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November 2005
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January 2006

Rock & Roll Ribbing

I had a Fair Isle fit this morning and decided to attack my Inger Fredholm gansey -- well, it isn't really a gansey, but it is a nice all-over pattern Fair Isle design. I had quit knitting on it because of the ribbing, which was rolling up and annoying me. (You can read the sad history in a previous post.) Here's what the ribbing originally looked like:


So this morning I cut off the old ribbing, picked up the stitches, and re-knit the ribbing the way Inger said to do it in the first place: Knit one main color, Knit one pattern color. I had chosen to knit one pattern color, purl one main color, because I was afraid it would roll if it were all knit. Well, now I know the answer to that for sure.

Cheerfully I knit along this morning, and wasn't really paying too close attention, because I was sure Inger had been right and I was wrong, and I also felt that the ribbing would be flat and beautiful when I was done because it's a known "fact" that stockinette doesn't roll much at the bind off edge, as opposed to the cast on edge which rolls mightily; in my many years of knitting experience I have always found this "fact" to be true. Besides, I was watching the DVD of the Cream May 2005 reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall -- an excellent DVD, especially for fans of Eric Clapton. The concert ended about the time the ribbing was done. I bound off.

But the ribbing still rolls just like it did before, and it is very ugly. UGLEEEE. Here's what it looks like now, and also a picture of the ribbing I cut off. Note how they look exactly alike, regarding the rolling!



I give up. I thought about knitting a lining and sewing it down inside to force the ribbing to lie flat (actually, I guess it isn't really ribbing, since I didn't use any purl sts), but at this point I am convinced that if I did so, the whole hem would just flip straight up. Therefore, I plan to steam the ribbing within an inch of its life, and dip it into an Elmer's Glue and water mixture to stiffen it, and then it will lie flat.

I'm kidding about the Elmer's Glue. Mostly.

So now, I am right where I was a day ago, not wanting to finish this beautiful sweater. Which is too bad, because it is really beautiful, I love knitting it, but it is discouraging to work on anything no matter how beautiful when you know from the start that it is going to be unattractive when it is done, regardless of how well you knit it. I am stumped; I don't know why it is rolling. I have never had this happen before. Cast off edges have always lain flat and submissive for me in the past. Just to make sure of it, I bound off in purling instead of knitting, to force the edge to curl under a little. But no, it wants to roll up to my armpits. It's a puzzle.

Bobble-Edged Hat pattern

Bobble-Edged Hat

This hat pattern was included in the Unique One Fall Newsletter and, since the next newsletter will be coming out in a month or so with an all-new wicked cunnin' scarf pattern (which I LOVE, if I must say so myself, wait til you see this one) -- I thought I'd put the Bobble Hat pattern here on my blog for safekeeping, for my loyal readers, for eternity or for as long as the internet lasts. Enjoy!


Bobble-Edged Hat

Materials: 2 balls Paintbox yarn from Knit One Crochet Too (a worsted weight single ply wool which has 100 yards in a 50-gram ball; you actually only need about 150 yards for the hat); size 7 16" circular needles and size 7 double pointed needles; tapestry needle to weave in ends.

Size: fits average-sized woman's head

Special Abbreviation: MB (Make Bobble): knit into front and back of next stitch twice (4sts). Turn, P4. Turn, K4. Turn, P2tog twice. Turn, k2tog through the back loops.

Cast on 96 sts using size 7 16-inch circular needle. Join and work bobble edging as follows: Row 1: Purl. Bobble Round: K2, *MB, K5; rep from *, end last rep MB, K3.

(Purl a round, knit a round) twice (2 garter ridges).

Work in K2, P2 rib for one inch.

Purl 3 rounds.

Work textured rib pattern as follows: Round 1: (K5, P1) around. Round 2: P1, (K3, P3) around, end K3, P2. Round 3: P2, (K1, P5) around, end K1, P3. Repeat these three rounds for pattern. Work in textured rib pattern for 3 1/2 inches.

Purl 3 rounds.

Continue in stockinette stitch and work decreases as follows:

Round 1: (K6, K2tog) around.

Round 2 and all even rows: Knit.

Round 3: (K5, K2tog) around.

Round 5: (K4, K2tog) around.

Round 7: (K3, K2tog) around.

Round 9: (K2, K2tog) around.

Round 11: (K1, K2tog) around.

Round 12: Knit.

Next Rounds: K2tog around until 6 sts are left. Cut yarn, pull tail through remaining sts, pull tight. Weave in ends.

