Tag Archive | knitting board

Day 5: tree

Christmas tree scarf (3)

This tree is on a scarf I made on my knitting board, lo these many years. It has been languishing in a bin, waiting for someone to love it enough to take it home. In other words, I made it for my Etsy store. I made up the pattern on my own. I even had to sketch out my own little grid because I had no graph paper at the time. The scarf used up two partial skeins of yarn that wouldn’t have made anything on their own, but I think the combined effect turned out pretty nice.

The straight dope on TwoFrogs

Blogging has been rather erratic lately and I’m sorry about that. It’s not that I haven’t been doing things — I have. Just not interesting things. Does anyone want to read about how I hemmed eight pairs of kids’ pants? I thought not. It wasn’t even interesting to do, much less talk about.  I reconstructed a men’s XL flannel shirt into a nightshirt for myself. But that’s only marginally interesting. If I took before and after pictures (which I did not), you would be hard-pressed to find any discernible difference. All I did was bring in the sides and shorten the sleeves. Not interesting. And remember that sock I was knitting on my knitting board? I’ve been working diligently on it everyday. But if I were to take a picture of that, you’d wonder why it doesn’t look any different than it did the last time I showed you (Answer: I screwed it up the first time and had to start over). I did finish the front panel of a sweater on my large knitting board, but by itself it isn’t a very newsworthy item. Last night I began another picture afghan (Axl #2 — Christmas present for Rana), so once again, another long term project. I think that’s the problem here. Everything that could potentially be of interest is weeks away from being finished. So that’s where things stand, craft-wise.

And now for something completely different.

Tomorrow marks our one year anniversary in the cabin! 1 year, 39 mice, 2 bats, 1 frog, a plague of flies, and 1 flying squirrel later, we’re still here. From creatures in the ceiling to a wild turkey on the deck, we’ve experienced nature in new and exciting ways. Outside, the rain is coming down and inside we’ve got a fire going in the large stone fireplace. Chilly drafts come up between the plank flooring, but, between Axl and Mr. Gren, I stay plenty warm at night. Konik’s 3rd birthday is coming up on Thursday and I was thinking how life in the cabin will likely be among his first real memories. He has vague memories of his bedroom in our previous house, but probably thinks cabin life is completely normal, which I find amusing. We never thought we’d be here a year later. But thank goodness for our friends M & M who have so graciously let us stay here! I don’t know where we’d be, otherwise. It has been a tough year. Mr. Gren continues to search for a job that will support our family while continuing to work at the ol’ home improvement store. There’s just not much out there. There have been plenty of disappointments and we’re weary and life is far from ideal. But, we’re alive and there are bright spots along the way and if we didn’t have hope that someday things will get better we’d never make it.

I realize this is a rather somber post. So for your amusement, please accept this photo of our pet wild turkey.

She’s the last one left of the flock of five turkeys that used to amble down the highway and has decided that our little pocket near the river is a nice place to live. She eats out of our hands. She perches on top of our cars (I’m sure those claws are great for the paint). And, if we park near the cabin instead of up on the hill like we usually do, she gets upset and attacks the car.

Once, the neighbor’s dog got out and chased her. She surprised us all by flying up into a tree. She didn’t look comfortable  at all, but she was safe. After the dog was gone, we coaxed her back down with some nuts.

Sometimes cabin life isn’t so bad. And the scenery can’t be beat.

I’ll see what I can do about some smaller projects. Fun for me and fun for you! Thanks for reading.


Half a sock

I have reached the stage in my yarn stash where I don’t have enough of any one kind to crochet anything useful. Oh, true, I could make a couple of scarves in ugly shades of green (why did I buy that?) and probably about 500 cell phone/i-pod cozies from leftover baby yarn, but I have neither of the aforementioned devices so what’s the point? Ok, well, I do have the World’s Most Basic Cell Phone that I turn on once a week at most. It doesn’t need to be cozy; it already takes up too much room in my purse.

So, nothing to crochet = nothing for me to do in the evenings. And if I have nothing to do in the evenings, I spend inordinate amounts of time watching Guns n’ Roses videos on YouTube. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… Except that if I spend too much time on the computer, I start getting mouse hand and the circulation cuts off at the elbow. Time to suck it up and start working on my sock again.

Last year for my birthday, Mr. Gren and the kids got me a little sock loom (because I asked for it; I’m sure none of them had any idea such a thing existed beforehand). I then proceeded to ignore it for several months because lots of other projects came up. Y’know, little things like moving to a cabin, my son’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our wedding anniversary, Mr. Gren’s birthday… Before I knew it, it was spring. I finally got out the little sock loom and began work on my very first knit sock. I got through the ribbed cuff and began on the stockinette stitches for the leg. And kept going, and kept going, and it never seemed to amount to anything. Nothing burns me out on a project faster than no visible progress. I also found that, unlike with crochet, I cannot use my tiny knitting loom and watch TV at the same time, which is usually what we end up doing in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed (and gotten back up. And put back down. And need a drink. And another hug. And “I can’t sleep.” And, Holy Box Springs, Batman, just stay in your freakin’ bed already!). Progress was still minimal.

But then there came the week of my brother’s wedding. I can’t watch TV and knit, but I can still talk to people (as long as they don’t expect any eye contact). It was the perfect arrangement for sock knitting. My feeble efforts were finally beginning to resemble a sock! After we got back, I managed to complete a couple rounds each day — while waiting for my computer to boot up, waiting for my turn to get in the shower, during the commercials when we watched TV… I think I found a system!

Now I have reached the heel. I began the process the other night and I think I’m doing it right. If I’m not, I’ll cry because again, unlike crochet, I don’t know how to undo knitting without ruining the entire thing. I guess it’s all a learning experience. Maybe I’ll get faster on the next one and it won’t seem so tedious. For now, though, I will bask in the glory of my half a sock.

It doesn’t always look like the book

Well, not everything can be a rousing success, can it? Sometimes it takes two… or three tries to have a project turn out right.

You may recall that I had a bunch of yarn that I wanted to knit up into sweaters. I began this pursuit a couple of weeks before Christmas. This is what I was attempting to make:

Turtleneck ribknit sweater vest plus pencil drawing by Konik.

Cute, right? And the girl looks so happy wearing it. It only follows that I would look cute and happy wearing it, too. Right? Hmm.

This is a knitting board pattern. Cheater’s knitting. I don’t know how to knit with needles. I suppose I could learn, but I don’t care. I like my knitting board. I’ve made a whole passel of mittens on it, a few scarves, and one stocking hat. I figured it was high time to try something a little more substantial. This was in the “easy” section, so I naturally assumed — silly me — that it would be easy.

Well, technically, it was easy. But something went way wrong the first time I tried it. I could tell things weren’t quite right as I was knitting it because I hadn’t even reached the armholes yet and the thing was already down to my knees. I’d begun to resign myself that I was knitting a turtleneck tunic. But I made the mistake of leaving it on the back of the futon one night. The next evening when I went to pick it up, I noticed a huge snag. I suspect one of my adorable munchkins. There was no saving it at that point, leaving me no choice but to tear the whole thing out. Not one of the greater joys in life.

Take Two. I began this attempt at my turtleneck sweater vest by counting every single tiny row in the photograph and determined that my first attempt had been right on pace. This left me with one conclusion: the girl in the photo must be some kind of Amazon. Or maybe my yarn is just stretchier than what they called for. Either way, I needed to drastically shorten up this pattern, even though I had used the small measurements. I kept a tally of rows on a little post-it note and deleted a few rows in key places. Last night I sewed the front and back pieces together and was rather pleased that the length appeared to be right and the armholes were in the right place. I was a little disappointed, however, that the turtleneck turned out to be more of a cowl. Oh well.

Saggy baggy turtle

Today I wore the sweater. It’s warm and comfy and squishy. But therein ends the love affair. It is also extremely stretchy, and the longer I’ve worn it today, the lumpier and more misshapen it has become. The hem is all wavy and uneven looking and I think the collar is growing. I may end up with a tunic yet. Yes, of course I knew that rib knit is inherently stretchy, but I really didn’t anticipate this.

Looking hippy. And not in a peace and flowers kind of way.

There are a couple more sweaters out of the same book that I want to make. I’m going to have to adjust the patterns both vertically and horizontally. But hey, if it doesn’t work out, I hear that sweater dresses are trendy.

Yarn therapy

Fall is my favorite season. The air is not as “crispy” up here in the Pacific Northwest as is usually associated with the season, but still, I like it. And with the change in season, comes a change in my creative mood. Invariably, I turn to yarn when the weather gets cooler. It must be instinctive. There’s still plenty of cold weather sewing I could be — and need to be — doing, but there’s just something comforting about sitting on the couch with a skein of soft yarn and a hook.

Soft yarn, pretty yarn, little ball of fur

A couple of years ago, I went yarn shopping without my brain and bought several skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in Tudor with the intention of crocheting a sweater. My first problem was succumbing to the temptation of Homespun. Any crocheter who has used this stuff will nod along with me when I say: It’s a pain in the butt to work with. I think it was intended for knitters. The second problem was failure to check the dye lot, so I ended up with a bunch of mismatched yarn. Blah.

Yarn on pegs

In my quest to diminish my yarn stash (so I can buy more!), I decided it was time to get rid of this stuff. It’s pretty and soft, just no fun to crochet. Enter: the knitting board! This was my birthday present last year. It’s super cool! For some reason, I have no inclination to learn how to knit with needles, but this board is really fun to use. Not quite as soft and comfy as just curling up on the couch with nothing but yarn and hook, but it does satisfy my need for yarn crafting.

Still requires a hook

I used a rib stitch on this scarf which I’m going to give to a friend. I still have lots more of the yarn left, so I’m going to make a matching scarf in stockinette stitch for her daughter. And if I still have some left, they’ll get hats, too.

Finished scarf with subtle color changes and lots o' fringe.

And in non-crafty news, the time has come for my family to move. We’ll be heading to a little cabin in the woods this Saturday. In other words, it’s going to be a hectic week and I won’t be back until next Monday. In preparation for our move, I checked out “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder to read to the girls, hoping it will ease some of the anxiety Granota is feeling. Rana already wants to smoke meat in a hollow log. We’ll see about that. But who knows, I’m feeling inspired by the knowledge base that people had to have just to get through a day. That can be a post for another day. But before that, maybe a few “home decor” ventures as we set up in the new place. Until then… have a good week!