22 October 2006

First hat!

I just finished my very first knitted hat! Yeah me! I used a pattern from "Stitch n Bitch Nation" on page 75. This is my second pattern out of this book. It is super easy to follow the patterns and also easy to modify the patterns to your own taste. I am so proud of myself. I want to post pictures of my projects but I am not getting the functionality out of the blog that I would like to have in order to display my work. I would like an album of some kind but though I have researched it I cannot find a way to do it in eblogger.

14 October 2006

Projects everywhere!

I was able to add another book to my collection "Magnificent Mittens" by Anna Zilboorg (it was on my wish list). I am working on the beginner's mitten project. This is my first two color knitted project. I thought it would be harder but I am happy to say that it isn't at all. I was hoping to complete at least one mitten of the pair but I am stopped at the thumb because I do not have enough short double points of the size I am using (Latern Moon Ebonies 3 US, Length 4 inches). The pattern calls for creating the thumb on a seperate set of needles in a tube and I currently have 4 of a 5 needle set on the tubular part of the mitten. So I will have to now wait until I can get some more of the same size. Frustrating!

Anyway, I am trying to get myself organized so I decided to make a list of the projects I am working on to see just how many I have going (yikes!).

Current projects:
1. Sock yarn cell phone bags (on going)
2. Mittens (just started)
3. James' afghan (mentioned in the previous blog)
4. Camel bag. (not begun yet)
5. 2 Dolls (not begun yet)

Future projects:
1. Socks: for James and for me (I never make myself anything)
2. Shawl
3. First sweater
4. Something cool and stylish for my beautiful niece!
5. More complicated mittens
6. Something made from all the sock yarn I have that is not a cell phone bag or a sock.
7. Design funky and unique dolls.
8. A "heirloom" type afghan.

There are a ton of other projects that I want to create. I just hope I will live long enough to create them all AND paint the paintings that I want to leave to the world (dramatic huh? lol).

11 October 2006

Thoughts and Books

It seems lately that "life" is getting in the way of yarn plaing! I have about 10 projects going and more that I want to do but cannot get to them all. I get withdrawls when I can't play yarn. I wonder sometimes what it is about crocheting and knitting that relaxes my mind. It actually helps me focus and think things out. It honestly helps me with my homework when I'm stuck. Last week I was working on pretty difficult Math Modeling problem/project and was just stuck. I sat for a few minutes and worked on one of my little cell phone bags and I was able to come up with a new approach to the problem. I was able to relax enought to think clearly and remove myself from the problem I was working on. I "stepped back" from it so to speak.

One of the projects that I am working on is an afghan for my guy. I started crocheting him one earlier this summer but when I picked up knitting in July I got bored with crocheting. I ripped it all out and now am knitting one. I am not using a pattern for an afghan but rather various textured square patterns and will put the squares together. My idea is to make as many squares as I can so that I cannot only make an afghan but learn new stitches (like different kinds of cables). I found this great book , "200 Knitted Blocks" by Jan Eaton. The patterns and instructions for each block are easy to follow. Every block has a colored picture that makes it easy to see what you work should look like. At the beginning of the book there are instructions on how to create your own unique geometric looking afghans by using the blocks. One of the things I enjoy doing in my visual art is geometrics so this book is right up my alley!

I have a TON of crochet books and am just beginning my knitting book "stash". I have disciplined myself to purchase only knitting books that have more then just one pattern that I like. Honestly I could go broke getting all the ones that I want.
Here are some of the books that I have purchased that I am really enjoying:

"Big Book of Knitting" by Inc. Sterling Publishing Co.
This books has a TON of patterns. The more I learn and the more my technique improves the more ideas I am getting to create my own original patterns.

"Stitch n Bitch Nation" by Debbie Stoller
This book is really nice and fun! Stoller mixes patterns with stories of various knitting clubs across the country.

"Sensational Knitted Socks" by Charlene Schurch
Just got this book today (thanks honey!). I want to make some socks as gifts and this book looks really great in helping you learn to make all kinds of socks and also helps with creating your own original patterns. It has charts and instructions to help you learn how to make a good fitting sock.

"Yarn Harlot" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Ok what can I say Ms. Pearl-McPhee is great! This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I find my addiction to yarn clearly explained. Now when I first read this book I was a tiny bit taken aback by a comment against people who play yarn by crocheting. But that was before I started knitting....and ok ok she has a point. sheesh!

"Knitting Rules" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Her latest and just as funny and also helpful. I just want to give her a hug because her books give me a smile and I want to thank her for that. Giving someone a reason to smile is a gift. imho.

"At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit To Much" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
What I have said above goes for this one as well.

