Monday, April 28, 2008

Rainy Monday

Rainy Mondays always give me the blues. Getting up at 5 is terrible. Now is the time I try to find any bright spots in my day to help me along and the one thing I can actually be quasi happy about is that I can knit on the way to work as it is Melissa's day to drive. I used to knit or crochet while I was driving when I drove by myself into Queens, too many people saw me and cautioned me against it. It is the only thing that kept me sane on the LIE during that dreadful commute. As a multitasker out of necessity it pains me not to be doing at least three things at once, and considering the things I love to do the most, the are all mutually exclusive activities. I have tried to imagine reading and knitting at the same time, and although Elizabeth Zimmerman insists that you can train yourself to do that, I haven't yet reached that level of confidence. Rowing and knitting? No, running and knitting? Running and reading? Rowing and running? Computing and knitting? Actually, the act of knitting is so meditative that it stands in a class by itself and demands my attention while helping me to weave wonderful daydreams about all the yarn and projects that I have yet to start!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday

The last day of my freedom turned out nasty and cool, slightly drizzly. A perfect day to wrap up on the couch and knit, I felt driven to get to the gym first and was unsuccessful in my attempt to get Laura Jean to accompany me. After that, I created a video in honor of my son Michael's birthday.  This necessitated several sniffly, weepy hours of work, all of which I feel entitled to as a proud mom. I was pretty satisfied with the tear jerking result. NOW IT IS TIME TO KNIT! I am working on the celery green sweater, it is straight knitting right now so I can watch the Yankees while I am working on it. I registered on Knit Picks today, I am interested in seeing what other knitters are working on and having trouble with. I want to add another photo so my mom can see it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is the quandary I am in, too much to do, not enough time to do it in.
This past week I launched this blog, sent it to many friends, read a mountain of information about blogs and how to write/advertise/earn revenue with them. It has been fascinating! I also cleaned out my basement (YUCK) and donated an enormous amount of gently used clothing and household goods to Vietnam Veteran's of America. Next, I re-arranged my bedroom and cleared that out of unwanted clutter. I visited the gym several times, YAY, and was able to get a little bit of a base tan on my face. Did I knit? not a lot. that is what I really wanted to do but it seems as though knitting is always what I reserve for "when I get everything else done." Right now I want to knit because in the big clean up I found three projects that need work. I have a pink sweater that is luscious, but needs the collar reworked. Note to knitters; Crochet a nice neat even edge around the collar opening before picking up stitches to ad a collar. This sweater is all pulled wide open around the neck edge, plus, I liked the collar style on my cable sweater so I am going to rework the pink one in that style.
Another sweater I made just doesn't look the way I wanted it to. I knit it out of Noro variegated with purple and green and dark pink it is such gorgeous yarn that it is worth re-doing. Maybe I will design my own. Last, I have a thick heavy crocheted sweater that is all diamonds and bobbles (see photo)



When I knitted the bottom ribbed edge on that, it pulled in too tight. I undid the ribbed edge and reknit it several times but just doesn't look right on such a thick bulky sweater. I am going to steam that one out and just finish it off with a crochet edge. I do love the collar as it was the first collar I ever made that folded over, It looks really good.
SO I am going to go walk the dog and then sit down and KNIT!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Parents think I am a Genius


My Mom and Dad have said many times "You should take pictures of all your sweaters!" So, since it is time to store them all safely away I am posing them on Adele, my dress form, and sending them along to share with you.  I must say that every single sweater is a symbol of a learning experience and I am willing to point out all the flaws and what I have learned from them!  First, however, I must post pictures of some smashing successes,  just to show Mom and Dad that they are right...I AM a genius (sometimes) 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My StashA Picture of my yarn closet...I spend a lot of time just looking

Knit AND Crochet

knitting blogMy knitting needles are stored in an old wine crate

Knit AND Crochet

I am a Knitting instructor for a Continuing Ed program in my local school district. I also teach a night of crochet every week. I always encourage a cross over between the two because when I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to crochet. We spent hours sitting on her couch, she was so patient, it was a lovely time. I continued to crochet through my life and was so adamantly a crocheter...I never even considered knitting. When I began to want to create clothing, though, it turned out that, in my opinion, knitted garments drape much nicer and the result was much more pleasing to me. HOWEVER, I love a crocheted edge on a knitted garment, and also the inverse, that is, I love a knitted edge on a crochet piece! So it is with great pleasure that I welcome my knitting girls to join our crochet group and the crochet girls to visit our knitting group.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival


I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival as it is coming up very soon. This is the place to see miles of yarn and all the other accoutrements that go along with sheep, wool, knitting, spinning, yarn...the list goes on! This year the Festival takes place on May 3rd and 4th in West Friendship, MD. This is right outside of Baltimore, see the red star on the map. Please visit the link if you want to go! Here are some details and directions.

