Kirsti Knits

Time - such a precious Gift is it; To work, to read, and Yes, to knit. - Minnie Gertz

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Oooh, pretty!

Somebody stop me. I'm feeling the urge to start a whole brand new project. But just look at this shawl? Isn't it gorgeous?

It's Creatures of the Reef from Fidlesticks Knitting, and it's well worth clicking on that link to see the larger picture in all the details.

They say it can be done by advanced beginners. That's me, right? And the kit isn't all that expensive either. Any thoughts on what colour to order?. I'm thinking possibly the Agean blue or the Juniper green, but they might be a bit dark to work with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Tuesday titbits

Stitch'n'Bitch was another blast. We had 8 people show up, and lots of good knitting and socializing was had by all. My TSP 2 is really taking shape, and I got some help with the first of two "new and somewhat tricky" bits to it. I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of next week.

Suz's booga bag is about 85% done. The I-cord is finished, so it's now just a question of knitting til I run out of yarn.

And in Really Good News, I've booked my flight to England. I'll be leaving on August 8th and returning on the 19th. I plan to spend most of the time with my Wonderful Sister and Adorable Nephew, but might try and sneak in a meet-up with some of the UK folk from the Knitty board on the Saturday.

And finally.. go help out a fellow researcher
Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

After a long absence...

... I return with yet another photo-less post. I'm sorry. But I figured that you'd rather at least hear something from me than another day without a knitting report.

So.. let's see. Top Secret Project 3 is done and off the needles. TSP 2 had to be frogged and restarted last weekend; then I took it to Stitch'n'Bitch on Monday and wasn't paying enough attention ... and didn't realise until I was packing it up at the end of the group that I'd made a fairly visible mistake in the pattern 6 rows back.

So I took it in to Lisa at City Knits on Tuesday morning (I was waiting outside when they opened at 11 - how sad is that?), and she said the easiest way would be to unknit stitch by stitch, row by row. Thankfully, she also showed me a neat way to hold the yarn that made it a lot faster. So the mistake is now fixed, and I'm back on track to make this the most fabulous thing ever.

I also cast on for Branching Out, got to row 3 of the lace pattern and messed up. Ripped it all out, cast on again, got to row 5 of the lace pattern before messing up. So that one's staying put away at least for a little while.

Suz's Booga Bag is progressing nicely. Two skeins of yarn have been knitted, and I've just started making the I-cord for the handles. I'm aiming to have it done and felted by the end of this week.

I took the Aggressive Beginners scarf with me today to the Detroit Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project 2005, where they're building 30 new houses in seven days. Terry and I were performing during the lunch break for 2000 volunteers with the Broe Rehabilitation Center Therapy Choir - a choir made up of people with traumatic brain injuries or addiction problems, and the staff from the Rehab Center. They're not the greatest singers, but they are definitely an inspiration. Singing helps them with their speech and language, as well as giving them self confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. Terry and I interspersed the choir songs with solo numbers. We were hoping that President Carter and Govenor Granholm would come into the main tent for the performance, but they stayed in the smaller VIP tent next door. Still, hopefully some of the sound drifted through. And it was great to give the volunteers some entertainment during lunch. Plus I got about another 2 inches done on this never-ending scarf. I took it coz it's my only project on wooden needles at the moment, and I thought the metal ones might be a security risk. But no security checkpoints at all.

And finally for today ... the Metro Times article on our local Stitch'n'Bitch group is finally published! OK, so they misspelled my name slightly, but Natalie did a great job. And last Monday we had 11 people .. so maybe by next week we'll be taking over the store!. Last Monday was also great because I got to meet Jodi Green, designer of the inspirational Mariah hoodie. She got the bus over from Canada, I picked her up downtown and dropped her back afterwards. She's a very fun person to hang out with, has some amazing tattoos and creates great knitting too. Hopefully she'll make it across the border another time or two before she heads off to school in Georgia.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Very briefly

Top Secret Project number 2 is on the needles, and TSP 3 was cast on yesterday and finished about 2 minutes ago (though I still have to work in the ends).

The midterms are graded, the presentation going over the most common mistakes is ready for Tuesday's class ... and now I'm off home.

Anyone who wants to see photos of the TSPs, do feel free to email me. Unless you're my sister of course. Or Oscar.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Note to self...

Top Secret Project (TSP from now on) Number 3 is underway. Plymouth Nocturne 1967 and Trendsetter Dune 95.

No, you weren't meant to understand that. The above is purely for my own reference in case I lose the yarn labels and forget what I used.

No real news, except to report back that I took the Booga Bag to class, seeing as it's the easiest project to drop at any time I was needed to answer students' questions. I got a good hour or so of knitting done during a 90 minute exam period, and discovered that one of my students crochets, and wants to learn to knit.

I stopped by City Knits to show off completed Booga Bag and TSP Number 1. Lisa was suitably impressed by my progress. I also picked up the yarn listed above, and a larger size set of Addi Turbo needles for TSP Number 2, in order to get guage.

And then went out for a yummy Italian meal to celebrate a friend's birthday. Good food, good company .. and now it's hopefully time for a good night's sleep.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Progress report

Well, Stitch'n'Bitch tonight was a wash-out. Julie had food poisoning, so couldn't make it. I don't know what happened to Coley. So I was Nobby No-Mates, and sat in Sweetwaters all on my own for 2 hours, knitting. *sniff*. It was good to get some knitting time in, but I did feel somewhat self-conscious. I've posted a poll to the Yahoo group to find out why more people don't show up. There's 58 members, for goodness sake. You'd think we could get more than 3 folk together at a time.

Saturday's concert was a huge success. We had a great slot - right before the interval (that's the intermission for you non-Brits). Did 3 songs with the band, then Terry closed out with a solo rendition of her medley of When You Wish Upon a Star with Someone to Watch Over Me. As the festival organizer said, she hit it out of the park. We sold 24 CDs in the 15 minute break, and another 3 afterwards, plus got 2 and a half pages of names for our mailing list.

Seeing as Saturday was also Worldwide Knit In Public day, I took my Wavy scarf along with me. I know the pattern well enough to be able to knit this in the dark. Here's the current progress:

The yarn is Cascade 220 in shade 9402 - a variegated grey. I was worried about how the light and dark colours would work with the wavy ribbing, but I'm really liking the results so far.

I spent most of the time tonight adding to the Aggressive Beginners scarf. I realised one reason why I'm having so much trouble getting motivated with this: there's no definite "end point". With Wavy, I can count my way through the 44 rows of the pattern, and I know there's 10 repeats, so it's easy to assess how far I am. So I calculated that with this scarf, the pattern repeats every 4 rows. 10 repeats of the pattern add up to about 1 repeat of the Wavy scarf. So therefore, I need to do 100 cable repeats in order to have a long enough scarf. I have an end point! And, with 16 cable repeats currently done, I'm over 1/10th of the way there. Here's a somewhat fuzzy picture of the scarf so far. The larger picture has a bit more clarity in the details.

The other big knitting progress has been on the second Booga Bag. This one's in shade 95, the same as the original pattern. This one's destined for Suz, as per her request when I posted pics of the first one in progress. If she still wants it, that is, and isn't making her own, now she's picked up the needles again. Here's the current status, and the remaining yarn:

And just because I like the lighting and focus and angle, here's another shot:

And in lack-of-progress report... here's the current state of Soleil.

I'll get going on this again in the next day or two most likely, when I'm feeling slightly more focused. Or I might just start in on the Second Top Secret Torment My Sister thing. Hmmm.

Tomorrow is the midterm exam for all my students. I'm currently deciding which project to take with me. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Well, I'm making huge rapid progress on Top Secret Project 1, but of course I can't show you any of it. (If you'd like to see photos, and you're not my sister, feel free to email me or leave a comment, and I'll fill you in on what I'm doing. Mwahahahha.)

However, the other huge exciting news is that I finally felted and finished the Booga Bag!

Here's the photo journal showing its progress. As usual, clicking any of them will open up a new page with a larger image on (Goodness knows why there's a whole load of blank space between this line and the table with the pictures. I can't see anything in my html code that would do it. I don't think blogspot likes tables very much. So I apologize for how ugly this post looks. Just keep scrolling down and enjoy the photos.)

Before feltingInto the washing machine
(Note the artsy falling water shot)

After one cycleAfter second cycle. Stitches pretty much gone, so good enough for me.

Blocking on a Kashi cereal box from CostcoThe finished bag

As modeled by my gorgeous wife.

