Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

A quick peek at this damn fine Noro. It’s chilly here, and this will keep me toasty warm on the beach.

The Holy Grail of Maine yarn shopping. Somewhere also in this town, is a store that stocks Seascape yarn. Hopefully Halcyon – just saw her posing for a photo, wearing head to toe Noro – can point out the way.

Several hours later…

What did I buy? Some Noro Chirimen in beautiful ocean colors that I’ve never seen before from Noro.  This is a wool/cotton/silk yarn with all of the funky and none of the scratchy.  I am a third of the way through a wrap of my own invention and if it’s nice tomorrow I will park myself on the beach and finish it up.

I could not find the Seascapes anywhere in town, so us Seascape fans will have to wait until Rhinebeck.

Monkey Sox On The Beach

Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

I cast on these monkeys yesterday. I needed a surefire hit this week: something clever to knit but not too demanding, and something that would use up the miles and miles of this sherbet colored sock yarn I bought while in a yarn coma more than five years ago.

Everything, everything looks, smells and tastes better on the beach, and this yarn is no exception. This monkey socks pattern hides many of the
Seven Deadly Yarn Sins ( Pooling, Splitting, Knotting, Bits of Stuck Hay, Undied Spots, Little Knots and Animal Smell).

Tonite: after a few gin and tonics, The Problem of Gauge.

Vacation Crochet

Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

Saw this vest at Odd in Portsmouth today. Lots of knitting happenin’ during this much needed vacation – reports to follow

Those of you who knit a lot of lace know that there are usually two parts to a lace pattern: the row that establishes the pattern, followed by an alt row, usually a  plain purl row, that acts like a basic building block for your piece.

I always think of that alt row as everything else I do when I am not knitting.

Like this:

  • Row 1: K1 (ssk, yo, k1) 2 times.
  • Row 2: hang out at Mrs. Sacco’s pool with silly teenage girls who are not yet bored with their summer vacation.
  • Row 3: Knit in established pattern for summer birthday gifts but don’t put any pictures on the blog because the recipients will not be surprised.
  • Row 4: go see the Feelies at Maxwells and drink beer:


This picture does not show you how many freakishly tall people attended the show last night, tall people who had to stand as close to the stage as possible.  Even people whom I feel are tallish were dwarfed by these fans.  I had a super fun time, but rocknroll is hard on the knees, and my neck is a little sore from craning to see .  Tonight I will be taking it easy, drinking more beer, watching the fireworks and casting on project number 4 so far this month.

What a great weekend!  Sun was shining, birdies singing, flowers blooming, estrogen and progesterone in perfect balance – I threw a vintage tablecloth over the laundry pile and pretended it was a Shabby Chic ottoman and went out to play.

You may know, (if you live on my block, for example, and pass the sign every day)  that the first baseball game may have been played right across the street from my house on June 19, 1846.  Our local historical society hosted a vintage recreation game to honor the day, and I organized a Nineteenth Century Stitch n Pitch.

What are the elements of a Nineteenth Century Stitch n Pitch, you might ask?

Also an historical first: a picture of us knitters that no one can complain about:

knitty mamas

The cure for Knitter Slump is garter stitch.  Miles and miles of garter stitch.

Folks, there are few things worse for me than long periods of not-knitting.  I get as sad as one busted DPN in a set of four! I feel uncomfortable and prickly – like cheap acrylic. I sag like over blocked cotton. I’ve had to take a few long breaks over the years for knit related injuries but I’ve never experienced just not wanting to knit before. It was bringing me down.

What cured me is a little quiet time in the knittyworld of Log Cabins.  Here is some of it, in the Maine backyard:

Look out baby, its High Tide

Look out baby, its High Tide

Nobody needs a pattern for a log cabin quilt, and your colors don’t even have to match so it trims down the stash. You can work it on that most perfect size of needles, Size 8.  You can spit splice the ends, which means you won’t feel like taking a break for lunch because everything will taste like lanolin. There is the dreamy cadence of knit knit knit knit knit knit to put you back in the knitty groove.

thinking_about_knitting_button-p145392460736898609tmn2_210Since I’ve been in this knitting slump I’ve been thinking about knitting constantly. Isn’t that always the way, when you are not doing something, you are thinking about it all the time?  When I am on a diet I think constantly about a tuna sandwich my Aunt Genevieve made for me in 1976, possibly the finest tuna sandwich I ever had in my entire life, with a side of potato salad and a cold glass of milk.  This is like 32 million points on Weight Watchers.

Imagining things to knit has now overtaken the thing I really used to think about constantly – not the tuna sandwich, but Hoboken real estate.  I could spend all day imagining the inside of some of the houses on my walks around town as I do my errands on Saturday mornings, and imagining how I would redo them.

This Saturday, I was on my way home from the library and I had to stop and sit on a stranger’s stoop to compile this list of  Things To Knit When You Are In A Knitting Slump. I used my nice new phone to make the list.

  • Thuje Socks: an easy sock pattern just a little to the left of straight stockinette stitch, but nothing involving counting or a cable needle.
  • Irish Hiking Scarf: some may need to use a cable needle, but I found this tutorial on no-cable-needle cables helpful.
  • Felted Slippers: there is almost nothing better than a long strip of garter stitch that you are going to throw in the washing machine (on purpose this time).  This is a translated from Finnish pattern and you need to read it a few times. Unless, of course, you are such an avid knitter that you have become fluent in Finnish which may be the Official Language of Knitting.
  • Marsan Watch Cap: a clever brim makes this hat fun. And all the men you know, big and small, need a hat like this.

And the big shocker: Crocheted Granny Square Afghan.  Yes, crochet. Sometimes you need to do something completely different to get back in the mood.

Oh, the dreadfulness of the  knitting slump! One minute you’re so involved with a project you are going to work with a cable needle stuck behind your ear and the next minute, well, you are still walking around with a cable needle stuck behind your ear but no project.

It’s not like I’m knitting nothing.  I am knitting a scarf and some mittens, to replace some every day wear things that got lost or shrunken over the winter –  the equivalent of making a giant pot of stew and freezing it for future meals.  Useful knitting. I even found myself thinking this would be a good time to make some dishcloths since the ones we have are a little worn. Or maybe a crocheted potholder!

It’s a low time indeed.

I got an iPhone for my birthday and now I’m ready to learn about the big world of “Apps” that I done heard about, but you might be surprised to learn there are not a whole helluva lot of knitting apps out there. Vogue Knitting has one but I stopped buying Vogue Knitting a long time ago because their patterns are not well edited, and only sized for social x-rays.

This Stitchminder app looks good, but I am not sure how I would be able to knit a row, then get up and find my purse and dig around for the  phone, turn it on, go to the application and then note that I completed one row.   That seems like it would slow the knitting down considerably.  Pass.

I am thinking about getting this Ewe Stash app because of the stash sorting capabilities.  Plus you could take pictures of the yarn with the phone, then load them up on this application, and then you would be able to look at the yarn, say, on your commute or during dull meetings.  By “you” of course I mean “me”.

I’m feeling a little more invigorated already!

Sunday in the Garden

Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

A busy day here watching the garden grow.

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