Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quilt Camp with the Tug Hill Quilters

DC K and I spent the week at Quilt Camp.  We had a wonderful time.  We met, over the week, around 90 quilters, and we are lucky to remember our own names, nevermind their names.
Monday through Thursday, we talked, quilted, ate and laughed.  DCK came with several projects ready to sew, and I did not get a picture of any of them!  That probably works for her, as surely one of them is a Christmas present for someone, and she won't want them to see it here!
DCK gave me a darling pattern, with a kit of 5 fat quarters, to make a christmas tree hanging, and I have the fancy part done.  I'll post the picture when it's done.  Meanwhile, here are pictures to inspire you.

Thanks, everyone, for the best time!
Headed for the Church craft bazaar
The quilters work and wander

Quilt-as-you-go strip quilt

At the cutting table

Quilter GD's dye project with her daughter

destined for the VA hospital

Hot colors and cut and sew triangle blocks

Beautiful hand applique

These are some of the material from the Ninja Yardsale adventure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Boomerang Scarf at Blue Mountain Lake Fiber Festival

Sharon's preferred, asymetrical  style wrap

Note: the scarf in the pic is an early version.  When you follow
the directions below, you will wind up with a longer,  narrower, and
easier to wrap, scarf.  You'll see, and you'll like it.
I had a great time today at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.  It was Fiber Festival day, and the yarn bombers had visited the museum!  There were knitting and crocheting (and felting, quilting, rug hooking, and on and on...) explosions all over the place.

I brought the boomerang to share with the other knitters, and I just enjoyed the knitting and sharing and meeting people.

The Boomerang scarf is an easy, warm and stylish scarf.  It is all garter stitch, so it wraps like a dream, and wants to hold onto your coat!  Knit it in wool, or a wool-silk blend.  Wool-alpaca would also work, and the alpaca will lend its drapiness as well.  Handspun yarn works well with this pattern.  Gauge is not critical.  Make it as small, or as big as you want (or as your ball of yarn dictates.)   You can knit this at bigger gauges for a softer, less structured knit.  It will 'collapse' on your neck better at bigger gauge, and it will 'stand up' better at the tighter gauges.

Let me know how yours turns out.


Boomerang Scarf

Yarn-  About 200 yards
Needles to knit at about 5 stitches to the inch ( for knitting worsted weight yarn) or 6 stitches to the inch ( for sport weight yarn). 

Cast on 2 stitches.

Row 1 (and all odd rows)       Yarn Over, then knit to the end of the row.  (increase of
                                         one stitch)
Row 2                               YO, knit to end of row. (one stitch increased)
Row 4                               Same as row 2
Row 6                               Bind off 4 stitches, knit to end of row.

Repeat these 6 rows until you have used about half of your yarn.


Row 1 (and all odd rows)       YO, K1, YO, knit to end of row (2 stitches increased)
Row 2, 4, and 6 as before.

When 15 or 20 yards of yarn remain, end row 5.


Row 1      Bind off 4, knit 5, turn.
Row 2      K 5, turn
Row 3      K 6, turn
Row 4      K 6, turn
Row 5      K 7, turn
Row 6      K 7, turn

Repeat these 6 rows to make sawteeth and bind off the open stitches.  If you run short of yarn before sawteeth are done, bind off the rest of the open stitches without making sawteeth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knitting in Denver! AND another shrug pattern!

I gave the LK 140 to myy DDIL, who is not yet a machine knitter, a couple years ago.  (Give her time.) I was visiting her (and the new, 4th, baby) to help out for a bit, and I dug out the machine to entertain myself.

DDIL plans to use a Moby wrap with the new baby, Jack.  Her problem is that a sweater will not filt OVER a Moby and a baby.  Our solution started with Sensations Kashmiri from Joann's. 
I started with  the free Lion Brand pattern ( for the simple shrug- I ran a gauge sample and got 4.5 s x 6 r/ inch,and translated the pattern for the machine, using the pattern dimensions given in the pattern. The 34 inch wide panel was too wide for the machine, so made it up in two half-width panels, which I joined by raveling the edge stitch on each piece and drawing 2 loops through two loops. (I set this up by leaving one needle out of work before the last needle, on the left side of piece one, and on the right side of piece 2.  This makes the loops you will get by ravelling down the edge stitch a bit bigger. ) This put the mock braid detail up the back of the shrug. I knit the panels with open caston, and later, I picked up the open stitches and hand knit 2x2 rib on top and bottom of the joined panels. I used the Joann’s sensations Kashmiri, and i must say this lively 10-ply wool worked up great, and the machine loved it. (fYI, takes less than 4 full skeins, and kashmiri is 284 yards/100 gm)

My back panel joins make a nice openwork 'braid'.  Who would not want one of these?

