Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Well, I guess it goes without saying that Little Red is quite afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. . .or at least she was afraid, before the Woodsman chopped him open, thus freeing Grandma and making the forest a safer place for all creatures. That makes sense.

What doesn't make sense (to Pretty Knitty anyway) is why so many knitters are afraid of the sock. The knitted sock, small and meek, will send even experienced knitters into a frenzy. . .they are not ready, sure that they cannot master knitting socks themselves, even though many of the techniques are no different than any other knitting. For example, short-row shaping (found in most heel constructions) is also found in many sweater patterns; knitting in the round happens in hats and mittens; decreases and picking up stitches are a part of many patterns. . .maybe it's the tiny needles that frighten them?
Or maybe it's the dreaded Kitchener Stitch. . .dum-dum-DUMMMMMM!!! But really, the kitchener is just a combination of knitting and sewing. Don't get me wrong, learning to kitchener takes a little patience and practice, but all you're really doing is using a sewing needle to close a seam by duplicating a knit row between the two rows of stitches-in-waiting. There are great tutorials all over the web, so I won't go into detail here, but I am confident that anyone can do it. Give it a shot, and come back to tell me about your "Aha Moment" with the kitchener stitch!
Knitting techniques aside, I also know some knitters that get so intimidated by the number of sock patterns out there, that they just don't really know where to start! So, since I have been working through a sock pattern a month in my own personal sock club, I have decided to offer a little review of the socks I have knit so far this year. Maybe something I say or show will help you to step out of your comfort zone and knit your first pair of socks!?! Just one pattern per post for the next 8 posts, and here we go!

In January, I knit November Socks. Now, that might seem a bit counter-intuitive to some, but when I said, "The envelope, please!," that first month, that's what was inside, so I went with it. These were knit in Serenity Sock Yarn (in the color Paprika) on 2.25 (1US) needles. The yarn is part of the Deborah Norville Collection (50% wool, 25% bamboo, 25% nylon), and very soft. It was a little thinner than I usually work with, so I probably should have gone down a needle size and cast on more stitches, but I didn't.
The pattern looks pretty cool knitted up, sorry for my bad's another, for your reference, so that you can see the stitch definition a little better. I used less than 100g of yarn, starting with two 50g skeins, and I probably had about 25g leftover.
Of course, even in the better photo of the unfinished sock, the stitch definition is not good. I think it's a combination of the patterning in the yarn, and my preference for always starting on a knit (not purl) stitch that had me not really loving this pattern. . .if I knit it again, I will use a solid yarn, probably something a little more substantial. And if I use this yarn again (I have used it twice now on 2.25mm), I will probably go down a needle size to the 2mm.

All in all, this project was more positive than negative. :) College Girl was the recipient of the November Socks, and she wears them, and she likes them! I would have made changes if I were the kind of knitter who really studies a pattern before I dive in, but I am not. And there you have it, review number one! Please let me know if there are questions I did not answer, or if there are additional details you would like me to provide in the next review.

On to the current events in today's Knitting Knews:
The toe in the first two photos, that you saw at the start of this post, belongs to the August club socks, Wickerware! These were knit from the same yarn as the ones in my review, and I could copy all of that info here, but really, what's the point? You just read all that! lol

Here's a shot of the finished pair, "hanging out" in the garden:
More details on my Rav Project Page. I will also review these socks in about a month, or so. :)

And when you finish one pair of socks, you know what to do next? Start another! Soooo, the page for this next project has been started over on Ravelry, even though I will not officially cast on until tomorrow. Watch out for September Squalls!!!
There are many other projects currently on Pretty Knitty's needles, but most of them are of the secret/Christmas variety, so I guess the blog ends here. It's time for Pretty Knitty to get outside and take a little walk anyway. . .thanks for stopping by, and. . .

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The following definition is taken from Wikipedia, so I offer the disclaimer that it may or may not be 100% accurate in it's definition or use of statistical data. . .but the vintage drawing of Little Miss Muffet that accompanied the article was pretty funny!

