Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Long 2008...

Wow. Can you believe another year has come and gone? These years keep going faster and faster. This was a particularly interesting year for me. I have grown as a therapist, I received my Master's degree in psychology, I switched mentors, I started training for a half-marathon, and I learned a little bit more about myself.

I can't wait for 2009. I am a big fan of the unknown and that is what 2009 is right now. And worse case scenario? 2010 is only 365 days away! (I shake my head at my Pollyanna-ishness...why can't I be the evil cynic that I strive to be?)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some of My Favorite Things

I worked on Birch some more today. I am loving this shawl. It encompasses everything I like about knitting...

1. I am making a pretty new item.
2. I am learning a new technique (p2tog tbl is quite a feat!).
3. I am knitting with lovely yarn (Rowan Kidsilk Haze).
4. I am knitting with bright pink yarn (a color that both Dolores Umbridge and I love).
5. Every other row I get to decrease until there are no more stitches!

#5 is a huge thing for me for large projects. I am at a point that I don't see any significant growth in the shawl. It has passed "fuzzy beginning" and it is nowhere near "almost done." Each decrease reminds me that I am nearing my goal of only 1 stitch on the needles.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I hope you are having a lovely holiday! I am definitely enjoying sleeping, knitting, running, and studying for quals (okay, I am not enjoying the studying so much).

I am enjoying the knitting though! I finished a Christmas stocking, a scarf, and I am making headway on Birch. I can sure get a lot of knitting done when I am not seeing therapy patients, bing in meetings, doing lab work, and running from one of the aforementioned activities to the next.

Anyway, I am very excited about Birch. I bought the yarn (Rowan Kidsilk Haze, btw, it totally deserves its drug-related nickname) and the pattern years ago. They have been simmering in yarn and pattern stash for a good long while. I decided before coming home for the holidays that this was the time to try the pattern. It is going very well so far. I had a few misteps along the way, but I think they have all been corrected. I only work on Birch when I can have total concentration (which definitely helps with limiting the number of human errors). Now I have only 25 pattern repeats to go and less than 200 rows. Each row goes faster and faster, since I keep becoming more comfortable with the pattern and because there are fewer stitches with every other row. Unlike other shawls I have started to knit, I think I may actually finish this one.

I know that you want pictures, sadly I brought my camera but no cord to connect it to my laptop. I will have pictures for you at the end of the week.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25th

Happy Christmas everyone! If Christmas isn't your holiday, Happy Holidays! I hope you are having a lovely winter and having the opportunity to be with friends and family.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24th

How powerful are knitters? They can create new words!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23rd

Do your family and friends get jealous when they see you knitting stuff that isn't for them? Well, here is a song for you to sing to them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22nd

Here is another bit from one of the Yarn Harlot's talks.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21st!

Unlike Hermione and Mrs. Weasley, we can't use magic to help us with our knitting; however, we can use LEGOs!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20th!

Look at all the pretty colors!


Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19th!

This is just ridiculously entertaining. BTW, Lion Brand has all sorts of videos on youtube.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18th!

Here is the lovely Yarn Harlot talking about funny things and about charity. I would like to take a moment today to encourage you to donate your time, extra belongings, and/or money to the charity of your choice. During this financial crisis, lots of non-profits are hurting and they can use all the help that you can offer. We are all going through a hard time right now, but there is always someone going through something worse than you. I know that sounds cliche, but it is true. There are still some shopping days before Christmas (or your respective holiday or we might be a little late here for your matter), go and buy some food for a food bank, donate some clothes that you don't wear anymore, go help out at a soup kitchen, write out a check (even if it is for just a few bucks), or even go caroling and make someone smile. It's good for the karma and good for the soul.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17th!

Do you Harry Potter? Do you wish you could knit by magic?

Check out this great youtube video: LINK

I couldn't embed, but please check out the awesomeness.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16th!

I love these knitting nanas!


Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15th!

Are you on a tight budget? Do you like Ramen?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14th!

Because we should have more bands devoted to knitting...


Quick & Fun Knit

The weather has been chilly here in Florida, and I have been knitting up a storm! In two days (!), I started and finished Fetching (okay, I still need to weave in ends, but the fingerless mittens are done!). Aren't these the cutest fingerless mittens? They are super quick to knit up. I knit them in Malabrigo 100% Wool. They are a bit warm, but my office is freezing, so they will be useful. If you need a quick holiday present for people in cold weather (or cold offices), this is the gift for them!

I am very excited about this project, because it is the first time, I used waste yarn and picked up stitches (for the thumb). It went very smoothly. I didn't even need to practice!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13th!

This is hilarious and I guarantee you that the chorus will get stuck in your head.

He knits and purls to earn his keep...err...I mean...


Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12th!

Phew, watching this video wears me out! Check out the world's fastest knitter!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11th

A bit from the Yarn Harlot...because she is funny...hee hee


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10th

When you just can't stop knitting...


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

December 9th

Don't you love a bad joke?


Christmas Stockings Are Fabulous

I love Christmas stockings. They are like socks but use thicker yarn (faster to knit) and don't need to have a pair (no second sock syndrome). I am currently knitting two stockings from Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit. I am knitting Snowy Night Gansey Stocking and Christmas Rainbow Surprise. Today, I am going to show you my current favorite: Christmas Rainbow Surprise. I just got the yarn today (Kureyon) from Webs, and as soon as I saw the color I couldn't knit anything else. Isn't the color gorgeous? I can't stop touching this project. I just want to pet it. This is my second project with Noro and I must admit that I really like this yarn. It is easy to knit with and the colors are so freaking pretty.

This is a momentous knitting project for me (besides the second coming of Noro), because it is my first felting project! After I knit this beautiful yarn, I am going to smoosh, smash, and soak this yarn to within an inch of its life. To be honest, felting always freaked me out. I totally blame the Yarn Harlot on this. In one of her early blog posts, she wrote about how she broke her washer when making Fiber Trends' infamous clog pattern (which I also bought from Webs). I am terrified that I am going to break my washer. Now there are several things I can do to protect my washer (which isn't even mine but my apartment complex's), but until now I was too scared. This project called to me and I decided to throw caution to the wind. I also decided that since this is a small project, I could handfelt the stocking. I figure that if everything goes well, I could venture to a washing machine in the future. I am ridiculously excited now to finish knitting this stocking so I can take my (new) plunger to it. I must admit that I am loving the knitting process of a future felted item. I am not worried about my tension at all. The current ball of Kureyon from which I am knitting goes a bit thick to thin, so the stitches look a bit wonky. Normally I would care, but since I am felting it, I don't give a fig.

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 8th

I guess people don't like to share...


Knitting Update

Wow, the weeks seem to speed by as we get closer to the holidays! I have about ten million and one things that need to be done prior to the holidays, and I only seem to be on item seven. Oh well, I have been known to pull off some fantastic feats at the last moment though, so we shall see what happens.

Before I talk about knitting, I need to tell you about sheep! Yes, that is right...sheep! I am training for the Disney Half-Marathon this January (for those of you who know me...isn't this crazy?! I ran in the Race the Taste 10K and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K this past October...what can I say, running at Walt Disney World is inspiring), and my running route takes me past the Veterinary School. Usually, I see some horses or cows in the pastures. The other day, while I was running past the fields, I saw SHEEP! As soon as I saw them, I started devising ways of getting at their fleece. I convinced myself that I could knit down my current stash (and 2009 knitting clubs I joined) to nothing and learn how to spin and make my own yarn. When I went back the next day to take some pictures, the sheep were gone. I wonder if the sheep sensed the fact that I wanted their fleece and they ran away and hid?

In regards to knitting, I have been going all crazy with starting projects. I can't seem to stick with a current project (like the Christmas gift knitting or the scarf that is like 20 very short rows from being done), but keep seeing projects I need to start. I decided last night that I need to use my Lion Brand Bolero yarn (do not buy this yarn unless you have a project in mind). This stuff is hard to find a pattern for, because it is a thick to thin yarn and therefore has crazy gauge issues. I started on a garter stitch scarf, but we will see how far this project goes. I can't seem to find a width that I like (this is due to the fact that the gauge is weird and casting on 10 stitches can be crazy different from casting on 12 stitches). Also, I only have two balls, so I don't know how long this scarf is going to be. The good news is that the scarf is 100% wool, so I can stretch (I mean block) this yarn within an inch of its life. In fact, as I write this, I decided to frog this scarf yet again and go from a CO of 15 stitches to 12. I think I like it. The picture you, however, is from the 15 stitch CO garter stitch scarf. ::sigh:: I think when it comes down to it, I like having a pattern tell me what to do. I like knowing how many stitches to cast on, even if it is just a garter stitch scarf. I find it comforting.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

December 7th

I like knitting. I like legos.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

December 6th

This old commercial looks oddly familiar. I could swear that I saw a part of this advertisement as a child.


Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5th

Did you ever wonder how cereal is made? It's knitted, of course, my nanas!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

December 4th

Do you love reality television? Do you love knitting? Well, check out So You Think You Can Knit!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 3rd

This video always makes me laugh! If only I could knit a sweater in one sitting!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's Coming!

When I first started knitting, I told myself that if I only knit scarves for the rest of my life I would be okay with that. I started knitting as a stress relief, a way to keep myself warm, and to learn a cool new thing. Now I have branched out to hats, purses, necklaces, socks, and fingerless mittens. Okay, the socks are a bit "in progress" if you will (I can't seem to finish a fingering weight sock). I have made one worsted weight sock and a Christmas stocking though!

Anyway, the major project bug has hit. I want to make the Box-the-Compass Pullover, Sylvi, Vivian, and Kingscot. Suddenly I have confidence to knit something substantial. I feel they are all within my grasp. There are challenges to all of them, but I know how to knit, purl, increase, and decrease. ::sigh:: Why do I always want to start projects that don't require any of the yarn in my sizable stash? It is the knitter's curse.

Here are pictures of the sweater, coat, jacket, and cardigan...Oh! By the way, the Box-the-Compass Pullover is an EZ and Meg Swansen design and the last three are in the Twist Collective Winter 2008. There are some very beautiful designs in this new e-zine.

December 2nd

Although I have heard the Yarn Harlot say this bit and I have read this bit in her books, it always makes me laugh.


Monday, December 01, 2008

December 1st!

It is that time again! I have decided to resurrect the Knitting Advent Calendar! I have found a collection of fun, informative (in a cute way), and interesting youtube videos that commemorate knitting!

Here is a video that fits well with the theme of (spontaneous) good cheer. Enjoy!


I have been staring at these Flame Wave Socks for a while. I like the concept behind them. I like the yarn. I like the pattern. I don't like the gauge though. As I have stated previously, they are way too big. After some investigating, I realized that Ann Budd apparently knits her socks with positive ease. I don't know why she does this, especially with a yarn that needs negative ease to work. Oh well. I had tried starting the second sock with smaller needles, but it wasn't coming together.

In a moment of clarity (desperation?), I frogged them. No one, except for you and me, needs to know about these socks. I will tackle them in the future after I use a pattern that doesn't require as much thinking (yeah, that's right, I am not a swatcher and must rely on needle suggestions).

This is the last known picture of these awful, awful socks: