Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yet Another No Brainer

I don't know that I would make it my permanent home but, like many, this city has captured my heart

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Ramblings...Hey, that's what a blog's for!

Not too much has been going on in Rosie Land. The Picovoli. For some reason the Picovoli, she was sllooooowww going during the early part of the week. I do a large part of my knitting on the train on the way home. I have a 45 minute commute so it’s a good chunk of time in the morning and afternoon. And normally I physically knit very fast. I’m not saying I zip through projects but once I get a groove going, I’m actually pretty fast. I’m sure you know what I mean. But this week, I just couldn’t get my hands to zip along as they normally do. I didn’t know what was up. I’m not bored with the thing. I’m actually really enjoying the pattern. As I said before, knitting from the top down is new to me and I am delighting in seeing the whole thing come together. But my mind and hands wouldn’t marry long enough for me to get a decent dent in the thing. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get into “the zone”. Thankfully, this went away this morning and I seem to be back on track.

I was reading Yarn Harlot’s Yoga post and it very much speaks to the story of me and my crafting not to mention the name of this blog. So I thought I would use this opportunity to explain in part how knitting gives me a more rosy view of life. As I said, I’m a pretty fast knitter. That’s not true of ANYTHING else I do. I want everything to be perfect which is ALWAYS my downfall. Something in my brain refuses to believe that perfection is unattainable so I go on slow and steady until I’m so frustrated I just give up. Not so with crafting. I get into this place and there’s lots of trial and error. Sometimes I get ticked off fold and wrap and put something a project away. I do this slowly and methodically so as not to rip the thing to shreds or throw it over DH’s head. But for the most part, I just sigh and start over again. The creative process, particularly when it comes to fiber, is so gratifying. It stimulates so many of the senses at the same time. Different fibers and their various blends passing through your fingers can be soothing or energizing. The clicking of the needles has a calmative effect. And if you haven’t sniffed yarn yet, I suggest you give it a try. I know some people don't like the smell of some cotton/cotton blends but I find them comforting. Don't ask me why. That's another one of those beautiful things about being a fiber dork. I can be as dorky as I wanna be. Now I haven’t licked fiber for obvious reasons (I mean I do have to stop somewhere) but I’m sure someone out there can relate knitting or spinning to taste.

Even when I’m winding a skein of yarn into a ball, I flip on some relaxing music and just allow the yarn to run over and under my fingers and I’m actually having fun. And it’s so exciting to see the colors or the knitted/crocheted items themselves come together. On my daily commute, I used to just kind of trudge my way from the station to my building and back stuck in my own head. I would be focused on getting to work or getting the heck out. Now I find myself looking up and around at everything, seeing the possible stitch patterns or the dyeing possibilities. I see more, I take in more. It’s amazing how much of life you can miss while living. It’s amazing how much more life knitting forces me to pay attention to. It’s honestly like seeing the world for the first time. Crafting helps pull me from the hamster wheel of life. Sometimes I am disheartened because I can’t knit something like Picovoli in a week’s time. But I enjoy the process so much, in the end, it doesn’t matter. In any other area of my life, the Houglass TentI mean the Hourglass Sweater would’ve been a disaster. But I was able to see the positive aspects and laugh the rest off. I admit, sometimes I get frustrated that I am still a newbie and make newbie mistakes. I wonder when I’ll be able to get a cable just right without having to rip out so many times that the yarn starts to get fuzzy. I wonder when I’ll be able to spin a perfectly balanced yarn. I wonder when I’ll be able to bend wire so that my bracelets don’t have kinks in them. But this process is for me. Even when I’m making something for someone else, it’s for me. And I get so much from it. So deadlines and perfection don’t have a place here. I like that.

Ok. Enough waxing sentimental. I did get some spinning in unexpectedly. I got this batt at CT Sheep and Wool.

Isn’t it pretty? Kind of looks like an ocean wave.

I got the bug this week and decided to try my hand and long draw again.

It was coming out pretty inconsistently.

Every time I sat down and spun for a while, the control yarn would look a little different. Darn it! Actually, it’s not so bad. I think I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to get comfortable with the technique. And I have plenty of fiber to keep practicing. It’s just hard because I have this stunning merino/silk fiber I won at NETA earlier this year. It’s just sitting there, taunting me. I’m dying to spin it but it’s hardly “practice fiber. And I still have more of Mary’s Charlotte to practice with.

Well, that's it for now. Just more blah ba di blah blah blah. Site of interest this week? Well...I'm a bit behind but I just listened to Brenda Dayne's last installment of the Muse Series. Hillarious (yup, pimpin the Knitting Podcasts again) Go have a listen!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Late Posts = Long Posts

It's been a crazy week but I assure you I had blogging on my mind daily. First of all. Didja see? Didja see? Black Purl, that clevah online needle craft zine named this humble little blog Blog of the Week?. I was so pleased. I loved that zine. They have really great articles and free patterns. If you haven't yet travelled over there, I suggest you do. But thanks to NaSheika and L'Tonya at Black Purl it was such a neat surprise to click on the newsletter and see my name pop up. Made my week.

