Thursday, April 29, 2010

Knitcroblo Day 4: Desired skills

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.

There are a couple of skills I'd like to acquire in knitting: continental knitting and fair-isle colorwork. I'd like to learn to knit continental so that colorwork will be easier when I try it. I got bored one day earlier this year and started knitting a continental garter swatch, but purling didn't come so easy. To be honest, I haven't had the time to seriously pursue either skill. Between captaining the Team Sprout Ravelympics team while knitting a cardigan in 17 days and trying to catch up on gift knitting, I just haven't found the time yet. I hope to start Stilwell some time this summer.

I made a change this week! It isn't knitting related at all, but I want some pictures in this post. I can't post my knitting until this week is over, so you get pictures of me instead. 



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knitcroblo Day 3: An Enjoyable Knitter

I think today's topic is actually pretty difficult.

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.

I cannot pinpoint 1 single knitter that I can definitively say pleases me the most, so I'll list a few of my favorites and why/how they made the list. Please note that this is not in any particular order.
  1. The Yarn Harlot. I'd bet money that she has made it onto several people's lists. YH makes my list because she's "real." She's not afraid to express her frustrations on her blog, and she doesn't pretend that she never makes mistakes, knitting or otherwise. I think she is a talented knitter, and  an overall nice person. She's also short. I'm 4'11" and she's 5'1", and that makes her even more likable in my book (lol).
  2. Stacy Little of Tempted Yarns. Over the past year or so, I've not only had the opportunity to fill my stash up with her lovely yarn, but I've gotten to know Stacy as a person as well. She's smart, wise, and caring. I've gotten to go hang out at her house on several occasions, and there's a good reason I call Tempted Estates my "happy place." Stacy also taught me how to read my knitting, and, in my opinion, that is one of the most valuable knitting lessons.
  3. Muriel. Muriel is Stacy's sister, and they share the blog, so I won't bother linking twice. Muriel has been a valuable asset-she motivates me to knit faster. She too has been there for me over the past year, and I'm so glad she's my friend. I <3 Muriel.
  4. Wendy Johnson. How the hell can she produce patterns so quickly? Someday, I want to be as good of a knitter as she is, and I hope that someday my sarcastic abilities will rise to her level. :)
  5. Sherry of SWAK. She's taught me a lot of knitting tricks/tips/techniques. I wouldn't be a good knitter without her.
The list turned more into a list of which knitters inspire me, but that's ok. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knitcroblo day 2: Inspirational pattern

Now that we got the less-than-joyous reason I started knitting out of the way, on to a happier subject.
Today's topic is:

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!

The inspirational pattern that I have in the forefront of my mind right now is Stilwell by Jared Flood.

I have 2 reasons that it is inspirational:
  1. Colorwork. Beyond making cute little mini stocking ornaments for Christmas presents last year, I have not done any kind of colorwork. It's more intimidating that this is something that will be worn in public, so if I screw it up, it's going to be visible.
  2. Fit. I currently have a batting average of 0 when it comes to fitting sweaters correctly. My central park hoodie is still a vest because I'm too lazy to seam on the (finished) sleeves. My blackberry cabled cardigan that I made for the Ravelympics looks nice, but it isn't quite as formfitting as I wanted it to be.
I already have the yarn purchased (Jo Sharp Silkroad DK tweed), but I haven't bought the pattern yet. I was originally waiting for it to be available for sale individually, but now I just have too many other things I want to knit that don't necessarily require that I learn something new. I'm not scared of the pattern-I seem to pick up knitting techniques quickly. I'm in a lazy knitting mood these days, so it'll have to wait.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why I started knitting

This is the first blog post for knit and crochet blog week! Yay!

Alright, so why did I start to knit? My mother taught me how to knit, crochet, and cross-stitch when I was around age 12. I remember hating knitting so much, mostly because I always dropped stitches. I continued to crochet and cross-stitch for the next several years, and even won some prizes at the yearly fairs while in high school. I didn't pick up knitting again until November 2008.

