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I DARE YOU!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

OK So you know how I’m knitting with two colors on opposing hands? Well, I think I’ve reached a crucial point with knitting from the right hand.

I made this chart because I always mix the two up:

Knitting from the Left Hand Knitting from the Right Hand
Continental English/Throwing

See, I started learning to knit Continentally, from the left hand. It was very comfortable to me, like writing with my right hand was. When I was learning to knit using the English method, or throwing, it was uncomfortable! I had uneven tension and slow technique in addition to it just not feeling right. Let me go back to the example of writing, only roles are reversed–with writing, I’m a righty. With knitting, I’m a lefty:

Right v Left

(...and yes I know I write Ks funny :P )

I use writing as an example to represent how it felt and looked knitting with my right hand–What you see above as I wrote with my left hand.

But I didn’t give up. I continued to work with it. Eventually I got a rhythm only when I held my yarn a certain way. No joke, you guys, I actually took pictures of how I was holding my yarn so I wouldn’t forget.

Naturally, I’d pick it up again and get frustrated that I forgot the magic way to hold the yarn that gave me a good fabric. I eventually would figure it out but then forget again.

Then I casted on for the Lightweight Pullover and saw it as an opportunity to knit this using nothing but English-style and, Ladies and Gents, I have become so very comfortable with this. I realized this when I picked up this project and knitted English way without even thinking of it. Lookie:

Laura Throws

Look you guys….I’m throwing! and doing it effortlessly And I got “my way” of holding my yarn:

Holding the yarn

So dear knitters, I dare you to try something uncomfortable or something you’re intimidated of. I think we get to a point where we get so judgmental and blow things off because they just look too scary or uncomfortable. Some times it’s with good reason–one doesn’t want to knit socks not because they’re made with small needles but because they just don’t like knit items on their feet and that’s fine. But don’t not knit socks only because of the techniques used. You CAN get over techniques that might look a little funny or feel uncomfortable. Dare yourself to learn something new and get comfortable with it. You can do it. Promise. (I’ll even say that it doesn’t hurt either :P )

Knit and Crochet Blog Week: An Inspirational Pattern

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Miss me?

Yes I know this blog has felt neglected and I can’t help but pet it and assure it that I’m ok.

Believe it or not, I’ve been thinking of ways to increase blog posting, especially in light of the fact that I have a horrible case of startiritis :”> I saw my friend Lindsey’s Blog about Knit and Crochet Blog Week and I thought “This is it!” So I decided to participate. Maybe a day late but hey, I’ll do this a day late to make up for yesterday. :-)

So today’s topic of the day is Inspirational Patterns:

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!

I have two patterns that inspire me–one dealing with lace and the other stranded colorwork. I feel I have the skills to knit these two patterns but it is the additional factors that often make me postpone a project.

My first inspirational pattern is Anne Hanson’s Irtfa’s Faroese Lace Shawl

It is safe to say, this does not make for Metro knitting! And that is totally fine and even makes the project all the more exciting but it’s a time commitment. I get the urge to knit it then it gets postponed because of smaller projects. Doesn’t take much to be considered smaller in comparison to this gorgeous shawl, now does it. I do have the yarn for it. It will get knitted one day:
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My next inspirational pattern is the Autumn Rose Pullover

Taken from KnitPicks

I won’t say a knitting project like this would bring me anxiety–goodness no! This sweater looks like a lot of fun to make. Steaks don’t intimidate me nearly as much as they used to. It’s just that there is a lot to think about all at once with this aside from the usual tension issues that come with stranded work and obviously following what might be considered a complicated coloring pattern at times. There is also increasing and decreasing in said colorwork pattern, making sure the circular motif on the body matches up with their mates on the sleeves and making sure you start the center steak for the collar in a place on your chest you feel comfortable with. Those are things I can just think of looking at the photo right now! Are these intimidating issues that will deter me from making this sweater? Absolutely not. But far be it from me to want to brush up on some miniature fair isle projects before I start one that I would want to wear to work! That said, I have started swatching for it already….just sayin’  

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Be sure to check out the other entries for today’s topic!


Rhinebeck!

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

What marks the beginning of autumn for you?

For me, it would be the New York Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck New York.
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This year did not disappoint. I had so much fun!

The party started on Thursday when my friend Lindsay came in from Cincinnati. She and Layla bonded

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From DC, we picked up Kira and headed to NYC to Darsana’s place. Then on Saturday we headed to Rhinebeck.

There is something so inspirational just merely seeing all the handknits and being surrounded by yarn to make them! I go to these fesitvals for the inspiration, some yummy fiber and for the social aspect of meeting Ravelry buddies for the first time. There is alllllllllllllllllsssssssssssoooooooooooooo

DSCF7246 yummy whoopie pies. Yes I know I probably got my days worth of caloric intake in one of these things  but you live only once. It was so damn yummy!

I also went to Rhinebeck with a mission to get some yarn for some Christmas presents. I think I succeeded.

365.259 There were some gorgeous yarns, trust me. I had to control myself. But I still got some yummy things. Feelin’ pretty green. Don’t know why! I got some Wild Apple Farm yarn, Socks that Rock, Brooks Farm Solo and Solo Silk and some lovely Spirit Fibertrail Fiberworks.

Another reason Rhinebeck is loads of fun? The Ravelry Meetup
Lindsay and Jess met for the first time. Like I said on the Flickr page, I like the candidness of this shot

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You talk so much with folks on Ravelry through boards or when you have common patterns or just like each others projects. Then you finally meet them. It’s wonderful

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I met Kristen, author of Vintage Baby Knits, Knitters for Obama Mod and fellow LSGer KFO & LSG are the boards I spend most of my time on so it was finally nice to put a voice to all the board messages.

And speaking of KFO….

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I met Carol, author of Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, and Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn KFO Mod and fellow LSGer

Wanna hear something funny? Veronique Avery was right next to us, but I was so excited to meet Carol finally. Teehee. I heart Veronique’s patterns and even told her so, though, so I wasn’t rude but it still made me giggle a little.

And here was our sign. Ever so subtle.

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Bob even made it to Rhinebeck thanks to Ysolda Teague

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Onto the cute animals. This lil guy almost came home with me. How cute!

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It was such a great time. I can not wait till next year. So inspirational. So wonderful to meet and hang out with people you’ve been chatting with for months. The inspiration and excitement wears off on you. And it’s wonderful. :-)

For more pics, check them out.

WIP Wrestlemania!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I have joined the WIP Wrestlemania KAL on Ravelry. Why not get some projects finished with some of the most awesome knitters and crocheters on Ravelry–LSG!

My creation
1. Climbing Vines Pullover, 2. My Gumdrop Socks, 3. Baby Bendall’s Vest, 4. Darsana’s Mittens

Yes I know it seems rather odd to be doing a sweater in JULY but I have to say–I’ve thoroughlyenjoyed making the Climbing Vines pullover. I’ve completed all but the front of the sweater and I really am liking how it’s turning out. The subtle semi-colored yarn, Classy, is great for this pattern and it’s making the not so interesting parts (read-sleeves) fly by.

These socks are SO. MUCH. FUN! and this heel:

DSCF5212 fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew by. It’s a short row heel with very little dealing of purling/knitting three wraps blah blah blah. I think I might use this heel for a while.

Baby Bendall’s Vest – I LOVE Swish DK from KnitPicks. This yarn is just so soft, which is obviously ideal for a lil bebeh. I really like the heathered effect in the blue. I showed this vest to the mom, a coworker of mine, and she just loved it. I’m making a vest in between six and eight months. Yes, that doesn’t fall within the sizes in the pattern, however I added a few stitches :-) From what his mom tells me, lil Dylan Bendall will be a rather big baby so he might very will fit into this when he hits four months. hehe

Finally, these stranded mittens are for Darnsana. I know it’s a little odd, again, to be making such a winter item in the heat of summer but I love stranded items, so there

I think, if I stay focused, I’ll be able to finish these. Then again I said “stay focused” teehee

Knitter’s Block…again

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I can’t remember the last time I could NOT put a project down. I’m crusing Ravelry and even swatching some projects but nothing is sticking

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Cascade Sierra

I was going to make The Josephine Top out of this but there wasn’t a logical way for me to convert from a DK weight to a worsted weight. It just was not happening

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Tess' Superwash Merino

This was the beggining of Bonnie from Fall 2008′s Twist Collective but it’s also June…there’s a part of me that’s kinda like “eh, Why?!” but another part of me really wants a challenge–I want more sweater experience :-)

but I also want to get passionate about a project again…I’m feelin’ a little naked!!

HALP

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/josephine-top zxvzxvzxv

It’s Either…

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Purple…Green…or Rough on the hands…

Yes that’s how I can explain my current projects. It’s starting to get to me. I used to be on this Finish-Everything-Now kind of mood because they’re something gratifying in finishing items but due to the lack of diversity, I seem a litttle less eager.

Recent Purple stuff, the socks finished, obviously, the rest are works in progressRecent Purple Items

Right top is my Fountain Pen Shawl, which is made from Brooks Farm Acero, which is a dream to work with. It has a tweedy effect that I like. Right center (this is the rough feeling yarn, by the way) is Darsana’s Mittens made from Knit Picks Pallete. I love this yarn in that it think it makes wonderful stranded projects. But in order to make wonderful stranded projects, it has to be a little bit rough and stick to the other yarns in the project. Bottom left is Nebula, a recent Cookie A. Pattern that I fell in love with.

All these projects are quite enjoyable but there’ s such a thing as too much of single color….and speaking of which..

Three green items (and I’m working on a green __________ for my Loopy Ewe Swap buddy…she reads this blog so I’ll be shady with that particular project ;-) )

green

I’m working on Dad’s cardigan too and there’s some bit of grrrrrrrrr as I knit it because I was this close // to finishing it before when I was making a Central Park Hoodie for him. I’m now making him a more male-appropriate cardigan, the Garter Stitch Cardigan. I had to do some editing because the smallest size was a 48 inch size and dad is a 40. That was a little stressful because I didn’t/don’t have a great deal of confidence in my editing of gauge/patterns.

Interesting Observations on the DC Metro

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I knit a lot in public. Some knitters make a big deal that they’re doing it. Me? I just do it because I love the craft…no real need to go “oh look everyone! I’m knitting in public”

There are times when I knit on the DC Metro train and folks ask me questions or chat with me. I’ve done my fair share of Ravelry pimping and discussing of patterns. Other times, really caffeinated people come up to me at 7:15 in the morning all excited that they see another knitter like it’s rare. (Also, I wont lie—I’m like “kill the motor, chica…I just woke up.”

There are other times when I am so very fascinated in what types of people ask me about my knitting.

There was one time…last summer I was on the metro knitting Courtney’s socks and there were a bunch of tourist from some rural area (They were way too enamored with the graffiti to be from a city, trust me). So here I was knitting and this kid who was twenty at the very most, came up to me and asked me about what I was making. While he was walking my way on the train, with his iPOD blaring and his pants halfway down his legs, wearing a Bob Marely shirt, the tourists grabbed their bags, I noticed. They clinched them more. It’s infuriating to see things like that but it’s certainly not rare, unfortunately. But anyway, I’m three or four rows from FINISHING so let’s refocus shall we?

This kid says “what are you making there?” and I looked up and showed him the socks [mind you the tourists are looking at us strange…like it’s rare that strangers talk to one another]. I even tried them on. He asked me some questions about how the colors change so and I went into detail about colors and the idea of pooling. He goes “that’s so cool!” His stop came up, he said “have a good evening” and I said “you too, sir!” and we went about our afternoons.

Then yesterday, an older man was standing near Jermaine and me on the metro. Few stops before mine, he goes “is that….crocheting?” Now yes I know there are some who get upset at the ludicrous things our crafts are called but I gotta say—I was happy he knew that there was more than just knitting! Anyway, I explained that crochet involves one hook and knitting involved two needles. He asked what I was making and if there were other parts I had to knit to it. He asked why it looked like an egg carton (in a very nice way, mind you) and I went on to explain that it needs to get soaked and stretched [blocking]. And here I was initially thinking “this man looks pooped after a long day” (He had a janitor sweatshirt on) and here he was asking me all these questions. And, again, my stop came and I said have a good one” and got off.

But it really does make you wonder how much we judge a book by its cover. Do all young kids not appreciate handmade items? No! Do they dress funny? Eh…maybe but who am I to speak when I wore 8 rings on one hand when I was younger? People can really surprise you regardless of race, class and age and other groups. These two black men definitely didn’t fall under the “typical knitter role” but they asked interesting questions and seemed genuinely interested, so you just never will know!

17 days, oh my!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

I have a little resolution right now. I’m trying very very hard not to start a project. I want to get all my sock and the one pair of gloves I have on the needles done before I start a new project. The last project I started was on January 31st and I’m proud as hell that I’ve been good about my promise to myself. 17 days! YAY It’s sad that I’m genuinely proud of myself.

So far so good:

WIPS

  • I started mom’s second spiral boot sock
  • …got past the heel on Jermaine’s BFF sock
  • …about to get to the heel on the second embossed leave sock
  • …finishing the thumb on the glove. Don’t know why but thumbs are a pain in the ass.
  • …finished the heel on the Hookie socks as well as the mini mochi socks.

I’m gettin’ there!

Whiskers on We–Thursday

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

So I’m a day late…sue me! hehe

Truth be told, I think I’ll do Whiskers on Wednesday every other Wednesday. I’m not popping FOs out left and right because I have a case of startiritis and eventually this blog will be all about kittehs. I love my girls but I don’t want ‘em taking over this here blog.

Jermaine and I recently rearranged our living room. I have to say, Layla was embracing the change while Luna was FREAKED OUT. Layla helped pull her toys out from under the futon as we moved it whereas Luna went to sleep under our covers.

They now have a new perch

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I have absolutely no idea what Layla was looking at but this is a “whole picture shot” where you can see what kind of view they have. (J was watching Chuck in “3D” if you really wanted to know)

Anyway, we have more room on the desk and that seems to be their new chill spot


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Yes, they did get shooed off while Mommy and Daddy were e-filing their taxes last night but hey…they’re still cute!

Jermaine got this action shot taken as she was getting to her new perch that I want to show off.

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and while this has nothing to do with their new spot, how cute is this?

DSCN2015 (one of the many things that appealed to us when we were looking at this apartment is the wide window sills for them. )

Whiskers on Wednesday

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Last Wednesday I was still recovering from Inauguration so I didn’t do kitteh entry. (I had a hard enough time keeping my eyes open!)

This WonW is a very special one because today happens to be the birthday of my first kitty, Duffy. She’s no longer with us but I can only hope she’s having a superb day up in heaven.

Duffy

Duffy was such a great companion. Not exactly a lap kitteh but definitely not stand off-ish. She taught me just how important furry friends are and taught me that she doesn’t know nor does she care about my flaws as a human. She loved me because I gave her the essentials–countless hugs and tons of love. Those are the essentials. All the rest are superfluous, for the most part right?

Happy Birthday lil Duffly! I miss you so much but take comfort that you are watching me and your God-Kittehs, Layla & Luna.

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