Archive for October, 2008

Rules to Keep in Mind When You Are Almost Finished with The Leg of Your First Sock

October 31, 2008

Sleeping in the Sun

Rule # 1 When you are almost done with the leg of your first sock do not attempt to finish the last few rounds in a darkened room while watching the World Series.  This is a particularly bad idea if most of the sock has been knit on a well-lit train in broad daylight or while sitting directly under a lamp.  Dark yarn + a darkened room = BIG potential for mistakes. 

Rule # 2 If you persist in such foolishness, when you make a mistake, immediately put the sock down and come back to it when you are not aggravated with yourself for ignoring Rule #1.  Indeed, everyone would be better served if you did something else, like take pictures of your cat.

Rule # 3  If you ignore Rule #2, and start dropping stitches as you tink back to fix the mistake, do not try to pick up the stitches with a big honking crochet hook.  You need a small crochet hook to pick those tiny little stitches.

Rule # 4  Small crochet hooks are widely availabe for a reasonable price.

Rule # 5  A paper clip is NOT a good substitution for a small crochet hook.   

Rule # 6 While bamboo needles are not particularly slippery, if you fling your sock down in frustration because the big honking crochet hook/paper clip combo is not effectively helping you to pick up stitches and is instead causing more stitches to be dropped, a needle may slip out.

Rule # 7  If one or more needles slip out of your sock, you can use a needle and dental floss to pick up all the stitches until you have the patience to put them back on the needles.

Rule # 8 If you take your sock with the stitches on the dental floss and your newly purchased tiny crochet hook to your local knitting group and then struggle with putting all the stitches back on the needles, someone may gently suggest that you just buy socks in the future.


Two of the Best Things about Rhinebeck

October 29, 2008

The Eveready Diner

There are lots of things to enjoy about Rhinebeck – the people, the yarn, the animals, admiring the handmade items people wear, the pot pies, the spinning, and the pumpkin chucking. But for me one of the best things is the inspiration I came away with. Since I have come home I have been knitting and planning what to knit with a renewed vigor.

Another best thing? Why the chicken and biscuits at the Eveready Diner.  Ann, thanks for sending us there.

More Rhinebeck

October 26, 2008

Sweater Clasps

This sweater clasp set from The Rams Horn completely charmed me and it was my first purchase at Rhinebeck this year.  Now that I have the clasp I will have to find a sweater pattern to go with it.

My Mom and I were also completely charmed by the Babydoll Southdown sheep from CF Mini Farms.

CF Mini Farms

As they were quite engrossed in their eating, it was hard to get a good picture.

Babydoll Southdown Sheep

My Mom grew up on a farm in Ireland. One of the fun things about Rhinebeck is seeing the farmgirl in her come out.  Mom loved these little sheep and was very curious about them. One of the things she wanted to know was whether they could tolerate living with a donkey. A donkey!?!  Is my Mom planning on buying a donkey?  Is she suddenly secretly planning to have a farm like her parents?  Mom assures me that she is not planning on moving, but I have my concerns now. 

Babydoll Southdown Sheep

Rhinebeck, Lovely Rhinebeck

October 24, 2008

Rhinebeck 2008

Mom and I went to Rhinebeck for the second year in a row. This time we stayed over and that made the trip much more enjoyable. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the festival .

Of course there were plenty of animals.


I just love these crazy looking bunnies.

 Angora Rabbit“>Alpacas />

The sheep dogs impressed us with their skills, as usual.

Baa Ram Ewe

There was the Ravelry meet-up on Saturday.

Ravelry Meet-Up

Unfortunately from this picture you cannot get a sense of how many people were wearing February Lady Sweaters. Seeing how nice they looked convinced me that I will cast on for one eventually.

The artichoke thing is supposed to be great but, other than artichoke hearts out of a can, I have only had artichokes once and was not bowled over. May be I will brave this line next year. Or may be I am better off not developing a taste for them.  After all, I would be much skinnier if I had never had cheesecake.

Artichoke French?

At one point on Saturday the line was particularly long.  A woman working the artichoke stand called out to the people on line and reassured them that they (the people in the stand) were working as fast as they could.  One of the people on the line responded cheerfully, “We know and we love what you do.”

Library Books

October 18, 2008

My library no longer stamps each library book with the due date.  Now they either just tell you when the book is due back or give you a card with the due date written on it.  I am sure there are lots of good reasons for this change but I miss looking at the back page of a book and seeing how many times it has or has not been taken out. 

