Monday, December 21, 2009

it's about that time

Christmas is drawing closer and closer and it's time for me to make some tough decisions.

It's time to be realistic and cut out some of the knitting projects I planned to do. So sad I know, but that is always how it goes right? You make your plans, buy your yarn and then all of the sudden you have a 8-week full time job come up ontop of all of your housework and other Christmas preparations. C'est la vie.

So who to cut is the next question, upcoming birthdays come partly into the equation, the amount of work needed to be done is another determining factor.

My dear sweet entrelac scarf has been put on pause, as well as another entrelac scarf I had yet to start. I am focusing on the toques, they knit up relatively fast. Luckily my three brothers birthdays are in January, February and March, so whatever gets half finished I can give for a B-day present and have it still be given in the right season.

I am going to be going on the offensive though. If you ever see me I will have knitting needles in my hand. Whether it be in between stirs of boiling the pasta, or hiding in my car during my lunch hour. Any chance I have I will be click clacking away as fast as my fingers will let me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bring on the arthritis

Have you no consideration for my poor fingers? You mistake me, my dear. I have the utmost respect for your nerves. They've been my constant companion these twenty years.

I am currently multi-tasking and knitting a few projects at the same time. Not something I would usually do, but in the spirit of the season I am working on making a few special Christmas gifts, of the homemade variety.

One thing I am knitting is knit in the round, on circular needles. I have been working on my scarf so much lately that I have gotten used to my straight knitting needles again. Ah those glorious straight needles, all knit no pain. It's wonderful. Then I switch back to my other project, and it's a whole different story. When I knit with my circulars after a while it feels like my hands are permanently frozen into a claw-like position.

Despite the finger-aches it causes, I actually enjoy knitting in the round. It makes a nice stockinette stitch by simply knitting every row, a kind of brainless type of knitting. If you are an avid reader of my blog here you will remember in a recent post I mentioned sometimes it's nice to be able to think a little about what you are knitting. The crucial word being 'sometimes'. Sometimes it is nice to knit without thinking. Tonight for example, I was able to enjoy a great episode of Glee as well as work on one of my christmas projects.

Sometimes though, when I am knitting in the round I stop to do finger stretches every few rows. Seriously, I do! Someone should write a book or make a video with stretches to do for your fingers when knitting.

Maybe I should youtube it, people make videos for everything these days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

it's nice to be back

Last night I picked up my knitting needles for the first time in a few weeks. As I began to work the yarn my fingers began to twitch, they were excited. It's been a while. The more I knit and wound the yarn in and around itself the more I felt myself unwind. Corny I know! but it's true. I've been so busy with lots of 'stuff' going on lately I find it so relaxing and almost comforting to sit down and just knit. *sigh*

I have started working on scarf that is an entrelac pattern. Entrelac is soo cool. I saw it done first on a scarf that was on display at a yarn store and I wanted it! It is a kind of diamond/checkered pattern and if you use self striping yarn when you knit it the result is beautiful. The pattern I found on Raverly used a special yarn called 'Noro Silk Garden" but I couldn't find any around here. One day I will get some though because it makes the pattern a gorgeous rainbow of so many colours. The yarn I found was Red Heart collage yarn in 'Blue wave' and I like how it is looking so far.

It is fun to knit in entrelac, it's not the usual mindless knitting that goes with most scarves. Not that I mind that, believe me I am ALL about knitting that does not require thinking.

But, sometimes, it's nice, to have to think a little.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

a great book

I realize I have been remiss in attending to my blogging duties. I am not setting a good track record for myself, but let me explain. I have been very busy for the last few weeks preparing for a huge event I am putting on. I have scarce had enough time to sleep let alone pick up my beloved knitting needles. I felt however that I must post something to keep the blog rolling...

I have decided to share with you an excellent book I read a couple months ago, I wonder if any of you have read it? The book is "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and it is fabulous! The author blends within the orignal text and story of Pride and Prejudice an underlying story of zombie killing mayhem. Let me be the first to say I am not inclined to like Zombie- samurai-killing themed anything, books, movies I avoid them all, but this one I HAD to read. It actually wasn't so bad, at times a litte gruesome yet I was very entertained. Imagine the story of pride and prejudice with the occurance of killing zombies being a normal daily activity. The Bennet sisters are famed for their warrior skills, Lady Catherine is the greatest warrior in the country, Mr. Bingley is convinced Jane has been infected, doomed to become and zombie and that is how they convince him to leave Netherfield. Good, good, all good. I reccomend this book to everyone.

Since Jane Austen is the greatest author or all time, I suppose is should not be surprizing how many continuations, spin-off and retellings her books get. Though I was weary to try them at first I have found some INCREDIBLE, some sorely lacking and some great fun. This book I would throw into the great fun category.

Up next on my reading list: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My First

I am working on making some videos of how to cast-on and knit etc. but in the meantime I thought I would share the first thing I ever knit.

I learned how to do the basic garter stitch (which is knitting every row) and then the stockinette stitch (which is knit one row purl one row). It made a cool bumpy kind of pattern on the scarf. Later I figured out if you alternate K,P,K,P,K,P,P over and over again it makes the cool bumpy pattern on both sides of the scarf. I made the scarf super long and it was great practice for learning the basic stitches


Saturday, October 24, 2009

and so it began

Little did I know in early April of this year when I planned to learn how to knit with a few friends that I would be entering into a devoted relationship with the craft. I came away from that night armed with the knowledge of how to cast on, how to make a knit stitch, and a mild addiction for the satisfying feeling of accomplishment that follows when one knits. It's awesome, you can sit down with basically two sticks and some string and create something that did not exist before, a quantifiable thing to show for the time you have just passed. It's fun, challenging at times but most often an enjoyable way to relax.

The biggest help that I had while learning how to knit was the internet. I have knitting help websites and how-to videos on youtube to thank for turning me into the barely tolerable knitter I am today. Therefore in an effort to help continue the learn-to-knit-through-the-internet circle of life, I have started this blog. I will share with you the things I have learned and continue to learn as I knit along as well as my ideas, knitting woes and projects that I am working on or want to be working on.

Lastly I have often found that friendships are strengthened and created through the sharing of somewhat embarassing stories or ideas. Therefore to help any one who may be reading this become a closer knitting friend to me I will share this tiny confession...

Among other reasons, one of the things that compelled me to want to learn how to knit was the idea that I would be one step closer to being an "accomplished woman"as so many of the women in my favourite books. Ok, I know there are few mentions of actual knitting in Jane Austens books, in fact to be considered accomplished as Caroline Bingley thought "a woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." but still a teenie tiny part of me thought that by learning to knit I would have one more thing to add to my resume if ever called upon to account for my skills and talents if one were determining if I was an accomplished woman or not. Also I sometimes wish I had a pride and prejudice era dress I could wear while I am knitting.

Are you scared? excited? a little nervous? Have no fear, it's going to be FUN! Grab some needles, a ball of yarn and come along and knit with me!