Wednesday, August 31, 2005

No Knitting

My weekdays are always pretty busy. However, this has been an exceptionally busy week. That's bad news, knit-wise. Not much progress has been made on any project, and I have no new pictures to post. So I guess a busy week is also bad news, blog-wise. Makes for very boring blogging.

Being still fairly new to the blog-world, I did have some questions / comments / observations. Here we go.

  • DH - I see that term used often on blogs. I am assuming it means Dear Husband or Darling Husband or something of the sort? If I can find out for sure, I may start using it too. However, I reserve the right to change the meaning to Dork Head if he makes me mad!!
  • Comments- I just don't understand how to get people to comment on posts. The most comments I ever received was an exciting NINE!!!! The excitement quickly faded when I found out six of them were spams. I've seen other blogs with posts about . . . well . . . nothing (I don't want to describe them for fear of offending someone) and they'll have 30 or 40 comments. Of course, I've always been one to value quality over quantity - so I'm doing great in that department. I have two faithful readers (I hope you know who you are) and they regularly leave me THE BEST comments and are very encouraging. So I consider myself very lucky.
  • Bells and Whistles- Is it better to have pictures and links in a post, just to make it seem exciting? Or do you really just need a good subject matter, and use the add-ons only to enhance your point?
  • Non-Knitting Posts- Just how much day to day life stuff can you post before people get bored listening to you ramble on about nothing? After all, it is supposed to be a blog about knitting. Hello . . . anyone still reading . . . . well then, I guess I answered my own question.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Haze . . Kidsilk Haze

Today we are going to visit another of my WIP's - Airy Scarf. It's from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (if you look at the customer images, it's the one called "A close-up") that is knit using Kidsilk Haze. As I mentioned before wow is this one challenging yarn to knit!!! It's baby fine and has little hairs sticking out. The scarf has tons of mistakes, but I'm not to the point in this yarn where I can unknit, frog or fix any mistakes. I'm kind of hoping they really won't show anyway, once it's tied around my neck!!

Here is my progress so far.

It's supposed to be a four hour project . . . I'm probably about a quarter of the way done . . . and I've been working on it for more than four hours!! But, I will say, the more I knit, the easier it's starting to get. And I think it will really turn out to be a pretty accessory and great for zipping up my mostly neutral outfits. So it's worth it. Each skein is supposed to knit two scarves, so if I survive the first I have big plans for the rest of the yarn. My idea is to knit the same pattern, but half as wide and twice as long - and it's a belt!!! Keep your fingers crossed.

I thought for a little irony, I'll show you the three yarns I'm working with now. On the left is Kidsilk Haze, ridiculously thin. In the middle is the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for the baby sweater, also quiet a bit thinner than your average yarn. And to the right is Lion Suede, ridiculously thick but so easy to knit I think I got spoiled. Far be it from me to knit with normal weight yarns like a regular beginner. But hey, what doesn't kill us (or make us break down in tears, or fling the whole darn project into the garbage disposal) makes us stronger.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Mini Blog Post

Okay, you are truly addicted to blogging when you are rushing to get a post done in 8 minutes so you aren't late for dance class. But I finally have a picture of my progress on the Baby Raglan Sweater I started on Thursday. The front (or is it the back, they are both the same) is done and the back (or front) is getting there. The edges are supposed to roll like that - it's not poor knitting on my part!!

Voila, and may I just say, I've decided I love knitting baby things because they go so fast!!! Of course, the selfish part of me thinks it's just a little wrong that my first sweater for myself is knit in polyester, while this little guy who is going to barf and drool all over (if not worse) is getting the cashmere. (I know, I'm a horrible person). On the other hand, I'm getting completely mushy and sentimental knowing this little garment I'm knitting will help a tiny, helpless little guy stay warm and comfy. Gush gush, mush mush. Almost makes me wonder if it isn't time to start thinking of having one of my own . . . .

******Yes Mom, that last line was for you!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Electronic Equipment Hates Me

Well, tonight it certainly feels this way. Remember the great post and pictures I was planning to upload tonight?? Not gonna happen.

My computer. My poor little computer. My husband was poking around with it yesterday, trying to see what's what so we could order some more memory, which it desperately needs. He took the current memory out and put it right back in, and poof . . . . my computer will no longer boot up. BAD BLUE DEATH SCREEN (No, that's not a web-link . . . just trying to show the blueness of my computer screen)

Okay, plan B. I can boot up my husband's desktop (check). I'll load my photo soft-ware on his computer and upload the pictures there. Pull out my camera, set up my knitting for their photo shoots (check). Turned on the camera . . . turned on the camera . . . . TURNED ON THE CAMERA???? Nope, batteries are dead. CRUD!!!!

So that's it. My computer is dead. The camera batteries are dead. I've got 'em on the charger, but no pictures tonight. And it feels like it's gotten hotter since the early evening rain shower we just had. Isn't rain supposed to make it cooler? I think I'll just have some ice cream and call it a night.

New Blog Template

Welcome to the new template for my blog. Quite honestly, because I've taking a liking to writing my posts in different colors, all the dots were starting to give me a headache. I loved the dots when I first set up my blog because some of the other templates looked so plain!!! But paired with my multi-colored posts . . . it was just too much.

In my defense, when setting up my blog and choosing the template, I seem to remember a message that you could always change it later on. True enough, but they failed to tell me that when changing your template, you lose all customizations. Sidebar links, buttons, photo galleries . . . all gone. It took me quite a while to set them all back up again and get them looking (mostly) the way I want. I'm still not 100% happy. I'd like "Finished Projects" and "Blogs I Read" to be in the same type-face as "Recent Posts" and Archives". I fiddled and fiddled for hours, but just can't figure out how. (Any other BlogSpotters who might have a suggestion, feel free to put your 2-cents in!!!!)

Other than blogging and knitting, not much has gotten done around here this weekend. The house is a mess, we've been living on junk food and take-out, and I need a shower. Should I feel guilty? Well, I do, at least a little.

Last night we went to see The 40 Year-Old Virgin and it was really good!! I had been a little nervous that it was one of those movies where all the funny parts were given away in the previews. That was not the case. I laughed so hard I snorted . . . several times. Okay, maybe not a good date movie, but since I was with my husband (who's already stuck with me) I wasn't too embarrassed.

Okay, off for a shower and a visit to Mom's to scam some real food for dinner! I'll post again tonight with actual knitting content and pictures. The baby sweater and Airy Scarf are on the agenda!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

A good shawl?

Hi there. Long day at work, so these post will be fairly short and probably greatly incoherent.

The new baby sweater is coming along okay. I was afraid I would have trouble because the yarn is so fine, but I guess I'm doing okay. I'll take some pictures this weekend. I also have grand plans to sew up the rest of the seams on Misfit, so I can try my first attempt at picking up stitches (for the collar).

But what's really on my mind is a shawl. Or a few shawls. See, they have the air-conditioning on too high at work, and it's so cold. I'd love to have a great shawl to wrap up in at my desk. I looked through all my knitting books, but apparently don't have a good pattern.

So, can anyone out there recommend a good pattern for a fairly easy shawl? (Remember, I'm a new knitter.) A link to a web-site to download or order it from would be much appreciated. Or whatever info you have that could help me track it down? Please?

I know, lame post today. I promise to get a good nights sleep and try to be more entertaining tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

New Projects

So I'm wondering how many projects your average knitter has going at one time. Is it normal to want to start five new projects at once? Or is that just me?

Now that Peppermint Stick is all finished and two other WIP's got abandoned, I was left with only two WIP's in my basket and Misfit who just needs a sleeve seam, side seams and a collar. What else could I do but start a new project and plan out a whole bunch more???

This morning I cast on for a baby sweater for friends who had a boy last month. It seems like an easy pattern, so I'm hoing 1) I can handle it okay and 2) it won't take me too long. It's a Debbie Bliss Raglan sweater that I'm knitting in baby cashmerino 204, which is a pretty blue for a baby boy (or for anyone, for that matter). It's actually a brighter blue than in the picture.

But I have other projects calling and swirling in my head. I'm tempted to try Tempting, which according to Knitty is mellow. I should be able to handle mellow. I like the gray, but can also see it in red . . . maybe with the ribbon, maybe without.

I'd also love to find a great shawl pattern to knit. It's really really cold in work, and I'd love to have a nice soft shawl to wrap around me at my desk. Funny how I was never really a shawl person until I started knitting.

I bought a new knitting book last month on a vacation to New Orleans. Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas. Wow, great stuff in that book! Bolero Sweater. Twin Set. I could find enough in that book alone to keep me knitting for months.

Not to mention, I have a whole pile of more knitting books calling. It may not look like too many, but let's remember I haven't been knitting for that long and my whole catalog of FO's consists of a bunch of dishcloths, one scarf, two pairs of slippers and a small teddy bear. I'm still very much the clueless beginner.

So tell me, how many projects do you have in the works at once? And how many do you have filed away in your head, just waiting to be started?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Knit-Knack Pouch

Okay, I thought I would be the only one impressed with my little pouch, but thank you Miss McSpazzitron for taking such an interest. Here's what I did.

I knit it in one long piece with eyelet rows on either end. First four rows were done in ST ST, but I wish I had done Seed or even Garter to give it more of a trim. Fifth row was K2, *YO,K2tog,K1* to last two stitches, K2. Then continue ST ST until desired length. Repeat eyelet row. Four rows in stitch used for trim, BO. (I know, not the best description, but it's my first attempt at writing a pattern).

Fold in half, the fold becomes the bottom of the pouch. I took the lazy way out and just put the right sides together and whip stitched the two sides, then turned it right side out. I thought about an I-cord tie or something fancy, but since it's such a small pouch and again I was lazy, I just used black ribbon I had on hand.

That's it!! And thanks for putting up with my corny project name as well.

Sick Day

As I feared, I did come down with a cold. I ended up taking a sick day today. Nothing to do but sneeze on the couch with the TV and my knitting. But it turns out, being home sick it a great time to get lots of knitting accomplished.

Look, at long last, Peppermint Stick is not a UFO, not even a WIP, but a FO!!! Done, off the needles, ends woven in and everything!!! Try to contain your excitement.

I plan to get a real picture for my Completed Project Gallery when my husband gets home and it doesn't have to get modeled on the banister!

That done, I wasn't sure what to do next. I checked my project bin. I pulled out Bloody Pulp (the tank top) and decided I really didn't like the pattern or the yarn, so I ripped her out and put her to rest. Then I looked at Airy Scarf (a scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze). I still love this project, but decided to start it over from scratch. Ripped the rows out, wound up the yarn, and put it aside to be restarted and finally finished on a day when I'm feeling better. I was all set to ditch Hair Ball (the mohair pillow-cover) too, but when I looked at my rows, they had come out better than I remembered. Hair Ball will live on, but was not worked on today. *** No fancy links today . . . too tired to fiddle with all that, but refer to On the Needles . . .Off the Needles post for more details on all these projects.

So, upon reflection I decided what I really needed was a little pouch to keep my row counters and point protectors all together and stop them from floating around in the makeup bag that has become my knitting accessory bag. I pulled out a pattern for a coin purse, thought about some modifications (gather-tie top rather than a buttoned top), pulled out the yarn from Bloody Pulp, and abbra caddabbra, my Knit-Knack Pouch.

As it turns out, although I disliked the yarn for a top, it's not bad for an accessory. Maybe I'll use the rest for another scarf or a hat or something. I should probably start thinking about Christmas gifts . . . and to me, nothing says Christmas gift like an accessory.

All in all, not a bad day's work for a sick day, if I do say so myself!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Peppermint Stick

Okay, since I really don't have any news to report on Misfit (first sleeve is completely sewn on . . . second is completely unattached . . . and I'm starting to think she just may fit after all . . . maybe I did have news), I thought today we'd visit with Peppermint Stick.

Here is a picture of Peppermint Stick in all his stripy glory. He's over five feet long (because I'm 5'4" and had to hold him over my head for the picture . . . and please tell me my hips don't look that big in real life . . . yeah, I know, they do) and I think he's just about done. He began with a cream stripe and I plan to end with cream too, so every time I knit two more stripes I wrap him around to measure. He's just about long enough, hopefully after I finish the next cream stripe he'll be done. I wanted him long enough to wrap around more than once, because my scarves never stay put and it drives me nuts. None of my store-bought scarves are long enough for the double wrap. But I guess it's about time I finally finished him up, because he was my first major knitting project and probably started at least two years ago. But after all my knitting hiatuses I've always come back to him. And now that I'm finally a knitting fanatic, I guess it's time to finish him up. Besides, now that I know how to knit correctly, each stripe goes much faster!!!

All this talk of Peppermint Stick is giving me a big craving for Peppermint Tea. I'm usually not a tea drinker, but I feel like I'm coming down with one mother of a cold. Ugh, who gets a cold in August. Why can't I get colds in the winter like normal people? Oh well, I'm off the sneeze and drip and make some tea.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A bad night, knitwise

I have run into my first terminally ill knitting project. May we have a moment of silence for The Project Formerly Known as Climbing Lattice.

It's been a bad knitting night for me. This morning I was able to get to the half-way point on Misfit's first sleeve seam. Tonight, after dinner, dishes and laundry, I sat down to complete it. Unfortunately, the sun had gone down and until my new contact lenses come in, I can't see well enough in dim light to do much of anything. And then the yarn knotted - I hadn't even completed my first stitch. Needless to say, I cut my losses and packed Misfit away. I have about 8 rows left on the current stripe of Peppermint Stick, but since that's easy knitting I figured I'd save it for right before I went to sleep. So I looked through my project basket and pulled out Climbing Lattice, who you may remember from my On The Needles / Off The Needles post. She was a lacy dishcloth knit in a series of LTs, YOs and K2Togs . . . all of which I can do (and have done), but apparently I can't do them all in one dishcloth!! I am not a tight knitter (as Grandma was), but this was coming out so tight I could barely get the needles in. And when I realized halfway through row 14 that I had been LT twice when I was supposed to LT three times, I got frustrated and ripped the whole thing out. Climbing Lattice is now nothing but a newly wound yarn ball.

I'm sure it won't be the last project that gets ditched mid-stream. But it's my first, and that's kind of sad.

On the upside, since Mom never knew I was making Climbing Lattice for her, I guess she won't be disappointed. And in a moment of optimism, I flipped through the dishcloth pattern book. I've already found a few that knit with pretty patterns done only with Ks and Ps . . . I think I'll stick to that until my wounded ego heals enough to try the Lattice once more.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Seams Stink

I've finished Misfit's second sleeve and have begun to sew the seams. Wow, seam sewing sure isn't fun. I've sewn clothes before . . . made a few dresses and vests on the sewing machine, but it's nothing like sewing sweater seams by hand.

The top seam came out okay, I guess. Kind of sloppy if you ask me, but I really have nothing to compare it to. (Actually, I should pull out one of the old sweaters my grandmother made me - I still have them around for sentimental reasons . . . and also because I'm a pack-rat.)

Here is my progress on the sleeve seam. I think it's coming out good - a bit neater than the top seam. But I've only done about an inch or so and my back is killing me from bending over it (and bending over Stitch 'n Bitch which is my official seam-sewing teacher!!!) So I guess I'll stop for tonight and pick it up tomorrow after work. I'm starting to think that the first knitting class I break down and take should be on Finishing.

Well, the weekends almost over. Why do they go so fast??? The pool party yesterday was good - although the pool was so cold that the only two who swam were B & B's (the hosts) 6 year old son, and my 6-year-old-trapped-in-the-body-of-a-30-year-old husband! Since my sleeve was done and I needed something easy to bring along, I brought good old Peppermint Stick (aka first real knitting project and been on the needles for at least two years). Got a good chunk knit on him (don't know why I feel he's male) and am hoping to finish him up this week or next. Having added the new Completed Projects gallery to my sidebar is great incentive to finish up projects so I have things to display in there!!!

Well, I'm starting to ramble . . . . wonderful husband is begging me to put down the knitting, stop the blogging and come eat dinner . . . so off I go. Nite.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I am Dishcloth Cotton?????

You are dishcloth cotton.
You are Dishcloth Cotton.
You are a very hard worker, most at home when
you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly
born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain
Jane, but you are too practical to notice.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by

Dishcloth Cotton??? I'm sure that's not quite right. I think they meant to say "You are Mohair". Yes, warm and fuzzy Mohair. Dishcloth Cotton is so boring. Who thinks up these silly quizzes anyway?

ps: as I preview, sometimes the picture loads . . . sometimes it doesn't. Can't figure out why. I bet the Mohair picture would load every time though.

Blur, blur, blur

No post yesterday. Yesterday was just a blur. My boss is on vacation this week, so as "second in command" it's twice the work and none of the glory. The whole workday went by in a blur. After work, I had an eye doctor appointment, complete with dilation. Talk about blur . . . I could barely function.

To further expand on the blur subject, here is a blurry picture of my sweater progress - I was in a rush to get it done in one shot so I could get off to work without being too late. The second sleeve is almost done. Only 1 1/2 inch in st s to go (and with this thick yarn that should only be about 6 rows), and then the BO and decreases and it's off the needles. Then the seam sewing and neck band knitting and it's done. Oh yes, and I have finally thought of a name for it. MISFIT. Why??? Because I don't think it's going to fit. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but at the same time I don't want to kid myself. I have become okay with the fact that, as my first sweater, it may turn out to be one very sad piece of clothing. Or, it may come out okay and wearable, but not wearable by me. If that's the case, I have a skinny little "niece" that might look really cute in it. So no worries, right?? At the very least, it's a good learning experience.

So, I'm looking forward to the weekend. Fun pool party to go to (or just-hang-out party if the weather stays cool) and lots and lots of knitting. I'll also be happy to have more time to work on the blog - taking more pictures to upload (non-blurry ones this time!!!) and maybe adding some fun new links. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Working, dancing, knitting, blogging . . .

. . . somethings gotta give!!! Some days it just seems there are only so many hours in the day and too much to do. The obvious one to give up would be work (at least 8 hours chained to my desk and about 45 minutes to an hour of commuting on a highway that looks more like a parking lot). But we need to eat, our house needs some major renovating, and we have to pay for our dance lessons (and my yarn), so I guess I'm not quitting anytime soon.

The dance lessons. Yes, as in ballroom dancing. My husband and I started taking lessons before our wedding and enjoyed it so much, we never stopped. The exercise is better than you would think and the people are great. We're up the three nights a week (and sometimes a social dance on the weekends), but I guess it's better than being home glued to the television.

And now the blogging seems to be taking a big bite out of my free time. I find myself constantly scribbling down notes for bog topics on a little notepad I keep in my knitting bag (which pretty much goes everywhere with me). Writing the posts are pretty quick - I've always liked to write and so far they seem to just flow. But adding all the fun web-links and pictures and trying to get my sidebar set up the way I want it (it's getting there, but not quite) . . . that's the part that gets time consuming. And I find myself getting more and more hooked on other people's blogs, and even striking up friendships with other bloggers. Fun world, this blogging!!!

So, what time is left for knitting. Basically, any time I can manage to squeeze in during the week, and a lot of hours on the weekend. Since I'm just learning (and also slightly addicted to it), I make sure knitting is the first thing I do in the morning (okay, second after making the coffee) and the last thing I do at night. I try my best to knit in the car (only when it's my husband's turn to drive!!), but since I get car sick far too easily, that doesn't always work. Last night I tried to knit at The Brewhouse, one of our favorite restaurants (the food is always great and the desserts are to die for). My supportive husband humored me, as long as I promised I "wouldn't ignore him" . . . for a long time there I couldn't talk and knit at the same time, but I'm better now!!

In a nutshell, I guess I'll just have to use my time wisely. I love all four things (okay, I don't love work - but work's not going any where, we covered that). So for now, I'm off to work on that sweater sleeve. I am spurred on by the words of encouragement left in the comments posted by my husband and knittin' mom, both of whom have helped me understand that my very first sweater does not, in fact, have to be perfect and that when it comes out funny I should view it as a learning experience instead of a failure. Thanks guys, I needed that!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A sweater with no name

I recently read the book KnitLit, and one of the entries talked about how naming your project helps you to "own" it. She was struggling with a particular project until she named it. After that, the knitting went fine. I don't know how much I buy into this theory, but the project naming sure is fun. (Peppermint Stick, Bloody Pulp, and Hair Ball were all named by me).

So now I'm working on this sweater. I've been so busy knitting it, I never got around to naming it. A name just didn't jump into my head. The pattern comes from the summer edition of Knit.1 magazine (the "wear your greens" section) and the yarn used is Lion Suede in Olive. I thought about calling it Mossy, but it just doesn't seem to fit. For now I guess it's The Sweater with No Name.

As far as I can tell, the sweater is coming out okay. The yarn is very easy to work with and, being bulky weight, knits up fast. I knit the first sleeve in half the time I expected it to take me. The yarn is very soft and instead of being woven threads, it is one solid piece. But it's 100% polyester. Ugh. I don't want to wear polyester. Am I a yarn snob? Maybe so, but I've found I prefer natural fibers. However, I've come too far to turn back now. I'll just consider it a learning experience - remember to read those yarn labels before buying!!

Saying I don't want to wear polyester brings me to another fear. The big fear. The fear that I won't have to worry about wearing the polyester sweater. The fear that I will get the sweater all done only to find out it does not fit!! How crushed would I be? It's meant to be a cropped sweater with half-sleeves. Since it's my first, I don't have a good feel for how big the pieces should look. Is it too cropped? Will it fit around my body? Or will I get the whole thing knit and (miraculously) sewn together correctly, only to find it's to small/short/tight to ever wear? I find that the closer I come to the end of the knitting, the more hesitant I am to finish it up. I'm afraid of finding out it really didn't come out as good as I thought. Do all knitters go through this with their first sweater? Or is this another by-product of my self teaching? A paranoia born from the lack of encouragement and reassurance from pros and teachers to let me know it's gong well?

Monday, August 15, 2005

On the needles / Off the needles

What have I managed to knit so far?

I've made five dishclothes (two of which are seen here), two pairs of slippers (those are my husband's - I now know to take a picture before they get worn!!), and a small teddy bear.

And what's on the needles? Ah well, here goes . . . .

  • Peppermint Stick - that very first scarf (only a couple more stripes and it will be done - I vow to finish it before the cold weather comes)
  • Climbing Lattice - a dishcloth I started for my mom (it's kind of a difficult pattern and I'm not sure it's coming out right)
  • Bloody Pulp - a free pattern for a tank top I picked up in the craft store, knitted two rows and I'm not sure I like it
  • Hair Ball - a great ribbed pillow pattern done in mohair yarn. I, however, bought a yarn much more fuzzy than the one used in the book. It's extremely difficult to knit with, and so fuzzy you can't tell the purls from the knits, so why am I working so hard? I may throw in the towel on that one and save the yarn for a pattern better suited to it.
  • Airy Scarf - a pretty project I picked out from one of my latest books. It's supposed to knit up in four hours. However, it's knit with the thinnest yarn I've ever seen, but I think I'll be able to manage as long as I don't work in it when I'm tired (and when am I not tired???)
  • My Sweater - this is my favorite project right now. It's my very first attempt at a sweater . . . and I think it's actually coming out right! It's an open cardigan that will have a ribbon tie woven at the neck. I've knit the back, both front sides, and the first sleeve. I cast on for the other sleeve this morning and am a few rows in - so I'm almost there!! The first challenge will be sewing all the seams (a new frontier in my knitting, but I know how to sew so I'm hoping I'll be okay). The BIG challenge will be teaching myself to pick up stitches for the neckband. Yikes. I'd hate to come that far, then mess the whole thing up because I don't know how to pick up stitches.
Part of me wonders if I should cave, take the sweater to a yarn shop during one of their "help classes", and have someone show me. But the stubborn part of me thinks I've taught myself this much . . . maybe I should just go it alone again. Crazy???

Can knitters blog and can bloggers knit?

So, for better or for worse, aside from the pearls of wisdom picked up from Aunt Stella, I have basically taught myself to knit. Sure, it took me a long time. And sure, I was knitting incorrectly for quite a while. But on the other hand, when I finally finish something and it comes our right, I am even more proud to know I taught myself to do it.

I'm finding the same is holding true for blogging. It took me a while to upload the photo into my profile. Editing HTML templates . . . . I know nothing about that. But I somehow added a link and a hit counter. It's sucking up all my time, but I have managed. And when I logged on and found I had my first comment - wow, how exciting!!!!!!

The downside - not a lot of knitting has gotten done while I've been trying to set up the blog. I've promised myself that now that I'm getting the hang of it, I can keep up with both regularly. Not to worry.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The knit phase continues . . .

The next project I decided to tackle was a scarf. I bought some cheap acrylic yarn (again, what did I know) and some bamboo needles (my first wise knitting decision!!). It was a knit stitch striped scarf (to be honest, it still is a WIP). It went along pretty well until . . . true to my nature, I became obsessed with something else and put the knitting aside.

In my defense, my new obsession was the wedding - so I've cut myself a little slack on that one!!!

About another year passed, the wedding came and went, and once again the knitting called. I bought more knitting books, lots of cotton yarn, and finally taught myself how to purl . . . or so I thought. But knitting was just plain hard, and there was only so much wrestling with needles and yarn I could take in one sitting.

One day, while knitting another practice dishcloth (they are small enough to finish and if you mess up, who cares - it's only going to wipe the counter), I was reading about how to increase. You can knit through the front leg and then the back leg of the same stitch. "Knit through the back leg??? Don't you always knit through the back leg?"

Thus, my knitting epiphany. I was knitting ass-backward!! I was knitting all my stitches through the wrong leg!!!! And, I was purling all wrong too!!! At that point, knitting became much easier and much more enjoyable! An obsession was born.

So, the question stands: Is it better to learn from your mistakes through trial and error, or to take a knitting class and learn correctly from the start?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

How it all began . . .

The first thing to know about me is that I am a Gemini. This is important to know, because in my dabbling in astrology I have found the following traits linked to Geminis: curious and inventive, but also scattered and lacking in follow-through. That about sums up my foray into knitting.

My grandmother always knit, and would have been happy to teach me . . . but no, I wanted to crochet. (I still don't know how). A couple of years after she passed on, I was with my now-husband-then-boyfriend shopping in Boston and came across a knitting book. I suddenly decided I must teach myself to knit. We bought the book, and it sat unread for about a year.

One day I decided the time was right to teach myself. I bought some double-pointed metal needles (what did I know) picked up some acrylic yarn I had saved from my grandmother's stash and began the first project in the book. The Basic Dishcloth. It was a square done entirely in the knit stitch. My journey had begun . . .

As luck would have it, my uncle came up from Tennessee for a visit. This turned out to be a good thing, knit-wise, because we all went for a visit with my great-aunt Stella - my grandmother's sister. I brought along my knitting for advice and help (little did I know how much help I needed).

The first think Aunt Stella did was ask "Why are you knitting on those needles?". Why? Well, there were an awful lot to choose from at the store and those looked nice. She promptly gave me a pair of single pointed needles. She then pointed out that a dishcloth knitted in acrylic would not be very absorbent. (Looking back now, how could I have been so stupid??) She also attempted to correct my technique, which seemed (to quote her) "ass-backwards". As it turns out, she was right . . .