Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chilling Out Sunday--Knitting with Rhys

RHYS BOWEN: It's been a crazy week for me. Hosting Jungle Red, working toward the deadline of my next Molly book AND celebrating the publication of THE FAMILY WAY, the 12th book in the Molly Murphy historical mystery series. Right now it's #6 on Kindle historical mysteries and #10 on Private investigators bestsellers. Not bad.

So on Sundays I like to chill out. Usually in Phoenix that would mean a drive into the great outdoors, or lounging by the pool. But this weekend is cold and rainy and my thoughts turn to knitting. Like many of you I love to knit but have precious little time. That's why I was delighted to find the new way of knitting a scarf.

The yarn is called Red Heart SASHAY and it comes in varigated colors. You need 1 skein and a pair of fairly large needles. I use 5.5 mm.
The first thing to understand is the yarn. Spread it out like this:

and you'll see that it becomes a wide lace. You are going to knit with the top stitch of that lace.

Begin by casting on SIX stitches (ten if you want a wider scarf). This just means slipping through the top layer six times and holding those stitches on the needle.
Then to begin knitting use that top loop as if it were simple yarn

. It feels complicated until you get the hang of it. Then it goes quickly.
Six stitches, then turn and repeat. Back and forth until you have something that looks like this:

One skein will make a scarf about 60 inches long and is a perfect way to brighten up one of those black outfits that so many of you say that you wear!

Coming tomorrow is Red Lucy's week with a great discussion on women's rights. We're celebrating women's history month and the anniversary of the 1913 women's march on Washington.
Isn't it great that we can do so much, and yet we still like to keep these old crafts going?

Do share: what crafts to you enjoy doing?


  1. How exciting that “The Family Way” is doing so well! Congratulations . . . . I saw “The Amersham Rubies” on the Barnes and Noble free Nook book list this week, but, of course, I’ve already downloaded, read, and enjoyed that Molly Murphy tale . . . .

    Knitting is one of those things I seldom find time for, but this lacy yarn looks so intriguing I just might have to find some time to play around with it . . . . I used to knit quite a bit, but as you say, it gets harder and harder to fit it into a busy schedule. I also enjoy doing needlepoint and embroidery . . . I remember my grandmother tatting, but much to her disappointment, I never was quite able to get the hang of it . . . . Whenever I wander through the rows of yarn and knitting needles I think about finding myself a tatting shuttle and giving it another try . . . .

  2. So happy the Family Way is doing well Rhys--my gosh, you have had a busy week!

    I never took to knitting either, though I did crochet quite a bit back in the day. What I miss most is sewing...

  3. Not bad at all, Rhys! Congratulations.

    My mother gave me a scarf made that way, in tones of purple, cobalt, and turquoise. It's so pretty, and as you say, it livens up the blacks.

    Roberta, I miss sewing, too. Come on over; I have a roomful of gorgeous fabrics: linens, silks, wools, quilting, and home decor. We could have a blast.

  4. I knit a sweater once but couldn't figure out how to put all the pieces together. By the time i found someone who could help, moths had destroyed it. I was heartbroken.

    One of my favorite things now is to invent little gadgets that make the ordinary more accessible for people with paralysis. I don't mean to make it sound huge. I usually discover problems from my own need.

    One of these is needing something to help me use the keyboard. I hate mouthsticks (drool and such, always having to wash them out, which wears me out) although I'd use one if I needed to. I made a typing stick that is tacky on one end so that it doesn't slip off the keys. It's long enough for me to rest my arm, which I can't hold up for long, if at all, while I plunk. On a good day I can use two, one in each hand. Mostly I use speech-to-text, but sometime I really need to keyboard.

    I also make little strap holders to hold things needed close at hand on the wheelchair. They have to attach to the items so that they are accessible and stay put. That also means they have to be a good fit for the item they will hold. It's one of the hardest things, actually, because where you want something isn't always in a spot easy to attach something to.

    I've also found ways to adjust control knobs for wheelchair electronics and make pads to protect your hands and fingers from bruising and wear from using the controller. I'm always surprised that occupational and physical therapists tend to blame the patient's condition or technique, and not the poor construction and design of the controllers. I think not much changes in this area, for this reason. They really should try resting and gripping a piece of plastic hardware, to move and position a wheelchair, all day for a few days.

    My next project is a bookstand that will work and not cost $300-$500. I don't know about this, but I must try. I don't have any friends who can afford the bookstand that you can use lying back. E-books are a blessing, but they also need a stand for many of us.

    Maybe that's not the kind of craft you meant, but it feels good when I figure something out, or make something ugly a little less of an ugly piece of equipment.

  5. Reine--what wonderful things you are doing! Of course all crafts were created to meet needs that couldn't be bought in stores, so you're just the next generation!
    I hope you come up with a brilliant bookstand!

  6. Rhys, so perfect! Thank you. And yes, my grandmother taught me to knit and to type. A lovely legacy in so many ways!

    Happy Sunday, all..and don't forget to change your clocks.!

  7. Rhys,I love your blog and your scarf.
    I have been knitting and crocheting for a long time.
    For me it is very relaxing and takes me to other worlds similar to reading.
    I have Sashay in my stash and I am going to try this scarf ala a youtube video instruction. It looks easy and fast. Thank you.

  8. I like to make paper. It's a learning experience every time but I'm getting better at creating sheets that are thinner and smoother.

    I don't paint as much as I used to but I still do a lot of collage and I've been doing more art journalling which encompasses all my interests.

  9. Oh Rhys, thanks so much! You remembered that I wanted to try your "even an ADD person can do it" scarf. I so admired it at the Poisoned Pen.

    Reine, I so admire your creative, persistent spirit.

    The only craft I have truly perfected is how to drive my spouse, friends, and relatives crazy. Don't laugh, there really is an art to it. :)

  10. I admire your various talents and envy anyone who can sew and knit! When I was a child I was left-handed and all the adults were right handed so I could never find anyone to teach me! But, I did teach myself very rudimentary sewing and all the years I taught drama to kids I sewed up little rough costumes. They were awful samples of how to sew, but the kids loved them. Well, I guess any praise is worth something, huh!! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  11. I can't knit or sew. Sigh. My grandmother tried to teach me both when I was little, and patient as she was, gave up. It's a good thing there are other creative outlets--and that I don't have to make my own clothes:-)

  12. Thelma, in eighth grade a neighbor taught me to crochet. It wasn't until my older sister came to visit and asked me why I was crocheting left-handed that I realized I was. Took forever to relearn how to do it right-handed.

  13. Rhys, Congratulations are in order for The Family Way!

    I'm not much of a knitter. When I was much shorter (OK, younger), I crocheted a few pieces and did embroidery projects of which I could be proud -- then never picked those crafts up again. I dreamt of learning to sew, but heard it required ironing -- that put me off.

    Here's what amazes me about knitting: I recently learned that knitters gather in online communities, and knitting is one of the largest interest groups on the entire web. Wow.

    My favorite crafts involve drawing, painting, writing poetry to go with some favorite artwork. Create a fabric frame for a photo. Make a wall hanging out of a treasured fabric I collected in my foreign travels. I like to tinker and fix things.

    The way I cook I treat it like a craft. I do research, get inspired, find out how to do it "the old-fashioned way", try it out but with my own spin on it. I invent recipes, rarely stopping to write it down. It's laughable. My husband wants me to make the such&such again. I go into the kitchen and invent it all over again. Fun.

    What a great skill to create new, much-needed devices, Reine. You go, Sister.