Monday, January 30, 2012

In which Kat amazes, as usual

I was prepared to write a post about how there really hadn't been any new knitters at SnB this semester, but that was probably to be expected since we changed nights and I hadn't bothered to hang up the new posters (which I have leftover from several semesters ago- score!).

But then something remarkable happened. When I arrived at SnB last Wednesday, there were six new faces. Six. I was gobsmacked (Britishinformal. Get on my level). Of course, as fate would have it, I left the beginner materials at home and promptly had to run back for them (I walked once I had the needles in hand. The axe scene in Where the Red Fern Grows taught me to never run with anything remotely pointy). Four of the newcomers were experienced knitter/crocheters and Katherine II was teaching one of the new faces to crochet so I sat by Jordan IV (yes this really did happen, four Jordans in SnB's history) to teach her some knitting basics. 

We're getting big again!

The rest of the time I found myself being easily distracted by other group members

Kat is working on a slew of hand-beaded flowers for her sister's prom dress. Oh the patience she has. 

She's also wrote a pattern so her friend could replicate a pair of mitts. 

Purchased pair on right. 
Kat is taking a flat patterning course this semester (I hope I got that right. Sewing terms are foreign to me). She brought in her magical "body block" to show us. The intricacies of sewing are beyond me. 

I'm pretty sure she doesn't sleep. 

I've been working diligently on my stole and can proudly report that it is over halfway finished. It is now a bit too large to take a picture of the whole thing with any ease. Success! The pattern (Guernsey Wrap from Brooklyn Tweed) is quite addictive and I foresee the last half of this baby flying off the needles.

Will you just look at that texture!

In celebration, last night I spent two hours yarn shopping online. It should be no surprise that it took me this long, considering that online yarn purchasing involves pattern consultation, reading yarn reviews, texting future gift recipients about color preferences, and wondering if the color on the screen with look anything like the yarn in person. It's a miracle I ordered anything at all. 

Before I return to stole knitting, I have one last exciting bit of news to share. Christine Bowles stopped by SnB to talk about the Snuggles Project with us. Knitting security blankets for shelter animals in Kirksville- what a great idea! Each animal gets its own personal blanket. They can be either knit or crocheted in the following sizes:
14" x 14"- Small*
24" x 24"- Medium*
36"x 36"- Large

There was a great response to this idea at the meeting (I half expect Mary to show up with 10+ blankets next week). It's a great way to use up scrap yarn as any stitch/color combination is accepted. To donate a blanket to the Kirksville Animal Shelter, email Christine Bowles at

*indicates sizes that are especially needed

Friday, January 13, 2012

The beginning of the end!

Okay, so that title might be a little overdramatic. It is true though. On Wednesday night Stitch 'n Bitch met for the first time this semester. For me, it's the last  first SnB of my college career. But I'll save the sap until May. Before then I still need to hang posters, teach a bunch of people how to knit, and figure out who's going to continue the blog after my graduation. There are several possibilities (I'm still waiting on your guest post Clara! You're nearly 11 so I'm going to treat you like an adult!) but right now I'm going to try to pressure Katharine into it.

Katharine is the quiet, diligent sort of knitter at SnB. If last week is any indication, I'm the sort of knitter that talks so much that I don't get any knitting done.
Knitting diligently, as usual.
And let's be honest, the girl gets stuff done. Katharine may tell you that I taught her how to knit, but in reality I think I showed her the knit and purl stitch a few times. She was the perfect first pupil and has started to surpass her teacher. Take Katharine's latest creation, for example.

Blanket perfection

Notice how in the second picture I appear in a shadow while Katharine is lit brightly. The knitting gods have spoken! In an attempt to get my act together, I just downloaded the stole pattern discussed previously. It's go time.

There were a few other projects completed over break by other knitters.

Katharine II crocheted this little bag. I'm a big fan of the blue.

Madeline knitted her own Wurm. It looked infinitely better than my own. Likely because she actually had the amount of yarn called for.

I'd like to retract the "not cold enough for handknits" comment I made in the last post. One of you blabbed to Kirksville and it brought on the Kirksville winter I know and fear. A recent trip out of the house to see friends began with dumping all of my handknit accessories out on the bed for inspection. 

I have to admit this is a favorite task. I try several combinations and then spend some time admiring the rest. It makes the winter a bit easier to suffer through. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Are you there knitters? It's me, Kaylin.

If you're reading this, I'd like to congratulate you on surviving another holiday season. If you're like me, you barely snuck in the last few knitted gifts in the eleventh hour. And even if you didn't, if the holiday season totally snuck up on you, guess what? You didn't spontaneously combust because your projects weren't finished. Your brother can wait a month for his knitted hat and your whiney child/uncle/cousin/in-law can wait until next year.  It's not even cold enough in the midwest right now for most knitwear.

The problem with rushing to finish so much knitting is that I got burnt out. After the last beret was finished blocking, I had no desire to cast on for anything new, not even the stole I had planned on knitting myself over break (I have this vision of me fighting away a chill in a classy stole. I'm sure the reality of stole wearing is much less glamorous since if it is cold enough to wear a stole, I'd likely be wearing a jacket already. It's a dream, okay?! And clearly I just really like using the word stole!).

Most of my holiday knitting consisted of, no surprise here, hats. I also knitted up a few super simple headbands, modeled by my sister below.

She's a doll, no? Except when she tries to take knitted things that were not meant for her. Though this headband was given to her specifically. Stay away from my hats, Jackie! 

The absolute best thing I made all break had to be this little guy:

He now lives with my friend Cassie, who won him at our White Elephant gift exchange. Besides the obvious adorable factor, I was really proud of myself for whipping one up on the first try without a pattern. This may not have been a daunting task for many knitters, but I'm more of a pattern adaptor than designer. The ability to shrink the little bugger in the dryer to get a better bottle fit helped a lot.

So, clearly, my break knitting peaked on December 18th. Not that I haven't enjoyed some time off. Mostly I spent the time I would have been knitting flipping through knitting magazines, books, and websites. I have a lot of pattern inspiration and, thanks to the holiday season, a small yarn budget to work with. But first, to work on that stole. Which will likely be made using this pattern from Brooklyn Tweed. They call it a wrap. Pffft. We know the truth, friends. We know. I will look "casually sophisticated!" I will! And I will keep it with me until I find optimum temperature conditions in which the stole provides the perfect amount of warmth. I've got sixty or so years. It'll happen.