Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for November, 2009

Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off.

Posted by mtmom on November 29, 2009

Two how-to YouTube videos for knitting techniques devised by Jeny Staiman, one a bind-off, and one a cast-on, and both VERY stretchy.  I tried the BO today, but have not tried the CO yet.

“Jeny’s Stetchy Slip-Knot Cast-On”, demonstrated by Jeny Staiman.

“Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off” demonstrated by Cat Bordhi.


Posted in Knitting, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Funny (non-knitting-related) Video

Posted by mtmom on November 24, 2009

I so enjoyed watching this little spoof, I decided to share it with you all.  (Advent starts this coming Sunday!)

And, just so you know, I LOVE chant — but that’s not what this is.  I guess I love a wholesome laugh even more.  🙂

Posted in fun, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Finished Gansey Sampler!

Posted by mtmom on November 22, 2009

This got put on hold while doing “work” knitting, but today I got back to it and actually finished it — hurray!

This mini-sweater is the Sampler, from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book, Knitting Ganseys.  It uses all the techniques of a traditional gansey, but on a smaller, quicker scale.

Ganseys, also called Guernseys (after the island in the English Channel) and Fisherman’s Sweaters, are native to the coasts of Scotland and England, and are related to the Irish Arans.

I used 2 yarns, because I split them between this and my proposal-swatches for the summer Cast On issue.  Deadline for those swatches to be received in Ohio is next Monday, 1 December, so I’m glad to have the swatches done and the proposals *mostly* written up.

One thing I learned from my first submission, recently photographed and edited, was that I wished I’d kept more notes on the original swatches, as to gauge and technique decisions.  I hope to rectify that this time; I’ve written down notes that I’ll KEEP.  I may even video myself handling the swatches, pointing features out to my-future-self, like, “see how I joined up these 2 pieces with ssk. . . .  I slipped these stitches (or not) after turning the short row. . . .  the slant on these decreases matches the edge better than these, see?”

I expect the selection committee will meet in the first week of December, and then let all the designers know what we’ll be spending the next 5 – 6 weeks working on.  Judging by last time, the competed model(s) and pattern(s) would be due by mid February.  It would be smart for me to proceed as if they will choose my proposals, and get started on the details of math and other paperwork in the meantime, maybe even more swatching/prototyping.  I can’t start the actual model-knitting, because they *send* designers the yarn they want used for the magazine, and it’s not always the same as in the swatch.  (More lessons from last time!)  I find the pressure can be pretty intense (!) in those weeks between selection and delivery, so the more I can get done ahead of time the better!!  (Enough on that — this is my day off!)

As far as using either Venezia (wool/silk by Cascade) or Touche (cotton/rayon by Berroco) for future ganseys, I now think that I’d rather use a nice, round, bouncy, toothy wool.  These yarns both flatten out, the strands separating along the needle as I knit, because they’re so smooth and non-grabby.

(I’m listening to the Wicked Tinkers (they classify themselves as Tribal Celtic) while writing — they can certainly perk a girl up and get her out of her mopey head!)

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Passing of a Bagpipe Teacher

Posted by mtmom on November 15, 2009

What an emotionally exhausting few days it’s been.  Got news on Monday that Jim Thomson, founder of “my” beloved Bagpipe School, had died while attending Highland Games in Tucson.  I knew him, but not well.  It was a very sad thing for many of my piping friends; he taught many of them, and all for free — to ensure the spread of the tradition.  The School will go on, but his absence will be keenly felt.  I volunteered to read the Scriptures, as the funeral was held at my church where I’m a “lector” (reader) — it’s what *I* could do.  I choked up on the “death and pain and sorrow will be no more” part.

Here is some video footage I took at the wake — of course there was piping! — held at a different church across town.  Pipe Major is the dear Michael Donelson; dancer is Megan McPherson.  (Maybe back to knitting news later in the week.)

Posted in Celtic, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Skye Caps with Ear Flaps; Video: Cabling without a Cable Needle

Posted by mtmom on November 8, 2009

Ohhh, what a headache I have today!  I was just having a nice conversation last night, and *crunch* went my neck.  Whatever got stuck (this happens to me often) is pinching some nerve(s) and giving me pain.  Perhaps I should move up my next chiropractor appointment. . . .

Anyway, I do have some successful knitting to report!


Front, color 106


Side, colors 106 and 111

Using Wisdom Yarns’ “Skye” bulky wool, I made 2 caps with earflaps for Monday’s toddler shower.  Some friends of ours are adopting 2 Haitian orphans and expect to be able to pick them up soon — perhaps as early as next week.  One of their grown daughters is hosting the toddler shower.  I checked before casting on as to whether the mom-to-be preferred wool or acrylic, and she wanted wool (hurray!), so I made these.  Only took 2 days per cap!

For flap placement, I used a rule of thumb from I-don’t-recall-where-I-read-it (I did the math from someone’s cap pattern in a book):  front and back are 3:1 and sides are 2:2.  In this case, 1 or 2 or 3 groups of 8 stitches each; BO 8, k16, BO24, k16.  Again used my own Top-down Square-Top Cap pattern (Ravelry links: child, adult) for the hat crown and sides.  I enjoyed making these, and hope the children will be kept warm by them — Flagstaff has got to be MUCH colder than Haiti!

I’m also moving forward on my submission for Cast On’s summer issue, but it’s still under wraps.

Found an interesting new blog today — actually she has 2: one on wordpress (Shifting Stitches link) and one on blogger (Curious Knitter link), both by Jeny Staiman.

And here’s a technique I’ve been trying out with good success lately:  a variation on cabling without a cable-needle, by Kathleen Cubley of Knitting Daily.  Link to Knitting Daily page with video.

Direct link to YouTube.  .

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

More KAL-ing, ILL-ing, and Other-ing

Posted by mtmom on November 5, 2009

KAL = Knit-along;  ILL = Inter-library Loan.  No, we’re not sick (hurray!  Thank you, Lord).

The Schoolhouse Press knitalong (link here) has moved from Iceland to the Faroe Islands, and from lace scarf to footlets.  I began with a 2-color version, but switched over to solids to be quicker.FFootlet_1"Faroese_blue_heel

I have finished the blue footlet, edging it with gray, and began a gray foot to edge with blue (DS’s school colors).  I also plan to embroider an owl (mascot) on each toe.

His feet are bigger than mine. . . .












I love to borrow knitting books!  When my libray doesn’t own a particular title, I can place an inter-library loan request for free.  If they can find it, and the other library agrees, they get it for me.   Recent titles include Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron, and Iris Schreier’s Reversible Knits.  From the former, I knit this “rose” embellishment (about palm-size).

From the latter, I hope to try some cables.knit_rose_top

Here’s another top-down cap, this time in Wisdom Yarn’s “Skye” bulky and using Judy’s Magic Cast-on.  The yarn color-changes even look good inside out!

brown_cap_onCh_profilebrown_cap_reverse_onChMost of my other knitting has been swatching for submissions to Cast On for next summer.

(I don’t want to show those yet.)

Sometimes this process is exhilarating, sometimes it’s plain frantic.  It can be rewarding! Level II of the Master Knitter program prepared me for this quite well, I’m finding.

Next is a pair of toddler hats for our friends who are adopting.

Oh, and the sweater I designed for my friend Bess to knit for our pastor is done, in time for the cold weather.  The yarn is a bit busy, so I only added a little cabling.  Simultaneous set-in sleeves — fun!!

(Sorry, the photos are both a bit blurry.)

Bess sweater for JanJan_in_sweater

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »