Tag Archives: knitting

The right tools make knitting so much easier

Back from TNNA and working hard! I’ll do the write up in my next post, but for now I’m knitting away on a lace project obsession.

signature vs addi

I started this last fall, and set it aside because of other deadlines. When I picked it up a couple days ago, it was on a set of Addi Turbo needles. I started knitting and felt like I was fighting to make the lace stitches and m1 increases. The tips were just not pointy enough. Let’s look a little closer…

signature vs addi close

You can see that the tips on the Signature needles (blue) are a bit pointier than the Addis (silver). You wouldn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it does. These are the regular Signature tips, not the stiletto.

I don’t think I would have put up with fighting the lace stitches for thirty 300 stitch rows last fall. I’m guessing I was knitting on the Signatures, and used the Addis as a stitch holder when I switched projects. I have a habit of swapping needles like that, but I should really make a note of it when I do. Last fall was a long time ago, too long ago to remember details.

I’m also noticing that my gauge with the Addis was looser than with the Signatures, even though they’re both metal. I ripped out the 8 rows I knit these past couple days, partly because of gauge, and partly because of a better idea for some math issues.

Now knitting speedily and happily on the Signatures! They’re the right tool for this project for me. But I have a whole arsenal of needles, because it really depends on the yarn and the kind of knitting. It’s good to have choices! Metal, wood, pointy, blunt…

Do you have a variety of needles, or one particular favorite? What works for you?

(PS: Thanks again to Sarah for the lovely Signatures she gave me several years ago!)

Fall favorites

Knitting with my assistant

Raking leaves

catnap pdxknitterati

morse code cowl pdxknitterati
More knitting!

Fall is my favorite time of year.

Don’t forget, the Indie Design Gift-A-Long pattern sale ends tomorrow at midnight, Eastern Standard Time! Now’s the time to stock up on patterns for gift and selfish knitting. Use the code giftalong2014 for 25% off the specially featured patterns of nearly 300 independent designers on Ravelry. The details are at the Indie Design GAL group. There are already more than 200 posts in the FO picture thread! There are some great prizes being awarded, and a lot more to come.

giftalong 2014 pdxknitterati

My featured patterns for the GAL are here. From what I’m seeing, there should be a lot more Snowy Woods Cowls and Thrumbelina slippers making their way into the world. I’m looking forward to seeing them in the project pages.

January is selfish knitting month: cast on with me!

After the frenzy of gift knitting (which I don’t do…), January is traditionally selfish knitting month. (And I’m using the term selfish in the most positive way: for your SELF!) What are you going to knit? Are you casting on something new, or trying to finish something already on the needles? I need to finish something to clear my needles before this.

MKAL banner

I’m planning to knit the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL, so I can have this shawlette for myself. My original will be a sample somewhere for the next year, and I want one for me NOW. Will you be knitting along with me? You’re invited! Check out the RCYC group on Ravelry for ongoing details.

I’m also having a Thrumbelina KAL. If you were lucky enough to register for Lantern Moon’s April retreat, you’ll be knitting your own Thrumbelinas along with me before the retreat so you’ll have cozy toes when you go to Timberline Lodge. No kick off date yet; we’re working out details. But you don’t have to be going on this retreat to knit along. The more the merrier for the KAL, as far as I’m concerned. More thrums for everyone!


And I need to get started on a new design, due in March.

All three of these upcoming knits are fun, but technically for me they’re work, so they’re not really selfish knitting. What about something that’s just for me? I guess finishing the current knit is all about me (my own knit of my new shawl design debuting in February), so that counts. But I’m also dreaming of casting on Lempster from Knitty. While I’ve been dreaming, my friend Sarah has knit two of them! I received some gift cards to Twisted for Christmas, so they may kick start my Lempster. Am I crazy? Can I get all these knits done in a timely manner? There’s only one way to find out!

What’s your selfish knitting for January? If you need some inspiration, go look through the Doomsday Knits and Under 100 Knit Collection sets. And don’t forget, I’m having a giveaway of the Under 100 ebook. Leave a comment on the previous post to enter to win. Happy new year!

Josephine in her finery

The Josephine Top is coming along. I’m at 8 inches on the back; it’s time for the second set of decreases in the ribbing section. The pattern is easier to remember than I initially thought, so I’m cruising along with only an occasional glance at the chart.

jo 06.09.08

Here’s a closeup of Jo with her new stitch markers between each ribbing and lace section. See the bright lime green rubber one on the end? I need one more new marker!

jo markers

And I think this looks like a tiara, which is fitting for the Empress.

jo tiara

My pattern writing is stalled for now; I’m pretty focused on making progress on this project. All things in their time.

Vickie wrote:

“i’m meeting mom at kahneeta to camp on friday/saturday, may 9/10. there’d be a bunk for you in keiko if you’d like. it’d be just sitting around in the sun (hopefully),  playing scrabble, that kind of thing.”

Coming off a busy spring of organizing other people and projects, I jumped at the chance to do something that someone else had planned, especially since it meant that I could spend a weekend catching up with my best friend from college. Her mom is cool, too. The bit about sitting around in the sun sounded pretty good. Spring has been a long time coming around here. It’s still cold, and it’s been really damp. So I didn’t ask too many questions. None, in fact.

You might ask, “What’s Keiko?” I didn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised.


We stopped at Timberline Lodge (elevation 5,960 ft) on Mount Hood on the way over. It was a gorgeous day. The last time I was there, I stood on this deck to take a picture. Not this time!


Mount Hood is 11,239 feet tall, the tallest mountain in Oregon, and according to Wikipedia, the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt. This wasn’t the day.


Crossing over the Cascade Mountains takes you to another Oregon. I live on the wet side. It’s sunnier on the other side, and less populated. We did have to stop for some traffic. (By the time I could get the camera out, the traffic jam was over and she was safely across the road.)


In Simnasho, on the way to Warm Springs, is this picturesque ruin:


The weekend did include the aforementioned sitting around in the sun at the hot springs-fed pool, scrabble, and lots of scenery.




And a baby (well, three weeks old):


Vickie came up with an impromptu martini shaker, courtesy of REI. Ingenious!


It was a lovely weekend, great to get out my usual routine. I always feel like I have new eyes when I go someplace and really “see” things. Thanks, Vic!

I knitted on Shetland Triangle II over the weekend. It’s getting close to the end, which means that each row takes longer than you’d think. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be the same size as the first one, or bigger. I’ll have to decide soon. I also brought lots of cotton washcloth yarn to knit samples, but that didn’t happen. I wrote some teaching patterns a few years ago for a beginning knitters’ group, and I’d like to publish them as a set, but I gave the samples away as gifts, so I have to make them again to photograph them. All in good time. Knit on!

Slap myself upside the head

So I’ve been hanging back, not posting anything, because I haven’t finished anything since the Shetland Triangle last week. Second one is going great, but it’s not done yet. What other knitterly exploits could I possibly have to blog about?

Doh! I went to the Lantern Moon warehouse sale last Saturday. I love this company. They’re locally owned, have beautiful things, and provide jobs to women in villages in Vietnam. They’re good people. And they make my favorite needles, the ebony circulars. On Saturday, they were also giving back to the community; a portion of the day’s sales went to the Grant High School Foundation.

I didn’t buy much: a handbag for me, a basket for a knitting friend, and several mini-balls of Gelato, Leigh Radford’s silk taffeta ribbon, for another crafty friend. I already have a lot of their stuff. My restraint was countered by Anna’s shopping spree; she made out like a bandit! Yes, she did buy everything you see here, and some things that you can’t see, too. Caught by the camera phone; I don’t usually take my camera shopping.


Lots of gifts, and some things for her, too. All in all, a good knitterly day, even without knitting.