Snow Kidding, A Contest!


Wooohooooo!  A real, honest to goodness snow storm!  Really, our first one this winter.  Now I know there are plenty of you out there who are just sick and tired of the huge amounts of snow you’ve gotten this year.  I’m hoping you don’t get any of this.  But we are having our first official Storm – there are about 4 inches out there already!  And – schools closed.  But this time – not just for ICE.  Although they are saying we can get some of the ice later, which is scary.  But mostly snow. 


The dog was even  a bit delirious when she sent out this morning – running in circles, stopping to look at me with this LOOK IT’S REALLY SNOW  look on her face.  Too funny. 


I needed a day to catch up on paperwork for the business and to fiddle faddle around with all my knits – I’m seriously thinking of adding one to the queue, but that just would be too much, wouldn’t it???  Anyway, even if I don’t – Gale is out as a pattern for those of you who didn’t catch it yet. 

I would like to get another repeat of Hypoteneuse done and work on Twinings some more – I’m about to start the 5th out of 15 and I would feel good if I was able to get one or two done today – it takes me about an hour to do one repeat on this so that would give me about 11 more hours of knitting on this.  It is just wonderful to knit though and I haven’t gotten tired or bored of it yet. 

I know, it looks different from last photo – it just didn’t seem right with the Lion and Lamb.  So I recast on for it with Jo Sharp Silkroad DK – it is going to be the warm wrap-around me knit that I wanted.  Now – what to do with the three skeins of L&L that I’ve been hanging onto?  It may just become another Clapotis as I had originally planned…


I don’t know if you can see in the photo – but that Light green strip that is laying across my pattern?  That’s a PatternTamer and it is a wonderful find! They come in a set of three and I’ve been using mine for a few weeks now – I can honestly say they are worth every penny and I haven’t lost my place once since I started using them.  A great Etsy seller and one you should go check out right now!!

Thank you again for all the well wishes that keep coming through for Schmoo.  He is still home.  He had his weekly visit with the doctor and she still doesn’t like the way his Liver counts look – mostly because his resistance is so low and she doesn’t want him to catch anything else.  So he’s home for the next week – and he is supposed to be getting Home Instruction.  ahem.  Let’s not go there.  Suffice it to say, I may have to get on my bitch shoes and do some bitch walking and talking.  I hate doing that, but I have been known to do it when necessary.  Fortunately, I have collegues that keep me well versed on my childs rights in the education field and I have a lot of support that way.  So I can be a bitch who knows what she’s talking about. 

Tomorrow – knitting group and Lunch with Jeanne.  

And Finally……..

I’m having a contest!  At first I was just going to ask everyone to guess how many Soup cans I have in my pantry.  NOT.   Actually, I would love to have a compilation of great Tools and Tips for Knitting to post on a page to this blog.   So, start the commenting – send me your best or favorite Tool or Tip – I’ll take entries until next Friday, February 29th, midnight my time, and Announce the winners (yes winners) the following Friday.  Put a link to this contest on YOUR blog and have your readers mention you in their comment – I’ll put another entry in for you.    Prizes will be Yarn, A Shawl Pin and some Stitchmarkers – and a few surprizes thrown in for good measure. 

Ready, Set………….GO!!!


50 responses »

  1. I am so in need of the perfect shawl pin (guess why!!) I’m watchin’ yer etsy site for just the right thing.

    Your new project looks so cool.

    my favorite tool is a tie between my Denise needles, and your georgous stitch markers. I feel so special using them, they are so pretty and have such wonderful weight compared to crappy plastic ones.

  2. Ohhhh, I ordered a set of pattern tamers last week. I can’t wait until they get here.

    Favourite tools? Gotta be the handmade stitch markers, Options Harmony needles, and my little brass sheep needle gauger thingy (yes, I believe that’s the technical term).

    Favourite techniques . . . mmmm, well, when you’re doing an ssk to match a k2tog, slip the first stitch knitwise and the second stitch purlwise. Gives you a near perfect mirror image of the k2tog. My other favourite trick is, when you don’t have your ball winder handy but your skein is just crying out to start nownownow! just open it like you were going to put it on a swift, and hang it over your shoulder (for walking and being around rotten lap sitting creatures) or over your knee. I’m sure you saw this on the Harlot’s blog months ago and I’ve gotta tell you it works really well in a pinch.

