Kirsti Knits

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quick update

Just a brief, photo-less post to note that I've now been knitting and blogging about it for a month! Go me!

Memorial weekend was lazy and relaxing. We went to see the Revenge of the Sith on Friday night, then spent Saturday to Monday watching episodes IV, V and VI on DVD, to see how well they meshed together. Pretty good, apart from Leia talking about her memories of her "real mother" to Luke. Quite how she realised that her mother was "pretty, and somewhat sad" just after being born, and then held that memory to adulthood is beyond me. But it's probaby the power of the Force or something.

Knitting-wise, I've finished the second skein of wool on the body of the Booga Bag, so it's now about 60 rows. I took the advice of someone on the Knitty board and started on the i-cord for the handles. Then I'll be able to use all the remainder of the third skein for the bag. So I now have about 3 feet of i-cord, which is fun to knit, if kind of effortful to get it tight enough.

I made a mistake somewhere with the City Knits scarf - I think I dropped a yarnover.. either way, on the next row I found I had one too few stitches in one of the lace bits. Couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I just didn't decrease that row, to get it back to the right number again. I've stopped there - I may see if Lisa can fix it in class tomorrow. This is definitely the kind of knitting that demands your full attention.

And Wavy is now into its final repeat! 40 rows to go, then I'm done with this one. And, just in time to show off the finished piece, I've joined the Wavy Knit Along blog.

OK. Time to go get ready to teach. Midterm in 2 weeks, and I thoroughly intend to bring my knitting to class then!

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Home from work, with camera. And seeing as it's such a nice day, and not 11pm which is usually when I'm photographing my knitting progress, you even get outside shots on our back step! The plus is that the colours are a pretty true match, though your monitor may vary. As per usual, clicking on any picture will open up a larger version.

Here's the amazing, magical, self-striping booga bag progress to date:

And squished flat so you can see the small base:

And the scarf. I've actually started the cabling bit, and I think it's all going well.

See? Daylight through the scarf! And you can mostly make out the pattern. The seed stitch is the bumpy bit making the border. The lacey bit is made by wrapping the yarn around (aka a yarnover) to make an extra stitch with a hole below it, and then knitting two stitches together (either purling them as one: p2t, or by slipping two stitches onto the other needle, then knitting them both together - slip, slip knit, or ssk. Which one depends if I'm knitting the front or back side. There. Knitspeak made easy.) Then in the middle is the cable. So far, it's made two twists.

Holes and twisted stitches... and it's all deliberate!

Here's the crocheted cast-on giving a nice neat edge to the piece (and it'll be even neater once it's blocked. I keep telling myself that):

And, in not-quite-so-clear-focus is the edge of the scarf. See how all the knitting into the back of the end stitch, then just slipping it on to the needle at the start of the next row is making a similar border to the crochet cast on? So pretty!

There. Now I'm off to sit in front of the TV and knit. Hmm. But what to work on? I think I'll try and get at least one more wave of poor neglected wavy scarf done.

Catching up

Reports from this week's Stitch'n'Bitch and City Knits class...

Stitch'n'Bitch was great. Three former regulars showed up, so with Julie and myself and Julie's mum, we had quite the crowd. Though I missed Coley. And one of the former regulars was Suzy from City Knits, who was suitably impressed by my progress.

Another was Jen, who was kind enough to show me how to pick up stitches around the edge of my booga bag. It's now definitely bag shaped, though I'm a tad concerned by how small the base is looking. Before felting (which will shrink it), it's only just the dimensions that the pattern says it should be at the end after felting and blocking. We'll see how this one goes, and I might try adding more stitches and rows to future bags. It's all a learning experience, right? As a plus, I'm loving knitting in the round, and the bag is growing quickly. No photos right now, but expect some in the next day or two.

Then at class last night, I was introduced to the intricacies of matress stitch, and I sewed up the seam in my hat, so it is now officially finished, and documented in my Finished Objects blog. Here's front and back views of Terry wearing it.

Please ignore our cluttered kitchen, and focus instead on those beautiful, even, swirling decreases in the back of the hat. Please also ignore the circles under the eyes and general weary look of my beautiful wife. It was late. She's been working hard. She's usually much more gorgeous than these photos suggest.

