Friday, April 30, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Friday - Location, Location, Location - knitcroblo5

Where do you like to indulge in your craft? Is your favorite arm chair your little knitting cubby area, or do you prefer to ‘knit in public’? Do you like to crochet in the great outdoors, perhaps, or knit in the bath, or at the pub?

I've knit in many places.  I knit at my parent's house all the time.  I knit at the hair salon and the doctor's office while waiting for my appointments.  I've knit on cruise ships as they sailed for the Caribbean.

But what is my favorite place in which to knit?  (Well, besides the cruise ship, because I could seriously use a Caribbean vacation right now!!)  My favorite place to knit is on my couch.

This is actually an old picture from a post I did in 2006,
I always sit on the left side of the couch (or the right side, depending on if you're facing it or sitting on it).  It's the perfect place. It's soft and comfy.  I have a coffee table in front of me for supplies and snacks.  I have my knitting bag on the floor next to me for when I need tools to fix emergency knitting situations.  (Although for some reason, it's not shown it the picture above.)  And I have my little cat snuggled behind me on the back cushion.  (Or sometimes, perched next to me trying to chew my yarn.)

"What? I'm not even paying attention to you OR your yarn."
I don't quite believe her . . .

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Thursday - A New Skill - knitcroblo4

Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? Maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

A new skill, huh? Well I guess I kind of jumped the gun on this topic when I wrote Tuesday's post.  Silly me, I didn't talk about a specific pattern I wanted to knit.  Instead I went on about how I want to do REAL stranding - as opposed of the "fake my way through it" stranding I do now.  I also confessed that I want to learn to knit continental, partly to help me with stranding and partly because it just seems cool.  So now what do I blog about today?

Well, how about crochet??  After all, that's where this story really began, right?  With me asking Grammy to teach me to crochet.  And with her saying no.  Somehow I never really did learn to crochet.  I've made a few attempts over the years, but my crocheting always looks like crap and I have a hard time wrangling the stitches.  But then one day I thought about how it felt when I was first teaching  myself to knit.  It was slow . . . it was difficult . . . . and frankly, it looked like crap too!  But I kept going and now I can really knit.  I realized that's exactly what I have to do with crochet.  Just keep going.  (I figure another Stitch n Bitch book couldn't hurt either.)  And one day, (hopefully) it will stop looking like total crap and  it will all suddenly click - just like my knitting did!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Wednesday - One Great Knitter - knitcroblo3

Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way.

For my Great Knitter I decided to go with a wonderful knitter who has a beautiful blog and who is also an amazing designer.  Any guesses?

Anne of Knitspot, of course.  I adore her for all of the reasons listed above.  Her projects are gorgeous - her socks and lace are the best I've ever soon - and she designs them herself.  I bet she has more creative talent when she's asleep than I'll ever have when I'm awake!!

And then there is her blog.  The photography and styling of her patterns, as well as her blog posts in general, are like looking at a beautiful picture book.  I enjoy seeing photos of her garden or the dinner she cooked or some treats she baked just as  much as I love looking at her lasted knitting designs.  Going to her blog is like going on a little vacation.  So click on over and start your vacation too!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Tuesday - An Inspirational Pattern - knitcroblo2

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!

Although I’ve dabbled in stranding, I still count it as the technique I most want to aspire to. One felted bag and my Olympic hat are a start. But I want to learn to hold my yarn in two hands, instead of fudging it with both yarns in my right hand.

I aspire to a gorgeous Fair Isle sweater. I want it to look great and to actually fit.  I haven't picked out a pattern yet, but there are so many great ones to choose from. Will I ever get there? Who knows, but maybe someday I will.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Monday - Starting Out - knitcroblo1

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?

The story of how and when I began knitting starts with my grandmother. Grammy was a Knitter. My mother would take her to Bradlees, our local department store, to buy big skeins of Red Heart that she would knit up into sweaters or blankets. When the craft bug hit me, for some reason I decided I wanted to crochet. I asked Grammy to teach me, but she stubbornly said “I don’t crochet, I knit. I’ll teach you to knit.” And I stubbornly replied back “I don’t want to learn to knit. I want to crochet.” And that was that.