  3. Hey Girl!

    Enjoy your snow day!!! I love that gale shawl…might be time for me to try my hand at lace : ). I hope your little man(I know-not so little!!!) is feeling better soon!


  4. Well, it’s nice to see somebody happy about snow!

    My favourite tool is scissors. Sharp, sharp scissors. And anyone who borrows them and uses them to cut paper (or, even worse, tape) is in deep, deep trouble.

    Yes, I am that serious about my scissors. I feel like it’s somehow disrespectful to try to rip through nice yarn with dull blades. I’m not entirely sure why.

    That PatternTamer is a great idea – I’ve been using pieces of that sticky-backed magnetic tape.

  5. Very cool pattern tamers – thanks for the link! Hmmm – my favorite tools are Harmony needles – love them and they let me finally do lace. Knitting tip? Don’t knit lace while drinking martinis! 🙂 Love Hypoteneuse – it is gorgeous!

  6. I love my Pattern Tamers too 🙂

    Favorite tool? Addi Turbos and Addi Lace Needles plus Knitpicks Nickel Circs and Harmony for socks on magic loop.

    Favorite technique? Why, the Turkish Cast on of course with Beaded knitting using the crochet hook method being a close second (both on my blog sidebar but you already know that!)

    Feel better already Mr. Schmoo!!

  7. Mmm, snow! I’d say send me some, but it’s 80 degrees down here. Already! Makes me fear for summer, it does.

    My favorite tool is a small steel crochet hook; it is excellent for picking up dropped stitches when I’m knitting socks, which I am almost always doing. I may not need it all the time, but when I do, I am very glad that it is close at hand.

  8. I’m firmly in the “I’m tired of winter camp”. The problem this year hasn’t been snow, but bitter cold. It can go away now. I’m done.

    My favorite knitting gadget these days is my Chart Keeper from Knit Picks, because I like the way it stands up, and that you can fold it closed. However, I think I may order a pattern tamer for times when I don’t have a chart to work off of.

  9. I’ve got little ones that are really interested in scissors right now, so we don’t keep them handy. This becomes quite a pain when you’re knee-deep in a yarny sea, concentrating with all your might, and suddenly you need to cut. Argh! My favorite knitting tool is the Scotch brand Paper Cutter. I discovered it had great purpose by accident (necessity is the mother of invention, right?). The thing has been a lifesaver. I don’t have to worry about it stabbing the inside of my bag when I’m out & about knitting, and the littles would have to try pretty darn hard to hurt themselves with it.

  10. My favorite tool: The lazy susan swift from: http// It is easy to put away and works great. No more tangles while ball winding!

    My favorite technique: Switching to continental. It made my tension much more consistent and I knit so much faster.

    Oh and the soup cans: 35 😉

  11. First time I’ve read your blog. I really enjoyed it. I found you in the comments of notplainjane. We had our first snow here on the east end of Long Island yesterday as well and it was great after a warm, rainy winter.

    Good luck to you Schmoo. Hope he feels better soon.

    By the way, where in NJ are you (you are in NJ, right?) I grew up in Highland Park.

  12. My favorite tools are my Addi Lace needles, my stitchmarkers, and my Chart Keeper from KP.

    And my favorite technique is the lifeline!
    Second favorite is Judy’s Magic Cast On for toe-up socks!
    I’m like you – I LOVE snowstorms!

  13. Hope your guy is getting better, mono is rough!!

    That tweedy wrap is looking very warm and fire-side-ish.

    Favorite tools? My swift. It’s huge. And I use it both for holding hanks to be wound, or winding a particular size hank off bobbins from the spinning wheel. I just use a soft tape measure to set the circumfrence then spin the swift by hand. I get a pretty accurate yardage count, as well as a nice hank.

    Favorite technique? I’m not sure these are really techniques, but: Intelligent Non-Swatching, and Ruthless Ripping. I find both to be very effective!

  14. Okay, I came up with something last night that I think is pretty cool. I’ll try and describe it.

    Here’s the scene: working on Lizard Ridge as my comfort knitting (bad day, feel like crap, must look a pretty colors). When I work short rows, I just knit backwards rather than turn my work. The problem is when you get to a purl stitch that has been wrapped. I kept getting a hole unless I turned the work and purled but I didn’t want to do that. So here’s what I did.

    When you get to the stitch that’s wrapped (you’re working backwards remember):

    1. Take the left needle and lift the wrap onto it.
    2. Slide the stitch (the wrapped one) to the left needle.
    3. Knit both through the back stitch (you’re yarn will be connected on the LEFT, not the usual right, but don’t worry)
    4. Slide the created stitch back to the left needle.
    5. Admire your easy to do, no holes, wrapped purl stitch.
    6. When you knit across the row (knitting forwards, the regular way) and come to the stitch you created this way (you’ll see it), knit that stitch through the back loop.

    I haven’t seen this technique anywhere else but it’s working for me. Woo hoo! Hope it makes sense.

  15. Dang it, I forgot to comment on your hypotenuse. I love it! I knitted a cable sweater out of Jo Sharp yarn. It’s wonderful stuff and a great choice for the pattern.

    I’ve been wanting to knit hypotenuse for my son in law. He’s a mathematician and brave enough to wear a man shawl (at least in his very cold Boston apartment!).

  16. Hmm…I think my favorite tool is my iPod. There’s nothing I like better than knitting and listening to a podcast or a book-on-tape. I know…not really a knitting tool, but for me it’s a neccessity.

    My favorite technique is placing a stitch marker every 20 stitches when I’m casting on a large number. Keeps me from having to count every stinkin’ one 3 times over. 🙂

    And I love, love, love my Patterntamers! What a wonderful idea!

  17. I have really been enjoying your blog.

    My favorite tools are my little folding scissors- so easy to keep up with and my mini teeny tiny crochet hook for picking up those darn dropped stitiches.

    Hope your schmoo is feeling better soon.

  18. I good tip… hmmm… use stitch markers… and if you making socks or something by the 2’s either do both at the same time… or take really good notes… nothing worse than 2 sleeves or socks that don’t match!!
    I’ll post the contest on my blog.

  19. Hi, I just found your blog, it very enjoyable!

    My first favorite knitting tool… would have to be my project bags, some bought, and some I made for myself. I try to match the color to the project, not because I am OCD… it’s so I can grab it and go, knowing what is inside without looking.

    Inside each bag is my second favorite tool. I recently found little tiny zip bags by the T@mpax in a big box store. They are in cute fabrics, cost about $2.00 and are big enough to fit my sock knitting tools!! I love them, I do take off the big huge charm that they come with and put on my stitch markers so they are decorative *and* handy!

    Glad I found you! I too live in NJ… Sussex County.

  20. Great blog!!

    My favorite tool is a yarn cake holder, which I make and is available on my site. It keeps the doggies out of my yarn as two of them think they’re cats or something and try to run off with my yarn otherwise. this way they can’t get to it……….LOL

    My tip would be………………I use the kitchener stitch when making socks but I can never remember how to start it so I printed small enough to where it’s just bigger than a business card and laminated it. That way I don’t lose it and always have it handy in my organizer with all my knitting notions :o)

  21. My biggest helper is gallon size ziplock bags. I put my yarn in them and pull the yarn out between a small section of the unzipped bag. It works great and my yarn stays clean, and when I need a break I put my project inside.

  22. My favorite tool is…..a ziplock bag! It holds yarn for a project, beads and a crochet hook if it is a beaded project, instructions, etc…and it is easy to throw into my briefcase or tote bag to take along with me. The ‘traditional’ ones work well for socks or a little lacy scarf, and now they make big ones that can hold a whole sweater (might not be a great thing to throw into a purse though!).

  23. My favorite gadget is probably my Chibi. I love the needles for seaming and I always add one a bit smaller to sew sock toes. I also throw in a couple of sock sized stitch markers. I always seem to need them when I am out and about. I think I have at least 4 Chibis, one for every knitting bag and a spare cuz I always lose everything.

    The wrap is gorgeous!

  24. That’s going to be a beautiful and very cosy Hypotheneuse!

    As for my favorite tip, well, I have many favorites, so I’ll simply go with the first one that comes to mind: when knitting with dark yarns, placing a white towel on your lap makes it easier on your eyes…

    (I was sent over here by Jeanne of Jeanne Knits.)

