Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust!

I made this scarf for my coworker, who made me bread and gave me some soap that he had made the last time I had to travel to the midwest for work. He liked the color from this picture (even though he originally requested blue). I tried to tell him you don't need a blue scarf with a blue coat. He'd look like a smurf.

Admittedly I shared that information with him because I was almost done with this green one. Hee hee. I am waiting to find out if I need to block it or not, then I will send it on to him.

Keep on knittin'!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Promises, Promises

The other day on the bus on the way home, the bus driver shouted back to me:

"Are you making a baby blanket for my baby boy?"

Keep in mind, I was knitting the green scarf at the time. I replied:

"No...but I could make him a scarf!"

"A scarf?! He's six weeks old!" he exclaimed.

"Well... maybe when he's older I can make him one." I bargained.

I am not promising blankets to anyone else. If I ever make another blanket it will be using very large needles and chunky yarn! Oi! Sooooo slow! Although the other day in knitting group I got about 8 rows done, which is pretty good when you figure each row is 132 stitches. But still... it feels like it's taking forever.

I have about five more scarves to get done by Christmas, which won't be bad at all, actually. As long as I don't promise any more blankets. Eek.

Keep on knittin'!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This blanket isn't going to knit itself...

Boy, ain't that the truth.

While I've put the blanket on hold, I've gone gang busters on the scarves. I'm working on my third scarf now (finished two), and finished a dish cloth. Also, my mom said in email that knit cloths are nice because they last longer. Well guess who's getting at least one dish cloth for christmas? Bwahahaha. Suckah!

I started the blanket first. Then I decided to try some smaller stuff 'to work on during the commute to work'. That was my excuse, but it's really all about the instant gratification. If I could just finish the darn blanket, I could really work on the quick stuff! So I'm coming up with a plan. I will work on the blanket when we have our knitting group at work. That's two hours every other week. I'll also try to work on the blanket at least one night a week. We'll see how that goes.

My mom has only made one baby blanket in her life, and now I understand why. It takes forever! Sheesh. Oh well...

Keep on knittin'!

Another FO

I finished my second scarf while sick today. I had about an hour and a half where I felt OK, and finished the scarf. Otherwise, I knew I was sick when I didn't want to knit!

This scarf was incredibly easy, knit on huge needles and only 12 stitches wide. It only took one skein of yarn, too. Talk about instant gratification. Hooray for Lionbrand! I might keep this one for myself.
Keep on knittin'!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alternate use of dish cloth...


Tales of a dish cloth

Once I finished hubby's super-cute ribbed scarf, I decided to start something small. I wanted instant gratification, basically, so I used one of my peaches and cream balls of cotton and began a dish cloth. I started it in the airport, and then worked on it on the plane. The first thing I noticed about cotton was that it a) felt like knitting with string, and b) is a slippery little bugger on metal needles. I had to cast on several times, because it kept looking wrong to me. I watched the youtube video, thinking I was doing something wrong. I wasn't, it was just the way the yarn (I use that term broadly!) seemed to work. After I got two rows on it started looking more like knitting again.

The dish cloth pattern was simply 3K1P every other row, and K rows inbetween (check me out with the pattern speak!). As I clicked away, it quickly started growing. Let's talk about the clicking. I love the sound of needles clicking now. It sounds...productive. I absolutely love when my knitting group at work gets together and we're all chatting and clicking away. It makes me happy. The click and the slight swishy sound when you move the stitch off the needle and on to the other needle are like music to my ears. Obviously I am becoming a knitting lunatic.

Anyway, back to the cloth. So one of my coworkers saw a picture on my phone of the dish cloth and asked me what it was. I told her. Then she asked what the purpose of it was. "What do you mean the purpose of it? It's a dish cloth!" I explained. "Yes, but it's a knitted dish cloth..." she clarified. Um. Uh. Hrm. I changed the subject. Once I got back to work I showed the dish cloth to my coworker. His first response was "I never understood the purpose of a knit dish cloth". I'm now done with the dish cloth and have to say, I agree. I can't really see anyone using it. It's pretty enough (even for a plain one), however, it's not really all that funcational.

I've decided I'm giving it to the coworker who questioned why I would make one in the first place. Let her figure it out! Whee!

Keep on knittin'!

Online vs. Store

We don't have a car, so up until about a week ago I've only gotten my yarn online (or when a coworker went to a Michael's near her home and bought me my blanket super skein). The nice thing about buying online is that you can find some great deals, and you can pick what you need pretty quickly. Online has worked for me for the most part. I've had one case of getting the wrong dye lot on one ball of yarn when I ordered multiple balls of what was supposed to be the same color. It took a while to get it rectified, but they sent me the correct dye lot to match the other two balls...and they even let me keep the wrong one. So basically, online has been pretty OK.

Fast-forward to about a week ago when I was traveling for work. One of my coworkers is a crafter (makes soap and lotion) and mentioned he needed to get some ribbon. I don't ever rent a car when I travel for work, so he offered to take me to Joann Fabrics after work one day so that I could look at the yarn and he could check out the ribbon.

Oh dear.

I used to laugh when I read about people oohing and ahhing when they talked about touching yarn. I even read about someone who smells it (you know who you are). I thought it was funny and eccentric. I thought the people were a little obsessed. Perhaps they were a just a tiny bit crazy? I was wrong. That or I'm one of the obsessed crazy ones. I'd rather think I was wrong, frankly.

Walking into that store reminded me of going to Vegas the first time. So many colors! So many textures! So many accessories! Goodness gracious, I was in heaven. I picked up a basket and away I went. I ended up buying about a dozen skeins of various yarns. I also got three new sets of needles and a storage container (collapsible fabric one). How I managed to fit all that yarn in my carry on is still a mystery to me, but I did it. I'm glad I only had a basket to fill up and not a cart.

Keep on knittin'!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My First FO

As evidenced by the picture below, I have my first knitted FO (finished object). In normal people talk, I've finished my scarf!

Finishing the scarf was both exciting and scary. Exciting because I finally finished something. Scary because I wasn't exactly sure how to do it. When you finish something, you 'bind off''. This is basically just knitting in a way that removes the stitches from the needle. You're sort of knitting the stitches together, so that the scarf can't come unraveled once it's off the needles. This is all fine and dandy, and I learned how to do it via a video on youtube. Can we just pause here now and give a big shout out to the wide, wide world of web? Without the internet I'd be single and would have yet another unfinished scarf in the closet. So thank you, internets. Thank you.

Back to finishing the scarf...

So I did the binding off, and you're stuck with one last stitch on the needle. I looked at it and really had no idea what to do. I tried to find a video about it, but I believe the answer was so simple they won't even put it on youtube. I finally found someone on the Ravelry help chat that told me what to do. Basically, you cut the 'working yarn' (the yarn that's attached to your project and that you use to continue knitting) a couple of inches after the last loop and pull that through the last loop to create a sort of temporary knot.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Why? Because cutting the yarn was terrifying! You can't tink or fix or add anything to your project once you've cut that yarn. There's no going back. I told the ladies at work it was like cutting an umbilical chord. That scarf was my baby! I was nervous, but I played the role of a new surgeon and asked hubby to hand me my scalpel (scissors). I took a deep breath and then I cut. I took the last loop off the needle and pulled that extra long few inches of yarn through it.

I had a scarf! Hey, look! A scarf! I immediately stood up and started an impromptu celebratory dance. I danced, and then I added a sing-songy "I finished the sca-arf, I finished the sca-arf" to the mix. I put the scarf around my neck and took a picture. I put the scarf around hubby's neck and took a picture. I put the scarf around my dog's neck and took a picture. Good thing the cat was in hiding somewhere.

It was such a rush. I made something that someone could actually use... and it looked pretty good! I finished something! I totally understand the addiction to starting lots of projects. The more you start, the more you can finish. I think a lot of people don't finish what they've started, though, and that's the real shame. The finishing part is the biggest thrill. It's the reminder of why you spent so much time doing something. Sure, it's relaxing to knit. It's something you can do while you're doing other things (traveling, watching tv, etc.) so you feel more productive. But the finishing. That's the really awesome part.

Keep on knittin!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Finished Object (FO)

I did it!


Knitters have their own language.

When I first started going to the knitting group meetings at work, I understood about 75% of what they were talking about regarding knitting. There were plenty of new terms: increase, decrease, hank, tinking, frogging and blocking were just a few. I learned what increasing and decreasing were, because somehow I managed to do both on the baby blanket. My coworkers were amazed I possessed such talent. Especially when the pattern did not call for either increasing or decreasing. What can I say? I'm gifted. To this day if I were making something that called for either, I'd have to look online or actually read one of my knitting books.

I learned what a hank was (it's a way the yarn can come - either a skein, ball or hank) when my friend told me she bought a hank of yarn. "A 'hank'?!", I questioned. I thought she just didn't know the jargon yet, poor thing. It was me, though. Perhaps if I actually would read one of the knitting books I bought I would have known better? But who wants to read about knitting when you can actually knit. I realize saying this that I will probably not have any readers of this new blog. Um, oops!

Tinking is knitting backwards. It's undoing what you've done, because you messed up somewhere along the line. I'm altogether too familiar with tinking at this point. Frogging, is when you rip out a bunch of knitting you've already done and start from scratch. I had to do that on the hubby's scarf at the point where I changed the yarn. It was terrifying! I made it through to the other side, though, and I'm telling you that you need to look at your work often to ensure you don't have to frog it. Starting over sucks, dude.

Blocking is... ok, I'm still learning about blocking. All I know about blocking I've read on My Crazy Aunt Purl dot com. She is a hilarious writer, who is now a published author! Check her out at Her scarves magically grow after doing this blocking stuff. But the growth depends on the fiber used.

Fiber. Yeah, that's another one. You don't call it yarn. I'm not sure why. Is it some politically correct thing that's rearing its head in the knitting/crocheting world? Is yarn a bad word? The term fiber does make it sound fancy, let's face it.

And I talked about the stash last time. Everyone wants an impressive stash of fiber. My coworker has a stash at home and at work. I have a tiny stash at work. I haven't bought my fibers with specific projects in mind, but I feel the peer pressure of the other knitting addicts to grow my stash (as opposed to growing my 'stache) and don't want to be left behind. It's totally keeping up with the knitwits. I'm a follower when it comes to this stuff. I admit it.

Time to finish that scarf! Keep on knittin'!