Thursday, May 24, 2007


Gretch: I’m just daydreaming over my stash of yarn. So many pretty colors, so many possibilities. How does one ever complete a project with so many yummy patterns enticing you? What’s your secret?

Knit-Shan-Knit: Hmmm. . .one has to determine to finish. It is a whole other animal though, almost a different craft or skill set all together. I have several projects to finish. I am going to be blogging soon with all the projects I have in various stages. I think you have to put your mind to work on one thing, to the end. Seems impossible with all of the possibilities before us. Village Yarn and Tea has a 'finishing' service they offer. They even have a service where a professional knitter will knit the project for you.

Let's talk finishing, shall we Gretch? I have some photos and confessions to make. I also would like to start with this scripture.

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth

Ecclesiastes 3:1(The Message)

I have found that there is a time for everything. If I prioritize, there seems to be harmony in my day. If I skip around, even in my chores, then something that needed to be done gets neglected.

With knitting, starting is really fun. . .knitting "a ways" into a project is sometimes enjoyable. Finding the pattern, the yarn, or whatever. . .the start is sometimes the best part for most people. I find for example when I get half way through the body of a sweater, I start to wonder. I start to hate what I'm working on and it inevitably gets set in one of my less frequented baskets.

Knitting for someone helps with the finishing process. Knitting towards a baby shower or birthday, or Christmas can be painful but gets it done. My mind does not like to keep at and work at an item until it's done.

A good rule of thumb is to have one big project and one small project going at the same time. This way you can keep your attention on two lovely projects and work on the zippier one when the shawl or blanket is dragging you down. Another tip I can think of is knit large projects in segments, either pieces that you put together later. Knit in stripes. Knit also in details like alternating knit/purl rows, add stripes into this and you will finish before you know it.

So, let's talk finishing techniques. Most of us learned to knit the infernal scarf. (Look infernal up on You will laugh if you have been taught to knit by the infernal scarf method. Well meaning knitting teachers or knitting professionals that want others to join in their fiber fascination, teach folks to knit scarves.

Scarf knitting ensures certain things for the teacher, who would rather be knitting on her project and have you magically learn the skill from a book.

1. You will be knitting straight garter stitch for approximately 4 feet

2. There's not much to help you troubleshoot if you are knitting garter stitch for 4 feet.

3. There's a good chance if you drop a stitch you will pick up a miscellaneous thread and your project will self-heal.

4. Scarf knitting seems to be a right of passage. It is fun if you are taught in the right season.

Let's switch things up and introduce some new first projects to keep newly ordained knitting friends interested. Let's teach them a few more skills than the knit stitch. I suggest that new knitters buy a book or print off pictures off the internet. When you cannot be there for your student, your student can self teach. I love my vogue compact knitting book. Most knitting pattern books will have a couple short chapters on knitting in the front to help out folks who are buying their books and learning how to knit.

Mason Dixon Knitting (book) is an excellent resource that you won't have to hide from your early readers because of expletives in the titles, or suggestive themes.

Ok, so now for the pictures. Then I'll have more words on finishing. I wanna chat about sewing up a project that you've finished all the parts for, zippers, weaving in ends, and blocking. There is a time for everything on earth, you will feel this when you and I COMPLETE a few projects. It is a different animal. It's a different groove. You will dig it and then you will be able to START something else, 'cause that is the funnest part.

One of those fresh projects, this white wool was screaming out, "MAKE BOOTIES FROM ME!" I will. . .I think I might make them with bigger needles.

Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride wool with mohair

Eli on the Knifty Knitter. . .he's my knitter...this counts as 'real' knitting. He is learning to handle fiber. . .and will cut down on his juggling challenges when he goes to 2 needles.

Isn't he so handsome!? This was a sweet time, working on stuff with my Eli Jo.
Eli is using the small knitter with Wool Ease Thick and Quick in I think Apple Green.

Monkey Pile and then Monkey laid out for finishing. Did I finish him? NO! I put him back in the basket like a true knitter! His name is Wasabi or Mr Murphy The 2nd. I am knitting him for Sage's 10th birthday. The colors are a little washed out in these photos, the green is exactly wasabi green. Oh Wasabi is knit from one ply alpaca wool.

A premie hat knit from Orange You Glad from Lamb's Pride Wool with mohair. This hat is adorable. This should be finished, only two strands to tie off and weave back through. This project is a fine example of knitting something to just get my grubby hands on pretty wool. Eli the magnificent is in the backround.

These booties are for sale. Premie baby sized. $15 + shipping. Email me for purchase info at: I accept PayPal.
Machine wash and dryable. Hand-Knit from Wool Ease wool and acrylic.
Beautiful little boots, may be knee high on a premie. Light sea blue green.

You can email me for this pattern. It's called Dream Swatch. It's fun. A little tricky, but once you get it, you will feel like a knitting stud. I am knitting it from a hand dyed fingering/sock weight cotton. These pictures do not do it justice! Hooray for being in a hurry, next time I will edit my photos better. I will block this item so you can see the magic happening with the crisscrosses. This will be a head wrap. 48 inches long I think? Sounds like the Infernal Scarf, but it's not.