  25. i was sent over here by jeanne at jeanne knits. neat contest idea. : )

    my favorite new tool is my little kitchen scale. i like being able to measure how much yarn i’ve used, how much i have left, and whether i have enough to complete a project. it’s especially useful with ravelry because you can convert the yarn weight into yardage pretty easily.

  26. Hi.
    I’m here by way of SwissKnits blog. My favorite tool lately has been a magnetic board I picked up for a few bucks in the needlepoint section at a local craft store. My charted patterns are so much easier to keep track of with this handy “chart keeper”.

  27. When knitting with 2 circular needles I color the tips of one circular needle with a Sharpie (ex. red) so that way I can pick up the socks and know right away which needles to start with. No thinking and figuring out which needle goes with which. In time the color wears off so I re-color them. Hint: make sure it dries completly before using or the color rubs off on the yarn.
    I also attach a stitch marker to one sock when I knit 2 at a time so I know which sock to start with and can easily identify which is which. Both tips are great for quickly picking up and knitting – not much thought process needed!

  28. Oooh I love my patterntamers too – so handy!

    My fav tool is probably my magnetic boards for patterns – I keep accumulating more and more and I just love them!

  29. My favorite “tools” are my sister-in-law and mother who keep feeding this newbie knitter with patterns, encouragement and advice. What better tools can there be? Hopefully, someday, I can be such a tool to my daughter!!

  30. Oh, that pattern tamer is a great idea! Thanks for sharing! How are you liking the Silk Road? I made a few things out of it, and can tell you it gets INCREDIBLE after blocking (it’s a little stiff before… I kept thinking, “this is cashmere?!”) but some of the balls had a lot of knots…

  31. Extra entry for Jessi of Alabama Fiber Dreams for telling me about this contest!

    I don’t really have a favourite knitting tool… but the first time I figured out and successfully used circular needles was amazing.

    My best tip for knitting… if you don’t understand the pattern (not how to do it… but WHY you’re doing k1,m1,turn,etc…) and you can’t visualize how it will complete itself, JUST KEEP KNITTING. The pattern doesn’t lie to you, even if you don’t understand how exactly it works, if you follow the steps correctly, it will work. Just Keep Knitting. 🙂

  32. Oooh a contest! I came over from Alabama Fiber Dreams blog!

    My favorite knitting tool are my hands…I’m thankful that they are healthy and able to perform all the tasks I ask them to…carpal tunnel is lurking in the background!
    In my knitting basket I can’t live without my Knit-Kards, especially the Kitchener card…I’ll never memorize the method!

  33. My favorite knitting tool are my addi lace needles…made my life a whole lot easier!

    And I also use magnetic boards for patterns…hold overs from my previous life of a serios cross stitcher!

  34. Hey! Jessi from Alabama Fiber Dreams sent me over saying you were having a contest. I’m glad she sent me now that I’ve browsed through your blog a bit. You do beautiful lacework!

    My favorite tool of the moment is a set of size 6 KnitPicks circs. They are the perfect size for my tempermental hands, they warm up nicely after a short amount use and the Alpaca yarn glides over them so smoothly it’s like magic.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  35. hello! I found your blog and contest from <a href=””Alabama Fiber Dreams.

    My favorite tool is a crochet hook. It makes picking up dropped stitches sooo much easier. And, i have them in several sizes, from ones for worsted weight, down to fingering weight and lace sizes.

  36. Congrats on the snow…I wish we could get some here. My girls are 3 & have never seen snow in person :-(.

    My favorite tools are: My knitpicks harmony options needles,my stitch markers that I make myself, & now that I’m knitting lace – a lifeline.

    My favorite tricks are: when knitting a sweater I knit both of the sleeves at the same time & the fronts if it is a cardi, this way if your gauge slips a little it will be even on both.

    I came here from Jessi at Alabama Fiber Dreams.

  37. I’m over here from Jessi’s site too! Thanks for the link on the Pattern Tamers! They look really nice.

    My favorite tools are the Knit Picks Options set. I love these and just can’t live without them!