Fast forward 5 or 10 years. Grammy was no longer with us. One weekend, Pete and I found ourselves in The Discovery Store at Quincy Market and I came across a book called Knitting Pretty. Suddenly I decided I was going to be a knitter. I bought that book. I bought a skein of yarn. I bought a set of double pointed needles – which was the wrong kind for what I wanted to knit, but at that point I had no idea. But soon, Pete and I got engaged and learning to knit took a backseat to wedding planning.

A year or so later, I finally began to seriously try to teach myself to knit. Knitting Pretty was a good beginner book with a lot of great projects. But I couldn’t quite get the hang of things. So I looked for more knitting books and stumbled across Stitch n Bitch. This book changed things!! This book made it all click. This book made me a Knitter too.

I’ve come a long way since those first projects. It’s been a great journey that I look forward to continuing. My only regret? That I didn't let Grammy be the one who taught me to knit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brilliant Idea . . .

I was hopping around blogs this morning when I came across this-  Knit and Crochet Blog Week!!

Seven days. Seven topics (plus one "wild card" topic if one of the topics gives you bloggers block).  A bunch of knitters and crocheters sharing their own spin on the topic of the day.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  Head over and sign up too!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Remember that post . . .

that post where the last line read "I finished a pair of socks yesterday - let's see if I can get them posted before mid-April!" Well, it's mid-April.  And here are those socks I mentioned.  Bad, bad blogger.

Cast On: 20 November 2009
Completed: 31 January 2010
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool - Denim
Needles: US5 (3.75mm) DPNs

Quite honestly, I finished these socks so long ago I'm not sure what to say about them.  I remember I liked knitting the pattern.  And I can tell you they are thick, soft and warm - perfect for those cold hardwood floors in my house.   They go great with my blue Sock Monkey Jammies, and with my Blue Fleece Jammies with the Stars.  Which means I pretty much wore them non-stop in February and March.  Now that spring is here and my floors are warmer, I guess they get a little break over the summer.  At least they're finally get some glory on the blog!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

MeMe Monday - Movies

Last week Kerri was stuck for a quick post and sent out a plea for a good Meme she could grab.  Christopher responded back with a link to this Movie Meme. I couldn't resist grabbing it myself!

Name a film that you have seen more than 10 times.
I haven't counted, but I've probably seen Sleepless in Seattle at least a dozen times.

Name a film that you’ve seen multiple times in the cinema.
Believe it or not, I've seen my all time favorite movie, Gone With The Wind, on the big screen twice!  They re-released it in the theaters in for its 50th anniversary.  And a local theater in town showed it a few years ago.

Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a film.
Well, I'm suddenly a huge James Bond fan since Daniel Craig got cast!

Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a film.
I'm not keen on any of those action-adventure guys, like Vin Diesel or The Rock.

Name a film that you can and do quote from.
Well, of course, if you've seen a movie more than 10 times you are bound to quote from it - so I've been known to spout lines from Sleepless in Seattle.  (It's gotten so bad that even Pete quotes from it sometimes!)  I also love to quote from my second favorite movie of all time, The Godfather.

Name a film musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
Ummm, I used to know the all the lyrics to Rent, although I never saw the movie version.  I saw the original production on Broadway.

Name a film that you would recommend everyone see.
Of course I think everyone should see my favorite movies, but would they like them?  I guess The Godfather has a better chance of appealing to both males and females.

Ever walked out of a film?
Not that I recall.

Name a film that made you cry in the cinema.
Oh gosh, I'm a sap so there are a lot.  I know I balled in the theater when I saw Sense and Sensibility with my best friend.  I still cry every time I see it.

Yes, with lots of butter!!  When Pete and I watch movies at home, we usually make Jiffy Pop.

How often do you go to the cinema (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
We don't go to the movies all that much.  Maybe a couple of times a year.

What’s the last film you saw in the cinema?
We saw Sherlock Holmes with my brother-in-law.  I really enjoyed it and I thought Robert Downey Jr. did a fabulous job as Sherlock Holmes.

What’s your favorite/preferred genre of film?
It depends on my mood.  I love a good comedy.  I like a chick-flick every so often.  A great drama can be so engrossing.  I can't watch slasher films though.  Ugh.

What’s the first film you remember seeing in the cinema?
The first one I remember seeing is Bambi.  I remember the part when his mother got shot.  I think the first movie my mom took me to see was Pinocchio or Cinderella, but I don't really remember either of those.

What film do you wish you had never seen?
When we were dating, I went with Pete to see some computer generated sci-fi movie that I don't even remember the name of.  It was so damn boring, it felt like it was seven hours long!  I could have done without seeing that one - but I'm happy Pete enjoyed it.

What is the scariest film you’ve seen?
I really try to stay away from scary movies.  Pete is a huge fan of Jaws, and he tends to watch it when ever he can find it on T.V.  So I guess I'll go with that one.

If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be?
Any good character usually has to go through some pretty horrific stuff.  I'd love the wear all of Scarlett O'Hara's big ballgowns, but I'd never want to go through everything she did.  Does my wedding video count, because I was perfectly happy playing "the bride" in that film!

Total number of films you own on DVD and video.
I'd say a few dozen.  I need to weed them out though, because a lot of them are pretty old and we don't really like them any more.

Last film you bought.
We don't buy a lot of movies - we usually just rent them from NetFlix.  I guess my most recent acquisition would be Casino Royale, which the Easter Bunny left in my basket a few years ago.

Last film you watched.
We watched The Sting over the weekend.  Pete asked me if I though Robert Redford was dreamy, and then was surprised when I said YES!!!  Sometimes guys just don't get it.

Five films that mean a lot to you.
This might be the toughest question of the whole meme for me.  There are movies I love and can watch over and over, purely for their entertainment value.  But I feel like for this question, I'm supposed to name deep, life-changing movies.  Instead, I'll just name five movies that I haven't yet mentioned, that I could watch any day, any time.  Most of them probably don't have any deep life-changing messages, but they are FUN!

Bridget Jone's Diary
When Harry Met Sally
Forrest Gump
Say Anything

and, it's stupid and silly, but I just love Airpane!

What are your favorite movies?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Gloves and Mittens . . .

Yesterday, Mom and I did something we've been wanting to do for quite a while.  We went to visit my great-aunt Stella, my grandmother's sister.  The love of knitting runs through my family, from Grammy and Aunt Stella to me.  I don't ever remember Grammy not having a WIP in her knitting basket and she knit every night while watching TV.  Even after more than eight years, I have her last project, still on the needles, just as she left it when she passed.  Aunt Stella is just as good a knitter as her sister was.  I'll always regret that I didn't take up knitting until after Grammy was gone.  But you might remember that Aunt Stella gave me my first knitting advice (sort of) when I was just starting out.

So yesterday, I picked out some of my best projects and we headed over for a visit.  She inspected my Olympic Hat, Sunrise Circle, Clapotis, Hypoteneuse and Kiri closely.  And to my surprise, she was quite impressed!  She admitted to always looking for mistakes when she looks at other people's knitting, but she couldn't find any in mine.  (Although I know if she looked harder she would have found plenty.)  We had a lovely afternoon chatting about knitting, crocheting and other non-fibery topics (so my mom wouldn't feel left out - because in my family, the knit-love skips a generation).  And look what she gave me!!

An old, errr "vintage", book of mitten and glove patterns.  According to the cover, you can "knit and crochet for the entire family".  Did you get a look at the price.  Thirty-five cents!  Funny, huh?  It's true that some patterns are timeless.  I've fallen in love with this one and am definitely going to give it a try.

It seems so cool to me how some things change but so many things don't.  Aunt Stella could never have dreamed of the knitting apps I have on my iPhone.  But a knitting booklet that is easily older than I am still has patterns today's knitter would want to knit.  It really is a timeless art.  Although some patterns?  Some patterns are best left behind . . .

I joked to my mom that I'd be knitting these up for her birthday gift - but truth be told, this pattern will never see my needles.  Those freaking scary clowns remind me of something out of a Stephen King novel!!