So I then started the City Knits "Aggressive Beginner" scarf. I feel like I want to go "grrr" while knitting it. Actually, the frustration it's causing me, that isn't much of an exaggeration. Warning! Knit Speak Ahead! It starts with a crochet cast-on, which was entirely new to me, as I'd never crocheted before, but does make a very pretty edging, that is matched by slipping the first stitch of each row purlwise, and knitting into the back of the last stitch in each row. Then there's a seedstitch border for 8 rows .. and then the fun starts. On each row we have: 5 stitches in seedstitch. Followed by 4 stitches including a yarnover and a ssk or p2t decrease to make a lacework pattern. Then an 8 stitch crossover cable, which I've not quite reached yet. Then another repeat of the lacework, then finishing with the seedstitch edge border. I'm knitting it in a beautifully soft 100% baby alpaca worsted weight from Misti Alpaca in colour 7820 which is a deep forest green. Again, picture to follow, which will hopefully make all this knit talk slightly clearer.

OK, best get back to work now... Happy almost-memorial-day-weekend to those celebrating it!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Yay! It's the weekend!

Well, the Knitting Room in Birmingham is as wonderful as the reviews on the Knitty board make it out to be. I had a similar experience to the one Jodi described in her blog yesterday. They had a bunch of yarn that I've only heard about, seen in photos or seen on ebay, some of it knitted up into sample swatches ... I can't believe how cloud-like and soft the Rowan Kid Silk Haze is, for instance. And the Koigu Premium Painters Palette Merino.. *sigh*. I think this may have to be my choice for Oscar's blanket, because it's so beautiful to look at. And if I'm doing rows of k53 p53, I'll want nice yarn!

So I splurged on some Nuro Kureyon so I could start the Booga Bag ... and of course, when I got home, my Ebay order had also arrived. It's not really a problem, as I think I'll be doing a bunch of these bags for Christmas gifts. What it does mean is that I now have the beginnings of ... a yarn stash!

Stash from the side

Stash from above

Starting from the grey ball and working clockwise.. we have.. 2 balls of Cascade 220 in 9402 (dark heathered grey) to make the Wavy scarf for Vic. Then 3 skeins each of Noro Kureyon colour 40; Noro Kureyon 153 (one of my Ebay lots); and Noro Kureyon 163 (my other Ebay lot). And concluding with 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon 134. And why only two skeins I hear you ask?

Because the other has already been used to start the bag:

I've done the 34 rows of garter stitch... now it's time to start picking up stitches along the side, bottom and other side edge so that this square becomes the base of the bag, and I end up knitting in the round to make the sides. I love all the colours this yarn comes in (Suz, I'm still looking for the original yellow one.. otherwise, pick your skeins from the stash!) and can't wait to figure out this next step.

Wavy is now well into the 8th wave. I'm hoping that with some good knitting time over this weekend to get it finished by Monday at the least.

And now on to normal weekend chores like laundry and vacuuming.

Edited to add.. I've just found these dinosaurs from x-treme . How incredibly cute are they? And seeing as every little boy I know has gone through a dinosaur mad phase, and I happen to have the cutest nephew in the whole wide world....

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tag! I'm it.

Dixiepeach tagged me .. so how could I not participate?.

Here's how it goes: I pick five of these "If I could..." sentences and finish them, then after I'm all done, I tag 3 more people to do it.

If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure..

  1. If I could be a librarian, I'd hide behind the shelves and read books all day.
  2. If I could be a justice on any one court in the world, I'd make America allow same-sex partners to sponsor their spouse for immigration
  3. If I could be a professor, I'd actually be able to get a Green Card (gee, can you tell what's occupying my thoughts this morning?)
  4. If I could be a bonnie pirate, I'd swashbuckle and plunder my way around the Caribbean, hoping to run into Johnny Depp & Orlando Bloom....
  5. If I could be a gardener, then I wouldn't keep forgetting to water the newly transplanted tree out front, and our yard would look a lot better!
Tag! I'm passing this on to my sister, Suz and Julie.

Now I have 2 minutes to get dressed, then go watch Starting Over while working on Wavy. After that, it's a trip to Birmingham to check out The Knitting Room and a stop in Borders to spend my 25% off voucher. Ah, the guilty pleasures of a day off work!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Post-class goodness

Monday's Stitch'n'Bitch was great fun, though I felt a tad self-conscious with the photographer there. She was very nice, and didn't get in the way.. but having a gigantic lens pointed at your hands as you knit can make things a little intimidating. Hopefully all the recognizable pictures will be of the other group members who are much younger and trendier than I, and hence more the kind of audience the Metro Times would like. If the article ends up online, I'll link to it.

In "rest of my life" news, the grant application got submitted yesterday, missing a letter of support, but the funding agency said I can send that along by the end of the week. So that's all good.

In even better news, I got to my City Knits class last night for the first time in 2 weeks, and, with Lisa's expert help, made a bunch of progress on my hat. I learned how to use stitch markers and how to do the k2t decrease.