The new Mom likes her shrug!

Okay, let's review.
You will make two panels, each one 17 inches wide by 34 inches long. Do a gauge sample to get your stitches for 17 inches and your rows for 34 inches.   On panel #1, leave a needle out of work inside of the left edge stitch- and on panel #2, leave that needle out of work inside of the right edge stitch.  (You could also just move the edge stitch over, but the extra width caused by the ravelled edge stitch more than made up for the loss of one stitch in the width. )    Cast on with waste yarn, and when you start the first garment yarn row, do not use a closed cast on with your main yarn- just knit.  When it is the right length, take it off on waste yarn.  I collect the open top stitches and the open bottom stitches on a couple of circular needles, leaving off the edge stitch that you are going to ravel, so that you can run it down, a couple rows at a time, while you join up the panels.  When the panels are joined you have this great looking 34" x 34" square.  Now knit 2 inches of 2x2 rib on the top edge, and on the botttom edge.  I used a size 4 needle, shooting for a rib to take full advantage of this yarn's springiness.  When you cast off these ribs, you have a square that is 34 " wide, and 38" long.  Fold it in half lengthwise- sew up the sides starting from the ribbing, stopping about 8 inches from the top fold.  
To wear, put your arms through the armholes, and arrange the ribbing a a shawl collar on your neck, down the front and around the bottom/back of the shrug.  

There WAS other knitting in Denver, but it's still on needles.  Airplane knitting. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dotty's daughters


I like my houseplants BIG.  Thus, when faced with having to repot, or divide, the conflict is always how big a plant I can save.  Well, D-day arrived for the begonia.     This is my darling Dotty, a full 30 inches of danging jungle.
If you read the books, you are supposed to take small cuttings, and start new 'babies'.  Then, in three years, you can have THIS!  I prefer to root large cuttings and have dangling jungle by winter.  So, the pots, the hose, the bag of potting soil, me and Dotty , and an hour, and we now have...

This.  Dotty's daughters need a few days to rearrange their leaves so they are all facing out- they will look just fine then.  However, I now need space for three pots, instead of one.  I've got some ideas.

I also chopped up and repotted a variegated philodendron.  Just an 'after' picture here, but you can use your imagination.

Also three more pots.  Anybody need a philodendron?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So That's a Knitomat!

There's a new pony in the corral, a Knitomat 160.  It arrived today, and it's up and knitting already.
You lay the yarn across stationary latch needles, and then slide the carriage, which pushes the knitting forward , closing the latches and the new stitches are in the hooks.  Then you push (manually) the knitting back behind the needle latches, which opens the latches again, and lay the yarn in the latches....
It actually goes pretty fast.

You can see the yarn laying in the hooks right of the carriage.
You can see the 'fingers' pushing the knitting out over the new yarn.

People who like intarsia, or hand manipulated lace, would like this machine.  It's 5mm pitch, so passap and superba tools work with it.  You could also knit two separate pieces, with two separate yarns, at the same time.  Hmm.  What comes in pairs?  (I know!  Socks!)  Seriously, You could knit both fronts of a baby sweater, mirroring the shaping, at the same time.  Who wouldn't want to do that?

Okay- I saw an episode of Hoarders, and I'm Never watching that again.  And knitting machines are NOT cats.  But I have avoided counting them (the knitting machines, that is.)  It might be time to count.

Custom 131
Today, I will review the earliest (20's through 50's) machines:  There's the knitomat, the Custom 131, the twinmatic, and the Fleischer Fast Knitter (not really a machine, but not really a knitting loom, either.)  I probably need to include the AutoKnitter here.  A Steber, too.
Fleischer EME Fast Knitter Illustration
That's enough counting.  It's better to knit, don't you think?  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freedom Wright's Wife and her spinning wheel

