Sunday, January 27, 2008

I love starting projects!



Much more than I love finishing them.
Sigh.

The best part of knitting for me in designing things in my head. Imagining the garments. Combing yarns and patterns. I love it!

The knitting part is nice. Really nice. It's quite enjoyable.
But it's not as much fun as starting a new project. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stash Happens

Ok. So I' trying to be good. Not buy wasteful yarn purchases because I do have several shelves of yarn already. Not so much as those ladies over at Stash and Burn, but more than a sweater's worth... more than three sweaters worth. And several socks, and several scarves and some hideous fuzzy acrylic somethings.

Still, right under my nose, I see my stash growing. And here is why:

1. I bought the yarn to make the Drops Jacket. And that was going to be the ONE sweater I would knit for myself this winter. I was SURE it was the item I wanted most. I was SURE I coudl knit it quickly. I was SURE to buy yarn that I would really love (Manos). And here it is February and I haven't finished the boyfriend sweater I wanted to make for my boyfriend's August birthday (last August). So really, does one begin knitting a winter jacket in February? What if I don't even like it by the time it gets cold next winter. Oh, I should point out that I live in California, so by the end of February the daytime temperature will return to 70degrees.

2. I was sick this week so I panicked and started 3 more projects. I wandered into the LYS in a delirium and bought yarn for 3 gifts I would like to make in February. But really, will I get those knitted? Probably not. The yarn will sit in my stash until I find something more realistic that fits within my abilities.

3. Knit Pick's shipping policy. You know what I'm talking about. What did we all think when we saw they raised their minimum purchase amount for free shipping? "Thank Goodness! Now we'll stop buying extra yarn just to get free shipping!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Attention


Two things have caught my attention as I've been browsing through knitting materials... something I am constantly doing.

Kim Hargreaves as a designer is fantastic. She had been a designer for many years at Rowan and is now on her own. Her patterns are a bit hard to find, and the site isn't easy to browse through, but I love the projects. They are fashionable and reasonable and seem to take full advantage of the beauty of knitted things. I want to order her book and the kit for Blithe as soon as I get a few Active Objects off my needles.

And in yarn, I picked up a spontaneous purchase at my local yarn shop, Rowan Cocoon. It is so beautiful! It is like the spun silk of a cocoon. It is shiny and smooth, a bit more like hair than wool. It's amazing. It would be so wonderful to have a sweater in it. But for my yarn diet, I'm starting with a hat. If I still love it next month, and I can resist buying crazy yarns at Stitches West, then maybe I will allow myself to buy enough for a cardigan!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Focusing



I created a workstation at home to bring my knitting and sewing stuff together. For the past few years I have been dabbling in knitting, I guess mainly as a social thing, and something to do with my hands. But this year I'm ready to focus on getting "good." I want to take this more seriously. Learn to sew well, learn to knit anything and everything. Learn the science of both.

Two podcasts are helping me:
Stash and Burn reminds me to learn the names of the most lust-after yarns... and has me considering a knitting machine.

Knit Science helps me focus on the details of knitting. Miriam uses each podcast to describe the techniques or science behind different aspects of knitting. The gauge episode really inspired me to be more careful.

And I picked up a copy of "Knitting in Plain English" at my local used bookstore. I didn't know much about it, but it was one of the few books they had on knitting so I grabbed it. I love it! By page 2 I had learned something.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Active Objects (on the needles)

I am definitely one of those crazy knitters who starts new projects constantly. I have many things "on needles" causing me to have many needles. I'm not sure which is the stronger pull: losing interest for something once I have a few rows done or gaining interest for new yarns or patterns or gifts!

But, since August of 2007 I have been much more constrained and it has been an interesting experience. I started a boyfriend sweater for my size XL boyfriend. His birthday is August 3 and I started it as his gift. Which meant I felt guilty and have wanted to get it done as soon as possible. I was completely dedicated to the sweater through August. Making big progress on a big sweater. But the garter stitch was sucking up yarn. In September my eyes first started to wander... to a beret that would be so much more portable on airplanes. But mostly I worked on the sweater. Finishing the beret on flights, only.

Then at the end of September I tried the sweater on him-- at this point it had all the parts of a vest. And it was MUCH to big. I was devastated. All that work and it was a horrible mess. So I started a Chevron Scarf to console myself. So nice and small and guaranteed to work.

After a week or two I started the sweater again. With less vigor. So I work on the Chevron scarf sometimes and the sweater more often, but not all the time. And in December I hit a great milestone in the sweater where I could try it on him and see that it was fitting. I could also see the end in sight, which boosted my excitement. I'm making good progress now.

But then a friend of mine told me he's moving from my coast to the east coast. And I thought it woudl be great to send him with a scarf in February. So I put aside my Chevron scarf and started a Bramble scarf for him. I think I'm allowed one nice portable project in my purse and the boyfriend sweter at home on the couch.

But truthfully, one other project is active on my needles. i don't know how that happened! At some point I decided to frog a scarf that I made last year with the most beautiful yarn I have ever owned... and make a pair of fingerless gloves. So I work on those sometimes too.

4 active projects, with priorities.
I think that's ok. It might be the perfect amount for a wandering knitter. It seems to be enough to keep me interested and always have something to knit, but also small focused enough that I will actually finish things.

I hope!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Maybe this will help: I have a pink soul


The emotional part is right. I hope that shows through in my knitting philosophy. But really, I think I'm too practical about what I knit. I don't go after the most beautiful things if they are expenise or not useful... but there is emotion in that, right?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Inspiration: Your Knitting Philosophy

I've found a topic I think I can tackle. Knitting Philosophy. Personal Knitting Philosophy.


I love the idea of helping other people identify their knitting philosophy. It's a bit like what I do at work, but better. At work i listen to what people say about themselves, as experts on their own personal thing and turn that into an insight to inspire design!



In this process I'll work through my own personal knitting philosophy. Because I know I have some habits that stick with me, even though I don't really intend it. Like being frugal. I don't really mean to be frugal with yarn, but I can't help it. I have to be practical about things. And it shows in my work... And, I never buy the yarn the pattern calls for. That's for a few reasons. I don't want my F.O. to look just like someone else's F.O.-- what's the point to that? I might as well just buy something then. I want to be surprised! But it's also because I'm frugal and the pattern yarns are usually expensive!



But I've got more contemplating to do before I can really decide what motivates my knitting. And more conversations with the knitters around me.



Stay tuned!