My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Breakfast of Champions

(Note: this entry was meant to be posted last night but due to internet issues, I was not able to post until this morning.)

My co-worker, Pat, showed me a new Diet Coke this morning.

So of course I had to go get one too.

dietcoke041907 Breakfast of Champions

Diet Coke Plus — with vitamins and minerals. Breakfast of champions. icon wink Breakfast of Champions

On the Fridge

A number of you commented on the word magnets. Here are a few close-ups.

magnet041907 Breakfast of Champions

magnet041907a Breakfast of Champions

magnet041907b Breakfast of Champions

magnet041907c Breakfast of Champions

Yes, I am childish.

These word magnets were created by Interweave Knits, and before you ask, I have no idea how to get a set. A LYS owner gave me my set a few years ago.

But hang on a sec . . . I have a second, pristine set.

wholemagnet041907 Breakfast of Champions

I don’t need two sets, so I’ll give this set away in a random drawing. We’ll do it instead of a book drawing this week (so as not to confuse me – I am easily confused).

Want a set of knitting word magnets? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 22, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient. As per usual, anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter the drawing.

Robin asked to see what’s inside my fridge. Okay, you’ll be sorry . . .

fridge041907 Breakfast of Champions

(Note the little sightseer at the bottom of the photo.)

And Anne Marie in Philly knows what I keep on top of my fridge. icon wink Breakfast of Champions This one’s for you, Anne Marie!

fridgetop041907 Breakfast of Champions

(ETA: If you look closely, you can see the bottle of “Hokie Red” wine there — there’s a VT on the label. So my fridge is properly dressed for Hokie Hope Day.)

I totally swiped the idea of showing the front of my fridge from Chris, btw. I’ve seen it in a couple of other places in the blogosphere, too. I love seeing what other people have on their fridges!

On to knitting talk . . .

Roseann commented:
I plan on using your Toe-Up Sock pattern for my Jitterbug sock yarn as I was startled at the low yardage. Because it is thicker than Koigu, will you still use size 0 needles? I’m thinking size 0 for the toes and heels and size 1 for the sock and I will give the 60 sts a try instead of my usual 64 sts.

I generally go down 1 or 2 needle sizes from the size recommended because I tend to knit more loosely than most, I think. A look at the Colinette website tells me that the recommended needle size is a US 3 (3.25mm) and the recommended gauge is abut 7 sts/inch. I’ll likely use a US 1 and either 56 or 60 stitches around rather than my usual 64 stitches.

A couple of you have mentioned in the comments the presence of knots in your Jitterbug. Doncha hate that? I will be splitting this yarn into 2 balls for knitting, so I’ll be extra vigilant for knots as I do.

What’s Hard?

Lisa C in TN commented:
Over on Mason-Dixon, Ann is talking about hard patterns and mentions “that Jade Starmore pattern called Katherine Howard, from the Starmores’ Tudor Roses.” I know you’ve mentioned in the past, the Wedding Ring Shawl from Heirloom Knitting. Which do you consider harder-insane color or insane lace? I personally lean towards the lace- more obvious mistakes and harder to correct.

I read Ann’s post yesterday and left the following comment (goaded by her stating in her blog post “I don’t even think Wendy has made one, and she’s a real sucker for punishment.”):

That’s one Starmore that has never, ever, called to me. Possibly because in that colorway I’d look totally putrid wearing it.

It’s funny — I’ve never considered that the hardest sweater in Tudor Roses. I’d give that honor to Margaret Stuart — the one that’s knitted in strips and sewn together and embellished with buttons. That just seems like WAY too much work to me.

Upon reflection, I sorta take it back. I don’t think Margaret Stuart is hard — I think it would be very time-consuming, what with all the sewing. I am inherently lazy, and I look at something like that and think — “Ew! Look at all the finishing work required. No thank-you.” (But I do like the sweater, very much. Maybe someday I’ll knit it.)

So. what is hard in knitting? There is certainly stuff I don’t enjoy doing — like intarsia. But I’ve done intarsia, and some fairly complex intarsia at that. Anyone remember a knitted vest with an intarsia playing card (if I recall, the Queen of Hearts) on it from (I think) Vogue Knitting back in the 1980s? I made that. I never wore it, but I made it. I also made the Princess Diana black sheep sweater back then. And I’ve made a couple of Kaffe Fassett sweaters and a coat.

But I’m over intarsia. icon smile Breakfast of Champions

Okay, Bohus knitting when you need to do three colors in one row with some right-side purl stitches on tiny needles — that’s tricky. Also, knitting lace in cobweb weight wool on size 0000 needles. Yup.

What do you think? What’s hard?

Lucy would like to note that while I did a blog entry with absolutely no photos of my current work in progress, there is no way she would allow me to not post a photo of her.

lucy041907 Breakfast of Champions

Comments

  1. Fridge shots are always interesting – it’s like a glimpse into who someone really is. What kinds of things they stock, what they deem important enough to put on the front, what their magnets look like… It’s almost like a diary we allow the rest of the world to see. :)

    A few years ago, I had a blog layout inspired by a kitchen fridge…

    http://erdufylla.net/portfolio/img/ljfridge.jpg

    It wasn’t the most practical of layouts, but I sure did like it (and I had a blast creating it, too – finding images to use, Photoshopping it all together, working out the kinks in the code so that it looked right… Definitely one of my fonder web-design memories!)

  2. Theresa in Italy says:

    Well, here we part company (slightly)—the top of your fridge looks like the top of our buffet, except you are missing the stacks of DVDs that we’ve watched recently but are too lazy to put back on the shelf.

    What’s hard for me? Anything I haven’t done before. That’s a pretty long list (including all of your examples)—I just don’t know till I give it a try. Then I either learn how it’s done or decide I don’t really want it all that much!

  3. Love the magnets, I haven’t seen anything like this over here.

    As for hardest …well I think the intasia Shetland lace shawl I spun and knitted took 9 months effort never again.

    Cheers

  4. the only times i’ve had real “trouble” with projects are when there’s something i don’t like — the yarn, the color, the way the yarn and needles interplay, etc. if it’s something i like — even if there’s a problem — i always feel like figuring it out, and it doesn’t feel like work. (it’s just part of the process) like you, in most cases, intarsia would be on the “don’t like” list ;)

  5. I remember the playing card vest – I think I may actually still have the pattern in one of my books. Very 1980′s.

  6. anne marie in philly says:

    how dry I am (hic)! :-o LOL

    stoly, cointreau, triple sec, tequila…even a heiney back there. wow!

    no godiva white chocolate or chambourd though…two of my favorites.

    I lift a glass to you!

  7. I blogged about my impossibly small Dutch fridge last year. Prepare to weep ladies:

    http://mynewdutchlife.blogspot.com/2006/03/groot-markt.html

  8. OMG – I made that Queen of Hearts sweater back in 1985, when I only vaguely knew what intarsia was. I would wear it as a Halloween “costume” on occasion, and it’s buried in my cedar chest.

    This is the first time I’ve seen it mentioned; it may be time to dig it out and have a “blast from the past” blog post.

  9. I love the magnets and would love to sit on the floor in front of your fridge and play very childishly for hours…I am easily amused…probably look for tidbits for Lucy too.
    As far as Jitterbug is concerned, I finished my first ever pair of socks a week ago in this yarn.I can’t compare it to other sock yarns obviously but I knit from the cuff down because as a novice it didn’t occur to me that I could possibly run out and I didn’t.I used 2.5mm bamboo dpns (first time for that too and only poked myself a few times).There is a pattern on the ball band that I used to knit the socks, casting on 64 sts.The socks fit my feet with a bit of room to spare around the foot.I think I have average tension and I take a size 8 in shoes. I know some of these sizes are different for USA, sorry I am from Australia. I was rather impressed that the whole lot worked in the first place and I will get more of this yummy yarn.
    Who….gone on a bit! Hugs for Lucy, Cheery knitting, Jacquie

  10. Mary Pat says:

    Just like the old days – Wendy in the morning :-)

  11. i enjoy difficult, as in complex. i don’t enjoy fiddly or sewing up.

  12. So, I’m very curious about the Coke…wonder when we’ll see it up here in Canada.

    Lace gives me a headache and makes me cry. Intarsia just plain makes me mental.

    Must look up the Margaret Stewart design…

  13. Wendy,
    You sure were up early this morning:-) I wonder if I can find the Diet Coke here in Connecticut. I will have to go looking.

    I love the magnets.

