Blah blah blah, yes this is my Knitting Blog!

Sometimes a flurry of activity, sometimes a long time with nothing at all. And right now it looks like a gap of a couple of years (shame on me).

But blog or no blog, I do manage to knit every day - and so should you!

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Jenny's Done It Again!

Well either that or Peggy totally hustled us.

Last night Jenny came over with the intent to teach Peggy to knit. She's never so much as touched a knitting needle before, and within seconds she's just whipping off stitch after stitch.


Jenny has only taught about a million people to knit, and even she was impressed.

I'm upgrading my computer right now and will post pics of Peggy's knitting when able, but believe me, it's Freaking Perfect.

Every stitch in every row is the same - the sides are completely straight and the rows in her garter stitch are perfect.

It's SCARY - Jenny and I are both quite sure we've been flim-flammed, but out of what???

Friday, August 27, 2004

An update on The Sweater That Wouldn't Die (henceforth TSTWD)

Coming to an interesting point for this sweater.

I have a knitting for baby book with several cardigan patterns that have you knit a huge wide bit that is both fronts and the back until you reach the bottom of the armhole. For me, hater of seaming, this is ideal.

Once you reach the armhole area you do the front stitches, stick them on a holder (of course if you use Denise, there's a neat little trick), do the back stitches, and put the stitches for the other front on a different holder. It sounds confusing but it's really not.

From there you finish the back, then go back and finish the two fronts individually.

I haven't seen any books that show this for adult garments but I'm willing to give it a try.

So I've cast on enough stitches for the left front, back, and right front, and the piece is about 12 inches high. This took FOREVER because the needles are so small and there are so many freaking stitches in each row.

This is where I screw up in the past - I go to 13" and start on the armholes like it says in the patterns, but in the end the finished sweaters are always too short. I don't exactly know why, but that's what happens.

So with this one I plan to go 14 or even 15 inches before I do the separating, just to be sure.

I should be able to get these last three inches done tonight.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


I know it's hard to believe but I have neither started nor finished any projects today. I did, however, fancy up the code up top here (again, thanks to Jenny).

More work tonight after dinner, on The Sweater That Wouldn't Die.

It's not the sweater's fault; it's mine. I actaually do need a plain black cardigan, and as I mentioned before, the ones on the fat needles are fast to make but too casual to look at. The sweater I'm working on now is being done I think on a #7, which is no #3 but still small for me.

Pictures if I take any, but I don't normally take pictures of stuff in progress.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Little Pinkie!

Okay so I just finished my secret project.

Jenny and I were in Suss last weekend and saw this half cape/half poncho completed and for sale for $200 - duh, no thanks. It was super-cute but Sweet Fancy Moses I'm not paying that kind of price for something that simple.

They had the exact yarn and even though I didn't really need it I also got the pattern - a grand total of I think $36, and Jenny paid $6 of that for the pattern.

This is done on a size 9, which made it take a lot longer than I'd expected - about a week and a half - but it certainly was easy to do, and not too much counting.

The pattern is cast on 100, do 10 rows, then do a decrease at either end every 3rd row until Row 71, then decrease at each end for the next 10 rows and then bind off. You make two of these and then sew the side seams - Easy!

I thought about whether or not to do it in the round, doing the decreases either at the end and mid-points or maybe trying some other way to get the math to work out, but in the end I decided to just follow the pattern (very hard for me - I always want to change stuff and I HATE sewing stuff together).

Also, Suss patterns are all but riddled with errors, so doing something "by the book" may not work anyway if that book is from Suss....

Well, I did follow the pattern and I have to say I think the side seams are actually nice. We'll see what Jenny has to say about it!

Picture is of the item itself, with the lovely Jenny in it, natch.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

You'd better get yourself some of these!

For anyone (me) who HATES to pin things for seaming, these little thingamabobs are truly a miracle.

I think they're from Clover, and I'm pretty sure I got them at Edna Hart on Rowena in Silver Lake. I don't remember what they cost but they're worth twice that.

I've never seen these before and immediately knew I would love them. They're like little padlocks - they can be used as markers on your needles, added later to your knitting and then secured, or, best of all, instead of those freaking PINS when you need to hold a seam together to sew or crochet it. They come in this package and have two colors: a fleshy pink and a turquoisey green.

Ingenious little inventions like this make life worth living.

Monday, August 23, 2004

About that tank top

Since I got the pattern for that top from a friend (at Knit Cafe) and then modified it, I have no problem with writing it up and posting it here.

I love making these - if you use 11s and do it in the round I swear you can do one in under a week with no sweat.

Using smaller needles of course means more time, but the end result is a lot more refined. The big needle ones are more casual and kind of chunky.

Pattern here later - as soon as I can wade through my notes.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The downside of winging it....

Here is a cute sweater I made for newborn Henry. This blue yarn is variegated and the color runs from pale blue to pretty dark. It's cotton and very shiny.

After you do about a dozen baby sweaters, the patterns all start to run together and you start thinking, "Hey, maybe I don't need a pattern at all."

Well maybe you really do.

This is an absolutely adorable sweater, only it's just too small (as Henry is showing you). And besides that, newborns don't wear clothes - maybe hats, but beyond t-shirts and diapers you can just forget it.

Back to this sweater - I used pieces from a bunch of patterns and it came out exactly as I thought it would, only like I said Henry's barely a month old and already it's too small. (The back measures the standard 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches in most patterns, so maybe it's not about not using a pattern after all.)

What I will say about this sweater is this - small or not, there are several successes here: I hate to sew in sleeves so I did this one by picking up the stitches and knitting the sleeves out from the body of the sweater. I love to do this and am currently working on a Sweater That Wouldn't Die on which I plan to do this also. I also picked up the stitches to do a cute little roll neck and that came out great.

The sleeve deal may be a bit trickier for a grownup garment, though, and again this is when winging it can really cost you.

For baby sweaters if you knit the sleeves by picking up stitches you make the back and fronts straight - in other words none of that annoying Shape Armhole decreasing and binding off.

I guess I will tell you later if doing the same thing for an adult size will work or not.

(more on The Sweater That Wouldn't Die soon)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Allow me to introduce DENISE

Almost two years have passed since Jenny (aka Knitting Sensei) taught me how to knit. Like many new knitters, once I decided to be a knitter I quickly realized I was going to need A LOT of needles - it seemed like every project I started needed a different one. And it wasn't enough to have #11s - depending on what you're doing you want long ones or short ones. Or circular ones - and if you get those then you need short, medium and long in those too (depending on what you want to make).

With that in mind, it wasn't long before I learned that knitting needles are expensive, and having literally dozens of pairs was getting pretty pricey. Of course, I went straight to eBay, and eventually I won an auction for a buttload of various needles and notions, which kept me happy for a while.

Then Jeanette told me about DENISE. My best friend Denise.

This is the greatest invention in the world.

In this case (which will run you about 40 bucks) you will find every needle in every size (5-15US) and every configuration you will ever need.

You can use them as circular needles, add the stoppers at either end of two center sections to make a pair of straight needles, use the stoppers at either end to make stitch holders, it's endless, I tell you - endless.

And the Denise needles are a pleasure to use: they're plastic but very smooth and all kinds of yarn just glide over them.

I should also mention that the whole thing is PLASTIC so you have no worries about the airport. The case is about the size of a small book, and takes up considerably less space than, say, four dozen knitting needles.

I was shocked not to find this amazing invention in any of my local LA knitting stores - I guess they want to sell needles - but you can get them on eBay all the time, or go direct to the source,

Here is a picture from their website:

It's hard to believe, but almost no one I know has even heard of these needles, and for the past several months I've been using nothing but.

(Previously I was all hopped up on the TURBO needles, which are super-great, but still not as perfect and efficient as Denise.)

Some grownup knitting (aka my crapmed closet)

Here are a couple of shots of my closet. I realize now that most of these are inside-out. I guess I hang them that way so they won't get dusty? Who knows. Okay so I'm crazy.

Anyway here are a bunch of things I made and ended up keeping for myself.

The ones with the kind of spaghetti straps are SUPER easy to do because you knit them in the round and use #11s. I can do one of these in two or three nights (I do 90% of my knitting after 7pm in front of the tv - yes, life IS exciting).

Special thanks go to Cooper's mom Patti for showing me the Half Double Crochet I now use for the straps. It's not too bulky and it lays down very nice.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Some other stuff

Here are pics of some other stuff I've made.

These are all old, but I managed to catalog the stuff before giving it away.

My first sweater set

This one is from WAY back, but it's the first set I ever made and it's still very cute.

The model is Lucy, who will be two at the end of this year.

This is from the Suss HOLLYWOOD KNITS book and I've made so many of these now that I can do them in my sleep. In fact a plane between LA and NY I got all the parts done and had only to crochet them together by the time we landed.

I'd rather be knitting

Okay the only way I can justify having a blog is if it's about knitting.

I long ago quit taking photos of my projects before I give them away, so
there won't be any older stuff here.

But maybe this will motivate me to get back into the shapshotting of these
things. Maybe I will just ramble instead.

You never know.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

What a Scoop!

What a Scoop!
Originally uploaded by ruth666.

Look at me, I'm blogging photos like a big girl!

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