Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm Nothing if Not Verbose

Alright, I’ve been catching up on blog reading and my chagrin over my lack of crafting motivation has been a bit allayed by the fact that many other knitters are experiencing the same thing. It’s not like I’ve done nothing but I’m just not progressing the way I’d like to. I’ve been waiting for a lull at work but it just isn’t coming. I want to knit or sew or make jewelry or make stick figures. SOMETHING, ANYTHING! But work and personal fires need putting out so I guess that takes precedence over Jaywalkers or Picovoli or shopping trips to Beadworks.

But truth be told I’m blue and I need cheering (dammit). So fiber therapy it is. SPLOOSH! (Me diving headlong into fiber).

Spinning with the one, the only BCV

As you know, I’ve been increasingly frustrated with my long draw. It’s just not working. Oh I’d like to be taking the ballerina-like approach to the long draw, gracefully gliding my perfectly separated hands over smooth lengths of gossamer. Instead, I end up with the Keystone Kop approach, either wildly running my little digits too late over bumps and lumps, remembering that my hands are not supposed to be tightly intertwined or chasing after the mocking fiber as it slips past me into the orifice. I’ve heard/read a LOT about Barbara Clorite-Ventura in places like here and here and I happened to see a post from her on the NETA list. I quickly shot her a note begging asking her if she would be so kind as to save me from my self-spun hell help me improve my technique.

She is great. She came over and showed me how to wash this really great Polwarth fleece I bought at the CT sheep and wool. Then we went over different spinning and plying techniques. She watched my try my hand at the long draw technique and pointed out that I had issues with letting go of the control. Me? A control freak? Get out! She also examined my plied stuff. We looked at it through this nifty magnifying glass I bought at the Joann’s sale. It really made such a difference in the way I looked at plying. Seriously, I’m so grateful for her help. I haven’t been able to practice as much as I’d like but it is Labor Day weekend so I’ll have some time to give it a try.

Knitting…Much Better

Oh Picovoli is going much much better. I didn’t cry. I almost did but I didn’t. I am now shaping and I have the right number of stitches. Yea! WARNING: BORING TIDBIT ABOUT ROSIEGLASSES. I’ve mentioned this before I believe but I am extremely easily amused. Ask ANYONE who knows me, it just doesn’t take much. I bring this up because as I was doing the decreases for Picovoli, I kept thinking “Who came up with this technique?” It’s genius! It’s fun to watch the way the necessary stitches are removed and what happens to the shape of the garment. And I think it’s neat that it looks pretty. I’m a “form with function” girl so I just love that.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Yes, Carine, that’s why they call it what they do. You DECREASE for SHAPING.” I get it, I get it. But I’m a newbie so I’m still quite fascinated by it all. So here's the progress on Picovoli.

My Jaywalker is coming along.

I’m just taking it easy through this pattern. You know, at first I didn’t think I’d be too happy about knitting on multiple needles. Like most first-time knitters, I thought it looked unwieldy and intimidating. But I gotta tell ya, I’m really enjoying it! And this pattern keeps it interesting too. Watching the shaping is even more exciting what with the colors zigzagging and all (yep…easily amused). I like it. I’m at the part where you turn the heel now so of course, I’ve put it down. I admit it, I’m afraid of it. Oh don’t look at me like that. I’ll pick it up this weekend. I’m just SO intimidated by the process. I’m just nervous about the tears (swearing) and heartache (yelling) that will come if I screw it up.
Random Craft
I mentioned that DH and I were in Stowe a few weeks ago. We go there yearly for DH's competitions. We meet up with friends of ours and while the DH's are competing, my pal Kelly and I go shopping. We happened upon a Paint Your Own Ceramics/String Your Own Beads Place (I'll post the name when I find it). Well, we decided to paint plates and have them shipped to Kelly's. She and her DH were nice enough to drop my fired plate off to me this morning.

