My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Stumbling Through My Knitting

Did you ever have one of those evenings when you hunker down to knit, fully intending to go at it for a couple of hours and make great progress? And spend the evening fumbling and dropping stitches?

Last night was one of those nights for me. I could not complete a row without dropping a stitch to save my life. I do not recommend dropping stitches in lace. It is a royal pain to pick ’em back up again. Good thing the crest o’ the wave pattern is an easy one.

But I don’t have a lot of progress to show you today. Look at yesterday’s picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But I ought to be able to complete the scarf by the end of the week, as long as I don’t have any more knitting evenings like last night.

There was a question about the afghan I had the scarf draped over in yesterday’s pic. That’s a Colinette AbFab throw I made a few years ago:



And there were a couple of questions about the scarf. One was how wide the scarf is — it is 18″ wide.

Next, how many yards is in my skein of yarn. It’s between 800 — 900 yards.

Another question — will I publish a pattern for this.

Well, yeah, I can. It’s pretty easy to figure out without a pattern, but I’ll write it up when I’m done.

So . . . what’s on the needles next?

I’m toying with the idea of knitting a sweater, but then again, I might concentrate on some small items for a while. In fact, I have a particular something small in mind . . .


Re-entry today was not too bad. One sucky thing was that the subway fares went up this week. So I’m paying an extra $1.95 per day (bringing my daily total for commuting up to $11.70 daily for fares and parking) for the same crappy service. (This morning I waited 12 minutes for a train at my transfer point. I’m paying the higher rush hour fare for non-rush hour service — something that’s pissed me off for years.)

And another thing. At some point in the recent past, Metro changed their fare machines so that they no longer accept $20 bills (even though they say they do on the machine). So I have to collect $5 and $10 bills to feed into the machine when I want to add value to my metro card. I used to use my debit card to add value, but stopped doing that after the farecard machine deducted $200 from my account and only put $100 of value on my metro card. It took me three months to get that money back from Metro.

Okay, I’m done. ๐Ÿ™‚ do I feel better? Well . . . no . . .

Lucy was very pleased to have her Momma home after work and told me about it in detail!

Lucy 010708

Lucy 010708


  1. Yikes, that’s a pricey commute! I’m thankful that I can buy a monthly bus pass for $59, and even though it’s too late to take a bus home once I get off work, it;s still worth it for the 5 days a week I do need to take a bus, and for any time I feel like going out otherwise. I expect that if going anywhere were as pricey for me as it is for you, I’d stay in a whole lot more!

    And yes, I’ve had those terrible knitting days too. Days when I’ll cast on for a lace project, and mess up three times before the first repeat is done, and I’m terrible at picking up stitches and correcting things in lace. So I rip back, cast on again… and make mistakes again. Repeat until insane.

  2. So sorry to hear about your evening of knitting problems followed by a day of lousy commuting. It just has to get better from here on! Little drama queen Lucy is so cute telling you about her day.

  3. Your re-entry sounds a little better than mine – I was (well am) exhausted and probably won’t get any knitting done tonight. : (
    I did not know that Metro’s machines don’t accept 20’s, but then I haven’t tried that for some time since I primarily use my Flexible Spending CC to load up my monthly allowance provided by my employer (which, they actually took into consideration rising costs and gave us some more money, which makes me happy). I can walk to the metro station, so my round trip is $6.20/day after the fare increases. They really do need to improve their customer service…
    Anyway, I’m enjoying your new shawl pattern. I totally relate to your story about dropping stitches – for me, I notice its when I’m especially tired – so I’ve come to the realization that even if I want to knit, but am tired, its not wise and I have to entertain myself in other ways… : )

  4. anne marie in philly says:

    spouse wants me to ask you a question – does metro still have the $50 farecard for 2 weeks travel?

    damn, things haven’t changed much with metro in the 8 years since we left town…only the prices have gone up.

    I would be interested in the COTW pattern.

    sit down and pet lucy to make yourself feel better. do not knit tonight. lucy, shower momma with kisses and purrs; she needs some sweet lucy love!

  5. ellen in indy says:

    yes, but even at that price, you’re lucky that public transit is an option. i’d love to be able to take a bus to/from work, but service here is unreliable and i often must take a grandchild to school or pick her up. i know only one person who regularly has ridden the buses; she recently moved from downtown and now drives.

    if i drove for work, my employer would pay me 32 cents a mile. gas here is $3.05 or so at the moment. i commute about 65 miles a wk and pay $10/wk for parking.

    in ’02, i spent a week in hong kong with high-school-age singers and their conductor. public transit there is wonderful. you buy an octopus pass at the airport. it covers the shuttle into the city, buses, trams (even the touristy one up victoria peak), subways, ferries — every mode of transit but cabs and feet. we went all over the city, and could even have used it to go to the border of “mainland” china if we’d had visas to enter. we spent about $40 U.S. on the pass, and saw all the sights we could cram into our stay. the subways were immaculate — and cell phones worked, even when we were under the harbor! (people using them spoke softly, by the way.) the buses also were clean, but older. the ferries were great fun to ride — super views of the harbor, but much slower than the subways, of course.

    i’ll look forward to the shawl pattern. i’m thinking warm stuff these days despite 60+-degree weather here at the moment.

  6. I was watching the news today and heard about the METRO rail hikes in DC. Is that where you are? If so, I’m only an hour and a half outside of DC. We should do some knitting sometime!

    Ah – I love the cute kitty photos. One truly can never get enough!

  7. Glad you made it through the day, and that Lucy was there to welcome you.

  8. Great, a fare increase just as I’m getting ready to head back to DC. It’s still got to be better than my commute here though. Glad to see that the re-entry wasn’t too hard though. We’ll have to get together once I’m back in town.

  9. Thanks for the afghan photo — it is lovely. Colinette puts together some great kits.

    If it weren’t for all the knitting time it gives you, that commute would be a killer. An expensive killer.

  10. Oh. Yeah. THAT’s why I don’t miss DC! (ok, it’s just one of the reasons…)
    Wow. Prices have really gone up in 8 years.

    And I have had one of those nights for the past two nights knitting on a cabled hat. Do you think there’s something in the air?

  11. Yeah, I have days like that. Days when you not only have yarn gremlins, you *are* the yarn gremlin. Those are days when you go do the dishes or something, and remind your fingers that they ought to behave, because you could certainly find much less interesting things for them to do.

  12. ugh. another metro fare increase. stupid. i live off the red line, which always (at least seems) to be single tracking in my neck of the woods…. if it is going to cost more, can it run properly, please?

    i usually only take it when i don’t have to bring stuff with me (rare with my job) or when i KNOW driving will raise my blood pressure more than the metro commute will.

  13. Ummmm. I guess I have it pretty good for transit. I live in the country and own a small quilt shop. Yes I quilt as well as knit. My husband had my shop built on our property and my transit is out my back door and down a side walk. I like my travel arrangements! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Theresa in Italy says:

    Sorry to hear about the fare hike. I used to commute by bus in LA. Just about when I’d worked out my budget so the bus pass wasn’t taking too big a cut, the price would jump. And the service never got any better.

    I’ve learned the hard way not to try to knit when I’m tired unless I want to spend the next day ripping back!

  15. “In fact, I have a particular something small in mind . . .”

    You know… you haven’t knit a sock in quite some time ๐Ÿ™‚ And now that you are commuting again, well, it seems like a natural progression ….

    Happy New Year!

  16. I’m ticked off about the Metro fare increase as well. I ride it every morning, and I just love (not really) how they call 5 am rush hour!

    I read on their site that their farecard machines just don’t take the NEW $20 bills, and I’ve found that it spits out new bills in other denominations as well. I end up carry loads of change because I don’t want to put $10 in the machine and get $5 back in nickels. UGH

    What was the point of the increase anyway? It surely hasn’t translated into improved service. Oh, yeah, pad their pockets, that’s why.

  17. Wow. I really need to quit whining about driving my old 35-40 mpg Honda Civic the 3 miles to work. Don’t mean to glory in your transit troubles but it sure helps to make me grateful for what I’ve got.

    I was knitting happily away on my stepson’s grad afghan and got to the end of an incredibly long row and realized that I’d NOT included 2 stitches in the pattern. I guess I should’ve listened to that inner voice that kept saying “Is this right? It doesn’t seem right.” I hate days like that.

    My Lucy comment…I really miss my kitty Harpo who has been gone almost 3 years. Lucy looks and acts alot like him. Sometimes, if I don’t have time to read, I skip right down to the Lucy pic. Thanks for featuring her!

  18. I’m with you on the less than stellar service delivered by Metro. I slug in to DC each morning so I eliminate the parking fee and the AM Metro. If I had to pay both ways and for parking I’d really be angry. The service stinks and I think that the whole system is mismanaged.

  19. $11.70 a day? Yowch! In Lexington KY a monthly bus pass is $30 for unlimited trips, work subsidizes them so I pay $20 a month. I thought it was high, but apparently not.

  20. Metro was one of the big reasons I left the DC area and refuse to return. Horrible customer service, exorbitant fares (which just went up again?!), old, unreliable equipment…. That’s a major reason why I made my husband move 700 miles away! Thanks for reminding me, Wendy. I’m sorry you and our other friends still have to deal with a terrible transit system.

    Lovely scarf – I can’t wait to see what your small project will be!

  21. I’ve had those type of knitting days. I sorta had a night like that last night. I fully intended to finish knitting the last panel of a baby blanket I’ve been working on — in garter stitch. When I sat down to actually knit, I had a hard time getting comfortable, and then I found myself stopping a lot and next thing I knew, I was falling asleep while my DH was watching the football game!! So I bagged it and went to bed early — it seemed that I needed the sleep more than to finish the blanket. I’ll get it done tonight though!!

  22. I’m so glad I read your blog today because I had the same kind of knitting evening and refused to go to sleep until I got something right!! Should have done like Lou and “bagged it” because am so tired back at the job again today ๐Ÿ™

  23. Boy am I glad not to have to deal with public transport, then again where I live the only form of public transport is the school busses that run every am and afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚ Lucy is such a ham, she has a loyal fanbase and she knows it too! My 14 yr old son is always asking to read the Blog “with the fuzzy kitty cat”

  24. I COMPLETELY know what you mean. HIking the fares is bad enough but understandable. Raising the fares and providing absolutely NO service?! RIDICULOUS!

  25. Its the knitting wheel of fate… my knitting has just been humming along, but it’s only a matter of time. and your wheel is on it’s way up. Tonights knitting will be go much better for you. I started the COTW last night on a lovely 2 ply “heavy” fingering weight alpaca, spun with some flash.. I love flash. I’m a sucker for anything that sparkles. can’t wait to add beads to it. Are you going to add fringe with beads to yours? (which is LOVELY by the way).

  26. Lucy seems like a fun, playful cat who also is lovey and calm. Would you attribute it to her breed? I am jealous, my kitty is a maniac.

  27. Maybe there’s some argument to be made about how we all need those fumbling nights once in awhile, but I’m not betting on it. Here’s hoping your knits turn around soon.

    (And that’s railway robbery, definitely!)

  28. Ann in CT says:

    Does it help when people say “At least you can take public trans” and then share their commute nightmares? Well, I’m going to anyway. Where I live and where I work are off the main rail lines, so I’d have to leave the house at 6 am, have two changes and still not get to work until 9:30 and it’s near impossible to get home before 8pm. (and yes, I remember you’re out there by 5am) So I shlep 26 miles in the car, which can take up to 1 1/2 hours. I don’t even look at the total anymore when I gas up every week. sigh, wish I could take public trans, and knit and relax…

  29. Deborah C. says:

    I feel your pain – I pay to park and take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) and subway to work. It works out to $11.93 per day – $319.65 for the monthly railroad/subway ticket and $43.25 for the monthly parking. And, it’s going up 4% in March – happy day. We do get some of our pay in TransitCheks, which offsets a little, but still – the service isn’t worth the amount we pay!

    Lovely scarf! I’ve had knitting days like that, sometimes I have to just put the needles down and walk away before someone gets hurt…

  30. I hate those kinds of nights…especially if frogging is an encore to the dropping/picking-up choreography!! Sorry that happened to you…

    Chubby kitty feet on hand knits is waaaaaay better than chocolate!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m over the edge with you!!

  31. I have lots of nights like that – nearly every one, which is why I make such slow progress.

    I feel very nostalgic for Tales of Transit Terror.

  32. First, my sympathies on the fare hike by Metro. It could and should work so well, and it just seems like an ordeal now — crowded and halting.
    Second — and to the real question. Do you love and wear your Cromarty much? I purchased Celtic knits when I saw your finished (absolutely beautiful) sweater and I still hanker to knit something so intricate and wonderful. So — having produced a work of art, is it comfortable, flattering and wonderful to wear?
    I would also love to know which you prefer between Cromarty and St. Brigid.
    I mostly lurk, but I love to read your blog and Lucy is one beautiful kitty.

  33. knittymonster! says:

    i noe how you feel about dropping stitches! i’ve been taking my knitty progress to school to show my knitty friends seamee, michaela and cierra. yesterday i was knitting and i discovered a dropped stitch. i counted my stitches and realized there was 36 stitches with the mysterious stitch and the pattern is a ribbed scarf thats 35 stiches. i was knitting up a storm when i came to the end of my k3 p2 rib. i had an uneven amount of stitches. oh, i whined a wee bit to my knitty friends and they told me to frog it down to where there was only 35 st. it worked and my knitty progress was back!! hehe. long live queen lucy!!

  34. My in-laws live right outside of DC, so I know I’ll be hearing about the rate increases! At least here in Boston, we got increases, but we also got RF ID Charlie cards, so it makes commuting easier. And we got rid of turnstiles, and have nifty space-age clear plexiglass entrance and exits. Set phasers to commute!

  35. The metro machines kept eating my $1 bills and not giving me a fare card at L’Enfant Plaza stop. Dropped $3 in two machines before i decided to use two $5 and give whatever I didn’t use to my son’s girlfriend. Stupid machines.

  36. I had a bit of knitting like that this morning. One of those times when I just couldn’t manage a ribbed pattern.

    The Boston area commute has changed a bit over the past year or two. It doesn’t cost me quite as much as it used to, but the service really hasn’t gotten any better (and for some of the more expensive services has definitely downgraded).