Show Off

sparkly yarn!
The other day as I was working on my Turmeric, the hubby asked me why I spent so much time knitting sweaters but never wear them. That took me a little by surprise because I do wear them. But on further reflection, maybe not as often as I should. For me, process overrides product. For example, I love all the stages of knitting a sweater. There's the planning stage where I research all the different incarnations of a particular pattern on ravelry and daydream about what my sweater would look and feel like with a particular yarn. There's the gathering stage where I decide on the yarn, needles and notions for the sweater. And then there's the actual knitting of the sweater with all the excitement of casting on, the agony of knitting the wrong gauge and ripping back, the frustration of misreading a line in the pattern and ripping back, the curses and tears......., ok deep breath, the calmness of getting back on track and discovering that yes! it's really going to fit!, the feeling of pride and accomplishment in making something with my own two hands. Well, after that whole process, maybe I should take my hubby's advice and show it off a little. Here I am in the Leaf Yoke top that I had knitted during the summer of 2009. Even though I was happy with the finished sweater, it has only been worn twice. But when warmer weather comes around, it will be in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. Time to show it off.


Into the Light

Thank you for all the kind comments on my wrists last week. They have been feeling a lot better and I've been gradually getting back to the knitting. Which, as you can see, is a good thing since there are quite a number of projects in dire need of attention. I was inspired by Affiknitty's List as well as Eskimimi's Plan of Attack to brave the dark depths of my knitting basket and bring these UFO's into the light. Some of these have been hidden away for over a year or more (as evidenced by the wrinkles in the oh-so-neutral orange Whisper Cardigan). Most only require a little bit of effort to reach FO status (a sleeve here, a Kitchener stitch there). And one requires monumental will power on my part (the set-in sleeve yet to be seamed). So I am challenging myself to deal with these UFO's, one way or another, by year's end. There are actually more UFO's still tucked away in the basket, but I had to be realistic and give myself a fighting chance. Clockwise from top left: Whisper Cardigan, Ribbed Lace Bolero, Blue Heron beaded wrap, Omir, Broken Rib Socks on two circs, Grapevine, Turmeric and Daybreak, which is actually a WIP. In the center is Henry the Grumpy Bear who refuses to leave his cupboard unless he gets all of his limbs. Soon, Henry, soon.

Still can't get enough of UFO's WIP's? Then tune into WIP Wednesdays with TAMI'S AMIS and these talented ladies.


FO: All Mine

Presenting the first FO of 2011 that is all mine: Shawl Collared Cowl by Alana Dakos. After coveting the one that I had made for my little sister, I wanted to cast on for one of my very own. This is a quick and fun knit, even for the second time around. The best part is getting to use buttons from the extensive button collection that is hiding in my closet. I love dark wooden buttons and now must go on the hunt for more. Here are two more Welcome to the World newborn hats for Suddenexpression's preemie hat drive. These are the little boy versions. So addictive to knit and fast. Hope everyone has a fun weekend! Check out these wonderfully talented bloggers at FO FRIDAY WITH TAMI'S AMIS.


Tired Wrist Syndrome

Progress on Daybreak was going strong until a few days ago when I started to feel my wrists getting a little numb. Then the throbbing began. As a knitter, I try not to ignore any signals that my body sends me relating to repetitive stress injury. So now I am taking a short break until the pain goes away. The time spent not knitting is being replaced by aimlessly surfing through ravelry for future projects. And so now there is quite a compilation of things that I want to knit in the next few months. Just as soon as my wrists cooperate! While on ravelry, I decided to zero out my queue. While I think it's a great feature to have available, I really did not use it to its full potential. My usual method of deciding what project to knit next involves browsing through things that I had added to my favorites list and seeing what catches my eye. Sometimes it's like looking through my old high school yearbook and wondering,"What was I thinking?" But more often I'll find a million things that I need to cast on for ASAP. I've also found great inspiration by reading everyone's blogs on WIP WEDNESDAYS WITH TAMI'S AMIS, so check it out if you haven't already! For now, here's some closeup shots of the middle striped section of Daybreak.


Welcome to the World

I love the name of my latest hat obsession: Welcome to the World Newborn Hat. You can't help but smile with happiness when knitting these tiny things up. It's a great basic pattern that produces a comfortable and well-fitting hat. The pattern also lends itself well to modifications. I added a little bit of fair isle to the first one. For the second one, I used these terrific mods by annypurls which you can view on ravelry, HERE. The third one in progress is for a little boy. These will be sent to Suddenexpression for her preemie hat drive. Click HERE for more info. I am hoping to whip up a few more to send, maybe changing things up by experimenting with different edgings or stitch patterns. Such fun! Also fun is Daybreak, the perfect merging of process and project.  You know the type, where the finished object is so desirable, but you don't want the knitting to end because the pattern is so much fun to knit. For me, fun usually involves self-striping sock yarn and slipped stitches.  Check out WIP Wednesdays with Tami's Amis for some more fun knitting and crocheting ideas.


The Soundtrack of My Life

For me, knitting is as much about listening as it is about seeing and touching. The rhythmic clicking of the needles is the perfect accompaniment.......to my little boy's chatter as he plays with his toys, to my hubby's noises as he putters around the house, to the quiet sound of rain on a cold winter's night, to a really great song that perfectly captures my mood in that moment. What do you have playing in the background to your knitting?


2 + 2 = 2

I had the best intentions of showing off my amazing progress with Turmeric this week. Everything was going swimmingly and I was at the clickity-click stage of the sweater body. But there was something that kept holding me back from the trance that usually occurs when knitting stockinette stitch in the round over and over again. I decided to count the increases that I had made to the front in order to achieve the pleat where the big button goes. And guess what? I had miscalculated and overshot the number by quite a bit due to my wonderful math reasoning that 2 increases at 2 markers would give a total of 2 increases per round. Yup, a whole lot of knitting thrown in the frog pond. Hmmm, maybe one of my New Year's resolutions should include taking a basic knitting math tutorial. As a consolation, I've started another project, Daybreak by the cool and talented Stephen West. Feeling slightly guilty about this one because I've appropriated the yarn that was meant to be for my husband's long awaited socks in order to knit this. That means another trip to the LYS for more sock yarn. Darn! In other news, the Shawl Collared Cowl for myself is progressing nicely, barring any future math incidents. Hopefully I'll have more to show next week since I'll be on vacation. Check out these talented ladies at WIP WEDNESDAYS WITH TAMI'S AMIS. Happy knitting and crocheting!


Lessons Learned in 2010

My knitting adventures in 2010 could be summarized by the words first, small and repeat. This year I managed to finish my first wearable scarf, then proceeded to knit another and another. By year's end I had cast off on five scarves. This was a huge accomplishment for a previously scarf phobic knitter like myself who had an uncounted number of unfinished scarves hidden at the bottom of my knitting basket. This past year also saw the rise of small projects in my knitting bag. I have always gravitated towards sweater patterns, but I only managed to knit three garments in 2010. Most of my projects were small, quick and portable. And then there were the repeat knits. It was a year of obsessively knitting two Give a Hoot Mittens, three Color Ripple Scarves and four Botanic Hats. Never before have I knitted a pattern more than once. Repeatedly knitting these patterns was like revisiting a favorite book or snuggling under an old but well-loved blanket. So the lessons learned in 2010? Small can be good, try to overcome the (UFO) ghosts of the past, and repeating oneself is never a bad thing.