So yay me! I'm so pleased with how it came out. Now I can get started on the second one and begin to use up some of this yarn stash!

In not-so-good knitting news, I ended up ripping out the 6 rows I'd done on the Soleil. I broke all my own rules and started into knitting it late at night when I was tired - and made a huge mistake with the lace row that was pretty much unfixable - plus I didn't realise it until I was at the very end of that row. So I'll be starting up with that again soon. The Wavy scarf is now my "mindless knitting" of choice, and I'm about halfway through the first repeat. It's too hot to knit with thick heavy wool, so the Top Secret Project and Soleil will be my first choices in this weather.

In other news, it's a busy day today. I'm playing flute for a wedding at church this afternoon, then this evening is the Who's At First folk festival featuring Terry and 4 other artists. We get a half hour set, and it should be a fun evening. Then Sunday we're doing church mass in the morning (usually Terry leads the music group for the Saturday evening mass, but because of the concert we swapped with Augie, the director, who wanted a Sunday morning off anyway). Hopefully the weather will cool down a little. Still, at least we got the air conditioner unit in the living room window last night. We're still pondering splurging and buying a second one for the bedroom. Terry ended up moving to the sofa last night because of the heat. Don't know when we'll have time for it though...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

OK, so I lied.

No photos. I'm a bad, bad blogger. And I'm truly repentant, honestly.

Class was fun. The store was somewhat chaotic, as the owner and two other staff members are off to a big huge yarn festival today, so they were running around with last minute arrangements, packing, yarn samples, things to knit in the car, etc etc.

But it all calmed down, and Lisa started me off on the Top Secret Project that I'll only post intriguing snippets of. Suffice to say that I was working with double pointed needles. Lots of them. Well, OK, four. It seemed like a lot, particularly as I'm still at the stage of figuring out how to knit without poking one of those tiny sharp pointed sticks in my eye. Still, I'm now at 10 stitches per needle, which is a lot easier to manage than 2 or 4 stitches.

And I think I'm heading out of work early to go and sit at City Knits and relax and work some more on the Soleil top.

Other knitting reports ... the Wavy scarf is about 8 rows in and progressing nicely. I managed to drop a stitch in the Aggressive Beginners scarf, so I'm going to see if Susy can fix it at City Knits today.. otherwise I may just frog the whole thing and call it a learning experience. It's just not inspiring me, despite the yummy soft alpaca yarn. The Booga Bag has yet to be felted. Where on earth (or at least, "where in America") do you find a zippered pillowcase?

And just to prove my project slut nature, I'm planning on starting the second Booga Bag for Suz (I even found the Noro yarn in the same colours as the pattern shows - the yellows, greens and pink), and the Branching Out scarf from Knitty ... because after abandoning one lace scarf, what's better than starting another? I've even got the yarn for this too, the Silky Wool.

And yay, Terry's home tonight.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Content coming later, I promise

I'll do a proper update, with pictures and everything, after City Knits class tonight. Besides, by then I'll have started on a fourth project. Something Top Secret that I'll simply hint about in intriguing terms that will drive my sister absolutely crazy.

Til then... I stole this quiz link from dixiepeach. And even came out the same as her! Yay!

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, June 06, 2005

A project slut

It's true. I admit it. Only six weeks into my knitting lifestyle, and I am non-monogamous. There was a brief period, from midnight last night until around 7pm, when I had only one project on my needles: the aggressive beginner scarf. I show up at Stitch'n'Bitch and pull out the scarf. Do I focus on the intricacies, refining my lace pattern and cabling abilities? Do I watch the slow, but steady, progress of this lovely green scarf?

Of course not. I knit about 4 rows, get bored, and cast on for the Soleil top. Then, once I've joined the cast on, and knit the first row, I decide I'm too fuzzy headed to start on the complicated lace rows, so I cast on for the second Wavy scarf, and finish up the evening by knitting four rows of that.

And those readers who've been following along with my projects will have deduced one other thing: the Booga Bag must be off the needles. Yep, it is. Not in the Finished Objects blog yet, as I haven't felted it. I think I'm going to do that tomorrow evening, as it's too late tonight. I also want to measure the pre-felting dimensions so I can decide if I want to make the next one any bigger.