    Happy knitting:-)

  14. I covet those magnets.

    Elijah Craig bourbon! Now that’s the breakfast of champions.

  15. Wow, IN the fridge… Hee hee, if I had the fridge door open long enough to take a picture, I’d probably have sightseers touring INSIDE the fridge!

    I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of soda as health food. ;)

  16. I don’t see my Holy Grail Ale in there! Please tell me it’s hidden in the back!

  17. Michele with 1 L says:

    I have been knitting a long time and find that the only time a pattern is hard is when there are mistakes in the pattern. It can drive you crazy. Most of the time the knitting is just tedious and takes a lot of concentration. Is that concidered hard? I am on your side about being a lazy knitter. I hate finishing and try to work out a way to do as little as possible.

  18. We were looking at the needle sizes for Jitterbug in the shop yesterday because these questions have been going around, and US3′s are recommended for the Colinette sweater patterns. Socks, the usual US2 is recommended, but like you, I usually go down to 0′s or 1′s. I’d say to use whatever one’s usual sock needle size is.

    We also compared the Jitterbug side by side with some brand new Koigu. The Jitterbug is denser going by weight/yardage, but just looking at them, they look like they would knit up about the same. Haven’t yet knit and washed any Jitterbug to see how much it blooms.

  19. Jen in MN says:

    My personal opinion is that it is real life that’s hard and knitting is easy. :)

  20. Wendy- I would enter the contest, but I’m not entirely sure I reside on planet Earth.

    Katherine Howard- Intarsia and stranding. My sister asked me to make it for her, and I asked what planet she was from.

    Do you sense a theme here?

  21. The hardest thing for me is lace that has an asymmetrical motif, like in the print ‘o the wave shawl. Years ago I made a small scarf with this pattern and it drove me to the brink of sanity. At least I made it in cashmere, so it’s soft and beautiful–worth every gray hair.

  22. I’ve been thinking about what’s hard since I read that post as well. I guess I haven’t done much hard stuff. I did try a freeform texture sweater once, not color changes, just different placements of purls, and random cabling, no repeats – total chart reading for the whole sweater. That didn’t go very far. I didn’t like the way it looked enough to make it worth the effort. I think if I liked it enough I would have kept with it.

    Lucy is adorable, both in and out of the fridge!

  23. I love the magnets, they are amazing!

    Annie

  24. Mama Cat says:

    I guess I’m with those who have not found any pattern “hard” per se, though some have been time-consuming and required concentration. I have never made lace on tiny needles, so can’t comment on that.

    I love Fair Isle and find it relaxing, even soothing to knit. I’ve knit simple geometric patterns rather than the complicated Starmore-style patterns so that probably makes a difference. I do intend to try a Starmore type thing sometime soon though.

    I dislike intarsia intensely, though I’ve done it. I don’t find it difficult so much as a pain in the butt. I made a couple of intarsia Christmas stockings last year with fuzzy Santa faces, which I did in white eyelash yarn. That drove me to near insanity but I wouldn’t really call it “hard” so much as aggravating.

  25. Ok so I am childish too. I got a good chuckle out of the phrases on your frige.

    As far as hard knitting. I believe it is per individual. Depending on their experience and so on. A sock could be hard to one, while a fair isle sweater could be hard to another, where neither of them could be hard to someone else. It is all in who is knitting the item.

  26. I don’t just hate knots in yarn, I think it’s downright dishonest. With variegated yarn, it messes up the color scheme and you often have to take out big sections to get it going correctly again. It’s less of a problem with solid yarn, but even then, you have to waste some of the yarn to leave ends for weaving in.

    In my opinion, yarn companies should have to sell skeins with knots in them as seconds… labelled so you know, and for a discount. Selling them for the same price as an intact skein is at least dishonest, and at most a bit of thievery.

  27. I assume it was supposed to be humorous, but I find the glibness with which you mention your refrigerator being properly dressed for “Hokie Hope Day” rather crass and insensitive.