Here's what the hat looked like after 2 hours of in-class knitting (clicking on the photo will open a new page with a larger pic). Note the cute little orange locking stitch markers.

And, because I really am getting addicted, as Terry and I vegged out in front of the TV after class last night, I kept on knitting. And the hat is now done, the top pulled together, and needs only to have the seam sewn up. I'm so impressed with myself! It's even almost hat-shaped!

Other knitting projects ... Wavy is 6/10 done, and I'm aiming to get it finished by Monday. I bought the wool to start the next Wavy a dark heathered grey. The pair of scarves will be gifts to my unofficially adopted folk music parents, Vic and Reba Heyman.

I splurged last night at City Knits and bought Addi Turbos in size 10 1/2 to make the Booga Bag ... the frustrating thing is that the yarn has yet to arrive. I paid for it 10 days ago, and you'd have thought that even standard surface shipping would have got here. I may try and use a different seller in future. I'll post here as soon as I get started. I'd like to have the base square done by Monday, so I can get help in picking up the stitches at S'n'B.

Oh, and hopefully we'll have some new members from the Detroit City Knits meetup, which was also last night. Recruit, recruit recruit...

Happy Thursday! I'm off work tomorrow and intend to relax and do nothing but read, watch bad daytime TV and knit.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Almost a week without a post...

.. I can tell you've both been anxiously biting your nails.

Minimal knitting content, if any, in this one. Mostly because I have a grant application due in on Wednesday, so all of my time has been devoted to that. I do wish I didn't leave everything to the last minute, because it makes for all-work weekends, and minimal sleep ... but somehow that seems to be how I function best.

I do intend to get to SnB group tomorrow - the Metro Times photographer is coming, and I don't want to miss my chance for fame. Plus my Wavy scarf is half finished (5 out of the 10 "waves" done), and I'm almost at the end of the ball of yarn ... and I need someone to show me how to start the next ball. This scarf is for Reba, then it'll be onto the grey version for her husband Vic.

I've also updated my "future projects" list to the left - if I can get someone to show me how to pick up stitches, I want to make that felted Booga bag. And coincidentally enough, I've also won an ebay auction for 3 skeins of Kureyon yarn in wonderful colours. So that may also be heading onto the needles fairly soon.

The grant submission is due in via email by 5pm on Wednesday, so I'll be getting to my City Knits class. The hat is looking pretty impressive - I figured out the "make one" and now have the stockinette stitch rows knitted, up to the point where I'm due to start decreasing. I can't believe how professional all the rows of stockinette look, let alone that I've actually made it! Oh, what the heck, let's put in some photos. Again, clicking on the small picture should open up a new window with a larger version.

Here's the hat, in a slightly fuzzy shot:

hat to date

Here's a close up of the stitching I've been admiring so much

close up of hat stitching

And here's the half wavy scarf, with the tiny bit of yarn left from one skein of Cascade:

half a wavy scarf

The scarf colour isn't quite right - it's not as blue as this image makes out. But you can at least see the pattern and the length.

Have a good week!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Safely Back Home

A very brief post, as I'm just about ready to run a nice hot bath and then collapse into bed.. but I figured I'd update at least the basics.

  1. The festival was wonderful. Great music, great people and we even had good weather. Mostly. Friday night was freezing, but it warmed up plenty.
  2. I found 4 other knitters during the weekend, and several other folk who came up to me as I was knitting and made some remark along the lines of "Oh, I used to knit.." or "I wish I'd brought my knitting with me too".
  3. I finished the Funky Scarf during Friday night's mainstage sessions. It was shorter than I'd have liked, mostly because I ran out of yarn, and it was cold, so I figured I'd bind off and wear the scarf to keep warm rather than putting it away, waiting til I got back home, going to Michaels for more yarn then finishing it.
  4. However, it was an ideal length for my friend Sherry, who adored the colours in it, so I gave it to her. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of her in it at the time, and the weather improved enough that she didn't need it for the rest of the weekend. I will try and get her husband to take a picture of Sherry in the scarf so I can show it off here. My Very First Finished Object! Go me!
  5. I drove all the way back from Aberdeen MD to Detroit MI on my own, as my wife is in New Jersey all week on a work course. This was my first Long Solo Drive ever, and, with the help of a lot of caffeine, I made it. Did 5 hours to just past Pittsburgh last night, and then the final 4 1/2 hours home today.
  6. And I made it back in time to get to the Stitch'n'Bitch group tonight. We actually had 4 knitters (so a 100% increase on last week) and a reporter from the Metro Times who's writing an article on S'n'B groups. Photographer coming next week. Fame beckons.
  7. My Wavy scarf is now 4/10 of the way done and looking wonderful.
  8. Hat update: I did finally figure out how to "make 1" with the help of the S'n'B book and some chatting on IM with Julie from the group. I've got about another 4 rows of stockinette stitch to do before Wednesday's class, when we get into stitch markers and decreasing.
  9. Tomorrow is the first day of the AUD 5420 class I'm teaching (Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation) at Wayne State, so I need to get into Serious Professor mode again. I just hope the students don't find this blog... .
That's it for now. Bath and bed beckon. Happy Monday.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday Thoughts