Also planned for tomorrow is a trip with my fellow Stitch'n'Bitchers to the new yarn store, Gifted, that's opened up in Beaumont Hospital, literally 5 minutes drive from my house. Coley and I have promised not to spend any money; Julie needs to pick up some supplies. We'll see if that holds out.

Photos of the new projects once they get slightly beyond the "loops on a needle" stage. I'm off to make up a bed in the basement studio, as that's the coolest place in this way-too-hot-and-stuffy house. Hopefully that'll mean I actually get some sleep tonight.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ruffles and ramblings

It's been a fairly productive knitting day or two. The Booga Bag is so nearly done that I should really have waited half an hour, finished it, then posted this entry, but never mind. What is off the needles now is the Potato Chip scarf., modelled below by my gorgeous wife.

A very fun scarf to knit, and definitely quick. Though binding off 720 stitches takes longer than you expect.

Our trip to Lansing was a great success too. We picked up Terry's guitar from Elderly Instruments, she played a bunch of Martins and a really nice Breedlove 12 string in myrtle wood, but decided against buying a second guitar at the moment. Then, after missing it twice, we finally found Threadbear, and it was worth the hunt. I could have spent all day in there, so it was probably a good thing that Terry was with me to keep me grounded and stop me buying all the pretty yarn in sight.

I did buy some mercerised cotton in cream, and some amazing bamboo yarn to make Terry two Soleil tank tops for the summer. Pictures soon, once I've swatched and cast on. I'll start with the cotton one, and practice on that. We had a wonderful mexican meal at the nearby Hacienda Los Amigos too - really authentic, great chips and salsa, and portions large enough to make for 2 lots of leftover lunches.

Terry just left for the airport - she's off to New Jersey for work training til Thursday. So I'll drown my sorrows in yarn, and hopefully have a really productive week.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It's Friday!

It's the weekend.. well, almost.

Last night Terry was working late again (she's off on a training course all of next week, so she's trying to get everything done before she goes) I went to the Ferndale Stitch'n'Bitch group. There were four of us there - three kntitters and a crochet-er. I got three more rows done on the Potato Chip scarf - so it's now up to 360 stitches. The next row is the final increase to 720 stitches, then I knit that row, bind off and I'm done. I'm concerned I won't have enough yarn to do the increase, so I'm holding off at the moment. So far I've put about 3 hours work into it, so I think a 5 hour project is a good estimation.

In Booga Bag news, last night I rewound the remains of the final skein of Kureyon yarn, so I could work from the other end, hoping that (as was the case with skeins 1 and 2) that it would end in the same colour as skein 2, and I could make a seamless join. No such luck. Skein 2 finished with this pinkypurple .... Skein 3 finished with bright red. So I've got a very obvious colour change. Oh well. It'll all look fine once its felted, right?

And ... in today's exciting news ... after a 2pm appointment with an immigration attorney in Ann Arbor, Terry and I will be heading out to Lansing. Now, the primary reason for this trip is to collect Terry's guitar, which has been in the hospital at Elderly Instruments after a nasty fall onto hard concrete. The crack's been glued up, the bridge reattached, so hopefully all is good now. But.. the fact that we'll be only 9 minutes drive from Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio which is apparently sheer heaven for those obsessed with yarn is too much to pass up. Hopefully I can convince Terry of the same thing. I told her I just want to go in and stroke the pretty yarn, and I'll leave my wallet in the car. I'm not sure she was entirely convinced. I wonder why? *innocent look*.

I'm thinking about making a Soleil for her before starting in on the Stitch'n'Bitch sweater. It'll be good practice for me, and I think she'd look great in it. So I could use this trip to get the yarn, right? That'd be... what's the word ... justified? Good use of my time? Something else new to knit?

Happy Friday anyway. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Brief updates

Nothing huge to report.. just that I've changed the width of this main part, so that my entries don't go on for 3 pages at a time (I really should be more concise, but never mind.) (Well, I thought I'd changed it OK. And it looked fine from home. But here at work, the sidebar is scrolling off the edge. *sigh*. Back to template-tweaking)

And I've knitted the first 2 rows of the Potato Chip scarf, and it spirals beautifully when I squidge it up on the needles, so that's promising. It's slightly fiddly yarn to knit with, as I have to make sure I pick up the mohair strand as well as the metallic one, and don't split the fuzzy mohair. But with the shiny Addi Turbo needles and the pretty shiny yarn, it's such fun to do. Picture once it's a little bit further along.

