9mm

This thing called knitting affects different people in different ways. If you know someone who just has to have their needles in hand and you wonder what it’s all about, here’s a little taste.

10. We know not everyone can knit (or crochet).
We will teach you if you want to know but we aren’t like pushers looking to get you hooked – forgive the crochet pun.Not everyone knits – there are people who knit but don’t crochet and those who crochet and don’t knit. We get there are those of you out there who do neither. If you don’t mind; we don’t mind.

09. We know that you know someone in your family who knits/crochets.
We’re also aware this person is your mother or grandmother and while you yourself don’t have a relationship with the hook or the needles, you’d like your young daughter to learn. We get it – you think we’re old and although you’re the same age or older as we are, you need to point out that we’re doing old folk stuff but you’d like your daughter to have a little hobby.

08. We love knitting by ourselves – we love knitting with each other.
This is a great activity to do in private or public; alone or with other folk. You can talk, watch the t and v even eat while knitting which makes it a great social activity – and in the end you get a nice hat.

07. You do have ‘that kind of time.’
You’d be surprised at how many times we knitters here this. Usually said with a sniff and a nose tip in the air. “I would take up knitting but I don’t have that kind of time.” The same time it takes to have shopping as a hobby is the time to have knitting as a hobby but instead of trying on clothes or looking at shoes, we look at yarns and fibers and then make something to wear. If you want to learn how to knit, you would.

06. There’s a difference between knowing how to knit and being a knitter.
You know how to knit, purl and slip a stitch but you don’t have a yarn stash of any size. You would have to look for your needles. When someone is having a baby your first thought isn’t to knit them a baby blanket. OK, you how to knit. But you’re not a knitter. We aren’t being snobbish to point that out – we’re saying there’s hope for you and room for you on the dark side.

05. For many of us, knitting provides comfort – for some of us it’s spiritual.
I find it calming and dependable. I make my stitches and I get something at the end of it – every time. I see the hands of God in the work. There is dignity and calmness in knitting. For some people it’s just knitting and that’s fine. But it’s much more to me and I am profoundly grateful that it has kept my attention and my spirit for as long as it has.

04. We’d knit anywhere if you let us.
There’s a meme that says “If I can’t take my knitting I’m not going.” That is how I feel. My knitting goes everywhere with me. I don’t have a purse, I have a knitting tote and it has one or two projects in it at all times. Hey, I’ve been at a railroad crossing with a train stopped on the tracks. That’ some prime knitting time. If I could figure out a way to knit while in the choir loft at church, I’d do it. If the choir loft was behind the congregation, I’d definitely do it.

03. We are totally cool.
Knitting is back in vogue and has been for several years now. So while some may few it as something old ladies do – and they do – it doesn’t mean they ain’t cool. I was cool when I didn’t knit. I am more so now.

02. You have no idea how much it costs.
It can be an inexpensive hobby or for those who know how to knit but are not obsessive enough to be knitters. But for those of us who love it passionately, this can be expensive. Between all the yarn we buy that we may one day use to the expensive needles and the books, classes, etc. This can be a hobby not for the faint hearted. My yarn stash cost more than $3000.

01. There’s no such thing as a patient knitter.
We are not patient people. We give that impression because we are doing something repetitive. But trust us, it’s only because we have the knitting in hand that we look serene. Take it from us and we’d be pacing the room like a man waiting for the governor’s last minute reprieve. We love starting projects but when we can see the end in sight, we are anxious to get it over with so we can start the next one – so we’re fickle, too.

But it keeps us out of the bars – no, it doesn’t, knitting in a bar is kinda cool. Doesn’t keep us off the street either. We have a global week dedicated to knitting in public.

Well, it makes us happy. And that gives the semblance of patience. That’s good enough.

 

9mmOK, so maybe it was me who was missing. Sorry about that. I have been busy, though. I have been working on fan scarves and I actually purchased some tiny yarn that I have to work with tiny needles.

Louisa Harding Amitola

Louisa Harding Amitola

 

 

 

 

 

I have no idea what I was thinking but I have it and I have started knitting with it. I knew it wanted to be scarves and at first I thought it wanted to be an entrelac scarf but quickly discovered it didn’t.