"Folk Bags" by Vicki Square
A few years ago I found this book and gave it to my friend as a Christmas gift. Recently I saw Vicki Square on an episode of Knitty Gritty (on the DIY Network). This is a great book. Another friend made the "Camel Bag" from this book and won a blue ribbon at the state fair last month. Its hanging up in my knit shop and I got everything so that I can make it. I love all the patterns in this book and though I will choose different materials for some I believe I will eventually make them all. I do not really like using purses but for some reason I really enjoy making them.

"Domino Knitting" by Vivian Hoxbro
I have been creating geometric type art since I was kid so this book fits in with my ideas for creating artistic type knitting with geometric patterns. Modular knitting seems to be the way for me to create the things I am imagining. I have been tossing around ideas for creating pieces that hang on a wall.

"Bags a Knitter's Dozen" by Elaine Rowley (editor)
Really fun book and nice patterns

I have three books coming from Amazon:
"Toys to Knit" by Tracy Chapman
I have a "thing" for toys. Do not know why I just do. I have always wanted to make toys but since I do not sew (and do not wish too) I am really looking forward to knitting some.

"Not Just Socks" by Sandi Rosner
When I was crocheting for some reason I really got attached to fingering weight and sport weight yarns and crochet threads. I have become addict to sock yarn. Particularly "Opal Sock Yarn". This book and the next have ideas for making items with sock yarn other then just socks. A lady from my knitting group brought it in and the patterns are just gorgeous.

"Not Just More Socks" by Sandi Rosner

Now obviously I have an entire list of books that I would like to put into my collection:
"Knitted Toys: 21 Easy-to-Knit Patterns for Irresitable Soft Toys" by Fiona McTague
"Knitted Toys: 25 Fresh & Fabulous Designs" by Zoe Mellor
"200 Knitted Ripples" by Jan Eaton
"Mason-Dixon Knitting" by Kay Gardner and AnnMeador Shayne
"Big Girl Knits" by Jillian Moreno and Amy R Singer
"Modular Knits: New Techniques for Modern Knitters" by Iris Schrier
"Folk Hats" by Vicki Square
"The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Discovery" by Linda T. Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels
"Mindful Knitting: Inviting Contemplative Practice to the Craft" by Tara Jon Manning
"Slip Stitch Knitting: Color Pattern The Easy Way" by Roxanna Bartlett
"Mosaic Knitting" by Barbara G. Walker
"Dazzling Knits: Building Blocks to Creative Knitting" by Patricia Warner
"Vogue Knitting on the Go: Scarves Too" by Trisha Malcolm
"Andean Fok Knits" by Marcia Lewandowski
"Dream Toys" by Claire Garland
"Blankets and Throws to Knit" by Debbie Abrahams
"Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski
"Latvian Mittens" by Lizbeth Upitis
"Magnificant Mittens" by Anna Zilboorg and Alexis Xenakis
"Free Form Knitting" by Prudence Mapstone
"25 Bags to Knit" by Emma King
"Vogue Knitting Socks" by Trisha Malcolm

Well its now time for the Late Show.
bye for now

06 October 2006

Yarn day

Boy has it been some week! I stress about my grades big time. What insane state of mind was I in to choose to major in Math! of all things! Seriously? But as of yesterday I am all caught up and today is going to be a yarn day. Yahoo. I was invited to an evening of knitting! I get to spend time just playing yarn with other yarn addicts...or as my bf is calling us the Yarnkies (as in Junkies hooked on yarn). Strange I know.

I am going to try to organize some of my yarn by putting them in ziplocks. I have recently increased my stash by a good amount (self patterning sock yarn is way fun!) Hopefully during the holdiay break in December and January I will organize my entire stash. At least that is the goal I have set for myself. Shall see if it really happens. But, as many of us Yarn Harlot devotees accept that is reallyh no way a true yarn addict can ever gain total control over a stash. lol The one chapter in Stephanie McPhee's book (click the book image) about her stash was absolutely hilarious but it was also right on the money. Except I do not own a piano to stuff yarn into. lol

In order to organize all of my yarn I desperately need a ball winder. Alot of my yarn is in skeins but I do not like to pull the yarn from a skein or a hank. I used to ball up my yarn by hand but then I learned that doing this stretches the yarn. Not good. They are a bit expensive but worth it. My home away from home yarn shop carries them so I am hoping "Santa" goes there and gets me one. I would love to have a swift also but they are REALLY expensive and I don't really have a place to set up at home.

Anyway, time to get my stuff together to go play yarn.

02 October 2006

Knit n Rip Meetup

Tonight was the bi-monthly meeting for the Knit n' Rip meetup group at Deluxe Yarns. There weren't as many people as is usual for the Monday meetup but there were 3 new people. Really nice. Well all of the knisters are nice there. It was so much fun the only part I didn't like was when it ended and I had to come home to do homework! Blah! If there were a way for me to pay my bills and put food on the table while doing my painting and yarn playing I would be the happiest art addict in the world! lol....well its late and have to hit the books time to go dream of yummy yarns in gorgeous rainbow colors.