Tuesday, April 14, 2009


What if there was a store that was having a sale, and an item is priced at 3.00 and was 40 percent off? It would cost 1.80.
And then if there was anther sale, and an item is priced at 3.00 and was 60 percent off, it would cost 1.20.
But, what if you were in a hurry, and you weren’t watching your prices closely at the store. And then you were looking at the items in your bag, and the item was marked at 3.50. Well, then, it costs 1.40. Yes, it’s only pennies different but if you’re buying lots of them, it adds up.

The moral of the story is to look at the prices on the items before you pay your money. And if there are price changes you weren’t expecting, ask about them. Before you pay your money.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Earth Day

I know, I know, I've been missing in action.

I'm still alive. For a while I was spending too much time at work. Now, I'm spending too much time knitting and spinning. And on ravelry...

In honor of earth day, I'm publishing my first pattern. This is a bag I call my purple bag, but to go with all the green theme and because I usually make such bags green, it's my Green Purple Bag. I intended to put a pdf link here but I'm not exactly sure how to make that happen and I want to get this post up, so I'll place the pic and words here, and come back later and replace it with a pdf.

Green Purple Bag pattern


Yarn: for a big bag, as written below: about 200 yards of cotton or cotton/linen blend yarn
Needles: Size 13us 16 inch circular needle and size 7 (any type)

Handle: Using a provisional cast-on and smaller needle, CO 7 stiches. Knit garter stitch until strap is about 20 to 24 inches, stretched. My handle is 110 rows, 55 ridges. Leave stitches waiting on needle. (Note, when I make my next bag, I’m making the handle about 10 inches long)
Bag: Using larger needle, cast on 70 stitches and join for knitting in the round.
Round 1: Place marker to show the start of each round. K3 stitches then knit the next 7 stitches together with the strap stitches. (This is like a three needle bind off but don’t bind off. ) K28. Remove the provisional cast on and knit the next 7 stitches together with the starting stitches. K25
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: * YO2, K1 Repeat from * until end of round
Round 5: * Drop first YO, knit second YO together with knit stitch. Repeat from * until end of round
Repeat round 4 and round 5 until bag is desired length or about 25 yards of yarn remain.

Decrease rounds:
Round 6: *YO2, K2tog Repeat from * until end of round
Round 7: Drop first YO, knit second YO together with knit stitch.
Repeat round 6 and round 7 one time.

Divide remaining stitches evenly between 2 needles. Do a 3 needle bind off.
Alternatively, cast off stitches and seam the bag bottom.

Note: for a smaller bag, use one ball of yarn, about 100 to 120 yards, and knit until you have about 25 yards left, then do the decrease rounds.
Another option would be to do fewer stitches around. The pattern stitch works for any stitch count.

© jdb 2008
Please use this pattern for personal use only.
Contact Jeri Bisel at soapquiltknit@gmail.com with questions or comments.

p.s. If anyone can share information about how to put a pdf on blogger, it would be great.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

What was lost is found

The maple man's hat has been lost. The hat I knit for him this year with yarn purchased specially for his hat. Not this and that, scraps and leftovers, like many hats this year have been knit with. This was Lorna's Laces worsted. Vacation trip yarn.

I was not pleased. (This displeasure was compounded by the fact that he needed a new hat because he felted last year's hat. This year's hat is superwash.)

He called me yesterday at the office. He was so happy. He had found his hat. When I got home, he presented me with the hat he found in the fire dragons (I should find the TM symbol, the Fire Dragon is a special shantung maple with red fall color that he patented last year [link]). The found hat was some green acrylic hat I had knit, probably quite a few years ago. I guess it has been out in a field of trees for maybe two or three years. I told him that that was not the hat he had lost. I tried to describe the red variegated color of the lost hat. He did not remember. I had to go find the little hat I had knit with the leftovers. Then, at least, he knew what he was looking for.

Today there was another hat find. The right hat. It was found in some bag behind the seat of his truck. He says it is warm. He says it is long enough to fold up. I said, "yes, you ask for extra length. Of course, it's warm, it's wool."

