12.22.2010

Infinite Knitters

When I moved to San Diego the first thing I did was find a knitting group. The first groups I went to, didn't work out so well, here and here. I was ready to give up, but a lovely reader (and now dear friend, Cheryl) coerced me into going back and giving it another shot. I met her at a knitting group I chickened out of before, as well as another lovely lady, Patty. I had a great night, though we all agreed, that particular group wasn't for us and we struck out on her own. We decided to go to Starbucks on Monday nights and have been knitting there ever since.


Over the last four years, many lovely knitters have come and gone. I met my roommate and one of the dearest friends I have ever had, Susan. Been inspired to learn new techniques, worked out ideas and patterns, picked up spinning and weaving (you can thank sdmags for those specifically). We have had a lot of fun, we've been through some trials and I am a much better person for those Monday nights I spent at Starbucks.

Thank you so much ladies! You can guarantee if I'm back in San Diego, Mondays will find me at Starbucks again.
From left to right, Heather, Margaret, Carol, Liz, me, Patty and Nancy

12.12.2010

For the Patient

So I began the project years ago.  I suppose I could look back through my email account to figure out when I bought the yarn.  Or when I wrote my cousin excitedly to tell her I had picked out the yarn and pattern for her shawl.  But we’ll just stick to, I started it a long time ago.

Once I wanted to finish it in time for her Christmas present.  Then I hoped to have it finished for her to wear to her Mom’s wedding the following July.  Then I just kind of gave up.  Why has this been so hard to work on?

The pattern must be complicated? No.  Pretty darn simple, largely stockinette with a few yarn overs and decreases added.  Well the, the yarn must be horrible to work with? Not really.  I mean it is mohair and silk and very fuzzy, making rip outs a nightmare (so instead I leave most of my mistakes in it, don’t look too closely).  But it is really so soft to the touch.  A dream to pet in my lap.  What then has taken me so long?  I really don’t know, but I suspect it lies somewhere in this…

When I started this project it was so light.  I decided that adding some clear glass seed beads would give it some weight and sparkle.  Which they really do.  The weight seems just right for keeping it draped tightly on the shoulders on a cool night.  The twinkling glass winks at me on occasion while I’m working and I am totally enchanted.

It did however provide a minor logistic issue.  It is my first beaded knitting project.  So I strung what I thought was “a whole bunch’ of beads before I started.  I am only adding 17 beads every other row.  That whole mess of beads I had pre-strung needed to be slid down the yarn frequently.  About three times a row really.  This resulted in some yarn snaps if I tried to push too many together.

So I had a genius idea.  I would knit this with two different balls of yarn.  One for the beaded row, the other for the pattern row.  This meant moving off the straights I had started with and onto circular needles.  Well I didn’t have size  2 circulars at the time, so I went shopping.

I got a set of Boye’s aluminum circulars and got started.  But the cable join was not smooth and I had to do a lot of manipulating to get the yarn slid back and forth on the circulars which is required when you are knitting from two different balls.

I put it aside out of frustration until I could get a new set of needles.  I went to the grand opening of a new yarn store with brands from Mexico, including knitting needles I had never heard of or used before.  So I picked up a size two and brought it home.

Well guess what, U.S. size 2 describes two different needles, 2.75 mm and 3 mm diameters.  W. T. F.?!?  You know I only figured this out when I got the wrong size.  So I decided to take the needles back and swap them.  But in the last year, I haven’t been anywhere near that yarn store again.  It is much further south than my usual business zone and I never had another reason to go down there.

So I still have those needles.  Sitting around somewhere.  I don’t know if I ever used them or not.  But not too long ago, I made a Knit Picks order.  And I ordered both sets of size 2s just to be damn sure.  Then it sat for some reason.  By this time other projects had come and gone and I was always more excited about something else.

Well I am moving again and I went on a stash purge.  I gave away a considerable amount of yarn and found many WIPs that need attention, including this baby.  And my Sylvi which upon reflection would make a fantastic spring jacket for my new home in Seattle.  So next I will muster up the desire to work on that one.

Until then, I have added to inches to the Juno Regina, it’s going swimmingly again and it feels so lovely to the touch.

12.07.2010

Infinite Knitters

Knitting blogs go quiet a few times a year. Often in the summer, when summertime activities keep us away from our knitting and playing outside in the sun. Again around the winter holidays while we are frantically knitting gifts for loved ones.

Neither of those reasons apply here. I have just been, well, busy. I am moving to Seattle at the end of this month and the list of to dos for moving up the coast is extensive. As well as Christmas coming up, holiday parties, and spending quality time with friends before I go.

Knitting was been set to the wayside for a few. I bought an Ashford 24" Rigid Heddle weaving loom and worked a single project which taught me a LOT about tension. I was confused on how to change colors without carrying floats up the side or weave in ends. Although last night I hosted my weekly knitting group in my home. As kind of a going away party. The minute I mentioned my color change issue, my resident weaving expert set me straight and I emited a loud "AHA!". I should have just asked her in the first place. So yeah, forehead slap.

I am so glad that I was able to host my group at my home. It has changed quite a bit since we started knitting together 4 years ago. Members have come and gone, but several of the ole timers made it as well as some new faces. I am really going to miss these ladies. I met my former roommate Susan through this group. We've been through cancers, diabetes, surgeries, break ups and steeks together. I don't know that any of us are particularly close, but we are reliable. And it is hard not to feel a bond with someone you have worked beside every week for four years.

The new faces talk today's movie studs, unless it was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Could be either.
Patti tries on her fingerless gloves to show off.


Mag's recent weaving work, including the Avatar inspired scarves she recently finished (posted on her website SDMags)

Nancy's "Dorky" kitty eared hat she just knit for her daughter