It wanted to be a feather and fan scarf.WP_20150507_13_28_45_Pro See? Doesn’t it look comfortable being knit into a feather and fan stitch?

For those that don’t know the feather and fan stitch and can’t imagine what comes next: this is what it looks like when it’s worked up a little further.

It’s a lacy stitch and when this is blocked – yes, it will need to be WP_20150514_23_51_16_Problocked because it’s wool and silk – the lace part should be even more pronounced. Those are size three needles and believe me, it requires a whole new skill set and a personality transplant so I don’t hurt anybody Actually, I am enjoying it though I would probably deny it in public. The color of the yarn changes and this colorway is called Biscuit and I think there’s going to be a dramatic color change. We’ll see how many balls I need to make a decent scarf – I hope one because I only bought one in each color.

I’ve also been making heart embellishments. Fun.

Other than that, nothing much going on in Knitsville. I’ve had some orders – the rasta hat in variegated seems to be a hot item. Not enough to live on but enough to motivate.

So the work continues. It’s Friday. I am going to a knit night and will have some fun. The weather has turned cold again but should be warmer by the weekend.

Hope yours is great.

 

alaskaclare

These are trying times. Lately, I have found myself confused and depressed/ Trying to move a business to the next level when I have no idea what I’m doing; trying to become more involved with the world by doing more than just giving lip service to justice and how uncomfortable that makes me. Making a serious run at improving my health and fitness.

The world I know as mine is pretty strained.

Makes you long for the days that never were.

I think the best solution for me is to remember to breathe and take these things one at a time. I have to do what is right in front of me and not worry about what is next in line. I do believe there is time and energy to do all of it.

I am on fan scarf #9 – which translates to Houston – blue and red. I believe it’s about half done. I am also in search of a spa cloth pattern that I feel like working. I’ve tried several and haven’t made it to the end before it’s been frogged. Currently, I am doing one with a small basketweave stitch that might make it across the finish line. The image in my head is a set of these towels – maybe three- in a bochet basket with some scrubbies. Those are coming right after the fan scarves.

Am I really going to make 30+ fan scarves? It would only be fair.

I’m nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ballof yarnThere was a special honoring Stevie Wonder a few weeks ago and I loved it. I put it on the TiVo and I’ve watched it a couple of times. It’s really that good with a bunch of different performers. But it got me to thinking because they didn’t have all of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs and I began to think about what songs were my favorites. And that is the subject of my post today: a list of my favorite, all time, Stevie Wonder songs – either written by him or written and performed by him. So here is my top five Stevie Wonder favorites:

Overjoyed – It’s just a beautiful lyric: “I’ve come much to far for you now to say that I’ve got to throw my castle away.” and “And though you don’t believe that they do, dreams do come true, for didn’t my dreams come true when I looked at you?”

I Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer – OMG, haunting. He didn’t expect her to go and didn’t understand why she didn’t stay. I don’t know who she is and I hate her.

I Was Made to Love Her – ‘I was made to love her; worship and adore her.’ Oh Lord, someone is loving hard!

For Once in My Life – I will be honest, the only reason this song is on my list is for the rendition done by Paul Williams of The Temptations. It is a slowed down version. If that version didn’t exist; this wouldn’t make the cut. If you can find it, listen to it and just let yourself die when he sings ‘For once I can say, this is mine you can’t take it.’

I Believe (When I Fall in Love) – Art Garfunkel does a really great version of this and I didn’t know Stevie Wonder wrote it and Stevie does a nice version, too.

And because For Once in My Life is a conditional favorite, I will add:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – cause you gotta have a jam.

There are sooooo many more that could have made the list: Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday, I Wish, Master Jammin’. Lord, that man is a genius.

And thank God for his sharing his gift.

 

 

nodding my head in agreement

nodding my head in agreement

I am almost done with the Cincinnati fan scarf and the next one is Pittsburgh.  I think I’ve been to all the places these scarves represent: I’ve been to Green Bay – was at a wedding reception a stone’s throw away from the stadium where the Packers play. I have family in Baltimore and we’ve been to Cincinnati for baseball – I am almost sure we’ve been to Cleveland but I couldn’t tell you why or when. It may be Columbus. And we’ve been to Pittsburgh.

I even started the Detroit – think we spent the night there on the way to Canada. Glad I did, the blue I picked isn’t going to work but I have a large skein from the trip to Herrschners and I am going to use that.fanscarves Here’s a very bad photo of the three that are already done. I gave thought to going outside and doing it up well but then I thought again and this is the one you get.

There’s snow out there and even though it’s melting it isn’t gone and I just wasn’t feeling that. But there will be better pics coming. Trust me, they are really nice looking scarves.

When I was at JoAnn, I also purchased another bamboo handled crochet hook. I’m obsessed – what, you didn’t know?

There is a custom order for a throw made of homespun. I have two – maybe three – of the skeins in the color they want. Hopefully, there will be a third downstairs and I can see how far that gets me before I have to go out and get more. I love shopping from the stash – means a better profit margin.

Because I had to take three skeins from the bins to do the fan scarves that are coming up, I decided to consolidate yarn into bins instead of leaving them half empty, I moved yarn around and I came up with an empty bin. That means I can move it downstairs and put the yarn in the living room into the bin. This is the third time I’ve done this. Somehow I feel this is a good thing though I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Don’t want to think too much about it. It’s how I get into trouble.

 

Word..

Word..

I am on to the third Fan scarf and I am still having fun so that’s a good thing. I asked Mr. Honey to check out the first two and he rubbed them, declared one was more squishy than the other and said they were big. I cannot tell if he meant they were too big or just big enough – even after asking I am unsure what he means. I am not going to fall for it. I am not going to try and see what he means. This is a man who won’t wear a visor because it looks girly even though he wears a visor that will look almost identical from a distance and up close has a Mickey Mouse on it. This is the guy that wears the scarf from my coat – a girly coat – and think it’s fine. He doesn’t get to say a questionable ‘it’s big’ and get a reaction out of me. I personally imagine the people wearing the scarves to be at outdoor football games where it is cold – except Tampa Bay, Miami and Phoenix – and will want a squishy scarf that’s ‘big’.

I will photograph the scarves one day. In the meantime, I am taking photos of other items like this one:  hoodedscarfalmond1The hooded scarf. It looks better on her head. We are going to have a return to winter next week. This could come in handy for someone – but they need to purchase it.

I am fascinated by the brioche stitch. It’s pretty basic. here is a brioche tutorial in just a few steps:

1. Cast on an even number of stitches. They say you need to cast on loosely – maybe even using two needles to cast on. I have yet to run into why this is necessary – I just cast on and no earthquakes have happened. At least not in my area. This could be one of those things like the episode on the Twilight Zone where nothing happens to me but something happens to someone that I know somewhere else. If that’s the case, sorry whoever you are, but the rebel in me must find release.

2. Yarn over and slip the first stitch as if to purl.

3. Knit the next stitch.

4. Repeat those two stitches.

On the second row, you will YO and slip purl wise and then knit the next stitch and YO together to make one stitch. Oh, now I see why they say the set up row is different!

That’s it. On the first scarf I pit a two stitch selvedge on either end and didn’t like that too much. The second scarf has a one stitch selvedge and this current scarf is commando – going without the selvedge and I like it best. It looks like big ass stockinette without a purl stitch in sight – thanks to slipping as if to purl. If you slip knit wise, you won’t orientate the stitch properly and it won’t work.

A really ambitious beginner can handle it. I love the bang you get for the work and the buck. Because I am using two colors, I can get two scarves out of those two skeins which is really good considering they are ‘big’ and the squish comes from stitches being doubled.. Half the stitches are doubled on each row.

It is not lost on me that a photo would be great. The good thing about digital writing is that when I take the photo I can upload right into this post. If I remember I made this post. Which is not a given.

It’s Saturday and there are things to do. I am going to start one of the hat orders I have so I can keep my interest in the fan scarves. It’s windy so there might not be photos today. Tomorrow, I will be with the knit group at a little cafe.

