I Can Hear The Bells

Well, its taken a long time for me, but I finally caught the bug. I’ve got royal wedding fever! It’s surprising that I hadn’t gotten into it earlier with almost every magazine talking about it. (of course, going to see Walt Disney Princesses On Ice may have had something to do with the sudden fever.) I’ve always been more of a Queen Elizabeth fan. Will and Kate have just taken a long time to grow on me.

Prince William and fiance Kate Middleton

Will I be watching the wedding on tv along with millions of other people around the world? Most likely not. It’s not that I don’t want to, but the moment I plan to watch some big event on television, something major happens in my life. Don’t believe me. Here, I’ll prove it. I really had planned on watching the 2008 summer Olympics.  I was even looking forward to hosting a few Olympic-themed parties during the event. I woke up from my coma the day after the opening ceremonies! And all the award shows that have happened so far this year? Either I was in the hospital or at the airport. Go figure. So, I’m not pressing my luck on being able to see any part of the wedding on tv the day of the event. Instead, I’ll catch the highlights on YouTube.

But in  honor of the upcoming wedding, I do plan to make a pair of socks in celebration of this royal event. They will be elegant, soft, feminine and fit for a princess. I hope to have the pattern posted before wedding day.

Advertisements

I Bow Down to the Awesomeness that is Chawne

I bow down to the awesomeness that is Chawne.  Above is a picture of her sock drawer full of nothing but hand knitted socks!

Her blog,  http://cauchycomplete.wordpress.com/, is a wonderful treat to read and her photos on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cauchycomplete/, made me drool. She is a crafting goddess of the 1st degree! From quilting, to knitting, to crochet – there is nothing this woman touches that doesn’t turn to gold. I think I just found out who I want to be when I grow up.

Heavy Weight Socks

These socks were another one made for the secret sock exchange group I’m a part of on Ravelry. The socks were knitted with two needles using worsted weight yarn. I think they came out looking pretty nice. They are very thick and warm too.

Purple Haze Socks

Here is a pair of socks I knitted using my two-needle method. The model wearing them was my secret sock swap buddy known as Frizzlechick on Ravelry. I call these socks, Purple Haze.

My Well Worn Friends

image

These are my size 8/ 5 mm Boye knitting needles. They are one of the first set of knitting needles I ever bought. We have been through so much together.

They have traveled with me through five house moves. They have been confiscated by police when I tried to take them into a court-house. They relaxed on the beaches in Florida and California and have watched the sun set on the beaches of Hawaii.

These needles have seen almost as many movies as I have. And they are the needles that are usually with me when I have to be admitted to the hospital.

They are dependable, forgiving of mistakes and can make even ugly patterns look good. I don’t know where my knitting would be without them. Thank you old friends. May our knitting journey never end.

What knitting / crochet tools that hold a special place in your life? What are your crafting partners in crime?

A ‘Right’ Way To Knit?

So, remember when I told you that I was unfortunate enough to go to the emergency room with out my knitting? Well, I eventually did get my knitting and enjoyed the remaining time I had in the hospital knitting a nice hat for my daughter’s godfather.

 

During my knitting I was stopped by a nurse who informed me that she had been knitting for years and was curious as to what I was casting on my needles. I showed her the picture from the page I had torn out of the magazine, (yes, I tear pages out of knitting magazines. I’m such an anarchist!), and then continued on my merry little way of casting on. Then the nurse asked me the one question that gets to be every time. “How do you knit?”

 

Why this question bugs me, I really don’t know. It could be from the fact that over the years I have had countless knitters stare at the way I knit, explained to me that I was doing it wrong and then proceeded to try and teach me the ‘right’ way to knit. (FYI- I knit forwards and backwards, and my little rabbit doesn’t go through the front door or the front gate- it goes through the back of the loop. My bunny likes it in the backdoor. *smirk*)

 
Usually, when this question comes up I have several sarcastic remarkes that run through my head. “How do you knit?”

 
– With two sticks and yarn.

– With my hands.

– Without listening to you ask questions.

– Very well, thank you for asking.

 
But the proper young lady that I am gets the best of me and my only response is, “I knit a little different from most knitters”.

 
“Well, I’ll show you how I knit”, and the nurse took the needles and yarn out of my hand to show me how she knits. That’s right, you heard me, She TOOK my needles and yarn and started knitting with them. (Note to any new knitters out there or any knit muggles -aka-  people who don’t knit: Never remove needles and yarn from any knitter’s hands without full verbal permission in front of witnesses or with a notarized statement of permission. To remove such items from the knitter without permission may result in being impaled and hung by the very needles and yarn you thought you had a right to touch.)

 
“See, I knit continental style but I prefer to hold my yarn this way to keep tension…” At this point, I could care less if she held the yarn in her mouth to keep tension, I just wanted my needles back. “Well, let me show you how I do it”, I interrupted her. Needles and yarn safely back in my hands I started on a few stitches.

 
“Oh, you just throw your yarn.” She stared. “ Wow, I’m not sure what kind of knitting that is. That’s a bit different. You sure you’re knitting the right way? I’ve never seen  stitches like that. Well, enjoy making your hat.” The nurse walked away and left me with a small half finished row of her stitches next to mine, which did not make for a pretty sight.

 
So, as I frogged the whole thing and began casting on again, I wondered why the big deal about how someone knits? I remember reading an article by Meg Swansen which pretty much talked about the fact that there is no such thing as a ‘right’ way to knit. If you like knitting a certain way and you get the results that you want, then that’s all that matters.

 
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy learning different techniques as much as the next knitter, but I hate this feeling among knitters to define yourself based on your knitting style. “Hi, my name is Michelle and I knit Eastern combination with tension in the left hand over the index finger“.

 
Continental style knitting. English style. Russian-style continental knitting. Norwegian purl. Eastern Combined knitting. Portuguese Knitting. They are all wonderful techniques to learn. But at the end of the day I frankly could care less how you knit, just finish the damn sweater that’s been sitting in your knitting bag for the last three years! Seriously, I’m tired of looking at it.

To Stitches West and Beyond!

 

It is strange to think that I live so close to one of the biggest knitting events in the US, yet as of a year ago, I knew nothing about it.

I started attending Bobaknits in March only to learn that I had just missed the Stitches West event that happened in my own backyard.  The ladies were still talking about the classes they took, the yarn they bought and showing off new knitting bags and needles.

As for me, I sulked in my seat, knitting away with needles I bought at the Goodwill and some no name yarn that I still can’t remember where I got it from. Not that I was complaining, but I’ve never been to any really cool crafting event. The first time I ever walked into a convention hall was to attend a bridal show while I was planning my wedding.

Over the years I’ve watched my friends return from scrapbooking expos, beading shows and religious conferences with bags full of goodies , great stories and an expanded circle of friends. All I’ve ever returned with was an empty carton of ice cream and two pounds added to my hips from my own pity party.

Well, no more. This year I plan to attend  Stitches West! If God be willing and the creek don’t rise, I want to be there to shop for yarn, knit with someone other than my bedroom mirror and learn something new.

I also hope to attend the Sock Summit. This may be a bit harder to swing as the price of attending this event is going to be much higher than Stitches West, but I will not let cost hinder my efforts. I’m stitching away right now making products for my store on Etsy that I hope will pay for my trip there.

I figured if I can’t raise enough money to attend Sock Summit, I’ll hitchhike my way there, camp out in the parking lot of the convention center and feed myself by digging in the garbage bins behind Voodoo Donuts.

Let me know if any of you will be at Stitches West of Sock Summit.

Knitted Socks…My Form of Heroin

I’m online way too much for my own damn good. If I’m not in front of a computer, then I’m on my Android surfing the web. What am I doing online? Mostly, I’m checking out sock patterns and interviews with knitting designers.

Yes, my sock habit has now grown into an addiction. I am even seriously considering becoming a sock designer myself so that I can share my love for the forgotten art of  two straight needle sock knitting.

Am I crazy? Why, yes. But I was crazy before I started knitting socks, so that doesn’t count. Besides, some of the most interesting people in the world are crazy. Yet, I fear that my addiction may now leave all other knitting projects at the waste side.

Maybe it was sitting across from Cookie A at the  weekly Bobaknit sessions and watching her knit away at her socks that caused my downfall. I’m thinking one of those ridiculously tiny double-pointed needles that she works with must have stabbed me in the leg at some point and that’s how I became infected with the sock knitting disease. (At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Sock knitting has now become the Bella to my Edward.

I’m telling you all this so as I make my way towards the deep end of the knitting pool for the eventual fall, you are my witness that I was of stable and sound mind and knew exactly what I was getting into.

(And yes- to answer the question already forming in your head- I will be posting pictures and patterns here of my sock designs.)

Straw Stitch Holder

image

Who says you need expensive or fancy knitting equipment? You have some of the best knitting tools already laying around your house.

In the picture you will see that I used a cheap old bendable straw as a stitch holder. The project is a sock that I’m knitting for a friend.