The Sweater Dilemma

At some point in our knitting lives we have all either heard of or experienced first hand the knitting urban legend about the dreaded “Boyfriend Sweater” curse. If you knit a sweater for a guy that you’re not married to, he leaves you soon after you gift him the sweater.

My question is- if you unravel the sweater to reuse the yarn for another project, does that reverse the curse? A few of my friends and I were discussing the thought that if we wanted to unravel and reuse yarn from a sweater of a man who is now an ex, would unraveling the sweater bring that jerk  back into our life?

We each had our suggestions on what to do to avoid the possible return of M. Ex. Those ideas ranged from  making sure you or the ex is out of the state at the time of the unraveling to rinsing the sweater in holy water before unraveling. So, knitters, what’s your take on the curse and how should a knitter handle the unraveling of a cursed sweater?

Knitter’s Proverbs and Sayings

We’ve all heard them. Those classic proverbs and sayings like, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. Well, I wondered how some of these saying would go if it was a knitter who first spoke them. Below are some classic sayings reworked in a way I’m sure all knitters will understand.

If at first you don’t succeed. . . hide the evidence in the back of the closet and pretend like you never knitted it.

The early bird. . . gets the last 3 skeins of discontinued yarn on Jimmybeanswool.com

Early to bed. . . early to VooDoo Donuts before Sock Summit.

A penny saved. . .means you’re one cent closer to getting that Cashmere/Mink blend you’ve been drooling over.

You can’t party with the sinners and . . . not learn the effects of drunk knitting the next day.

If the shoe fits. . . buy it and knit a pair of socks to go with it.

You only live once. . . so buy the yarn now. You may not be around for the sale.

Beauty is in the eye. . . of the knitter who just spent a month knitting that sweater for you. So put it on and say thank you or you’ll never get another birthday gift from them- EVER!

A fool and his money. . . will soon find his house taken over by his wife’s ever growing yarn stash.

Better to have loved and lost. . . then to have wasted good yarn knitting him a sweater.

All roads lead. . . to a great little yarn shop.

Curiosity killed the cat. . . and yarn was spun with the fur off his back!

What does not kill you. . .only makes your kitchener stitch even stronger.

Time heals all. . . remaining guilt from your last yarn shopping spree.

Nothing last forever. . . except Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.

A wise man knows. . . to give his wife the credit card and don’t ask questions.

If you can’t say something nice. . . stitch it in duplicate stitch.

You’re nobody. . . ’till you’ve got a fan group on Ravelry.

Behind every great man. . . is a happy knitter.

Money can’t buy you love . . . but it can buy a Starbucks frappuccino and several skeins of alpaca yarn.

What goes up. . . can usually be fixed by adding a three-inch knitted border to the hem. 

If  life is a highway. . . make sure to pack plenty of yarn for the journey.

When life bring you lemons. . . add vodka and sip while knitting.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. . . just use bigger needles next time.

Lovers come and go. . . but good knitting needles last forever.

When faced with a fork in the road, I take the road. . . that has the most yarn shops.

To thine own self be true. . . and let your knitting tell little white lies!

Interweave Knitting Lab

Interweave Knitting Lab

Have you heard the good news? Interweave Press, the company that produces two of my favorite magazines- Piecework and Interweave Knits, is hosting its own knitting conference!

Interweave Knitting Lab is the title of the event being held in San Mateo, California, November 3-6, 2011. Yes, there will be the usual market to do some wonderful shopping as well as how-to classes. But that’s where the Interweave Knitting Lab similarities to other knitting events ends. What this event will bring is a level of talent with the kind of in dept knitting knowledge that only Interweave could provide.

Don’t believe me? How about learning Bohas knitting and its history from Anne Berk. Design skirts and dresses with Shirley Paden. Recreate traditional folk mittens with Donna Druchunas or try your hand at Andean hat scallop knitting to the Chinchero style with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez. This is just a tiny sampling of classes designed to immerse you with the knowledge and technical skills for continued learning and success long after the conference is over.

If you happen to be in the area, I urge you to attend. Classes are filling up quickly so do not hesitate. Seeing the history of Interweave’s other well-known event, SOAR, I’m sure Interweave Knitting Lab is destined to become a ‘must’ for knitters serious about cultural history and techniques in knitting.

September In Is Vogue!

If you haven’t heard then you’ve been stuck in the house knitting alone in the bedroom for far too long. Turn off the TV- trust me, your recordings of Glee and Doctor Who will be there when you get back. Now is the time to grab your girlfriends and gear up for an event that’s even better than the kids going back to school.

VK Live! In Los Angeles 2011

 
 
That’s Right! The show that took New York by storm is making its way to the other fabulous coast with plans to make the event ever bit as tantalizing as a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive!
 
Don’t believe me? How about a  Red Carpet Marketplace Champagne Preview hosted by Deborah Norville. Yes, you read that right. THE Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition will host VIP registered attendees as they stroll, with drinks in hand, to get first dibs on all the good stuff an hour before the market opens to the general public.
 
You can also attend the Gala Dinner & Fashion Show  which will feature a talk with the master colorist that all color work knitters bow down to- Kaffe Fassett.
 
And treat yourself to the creme de la creme of classes offered by such celebrity names as Meg Swansen, Cookie A., Shannon Okey, Shirley Paden and Nicky Epstein – just to name a few.
 
If you need more convincing of why you should go, maybe you should take a peek at what you missed at the New York Show:
 
 

Harry Potter And The Knitting Spell

July 15th, 2011 will mark the US premier of the final chapter of the Harry Potter movie series.

Like many people, I have followed Harry Potter since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out. It was a story on CNN about a community burning the first book that got me interested in reading the series. (Anything that merits an old-fashion book burning must be a damn good book!) I was hooked on Harry after the first chapter and have been a loyal Potter-head ever since.

Harry Potter has done more than just get a whole new generation of kids away from the TV and to the library. It has also sparked a whole new realm of fantasy and fictional inspired knitting. From Mrs. Weasley’s now famous sweaters to Hagrid’s knitting that measures the size of a tent, we knitters have been obsessed with the knitting found or implied in the books by J.K. Rowling.

Alison Hansal”s Charmed Knits and the many Harry Potter groups found on Ravelry, Google and Yahoo are poof that the knitting spell Harry Potter has cast will live long after the final movie credits roll by.

Thank you J. K. Rowling and that you Harry Potter, for your inspiration, motivation and for bring that little bit of magic back into all of our lives!

As a final tribute to this great magical journey we’ve all been on, I encourage you to wear something knitted or crocheted this week that would be worthy of the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry. And to all you Harry Potter fans out there please tell me, what knitted / crocheted HP-inspired item will you be wearing to celebrate the final movie?

I leave you with a few of my favorite Harry Potter patterns. Enjoy!

Quidditch Sweater by Anne Bergeron (photo credit ACraftyLawyer)

 
 

Hogwarts Scarf by Lauren Kent (photo credit: starfallz)

 

 

Aragog the Spider by Wendy Gross

 

Mandrake Plant by PhoenyThe Golden Snitch by Melissa Mall

 

The Weasley Sweater by Alison Hansel (photo credit: knitsmith)

Submission Is Damn Sexy

When most people think of the word, ‘submission’, they think of some poor woman buried under the foot of an overbearing husband. Some more kinky-minded individuals think of the S&M games we like to play in the bedroom. To knitters, the very sound of the word turns us on!

Knitters know that submitting can be damn sexy and very fulfilling. So, what kind of submission am I talking about? It’s the kind that can transform a knitter from a hobby crafter into a full-fledged knitwear designer. It’s submitting your work for publication consideration.

There are knitters who have wet dreams over the thought of their patterns being published. And if your pattern makes it to the coveted front cover of a knitting magazine, well, that’s a full on orgasm right there! It doesn’t matter if you just learned to knit two weeks ago. If you have a design idea in your head, why not take the chance to turn it into a sweet profitable reality?

Below are a list of a few upcoming calls for submissions for you to consider. *Warning- the reading of submission guidelines is  known to be an aphrodisiac.

Twist Collective Winter 2011 Issue

Deadline for submission: May 5, 2011

Submission information:  http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/index.php/component/content/article/95

Mood board: http://twistcollective.com/articlepdfs/tc_winter_board.pdf

Clotheshorse Spring 2012 Issue

Deadline for submission: May 20, 2011

Submission Information: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/clotheshorse/pages/Design-Submission-Guidelines

Mood board: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/clotheshorse/pages/Spring-2012-Call-for-Submissions

Knitscene Spring 2012 Issue

Deadline for submission: May 20, 2011

Submission information: http://www.knitscene.com/contributor-guidelines/

Knitty.com Deep Fall 2011 Issue

Deadline for submission: June 1, 2011

Submission information: http://www.knitty.com/subguide.php

Currently On The Needles

I’ve been reminded of the lack of knitting pictures- especially sock knitinng pictures- on my blog. Trust me, I am knitting and crocheting my butt off at the moment. Unfortunately, since some of the items I am knitting is being sent to magazines for publication consideration, I’m unable to share them with you just yet. However, even though I can’t let you see what I’m working on, I can at least tell you about it. So, here is a list of what’s currently on my needles, (and hooks):

– A crocheted Homestar Runner as a birthday gift for my Boy Toy

– Another crocheted Strong Bad For my Boy Toy’s co-worker

– Some size 8 1/2 socks for a sock swap (I will share this pattern free on Ravelry near the end of May)

– The Royal Wedding socks being knitted in size 10 crochet cotton, double stranded (hopefully will be able to post the  pattern on the big day)

– A blingy pair of socks for consideration in the ezine, Twist Collective Winter 2011 issue

– Two fashion-forward sock designs for consideration in the new upcoming ezine, Clotheshorse Spring 2012 issue

– Elegant and simple sock design for consideration in Knitscene magazine Spring 2012 issue

– Hand stitching the pieces of the blanket my Boy Toy made on his knitting loom

– Working on the cross-stitch pattern from Hell, for my Boy Toy’s great Aunt

And finally, I’m doing my best to keep from tripping over all the yarn that has exploded in my room due to all my many projects going on at once. I’m starting to wonder the statistics of knitters who have died under the weight of too many knitting projects?

Banned From Knitting

I often go to visit my Boy Toy’s fraternal grandparents. Two very nice old people who don’t smell like month balls, always has their candy dish filled with yummy goodies and puts a tablespoon full of opium in their ice tea. (Okay, maybe its more like a teaspoon of opium, but I swear their ice tea is dangerously addictive). Needless to say, I like spending time with them.

During visits, I often bring my knitting with me. After dinner is done and the plates are cleared we usually sit around the table listening to great stories about growing up in the South and the family and friends that have long passed away. It’s at this time that I would pull out my knitting and immerse myself in the history, stories and culture of a way of life that most people of my generation don’t have a clue about.

On a recent visit, after a lip smacking meal of grilled steaks, corn on the cob and buttermilk biscuits, we were once again sitting around the table listening to stories of the ‘good old days’. I pulled out my knitting and looked down to check where I was at in my work. My hands jerked in fear when dear grandma V called my name in that stern southern voice.

“Child, you are so rude. Every time you come here, you just sit and knit and don’t want to listen in. I told grandpa B that the next time you come here and pull out your knitting that I was going to take it away from you. If you don’t want to be here, then just don’t come.”

It took a moment to gather my words as my mind was still in shock over what was just said. Thankfully, my Boy Toy stepped in on my behalf.

“Grandma, she’s not trying to be rude. You know how crafty she is and it’s hard for her to be without something in her hands. She is always doing something.”

“Well, she can go without knitting for the time that she’s her. I just think its rude. You can’t be paying attention to what people are saying if you’re too busy counting stitches.”

“Grandma V, I don’t count stitches”, I said. “When I’m knitting I can hear everything that you say. I don’t even look down when I’m knitting. I keep my head up looking at whomever is talking. When I knit, it makes me focus more on the conversation.”

“I don’t believe that. You can’t tell me that you can sit here doing stitches and know everything we talking about.”

“But I do. I always know what you’re saying because I respond to questions and I laugh at the jokes. I’m listening to everything that’s going on.”

“It’s true grandma”, my Boy Toy admitted. “I can have full detailed conversations with her where we are both going back and forth with our ideas and she can still knit without missing a beat. Besides, didn’t you always tell me that idle hands are the devil’s work?’

” Well, I’d just like to see her stop knitting and just sit and talk like everyone else. No one can possibly have something to knit all the time.”

Grandpa B stepped in and changed the conversation. I tucked my knitting back into my purse, spending a little too much time trying to move things around in my purse while I tried to keep my tears at bay.

I spent the rest of the evening with my hands in my lap, listening to the conversations, but not really  ‘being there’ mentally.

When it was time to go home I got in the car with my Boy Toy and sulked in my seat. He placed his hand on my lap.

“So, I guess I’m banned from knitting at their house anymore.”

“No. You keep knitting. I know how you were before you started knitting and I understand how much knitting has helped you. I’d rather have you knitting and happy then to see you like this. Don’t worry about grandma. She’s just jealous because she could never knit as good as you.”

Did I mention to you how much I love my Boy Toy?

One Stash, Two States

I recently had the chance to visit my second yarn stash in the  located in the next state over. I would never wish such an arrangement on any knitter, but for me this arrangement is working out. The upside to having yarn in two different states is that absence really makes the heart grow fonder.

I had forgotten what beautiful yarns I own. There is a bag of seven skeins of wool waiting to be made into a blanket.  I have enough yarn left over from my last Harry Potter scarf project to make another one. And the amount of colorful acrylics staring up at me when I look into the stash is enough to make a young knitter blush.

As much as I would like to pack it all up and have this stash join its friends the next state over, I can only take a few balls of yarn with me for now.  My stashes are separated for a good reason- though that doesn’t help the sadness that I feel when I have to leave one of my stashes behind.

Hopefully, some day in the near future, my two stashes will be reunited. But until then, I will continue to be the traveling knitter, living my life between two states- and two stashes.

Thank You Mason-Dixion Knitting

WordPress has many features for those of us who like to blog and improve our blog following. One such feature allows users to track how people find their blogs. There is a section under my site management called Referrers that I can click to see what link users clicked on to get to my blog postings.

For a couple of days now, that section has been showing that people clicked on a link from http://www.masondixonknitting.com/ to get to my site. I absolutely adore the ladies of Mason-Dixion Knitting, but for the life of me I couldn’t find out how people were getting from their blog to mine. When I would click on the link I would just get taken to their homepage where I was naturally sucked in and two hours later I would realize I’m reading their July 2009 entries.

Today as I was viewing my referrers, I saw their link again. So this time I stayed focused and scanned the entire home page of their blog. Well, come to find out, on the right-hand column, under the title SNIPPETS, Kay posted this lovely note:

Damn U, Sweet Malabrigo: A handy playlist for common knitting situations. Thank you, Liver Chick Knits.
– posted by Kay
I was oh-my-God-I-just-saw-Robert-Pattinson-and-he-smiled-at-me giddy when I read this. I am so honored that they  liked my blog post.  I’ll never wash that blog post as long as I live.
Thank you Mason-Dixion. You ladies rock!