Saturday, August 19, 2006

Finishing Some Projects

My afternoon has been spent (while watching the Yankees/Red Sox game)in assembling all these barrettes. I embroider them on perforated plastic for a good firm base, then glue the backs on. I'm fussy about the backs, my favorites are labeled "Made in France" and I have to go into Manhattan to get them, usually at Metalliferous. I have a bag of 12 dozen which I thought would last for awhile - except that I discovered that they're all the wrong size, slightly bigger than I use (the ends are visible beyond the stitching which I don't like.) The size that works is 3 1/4" (80 mm) and my stash is of course 3 7/8 (97 mm).

However I had enough to finish off quite a few that had been waiting. This one is a new Anchor pearl cotton with metallics. Some of the other threads are Eterna silk twist and Caron Watercolours.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Subway Series Socks

If there is Yankees yarn, can the Mets yarn be far behind? I'm winding the wool up (it arrived today from Dave) in preparation for knitting Mets socks for a friend's brother. Orange and blue isn't my favorite color combination but Dave made a thing of beauty out of it. I'm figuring another pair of toe-up socks with ribbing, very manly.

I'm knitting the Monthly Dishcloth KAL - this is my second project. You get 10 lines of pattern in email every day for 5-6 days. I thought I would have to wait (I wanted a solid and a variegated cotton yarn, and I only had variegated) but my yarn order from Smiley's Yarns arrived today. I can't believe the prices - so cheap! I got: 5 skeins of Bernat Handicrafter; 4 skeins of Lily Cotton Elite; 3 skeins of an interesting yarn called Filatura Lanorota Circus - it's a very soft blend of 85% cotton, 15% acrylic, very brightly variegated - I'm thinking washcloths, too soft for dishes; and SOCK YARN. Cervinia Calzetteria, 70% wool, 30% nylon, machine washable - 2 each in multi-blues, multi-turquoise, solid red and solid denimy heather - for $2.50 each. Five dollars for a pair of wool self-striping socks. I am having a hard time not going back to order more and more and more...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Not Just Knitting

Which is why I called this blog "Brooklyncrafter" rather than "Brooklynknitter." One of my other crafting pastimes is counted cross stitch. I've been neglecting it for knitting but on a recent trip to Maryland I found a piece that called to me. Of course it's huge, it will be 26" wide by 20" high (just the design) when finished. It's from a new designer, Ink Circles, and this one is Garden Stars. With my friend Carol's help we swapped out the DMC for various overdyes (Needle Necessities, Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Art Sampler Threads.) Here's as much as I've done:

The nice part about this piece is that it's composed of many distinct motifs so I can get the satisfaction of finishing one part at a time. After I looked closely at the chart I decided to go wild and use even more greens so I've added some Old Willow and Crescent Colors threads, as well as some Atalie threads that were just sitting around in a box. The fabric is one of Wichelt's new hand-dyes, Chai Tea Jobelan - it's a pale green with some pale brown mottling. I do have to use my portable light so it's not that easy to pick it up and stitch.

Road Trip

We gathered for a road trip to Connecticut on a beautiful Saturday morning (who said "the only trouble with mornings is that they come so early?") Our stops included Sudberry House's annual (and final) garage sale where we loaded up on frames, boxes, and other wooden objects to display needlework. Then we proceeded to Yarns Down Under, a really fine (and well concealed) yarn store where sock yarn was found in abundance (I got some Schaefer Anne, some Regia Bamboo, and some Step with jojoba oil.) We ended up at a former LNS owner's place, where she generously offered us a sale on her inventory. The result - here's the trunk!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


11:30 pm - Tonight I unknitted several rows to get back to 213 stitches (row 2 of the pattern.) Then I knitted a row and did row 3 of the pattern which should have been 215 stitches. It wasn't. It was 214 stitches. I went to the beginning of the row and counted off the pattern stitches - I'd missed a yarn over about halfway through the row. So I unknitted to that point, reknitted the row - 215 stitches. This is good, except it's where I started last night. Anyway I'm ready to do row 1, maybe tomorrow. The earrings really help in counting, I hook one on at every 50th stitch.

