looked I told myself  'I am not looking for a new project . . . I am not looking for a new project'. 

Image result for refined knits idril pullover

I was okay until I saw the Idril Pullover. It's knit with Anzula Dreamy which is 
a fingering weight blend of merino wool, cashmere and silk. Look at the 
cables . . . isn't it gorgeous?! 
Fingering weight . . . can I pick them, or what!!

And there's more . . . the Vivian Sleeveless Pullover . . . there's shawls . . . there's more pullovers . . . there's enough that it's worth purchasing. I had to stop looking before I started to order yarn. Take a look and decide for yourself. 

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Read the Fine Print

Once my yarn was all wound . . . I dug out my needles, grabbed the pattern and sat down to knit. 

You make a bunch of triangles and sew them together into squares and then sew the squares together into the gorgeous creation shown in the picture. 

Here's my first one.

Okay. Easy enough so far.

I worked up a few more and even sewed together my first square. It's not blocked yet, but it'll work.

At this point I decide to take a closer look at the pattern. How many of these little triangles do I need anyways?
"Make 36 for front, 42 for back".
W H A T? Math is not my strong point . . . but isn't that like . . . 78? 78?!! I have the attention span of a gnat . . . and I really want to wear this in the fall. 

Okay, I got an audio book and started listening while I made more triangles. I've got 14 so far . . . 64 more to go . . . I think I'll get an another audio book . . . or two . . . or maybe I should even start a series.

What was I thinking when I decided to make this??!!

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

Monday Night Knitting

Monday was another wonderful night of knitting. Familiar faces and new ones too . . . it's always nice to add to our group!!

Lizzie finished her poncho. 
The 2 year-old recipient loved 
it . . . although it took a little to explain there were no sleeves in it!

There were lots of other things going on too . . . Joan is working on her sampler scarf . . . Nancy is knitting a prayer shawl . . . Peggy got a little lesson on the kitchener stitch . . . there were sweaters . . . and more. 

Unfortunately there are no photos. It seems there was some type of an 'operator error' . . . which is really code for 'I don't know what the H E double hockey sticks happened to the pictures on my phone'. Perhaps they are in the cloud in the sky.

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

Just Like Dad Use To Do

There is nothing like that feeling you get when the yarn you are waiting for arrives! Since I ordered mine on-line, I was a little nervous . . . what if it didn't feel right? What if the color wasn't the shade I was expecting? 

When I opened up my package . . . it was perfect . . . phew!! I quickly rolled one of the hanks into a ball . . . grabbed my needles . . . and sat down to make a gauge swatch. 

The one ball that I rolled up didn't last 
long . . . and then I had to look at . . . 
yes . . . 18 more hanks to roll up. Ugh. 

In the past whenever I had hanks that needed to be wound I would send them to my dad. He would send them back all nicely wound and ready to be used. Since my dad passed away, this was no longer an option.

So I called my mother and asked to borrow her swifter and winder. Of course she had also always given her hanks to my dad to wind . . . so it was handed off to me with a 'here you go'. I figured I was reasonably intelligent and I could figure out how to use this in no time.


Since it was a nice day, I set it up on my deck and started to wind. First I realized it couldn't be done at NASCAR speed . . . and then I realized it easily tangled at the end. As I debated how useful this contraption really was . . . and considered that it was perhaps quicker to wind it by hand . . . . and perhaps uttered a few words i won't repeat here . . . my daughter calls out from the kitchen window . . . 

"You do know you have the yarn on 
wrong . . . right?"

"I do?"

She nicely came out and changed it. 

"How did you know it went like that?" I asked.

Her response made me laugh . . . "When we were little Papa use to let us play with it all the time. If he had yarn he let us wind it up."

My sneaky father . . . all the time I thought he was winding my yarn it was my 6 year old daughter doing it while he babysat for me!!

After I started doing it the right way . . . I realized that you could go at NASCAR speed . . . .it was definitely easier than doing it by hand . . .  and the 'cakes' it made were firmer too.

Then I also remembered my dad would have the yarn label on the inside of the cake. That way, later on  I could always identify any left over yarn in my stash.

So I got the hang of wrapping the label around the winder core before I started to wind.

Here's what you'll end up with. It's not only quicker than winding by hand . . . it also sits flat . . . so when you are knitting you won't have a ball of yarn rolling all over the place for the cat to chase.

You can also work it from the outside by just untaping it . . . or from the inside since you can just pull it out of the middle! 

If you don't have a swifter and a winder, think about investing in one. It's a lot easier . . . and quicker to get those hanks of yarn ready to knit! (And it's even better if you have a 6 year old at home!)

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time to Color

My daughter just came back from visiting her college room-mate in Ohio. Which really has nothing to do with knitting . . . but she brought me back a present.

My very own knitting coloring book. Does she know her mother . . . or what!!

Of course I quickly moved my old book to the side and began to work on a page filled with Lopi sweaters.

Click Hereto Place a Hold

If you live in the Duxbury area . . . and you haven't joined the coloring bandwagon yet . . . come into the library. We have a kit of colored pencils you can check out for a couple of weeks to see if it's 'your thing' or not. When you see how relaxed it makes you feel . . . well you'll probably want your own set. Give it a try.

But if you do it with a glass of wine . . . don't start stressing if you go outside of the lines.

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

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Substitution Found!

I did my shopping and I decided on Cascade 220 Sport. It's 100 % Peruvian Highland Wool. Doesn't that sound warm?? 

Since it's a 50g skein with 164 yards . . . and I had figured out I needed 3075 yards . . . well needless to say I got out my calculator and divided 3075 by 164 and came up with 18.75 . . . and promptly ordered 19 skeins. 

In Walnut Heather.

Isn't it gorgeous? 

Off I go to sit by my mailbox and wait for it to arrive.

Maybe I can work up another pair of mittens while I wait.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When It's Time To Substitute

I have finished the sweater for my aunt . . . and I'm getting a little bored making fleece-lined mittens. I decided it was time to take on a project with  little 'meat' to it. Something with a pattern that would make me think a little . . . something that would make me want to knit it up so fast because I couldn't wait to wear it. You know the kind I'm talking about . . . don't you?

When I went to a knitting group led by a dear friend that use to own a local yarn shop . . . she would have been a dear friend even if she didn't own a yarn shop!! Well, I found my next project, Two of the knitters there were working on it and I fell in love with it.

It's called Counterpane Masterpiece by Nicky Epstein.

Look at it . . . isn't it gorgeous? I thought if I started now and knitted like a mad woman . . . I could have it done to wear this fall. I know it's ambitious . . . but dream big . . . right?

First step is to order my yarn. It calls for Rowan Scottish Tweed DK. I went  on-line to order it thinking about what color I want. Something light that will show off the stitch work . . . but not so light that it will show the dirt . . . because I admit it, I can be a slob. I quickly find out that the yarn has been discontinued. ERGH . . . I hate when that happens. Now I'm going to have to do a little thinking and yes . . . pick a substitute yarn. (It's always so much easier to use the yarn the designer calls for . . . lazy I know).

Okay. I can do this. The pattern calls for 25 skeins and each skein has about 123 yards. So I need 3,075 yards. It's also 100% pure wool. Since I'm going to be wearing it outside I'm going to stick with wool. I'll look at blends but I don't want anything that will pill too easily or be too soft and not allow it to keep it's shape since there will be some weight to it. I want it to have the same drape, but also be pretty sturdy since I think I may decide to wear it f o r e v e r.

Okay, I'm off to shop. I'll let you know what I pick out!

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sheep . . . My Heroes

It's true . . . right?!

I saw it last night on Pinterest. Obviously I had to share it with you.

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Monday Night Knitting

Only a dedicated knitter would brave the summer heat and come out for knitting night. And we have them!!

Peggy showed us the chemo hats she has made . . . too bad you can't feel how soft they are!

Janet is working on her blanket.

Marguerite is working on her reversible scarf.

(It doesn't seem possible that in a few months we will be draping wool around ourselves to stay warm!)

Linda made this cowl with a beautiful shading yarn.

I'm not sure if everyone braved the heat to come and meet up with friends . . . or to sit in the air-conditioning library for awhile! Either way it's always good to see friendly faces . . . and to meet new ones too.

Join us!

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

Friday, July 8, 2016

I Forgot I Hate Hot Weather

I love the beginning of vacations. Half of the fun is planning all the things I'll do . . . or not do and just keep an empty slate and act  on the spur of the moment. So I find myself with a week off . . . and a week with nothing planned. Although,  not entirely true . . . my bike is waiting in the shed to be pedaled  . . . I brought home lots of relaxing 'beach reads' . . . and I have lots of yarn just waiting to be touched.

Since it was too hot yesterday to work on the sweater I am making for my aunt . . . (I couldn't bear the thought of wool in my lap when it was 80 degrees and humid.) . . . I broke out a 'quick knit' from my stash. One skein of a silk and linen blend and size 17 needles. Cast on 35 stitches and then increase on each end. All in garter stitch. No thinking required. Perfect for a hot day. Relaxing.


I guess I had forgotten how bulky and cumbersome it is to knit with size 17 needles. The stitches are so loose . . . it's so easy to pick up part of the stitch underneath and knit it together . . . even using bamboo needles the stitches want to go flying off the needles.

When I try and slide them up from the coil on the circular needle . . . well, first they have relaxed to a size that will fit about a size 8 needle so I have to tug them over the needle join . . . and then the yarn is thin so they are crossing over each other. . . so I have to stop and use my fingernail to separate them so that I can knit them in the correct order.

Have I mentioned that it's hot outside? Have I mentioned the humidity? This was suppose to be a relaxing summer project. Not. 

I decide to suck it up and persevere and give the yarn a pull to work on another row . . . and of course now the ball goes flying out of the bag and off the deck. 

At this point my daughter looks out the kitchen window and says "Hey mom, do you know your yarn is in the dirt?"

That's it. I retrieved the yarn from the ground . . . along with the pattern wilted from the humidity . . . and tossed it in the bag.

I figured it was time to break out a book . . . and wait for fall to come.

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