Friday, December 12, 2008
1. Cats. I love cats. I'd better after all, I have 4. They are endlessly amusing, comforting, and annoying.
2. Cheese. Especially melted, or on crackers. Yum (and I'm lactose intolerant!).
3. Cashmere. Soft, warm, light weight, expensive. I have a fantasy about someday being able to afford to knit a cashmere sweater. The closest I've come, to date, is 2 oz. of cashmere top to spin that I bought at Rhinebeck.
4. Chocolate. I have had a lifetime love-hate relationship with chocolate, mainly love.
5. Coffee. I don't drink a lot of coffee, but one good cup of coffee in the morning sets me up for the day. Coffee ice cream is also good anytime and gives you a lot of options for toppings.
6. Christmas. The sense of anticipation, family gatherings, Christmas lights, the planning and consulting that goes on. It's all fun!
7. Cookies. You do get a sense of pattern here? If it's sweet and starts with a 'C', I like it.
8. Clean. On the rare occasion that I get a room, or my whole apartment clean, I revel in the sensation of accomplishment.
9. Cowls. I have been collecting knitting patterns for cowls. They keep you warm, they are comfortable, and they don't take forever to complete.
10. Cameras. Especially digital cameras that let you take lots of pictures and then download them, print them, e-mail them, and edit them. A whole new world of remembering has opened up.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So, what's been happening? Well, I continue to be unemployed, which has allowed me to spend a lot of time looking at knitting on Ravelry, do a fair amount of knitting of my own, and fall into a more natural sleep cycle for me. Unfortunately, since I'm a nightowl, I tend to wake up late in the day and go to bed around dawn. This can sometimes limit my activities, since the rest of the world is on a more 'do stuff during the day' schedule. Banks and the Post Office, especially.
So, if Blogger will allow me to post some pictures, here are a few...
This is a sock that I test knit. The yarn, from Fearless Fibers, was the first skein that I ever bought online. I only had to knit one sock for the test knit, and haven't yet knit the 2nd sock, but I will. I enjoy wearing handknit socks too much to have only one sock to wear.
Now this pair of socks was knit from a KnitPicks sock blank dyed by FiberJewels as part of a Ravelry swap. I knit them up as an entry in the "Sock Put" category in the Ravelympics. The nice thing about knitting both socks at the same time from a sock blank is that the color changes will match.
This is 'Ziggy' from Knitty.com. The pattern was also one of the five that I knit up for the Sock Pentathlon on Ravelry. I told you that I spend a lot of time on Ravelry. I love joining groups, especially for knitting challenges and for swaps. It's a weakness. For this pattern, I didn't use the Noro sock yarn recommended, since I didn't have any, but drew from my rather large stash of Lamb's Pride Sport. I changed colors for the ankle because I thought the turquoise and pink was getting a little too day-glo on its own.
Here is my version of the Noro Striped Scarf. It was a great deal of fun to knit, and, as you can see, I love bright colors. I call this my gypsy scarf.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Today I'm feeling guilty about the shawls that I have started. To list a few:
The faroese shawl for my friend's birthday for June, 2007 - about half-done.
Mystic Lights - about half done.
Spiral Shawl - I love spirals, have 'redesigned' this shawl to make it bigger and rectangle, and am only on the second spiral.
Icelandic Shawl - this was very popular, and Knitting Daily actually reprinted the pattern for the KAL group. I like the shawl, but it is 2/3's done.
Large Rectangular Shawl from "Victorian Lace Today" - another favorite, not a difficult knit, but I've only done a couple on inches.
To justify myself, somewhat, knitting for others, especially for gifts and for display items for Fabric Place, jumped to the front of my queue and displaced these projects. But I am also ADD when it comes to knitting. I start thinking about a project or a technique and I MUST start it.
That means there are similar posts to come on other UFOs.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
On the brighter, not physically knitting side, I taped two really interesting podcasts for Knit-A-Yarn. Saturday, the crew drove out to WEBS to tape Cat Brodhi. We sat down to talk after she had been teaching all day. People, her energy is boundless. she was funny, concise, and extremely interesting. I was so inspired that I went home and worked up an idea for a sock, using her techniques (I had read New Pathways for Sock Knitters and knit up two of her try-it socks).
Then, today I met Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer (Woolly Thoughts, No Pattern Knitting, and Toilet Roll Covers). These tapings are so interesting that the non-knitting film crew at Knit-A-Yarn is being insidiously recruited into the knitting camp. Pat and Steve tell a great story, and bring a sense of humor and whimsy to knitting, but also their ability to take mathematical concepts and clarify them with knitting is just amazing.
Got to go take more Ibuprofen for the carpal tunnel.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Then there was the road trip to WEBS with my SnB buddies for the appearance of the Yarn Harlot. Road trip is definitely the way to go. We had a great time going and returning, yakking at 65 mph. Had two great meals in Northampton, and to top it all, got to listen to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, along with about 1000 other knitters at the Calvin Theatre. Stephanie is always funny, philosophical, and real. I am amazed at her composure. She signed hundreds of books at WEBS, before and after her talk, and she never appeared cranky or bored. Of course, I got a signed book! She even 'remembered' me as a 'repeat offender' at book signings. As you can see, I got to hold the Sock.
Lest you think I'm having too much fun, I also knit this toilet roll cover with gauge issues for the Fun Fur Smackdown on Ravelry. It looked even funnier when I put it over a jar full of tiny Christmas lights...
