Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today the sky is bluer...

Today the sky is bluer then it's been all week. It's been so gray and cold that May in NYC has felt more like March in Maine then the dawning of summer anywhere. But today the weather is warm and balmy and the sky is blue! It's as blue as the socks Susie (aka Knitting Knoobie) has just finished knitting.

Speaking of socks ... I'm almost finished with my first pair of Cookie A socks from Sock Innovation. When I saw the book I decided that the Glynis sock would be the first pair I knit from this fabulous sock book. It also happens to be the first pair of socks in the book. I did these on dpns and the first flew because I just could not put it down. This is a great book; it really dissects socks so a new-ish sock knitter (such as myself) can really understand the components and how they all work together. I used size US 2 dpns and lightweight Socks that Rock yarn I purchased at the NYS Wool and Sheep Festival last year. I knew these puppies would be special and I wanted to use special yarn for them.

The second pair of socks I knit from the book are the last ones in the book, Kai-mei, and they are just as cute. The pattern was a little intimidating at first glace so I worked to the heel flap and froze. Good thing I had Glynis to go back to. This gray week I decided to face my fears and wrap my head aroung the foot of this sock. Whew! It was so much easier then I thought it would be! And now I'm at the toe. These are going to be a present for my sister-in-funlaw, Dawn. She's so cute, these will be great on her. I did modify things slightly - I used heavier yarn (by Cherry Tree Hill) and US size 2 dpns. On the pattern I cast on 60 instead of 66 to make up for the yarn and needle size, I also added a row of knit stitches to the motif pattern. I wanted a little more sock there. She rides a motorcycle and these might get worn under her bike boots (little bad ass that she is!). These are so cute that I am so making another pair for myself.

Not speaking of socks ... I finished a Baby Surprise Jacket out of LionBrand Superwash Wool. Yes the photo is color correct - it is black with red stripes. Who says babies always have to wear pastels? Not I! I used US Size 3 needles. This came out so small that it will have to be for a newborn. The next baby born in the family gets it - maybe! I am planning on making a few more; one with the same LionBrand yarn in green and gold and another with some heavier weight Socks that Rock yarn. Both will be done on larger needles. Don't get any ideas - I am not expecting. There are a couple of family siblings that are still popping them out though. I'm also thinking that if my son waits until he's the age I was when I had him to have children I might not be able to knit anything in a finer gauge anymore so I better do it now. Besides they are fun, work up quickly and it's very gratifying to see a sweater finished in a week or two.

Maybe I'll cast the next one on with Susie and we'll try a knit along. Susie and I usually go knitting every week, at least once sometimes twice. Between Memorial Day, colds and cold weather we missed last week so I am really looking forward to this week. Nothing like knitting with a fun friend fellow knitter! (Say that 3 times - fast or slow)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It Begins

My first blog post - my first blog! I'm excited and scarred all at the same time.

I knit & purl through the back loop and wanted to have a blog that looks at knitting "thru the back loop" (amoung other things). Some call this style of knitting Eastern, some call it Russian, I call it "how I knit". I do have to give a holla out to Annie Modesitt (Knitting Heretic) who inspired me to find my own way and reminded this grown woman that there is no wrong way to knit and to Susie Gaughan (Knitting Knoobie) my knit partner in yarn.
This all started when a fellow PTA mom asked me to help her teach a needle arts club class to MS & HS students. It was a lot of fun and renewed my interest in knitting. I liked it so much I knew I wanted to knit on a more then one project a year level. I was also thinking about teaching knitting after this class was over.
After a little web searching I found the Master Knitters Course and The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA). So I signed up for the course thinking 'level one should be easy'. Yeah right! Questions were asked that really made me analyze every individual component of my knitting mechanics. When I took a good look at my stitches I found that I was twisting my purl stitches. Oh no could it be?! I went to an Aran sweater I had knit 15 years earlier and looked, yes it was true --- all my purl stitches were twisted. Can you believe it took me over 20 years to notice?!
I discovered that there are many different ways to knit and found the one was the most comfortable for me. I've always knit through the back loop and caught my stitches continental style holding the yarn in my left hand. Then I would purl through the front of the loop and wound up twisting the stitches. I wanted to make untwisted purls! I tried wrapping differently so I could purl through the front but that didn't feel right. I searched the web and old books (gotta love the public library); I found Eastern or Russian style - purls through the back loop.
Knitting this way is different but like everything else in my life - I just gotta go with the flow.