But here's my pic of the day ...

My wife in my scarf! It's all good.

It's another one of those sleepy late-at-night shots - but at least a little more flattering than the hat pics. See that smile? Melts my heart.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wednesday evening and all is good

So, to update from my earlier post... firstly, I finished my Wavy Scarf! The details are over in my Finished Objects blog, but here's a picture so you can gaze and marvel!

At class, I carried on working on the aggressive beginner scarf (grrr), learned how to unknit rows to fix mistakes, and how to pick up dropped yarnovers. They're all so friendly in that store. Wednesdays and Mondays are definitely my favourite nights of the week.

I bought the size 13 Addi Turbos for the Potato Chip scarf, and swapped the stitches over. So here's what this looks like at the very beginning. 90 stitches there now. It'll double on each row, hence the need for circulars.

I made the mistake of only getting one skein of the Dune yarn, before re-reading the forum post and discovering it needs two. So, luckily, I found an ebay auction and bought 3 more skeins so I can have two of these scarves. They seem fairly quick to make - about 4 or 5 hours - and will also be good for the Christmas/Birthday gift stash.

Here's the Booga Bag, with artistically arranged i-cord (and yes, that really does stretch out to over 5 feet. It reaches Terry's nose. I checked).

I think I'm going to unravel the remains of the skein of yarn, and start joining it from the other end. This will mean that I don't get an abrupt jump in colour, coz the i-cord used up all the matching pink/purple/blue joining yarn. It'll mean that the stripe pattern will sort of reverse itself from where it is now as you go up the bag, but it should still look alright. Other suggestions? Comments?

And finally... for my next City Knits project, Lisa suggested that I start a sweater. (She's a bad, bad influence. Worse than I am on Dixie and Suz. Honestly.) I wanted to do the chunky cable one from Stitch'n'Bitch, but saw this wonderful worsted weight yarn in their sale bin, so the yarn won out over the sweater design. Besides, I'm not sure that a chunky sweater would be the most flattering thing on my somewhat chunky frame.

If you go here and click on through the patterns, it's the pink hoodie on the right when you reach the 9th click. My first choice is the sweater on the left two clicks later. We'll need to adjust the stripes, because they didn't have quite enough of the contrast colour yarns, but that's absolutely fine with me. My breasts are prominent enough without them needing to be highlighted with a stripe.

So what all this is leading up to.. is that I now have a HUGE yarn stash! See? It's by an Italian company, di.vé, and the yarn is called "Winter'. The green is colour 1211, the soft blue is 1215 and the grey is 1202. They've all got sort of shiny reflective strands spun in with the mohair. I have 15 skeins of the green, 3 of the blue and 2 of the grey.


It doesn't look so bad here, until you realise that the City Knits bag is full of another 11 skeins of green yarn. Oops. I said I wasn't going to do this. At least everything I have is assigned to a definite project. That's still OK, right?

What does this say about my priorities? I come home, get the camera out, pose and photograph the yarns, crop and resize the pictures, write blog entries here, here, and here. Haven't even brought the mail in. So now, at 9:45, I need to make myself some dinner.

Finishing things!

Yay! My first Wavy scarf is off the needles, ends woven in, and ready to be shown off at my City Knits class tonight, along with the finished seamed cap. Shame it's currently 75 degrees really (that's 24 o C for you Brits reading). I'll take photos tonight, promise.

And, being an unrepentant addict, I've already cast on the 90 sitches for the Potato Chip Scarf from Knit Picks. I'm using Trendsetter Dune yarn in colour 86. Looks like this:

Yummy. I'm going to need to get more Addi Turbos in a 13 needle size though, coz with the number of increasing stitches, I'll never fit it onto a straight needle.

Also finished last night was the "between 5 and 6 feet" of i-cord that the pattern calls for. I knitted until it reached Terry's nose. I figured that was an accurate enough measurement, and besides, I'd knitted all through House and 1 1/2 episodes of Queer Eye (first season re-runs - the wedding proposal, and Butch the artist). So now I can use all my remaining yarn to finish knitting the bag; find a zippered pillow case; and then into the washing machine it goes!

I'll try and post more with pics after class tonight.