Second Raglan WIP

I am just having fun with raglan sweaters lately.  I started a second one that I’m knitting on my breaks at work, and it’s going to be short-sleeved.

First, I must apologize for not posting at all last week.  I got sick, and have been dealing with a pretty scary health issue on top of that.  I promise I will get back into the swing things a little better here.

So, this is the short-sleeved one, and the long sleeved one is coming along just fine.  I’m am two-thirds done with the first sleeve.  I always forget how long and tedious knitting a sleeve, any sleeve can be.  Still one almost done, one to go.

This particular raglan is still being knit via the instructions in “Knitting for Dummies.”  I like the formula they present in there.  It seems to be working, but I’ll make that call when I put the sweaters on for the first time.

So, that’s what’s on my needles here at work.


Five Things Friday

I thought doing a “Five Things Friday” would be fun.  Some are knitting/crafting related, and some aren’t.  Still, they are fun and should, and that’s what Friday’s all about, right?

  1.  Happy Birthday to my husband, Sam!!!  He’s celebrating his special day today, and I love him very much. Yes, I knit him that hat he is wearing.
  2.  Cool knitting tattoos:  I saw an article featuring them today, and thought they’d be neat to share.
  3.  MUSE:  One of my favorite bands won a Grammy!
  4.  Hockey Day in America is on Sunday, and here’s I hat I knit for said event in support of my favorite team.  Let’s go, Flyers!  0bcbb-img_1176_edited-1_236x2405.  An oldie, but a goodie blast from the past post:  Bob the SweaterFrom Knitty 2003 Summer edition

Swatch Confusion

Ugh.  I hate it when I can’t get a correct swatch for the gauge of a pattern.  I know I usually have to go down at least two sizes from what’s suggested.  Here’s my tale of woe.

I wanted to knit a raglan sweater.  I found a pattern on Ravelry that seemed nice, and I bought it.  I bought some lovely Bernat Super Value Worsted Yarn, and merrily went home to start.

The gauge for the sweater was “20 sts and 28 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with larger needle,” which meant a size US 7 in this pattern, so I automatically went down to a US 5.  No luck.  Next, I went down to US 4.  Nope. US 3?  Not close, either.  I tried a US 2, measured at 14 rows, and the gauge was still way big.  I ripped that one out.

Even when reading this pattern, I thought the gauge seemed tight…really tight.  I inquired of this to the pattern designer who said I was reading the gauge wrong.  I cast on 20 stitches and knit 28 rows for each swatch.  Did I do that incorrectly?

Anyway, I tossed those swatches across the couch where I knit and grabbed my copy of “Knitting for Dummies.”  I knew there was a raglan sweater payment in there.  I read it.  Hey, you don’t even need to knit a gauge swatch for that one!  You just knit to your measurements!  I can do that!

Here’s my progress, which I started on Saturday, below.


I think I’m doing pretty well, and I have my measurements pretty close.  So, far, so good!

The only thing about the “Knitting for Dummies” pattern is that is uses yarnovers for increases.  I decided to use M1’s, instead.  I still got those lovely raglan increases.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think about my gauge controversy.  Thoughts?

Getting Back into Chemo Caps

I know I’ve been working hard on scarves and hats for The Wrap Up, Lancaster Project, and I still am!  I just delivered a bunch of stuff to one of the drop off points for this month’s scarf bombing.  And, no worries, I’m still going to continue to knit for WUL!

The first charity I ever knit for was chemo caps for my local cancer center.  I’ve had so many relatives have cancer.  My father passed away from lung cancer in 2005, and he was treated at this cancer center.  I wanted to give something back.

My recent want to knit chemo caps has hit even more personal for me.  My doctor suspects I have a basal cell carcinoma on my right shoulder.  It’s coming off on the 15th, but I’m still really freaked out.

I very likely have skin cancer.  Granted, I haven’t had the biopsy yet, but still.  I’m scared to the point I have lotion on with a good SPF, and BB cream on my face with an even stronger SPF.  I’m going to make this habit.  I need to.

