Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Son Learns to Knit

On Saturday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend I taught my son to knit. He's been asking for a couple of months and we finally found time when both of us were free. I really had fun teaching him, seeing how he quickly and easily he learns. Today he called for a follow-up lesson -- he's having trouble with what he's calling "transfers". I don't think it actually has a name except, perhaps, "turning the work." The last time he tried fiber arts was 23 years ago when he was five. I still have the yards and yards of chain stitch he made with his big sister's fat crochet hook and red acrylic yarn. Much to his dismay I'd kept it. At the time he didn't want to do anything but make the biggest string he could.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reincarnation of the Interminable Socks

Click on the link above to see my first attempt

To reclaim the yarn, I wound it on a ball winder and then steamed it to relax the yarn. I boiled water in my vegetable steamer pot with a steamer basket, let it sit covered for 15 minutes, placed the two balls of yarn in the pot, covered, for 10 minutes.

Main color: 2 skeins "Online" Linie 1 Supersocke 50g/210m 5% wool/25% nylon; Variagated with royal blue the main color.
Contrast color: Schoeller-Esslinger (Schoeller-Stahl) Fortissima 50g/210m 75% wool/25% nylon; Bright red #20 (1/2 of the skein).
Bright red reinforcement nylon thread saved from Lang bright red sock yarn.
#1 needles
Gauge on stst: 9/1".
Pattern Stitch Basket Weave Rib
Over 8 stitches and 12 rounds
Rounds 1,3,5,7,9 & 11: P1 *[K3,P1]* repeat ** to end of round
Rounds 2,4,& 6: P4, K3, *P5, K3* Repeat ** to end of round
Rounds 8, 10, & 12: P1, *K3, P5* Repeat ** to end of round
Size: for a generous leg and shortish foot
Cast on 84 st in k2p2. Continue for 1"; [Alternative, p1,k3, to mirror pattern]
Start pattern and continue until leg measures 6". Begin decreasing 1 st every other round until there are 72 st. When work measures 7", begin heel. Divide work in half, placing 37 stitches on thread, stitch holders or needles -- whatever works -- for the instep. The extra stitch is needed to make sure the pattern, which continues over the instep, has a purl stitch at each end.
Keeping decrease line in center of 35 stitches for the heel and bebing the heel flap. Knit to end of 35 stitches, turn and add cc with reinforcing thread if so desired. Purl 1st row and begin whatever heel stitch you like. Continue until 18 rows or flaps on outer edge (having always slipped either the first or last st of every row) and then turn heel. Use whatever formula works for the heel you like. Pick up 18 st. at each edge of heel and begin gussets. Decrease until reach 72 stitches. Divide work evenly among 4 rows in a logical way -- there will be 19 stitches on one needle to allow for the extra purl stitch. I advise arranging the needles so that 2 hold the 18 and 19 stitches of the instep pattern and 2 hold 36 stst stitches. This will prevent, perhaps, losing track of where the pattern ends. Continue for whatever length. For the DB make foot 6.5", measuring from heel flap.
Toe Begin her favorite toe, adding cc and reinforcing thread if desired. Knit 1 rnd in stst with cc. On next round begin dec: on every needle
Rnd 1: K1, ssk *knit until last 3 sts] k2tog, k1
Rnd 2: stst
Repeat rnds 1 and 2 until 16 st total. Arrange on two needs, with bottom of foot on one needle and instep on another. Do the donkey ear trick if desired, leaving 6 sts on each needle. Kitchener st close.

Note the pooling, particularly on the sock on the right. It was a little startling. I did notice that it seemed to be caused by a lack of other colors for a space of about 5 of the color repetitions on the royal blue ground. Luckily the DB loves it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Second Afghan Completed for Charity Project

R.L., Who Puts Together the Stettenheim Stitchers' Afghan Blocks

R.L., with the second of two whole afghans she has valiantly and enthusiastically crocheted together. R. does a lovely job, patiently completing the afghans that The Stettenheim Stitchers knit. She works with H.L., who decides how to assemble the blocks.

On Sunday H.L. presented the completed afghans in the opening ceremonies of Mitzvah Day. R.L. has also been The Stitchers' liaison to the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services and the Mitzvah Day chair.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We meet Jenny Bakriges at Rhinebeck

Click on the link above to Spinning Spider Jenny's to see the photo of Caroline and me.
We were so happy to run into Elizabeth (right)and Jenny, left. I met Elizabeth at NCS's Fibre Fallout. And, you can read all about Jenny's Spinning Silken Fibers Workshop I took in August in the archives.

Here we are, having just finished some, dare I say it, lambchops. On the left is April, in the middle is Caroline and on the right is April's friend Sharon. Refreshed, we're off to explore and ....buy fibery things.

A Human in Sheep's Clothing and her Shepherdess!

And some real sheep

My real score of the day was to get to Hatchdown before all the spindles were gone. I bought 3. Way too many but will probably sell one to a blogger I met at Beth and Jenny's booth where we bought some lovely Roving from Beth (left) and baby camel from Jenny (right).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sweater and Hat for Little Ethan James

Hope this fits although probably not for long. I knit this for the first grandchild born to one of my college friends. Very exciting. I used a pattern from Little Badger and acrylic in three colors so that the young parents can wash it. I have a feeling that the hat will fit a lot longer than the sweater.

Charity Project at work finished

At work I've been facilitating a charity knitting project. We call ourselves the Stettenheim Stitchers, after the name of the library where I work. At least seven of us have been making blocks to sew together. Above is H.L. with the first afghan, completed today. She knitted several of the blocks.

There's a second afghan requiring only ends to be sewn in and an edge crochetd as well as about 20 (of 49) blocks for the third. We're determined to keep going.

The wonderful thing is that everyone has her specialty. J.R., pictured below, knits blocks when her busy schedule permits. R.L. has sewn all the strips together, besides knitting blocks and recruiting her daughters to do the same. H.L. (photo below) has knit many of the blocks and is our designer. And, D.M., her daugher and sister have been knitting like the wind. My job, besided knitting a few blocks, has been to sew ends in and crochet the edging. It's been a lovely collaborative project.

The completed afghan(s) will be donated to the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services' Sanctuary Project after being featured next week during our second annual Mitzvah Day. JBF&CS presents the afghans to children going into foster care so that they have something of their own to take with them from placement to placement. We find this a very worthwhile cause as we can imagine how comforting a warm blanket can be for a child who's lost her family.