Monday, December 20, 2010

Got it Back!

My Level I packet came back from the reviewers today.  I wasn't really expecting it this soon, so was very surprised and pleased.  Still, it was nerve wracking, opening it and waiting to see what the reviewers had to say.  I'm  a bit disappointed if they didn't think everything was perfect, (am I a bit of a perfectionist ?) but overall, I'm satisfied.  Most of the comments had to do with weaving in yarn tails, and since that was a totally new technique for me I'm not surprised.  I have three swatches to redo, and one of those only because of weaving in the tail in the ribbing portion.  I need to make a few minor changes in the written cable pattern, and fix up the answers to a few of the questions.  They accepted my blocking report with no criticism at all, and the hat was accepted too.  (I was a bit worried about that).  It shouldn't take long to get the resubmission ready and off to the reviewer.  Then I can begin to fuss and worry over Level II.   This program is definitely a challenge, but I'm glad I'm doing it.  SOME DAY I will get my certification.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Fat Lady is About to Sing

Yep, folks, it's all over but the shouting, or rather, but the finishing touches on the hat.  Level 1 Master Hand Knitter Course goes into the mail Saturday morning, after two and a half months of lots of work, study, writing, knitting, worrying, etc.  But it's going to be out the door, and I can leave for our winter home in Tennessee with only the yarn and stuff I need for Christmas gifts.  Now just to wait and wonder, and wonder, and worry, and oh, well, just forget it all for a while and enjoy our new Shihpoo puppy whom we are picking up in Scottsville, KY next Tuesday.  Can't worry too much about what the reviewers think of my work at 3 AM shivering outside waiting for Taffy to pee.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Needle

I recently splurged big time and bought a Signature Arts circular knitting needle, size 7.  These are relatively new style needles, made of aircraft aluminum.  Not only are they beautiful,  they are extremely well designed and great fun to use.  I feel like I'm zooming through my knitting now, like the little boy on the car commercials who says softly, "zoom, zoom."
All future projects with be knitted with this size 7 needle!  Now I realize my socks will be way too big, and my sweaters way too small, but oh, well.  I love this needle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question For You

I'm hand washing a couple of blouses this morning.  It's not one of my favorite things to do, but they are nice blouses - one, a Jones New York which cost me major bucks, and the other, a Liz Claibourne I got for a song at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  As I say, I'm not crazy about hand laundry. My wool knitted socks go into the washer in a lingerie bag, though not in the dryer.  Anyway, if I want these two shirts to look their best, I'll do what it takes.

I have a frustrating situation with one of the women in the Tuesday Nite Knitters group.  She categorically refuses to swatch, or to block, anything!  She states emphatically for all to hear that she doesn't need to do either and her garments always fit perfectly and look great.  It's so hard for me when I am all eager to share with the group the things I'm learning in my research and projects for the Master Knitter Course, and she continues to not only refuse to learn anything new, but puts down everything I say, and tells the others they don't need to do what I suggest.  (She also has her own ideas about casting on and seaming, etc. etc. etc.)

Now, going back to paragraph one, I'm not crazy about swatching and blocking either, but I do it, and try to do it well, because I know how much it improves my knitting, so I'll do what it takes.  I'm reminded of a sign in my dentist's office which states "You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep."  So I'll keep learning and swatching and blocking because I want my projects to look their best.  I just need to learn how to sit for an hour and a half every Tuesday evening without grinding my teeth and elevating my blood pressure.  Any ideas?

Monday, October 25, 2010


OK, After nearly an hour of trying to figure out how to post a picture here, I finally got these three imported. (The hats are still on their blocking bucket.)
OSU hatBagBelted hat

Post Rhinebeck Projects

A few photos of the past week's projects.  OK, they aren't actually post-Rhinebeck; I started Mrs. Crumpet's Knitting Bag as my in-the-car project for the NY, New England trip, and finished her when we returned.  You'll notice I gave her big bamboo knitting needles, since she's an old woman and her eyesight isn't good.  Actually, my eyesight wasn't so good either by the time I finished all that intarsia and duplicate stitch.  (She still doesn't have handles, not sure quite what to do about that).  Love the pattern, though.  It's by Kathy Sasser of Tehachapi Sock Company.

Hats are the first Christmas gifts - I think everyone is getting hats this year, and they are mostly from yarn purchased at Webs last week.  Well, I did get the scarlet and grey yarn at Rhinebeck, but it's just Cascade 220, not the beautiful hand dyed stuff to dye for at Rhinebeck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sheep and Wool and Webs

We're back in Ohio now,  having spent a great few days in the Northeast.  First stop was Webs Yarn Shop in North Hampton, MA, a wonderful place to spend a few hours and a lot of money!  But, OH, the rows and rows and rows of color and texture and possibilities.  I left there after about four hours, with (literally) three bags full of wool.  I bought a lot of basic things - Cascade 220 for the Master Knitter Coursework, Berroco Vintage in lavender heather for a bulky sweater for me, lots of washable wools and wool blends for hats and kid sweaters and mittens, etc.  Also picked up a book I'd been wanting for a long time "Vogue Knitting."  Books and yarns which are not closeouts are discounted 25% if you buy $120.00 or more.  It doesn't take long to reach that mark.

