Archive for the “blog” Category

Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

For a dedication of skills that I've not yet acquired: I would like to knit a sweater for myself. I have dreams of knitting a Bohus sweater and then I have nightmares of it not fitting me well. I have a store-bought cabled cardigan that I wear to work sometimes, because my office is cold, but it is old and pilling and not very warm, so I'd like to knit its replacement. I already have the itchy Irish yarn to knit a sweater for Pirate-Husband. I'd like to knit a more casual sweater for myself, something like the Ribby Cardi. Or Eris (the website is currently down, so this is a link to the pattern page on Ravelry.)

And then there's the colourwork. I am drawn to patterns like the Autumn Rose Pullover, the Charlesfield St. Socks, the Garden Gate socks, and - though it's not stranded colourwork, it's still a play with colours - Alice's Illusion Socks, with the Cheshire Cat that appears and disappears as you change your viewing angle. Some other things that have caught my eye are the Elephants in Stripes and the Swirly Gig Earflap Hat, which I aspire to knit up before next year's trip to Winterlude.

A dedication of time: I would love to knit (or learn to crochet) a blanket. Not just any blanket, though. One that is big enough for a queen-sized bed. One that I could snuggle up under and be ridiculously warm. (Pirate-Husband says I can fold it in half and keep it just on my side of the bed. He's already ridiculously warm.) I love the Prairie Star afghan, or Lizard Ridge, or the ones that are blocks of cable samples stitched together, or one of the wonderfully geeky Woolly Thoughts afghans. I suppose a project of this size would also be a dedication of money, because if I'm going to be knitting on a project for that long, you can bet that it's going to be made of wool and not acrylic.

I also have fibre goals: I've already made a pair of handspun socks, but what about spinning enough yarn to knit a sweater? Mastering the long-draw, spinning finely and evenly enough to make a cabled sock yarn, blending fibres on the drum carder, learning to dye... growing a dyer's garden... it just never ends. There's always more that I want to try.

The idea that I might not "have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb" makes me laugh. I don't think I will ever reach the point where there's nothing left to learn. But that's okay, I like it that way!

Comments 3 Comments »

How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

I learned to knit when I was about eight from my mom, who had learned from her college friend Jan. (Mom, I trust you'll correct me if I'm remembering the story wrong... and perhaps you can help jog my memory a little bit.) Confusingly, Jan knit 'lefty' from the right needle to the left. So Mom, mirroring her movements, learned to knit Continental, and that's how she taught me. The only thing I remember knitting was a very small blanket for one of my brother's stuffed animals. It was made of acrylic yarn in shades of baby pastels, and it had a few yarnover holes where they didn't belong. I also remember that I couldn't quite master the cast-on, and had to be reminded over and over again how to bind off.

That was it for me and knitting for years.

At some point around 2001 or 2002, I decided that I wanted to learn to knit. I bought two skeins of acrylic yarn in brownish and blueish, and a booklet entitled "I Can't Believe I'm Knitting!" I didn't get very far.

And then at the end of 2004, I found the yarn in the back of my crafts shelf and the urge to knit came back with a vengeance. I got a copy of "Stitch 'n Bitch" and was very persistent until I managed to make some stitches. I've been at it pretty much non-stop ever since! The very first project I made was this basketweave scarf from the brownish and blueish acrylic yarn, shown here in its infancy. This is unfortunately the only picture I have of it. I sent it off to my grandma for her birthday present that year, and as far as I know, she's worn and enjoyed it every winter since.

And then there was the spinning. The first time I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Janis and I stood in one of the tents admiring all the pretty yarn and fibre. I commented to her that the fibre was not at all dangerous to my wallet, because I didn't know how to spin, and she agreed with me. Beautiful, not dangerous. Nope. Well, another woman overheard us and said, "If you have ten minutes, I can teach you to spin." We both went home with some Romney roving and drop spindles... and now, a few years later, I've got three spindles and two wheels. I admit that I'm really not into the spindling so much as I am the wheel-spinning. There's something about sitting at a wheel, slowly and steadily treadling away, that I find to be relaxing and meditative. (Two of six bobbins of the Corriedale are done now; I hope I have some time to spin this week!)

