Friday, September 29, 2017


There I was, comfortably ensconced in a large comfy chair, knitting away, when I noticed that my skein of working yarn was losing structure, as happens with store-bought pull-skeins when they're running low. I had the next skein ready - a partial skein* - tucked in beside me, so there was no need to panic. I pulled the rest of the skein out into a spaghetti pile, sure I would get to the end of it before bedtime. I did not, so I pulled what was left through my fingers to find the end and wrap it into a ball for the night.

Incredulity followed, as well as language over Skype that shocked KD. With absolutely no reason to do so, the two ends of the skeins had tangled together into a knot of mammoth proportions. I threatened scissors at one point, which KD was against until she learned I was dealing with acrylic.

I bitterly lamented the absence of those in my life who love to de-tangle knots (every knitter needs one - I have two!). I really wanted to go to bed, but I knew that moving the mass out of my lap would enable it to knot further with great abandon. I do not know why this is so. But I would no more move a yarn tangle than an accident victim.

Finally, calm reason reigned, and tangles were subdued into neat little balls of yarn.

Wool would never behave like that.

*I am knitting scarves out of two full skeins and the remnant of the skein used to knit the hat. And for reasons of symmetry, the partial skein goes in the middle of the scarf.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Charity Knitting

I've done charity knitting off and on throughout the years. I've knit for Dulaan, for The Red Scarf Project, and others I've probably long forgotten about. Like singing in a choir, I enjoy it, but not for the long term. I like a set deadline after which I can move on to other things.

I've learned that I have a fear of getting caught up in some appeal and helping to drown the recipient with unwanted objects. Good research is the key to avoiding that, and communication with the organizers.

I've learned that if you're going to knit for others, the least you can do is abide by their rules, even if that's not how you would do it. Their project, their yarn choices, their patterns. Otherwise, well, see unwanted objects above.
Somehow last month I got caught up in two different charity knitting projects. One has a deadline; one does not. My initial solution to this was to treat them both as having the same deadline, which meant all charity knitting, all the time. It is, at least, mindless knitting. But I missed my other projects, so I decided the one with no deadline could be extended a month. I still find myself mostly knitting garter stitch or ribbing, but at least I feel like I can do something else if I want to.

In a perfect world - the same one where I have a supply of baby blankets knit, blocked, and ready for the next addition to my large family - I suppose I would have charity knitting made and on hand for the next appeal. In that world the rules would stay the same, so that whatever I had made would do.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hand Towels

Mason-Dixon Knitting inspired me with a desire to try knitting with linen, specifically, hand towels. So some of the Yarn Money my co-workers gave me as a retirement gift went towards a cotton-linen blend, and experimental hand towel making.

The yarn was interesting to work with. There were definitely plant bits in the yarn, but other people said they wash out, and they certainly seem to have done so. The washed towels are soft, and pretty. I would have liked them to be a little larger, but they are large enough to dry your hands, and match my kitchen* - what else can you ask of a hand towel?

Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin, DK, 70% cotton, 30% linen/flax
Pattern: Traci Heiner's Basket Weave Hand Towel, striping inspiration from Raveler lizbelonogoff's version

*The purple ones match KD's kitchen, as a thank you for helping me decide on colors and otherwise spend half of my Yarn Money. The other half is tied to a yarn store at which I have never before shopped, and which has completely overwhelmed me with the choices available.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I tried making some slipper socks for some slipper soles I had on hand, but they were a flop - literally. They don't hold to the foot closely enough to be safe to walk in. I haven't figured out a solution yet. Also, I tried two different methods of sewing on the soles and didn't care for either.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Now that was fun

A near-video tutorial - ready? Make 5 squares.

Sew them into an open-topped cube.

Fold. Block. Result: one origami-type coin purse/small box.

Pattern: Frankie Brown's Pinwheel Purse
Yarn: leftover Berocco Sox

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Adventures in Felting

I finally finished a third pair of felted clogs. The knitting was finished long ago, but DH said they were just a tad too big, so in August I took them up to the land of the Truly Efficient Felting washing machine, and promptly underestimated said efficiency. (Not to be confused with a High Efficiency washer, this semi-antique still has the central agitator that makes felting a breeze.) They wound up too small even for me, and have found a happy home with NKD.

Yarn: Patons North America Classic Wool Worsted in Navy, 4 skeins
Needles: size 13 (9mm) dpns (and thereby hangs a tale - I cannot find these needles, and I obviously need them to replace these clogs for DH)
Pattern: Bev Galaskas' Felted Clogs

In cleaning out old knitting projects, I found yarn that had been rejected for other projects, and of course, spent some time figuring out what it wanted to be. I turned some leftover wool into a felted bowl, just to see what the finished object would look like (and because I had access to the TEF washer). NKD promptly nabbed it for her work desk.

Yarn: Patons North America Classic Wool Worsted in Gingerbread, half a skein
Needles: size 11 (8mm) dpns
Pattern: Kelly Kingston's Felted Bowls

Monday, September 11, 2017

George and friend

I knit my daughter a cat. We had some discussion about proper eyes.

Then off he went to the Far North. Upon arrival, she named him

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Ombre in Gold, 1 skein
Needles: size 4 (3.5 mm)
Pattern: Sara Elizabeth Kellner's The Window Cat

Later, I made him a little friend, the Tiny Window Cat (needle gauge included for scale):