And it's a good thing. He was at risk of a fate no knitter's husband should face. Store bought hats.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 plans

No resolutions, just plans...

I plan to knit some yarn and spin some fiber.

I just did a major lys sale buy. How could I help myself when a yarn store is moving and selling at crazy prices? So I plan to mostly knit from stash...

Some of my knitting plans:
finish knitty grace -- this project has languished in the ufo list for tooo long

finish the pink cotton cable-y sweater and find somebody who fits it

finish the malabrigo wrap -- this one was set aside in favor of knitting sweaters for the maple man and for mom... Sweater season is over, at least for others, and for the time being.

knit some socks -- Here are some socks that are on the needles:
handspun spunky grand opening color socks -- my first socks from my homespun. Both socks are knit to just up over the heel, with scrap yarns in place for afterthought heels. I have to spin more yarn. My spinning wheel has been neglected during sweater season. (see above)
pinky funny rib socks -- I think the pattern is from favorite socks (and I need to look it up.) I liked the way Joy's socks by this pattern looked better than I like knitting mine. Seems like I have to pay attention to the chart and it's not becoming imbedded in my brain.
ribby socks that started out as hedgerow socks but the yarn doesn't really work with the pattern... So they have a few chart repeats of hedgerow at the top and then k2p2k1p1 ribbing
I want to knit Eunny's endpaper mitts [link]. They've been in my ravelry queue for the longest.
I want to knit Rosemary's wendelins [link] and Brenda's Brother Amos [link].
Some sock patterns I've knit before that I may knit again are monkey and rpm, both from knitty, since mine are gone (gifted). And loksins [link].
I plan to knit socks for birthday gifts for my sis and sil. (I could keep this a secret but since I made them both do a major try on of my socks and "pick a sock yarn", I'm guessing they have some ideas...)
the cat lacey double stranded socks [pattern from a vogue knitting during 2006] will be up for evaluation, to frog or to finish, that is the question.

And I plan to figure out what else is hibernating. And needs to be finished. Or frogged...

I plan to spin some. I'm not going to say every day because that won't happen. But at least every other day. I've joined naspimomo [link] and the naspimomo ravelry group. [Gotta love ravelry. If you're a knitter and you're not on ravelry, head right over and sign up. I'll wait. I've entered most of my yarn stash and next comes cataloging projects. I plan to enter new projects as I work on them, and catch up past projects during the year.]

There's quite a bit of fiber accumulated during the last few months since I've started spinning. After I spin some down, and if I keep spinning and liking spinning, I plan to join Spunky's monthly fiber club [link].

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Yarn sales

Sometimes we struggle with ourselves. The little guy on one shoulder says "yarn sale, 50% off". The little guy on the other shoulder says "you have a LOT of yarn, what do you need more yarn for?"

Do you remember gas wars? Well, something similar is happening here with yarn. Today, in a couple of hours, a yarn sale starts at Shabby Sheep and it's 50% off all yarn. Later this week, at the Woolie Ewe it's 50% off everything. All week at Yarns Ewenique, it's 25% off everything. Last week, Jennings Street had 25% off everything. Then there is the big Webs sale.

Those little guys (the ones on my shoulder) are making lists. It is about 32 miles to Shabby Sheep and 50 miles to Plano. And there's not any other good reason, that I can think of, that I need to go to Dallas (or Plano). And gas is $3.00 per gallon. And I have lots of yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. And it will seriously cut into today's knitting time to go for a drive to Dallas. On the other hand, think about the yarn. We could do ooh, pretty, for 50% off. Rubbing elbows with lots of other knitters. Lots and lots of other knitters.

I think I will work on photographing my yarn and updating my ravelry stash.
And post a message on the Sisters of the Wool list, to see if anybody is going to Dallas. And I'll get dressed, in case anyone says yes.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

it fits

We did Christmas today with my family and I tried mom's sweater on her, complete with dangling needles and yarn ends and balls of yarn here and there.