  28. My breakfast today is a can of Coke classic scrounged from work. As I popped it open, I thought to myself–this *truly* is the breakfast of champions. I guess I’m in good company, though mine doesn’t have added vitamins :)

  29. I just looked at my Tudor Roses – The Margaret Tudor pattern does have all of the panels, however, it is on my to-do knitting list and I will be combining the panels and knitting them as one, i.e. no ‘divorces’ allowed. I looked at the gauge, it’s the same for the whole sweater, uses the same needles – I don’t know why she designed it that way – in fact, this sweater looks easier to do (complexity stitch wise) than her Inishmore, which I did and altered as well :-). As for Katharine Howard….I’ll pass – where would you wear that thing? Plus it was Jade’s ‘thesis’ project – yikes – I liked my thesis better – paper and oral.

  30. Gotta love the new diel coke plus. “Well if we add some vitamins and minerals people will buy it because they’ll think it’s healthy.” lol. Nice to see Lucy supervising you as you took pictures of the fridge. She’s always so helpful.

  31. I think sometimes when a process seems hard, it is because we haven’t built up the skill sets yet. There is a huge temptation to go from beginner projects to advanced, and skip all that stuff in between. Some people manage this quite handily. Others of us need those in between projects to master our technique and materials. Then suddenly what seemed so hard, becomes merely challenging and interesting, but not impossible.
    I learned to tat using size 10 cotton. Rope in the lace world. But I lusted after finer laces. So I got a ball of size 100 thread, which is finer then sewing thread. I couldn’t manage the thread, without making knots. I really thought I would never be good enough to use such fine thread. But a year later as I went from size 10 up to size 60 thread, I was able to tat with the size 100 thread. My skill level had improved without me even realizing it. I think it is the same with anything.
    There is a difference between hard and boring. I find yards and yards of stockinette stitch boring. But I know people who find this very relaxing. I found lace knitting scary. Until I learned how to read my knitting and how to fix common mistakes. I don’t do a lot of lace knitting though.
    I tired stranded knitting and enjoyed it. Sadly the climate in Va Beach, doesn’t require garments that sturdy. Although I think a bit of stranded knitting would look pretty. But I don’t think Alice Starmore is in my future.
    What a tidy fridge you have. Love the magnets. We have the VA Tech flag flying at the front door.

  32. The hardest thing for me? Stranded color work. Give me the most intricate lace and it won’t scare me, but I just can’t seem to make my stranded color work even. I haven’t done much of it, but what I’ve tried has frustrated me so much that the thought of trying more is quite unpleasant.

    And I have dog poetry magnets on my refrigerator. Just think of what mixing in knitting magnets could do: Good dog chase yummy fuzzy sheep.

  33. Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke has been my recent addiction – but I sure would give a nutritious Diet Coke a try. I hope that we get it Up Here.

    Knitting magnet poetry – AWESOME!!! Maybe IK will bring them back.

  34. The fridge shots are great. I’d share mine but it’s so covered with stuff that you can barely tell there’s a fridge under it all.

    I’m not sure that a pattern has ever seemed too hard but I’m totally with you on too much finishing stuff required. The thing that has occasionall put me off a project is fear of yet another UFO. Sometimes I just look at something and know that I’ll never finish it.

  35. Except that it’s much neater, that could be the inside of my fridge: Diet Snapple and yogurt!

  36. Cool magnets. Your fridge is certainly neater than mine and you’re certainly braver than I am. I don’t like people even looking in my fridge (never know what you might find), so there’s no way I’d willingly show the world :-)

  37. I posted the front of my fridge shot back in January. Also magnetic poetry, but not so poetical.
    http://skhpottery.blogspot.com/2007/01/no-knitting-today.html
    The inside of our fridge is pretty bare, and the top is just piles of empty egg cartons that need to go elsewhere. All in all, our fridge is one of the least cluttered places in the house.

  38. My fridge is entirely too messy to be photographed. I keep telling myself to clean it every time I open the door-so far that’s as far as I get.
    I would like that KH sweater in a different colorway. My first knitting project was a lace shawl, so I am inclined to think of knitting as something that is not difficult. I’ve been heard to say things like, “It’s not brain surgery, it’s two sticks and a string” With that being said, I’ve never knit a St*rmore(too weird about that trademark thing)or Fasset piece. So what do I know?

