Monthly Archives: September 2012

Conductive thread – creepy or cool? You decide

Yesterday I picked up a Knit Picks catalog that came in the mail on Saturday. I certainly don’t need any yarn, needles or patterns. Or do I….

Remember my quest to find weird, odd and eclectic yarns? They had spools of conductive thread. By using it in the fingertips of your hand knit gloves, you can use your phone, e-reader, iPad or any other touch screen electronic you can think of. Interesting bordering on very strange.

I’ve seen these kind of fingertips on gloves available in stores, but didn’t imagine I could make them. Ah. Therein begins my argument with myself.

“You certainly don’t need this!”

“Yeah, but it is only $4.99! How could you not buy it?”

While myself was arguing with me, I decided to check this out a bit more on the internet. I found this stuff all over! Where have a been for the last couple of years? I found spools of this stuff, little “dots”, giant spools, gloves as cheap as $4.99. Please enjoy the irony with me. I know making the gloves will cost a lot more, but I fully intend to make them out of that Bison Yarn that cost 5 times the cost of purchased gloves. I can’t explain it if you are a non-knitter, no offense intended. If you are a knitter you are nodding your head, yep, you’d knit them instead of buy them too. I dunno. Apparently I have lived under a rock because this stuff has been out for at least a few years. You can even buy it at Walmart if they have a fabric department. I am seriously looking for some of this over the weekend.

My only decision will be gloves like a grown up or mittens that I prefer? My fingers get lonely in gloves, what can I say? But I did find a really nice free pattern for them here: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwbis11/PATTteknika.php

Anyway, I have to get some of this thread. I figure it is not like purchasing yarn for a new project because it is just an add on to one of the projects I was planning to make anyway. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Slow down, walking gets you there too!

I guess three times is the charm when it comes to knitting this Mystery Shawl. Whatever clicked in my brain, I am happy it happened. I am rolling happily along, half way through the first clue.

Never mind the fourth clue just arrived this weekend. Slow and steady is my pace and it seems to be working. And counting over and over again. I wasn’t as carefree this time. I put in that rescue row / life line in right before the pattern got more complicated. It just seemed much more prudent than tearing it out for a fourth time.

I also have giving up on working on it if I am really tired or distracted. Why chance it? I am not running a race. Which brings to mind this weekend’s activities besides my slow shawl progress.

A couple of months ago my daughter-in-law and I signed up to run a 5k to benefit the Chicago Zoological Society’s Conservation Fund. Last year we ran our first 5k and I haven’t really ran much since. There is always an excuse not to exercise. I should exercise more, but I don’t. I need a goal. Don’t ask me why, I just do.

I figured I could start really hitting the treadmill and streets to run about a month before the race. It was summer, really hot, no rain…whine, whine…sad but true. So I slid through the summer not doing much exercise wise. Then I fell down the stairs. Five short weeks before the race, I had a sprained foot and torn ligaments. Good grief.

Over the last week I could finally say my foot was feeling pretty normal. I can wear real shoes again! Which is a nice thing since it is getting pretty cold around here for flip flops.

On Thursday, my daughter in law asked me if her sister could use my number. Of course she could, because then she would have someone to run with. Then she told me she hadn’t been training either. And she had a cold. And she was just going to walk the 5k. Hummm. I told her that if her sister didn’t want to do it I would walk with her.

Hubby had a hissy. I get it. I was pretty laid up for almost a month, now I want to walk over 3 miles. I promised I’d stop if it hurt. He shook his head and gave up the fight.

So this morning bright and early, we went and we walked. It certainly wasn’t a crazy fast event for us. But we did a respectable time of 53.06. I certainly thought that was acceptable. Now that I started I don’t want to stop. So back to the treadmill tomorrow. It may cut down on my knitting time, but hopefully it will give me more years to knit in the long run 🙂

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Losing Ground and Making Up Time

This has been a crazy week, but lots of progress on my projects. The project that I lost ground on was the mystery shawl knit a long because I was so far off on my count, I frogged the entire piece and started again. It was unfixable. There are four sections of the pattern in the first clue. I was supposed to have 17 stitched in each section, one stitch dividing each section and and two stitches on each end. In each of my sections, I had 19, 17, 18, 19 respectively.