Well, I've not done much the past couple of days, as I've been sick,. My doctor diagnosed me with a strep throat and allergies, and has put me on antibiotics, Allegra-D and some kind of nose spray. Didn't even make my class on Wednesday - though when I rang to tell them, they informed me that the class was cancelled anyway due to a store emergency. So I'm still no further with my hat. The next technique I need is "make one" - I've got 2/3 of the way with the instructions in Stitch'n'Bitch, but I'm still not sure how to "knit into the loop from the back" to twist the stitch. And I went to , only to be overwhelmed by about 5 different varieties of "make one". So that's still waiting. *sigh*. Shame, coz after that one row of increases, it's just stocking stitch for ages, so I could really be moving on it.

Still, even without the class, the knitting lessons I have learned since Monday include:

  1. Never knit after 11pm. You'll end up making stupid mistakes, and then having to unravel rows, and trying to re-capture stitches in the dark is tricky.
  2. Keep your crochet hook with you at all times. Running from the bedroom to the living room, trying desparately to save that loop, is not a productive means of rescuing your knitting
  3. Similarly, never knit anything more complicated than garter stitch when you're sick. The results are the same, except that your brain refuses to keep count of how many rows you've just ripped out, and you then have to peer at your knitting trying to figure out just where you are at.
Still, despite all that, I've now completed one repeat of the Wavy pattern - i.e. I'm 1/5 of the way through with the scarf. I'll wait with the picture until it's even more impressive, unless either of my readers put in a plea for photographic evidence.

We leave this afternoon for the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival so I won't be posting until Monday at least. But hopefully I'll at least finish the funky scarf, and get more waves onto Wavy.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Post-SnB waviness

I can see that working less than 5 minutes drive from City Knits could cause problems ... still, at least I a) refrained from substituting a twice-as-expensive, but oh-so-soft merino wool for the Cascade 220 recommended for Wavy, and b) only bought the yarn I needed for Wavy, and just ooh-ed over their clearance stash rather than buying all the pretty pretty yarn.

One other Stitch'n'Bitcher showed up at Sweetwaters tonight, and we chatted and knitted for an hour or so. She's been knitting for 2 years, and has some wonderful looking projects, plus a load of green yarn to use up. So I started on Wavy, and she began a cloche style hat. Hopefully there'll be more people next week; apparently at one point there were at least 8-10 regulars at the group.

So.. after 25 rows, here is the Wavy scarf (again, clicking on the smaller image will open up a larger one):

It's very fun to do, especially figuring out the logic behind the pattern and moving of the blocks of 3 stitches. I'm definitely taking this one to Susquehanna this weekend. With this for a fun pattern, and the garter stitch scarf for funky yarn, I should have enough to keep me occupied. And after Wednesday, I'll have more to do on my hat too.

So all is well in Kirsti-land. Now I just wish my wife would get home.. it's 10:30 and she's still at work. *sigh*. It might just be me and Wavy heading to bed.

Monday Pt 1

Well, seeing as I'm at work and only 4 minutes from City Knits, I may stop by there on my way home to a) show off the progress on my hat that I'm making in their Wednesday beginners class; b) see if any of the slightly-wonky-and-holey bits of said hat are fixable, and c) buy some more Cascade yarn to get going on the Wavy scarf so I can take it with me to the Susquehanna music and Arts Festival next weekend.

Tonight is the Royal Oak Stitch'n'Bitch gathering at Sweetwater Cafe in Royal Oak. At least one other person has posted that they'll be there tonight, but overall it doesn't seem like a particularly active group. I'll keep posting and showing up, and maybe also try the Thursday group in Ferndale instead.

Though my lovely wife might have something to say if I end up doing knitting things on three nights of the week. Plus of course, Thursday night would mean I'd have to tape The Apprentice. Hmm. Choices, choices.

Check back later today or tomorrow for a group and yarn report. That is, both of you reading this.