Friday, January 6, 2012

Resolutions

Today is Epiphany, the last day of the Christmas season. Or rather, today is the twelfth day of Christmas.

Which makes it the perfect time to discuss my New Years Challenges.

This year I will challenge myself to knit 12 projects in 12 months. (Known as "12 in 12"). I will challenge myself to design three projects. I will challenge myself to knit three sweaters. 

This is doable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Knitter's Poem

I hadn't seen this poem by Nancy Massaroni before but it made me laugh heartily.



A Knitter’s Night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care
‘cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
but I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
and the sweater for him was six inches too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needlesto see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tripped over my yarn and fell with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.

And although I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick!
What I heard then left me somewhat perplexed-ed,
for not a name I heard was what I expected.

“Move Ashford; move Lopi; move Addie & Clover;
move Reynolds; move Starmore; and Noro - move over!”
“Paton, don’t circle round, stay in the line.
Come now, you sheep, you’ll work out just fine!

I know this is hard being just your first year,
I’d hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer.
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a ‘grazing.

And then, in a twinkle, I heard at my door
Santa’s coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
and as I turned round, Saint Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toes
and his cloths were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back,
and his toys were all stuffed in a aran knit sack.

His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
a beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf round his neck could have streached for a mile,
and the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.

The backs of his mittens bore an intricate cable,
and suddenly on one I spied a small label.
SC was the duplicate stitch on the cuff,
and I asked “Hay Nick, did you knit all this stuff?

He poudly replied “Ho-ho-ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when Iwas a kid.”
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
and I laughed to myself for I’d thought of a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped in the air,
the next thing he knew he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
where I’d laid my needles and yarn for a cap.

He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two;
for the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels on the stockings and toes on some socks
while I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks!!

So quickly, like magic his needles they flew,
that he was all finished byquarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
and over his shoulder he looked back at me.

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon
“Next year start your knitting some time around June!”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Confidence

I mentioned to my friend M recently that I felt I was knitting faster. Last year when I made my Fiddlehead Mittens, it took me a long time. Almost two weeks to knit the first mitten. It was my second fair isle pattern. This year I'm making them again and its taking me less time. I'm almost able to complete half a mitten in a single two and a half hour sitting.

The reason for this change? I'm confident.

For my Rhinebeck 2011 sweater I knit Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest. I've wanted to make this vest since I learned how to knit. I was challenge on practically everything I knew about knitting. How to measure for a correct fit, how to read a chart correctly, how to keep consistent tension.

Its important to pick a project that will challenge you. By being challenged, you grow.

Tell me: What your challenge project?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Very Stashy Christmas

This year I decided to have a Very Stashy Christmas. Instead of buying gifts, I would make my family something from my stash. (I did have to buy an entire project's worth of yarn for one person. But only one person!)

Without further ado, the photos:










Would you like to see the project contenders? Can you match the yarn to the project?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why Knit?

The night before Rhinebeck, one of my knit buds posed a question. "When did you learn to" she said "knit?"

I learned when I was nineteen, almost twenty, years old. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at college. I was lost. I was lost emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I had no idea who or what I wanted to be in life. I felt paralyzed.

I decided to teach myself how to knit. I'm not sure why. Knitting was something I had always wanted to try and it felt like the right moment to start.

I dug up a 1970's magazine clipping on "How to teach yourself to knit" my Mom saved. Then I headed off to JoAnne Fabrics. There I selected knitting needles that felt good in my hand (US 2), and a (sport weight) yarn I liked.

I taught myself to cast-on in the parking lot. Later in the day I had a few rows of garter stitch completed. At the end of six months I had a skinny black scarf completed. It was so long that I could wrap it around my neck, and still have it reach my knees.

Knitting felt good. And more importantly, it was something that I choose. I choose the yarn. I choose the needles. I choose the pattern. I choose how much time to spend on it. I choose when to put it down.

It was having those little choices, when all the choices were felt too final, that helped free me. 

Why do I knit? Because knitting doesn't care if I'm perfect. It just cares that I show up and participate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why a knitting blog?

1. I like to knit.
2. My friends like to knit.
3. I like to talk about knitting. Often.
4. I don't have enough knitters with which to chat.
5. I own a bookcase stuffed with yarn.
6. Sometimes I need help thinking of what to do with this yarn.


Now, a picture of the blog mascot, Arya: