Friday, January 23, 2009
We've been married now for 8 and a half years and even though he doesn't walk me to the car each night that I work (can you blame him for not wanting to wake 2 sleeping kids?) I still think of him when we're apart. I wonder what he's doing and if he's thinking of me. I wonder if he'll like what I made him for dinner or if he's having a good day at work.
When I first started knitting I had very similar feelings. I thought about my knitting all the time and wondered if it was thinking of me, too. I couldn't go a single day without knitting and not having my knitting with me was enough to make my eyes mist up a bit. I'd be working and thinking about what I'd be knitting right at that second if I could and thinking about all the progress that could be made if I were knitting and not working on month-end reports or filing lien releases from subcontractors.
While I still enjoy knitting I'd be lying if I said that I still LOVE my knitting. I want to. I really do. I look at it and wonder where the joy has gone and when I lost it. Mom has the joy. Where's my joy?! Knitting isn't sparkly and new anymore. I do it because it seems odd not to knit. My hands don't seem right when there aren't knitting needles in them, but at the same time I look at it and feel kind of "meh" about it.
I think I need a marriage retreat for my knitting and me. You know the kind. You go away, just you and your loved one and attend sessions and have candlelit dinners and go for long walks holding hands and leave feeling like newlyweds again. Yeah, I need one. I want to feel attached to my knitting again and not just because it feels odd not to have it but because I love it. I want to fall in love with my knitting again!
As a first step I decided to take good pictures of my projects again. I'd been settling for phone pictures but no more! I got out the camera, put in freshly charged batteries, and laid out my projects. Secondly, it's time to start knitblogging again. I've neglected my blog for far too long and it's time that that changed!
Blog, meet my knitting!
Here we have the ever elusive Clapotis. This Clapotis is one that I'm making for myself from some yarn that Mom purchased for my birthday last year while we were visiting San Diego. The yarn is a-ma-zing.
The best thing about this yarn is the drape and shine on it. Oh, and the colors are to die for. And don't forget how incredible it feels. Okay, so there's a lot of things to mention about the yarn. What keeps me from working on it is... I don't know. I'm almost half way through the yarn and it seems to take forever because I'm doing it on size 5 needles.
Okay, so here are some Sweet Plain Jane socks for Mom. She picked out the yarn, Trekking, to match her new Dansko clogs. The thing is that I'm kind of over Trekking at this point. I usually love watching the colors change but there's none of that going on here unless you count going from red to black to red to black and back to red. This is truly a labor of love.
Hello, Hourlgass sweater! As you can see I've worked the body and started on a sleeve. Love love love the yarn (KnitPicks Comfy) and I think the sweater will look great on me but I'm afraid of 2 things. 1.) I'm afraid that though I made the sweater length as written, it might be too short 2.) I'm afraid of working on the sleeves and joining them to the sweater/yoke because I have no idea how that's going to work out and so therefore am not working on any part of this sweater.
Last but not least, (but we'll see because I'm questioning it), Branching Out. This is one of those patterns that I've wanted to make forever but haven't done because of no good reason other than I've been nervous about trying lace. There's something about lace charts that freak me out. I can totally make sense of cable charts because you can see where they're going but lace is a mystery to me. I cast on once for this pattern and pulled it out because it was using Kidsilk Haze and I was ready to pull out my hair, too. I cast on for it a second time I didn't like the yarn and conveniently Ailish happened to get a hold of the project and take care of the problem for me because she ripped out the whole thing. Now I'm using the leftover yarn from Owen's sweater and I have no more yarn excuses. Darn it!
So there you have it. There are my works in progress and there are all my excuses and thoughts on them. It feels really good to get all that out! Okay, so now I need to hire a cheering section and a babysitter and get to work!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Yarn:Knit Picks CotLin (shown in Linen, Chocolate and Creme Brulee)
Needles: Size 5 US
Pretty Purls Stitch Pattern:
Row (Left Justified Pretty Purl Row)
4,6: k4, p1, *k5, p1, repeat from * 7 more times, k1
5: *k1, p1, k1, p3, repeat from *7 more times
Row (Right Justified Pretty Purl Row)
10,12: k1, p1, *k5, p1, repeat from *7 more times, k4
11: *p3, k1, p1, k1, repeat from *7 more times
Notes: There are 3 rows of seed stitch at the beginning and end of the pattern and 3 stitches of seed stitch at the beginning and ending of each row. I'm not going to include instructions on this, but if you need help on seed stitch I would recommend that you go to KnittingHelp.com.
There are 3 rows of stockinette after the seed stitch at the beginning and before the seed stitch at the end of the pattern. The first row of stockinette should begin with a purl row. There are also 3 stitches of stockinette on each row that immediately follow the seed stitches at the front of the row and just before the seed stitches at the end of the row.
Cast On 60 stitches using Long Tail Cast On.
Rows 1-3:Seed Stitch Border (For help regarding seed stitch go to KnittingHelp.com.)
Rows 4-66:Begin Pretty Purls pattern for a total of 6 repeats, adding Seed Stitch edging (3 stitches at the beginning and ending of rows) and remembering to include 3 stitches of stockinette immediately after the Seed Stitch at the beginning of the row and immediately after the Pretty Purls stitch pattern before the Seed Stitch at the end of the row.
Row 67 - 69:Repeat rows 1-3 (stockinette portion) of Pretty Purls stitch Pattern remembering to include Seed Stitch edging (3 stitches at beginning and ending of rows).
Rows 70-72:Seed Stitch Border.
Row 73:Bind off in Seed Stitch
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday and Sunday I worked my usual 5pm to 10 pm shift at the hospital doing Bed Control. Thank heavens it was a slow weekend and I didn't find myself stressed at all, which is unusual for Bed Control. In fact, yesterday was so slow that I brought out my knitting from my purse and knitted on a sock while I watched the bed board and the bed control program for new ER patients to place. I love that I can knit without looking at my hands! In between calls to and from the nursing stations I knit a good 1.5" on the sock!
At 8:45 the third shift came upstairs from finishing pre-reg close and started their other closing duties. They don't take over Bed Control and Labor & Delivery until 9:15 so there's a bit of time between when they come up and when they take over. At 9:00 they were both at my booth for some reason and one of the girls asked me about the sock I was working on. She talked about how she wishes she had time for doing something like this but there's just no time at all. I told her that I knit while I watch tv or movies, and that I knit some before bed or while I'm waiting in lines or at appointments. She asked how much yarn it took to make a pair of socks and I pulled out a skein of the yarn so she could see and then I told her that it took 2 of these skeins.
My coworker took the skein of yarn from my hand and turned it around and around to look at the colors. Then she saw the price and had a cow. "7.25 for this? And it takes two of them? Do you know how much this costs?" I looked at her and said, "Yes, I am pretty good at math, plus I PURCHASED the yarn so I know that it costs $14.50 plus tax"
She starts in about how she would NEVER pay so much for string and how RIDICULOUS it is! I asked her, "Do you go to the movies? You pay $9.50 for the ticket and more for popcorn or a drink. For that much money you get 2, maybe 3 hours of entertainment. For $14.50 I get 20 hours or more of entertainment and at the end of it I have a beautiful pair of socks that I get to enjoy or I get the pleasure of seeing someone else wear and enjoy." My coworker didn't care to listen but then went on for another 10 minutes talking with someone else about how crazy and stupid it was to spend so much money on string.
Allow me to vent for a moment.
1. Frankly, I don't care what hobbies you have. As long as what you do isn't illegal, hurts yourself or someone else then have fun! You like to garden? Great! You enjoy building stuff in your garage? Wonderful! Just don't have your fun by burning kittens with matches and I'll be happy for you.
2. I was raised that you don't talk about money and the price of things with people outside of family. Enough said.
3. Knitting isn't just about the socks, the sweater or the mittens that it produces. It's a process for me and I like to pick yarn and needles that are pleasurable to use. I love the feel of the needles in my hand and the texture of the yarn as it passes through my fingers. I admire the colors and the tone of the yarn in the skein, after it's been wound and in the fabric. I don't mind paying more for yarn that I'll love through the whole process and after the project is off the needles. I like quality items and it is worth it to me to pay more. I can get a pound of yarn at Wal-Mart for $4.00 but I won't enjoy knitting it and it won't be nice to wear. What is the point of that?
4. Yes, I paid $14.50 for a pair of socks that I'll have to make myself, nonetheless. What they won't know is that I waited until that yarn was on sale to purchase it. I also make other sacrifices if it is going to be an expensive project and will save up the money before I purchase the yarn. It may seem ridiculous to you but that's probably why this is not your hobby. Personally, I think her $10,000 collection of manga is ridiculous but that's why it's not my hobby. Refer to #1... as long as she can afford it and she enjoys it then that's great!
It took everything in me not to throw double pointed needles at them or make it personal by throwing their own hobbies back at them. (You just had major back surgery 7 months ago so why exactly are you swing dancing and hurting your back again to the point of missing work?) But I stayed on the high ground by just smiling and letting them be tactless. Ooookay! I feel better now!
Friday, February 08, 2008
One thing that I've decided is that I have a lot of purses that don't suit me. I'm not a small purse kind of person. To make life a little easier I've ordered a Namaste Everyday bag in black and I'm looking forward to its arrival! In order to make a little room for it I'm putting up my Namaste Messenger bag in chocolate brown up for sale on Ravelry.
Ravelry ladies, here are the pictures of the bag!
Zippered divider and side zipper. There are also two interior pockets
Just like luggage, the outside can unzip to add some width to the bag. There is a small stain next to the zipper on the bottom of the bag.
The seam has popped open here just a little bit but would be easily repairable. Obviously seaming is not my favorite part of any project.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I started a modified Anouk for Ailish and things were going well until Owen found the project and managed to remove and lose one of the size 7s from my Denise needles. We've searched the house over and over for weeks with no luck! Anouk went back in the bag and into the craft closet until I receive a replacement from the company. The order was placed today and hopefully I'll be back to knitting my girl more cuddly clothes by next week.
The Monkey fever bit me and I pulled some Tofutsies (color 718) from the stash play with. Mom had purchased this yarn for me while on vacation and I thought it would be fun to play with such an interesting yarn. Fun was not quite the right word. I went through three needle sizes and then when I found the right one (size 0 if you were interested) I knitted the cuff down to the heel and tried it on for kicks just to find that the sock wouldn't fit over my heel.
I'm an adult so I did the only obvious thing. I pulled my needles from the sock and stuffed it in my knitting bag to give the yarn to someone else. This is why it is so important to have knitting friends to help you through the hard times! Kate is going to make some socks for little miss Haley and I hope that she loves them! (Kate, I happen to have a skein of 724 in the stash if you'd like it.)
Thankfully, inspiration struck and I'm in the middle of a sock that I'm in love with and should fit. (My fingers are crossed which makes knitting a little difficult, but I'm dealing.) These are done toe-up and while I've made 2 pairs of socks this way I've never been happy with the way that the heels have turned out so I sent out an email to my girls to get some help.
While I wait for help to arrive it's time to look back to projects that I've finished recently but haven't displayed!
May I present Thuja. These socks were a quick knit on size 2 double points, knitted exactly as written in the pattern. Sarah dyed the yarn herself and I love the amazing job she did with the fiber! Just look at the subtle variations in color. Beautiful! It is the perfect match of yarn and pattern.
The last project for today is Wisp. (I've been on Knitty a lot, can you tell?)
Call it sacrelige, but I'm using this lace scarf as a table runner.
Knit as directed by the pattern but on size 6 needles instead of 8 to give it a little tighter look and without the yarn overs on the sides. The yarn is Misti Alpaca Lace in Sea Mist, which was a joy to work with. Even with doing a full 17 repeats of the lace pattern I still have 25 grams of yarn left which is enough to make another Wisp. Perhaps someone will see a Wisp of their own under the Christmas tree this year?
Yes, I'm already thinking of Christmas knitting! Ailish started crawling on Christmas Day and is now pulling herself up onto her feet and I think I'm going to need all the head start I can get to make sure that I have my holiday knitting done before Easter 2009!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Pattern: The UnGranny Smith at Knitty
Yarn: RYC Cashcotton DK in Apple
Needles: KP Options in Size 3 and 5 US
Time To Knit: A very long time. Started in November 2006 and finished in June 2007
If I were to knit this again I would have made it in a smaller size since it has a bit of ease to it. Also, I'd make the body of it longer and the arms a bit shorter. It is a WARM sweater and I can wear it on a cool day without having to put a jacket on, which is wonderful!
Pattern: Clapotis from Knitty
Yarn: Art Fibers Royal Silk
Needles: Brittany straights size 6 US
Time To Knit: Started during big ice storm in January 2006 and finished in March 2006, approximately
This is a great pattern! Once I just decided to trust the pattern and not second guess every single stitch it went better. I had originally planned on making this for myself but then I came to the realization that I was having my second child in a couple of months and the odds of me wearing 100% silk within the next 10 years without completely ruining it were pretty slim. So this became my Mom's Christmas present and she is in love with it! She wears it almost every day, whether she's out and about or just at home. The fact that Mom adores it and uses it so often is such a pleasure to me.
The silk was incredible to work with and made the finished product absolutely delightful. The fabric has amazing drape and shine to it. Mom claims that it is one of the warmest scarves that she owns and yet is wonderfully light. Perhaps in a few years I'll be working with that yarn again on a project for myself!
I've started my own Clapotis out of Reynolds Rapture so that I can have my own Clapotis to enjoy. With it knitting up on 10.5 US needles it moves quickly so I'll be able to enjoy it soon. I had 7 skeins to start with and now only have 1.5 left to go! Hopefully I'll be done with it this weekend so that I can show it off!