Category Archives: knitting

Scarves again

I’m reviving the long-dormant knitting tag. In the second half of November alone, I made two scarves, and showed Ben how to knit as well. He picked it up quickly and is making a fine gray scarf for himself.

Meanwhile, I ripped out the first scarf I ever made, which was a bit lumpy, and re-knitted it in the exact same way (that is, straight knitting, no pattern at all).

Old new scarf.

Old new scarf.


Next, I got myself some brand new yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease “Thick and Quick” with stripes, 80% acrylic, 20% wool. I started it at home, did a big chunk in the car on the way to Pennsylvania (I wasn’t driving, obviously), and finished at my in-laws’ house. Early on, I had to consult my co-worker (who is an impressively talented knitter) to refresh my memory about ribbing (k2p2), and with that assist, the rest went quickly (as promised!).

New stripy scarf

New stripy scarf

Scarf snail

Scarf snail

I can’t keep track of whether I started each row with knitting or purling, so I kept track on the back of a receipt. (I know there’s an app for that, but pen and paper works just as well.) I still messed up in about three different places, but the scarf’s still warm and cheery-looking and that’s what matters.

That’s probably the last project for me for the year, but at least I haven’t forgotten how. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to try making a hat again. Those double-pointed needles are still around here somewhere…

DSC07726 DSC07725


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New blue scarf

My one and only knitting project for this winter:

I haven’t done much knitting for the past few years. For one, scarves are the only thing I’m any good at, and everyone I know already has plenty of scarves (except for the barista in the local coffee shop, who now has this one). Second, I haven’t yet made an effort to find, join, or build a knitting circle here; when I lived in New York I was part of one through a friend from work.

Fortunately, it turns out that knitting is similar to riding a bike, in that you don’t forget how – at least not the basic stuff. And it has a distinct advantage over biking: there is an extremely low risk of being hit by a car.

What I’m reading: The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes; Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
What I’m listening to: Codes and Keys by Death Cab for Cutie; Long Gone Before Daylight by the Cardigans; Torches by Foster the People; Scars & Stories by The Fray

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I didn’t pull out my knitting at all throughout the fall and early winter – partly because it didn’t get cold* till late in the year, partly because everyone I know already has plenty of scarves, and partly because I had no knitting circle and therefore no (benign) group pressure to continue making things. However, one of my goals for January was to complete Michel Thomas’ 8-CD Spanish language course, and I needed something to do with my hands.

So I made another scarf.

This only took about three CDs’ worth of time. It’s certainly nothing special – mostly straight knitting, with a few unevenly spaced patches of knit-perl – but it proves that I do still know how to cast on and cast off. I suppose now I should find a knitting group up here, and ask someone to refresh my nascent cabling skills, so I can finally take up this hat again. Hmm…

*It’s cold NOW. Here are a couple of screenshots from, one from this morning, one from this evening:

They’ve given up on sun and cloud images and gone straight to a thermometer that’s blue with cold.

And they have to bring adverbs into it; it isn’t just going to be cold, it’s going to be bitterly cold. (A quick note to my immediate family here, who all live in California: I always welcome your calls, and I love to hear from you, but please think twice before complaining about the “weather” there. Fifty-five degrees does not count as cold.)

What I’m reading: Lost in a Good Book, Jasper Fforde

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Creative Loopholes

Most of us, I think, have trouble letting go of things. Old relationships, the edge of the cliff, socks with holes in them. (On second thought, if you are hanging on to the edge of a cliff, you might want to hang on to it a bit longer, until help comes.) These other things, though – holey socks and underwear, papers from third grade, old bits of string, used wrapping paper, calendars from 2003 – well, there’s no logical reason for this pack-rat behavior (unless you grew up during the Depression, then you have a get-out-of-jail-free card where pack-rat-ism is concerned). And we all, except maybe those folks over at Unclutterer, have some of this flotsam and jetsam lying about, and we just can’t make ourselves part with it.

For one pair of socks in particular, I decided that the time had come. Off with their heads!

Or rather, their toes.

Ta-da! I have transformed the socks into wrist warmers. These will stand in nicely for the wrist warmers I tried and failed to knit a while back, and this solution spares me the emotional trauma of having to throw out a perfectly good sock just because its mate couldn’t hack it.

The holey heel went in the trash; the other heel is now my camera case, but for obvious reasons I could not take a picture of it serving its new function.

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On To The Next One

First Wednesday of the month = knitting group! I ended up throwing in the towel on the wrist warmers I started last month (and haven’t worked on since) after ripping them out for the fifth time. Instead, I used the yarn to start a hat, on which I will at least be able to use my new cabling skills! I hope.

Goodbye for now, double-pointed needles…

Hello, circular needles!

What I’m reading: Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

What I’m listening to: Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, Alkaline Trio; All This Useless Beauty, Elvis Costello

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