  39. Usually, the more challenging the more I like it.
    But, I started that Heere There Be Dragone shawl and discovered that I absolutely hated it. It has twists on both sides to make the scales for the dragon, and it’s nearly impossible to keep the thing correct, and then, I got the tail done, was up to the wing portion, and discovered I hated how the thing hangs. Hate. It.
    All that right and left twisting on the front, right twisting on the back, and then netting for the lace portion of the shawl-and I freaking hated it.
    It’s the only thing that I’ve ever quit, put the pattern away, and used the yarn for something else.
    I’ve made the Magickal Earth Shawl from Gathering of Lace, a wedding ring, several Dale sweaters, two bohuses, and that shawl was just hard, and then I hated how it looked in person. Photos were fantastic, and I love the idea-but that thing was just hard.

  40. the ‘sightseer’ comment made me laugh. my curious little cat, Pickle, used to always be sticking her nose into the fridge and sniffing around. she might’ve outgrown the habit now, but it was really cute. don’t you just love their cute little quirks and tendencies?

  41. I’m amused by the nutrient enriched Coke :) My fridge is too much of a disaster area right now with baked goods shoved in haphazardly to take a picture, but I agree it’s an interesting insight.

    I’ve always gravitated more towards lace and stitch patterns than fair isle. I’ve done a little bit of fair isle, but for some reason I fine lace a little easier. I’m sure fair isle knitters feel the opposite :)

  42. Hey, that Stoli belongs in the FREEZER! ;-)

    I agree with Liesel on the Jitterbug…for that price and that yardage, the yarn would be returned to and the complaint registered loudly with Colinette!

    Intarsia. The cruel knitting. Teases with that come hither lovely look, kills with the pain and frustration it takes to even try to get it close to the original idea! Results in mass of tangled fibers and nerves. But no, I’m not bitter at all. Pass me the Stoli.

  43. Not sure why I’m entering because our fridge hasn’t got a magnetic front (can you imagine?) but I can have a grand time with them on the stove hood :)

  44. Hard is teaching myself to do stranded colorwork using the two-handed method. I’m still trying to get it down properly. It feels awkward (I’m a continental knitter,) but I love how it keeps my tension even so that the front doesn’t pucker, and I love that the yarns don’t get all tangled up together.

    It’s just a matter of practice I know. So I’ll give it time. After all I’ve only been knitting for a year and a half.

    And I LOVE colorwork, both stranded and intarsia. Now, if I can figure out how to do intarsia in the round so that it looks good, I’ll be all set, ‘cuz I’m like you, who wants to do all that finishing after you’ve taken all that time to knit the thing? :)

  45. Your Bohus sweater inspired me to procure Poems of Color, speaking of Bohus knitting. I enjoy reading about the history of it all, too.

    There is a pattern on the back of the Jitterbug label that recommends size 2.5 mm needles, though the ball band says 3.25 mm. With my left foot’s tendency to swell, I just keep weighing my yarn and then decide which foot the first sock will fit (which is usually my right foot).

    Lucy looks like she’s ready for the weekend!

  46. I lived in South America in the late 1990′s- there was a brand of soda pop that had fluoride in it. Sort of makes sense…

    What’s hard- tiny yarn and tiny needles. The first pair of socks I made (and the 3rd knitted item I had ever made) was with fingering weight yarn – took me a year to finish them. Still somewhat traumatized.

    The intarsia pillow was hard too. Still haven’t finished the back. I may enter it in the mdk slog-along.

  47. Michelle from Arizona says:

    Hi Wendy. I really want those refrigerator word magnets so am sending out as much good karma as possible. My little ‘Don’t knit and drive’ magnet’ needs some other yarn love on the fridge.

    Question for you about laceweight yarns: I am about to embark into lace explorations inspired by you and The Loopy Ewe starting to carry laceweight AND the fact I have been a little intimated by it but want a put a stop to that. I cannot die and say I never even TRIED lace. (To show I am serious I ordered some blocking wires.) So. Will my ‘regular’ size ball winder handle one of those largish bundles of lace yarn? I just thought of that before I go and order a Big-Ball-O’Laceweight.

