Finishing!

Yup, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Could be a while before I post again! I don’t know if any one really follows per se, or notices my absences. I have a lot of blogs in my feed reader, and while some are more regular than others, I rarely remove anyone from my feed. I guess I’m hoping anyone who has subscribed to my blog has the same philosophy.

I was a little concerned when I found out that Google Reader was going the way of the buggy whip, but was pointed to Feedly and have become a total convert. I have it on my phone, my computer and my iPad. Yup, I have an iPad! I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve wanted one for a LONG time, and I’m really enjoying it. I use it for work, we’ll be scoring softball games on it, and I’ve been looking at the different knitting apps that are available.

So, back to the knitting. I have been doing quite a bit lately. Looking at my ravelry page (which is only somewhat representative, as I just realized) I have a bit I can talk about, and a bit more I think I need to photograph. I’m taking advantage of a beautiful Mother’s Day that happens to be devoid of softball to get a few things done.

I’ve got a few projects on the needles, but because they are gifts, I’ve got to keep them under wraps for a bit longer.

I think I’ve mentioned before, my daughter loves hats, and loves the ones I make for her. A few months ago, Wendy Bernard released a fun pattern The Honeycomber, and the combination of color, floppiness and a huge pompon called my name. I thought it would be fun to make E & me matching ski hats that coordinated with our coats – so same pattern, different colors. She thought it was a great idea. I was about to type “like she’d say no to a hat,” but I must say, she will tell me if she doesn’t like something – it’s nice. She knows I like to knit, but it’s frustrating to make something that won’t get worn or used.

So, back to the hats. The color choices were simple. I have a bright orange ski coat (the better to be seen when I fall into a snow bank) and E has a green one with pink contrast on the zipper. We headed to our local yarn store, The Warm Ewe, and picked out our colors. In March we took a road trip to New Hampshire for a little spring skiing, and I cast on in the car:

When I got to the corrugated ribbing, I realized, I’d never done it before! Which of course I had to tweet – what else is twitter for if not to announce new experiences! It was a little tricky, but by the time I got to it on the second hat it went much more quickly.

So at this time I’ve got one done:
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And one more moving toward the finish line:
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I’ve got more in the queue, and more to finish, so hopefully I can find the time/motivation to post here more frequently.

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

Travel knitting

I seem to have created quite a queue of finishing projects for myself. I’ve knitted all the pieces of my ruffled cardigan and finished the Lintella as well. I need to block and assemble the cardigan (now that I found the sleeves that I’d managed to misplace for three days), block the Lintella, and I need to block and assemble my Dale of Norway sweater that I was working on last winter.

So what’s a good idea in a situation like this? Starting a new project, of course!
I am traveling for work this week, so I really did need something portable, so it does make sense.

I’ve been reading through What Would Madame DeFarge knit for a while, and had a skein of Malbrigo sock in my stash – so it seemed like the right time to start Bertha’s Mad, Mysterious Moebius.

Last night, after ironing and packing*, I cast on and started knitting. The first few rows had me a little nervous as it seemed rather tight, but now at row 5 it’s moving along nicely.
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I’ve got some plane time, so I hope it will keep moving. I’m certainly enjoying it!
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I recently discovered that my local library lends e-readers, so I checked one out and put some fun, light reads on it to try it out. So far I have to say I like it, maybe more than I thought I would.

* so I may have cast on before ironing or packing, but it seemed integral, both to to the trip and to my sanity.

Summer?

Wow, this summer flew by – a sentiment I’ve heard by many people this summer. We’ve had a wonderul one – filled with softball, sand and swimming. And a bit of knitting, but not as much as I’d hoped.

I’ve been focusing on two projects this summer. My Lintilla, and a baby sweater that I haven’t even posted to my ravelry projects yet. I’m in the home stretch of both – the sweater needs to be seamed up and finished and gifted. The Lintilla is just a few rows away. It’s been a wonderful car project and one that I can work on while chatting. We have some wonderful friends with a lake house that invite a group of us for an annual “boys’ weekend” every year. The boys grew up together, but the wonderful thing is all the “girls” get along too. This year our host had gone to Iceland and brought back some Icelandic wool that she wanted to knit into a pair of gauntlets. She’d asked me to help her with them. While she hadn’t knit in some time, it came back to her pretty quickly, and she had one done before the end of the weekend. It was fun to knit not alone for once! I even took advantage of the beautiful setting to capture a progress shot:
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I’m glad I stuck with the yarn and pattern – it really does make for a lovely fabric!
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I did finally finish my Djinni in a Bottle Socks and I love them. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing them shorty – the nights are getting cooler!
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The pattern is wonderful and I love the yarn:
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I’ll have to get some pictures of the baby sweater – it’s a lovely pattern from Ann Budd: Ruffles Baby Cardigan – it’s lovely, but a bit tricky with the ruffles!

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