It's ok. I think I'd like to try my hand at it again. I sort of wanted the colors to be a bit darker. But this was great fun! And the dish is food, microwave AND dishwasher safe. Not bad!
Ear Candy

So podcasts have been a big part of my breathing life back into my crafting. I can’t say enough about these things (I know you’re thinking “seems this chick can’t say enough about anything). I’ve gone back to listen to Season 1 of Cast-On. WARNING: YET ANOTHER BORING TIDBIT ABOUT ROSIE G. In addition to being easily amused, I have an “overly developed sense of shame” as DH puts it. I’m very easily embarrassed. The reason I bring this up is because 3 times now while knitting and listening to Brenda, that siren of the podwaves, I’ve laughed out. If you remember, I do most of my knitting on the wonderful MBTA Commuter Rail (I know, It’s MBCR but it’ll always be the T to me). I don’t make it a habit of laughing out loud by myself in a crowded area. I was a bit mortified each time but there was nothing to be done for it! Have ya listened to Brenda? You know what I mean, then. In spite of my discomfiture, I’m so enjoying revisiting old Cast-On episodes.

I’ve also very much delighted in listening to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice via CraftLit. I listened to the last few chapters this morning and I actually was sad to see it end. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. I think Heather is wonderful for thinking of this. Speaking of Heather, she recently wrote and read an essay for Brenda for this episode of Cast-On. If you haven’t listened to it GO. Heather is an eloquent speaker and writer and I just loved this essay.

It’s great that these people share little pieces of their lives and I really appreciate what it’s given me. As I said, I’ve been a bit lugubrious lately and listening to podcasts, particularly the two mentioned above has not only gotten me through my long commute and my endless rows of Stockinette, but it’s really roused me from my blahs.

Ah Phooey…Is it that time already?

Well. I did it. Today, I succumbed to my cold toes and put on…sniff…I can hardly type it…CLOSED TOED SHOES! There I’ve said it. Where the heck did Summer go! Don’t get me wrong. I LOOOVE Fall in NE but the faster she come, the faster she go. And then…UGH…I’m not even going to mention the W or the S words. But there are some things to be grateful for.

- Apple Picking. YEA! One of my best friends has already mentioned it and I can NOT wait.

- Rhinebeck. My first time! Ok. Who’s going? I was wondering if I was being overly eager in mentioning it already. Then I read every other blog.

- Knitting for the red and green holiday. It’s MUCH too early for me to say the word but I’m in the process of planning my yarn buys. I’m not going to be talking about what I’m making for my MIL because she’s sweet enough to read my blog but I’ll be posting pics of my mom’s present because she doesn’t have internet (I know, right?).
Ok. I'll let you off the hook now. Enjoy the holiday weekend. Thanks again for reading
Take Good Care


Miss Lime said...

I love reading your blog! Thanks for posting on the L&V blog so that I could find you. I also laughed outloud when in reference to the seller that we spoke of in the last episode, "Apparently 25 years of hoity-toity has not taught her how the human brain perceives snobbery." I don't find it to be one bit snarky. I do, however, find it to be very well-put.

I love your jaywalkers. They were actually the very first socks that I made. After 2 or 3 months of knitting, I was intrigued by the use of the dpns in a circle, but everyone told me that it was "very difficult" to do. Thanks for the encouragment, people! Once I started, I found it to be very easy and it has become one of my favorite types of knitting. Incidentally, don't be intimidated by the heel. I was when I made my first one. I did it completely wrong even though the sock came out wearable in the end. When turning my second heel, the light bulb above my head came on and I suddenly got it. The heavens opened up, choirs of angels sang, and now turning the heel is one of my most beloved tasks. (Am I a knitting geek or what?)

See, now I've been wordy too, with this long comment. All hail Brenda, goddess of the pointy Welsh needles of dooooom! Happy knitting! :)

Miss Lime

Miss Lime said...

Happy belated birthday! Congrats on turning your first heel too. Once you get that down, you can do almost anything in knitting. :)

Harlem Purl said...

I will be attending Rhinebeck. We most def have to make plans to meet up. I'm quite interested in that long draw technique also. Wvery time I try it I get these slubs in my yarn.

BTW, I just got a new ipod and recently discovered the world of the knitting podcast. I'm working my way backwards on Lime & Violet and Cast On.

email me when you get a chance so we can discuss.