Tag Archive: Knitting


Okay, so that has a double meaning. I’ve made good progress on the fifty gram skein of sport weight. In fact, it’s done. HandspunBlankYarn

And I’ve made really good progress on the tam. Just an inch and a half of ribbing to do. Someone remind me when I get around to trying socks to pick a pattern that’s more interesting than “knit until piece measures six inches.” Call me picky, but when you’re not good enough to knit without looking, it gets rather boring.


It’s been rumored and hinted at, long in the making, and longer in person. dsc01323
It’s the alpaca scarf! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s so squishy! My sister knit it for me. Thank you again, Mama Mentor, for the beautiful fiber. The yarn was very fun to spin. In fact, if I close my eyes I can still feel the alpaca pulling through my fingers. Ahhhhhh. For the record, it turned out as a sportish weight three ply, spun on the Walking Wheel.

And, though not quite as impressive, here’s the finished merino/silk scarf. My first big knit project. (If you don’t count the little red scarf, which didn’t involve yarnovers.) It’s almost done blocking, and it turned out huge. It’s really more of a narrow wrap than a scarf. But I like it.

If you’re wondering, the tam hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve worked on it a bit. The dyeing has taken up a lot of my attention, but I haven’t forgotten it! In fact, I’ve graduated in my “knitter-ness.” I’ve thought about bringing the project with me on two occasions, decided not to, and regretted it. Maybe I should just strap the project bag to myself.

What IS Beginner's Luck?

I’ve heard the phrase “beginner’s luck” a lot. And I’ve thought I’ve had it several times. But this project is proving something to me. Beginner’s luck should be beginner’s pluck. It’s our drive to try something new and our passion to create that helps things turn out well. Whether on the first try or the hundredth. circularpartial

What brought this sudden rumination on was the apparent desire of my tam to inflict me with every single mistake known in the world of knitting. Which is okay. It gets them all out of the way faster. But if I hadn’t have been so excited about knitting my own hat I would have thrown it out the window long ago.

I’ve had to cast on twice, because we thought I’d twisted the stitches on the first round. I’ve done a few rows over three or four times. I dropped a stitch and didn’t notice until I’d knitted another four rows. (Thank you, sister of mine who can rescue lost stitches.)
I have a yarn over in the wrong spot. I’ve popped multiple stitches off the end of the double points. I’ve knitted the stitch marker into the hat. Twice. I used the wrong k3tog method. The only things I haven’t done yet are break a needle and cut through the hat.


Alright. So the question is, “Are you officially a knitter when you get a wee bit giggly, adrenalin rushy, and over-the-top over whether the gauge with turn out right?” If the answer is yes, I’m officially a knitter. So I really like the yarn and the pattern. I tell you, this tam might be the death of me. If I got that excited over the swatch? This doesn’t bode well.

Not to mention I’m suffering from a little beginning knitter’s naivety. On being told that my gauge was seven and a half stitches per inch instead of eight, I promptly thought I would have to knit more loosely. Because, as everyone knows, if you want seven and half to become eight, you have to add.

I’ll just leave that one alone for awhile.

Yarn Shop Stop



No, this isn’t about my potential yarn store. This is about a great little yarn shop in Winterset, IA. Honestly, it’s so small I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t have been for this rack sitting outside the door.

The shop is called Heartland Fiber Co. (Yes, they have roving.) And it’s run by two nice ladies who are great encouragers. They’re very ready to see whatever project you might be working on. They were so nice, and the yarn was so pretty, I was in serious danger of walking out with half of the store. All that yarn on the rack is beautiful thick and thin stuff. And you can see the saturation of the colors. It set the tone for the entire visit.

Fiber, Sweet Fiber

Home again among all the beautiful piles of fluffy stuff. Ahhhhh. It’s good to be back.

I took two projects along on the trip in the hope of being semi-productive. One was the drop spindle New Zealand wool that I’ve been hiding in my closet, reluctant to do. And the other was the merino/silk scarf. Only one project got done.
And it was . . .


The scarf. Now I just have to block it. I got rather good at carefully “un-knitting” after I had to bother my sister five or six times. But eventually I mastered the pattern or didn’t notice my mistakes anymore. Oh, I also had the thrilling experience of having the scarf half pulled off the needles a couple of times. And once completely. (That last time I ran to my sister. Positively ran. Well, it was more of a shame-faced shuffle. Next time I’ll be more careful when I pull a project out of its bag.)

And, on the drive home, I made a cotton washrag to scrub out my dye pots.

Try Two

Well, I clearly over-set my goals for the last “break.” Here I am, well into my second break and I didn’t “finish” much of my list. The white scarf is coming along nicely, though. Here it is after starting it twice, and a little help from my knitting sister.

Merino Scarf

Merino Scarf

The pattern is very easy to remember. And, as a bonus, it’s getting easier to work with the needles. For awhile there it looked very bleak. I’d either be knitting like I was trying to tie two short hairs into a knot, or flinging loops about with sudden abandon. It’s just taking a lot longer than crocheting. And, like anything I’m new at, it requires a certain level of concentration.

Heigh Ho, and Away We Go

And now, back after a long absence, I bring you the reluctant blogger. Sorry about that, everyone. I’ve been just plain lazy, doing odds and ends and juggling work schedules and what not. So, I’m going to attempt to change that. I’m now going to start thinking of projects as “long weekend” things instead of “squeeze them in whenever.” The old “set a goal and accomplish it” ply. I mean ploy. See? It’s working already.

So, here is the first break’s goal.

Two Projects to Finish

Two Projects to Finish

Finish spinning and plying the merino/silk batt, and preferably knit it into a scarf. And, since I don’t seem to know when to stop, I also want to knit the shiny red yarn into a scarf for a friend of mine. It’s spun from the roving I dyed with the cochineal. You may have noticed, I used the “k” word twice! Yes, I’m serious about this knitting thing. Therefore, both scarves will be knit as practice for the sweater I’m planning to make. And before you say “Another sweater? ” let me explain. It will not be another sweater, but a re-do. I’m unraveling the teal Rebecca sweater.

I’ll wait for you to collect your wits.

Are we good now? Okay. Let me explain.

Not That Sick

I did it. I asked my sister for a pair of knitting needles and a refresher course. Another sister claimed I must be really sick. But I wasn’t! It was starting to clear up. (And is practically gone now.) I just wanted something to do while waiting for the merino yarn to dry. So, here is my little practice knitting swatch, knit from the “Thistles” yarn.

A Lengthy Swatch

A Lengthy Swatch

I’m now keeping one eye open for any easy looking, but not too easy, knitting patterns. There’s a scarf pattern I’m thinking about doing, but I’ve got to get or spin some yarn for it first. My main trouble is that I love lace knit stuff. Anything thin and lacy and delicate. Not good for beginners. There has to be a middle-road somewhere, and I’m trying to find it.