It's only been 3 years, yes three since I cast on for Après Surf Hoodie. Knit in yummy cash cotton, the soft grey blue hue reminiscent of the Pacific Ocean, I love this sweater, and yet I knit on it in teeny tiny increments of time.
Knit for a day or two, put away for 8 months or so. Why? I have no clue, I just know that knitting is moody. Sometimes it wants wool, other times silk, stockinette today, lace work tomorrow.
But it doesn't matter because the end is near. Oh yes!!! The body is knit. The sleeves are knit. Now I'm faced with seaming this beast before attaching the hood & neckband.
I'm rewarding my efforts with a new book download --- Forever Charmed by Rose Pressey, in the hopes that her supernatural tale will take my mind off the tedium of yet more stockinette on the neckband. (You can knit that in your sleep)
Maybe after my beach trip this weekend to the house where I learned to knit, I'll have this bad girl finished.
FO pic next to the ocean? Oh yes.
I had to share a blog I enjoy from another knitter:
I love her philosophy to exercise before knitting, just because its a good idea. It is so easy, especially in my NW climate, to settle in with some yarn & tea to relax. After the naughty five pounds I packed on during the holidays (spent knitting, eating, drinking and not working out one bit) I keep reminding myself to exercise before I knit, thanks to this lovely knitter/blogger.
In fact, I use it as a carrot to entice myself. I don't get to knit until I shake things up a bit. As a Zumba instructor, I also have to force myself to learn new choreography when I would rather be knitting.
Seriously, I have a few hours each day when my kids are asleep, and I can workout in my home gym (I have a gym that is off the hook, yet I rarely get into it), memorize choreography (which is required in my job) or knit. Knitting wins 9 times out of 10.
I'm a mom to a 5 year old boy and 2 year old girl. I'm tired. All the freakin' time. Love my kids, but they need me so much, and I happily give to them all day long, so when those precious few hours of peace descends upon my house, I generally fall into a heap on my couch. Which happens to have my knitting basket right next to it.
I sit down and think of Elinor's blog, Exercise Before Knitting. It has just stuck with me. My aha moment is this...I have to exercise before my kids get up in the morning. Even if its just a quick 3 mile run or 30 minutes with my weights.
Naptime won't feel like such a guilty time if my exercise is already hammered out and done for the day.
Thank you Elinor, for a phrase that sticks with me every day, for keeping me honest. And congratulations on your darling baby. By the way? The baby handknits? Droolworthy for sure!
Last night my dear friend Marla & I decided to have a little girls night out. Friday night, some knitting, perhaps a burger & beer afterward at the pub close by.
Well...'twas not to be.
As the only two customers at a yarn shop (that will remain nameless--but lets just say, they weren't living up to their name) we asked that the music be changed from Classical to something we would enjoy knitting to on a Friday night. Made a few requests, suggestions, and were told that the gentleman working there "could not stomach listening to popular music and wasn't going to do it."
Was that an insult? I felt like I got bitch-slapped for not being "refined" enough in my music taste to sit and knit in their establishment! I didn't ask for anything I hadn't heard playing there in the past (in fact, I once shazam-ed some music I heard there to download onto my iPhone).
I guess the customer isn't always right.
I guess this fella doesn't care that I enjoy hanging out there & had thought of it as my 2nd home. My feelings were hurt.
I wish I had bought my Addie Click Needles and hundreds of dollars of yarn from somewhere else now. We all know it shouldn't matter if a customer spends $5 or $500, every person's hard earned dollar is equal; but as a loyal customer, shit, shouldn't I at least be allowed to wallow in the mire of generic popular music if I so desire? Especially if I'm the only soul in the joint?
Wow. Bad customer service is a disease. I notice it everywhere I go these days. I guess I'm of an age (39) where I learned from my first job to treat every customer as equal and barring abusive behavior, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
Ah well...manners are a thing of the past. And I want to tell the owners of this shop, but I have a feeling the not-so-gentleman is married to an owner.
The funniest part of this whole scenario? I'm a season ticket holder to the Oregon Symphony. Classical music is not beyond me. But some days I just want to hear a little Maroon 5, Goo Goo Dolls, Coldplay etc. It's called variety baby. Rock on.
Stash, aka, every knitter's dirty little secret. Some are bigger than others, and we squirrel them away carefully as if they were illicit like the stuff that makes hemp yarn.
The very organized knitter keeps his or her stash carefully labeled in lovely bins by fiber, color, and project.
I long to be this knitter. I'm on way to being this knitter. I felt like a knitter with a dirty secret until I pulled my stash out its many hiding places (under the bed, in my closet, in bags on the floor, in end tables and nightstands) and laid it all out on my bed.
It's not that bad!
Imagine my thrill, my delight, my realization, I can BUY MORE YARN!
Wait. What the???? Why!!! I have all this yarn and I still want more? Well, the Tahki Bunny Print is nice, but I don't know what to do with it. The Vermont O-Wool is yummy, but the color--it ain't me. Same with the Cascade 220 in a tomato coral red. Great yarn, great color, not moi.