Looking back, I figured out what I did wrong. I am not used to using lace weight yarn. because it is so fine, the last stitch was pulled over the needle, therefore I was making a stitch on the beginning of some of the rows. This was enough to skew the pattern and my stitch count. Live, learn and rip out to start again.

I also got some different stitch markers. I was using very small brass markers that had the tiniest opening that would not have mattered with heavier yarn and bigger needles. They were not good for this shawl. After fighting with them, I read on that some people were using the smaller, closed rings used for jewelry making. I got them at Hobby Lobby for less than $1.50 and they are working wonderfully! So twenty rows and counting.

The snowflake afghan is coming along 26 of 59 squares are completed and sewn into strips. This is for the Ravelry group I joined in January. The idea is to make any granny square pattern that you want, one square a week. By the end of the year you have a complete afghan. I am only 12 behind – actually 14 behind because this is a Christmas gift. I am not allowing myself to start another project to take to work until I am at least caught up. If I don’t have too many meetings, that should be in approximately 3 weeks.

Pr socks – I found a really cool pattern from watching Knitty Gritty on TV. I am going to make Simple Master Coriolis Pattern by Cat Bordhi I am really excited about these, they are different from other’s I’ve made.

My alpaca hat is still a ball of yarn, neatly wound.

Here’s a picture of the completed shawl and my friend. 🙂

Master’s program – I received the yarn and it is really nice. The winding hasn’t been done as anticipated, but will be hopefully before the weekend is over. I am going to put the Master’s on hold until at least the holiday knitting and crocheting is done. A woman can only do so much.

The last baby blanket will probably preempt my hat due to necessity. The baby is due in a couple of weeks.

Last but not least, the Bear’s scarf is complete! I washed and blocked it this morning, and it is ready for Christmas morning.

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Dog and Cat Fur Yarn – Who Knew???

Yesterday I talked about my lust for odd yarns. Possum in particular. That got me thinking about what other fur I’d like to see yarn made out of. We used to laugh about saving our dog hair because heaven knows there is enough of it rolling around the house. At the time we had an Old English Sheep Dog. He was the most lovable dog, but honestly as dumb as a rock.

Now we have a black Lab. She is a sweetheart and is really smart. Extra bonus in a dog! You may think I am bragging (ok, I’ll admit it, I am) but she is probably the smartest dog we’ve had. And we’ve had lots of dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll give you a glimpse of Indy in action. She loves to play fetch. She is truly a Labrador. Given a choice between food or fetching, the Frisbee always wins. Anyway, one afternoon my husband was up in the our loft  throwing her ball over the railing into the living room so she would have to run up and down the stairs. He figured he’d wear her out faster. After a few times he heard her scratching at the carpet. The ball was under the bookshelf, so he had to run down to get it out for her. He sat back down at the computer, tossed the ball over the railing and continued typing. Next thing he hears is her scratching again. The ball was under the bookshelf. He ran down, threw the ball and stood at the railing. That’s when he saw her pick up the ball, toss it under the shelves, and scratch the floor looking up to see if he was coming. She succeeded in training the hubby to run down the stairs every time.

Sorry, I was talking about dog fur yarn. Anyway, Indy is super soft and especially in the spring and fall, black fur bunnies collect by the dozens under the sofa, chairs, beds…maybe I should start saving it because I found a place that will make it into yarn!

Check out the website for VIP Yarns http://vipfibers.com/. They will tell you everything you want to know and more about creating yarn out of your pet’s fur. Instead of throwing away all of those hand fulls of fur you clean up or brush out you can save it and have custom yarns! If you don’t knit or crochet, they even offer custom items they will make for you out of this fur. Everything from bookmarks to teddy bears, pillows, scarves and blankets are offered. I guess if you have a Pekingese you should plan on a  bookmark, and proud owners of Malamutes (they shed faster than a tree after the first hard frost) can shoot for the blankets.

There is a really cool question and answer page that is worth a look-see even if you don’t feel like collecting your pet’s cast off hair to create some custom yarn.

For $12.00 an ounce (3 ounce minimum – based on the weight of the raw fiber) they will do all of the following with the fiber you send in. They will card it to create a “well balanced yarn”. They will then roll it into rollags and hand spin to sport weight yarn. Then two threads are spun in opposite directions to create 2-ply yarn, which is sturdier. It will be measured for yardage and yarn size and weighed. It is washed and soaked until the yarn is clean and odor free. Then they hang the clean skeins in a drying room until dry. The labels are custom. They’ll put your pet’s picture with yardage, weight, care instructions (for the yarn, not the pet) and breed.

They will spin all kinds of animal hair for you. The partial list list includes any kind of cat or dog you can come up with and some others that may interest you. I know they made me go hummm. Angora rabbit, buffalo, camel, goat, coyote, wolf and of course my Labrador Retriever were included. I’m sure if I could just talk to those people at the zoo, VIP Fibers would be happy to add lion, bear and snow leopard to their list.

While yesterday’s yarns were created by hunting and trapping pests that had to be destroyed (per the government regulations in New Zealand, using humane procedures) the fibers made from pet fur that would normally be landfill. I would like to give this a try just once, but wonder how long it would take to collect 3 ounces of dog fur. Has anyone tried this?

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New Zealand Possum Yarn!

I saw a sign once that life is too short to use cheap yarn. That doesn’t mean you can’t use bargain priced yarn, just not yarn that feels yucky or doesn’t drape nicely when the scarf, sweater or whatever you are making is complete. Yarn fascinates me. I’ve always been a tactile kind of person, so it stands to reason I like to feel my yarn before I by it. Different weights, different fibers and different processing can all make a difference in yarns. The feel of a nice alpaca or silk blend is heavenly. I’ve used bamboo sock yarn and wool that is soft, scratchy, smooth and lumpy.

Lately, I’ve gone for unusual yarns. At Stitches Midwest I bought some Bison yarn. It is hot pink and black – I imagine the bison would NOT be happy with his fur being turned into these colors, but I loved ’em. I also saw some possum yarn. I dragged my friend back to look at it then we must have gotten distracted by something else, because I ended up not buying it. I was picturing the ugly, rat tailed possums we have in Illinois. They are mean looking critters that have short hair. We actually were trying to figure out how they made a decent yarn out of these overgrown rats.

The next day my friend went back to Stitches, and I decided to text her to pick up that crazy yarn. By the time she got out of class, the vendor wasn’t there. Now I’m obsessed with this weird yarn. So, thanks to the internet, the world of wonky yarn is at my fingertips.

On the contrary – the New Zealand’s possums are actually kind of cute. But New Zealand doesn’t really think they are that cute anymore Apparently in 1837 they were released in the bush to establish a fur industry. There are two breeds, Australian, which have have “rich blue grey fur” and Tasmainian which have “red brown fur”. They have interbreed. Because they are marsupials, not rodents like the American possum, their fur is “hard wearing, silky and plush”.

Possums actively destroying New Zealand's native bush and birds

Unfortunately, they’ve overrun the place. by 1980, 91% of New Zealand was inhabited by them. The Australian possum is a marsupial and a very different species to the American possum, a rodent. The yarn comes from feral animals because it is against New Zealand’s environmental laws to breed or farm them.

Now I am totally obsessed with getting some of this yarn. The website tells us it is not only great yarn, but it is helping their fur industry because the more possums are over running the country and killing off the native species of animals and plants.

