I finished my evening by working a bit more on my shawl. I will easily finish the middle section today!
Friday, June 27, 2008
I finished my evening by working a bit more on my shawl. I will easily finish the middle section today!
Occasionally, though, if a knitter is very, very lucky a friend will knit something for her family.
Elizabeth Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater from Knitter's Almanac. Knit with love by Jenn in honor of the Pixie's second birthday.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank You!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I woke this morning from dreams of handknit lace - I kid you not! - and as soon as I was able I picked up my needles to begin again. The Princess and the Pixie were good enough to first sleep late and then quickly find something fun to do together, and so I wound up with most of the morning to myself.
Under normal circumstances, I would easily have finished chart A in the time I had this morning.
Under normal circumstances, chart A is fairly simple and straightforward.
Under normal circumstances, I consider myself to be a highly proficient, talented lace knitter.
Apparently, today was not a day for normal circumstances.
The problem - as silly as it now seems - was just the first row. I managed to screw it up not once...not even twice...but THREE times. If you had the pattern in front of you now, you would probably be wondering how on earth anyone could muck up something so simple. The first time was a mistake of symmetry. I am a highly ordered person, and so when I looked at the pattern I saw an even number of plain knit stitches instead of an odd. The second time the whole thing came out wonky, and when I looked back I found that I had completely disregarded the pattern in two places starting very early in the row. The third time I managed to leave out three yarn overs...once again in pattern repeats back at the beginning of the row.
I was taught at a very early age that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing to the absolute best of one's abilities. I never fudge my knitting if it's in my power to fix it, and so I laughed at myself each time and then patiently tinked back to fix my mistakes.
I suppose I could be annoyed at having 'wasted' so much time. After all, such a solid block of time to myself during the week is rare indeed as the girls generally require more attention than they did today.
But...it was such a peaceful morning, and I did enjoy knitting to the sound of the storms outside.
Yep, it's better to just laugh.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Pattern: Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, silk laceweight in color Sunrise, purchased at Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe, using .4 of the skein
Needles: Addi Turbo, 3.25 mm
Finished size: 13" by 53"
December 27, 2997 - June 21. 2008
The only alteration I made was to drop the needle size significantly (from 4.5mm) in order to better suit the yarn and my own taste. I could probably have benefited from doing more repeats on each side to compensate ...but I personally like shorter lace scarves.
I have to say that I absolutely love working with this yarn. This is the second lace project I've used Claudia's silk for, and both times I've been thrilled with the result. I love, Love, LOVE the crispness of the blocked piece as well as the sheen and subtlety of the colors. Sooooo yummy.
Several days later, I shared this whole story with my therapist as we discussed my perfectionist issues. She very astutely said something along the lines of, 'and I just bet you will never be able to accept a compliment on it without pointing out your supposed mistake.'
That very night I took the shawl with me on my Mommy's Night Off to show it to a friend. Sure enough, as soon as she complimented me on its beauty I showed her the mistake without even thinking about what I was doing. It wasn't perfect, it was flawed, and therefor it was less than. Never mind the puzzled expression on my friend's face as she tried to see what apparently only I could see.
I'm telling this story because I had the exact same reaction to your support over my last post. Instead of just being pleased, I immediately wanted to sit down and tell you all exactly what was wrong with that drawing, and why it wasn't a great example of art.
Of course, the Green Woman promptly whacked me over the head with the nearest book she could find...and as it was a compendium of fairy tales it was quite heavy.
And so, Thank You. I appreciate your support, and I will take your words sincerely to heart. You're right, it is a pretty good picture...and I just might have some talent after all.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I was very happy to find this picture buried in the bottom of the trunk that houses my journals and mementos. I drew this when I was 14 in my freshman art class. You can still see the grid marks that I used, but even then it's not half bad for a kid who never drew outside of art class. By the time I created this I had long since decided that I didn't have any talent for drawing. Looking back, I'm not entirely sure why I believed that....but I did.
Hmmm....I think I need to draw something tonight....
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
My husband, bless his heart, LOVES the sweaters I've made for him. Shortly after I presented him with the last sweater, he made a joke about being on an every-other-year sweater plan, and...well....it stuck. I'm a lucky knitter indeed to have a spouse who truly appreciates, loves and uses the sweaters I make. Not all of my friends are so fortunate.
Knowing this was the year, I spent months looking at various yarn options before settling on this one. I knew I had to have the yarn by July if I was going to get a sweater done in time for cold weather, but was honestly getting a bit nervous because I hadn't found anything that really spoke to me. Several weeks ago, on a now-rare trip to the yarn store, I decided to check out the Kathmandu Aran to see if they had any colors I liked. I found this one on the top shelf, and fell instantly in love with it's subtle browns and greys.
Now I just need to get to work....
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I'm all done now!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I know how to sew, but I choose not to. I just don't like it, despite many, many attempts to learn to love such a useful craft. The Green Woman never even tries to push me in that direction, as she feels it would be a complete waste of her time.
Sewing in general, and quilting in particular, are my mother's specialty. She's very talented and creative, even though she doesn't think she is. She would never say so, but I think she is disappointed that I didn't turn out to love the sewing machine as much as she does.
Pattern: Towels With A Twist, by Amy McIntire
Source: Better Homes & Gardens Quilting, August 08
Materials: two tea towels, and two bamboo handles
Extras: Mom's ultra-cool sewing machine that does fancy stitches
Last Wednesday the girls and I drove to my parents' home for a visit. As usual, I was fully prepared for whatever handwork might strike my fancy. Yes, the amount I pack for a three day visit is completely ridiculous. You try living with the Green Woman.
Yesterday morning I found myself lazily leafing through Mom's quilting magazines. To my surprise, I fell head over heals in love with this bag. I don't know that I intended to actually make it - certainly not so soon - but the towels and handles materialized rather randomly during some errands, and then Mom offered to let me use her spiffy new Bernina. The pattern is definitely a beginner pattern, and I didn't have to rely on Mom for a thing. (Well, I did need her for a few details on the operation of said spiffy Bernina. It's a tad intimidating.) In just under two hours I had my new summer knitting bag, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process!
To be sure, there are lots of things I could do to improve upon my bag. Mom gave me a whole list of them when I had finished. The sleeve around the handles needs to be narrower, for one, and the seam that forms the bottom of the bag is ever so slightly crooked on one side. I'm not going to change it, though. For once in my life I'm going to set aside my perfectionism and just enjoy the bag as is. After all, it is a beginner project, and everyone has to start somewhere! Besides, sewing will never be my forte, and I'll make myself nuts if I try to fix all of the details.
Do you hear that wild, crazy cheering in the background? The Green Woman just peeked over my shoulder, and is very, very happy about that plan. She thinks the bag is perfect just as it is.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The good news is that I now have enough done on this scarf to be feeling excited about it again. While technically I'm not quite half way yet, I feel like I'm on the downward slope. For me, that's a good place to be because I tend to pick up steam and fly through the rest of a project when I feel that way.
I must be on a roll, because this afternoon I finished the lower body of the Pixie's sweater. I will divide it for the front and back this evening, and can't wait to see what it looks like!
Monday, June 9, 2008
No, not as much as I normally do.
My head's been firmly buried in this book for the last three days. I finished it a little while ago, thanks to two happy little girls who mercifully kept themselves occupied all morning.
Until I had children I regularly lost myself in books, as the boxes and boxes of books in our basement will bear witness to. It was not unusual for me to go through two to three full-length novels/week. Back when I was a child I had teachers who refused to believe that I read as much as I did, and I was more often than not in trouble for reading too much. In college it became obvious that an English degree was the only thing that made sense for me - practical or not. Books were my joy, my escape, my entertainment, my everything...
I miss that part of myself deeply. Only rarely do I allow myself to sink back into my old bookish habits - mostly because it's almost difficult for me to function outside of the book when I'm truly enmeshed in its pages. I have a life, and children, and thus can't afford the luxury of that type of escape.
It's not all bad, though. I now only read the things I truly love, and freely allow myself to stop reading a book part way through if I decide I don't like it for some reason. That's rather freeing, and I find that I enjoy my infrequent book journeys all the more for it.
Now I can get back to knitting!
Oh...and spinning too....
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
True to form, the first thing I packed was my knitting bag, and, as wonderful as the weekend was in many ways, I wound up being very grateful that I had taken it along.
For starters, I did a really dumb thing. I managed to forget to eat lunch before I left on Friday, and had not had a substantial breakfast. By the time I arrived at the hotel - after a three hour drive - I was more than a little bit cranky. I had a couple of hours to kill before the official start of convention, so I holed up in my hotel room to work on this:
This is about five inches of the Pixie's Ripples In Time sweater. It was exactly what I needed to work off my jitters and my bad attitude.
I also took along my Jeweled Step socks, which came out during a very long luncheon on Saturday. I had worked frantically on them last week to get them up past the heel so that all I had to do was the leg. I managed almost an inch and a half during that luncheon....and I'm not sure I would have stayed awake if I hadn't had that sock to work on!