giveawayJoann’s Etc..  You just never know what you’ll find.  This weekend I found a couple of copies of Paton’s Street Smart Booklet– which has been made both famous- and hard to find due to certain bloggers making the sweaters just so irresistible!  It contains the secrets of both the Urban Aran and Must Have Cardigan….. If you’re a knitter… you WANT this booklet. 

As a little thank you to all the knit bloggers/ravelry members that stop by- I’ll be giving away one copy!  All you need to do to enter, is leave a comment anywhere on my blog… Also— if you’re a Ravelry member— and can’t- don’t, won’t set up a wordpress account to comment— go ahead- PM me a comment about something on my blog…and I’ll enter you;) 

I am TraceyinMichigan on Ravelry;)

While my family is still sick– (poor hubby was down all weekend… ) I had a rather nice knitting content weekend.  (Not much else to do) Yesterday- I went to the Ann Arbor Library- to see— the Knitty Queen! Amy Singer.    Amy gave a terrific presentation on fiber alternatives to wool- based on her book- “No Sheep For You”

The presentation was both educational and delightful. Amy brought the swatches from the book- as well as a number of FO’s.   Yummy to touch;) Pretty to see. While I was there- I picked up a copy of the book co-written by the wonderful- Jillian Moreno“Big Girl Knits.”  I know- I know WAY late to this party— but I finally got it;) I read nearly the entire thing last night!  The patterns are brilliant- the writing was enjoyable AND informative.   This book will make it possible for me to knit things to fit, and flatter! ;) (There’s a thought;) Black Sheep Guild and Amy

“More Big Girl Knits” will be out in April— and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy. 

Here’s a pic of a delightful group- The Black Sheep Knitting Guild  .  They let me tag along for much of the day;) A great group- which I’m hoping to join….;)

While I was at the Library- there was much oooing and ahhing over my WIP- the Autumn Cardigan by Ruth Sorenson.  

Kauni Cardi progress shot

Here’s a close up shot of the corrugated ribbing… It’s rainbow- colors are amazing! I ordered the yarn online- at “Little Knits” .

I finished up the afternoon- at “The Blue Nile” in Ann Arbor- with “AsKatKnits”  and a friend of hers… crap— I can’t remember…her name…will link or fix- when someone reminds me.  Anyway- food was great (My first Ethiopian feast :) I had a lame moment where I nearly spit iced tea across the table… Tasted super strong…. Dad’s a recovering addict– so ummm I don’t temp fate by drinking alcohol  — I nearly spit.  (The gene pool in that area has a current I don’t want to try to swim against;) But—it wasn’t boozy after all… it was GINGER.  I win the dork crown;)  

You know- I would KILL my kids if they asked to go to some event they heard about online… with people they met online…. and then to dinner with people they met ONLINE…. but Knitters?  They’re a great bunch;) If there’s a knitting event near you— I’m telling you– GO.. Meet people….. Touch their knitting…. Talk…. Life is meant to be shared.  DO it. 

Here- YarnHarlots new book is coming out and she’ll be on tour— start with a Harlot Event- there’s bound to be someone you can connect with!   Ps– I think Harlot needs to start selling tour t-shirts…. with yarn and shop logos all over it— could be a fund raiser for Knitters Without Borders;) Just sayin’.

So- leave a comment- send a Ravelry PM….enter the contest…. you know you want to. 

one more pic;) Couldn't resist

problem and solution?I usually smile a smug little smirk when I come across the knitting directions : “Being careful not to twist.”  

“Do you think I’m an idiot?”  I wonder to myself. 

Today- I nearly proved myself to actually BE an idiot.  The evidence started mounting on Friday, actually. That’s when I cast on the 10 bazillion stitches of icord for a new sweater.  A lovely colorful sweater, in fact.  Ruth Sorenson’s “Autumn Cardigan.”   I had ordered yarn, swatched (I NEVER swatch) and finally, cast on. 