Ok. I have to back track a little and give you the events from Sunday. It was the first Sunday of the month which meant Sunday Spinners got together again. I had a blast. These clever ladies always have something new in the works. I've learned SO much from them it's hard to believe this was only my 3rd meeting. Kris, who runs the group is amazing. She's an incredibly talented spinner and she put together this little contraption.

Now all week I made sure to remember what this thing was called and lo and behold I cannot for the life of me remember now. Good old Mr. Murphy and his stupid law. I'll be sure and ask Kris for the actual name of it but it's basically a spindle made with a paint stick and a dowel. You spin the yarn with a propeller-type action and when you are ready you wind it on to the paint stick. So clever. I thought it was neat. On a side ramble, I'm 32 and I swear my mind is going. Words just seem to be jumping in and out of my vocabulary. Now, granted, technically, English is not my first language. I came to the US and learned English when I was 8 years old so my command of the language is at least passable. So that's not it. And I'm not talking about complicated words here either. I mean I'll be talking to my husband and be like "Could you get me some...ah... you know... so of those blocks of frozen water to put in my drink?" or "Would you pass 4-pronged eating implement?" For the love of GOD! Someone tell me this gets better. Anyway, enough of my brain issues.

More Sunday Spinner stuff. Heather dyed some roving in Easter Egg Dye and got this

Neat, huh?

In other spinning news. The Sheep Shed Merino/Tencel I purchased at MA Sheep and Wool spun up quite nicely.

I used a short draw for this particular spinning adventure. This stuff spun up like a dream. So soft and colorful. I was actually sad when I was done spinning it. (Again, I'm aware of the fact that I am a fiber dork). It did require predrafting so keep that in mind if you decide to spin any of this stuff. But the end product OH. How lovely. It almost has the look of silk. I don't know what I'll make with it. Let's see what happens when I ply it. But I liked it so much I called up the Sheep Shed and ordered 14 more ounces. (Yes, I have a problem).

I was able to cast on and get a few rows of Picovoli done.
I swatched and blocked both Knitpicks Shine and the DB Cathay I purchased at Webs a couple of weeks ago. The Cathay was way off so like a good little knitter who was seriously spanked on a previous project which will not be named (ahem), I went with the Shine. It was either that or go up a needle size which really wasn't necessary. I have to say, I'm diggin the Shine. It's really REALLY soft and nice to knit up. And at a whopping $2.95 a ball, how can you go wrong? What do you mean "famous last words."? The shade is Butter if you are wondering. I'm trying to push myself out of my purple/blue/pink comfort zone.

I had to cast this sucker on 3 times. I have done a provisional cast on only once and it was when I was first learning to knit about a year ago. I have to thank Amy, once again for her amazing online videos. I'm sure you've been to her site. She's not on my list of First Aid sites for nothin. If you haven't been there, I suggest you click on her link ASAP. Go on, off with you.

In any case, I really like this pattern. I like that it knits from the top. It's something I haven't done before and that's been my goal in trying to improve my knitting this year. Every pattern must have at least one technique I haven't tried before.

I don't have a cuteness factor pic this week (the audience sighs in dissapointment). But I do have a site of interest. Carine has been travelling around the country and has been taking some amazing pictures. (no, I'm not referring to myself in third person, sheesh, a girl forgets a simple word like fork and all of a sudden you think she's completely lost her marbles). Go check it out. They're simply inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Carine!

My biggest news is that my very very good friend is coming "home" for a visit. I haven't seen her in 7 whole years. I have missed her so much. I hate that I haven't communicated with her
as much as I should have. Everytime I talk to her or get an e-mail from her, my whole day lights up so I am just elated that we'll get to spend some time together. (doing that silly clapping dancing thing).

And last but now least. I have you been listening to any knitting podcasts? Go on, check out a few. They are really great to listen to while you are crafting.

Well, that's it for now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Posts of Interest.

I just wanted to direct you to a couple of posts of interest.

Newbie Knitter Help

Eunny of See Eunny Knits posted a WONDERFUL tutorial on blocking recently and I used it to block my Chickami. It really did wonders for it. I'm a real newbie at all of this so I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to lay out instructions like this and Eunny is a wonderful resource. So if any of you think you may need help in this area, you can see it here. Or if just want to see any of Eunny's fantastic tutorials or the AMAZING jacket she's working on right now, you can go to her blog by clicking on her name in my side bar.

I also found Episode 2 of Lara's Podcast Math4Knitters very helpful this week in deciding which yarn I was going to make Picovoli in. You can access the dowload to this podcast by going here.

Knitter Soup for the Soul

Ms. Memeeflye of nerdOpotamus posted a really great Marianne Williamson quote recently and I think everyone should read it. So if you're in need of some insightful comfort food for the soul, please go and visit.

I'll right more later but I wanted to put this out there in case someone needed any of this information.