Often when I got to the end of a book I would look at the last page and wonder about all the people who had taken the book out before me.  Had they liked it or hated it?  Had they picked it out with curosity but run out of time to read it and just returned it.  Or did it become a favorite book and they renewed it a number of times.  Some books went for long periods without being checked out.  In those cases I always had hope that I had found a hidden gem.  There was always a certain excitement in being the first person to take a book out.  In some ways looking at that back page made me feel connected to the community of readers.      

The other day I took Knit Socks by Betsy Lee McCarthy out of the library again.  The librarian startled me by saying, “What is it with this book?”  I had to ask, “What do you mean?”  He then went on to tell me that as soon as this book is returned to the library it gets checked out again.  I explained that socks are a very popular item to knit and that Knit Socks is the ONLY book in the library collection entirely devoted to socks.  He did not get it and as a newbie sock knitter I could not express the passion people have about socks.  However, it was nice to know that it is a popular book.  So I am not the only one haunting the shelves of the craft section of my local library for knitting books.

Itty-Bitty in Her Hat and Sweater

October 16, 2008

 Itty-Bitty in her hat and sweater

Isn’t she a cutie pie!!!  Itty-Bitty is my friend’s beloved little niece.  There is that rule that you should not wear two hand-knit items at the same time, but with her charm she can pull it off with style.

This is one of the hats I made during the baby hat jag I was on for awhile.  The hat is the basketweave hat from A Passion for Knitting by Nancy J. Thomas and Ilana Rabinowitz.  It is a little big on her.  The pattern is for a preemie sized cap but because Itty-Bitty was full term I sized it up by doing about ten more stitches than the pattern calls for.  However, she is such a little cutie, the preemie hat would have fit.  I also omitted the topknot.  The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in Strawberry Creme. 

The hat is knit flat and then seamed up.  While I prefer to do hats in the round, this hat is so cute and easy that taking the time to seam it up is worth while.  Once I find in my house the circs I used, I plan on knitting up a couple more of these in different colors and sizes as gifts so another jag is in the works.

The sweater is the second of the Five Hour Baby Sweaters I knit out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted Multi in the Child’s Play coloway.  The pattern is by Courtney of the yarn tootin’ blog.  It is also a little big on Itty-Bitty.  Like the hat pattern, this is a quick and enjoyable pattern that I will make again.  But it did take me longer than five hours.

Cranky Pants and My First Sock

October 14, 2008

Well I had on my cranky pants last week.  Hub decided to help me change my mood so over the weekend he took me to Milk and Cookies, bought me my favorite candies from Jacques Torres, and accompanied me on a knitting related wild goose chase.  He was even disappointed when I walked out of The Point empty handed.  By the end of the weekend I felt much better.  That Hub is a good guy.

Even though the bulletproof poncho is languishing and this blog is still without pictures, good things are on the horizon.  Rhinebeck is almost here and I have made major progress on my first sock.  I am knitting it out of red Valley Yarns Huntington.  For the “pattern” I am using the sock cheat sheet from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting Rules.  Last week it was moving along well and then I realized that I had made a mistake on the leg and that it was going to be too big.  It got ripped out at 7:00am in a McDonald’s parking lot. 

Right now I am getting ready to start the heel flap.  Because my numbers are different than in the book, I am a little concerned about figuring out how to turn the heel.  However, after doing all those Fuzzy Feet, I should be able figure it out eventually.

Fix or Frog???

October 3, 2008

The back of the bulletproof poncho is finished and I quickly seamed it together to see if it would fit because I had my suspicions that it would not.  I pulled it on and it caught on my shoulders.  The hole for the neck was up at my chin and I have not added the turtleneck yet.  As it fits now, if I add the turtleneck it will cover my nose.  Yikes.  To fix it I will have to rip back and change the rate of decreases to make additional room for my shoulders. 

It is fixable.  But do I want to fix it?  When I tried it on there was just no excitement.  The yarn is great, love the color and love the cable but is it flattering and wearable?  I am a little blue so that may be affecting my perception of it.  When I showed it to Hub he suggested that I try it on with jeans (I was wearing a skirt).  He was right because it was an improvement.  But this yarn would make an excellent throw.  It would be easy to adjust the pattern to make it a rectangular throw with the cable up the middle.  

So what am I going to do?  What women have done throughout history – I am going to show it to a friend for an honest evaluation.


October 2, 2008

Another one of my family members has passed away.  This has happened too much this past year.  One of the things I have feared most has started happening – members of my Dad’s generation have begun leaving us.  My Dad is one of 17 children, yes 17.  Fifteen of them lived to adulthood.  Until a few months ago they defied all statistics because all 15 were still alive.  No cancer, no accidents, no heart attacks had gotten them – overall they are a tough group.  When you add in spouses they are a huge group.  A big family like that is hard to imagine but easy to accept and love when you are in the middle of it.  And very hard to say good-bye to.