Yes, I'm knitting a blanket! This knit afghan will be called Resplendent. It is made of Manos de Uruguay hand dyed chunky yarn. The colors are electric olive, brown, brown variagated, and a bit of Onyx Lamb's Pride wool. I love this yarn and cannot wait to see it finished. I am using a sewing method of casting off so the edges are not firm, they stay elastic. Another finishing technique I learned from knitting workshop Elizabeth Zimmerman.

A granny square beginning, that I lost interest in. These will now make up the pillow to match:

Hodgepodge, the crochet crazy afghan. When it is finished and blocked it will all be even.
(Fingers crossed)

Here is the lovely Eli with Hodgepodge.

A baby kimono made from Lamb's Pride Wool with mohair, color: limeade FANTASTIC!
This picture does not do this bright green justice.
This pattern is so fun and fast!

Last picture for the night. I have another bin of unfinished projects that will be photographed tomorrow. This picture is of a felt bag I'm making. I need to purchase some onyx Lamb's Pride for the bottom the top and then a thick strap. I am excited to finish this bag. . ..
felting is so fun.

Ok, to be continued..........weaving, casting off, sewing up finished projects, zippers, and blocking. Do you have something you want to finish? Is it time? I am gonna finish this post for now. How's that for finishing? God bless you.

I will be knitting on Dream Swatch or maybe Wasabi the monkey. It's painful to get started, but I gotta start!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quiet Time of Night

The Stainer family on a journey together.

The bridge was washed out from the November flooding. We had a great time taking a different loop around the area. We had to climb over fallen tress and hike through snow. This was a much needed outing.

10 May 2007 1:12 a.m.
(I know Emma. . .what am I doing up? ? ? I had a lot of fun with you today in the sunshine)
(yes, I am sunburned, yeeeouch!)

This use to be my favorite time of night. I could hear everyone snoring or breathing, sleeping soundly. Right now Kevin is snoring gently and I hear Pudge, our pug, snoring too. . . I am trying to get to bed early and get up earlier. . .but, not tonight. . .

I took a bath a bit ago, and that's the best place to hear everyone snoring or breathing in unison. After midnight. Unless someone is sick, it's a sure thing that it will be quiet. The house is still and I can vegetate.

I wanted to post some pictures tonight to my blog. A couple from our hike to the ice caves and a few from our day out with our churchie friends to Seattle. I still haven't taken pictures of anything I've knitted, so I'm lame. I have currently finished a divine knit hat for me, a baby afgan, and the premie boot booties that I finished awhile ago. I did block them, so I hope to have a picture of a wee infant wearing them soon.

Before I add the pictures I will say I was reading in John 3 today. I love Jesus. I love how he talks to the people. He was so patient and tried hard to communicate mysteries to those around him, and now to us through the bible.
I love God and HIS reality.
I love the bible and how, no matter what I am thinking about or going through the Holy Spirit makes sure I get the wisdom I need from scripture. That's why the bible is described as alive! I also appreciate when I haven't read the bible in awhile that God brings me to a passage that speaks to me, exactly where I'm at.

The next three weeks we will be playing music at our Mother church Cascade Community Church. We will be leading them as the Crosswater Community Church worship team. I'm really excited. I'm not excited about the goodbyes starting up again.....but we'll all get through this together. I'm going to just listen to folks and be with them.

Also, this weekend is our 12th Wedding anniversary. I will post some pics later of our day. We will be doing music for three services at church. . . . . .then we will get away and have some fun. It's also Mother's Day so. . .we'll make some phone calls. We are blessing my Mom with our boys for the day. I think they are the perfect Mother's Day gift!

Have a great day, it's early morning now.

Some pics for you!
All my big strong men. We look like we are out for quite the adventure. Sterling's pants got left home, so we pulled his socks up to his thighs! He did just fine. The hike was a hoot!

Rick's stubborn head (he does not like photos. . .)
Brandon contemplative, Torry, Kwevin from Heaven, and meeee. I took this picture on a timer, unannounced...... Oh, and we had ice water at Pike Place Brewery with our lunch. Not again! ha

Debbie, oh Debbie is so gorgeous. This is my beloved Frank's Momma. Isn't she divine? I have a fun look on my face because I was having fun taking random pictures with my camera. We were climbing the Harbor Steps and not going to Japanese food at my favorite restaurant
. . .because Kevin can be mean sometimes.

Torry and Renee's backsides and some terrific stairs! Just look at them!!!

Frank, Athon, and the Seattle Sculpture Park. This was a fun day. Funny thing, it's called the Fun Day Away. I am so proud of my new Momma sister friend Frank, and new Daddy brother friend Jay. Athon is one of the best babies ever born. There are only a few that come out as good as him. He's contemplative and makes the best sounds. I really am fond of the little guy. I can't wait to see him this weekend. I am going to give him a kwis!
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Knit progress pics coming soon! Stay tuned! ! !