Knit by Nora
Compulsive ~ a strong, irresistible impulse to act (i.e., to knit) and Obsessive ~ to occupy the mind excessively (thus this blog)

Monday, July 14, 2003  

I’ve Got Sunshine
The weather was perfect this weekend and I pursued several summer activities: gardening, painting picnic table/benches, grilling, and antiquing. I made a significant purchase while antiquing that will be unveiled tomorrow. It is a place to stash my knit books and magazines, as well as my cookbooks. Mick likes to chew on the bindings of books, so I must get all of these off the floor and low shelves into a safe place. Speaking of the bad, but adorable boy, here he is trying to blend in with other decorative items.

Today’s Knitting News
I am still working on Tuscany and still hope to finish this week. No more photos until I am ready to assemble. For instant gratification I knocked off a couple of scarves for the gift stash. I knit Christmas gifts for: my mother, 2 sisters, 4 nieces, 6 employees, 2 of their daughters, several friends, my husband and whoever. Thus the gift stash which tends to have items of a repetitive nature (thus quick knits). Here is an Explosion scarf (1 of 2) and a Colinette Point 5 scarf.

posted by Nora | 12:38 PM

Friday, July 11, 2003  


And not only so I can knit! May be a little of this might happen although we will not be in a gondola in Telluride. Mark does not read my blog and it is a good thing. He is not overly thrilled with this photo, too smoochy, I guess.

Today’s Knitting News
I worked on Tuscany and past the halfway point. I am not entirely satisfied with how the short row stitches look on the wrong side; one is a little stretched. But they look normal on the right side. I hope to have the final product for Monday to wear to work! I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics last night to look at lamps and sign up for coupons to obtain a 50% discount on the outrageously priced lamps. For five bucks, I found these purse handles. I may swing back to pick up one of the other (there were 5-6 versions). Although they are plastic, they would make a summer bag handle.

posted by Nora | 11:43 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2003  

Bowie and Mick watch the hummingbird feeder.

Learning Process

For college and work, I have administered and taken tests about how people learn (visual, tactile or audio along with more details methodologies). Pictures of “how to” followed by my actually trying the task are best for me. (I love computer books like the Teach Yourself Visually series that has almost every page in full color.)

In pursuit of the elusive granny square, I picked up this How To Crochet book. If it can teach pre-teens, I have good chance of learning, too. It has a great pictorial guide and I must say, a couple cute projects. There is hope that I will learn to crochet and my kudos go to those of dual natures (knitting and crocheting).

Today’s Knitting News
I worked on Tuscany cardie-shrug last night and steamed the 100% linen a bit to see the shape. This is one tough fiber. Not only does it say machine wash (gentle); using a dryer is recommended to soften the results. The label says that steaming “enhances the sheen of the yarn”. I agree -- it perked up with a quick blast of heat. Euroflax is made in Belgium by Louet Sales.

It makes me want another in another color. The price was right, too. I am starting the back portion of this one-piece garment and will reverse the shaping in only three inches or so. Can you tell the sleeve, front flap, neckline and the start of the back (needled portion)? This pattern would be sweet in another fiber for a little wrap.

posted by Nora | 11:54 AM

Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

Washington, DC
I have a meeting in Washington on Saturday, July 26th and plan to go down early Friday to tool around. Hitting a yarn store and going to Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s historic home and gardens) are the two activities I want to pursue. Apparently there are no yarn stores right in DC, but there are two in Bethesda, Maryland. If anyone lives in the area, I am open to other LYS suggestions.

Today's Knitting News
I was in a mood to swatch last night and tried my needles on:
· Gedifra Wellness,
· Plymouth Yarns Stone Cotton,
· Rowan Handknit DK Cotton, and
· Rowan Magpie Tweed.
All of these yarns are new to me. As a result, I did not make progress on projects. I have listed a summary of all the cottons (wools are for later).

The Wellness is a substitute for ASC in Grace, a cardie from Rowan #27 (of Pagan fame). This substitution was the brain-child of Wendy who mentioned a sale at Elann. It was less than half the cost of ASC, affordable for a 10 ball cardie.

The Stone Cotton is a substitute for Jo Sharp’s cotton. Again, less expensive and an awesome color (for me). It is for Chaise in the Island Holiday.

Cotton-wise, the HK DK was the most fabulous in feel, looks, just everything was cool. Try a ball, I swear it makes up even better than it looks. Maybe even better than ASC (I feel disloyal, somehow). It will make a fabulous cabled pullover (Fife from A Season’s Tale most likely, instead of the plainer Alex from Rowan #31). Both are form fitting, I just want to show off the yarn in the cabled pattern.

