Category Archives: Uncategorized

Learning/improving

It’s been a rainy week, and therefore no good photo opportunities, I’ve decided to resurrect a post I started on a plane a few months ago.

I’ve never been a big reader of non-fiction. Rather ironic considering I was a history major. Perhaps it’s because these the non-fiction that’s usually recommended to me is business oriented. Pretty dry if you ask me. Earlier thus year I had a few more recommended to me – these were a little different. The focus was how to help my daughter succeed. Three were suggested. I ordered one to see what I thought.
Thus began my introduction to The Talent Code. The book has been out for a while, but unlike other books I think the concepts are timeless. I’m sure anyone would be encouraged to hear that natural ability isn’t always as natural as we’ve been led to believe. I wish I’d had this perspective when I was younger. I may have been more likely to try harder, rather than facing certain opportunities with a defeatist attitude.

I’ve put it down for a bit, but as I have some traveling coming up, I’ll pick it up again. Other books that I want to read after I finish this are:
Talent is Overrated
Bounce
Shut up and Ski by Edie Thys Morgan

But I think next on the list is: Queen Bees and Wannabees

The pre-teen years are hitting our house hard, and I’d like to do anything I can learn to help navigate those times.

In the meantime, when I’m not reading this long weekend, we’re hoping to spend some time working around the house. One thing we really want to do is get our garden back in operation. Last weekend, we plowed:
Plowing

While plowing this bottle got turned up:
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And in the evening, I’m hoping to spend some time on my Color Affection Shawl:
Color Affection

For those in the US, are you looking forward to a long weekend? I know I am.

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

What was I thinking?

I need to remember the sun starts to disappear around 3:30 around this time of year. No pictures today.

WIP Wednesday

Well, now that the sun sets so very early every day pictures are even harder for me to take. Fortunately for my record keeping purposes I’m not much of a picture purist. So, for this WIP Wednesday I’ve got a couple of project shots from 2 of my 3 current projects:

The Cambrian Cowl is progressing nicely. I’ve finished the knitting and wet-blocked it. Next up is buttons and weaving in the ends.
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While that was blocking, as I mentioned on Monday, I have cast on Eliza’s cowl. It’s a simple feather and fan, and is finally starting to take some shape. Which, of course, one cannot see at all in this photo:
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Meeting in the middle

What a wonderful day! As many knitters know this weekend was the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. Hard as it is to believe after reading blog posts and twitter feeds this week, not everyone does know about it. Regardless, it is an event that I like to go to, since we live relatively close to it. My sister lives in NYC, so it made sense to touch base with her, and meet her at the show. Fortunately it worked out for her, so E & and I headed on down the road this morning to pick up Emily at the train station. We made it with little mishap (however I should have skipped the online maps and simply relied on the signs that said “train station”) and then headed up to the fairgrounds. One lesson I need to learn is to not rely on my memory and the booklet. Through the weeks pre-show I see things and people I want to look for and make mental notes – and never put it down in a cohesive plan. This year was no different. However I found most of what I wanted to see – found Jennie the Potter’s booth – but unfortunately it looked like Saturday had cleaned her out. Getting one of her mugs is going to become a mission for me if I’m not careful.

I checked out a number of vendors that I wanted to and found some that I hadn’t heard of. What I really wanted to do was meet some authors. I was so excited to meet Vicki Stiefel and have the opportunity to chat with her for a bit. I’ve been eyeing 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters since it came out, but I’ve been holding off on buying any books until the festival, as it’s so much fun to meet the authors, and today was no exception.

I headed over to Cooperative Press to see Shannon Okey and let her know I love what she’s doing as an independent publisher. I have to admit I’d hoped to meet Heather Ordover as well, but she was out and about.

We all had a good time. E found some yarn she wants to use to make a scarf, and the BUST DYI book – she’s excited about all the practical tips and tricks it contains.

I did get some yarn at Green Mountain Spinnery, Capricorn – their new bulky yarn.
Capricorn Yarn

I’m going to use this to make a Chicknits Maximus. So a new project should be starting up soon. I want to keep pushing on the Dale, but I think it would be good to have a different project in a larger weight to break things up a bit.

It really was a beautiful day. E took a bunch of pictures, but I haven’t uploaded them yet.
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Here are a few from my phone:

Plenty of cute fiber animals:
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It was a wonderful day. I’m so glad Emily could come with us!

When the weather starts to turn

You can feel it in the air – the 90 degree days are pretty much behind us now, the evenings are getting cooler, and twitter streams are turning to cooler winter wear. In fact I even saw reference to a Rhinebeck sweater yesterday!

I’ve been trying to find motivation to work on my Dale sweater, but my knitting mojo seemed to have taken a a break. Every time I thought I was back in the swing, something went wonky. There was the increase in the center of the sleeve, rather than along the seam line, there was the bad counting at the beginning of the first pattern row, then there was using the wrong color. I think I will have knit three sleeves by the time I have two done. So, no new pictures, and seriously does the second sleeve offer much more to look at?

The other thing that’s been delaying the knitting is something I’ve been wanting to do all summer, but the foot surgery didn’t let me get started quite as quickly as I’d wanted. But I finally got clearance for activity and have been going to yoga classes and spending time with an old friend:
My bike

Yup, that’s the bike I had in high school. It’s pretty old. We’d cleaned it up last summer, and put new tires on it. E & I took a few rides last year, but this year, I’ve really tried to push myself. So, I’ve been riding on my street – I’ve got a 6 mile route that has some hills to it that I can knock out in about a half hour. That’s not much to those who bike for real, but I’m trying to get back in shape after a really long time, so I’m taking it slowly. I did manage to ride 21 miles last Saturday on one of our local bike trails – so I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. I’ve also managed to get my average mph over 12 mph on the road.

And what does this have to do with my Dale Sweater? We are about 12 weeks from ski season around here. I want to rock the sweater and the slopes.

Slow and Steady

I’ve been trying to work on my Keelin when I have time and not feeling rushed. I want to finish this sweater with the care that it deserves. This weekend I had some time by the pool, so I finished seaming:
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Since I finished my socks I’ve been itching to start my Dale of Norway Sweater. I started swatching:
Dale swatch

After swatching and determining that I had gauge I was ready to start. As I started casting on nearly 300 stitches I thought back to something I’d read a few years ago. I follow a lot of knitting blogs. A lot. I just went to count, and it seemed daunting. I’m going to estimate that I have about 90 blogs in my reader. Not all knitters are posting as frequently as they used to (don’t think I’m criticizing – I know I am in no position to judge the frequency of ANYONE’s posting), but I enjoy reading them all, so I keep the subscriptions going. So, the point of this rambling is that when Claudia knitted Autumn Rose a few years ago she started with a sleeve to truly check her gauge. That seemed like a really great idea. So, I decided I’d do the same.

Great idea. Seriously. After knitting about 30 rows, it was really evident that my gauge was too tight. So I ripped it all out, and started again. No problem. I often say at work that I don’t expect anyone to have all the answers, just that they should learn how to ask them and of whom. I hold myself to that standard as well. I’m really pleased that I’d remembered that process change. I’m such a rule follower that I always start with the back or body of a sweater. This may seem like a simple switch for most, but it really took a push for me to jump ahead to the instructions for the sleeve. I’m really looking forward to this project.