Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hand Exercises for Knitters

I found this article at: and thought it would be a great article to share with all my fellow knitters:

Most individuals wouldn't consider knitting strenuous, but finger and wrist dexterity, flexibility and stamina are all necessary components of knitting. Continually grasping and balancing knitting needles, thread and the object being knitted takes a bit of coordination. Holding the fingers curled inward while grasping needles can place a strain on the muscles of the fingers, hands and wrists. Start off each knitting session with a few basic exercises, and take a break once in a while to repeat them, for hours of knitting enjoyment.


Hold the hands out in front of you, palms sides down. Make a fist with each hand, clenching the fingers in a tight fist. Hold the contraction for between five and 10 seconds and then release, stretching the fingers straight out from the palm. Repeat this exercise about five times on each hand, suggests Berroco, a fine yarn manufacturer.

Finger Stretch

Lift your right hand in front of you, palm facing away from your body. Place the palm of your left hand against the palm-side fingers of your right hand. The fingers of your right hand should be close together and straight. Very gently, press against the fingers of the right hand with the palm of the left, stretching the hand toward your body. Hold that stretch for about five seconds and then release. You'll feel a gentle stretch in the back of the fingers and in the wrist. Repeat this exercise five times and then switch and repeat on the left hand.

Making Circles

You can do this exercise one hand at a time, or at the same time. Place the hands in front of your body, elbows bent at about a 45 degree angle. Moving slowly and steadily, circle or rotate the wrists, so you're making large circles in the air with your hands, exercising and lubricating the wrist joint. The forearms, elbows and shoulders remain still. Circle five times in one direction and then reverse direction and repeat five more times.

The Block

Sit comfortable and then interlace your fingers, palms facing you. Rotate the hands so that now your palms are facing outward, the fingers still interlocked. Try to straighten your elbows as you push your hands away from you, suggests Hold that stretch for about 10 seconds and then relax. This stretch is excellent for the finger and wrist flexors, and will also help improve circulation and relieve tension and strain.

Aug 1, 2010 | By Denise Wang

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Been Busy Knitting Here At ICanKnitThat

I wanted to let everyone know that I have been busy knitting and wanted to share a few things I have finished up.

First of all, my daughter Meghan has been wanting something knitted out of mohair and she picked out the beautiful yarn while I was visiting her in Nashville.  I knitted a very basic cowl for her and now that I have finished it I told her never again.  I have to admit that I did not enjoy knitting with mohair and it will not be a fiber I pick out in the future.  Anyway, here is a picture of it (be know plain stockinette is hard to make look good in a pic, especially a cowl).

Of course I had to make my weekly trip to Loopville to see what was new I heard about a neat pattern called Cantaloop by Shelley Branter which is also a free download on Ravelry.  I picked up a couple of skeins of Sprout in Natural and Galapagos Green so that I can knit two of the scarves.  Here is the green one in process.  I will share the finished project soon.

Then while searching Ravelry for a new pattern to knit a scarf in I found The Potato Chip Scarf pattern by Barbara Aguair.  It is such a great pattern and I highly recommend it.  I knew that my daughter Caitlin would love the ruffles and it was her suggestion to stitch it together so that she could wear it as a cowl.

Barbara agreed to let me share the pattern so here it is:

Potato Chip Scarf (Because you can't knit just one!)
You need 200 yds. of a worsted weight yarn.
US11 needles
Cast on 20 stitches
Row 1.knit 8, turn, knit back to beginning.
Row 2.knit  6, turn, knit back to beginning
Row 3. Knit 4, turn, knit back to beginning
Knit across all 20 st.
Repeat these rows until desired length is reached. End off.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