The website I found sells Supreme Possum Merino. It as 40% possum fur. The yarn was created from the from the “desire to see a world class quality product made from an ecology ravaging pest”. All Supreme Possum Merino yarn comes from feral animals because it is against New Zealand’s environmental laws to farm or commercially breed possums. The collection of possums is humane and according to Department of Conservation regulations.

The yarn is available in 4 ply, 8 ply and 12 ply. The only light color available is “natural”, but blues, greens, a really pretty burgundy and a darker pink was available. The price wasn’t bad – approx 10.80 US dollars. I don’t know about shipping, because I haven’t ordered any yet – but I’m gonna!

Check out the website, even if you don’t want to get some of the yarn. It just amazes me that yarn can be made out of a “ravaging pest” and be soft and warm.

It makes me wonder what other creatures make soft furry yarn. My stash has that wild bison yarn (I’m going to make some mittens for me, but maybe not until after the first of the year). I have a few balls of yak yarn I found online, don’t know what that will become. There is a wonderful hank of alpaca that I bought because it has the animal’s picture on it that it came from. Alpaca is common, but nice, and this one was cool since I almost feel like I knew the animal it came from.

Maybe the keepers at our local zoo will start collection of lion’s mane that litters their dens. I’d love to use some of the fur from the polar bears or the grizzlies that live there. I’ve seen tufts of fur in their dens, I wonder what they do with it? Do you think our founding mothers used these kinds of fur when spinning yarns? (of course I’m not talking about the lion fur, don’t be silly) If I find out answers to these burning questions, I’ll let you know.

 

(Thanks to http://www.merinopossum.co.nz/why_merino_possum.htm for all the info on the yarn and possum history in New Zealand – and the possum pic). All the zoo animal pics courtesy of my wonderful hubby.

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Someone Shook My Ant Farm

Did you ever get the feeling something is wrong? Nothing that you can put your finger on, but the world isn’t spinning in the right direction. My aunt used to say we go along fine, thinking we are in total control, then someone shakes up your ant farm.

For those of you way younger than me, once upon a time you could buy an ant farm. It was two pieces of clear plastic held in a bright green plastic frame that had a sliding opening on the top to feed the ants. It came with white sand inside, between the clear panes.

There was a postcard in the box that you completed and mailed in to the “ant people” for lack of a better word. They mailed you a glass tube of live ants to add to the farm. You watched them build roads, hide the little bits of food you dropped in and even move the dead members of the ant farm to the end of an ant road and fill it in like a tiny ant tomb.

Lots of kids carried their ant farms around and if you jostled them – or worse shook it – the little roads would collapse and the ants would be buried. The struggled to rebuild, some died, some just kept rolling along doing what ants do.

SO – someone majorly shook my ant farm this week. I must have sensed the big sweating hands of a bully grabbing my nice little farm. He tilted it a bit, then shook the living snot of it. That icky feeling I had was spot on unfortunately.

What kind of ant will I be? For the first day or so I wanted to be the curled up ant that can’t take any more of the nonsense that is happening. Then I decided to put on my big girl anty panties and start making a new tunnel. Who knows where it might go?

Life is about choices. I seriously have to decide some days to choose to focus on the great things in my life. I have a terrific hubby and 3 grown sons I adore. I am lucky enough to have a 2 daughter-in-laws that I love like my own. My extended family is great, my job is not awful (it is still a job, let’s be serious!) and I get to do fun stuff like write, read wonderful books and knit. My ant farm is quite cozy.

What can possibly make me grumpy with all this greatness? My dad’s health isn’t good. He just called tonight to say he has to have heart surgery. He is coming up by us to have it done, that is a huge relief. We’ve actually found a house that might be perfect for him up here. Keeping my fingers crossed the bully keeps his hands out of this mess.

One of my sons has been extremely sick the over the last two years. He is MUCH better now and looking for work. And looking. And looking…you get the idea. What we thought was going to be a sure thing fell through. Maybe his ant road on the way there just caved in? Again, the Susie Sunshine in me tries to beat up the crab. Two years ago the doctors told us he had a 30% chance of making it. Now he is so good he is trying his best to get a job and restart his life. His ant farm wasn’t just shaken, it was drop kicked down the side of a mountain. Yet, his new roads are looking great – one will lead to a job, he just needs to keep on digging.

Where there is hope, there is life so whenever your ant farm gets a little shake or a major, plastic cracking, ant killing incident happens to you go ahead and take a day or two hunker down and be grumpy. But after that, take a breath and start digging a new road, you never know where it will lead you.

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WiP update

It’s been a productively busy week for knitting and writing projects. I always feel better when at least one of my projects is complete. Maybe because I love starting something new?

Anyway, here is the my updates by project.

2 Baby boy afghans – 1 DONE! The other will be started when I finish clue 1 for the Mystery Shawl KAL

Snowflake afghan – 21 of 59 squares completed as of today – sadly, no progress. Might do a couple of squares just because I need to.
Pr socks –  I’m sort of looking at patterns
Hat – this might be the next project I start
Shawl – DONE! It is blocked and drying and I love it
Mystery Shawl – received clue number one Sept 1 – am making good progress, hope to complete this clue this weekend.
Possible add in projects: the delightful baby sweater – can’t find the pattern I fell in love with, so this is a scratch, a felted lunchbag (fast, fun and useful!) actually bought one – so this will be a scratch also and a few dishcloths – DONE! I’ve made 2 and have been using them for a few weeks. I fell back in love with them. Have enough fiber to make 3 more will do early next year. But maybe I’ll have a plain old dishrag giveaway and make one sooner. Would anyone be interested in a useful, extraordinarily ordinary prizie????
Master’s program – neverending…. but I did order some new yarn to start swatches over 🙂
So I’ll be dropping  the shawl, baby sweater, lunchbag, one baby blanket and the dishcloths off of my list of to-dos.
That will only leave one baby blanket, a hat, socks, mystery shawl (which doesn’t really count because it was an add on) and the snowflake afghan. OH – and the Bears scarf that is about 1/2 of the way completed that I added on also. Master’s program stalled.
I hope to finish the Bears scarf this week!

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Finishing Touches on Finished Shawl

Done, finished, completed..need I go on? The dreaded shawl turned out great! Once I found a pattern that I really liked (“Sunny Days” in Knit Prayer Shawls by Leisure Arts), yarn I could work with (Brown Sheep)  in my stash and got busy, it got done.

Knit Prayer Shawls

Now for the hardest part. Finishing the finished product takes time.

Weaving in the ends. *heavy sigh*. The detailed yoke was a snap. The feather and fan design worked out with minimal frogging. I admit counting isn’t my strong suit, especially when I am at work chatting. When I figured out that every fourth row was lace (duh) and the next three were purl, knit, purl that was only one row that had to be completed at home. So, if I that row at home, then the next three could be done on break and lunch hours at work.

That increased my productivity the last few weeks tenfold!

Then came the edging. After completing the five rows at the bottom of the shawl and binding off, the instructions said not to break off the yarn. The next step was to pick up stitches all along the side, then collar, then down the other side to the bottom. I tried to talk myself out of doing this. I could easily crochet an edging. But the look I was after was an entire knit shawl, not a knit shawl with a crocheted edge.

Honestly, it took way less time to pick up all of the stitches than I thought it would. I must pick them up weirdly though, because when I knit them, it is like they are twisted on the needle. I do this habitually, so it wasn’t that big of a deal that I slip each one off before I knit it slip back on the left-handed needle then knit as usual. Does anyone else do this? Should I leave it alone and knit it the way it has been picked up? Can someone tell me how to pick up stitches differently so I won’t have to slip them off and turn them around? I dunno.

Getting back to the ordeal ahead of me – weaving in the ends – the best way I’ve found is the duplicate stitch method. You literally weave it back and forth either on the knit side or the purl side mimicking the stitches of your piece and you can’t see the ends. You have to leave a small tail on the wrong side so it doesn’t pop out, but when you block it, the wool tends to tighten up and hold it where you left it.

There are lots of sites on the internet explaining much more clearly that I can. This is one of my favorites. http://community.knitpicks.com/notes/Weaving_In_Ends

There are videos, pictures and explanations, whatever kind of instruction you like is available.

Since we are talking about finishing a knit piece, we may as well carry on to blocking. I used to think blocking was a waste of time. I’ll admit right now that was crazy. Not every piece of knitting and/or crocheting has to be blocked. Blankets, afghans, mittens, hats, some scarves… use your own discretion. But when making a lace piece, or a sweater, shawl or even a scarf that doesn’t showcase the stitches or is wonky, blocking is the way to go.

It isn’t difficult, but does take a little time. I like the wet blocking. Use a nice wool soak according to the package directions.

Carefully roll up your knitting in a thick absorbent towel and squeeze as much excess water out of it as possible. Then carefully use T-pins or blocking wires to shape your piece to the proper size on a board or mat.

I like to use those foam interlocking mats that are about a foot square. They sell them on knitting sites, or you can pick up colorful interlocking mats at a craft store (I got mine at Michael’s) that are actually made for kids. You can make the base as small or as large as you need to.

There are several methods. The one I like least is steam blocking. The idea is to use T-pins to hold your knitting in the correct shape/size and carefully hold the steam iron over it being careful not to touch it or you might flatten the stitches you are trying to define. You an also steam block by place a damp cloth (cotton is often used) on your knitting and carefully steam iron over the top of it.The key again is not pushing too hard or the stitches will be smooshed. Lastly spritz blocking. It is wet blocking in reverse. You pin the knit item to the blocking board, then spritz it with water until it is damp. I’ve used this method, it is ok for smaller items like scarves. But a larger item is easier to block using wet blocking.

Stitch definition and edges look so much more professional after blocking, not to mention the drape of the fabric.  It also makes it easier to sew the individually blocked pieces together. There a so many websites to choose from that tell you more than you’d ever want to know about blocking. One of my favorites is from Knitty.com.

This link will give you tips on all types of fiber, not just wool.

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/FEATdiyknitter.html

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I only want to be green with envy – not dye

We are almost to the end of the shawl saga that began so long ago. I love the pattern I chose. I am ok with my choice of yarn. I had seven skeins of a Brown Sheep 80% cotton 20% wool blend in my stash (or as established yesterday  my sable). It is a greenish blue color called Sea Jade.

The first skein I used had several breaks in the yarn where it was tied at the factory. That frustrates me as I like to add new skeins at the edges to incorporate the ends in a less obvious way. I didn’t notice a couple of these until I was in the center of an intricate row, so I worked them in where they were, but wasn’t exactly happy.

The rest of the skeins didn’t have any breaks, so that was a plus. Then I started to notice my hands were turning a bit green. Oddly, it was concentrated on my left hand. Duh. The hand that was keeping tension was the one turning green. If I knit long enough, the edge of my fingernails also turned faintly green.

Obviously the dye was rubbing off a bit. I found that unusual because I’ve knit for a very long time and have never had this happen before. I’ve used hand dyed yarns, hand painted yarns and just plain old regular yarns. Hum.

I was discussing the dye issue with a knitting friend, expressing my concern that the shawl I have worked on for so long was quite possibly going to turn the girlfriend I am knitting it for green. And not with envy. Then we debated the wisest way to set the color so that would not happen. Vinegar was discussed and well as alum. The jury was still out.

Last night I was rolling the last ball and happened to read the band. I’ve read it before to see the content and suggested gauge, but missed the paragraph about washing it. Not the actual recommendation to hand wash and dry flat, but the “first washing” recommendation.

