Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HolidailiesPost #11: Speedy

I'm a pretty fast knitter. It helps that for basic knitting, things like straight knitting or a simple rib, I can do without looking at my fingers. I can knit while walking, watching tv, or talking to people - lets me be more efficient for sure. I also carry my knitting all over, so I can sneak in stitches here and there.

Yesterday I decided I needed a cowl, so I started one on the bus this morning. I'm 3/4 of the way done, and suspect I'll finish it on the bus ride into work tomorrow. Talk about instant gratification knitting! I'm not used to the huge needles (8mm) or the thicker yarn (2 strands of worsted held together) but it's a nice change. I usually knit with dk to worsted weight, on about 4mm needles. This goes SO much faster. I think I'll be looking for more heavy-gauge knitting projects in the future. Photos tomorrow, hopefully.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holidailies Post #10 : Brrrr!

I think I need to knit myself a cowl. It's cold out there, and apparently the cold weather and snow will be sticking around for a couple of weeks! We're just not used to weather like this around here. Thee are so many lovely cowl and neckwarmer patterns, but I just didn't see that I would need one, but now I do! I'm eyeing the Janie Cowl pattern, if I can find a bulky yarn in my stash, or make it work in worsted. I need something that I can pull up over my face and ears, that will stay there - maybe a ribbed top would work better? I could whip one up in a couple days......if my knitting to-do list weren't already a mile long.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holidailies Post #9: Snow!

It's snowing outside! Really and truly snowing. They've been forcasting it for days, but I never believe it until I see it. Living in Canada, it seems strange that snow is such a big deal to me, but here on the west coast we rarely see the white stuff. A white Christmas is rare, so snow near christmas gets folks excited.

I am not a huge fan of snow. I don't like people driving in it, I hate feeling stuck at home, worrying about how to get places, and what we'll have to cancel. Since we rarely see snow here, no one knows how to deal with it, and driving can be dangerous. I'm worried about my neice's birthday tomorrow, up island over the mountain, grocery shopping in the morning, work on Monday.

But it sure is pretty, the white blanket over everything, christmas lights glittering through the blowing flakes still falling. For now, I'm just going to bundle up on the couch with my husband and my knitting, and deal with the worries tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holidailies Post #8: I want to Dye!

I just can't take it anymore - I want to DYE! hehe.

I bought up a whole bunch of easter egg dye tablets on sale after easter, and stored them away until I had the time and inclination to try them out. I've only ever tried Koolaid Dying in the past. I really like koolaid dying. It's fast and cheap, though the colour choices are a bit limited. It's hard to get nice rich shades of a lot of colours, especially blues and greens. Easter egg dye, from what I see, gives you nice vibrant colours. It requires the additional step of adding vinegar, but I think I can handle that.

I want to make Bike Helmet Earwarmers for my supervisor, and I think it would be fun to dye up some yarn for them. Magnus is out this evening, so I'm on my own anyways, the perfect time to dye. Watch for photos tomorrow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holidailies Post #7 : Finishing Work

I really don't enjoy finishing work in my knitting. I try to use seamless/one-piece knits so that all I have to do to "finish" a piece, is weave in a couple ends. (and I hate having to even do that much sometimes!) The bulk of my UFO stack at any given time is a number of items that are done, except for seaming up, weaving in ends, or adding buttons. Sometimes all three. I enjoy the knitting, I love watching a project take shape and move from rows of stitches into a pattern or shape, but the end details don't thrill me.

I think part of the problem is I'm not great at seaming, I've never taken the time to learn the proper techiques or practice. This means it's always a struggle, trying to figure out what will work best, look ok, and be strong and sturdy. I also worry that poor seaming will muck up a perfectly good knit.

I currently have 4 toddler mittens, all knit up and ready to seam. I sense a LONG evening ahead of me.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holidailies Post #6: Winter 08 Knitty!

The new knitty magazine is up, an exciting time for any knitter. This magazine consistantly offers a large variety of patterns, in a variety of skill levels and styles - all for FREE! The photos are great, the instructions complete, and the magazine is popular so you can always find someone else knitting the same pattern you are interested in. The server is still pretty slow, what with 8-trillion knitters accessing the site, but I managed to get on to see the patterns.

I LOVE Amused, which is a top-down seamless pullover, with a deep neck and cabled detailing for the collar. It is a 3/4 length sleeve, I might want full length, and the long ribbed panel at the waist worries me a little. It could either be slimming, or cling too much. Some speedy knitters will no doubt finish it before I have a chance to start, and hopefully I can get a better idea of how this looks knit up in a size L.

I had pretty much decided to knit the Cable-Down Raglan, and even purchased enough Cascade Superwash to knit it up. But I'm seriously considering using that yarn to knit up Amused. I feel like it might be a better choice for my personal style and body shape. The cables in the raglan appealed to me, but I'm not sure they'd look good on my not-so-tiny self.

I like the Fish Hat and may knit that for my son at some point. Amelia is really pretty, though I'm not sure I'd knit that one. There will be a pair of Fargyles socks in my future. How can I not knit such a fun pattern, written for DK weight yarn - speedy socks!

Both Poinsettia and Maja caught my eye as beautiful things I'd love to knit, but I just wouldn't wear them myself. Perhaps one or the other would be a good item to donate to the tea festival fundraiser this winter? What do you think - would folks bid on either of these?

I can't wait to get my knitting "to-do list" cleared off so I can tackle some of these new patterns!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Holidailies Post #5: Wishlists

Online chatter turns to holiday wishlists this time of year. Message boards post "What do you want Santa to bring you?" topics, websites set up wishlist options, and we're all expected to have a list of our desired gifts. I'm struggling to make one up. The truth is, there really isn't much I need. I don't covet fancy expensive items I can only rationalize as christmas gifts, I don't want for the latest and greatest gadgets, and I do almost all of my reading thanks to our great library system. Not that I am totally non-materialistic, I do like "stuff" and buy myself "things" from time to time. I am already so busy making use of what I do have, and living my life, I can't imagine where I'd fit more things.

That said, I love surprises, and little gifties, so I hope my family can come up with an idea or two for me ;)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Holidailies Post #4: Never Enough Time

Most people complain that there isn't enough time in a day. If there were a way to find more time, make more time, or just cut down on those pesky time-sucks like sleeping, showering, and working our day jobs, we'd have more time for the important things in life. Things like knitting.

I already make pretty good knitting use of my time, carrying a project with me nearly everywhere. It's rare I miss an opportunity to crank out a few stitches, if I find myself with spare time. I knit to and from work on the bus, whenever I'm a passenger in a car, in front of the tv, and even in casual meetings. (I just came home from our field hockey AGM where I happily stitched away on a hat. Last year they made fun of me, this year I just got a few smiles) I actually even bring my knitting to movies and concerts - what else am I going to do while sitting in my seat waiting for the show? Knitting is still thought of as a kind of geeky, old fashioned activity by some, I figure doing it at a NIN concert is doing my part to dispel that image! HAH!

If only I could learn how to type and knit, I'd be laughing. Hmmmm....I have heard mention of voice recognition software

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holidailies Post #3:

Well, yet another of my commissioned hats didn't turn out quite right. My "18-24 month hat fits my GIANT melon-head 2.5yr old son, and not snugly. Yeah, I probably should have measured it sooner, it's too late to fix without ripping the whole thing out now. so I'm going to finish it up big, and hope they don't mind having a bigger hat on hand. They were clear they didn't want more of the smaller (birth-18month) range of sizes. The colours are pretty, and it's a nice enough hat, just big.

I'm having some muscle issues that give me a lot of leg pain lately. My running has been curtailed by this, obviously. I'm missing the runs (did I honestly just type that?!?) but I don't want to get badly hurt. The massage therapist says it's "congestion" and I need rest and elevation. Thankfully I can knit with my feet up on the couch!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Holidailies Post #2 : Avoidance

I'm a little overwhelmed with Christmas stuff right now. There are a lot of things left to do, things to finish, and things to get started. The worst part is probably that I don't really know how much I have on my plate. In order to decrease my stress, I've been trying to worry less. This is a good thing, and I am feeling less worries. However, there is a subtle feeling of impending doom, when everything catches up with me. I'm not writing a list of everything I need to do, because the idea of that list freaks me out a bit. Somehow, by not writing up the list (literally, or just in my head) I can pretend it's all manageable, and going to work out. I have a good imagination.

My knitting alone is a little out of hand.
- I'm behind on my comissioned hats, due to some various issues (mis-sized hats, running out of yarn, creative blocks, etc)
- I have about 4 of 10 washcloths knit for the daycare staff christmas gifts, and no idea what type of soap item to package them with
- Magnus' knit item is not nearly finished (though with his January birthday I may just pretend I intended it for then - hah!)
- I need to pick out a christmas knitting gift for our knit group's gift exchange - and plan a potluck item to bring for that night.
- the booties for my young neice are looking less and less likely
- my other 2 neices may not get matching knit hats as I'd hoped
- I was hoping to knit something for each of my kids for christmas - haven't even decided on a pattern yet.
....and somehow I keep getting distracted by patterns for even MORE things I want to knit.

I'm going to get off the computer and back to the yarn now.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holidailies Day 1

I've gotten a pretty neat knitting opportunities lately, that I mentioned breifly in another post. Through a connection in my knitting group I've been asked to knit baby and children's hats for a local shop! I feel really good that my work is thought that highly of, and that I have been given total creative freedom in designing the hats, as well as some mittens. Total creative freedom is stressing me out a bit, as I want to make sure they are GOOD, so I'm working extra hard to make really nice items. They're providing the yarn, and paying me up front for each item, which is really nice.

I mentioned this endeavor at work and my supervisor immediately requested I knit a hat for a friend of hers who was becomming a grandparent. I had some leftover Cascade Sierra, a lovely cotton/wool blend, so I knit something up. She was pleased, and paid me $20 for it happily! I have a second savings account I wasn't using, so knitting-earned monies are going directly in there to fund guilt-free knitting shopping! I'm pretty pleased with how the hat turned out:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm considering joining the Holidailies Project where you attempt to post daily from December 5th through January 6th. I will be knitting pretty much every day up until Christmas, to get everything done, so there will be material, and maybe even photos to post. Though, how many washcloth and baby hat photos do you want to see?

I'd really like to post more, and maybe this will get me going again....