I can sell/swap those yarns, but shouldn't I knit through my Rowan, my Louisa Harding silks, my Dream in Color Classy? Yes, yes, I will! The navy silk is for Simple Knitted Bodice. The turquoise silk is for Sahara. The Dream in Color for My Favorite Cardigan. The Sidar Blur? Most likely queued up for Birgitte Pullover. If I have enough. Otherwise, it's Veronique from French Girl Knits.
I have a Louisa on needles made from Thalia yarn, and I can't decide whether I ought to finish my hibernating Vivian (made from Malabrigo worsted) or double it up and make a Wrenna from it.
See...this is what a stash does to you. It addles your brain and depletes your wallet. Yarn is not cheap. Not good yarn anyway. I want to love cheaper yarn. I'm going to experiment with it this summer. But I still can't stop thinking about a Wicked sweater in Dream in Color Classy's Chinatown Apple.
Knitting? It's addictive. Yarn? Our drug. And yes, we hide our stashes.
But I'm willing to share my dirty secret with the world. Here is my stash...feast your eyes.
Chinatown Apple. Mmmm....yep, already starting to obsess.
When folks find out I knit, I am met with one of two reactions. First is one of disbelief, followed by a look that says "oh that poor thing, being home has finally gotten to her and she's gone off the domestic deep end." The second reaction is one of interest, usually followed by "Wow! I wish I had the patience to do that."
Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not a woman of great patience. I have it, but I am an easily distracted sort, so the fact that I spend a lot of time knitting sweaters is amazing even to me.
I'm pretty sure garment construction scratches that itchy part of me that obsesses over clothing. Unlike shopping which gives me instant gratification, knitting a sweater happens one stitch at a time.
One. Stitch. At. A. Time.
Bit by bit, twist after twist, growing fabric underneath my fingers. It's insane. You'd think doing something that tedious would make your mind snap. I find it to be just the opposite. After a day of listening to my kids' screaming, whining, fighting, and repetitive choruses of "NO!!!!" knitting calms me down and brings me to a peaceful spot.
My favorite moment is when you are working on a complicated pattern and suddenly you can actually see it in your fabric, unfolding before your very eyes! Then I take a sip of my wine, wrap some luscious yarn around my fingers and carry on. A sweet slice of heaven.
So, why the hell do I knit? Because if I didn't, I might actually stab someone with a sharp object. This way, I channel how I use them.
Summer yielded quite the hearty harvest. Two snuggly winter sweaters and more on needles at I type.
For Ravelry's Official Sexy Knitter's Club 3rd quarter Knit-A-Long (or KAL if you will) we got to choose from two designers & I chose Wendy Bernard, as I just purchased her fantastic book, Custom Knits, for my Karma tank.
I knit up Jane & Lion Neck Cardigan and ooh baby did I learn a thing or two.
First to finish: Lion Neck
Coming in at a quick 2 weeks (and while working Jane mind you) one has to respect the speed of a bulky weight yarn. BooYa!
I knitted the large, going off the finished bust measurement, but the sweater wound up being awfully large on me. I'm currently pondering who to gift it to. It needs a taller recipient. It's an armhole thing. I spent a lot of time rechecking to see if I truly got gauge when I knit my test swatch, and yuppers, I did. I checked throughout the sweater, and that baby is dead on. I'm a pretty even knitter. I swatch religiously.
I chose not to make any modifications on the sweater, but this next one, I believe I am going to do some waist decreases, and I am knitting the next size down. I will also pay VERRRRRRRRRRY close attention to the armhole on the raglan. Another knitter just gave me a heads up on how to do it...will share on Snuggly Lion Redux when I get a chance!
Without further ado....my Snuggly Lion! (can I just say Rowan RYC Soft Tweed is friggin' delish? Wool, silk, oh my gawwwwwd.)
Below...check out my too big raglan sleeves.
If I were a fan of baggy sweaters, I would be fine with this, but I prefer to wear my clothing, not the other way around!
Ohhkay. I think I'm in love. With Cascade 220 that is. Nice low price, feels so nice, easy to knit with? Check please! I'm still out on the sweater. I need to wear it with the right outfit (this was a last minute photo snapped to submit my FO for the KAL deadline...this is a quiz, you remember the acronyms, right?)
I wasn't able to score velvet ribbon at Michael's, so I had to settle for grosgrain which I find far too slippery. So I'm off to get some velvet & perhaps some sort of a closure to jazz it up. I also need to wear the right top underneath. I have a great black tank that will work so much better. Not sure if I love the style on me, but its not bad for a mommy bumming around sweater and I learned how to do sleeve caps on this sucker.
Did I mention I had to frog (knitspeak for rip out/unravel) BOTH sleeves before I realized I only knit 3 short rows on the shoulder cap? Having never executed them before, I actually read the pattern literally instead of thinking it through.
Honestly, I'm not sure you should be drinking & knitting, but hell...wine & yarn are my vices!
These could be the worst pictures of me ever posted on the net, hence the headless knitter pose.
More fun and games tomorrow as I commence on a kick ass yarn-hopping through Downtown Portland. Knit-Purl & Knit Knot here we come!