Comments 3 Comments »

April 26th through May 2nd has been declared to be Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. It looked like fun, so I signed up to take part. Along with a number of other fiber artists, I will be posting about set topics for a week. It will be interesting to see how each of the participants explains our take on the subjects.

Eskimimi, who's organizing the event, says, "A couple of weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to try and organise a week of blogging for knitters and crocheters, where individual bloggers could all simultaneously post about the same topics over the course of seven days, so that for one week readers might be able to read from blog to blog and enjoy a community of bloggers all talking about elements of their craft in their own unique way."

Eskimimi's posted about Knitting and Crochet Blog Week here, if you'd like to know more about it. The topics for the week are also listed in that post - but hidden in drop-downs, just in case you like surprises.

Comments Comments Off on In Which the Pirate Joins In.

If all went well, we now have threaded comments up to ten levels deep, so that you'll be able to reply to other people's comments in addition to commenting on my posts. Pretty nifty! (Please feel free to test the system.)

I've been planning to go to Stitch 'n Bitch tomorrow, but I've had a sore throat for about a week. In the last few days I've started coughing. If I'm not feeling better by morning, I'll have to put it off another week. Phooey. I was really looking forward to it, but I certainly don't want to infect anyone with this cold.

Next weekend I am taking a quick trip up to Philadelphia, and I'd love to visit a yarn store or two while I'm there. Can you recommend one? Loop is already on my list. I enjoy buying souvenir yarn when I'm traveling. Later, when I knit it up, I can reminisce about my trip. And even after that, when I'm wearing the finished product, I think, "These are the socks I knit with the yarn I bought with Michael in Ottawa, in that neat little shop on Bank Street that's closed down now," or something like that. "This is the hat I knit with the yarn that I bought when Janis and I snuck off after dim sum to splurge at Woolwinders. This is the--"

I remember where I bought most of my yarn, actually. Even though there's so much of it now.

Comments 5 Comments »

New Thing the First: The blog layout! Please tell me what you think, and let me know if you have any suggestions. I am enjoying the new, wider format, and the ability to put widgets into the sidebars. Unfortunately, the Twitter widget is not fully functional yet, but Twitter does know about the problem and claims to be working to fix it. Anyone know of a better widget that I could use in the meantime?

New Thing the Second: Last night I plied the BFL and today I skeined off 410 yards of it! After a wash and a snap and a thwack, it is hanging to dry. Pirate-Husband said, "Wow, this looks like professional yarn!" The plying was interesting; one bobbin had slightly more than the other. When I found the color run that had the extra length, I snipped that single, wound some off onto a spare bobbin, and reattached the single into the ply at a better spot. I plied the extra back onto itself when everything else was done. I put a lot of plying twist in for a strong yarn, and I don't know how that will affect the feel of it, but as for looks, it should make some nice subtle stripes when it's knit up. Before washing, I measured 21wpi. I wonder how much it will fluff up. Pictures tomorrow, after it's dry!

Comments 2 Comments »

I spoke to Pirate-Husband, and he said that his cousin is unlikely to want a sweater that's hand-wash-only, not to mention that I shouldn't feel obligated to knit for her in the first place. As much as she would love and appreciate the sweater, she'd also throw it in the wash.

So I'm nixing the idea of the Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm okay with this decision; I've got two more gift knits at the top of my queue - one a quick six-hour project of a Swiffer mop cover, the other a much more complicated colorwork bag - but after that, it's purely knitting for me, me, me! I hate to sound selfish, but most of my knitting lately has been for other people, and it's been starting to drag on me. I don't like working to deadlines and I don't like feeling as if other people are anxiously awaiting my work.

Tonight I'm putting the thumb onto the first of Mom's gloves and if there's time, I'll cast on for the second. I've made a lot of plans to go places and do things in the next few weeks, and so my schedule for these has been pushed up. I need to hurry.

In administrativia, I've made a change to the blog feed, by request - now the whole entry should be showing to anyone who reads via RSS. I hope this is a positive change for everyone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments 1 Comment »