Howard County Fairgrounds - West Friendship, MD

o From I-70 [West from Baltimore, East from Frederick], take the MD 32 exit (#80) towards Sykesville/Clarksville

o From Baltimore, turn left onto MD 32 South. From Frederick, bear right onto MD 32 South.

o Turn RIGHT onto Rt. 144 (Frederick Road)

o Turn RIGHT onto Fairground Rd.

o Look for signs to the Howard County Fairgrounds

Vacation



I just read in a knitting blog about stash and collecting yarn, I didn't realize there were so many of us. My stash is commendable. I like to play with my yarn, I like to touch it and wind it and put it into different bags and in different orders. I might waste a bit of my knitting time doing this but it opens up my mind to new possibilities and creations.
This week I am off from school! so one of my prioirities is to make serious headway on a few projects. One is the celery green sweater that i copied from a sweater a friend had bought. It is coming along perfectly, it is a very simple design. I am going to write it up. Second is the light blue tunic shaped sweater that I am knitting out of "unspun" that I bought at the Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY. (every October, usually the third weekend) The sweater is being designed as I go using some tips from Margaret Zimmerman's book, the Knitters almanac. I love her relaxed attitude about knitting, everything is as you go, and what you like. The third is the beautiful lace shawl that is knitted in the round. I am up to the 129th round, it gets bigger and bigger each round, and there must be 700 stitches in this round. It is daunting but I want to persevere as it should be gorgeous once it is done.
My one sticking point is those projects that need a little tweaking, or a new (different) collar or button band. They lay in a basket waiting for me to get to them. They were all ambitious projects with beautiful wool that I loved. I have more of these than I even like to think about.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Crochet Class

More of my students showed up last night than the night before! I had one knitter who just needed some hand holding to get through the Tree of Life pattern. I did not get to work on much, but I did start to knit a loose shawl with cotton that came on a cone from Ann. I only got two rows done, the rest of the time I was helping. One lady was working on a very detailed doily, it took some figuring to get the pattern right, but she was on the right track when we left.

P.S. I finished the two back pieces of the celery green sweater and one of the button bands. I worked on it in the car on the way to work.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Stash


The room was dark when I walked in, it was already just a few minutes before 7. I took out my project and started to knit, thinking that it would be just seconds before someone came in and interrupted the shuttling motion of my needles. I never get to work on my own projects during my class. It got to be 7:05 and I thought, just maybe no one will show up! Sure enough, Judy came in a few minutes later. We sat and knitted for an hour and a half, just chatting and knitting. I enjoyed the time despite being a little bit disappointed that my girls didn't show. It was just a rare few hours of peaceful knitting. We left at 8:30 so I could go home and spend some time with Laura Jean!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Market Bag


I have just spent several hours working on this great "market bag" It is knit with hemp so it is very sturdy, it is not quite done. I found the pattern on Knitting Daily, another blog, which has great patterns and tips. It's a nice small project and can be finished quickly so you get that instant gratification.
I want to start to keep a record of all of my projects, there are almost too many to name, it is such a shame to have them in bags in my knitting closet. I am determined to try to finish at least some of them!
I have recently reconnected with an old friend, we were friends in High School and just fell out of touch. It turns out that we were both at the Maryland Sheep and wool festival on the SAME DAY last year but didn't see each other. I had no idea that she was a fiber fiend like I am but she is a weaver. I visited her house in Pennsylvania last weekend and we talked fibers and played with yarn and it was just inspiring! she sent me home with a beautiful scarf and a table runner which she had made. We want to organize a fiber tour to Oaxaca, and/or Peru where you can actually go into homes and villages where hand spun and hand dyed yarns and fibers are made, and of course, where all those beautiful rugs are woven.
My bigger project right now is a sweater of celery green wool. The design is copied from a sweater that Steff had bought, I wrote down everything and am trying to recreate it now.