Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Eldridge Knitting Nook! And Dorrie the Little Witch.

Yesterday I woke up earlier than usual, but I had no problems getting out of bed.  I was going in to work early, so I could leave work early, for a very special reason: the Eldridge Knitting Nook knitting group!

I had heard about it online, from friends, and even got a personal invite on Ravelry from the group's founder, Tammy. So needless to say, I was pretty excited for yesterday afternoon. However, I was not prepared for how completely awesome this meeting turned out to be.  Tammy had mentioned in a message that they were expecting 20-25 people. How optimistic, I thought. Well, when I pulled up the the Buzz cafe in Eldridge, there was not a single parking space. I drove around the building and joined the many cars parked back there. As I was entering the shop, I heard a guy on a cell phone tell his friend not to bother coming to the cafe. It was packed, he said, with no room left to sit. I still was not prepared for what I saw. Standing room only, with knitters and crocheters of all walks of life, introducing themselves and their projects. I slapped on a name tag, signed the attendance sheet and worked my way to the back corner, where Miss Effie was sitting! (Check her blog for some pictures from yesterday.)

The next hour and a half were a happy blur of knitting and meeting new people. It is my understanding that this will become a weekly meeting, with yarn swaps and book swaps and even some more formalized instruction. Of course, everyone at the meeting was willing to help out any novice knitters, crocheters, spinners or other types of fiber enthusiasts. There also will be a later meeting on Thursdays (next week is the first from 5-8. I'll keep you posted on the details).  I will definitely be trying to make this a regular occurence. Maybe I'll even go both nights!

I might actually teach a class myself on the technique of entrelac. Tammy asked me about it when she saw me wearing my new cowl, with colors reminiscent of the "Dorrie the Little Witch" books by Patricia Coombs.

I loved these books when I was little, and I still do. They actually cost quite a bit of money now on the secondhand market, but we just borrowed them from the public library when I was growing up. They are usually only printed with a few colors of ink, like in the picture above. I was originally inspired to try entrelac when I saw Miss Effie's entrelac scarf, made of some type of Noro, at the Crafting at the Convent Retreat. I searched Noro Silk Garden Lite on Ravelry, and although it is discontinued, there are quite a few people willing to sell a few skeins from their stash.  

I bought these skeins from a fellow Raveler (exuse the poached stash photo, please!) in part because they made me think of Dorrie, and I could not wait to get them in the mail. I cast on as soon as I received them, and two weeks later, I had this!

I love the way the entrelac is so squishy before blocking and in fact, I don't plan on blocking this one at all. I started off with this pattern from Alison LoCicero. It's free on Ravelry and her website and very easy to understand. As usual though, I had to change things up a bit. I cast on additional stitches for two more rectangles per row, and started on my merry way. It didn't take long to realize that I did not have enough for a normal length scarf. I then got out my pencil and paper and did a little math. By calculating the area in square inches the pattern produced in its original form and then the area my guage, width and yardage was going to get, I confimed my suspicions. I decided to keep on knitting though, and then sew the ends together to create a cowl instead of a scarf. This turned out great, and I like it even better because you don't have those pesky scarf ends to worry about. I usually wear it as shown in the first picture, doubled and then folded over itself at the bottom.

I love the Noro colors and the way they change in this project, which is surprising given my usual aversion to all yarns variegated. However, the use of entrelac makes it looks very structured and planned out, don't you think?

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more knitting in public (and maybe even some spinning)! And please, please try to come to the new knitting groups in Eldridge if you are at all intrigued.


  1. Love what you are doing. Especially using Dorrie for inspiration. She has always been one of my favorite characters. I sincerely look forward to seeing more Dorrie inspired work. :) Thank you for posting.

  2. Thanks, Amber Waves of Grain! I love the Dorrie Books. I currently have a Dorrie sock project planned. Of course, they won't match!!