You have to go to the auction when it's next door.  Otherwise, the neighbors will talk.  We went, in search of entertainment and gossip.  We found both, and a couple of things to buy, as well.
The auction was a two day affair, liquidating an antiques business that has occupied the old Freedom Wright Inn for the last 45 years.  The wheel in the picture was always marked 'not for sale' in the shop, as it was original with the old house, said to have belonged to Freedom Wright's wife, and marked with her initials, A.W.  The wheel was nearly complete, with the foot treadle and pitman lacking, and the top part of the distaff gone, as well.  The bobbin and flyer are complete, and the drive wheel is true.  It shows both the correct age and wear for a spinning wheel from 1800-1810.  There is a bit of linen thread still on the bobbin, so it's a good bet AW was the last person to use it.  At some point (1960's I'm guessing) it received a coat of varnish, but fortunately, they did not sand it first.
AW's Wheel
 I bought the wheel for $65.  I could not believe my good luck.  I'll post more pictures when she is up and running.  She needs new leathers and a drive belt.  Getting out the cotton twine, now.
Freedom Wright built the inn in 1800.  He does not show up in the 1800 census, but is there in 1810, and gone in 1820.  The census records of the time only recorded the  head of the household, so I do not know her name.

Her intials

200 year old flax leader on the bobbin

I will poke around until I learn more about AW.  DH suggested that I start by getting the description of the land from the County records, as that would record all the owners.
If you have any suggestions for me and AW's Wheel, post a comment.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zwanzigstein Fest

"Grandma, this does NOT look like a festival."  My non-rural grandchildren have urban festival notions.  We are walking from the car, through a field, toward some farm buildings.  My GS and GD are carrying baskets full of spinning supplies, and I am carrying a wheel.  I am coming to the Mennonite Heritage Farm, near Croghan, NY, to help out by demonstrating handspinning.
"Well, let's see how things work out," I tell my GS.
Zwanzigstein is an annual gathering of the descendants of the 20 families who first settled here in the mid 1800's. They have acquired National Historic Site status, and are faithfully restoring the buildings and the house.  In the house basement, you unexpectedly re-enter the 21rst century, as they are finishing state-or-the-art, climate controlled space for their archives.
The kids had a wonderful time.  There were plenty of kid-friendly activities.  My GD claims to have climbed the rock wall eleven times.  She also rode the wagon, drawn by a couple of picture-perfect Belgians, but she lost count.  The GS acquired a bill cap, and flirted with bidding on a John Deere collector's edition toy tractor.
My wheel is on the left, as a young demonstrator prepares to make butter.
  It went great with the homemade bread.
I had a great time with the kids, and  a great time spinning.  In the shade of the narrow front porch, I talked to lots of people, and met friends old and new.
The food (homemade icecream, homemade rootbeer and sassparilla, brats as thick as your wrist, corn chowder, and turker dinner!!) was great.
It's always great to get an upclose look at the old ways, and talk to people who know about those ways.
On our way home, the kids told me it was a pretty good festival.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yard Sale Ninjas

beach knitting!
The Yard Sale Ninjas, Annichi, Kayoko, ang Giuki (Number 1 DD, Number 1 DDIL and me), put their plan together after Giuki found the Craig’s list ad.  The ad said: Stash of 5 quilters.  Some cone yarn for machine knitting.  Mechanicsville Presbyterian Church.  Sat AM, 8:00 to 2:00 PM.  
It was Friday night, and the ninjas were at DD’s Virginia home, packing for a week at the Outer Banks.  They were supposed to load the cars, and head to North Carolina before 9:00 AM.  “We can do this,” said Giuki.
The target was 30 miles from Annichi’s house, where all three households were gathered for the final stage of the trip to Hatteras.  The ninjas were up and out in time to arrive at the sale before 8:00 AM.  There was a glitch.  Mapquest missed one the the vital turns.  We were in the parking lot at 8:04, and we were the 15th car.  Rats!  

The ninjas disguised themselves as mild-mannered, carefree browsers, who might pick up a  fat quarter.  Quietly, they inquired where was the yarn?  They wondered how many yarn customers they’d have to compete with.
Not to worry, though, there was plenty of yarn, and we did not have to break anybody’s arm to get to in.  The prices were so low that our normal dickering was pointless.  Only one of the sellers had cone yarn.   She had planned to get into machine knitting, but it proved too complicated, she said.  She also said she got rid of the machine years ago, so no need to ask her any thing about that.  We bought all but one cone of her yarn stash.   The cones  were priced at $1 per cone, except where there were multiple cones of the same yarn, which were bagged up and sold for $1 per bag.   We got wool/rayon, cotton 6/2, cotton flake 16/2, two diferent mohairs, and on and on and on.  The seller gave us the totes she had stored the yarn in.  The rest of our 45 minutes was spent acquiring a bag full of quilt fabric, including a lot of japanese inspired prints, and a bunch of fat quarters sold 3 for $1.  Also acquired another pasta queen ($4) and a bolt of upholstery material ($3).  Books and magazines rounded out our purchases.  The total for the 3 of us came to $57.  It was the Best. Sale. Ever.  The adrenaline jag lasted 2 hours.
I had taken the Brother kx350,  so we played with a couple of the yarns at the beach house:  a little hand transfer lace, a cowl collar, and a maternity number which we designed collaboratively, and I knit up and finished in about 3 hours.  
Designed from a 'two silk squares' sweater meets  Momma Turtle.

However, only one of us can wear that one.  We wound off balls of yarn for each of us, according to our interest.  The cotton fluff yarn featured in this sweater was also turned into a bunny pompom tail for ‘chicken butt’, the knit bunny hilariously named by the three year old.

DDIL is a size 6 in her other life. The sweater gauge came in at 4st x 6r to the inch on the kx350. For the back- Cast on 60, mock rib (EON) at tension 0.5 (that's right!) for 50 rows, hang the hem on the empty needles, (120 stitches now) and knit 90 rows at tension 5. take 29 stitches on left side, and 29 stitches on right side off on waste yarn. Those are the shoulders. Bind off the remaining center section. For the front, repeat, except knit 138 rows at tension 5. Graft the shoulders together, and sew the sides together starting 7 or 8 inches below the shoulder seam, and easing the extra front length to come out even at the mock ribbing. Put on pregnant model and admire.

Monday, May 2, 2011

5 (or 7) easy pieces

 So here's the little tiger's bomber jacket and boots.  This was knit from DAK shapes, standard sizes.  Just put in my gauge and followed.  I did use full fashion decreases, and that gave me nice raglan seams.  I almost followed this pattern all the way...   But...
It's hard to see in this pic, but there's two rows of purl about 3/4 inch above the bottom ribbings.  That's where I started to wander.
 I didn't want to use rib on the front closing.  So, I hung the edge, and used quaker stitch, giving my garter bar a little exercise.  It turned out nice and neat, and the buttonholes are hidden in the knit ditch between the two purl bands.  In the above pic, I am stretching them open with pins to show you where they are hiding,  The ending purl band curls under, so finish is neat.

Then, I repeated the quaker stitch for the cuff of the booties.

Here's a pic of the 5 garment pieces just off the machine.  The back argyled nicely.  Didn't expect that!

I used a sock weight hand-painted 100% merino yarn from Pollywogs.  It took two skeins (each was 50 gm, 218 yds).  I used the Singer 560, with the ribber.   The ribs were done at tension 4/4 and the rest was done at tension 6.2.

Notice that I used sock yarn, and made socks.  Must. Break. Out. of this. Rut.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Already Frogged!

So, there's a contest for unfinished projects.  Not doing me too much good, because I already ripped my unfinished stuff last month.  I had a good day with the ball winder, and my yarn stash grew in inverse proportion to my projects stash.  I needed to clean up the mess.  It was seriously keeping me from moving forward.  I wanted to start some new projects, and the old, unfinished stuff was keeping me from doing that.  Seriously, the only projects I have started and completed for a couple months are more socks.  Well, we're all socked up, here.  And we need to move on.
I did make lace socks, a la Carol Wurst, this week.  I made short socks, for my crocs.
Socks, it turns out, are like potato chips.  You really just can't stop.  Cousin K was here on Tuesday for Quilting day, and she graciously agreed to  accept a pair of  cashmere lace socks the next time we quilt.  I was so happy to have a home for another pair so that I could make them without guilt.  Then, as I was efficiently packing away the ripped yarn, I found a cone of 2/6 cotton.  Sounds like more socks to me.  Perhaps my problem was NOT UFO guilt.  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arigato, Temple Sale.

Here are some skeins of yarn from Japan.  When I visited my sister there, back in the 90's, we stumbled on to a temple rummage sale in the plaza, next to the train station.  I spent a grand total of 1700 yen, and had enough chachkes and dessert and saki sets that I did not need to buy any other souvenirs.  It cost me 35$ to UPS my loot home.
I bought a bag of these cute little 25 gm skeins of yarn at the temple sale.
Today, in yet another futile attempt to find something lost in the stash, they surfaced.  My first question was, what  are they: acrylic?  Wool?  My second question was: how am I going to find out?
Well, the answer is Google translate.  I know what you are thinking.  Sure, that works fine if you can write Japanese. Well, I can't.  So I had to enter likely English words and see what the Japanese translation looked like.
So, the first skein is 45% acrylic, 35% wool, and 20% nylon.  The middle one is 60% acrylic, 40% cotton, and the brown stuff is 55% acrylic, 45% ????  I tried every fiber ingredient I could think of, and didn't get a match for the brown.  The little symbols show wash water at 30 degrees C. and there's no X through the little symbol for the iron.  Whatever it is, I can wash it.
I have 100 gm. of the first kind, and 50 gm each of the other two.  All three are 2 ply, and about half the size of 4 ply sock yarn.  So, perfect for the knitting machine!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blue Toed Tyrolean Clown Socks

