Sunday, March 14, 2010

You can't scare me, I'm a knitter!

Heights, closed spaces, cockroaches, and mice are all enough to make me feel like I can't breathe and at any second my heart is going to stop.  So I guess I am normal, right? (not that I put too much stock in being "normal", but you know what I mean;)  I do have a few run-of-the-mill, average, everyday fears.

What's really interesting are the things that don't scare me, but maybe should, like baring my soul to the world on any given day, wearing my heart on my sleeve, discussing politics, letting my teenager take off on a road trip with 5 other friends, leaving my car unlocked, riding in the car with my husband who drives like he's always racing in the Indy 500, getting on a motorcycle, and having multiple, multiple, multiple things on my knitting list. 

Knitting the Great American Aran Afghan is my latest/next project, inspired by my friend Beth. She knit one for her son and his fiance and I was truly blown away.  Great job, Beth!

And here's my disclaimer...I need to say this straight out--I am NOT an afghan knitter.  Let me repeat that (more for myself than you) I am NOT an afghan knitter.  Never have been.  The idea of a huge bed-size blanket being knit in the same stitch over and over for the next 3-5 years is not my idea of a good time.

But this one is different....challenging stitches, beautiful texture, and it is knit ONE block at a time, so it's very portable as well.  Okay, so now we're talking.  Except, of all the ideas that run through my mind, this is the one I should be most afraid of...forget heights and tight spaces, motorcycles and high speed.  Am I really going to tackle this??

It's a class, by the way, that will meet once a month at Brown Sheep.  I talked Beth into teaching it.:)  Yeah for me!  At least in a class setting I might be motivated to keep at it until it's done, knowing that I have to show up with my completed homework every month.

But even more than the afghan itself, it's all of the other projects I have waiting in my basket, bag, bed, kitchen table, and several other places.  I knit for myself, my family, charity, classes, customers, and the store.  Where in the world am I going to find time to do this?  Have I overwhelmed you yet?  Well relax.  This stuff doesn't scare me!  I am a hand knitter.

Knitting has taught me above all else how to focus, be in the moment, and just cast-on!  It's going to be alright.  So it really doesn't matter how much I have on my needles or waiting in the wings.  Nope.  I have learned to knit mindfully.  That's why I don't get scared of all of these things on my knitting to do list.   

Now I realize that some of you may call this denial.  I see where you are coming from, but no worries.  I am a mindful knitter, so I can tune you out.  ;)  See how this works?

For example, I have this on my needles right now:

It's the Lacy Ribbed Tee.  It will be finished just in time for spring.  Can't wait to wear it.  Also in my knitting bag is this little cardigan (from my Top Down/Seamless Baby Sweater Class) knit from some fun handpaint:

It needs just the right buttons and some blocking to be complete.  Thinking I might make a hat and socks out of the left overs though.

And then there's this crazy felted oven mitt done in Lanaloft on size 6 needles.  Size 6!  I have never knit a felted project before on such small needles, but the colorwork was so cute, I couldn't resist.  And I actually do need some oven mitts.

I still need to felt it and then make another one in the opposite colorway.  I will try and remember to post the finished projects so you can see them. (or if you are on Ravelry, I almost always get things posted to my notebook there)  And if you are a knitter or crocheter and aren't on Ravelry yet, go there, now, and sign up!!   You won't regret it.  Promise.
(The odd colored yarn at the cuff, by the way, is waste yarn I used for a provisional cast-on.  It enables you to take out the waste yarn at the end and expose live stitches to pick up for a border or some other use.)

Here's a good tutorial on provisional cast-ons, if you're interested:

I am finishing up a pair of fingerless gloves for a Lace and Beads Workshop that I teach.  There is also a matching scarf that goes with the gloves.
I have been trying to get some of these things complete this weekend so I could go into the aran afghan class feeling all  ready to jump in.  But then why worry, right?  As I've said before, I'm a hand knitter.  It's all part of the fun.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Socks, Stockings, or Something Else?

Wow! Check out the Prada 2010 Fall Collection:

Talk about hardcore knitters...the socks and stockings are all hand knit and almost every model on the runway has them on! Now, I am not saying that this is necessarily the fashion statement I want to make, but come on people...I look at them as amazing pieces of art! The time and talent it takes (and did I mention patience and tenacity) to hand knit these socks is inspiring to me.

Love them or hate them, you have to appreciate the workmanship, right,?  It is also noteworthy that for quite a few years now, handknits have been making it to the fashion runways on a regular basis. I love that. Again, not so much because I am a huge fan of runway fashion...believe me, I am NOT a clothes horse...but it somehow elevates knitting to a level that I rather like.

From Tom and Lorenzo's Blog: 
The designer dreamed up a whole new type of sock, a knitted knee sock with a ribbon in grosgrain or chiffon sewn down the shin, which is sure to spark a hot new trend.

“Naked legs are passé,” pronounced Prada, as she sipped a whiskey sour, with a cherry on top, after the show."

Now that makes me smile!  Knit socks everyone!  We don't want to be passe, now do we? :)  C'mon Esther!  You know you want to make some! ;)

Ok, and while we're on the's a few others to take a look at...

I know these would make me happy just knowing they were on underneath my clothes! ;)