    I’m not sure what the pattern is that you’re knitting in the photo, but I love it and the colors! Very nice tweediness!

  38. Cabling without a cable needle has got to be my favourite all time knitting “trick”! It saves time, movement and just plain is a wonderful tool to enhance your knitting! I say try it on a (dare I say) swatch and you will soon learn your own way to enhance your knitting!!

  39. This is my first time visiting your site, I love it! Love your dog as well! I envy your snow, we have snow flurries all yesterday but nothing stuck.

    My favorite tool, my spinning wheel (does that count?) it is so relaxing and I feel connected to generations you have spun in the past.
    I also love my Denise needles and my favorite tip, magic loop method, I couldn’t knit socks without it!

  40. What a great set of tips you are getting! And great blog…I have Anne’s scarf version of Gale (Gust) in my queue and the yarn ready…I like the start of what you are doing in the green!

    Right now I’d have to say my favorite tool is the swift and winder I got last year…I LOVE it!

    I’m still kind of new to knitting and so don’t have many of my own tips, but the best tip I got was when I started knitting lace and learned to put in a lifeline. I can’t rip and pick up lace for the life of me so a lifeline is a must. Thanks for the contest!

  41. We have had more ice than snow this year, I would love a great snow. We were threatened with a foot of it this week and got flurries : (

    Knitting tools. Well I am in love with my Knit Picks Harmony dpns. I was a die hard crystal palace dpn knitter for years and they have lost their #1 position. I also love the Addi lace needles I just wish they didn’t have such a stinky brassy smell to them.
    Tip: I knit my sleeves for sweater at the same time but have often turned before knitting both sleeves so now I safety pin the sleeves together so I can’t turn until both are knit.

    Your dog is so pretty and she looks like she is having a great time in the snow.

  42. I forgot to put in my contest entry! So far my favorite tool is highlighter tape. It’s cheap and easy enough to come by if you’re an online shopper. It makes reading charts a dream. You can easily see where you are in a chart. You can also easily see the rows below and above the row you’re currently working on. It’s just the best thing that’s happened to me since discovering how wonderful knitting from charts can be. 🙂

  43. I’m not quite sure how I came across your site, but it was probably something to do with Knitspot patterns (ie sharing a love of!). Your knits and Etsy crafts are wonderful, as are your photos – it’s fantastic to view the snow from the safety of a snowfree UK!

    I’m not sure if anyone knows this tip, or if it’s totally boring, but it’s cheap as chips and can work wonders: I always keep some very fine shirring elastic in case a neckline or hem comes out a bit too loose. Thread just one running-stitch-worth of elastic through the wrong side of the offending edging, pull the elastic through until the edging is tightened and the size you want, then knot off the elastic. As long as you don’t over-tighten it, you can get a great result… like a neckline that no longer falls off your shoulders – I know, I’ve been there!

  44. One, this is one nice blog you’ve got here, LOVE your header too!

    Knitnana got me here btw.

    My tip: When sewing in a zipper into a cardigan. Pin, then handbaste to hold zipper firmly in place. Then sew by machine on the wrong side (through zip tape as first layer, next to needle) with a loose long stitch. Sew again for extra strength.

    I used this technique recently, inserting a zipper into a rather bulky cardigan (although a REALLY thick one wouldn’t work) and it came out beautifully. So much stronger and neater than stitching in by hand. And by sewing from the wrong side only, I didn’t have to worry about catching the sweater or ‘fuzzing up’ my sewing machine.

    Zippers in sweaters can be intimidating but they don’t have to be.

    There’s my tip!


  45. In relation to the pattern tamer, I like to use the translucent Post-It flags to mark my charts. Since they are translucent I can see what’s underneath. The arrow shaped flags are also convenient for marking which stitch I’m starting on. (That was especially useful when I knit a non-memorizable fair isle sweater with lots of shaping.)

  46. I rarely use stitch markers and in the past I have used the little plastic rings. UGLY! I recently purchased stitch markers for a swap form sunneshine on etsy. She sent along a small set for me as well…the cute little sheep ones. I absolutely love how they dangle in front of my knitting!

    BTW-I found this contest through the blog Alabama Fiber Dreams

    Dream of the Blue Turtles!

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