  48. Thanks for posting pictures of our(Interweaeve’s) dear ol’ magnets – now everyone is requesting them :)

  49. There’s a blog post I’ve had in my head for a while, but haven’t had the time to actually type and post, about how I don’t think anything in knitting is particularly hard. Time consuming, yes, but I don’t think it should be viewed as hard.
    I don’t like it when I see people posting about wanting to make something, but ‘I’ve only ever done scarves/I couldn’t do that/I’ve never done (insert technique)’. Knitting really is just two motions, repeated in various combinations.
    My first sweater, and my first cabling project was Rogue. I knew how to knit and purl, and the rest is all in the pattern.
    And that Katherine Howard sweater? I think it is very pretty and am heading over to my library’s website right after this to see if they have the book. I’m thinking blue instead of red, green instead of yellow, and undecided on what to replace their blue with. I probably won’t make it, not because of hardness, but because of time. Although I’m going to put it in my Flickr set of future projects, just in case I suddenly have that time. :)

  50. Well, my faboo skein of Jitterbug had nary a single knot in it. My Fleece Artist did. I don’t hold that against the Fleece Artist folks, though. It just happens sometimes.

  51. I’m just here to say … glad you’re OK. When you didn’t post last night, I had to go back & read to see if you told us you’d be away. When I didn’t see anything I thought somethings wrong … glad I was just worried for nothing. After this rather hard week of doom & gloom, it’s good to know your fine & the sun is finally shining here in Boston.

    Lucy looks like she’s saying “You couldn’t possibly leave me out of the post”.

  52. I find complex lace the hardest… I just can’t seem to get the hang of it.

  53. Oh yes, there must always be a Lucy photo! As far as hard goes, I think a lot of things could be considered “hard” or challenging, but sometimes that’s the fun of it.
    And intarsia will never cross my needles again, knock wood! Hate it!

  54. the thing is, i don’t find any knitting really HARD, and i enjoy complex patterns. but some patterns which are challenging seem to tip the balance toward challenge as the goal (for instance, that tudor roses sweater), to the detriment of beauty or practicality. now, i think i would find a bohus challenging for the same reasons you do—3 colors in one row and stranding purl stitches on the RS to boot; it would challenge my usual knitting speed and my need to have a good rhythem going. but at least with a bohus, i would still end up with something extraordinary-looking that i would wear a lot.

    just to make something challenging that i would not wear in the end, or consider “too good” to wear much? or to make something challenging that makes the knitting feel a job? well, that would be a challenge to my heart!

    in knitting, having the right balance of beauty, function, and skill makes a piece extraordinary and pleasurable to create.

  55. It may seem weird, but the hardest thing to me is picking a pattern. I’ll have beautiful yarn, and it can be so hard to figure out what to do with it. Typically I then proceed to choose a pattern that doesn’t match the gauge and end up doing all sorts of math (and ripping back, but we’ll ignore that part.)

  56. I was worried about you when you didn’t post yesterday. You’re so consistent with your posting I was afraid something had happened. Glad it was only an internet thing.

    My fridge often has a kitty head in it too. She’s even jumped in there! I’m not sure she ever finds what she’s looking for.

  57. i.d.d.a. says:

    I lived in Germany when I was a child and I seem to remember Kinder beer- beer with vitamins in it.But not for breakfast. Donuts and coffee are the breakfast of champions for many. And a lot of my friends prefer to drink Mountain Dew for breakfast. Ewwww! I like the magnets and would like to own them! Hi Lucy!

  58. Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy says:

    Lucy looks like she’s just been to the Kitty Spa. Mmmmm … We come here for the Lucy, you know. :-)

  59. Lucy is curious about the fridge, but does she ever try to climb inside it? My cat jakob loves to get inside the fridge and sit on the bottom shelf. We’ve tried closing the door for a few seconds while he’s in there, to see if it’ll discourage him from going inside again, but he always just looks up at us as if he’s saying, “What are you staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a cat in a fridge before?” Nothing deters that guy!

  60. Love the fridge magnets. My kids would have them spread all over the house in seconds, though.

    I think the Coke is intriguing and I will probably buy a bottle first time I see it. I’m such a sucker for new products.

  61. I don’t reeally think that anything is HARD. Time-consuming? Yes. Requiring your full attention? Yes. Progress is measured in rows instead of inches or repeats? Yes. But none of those things are inherently harder than a mindless sock or a plain garter stitch scarf. In fact, I would say that the plain sock or the garter stitch scarf is harder because it’s so much easier to get bored and put it down. The time-consuming, attention-getting, slower-than-frozen-goo project is going to get put down, but you’re going to come back to it if you love it. You’re not always going to be able to knit on it, because it will require so much of you, but that’s why you have your plain sock or a garter stitch scarf.