Arachnophobia or arachnephobia (from the Greek: arachne, "spider" and phobos, "fear") is a specific phobia, the fear of spiders and other arachnids. It is a manifestation of zoophobia, among the most common of all phobias. The reactions of arachnophobics often seem irrational to others (and sometimes to the sufferers themselves). People with arachnophobia tend to feel uneasy in any area they believe could harbor spiders or that has visible signs of their presence, such as webs. . .
. . .In some extreme cases, even a picture or a realistic drawing of a spider can also evoke fear. . .
. . .if you suffer from arachnophobia, I apologize to you for the obvious distress I have caused with these photos. Of course, if you have an extreme case, you have not been able to read the blog today, and you have missed the apology. . .ironic, isn't it? ;-)
In any case, Halloween's approach had me feeling creative this week, so I did some caning. . .not the painful kind that you find in third-world countries, but the polymer clay kind. . .I think the results were pretty successful. . .unless, of course, you suffer from Arachnophobia! Look for these babies to show up in the shop as soon as I can glaze them and put them together!

In Knitting Knews, there are some finished Mitts, and some Christmas Knitting on the needles! Check out my Rav page for more details, as most of that is secret knitting - shhhh!

Here's a photo of the first item finished in ITALIAN YARN! I am so pumped to have worked these up so quickly. . .I think the yarn was a sport weight, and I love the color! I used the lace pattern from my Knit 1, Breathe 1 Shawl pattern, and just made it into mitts. Can't wait to wear these. . .the yarn was a pleasure to knit up, and I see a second pair of these coming off my needles in the near future!
Oh, and if I have the time, I am planning some Christmas canes for the shop as well, and I hope to be on the ball enough to take some photos and put up a quick tutorial on how it works. I know, there are many tuts on this already, but still it amazes me every time I make it work, and I can't help but believe that it will also amaze you! Sooo, prepare to be amazed, somewhere in the next week or two! haha!
Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I had a lot of nicknames as a kid. Don't get me wrong, I am not bragging. Most of my nicknames were less than flattering, and some were downright mean. I was a "fluffy" kid, much the same as I am a "fluffy" adult, I guess. . .and I wore glasses (see post title), and I was rather uncoordinated. It was a recipe for nickname disaster. There were times that I thought I might not survive the humiliation, or the next gym class. . .seriously uncoordinated!

Despite Four-Eyes, Fatso, and some that I cannot repeat in a family-friendly blog post, I have made it now into my forty-third year, pretty much unscathed. Sure, I have been in short-term therapy a couple times (truthfully, I can't think of anyone who would not benefit from a little therapy as an adult), but I have learned who I am, and I like me. It's a good place to be.

I also know that this life isn't all about me. This blog is generally about me, and my knitting, but this life is about so much more than just me. If you have known me for much time at all, you know that my higher priority is living right and loving life while I am here. Living right is often about other people, and it's pretty hard sometimes, but it's so much more rewarding than always doing just what I want to do. As a matter of fact, the best advice I ever received, when I was feeling really low, was to go do something for someone else (which seemed pretty counter-productive when I was feeling so drained. . .), and it works! I recommend it to anyone and to everyone. Just get outta your comfort zone a little and help someone else find hope. . .it's out there, just waiting to be found, I promise.

So there you have it. It's not about me all of the time. It's not about me even most of the time. . .sometimes it feels like it's not ever about me at all. However, this post is about I.

1. I, as in me, as in I have finished some knitting, and I would like to show you! Here is the Supernatural Baby Sweater and Hat that I finished this week. They are washed and laying flat to dry, even as I post, and they will be gifted at church tomorrow (hopefully, if my good friends with the new baby are there!)!

2. This post is about I, as in I-cord, as in miles and miles of I-cord for Christmas Project #1, now finished, that I can't show you - Sorry! I have also started Christmas Project #3, and I am well on my way with Project #2. . .I promise there will be pictures here after the exchange! For now, if you are on Ravelry, check out the links!

3. This post is about I, as in the letter I, as in I is for Italian yarn that my Aunt sent to me from Italy while she was there visiting my cousin, her 3rd child, in the Army and stationed with his family in Italy! It's a tough job, but I guess somebody's gotta do it! lol
From looking at the labels, all in Italian, I believe there is Worsted (or DK?) and Fingering weight 100% Merino. . .absolutely the softest, most luxurious yarn I have ever smooshed up against my cheeks and nose. . .mmmmmmmm!
And Baby Yarn (fingering, I think) in 100% cotton, variegated and beautiful!
My Aunt has played with yarn as long as I can remember, and she knows there is a grandchild in my near future, so she made sure the baby has Italian yarn, too! What a great aunt (and cousins) I have!
Well, that's 3 "I's," and since the post is titled "Four Eyes", it might be good if I could include 4 "I's" as well, don'tchathink?

. . .OH! I do have one last "I". . .

4. I do!
Or, rather, she does. . .or she will, when the time comes!
That's right! College Girl is officially engaged! With a ring and everything! The picture is a little fuzzy, but the bride-to-be is a little jumpy, and she can be a bit camera-shy. . .I did the best that I could, under the circumstances! It will be some time before the ceremony, and there will be a new baby niece or nephew born to her brother and his wife before the bride's big day, so it will be a busy time in the Pretty Knitty family! You know what? I couldn't be happier for all of them. . .or for me!

Whew! Four "I's" can sure take a lot of energy! Now I think it's time to smoosh some yarn, knit a bit, and dream of the "big days" that both of my kids have coming up! Yay!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you will Knit in Good Health this week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And The Knit Goes On. . .

Sticks keep making fabric out of yarn;
Fabric wraps around to keep you warm.
Stitches, knit and purl, combine as one;
Non-knitters don't "get" the knitting fun. . .

And the Knit goes on,
And the Knit goes on.
And the Knit goes O-o-O-o-O-o-O-o-On,
And the Knit goes on!

And this knit goes on my foot! Well, truth be told, this Wickerware sock is a little small for me, even though I did stretch it all the way on for a piccie! But it will be looking for a smaller foot when it's mate is finished, nonetheless. hmmmm. . .who's got a smaller foot than me?
This knit goes on a baby head! It's the Simple Stripes Baby Hat that I started after I finished the sweater it was designed to match (which is sooo does, Yay!)!
And the Super Natural Stripes sweater was a quick and fun knit. I can't wait until the hat is finished and both pieces are laundered and ready to gift! Super-Striped Yay!
And this knit goes on me. . .eventually! lol It's the body of my Summer's End Cardigan. This is the body, which is supposed to be knit to 9" before the waist shaping, but I am gonna go longer.
I love the detail of this lace, and so far I have knit 5 repeats of the 10 row pattern for just under 9 inches. I am thinking at least 6 pattern repeats, maybe 7, still too early to tell. I love this color, every time I pick this up, I love the color more! I am so glad that I took the plunge to dye a sweater's worth! Yay!
And the knit goes on, and on, and on. . .as does the life of the knitter. Big Doin's at Pretty Knitty's house in the next couple years. Tune in on Saturday for more details!

Until then, Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feels Like the First Time?

In the Land of OUT, here's what left my house this week:
My Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine,
acquired secondhand in the dead of the winter doldrums this past February, has gone to a better place. A place where nobody will swear at it, or pound it, threatening it's needles within an inch of their little 3-inch-long lives. Following yet another failed attempt at a quick project, Double-Oh-Seven (the Bond) has found a new home, and has officially been banned from mine!

Ravelry Message to a friend who owns a similar knitting machine:

Well, I sat down at my Bond USM again yesterday, and you know what? It was just like the first time. Now, sometimes it’s good when something familiar “feels like the first time” again, but I have decided that is NOT the case with machine knitting…and lately every time feels like the first time, so I think I am going to officially throw in the towel…I just don’t have time for a hobby that makes me think in “F-” words…sigh! Do you want another Knitting Machine?

Signed, Pretty ;-) who is starting to realize that she simply does not have time to master EVERY SINGLE HOBBY in the universe, although she would like to.

Her answer:

OMG! Really?! I would love it! I had connected mine with an old Bond from Ebay, and used it a lot that way, but the old one has broken segments and we fell out of love. But if I connected it with one that’s still in workable condition, I think we could fire up our romance again :>)

Although think this through. Are you sure you’re not just having a rough patch and you’ll be regretting if you pass it on?

My "Final Answer":

I have thought it through. House too small. Minutes too few. Patience too middle-aged. I even made a small place to keep the thing set up, but I could not put it behind a door, so had to "barricade" it from cats (I can not EVER, for the stupid cats, leave a project out in mid-knit), and I find myself walking by, wistfully sighing my regrets. . .sigh!

Then, I do get an evening when I think I have the time to go start-to-finish on a project, and it feels like the first time all over again - UGH!

So, I think the stars have lined up for you, my friend, and I hope the two of you will be very happy together!

And, judging by the smile on her face, and the stars in her eyes, when I handed the silly thing over, I think they will be. I wish them many happy years of knitting together. :)

In Knitting Knews, there has been much progress on a baby sweater in cotton (new project for freshly hatched little guy at church), and also on the Wickerware Socks in Serenity Sock Yarn (with Deborah Norville on the label). Christmas Project #2 is also well underway, and Project #1 is almost finished, but of course I can't show you those!

I hope that your knitting (by hand and/or machine) is going well this weekend, and that you are loving what you're doing!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hey!, Look what Got Out of my House!

I am calling this my first success! It's a small one, but it's a success nonetheless! A few months ago, I was gifted a bunch of yarn. . .all acrylic and only a skein of each color, with an occasional second skein of a similar enough color that I thought I could put them together. . .? I figured that these gift yarns would be perfect for charity knitting, and for getting to know my new (at the time) Bond USM knitting machine! Here's a photo of the stash:

Well, as you might imagine, I bit off a little more than I could chew with that! I did knit a few items with the machine, and they are mostly still languishing, awaiting the finish work. . . So, I would look over at those two giant bags of yarn every day, and I would feel badly that no charity or machine knitting was happening with them. . .I felt like such an un-charitable knitter! (Bad Knitter! Bad, Bad Knitter! Why aren't you knitting for charity, you Bad, Bad Knitter?!?)

Then a friend put out the all call for yarn to give to a women's home. Any yarn. All yarn of any type. The ladies were learning to knit and crochet, and
CWKnits (on Ravelry) was hoping to help out with some of our odd balls of yarn. Well, I did not even think twice! Thursday was nigh, so I packed up those bags and took them to knitting, and off they went to charity! Now, at least in my own mind, my charitable self is at least partially redeemed. I did not give knitting to charity, but I did give knitting supplies to charity. Bonus!, I got some "crap" out of my house! (Although, truth be told, no yarn is truly crap, it's just more than this knitter could deal with at the moment.)

So, I have started the challenge, and I am feeling pretty good about it. I actually have a pretty good plan to get more crap out this week, maybe even today (in time for the trash pickup tomorrow?), but whether that will happen or not remains to be seen.

Here's some stuff that recently left my house, but it is most-decidedly NOT crap! My winner,
Cricket54 has assured me that she has received her prize package, so I thought I would show you what she won!
I will freely admit that a couple of the smaller items in the package are a bit of a re-gift. . .but what's Christmas without a little re-gifting? There was Kroy sock yarn, a skein of Cascade 220 in natural with two packets of the ever-coveted Berry-Blue Kool-Aide for dying, a row counter with matching stitch markers from the shop, and a couple of little odds and ends from here and there!

Cricket sounded pretty pleased with the prize package, and I am glad that she liked everything! I can't wait until the next contest!

In Knitting Knews, I really wish I had some pictures to show you. Unfortunately, a little stomach bug over the weekend, coupled with the start of my Christmas Knitting (no peeking!), means that I did not add any knew knitting pictures to the mix! I have done some knitting I can photograph and show, but just did not get to that part yet! Yikes.

Still working on Wickerware Socks and Summer's End Cardigan, hopefully there will be photos on Saturday. And hopefully there will NOT be any digestive upset on Saturday.

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Get Out!

If you were around in the late 70s, that title might evoke memories of the horror book/movie The Amityville Horror. If you weren't, go on back and check out the link to the 1979 movie trailer. . .I'll wait until you get back. . .