I had swatched my Inca cotton before, but as it is coming up on the needles, I need to make a decision.
As much as it pains me, the Inca cotton is too thin for the tank I wanted to make from Vogue Knitting Chunky Knits – I just can’t get gauge without rewriting the pattern and I do not want to spend time on that. I will check out the tanks for the Knit-Along on Yahoo to see if any would work (I passed on Sitcom as I have 2 other cardies in the basket).

Wools (photos to come).
I am still mulling Rowan Magpie Tweed. I think it will be a cardie, not a pullover (probably from Rowan #24). Because of my office, I need removable layers and I only require so many pullovers for weekends. My skin is a bit too sensitive for 100% content.

I wanted to swatch Rowanspun 4 ply but need #2/3 US (3 mm) needles. I have been undecided about a project for this yarn and was pleased to find something in A Season’s Tale. Isla is a dressy, almost sexy cardigan, although I need trim yarn.

It is strange that I can find (and make) 3 or 4 projects from a couple books (Rowan #27 and A Season’s Tale, for example) and may never make one from other books. What type of creative cluster forms around the style and design elements of certain books?

posted by Nora | 12:26 PM

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

Rocky, Watch Me Pull a Rabbit out of my Hat

I pulled a Rose, not a Rabbit out of my WIP bag. All Rose (from A Season’s Tale in Kidsilk Haze) needed was seamed. I had put her away as I had modified the neck and arm trim and did not care for it at first. I actually purchased the same yarn a second time, cast on and completed an inch. A little time stewing and I find that I can live (and wear) Rose, as is. Especially since I do not want to knit the same thing again on #2 & #3 US needles.

Unfortunately Rose does not count as a tank as she needs cool weather. What to do with five duplicate balls of Kidsilk Haze that cost almost $60? It is way too late to exchange at my LYS. There is enough for a tank (or vest) in any size (per Rose pattern). Anyone interested in trading Rowan yarns?

Today’s Knitting News
I cannot get into finishing Milano so I worked on Tuscany cardie-shrug. Last night, I finished the sleeve and cast on additional stitches for the body. After 6 ½”, I will begin my first short row experience. This project is what I needed as it is knitting quickly on #8 US. The linen looks and feels like string, although it is not scratchy on my skin. The color reminds me of a paper bag.

posted by Nora | 9:58 AM

Monday, July 07, 2003  

Back to Reality
My knitting suffered this weekend due to the holiday celebrations. In addition, I found the new Harry Potter book at 40% off retail and instantly became engrossed with the story. This is a 1960’s pattern book for a couple of bucks a while ago. It has some classic shapes in, I especially like the crew and v-neck pullovers.

Today’s Knitting News
I started the trim on Milano and found Dale of Norway’s directions for picking up stitches up are different than others. Instead of specifying the number of stitches to be picked up (i.e., 113 stitches), it said to pick up an odd number of stitches without giving an exact amount. This approached worked well for me on the neck.

Next I will knit trim on the right and left sides of the slit in front. I can use yarn over to create openings for a tie to be thread through, if desired. Again the pattern does not specify the number of stitches to pick up or the exact spacing of the yarn overs. I cannot decide whether to have a lace up front or leave it open.

I tried Milano on and think I made it a size to big (medium instead of small). The yarn is 100% cotton, so I may try to shrink in hot water after the entire piece is completed. I would hate to give this one away as it has taken forever to make up on #4 US. Only the circulars helped speed up the work.

posted by Nora | 11:04 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  

Happy 4th of July

The first American flag was the British flag, which flew over the colonies before the revolution. As Americans grew more independent, however, they began developing symbols—and flags—of their own. Some of the first flags used pine trees (symbols of strength) or rattlesnakes (symbols of fierceness).

A more moderate solution was to keep the British flag, but combine it with thirteen stripes, representing the thirteen colonies. This would become the basis of the first official flag of the United States of America. On June 14, 1777, Congress passed the first law describing how the flag should look. They said it should contain thirteen starts and thirteen stripes—but they didn’t specify how the stars and stripes should be arranged. For the next forty years or so, the flag had a number of different looks, until 1818, when Congress passed a new, more detailed Flag Act. This law also described how the flag would look in the future—that the number of stripes would forever stay at thirteen to honor the original thirteen colonies, but that a new star would be added every time a state entered the Union.

