Kniftybits's Blog

All knitting, all the time.

Upcoming Hat December 19, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Life — kniftybits @ 09:40
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My Mom went crazy buying Louise Harding for a hat. She searched through ravelry patterns for said yarn and said she couldn’t find what she was looking for.

“Oh, you know what you want?”

And so she showed me this.


I told her I would make it so. Now, I need to figure out how to do entrelac in the round.

Wish me luck!


Crochet Cast On August 27, 2011

The thing about following a pattern as opposed to knitting whatever I feel like is that occasionally there are new techniques that I don’t know. The glass half full perspective is that I get to learn something new. The glass half empty perspective finds me stomping away shouting, “As if I have time to find a video and learn something new! I wanted to KNIT, not LEARN!”  I am sure I can pause Army Wives and find the time to do this, since I am incapable of learning through written or drawn instructions, and I finally did.

Did I mention that I don’t even know how to crochet? So technically I will have to learn two new things. Not that I’m bitter.

I checked out the three YouTube videos that came up with my google search. My favorite was from Lucy Neatby. You can also check out her useful knitting website:

My second favorite was this one, which offers some good tips.

So, in the theory of see one, do one, teach one, now that I’ve learned how to do a crochet cast on, however awkwardly, here are my instructions for those of you blessed with the ability to learn from written instructions (for those of you who aren’t, like me, check out the videos above):

1) Do a slip knot on the crochet hook.

2) Hold the crochet hook to the right of the knitting needle parallel with the needle. Hold the yarn in your left hand behind the needle.

3) Crochet a loop over the needle (bring the hook over the top of the needle).

4) You now have a loop on the needle and the yarn over the needle. Bring the yarn to the back of the needle.

5) Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you have the number of stitches needed.

6) Crochet a few more stitches off the needle.  Tie a knot in your leading edge so you know not to unravel your cast on from that side.

Knit into your cast on and you are off the the races.  See, learning is fun! (Said without a hint of sarcasm. No. Really. I mean it.)


A New Project! August 23, 2011

The other day I posted about how I was in knitting burnout. I didn’t see a solution in sight – and then there was a ring of the doorbell.

However, I don’t ever answer the door. 99,999 times out of 100,000 if someone is knocking on the door, it’s not for any reason I am interested in. “Would you like to buy a left handed egg fluffer?” “Have you heard of the Church of the Flying Rabbit?” “I just broke your window with my soccer ball, can I have it back?” Etc.

So after an appropriate amount of paranoid blind peering I opened the door, grabbed the waiting package, and darted back inside.

It was a belated birthday present!

I am such a bag wh*re.

The contents motivated me to immediately abandon all my old boring projects and grab my needles to start  the project. And then I got to the first line about doing a provisional crochet cast on. Blarg! Time to find a youtube video.

If you’d like to get this project it is available through Knit Picks.


Never Say Never August 20, 2011

While I was visiting the Knitting Whisperer in Colorado we were discussing knitted washcloths. I poo-pooed them and said I didn’t see the point of spending your precious knitting time making something that will be used to clean dirty stuff. Additionally, I hate working with unforgiving, finger exhausting cotton. Yet another reason to never make washcloths.

Well, never say never, because not a month later I was at the store buying this yarn to make a certain person (who shall not be named, in case they read my blog) five washcloths and a hand towel for their birthday.

We're going to be five washcloths and a hand towel.


Motivationally Challenged August 16, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Life — kniftybits @ 11:48
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Motivationally. Sure, it’s a word – I just made up. If Shakespeare and Colbert can do it, why not me.

I am having issues with motivation. Such as, the motivation to blog, which is actually a byproduct of my knitting malaise. I just spent the last month making snails progress on my washcloth/handtowel project. Aside: The spell checker is telling me hand towel is two words. Ah, the vagaries of the English language, washcloth is one word, but hand towel is two. But, I digress.

There is really no reason it should take me a month to complete five washcloths and a hand towel. I should hang my needles in shame! Most knitters could bang that project out in a week. And I can’t even claim that it’s because I was working on other knitting projects on the side. It’s really because I just wasn’t doing much knitting.

But, why?

Maybe it was a lack of excitement about the project. However,  I’m finally done and I’ve picked my Mom’s tank top back up, but I’m motivationally challenged on that one too, slogging my way through the 240 st cable cross round like it’s some sort of penance. Nor am I interested in the sweater I’m making for myself or the sock I started before the washcloth endeavor.

This is why there are UFOs hidden in closets. Well, one of the reasons.

Maybe my motivation will return with cool fall weather. Or I will find it in the colorful swirls of a lovely wool. Or maybe it’s waiting to attack like a zombie. I don’t know, but I hope it’s out there somewhere or I’m going to have to turn this blog into a cooking blog or reading blog or something.


Rock on Table Rock Llamas July 22, 2011

Along the rural, wooded route of Shoup Road, nestled in amongst the pine trees of Black Forest, Colorado is Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio, a lovely log cabin of yarn.  I think I saw a gingerbread house nearby, but I can’t be sure. Shopping yarn appeals more than gingerbread and didn’t involve a fight to the death with a witch. At least not this time.

Could this setting be more awesome?

The shop, is open Tuesday-Friday 10 -5, Saturday 10-4 and consists of a front multiroom building chock full of yarny goodness, and a back building where the classroom spinning, dying and other teaching magic happens. Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, this is where Julie from Tompkins Alpaca Pride learned to spin.  This outbuilding also houses roving and other spinning materials, lovely spinning wheels, classroom space and sale yarn. Table Rock was recommended by Julie and another yarn shop, so you know it’s gotta be good.

Ladies, start your spinning wheels.

Of all their lovely yarn offerings I opted for some local hand-dyed sock yarn from a multitalented husband wife team. The yarn looks like a rainbow puked on it, which means I LOVE it!

Yeah, more sock yarn!

An interesting thing I learned there – you can buy silk worm cocoons to either turn into yarn or use as decorative elements in your fiber creation. You can hear the dead silk worm rattling around in there, which kind of weirds me out. If anyone out there ever thought giving me a silk worm cocoon was a good idea, let me politely decline the offer now.

The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. Stop in a check it out.

6520 Shoup Road
Black Forest, CO 80908

Phone: 719-495-7747
Toll Free: 866-495-7747

Black Forest is located about 30-minutes from Colorado Springs.  Do you have any Colorado Springs area yarn shop suggestions?


Why Can’t I Pet the Alpaca? July 19, 2011

While visiting my dear friends in Monument, Colorado we spent one afternoon admiring yarn and houses. I bought some yarn, but no houses. For our first stop, we arrived at the Monument weekly farmers market with minutes to spare, which is all I need to inflict damage to my bank balance! Though, not as much as if I’d bought a house. See, it’s all about perspective.

I immediately rushed to the Tompkins Alpaca Pride booth. This local alpaca farm is owned and operated by Martin and Julie Tompkins. The previous week my friend posted a picture of the yarn spinner half of this alapaca operation, Julie, spinning. During my visit she was away visiting family, but an ethereal purple-blue yarn she spun and hand dyed caught my eye.

Resistance is futile.

As did the camera shy alpaca adjoining the booth. Every time I am face to face with an alpaca I am reminded how adorable they are. Martin and I discussed the ease of caring for alpacas. I asked if they would let him pet them or if they were standoffish like sheep. More like sheep, apparently, so I wouldn’t be petting an alpaca.

"Yes, I am adorable!" He seemed to say.

Mr. Touch-me-not was fun to watch and sort of reminded me of a dog. When a coffee can of treats was shaken he dropped whatever he was doing (eating hay and ignoring me) and hurried right over. I also discovered they have a cleft upper lip that opens, which was interesting. And when he gets anxious he makes a high pitched whine of concern, which he did when Martin started packing up the stall. He was immediately at the side of his pen and very concerned that he was being left here with all these strangers.

By the by, there are alpaca farms all over Colorado. We drove by at least four in the Monument area.

I purchase one skein of worsted weight yarn, which has 98.3 yards. What do you think I should do with it?