Then on to Keene, NH, for a couple days with friends from high school.  Lots of fun visiting and reminiscing with them.

Saturday we were at the gate of the Rhinebeck, NY Sheep and Wool Festival before opening time, along with several thousand other folks.  What an experience that was!  So much yarn, roving, fleece, every imaginable tool and trinket for knitting, spinning, hooking, and lots of sheep, alpaca, and rabbits as well.  The fairgrounds has a museum of antique farm equipment, so Clint was happy.  Having bought all the basic stuff at Webs, I cruised the vendors at Rhinebeck just looking for a few luxury items.  One booth which took my breath away, as well as a chunk of my money, was Decadent Fibers.  They have the most gorgeous yarns I've ever seen.  Check them out at

By Saturday evening I was so tired that every time I closed my eyes all I could see was crowds of people coming toward me.  One day at the Festival was enough for me.

New projects are on the horizon - photos coming soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hard Week

It's been a hard week around here.  Wednesday we had to have our dear bichon, Bridget, put to sleep.  She was 15 years old and I'd had her since she was 7 weeks.  Then, Thursday a long-time friend and neighbor passed away, fairly suddenly.  Going to her calling hours today took me way back in time to when her four children and my five were small, bringing up all sorts of feelings and memories.  So tonite I'm tired.  Too tired, even, to knit.  That doesn't happen often to me, for knitting is what I do, to rest, to comfort myself, and to enjoy myself.  But not tonite.  I only want to sleep tonite.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Horse

I have a horse.  I don't have to feed him or clean out his stall, but I do ride him once in a while.  His name is High.  I've been on my horse recently.

One of the requirements for part 1 of the Master Knitter course is a 2-4 page, single-spaced report on Blocking Knitted Items.  Feeling like I'm back in college, I pulled out all my knitting books and began the research.  Quickly I realized that while some books had lots to say about blocking, others had none or very little.  I was appalled by one in particular,  "Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters," by Sharon Brant, which devotes a three sentence paragraph to the topic.  Surely a book titled, Finishing Techniques....... should be expected to cover blocking fairly thoroughly, since blocking is the finishing technique which makes all the difference in whether a garment or item looks "home made" or "expertly hand crafted."  (There are other problems with this book, which I won't go into here).

So I've been on my high horse, ranting to anyone who will listen.  Finally, I posted a review of the book on (where I'd purchased it), and sent an e-mail to Rowan Yarns, who employ Ms. Brant as a teacher and designer.

Bottom Line:  If you want a really good book on Finishing Knits,  get Nancie Wiseman's "The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques."  Don't waste your money on Sharon Brant's book.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Challenge

Recently I enrolled in the first section of The Knitting Guild of America Master Knitter course.  (read more about it at  Even though I've been knitting for many years I think this will be a real challenge for me. I am thoroughly enjoying the research I've done so far in preparation for knitting the required sixteen swatches, and writing a report on blocking.  I'm learning a lot already.

Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Knitpickers" What's up with that?

OK, so you've been wondering ----   Clint has taken to gathering, cracking, and picking out hickory nuts in a big way.  (We have several hickory trees beside out house.  As an early birthday gift he just received a pecan picker-upper thing, which also works as a hickory nut picker-upper.  It's actually a pretty clever design.  I've never seen one here in Ohio, but he claims they are available everywhere in Texas.  Apparently so, for when he mentioned wanting one to his son, it was in the mail within a few days.  We spend a lot of time, especially early mornings and late evenings, with me knitting and him picking out hickory nuts.  Thus our name - Knitpickers.

Rhinebeck hats

As promised, here are the hats Clint and I will be wearing to Rhinebeck, assuming it's cool enough for a hat.

Rhinebeck hats

As promised, here's a photo of our hats for Rhinebeck, assuming it's cool enough to wear them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

So Far So Good

Thursday afternoon and we are at our winter home in Tennessee.  Yeah, I know it's not winter yet - it is 90 degrees here - but we come down here a few days every month or so.  It's peaceful and quiet here, being quite out in the country, so I get a lot of knitting and quilting done, and Clint works on arranging all his tools and stuff in his new barn.

Planning to go to something called a Country Jamboree tonite.  Don't know what to expect.  The Friday night music venue we often frequent is closed tonite for a private event.

I have made new hats for Clint and I to wear to Rhinebeck.  Let's hope it's cool enough up there to wear them.  Photo will come when I get back to my camera in Ohio, and figure out how to post a photo here.  I am so excited about this trip - my first time to Rhinebeck and to Webs in Northhampton, MA.   We'll be visiting friends in New Hampshire as well.

Trying to Make it Work

Trying to make this blog thing work.