velvetpage: (gromit knitting)
'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich --move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"
velvetpage: (Default)
It looks so simple and so complex at the same time - it's the sort of technique that, once you start, you'll be abe to do without thinking about it, but everyone who really looks at what you're doing (who understands knitting even a little bit) will be totally kerflummoxed.

velvetpage: (gromit knitting)
This letter was written by an eighteen-year-old crocheter. I'm impressed with her analysis and her writing skills.

My feeling on the matter: most people don't notice their skills improving over time. It's only if they go back years later and lay out a series of early pieces of progressing difficulty that they can objectively say they've improved. Since some of my earliest crochet projects were Christmas projects, I have the opportunity to do that fairly regularly, and I can say with confidence that I'm a fairly expert crocheter; I doubt there's a pattern I couldn't tackle, and I've made some pretty complicated items (unlike the author of that letter, I HAVE done lace doilies of incredible intricacy.) As for knitting, I'm an experienced but intermediate knitter. I'm sure I could probably figure out any pattern I decided to try, because I've got the basics and the specifics would come from reading the pattern. But there are many techniques I've never tried - I've done almost no colourwork, and my cabling so far has been fairly simple. I rate patterns that are mostly stockinette stitch with a few cables or details as two or three in difficulty, and lace as a four or five because it takes consistent concentration for me.

So, people rate things as three or four that were just slightly pushing their skill level, but not enough to make them drop the project as too difficult. The user rating system reflects the gradual improvement of skills over time, far more than the objective difficulty of a pattern. I'm sure if I knit more lace, I'd start rating it as a three, too; once I master intarsia, it will cease to be worthy of a five rating from me. Elizabeth's rating of a book as "easy" is still far too hard for Claire, and my rating of a book as about right for me puts it still years out of Elizabeth's reach.

It's all relative.
velvetpage: (Default)
Check out today's groupon to a Burlington yarn shop:
velvetpage: (Default)
Check this out. Qiviut, one of the world's most expensive fibres because it's harvested from arctic musk oxen who are in short supply in herds, in a blend with angora, silk, and alpaca, 25 grams for $7.95 USD. Just for comparison's sake, the 90% Qiviut yarn right above it is $150 for 100 grams.

The 25 grams is 200 yards, and it's laceweight, so that's a nice lacy mini-shawl, right there. I might make it into a winter cowl scarf, because there is no warmer fibre on the planet. I bought it in purple. :)
velvetpage: (gromit knitting)
I'm using my Peru 4 Less Mystic Alpaca, that has been sitting in my stash for about three years now, in a sweater that will use up most of it, I think. I've got one sleeve within an inch of done, but there was a problem. On this pattern, row gauge needs to be correct, and mine wasn't - I had an inch and a half more fabric than I should have had for the number of rows I'd knit. So I decided to leave the first sleeve on the cord and knit the second sleeve before doing the body. I love Knit Picks Options needles - I just unscrewed the needles from the cord and attached the needles to a second cord, and off I went, knitting the second sleeve on the same needles.

So I've now got the second sleeve almost to the same point as I left off on the first sleeve. When it's at the same row count, I'll block it and measure it and decide where to go from there. If my gauge is the same, I'll knit the remaining inch I need for each sleeve and then switch to the next size needle down for the body. The gauge is loose enough (lace weight yarn on needles normally used for worsted weight = VERY airy fabric) that it probably won't pucker, and if it does, it's at a spot where many patterns would insert a couple of puckers for effect - the top of the shoulder.

I'm still not sure what I'll do if the gauge isn't the same, though.

Some pics, Right through here! )
velvetpage: (gromit knitting)
I was packing for my music teaching conference that starts tomorrow, and realized that, since I was going to be learning more about teaching music, I should probably take some of the sheet music I've got that I often teach from.

I gathered it up and put it in its binder, and then realized that if I had the binder there, I might want to add more sheet music to it if I was given some. So I added some page protectors to the binder.

I sat down to play the music, and remembered that all the songs in that binder are easy to play on the recorder, and realized that the recorder is one of my best tools for teaching music. So I dug up my wooden recorder and set about looking for a case for it.

Then I realized that the wooden recorder is slightly larger than any of the plastic ones, and their cases don't fit it.

It's two and a half hours later, and I have a case for it half-knit in the round, out of some of the lovely pale teal wool that [ profile] kisekileia sold me, most of which will be made into an afghan.

There's a thread on Ravelry for, "You know you're a knitting dork when. . ." I think I need to update it.
velvetpage: (Default)
Calling all my knitty and mathematically-inclined friends: this website is absolutely fabulous. I want to make all of them but I'd never have enough time.

Pascal's Triangle is in there. They didn't do anywhere near as ambitious a project as I was planning.
velvetpage: (Default)
A friend of mine has a pattern published in this book, which looks really cool. I'm off to order it, to support my budding-author friend as other people supported/are supporting me! (Yes, that was a hint.) If you're into knitting, put it on your Amazon wish list and/or buy it. It'll match the other books on my crafty shelf quite nicely. :)

June 2017



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