And that’s why, when you look at the flag today, it has thirteen stripes and fifty stars. (Source of flag information: I decided to swatch the original US flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes for Becky. I like the colors in the flag and have a library/living area done in red (sofa), white (walls) and blue (chairs/braided rug). Even my petunias pick up these colors.

Today’s Knitting News
Not much progress, just 8 rows on Tuscany cardie-shrug and will probably try to finish the right front flap of Milano at lunch or tonight. After that, there is just armhold and neckline trim and wa-la. I will be out of the office Thursday and Friday for a long weekend. See you on Monday with all my weekend accomplishments! I wish my fellow knitters & bloggers and my readership a Happy 4th of July.

posted by Nora | 9:46 AM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

Very Vera

Here is the completed TGIF (so I can knit) project from last Friday: Mission Falls 1824 cotton Vera Bag. I crochet the straps yesterday. The crochet design elements on my summer knits are increasing my comprehension of crochet. I am ready to try a granny square (my primary crochet goal), if I could fit it in. I love this bag; it reminds me of the Sak bags, only much cheaper and way cooler. It also compliments Maude Tank. I would make it again and have fun with more stripes, other colors and even different yarns (1824 wool). It was perfect for instant gratification. I cannot wait for this Friday to get the feeling again.

Today’s Knitting News
I finished the back of Milano and half of the left front. It would be nice to have this tank ready to go for the weekend. I made a swatch for the Inca tank. The cotton knit up strange on size 15 US needles, although I think the “airiness’ is intentional. The pattern for the Inca tank is knit in the round from the top down and I do not feel like adjusting all the decreases to try a different gauge. I did not knit any of my Tuscany cardie-shrug. It feels good having several things happening again.

posted by Nora | 10:54 AM

Monday, June 30, 2003  

Knitters Rule the Roost

Amanda wins the Friday “What is it?” contest and Alissa takes an honorable mention! The wood crate was used to haul chickens many years ago. Some people, as Alissa mentions, use it flat as a coffee table with or without a glass top (after a good scrubbing). I use it as a sideboard along a wall. My favorite guess was by Chris --- a lobster trap. Becky’s swatch is on its way to France; photo on Wednesday (I am taking a 4-day holiday July 3 to 6.)

Today’s Knitting News
I loved my TGIF project: the Mission Falls Vera Bag! I will crochet the drawstring for it tonight post a pic on Tuesday. Milano and Tuscany were neglected this weekend. I wound the Inca cotton into a ball for my next tank top and have it ready for a swatch.

Alison writes that she is about to start a tank that will make her sixth tank of summer 2003. I want a six-pack, too! After Milano, I need two more tanks. Inca will be and one that has been smoldering in my RIP (resting in pieces) bag would make it six! The RIP tank will be a surprise as it has never been mentioned in the blog and only needs seamed as I knit it before I started posting. Note that the June gallery is now up, along with wedding/vacation snaps.

posted by Nora | 11:18 AM

Friday, June 27, 2003  

Any Book Worms?
Has anyone read or perused this book? A History of Hand Knitting sounds interesting and I would like to learn more about the evolution of knitting. The price, even discounted, is somewhat high (reg. $39.95; $27.95 @ and I would like to know if it is worthwhile. So far, it is not at my newsstand or LYS for me to browse through the pages. I also need to pick up the newest Harry Potter book; I want to scout for the best price.

The boys recently found a new place to play. Does anyone know what this item is? The first correct answer wins a surprise from my stash! Bowie is hiding out in said item by trying to blend in with the woodwork.

Today’s Knitting News
I only have 2 inches to go on the back of Milano and would be done if I had not begun Tuscany last night. You can see the armhole shaping that will have trim to match the hem (moss stitch). Tuscany is made in one piece from sleeve to body to sleeve. Knit on #8 US, I see it will be a quick knit as long as my first short row experience goes smoothly.

posted by Nora | 10:51 AM

Thursday, June 26, 2003  

Hot in the City

I worked in Pittsburgh today, attending a satellite broadcast training session. Afterwards I went to look for a newly opened LYS, Knit & Bead. It is located in Squirrel Hill, a very trendy but traditional part of the city. My sister and best friend have lived there is the distant past. Although I am not a beader, this area was impressive. The yarn area is not extensive, but it is well thought out and nicely organized. And since the store is more open, the yarns seem to jump out, especially ones I have not seen before in person.

