Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

So far, so eh

May 14, 2014

I went to the hospital a couple of weeks ago. I felt weird, my left arm felt really heavy and sort of tingly. I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctor and nurses thought I was having a stroke. It wasn’t a heart attack or a stroke.

Turned out, I probably had a pinched nerve that cleared itself up after 4 hours in the Emergency Department. They suggested I follow up with my family practitioner.

They were glad I came in, because women’s heart attacks are different than men’s and the symptoms were close enough that they did some tests and I had an EKG.

Bottom line: go to the hospital when you feel something really significant enough to take the aspirin. Or, in my case, when I stop feeling like knitting – because then something really is wrong.

selfie game weak

March 20, 2014

So, I tried to take some shots of myself wearing my latest finished object.  (Lucy in the Sky Cardigan in Cascade Yarns Longwood, zinfindel color, which is best in first photo).

lucypicsmtumblr lucypicsmback

My self-shots are weak.  Here’s the process:

Find camera.

Realize only mirror of adequate size is in the bathroom.  Find clean part of wall.  Try to take picture.  Contort until you get something reasonable in mirror.  Realize you’re too short for whole sweater to be in mirror.  Find footstool.

Try again.  Realize you don’t know where the button to actually take the photo is.  Turn camera so you can reach button.  Flick wristband out of way, which moves whole image.

Try again.  Take photo.  Swear when you realize you still have the flash on and it whites out whole image.  Turn flash off.  Contort some more.  Take photo.  Look briefly at image.  Feel bad about horrible fluorescent eco-friendly lighting.  Take a couple more shots.  Realize ancient bathrobe on back of bathroom door is in image.  Realize you have big pimple on forehead.  Figure you’ll crop that unflattering stuff out.

Find camera cable.  Upload photos.  Start editing images.  Realize that  mirror is dirty and current t-shirt looks terrible under sweater.  The sweater, which, after all, is the focus of the whole thing.  Swear some more.

Go back, change t-shirt, clean mirror.  Take opportunity to take down ancient bathrobe.  Do whole selfie thing again.

Look at second set of photos on computer.  Notice that second set of photos is bad – infinitely worse than the images with the dirty mirror.  Give up and load those anyway because people are only going to care about the sweater.

I do not know how other people do it, with all the self-consciousness going on and all the life-editing that must be applied.  Anyway, I’m thinking those are people are much better at this than I am, or their places are super clean, or that I care too much.  Either way, I’m probably just going to be placing finished item on the floor next time I want to take a picture.  (That is, after I finish mopping it clean.)

redemption

March 6, 2014

I knit my first intarsia project a while ago.  It’s hideous.  I’m kind of embarrassed by it.  I called it the Sad Penguin.  Such a mess.

Here is an in-progress picture.  (I am apparently incapable of not sharing my shame, however powerful.)

penguin2

If you turned it inside out, you’d notice where I cut the white yarn and knotted it to the other bits of the hat in a mistaken bid to try make it go better as I knit circularly.  I was 2/3 up the white before I realized I didn’t need to cut it, I could just sort of wrap it around the blue yarn and knit onward.   No wonder this pattern was designed to be knitted flat.  *HEADDESK*

I had invested too much time in this not to finish.  (Beside, I had a good amount of white yarn in that breast/tummy area of the penguin that couldn’t be used for anything else because I’d cut them like a fool. )  I thought I would keep the hat and wear it in desperation one day when all other hats were unavailable or something equally self-flagellating.

Last month my daughter found the hat and is wearing it pretty happily.  She loves it.

All’s well that end’s well.  Lesson here is that I should stop being so self-judgemental and if stuff doesn’t turn out, I should think that would still be okay.  And also that kids like stuff that might be sort of not perfect.  That’s okay, too.  (I mean, we’re all redeemed by other people’s kindness and love.  Why not this terrible-looking hat and my feelings towards it?)

aww, no

December 19, 2013

I just got an email about tax software.

This compounded with having returned from the UK after being overseas for five months, unpacking, jetlag, getting the kids up and going to school, getting and planning food from an empty cupboard, changing my insurance, sorting through the seasonal clothing, laundry, holiday shopping and plans, cleaning a house that’s been empty for five months, and a really, really bad cold.

Forget this.  I’m going to knit.

crafting for speed and charity

December 3, 2013

My son’s school is having a Christmas market.  The things they asked for donations for seemed a little weird to me – maybe it’s the way things are done here in the UK (where we are until the end of the year), but I wasn’t about to go out and buy something nice to donate to have somebody else buy it to donate the money to the school, especially if the amount the final purchaser spent was less than I spent.   It seems nicer to donate something homemade – but the times we were supposed to turn in the goodies was the day before, which makes the goodies less good.  (I have a rule about donating/buying freshly baked goods.  They need to be freshly baked to be good.)

So I asked if I could just donate some knitted hats or something.  They seemed to think this was weird, but they thought this was okay.  (I did this at Henry’s other school, with making some mustaches for some party.  I guess knitting is just the thing I’m going to start offering now.  It’s kind of nice to have something to be able to offer.)

Would you buy this?

topdownswirl

Or this?  (You know, when it’s finished.  It’s supposed to be Fish Hat, made with some odds and ends.)

fishiehat

I don’t even care about how much money they’re going to get for the hats.  (Not really.  I mean, ideally, the cost of the yarn, but because it’s a gift to the school, it doesn’t really matter.  Besides, it’s just scraps of stuff I was thinking about donating anyway.)

Regardless if the items get purchased, it’s better for my current sensibility, if not for the bit of cramping in my hands while I hurry to finish by the due date.

happy happy

November 15, 2013

Today is the anniversary of my first knitting class. I’m very happy I took it. 🙂

Picture of latest finished project.  (My gift to me.)

clapotisdone

Clapotis progress

November 11, 2013

So I’ve been knitting away on the scarf.  (And to take a break from the scarf, I’ve knit a hat.  But that’s not what’s important here.  I just needed a gift for someone and I liked the pattern.)

I’ve been scared to death of making this scarf.  I ripped back a couple of times already.  I was more than half-way done and I was contemplating yet another rip back.  There are important, serious reasons for it.  I made one edge a bit too tight.  I consulted with a couple of other knitters and they assure me that it’s hardly noticeable and if it bothers me by the time I finish knitting it, it will probably block out.  Blocking out, as anybody knows, is a lie.  It’s just that when people say that, they mean that when you finish knitting it, you’ve got a finished product and even if the urge is still with you, you won’t have the heart to rip that sucker out.  They’re probably right, at least for me.  (It’s negative knitting.  It rips out the heart as well.)

But the reasons why I’ve been so hesitant about this project (I hate ripping out, but I have no problems with it here) is because I want it to be perfect.  I’ve just never had an item that mattered to me like this – most of the time, I’ve knit and been done with it.

Part if it has been that the yarn is among the most expensive I’ve ever bought.  (It’s pretty good yarn.)   I’ve been thinking and longing for this scarf since I saw it, months, maybe years before I actually started knitting seriously.  I’ve got a facebook post about it.  (I just checked, dating October 2012, a month before I took that knitting class.)  It’s almost as if all the knitting I have done up to this point has been to gear up for making this scarf.

This thinking is stupid.  The scarf is not that hard to make.  It’s a bit of an exercise in patience, because it is a long scarf/shawl/stole, but it’s nothing like an entire outfit of colorwork in skinny yarn with teeny-tiny needles.  It’s just in my own head.  There’s a new-to-me technique of dealing with alternating multiple balls of yarn (because, hello expensive hand-painted yarn that is only related to each other skein in the same colorway like I’m related to my second cousins) which is sort of a pain.  The idea was terribly intimidating.  I’m over it now, though.  (I’ve got 3 on the go at once, but can’t figure out how to do a fourth.)

clapotis3balls

If you’re wondering, the scarf is turning out pretty well, otherwise.  I’m really enjoying the knitting and the yarn is lovely.   I’m trying to get into the headspace of letting the process go on and not getting in the way.  If the product doesn’t turn out well, it’ll be fine.  Nothing in the world will be much different.  I might go ahead and buy more of this yarn to make another one.  That would be it.  The sky will not fall, my children will be the same, and I will have a finished scarf that is slightly below my dreams but as good as I could have done at the time.

I’m dealing with the force of my own expectations here.  I don’t know where I get off expecting so much.  I’m working on it as I’m working on this scarf.   Think kindly of the crazy lady in the red scarf, please.

Things nobody wants

October 9, 2013

I’m all twitchy because I just posted a little story.   And I can guarantee you it is something nobody wants.  I checked before I posted and there isn’t much else like it.  It’s a crossover between a couple of different fandoms.  Nobody wants crossovers, nobody wants gen fic, nobody wants this story.  This however, has never stopped me from writing anything.  It has, more likely, stopped me from pursuing a career in writing because I’m aware of the small appeal my tastes run.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the latest scarf I’m working on to distract myself from the fact that my readership count will be exactly the same next week as it is today.  Which is zero.

This scarf is something that thousands of people wanted, though.  Wanted enough to make.  It’s turning into a great knit.  Not difficult to memorize, relatively easy stitches, clear pattern.  A dream.

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert.  I have wanted to make this scarf for a long time.  I think I posted it to my facebook account a couple of years ago, even.  I found the yarn last year.  But I somehow couldn’t start it.  Why, you ask?

You know how it gets sometimes when you’ve got all the right ingredients and it somehow is just you that stands in the way of something awesome?  Yeah.  That’s me.  But I got over my knitting insecurity (mostly because I don’t have a lot of other projects going on right now and the ones I do I’m even more afraid of screwing up).

It doesn’t look like much, because there’s a magic trick at the end, but here is where I am right now:

clapotis1

The yarn is Baa Sonoma, My Sweet Valentine colorway.  (And yes, those are the same colorway, which is why I’m having to alternate balls of yarn so it looks cohesive.)  It is yummy and just a little sheepy.  Disregard that last adjective if you don’t understand what I means.  I didn’t really either before I started knitting seriously.

hypochondria

August 23, 2013

I’m a hypochondriac.  Self-diagnosed, but still.  I know it when I feel it.

So when I developed a little hard pad of skin on the tip of my finger, I immediately started to worry.  Was it some kind of bacteria eating my skin?  Something contagious?  A parasite?

I worried and worried.  I didn’t tell W, or even do something rational, like talking to a medical professional or even check the internet for “hard pad of skin developed suddenly on tip of finger.”  I was afraid I would <i>really</i> make it a big deal.

Ha.

After months of this, I sat on the couch and just started picking at it.  After a little bit, it fell off, leaving a slightly softer pad of skin on my finger.

Then it came to me.

I knew what I had.

Knitting callous.

I deserve a callous on my face from headdesking so hard.

stash

July 24, 2013

Everybody does this.  So I shall show you my stash.

stash

A couple of skeins haven’t made it into the photo, but just pretend there are a couple of extra yellow and red balls.  Wow, I’ve got a lot of red and yellow, and almost no green.

This is where the skeins all live.  In plastic bags, in a plastic 66-quart tote.  (Yes, only the best for my yarn.)  My needles and notebooks live nextdoor in another tote.  Books live elsewhere yet again.  (I don’t know why, except for the location of the bookshelves is awkward and the fear that if they co-habitate there might be uncontrolled reproduction of some kind.)

stashbox

I’ve decided to try to keep all the yarn to the tote.  If I’m reaching the limits on size, I will knit down to fit.  This is my portion control.  I do have a habit of buying just a single skein to ‘try it out’ or it’s ‘on sale’ and that’s all that was there.

This is not an awesome habit.  I never really buy the accompanying yarn and I even if I wanted to make a biggish project, I can’t because I don’t have anything but a single skein.  The yarn tend to sit until I figure out what I want to do with them.  (It’s okay, because I’m mostly about hats and socks and the occasional small scarf, but still.  Someday I may make a sweater.  Probably not for me, but a knitter should have at least knitted a sweater some time in their knitting life.)

I just want some turn-over of the stash, because I did like the yarn when I bought it, but yet somehow, I can’t always figure out what to do with it.  This then becomes a storage problem and a potential financial problem.  I don’t like that.  I want to keep in control of this.  I want to become a discriminating yarn buyer, user, giver.

I’m hoping this portion control idea doesn’t lead to the syndrome of knitting all the bulky/fat yarn first to make more room so I can buy more yarn.  😐  (Self, I’m on to you.)