Thursday, November 28, 2013


If you are American, today is a day of feasting and spending time with family and loved ones.  But it is also a day of reflecting on the things that you are thankful for.

Most people seem to have a stock answer when asked what they are thankful for this, friends, job, home, or if they are just sitting down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, good food.

I am thankful for all those things too.  I wouldn't be much of a knitter if I didn't add that I am thankful for needles, yarn, patterns and the skill to be able to put those things together to make snuggly warm sweaters and socks, or pieces of lace that I am still not sure what to do with! (I got bit by the doily making bug over the summer!)

But Thanksgiving, at least in the US, also marks a milestone for knitters......the time when the smug can sit back and work on something for themselves and the rest of us scrabble to gather materials, patterns, needles (spread sheets if you are the Yarn Harlot, who is in Canada but she is counting down too so I include her in the list!)and start to quietly panic.

This morning I had 27 knitting days until Christmas!

But wait a minute, didn't I start things in the summer?  Don't I already have two out of the three required sweaters knit and packaged away? (Yup!)  Three pairs of socks have been knit in the past three weeks....

( This is the third pair, TDQ named them Waffles with Syrup Socks and there isn't really a pattern for them, just a basic top down sock with some slipped stitches and purl rows thrown in to stop me from having to count higher than 6! )

 and the next pair are halfway done. (Double Yup!)

 A hat,

 A very bad rendition of a new pattern from Andrea Jurgrau called Autumnal Bug.  It certainly shows that I haven't knit with two colors in a while and the hat still isn't blocked but I had a turkey to cook today!

 two pairs (so far) of fingerless mitts......

Hmmmmm, as I have culled my knitting list fairly severely this year, in a couple of weeks I might just be one of the smug ones, sitting by the fire with a movie knitting on a pair of socks for me!  But, I better not say that too loudly, we all know what happens when knitters start to boast!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Not much to see here

There isn't much to see here this week at Chez Yarn Diet.

There should be more, after all there was a bank holiday at the beginning of the week and in an unusual turn of events I didn't spend half of my holiday from work at the Emergency Room!  I am certainly glad that is one "tradition" that we seem to have put an end to!

What did I do with my free time instead of sitting in the ER or knitting....I cleaned out dressers.  For the past few years I have been doing my best to get rid of "stuff" in my life.  Stuff that needs dusting, or Stuff that doesn't make me smile, Stuff that just seems to take up room, yet it seems no matter how much "stuff" I get rid of, more creeps in to take over the space, so every now and then I just get ruthless and donate bags and boxes of "stuff" to whoever will take them.

Not that no knitting got done, there was some, TDQ's Cloak is several inches longer, but still looks the same, a large, purple, blob that gets dragged around with me!

TFB's socks got started and finished.  Pretty soon he will take over from The Monster Man in having the biggest feet that I knit for!

Big enough that two balls of Patons Kroy are not quite enough to make him a pair of socks, so I added in some black for the heels and toes. (Don't mention it too loudly but the only black fingering weight yarn I could find has a sparkle thread running through but us needs to know, he will be able to cover it up with his shoes!)

You can't really tell from the picture but I strayed from the simple knit around until you are ready to strangle someone and added some texture to these ones.  Just a simple slipped stitch here and there and some purl rows, but it was enough to break the monotony.

Next up are more socks, because I was reminded that it is tradition that Christmas Stockings hold socks, along with a few other small gifts, and it wouldn't be right not to have them.

That is one tradition that I plan on keeping for a while yet!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Finally She Knits Some Socks

Oh to have more time in my life for the things I want to put in it, rather than the things that have forced their way, unwelcomed through the door, or worse yet the ones that steal into my mind and have my thoughts spinning in never ending negative spirals.

Sometimes I feel like everyone is telling me to do the next thing, when in my mind I am screaming "But I wasn't done yet!" like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum about the last thing that I had on my list, but somehow, somewhere I managed to steal a little time for knitting.....


There is something about self patterning yarn that captures my heart.  All I have to do is knit around and around and around and something special looking comes off my needles.  The match is not "exactly perfect" but certainly close enough!

And more fingerless mitts.

I might make a hat to go with these and throw them in a gift bag  The moss stitch and ribbing up the sides of the hands make them stretchy enough to fit me and someone with much bigger hands.  Very loosely based on Treads these knit up super fast, with nice long wrist bits to make sure that there isn't a gap between your coat sleeve and the mitt.  I think a teenager would love to stand at the bus stop texting in them!

I have made some small progress on TDQ's cloak,

This is the original picture and now it looks just like that but bigger!

And, although you can't see it here, enough yarn to keep me busy any time I am not busy doing something else.

Guess I am not doing so badly after all if I have FO's to show!

But as they say "Winter is coming" and where winter comes, Christmas can't be far behind......I have a lot more knitting to do!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

What is the opposite of Green Sweater?

I mentioned a while back that I was working my way through my Christmas Knitting, starting early this year!  I am really glad I started as early as I did!

The First Brother's Red Henley is folded and waiting patiently to be worn.

The Other Brother's Green sweater turned into a nightmare!

I pretty much stick to the same recipe every time I knit a sweater anymore.  Start at the top, work my way down, try on periodically to check for sizing. But this time, actually both times in this instance, I started by (almost) following a bottom up, knit in the round to the armholes, knit the sleeves separately, pattern.

TFB's went well enough, a little snugger across the chest than I had planned for but he liked the fit, so all was good.

TOB's didn't go well from the start!  I cast on the required number of stitches for the front and back, joined in the round and knit many inches, all the while a little voice in the back of my head telling me "It's a little wide, don't you think?"  I successfully ignored that voice until it was time to join in the sleeves and start some raglan shaping, when I finally measured the thing.  TOB is  a bit wider than TFB, but not that much and a 50 inch chest size was going to be huge on him, so I frogged it all and started again using smaller needles and less stitches.

Body done, and the right width this time, I cast on for sleeves.  That little voice was whispering to me again, "A little long, maybe?" but I, again, ignored her and joined the sleeves in anyway, justifying that it had been a long time since I knit bottom up, I had just forgotten how long sleeves felt when they were knit without a body attached to them.

Having fudged the number of stitches around I had to fudge the neck shaping too, but after a few knit throughs ended with what I thought was a well shaped, fitted sweater.  And then I had him try it on!

Those sleeves were not a "little" long!  They were 8 inches too long!

Now as anyone who has knit ribbing knows, it only unravels in one direction, so just snipping the cuff and pulling out the knitting was not going to work at all.  After all the fudging and reknitting I was not about to unravel the entire yoke section of the sweater, so instead I carefully cut off the offending sleeves, picked up my stitches and worked in the other direction down to the cuff.

Success at last, or so I thought, until that little voice piped up again, "you might have cut too much, those sleeves look a little short now, don't they?" she asked.  Of course she was right and I had to snip and pull and pick up all over again!

For a really plain, boring to knit, 6 by 2 broken rib sweater there has been an awful lot of work involved in this one!  So much that I have to ask...

What is the opposite of a green sweater?

Maybe some red fingerless gloves?

 I am itching to find a new project, but inspiration seems to have eluded me!  Any ideas on what I should knit next?