The staff was young to me (20s or less), but each cheerfully offered their assistance. I brought home Jo Sharp’s The Holiday Island Summer Hand Knitting Collection; 9 Balls Of Plymouth Yarn Stone Cotton (52% cotton, 48% acrylic) in burgundy red to make the ¾ sleeve, ruffled edge Chaise; and a ball of Lamb’s Pride Bulky in ebony to make the knitting bag from Hollywood Knits. A ball of natural has been sitting around for a year or so; although this will be a fall-winter project. The handles of the bag are #17 US Brittany bamboos, a neat feature. Although I would not make a special trip (the prices seem a wee bit higher), I will visit if I am in the neighborhood.

Today’s Knitting News
Becky’s swatch is blocked and the ends are woven in. All I need to do is add the embroidered accent! Are you wondering what it looks like? Next week, I promise.

posted by Nora | 5:25 PM

Wednesday, June 25, 2003  

(Not So) Happy Helper

Mick likes to help me sort yarn, usually by chewing it to see if it is still fresh. This is a yarn basket that he appropriated, chewing on the handle, then curling up to cry about the lack of yarn within. I found these adorable cat buttons at my LYS at a good price, they feel like ceramic or pottery. I would like to make a cardigan in one of the darker denim yarns to go with the button; I just need yarn and a pattern and time and money.

Today’s Knitting News
Becky’s swatch is knitted; it needs block and ends woven in to go in the mail on Thursday or Friday. I am saving the photo for next week’s blog as I have enough stuff to post this week. Back to Milano’s back today and tonight as I hope to move onto the front tomorrow. I would like to get a good start on the Tuscany (my name for the Ram Wools Linen Cardie-Shrug) this weekend. I just re-read Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun and am starting to re-read the second book, Bella Tuscany. They are like a mini vacation as her writing is very descriptive.

posted by Nora | 10:35 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

The Coolest Things

As a result of blogging, an unexpected, yet cool thing that has happened to me is trading knitting stuff with others. Better than E-Bay, it costs only postage and yields not just yarn, but nice relationships also. And sometimes, I get more than I bargained for, as was the case with Jennifer (Jenn), another Pennsylvanian, albeit an “easterner” (:-)) The trade was for two cones of gorgeous plum cotton yarn for my item #1 posted a couple of weeks ago. Due to de-stashing, Diane sent two extra skeins of fuzzy wooly yarns. One is already in my basket for a quick scarf knit (a Friday night project) as the colors just grab me. The other, Pullover-Garn, will be … well I do not know what it will be, yet. (Must mull this one over.) I am always amazed at the generosity of knitters. Bonus yarns have come to me several times now, both from bloggers and yarn stores and each time I feel that other person’s warmth and personality come through this act. Thanks Jenn!

Today’s Knitting News
I was in the mood for swatching for my summer cardies and playing with yarn. The taupe linen color swatch on the left is for my Ram Wools linen cardie and the coral red in the middle is for my Lucy Lu cardie. I will probably work up the linen cardie first. I cast on the colorful wormy-looking yarn, Adriafil Explosion, another E-Bay find. I hope to get two scarves from 3 skeins to sell or give away as gifts. This is a tough little yarn to knit, the worms want to hide under the rick-rack like thread. Notice the ball (top) and the scarf (bottom) look much the same at this point.

This scarf is a TGIF-SICK (thank god its Friday, so I can knit) project. This acronym is strange, but true. I must be sick to want to be at home knitting on Fridays instead of heading out. But after a 45+ hour workweek, I just want to veg on my couch! Saturdays are a better party night for me, both physically and mentally.

The Yarns:
1, 5 Trendsetter Eyelash
2 Euroflax 100% linen
3, 4, 8 S. Charles Cancun/Rialto
6 Berocco Zen
7 Berocco Plume FX
9 Adriafil Explosion
10 Fiesta Yarns Gelato (will make a small shawl for summer)

posted by Nora | 12:53 PM

Monday, June 23, 2003  

Smooch in the Wind

Yesterday was our first beautiful summer day. Last night, Mark and I went to get ice cream on his bike. So I used that time as a Smooch photo opportunity.