The instructions stated you should add vinegar to the wool soak, then add more vinegar to the final rinse water. What this said to me (and my aforementioned friend) is that they knew this dye was not set. This must not be the norm, or all yarns would have setting the color as part of the wash instructions.

I am still feeling uneasy about the whole thing. I can’t start over with a different yarn. My  friend’s birthday is in two weeks. The yarn wasn’t super expensive, but it wasn’t bargain basement either. The number of hours in this project just won’t allow me to scrap it even if it wasn’t the eleventh hour for the shawl.

It makes me worry about the other Brown Sheep yarn that I have in my stash. It is a lovely lavender that I was considering for a shawl for another one of my friends next spring. Now, I’m not so sure.

Have any of you had a similar experience when using a cotton/wool blend? Is this typical and I’ve just been lucky. I need to know.

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Fiber Filled Labor Day Weekend

It has been a fiber filled Labor Day weekend. I’ve been reading and knitting my way through the days since Friday night.

Most people plan picnics, pool parties or at least hang out at the mall to snatch up some holiday specials. I did take time out for dinner with my extended family, visited the youngest member of our family to watch her crawl (new skill!) and date night with hubby. But if you are a knitter, you know exactly where I am coming from when I say my knitting weekend has been exquisite.

First and foremost, I received the long anticipated first clue for the Fall Mystery Shawl KAL Group. Check it out on Ravelry! I was itching to start it as soon as the first clue arrived yesterday morning. But I knew if I cast on those 7 stitches, I would never keep up my self imposed schedule of completing at least 3 rows a day to have it done in time for my friend’s birthday in a couple of weeks.

As incentive to sit and work diligently, I decided to finally watch the final Harry Potter movie. (I got it for Christmas and have been meaning to get to it, but 2 hours is a lot of time to commit to..). I finished the 3 rows, then decided I should keep working on it until the movie was over. Reasoning that it would be too difficult to pay attention to a new pattern during the demise of “You Know Who”.

Ta da! I finished 12 rows and plan to finish one more today (the lace row) so that I can work on this tomorrow at work during break and lunch just to make better progress. Check it out!

Late last night I finally got my new addi lace needles out to start the mystery pattern. I made ok progress, like my choice of beads (which I have never incorporated into a knit item before) and have been counting over and over to make sure I don’t miss an important step and end up with a mess instead of a scarf.

I am contemplating a rescue row or lifeline before I go much further just in case. Do you ever use rescue rows?

When I began knitting socks, I was frantic about turning heals. Now it is one of my favorite parts of sock creation, but then it was very scary. I don’t know why, if I just would have read the pattern, stopped thinking and did what it said, I would have been fine.

A gal on one of the yahoo sock groups suggested a rescue row so I wouldn’t lose the work I’d done. All you have to do is cut a length of yarn or dental floss that is smaller than the yarn you are using. Using a darning needle, thread it through the stitches on the needles. You can either tie it in a very loose loop, or just leave it hanging free.Then just keep on knitting like it isn’t there. Once you feel safe that you aren’t messing up, you can remove it. If a problem arises, then you can frog back to the rescue row, pick up the stitches that are safely saved on the rescue thread and continue on (again) :)When I was learning to knit socks, I left it in until I was done. It was my knitting wooby for a while.

As you’ve been reading, most of my progress this week has been on the 2 shawls I have on the needles. I’m made ok progress on the Bears scarf because it was my travel project for work last week.

The last baby blanket, alpaca hat and socks have not been thought of this week. I have the yarn for all of them, but it would be cheating to call it progress when I’ve had it for quite a while.

The snowflake afghan is in hold until the first shawl is done. One must work triage sometimes – or if you are me – most of the time. 🙂

Hope you all had a safe and happy Labor Day – and if you are a knitter – I hope you added lots of perfect rows to your projects.

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