About Me

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
SAHM obsessed with yarn, beads and avoiding housework.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Light and Lacy

It's been a while. I apologize to anyone who was waiting with breathless anticipation for my next riveting blogpost, but it was a very bad week.

Anyway, in that time I managed to start and finish a lovely lace project. It is the Tikvah Shawl which I bought because the gracious designer is donating all proceeds to NAMI and that thrilled me to no end. I bought the pattern and cast on immediately with a lovely lace yarn I have had waiting for months. It is KnitPicks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn in Eucalyptus.

This is the blocking process which is probably only cool to other knitters, but oh well. It was my first chance to use my KnitPicks lace wires and although I have never before blocked lace, I instantly could tell that using the wires was much easier than having a gazillion pins in the lace.

I am completely enamored of it. My mother thinks it is the perfect size and shape to drape across the back of a toilet. Believe it or not, this is a complement. :)

I am still plugging away at my Tiptoe Cardigan, I am maybe halfway through the second front and then it is just one sleeve left to go. For some reason, I am having a hard time doing it. But I do really want to have it and I love the yarn and the colors so I will finish it, just not soon. And I am fine with that, it's all about the process anyway.

In the meantime, on Sunday I cast on a new project because I have discovered that I cannot get through church without a panic attack unless I knit. I battled with this for a long time because while I don't think it is sacrilegious or disrespectful, I worried a lot about what others would think of me. But, after missing nearly a month of church because I couldn't stand the thought of the inevitable panic attacks, I decided it was better to knit in church and deal with whatever judgementalism came my way than to miss it entirely and become completely inactive.

Anyway, long story short(ened), none of my current projects would work because they were either too large, fiddly or awkward to bring to church. Thus, I had the excuse I had been waiting for to cast on something new. This is the Featherweight Cardigan in KnitPicks Shadow Tonal Lace Yarn in the Queen Anne colorway. I don't think the picture does the colors justice. It is so many lovely shades of pink from barely there to hot pink with a few splashes of a lovely yellow. I love how it is knitting up and I think I will love the finished project.

Anywho, that is what I've been up to. I also have been fiddling around with podcasting. I haven't got anything up yet, but so far I am pleased with how my voice sounds. :) I will definitely let you know when I have something, because I know the only thing that could possibly be better than reading my ramblings on knitting and yarn would be to actually hear me ramble. And if that wasn't enough, I am planning on doing a little singing every so often.

I know, you are on the edge of your seats. :)

Until next time, may you never run out of yarn and your knitting be error free. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is not an obsession.

For the past couple of days I have done nothing but play with my new toy.

It is a yarn ball winder from Knit Picks (link to the right), that devilish wonderland for knitters.

Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the pure joy that is a ball winder, let me explain. A ball winder's purpose is to wind yarn into balls, (self explanatory really) such as this.

(The knitterly among you will note that I am winding a center-pull skein into a center-pull ball and realize that this is somewhat redundant. Let's not mention how obsessive this makes me seem but instead assume that I like how the ball that comes off this fancy doohicky is easier to store and prettier.)

First you must put one end of the yarn into the little notch and through the metal curlicue, thus.

Then, you begin to wind.

You crank the handle (which I somehow didn't get into the pictures) nice and fast, but not too fast or you will send your ball of yarn flying across the room. Although, that is pretty darn entertaining and you may want to try it just once for the experience.

It is so ridiculously simple, that a 2-year-old can do it. In fact, the girls and I have been having a blast. When all the yarn is wound, it looks like this.

And then you pull it off carefully and it looks like this.

If you have several balls to be wound, they look quiet lovely together.

This is my new yarn cupboard, for which Ryan is eternally grateful being that it frees up the corner on his side of the bed. :)

(Again, let's not discuss my yarn winder obsession and simply admire how nicely they stack.) My 5-year-old already pointed out that I have too much yarn. Poor girl, she has so much to learn.

In other news, I have three UFO's (un-finished objects) which are so close to completion it is utterly ridiculous how long I have been putting them off. All I need is one zipper sewn in and 11 buttons sewn on. That's nothing, not a big deal at all, especially when compared with the thousands of stitches and the hours of work it took to get to this point.

But, I hate sewing on buttons. And zippers are my mortal enemy. There is absolutely no knitting involved in any part of this finishing process, therefore I am rebelling.

But, hopefully, and especially by confessing this irrationality to you all, I can get motivated to just finish them. I mean really, I am only a few buttons and a zipper away from fully functional garments. Without those elements, they are nearly useless.

Of course, the call of the ball winder is nearly irresistible. (Why yes, I do have more yarn to wind and no, I don't think that is odd.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some Days are Diamonds and Where Bloggers Create

My friends, I am in a sorority and I think it is pretty darn cool.

If you want to check it out, you have until June 25th to join. Click on this.

Also, I just found a great contest to participate in called Where Bloggers Create. Click here, this one ends June 19.

Bloggers are so much fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Instant Gratification

I am working on a lot of big projects. Things that take weeks or even months (depending on my knitting fidelity) to finish. I love big things like sweaters and shawls and toys (well, toys aren't that big of a project, but it always feels that way because there is so much sewing). But, I was starting to feel kind of lost in the neverending knitting with little progress. (Well, actually I made a lot of progress, but it feels like it is dragging on)

There are two kinds of knitters, in some philosophies. There are process knitters and product knitters. Process knitters don't care if they never finish what they are working on. It is all about the act of knitting, all about watching the pattern develop or the knit stitches build on one another. Product knitters want the finished object. They usually make quick things like hats, mittens, socks and baby sweaters because they are quick and you get your finished object quickly.

I cannot figure out what I am. I never choose to knit something just for the sake of knitting, and I superbly love the finished product of my knitting. I choose my patterns according to how pleased I or someone I know will be with what I have made. However, I also like to make things that take a while because I enjoy the process of watching what I am make slowly grow in my hands, piece by piece until I have something beautiful at the end.

I also feel that there is something more virtuous in being a process knitter. They seem more patient and simply happy with just having the needles in hand. Product knitters are a little more into instant gratification.

(These are all just generalizations, there are variations all across the process/product spectrum)

Anyway, whatever I happen to be, I was getting tired of all these long projects and I put them all aside to knit these.

It took me two days and exactly two skeins of Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Natural. I had this much left.

The patterns are Star Crossed Slouchy Beret and Bella's Mittens (with some help from jmartinelli13 to shorten them) from ravelry, both free patterns. Very fun and very pretty. I have faith that the recipient will love them.

As fickle as I have felt about my other projects I have made excellent progress.

Here's another new one, Seeds and Vines Top-Down Cardigan from Cozy Knits for Cuddly Babies by Elanor Lynn. This is for a friend who is expecting a baby boy this month. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in 860 Smoke Heather. I fell in love with it at my LYS (Local Yarn Store). It had been a very bad day, I needed a fiber fix.

And, my Tiptoe Cardigan is coming along nicely.

That's the back, one front and half a sleeve.

I also worked a little on the Shipwreck Shawl, but it doesn't really look any different. So, no picture.

And, last but not least, Lori from Thrums has challenged her fellow bloggers to show their hands. So here are my unmanicured, freckle-fingered hands working on the Never-Ending sock.

I never feel more graceful than when I am working on knitting. (only these aren't so graceful. It is incredibly difficult to take a picture of both hands when you are all by yourself. Can't hold the camera in my mouth :)