This shawl is showing me how much my concentration slips. In past rows I have missed yarn overs; I have dropped stitches; I have knitted 4 instead of 3 in the pattern. And yet at the time I felt like I was paying attention! Of course the longer the row gets, the easier it is for my mind to slip away for just a second also.


This is the Lacy Prairie Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls. I have never had so much trouble knitting something! I think it's because it's lace - and every stitch matters. It's a really simple pattern, there are only 3 pattern rows (alternating with knit rows), and it's kicking my butt. I started with 215 stitches. It had been awhile, and I began knitting pattern row one (which, apart from the edges, is a Double decrease (slip 2, knit 1, pass 2 slipped sts over), k3; repeated to edge etc. I got to the edge and was one stitch short.

I unknitted the row (I'm getting very good at this and the yarn is quite heavy) and counted again - 215 stitches. Great. Then I realized that I was on the wrong side and I wasn't in the pattern row, I should have been just knitting. (I had to mark the right side because it's not very obvious.) So I knit a row. 215 sts. I did row 1 of the pattern - 214 sts, 1 short.

This has happened over and over with this shawl. It's such an easy pattern, I don't understand why it's being such a problem for me. It is emphasizing something that I don't like about lace knitting though - it's very fussy. You can't really add or subtract stitches as needed the way you can with stockinette or ribbing etc. I have 30 more pattern rows to go (up to 275 stitches) and I really want to finish this.

The yarn is Riata from Brooks Farm Yarns - silk, wool and mohair in the Water Lilies colorway.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another Stitching Meeting

I attended a meeting of the Metrostitchers at Cynthia's new apartment. Many pictures were taken including lots of objects in progress. Here are Joan's finishes:

Barbara's working on a Celtic Knot pattern:

Rosie has a huge sampler:

Here's Theresa's piece - which ended in a Happy Dance today!

And here is one of mine - the Eyelet Tee from with the addition of a knitted lace border.

I also had a happy dance - the Monthly Dishcloth Knit-Along, done in Knitpicks Shine Worsted, which I gave to Cynthia for a housewarming present. It makes a lovely soft washcloth.

And we mustn't forget the friendly Curry (who climbed shelves, looked at yarn with yearning, and ended up on the sofa for the attention he was due.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Toe

I'm going to a couple of crafting group meetings this weekend and felt the need to have another sock to work on. The Mardi Gras sock is almost up to the heel. In fact, I turned the heel and then tried it on but it was a little bit too short, enough to be uncomfortable, so I ripped it back to the foot and am knitting it a bit longer. But if I knit a lot at these meetings I'll need to turn the heel. And interestingly enough I'll have to decide which side of the sock to make the instep. Here are the choices - I call one Mardi Gras Purple and the other Mardi Gras Gold. I'm leaning toward the purple at the moment.

Now the short row heel (or toe) isn't hard. It just requires concentration and I check off each wrapped stitch as I go, so it's not a great thing for group crafting. So last night I started the second Yankees sock - here are a couple of pictures of the short row toe completed and ready for mindless knitting (it helps to have big feet, you get more mindless knitting time!)

I took some pictures last night and couldn't believe how blurry they were. This morning I tried again, and they wouldn't download to the computer. There was a message saying that the batteries were too low. So I've replaced them (for the first time) and the pictures look great. I wonder if the batteries were the problem.

Everybody stay cool and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Finished Object!

Finally I've finished the first Yankee sock (it got misplaced for a bit, and the heat had me knitting nothing but cotton.) Today I did a little bit of k2p2 ribbing for the cuff and bound off using Elizabeth Zimmerman's stretchy bindoff. And it is nice and stretchy. I can hardly wait to start the second sock (have to find the waste yarn first though.) These will be lovely and warm come winter (oh please I am so tired of summer!)