My tyrolean clown is 6'7", with size 13 clodhoppers.  He likes a sock with a deep (10" ) cuff, and needs socks that do not bind anywhere, but stay up anyway.  I always MK the rib as an industrial rib- a k2p2 half-pitch rib which has 30% more stitches than a full-pitch k2p2.  This means that, aside from making humungous socks, the rib part is also eating up extra yarn.  I always plan on three 50 gm skeins to finish a pair of socks for DH.  If I have less than that, he gets blue toes. I'll be running out of blue sock yarn some time in 2015.

This winter, we were helping to host the Adirondack Mountain Club winter outing, and Mark was always pulling up his pant leg to show people his socks.  People would come up to me, and tell me how much they like the socks, and how much DH likes them, too.  I told them this is why I don't make him underwear.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Felting in the Dryer, and Little Zippers

Here are some kids slippers, knit from Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky.  Top picture shows them after felting, lower is before felting.  It is a pattern that I have been working on for a few while, which is why I have knit 11 pairs, not all of them kids sizes.
I wanted a pattern that is simple, quick, in-the-round, and no-sew.  This is what I came up with.
The pattern for the kids' sizes is 16 rows.  No. Kidding.  And it is felted in the dryer- a technique that I got from a friend.  The slippers were about an inch shorter after felting.
I've been wearing a similar pair as house shoes for the past 3 months, and they are holding up very well.

  A skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky is 125 yards, and will make 2 pairs of kids slippers.  You can make these slippers on dp's, one two circulars, or on one longish circular (magic loop).  The slipper is knit from the top down, the last row being the middle of the sole.  Knit the last row with a needle a couple sizes larger, and you can close the sole by 'zipping' it shut: pulling stitches from alternate sides through one another from toe end to heel end, where your yarn end goes in the last loop.  This closing resembles another garter stitch row, and matches the elasticity of the rest of the sole.

This being March Madness, I can tell you that I can knit a pair of these in the time it takes to watch a basketball game. However, as I explained above, I've had a bit of practice. YMMV.

If you would like to have the kids zippers pattern, just send me an e-mail (sharonwue-at-yahoo-dot-com) and I will send it along.  It is copyrighted, so please do not distribute.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about the pattern, especially the 'in-the-round vs sew-it-up' and the 'zipper closing' features.

Meantime, about felting in the dryer:  Here's how I do it.
With the items sopping wet, put them in the dryer with some small towels.  (I use hand towels, kitchen towels, golf towels, etc.  Bath towels are too big and heavy for this job, IMHO.)  Run the dryer on low, or no, heat.  Check every 10 to 15 minutes.  When you check them, work out the toe and heel with your fingers, where the slippers want to bubble a bit.   Don't let them dry out.  Re-sop them, as this is a WET process.  You can only do it in the dryer if YOU provide the WET environment that felting needs.  My slippers were dropped in a basin of water again at 30 minutes in, and, dripping wet, they were flung back into the dryer to continue tumbling. Mine were tumbled for less than an hour, total.  Pull, push them into shape and dry.  If they are still squishy when you are done felting, I spin them out in the washer to speed drying.  After that, I do put them in a (front loading) washer to launder when they need it, but I DO NOT dry them in the dryer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bamboo yarn and snake oil.

What do you think when you see that a yarn is 20% bamboo?  Maybe, how cool is that?  Save the planet.  Natural fiber.
Me, too.
So, how do you think they MAKE bamboo into spinnable fiber and yarn, and why do they do it?
"While specifics can vary, the general process for chemically manufacturing bamboo fiber using hydrolysis alkalization with multi-phase bleaching technology – which is the dominate technology for producing regenerated bamboo fiber – goes like this:
  1. Bamboo leaves and the soft, inner pith from the hard bamboo trunk are extracted and crushed;
  2. The crushed bamboo cellulose is soaked in a solution of 15% to 20% sodium hydroxide at a temperature between 20 degrees C to 25 degrees C for one to three hours to form alkali cellulose;
  3. The bamboo alkali cellulose is then pressed to remove any excess sodium hydroxide solution. The alkali cellulose is crashed by a grinder and left to dry for 24 hours;
  4. Roughly a third as much carbon disulfide is added to the bamboo alkali cellulose to sulfurize the compound causing it to jell;
  5. Any remaining carbon disulfide is removed by evaporation due to decompression and cellulose sodium xanthogenate is the result;
  6. A diluted solution of sodium hydroxide is added to the cellulose sodium xanthogenate dissolving it to create a viscose solution consisting of about 5% sodium hydroxide and 7% to 15% bamboo fiber cellulose.
  7. The viscose bamboo cellulose is forced through spinneret nozzles into a large container of a diluted sulfuric acid solution which hardens the viscose bamboo cellulose sodium xanthogenate and reconverts it to cellulose bamboo fiber threads which are spun into bamboo fiber yarns to be woven into reconstructed and regenerated bamboo fabric.
This gives some feel for how chemically intensive the hydrolysis-alkalization and multiphase bleaching manufacturing processes are for most bamboo fabrics that are promoted as being sustainable and eco-friendly."
This is the same process used for making rayon out of wood fiber.  In the US, Bamboo yarn  made by this process should be labelled "bamboo rayon".  
Design-wise, rayon (whether from wood products or bamboo) take a nice dye, has good drape, wears well, etc.  I'll keep all that in mind when I'm shopping.  But I think I'll keep the manufacturing process in mind, too.  And my scotch soul wants to know why I would pay a premium price for something that's half rayon.
I feel I've been a victim of  marketing  (Look! Green, sustainable Bamboo!), but it was my own fault.  We'd all like to think we are doing things in a greener, more sustainable way.  But it's way more complicated than buying some bamboo yarn.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Knitting with the lights off

When I was a kid, I had a rich fantasy life.  I spent a lot of time pretending I was blind- I tried to fool people into thinking I was a blind kid.   Why, you ask?  I'm sure I had a good reason at the time.  At any rate, I practiced using my finger to feel how full the glass was getting, so that I could pour a glass of milk without looking.  I walked around the house with my eyes closed, to get used to where the doorways and furniture were.  I knitted in the dark.
The only habit I have retained from this skill set is the last one.  And, it doesn't have to be dark, really- I just knit the easy stuff without looking.  Okay, I check the work every so often...except when I am knitting in the car at night.  Knitting-while-riding is a good reason to knit without looking.  If you look at your knitting while in a moving vehicle, you have about 10 minutes before you need the proverbial air-sickness bag.
Knitting in the dark does come back to bite you every now and then.  An unnoticed yarn-over becomes a stitch...and the next day, in the light, you are fixing or frogging.
Even so, the benefits (productivity) outweigh the drawbacks (occasional fix/frog). And, when you can knit without looking, your neck and shoulders will thank you.  Here's how you get there.
1. Start with plain and simple.  Do a scarf in garter stitch, or work on the plain body of a sock in the round.  Find a comfy chair and put your feet up.  (this makes it harder to look at every stitch.)  Knit one row very slowly, getting all of you information from your fingers.  Feel each step of each stitch.  Do not permit yourself to peek until you complete the row.  How did you do? If you did okay, turn and do a second row without peeking.  Again, keep it slow, and let your brain visualize the picture that your fingers are sending.
Don't worry about keeping a very slow pace.   Rhythm is more important than speed right now.  Speed will build with practice.  If you need proof, just use a timer when you knit your second or third row, then put the timer away until you are practicing row 15 or 20.  You will see that you will already be waaaaayyyy faster than when you started.
So, look at your knitting at the end of every row, and (for now) when you turn your knitting to start the next row.
2.  Set some goals.  When you can knit garter stitch pretty reliably, or knit an inch of your plain sock, take stock.  You now know that your fingers can work pretty well without being watched.  Your fingers can 'see' the stitches.    It is time to let your fingers practice some new skills.  Try knitting a plain rib without looking.  Let your fingers 'see' which are the knit stitches and which are the purls.  Or try turning your knitting to start a new row, without peeking.
It's nothing but a little practice, really.  Each new added skill will probably need 30 or 45 minutes to learn and practice.
Whether you peek, or not, there's a great little garter stitch sweater for a toddler on the Lion Brand site, called "Blarney Stone Cardigan".  Here's the link: