Sunday, March 28, 2010


When was the last time I sat down and watched a television program? Normally, I hear far more than I see. Knitting gives me an excuse to sit down and listen to the programs.

The only programs that really capture my attention are a couple of Britcoms. One of them stars Nicholas Lyndhurst as a home remodeler, can't think of the name. The other is As Time Goes By, which usually has my full attention, especially the outdoor scenes. I'm convinced the home the couple lives in is in Bayswater, and that I have actually walked several times along that street.

Tonight as I watched I was trying to unravel a knitting project I've decided is not working. It was knit with double yarn, which made the unraveling all the more difficult. The garment is an assymetrical shawl type thing. I keep going back to the knitshop to look at a model on display.

Shirley, who works at the shop, has finished the same garment, and helped me get started. Today I remarked to her that the garment on display is not the same garment in the instruction booklet. She responded, almost like we were sharing a secret, that she had discovered the same discrepancy. Further, she was not satisfied and was considering unravelling all of hers and starting over.

I had only gotten about half of the first panel done before deciding to unravel and start over. And I had figured out the pattern. Now, there's something that takes my full concentration, can't allow myself to be distracted by television.

What I did learn is that I shouldn't be knitting when I should be purling.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Bamboo needles wear out. I should have been prepared. I bought my first pair very reluctantly, thinking that the shafts would not be sturdy enough, and they soon became my favorites. Metal knitting needles have become my absolutely, avoided-whenever-possible, last choice, and plastic needles are hardly any better.

Sadly, I've now discovered, the points will eventually show some wear. The erosion is visible, as the points are now misshapen, but even worse, the new irregular shape creates an inaudible click at every stitch. ("Inaudible click" might be an oxymoron, but you knitters know what I mean.)

On a website about recycling I once read that any clever person could find a new use for the chopsticks they received at an oriental restaurant by converting them into knitting needles. Shaping the points was the hardest part, it was admitted, and the resulting needles might be a tad shorter, but after all, the motivation was recycling, not knitting.

The next question is, how does one recycle used bamboo knitting needles? Put them aside for the moment. Sooner or later someone, perhaps a child, will express an interest in learning to knit. Start them out with the the less-than-perfect bamboo needles, but point out that they will want to get a new pair of their own as soon as they get the hang of the craft.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


All you knitters know what uncooperative yarn is -- it's a curse and an abomination. If it's goat yarn, you could blame the source. Or camel yarn -- I had some of that yarn one time. But acrylic stuff? I've used other yarns of this brand before, and had no trouble, but this particular skein has been a trouble-maker from the start. Non-knitters never seem to understand knitting from the inside out, where you pull the yarn from the center of the skein. Some manufacturers make it easy to find that inside end of the skein, others like to turn it into a game of hide-and-seek. This elusive end didn't reveal itself until I had pulled out nearly half of the yarn from the center. Your immediate goal becomes knitting up all those loose strands until you reach that satisfying moment when you can neatly pull the yarn from the center. I had almost finished the hat before I reached that point.

I expected smooth going, uninterrupted ease. But no way. That stubborn skein still refused to let go of its yarn. Every little tug to get enough length to continue knitting met with fierce resistence. I'm three-quarters through the skein now -- how long will it continue to fight me back?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It's amazing how much knitting I can finish while sitting in front of my computer screen. And I'm not just looking up new knitting patterns.

Just got my computer back from the repair shop, but drat, it's no faster than it was before. Still takes an incredible amount of time to switch to the next screen.

While I wait, I'm churning out hats in several sizes, some blue baby caps, and some red and blue (think KU) and mixed purple (think K-State) hats for both kids and adults. Not to mention the old tried and true ankle warmers, legwarmers, boot toppers.

We are facing changes in the way television, telephone, and internet services are provided for this household. If the speed is improved, it sure will eat into my knitting time.