    “Hard” knitting is best done by people who crave process, not product. But if you want that sweater badly enough, I’m sure there’s nothing to stop you from having it except yourself.

  62. My husband is a Diet Coke fiend – I’ll have to sneak some of the “plus” into his stash! Look, honey, caffeine AND vitamins!

  63. I would like to suggest that there is nothing “hard” in knitting – it’s two sticks and string. It’s all based on 2 stitches (3 if you count yarn overs as a stitch) and basic math; every textural variation is based on manipulating these two stitches. Now that’s not to say there aren’t skills or techniques that one needs to master – not pulling floats tight when doing stranded knitting, reading a lace or cable chart, learning the lingo, etc. But it’s just not hard. Brain surgery or peace in the middle east or curing cancer – those are hard; knitting, not so much.

  64. Ann in CT says:

    We have a stainless steel fridge now. Looks spiffy, not magnetic. It’s set in a cabinet so there is only one little strip on the side just big enough for a grocery list. Sometimes I think DH did it on purpose. Those melon socks ended up cute.

  65. Thank you for the link to VT. I was happy to see the alternatives that the University is giving to the students. I can’t imagine what they are going through and thought it especially good that they have until the end of the semester to make a decision on their options. Many of them will only know how they feel as time goes on, and I am glad that the University realizes that.

  66. Wendy, I notice that you have a “stitch” calendar on your desk. That is sooo cute. Where did you get it??

    MD

  67. I love the magnets…

    I have a strategically placed magnetic wall in a bathroom! Things would be so fun to add!

  68. Stranded knitting with 3 colours in one row. I would say it’s difficult, (enough to have me avoid it in the future) but I think it’s more that it’s way too fiddly and awkward. It destroys the beautiful rythmn of knitting for me.

  69. I’ve always been an “eyes bigger than my skillset” person so I’m always trying projects that are perhaps a bit beyond me. I’m also really bad at giving up on things. So for me what is “hard knitting” is slogging away on something I hate. Be it because the pattern is full of errors or the yarn is turning out to be yucky or whatever. I’m often knitting for someone else so I can’t just blow it off and frog and go on to something else like I could if it were for me. Though, sometimes even when it is for me, my competitive streak (or whatever it is) won’t let me give up. The other “hard knitting” is when I can’t get it right and can’t figure out how to fix it. Those are the only times I get frustrated with my knitting. Otherwise, I find it to be fun to learn new skills and try new things and get ideas above my station as it were and try to excute them.

  70. It’s nice to see you have some “dreigiau coch” (red dragons) on your fridge. ;0)
    And I’m *very* interested in the desk calendar – where did you get it from?
    And it’s not hard exactly, but intarsia is just a pain in the butt. ;0) Life’s too short (for me anyway!).

  71. I have a suspicion that Lucy might like these added to the knitting magnets: http://www.magneticpoetry.com/openbox.asp?product_id=3135&b=1 (magnetic poetry for cat lovers) There would be some fun combinations between those two sets!

    What’s hard….you know, the very FIRST thing that came to mind was lace weight yarn and bamboo clover needles! OMG….I really learned a lot about needles when I started knitting lace. Our tools really CAN make a huge difference (love my Knitpicks Options needles!). I appreciate the earlier comment about “boring” versus “hard.” I generally get tired of a project before I decide something is too hard…and maybe I just avoid anything that seems too much like “work” because…ya know…I already have a JOB. Knitting is for FUN.

  72. I remember the Queen of Hearts! My most involved intarsia was the Vogue Map of the World sweater. The Soviet Union broke up as I was knitting that side. I thought about charting all the new borders, but decided to be historical instead. The sweater “broke up” my interest in intarsia as well!

  73. I have the same set on my fridge…along with the cat one. You can imagine the crazy sentences that show up there :-)

    I must admit that I have more on my fridge than in it :-)

  74. Sharilyn says:

    Knitting with pink eye is hard. :-( My kids passed it along to me (thanks for sharing, my lovlies. Actually felt very bad when they had it too and had a very motherly thought of “wish it was me instead of them” the operative word there is “instead”) I have switched from some nice socks to a tank top, knit in the round with no patterning. Nothing — barely even need to keep my eyes open. Which is good about now. (Thanks for the heads up on the Colinette being short on yardage. Hmmmm.)

