Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now?

Last summer during the gulf oil spill I got word of a charity asking knitters to knit up some wash cloths and send in to be used to wash oil off of wildlife in need. I am a biology major with an emphasis on marine biology so this was something I was very excited to help out with. I immediately got to work and knit wash cloths all summer & sent them in with a couple bottles of Dawn dish soap. I saw many pictures of oil covered pelicans, seals, sea turtles & other wildlife as I followed the news during this time. I'm hoping my wash cloths & dawn dish soap brought life back to some of these poor creatures, helpless to the destruction that humans caused. And it felt great to be able to help out from my small town in Missouri since I was too far away to physically be there to help.

Tidy mind, Tidy stitches

Well I missed day 3 of blogging due to a hectic day at work so I will post wed & thurs topics today :)

Do I organize my stash? I sure do! Thanks to an inspiration from a friend I bought a cabinet, with doors to keep curious kitties out, and that is my stash organization system. I have a vinyl bag that my knitpicks circular needle set came in & that's where I keep my row counter, stitch markers, scissors, etc. All the little things go in the bag. I have 2 project bags that are in use & also a couple of baskets to store projects too, when I want to work on that particular project I can simply grab the basket or the bag and head to my comfy recliner! I am looking for a way to organize patterns, I have my ravelry queue for most of them but there are a few that are printed that I need to organize a bit better. I am thinking of a 3 ring binder with page protectors to keep them easily available. I have some straight needles that I'm looking for a jar or something to keep those in, also have a quickly growing button stash that will need a home too. Maybe I need a bigger cabinet?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Inspirational Pattern

A pattern or technique I aspire to, well there are lots of them actually! I'm still learning in this craft & like that there are lots of things on my to do list. A big one that I'm planning to learn this year is how to knit on dpns or double pointed needles. It seems so complicated & tricky but everyone I talk to says it's very easy once you get the hang of it. So far everything that I've tried has come fairly easy and I just have to stop thinking of how complicated it looks & just take one step at a time. I have a facination with fingerless gloves & most of them are knit on dpns. I have a pattern in my ravelry queue for Owlings Mitts that are so adorable, I also have another pattern for fingerless gloves in my queue that I'm anxious to knit. It's easy to keep adding things to my queue & there's just not enought time in the day to knit what I want!

I also want to learn how to do amigurumi toys. They are so cute & there are so many different patterns out there. You can make them big enough for a regular sized stuffed toy, can make a mobile for a baby's room, you can make toys for dogs & cats and donate them to shelters. There are so many uses for the toys and so many different patterns that get my creative juices flowing & I want to jump right in! I have a crocheted baby doll that my great grandmother made a long time ago. She made 2 of them, and I think both my grandmother & my mother have played with them. Now I have one & my sister has one. They are great heirlooms that we both have to continue to pass down to our kids & grandkids. I don't think there's anything better than that. I want to make heirlooms that my kids can continue to pass down. I didn't know my great grandmother very well but I think I have an idea as to what kind of mother, grandmother & great grandmother she was with these toys that I continue to hang onto.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns

I've come to learn quite a bit about different yarns in the last year & have only begun to scratch the surface of what there is to learn about these magnificent fibers! There are two that stick out among the rest that were definate learning experiences for me.

The first one is the LionsBrand Homespun, very beautiful yarn with tons of colors that caught my eye. My inexperience in knitting came through when I cast onto a scarf during a roadtrip. It was very hard to work with, didn't show much stitch definition and the yarn seemed to break quite a bit. I'm a tight knitter & still learning so that project was frogged before we got out of the car. I donated all the yarn I bought (an embarrasing amount) to various people who enjoyed it more than I did.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is my first knitpicks purchase, 4 balls of Comfy worsted yarn in a deep purple. This yarn is fabulous!!! It is luxuriously soft, easy to work with, shows excellent stitch definition & it's machine washable! What more could you ask for? I made a scarflet for a friend of mine & neither of us could stop rubbing the scarflet on our faces because it was so soft. I think this may be my go to yarn when I'm not sure what the heck I'm doing! I know that the money spent on comfy worsted will be well spent, I can always use the yarn for a scarf, hat, gloves, pretty much anything! It's fantastic yarn :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Knitting Anniversary

Well it's been a year since I started knitting, I have to say I've come a long way in a year! My fingers aren't so clumsy with the yarn & knitting needles. I've learned a lot about knitting tools & different fibers & yarn, and I've come to know that I have a serious yarn addiction! I only allow myself to buy what will fit in my knitting cabinet so there's at least some limit set in place. I have knit with different types of needles and found that I like the wood needles over the acrylic/plastic types & the nickel ones. I have completed several projects & frogged a few too, all part of the learning process. I am very proud of how far I've come in the past year being a self taught knitter (with the help of a friend & knitting videos) and I'm very excited to see how far I'll come in the next year. I hope to complete more projects and also learn to knit in the round on circular needles & double pointed needles or dpns. I'm very active on and am participating in my first knitting swap! It is a great hobby that has given me confidence, something productive & relaxing to do, it is something I can do for myself or for others, and it's something I can talk with my mother & grandmother about (both active crocheters) Here are a few projects from my first year knitting :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hello Spring!

Thank goodness it's finally here!!!!!!! I think this has been the longest winter ever! I am so glad to see the sun shining & be able to open the windows and get some fresh air! I needed this weather. I got some lettuce planted & some other plants for my russian tortoise, Betty, to graze on. This spring is going to be so busy, I have a cousin getting married in June, I'm going to Colorado in July, I have 5 birthdays coming up, my bridal shower in June & my wedding in August. And I'm turning 30 in July! I don't think i've ever been this busy in my life but it will likely be the only time I'm ever this busy. I hope anyway. I have changed my schedule at work so I only work 4 days a week instead of 5. I'm hoping to get lots of knitting and relaxing done on that extra day off. I can't think of anything more relaxing than an afternoon nap in a hammock on a perfect summer afternoon. That will definately need to be a weekend ritual :)