Thursday, January 09, 2014

What Arctic Freeze?

Polar Schmolar! Finally all this woolly goodness I've been playing with is earning its keep. Nothing like popping in a DVD, hunkering down in my favorite pajama pants, turtle neck and a cozy warm sweater. I trade the flannel jammie pants for dress slacks to do that work thing Monday-Friday but the rest of the outfit is the same. Cranking out all those cowls last fall? BONUS!! Oh wait, you don't know about the cowls because I didn't take the time to ramble on and on about them when they were flying off the needles. Well, my bad.
Here's the other mass produced project I've filled my downtime with....
Teeny sweaters with hats. This is half the production. The other half went to an organization that will sell them for a non-profit fund raising. Figured I might as well help some wee folks out while I'm at it.

I snagged some cotton yarn, (admittedly, not my favorite fiber to work with) and producing what I will call "Spring 1 pour moi". Long sleeve tunics, one turtleneck and one notch neckline for those unpredictable months of  March, April and May. I'm not sure if there will be a "Spring 2" as we tend to jump from winter directly to summer around here.
Until next time...layer up!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I Have Officially Ended Summer

Hot, Cold, Hot, Cold....Summer couldn't make up its mind. Now that we're winding it down it's hot again. Brian the Weatherman says that's going to change this week. Back to days in the 70's and nights in the 40's. Perfect.

I've been rather absent haven't I? I've been busy. I added three cotton sweaters to my collection and I'm 2/3 through another.

I checked kayaking off my unwritten, unofficial bucket list. I love to be out on the water. Peace and quiet. Something I can do by myself, well, with all the other kayakees frolicking across different bodies of water around here. You're alone but not, which is good if you do something incredibly stupid and fall in the water someone might help you out. Good to have another obsession besides knitting. And I could do both at once! I tried parking my kayak in my favorite spot and reading. Had the book, the snack, the gorgeous day...but forgot the reading glasses back on shore. I'm sure the book enjoyed the view and ride around the cove. Who wouldn't? And here's another thing, it means I go OUTSIDE WILLINGLY. Houseplant that I am this is rather remarkable.

Projects around the house have been generally ignored. The mulching of the "back 40" is 80% done. Looks good and BONUS POINTS, I don't have to mow it any more. Sadly, it was the only part of the yard that wasn't experiencing the oozing spread of weeds. I have spent more money on lawn products and applied them faithfully, in the right order, during the right months as it instructs on the bags and have been blessed with not one but TWO different types of weeds. It's crazy. I'm not doing it any more. I'll cover it all in mulch. The squirrels will have an easier time burying their booty. Win win for all.

So until the start of the next season, let's see, in New England winter starts in October, keep your sweaters and your flip flops handy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No, It Really is Spring

Regardless of the solid precipitation and receding snow on the ground I can tell spring is here. We only see cardinals in the yard in the spring and they wouldn't make such a heinous mistake. Most think of them as a winter bird and that may be so but they only visit my yard in the spring. I will leave the snow shovel on the back porch until mid-April. I put it away two weeks ago and we had 6" of snow fall as a result. My bad.

 The snow came just as we turned the clocks ahead. Gives me more time to come home from work and play the camera as the sun is going down. What gorgeous deep purple shadows were cast on the snow covered yard and garage roof!
 The last blast of snow seemed to clean the air. The ground hog is taking alot of grief for the false early spring prediction but I suspect he just doesn't care.

Here's some spring...
 and here...
 and here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Still here, still knitting.Obviously not blogging about it though. No funny life stuff to share. Need some funny. My cat glaring at me at suppertime is as funny as it gets and you really have to be there for the full effect. I hope something funny or fun happens soon. I need something to write about. Life has been way too morbid and stressful as of late.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Knitting vs. Knitter

Knitting: the act of knitting. The answer to "What have you been doing?".
Many people knit. Blindly follow the written word of someone else. Creating row upon row of knit and purl stitches but not understanding why they are doing it or what they are doing. Decreasing and increasing because the pattern says so. Not because they know they need to shape the material in order for it to fit properly. Just doing as they are told.

When Grandma cast on 20 stitches on to a pair of double pointed needles with rubber bands on one end of each and handed them to me over 40 years ago, I wanted to understand why it worked the way it did. Why was there a hole where there wasn't before. Why do I have 21 stitches now? Why does the end curl up? Why, why, why?

This is why I don't teach knitting. I don't have the tolerance to deal with a mind that is not curious enough to want to know how it works and why.

Knitter: one who knits. But more importantly in my mind, one who understands knitting. How it works. How to push the boundaries and "rules". How to break them. How to take  measurements and simple math and create a sweater, hat, mittens... the list is endless. And most important, knowing when the only solution to a problem is ripping out the entire project and starting again, disappointed, but not discouraged or angry.
I'm a knitter.

 I was putting the finishing row on a 26" length of aran cables and twists then realized there was a mistake 14" back. I tried to isolate and fix the cable but I could not get the twist and the tension the same as the original therefore I had to bite the bullet and pull a week's worth of knitting out. 660 yards of wool. My mom, one who knits, was emotionally upset because all that work had to be ripped back. She didn't break down in tears but if it had been her project, well, it probably would have been put in a bag and left for dead. More than once she has found an error in her knitting and I have taken it and ripped it back because she can't bear the thought. She leaves it alone until the grieving process is complete. She has to have a written pattern. I've tried to get her to think about what she is doing rather than hanging on to each word in the written pattern as if it was gospel. She admits she can't.

If I had been on a deadline for this project I would have been a bit more aggravated...with myself. Put the blame where it belongs. If I had been paying better attention I would have noticed earlier that one cable was twisting the opposite of the rest. While knitting you create a rhythm, your fingers know the pattern. You unconsciously count to yourself. I dropped the ball on this one.

The project is back on track, the stitches have been picked up, the cable corrected. There was no loss of life, no blood shed, no tears. The wool was given 24 hours to relax. I'll check my work more often.

I'm a knitter.