Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Distraction

I've been doing tons of knitting lately. Does that mean I have any progress photos to show of my personal projects? Nope, not a one. A while ago I had designed and knit some baby mittens for my Etsy shop. Well recently the last of them sold. And this being the beginning of prime mitten season, and also the time where the holidays are looming (translating into a very good time to stock your shop to overflowing) I decided to replenish the supply. I set a goal of listing 30 pairs of mittens. In my chronic case of delusion on how much knitting I can accomplish, I thought, "I'll have them finished in a week, maybe a few days more." And yes, I did have the sense to consider that during that time I also have to work my regular job, be a mom, and handle all the usual daily tasks like dinner, laundry, etc. But even with that in mind, I remained deluded. I am now one week into it and have completed ten pair. Granted, they are knit in fingering weight yarn. And there was that one little obstacle........I didn't have the sense to keep good notes when I originally worked out the design.......or even the foresight to place whatever notes I had in a location where I could, well, locate them. So I had to start from scratch, however, not being one who enjoys repeating the same mistakes over and over, the very meticulously written pattern is now in a composition book devoted solely to such things. Here's the first of the completed bunch, which I've dubbed the Falling Leaves Mittens:

Falling Leaves Baby Mittens 048 by you.

Falling Leaves Baby Mittens 045 by you.

I don't know that I'll be blogging much in the near future. There are so many things I'm wanting to get done right now. Also, any time I've been on the computer for pleasure lately, I've been reading your blogs. It's something I've gotten behind on lately, and I really miss it. So forgive my silence, but I'm much more in the mood to read about knitting, than to write about it. Now pardon me, I've some wee hand warmers to be working on.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Cure For The Restless

I think every knitter occasionally experiences bouts of restlessness, feeling uninspired, or whatever you want to call it. I know I do. And anytime I'm in one of those slumps, I'm very much wishing that I could find a way to recreate the feelings of enthusiasm I normally feel for my beloved craft. I also have a habit of mentally drawing parallels between my life/personality and my attitudes and habits in knitting. I think it stems from an ongoing desire to better understand myself and why I do the things I do.

For example, I know there's a part of me that resists change, that prefers the comfort of the familiar. But I also know that when I allow that part of myself to dictate, I always end up feeling like my life has stalled out. I become restless. Un-enthused. Even apathetic. When I get like that, it's always a sure sign that I need to stir things up. Try something new. Reexamine my goals, and maybe set new ones.

When I recently applied those thoughts to my current frustrating bout of knitting apathy, I felt inspired to push myself out of my crafting comfort zone. I cast on for my first pair of socks:



I chose the Hedgerow Socks, a free pattern from Knitter's Review. It was one of several patterns I was considering as a good first sock project. I went with this one because A) it's a widely knit pattern, so if I ran into any problems, I knew I'd have no trouble getting advice from someone who'd already knit them B) they were rated as an "easy" pattern by the 418 Ravelers who've made them C) I wanted something a little more exciting than plain stockinette, which the pretty texture of the Ribbed Stitch pattern provided, and D) within the pattern there's a link to a basic sock tutorial with instructions for all the techniques used in sock knitting (turning the heel, shaping the gusset, etc.).

I completed the first sock last night.



And? Did it do the trick? Was I able to restore my excitement for all things woolly? You tell me. Immediately after finishing the sock last night, I put it on my foot and admired it from every angle my level of flexibility would allow. Then I walked around my living room noticing how the sock felt, never taking my eyes off that foot (it's amazing I didn't walk into a wall). Then I reclined across the couch in front of the t.v. But I can't tell you what was on the idiot box, because I wasn't watching. I was peeking at my newly adorned left foot out of the corner of my eye. Then I sprang up and ran to my shoe closet to try on my brown healed loafers to see how they'd look with my new sock.

Okay, maybe I've just revealed way more dorkiness than any blogger ever should. But I'm a dork who's happy with her knitting. And that's nothing to scoff at.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When The End Is Not The End

I didn't intend to go a month without blogging. But at the end of July when I realized school started in only one month, and the end of Summer would be following close behind, I felt the need to squeeze as much sunny day fun as I could out of the remaining time. My computer has seen very little of me lately because of it. But through it all, I have still been knitting.

Buttony Sweater (1) by you.

North of those needles is nearly an entire Buttony sweater. What's missing is three inches of ribbing at the bottom. Oh, and I'm out of yarn. And that yarn has been discontinued. It's Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky in the Petal colorway. But I have not panicked yet. I was able to locate two places where this yarn still exists. One of them is in a fellow raveler's stash, and it's even the same dye lot. I have not yet asked said raveler if she'd be willing to sell one skein (she has 20). That's plan B if plan A doesn't work out. The online shop where I originally purchased this yarn (a year and a half ago) still has some in stock. But she has it listed for sale by the 10 skein bag. All I need is one skein. So I emailed the shop owner inquiring about the dye lot, explaining my dilemma, and asking if she'd be willing to sell a single ball of it. That was three days ago, and I haven't yet heard back from her. Cross your fingers for me............

Buttony Sweater (3) by you.

Buttony Sweater (4) by you.

Buttony Sweater (5) by you.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Simple Shift

After a rousing game of Running-from-Mommy-while-she-tries-to-take-my-picture-is-hilarious, my dress model finally settled down enough for me to get a few shots of this FO.



















I mentioned this project only once before. It's actually been finished for over a month now, and Sophie's already worn it a couple of times.

The Details:
  • Started: May 12, 2008
  • Completed: June 10?ish?, 2008
  • Pattern: I modified Butterick pattern #B4118 (which you can see in the link above) from a top to dress.
  • Size: 3 (Which any of you who sew know, pattern sizes don't coincide with ready to wear sizes). Sophie has a narrow chest, but is also tall for her age. So whenever I sew for her, I usually have to blend the width of a smaller size with the length of a bigger size.
  • Fabric: A blue and white pin striped cotton that's been in my stash for so long I don't remember where or when I got it. It feels good to use up the stash. =)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

From The Archives

Today's post is from an idea that's been floating around my head for some time now. Anyone who's even remotely active in the online knitting community knows that like most areas of human culture, knitting has it's fads, it's "it" projects. Things that everyone and their sister are knitting/have knit, projects that are showing up on blogs world-wide. A perfect example of this is Clapotis, which on Ravelry alone, has 6,662 projects, with another 3,625 people who intend to make it in the future. And how about Jaywalker, Fetching, Odessa, Endpaper Mitts, or the Central Park Hoodie? I'm sure you could add at least twenty more names to that list. And while many of these patterns are on my To-Knit list, the point of "From The Archives" is to highlight some very cool knitting patterns that for whatever reason, never rose to knitting fame. I use the term "Archive" loosely. These could be patterns that were published 4 months ago, or 65 years ago. As for some of the vintage ones, who knows? They may have been a cult classic in their own time, but I wasn't alive to know it. =) Occasionally you may have to look past big hair or tacky accessories in order to see what a purl in the rough an old pattern is. And I may even throw in a sewing or crochet pattern here and there.

My first is example is a sweater from the Fall-Winter 1968 issue of Good Housekeeping Needlecraft.



The "Belted Cardigan" is knit at a worsted weight gauge. I'm considering making this one myself.