Monthly Archives: April 2012

3KCBWDAY4 – A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons?

As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

This is an interesting question, that I’ve actually thought about a lot over the years. I do seem to knit year round, but I don’t seem to manage to knit in preparation for seasons. My dale of norway sweater is probably one of the first sweaters I started in preparation for winter. Of course things derailed, so I didn’t have it in time anyway, but it was the plan! Usually I am inspired to knit for the current season, which never seems to end well.

While my projects have variable seasonality, the activity itself has less. While summer heat is less conducive to knitting, my winter activities don’t give me much time to knit. I bring it with me to the mountain, so this year when the weather didn’t cooperate I did get some good knitting in while my daughter skied. However, when it’s nice I like to be out skiing.

When my daughter was younger, I used to spend time waiting while she was in ballet, and was able to knit a lot during those times. Now that she is older, I can run errands while she’s in dance and other activities, so I have less of that knitting time. However, I do manage to find other time, be it riding to different ski areas, or when we travel in the summer, or before softball games.

So, all in all I’d have to say I don’t slow down at any time, because I’m not that fast to begin with.

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

3KCBWDAY3 – Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero

Today’s topic is an interesting one, an opportunity to talk about a knitter or crocheter who has inspired me in some way. There are many many amazing people out there whose work I admire, and inspire me on a regular basis. However for this assignment, I’d like to talk about someone I’ve never met.

My great grandmother.

I don’t know a lot about her, she was born in the 19th century, had 4 children in a short period of time and was married to a man who believed that she should keep a perfect house, and if she had time to do handwork that wasn’t “productive” there were chores that were being neglected.

In spite of his attitude, my great grandmother was a prolific crocheter. Not just small pieces, either. She crocheted tablecloths – large enough for a dining room table that could seat 10. She also sewed quite a bit, so she made her own aprons. I’m told they were long aprons, with pockets as large as the apron itself. She’d tuck her work into the pocket, and pull it out whenever she had a free moment (without “neglecting her chores.”). I love her ingenuity. I love that she figured out a way to continue to crochet in an environment that wasn’t conducive to her creativity.

Don’t think I’m not horrified by my great grandfather’s attitude. I’m sorry my great grandmother had to be this inventive for this reason, but I admire that she was, and the amazing work she left behind.

I don’t have any pictures of her work, this post should give me the incentive to try and get some pictures.

3KCBWDAY2 – Photography Challenge Day

This blog week is definitely making me think about what I do with my craft. Today’s topic is a photography challenge. Writing my posts at the end of the day is both good and bad. Good in that I can check out all the other posts on this topic to get a feel for what others are doing. Bad in that I can check out all the other posts on this topic and become completely overwhelmed by the talent that is out there. I try to take pictures of my work, but I know I have a lot to learn about photography. However, every once in a while I get one I like. This was a progress shot of a pair of socks I knit a few years ago:

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

KCBW2012 Day 1 – Color

3rd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week

I had not heard of this, but after reading Rock + Purl’s post today, I took a trip over, and thought it sounded like fun! So, in the spirit of Kim Werker’s Rut Race, I’ll try this for the week! Plus one week seems like a smaller bite than the 30 days I did last November.

So with no further ado, 3KCBWDAY1 – Colour Lovers:

Colour is one of our greatest expressions of ourselves when we choose to knit or crochet, so how do you choose what colours you buy and crochet or knit with. Have a look through your stash and see if there is a predominance of one colour. Do the same with your finished projects – do they match? Do you love a rainbow of bright hues, or more subdued tones. How much attention do you pay to the original colour that a garment is knit in when you see a pattern? Tell readers about your love or confusion over colour.

I don’t have to look very deep into my stash to realize I have a fear of branching out with color for me. I tend to stick with greens and purple/burgandies. However, a glance at my project page on ravelry, indicates that my daughter brings out more adventure in the color spectrum.

I did take a knitting with color class about 20 some-odd years ago, where I learned that the more colors in a project the less chance of clashing occurring. I like to play with changing color choices up, but do tend to maintain relatively conservative combinations. Perhaps this year, I should try to shake that up a bit in my own wardrobe.
Color Mosaic

Wednesday WIP: Socks

A few weeks ago, I was reading Turtle Girls’ Blog and she mentioned a mystery knitalong that she was running with her friend from Dragonfly Fibersthe Djinni Sock. I was smitten, but knew I had to finish my monsters. I picked out a nice purple (before I read Christi’s warning about not using a dark color), and loved it as soon as I saw it:
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I cast on Saturday night, and am now into chapter 2. This is a fun pattern, definitely one that needs my attention, but I’m really enjoying it. Here’s where I am as of right now (via phone pic):
Djinni in a Bottle - cuff

Rut Race Progress: Not so much on the physical activity. Two meetings this week have kept me out till after 9:00 Monday and Tuesday. However, I am focusing my time and energy a little differently at work, which is helping a bit on my productivity. So, no complaints at this point.

