Lunchtime Errand

I made a quick lunchtime trip to a yarn store not too far from work. The store is called the Slipt Stitch and is located right in downtown El Segundo which is about a 5 minute drive from the office. I’ve been wanting to get some longer size 5 circular needles to have on hand for my work on the Leaf Lace Shawl that I started recently.

I have been curious about this store in general, since I’ve seen it referred to now and again as a nicely stocked yarn store.The Slipt Stitch is probably my best bet to find knitting supplies without having to travel very far. I bought two size 5 circular needles, one 32″ and one 42″ long. These should be more than enough to knit a large shawl comfortably. The Addi turbos are supposed to be the cadillac of lace knitting needles!

The store was very nice, full of books, yarn and all sorts of knitting supplies. It is a small shop, but still has room for a few tables and chairs in the front section. I’m sure that for local knitters this must be a fun place to come and knit and chat with the people who run the store.

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Saturday

Weighed in at 150.6 this morning! I think my efforts at logging every single calorie I eat is beginning to work. :-)

I ran a few errands today. I needed to get size 5 circulars in a longer length, I only have a 16 ” one. That is okay for starting the Leaf Lace Shawl, but will get crowded when I get further into the project. By the way, this is what the shawl looks like now. Isn’t it a lovely color? I think it is called plum.

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I also need to get more row counters. With so many knitting projects going at once, I need more counters to keep my count on separate projects.

I stopped by first at Salvation Army to drop off the bag of give away clothes that I have been accumulating. While I was there it occurred to me to see if they had any yarn. I found a large plastic zippered bag crammed with yarn for only $10. I grabbed it, went up the counter to pay and was thrilled when the woman charged me only $5. She said that today they had a half off sale on everything. It made my day. The yarn is not high quality stuff. Mostly it is acrylic yarn of the kind sold in Joann’s and Walmart, but most of the colors are great and there is a lot of it. It will be nice to have more scrap yarn, possibly to make more afghans. I made a big addition to my stash at only pennies a skein, my bargain-shopping urges have been well rewarded today. :-)

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Next I stopped at Michaels but didn’t find either the needles or counters I wanted. I left the store and started wandering toward Ross which I haven’t been to in a while. But before I got there I decided to duck into a store I’ve never been in. It’s called G Stage and mostly sells clothes for young girls, which is why it never interested me. But I spotted some bright summer blouses in the window and decided to go in and check it out. Close up I didn’t like the blouses I saw in the window, but I found a great deal in fresh summer hued T-shirts. They were extremely inexpensive and the quality didn’t strike me as too bad. I loaded up. Powder wasn’t impressed, but aren’t they colorful?

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Leaf Lace Shawl and Yarn Delivery

I finally made a start on the Leaf Lace Shawl tonight. I’ve had the pattern from Fiber Trends and the yarn from Elann sitting around for many months now. I already made a practice shawl, so it was time to start on the real McCoy.

I’m using this chart reading tool that I bought at KnitPicks the other day.

It looks like the cover of a notebook, but it is really two metal pages covered in black jaquard fabric. It comes with 4 magnetic little bars that you can use to secure your chart to the cover boards. It has little straps with snaps that either keep it closed or set up like a little easel.

Here it is, being very helpful in marking my spot in the Leaf Lace Shawl chart.

Last Thursday I came home to find that another order from Elann Yarns had arrived.

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This is a selection of yarns I bought to make another afghan from one of my yarn books. The Elann online yarn store as a great source of good quality wool yarn at very reasonable prices.

Another Book

The weather is getting warmer this week. I can tell when we get home after work because my first impulse is to open all the windows to get the air circulating in the hot house. Pretty soon we will start having to program the air conditioner to cool the house for us.

I got another book today! When I look back at my entries, it seems I get them very often. It’s true, but I don’t think I’m out of control, not yet at least. I love each and everyone of them. Well, maybe not the technical books, but all the others yes! Hopefully we won’t be driven out of house and home anytime soon by the ton of books both Marty and I keep accumulating. I think we still have plenty of room for them. If ever we run out of shelf space, we would just have to winnow out the old stuff to make room for the new. :-)

This is what I received.

It has some of the most gorgeous knitting designs I have ever seen. Maybe I just have a weakness for the exuberant use of color, but the knitted pieces in this book all seem amazingly beautiful to me.

Here are just some of the designs:

I want to make every single one of these. Of course first I have to learn how to do stranded knitting. I think my first project will have to be less challenging than any of these pieces, but that is where I am heading.

Talking about less challenging knitting projects, I started work on this little thing.

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It is going to be a potholder. I made a few changes to a pattern in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter Almanac that I got last week and started it in some orange cotton yarn I had in my stash. I like the patterns for dishcloths and potholders that I’ve seen in different books, but have always thought that they weren’t really very practical. I never use dishcloths and the potholders seemed too insubstantial. This pattern on the other hand calls for a knitted trim around a double knitted center body. I thought it would make a very usable and practical potholder, aside from being pretty and cheerful in the orange color.

So far it looks good. The double thickness in the worsted weight cotton yarn seems like it will provide plenty of insulation for handling hot pots and the like. If this works out, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for quick and fun little projects.

Weekend Organization

I spent the morning organizing my knitting boxes and planning my next little projects. I dug out the Cascade afghan to see what needs to be done and to refresh my memory on the pattern instructions. This is a crochet project and I had to remember what the crochet terms were for the stitches used.

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I’m not really sure why I stopped working on this one since it is more than halfway done. I think it’s because I’m running out of some of the colors and I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Should I buy more skein of the colors I need or just substitute other colors from my scrap yarn pile?

I”m tempted to buy more yarn in the right color, but that kind of defeats the purpose of calling this a scrap yarn afghan. You are supposed to use up all your scrap yarn making this thing. Oh well, I’ll decide when I really run out of yarn.

I organized my chairside knitting box. I tend to accumulate all sorts of things in here that don’t really belong. I also took out all my circular needles and inventoried them. I now know exactly what sizes and lengths I have.

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These two were my latest acquisitions. I ordered two extra long circular needles in sizes 8 and 4. They will make knitting my current sweater project a little easier.

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Later Marty caught a picture of me working on the afghan.

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Knitting Progress

I am done with the Congenial Afghan. I have just a few more ends to weave in and then I’ll be finished. It turned out very nicely. This is the first time I used a double strand and such large needles. It certainly makes a difference in how fast it can knit up. Since the yarn is acrylic I really don’t even have to block it. As soon as it’s completely finished I will add it to our collection of afghans draped over the quilt rack in the living room for use on a chilly night.

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I’m still working on the back piece of this little number.

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I will be working on this for a long while yet. The yarn is very fine and it takes a lot of knitting to progress a few inches. Still I look forward to working on it. Since the Congenial afghan is out of my hair I went looking to see which other of my ongoing projects I could resurrect and finish. I found this one.

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I started this top-down sweater sometime around February of last year. I remember I had a few problems trying to figure out how to increase stitches while doing a seed stitch pattern for the main body. When I couldn’t figure it out easily, I put it away. Now that I examine it , it doesn’t seem like such a hard problem. It took me a while to figure out where I was in the pattern ( I need to learn to keep notes when I knit), but I soon was knitting along happily on it.

I’ve already made a trial sweater out of this pattern a few years ago.

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It was the first sweater I ever knit. I wear it in the house once in a while when it gets chilly. It was a good learning experience but the finished product is kind of ugly because I used some cheap rather unattractive yarn. I started my new version in some nicer yarn. I added the solid color detailing at the neck, which will be at the cuffs also. And I’m using a seed stitch instead of a plain stockinette stitch on the main body. I love the bright colors in this yarn. I’m sure I will like the new one much better.

Vintage Books

I got one of my eBay purchases all the way from Australia today. It’s a vintage fair isle knitting pamphlet. The format is a little smaller than it seemed in the auction picture but I’m pleased with it. It has lots of pretty sweater designs. I would only make a few as illustrated, but I would like to try patterns and styles from a number of them.

In other things, I’ve been trying to get my sewing room in shape again to do some work in there. Yesterday I cleaned up a bit and today I cleaned and oiled my 20U33 Singer machine. It was way overdue for a good oiling. I know I have neglected it and I was sure some of the problems I was having with it lately were probably due to it needing maintenance. I unscrewed the top and face plate on the machine and oiled everything that moved. I saturated an oil pad that was bone dry with oil. I also removed the drive belt so that I could lift the machine up and oil the undercarriage mechanisms.

I think I did a good job. Once it was all back together I did some test sewing. It felt and sounded smooth and quiet, much better than before.

I also finally got rid of the ancient clamping light that I’ve had here for so long. It stopped working and I replaced it with this black adjustable clamp light that I used to have at work. It works great. So I’m all set to start working on my sewing projects again.

Memorial Day Weekend Knitting

This is what I have been knitting on again.

It’s one of my on-going projects. The Congenial Afghan is almost done, but it bored me a bit so I switched to the sweater. I’m working on the back piece right now. I’m using a fingering weight yarn in light blue that my MIL gave me years ago. I’m glad to finally be putting it to good use. This is an old pattern out of the 1955 McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft book I bought on ebay last year. Like so many of the old patterns the sizing is geared toward very small sizes. I used the largest size available in the instructions. I’m hoping it will fit me. Here’s what I have so far.

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I’ve been knitting on the Congenial Afghan again. I started this project over a year ago and then kind of lost interest. But now I’m very close to finishing. It’s the relaxing type of knitting project, very repetitive, so you can watch TV at the same time. It will be a nice afghan to add to our collection.

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I bid and won one more ebay auction tonight. I had seen this item before and missed a chance to bid. It’s a vintage knitting book on fair isle sweaters. I saw it go up for auction again a few days ago and decided to try and win it. I put in a bid tonight and sometime during the night the I won it. For just $8.90 I get this fair isle knitting book, all the way from Australia.

That’s it for ebay. I won’t even go browsing there anymore. It’s addictive.

Knitting Books

I received some books I ordered from Amazon which included this one.

I have lots of knitting books and I know I will never knit most of the things from them, but I love looking at them.

Late this evening I was keeping tabs on an ebay auction that was offering a Vintage 1940s Knitting Pattern Book of JACK FROST Sweaters for sale. I have lately been perusing these auctions of vintage knitting patterns and have bought a couple. I was able to swoop in at the last minute and win this auction for $11.89, which included shipping and handling. This is the book I won.

It has dozens of patterns for beautiful sweaters, twin sets, cardigans and boleros. I especially like this set, which I truly intend to try to knit for myself.