And it fits! Well, what there is of it. It needs a few more rows on the front bands than I thought. And there is less of the sleeves left to knit than I thought. I'll need to do some figuring about the sleeve decreases but if I start now, they'll be pretty drastic. I may have to frog a few rows and start the decreases sooner... We'll see. I'm not up for the figuring this evening. Eight hours of driving (well, riding) takes it out of me.

On the way up there, I decided I needed to do some sock knitting. I was feeling uncertain about the sweater fit and there is sooo much of it now. There will not be seaming later, but the other side of that coin is that there is a lot of sweater and it's complicated to turn and knit back on a row.

Back to the sock, I decided I wanted to start knitting my latest handspun, the spunky eclectic grand opening color. I have spun enough, I think, for two sock feet and have the fiber batched up in queue to spin for the legs. It feels a little like cheating to start knitting before I'm done spinning. But, knit I did, and one foot is over half done. It's toe-up with a simple 3x1 rib on the upper foot area. It's doing a trekking style stripe. Pictures tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

A note about Christmas knitting... I decided to line the sari silk bag and take it as one of my gifts. We've been doing the dirty santa style exchange and last year there was a problem with clogs I intended for one nephew, who turned out to not be so interested in picking that gift... We this year, my niece brought her new bf (well, he's not new to her but it was his first time to meet the extended family.) Well, he opened the silk bag when some other gift was stolen from him... And no one stole it from him. He probably thinks we're weird. Or at least a gift exchange where a guy gets a knitted silk bag is weird. I'm hoping my niece likes the bag. Or she re-gifts it to someone who likes it... In any case, there will be no knitting for unknown recipients next year. Remind me next year, if my memory fades.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

mom's sweater

So now that Irish Moss is done, I'm concentrating on mom's sweater. Here she is as of earlier today:

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And it's going pretty well but there is a problem on the front, I was going to say front right or front left but it occurred to me that I dont know whether it's left or right, because it's garter and I don't even know which side is the right side...

Anyway, on the pic above, it's on the side where the front panel is wider. The last three inches have some odd loose gauge.

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They're almost ruffle-y. I have no explanation. I had no idea that I could knit with the same yarn and the same needles and get such a difference. When I noticed the looser rows, I let them rest and started working on the other side. I was kidding myself when I thought maybe the stitches would ease in? I'll be frogging a few inches.

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Irish Moss is done!!

As I guessed in the last post, I switched to a size 2 for the last 4 founds of the neckband knitting. And 16 rounds of neckband ribbing were plenty. To make sure, I knit in a circ for most of the stitches and dpns with only 10 or so stitches for the rest, and ask the maple man to try it on. I think he tired of the trying-on requests but indulged me.

Friday was our office Christmas party then we went to a graduation party for a good friend. There was minor imbibing so there was no serious knitting. On Saturday, December 15, I bound off the neck and woven in the last ends. And today, the maple man wore it to church.

Without further ado, I present Irish Moss:

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And up close:

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I wanted to take a picture on him but forgot to do it before he changed. A modeled picture will come later...

Just for the record,
Started August 4, finished December 15. That is 4 1/2 months... Not monogamous knitting but almost. And steady.
Yarn Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool Hazel colorway 13 skeins
(I bought 15, 2 were insurance in my mind, I guess I guessed well)
Needles: size 5 knitpicks options, plus size 3 for the ribbing and size 2 for the end of the neckband ribbing
Pattern: Alice Starmore's Irish Moss (Thanks to my local library for having Aran Knitting, and allowing my to check out and re-check...)
Modified to make the sweater longer and the sleeves longer and to add stitches, and cable chart repeats, based on my gauge. Actually, my first gauge swatch matched the pattern specs but felt "too airy". I feared it wouldn't be stable during wearing, and a bit too drapey for a manly cable sweater. As I knit them, the sweater front and back panels had 195 stitches in each row. I've thought about calculating total stitches but I don't think I want to know.