Starting Again

You know the cartoons where the snowball starts at the top of the hill the size of a baseball, starts rolling down the hill and becomes the size of a house? That’s pretty much how I felt in November and December. Nothing actually bad happened, but I got the blues pretty badly from lots of little things real and imagined. Most sadly, I LOST THE WILL TO KNIT! It was pretty bleak. I didn’t read many blogs, and the few I did, I usually didn’t leave comments. A few nice people noticed my absence and asked if I was OK, but since I didn’t feel OK at the time, and I didn’t want to be a downer, I kept to myself. I’m starting to feel better now, so I am hoping to blog at least once a week, get back to commenting regularly on your blogs, and DO MORE KNITTING!

I did knit a pair of socks for Michael’s grandmother for Christmas, but I didn’t even take a photo of them. I used Shibui sock yarn for them, and it did work very well–it seems identical to my favorite sock yarn, Cherry Tree Hill. I found out that gift socks for non-knitters need not be fancy (I wasted moderately fancy knitting), and just pretty colors and a well-fitting ribbed sock is more than adequate for future gifts.

I didn’t get the scarf I was knitting for Michael done in time for Christmas though. Now it is my main thing I am working on, and its simple chevron rib stitch pattern is good for getting me back in the knitting groove. It is close to 3/4 done, which is two cushions on the couch-o-meter.
M's scarf at 2 cushions.JPG

The yarn is Ultra Alpaca left over from my Aran Pocket Shawl, and I think I’ll still have a skein left over after this scarf. Here’s a little closer picture of the stitch pattern:
Pinnacle Chevron Stitch Scarf.JPG

I’ll save my other WIPs for the next post, so I won’t feel panicky about having nothing to post about, but I do want to write a little bit about a Christmas gift I asked for that my Mom got me (Thanks, Mom!). I subscribe to Janet Szabo’s newsletter Twists and Turns: for Lovers of Cable Knitting and I really enjoy it, so I wanted her first book on cables, Cables Volume 1: The Basics.
It’s a great book! It is divided into chapters based upon the number of stitches in the cross from 1 to 8(+), plus a chapter on basic fundamentals, a chapter on unusual cables and another on designing cables. The book goes beyond the basics though (unless you are Janet, apparently) For example, the chapter on 4-stitch crosses contains the following headings:
1/3 Knit Crosses (2 charts)
2/2 Knit Crosses (20 charts)
2/2 Purl Crosses (11 charts)
3/1 Knit Crosses (1 chart)
3/1 Purl Crosses (5 charts)
1/2/1 Knit Crosses (1 chart)
1/2/1 Purl Crosses (1 chart)
She has ideas for “further exploration” accompanying many of the charts and clear step-by-step black and white photos of the the basic cross for each type. It is a very well thought out book and resource. She even signed the copy my mom bought me (through her website Big Sky Knitting Designs) with “May all your cables cross the right way!” I’ll be using this book a lot, and I recommend it for cable lovers and those who want to become cable lovers.

Well, I better get back to knitting. I hope all of you are well, and I intend to see you at your blogs very soon!

25 thoughts on “Starting Again”

  • Glad you are back. And I hope you are feeling better physically and mentally. I hate when I get the blues, and it seems as I get older and the hormones go a bit awry it gets a little worse.

    I know what you mean about the gifts for non knitters. Sad to say the extra effort is wasted on many. I love the Shibui sock yarn too and also think it must be the same base yarn as CTH. I think Stone Barn Fibers may be also.

    I may just have to purchase that book. I do love cables.

    Happy Knitting. And again, I am glad to see you back!!!

  • Oh Brenda, it’s so good that you’re back!

    I love Janet Szabo… I also subscribe to Twists and Turns, and I have her book on Aran knitwear designing.

    Take care of yourself! Your friends missed you! šŸ˜€

  • It’s good to hear from you!! Sorry that you’ve been blue. šŸ™ Hopefully the days slowly getting lighter will help…

    That chevron scarf is amazing!

  • Hey Brenda- Oh, Mistress of the Red Sofa- good to see you!

    I love Janet Szabo- she has done incredible work with her publishing and stitch patterns- anything she does is great.

  • Wonderful to see you back, and I hope that 2008 will bring many sunny days your way!

    The scarf looks lovely! I heard Janet Szabo interviewed on a podcast, so thank you for reminding me about her book. It sounds like it would be a great addition to any knitting library.

  • It’s so good to see you back! I hope you are feeling better and that this new year will bring only good your way.

    I love the pattern in the scarf! It looks so elegant yet masculine. The yarn really shows off the pattern nicely, too. The book looks quite interesting. I really need to add more reference books to my collection, so I will make a note of this one.

  • I missed you, Brenda, and was starting to get worried. Glad you’re back (with or without knitting). I too had a break from knitting, but I feel I’m back again.

  • I know what you mean – I didn’t knit for most of my Christmas break, and I haven’t blogged since November some time. It does feel good to have a break, though, and come back with new ideas and inspiration.

    Welcome back! That scarf is lovely, and a great new start.

  • Hey, welcome back! I hope that snowball is melting a little bit now šŸ™‚

    That cables book looks like it will be perfect for you! I see more sock patterns in your future šŸ™‚

  • Glad you’re back. I’ve been through enough knitting funks that for me, the best thing is to just do something else, and the mojo comes back when it’s ready (like toilet training a child- you can start any time, but the training won’t be done until the kid decides).

    Just when I think I have all the source books I need, someone comes out with another “must-have”. I see many cables in your future…

  • Welcome back, Brenda. It’s okay to take a break when you need to. But I’m glad to hear things are looking up. The scarf is very handsome. That looks like a great book. And I love her inscription, too.

  • I’m glad you’re back! And it’s OK to be a downer when you feel down….
    I’m glad to see the couch-o-meter is still in action. I love the pattern on the scarf.

  • Glad that you are back. You are inspiring me to get back on my blogging horse too. The stitch pattern on the scarf is really pretty!

  • I’m so glad you’re back. I have been a silent reader of your blog for a long time and was reall missing your posts. You’ve been a real inspiration for me. I even statred my own blog over the holidays about writing, knitting and fashion.
    The chevron scarf is beautiful!

  • I’d wondered what happened to you. Thought maybe you were just busy, season stuff and all that. I was too depressed to go find out, though. šŸ˜‰ Glad you’re starting to feel better, and that you’re knitting again! I’m feeling a little better, too.

  • Take it slowly, Brenda. Post when the mood strikes you. Knit when you feel like it. Glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself when you need it most. That is the most important thing.

    p.s. Love the couch-o-meter and the scarf! Quite inspired.

  • Sorry you weren’t feeling well! The holidays and this time of year can definitely do that. Sometimes you just need a break from everything. The scarf is looking mighty lovely. šŸ™‚ Glad you’re starting to feel better and getting back to the needles.

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