Hope your weekend is fun..knit on!

from cafepress.com

from cafepress.com

I have chosen another project to binge on The last project was the Eden Cap and I made about 40 of those and of the 34 sales I’ve had in the shop almost half were Eden Caps.

Means I have to make more Eden caps – they’re great for spring.

But the shop cannot leave on Eden Caps alone and so I chose the next thing and I’ve already completed the first one which may end up being photographed today.

The Fan Scarf. I did some brioche knitting – just the basic stitch and because I have to be me – I didn’t cast on the way they said to and when I started the second scarf, I forgot how they did the base row and just did what I wanted.Turned out fine. I have a book on brioche and I read the instructions for that, I also have an episode from Knitting Daily or Knitty Gritty Redux as it’s called in the Knitsville Cafe – and watched the You Tube video that’s linked above and all three of them said the same thing: the base row is unique and it’s the only time you’ll be doing the row that way.

Beats me – cuz it sure looked like I did every row that way. Anyhoo..

I really enjoy brioche because of the results. I love the cushy, thick fabric that also is super soft and I say that using traditional Red Heart for the scarf. And somehow knit math works in my favor. The scarves are two colors and I was knitting in blocks of five inches – that should say for a scarf of 60 inches I would have 12 blocks. Each block when individually measured is five inches so when I measure at 11 blocks just because I wanted to – I came up with 70 inches. Checked it several times – came out like that each time. Knit math – working for me. Loved how it worked because I don’t want an even number of blocks, I want there to be more of one color than the other. I know this can open up a discussion about the socio-political comment I am making about yarn but I’m willing to take the chance. I don’t think Al Sharpton will be showing up at my door any time soon.

I know, too, that I am setting myself up for insanity. I don’t think I minded making the Eden Caps one after another because they are pretty quick off the hook. But making 40 scarves might make me just north of bonkers when being just south of bonkers leaves me on the normal side of the scale.

Am I going to make it through? The goal is to make Fan scarf in the colors of pro football teams. There are 32 of them. It took a couple of days to make the scarf – not the only thing I worked on and still that didn’t go slowly but still.

I predict there may a time or two that Mr. Honey will find me in the corner muttering the slight difference in color between the Falcons and the Cardinals.

Let’s see how this goes.

I did some photos yesterday, among them was this granny square scarf. Every time I see it, I think it would look great on some little girl.grannyscarfpinkvari1 I am defining little girl as someone who would not think of themselves as a little girl. I think of the girls next door who are eleven and eight. But I think a full grown woman can rock it.

I have two hat orders – a pixie an a rasta – so I will get started on those and continue with the second fan scarf – I really like it because I am using purple and black. I want to see how that plays out. I’m thinking it’s going to look really nice. Hopefully it will photograph true.

More photography today as well, I think I got four of five things done yesterday which is pretty good. Maybe I will get into a spring routine.

Yeah, that was funny even to my ears.

Indeed!

Indeed!

I was outside this morning and I didn’t wear a jacket. It’s not like it’s really warm – it’s in the mid 40’s – but I’ve been known to wear just a jacket in the mid 30’s, so this is good for me.

I have started photographing the items I have in the inventory. Some will go to the shop while others will find themselves in the direct sale.bohocowlsunflower1

Say Hello to the Boho Drop Stitch Cowl. What makes it boho? The boucle yarn that goes through some of the stitching. I currently have another drop stitch cowl on the needles without the boucle so it’s not a boho cowl – just a drop stitch cowl. We can’t all be boho; someone has to stand up for tradition.

So far, everything I’ve shot is new and will be going into the shop. Haven’t run across anything for the direct sale yet. Yes, I might be stalling. What if no one wants anything I put up?

I have to take the shot. It doesn’t cost me anything because I will be posting on social media – so even one or two sales will have a great impact.In the meantime, I have some spring and summer knitting to get to.

Always something.

The evening finds me back at choir rehearsal for Easter which is coming pretty quick.

My afternoon has laundry in it – no, you can’t have it, this life is mine.

My finger and I are through with therapy and visits to the Orthopedic Surgeon who spends less than 3 minutes with me and then charges me $280.00 to tell me my finger is swollen.

For the record, it is still swollen and there is still some pain and it’s at 90% of capacity.The therapist and doctor think I can take it the rest of the way by myself if I do the home exercises they thought I’ve been doing all along. The last hold out to complete recovery is the point of the dislocation. It is still stiff there so I can’t bring the tip of the middle finger to the palm – like making a claw hand and it takes some time and exercise to get it loosened enough to touch the palm if I am just folding my fingers over. What a great coincidence that these are two of the exercises they gave me to do.

So I will be doing them because it frustrates me to no end that I cannot get the finger to work like it did before I dislocated it. I was a little short sighted because I made sure I was knitting the day after I hurt it and was working splint and all. Crochet hurt like a son of a gun but I kept going. I thought the magic properties of knitting and crochet would be enough to bring it back to full strength. And there is still that chance because the one thing in knitting that requires the use of that particular joint is the long tail cast on and I am still having a problem with it so part of my exercise will be to simulate the cast on with hopes of getting it back without the pain and stiffness.

Like the shawl? It’s from here and it took me a little bit to get it just right waveshawlsunflower3because I had to modify something to get it to work for me. The designer and I have a different idea on what it means to crochet several stitches together and since it is her pattern, I had to comply to her definition – though it took me several tries to find it.

Turns out, it was a pretty enjoyable crochet.

I had a lot more written but my computer burped and lost a lot of it. No big deal.

There’s much to do: a hat and two prayer shawl orders, putting together a direct sale and doing some writing and pattern writing.

Rumor has it spring is on the way. We’ll see if it’s just talk.

 

 

i'm distracted by my own stash

i’m distracted by my own stash

This is another one of those times when I tell myself to just start over and try and get it right this time. My competitive nature is at war with my leisure nature and the two have not found how to live in balance. One takes over then the other and they undo all the good the other has done.

It’s crazy on my planet.

I am running out of time and it is just getting to me. I need to make my mark – whatever that means – all I know is right now, my mark feels something like stain. And I can’t think of any scenario where making a stain is desirable.

I got started on the reboot by cleaning off the top of the printer. This is a big deal. There was a lot on top of the printer: books, papers that I don’t need, empty potato chip bags (the single serve not the the family size) and now all that’s on top is a small stack of blank paper, two small notebooks and a novel. It doesn’t make you cringe to look at it.

This is how a mark starts.

My bud, Bri of Ghostface Knitter fame, is moving back to Denver. Bri is my spirit animal and I know that we will be friends forever but I was hoping she would be available for viewing a lot longer. Lucky for me, my brother lives in Denver and Bri is an adventuress so she would travel from her part of Denver suburbs to my brother’s part of Denver suburbs. I think it’s a whopping 16 miles. But Denver is kind of strange – that 15 miles can take an hour to navigate.

She’s worth a couple of hours. We will so have to Skype.

Knitsville is also getting the reboot and there is a scarf done in knit 1 purl 2 and 21 stitches on size 9 needles that is getting attention. It’s being done in I love this Yarn in this color and I am really surprised how much I like the color. I have three skeins of it – don’t know what I thought I was going to do with it – but the scarf will be one skein and if it doesn’t come out long enough to be a scarf, the ends will be joined and it will become a cowl and then I am going to do a matching hat in the same knit 1, purl 2. I will just have to do a tad amount of designing.

There’s also a  rasta hat that’s an smallheartscranberry1order and some dishcloths to be made. I’ve also started retaking pictures of the hearts to go into the shop – the irony of Valentine’s Day being passed is not lost on me. This is why it’s a stain and not a mark.

I am going downstairs and I am going to bundle myself up for a short walk in this really cold weather before I get to work. I am taking Mr. Honey to my therapy session today because he has told me how the therapist should be working my fingers and I think someone with his vast knowledge should tell her himself.

I have no doubt he will not do that. The big thing will be stopping him from playing with the tools I use like they’re toys.

Onward to the mark!