Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How we knit, how we live

November 23, 2004

I started driving kids around this morning at 6am getting the oldest to swim team practice. Some where around 7:30 and starting my fourth trip I started thinking about knitting; knitting forward, purling versus knitting backward, how you carry your yarn, English or Continental, or throw and pick as my friend Kaye would say. And how we knit is a reflection of who we are.

My mother taught me to knit when I was under ten, I didn’t do it much, there didn’t seem to be much point she was fast and I was slow. My mother knitted everywhere, at my brother’s swim meets, waiting at my piano lessons, while we watched TV, in the dark at school assemblies. I can always hear the sound of my mother’s needles.

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My mother usually made up her own patterns, she measured you, she did her gauge swatch and she did the math. When I was little she made raglan sweaters with three stripes around the chest.

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A while later she switched to rainbow sweaters, rainbow colors for the stripes. First she researched what order the colors really are in a rainbow. She measured your hand and a day or two later you had mittens to keep you warm.

How like my mother. She wasn’t really like everyone else’s mom. She didn’t follow a pattern. I never realized it until I was much older that everyone’s mom wasn’t like mine. If she had been born twenty years later I am sure she would have been a hippie. She jogged before anyone had hear of it, she put wheat germ in her brownies, fed us whole wheat bread, and taught us the names of the wild flowers and stars.

She lives like she knits, she makes her sweaters according to her own calculations with out following someone else’s plan and she made her life according to her own design.

Occasionally she would knit some complex sweater, Aran isle, or an Icelandic with a ornate yolk, but even with someone else’s pattern she would apply her knitting knowledge, not follow blindly.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Trips and Knits

November 22, 2004

Gavin needed to get to his dad's house this afternoon to pick up things he forgot yesterday. Told him if he drove it was fine with me (he has his learners permit, not a license.) I would ride along and knit. Earlier I rode along while Clark was driving, looking for car parts, first for our Suburban which is not running right, second for his ex-wife's car, which died last night.

First trip I started a little watch cap for Clark. Just some dark olivie green 4 ply wool in a 1 x 1 rib. Cast on on the way to Oregon City, stayed in the car and got a couple of rows done while Clark was in the car parts store and tried it on his head when we got home, so at least I know it will fit. Knitting it on two circular needles, only way to knit in the round!!!

Second trip I was working on my Obi sweater from Simple Knits. When I started the back last week I wanted to get one stripe done a day - but there are twenty rows and 224 stitches a row. It just has not happen, but I have made good progress, finished my fourth row a few minutes ago.

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Have also been working on learning Entrelac, and worked a small piece in Noro - it is so cool how the colored squares come out.

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A friend told me it was addicting and it is. Started with the ScarfStyle book and had a little trouble figuring it out - so searched on google and figured it out - just forgot to make the first little triangle. But also read how it was really easy if you knitted backward, so I also tried that.

Was working on this scarf thing this weekend with 25 stitches in a row and had Clark time if it was faster to turn and purl or to knit backward - and backward won. I think for longer rows it is still quicker to purl.

Quiet night tonight, Gavin at swim team practice, Calum at a friends for the night, and Kinne, Austin and Riggs at their godparents. Seems strange after a crazy weekend with kids in and out.

Guess I had best stop looking for a newsboy cap pattern, quit reading knitting blogs and forums and get dinner made....


Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Kinne's birthday scarf Posted by Hello

One more done

November 17, 2004

Calum’s team won the basketball game, 23 to 22, after trailing by 9 at one point. It was the first game of the year and took a little while for the boys to get together. Gym was small and there were few seats – so no knitting was done.

Completely forgot about finishing Kinne’s scarf in time for her birthday November 1st. I knit the black half first, and could knit when she was around, black knitting is not interesting. Once I started on the pink half I had to be careful where she was when I was knitting. I know she would have come over to look at the bright pink. One evening I was sitting on the couch with Clark and Gavin knitting away, when Gavin looked up and saw Kinne peering over the landing looking at us. Gavin quickly grabbed the scarf and shoved it under him, me and the couch cushions. Luckily before she saw it. I love the little pompoms on the end of this and it looks really cool folded in half with the ends tucked through the loop – like in the picture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


the Egyptian hat Posted by Hello

Clark's modeling pose - drives the kids nuts when he does this Posted by Hello

Beginning at the center

November 17, 2004

I was going to write my mother an email about all the knitting I have been doing lately, but decided that a blog would be much more fun. I seem to have taken a year break from knitting (wonder how I survived.) Maybe it was the wedding and the five combined kids. (11 to 16 missing a 14 year old.) But now I am back and as obsessed as ever - projects finished, in the works, ready to be started, just dreamed about.

Recently Finished:

  • Calum (12 yrs) hat – the pumpkin hat in North Carolina colors, white brim and light blue top. Looks cute on him – which is not how a 6th grader wants to look, so…..
  • I made him a beanie in orange, gray and green variegated yarn. Made up the pattern inspired by some ribbing in Nicky Epstein’s book “Edges”. He was going with my ex to visit his grandmother in England so I handed it to him and told him to remember every stitch was made with love. He just about gagged, but he wore it the whole trip.
  • Next Austin (13 yrs) saw Calum’s variegated hat and thought the yarn was cool, could I get it in red and black. (of course not! I combined a predominately red yarn with a strand of black.) Next Riggs saw Austin’s hat and wanted one in green and black variegated yarn. That I have not even been able to come close to even with the five yarn shops I have been to.
  • Last weekend I just finished Clark’s (husband) sweater that I started before my knitting hiatus. Only had half the back and the sleeves to do so it went pretty fast. Just basic everyday sweater in the Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed, color Potpourri. A gorgeous dark purple. I have got enough yarn to make me a matching shawl someday.
  • My Egyptian hat from Anna Zilboorg’s “45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit” It was fun to make and she follows my mother’s golden rule of multicolored knitting – No more than two colors in a row! I made it out of the Debbie Bliss chasmerino aran . It is all wonderful and soft, but has lead to another project.

    Clark thought the periwinkle blue from the hat was the most wonderful color he as ever seen and sat trying to figure what he wanted me to make from it – hat? fingerless gloves? not a scarf! I decided to decide myself when I was at Lint (a Portland yarn shop) the other day and bought “Filati edition 3 – Best Fashion for Men.” One of the girls in the shop recommended it, said the models were “hot.” Am going to make Clark the Model 29 – sweater with a big chunky cable up the front. Just have to save my pennies and order the yarn.

    It may have to wait a month as I am obsessed with “scarfSTYLE” and am lusting after the color on color scarf. I probably need the yarn for that before Clark’s sweater; after all I just finished a project for him.
    Ok so it is now time for me to get Calum and his friend Will from Arbor School to Athey School for basketball. Pick up Austin and Riggs from Athey, get them home, get Austin to guitar lessons at 5:00 and get to Calum’s basketball game at 5:30. Clark said he would get Austin from guitar at 6:00 so I can stay at the game. Wonder which knitting project I should work on while I watch????