Archive for the ‘RS TikkunKnitters’ Category

Cables and diagonals have been flooding my knitterly imagination and knitting bag lately. Daily rehearsals and/or concerts have meant a fair amount of walking and waiting time, therefore progress on a number of small projects.

On the cable front: my Chevalier Mittens are done, in all their diagonal cable glory! A very, very satisfying knit, leaving me with a taste to try the matching hat. My reversible cable scarf, inspired by the reversible ribbed cable in Vogue’s Stitchionary 4 (p. 157), is inching along. I’m working with 50 sts to produce 4 undulating cables bounded by slipped selvedge sts. The Cascade Dolce is lovely to work with, yielding about 14″/hank, by it does pill (leaving silver gray alpaca filaments wherever I work).

Encouraged by the arrival of a copy of Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters early in the week, I tested the Coriolis Sock pattern (also available on DIY) for this week’s gathering of the R.S. Tikkun Knitters group. Remnants of Paton’s SWS used for a couple of pairs of Keep Away Felted (Turkish) Slippers (pattern here) were all that was necessary to execute a pair of these interesting little test socks (I used a Turkish cast-on to start them).


While the design is ingenuous, I expect that novice sock knitters will find the directions difficult to follow, especially if they are working on dpns. Cookie A’s Thelonius Socks and Millicent Socks redistribute the increases of the ordinary heel flap and gusset in similar (and intriguing) ways. Plenty to think about working on when the weather turns fair (my favorite time to work on socks, keeping the wool out of my lap).

It seemed the Cobblestone Pullover would be finished last weekend, but a last try-on before completing the neck opening disclosed the need to lengthen the yoke just a bit on the 43″ size to accomodate my buff boy’s chest and biceps. So, the frogging will have to wait until this coming weekend.

For a lark, I also set aside a bit of time to knock out a knocker, or rather a nipple, for The Nipple Project. The Nipple Project is a collaborative project which will be part of the group exhibition “Enclosed, Encased & Enrobed” next June at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in The Artist Village in Santa Ana, California. (More information and examples of some of the creative contributions are found here). My contribution is made with a few yards of the seemingly endless cones of sportweight silver metallic cord purchased from KnitPlace Yarn Store on eBay for my silver dreidel and menorah patterns.

(additional photos will be edited in once the camera battery finishes charging)


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There’s been small amounts of progress on many needlework fronts lately, and closure on a few smaller projects. Flu has kept me indoors more than usual, and there was a work-related trip to Boston, which has meant more knitting. I’ve been switching from project to project, small to large, fine to chunky, straight needle to circular, to see if the variety minimizes carpal tunnel symptoms. It’s hard to tell yet, as the condition seems to have stabilized at moderate chronic discomfort. Typing seems to aggravate it, so I’ve been slow to share progress on projects and ideas.

What’s been happening? I finally finished knitting the second of two pairs of Turkish-style slippers with SWS from the stash; these go quickly, and I look forward to seeing how they felt once I have a large enough pile to start the machine. I’ve also finished a pair of mitered booties a la Elizabeth Zimmerman the first of two new booties (for demonstrating mitered knitting techniques to the RS Tikkun Knitters), and I’m having a go at a new pattern available through Ravelry, Jolene Mosley’s Baby Shoes, a knitted knock-off of the standard cloth or leather booties on so many infants’ feet. I’ve used some merino worsted in the stash from Handpaintedyarn.com leftover from the felted clog fest a few years ago. The blue booties are as diminutive as the usual Saartje’s booties, and I’ve tried to enlarge the orange slippers by working with worsted and slightly larger needles.

Three ideas for the Patterns for Peacebuiders have been started and then frogged. I was particularly inspired by a cabled sweater that crossed my path one night on Ravelry, theyarnmonkey‘s gray man’s sweater – he’s set it aside as an “ugh” project, but I was inspired by the edge treatment, which reminded me of the columns of poplars and cedars I remember during a trip to Israel/Palestine long ago. This sweater inspired the idea to create a set of projects based on the flora of Israel/Palestine, starting with cedar and fig motifs. The test swatch with Peace Fleece’s Shabu Green just didn’t seem to work, so it’s been set aside for the time being (frogged before I remembered to photograph it, but theyarnmonkey’s is here).

Brioche berets seem to fly off the needles – they’ve become a standard project for the recumbent bike. The Rooftop Beret is worked in 4 sections. The spiralling Ying Yang Beret is my favorite of Nancy Marchant’s patterns, and this (second) one will go to auction for the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia.

When a Ravelry editor asked to use a photo of a hat I’d made last summer, inspired the vintage Five O’Clock Hat pattern,

I thought I’d best provide a proper example as well. My Kureyon striped hat was really only inspired by the stovepipe shape of the vintage version. The second one is was knitted with Rowan Felted Tweed doubled, which gave it fine weight (the pattern calls for a sportweight boucle). The strip of garter ribbing up one side works like ruching, creating the jaunty tilt (in the original). Unfortunately, I tried to be clever and close the top by “turning the heel”, so to speak, rather than binding off and sewing a seam. I’m not satisfied with the shape of the top, so it will just have to be reknit when there’s time.

