Monday, March 19, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
One way I deal with the lack of knitting time is to listen to Knitting podcasts. If you are new to knitting or new to podcasts in general, then maybe you don’t even know that knitting podcasts exist. I found these by accident through another knitting blog, but I am so glad I did.
Knitting podcast, what is that, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Some really wonderful people have taken blogging to the next level and produced an audio file that can be downloaded and listened to off line, and on the iPod no less.
Each knitting podcast has a different theme or agenda, but many of them discuss the project or projects they are currently working on, knitting patterns they have found on the web or elsewhere, new yarns, new knitting books, and knitting news in general. Some even have interviews with other knitters, knitwear designers, authors of knitting books and yarn manufactures. There is even a video podcast with lots of great tips. And some of the podcasters even hold contests to get their listeners involved.
How do you find these podcasts, you ask? Well I found most of them through iTunes, but you can also download many directly from their website. I have only downloaded them through iTunes so don’t ask me how to do it through the website, but I am sure it isn’t hard.
Some of my favorite podcasts are as follows with their website links. I like to have their website pulled up while listening because they often times refer to other websites and they typically have the link posted in the episode notes.
It’s a Purl Man
Let’s Knit2gether (video)
Lime & Violet
Stash and Burn
Sticks & Strings
There are many more out there, but right now I am have been listening to these and getting caught up on all their episodes. Some of these have been around for over a year. I can’t believe I never knew about these before. Needless to say, I am addicted. I hope these podcasts go on forever and I hope new podcasts continue to pop-up. They definitely keep me entertained while I am working or knitting.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I am a Biker Chic. I have owned my own motorcycle for nearly 8 years. When I started dating my Beau in 1998 I fell in love with his obsession of riding a motorcycle, and in early 1999 I took a motorcycle safety course to determine if I really wanted my own bike, and I did. Once I got on the practice bike in class I knew that I was going to love being a biker. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not your typical biker babe in black leather. I like to look cute while sporting around on my motorcycle. I typically stand out in a crowd of bikers because I am the one wearing white jeans and a bright pink shirt.
I am Craft Obsessed. All through my life I have loved crafts. Over the years, I have bounced from one craft to the next and never really stuck to one for a long period of time. In my 35 years I have experimented with the following crafts: Needlepoint, cross stitch, Fimo clay, macramé, candle making, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, knitting and many more. I still very much enjoy Rubber Stamping and Scrapbooking, but lately I haven’t done too much of that because I have been so excited about my knitting projects.
I owed my own aerobic business for 14 years. It all started back in 1990 when I lived in Florida. You see I was a dancer in high school and when I graduated and moved away I missed dancing. The closest thing to it was aerobics, so I joined the local gym and started taking aerobic classes. During that time some of my fellow classmates were studying to become instructors so I inquired about the process. Within 6 months I was certified and ready to start teaching. I fell in love with teaching and helping other people stay fit. I started my business in 1992 after I moved to Michigan and continued to teach classes until May 1996. Some of the ladies that were in my classes are still trying to get me to start teaching again, but I have been enjoying my free evening so I am not sure they will be able to convince me to return, only time will tell.
I returned to school at the age of 30 to earn my Bachelors Degree. I had wanted to do this for most of my adult life but with my busy work schedule and teaching aerobics nearly every evening of the week I just didn't think it would be possible. I figured it would take far to long to earn enough credits to graduate. Then I found the University of Phoenix, online no less, and decided to give it a go. It was a hard road to travel, because I was still teaching aerobics 3-4 nights a week on top of working full time, but three and a half years later I had my degree and it was a great accomplishment. I would do it all over again if I had the choice.
I want to design my own knitwear. I haven't been knitting very long, but I have already decided that at some point in the future I would like to design my own knitwear. I know there are plenty of great designers out there, but isn't there room for more. I have already started to alter patterns and try new techniques with my current projects. I just need to get a little more experience under my belt before I jump in with both feet. So some day soon you could see my name listed as the designed of a fabulous knitted item.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Here is my mom working on her first project in the round, Convertible Mittens. She has picked up this technique quite easily, and she is already experimenting with changing the pattern slightly.
Here is Janis starting a French Market bag.
Diane also joined us late in the afternoon for some knitting time. She finised a beautiful purse, all she had to do was felt it. I can't wait to see it once it is complete. Diane started her French Market Bag too.
For me, I finally finished the sweater that I started more than a year ago, and it turned out perfectly.
With both Janis and Diane starting a French Market Bag, I decided that I should go ahead and take the plunge too, so here is what I completed of my bag so far.
Then on Saturday, I worked on the bag I knitted up on the sweater machine. Here are a few pieces while I was sewing up the seam.
I also finished knitting the kitty bed, it is currently drying after being felted. This picture is when it was just a few rows away from being cast off.
And of course we must have kitty shots too. Cody was so happy to get the spot next to me on the couch that he didn't care what I laid on top of him.
I probably would have gotten more projects completed, but I spent a lot of time on Sunday working on my knitting scrapbook. Like this blog I am creating a scrapbook of all my finished projects. I had at least 8 projects that I have finished earlier this year that I had not put in my book. Now I am caught up, that is until the kitty bed is finished later this week. And who knows what else I might completed this week.
That's it for now, I will have a picture of the felted kitty bed as soon as it is dry. More knitting on the way for me, this week I hope to finish my brown and black ribbed sweater, as well as make some good progress on the French Market Bag. I also want to start a pair of socks on two circular needles.
Hope you all have a great knitting week. I know I will be enjoying my knitting time.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Here are the patterns I have recently purchased fiber for:
Wicked by Zephyr
Green Gable, also by Zephyr
Central Park Hoodie from Knit Scene, Fall 2006
Cabled Hoodie from Patons Street Smart
Roll the Dice bag from the Creating Knitting, March 2007
French Market Bag from knitty.com.
With just these projects I have enough to keep me busy for quite some time, but I have also purchase yarn for a few projects I plan to give as gifts, so I can’t mention them here, just in case the recipient happens upon this knitting blog.
In most cases, I purchased the exact yarn used by the designer. I haven’t been able to venture out and choose my own yarn. But what can you expect, I have really only been a part of the yarn loving world of knitters for what 2 months. Give me some time people, I will get to the point where I am able to work outside the box, but let me get my knitting legs first.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Here are a few pictures of the fun we had.
Here is Cathi happily stamping. We kept trying to coax her to start knitting, but she was't quite ready. Maybe next month, Cathi.
Here is Janis, diligently working on Penelope's coat. She finished her socks earlier in the week, but I forgot to get a picture of them. They turned out really great. I can't wait to get my socks started with the same yarn.
Here is my mom, she did spend most of the day stamping, but in this picture she is looking through a catalog to see what she must have. We did get her to the yarn store Saturday afternoon, where she splurged and purchased yarn for two a pairs of Convertible Mittens, as well as the fiber for a sweater to be made for my niece. My mom mostly does crocheted afghans, so this is a huge step for her. Lots of new stuff to learn. She did knit granny squares for an afhgan years ago, but that was as far as her knitting went.
And, here is Melissa, this is the first time in a very long time that Melissa had picked up her needles. She started working on a section of an afghan that she had previously started, and then decided to started a new project.
And of course Sami couldn't let us have fun without her. Melissa had brought over about 6 boxes full of yarn, some of which I had given her almost 10 years ago. We laid it out on the table for everyone to pick what they wanted, and Sami was happy with it all.Sunday, my mom and I spent most of the day knitting. Did I tell you my mom was visiting from Maryland for a few weeks. Anyway, we watched movies and Knitty Gritty all day. Until the evening came and I had to take Steve to the Emergency Clinic. He has been having ringing in his ears for more than a week and it was really starting to drive him crazy.
I was glad I could be with him during his time of need, but I also took advantage of the opportunity to knit. I started a Kitty Bed while spending 4 hours at the Emergency Clinic Sunday night. Here is where I am right now. It looks more like a hat then a kitty bed. I am using the patter from Wendy Knits
Oh, and I forgot to mention that Melissa also brought over the Bond Sweater Maker that I gave her at the same time that I gave her all that yarn, almost 10 years ago. We pulled it out on Saturday, but only to get it set up and review how to use it. Last night I attempted to make a bag in one day, okay a few hours, and I got really close. I knitted up all the pieces for the bag on the knitting machine, and boy did it go quick. I also started hand knitting icord handles, but those aren't quite finished yet. I hope to have the bag completedly assembled and ready for felting this weekend.
Here is a picture of the i-cord currently on the needles. When I get the bag assembled I will post a picture pre-felted. I am using Patons Classic Wool Merino, because I love the color and because it was on sale at Joann this weekend. I finished up one handle while at the hospital again this morning. Steve is still feeling rotten and was looking for some additional relief.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
They are a little big, but I hope that I will be able to shrink them a little, does superwash wool shrink?
The first one I cast on 76 stitches, and after finishing it I decided it was a little big so for the second one I only cast on 72, which I have found out is still a little too big. Oh well, better luck next time.
Anyway, I still wore them and felt mighty proud with my accomplishment. The next day, I talked to one of the ladies at my LYS and she said that she usually chooses one size smaller than what she thinks she might need. Now you tell me! But I would rather my socks be a little bit big than too tight to get on my foot. At least this way I can wear them. It was definitely a learning experience and I do love my socks even though they kept falling down and were very lose around the ankle.
I will be casting on for my second pair just as soon as I can clean up some of my the other WIP items I have had on the needles for a while. I am nearly done with my snowflake sweater, which was my first attempt at fair isle. I hope to have it completed soon. I haven’t made any progress on the brown and black ribbed turtleneck, because I was so dedicated to finishing my socks.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
One thing that my mom and I have done since she arrived on Saturday was to organize my yarn. You see I was storing my yarn in plastic grocery bags. All the yarn was divided by project but then just cramped into the cabinet. I couldn’t see which project was what without digging out and opening each and every bag. Not the best method of yarn storage.
Anyway, my mom, the organizational guru that she is, suggested clear plastic bins. Who would have thought about something like that? Well, my mom. Duh! Anyway, we went out in search of some decent size bins that were not going to bankrupt me. You see I needed a bunch of them because I have a lot of yarn. We found the perfect size at Target and they were under $3.00 each. Wooo Hooo, what a bargain. I got 12 of them just to get me started, along with a few smaller shoe box size bins for smaller projects. And let me tell you they were the perfect solution. All my yarn is now stored so nicely in these clear bins and I can see right into it them to find what I am looking for. I am planning to make some labels with the project name just to make it even easier, but I haven’t had a moment to do that just yet.
I didn’t think about taking a picture before the transformation and sorry I am not putting all back so you can see the marvelous improvement we made, but I will show you how it looks now.
In addition, I also documented all of the projects that I plan to make with the yarn I currently have as well as a few projects that I would like to completed, but haven’t purchased the yarn. So far I have fiber for 22 projects and another 10 or so projects that I would like to make at some point in the near future. And that doesn’t include the yarn I have for socks. I think I have enough yarn to make at least 10 pairs, maybe more. That will definitely keep me busy, and with all the bins full I don’t have any room for more yarn so I am going to try to use up some of the stash I have before I purchase more yarn. But as most of you know sometimes that is very hard to do. Maybe I will order the fiber for just a few more projects and then cut myself off, or I could knit my little hands off and use up some of the stash so I can justify purchasing more. Oh Yeah!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Now I have to warn you because I have only been a real knitter for a short time, and what I mean by a real knitter is knowing about all the great fiber that is available through LYS and on the internet.
Well, everyone has to start somewhere and I started with kits from Mary Maxim and yarn from Michael's and JoAnn's. Don't get me wrong some of the yarn available at these places is great and I am sure to purchase more, but when you know about all the other fibers out there, why would anyone want to limit themselves.
Now, I know I probably won't love the sweater kits that I purchased from Mary Maxim half as much as I will love the great sweaters I am planning to knit, but I have a really hard time tossing something that I am more than half finished with. Anyway, I figure these first few project will be my jumping off point and I will only grow and expand from there.
And even though I am still very new to knitting I am already thinking of designing my own sweaters. It is a scary thought, but I think with a little time and a lot of practice I could design some really great knitwear. I have a few things in mind already, I just need to learn how to set my own gauge and develop the pattern so that it will fit. That means that I have a lot of reading ahead of me but I know I can do it.
Now for the pictures.
Here is the progress on my first pair of socks. As you can see I have already completed the first sock and have a little more than half a sock to go. I can't wait until I am able to wear these. As I mentioned in a previous post I have fiber for at least 6 more pairs of socks waiting in the wings. As soon as I complete this pair I will be casting on for the next, which is great motivation to finished this one.
Unfortunately I didn't work on the other sweater, the one that is nearly finished, this weekend so I still have to finish that, which I plan to do before I start another sweater. Hopefully I will make a point to finish it in the next week or so. That way I can wear it before it starts to get to warm.
Until next time.
Saturday, I ventured across the border to Canada. I don't know why, but going across the border is always nerve racking, I never know what is going to happen. Once I was stopped and they searched my car. I guess I looked suspicious. But I have to admit I had a car load full of crafting supplies. My mom and I were headed to Toronto for the week and we had plans on working on some craft projects while I was there for some training.
Anyway, this time went nice and smooth. I learned my lesson and now I pack everything in the truck so they can't see how much stuff I am taking with me.
While visiting with Janis, I meet two new knitters, Diane and Olivia. Diane is very new to knitting; she has only been knitting a month or so. She was working on a very cute scarf for her son, but when we determined she had been doing a reverse stockinette stitch instead of a garter she decided to frog it and start over. It was a real bummer because the scarf was adorable.
Janis was diligently working on her sock project for her sock class. She was working on the gusset and was really concentrating on her pattern. She too is fairly new to knitting, she has been knitting for about a year. So I was the veteran in this group although I can't say that I was the expert, because each of these ladies knew a thing or two about knitting.
And then there was Penelope, Janis' little dog. She refused to learn to knit so, I knitted this little coat for her and she looks so cute. She was such a ham. Once we got started taking pictures of her she didn't want us to stop. She was sitting so cute and pretty, and providing lots of different poses. What a nutty little girl!
I also took some pictures of my work in progress too, but I will save those for my next post.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I have been doing a lot of knitting the last few days and I promise to post some pictures really soon. When I joined a local knitting group at the end of December a lot of the ladies encouraged me to try socks. To that point I had only finished one sweater and was working on another. Socks intimidated me. The ladies recommended the book Sensational Socks to get started, so I took the plunge and bought the book. To my surprise, socks aren’t as hard as I thought they would be. I did stumble a little with the wording of the pattern, but with the help of my local yarn stores “Ewe-nique Knits” and “Have You Any Wool”, I worked my way through it and completed two sample socks.
Now, I am working on a pair for myself. Even on size zero needles these little guys seems to work up so quickly. They are so much fun, and so easy to take wherever I go. If I love them as much as everyone says I will, I believe I will always have a pair of socks on the needles and ready to travel.
In true knitting style, I have other projects on the needles as well; two sweaters are currently in the works. One of the sweaters is very close to being finished. I had been waiting to take a finishing class before I completed this one. The class was at the end of January and I have just been putting it off. Anyway, all I have to do is sew up the seams and knit the collar. Maybe I will work on it this weekend and have a finished object to show you on Monday.
The other sweater is just two arms away from being finished. I am trying something new with this one; I am knitting both sleeves at the same time. Being fairly new to knitting I had never done this before and it really makes a lot of sense.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Welcome and enjoy what it is to come.