Monday, March 17, 2008
Rover had this lovely walking jacket kit for him for the "Teeny Runway Project" hosted by Mason Dixon Knitting. Although he was not a finalist, both he and I enjoyed our participation immensely. It just goes to show that if you offer knitters and interesting challenge, they rise magnificently to the occasion!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I just finshed this pair of socks in three days. This is the fastest I have ever knit socks, and it changed my perception about the amount of effort needed to knit socks. These are the Jacobean socks that are sock #1 for the 2008 Sock Knitters Pentathlon on Ravelry.
On the other hand, I am just about to finish the Melon Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I've been working on it steadily since January.
The body of the shawl is a 6-row pattern, repeated 62 times. The border is an 8-row pattern knit all around the body of the shawl, with extra repeats at the corners.
I thought knitting this shawl was going to be difficult. It wasn't. And, despite all the repetition, it wasn't tedious either. It was very relaxing. I just kept going, keeping track of which row I was on, enjoying the process of knitting with nice needles (KnitPicks Harmony) and nice yarn (Malabrigo Lace).
It was the contrast of the pace that these two projects had that struck me. The socks were done in a concerted, focused rush. The shawl proceeded at an even, relaxing pace. They complemented each other, and highlighted, for me, the very different moods of knitting.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I had started the process of clearing this rack and hanging my WIPs on it in clear plastic bags. The proceses continued and involved moving the rack to the other side of the room (after moving the microwave cabinet that was there) so I had access to both sides.
The lower shelf has designated yarn for WIP-to-be. I haven't figured out what's going on the lowest shelves yet.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I got inspiration from many of the posts to this group. What I came up against was that I couldn't simply reshuffle all my yarn into a new set of containers or buy another set of shelves. I had to work with what I had, which meant I had to rethink how I wanted to access my yarn, and the best set-up for doing this.
I approached this on two fronts: the yarn front, and the space front.
I decided to separate my stash into 3 groups: the Works In Progress; the Designated Yarn for a specific project-to-be; and Free Range Yarn. First, I unearthed almost all my WIPs and piled them in my bedroom; then I identified Designated Yarn and moved that into the dining room; which left the Free Range Yarn in the Front Room (used to be the living room). While the rest of my apartment was in shambles, I now had room to look more critically at the space in the Front Room and could now try to come up with a plan for arranging "the stash."
It was important to me to keep everything as visible as possible, so I could see what was waiting to be knit up, and also see what I still had to play with. I told myself to think outside the box, and came up with the idea of hanging WIPs in plastic bags from a metal shelving unit I have. Ideally I should be able to walk around both sides of the shelving, so I will have to relocate it (thankfully, it's on wheels!). The cabinet for Free Range Yarn wasn't on wheels, and I first had to dismantle the shelf unit that was on top of it (for which I have plans in the dining-room-about-to-become-office/reading area). I emptied the cabinet (which is 6-feet long and about 3-feet high), removed the sliding glass doors, maneuvered sliders under each corner, and dragged it across the room to the outside wall where there are no plugs. The small computer desk was relocated where the cabinet had been, because both the telephone jack and an electrical outlet are on that wall.
I know this is not the most interesting chain of events, but in order to reorganize my stash, I needed to reorganize my space. And in order to reorganize my space, I needed a step-by-step plan. Even though I started working toward my goal of Organizing Stash at the beginning of the month, it took me almost 3 weeks to work out what needed to be done, and in what order things needed to be done, before I actually started the work.
This is the basis of Project Management - figure out what you have to do in fairly granular detail, and then do it. Don't leap in and start what you don't know how to finish. Always have a back-up plan for each step, in case what you thought would work doesn't (if it isn't obvious, I'm a Professional Project Manager, I can get points towards maintaining my certification for this project, if I wanted to).
I know there are no pictures, but it's embarassing to post pictures of messy chaos. I will post before and after pictures when this part of the paroject is done.
(Note: cross posted on Organized Knitting Club)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
I use one room in my apartment for my knitting, tv viewing, and computer usage. The challenge is to analyze the space and figure out a plan to make the best use of it. This will include input from the other Organizing forums, to which Ravelers are contributing. My hypothesis is that the best storage tips in the world won't really be of any use if you can't fit the 'idea' into the space you have. I also plan to address issues of seating, light, and ergonomics. Whee!!
I don't yet have the courage to post 'before' pictures. There is some essential de-cluttering that needs to be done first (recommended reading: Jeff Campbell's "Clutter Control" - it changed my life, along with his book "Speed Cleaning").
Come back soon for my "before" pics...
Friday, January 18, 2008
I worked my way through the first row of the day, started the next row, and then it happened. Everything just felt right. I literally felt my body relax, my hands develop a flow as the yarn fed through and the stitches were knit. I was focused, but not obsessively so, on the pattern. Some might call it Zen knitting, but I would describe it as my ‘muscle memory’ taking over.
Muscle memory is what dancers and martial artists train for (I’ve been both). It’s learning to do something so well, that your body does it before you have to think about it.
That’s what happened to me while I was knitting. After the first row was knit, my body ‘remembered’ what it was I was working on, and cooperated with the process.
I’m sure that if you think back to the projects you really liked working on, you’ll find that, perhaps, one reason was that your muscle memory was making everything go more smoothly.
Since repetition and practice are needed to embed muscle memory, beginning knitters will not attain this state immediately, but I’m sure that one reason that so many knitters stick with knitting is that they DO achieve this relaxed, easy flow to their knitting.
So maybe knitting isn’t the new yoga, but the new martial art!