You can’t escape it!

So my friend Glenda mentioned to me that it’s not WE who take a hiatus from knitting, it’s that KNITTING wants nothing to do with us every now and then and takes a break. (paraphrased).  With that in mind I did wonder if I could ever live without knitting, now that I know what it is and how it (positively) impacts me.
I’ve learned a lot from knitting and from the process and from my friends that I met due to knitting.  But no, that isn’t what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is how knitting has ACTUALLY inflitrated my home and my life and how even if I wanted to, I couldn’t get away from it.
 
A day in the life of me, as it relates how much my knitting has ‘spread out’.
 
In my pocket today I found a stitch marker.  It’s there because I took it off a shawl I made at work and put it in my pocket.  I took it out of my pocket and placed it on my desk.  Next to a small remnant ball of Schopel Wolle Zauberball that has been sitting on my computer monitor stand because I cast off a shawl here at work one day.  It’s been here so long that we actually moved 12 blocks away to a different location and it got packed up and put back out when I unpacked.
Behind me on the table is my Alpaca Tarp.  I brought it because I like to have something to work on at lunch time.
My bulletin board is home to a small pin that my friend got me depicting a small skeleton knitting up a ball of yarn.
 
In my car is my California Sunset shawl because I keep forgetting to bring it in.  Behind the driver’s side seat is a paper starbucks bag with my ill fated Sundara Shetland Shawl in it.
 
Today when you walk in the door, there are three blocking mats immediately in front of you as you walk in, on which is layed out my newest shawl. To the left is my knitting area, which is covered from top to bottom in bits and pieces and skeins and remnants and needles and cables.  I try and keep it tidy but it’s a daily task!
 
The kitchen island holds it’s share of product tags and tiny snips of yarn from trimming ends and unwinding skeins.
 
The living room has a large red ottoman tray on the coffee table (we used to have an upholstered otto). It’s like an extension of the knitting area.  It has markers and cables and bits and bobs… patterns and remnants of yarn, the needle guage, sheepy tape measure and a knitpicks cable key.
 
On the back of the sofa sits my sock monkey, who currently is wrapped in a shawl.  Five days ago he was sort of protecting the sweater that I started, which was wedged between the back of the sofa and the cushions.  In that same location I found a half completed (TOTALLY RIDICULOUS) thrummed mitten.
 
There’s a shawl pin (or two) on the bathroom counter and stitch markers on the armoire in the living room. The ear of a dragon in progress sits atop the armoire while the dragon’s head bobs around in a bowl of more bits and bobs on the coffee table in the knitting area.
 
In the bedroom there’s a teal blue Ishbel behaving for the moment as a kitty blanket and a green Haruni in the night stand drawer.
Under the covers you’d find a well loved wool/mohair hotwater bottle cover.
 
All this might sound like a huge mess, but really, it’s not.  It’s just that I realized last night (the whole ‘shawl in the night stand thing’) that knitting is a part of who I am now. It’s a part of the fabric (please excuse that horrid pun!) of what makes me me… unique, quirky and passionate.
 
Do you have a similar picture to paint?
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Saltwater Taffy and the Silver Lining

This remains one of my favorite things to knit.  It’s super easy, requires little to no concentration and when you’re done (which happens all of a sudden), you have a gorgeous lacy wrap.
Cast on repeats of 18 + 2 (so I cast on 56 stitches for three repeats and two edge stitches).
Knit a couple rows of garter and then begin pattern:
Row 1: K1 *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo,k1), six times, (k2tog) 3 times, repeat from * until one stitch left, k1
Row 2: K
Row 3: K
Row 4: P

Repeat these four rows until you’ve reached the length you like (I did about 80 repeats) and then do a matching number of garter rows to the beginning and bind off.  Block HARSHLY to get the full lacy effect.

This last picture makes me hungry!  It looks so yummy!

And as promised a better picture of the Silver Lining neck warmer I made.

I’m a knitter… again!