Today’s Knitting News
Milano’s armholes are started and I am now knitting back and forth to complete the front and back. I organized my yarn Friday night. Playing with all the different yarns put me in the mood for instant gratification. I had 2 skeins of Colinette Point 5 in Venezia won on E-Bay so I knocked off a hat and scarf set (this is for me to wear when this winter). Friday nights for the remainder of the summer will now be instant gratification night where a project of two hours or less is executed. This will build up my gift stash and move the yarn out of the jelly closet. Other knitting time will go to the project of the moment. To help out, I have bagged about 10 quickies and my next 3 or 4 major projects in either large Ziplocs or the nicer zip bags. They are in the basket waiting to be listed on the template.

posted by Nora | 2:30 PM

Friday, June 20, 2003  

Today's Knitting News

Introducing Milano, the work-in-progress. Milano has six beautiful stitch markers (thanks again, Alissa). Why is it so much more fun with cute markers than plastic rings? No knitting last night as I had a work dinner. A package of yarn arrived from Jennifer (from our trade) and she included bonus yarn as a result of de-stashing! Yippee! I will show it next week, along with an E-bay win: Campus Hand Knits for Men and Women published in the 1960's. Only $3.00 with shipping and handling and some of the patterns are still stylish. The hair dos are not. I also won issue #20 of Rowan magazine for less than the original price. I feel very lucky. Have a great knitting weekend.

posted by Nora | 8:54 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2003  

Knit Envy

Smooch has lace and ruffles, Maude shrug has ruffles and navy Pagan has instarsia. What did white Pagan have? Nothing, until last weekend and now the neckline sports what? A ruffle! It has added a feminine edge to this plain white tank. I plan to wear with a flirty summer skirt (white with pink, blue and yellow dashes) and delicate white lacey sandals. No photo of me in Smooch yet (I had it on yesterday but it was too cool here to leave on). This weekend I will snap me wearing it, but here is another view.

This is the 1st triangle scarf made up and the yarn of the 2nd (also now complete).

Today’s Knitting News
Knit Milano last night and I am so close to the armholes, I cannot wait! My Anny Blatt angora and ribbon yarn scarf kit came the day before my anniversary. This is a yarn gift to myself; I love the colors. The website I ordered it from also does custom-blended novelty yarns and fibers. They sent me five samples, with enough to use as as accents (I had filled out my comments section to tell them how I found their website). Visit them at:!

Note: I am told comments are not working (although photos have been restored). I cannot even bring my blog up so something is rotten in Demmark!

posted by Nora | 10:15 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

At Home
I am off today from work and blogging. Hopefully, Blogger has its sh*t together about posting photos. I plan on knitting a bit and will be back tomorrow. (Great dinner with Mark last night! Had sangria and 24 oz. lobster tails. Very romantic evening.)

posted by Nora | 9:35 AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003  

Light at the End of the Tunnel?
No file upload function, again. But this note was on blogger this morning:
"Monday, June 16, 2003 There is a problem with the Upload File button such that the option buttons do not appear as clickable from the dialog box. We will be fixing this problem very shortly." Yippee, the photos were starting to accumulate.

Today's Knitting News
I swatched for the Ram Wools linen cardie-shrug last night. This pattern uses short rows for shaping; this will be my first experience with this technique. I plan to re-read the Knitty article on short rows today. Timely, huh? I am going swatch the Zen for Lucy Lu next to help decide which cardie to do after my last tank.

Milano came to work with me and may get attention if I have time at lunch. I am leaving early today, as it is our 14th wedding anniversary. I am taking Mark to a cool restaurant in a trendy, hip section of Pittsburgh since he gave me a great pair of earrings.

posted by Nora | 8:49 AM

Monday, June 16, 2003  

Sorry, still no photos. Has anyone else at blogspot experienced problems?

posted by Nora | 11:01 AM

Blogger S**ks
Today my settings and template screens returned, but my ability to post photos is gone. Even though the part of the photo upload screen did not work on Friday, I could store the pic on the server and code the file myself. Did I mention the Blogger "Complaint Form" called Blogger Control has not worked; it comes up with a header and no form. Clever of Blogger to have the main means of communication also down. However, their new links to pages selling Blogger apparel are working quite well. I have been e-mailing them through an obscure address buried in their site so I am holding my breath. So, no photos today. Stay tuned.

My email to blogger did not go through. I made it onto the complaints page to let them know about the upload problem. As I purchased Blog*Spot Plus100 on April 3, I have a long time to spend at this blog host. I hope they get better, not worse.

Today’s Knitting News
This weekend was productive as I finished Smooch (looks good with jean shorts); put a ruffle on my white Pagan (act surprised when you see the pictures); and knit two triangle scarves. This week I will go back to Milano to wrap up my tank girl mission. After this final tank, it is summer cardie time. I signed on for Yahoo Knit-Along, although I will not be doing Sitcom Chic. I have Berocco Zen for Lucy Lu or natural linen for a Ram Wools cardie-shrug.

posted by Nora | 9:04 AM
On the Needles