Rut Race: Days 1 & 2

It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the monsters I’ve been knitting. I love them, but I do like some variety in my projects. When I entered my latest project in Ravelry I realized the monster I finished yesterday was the 4th one. I’m done with monsters for a while. The good news, is they both came out great:
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Now we just have to wrap, and deliver!

So, I’m still working on the Lintilla, thanks to those who recommended I stick with it! I’ve also cast on a new pair of socks. However, tonight I’ve got something else to talk about.

The Rut Race

The other day I read a post by Kim Werker. She posted about how she’s been feeling bleh, cranky and frustrated since January. I could definitely relate. I’ve felt basically the same – I know I need to do something, but wasn’t sure what. So Kim wrote about the Rut Race. I’m in.

Yesterday was my day one. Since skiing ended, I’ve been going to yoga on Saturdays and trying to go on Thursday nights. I need to find a way to fit more into my week. Yesterday I got my bike out and went for a ride. That felt great. It’s not everything, but it’s a start.

So as part of the rut race, I’ve got a few things I want to accomplish:

  • Ride my bike 3-4 times a week
  • Practice yoga 3 times a week
  • Get my house in order
  • Find my inspiration to be the best at what I do
  • Learn to ride a unicycle

Yup. I want to learn to ride a unicycle. So does E. She and I went two weeks ago, and she tried it out. I was too self conscious to try. Tonight I committed to give it a whirl. The people there are really nice and helpful. So I got up and was able to ride a bit while hanging onto the wall. I’m pretty pleased with that. We’ll go again next week, and I will try again!

So anyone else need to get out of a rut?

WIP Wednesday: Trying something new

While the monsters are taking a lot of my time, I do have another project on the needles. I decided it was time to try a shawlette. Many of the podcasts I listen to have been talking about them, from Stash & Burn to Double Knit and The Knitmore Girls, it seems that whenever I listen someone is talking about shawlettes. Additionaly, my feed reader has been blooming shawlettes as well. I have to admit, they just didn’t have the pull for me that they seemed to have for other people, but I was intrigued. Then I started to see Hitchhiker popping up all over the place. The idea of such a geometric pattern caught my attention, and then I saw some people working on Lintilla and decided that I’d like to give it a whirl.

I found some fun yarn from ZarzuelasFibers – her Chakra series. I had picked out the Vishuddha, and when I received it I decided I’d try it with the Lintilla. I love the idea behind the naming of the colors, and have enjoyed watching Jessica’s journey to become a yoga instructor and learning from her about the practice. So, when she ran a special I jumped at the opportunity to try some.

I’m taking my time with this, and I have to admit, I’m not convinced the yarn and the pattern are working together, but I do love them each separately. I’ll give it a few more repeats, and then decide.

Overall I like the way the pattern is coming together:
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I just think that the color repeats may be better suited in a stockinette rather than than a garter stitch:
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I just don’t know. So, I’ll keep at it and see what I think. Any input is welcome.

More Monsters!

So, as I stated in my last post, E and her teacher thought it would be great if I could knit a monster for her science teacher’s new little girl. I do love making these little monsters, so it wasn’t a tough sell. I did think it was time to change up patterns, so I went looking and found this one: Presley Cash from Rebecca Danger. I really liked the idea that she had specifically designed it for her own newborn, and it is JUST SO CUTE! So, after some discussion with the ten year old, I pulled some yarn from the stash (should I mention that it was actually E’s yarn that she’d picked out last year), and cast on. I had thought it had taken me a long time to finish, but as I’m concurrently updating my ravelry projects while I type this post out (and I wonder why I never get anything done), I realized I’d actually finished it in 11 days. And during that time I had the world’s worst head cold. Not really, but the drama keeps us laughing at my house. So last night I finished the second leg and assembled the little monster:
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The assembly was fun, no one really understood the way he’d go together. The teeth had me a little concerned, but the directions were great, and once I started, they came together.
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I immediately sat him down with Tabitha (who I’ll write about another day):
Presley & Tabitha

So, because Mr. N has an older daughter, I feel like it would be best to make her a little monster too. I seem to feel a strong need to give older siblings gifts as well as new babies. Could be because I was the oldest, could be because I’m a nut. Not sure which.

So, we picked out another skein of yarn last week, that I’ll be winding tonight to start a new monster.
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I have been perusing the patterns, but I think I may stick with Iris. I thought the embroidered eyes worked on her (the big sister is only three), and I seem to be pretty partial to this pattern.