Monday, January 21, 2008

The Celtic Knot pillow top is done. Finished knitting it while watching the football games yesterday. It was a fun project but I think I will either knit a plain back or make a quilt fabric back rather than knit a duplicate knot for the back. I used an old yarn in stash, Christopher Farms 3 ply, and it was pretty hard on the hands. The pillow measures 13" across. Made in a really fine yarn this could be used as a medallion on a sweater.

Fighting with myself not to start knitting samples of the cables in Annie Maloney's books. I think they would be like Pringles where you mean to eat one and eat the whole can instead. The cables are unlike any I've seen before and her process to create them is fascinating.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

All ready to start the Oregon Autumn KAL on February 1st. Helen, our
knit along mom, asked us how we got ready for a project. I keep all my
projects in separate canvas boxes or canvas bags. We have a shop in
New England called the Christmas Tree Shop and I often can find fabric
boxes with Velcro straps to hold them closed. They are great size for
both yarn storage and projects.

For Oregon, I have all the Virtual Yarns yarn in the box with one
skein of each color wound into center pull balls. I've separated out
the colors that go into the corrugated ribbing into bags with pattern
colors in one and background in the other. That might help keep them
in good order. My little tool box has a pair of sharp scissors, a
blunt tapestry needle, couple of yards of white yarn to use as section
holders, tape measure, couple of barrel row counters, two small
crochet hooks, safety pins to capture a stitch that might have been
dropped and I didn't notice it, two boxes of markers in various sizes
and a stitch gauge. I also put the circular needles I think I'll need
in the box. Right now I have 40" size 2.75, 3.0 and 3.25 in there as I
haven't swatched yet. I generally don't make the ribbing on a smaller
needle but use the body needle.

I have both the VY Oregon Autumn pattern and the Vogue Holiday
pattern. I've made copies of both with color copies of the sweater
photo. The copies are used for notes and to mark as I knit along. When
the sweater is done, I'll store the copy with the original pattern. I
never thought about keeping a few yards of the yarns used with the
pattern for repairs. I do keep the ball bands so I know what I've used

My box is all set up and staring at me from a nearby table. So far
I've resisted starting. Should I assume that swatching is starting?
Hmmmmm.... maybe that is exempt?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Annie Maloney cable design books came in the mail today - or rather I had to drive up to the post office on very icy roads to get them. Why else would you go out on such a horrible weather day?

I bought “The Cable Knitting Handbook - 101 Original Stitch Designs, plus theory, techniques, design tips, borders, and much more”. I also got “The Knitter’s Guide to Stitch Design - 150 original stitch patterns plus learn how to plan your own designs”. They are spiral bound books printed on heavy paper with designs in both charted and written words.

I am in awe of the complexity of the cable work and how she has combined cables with interior stitches within the cables. I have barely cracked open the books and my mind is spinning with the possibilities. I have absolutely no affiliation with the author but cannot recommend the books more highly. Now with Janet Szabo’s FLAK method of fitting the sweater top down to your own true measurements and Annie’s cables, I’ll be able to finally start on the design of my own designed cabled sweater.

For those looking for the books, The author is Annie Maloney from the province of Ontario, Canada. The books are self published and are available from The Needle Arts Book Shop (, The Yarn Source ( and Unicorn Books and Crafts (

We'd been discussion Celtic Knots on the Ravelry and Yahoo knit groups and I thought I'd try to knit one. Janet Szabo's Twist & Turns Newsletter from Winter, 2003 has a round cable pillow. In the spirit of using up stash during 2008, I'm using some Christopher Farms 3 ply in Fiddler's Green. It's probably too heavy for the project but it is working. Had to rip 10 rows yesterday as I'd totally missed the right cross on a cable. It was much easier to rip than ladder.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First sleeve on Fulmar is done down to the wrist ribbing. Second sleeve is picked up and started. Still love woring on this sweater. Being knit from the top down, it is easy to try on and be sure the fit is staying what I want. So far, so good.

In order to use up some of the vast stash in the house, I'm going to keep several smaller projects going. There were single balls of many colors of Lite Lopi. I'm knitting a Peruvian style hat from Kathleen Taylor's "Knit One, Felt Two". It will be felted so looks pretty sloppy at the moment. I'm knitting this one while on the exercise bicycle.

Last is my first circular Celtic knot project. Janet Szabo's "Twist and Turns Newsletter" issue Winter 2003 has a pattern for the "Hilton of Cadbol" pillow. It is basically a 12" diameter circular Aran/Celtic knot. Using up some Christopher Farms heavy worsted weight and hoping I have enough. The photo is just the cast on and start. Going to call this my American Idol project and vow to have it done before the final night.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

For once I listened to a book author and did what she said. I bought "Knit One, Felt Too" by Kathleen Taylor. I got it as a way to use up some of the yarn stash in the house in a good way. Thinking ahead of gifts through the coming year where I'm on the "2008 Use Up Stash" diet. Kathleen had emphasized swatching each yarn and then felting the swatch to see what happens. I figured that 100% wool would always felt right? NOT! I have 8-10 balls of an old Maine wool called Christopher Farms and wanted to make multicolored felted bags.

This sample shows that not all wool will felt. The sample done on #10-1/2 needles measured 7-1/2" tall by 6-1/4" wide prior to felting. The sample went into a mesh bag and through two hot wash cycles along with two loads of laundry - not going to waste that hot water! Swatch was then soaked in hot water and hand agitated for a bit more. It now measures 6-1/4" tall and a variety of widths depending on the color. Brown is 5-3/4", brick is 5-7/8" and the beige is 6-1/2" actually wider than it started. Christopher Farms went back in the stash and another yarn will be swatched and washed. I don't want to break up the number of skeins that are enough for a sweater where there probably is a good felting wool. Onward!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Annemore #13 Selbuvotter mittens are done and just about dry. Great tip from the author of the Selbuvotter book to dry them on a cookie rack. They fit perfectly and, other than forgetting Chart A on the cuff, look like the antique ones in the book. These are great fun to make and are a small project to go along with all the large sweater knitting. A bit too warm in Maine right now to wear wool mittens but not to worry, it will snow and be cold again very soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2/3 done on the first sleve of Fulmar. Still very enthused about knitting this Alice Starmore Aran but from top down. I ripped out the first sleeve start as it just wasn't working easily in the round. Now knitting it flat and just cruising along. The white yarn markers on the sides are the sleeve decreases. Every eight row should get me the right length before the wrist ribbing. Still have to pull out the neck ribbing - again.

Selbuvotter mittens - one is done except for the thumb, other is half knit. Fun small project easy to carry along. Desperately trying NOT to wind off skeins for the Oregon Autumn KAL starting February 1st.