  1. I am adopted - I have lived in the same family my whole life and grew up with my adoptive Mom being my big sister!
  2. I have a little sister, Rebecca, who is one year younger than my oldest daughter and one year older than my youngest daughter.
  3. My adoptive parents are my best friends.  They are only 11 years older than me so we have a lot in common.  My husband and I love to do things with them.
  4. I graduated high school from Dalat International School in Penang, Malaysia.
  5. I LOVE sweets!  Mainly cookies and ice cream...they scream my name if they are in the house.
  6. I love watching action movies, no romantic comedies for this lady.
  7. I love reading mystery novels...Chelsea Cain (Gretchen Howell series), Patricia Cornwell (Scarpetta series), etc.
  8. I have ready every Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum) and Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse) novel
  9. I hate exercise and diets!  Even though I need to loose 60 lbs!  Still waiting on a magic pill!
  10. I love electronic gadgets!  I have a Chumby, GoogleTV, Apple TV, Sonos, iPad, Kindle, Color Nook...need I go on?!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Travels

I decided to drive to Nashville to surprise my daughter Meghan on Friday.  Meghan is very artistic and works at an amazing store in Nashville called Cake Vintage and if you are not aware of them you really should check out there website or visit the store if you are close.

I also took advantage of her boyfriend Jamie who is a professional photographer and had him photograph my projects to put on Etsy.  Who knew that it was such a process!  Here is one of the photos he shot of the afghan I knitted for Meghan for Christmas.  Jamie is such a talented photographer!  Check out to see his amazing work.

Of course while in Nashville I had to visit a yarn shop!  Meghan and I went to Haus of Yarn and what a beautiful shop!  As usual I was in heaven and could have stayed there all day just touching the yarns dreaming of all the projects I could knit.  I settled on a couple of skeins of Debbie Bliss Angel that I will use for a dreamy scarf for Meghan (she loves mohair).  I also bought Inca Marl to use for a Bow Knit Scarf that I have had on my to-do list for quite a while. 

I am always on the lookout for a great slipper pattern.  I come from a long line of sock wearers so I think I have to have my feet covered if I am in the house even in the summer!  I found a great pattern I can't wait to try from Coco Knits called Malabrigo Loafers that are just adorable.  There is even an optional embellishment to make them into penny loafers!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Knit-Strology from Canary Knits

I ran across a great site today called Canary Knits and love the fun way she mixed knitting with astrology!  I have to say this describes me pretty much to a tee!  If you want to see your astrological sign and the fun way you are described click on the link above.

Aries: The Sign of the Ram
March 21 - April 20

Hello Aries.

You have a ram as your sun sign counterpart; talk about serendipitous!

Your courageous and optimistic nature leads you to gallop headlong into new projects and challenges. Good for you! It's wonderful to expand your knowledge base and take on new skills.
The downfall here is when that new challenge is proving to be more trouble than its worth; across the room it flies! Impatience and a short temper can adversely affect the outcome of these brave new endeavours.

Take heart, though! You might have faults, but you have plenty of positive traits as well!

Your generosity leads you to be something of a gift-knitter, one of those whom put their knitting time on the line to give to others.

Your enthusiasm for your knitting brings excitement to those other knitters in your group who may be of a more subdued nature.

And speaking of that knitting group; your natural confidence and leadership skill make your absence from the regular meetings very much missed, but don't feel bad about your independent nature leading you to seek more "alone time" knitting.

While you might not be the best person to teach someone else to knit (patience isn't one of your virtues!) you're great with advice; your frank, direct and candid countenance will stop someone from buying that horrid yarn you know they'll regret later. Your recommendations on good patterns for taste and skill level will be much appreciated!

Aries rules the head and face: knit hats for yourself and other Aries in your life.
Red is your colour; if you're stuck and don't know what colour yarn to buy for an Aries, a beautiful fiery red is the answer.

Try to start your projects on Tuesday; it's your lucky day of the week.

Thank you to Teresa for allowing me to share this!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Pattern Find - Reversible Winter Capelet

While searching Ravelry today I found an amazing pattern that I just have to knit for my daughter Meghan.  She is obsessed with all things Anthropologie and this will be perfect for her.  The reversible Winter Capelet Pattern is the creation of Julia Allen and the pattern can be found on her blog at Peony Knits and the inspiration is the First Frost Capelet out of Anthropologie's Winter 05 Catalog.

Yarn: 1 ½ balls of Rowan Polar (or similar gauge yarn – Polar is now discontinued)

Needles: 11 US (8.0mm) needles, or size needed to get gauge.

Gauge: 12 st and 16 rows over 4” in reverse stockinette stitch

CO 49 st. This makes a S-M* with 16" neckline.

*For exact sizing, measure around your neck at the collarbone, and multiply the gauge (per
inch!) by that measurement. If that number is even, add one st to get your CO amount.
Knit in 1 x 1 rib for 2 inches to create neckline
Raglan Increases: You will need 4 stitch markers to separate the body into 5 sections:
left front, left sleeve, back, right sleeve, right front.

*If you’re following your own measurements, divide the total CO# by 6 to get the number of
stitches for each of the front and sleeve sections (for example, in the sample pattern, I CO 49, so
each front and sleeve section would have 8 st). Multiply that number by 2 to get the number of
st for the back section. (I had 16). You may need to add or subtract one stitch to get the total to
add up to the CO amount. Please note: This is the number of stitches in each section BEFORE
the yarn over increases. To get a total # of st AFTER increasing, add 1 to each front section, 2 to
each sleeve, and 2 to the back (8 st total increased)

Raglan Row 1 (RS): k2, p6, yo, pm, p1, yo, p7, yo, pm, p1, yo, p15, yo, pm, p1, yo,
p7, yo, pm, p1, yo, p6, k2 (57 st total, 8 have been increased)
Raglan Row 2 (and all WS rows): knit all stitches
Row 3 (and all RS rows): k2, *p to next marker, yo, sl marker, p1, yo* repeat from *
3 more times, p until last 2 st, k2
Continue raglan increases until sleeve measures the circumference of your upper arm.
End with a WS row.

Split sleeves and body:
RS: k2, p to 1st marker, move all st from 1st to 2nd marker onto scrap yarn (right
sleeve). P to 3rd marker. Move all st from 3rd to 4th marker onto another piece of scrap
yarn (left sleeve). P to last 2 st, k2.
WS: Knit all st
Continue in reverse stockinette stitch for 4 more rows (with k2 at each edge of the row)
Switch to 1 x 1 rib, for 5 rows. BO all st

Pick up all st, one sleeve at a time from scrap yarn.
Work back and forth in 1 x 1 rib for 5 rows.
BO all st
Seam ribbing on sleeves

That’s it, you’re done! This is easy, I swear!

Finish with a pin at the neck, or sew a button on, whatever you want! The other cool
thing about this, it’s reversible! I like the reverse st side better, it’s more vintage looking.

Abbreviations for this pattern:
pm = place marker
reverse st st = reverse stockinette stitch (purl on RS, knit on WS)
RS = right side (front)
scrap yarn = a piece of yarn in a contrasting color to hold unused stitches
sm = slip marker
st st = stockinette stitch (knit on RS, purl on WS)
WS = wrong side (reverse)
yo = yarn over (in this case, since you’re on the purl side, bring the yarn around the
needle once so it’s in purl position for the next stitch)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Just for Old Ladies

Just out of sheer curiosity I googled "celebrities who knit" this morning and thought I would save you the time by sharing my finding:

  1. Katherine Heigel
  2. Kristen Davis
  3. Sara Jessica Parker
  4. Dakota Fanning
  5. Julia Roberts
  6. Cameron Diaz
  7. Tim Daly
  8. Felicity Huffman
  9. David Arquette
  10. Christina Hendricks
Guess knitting isn't just for old ladies anymore!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Magic Knot - Amazing

I saw a link to this great video today on @BlueSkyAlpacas Twitter and had to share it.  I just used it to join two balls of yarn together and it worked great.


Yesterday I cast on a shawl from this beautiful Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn.  I saw the yarn and just loved the color and I think it will be perfect for a cool spring night!  The pattern is simple so it was perfect for knitting while watching the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kitchener Stitch

This week I started knitting the "Cush" free pattern from the Spud & Chloe blog and realized that I would finally have to tackle the Kitchener Stitch.  I have heard horror stories about this stitch for so long that I was afraid to even attempt it, but what the heck...I dove in feet first and guess what...I DID IT!  I was so proud of myself.

Now I have to share the link to the video that walked me through the stitch and made it very simple to follow

I also used my handy dandy Sock Doctor and followed it once I got going. If you don't have one of these you really need one in your arsenal even if you don't knit socks the stitch is the same!