My treatment will probably besides the removal will include cream to apply to the site, maybe pills, and probably a stern lecture from my doctor about skin care.  I’m very fair skin, and have had a few bad sunburns.  That’s never a good thing for anyone.

So, this scare for myself has prompted me to take a batch of chemo caps out to the cancer center.  I want to turn this into something positive.

It’s been a while since I’ve knit for this cause, and even have wrote off-blog about it on HubPages.

That’s where I’m at right now.  As a personal request, I ask you to head on over to the Skin Cancer Foundations’ website and see what you can do to prevent skin cancer.


Knitting and Math

Math and I do not get along, but it is a necessary evil when it comes to knitting.

I stumbled across this great post on the Craftsy blog about how to use a few simple calculations to design your own hat. I was intrigued.

This is something that I may have to try, since I do enjoy putting my own spin on my knitting.  I’m always wondering how to incorporate designs into simple patterns, and the Craftsy blog is very informative on how to do it.

In fact, they link this handy dandy chart in their post, too.

I have attempted to design a hat before, as shown above, and it turned out ok.  (You can get the pattern here, if you’d like. It’s free.)  I couldn’t figure out how to do the pattern while decreasing.  Perhaps this chart will teach me how.

I will have some time this weekend, so I may bite the bullet, do some math, and design a hat.

Jenn, the Knitting Teacher

I taught someone how to knit yesterday, so I guess I am now a knitting teacher.  Yay!

My friend, Jenny, wanted to learn, we we sat down yesterday on a comfy couch and I taught her how to knit.  But she threw a wrench in the works, as she was more comfortable knitting with her left hand rather than her right.

Uh oh.  I’m an English-style knitter, meaning I “throw’ my yarn with my right hand.  Jenny needed to be taught Continental knitting with her left hand, therefore “picking” the yarn.


No problem!  I actually use Continental knitting when I do Fair Isle work, so at least the knit stitch wasn’t that foreign to me, but I had to review how to do the Continental purl stitch.  Luckily, I had brought a book over for Jenny to borrow that is specifically for visual learners.  I looked up what I needed, taught myself, and then taught her.  Whew!

Jenny successfully cast on stitches, knit and purled stitches, learned how to “tink” (or un-knit), and how to bind off stitch.  When she was done, she had this long strip of knitting, complete with unwoven in ends, when she then gave to her cat, Steve.  Steve loved his new knit cat worm toy so much he apparently took it to bed with him.

steve and knit worm

Now, I should note that the swatch at the top isn’t Jenny’s; it’s mine.  I decided to practice Continental knitting a little more, and that’s why the stitches are loose.  After yesterday’s lesson, I thought I’d give Continental more of try and see how I like it.  It’s feels good to explore a different way of knitting.

So, that’s how I become a knitting teacher yesterday.  I think I did ok!


Off Topic: MUSE in Philly

I recently saw one of my favorite bands on Sunday.  MUSE was in Philadelphia, PA at the Wells Fargo Center on January 31, 2016 in support of their new album Drones.

What an awesome show!

X Ambassadors opened for them, they were pretty good!  It’s not often I like the opening band, but they surprised me.

MUSE rocked the house when they came out!  Concert featured a 360 degree stage, and Joan and I were in the 3rd ROW.  It was a great spot to be.

Besides a lot of the songs off of Drones, they did a lot of great songs of their third album Absolution.  I did not expect that, or for them to play one of my favorite older songs “Map of the Problematique” off of Black Holes and Revelations.

It was a visually stunning and energetic show, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Here’s some more fun stuff from the show.


Chris Wolstenholme and the incredible graphic from “Handler.”  The hand and strings followed him on the stage!


The band in the spotlight!


Matt Bellamy!

Oh, and towards the end of the show, “Mercy” was an amazing finale.  Here’s a short video of it.

Amazing show!!!  Three encores, MUSE left us with “Knights of Cydonia,” (which is Joan’s least favorite song, but she had fun with it anyway.  I like it myself.), and bid the roaring crowd farewell.

It was my second time seeing them. I will see them again when they’re back.