I really had to think twice about whether I'd be honest and broadcast the real reason or if I'd take the wildcard topic for this one. Now, the primary reason I picked up knitting was because I needed a distraction from another stressful obsession in my life. This isn't something I normally talk about in the knitting world; I try to keep my sets of friends separate because the topic can either be uncomfortable or leads to "advice" that isn't constructive or helpful. My husband and I got married on February 29, 2008 (hello, leap year!), and we decided to start trying to get pregnant in the summer of 2008. It's not as easy as they let on, folks. It's stressful, and if you add in my tendency towards obsession,  trying really sucks. So I decided to start knitting again as a way to distract myself. Little did I know that I was just adding another obsession!

I started out with a dishcloth and quickly moved on to the central park hoodie and toe-up socks. Right now I have no less than 7 projects OTN, and I have to fight myself to not cast on any more. As for the baby? We tried for over a year and sought infertility testing (inconclusive, btw) before stopping in October 2009 while I applied to grad school. I didn't get in, so we're going to resume trying again.

I'm now thoroughly addicted to knitting and I've gained a lot of friends in the process! Come back tomorrow to see the next post in the 2010 Knit and Crochet Blog Week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sucky day.

I just got an email from the program director. They're not accepting students due to "faculty and medical director changes." Why they waited until now to decide this, I don't know. I'm upset, angry that they waited, and really disappointed. This is why I don't allow myself to think optimistically. I've asked if I can resubmit my application as is, or if I have to pay the app fees again. I am going to do some volunteer work for a crisis hotline as the genetic counselor I interviewed with suggested.

Tonight might be a margarita night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finally finished

It stresses me out to have too many projects on the needles at one time, especially because I have a chronic case of startitis. Until this morning, I had 4 pairs of socks OTN. Four. I don't know what's possessed me to let it get that bad. I'm not even counting the non-sock projects. I finally finished a pair this morning.

This is my second pair of lace and cable socks from Wendy's Socks from the Toe Up. The yarn is Jknits (that's a rav link because I couldn't get the website to come up) and I won it as part of the August 2009 Wendyknits KAL on Ravelry. These socks are mediums and will go to my bff (who's a huge fan of green).

I've been slowly working on the Skew socks. I had a big problem with using magic loop. I kept getting a very noticeable ladder on the starting side of the sock, and I couldn't figure out if it was a magic loop problem or if I had CO incorrectly. After asking the pattern's creator, it turns out that I just don't like magic loop. I've switched to dpns for now. I'm waiting for 2 circulars to come in from knitpicks so I can try using 2 circs instead.

Finally, I'm very excited to participate in Knitting and Crochet Blog week (you can get info here at Eskimimi's blog). I've read through the topics, and I really think my blog will improve for it. I recently joined a group on Ravelry dedicated to blogging, and I've already thought of some areas to improve my blog.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

DFW Fiber fest

I drove down to Texas to stay at Gnome's house this weekend so that we could go to the DFW Fiber Fest together today. I promised DH that I'd only buy 1 skein of yarn at the festival. I technically kept that promise! I bought some beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn from the Shabby Sheep's booth:

DH didn't say I couldn't go anywhere else that sold yarn, so Gnome and I went down to the Woolie Ewe to look around. I did so well, right up until we were at the register. Then I fell down:

They're both Mochi Plus, and I have 1 skein of the pink one and 2 skeins of the blue/green one. Hey, it was a sale-buy 2, get one 1/2 off. I just couldn't let that go.

On a side note, WTH can't I find an issue of the Winter/Spring 2010 Knitscene? No one seems to have it. I want to knit the Geodesic cardigan, and the pattern is only available in the magazine. I could buy it from Interweave directly, but then I'd have to wait for it to come in the mail.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Change of plans

My aragorn socks (rav link) that I had intended to be a gift for my childhood bff won't fit her. They do, however, fit me perfectly. I finished the first sock yesterday. I'll just keep them for myself and make the Skew socks for her with some purple/green lorna's laces that I have.

Here's the lorna's laces that I'll use for the Skew socks. The colorway is Purple Iris. Thankfully, the socks appear to be mostly stockinette, so they should go quickly.

On Friday, I'm going to head to Gnome's house so we can go to the DFW Fiber Fest on Saturday. I'm so excited! It'll be a nice roadtrip and I hope to get some yarn for the Wendyknit's KAL Swan Song socks. It's been a while since I got to participate and I'm looking forward to it.