Posts filed under 'Knitting'
Mary Stowe, of Yarn’s Etc has always had an inclusive vision of fiber arts. That is how, four years ago, Three Waters Farm ended up with a pied-a-terre in Carrboro inside Mary’s store, teaching spinning and selling our homegrown-handspun and other handpainted yarns and fibers. We were happy there, next to Balloons and Tunes and across the street from the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. But last summer, Opportunity came knocking and so this past August we moved to the other side of the tracks,* into Chapel Hill, into a larger store.
Now Chapel Hill is a fine place. We are enjoying ourselves very much in our new location. We are now within stitching distance of Whole Foods, A Southern Season, and Trader Joes and so just about everybody who eats chocolate and drinks coffee comes in and visits at least once a month.
In the spirit of the Etc. in “Yarn’s Etc.,” Mary invited Nancy McGuffin of Chapel Hill Needlepoint to join us. I admit that I have harbored a small prejudice against needlepoint, mostly concerning the fact that needlepointers have to look down, whereas knitters can spend a lot of time looking up. (This may seem irrelevant to you, but my other hobby is recreational spying and I don’t like to miss anything.)
Well. Since August I have gone from having a small prejudice about needlepoint to having a serious concern about needlepoint. It was during the Fall, while looking up from my knitting, that I first had a hunch that needlepoint might be CONTAGIOUS. Since that time, I have confirmed the theory that you are likely to catch needlepoint if you have sufficient exposure, no matter how much you wash your hands and don’t touch your face, First it happened to me (I have a weak immune system when it comes to fiber arts,) then Vicky, then Mary, then Rebecca, then Hannah and the list goes on, getting ever longer with every passing day. I know that you may think that this is preposterous, perhaps the figment of a fevered imagination, and you would be right, but look at the evidence.
*a local joke playing on the difference between the storied Town of Chapel Hill and it’s formally servile and downtrodden neighbor, the Town of Carrboro, told from the tongue-in-cheek (or maybe not) point of view of the residents of Carrboro
December 20th, 2008
Lynne has created another AMAZING color feast in a SPECTACULAR design with a combination of LV*LTD and Three Waters Farm colorways. The pattern is available from Lynne’s Etsy Shop and the fiber is available both at our website and our Etsy shop.
Don’t be put off by how gorgeous this is. (I mean, when I look Starry Nite, I start quaking in my knitting boots — “what, me, knit a fantabulous thing like THAT?!”) But from experience, I know that Lynne’s patterns are written to be used by Everyknitter — that means you, and me. With clear and concise instructions, Lynne puts the knitting of sumptuous designs within reach of all of us.
December 17th, 2008
These longer nights and cooler days that have been shadowing me have finally tiptoed close enough behind me to tap me on the shoulder, expecting acknowledgment. As I turn around and look, I realize, it’s true. It’s Fall.
No matter how hot the day gets, the nights are gaining on us. No matter how brilliant and clear the green of a newly hatched grasshopper, most of the grasshoppers now are a rough, dirty, green gold now. Everywhere I look, the colors have dirtied and deepened. I’ll adjust (after all, I LOVE dirty colors; it’s change I don’t like.) But before I march forward, I want to present my memories of an early summer day swimming in a pool, surrounded by a garden full of blooming flowers under a clear blue sky. Enjoy that day with me and the Lounge Lizard.
September 22nd, 2008
Miss Violet and Miss Lime of the famous Lime&Violet saluted our Etsy Web shop September 15th in the Daily Chum. We are blushing with pride here in our little corner of the Universe. Thank you Lime&Violet!
September 17th, 2008
I am back on the planet. It was slightly sobering to discover that I am a computer addict. I suspected that it might be so, but cheerfully ignored both the possibility and it’s ramifications until my computer got zonked. I don’t have to think about it anymore, however, because my computer is fixed.
I did get a lot of things done when I wasn’t computering. The yarn that is destined for Maryland Sheep and Wool should be here this week and my production schedule is all worked out. I’ve got a couple of colorways that are almost ready for unveiling and one that I shall unveil now: BEHOLD!, Wild Berry!
Earthbound II is nearing completion; it is starting to look like I will have to reknit the sleeves. The first Earthbound was lacking a true shoulder band. Earthbound II has it’s proper shoulder band, and the seven extra rows or so a shoulder band requires. The already knit sleeves are smaller by seven stitches, that is, 2 inches. We will see how much magic we can conjure up to solve this problem that doesn’t involve re-knitting. I have run out of time to re-knit before Maryland and so this sweater may end up in summer storage. Here is a picture of the completed back panel:
A really exciting opportunity has come my way: Olds College in Alberta, Canada, is running a satellite session of their famous Master Spinner program in nearby Louisburg, NC. They are offering Master Spinner Level I, April 23 to 27. What could be more fun than this — a whole week with a variety of fleeces, cards, natural dyeing, rabid fiber enthusiasts, and fantastic instructors?
March 13th, 2007
The Great Spring Discontent is upon us. Every grocery store magazine shouts that we have eaten too many cookies and indulged in too little exercise; the Twin Spring Imperatives, Dieting and Exercising, must begin; No More Bingeing. I am full of remorse. Thumbing through magazines looking for any advice I can immediately put into action, I see, “Reduce your appetite with small, controlled snacks.”
It sounds oh so sensible and easy to implement, but I binge AND snack. On knitting. All winter I have been bingeing on sweater knitting and snacking on sockknitting. (Is sockknitting one word yet?) At one point, my husband gently suggested that perhaps I was knitting too much? (He has scars to prove it.) Over knitting, Indeed!
Clearly, it is time to straighten up. Spring is almost here.
Before my Spring Knitting Diet took hold, progress had been made on Earthbound; I am more than halfway done if the old sleeves will suffice for the new sweater. If new sleeves are called for, well, I’m afraid that Earthbound is in for a spring and summer hibernation.
The top-down knit has made it twenty-one inches, almost to the bottom. (By the way, that is MORE inches than there are between Australia and New Zealand on my map.)
There is one more sweater that is done except for the finishing. What could possibly be so hard about setting in the sleeves and knitting the neck? Any ideas?
The good news is that my Spring Knitting Diet has produced a new colorway. Behold, “Lilac” on Mohair Boucle.
Maybe this diet won’t be so bad after all. Anyone ready for a snack?
February 26th, 2007
I was determined to do it all just right. I made my gauges — three or four gauges — and did a careful counting of stitches. Two gauges made it to the blocking stage. (Yes, blocking stage. I did block them. It does seem retentive to do such a thing, but have you noticed that with gauge I have “relational problems?”) So when the gauges had settled, there was more measuring and counting. And, unbelievably (believably?) the wooden size 8 needle and the Turbo size 7 needle were knitting at exactly the same gauge! So of course I chose the Turbos for speed and, because they don’t throw sparks. (Forgive the levity. Gauge is a ponderous topic.)
So feeling virtuous (and a tiny bit smug,) I cast on and began knitting. Past experience has shown that when I get into the knitting groove, everything loosens. Determined to be attentive enough to prevent this from occurring, I knit vigilantly. Then that *feeling* started to set in, that feeling of Authority Looking Over My Shoulder, Frowning. It got creepy enough that I picked up a ruler and checked my gauge. I’m sure you already know. There were MORE stitches to the inch than there were supposed to be. One half stitch too many to be exact.
So with Hannah’s help (Hannah is a Jewel and handles hysteria with a capable hand) I did some (re)thinking, some more measuring, and some counting, and decided that ripping back to the armholes and adding a few extra stitches at the same gauge would equal the correct size if I followed instructions for knitting the next size up. It would seem that I cannot knit the most humdrum of garments without drama.
In the meantime, I have decided that sharpening my knitting acuity is in order. For instance, I have a new theory that knitting to gauge means that the stitches will feel a certain way on the needle, that is, not slide too easily, nor slide not easily enough. So far, this has proven to be accurate. Also, it is self-evident that I should NOT ignore the Authority Looking Over My Shoulder — she is trying to tell me something. And I have decided to reflexively (and to cheerfully) check my gauge. Every inch or so.
And so I recite (again) with (mustered) zeal, Failure’s motto. “Success is a terrible teacher.”
February 20th, 2007
It is now this:
I have heard a lot of exclamations (mostly sharp hissing intakes of breath indicating pain) from sympathetic knitters. It wasn’t easy deciding that the only course of action was to start over. It took a couple of weeks. I entertained many an idea on ways to salvage at least some of the knitting, but in the end decided that re-knitting would give the best outcome. I have for the moment decided that the sleeves may be redeemable. I have plenty of time to decide if this is true.
So What Happened? Gauge Happened. I was so clever in teaching myself to knit backwards (so I didn’t have to follow the pattern while stranding AND purling,) but not clever enough to practice my new skill on a few throw away hats and scarves before embarking on this beauty. I became so comfortable knitting backwards that I couldn’t tell which way I was knitting. And that moment happened right in the middle of the sweater. For me, the knitting zone produces looser knitting. Therefore the second half of the sweater is larger than the first half. The sweater was knit in one piece from right front to left front and so there you have it, an irredeemable, (beautiful) disaster.
I have been very mature through this whole thing; I have bravely parried all the looks of pity with careless laughter and I have not cried in public. But it’s not as easy as it looks.
February 16th, 2007
I am pretty good with a map. I can follow a lane to a road to a highway; I can work my way around a city; I can drive from state to state.
What I am LACKING is a sense of proportion. You know, it just doesn’t seem all that far from central NC to say, Prince Edward Island, oh let’s do it! Sailing? Well, there aren’t so many inches from Australia to New Zealand; c’mon, let’s go!
Knitting a top down cardigan in one color stockinette; what are we waiting for?
Can somebody rescue me?
January 28th, 2007
Gauges are always informative. In the past, gauges have mostly informed me of what I wanted to hear. “4 stitches to the inch? Well, yes, of course, we are only a wee bit over, just a stitch, give or take a little bit.” Do you know what can happen when you are only ‘a wee’ bit over gauge when you knit a whole sweater? Gain a hundred pounds and it’ll fit ya.
This time I was looking for a yarn that would knit at 2 3/4 st. to the inch. Bulky, very bulky. A doubled worsted yarn, a bulky yarn with a fingering accompaniment. Size 9 needles, no, size 10, no size 10 1/2, no size 11. See how much I learned?
January 25th, 2007