Knit Wit

I formed a fanpage on facebook awhile back (search and my husband has found a new way to keep himself busy- posting funny pictures that relate to knitting.  He has a couple of videos up, but mostly pictures.  I have a few favorites, especially the motorcycle guys, sitting in a bar, knitting away while drinking tea.  Visit my page to check it out.!/pages/Knitwerkscom/278111186949?ref=ts

I also put clips from different shows that mention knitting.  I have one from CBS’s morning show called Knitting’s a Priviledge.  Mo Rocca made a comment on NPR about how homemade sweaters are always itchy and a bunch of ravelry knitters decided to set him straight.  I loved watching him being taught to knit by a young boy.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

It’s amazing how much commentary there is out there.  And pictures- lots of pictures.  But if you want to see the best ones, check out my facebook page.  Like I said, my husband finds the best ones.  If only he could make money being a professional funny picture/cartoon finder.  If only I could make money knitting. . .

Oops, I don’t have enough yarn!

One of the first things that you learn when you begin knitting, is that when working on a project, make sure you have enough to finish it.  Patterns tell you how many skeins you’ll need or at least usually how many yards.  It’s better to have more yarn than necessary that not enough.  It’s also best to have enough of the same color lot so that you don’t have those pesky differences in shading.  Normally, when yarn is made, the dye is created and all of yarn is made with that/those colors.  For example, XYZ wool dyes 200 skeins of purple wool on Tuesday.  On Thursday, it will dye 200 more skeins of wool.  Those two dye lots are going to be a tiny bit different, no matter what.  So, if you want to knit your purple sweater, it’s best to get all your yarn out of one dye lot to make sure the front and back (or top and bottom) are the same shade of purple.

With this in mind, you have to know what you are using your yarn for before you buy it.  I had bought about 6 skeins of Paton’s Baby yarn about a year ago when my friend was pregnant.  I made a small baby blanket and set the rest aside.  A little over a month ago I decided to make another blanket and figured I could go out and find more if I needed it.  After all, it is a popular company with yarn available in Michael’s and Jo-Anns.  I was at the end of the last skein and went out to find more.  Paton’s Beehive Baby Sport Yarn in Natural Girl was nowhere to be found.  Rather than keep searching, I decided to finish the blanket early.  The border had to be finished in 10 rows rather than 12.  All in all, I was lucky and the blanket looks fabulous- but I was lucky.  Did I learn my lesson?  Absolutely not!

Knit One Purl One Whine a bit

It’s Tuesday evening and I have a midterm tomorrow.  I’ve been studying since Saturday and my brain is getting tired.  Every once in a while, I get a row in of the baby blanket.  I am a bit over half way through and hope to have it done in 2-3 weeks.  I also have a new simple shawl on the needles.

I am having a small glass of Goats Do Roam wine to relax a bit while glancing back at my notes every few minutes.  It’s a great, inexpensive white wine.  I bought it at Publix after wine tasting and am now sad that the bottle is almost gone.  The australian wine is just the perfect texture and taste for a few sips before bed, a glass with a salad, or girls night in. 

One little note, knitting and drinking generally don’t go together.  A glass of wine or a beer while going through a simple pattern is fine, but the more you drink, the more mistakes you make.  For more intricate and lace patterns, a cup of tea is probably the better option. 

Back to work, both studying and working on the blanket!


It seems like there are now social network sites for everything.  I’m one of those people who are completely addicted to Facebook but do not want to admit it.  I’m an online junkie who needs to recheck everything, including my knitwerks site, regularly.  I wake up, take a shower, go online. 

There are many knitting social network sites out there, but my favorite and probably the most popular is Ravelry.  It is a community for knitters, crocheters, spinners and dyers to join, share, and talk about the crafts they love.  There are thousands upon thousands of patterns available both free and for a fee.  You can search by yarn, by needle size, or even designer.  Their notebook section allows you to add yarns, needles, books and projects.  It is a great way to organize that mess of a stash you may have!

  One of my favorite features is the groups.  You can join other crafters based on favorite tv show, region, school, or similar interests.  There is a group for Knitty fans, for tea lovers, for cat people, for House fans and for nearly every local knitting shop.  Inside, you can commiserate, discuss events, and share projects that you are working on and have finished.

I love to browse the patterns.  You can use key words to help guide your search, but I generally wander aimlessly through page after page of recently added items, favoriting the ones I like the most in hopes that I come back to it.  This is a great inspiration and makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

St. Patrick’s Day

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’m sitting outside of my marketing class waiting for the minutes to click by.  I should be reading and rereading the material because I’m pretty sure there will be a pop quiz.  However, I’ve done this at least five times already and my brain doesn’t want to take in anything more.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I should be somewhere else, drinking a pint of guiness and watching people with green headbands stumble over themselves while stammering Erin Go Bragh or Kiss me I’m Irish.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I should be sitting at home on the couch, working a row of the still unfinished baby blanket, thinking of new patterns to create.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I should be taking a nap, because I’m tired and would love a stay at home vacation laying in bed, watching movies, reading novels and petting cats.  Well- um- Happy St. Patrick’s Day anyway.

Block Baby Blanket 2010-02

I started knitting away without really knowing what I wanted to do.  Before I knew it, I was using left over soft baby yarn and creating a blanket.  I am a little less than midway through it, but wanted to post the pattern anyway.  People keep asking me who I am knitting it for.  My response, “By the time I’m finished, someone will be pregnant.”

I am using Patons Beehive Baby Yarn in 11421 Natural Girl colors.  It has tones of pink, blue, beige and white.  There is a double seed stitch border, with alternating squares in stockinette and seed stitch.

6 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch in stockinette

Size 4 circular knitting needle at least 16 inches long.  Using stich markers every ten stitches will help keep track of the changes.

Cast on 170 stitches (@36 inches wide)

Row 1: K2P2, continue to end.

Row 2: K2P2, continue to end

Row 3: P2K2, continue to end

Row 4: P2K2, continue to end

Continue for 12 rows total

Row 13: K2P2 (4 times) K2, *K1P1 (5 times), K10, continue from * to last 10 stitches, K2P2 (4 times) K2

Row 14: P2K2 (4 times) P2, *P1K1 (5 times), P10, continue from * to last 10 stitches, P2K2 (4 times)

Row 15: P2K2 (4 times) P2, *K1P1 (5 times), K10, continue from * to last 10 stitches, P2K2 (4 times) P2

Row 16: K2P2 (4 times) K2, *P1K1 (5 times), P10, continue from * to last 10 stitches, K2P2 (4 times)K2

Repeat Rows 13-16

Row 21: K2P2 (4 times) K2, *K10, K1P1 (5 times), continue from * to last 10 stitches, K2P2 (4 times) K2

Row 22: P2K2 (4 times) P2, *P20, P1K1 (5 times), continue from * to last 10 stitches, P2K2 (4 times)

Row 23: P2K2 (4 times) P2, *K10, K1P1 (5 times), continue from * to last 10 stitches, P2K2 (4 times) P2

Row 24: K2P2 (4 times) K2, *P10, P1K1 (5 times), continue from * to last 10 stitches, K2P2 (4 times)K2

Repeat Rows 21-24 through Row 30.

Rows 31-40: Repeat Rows 13-17

continue in this manner until you’ve knit the desired length of blanket.

Ending: Repeat Rows 1-4 for a total of 12 rows.  Bind Off.

Listening to Books

A while ago I was at the library, wandering around, when I discovered these little playaway books on preloaded mp3 players.  First of all, I am one of the few people out there who do not have an ipod or an mp3 player or even a smart phone.  I found these little devices that have one book recorded on it, and that you can borrow for three weeks at a time (longer if you are a chronic renewer like me).  I listen to them at work, at the gym, and while knitting.  So far I’ve listened to Marley & Me, Songs of the Hunchback Whale, Blue Diary, and Water for Elephants.  I started The Time Traveler’s Wife but it bored me.  I couldn’t stand the speaker for Beach Road.  I’m currently listening to The Wednesday Wars, which is directed at children, but is written (spoken) well and is a perfect cutesy book to have at work.  My next one will be The Joy Luck Club. 

I’ve read most of these before with my absolute favorite being Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  The narration is split between the 90 or 93-year-old Jacob Jankowski and his 23-year-old memory.  He described both his life at a nursing home, his aging body and loneliness at a point when his children are too old to take care of him.  Across the street, the circus is setting up and a fellow resident begins to claim that he used to carry water for elephants.  Jacob becomes angry at this, saying Mr. McGuinty is a lyer.  A nurse, Rosemary, takes pity on him and begins to treat him like a human being instead of another body. 

We listen to him tell about being 23, days away from taking his final exams in Veterinarian School at Cornell University when his parents are killed in a car accident.  This occurs during the Great Depression.  Jacob finds out that the bank is foreclosing on his parents’ home and goes to take the finals.  He walks out of the room without answering a single question.  Fate takes him to the railroad tracks where he jumps into a car only to find out that he’s on a circus train. 

The rest is an adventure.  Jacob discovers circus life and the meaning of love for both the beautiful Marlena and the surprising elephant Rosie.  This is an absolute must read- or listen.  There is even a movie in the works, which is planned to come out in 2011.

Songs of the Humpback Whale was also a fantastic experience.  Listening to it was even better because there are five narrators in five voices.  I believe that this brings it to life far more than actually reading it could- and Jodi Picoult is a great writer.  This is a journey of self discovery by five very different people who are connected by life and events that are beyond their control.  A mother, father, daughter, uncle and lover all reflect on the actions that take them to a quaint apple orchard in Massachusetts.  While listening, you salivate at the description of the crunching apples, shiver when the cool northeastern winds blow, and feel the characters as if they are standing next to you.

Happy Listening!

Interweave Knits

I received my first issue of Interweave Knits magazine.  I, the knitting maniac, have no subscriptions to any knitting magazines and have not even bought a single one at a store.  I’ve clipped patterns out of my Mom’s old ones, but have never sat down and read through one.  Yesterday I spent time at the kitchen table flipping through the pages.  I’m almost stunned at seeing full-page, colorful ads for yarn and knits and shops.  Turquoise, plums, and mandarin shades pop out of the pages until you begin to salivate.  I just want to reach in and pet the sweaters and blankets.  My absolute favorite ad is the model for Addi needles.  Standing in the back of a warehouse is a tall, man donning a goti, a leather jacket and jeans knitting what appears to be a long, white scarf.  I know men knit and I wish more did.  There were some interesting articles including one about Nancy Bush who is known by many sock knitters.  In the end, with a super sweet voice, I asked my husband if I could stretch our tight budget to include a year’s subscription to the magazine.

Someone requested me to mention that he said “Of course” to my subscription request.  Now I just have to remember to send them money.  I do accept donation$ to help support my yarn addiction.

Left Handed Knitting

I have had a few people ask me how to knit and then say, “but, I’m left-handed.”  Believe it or not, left-handed people knit too.  I, myself, am right-handed and am self-taught thanks to books and the internet.  My grandmother was a left-handed knitter.  My mother had asked to her to teach her when she was very young, but poor Mom couldn’t catch on because she was a righty as well.  For lefties, it is usually the opposite. 

A great way to find directions is on

Left handed Knitting

Left handed Purling

Left handed Cast on

As you begin to get comfortable knitting, you may decide to try to find patterns for more complicated designs.  However, you have to remember that patterns are generally written for righties.   Decreases and cables may not come out as expected in written instructions.  Charts are more useful for lefties, but some patterns are written for lefties as well.  There are many websites out there for left-handed knitters and crocheters, so don’t let that discourage your interest in crafting.

The Yellow Brick Road

I’ve been thinking a lot lately.  I’m an introvert so this shouldn’t be much of  a surprise.  I’m going back to school, hoping to get a second bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  I’m working hard with the two classes I am taking, Principles of Marketing and Computers, Software and Technology.  I used to be very intelligent and caught on to anything.  I feel like I’ve lost my edge.  I’m not as smart as I was ten years ago.  I wonder if I’m on the right path.  Maybe I am Dorothy, skipping away but staring out into the fields, wondering if Munchkinland might be just as good as Oz, if not better.

I’m not sure what I want.  A few years ago I decided I needed a path and I chose one.  It has taken me a while, but I’m finally stepping ahead.  Part of me wants to go back to writing, never knowing if I’ll find happiness, nevermind money.  Another piece wants to open that knitting shop with used books, coffee and tea and hope to turn a profit.  Reason and rational says that I will inevitably burn out from that even if I managed to succeed in finding the resources to start such a venture.  Imagine not sleeping because the rent is due and I’ve only sold a half-dozen hanks of yarn and a few cups of coffee.  Oh- and don’t forget, that shop doesn’t come with health insurance!

I don’t know my path, but I’m following it anyway.  It’s off to see the Wizard. . . wish me luck.

Avatar, Whip It, and Adventures in Crocheting

This week is Spring Break and I decided to take Saturday off from worrying, assignments and studying.  We went off to the movies for the first time in two years.  The hubby had bugged me since it came out to go watch it but I wasn’t really interested.  After adjusting to the 3D glasses and the objects jutting out at me, I actually enjoyed it.  The special effects are amazing.  The experience is intense.  I did like the storyline.  Good guy goes to new world to obtain information for the future bad guy.  Good guy becomes absorbed into the new world (which is gorgeous).  Good guy falls for the girl but unintentionally betrays girl.  I would recommend going to see it in 3D!  It really does help the movie.  This comes from someone who generally doesn’t like things jumping out at her.

The other movie I watched at home was Whip It.  This was a feel good movie with a solid coming to age storyline.  Bliss, the main character, is searching for who she is.  Her mother pushes her into beauty pageants while she’d rather be wearing combat boots.  She begins to find herself with a group of very tough roller derby girls.  She discovers something she is great at and loves.  I borrowed this one but will have to pick it up.  I had to look up the local roller derby team here.  I wonder if I could take the beating!

Finally, I did do some crocheting.  I did the chain and a few rows.  It did not look as good as it did in the book.  I think it is a lot harder than knitting.  I will continue to try to teach myself, but jumped over to a baby blanket project in some pretty pastels that seem to melt in my hands.