Just thought I’d check in and let you all know that while BARELY, I’m still alive.  I had a very close brush with the Emergency Room on Tuesday and Wednesday and it appears that I’ve magically cured myself and the threat of the ER has diminished but I’m still not feeling well.  I don’t have much of a choice regarding having to continue to go to work.  Besides being layed up, I’ve not really been knitting, altho I did finish two items that were sort of hanging on.  The first one was a sample of roving knit up into a small cravat that I posted a picture of in the button link tutorial.  It was made out of Silk/Wool pencil roving and knit on 10mm needles.  One 50g (40m) ball got a 14″ long by 10stitch wide neck warmer.  Two balls would give you a very generous wide squishy warmer.  Mine is on display at Urban Yarns, along with the button link that appears in the below tutorial.
The second item that I finished was my Arizona knitting project.  It’s a 3 repeat Feather and Fan wrap made out of two skeins of Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3 ply.  I did 80 repeats of the stitch pattern and ended up with an unblocked shawl about a foot wide and 5.75′ long.  I will harshly block it and it’s also going over to Urban Yarns as a sample.  I think the wool is just lovely, I love that it’s not superwash and I try and force it on people to buy all the time, so a sample knit up will help immensely.
I don’t have pictures right now, but I will block it this weekend and get pictures for you!
Once I finished both of those items last week some time, I took a bit of a knitting hiatus.  I stuffed all my in progress pieces (that I love) into a bag along with all the beautiful yarn I’ve just purchased (including a highly prized skein of MadTosh Pashmina in Terrarium and the gorgeous souvenier yarn fro AZ) and promptly stopped thinking about them.  I had a moment that I wondered if I would ever knit again.  And then, when I thought I might end up in the hospital, I thought it would be a good idea to cast on something very easy, transportable and and something I could knit on while I suffered.  So I pulled out this gorgeous skein of purple and silver handspun yarn from Arizona and cast on a Mara (rav link).  Then I ripped it out.  See, thick/thin handspun does NOT look good in garter stitch.  So I recast it on thinking I’d try it in stockinette and it’s divine!  Its literally all I can think about, it’s all I want to do and I can’t wait for it to be done!  And yes, I do find it ironic that I used to HATE HATE HATE purling and now when I’m thinking I need something simple to do when I’m sick, what I want to knit is back and forth stockinette!
The color on this project is divine and I ordered another skein of the gray so that I’m sure that I’ll have enough!
See!
The other thing that I have to do (and am about 1/4 done) is my bestee’s Hotwater Bottle Cover.  (rav link) It’s my first time knitting with Spud and Chloe and I must say, it’s pretty darn nice!  The bobbles are showing up just lovely and the cables really pop off the purl background.  I’m thrilled!  I changed the pattern to give it  couple sweet personalizations to make to it so that it’s really special, but we’ll have to wait before we can share that!
Thanks for sticking by me, even if I’m boring lately!

Button-Link Tutorial

Okay, I finally got around to doing this tutorial for the Button-Links.  I knit a tiny little cravat out of silk/merino roving and it definitely needed a button, but to put a button hole in when knitting with fluff basically, is impossible, so yet another use for these handy little things!

You need:

1 shank style button of any size. (this will be your feature button, so you want it to be nice and it’s the one you should give some thought to.)
1 small button of any style, but you want this to be small enough to fit through your stitches but big enough to not pop right back out again
(If you want your button-link to be reversible, then you need to use a shank button for both buttons!)
1 yarn needle
1 pair of scissors
a length of yarn (I used alpaca silk because the silk makes it strong and that’s what i had lying around.)

A shank button
Thread your yarn through the needle and then through the shank of the button, leaving a tail around 4″ long.
Thread it through your smaller back button and pull the small button to within around 3/4″ from the shank of the front button. (if you’re making this for a specific FO, then you can adjust the space between the buttons to make it perfect for your item.  Not too tight, not too loose).

Continue back and forth between the front button and the back button, creating a loop.

Now take your yarn and start wrapping it around your loop, creating a post.  Thread your yarn in and out of the loop occasionally as you wrap to keep it snug and tight. Catch your short tail as you go around.

When you’ve gotten the whole loop closed up and the post is nice and snug, push the threaded needle through the post a few times to secure the yarn and then snip loose ends.
Voila!

If you have any questions or need help or clarification, leave a comment and I’ll try and help you out!
Also, let me know if you make these as I’d love to see all the different variations!  Buttons are FUN!

Can you die from it?

Can you die from crying?  
Can you actually suffocate from having your heart in your throat at all times of the day and night? 
Can the rash that you give yourself around your eyes consume your body? 
Can you lose so many nutrients from sobbing that you actually wilt away to nothing? 
Can the wild swings from an artificial euphoria to the bleakest saddness twist you into a knot you can never untwist from? 
When they say ‘heart broken’, can it actually break and kill you? 
If all of those things, painful and torturous turn out not to be deadly, I will be honestly amazed! 
I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and I won’t last as an upright human being for much longer. 
There are words swirling around in my head and as hard as I try, I can’t get them to slow down or line up in any sort of congruous thought pattern
 
Regret
 
Wish
 
Ultimatum
 
Heartbroken
 
Worn down
 
Sad
 
In love
 
Dizzy
 
Exhausted
 
Hope
 
Confused
 
Forever
 
So. Very. Tired.
 
So while I’m not calling an official time out to the blog (because the second I do, I’ll have four thousand bloggable experiences and then I will argue with myself as to whether to post them), if you don’t see me around here much in the next month or so, you now know why.
Comments for this post are being moderated to keep details out that may sneak in.  I’m willing to describe myself and my feelings, but not willing to have my actual life on display.