Creepy, huh? Of course, that's not really what I wanted to talk about today. . .the movie, that is. I want to talk about getting out, as in getting things out of my house, as in getting the "crap" out of my house. I saw that a fellow blogger (Created Hands Creating Blog) had joined into a "Get the Crap Out of My House Challenge" in blogland, and so I looked around my own house. . .look what I found!
Creepy, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. No wonder I feel like even my small yarn stash is running out of places to hide! So I am joining in. I know that it won't happen overnight, and I am not even aspiring to make it all happen by any particular deadline. I'd just like to look at this as more of an opportunity for a "lifestyle change." Here are my strategies:
  1. Each week, I would like to throw something away that I have been looking at for too long without using. This should clear out some of those hobbies I have not been into, and some other assorted things I probably won't miss.

  2. As I look around at all the things I desperately need to dust should be dusting regularly, I will try to get rid of more of the knicky-knacky things, thereby reducing the need to dust.

  3. Perhaps by Christmas, I'd like to get into the attic and get rid of some of the boxes of stored items that I never pull out, and that I never intend to pass down to the kids. Hopefully, that will save them some headaches when I'm gone!

  4. When I put something aside, from now on, I will try to mark it with the date it was put aside. If I don't miss it in 6 months 3 months, I will toss, sell or give it away.

  5. I will not feel badly about parting with my stuff. . .especially the stuff I don't really "play with" anymore.

  6. Encouraging my blogging and knitting buddies to play along! If you have crap that you'd like to get out of your house, well, what's stopping you?!? C'mon!
Yep! It's a Lifestyle Change! It all starts with a bunch of good intentions, right? Well, there are my intentions! Of course, even just my intentions are tiring out this blogger today! Well that, coupled with some helmet shopping we did earlier:
And some general fun shopping!
Silly-Face rice crispie treats and light-up squishy balls. . .it's gonna be a good Saturday night! Oh, and there will be knitting, for sure! I promise more knitting in the next post! Until then, Happy De-Crapping, and Get Out!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


164 is a cryptic title post, no?

Yes, I will admit, it is a little cryptic. . .keep reading to find out why 164 is a number to celebrate.

164 has nothing to do with when Army Boy and Wifey Poo stood before Preacher Man to enthusiastically recite their vows, and say "I do!"
And it has nothing to do with either of their birthdays, one in January and one in March. And it has nothing to do with the number of bubbles they were showered with following their ceremony.
Getting closer to the meaning behind the cryptic number, but still not hitting the proverbial nail on the head, 164 was not the number of hopes and/or dreams they shared for their future together as man and wife.
Here's another clue about the number 164. . .it is not the amount of dollars I have spent recently on cotton yarn for baby toys and sweaters. . .I would assume that number is much lower. . .so far anyway. Here is my latest purchase, I think I spent about $30.
I have some different cottons in my stash as well, and I would guess that I have spent under $100 for all the cotton, baby toy/sweater yarn I own currently. Sweater yarn for me, that's a different story!!! Are you ready to know the secret behind the cryptic number???
Well, hold onto your hat! 164 is the number of beats per minute that my Dear Daughter-In-Law's BABY's heart was beating when she had an ultrasound at her first OB appointment yesterday! Did you catch that? I am gonna be a Gramma! And Sweetie is gonna be a Grampa!
Isn't that the cutest little ultrasound picture, evahhhh?!? Congratulations to the Mommy- and Daddy-to-be! And to me. . .soooo, I am celebrating by knitting
Baby Blankie/Toys in plush and other yarns.
And being one Happy Grammarumi-to-be!
Knit in Good Health!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We have a weiner!!!!!

Well, I don't have a weiner. . .I am a girl. But I digress.

I DO have a WINNER to announce!

I have used an online, random number generator, to generate the winner of the Merry Christmas in July contest.

And, the winner of the mystery prize is. . .

. . .drum roll, please. . .

Cricket54! . . .of the Cricket Knits a Bit blog!

Cricket, if you do not receive an email from me in about 10 seconds, email me at PrettyKnittyJewelry [at] yahoo [dot] com! And CONGRATULATIONS! (I like the Andy Griffith Show, too!)

I will not post pictures of the mystery prizes until I hear that Cricket has received her presents. . .so, off I go to prepare a package for tomorrow's mail! Yay!

Thanks, everyone, for playing along! Now, go Knit in Good Health!

Contest Closed!

Please check back on Sunday, August 1st for the winning announcement!