Saturday, October 25

Knittin' with your noggin

We all use needles of different sizes and yarn made from animal, vegetable or mineral but not all of us use our brains to knit. I forge ahead, step by step through the instructions. More times than I care to admit have I moved to the next step in the directions, nay, phrase, only to find out I was supposed to do something at the same time. Right?

I might have become smarter. I definitely read the whole pattern for Yank, because I think I have read the whole book. I LOVE this book. I might make everything in this book (no, wait, not the mohair shawl - no offense). I wanted to start the right front of Yank and heard the warning bells as I read the instructions: "Work as for the left front . . . "

NOooo! WrOonnNG! There are stitches to set up the seam (besides reading the pattern, I have sewn the left seam - down below, on the cleanish dining room table) that would be knit on the band side if one works "as for the left front." There is a big clue in the picture on pg. 32. Two beautiful purl stitches snuggled up against the right band (honest - turn yourself away from the picture, pretend you have an orange in the hand on the same side as the picture - right front). The k1, p1, k1 in the directions for my size will not achieve that look. Doesn't take a math genius - 3 different stitches would not be the same as 1 different, 2 same stitches.

Go ahead and continue on to read pg. 33. Awesome.

Sunday, October 12

I never do this

What, you may ask? Have a clean spot this big on the dining table? Take pictures of knitting this early on a Sunday morning?

Assemble knitting as I go.

But I have also never knit a left front (for an adult) that starts with 30 stitches, then decreases to FEWER. Is this going to fit?

I started with a sleeve, my gauge swatch. Looked good, even a little capacious. The back was as fun and quick to knit but I got worried that there might be a width issue, shall we say. The yarn is bouncy (Blackberry Ridge, medium weight) but a stretchy bottom is not the look I'm going for.

Next step had to be a front.

There is still a 5-inch button band.

Yank, Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, pp. 28-32.

Friday, October 10

Six of 7

Or let sleeping cats lie:

Monday, October 6

Ann Shayne pulled out my veil stitches


I went to the Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines book signing at Loopy Yarns on Friday, sadly sans camera. I determined to finish the Monteagle Bag before I got there. Although I knit later the night before than I ever did to finish a Christmas project, I had most of the handle still to go.

The book signing was wonderful. I visited LY a little while ago, picked up a couple more books, including MDKOL, because I got my $10-off email, so I have seen the new store. It's great. Tucked in a little alcove are the books and a work table - which is where Ann Shayne sat among knitted treasures (the Margaret sweater, Fern, a Kiki Mariko rug, the mohair shawl whose name I don't want to know, both Coaty Coats, the socks). Ann wore her Perfect Sweater. She was talking to Franklin Habit. And Mary Neal Meador was on a stool. Bonne Marie Burns was wandering around the store.

I brought all the books I knew to have a Mason-Dixon reference*: MDK1, Knit Lit the 3rd Pg 169), and the latest. She signed all of them.

As this was a grand re-opening, I also saw some friends, chatted, petted yarn, bought yarn, wandered back to the alcove where I realized who Mary Neal Meador was (asked her to sign the Margaret pattern).

My plan was to hang out until it was time to meet DD#1 who was working nearby. That worked, because I scored the chair near the stairs and worked some more on the Monteagle Bag handle. Flashbacks of the Circle of Fun rug, believe me. Garter stitch handle, to be stretched to 20" or until the yarn runs out.

For the third time, I went into the alcove, holding forth my prize. A fistful of green linen yarn, an abbreviated bag. I ran out of yarn so I did only one row of veil stitch. Veil stitch is the most tedious stitch since the right, no left, no right, no left cross stitch. You know what I mean.

I said "I won!" Ann was excited and very nicely talked about the yarn (Lana Gatto, turns out to be 70% viscose, 30% linen - does that make it viscose yarn?) and then started to tug really hard to pull out the veil stitches. With authority. She said one knitter told her cans of peaches in heavy syrup also did the trick to mostly pull out the stitches. I found a massive can of garbanzo beans that we bought for really cheap at CostCo.

This is a great book. I spent some more time with the patterns and text this weekend. Just let me say "Stash Buster."

*When I went to the Yarn Harlot signing so long ago, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee said I should bring all the books I have, not just the book(s) bought at the book-signing store. Hey! She coined kinnear as a verb! She must be right!

And a shout-out to Kay! So sorry the Cub hex reached so far to include you! Hugs to the man, but tell him to pay a little attention to your travel plans when he has a crisis.

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