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Archive for February, 2009

Recovering

Since Thursday night, I’ve been battling the worst case of stomach flu I’ve had since I was 5 years old. Hence, no updates. I’m typing this while lying down, and it’s not very productive, so I’ll go. I do want to do a post on why I knit, but that will be another time obviously. I think I’ve eaten one small container of Jello since Thursday night and have had copious amounts of Powerade. Ehhhh, my head can’t process any more words. Until next time, dear readers.

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why?

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Ottawa, KS to hang out and knit with good friends.  I find all of my socializing lately revolves around knitting.  That is not a complaint, only an observation.

Knitting was not as painful tonight and I could knit for longer stretches than just last week, so things are looking up.  I find that I have been thinking a lot more about the act of knitting lately (not knitting in general, I am always thinking about patterns and yarn.)  I imagine that this is because I can feel every stitch.  Do you remember when you were first knitting and you watched every stitch come off the needle?  At least that is how it was for me.

I have been asked why knitting is so important by some of the people who have had to listen to me whine about not knitting.  I am having trouble answering the question “Why do you knit?”  I know this topic has been covered at length in other blogs, magazines, and general conversation.  The reason I bring it up now is not only to poll the people reading this, but to try to come up with an answer for myself.  If I were to put it as simply as possible I would say I knit because I want to.  That yields the question “Why do you want to?”

If you look at it from the outside: the yarn is expensive (store sweaters are cheap), there is a serious time commitment, and on any given day I may be so frustrated that I am cursing every stitch.  Yet I still continue.  I started knitting because I liked doing counted cross stitch but never really considered the result functional.  I decided to pick up knitting again (my grandmother taught me to knit when I was 8 or so, but I never got past a garter stitch blob) and make scarves for Christmas gifts.

As I started challenging myself to learn new techniques I found a lot of satisfaction in getting something to turn out the way it was supposed to (for example: socks.)  After my first sweater I was hooked on sweater knitting.  I love having spent time and effort for the perfect fit while using great yarn.  I enjoy coming up with my own patterns and getting something to turn out just how I imagined it should look.

I do not consider myself a process knitter, I knit to have something tangible when I am done.  Alternatively I do love the process of knitting.  The meditative nature of making stitch after stitch after stitch.  The feel of the yarn over your fingers.  I love these aspects of knitting, looking at the finished project and knowing you touched every inch of yarn and made every stitch.

I have typed now for way too long and still don’t have a good answer.  I could talk about knitting for a very long time.  All I can come up with is, I knit for a thousand reasons, I knit for one reason – because I want to.

Help me out.  Why do you knit?

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pottery

A couple weeks ago the group from Lawrence Arts & Crafts took a trip to Sunfire Ceramics.  We had a lot of fun and I though I would show off my new bowl.

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I am not an artist so stripes were the best I could do.

The outside is teal and speckled.

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I know the bowl will get a lot of use and I like the colors.  I consider the project to be a success.

In knitting news I am still not able to knit more than a few rows at a time.   Instead of tiring out my back at work I am thinking I should quit my job and knit all day.  If I could knit a functional house and car  that might actually work.

I have been doing  a lot of Ravelry surfing for patterns.  I really like looking at what everyone makes.  I highly recommend joining if you have not already.

I also picked up Barbara Walker’s book Knitting from the Top at the library.  It was mentioned at Knit Lawrence that she has a method for knitting top down set in sleeve sweaters while simultaneously knitting the sleeves.  I have read through her instructions and think I understand.  I would really like to try this method of sweater construction soon.  It sounds like fun.

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Cha-cha-cha-changes!

Well, thanks to tax returns, we finally decided to get a dishwasher (that isn’t me…) and we bought a new couch. The new couch is super comfy, and actually longer than our old one. Our old one has HUGE over-stuffed arms, making it look larger than the new one. I LOVE our new couch. I can’t wait until I can really start decorating our living room. We’ve lived in our house for 3 years now, and it still looks like a rental with GARISH off-white semi-gloss paint that reflects every defect in the ancient and much abused dry-wall. I would like to paint the room a similar shade of blue that’s on the couch cushions, with maybe a gray accent wall? Not quite sure. I do know that I want to do built in bookshelves around the front window, but maybe I should put a new window in before I attempt that. Our house definitely needs new windows. I am sickened every time I think how much money and emissions we waste heating our house. I know it would be a tax write-off too.

The dishwasher will pose it’s own problems. We are unsure of how to hook it up. We need to get an electrician out to do some re-wiring, because we are putting the stove where the refrigerator is, and the dishwasher where the stove is. That sounds like a mess, huh? MUSICAL APPLIANCES! Burton’s dad is supposed to come up this weekend or next (probably next) to help us hook it all up. We will also get a new counter-top made, to go over the dishwasher all the way to the length of the wall. I’m really happy about this, because I had zero counter space before, with the dish-drainer taking up the small section between the stove and sink, and all my appliances on the other side of the sink. If I needed extra working space to like, bake cookies, bake ANYTHING, I had to use the kitchen table. I’m going to like cooking so much better when I don’t have to worry about the dishes piling up and frustrating workspace I had to deal with. I really like to cook, and that’s a testament how much I do, if I’m able to cook in that really user-unfriendly kitchen at all. Next would be new cabinets, making the front room into a dining room…WHOA! Slow down! I’m not a millionaire yet!

I bet you’d like to see some pictures!couch

Cutest Kids Who Have Ever Sat On A New Couch

Cutest Kids Who Have Ever Sat On A New Couch

The second picture is more true to the actual color, since the horrible (yet energy efficient) front room fluorescent light was on in the first picture. It is a dusty turquoise-y blue with copper flecks running through it. We need to move the old couch to the front room and get it one step closer to the door. Then we can get the new couch to it’s rightful place in the living room.  We are waiting to see if Burton’s dad, mom or brother-in-law want the old one. It’s a perfectly good couch, just not the direction our style is going anymore. 10 years! Ye served us well, couchy!

And that’s what’s new!

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My friend Shannon sent this to me via email. It is pretty freaking amazing. Why didn’t I have this idea??? Click to see awesomeness.

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And I’m talking about my fascination with MITERED SQUARES! I’ve started crocheting up all my remains of skeins from my blanketa. It’s been going pretty smoothly and FAST. I didn’t realize it, but it seems like the single crochet stitch takes up much more yarn than knitting in stockinette, so hopefully these squares will make one warm blanket. I’ve already made 4 without really trying. I am definitely on hiatus from knitting for at least a few more weeks. I need to recuperate. My tingling arms deserved a break for a while. Now my fingers are cramping, but that’s ok. I have to spread the pain around.

As I was making my squares, I had an evil idea. I wondered if I could make mitered squares via crochet. I was pretty sure I could do it. I was going to play around with that idea at a later time, but I received an email from my aunt. She said she read our blog and really enjoyed it. She’s an avid crocheter, and never really picked up knitting. She has made tons of afghans (there’s one on Evie’s bed right now that she made!) and has a lot of scrap left over and would like to make a blanket like the one I made. Only one problem, she doesn’t knit. So right away, if there is something to be solved, well, you know I have to get my hands messy trying to work it out.

It wasn’t that messy at all actually, as the number of stitches you crochet and decrease are the same as when you knit. I was just unsure HOW to decrease the right way, and decided on slip stitching two single crochets together. It seemed to work out nicely. I used an H hook, and it crocheted up 50% larger than the kitted squares which were done on size 10 needles. It also ate a lot of yarn, so I hope she has a big stash. Here is the result:

I thought about turning this into a huge 70's beach tote.

I thought about tunring this into a huge 70's beach tote.

Also, here are the other squares I have done. As you can see, that last one is still on the hook. (That sounds so weird as opposed to saying “on the needles”.) I decided on making them 9X11 inches.

I think they're kind of pretty!

I think they're kind of pretty!

I have Coke Zero by my side today, as well as some Allegra-D, so I think I have enough stimulants in my body to conquer the world. Or at least to have my nervous system leap out of my skin and dance around without skeletal support. I’m off to email the mitered square pattern to my aunt, make some more squares, and take a shower. All while the baby naps. Multi-tasking and me, we work well together.

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Acquisition

I am still not able to knit for very long and therefore have made almost no knitting progress.  I do have a new hand knit sweater though.

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It was my great grandmothers.  It is 100% wool.  A little bit closer pic.

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There are two tags in the back.

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The first tag says 100% Wool, hand made in Italy.

The second tag is hand written (by my grandmother) and says 100% wool, Dry Clean, B. Jost (my great grandmother.)  I am not sure why there is a second tag.  I am fairly certain based on the first tag that my grandmother didn’t knit this sweater, but I am not 100% sure.

I went to Knit Lawrence today.  It was a great time as always.  I was able to knit on and off without too much trouble which was really really nice.  After lingering past when half the group left someone approached the table and said they had yarn to give away.  The remaining people each picked up a bag.  I picked up two.

The yarn is Red Heart 100% wool.  I am not sure that I really need it, but free is free.  If anyone out there has a burning desire for some free yarn (Lora?) let me know.  The colors I got were greens and a dark cream.

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The price tag is pretty amusing.

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99 cents for 100% wool, nice!

The cats insist on smelling every new thing that I bring into the house.  It literally took the black cat over an hour to sniff every inch of the piano when I brought it home.

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Hopefully today was a good sign and I will be knitting more soon.

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