Saturday, May 31, 2008

54,180 Stitches

Hee,hee. I’ve finished it! It’s not blocked yet but it’s finished. I figured out that I knitted 54,180 stitches doing this doily. On size 10 crochet cotton. On US size 0 needles. That’s a jolly awful lot of stitches! Unblocked it measures about 30 inches so should be about 32 once the blocking is finished.

I think I’ll wait a little bit to start the smaller thread.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame...

St Louis has some wonderful yarn shops. Multiple wonderful yarn shops. Yesterday was Stitch and Pitch day at the St Louis Cardinals baseball game so several of us took the day to shop, knit and watch baseball. It was my first trip to a major league game and, although it wasn’t what I expected, I still enjoyed it a lot. It brought back some lovely memories of all the hours I spent with my grandfather watching Atlanta Braves baseball when I was in high school. We watched every game that we could and I loved that time spent with him. It reminded me how much I enjoy baseball.

Of course, the biggest event of the day was the shopping! And shopping means yarn shops.
Kirkwood Knittery and Knitorious were the main stops on the tours and we all were all pretty good because both shops did have stock remaining after we left. Both of them. How’s that for being good!

My main purchases were at Kirkwood where I got 3 types of yarn that I’ve been anxious to try since last August when I saw them at Stitches. They’re all 3 from
Habu, a Japanese yarn manufacturer with the most unique yarns imaginable. All 3 yarns are ultra thin – almost like thread – small thread. One of them is silk, one merino and one wool stainless steel! Yes, the yarn is actually made from 75% wool and 25% stainless steel. They also have paper yarns and copper yarns and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things. I’ve got a few ideas on what I’m going to do with them so watch this space.

Here’s view of the Habu wool stainless steel, the size 10 crochet cotton, lace weight yarn and fingering weight yarn just to give you an idea of scale.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ponchette Knitalong

We had a wonderful program at our fiber art guild last week with Brigitte from Klose Knits in Urbana. She got us started on a very smart, classic in its simplicity, ponchette which we're completing as a sort of guild knitalong. I love the pattern but I’ve just taken my first go off the needles. No, I didn’t mess up the pattern. There were 2 reasons why I took it off the needles. I certainly don’t want to cause any offense to the many hemp yarn knitters out there. I’m sure it has its uses – just not on my ponchette. The second reason has to do with the pattern itself. I’ve never been a fan of the garter stitch. Don’t know why, just a person preference. I’ve just never been a fan – even if I’m knitting something that’s going to be felted and all the stitch definition obliterated. Not a fan. Not a fan of the hemp yarn. Not a fan of the garter stitch. Just to prove I gave it the old college try though – I did manage to get through 7 repeats of the pattern.

Now, those who know me know I’m not a fan of the cotton yarn (no give, tends to feel heavy and stiff to me) so it’s not really no surprise that I haven’t gotten into the hemp yarn.

I did, however, start the ponchette over with what I think is a very sound substitute – a middle ground, even. I’m working it with
Dale of Norway Tukan which is a 90% cotton/10% alpaca mix that is within my tolerance zone for cotton yarn. I got this is a great sale basket find at Nanncy’s Knits about 3 years ago (I don’t even think they make it anymore). It was a grab bag of about 20 balls of this yarn but in a variety of colors for, if I remember rightly, about $10. Can’t go wrong there. I even had enough of one color to send my Mom for a project. Now I’m redoing the ponchette using the 3 balls of white that were in the bag. I’m also changing it so to avoid the garter thing and working it in a stockinette base. Sigh…much more better!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I’ve made quite a lot of progress on the Balmoral ‘coffee cloth.” I’m all the way to round 111 which, considering I started the weekend on round 71, is pretty good. There have been no more pattern mistakes and the more challenging part is past but you still have to pay attention and there is still a lot of counting needed to be sure I don’t miss something. At the moment I’m up to 624 stitches! There are 137 rounds in all before I crochet off the edging and the last will have 840 stitches. I’m definitely going to need to cast on a simple project to work on after this!