  75. I agree with Michele in that the hardest thing is a pattern with errors – and no corrections available. Other than that, most other things can be figured out if you want to take the time and make the effort.

    Love the bravery at showing your frig. I’m nowhere near that brave.

  76. No time to read all the pp’s comments to see who else has answered this – but I just finished a pair of Jitterbug socks in your Feather and Fan sock pattern (60 sts/round, US0 needles, size 9 feet). I used up just about every inch of the yarn, and they come up comfortably to the bottom of my calf muscle. A little shorter than some people like, but it suits me just fine. A little short on the yardage, but very nice yarn.

  77. Whoops, scratch that. 72 sts/round.

  78. Those fridge magnet words are hilarious. I love the photo of Lucy checking out the inside of your fridge. so, two Lucy photos this post.

  79. I’ll have to photograph mine or you. It’s a little strange. I was going to ask if you always keep the cats with the sodas ;) Lace would definitely be my hard knit. Yarn overs & K2togs are a tad tougher than tinking back, but I’m getting better at it.

  80. Thanks for the shout-out to the Hokie Red. Do I need to get you another bottle?

  81. hmmmm – me thinks I spy the ingredients for a martini atop your frig – wait, I’ll be right over!

  82. I don’t think Intarsia is hard, just a pain in the behind keeping everything from turning into a snarled plate of spaghetti. Laceweight is hard for me. Anything laceweight and I’m with you on the too much finishing stuff too.

    A post from you just wouldn’t be the same without Lucy in it.

  83. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    That’s a gorgeous picture of Lucy! I love reading your blog for many reasons, but Lucy is at the top of the list.

    I went back into the blog archives to read about Lucy’s arrival into your home. She is so lucky to have found you (as you are to have found her).
    I can’t even call the people who had her before her family. Their behavior was unscionable.
    Now, not only is she so well-loved, she is famous! I think STR must have named their colorway “Lucy” after her. Those colors look just like her!

    My own kitty, Jenny, is a rescue cat, also. She’s black with a small white star on her chest, and she is the joy of my life!

  84. Marianne Y says:

    Please add me to the list of those who were worried about you, when we did not see your blog Thurs. night–I kept checked back often, & was hoping that all was well with you!

    I love the picture of Lucy’s inspecting your frig! I can’t leave my frig door open long, or Snow Bear, my little male Havanese dog will be “inspecting” the bottom two shelves of my frig (it would be more than two, but those are all he can get to easily in the allotted time). I must admit, though, that this little dog does manage to find a way to get on the kitchen table and to knock things off the kitchen counter, too. He is slowing down a little bit these days. He has spindly legs for his body, and his knees aren’t what they used to be.

  85. I feel like things that are time-consuming are “hard”. All of it is made one stitch at a time, and if I try to hurry, the more complex patterns will trip me up. Oh, but I haven’t gotten around to making anything that needed steeks yet. Now that I live in the Great White North, I should do that.

  86. I think hard is a pattern with something different going on in EVERY row/round… with no repeats anywhere. (I saw a pattern for a dragon shawl that was like that — pic of dragon in lace… with stuff happening every row, and no repeats or “patterns” in it.
    I also think hard is things like p3tog thru the back loop.
    Hard can also be b/c the yarn in question is uncooperative or stiff.

  87. stephanie says:

    Wow. I have 3 skeins of jitterbug and no knots yet. Now I’m wary . . . .

    By the way, I knit on 1 and its very tight. At 100 grams it knits up 2 adult socks pretty well.

    Stephanie

  88. Ohhhh, I could mix the knitting magnets with my REI magnets and really come up with great stuff!

  89. I’ve always wondered about something but never asked. This post gives me hints toward the anser so I can’t resist. Must ask.

    How long have you been knitting? Were you always knitting things at the rate you do know?

    I look at your work and the skill level and wonder “how many years of knitting does it take for your finished objects to look like that?”

    Sorry for the nosy question but I had to ask.

  90. LOL I thought I was the only one who liked to peek into people’s fridges LOL…good grief, I would NEVER show mine for fear of being turned into the health department for having live culture experiments growing in it.
    On the Coke with vitamins and minerals….well, GAWD that is just so wrong on so many different levels LOL

  91. Marianne Y says:

    I’m curious–how did you like the taste of the Diet Coke with Vitamins? Was there a difference between it and regular Diet Coke?