The Knitting Lesson

The Knitting Lesson

I love spending time with my granddaughters. Finn, a freshman at Cornell University, lives 3000 miles away and I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I did when she was younger. Oh, my, do I miss her! But Gabriella, 7and 3/4 as she says, lives just 20 miles away and I see her often.

This week I spent a day with her and the morning was filled with games, conversation, lunch –

Lunch on the Deck
Lunch on the Deck

and play time in her “tree house” while I knit on the deck.

The Tree House
The Tree House

A play date with her friend highlighted the afternoon. They usually play on their own and I get lots of knitting time, but this day they couldn’t decide what to play and everything seemed to involve me — tag, hide and seek, dodge the Groovy Dolls (variation of dodgeball!). By 3:00 PM I was exhausted! So out of desperation I said, ” Hey, Girls, would you like to do some knitting?” After a resounding “YES!” Gabriella found her knitting box on the top shelf where it has resided since late winter and we set about the task. Her friend, Chelsea, had never knit before so I started her out with a bit of yarn and some needles. Gabriella is working on a knit stitch blanket for her doll and Chelsea decided on a knit stitch dish cloth. They diligently worked on their projects and I spent time coaching and fixing dropped stitches, accidental yarn overs, and wonky-looking errors! We had a great time and I promised another lesson soon! Bring on the Purl!

The Knitting Lesson
The Knitting Lesson
Mara Shawl

Done…Done…and Done!!!

Sometimes it seems like you knit forever without your WIP becoming FO. Then all of a sudden BAM! That’s exactly how this week turned out!

First off the needles, my Seahawks Corkscrew Hat, a result of the Mystery Hat KAL with Michele Hunter (LOVE her patterns!). I learned so many knitting techniques working on this one.

Seahawks Corkscrew Hat
Seahawks Corkscrew Hat

Next FO was my Mara Shawl — made with Noro Garden Lite that I bought at last year’s Stash Sale at Apple Yarns. I was determined to complete it before this year’s sale, and I made it! The first time Mona (one of my Tuesday/Thursday Knit Group friends) saw this shawl, she spit on it!

Actually, she forgot to bring her knitting to the group and volunteered to work on my shawl while I worked on a pair of socks. When it came time to add a new skein, she asked if I wanted to use a spit join. I said yes, so she did!

Mara Shawl
Mara Shawl

Lastly, but certainly not least, I completed my Ridge Stitch Sweater. I originally wanted to complete this by June 1st in order to wear it to my granddaughter’s graduation, but I missed that deadline by a mile! I already told you about my problems with setting in the sleeves in my Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot blog, and I dreaded picking up the stitches for the neck. But I think it turned out well and there is still some summer left to wear it!

Ridge Stitch White Cotton Sweater
Ridge Stitch White Cotton Sweater

Since I almost always have at least 3 WIP’s, my dilemma today is deciding what to add to the two projects already on the needles: Jean’s Socks and The Couch Potato’s Blanket (yes, it is officially out of hibernation!)

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. If I had a dollar for every time I said those words while working on sewing in the sleeves of my Ridge Stitch Pullover, I’d be a rich woman. This isn’t my first sweater. I’ve knit six sweaters before this one, but this sweater is the first one with set-in sleeves! Since I hadn’t done this before, I consulted several knitting reference books, but they talked mostly about easing in and pinning the sleeve to the body of the sweater. Then they said, “Sew in the sleeve.” Period! So I thought, “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! I’ll just whip it in!”

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! It looked so bad I didn’t even take a photo of the mess. So I consulted with my “Brain Trust,” AKA, the knit group. To the person they said,” Use the Mattress Stitch!” Well, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! I thought that was just for flat seams. So I ripped out the whip stitches (no easy task) and pinned in the first sleeve again.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! I pinned the damn sleeve to the neckline — no wonder it didn’t fit! Finally, with pins in the right places, I threaded my needle to begin the Mattress Stitch.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! The stitches on one piece are vertical and on the other, horizontal! Now what do I do?? So I googled “knitting video sleeve sewing” and found umpteen million videos. I randomly picked a good one by Paton Yarns. I’ve never knit with their yarns, but their video was great! I watched it twice — two bars, one stitch — back and forth. So I started in with renewed energy!

Two Bars, One Stitch
Two Bars, One Stitch

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! Where the hell did those two little bars go? Sometimes they’re hard to find!

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! The next stitch in line disappeared into the decrease!

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! My rough hangnail caught in the cotton yarn! Damn! The well-manicured woman in the video never had that problem! I think I’ll make an appointment for a manicure next week at Happy Nails!

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! Just how much tension can you put on Cascade’s Ultra Pima when you “snug up” the stitches before it snaps?

 

Sleeve with Mattress Stitch
Sleeve with Mattress Stitch

DONE! Well, almost. Now I have to pick up 98 stitches at the neck edge and knit 4 rounds of K1,P1 ribbing…and weave in all those Foxtroting ends!  I just want this project to be DONE!

Neck Ribbing and End Weaving To Go!
Neck Ribbing and End Weaving To Go!

WTF, I think I’ll go knit a few rounds on my sock to calm down.