January 18, 2006


We've had quite the rainy spell: 27 consecutive days of rain. There was so much rain, our street flooded:
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There's a bit of blue sky in the photograph. That's because I took this photo on Sunday, which was the first (and only!) day we had no rain. The water over the roadway was actually much deeper and more dramatic during the previous few days, but I didn't want to walk down in the rain to take a picture of it.

It rained again on Monday, but that didn't stop the Ferals from meeting. We watched as June knitted up the thumb of her glove and presented us with her completed Glove #1 of our knit-along:


June has the good knitter's work ethic, and immediately began casting on for the second glove. (I caught her in mid-sentence in this photo.)



Wendi (above) was working on two matching sweaters for her nieces, using some yarn inherited from her grandmother. Wendi said, very sweetly, that her grandmother "left behind lots of unfinished projects, and I'm sure my mom will, too, and when the time comes, I'm sure I will, too." I loved how sweetly, and matter-of-factly, and totally without any whisper of feeling guilty about it, Wendi was able to say that she has a lot of projects.


Ryan, at left, told us how many projects she finished in 2005, while Diana, at right, tried on June's glove.

Which brought us to the topic of knitting journals. My New Year's resolution to keep a knitting journal is supposed to help me to keep my momentum going on projects so that I can work those projects to completion. You might be wondering whether I've kept the resolution.

I ended 2005 by making a preliminary list of all the projects that are currently on the needles that I want to finish, and projects that I want to start soon. There were 15 items on the list. Hmmmm. 15 items, that's like knitting 1.25 items per month in the coming year. Hmmmm. So that was Step 1, creating this list.

Step 2 was going to the office supply store to look for potential journals. I haven't completely made up my mind as to what format I want. The journal will be more useful if it is not too bulky or heavy to carry in my knitting bag. I went to the office supply store two weeks ago to see what was available; there I found a fancy spiral bound notebook that allows you to interleave dividers into it. But it had only 5 dividers for five subjects. Well, that would mean that I could only include 5 projects, I thought. But that might be okay, that might force me to focus on only 5 projects at a time, get them finished, then move on to the next 5. This thought was immediately followed by the thought that, if I really wanted to work on more than 5 projects at once, all I'd have to do is to buy two notebooks. At the prospect of buying two notebooks I panicked, and fled the store.

In the interim, I've been recording my daily knitting work in the typical kind of spiralbound notebook with ruled paper that students use. It ain't fancy, but it allows me to keep my resolution.

Yesterday, I went to a different office supply store that carries a different selection of products. I found these:

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A 3-ring binder, and dividers for 15 subjects . . . er, projects. This is still in the trial-and-error stages, and has yet to be seen whether is will become too heavy or bulky to be useful.

Back to Ferals's glove knit-along. I had begun working the hand portion of the glove. The pattern would have you knitting the palm side in a sequence of stripes, alternating main color (MC) and contrast color (CC). In my very strong opinion, that's not a very good way to knit Fair Isle, because of the potential the fabric has to buckle when knitted in stripes for any great length. If you carry the CC in your left hand and the MC in your right hand, as I do, the CC stitches come out a little larger and more prominent -- which is very desirable for a stitch pattern. However, if you're knitting stripes, you'll have these columns of slightly more prominent stitches overpowering (and potentially buckling) the columns of slightly less prominent MC stitches. It's just not as pretty as it could be.

So I had made up my mind from the first that I would knit the palm in a checkerboard pattern.


I was happily knitting along, making a checkerboard on the palm, but following the pattern directions for the thumb gusset. I got this far when I realized that the thumb gusset was coming out in stripes, naturally. (At the top left in the photo, you see the checkerboard on the palm, and at the top right, the striped thumb gusset.) I thought it looked really strange, a striped thumb and a checkered palm. So after getting Allegra to take the photo of my glove, above, I ripped back, and will re-work both the palm and the thumb gusset in a checkerboard.

But the glove is on hold for a little while, due to my two newest projects.

The first of these is not one I would have predicted a week ago that I would be knitting:

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It's the Shedir chemo cap from Knitty.com, and I'm using Rowan Calmer out of stash for it. It's for the wife of our accountant, who was diagnosed with cancer last week and had surgery last Thursday. I love this color of Calmer -- it's so soft and feminine. I am thinking healing thoughts for her as I'm knitting it. (The Shedir cap was designed by Jenna Wilson. Click here to read how she designed it.)

My second new project I began during our Ferals meeting last Monday night. It's my entry in our 2-hank Challenge Project to see how much Fair Isle knitting we can get from just two 25-gram hanks of Shetland jumperweight wool. You can see that I chose the Black and Sapphire combination:


What will it be? Stay tuned.

Posted by Karen at January 18, 2006 12:10 PM

Woman, you are being unbelievably productive, I am very impressed. I know it isn't yours, but thanks for the photo of that glove, it is very beautiful. The chemo cap is lovely, and I know it will make the recipient look and feel better. I totally agree with you about fair isle stripes, I avoid them except for steeks. I like the checkerboard that June did with her fingers, that looks great. Journals are tough, finding the perfect one is a life-long process. Deborah likes the Stitch-n-bitch journal, and has been using that very happily.

Posted by: Anne at January 18, 2006 02:46 PM

Thanks for the journal ideas! I'm going out shopping tonight anyway, so I'll look around and see what I like.

Posted by: Jewel at January 19, 2006 08:54 AM

I can never find the perfect journal, either, though I've read of one Melanie Falick put out that has about everything -- just isn't available except by mail order. Love the fair isle! You'll get more than 1 project done a month, honest!

Posted by: Nancy J at January 19, 2006 10:24 AM

To Karen's readers: As someone who's seen it in real life, you should know that the photo of her Fair Isle glove doesn't do it justice! I'm not a big fan of super-bright, over-the-top colors, but the bright green with the small pink accents is turning out to be an amazing use of color.

Posted by: Ryan at January 19, 2006 01:03 PM

the chemo cap will be lovely and soft :-)

Posted by: vanessa at January 20, 2006 04:27 AM

Yep, good ol' liquid sunshine.

Posted by: KnittnChick at January 25, 2006 07:17 AM