Monday, May 25, 2009

Knitting Friends and Therapy

About 5 years ago, I decided that I wanted to really learn how to knit. Oh, I played at it on my own when I was a teenager. At that time you could only buy long straight needles and the yarn selection wasn't that exciting. Of course since I didn't really know much about knitting, I started knitting a scarf. I probably never finished it because it was too wide, a boring gold color, the ends curled, and it was taking too long to get to a finished product. When I picked up the needles again, I found shorter 10 inch needles and started knitting dish cloths. I figured that dishcloths would be good because they didn't take long to knit and I would learn to knit different stitches. They were a great choice because I am still knitting dishcloths and still learning new stitches..

But, I wanted more. So, I dug out a newspaper article about a shop that gave knitting lessons, found out that they had lessons on a Saturday morning, which was great since I worked. That is where it all began and I haven't looked back. I have grown as a knitter. I have accumulated a large stash and am the proud owner of quite a bit of needles as well as knitting gadgets and bags to carry everything in. However, more than that, I have met some wonderful knitting friends. I am so glad that I am able to work part time and go to knitting class twice a week. Some of us call it therapy. It's that and more.

What's even better is that the Knitter's Edge opened in Bethlehem, PA and they have a large number of classes, a wonderful selection of yarn, and great atmosphere. Every Friday, we knit from 10 AM ish to Noon in the classroom and then we escape to the sofas to enjoy the beautiful bow window and get to see all that is happening in the shop. Here are some pictures:

Lois May 09

Lois knitting for her granddaughter

Sharon May 09

Sharon knitting a prayer shawl for a friend.

Darcy May 09

Darcy looking through the many pattern books they carry

Diana and Cindy May 09

Cindy watching what Diana is unpacking for the store

It's hard to resist buying more yarn when we escape to the sofa's. As you can see, I bought some baby yarn to make hats. The one skein is Sidar Snuggly Kisses and other other skein is Jeannee.

Baby Yarn - The Knitters Edge

I also got Plymouth Ecco Cashmere yarn to make a lace shawl.

Plymouth Earth - Ecco Cashmere

Can't wait for Friday to get here so I can see all of my knitting friends.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Socks and Sock Club Yarn

Well, I really got my sock knitting mojo back. I finished another pair of socks. I am calling them Circus socks because they are so colorful. I used Meilenweit Multieffekt yarn in color 3123 with a size 2 needle and a basic sock pattern. I really like this sock yarn and I'm sad that they discontinued it; however, when I was sifting through my stash, I found more of it in the same colorway and another colorway that I used before. I'm so glad I bought extra.

I enjoyed knitting these socks with the Signature double pointed needles. I cannot say enough good things about these needles. I even bought more sizes. They are wonderful and make knitting fly!

Circus Socks

I am so back to sock knitting that I picked out several skeins of sock yarn from my stash that I wanted to knit up next. I haven't tried Sundara sock yarn yet, so I cast on for a pair of basic socks using size 2 needles in the prickly pear colorway. I like the color and the yarn is wonderful to work with. I am glad that I have more of Sundara's yarn.

Sundara Sock - Prickly Pear

I really need to finish my malabrigo socks, but they are on two circular needles. I am about ready to do the heel so I don't have much to finish after that.
It was like Christmas this week. I got two sock club shipments. The first was from the Loopy Ewe. It was a wonderful package. I got a tote bag, pen, Dye Dreams Luster Sox in the Shades of Emerald Colorway and a sock pattern.

Loopy Ewe Sock Club - May 09

I also got my May shipment from the Color Co-op Sock club by the Unique sheep. I recieved a skein of The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveler sock yarn in the Goa colorway and a sock keeper. I love the Sanguine Gryphon's sock yarn.

Color Coop - May 09

It's been a lousy weekend. We had a lot of rain late yesterday and today is dreary and cool. I hope next weekend is better. But, I guess this weather makes it a good weekend to knit.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Why won't some knitter's share?

I finally finished my first sock of 2009. I was beginning to think that I lost the desire to knit socks. I had started these on double pointed needles and I believe that even though I don't mind knitting socks on 2 circular needles, I like double pointed needles better. It takes too long to get the satisfaction of a finished sock when you knit two together. I start to lose interest in knitting them. Yes, I know some people have trouble with the second sock syndrome when knitting one sock at a time on double pointed needles, but I get more excited to knit the second sock because one sock is finished and I only have to knit one more. The second sock seems to knit up faster for me. I won't give up the circulars completely, but I love my double pointed needles the best.

These are a basic sock pattern using Yarn Chef's Bouillabaisse yarn in Moldy Jack O Lantern's colorway with size 1 1/2 needles. I really like the stripping on these socks.

Yarn Chef - Moldy Jack O Lantern's

I have a pair of Malabrigo socks on circular needles. I am close to turning the heel, so I really need to finish those up, but I couldn't resist starting another pair on double pointed needles using the Signature double points. These are really nice needles. I am using size 2 needles with Meilenweit Multieffekt yarn in color 3123 using a basic sock pattern. I like the yarn. My Easter socks were also the same yarn but a different colorway. Check the striping on these socks.

Meilenweit 3123

I finished another dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth Group KAL. The pattern is Daisy by Lindy and I used size 6 needles (Signature) with Peaches and Creme in Lemon. This was a cute pattern.

May 2009 KAL - Daisy

Now I have to get on my soap box. Knitters are great people - most of the time. I say most of the time, because I have run into knitter's who don't like to share what yarn they used or where they got a pattern. I have a huge stash and many patterns, but if I use a particular yarn or a pattern I know what kind of yarn I used and what the pattern was. Here are some examples where I found where knitter's don't like to share.

1. I saw a really neat pair of socks online and had to have the yarn. I contacted the person who posted the picture and she thought the sock yarn was Mountain Colors. I searched through Mountain colors yarn and bought what I thought was the yarn (it's in my stash). A couple of years later, I was looking through pictures and patterns I had printed out and found the sock I loved so much. Guess what? It wasn't Mountain colors. When I saw the picture again, I realized that it was Socks That Rock Fire on the Mountain and I had bought the yarn and made socks out of it. Now, just remember that I knit these socks over two years ago and I didn't have to look up the name of the color or who made the yarn.

2. I was at knitting class one day and a knitter was looking at yarn. She was wearing a short shawlette and we all complimented her on how nice it was. We asked her what the pattern was and she didn't know. I can't believe she didn't know. When you knit something, it's hard not to remember what pattern you used. You may not remember where you got the pattern, but you remember the pattern (especially if you liked it and wore the finished product).

3. At knitting class, I saw a small purse on the counter. It looked like a pattern I saw online. A friend and I were looking at it and the teacher who was having a class on this purse told us that she made the purse and had a class for it. She told us it was called the bubble bag and it was in a Knitter's magazine. I searched Ravelry, the Internet and Knitters for the pattern and could not find anything that looked like the bag. Then, I got smart and remembered who I thought designed the pattern. It is called the dumpling bag and the pattern was published in Interweave Knits. I figure that the teacher did not want anyone to know where to get the pattern, so you had to sign up for her class. That is terrible! She purposely renamed the pattern and threw us off on what magazine the pattern was published in.

I am not advocating giving out patterns for free, but I can't understand why some knitter's can't let you know the name of a pattern or yarn so you can buy it. Even if someone knits the same pattern, it could look different because someone else knit it and used a different yarn. What happened to sharing? If someone asks me about a pattern or yarn, I feel it's a compliment to me because they liked what I was knitting. Why won't some knitter's share?