Tag Archives: Knitting

3/52

Last week we took E to NYC for an afternoon to see the New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch theatre in Lincoln Center. It was a drippy, sometimes very rainy day, but we did have a lot of fun. We meandered around the city, visited the Apple Store and some high end stores as well as a fun reasonable store before we finally had some dinner and went to the show. Because it was such a grey day, the picture opportunities were few and far between, but E enjoyed the various architecture as well as the shopping.

The ballet was wonderful. It was an evening of four dances choreographed by Balanchine with music by Stravinsky, Tschaikovsky and Ives. It was great to see the different styles of dance and we all enjoyed the various pieces. It did make for a very late night, but well worth it. And it reminded us how very close the city is and that we should do things like this more often.
Trip to NYCB 5/24/2013

I even knit a bit on the way down, finally getting to the short rows in the Color Affection Shawl as well:
Color affection short rows

New skills

Well, I bit the bullet and cast on the Peak Brim Flare Crown Star Top Hat (link to ravelry) this weekend. I’d read the instructions and the tip sheets, started watching a Craftsy class, and had totally freaked myself out. So I decided to just start knitting and see what happened. Well, since the first 12 rows are garter, it wasn’t too hard. Then I just took a deep breath, and trusted my 20+ years of knitting. And so far so good!

The hat is knit in the round, and it’s a bit hard to get a picture while it’s still so early in the process, but I have to admit this is a lot of fun:
Entrelac Hat

I haven’t tried knitting backwards yet, while I can see where the flipping back and forth could get tedious, it’s not bothering me at the moment, so I’ll keep going as I am for now.

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:
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.

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.
DSC_9750

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.

Musings on Hand Sewing

Working on my sweater provides a lot of quiet time for reflection.

I do not consider myself a seamstress. I am not good at sewing by hand. However, in the past month I’ve managed to do quite a bit of it, and some I actually volunteered to do!

One of the things I’m learning, is that the more activities my daughter does, the more volunteering I wind up doing. Teams need help, ski races need bodies, softball games have concessions, and community theatre and ballet have costumes. I know that the coaches, teachers, and crew all do more than their fair share, so I want to help where I can.

This summer E tried out and got a part in the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s production of the Wizard of Oz. It was a great opportunity for her to work on a community production in a somewhat professional environment. I met an old friend and remembered how much I did enjoy working with the theatre. The production had a cast of over 100 people – it really was amazing. In order to costume the entire show, they asked for help. I told them I could weld a glue gun, and would be happy to do what I could. So, I got to bring a box of fabric, beads and feathers home to make some barrettes. It was fun, and I think they came out pretty well!
Barretts
Hairpieces

Hairpieces

Since then I’ve sewed ribbons on E’s new toe shoes and I volunteered to sew eye closures on Nutcracker costumes. Somehow, for someone who isn’t much of a hand sewer, my list of things to sew is growing.

That all said, I did get to sit and put the finishing touches on the button band on Sunday. And the weekend that was supposed to be a complete washout, managed to pull through for us. I asked if we could take a couple of pictures. I have to admit my favorite of the session was this:
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However, the sweater is hard to see in that picture. So, here it is:
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I really am happy with this sweater. Bonne Marie Burns never ceases to amaze me with her fantastic designs, well written patterns and accessibility. I think one of the things I love about the knitting community is the fact that so many designers are so willing to help with questions as they arise. I’ve reached out to Bonne Marie a few times on each of her sweaters that I’ve knit, and she’s always replied quickly and politely. Even when my questions were silly because I hadn’t thought it through.

I really enjoyed knitting Keelin. I wore it Monday and got one of the best compliments – “it doesn’t look handmade.” Which was my aim. I really want to take my knitting to the next level, and I think I’m going in the right direction.

Now, back to the stockinette of the Dale!

Slow and steady

One of the nice things about knitting slowly is while you may not have a new sweater the winter you start it, there’s a new one on deck in the fall! I’d put my Keelin away last spring when it was evident that there was no way the weather would cooperate with me, so I didn’t want to rush the finishing. I’ve mentioned before how I tend to rush through the finishing and then dislike my end product. Another frustration I’ve had is with hand-knit cardigans in general. Somehow they just never look as good as the picture on the pattern.

One of the podcasts I listen to is the Knitmore Girls, a Mother Daughter Podcast. Jasmine and her mom, Gigi are fun to listen to, and often have some great tips. Gigi is an accomplished seamstress and they both often talk about the importance of finishing. I’d heard other people talk about better button band finishing, so I decided that my Keelin was too nice to fall into my standard finishing trap. So I checked out Jasmine & Gigi’s Grosgrain Ribbon and Couture tutorials to see how it worked. Two trips to the big sewing and stuff store I found some ribbon and thread and decided to give it a whirl.

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Today I sewed the ribbon on my button band. I have started sewing the buttons, but after sewing three on, I decided I didn’t like how the first two looked. So I will be re-doing those.

I may have a new sweater tomorrow. But if I don’t, it will be because I’m refusing to rush this.