Category Archives: About Me

Knitting from my Stash

Resolving to use my creative energy to figure out what to do with all this yarn

Okay, I’m going to keep a score card of things I’m knitting from my stash.  I have to admit… I need to focus on using what I have. The first step to dealing with any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. I just knew that I had to stop when I found myself engaging in the behavior of buying plastic tubs on a regular basis. To be honest, I only started thinking about this because a current project necessitated me looking for a long lost (perhaps even mythical) cone of Artfibers yarn leftover from a sweater I knitted last year. I realized I had way too much stash when I literally couldn’t sort through what I had to find the damn cone of pink and purple yarn.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep a score card of all things knitted from the stash. For many people keeping lists is what separates them from devolving into mindless and chaotic animals. Since I’ve been a rather lame blogger as of late. I’ll just return back to this post to relate my progress or not post to share my lack of. I could research some fancy knitting widget or plug in, but… screw it. I’m just going to do things the old fashioned way… bullet by bullet. Besides I know myself well enough to understand that if the list gets too long or complex I’ll just run away screaming. Sorry, I probably let you into my psyche a little too much there.

Finished:

  • Tam from Silky Wool (3/4 skein teal green)
  • Fossil Crocheted Neckwarmer (from Kim Werker’s Crocheted Gifts) – 100% in Di’Ve Autunno 3 balls
  • Fossil Neckwarmer in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Flamme 2.5  balls
  • Baroness Beret – 1.5 skeins Elsbeth Lavold Angora
  • Exfoilating Washrag (crocheted) – .5 skeins of Fibranatura Flax

Started (includes percentage complete:

  • Branching Out Scarf from SIlky Wool (1 & 1/4 skein teal green) – 40%
  • Black Cavern Cardigan from Panda Bamboo (10 skeins of black) – 90%
  • Crocheted Market Bag – 1.5 skeins of  Fibra Natura Flax
  • Tunisian Crocheted Scarf – Universal Poems 3 skeins

<<<<Crap, my list isn’t very long… need to work on this>>>>

UFO (previously discarded unfinished objects) recently picked up:

  • Lace Top from 5-6 balls of Knitpicks Palette (From Scottish Highland Knits) 75%
  • Dr. Who Scarf out of 18-20 balls of Elann Peruvian Highland Wool(commissioned by a friend) 70% This thing is supposed to be 27 feet long… yeah right… I’m stopping at 20.
  • Kilamajaro Sweater (in Cascade Pastaza): 45%

Lace Top -been hibernating for at least a year or so

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Filed under About Me, Knit, kniting humor, Knitting, Project, Rambling, Stash, Stashbuster, Yarn

Podcast Episode 5 is Up… Ready for Warmer Knitting Weather

I’ve been experiencing the worst allergy symptoms for the past week or so. It’s as if the powers that be decided to dump a big cloud of pollen and mold over me and have it follow me everywhere. Finally, it let up and I was actually able to put this podcast together.

Episode 5 – Warm Weather Fibers

Rachel shares some great tips for using Ravelry to manage your projects and stash. I talk about my latest obsession: Crocheting with Wire. Best of all, we interviewed Cheri Clark of the Naked Sheep Knitshop on knitting with plant fiber yarns… just in time for that warm weather around the corner. It’s just not as fun to knit or crochet with itchy wool when it’s hotter than 80 degrees outside.

Crocheted necklace made with copper wire and glass beads

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Filed under About Me, Crochet, Knitting, Portland Knitters, Reflection, Techniques

The truth about myself

… now that’s scary… or is it, really?

April tagged me for the honest bug.

1.) Knitting and Fiber is a big part of my life, but I don’t know that I can make a living at it. I’m deathly afraid that I will be one of those people who will no longer enjoy it because it is my job. I am content to self-medicate my fiber addiction while teaching others how to knit and crochet.

2.) I like sweets – but not as much as I used to.  I think I’ve finally become my mother because I’m willing to settle for a piece of fruit for dessert. Though I will admit cheesecake is my kryptonite.

3.) I am lactose intolerant – once I ate a piece of Chicago Style pizza (cheese on top and in the middle) and I thought I was going to keel over. I have to drive by the Burgerville and scream lalalalalala when I see that they’re offering their signature blackberry milkshakes. For now I’m content to drink soy and hemp milk. Thank god I can digest yogurt.

4.) I am lazy – I like to work smart not hard. In fact I’ve been known to spend hours maybe weeks coming up with a solution for something that will save me an awful lot of time in the long run. I blame my experience in Corporate America for this one. It pains me when people are manually cutting and pasting into Word or Excel. I can only do so much to restrain myself from teaching them how to use a macro or make their own automated form:) That’s just me.  I have heard somewhere that it’s more important to hire people who can help bring efficiencies to a workplace rather than follow things by rote (unless you’re working in a hardcore assembly line factory).

5.) I love to teach – I forgot how much I missed it until I started teaching knitting and crochet at the Naked Sheep Knitshop.  Every now and then I teach a resume writing class for high school students.  I really get a spark when I see any student regardless of the subject light up when they’ve learned something new or something cool about themselves.

6.) I need to laugh every day that’s probably why I married my husband. Hell for me would be being married or having to work side by side with people who have little or no sense of humor. Though even if that’s the case (with the work situation), I’ve learned to cope because I can always make myself laugh… inside my head 🙂

7.) I love the Carpenters – I can hear people (including my husband) saying, “Dude, that’s lame.”  I think it’s from hearing their music as part of some of my earliest childhood memories. The music just makes me happy.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crWGGy2oBT0]

8.) I’m fairly easy going but have a hard time letting go if someone’s wronged me – I’m pretty much loyal to friends from thick and thin, but if someone has done something not so nice to me, stuff sticks in my head. While I can be civil to that person, the rest of my dealings with them will be affected by the past.

9.) I can be stubborn and loud and sometimes I open my mouth when I shouldn’t– I don’t really subscribe closely to astrology of any kind but the my Chinese Astrology sign makes the most sense to me. I am a Rooster.

In groups they are vivacious, amusing and popular. But Roosters can be conceited creatures, vain and boastful, with a strong egotistical need to constantly be the center of attention. Excellent at small talk, they can be the life of any party. Roosters are talkative types, outspoken, frank, open, honest — but a little too blunt at times. A polished debater and able to cogently refute any opinion, the Rooster is a talented polemicist, and could be an excellent journalist or writer.

You can read more about Roosters at this site: http://pages.infinit.net/garrick/chinese/rooster.html

I laugh at the 33% compatibility with another Rooster because it’s true. And surprisingly enough my husband is an Ox and we were extremely lucky to find each other:)

10.) I am a pop culture snob– I once decided I couldn’t have anything to do with someone outside of work because they didn’t know who Abbot and Costello were (and they were older than me.) I know it was very Seinfeld of me, but I couldn’t help it.  They really didn’t know about the “Who’s on Second, What’s on First” bit.  As a eight year old child, I first heard this on the airplane as part of the comedy show/channel and I laughed so hard the stewardess told me to be quiet. I just watched it on Youtube, and I still can’t stop laughing at it.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPu5KKrvp3I]

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Scratch that… no, unravel it

In the previous post I mentioned that I would dye machine knit blanks of my cotton yarn, assuming that I would knit all of these up in the handy knitting machine I bought for making hats and things.  I tried making a long blank with three 109 yard skeins of cotton and discovered that this knitting machine abhors working with cotton. After picking up slipped stitches with a crochet hook over 2 dozen times, I said enough!

So I unraveled the long ugly tubey thing I spent the entire afternoon making and unwound it around two wooden chairs set about 12 feet apart.  I did this with two more skeins until I got bored and moved on to something else. 13 more skeins to go… sigh.  It occured to me that I could play something cheery and tongue in cheek as I walked around the chairs to wind the yarn. Maybe… some Lord Kitchener.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqWLwZIncec]

Knitting has taught me the value of endless patience. Dyeing seems to be gifting me with the lesson of careful preparation and planning.  Several months ago, if you asked me if I would go to this length to prepare fiber to knit a sweater, I’d flatly say… no.  I couldn’t see past my love of knitting.

A year later, and now I’m finding myself branching into other fiber related crafts. I actually want to spend more time investigating crochet in depth and improve my skill at shaping and building structures in crochet.  I spend a great deal of time making garments, maybe I need to investigate knitting and crocheting other objects including un-utilitarian ones.

It’s a little late, but here’s my short reflection/inventory of things learned and things I’d like to learn this year.

A few things I tried last year:

  • Knitting with metal and beads – fun but it hurts.
  • Spinning – I used a drop spindle to make my first single ply yarn. I think I’m going to continue investigating
  • Dyeing – I… am addicted. Sad when you get to the point where you’re looking through your stash for lightly colored or white yarns just to satisfy your need for a dyeing fix.

Things I still need to do or want to try:

  • Gansey knitting – I still need to finish my Lochniver sweater
  • Steeking
  • Crocheting a small blouse in a simple lace stitch
  • Color work/Fair Isle knitting
  • Design and knit a real Aran sweater (with cables)
  • Start a podcast- this is a difficult one for me. I often think that I haven’t started this yet becuase I get my “I need to talk about knitting/crafting” fix with the wonderful group over at my knit night at the Naked Sheep Knit Shop.

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Filed under About Me, Challenge, Community, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Dye, Dyeing, Dyeing_yarn, Fair Isle, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Portland Knitters, Reflection, Yarn

Friday Fun: Spongebob does Casablanca

Nothing to do with Knitting, but…

[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=rwZlFBVUb0s]

The Marlon Brando scene at the end is classic.

I had this fantasy at my old job (which I did not really like) that the day I went nuts or quit… I would suddenly break into song in my cubicle and start singing the Spongebob Squarepants theme as loud as I could. “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!”

Of course, I never got to do it. I quit while I was on medical leave.

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Filed under About Me, Humor