Tag Archives: knitting

2013: I’m a knitting zombie

It is 2013, did ya know?

I thought 2013 would launch itself upon me with silk and cashmere, but it sneaked in quietly totally lacking fanfare. 

A 2013 FO: Roll Play by Susan Ashcroft knit in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk

A 2013 FO: Roll Play by Susan Ashcroft knit in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk

I think I want all of my knitting this year to behave the same way.  I will not be making elaborate plans.  I will not be making detailed lists.  I will not be obsessively adding new projects.  I am going to knit.  Quietly.  Enjoyably.  Peacefully.  A bit like a knitting zombie…

One of the things I have discovered in 2013 is the knitting videocast Stockinette Zombies.  I luuurve it.  I wait (im)patiently each week for their new episode to be released.  I hit play on my iPad and knit away merrily while watching.  They are funny, interesting, and cool.  Damn, these ladies knit fast.  The number of projects – sweaters no less – that they roll through from week to week makes my head spin.  Please note:  they will be dangerous to your yarn diet.  They seem to have an endless list of indie dyers from whom they order yarn.  Then they show the beautiful yarn on their videocast making me want to buy. all. the. yarnz.

I plan to stumble, zombie style, through the year – knitting, spinning and dyeing.  Bring your undead self along for the ride.

Stashdown 2012 status report

I did it. I’m proud. A bit tired (no, not really). Very much surprised.

I promised to use up at least 7 out of my 10 different winter yarns. It happened, actually, I used up 8, in 16 different projects. osszeall2Strangely enough my stash refused to shrink significantly, due to some accidental or even planned purchases. But the composition of the said stash got much better, there are more hanks from each type of yarn, and overall, the yarn is younger, less depot-like, and that was the aim of the whole project: to have a more useful stash that can provide real choices.

I am so very proud. Not only that I performed my promise, but also that I enjoyed the process. I chose projects for the yarns instead chosing yarns for projects, but I successfully avoided compromises. Most of the time. I just dont want to talk about that vest-thingy, let’s just pretend it never happened.

Now I’ll have to decide on my 2013 stashbusting goals. Summer yarns need some serious re-organisation too, I’m afraid. I think, this system will work for me, to appoint 10 yarns and try to make something out of them. It leaves enough moving space to buy some yarn when necessary, but it would also help to maintain circulation and avoid letting yarn sit in stash for ages.

It’s like all other big circles of life, yarn comes and goes and all we have to do is ride the waves and keep ballance. How poetic.

Crafting for Christmas – my hobby is my responsibility

I don’t believe that just because I knit, I have to provide knitted presents for every friend and family member for Christmas. Also, I don’t believe that just because I knit, all friends and family members are obliged to accept a hat and some mitts every year, in the middle of the winter season, when they probably managed to keep themself warm already. I try to keep in mind that nobody is entitled to order handwork from me (unless he/she pays for it) and also, that I should try to keep my hobby to myself, just the way I hope that others will do (I don’t like decoupage or chatney, and I get a headhache from strong smells, so no homemade soaps or such, thank you).

So I just knit what I want and if I want to knit for someone, I do it, and if Christmas is in the corner, it’ll turn into a Christmas present, but I don’t let Christmas rule my knitting plans for months.

Last year I made one present, a baby onsies that was a lot of fun and a good present. It was a big hit, as far as I can tell. Oh, and a felted bag, that was fun to make, but wasn’t expecially nice or appreciated. But that was it, two knitted items.

This year I will be restricted too. I only plan to make an Oak Park scarf – a beautiful and clever pattern. And that’s it.

There will be some birthdays and namedays (yes, there’s such thing) along the way, and I do feel that I want to knit something that is UFO- or robot related, so I might end up with a knitted present for one of those occasions, but only because I want to do it. I would do it even if there were no reason to celebrate.

I think, this attitude has something to do with the project knitter – process knitter spectrum: I’m more of a process knitter, at least, if something is not fun, I won’t knit it. Also, I am extremely lazy. And I like to keep expectations low.

Crafting for Christmas or Is my MIL Knit-Worthy?

I have been roped into knitting for my mother-in-law for Christmas.  Normally, I consider her not knit-worthy.  She is not high on my list of favorite people in the world and is actually fairly high on my list of least-favorite people in the world.  But…

The in-laws were visiting for the birthday of the youngest child and stayed at our house (very full house! My mother is still staying with us).  We went to dinner and I was wearing my newly completed Clapotis which I am inordinately proud of.  During dinner she commented “Oh, don’t the stores have such nice scarves this year?”  My own mother nearly swallowed her tongue and started choking and coughing at this as I had spent 3 solid days finishing, soaking and blocking the Clapotis.  I replied, “Oh, I made this!”  Then I told her and my father-in-law that I would offer to make her one, but as the pattern is a monumental pain in the ass, I am not planning on ever making it again.

Newly finished Clapotis

After dinner, the husband’s sister called while we were all sitting around talking, and I was knitting because that’s what I do. I had made a Color Affection for her and sent it to her as an early Christmas gift.  Now, this SIL is my favorite of the husband’s family and she is the one who I blamed previously for starting me down the knitting path.  She was so excited and so appreciative of the gift.  The MIL gave me a look when I explained that I had made the SIL a gift.  You know.  A look.  Then she asked me what I was working on.  Oh, I said.  I am working on another Color Affection requested by my own mother who was sitting innocently in the rocking chair.  This garnered me another look.  Sigh.  Then she said with far more tact than I have ever given her credit for having or using that she would love to have anything that I made.  Weird.  She is usually much more underhanded and manipulative than that.  Hmmm…

After they left to go home, I did go to the store and bought some worsted weight acrylic.  I am modifying the Color Affection pattern to use worsted weight rather than lace or fingering weight.  This way, I will not spend too much time and energy on something that I am not sure that she will ever use, but she will have something that I made.  And it will be washable.  This is really self preservation.  This way, she can never tell me that I only made things for my own mother, that we don’t love her as much, blah, blah, blah…

Sisterhood of the Stashdown Scarf – Part 1

As you know if you have been on the Bus Full of Yarn before, many of us have a commitment to using up some of the yarn in our stash.  We chat a lot about yarn, our stash, what we are working on…  We chat a lot.  One day, the chatter went back to our swap and how much fun that was.  First – a little history on the swap.

Twelve of us signed up in May of 2012 for a secret swap within our Ravelry group.  Patty was in charge of drawing names for us and sharing addresses.  Then pandemonium ensued.  We started a thread where we asked and answered random and not-so-random questions about the wants, needs and allergies of the group.  Then packages were posted and flew around the world and photos started coming in of the packages that people were receiving.

A collage of some swap gifts from the Super Secret 2012 Swap

As we were discussing the thought of having another swap next year, several of us expressed our disappointment in waiting until 2013 to do the swap again.  We came up with 2 ideas of how to get through until the next swap.

  1. A traveling project for everyone to work on
  2. A traveling finished object for everyone to take a picture with and pass on

Of course, we decided to do both.  The first to happen will be the Stashdown Scarf.  I had about 4 inches of a scarf that I started, but I don’t know what the pattern is and I have no intention of finishing it.

Stashdown Scarf

The beginning of something wonderfully hideous

Off it went this morning, this little bit of knitted softness.  It will travel the world for the next several months, visiting many friendly hands in various countries all over the world.  Its journey will be recorded here with photos as it goes.  I wish it safe travels and much fun along the way!

 

Sziasztok! (means Hello)

I’m Klara, and I’m the new girl. New in this blog, but also roughly new to knitting – it started less than 2 years ago.

I am Hungarian, but my family moved to Belgium 3 years ago, and it was tough. I lived abroad before, but I didn’t know that having 1.5 children would make such a big difference. It’s just difficult to raise a kid in a country where you have communication problems and it’s very lonely to be at home with a baby when everybody you know has a job or is 1350 km away.

What saved me was a freshly organized mother-baby club, that provided new friendships and endless information. And God, I needed both of them. There was an answer for almost every question and there were lots of questions. Like where to find a creative hobby store around the city. Or a fabric store. And it turned out that there are a lot of creative moms; sewers, quilters, crocheters, all in need of company. So we made a sub-group, to share books, patterns and addresses. I was a passionate sewer that time, did cross-stitch, developed interest in quilting and still had no intention to buy anything but fabric.

But one February day one of the girls arrived to a club meeting with 6 pairs of needles and some leftover yarn and was willing to teach anyone how to knit.  I bought some yarn in a flea market and was ready with my first hats in 2 weeks (imagine 2 squares sewn together. I also attached some weird rabbit ears, so I was very proud. Yes, it’s the one below.) Then in March I registered on Ravelry and paid my first visit at my LYS. I cast-on my first dress just 3 weeks later. And since then I’m in. I’m deep.

Image

The Hat

I will never finish the quilt I was working on and I only sew when there is a specific need for it. Or when I make project bags. I haven’t touched my beautiful (also: enormous) cross-stitch project since. Instead, I knit. A lot. I’m a knitter forever.

Suprisingly, my sheep aren’t that cold

I thought this “going cold sheep” thing would be a lot harder than it is.  Do you know how much yarn I have?  (Well, yes you do – I posted a photo of my Ravelry stash count in Kelly’s Confessional.)  I am not going to experience a shortage of things to knit.

Unexpected bonus: “Hello creativity, my name is Kelly”.  I have been thinking differently, more broadly about what I might knit and which yarn I might choose.  I like it and I don’t feel compelled to buy more yarn.  I do know that I plan on purchasing a rich, heathery chocolate-brown for a cowl and legwarmers (yes, legwarmers – back off) as a gift to myself in early December.  But, I don’t feel rushed to do it now.

I had the notion to go into 2013 with the purpose of using reclaimed yarn.  I posted this thought in one of our (humorously failing) stashdown threads at the Back of the Bus and was surprised by the response.  Most of the gals said it would be too hard.  I don’t know if this comes from a place where they truly think I won’t be able to do it or an unfounded fear that I might ask them to join in.  I won’t.

I am in love with the idea of creating beauty from an unloved item.  We live in an age of toss-away consumerism that makes me sad and sick.  I love beautiful yarn as much as the next fiber-crazed addict and I don’ t plan to stop buying the pretty.  But, I do plan to take that thrift shop sweater and make it into the most amazing cabled hat you’ve ever seen.  My son will have some wicked cool sweaters knit up out of Goodwill dogs.

Just you wait and see.

Kind regards,

Kelly