Saturday, December 30, 2006

afghans for Afghans

You all know that I've been knitting off and on for this Charity. Right now they are looking for socks and hats for infants for Cure Hospital in Kabul. They deliver about 300 babies a month. Incidentally, CNN had a special on yesterday about the lot of Afghanistan women, a follow up to their original show in which the Taliban executed a woman right in front of everyone. Their lot has gotten better in some spots and some girls are allowed to attend school, but for many women life is just as hard and cruel as it was when the Taliban were in charge. The CNN moderator asked one of the doctors about the condition of the pregnant women as they arrive at the hospital. The physician answered that they tell the husbands that if they had brought their wives in earlier they wouldn't experience the complications they do. So the births at the Kabul hospital are most likely all high-risk births. So here are photos of my contributions to this drive which will be over in February. I've decided that after I finish a pair of adult socks, I will use the rest of the yarn for newborn socks unless, of course, the socks are for my son-in-law; his feet are too big to have any yarn left over. Surprisingly, I found, at first, it more difficult to knit itty-bitty socks than regular sized socks; couldn't quite get my hands to cooperate with something this small. But I think my hands and infant socks have made peace with each other and I will knit some more. Here is the link for the charity:

I have also finished my son-in-laws socks. The extra yarn came in right before Christmas. I couldn't believe my luck; the wholesaler actually had one 50 gram skein left of this discontinued yarn. And here is a picture of the finished socks.

I have only eighteen rows left to knit on the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl. It's about time. I've been knitting on this rectangular shawl way too long.
Finally, I need to re-knit a sleeve for Angie's sweater. Can you believe I ended up with one sleeve longer than the other. I have no idea how I managed to do that, but I did. So within the next couple of days I should have all UFOs turned into FOs, oh except one tiny infant sock and a hat to match.

"Knit On!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stupid Mistakes while showing off, or the saga of a hat...

Can you see the gap?

I've been knitting for about 60 years and, yet, mistakes still happen. In between persevering about what edging to put on what shawl, I decided to knit a simple hat--something on which I did not have to concentrate too much. So while waiting at the auto repair shop for a clamp to be put on my muffler, I merrily cast on, all the while talking to the woman behind the counter. Six rows later, oops. I realized instead of knitting a hat, I was possibly knitting a very small Moebius scarf. Now a twist in your circular knitting is not conducive to making a hat. Had I paid attention, I would either not have twisted the stitches, or I would have been able to fix it at the end of the row, with a little twist and a fix when I was ready to weave in the end of the yarn. No, I had to gab about how long I'd been knitting. Blab, blab, blab. So I ripped out the six rows and started over. Even cast on a few extra stitches since the circumference seemed somewhat small.
Knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two. Oops again. I should have cast on two more stitches, so I could end the row with purl two and smoothly keep knitting in the round. No problem, I told myself, increase two, it'll never show. Still blabbing with the woman, I continued knitting and showing off how I could knit without looking. So far so good. Except...
The other day, I picked up the hat again, while waiting for an appointment. Continuing with knit two, purl two, I discovered another mysterious problem. A weird knit stitch. I had made a mistake unlike any other in the past. I undid the stitch in the previous row and found that it was attached to the purl stitch with a strange loop. So I fudged again, dropped the loop and went on my merry way. Only to come to the same spot on the next round and finding the purl stitch next to the knit one I had just fixed was just as strange. And then it hit me. I must have put my knitting down while waiting to get the muffler fixed (come to think of it, I bought a chocolate chip cookie) and instead of continuing to knit in the round, turned the knitting over and started knitting back.

Does this tale remind you of Aesop's fable about the hare and the turtle? Pride cometh before the fall.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


As a break from knitting complicated shawl patterns, I decided to make some wash/dishcloths. At one time, there was a rather large stash of "Peaches and Cream" cotton in the house. The stash has dwindled significantly over the last few months. Yeah! The small cloth in the middle of the photo is made from two strands of #30 crochet cotton (CroSheen). I rather like the feel and look of it. All the patterns come from

The small dish cloth in the middle of the picture is made from two strands of #10 crochet cotton. I got the idea from one of the knitting lists I am on. My daughter says she likes them much better than the ones knitted with regular cotton yarn. This is also a thank you for doing the dishes so faithfully, Angie. I am so lucky.

Knit On!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Amethyst Shawl

I finally finished the shawl I designed myself. The pattern is an amalgamation of various individual lace stitch patterns. The middle includes the candle flame pattern. Instead of making just the triangle, I went ahead and decreased the patterns in the same manner to make a square. I then added an inner border which was adapted from a pattern from, a website which has a wealth of free, no longer copyrighted, patterns. The owner Sarah Bradberry lives in Australia. She's currently in the process of publishing a revision of her hat book. I encourage you to have a look at her site; it's a treasure trove of information. The edging was taken from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman and is called Ocean Wave. The yarn is Brown Sheep Company's fingering weight merino. All in all, I think the shawl turned out fine. Should I knit it again, I may want to make the center portion a little larger.

"Knit On!"

Friday, December 1, 2006

Another Shawl Finished

The problem with doing an Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi shawl is the edging. 597x2 rows to be exact and grafting together the first and the last rows. But then comes the payoff: The blocking of the shawl and finally seeing the whole picture, and the sum of the parts is always bigger than the parts themselves. I am not a knitter who can plot a series of patterns on a chart and see the whole picture. I need to knit one section, add the next pattern and then see if the two patterns make a pleasing whole. So each shawl is an adventure for me.

The yarn for this shawl was hand spun by my daughter from commercial roving. It is a multi-color teal; I have also made a scarf with a Lithuanian Lilies of the Valley pattern from the same yarn. The shawl started out as a knit-along on the EZasPi yahoo group. Of course, as with all patterns, I had to tinker with it. I made it a true Pi shawl rather than dividing it into four sections at the 288 stitch increase. I also found an edging in a 1983 German knitting magazine (Burda) that I thought would look well with the rest of the shawl. It was originally intended as a lace edging for a handkerchief. So here it is. Seventy inches in diameter.

And now on to the next shawl, finishing the edge on a self-designed shawl and Myrna Stahman's Gracie version of a Faroese shawl.
Knit onward!