There’s also the top-down Valentine’s cable hat I’ve been working on designing (cables have been the order of business for the past few weeks, now that I’ve finished the owl cap and Nottingham hats, and finally received my copy of Vogue’s Stitchonary, Vol. 2). Working out the interlocking knots was quite a challenge – at one point I was reduced to working with papercut images. I’m still not satisfied with the circular cables, but it’s been knit and reknit so many times that the merino has acquired cloud-lets of fuzz. My hands will be full of hearts for the rest of the week.

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The past few weeks have been challenging, with intensive rehearsals for performance of Robert Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Paradise and the Peri) with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In spite of the hectic schedule, there was time to knit (during preparations for three performances in Philadelphia, and especially during the trip to the Carnegie Hall (!!) performance last Friday).

So what’s the state of the UFO knitting basket after all the to-ing and fro-ing?

I’ve finished the first of a number of Hanukkah knits – a working dreidel. My knitted menorah is proceeding slowly (photos coming soon), and the latkes are waiting to be felted. More information about the dreidel, including the pattern (one of my “Patterns for Peacebuilders”), is available here and here.

My second Noro Striped Scarf (popularized by Jared Flood) is nearly done. The first I share with husband and resident son. This second is for my nephew, HS; it’s about time I finish something special for him, after all the attention I’ve showered on my niece-lets. (In the spirit of fairness, to me – he returned, unworn, and without explanation – the felted clogs I made for him for Hanukkah last year). HS chose this project, and I look forward to seeing it wrapped around his impressively-growing frame. This is a project that gets attention wherever it appears – the miracle of Noro and the miraculous properties of its variegation.

A pair of Malabrigo Loafers were completed, and now join the basket of “house shoes” that greet visitors to our home.

For a final push to finish the Clapotis I started a year ago for my sister’s birthday, I’ve joined the Second Wave Clapotis KAL. I used the 3 hanks of Ottawa hand-dyed yarn from Handmaiden’s Jane Origami Pullover pack, but neglected to alternate skeins as I proceeded; thus, beautiful even variegation for the first two hanks, but serious concentration of gray and blue on the third. Fortunately, my sister loves this “sin free” yarn from Nova Scotia, however the colors are distributed over the shawl. We’ll see if I can, with communal encouragement, complete the last corner before her next birthday in mid-January.

On Sunday I began the R.S. Tikkun Knitters project in religious school classrooms. Four teenage students in the “Confirmation Academy” learned to knit. In a few weeks they’ll begin their projects with Peace Fleece’s Baghdad Blue, which will give us many hours of conversation about knitting and peace.

I’ve also (finally!!) completed my entries to my Ravelry account. It’s taken an unreasonable and inordinate amount of time to do so, made that much more difficult by the distractions offered by the sometimes fascinating group discussions. My principal commitment is to the “Knitting Our Way to Peace” forum, a noteworthy group in which interfaith and inter-ethnic conversation takes place with remarkable respect and mutual concern, though not without occasional fireworks.

The challenge of the past few weeks have included not just the seemingly endless project of emptying the UFO baskets, but also finding a way to to do so without developing carpal tunnel syndrome. To that end I’ve embarked on a journey to expand my repertoire of knitting techniques (which will also expand the ways I can assist new knitters). So, I used my version of the Kusha Kusha Scarf to learn to knit Continental style. Online resources (1, 2, 3, 4) provided plenty of instruction (video and written) for Continental knit, Continental purl, Eastern continental knitting, Eastern continental purling, alternating Eastern (K1, P1). [[Note: The Habu Kusha Kusha Scarf kit was beyond my budget (two sons in university), but I located sufficient discussion online to be able to work out my own version. It’s taken the better part of two cones of Habu’s silk & steel thread, so I may not have saved myself much. But I love the indigo & red merino lace from Handpaintedyarn.com , and am looking forward to felting the scarf soon.]] After more than 40 years of “throwing” my yarn, American (or English) style, it’s been a revelation to carry the yarn in my left hand. It works! I’m almost accustomed to the different directions the knit and purl stitches face (at least the way I’m producing them). Next? Ambidextrous knitting

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I’ve finally managed to catch up with the baby knitting …

There’s a pair of Saartje’s Booties in need of buttons for a musical colleague’s new daughter, and a traditional Sweet Baby Cap for the second grandchild of my next-door-neighbors (the baby’s mother nearly delivered my own college-age son!). There’ s a knitted soccer ball in progress for the baby’s older brother.

In addition, I’ve finally sorting out four children’s hats knitted last spring and intended for the Dulaan Project, but which will be redirected to the R.S. Tikkun Knitters hamper (to encourage the group now that it’s up and running) for distribution to the local J.F.C.S. (photos here: 1, 2, 3; and the child’s version of an Elizabeth Zimmerman Snail Hat). I also managed to weave in the ends on the collection of infant slippers I’d made last spring (in a fit of slipper and booty fever).

Even with these done, there are still a pair of brimming UFO baskets that chill my heart whenever I enter my knitting corner of the kitchen.

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If I can spend the better part of an evening trying to knit this,

and making this,

then why not knit this?

Take the spelling test at: http://metaatem.net/words

Check out: the (Rodeph Shalom) TikkunKnitters’ first appearance, at Philadelphia’s MitzvahMania Day, October 21st

The knitted shofar is on its way …

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