Christmas in Camden

We often get people in the store during the year who comment that Camden must be pretty at Christmas. Well, it is. I love it. People really get into the Christmas spirit around here. So, the other morning (I think it was a Sunday morning) I went out & about town before I opened the store, and snapped some photos of Camden at Christmas, which I have put together in a photo album for your enjoyment:
Click here to see Camden at Christmas

Also, if you would like to listen to a really fabulous Christmas song while you view the photos, I highly recommend you download "Warm Us from Within" -- a super Christmas tune from Steve Ogden.
Click here to hear and/or download song

Merry Christmas!

Snow Day

I love it when it snows a lot, and I don't have anywhere to go. All is well at the store; I have wonderful employees who can run everything smoothly, blindfolded, without me. I can just stay home and enjoy the storm. All three cats are curled up in various places, mostly near the woodstove, a fresh pot of coffee is perked, and Christmas carols are playing.

I had already scheduled today as a stay at home & knit day, so the snow is just added fun. I piled wood by the door this morning, and the stove is pumping out heat. I'll work for an hour on the hat I'm designing for the Fibre Company and then I'll go knit my special order sweater. When it's done, I'll spend the rest of the day on the hat again. It would be nice to finish it up, but we'll see. It's relatively fine yarn, and I'm using size 3 needles, and I'll probably have to knit it a few times to get it the way I want it.

This will be a good snow day.

Ornaments, the movie

There's a great little Christmas animation out there -- it's called "Ornaments" and it features a very cute Santa Claus ornament who really wants to get from the Christmas tree where he is hanging, to the coffee table where cookies have been put out for Santa. It's action-packed, fun, suspenseful and clever, and a wonderful amusement for children and adults alike. I love it. I highly recommend you download it, watch it, and share it with your friends. Here's the link:

Ornaments Movie -- Click Here


Project Update

I've been pretty busy knitting on the knitting machine for the store for a couple of months, so I haven't been doing much personal (hand)knitting. Not that much of any of my knitting is personal, anymore, I guess.... it's usually samples for the store. Oh well. It's still knitting, so it's still fun.

But anyhoo, here's an update. I'm knitting another of my bobble hats, because I liked the design so much I wanted one just like it for myself. Heh, I only have about an inch done up above the bobbles on that little project.

For a while after Inger Fredholm came to Unique One, I worked hot and heavy on a gansey from her book Knitting With A Smile. I stopped because I got busy and.... there's a problem with it. I cast on a different way, a way she talks about in her book, because I always like to learn new things, but I don't like the result. The gansey has fair isle ribbing, but with this cast on, it rolls up on the bottom and displeases me. I can fix it, by taking off the first few rounds of the ribbing and binding off, but somehow that rolled up ribbing looks ugly to me and it makes me just not want to knit on the sweater at all. I originally wanted to finish it by Christmas, but now I'd be happy for Christmas 2006. I won't have time to get back to it for another month, anyway. Here's a picture of it:

I'm also designing a pair of socks for The Fibre Company, but you'll have to wait for the pattern to come out to see the picture. If they turn the design down, I'll put a picture up. I am knitting the socks in the absolutely luscious Khroma yarn, and the design is faintly Andean in homage to the alpaca in the yarn. Because the socks take several skeins of yarn, and the yarn is relatively expensive, it will be expensive to knit the socks. I needed the number of skeins because of the fact the socks are multicolored. My answer to this predicament is to design an accompanying hat that uses up the yarn remaining from the socks. Isn't it wonderful how I manage to make more work for myself everytime I turn around? :)


I have an iPod, one of the older ones that only plays music -- it isn't in color and it doesn't play videos and it DOES NOT do the dishes or vaccuum.

However, I keep up with the iTunes updates and the QuickTime updates, and when iTunes started offering video and TV shows for sale as well as music, I thought eh. Good for them, but I'll never buy it.

But! But!!!

Pixar has several short animations available for download on iTunes, and in one of them called "Boundin'", the main character is a sheep! A Sheep!

So OF COURSE I downloaded it and watched it on my computer -- the sheep is a very cute sheep, and the story is truly short and sweet. Basically, the sheep gets shorn and is sad, and a jackalope cheers him up, and the sheep comes to see the annual shearing cycle as a good thing. I love this little animation. Yay Pixar!

Here's a little picture of the sheep -- I am sure this picture is totally copyrighted by Pixar so don't rip it off like I did: