Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Time out for your knitting

Am I the only one that puts their knitting in time out? I had to rip out a bout 5 rows because, I swear, I find it VERY hard to fix lace knitting when it's more than one stitch and this was a whole pattern repeat.

But it's back on the needles again and I'm a little bit further down the road. I need to make another kippah somewhere along the line too as my boyfriend's youngest got his nose out of joint as I made one for everyone but him for his bar mitzvah. Well, I knew his bubbe had given him a new one with a tallit so why make another one? Shows what I know, huh? hehehe

I've been on the computer too much (I'm taking a on-line class in assistive technology and the print is way too small, just believe me) so I'm off again.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

summer un-knitting...

It's hot. Summer is hot everywhere, and like everyone else, I'm too hot to knit. Even my hubby noticed, "You haven't lost interest in knitting, have you?" My eye sweeps the corner where I have huge piles of bags of unknit yarn and my bookshelves housing a plethora of patterns, books and magazines, my minds eye sweeps the dark depths of all the closets that hold my huge unknit stashes (notice the plural), and I assure him that I haven't.

I have taken stock of my WIP's and I'm bound and determined to complete them all before I start another project, AND before I buy more yarn. Oops! too late for that! I couldn't resist trying some of the new yarns offered by Knit Picks. Who can resist that dropped stitch shawl for only $21.26? Well, actually I did, but I did plunk down a bit of small plastic for some of their sock yarns, and I'm waiting for that package as I type.

Back to the WIP's, I'm determined to complete David's Once Again Sweater and the Ballet Top (Teva Durham design from UK Summer 2004), then I'll frog the rest. There! That makes completing my WIP's a bit easier and I can cross them off the list I keep on my blog (it's getting a bit embarrassing since the list hasn't changed at all in a year).

In the meantime, I'm not going to read any books or magazines, peruse any catalogs, or visit my LYS or online stores - I WON'T be tempted, and I AM going to complete my WIP's . . . just as soon as it's cool enough to knit again.

note: I just used the blogger spellcheck and it seems that I've misspelled '21.26' and, get this, 'blog.' The suggested spelling is 'bloc.' Go figure!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Linky Love

As I commented in one of my earlier posts, it's now officially too hot to knit. At 85 degrees F and 85 percent humidity, it's so hot and moist that just the thought of wool makes me sweat. (But then, just sitting makes me sweat!) On the other hand, at work the A/C is cranked up so high that I'm getting a lot of use out of my old and very well-worn shawl.

So what does one do when it's too hot to knit? Surf the Web, naturally!

If all you can do is shake your head at some of the knitting designs offered over the past couple of years, check out, "You Knit What??" Presented by punk rock knitter and knitty kitty, YKW?? aptly points out, as my 23 year-old daughter says, the YUK in HYUK. (via the comments on The Knitting Curmudgeon)

When an old knitting friend showed up from the States for a few day's visit last month, she brought with her a garter stitch, corner-to-corner washcloth made out of a yarn that is new to me; South West Trading Company's Bamboo. Oh dear, this is the first time in a long time that I've had yarn lust, even at USD13 a skein. The hemp yarn looked interesting too. (OK-Step.slowly.away.from.the.credit.card!)

Then this week a friend from my old knitting guild, Oasis, sent me a note saying that she'd just knit her first ever knitting pattern in Hebrew. She received this pattern from her local yarn shop owner.

This is interesting in a couple of ways: one-that she has a local yarn shop owner (after all, we do live in the Yarn Deprivation Zone) and second, the pattern is in Hebrew. To the best of my knowledge, knitting patterns in Hebrew stopped being published about the same time that the local spinneries stopped producing yarn. That was probably about 12-15 years ago. Besides Polgat (a major garment producer here), there was also Vitalgo and Stork Wool. All gone, except in my yarn stash. The Teddy Wool that is being distributed in the shops here now is made elsewhere, lots of cotton from Turkey and wool from Italy, but the local distributor gets to put his own label on, which generally doesn't include little, unimportant things like, oh, recommended needle size or yardage.

(Woah! I just got back from a trip down Memory Lane after hunting up my old Hebrew knitting mags and meeting lots of dust bunnies on the way. Most of the designs look like fodder for "You Knit What??," but to be forgiving, they are the products of the 90's and look like they're trying much too hard to be trendy. Hm, see first paragraph...)

Ever since the London terrorist attacks, I've been thinking about going to London again. Even after visiting there four times, there's still so much I haven't yet seen and done. October/November is my favorite time to visit, especially during The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (make sure to check out the picture gallery from last year), followed up with a Rowan Workshop at Liberty of London or John Lewis. (You think I might miss my knitting guild? Nah!)

Lastly, this has nothing to do with knitting (other than there's a knitting basket on the floor and Granny's bun looks just like a skein with needles in it), make sure you have Apple's Quicktime installed on your computer and then go watch Le Building.

OK-time to go have an iced coffee and a lie-down. Only 2 or so more months of this heat to get through...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A funny thing happened on the way to the yarn stash

About ten years ago, when I got back into knitting in a serious way, I developed a serious problem with startitis. Well, at first I didn’t see it as a problem, but after a few years of racking up UFOs all over the place, and rarely finishing ANYTHING, I realized that Something Had to Be Done.

At the time, I came to the realization that I am a process knitter – I like the process, and when I learn whatever it was I wanted to learn when I started a project, I just moved on to something else.

This wasn’t an issue until the moment that I decided that it might actually be nice to have something to show for my investment of time and money. That was the moment when I put the brakes on the constant starting and stopping. That didn’t mean, however, that I suddenly because a One Project at a Time Knitter. No, it meant that I limited the number of UFOs at any moment. I permitted myself one or two small, mindless projects, and two or three larger projects of differing types, for some variety.

I worked at a steady pace, I varied my five or so projects, and I finally started to finish things. I was happy with this change in my knitting, and didn’t think much more about it until the other day, when I realized that, somewhere along the line, without my even realizing it, I’d become a One Project at a Time Knitter.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that this happened, but I do know that it’s a recent development. I can look back on the last three things I’ve worked on – the Must Have cardigan, a pair of socks for my sister’s birthday, and the Martha sweater, and find that they have each been worked on singly, alone, with no other project started, abandoned, and nothing else worked on at the same time. As well, there is Nothing Else on the go right now.

This was driven home to me the other day, when I was contemplating the desire I’ve had for a while to knit some lace, which has been piqued by the Summer of Lace a-long. I usually start a new project to work on while I watch the Tour de France cycling race, and started mulling over what I might choose, when I realized I didn’t want to start anything new until I’d finished knitting the Martha.

And to top it off, I realized something else – when I focus on one project at a time, I really do a much better job than if I flit between projects. I no longer find myself getting bored. I find it much easier to memorize patterns and not have to refer to my notes all that much. I’m not really working all that much faster, but there is a focus and intensity in what I’m doing that pleases me.

And it surprises the dickens out of me, too.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Greetings, Salutations, and A White Cotton Sweater

Well, the twins are graduated. Don't know how it happened but it did. I'm proud of them but do you think they could get a job during summer before they go to college? No? Evidently they think no too!

Anyway, since we last heard from our intrepid heroine I finished a couple of hats for the winter baskets we give the classes of cognitive impaired children that I case manage (only about 5 more hats to go!) and a nice scarf for one of our retiring Special Education teachers. Really nice gift - the yarn was some red mohair someone gave me years ago when they decided that they didn't want a sweater out of it. The pattern for the scarf was from a dear friend who had me field test it for a book she is making. And the needles were a birthday gift from the girls. Basically a free scarf, except for the time.

I've been working on a white cotton lace sweater - nice pattern but I'm wondering about those holes when I get up to the, ahhh, breast area. Do I want to make this in stockinette at that point? Do I just want to wear another camisole under it and who wants to do that in the summer on a very hot, humid island? Do I want to wear a nude color bra and pretend it doesn't show thru? I guess I will knit until I get tired of waffling and decide at that time.

Off to stare at the yard and hope that it will just feel guilty and mow itself. Don't think it's going to happen, do you?

PS - oh, oh wait a minute, I forgot I made three kippot out of Jenn's patterns! They were a great hit at the Bar Mitzvah - Neil wore one and girls each had one. I'm still of the generation that I wore a hat! But they looked awfully cute. Thanks Jenn