After 3 failed attempts and several panic attacks concerning the length of the required icord, I picked up the necessary 327 stitches in 2 colors, and started the colorwork ribbing.  Whew.

knit knit knit, purl purl purl. For nearly 6 days.  This morning, After my second cup of coffee. (Optimum time to start knitting for the day.) I took a close look at the project in question.  The colors are working together nicely, the ribbing looks good, I’m happy with the consistency of the fabric and the icord snapped into size once I started the ribbing, as it should have. “I am the sweater master. “ I thought.

That’s when I noticed the twist. A twist is NOT part of the pattern. 

5 or six times I tried to smooth the stitches on the needle.  I thought (hoped) it must be the way I was holding it.  Finally, I laid it on the kitchen table, smoothed the 327 stitches carefully, and found it was true.  I ws knitting a moebius sweater.  CRAP.

I growled.  (Literally, not figuratively) I stomped my feet.  I frowned, and then, well after a careful look-round, I threw my knitting on the floor. My teenagers laughed.  The dog sniffed to see if I had thrown her a colorful treat.  The youngest put his fingers in his ears and continued watching “Sprout”. Feeling like QUITE the idiot, I picked it back up. I growled again.  I showed them my moebius.  They laughed again.  I said it was a homeschool demonstration.  They didn’t believe me.

I finished another cup of coffee.  Then set about considering my options:

1)  We’re buried in snow at the moment-(hence the boys are home to witness my shame) — so burying it in the yard sounded feasible.  However, – I knew that (like things the dog leaves in the snow) as soon as the snow melted it would return to haunt the knitter who’d created it.

2) I considered ripping it all out.  While beautiful in color— the Kauni is just too “sticky” and rough to have that be a best case.

3) I thought about losing it in the stash, viable option,  but I would be sweaterless.

4) I nearly ripped back to the icord and started again…..

Finally- I decided to take a risk.  This sweater is constructed with “steeking” .  The sweater has stitches down the front that would later be cut through to turn a tube of knitting, into a cardigan. I looked at the twist.  I found my lucky leopard scissors.  I told myself “It’s JUST knitting.” Trust the process.

Then- I cut my knitting. *gasp*  Typically- you would steek after a garment is finished being knit, AFTER sewing a line of reinforcement stitches.  But, I didn’t have that much room.  I held my breath after I cut.  I picked it up.  I looked at it.  I had expected it to run like a cheap pair of nylons.  It didn’t.

I CAREFULLY untwist it.  I started knitting, again.  By george… I think I fixed it!  I immediately graduated from “idiot” to “brilliant”.   Yet another reason to love knitting. Like a roller coaster of yarn…. one minute you’re up… the next one you’re down…. there is always another hill to climb!

Now I’m just hoping this excitement doesn’t smite me on the backside by having all the stitches unravel before I can reinforce them……and praying that my guage doesn’t result in a sweater of either mythic or microscopic proportions……. But-  I can guarantee this— no more smugness when I read the directions. 

Smugness = Over confidence.  While Confidence = appropriate risk…

OVER confidence= stupid mistakes. 

Lesson learned.   (I hope ;)

kauniThe weather has been YUK… Everyone here has been sick.  Even the dog is sick of winter and she LOVES the snow.  I’ve tried brighter light bulbs, looking at beach pic’s (which just make me miss the beach) and denial.  But-nothing is working.  Like it or not-  it’s here-(and it’s grey)  the Winter doldrums.  DUM DUM DUM. 

What’s a girl to do?  Well- A vacation in a sunny spot would be nice…. but with pending college costs and thread-bare furniture… that just isn’t a priority right now… so- instead- a little alternative medicine:

The Kauni Cure.   I ordered 4 balls of Kauni Yarn from Little Knits. It arrived and I’ve been winding it and playing with swatching.  My plan is to knit the “Autumn Cardigan” Designed by Ruth Sorensen.   Since I was once asked by a teen girl whether I was “goth” because I wear so much black…. it is safe to say these colors are a streeeeeeetch for me.  But- at this time of the year- a little drastic color therapy is necessary.  The Kauni is a true Shetland style wool.  Very sheepy (read has bits of grass etc) and well not the softest thing ever, although I understand it softens up quite a bit after a nice long soak.  This project is all about color- so we’ll forgive the feel for now. (more…)