Friday, April 28, 2006

Darn it....

OK, so I now value and realize the importance of checking gauge. I had to restart the back of the sweater three times and I finished the back on Monday. Let me tell you how horribly wrong this went. First of all, it is six inches longer than it should be. To top it off I still don’t know if I have gotten the short rows done properly. Here are some pictures of the back. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

On a positive note the yarn is knitting up beautifully and I can not wait to frog this back and start over again after making a few gauge swatches. In the mean time I am working on a purse from the original Stitch and Bitch book. This project is going great and I even bought new circular needles to make it easier on my hands. Metal circulars just hurt! I get rough spots and calluses when I use metal needles. They also make me feel like a knitting thimble would not be a bad idea…. Happy knitting to all.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

current project

So here is what I am working on right now. i am not using the Dale of Norway yarn that the pattern calls for and I think I may change the pattern for the sleeves. I am using musique by crystal palace yarn in monet(9785).
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Pick Up The Sticks

This is an essay that I had to write for one of my classes.

Pick up the Sticks
There are many skills that people should have. I think that knitting is an excellent one. Knitting is a skill that allows a person to connect with the past, socialize with others, expand their horizons, utilize one’s creativity, make new clothing and accessories, and receive health benefits all at the same time.
According to Macdonald (1988) knitting has been around since the 14th Century. Knitting was mainly a way to make socks and stockings and evolved to include garments and other accessories. While “men were also the first to knit for an occupation” (Macdonald, 1988, History of Knitting, ¶ 6) the craft quickly spread to women. Many families have passed knitting down from generation to generation. Even people who learn to knit from other’s find that knitting is a way to reconnect to the family bond that some may feel is missing in today’s society. Many people view knitting in this and previous eras as a women’s craft. With knitting being represented in this fashion, knitting is a fantastic way to bond with other women and for men to meet women.
Stitch and Bitches
There are groups all over the world that meet together and knit, most of these are known as “Stitch and Bitches”. For someone who knits or is wanting to learn these groups are a great resources. Most Stitch and Bitches’ meet at a local coffee shop and give the group members a chance to ask for help with a particular pattern, get inspiration from fellow knitters, and a chance to find encouragement from others. Stitch and Bitches are also great for people moving to a new area; one get a chances to meet new people that one may already have something in common with. Websites like lists groups by state and country. Many at these groups are also more than willing to teach their craft to those wishing to learn how to knit. One will also be amazed at the number of conversations with random strangers that can be started by knitting in public.
Learning to Knit
Learning how to knit does not mean that someone has to go to a Stitch & Bitch and beseech another to teach you. There are many books on the subject, searching for knitting on pulls up over 4,500 results. Not all books are the same and it does pay off to read reviews or ask someone who knits for his or hers recommendations on a knitting book. I personally recommend Sally Melville’s “The Knit Stitch” for any first timers. There are also web sites that can help you learn to knit, the ones that I have found the most helpful are and Both are excellent resources for beginners and knitters who are in a fix mid-project. Lion Brand Yarn’s website also has a ton of free projects and has an index of free patterns that can be found online.
Get Healthy
There is something more to be gained from knitting than just finishing a project. Knitting has health benefits that include relieving stress, increased hand and mind coordination , increased concentration, can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, be aid in the battle to give up smoking, and can help one to loose weight. Some people even go so far as to call knitting the “new yoga”. It is wonderful knowing that all you need to do benefit from all this wellbeing be offered is pick up a pair of knitting needles and a ball off yarn and go to town.
Be Creative
With people’s hectic life styles today sometimes it is hard to find ways to let your creative juices flow. Knitting allows the knitter to be as creative as they want to be. There is a plethora of colors and fibers to choose from, and once you have mastered the basic stitches of knitting and purling your imagination is the limit. There are hundreds of different stitch patterns and millions of different patterns for everything from socks to slip covers for furniture. All it takes is a trip to the local yarn store or even WalMart. All you need is a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. Knitting is not only a great way to express yourself, but also can be a budget conscious way of gift giving.
Life Lessons
All in all knitting has many benefits. The best one being that the knitter is doing something that is good for them. With anything you do there are some draw backs knitting is not the exception. After hours upon hours of working on sweater you may realize that it is not going to fit properly. Sometimes you have pull all of your work apart and start over. Even this, a knitters’ worst nightmare, does have benefits. It is another way to learn some life lessons about when things do not always go the way you have planned. In life you can not just give up, you have to look on the bright side pick up your chips (yarn) and start over. A lesson all need to be reminded of sometimes.

Broadbent, Lucy. (2005, June 18). Teenagers in stitches. The Times. Retrieved March 30, 2006 from and,,8123-1657093_1,00.html
Guthrie, Doug. (2005, March 25). Knitting fad doesn’t discriminate More Detroit-area men and boys count stitches for health reasons and for fun. The Detroit News. Retrieved March 29, 2006 form,DELA:2006-03,DELA:en&q=health+benefits+from+knitting
Macdonald, Anne L. (1988). History of Knitting from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Recovered from Google March 29, 2006
(K. Petersen-Sikes, personal communication, March 29, 2006).