General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

and so it begins...

St. Brigid

Here are the first 24 rows of pure fun and delight. I've been coveting Vicki's for so long that I could hardly stand it any more. Since Webs had a Cascade 220 sale and I got Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore from the library, I couldn't not go for it.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Lindbergh & swatch

Did you know that Charles Lindbergh made his very first solo flight in Americus, Georgia? Apparently he roadtripped on down there to pick up a used WWI plane cheap. He stayed around for a bit and had about 20 hours of flight instruction. He did hang out for about a week to practice his take offs and landings. The solo flight at Souther field happened in May 1923 and it was just four years later that he made his famous flight from New York to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis. Of course there is a monument in his honor.

Any guesses about what I swatched for on my day trip to the backwoods south?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

the garden

Something is alive out there. I love these little feather like annuals.

I had to have this Josephine Clematis when I found it at one of the hardware stores. It is the most beautiful shade of lilac in a double flower.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

book review

Knitting: a novel by Anne Bartlett

Set in Australia this modern day story of loss and knitting appears on the surface to be one that would appeal to all audiences. The problem is that the style is too clipped to be enjoyable. The introduction of the three main characters stimulated my interest enough to keep reading this book even though I wanted to put it aside. The two women in the story have deep seated problems that the reader hopes will be heard and understood by the other. It is also hoped that these women will come to rely on each other and assist in overcoming whatever obstacle the other faces. The trouble is the terse manner of writing does little to bring these characters into a well developed world where I could care about them. I kept thinking that their character development would arrive on the next page but that really didn’t happen. I simply couldn’t find myself caring what happened to these women so I decided to return the book to the library even though I’d only read 83 of the 270 pages.

As far as knitting related content, one of the characters is a superb knitter and artist who knits for her own pleasure rather than the consumer driven world. She knits items because she wants to and then altruistically gives them away to the persons she perceives are in need of them. The word obsessive comes to mind here as she drags around three large, heavy bags containing, one can only suppose, expensive knitting gear. I wanted to like this book very much but just couldn’t do it. There are far too many other books out there to be explored and enjoyed to spend time on this one. If anyone else has read the book and wants to tell me what was in those bags I’d appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


They are so cute that I can't stop myself! I think Christmas is in the bag. They're quick, easy, and very fun to make.

I promise I'll stop when I get to the end of this yarn...which is about...hum...three or four more.

Anyway, I've got to hurry up and get these things out of the way so that I can start on my fair project. Shh...its a surprise.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

new discoveries

Don't you just love it when you discover something new and beautiful in your own town? I decided to go somewhere different for my power walk today and ended up at the huge park downtown. I was meandering along when I stumbled upon this beautiful, secluded garden.

It gave me inspiration to spiff up my own backyard!

I'm still on the flower cloth knitting binge. Thanks to everyone trying to figure out what the yarn says. Its an interesting mystery anyway.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

knitting in the news

Fun filled Kool-Aid dyeing.

Extolls the virtures of felting. You've got to register to read it.

Friday, May 20, 2005


The LYS grand opening last night was well attended. I hadn't been in her shop since opening day a couple of weeks ago and she has acquired quite a bit more lovely stock since then. I mentioned before that she is carrying a lot more high quality merchandise. I saw lots of things last night that were thoroughly tempting like gorgeous Lantern Moon wood needles. It was far too crowded to really shop however, so I settled for enjoying the tasty treats such as hummus and veggies. I heard some folks talking about the other LYS and saying that this one's atmosphere was a lot more appealing. Silently I had to agree. I hope this new shop does well and I hope that the old shop continues to do business too.

Here is a promised picture of the ball band of the yarn I'm making the flower cloths from. If anyone out there can read it I'd love to know what it says. I think I'm on my fifth flower cloth. There is enough yarn in each skein to make two cloths so I've been very busy!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

flower washcloths

I'm off to the new LYS grand opening tonight. I'm curious to see how many people turn out for the event. Of course I'll be bringing my knitting along with me. I'm still on the flower washcloth kick with a couple more being added to my gift pile. I'm determined to finish off the yarn that I bought for these washcloths. Several of you asked me what type of yarn that I'm using. Heck if I know! I bought it off ebay and the ball band is in some sort of hieroglyphic language that I don't speak. Hum. Tell you what, I'll get a picture of the band today and maybe one of you talented folks out there will be able to read it. The seller on ebay said that it was cotton chenille which is what the pattern calls for. I got quite a deal on this yarn compared to the cost of yarn that the actual pattern calls for. Worming hasn't been such a horrible problem with this yarn.

I wanted to share a picture with you all of a typical view on my power walks. This lovely, old cemetery sits by the river and is terraced so that there are many rolling hills.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

FO flower washcloths

Before I get started looking around for my fair entry I thought I'd give these flower washcloths a try. The pattern is from one of my favorite books Weekend Knits by Melanie Falick. I always get inspired looking through this book and have enjoyed the objects I've knitted from it.

This pattern looks my complicated than it really is so I highly recommend it for a fairly new knitter. It took me about two hours total to complete one flower cloth over two nights while watching a one hour TV show. The worst part of the project is having to weave in all the ends! This is a fantastic item to pair with a bar of handmade soap as a thoughtful gift. You can't stop with just one so get going folks and you'll have several gifties for Christmas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

the fair

Thank you all for your comments yesterday about my cotton bag. I've accepted the fact that it should indeed be lined I just need to settle myself to it. Thanks Amanda for the awesome sewing link. I think its going to be very helpful.

I’m picking up the gauntlet and running with it. This year I’m entering my knitting in the state fair. I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea every since I read Ann’s post.

Being the little researcher that I am I reviewed the winners list from last year. Weeding through the hieroglyphics I believe that no one won in any knitting category in any class last year. Does that mean that no one entered? Not necessarily. According to the rules, which I also looked up and reviewed in detail J, “any article not up to standard in the class in which it is exhibited can be ruled out by the judge.” However, I would guess since this is such a hot state that not many people are into knitting and of those people an even fewer number go to the state fair. This means I could probably get away with entering an intermediate level object and still be in a good place to get my hands on that ribbon. For that’s what I really want folks: the Blue Ribbon.

There are exciting cash prizes, or premiums as the fair lingo states, in each category. Ten dollars for first place, $8 for second place, and a whopping $6 for third. Oh, and honorable mention gets a ribbon. It also states that all those place holders receive ribbons. However, it doesn’t state whether or not the ribbon is blue. I want the Blue Ribbon. I don’t care about a lousy ten bucks as a prize that costs the ten with another zero added to the end. I want the Blue Ribbon. There is even a shot at an ‘Award of Excellence’ rosette. Wow.

Here is the scariest part of the ‘rules’: “All articles that require hanging for display should be brought with wire, etc., attached and ready to hang.” I have a horrid little feeling that the judges may think that a knitted sweater would be something they consider in need of a wire hanger. My insides are churning at the thought of it. Must check into this in more detail. Probably requires speaking to a live human being to allay my fears otherwise I’ll only be submitting baby blankets.

Entries must be received by September 17th. Can I make it? Who’s with me?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

FO cotton bag

I picked up some sale cotton yarn, Idena Big Cotton Sport, at the LYS last week that was screaming to be turned into this bag. The color is actually a bit more salmon than my monitor shows. I created this simple design using a sand stitch (RS K1, P1; WS K). I'm going to staighten it out with a bit of blocking but I couldn't resist showing ya'll a picture.

I'm also trying to decide if I should line the bag. I don't much care for sewing but I'm afraid that the bag will be less practical if I don't line it. I usually see some groovy sewn item and rush out to try to replicate it only to realize that I really can't stand all the steps involved in sewing. Perhaps some of you have a secret trick for lining the bag? An easy way to do it?

Monday, May 09, 2005


What's that hiding among the bushes? My MIL and I picked up a knockout rose each after our garden tour last weekend. We saw this plant blooming in nearly every yard we saw on the tour. It bloomed this week and is quite beautiful. My last rose has nearly succumbed to black spot so I was happy to find something that may actually survive this hot, humid climate.

I'm really hopeful this rose will work out because it certainly is pretty. This gardening thing certainly is a lark. You can't take it too seriously because it will break your heart when things die. For those of you interested in gardening check out the Garden Web Forum site. There is lots of good information from gardeners all over the world.

It was an all cotton weekend on the knitting front. I created several small face clothes and a sort of hippy bag. I've just got the finishing up to do on them and pictures will be up this week. Thank you all for your compliments on my latest felted bag. The original pattern started life as the Booga Bag but has had many changes and derivations.

Friday, May 06, 2005

yet another one

Is that the same bag you made for your MIL? Why no, its not. Its yet another bag. MIL didn't use all the yarn for her bag so I finished it up in this little creation. Much like Jane, I feel that little embellishments are a good thing. In fact, I'm having so much fun picking out the right pin to go with the bags that I'm planning to go garage saleing soon to find more.

Thanks to those folks who shared links on needle felting. I think its safe to say that this an activity that requires the correct environment in order to avoid injuries. It sure is neat what can be done with the technique though. I thought I might try it on one of the endless felted bags I've been churning out.

Oh, in other good news, my WEBS order has been shipped!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

knitting in history

I stumbled upon this very interesting historical knitting photograph at the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery. This is an amazing collection of "illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more."

This 1930 photo of a Vandamm Theatrical production was produced with a glass negative. The detail of this picture is amazing. It really takes you back there.

Valerie asked about needle felting. Although I haven't tried it yet, I understand that it is a process of felting wool without water. It requires several sharp needles that you poke into the wool several times, creating agitation that transforms it into felt. This is the same process that regular ol' felt is made except that is on a much grander scale with machines and thousands of needles. Can anyone share a website with us that explains the process?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

new LYS

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. I was happy indeed to see my Mom in law enjoy her bag right away. Like many other bloggers out there I struggle to create beautiful pictures to put on my blog. I had no idea I had an aptitude for taking pictures until I started this blogging adventure last year, so this is a new, fun discovery for me. I think the consensus is that I've got to make one of these pot people next year. They are cute as the dickens'.

If you can believe this a new yarn store opened up here yesterday. Is this town big enough for two yarn stores? I'd only heard about it from my friend Max, who had moved away to Virginia. He received an email about the store opening. So I trucked on down there yesterday to see what it was all about.

Friends, it was beauteous. Not a lot of stock had arrived yet but what she did have was delicious selections. Since it was her first day I had to spend some money to help bolster her confidence that the business would be a success. I picked up some needles, a needle felting kit, some roving for the needle felting, and some Manos. I've never actually used Manos before and loved everything about it. The colors are rich, the texture soft, and the smell was invigorating. I guess I'd have to say that Manos del Uruguay is certainly all that! Even my dog liked it. I'm looking forward to knitting with it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

felted bag & garden tour

My MIL loved her felted bag. She quickly transferred all your purse gear into the new bag. Here she is admiring the porch flowers, pink, variegated double impatiens, before we set off on the garden tour. They both look good, don't they?

It was a lovely day Sunday for a garden tour after the sheets of rain that came down Saturday. There was a lovely breeze and everything was lovely! We saw several beautiful gardens.

I really enjoyed this lovely lady. I may have to try creating one of my own next year. I've put so many new things into my garden this year that I'm just about worn out with it. But we did pick up a knockout rose and an orange hibiscus at the plant sale.

Got some knitting done this weekend in the form of another gift scarf which is nearly complete and a roll brim baby hat. I'm waiting for my Webs order to arrive so that the real fun can begin!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I won

Can you believe it? I won the chicken naming contest over at the Stitchin' Sheep's blog. I am so excited. She is sending me some made in France goodies and I can hardly wait!

Rain washed out the garden tour my MIL and I were going to go to yesterday so we're going to make a go of it this afternoon. I did manage to get some quality knitting time in yesterday. I finished this scarf last week from Sirdar Nover super chunky and Katia Damasco in seed stitch. I'm not a big fringe person but this scarf was screaming out for it made from a combo of the two yarns. Into the gift basket it goes.

If I make this picture really small maybe you won't notice how blurry it is. :)